Don't Be Fooled By The 5G Hype Train

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Carriers insist that 2020 will be the year of 5G. Apple says it won’t have 5G iPhones until 2020. But it’s going to take years for widespread rollout.

The industry is doing its best to hype 5G up as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for a year or two.

4G LTE will remain the dominant spectrum for a long time. There are a lot of problems with 5G millimeter-wave broadband, and my opinion is that we won’t see America fully 5G until 2030 or so.

Australian CommBank Adding Apple Pay in January

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Apple Pay adoption in Australia has been slow because of tough negotiations. However, CommBank will be supporting the payment service starting in January 2019.

Currently you can order and activate a CommBank PayTag for your iPhone with a one-off fee of $2.99. CommBank PayTag is a small sticker, around a third of the size of a credit card.  The PayTag is attached to the back of your iPhone, allowing you to make Tap & Pay purchases using your phone.

Giving Up Meat Won't Cure Climate Change

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I’ve seen a lot of these headlines. The latest one is from FastCompany: “If these insanely good athletes can give up meat, so can you.” Is that enough to fix climate change? Nope.

The whole point of Markkanen’s campaign with Neste, called #DontChoke, is to ask people to pledge to take simple actions to decrease their personal carbon footprint.

While I don’t doubt that giving up meat would be better, we also need to take a good, hard look at our rich overlords. Example: This study found that 10% of rich people are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions, whereas 50% of poor people are responsible for 10%. Nice symmetry.

The Marvel Series Cancelled by Netflix Won't Be on Disney+ Anytime Soon

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Iron Fist (Marvel).

Here’s the opening of a detailed story from Variety.

Fans of the Marvel Television series recently canceled by Netflix who hope to see the shows revived on Disney+ may be out of luck.

Sources tell Variety that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation. That means that “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” and “Iron Fist” — which were all canceled this year at Netflix — could not come to the Disney streaming service until 2020 at the earliest.

Iron Fist image credit: Marvel.

The Storyteller's Essential Mac Bundle: $15.99

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The Storyteller's Essential Mac Bundle

We have a deal for you on the Storyteller’s Essential Mac Bundle, a collection of apps aimed at storytellers from Mariner Software. It includes Mariner Write, Contour 2, Narrator, Persona, StoryMill, and Montage. Our deal is for $19.99, but coupon code GREENMONDAY20 at checkout brings it down to $15.99.

Older People are Driving Growth in Wearables

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ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4

When you think of consumers of wearable technology, the over-55s are not necessarily the demographic that springs to mind. However, Fortune found that health monitoring features such as the Apple Watch’s new ECG app appeal to older people. Consequently, the number of users in that age group is expected to rise faster than the average.

The number of people using smart wearables is expected to grow 9% next year, but among people age 55 and older, it will jump more than 15%, according to research firm eMarketer. The reason is that wearable makers like Apple and Fitbit have been adding health monitoring features that appeal to older consumers. Apple added a fall detection app and an EKG monitor to the Apple Watch Series 4 this year, for example, while Fitbit is adding a feature to detect sleep apnea.

Apple has Hired Doctors to Help its Health Tech Development

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CNBC learned that Apple has up to 50 doctors working for it as it continues its move into health tech. The report said that some of the physicians operate at very senior levels of the firm, including one who works closely with COO Jeff Williams.  Many continue to see patients as well as working for Apple. While a large number of the doctors work on the Apple Watch, some work at Apple’s AC Wellness primary care group, which cares for its employees.

These hires are not just for show, according to people familiar with the doctors and their roles. Many haven’t disclosed their role at Apple at all, which is commonplace at a company that prides itself on secrecy. One example is Stanford pediatrician Rajiv Kumar, who has worked there for several years. CNBC was able to locate 20 physicians at Apple via LinkedIn searches and sources familiar, and other people said as many as 50 doctors work there. Apple has more than 130,000 employees globally.


Why Apple Products Keep Getting More Expensive

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iphone x apple store

All Apple fans know that its products are not the cheapest out there. The argument always was that they were the best though, so that’s why they were the most expensive. Ultimately, you get what you pay for, and people accepted that. Recently, though, the cost of top-end Apple products rose faster than inflation. Some went up 20% or more this fall. The Washington Post took a look at how prices have changed, and why customers keep coming back.

Many Apple product prices are rising faster than inflation — faster, even, than the price of prescription drugs or going to college. Yet when Apple offers cheaper options for its most important product, the iPhone, Americans tend to take the more expensive choice. So while Apple isn’t charging all customers more, it’s definitely extracting more money from frequent upgraders.

Phone Number Lookup: See Your Public Data Profile

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Keepsafe is launching a phone number lookup service. Text “Hello” to (855) 228-4539 and it will send you a small report of public data associated with your phone number.

Keepsafe co-founder and CEO Zouhair Belkoura said that while marketers are able to access this information with relative ease, it’s difficult for consumers to check. “We said, ‘Why don’t we make it super easy?’” he said. “Here’s a number you can text that tells you what information is publicly available.”

I’m pleased to report that my phone number isn’t publicly associated with certain information in any way, like my name, home address, age, gender, carrier, and associated people. In my privacy score, they did figure out what carrier I use, as well as the zip code of my former home town. But again, no actual address. Although it sounds like Keepsafe uses your number for marketing, in the ultimate act of irony.

Chronicle is a Beautiful App That Gives You Bill Reminders

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I recently started using Chronicle for bill reminders and I’m glad I found it. The app gives you a calendar view, along with a list of bills that you enter. Name the bill, add a category, amount, and due date, and forget about it. Plus, Chronicle syncs with the available Mac version via iCloud, so you can view and pay your bills everywhere. In addition to reminding you to pay your bills, Chronicle keeps track of all your payment history, including confirmation numbers, so you always have proof of payments. New to Chronicle is the Pro version. Available as an in-app purchase, Chronicle Pro gives you access to all new features of Chronicle as they are updated. Chronicle Pro is US$3.99/year and gives you features like Amount to Save, Intelligent Estimated Amount Due, and Forecast View. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Chronicle is a Beautiful App That Gives You Bill Reminders