Now Would Be a Great Time for an Apple VPN

· · The Back Page

If Apple Operated a VPN

There are many things Bryan Chaffin wishes Apple would release. Streaming TV, a smarthome hub, new freaking Macs, the list goes on. But something new on his mind is an Apple owned and operated virtual private network (VPN). He explains why this would be a welcome port in the storm of surveillance capitalism.

6 Cool Tech Things Going On in Germany

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (concert hall) as seen from the harbor.

Dr. Mac was in Germany last week, where he found six cool tech things, including his first encounters with Microsoft’s HoloLens Augmented Reality (AR) headset and HTC’s Vive Virtual Reality (VR) headset, plus robots galore, a very cool drone, and more.

Why the iPad mini is On Its Deathbed

· · Editorial

iPad mini: R.I.P.

A long time ago in this galaxy, Steve Jobs thought the 7-inch class iPad would be a bad idea. There wouldn’t be enough room to create great apps, he said.  The rest of the tablet market jumped in anyway, and Apple just had to follow. Think education. But Mr. Jobs was right. The 7.9-inch experience wasn’t that great for anything but iOS. Phablets arrived. And so, John ponders the demise of Apple’s iPad mini.

PSA: Don't Charge Your iPhones in the Bath

· · Editorial

An iPhone in a bath tub

Folks, don’t charge your iPhones or iPads (or other smartphones, if that’s your thing) in the bath. While most people likely understand that, London’s The Daily Mail reported that Richard Bull from Ealing in west London died of accidental electrocution while charging his iPhone in the tub.

Soon, You Will Be Told What To Think About Apple

· · Particle Debris

AI concept

Artificial Intelligence agents started out as friendly voices that could answer some simple questions. We’re in a new phase now in which AI agents can order goods and control our home. Recently, Google tried to jump to another level when it introduced an ad into a morning briefing. We can see where this is going, and it’s not good.

Smart Deadbolt Makes More Sense Than Expected

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Schlage Smart Sense Lock

Dr. Mac was recently invited to review a smart deadbolt. He explained that he’s not a do-it-yourself type of guy, and probably didn’t have the tools or skills to install a deadbolt. He also questioned the need to ever unlock his door using an iPhone instead of a key. A Sense Smart deadbolt kit arrived a few days later; he installed it himself in under an hour.

Someone Is Slipping Malware Into Android Devices in the Supply Chain

· · Editorial

Android assembly line with a hacker breaking into them

Get this: someone is slipping malware into Android devices while they’re still in the supply chain. Security firm Check Point found evidence that malware, adnets, spyware, and even ransomware was installed on some 36 Android devices before customers touched them. Devices from Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, ZTE, Lenovo, Asus, and Oppo were included in Check Point’s report. Bryan Chaffin explains.

Thoughts on the Productivity of Apple Employees

· · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, Fast Company published an article on “Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive.” It’s probably true. John Martellaro dug into the article and found things to like as well as things to expand on based on his own experiences.