Set The 'Days Without a Facebook Privacy Breach' Counter to Zero

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Facebook Privacy Breach Counter

Really, I just loved the first line of this piece by Josh Constine at TechCrunch, enough so I needed to make a nice graphic for it. It’s all about how Facebook leaked a bunch of app data meant for app owners (bad enough IMO) to app testers. Oops. It’s cool, though, bro, because Facebook fixed it. TechCrunch has the details.Facebook Privacy Breach Counter

Set the “days without a Facebook privacy problem” counter to zero. This week, an alarmed developer contacted TechCrunch, informing us that their Facebook App Analytics weekly summary email had been delivered to someone outside their company. It contains sensitive business information, including weekly average users, page views and new users.

Some of the Best Tech Ads in Last 35 Years

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Stagehands working the stretchy hall behind-the-scenes

This is far from a comprehensive list of the best tech ads in the last 35 years, but it’s a quick trip back in time to some of the best. Writing for TechCrunch, Sarah Wells offers thoughts and the videos for several Apple spots; the annoying (but definitely successful) “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” spot; Sprint’s “Can You Hear Me Now?” spot; and a compelling Google spot.

With stunning visuals (most of which were not CGI) and captivating choreography, Jonze breathes life into a product that got mixed reviews after its release in February. This made us think, what other tech commercials have grabbed our attention in the last 35 years and transformed how we think about technology?

Analysis: Amazon's Plans for a Family Robot

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A sample family robot/guardian

Back in April, we learned that Amazon is working on a family robot. Now, LoupVentures  has gone into considerable detail in its analysis of this project. In part: “Amazon’s robot could open up new market opportunities. According to The Information, Amazon has considered offering home insurance. By having real-time monitoring of homes, the Amazon robot could monitor and notify a human in instances of theft, fire, or in-home hazards (i.e. an infant wondering near stairs), thereby mitigating the cost of a claim and lowering premiums. Lastly, Amazon has highlighted they want to deliver packages to your home when you are not there. We feel consumers would be more comfortable letting couriers into their homes if a robot could monitor the drop-off.” Are you ready?

Setapp 1-Year Subscription: $69

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Setapp

Our friends at Stack Commerce put together a great deal for us on Setapp from MacPaw. With one subscription, you get access to more than 60 curated apps all in a single, easily navigable library. One year is normally $119, but it’s $69 through our deal.

The MacBook Touch Bar Helps Customers who need Accessibility

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Redditor u/cozygodal shared a story of using the MacBook Touch Bar. A lot Apple customers (including the press) don’t like the Touch Bar and think it’s a gimmick. But u/cozygodal found it helpful for their dyslexia.

I would love to spotlight a specific use-case for the Touch Bar that maybe not a lot of people notice. I have dyslexia and a really hard time to spell words correctly. Taking notes in class is hard because I write so slow and it is a a lot harder to discuss my notes with classmates because nobody can read a dame word.

And a that point the MacBook Pro came in. You can see the words while typing and that is a godsend. I’m so much faster it is unbelievable like a switch in my brain is turned on. If you are telling me a word I cannot spell it in my head I had to memorized every single word I know like a foreign language and I can recall my memory so much faster with the pictorial representation of words in the touch bar.

Thank you Apple for making my life a lot easier 🙂

What is the Strategy With the Apple Health Platform?

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Over on Quora, a website where you can ask questions, someone asked: “What is Apple’s strategy with their health platform?” User Mills Baker gave an interesting answer, saying that the Apple health platform aims to fill a void that other tech companies are unable to fill.

For various reasons from fragmentation to consumer concern about data collection and privacy, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and so on (including most Android hardware companies) cannot develop advanced health-related features and incorporate them into their products. Nowhere does a tightly-controlled, individual-user-oriented, “device-restricted” product ecosystem make more sense than with sensitive health records and holistic measurement / presentation / usage. Apple will probably remain most-trusted, most-reliable, and most usable in this area for a long time.

Apple Petitions to Invalidate Qualcomm Patents

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Apple suing Qualcomm over patent royalty payments

Apple’s ongoing legal fight with Qualcomm over patent royalty payments iPhone parts suppliers must pay now includes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple filed petitions to invalidate the four patents in question claiming they don’t cover new ideas, according to Bloomberg. The patents cover devices that are phones and PDAs, autofocus for digital cameras, circuit memory, and touch sensitive displays. It could take a year to get a final ruling, assuming the USPTO agrees to move forward with the filing. For now, Apple and Qualcomm will keep moving forward with their other lawsuits in the U.S. and abroad.

Fortnite Brings in $100M in First 3 Months on iPhone, iPad

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Fortnite from Epic Games

The massively popular battle royale shooter game Fortnite has already brought in US$100 million from iPhone and iPad players in the three months it’s been available on the iOS platform. Sensor Tower reports that’s three times as much as Arena of Valor brought in during its first 90 days on iOS. The game itself is free but offers in-app purchases that players are clearly happy to buy. You can download Fortnite for free at Apple’s App Store and join in on what’s currently the most popular game on any platform.

Internet TV is Booming, Overtaking Conventional TV

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Apple TV 4K event logo

We know that Internet TV is booming. And yet the interesting fact is that conventional TV viewing isn’t dropping in proportion. It’s dropping only a little. That means that the sum of the two, in daily viewing hours, is increasing. It also explains why cord-cutting is often pooh-poohed as minor. Something’s keeping those cable TV subscriptions fairly attractive. No data caps? Local news and sports? DVR capability? The chart doesn’t explain; it just shows the data. Very interesting indeed.

Why Did Apple Make Screen Time on iOS 12?

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Writing for Quartz, Nir Eyal opines on the reason why Apple made Screen Time on iOS 12, as well as Google’s Digital Health platform. Mr. Eyal studied the psychological techniques that companies use to get people hooked, and he wrote a book too. He says that Apple and Google don’t want you to get addicted, but instead form a healthy relationship with your devices.

As they often do with successful apps built on their platforms, Apple and Google took note of what consumers wanted and decided to incorporate these features as standard…They also went beyond what app makers can do by adding features only the operating system makers can offer, like batch notifications to reduce the frequency of intraday interruptions and the ability to put the phone in “shush” mode by flipping it over.

With few exceptions, when a product harms people, consumers tend to use it less often or find better alternatives. The feature fight between these two tech rivals benefits everyone. The move to help users create healthy habits with their devices is an example of competition making products better.

Apple's AirPower Wireless Charging Pad Not Coming Until September

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AirPower wireless charging mat with iPhone X, Apple Watch, and AirPods

Apple promised its AirPower wireless charging pad for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods would ship some time in 2018, and now it’s looking like that’s going to be September—a year after it was unveiled. Bloomberg reports Apple is dealing with technical issues like keeping the device from overheating. A rumor saying AirPower would come in March came and went, Apple is staying quiet about the device’s status. For now, it looks like we still have three more months to wait for AirPower, and the promised wireless charging case for AirPods, too.

These AI Shoes Could Become Your Fitness Coach

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Writing for Techcrunch, Callum Booth talks about a device called Runvi. It’s on Kickstarter right now, consisting of two insoles, and it wants to be your AI-powered running coach by analyzing the way you move. These AI shoes are connected by something called the Core, which is a part of the insole you can remove. This acts as the brain, and powers the sensors, as well as logging and storing data before sending it to your phone.

There are other running products out there – the Lumo Run or Arion, which is another insole tracker, for example – but Runvi, on the surface at least, appears to be superior. It has more sensors, is cheaper than Arion, and is more self-contained, as it doesn’t need anything hooking over your shoe.

It’s vital to remember this is just on paper though. While the idea and set-up looks promising, we’ll have to wait until we have the physical copies in our hands, or, you know, in our shoes, before we can see how it works in reality. Until then, I’m quietly hopeful I won’t hurt my knee any more.

Twist Plus World Charging Station: $31.99

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Twist Plus World Charging Station

Check out the Twist Plus World Charging Station. It can plug into any power outlet in the world, and it has four USB ports for charging multiple devices. It also has a adapter on the bottom you can slide your MacBook’s charging brick onto. It’s $31.99 through our deal.

Apple's Advanced Technology Group Changed the World

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In another good article by FastCoDesign, Jesus Diaz writes how Apple’s research group developed some of the most highly influential tech of the century. For example, a feature coming in macOS Mojave called Stacks automatically categorizes your files on the desktop. But Stacks isn’t a new technology, and evolved out of concepts that ATG worked on.

The ATG was founded in 1986 by Larry Tesler, a computer scientist who had previously worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center–aka PARC, the birthplace of the graphic user interface–before moving to Apple. The group’s mission was to create breakthrough technologies that didn’t need to be products.

Though they were introduced onstage at WWDC as “Stacks,” they were once known as “Piles.” It extended the desktop metaphor even further by allowing users to organize their files in stacks of papers, images, or videos, leaving folders for more permanent archival purposes–just like real life.

Apple Could Be Collateral Damage in the U.S. Trade War

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President Trump has effectively started a trade war with China—as well as other countries—by imposing tariffs on metal imports from Europe, Canada, and Mexico. These countries are fighting the U.S. trade war, with China focusing on American-made goods like beef, poultry, tobacco, and cars.

Tim Cook worries that Apple could be collateral damage. Last month he visited the White House to warn the president that Apple’s position in China could be threatened by tough measures coming out of the U.S. The New York Times notes:

In a trade and technology showdown between the United States and China, Apple and Mr. Cook have a lot to lose. With 41 stores and hundreds of millions of iPhones sold in the country, there is arguably no American company in China as successful, as high-profile and with as big a target on its back.

Here's What Your City Looked Like up to 750 Million Years Ago

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FastCoDesign shared an interesting visual tool that shows what your city looked like up to 750 million years ago. It’s called Ancient Earth. You enter your address, click on the menu to pick the age, then it instantly shows how the land mass looked.

Earth was a completely different planet 240 million years ago. Back then we had Pangea, a mashup of a supercontinent formed by older continental units and surrounded by water. Then, around 175 million years ago, magma pushed this landmass’s tectonic plates in different directions, slowly forming the continents we know today.

Fun fact: Mar-a-Lago has always been a swamp–and L.A. traffic has always been crap. True story, folks.

CleanEmail 1-Year Subscription: $19.99

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CleanEmail Window

We have a deal on a 1-year subscription to CleanEmail. It’s a rules and filter-based email management tool, and the subscription covers up to five email accounts. It works from both a browser and email clients, and encrypts access details and removes data after 24 hours so that CleanEmail never retains access to your information. 1 year is $19.99 through us.

macOS Mojave: the Complete Reference

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macOS Mojave

Particle Debris page 2 highlights two articles that provide a detailed review of macOS Mojave features. Afterwards, it’ll be clear that Apple has done an amazing job with this new version of macOS. I call it the “wow-factor.”

PDF Expert for Mac: $24.99

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PDF Expert 2.2 on Mac, iPhone, and iPad

We have a deal on PDF Expert for Mac from Readdle.  This PDF editor has a nice list of distinctions, including being The 2015 App of the Year in the Mac App Store, Top Paid App in the Mac App Store, Editors’ Choice by Apple, and 4.6 out of 5 stars from 1,1000 ratings on the Mac App Store. The deal is for PDF Expert 2.4.2, the version on Readdle’s website. It’s $24.99 through our deal, 58% off retail.