iOS 12.0.1 Bug Gives Anyone Access To Your Photos

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amatas reports that an iOS 12.0.1 bug lets anyone obtain access to your photos by doing a special bypass at the lock screen.

People believe that this smartphone brand is extremely secure, but it is now emerging that all iPhone users are vulnerable to a distrustful partner, a curious colleague, an outrageous boss, because absolutely anyone can access your iPhone’s photo album, look through the photos and can send them to whom he wishes.

Poorly written article aside, this smartphone brand is extremely secure, but no system can be 100% secure. iOS 12.1 is reported to launch tomorrow, and it’s possible it will include a bug fix for this.

Parallels Access 1-Year Subscription: $9.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Parallels Access

We have a deal on a 1-year subscription to Parallels Access. This software lets you view and control your desktop computer from an iPhone or iPad. And, it allows you to use touch to control everything where you’d normally use a keyboard and mouse or trackpad. You can get a 1-year subscription for $9.99 through our deal.

Icon in iOS 12 Code Shows What to Expect From the New iPad Pro

· Jeff Gamet · Link

iPad Pro icon with Face ID, no Home button

iOS 12.1 keeps offering up more clues saying we’re about to see an iPad Pro refresh. The latest comes in the form of a device icon tucked away in the code. 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo notes:

A new icon found within iOS offers a more detailed view of the 2018 iPad Pro, which we expect to be announced during the Tuesday event in Brooklyn. This icon shows an iPad with rounded corners, no Home button and no notch. An interesting aspect of this icon is how large the bezels look when compared to the recent iPhones.

No Home button means no Touch ID, and that means Face ID support—something that’s already been found in iOS 12.1 code. If other reports prove true, this will also be the first iOS device with USB-C instead of a Lightning port. Apple’s “There’s More in the Making” media event is scheduled for 10 Am eastern time on Tuesday October 30th. Be sure to check in with The Mac Observer for our coverage and analysis of the day’s announcements.

An Illustrated History of Apple's Mac mini

· John Martellaro · Link

Mac mini

For many, Apple’s Mac mini is a beloved computer. For others, it’s a dream rack mount server. Last year, Tim Cook told a customer, “I’m glad you love Mac mini. We love it too.” Rumors suggest we’ll see a new model this year, maybe next week in New York. In any case, if you’re a fan, sit back and enjoy this lovingly crafted, illustrated history.

Apple's App Stores No Longer Listing All In-App Purchases

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

App Store in-app purchases gone

Our good friend Jim Tanous at TekRevue ran an important public service announcement today about the App Store no longer listing all in-app purchases for apps and games. This was always an important tool for consumers wondering just what the heck they were getting into with a so-called “freemium” app. While an app developer can independently list some in-app purchases, there no longer appears to be a “List all” option, on either the App Store or Mac App Store. You can get the details from TekReveu, but this snippet has the gist.

The problem with this new policy is that the nature and prices of in-app purchases vary wildly depending on the developer and type of app or game. Users could previously check out the description and prices of the in-app purchases to determine if they were reasonable before downloading or buying an app. Now, it seems, users must download and launch the app to see the same information. In-app purchase information was already slightly hidden, but still available for those who wanted to see it. Apple’s decision to remove it and rely instead on the developers to optionally provide such data is completely anti-consumer and frankly baffling. We can only hope that user feedback forces the company to restore this feature quickly.

Rich People are Banning Screens in Classrooms

· Andrew Orr · Link

Rich people are banning screens in classrooms, in a surprising turn in the digital divide debate.

It wasn’t long ago that the worry was that rich students would have access to the internet earlier, gaining tech skills and creating a digital divide…But now, as Silicon Valley’s parents increasingly panic over the impact screens have on their children and move toward screen-free lifestyles, worries over a new digital divide are rising. It could happen that the children of poorer and middle-class parents will be raised by screens, while the children of Silicon Valley’s elite will be going back to wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction.

At one point when I was growing up, my dad got rid of the television because us kids were glued to it. I didn’t like it then, but looking back I think it was a good decision. And I’ve already written about how kids are being raised by YouTube.

Feds Say It's Legal to Hack DRM to Fix Your Devices

· Andrew Orr · Link

In a new decision, the Librarian of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office proposed new rules that make it legal to hack DRM to fix your electronic devices.

The move is a landmark win for the “right to repair” movement; essentially, the federal government has ruled that consumers and repair professionals have the right to legally hack the firmware of “lawfully acquired” devices for the “maintenance” and “repair” of that device. Previously, it was legal to hack tractor firmware for the purposes of repair; it is now legal to hack many consumer electronics.

This is a great decision, and although Apple opposes the right to repair, it’s a pro-consumer choice.

Match Any Surface to an Existing Color with Nix Mini Color Sensor: $58.65

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Nix Mini Color Sensor

We have a deal on the Nix Mini Color Sensor. This device senses color so you can match it to one of 31,000 brand name paint colors. If you’re looking for digital color matching, it will also give you the RGB, HEX, CMYK, and LAB colors. The Nix Mini Color Sensor is $69 through us, but if you use coupon code “BOO15” (without the quotes) at checkout, you’ll save 15%. That brings it down to $58.65.

Billy Crudup, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Join Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon's Apple TV Series

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Billy Crudup, Gugu Mbatha-Raw join Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon drama on Apple TV

Billy Crudup and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are the latest to sign on with the Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon original series for Apple’s streaming TV service. They’re joining Steve Carell who is playing the morning show anchor Mitch Kessler who is having trouble adapting to the changing market. Variety describes the new additions:

Mbatha-Raw will play Hannah Shoenfeld, a “whip-smart and charming” head booker of talent on the morning news show the series follows. Tony Award-winner Crudup will portray Cory Ellison, a forward-thinking president of the network news division.

Top notch talent is lining up both in front of and behind the cameras for Apple’s original content lineup. Word on the street is we’ll start seeing these shows in 2019, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they hold up against Amazon Prime and Netflix’s offerings.

Take Smoother Videos with the Rigiet Smartphone Gimbal: $93.49

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Rigiet Smartphone Gimbal

Check out this cool device we’re featuring in our deal of the day, the Rigiet Smartphone Gimbal. It’s a stabilizing video stick that let’s you take smooth videos, even on the go. It features a built-in control panel that lets you quickly zoom and switch between photo/video modes and front/rear camera perspectives. You can also use the Rigiet app for auto tracking, livestreaming, panorama shots, and more. It’s $109.99 through our deal, but coupon code BOO15 will knock 15% off for a price of $93.49.

U.S., China, and the AI Cold War

· Andrew Orr · Link

When Google’s AlphaGo system beat Chinese players at the game twice, this set off a sort of AI cold war between China and the United States.

On October 18, 2017, China’s president, Xi Jinping, stood in front of 2,300 of his fellow party members, flanked by enormous red drapes and a giant gold hammer and sickle. As Xi laid out his plans for the party’s future over nearly three and a half hours, he named artificial intelligence, big data, and the internet as core technologies that would help transform China into an advanced industrial economy in the coming decades. It was the first time many of these technologies had explicitly come up in a president’s speech at the Communist Party Congress, a once-in-five-years event.

Government is Outsourcing Surveillance to Silicon Valley

· Andrew Orr · Link

Sean Captain writes about a report that shows how the government is increasingly outsourcing surveillance to Silicon Valley companies.

While Amazon plays the leading role, the report also details the involvement of companies including Peter Thiel’s Palantir, NEC, and Thomson Reuters in storing, transferring, and analyzing data on both undocumented residents and U.S. citizens.

“There is a transfer of discretion and power from the public sector to the private sector in the form of these contracted technological services,” says Shankar Narayan, director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the ACLU in Washington State, which was not involved in the report.

The future sounds more dystopian every day.

Russia, China Are Spying on Trump's Insecure iPhone

· Andrew Orr · Link

U.S. intelligence agencies discovered that Russia and China are spying on conversations President Trump has on his insecure iPhone.

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

Inflamed by Russian bots, an issue during the 2016 election was Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, because there was a possibility it could be compromised. Now we find that Trump’s iPhone has confirmed to be compromised.

Stream to 2 Headphones with DualStream S1 Bluetooth Audio Transmitter: $34.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

DualStream S1 Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

We have a deal on the DualStream S1 Bluetooth Audio Transmitter. This device takes one audio source—like your TV—and streams it to two different Bluetooth speakers or headphones at the same time. It’s $34.99 through our deal, but Coupon code “BOO15” at checkout will get you 15% off, for a price of $29.74.

Apple Hit with $12.2 Million Fine in Italy Over iPhone Throttlegate

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Apple iPhone charged battery

Italy just slapped Apple with a €10.7 million fine (about US$12.27 million) for anti-trust violations stemming from the software fix for iPhones crashing because of worn out batteries, also known as “throttlegate.” Reuters summed up Italy’s reasoning for the fine saying,

Italian consumer groups had complained that software updates for mobile phones reduced the functionality of the devices and were designed to push clients into buying new handsets.

The idea that making a product perform poorly will make customers want to buy more from a company seems a little illogical to me. Still, Apple’s failure to tell customers what they were doing sits at the root of the problem. In this case, it’s a $12 million lesson in why transparency with customers is so important.

Google Adds Privacy Controls in Search

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google will start showing privacy controls on its search page, instead of forcing users to navigate their My Activity page.

Google calls the new feature Your Data, and has experimented with offering information about data privacy in different formats like video, illustrations, and text. The idea, Miraglia says, is to help as many users as possible understand what data a service collects, why, and what controls are available.

I think it’s a good move by Google, but like Douglas Schmidt said in the article: “It never hurts for people to be reminded that their online activities are being monitored, but I’m not sure it would make anybody feel better about what’s being done with it.”

Fiber Optic Breakthrough Could Make Internet 100X Faster

· Andrew Orr · Link

Researchers have had a fiber optic breakthrough, and it could significantly speed up existing networks and boost efficiency. The secret is twisted light.

Fibre optic cables use pulses of light to transmit information, but currently information can only be stored through the colour of the light, and whether the wave is horizontal or vertical.

By twisting light into a spiral, engineers effectively create a third dimension for light to carry information: the level of orbital angular momentum, or spin. “It’s like DNA, if you look at the double helix spiral,” said Min Gu from RMIT University. “The more you can use angular momentum the more information you can carry.”

I wonder how much current ISPs would throttle this 100X faster internet?

Apple's Original TV Shows Coming to 100 Countries in 2019

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon are coming to Apple TV

Apple’s original TV shows are launching in more than 100 countries, including the U.S., in 2019. That’s according to sources speaking with The Information. They say three “people familiar with the company’s plans” shared those details. From the report:

Apple is working to launch its new TV service in the U.S. in the first half of next year and will make the app available globally in the following months, the people said. It will include Apple’s original programs free to Apple device owners and also will enable users to sign up for TV network subscriptions owned by other companies, just as Amazon Prime Video subscribers can do through the Amazon Channels feature in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.

I still find it weird that Apple would give away all that content, especially since people are already willing to pay for Apple Music. Still, more reports are coming out saying all those TV shows will be a free perk for owning an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.

Ming Chi Kuo Says Apple Working on iPad Mini 5

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

A cloudy Apple crystal ball

TF International Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo says Apple is working on an update to iPad Mini, and that loooooooooooooooong-awaited AirPower and updated AirPods could be released sometime in the next 6 months. Those devices may or may not be mentioned at Apple’s October 30th media event in Brooklyn, but new iPad Pro models with USB-C ports will definitely be there. According to Ming Chi Kuo, that is. Juli Clover has details at MacRumors. I’ll believe it all when I see it. Here’s a snippet:

Kuo says that Apple will launch a new version of the iPad mini, which has not seen an update in several years. Kuo says the device will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel.

Kuo does not know, however, if Apple will announce it during the media event or launch it sometime later in the year/early next year, but if an updated model is in the works, it makes sense for it to launch alongside the iPad Pro .

Apple Promotes 13 Pre-Release Reviews of iPhone XR

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

iPhone XR smartphone available in several colors

Apple put out a press release Tuesday promoting 13 different pre-release reviews of iPhone XR. As expected, they’re all positive reviews full of gushing commentary about Apple’s new entry-level XS-era device.