Architect I.M. Pei's Influence on Apple

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I.M. Pei Louvre

Legendary architect I.M. Pei passed away Thursday, aged 102. Most famous for the glass pyramid at the Louvre, he also had a major influence on Apple, Cult of Mac reported.

I.M. Pei first got involved with Apple in the early 80s, before it even launched the first Macintosh. Jobs wanted to hire I.M. Pei to design a campus for Apple in Coyote Valley, San Jose. This didn’t end up happening, but Jobs and Pei did work together not long after. The first instance was an ongoing project to create an apartment in the San Remo, a Neo-Renaissance apartment building in New York City. Jobs hired I.M. Pei’s firm to work on the project, although Jobs never wound up living there.

Grumpy Cat: Viral Sensation Dies at Age 7

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Grumpy Cat has died at age 7, reported Buzzfeed News. The pet went viral in September 2012 when a picture of it appeared on Reddit. After that, Grumpy Cat’s life was never the same again.

She died in the arms of her owner on Tuesday, according to an emotional statement posted on Twitter. “Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome,” it read.”She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”

New ProtonMail Anti-Phishing Feature Makes You Confirm

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For the past several days I’ve seen a new dialog box whenever I tap on a link in ProtonMail for iOS. It turns out that it’s a new ProtonMail anti-phishing feature.

Another security improvement is our new link confirmation modal, which is now enabled by default on all our apps. This anti-phishing feature helps you avoid opening a link by mistake or going to a different page than you intended.

macOS: New Details on the Music Player in 10.15

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iTunes on a MacBook

Cult of Mac reports:

Some sources previously stated that the [macOS 10.15 Music] app would be made using Marzipan, which lets developers easily port iPad apps to the desktop. But new information reveals that won’t be the case.

In fact,

The Mac’s next-generation Music app will be based on iTunes, not ported over from iOS.

This makes some sense. The legacy macOS iTunes has a lot of Mac-specific code, including iOS device syncing and encrypted backups. But it’s probably also just phase one in the evolution of iTunes/Music on the Mac.

Psst...You can Turn off Autocorrect for iPad Hardware Keyboards

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OSXDaily has been a lifesaver lately. I’ve been annoyed at my Logitech Slim Folio Pro keyboard, because the rigid rubber bumpers on the corner make it difficult to take a screenshot using the buttons. Then came this article saying you can take screenshots with a keyboard shortcut, something I should’ve known because it’s the same shortcut on the Mac. Oh well.

Then last night, I was annoyed with yet another typo in an article. I blame them entirely on iOS’s aggressive autocorrection, because the iPad Pro is my daily work machine now. Literally a couple hours later, the website published a tip saying you can turn off autocorrect for hardware keyboards.

This is because the iPad has separate settings for the software keyboard onscreen, and a hardware keyboard if one is connected to the iPad…


How to Stop Wasting Money on Subscriptions

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How much do you spend each month on subscriptions? Each year? The number is only is going up. In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Joanna Stern looked at ways we can all cut out the unnecessary subscriptions in our lives.

The assortment of services is harder to keep track of than the flavors of LaCroix sparkling water. And the number of subscriptions we pay for, and how much we pay, is only going to keep ballooning. Don’t get me wrong. I love subscriptions. I love that soon I’ll be able to pay $7 a month for the newly announced Disney+ instead of paying a la carte for each $3 episode of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” But we can’t just go on signing up for “free trials” that turn into years-long payments. We have to pay attention to where our money is going.

SpaceX Postpones Starlink Due to High Winds

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Space X Falcon 9

SpaceX has postponed its Starlink project due to high winds Wednesday night. Starlink is Elon Musk’s plan to provide global, low-cost satellite internet.

Sixty Starlink satellites have been packed into the nose cone of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that’s waiting to launch. Over the next eight years, the company plans to deploy around 12,000 of the satellites into low-Earth orbit to create its widespread broadband network as part of a project said to be costing the company $10 billion.

Its first goal is to deploy 4,425 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit at an altitude of between 690 miles (1,110 km) and 823 miles (1,325 km). These will act as the backbone of Starlink’s internet service.

macOS: What is /private/var/db/fpsd/dvp and Why Doesn't it Get Backed Up?

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Carbon Copy Cloner duplicates my startup disk automatically every night at 11:46PM.

Carbon Copy Cloner users recently noticed a warning that ONE file, /private/var/db/fpsd/dvp, isn’t being backed up. Here’s why. (tl;dr. It’s not a problem.) This Apple discussion explains the situation for this user:

Carbon Copy Cloner gives me an error when I finish backing up, saying I can’t copy this file to my backup drive because it didn’t have permissions. What is it, and is it safe to use the backup without this file? When I go to the file in Finder, the folder it’s in doesn’t give me access.

Trump Declares National Emergency Over Threats to American Tech

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Today President Trump has issued a national emergency over threats against American technology. A ban is expected to follow that will stop U.S. companies from doing business with Chinese company Huawei.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote that the administration will “protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States.”

A Fix For That Scary WhatsApp Exploit is Live

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An Israeli firm called NSO Group used a WhatsApp exploit to inject spyware on target devices. A fix for the exploit is live.

Given the stealthy way the attack was attempted, it’s impressive that WhatsApp caught it as quickly as they did. Engineers at Facebook have been busy sorting this one out over the weekend…Named CVE-2019-3568…affected versions include…WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51, WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51.

Apple Frustration at Intel's Slow 5G Progress

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Apple was frustrated at the speed Intel was developing a 5G modem long before it settled with Qualcomm. A report in The Information picked up by AppleInsider outlined the growing tensions between Apple and its supplier, which announced its departure from the mobile modem market shortly after the Apple-Qualcomm settlement was revealed.

In early 2017, senior Hardware Technologies VP Johny Srouji “barked” at Intel’s Venkata Renduchintala during a meeting at 1 Infinite Loop, according to a source for The Information. Srouji was allegedly frustrated with Intel’s work on the XMM 7560, intended for 2018 iPhones. The modem wasn’t functioning properly, two sources said, even though Intel had already overhauled it four times to put it on par with Qualcomm chips, and missed multiple deadlines along the way.

Quiet Drive Option Arrives on Uber Black

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Uber announced a new Quiet Drive option in which customers can request that their driver not speak. Techcrunch reported that the option is available to Uber Black customers.

Uber did extensive research of drivers’ perceptions in the three months it took to develop the feature. But due to employment laws, it can’t actually require that drivers abide by user requests for quiet, though they might get negative ratings if they ignore them. Ghajar insists “It’s not mandatory. The driver is an independent contractor. We’re just communicating the rider’s preference. The driver can have that information and do with it what they want.” Given premium rides often cost 2X the UberX price and over 3X the UberPool price, Uber could make a lot of money encouraging upgrades.

Tech: A long standing love affair

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Nerd culture may be mainstream now, but it was not always that way. In a moving piece for Wired, Paul Ford details his love story with tech.

No one loves tech for tech’s sake. All of this was about power—power over the way stories were told, the ability to say things on my own terms. The aesthetic of technology is an aesthetic of power—CPU speed, sure, but what do you think we’re talking about when we talk about “design”? That’s just a proxy for power; design is about control, about presenting the menu to others and saying, “These are the options you wanted. I’m sorry if you wanted a roast beef sandwich, but sir, this is not an Arby’s.” That is Apple’s secret: It commoditizes the power of a computer and sells it to you as design.

VSCO Hasn’t Released a Film X Preset Since January

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The story I’m linking to is a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the effort VSCO puts into emulating analog film. The company releases these special presets as part of its VSCO X membership, which costs US$20/year.

Its Film X filters recreate the look of long-gone analog films like Ektar 100, Portra 400, and Kodak Tri-X (a favorite of the late street photographer Garry Winogrand). It’s a long process that involves not just coding, but locating old film stock and reverse engineering the pictures captured on it.

It’s interesting to read, but I’d also like to take this opportunity to say that I’m a VSCO X member and VSCO hasn’t released a Film X preset since January. We were promised one new preset every month. Time to cancel?

Most Everything to Know About Wi-Fi 6

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Wi-FI 6 is coming. For the geeks, that’s 802.11ax. CNET has a great article that explains it all. But even if you buy a new Wi-Fi 6 router/base station later this year, it won’t speed up your Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) devices, But take heart. Intel’s Ice Lake CPU supports it and so will, likely, the 2019 iPhones.  Read all about Wi-Fi 6 in this excellent overview. Your inner geek will thank you.

Apple Releases Patch for ZombieLoad Flaw in Intel Chips

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ZombieLoad is a serious flaw affecting almost every Intel chip since 2011. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have issue patches for it.

The tech giant said in an advisory that any system running macOS Mojave 10.14.5, released Monday, is patched. This will prevent an attack from being run through Safari and other apps. Most users won’t experience any decline in performance. But some Macs could face up to a 40 percent performance hit for those who opt-in to the full set of mitigations.

Crazy that Intel chips have had this since 2011. This is the first time I’ve heard of ZombieLoad.

The Dangers Of Startups Offering Shares to New Staff

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nasdaq iphone stocks

Startups often appeal to talent by offering them shares in the company. It can be great for both recruits and the companies that want them. However, a report by the Telegraph highlighted some of the issues that can arise too.

For start-ups, it’s a way to dangle the promise of enormous riches in front of recruits that they can’t yet afford to pay, since the shares cost nothing to give out but can be worth millions when the company matures. For established firms, it’s a way to win scarce talent away from rivals and secure its loyalty while keeping the wage bill low. But stock compensation has a dark side, and some tech workers are speaking up about it. They blame it for exacerbating the industry’s internal problems, such as inflated living costs and a lack of diversity.

Sir Nick Clegg: Breaking up Facebook Won't Solve Problems

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Nick Clegg with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg

Recently appointed Facebook executive Sir Nick Clegg gave his first media interview in his new role Sunday. He told Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources that the problems facing Facebook “won’t suddenly evaporate” if it is broken up.  The social network’s co-founder Chris Hughes made such a suggestion last week.

Chopping a great American success story into bits” won’t stop foreign election interference or “poison” spreading online, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs and communications, told CNN Business’ Brian Stelter Sunday in his first US television interview since he joined the company last year. “We need to do more,” Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, said on “Reliable Sources.” But those problems “won’t suddenly evaporate. There will still be Russian trolls.”