Phil Schiller Explains How Apple Reinvented The MacBook Pro Keyboard

· · Link

Phil Schiller

One of the key complaints about the previous MacBook Pro was the scissor keyboard. Users worldwide have highlighted issues with the famously flimsy keyboard. Apple has tried to fix the issue in the new 16-inch model. The firm’s head of marketing Phil Schiller explained its thinking to CNET.

The challenge, says Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, was taking the best of the Magic Keyboard, an accessory designed for desktop computers such as the upcoming Mac Pro, which launches in December, and adapting and evolving it for the new notebook. “People sometimes underestimate how much work goes into a keyboard, and that’s why most keyboards in the industry don’t change for 10 or 20 years,” Schiller said in an interview. “We decided that while we were advancing the butterfly keyboard, we would also — specifically for our pro customer — go back and really talk to many pro customers about what they most want in a keyboard and did a bunch of research. The team took the time to do the work to investigate, research, explore and reinvent.”

Disney+ Alters Scene Between Greedo and Han Solo

· · Link

Disney+ has altered the shoot out scene between Greedo and Han Solo, making this the third alteration over the years.

You can see the footage isn’t as lightened as some previous editions. It does lean on the grainier look used in the 1977 reel, but it is longer overall. That is because an additional bit of dialogue was added to Greedo. Not only does the version make it more difficult to tell whether Greedo shot first, but it sees them shout something at Han Solo before being killed.

Privacytools.io Delists Startpage Over System1

· · Link

Privacytools.io delists Startpage from its list of privacy tools and services. Startpage had been taken over by Privacy One Group, which itself is owned by System1. System1 is a targeted advertising company with a business model that seemed—to many—to be in conflict with Startpage’s own privacy-centric model.

Because of the conflicting business model and the unusual way the company reacted, claiming to be fully transparent but being evasive at the same time, we have no choice but to de-list Startpage from our recommendations until it is fully transparent about its new ownership and data processing. Remaining questions include…

Suspicionless Searches of Travelers' Devices Ruled Unconstitutional

· · Link

A federal court ruled that suspicionless searches of travelers’ phones and laptops is unconstitutional, a win for privacy rights.

The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

504th Military App Could Expose Soldiers’ Data

· · Link

The 504th military app gives soldiers weather updates, training changes, and other logistics. But its terms of service say it collects a lot of personal data, and if the app was hacked it could potentially expose top-secret information.

The app’s permissions — which suggested it could pull GPS location data, photos, contacts and even rewrite memory cards — frustrated soldiers who have taken extreme precautions they felt were glossed over by Trotter and other senior leaders…The worst-case scenario, he said, was “our cover might be blown.” While the app said permissions could be disabled, the soldiers said there was a failure of confidence it was secure. Senior leaders checked the phones of subordinates to ensure they had the app installed, soldiers in the unit said.

Why it’s especially concerning: “The app developer, Straxis LLC, is based in Tulsa but has a subsidiary in southern India.”

GO-TOUGH Reinforced MFi Lightning Cable: $21.24

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the GO-TOUGH reinforced MFi Lightning cable. 6.5 feet in length, this cable is made from heavy-duty PET reinforced cable with reinforced stress points for reduced fraying. It’s $24.99 through our deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 brings it down to $21.24 at checkout.

Twitter Wants Users to Help it Finish Deepfakes Policy

· · Link

Twitter announced proposals for its policy to tackle deepfakes on Monday. Now, The Verge reported, it wants users to help it finish the job.

Late last month, the Twitter Safety team announced it’d be seeking feedback on what a deepfake and synthetic media policy would look like on the platform. In a blog post on Monday referencing that announcement, Twitter vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey wrote that if manipulated media was flagged on the platform, Twitter could end up placing a notice next to it alerting users that it’s been distorted, warning them that it’s false before they share it, or adding context in the form of a link or news article breaking down why others believe that it’s untrue. Twitter could also remove the content, Harvey wrote.

How Apple Became the Most Valuable Public Company Again

· · Link

aapl stock

Apple’s stock hit a new record high following its recent third-quarter earnings report. The recent Motley Fool podcast discussed how.

It’s all about the services with Apple, at least on the growth side. As you mentioned, the iPhone business, as we’ve talked about, pretty stagnant now. They continue to make really good iPhones. The iPhone 11 is seeing good reception. But revenue up 2%, a little higher than guidance. If you back out the iPhone, growth is up 17%. But really about the wearables. The wearables business continues to drive a lot of the growth on the services side, which includes the wearables. Up 18% on the sales. Now makes up 20% of sales but 33% of the gross profits. They now have 33,000 apps across all the platforms. It was the best quarter ever for AppleCare.

UK Labour Party Hit By DDoS Attack

· · Link

Make Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Automatically

The UK’s opposition Labour Party was hit by a DDoS attack on Monday night, BBC News reported. The attack came in the midst of a tense General Election campaign.

Labour said the attack “failed” because of the party’s “robust” security system and no data breach had occurred. The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack floods a computer server with traffic to try to take it offline. A Labour source said that attacks came from computers in Russia and Brazil but the BBC’s Gordon Corera has been told the attack was not linked to a state. Our security correspondent said he had been told the attack was a low-level incident – not a large-scale and sophisticated attack. A National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said the Labour Party followed the correct procedure and notified them swiftly, adding: “The attack was not successful and the incident is now closed.”

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your Camera? This Man Found a Bug

· · Link

For years there have been anecdotes from people saying that Facebook secretly uses their phone’s microphone and/or camera for targeted advertising. Joshua Maddux tweeted about a bug he found within the Facebook app. By tapping on a profile picture and slowly sliding it down the screen, you can see his rear camera being accessed on the left hand side. He tested it using five iPhones running iOS 13.2.2.

Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet.

Private Press Briefings Suggest New Apple Products This Week

· · Link

Writing for 9to5Mac, Zac Hall says that Apple could be holding private press briefings this week. If this is the case then we could see new Apple product announcements as early as the middle of the week.

This week appears to be one of those occasions based both on what 9to5Mac is hearing privately and suggestions by multiple public disclosures. If Apple is holding private press meetings at the start of this week, that suggests we could see the subject of those meetings announced publicly by the middle of the week.

I’m looking forward to the release of Apple’s ‘Tag’ Bluetooth beacons.

Windscribe VPN Pro 1-Year Subscription: $49

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal for you on a subscription to Windscribe VPN Pro. It works with iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. The Canadian company features a strict no-logging policy and anonymous sign-up that doesn’t even require an email address. The pro subscription comes with unlimited downloads, unlimited data, and unlimited connections. A 1 year subscription is $49 through our deal, with longer subscriptions available on the full listing.

macOS Mail Stores Encrypted Emails in Plain Text

· · Link

IT specialist Bob Gendler found that macOS Mail was storing encrypted emails in plain text. He first notified Apple on July 29, but only got a temporary fix from the company 99 days later on November 5.

The main thing I discovered was that the snippets.db database file in the Suggestions folder stored my emails. And on top of that, I found that it stored my S/MIME encrypted emails completely UNENCRYPTED. Even with Siri disabled on the Mac, it *still* stores unencrypted messages in this database!

Mr. Gendler shard a fix in his blog post.

iPhone 11 Pro and Max Storm Alibaba Singles Day

· · Link

It’s Singles Day in China – Alibaba’s equivalent Amazon Prime Day. Apple did exceptionally well out of the event, so-called because of all the 1s in the date.  The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were two of the best selling items during the event, Cult of Mac reported. As trade tensions ease, the new devices seem to be proving very popular in the country.

This year’s 24-hour shopping event has surpassed last year’s 213.5 billion yuan (more than $30 billion) record for gross merchandise value sold. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were reportedly two of the top-selling items during Singles Day. 2019 marks the 11th Singles Day event. It’s a 24-hour period, held every November 11, in which Alibaba offers big discounts on its e-commerce site. Last year, Singles Day exceeded spending by consumers on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Next Apple Watch May Have Touch ID in The Display

· · Link

The next generation of Apple Watch might have antennas in the band and Touch ID in the display. That’s according to a new patent uncovered by Patently Apple. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the Patent on Thursday.

Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published yet another patent application from Apple that covers moving the internal watch antennas to a future Apple Watch band – and possibly adding Touch ID to the display. Apple’s invention generally relates to antenna assemblies for watch bands, and, more particularly, to stretchable antenna elements embedded into watch bands. The watch band provides wireless communication via an antenna embedded within the watch band in a manner that protects the structural integrity and operation of the antenna. The watch bands described provides antenna assemblies that adaptably stretch, bend, and flex with the bodies of the watch bands. The embedded antenna assemblies avoid damage from applied forces while also maintaining the compliance and comfort of the watch band while worn by a user.

How Everyone Ignored it When Steve Jobs' Shared The Secrets of iPad Success

· · Link

iOS 11 iPad Dock in Portrait Orientation

During the 2010 media event unveiling the iPad, Steve Jobs revealed much of Apple’s strategic thinking behind the product. However. as an editorial on AppleInsider, points out, much of the industry ignored it.

It was as if Jobs were giving the industry a Xerox PARC style tour of the secret labs inside Apple. He not only revealed the next big thing that would radically change the computing landscape but also detailed exactly what was going to make it commercially successful. To compete for relevance and fill a valuable niche between a regular PC and a phone, Jobs said iPad would need to be much simpler to use than a PC. And to stand apart as useful next to a smartphone, it would be critical to have tablet-optimized mobile apps that were more sophisticated than a phone. These ideas may seem obvious today, but were once opposed and defied by competitors and critics.

If Your YouTube Account Isn’t ‘Commercially Viable’ Google Will Delete It

· · Link

According to YouTube’s new terms of service, your YouTube account can be terminated if it isn’t commercially viable enough. The phrasing is broad enough that some people think this means Google will take action against people using adblockers.

YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.

I’m personally not sure if that’s the case. You don’t need a Google account to watch YouTube, nor does Google need you to have an account for it to track you.

Mondly Lifetime Subscription (1 Language): $39.99

· · TMO Deals

Mondly on iPhone

We have a deal on a lifetime subscription to Mondly, the language-learning platform. Mondly uses speech recognition and only gives positive feedback if you speak clearly and correctly. The deal I’m linking to is for one language for $39.99. There are deals available in the listing for 5 and all languages, too.

Judge Rules Cops can Search Through DNA Database GEDmatch

· · Link

A judge recently ruled that law enforcement have the ability to search through DNA database GEDmatch, overriding the choice of its over one million users.

In the wake of that attention-grabbing case, GEDmatch changed its policies in May 2018 to make it less easy for police to access their data. Users now have to opt in to having their data made available to police; information they upload is set to private by default. Rogers told the NYT that as of October, less than 15% of current users, 185,000 out of 1.3 million, have opted in to sharing their data with police.

This Person Invented a Giant AirPod

· · Link

Giant AirPod

Losing your AirPod is annoying. So someone invented a giant one. That person, Aaron B, told Mashable about it.

Building the replica was a bit of an undertaking. Aaron explained to Mashable that it took about five hours to model it, then another 15 hours to print it using a 3D printer. Despite this, Aaron called the build “pretty simple,” and offered his CAD model incase anyone else wants to try their hand at it. But the best part of this giant AirPod is that it is fully functioning. Not only does it look hilarious, but it’s able to play music via Bluetooth as well. “I got the idea from someone who made one a few years ago,” Aaron told Mashable. “Theirs was made in a similar way (3D printed housing and Bluetooth speaker electronics inside), but that model was a bit rough from scaling it up so much.”