Discord Prevents Users From Suing the Company

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Chat app Discord recently updated its terms of service to prevent users from suing the company.

In a section of the terms of service titled “Dispute Resolution,” Discord asserts that “most disputes can be resolved without resorting to arbitration.” Any Discord user wishing to raise issue with the company must now provide “notice of the dispute,” which includes “a brief, written description of the dispute, the relief requested and the contact information of the party giving it.”

The policy goes into effect on Oct. 23. Those wishing to opt out will have 30 days to send a notice to Discord.

Why do I have a dark feeling that Discord will announce a data breach within the next six months? If that happens, users can’t sue Discord for mishandling their data.

Did Apple Seize This Man's Mac Batteries?

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Louis Rossman, a computer repair technician in New York City, recently made a YouTube video accusing Apple of using U.S. Customs to seize his shipment of Mac batteries.

“Make no mistake. I am not an Apple customer I do not take to being ripped off nicely. I don’t care if I have to spend $50,000 in legal fees, to get back my $1000 worth of batteries. This is principle. Apple, you are not going to get away with this. And don’t think I don’t notice the timing on this stuff,” explains an angry Rossmann.

I think the situation is a little odd. I watched the video, which you can find here. It sounds like Mr. Rossman got the batteries from China. He doesn’t outright say they aren’t counterfeits, he just implies it. But if they are counterfeits, then U.S. Customs is just upholding the law. If the batteries are genuine, he should explicitly state that.

Avoid Google Data Collection By Not Using Two Services

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Leonid Bershidsky writes how you can avoid Google data collection by not using the company’s two biggest tools: Search and Chrome.

Ditching Chrome and Search, however, is an easy way to reduce the amount of information Google gets, essentially without users’ informed consent despite its pro forma compliance with European regulations.

Google says it uses the data collection of Chrome and Search to subsidize other products. Well, if the company is willing to charge phone manufacturers for those products, why not end users? Putting a price on the Google apps, against a promise of no data collection, would quickly show which of them are viable.

I really think Google should offer a paid tier for all of its services. And have the paid tier be free of advertising and data collection. Otherwise it’s eventually going to get regulated into the dirt like Microsoft in the 90s.

Flyington Selfie Drone: $69.99

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Flyington Selfie Drone

We have a deal on the Flyington Selfie Drone. It shoots 720p HD photo and video, with real-time camera transmissions to iPhone or Android device. But it’s also built to flip, roll, and slice through the air, and also features one-key auto landing. It’s $69.99 through our deal.

Powering Apple Reminders With Shortcuts

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I came across this article via The Loop. It’s an article written by Matthew Cassinelli, a member of the Shortcuts (née Workflow) team, about how he powers Reminders with Shortcuts.

When it comes down to it, what Reminders provides for Shortcuts (and you) is really a nice, big bucket for text that you can add to with Siri.

Any time you’re lost in thought, you can just Ask Siri to save that one-liner, and then do something useful with it using Shortcuts instead of letting it drift away in the wind.

He also shares seven Shortcuts he uses with Reminders.

How China Rips Off the iPhone and Fragments Android Even More

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Sam Byford writes how China rips off the iPhone and continues to fragment the Android market with new operating systems and knockoffs.

For the unfamiliar, Chinese phone software can be garish, heavy-handed, and quite unlike anything installed on phones that are popular outside of Asia. If there’s anything that’s going to turn you off the brand-new Huawei Mate 20 Pro, for example — unsubstantiated Cold War-esque paranoia aside — it’s likely to be the software.

Back when I used to write for an Android website (I know, shocking!) I had received a Chinese phone to review. It had adware and possibly other malignant stuff built right in, so I won’t gush over Chinese hardware like The Verge does.

Oh, and the aforementioned Cold War-esque paranoia? I assume Mr. Byford refers to the government ban on Huawei and ZTE. But I guess it’s a personal choice if you want to heed the warning or not.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Says A-series Macs Really Are Coming

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Apple iMac with ARM processor

The clues are all there. Apple has a mind to move its Macs to the A-series CPU. We discussed this at length on our TDO podcast recently. And now, Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities has confirmed it. Mike Wuerthele at AppleInsider reports: “Kuo also predicts that Mac models will adopt Apple’s A-series processor in some form starting 2020 or 2021.” So does that mean the 2019 Mac Pro will remain with Intel CPUs? And then make an abrupt jump in 2020?  The mind boggles.

The World's Largest Apple Collection is For Sale

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An Austrian computer repairman has amassed what is possibly the world’s largest Apple collection, and it’s currently for sale.

Over the years since he began working for a company that repaired Apples in Vienna in the 1980s, Roland Borsky’s collection has grown to roughly 1,100 computers, he says – far more than the 472 items at Prague’s Apple Museum, which says it is the world’s biggest private collection of Apple products.

Now that his income has dried up, Borsky says he cannot afford the rent on his warehouse. He hopes that a benefactor will put his collection on display and pay off his debt of 20,000-30,000 euros ($23,000-35,000).

If someone doesn’t buy the collection it will have to be destroyed.

U.S. Customers Get a New Apple Data Tool

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Apple customers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand get a new Apple data tool. This tool is the same that European users got because of GDPR.

Apple devices such as the iPhone or Apple Watch collect detailed data about users, such as whom they email, call or text message and even biometric data such as heart rates and fingerprints. But Apple’s practice has been to keep much of that data on the devices themselves and encrypt it with the user’s pass code, meaning that Apple does not possess the data and cannot unscramble it if asked to do so by law enforcement officials.

It’s good to see Apple do this, and I’m going to use it and see what changes have been made. You can log into the page here.

Popular Web Browsers Dropping TLS 1.0 and 1.1 Support in 2020

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The Mac Observer staff shares their favorite VPN, or virtual private network, services

The big names in the web browser community, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, are all dropping support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 in March 2020. The protocol allowed for secure and encrypted connections to web servers for online forms and data transmission, but proved to have several security flaws. It has been superseded by TLS 1.2. Ars Technica noted the pending depreciation saying,

The impact of removing the old protocols shouldn’t be too substantial. All four companies cite usage figures for the old versions; Firefox sees the most TLS 1.0 and 1.1 usage (1.4 percent of all secure connections) while the other three vendors claim a figure below 1.0 percent. The current recommendation is that sites switch to TLS 1.2 (which happens to be the minimum required for HTTP 2.0) and offer only a limited, modern set of encryption algorithms and authentication schemes. TLS 1.3 was recently finalized, but it currently has little widespread adoption.

Odds are most people won’t notice the lack of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 support since the vast majority of sites have already moved on to version 1.2.

Privacy Setting Do Not Track Doesn't Do Anything

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Privacy setting Do No Track found in virtually all browsers doesn’t actually do much. That’s because its use isn’t enforced.

Why do we have this meaningless option in browsers? The main reason why Do Not Track, or DNT, as insiders call it, became a useless tool is that the government refused to step in and give it any kind of legal authority. If a telemarketer violates the Do Not Call list, they can be fined up to $16,000 per violation. There is no penalty for ignoring Do Not Track.

Get 1 Year of Setapp for $69

· · TMO Deals

Screenshot from Setapp

I am delighted to run today’s deal on a year of Setapp for $69. That’s 42% off retail on a service that was already one of the best in the Mac world. Setapp offers you more than 100 high quality Mac apps for a monthly or yearly subscription. That includes several apps that I use all the time, and I strongly recommend this service.

China Wants Google to Help With its Muslim Persecution

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Google wants to create a censored version of its search engine for China. And China has recently shared laws on speech suppression that Google will likely have to use to achieve its Muslim persecution.

Article 28 of the new laws orders telecommunications operators to “put in place monitoring systems and technological prevention measures for audio, messages, and communication records” that may have “extremifying information.”

Forms of “extremification,” as laid out in the laws, are vague. They include “interfering” with people’s ability to interact with people of other ethnicities or faiths and “rejecting or refusing public goods and services.”

Don’t be evil, Don’t be evil, Don’t be evil, Don’t be evil, Don’t be evil, Don’t be evil.

Anna Wintour Interviews Jony Ive About Innovation

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Vogue editor Anna Wintour interviewed Jony Ive at Wired‘s 25th anniversary event. They talked about innovation, Apple’s secrecy. and civic duties of tech companies.

I’ve been doing this for long enough where I actually feel a responsibility to not confuse or add more noise about what’s being worked on because I know that it sometimes does not work out.

Unfortunately there isn’t a video interview but if Wired releases one I’ll add a link.

Apple Watch Key in Hip Replacement Recovery Study

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Apple Watch used for knee and hip replacement recovery

Your Apple Watch may be key in recovering from knee and hip replacement surgery. Apple and Zimmer Biomet, a joint replacement manufacturer, are teaming up for a medical study that uses the smartwatch to help with the recovery process. CNBC says,

Apple and Zimmer Biomet have created a mobile app called mymobility, which aims to help guide patients through their surgery to improve their experience, as well as their health outcomes. It includes educational resources, exercise videos and a way for patients to contact their surgeon and care team with questions and concerns.

Considering the number joint replacement surgeries is on the rise, this results of this study could be very beneficial to patients. It’s also another example of Apple’s serious commitment to being a real player in the health care market.

A Tutorial: High Dynamic Range (HDR) for 4K TVs

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Plain 4K vs 4K + HDR

If you’ve been pondering a new 4K/UHD TV for the holidays (and an Apple TV 4K), you’ll want to check out this very easy to read introduction to the High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology used in modern TVs. You’ll learn about the basic tech and the similarities and differences between HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG and which ones each TV maker offers.

BusyMac's BusyContacts: $19.99

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BusyContacts on MacBook

We have a deal on on BusyMac’s BusyContacts, the company’s Contacts replacement app for the Mac. You can customize your views; track activities associated with each contact including calendar events, emails, and messages; create Smart Filters based on certain conditions; integrate with BusyCal, and much more. It’s $19.99 through us, 60% off retail.

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem

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Graduate student Urmila Mahadev has solved a quantum verification problem. Quantum verification answers the question: How do you know whether a quantum computer has done something quantum? Redditor u/Wolgoz has an ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5) explanation:

There are different kinds of problems in computer science, closely related is the class of problems where you can easily verify if the answer is correct, but it’s hard to find the answer. This is however about the class of problems where you can’t easily check it with a normal computer, but can check it with a quantum computer.

She made a protocol that allows you to use a quantum device to check the answer, without the uncertainty of quantum mechanics. She does however make an important assumption, so it’s not certain if this will work.