Apple AR Headset Set for 2020, According to Top Analyst

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple’s forthcoming AR headset is set to be released 2020, according to high-profile Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He added that manufacturing will beging by the end of 2019, according to AppleInsider. Significantly, it looks like your iPhone is going to most of the hard work, while the glasses act as a display.

 Kuo claims the first generation of Apple’s AR glasses will only act as a display, with a nearby iPhone performing all of the processing, including rendering scenes, providing a data connection, and location-based services like GPS. It is unclear if the accessory would be connected by a cable or take the wireless route and use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or another similar technology for close-range communications.

In 2023 Apple Wants to Have Zero Net Cash

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple has US$245 of gross cash and other things like long-term securities. It has US$115 billion in long-term debt. This makes its net cash position US$130 billion, and Apple CFO Luca Maestri has said eventually the company wants to have a net cash neutral position. Tiernan Ray writes about issues that may arise because of this.

Come 2023, will investors balk at an Apple suddenly less generous with its capital returns? And if Apple puts off that day as much as possible, plodding along with no significant increase in capital returns, will it lose the support of those fickle buyers hungry for shares with meaningful dividend buyback increases every year?

There is Only One Blockbuster Left in the World

· Charlotte Henry · Link

And then there was one. The Blockbuster video rental store in Bend, Oregon is to be the last one remaining. A store in Morely, Australia announced Thursday that it will be closing its doors to rentals. It will permanently close at the end of March, the Verge reported. It is hardly surprising that the Blockbusters are going given the growth of online streaming, but it is nostalgia-inducing all the same.

For anyone who’s been paralyzed by choice at the sheer volume of films available on Netflix, having your choice limited by a physical selection of discs can feel particularly freeing. After today’s final day of rentals, Australia’s last Blockbuster store will remain open until the end of the month to sell off its stock, including DVDs, Blu-rays, and even “shop fittings and fixtures.”

Musicians Are Happy With Apple Right Now

· Andrew Orr · Link

Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon are joining forces to appeal a ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%. Can’t have the people producing music for your service making more money. But Apple isn’t joining the appeal, which makes musicians happy.

We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,” he said. “While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice. We will fight with every available resource to protect the CRB’s decision.

Update Your Chrome Browser Right Now

· John Martellaro · Link

Google Chrome icon.

PC Magazine writes:

Google is urging Chrome users [Mac, Windows, Linux] to update the web browser right away to patch a zero-day vulnerability that is being actively exploited.

In a Tuesday tweet, Google Chrome Security and Desktop Engineering Lead Justin Schuh said users should install the latest version of the browser—72.0.3626.121—right away.

Like…right now.

The iPhone XS Max 256GB + AirPods Giveaway

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The iPhone XS Max 256GB + AirPods Giveaway

Check out the The iPhone XS Max 256GB + AirPods Giveaway we’re running with Stack Commerce. All you have to do is sign up—or log in to our Deals site if you’re already signed up—and click the green Enter to Win button. One winner will be drawn in about a month.

T-Mobile to Launch LTE Home Internet With 5G Coming

· Andrew Orr · Link

T-Mobile will start testing an LTE Home Internet service soon, and will also offer 5G Home Internet once it’s rolled out.

Home broadband is one of the most un-competitive industries in existence. The New T-Mobile & 5G can and will change all that. And we’ve already got this in the works. T-Mobile will soon begin a pilot of Home Internet service using a 4G router operating over T-Mobile’s LTE network. Customers will get the router for free, and after the merger, it will be upgraded to include 2.5 GHz spectrum and 5G compatible hardware.

Apple VR Headset Could have Motorized Headband

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple’s much speculated upon VR headset looks evermore likely thanks to a couple of recent patents. Whatismore, it could come with a motorized headband. Cult of Mac noticed that Apple has applied for a patent for a motorized adjustment system. It also filed a patent for a “Thermal Regulation for Head-Mounted Display.”

The description is written in the stilted language of such things. It says, in part, “the adjustment mechanism includes a variable volume structure that changes fit of the headband relative to the head of the user by volumetric expansion or volumetric contraction.” It gets a bit more eyebrow-raising when the filing mentions “an electric motor that changes fit of the headband relative to a head of the user by constricting or expanding a length of the headband.”

Iranian Hackers Target Hundreds of Firms Including Microsoft

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Iranian hackers attacked hundreds of global firms over the last two years. Those targeted included Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft traced the attack against it to a group called Holmium. It had been tracking the group for 4 years. At the time of this writing, it had not been reported that Apple was a target.

The campaign, the scope of which hadn’t previously been reported, stole corporate secrets and wiped data from computers. It caused damages estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity and affected oil-and-gas companies, heavy-machinery manufacturers and international conglomerates in more than a half-dozen countries including Saudi Arabia, Germany, the U.K., India and the U.S., according to researchers at Microsoft, which deployed incident-response teams to some of the affected companies.

Ira Flatow Says Apple Watch 'Saved' his Brother

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Science Friday host Ira Flatow revealed Thursday that the Apple Watch had “saved” his brother. The device alerted Mr. Flatow’s sibling that he had a very high resting heartbeat. It told him to go to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed tachycardia, AppleInsider reported.

Posting to Twitter, host of radio show Science Friday Ira Flatow revealed his brother was “saved by his Apple Watch,” alerting him to a higher than normal heartbeat. According to the personality, the heart beat was in excess of 200 beats per minute, prompting the sibling to take a trip to the hospital. Doctors issued a diagnosis of tachycardia, a condition when the heart rate exceeds the normal resting rate, which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute.

U.S. Government Tracks Journalists in Database

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of person holding phone

A startling investigation by NBC 7 journalists reveals how the U.S. government tracks journalists through use of a database.

Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports.

In fact, their own government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least two photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work.

This is why private services like end-to-end encrypted messaging apps are so important. It’s bad enough if a foreign government is surveilling you. We don’t need our own government to do the same.

No, Apple Doesn't Keep a Location List to Track You

· Andrew Orr · Link

Paige Leskin’s article about location tracking is a bit misleading. She mentions that Apple keeps a detailed location list of every place you’ve visited. Which is false, because Apple doesn’t know anything about your location. Your iPhone does though, but that data doesn’t get sent to Apple unless you specifically opt in to send analytics to Apple. This is more than semantics, because your data staying on your iPhone is the foundation of Apple’s privacy stance. If you go to Settings > General > Privacy > Location Services, you can tap on the blue text at the top that says “About Location Services & Privacy.” This section clearly states “This data is encrypted and stored only on your device and will not be shared without your consent.” And if you did consent to share it with Apple, you’re probably not worried.

Apple tracks and stores where you’ve been and how often (and when) you visit. But it gets even more detailed than that: Your iPhone compiles locations specific to a single address and tracks when you leave there and even how long it took to get there and by which mode of transportation.

That Ominous Figure in the Corner of Your Digital Living Room is Mark Zuckerberg

· Andrew Orr · Link

Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be your “digital living room” where you can privately share your thoughts, messages, and photos of your kids that the company will use for advertising purposes. Which was a topic left out of his essay on his new “privacy-focused vision.”

I understand that many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform — because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.

Guy Kawasaki: 'Customers can't tell you how to create a revolution'

· John Martellaro · Link

Over at Forbes, Alejandro Cremades provides an updated thumbnail of Guy Kawasaki, the former Apple star evangelist. Included are three counter-intuitive principles Kawasaki learned from Steve Jobs, Guy’s list of the only three true visionaries in the history of American business, and info on Guy’s new book: Wise Guy. Want to get in touch with Kawasaki? That’s also included.

This Award-Winning Tool Helps You Read Up to 20% Faster With a Colorful, Cognitive Trick: $22.49

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

BeeLine Reader

We have a deal on BeeLine Reader, a speed-reading tool that helps you read faster by color coding text. BeeLine Reader applies an eye-guiding color gradient to your text, with the color at the end of one line matching perfectly with the beginning of the next. It’s designed to help your eyes quickly follow each line and snap to the next again and again. Our deal is for a lifetime subscription for $29.99, but coupon code DOWNLOADIT brings your checkout price down to $22.49.

National Security Agency Releases Ghidra

· Andrew Orr · Link

The NSA has released its tool called Ghidra at the RSA Security Conference. It’s an open-source tool that helps security researchers examine malware code.

You can’t use Ghidra to hack devices; it’s instead a reverse engineering platform used to take “compiled,” deployed software and “decompile” it. In other words, it transforms the ones and zeros that computers understand back into a human-readable structure, logic, and set of commands that reveals what the software you churn through it does.

Examining Apple's Recycling Ambitions

· Andrew Orr · Link

Maddie Stone wrote a great dive into Apple’s recycling ambitions and the company’s quest to some day stop mining resources.

For a company that sells over 200 million smartphones a year, along with millions more tablets and computers, achieving what sustainability wonks call a “circular economy” will amount to a complete overhaul of everything from how Apple devices are manufactured to what we do with those devices at the end of their lives…The question is whether that’s a future Apple truly wants—or one that its investors will allow.

Prey Finds You're More Likely to Lose Your iDevice Than Have it Stolen

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Georgia Best Buy burglars make off with $100,000 in Apple products

New data from Prey, an app that helps secure and retrieve lost iPhones, iPads and Macs, showed that your device is much more likely to be misplaced than stolen. 9to5Mac picked up on some of the bizarre lost device scenarios. One user drunkenly put their phone in the fridge following a night out, while another took their corporate laptop having faked their own death!

When it came to analysing the main reasons for putting a device into missing mode, Prey found that theft was relatively low down the list. Misplaced: 69.12%, Pickpocket: 10.98%, Home invasion: 7.6%, Robbery: 6.76%, Car Break-in: 2.77%, Business Break-in: 2.77%. And among the two-thirds of devices that were merely misplaced by their owner, the most common scenario was accidentally leaving it at home.

Inside the Lives, and Servers, of Digital Hoarders

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Digital data

Despite the best efforts of Marie Kondo, many of us still hoard physical items. Perhaps not surprisingly, digital hoarding is getting ever more widespread too. Gizmodo looked into the lives of digital hoarders, who collect huge amounts of data, including rare files, audio recordings, and video games, and build their own data servers to do so.

Online, you’ll find people who use hashtags like “#digitalhoarder” and hang out in the 120,000-subscriber Reddit forum called /r/datahoarder, where they trade tips on building home data servers, share collections of rare files from video game manuals to ambient audio records, and discuss the best cloud services for backing up files…Many self-proclaimed digital hoarders say they enjoy their collections, can keep them contained in a relatively small amount of physical space, and often take pleasure in sharing them with other hobbyists or anyone who wants access to the same public data.

Apple Security Tool Unveiled at RSA Conference 2019

· Andrew Orr · Link

The RSA Conference is a series of computer security conferences. This year, security researcher Patrick Wardle announced a new tool for Macs called GamePlan.

…GamePlan, a tool that watches for potentially suspicious events on Macs and flags them for humans to investigate. The general concept sounds similar to other defense platforms, and it hooks into detection mechanisms—has a USB stick been inserted into a machine? has someone generated a screen capture? is a program accessing a webcam?—Apple already offers in macOS. But GamePlan, cleverly written with Apple’s GameplayKit framework, collects all of this data in a centralized stream and uses the videogame logic engine to process it.

I use a couple of Mr. Wardle’s security tools. I look forward to downloading GamePlan.