Senator Lindsey Graham to ‘Impose His Will’ on Encryption Backdoors

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Apple and Facebook representatives met with lawmakers today where senators pushed for the companies to compromise their users’ security by including encryption backdoors. In particular, Sen. Lindsey Graham said:

My advice to you is to get on with it. Because this time next year, if we haven’t found a way that you can live with, we will impose our will on you.

“Encryption backdoors for thee, but not for me.”

EU Regulators Set to Get Tougher With Big Tech in 2020

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Throughout 2019, EU Lawmakers have regularly look at antitrust issues around so-called Big Tech. Reuters reported that they are likely to increase those efforts in 2020.

EU antitrust regulators are considering taking a tougher line against tech giants by forcing them to do more to ensure a level playing field, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday, a move which could affect Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. The four U.S. tech companies are currently in EU competition enforcers’ crosshairs, with rivals complaining about being shut out of key markets. The Commission has traditionally ordered companies to halt anti-competitive practices.

How Facebook's Libra Could Take on WeChat in China

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There has been much talk about Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra. Much of that has focussed on the effect in Western markets. However, Wired noted it could be a significant player in China.

In China, the vast majority of consumer commerce runs on WeChat, which has transitioned from a simple chat app to a platform for just about everything. Most of the rest of the world lacks this kind of fully integrated experience, which is hugely valuable to the platform, but also a great experience for consumers: the convenience, access and range of available services is unparalleled. Of course, the key to offering a fully-baked platform like this is scale, and Facebook has that in spades. The company has leveraged that scale time and again to launch new products to great success, even in cases where it lacks a first mover advantage. With Libra’s initial integration across WhatsApp and Messenger – and eventually, likely also Instagram – it could instantly be ready for use by billions.

Lots of iTunes and App Store Customers Are Not Getting Receipts Anymore

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iTunes 12.x Icon

iTunes and App Store customers are used to getting emailed receipts for their subscriptions and purchases.  However, 9to5Mac reported that some users are no longer receiving them.

Apple has regularly sent email receipts for all digital purchases made in the App Store and iTunes, but that seems to have changed at some point recently. It seems likely that this is a bug rather than a purposeful feature change, though. A growing thread on Apple’s support website indicates that this problem has become rather widespread… The key here is that users are still being charged, they just aren’t receiving receipts for those charges. This can be rather confusing, especially when many users have multiple monthly subscriptions.

Edison Mail for Mac Brings Powerful Productivity Features for Email

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Edison Mail has been a popular iOS email app for a while now, and today Edison Mail for Mac has launched. You can sign up for early access and referral codes here. I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks and think it’s a good email app for the Mac. Here are some features it brings: One click unsubscribe button, blocking people from emailing you, Quick Actions and swipe gestures, email threading and email templates, and an email assistant to help you manage subscriptions, trips, packages, entertainment, and bills/receipts.

Edison Mail was created with a promise of being free of ad-targeting. No privacy-invading ad trackers are allowed into Edison Mail, and our app automatically blocks all read receipts from tracking your emails.

Edison Mail for Mac Brings Powerful Productivity Features for Email

Google Wants COPPA to Change so it can Keep Collecting Kids’ Data

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The Federal Trade Commission is considering a revamp of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Google wants to help them change the rules, and asked the agency to eliminate rules that categorizes anyone watching kids content online as actual kids.

In September, Google agreed to pay US$170 million to the FTC to resolve claims that YouTube violated COPPA by serving targeted advertisements to children under 13…After the FTC settlement, YouTube told creators that they would have to identify when videos are aimed at children under 13. When that happens, YouTube now turns off ads that rely on web browsing behavior and other targeting data, which earn more for YouTube and creators.

TMO UK Associate Editor Charlotte Henry (#3) - TMO Background Mode Interview

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Charlotte Henry on Background Mode

Charlotte Henry is a London-based technical journalist. A self described media junkie, she writes about Apple – and now for the Mac Observer as well as our UK Associate Editor. She has also written for City A.M. (London’s daily business tabloid,) Computer Business Review, the Independent on Sunday and CapX. Her new book is: Not Buying It.

In this special holiday edition of BGM, Charlotte and I chat about our favorite Christmas movies and what makes them so great for us. There are also some honorable mentions. We finish with a diagnosis of Apple TV+ The Morning Show.

When Your Mac Sleeps Too Deeply – Mac Geek Gab 792

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Sleeping computers are good, until they don’t wake up. Thankfully, John and Dave are here each week to answer your questions, including this one. But that’s not all! Listen for answers to questions about Apple Watch hourly chimes, registering Apple devices, and tips on using the camera adapter between two iPhones, opening windows in new tabs, and more. Press play and enjoy learning at least five new things on this week’s episode of Mac Geek Gab.

Yubico Authenticator iOS App Now Supports NFC

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While Yubico has a security key that plugs into your iPhone via Lightning, the app also supports NFC YubiKeys now.

Instead of storing the time-based one-time passcodes on a mobile phone or computer, Yubico Authenticator generates and stores one-time codes on the YubiKey. A user must present their physical key in order to receive the code for login. This not only eliminates security vulnerabilities associated with a multi-purpose computing device, but also offers an added layer of convenience for users that work between various machines.

Massive Procreate 5 Update Brings a Ton of Features

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Procreate is one of the most popular drawing apps on iOS, and it got a bunch of new features today with Procreate 5. Here are just some of them: Animation Assist helps you create rich illustrative animations, animatics and looping GIFs to share with others. Brush Studio lets you create your own brush has never been easier with the new seamless textures generator. An expanded Drawing Pad sets you free to experiment. Save a reset point at any time and keep on refining. You can also import ABR Photoshop brushes. The new Valkyrie engine gives artists the most flexible and versatile painting system on iPad. If you want to make a glazed brush that wet mixes, has color dynamics, and also has wet edges with burnt edges? You can. And all with Procreate’s trademark performance. App Store: US$9.99 (Offers In-App Purchases)

Massive Procreate 5 Update Brings a Ton of Features

Swiss Company Launches Apple TV Remote Alternative

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Swiss company Salt has launched an Apple TV remote alternative with more buttons and less touch pad.

Thanks to Apple’s input, the alternative remote doesn’t require any pairing with ‌Apple TV‌ and works out of the box. It includes directional arrows in place of the Siri Remote’s glass Touch surface, a power button in addition to a Menu button, along with separate volume and channel rockers and traditional media playback buttons.

Supposedly Apple even worked with Salt to create this.

File Speeds Using iOS Files are Terrible Compared to Finder

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Redditor u/j1ggl did a test to compare Finder and Files using a folder of 2048 texture files. The folder was only 1MB, but iOS Files still handled different tasks way worse than Finder. For example, using the app’s built-in zip function, zipping the folder took 3 seconds with Finder and 38 seconds with Files. Unzipping took 7 seconds versus 42 seconds, respectively.

Conclusion: The Files app for iPhone/iPad is badly optimized and not ready to handle a larger amount of files, even though they take up just 1MB in total. It is also worth noting that the iPad required several reboots to even achieve the zipping and unzipping of the folder.