All U.S. Firefox Users Can Now Scroll Ad-Free And Guilt-Free

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Mozilla has expanded its partnership with Scroll, the service that lets you avoid adverts while still generating revenue for publishers. A service called Firefox Better Web With Scroll is now available to all U.S. users, Techcrunch reported. You can support your favorite sites even if you don’t want to look at ads.

Last year, Firefox turned on something called Enhanced Tracking Protection for all its users by default, blocking third-party cookies and crypto-mining. Scroll, meanwhile, is a startup that recently launched a subscription service allowing you to read sites like BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Salon, Slate and Vox without ads, with the revenue split among the publishers that you’re actually visiting. Mozilla has already been working with Scroll to collect feedback on this approach from small groups of Firefox users… Now, anyone in the United States who’s interested in trying this out can sign up for a Firefox account and install the Scroll extension. They’ll need to pay for a Scroll subscription as well — the company’s currently charging an introductory price of $2.49 per month, with plans to eventually increase to $4.99.

Backblaze Now Stores One Exabyte of Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Cloud storage company Backblaze recently announced a milestone: It now stores one exabyte of data in its servers. Exabyte isn’t a word most of us come across often, so here’s a comparison: Gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes, Terabyte = 1,000 gigabytes, Petabyte = 1,000 terabytes, Exabyte = 1,000 petabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

But, while it’s great to keep our eyes on the future, it’s also important to celebrate what milestones mean. Yes, crossing an exabyte of data is another validation of our technology and our sustainably independent business model. But I think it really means that we’re providing value and earning the trust of our customers.

An astounding figure. Even more astounding is the fact that they’re already prepared for zettabyte-level storage, which is the next step up from exabyte. One zettabyte = 1,000 exabytes.

Cellebrite Releases Report of Digital Intelligence Trends 2020

· Andrew Orr · Link

Forensics company Cellebrite, mainly known for its iPhone hacking capabilities, released a report of top digital intelligence trends for 2020. One thing that stuck out at me:

…over 70 percent of officers are still asking witnesses and victims to surrender their devices…However, most people do not want to have their primary communication device taken away for an indefinite period. To combat this issue, 67 percent of agency management believe that mobility technology is important or very important to the agency’s long-term digital evidence strategy and 72 percent of investigators believe it is important to conduct in-the-field extractions of this data.

In other words, it sounds to me like LE wants the capability to extract data from devices on site, instead of sending it to a lab. Fast action is important for LE, but it may also be too fast for people to think about those pesky rights they have before handing their phone over.

Lawyers: Turn off Alexa and Google Home Before Confidential Meetings

· Andrew Orr · Link

Lawyers who are working from home are encouraged to turn off devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home because these products may eavesdrop.

“Perhaps we’re being slightly paranoid, but we need to have a lot of trust in these organizations and these devices,” Hancock said. “We’d rather not take those risks.”

The firm worries about the devices being compromised, less so with name-brand products like Alexa, but more so for cheap knock-off devices, he added.

It’s definitely not just cheap knock-offs.

TMO Contributor Kelly Guimont (#10) - TMO BGM Interview

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Kelly Guimont on Background Mode.

Kelly Guimont is a long-time podcaster, Contributing Editor for The Mac Observer, the host of the Mac Observer’s Daily Observations podcast, and a tech support guru.

In her 10th appearance, Kelly and I chat about our favorite streaming TV shows of late. I open segment #1 with a critique of Amazing Stories: “The Cellar” (Apple TV+), then rave reviews for a shared favorite, Star Trek: Picard and a Kelly favorite: Westworld S3 (HBO). In segment #2: Kelly: The Expanse (Amazon), Wynonna Earp (SyFy). John: Outlander (S3) (Netflix) and Night on Earth (Netflix). Join us as we explore together what’s great (and not great) about these shows.

Apple Music (Still) Rocks

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus takes a close look at Apple Music, two years after the service launched. Spoiler: he (still) loves it, and he explains why.

Boost Focus and Productivity By Turning To-Do Lists into an Organized Schedule: $50.15

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Focuster productivity app screenshots

We have a deal on Focuster, a web-based productivity app that turns your to-do lists into an organized schedule. It syncs with Google Calendar, which means it requires a Google account, and it prioritizes tasks, can auto-schedule them in your calendar, utilizes smart reminders, tracksyour progress, and much more. A lifetime subscription to this service is $59 through our deal, but coupon code SPRINGSAVE15 brings the checkout price down to $50.15.

Check Out ‘Big Library Read’, an Online Book Club

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Big Library Read is an online book club from OverDrive. It connects readers from around the world with one eBook at a time and offers a place to share your thoughts, comments, and questions of the book with other readers.

This round’s title is Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic, a memoir written by stand-up comedian Michael McCreary who shares his experiences of living on the spectrum and dealing with trying situations as someone who doesn’t “look” autistic.

I think it’s a great idea, and be sure to download the Libby app so you can borrow books from your local library.

Check Out ‘Big Library Read’, an Online Book Club

Amazon Prime Video Has Loads of Kids TV Shows Available For Free

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

Amazon Prime Video Free For All Kids

Finding it hard to keep the kids entertained for all these days at home? Amazon Prime Video has made a load of children’s shows available to stream for free. Available titles include Originals like Bug Diaries and Costume Quest, as well as popular PBS Kids series likes Arthur. They are all separated into age ranges too, so you can make sure your child is watching something appropriate.

Government Excludes Apple Watch From Tariffs

· Andrew Orr · News

The U.S. Trade Representative approved Apple’s request to exclude the Apple Watch from U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese goods.

Tim Cook: Apple is Donating 'Millions' of Masks to Help Healthcare Workers Fighting Covid-19

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patient

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Saturday that the company is donating “millions” of masks to help protect healthcare workers in the U.S. and Europe who are treating those with Covid-19. The Verge noted that this followed a statement made earlier in the day by Vice President Mike Pence.

Cook’s tweet appears to confirm a statement earlier in the day by Vice President Mike Pence. “The president and I literally heard directly from Apple that they’re donating 2 million industrial masks to this effort around the country and working with our administration to distribute those,” Pence said at a White House press briefing. How (and if) Apple was able to get the two million masks Pence referenced isn’t clear — The Verge has reached out to the company for more information. Globally, masks are in high demand, but supplies are running low.

Are Camera Apps Worth the Expense?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alex Coleman writes about camera apps and why they’re probably not worth the purchase.

After shooting extensively with the latest versions of some of these apps, including an in-depth comparison against the stock camera app, I don’t believe there’s much value in keeping them installed. Put simply, the phone manufacturers have added enough “secret sauce” to their imaging pipeline that an app just won’t create a better quality image, in most cases.

You know, I have to agree with this. Just based on my own experience, I’ve used a ton of different camera apps over the years, and eventually stopped using every single one, until now I stick with Apple’s built-in camera app.