iPhone and Apple Crime Roundup

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iPhones are both popular with thieves and help catch them. AppleInsider has a nice roundup of Apple crime-related stories. They include how $19m worth of iPhones were stolen, and how one device helped bring in a Mueller investigation witness.

A fraud ring based in New York stole $19 million worth of iPhones over a period of seven years. Per Quartz, the perpetrators ran a scam in which they posed as cell phone subscribers, received new iPhones at little to no cost by using fake IDs and fraudulent debit cards, and then sold the phones on the black market. The case was reported earlier this spring, but the full criminal complaint was unsealed this week, revealing the perpetrators operated the scam in at least 34 states.

WWDC Unofficial App for Mac

· · Cool Stuff Found

Suffering from WWDC withdrawal symptoms? Want to rewatch the keynote or see that session you just couldn’t make. Fear not. The unofficial wwdc.io app for Mac brings together key sessions and footage from conferences over a number of years. I like how you can filter sessions to find what you want and share content easily. The app has a really nice user interface and is super easy to use as well. Download it from https://wwdc.io.

WWDC Unofficial App for Mac

Collect by WeTransfer Lets You Collect All Sorts of Content

· · Cool Stuff Found

Collect by WeTransfer lets you save all sorts of content from around the web. Think of it as a private Pinterest. Save photos, links, songs, videos, documents and anything else you can think of; stay in your flow and save stuff from your phone for later with just a couple of clicks; and organize your content onto beautiful boards, perfect for visual thinkers. You can also add people to your boards without a sign-up or log-in. Share the board’s link through email, Slack, WhatsApp, and others straight from within Collect. Reading through WeTransfer’s privacy policy, I saw a couple things of interest: “During an upload, while it’s stored on our servers and during a download, Content is encrypted and only sent over a secure connection (https).” And: “We trust you understand that in order to fulfill our moral responsibility to reduce the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Imagery (CSAI), we do use automated systems to to detect such Content.” I mention the latter because I recently wrote how Apple started doing this as well.

Collect by WeTransfer Lets You Collect All Sorts of Content

Former Apple Lawyer Bruce Sewell Talks iBooks in Interview

· · Cool Stuff Found

Former general counsel Bruce Sewell explains what went wrong in the iBooks antitrust case. Back in 2013 a court found that Apple conspired with book publishers to raise the price of ebooks. This was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which regulates competition among businesses. Mr. Sewell spoke to law students for a YouTube series called “Before You Take the LSAT.”

Apple got involved in a very ugly suit with the US government in the Southern District of New York that had to do with our release of the iBooks Store. I tried to chart a course that I thought was incredibly good for Apple, and would bear legal scrutiny.

Migrating iTunes, Upgrading Macs, and a Quick Tip from Craig Federighi – Mac Geek Gab 765

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Migrating iTunes, Upgrading Macs, and a Quick Tip from Craig Federighi

It’s true, Craig Federighi let loose a perfect little Quick Tip last week at WWDC, did you catch it? Your two geeks did, and they’re here to share it with you. In addition to some more Quick Tips from other listeners, this episode is chock full of answers to your great questions on topics like preparing your iTunes library for Catalina, upgrading to a new Mac, and much, much more. Press play and enjoy learning at least five new things!

Apple's New Mac Pro: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, with John Kheit - ACM 515

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit dig into Apple’s new Mac Pro, covering the good, the bad, and the ugly. They talk specs, costs, some of the things that came out since the keynote, and weigh the very important question of whether they want one. Spoiler, yes, but John’s actually likely to pull the trigger. Bryan also makes sure to give John plenty of room to take his victory laps for the many things he got right leading up to this long-awaited announcement.

AirDock 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station:

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the AirDock 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station, which allows you to charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time. There’s a Qi charger for your iPhone, an Apple Watch wireless charger, and cradle with a Lightning port for your AirPods case. This device is $34.99 through our deal.

Apple Watch Grant Program Launches This Fall

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A limited Apple Watch grant program is launching this fall for ResearchKit and CareKit researchers. It’s part of what Apple calls an “Investigator Support Pilot.”

Apple said the new initiative, which is currently still in development, will have a simple submission process through the redesigned ResearchKit and CareKit website. While details on the new program were light during Apple’s presentation, the company said it would prioritize “studies that advance science and help people to lead healthier lives by uniquely leveraging our ecosystem,” and that more info would be available on the new website soon.

To Increase Bills Comcast Broke Law 445,000 Times

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A judge recently ruled that Comcast violated Washington state consumer protection law 445,000 times.

The court found that Comcast added the SPP to the accounts of 30,946 Washingtonians without their knowledge, and did not tell an additional 18,660 Washingtonians the true cost of the plan. The court ordered Comcast to refund affected consumers, and pay 12 percent interest on the restitution. The amount of restitution is unknown at this time, but is expected to be significant. The court ordered Comcast to issue the refunds within 60 days and report to the state on the specific details and amounts.

Comcast is being fined a paltry US$9 million for this. Put another zero on it, then we can talk.

News+: Bad Behavior in the VPN Industry

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Max Eddy reviews VPNs for PCMag. Although he believes most vendors have good intentions, he highlights several examples of bad behavior in the VPN industry.

From my experience working with VPNs, I can say with certainty there is a culture of sabotage and paranoia among some vendors. Anonymous dumps of damning information about one VPN vendor get blamed on another VPN vendor. Tips come in suggesting that corporate ownership is tied to the Russian mafia or some other criminal operation. Commentators hold up one VPN review site as an example of rectitude; others say the same site is secretly run by a VPN vendor with an agenda. When there is this much disinformation and counter-disinformation (which may also be disinformation), it’s impossible to tell who is telling the truth.

Before I came to The Mac Observer, one of my freelancing gigs was writing for a VPN company. I saw some of the same things as Mr. Eddy. In both privacy and security circles, there is a tint of paranoia and conspiracy thinking, at least with some people.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.