Why I Hate Microsoft Word

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

Thank you very much, Microsoft, for wasting half of my morning. Even with a deadline looming, there’s nothing I like more than troubleshooting issues that should never have existed in the first place. You ought to be ashamed.


The Untold Story of Cyberattack NotPetya

· Andrew Orr · Link

So far NotPetya has been the worst cyberattack in history, and now we’ve got the untold story behind it.

On a normal day, these servers push out routine updates—bug fixes, security patches, new features—to a piece of accounting software called M.E.Doc, which is more or less Ukraine’s equivalent of TurboTax or Quicken. It’s used by nearly anyone who files taxes or does business in the country.

But for a moment in 2017, those machines served as ground zero for the most devastating cyberattack since the invention of the internet—an attack that began, at least, as an assault on one nation by another.

Psst! *whispers* That nation was Russia.

The Very Clever Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip (Plus): $92.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip (Plus)

Check out the Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip (Plus), a device I would have linked to in a Cool Stuff Found article if we didn’t have a deal for it. It’s a camera grip that fits most iPhones, and it does that in a very clever way. Rather than matching physical buttons or even using a wireless connection for camera controls, this device emits high frequency sounds you can’t hear, but that the free companion app can. That allows you to control all manner of camera settings on your iPhone while using very little power. And you can 15% on the Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip (Plus) through us and get it for $92.99.

Intel Power Gadget Monitors Your Mac's Energy Usage

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Traditional methods to estimate power/energy usage of the processor has always been a cumbersome task that included special purpose tools or instrumentation on the platform along with third party equipment. Intel Power Gadget is supported on Windows and macOS and includes an application, driver, and libraries to monitor and estimate real-time processor package power information in watts using the energy counters in the processor. In version 3.0 there are more features that include estimation of power on multi-socket systems as well as externally callable APIs to extract power information within sections of code.

Intel Power Gadget Monitors Your Mac’s Energy Usage

Advertising is Obsolete. Let's Kill It With Fire

· Andrew Orr · Link

Advertising is obsolete, so let’s kill it with fire. Ramsi Woodcock of the University of Kentucky writes that if the only justification for advertising is that it informs, then it’s obsolete now.

Imagine a world wiped clean of advertising of all kinds…Would you still be able to find all the information you could ever want about products in this alternative world? Of course you would. Your friends, family and the host of complete strangers you follow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and half a dozen other sites would continue to bombard you with information about their lives, including all the products they are using.

That argument make sense to me. However, he continues to write that advertising has another use: manipulation.

Back to My Mac Ends With macOS Mojave

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

Back to My Mac was a remote desktop feature you could use to access your Mac’s hard drive on another device.

LEGO's Star Wars Cloud City is the Bespin Lando Deserves

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LEGO just unveiled its Betrayal at Cloud City Master Builder Series kit that looks flat-out awesome. The kit includes 2,812 pieces and 18 mini figures such as Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, and more. The set packs in the lounge and dining rooms, carbon freezing chamber, sensor balcony, interrogation room, garbage processing room, landing platform, and more. It also includes a twin-pod cloud car and Slave 1 with Boba Fett. The Betrayal at Cloud City kit costs US$349.99 and will be available on October 1st.

LEGO’s Star Wars Cloud City is the Bespin Lando Deserves

Apple Lands Rights to 'Losing Earth' Climate Change Series

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Planet Earth

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change is an epic New York Times Magazine article, and now it’s going to be an Apple television series. Apple bought the rights to the 30,000 word article. The series is produced by Anonymous Content, and the article’s author, Nathaniel Rich, will be involved. From the New York Times:

The “Losing Earth” article recounted how, from 1979 to 1989, a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians tried to save the world from the ravages of climate change before it was too late. The article was produced with the support of the Pulitzer Center and was based on more than 18 months of reporting and over 100 interviews.

Climate change is a big topic, and rightly so. It’s good to see Apple interested in more than just entertainment shows for its original TV content lineup.

Tim Cook Donates More than 23,000 of His Apple Shares to Charity

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple CEO Tim Cook has donated some 23,215 shares of Apple stock to an unnamed charity, according to an SEC filing uncovered by BusinessInsider. Shares of $AAPL closed at 215.04 on Tuesday, making the value of this donation worth some $4.99 million dollars today. Of course, that value will change over time, and the dividend for those shares will earn the charity $16,947 every quarter. That’s a gift of $67,788 per year that keeps on giving, and it could grow if Apple continues to increase that dividend. In other words, it’s a princely gift from a man who has already promised to give away all his wealth (after providing for the education of his young nephew).

Tim Cook Donates More than 23,000 of His Apple Shares to Charity

Competitors Eating Away at Amazon Echo Lead. Except Apple

· John Martellaro · Link

Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, Google Home smart speakers

In this report from Statista, the market share, over time, of smart speakers is plotted. The Amazon Echo (family) still has the lead, but share has dropped dramatically over the last year. From 76% to 41%. Competitors are catching up. All except Apple, that is. One wonders if that concerns Apple. Or do Apple executives dream of sour grapes instead of a real fight?

Soundfreaq Double Spot Bluetooth Speaker: $79.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Soundfreq Double Spot Bluetooth Speaker

We have a deal for you today on the Soundfreaq Double Spot Bluetooth Speaker. This portable Bluetooth speaker lasts up to 6 hours on one charge, and it also has a USB port for charging your mobile devices. It has on-board controls and three tone presets, flat, warm, and bright. You can get this device through our deal for $79.99.

What We Might Get From Apple's New Mac mini Pro

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Mac mini

A solid report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that a new Mac mini may be imminent. But it probably won’t bear any semblance to its predecessors. John has some ideas.

Are Thousand Dollar Smartphones the New Normal?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Vlad Savov writes that thousand dollar smartphones are the new normal.

Three or four years ago, anyone proposing a four-figure price for a phone would have been laughed out of their boardroom meeting. Two years ago, if I’d told you Apple would be successfully selling a phone with a notch in its screen but no headphone jack, at a price of $999, you’d have shaken your head and accused me of wilder wishful thinking than Gene Munster’s Apple TV pipe dream.

This is a nonsensical argument. Smartphones have been around US$1000 for years now. Including tax my iPhone 7 Plus bill was around US$950. I bought it unlocked, and it wasn’t subsidized through a carrier like Vlad has gotten used to. Nothing has changed except the way carriers have split up the cost on contracts.

You Can Now Use Apple Pay at Costco

· Andrew Orr · News

Until now Costco has been a big holdout. You could use Apple Pay to make Costco home delivery purchases with Instacart, but not use it directly in the stores.