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Apple Patent Shows Folding Device With TouchBar

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 15:24

A patent application filed today shows a folding Apple device with a TouchBar and an exposed strip for notifications.

If desired, touch sensors (e.g., a two-dimensional touch sensor), buttons, or other input-output devices may be formed in a region such as region on rear surface R of housing (e.g., so that a user may supply input to one of these regions in response to adjacent content being displayed on protruding portion.

This is probably my own bias showing (because I think folding phones are gimmicks) but I think Apple is going for a folding iPad. That makes sense to me.

Ireland Launches COVID-19 App Based on Apple Model

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 15:16

Ireland has launched its COVID-19 tracking app ‘COVID Tracker Ireland’ and it’s based on Apple and Google’s private exposure notification API (via The Journal).

COVID Tracker Ireland

Apps based on Apple and Google’s joint effort means that data won’t be stored in a centralized server. Instead, phones will have anonymous ID, and the app will download a list of these IDs every two hours. If someone has been closer than six feet to an infected person for over 15 minutes, they will receive a notification on their phone.

The app has been developed by the HSE and the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Government Chief Information Officer and An Garda Síochána, together with technical partners from the Irish private sector (Expleo, Nearform, Information Security Assurance Services Ltd (ISAS), and EdgeScan) and scientific partners from Science Foundation Ireland.

Covid tracker Ireland screenshots

In June the HSE released documentation of how the app will work. People can voluntarily download the app instead of the government forcing them, but a survey suggested that 82% of Ireland’s population were willing to download it.

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Secret Service Warns of Hacking Increase to Managed Service Providers

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:38

The U.S. Secret Service sent out a security alert to warn of an increase in hacking to Managed Service Providers. These provide remote management software for companies, like file-sharing systems.

In a security alert sent out on June 12, Secret Service officials said their investigations team (GIOC — Global Investigations Operations Center) has been seeing an increase in incidents where hackers breach MSP solutions and use them as a springboard into the internal networks of the MSP’s customers.

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Date Set For Tim Cook And Fellow Tech CEOs to Appear in Front of House Subcommittee

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:38

Tim Cook and other top tech CEOs will appear before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee on Monday, July 27 at 12 p.m. ET. The Apple boss will be joined by Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

tim cook Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg to Face Congress on July 27

The landmark hearing, entitled “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple,” will be the first time the four men have ever testified together in front of Congress. Mr. Cook was the last to agree to take part. His fellow CEOs agreed on the proviso their peers would attend. In a joint statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said:

Since last June, the Subcommittee has been investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws and enforcement. Given the central role these corporations play in the lives of the American people, it is critical that their CEOs are forthcoming. As we have said from the start, their testimony is essential for us to complete this investigation.

On Tuesday, Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon all ended the day valued at over $1 trillion. Apple led the way with a valuation of $1.64 trillion.  Meanwhile, Amazon was worth $1.52 trillion as trading ended. Alphabet hit a valuation of $1.02 trillion. Furthermore, they were joined by Microsoft, which closed with a valuation of $1.61 trillion (via CNBC).

Apple Extends App Store Connect API Capabilities

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:26

Apple is extending the capabilities of the App Store Connect API for developers, a move that follows its redesign of the Connect website in June.

App Store Connect API

The new capabilities give developers more flexibility to automate and customize their workflows.

  • Build and maintain your App Store product page by uploading and managing assets like screenshots, app previews, app description, and more.
  • Create new versions of your app, set up pre-orders, manage phased releases for version updates, and submit your app to App Review.
  • Monitor app performance indicators by downloading power and performance metrics and diagnostics logs.
  • Manage additional resources associated with your developer account, such as unified software signing certificates, multiplatform App IDs, and capabilities.

It’s a REST API that lets you perform tasks other than the ones mentioned above, like app management, set app pricing and availability, manage bundle IDs, manage beta testing through TestFlight, and more.

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US Considers Banning Chinese Apps Like TikTok

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:15

During an interview with Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompey said the U.S. is considering banning Chinese social media apps like TikTok (via CNN).

TikTok Ban

Tensions are rising between China and other countries. In June, the Indian government banned about 60 Chinese apps, including TikTok, over border disputes.

Last week, a feature in iOS 14 revealed that TikTok was spying on your keystrokes, and security/privacy issues like that with Chinese apps left the government concerned. Mr. Pompeo said that people should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

On the other said, TikTok said that it has never shared user data with the Chinese government, and wouldn’t do so if asked.

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Apple “Assesses” Hong Kong Data Requests From Chinese Law

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:00

Under China’s new national security law, the Hong Kong government is requesting data from citizens for law enforcement. While other companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have announced a halt to processing these requests, Apple isn’t sure yet (via Bloomberg).

National Security Law

Passed on July 1, the law faces criticism saying that it lets China spread its surveillance system to Hong Kong. It gives China power to deal with political crimes like collusion and separatism, as The New York Times reports.

So far, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have halted the processing of the government data requests, while Apple hasn’t given a definitive answer other than it is assessing the situation.

Apple has always required that all content requests from local law enforcement authorities be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in place between the United States and Hong Kong,” the company said. Under that process, “the U. S. Department of Justice reviews Hong Kong authorities’ requests for legal conformance.

Apple’s transparency web page noted that during the first half of 2019 Hong Kong filed 358 requests for user data, 155 requests related to fraudulent transactions, and two requests for account data.

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Four Beats 1 Radio And Apple Music Interviews You Need to Watch Right Now

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 00:05

Beats 1 and Apple Music regularly feature collections of fantastic interviews. Some standout ones that have been uploaded in the last view days – they feature Lin Manuel Miranda,, Dave Grohl, and others. Beats 1 Radio Apple Music At Home With

Black Eyed Peas star, and founding stakeholder in the Beats brand, spoke with Beats 1 Radio Zane Lowe about his recent years in music. He also discussed his relationship with Apple.

Lin Manuel Miranda Talks Hamilton

Lin Manuel Miranda discussed taking his Broadway hit heading to Disney+ with Zane Lowe (although they never mention the rival service by name). He also revealed how he used Hamilton to take musical theater kids to hip-hop school.

Dave Grohl Beats 1 Radio Interview

Dave “the nicest man in rock” Grohl talks sat down with Beats 1 Radio host Matt Wilkinson to celebrate the Foo Fighters’ 25th anniversary.

At Home With Sia

In an interview with Aussie star Sia, Zane Lowe revealed how she helped him and his family settle into LA when he first moved there to join Apple.

iPadOS 15 Wishlist – Proper Second Screen Support And More

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 23:30

We learned at WWDC 2020 what will be the upcoming version of the iPad’s operating system. On Cult of Mac, Ed Hardy look to the future and offered his iPadOS 15 wishlist. Full second display support? Yes, please.

You can mirror the iPad’s display onto a larger screen, which is very convenient for presentations and gaming. The videos from streaming services like Netflix can take full advantage of a big-screen TV. And a few drawing apps have embraced external displays. But there’s little to offer the average person to get day-to-day work done. It’s high time that changed. An iPad can show two applications side by side, or two windows from the same app. The feature should extend to moving app windows to an external display. An Apple A-series processor can easily handle displaying four open applications at once.

CleanTray UV Light Sterilization Case: $69.99

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 23:28

We have a deal on the CleanTray UV Light Sterilization Case. Using 4 UV-C LED lights, this case kills 99.99% of germs and bacteria in just 5 minutes. You can get this device through our deal for $69.99.


Partner, Many Tricks Software Rob Griffiths – BGM Interview

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 23:21

Rob Griffiths worked for Apple (1990-95), founded in 2000, went on to write for Macworld Magazine, has done some podcasting, and is currently a partner at Many Tricks Software, makers of great Mac utilities such as Moom, Witch and Name Mangler.

Rob recalled his early years with the T.I. Silent 700, Commodore PET, and Apple II. At Colorado State University, Rob realized programming was not for him and followed a business track. Later, after graduate school, he landed a job with Apple. We chatted about his career, moving on to great years at Macworld Magazine, and then his current partnership at Many Tricks Software. We then delved into WWDC 2020, challenges as an Apple developer, the transition of Macs to Apple Silicon, and the evolution of macOS as a partial touch-screen OS. Good stuff here!

My Background Mode interview with Rob Griffiths _______________________

‘FindTheMadness’ Safari Extension Alerts You to Fake Clicks

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 23:16

FindTheMadness is a new Safari extension from Jeff Johnson. It gives you an alert when a website tricks you by running JavaScript triggered by a click.

FindTheMadness detects when JavaScript on websites overrides the normal expected behavior of your mouse and keyboard […] You may be astonished to discover how often you click what you think is a link on a page, but you’re actually running JavaScript triggered by a click.

Sounds like a nice tool, and it’s free.

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Apple Signs Streaming Deal for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 22:40

Apple has signed a deal with The Maurice Sendak Foundation to create a series and other TV specials for Apple TV+ (via THR).

Where the Wild Things Are

This is the first time the foundation as signed a deal with a streaming service. Arthur Yorinks, longtime collaborator of Mr. Sendak, will work with Apple via his Night Kitchen Studios. But they aren’t stopping with Mr. Sendak’s most famous book:

Through the deal, Apple and The Maurice Sendak Foundation will reimagine new children’s series and specials based on the author’s books and illustrations. In addition to his most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak’s books include In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and The Nutshell Library.

Image from Where the wild things are

The terms of the deal like how much Apple paid are unknown.


Supreme Court Supports Federal Ban on Robocalls

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 22:21

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld [PDF] a federal ban on robocalls and in the process eliminated an exception that was made for government debt collectors.

Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, 19-631

In 1991 Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to stop all robocalls sent to mobile phones and landlines. Then in 2015, an amendment was added to make an exception for robocalls made to collect federal government debts.

Political groups like the American Association of Political Consultants claimed the robocall ban violated the First Amendment, saying it favored debt-collection free speech over political speech. These groups had hoped to send mobile phone users political robocalls.

Writing the opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said the court could overturn the exception for debt collection instead of throwing out the entire ban.

Plaintiffs believe that their political outreach would be more effective and efficient if they could make robocalls to cell phones. But because plaintiffs are not in the business of collecting government debt, [the TCPA] prohibits them from making those robocalls.

The case is Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, 19-631.

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‘Hamilton’ Gives Disney+ Holiday Weekend Subscriber Boost

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 21:59

It looks like ending free trials didn’t deter users signing up to Disney+. The streaming service got a nice boost over the holiday weekend, thanks to the arrival of Hamilton. The hit musical helped the service get.a 74 percent increase in subscribers from the four previous weekends, according to TechCrunch.

According to new data from app store analytics firm Apptopia, Disney’s streaming service saw a big jump in downloads over the July 4 holiday weekend in the U.S., following the worldwide debut of “Hamilton” on Friday, July 3rd. Between Friday and Sunday, that translated to over half a million new global downloads (752K+) for the Disney+ mobile app, excluding India and Japan. Some 458K+ of those downloads were in the U.S, the firm estimated. These figures represent a 46.6% increase over the average seen during the previous four weekends in June (Friday through Sunday), Apptopia noted.

The Story Behind Apple PowerBook’s Design

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 21:36

Gavin Ivester is currently VP of Design at Bang & Olufsen. He started his career at Apple though, working on the PowerBook. He told TechRader how the product took shape.

The ergonomic goal was to get that front edge to be as thin as possible, for comfort, assuming you would use the laptop on a desk.  The breakthrough came from a system integration engineer named Jonathan Krakower, who proposed we push the keyboard back, and then put the battery in one of the now-empty front corners, and the disc drive in the other corner.  That left a space in the middle for some kind of cursor control, and trackballs were the best solution at that moment… My challenge was then to design options to bring that layout idea to life as a product, prototype them, test them with real users, and design better ones until we either had a final design or proved it would never work.   

Apple Services and Also Hamilton – TMO Daily Observations 2020-07-06

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 20:48

Charlotte Henry and Bryan Chaffin join host Kelly Guimont to discuss Hamilton’s film debut, and Charlotte has an Apple services prediction.

DEVONthink helps you collect, organize, and automate your information firehose. Get 10% off a new or upgrade license at today!

Which Apps Spy on the iOS Clipboard?

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 20:39

During Apple’s WWDC 2020 keynote, we learned that iOS 14 will lock down your iPhone’s clipboard. We’re learning, a few third-party apps at a time, why that’s so important. A developer using the iOS 14 beta has discovered that Reddit and LinkedIn are among a handful of apps that spy on the iOS clipboard.

Spy on iOS Clipboard What We’ve Learned About the Clipboard Problem

We learned that the iOS 14 beta includes a feature that detects when a third-party app is found to spy on the iOS clipboard. For those who don’t know, the clipboard is where iOS stores data when you copy it from one app to another.

When we dove into the iOS 14 beta, we quickly discovered that we were getting notifications when certain apps were snooping around the iOS clipboard. Apps like TikTok and Accuweather were caught snooping. This means those apps could copy things like your PIN numbers, credit card information, Social Security Numbers, and more. Those apps aren’t necessarily doing this, but they could.

Even More Apps that Spy on the iOS Clipboard

Developer Don Morton has discovered even more apps that spy on the iOS clipboard. Microsoft’s networking app, LinkedIn, is a notable culprit, as is the social networking app Reddit.

That means three apps, just since the beta released to developers on June 22, have been caught red-handed in the iOS clipboard. TikTok, Reddit, and LinkedIn are on Don Morton’s list. Others have noted that Google News, Patreon, Call of Duty, Fruit Ninja, and Philips Sonicare App will also start copying clipboard data once the apps are opened.

Some Developers’ Response to Being Caught in the iOS Clipboard

A spokesperson from LinkedIn told ZDNet that the app could spy on the iOS clipboard as part of a bug. LinkedIn is fixing it in an update. The site’s engineering vice president, Erran Berger, stated that the app does not “store or transmit the clipboard contents.”

TikTok claimed that the spying activity was because of an anti-spam “fraud detection mechanism,” and that it never copied any content from anyone’s iPhone. Nevertheless, TikTok has removed that mechanism in an update.

Finally, Reddit says it will be issuing its own software update. This will remove the code causing it to access the iPhone user’s clipboard without good cause. Users can expect that update around July 14, 2020.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Your iOS Clipboard

There are some steps you can take to protect your data, and more could be forthcoming. First of all, some password manager apps automatically clear your clipboard after a certain amount of time has passed. For example, 1Password has a feature that will automatically clear any field copied from that app in 90 seconds. Any of these features can help stop an app from being able to spy on the iOS clipboard.

A group of developers and users are taking things a step further. They will be asking Apple to further restrict iOS clipboard access. They want it to be a permission that users must agree to give to an app.

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Apple Services Are Gearing up For The Next Phase

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 20:01

Sometimes with Apple, you just get a sense something is brewing. Often, it’s because there are active rumors and you can begin to form a picture of what is on the way. On other occasions, you just can feel a momentum shift. That is where I am at right now with the various services the company offers.

Logos for Apple Services News+, Music TV+, and Arcade

Apple Services 2.0

We’ve heard for a while that services are increasingly important to Apple. I’ve long assumed that, as part of this, there will be some kind of services bundle, or bundles. Recent moves by the company have really underlined all that for me. Apple TV+ has made new hires and promotions. The caliber of the staff being brought in and given new roles is telling, as is the purchase of big-name movies like Tom Hanks’s Greyhound. A teaser for forthcoming show Foundation was shown during the WWDC keynote. If that doesn’t underline how central the streaming service is to the company…

Furthermore, some developers have reportedly had their games dropped form Apple Arcade because they don’t encourage enough engagement. Instead of abandoning services that are not quite hitting the heights, Apple is seemingly increasing expertise and resources and employing a cutthroat approach to make it work. Meanwhile, Apple Music/Beats 1 has produced some wonderful content during the pandemic. Instead of sticking to business as usual, which would have been relatively easy to do, it behaved proactively, for instance by creating whole new collections of ‘At Home’ content.

Services are never going to overtake selling Macs, iPhones, and iPads in terms of how important they are to Apple. However, the company is now moving these products beyond being vanity projects and nice extras to an increasingly core part of its offering. It’s putting its money (and time) where its mouth is. As Apple’s services gear up for their next phase, this is only going to be to the benefit of users.

Nature Game ‘Botanicula’ on Sale for $2

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 19:14

Botanicula is a fun, nature-themed game in which five tree creatures work together to save the last seed from their tree from evil parasites. There are over 150 locations to explore and the game features award-winning music by Dva. The game is from Amanita Design, and if that sounds familiar they’ve created other popular games Ike Samorost and Machinarium. App Store: US$1.99