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Commercial Hackintosh Gone Before the Lawyers Can Stop Drooling

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 20:28

Several years ago, computer manufacturer Psystar became (in)famous for being guilty of copyright infringement against Apple. Their sin was in building and selling unauthorized Mac OS X-compatible PCs. Basically, they were selling Hackintosh computers. On June 13, we learned that another company, OpenCore Computer, was following in those footsteps. It didn’t take long for that commercial Hackintosh company to encounter Psystar’s fate, though.

An OpenCore Computer Velocirator, a new commercial Hackintosh already extinct Commercial Hackintosh Computers Just Won’t Survive

I’m a big fan of the Hackintosh movement, as many seasoned readers already know. However, I’m bright enough to realize that a commercial enterprise built around the hobby simply won’t survive.

Psystar had its day in court, and the US District Court for the Northern District of California gave the company until December 31, 2009 to stop selling Hackintosh PCs. Psystar appealed that decision, but lost and the company eventually faded into the woodwork.

Commercial Hackintosh versus Apple, Round Two

A new company, OpenCore Computer, launched a commercial Hackintosh computer in early June 2020. The company, which has no affiliation with the OpenCore Bootloader, called its entry into the market the Velociraptor.

OpenCore Computer said that it hoped to make Mac Pro-like workstations more affordable and accessible. The Velociraptor was to come with both macOS Catalina and Windows 10 pre-installed.

Perhaps in an effort to bypass Apple’s End User License Agreement (EULA), OpenCore Computer was only accepting payment using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. To prove it wasn’t trying to scam people, OpenCore Computer offered buyers the option to use Bitrated, an escrow provider for Bitcoin.

Gone in Less Than a Month

Interestingly, it didn’t take long for OpenCore Computer to fold. The web page for the company is no longer available. The server’s IP address simply cannot be found.

Google searches for OpenCore Computer only get you the numerous news articles about the company, and pages for the OpenCore Bootloader, which is in no way affiliated with the would-be commercial Hackintosh manufacturer.

Then again, with Cupertino moving away from Intel processors in favor of its own Apple Silicon, would OpenCore Computers have lasted long, anyways?

Safari 14 Adds Face ID, Touch ID to FIDO Logins

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 20:18

A feature coming to Safari 14 later this year involves logging into websites with Face ID and Touch ID. Through the Web Authentication API, web admins can let people log in using Apple’s biometric authentication, helping to kill passwords.

Safari 14 Authentication

The Safari 14 beta notes, as well as this developer video, show how Apple is making use of its position in the FIDO Alliance.

Added a Web Authentication platform authenticator using Face ID or Touch ID, depending on which capability is present.

Touch ID fingerprint icon

As I understand it, a user will have to already be using a traditional username and password combination to log in. But after logging into a website with this capability, the user will be prompted to log in with Face ID / Touch ID next time. This not only gives users a level of convenience similar to Sign In with Apple, but once the traditional method is abandoned it will be harder for your account to be hacked if it’s no longer tied to the email/password combo.

WWDC: iOS 14 Preview, Familiar Features – TMO Daily Observations 2020-06-24

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 20:09

Andrew Orr and Jeff Butts join host Kelly Guimont to discuss the iOS 14 preview from WWDC, and why a few of those features look familiar…

As of this spring, iMazing launched iMazing Configurator to manage your Apple Devices. It’s compatible with DEP managed devices, and is MDM aware too. Request a free trial at iMazing.com/configurator!

With an AI Smart Chip, This Massage Gun Adjusts to Your Muscle Condition: $84.95

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 18:38

We have a deal on Actigun, a percussive massager with what the company calls an AI Smart Chip that offers you a humanized intelligent interactive experience by reacting to the condition of your muscle. In other words, it self-adjusts according to what the device senses as it goes to work. It comes with 4 massage heads to suit all your massage need, and it’s wireless. It’s $84.95 through our deal.

WWDC Deep Dive – Mac Geek Gab 821

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 18:19

Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun share their thoughts and experiences with the new technologies Apple announced at WWDC this week.

TMO WWDC Sponsor: iMazing Configurator

Note: Shownotes are in progress... Chapters/Timestamps/Stuff mentioned:
  • 00:00:00 Mac Geek Gab 821 for Wednesday, June 24, 2020
  • 00:01:28 Watch on your Apple TV (or YouTube)
  • WWDC2020
    • 00:04:38 macOS 11 Big Sur
      • Supported Macs
      • Functional/User-interface changes
        • New fonts, colors, stylings (briefly, anyway). New modal sheet view
        • Control Center/menu bar. Sys Pref > Dock & Menu Bar > Control Center
        • Menu bar has more space/padding, but many things can be moved to control center
        • Wi-Fi Menu
        • Sys Pref > Battery
      • 00:16:58 Messages
        • Nice to have it in sync with (new) iOS 14 version
      • 00:17:54 Mail
        • “Classic” view still works, same as with Catalina
        • BS brings back actual columns in Classic view!
      • 00:21:19 Maps
      • 00:22:29 New sounds everywhere
        • Screenshots, Mail, you name it (including the reboot sound!)
        • New sound on 16” MacBook Pro
      • Safari
        • Language Translation
        • Redesigned tabs
      • 00:32:42 Overall stability
    • 00:35:22 WWDC Sponsor: iMazing Configurator
    • 00:37:03 Apple Silicon
      • 00:44:36 Universal 2
      • 00:46:45 Rosetta 2
        • “Ahead of time” translation and Apple’s “Translation Cache”
        • Kernel Extensions Cannot Be Translated
      • 00:50:59 iOS Apps on macOS
        • They get a menu bar…  complete with a “Quit” option!
      • Apple Silicon Branding!
      • 00:53:37 Virtualization - Vs Emulation! and Bootcamp
      • 00:59:13 Would you advise buying an intel Mac today? Or wait 18 months for AS?
      • What’s the future of the Mac now that iPads run the same chips?
    • 01:06:33 iOS 14/iPadOS 14
    • 01:16:36 MGG 821 Outtro
  • The Mac Geek Gab iPhone app
  • Active MGG Sponsors and Coupon Codes List
  • You're downloading today's show from CacheFly's network
  • BackBeat Media Podcast Network

Android-Like Features in iOS 14 Are Long Overdue

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 17:59

During Apple’s WWDC 2020 keynote, the iPhone maker announced a number of new features that I’m sure have anti-Apple folks talking. With the admittedly Android-like features in iOS 14, I’m sure Google enthusiasts bragging about how great their OS is for Apple to copy it. For those who aren’t keeping score, I’m talking about the changes to widgets and the addition of picture-in-picture, Translate, and other features. In my opinion, these Android-inspired features in iOS 14 are welcome and long overdue.

Android-Inspired-Features in iOS 14 Yes, There Are Android-Inspired Features in iOS 14

Let’s get that out of the way right now. Yes, Apple copied features from Android. Yes, they’ve been doing it for years. Guess what? Google does the same thing. As The Verge’s Chaim Gartenberg says,

It’s the eternal cycle of software platforms: Google’s good ideas will almost always end up on iOS at some point, even as the next version of Android will, no doubt, crib some ideas from Apple.

It just makes good product development sense. As Apple sees what features people really love about their Android devices, it adopts and improves upon them for iOS and iPad OS.

Giving iOS Users More Customization Options

One of the biggest attractions for many Android users is the many ways they can customize their screens. This is also a big reason for jailbreaking iOS. They can add widgets to their home screens for things like mail inboxes, news feeds, current weather, and more. By bringing us Android-like features in IOS 14, Apple is giving us that ability to customize our devices without jailbreaking.

Another example of this customization is the new App Library. Right now, all of the apps you install are on one of your home screens. Sure, you can hide them away in folders if you don’t use them often or just want to organize things. You can’t remove them from the home screen without deleting them, though.

On Android, you have an app drawer. Every app on your phone lives here, and you can add them to your home screen when you want, or just keep them in the drawer. This has driven me a bit crazy, having every single app on my home pages. Starting with iOS 14, that won’t be a problem for me anymore. If I want to keep it on my device but not clutter my screens, I can just keep it in the new App List View.

Deeper in customization, we won’t have to be limited to Apple’s apps by default for email and opening web links. With iOS 14, we will be able to set Google Chrome as the default web browser, for example, or Newton Mail as the email client. Right now, that’s the only default you can change.

The Android-Inspired Features in iOS 14 Are a Sign of the Times

In prior years, we could arguably have said that Apple was in the business of telling users how to use their devices. We all can remember the “you’re holding it wrong” drama, and Steve Jobs was such an innovator that he predicted how we would want to use our iPhone devices before we really knew it.

The fact is, times have changed dramatically when it comes to developing for smart phones. Early on, Apple was developing in a relative vacuum. The field was still new and mostly unexplored, and people often didn’t know for sure what they wanted from their iOS devices. It made sense, then, for Jobs and company to show us how we should be using our phones.

The landscape is totally different today. Google has proven to be a strong innovator in and of itself, coming up with features that people flock to. It really only makes sense for us to start seeing Android-inspired features in iOS 14. It isn’t a matter of “stealing” ideas from Google, as some might say. Apple recognizes the good and bad in Android, as well as iOS. Cupertino wants to keep existing users as well as attract new ones, so it’s bringing in the features it knows people want.

iPhone 12 Could Get Faster Charging With 20-Watt Charger in Box

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 17:46

Apple may ship at least some iPhone 12 models my ship with a 20-watt charger. That’s according to new reports from the leaker Mr. White (via MacRumors).

Twenty-Watt Power Adapter for iPhone

The leaker tweeted pictures of what they alleged is a new 20W Power Adapter.

20W USB-C PD Power Adapter pic.twitter.com/1x74UStqyu

— Mr·white (@laobaiTD) June 24, 2020

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max came with an 18W adapter in the box, so it could just be that the higher-end of the iPhone 12 range gets the upgraded adapter. I hope though these rumors are true and all models get a more substantial power adapter. Since launching, all iPhones, with the exception of the iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max, have come with a rather puny 5W charger. An upgrade to faster charging is long overdue.

‘Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’ is Latest Encryption Attack

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 16:53

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act yesterday. It seeks to bring back the Crypto Wars of the 1990s by crippling encryption with the introduction of backdoors.

Yet increasingly, technology providers are deliberately designing their products and services so that only the user, and not law enforcement, has access to content – even when criminal activity is clearly taking place.  This type of “warrant-proof” encryption adds little to the security of the communications of the ordinary user, but it is a serious benefit for those who use the internet for illicit purposes.

”Adds little to the security of the communications of the ordinary user.” That’s the level of contempt these people have for the rest of us.

Opera Browser 69 Adds Twitter in a Sidebar

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 14:07

In an update to Opera, version 69 adds Twitter built into a sidebar for users. This is the latest in social media integrations the company added to its browser, following Instagram, Telegram, Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and VKontakte. Opera also includes a VPN and crypto wallet, making it an all-in-one tool instead of “just” a browser for the web. Other new features include a weather widget on the start page, improved visual tab cycles, improvements to Workspaces, and more. You can download it on macOS here.

Apple Silicon Goes Beyond ARM

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 13:39

Undoubtedly one of the biggest announcements from WWDC 2020 was the forthcoming rollout of Apple Silicon. As AppleInsider explained, the move is about more than ARM-chips.

Many custom software optimizations already developed for iOS — such as Metal graphics — can be brought over to the Mac directly now that both share the same access to Apple’s own sophisticated silicon. Currently, Apple has had to develop two versions of Metal, one for iOS and another for the GPUs used on Macs. So Apple isn’t just arbitrarily moving from “x86 to ARM,” but rather using its custom silicon work to enhance the performance, features, and deep integration on its Macs. Moving “to ARM” is sort of a side effect of Apple’s wanting to use its own custom silicon. Up to this point, Apple has been limited to adding a helper chip like the T2 to its Intel Macs to handle custom features like Touch ID and Touch Bar.

Science Communicator Dr. Kiki Sanford (#9) – TMO Background Mode Interview

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 01:02

Dr. Kiki Sanford makes her ninth appearance on Background Mode. Kiki is a neurophysiologist with a B.S. in conservation biology and a Ph.D. avian neurophysiology from the University of California. She’s a popular science communicator and creator/co-host of This Week in Science (TWIS) podcast and radio show.

In this episode, we spend the first segment clearing up some confusion about COVID-19. Mask theory of use, the value of lockdowns, how the U.S. is doing compared to Europe, how blood type affects the body’s response, presymptomatic vs. asymptomatic, and what we know about how the virus survives on surfaces. In part II, we discussed how computer neural networks trained to learn like developing human brains also need something akin to sleep. Also, how dogs have a genetic desire to save their owner from trouble. And more. As always, Kiki is delightful as she makes science both fun and interesting.

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My Background Mode interview with Dr. Kiki Sanford (#9) _______________________

Check Out The WWDC20 Playlist on Apple Music

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 22:42

The WWDC20 playlist is here on Apple Music. The opening playlist features Glass Animals, Alicia Keys, while other collections have The Killers, AURORA, and Weezer.

WWDC20 Playlist Collection

That’s right, there’s more than one playlist. It’s a collection with names like Power Up, Coding Energy, and Coding Focus. Apple shared a couple of stories from people using music in their work. Developer Sam Rosenthal said in his Apple Arcade game he paid homage to bands he listened to growing up.

A lot of the bands that I really loved… They didn’t stick with one sound. Every time we make something, it should be different from the last. It should surprise people.

Several of the Swift Student Challenge winners featured music in their Swift Playgrounds. Henrique Conte, a winner from Brazil, like to listen to French music while he codes:

Learning new languages is one of my passions because it allows us to connect with the world and understand cultures.

WWDC20 playlist artwork

Dashlane Family Plans Arrive for Customers

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 22:02

TDashlane Family Plans are here, the company announced today. Two offerings provide password management for up to six family members. Premium Family is US$7.49/month and gives you features like dark web monitoring, VPN service, two-factor authentication, personalize security alerts, and more. Premium Plus Family is US$14.99 and gives you the features of Premium Family with three additions: Credit monitoring, identity restoration support, and identity theft insurance.

iOS 14 Accessibility Listens Out For Your Safety

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 21:29

A core philosophy in Apple’s hardware and software has always been accessibility. Cupertino has engineers who do nothing but work on making its products more useful for people with disabilities. Apple even has a dedicated section of its online store for accessibility devices. A new iOS 14 accessibility feature will enable your iPhone or iPad to alert you when your baby is crying, your smoke alarm goes off, and more.

iOS 14 Accessibility Feature An iOS 14 Accessibility Feature That Listens Out For Your Safety

This latest iOS 14 accessibility feature could very well save your life, or a loved one’s. Once enabled, it can listen out for the sound of running water, someone knocking on the door, a baby crying, or a smoke alarm. There’s plenty more where those come from, too.

The feature uses Machine Learning, so it’s only going to get better and more useful. Forget about “Hey, Siri,” how about your iPhone or iPad letting you know that someone is shouting in the house?

On-Screen Notifications of Sounds

When this iOS 14 accessibility feature detects a sound you’ve configured it to listen for, it warns you with an on-screen notification. You don’t have to worry anymore about missing those important sounds in the background.

In the Accessibility section of the Settings app in iOS and iPad OS 14, you’ll find Sound Recognition. You can turn individual types of sounds on or off, customizing it to what you feel is most important.

The iOS 14 accessibility feature can listen out for fire and smoke alarms, emergency sirens, cats and dogs, household appliances, car horns, door bells, door knocking, water running, babies crying, and shouting.

Your Privacy Stays Private

Since the Sound Recognition feature uses on-device artificial intelligence, none of the noises detected ever leave your iPhone or iPad. No, Apple will not be keeping track of how often your baby cries or how many times you flush your toilet. Apple reiterated its pro-privacy stance at the WWDC 2020 keynote, noting that the clipboard/pasteboard is going to be more restricted. Keeping monitored sounds on-device is just further proof that Apple cares about our privacy.

Nordic Hygge AirChill Personal Evaporative Cooler: $69.99

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 20:09

We have a deal on the Nordic Hygge AirChill, a personal evaporative cooler. It’s designed to cool and humidify the air, and is best for hot dry summers at home or in the office. It’s powered by a high-speed, 9-blade fan for steady wind and rapid cooling, and it doesn’t need an app to control it. This device is $69.99 through our deal.

EyeQue’s Update Lets You Try On Glasses at Home

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 20:05

EyeQue’s new Try-On Glasses service means you can try on several pairs of glasses based on your vision results to find a pair you like best, all while staying safely at home.

EyeQue Try-On Glasses are a low-risk way for consumers to experience their vision through lenses made using their EyeGlass Numbers® (EGNs) – the lens power required to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. EGNs are obtained by taking EyeQue’s self-administered refractive error tests using either the VisionCheck or Personal Vision Tracker, and are in the same format as a traditional prescription.

Record Your Interaction With Police Using a Shortcut

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 19:51

There’s little question that Americans are more aware (and afraid of) police brutality than ever. The protests, anger, and frustration throughout the country have made even people whose heads were almost in the sand take notice. Amidst all of the news, commentary, and protests, an iPhone shortcut that turns your device into a sort of dash-cam has become very popular. Just by saying, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” your iPhone will record your encounter with police.

record your interaction with police Don’t Hope for Witnesses, Record Your Encounter With Police

In the past, police brutality was brought to the public eye through cell phone video recorded by witnesses. They’d either provide the footage to the news, post it on social media, or both. Since Rodney King’s beating in Los Angeles, this has been the case.

Now, you just have to install the shortcut, since Apple allows us to share shortcuts with each other if we enable the feature. Then you can activate it when you are worried about being mishandled by law enforcement. When you say, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” your iPhone immediately starts to record your encounter with the police.

The shortcut pauses any music you’re playing and turns down the brightness of your screen. It turns on “Do Not Disturb” mode to block incoming calls. Then, it opens your front-facing camera and starts a video recording.

Let Others Know What’s Happening

While you record your interaction with police, your iPhone also sends a text message to a designated contact. This message lets them know you’re being pulled over, along with your current location.

After you stop the recording, the shortcut automatically sends a copy of the video to your contact. It also gives you the option to upload the video to iCloud or Dropbox. This is a good way to make sure the video is available even if the police seize your iPhone.

An Older Shortcut, but Updated to Work More Reliably

This shortcut isn’t exactly new, but it’s definitely getting more attention now than ever before. Redditor Robert Petersen created the shortcut in 2018, according to CNN,but was recently updated to squish bugs. It’s now called the “I’m being pulled over” shortcut.

The shortcut allowing you to record your interaction with the police got a fair bit of notice when it first came out in 2018. Recently, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer is making the shortcut more popular than ever. The protests and calls for police reform have made many people much more aware of the growing problem of “bad cops.”

Get Ready to Record Your Interaction With Police

If you want to make sure you can easily record your interaction with police when you need to, start by installing the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. Then follow these steps.

  1. Run any other shortcut in the Shortcuts app. Just tap Gallery on the bottom right corner of Shortcuts to find some to choose from.
  2. Go to Settings, and scroll down to Shortcuts. Tap it and toggle the Allow Untrusted Shortcuts option to On.
  3. You can download the “I’m getting pulled over” shortcut by opening this link in Safari. The shortcut will open in the gallery. Scroll down and tap Add Untrusted Shortcut and configure it for whom you want to send your location and a copy of the recording to. Once you’ve finished, tap Done and the shortcut will be ready and waiting.
record your interaction with police

You should test the shortcut a couple of times to make sure it has all the proper permissions, then you’ll be good to go.

Lyrics to Cyndi Lauper Penned Song from ‘Central Park’ on Apple TV+

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 19:29

Apple has been releasing karaoke-style videos of songs featured in the Apple TV+ series Central Park. The latest offerings are Rats and If There’s a Will. The former caught my eye because the lyrics were written by none other than Cyndi Lauper of Girls Just Want to Have Fun fame.

WWDC 2020: Here’s the macOS Big Sur Device Support List

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 19:28

Following our iOS 14 device support list, today we have a macOS Big Sur device support list. As long as your Mac is from 2013-2014 or later, you can download it. Here’s the full list.

macOS Big Sur Device Support
  • Macbook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later) iMac Pro
  • (all models) Mac Pro (2013 and later)

Image of a MacBook Pro running macOS Big Sur and showing examples of Apple apps for the new design.

This list, as well as features of macOS Big Sur, can be found on Apple’s preview page as well as on The Mac Observer.

Theoretical Boot Camp – TMO Daily Observations 2020-06-23

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 19:26

John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join host Kelly Guimont to discuss what emulation looks like on newly announced Apple Silicon processors.

As of this spring, iMazing launched iMazing Configurator to manage your Apple Devices. It’s compatible with DEP managed devices, and is MDM aware too. Request a free trial at iMazing.com/configurator!

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