June 25, 2019

This little rabbit hole is an incredible labor of love from Sam Henri Gold. When I asked Sam how he pulled this all together:

I began the archive after the Every Apple Video Youtube channel went down in March(?) 2017, been updating it since. I’ve been sourcing from YouTube (both Apple’s own and other small personal channels ppl uploaded Apple vids to) as well as FTP servers and clips internet friends donated. I’m always looking for more donations!

Have anything to donate to the cause? You can reach Sam on Twitter.

Sit back, grab a hot beverage, and dig in. This is long, so consider skipping section-to-section to find specific topics of interest, to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Great work by AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger.

iOS 13, an iPhone, and an Iomega Zip drive. Will it work?

Loop reader Niles Mitchell continues his quest to connect external devices to his iOS 13 iPhone. Last time, he successfully connect a Kindle. Can he use the same approach to access files on an Iomega Zip drive?

Fun series!

Scott Stein, CNET, walks through the big picture of the iPadOS public beta. Well balanced, pointing out the features that work well as well as the ones that fall short, all wrapped in a “it’s a beta, so have patience, this will likely change” sensibility.

Easy read, informative.

Good set of instructions from Chance Miller, 9to5Mac. At this point, my advice would be to limit yourself to a spare device, one that does not depend on a specific app running perfectly. Or at least make sure the apps you need are said to run well on the beta.

And, obviously, make a backup before you dive in.

John Voorhees, MacStories:

The message from WWDC was clear: SwiftUI is the future, a unified approach to UI development designed to simplify the process of targeting multiple hardware platforms. It’s a bold, sprawling goal that will take years to refine, even if it’s eagerly adopted by developers.

And:

However, SwiftUI also raises an interesting question: what does it mean for Catalyst? If SwiftUI is the future and spans every hardware platform, why bother bringing iPad apps to the Mac with Catalyst in the first place? It’s a fair question, but the answer is readily apparent from the very different goals of the two technologies.

For non-developers, think of Catalyst (previously called Marzipan) as a development kit to make it easier for developers to port their iOS apps to macOS. But think of SwiftUI as more of a starting point to lay out apps that will run on all your Apple platforms.

John does an excellent job digging into the value of both Catalyst and SwiftUI, explaining each one’s place in the Apple universe. Both are important.

If I had to boil this all down to a single talking point, I’d say that Catalyst is the hero we need now, letting developers bring their iOS apps to the Mac, refreshing and enriching the Mac experience while we wait for SwiftUI to evolve and mature and for SwiftUI apps to become the norm on all platforms.

In a way, this model is similar to the early days of Mac OS X, when Carbon made it possible for classic Mac apps to run on OS X while we waited for developers to build and ship modern OS X apps.

A great read.

June 24, 2019

NPR:

For years, Internet users have been griping about the USB, or Universal Serial Bus, and its maddening difficulty to plug in right, even creating memes about the commonly shared experience. Some call it the USB paradox, the seemingly impossible process of making a 50-50 guess wrong twice.

Ajay Bhatt led the team at Intel that created the USB — a near-ubiquitous connection interface that allows users to plug mice, iPods, printers, thumb drives and other devices into a computer. He recognizes that the model has led to frustration.

“The biggest annoyance is reversibility,” Bhatt told NPR. Nonetheless, he stands by his design.

Obviously, it’s a design decision but it’s still frustrating.

The Verge:

Search for Alien 3 on your favorite video-on-demand service, and you’ll inevitably land on a specific movie: David Fincher’s 1992 sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 hit Alien and James Cameron’s blockbuster 1986 follow-up Aliens. There are different versions out there — the theatrical version and the longer “assembly cut,” a recreation of an earlier version of the film. But they’re variations on the same work, a moody, visually striking, but not entirely successful film that drops protagonist Ellen Ripley on a lice-ridden prison planet that isn’t prepared to fend off an infestation of the xenomorphs she fought in the first two films.

Audible Studios’ new audio drama Alien III by William Gibson offers one of those alternate paths for the Alien series. Gibson, the author of Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive, has his own vision of what happened after Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt nuked LV-426 from orbit in Aliens.

I definitely would have preferred this version to the one that became Alien 3.

AppleInsider:

Apple has started to provide participants of its public beta program with the first builds of three of its milestone operating systems, including iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina.

As with other public beta releases from Apple, it is usual to find the contents of the public test version to be functionally similar to that of the most recent developer beta.

As always, if you are participating in this beta, make sure you have a recent, verified backup of your data.

Gizmodo:

Canon versus Nikon. Dell versus HP. Microsoft versus Apple. Tech companies have been battling over their piece of the pie for years, that ain’t new. But recently, tech and non-tech companies alike have started changing up their business models so that instead of simply selling you a device and calling it a day, companies would rather sell you an ongoing subscription for the product you want, complete with a recurring monthly payment. Welcome to the Service Wars.

The beauty for companies is that once you sign you up, they’ve got you. It’s one thing not to buy another product from a specific company, but it’s another thing entirely to cancel one of your countless subscriptions, delete your account (and maybe migrate your data), and switch to another platform (assuming that’s even an option). After all, it’s just $10 or $15 a month, right? That’s nothing.

As more and more companies use subscription services, we’ll have to be vigilant to make sure we keep an eye on them. Those $5-$10/month services can really add up.

Vox:

The full-on driverless car could be an order of magnitude safer than the human-driven variety. Despite generations of driver education, traffic policing, highway building, and automobile safety regulations, nearly 40,000 Americans are killed in motor vehicle crashes and another 2.5 million are seriously injured annually. Safer cars, like safer airliners, are a good thing. But since Vanderbilt’s time, the controlled risk of driving has been an antidote to meaningless work and passive leisure.

Driving is dangerous, and we like it that way. We may never love driverless cars the way we love the recklessness of being behind the wheel.

This is an overly romanticized view of driving. The vast majority of people generally hate it and will be more than happy to become passengers in autonomous vehicles.

NOAA:

Then on Wednesday, Nathan started looking at the downloaded videos. He found the usual shrimp and other small animals that we had been seeing on the first four deployments. And then he saw it, a large tubular animal off on the corner of the screen, looking as if it was hunting the e-jelly. The next short video showed the same thing. Then, in the third video, the tubular animal revealed an enormous set of arms and tentacles coming in to attack the e-jelly.

Watch the video. Fantastic. I hope we can turn things around before the giant squid becomes just a scientific memory.

Lovely sequence of images, starting with the Mac OS System 1 startup screen, the first so-called happy Mac.

Beautifully done.

This was a pretty amazing auction. The centerpiece was Gilmour’s “Black Strat”:

“The Black Strat,” a 1969 Fender Stratocaster which Gilmour used to record Pink Floyd albums “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here” and “The Wall,” sold for $3,975,000.

The winning bidder?

Jim Irsay is the owner of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. What do you do with a guitar like that? Do you hang it on a wall? Will it ever be played again?

Apple’s latest experimental practical effects videos

I love this series, all filmed on the latest iPhone, in this case, the iPhone XS.

Here’s the released video, commissioned by Apple, shot by Donghoon Jun and James Thornton of Incite in collaboration with WET. It’s called Experiments III: Cascade.

And here’s the “making of” video, called Experiments III: Cascade (Behind the Scenes):

The New York Times:

“The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy” is a medical handbook that recommends the right amount of the right drug for treating ailments from bacterial pneumonia to infected wounds. Lives depend on it.

And:

Antimicrobial Therapy, which publishes “The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy,” bought 34 of its handbooks from Amazon and Amazon’s third-party sellers. At least 30 were counterfeits.

And:

Amazon takes a hands-off approach to what goes on in its bookstore, never checking the authenticity, much less the quality, of what it sells. It does not oversee the sellers who have flocked to its site in any organized way.

That has resulted in a kind of lawlessness. Publishers, writers and groups such as the Authors Guild said counterfeiting of books on Amazon had surged. The company has been reactive rather than proactive in dealing with the issue, they said, often taking action only when a buyer complains.

I’ve written a bunch of books over the years and had a front row seat as counterfeiting grew from a clumsy, back-room business using hacksaws (to cut book spines) and copiers into a sophisticated factory, sucking in books and spitting out copies in mere minutes.

It has become harder and harder to make a living writing books, and nigh impossible to stop counterfeiting. Amazon selling counterfeit books and relying on customer complaints to spot counterfeits, in my opinion, is like a fence selling stolen goods. Just as an art patron might not know that their Picasso is a fake, the book buyer might never know that the forged book they just bought is fake.

The two terrible sides to fakes on Amazon? The original author/maker doesn’t see a penny for their hard work and, as called out above, real harm can be done where faulty information is sent out from a supposedly reliable source.

From Amazon’s response to this story (H/T Christopher Lloyd) on their blog:

A recent New York Times article claims that Amazon doesn’t care about counterfeits and takes a hands-off approach to what is sold in our stores. Nothing could be further from the truth. We invest substantial amounts of time and resources to protect our customers from counterfeit products, including books. We also stand behind every product sold in our stores with our A-to-z Guarantee.

Amazon strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products. We invest heavily in prevention and take proactive steps to drive counterfeits in our stores to zero. In 2018 alone, we invested over $400 million in personnel and tools built on machine learning and data science to protect our customers from fraud and abuse in our stores.

And:

One of the examples prominently featured by the Times, was the Sanford Guide. We’ve worked closely with Sanford Publishing and took additional action in November 2018 to address their concerns. Since these measures were put in place, the publisher has not submitted any further notices of infringement.

I’d love to see followup from the New York Times on this, both in continued investigation and in direct response to Amazon’s rebuttal.

MyCrypto and CipherBlade, via Medium:

MyCrypto and CipherBlade have collaborated on this article to help you understand the dangers of a SIM-jacking attack, and how best to defend yourself against and attack, and how to recover from such an event. This article aims to be a “one-stop” article to read, reference, and share with your friends and colleagues. It’s not short, but it’s thorough.

If you’ve been following our stories on SIM-swapping, this should be in your reading queue. Full of detail. I’ve gotten a lot of response to the posts, both warning me how many people are vulnerable to having their lives turned upside down by this hack, and weighing in with their take on best practices.

I’m far from an expert here, but this seems a solid resource, worth bookmarking and passing along. If you have an opinion on the linked post, either pro or con, please do ping me.

[H/T Ricky de Laveaga]

June 22, 2019

CNBC:

Every single app and update on Apple’s App Store platforms is approved by an Apple employee working in a division called App Review, people familiar with the process tell CNBC.

Difficult approval decisions can be run up the chain to a group called the Executive Review Board, which is led by Apple marketing SVP Phil Schiller.

Apple created this system so that iPhone users can trust that apps downloaded from the App Store are safe to run and aren’t scammy, the company says.

We knew Apple had some kind of review process but the details in this story are quite interesting.

June 21, 2019

The Hollywood Reporter:

Twenty-five years after the groundbreaking sketch show left the airwaves in a blaze of controversy and conflict, the cast and crew share never-told behind-the-scenes stories of the series that execs pitched to Keenen Ivory Wayans as a “black ‘Laugh-In.'”

The skits Wayans and his mostly African American cast performed each week pushed the envelope not just of TV’s color barrier but of TV comedy, won an Emmy and incubated the careers of stars Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez.

Homey the Clown, “Men on Films,” Fire Marshall Bill. Still some of the funniest, edgiest stuff ever seen on TV.

The Dalrymple Report: Siri and Wolfram, and product strategy

Dave had a nice little surprise today as he explained about using Siri with Wolfram to get better answers. We also talked about Apple gaming and the overall company’s product strategy.

Brought to you by:

iMazing: iMazing is the Swiss Army Knife of iPhone management. It’s a desktop app for macOS or Windows which lets you take control of your iOS data. Listeners of the Dalrymple Report enjoy a 30% discount at imazing.com/dalrymple

Subscribe to this podcast

Slate:

When people learn that my husband and I have been on House Hunters not just once but twice, they always have a million questions. Once we are done explaining, though, they never like my answers and wish they never asked. This is because even though smart viewers know that reality TV is created and edited just as carefully as scripted TV, they still, in the back of their minds, think that there must be some base-line rules about the “reality” that’s portrayed. But there aren’t!

So I’m going to tell you all about my experience with House Hunters International, on which we appeared in 2017, and House Hunters, which we filmed last winter. My story will possibly burst your bubble about the show. If this is not something you want, stop reading now.

I used to really like this show until a few years ago when I found out it was completely fabricated.

Love this on two counts:

  • The page is HTML rendered as HTML, all tags visible like one of those visible person models, with all the organs and bones showing through invisible skin.

  • Quine. From the Wikipedia page:

A quine is a computer program which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output. The standard terms for these programs in the computability theory and computer science literature are “self-replicating programs”, “self-reproducing programs”, and “self-copying programs”.

My nerd light shining through. No apologies.

PC Magazine:

All four major wireless carriers in the US are constantly flinging claims at you—they’re the fastest, the largest, the friendliest, the best. So 10 years ago, we decided to put those claims to the test. Every year since then, with the carriers’ cooperation, we strap phones into a set of cars and send them across the country with our staff members behind the wheels, scooping up data for several weeks to see who has the fastest and most reliable smartphone data network.

And:

Verizon had a good run for the past five years with its nationwide LTE network, but AT&T has rocketed into the top spot this year. What the carrier calls 5G Evolution may not be 5G, but it’s definitely a stride toward it. The big push to improve its 4G LTE network in preparation for 5G pays off big time for AT&T; it’s America’s fastest mobile network in 2019.

I hate the 5Ge tag. It’s misleading and not at all representative of 5G. As far as I’m concerned, it soiled the AT&T brand, a dark mark that takes away from this accomplishment.

Been reading a lot about folks getting SIM swapped lately. We posted this SIM-swap horror story a few days ago, and followed up with this story on the strategy that other countries are using but that the US is not.

Came across the headline linked post from Tony Sheng. An interesting read, wondering if it’s simply alarmist or insightful.

In a nutshell, Tony got SIM-swapped and went into great detail on the process and what he did to minimize harm. His highest priority:

Disassociated my phone number from my email address. If you connect your phone number to your email, then a hacker with your phone number can reset your password and take over your email address.

Once they have your email and your phone number, they can reset passwords on pretty much all your accounts for which you don’t have physical 2FA (like a Yubikey).

Step 1 is far and away the most important. If you haven’t done this yet. Stop reading and do it now.

Not sure how you do that. Do you use a secondary email address for verification? YubiKey is a hardware dongle. Secure, but not convenient.

Opinions on this? Please tweet at me with how you solve this problem.

First, the Wall Street Journal posted this article about fake businesses hijacking legitimate business names on Google Maps:

The ruse lures the unsuspecting to what appear to be Google-suggested local businesses, a costly and dangerous deception. A man arrived at Ms. Carter’s home in an unmarked van and said he was a company contractor. He wasn’t. After working on the garage door, he asked for $728, nearly twice the cost of previous repairs, Ms. Carter said. He demanded cash or a personal check, but she refused. “I’m at my house by myself with this guy,” she said. “He could have knocked me over dead.” The repairman had hijacked the name of a legitimate business on Google Maps and listed his own phone number.

Google responded to the article with this detailed post. From that post:

We get millions of contributions each day (like new business profiles, reviews, star ratings, and more) and the vast majority of these contributions are helpful and accurate. But occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them. Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the internet’s side for over a decade.

And:

We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies.

Google goes on to run through numbers, showing how many scams they’ve shut down. Which sort of goes to the point, I think. The problem exists, is massive, and Google is doing all they can, short of making businesses certify themselves in some verifiable way.

A formal verification process would be costly. As is, Google depends on the unpaid public to report fraudulent businesses. Caveat emptor.

June 20, 2019

AppleInsider:

Apple has reached out to Robert Lighthizer, the official U.S. Trade representative, and asked that tariffs not be imposed upon imported products from China. The tariffs would effect all of Apple’s major products according to the letter, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple TV, as well as parts used to repair devices within the US.

“The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs. Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors,” said Apple. “A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors.”

This letter will likely have no effect on the administration’s decision to impose these tariffs.

Apple:

Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and product eligibility is determined by the product serial number.

Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge.

The page details how to check if your MacBook Pro is affected and what to do next.

Macworld:

Apple on Thursday announced that Adobe Lightroom is now available in the Mac App Store. An app for creative professionals who work in photography, Lightroom comes with a full set of tools for managing thousands upon thousands of photos, as well as editing tools for retouching and fine-tuning.

There’s no difference between the MAS version of Lightroom and Adobe’s version that you get directly from the company; the features are the same. Like the Adobe-sold version, the MAS version is sold as subscription-based software after a 7-day free trial. After that, it’s $9.99 per month, which puts you in Adobe’s Lightroom plan that includes 1TB of Creative Cloud file storage and access to the mobile and web versions of Lightroom.

Cue the inevitable complains about Adobe’s subscription plans.

CNET:

At WWDC 2019 earlier this month, Apple announced Project Catalyst, which streamlines the process for all software makers to bring their own iOS apps to Mac. In an interview with CNET at WWDC, Apple software chief Craig Federighi confirmed that the four iOS apps for Mac released last year will get major updates based on the new technology in Project Catalyst. But he also revealed that the apps will get new designs to make them more Mac-like.

They are not yet in the developer betas but Federighi said they’ll be updated for the public beta.

How to factory reset your GE light bulbs. Just watch.

This one has been flying around Twitter. This can’t be real, I thought. But apparently it is.

Can you imagine Apple shipping this product? Yikes.