Apple, HBO in bidding war for new J.J. Abrams TV series

Details of the project are being kept under tight wraps, but it would reportedly deal with a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force. Should the project move forward, it would be Abrams’ first TV writing gig since “Fringe” in 2008.

J.J. Abrams is just the type of hitmaker that Apple needs if it’s going to make a big splash in the original series TV market.

21 states sue to keep net neutrality

A group of 21 U.S. state attorneys general filed suit to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to do away with net neutrality on Tuesday while Democrats said they needed just one more vote in the Senate to repeal the FCC ruling.


Universal Audio ships Arrow Thunderbolt 3 audio interface

This compact 2×4 interface starts with esteemed UA conversion derived from UA’s flagship Apollo interface range, to sonically outperform anything in its class. With its Unison technology and built-in UAD-2 SOLO Core processor, you can record through classic audio tools including the 610 Tube Preamp, LA-2A and 1176 compressors, and a genuine Marshall Plexi amp plug-in — at near-zero latency, regardless of your audio software buffer setting.

This is an incredible looking interface and included plug-ins bundle.

Apple and the FBI’s relationship

This is a fascinating article at Forbes on how the FBI views Apple and its pro-privacy stance. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

iPhone most activated smartphone in U.S. last quarter

Apple increased its share of smartphone activations in the fourth quarter of 2017, following the release of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, according to data shared with MacRumors by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

This is really interesting to me, especially considering all the rumors that the iPhone 8 sales were lower than expected because people were waiting for the iPhone X, and then iPhone X sales weren’t meeting expectations. It sounds like sales are doing fine, but we’ll find out during the next quarterly earnings.

Hydrogen-powered bicyles

The firm’s Alpha bike runs for about 100 km (62 miles) on a two-litre tank of hydrogen, a range similar to an electric bike, but a refill takes only minutes while e-bikes take hours to charge. One kilo of hydrogen holds about 600 times more energy than a one-kilo lithium battery.

The bikes are really expensive, and the charging stations even more expensive, but they do plan to bring these to the consumer market in the coming years.

TCM: Manage your Macs from a web browser

TCM is the best way to manage your Macs, instantly. Take a screenshot, open an app, open a web page, reboot a computer, send a UNIX command, reboot to Windows — all without leaving your desk. TCM does all of this right from a web browser. No software to install on the administrator computer and accessible from anywhere.

Sounds intriguing.

How to stop accidentally calling 911 and emergency contacts

When my phone is in my pocket, I tend to hold it like a gadget security blanket, and I sometimes end up squeezing the side buttons. This was never a problem until I got the iPhone X, which has some new features tied to those side buttons. More specifically, if you press and hold both the power button and a volume button for a few seconds, your phone will call 911 and/or your designated emergency contacts.

I’ve never done this, but a friend of mine had an iPhone X in a car phone mount and it slid down during the drive, pushing both buttons, and automatically called 911.

App Store promotes “Free Trial” iOS apps

As it continues to showcase new types of content in the App Store, Apple has recently started highlighting popular subscription applications with free trials. The new section is located under the “Apps” section in the App Store and aptly titled “Try It For Free.”

This is a great addition to the App Store.

Apple’s indirect presence fades from CES

Ben Bajarin:

Gone are the days of Apple’s presence, or observably “winning” of CES, even though they are not present. It was impossible to walk the show floor and not see a vast array of interesting innovations which touched the Apple ecosystem in some way. Now it is almost impossible to walk the floor and see any products that touch the Apple ecosystem in any way except for an app on the iOS App Store. The Apple ecosystem is no longer the star of CES but instead things like Amazon’s Alexa voice platform, and now Google’s assistant voice platform is the clear ecosystem winners of CES.

Ben says that Apple is not doomed, and he’s right. However, this is not a good sign for Apple.

The Making of Apple’s Emojis

When design leads to friendship, and that friendship leads back to design, magic happens. This is the story of how an intern and her mentor designed Apple’s original emoji set and together changed the way people communicate around the world. It was also a project that led them to become lifelong friends, a key ingredient in the success of these tiny icons. In a nutshell, I was the intern and Raymond is my lifelong friend and mentor. In the course of three months, together we created some of the most widely used emoji: face with tears of joy, pile of poo, red heart, and party popper, plus around 460 additional ones. Later, as a full time Apple employee, I even got to create a few more.

It’s hard to remember a time without the ability to add an Emoji to a conversation on the iPhone.

Services for digitizing your photos

For all you kids out there, gather round: history time. We once used to buy things called “rolls of film”. We then had to put these rolls in our cameras. These rolls had finite space for photos, and when they were full, we’d take them and get them developed into tangible photographs (usually on glossy photo paper). I know. Whoa.

I didn’t know people still wondered about these services, but a friend of mine just asked me about this the other day.

Google says its security patches not slowing down systems

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday it had already deployed software patches against the Spectre and Meltdown chipset security flaws last year, without slowing down its cloud services.

Researchers with Google’s Project Zero, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, first reported the flaws publicly on Jan. 3, but major tech firms have said they knew about the flaws months ago.

High Sierra’s App Store System Preferences can be unlocked with any password

A bug report submitted on Open Radar this week reveals a security vulnerability in the current version of macOS High Sierra that allows the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

Important to note that this seems to fixed in the latest beta releases, but the current public release still has the vulnerability.

Senator asks Apple questions about slowing iPhones

Senator John Thune, a Republican who chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said in a Jan. 9 letter to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook that “the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency.”

It’s going to be a while before this goes away.

Daylite adds push notifications

Push Notifications alert you right away on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad when a new task has been delegated to you and when you’ve been invited to a meeting. As soon as you delegate someone a task in Daylite or invite someone to a meeting, it triggers a notification on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Now you can be confident that you are up to date and can act fast to changes or surprises in your day – even if you don’t have Daylite running.

Marketcircle is one of my favorite companies. They make great products and continue to improve them all the time.

Ford partners with Postmates for self-driving delivery

Ford Motor Co on Tuesday said it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc as the automaker starts testing ways to transport people, food and packages using its self-driving cars in a U.S. city during the first quarter.

This is an interesting partnership for Ford. I’ve used Postmates a couple of times and it’s an okay service, if you can get a driver.

French prosecutor launches probe into Apple planned obsolescence

A French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of U.S. tech giant Apple (AAPL.O) over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, a judicial source said on Monday.

I think this will be the first of many such investigations.

GoPro open to being sold

“We’ve always been clear that we are open to any opportunity that will help us scale our mission. JP Morgan is our banker, but there is no active engagement to sell,” GoPro said in emailed comments to Reuters.

The more you read the article, the worse it gets. GoPro is in some trouble.

Fired Google engineer who wrote ‘diversity memo’ sues

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Santa Clara Superior Court on Monday, alleges that Google “discriminated against employees for their perceived conservative political views,” as well as due to their “male gender,” and “Caucasian race,” and then “systematically punished” them.

Apple releases updates for iOS and macOS Safari to mitigate Spectre

Apple on Monday released iOS 11.2.2 and Safari 11.0.2 for macOS. Both updates are designed to mitigate the effects of Spectre. You can download the iOS update by going to Settings > General > Software Update on your device. On the Mac, open App Store and check for updates to get the latest version of Safari.

Apple updates article on vulnerabilities in ARM-based and Intel CPUs

Yesterday, Apple published an article titled “About speculative execution vulnerabilities in ARM-based and Intel CPUs” giving users information on how the vulnerability affects their products. They issued a small update today noting that Apple Watch is not affected by either Meltdown and Spectre.

SecureBoot and the iMac Pro

One of the areas that Apple has made big improvements with the release of the 2017 iMac Pro is the introduction of SecureBoot. SecureBoot is a process where the firmware validates the bootloader prior to loading. It is at the start of the chain of trust that ensures that code that gets run (drivers, kernel, applications) is known and validated. It all starts with the initial boot and with the release of the iMac Pro, Apple introduced SecureBoot to ensure that the initial bootloader is trusted.

Timothy Perfitt takes a deep dive into Apple’s SecureBoot and the new iMac Pro.