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TidBITS: Apple News for the Rest of Us



The oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet, TidBITS brings you the Apple Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and iPod news, reviews, tips, and commentary that matters. Join us each week for audio versions of award-winning coverage from



Published: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:03:35 EDT

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:03:35 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 TidBITS Publishing Inc.
 



ExtraBITS for 23 October 2017

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:25:44 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the Mac mini is important to Apple’s future (we’ll believe him when we see a real update!), Apple recommends running a specific Terminal command before selling a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, and we learn what the iPod’s creator is up to now.

 

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External Link: Tim Cook Calls the Mac mini “Important”

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:24:42 EDT

It has been three years since Apple last updated the Mac mini, and that revision was in many ways a downgrade from its predecessor. Despite that dubious history, Apple CEO Tim Cook told a MacRumors reader via email that Apple plans for the Mac mini to be an “important part of the company’s product lineup in the future.” Given that Apple has ignored the Mac mini for so long, we’re taking Cook’s claim with the proverbial grain of salt, but we’d love to see Apple put a new spin on the idea of a miniature Mac.

 

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Take Control Books Having a 50%-Off Sale This Week

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:08:26 EDT

Our friends at Take Control are having a 50-percent-off sale this week, so if you’re looking for help with Apple’s latest releases, check it out now.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 23 October 2017

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:58:20 EDT

Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter 10.5.1, SEE Finance 1.1.11, Merlin Project 4.3, Fantastical 2.4.3, Delicious Library 3.7, EagleFiler 1.8.1, BBEdit 12.0.1, and DEVONthink/DEVONnote 2.9.16.

 

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External Link: Use This Terminal Command Before Selling a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:03:19 EDT

Before you sell or give away a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (which has a Touch ID sensor), Apple recommends that you boot the Mac into macOS Recovery and execute this Terminal command: xartutil --erase-all. We’re not entirely sure what it does, and Apple doesn’t offer any explanations, but we suspect it acts to clear the Secure Enclave that stores your fingerprint data. Regardless, it would be wise to follow Apple’s advice.

 

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External Link: What the iPod’s Creator Is Up To

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:40:41 EDT

Tony Fadell designed the iPod at Apple and then created the Nest thermostat that was eventually purchased by Google. Now with his new venture, Future Shape, Fadell is going after the concept of Silicon Valley as a tech hub by funding startups from Paris, France. Fadell has taken his fair share of criticism over the years for being overbearing and opinionated (shades of Steve Jobs), but he is also one of the most successful Apple alums and is worth keeping an eye on.

 

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GraphicConverter 10.5.1

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 17:46:46 EDT

Adds a Show Depth Data context menu item if data is available in HEIC files. ($39.95 new, free update, 177 MB)

 

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SEE Finance 1.1.11

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 07:36:57 EDT

Maintenance release for the personal finance app with feature adjustments and fixes. ($49.99 new, free update, 34 MB)

 

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Merlin Project 4.3

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:25:43 EDT

Project management app gains full support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra and adds Japanese and Simplified Chinese localizations. ($289 new, free update, 25.3 MB)

 

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Fantastical 2.4.3

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:25:22 EDT

Adds support for the new Cardhop contacts app from Flexibits. ($49.99 new, free update, 14.4 MB)

 

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Delicious Library 3.7

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:26:40 EDT

Required update restores searching, item lookups, and recommendations from global Amazon stores, except Amazon Japan. ($39 new, free update, 88.3 MB)

 

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EagleFiler 1.8.1

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:29:40 EDT

The document organization and archiving app adds support for HEIF images and fixes bugs when running in High Sierra. ($40 new, free update, 19.7 MB)

 

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BBEdit 12.0.1

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:30:55 EDT

Maintenance fixes for reported issues in the initial release of version 12.0. ($49.99 new, free update, 13.5 MB)

 

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DEVONthink/DEVONnote 2.9.16

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:28:43 EDT

Improves synchronization capabilities and fixes bugs related to macOS 10.13 High Sierra. (All updates are free. DEVONthink Pro Office, $149.95 new; DEVONthink Professional, $79.95 new; DEVONthink Personal, $49.95 new; DEVONnote, $24.95 new)

 

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Cardhop Puts Contacts Front and Center

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:30:53 EDT

Contact management is boring, and Apple’s Contacts app is terrible. That’s why the new Cardhop app from Flexibits might catch your fancy — it’s easily accessed, attractive, and quick to use via its natural language parser.

 

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New Google Gear Once Again Takes Aim At Apple Products

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:28:33 EDT

Google for some time now has aimed to become a major player in the consumer hardware market, and that inevitably means competing with Apple. Google’s recent press event was crammed with products that are going up against Apple’s.

 

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Wi-Fi Security Flaw Not As Bad As It’s KRACKed Up To Be

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:38:42 EDT

A security researcher found a fundamental flaw in the WPA2 security specification that underlies all Wi-Fi implementations. It lets an attacker decipher encrypted data between a device and a base station. However, the opportunity to exploit this flaw is limited and closing fast for hardware that can be updated.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 16 October 2017

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:37:33 EDT

Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office 2016 15.39, Live Home 3D 3.3, Coda 2.6.8, SoundSource 3.0.2, 1Password 6.8.3, Parallels Desktop 13.1, PopChar X 8.2, and ChronoSync 4.8.2.

 

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ExtraBITS for 16 October 2017

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:37:28 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple has already patched the WPA2 KRACK vulnerability in its operating system betas and is offering free MacBook Pro battery repairs for select models if you’re willing to wait a month, iFixit’s CEO explains why repairs are good for the economy, and we have two articles about how some smartphone and social media pioneers are having second thoughts about their creations.

 

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External Link: Apple Has Already Patched the WPA2 KRACK Weakness in OS Betas

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:26:28 EDT

Security professionals are fretting over the just-disclosed KRACK flaw, which renders all WPA2-protected Wi-Fi networks vulnerable to attack. Fortunately, MacRumors is reporting that Apple told iMore’s Rene Ritchie that it has already plugged the vulnerability in the next betas of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Once Apple releases the current betas, likely in the next few days, those fixes will protect the data sent and received on devices running those operating systems, even if the Wi-Fi router itself remains vulnerable. The real concern with KRACK will come with older devices for which patches don’t become available.

 

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External Link: Apple Offering Free MacBook Pro Battery Repairs, If You’re Willing to Wait

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00:28 EDT

If you own a mid-2012 or early-2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that qualifies for battery service (check via  > About This Mac > System Report > Hardware > Power > Health Information), you can get it for free from Apple if you don’t need it right away. Apple has told Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to offer a free battery repair if the customer is willing to wait until at least 15 November 2017. If you need a new battery sooner, you’ll have to pay standard out-of-warranty battery repair rates: $199 in the United States, £199 in the United Kingdom, $289 in Australia, and $259 in Canada.

 

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External Link: iFixit CEO Explains Why Repairs Are Good for Business

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:41:18 EDT

iFixit has spent years compiling repair guides for all of Apple’s products, including the new iPhone 8, which iFixit flew to Australia to obtain in order to publish a guide before most of the rest of the world had woken up. iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens sat down with Adam Minter of Bloomberg for an interview in which he extolled the virtues of repair, including the creation of blue-collar jobs, sales of replacement parts, and reducing overload on the vendor. Wiens points out that Apple has 500 repair shops to service 1 billion iPhones. His best line in the article comes in response to Apple claiming it designs for durability, not repairability: “It seems a little bit detached from reality to say that we design products not to break that have glass on both sides and come out of your pocket 10 times per day.”

 

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External Link: Early Facebook Employees Feeling Regret

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:32:02 EDT

Facebook is bigger than ever, but some former employees are despairing about its impact on the world. “Most of the early employees I know are totally overwhelmed by what this thing has become,” an early ex-Facebook employee told Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton. Speaking of Facebook’s potential impact on the 2016 election, one employee told Bilton, “I lay awake at night thinking about all the things we built in the early days and what we could have done to avoid the product being used this way.” Those close to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are afraid he’s losing touch with reality, becoming a “modern-day Howard Hughes.”

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




Microsoft Office 2016 15.39

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 20:58:06 EDT

Improves the Visual Basic Editor in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. ($149.99 new, free update)

 

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Live Home 3D 3.3

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 18:00:20 EDT

Adds compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra along with new 3D models of people, animals, and fireplaces. ($29.99 new, free update, 328 MB)

 

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Coda 2.6.8

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 16:00:38 EDT

Resolves a crash when opening files in macOS 10.13 High Sierra. ($99 new, free update, 89.1 MB)

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




SoundSource 3.0.2

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 14:00:50 EDT

Fixes a couple of bugs in Rogue Amoeba’s sound preferences tool. ($10 new, free update, 3.6 MB)

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




1Password 6.8.3

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 11:59:00 EDT

Improves communication between 1Password and the Chrome and Firefox Web browsers. ($64.99 new, free update, 48.6 MB)

 

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Movies Anywhere Frees Your Films From Platform Lock-In

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 07:39:18 EDT

The Disney Movies Anywhere service has now expanded to four more studios, so you can now watch more of your iTunes movie purchases on non-Apple devices. And there’s more.

 

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Modernized BBEdit 12 Manipulates Columnar Data and More

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 05:49:38 EDT

Bare Bones Software has released the most significant update to the BBEdit text editor since 2014, modernizing much of the app’s underlying code and adding compelling features like the capability to manipulate columnar data and a WebKit inspector in the Preview window.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.