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Last Build Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:46:24 PDT

 



How to Use Night Shift in macOS Sierra 10.12.4

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:51:31 PDT

Night Shift, the feature first introduced in iOS devices with iOS 9.3, has expanded to the Mac with the release of 10.12.4. Night Shift is compatible with 2012 and newer Macs, so it won't work on older machines. For those unfamiliar with Night Shift, it's designed to cut down on the amount of blue light you're exposed to during the evening by shifting the display of a Mac to a more yellow tone. Blue light is said to have a harmful effect on your circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies suggest that eliminating blue light exposure at night might help you sleep just a bit better, but it does significantly change the look of your display. Many Mac users have been using blue light reduction software f.lux for years now, but with Night Shift, there's no need to install an additional app because it's an operating system feature. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wp9eWFPJ9To" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Turning On Night Shift Night Shift's controls can be a little bit difficult to find when you go to use the feature for the first time. The Night Shift options are located in the display section of System Preferences. Click on the Apple icon in the menu bar and select System Preferences. Choose the "Displays" icon. There are three tabs in this menu: Display, Color, and Night Shift. Choose Night Shift. From the "Schedule" option, choose either "Sunset to Sunrise" or "Custom." As the name suggests, the "Sunset to Sunrise" option causes Night Shift to turn on automatically each night when the sun sets and turn off when the sun rises. It's based on your local sunset and sunrise times. This option requires your location to be enabled in Security & Privacy Preferences so your Mac knows where you are in the world. The "Custom" option lets you choose a specific start and end time for Night Shift to turn on. With a custom setting, it will turn on and off at the same time each night based on the time that you choose. Adjusting Color Temperature In the same section System Preferences that's used to turn Night Shift on, there's also an option to adjust the color temperature of the feature to your liking. By default, the temperature is set to the middle, but if you drag the slider to the left, you'll get more blue light, and if you drag it to the right, you'll get a deeper yellow shade with less blue light. Apple warns that using the warmer end of the spectrum could affect the appearance of some onscreen motion. Night Shift Quick Toggle If you want to manually enable or disable Night Shift, there are two ways to do it. You can use the "Manual" setting in System Preferences to force Night Shift to turn on, or you can use the Notification Center, which is quicker. For the Notification Center: Click on the Notification Center menu bar icon, which is denoted by three lines. It'll open to the Today view. Scroll up to the top of the Notification Center. Click on the "Night Shift" toggle to turn the feature on or turn it off. Choosing one of the manual toggle options when Night Shift is off will toggle it on until sunrise (or a custom set time) no matter what time it is. Toggling it off will turn it off completely. Siri Siri, introduced in macOS Sierra, can be used to turn Night Shift on or off. Click the Siri button in the menu bar or the dock and say "Turn on Night Shift" or "Turn off Night Shift" to control the Night Shift feature. External Monitors Night Shift extends to external displays that are connected to your Mac, shifting the temperature to a warmer tone to match the Mac's display. It is not an individual option that can be applied to a display, but rather mirrors the Mac setting. Night Shift does not extend to connected televisions or projectors, however, nor does it always work reliably with an external display. Compatibility Night Shift works with Macs manufactured in 2012 and later and it is not available on older machines. A[...]



Apple's 2017 Supplier Responsibility Report Highlights Cobalt Supplier Audits, 98% Work Hour Compliance

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:20:27 PDT

Apple today released its 2017 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, outlining progress that the company has made in its supply chain by highlighting its "highest ever" work hour compliance, advocating the success of Apple's Supplier Education Program, and celebrating more than 2.4 million workers who were trained on their rights last year. Apple releases such progress reports each year as a transparent move to show the strides it takes to improve the work lives of its device manufacturing employees, who work to create products including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more. The company said that over the past year it audited 705 total suppliers and discovered that compliance with its 60-hour maximum work week mandate has reached 98 percent, increasing from 97 percent last year. Throughout the year, Apple tripled the number of suppliers taking part in its Energy Efficiency program, leading to the reduction of over 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, "the equivalent of taking 31,000 cars off the road for a year." Apple also said that its successes in supplier responsibility included waste reduction, Clean Water initiatives, and more "responsible sourcing efforts" to expand beyond so-called "conflict minerals" to include cobalt for the first time. Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts expanded beyond conflict minerals to include cobalt for the first time. For the second year in a row, 100% of Apple’s tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) smelters and refiners are participating in independent third-party audits. Apple has also partnered with numerous NGOs to drive positive change on the ground, including Pact who are working to provide essential health and safety training to artisanal mining, and are building programs to help children stay in school. An article by BuzzFeed today highlights Apple's expansion beyond conflict minerals, which are referred to in that way due to their source within war-torn countries that mine the minerals -- tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold -- with little to no respect for workers' rights. Apple's transparency on the subject comes at a time when the Trump administration is said to be considering suspending legislation that previously required companies to disclose whether or not their products contained conflict minerals. According to Apple's senior director of supply chain social responsibility, Paula Pyers, the company removed three total suppliers (of the 705 audited) for failing to meet its various labor and human rights, environmental standards, and health and safety codes. Conflict mineral suppliers were more harshly cracked down upon, with 22 total suppliers tied to the controversial practice removed from Apple's supply chain over the past year. “We’ve been really clear with our suppliers that, notwithstanding any changes to regulations — or deregulation, if you will — we’ll continue to run the same program we’ve been running for the last six years,” Pyers said. “We will continue to drive third-party audit programs. We’ll continue to dig really deep, and stand up accountability and our incident report system. Candidly, we don’t plan any change in that which we are doing.” The company's transparency in 2017 has stretched to include cobalt mining for the first time, including a list of every cobalt supplier in its supply chain, all of which are facing third-party audits. Cobalt is not officially considered a conflict mineral, but recent investigations into the cobalt supply chain potentially violating child labor laws has led to tech companies joining up to form the Responsible Cobalt Initiative to fight the human rights abuses. Pyers told BuzzFeed that, even in the face of lax legislation potentially passed by the White House, Apple will "continue to do what we're doing" in regards to its annual Supplier Responsibility reports and audits. "We'll continue to call for collective action because we truly believe, whether it's regulated or self-regulated, this is the way business should be run, and the way we'll continue [...]



Apple Releases Revised Version of iTunes 12.6, Eliminates Strange 'Profile Page' Toggle

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:25:36 PDT

Apple today released a revised version of iTunes 12.6, which appears to eliminate a hidden option that may have accidentally been built into the software release.

Shortly after the original release of iTunes 12.6 on Tuesday, a reddit user discovered a "Show on Profile Page" toggle on a Playlist edit page.

(image)
The toggle didn't appear to do anything because there's currently no individual profile page feature in iTunes, and now the non-functional feature has been eliminated from the 12.6 iTunes release, suggesting it was added by mistake and could be destined for some kind of future iTunes profile addition.

It is entirely unclear what a Profile Page might entail, but reddit users speculated that it could be for a future social network or a Spotify-style searchable playlist database.

The new iTunes 12.6 update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. It includes a "Rent once, watch anywhere" feature that lets iTunes users watch iTunes movie rentals across all devices with the as-of-yet unreleased iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2 updates.

Prior to the iTunes 12.6 update, iTunes movies could only be watched on a single device at a time. A movie rented on a Mac transferred to an iPhone would remove the movie from the Mac's iTunes Library, while a movie rented on an iOS device or Apple TV could not previously be transferred to other devices.

We don't yet know when the iTunes 12.6 update will become functional, as it is reliant on iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2, but those who are running the betas can use the cross-rental feature. The iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2 software updates could come at any time.
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Twitter Considering Paid Subscription Tier for Professional Users on TweetDeck at $20/Month

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:16:33 PDT

Twitter is said to be "considering" whether to implement an all-new paid subscription tier that would be introduced in a premium package for TweetDeck, Twitter's popular desktop client, and be aimed directly at professionals (via Reuters). If enacted, this would be the first time Twitter charges users for any part of its social media services, which began eleven years ago in March of 2006. A mockup of what the premium TweetDeck subscription service could look like Twitter is looking at providing a professional experience for people on TweetDeck that would pack in advance tools and features not found anywhere else on the service. The premium package would cost $19.99 per month, be accessible on both desktop and mobile, and include the following features: - Exclusive news/alerts summaries personalized for you - Content management tools like bookmarks, to-do lists, and 'save for later' - Cross posting to other social media platforms - Advanced custom trend analysis and alerting tools - Exclusive content on social media best practices and strategy - Enhanced tools for managing and creating custom audience lists (e.g., by interest, customer, or region, etc.) - Exclusive priority customer support - The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts - Advanced publishing features (e.g., scheduling, collaboration, drafting, etc.) - Advanced tools for sorting or filtering searches - An ad-free experience - Analysis tools for understanding topics or conversations on Twitter - Ability to access this experience on both desktop and mobile devices - Ability to securely manage the account across multiple team members - Twitter customization such as color themes and layouts - Access to pre-populated lists of users and influencers by interest topic (e.g., industry or subject experts) - Additional account activity details (e.g., influence scores, account unfollows, or ability to see who is looking at your profile page) - Ability to import user lists from outside sources - Advanced analytics on my own content performance The news was shared by The New York Times affiliated journalist Andrew Tavani, and in addition to the detailed list of features, he tweeted out an overall summary of what the service is said to encompass. With the premium additions, Twitter is aiming to help journalists, marketers, and other such professionals "get even more out of Twitter." "Twitter is considering offering a more advanced TweetDeck experience, with more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals, and others in our community find out what is happening in the world quicker, to gain more insights, and see the broadest range of what people are saying on Twitter. Whether you use Twitter for work or just want to be more informed on the latest news, sports, entertainment, political viewpoints, and information in today's world, this more advanced TweetDeck experience will be designed to help you get even more out of Twitter. This premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard. It will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time. It would also offer extra features such as advanced audience insight and analytics, tools to monitor multiple timelines from multiple accounts and from multiple devices, including mobile, all in an ad-free experience. Twitter confirmed that it is conducting a survey "to access the interest" in this premium version of the service, so no official decision has been made as of yet. It should also be pointed out that the company's wording strictly stuck to the added value proposition for "professionals," with no apparent intention to make a monthly subscription version of Twitter for its casual users. In the past few years, Twitter has stru[...]



Small Sample of iCloud Credentials Provided By Hackers Are Valid, But Questions Remain

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 04:34:22 PDT

On Wednesday we reported that Apple had become the target of a ransom threat, with hackers claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts. A group known as the "Turkish Crime Family" said they would reset and wipe the accounts unless Apple paid them $150,000 in Bitcoin by April 7. Apple responded to the threat by stating that there had not been any breach of its systems, and that if hackers did have access to iCloud accounts then it could only be because of compromised third-party services. Yesterday, ZDNet said it had received a set of 54 account credentials from the hacker group for "verification" and subsequently reported that all of the accounts were valid, based on a check using Apple's online password reset function. The accounts include @icloud.com addresses dating back to 2011, as well as legacy @me.com and @mac.com domains from as early as 2000. The list of credentials is said to contain email addresses and plain-text passwords separated by a colon. According to Troy Hunt, data breach expert and owner of notification site Have I Been Pwned, this would suggest the data could have been aggregated from various sources. ZDNet worked to contact each account holder via iMessage to confirm their password, and found that many of the accounts are no longer registered with Apple's messaging platform. However, of those that could be contacted, 10 people – all based in the U.K. – confirmed that the passwords were accurate, and they have changed them as a result. When pressed about the original source of the data, the hackers claimed that it was "handled in groups" without explaining how or why. The hackers also refused to hand over a U.S.-based sample of accounts. All of the people with compromised accounts said that until now, they had never changed their iCloud passwords before. One person said that the password he confirmed with ZDNet was no longer in use as of about two years ago, which narrows down the possible date of a breach or multiple breaches to somewhere between 2011 and 2015. Most of the people confirmed that they used their iCloud email address and password on other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. However, three people said that their iCloud email address and password were unique to iCloud, and were not used on any other site. Also, two people claimed someone had tried to reset their iCloud passwords in the past day. It's unclear if the sample provided is representative of the wider pool of credentials the hackers claim to have, but based on its communications with the group, ZDNet suspects that its members are "naïve and inexperienced" and primarily seeking publicity. Given that Apple has denied a breach, the account information may have been obtained from a major hacking incident, such as the one that befell Yahoo. iCloud users who have the same username and password that was used for both a hacked site and for iCloud should change their passwords immediately. Anyone else concerned about the hacking claims should change their password and consider using two-factor authentication to secure their Apple ID credentials. Apple has said that it is "actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved". Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Tim Cook Hails China Investment, Says Apple 'Here to Stay'

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:14:23 PDT

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for an interview with Chinese media outlet Caixin on Tuesday, in which he emphasized Apple's ambitions in China and its long-term commitment to investment there. Despite Apple's need to see off competition in the country from the likes of Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Huawei, Cook took pains to explain that Apple isn't simply in China to grab a piece of the market, but that it is actively working to create jobs and improve people's standard of living in the country. Tim Cook poses for a photo during his visit to Ofo"We're not just someone who's here to access the market," Cook told Caixin. "We've created almost 5 million jobs in China. I'm not sure there are too many companies, domestic or foreign, who can say that. … There's deep roots here. I think very highly of the country and the people in it. We're here to stay."As reported earlier this week, Cook has spent the last few days in China to celebrate the company's announcement that it is building several research and development facilities in the region. On Wednesday he stopped in at Beijing-based bicycle sharing startup Ofo, which counts ride hailing company Didi Chuxing as one of its investors. Apple surprised analysts last year when it bought a $1 billion stake in Didi, earning it a place on the company's board. Speaking to Caixin, Cook said the investment in Didi was an exceptional case and not a general direction for Apple. "We've never invested in a developer before, and yet we met Didi, and Didi was so impressive. One, we thought their management was so great, we thought their idea was great," Cook said. "And we liked the holistic view, they were doing everything from taxi to the more-traditional private-car thing. There was a strategic alignment. They needed some funds to continue to grow. We really want them to be successful and be global."Cook kicked off his China visit with a wide-ranging talk on Saturday at the China Development Forum, where he underlined his support for globalization. When asked by Caixin about the subject, the Apple CEO said there were three groups of people he always kept in mind."My view on globalization is that you can think of three groups of people. There's a group of people that globalization has helped tremendously. There's a group that globalization did not help. There's a group of people that globalization hurt," Cook said. "Globalization has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But I also recognize is that it did not help everyone."Commenting further on the recent political steps away from globalized investment, such as the protectionist policies of the Trump administration, Cook admitted it was important for policymakers to address the issues that have led to resentment by some, but said it would be a mistake to roll back the process of globalization. "You want to keep this going because it's great. But we must fix this," Cook said. "I do think there are ways to address it. I don't think it’s an impossible task. I hope the politicians will put their attention on fixing that problem. … I'm optimistic. We must be. There are so many good things in the world. We just have to make sure we focus on the thing to fix."Cook is likely to remain in the country until at least Friday, when Apple will launch its special edition red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus globally. Despite the missing (PRODUCT)RED branding in China, Cook told MacRumors that proceeds from sales of the red colorway iPhones will still go to help the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has been called a "looming epidemic" in the country. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: China, Tim Cook Discuss this article in our fo[...]



How to Tell Whether Your New LG UltraFine 5K Display Has the Shielding Fix

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:09:37 PDT

Last week, we shared a brief video showing that LG's revisions to the shielding in the UltraFine 5K display have successfully addressed issues with the display flickering and disconnecting when in close proximity to Wi-Fi routers. Apple and LG had temporarily pulled the display from the market while LG adjusted its manufacturing processes to incorporate the fix and push the new stock into sales channels, and sales of the revised display began earlier this month. At the time of last week's post, we noted that customers purchasing the UltraFine 5K display should check for serial numbers beginning with 702 or 703, as these indicate manufacturing dates of February or March after the fix was put into place. Several MacRumors readers subsequently reported, however, that they have recently received units shipped from Apple with serial numbers starting with 612, indicating manufacturing dates in December 2016. These readers have been uncertain as to whether their units have the revised shielding in place, or if they should be testing their displays to see if the flickering issue can be induced. One reader noticed that the label on the box of his December UltraFine 5K included a black circular sticker at the top left, a sticker that was not present on our original UltraFine 5K display that was manufactured in November and shipped in December and which was susceptible to the interference issue. December 2016 unit retrofitted prior to sale (left) vs. March 2017 unit properly shielded from the start (right) Newly manufactured UltraFine 5K units include a black square printed directly on the label in the same location, and LG has confirmed to MacRumors that the presence of a circle or square does in fact indicate that the unit has the revised internal shielding and should be protected from the interference issues. While LG did not explicitly confirm any difference between a circle and a square, it appears that the square is indicative of a unit that was originally manufactured with the proper shielding, while the circle is used on earlier units that were subsequently retrofitted with the shielding before sale. There should be no difference in the performance of the two versions. For those users with units lacking a circle or square on the label and thus susceptible to the Wi-Fi interference, LG is conducting free repairs to install the proper shielding. Users are advised to contact LG to arrange for the repair, which can take up to 7-10 business days once the display is received by the repair facility. Customers interested in purchasing the UltraFine 5K should remember that Apple's 25 percent discount on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 accessories is still scheduled to end on March 31, so they have just over a week to order the display at its discounted price of $974 before it goes back up to its regular price of $1299.95. It is possible Apple could extend the discount as it has done once already, but there are no guarantees.Related Roundup: Displays Tag: LG Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 26 With WebGPU Prototype

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:44:12 PDT

(image) Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced one year ago in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 26 includes fixes and improvements for Web API, CSS, Rendering, Web Inspector, WebDriver, and WebCrypto. Today's update also includes a WebGPU prototype, accessible from the Experimental Features menu.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.


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djay Pro for Mac Gains Touch Bar Enhancements, Pioneer DJ Integration

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:31:51 PDT

Algoriddim's djay Pro for Mac received a major update today, introducing a range of new features for both hobbyists and professional DJs.

Through a partnership with Pioneer DJ, djay Pro is now officially certified to work with hardware like the CDJ-200NXS2 and the TOUR1, equipment widely used by professionals.

Seamless plug-and-play integration adds support for Pioneer DJ's DJ Link technology, allowing users to connect up to four CDJs with their Pioneer mixer using a single USB cable through the new LAN Link feature. It's a much simpler setup, and allows for access to full Spotify and iTunes catalogs from the CDJ screens.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N0NbXOFxLcA" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
"djay Pro is the most modern way to DJ on your Mac," said Karim Morsy, CEO of Algoriddim. "This new version adds a host of new features for live performance, music discovery, and preparation. It combines the best of both worlds, content discovery via Spotify and hardware access through Pioneer DJ's state-of-the-art CDJ setups."
Touch Bar integration has been improved in the new version of djay Pro, adding the ability to manipulate two decks simultaneously, manually select the active deck, and navigate the library to preview and prepare songs. Other Touch Bar features that were added in a previous update let users scratch and slice tracks, apply filters and effects in realtime, and trigger audio samples.

djay Pro has long offered Spotify integration, but with the new update, there is improved access to the Spotify Browse feature, letting DJs quickly and easily discover new music based on mood, genre, and popularity.

Today's djay Pro update is free for all customers who own a copy of the software.

djay Pro for Mac can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $49.99. [Direct Link]


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Apple Releases iTunes 12.6 With Cross-Device Movie Rental Access

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:01:54 PDT

(image) Following a slew of new product announcements early this morning, Apple today released iTunes 12.6, the next major update for the iTunes app on Mac devices.

iTunes 12.6 introduces a "Rent once, watch anywhere" feature that lets iTunes users watch iTunes movie rentals across all devices with iOS 10.3 or tvOS 10.2.

Prior to this update, an iTunes movie was only available on a single device at a time. When a movie rented on a Mac was transferred to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod using USB, the movie became unavailable from an iTunes library until returned to the Mac.

A movie rented on an iOS device or an Apple TV was not previously watchable on other devices and could not be transferred between devices.

The wording of the release notes seems to suggest we're going to see iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2 released in the very near future, as the new iTunes update pertains specifically to those releases. We could see new software as soon as tomorrow.

According to Apple's release notes, the update also includes minor app and performance improvements.

The new iTunes 12.6 update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free.

Tag: iTunes

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Tim Cook Visits Beijing-Based Bike Sharing Startup, Ofo

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 01:52:04 PDT

Tim Cook visited Beijing-based bike-sharing company ofo on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The Apple CEO has been in China since at least Saturday, when he gave a wide-ranging talk at the China Development Forum.

During his ofo stop, Cook met with founding members including CEO Dai Wei, and posed for pictures of him riding a yellow ofo bike.

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"Thanks for welcoming me today, ofo team! Great energy behind your mission to make commuting greener, more efficient and fun!" Cook said in his official Sina Weibo post, along with pictures of him riding an ofo bike.
The rivalry between China's bike sharing startups has been compared to the battle between Uber and local competitor Didi Chuxing. Last year, Apple poured a $1 billion investment into Didi Chuxing, earning it a seat on the company's board. At the time, Cook described the investment as "a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market".

Ofo, which counts Didi Chuxing as an investor, confirmed that Cook made the company visit on Tuesday but said no discussions regarding collaboration or investment took place. The company has already raised $450 million this month, which saw its valuation pass the $1 billion mark for the first time.

Founded in 2014, ofo developed the world's first "non-docking" bike sharing platform operated by a mobile application, according to its site. Ofo and main rival Mobike are among a number of rapidly emerging bike-sharing services that allow users to find, unlock, and pay to rent trackable bicycles through smartphone apps, allowing younger consumers to get around congested roads and public transport.

Ofo operates 2.2 million bikes in 43 cities in China, with pilot schemes in Singapore, London, and California.

Tag: China

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Review: Lofree's Mechanical Bluetooth Keyboard Is a Beautiful, Frustrating Typewriter for Your Mac

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:30:26 PDT

Redesigning an input device is a risky business. When Apple introduced its latest MacBooks, some users complained that the new butterfly mechanism in the keys was a turnoff. They criticized the keyboard for its lack of travel, and said the experience of typing was not much different to tapping on a touch screen. Other users felt okay with the change. Whichever side people fell on the debate, everyone could agree that how a keyboard actually feels beneath the fingers matters a great deal. With the lofree Bluetooth keyboard, the designers have tried to re-imagine the typing process in a more radical way, by recreating the experience of operating a traditional typewriter, but in an elegant retro-modern design. The desirability of such a product is in no doubt – lofree's Indiegogo campaign set out to raise $10,000 over 30 days, but has already garnered $364,443 from over 4,000 backers, with several weeks to spare. We got a hold of a finished unit to see if the lofree keyboard can live up to expectations. Design and Features The first thing that struck me about the lofree was its sheer heft. At 800 grams, it's pretty heavy – the Apple Magic Keyboard is just 321 grams – but the extra weight has a stabilizing influence and adds to the retro feel. It features a sturdy rounded plastic base, with two rubber legs at the back that raise the keys high off the desk at a six degree angle. On the right-hand side of the keyboard is a micro-USB port for charging as well as for connecting in wired mode using the included cable. There's a switch next to the port to turn Bluetooth on/off. The second switch sets the keyboard for use on Mac/iOS or Windows/Android, but a quick look at the layout shows the lofree has been designed primarily with Apple users in mind. The functional layout on the top row houses the usual controls you'd expect of an Apple keyboard, like Mission Control, Launchpad, volume, and so on. However, overall the keys are more crowded, and there are some changes to the layout, the main one being the fact that the number key row lines up differently, so 1 is slightly right of Q, 2 is right of W, and so on. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed key numbers 1, 2, and 3 all have Bluetooth symbols. These are used in combination with the fn key to quickly switch between up to three paired devices. The keycaps are raised off the base in pseudo-typewriter fashion, which makes the backlight one of the signature features of the keyboard's design. I found that in a dimly lit room, it gave each key a lovely muted corona, but if you find the bed of light too glaring you can dial down the intensity by choosing from three levels of brightness, or simply switch off the backlight altogether. To save battery, the light also sleeps if you don't use the keyboard for a few minutes, but they snap back on just as quickly with a tap. Instead of the squishy rubber membrane you'd find under most notebook keycaps, lofree has chosen to use Gateron Blue mechanical switches. The decision reflects lofree's attempt to mimic not only the look of a typewriter as closely as possible, but also the sound and the tactile sensation of hitting traditional typewriter keys. In practice, this means there's a slight bump when the key is actuated, more force is required, and there's a lot more travel when the key is fully depressed. The replaceable keycaps also have a concave shape to fit your fingers. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fnQVRhHdiYc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Performance I had no trouble pairing the keyboard with my MacBook Pro, iPad, or iPhone. The lofree appeared in Bluetooth preferences as soon as I switched it on, and the LED beside the caps lock key flashed to confirm[...]



Review: LG's $1500 38UC99 UltraWide Display Offers a Giant, Desk-Filling Workspace

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:34:19 PDT

We've already looked at LG's UltraFine 5K and 27UD88 displays as companions for Apple's latest notebooks, and today we're taking a look at another USB-C display option that brings something quite different: LG's 38UC99 curved "UltraWide" display. This is a desk-filling display in the truest sense of the term: 37.5 inches on the diagonal with a 21:9 aspect ratio and a native resolution of 3840x1600. It has fewer pixels than a true 4K or Ultra HD display, but its sheer size makes up for it in some unique ways. While the UltraFine 5K and 27UD88 displays work best at Retina or scaled resolutions, the 38UC99 uses a full 3840x1600 desktop that leaves everything on screen at just the right size to be useful. No, it's not a Retina display in this mode, but until we have 8K displays this will have to do. Even without Retina resolution, this display is impressive. The sheer size of it gives you so much flexibility in terms of your workspace. I can easily have three large windows open side-by-side with room to spare. UltraFine 5K, 38UC99, 2016 MacBook Pro (left to right) I've been testing this in a three-display setup with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, an UltraFine 5K, and the 38UC99. It's a ridiculous amount of desktop space that I can barely fit on my desk, and the MacBook Pro with entry-level graphics runs all of it without breaking a sweat. Setup Just like the 27UD88, the 38UC99 is dead simple to set up, requiring the same steps of snapping the arm into the back of the display and attaching a very similar curved foot to the bottom of the arm with a pair of screws that can be tightened with a screwdriver, coin, or by hand using grasping rings. The display is compatible with VESA mounting options, although a mounting plate is not included in the box. The display is stable on sturdy surfaces, with very little wobbling unless you really shake your desk or bump the display itself. The tilt ranges from –5 to +15 degrees for good flexibility in angling the display, while the entire display panel can be easily raised or lowered over a range of 110 mm. The spring-loaded arm means no tools are required for raising or lowering the display, and it stays right where you set it. A cable management clip is included on the back of the arm near the bottom, and the display can be tilted up to 3 degrees left or right for leveling purposes. The 38UC99 comes with an array of cables, offering good flexibility for connecting to various types of computers and peripherals. In the box are HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C to USB-C cables, as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter. As with the 27UD88, the 38UC99 unfortunately only supplies up to 60 watts of power over USB-C. That's enough to support a MacBook or a 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it's going to struggle to power a 15-inch MacBook Pro that can draw up to 85 watts. That means if you're a 15-inch MacBook Pro owner, you'll probably have to also plug in your power brick, which means you'll be using up two of your USB-C ports on the machine between the display and power. Three windows side-by-side with room to spare; also notice the large power brick The external power brick for the 38UC99 is quite large, which really makes me appreciate the UltraFine 5K's built-in power supply, but as long as you can hide the power brick away somewhere, it's probably not going to bother you. Display Resolution The default resolution upon connecting to a 2016 MacBook Pro is the full 3840x1600 running at 60 Hz. Other available options are 3200x1333, 2560x1067, and Retina 1920x800, plus some others. Pretty much all of those are going to leave your content looking too big unless you're sitting quite far from the screen. Scaled resolution options Holding down the option key [...]



Apple to Build Two Additional R&D Centers in China

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:03:19 PDT

Apple announced today that it will set up two additional research and development centers in China, to go with the two locations in the country that it announced last year. The new R&D centers will open in Shanghai and Suzhou, the company said in a statement on its Chinese website on Friday.

Apple hopes the centers will help it to attract graduates from institutes such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University, and has partnered with schools in the region to offer internship programs, in the hope of developing experts to work closely with its regional supply chain.

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Shanghai, China
"We are looking forward to working with more local partners and academic institutions through the expansion of R&D centers in China," said Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple. "We are honored to have access to excellent talent and a positive entrepreneurial spirit in the region, where our developers and suppliers will be working together.
Apple's attempt to boost its presence in the country began last September with the opening of its first R&D center in Beijing's Zhongguancun Science Park, often referred to as "China's Silicon Valley". Another R&D center, this time in Shenzhen, was announced the following month.

Apple has pledged to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan ($508 million) in research and development in the country, in a bid to address dwindling returns on its Chinese iPhone business as consumers opt for low-cost mobile alternatives. Apple has also experienced pushback in other areas of its China plans, including the closure of iTunes and iBooks Stores.

Apple is expected to have completed construction of all its research and development centers in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Suzhou later this year.

Tag: China

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WePay Now Supports Apple Pay on Web

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 05:39:45 PDT

WePay, an online payment service provider, today announced that its customers can now accept Apple Pay and Android Pay on the web.

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WePay's biggest customers include popular crowdfunding website GoFundMe, cloud productivity software company Zoho, and cloud-based accounting software service FreshBooks. Some of its other clients include Constant Contact, Meetup, Chargebee, Infusionsoft, Invoice Ninja, and RallyBound.

Apple Pay on the web launched in Safari on iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, expanding upon in-store and in-app payments. The feature started rolling out in September 2016 on websites such as Indiegogo, StubHub, and Wayfair, with other committed partners including Airbnb, Fandango, Target, Ticketmaster, and more.

Apple Pay on the web works with iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and later. iOS 10 or later is required. On Macs, Apple Pay on the web requires an iPhone with Touch ID and Apple Pay support or an Apple Watch, as payments are authenticated through the smartphone or watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple Not Listed on New Legal Brief Opposing Trump's Second Travel Ban

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 05:06:16 PDT

Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more than 60 other companies have either decided not to sign, or have yet to sign, a new legal brief filed in federal court in Hawaii this week, constituting the makings of a lawsuit looking to block the second version of President Donald Trump's travel ban (via Reuters). Trump referred to the new order as a "watered-down version" of the original, but a federal judge in Hawaii nevertheless blocked the revised order. Over a month ago, Apple joined 100 U.S. companies in support of a legal brief that opposed the first immigration ban. That order banned Syrian refugees from entering the United States, blocked citizens of seven countries (Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and suspended entry of all refugees entering the U.S. for 120 days. The new ban removed Iraq from the list, exempted green card and visa holders, and toned down "contentious language referring to religious minorities." On Tuesday, a new legal brief was filed in a Hawaiian court on behalf of 58 total Silicon Valley companies voicing support for the state's blocking of Trump's order, down from 127 companies on the first brief. A few companies mentioned on the new opposition brief include Kickstarter, Airbnb, and Dropbox. Although the current list is small, hope for the lawsuit to succeed is growing, and New York lawyer Robert Atkins -- who co-authored the new brief -- said "we do expect the group to expand." Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc are among more than 60 technology companies that appear to have backed away from the legal fight against U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, deciding not to put their weight behind a lawsuit seeking to block the second version of his executive order. A legal brief filed in federal court in Hawaii on Tuesday on behalf of Silicon Valley companies listed the support of 58 companies, less than half the 127 signatories to a similar brief filed in an appeals court last month after Trump's first executive order banning travel from a number of countries the administration said posed a security risk. It was not immediately clear why fewer of them signed on to the "friend-of-the-court" brief this time around. Apple was a large part of the opposition to the travel ban last month, helping pen an open letter to Trump explaining that the U.S. is a "nation made stronger by immigrants," while Apple CEO Tim Cook said that it "is not a policy we support." Trump himself said he plans to appeal against the federal judge's halting of his revised order and take the case "as far as it needs to go," including the Supreme Court. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: Donald Trump Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Researchers Uncover macOS and Safari Exploits at Pwn2Own 2017

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 02:13:40 PDT

The seventeenth annual CanSecWest security conference is underway in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, where researchers are competing in the 10th anniversary Pwn2Own computer hacking contest for over $1 million in prizes. Day one results have already been published over at the Zero Day Initiative website, with a couple of successful Mac-related exploits already appearing in the list of achievements. Independent hackers Samuel Groß and Niklas Baumstark landed a partial success and earned $28,000 after targeting Safari with an escalation to root on macOS, which allowed them to scroll a message on a MacBook Pro Touch Bar. In a partial win, Samuel Groß (@5aelo) and Niklas Baumstark (@_niklasb) earn some style points by leaving a special message on the touch bar of the Mac. They used a use-after-free (UAF) in Safari combined with three logic bugs and a null pointer dereference to exploit Safari and elevate to root in macOS. They still managed to earn $28,000 USD and 9 Master of Pwn points.Later in the day, Chaitin Security Research Lab also targeted Safari with an escalation to root on macOS, finding success using a total of six bugs in their exploit chain, including "an info disclosure in Safari, four type confusion bugs in the browser, and a UAF in WindowServer". The combined efforts earned the team $35,000. The participating teams earned a total of $233,000 in prizes on day one, including a leading $105,000 earned by Tencent Security, according to published details. Other software successfully targeted by contestants include Adobe Reader, Ubuntu Desktop, and Microsoft Edge on Windows. Apple representatives have attended the Pwn2Own contest in the past, and affected parties are made aware of all security vulnerabilities discovered during the contest in order to patch them. Pwn2Own day two begins today at 8:30 a.m. Pacific and will involve additional exploit attempts against macOS and Safari. Tags: exploit, security, Safari, Apple security, Pwn2Own, macOS Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Chrome 57 Reduces Desktop Power Consumption By Throttling Background Tabs

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 03:44:09 PDT

Version 57 of the desktop Chrome web browser includes a new CPU throttling feature that Google says will lead to 25 percent fewer busy background tabs and help reduce overall power consumption.

Charges that Chrome is a battery hog have long dogged Google's browser, leading the company to make efficient power usage a key pillar in its long-term development strategy for the software. Throttling background tabs by limiting Javascript timers is the latest attempt by Google to improve the browser's reputation.

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Javascript timers are often used by news sites and social media networks to update web page content in tabs, which uses up valuable CPU cycles. From version 57 of the browser, Chrome will delay timers in individual background tabs if their power usage oversteps the mark. Tabs that play audio or use real-time connections won't be affected, however.
Chrome has focused on improving the user experience by throttling tab performance for many years. Like many browsers, Chrome has limited timers in the background to only run once per second. Via the new throttling policy, Chrome 57 will delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core if an application uses too much CPU in background. Tabs playing audio or maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC won’t be affected.
According to Google, the new throttling mechanism leads to fewer busy background tabs, which typically consume a third of Chrome's power usage on desktop computers. In the long term, Google aims to fully suspend timers in background tabs and instead rely on new APIs to do the work instead.

Chrome 57 is available to download for Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app has also been released with a new Read Later option.

Tags: Google, Chrome

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Apple Joins Group of Companies Supporting Google in Foreign Email Privacy Case

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 05:31:41 PDT

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Cisco have filed an amicus brief supporting Google in an ongoing case dealing with security and privacy, topics that Apple has been known to advocate in the past (via Business Insider). Most recently, Google's case has led to a court in Pennsylvania requesting the company to comply to an FBI warrant asking for emails residing on foreign servers. Although it's unclear what resides within the emails in question, in a report last month (via The Register) it was said that a Pennsylvania district court submitted two domestic search warrants -- issued under the Stored Communications Act -- targeted at the suspects in the case and their emails stored overseas. Google was given two orders previously, which it refused to comply with, before the judge in the case ruled that as an American corporation it must abide by the rulings of an American court, no matter where the data in question is being held. The coalition of companies supporting Google now argue that the scope of the SCA doesn't reach into foreign territories, and could lead to Google being forced to violate foreign data privacy laws. The amicus brief cites a case where Microsoft was asked to hand over emails stored on cloud servers in Ireland. Microsoft eventually won that case when it argued that the SCA does not cover data stored on servers in foreign countries and that the Act itself is "a statute enacted when the internet was still in its infancy" (it dates back to 1986) and subsequently should not be the touchstone of modern, technology-driven privacy cases. The U.S. Government frequently serves some Amici with warrants issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA). When the data sought is stored in a U.S. data center, Amici regularly comply with such warrants. The Government, however, also has attempted to use such warrants to force some Amici, without consent of the customer or the foreign country, to seize private emails stored in a foreign country and to turn them over to the Government. But the SCA does not authorize warrants that reach into other countries, and forcing those Amici to execute such searches on the Government’s behalf would place those Amici in the position of being compelled to risk violating foreign data privacy laws The brief also argues that if Google is forced to hand over the emails, a reverse situation could occur that opens the floodgates for foreign countries to request emails from U.S. citizens that are stored on U.S. servers. At the most extreme, the brief argues that foreign nations could see the data extraction as "an affront to their sovereignty in much the same way that physically conducting law enforcement activity on foreign soil would violate their sovereignty and territorial integrity." Other than the filing of the amicus brief, Google's case hasn't moved forward in any way since February. When the Pennsylvanian court filed the search warrant forcing Google to hand over the emails, a spokesperson for the company said that Google plans to continue to appeal and "we will continue to push back on over-broad warrants." Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: Google, Amazon, Microsoft Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Puzzle Game 'The Witness' Launches on Mac App Store, iOS Version Still Coming Soon

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:05:27 PST

Jonathan Blow's console and PC puzzle game The Witness has launched on the Mac App Store a little over a year after first debuting on PS4 and Windows PCs. Like other platforms, the game costs $39.99 [Direct Link] and tasks players with deciphering hundreds of puzzles set on a mysterious island. Since its release early last year the game has received critical acclaim for its puzzle design, graphics, and secrets-filled backstory. The macOS version ports the same game and experience over to Apple computers running macOS 10.11.6 or later with 4GB of RAM and 5GB available storage space. The game also requires Apple's new Metal graphics technology to run. You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you. You don't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you got here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehow finding your way home. The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and over 500 puzzles. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There's no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. So, this is a game full of ideas. An iOS port of the game has long been in development, and a few developers at Thekla -- the game's creators -- mentioned in passing recently that the game is still being worked on for iOS, but a launch date is unspecified. Since The Witness is so graphically intensive, the iOS port will require a longer gestation to pare down the visuals in order to run properly on Apple's smartphones and tablets. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SPMMKFX78x0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> The Witness is available today for $39.99 on the Mac App Store [Direct Link]. A Mac version of the game on Steam is also said to be coming in the next few weeks.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Tags: Mac App Store, The Witness Discuss this article in our forums [...]