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Apple and Microsoft on the Line

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards failing twice as frequently as older models

    Apple launched its new butterfly key-switch keyboard with the MacBook, with some usability complaints starting nearly immediately, but it wasn't until its adoption in the MacBook Pro in 2016 that reliability concerns started popping up —and AppleInsider has the hard data on failure rates.

  • Apple demanding 'unnecessary' repairs before replacing iPhone batteries

    If you've forgotten, Apple was last year forced to admit that it's deliberately throttling the performance of older iPhones running newer versions of iOS. At the time, the firm justified the move by claiming it prevents processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, which degrade over time struggle to deliver the peak currents and battery life they could when new.

  • Viral Video Shows How Hard It Is to Remove Windows 10 Bloatware

    Microsoft came under fire several times for not making Windows 10 a bloat-free operating system, and despite several updates, this hasn’t changed in a substantial way since the debut of the original RTM build nearly three years ago.
    Removing the Windows 10 pre-installed apps shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do since Microsoft itself included uninstalling options, but it’s not a secret that these items come and go with each update.

    In other words, even if you delete the pre-installed apps, they could be restored by a future update, not to say that in some cases, it’s much harder than you think to get rid of them in the first place.

    The video that you see here was posted on reddit by user drakulaboy and shows just how difficult it is to remove the apps that you don’t want in Windows 10. Uninstalling one game brings back another, and it happens in an infinite loop which for the casual user has no end.

Opposition: FOSS FUD, Microsoft Back Doors and Apple Failures

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • Sonatype Named IDC Innovator [Ed: Yet another one of these firms that attempt to profit from badmouthing FOSS security whilst ignoring back doors in proprietary software]
  • PyRo Mine Malware Uses NSA Tool to Collect Monero [Ed: No, it uses Windows and Microsoft back doors for the NSA.]

    Attackers are known to leverage any means available to go after cryptocurrencies, and Fortinet researchers reported this week that hackers are using a new crypto-mining malware they are calling PyRo Mine to quietly collect Monero.

    The Python-based malware uses an NSA exploit to spread to Windows machines while also disabling security software and allowing the exfiltration of unencrypted data. By also configuring the Windows Remote Management Service, the machine becomes vulnerable to future attacks.

    "Researchers have discovered malware authors using the ETERNALBLUE exploit in cryptocurrency mining malware, such as Adylkuzz, Smominru, and WannaMine. PyRo Mine uses the ETERNALROMANCE exploit," wrote Fortinet security researcher Jasper Manuel in his blog.

    The malicious URL with a downloadable zip file compiled with PyInstaller is dangerous because it packages Python programs into stand-alone executable so that the attacker does not need to install Python on the machine to execute the program.

  • My iPhone 8 Just Failed a Durability Test and All I Think Of Is Bendgate 2

    Apple gave up on aluminum for the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in favor of glass, a more exquisite material which not only makes the device look more premium, but also allows for other features like wireless charging.
    A side-effect of having a phone with a body made of glass is that it is incredibly slippery, so it’s extremely easy to drop it to the ground, which in the case of glass is obviously something you should avoid.

    Apple has paid particular attention to this thing and tried to make the glass as durable as possible, while also improving the metal frame that’s still being used on all three models to be as tough as possible.

    At first glance, all these efforts paid off. Torture tests performed by so many people after the launch of these models proved that all three iPhones are extremely durable and they can withstand shocks and hits that they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. Furthermore, what these tests have shown was that new-generation iPhones are no longer prone to bending, a problem that affected the iPhone 6 Plus and which Apple first addressed with the release of the 6s upgrade.

  • Apple discontinues its AirPort WiFi routers

Apple Threats

Filed under
Mac
  • Apple threatens leakers with criminal action in leaked memo – report

     

    The memo about leaking, which was leaked to Bloomberg and published on Friday, threatened employees with criminal consequences and shines a harsh light on the Silicon Valley company’s aggressive surveillance of its own employees and intensive investigative efforts to catch and punish leakers.  

  • In a Leaked Memo, Apple Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information

     

    The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it "caught 29 leakers," last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," Apple added. The company declined to comment on Friday.

  • Apple's memo warning employees about leaking information is predictably leaked

    An internal memo warning Apple employees that leaking information could result in legal action and criminal charges has, rather predictably, been leaked.

  • Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner and Lost

    Last year, Apple’s lawyers sent Henrik Huseby, the owner of a small electronics repair shop in Norway, a letter demanding that he immediately stop using aftermarket iPhone screens at his repair business and that he pay the company a settlement.

    Norway’s customs officials had seized a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens on their way to Henrik’s shop from Asia and alerted Apple; the company said they were counterfeit.

    In order to avoid being sued, Apple asked Huseby for “copies of invoices, product lists, order forms, payment information, prints from the internet and other relevant material regarding the purchase [of screens], including copies of any correspondence with the supplier … we reserve the right to request further documentation at a later date.”

Why Classrooms Are Apple, Google and Microsoft's Next Big Battleground

Filed under
Linux
Google
Microsoft
Mac

Google’s Chromebooks accounted for 59.6% of mobile computing shipments in the kindergarten through 12th grade market in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Futuresource Consulting. By comparison, Windows accounted for 25.6% and iOS comprised 10.6% of shipments.

Among the reasons tech giants are scrambling to get their gadgets into schools: It’s a big business opportunity. The education technology market is expected to reach $252 billion by 2020, according to a report published by education-focused technology conference host EdTechXGlobal and advisory firm IBIS Capital. But there’s potential upside even after students leave the classroom and turn into fully-fledged consumers, too. “It gets people using your technology young,” says Avi Greengart, research director for consumer platforms and devices for GlobalData. “The hope is that they stick with it.”

Read more

A Year Away From Mac OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

This is the fifth post in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X.

A bit over a year ago I wrote about my search for an alternative to Mac OS and switch to Linux. In this post I reflect on how that year went and detail some further adventures into Mac OS alternatives.

Read more

Apple Code Accidentally 'Liberated'

Filed under
Mac
Security

Apple Woes (Due to Competition From Android/Linux)

Filed under
Mac
  • iPhone ‘Super Cycle’ Pronounced Dead

    The iPhone “super cycle” -- a wave of upgrades and new customers that was supposed to wash over Apple Inc. this year with the introduction of its model X -- was pronounced dead on arrival.

    In Apple’s first earnings report since the launch of the pricey flagship smartphone, the company reported lower-than-expected handset sales from the holiday period. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri also forecast a decline in the average selling price of iPhones in the current quarter, suggesting the most-expensive models aren’t as popular.

  • Apple sells fewer phones but profits rise
  • iPhone sales down, but revenue up in latest quarter

    Apple sold less iPhones in the latest quarter but earned a lot more than a year ago, given the price of its iPhone X began at US$1000, according to the company's results for the first fiscal quarter of 2018. The user base of active devices rose to 1.3 billion in January.

  • Apple Says It Will Implement Toggle Option for iPhone Slowdowns Next Month

    Apple has confirmed the investigations launched by the US government over slowing down of customer's iPhone devices without being more transparent and says the promised power management features are coming next month.

    As you may be aware, Apple released last year a new software update that implemented a so-called feature which slowed down the performance of certain iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices with degrated batteries under cold weather and when the battery charge was low.

    The feature was extended to iPhone 7 models as well a year later, and discovered by accident after some users reported slowdowns on their older iPhone devices. Apple wasn't really transparent about this feature, even so Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview earlier this month that they said so in the release notes of the respective iOS update.

    Anyway, when Apple came clean about slowing down older iPhone devices, numerous customers sued the company, and it now looks like even the U.S. government is asking them about the handling of older iPhone batteries and their transparency to customers, as Bloomberg reported earlier this week.

Phones: Huawei (Android) Sanctions, Apple Sales Collapse, and the Linux-powered “$10 iPhone” in 2020?

Filed under
Android
Linux
Mac
  • Now Verizon drops plans to sell Huawei phones in USA

    CES 2018 was supposed to mark Huawei’s proper entry into the US market, teaming up with major networks to sell phones on contract.

    Unfortunately, AT&T pulled out of the deal in the days before CES, apparently due to US government pressure. It all made for a rather awkward speech by Huawei’s Richard Yu.

    Now, Bloomberg reports that fellow US network Verizon has also decided to drop Huawei phones. The publication, citing “people familiar with the matter”, said this was due to pressure from the US government as well.

  • Apple to Cut iPhone X Production in the Face of Weak Demand

    Apple Inc. is slashing planned production of the iPhone X for the three-month period ending March 31, people familiar with the matter say, in a sign of weaker-than-expected demand for the pricey handset.

  • Top iPhone Suppliers Warn of Slower Sales Ahead of Apple Results

    Some of Apple’s iPhones are built with Qualcomm’s modems, which are chips for connecting to cellular networks. The San Diego-based chipmaker said Wednesday that orders from a large “thin modem” customer tailed off at worse-than-typical levels in the quarter. It was widely interpreted that the customer is Apple.

  • Apple tells U.S. government it isn't slowing old iPhones to get people to buy new ones

    Apple has confirmed the U.S. government is investigating the company after it was discovered Apple slowed down (a.k.a "throttled") older iPhones. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are reportedly probing the company, though Apple wouldn't confirm any specific agencies.

    The tech giant, however, has denied any malicious intent, and reiterated that "we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

  • Are We Going To See The “$10 iPhone” in 2020? No, the clone of 2010 superphones will probably cost around $20 in 2020

    To be clear, right from the start, I emphasized, that Apple will not sell us a $10 iPhone in year 2020. I said it would be a clone-phone-maker, probably running Android or possibly one of the low-cost smartphone OS systems that were then in development. But 8 years ago, in year 2010, if you went into a mobile phone shop anywhere, and picked the top model, you’d get roughly the same specs, which were: [...]

Why my next laptop isn't gonna be a Mac, either

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

Tell me how Apple's doing their users a favour by getting rid of those crufty niche tools that "nobody" uses anyway, and how I can just deal. If this is what you want from your computer vendor, then good for you because by golly you're getting it, good and hard. For me, this MacBook's staying on Sierra and I'll wipe it with Linux or FreeBSD when Sierra doesn't get any more updates. Maybe there will be a nice ARMbook around by then because I definitely won't be buying another Mac.

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Android's Competition is Explosive

Filed under
Mac
  • Second iPhone battery explodes at Apple Store in Europe - this time in Spain

    The explosion occurred at Apple's Calle Colón Store in Valencia, Spain. According to a report in Las Provincias, the battery overheated while being worked upon and started emitting smoke, triggering immediate evacuation from the building. An entire floor in the building was engulfed in smoke, one of the first responders at the site reported.

  • Another iPhone Battery Explodes Right in the Apple Store

    It’s a tough time for Apple Store staff across the world, not only because iPhone owners rush to change their worn-out batteries as part of the $29 discount program, but also due to some batteries actually catching fire right when being serviced.

    It happened earlier this week in Zurich, when an iPhone battery started emitting smoke all of a sudden, and now the same thing took place in Spain at Apple’s store in Valencia.

    A report from local newspaper LasProvincias reveals that the iPhone battery hasn’t just emitted smoke, but it actually exploded, leading to the entire floor being filled with smoke.

    This obviously triggered the store evacuation given the risks of smoke intoxication, and firefighters and police rushed to the scene. Emergency services, however, weren’t required to intervene because Apple Store staff managed to vent the building by opening all windows and to cover the faulty battery with sand. No injuries were caused to Apple employees or store visitors.

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More in Tux Machines

Doxyqml 0.4.0

After almost two years, here comes a new version of Doxyqml, the QML filter for Doxygen. This new version adds a new command-line option: --namespace to wrap the generated C++ in a namespace, and makes the parser more robust. Nothing ground-breaking, but some nice changes nevertheless. What's interesting with this project is that I don't use it these days, but it still receives contributions from time to time. This puts me in the unusual position (for me) where most of my contributions to the project are reviewing code, cleaning things, a bit of infrastructure (I just added code coverage checks: 88%, not too bad) and release management. Surprisingly, I like doing this, I am happy to see this little tool remains useful enough that others keep it alive. Read more

Plasma 5.12.5, Applications 18.04.1 and Frameworks 5.46.0 by KDE now available in Chakra

On your next system upgrade you will receive all the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks, in addition to several other package updates. For more details and the full changelogs on KDE’s software releases, you can read the official announcements: Plasma 5.12.5 Applications 18.04.1 Frameworks 5.46.0 Other noteworthy package updates include wine 3.8, skypeforlinux 8.20.0.9 and pypy 6.0.0. Read more

SMTube review - Your train to Youtube

It's a no brainer. On the desktop, you go online, and you open a tab and you load Youtube, and then you play clips. But then, on mobile devices, you have dedicated applications, which usually offer a somewhat more efficient media experience. So, on the desktop, it's the browser way or the ... SMTube way? SMTube is a cross-platform Youtube player, which allows you to search and play videos from the popular media platform, with some additional search tweaks and filters, and extra download options, all this from the desktop, without having to keep a browser tab open. It's a convenient tool to use, and with the recent rewrite, it actually works, and it works fairly well. I decided to test to see what gives. [...] SMTube looks like a nice tool. It is not strictly necessary or needed, but it does allow you to have Youtube open and playing, even if you're not currently using your browser, i.e. you can use it like any other media player. This is nice, plus you get a clean and intuitive interface, decent search and filter options, and it's easy to change settings and configure additional players. You also have the option to download clips. I don't know where SMTube stands when it comes to Google, Youtube, but ordinary users will surely appreciate the extra flexibility they get with a media player rather than just a browser tab. Of course, you're not signed in, you don't get recommendations, comments or playlists, and such, so I guess there are benefits to going directly to Youtube. But if you're only after what Youtube can play without any socializing, SMTube is an excellent choice. It's had a rough ride, it never quite fully worked for me in my various distro reviews, but this new version is stable, robust and works well. At the very least, it's worth testing. Choo choo. Read more

GNOME Development/Developers

  • Nautilus Ability To Launch Binaries Or Scripts To Be Reverted, Might Be Implemented Differently
    It looks like the decision to remove the ability to run binaries and scripts from Nautilus file manager will be reverted. The change comes after some use cases appeared that the developers agreed they need to support, "especially for enterprise and content creators". One such use case that was mentioned as a reason for reverting this is a small "if then that" script for building HTML and PDF files, which uses Zenity to display a dialog, as well as notifications to display the progress. I find the use case being used as an example a bit weird because that's certainly not something common, like a self-extracting game script for instance.
  • Stickers in Riot
    The matrix.org protocol is flexible so this is a good example of how to add new features to the clients that uses matrix without the need to change the protocol. This is not a core feature because you can send images, but I think this is great and add a simple way to show reactions for the users, so as I was reading I thought that we can add this to Fractal, so I started to read how we can add support for this.
  • Talking at GPN 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany
    Similar to last year I managed to attend the Gulasch Programmier-Nacht (GPN) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Not only did I attend, I also managed to squeeze in a talk about PrivacyScore. We got the prime time slot on the opening day along with all the other relevant talks, including the Eurovision Song Contest, so we were not overly surprised that the audience had a hard time deciding where to go and eventually decided to attend talks which were not recorded. Our talk was recorded and is available here.