The Non-Sensitive Edition Monday, February 13, 2017

A Guide To Getting Past Customs With Your Digital Privacy Intact, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

When Ryan Lackey travels to a country like Russia or China, he takes certain precautions: Instead of his usual gear, the Seattle-based security researcher and founder of a stealth security startup brings a locked-down Chromebook and an iPhone SE that’s set up to sync with a separate, non-sensitive Apple account. He wipes both before every trip, and loads only the minimum data he’ll need. Lackey goes so far as to keep separate travel sets for each country, so that he can forensically analyze the devices when he gets home to check for signs of each country’s tampering.

Now, Lackey says, the countries that warrant that paranoid approach to travel might include not just Russia and China, but the United States, too—if not for Americans like him, than for anyone with a foreign passport who might come under the increasingly draconian and unpredictable scrutiny of the US Customs and Border Protection agency. “All of this applies to America more than it has in the past,” says Lackey. “If I thought I were likely to be a targeted person, I would go through this same level of protection.”

Finally! Prince's Music Is Now Available On Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio And More., by Xiomara Blanco, CNET

The announcement follows a tribute performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Rumors about Prince's music becoming available on streaming services other than Tidal have been circulating for a few weeks, and now it's official.

Apple Releases Trailer For 'Carpool Karaoke' Series Coming Soon To Apple Music, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple said the series will feature James Corden, Will Smith, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan, John Cena, Shaquille O’Neal, and many more. The series is expected to have a different host every episode.


MacBook Pro Diary: Higher Power Output Turned My Mac Into A Charging Hub For My Holiday, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

As someone who prefers to travel handbaggage-only, gadgets can often prove a challenge. As I like to keep up with photo editing as I go, I generally travel with my MacBook Pro as well as iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and a compact camera. Not only do I need space for the gadgets themselves, but also the associated cables and chargers.

But for a trip to Havana last week – a destination I finally managed to check off from my bucket list – I decided that I could get by with two camera batteries and use my MacBook Pro to charge everything else.

Hands On: Taskpaper 3.6.2 Aims To Make Your To Do List Easier To Plow Through, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The central idea behind Taskpaper acknowledges that you need a list to cope with all that on the plate —but that list shouldn't be yet another burden. Time spent fiddling with your To Do app is time you could be spending on doing things.


Testing Out Snapshots In Apple’s Next-generation APFS File System, by Adam H. Leventhal, Ars Technica

Snapshot are going to be a powerful feature of APFS. Beyond creating snapshots, mounting them, and reverting volumes to earlier snapshots, they have the potential to form the basis for an efficient and robust backup system. Apple (or a third party!) could arrange for snapshots to be taken periodically and then backup files changed between snapshots when a backup device is available. That could be a disk in your house or a cloud service from Apple, Dropbox, Google, or someone else. With its unknown utilities and unpublished APIs, Apple has already enabled a whole new collection of backup tools.


Aussie Banks Hit Back At Apple Over Mobile Payment Dispute, by Emily Cadman, Bloomberg

A consortium of Australia’s biggest banks has abandoned its attempt to negotiate as a bloc with Apple Inc. over the cost of using its mobile payment system, narrowing its claim to focus solely on access to a key piece of iPhone technology. [...]

In their filing to the ACCC, the banks said they all pledged to participate in the roll-out of Apple Pay in Australia in return for being granted access to the iPhone’s near-field communications antenna -- the technology that makes payments on contactless readers possible.

Inside Medium's Meltdown: How An Idealistic Silicon Valley Founder Raised $134 Million To Change Journalism, Then Crashed Into Reality, by Julie Bort, Business Insider

Medium is a blogging and publishing site that gained instant fame when it was launched in 2012 because of its well-known founder. He said its mission was to fix what he viewed as the broken world of journalism and create a new model. But this massive change of business plans – the company’s second – burnt some people so badly that industry insiders have growing doubts about William’s business judgment and are starting to accuse the company of being his “vanity” project.

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Disposable devices -- that's a new business model that can be marketed to people who are always the go, always moving across borders.


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