The Hey-'Puter Edition Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: BeatsX Takes Apple's W1 Chip Downmarket, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

BeatsX is more refined than most recent Beats products — bass is obviously a big part of the sound signature, but the low tones now serve as a plinth for relatively crisp and clean treble notes. The overall profile is dynamic — and colored — in nature, much more so than Apple's own AirPods.

Apple's Siri Promotes The LEGO Batman Movie When You Say 'Hey Computer', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The LEGO Batman Movie, released last Friday, features the voice of Apple's personal assistant Siri as Batman's personal computer. Batman's computer works in much the same way as Siri, responding to his voice requests whenever he says "Hey 'puter."

As it turns out, there's a secret tie-in hidden in the iPhone, too. Whenever you say "Hey 'puter" (or "Hey Computer") to Siri, she responds to you as if you're LEGO Batman.

Security Matters

Apple: Don't Panic, But Your Mac Can Be Pwned Via GarageBand .Bands, by Shaun Nichols, The Register

Apple says a newly patched hole in its GarageBand music tool could allow for remote code execution on the Mac.

The GarageBand 10.1.6 update is being pushed out to all Macs running OS X Yosemite and later. Because GarageBand is installed by default on OS X systems, all Mac owners should install the patch, but those who regularly use the music composing software should pay particular attention.

New Mac Malware Pinned On Same Russian Group Blamed For Election Hacks, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

APT28, the Russian hacking group tied to last year's interference in the 2016 presidential election, has long been known for its advanced arsenal of tools for penetrating Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. Now, researchers have uncovered an equally sophisticated malware package the group used to compromise Macs.


Encryption App Signal Adds Video Calls—And A New Privacy Tradeoff, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

A Signal update gradually rolling out now upgrades the calling features and adds video, too—but might require its most privacy-sensitive users to take an extra step to protect themselves.

Rogue Amoeba Adds SoundSource To The Mix, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The Mac is pretty weak when it comes to audio configuration—SoundSource’s tag line is “The sound control that should be built into MacOS”—but Rogue Amoeba has done a remarkable job of filling the gaps.

LookUp Review: The Modern Dictionary, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

As a whole, LookUp provides the right amount of information without overloading you with unwanted text. With the hierarchy of word, photo, meaning, etymology, Wikipedia, the important stuff comes first, then draws you down if you become more interested.

Picky: Music Rediscovery Through Powerful Filtering, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Picky lets you filter and sort music in more ways than you can probably imagine. Add to that the ability quickly queue up songs from anywhere in the app, and the result is a powerful music utility that is perfect for getting reacquainted with your favorite tunes.


Instapaper Outage Cause & Recovery, by Brian Donohue, Medium

The critical system that failed was our MySQL database, which we run as a hosted solution on Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS). Here we’ll cover what went wrong, how we resolved the issue and what we’re doing to improve reliability moving forward.


Apple Explains Why Its R&D Spending Is On The Rise, y Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC

Apple's steady increase in research and development spending has stoked speculation that it working on cars, goggles and more.

But company's financial guru attributes the spending to something of a much smaller scale: chips. It may not sound like it, but that research is "very strategic and important" for Apple to differentiate itself from the rest of the industry, chief financial officer Luca Maestri said on Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco.

The Iconfactory Launches ‘Project Phoenix’ Kickstarter: A Twitterrific For Mac Reboot, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, The Iconfactory unveiled a Kickstarter campaign to reboot Twitterrific for the Mac. The campaign, which seeks to raise a minimum of $75,000 or more with stretch goals, aims to rebuild Twitterrific from the ground up for macOS.

Source: Apple Will Fight 'Right To Repair' Legislation, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

Apple is planning to fight proposed electronics "Right to Repair" legislation being considered by the Nebraska state legislature, according to a source within the legislature who is familiar with the bill's path through the statehouse.

The legislation would require Apple and other electronics manufacturers to sell repair parts to consumers and independent repair shops, and would require manufacturers to make diagnostic and service manuals available to the public.

A Battle Rages For The Future Of The Web, by J.M. Porup, Ars Technica

The W3C, led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, looks set to standardise DRM-enabling Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) in browsers, a move that betrays the founding principles of the open Web.

How Ben Thompson Built Stratechery Into A One-man Publishing Empire, by Dan Frommer, Recode

“If you can get a niche and own it, you can do something valuable there,” Thompson said. “And the key thing is, the business models come with it. It had to be subscription. To do an ad-based sort of business, you’re just getting backed up behind Facebook and the New York Times like everyone else, and there’s no way to break through.”

Bottom of the Page

Will Apple ever make another version of the iPod Hi-Fi, now that it has the W1 chip and Siri?


Thanks for reading.