The Long-And-Great-Relationship Edition Friday, February 17, 2017

Apple Is Bringing Its Annual Developers Conference Back To San Jose, by Patrick May, San Jose Mercury News

Saying the move promises to be “the start of a long and great relationship’’ between the Cupertino-based tech giant and the city that prides itself as “The Capital of Silicon Valley,’’ Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller told this newspaper in an interview that the time was right for a change of scene. And holding the event in closer proximity to both Apple’s current headquarters as well as its new nearby campus, which is expected to open later this year, was a key part of that decision.

“We were looking at this move from two angles,’’ Schiller said. “First, San Jose is closer to our new campus, and the fact that we’ll have over 1,000 Apple engineers taking part and working at the conference means we’d like to have it as close to Apple as possible. That would bring us the highest level of interaction with as many developers as we can.

“Secondly, we thought about the developers’ experience; and while both San Francisco and San Jose are amazing cities, we thought that for not just the conference, but for all the other activities that take place around it, this was a perfect time to be back where it all began.’’

When Backups Go Bad: The Problem With Using Network Drives With Time Machine, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

When you use a network drive for your Time Machine backups, you can have problems. (I’ve heard of this occurring on an external, connected drive, but only rarely.) You may see an ominous dialog saying “Time Machine completed a verification of your backups on diskname. To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you.” When this happens, you lose all your existing backups. You may have years of backups on your drive, and they’ll all disappear.

This Must Be The Year Of Mobile Security, by John Biggs, TechCrunch

Forget law enforcement trying to crack iPhone passwords of hardened criminals. I suspect we’ll enter an era when law enforcement is encouraged to read our Tweets and private Facebook messages. Our secure devices will become open books at borders and, someday soon, a major political figure will find his or her phone opened up and dumped to Wikileaks. It’s inevitable.

In short, the current passcode/biometric methods are strong but why can’t we use advanced factors for that extra edge of security? Not all of us want this level of lockdown, mind you, but I would argue that all of us need it. In the end the glowing glass slabs in our pockets are the closest we have to a visual and informational representation of our personalities, our deepest secrets, and our identities. We wouldn’t shout our credit card number in a crowded room. Why would we carry our phones across a border?

How Video Games Can Be A Window Onto The Queer Experience, by Matt Baume, Slate

Spoiler warning: This article reveals surprise elements of the games A Normal Lost Phone, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Gone Home.

At first, the game A Normal Lost Phone looks like a series of simple puzzles: The player is presented with a lost phone and must snoop through it to learn about its owner. But there's something more happening under the surface.

Just How Good Is The iPhone 7 Plus' Portrait Mode? Good Enough For 'Billboard' Magazine's Cover., by Raymond Wong, Mashable

Ask any serious photographer what's the best advice they would give to another shooter and they'll probably say: Don't focus so much on the gear and instead focus on making great photos.

That's exactly what Mobley did while shooting Cabello at a residence in Southern California.

Apple Airs Two New Ads Showcasing Portrait Mode On iPhone 7 Plus, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Continuing an aggressive campaign, Apple on Thursday released two new iPhone 7 Plus ads through its YouTube channel, once again concentrating on the phone's unique Portrait mode.


Fixing (And Explaining) PDFpen 8.3.1’s Crash On Launch, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

What’s new with PDFpen 8 is that, in addition to being code signed, it has a provisioning profile, which is essentially a permission slip from Apple that’s checked against an online database in order to allow the app to perform certain actions, called entitlements. For PDFpen, the entitlement that’s being granted is the capability to access iCloud despite being sold directly, rather than through the Mac App Store, a feature that wasn’t possible until about a year ago.

Since PDFpen’s provisioning profile is also signed using Smile’s code signing certificate, the expiration of the certificate rendered the provisioning profile invalid. An app called taskgated-helper determines this even before PDFpen’s code runs, so there’s no way for Smile to detect the error condition and present an error to the user. Since the developer’s code never runs, macOS should recognize what’s going on and display an error message that encourages users to contact the developer.

Microsoft Brings Animated GIF Support And Account Switching To OneDrive App, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Version 8.8.9 also brings fast account switching to the cloud client app. According to Microsoft, users now only need to tap and hold on the Me tab to instantly switch between accounts, whether free or premium.

New App Lets Birdwatchers Record And Identify Bird Songs, by Sarah D. Young, Consumer Affairs

Song Sleuth, a new app for iPhone users, aims to embellish a birdwatcher’s ornithological knowledge by offering up information on nearly 200 North American birds.

How To Define And Translate Words On iPhone And iPad – No App Needed, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Fortunately, in this age of information accessibility, it’s also easy to be enlightened about the meaning of words. And if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you don’t even have to download an app to be able to define and translate words. You just have to know how to access the all but hidden dictionary feature on your iOS device.


Tech Giant Apple To Kickstart Indian Dream With The iPhone SE, by Ruchika Chitravanshi & Gulveen Aulakh, The Economic Times

Apple will kick off its India manufacturing plans by initially assembling 3-4 lakh units of its iPhone SE model at the Karnataka plant being set up by contract manufacturer Wistron, as the maker of the iconic iPhones looks to take a deeper bite of a key market amid slowing global smartphone growth.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is likely to go ahead with the Bengaluru assembly plan without waiting for the government’s nod for the list of tax concessions that it had sought along with other demands. The company wants to “experience manufacturing in India”, a person familiar with the company’s plans told ET.

FCC Chairman Encourages Activation Of The FM Radio Chip Built Into Your iPhone, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The activation of FM receivers in iPhones would have several benefits, including battery life savings, less data usage, and most importantly, the ability to receive emergency alerts over radio without service.

"You could make a case for activating chips on public safety grounds alone," added Pai. "The former head of our Federal Emergency Management Administration has spoken out in support of this proposal. The FCC has an expert advisory panel on public safety issues that has also advocated enabling FM radio chips on smartphones."

Bottom of the Page

After many years, iPod did gain the FM radio feature in the nano line. But, to listen to FM radio, one has to plug in the white headphone so that the cable acts as an antenna.

Of course, Apple has just gotten rid of the headphone jack. Can the cable of the EarPods with Lightning Connector act as an antenna?


Thanks for reading.