The Thoroughly-Rejuvenated Edition Saturday, September 29, 2018

The New iPhones Look Fine. But My Old One Is Better Than Ever., by Jeff Sommer, New York Times

This is the result of two unusual moves by the trillion-dollar corporation. One was Apple’s release this month of a new operating system that not only makes its new iPhones run well, but can also radically improve the performance of millions of old ones.

The other action was Apple’s decision last winter to let iPhone owners replace deteriorating batteries at a sharp discount under a program that continues through the end of the year. In combination, the two measures have thoroughly rejuvenated my old phone, and have the potential to do so for many others.

Complex Passcode Bypass Method Exposes iPhone Contacts And Photos In iOS 12, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A passcode bypass vulnerability has been discovered in iOS 12 that potentially allows an attacker to access photos and contact details on a locked iPhone.


The bypass methods work on all iPhones including the iPhone XS lineup, but Apple doesn't appear to have fixed the vulnerabilities in the latest iOS 12.1 beta. Thankfully however, all of the above can be easily prevented by disabling access to Siri from the lock screen.

Google Maps In CarPlay Isn’t The Dream You’ve Been Waiting For, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

What you won’t find in either Google Maps or Waze is the ability to get directions via Siri, through a microphone button on your steering wheel, the Hey Siri voice command, or long-pressing the home button on the CarPlay screen. Apple limits Siri interactions to its own apps. So just like how you can’t ask Siri to play something in Spotify, you also can’t ask it to give you directions to your house in Google Maps.

That’s the first big frustration with using Google Maps or Waze because once you’re driving down the road, voice control is the primary way you’re able to interact with CarPlay apps. Doing so via a steering wheel button is extremely convenient. Google has built in its own voice control system to Google Maps and Waze, but to access it, you have to tap a button on the screen before issuing your command, which means you have to take your eyes off of the road for a second or two. The way around this is to program your destination before you start driving, but that’s not always possible. Google also provides one-tap buttons to frequent locations, such as home, work, saved places, and gas stations.

Facebook Hack

Facebook Says 50m User Accounts Affected By Security Breach, by The Guardian

Facebook said attackers stole Facebook access tokens through its “view as” feature, which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. “View as” is a feature that allows users to see what their own profile looks like to someone else.

The Massive Facebook Hack Might Have Affected Other Apps And Websites, Too, by Will Oremus, Slate

The good news is that the hackers don’t have anyone’s Facebook passwords—so even users who were affected by the breach don’t necessarily have to change those. The bad news: They could theoretically have used that same token to gain access to some of users’ other online accounts, depending on how the relevant apps and sites handle Facebook access tokens. It was not immediately clear whether the hackers—who remain unknown—actually took advantage of this, nor how easy it would have been for them to do so.

Some Basic Steps To Protect Your Facebook Account After Hack Hits 50 Million Users, by Jack Morse, Mashable

So while you likely don't need to change your password, this might be a great time to make sure you have a password unique to Facebook. This means that if your password is ever compromised on Facebook, none of your non-Facebook accounts will be vulnerable as a result.

What's more, having a unique Facebook password means that if someone manages to get your email or, say, Twitter password, that person won't then be able to automatically use it to log into your Facebook account.

Why Should Anybody Trust Facebook With Their Personal Data?, by Kurt Wagner, Recode

Facebook’s premise has long been about control: You control what you share and who you share it with, who you friend and who you block. Over the past 12 months, the idea that you have control over your Facebook data or privacy has become almost laughable. Whatever trust users still had in Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been eroding bit by bit by bit throughout the summer.

There’s no doubt Facebook is working hard to fight back against hackers. But the promises to do better are starting to wear thin.


Apple Shares Fun New Ad Touting Larger iPhone XS Max Screen, Better Cameras, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Interestingly, once again, Apple shows off Group FaceTime, which is unavailable in the current public release of iOS 12. However, the feature has been spotted in the iOS 12.1 beta.


Apple Looks Down On Ads But Takes Billions From Google, by Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

OK, so give Apple credit for not itself employing an aggressive system to harvest personal information for advertising purposes. What if instead Apple is generating one-quarter of its services revenue from enabling Google’s aggressive system of harvesting personal information for advertising purposes? Make no mistake — that is what Apple is doing by cashing those 10-figure checks from Google.

Microsoft Puts Its Touch-friendly Office Apps For Windows 10 On Hold, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft first started work on its touch-friendly Office apps for Windows 8.1 more than five years ago. Designed for tablets or laptops with touchscreens, the apps are lightweight and speedy versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft has updated them regularly for Windows 10, but now that the company has halted work on Windows 10 Mobile, it’s also halting work on these Office apps.

The apps aren’t fully dead yet, but Microsoft is no longer developing new features for them. “We are currently prioritizing development for the iOS and Android versions of our apps; and on Windows, we are prioritizing Win32 and web versions of our apps,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

Poor Mr Anus, The Council Candidate Given A Bum Deal By Facebook, by The Guardian

What’s so interesting about him? Oh, come on.

No, seriously, what’s the big deal? Well, he’s a socialist standing as a council candidate in the district of Lobbes, just west of Charleroi. His surname is Anus, which is a problematic name for a politician.

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I've always purchased a new phone every two year because of telco's contract. In the iPhone's decade, I've started with iPhone 3G, and have always updated in the non-S years. Until iPhone 6. That's when I can stop playing the contract game because the local telco's started doing the no-phone-subsidies plans. That's also when the 10-year-anniversary-iPhone rumors started getting hot, and the iPhone 7 was not it.

I was very happy with the iPhone X.

And I wish I can hold on to this phone for at least three years. I'll consider buying the iPhone 11S. But given that will be an S year, maybe I may even wait until iPhone 12.

Except that all these iPhone XS reviews are making the camera on my iPhone look like junk.



When I eat out, the food's quality is seldom the deciding factor for me in deciding what to eat. In fact, so long as the taste of the food meets a certain simple good-enough treshold, I'm happy. The location, the crowd (or, lack of), the noise level, the people I need to interact with: all these play a more important role in my decision process.

Which is my way of saying: don't look for me for food recommendation.

(But when I say the food taste horrible, you can probably trust me.)


Thanks for reading.