MacObserver

Are AIs Being Designed to Harm Us?

7 hours 10 minutes ago

The question we must always have for the high tech giants is embedded in this essay at the Internet Health Report:

“Are you going to harm humanity and, specifically, historically marginalized populations, or are you going to sort of get your act together and make some significant structural changes to ensure that what you create is safe and not harmful?”

Given the demonstrated proclivity of many high tech companies to, without adult supervision, create technologies that callously  enrich them at our great expense, the above is a great question to ask. Every day. Of every technology.


John Martellaro

New Backlight Service Program Addresses ‘Flexgate’ Problem

9 hours 34 minutes ago

Some 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro displays suffered problems with the backlight, and Apple will repair them under a new Backlight Service Program.

Apple will repair affected devices, which includes machines sold between October 2016 and February 2018, for free. Eligible models are listed below:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

No other MacBook Pro models are included in the repair program at this time.


Andrew Orr

2018 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air Added to Keyboard Service Program

9 hours 38 minutes ago

The new 8-core MacBook Pro brings with it an updated version of the butterfly keyboard. Additionally, the 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are being added to Apple’s Keyboard Service Program.

Apple has updated its official Keyboard Service Program support page with the 2018 and 2019 MacBooks. If you’ve been having issues with your 2018 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air keyboard or any MacBook notebook with a butterfly keyboard, get in touch with Apple Support to get the repair process started. Keep in mind you’ll likely be without your machine for a least a day, if not longer.


Andrew Orr

Federico Viticci’s iPad Manifesto Covering Seven Years

11 hours 47 minutes ago

I’m a big fan of MacStories and today Federico released what he calls an iPad manifesto. He writes about his experience using the iPad as his main computing device over seven years.

Seven years after I started (slowly) replacing my MacBook Air with an iPad, my life is different, but one principle still holds true: I never want to find myself forced to work on a computer that’s only effective at home, that can’t be held in my hands, or that can’t be customized for different setups. For this reason, the iPad Pro is the best computer for the kind of lifestyle I want.


Andrew Orr

Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones: $153 with Coupon Code

12 hours 6 minutes ago

We have a deal on a pair of Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones have on-device controls, and they’re made from leather, aluminum, polymer and steel. They have up to 19 hours of playback time, and they also come with a 1.2 m audio cable with 3.5 mm mini-jack as an alternative to wireless connectivity. They’re $179.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings the price down to $153 at checkout.


Bryan Chaffin

Amazon and Apple Deal Devastated Third-Party Resellers

12 hours 54 minutes ago

Back in November, Apple and Amazon cut a deal that allowed new and refurbished Apple products via the online retailer. The move was good for the two firms but, The Verge reported, a disaster for those already selling Apple products through the Amazon Marketplace. The deal meant they were banned from doing so, putting severe pressure on a number of businesses.

Companies that want to sell Apple products through Amazon now have to meet one of two requirements. The first is to purchase at least $2.5 million worth of refurbished inventory every 90 days from Apple itself or through a retailer with more than $5 billion in annual sales, like a wireless carrier or big-box retailers like Target or Walmart. The second is to reach out directly to Apple to become an authorized reseller. Apple has yet to make its reseller requirements known to the public, but to become an Apple-authorized provider of repairs requires a physical retail space for customers to enter. By cutting this deal, Apple and Amazon benefit while knocking out millions of dollars worth of business for small sellers.


Charlotte Henry

U.S. Relaxes Huawei Restrictions to Avoid Customer Disruption

13 hours 11 minutes ago

The U.S relaxed restrictions on Huawei to avoid disruption to customers of the telecoms sector, Reuters reported. It is the latest development in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. goods last week, a major escalation in the trade war between the world’s two top economies, saying the firm was involved in activities contrary to national security. The two countries increased import tariffs on each other’s goods over the past two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations. On Monday, the Commerce Department granted Huawei a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to maintain existing telecoms networks and provide software updates to Huawei smartphones, a move intended to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei time to make other arrangements.


Charlotte Henry

Snapchat Gender-Swap Filter Bringing Comfort to Some Struggling With Gender Identity

13 hours 14 minutes ago

Lots of users have been having fun with the new gender altering filters on Snapchat. However, the Associated Press reported that the filters also provide comfort and support to some trans people exploring their gender identity.

“My gender’s not a costume,” says Bailey Coffman, a 31-year-old transgender woman from New York. “This story that I feel is very real. I lost a lot to be who I am, and I fought really hard for the body that I’m in….Some argue that the filter, which Snapchat calls a “lens,” could be a therapeutic tool that leads to self-discovery and even helps ease the transition of people struggling with gender identity once they see who they could become…


Charlotte Henry

Facebook Facial Recognition Opt-Out Not Universal

17 hours 8 minutes ago

Consumer Reports found that Facebook facial recognition doesn’t seem to be a universal setting, despite Facebook promising otherwise.

Consumer Reports examined the accounts of 31 Facebook users across the U.S. The participants let us record video as they navigated their Facebook settings under our direction. We found the Face Recognition setting missing from eight of the accounts we documented, or just over 25 percent.

I could be a smart a** and recommend deleting your Facebook account as a way to opt out, but that wouldn’t help the people still on Facebook.


Andrew Orr

American Law Institute Votes on Rollback of Consumer Privacy

1 day 8 hours ago

The American Law Institute (ALI) will vote tomorrow on a proposal that would make it easier for companies to bind you to contracts, even without visiting the website.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably clicked “I agree” on many online contracts without ever reading them. Soon you may be deemed to have agreed to a company’s terms without even knowing it. A vote is occurring Tuesday that would make it easier for online businesses to dispense with that click and allow websites that you merely browse — anything from Amazon and AT&T to Yahoo and Zillow — to bind you to contract terms without your agreement or awareness.


Andrew Orr
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1 hour 11 minutes ago
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