MacObserver

Apple Sued Because Two-Factor Authentication is Too Inconvenient

1 week 2 days ago

Apple is being sued because two-factor authentication is too disruptive, takes too much time, and can’t be turned off after two weeks.

The suit, filed by Jay Brodsky in California alleges that Apple doesn’t get user consent to enable two-factor authentication. Furthermore, once enabled, two-factor authentication “imposes an extraneous logging in procedure that requires a user to both remember password; and have access to a trusted device or trusted phone number” when a device is enabled.

It’s only Monday and this is already the dumbest thing I’ve read this week.


Andrew Orr

Backblaze: The Least Reliable Hard Drives

1 week 5 days ago

Cult of Mac writes about the experience Backblaze has had with its many thousands of hard drives. “Statistics on hard drive reliability just released by data-storage company Backblaze would seem to indicate it’s not a good idea to buy a Seagate hard drive. Of the 104,954 drives it uses, Seagate’s are the least reliable by a wide margin.” But there was one brand that was much more reliable.


John Martellaro

Apple Doesn’t Treat Roger Stone Any Differently

1 week 5 days ago

During Robert Mueller’s investigation they discovered Paul Manafort had tampered with witnesses. How was this discovered? Unencrypted WhatsApp messages that were backed up to iCloud. Apple handed over Roger Stone’s iCloud data, and apparently some people are angry. Stephen Silver breaks the issue down and says there is no double standard.

The argument went that Apple had refused to create a backdoor for the iPhone in the case of the one of the San Bernardino shooters following the December 2015 shooting. Yet, they were perfectly willing to easily hand over Manafort’s iCloud data. Why protect the privacy of terrorists, when they won’t do it for everybody?


Andrew Orr

Writing for Print vs. Writing for the Web

1 week 5 days ago

Dr. Mac says that using a Mac to compose words has changed dramatically over the years. Find out how things have changed in this week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves… a delightful little ditty he likes to call Writing for Print vs. Writing for the Web.


Bob LeVitus

ENEGARM Wireless Car Charger: $34.95

1 week 5 days ago

We have a deal on the ENEGARM Wireless Car Charger. This car mount charger offers 720 degrees of movements (as in multiple axis), with charging for Qi-enabled devices including iPhone 8/X and later. It’s $34.99 through our deal.


Bryan Chaffin

Spotify to Suspend or Terminate Accounts that Use Ad Blockers

1 week 5 days ago

Spotify updated its user guidelines to take a tougher approach against listeners who use ad blockers. TechCrunch reported that the new guidelines said that those using ad blockers will be immediately suspended from the service or have their account terminated. In an email to users, the company said that “all types of ad blockers, bots and fraudulent streaming activities are not permitted.”  The new guidelines will come into force on March 1st, 2019.

Ad blockers have long been a headache for Spotify. The company disclosed in March 2018 while preparing for its initial public offering that it discovered two million users, or about 1.3 percent of its total user base at the time, had been using ad blockers on the free version of Spotify, enough to force it to restate usage metrics.


Charlotte Henry

Germany Forces Facebook to Get User Consent Before Messaging Merger

1 week 5 days ago

Yesterday Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, says that Facebook needs user consent before it merges data from Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.

Kudos to Germany, but it’s disappointing that another country should step in to do the job of the United States. We should be regulating Facebook.


Andrew Orr

This Data Breach is Equal to 469,000 War and Peace Books

1 week 5 days ago

Last month we heard of the Collection #1 data breach, which contained 773 million email addresses and 21 million passwords. Now, Collections #2-#5 are here.

Despite its unthinkable size, which was first reported by the German news site Heise.de, most of the stolen data appears to come from previous thefts, like the breaches of Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Dropbox. WIRED examined a sample of the data and confirmed that the credentials are indeed valid, but mostly represent passwords from years-old leaks.

As with any data breach you can find out if your details have been leaked by visiting HaveIBeenPwned.com. My eBook copy of War and Peace is 1.8MB. The total size of the new breaches is 845GB, which equals 469,000 of those books.


Andrew Orr

Sprint Suing AT&T over False 5G Claims

1 week 5 days ago

Sprint is suing rival network AT&T over the 5G Evolution branding on its phones. Engadget (which is owned by Verizon), reported that a Sprint survey found that a large number of users thought the 5GE branding meant the network was equivalent to 5G. Users also believed that their AT&T phone was already 5G capable. The lawsuit called for the 5GE tags to be removed from AT&T devices and advertising.

In its claim, Sprint said it commissioned a survey that found 54 percent of consumers believed the “5GE” networks were the same as or better than 5G, and that 43 percent think if they buy an AT&T phone today it will be 5G capable, even though neither of those things are true. Sprint’s argument is that what AT&T is doing is damaging the reputation of 5G, while it works to build out what it calls a ” legitimate early entry into the 5G network space.”


Charlotte Henry

iOS Screen Recording App Revelations Led to User Privacy Win

1 week 5 days ago

There was something of a public outcry following the revelation that some iOS apps recorded a user’s screen. They did this to learn what users do whilst in the app.  Apple responded, and told developers that they had to make sure users know that they are being recorded. My colleague Andrew Orr argued that such functionality is not a scandal or an abuse of iOS. He gave legitimate reasons why designers and developers need such functionality. Over on The Next Web, Ivan Mehta wrote that the revelation, and Apple’s subsequent actions, have been a privacy win for consumers.

Most people, including me, would be wary of giving permission to an app to record the on-screen activities unless they specifically tell us what they’re capturing. This’ll make apps be more upfront about their tracking activities. Also, Apple will be checking for screen recording code more often before the developers submit their apps to the App Store, to weed out the privacy-invading code.


Charlotte Henry

Be Safe on the Internet With This Security Checklist

1 week 5 days ago

The Security Checklist is an open source list of resources designed to improve your online privacy and security. Check things off to keep track as you go.

This website provides a beginner’s checklist for staying safe on the internet. This website is the result of a conversation started during a recent episode of the Design Details Podcast and a subsequent tweet by Michael Knepprath.

This is a great website that Kelly Guimont pointed my way. Even if you’re a techie and have a handle on your online privacy, you should check this out too.


Andrew Orr

Safari Development: A New Way to Fight Intrusive Browser Ads

1 week 6 days ago

ZDNet writes: “Engineers working on the WebKit engine, the core of the Safari browser, are looking at putting a limit on the amount of JavaScript a website can load, as a novel and unique approach to fighting websites that load too many or too intrusive ads.” It’s nice to see the more active role WebKit engineers are taking to limit the bad behavior of some websites. However, “…this isn’t a feature users can test right now. Weeks, or even months, of development are still needed.”


John Martellaro
Checked
2 hours 23 minutes ago
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