All items tagged with "Apple"

Keep OS X Yosemite from sending Spotlight data to Apple

Spotlight is sending your searches back to Apple Photo: Apple

Spotlight is sending your search information back to Apple. Photo: Apple

OS X Yosemite has changed the way your Mac deals with your privacy. On the one hand, Apple has decided to enable hard drive encryption by default, despite the FBI requests not to.

On the other hand, every time you type in Spotlight, your location and local search terms are sent to Apple, and, according to developer Landon Fuller, other third parties like Microsoft.

Fuller’s created a website, Fix Mac OS X Yosemite, where he’s posted up a way to stop Yosemite from sending such private data out. He’s also been contributing to a developer project on GitHub to find out and fix other ways that OS X phones home.

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What if Apple’s next router was also a smoke alarm?

Photo: Curved Labs

Photo: Curved Labs

Now that Marc Newson is one of Apple’s design bigwigs, the guys at Curved Labs wondered what sort of new products might result from the collaboration.

Their concept? An updated AirPort WiFi router that is also a smart smoke and CO2 detector, a la Nest Protect.

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Apple’s biggest security threat is you

iCloud faces some tough security issues. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iCloud faces some tough security issues. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iCloud passwords and security passwords can be guessed using social networking and various phishing techniques, and complex passwords and two-step verification are not as intuitive as they should be.

In a delightfully complete article over at TidBITS, author Rich Mogul lays out the facts behind the current spate of Apple security problems – most of which boil down to this: People are the weakest link in the chain.

As anyone who’s worked with technology in the past decade can tell you, the thorniest technical challenges aren’t typically those that deal directly with hardware and software. No, in most cases, the toughest things to troubleshoot and fix lie along the human spectrum. System administrators have long known this, coming up with acronyms like PEBCAK and ID-10T errors.

The same goes for security, which in Apple’s case affects an ever-increasing number of people who not be savvy to the ways of information security.

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Apple copycats put off by its sapphire woes

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From beloved material to pariah, no-one wants to touch sapphire now Apple’s ditched its plans.

The start of any innovative business should be identifying a service that the current market leader in the sector is not supplying.

With Apple’s failure to provide sapphire displays for its latest iPhones — thanks to the spectacular collapse of now-bankrupt supplier GT Advanced Technologies – you’d think that other smartphone makers would be climbing over one another to bring sapphire-enhanced smartphones to market; demonstrating that they can do what Tim Cook and his billions of dollars weren’t able to.

Which is why it’s something of a surprise (or perhaps not!) to hear that Apple’s troubles with sapphire displays has pretty much discouraged other companies from trying the same thing.

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The YouTube musician who made Steve Jobs dance with glee

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Jonathan Mann turns his fascination with Apple into catchy pop songs. Photo: Funcrunch Photo/Flickr

Steve Jobs wasn’t in the habit of dancing at Apple events. But in 2010, prior to a press conference where he addressed concerns about the new iPhone’s antenna, a song lampooning the controversy got Jobs dancing in the wings before he faced off with journalists.

The song in question, which played on a big screen to kick off the event, was the work of YouTube musician and Apple fan Jonathan Mann, who has spent the past five years composing a new song each day and posting it online.

“I heard later on from an Apple PR person that Steve Jobs was bopping along in the wings as the song was playing” at the Antennagate press conference, says Mann, speaking with Cult of Mac. “It was a surreal moment in my life.”

Antennagate went away, but Mann became the go-to guy for jingles about all things Cupertino. To date he has written 38 songs about Apple, touching  on everything from Craig Federighi’s WWDC performance to the unveiling of the Apple Watch. His clever ideas and quick turnaround times have turned him into YouTube’s premier Apple songsmith.

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Ireland plans to close tax loophole that helped Apple save billions

Photo: The Dark Knight

Photo: The Dark Knight

Ireland will apparently announce plans to phase out its “Double Irish” tax arrangement that has allowed companies like Apple and Google to save billions, according to a Reuters report citing sources familiar with the matter.

Over the past 18 months, the country has been criticized by both the United States and Europe for tax loopholes that let companies slash their overseas tax rate to single digits. Preliminary findings by the European Commission recently slammed a “sweetheart” tax deal on the part of Ireland that allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes by building up a massive offshore cash pile of $137.7 billion in the country.

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Bankrupt Apple supplier wants to close sapphire plant after less than 1 year

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone's rear-facing iSight camera. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone’s rear-facing iSight camera. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

GT Advanced Technologies is apparently getting out of the sapphire production game, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the start of this week.

As reported by Re/code and the Wall Street Journal, the beleaguered company is asking the court’s permission to “wind down” operations at its sapphire manufacturing plant in Arizona — and, yes, for those keep track, that does come less than one year after the company first announced its game-changing deal with Apple.

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ICYMI: Remembering Steve, new iPads are coming, and more

Issue 58 brings some memories of Steve, products we'd like to see updated, and more! Cover: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Issue 58 brings some memories of Steve, products we’d like to see updated, and more! Cover: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

It’s that time of the week again — all of Cult of Mac’s best news stories and features, compiled in one place to peruse easily on your iPad or iPhone. This week we’ve got heartfelt remembrances of Steve Jobs, some products we’d like to see updated along with the coming new iPads, a look at upcoming Twin Peaks in our modern era, and some hard lessons learned in running the top iPad magazine. Plus, some great new apps to look at and a reminder that the iPhone 6 continues to sell like, well, iPhones.

Dig into Cult of Mac Magazine October 10 Edition, Free on iTunes

Apple’s sapphire supplier wants to keep bankruptcy details under wraps

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone's rear-facing iSight camera, as well as its Touch ID Home button. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone’s rear-facing iSight camera. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

How GT Advanced Technologies could have filed for bankruptcy, despite Apple’s best efforts to prop it up, is still something of a mystery — and it’ll stay like that if the company gets its way.

According to a Reuters report, GT Advanced has requested that the New Hampshire bankruptcy court currently overseeing its case put the kibosh on releasing key documents related to a “third party,” claiming that this would allow it avoid paying damages thanks to confidentiality agreements.

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Apple named world’s most valuable brand for second year running

Photo: GDS-Productions/Flickr

Photo: GDS-Productions/Flickr CC

Apple has retained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, according to the latest Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report. Last year Cupertino seized the No. 1 spot from Coca-Cola, a company 90 years older than Apple.

The report valued Apple’s brand at a whopping $118.9 billion, compared to the $100 billion it was valued at in 2013. In doing so it beat out Google, Coca-Cola, IBM and Microsoft, which filled out the remaining top five spots on the list.

Other tech companies which ranked highly on the top 100 list included Samsung (No. 7), Intel (No. 12), Cisco (No. 14), Amazon (No. 15) and Facebook (No. 29).

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