You Can’t Protect Yourself


Even if you can protect your financial records, loss of your SSN and other personal information could expose nearly any kind of account you have, not just financial accounts!

Think of all the situations where something is “protected” with the last four digits of your SSN or a credit card. Breaches of a credit agency like this expose exactly the golden master key to recover or access more than a few of your accounts.

Once you’re exposed, you’re exposed for life, not just for the year of free credit monitoring. At least until the system changes… More at TidBITS.

It’s all so true. No matter how much effort you make to protect yourself, organisations still need your personal data for you to live and you cannot make them care as much about your data as you do.

Bodega (avoid)


The major downside to this concept–should it take off–is that it would put a lot of mom-and-pop stores out of business. In fact, replacing that beloved institution seems explicit in the very name of McDonald’s venture, a Spanish term synonymous with the tiny stores that dot urban landscapes and are commonly run by people originally from Latin America or Asia. Some might bristle at the idea of a Silicon Valley executive appropriating the term “bodega” for a project that could well put lots of immigrants out of work. (One of my coworkers even referred to it as “Bro-dega” to illustrate the disconnect.) More at Fast Company.

The idea isn’t so bad, but the blatant intent and publicising of it suggests they are a couple of (insert your derogatory term here) to me.

Apple’s Presentation

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 18.37.02.png

Unfortunately for Apple, most of what was shown had been leaked or accurately rumoured. That seems to get worse as time goes on. Of course this time around, someone leaked the release version of iOS 11.

watchOS 4 has some nice features. I had read about the heart sensing technology. You heard that they were talking to the FDA in the States. The problem would be the same here in Canada. There’s a line over which approval is needed to qualify as a medical diagnostic apparatus. I would like to see it in general use. They’re allowed to handle heart rate recovery and calculate resting rate, and even warn you if there’s a spike, but they can’t tell you if your heart beat is irregular. I know that it’s supposedly for our own protection, but it’s frustrating. Likewise, some non-invasive way to monitor blood sugar is coming, just a matter of when. Unfortunately, I don’t expect the Heart Study to be available outside the U.S.

Apple Watch Series 3 was an incremental upgrade except for the built-in cellular. Now I expect to see watch apps take off. Not enough for me to upgrade yet.

Apple TV 4K was no surprise leaks notwithstanding. Another incremental upgrade. It is nice that they’re freely providing 4K content that you already own in HD.

iPhone 8 was another incremental upgrade although most of the neat stuff is on the Plus. Wireless charging is nice. The Belkin pad is $40 US ($50 Cdn) but cheaper options are available. Apple may have trouble selling theirs. Mind you, it boggles my mind to see the performance specs of the CPUs. 6 cores!!!!

Nice that they were able to get a meaningful “One more thing” in.

iPhone X is a nice evolution. I don’t consider it a revolution but it’s a lot more than an increment. I’m surprised that they talk about it as iPhone Ten. Must be the same as macOS X which is supposed to be called macOS Ten. I guess the other line has a maximum of 3 iterations left – iPhone 8S, iPhone 9, and iPhone 9S. Surely they wouldn’t have an iPhone 10 and an iPhone X.

I’m impressed by the screen size. It’s surprising how much space the bezel on the other iPhones used. The X is 0.2″ taller and 0.14” wider than the 7 or 6S, hardly enough to matter. Although they say it’s 5.8” diagonal, the aspect ratio is 2.16 rather than 1.78 on the other phones. That’s all the space saved by eliminating the home button as well as the top bezel.

I’m going to be very interested to see how well Face ID does in the real world. Of course you can probably just set the phone to use a password and just use Face ID for the important stuff Animoji.

The iPhone X starts at $999US. On the Canadian store, it’s listed as $1320Cdn. Pretty damned expensive. Even the iPhone 8 starts at $929Cdn. Don’t think I can justify either, although I wouldn’t bother upgrading my iPhone 6S to an 8. An X, maybe, but not at that price.

Re that closing quote, for people who don’t follow hockey, Wayne Gretzky was one of the greatest hockey players ever.


Beware the new iTunes

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 18.41.20.png

Beware the new iTunes if you manage your iOS apps on your Mac. As of version 12.7, they’ve removed the iOS App Store from iTunes. While I applaud the thinning of iTunes, there is no real replacement. Some things become more of a pain. Some things are lost entirely.

To download an app, it must be done on your iDevice, once for each device.

There’s no way to get a list of the apps downloaded but not installed, at least not a convenient list like the Library list that was in iTunes. You can still list the Mobile Applications folder, but I don’t know if it gets kept up to date. There certainly won’t be an easy way to delete an app with the intention of re-installing at some point in the future. You’ll have to remember it and re-download it.

If you have to restore your iDevice, the restore re-downloads all the apps again. I expect that a backup will keep track of installed apps, but may not actually store the apps on your Mac. That means that if an app is pulled from the App Store, you may not be able to re-install. I’m not sure of this but it seems to be what they’re doing.

One thing they did keep was the ability to transfer files directly through iTunes. It’s called File Transfer and is in the left side menu panel for an iDevice.

There are also changes to ringtones.

If you’ve already updated, you can go back if you have a copy of the old iTunes. This is why I always keep at least one old version. There’s a folder in your iTunes folder called Previous iTunes Libraries. In there you’ll find the last version’s library. So you can copy it out and remove the date from the name. You’ll have to delete the new iTunes directly since I don’t think an older iTunes will install over a new one. I did this and I’ve got back the old iTunes and App Store. Now I have to decide how to manage the change because the new iTunes is needed for iOS 11.