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Here you will find articles that have been brought up in during our most recent meetings. Please be aware that not all sessions involve discussion over Apple-related articles. However, you can find many more noteworthy items on our Facebook page feed. Topics from our most recent meetings are listed first.


April, 2017

Apple's Making its Own GPU to Control Its Own Destiny — Brian Barrett, Wired, April 3, 2017

For years, a company called Imagination Technologies gave Apple the tech behind your iPhone's Retina-ready graphics and eye-popping image processing. That relationship ended [April 3, 2017]. From here on out, according to an Imagination Technologies release, Apple will design its own underlying technology for GPUs. The reason is simple: It's officially too important to entrust someone else.

Russian Hackers Have Used the Same Backdoor for Two Decades — Andy Greenberg, Wired, April 3, 2017

About a year ago, he two-decade-old trail of a group of Russian hackers led Thomas Rid to a house in the quiet southern English village of Hartley Wintney. Rid, a cybersecurity-focused political science professor and historian, wrote a long-shot E-mail to David Hedges, a 69-year-old retired IT consultant who live there. Rid wanted to know if Hedges smight somehow still possess a very specific, very old chunk of data: The logs of a computer Hedges had used to run a website for one of his clients in 1998. Back then, Russian spies had commandeered it and used it to help run one of the earliest mass-scale digital intrusion campaigns in computing history.

Apple Fans Just Got Some VERY Bad News — Aaron Brown, Express.co.uk, April 8, 2017

Mac malware saw a dramatic spike in 2016, the latest McAfee Labs report revealed. Malware attacks on Macs has [sic] risen by 744% in 2016, the latest Threat Report by McAfee Labs has claimed. McAfee says it unearthed some 460,000 malware samples on Mac machines in 2016--a huge increase over its 2015 number, but still a relatively small portion of overall malware attacks on personal computers.

March, 2017

Ransomware Attack Hits St. Louis Public Library — Graham Cluley, We Live Security, Jan. 27, 2017

If you were trying to use the public computers at St. Louis Public Library this week, you may have experienced more than your fair share of problems.

The reason? A ransomware attack struck the library's server, preventing some 700 PCs at 16 of library locations from working properly and preventing the checkout of books.

Sophos CEO Sounds the Alarm on Enterprise Ransomware Attacks — Martyn Williams, PC World, Feb. 15, 2017

Ransomware presents companied with an extra level of complexity: A ticking clock that provides only a limited amount of time to try to disable the attack and retrieve data or risk it all being lost/"It can bring an organization to tis knees," [Sophos CEO Kris Hargerman] said. There are plenty of organizations that are not up to date in their backups and have not taken the full comprehensive approach to security to be able to combat the thing.

Apple, Samsung Vow to Fix Flaws After CIA Hack Report — John Pohlman, Utah Business, Feb. 15, 2017

Just over the past few weeks, we have seen a whole new level of ransomware explode--hackers are breaking into businesses and scrambling servers full of data and leaving an E-mail address for the business to contact to get back data. However, before you actually get access to you scrambled data, another hacker gets into system and deletes the previous hackers' information and leaved his own. Now when you go to pay your ransom, you are actually paying the wrong hacker for the data.

Apple, Samsung Vow to Fix Flaws After CIA Hack Report — via News.com.au, March 9, 2017

Apple and Samsung have vowed to fix any vulnerabilites in their products following WikiLeaks' disclosure of an alleged CIA hacking arsenal capable of breaking into iPhones and other devices.

The archive claims to show the CIA exploiting weaknesses it discovers in hardware and software systems--without informing manufacturers of the flaws in question.

February, 2017

No articles were discussed at this month's meeting.


January, 2017

Harvard Study Says Apple's Tim Cook Was Right: Encryption Bans, Backdoors Don't Work — Daniel Eran Dilger, Apple Insider, Feb. 12, 2016

"Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do," [Apple CEO Tim] Cook said. "If we don't encrypt, the people we affect are the good people. They are the 99.999 percent of people who are good." He added, "You don't want to eliminate everyone's privacy. If you do, you not only don't solve the terrorist issue but you also take away something that is a human right. The consequences of doing that are very significant."

MacBook Pro Reviews: Apple Gambles With Controversial Touch Bar — Ewan Spence, Forbes, Nov. 14, 2016

The biggest visual difference in the new MacBook Pro machines announced [in October] was above the keyboard. One the higher-specced thirteen-inch model and the solitary fifteen-inch model. Apple replaced the function keys with a long and thin programmable touchscreen. Called the Touch Bar, it allows for additional controls and information to be presented to the users.

The MacBook's Problems Are Bigger Than Just the Battery — Ben Sin, Forbes, Dec. 24, 2016

The biggest visual difference in the new MacBook Pro machines announced [in October] was above the keyboard. One the higher-specced thirteen-inch model and the solitary fifteen-inch model. Apple replaced the function keys with a long and thin programmable touchscreen. Called the Touch Bar, it allows for additional controls and information to be presented to the users.

Apple Confirms MacBook Pro Battery Problems: You're Testing It Wrong — Ewan Spence, Forbes, Jan. 11, 2017

Consumer Report's [sic] approach is to create a standard test across multiple laptops, from multiple manufacturers, with different operating systems. This demands that conditions should be as equal as possible. On testing the new MacBook Pros under this approach, Consumer Report [sic] triggered a bug in the software that had a material impact on battery life, and felt it could not recommend Apple's new laptops in good faith.

Japan Researchers Warn of Fingerprint Theft from 'Peace' Sign —Phys.org, Jan. 11, 2017

According to Japan's National Institute of Informatics, researchers found that [...] they were able to recreate fingerprints from images up to three meters, or ten feet, away from a subject. Advanced technology isn't necessary fot the hack, either--anyone can easily copy fingerprints if the photo's conditions are right, researchers said.

Consumer Reports Just Changed Its Mind About Apple’s MacBook Pro Laptops — Jonathan Vania, Fortune, Jan. 12, 2017

"The process we followed with Apple is the same process we follow with any manufacturer when we discover a significant problem," Consumer Reports said about its recent re-test. "We shared our test results witht he company so it could better understand our findings and deliver a fix to customers. Since Apple made a fix, we retested the laptops."

Hackers Can Steal Your Fingerprints from a Peace Sign Selfie, But Researchers Are Working on a Deterrent — Mike Peterson, iDrop News, Jan. 13, 2017

According to Japan's National Institute of Informatics, researchers found that [...] they were able to recreate fingerprints from images up to three meters, or ten feet, away from a subject. Advanced technology isn't necessary fot the hack, either--anyone can easily copy fingerprints if the photo's conditions are right, researchers said.

December, 2016

Banned Dash developer accused of nearly 1,000 fraudulent reviews, Apple says — Mikey Campbell, Apple Insider, Oct. 10, 2016

"Almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews were detected across two account and 25 apps for [developer API] so we removed their apps and accounts from the App Store," said Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Warning was given in advance of the termination and attempts were made to resolve the issue with the developer but they were unsuccessful. We will terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers."

iOS 10.2 Will Feature a New Tool to Identify 'Other' Faulty iPhones — Troy Thompson, iDrop News, Dec. 6, 2016

In a support document published to its Chinese-language wesite on Tuesday [December 6, 2016] morning, Apple confirmed that an imminent iOS software update [...] will include a new diagnostic tool designed to help the company collect information about "sudden iPhone shutdowns — a move all but confirming that the current state of iPhone 6s battery issues aren't limited to just a select few devices, as initially thought.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Willing to Kill Off Galaxy Note 7 — Shara Tibken, cNet, Dec. 9, 2016

The wireless carriers on Friay [December 9, 2016] said they will issue software updates from Samsung that will prevent Note 7 devices from charging and will "eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices." Samsung earlier in the day announced plans for the update to make sure the remaining seven percent of Note 7 owners turn in their phones.

November, 2016

How to Use iMovie: A Complete Guide to Make Home Video — Jeffry Thurana, Beebom Media, Feb. 27, 2016

With prices starting as high as [129,000 Indian Rupees (approx. $1,893 U.S.)>] and going all the way up to [241,900 Indian Rupees (approx. $3,550 U.S.)>], the new models are expensive than the previous-generation MacBooks. No doubt, the company has its sights set on the premium category, but the big price jump is surely a downer for many eyeing to buy the new Apple laptops.

Five Reasons Why Apple's MacBook Pro Fails to Excite — Spandan Bhattacharjee, Gadgets Now, Oct. 29, 2016

With prices starting as high as [129,000 Indian Rupees (approx. $1,893 U.S.)>] and going all the way up to [241,900 Indian Rupees (approx. $3,550 U.S.)>], the new models are expensive than the previous-generation MacBooks. No doubt, the company has its sights set on the premium category, but the big price jump is surely a downer for many eyeing to buy the new Apple laptops.

Is Apple Losing Its Mojo? — Carl Weinschenk, IT Business Edge, Nov. 1, 2016

It is interesting and valuable to look at new products released by companies released by comapnies that are on top. They can be leading indicators of stagnaion and decline, or point to continued innovation [...] Apple last week released the latest iteration of the MacBook Pro. The reviews are not very encouraging.

The [2016] MacBook Pro Is a Lie — Vlad Savov, The Verge, Nov. 7, 2016

Apple's 2016 MacBook Pros carry on the Pro moniker dishonestly. At least we should all hope that's the case — because if Apple actually believes that these new laptops are suitable and sufficient for intensive professional needs, then the company's long and happy relationship with creatives may be heading toward a calamitous breakup.

Apple's [2016] MacBook Pro Vision Fails to Plug into the Future — David Swan, The Australian, Nov. 8, 2016

Apple's confused MacBook Pro event shows that perhaps the company no longer understands what the word "pro" means. The company's latest key ot was supposed to reinvigorate its adoring fan base after making it wait years for a revamped MacBook Pro. Instead it just doled out disappointment, with the company ditching traditional USB ports, the Magsafe magnetic charging port, and the SD card and HDMI slots in favor of four USB-C ports.

September, 2016

XProtect Explained: How Your Mac’s Built-in Anti-malware Software Works — Chris Hoffman, How To Geek, May 18, 2015

When you open an application downloaded from the Internet using a "File Quarantine-aware application like Safari, Chrome, Mail, or iChat, you'll see a warning message informing you the application was downloaded from the web along with the specific website it was downloaded from and when.

Apple Updates XProtect Definitions for XcodeGhost Malware — Derek Erwin, How To Geek, September 9, 2015

Apple's Xprotect — its "safe download list" feature — has been part of OS X since Snow Leopard; in 2009, Intego described what this anti-malware function does to protect your Mac (and how it lacks protection).

Inside Pegasus, the Impossible-to-Detect Software That Hacks Your iPhone — Paul Szoldra, Business Insider, August 26, 2016

The hacking software that completely takes over an Apple iPhone and turns it into a mobil surveillance device is pretty terrifying.

Built by a shadowy company called NSO Group, the software called "Pegasus" — discovered after beign used against a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates — forced Apple to issue a critical software update on [] to protect its users worldwide.

A Hack from 2012 Haunts Dropbox as Details Emerge on 68 Million Accounts — Jonathan Keane, Digital Trends, August 31, 2016

...Dropbox advised users with accounts from around or before 2012 to change their passwords. That's because a hack around four years ago compromised some 68 million accounts, and it's only now that the extent of the attack is becoming clear.

June, 2016

Apple Targeted by Patent Troll Because the iPhone Can Make Calls — Josh Miller, cNet, May 23, 2016

Corydoras Technologies ... is seeking a payout from Apple for allowing more than 20 different devices to make voice and FaceTime calls, and for placing cameras ont he same side of the devices as the display.

Patent Toll Wants Apple to Shut Down iMessage and Tacetime — Oscar Raymundo, MacWorld, May 26, 2016

On Wednesday [June 8, 2016], VirnetX asked a Texas judge to order Apple to shut down iMessage and FaceTime while their patent case goes to appeal. Previously, VirnetX was awarded $625 milion in the case after it convinced the jury that Apple committed patent infringement.

New VirnetX Wants Apple to Block FaceTime and iMessage; Patent Trolls — Riddhi Mukherjee, Medianama, May 30, 2016

Corydoras Technologies ... is seeking a payout from Apple for allowing more than 20 different devices to make voice and FaceTime calls, and for placing cameras ont he same side of the devices as the display.

Huawei Aims to Topple Goliaths of the Phone Market — Apple and Samsung — Andrew Gebhart, cNet, June 3, 2016

If you live in the U.S., you might not know the name Huawei. So, the idea that the Chinese company could become the No. 1 phone maker in the world in 5 years seems far fetched. ... Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer electronics business, said he believes passing Samsung and Apple is a goal within reach.

April, 2016

Adobe Ships 0-day Patch for Flash — Get It While It's Hot — Paul Ducklin, Sophos, April 8, 2016

For the second time in two months, Adobe has pushed out a Flash update that's more than just a nice-to-have.

This one, like last month's, fixes not only a bunch of holes that crooks would almost certainly try to use if they knew about them, bul also a vulnerability that's already being exploited in the wild for criminal purposes.

iOS 9.3.1 Bug Video Shows Access to iPhone Photos and Contacts — Brendan Byrne, Value Walk, April 5, 2016

Owners of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus running iOS 9.3.1 be weary that there is a video making it around the internet that looks like it’s possible to access your photos and contracts without the code to enter your phone using Siri and a few simple steps.

How to Take a Screenshot on the iPad and iPhone Without a Screenshot Application — Lawrence Abrams, Bleeping Computer, April 5, 2016

Have you ever seen those fancy screen shots of the iPa screens in various reviews and blog posts? Well, creating them is easy and does not require you to purchase or download any applications to create them.

Worried About Draining Your iPhone Battery Too Fast? DON'T Force Quit Apps — Scott Brow, iDrop News, March 15, 2016

Recently, an Apples customer sent an E-mail to [Apple CEO] Tim Cook about the issue. Craig Dederighi, Apple's Senior VP of Software Engineering responded and in the E-mail, Craig answers the question, "Do you quit your iOS multitasking apps frequently, and is this necessary for battery life?" His reply, "No and No."

Apple's Federighi Busts Myth That Quitting iOS Apps Improves Battery Life — Gadgets 360 (New Delhi Television), March 14, 2016

You can't help but notice new iPhone users [...] obsessively try to kill apps on their smartphone. Many believe that doing this improves battery life. That's not the case as has been pointed out by many in the past few years. [...] Forcing an app to quit seems like a logical way to free up memory and hence save battery life. Moreover, that's exactly how Android and Windows respond to such actions.

Apple's "Project Titan" at Crossroads, Team in Hiring Freeze, Source Says — Sam Oliver, Apple Insider, January 25, 2016

Apple's car initiative has seen multiple setbacks in recent months as the company works to meet an ambitious schedule that would have final engineering completed by 2019.

How to Block Any Website on Your Computer, Phone, or Network — Gadgets 360 (New Delhi Television), September 8, 2014

There are several reasons why you might want to block certain websites on your computer. Some websites could be spreading viruses, contain explicits content, or even trying to steal your personal data. While you may well be more than capable of avoiding these websites, [...] that doesn't stand true for everyone who uses your device.

March, 2016

MAC Recent 'Ransomware' Attack on Mac Computers Is the First of Its Kind — Austin Mallick, iDrop News, March 11, 2016

[...] it was uncovered that ransomware successfully targeted a Mac OS for the first time. Aptly named, ransomware encrypts data and locks up a computer until the owner pays a “ransom fee” with BitCoin to gain access again. The software stays rogue for three days, then specifically targets and encrypts important programs and files like photos, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and others.

This Really Weird Trick Will Actually Speed Up Your iPhone — Mike Murphy, Quartz, March 10, 2016

If you’re running iOS 9, you can completely disable the app loading animations and speed up how quickly every app opens. It’s tricky to do, but once it works, it feels like finally entering the Konami code on a video game correctly for the first time.

[HiDACC Webmaster's note: The Konami Code refers to the inputs "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right" that is used to unlock hidden Easter eggs in video games and even web pages.]

Apple's New iPhone SE Wil Look Like This. Or This. Or Maybe This. — Zack Epstein, BGR Media, March 1, 2016

If recent reports from a number of reliable sources pan out, we're less than a month away from seeing Apple unveil its first new iPhone of 2016. [...] Dubbed the iPhone SE according to rumors, the new model will be an update aimed at comsumers who want a new iPhone but would rather keep using a more compact device than buy something larger like an iPhone 6s or 6s plus. And now, thanks to recent leaks, we may know exactly what Apple's next iPhone will look like.

iPhones SE and 9.7 Inch iPad Pro Announcement Event Moved to March 21 — Tyler Toner, iDrop News, Feb. 29, 2016

It has been widely reported and generally accepted that Apple will release a new iPhone, new iPad, and an array of new Apple Watch bands during an Apple event this March. [...] according to a new report from Buzzfeed, the event has been pushed back to March 21, just one day before the company is due in court in regards to the FBI’s demands they they “unlock” the iPhone 5c of one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shootings last year.

February, 2016

AT&T Unveils 5G Roadmap Including Trials in 2016 — AT&T Innovation, Feb. 11, 2016

We plan to collaborate with Ericsson and Intel to work on 5G solutions in our labs starting in the second quarter of this year, with outdoor tests and trials over the summer.

Apple Rumored to Back Dr. Dre TV Project — Marco della Cava, USA Today, Feb. 12, 2016

Dr. Dre is busy filming a dark, six-episode drama called Vital Signs and his financial patron may be none other than tech giant Apple, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter [February 12, 2016].

First Apple Music TV Series to Star Dr. Dre, Will Feature 'No Shortage of Violence and Sex' — Neil Hughes, Apple Insider, Feb. 12, 2016

Citing multple source, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on [February 12, 2016] that the Beats cofounder will be the star of a new program called Vital Signs, a scripted TV show created by Apple. Dr. Dre is also set to executive produce the six-episode production.

Apple Initiates Replacement Program for MacBook USB-C Charging Cables — Mikey Campbell, Apple Insider, Feb. 12, 2016

Apple on Friday [February 12, 2016] activated a quality program for USB-C charding cables included with 12-inch MacBook with Retina display models, as well as those sold as standalong accessories, saying a design issue with affected units could cause them to fail.

iPhones Don't Matter Anymore — Jonny Evans, Computerworld, Jan. 26, 2016

As the world waits to see if Apple's business really has stopped growing because the momentum of iPhone sales increases has slows down a bit, it confounds me yet again how little Wall Street gets "it".

Pictures and Information Could Fall into Wrong Hands — Randy Mac & Amy Corral, KNBC Los Angeles, Feb. 11, 2016

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is among he celebrities who made unwanted headlines when hackers leaked their personal photos onto the Internet.

But it turns out - your private pictures and information could fall into the wrong hands just as easily.

October, 2015

If Your Wi-Fi Is Terrible, Blame your Router — Brian X. Chen, The New York Times, Oct. 7, 2015

What [retired engineer Bob] McConnell [of Kirkland, WA] experienced is a situation we call “Wi-Fi headache,” and it’s an ailment that many can relate to. The condition is rooted in the networking devices called routers that people install in their homes for Wi-Fi connectivity. Most routers are difficult to configure for anyone who doesn’t work in an information technology department. Jargony tech terms like 802.11 or dual-band add to the confusion when people upgrade a router or try to decide which one to pick.

Chipgate FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About iPhone 6s Controversy — Evan Killham, Cult of Mac, Oct. 8, 2015

It just wouldn’t be an iPhone launch without something going awry, and the latest outcry concerns the relative performances of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’ A9 processors, especially their effects on the phones’ battery lives. And if that all sounds a bit technical and boring, it is. But it’s not too hard to understand.

Another Popular Ad-Blocker Goes Missing from Apple's App Store — Patrick Kulp, Mashable.com, Oct. 8, 2015

A powerful new ad blocker that hit the hit the App Store last week called Been Choice has invaded that last refuge of commercial promotion: It lets users not only shut out ads in the Safari browser but also within mobile apps like Facebook, Pandora and even Apple's own News app.

Last updated on May 12, 2017


Original contents (c) 2016 High Desert Apple Computer Club.
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