Soli

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Soli
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  • iPhone X took over two years to develop, marks new chapter in iPhone design, says Jony Ive...

    AuthenTec before Apple made it into Touch ID





    PrimeSense before Apple made it into Face ID


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  • Simple hack bypasses iOS passcode entry limit, opens door to brute force hacks [u]

    Soli said:
    Use the full keyboard for your passcode! Even add a simple long press character to make it crazy hard to crack without invoking much of a hassle for you.
    @Soli, I have seen you mention this a few times in these forums. Could you please explain this a little more? I have a 6-digit password (numeric, though, which I guess I need to change), so I would like to try your suggestion. But, I am not sure I understand what 'use the full keyboard' and 'add a simple long press character' mean. I use an iPhone 6, running iOS 10.x.
    1) By full keyboard I mean switching from the numbered to the incompletely-named alphanumeric keyboard in Settings » Touch ID & Password » Change Passcode » Passcode Options » Custom Alphanumeric Code.

    2) If you use the "typical" character palette of upper case letters (26), lower case letters (26), numbers 10), you have 72 options per character, but why not use all those "special characters" that are also available which I think bring you another 35 options for a total of 107 options, which is more than any website I've seen which only give you a handful of extra character options based on their weak sense of security and the minimal effort they've had to put in so that the special characters don't mess with their database setup.

    That means a 6-character passcode would be 107^6 for a total of 1.5 TRILLION possible combinations compared to your 6-digit PIN which is 10^6 for a total of 1 MILLION options. It really doesn't take much longer to input and because of Touch ID and Face ID not requiring you to unlock with your passcode constantly there's no reason not to have a more secure one.

    3) If non-alphanumerics for passwords, like punctuation and other non-alphanumeric characters, are referred to as "special characters" I've deemed the much richer palette of characters available for the long-hold on the iOS virtual keyboard as "very special characters." For example, if you hold down the 'a' key on at the American English iOS keyboard (same for macOS, btw), you get the options (à, á, â, ä, æ, ã, å, ā). These are all valid for Apple OS passwords and they're all unique Unicodes so they won't be registered just the letter 'a'. But not all have so many options on the long-press. The ampersand (&), for example, only has the section sign (§) as an option.

    By my last count—as I recall—of the American English iOS keyboard there are 210 options. That means that a 4-character passcode would be 1.944 BILLION options. Moving to 6-characters it's now 85.8 TRILLION. 


    PS: I'll also reiterate what having emoji as options for password could do. Perhaps not all characters could be used because they're too similar in look, and cross platform characters can look very different, but even a basic array of pictograms could be useful. Some people could remember them better by creating a story from them as their password, even if just interjecting one or two. This could increase the complexity of the character palette to around 1000 characters—or BASE-1000—which would make these brute force attacks virtually impossible as they stand now, even for very short passcodes. A 4 character passcode that was not limited to just numbers and letters would have 1 TRILLION possibilities with just 4 characters, which the user could quickly type in. Move that to 6-characters and you now have 1 QUINTILLION. I don't expect to see emoji added for a long time, but I do see the benefit of allowing them to be used in some fashion.
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  • 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards failing twice as frequently as older models

    I have an Apple Store appt. this week for my MBP keyboard. Not sure if it’a a swollen battery pressing up, a bad mechanism, or just something caught underneath the space bar. I’m both expecting and hoping it’s the last option.

    I’m not sure if it’s the design of the mechanism, the travel, both, or something else, but I’m not a fan of this new keyboard design. Every time I hop back onto my 2105 MBP it feels much better.

    Even after months of daily use the new keyboard doesn't feel as good; but the display on the 2017 MBP is visually superior, not to mention other features and it’s performance, so it’s not I’ll go back.

    If they made a new MBP that feels as good as the previous MBP I’d upgrade right away.

    edit: Crumb or some other debris. Apple Store Genuis said they are very sensitive to obstructions compared to the previous keyboards.
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  • Privacy not absolute: US among consortium of nations calling for encryption back doors

    These people deserve a swift kick in their back door.
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  • iPhone X impresses Windows executive, Android fans but bitter bloggers still hating

    ktappe said:
    This may be a bit unpopular, but I need to say Diaz has some points. When he says "battery life that lasts for more than a few hours of usage, materials that are truly durable" both are on target. iPhone X's front & back glass is apparently easily damaged by dropping it, and it costs and arm and a leg to get such damage repaired. X also doesn't have any better battery life (unless you play color inversion tricks as AI disclosed) than previous models.

    We should not fall over ourselves to claim a critic has no points just because he's shown bias in the past. Yes, he (for some reason) has many axes to grind, but ignore his critiques at your own peril, Apple. The rest of us want durable, long-lasting iPhones too.

    Umm…

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  • Is Apple getting Siri-ous in the face of Amazon's Alexa Echo?

    Amazon echo is over rated.  I think it will fade in time.
    Amazon people who have never used voice assistance will be impressed for a while with Alexa.
    Time will tell.
    I've been using Siri from the start. I currently use Siri and voice dictation with my Mac, iPhone, Watch, and have used Siri in the past with an iPad.

    I've also had an Amazon Echo since it first came out. I was quite lucky with their lottery and got the very first shipment of the Echo. I was impressed then and I still am today. As Ttollerton states, the HW is more extensive, which probably means the far-field microphones can do a better job, but its excellence as a product and service far exceeds that one aspect. 

    Alexa is amazingly fast. It feels like it's processing its answer before you even finish speaking so it can reply with a cadence that would impress a Gilmore Girl. It also never seems to misunderstand a single thing I say and never seems to have to "think about" what I asked, unlike Siri. With Siri it feels like it it's querying a server for a reply, but with Alexa it all feels localized even though it's not. Same WiFi network and same broadband connection.

    All these services have pros and cons—most of which are the same—but Alexa has 3 great features I wish Apple had brought to Siri from the start:

    1. I can look at any previous Alexa request in my history in the Alexa app on on Amazon.com. I can then let Amazon know how well the service did in understanding my voice (voice-to-text) and/or parsing my query. If Apple had this I believe they could've made Siri much better, much faster.
    2. I can load Skills into Alexa. These are 3rd-party apps for Alexa. Whatever abilities the Alexa service comes with out of the box, telling Alexa to add a Skill shores up pretty much anything you can think of. I think Apple just opened up Siri to 3rd-party developers with APIs for iOS 10 but I honestly can't recall because of the way Apple seems to treat Siri like the M[achi]n[e] in the Iron Mask.
    3. I get emails from Amazon letting me know what new features were added to the Alexa service. They list many example commands and major new Skills and I'm often willing to try them because they are usually pretty nifty. I know Apple has added new features to Siri—which oddly seem to come with iOS updates—but I couldn't tell you any of its newer features to enrich my life because of how they market the service.

    I'm sure Siri is world's better than it was when it originally came out on the iPhone 4S in 2011, and I'm sure that many of the questions I've asked in the past and got poor to no answer probably work great now, but I don't go to the trouble of writing down all the failed queries, wait a year, and then try them again. This is not uncommon and Siri has spoiled for many Apple customers except for the most basic requests. Apple needs to find a way to reinvigorate Siri.





    PS: I'm remodeling my home and when my bedroom is finished I'll be going "electronics free" in the bedroom (mostly) with the intention of it leading to better sleep habits which will hopefully result in more productive waking hours. That means no iPhone or Watch will charge in the room on the nightstand. No entertainment in the bedroom (meaning no Mac, no TV, and no book reading). Not even a traditional alarm clock will be used because of the light from the clock can have a negative effect, according to some studies. Instead I'll have an Amazon Dot ($49) which will allow me to voice activate setting an alarm and asking what time it is as its primary use. I tested this with my Echo, but I'd rather keep that in the kitchen/dining area because of its great speaker and its benefits when cooking.
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  • Latest Apple Park drone video shows completed Steve Jobs Theater ahead of Sept. 12 event

    I wonder if the above ground area would be a good place for showcasing new products. Events typically start at 10am and so there would be plenty of natural light from 360° shortly after noon to make products in the cases glow. However, these plans only show that as Lobby, not an Exhibition area.

    They aren't required to make it one or the other, and it's clearly going to be the primary lobby before the event, but I suspect downstairs may be too. The temporary storage area is probably where the tables or cases with products will be stored and then set up during the show so the media can see it immediately afterwards.

    Perhaps controlling the light downstairs is the better option, and taking items up those two elevators may be be cumbersome since they aren't the large service elevators that located behind the stage. In fact, their circle design makes me assume they are glass. Also not the locations of the bathrooms with their dual access from the exhibit space and the auditorium, with what I assume will be an easy method for blocking access back into the exhibit area while not removing sufficient exit points in case of an emergency.

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  • Apple buys AR headset lens maker Akonia Holographics, fuels 'Apple Glasses' rumors

    I have no idea how effective this market will be after Google tainted the tech eyewear market and other AR glasses seem to limited in scope to gaming that I don't think it's a market large enough for Apple to be interested, but I hope they work it out. Additionally, I hope their product can put a major hurt on the Luxottica monopoly.

    edit: For those not familiar with Luxottica's control of the eyewear market...


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  • Watch: iPhone X takes on Samsung's Galaxy S9+ in benchmarking bonanza

    The iPhone X on the other hand, has a 6-core A11 Bionic processor with two high performance cores and four efficiency cores.
    I think it's worth noting that the A11 Bionic isn't like the bigLITTLE cores used by other devices as it can run with the 4 low performance cores, 2 high performance cores, or all 6 cores at once.
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  • How to add AirDrop to the Dock in macOS to quickly send files to a nearby iPhone or iPad

    There's a 3rd method:

    In Finder do a search for AirDrop.app. The search will yield nothing. Click the '+' sign and then Other… and then add System Files to your search parameter and select Are Included.

    I think it's good to have this checked so it's always a quick option when searching for items so you only ever have to go through that process once to find anything on your Mac quickly.

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