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  • FBI warns public to reboot Wi-Fi routers to counter 'VPNFilter' malware

    I thought it was us Brits who were supposed to see the black cloud around every silver lining!

    There is a world-wide malware threat to WiFi routers so the FBI puts out a warning and some easily understood, easily actioned advice to US citizens. Isn't that their job? Isn't that a good thing?

    If you follow the Symantec link in the article, you'll find that the FBI's advice is effective; not 100% effective but nonetheless helpful. Part of the issue here is that people never changed their routers' passwords, with that audience the FBI needed to keep it simple. The bigger fix involves firmware updates and basic security hygiene and the FBI notice goes on to describe this; it may be simple to the audience here but not so much to the world at large.
    gatorguygatorguybonobobavon b7jony0mknelsonbshanklarryacornchipGeorgeBMac
  • Apple removes Siri team lead as part of AI strategy shift

    I played with Alexa the other day on a friend's Sonos: I was impressed and amused. I have never been impressed by Siri. The actual speech parsing is good but the reaction to so many enquiries is just to display a web page on the display; this defeats the object in many cases. A rethink is overdue if Apple intends to compete in this area.
  • How do a pair of HomePods compare to a $180 soundbar?

    When comparing audio systems, it is essential to equalise the sound levels of the systems. At all reasonable levels, a louder playback will gain a quality advantage; this is down to the extra detail revealed by boosting the volume of the quieter parts. This is a common problem when trying to compare sound quality, be it of different systems or different versions (eg remastered CD vs original CD - it may not be a coincidence that remasters are usually louder than their predecessors).

    While they were playing at a lower level, the HomePods were disadvantaged (I think the story acknowledges that but it's a bit subtle in saying so).
  • Apple updates iWork apps for Mac & iOS with new shape libraries, other enhancements

    Well this is a turn up for the books! I had given up hope.

    I am one of the hold-outs still using the 'old' Pages. There are two big reasons for that and one is the ability to link text boxes so that text flows between them...and it's just been reinstated and, at a quick look, it seems like it works. Well done Apple.

    The other reason I'm a hold-out has not, sadly, been addressed. Pages 6.2 continues not to be able to cope with double-page spreads for which, IMHO, two related features are essential. The first is the need for reflected margins on alternate pages, so the binding edge of the page can have a wider margin than the edge you actually turn. The second is the need for a double page (facing page) view, so the designer can understand the two page combination that the reader will see when the 'book' is open. These are arguably only needed for documents that will end up as hard-copy but that remains quite important in many workflows.

    Still, I am encouraged by the text box linking and the new shapes are useful too so it remains great news.
    dysamoriamacky the mackytenthousandthingswatto_cobrabshank
  • Apple takes Prepear logo trademark fight to Canada

    I must be missing something:
    One is an apple, one is a pear
    One has a stalk, one doesn't,
    One has a bite out of it, the other doesn't
    One has a leaf above it, the other has a leaf beside it

    We have a saying in the UK that you can't compare apples and pears (or indeed oranges)...

  • Reddit app update incoming after triggering iOS 14 clipboard snooping notice

    Call me old fashioned but this just seems unacceptably rude to me. It's a bit like you invite someone into your house to do a particular job and then, when you can't see, they rummage through your private documents that have nothing to do with the reason they are there. The same thought applies to those apps that, given access to Contacts for a particular address, read/copy all the others too. And 'this is how we make it free' is no excuse!

    So well done Apple.
  • US says NSO Group & Pegasus hacking tool are national security risks

    longpath said:
    Never grant the state any power you would not entrust to your worst enemy. This isn’t a hard concept.
    But your worst enemy already has it...
  • Tesla, BMW don't appear to be gearing up to join Apple's new CarPlay vision

    "According to statistics published by Apple, 79% of U.S. car buyers wouldn't even consider purchasing a vehicle without CarPlay". Wow! If this is true then the US car market is certainly different to that in the UK. I presume the people surveyed were those owning or actually able to buy cars; do 79% of car buyers even use iPhone over Android?

    In the UK, factors like running-costs, safety, cabin and boot (trunk) size figure alongside comfort and driving-pleasure. ICE is certainly a factor but as likely to appear as a desire for Bluetooth, SatNav and access to music.

    I have a (much-maligned) BMW with CarPlay. BMW has never (to my knowledge) charged a recurring fee for CarPlay in the UK: my car came with it as part of a spec-upgrade package. I'm not impressed personally - perhaps it's BMW's implementation but it only uses about 75% of my display's width and it barely exploits the iDrive controller's versatility. Navigation is little better than the BMW-native system (that includes real-time traffic status) though messaging and other less essential apps are clearly superior.

    It's worth mentioning that I do not like touch-screens in cars. They implicitly need the driver to look at them to place their fingers on buttons etc whilst a joystick-style controller (eg iDrive) can just click from one control to the next and then press them using a physical button that's always in the same place. The driver's eyes stay on the road for much more of the time: that's a good thing whatever you think of the stereotypical BMW Tesla driver.
  • Apple passkey feature will be our first taste of a truly password-less future

    The reason I’m not liking this news is because TouchID _sucks_. Passwords suck too, but at least I can use a password manager, and never worry about signing in (unless the password expires or is compromised in a leak, etc.). But biometrics are unreliable. I have to re-train my TouchID constantly—several times a week—or it forgets my fingers. I can see it degrading within hours, failing multiple attempts, and forcing me to go into Settings to tune it, tune it, tune it. Is it more secure? Maybe. But it requires so much babysitting and handholding and just _effort_ that I’d much rather be using a password any day!

    I can’t be the only one who TouchID doesn’t work for. (FaceID is fine.)
    The only time I've had problems with TouchID is when my hands have had a hard time (sanding wood, plaster etc being a good example). If your hands have a tough time, could you perhaps use your little finger* for TouchID hoping that it gets less damage?

    *I think that's 'pinky' in US English.
  • Apple Maps expanding to more cities & getting multistop routing in iOS 16

    The problem remains that while Apple counts cities where Look Around works, Google counts countries for Street View.

    Apple's mapping locations page has listed lots of parts of the UK where they are capturing imagery (including my town) but there's nothing online yet to show for it. Perhaps there's some big update coming but catching Google is a huge task.