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  • LTE Apple Watches may be able to make emergency calls without linked iPhone plan

    JFC_PA said:
    Logical: phone’s without plans are required by law to have access to emergency service numbers. 
    This is true, even outside the US. Any phone, SIM-card or not, can trigger an emergency call. 

    However it has limitations, being that:

    1) The 911 switching system does not know where you are, as there is no way to transmit telemetry, at best the 911 operator will see "call from (<areacode>-000-0000)", or some other number that is associated with the MSC.

    2) LTE calls will typically be made in VoLTE mode, which means that if VoLTE is not enabled, overloaded or not functioning for that sector, then it may simply get denied. 

    If you have an active LTE subscription, telemetry can be transmitted with the call.

    As for the iPad. These devices are provisioned as data devices, but technically they can make 911 calls too. There is just no way to do so from the device, though I suppose someone who JB's one could probably pull the phone "app" from an iPhone and run it on an iPad. Point of interest, you can "answer" a call made to an iPhone from your iPad, so it's not like it's not there. Just it's going over WiFi to the iPhone first.

    Cool.  BUT, if I have an iPhone cellular plan, my watch should be included and share the same service plan since it shares the same number!  I should NOT have to pay an extra $120/yr just to have cellular on my watch when it cannot have its own independent number!

    It doesn't actually. The way it's provisioned is more like an "extension" in the days of "multiple handsets, one number", in a cellular network system, the MSC looks for the device registered to that number, and if more than one device is registered to that number, it 'rings' all of them. This is how old Analog and 2G devices could be active on the same number, because both devices share the same keys due to being active when the key exchange took place, even though on GSM phones the IMEI and IMSI will be different.

    It's not really a complicated explanation unless you've never had a phone before the iphone.

    "cloned" GSM phones were a product of stealing the keys and allowing eavesdropping of phone calls because the MSC simply goes "call for phones with this key, anyone have this key?", so in this case with the apple watch, it's the same idea, though the actual "number" registered to the watch might be different, just like the "real phone number" for a data-only ipad is different.

  • Futuremark analysis debunks rumor that Apple slows older iPhones down on purpose with iOS ...

    Okay, look, here's the reality. The public perception is that Apple has somehow crippled the hardware with an OS update, forcing users to buy new phones.

    Guess what. Newer software means heavier software demands. The phones are literally the same speed as the day they were bought and these metrics are the proof. The difference is the load placed on them by the software.

    There is no plot or conspiracy. There is no shadowy cabal demanding that code get bloated to force users to buy a new phone. There is no Cook and Ive plot to turn down the processor and GPU speed. That's insane to even speculate, but yet, here we are. Planned obsolescence as a conspiracy to force hardware sales isn't a thing.

    Do you want your phone to be the same as the day you took it out of the box? Never update your software. Problem solved.
    Yet this is not true when you use Geekbench 3 or 4.


    The question is, why is the benchmark getting different numbers? My Retina iPad, which remains on iOS 9.3.5 has the same Geekbench score as it had on 9.2
    But my iPhone 6S gets 1799/3083 on 11.0.2 but 2498/4374 on 9.0.2. One third of the CPU performance has vanished.

    Geekbench 4 says it should be 2373/4046

    But it ends up being 1796/3123 on 10.3.3 and 1161/2373 on 11.0.1 , GeekBench 4 is suggesting the phone is half the speed it should be. Yet if I run it right now on 11.0.2 it gets 2174/3813, still 10% below where the GeekBench website says it should be.

    So the question winds up being, why? Did the power management change? Is more running in the background? Are Geekbench or Futuremark's benchmarks rigged in a way to give a certain score on a certain chip? Does the OS cheat one benchmark software and not another?

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think Apple is doing anything that intentionally degrades the performance of the phone, but if the maximum performance of the phone can only be obtained under very specific circumstances, then what is the point of benchmarking the devices. It all feels familiar to the CPU cheats on old benchmarks and GPU cheats by GPU vendors later on desktops, everyone is out to get the best synthetic score possible, and no real world software actually benefits from this optimization. 

    Like see https://www.xda-developers.com/benchmark-cheating-strikes-back-how-oneplus-and-others-got-caught-red-handed-and-what-theyve-done-about-it/

  • Apple no longer accepting VPN-based ad blockers to App Store, report says

    There are two kinds of security risks:

    a) I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm assuming the defaults are safe : This is basically what happens when Android users are forced to allow software to change permissions in order to even use the software. This is why say a VPN is running instead of just a whitelist/blacklist of domains. Ad blocking is moving from being just marginally stupid, to incredibly stupid.

    b) I have an idea of what I'm doing, and I refuse to follow safety guidelines : This is when people install adblock on devices, use open WiFi access points, and then check their email/bank accounts. God damn people, turn off your browser extensions when you visit your banking sites, or don't be surprised when that free widget you installed passes your PayPal account to some eastern european hacker.

    If you're smart, you would never turn on a VPN to anything but a machine you control. Those VPN's that these ad blockers, movie piracy, game hacks/bots, and so forth are popular with, is an great way to have your email, bank accounts, and game accounts compromised, if not outright stripped. All someone needs to do is create a MITM attack at the VPN point. This will be more successful with websites that allow downgrade attacks. 

    People have a right to be paranoid, but in all seriousness, installing unverifiable, if not untrusted apps on a device that are capable of MITM'ing your data is a bad thing, and Apple rightfully should be blocking this. Android vendors, and even Microsoft Windows and OSX should be doing this, but unfortunately, the Windows platform and the OS X platform offer painfully inferior browsers as a result of too much integration into the OS that should never have happened in the first place. Hence, use Chrome and Firefox at your own risk.
  • First look: Apple's powerful iMac Pro

    ronmg said:
    I guess Apple has made their decision on upgradable pro machines. Buy a maxed out machine and when it's cutting edge components get long in the tooth, buy a new one. One thing seems clear, no major redesign of the consumer iMac for a while. No way they'd give them an updated look in the fall while selling a pro machine that is shaped like the old consumer ones. Also, what about Mac Mini?
    Nice thing about iMac is when it comes time to selling the one that is long in the tooth, they actually hold their value pretty well. Unlike Windows PCs...
    Only desktops hold value, not all-in-ones.

    And even then Apple all-in-ones hold value better than Windows all-in-ones. But this... this is still not a Mac Pro. It's certainly better than what they've been offering, but this still lacks upgradable parts, that's the deal killer. I don't care what Steve Jobs thought of Mac's being more like furniture or whatever and hated having them serviceable, but if your high end stuff is not servicable, then people are not going to be using them as their primary system.

    Like, personally, I can not justify buying anything that I can not replace the video card after 24 months. That is the deal breaker for me, and everyone in the gaming, film and VFX industry. You need as close to new as possible, because time is money, and you could be making more money with twice as powerful hardware 24 months later, or you could try to squeeze out as much value out of the closed-systems.

    Sure, yes, I can see this being about right for photography however.
  • New 'pro' iMac said to have discrete GPU and Xeon E3 processor, ship at end of 2017

    macxpress said:
    sog35 said:
    Neil Cybart from Above Avalon put up a post saying the Mac is Apple's achilles' heel. Basically arguing that the Mac is a barrier which prevents Apple for giving enough attention to what comes next. John Gruber disagrees. Ben Thompson says Apple just needs to ship a damm tower and not be precious about it. I don't agree with Cybart about the Mac being a "major vulnerability" for Apple. But I also don't agree that Apple isn't shipping a new Mac Pro this year because they're being too precious about it's hardware design. I think the fact Apple didn't exist the Pro market means they're working on something bigger here. Otherwise they could've just brought back the cheese grater and been done with it. Apple doesn't put resources on something for nothing.
    I like Cybart but I disagree with his Mac is Apple's achilles heel. His hypothesis is that Apple does not have enough resources to both produce new pro quality Macs and iOS devices. I disagree 100%. Apple has enough $ and resources to make awesome Mac Pro's and iOS devices. Its not one of the other.
    I replied to him that Apple needs an SVP of Mac hardware engineering. He didn't like that suggestion. I still believe it's the right thing to do. The Mac isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It needs attention. Apple shouldn't cede the professional market to Microsoft and make no mistake Microsoft is going after that market in a big way. Don't let it happen Apple.
    How many real Pros are actually going directly to Microsoft? 
    Not many.

    The line of thinking today is basically "Apple has abandoned us" for the pro market and those industries like film and television that have a full Mac pipeline are just hanging on to their old systems and buying preowned systems off eBay if one fails, or resorting to hackintosh machines if they absolutely can not switch out of the Apple ecosystem but need something significantly more powerful that Apple doesn't offer. For new productions that don't have a pipeline setup, they're using other products that they have lower productivity with. For high-end consumer/prosumer markets, they can get away with an iMac and external drive arrays, but this feels like a bandaid and everyone is waiting for Apple to produce a real Mac Pro, or giving up and bowing out of the Apple ecosystem altogether.

    iMac's are fashion accessories/toys, if Apple considered them anything other than a toy, it would not be chasing the thinner-lighter rabbit. Apple seems to be so disconnected from what people want that the latest MacBook Pro also adopted this fashion toy design.

    Apple has not produced a usable computer since the "cheese grater" Mac Pro. Sure the OS works just fine, but the throw-away hardware that is the Macbook Pro and iMac is not what Pro's want. Someone at Apple is deluded enough to believe that people will buy a $5000 PC every year, when the desktop computer lifecycle is a definitive 7 years with a RAM and GPU replacement/upgrade every 3.5 years.