Last Active
  • Apple's 'experiential retail' success lies in improving a customer's life claims Angela Ah...

    The Apple retail experience has gotten steadily worse in the last few years, especially when you have a problem.

    Yes, the ability to pay via app is nice... except that it's not clear what products on the shelves you can actually do that with. It turns out that you can't do it for products that have serial-number barcodes that need to be registered... but the app doesn't make that clear. Last time I tried it, I just got a generic error message as if the barcode failed to scan.

    When you have an issue, the Apple Store becomes a Kafka-esque nightmare. Even with an appointment, you'll be facing a wait. You'll have to somehow figure out who the one person in the store who can check you in might be, and where they are; there's no signage or particular uniform to make this clear. They'll shuffle you off to someone else, who will eventually take you to a chair at the crowded Genius Bar to wait for yet another person to triage you, and eventually you'll get yet another person to take care of your problem.

    That is, if they have the parts on hand in the right box. I had a failed iPad Smart Keyboard. The store I went to was out of replacement keyboards in repair boxes in the back room, so I was told I'd have to come back in next week when they got more of them. That's a two-hour round trip for me. They couldn't ship the replacement to my home, because I'd come into the store to initiate the process. They couldn't give me one of the Smart Keyboards sitting on the display shelf, because it was in retail packaging, not repair packaging.

    Days later, it was another multiple-person wait-some-more dance just to get the replacement part out of the back room.

    It would've been a much more pleasant experience if there were a customer-service window and a queue, as in any other retail store. What Apple does today is just chaos.

    That experience told me that Apple has lost its customer focus. Wasting hours of a customer's time when your product fails under warranty because it wasn't designed properly—the Smart Keyboard hinge is not durable enough and the wires break quickly in regular use—is not something I expected from Apple. Compounding it by having a replacement part sitting in clear sight on a shelf and refusing to make the replacement? There's no way that doesn't result in customer resentment.

    Apple has become way too much about the form, and has completely forgotten about function, even in their stores.
  • Future Macs could adopt Intel's new, high-performance discrete graphics chips

    macxpress said:
    They do in their A-Series chips and they work quite well, but I'm not sure how well it would work pushing the size/resolution of screens Apple uses for its Macs. Maybe they'd be good. Or, maybe they're also working on a desktop class GPU as well.
    The iPad Pro has a 2732 x 2048 resolution. A 15-inch MacBook Pro is 2880x1800. If the next iPad Pro has an Apple-designed GPU, then using that GPU in a MacBook is hardly a stretch. Given that the iPhone X has a resolution of 2436 x 1125 and uses an Apple-designed GPU, it's not that big a stretch.

    I can't see Apple using an Intel discrete GPU, for many reasons:

    • Intel has a long history of designing seriously underperforming integrated GPUs;
    • Intel hasn't designed discrete GPUs for 15 years, and they weren't competitive back then;
    • Apple has supposedly been actively trying to reduce its reliance on Intel parts;
    • Apple likes to develop hardware that works hand-in-glove with its software. The Apple GPU in the A11 Bionic is purpose-built for Metal, Apple's graphics API. With Apple depreciating OpenGL in macOS Mojave in favor of Metal, it's more likely Apple would design its own built-for-Metal GPU than use Intel's built-for-DirectX GPU;
    • If Apple indeed moves to an ARM-based Mac using the A-series processor, of course it's going to use the Apple GPU that's now part of the A-series chip.
  • Apple TV gets Dolby Atmos support, 'zero sign-on' for cable with tvOS 12

    It's unlikely it will support Dolby TrueHD; the bitrate is just too high for most users. Dolby Atmos works as a layer on top of Dolby TrueHD, Dolby AC-4, or Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3). Since DD+ is already used by services like Netflix, I'd suspect Apple will use DD+ as the bed for Atmos, but it's possible they might use the more-efficient AC-4.
    d_2zoetmbwilliamlondonavon b7jony0
  • Major vulnerability in Apple's macOS provides System Administrator access with few instruc...

    Your instructions are incorrect. Disabling the root user doesn't help. says 
    "You're enabling the root user EVERY time you use this vulnerability. Even if you disable the root user in Directory Utility, logging in with root and no password will re-enable the root user."

    You really need to set a password for "root" (using the same Directory Utility tool & nearby menu). After Apple releases a fix, remember to come back and disable the root user.
    Sure it does. Don't execute the flaw again, and prevent other users from doing so by disabling Guest access, and the Root user with no password won't appear again. That said, we've inserted more information about changing the root user's password -- which can have unintended consequences, especially if you forget the password.
    That only works so long as no one else manages to get access to your Mac while it is either unlocked or sitting at the login screen. If your Mac doesn't have FileVault enabled, rebooting it will suffice. If you display a list of users at login, clicking "other" will let you enter "root" and no password.

    The vulnerability can also be triggered via an AppleScript. If someone manages to get you to run the script, it will trigger the flaw.

    Disabling root is not a fix. Changing root's password is a fix.
  • Apple confirms KRACK Wi-Fi WPA-2 attack vector patched in iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS betas

    The AirPort devices shouldn't need patching for this vulnerability. Access points should only need patching if they support 802.11r "fast roaming," and Apple's AirPort line never included support for that protocol.

    The vulnerability affects the last step in a four-way handshake. Normally, that last step is performed by the Wi-Fi client. When 802.11r is enabled, and a client roams from one access point to another, it can be the access point that performs the last step.

    802.11r is a feature you'd be more likely to find in mesh Wi-Fi or enterprise-grade Wi-Fi systems.