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  • Google may delete your Gmail account if it's been inactive for too long

    This new policy prompts an interesting question for me: how much do I value my mostly dormant extra Google accounts? I probably have 10-15 of them. Do I try to consolidate all of them into one or two extra accounts? Do I try to keep them all alive?

    Some of these accounts are very old and date back to the first or second year of Gmail. Some of these have parallel Yahoo and Hotmail accounts.

    What is the value of an online identity? Clearly some were set up to be disposable throwaway accounts. Others were created to silo Internet activities under a different identity, mostly to keep browser ads and mail spam directed elsewhere.

    I use Google far less today than the late 2000s. I can't cut the strings completely because I still rely on Google Voice. Sometimes YouTube is handy though I don't treat it as a leisure site. Waze is still a helpful service and Google Maps simply works better in some countries than Apple Maps.

    I'm guessing that Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft/Outlook will soon adopt similar policies.

    Something to noodle over the next few months.
  • Critical security flaw is exposing older Wemo Smart Plugs to hackers

    danox said:
    A perfect example of why Apple needs to get back into routers. (new AirPort Express mesh routers for the new generation). 
    Apple got out of the router business, most likely for a variety of reasons. My guess is that profitability was one, home networking devices are a low margin commodity marketplace. Another is that their biggest value add is probably security which probably isn't enough in the eyes of Joe Consumer to pick an AirPort over some cheapo device.

    WiFi routers simply don't have enough differentiated features for Apple to stand out from the rest of the marketplace.

    That's probably why they bailed on this market.

    In any case, Apple cannot fix all of the problems of these poorly designed and poorly supported IoT devices. If a big, recognized company like Belkin won't support their brands, why would we expect other big companies to be any different. We've already seen Google abandon tons of hardware.

    Even the best designed Apple router won't fix a buffer overflow vulnerability in a moldy old smart plug.
  • Apple's first-ever retail store at Tyson's Corner is moving to a new location

    The first Apple Store was supposed to be Palo Alto but city permitting and construction delays pushed it to third retail opening. Apple Palo Alto was Steve's store, he often showed up there for iPhone launches, etc. and frequently dined at nearby restaurants.

    Apple Palo Alto moved from its original opening location (the music store building) a block away to its current location (the former Z Gallerie).

    I still think of the original Apple Palo Alto as the original Apple retail store even though it opened its doors after two others had launched. When Steve died, it was still at the original location, the tributes outside this store were jaw dropping.
  • Apple issues Rapid Security Response update for iOS 16.4.1, macOS 13.3.1

    This update is strange.

    It showed up on my iPad first. After entering my passcode, it downloaded the 85 MB patch very slowly then proceeded to apply the patch and reboot the unit while I wasn't looking, with no further prompting. I have automatic updating disabled.

    My primary iPhone received the patch the same way.

    They both show version 16.4.1 (20E252) with a separate Rapid Security Response as version 16.4.1 (a) (20E772520a). The latter can be removed.

    Luckily neither device was in the midst of doing anything important but I have become very apprehensive about updating Apple software over the past 7-8 years due to their declining software QA standards.

    I hope this patch doesn't cause more problems than it fixes. Unsurprisingly the accompanying Apple support document provides zero detail.
  • Apple Original 'Napoleon' will see theatrical release in November

    Japhey said:
    An American playing Napoleon and a Brit playing Josephine? I wonder what the French have to say about that. 
    Probably not much. After all the same director casted the same actor to play a (fictitious) Roman emperor over two decades ago. And in that same film a Kiwi played a Spaniard. That film Gladiator won five Academy Awards (out of 12 nominations) including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role (2000).

    Ridley Scott has a long distinguished track record at not looking at actors' passports. It's not like this is an unusual practice for this director. In fact, his first feature film The Duellists (1977) also was set in France. Scott casted many non-French actors for this movie; particularly amusing to this discussion, this film took place during the Napoleonic Wars. 

    This is nothing new or unusual to Ridley Scott. For centuries Shakespearean theatre has been overly represented by British acting talent despite many of the stories taking place outside of the British Isles.

    The French would probably have more complaints if this production had inaccurate costumes or the locations were blatantly wrong. However Sir Ridley isn't the type who just glosses over such details.