Last Active
  • Compared: $4,999 27-inch iMac vs $4,999 iMac Pro

    The iMac Pro does come with ECC RAM, which makes it deserving of a “pro” label. Anyone serious about their data would benefit from that.

    (it’s a continuing shame that MacBook Pro do not have an ECC option. Apple shouldn’t be beholden to Intel chipsets, and ought to have been able to offer it even on the Core Processor Family of CPUs and at a good price.)
  • Britain's NHS rejects the Apple & Google COVID-19 exposure notification technology

    larryjw said:
    PS: If you want privacy, don't use cell phones. Bluetooth is perfect for tracking. 

    A couple years ago, bluetooth sensors were installed allow transportation corridors to track vehicle traffic, reading signals from Bluetooth devices, so transportation planners could "see" traffic patterns, where people entered the corridor, where they exited the corridor, average speeds, etc. 

    There are certainly ways to do that: iBeacon APIs let an installed App with Bluetooth access register the “family” of beacons to listen out for, and then when they are heard some app code gets run to do something. Typical, of the third party beacon APIs, is to do a network connection and look up data (which can pass on info like the beacon details but also - if it has permission - where you are, trigger a local notification, that sort of thing). Some of those third party beacon APIs were also listening out for their own beacon families, and frankly it was all a bit of a mess.

    I can see how an app developer working on this NHSX project might want to, in the background, emulate a beacon but also listen out for others (I’m not sure if you can do *that* without background execution, and for that if you’re not one of the valid AppStore use cases you would indeed need a dispensation). A smart designer would also, as the Apple/Google design does, realise that you need to change your Transmitted beacon ID regularly, because otherwise someone else (those pesky business football companies) will start listening too.

    Here in London we had advertising companies installing Wi-Fi base stations on rubbish bins, just to listen out for phones as they passed by and collect their MAC addresses. So Apple and Google started using random MAC addresses when probing for Wi-Fi networks that they knew. 

    So the advertisers upped their game offering free Wi-Fi hotspots. Why? Because if you connected to their network and left it as auto-join then your phone would connect as you passed and disclose its real MAC address. 

    Indeed, the London Underground (to come back to the transportation subject that I’m replying to), who legitimately and usefully provide Wi-Fi on sub-surface stations, use this to then track phones as they move through the station tunnels and platforms, to model passenger movement. 

    Mine’s the phone with auto-join disabled on public Wi-Fi networks,
  • Apple's management doesn't want Nvidia support in macOS, and that's a bad sign for the Mac...

    But that is not the case.  We have not had ANY Macs fail that used nvidia graphics or had only Intel Iris Pro graphics - as on the 13" MacBook Pro.  
    If we are reporting anecdotes, I had an iMac with NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS (the top 2008 model).

    The GPU board died in that, outside of AppleCare naturally. I got it repaired (after first replacing the main board that was originally diagnosed as the problem, which made no difference).

    A couple of years later it failed again... (at this point the machine was rather lacking oomph and RAM for my workloads and I reluctantly scrapped it)

    One thing Apple has achieved, with its dealer and store network, is gathering a lot of data about how their hardware fails in the field. You have to assume that, as they’ve been doing this a while, they are gonna use that data as one input into their future designs. 
  • Code42 ends consumer CrashPlan backup plans to prioritize business services

    polymnia said:

    i received an email from Crashplan today because I purchased a few years in advance at a low rate, so my subscription is still technically active. It's a very orderly transition with a clear roadmap. Even if I did nothing, when my current subscription runs out, I'd be automatically moved to a business product at a 75% discount for another 12 months. Even if they didn't change their model, I'd have to re-up my subscription sooner or later, and an expired credit card would be just as likely to trigger an issue. 
    Well, I thought I had purchased 5 perpetual licenses - and the ability to restore from my peer to peer backups even if Code42 went out of business. I also have been using a family subscription for about 8 years, now (I've been using CrashPlan itself since December 2007 - I checked) but a couple of systems are not backed up there, as it was sold "not for commercial use".

    When they switch you over to their business offering - which will be at the end of your current subscription, if you don't do it yourself before - they say you'll no longer be able to access those peer to peer backups. So, no, not really all that orderly, in my book.
  • Hands On: Google Calendar on iOS continues the trend of 'fiddly but powerful'

    Still no facility to search, then? You'd think Google might be able to do that, even on mobile.