Google watches your movements, like it or not

It’s even hitting our local paper.

Google watches your movements, like it or not:

Google says that prevents the company from remembering where you’ve been. Its support page states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

But this isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it.)

google privacy

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A tediously accurate map of the solar system

If you love space, like I do, I highly recommend checking out this site. It gives a nice demonstration of the vast space out there and what is between our planets. Spoiler alert: A whole lot of nothing.

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A tediously accurate map of the solar system:

Screen Shot 2018 08 13 at 6 03 42 PM

Apple

Group FaceTime delayed until later this fall – Six Colors

Group FaceTime delayed until later this fall – Six Colors:

As first noticed by developer Guilherme Rambo, Apple has removed Group FaceTime from the versions of the iOS 12 and macOS Mojave betas released today, with release notes saying that the feature will instead “ship in a future software update later this fall.”

How to Load the Desktop Version of a Web Site on an iPhone or iPad

Desktop site photo

Did you know that some Web sites have separate desktop and mobile versions? The reason is in theory each version provides the best browsing experience for its platform. That sounds good in theory, but in some cases, the mobile Web sites sometimes leave out necessary features or hide content. That’s especially annoying if you’re browsing on an iPad, where the desktop site would work fine. If you run across such a site while browsing in Safari on the iPhone or iPad, you can ask for its desktop version. To access the Desktop version, press and hold the Reload button at the right side of the address bar, and then tap Request Desktop Site. If the site allows such a request, as do Wikipedia and the New York Times, the desktop version loads (to read the small text, you may need to pinch out to zoom the page).

Desktop site Wikipedia

macOS Hidden Treasures: Secrets of the System Preferences Window – TidBITS

Some great tips here!

macOS Hidden Treasures: Secrets of the System Preferences Window – TidBITS:

When the Search field is inactive (the magnifying glass and Search label are grayed-out and centered in the field), type one or more letters to specify a target pane; a quick animation outlines it in blue, and pressing the Space bar opens it.

If the System Preferences icon is in your Dock, press (click-and-hold, rather than just click) it, and choose the pane you want from the menu.

NewImage

Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles | TechCrunch

I’ve always been a fan of Disney and my dream job as a kid was working in their imagineering department. They continue to this day to not disappoint me.

Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles | TechCrunch:

That’s where the Stuntronics project comes in. Built out of a research experiment called Stickman, which we covered a few months ago, Stuntronics are autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers that make on-the-go corrections to nail high-flying stunts every time. Basically robotic stuntpeople, hence the name.

Apple Pay Gains Momentum With Estimated 250 Million Users

Apple Pay Gains Momentum With Estimated 250 Million Users, 200% Transaction Growth Predicted Next Year – Mac Rumors:

An estimated 31 percent of iPhone users have made a purchase with Apple Pay in the past year, up from 25 percent a year ago, according to a new Apple Pay estimates shared today by Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster.

NewImage

Apple

Apple pushes GiveBack program with trade-ins

Apple pushes GiveBack program with trade-ins now worth instant credit toward new iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac | 9to5Mac:

Apple rebranded its reuse and recycling trade-in program earlier this year as “Apple GiveBack.” Now, customers buying new devices on Apple’s website can use a trade-in to instantly offset the cost.

Comparing Before/After Edits in Photos on the Mac

Photos on the Mac provides many editing tools, so many that it’s easy to lose track of how an edited image compares to the original. The good thing is you can always use the Revert to Original command and then undo it, but then you lose all your edits. Maybe you just want to compare your edited version with the original. Well Photos also provides a Show Original button in the upper-left corner, between the window controls and the Revert to Original button. Click and hold this button to see your original image; let up to see the edited version again. Even easier, press the ‘M’ key on your keyboard. The only thing either of those techniques won’t do is show the effect of cropping; to see the uncropped original, press Control-M. And if you just want to see how a particular set of adjustment controls affected the image, click its blue checkmark to turn it off and back on.


Other tips for Photos:
How to use the Camera App’s Hidden Level
Search for Nearly Anything in your Photos Library

Invoke Special Views and Features on the Mac with a Flick of Your Wrist

Hot Corners photo

When you are working on your Mac, you probably have many windows open. Some covering other apps and mostly covering the desktop. As I write this I count at least 10 windows open on my Mac. If you want to look at the Desktop or do something different, you may find yourself clicking around or using keyboard shortcuts, but did you know that you can access many of the Mac’s special views with just a flick of your wrist?

A little-known feature called Hot Corners makes this possible. The key to unlocking Hot Corners is in your System Preferences. You’ll see an options for Hot Corners in both the Desktop & Screen Saver pane and the Mission Control pane. It doesn’t matter which pane you choose, all you need to do is click the Hot Corners button to set up your hot corners.

Hot Corners screensaver

The Hot Corners dialog displays a pop-up menu for each of the four corners of your screen. Choose an action in one of those menus. Once you choose your action, whatever you’ve chosen will happen when you move your pointer to that corner. A hyphen, the default, means nothing happens. In my case I sue the Show Desktop action in the lower left corner. Whenever I need to ge two the Desktop, I move may cursor to the lower left cogent and all my windows move away and show my desktop. I can’t tell you how many times a day I sue this. Here’s the scoop on each action.

Hot Corners Control with callout

Start Screen Saver

Screen Savers are needed with today’s flat-panel LCD screens, but it does hide the contents of your screen and personalize your Mac. The Start Screen Saver hot corner shows the screen saver immediately, overriding the setting for how long the Mac must sit idle before the screen saver turns on (in System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver, in the Start After pop-up menu).

Disable Screen Saver

We also have the opposite of Start Screen Saver – Disable Screen Saver. If you normally have your screen saver set to turn on automatically, it may come on when you would prefer it didn’t, such as when you are thinking about what to write in a tough email. To prevent the screen saver from coming on temporarily, use a Disable Screen Saver hot corner.

Mission Control

Once you’re in this bird’s-eye view of all your Mac’s open windows, you can switch to any window by clicking it. You can also set up spaces in Mission Control—a space is a view that contains only windows from the apps that are assigned to that space. Click the plus sign in the top-right corner and then drag windows up into the new space. Switch to a space by clicking it in the top bar. On my Mac, this is the top left corner action.

Hot Corners Mission Control

Application Windows

For an overview of all open windows for a particular app, use a hot corner to invoke Application Windows. This view displays thumbnails of all open windows in the current app. For some apps, you’ll also see thumbnails of recently opened documents at the bottom of the view. Click any thumbnail to switch to it.

Hot Corners App Windows

Desktop

If you like storing documents for in-progress projects on your Desktop, you’ll love the hot corner that invokes Desktop view. It moves all open windows aside, letting you focus on the icons on the Desktop. The windows return when you switch to an app. As I mentioned earlier, this is my lower left action.

Dashboard

If you are a fan of the Dashboard, you can create an action to open the Dashboard. The Dashboard contains a few rudimentary widgets, like a clock and a calculator. Apple hasn’t updated Dashboard in years, and developers don’t create Dashboard widgets anymore, so it’s not worth learning—or using via a hot corner—if you don’t already rely on it.

Notification Center

Since you can so easily click the Notification Center icon in the far right of your menu bar, it’s seldom worth wasting a hot corner on it. Notification Center has two views: Today and Notifications. Today shows status information and is easily customized; click the Edit button at its bottom. To display an app’s notifications in Notifications, go to System Preferences > Notifications, select the app, and then select the Show in Notification Center checkbox.

Launchpad

If you like using iOS, giving Launchpad a hot corner might make opening apps on your Mac easier. It’s designed to look and work like the Home screen on an iPad or iPhone—just click an app to launch it. To see more apps, scroll horizontally—with a trackpad, swipe with two fingers; with a Magic Mouse, scroll by swiping with one finger on the mouse surface.

Put Display to Sleep

Those who are concerned about energy usage might appreciate this option. Toss your pointer in the associated hot corner, and your screen goes to sleep immediately, consuming less power than a screen saver. It lets you override the “Turn display off after” slider in System Preferences > Energy Saver.

To exit these special views, switch to another app, press the Escape key, put the pointer back in the hot corner again, or just move the mouse.

If you find yourself triggering a hot corner accidentally, try adding a modifier key so its action activates only when the pointer is in the corner and the key is pressed. To set this up, open the Hot Corners dialog, open the corner’s pop-up menu, and press a key (Shift, Control, Option, or Command). The key’s symbol appears in the menu. Keep the key down and choose the desired action.

Hot Corners Control with callout

The best way to set up your hot corners depends on how you use your Mac, of course. My favorites are the Mission Control, so I have access to my full screen apps, and Desktop because it removes screen clutter that gets in the way of using the Desktop.

Want to change your Email Signature from “Sent from my iPhone”?

IPhone signature photo

When you use Apple’s Mail app on your iPhone to send email, the default signature is “Sent from my iPhone.” The iPad is not much different as it’s default signature is “Sent from my iPad.” If you’d prefer to change it to something more personal and not advertise the fact you have an iPhone or iPad with every email you send, don’t bother poking around in the Mail app itself. Instead, go to Settings > Mail > Signature, where you can change the signature to anything you like. You can also delete it entirely. If you have multiple email accounts configured, such as one for work and one for home, you can also set a different signature for each of these accounts in the Mail settings.

IPhone signature

Did You Know You Can Customize the Columns in a Finder Window’s List View?

Finder columns photo

When a Mac folder contains a lot of files, the Finder’s List view often works best in my opinion. Why? It let’s you focus on a single folder. Wiht the column view you can also easily sort the contents by clicking the different columns: Name, Date Modified, Size, and Kind. But you can do more. Did you know that you can resize columns, rearrange them, and even add and remove columns? To resize a column, drag the vertical separator line to the right of its name. To move a column, click and hold on its name, and then drag it to the desired position. And to add or remove a column, Control- or right-click any column header and select or deselect the desired column. Choose from Date Modified, Date Created, Date Last Opened, Date Added, Size, Version, Kind, Comments, and Tags.

Finder columns

Tutor for iTunes on the Mac now available online

Learn how to work with iTunes with our latest tutorial – Tutor for iTunes for the Mac

In this tutorial we look at how we manage our media, such as music and movies in iTunes on the Mac. We first look at the interface and how we get around iTunes. From there we look at individual features including setting the sound quality and using the MiniPlayer interface. We also look at how we import our media into iTunes and once it is imported how we can change the information and media kind or type. From there we look at the various types of playlists we can create and how we keep them organized. We also look at how iTunes keeps your media organized and how we can turn that off if you’d rather organize your media yourself. Have an iPhone or an iPad? With iTunes we can manage our iOS devices including backup, update, and restore as well as sync our media with your iSO device.

We show you how all this works in Tutor for iTunes for the Mac.

Here’s How to Find Out if Your Online Passwords Have Been Stolen

Pwned photo

Unfortunately data breaches have become commonplace. Online thieves are constantly breaking into corporate and government servers and making off with millions—or even hundreds of millions!—of email addresses. In some case these thieves will also get other personal information like names, physical address, and passwords.

This may not seem like a big deal – who cares if someone reads the local newspaper under your name? But since many people reuse the same passwords across multiple sites, these thieves will take that password and test it against other sites, possibly getting into other sites of yours that are more personal.

Pwned LinkedIn breach

Password security hasn’t always been a big deal on the Internet, and many people reused passwords regularly in the past. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if any of your information was included in a data breach, so you’d know which passwords to change?

A free service called Have I Been Pwned does just this (“pwned” is hacker-speak for “owned” or “dominated by”—it rhymes with “owned”). Run by Troy Hunt, Have I Been Pwned gathers the email addresses associated with data breaches and lets you search to see if your address was stolen in any of the archived data breaches. Even better, you can subscribe to have the service notify you if your address shows up in any future breaches.

Pwned list
Needless to say, you’ll want to change your password on any site that has suffered a data breach, and if you reused that password on any other sites, give them new, unique passwords as well. If you use a different password for each site, even if one of your passwords was compromised, attackers can’t break into any of your other accounts.

I recommend you take some time to check for and update compromised, vulnerable, and weak passwords. Start with more important sites, and, as time permits, move on to accounts that don’t contain confidential information.

How to Make the Most of Apple’s New AirPlay 2

AirPlay 2 photo

If you aren’t familiar with Apple’s AirPlay feature, Airplay makes it possible to stream audio from an iOS device or Mac to an AirPlay-enabled speaker, AirPort Express base station, or most recently, a HomePod. Because AirPlay transfers sound over a Wi-Fi network, it eliminates the need for stereo wires and lets you put your speakers where you want them.

Back in June 2017, Apple announced AirPlay 2. With Airplay 2 you could play the same song on multiple speakers (with AirPlay 1, this is possible only in iTunes on the Mac) or play different songs on different speakers. Subsequently, Apple released the HomePod, promising to add multi-room audio and stereo sound with linked HomePods in the future. All these new features requiring Airplay 2.

Apple recently released three updates—iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4, and HomePod 11.4—with an eye toward delivering AirPlay 2 and these promised features. Once you’ve installed these updates, here’s how to start enjoying AirPlay 2’s improvements (What OS are you running?).

AirPlay 2 in iOS

To take advantage of the multi-room audio capabilities on your iPhone or iPad, start playing some audio. Then open Control Center and press the audio card to expand it. Now tap the AirPlay button in the upper right. You will see a list of available output devices; those that support AirPlay 2 have a circle to the right of the name. Tap one or more of those circles to send the audio to that speaker. If an app has its own AirPlay button, you can also tap that to access the same controls.

AirPlay 2 in iOS

The iPhone can’t play audio simultaneously with an AirPlay 2 speaker, which is why there’s no circle next to iPhone in the image above. Although AirPlay 1 devices—such as the AirPort Express base station (Speaker Express above)—still work singly, they can’t be included in a multi-room set.

AirPlay 2 in tvOS

Once your Apple TV is running tvOS 11.4, it can become an AirPlay 2 speaker, sending audio through your TV, soundbar, or home theater system. In my case I can use my Sonos Playbar through my Apple TV. It can also broadcast its own audio to other AirPlay 2 speakers.

To enable an Apple TV for AirPlay 2, go to Settings > AirPlay > Room, and bring your iPhone or iPad close to the Apple TV. Accept the prompt that appears on the iPhone or iPad, and the Apple TV joins other AirPlay 2 devices associated with your Apple ID.

AirPlay 2 tvOS setup

Once it’s set up, you can send audio from the Apple TV to different speakers. In a video app, swipe down from the top of the Siri Remote, select Audio, and then select one or more speakers (not all video apps offer this feature).

AirPlay 2 tvOS video

For music, the steps are a little different. Start playing some music and then, from the Music app’s Now Playing screen, swipe up and to the left to highlight the AirPlay button (if no icons are showing at the top of the screen, press the Menu button to display them). Or—this is much easier!—just press and hold the Play/Pause button on the Siri Remote. Then, as in iOS, select the desired AirPlay 2 speakers with circles to the right of their names by swiping down and clicking the touchpad.

AirPlay 2 tvOS speakers

You can also send all Apple TV audio to AirPlay 2 speakers by going to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Output and selecting the desired speakers.

Other AirPlay 2 Improvements

AirPlay 2 includes a few welcome performance improvements. You’ll have fewer audio drops due to a larger streaming buffer, and tighter device syncing provides a faster response when you play or pause the music. Another plus for iOS users is that taking a phone call or playing a game won’t interrupt playback.

Siri works better with streaming audio as well. You can specify which speaker Siri should play through, as in “play Tears for Fears Shout on Dining Room,” and play the same music through all your speakers with a command like “play the Brandenburg Concertos everywhere.” You can even move audio from one speaker to another—try asking your HomePod to “move the music to the Apple TV.”

Also, AirPlay 2 speakers are now HomeKit accessories, so you can start and stop them in the Home app.

Finally, although it’s unclear whether this feature is part of AirPlay 2, a pair of HomePods can now act as stereo speakers. Once each HomePod is running 11.4, a new option to pair them appears in the HomePod settings in the Home app. Select the HomePods, assign them to the left and right sides, and you can enjoy true stereo music.

HomePod pairing

It may sound as though all AirPlay 2-compatible speakers come from Apple, but in fact, a wide range of speaker manufacturers—including names like Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Denon, Marantz, Polk, and Sonos—have committed to supporting AirPlay 2, either with updates to existing products or in new speakers. Look for such products later in 2018, and, in the meantime, we hope you enjoy using AirPlay 2 with HomePods and Apple TVs.