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Jun
01

Here’s How the Exposure Notification System from Apple and Google Protects Your Privacy

Here’s How the Exposure Notification System from Apple and Google Protects Your Privacy

Apple recently released iOS 13.5, incorporating a new Exposure Notification API in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen a few people freaking out about this, but seriously, calm down, folks. At best, the Exposure Notification API could lower contact tracing costs, reduce the spread of COVID-19, prevent life-changing health consequences, and save lives. At worst, it won’t prove particularly effective. In neither case does it pose any threat to personal privacy.

Why have Apple and Google—two companies that normally compete tooth and nail—formed this unprecedented partnership? Contact tracing is one of the key techniques employed by public health authorities in slowing the spread of COVID-19. It involves gathering information from an infected person about those they’ve been in contact with, enabling authorities to learn who might have been the source of the infection and who they may have infected. It’s a slow, laborious, and error-prone process—do you know or even remember all the people you’ve come in contact with over the past few weeks?—but it’s helpful nonetheless.

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207 Hits
May
05

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage

In a move that completes the transition of the MacBook line from the troubled butterfly keyboard to the Magic Keyboard, Apple has released a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company also doubled the amount of storage in each of the standard configurations while keeping prices the same, and it ramped up the specs in the model with four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Like the MacBook Air that Apple released several months ago, the most notable change in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the replacement of the butterfly keyboard with the new scissor-key Magic Keyboard introduced last year in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. So far, that keyboard has been well-regarded. Unlike the MacBook Air, however, the 13-inch MacBook Pro continues to include Apple’s Touch Bar, though now with a physical Escape key and a separate Touch ID sensor.

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240 Hits
May
01

Audiovisual Tips for Better Videoconferencing

Audiovisual Tips for Better Videoconferencing

Whether for work or socializing, we’re all spending a lot more time in video calls these days. But—surprise!—it turns out that many of our group video calls could be more pleasant, less embarrassing, and overall better if we follow a few basic audiovisual tips.

Make Sure You Have Decent Lighting

Natural light is best, but room light is generally fine too, especially if it’s coming from the side. Overhead light isn’t quite as flattering, but whatever you do, avoid light that comes from underneath your face or you’ll look like an old-time movie villain. Also, avoid sitting in front of a window because the bright light behind you will make you look way too dark. Pull a shade or try to put your computer against the window so the light hits your face instead.

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464 Hits
May
01

Forrester Research and IBM Studies Show Macs Are Cheaper than PCs

Forrester Research and IBM Studies Show Macs Are Cheaper than PCs

It’s taken as gospel that Macs are more expensive than PCs. A quick look at the Dell Web site reveals laptops for as low as $300. Sure, we can say that the configurations aren’t comparable, that macOS is better than Windows, or that Apple’s hardware quality is superior. Still, our friendly local bean counters have trouble getting past those low upfront prices.

However, unless you’re Rancho Gordo, the goal isn’t to count beans, it’s to get work done, and that’s a different scenario. Let’s look at a few ways that Macs are not just worth the money but can also be cheaper than comparable systems. We’ll start with a Forrester Research study commissioned by Apple that compared the total economic impact of Macs and PCs in large companies with employee-choice programs. In such programs, every employee gets to choose between a Mac and a PC, providing a sizable group across which to compare numbers, but the conclusions apply to large and small organizations alike.

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496 Hits
Apr
01

You Can Now Export and Download Apple Card Statements

You Can Now Export and Download Apple Card Statements

Apple’s credit card, the Apple Card, offers a nice mix of integration with Apple Pay, daily cash back, and an elegant interface in the Wallet app on your iPhone. Until recently, however, it was impossible to get your transaction data out of Wallet except in PDF form. Apple has now added exports in either CSV or OFX format. CSV is appropriate for importing into a spreadsheet, whereas many financial apps can import OFX files. To export your data from Wallet, tap your Apple Card and then tap Card Balance. Under Statements, tap the statement you want to export, tap Export Transactions at the bottom, and choose a format. For CSV, tap the Share icon in the file preview, and for OFX, Wallet automatically opens a share sheet. Use AirDrop, Messages, or Mail to send the file to your Mac, where you can work with it in whatever you use to track your finances.

(Featured image by MARK S. on Unsplash)

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519 Hits

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