Since the Cambridge Analytica news broke “deletefacebook” is trending. It appears users are leaving the social network in big numbers. They have figured out that Facebook is nothing more than a mass surveillance machine. Their service is not to make life better, as they would have you believe, but instead to gather as much information about you as they can and then sell it for targeted ads and services. That’s their core business model of collect, store, analyze, and exploit.

I found John Biggs TechCrunch article #deletefacebook worth sharing. It’s about his realization that Facebook’s having so much of his personal information is a liability.

Facebook is using us. It is actively giving away our information. It is creating an echo chamber in the name of connection. It surfaces the divisive and destroys the real reason we began using social media in the first place – human connection.

It is a cancer.

I’ve begun the slow process of weaning myself off of the platform by methodically running a script that will delete my old content.

I encourage you my reader to #deletefacebook. I would but I’ve never had an account so I have nothing to delete.

The Archive – a new notes app for Mac

There’s a new notes app out called the The Archive. If you have used Brett Terpstra’s nvALT this app will look very familiar to you.

Gabe Weatherhead at MacDrifter

The Archive is designed around what Notational Velocity and later nvALT brought to the Mac: Fast, reliable search with ease of creation. As both of these applications lost their luster as macOS advanced, I left them behind in a favor of less buggy and more versatile tools. The Archive is the first application to come along that is really making me reconsider moving my note collection out of Dropbox.

macosxguru at Bicycle For Your Mind.

The Archive owes a huge debt to nvALT. The developers acknowledge that debt explicitly. The Archive is nvALT improved.

I downloaded and played with The Archive for a few days. I found it to be a very nice and an improvement over nvALT. If I hadn’t moved my notes from nvALT to Bear last year I would definitely consider using The Archive as my notes app. For now, I’m too invested in Bear to change.

Macosxguru wrote a nice review of The Archive. I suggest giving it a read.

Update: My thoughts on Hulu Live TV – Canceled

I recently wrote about my thoughts on Hulu Live TV. At the time I mentioned that buffering was a problem but not a deal breaker. Well, the buffering problem has become a deal breaker.

Here’s the problem. We are rarely able to watch a program without some degree of buffering. Today I tried to watch MSNBC during lunch. The buffering was so bad it was impossible to watch. I tried CNN and got the same result. I’ve tried to roll with it but I can’t do it anymore. It’s just too frustrating!

I canceled the Live TV part of our Hulu subscription and went back to Sling TV. We don’t get as many channels with Sling but we do get the ones we watch the most.

Feeds I follow

Some of the most interesting Apple-related technology feeds that I follow are smaller blogs run by individuals rather than the bigger news blogs like iMore, 9to5 Mac, and MacRumors.

Here are some of my favorites:

Day One app support

I purchased the iOS version of Day One journaling app about a year and a half ago thinking I would use it for journaling in place of the journal I was keeping in a Ulysses. My journaling is pretty hit and miss so I never got into using Day One until now.

A few months ago I decided I wanted start documenting some of the activities in my life so I started doing that in Day One. I call it a Lifelog. I do this with words and photos which is a really nice way to document things. Now I’ve decided I’m going use Day One for all my journaling. With a couple of hours work, I moved all the journal entries that I had in Ulysses into Day One.

There’s only one missing. When I purchased Day One I only purchased the iOS app which I have on my iPhone and iPad. Now I think I would like to have the Mac app. Since my account is a grandfathered Plus account and not a subscription I wasn’t sure how to go about getting the Mac app.

Plus – grandfathered

For users that purchased Day One 2.0 between February 4, 2016 and June 27, 2017:  You will see this user status in the app settings. The status is per platform. If you owned Day One only on iOS, you will have Plus on iOS only.

So I contacted support to see if there was any way to get a trial of the Mac app with Plus status.

I have to say, this was the best support experience I’ve ever had. My support person was Adam. He understood what I wanted to do and offered to set me up for a one week trial. I said that would be wonderful. He said at the end of the trial I could purchase the Mac app with Plus status, or go for the Premium subscription with a discount for being a previous user, or just continue using the iOS app as I have been.

Adam was so nice and accommodating that I feel compelled to upgrade to the Premium subscription for at least one year. He said if I don’t renew the next year my plan reverts back to the iOS Plus plan which in the end would probably be fine.

Search Bear notes from Alfred

If you’re using Alfred and Bear I want to share a workflow with you that I use to search Bear notes or tags and open the result from Alfred.

Here’s how it works.

Searching and opening results

  • bs — Search for a note by title and open it in Bear.
  • bst — Search for a tag (a group of notes) by tag title and open it in Bear.

You can also create a new note from Alfred.

Creating a new note

  • bn — Create a new note with input as title. Tags optional.
    • bn I love notes! — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!”
    • bn I love notes! #love #notes — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!” and the tags “#love” and “#notes”

This saves some keystrokes if I’m not already working in Bear.

Download the workflow.

iCloud data is stored on Google servers

I always thought my iCloud data was stored in an Apple-owned data center. I’m not sure why I thought that. I guess I just assumed. Turns out it’s not. It’s being stored on Google and Amazon S3 servers.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I started avoiding Google services several years ago. I left Gmail for Fastmail. I moved my calendars and contacts from Google to Apple Calendar and Contacts. Now I find out that Apple is storing my data on Google servers.

I guess we have to trust that Apple is properly securing our data on Google and Amazon’s servers. They say they are.

iCloud stores a user’s contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more and keeps the information up to date across all of their devices, automatically. iCloud can also be used by third-party apps to store and sync documents as well as key values for app data as defined by the developer. Users set up iCloud by signing in with an Apple ID and choosing which services they would like to use. iCloud features, including My Photo Stream, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup, can be disabled by IT administrators via MDM configuration profiles. The service is agnostic about what is being stored and handles all file content the same way, as a collection of bytes.

Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform.

​CNBC first reported on this.

Don’t use Facebook’s data tracking Onavo VPN: It’s spying on you!

Facebook is always looking for new ways to violate user privacy. They’ve instituted a new one.

In the Facebook iOS mobile app, they recently added a new button under the Settings menu called “Protect”. When you click on “Protect” it takes you to an app in the App Store called “Onavo Protect – VPN Security”. Don’t install it.

This may seem like a good option for a free security app, but it’s not.

This is indeed a VPN. But, it routes all your web browsing and app usage data to a Facebook server. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. They even tell you they are.

From the Onavo description in the App Store

To provide this layer of protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences.

This is nothing more than Facebook spyware. If you’re looking for a VPN I can recommend TunnelBear. It’s what I use. It’s not free though. But remember if it’s free you’re the product.