Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!
17 Basic macOS Terms Every Mac User Needs to Know and Master
Whether a newbie or veteran, you have a whole lot of Apple-specific glossary to pick up and master. But don’t worry, it’s not all that difficult.
10 Strikes and You’re Out — the iOS Feature You’re Probably Not Using But Should
For many years now, iOS has offered an option in the Passcode section of the Settings all: “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts.
Via Daring Fireball
How to Request a Copy of Your Apple ID Account Data
Apple now allows its customers to download a copy of their personally identifiable data from Apple apps and services. This can include purchase or app usage history, Apple Music and Game Center statistics, marketing history, AppleCare support history, and any data stored on Apple servers, including the likes of calendars, photos, and documents.
4 Ways to Generate a List of Apps Installed on Your Mac
I ran across this the other day. It’s not something that I would use often but in the right situation it could be very helpful.
Previous Web Finds are here.
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.
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.
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.
Web Finds usually includes four items. The House “That Spied On Me” is so important that I wanted it to stand on its own. It’s definitely worth reading.
The extent to which your home automation is spying on you will be shocking.
Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu, The House That Spied On Me
Nick Bilton, writing for Vanity Fair
There’s another theory floating around as to why Facebook cares so much about the way it’s impacting the world, and it’s one that I happen to agree with. When Zuckerberg looks into his big-data crystal ball, he can see a troublesome trend occurring. A few years ago, for example, there wasn’t a single person I knew who didn’t have Facebook on their smartphone. These days, it’s the opposite. This is largely anecdotal, but almost everyone I know has deleted at least one social app from their devices. And Facebook is almost always the first to go. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sneaky privacy-piercing applications are being removed by people who simply feel icky about what these platforms are doing to them, and to society.
And then there’s the main reason I think people are abandoning these platforms: Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves, with its algorithms that can predict if we’re going to cheat on our spouse, start looking for a new job, or buy a new water bottle on Amazon in a few weeks. It knows how to send us the exact right number of pop-ups to get our endorphins going, or not show us how many Likes we really have to set off our insecurities. As a society, we feel like we’re at war with a computer algorithm, and the only winning move is not to play.
Facebook only cares about Facebook not it’s users. I’m happy to see folks are starting to delete their Facebook accounts.
This is a testament to the effectiveness of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) announced in June of 2017.
For Safari version 11 users, ITP prevents tracking as we move around the internet through the management of cookies, small pieces of code that allow advertising technology companies to continually identify us as we browse.
Apple takes user privacy seriously. That’s one of the reasons why I use their products.
Alex Hern, writing for theguardian
Internet advertising firms are losing hundreds of millions of dollars following the introduction of a new privacy feature from Apple that prevents users from being tracked around the web.
Advertising technology firm Criteo, one of the largest in the industry, says that the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature for Safari, which holds 15% of the global browser market, is likely to cut its 2018 revenue by more than a fifth compared to projections made before ITP was announced.
With annual revenue in 2016 topping $730m, the overall cost of the privacy feature on just one company is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.