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Resource id #60External Link: Walt Mossberg Signs Off
Veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg has penned what he calls “the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere” for Recode. To wrap up his career, he looks back to his first Wall Street Journal column from 1991, which started with “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault.” 25 years later, he has updated that to: “Personal technology is usually pretty easy to use, and, if it’s not, it’s not your fault.” Mossberg laments the current lull in tech, but he’s optimistic that it’s merely a pause before reaching greater heights, to the point where computers will fade into the background of our lives.

 

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Apple Silently Updates AirPods Firmware to 3.7.2
Apple has again stealthily updated the AirPods firmware. Josh Centers reminds you how to go about updating the firmware in your AirPods.

 

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iMovie 10.1.6
Improves stability when updating libraries created with earlier versions of iMovie. (Free new, free update, 2.15 GB)

 

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BBEdit 11.6.6
Brings a number of refinements and bug fixes to the venerable text editor. ($49.99 new, free update, 14.0 MB)

 

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HoudahGeo 5.1.9
Updates the Dropbox API for publishing Google Earth KML files. ($39 new, free update, 22.7 MB)

 

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Control Your Payment Card from Your iPhone
Ally Bank’s new Card Control app lets you control how your debit card is used, and other financial institutions offer similar solutions as well.

 

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External Link: Supreme Court Decision Deals a Blow to Patent Trolls
Since the 1990s, the Eastern District of Texas has been the preferred hunting ground for patent trolls. Judges in that district have been friendly to those who hold patents they never intend to use outside of litigation, so nearly 45 percent of patent infringement suits were filed there in 2015. But thanks to a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Eastern District of Texas’s time in the patent litigation limelight may be coming to an end. In TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, the Supreme Court ruled that defendants should face patent litigation in the state in which they’re incorporated. For instance, if you wanted to sue Apple or many other tech companies for patent infringement, you’d have to do so in California. Courts in other states won’t be as friendly to patent trolls, so this seemingly unrelated Supreme Court decision may have the side effect of reducing frivolous patent lawsuits.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 22 May 2017
Notable software releases this week include OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.0.4, TextExpander 6.2.1, Things 3.0.2, Microsoft Office 2016 15.34 and Office 2011 14.7.4, Mellel 3.5.3, KeyCue 8.4, Airfoil 5.6, iTunes 12.6.1, Safari 10.1.1, and Security Update 2017-002 (Yosemite and El Capitan).

 

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ExtraBITS for 22 May 2017
In ExtraBITS this week, Apple has spent $200 million to buy a company whose engineering skills could improve Siri, Panic’s source code was stolen as a result of the HandBrake-carried malware, HomeKit support may be coming to Belkin’s Wemo line of home automation products, and the WannaCry ransomware pandemic has justified Apple’s fight with the FBI over user privacy.

 

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Google Aims to Attract Apple Users with Google I/O Announcements
At its Google I/O conference last week, the Mountain View tech giant again unleashed a torrent of product and service announcements. These, as usual, had more than a little relevance for Apple users.

 

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Never Be Late or Forget a Task Again with “Take Control of Calendar and Reminders”
You know that Apple’s built-in Calendar and Reminders apps can help you manage your schedule and to-do list. But there’s often a gap between theory and reality, so we’ll share a few key troubleshooting tips in this excerpt from Scholle McFarland’s new “Take Control of Calendar and Reminders.”

 

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External Link: Apple Spends $200 Million on Lattice Data to Improve Siri
Apple’s Siri was the first voice-driven assistant of its kind on the market, but in some ways, it is being overshadowed by Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana. To boost Siri's capabilities, Apple has acquired artificial intelligence company Lattice Data for $200 million, largely for the expertise of its 20 engineers. Lattice Data converts so-called “dark data” like free-form text and images into structured data that computers can understand and use in Siri's responses.

 

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OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.0.4
Refines the recently upgraded outlining and information organization apps. ($9.99/59.99 new, free update, 26.9 MB)

 

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TextExpander 6.2.1
Maintenance release provides a smattering of bug fixes. ($40 annual subscription, free update, 6.4 MB)

 

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Things 3.0.2
Major new release for the task manager with a redesigned user interface and new features including project headings, checklists, and time-based reminders. ($49.99 new, free update, 12.1 MB)

 

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Microsoft Office 2016 15.34 and Office 2011 14.7.4
Adds the Dubai font family to Office apps and introduces a new user interface design to the OneNote note-keeping app. ($149.99 new, free update)

 

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Mellel 3.5.3
Maintenance release fixes bugs in the word processor. ($39 new, free update, 128 MB)

 

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KeyCue 8.4
Improves compatibility with macOS 10.12 Sierra. (€19.99 new, free update, 5.2 MB)

 

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External Link: HandBrake Exploit Leads to Stolen Panic Source Code
Panic co-founder Steven Frank has posted an embarrassing confession: after he inadvertently downloaded and installed a compromised version of HandBrake, hackers were able to steal source code to Panic’s apps. There’s no evidence that customer information, sync data, or Panic’s Web site were compromised. However, you should avoid downloading any Panic app that doesn’t come directly from Panic’s Web site or the Mac App Store, and Steven is asking users to report any unofficial versions that people see in the wild. Kudos to Panic for being so open about this and handling it quickly, and take this as a real-world lesson in why it’s important to stay alert when it comes to online security.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.



Airfoil 5.6
Restores full compatibility with all versions of Apple TV. ($29 new, free update, 14.3 MB)

 

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iTunes 12.6.1
Brings minor app and performance improvements. (Free, 270 MB)

 

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Safari 10.1.1
Patches security vulnerabilities when running in Yosemite and El Capitan. (Free)

 

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Security Update 2017-002 (Yosemite and El Capitan)
Resolves security vulnerabilities in Apple’s older operating systems. (Free, various sizes)

 

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External Link: Belkin Adding HomeKit Support to Wemo
Last year, Belkin, which makes the popular Wemo line of home automation accessories, rejected adding HomeKit support because it would require new hardware. Now Belkin has reversed course, telling 9to5Mac, “Wemo is committed to bringing HomeKit support to our line of smart home solutions and will be providing more details soon.” Belkin didn’t say what caused the change of heart, but it’s possible that Apple will announce loosened HomeKit restrictions at WWDC.

 

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How to Ensure High-speed Internet Access When Buying a New Home
Want to move to a new house, but can’t risk losing your high-speed broadband connection? Josh Centers is living through this worry now and has some experiences and advice to share.

 

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No Email Issue on 29 May 2017 for Memorial Day
We’re taking a brief break from building an email issue of TidBITS next week in honor of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States, so look for the next issue in your mailbox on 5 June 2017.

 

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TidBITS News Shows How an Old 32-bit iOS App Becomes 64-bit
Wondering why developers of old 32-bit iOS apps aren’t just recompiling their code to be 64-bit happy? Matt Neuburg explains what’s going on, using the free TidBITS News app that he has just updated as an example.

 

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New CMD-D Conference Targets Automation
Sal Soghoian has developed a new conference called CMD-D that focuses on his specialty, automation, and features top speakers like Andy Ihnatko, John Welch, Jon Pugh, and Jason Snell. It’s August 9th in Santa Clara, CA.

 

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External Link: WannaCry Ransomware Vindicates Apple’s Battle with the FBI
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook came under fire from the FBI for not providing a custom, vulnerable version of iOS so the agency could hack into the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters. Cook refused, on the grounds that it would be impossible to keep any such back door out of the hands of criminals and other intelligence agencies. His stance has now been vindicated, as stolen NSA exploits released by the Shadow Brokers hacking group were used to spread the WannaCry ransomware throughout the world. WannaCry dominated headlines briefly by infecting more than 230,000 Windows-based computers in 150 countries in 24 hours, affecting major companies and even Britain's National Health Service.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 15 May 2017
Notable software releases this week include Fantastical 2.3.7, PopChar X 7.7.1, and Default Folder X 5.1.5.

 

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