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The Big Bang Theory’s long reign, explained 2019-05-15 19:47:14

I enjoyed The Big Bang Theory immensely for what it was – a silly little comedy. While I’d never call it a “great” show, I looked forward to watching it each week and I’m sorry its run has come to an end.

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∞ Internal Apple video bashes Windows in the most entertaining way 2019-05-15 16:08:04

[VIDEO] When I first started watching the video (embedded in the main Loop post), I just rolled my eyes.

But I kept going, and then got hooked. Not sure why this was built, but they sure put a lot of effort into this. I would pay big money to see a modern take on this, starring all the Apple folk we know and love.

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It’s almost impossible to tell if your iPhone has been hacked 2019-05-15 16:03:16

Motherboard:

Hackers have been breaking into iPhones allegedly using a powerful spy tool sold to governments and taking advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in the popular messaging app WhatsApp.

The hacking tool, as well as the WhatsApp exploit, were made by the infamous Israeli hacking and surveillance tool vendor NSO Group, according to The Financial Times, which first reported the story on Monday.

And:

“The simple reality is there are so many 0-day exploits for iOS,” Stefan Esser, a security researcher that specializes in iOS, wrote on Twitter. “And the only reason why just a few attacks have been caught in the wild is that iOS phones by design hinder defenders to inspect the phones.”

And:

As of today, there is no specific tool that an iPhone user can download to analyze their phone and figure out if it has been compromised. In 2016, Apple took down an app made by Esser that was specifically designed to detect malicious jailbreaks. Moreover, iOS is so locked down that without hacking or jailbreaking it first, even a talented security researcher can do very little analysis on it.

Not clear to me if that “0-day exploits” comment is true. After all, if you don’t have the tools to break in, how would you know. But the article does make interesting points. Are there exploit-detecting tools running behind the scenes on iOS, reporting back to Apple if anything is amiss? Or is it more like, the vault is so secure we don’t need guards?

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Anker’s latest dongle lets you use Lightning earbuds with USB-C devices 2019-05-15 15:53:45

The Verge:

It truly feels like we’re starting to reach peak dongle: Anker has released an adapter that allows Lightning earbuds to work with the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple’s USB-C MacBooks, and some recent Windows 10 laptops. This $29.99 accessory is available from Amazon now and is certified under the iPhone maker’s MFi program.

Add in this comment from Joanna Stern:

If this had a swappable or interchangeable 3.5mm headphone jack it would be the dongle to end all dongles

One dongle to rule them all. The mind reels.

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Apple lowers maximum iPhone trade-in values, best deals now limited to trade-ins with purchase 2019-05-15 15:33:47

Juli Clover:

Apple used to offer a maximum of $500 when doing a direct iPhone trade-in through its trade-in website, and just a few weeks ago, we tested trading in an iPhone X and were offered $500 by Apple. Today, Apple’s maximum price for the same iPhone X is $349.

And:

That same iPhone X that’s worth $349 when doing a direct trade-in with Apple is worth $450 if you trade it in while buying a new iPhone XR.

Wondering if there is a reliable web site that tracks best trade-in price for a particular iPhone model at the various trade-in web sites, including Apple.

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Number of Apple Stores per active device 2019-05-15 15:25:41

Apple Weekly:

In the last few years, Apple stopped opening new stores and focused on rebuilding or renovating existing spaces. Apple has about 400 or 500 million of customers more in 2019 that they did in 2014 when Angela Ahrendts took over Apple Retail.

And:

By 2010, when the iPad launched and the iPhone took off, Apple had 280 stores, or 1.4 per million of devices in their installed base. Now that figure is close to 0.36, four times fewer.

Have we hit peak Apple Store? Have the Apple Stores learned to be more efficient, allowing a store to serve many more people?

It’d be interesting to see the data showing number of Apple Store “floor” employees per active device. I do find my local Apple Stores more crowded than in the past, but I also find the process to be more organized as well. That said, I do find the wait to get a genius appointment to be getting longer, though that’s anecdotal, not based on any rigorous analysis.

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How Apple’s Supreme Court loss could change the way you buy apps 2019-05-15 15:09:58

The Verge’s Adi Robertson pulled together an excellent explainer on this week’s Supreme Court ruling with potentially huge implications for Apple.

The biggest takeaway is that this is allowing a lawsuit to move forward and not a specific finding against Apple itself. That fight will likely take a long time, and Apple might still prevail.

But a good backgrounder, easy to follow.

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