In this week’s ExtraBITS, Josh Centers and Joe Kissell chatted with the Tech Night Owl, Apple expanded its AppleCare+ battery coverage and banned the Confederate battle flag from the App Store, and Google debuted a virtual climb up El Capitan.
Josh Centers and Joe Kissell Discuss Conspiracies, Backups with the Tech Night Owl — Our own Josh Centers and Joe Kissell were this week’s guests on The Tech Night Owl podcast. Josh talked about Apple Music, including a conspiracy theory about Taylor Swift, the Apple TV’s future, and the possibility of ARM-based Macs. Joe Kissell recounted the 11 stupid backup strategies from his recent TidBITS article, and explained why you should avoid them.
Apple Improves AppleCare+ Battery Coverage — Apple has boosted its coverage of batteries for iOS devices and Apple Watches under AppleCare+. Apple will now replace batteries in covered devices that retain less than 80 percent of their capacity; previously, the company would replace batteries only if they held less than 50 percent of capacity.
Apple Bans the Confederate Battle Flag from the App Store — Apple has removed from the App Store any app that prominently features the Confederate battle flag (though a casual search revealed a few that Apple missed). The flag has been increasingly under fire in the wake of the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, and retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have withdrawn sales of items depicting it. However, some say that Apple went too far, since the ban includes a number of Civil War games — some relied on by educators — that used the flag in an appropriate historical context.
Take a Virtual Climb Up El Capitan — Google Maps has created a virtual climb up El Capitan. No, not the upcoming OS X release, but the actual rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Using Google Street View, you can experience more than 20 panoramic images taken by climbers who scaled the rock.