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ExtraBITS for 1 August 2016

In ExtraBITS this week, your cheap non-Bluetooth wireless keyboard might be betraying your confidence, Apple jumps deeper into the video content game with the CBS series “Carpool Karaoke,” Apple Music video is now included in T-Mobile’s Binge On program, the Wirecutter explains why your device’s battery meter is often wrong, and Adam Engst and Josh Centers join the MacVoices podcast to discuss their latest book, “Take Control of Preview.”

Your Wireless Keyboard May Be Betraying You — Bastille, a cybersecurity company, has shown that hackers can easily intercept transmissions from eight non-Bluetooth wireless keyboards. Experts demonstrated how a $40 radio transponder combined with a $50 antenna could eavesdrop on the signals of budget wireless keyboards from Anker, EagleTec, General Electric, HP, Insignia, Kensington, Radio Shack, and Toshiba. Bluetooth and wired keyboards, however, are not vulnerable to the methods used in this attack. It’s a reason to avoid
wireless keyboards that depend on proprietary transmission systems.

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Apple Music Scores “Carpool Karaoke” Series — First, the news broke about Apple’s “Planet of the Apps” TV show, and now the company is continuing its foray into original content by nabbing CBS’s upcoming “Carpool Karaoke” series. “Carpool Karaoke” is a spinoff of the popular “The Late Late Show with James Corden” bit, in which he drives celebrities around as they sing songs. Although it doesn’t sound as if Corden will host the new show, it is, nonetheless, a big “get” for Apple Music.

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Video on Apple Music No Longer Counts Against T-Mobile Data Caps — While T-Mobile users have been able to stream music from Apple Music for the past year without it counting against cellular data caps, the carrier has now added Apple Music to its Binge On program, meaning that video from Apple Music will no longer count against the caps. This exemption includes music videos, as well as future video content on Apple Music, such as the upcoming “Carpool Karaoke” series from CBS.

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Why Your Phone’s Battery Meter Is Wrong — Has your iPhone ever died, even though it claimed to have charge left? The Wirecutter goes over the complex reasons why mobile device battery meters are often so inaccurate. The article describes the different variables that go into computing remaining battery charge and concludes that battery meters can, at best, provide only a guess of the remaining charge.

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Adam Engst and Josh Centers Discuss Preview on MacVoices — Adam Engst and Josh Centers joined host Chuck Joiner on the MacVoices podcast to discuss their new book, “Take Control of Preview.” They describe how it started out as a popular TidBITS series, outline Preview’s many capabilities, and explain why the built-in Mac app is akin to a Swiss Army Knife. Tune in for all the backstory to the book, plus a ton of tips!

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