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Josh Centers

Josh Centers

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS, as well as the author of Take Control of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Take Control of Notes, Take Control of Apple Home Automation, and Take Control of Apple TV, and co-author of Take Control of Preview. He's also a contributor to The Prepared and USA TODAY.

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Watch Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Special Event

Apple has released the 85-minute video of its September 2013 Special Event, featuring the debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Be sure to check out the end, which features a performance by Elvis Costello.

Josh Centers Michael E. Cohen 27 comments

iPhone 5s Announced, Knows You by Touch

As expected, Apple has announced the iPhone 5s, featuring new gold and silver tones, a faster processor, and a new motion chip, as well as a built-in fingerprint scanner that eliminates the need for a passcode for most people.

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John Sculley Reflects on the Firing of Steve Jobs

Former Apple CEO John Sculley gave a talk at the 2013 Forbes Global CEO Conference, where he was asked about his split with Steve Jobs, which led to Jobs leaving the company in the mid-1980s. Sculley aimed the blame squarely at Apple’s board at the time and pointed out that Jobs then lacked the business acumen for which he later became famous. Sculley said he regrets not reaching out to Jobs to bring him back to Apple later. “I didn’t do that, it was a terrible mistake on my part. I can’t figure out why I didn’t have the wisdom to do that. But I didn’t. And as life has it, shortly after that, I was fired,” Sculley said.

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FunBITS: In Praise of BioShock Infinite for Mac

After being unimpressed with the original BioShock, Josh Centers has fallen in love with BioShock Infinite. What makes a game great, and can a video game be art?

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Why the Brother HL-2270DW Laser Printer Sucks Less

Do you reluctantly need a printer, but tire of money-sucking inkjets? Brother, have we got a printer for you.

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Amazon Announces New Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon has announced the second generation of its Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader, with a number of exciting new features. Preorders are available today for $119, and units will begin shipping 30 September 2013.

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Apple Event Confirmed for 10 September 2013

Apple has sent out invitations for a special event to be held on 10 September 2013, at the company’s headquarters. We expect the announcement of new iPhone models, the imminent release of iOS 7, and perhaps some other surprises. The invitation features a number of multi-colored bubbles, and the text, “This should brighten everyone’s day.” Could it be a hint at often-rumored multicolored iPhones?

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Amazon Announces Kindle MatchBook

Starting in October 2013, Amazon will begin offering Kindle MatchBook, a new service that enables you to obtain free or discounted Kindle copies of any qualifying physical books that you’ve purchased from Amazon — dating all the way back to 1995! The Kindle editions will range from free to $2.99.

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Josh Centers Discusses Steve Ballmer and Apple TV on Tech Night Owl

TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers joins Gene Steinberg of the Tech Night Owl Live podcast to discuss Steve Ballmer’s retirement, the future of Microsoft, where Apple might be taking Apple TV, and how Apple may be readying a stealth attack on the gaming industry.

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Apple Offering iPhone Trade-In Program

After much speculation, Apple has officially launched an iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores. When you bring in your old iPhone, an Apple Specialist will evaluate its condition and make an offer. If you accept, you must sign a new cellular contract, and you will be given a gift card in the amount of the offer. Don’t get too excited, as Apple appears to offer less than trade-in rival Gazelle. Even if you want to take advantage of the new program, we recommend waiting until 10 September 2013, the likely announcement date of the next iPhone.

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Hackers Can Root Macs by Going Back in Time

A bug in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion allows attackers to gain superuser access if they reset the clock to 1 January 1970. The bug shouldn’t affect most people, as the attacker also needs shell access to the Mac, and the user must have enabled superuser access in the past.

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Text Display Bug Can Render Apps Unusable

A vulnerability in iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion can crash apps and even render them unusable if certain strings of text are rendered. The text strings can cause Messages and Safari to crash, and can cause additional errors if a Wi-Fi network is named with the text. The problem is reportedly fixed in the betas of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, but we expect Apple to address it in iOS 6 and Mountain Lion updates as well.

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FunBITS: Blackbar Offers Trenchant Word Puzzle

Inspired by the revelations of NSA spying programs, Blackbar is an iOS word puzzle built around ████████ through obscurity.

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How Some User Interfaces Are Designed to Trick You

Over at The Verge, user experience expert Harry Brignull explains how some interface designers use “dark patterns” to fool you into doing things you otherwise wouldn’t do. One example is how Apple hides iOS 6’s ad tracking control in General > About > Advertising, instead of putting it in the privacy settings, and words it as a double negative (you have to turn it on to limit ad tracking). Brignull continues on with other examples, showing how some Web sites try to con you into buying subscriptions or use trick questions to get you to sign up for spam.

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Catching Up with Trello

Fog Creek Software has added a number of new features to the Trello information management service since we first reviewed it. Here’s an overview of what’s new with Trello.