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It’s governmental alphabet soup in this week’s issue of TidBITS! Adam Engst starts out by looking at the fuss caused by the FTC’s ruling that Apple owes up to $32.5 million in response to inadvertent in-app purchases by children. Then Josh Centers covers President Obama’s proposed reforms to the NSA’s intelligence-gathering programs and how various organizations grade his proposals. Next up, Geoff Duncan explains why a U.S. Court of Appeals has thrown out the FCC’s net neutrality rules, and the potential consequences for major Internet companies, small startups, and us. On the Take Control front, all our current books are half off this week, and the latest gaming-centric chapter of Josh’s forthcoming “Take Control of Apple TV” is now available for TidBITS members. If you’ve ever forgotten your administrator password, Alicia Katz Pollock suggests five ways to reset it, but beware what that does to your login keychain. Finally, in his latest FunBITS installment, Josh reviews UMoove Experience, which brings head-tracking to mobile gaming. Notable software releases this week include Typinator 5.8, Mailplane 3.1.2, Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1, and TextExpander 4.2.1.

Adam Engst No comments

Save 50% in Take Control’s Post-Holiday Ebook Sale

Through 25 January 2014, you can save 50 percent on the entire Take Control catalog of ebooks. It’s a great opportunity to pick up titles that you’ve been wanting to read or that might be useful to have on your virtual shelf for reference. As always, all ebooks are DRM-free and available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats.

Adam Engst 2 comments

FTC Ruling in Apple In-App Purchase Case Generates Controversy

Over three years ago, a tempest erupted over inadvertent in-app purchases made by children due to App Store password caching. Apple eventually fixed the problem, but not before public outcry resulted in a class-action suit and FTC investigation. That last one has now come home to roost, in the form of a $32.5 million settlement. But should the entire situation have gone away long ago?

Adam Engst No comments

Chapter 10 of “Take Control of Apple TV” Available

Apple may not have designed the Apple TV for gaming, but clever iOS developers have created games meant to be played on the big screen by levering AirPlay. In the latest chapter of “Take Control of Apple TV,” Josh Centers shines a light on those games, and offers tips for avoiding buzz-killing lags.

Josh Centers 3 comments

Grading Obama’s Proposed NSA Reforms

President Obama has announced modest reforms to the NSA spying practices revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden. Various organizations have graded the reforms, but the real question is whether Congress will take the necessary actions.

Geoff Duncan 5 comments

Net Neutrality Is Down, but Not Out

A U.S. Appeals Court has struck down key provisions of net neutrality rules in the United States, so ISPs could start favoring (or discriminating against) certain online services. But don’t expect big changes overnight.

Alicia Katz Pollock 7 comments

Five Ways to Reset a Lost Administrator Password

Recovering a user’s forgotten password used to require special tools or creative administrative management. It’s fairly easy in recent versions of Mac OS X, but many of us still have or need to help people with older operating systems. Here are all the different ways to get back into a Mac if you’re locked out, no matter what version of Mac OS X it’s running.

TidBITS Staff No comments

ExtraBITS for 20 January 2014

In this week’s ExtraBITS, the Web-based Trello collaboration tool gets a major update, music-streaming service Rdio goes free, Avatron floats a cloudless file-sharing solution via Kickstarter, and a new feature in Google Chrome makes it easy to hunt down noisy tabs.