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Adam Engst 3 comments

Kini Motion Detector Adds Email Notifications and Previews Stasis Mode

The Kini motion detectors can now alert you to motion using email instead of or in addition to SMS, making them usable by those outside North America and opening up automation options. Kinisium is also testing a Stasis Mode that alerts you when a Kini hasn’t moved as anticipated.

Adam Engst 20 comments

Solving the macOS Installer’s “Failed to Personalize” Error with New Firmware

A TidBITS Talk user was unable to update macOS on an M2 16-inch MacBook Pro, receiving a “Failed to personalize” error each time. The problem turned out to be related to firmware, and the little-known solution required restoring with Apple Configurator.

Adam Engst 11 comments

Reacting to Unsolicited Two-Factor Authentication Codes

We’re all accustomed to receiving two-factor authentication codes via SMS, but if you ever get one that you didn’t request, don’t ignore it because it might indicate that the credentials to one of your accounts have been compromised.

Adam Engst 8 comments

Apple Hearing Study Shares Early Findings on Tinnitus

Results from the crowd-sourced Apple Hearing Study shed light on the prevalence, causes, and impact of tinnitus, with over 160,000 participants sharing their experiences.

Glenn Fleishman 16 comments

Find Hidden Cameras While Traveling

Airbnb’s policy change to ban all indoor cameras at listed properties highlights the scourge of tiny cameras used for snooping. Here’s how to discover if you’re being watched in a rental, hotel, or elsewhere.

Adam Engst 4 comments

How to Identify Good Uses for Generative AI Chatbots and Artbots

Adam Engst explores how you can use generative AI chatbots and artbots productively by helping you identify good uses such as brainstorming, programming, summarizing lengthy PDFs, and drafting difficult email messages. He also examines the utility of AI in Internet searches.

Adam Engst 5 comments

iPhones Pause MagSafe Charging During Continuity Camera

Don’t bother getting a Continuity Camera mount that incorporates a MagSafe Charger to prevent your iPhone’s battery from draining during meetings. It won’t charge wirelessly—and maybe not even over a USB cable—while using Continuity Camera.

Adam Engst 6 comments

Apple’s Wi-Fi-based Positioning System Reveals Access Point Locations

University of Maryland security researchers used a clever approach to querying Apple’s location API to determine the locations of more than two billion Wi-Fi access points worldwide. You can opt out.

Adam Engst No comments

New Apple Accessibility Features Coming Later This Year

To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple revealed a slew of new accessibility features slated for the next versions of its operating systems.

Adam Engst 7 comments

Slack AI Privacy Principles Generate Confusion and Consternation

After a section of a Slack document laying out its privacy principles surrounding AI was taken out of context on social media, controversy ensued. Adam Engst attempts to calm the waters, with help from ChatGPT.

Adam Engst 13 comments

iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 Fix Photo Reappearance Bug

Apple has released new versions of iOS and iPadOS in response to bug reports that iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 caused deleted photos to reappear and show blank images.

Adam Engst 49 comments

Notes on Post-Pandemic Business Travel

Adam Engst took his first business trip in four years and found that some things have changed. He took advantage of packing and flight tracking apps, got free Wi-Fi on several flights, discovered that USB Type-A to USB-C cables are essential, learned that TSA PreCheck is easier to get, and ran across his second App Clip ever. 

Adam Engst 7 comments

iOS 17.5 Adds Cross-Platform Location Tracking Alerts

Apple has released a large set of operating system updates, including iOS 17.5, iPadOS 17.5, macOS 14.5 Sonoma, watchOS 10.5, tvOS 17.5, HomePod Software 17.5, macOS Ventura 13.6.7, macOS Monterey 12.7.5, iOS 16.7.8, and iPadOS 16.7.8. New features include alerts for Android-paired tracking devices moving with you and a new game and leaderboard for Apple News+ subscribers.

Adam Engst 13 comments

Do You Use It? macOS Versioning Sees Low Awareness and Adoption

The results of our poll asking how often you use macOS’s versioning feature show that nearly three-quarters of TidBITS readers either never use versioning or don’t even know what it is. But versioning could save you from losing work—it’s worth trying.

Adam Engst 48 comments

Apple Apologizes for Tone-Deaf “Crush!” iPad Pro Ad

After significant backlash, Apple has apologized for and pulled its “Crush!” ad showing creative and cultural objects pulverized by an industrial press. Was the ad just an ill-considered effort to shock or an all-too-accurate metaphor for today's tech industry?