Kanex announced Thursday its new MultiSync Aluminum Mac Keyboard. The wireless keyboard is capable of syncing with up to four devices via Bluetooth. This makes it possible to link multiple Macs and mobile devices to a single keyboard. Devices can be switched by pressing one of four designated keys on the keyboard.
The aluminum keyboard is designed to match Apple's regular aluminum products. Also announced is a MultiSync Mini Keyboard made of stainless steel.
Keyboards are available now for preorder and pricing is $99.95 for the MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard and $49.95 for the MultiSync Mini Keyboard.
Report: iPhone 7 to exclusively made by TSMC, utilize 10nm
The Electronic Times via 9 to 5 Mac:
According to a report from South Korean news outlet The Electronic Times, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, better known as TSMC, has reached a deal with Apple to be the sole provider of the processor used in the next-generation iPhone. TSMC and Samsung shared the task of building the processors for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
I think it's clear Apple has been trying to wean itself from relying on competitor Samsung. For the iPhone 6/6Plus, Apple used TSMC exclusively, but came back to Samsung to fill part of its needs for the 6s/6s Plus.
The next generation chip is expected to utilize 10-nanometer process, which should offer greater performance to power consumption over the current A9 processor.
iDevices sells iGrill to Weber
iDevices today announced that it is selling its cooking app-enabled devices to grill maker Weber. The acquisition includes the iGrill, iGrill mini, Kitchen Thermometer, and Kitchen Thermometer mini.
The release says that an updated app is expected later this spring, presumably under the Weber brand.
The iGrill was the first product from iDevices and one of the earlier app-enabled products for smartphones. It's essentially a wireless thermometer that links with an iOS app. The app acts as a receiver and also cooking reference.
In recent years iDevices has expanded to service the connected home/Internet of things market.
Stand-alone HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
Peter Kafka for Re/Code:
The Internet demanded it for years, and last year HBO finally gave it to them. But so far, only 800,000 people have subscribed to HBO Now, the pay TV channel's Web-based service.
The number isn't blowing anyone away, but it could be early. It would be interesting to see what happens when Game of Thrones starts back up, for example. Subscriptions could go in cycles until HBO Now lures people to stick around.
Also, people may be still wrapping their heads around new options for TV in what traditionally has been a stagnant marketplace.
I also liked this bit:
HBO would like help selling HBO Now from conventional pay TV distributors like Comcast, which already bundle conventional HBO to their customers. But so far the company has faced lots of resistance from the pay TV business...
You don't say...
Bill aims to stop states from banning iPhone encryption
More encryption news...
A bi-partisian bill was introduced in Congress by Ted Lieu and Blake Farenthold with the goal of halting state efforts to force companies to provide backdoors for encryption. This bill follows efforts from New York and California that would ban sale of smartphones such as the iPhone with secure encryption.
Lieu to ArsTechnica:
"It's very clear to me that the people who are asking for a backdoor encryption key do not understand the technology," he added. "You cannot have a backdoor key for the FBI. Either hackers will find that key or the FBI will let it get stolen. As you saw, it the [Department of Justice] just got hacked. The [Office of Personnel Management] got hacked multiple times. If our federal government cannot keep 20 million extremely sensitive security records, I don't see how our government can keep encryption keys safe."
As posted earlier, there are other efforts to curtail consumer encryption in Congress, so it will be a topic to watch play out.
FBI says it doesn't want encryption back door, just access to encrypted data
Dawn Chmielewski for re/code:
FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he doesn't want government-mandated "backdoor" access to secure devices -- he just wants companies to turn over encrypted messages.
It sounds like they want the company to retain customer's encryption keys rather than provide true end-to-end encryption. The later data can only be accessed by the authorized sender or receiver with access to secret keys. The former anyone with access to the vendor's system could have access, legally or not.
In other headlines: Hackers have offered Apple employees $23,000 for login info
Report: Apple TV may gain Siri dictation, Bluetooth keyboard support
Juli Clover for MacRumors:
With the new dictation option, it's now possible for Apple TV owners to dictate text and spell user names and passwords rather than typing them. After installing tvOS 9.2 beta 3, users are prompted to enable or disable dictation.
The voice search is kind of hit and miss for me, but voice input sounds interesting. The input system on the Apple TV to me is crazy bad. The first experience with the Apple TV is the weird horizontal bar of characters. Thankfully the iOS Remote app is now compatible and things are much better.
Being able to speak characters for an account and password doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but it may be better than than horizontal character bar.
Also rumored is upcoming support for Bluetooth keyboards. So, if you have one of those stashed somewhere in the living room, that would be an even better option for those times when you need to input some text.
OS X Notes may gain support for Evernote imports
Mikey Campbell for Apple Insider:
Notes' import function first showed up as a file menu option in the first OS X 10.11.4 beta builds released last month, gaining additional extension support in subsequent seeds. It is unknown how far Apple plans to extend import compatibility.
As seen in the images below (left is original Evernote file, right is imported Notes document), importing an Evernote file carries over a decent amount of formatting, though reproduction is not perfect. In its current form, the feature can be likened to MS Word document support in Pages. Still, the solution is more robust than AppleScript workarounds some use to get .enex files into Apple's service.
As much as I love Evernote, I still gave the new Notes a hard look. The ability to migrate all my content would be a big plus. Evernote still has some great tools like the web clipper and support for ScanSnap scanners, but if I can do what I need to do within my iCloud subscription, that's a big draw. Also iCloud integration and I think OS X Notes is a more secure solution too.
VLC turns 15
If you've been to one of my talks, (if you haven't, you should come to one), you know that the project that became VideoLAN and VLC, is almost 5 years older than that, and was called Network 2000.
Moreover, the first commit on the VideoLAN Client project is from August 8th 1999, by Michel Kaempf had 21275 lines of code already, so the VLC software was started earlier in 1999.
However, the most important date for the birth of VLC is when it was allowed to be used outside of the school, and therefore when the project was GPL-ized: February 1st, 2001.
As they're working towards version 3.0, VLC has had about 700 contributors, 70,000 commits, 2 billion downloads, and millions of users. It's available for Windows, GNU/Linux, BSD, OS X, iPhone and iPad, Android, Solaris, Windows Phones, BeOS, OS/2, Android TV, Apple TV, Tizen and ChromeOS.
I'm a fan and find it particularly useful as a media player and streaming client.
Report: Every fitness tracker but Apple's is a privacy nightmare
Aaron Sankin for The Daily Dot:
Entitled "Every Step You Fake: A Comparative Analysis of Fitness Tracker Privacy and Security," the report is a collaboration between Canadian privacy watchdog Open Effect and the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. The teams looked at eight wearables: Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivismart, Jawbone Up 2, Mio Fuse, Withings Pulse O2, and Xaomi Mi Band.
The study found that, in every case save for the Apple device, the wearables emitted a unique Bluetooth identifier that allowed a third-party to track the device's movement over time if the device was not actively paired with another device.
The Apple Watch randomizes its identifier, which makes tracking its users more difficult.
The study also found that it's possible to alter or delete data on devices. There were no vulnerabilities found in the Apple Watch security.