ProtonMail Bridge offers encryption for your go-to email client

ProtonMail's encrypted email app went live for everyone a year or so ago. The company offered a free VPN service just this past June and an encrypted contacts system just before Thanksgiving of this year. Now ProtonMail is enabling mainstream email a…

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 45 With Bug Fixes and Feature Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced more than a year ago in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 45 includes bug fixes and feature improvements for Rendering, JavaScript, CSS, Web API, Media, Web Inspector, and Accessibility.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.
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Pixelmator’s AI-driven Photoshop rival is ready for your Mac

Adobe isn't the only one rolling out an AI-savvy pro image editor — right on cue, Pixelmator has released its previously-teased Pixelmator Pro on the Mac App Store. The $60 software promises many of the tools you'd hope for in a higher-end creative…

Apple Releases macOS High Sierra Security Update to Fix Root Password Vulnerability

Apple today released Security Update 2017-001 to fix a serious vulnerability that enables access to the root superuser with a blank password on any Mac running macOS High Sierra version 10.3.1.



The critical bug, which gained attention after it was tweeted by developer Lemi Ergin yesterday, lets anyone gain administrator privileges by simply entering the username “root” and a blank password in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

The security update is rolling out on the Mac App Store now, and it should be installed by all users running macOS High Sierra as soon as possible. Regardless, starting later today, Apple said the security update will be automatically installed on all Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

Apple has since apologized for the vulnerability in a statement obtained by MacRumors:

Security is a top priority for every Apple product, and regrettably we stumbled with this release of macOS.

When our security engineers became aware of the issue Tuesday afternoon, we immediately began working on an update that closes the security hole. This morning, as of 8 a.m., the update is available for download, and starting later today it will be automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra.

We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.

The vulnerability does not affect macOS Sierra or any other previous version of the operating system.
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Apple releases a macOS security update to fix huge login security flaw

 Apple has just released a security update for macOS High Sierra and you should update right now. This update fixes yesterday’s very concerning vulnerability that let anyone log into your Mac without your password.
In order to install the update, open the Mac App Store and click on the “Updates” tab. Interestingly, the release notes say “install this update as soon as… Read More

Apple’s Jony Ive to Speak at Washington, DC’s Hirshorn Museum on November 29

Apple chief designer Jony Ive is scheduled to give a talk on the “future of design” at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, DC, next week.

Beginning at 3 p.m. local time on Wednesday, November 29, the one-hour speaking engagement has been arranged in collaboration with Smithsonian Magazine, with free places being offered on a first-come, first served basis.

[Ive] has been described as one of the most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company and is a 2017 honoree of the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Awards (the “Golden Globes of intellect”), which honor revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts and sciences, education and social progress. Ive will be joined in conversation by Rick Tetzeli, Editor At Large of Fast Company and author of the bestselling biography Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader.

All advance tickets for the program have been claimed, but anyone interested in attending can join the waitlist online or walk up on the day for a chance to get a seat. Any open seats may be released to walk-up visitors 10 minutes before the program.



Ive’s last public talk was at October’s TechFest 2017, an event held in New York City. Earlier this month, Ive also sat down for an interview with design, architecture, and fashion magazine Wallpaper* to discuss the Apple Park campus, which he had a hand in designing, as well as the iPhone X. Most recently, TIME interviewed Ive about the smartphone, after the device appeared in its 25 Best Inventions of the Year list.
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Apple VP of Diversity and Inclusion Denise Young Smith Leaving the Company

Denise Young Smith, Apple’s current vice president of diversity and inclusion, plans to leave Apple at the end of this year, reports TechCrunch. Smith was promoted to her position in May of 2017, and prior to that, she was in human resources.

Smith, who has been with Apple for more than 20 years, reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Prior to Smith’s promotion, Apple had a head of diversity and inclusion, but her role was an executive level role with more responsibility.

Christie Smith, who was with Deloitte for 17 years as a Client Advisory Principal, will be taking over the position. Smith’s LinkedIn profile says she has 28 years of experience building and leading high performance teams with expertise in “talent management, analytics, inclusion & belonging, leadership, organizational design, performance management, coaching, change management and culture.”

In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple said the company is thrilled to welcome Christie Smith to the team.

“We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation. We’re thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we’ve made toward a more diverse workplace.”

Smith will report to Apple’s vice president of people Deidre O’Brien, and has reportedly been speaking with Tim Cook since about a year ago. Apple has been looking for a replacement for Denise Young Smith for the last several months.

After departing Apple, Denise Young Smith will become an executive in residence at Cornell starting this January. She will work with students to “build an early career-stage awareness of inclusive leadership and diverse talent.”

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Photographer Austin Mann Lauds iPhone X’s Telephoto Lens and Size in Camera Review

Travel photographer Austin Mann often goes hands-on with new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real world situations, and with the iPhone X, he went to Guatemala to evaluate its new features and its capabilities compared to previous iPhone cameras.



Mann loved the size of the iPhone X as a photography device. Previous Plus models, he says, have been “a bit unwieldy” and tough to operate with one hand, a problem solved with the iPhone X.



As for image quality, Mann was impressed by the improved telephoto lens, which features optical image stabilization for the first time and an improved aperture for better performance in low light situations. Mann says he noticed less noise, faster auto focusing, and better shutter speeds for reduced motion blur.

The lens specs for the iPhone X are 28mm @ f/1.8 and 52mm @ f/2.4 (previously, the Plus was 56mm at f/2.8.) This little tweak means the lens is half a stop faster and can let light in more quickly in low light scenarios, reducing motion blur and minimizing noise.

In a test of slow shutter effects, the iPhone X was able to significantly outperform the iPhone 7 Plus, which was two seconds slower when focusing and and capturing a moving object in low light.

Display improvements made it much easier to shoot on the iPhone in direct sunlight compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, and Mann said “colors pop, blacks are truly black, and the contrast feels just right.” Mann also saw microphone improvements, and Apple told him that while it’s the same microphone hardware, it’s been tuned to better capture dynamics.

All in all, Mann said the upgrade to the iPhone X was the “most exciting” since he switched from the Blackberry 7230 to the original iPhone back in 2007. Mann’s full review can be read over at his website.



Separately, DxO also published its iPhone X test results this morning, giving the iPhone X’s camera a score of 97. That beats out the iPhone 8 Plus at 94, but comes in just under the Pixel 2’s score of 98.



The iPhone X received what DxO says are the best results so far for still images, with better exposure, color, texture, noise, and artifacts than competing cameras. Broken down, the iPhone X received a photo score of 101, but a video score of 89 because it struggles with under exposure, visible luminance noise, and irregularities in autofocus in poor lighting conditions.

DxO has been criticized for the subjectivity of its overall scores, but some of its category comparisons can offer up useful information when it comes to determining the best smartphone camera.
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