Author: brianradio2016

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

Apple said it will replace the keyboards of a “small percentage” of MacBook and MacBook Pro models due to issues such as repeat letters, characters that do not appear and keys that don’t respond consistently.

In a support post, Apple said it will service the keyboards free of charge.

The models eligible are:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Apple also noted:

The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard. The service turn-around time may vary depending upon the type of service and availability of replacement parts.

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

More than a year after her arrest, Reality Leigh Winner is pleading guilty. The former NSA contractor—who allegedly supplied the media with secret intel on Russians hacking US voting systems—planned to enter her plea agreement Friday in federal court, Engadget reports. “I do know that she has always…

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that access to historical cell-site records of a person’s location based on their mobile phone will require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before searching a person’s historical location records.

This is the first time the high court has ruled on whether a phone subscriber has a legitimate expectation of privacy regarding a telephone company’s records of their cellphone location data, according to Aloke Chakravarty, a partner in the Denver-based law firm of Snell & Wilmer.

“This is a landmark case for privacy, and how the court will deal with emerging technologies going forward,” Chakravarty said via email. “It creates a new lens through which to view a government’s ability to obtain third-party records where a criminal defendant neither possesses the records, doesn’t have a property interest in them, may not even know they exist, and he cannot personally even access them.”

While the government can still obtain a warrant for cellphone location records, that is a higher standard than is often possible to achieve early in an investigation or before specific individuals have been identified as suspects, Chakravarty said.

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

All browsers are equal, but some are more equal than others.

That’s true for a whole host of characteristics, whether it’s their affect on notebook batteries or the size of the extension library, the speed with which engineers address security vulnerabilities or how well the browser deals with ad trackers.

It’s also true of how fresh each browser is at any given moment.

Because the Big Four browser makers – Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple – upgrade their wares (Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari, respectively) at different rhythms, some are usually fresher than others.

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

Video: What is a 2-in-1 hybrid device?

what’s hot on zdnet

As smartphones transitioned to becoming all-touchscreen faces, these newer keyboard-free designs were still considered smartphones. But remove the keyboard from a Windows laptop and you strip its identity, leaving you with a whole other class of device: The tablet.

Indeed, the term “2-in-1” for a laptop with a detachable screen is a construct to accommodate iPad-inspired notions of what a laptop should be from a company that argued there really wasn’t a standalone tablet category. Still, the term is particularly paradoxical. Microsoft did the most to popularize keyboards as integral parts of tablets, yet those products (like the Surface Pro), with nearly identical functionality, are not considered “2-in-1s” even when the keyboard covers are in the box.

Read also: BlackBerry Key2 hands-on: The good and bad so far (CNET)

In any case, the convention highlights the historically strong association of laptops with keyboards. At the launch of the BlackBerry Key2, TCL Mobile justified the continued importance of keyboards on phones were by praising their primacy on laptops. As I argued in my last column, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Despite that, some momentum in the great keyboard debate has begun to flow the other way — from smartphone to laptop. After all, some of the same justifications for keyboard elimination apply — more flexibility, larger display area, fewer moving parts, and a thinner profile. Already, the attack on the bezel has already convinced a few laptop makers to relocate their cameras although convertible momentum remains strong.

Still, there have been experiments. The first Surfaces, for example, said as much about the optional nature of a keyboard for a laptop as it did about the value it brings to a tablet. Microsoft even teased the possibility of a range of purpose-built covers such as a music mixing design. In 2016, Lenovo experimented with a flat, outlined keyboard area that doubled as a stylus drawing area on its Yoga Book clamshell devices for Android and Windows. To be sure, typing on those devices entailed a learning curve, and Lenovo plans for a Chromebook version never bore fruit. Still, when I wrote about the Yoga Books, I found them to be the first convertibles that could compete with slates as tablet form factors.


Asus’ “Project Precog” announcement at Computex — a clamshell that replaces the input half with another display — recalls an earlier effort by Acer with its first Iconia device in 2010. Indeed, even Apple’s oft-maligned touch bar can be seen as clearing some runway for “bifold tablets.” Once, the idea that Apple would remove the MacBook’s keyboard was the stuff of Onion parodies. But the company, which has done more than any other to acclimate us to typing on glass, has filed a patent for a way to minimize reflection on the keyboard-area portion of a laptop that might lack one.

Read also: Computex 2018: Asus launches Zenbook Pro with display touchpad

The long-awaited linchpin component in all this has been foldable displays, a technology that seems perpetually around the corner and one that would pay even greater dividends for smartphones; Microsoft and Samsung have been frequently cited as pursuing such devices, surpassing the recent (and perhaps last) efforts of ZTE in such an endeavor. After all, despite the availability of secondary laptop displays (including one currently being crowdfunded), even modest laptop screens have enough screen real estate to handle their tasks. The size constraints of hands and pockets, though, keep providing a stronger push to to drive smartphone screen-to-bodies ratio to 1 or higher.

Previous and related coverage:

In a market without keyboards, BlackBerry presses on

Early smartphone users cursed the awkwardness of software keyboards. But for BlackBerry to come back, it will need to crack a market that has embraced typing on glass.

Asus Project Precog concept

Asus Project Precog is a concept of the future of laptops.

At CES 2018, tablets are out, convertibles are in

Minimalist tablets that relied exclusively on screen input were once the “it” gadget at CES. But while major Windows vendors are announcing more Surface-like detachables, the market is dominated by convertible clamshells.

June 22, 2018 brianradio2016

Microsoft’s Windows 10 patching pace is so fast at this point that one Patch Tuesday doesn’t cover all the bases. Instead, we’re seeing one massive Cumulative Update on Patch Tuesday, and a second — typically large — grab bag of patches later in the month.

You have to wonder what’s happening, though, when Microsoft can deliver its second bundle of patches for 1709, 1703 and 1607 before the second patch for the latest version, 1803, sees light of day.

The Win10 patches

KB 4284822 for Win10 1709

KB 4284830 for Win10 1703

June 21, 2018 brianradio2016

The latest in airport security: Get ready to have your face scanned if you’re flying into or out of Florida’s Orlando International Airport on an international flight. Other airports already use facial scanning for some departing international flights, but Orlando will be the first airport to require the scans for…

June 21, 2018 brianradio2016

I’m no psychologist, but I’m pretty sure Google has an issue with commitment.

The company famous for flip-flops has just reversed course yet again with the introduction of a new podcast app for Android. Google Podcasts, announced earlier this week, marks the company’s second standalone stab at an Android podcasting service. (It also marks the launch of yet another instance of awkwardly overlapping Google services, since podcasts are currently available, too, in the wholly separate Bizarro World of Google Play Music — but that’s another story for another time.)

In and of itself, the surface-level rationale for releasing a new podcast app now seems sensible enough. Per Google:

Podcasts have become an essential part of life. But, it can still be difficult to get started and find new shows you’ll love — and work still remains in making podcasts accessible and discoverable for all.

There’s another side to this story, though. And it adds a fascinating extra layer into the equation.