The Orchard: Why Apple doesn’t want you repairing your broken iPhone or iPad

 

It’s not all about money and greed. No Really, it isn’t.

 

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet

Despite several states introducing Right to Repair legislation to help make it easier and cheaper for people to repair their broken electronic devices, companies such as Apple and Microsoft are hard at work lobbying to prevent such laws from being passed.

So why are companies such as Apple and Microsoft so against you having the right to repair your broken devices?

The popular belief seems to be that the reason why companies are opposed to people being able to fix their own devices is money and greed. If your device is broken then, haha, you have to go out and buy another, so cha-ching. You get the chance to empty your wallet and the company makes another sale, and the consumer capitalism machine continues to march forward.

But it’s not all about money and greed. No really, stop laughing, it isn’t.

The popular belief seems to be that the reason why companies are opposed to people being able to fix their own devices is money and greed. If your device is broken then, haha, you have to go out and buy another, so cha-ching. You get the chance to empty your wallet and the company makes another sale, and the consumer capitalism machine continues to march forward.
But it’s not all about money and greed. No really, stop laughing, it isn’t.

But rather than looking at money in, think of money going out. Dealing with authorized repair centers that employ trained technicians is much easier and a lot less hassle than handholding Jo Public armed with a chewed up Philips screwdriver through an iPhone repair.

The sort of repair documents that companies supply to a competent technician are going to need to be very different to what they’d have to supply someone who’s never taken a device apart before. An expert might be happy with a phrase such as “refitting is the reverse of removal,” but a beginner is going to want a screw-by-screw rundown of how to put something back together.

Then there’s the whole liability side of things, and who is liable when things go wrong. Modern electronics are difficult to take apart, and most of that difficulty isn’t deliberate, but a side-effect of people wanting things that are small and light. While you can stick your whole head inside a big desktop PC, laptops require you to have nimble fingers, while smartphones and tablets force you to use tweezers and tiny probes for jobs. Then there’s having people navigate around glass and lithium ion battery packs, and having to use sharp tools, all of which offer bounteous scope for injury and dismemberment.

Even when a company total and 100 percent disavows any liability for someone getting a shard of glass in their eye, jamming a screwdriver into their femoral artery, getting a heart-jarring zap of current, or burning their eyebrows off in a lithium ion explosion, that sort of thing can generate a lot of bad press.

Same goes for people using crummy third-party parts for repairs, or causing damage to sensitive components. If a device that’s been tampered with blows up downstream, it can again stir up a lot of bad press.

I’m a big supporter of people fixing their own stuff, but that’s also tempered by the fact that I’ve seen plenty of disasters where someone’s tried fixing something, made a huge mess of it, and then hands that disaster off to someone else — me — to repair. People — usually through having the wrong tools — can create a lot of mayhem, and turn simple jobs such as a battery or screen replacement into an expensive job.

Sometimes it’s not only just easier but it’s cheaper to hand these routine jobs over to someone who does them every day (especially if special tools are required). They have the tools and the know-how to do it efficiently.

There’s an old saying in the automotive trade — here’s my hourly rate, and it’s double that if you’ve already tried fixing the problem yourself.

My take on why companies are spending money on lobbying against Right to Repair legislation is that they want to send a clear and definitive message to both the public and lawmakers they don’t support people messing around inside their devices. Period.

As I said I’m a firm supporter of people having the right to repair, but I’m also pro people being clear on what they’re getting into and being aware that sometimes a professional repair might be better. YouTube videos and how-to guides can make things seem easy, but when you’re dealing with old devices, crusty fasteners, and any damage, things can head for the tarpits in short order.

I also fully support Right to Repair legislation, but it would be good to see the narrative on why companies oppose it change from “greedy companies what more of your money” into something that’s closer to the truth.

What’s your take on The Right to Repair? Tell us in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 6/16

 

Customers at a Whole Foods Market in Manhattan. Credit John Taggart for The New York Times

 

Dads love Gadgets.
Top Tech Gifts for Father’s Day

 

Looks like Amazon Fresh is about to take off.
Amazon to Buy Whole Foods in $13.4 Billion Deal

 

This could help me put the “Legal” in Legally Blonde.

Justin Kan confirms $10.5 million in funding for his legal tech startup Atrium LTS

 

I’ll bet Elon Musk isn’t on that list.
Here are some of the tech investors invited to the White House next week

 

Yet, another thing Canada is better at than us…
Gender, racial diversity part of city’s tech push

 

She may want to talk to Tim Cook about that after that San Bernadino thing…
Theresa May wants tech companies to censor terrorists, but will they play ball?

 

Um…I have enough noise in my head already, thanks.
What is “brain hacking”? Tech insiders on why you should care

 

And we lose one of the few female CEO’s in the tech world….great.
Tech Roundup: The End of Yahoo, the Problem No Executive Could Fix

Weekly Round Up 3/10

 

Elon Musk is my hero and I want one of these SO BAD!!
Tesla’s solar roof to cost less than a regular roof.

Speaking of Smart Homes…
Why Ring, Not Amazon Echo, Is The Killer IoT Product.

Sisters doing it for themselves…
Tech reacts to “Day without a Woman”

If you love Pintrest, you’re gonna love this…
Pinterest brings visual search technology to the web

This is good news……I think. It’s so hard to tell these days.
CIA hacking? Hooray! Privacy advocates see an upside

Hilarious!

Asking Alexa ‘who poop?’ is a wild ride

App of the Week – Fooducate

Ladies,

Not long ago, I was diagnosed with a severe Food Allergy after never having one before. I was overwhelmed with having to re-learn how to cook, shop, and live all over again. I did the only thing I knew to do….I had a pity party. My dad was the one who talked me off the ledge that day by telling me to get on my computer and find out what Apps were out there that could help me. ( Don’t you hate it when your parents are right…) Much to my chagrin, he was right. There were a plethora of Apps for Food Allergy sufferers and my favorite of the lot was Fooducate.

The marketing for Fooducate would lead you to believe that it’s just another weight loss App, but it’s so much more than that. It’s free to download and has paid upgrades for different diets and/or allergies. My favorite feature is a bar code reader that will scan the package and then give you a nutritional breakdown of the food in question, as well as, any allergens etc.

 

The shopping Cart feature is also great because it’ll make suggestions for substituting healthier foods on your list, which can then be emailed to someone else. Grocery shopping can take hours for someone who has to read every label, and this app took the agony out of grocery shopping for me. I highly recommend it. Here’s what the reviewers says:

IMore Says:

”Fooducate provides key information about products like artificial flavorings, colorings, and more. If you want to try a more specific diet like eating just whole grain products or going gluten-free, Fooducate will make the perfect companion as you can compare things you’re debating buying with other alternatives that users and dietitians have rated higher in quality and content.”

Download Fooducate

WTF is Happening at Microsoft?

Ladies,

In what can only be described as bizarre, a story popped up this week that is more suited for the plot of a Shondland produced TV show. According to June Williams who writes for a site named courthouse news.com, 2 employees of Microsoft are suing their employer for making them watch “horrific images” of murder, child pornography and bestiality as part of their “online safety” job. They claim Microsoft failed to warn them about the dangers of the job and failed to provide psychological support.”

Here’s the whole article:

SEATTLE (CN) — Two Microsoft employees who had to watch “horrific images” of murder, child pornography and bestiality as part of their “online safety” job have sued the company after developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Henry Soto and Greg Blauert say Microsoft failed to warn them about the dangers of the job and failed to provide psychological support. They sued the company in King County Court on Dec. 30, alleging negligence, disability discrimination and violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

The men were customer service workers assigned to Microsoft’s online safety program, responsible for deciding whether content should be removed or reported to law enforcement.

They say they never were told about dangerous psychological impacts of the job, which included viewing child pornography, and were not allowed to turn down the assignment.

“Plaintiffs Henry Soto and Greg Blauert were not warned about the likely dangerous impact of reviewing the depictions nor were they warned they may become so concerned with the welfare of the children, they would not appreciate the harm the toxic images would cause them and their families,” they say in the complaint.

Instead of providing trained therapists for the safety team, Microsoft developed a “Wellness Program” that advised employees who were disturbed by images to take “walks and smoking breaks” and redirect thoughts by playing video games, the men say.

Soto says he was involuntarily transferred to the online safety team in 2008 and under Microsoft policy had to remain in the position for 1½ years before he could request a transfer. The team had just been formed and Microsoft failed to warn him about potential psychological trauma, according to the complaint

“The new Online Safety team had just been created and Mr. Soto was one of the initial employees with the team and had limited information about the position. He did not understand the level of activity in the following areas: assisting law enforcement efforts to break up significant crime rings, the mob, the triad, and other violent groups, reviewing photos and video requiring him to witness horrible brutality, murder, indescribable sexual assaults, videos of humans dying and, in general, videos and photographs designed to entertain the most twisted and sick minded people in the world,” the complaint states.

Soto says the job “took a significant toll on him personally” and he began having nightmares and disturbing hallucinations after viewing a video of a girl being abused and killed.

Soto was transferred to a new position in 2014, but continued to suffer post-traumatic stress symptoms and took medical leave in 2015. Labor and Industries denied Soto’s claim for PTSD injuries, saying the condition is not an occupational disease and is excluded, according to the complaint.

Blauert started working on the safety team in 2011, and like Soto was required to view images of child pornography, bestiality and other disturbing content. He attended Wellness Program sessions to help with his increasing anger and nightmares, but was “criticized in his employment reviews for following his wellness plan” and reprimanded for spending too much time playing video games, he says.

He suffered a physical and mental breakdown in 2013 due to the job and is still in treatment for “acute and debilitating PTSD,” according to the complaint. Labor and Industries also denied Blauert’s claim for worker’s compensation.

Soto and Blauert want Microsoft to provide the online safety team with the same support and protections as the digital crimes unit, which has a larger budget.

“Plaintiffs have recommended many changes to Online Safety. The list includes mandatory rotations out of the program, for pre-vacation vacations, mandatory weekly meetings with a psychologist with specialized training and authority to remove employees when the content is becoming too toxic, a spousal wellness program, as well as changes designed to lessen the impact of continually viewing toxic images. Some of these items were also recommended to Microsoft in approximately 2007 and 2008,” according to the complaint.

A Microsoft representative said in a statement: “Microsoft applies industry-leading, cutting-edge technology to help detect and classify illegal images of child abuse and exploitation that are shared by users on Microsoft services. Once verified by a specially trained employee, the company removes the image, reports it to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and bans the users who shared the images from our services. We have put in place robust wellness programs to ensure the employees who handle this material have the resources and support they need.”

Both plaintiffs and their wives seek damages for pain and suffering and economic damages and treble damages under the Consumer Protection Act and Washington Disability Discrimination Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a new iPhone 7 for Christmas? These are the Apps I recommend you check out.

Spark – Free
I have a habit of downloading and trying new Mail Apps quite regularly. I’m always on the lookout for an App to help tame the daily insanity that is my Inbox. This is the one that has impressed me the most.
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Macworld Says:

“Spark works with all of your favorite Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo email accounts, along with plenty of others supporting IMAP. There’s also built-in support for the most popular “read later” services, Evernote, OneNote, and cloud storage providers, which can be used to send file attachments or save them directly from messages.

The app features a unified inbox which can be viewed in two ways: Traditional mode, where inbound messages are displayed in threaded conversations similar to Apple Mail; and what Readdle calls a Smart Inbox that automatically organizes email into personal, notification, and newsletter categories to help focus on what’s important.”

Download Spark

ProCam 4 –  $4.99

I absolutely LOVE this App!! If your a shutterbug that loves digital photography, this App is worth every penny.
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Slashgear says:

 

“While iOS’ own camera app is OK for amateurs and instant captures, photography nuts will prefer one that takes them as close to DSLRs as possible. In that realm, ProCam 4 remains the crowd favorite.The app features all the knobs and buttons you can have in a digital camera and then some, with that “some” referring to the ability to shoot in RAW. And for iPhone 7 Plus owners, the app can also do 3D photos!”

 

Download Pro Cam

Launch Center Pro – $2.99

If you’re busy and love timesaving short cuts, this is the App for you.
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Slashgear says:

“iOS has had notification widgets since version 8, but iOS 10 really puts the spotlight on them, especially in how they’re now available right from the lock screen. With that new focus, it’s time to give widgets some serious thought.

Among power users, Launch Center Pro is thrown around the most. It practically gives you a mini launcher right on your notification panel. Paired with even more powerful apps like Pythonista, you can almost launch anything from anywhere. But don’t worry, Launch Center still respects security settings, so you won’t suddenly find your iPhone unlocking just because you launched an app from the lock screen.”

Download Launch Center Pro

 

Evernote: Free – Paid Upgrades
Evernote is my all time Favorite note taking app. I’ve used it from the beginning and have evolved into a Power User and Premium Evernote subscriber. The beauty of this app is that it adapts to your level of use.
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PC Mag Says:
“Evernote’s iPhone app continues to be a wonderful productivity tool. It’s one of those rare iPhone apps that critics have loved since the beginning.In terms of functionality, however, Evernote is the best note-taking and syncing service, which is the reason it remains PCMag’s Editors’ Choice. You can bend it to your will and use it for practically anything, from recording and sharing meetings, to searching for text inside PDFs, to keeping a daily diary.”
Download Evernote
Pixelmator – $4.99 
Who needs Photoshop? Not this girl with this great Photoshop Substitute that’s a third of the price.
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Stuff.tv Says:

“If your image-editing needs are more creative in nature than fine-tuning photos, Pixelmator’s where it’s at. Essentially a miniature Photoshop squeezed into your iPhone, this powerful, impressive app provides tools for working up complex multi-layered imagery comprising photography, digital paint and text.

Like desktop equivalents, Pixelmator is happiest when it can tap into plenty of power – which makes the new iPhones ideal partners (and especially iPhone 7 Plus with its extra GB of RAM).”

Download Pixelmator
Square Cash – Free
Money sharing Apps very fashionable right now and incredibly convenient. The most popular being, Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Do you homework and find the one that works best for you, but I love everything about Square Cash.
EBF68B46-A5F7-4807-82E6-C11E417311FD.jpg
Life hacker Says:
“If you want the simplest money transferring option for friends and family, or to easily transfer money anonymously, go with Square Cash.”
Download Square Cash
1Password – Free
Hands down, the best Password Manager out there.
735EFC66-B1B5-402F-8D37-6DF24694A8DD.jpg
MacWorld Says:
“If you’re looking for a secure way to store your passwords and credit card details that isn’t stored on someone else’s servers, but either on your own device or on your own Dropbox account, use 1Password. With Touch ID, it’s really easy to go into the app, and get the passwords.”
Download 1Password 

Mac OS Sierra – FAQ

Ladies,

Yesterday, Apple released it’s latest Mac OS – Sierra, which I’ve been Beta Testing since this summer. While I find this OS release to be lack luster (I don’t have much use for Siri on my Mac), it does offer a lot of “under the hood” upgrades that make it worth your time to download. Granted, I am something of a software junkie and can never get enough of upgrades, I have to remind myself that other people find software upgrades daunting and change terrifying. So I’m reposting this FAQ of Sierra that was originally posted by Roman Loyola over at MacWorld to ease the unquiet minds of the hesitant.

macOS Sierra FAQ: What you need to know about the new Mac operating system

Got questions about Apple’s upcoming Mac operating system? We have answers.

This fall, Apple will release macOS Sierra, a major update to the Mac operating system. This FAQ will answer some of the general questions you may have to help you learn what it’s all about and whether you should install it on your Mac. We’ll update this FAQ with more questions, answers, and details as the release date approaches.

macOS? What happened to OS X?

Apple decided to change the name in order to fit with the names of iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. So no more Roman numerals (or that annoying person who insists on calling it “OS ex”).

Some trivia, if you’re interested: macOS isn’t entirely a new name. Before version 10, Apple used to call its Mac operating system Mac OS, with the last version being Mac OS 9. Apple change the name to OS X when version 10 was released in 2001.

Does Apple still name its Mac operating systems after California locations?

Yup. This one is macOS Sierra.

More trivia: Sierra refers to a mountain range in central and eastern California. It’s also called the Sierra Nevada, and a small part of the range lies in the state of Nevada. (Sierra is Spanish for mountain range and Nevada is Spanish for snowfall.) Lake Tahoe, a popular snow sports location in the winter and a frequently-visited lake in the summer, is located in the Sierra. Yosemite National Park (which is home to El Capitan) is also there. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States, is in the Sierra.

What version of the Mac operating system is this?

10.12.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-2-26-24-pm

When will it be available?

macOS Sierra is available now. It started shipping on September 20, 2016.

How much will it cost?

Apple makes its operating systems available for free, and macOS Sierra will be no different.

How do I get macOS Sierra?

Though the App Store.

Will it run on my computer?

Here’s the list of Macs that will run macOS Sierra.

  • MacBook (Late 2009 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2010 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2010 and later)
  • Mac mini (2010 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2009 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2010 and later)

Compatibility with Sierra, however, isn’t as simple as checking to see if your Mac is on the list. Here’s the complete story on Sierra compatibility.

Should you upgrade to macOS Sierra?

Once you’ve determined that you have compatible hardware, deciding to upgrade is a personal choice. If you absolutely depend on a specific app and would be crippled without it, you should wait to make sure from that app developer that their software will work with macOS Sierra.

If you do decide to upgrade, make sure you back up your data first. If you end up having a serious problem, you can revert back using your backup.

Read our in-depth review of macOS Sierra

I heard that Siri is in macOS Sierra. True?

It’s true. There will be a Siri icon in the dock. Clicking on it activates Siri. You can use it as you would with your iPhone, like say, if you need directions, are trying to find a nearby restaurant, or want information on a topic.

You can also use it to find files on your Mac. For example, you can tell Siri to find all the files with the word “report” in it, and Siri will list those files.

Siri also lets you work with other Apple apps. You can take Siri results for, say, an image, and then drag and drop the image into a Keynote presentation. You can have Siri find a location in Maps, and then drag the location into an email.

Apple has not announced a third-party API for macOS Siri. Siri works only with Apple apps. So, for example, if you want Siri to read your emails to you, you must use the Apple Mail app.

I also heard that Apple Pay is coming to the Mac. Yes?

Yes. When you’re shopping online and you see an Apple Pay button, you can click on it to use Apple Pay to pay for it. You still need your iPhone, however. Apple Pay on the Mac uses the iPhone’s Touch ID to verify your purchase; you can also press your Apple Watch side button twice.

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Speaking of the Apple Watch, why can’t I use it to unlock my Mac?

Well, with macOS Sierra, you can. When your Mac has been inactive or you’re powering it up and you get to the login screen, a feature called Auto Unlock will sense your Apple Watch and instantly log you in. No more typing your password.

What are the other new features?

Here’s a list of the major new features showcased at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. They include iCloud Drive Desktop access, Optimized Storage, Picture in Picture, Tabs, and Universal Clipboard.

Some of the other neat features:

  • Apple File System, a new file system not only for macOS but also for iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Launches in 2017.
  • enhanced Messages.
  • support for third-party app integration with the Contacts app.
  • Apple Music improvements.

Photos for Mac gets new features, too. A new Memories tab automatically creates slideshows based on events, places, or people. There’s also support for extensions for Photos that will allow for editing of Live Photos. When you make an edit, it will apply to the whole Live Photo, not just the one sequence you edited.

Safari will have a major change in the way it handles content that uses plug-ins like Flash, Silverlight, and QuickTime. You’ll see an alert that tells you the plug-in is not installed, and you’ll need to click on a “Click to use” button to see the content. Apple is doing this to force websites to load—if it’s available—HTML5-compliant media implementations.

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Samsung’s 26 Billion Dollar Mistake

Ladies,

Samsung has gotten itself into quite a pickle. The recall of their highly anticipated Galaxy Note 7 has cost them roughly 26 billion dollars to date. That number doesn’t include the lawsuits that are sure to follow for damages and personal injury. For those of you who haven’t been following this story for the last couple of weeks, Samsung’s newly released phone, has been exploding due to faulty batteries. A six year old boy from Brooklyn was injured and a guy from Florida lost his car.

samsung-galaxy-note-7-fire-car-.png

If you were one of the many people who recently purchased one of these phones,  please take it back and get a different phone. No smart phone is worth risking your home and heath for…

You can read more here.

 

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I Want You to…

womentechinvestor

Join the Revolution!!!

Host a Party!

Our Revolution is about women helping other women. What better way to do that than by a night of fun and fellowship with your favorite gal pals! The Blonde Byte wants to pay homage to other famous, female led parties like Tupperware, The Pampered Chef, and Mary Kay.

The difference…?  We’re selling empowerment.

Here’s how it works:

 ~Invite your girlfriends over for a girl’s/mom’s night out of cocktails, hor d’oeuvres & technology training.

~ Choose a topic from our list or we’ll design a custom topic especially for you & your guests.

~ The topics can be either Windows or Mac based; iOS or Android based. You tell us what you want to learn.  (For example: “Getting Fit with Your Mobile Device.” We’ll focus on Apps and Third Party Accessories that will help you get in shape and optimal health.)

~ The cost for each guest will be $30; with a minimum of 5 people required per party.

~ Door Prizes and party favors will be provided by us.

~ In return, as the party’s Hostess, you’ll receive a special training package; that will include free, one on one, private training.

(Currently serving the greater Charlotte, NC area for now; with plans to expand to neighboring states soon! However, traveling further is negotiable.)

If your interested, please contact us for more information about planning your party!

Apple Releases iOS 9.3

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. held a media event in which they announced the released a new iPhone ( the SE ) and a smaller version of the iPad Pro. Tuesday also saw Apple releasing iOS 9.3 for existing iPads and iPhones. Here is a quick recap of the newest features:

Night Shift: 

IMG_0795

Your screen’s usual output tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime, which can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Night Shift helps you rest easier.Night Shift helps you rest easier. You can find this under Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

You can set up a schedule, for example, from 11:00pm – 7:00am for Night Shift to come on automatically or you choose to turn it on manually whenever you need it.

Notes:

Now, you can secure your notes Password Protection. A new feature in iOS 9.3 allows you to protect your sensitive Notes with a password or with Touch ID. It’s a great way to keep stuff like security codes or medical information safe on your iPhone.

Health: 

I don’t know if any app can make you healthier, but the Health app is certainly making it easier to keep track of your health. The app now has categories for your Apple Watch’s move, exercise, and stand trackers, and even tracks your day-to-day goals. In addition, the weight, workouts, and sleep data screens have a slider menu that suggests great third-party apps for recording that data.

Car Play:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.27.48 PM

Apple CarPlay is featured in several 2016 and 2017 car models, and before many of those cars actually hit the road, Apple is tweaking some of the music playback options. With iOS 9.3, CarPlay will begin suggesting songs, artists, and albums based on your preferences.

In Apple Maps, a new Nearby feature will show you points of interest—gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops and more—while you’re driving, so you don’t have to search while you’re on the road.

News:

 

Apple says: “This just in: The news you want, even more personalized.”

The articles in the “For You”  designation are now better tailored to your particular interests. And to help you discover new Favorites, “For You” suggests trending topics and Editors’ Picks. When a story contains video, you can play it right from your feed. On your iPhone, you can view everything in landscape. And when you check for updates, the latest stories appear much faster — so you can catch up on the day’s events quickly and easily.

For more information on all the new features. Click here:

 

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