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Tales from the Orchard: Leaked internal Apple videos detail iPhone X, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro repairs

 

 

By Michael Potuck of 9to5Mac

Update: Earlier this morning Apple pulled the videos from YouTube. As noted by users on Reddit, the videos can still be downloaded – at your own risk – on torrent site Mega.

A slew of Apple internal repair videos have leaked, with detailed descriptions and walkthroughs on how to repair everything from the iPhone X to iMac Pro.

As spotted by Reddit user turnby, the 11 internal Apple repair guides showed up on YouTube recently. Motherboard got in touch with the YouTuber who uploaded them about a month ago that were first discovered on Twitter. However, they were likely kept as privately listed on YouTube until recently as Apple would have taken action to pull them long before now.

“When I saw these videos I downloaded them out of curiosity, and when his account got suspended, I wanted people to still see them, so I uploaded them to YouTube,” Haji told Motherboard in an email.

Notably the videos go in depth in describing the repair processes for the iPhone X, MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, and more.

These videos won’t be live for too long, but check them out below while you can.

The authenticity of the videos is all but certain with Apple copyrights, as well as footage of diagnostic tools and documentation.

As Motherboard notes, one impressive revelation these leaks bring is how well third-parties like iFixit reverse engineer the repair processes and offer very close walkthroughs and similar tools for sale to handle seemingly complex, detailed procedures.

What do you think of Apple’s new “training” strategies for it’s technicians? Sound off in the comments below!

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5 troubleshooting tips for fixing your own computer

 

 

 

 

By David Nield of Popular Science

DIY computer repair.

Many of us are so reliant on our computers, that when something goes wrong it’s a serious problem—like the power going out or the water getting cut off. Of course you want to get your system back up and running as quickly as you can, but that’s often easier said than done. It’s no exaggeration to say an almost limitless number of things can go wrong with a computer, because everyone’s system and settings are different. It can seem almost impossible knowing where to begin when it comes to troubleshooting your way back to a working machine.

That said, you’d be surprised by just how many issues have the same simple root cause. Before you get professional help—which we’d still advise in a lot of cases—run through these simple measures to see if you can get the problem fixed yourself.

1. Run a thorough virus scan

It’s obvious, but it’s effective: Fire up your virus scanning software, launch the deepest and most thorough scan available, then leave it to do its work. Note that the most comprehensive type of scan (which looks at the most files and takes the longest time to complete) may not be the scan that your computer is set to run by default, so have a check through the program settings to see what’s available. You’ll also want to make sure it’s totally updated before running the scan so it can catch the most recent wave of bad code.

Antivirus scanners can sometimes miss threats or get disabled by them, so it’s worth getting a second opinion. A lot of antivirus developers make lightweight, on-demand scanners you can install alongside your main security software as a second layer of protection—applications like Kaspersky Security Scan for Windows or macOS, or Microsoft Safety Scanner for Windows, or Emsisoft Emergency Kit for Windows.

You’ll find more antivirus programs around for Windows because it has a history of being attacked by the greater proportion of malware. While macOS is quite comprehensively locked down, especially if you stick to the Mac App Store for your applications, you can never be 100 percent sure of staying safe, so it’s always worth having an antivirus program or two on hand to troubleshoot system problems.

All kinds of computer crashes and slowdowns can be caused by viruses and other malware. It’s worth running a scan if your system has become sluggish, or is suddenly behaving strangely, or seems overrun with advertising. If threats are found, your antivirus program will know how to combat them; or if you get a clean bill of health then you can try some other troubleshooting options to fix whatever issue you’re having.

 

2. Update your software

Many computer problems are caused by outdated and un-patched software, from outbreaks of ransomware to glitchy keyboards that refuse to spit out the correct letters when you tap them. Fortunately, many updates are now applied automatically, because they’re so important—which is why your computer might suddenly reboot when you weren’t expecting it to.

Focus on your operating system first. In Windows you can look for updates by opening up Settings then clicking Update & security; on macOS, launch the App Store from the dock or the Applications screen in Finder, then switch to the Updates tab. Make sure you apply any updates that are pending.

It’s important to check for updates to your other applications, including your web browser and your antivirus program, though again this is often handled automatically so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The update feature should be fairly prominent in any app, but consult the built-in help if you get stuck.

After applying all the updates you can find, your issues might well be fixed, though this is as much of a technique for preventing future problems as it is for fixing existing ones. Make sure as many of your installed applications are updating themselves automatically in the background, and you should run into fewer computer issues as a result.

3. Cut down on the bloat

You might think that leaving older, unused programs on your hard drive is pretty harmless, but as more and more applications mount up, it means your operating system has to work harder, and the files on your computer get broken up more often and spread out further as your computer tries to save them—something known as fragmentation. As a result the amount of free storage space can quickly become limited.

If you’ve noticed your computer is running more slowly, crashing at odd times, or showing some other kind of buggy behavior, it might be that it’s simply creaking under the weight of all the software you’ve got installed. You can uninstall applications you no longer need from the Apps section of Settings in Windows, or by dragging the app shortcut down to the Trash on macOS. Some macOS apps can be removed from the Launcher by clicking and holding on an icon until it shakes, then clicking the cross icon.

The same goes for your browser—having too many extensions and add-ons installed can lead to a serious slowdown or some erratic behavior, so limit your extensions to the ones you actually need and use. In Chrome, go to More Tools then Extensions from the main app menu; in Firefox choose Add-ons from the main app menu; and in Microsoft Edge, choose Extensions from the main app menu.

If your computer is running low on disk space then it can lead to a number of problems, including occasional crashes and slow performance. As well as removing unneeded apps, try removing unneeded files too, like movies you’ve already watched or duplicate photos you’ve got safely backed up somewhere else. Generally speaking, the less bloated your system, the fewer system problems you’ll run into.

4. Test your Wi-Fi connection

Of course this troubleshooting technique only applies to internet-related problems—one very specific category of issue. The key to getting your internet up and running again is to work out where the problem lies, and the detective work isn’t as difficult as you might think. Once you know what’s wrong you can go about trying to fix it.

If you can, plug your laptop or desktop computer straight into your router with an Ethernet cable. If you still don’t get internet, and nothing connected to Wi-Fi is getting internet (like phones and tablets), then the problem may well lie with your router hardware or the service provided by your internet service provider—just about your only option is to get on the phone to the company and ask for assistance.

If some devices can get online and others can’t, then that points to problems with those specific devices. We can’t cover every conceivable issue here, but rebooting those devices, updating the software installed on them, and switching Wi-Fi off and then back on again to establish the connection from scratch are good first steps.

If your computer can get online when plugged directly into the router but not when it’s browsing over Wi-Fi, you might well be looking at a problem with your Wi-Fi network. We’ve written before about getting the strongest possible signal around your house, but if that doesn’t get you anywhere, then reboot your router and dive into its on-board settings—a quick web search based on the router make and model should surface some information about troubleshooting tricks you can try.

5. Reinstall the operating system

Reinstalling Windows or macOS and starting again from scratch is a more extreme version of the “cut down on the bloat” solution we mentioned above. It wipes out troublesome programs, erases many viruses and types of malware, resets your internet connection settings and generally gives you a blank slate to start from again.
You’ll want to make sure that you have all your data backed up before starting the reinstallation process.

What makes this worth trying is that Microsoft and Apple have made reinstalling their operating systems so straightforward now. On Windows, you can head to Update & security from Settings and then choose Reset this PC to get started (more here), whereas on macOS you need to hold down Cmd+R as you press the power button to turn on your Mac to launch the Utilities program (more here).

By setting your system back to square one, you’re theoretically wiping away whatever was causing the issue you’re having, though there’s no guarantee it’ll work. You also need to weigh up the hassle of getting all your applications and files back on the system afterwards, so it’s not the right choice for everyone in every situation. In our experience though, we’ve found it to be an effective fix for a lot of computer ills.

We can’t promise that these five tips will solve every problem you’re having but they at least enable you to rule out some basic possibilities as far as root causes go. We’re also not trying to diminish the importance of your local PC repair shop—and that should be your next port of call if your computer’s still struggling at the end of this guide.

App of the Week – Adobe launches free document scanning app for Android and iOS

 

By Blair Hanley Frank of VentureBeat.com

Adobe is getting into the mobile scanning game with a new free iOS and Android app aimed at providing users with high-quality images of physical content they want to capture digitally.

It’s called Adobe Scan, and it works similarly to a bunch of other apps already available. Users point their smartphone cameras at whatever document, white board, or presentation screen they want to capture, and the app automatically crops the image to just pick out a document.

The clearest difference between Scan and other apps, like Microsoft Lens, is that the app integrates with Adobe Document Cloud and automatically performs optical character recognition on the PDFs it generates. Users can then copy and paste text from those documents into other files.

But Adobe also put in a lot of work on building machine intelligence into Scan from the ground up, according to Akhil Chugh, a senior product manager for Document Cloud. The app uses a variety of machine learning and image processing algorithms to help deal with the myriad issues that arise with mobile scanning, like trying to differentiate a document from a similarly colored background and figuring out which areas of a document warrant optical character recognition.

“Our goal has been to create a digital document that’s as good as you would get from a flatbed scanner, or as good as the real document,” Chugh said.

Specifically, Adobe is using genetic algorithms (so named because they’re generated by simulating natural selection) to handle document boundary detection. For differentiating text from images, Adobe is using tree- and logistic regression-based classifiers. Those machine learning tools are a part of Sensei, Adobe’s name for its internal ML framework and features.

Adobe is counting on its document expertise and machine learning capabilities to boost Scan in a crowded market. The app is free for people to use, but it requires the creation of a Document Cloud account. Scanned files are stored in Document Cloud automatically but can also be saved to other services.

While it’s possible for Scan to capture images without a network connection, all of the OCR work is handled in Adobe’s cloud. That means text recognition requires sending images of the document over the internet, which may not be an appealing option for some sensitive content.

The launch of Scan is a significant milestone, but Adobe plans to further refine the app over time as part of its Document Cloud portfolio. The company has invested a great deal in handwriting and font recognition, for example, so it’s possible features like that could show up in Scan going forward.

On the machine learning front, the team is investigating how to best implement deep learning in Scan and across Document Cloud. It’s also looking into using generative adversarial networks, which are designed to help create content.

Download Adobe Scan for Android

Download Adobe Scan for iOS

Do you have a favorite scanner app for your phone? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 5/26

 


Um…Trump University isn’t on this list.

25 Colleges that pay for themselves if you want to work in tech

Except that it didn’t work…
How Silicon Valley is trying to topple Trump — beginning with a special election in Montana

Honestly, who didn’t see this coming?
Tesla’s solar roof tiles are already sold out ‘well into 2018’

I’d just be happy if their was one to make my cat less of an a**hole.
Wearable tech latest must-have for China’s proud pet owners

Because they need all 14 or so women working in the tech field to keep working.
At tech companies, egg freezing benefits are all the rage

Why is everyone looking at Zuckerberg?
Tech companies need to stand up to the jerks in their midst

I’d be really disappointed if it didn’t.
Tech Ups The Ante In Orlando’s New Theme Park Experiences

Here’s to the crazy ones…
Walt Mossberg signs ‘out’

Kinda like watching the Hall of Presidents but with cooler tech.
Apple will live stream WWDC 2017 keynote on June 5 at 10AM PT

Tales from the Orchard – “Today at Apple” could easily backfire unless carefully managed at busier Apple Stores

 

By Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac

Among the images that Apple proudly featured in officially launching its Today at Apple initiative was one from an event I attended myself: an acoustic concert at London’s Regent Street store.

That was an accurate reflection of the event. The singer gave an excellent performance to an appreciative audience. But it didn’t provide the complete picture. The top photo, taken with my iPhone from my position close to the stage area, shows another aspect of the event: massive crowding with basically zero attempt at controlling those crowds …

You had to register to attend the concert, and places were theoretically limited to 250. But there was nothing at all to control numbers. The area wasn’t roped off in any way.

You could voluntarily check-in with staff, but it was clear that many of those who didn’t get places turned up anyway, and there were also people who were in the store when they saw from the huge screen that it was happening and decided to stay for it. There was no attempt by staff to find out who was registered and who wasn’t – and no system in place to make this a practical proposition.

We were fortunate to get there early enough to get places close to the front, but there would have been many more registered people who arrived before the start and would have been left standing just inside the front doors.

There was also a woman who told staff she was unable to stand for an hour, and while a couple of members of staff said they would try to find her a seat, the crowds meant this was basically an impossible task at which they failed. Not great for a company which says accessibility is a core value.

The crowds additionally meant that it would have been a nightmare to either try out any of Apple’s products or make a purchase. The display tables were packed with people watching the show, and staff wanting to sell anything had to fight their way through the throng to fetch products.

Granted, this was a special event designed to highlight the initiative. The vast majority of the events are the same workshops that have been offered for many years, and even with extra publicity aren’t going to attract those kind of crowds. But if Apple intends to make special events a regular feature, it has to manage the space a lot better than it did at the weekend.

I wrote before that I’m all in favor of Apple highlighting one of its best-kept secrets. Workshops are a great way to learn how to get more from Apple hardware and software, and also a place to get inspired about creative projects. I also support the notion of Apple Stores becoming places you go to try products, and to get informed about them, while most sales are made online.

But Apple also needs to remember that the primary function of a retail store is to allow customers to see the products, experience them and – yes – buy them. Almost every Apple Store I’ve visited has already been unpleasantly crowded. Adding special events into the mix requires it to develop proper processes to handle the crowds. Otherwise all that is achieved is that a lot of would-be customers get driven out of the stores.

Here are some other Quotes from some other reviewers:

“After the flat response to watches and watchbands, Angela must have spent a lot of time “hanging out” at Starbucks. You know, because buying an overpriced computer is exactly like buying an overpriced beverage. It is all too clear that Apple is after the same shallow, privileged, label-focused clientele.”

“Isn’t it amazing what a brilliant multimillionaire overpaid broad can come up with to spur more sales when she has no clue what the majority of computer users actually do?”

“Sounds like a near-cliche, nothing like a zinger to jab at the competition which itself would generate love and hate articles debating its use. It generates no emotion at all, the key to good PR no matter what part of the company it comes from.
That name comes straight from tradition and from the Balmeric-style establishment.
I truly am disappointed by its lack of creativity.”

Tales from the Orchard: An Open Letter To Tim Cook From A Now Former Apple Genius

 

By Jamie Young of AppAdvice

What is it about your Apple products that you love so much? Is it that they’re pretty? Dependable? Because they last longer? Because they just work? Because you know you can take your precious devices into a nearby store whenever something’s wrong and get advice? One concerned Apple employee wrote an open letter to Tim Cook explaining how he felt the retail store employees were focusing more on selling rather than the customers. Apple is known for the strong customer service values it instills in its retail store employees. The values that Steve Jobs himself instilled in the company — perfection in everything. But has that all gone to the wayside? I’ll let his letter speak for itself:

DEAR MR. TIM COOK: Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Chad Ramey and I’ve served this company for the last four years as a Genius at the Apple Arrowhead retail location in Glendale, Arizona (R247). First of all, I would like to extend my thanks for allowing me the opportunity to work for such a unique company. It was truly one of the most heart-wrenching moments of my life when I had to walk out of that store for the last time; no one likes to abandon their passion, and helping Apple’s customers was not only something that I loved to do, but also something that I gave my entire heart and soul doing. It will be difficult to find another company that can elicit such a strong passion and devotion. With that being said, I find my freedom from Apple to be a double-edged sword. I’ve watched as Apple retail has shifted from something truly spectacular and wonderful to big-box retail that is no better than a Best Buy or a Walmart. You see, there has been a shift in the focus of these stores. What was once a truly enriching place to work has become a place that leeches and drains everything from their employees. Apple retail no longer values its people and when I say people, I am referring to both your customers and your retail employees serving you on the front-lines. After all, they are your most important resource, your soul, or at least that was once true. Due to the overwhelming number of appointments per employee and the continued push to open more and more active queues, most interactions are now completely transactional, rather than transformational. We are lucky if we have time to ask the customer their name, nevertheless truly get to dig deeply into their lives and their issues, and further repair their relationships with both Apple and the Apple brand. As employees, we are forced to worry more about pushing business leads and reaching numbers, rather than truly focus on the customer’s problems. Everything I was led to believe in CORE training four years ago has become nullified; Apple is no longer about enriching lives, it is about enriching pocketbooks. You may see that my former store, R247, remains to be amongst the top performing stores in NPS, and yet the Family Room NPP continues to plummet. The people we have in that store are amongst the most talented and most devoted in the company. They give everything they have to keep the focus on their customers despite the increasing hurdles that the company keeps throwing at them. They are, however, quickly being burnt out. Apple is treating its retail workforce like they are disposable, and in doing so, Apple is throwing away some of its brightest and most amazing talents. I asked our family room manager point blank if Apple wants its retail employees to be career and he said no. The continuing loss of talented and caring people is fueled by the feeling that they are neither important nor truly cared for. The idea of thinking of employees as people instead of numbers was what used to set Apple apart. This is what has made Apple change. I know this letter may never reach your eyes, but I would feel as if I’d abandoned my team if I never even tried to make a change. If you truly care about the future of Apple retail, Mr. Cook, you’ll return to the foundations on which it was originally based. Create an environment where employees feel wanted and needed. Go back to the days when sales and support were geared toward the customers and not the bottom-line. If you don’t, you’ll continue to burn through some of the greatest and most talented resources in your workforce. Apple is supposed to be a leader within the industry. You set the standards. You can make changes and others will follow. Use that position to better the world of retail, not sink to the depths of those around you. Make the change that will affect so many lives. Sincerely, Chad Ramey

Yes, Apple products are more expensive. We pay for quality, design, and — I don’t know about you, but — the customer service experience. At least, the rich customer experience we used to get. Have you noticed any changes in the service you receive at Apple retail stores? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

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