Episode 90: Bryan William Jones on How We See

Retinal neuroscientist Bryan William Jones joins us this week for a fascinating discussion about how our eyes, brains, and technology work together to create and record images. Can we apply the understanding of the way we see to the way the camera sees?

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #182: 500 Million More Reasons to Talk About Facebook

Scammers have a new technique for delivering malware: using online contact forms. A couple of browsers are nixing Google’s FLoC ad tracking technology. The FBI has been playing white hat hacker. And e talk about Facebook, and especially the “off-Facebook activity” that tracks you across the internet.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

How to remove GPS location data from photos on iPhone or Mac

It’s great to have location data stored in your photos. This allows you to sort through your photo library and find all your photos from your last vacation, or from favorite sites you like to visit. For some photos, like that one of the Eiffel Tower, it’s obvious where you’ve taken them. But you may not want people to be able to figure out where all your photos were taken. For example, you probably don’t want location data in photos you’ve taken in your back yard showing up on social media, allowing people to find exactly where you live.

It’s easy to remove location data when sharing photos from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #182: Facebook, Google, and Stolen iPhones

Facebook leaks 500 million user records, Google is testing a new replacement for cookies to track users, and we explain how to check if that used iPhone you want to buy is stolen.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #181: No April Fool’s Jokes Here, and Other News

We talk about new malware targeting iOS developers, fleeceware in the App Store, 5G vulnerabilities that can leak your location, and discuss private browsing windows, with a Safari tip that is useful for anyone who uses this feature. And we have no April Fool’s jokes.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

My Book Take Control of Scrivener 3 Now Covers the New Windows Version of Scrivener

Take Control of Scrivener 3 coverScrivener is a powerful tool for managing long-form writing projects — such as novels and screenplays — and Take Control of Scrivener 3 gives you all the details you need to know to harness its potential.

With Scrivener, you can start writing at any point in your work (end, middle, beginning), then easily move scenes, sections, and chapters until it’s exactly as you want. It also allows you store items such as research material, character sketches, and setting information in the same project file as your writing.

Literature & Latte, the developers of Scrivener, released version 3 for Windows last week, and our new version 1.1 of this book covers those changes, as well as improvements to the Mac and iOS/iPadOS versions of the software.

With this extensive guide, you’ll start by learning about the Scrivener philosophy and its basic layout. Then I show you how to pick a template, add existing materials to your project, and work with your material using the Binder, Corkboard, and Outliner.

Among many other topics, the book also covers customizing your writing environment, working with styles, using annotations and comments, adding footnotes and endnotes, finding and replacing text, working with revisions, using the Scrivenings View and Snapshots, storing bookmarks and project notes, compiling your text in various formats, exporting and printing your project, syncing it across devices, and sharing it with others.

Get Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Hardware Review: NetGear Orbi Mesh WiFi System Covers Lots of Space, at a Cost UPDATED

UPDATE: It’s been four years since I wrote this, and it’s worth adding some new information. First, the Netgear Orbi has been the most reliable wi-fi system I have ever owned. I’m still very happy with it. However, I’m surprised that the price hasn’t dropped much, especially for additional satellites.

Late last year, I moved my base station and satellite in my home, and found that I need an additional satellite to cover a sitting room, but also to get coverage in my garden. At the time, it cost around £200 for a satellite; that’s ridiculous, since the package of one base station and a satellite has dropped to around £229. I eventually got a satellite when Amazon had a deal on it, for around £130, and, at the time, was torn between upgrading to a newer Orbi system or continuing with this one.

Netgear now sells two wi-fi 6 systems, which offer a number of new technologies from faster speeds, to the ability to handle more devices. While you may not see much of a difference in speed on a wi-fi 6 system, you will when you have a lot of devices on your network. However, only those devices that support wi-fi 6 will be affected by those speeds. This article explains what wi-fi 6 offers.

Netgear has two wi-fi 6 Orbi systems. This one, which is on an Amazon deal as I write this, costs around £195, and offers speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps. The more expensive model, offering speeds of up to 4.2 Gbps, is around £450. The more expensive system is really overkill, and since I don’t have enough wi-fi 6 devices – only my iPhone and MacBook Air have wi-fi 6 – it’s not worth upgrading, for now. Also, the speeds I get are more than sufficient: I get around 500-800 Mbps in my office, and 200-300 Mbps in other parts of the house. While I do now have gigabit fiber, the only computer that needs the highest speed transfers is my iMac, which is wired via Ethernet. As long as my Orbi is still working, I’ll keep it.

In June 2016, I moved into a large, old farmhouse just outside of Stratford-upon-Avon. In my previous home – an old barn conversion – I used an Apple AirPort Extreme, which covered the house sufficiently. That house had thick stone walls, and was on three floors, and it seemed that the router, well placed at the center of the ground floor, spread perfectly in the space, providing excellent coverage of the entire house. However, it didn’t cover the back garden much; not even a table just next to the conservatory at the back.

The new house is a challenge. It doesn’t have the same thick stone walls, but it’s quite large; about 3,200 sq. ft. In addition, there’s no easy location to place my router to get optimal coverage. My internet comes in to one of the ground floor rooms in the corner, and leaving the router there meant that much of the house was dark. Running a flat Ethernet cable out into the hall worked a lot better, but it still didn’t cover all the rooms on the top floor sufficiently, and coverage on the patio outside wasn’t very good.

There are lots of wifi extenders, and other systems you can use to cover a large space, but they’re a bit complex to set up, and their throughput isn’t great. So I thought I’d try out the NetGear Orbi, which was released a few months ago. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

With the main router in the same location as before, and the satellite toward the back of the house upstairs, every room in the house is covered, and even the patio and much of the large garden now have coverage as well. It took a bit of testing to find the ideal location for the satellite. The main router is placed at the bottom of the stairs, about 1/3 of the way from the front door, and the satellite is on the first floor about 2/3 of the way from the front door. (If that makes sense…) This results in a good connection between the two devices, full coverage upstairs, and, since the satellite is near the door to a room that looks out on the garden, coverage outdoors as well.

The Orbi offers two networks; a standard network plus a guest network. So you can activate and deactivate the guest network whenever you want, setting a less secure password for your guests, but they won’t be on the same network as your devices. The main router has four ethernet ports and a USB port; I have my Philips Hue controller connected to it, and you can connect a hard drive if you want. And the satellite has four ethernet ports as well.

The Orbi is available in two versions, each with a router and satellite, and a third version which includes the router and a small wall-plug satellite. You can add another satellite using their app or setup system, if you need more coverage. (Satellites were not available individually when the device was released, and I see that, while you can buy them in the US, they’re not yet for sale in the UK.)

This is what’s called a mesh wifi system; the tri-band router and satellite don’t lose bandwidth extending the network, which is the case if you use a standard network extension system. Devices automatically connect to the more powerful router, generally the one closest, and multiple devices connected don’t slow down throughput. There are several mesh wifi systems available now, and expect this technology to become more common (and hopefully less expensive).

Some reviewers have noted that the Orbi has slowed down their internet connection. I don’t connect to the internet with the Orbi; I have this connected to my ISP’s router via ethernet. I’ve always found that solution to be better; the ISP’s routers tend to connect more reliably.

The Orbi is pricey; at nearly $400 or £400, it’s quite an investment. But if you have a large home, or a small business, it’s a brain-dead simple way of getting good coverage. The wifi is fast and reliable, and drop-outs are rare. If you’re tired of trying to get a single router to work in a large home, it’s worth trying out the Orbi.

How to Securely Erase Data from Your Mac and External Drives

Your Mac, and any external drives you use, may contain important personal data. Your Mac’s drive is full of sensitive data: all your emails, contacts, private documents, and more. If you use an external drive for, say, your music and video libraries, then this isn’t the case, but if you use an external drive for backups, there there’s lots of sensitive data on it.

Whenever you dispose of a Mac, or an external drive, you should securely erase it to ensure that no one can harvest data from it.

In this article, I’ll explain how to securely erase all sorts of drives: hard drives, flash drives, and SSDs.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #180: 10 Mac security and privacy features to set up right away

We discuss our checklist of the 10 security and privacy features that you should set up right away on your new Mac.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

How to Remove Wi-Fi Networks from Your Mac and iOS Device

If you travel regularly with your Mac or iOS device, you likely find yourself connecting to new Wi-Fi networks: at airports, in train stations, in hotels, restaurants, pubs, or at clients’ offices. Whether you connect to these networks with your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, miraculously, your devices will remember these networks and sync them via iCloud — so your other Apple products can access them too, if you use iCloud Keychain.

Your Apple device’s ability to remember previously connected to networks can be both good and bad. While it means you don’t have to search for or remember login credentials when you connect to a known Wi-Fi network on a different device, it can lead to a surfeit of Wi-Fi networks stored in your keychain and potentially allow you to unknowingly connect to a Wi-Fi network that might not be secure. You can cull these Wi-Fi networks, but you can only really clean them out on a Mac.

In this article, I’ll show you how to remove these Wi-Fi networks so your Macs and iOS devices forget them.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.