Katie's Week in Review: October 9, 2016

Isn’t it about time for an “October Surprise” from Apple? I sure hope so. But no word yet. Until then, here are the links of note for the week ending October 9, 2016:

  • Yahoo Secretly Scanned Millions of Customer Emails for U.S. Authorities- Because things just weren’t bad enough for Yahoo - Reuters broke the news this week that in compliance with a classified U.S. government demand, Yahoo scanned hundreds of million of Yahoo Mail accounts for the NSA of FBI. Tim Hardwick for MacRumors has a good breakdown of the story from various sources, including statements from Facebook, Google and Microsoft deniying conducting similar searches. Apple spokesperson said: “We have never received a request of this type, and if we were to receive one, we would oppose it in court.”
  • Apple Bumps Q4 Earnings Announcement and Call to Tuesday, October 25th - Apple has rescheduled its quarterly results call by one day due to a “scheduling conflict.” While not necessarily a big deal, it’s a rare move for Apple to reschedule these calls and people are already speculating that the reason for the reschedule may be due to forthcoming product announcements.
  • Major macOS updates can now download in the background - If you haven’t upgraded to macOS Sierra yet, Apple’s making that process a little easier for you. Starting this week, Apple is starting to download Sierra in the background of Macs that are compatible if they’ve got the “Download newly available updates in the background” option checked in System Preferences. While this might be technically within the realm of the preference dialog, previously Apple never automatically downloaded new operating systems in the background. As Jason Snell of Six Colors reports, the OS is not automatically installed, and the installer can be deleted. But some may see this as a little overly aggressive.
  • Samsung Has to Pay $120M for Apple’s Unlock Patent After All - As reported by Jeff Gamet at The Mac Observer, a new ruling handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday reinstates a $119.6 million fine for infringement on patents related to slide to unlock and autocorrect. As Jeff reports, the two are still fighting out a $548 million patent infringement case from 2011 that is currently on appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court. My guess is we haven’t heard the last of this.
  • 5 GB is the new 16 - Stephen Hackett at lays out the case for why it’s time for the 5GB iCloud free storage tier to go. Funny thing, I just got a call from my brother this weekend asking for help because his wife’s Mac ran out of space. Turns out she she hasn’t backed up her Mac or her iPhone for over a year because everything is paralyzed by her 60 GB photo library. Apple could fix this problem - now I have to unravel this mess.
  • When free space isn’t free: Purgeable storage in macOS Sierra - Speaking of messes I don’t want to clean up - I have not turned on Apple’s documents and desktop sync feature because that just sounds like messing with a swarm of bees. Jason Snell tries to sort out some of the confusion and explain exactly what “purgeable space” means in macOS Sierra.
  • iOS 10: How to Secure Your Lock Screen - With iOS 10 the lock screen provides a lot more information, but also can quickly become cluttered and an avenue to inadvertently share information with others. Dave Chartier, writing for The Mac observer, provides tips on how to tame your notifications and secure your screen.
  • New Mac Candle - I thought I was the only one who noticed, much less loved that “New Mac” smell. Turns out, I’m not. In fact the folks at Twelve South have figured out how to bottle up that smell and sell it - as a candle. I’m so temped to buy this. But that’s crazy right? Must not be, it’s sold out.
  • This week marks the 5th anniversary of Steve Jobs death. To commemorate, Recode put together some of the best moments of his appearance at their D conference.