Break up Facebook (and while we’re at it, Google, Apple and Amazon) – The Guardian

It is time to use antitrust again. We should break up the hi-tech behemoths, or at least require they make their proprietary technology and data publicly available and share their platforms with smaller competitors.

Robert Reich is right; there are companies that have far too much influence, and they need to be broken up. Google and Facebook are dangerous for democracy, and dominate online advertising, and Amazon is dangerous for retail.

Facebook and Google dominate advertising. They’re the first stops for many Americans seeking news. Apple dominates smartphones and laptop computers. Amazon is now the first stop for a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything.

However, Mr. Reich is wrong; Apple does not dominate smartphones and laptops, at least not in the entire world. They are first in the US, but with around 40%; that’s not anti-trust level domination. Worldwide, however, Apple’s market share is around 12%, and Samsung is in the lead at around 20%. Apple does dominate the high end of the smartphone sector though.

As much as I use Amazon for practicality – I live in a rural area near a town of around 25,000 people, so local shopping opportunities are limited – I do understand that they are killing off retail.

In the second Gilded Age as in the first, giant firms at the center of the American economy are distorting the market and our politics.

We must resurrect antitrust.

Yep.

It’s worth noting that Tim Cook recently said in an interview that regulation of these firms will be necessary; he knows it is coming, and is planning for it, whereas Facebook and Google are just playing coy and fighting it. Apple will come out well with this approach.

Source: Break up Facebook (and while we’re at it, Google, Apple and Amazon) | Opinion | The Guardian

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode #25 – Understanding iCloud Photo Library

Photoactive 400If you use Apple’s Photos app on your Mac or iOS device, are you also synchronizing your images via iCloud Photo Library? In this week’s episode, Jeff and Kirk talk about the pros and cons of Apple’s cloud service for photos. Why should you consider it? What are the downsides? And if you have your images in the cloud, is that considered a backup? (No, it’s not. We explain why.)

Listen to PhotoActive, Episode #25 – Understanding iCloud Photo Library.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The Next Track 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 57: The Advantages of Using a VPN, with CyberGhost

We’ve often stressed how important it is to use a VPN. Today we welcome Andra Zaharia from Intego’s partner company CyberGhost to discuss why we all need a VPN at times.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

The Next Track, Episode #131 – Jeff Slate on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxMusician and journalist Jeff Slate wrote the liner notes for the latest Bob Dylan Bootleg Series release, More Blood, More Tracks, covering the Blood on the Tracks sessions.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode 131 – Jeff Slate on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

How Apple Is Changing from a Hardware Company to a Services and Media Company

The iPhone has been Apple’s biggest product for many years now, and Apple has leveraged it to become the first trillion-dollar company. But things are starting to change. In Apple’s recent earnings call, the company said that it would no longer break out unit sales of the iPhone or its other products. As CFO Luca Maestri said, “a unit of sale is less relevant for us today than it was in the past given the breadth of our portfolio.” This change comes as Apple’s iPhone sales have been essentially flat for the past two years – they peaked in the holiday quarter of 2016 – signaling the first time that the company is facing up to the slowing growth in the smartphone market.

Maestri isn’t wrong; as Apple increases the average selling price of their device, unit sales are less important, and they don’t want to highlight the fact that they’re not growing any more. But there’s a lot more to it than just the iPhone.

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

Learn How to Manage Your Apple ID

Tc appleidI get a huge number of emails from people who are having problems with their Apple IDs, about managing the Apple ID and their devices, about using two-factor authentication, and about using the Apple ID with the iTunes Store and App Store. I’m very happy that Glenn Fleishman has written this book covering the Apple ID from A – Z.

Your Apple ID is much more than a simple username. It’s a key that unlocks a long list of Apple products and services on any of numerous devices. iCloud uses an Apple ID; so do iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store on Mac and iOS, the Books app, and more. An Apple ID protects your personal information, including email and iOS backups; helps you find a lost iPhone; and can even unlock your Mac. So it goes without saying that if something goes wrong with your Apple ID, you could be in for a world of hurt.

Unfortunately, things go wrong with Apple IDs all the time. Fortunately, Glenn Fleishman, a veteran technology journalist and the author of Macworld’s “Mac 911” column, is ready to help with expert advice on how to manage your Apple ID—including how to prevent, solve, or work around most common problems, in his new book, Take Control of Your Apple ID.

In this book, Glenn answers questions like:

  • What all is my Apple ID used for?
  • How does my iCloud account relate to my Apple ID?
  • What problems can two-factor authentication (2FA) solve, and how do I use it?
  • Are there other mechanisms I can use to ensure that I can recover an Apple ID in the event of a problem? (Spoiler: yes!)
  • What if I have a device that’s too old to work with two-factor authentication?
  • What should I do if I have two or more Apple IDs or iCloud accounts?
  • Will I lose access to all my Apple media purchases if I move to another country?
  • Can I share an Apple ID with someone else?
  • What exactly should I do if I think someone is hacking my Apple ID account?
  • How can I recover a forgotten Apple ID password?
  • What steps should I take if Apple locks me out of my account?
  • If I lose access to an email address associated with my Apple ID, what can I do?

And that’s just the beginning. Glenn has packed a remarkable amount of concise problem-solving information into this compact, 76-page book. Read it before you encounter Apple ID problems to minimize your risk, and if you’ve already encountered a problem, read it to find the best path to a rapid solution.

Get Take Control of Your Apple ID.