How one yanked JavaScript package wreaked havoc

How one yanked JavaScript package wreaked havoc

Developers who rely on NPM, the JavaScript package registry created by the Node.js ecosystem, experienced a shock earlier this week when a small package removed from NPM unexpectedly caused many others to stop working.

The episode underscored the fact that dependencies between NPM modules remain an unsolved problem — and legal pressure on software developers can have repercussions far beyond the obvious.

How the chain broke

Developer Azer Koçulu, with dozens of modules registered in his name on NPM, stated he had been advised to rename his module named “kik” after receiving a note from a lawyer at the company that makes the Kik mobile messenger product. (The makers of Kik have since published their discussion of events.)

Disgusted with the way the owners of NPM appeared favor Kik and no longer wanting to share his work there, Koçulu removed — “unpublished” — all of his modules from NPM.

“[I] apologize … if your stuff just got broken due to this,” he wrote. Koçulu suggested that those who relied on dependencies with one of his modules point instead to a version now hosted on GitHub.

Unfortunately, many people weren’t able to take that advice immediately. One of the missing modules, left-pad, with a mere 17 lines of code, was required by numerous major JavaScript projects, such as Babel. Without left-pad, those projects no longer installed from NPM.

The left-pad module on NPM was eventually “un-unpublished” and assigned to a new owner (developer Cameron Westlake). Dependent projects once again became installable. But the damage had been done, and for many NPM users the episode served as a reminder that NPM has fragilities that need addressing.

The damage(s) done

Two big issues have reared their heads in the wake of these events. First, copyright and trademark challenges in the software world can do immediate and widespread damage.

Few provisions exist for dealing with a package that suddenly goes missing from a public software repository. It’s typically left to whoever installs the software to deal with extraordinary circumstances — such as when a repository is taken offline by a spurious DMCA request.

This leads directly into the second issue: Package handling on NPM is fraught with long-standing limitations. Developer Resi Respati noted several limitations in his analysis of the left-pad case, chief among them the way the NPM namespace is global — all packages share the same namespace and are registered on a first-come first-served fashion. (GitHub, by contrast, employs a username/project namespacing system.)

Unpublishing a package in NPM frees up its name for someone else to use, meaning there’s no guard against another package of the same name sneaking in and doing something untoward. A discussion is currently under way, to add signing and certification to Node.js package handling, but has yet to produce a working solution.

Picking up the pieces

At least one project exists as an alternate way to perform package management for Node. The ied project proposes several changes intended to solve some of the issues described above. Packages are identified by their SHA-1 checksums, not merely by a package name, which guarantees that packages are unique and can’t be confused with (or arbitrarily substituted for) each other. Semantic versioning is also supported, so a specific version of a package can be fetched.

Unfortunately, it isn’t likely these improvements will find their way to a larger audience — not so long as most Node.js and JavaScript developers continue to depend on NPM as their default.

The design of the early Internet assumed that trust exists between all parties, an assumption that was fine for a closed-ended, academic environment. But as the Internet went public, that assumption has turned into a time bomb, as criminal attackers learned to leverage obsolete protocols or exploit limitations in existing ones.

In the same way, many of the unquestioned assumptions about how NPM works — and, more generally, how public software repositories work — may have their biggest tests ahead of them.


[Source:- Javaworld]

Taking the new MySQL 5.7 JSON features for a test drive

MySQL 5.7 introduces both a new native JSON datatype, and a set of SQL functions to be able to manipulate and search data in a very natural way on the server-side. Today I wanted to show a simple of example of these features in action using sample data from SF OpenData.

Importing Sample Data

Having good sample data is useful, because it helps you self-validate that results are accurate. It also helps provide good data distribution, which is important when adding indexes.

My chosen data set from SF OpenData is the most popular item under “Geographic Locations and Boundaries” and contains approximately 200K city lots. The first step is to download and import it into MySQL:

Here is an example what each one of the features (parcel of land) looks like:

In this case all 200K documents do follow a common format, but I should point out that this is not a requirement. JSON is schema-less :)

Example Queries

Query #1: Find a parcel of land on Market street, one of the main streets in San Francisco:

Using the short hand JSON_EXTRACT operator (->) I can query into a JSON column in a very natural way. The syntax "$.properties.STREET" is what we call a JSON path, and for those familiar with javascript I like to compare this to a CSS selector similar to what you would use with JQuery.

To learn more about the JSON path syntax, I recommend checking out our manual page, or this blog post by Roland Bouman.

Query #2: Find any parcels of land that do not specify a street:

With JSON being schemaless, this finds the documents which do not have the expected structure. In this example we can see that all documents have a $.properties.STREETspecified, and thus the query returns zero results.

Comparing the JSON type to TEXT

In this example I am running a query which deliberately needs to access all 200K JSON documents. This could be considered a micro-benchmark, as it does not quite reflect what you would experience in production, where you will often have indexes:

To explain what is happening here in more detail:

  • For simplicity, I’ve ensured that in both examples the dataset fits in memory.
  • The JSON functions, including the short-hand json_extract() operator (->) will work on both a native JSON data type, as well TEXT/BLOB/VARCHAR data types. This is very useful because it provides a nice upgrade for users prior to MySQL 5.7 who frequently already store JSON.
  • We can see that the native JSON datatype is indeed about 10x faster than TEXT – 1.25 seconds versus 12.85 seconds. This can be explained because the native type does not have to do any parsing or validation of the data, and it can retrieve elements of a JSON document very efficiently.


Hopefully this serves as a useful example of importing sample JSON data, and running a few sample queries. In my next post I take this a step further by showing how you can index JSON data by using virtual columns.


[Source:- Mysqlserverteam]

Using the iOS Bridge to Bring Storyboards and Auto Layout to Windows 10

Calculator_App_Hero_FINAL (1)

In part one of the Windows Bridge for iOS series, we created a simple to-do list app in Xcode and used the Windows Bridge for iOS to bring it over to Windows 10. In part two of the series, we went on a tour of Visual Studio for iOS developers. In today’s tutorial, we will use the Windows Bridge for iOS to convert an existing iOS calculator app created using Storyboards and Auto Layout to create a Universal Windows Platform app that will adjust to various form factors on Windows 10.

As a refresher, the Windows Bridge for iOS is an open-source project that provides an Objective-C® development environment for Visual Studio and support for iOS APIs. It allows you to create a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that will run on any Windows 10 device using iOS APIs and Objective-C code.

Getting Started

For today’s tutorial, you will need:

  • A PC running Windows 10 with Visual Studio 2015 and the Windows Bridge for iOS installed.
  • A Mac running Mac OS X 10.11 with Xcode 7 installed.
  • A copy of the calculator code.

Understanding the Project Structure

With the calculator sample application downloaded and unzipped on your Mac development environment, let’s open the Xcode project and briefly explore the application. This application consists of:

  • AppDelegate – receives notifications about the state of the UIApplication object and performs tasks on events like startup and shutdown.
  • ViewController – provides the view management infrastructure for the app’s user interface, such as loading, disposing, and managing interactions with the various views used in the app.
  • Storyboards (LaunchScreen and Main) – visually lays out your users’ path through your app using scenes, segues between screens and the controls used to trigger the segues.
  • Project properties (plist) – a structured xml file containing a list of properties that define various configuration settings
  • m – instantiates the application object, sets up the main event loop, and begins processing events. Most times, there is no need to modify this file.

The UI implementation is done visually in Main.storyboard and all the heavy lifting is done in ViewController.m, which contains the methods that perform the calculations.


Let’s run the app in the simulator and perform a few calculations. As you can see, this is a fairly simple app—there are several buttons and a label that allows you to perform mathematical calculations.


Using vsimporter

We are ready to run the app through the vsimporter tool. To do so, you’ll need to copy your Xcode project files to your Windows Machine (or VM). With the files copied, open the Xcode project folder on your Windows machine.

You’ll want to navigate to the directory that has the Calculator.xcodeproj folder in it. In Windows Explorer, click File-> Open Command Prompt.

Open the Windows Bridge for iOS folder (winobjc) and navigate to the “bin” folder. Find the file named vsimporter.exe and drag it onto your command prompt window, then press “Enter.”



Go back to your Xcode project folder and you will see that a new Visual Studio solution (Calculator-WinStore10.sln) has been created automatically as the output of the bridge. The Calculator app is now a Universal Windows App.


Digging Deeper with vsimporter

The vsimporter tool creates a Visual Studio solution from the original Xcode project while preserving relevant project settings and importing assets, headers, and source files.

This is all pretty straightforward mapping up to this point. The vsimporter begins from a custom “Islandwood template” and then copies and tweaks a few files. The real “magic” is in the project importer itself and in the runtime.

Understanding Storyboards

As a reminder, a Storyboard in Xcode is a container of scenes, which correspond to the views and objects used in the app’s UI. A Storyboard can be used to represent everything from individual view layouts to segues between view controllers. A NIB file is the compiled binary version of a XIB. In addition to setting up our Visual Studio project’s code structure, the vsimporter tool invokes a related tool called “Xib2Nib” and uses the enclosed XIB files to generate NIB files.



The Xib2Nib tool can import and support simple Storyboards and NIBs. It processes these XIB files by iterating through the XML and building out a new plist/NIB file for each Storyboard encountered in the Xcode project. The end result is that the Storyboard we carefully laid out in Xcode – with all of its Auto Layout magic and layout constraints – remains intact when we run vsimporter and bring our code to Windows 10. If the Xib2Nib tool doesn’t work for your project, file a bug  or contribute to the project.

Launch the new solution file with Visual Studio 2015. You’ll notice that the imported Xcode project looks pretty familiar. In addition to bringing over the main Xcode project files, the importer added references to the needed UWP APIs and assets needed for publishing to the store.


Also added were external dependencies to the iOS APIs supported by the Windows Bridge for iOS.


Tip: Be sure to install Objective-C syntax highlighting if you haven’t already done so. It is available as a Visual Studio extension (objc-syntax-highlighting.vsix) and is located in the same directory as the vsimporter.exe file.

Running and Resizing the Application

Run the application on your local machine and you’ll notice the same calculator UI we saw running in the Xcode Simulator. Try resizing the app window and notice how the UI is now responsive and fits multiple app dimensions. You now have a native iOS app running on Windows.



Wrapping Up

Although our project didn’t encounter any unsupported iOS API calls, other apps might. So, what is an app developer to do? You’ll want to open an issue and let the team know. The team is committed to working with the iOS developer community to improve the bridge and enable iOS app developers to port their apps to the Universal Windows Platform.



Apple at 40: Remembering when Steve Jobs went electric

steve jobs apple logo

“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”

Like Bob Dylan strumming the first few notes of “Maggie’s Farm” on the Stratocaster at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, when Steve Jobs uttered these words at the 2007 Macworld Expo, it was clear that this was no ordinary keynote. What started as a relatively routine presentation—an update on the Intel transition, some stellar sales figures, even a little Windows bashing—quickly became one of his most legendary performances, a rock-star worthy stage show that has been watched and rewatched millions of times.

If it was a record, it would have gone multi-platinum years ago. And whether you were lucky enough to be there or you just watched it later on YouTube, Jobs commanded the stage like he was channeling Mick Jagger or Bruce Springsteen. It still holds up nearly a decade later.


In other years, the iPhone’s warm-up act might have been the star. Before unveiling the product that would transform Apple into the most profitable company in the world, Jobs took the wraps off of Apple TV. It wasn’t completely new—its existence had been teased at the iPod event just a few months prior—but the Moscone Center stage served the first public appearance for Apple’s streaming box, a novel concept at the time. As Jobs briskly showed off what the Apple TV could do, it became evident that he had something else up his sleeve, but no one in the audience (except maybe Jony Ive) had any idea just how big it was.

Jobs knew he had a Stairway to Heaven-sized hit on his hands, and he was willing to stake his legacy on it.

After the Apple TV demo, Jobs calmly walked over to the table and took a swig of water. Returning to the center of the stage, he looked contemplative, proud as his tone noticeably shifted. He almost seemed nervous as he told the crowd, ”This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years.” It was a line as as memorable as George Harrison’s opening riff to “Day Tripper” at The Beatle’s epic 1966 Candlestick Park concert.

steve jobs phone icon
“Are you getting it?”

Like any great frontman, Jobs played the crowd perfectly. The build-up was just as impressive as the opening, culminating with a catchy refrain that whipped the crowd into a frenzy–“an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator … an iPod, a phone … are you getting it?”—before dropping the line everyone wanted to hear: “And we’re calling it iPhone.”


That show-stopping moment wasn’t even the big reveal. As Jobs talked about the problems with smartphones, his hatred of the stylus and the challenges of designing a touchscreen handset, the best reaction came not from the crowd’s first look at the iPhone, but rather a simple gesture that would quickly become commonplace.

Jobs may have played coy, but he knew it was coming. After unlocking the iPhone for the first time, he acknowledged the hushed exclamations of admiration by asking, “Want to see that again?” Like Eddie Van Halen’s first live tapping solo or Don Felder working out the slide guitar on “Hotel California,” that unlocking gesture had them all mesmerized.

original iphone unlock

The rest of the demo didn’t disappoint, even if it never quite matched the level of that first swipe. As he took us on a tour of the Mail, Calendar, Safari and Photos apps, the show took on a more traditional feel, with expected applause breaks, timely humor and a few well-placed “booms,” but Jobs’s excitement gave even the most mundane details a palpable, profuse energy. Every pause added a tinge of anticipation, every breath carried a perceptible weight. For some 80 minutes, Jobs delivered a keynote for the ages, a performance whose beautiful craftsmanship was matched only by the iPhone itself.


There was no “one more thing” like in years past, and certainly no performance from U2 or John Mayer. Instead of a massive crescendo, in fact, the conclusion was nearly marred by a glitch. When it was time for the slide about iPhone market share predictions, Jobs’s remote stopped working. But it didn’t rattle him. Instead of throwing a tantrum or disappearing backstage to check on the issue, he took the opportunity to share an impromptu story about Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak.

It served as the perfect bridge between old and new Apple, illustrating how the company has matured, while acknowledging its rebellious, whimsical roots.

As he described how they had used a TV zapper to mess with Star Trek fans at Woz’s Berkeley dorm, it wasn’t just a peek into a young Steve Jobs. It served as the perfect bridge between old and new Apple, illustrating how the company has matured, while acknowledging its rebellious, whimsical roots. It was a spontaneous, real moment, but it felt as if it belonged. Maybe Jobs had the story queued up in his mind in the very event of such a glitch, or maybe the significance of day had caused him to recall it the night before, but it punctuated the keynote in a way a preprogrammed slide never could.

steve jobs iphone
It changed everything.

And it also served as a segue to the final announcement of the day, that Apple was dropping Computer from its company name. It was a testament to the expanding non-Mac product line, but also a bet that the iPhone was going to be huge. Jobs knew he had a Stairway to Heaven-sized hit on his hands, and he was willing to stake his legacy on it.

As the presentation drew to a close, it wasn’t his own words that Steve left the crowd with. Like Jimi Hendrix playing the national anthem at Woodstock or The Beatles covering “Twist and Shout,” Jobs took a Wayne Gretzky quote and made it his own: “‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.”

And with that the house lights rose and Jobs left the stage. We’ll never know what he did after the curtain closed behind him, but I imagine he stole a brief moment alone to reflect on what had just happened, meditating on his time at and away from Apple, and taking one last look at a world that was about to be changed forever.

[Source:- Macworld]

How to change your phone number on WhatsApp (and why you should): What to do when WhatsApp voice calls don’t get through

Most of us are pretty familiar with WhatsApp Messenger. You install the app on your phone, verify it with your phone number, then get busy sending free texts and picture messages over Wi-Fi. But you can also make calls using WhatsApp. Or, at least, some of us can. Also see:WhatsApp ban: What you need to know.

If you’ve ever shopped around for a better phone tariff and put a new SIM in your phone without transferring your old number to it (this most likely applies to those of you with ‘disposable’ PAYG SIMs), you may find that people are having trouble getting hold of you. (Or they will anyway.) Also see: Best SIM-only deals.

This is because WhatsApp lists your old phone number rather than your new one, and your friends will be able to see your account only if they keep your old number on their phone or have an active conversation with you.

If you have recently changed your phone number but not told WhatsApp about the change, here’s what you should do.

How to change your WhatsApp number

1. Open the WhatsApp app and tap the three-dot icon at the top right corner. Choose Settings.

WhatsApp change number

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2. On the next screen choose Account.

WhatsApp change number

3. Now choose Change number.

WhatsApp change number

4. Tap Next at the top right corner of the screen.

WhatsApp change number

5. Enter your old phone number, then your new phone number, and hit Done to save.

WhatsApp change number

[Source:- PCadvisor]

Jenkins 2.0 eases automation for dev teams

Jenkins 2.0 eases automation for dev teams

Jenkins 2.0, an upgrade to the popular continuous integration and continuous delivery platform for software development, is due in April with improvements to the delivery pipeline and user interface.

In version 2.0, the Pipeline subsystem will enable users to automate processes and describe functions, such as for running tests and builds, said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Jenkins founder and CTO at CloudBees. Users “can describe this choreography of automation,” he said. The capability can, for example, enable users to execute tests in parallel, he said. Pipelines will be developed by writing code in a script language that serves as a DSL on top of the Groovy language.

The capability is known as Pipeline as Code, Kawaguchi said. Pipeline as Code eases the setup experience and becomes part of a default set of plug-ins. Currently, the pipeline capability is offered as a separate download of plug-ins. With Pipeline as Code, automation via pipelines will be simplified, from coding all the way through to production.

“What we’re doing with 2.0 is we’re making this Pipeline feature core to Jenkins 2.0,” said Andre Pino, CloudBees vice president of marketing. “What Pipeline allows you to do is define what your pipeline process is from the very beginning to the very end. It gives you a vehicle for modeling your pipeline and then of course Jenkins will execute against that pipeline definition that you created.” Pipelines can be stored, versioned, and reused for particular functions.

“Pipelines are going to be the core concept to Jenkins instead of just jobs. So it’s really sending signal to the market that it’s a new life of Jenkins for the next few years,” CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey said. A Pipeline Stage View capability visualizes software pipelines so that developers can see the state of builds and deployments.

The user interface, meanwhile, will tailor an environment for a particular use. “If you look at Jenkins 2.0, it really sends a message [that] this is your CD, your continuous delivery, your orchestration engine,” Labourey said. “The first thing that’s going to welcome you is a wizard that’s going to [ask] you, ‘Who are you? Do you want to do CI? Do you want to do continuous delivery? Are you a Docker user?’ Do you want to do a pipeline?’“

Jenkins 2.0 will be compatible with Jenkins 1.x, so the same plug-ins will work with it. The upgrade will also help users cope with the issue of Jenkins configurations becoming more complex. “In 2.0, we updated the configuration page” for easier navigation, Kawaguchi said.

CloudBees has built a business around the open source Jenkins project and participates in its ongoing development. Jenkins is considered a critical cog in devops, providing management for the software development side. Cloudbees also is launching a website featuring documentation for Jenkins, to be called, currently in a beta stage.


[Source:- Javaworld]

Indexing JSON documents via Virtual Columns

In a previous post I took the new JSON datatype and functions for a test drive, using sample data provided by SF OpenData. Today I will extend that example to include indexing.

Introducing Generated Columns

MySQL 5.7 introduces a new feature called generated columns. To start with a simple example:

Here my_integer_plus_one is what is known as a virtual generated column. It exists in meta data only, and does not require any additional storage in memory or in disk for row data. You can think of it as similar to a view or a macro that is generated on demand.

The advantage of creating virtual columns, is that they support indexes. To extend the above example:

Generated columns allow MySQL to effectively index on an expression or what is known as a functional index. The index itself is now material and it does exist (as all other indexes do).

Indexing JSON

As the MySQL manual notes:

JSON columns cannot be indexed. You can work around this restriction by creating an index on a generated column that extracts a scalar value from the JSON column.

Lets do exactly that by reusing the example from my previous blog post:

This allows me to then repeat this query by using either the virtual column, or the original expression:

It is important to note that as demonstrated in EXPLAIN, both variations of the above query will use an index. That is to say that the optimizer will look for compatible[1] virtual columns with indexes that match the expression in JSON queries.

[1] Note that use of JSON_UNQUOTE is required in the virtual column expression, since the return type of JSON_EXTRACT (and shorthand operator ->) needs to be cast to a string.

Stored Generated Columns

For completeness, it is important to point out that the examples above use the defaultVIRTUAL variety of generated columns. There also exists a second variety of generated columns that can be STORED in the actual rows of tables:

STORED generated columns are automatically maintained and kept up to date as modifications to tables are made. It is recommended that you use the VIRTUAL variety of virtual columns unless:

  1. You need to index a PRIMARY KEY
  2. You need a FULLTEXT or RTREE index (instead of regular BTREE)
  3. The virtual column is computationally expensive, and you anticipate large amounts of scanning (i.e. not using indexes)

In the first two cases the STORED variety of generated columns is required, and in the third case it is likely to lead to just faster queries.


Hopefully this demonstrates how virtual columns can be used to add indexes to JSON data. Virtual columns can index other data besides JSON, but this is obviously one of the main use cases. Having the optimizer also understand how to use indexes from virtual columns makes the usage quite flexible too!


[Source:- Mysqlserverteam]

Microsoft Band 2 GPS Power Saver and Weight Tracking Available Now!

We want to find more ways for you to continue doing what you love, and more of it, with your new Microsoft Band 2. Run, bike, and exercise longer and meet your overall health goals with two new features we’ve just announced this week.

GPS Power Saver mode* and weight-tracking functionality, available through theMicrosoft Health app, will help you maximize your time and your resources to get you where you want to go, and get you more of what you want – your data! You asked, we delivered.

Extend your new Microsoft Band’s battery life with GPS Power Saver mode

You can now extend the battery life on your new Microsoft Band for up to four hours when you run or bike with GPS. To make this goal a reality, we enabled a new feature that lets your new Microsoft Band’s GPS sample your location in intervals, rather than continuously, by turning on GPS Power Saver. Even with GPS Power Saver turned on, Microsoft Health will still map your route in the mobile app and web dashboard. Get to the finish with your full performance summary and observations, even on those long runs or rides.

Microsoft Band power saver mode


Track your weight with the Microsoft Health app

Track changes to your weight, and get a current approximation of your BMI with the Microsoft Health app’s new weight-tracking feature. Want to see how you’ve been progressing towards your goals? Enter your weight regularly into the Microsoft Health app, then view in one or three month charts – or see your complete history to-date in the Microsoft Health app.


So get out there, and have fun. Run, ride, exercise and allow the Microsoft Band to help you achieve more. We can’t wait to hear about your experiences!



How to switch iOS backup methods

ios 9 backup

Michael Neidig is on an extended trip and needs to replace his iPad. It normally syncs with an iTunes on a home computer. He asks:

Is there some way I can back up all my apps etc on my current iPad and then transfer them to the new iPad I purchase?

This is a superb question, as it highlights a bit of understandable confusion about what a backup is in iOS compared to, say, OS X. I’ll answer the question before providing the details: Yes, you can, but you might lose some data, depending on what you have stored on your iPad and what you want to retain.

On a Mac or another computer, when you want to back the entire system up, you make a clone or choose subset of data, like all documents and applications. Restoring a computer from scratch requires a clone, which is an exact duplicate of all the data you were using; restoring from archives, you might use an existing OS X fresh system, and then use archive software to bring in all the apps and documents you backed up.

iOS works entirely differently, and it differs as well between iTunes and iCloud backups. With iTunes, a Mac (or Windows system) uses locally stored downloads as part of the process. You use iTunes to download new versions of iOS apps, have music and movies stored locally, and may be syncing or copying albums and photos from iPhoto or Photos.

mac911 icloud backup settings
You can swap to an iCloud backup with a single flip of a switch.

An iTunes backup of iOS doesn’t include its operating system or anything purchased from the iTunes and App Stores. It also excludes media that’s stored and synced from that copy of iTunes, like music, movies, books, apps, photos, or other media (unless it’s downloaded and associated with a non-Apple app). It includes settings and data associated with apps, and iTunes retains the sync status from your last sync (even if it’s after your most recent backup). You’re only limited by local storage as to how many backups you make.

Apple does much the same for an iCloud backup, but also excludes synced items (contacts and calendar events), cloud-based libraries (like iCloud Photo Library), hosted email stored on IMAP and Exchange servers, and Apple-provided and purchased stuff. Quite importantly, it won’t backup media you downloaded separately, that doesn’t come from Apple, like a DRM-free video you might have purchased from a site and transferred into the Videos app. (Neither kind of backup retains Touch ID or Apple Pay information.)

iTunes can also back up Activity, Health, and Keychain data if you make a password-protected backup, which also typically retains most or all of the passwords you entered for various services. iCloud always backs up all but Keychain data, which you can preserve by using the sync service iCloud Keychain.

mac911 apple itunes backupAPPLE
You can also switch in iTunes between a local backup and an iCloud one.

You can switch from an iTunes to iCloud backup at any time. If you have only the free 5GB iCloud service, you may have to bump up to a paid tier to have enough storage, however. The iCloud backup doesn’t count any Apple-purchased or Apple-cloud-stored data as part of the backup size, but it can still easily exceed 5GB.

To swap, you go to Settings > iCloud > Backup, and flip the iCloud Backup switch to on. Backups occur automatically when an iOS device is on Wi-Fi and plugged in, but you can also tap Back Up Now from that setting screen to force an immediate backup.

There’s some risk that if you have content stored uniquely on your iPad that you’re not sure you have anywhere else that you won’t be able to recover it. That seems very unlikely these days, given that most apps let you sync data through iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other services, or are working off a copy stored elsewhere.

Restoring an iPad over iCloud can take a very long time if you have many apps installed. While iCloud Photo Library and other sync services will populate rapidly, providing listings and thumbnails and other placeholders, apps have to re-download completely. If you have, say, 3GB of apps and you’re on a very slow Internet connection, restoration can be a long process.

That’s one place iTunes shines over iCloud backups: any app downloaded via iTunes gets restored locally instead of having to come down again from the cloud.

Ask Mac 911

We’re always looking for problems to solve! Email yours [email protected] including screen captures as appropriate. Mac 911 cannot reply to email with troubleshooting advice nor can we publish answers to every question.


[Source:- Macworld]

How to use Snapchat new features: Snapchat introduces Chat 2.0 with video notes, stickers & calls

Another Snapchat update has added new features with Chat 2.0. You’ll find new stickers, video notes, audio notes and even calls in Chat 2.0, which was released on 29 March.  Here’s how to use the new features in Snapchat Chat 2.0, as well as lenses, filters, stories and more. If you have an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus there’s now support for Force Touch, too.

How to use new Snapchat Chat 2.0

First, here’s a list of all of the new changes in Chat 2.0:

  • 200 Stickers available in private chats.
  • Video Notes that let you record 10 seconds of video that’ll loop when your friend watches.
  • Audio Notes that let you record audio if you fancy replying in song or can’t type right now.
  • Video and Audio Calls that turns Snapchat into a phone alternative and brings it closer to rivals like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.
  • Multiple photos can be sent in Chat 2.0 at once.
  • Send photos during video and audio calls.

To access Chat 2.0, swipe right on a contact you wish to talk to. This’ll open a Chat window with that contact.

Tap the image on the left to send multiple images, the phone icon to start an audio call, the circle in the centre to open the camera, the video icon to start a video call or the smiley face to access stickers.

You can tap and hold on the phone icon to record and send an audio message, and the same goes for the video icon for a video message.

Note that your friend will need to have updated to the new version of Snapchat if you want to use these features with them.

How to use new Snapchat Daily lenses: How to use Snapchat lenses

Lenses are one of the most popular features of Snapchat – after the ability to send videos/photos that expire after 10 seconds, of course. It seems that Snapchat has also noticed this, with the photo-sharing giants offering the ability for its customers to buy (with real life money) lenses to be used at any time. The firm has since scrapped the idea of selling Lenses, and to stop the feature becoming stagnated, has introduced a new system. Instead of offering the same range of lenses on a day-to-day basis, the selection is updated daily, removing the oldest Snapchat lens and replacing it with a brand new one. Don’t worry, though – if you did buy any lenses, these will still be permanently available to you.

One of the most confusing things to new Snapchat users is how to access these lenses. Turn the camera so your face is on the phone’s screen as if you were to take a selfie, then tap and hold on your face until a mesh appears. Now release. Snapchat will load several lenses to the side of the capture button, which you can slide through to access. Many will require you to open your mouth to get the full effect – you’ll feel (and probably look) silly doing so in public, but at least you now understand why the kids are pulling such strange faces.

How to use new Snapchat: Face Swap

One of the most popular filters right now is Face Swap, which, you guessed it, swaps faces. You can find out exactly how to use Face Swap here.

How to use new Snapchat: Story replies

An integral part of the Snapchat experience is the Snapchat Story, which displays a collection of videos and photos you’ve taken over a period of 24 hours, and can be viewed (and replayed) by friends. With the latest update, Stories automatically advance meaning you’ll move straight on to the next story in your contacts list once the first is finished.

But what if you want to reply to a specific Snapchat amongst the collection of videos and photos in your friends Story?

With the latest update, Snapchat has officially added story replies. When watching a friends (no doubt hilarious) Snapchat story, you can reply to a specific photo or video by swiping up from the bottom of the display, opening a new chat window. Simply type your message, hit send, and your friend will recieve the message along with a snapshot of the photo/video you’re replying to. Not the most groundbreaking addition ever, but it should make replying to Snapchat Stories a little bit easier in future!

How to use new Snapchat: Slo-mo and rewind filters

After you shoot a video in the latest version of the app, simply swipe left or right until you see three arrows (rewind) or a snail symbol (slo-mo). The rewind filter is useful if you want to make ‘magic’ effects such as impossible catches (since you’re actually throwing something away from you).

Snapchat slo-mo rewind filters

How to use new Snapchat: Force Touch

Force Touch integration is currently pretty basic. You press hard on the Snapchat icon and get options to start a new chat or add a new friend.

Snapchat Force Touch

How to use new Snapchat: New lenses

In the previous version ( on 16 September) Snapchat added new lenses. The app does warn that this is only available on ‘newer Android devices’.

Open the app and make sure your front facing-camera is active. Now long press the screen on your face to load the lenses. You can scroll horizontally through them and for most you’ll need to follow an instruction for it to work properly such as opening your mouth or raising your eyebrows.

Snapchat lenses

How to use new Snapchat: Purchase extra replays (in-app purchases)

It only available for US Snapchatters for now, but now there’s an option to purchase extra replays if you just can’t bear to look at some snaps just once. Prices start at three replays for $0.99.

Snapchat said: “You can use a Replay on any Snap you receive, but you can only Replay any Snap once. They’re a little pricey — but time is money! ;)”

How to use new Snapchat: Trophies

Swipe down from the main screen to bring up your personal Snapchat code and you’ll see a new trophy icon above it. Tap it and you’ll see what trophies you’ve managed to unlock – they’re basically achievements like you get on computer games.

At the time of writing there are 16 to unlock and we’ve only managed the first one (reaching a score of 500) so we better go send some more snaps. Tapping the locked ones simply displays question marks so you’ll have to work out how to unlock them.

Snapchat trophies

How to use new Snapchat: How to skip a story or snap

If you’ve had multiple snaps from the same contact, or what to view someone’s story without it taking forever you can skip each photo or video whenever you’re ready. When you’re holding one finger on the screen to view a snap, simply tap anywhere else with another finger to skip to the next one.

How to use new Snapchat: How to video call in SnapChat

If you fancy chatting to a friend, swipe right on their name in your Snapchat inbox to begin. When you leave the chat screen, messages viewed by both you and your friend will be cleared.

The app will notify you if your friend is online when chatting, and if you’re both chatting at the same time you simple have to press and hold to share live video.

How to use new Snapchat: Filters

In similar fashion to Instagram, Snapchat has filters which you can add to your photos. However, they’re not switched on by default so here’s how to switch on filters in Snapchat.

Once you’ve taken a photo, simple swipe left or right and you’ll see a message which says ‘turn on filters’. Click the ‘I want filters’ button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to the ‘additional services’ part of the settings menu where you can tick the filters box. Note that you’ll need to enable location to be able to switch them on and for some to work properly.

How to use new Snapchat filters

How to use new Snapchat: Replays

In the same ‘additional services’ settings (swipe left from main screen, hit cog wheel and select manage under additional services) you can switch on replay. Once you’ve switched it on, you can replay one snap every 24 hours.

Permission for others to replay your snaps is there by default and can’t be switched off.

How to use new Snapchat: Front facing flash

You’re probably using Snapchat to send selfies to other users but if you’re in the dark then it’s your rear camera which has a flash. Well you can now switch on front facing flash in the additional services menu.

This turns your screen white to provide some extra light for your photo when you take it. You can turn the front flash on and off in the top-left of the screen.

How to use new Snapchat: Special text

if you like adding captions to your snaps then switch on ‘special text’ in, you’ve guess it, the additional services menu. Now when you add a caption, there’s a ‘T’ at the top of the screen which you can tap to change the look.

How to use new Snapchat: Number of best friends

While you’re in the additional services menu, you can tweak how many friends appear in your best friends menu. Simply select it in the menu and choose how many you want it to be. There’s a maximum of seven – we’re not sure why.

How to use new Snapchat best friends


[Source:- PCadvisor]