‘Insidious and sick’ Fruitfly malware has been spying on Mac users via their computer’s camera for YEARS

A type of malware that has infected hundreds of Macs remained undetected for years

FruitFly malware uses the Mac’s camera to spy on users and log what is happening on screen.

A security firm called Malwarebytes discovered FruitFly earlier this year, but researchers have since found a new strand of it hiding under a slightly different code.

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FruitFly uses the computer's camera to spy on users and logs what is happening on screen - and it's been infecting computers for years (stock image)

FruitFly uses the computer’s camera to spy on users and logs what is happening on screen – and it’s been infecting computers for years (stock image)


FruitFly uses the computer’s camera to spy on users and captures key strokes and what is happening on screen – and it’s been infecting computers for years.

There are multiple strains of FruitFly which rely on different codes, making it particularly hard to detect.

According to security firm Synack, there are around 400 computers known to be infected with FruitFly and likely to be many more.

Although they are not sure when the bug first came around, researchers have found it works on the Mac Yosemite operating system – which was released back in October 2014.

According to security firm Synack, there are around 400 computers known to be infected with FruitFly and likely to be many more.

Although they are not sure when the bug first came around, researchers have found it works on the Mac Yosemite operating system – which was released back in October 2014.

‘Mac users are over-confident’, Patrick Wardle, chief security researcher at security firm Synack told CNN.

‘We might not be as careful as we should be on the internet or opening up email attachments’, he said.

Mr Wardle anaylsed the strain for months and then managed to decrypt it to set up a server that intercepted signals from computers that had been infected.

‘Immediately, tons of victims that had been infected with this malware started connecting to me,’ he said.

There are multiple strains of FruitFly which rely on different codes, making it particularly hard to detect.

It is now known how it first got on computers but Mr Wardle does not believe it is part of state espionage.

MacSpy (pictured) allowed users to monitor an infected system, capture passwords and other sensitive details through the use of key stroke logging, screenshots and clipboard contents

MacSpy (pictured) allowed users to monitor an infected system, capture passwords and other sensitive details through the use of key stroke logging, screenshots and clipboard contents


In June, Mac users were warned to be vigilant after two separate pieces of malware emerged from the dark web – MacSpy and MacRansom.

MacSpy allowed users to monitor an infected system, capture passwords and other sensitive details through the use of key stroke logging, screenshots and clipboard contents.

MacRansom worked in a similar manner to the WannaCry software that plagued computer systems around the world, including the NHS, last month.

It encrypted the contents of a user’s computer and threatens to delete all of the information it contains, unless a ransom of 0.25 Bitcoins, around £530 ($684), is paid.

‘I believe its goals were a lot more insidious and sick: spying on people,’ Mr Wardle said

Apple has been contacted for comment.

In June, Mac users were warned to be vigilant after two separate pieces of malware emerged from the dark web.

The tools were specifically developed to allow would-be hackers to takeover Apple’s desktop and laptop machines, and even ransom their data.

They were being given away for free by their creators, who are believed to be professional software engineers.

The two systems were called MacSpy and MacRansom.

MacSpy allowed users to monitor an infected system, capture passwords and other sensitive details through the use of key stroke logging, screenshots and clipboard contents.

MacRansom worked in a similar manner to the WannaCry software that plagued computer systems around the world, including the NHS, last month.

It encrypts the contents of a user’s computer and threatens to delete all of the information it contains, unless a ransom of 0.25 Bitcoins, around £530 ($684), is paid.


East of Java has fair trade goods and items

It was a big adjustment when Amber Kennedy made the move from Haida Gwaii to Port McNeill.

“My kids went from a school of 28 people to a class of 28,” said Kennedy.

The family moved to Port McNeill when Kennedy’s husband found work on the North Island.

“But its still a nice small town feel here,” she added.

Kennedy has since put down roots in the community, owning East of Java at 584 Broughton Blvd in Port McNeill for going on six years.

East of Java is a quirky gift shop with a long history in Port McNeill, as it was previously owned by Colleen Kostyshyn for around twenty years.

“I knew that I wanted to be self employed and I just fell in love with the store,” said Kennedy.

“I was talking to Colleen one day and found out she wanted to retire and it just went from there.”

Kennedy said the biggest change she made singing owning the store was moving to a new location.

She added about 1000 square feet when she moved from the previous location by the drugstore to her current storefront in Pioneer Mall, allowing her to store more items. “It’s a better location for exposure,” said Kennedy.

“I love everything in the store, I have to love it to bring it in – quality is the most important thing to me.”

She added one of her biggest priorities is that anything she imports has been fairly traded and ethically produced.

East of Java stocks a wide variety of unique gifts, baby items, clothes, oils, local art and so much more.

“We have functional items for the family and not just giftware, so its easy to find what you’re looking for,” said Kennedy.

“We have a heavy tourist season here but I rely on local customers too because the store is open all year round.”

Kennedy hopes people who have never been in the store before, stop by to check it out.

“You don’t know what’s here until you come and have a look,” she laughed.


Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Consider yourself a Mac power-user? Or do you aspire to take your place amongst such privileged ranks? Here’s a selection of classic yet simple tricks taken fromMac Kung Fu: Second Edition to help you on your way.

Mac Kung Fu: Second Edition is a book previously sold for $25+ but now reduced to the bargain price of £1.49/$1.99 (buy it here). That’s 400+ tips, 120,000+ words, and over 700 eBook pages for less than a cappuccino – and it’s written by regular Macworld contributor and Apple expert Keir Thomas, to boot. What more could you want?

Just for you we have a collection of tips from the book! Read on…

You might find our Best Mac tips, tricks and timesavers interesting too.

Instantly Add Movies and Music to iTunes

Instantly Add Movies and Music to iTunesIf you use third-party software to download or rip music and movies to your computer, you’ll be familiar with the rather lengthy process needed to add them to your iTunes library – you have to start iTunes, then ensure the correct music or movie list is visible, and finally drag and drop the files onto the program window….

However, there’s a hidden folder you can use to import music and movies straight into iTunes. All you need to do is configure any app you use to download files straight into this folder, and they will be instantly imported – even if iTunes isn’t running at the time.

To find the folder, open Finder, hit Shift+Command+G, and then type ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/. One of the folders you should see will be Automatically Add to iTunes. As its name suggests, any files copied into this folder will be added to iTunes automatically. Assuming you have kept the default preferences setting of iTunes organizing your media folders, any files placed there will be moved out of the folder and automatically filed within the Music folder whenever iTunes is running, so it should appear empty most of the time.

You can create a desktop alias of the folder by clicking and dragging it to the desktop, before pressing Alt (Option)+Command and releasing the mouse button. You can then simply drag and drop files onto the alias instead.

Add Magical Links to Start iMessage conversations, and More

Add Magical Links to Start iMessage conversations, and MoreYou might be used to inserting web hyperlinks into documents or when composing emails (click Edit > Add Link and type the address). Whenever anybody clicks the link, they’ll visit the site you specified, just like in a web page.

In addition to links to websites, MacOS lets you create app-specific links. For example, you could include a link in a mail message that, when clicked, will start within the Messages app an instant messaging conversation with somebody. You could create a link in a document that, when clicked, looked up a particular word in the Dictionary app.

To create a link in a TextEdit document or new mail window, highlight the text you want to turn into the link, and click Edit > Add Link, or hit Command+K.

Then look to the following list for what to type into the Create Link dialog box.

http://—You can insert links to web pages by simply typing the address, including the http:// component. For example, typing http://keirthomas.com will create a link to that site.

imessage://—This will start a Messages conversation within the Messages app. For example, typing imessage://07912345678 will open Messages and attempt to start an iMessage conversation with that phone number – or send an SMS if you have Handoff enabled. You can also specify IM handles: if you have a Yahoo buddy whose handle is johnsmith, you could create the following link: imessage://johnsmith. This assumes you’ve configured Messages to log onto your Yahoo account, of course.

facetime://—This will start a FaceTime conversation within the FaceTime app. For example, facetime://keir@example.com will attempt to start a FaceTime conversation with the individual whose FaceTime account is registered to that address. Apple IDs and phone numbers can also be specified, although as with iMessage, the phone number should be typed without any spaces or symbols in it.

dict://—This will cause the Dictionary app to start and look up a particular word. For example, dict://epicurean will open Dictionary with the word definition for Epicurean displayed, as if it had been typed into the search field.

vnc://—This will open a screen-sharing session with whatever address is specified, although the user will still have to click the Connect button in a dialog box that appears when the Screen Sharing software starts. vnc://macbook will attempt to start a screen-sharing session with the computer whose network name is macbook.

x-man-page://—This will open the man page for the specified term within a Terminal window. For example, x-man-page://sharing will open the man page for the sharing command.

When used without any specified address (that is, if you simply type imessage:// or facetime:// in the link dialog box), the apps will be activated when the link is clicked, as if the user has clicked their app icon in the Dock.

It’s also possible to insert other, typical URLs that are used in web pages, such as mailto://ssh://, and telnet://.

Keep your Mac wide awake

Keep your Mac wide awakeIf you need to leave your Mac unattended for a while but want to temporarily stop it going into sleep mode, open a Terminal window (this app is in the Utilities folder the Applications list in Finder), and type the following:

caffeinate -di

For as long as the Terminal window is open and the command is still running, the computer won’t go to sleep through inactivity, and nor will the display. Technically you’re turning off idle sleep mode, which occurs when OS X detects the user hasn’t done anything for a while.

To end the wakefulness, switch back to the Terminal window and hit Control+C or simply close the Terminal window.

Rather than running caffeinate indefinitely, you can specify a time limit, although this must be specified in seconds. If you wanted your computer not to sleep for two hours, for example, then you’d first need to work out the number of seconds (2 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds = 7200 seconds) and then specify it after the -t command-line option, as follows:

caffeinate -dt 7200

Again, you can bring this to a premature end by tapping Control+C or closing the Terminal window.

Save Text Snippets for Quick Reuse

Save Text Snippets for Quick ReuseHere’s a neat trick for those who work with words on their Macs.

If you highlight text in an application and click and drag that to a folder or to the desktop, the text is turned into a file. These are called text clippings, and they will take their filename from the first few words of the excerpt. If there’s any formatting applied to the text, it will be saved too. This is an excellent way of filing away anything you’ve had to edit out of a document but want to keep for other purposes.

To view the contents of the clipping, just double-click it or select it and hit Space to bring up Quick Look. Note that you won’t be able to edit the file. However, to reinsert the text into a document, just click and drag the clippings file on top of the program window after positioning the cursor where you’d like it to be inserted.

Once reinserted in this way, the text clippings file won’t be deleted, so you can use the clipping again in other documents as many times as you wish.

How to hide files

How to hide filesThere are two ways of making files invisible on your Mac. Neither is bulletproof from a security standpoint, and anybody with know-how would be able to uncover them in seconds. But for quietly hiding a file or two for a short period, they’re worth considering.

Hiding Files via Unix: Your Mac’s operating system, MacOS, is actually a version of Unix at its heart. In Unix, you can make a file invisible by adding a full stop (.) in front of its filename, and this works on Macs too. This means the file won’t show up in Finder windows, in file open dialog boxes, or on the desktop. Those browsing at the command line won’t be able to see it unless they specifically request to view hidden files (that is, ls -a).

For example, typing a filename of .document.docx when you’re saving a file will render it invisible. You’ll probably be warned that putting a full stop in front of a filename is reserved for system files, the type of file this technique is typically used to hide, but you can still choose to save the file.

Hiding Files So Mac Apps Can’t See Them: The chflags command can be used to hide files so they don’t show up in graphical user interface (GUI) applications. However, they’ll still be visible if anybody browses files using a Terminal window.

To hide files in this way, open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and use the chflags hidden command, specifying the file or folder name immediately afterward. For example, to hide secret.doc, type the following: chflags hidden secret.doc

To unhide the file so it’s visible via GUI software again, use the chflags nohiddencommand:

chflags nohidden secret.doc

Viewing Hidden Files: So, if a file is hidden, how can you see it in order to open it again? In expanded file open/save dialog boxes within apps, hitting Shift+Command+. (full stop) will display hidden items in the file listing. Hitting the key combo again will hide them. However, be aware that you’ll suddenly see lots of system files that are hidden in this way. (Steer clear of these—don’t delete or open them.)

The only way to see hidden files in Finder windows is to activate a secret setting that shows them alongside other files. This will cause them to always be visible within Finder windows and on the desktop, although hidden files will have a washed-out appearance to indicate their status. Open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE;killall Finder

Even after making this change, you’ll still have to hit Shift+Command+. within file open/save dialog boxes to see hidden files.

To revert to hidden files being hidden within Finder, type the following:

defaults delete com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles;killall Finder

Print in Every Which Way

Print in Every Which WayDid you know you can print just about any file straight from Finder – without hassle? This tip is blindly obvious but little known: selecting one or more files in Finder and then click File > Print on the menu. This will automatically open the file(s) in the default editor (that is, a photo will open in Preview and so on) and automatically print it/them.

But wouldn’t it be useful to be able to print a file instantly, without even having to click File > Print?

As you might expect, your Mac lets you do just that. Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences) and then click the Printers & Scanners entry. In the list of printers that appears on the left, simply select a printer and drag and drop it to the desktop. This will create a shortcut to the printer, which will probably be an icon-sized photograph of your actual printer.

To instantly print any file, simply drag and drop it on top of this new shortcut. Double-click the new icon to view the print queue.

You can also add to the Finder toolbar a shortcut to your printer(s), which will let you drag and drop files to instantly print them or allow you to click the icon to see the print queue. Start by right-clicking the toolbar in Finder, and selecting Customise Toolbar. Then open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences), click Print & Scan, and then drag and drop any of the printer(s) from the list to the toolbar of any open Finder window. Then click Done to close the customise toolbar dialog box.

See EVERYTHING Your Mac Knows About Somebody

See EVERYTHING Your Mac Knows About SomebodyBy selecting an individual’s entry within the Contacts app and then clicking Edit > Spotlight, you can instantly find every email you have from them (and to them), every instant message conversation you’ve had with them, every document they’ve created, every web page you’ve visited that mentions them, every file you’ve tagged with their name, and so on (provided relevant details are contained within their card within the Contacts app. You won’t be able to find their instant message conversations if their IM address isn’t on the contact card, for example).

Calm a bouncing dock icon

Calm a bouncing dock iconSome apps bounce their Dock icons when they want to tell you something, such as when a task has completed. Some apps bounce their icons for a short while, while others will keep bouncing the icon until you do something about it. This can be annoying if you’re busy doing something else.

While clicking the Dock icon to activate the app is one solution, another is simply to move your mouse cursor over the icon. It will instantly stop bouncing, and you can then return to the task at hand.

Force-Open a File

Force-Open a FileYou can drag and drop files onto any Dock icon to open them, but only if that application believes it can understand that particular type of file (for example, doc files are understood by Microsoft Word). Unfortunately, some applications don’t realise they can read certain types of files when they actually can.

To force an application in the Dock to at least attempt to open a file it doesn’t believe it can, hold down Alt (Option)+Command before clicking and dragging the file to the Dock. If the application genuinely can’t understand the file, either nothing will happen or you’ll see an error message.

For a higher probability of success when dragging to the Dock icon as described earlier, you might also try removing the file extension from the file before opening it as described (that is, the part after the dot in a filename, such as .jpg). To do so, select the file and hit Command+I. In the Name & Extension field of the dialog box that appears, remove the extension.

Note that removing the extension by simply renaming the file by any other method probably won’t work, depending on your system’s settings—the file will retain the extension but give the appearance of not doing so.

Don’t forget to restore the file extension after attempting to open it!

Lock Files for Safety

Lock Files for SafetyYou can manually lock any file on your Mac, which will prevent edits or deletion until the file is specifically unlocked. This can be useful if you have a master version of a file, for example, that you want to ensure remains sacrosanct. Folders can also be locked, which will prevent the folder or its contents from being edited or deleted.

If you try to edit a locked file, you’ll be warned and will have to specifically opt to unlock the file.

Locking Files via File Info: There are several ways to lock a file or folder. The easiest is simply to select the file or folder in Finder or on the desktop and hit Command+I to open the File Info dialog box. Then put a check in the Locked box under the General heading.

To unlock a file or folder later, simply repeat the steps and remove the check.

Locking Files via Applications: Certain applications, including those built into macOS such as TextEdit, support file locking from within the application. Click the filename in the window’s title bar, and select Locked from the pop-up menu that appears.

Where does this file live?

Where does this file live?Sometimes I open a file for editing, perhaps one attached to an email, and I have no idea where it’s stored on my computer. One option is to click File > Save to see this information in the Save As dialog box, but a much easier solution is to right-click the filename in the title bar of the program window.

This will show a hierarchical display of folders. The top one nearest the file’s icon will be where the file is stored. The second one from the top will be where the parent of that folder is, and so on, going right back to the name of the hard disk and then the name of your computer, which should be the last in the list.

Selecting any entry in the list will open that folder (or disk) in Finder for browsing.

Print Envelopes

Print EnvelopesIf your printer is compatible with envelopes, you can use the Contacts app to print addresses on them. Just select a contact, and then click File > Print. Selecting multiple contacts will let you print more than one envelope at a time. This tip works well if you create groups of contacts.

Quickly Upload Files within Safari

Quickly Upload Files within SafariIf you’re uploading a file to a website in Safari, you might see a button on the webpage that—when clicked—opens a file-browsing dialog box in which you can choose the file.

To save a little time, you can usually just drag and drop the file from the desktop or a Finder window onto the button, saving the need to use the file browser. Click it to begin the upload procedure.

Switch Apps while editing a file

Switch Apps while editing a fileLet’s say you’re tweaking a photo in Preview and decide you need the full power of Adobe Photoshop.

Look at Preview’s title bar. You’ll see the name of the file currently being worked upon. To the left of this will be a small icon representing the file. This is known as the proxy icon. Click and hold it for a few seconds, and then drag and drop the icon to the Photoshop icon on your Dock or to the Photoshop icon in Applications. The most recent version of the file will open in Photoshop.

It’s a good idea to close Preview following this, although it should update each time the file is saved in the other app.

Instead of dropping the proxy icon onto the Dock icon, while still in the process of dragging the icon you can tap Command+Tab to bring up the application switcher and drop the proxy icon on top of the program’s icon in the switcher display.

Note that this same technique of dragging and dropping the proxy icon also works if you want to insert an image you’re working on into a word processing document (although this example could be any file type and any kind of document). In the image editor, save the file if you haven’t already, and then drag the proxy icon on top of the word processor or layout program’s window where you’d like to insert it. It will be inserted instantly.

Select Text like a pro

Select Text like a proIn some built-in Mac apps like TextEdit, as well as in Microsoft Office and Mozilla Firefox, it’s possible to select text in a variety of useful ways above and beyond simply clicking and dragging. (It doesn’t work in Pages).

Selecting Noncontiguous Regions: Holding down Command while clicking and dragging lets you select disparate sections of text. You could highlight one sentence at the beginning of a paragraph, for example, and while holding down Command, select another sentence at the end of a paragraph. Hitting Command+C will copy both to the clipboard. If you hit Command+V to paste, the two sentence components will be pasted on two separate lines.

Selecting Square or Rectangular Blocks of Text: Holding down Alt (Option) will let you select rectangular blocks of text within a paragraph. This is hard to describe, so give it a try by holding down Alt (Option) and clicking and dragging within a paragraph of text (hold Alt (Option)+Command in older versions of Microsoft Word). This is another tip that may or may not work in your app.

Again, hitting Command+C will copy it, and hitting Command+V will paste it. It’s hard to imagine how this would ever be useful, but you might find a use for it!

Selecting Without Dragging: By clicking at the beginning of the region of text you want to select and then holding Shift and clicking at the end of the region, you’ll select everything in between. This works best when editing a document, and not on web pages.

If you’ve already made a text selection, you can hold down Shift and click either side of it to add text to the selection. Clicking within the selection while holding down Shift will let you subtract letters and words from the selection.

See Numbers in Huge Type for Easy Jotting

See Numbers in Huge Type for Easy JottingHave you ever wanted to jot down a phone number from the screen but found it difficult because you had to keep looking back and forth from screen to page, constantly losing your place on the screen?

In TextEdit and the Contacts app you can simply highlight the telephone number, right-click it, and select Large Type. This works in Mail messages too, although you might also be able to hover the mouse over the phone number until an arrow icon appears and click it, selecting Large Type from the menu that appears. Note that this works only for messages you’ve received in Mail and not for ones you’re composing.

This also works when using Calculator, letting you view the result of calculations—right-click the numbers on the LCD screen and then select Large Type.

In each case, the text will then be displayed in large floating text that fills the width of the screen. To get rid of it, just click anywhere

Cancel Dialog Boxes Instantly

Cancel Dialog Boxes InstantlyOne of the oldest Mac keyboard shortcuts is Command+. (full stop), which on very old Macs was used to cancel the current task.

In macOS it was deprecated but still lingers when it comes to dialog boxes—hitting Command+. will click the Cancel button for you, saving you the bother of reaching for your mouse.

Use Safari while booted to the recovery system

Use Safari while booted to the recovery systemHold down Command+R before the Apple logo appears during booting, and you’ll boot to the recovery system. Here you can perform disk checks, restore the system via Time Machine, and even reinstall OS X.

You can also unofficially launch apps that are installed within the main OS X installation, provided it’s still accessible (that is, your system isn’t damaged beyond repair). It isn’t intuitive to do this, but you might want to launch Safari to be able to research a problem you’re having.

While booted to the recovery system, click Utilities > Terminal, and then type the following:


Once you’ve finished, hit Command+Q twice to quit Safari as well as the Terminal window that launched it. This will return you to the main recovery options dialog box. To restart the computer, click the Apple menu, and then select the Restart option.

Invert a selection of files

Invert a selection of filesLet’s say you’ve just downloaded 100 images from your digital camera. You want to copy all but three of them to another folder. How would you select just the 97 you want to copy?

Finder features a neat little trick to let you do just that quickly and easily. However, it works best on the desktop or in Icon view within Finder.

Start by selecting the files you don’t want to include in your selection. In my previous example, that would be the three files that we don’t want to copy. This can be done by holding down Command and selecting each.

Then press and hold the Command key and use the mouse to rubber-band select all the files—including the three you’ve already selected. You should find magic happens—the selection inverts so that files that weren’t selected now are and those that were are automatically unselected. In my example, 97 files would now be selected.


iOS 11 Beta 3 Now Available To Developers: iPad Improvements, Notification Center Upgrade, And More

Apple just rolled out beta 3 of iOS 11 for developers on Monday, July 10, for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The latest beta includes a list of refinements, performance improvements, bug fixes, and more.

That said, beta 3 still contains a number of bugs, which is to be expected, of course. You can read the list of known issues and bugs in the update’s release notes. Because beta releases are not very stable versions, developers should only install them on secondary or “testing” devices. It should not run on your daily driver, needless to say.

With that in mind, here are the things included in iOS 11 beta 3:

iOS 11 Beta 3: iPad App Switcher

The latest beta version finally restores the swipe-up-to-close gesture on the iPad app switcher. Previously, users had to hold down an app and tap the corresponding “X” button to close it entirely. Now, the interface involves simpler gestures to get things done. Users may also swipe multiple open apps to close them, as a commenter notes via 9to5Mac.

iOS 11 Beta 3: SOS

Canceled SOS signals will no longer send out notifications beginning with iOS 11 beta 3.

iOS 11 Beta 3: Notification Center

With iOS 11 beta 3, there’d be no need to swipe twice just to see “Earlier Today” in the Notification Center. In addition, the latest beta releases simplifies the interface by showing all notifications on the first swipe, which means users don’t have to swipe down to view unread notifications then swipe up once more to see earlier ones.

iOS 11 Beta 3: App Store

The App Store now lets user choose if they want video to automatically play. Users can configure it to stop autoplaying videos altogether or only when on a cellular network connection.

iOS 11 Beta 3: SafariServices

Developers can now take advantage of a new SafariServices API to improve authentication flow for onboarding. For example, when a user updates Twitter, they’ll be automatically logged in to the app once it finishes updating instead of re-entering their password.

There’s quite a list of changes not mentioned here, so feel free to check out 9to5Mac’s article to get the full release notes. Apple released iOS 11 beta 3 alongside new builds of macOS High Sierra and tvOS. It didn’t release a new beta build for watchOS, although that could arrive later in the week.

Check out our article to know the best iOS 11 features to look forward to. Also, check out our article to learn how to install these beta versions for your Apple device. Be sure you’re signed up for Apple’s Beta Software program, first and foremost.

Are you an iOS developer? Have you received the iOS 11 beta 3? Feel free to tell us how has the experience been so far!


Microsoft 365 Is The Office And Windows Bundle Targeted At Business Users

Microsoft has just unveiled Microsoft 365, which bundles together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, giving “a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees.”

Microsoft Announces New Office 365 Plans For Businesses

Essentially, Microsoft 365 is a new way for enterprises to purchase Office and Windows together, bundling the company’s mainline software into a single subscription. In addition, it’ll also offer users Microsoft 365 Business, debuting via public preview come Aug. 2. It includes Office 365 Business Premium and security and management features for Office software and devices running Windows 10.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella unveiled both types of bundles at its Inspire partner conference, attended by 17,000 people, who were there to hear about Microsoft’s partnerships and other plans.

Microsoft says the workplace is changing, especially by virtue of teams often being distributed globally. From such trends, the company observes a new culture that’s emerging. Its new plans are a reflection of those.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise And 365 Business Plans And Release Date

Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be offered in two plans: Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. Both will launch on Aug. 1. Microsoft hasn’t laid the details on pricing yet, but says it’ll depend on the specific plan and “other factors.”

Microsoft 365 Business, meanwhile, will launch its full stable release later this fall following the public preview on Aug. 2. It will cost each user $20 a month.

Ahead of both release dates, Microsoft will let users try three applications coming to both Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business. These applications include Microsoft Connections, an email marketing service; Microsoft Listings, a publishing tool for business information; and Microsoft Invoicing, which is pretty self-explanatory.

The company has also included MileIQ, its mileage tracking app, into Office 365 Business Premium. In addition, Microsoft has also launched Azure Stack, which allows businesses to host their own hybrid cloud. Several companies including HP, Lenovo, and Dell are all building systems to run Azure Stack, the first shipments of which launches September.

Microsoft’s cloud business has been one of its most profitable units in recent years, a sort of saving grace from the tumble of its Windows Phone venture and other less alluring products and services. As the company treads the way of the cloud further, we might see Microsoft approach cloud-based services more extensively going forward.

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about Microsoft 365 and how it will help customers and partners drive growth and innovation,” said Microsoft.

Thoughts about Microsoft new Office 365 bundles? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!


How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan

Apple’s strategy of making macOS updates available for free from the Mac App Store and providing access to public betas of upcoming new versions has been very successful in encouraging us to keep our Macs updated. However, sometimes enthusiasm for the newest features can get the better of us and we upgrade in haste only to repent later.

There are several possible scenarios in which you may want to reverse and downgrade to an older version of macOS (or Mac OS X). You might install a public beta of a new version of macOS, and then discover it’s got bugs in it which break apps you depend on. And even when you upgrade to a new full version of the OS, you may find that features you relied on work differently or have disappeared.

Regardless of the specifics, the clear solution is to undo the update and revert to the version of macOS you were using before – but that’s sometimes easier said than done. In this article we show you how to downgrade macOS. Read next: macOS Sierra vs Mac OS X El Capitan

How to remove a macOS beta

The guide below works for both beta and full release versions of macOS. But there are some slight differences to the way you will approach the situation.

When you install a beta version of a new macOS upgrade, it’s good practice to install it on a separate hard drive. You can find out how to do that here: How to run macOS from an external hard drive.

That way you can test the beta while keeping your files and data safe from any bugs.

Nevertheless, if you’ve already installed a beta on top of your existing system, the process for reversing it is exactly the same as for a full version. Follow the instructions below to wipe your startup disk and re-install the latest full version of macOS.

Preparing to downgrade macOS

As with anything else, the key to minimising difficulty later is to prepare before you start.

The simplest way to reverse an OS update is to restore from Time Machine. So, if you’re not using Time Machine to make regular backups, start now, before you upgrade.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Time Machine

Make sure you have a recent, complete backup of your system. That backup can be on a directly connected external disk, hooked up by USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt. Or it can be on a Time Machine compatible network drive, like Apple’s Time Capsule. If you’re running macOS Sierra, the network drive can use the SMB protocol; older versions of macOS only support AFP for Time Machine backups.

If you’ve got a Time Machine backup and need to revert to an older version of the OS, read the next section. If not, skip ahead to Downgrade without a Time Machine backup.

Restore from a Time Machine backup

Before we begin, it’s important to note that when you restore from a backup, you’ll wipe everything on your startup disk. That means any work you’ve done since you upgraded will be lost. So… back it up.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: CarbonCopyCloner

You can use Time Machine to do this, too. If you don’t use Time Machine, clone your startup disk to a spare external drive or at the very least make a copy of any files you’ve created or modified since you upgraded. If you’ve got photos in the Photos app and you don’t use iCloud Library, manually export them to an external disk so you can re-import them later.

Once you’ve backed up everything you want to keep from the newer version of the OS, restart your Mac with the Time Machine disk connected and while holding Command and R until you see the Apple logo.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Utilities

When the options appear on screen, choose ‘Restore From Time Machine Backup’ and click Continue. Then select the Time Machine disk and select the backup you want to restore from – in most cases, it will be the most recent backup prior to installing the newer version of the OS. Follow the onscreen instructions.

If you backed up files from the newer OS using Time Machine, when your Mac restarts, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Enter Time Machine. You can now navigate to the most recent backup and the files you want and retrieve them.

If you used another tool to back up your files, use its restore facility. If you copied them manually, copy them back.

Downgrade without a Time Machine backup

Do you have a bootable installer of the OS you want to revert to on an external disk?

If so, you can plug that in, select it as the startup disk and reboot. When your Mac has restarted, launch Disk Utilities, select the Erase tab and choose your Mac’s regular startup disk (the one with the new OS on it).

When the disk has been erased, restart while holding down Command-R and select Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window and select your regular startup disk. Follow the onscreen instructions and wait for your Mac to restart.

Normally when you re-install macOS and have a backup, you’d choose the option to migrate data from the backup to the fresh installation, but in this case the backup is a later OS than the one you’ve just installed, so migrating data is likely to lead to compatibility problems. If, however, you have a clone of your Mac’s startup drive from before you upgraded, you could migrate data from that. You’d still be without the files you created while running the newer OS, but you’d at least have a base from which to start.

You would then manually copy files created while you were running the newer OS from the backup you made before you wiped your Mac’s startup disk.

How to create a bootable installer

Haven’t got a bootable installer? Don’t panic. You can download installers for earlier versions of macOS from the Mac App Store, provided you’ve installed them from there in the past.

So, for example, if you downloaded and installed macOS Sierra from the Mac App Store then installed the public beta of High Sierra and now want to revert to Sierra, you can search for Sierra on the App Store and download it.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Installer file

Older versions of macOS won’t appear through normal search, unfortunately, but you can find them in the Purchased section.

Download Yosemite from Purchases

The important bit is that once it has downloaded, it will try to install. Don’t click anything that allows the installation to proceed, just quit the installation and a copy of the OS installer will remain in your Applications folder.

You’ll need to do this before you wipe your startup disk, obviously.

Here’s how to download and create a bootable version of an earlier version of macOS.

Once you’ve created a bootable installer using the instructions on that page, you can follow the instructions above to reverse a macOS upgrade.

Fixing common problems

Reversing an upgrade carries with it a number of wrinkles and pitfalls.

Most of these are due to changes in file formats and settings between versions of the OS. So, for example, if you create a document or work on a file in a new version, whether it’s a beta or full release, of macOS and then try and open it in an older version, it may not work.

To mitigate this, it’s wise to export any documents you’ve created or worked on in the newer OS in a standard file format. So, for example, if you use Scrivener or Ulysses, export documents as RTF files. That way, if the native files don’t survive the reverse upgrade, you’ll be able to re-import the RTF files.

Take screenshots of preferences and settings

Whenever you perform a clean install of macOS, which is what you’re doing here, it’s a good idea to take screenshots of any custom settings you’ve created in apps or in System Preferences. That makes it easier to re-create them later.

You should also make a note of user account and password details for anything you’ve set up while running the new version of the OS. If you don’t use iCloud or Chrome to synchronise bookmarks, it’s a good idea to export those and make a copy.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Export bookmarks

And unless you’re using the migrate data option outlined above, you’ll also need installers and licence codes for apps you use. If those are downloads from the Mac App Store, you can just re-download them from the Purchased section in the App Store. If not, make sure you can download them from the vendor’s website. If you don’t use a password manager to store licence codes, make sure you’ve got a copy of them before you start.


If you use Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or any other form of cloud storage, make sure your data is in sync before you start the process of reversing an upgrade. It’s easy to forget that the files that live in your Dropbox folder, or example, are local files and that while synchronisation is frequent, the loss of an internet connection will prevent it and you could have files in your local folder that haven’t yet been copied to the cloud.

Clicking on the cloud service’s logo in your menu bar should tell you whether synchronisation completed successfully and files are up to date.

If you use Gmail, iCloud mail or any other IMAP server for your email, make sure it’s up to date and any drafts you’ve composed recently have been synchronised. If you use a POP3 account you’ll have to manually back up the mail database and restore it after you reverse the upgrade. Or, if you only have a few messages you need to keep, forward them to a Gmail account – you could set one up especially for that purpose.


Love Mac and Cheese? But What About the Sprinkling of Harmful Chemicals in it?

Love Mac and Cheese? But What About the Sprinkling of Harmful Chemicals in it?

Talk about comfort food and the sinful Mac and Cheese comes to mind. Easy to make and delicious till the last bite, it has been a favourite dish across the globe. There are even readymade Mac and Cheese packs available in the stores to make life easier. But along with your spoonful of macaroni, have you been also taking in a sprinkling of chemicals? In a recent study, experts at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute joined hands to examine over 1000 male participants who were consuming such cheese products as part of their diet. Traces of phthalates, a harmful chemical commonly used in plastic products, adhesives, soaps, etc, were found in close to 99.6% of the participants.

The prevalence of lifestyle and metabolic ailments like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure was found to have increased in participants with high phthalate levels. The presence of such chemicals in the body was attributed to consuming food items packed in plastic.
As per a recent study conducted by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, 29 out of 30 cheese products were found to have traces of phthalates with natural cheese products recording the least and processed cheese items containing highest amount of phthalates. “Phthalates can migrate into food products during processing, packaging, and preparation. Phthalates tend to be found at higher levels in highly processed or fatty foods.” noted the report as stated on Kleanupkraft’s webpage.

phthalate via kleanupkraftImage via Kleanupkraft
Though the group of chemicals is never intentionally added to food products, they travel easily from food containers or bottles to the actual food items. These are easily absorbed by body cells and get absorbed into the system.
Phthalates are also capable of disrupting the hormonal balance and cause fertility issues in both men and women. Cheese products were tested for phthalate content as dairy products have been tied to being one of the greatest sources of direct exposure to phthalates (DEHP) in young children and women. The report called for further research to measure phthalate content in various food items and formulation of relevant policies to regulate and monitor the same in food products.


Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers – these are the ones you shouldn’t buy

Image result for Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers - these are the ones you shouldn't buy

Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.

While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don’t warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.

I’ve listed the Apple computers you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.

Some of these computers are part of Apple’s recent back-to-school promotion , where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren’t worth your time or money.


Google releases Backup and Sync for Mac and Windows

Google’s Backup and Sync desktop app is now available for download for Mac and Windows after a delay last month. Users now have the power to sync up anything, including photos and videos from cameras, SD cards, and USB devices, instead of their files remaining stuck in one place.

It’s a way to protect files and photos by backing them up, as long as they’re in Google Drive and Google Photos, primarily for consumer users. Business users of G Suite are recommended to keep using Google Drive until a business-focused solution called Drive File Stream comes out later this year. People can sign up for Drive File Stream’s early adopter program though.

Google wrote on its blog, “Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.” Backup and Sync is available through Google Drive and Google Photos for download.