Editorial By Andrew O'Hara Friday, November 16, 2018, 12:19 pm PT (03:19 pm ET) USB-C is slowly, but surely, replacing all the cables in our lives and is trying to be the ubiquitous solution to power all our gadgets. The one holdback before the format can accomplish this task, is insistence on maintaining the USB-A connector, and our old friend, Apple's Lightning cable. One of them has to go, and it isn't Lightning. For years, computer owners have relegated to toting around a snake's nest of cables. Micro USB, MagSafe, Lightning, USB-C, and Thunderbolt are most recently populating my personal tech bag. I've yearned for the day when I can almost entirely wipe out that pile for a more simplistic solution. Hence, USB-C. When I take stock of my usual gear, all USB-C is tantalizingly close. Here is my usual lineup of gear that gets used on a near-daily basis.DisplayiPhoneiPadApple WatchHard DrivesDSLRGoProBatteryMacBook ProPortable chargerApple Watch USB-C charging puck Taking stock of … [Read more...] about Apple should keep Lightning for now, but USB-A has to die
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Looking for a solid, robust yet sleek USB flash drive that also features built-in hardware-based encryption? Look no further than the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z. See also : Don't buy these Apple products (May 2018 edition) While USB flash drives are a super-convenient way to transport around gigabytes of data, they're a security nightmare because they are so easily lost and stolen. And while many makers offer a software-based data encryption solution, we might as well be honest and acknowledge that many users won't bother unless there's a huge amount of pressure on them to do so (and even then, it only takes one mistake for your data to be leaked). The Aegis Secure Key 3z has you covered, making it the perfect USB flash drive for professionals and business users. Rather than relying on a software-based encryption solution, the Aegis Secure Key 3z features built-in hardware-based 256-bit AES XTS encryption (with FIPS 140-2 validation) that's totally cross-platform and OS … [Read more...] about The coolest USB flash drive you can buy
What kind of networked volumes formatted with which methods can you use with Time Machine? A reader queried me on Twitter, trying to understand from their past experience and Apple’s current documentation, and I agree that it’s not very clear, because of Apple’s inclusive but non-specific language. Apple used to favor the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) file service for network drive sharing, local and remote. However, it’s deprecated AFP in favor of the Windows-compatible Server Message Block (SMB) format, which is what’s typically used with network-attached storage (NAS) devices and non-Apple Wi-Fi routers that allow USB-connected drives. (A NAS is typically a standalone disk-drive connected to a network via ethernet that act as a media and file server.) Some people, including my Twitter correspondent, think that SMB is still unsupported, but Apple explicitly calls it out in its Sierra support document for Time Machine. However, Apple notes that not all … [Read more...] about What file service should you use with network drives and Time Machine?
Apple announced the 2015 MacBook to general applause, but one of the surprises - the addition of a USB-C port at the expense of MagSafe charging port, Thunderbolt and SD Card reader - was met with a fair amount of criticism and anger, though that hasn't stopped Apple from continuing the design in subsequent models. USB-C is a new standard of USB that allows transfer speeds of 10Gbps, as opposed to the current 5Gbps rate available with USB 3.0, while it also offers decreased charging times. It's not a one trick pony, either - USB-C handles data transfer, video output and power input. Similarly to Apple's Lightning connector, USB-C doesn't have to be plugged in at a certain orientation, which means that you can wave bye-bye to the age-old USB guessing game of "Which way does it go in?" Fortunately for those without a full range of USB-C gear, Apple will provide you with an adapter to extend the functionality of this … [Read more...] about USB-C compatibility is a doddle with these adapters and cables for MacBook
I badly need a new computer. The last time I bought one was in the summer of 2011, not long after the MacBook Air’s first (and only) redesign. It was perfect timing: my last MacBook, the white plastic kind, had wiring literally sticking out of it after taking a spill. And Apple had just dropped the Air’s price down to $1,299 — the same price I believe my original MacBook had cost. It’s now six years later, and Apple is hitting that pricing sweet spot again in a big way. Not only does the super-slim MacBook start at $1,299, but so does the new MacBook Pro. And since the MacBook Air, still selling for $999, is woefully out of date — with a low-res screen that’ll look bad next to any current smartphone — $1,299 is essentially the starting price for a modern Mac laptop. So I’ve been wondering: if I want to spend $1,299 again, which one should I get? I’ve been testing both laptops for the past few weeks, and while I don’t think … [Read more...] about MacBook vs. MacBook Pro: how to pick between Apple’s two $1,299 laptops