About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two technothriller novels , a romcom novel and an SF novella series.

He is old enough to have owned the original Macintosh. He currently owns a maxed-out 2016 MacBook Pro 15, a MacBook Air 11, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone X (256GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display, an Apple Watch (Series 4 WiFi) and two HomePods – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He’s known for his op-ed pieces (Opinion, Comment and Change My View) and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review:

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

If you enjoy his work and would like to express your thanks, you can save this link as your Amazon bookmark. It will take you to the usual U.S. homepage, and you’ll shop as usual at the same rates, but Amazon will pay a small commission (typically 2-4%).

Ben Lovejoy's Favorite Gear

May 22

Automatically cancel your Netflix account if you don’t use it? Coming now.

A feature to cancel your Netflix account automatically if you don’t use it is being rolled out now, says the company. While the approach is to be applauded – and ought to be replicated by other subscription services – it’s not exactly quick to kick in …

It’s looking increasingly likely that one of the long-term impacts of the coronavirus crisis will be a record number of people permanently working from home.

Lockdowns mean huge numbers of people have already been working from home for weeks or months, and we’ve seen a number of tech giants offer employees the opportunity to do so on a permanent basis…

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The FBI broke the law when it switched on a suspect’s phone to look at his lock screen without a warrant, ruled a judge.

It said that gathering evidence from a lock screen constitutes a search, and doing this without a warrant violates the 4th Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure …

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WhatsApp testing easier way to add contacts, by sharing a personal QR code

WhatsApp is testing an easier way to add a contact, or share your own contact details with someone else: using a personal QR code …

May 21

As we await the launch of the iPhone 12 – the first iPhone to support 5G – a new report tells us what we can expect in terms of 5G speeds and availability from various US and international carriers – and the news is very mixed …

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Facebook Messenger will now warn you about scams and impersonators

Facebook Messenger will now warn you about scams when you receive a suspicious message from someone you don’t know — or when someone appears to be attempting to impersonate one of your Facebook friends…

Signal registration lock stops your account being hijacked on a new phone

Secure messaging app Signal has added a new level of protection in the latest version. Signal registration lock won’t allow anyone to register your phone number on a new phone without a PIN …

Apple and Google created a coronavirus contact tracing API to help governments create their own apps – but an initial report suggests that take-up hasn’t been high. Just 22 countries and a handful of US states have so far requested access, and a subsequent iOS and Android update to allow contact tracing to work without an app appears to be some months away.

Some countries have created contact tracing apps that involve huge infringements of privacy. The one used in South Korea, for example, collects surname, sex, year of birth, residential district, profession, travel history, and more. China’s app is linked to a unique government ID, identifying specific individuals.

Many countries still haven’t managed to release a contact tracing app at all …

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The UK contact tracing app won’t be ready in mid-May as promised, admits the UK government – and it may not even be ready on June 1, the target date for children to start returning to school. The app does not currently use the Apple/Google API.

The delay has been revealed as analysis of the source code found ‘serious’ security problems

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May 20

A report today suggests that Apple may not include free EarPods in the iPhone 12 box.

While Kuo indicates that this is intended to boost sales of AirPods, I personally don’t think it would do that. What it will do is reduce pointless waste …

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Plans for a $12 billion TSMC US plant to be built in Arizona raise serious national security and competition questions, say three Democrat senators.

Apple A-series chip supplier TSMC announced plans last week to build a chip fabrication plant in Arizona. It’s expected that at least some of the chips made for iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs will be produced there…

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Analysis of the source code for the UK contact tracing app has revealed no fewer than seven security flaws.

One of these is that the random code assigned to users is only changed once a day, making it much easier to de-anonymize individuals …

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A previously undisclosed Grayshift tool allows law enforcement agencies to capture an iPhone passcode when the owner uses it to unlock their phone. This is done by surreptitiously installing malware on the device before handing it back to the suspect.

We knew Grayshift’s GrayKey box could brute-force iPhone passcodes, but we’re learning for the first time about this additional capability, which has seemingly been available for at least a year …

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The Siri grading whistleblower who revealed that private conversations were overheard by contractors working on improving Apple’s intelligent assistant has today revealed his identity.

He has done so in a letter to the European Union, calling for Apple to face the consequences of its privacy failure …

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May 19

Some iPhones, iPads, and Macs are vulnerable to short-range attacks via Bluetooth which could fool them into thinking they are connected to a trusted device. That would then enable an attacker to both send and request data via Bluetooth.

The same security vulnerability is found in a wide range of chips from Intel, Qualcomm, and Samsung, meaning that a large number of non-Apple devices are also affected …

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Apple has beaten Samsung in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, which shows iPhone owners most satisfied with their devices. Average satisfaction rates for iPhones was 82%, a higher rating than any other smartphone brand.

When it comes too individual models, however, there was one Samsung model that topped the rankings …

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The latest Apple/FBI war of words in the Pensacola case has once again highlighted the huge challenge Apple has in communicating the reality of the debate, in a world in which most people have no understanding of the core issue.

To a non-technical person, the debate appears to be a moral one. The FBI says that it needs access to data from terrorists and criminals, and Apple wants to prevent this. FBI, good; Apple, bad.

To anyone who understands the technology, the debate is very different …

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White House advisory panel including Tim Cook calls for investment in retraining

A White House advisory panel whose members include Apple CEO Tim Cook has called for ‘unprecedented’ investment in online training and education programs to help Americans cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis …

May 18

An iPhone, ultrasound wand and an augmented reality app could allow an at-home coronavirus test which allows a remote doctor to diagnose a COVID-19 infection. The FDA has so far licensed it to monitor the condition of existing COVID-19 patients.

The beauty of the setup is that no medical training is required by the person using the wand – indeed, it can even be done by the patient themselves …

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New Zealand adopts interesting compromise for coronavirus location-tracking

Coronavirus location-tracking has been one of the biggest controversies with contact tracking apps …

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