Archive for June 19, 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Best Buy to Offer Apple-Certified Repairs

Apple (via MacRumors):

Apple today announced the completion of a major expansion of its Apple authorized service network. With nearly 1,000 Best Buy stores across the US now providing expert service and repairs for Apple products, customers have even easier and more convenient access to safe and reliable repairs.


By expanding to every Best Buy store across the US, customers in cities including Yuma, Arizona; Sioux City, Iowa; Twin Falls, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming and Bismarck, North Dakota will have more convenient access to Apple repairs. Plus, Best Buy’s Geek Squad has nearly 7,600 newly Apple-certified technicians ready to make same-day iPhone repairs or to service other Apple products.

Sounds good, although I wonder what types of repairs they’ll be able to do. Can they replace a MacBook Pro keyboard without mailing it in? Will they charge for “free” iPhone battery replacements, like I’ve seen other authorized service providers do?


I was one of those “Apple certified” techs at the Geek Squad/Best Buy I worked at for 12 years. The training is a joke, you read a few articles and watch a video, then are expected to be able to repair every iPhone that Apple is willing to give you parts for. Forget about same day replacement or loner phones cause that is not going to happen. The few parts that can be replaced in-house are ones that I have hardly ever seen fail, like a speaker or a cellular receiver. Most items are shipped out and your lucky if it takes less then a week to get is back. Some items have a very quick turn around time like Apple TV and sometimes Apple Watch. Your better off just going through Apple, even just mailing it in to them is faster then taking it to a Best Buy, and you will get much better customer service. When anyone in Geek Squad sees an Apple device all they want to do is run and hide cause the process is so horrible, even just to check it in.


Kindle Oasis With Warm Light

Trevor Daugherty:

Amazon’s latest Kindle sports a familiar design, but the top-tier E-ink reader offers one particularly notable feature: a color-adjustable display for nighttime use. The new Kindle Oasis cashes in on a trend that we’ve seen from Apple’s True Tone-enabled iPads, making it easier to enjoy content at night when those blue lights commonly found on displays can be particularly damaging.


Now you can adjust the shade of the screen from white light to a warm amber with the ability to schedule when the light changes for a personalized reading experience. Kindle Oasis also has an adaptive front light that automatically adjusts the brightness of your screen based on lighting conditions.

I mostly read without the backlight, but this sounds great for people who read in the dark. At 6.6 oz., it’s 0.2 oz. lighter than the second-generation Oasis but 2 oz. heavier than the first-generation one (which I still use). It retains the second-generation’s 7-inch display. The new model is $250, and the previous one is down to $200 (both with special offers).


No-Click Google Searches

Shalini Ramachandran:

Crazy number, via @keachhagey: In March, 62% of Google searches on mobile were “no-click” searches, meaning ppl didn’t click on any website after Googling. That’s thanks to Google’s knowledge boxes - of dubious accuracy - sitting atop search results.

Kyle Howells:

It seems Google has gone beyond answering your question at the top of the search results, to not even showing you search results if it can answer your question.


Backing Up VM Image Files to Internet Backup Services

Adam Engst:

Seriously? Code42 is actually admitting that CrashPlan may not back up large files correctly? Isn’t that Job #1 for any backup app?


After the initial upload, apps like Backblaze and CrashPlan do block-level data deduplication, which means that they analyze small blocks of each file, compare them to what’s already backed up, and copy only those blocks that are new or changed. It might seem as though large files wouldn’t present a problem after initial backup as long as they didn’t change all that much. However, as Yev pointed out, the resources necessary to analyze all the blocks in a multi-gigabyte file are significant—you need enough drive space to store a copy of the file, and then the backup app has to spend a lot more time and CPU power analyzing all those blocks.


For these reasons, Backblaze also excludes VM image files and other large file types (it also doesn’t back up system files or applications), as you can see in the app’s Exclusions screen.

In both cases, you can adjust the exclusion lists to include these files.


Update (2019-06-20): Kyle Howells:

You can remove the file type exclusions, but not the location exclusions (I tried and failed to get it to backup the applications directory).

See also: Boot SuperDuper! backup in VMWare Fusion.