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...This is a biggie, Apple!! What would the FAA say?
... I am only going to know next time I fly and my plane falls out of the sky... or not.
Not trying to belittle a serious problem, but I wouldn't worry about this particular concern.

It is worth noting that the prohibition against cell phone use while in the air is from the FCC, not the FAA. They're not concerned (any more) about the phone interfering with the plane. That's one of the reasons why most airlines allow Wi-Fi in the air and even provide Wi-Fi Internet access (for a fee, of course).

The FCC is concerned with overloading the mobile phone network. The idea is that your phone pings off of all nearby towers in order to determine which provides the best signal, in order to perform handoff operations as you move from cell to cell. When you're at cruising altitude, your pings may reach hundreds of towers at once - far more than would ever be reached from the ground. And you're moving fast enough that handoffs may occur several times per minute.

The protocols can handle this (which is why, for instance, passengers on the doomed 9/11 planes were able to make calls), but it puts a strain on the system. If everybody flying had their phones turned on, it would probably be enough of a strain that carriers would need to invest in large (and expensive) upgrades in order to maintain reliable service. Hence the FCC rule.

At least that's how I understand it.
 


I remember that. Does anyone know if current Macs have the same problem?

Another reason why I'm glad to have my old FireWire iSight camera. It has a mechanical shutter. If I twist the ring around the lens to turn off the camera, the shutter closes. There's no way it can capture video in this state, even if the firmware gets completely hacked to death.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep using it for a long time. I'll need a Thunderbolt FireWire interface on my next desktop Mac in order to do so, but since that's (currently) a fairly common port on Thunderbolt docking stations, I'm hoping that this won't be an issue when that time arrives.
 


Apple is not alone in developing non-scissor switch keyboards.
Does anyone still use scissor [the older type of] switches? I haven't seen them since the 90's. As I understand it, most keyboards these days use rubber dome switches under the caps. They provide some amount of tactile feedback and are very quiet to type on.

My preference is still the old IBM-style buckling-spring mechanism, but you'll never find that on a laptop. Nobody (except for me, perhaps) would want to make a laptop an inch thicker in order to accommodate the keyboard, and the noise is not appropriate for people who work in open-plan offices.
 


Apparently I've got my terminology confused.

As I've since learned, a scissor switch is a low-travel dome switch. The scissor mechanism is to support the key-cap. For a photo, see this page (it's the second kind listed on the page).

The mechanism I was referring to is one that I saw on many computers in the late 80s. Under the key-cap, there were two metal contacts - one on the left and one on the right - extending up from the board, leaning against each other like the top of the letter "A". A spring-loaded plastic post comes between the two contacts. When you depress the key, the post is pushed down and the contacts come together and touch.

I can't seem to find a name (or photo) for this switch mechanism, unfortunately, so my description is all I can share at this time.
 


I can't seem to find a name (or photo) for this switch mechanism, unfortunately, so my description is all I can share at this time.
Have a look at this (in the "quick primer" section):

As well, several models of mechanical switch keyboards (as you mentioned in post #85) are reviewed in the article...they tend to be expensive!


Addendum:
An even more extensive article with lots of pictures:
 


Folks, I've had some good luck largely reversing early signs of keyboard issues on my 2017 MacBook Pro.

Very early on after purchasing the machine, when firing up several different Linux distro VMs I have built over time, I noticed each one had peculiarities with key debouncing. Crunchbang Linux, in particular, didn't seem to debounce keys. Now, I'm not privy to know at what level key debouncing happens in Apple's firmware stack, but it seems like it's up to the OS. Furthermore, it seems like similar machine-level processes are at play with both the keyboard and keys emulated by the (hated) touch bar. I have seen FKeys get stuck in Windows XP in precisely the same way real keys get stuck in OSX macOS and Linux.

In any case... back to the keyboard. When I first had keyboard issues, I followed Apple's (stupid) advice of canned air with the machine at unholdable angles, etc, as shown on their web site, but it made the keyboard worse, not better. I began having key stuttering down the whole midline of my keyboard: the T, Y, G, H, B, N and space-bar keys all were flaky, especially in Crunchbang Linux.

If Apple is debouncing the touch bar in some way as to affect keyboard emulation, and it misbehaves the same way as the real key debouncing, it's not a stretch to think the sensor under the keyboard is a large version of the touchbar (a low-resolution iOS screen sensor!) and that the midline key issue had more to do with voltage droop on a capacitive surface: as crap collects in the middle, it makes the sensor think there are a bunch of little 'fingers' touching it, as you would have on a multi-touch iOS display.

After going to an Apple Store only to discover they don't sell keyboard covers 'anymore', I ordered a couple and found a way to clean the keys: a shop vac. Basically, I cupped my hand around the nozzle as to not let the old beat-up nozzle mark up the keys if (and to prevent) hard vacuum locking against the keyboard.

I have seen instances of dust particles clinging around the edges of the space bar, leading me to believe they they've designed the machine to pull in air near that point and deduced the reversing the airflow out of the keyboard would help, and it worked and worked beautifully.

I've done the vacuum clean routine 5 times and in combination with an ultra-thin keyboard cover, I can honestly say I've typed this entire article without running into the key issue and have few problems with the keyboard at this time.

I'm still going to get it replaced under warranty. It's ridiculous that we have to even go through this.

One other tip - the keyboard covers can slip, and if you're a fast touch typist like me, it can crash your typing. I use 3M generic 'dinosaur snot' (my moniker) gummy adhesive to anchor the cover at the Tab, Delete, 2xShift and Right Arrow keys.


I'm an order of magnitude more productive, having done all these things, and thought I could help the community by sharing some things I've risked to try to get a working machine.
 


... when firing up several different Linux distro VMs I have built over time, I noticed each one had peculiarities with key debouncing. Crunchbang Linux, in particular, didn't seem to debounce keys. Now, I'm not privy to know at what level key debouncing happens in Apple's firmware stack, but it seems like it's up to the OS.
This seems to be a common problem with VMs and emulation in general, not just related to Macs and Apple keyboards. I've seen it many times on various PCs running Windows and Linux. And the more levels deep you nest the emulation, the worse it gets. I have found it to be bad enough to render sessions almost completely useless at three levels (e.g. remote-desktop login to a server that is running a VMWare session that is in-turn running a web browser pointed at an internal emulation-based service). In situations like this, keys seem to get "stuck" all the time.

The reason, I suspect, is because emulators, virtual machines and remote desktop software seem to all emulate low-level keyboard events. They send key-down and key-up events individually, in order to support software that relies on this behavior (including system-default GUI libraries). Increasing latency (via emulation and network channels, especially when some traffic is going through VPN connections over the Internet) seems to cause events to get lost. When they are key-down events, you find dropped characters. When they are key-up events, you get a "stuck" key and rapidly-repeating characters.

I'm sure that a flaky hardware keyboard can make the problem even worse, but it is (at least for me) a known problem with running VMs.
I ... found a way to clean the keys: a shop vac. Basically, I cupped my hand around the nozzle as to not let the old beat-up nozzle mark up the keys if (and to prevent) hard vacuum locking against the keyboard.

I have seen instances of dust particles clinging around the edges of the space bar, leading me to believe they they've designed the machine to pull in air near that point and deduced the reversing the airflow out of the keyboard would help, and it worked and worked beautifully.
You may want to invest in a vacuum designed for use around electronics. They aren't quite as powerful and are designed to not deliver static charges to equipment. Amazon lists quite a lot. Just be sure to get one that is "ESD safe" to avoid the possibility of it delivering equipment-damaging static discharge.
 


I'll take my own chances with my (effective) approach, thank you.

I've never seen the debounce issue on any other Mac, laptop or otherwise. I haven't seen key debounce issues on any Apple, for that matter, until now. I really don't know know what the sensor membrane is, but the stickiness of the touch bar in the context of sticky keys is... odd.

I've owned 5 Intel MacBook Pros and used VMs extensively since Core 2 days and worked on scores (perhaps 100s) and have never seen this 'well known' issue.

FWIW, and speaking as an EE and Apple repair guy with 30 years experience, there is more chance of ESD with handheld mini vacs whizzing through 100s of di/dt e-field changes per second, away inches from the CPU, etc, than a grounded shop vac with an intake nozzle 20 ft away from any high energy power whilst pulling ions away from the gear. I was grounded.

In any case... no keyboard errors since my treatments. your milage may vary.
 


The mechanism I was referring to is one that I saw on many computers in the late 80s. Under the key-cap, there were two metal contacts - one on the left and one on the right - extending up from the board, leaning against each other like the top of the letter "A". A spring-loaded plastic post comes between the two contacts. When you depress the key, the post is pushed down and the contacts come together and touch.
After a scary amount of web searching, I was finally able to find a name and image for this key-switch. The Hi-Tek Series 725 aka "Space Invader" (due to the shape of the plastic under the key-cap) is what I was referring to.

There are some enthusiasts who really like this design, but my experience with the linear (non-tactile) version in the late 80's was that they feel terrible and break under heavy use (such as in a university computer lab).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I was surprised to see a report of battery drain problems for Apple's latest iOS release:
The Inquirer said:
iOS 11.4 is borking battery life for some iPhone users
Apple's recent released iOS 11.4 software update is borking iPhone users' battery life, according to a number of complaints on Apple's support forum.

Devices ranging from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone X appear to be affected by a battery drain issue after installing the OS update, which arrived at the end of May...
 


I was surprised to see a report of battery drain problems for Apple's latest iOS release:
I'm not surprised. Ever since I upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus from iOS 10 my iPhone's battery has been draining radically faster. Before iOS 11, perhaps once a week it would drain more than 30% in a day. Now it drains at least 50% almost every day, often more. Today in 7 hours it's drained from 100% to 58%. I used it for 30 minutes while taking a walk, other than that it's been idle.

I keep hoping the next point release will fix it, but none have.

In my experience when I backup and restore, the problems are restored along with the data. So I end up restoring as a new device and losing all my data. This was the reason I stopped using both of my iPads a couple of years ago.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Ever since I upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus from iOS 10 my iPhone's battery has been draining radically faster.
Have you checked Settings to see what's using the battery? There are some apps I see that are real battery hogs - Safari seems to be one, and Apple News may be another. It may help to quit out of any that are sucking up battery power, and I also find it helpful to run in Low Power Mode, which doesn't seem to have any significant disadvantages for me (though it does dim the screen more quickly).
 


I'm not surprised. Ever since I upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus from iOS 10 my iPhone's battery has been draining radically faster.
Battery life for my SE has been significantly worse since I updated to 11.3. It has been poor for quite awhile with no improvement over many restarts. The battery health is good and checking app battery usage does not indicate any obvious problems. This is not the first time I feel burned by an iOS update but usually the result is a ridiculously slow phone.
 


Have you checked Settings to see what's using the battery? ... I also find it helpful to run in Low Power Mode, which doesn't seem to have any significant disadvantages for me (though it does dim the screen more quickly).
I've checked and nothing stood out. I could try low power mode, but I feel I shouldn't have to since I'm a relatively light user.
 


I was surprised to see a report of battery drain problems for Apple's latest iOS release:
I saw this myself. Phone with brand new battery and no programs running went from 100 to 77% in 6 hours. I saw one report that using 5Ghz wifi under 11.4 might be the cause. I’ve switched to the 2.4 band, and may be seeing a difference.
 


Battery life for my SE has been significantly worse since I updated to 11.3. It has been poor for quite awhile with no improvement over many restarts. The battery health is good and checking app battery usage does not indicate any obvious problems. This is not the first time I feel burned by an iOS update but usually the result is a ridiculously slow phone.
For me what causes the biggest drain on my iPhone SE (iOS 11.4) is the App Store. When I update apps, I watch the battery go down like a countdown timer - and the phone gets toasty. If I don’t swipe it closed after it’s done updating, the battery drain remains. I’ve even wiped the phone and reinstalled everything from scratch, and the problem persisted. It’s been that way since iOS 11 first came out. The battery health shows the battery maximum capacity at 92% and supporting normal peak performance.

So now I just don’t update the phone or add new apps until I’m ready to plug it in (and I make sure to remember to swipe it closed when it’s finished). Doing this, my battery life is generally close to what it has always been, though there are some days when some app will mysteriously start draining the battery, even though I haven’t been using the phone. It seems to change which one, but generally Tweetbot or a web browser is the culprit.

On my iPad (9.7” Pro), everything runs just fine with the same battery life I’m used to from it.
 



Battery Drain? Is location services on? Turn it on only when you need it.
Turning features on and off to save battery is a stop-gap measure at best. My battery life in iOS 10 was fine. Apple changed something in iOS 11 that causes excessive drainage - they need to fix it. My iPhone's battery has gone down 11% in the same time in which it went down 42% yesterday. I used the same apps for about the same amount of time on both days.
 


Turning features on and off to save battery is a stop-gap measure at best. My battery life in iOS 10 was fine. Apple changed something in iOS 11 that causes excessive drainage - they need to fix it. My iPhone's battery has gone down 11% in the same time in which it went down 42% yesterday. I used the same apps for about the same amount of time on both days.
My apps get location services only when they're running; and I have most all of them (including Facebook) set to not run in the background.

When I only use the 2.40-GHz wifi band, the battery is unaffected. Using the 5-GHz band uses much more battery. Did not notice this issue before IOS 11.4.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I thought this was an interesting defect, covered in some compatibility notes for Little Snitch:
Objective Development Software GmbH said:
Compatibility Notes
Some of the MacBook Pro models from mid 2010 have defective video RAM in their discrete graphics card. These computers have two graphics cards: one built-in to the CPU using standard system RAM and a separate discrete graphics processor (GPU) with dedicated video RAM. For each application, the operating system decides which of the two graphics cards is used.

Some operations in Little Snitch Network Monitor (especially the Map View) trigger a switch to the discrete graphics card. If defective RAM locations are touched this causes an operating system crash (kernel panic). You can distinguish this type of panic by looking at the panic log. It shows the graphics driver as the component initiating the panic.

Note that only a minority of the mid 2010 MacBook Pro models are affected. As far as we can tell, there is no way how Little Snitch Network Monitor could prevent the graphics engine switch.
 


My apps get location services only when they're running; and I have most all of them (including Facebook) set to not run in the background. When I only use the 2.40-GHz wifi band, the battery is unaffected. Using the 5-GHz band uses much more battery. Did not notice this issue before IOS 11.4.
I always set all apps' location services to "While Using." I'll try getting rid of the 5GHz WiFi on mine to see if that makes a difference.
 



My iPhone 6s GPS receiver turned off again on Tuesday. I managed to turn it back on using the remove-and-replace-the-SIM trick described above. I've had a good GPS signal ever since then. This is much simpler and quicker than the "Reset All Settings" method.

I note that the Apple Discussions thread on this topic is now up to 48 pages.

It's now pretty clear that this is a software/firmware bug introduced by Apple with iOS 11.

I suspect that many iPhone 6s owners actually have this problem but don't know it because they are content to use applications (like Google Maps and Apple Maps) that are happy to navigate without GPS satellite level Location Services data. It's only people who use apps that insist on GPS level accuracy (like Waze and Strava) that would know this problem exists.
 


Note - I was having the same issue with my iPhone 6s. After iOS 11.4 the battery was draining pretty fast. Just sitting on my desk with nothing happening on wireless, it would drop fairly fast. Turning off wi-fi made a big difference.

Just on a whim, I did a network settings reset, and it seems to be considerably better now. I'll have a better idea when it sits on my desk at work tomorrow.
 



After the network settings reset, the phone appears to be back to normal. It's not discharging at a rapid rate just sitting on my desk as it was before. your milage may vary, but it looks to have solved the issue of battery discharge in IOS 11.4 for me.
 


My iPhone 6s has been out of warranty for the last six months. Since then, the battery performance has become shorter and shorter. Leaving the phone fully charged overnight, it would have a 70% charge the next morning without use.

I spoke with AppleCare a few months ago, and they remoted into the phone, and said it was fine. The Battery setting said that the battery was at 95% of original capacity.

This week I spoke with AppleCare again, who remoted into the phone again, and told me it was just fine. Battery capacity was at 91% of original.

But AppleCare offered me a $29 replacement battery, although the current new-battery program cost is $79. I accepted.

When I went to the nearby Apple Store, they tested the phone and told me it was just fine. But they offered me a $0 replacement battery. I accepted.

When I came back an hour later, they said that they couldn't fix the phone, so they gave me a new iPhone 6s. When I got home, I restored from my iTunes backup. The phone ran fine, but the performance was slow, and the battery drained quickly. Also, I could not do a "Find" in Settings, by pulling down the screen. (For example, typing B for battery Settings gave no response.) Some letters worked fine, but most did not.

I then wiped the phone, and restored again from my backup, using the same backup as I previously used.

Battery life seems very good now, the Find in Settings works, and the phone is much quicker to respond, too.

Go figure.
 


I was surprised at how bad the ratings are for Apple's flagship Xcode development system.
I often think those kind of ratings come from developers who are more familiar with another IDE / platform (e.g. Visual Studio). Xcode rates low because the user needs to learn new stuff.

I grew up with Xcode and have had that kind of reaction to Visual Studio - it’s different, does some things well and others not so well. Neither is particularly good or bad.
 


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