Tech Tip: Coming Down From iCloud


TECH TIP

Apple’s cloud service is intertwined with its operating systems, but you can move many of your files to a new online home.

Q. How do I find something other than iCloud to save and back up my files?

A. The iCloud service — used to store files on remote servers and keep data in sync among Macs, Windows computers and iOS devices — is integrated into Apple’s operating systems. However, iCloud includes only five gigabytes of free storage before Apple charges for more space.

In the United States, prices for more iCloud storage space start at 99 cents a month for 50 gigabytes. (Music and video purchases you make from the iTunes Store are also stored in your iCloud account so you can download them again, but are not counted against your iCloud space allowance.)

As Apple notes on its support page about managing your iCloud space, “If you run out of iCloud storage, your device won’t back up to iCloud, new photos and videos won’t upload to iCloud Photo Library, and iCloud Drive, other iCloud apps and your text messages won’t stay up to date across your devices. And you can’t send or receive emails with your iCloud email address.”

Deleting old mail and file attachments, photos and videos you no longer need, and outdated files from your iCloud drive can help reclaim some of that space. For those with a large-capacity iPad or iPhone that is consuming a lot of iCloud space with backups, you can switch your device backup to iTunes on your Mac or PC.

When looking for an alternative service, first figure out how you are currently consuming your available iCloud space. If you are using iCloud for everything — or just for things like iCloud mail, photos and iWork documents — you will need to find services that can replicate those storage functions.

Image
If you want to remove your files from iCloud, check to see how you are currently using the space, as shown on the left. At right, Dropbox is one of several competing services that can automatically upload your photos.CreditThe New York Times

Many online backup services have their own iOS apps you can use to get to your stored files from an iPhone or an iPad as well as a desktop computer. If you need to use your stored files on a mobile device, make sure the service you select has a companion app. (Also, keep in mind that if you need a large amount of storage space, you will likely need pay for it, just as you would for additional iCloud storage.)

Several options have their own iOS apps, automatic photo backup and free starter accounts. These include Google Drive, which gives you 15 gigabytes of space to share among Google Photos backup, Gmail and file storage. If you do not care for Google, free Dropbox accounts start with two gigabytes of storage space and free accounts from Box and MediaFire start with 10 gigabytes of storage.

Microsoft’s basic OneDrive service provides five gigabytes of free storage unless you have additional space that came with an Office 365 account. The Amazon Drive service offers five gigabytes free, and Amazon Prime members get unlimited photo storage.

Tech Tip: Battling Adware That Redirects Your Browser


TECH TIP

If your browser is suddenly full of pop-up ads or taking you to sites you didn’t request, you probably have a malware infection.

Q. I keep getting pop-ups in my browser search bar and sent to a site I’ve never heard of. What is this, a scam?

A. If you are experiencing constant pop-up ads, trips to websites you didn’t intend to visit, a frequently changing home page, ads trying to sell you obscure security software or other odd browser behavior, your computer is probably infected with an aggressive adware program. These types of invasive programs — which can affect Macs along with PCs — often redirect your browser to certain pages so those sites can get revenue by showing advertisements to (unwilling) visitors.

The adware program may have been bundled with other software you installed on the computer, like a “free” tool bar extension or game. Visiting a web page rigged with malicious code can also infect a computer.

Using a malware-scanning app to locate and remove the adware hiding on your computer is probably the easiest way to get rid of the unwanted software. Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The New York Times, recommends the Malwarebytes program for both Windows and Mac computers; a free trial is available. HitmanPro is another anti-malware program for Windows that offers a free trial.

Image
Restoring your browser’s settings back to the default state can often flush out unwanted extensions that cause the program to behave erratically.CreditThe New York Times

Big Day for AT&T, Time Warner and U.S. as Court Rules in Antitrust Case


What are the possible outcomes?

Judge Leon could block the deal.

Doing so might encourage the Justice Department to act more aggressively when it looks at deals in the future, and might prompt a rethink by companies with similar deals in the works.

A key argument against the government’s case is that the deal is a so-called vertical merger, which means that the two companies do not produce competing products: One makes media content, and the other distributes it. Some big takeovers lately have had similar profiles — the purchase of the insurer Aetna by the drugstore chain CVS, and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods — and they typically make it past regulators.

So a win for the government could really shake up some businesses’ plans and open the door for a new definition of antitrust regulation.

He could let it proceed without attaching any conditions.

That would, of course, have the opposite effect. It could be the green light for more vertical takeovers, and would be seen as a setback for the Trump administration.

If the deal is allowed to proceed, Comcast is expected to make a bid for most of 21st Century Fox’s television assets — setting up a bidding war against the Walt Disney Company, which has already struck a deal to buy those holdings.

Photo

The Dallas headquarter of AT&T, whose proposed merger with Time Warner was challenged in court by the Trump administration. A ruling is expected Tuesday.

Credit
Dylan Hollingsworth for The New York Times

It’s possible that the Justice Department will appeal a ruling that goes against it, though, so things may not end there.

He could approve it but attach conditions.

The aim of the conditions would broadly be to keep AT&T from using its control of content like HBO or CNN as a weapon to increase costs for its rivals. The fear is that AT&T could charge rivals a high price for, say, HBO to make AT&T’s own product more competitive.

One way to address this would be to appoint a third party to oversee disagreements between AT&T and the cable companies that want to license Time Warner content. The government doesn’t like that approach.

Another option is to demand that AT&T and Time Warner sell off some plum assets. AT&T and Time Warner don’t like this approach, so would be expected to appeal any such decision.

Doesn’t the government challenge deals all the time?

It’s true that deals get challenged all the time, but the government’s focus in the past has typically been on protecting consumers by keeping one company, or a small group of companies, from owning too much of any one specific industry. It comes up when companies buy their competitors — what’s known as horizontal integration.

For example, in 2016, a federal judge blocked the merger of Staples and Office Depot after the Federal Trade Commission argued that the combination would leave Americans with only one dominant retailer focused on pens, paper clips and Post-it notes.

What makes the AT&T decision noteworthy is that the deal is being challenged even though it doesn’t share all the characteristics of horizontal integration.

“Vertical mergers do not fit the traditional horizontal-merger analytical framework used by the U.S. regulatory authorities,” R. Mark McCareins, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, wrote in an online discussion about vertical mergers. It means the trade commission and the Department of Justice “are faced with pounding a square peg into a round hole.”

[Read more: The Time Warner case is not AT&T’s first tangle with U.S. antitrust law.]

Didn’t this get political at one point?

Yup. Time Warner owns CNN, which President Trump has publicly and repeatedly attacked as fake news.

“AT&T is buying Time Warner, and thus CNN,” he said at a campaign rally when the deal was announced. He said it was “a deal we will not approve in my administration.”

The government had said that Mr. Trump did not communicate with antitrust officials on the deal and that their decision to oppose the merger had not been ordered by the White House. During the trial, Judge Leon rejected many of AT&T’s efforts to introduce evidence about political interference into the case.

Continue reading the main story

Tech Tip: Why That Digital Photo Print Is Fuzzy


TECH TIP

If your pictures look blotchy and out of focus, you likely need to print them at a smaller size or find a version of the photo at a higher resolution.

Q. How can I find out how big I can print a digital photo before it gets blurry? How do I find out the file’s pixels and resolution?

A. The “pixel” (short for picture element) is a tiny segment of visual data and the basic unit of measurement when talking about digital-photo resolution. Rows of pixels create the image. In general, the more pixels per inch (p.p.i), the sharper that image tends to be, thanks to the “higher” resolution.

On a Mac, you can quickly see the pixel dimensions and resolution of an image by selecting its desktop icon and pressing the Command and I keys to open the Info box; Windows users can right-click the icon and look in the Properties box. You can also find the information by opening the image in a photo-editing program.

Image
You can see a photo’s file size and pixel dimensions in the file’s Info or Properties box. The top image has a lower resolution than the version below it. Low-resolution photos typically look fuzzy when printed too large.CreditThe New York Times

Printers measure resolution in (ink) dots per inch, or d.p.i. While pixels-per-inch and dots-per-inch are not the same, the higher the d.p.i., the finer the quality of the printed photo. A standard resolution for printed photos is 300 d.p.i.

Tech Tip: Become a Guest on Your Own Computer


TECH TIP

Using an account with limited powers may help protect the system from malicious software that is looking to dig deep.

Q. I have heard that making a guest account on the computer and using it yourself can help stop viruses. Why is this, and how would I go about making an extra account?

A. Administrator accounts on a Windows, Mac or Linux computer have the ability to adjust settings, install new programs, change passwords and perform other functions that affect the entire system. Accounts designated as “standard,” “limited” or “guest” have much less control over the entire system and can make only minor changes that are specific to that account, like changing the desktop wallpaper. Malicious software that invades a computer through the user logged in as the administrator can usually burrow in deeper to do more damage.

To set up a limited account for yourself (or a child) on a Windows 10 Home or Professional system, go to the Start menu and select the gear-shaped Settings icon. On the Settings screen, choose Accounts, then “Family & other people” to “Add someone else to this PC.” Follow the instructions on the screen to create the account. As with most account creation, you may need to enter the administrator password at some point.

Image
Visit the Windows Settings, top, or Mac System Preferences, bottom, to create a limited user account for the computer.CreditThe New York Times

Tech Tip: Get a Wi-Fi Tablet on a Cellular Network


TECH TIP

Even if your iPad or Android tablet does not have its own cellular chip, you might be able to borrow a data connection from your phone.

Q. Since I connect to the internet with my phone using my data plan, I wonder if I could do the same with a tablet or laptop? Is it possible to get online with cellular data rather than Wi-Fi while on a tablet?

A. Using a cellular-data connection to get your tablet on the internet is certainly possible, but you may have to make an investment in additional fees or hardware. Since you already have a data plan for your phone, contacting with your current wireless carrier to inquire about sharing your phone’s internet connection with your tablet is a logical first step.

With the right plan, the tablet can link up over a Wi-Fi connection broadcast by the phone; this is also referred to as using a personal or mobile “hot spot.” You may also be able to “tether” the tablet to the phone over a USB or Bluetooth connection to share the network signal. Most laptops can also use tethered or hot spot connections.

Image
You might need to contact your wireless carrier before you can use the phone’s mobile hotspot feature to share your cellular connection with other devices.CreditThe New York Times

Many wireless carriers — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — offer hot spot-and-tethering options for their mobile customers. If these options are not already included with your current service plan, you will need to pay extra. Sharing your phone’s connection with other devices can rapidly eat through a data plan and drain its battery more quickly than with normal use, so keep those factors in mind when considering your hot spot or tethering needs.

DealBook Briefing: What Facebook Shared With Chinese Firms


Lawmakers like Senator Chuck Schumer were infuriated:

Photo

Many commentators reckon the ZTE talks are aimed at wringing trade concessions from China, though the Trump administration insists otherwise. And China has reportedly offered to buy $70 billion worth of agricultural, energy and industrial products if the U.S. drops its threat of tariffs. But some people in the administration doubt that proposal.

Elsewhere in trade

• Mexico imposed $3 billion worth of tariffs on American goods like pork and cheese in response to Mr. Trump’s tariff on imported metals.

• As the Nafta talks sputter, the White House is seeking separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

• Senator Bob Corker wants Congress to have the power to block tariffs.

Photo


Credit
Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

The messy Comcast-Disney battle hits Britain

Rupert Murdoch is going to face Comcast in a bidding war for one of Europe’s pay-TV crown jewels, Sky. The U.K. government has cleared 21st Century Fox to bid for full control of the satellite broadcaster — so long as it sells Sky News to Disney, or someone else.

But something bigger is at work. Comcast is also challenging Disney’s $52.4 billion bid for most of Fox, which includes 39 percent of Sky. (Got all that?) If Comcast could buy the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t already own, it would be a considerable blow to the Disney deal. Oh, and Comcast is expected to fight hard for the other Fox assets that Disney wants, too.

The only sure winners? Sky shareholders, who have seen their company’s stock price climb 22 percent since Comcast said it would bid.

The deals flyaround

• David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management wants Allergan, which makes Botox, to split the roles of C.E.O. and chairman. (CNBC)

• Newell Brands has agreed to sell Rawlings, the baseball glove maker, to Seidler Equity Partners and the M.L.B. for $395 million. (WSJ)

• KKR and Goldman Sachs have invested $360 million into OutSystems, a Portuguese start-up that helps speed up app development. (TechCrunch)

• Twice as many British companies were acquired after the Brexit vote than in a comparable period before the referendum. (Bloomberg)

Photo

Elon Musk

Credit
Joe Skipper/Reuters

Tesla: 2. Shareholder initiatives: 0

At the automaker’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday, the company overcame rare challenges from investors about how it does business. One proposal sought to strip Elon Musk of his chairman title. Another was to oust several board members, including Mr. Musk’s brother, Kimbal. Both were rejected by “a wide margin.”

Then Mr. Musk wheeled out his hype machine. To allay fears over manufacturing holdups, the C.E.O. said it was “quite likely” that his company could build 5,000 of its Model 3 cars a week by the end of this month. Tesla’s head of worldwide sales, Robin Ren, announced a plan to build the company’s first factory outside the U.S., in Shanghai. And then there was a mention of free Autopilot trials.

The big question: Though Tesla has convinced investors not to meddle with its management, its cash burn is impossible to ignore. Can the carmaker keep its promise and ramp up production fast enough to overcome that?

The tech flyaround

• President Trump’s chief technology adviser, Michael Kratsios, says that the White House plans to release government data that could help A.I. researchers. (MIT Technology Review)

• Amazon has a secret Grand Challenge lab working on problems like curing cancer. (CNBC)

• SoftBank sold control of the chip designer ARM’s Chinese operations to local investors, which could thrust it into ongoing trade disputes between Washington and Beijing. (Quartz)

• How the Pentagon is reportedly using A.I. to seek out nuclear missiles. (Reuters)

• A small financial firm in Philadelphia leapfrogged Wall Street to start trading Bitcoin. (NYT)

C.E.O.s’ business outlook isn’t so sunny anymore

For the first time since President Trump was elected, economic optimism among chief executives has fallen, albeit only modestly. More from Nancy Moran of Bloomberg:

In a survey, America’s CEOs expressed concern over the Trump administration’s approach to trade, with 95 percent of respondents seeing a moderate or serious risk of “foreign trade retaliation leading to lower U.S. exports.”

Photo


Credit
Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

The political flyaround

• Credit Suisse paid a $47 million fine to the Justice Department to settle an investigation into its hiring of “princelings” — children of China’s leaders — to win business. (Credit Suisse)

• Howard Schultz shouldn’t run for president, Joe Nocera argues. (Bloomberg Opinion)

• David Koch is stepping down from his family business and its formidable political network, citing health issues. (NYT)

• Alexander Nix, the former C.E.O. of Cambridge Analytica, faces accusations that he took $8 million from the consulting firm before it collapsed. (FT)

• The White House urged companies like United Airlines to ignore Beijing’s demands that Taiwan be referred to as “Taiwan, China.” (FT)

Photo

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s C.E.O.

Credit
Gerard Julien/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Uber’s new C.E.O. doesn’t speak bro

Business Insider has pointed out that a new catchphrase of the company’s C.E.O., Dara Khosrowshahi, is a double entendre to younger employees. An Uber representative’s response:

“As you may have read, Uber is now run by your dad — so, no, that interpretation was lost on him, but he appreciates Business Insider pointing it out.”

The speed read

• There’s a new oil hoard to worry about — in China. (WSJ)

• The U.S. now has more job openings than unemployed people. That could become a barrier to economic growth.

• Kate Spade, the designer who turned colorful handbags into a multibillion-dollar fashion empire, died yesterday. (NYT)

• The blockade of Qatar began a year ago. But it may well be rich enough to hold out for another 100 years. (Bloomberg)

• There might be a China connection to Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal. (FT)

• Qatar Airways’ C.E.O. has apologized for saying that a woman couldn’t do his job. (NYT)

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to bizday@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

Apple’s WWDC 2018: What to Watch For


Photo

An Apple store in San Francisco. The company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference starts Monday in San Jose, Calif.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apple kicks off its annual conference for developers on Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Here’s what to expect:

■ It’s all about software, software, software. Apple used last year’s event to introduce its HomePod speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. But this year, don’t expect news about new gadgets.

■ Apple is set to address some of the tech backlash on issues such as data privacy and smartphone addiction, including announcing new tools for parents to monitor and limit use of their children’s devices.

■ The company also plans to preview iOS 12, the new version of the iPhone and iPad operating system, including bug fixes and other improvements.

■ Look for a major upgrade for the Apple Watch software, WatchOS.

■ Apple is also planning an update to ARKit, its platform for developers to build augmented-reality experiences on iPhones and iPads, which it announced last year. Expect some new AR demos, too.

Combating tech addiction and our loss of privacy.

Apple typically reserves this five-day conference, known as WWDC (for Worldwide Developers Conference), as its moment to show off new software features and operating system updates. So don’t anticipate news about new iPhones: The company traditionally introduces big hardware upgrades at a later media event in the fall.

Continue reading the main story

Tech Tip: Let Gmail Finish Your Sentences


TECH TIP

Google’s new machine-learning tools for its mail service can save you time and typos — as long as you are comfortable sharing your thoughts with the software.

Q. The new Gmail feature that lets the software write your mail messages for you sounds intriguing, if not unsettling. How does it work, and has the feature rolled out to regular users so I can see it for myself?

A. The Smart Compose feature of Google’s recent Gmail update does not exactly write your full message for you. The program uses machine learning techniques to evaluate what you are writing — and then suggests what to type next based on that analysis. Gmail’s text suggestions appear in slightly lighter gray type at the end of the sentence you are writing. If you choose to accept the computer-generated words, tap the Tab key to add the material and move on to the next sentence.

Image
Once you enable it in the settings, Gmail’s new Smart Compose feature can finish your sentences for you as you type.CreditThe New York Times

In theory, the Smart Compose tool can speed up your message composition and cut down on typographical errors. While “machine learning” means the software (and not a human) is scanning your work-in-progress to get information for the predictive text function, you are sharing information with Google when you use its products.

Tech Tip: Prune and Save Web Pages


TECH TIP

Your computer most likely includes free tools for creating or printing stripped-down versions of web articles without ads, videos or other distractions.

Q. Without having to cut and paste text, is there an easy way to make a PDF file from the text of an online article — without the advertisements — so I can read it offline or print it more easily from my computer?

A. If your browser has a “reader mode” that temporarily strips out the ads and other distracting page elements, you should be able to make simple PDF files without extra software. In a nutshell, when you find an article you want to save, switch to reader mode and then use the PDF-saving function in the Print box on your Windows PC or Mac to make a copy of the article in a new file.

Some websites do not support reader modes, but many do. For articles that jump to multiple pages, look for a “read on one page” or a “Read More” button that displays the full text on one screen.

Image
The “clutter-free printing” option in the latest version of Windows 10 strips out ads, background images and other distractions for printing or saving the document as a PDF file.CreditThe New York Times