Ken Walker, Online News Editor

Ken Walker

Ken Walker came to the Times in 1998, first as a copy editor and later as a news page designer. Today he helps edit the tampabay.com home page and writes for the Gadgets & Gizmos blog.

E-mail: walker@tampabay.com

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  1. A couple quick links for iThing users

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    Remember how bent some folks were that Apple bought them U2's new album — then essentially walked over to their bookshelf and stuck it in their CD changer? Well, Apple heard their complaints, and they're here to help. They released a special Songs of Innocence Removal Tool yesterday to help you get it out of your iTunes Library, if it bothers you so much. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you'd need instructions to use, but they gave it its own support document, too....

  2. Microsoft is buying Minecraft

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    Do your kids play Minecraft? (Or do you?) It's a popular open-ended game that lets users explore a Lego-like virtual world. It's been dowloaded 100 million times to PCs around the world, it's the most popular game on Xbox, and it's the top paid app in Apple's and Google's online stores — and the company that makes it (Mojang) is being purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion....

  3. How do you really feel about that new U2 album showing up in your iTunes music library?

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    Also from Macworld today: Regardless of how you feel about getting U2's new album for free (even at that price, was it worth what you paid?), you might not appreciate having it suddenly show up among your music — you know, the music you actually decided on your own that you personally think is important to you? Here's a good explanation of why you are or aren't seeing it in your music library, and how you can make it go away for good if you decide you really don't want to see it....

  4. Why you're suddenly paying much less for iCloud now (unless you weren't paying for it before)

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    We got an email on our home account yesterday evening letting is know that our current iCloud storage plan was going to start costing us a little less than half what we signed up to pay. (Yes, we pay for iCloud — we can't seem to back up two iPhones for my wife and I, plus two iPod touches for our kids, plus my iPad in the storage you get with a free account, as much as I'd like to.) Plus, we'll get the difference in a prorated refund....

  5. What was up with Apple's terrible live video stream yesterday? Maybe this

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    Apple didn't have the best of luck providing a live video stream of the big show they put on yesterday. Anyone who counted on being able to watch the company's live video stream likely had trouble seeing it — and when they could see it, they had trouble making out what CEO Tim Cook and friends were saying through the Chinese(?) translation that seemed dubbed over the English audio.

    "So what the hell happened?" asks TUAW.com writer Yoni Heisler. "How did Apple, which did quite a bit to hype up this event, manage to completely botch what would have otherwise been an exciting way to take in all the festivities?" Could they really have misjudged how many people would want to see what was going on?...

    Apple CEO Tim Cook smiles as he introduces the Apple Watch on Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.
  6. So, Apple put on a little thing today …

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    Did you watch (no pun intended)? That thing was, like, 2 hours long! Anyway, Here's the nitty gritty:

  7. The Apple Watch is unveiled. (That's it in the photo, of course.)
  8. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus look exactly like you'd been told to expect, but have some nifty...

  • Apple is set for its big (whatever) announcement tomorrow

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    In New York, they've already started lining up (MacDailyNews). For what? Well, no one can say for certain, although some claim to be making educated guesses. (MacRumors.com).

    Here's what we do know: Apple has scheduled an invitation-only event for 1 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow, Sept. 9, at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif. They've posted a countdown to their own live coverage. If you'd rather, you can bookmark links now to others' live coverage, too (Macworld, MacRumors via Twitter, TUAW — even the stuffy New York Times). For some as yet unknown reason, they built a huge white construction in front of the Flint Center, seemingly taller than the theater itself (9to5mac.com). Maybe it's a stage for U2 (Business Insider)....

  • Should your phone detect nudity in your selfies?

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    In a story posted to the New York Times' Bits blog this morning, Farhad Manjoo wonders why smartphones don't have features designed specifically for the way you take your naked selfies.

    It seems funny, but don't laugh. At least, Manjoo says we shouldn't. "In the wake of the release of several female celebrities’ nude images, it’s time that the tech industry begin taking the naked-photo security problem seriously," he says. "People carry smartphones with them wherever they go. People are also frequently found without clothing. Sure, some may counsel against the commingling these two states of nature, and sure, some people comply. But preaching abstinence isn’t working."...

  • The celebrity nude photo hacking scandal: Two things you need to do right now

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    As of Tuesday afternoon, the FBI is investigating reports that several celebrities' online accounts had been hacked, leading to the posting of their nude photographs online.

    At the center of the scandal is Apple's iCloud service, with Kirsten Dunst leveling possibly the most public accusation:...

    Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars show in March.
  • Remember that Facebook Messenger loophole?

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    I mentioned it a few days ago. From the screen shot above, it looks like Facebook might have closed it.

    The Messages tab in my newly updated Facebook app doesn't have messages in it anymore — even after using the canceled-download trick.
  • Dropbox Pro now offers 1TB of storage for the same price

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    This came out Wednesday, but it was news to me today — the same Dropbox we've been paying $99 a year for at my house now comes with 1TB of storage. (That's 1,000GB, or 1,000,000MB, or — well, you get the idea.) I've written in passing about Drobox before. In short, I've found it totally worth the price. The new upgrade comes with other enhancements in security and sharing, but to me the w00t was clearly the 1TB....

  • Don't believe what you're reading on Facebook and Twitter about vaccines and autism

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    Phil Plait is doing his best today to help keep you from falling for the latest conspiracy theory being spread by a known fraud and quack:...

     Phil Plait, right, gets his vaccinations. So should you.
  • Busted: Five myths about Facebook's Messenger app

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    The paper picked up this nifty Messenger myths vs. reality article in today's paper. It's a great refresher if you've got concerns about the hysteria surrounding Messenger — and even if you don't, really.

    I wasn't sure about some of the reasoning ("Facebook says it's forcing users to make the switch because a standalone app offers more features. For example, the app is faster, offers a selfie cam" — but the regular old Facebook app let me use my phone's front-facing camera, and I'm not sure how a Messenger "selfie cam" could be different), but I did appreciate the walkthrough for the still-working-as-of-this-moment workaround for getting your messages back on the tab in the Facebook app....

    Facebook recently forced smartphone users to download its standalone Messenger app if they want to send messages. Many are upset about the change.
  • In which I briefly test your patience by just rambling about another of my favorite things

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    Yesterday, I gushed about The Wirecutter; today, it's something else entirely.

    I always felt like there's a fine line between talking about technology and talking about science, in the sense that appreciating one means, on some level, appreciating the other. You really can't love your smartphone, for example, and believe the moon landings were a NASA hoax....

  • The Wirecutter's summertime gear list looks like good advice year-round

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    I'm a relative newcomer to The Wirecutter, Brian Lam's project that maintains regularly updated best-of lists curated by qualified reviewers — but I'm becoming a big fan.

    Despite the intense soldering-iron-and-safety-glasses tone of the site's title, it offers simple guides to finding the best headphones, or TV set or camera, of course, but also guides for finding a good water bottle, weather app (Android or iOS), yoga mat or surge protector. You get a full explanation about the reviewers' preferences, why the top pick was chosen (which often helps you realize you might be better off in your circumstances with their second choice) and what torture they put their gizmos through. They even provide price alerts when one of their picks goes on sale....