Saturday, November 2, 2013

OS X Mavericks knows when you're not in front of MacBook

OS X Mavericks knows when you're not in front of MacBook

OS X Mavericks knows when you're not in front of MacBook

MacBook owners awoke to echoes of Rockwell and Michael Jackson singing "Somebody's Watching Me" after an enterprising software coder discovered how the latest version of Mac OS X uses its built-in sensors.

The Verge reported today that Apple's latest OS X Mavericks operating system taps into MacBook hardware in a new and unique way.

Twitter user @paranoidroid was the first to spot the surprising new feature on Thursday, which was initially believed to be using the iSight camera to track a user's movements.

Soon after, other Twitter followers tried it for themselves, but came to the conclusion that it wasn't the iSight camera, but rather ambient light sensors that Mavericks takes advantage of.

Sitting idle

Now that any privacy concerns have been cast aside, what is it exactly that OS X Mavericks is doing with these MacBook sensors?

The sensors in question are placed just to the left of the built-in iSight camera, and are used to adjust the brightness of the screen based on the ambient light in the room.

Starting with OS X Mavericks, Apple engineers have found a way to use the same sensors to read "movement" - or rather, track changes to the surrounding lighting conditions to determine when we're actually sitting in front of our computer.

Along with other well-documented, under-the-hood imp rovements to OS X Mavericks, this change allows Mac computers to determine when to sleep or reduce processor time in creative new ways, presumably using less energy in the process.

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//PART 2