Apple Admits to Sticky MacBook Pro Keyboards, Will Fix Them for Free

MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop owners with flaky keyboards can get them fixed for free and receive refunds for out-of-warranty repairs they have already made, Apple said today. The company has extended the warranty for keyboards for nine affected models released starting in 2015 to four years from the usual one year.

In a statement provided to Fortune, an Apple spokesperson said, “Today we launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models which may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly or don’t appear when pressed or keys that feel ‘sticky’ or aren’t responding in a consistent manner.”

The laptop models affected rely on a new key switch design Apple introduced in 2015 with a complete revision of its MacBook laptop and brought to the MacBook Pro in an overhaul in 2016. The so-called “butterfly” keys allowed for a much lower-profile keyboard with reduced travel distance when pressed. Many users disliked the feel compared to standard “scissor” switch laptop keys. Beyond finger feel, the shorter travel distance also increased the likelihood that trapped grit—even small particles of dust—could lodge in place, preventing a key or keys from working.

The cost of out of warranty repair can be as high as $700, as keys can often not be repaired singly. Replacing the keyboard as a whole requires swapping out the entire top side of the main laptop body.

Apple currently faces three lawsuits over the keyboard flaw. Its offer to pay for repairs to the keyboard already performed may affect these suits, but no settlements were announced today.

It has been impossible to date to know how rare the problem is, as Apple doesn’t disclose rates of repair. In October 2017, technology journalist Casey Johnston wrote about her pervasive problem with a MacBook Pro’s keyboard, and said Apple repair technicians (known as Geniuses) repeatedly chalked it up to dust. Johnston spoke to an anonymous source at a company that provides MacBook Pros to its users, who said the problem was extensive but below 5% of laptops.

Apple posted special cleaning instructions for laptops with butterfly key switches in 2017, but no other information. Jason Snell, editor of Six Colors and former editor-in-chief of Macworld magazine, wrote in April 2018, “Apple’s relative silence on this issue for existing customers is deafening.” Snell called for a recall if the problem was pervasive as it seemed.

In April 2018, Johnston wrote a follow-up story that even after a replacement of her first keyboard, problems arose again, and she sold the laptop back Apple. She recommended against purchase of any butterfly-key models. (This reporter owns a 2015 MacBook with the butterfly design, which had its keyboard replaced in 2017 under a three-year paid warranty extension due to the key faces wearing off across all its most-used keys.)

Apple said affected customers can receive service at no charge via a retail Apple Store, through Apple’s mail-in repair program, or through an Apple-authorized service provider. If a laptop has other damage that has to be fixed before the keyboard can be replaced, Apple said in its service program page that a charge may apply.

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Amazon Employees Want Jeff Bezos to Stop Selling Rekognition to Law Enforcement, According to Report

Amazon employees are asking CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling Rekognition facial recognition technology to law enforcement, and to kick the data mining company Palantir from Amazon Web Services, according from a report from Gizmodo.

In the letter circulating the company, which was obtained by Gizmodo, employees wrote that they are “troubled by the recent report from the ACLU exposing our company’s practice of selling AWS Rekognition, a powerful facial recognition technology, to police departments and government agencies.”

Rekognition was released in 2016, and according to an Amazon blog post from that year, Rekognition can scan and recognize images including people, pets, scenes and objects.

“You can use Rekognition in several different authentication and security contexts,” the blog post explains. “You can compare a face on a webcam to a badge photo before allowing an employee to enter a secure zone. You can perform visual surveillance, inspecting photos for objects or people of interest or concern.”

In a May letter to Bezos, the American Civil Liberties Union along with more than three-dozen other organizations demanded that Amazon stop selling Rekognition services to law enforcement agencies. The ACLU also released documents and a report criticizing Amazon’s marketing to law enforcement, and Rekognition’s use at a police department in Orlando, Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.

The letter from Amazon employees to Bezos also cites President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S. border as a cause for consternation.

“In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS,” the letter reportedly states.

Amazon employees also called for the company to not provide services to companies — like Palantir — that partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Fortune contacted Palantir for comment.

Employees are not alone in voicing their unease. Earlier this week, 19 Amazon shareholders wrote a letter (which was posted publicly by the ACLU) to Bezos about Rekognition. It reads in part:

“In addition to our concerns for U.S. consumers who may be put in harm’s way with law enforcement’s use of Rekognition, we are also concerned sales may be expanded to foreign governments, including authoritarian regimes. Without protective policies in place, it seems inevitable the application of these technologies will result in Amazon’s Rekognition being used to identify and detain democracy advocates.”

When reached for a comment, Amazon pointed Fortune to a blog post written by Dr. Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at AWS, following the release of the ACLU report:

“Each organization choosing to employ technology must act responsibly or risk legal penalties and public condemnation.” Wood wrote. “AWS takes its responsibilities seriously. But we believe it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future. “

The Amazon employees’ letter is the latest in a trend of employees at large tech companies sharing ethical concerns about the use of products. Employees at both Google and Microsoft have recently objected to contracts with the Department of Defense and ICE, respectively. Google said it would not renew its contract with the DoD. Microsoft discussed its contract with ICE in an email to employees.

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How to Quit the Toxic Behavior of Procrastinating

As an entrepreneur, there are certain times in your life that you will never forget: your first sale, your first customer review, and sometimes even the day you landed the client of your dreams.

They’re just like those small moments you constantly remember from your childhood. I vividly recall a time when my mother stormed into my room at night to remind me for the last time to walk the dog, and stop procrastinating. I thought to myself, “Procrastinating, what’s that?”

Little did I know that the word would stick with me for the rest of my life. It’s something plenty of others complain about, and I’m owning up to it.

You see, my brain works like this: A task is due on Tuesday at 2 p.m., and that’s the time that gets ingrained into my psyche. That’s when it’s actually necessary to get it done and send it over.

I have no filter to say, “Hey, maybe I should get that done early so I don’t have to worry about it later.” It just goes straight into the procrastination folder.

That’s how I’ve always been, so I’ve figured out how to work it to my best abilities. For others, it stresses them out beyond belief. It causes them sleepless nights, heart palpitations, and even cold sweats. (OK, maybe it doesn’t wreak that much havoc.)

There’s probably be a better way to do things. I’m the first person to admit that I’m generally overwhelmed with work and stress, and if something is doing me more harm than good, I need to make some changes.

I’ve started using these three strategies to beat my procrastination, and become more productive both in my personal and professional life:

If you haven’t read David Allen’s bestselling book Getting Things Done, here’s your official notice. He discusses something called the Two-Minute Rule. It seems easy, but most people let it slip by.

It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on. The goal is to accomplish small tasks in the moment, because if they take less than two minutes to do then you can avoid ever adding them to your to-do list.

I have a business flight coming up, and the company booking it asked for my frequent flyer number. Instead of looking for it while I was speaking to them, I said I’d follow up on it.

It would have taken less than a minute. Now, it’s something that has to rattle around in the back of my head until I either take the time to do it or forget about it completely and miss out on those extra miles.

Don’t do this. We all have enough truly important tasks to worry about to let something small cause undue stress.

You know what’s better than writing out your to-do list for the day? Crossing things off of it.

Celebrate your successes throughout the day, from small things like getting a good business review to big things like landing your dream client. I like to keep a journal and write out important things to remember, and separate out my most important tasks for the day.

When you don’t get every single thing crossed off for the day, don’t beat yourself up. Find a way to fit it into your schedule for the next day and remember to make it a priority.

3. Keeping Yourself Accountable

Nothing keeps me in line more than the expectations of my friends, team members, and family. Have you ever noticed how quickly you clean your home when someone is coming over? It’s just like that.

If you want to stop procrastinating, inject someone into the situation who will ensure you get it done. If you’re looking for an extra boost at work partner up with someone who will keep you on your toes, and that you work well with. Together, you can accomplish more than when you’re flying solo.

Being a procrastinator isn’t the worst thing in the world. At least, I hope not. But when it leads to additional stress and disappointment in your life, it sure can feel like it.

By making a few small changes throughout your day, you can improve both your self-confidence and your productivity.

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