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Tom Briant

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Roundup of the Best from the Web

The iPhone Is A Miracle

In 2012, it looked as if Apple's miracle was over. The market for expensive, high-end phones appeared to be saturated. Samsung was on the rise, building phones that would soon match or, depending on your taste, exceed the iPhone. Android was rapidly improving, and the difference between it and Apple's operating system seemed to be coming down to taste. 

But then a funny thing happened. The iPhone business just kept on chugging. It miraculously defied expectations and is stronger than ever, with no sign of letting up.

Apple has doubled down on its heavily criticized strategy of charging a premium for the iPhone.

Even with high prices, Apple is selling more phones than ever. 

This is what makes the iPhone a miracle. 

No one believes it can really happen. The business model for Apple is literally unbelievable.

The Difference 30 Years Makes: iMac with Retina 5K display vs. the Original Apple Macintosh

The screen of the original Macintosh, introduced in 1984, fits into the small lower-left corner of the newest iMac Retina screen.

So much for a universal Apple SIM. AT&T and T-Mobile both lock down iPad SIM cards in their stores. The difference is a T-Mobile iPad purchased at an Apple store will remain open.

AT&T spokesman confirmed Friday that it will lock down the SIM cards found in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. A new iPad purchased at a T-Mobile store will also include a SIM pre-set to the carrier, according to a person familiar with the carrier's plans. In both cases, if a customer wants to switch, the person needs to physically change out the SIM (subscriber identity module) card. 

An iPad purchased at an Apple store or other third-party retailer such as Best Buy for use on T-Mobile's network, however, will remain open, and users can switch to another carrier on the fly, the person said. An AT&T iPad purchased at an Apple store will not.

AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards on New iPads

The idea behind the Apple SIM in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 was to let you easily switch wireless carriers with just a tap in the settings. The technology was pretty much universally heralded as an awesome idea. But, of course, not everyone is a fan.

T-Mobile and Sprint, which also support Apple's multi-carrier SIM, do not lock it to their networks. Verizon doesn't support the multi-carrier SIM at all.,2817,2470978,00.asp

AT&T Is Locking Down Apple's Universal SIM, But It's Not That Dire

Once activation completes, this Apple SIM can only be used with "AT&T," reads a message that early adopters are getting.

Is that a big deal, though? Not necessarily. AT&T tells us that it's only locking the Apple SIM card, not the iPad hardware.

If you ever want to switch, you can also just buy a new SIM card from Apple itself. Other carriers sell them for $10, and the Apple variety probably won't cost much more.

Apple Strengthens Pull of Its Orbit With Each Device

We are now beginning to see the fruits of Tim Cook’s vision of a tightly integrated Apple.  Over the last few months, Apple has introduced a series of devices that work best as part of an integrated lineup.

In the past, Apple’s two operating systems were distinct islands.

I'm Never Going To Upgrade My First-Generation iPad — Here's Why

I don't think I'm ever going to upgrade. And that's OK with me.

Even though it's 4 years old, my original iPad still works great.

13 Apps For Transforming Your Phone Into The Ultimate Toolkit

15 Must-Have Apps For Your New iPad

If You're Going To Buy A New iPhone Or iPad, Get Ready To Pay At Least $100 Extra

This article has an iPad price list.

IPad Air 2 and Mini 3 Review: Fantastic, but Largely Unnecessary, Tablets

4 Reasons Why I'm Not Impressed By Apple Pay

Problem No. 1: Getting Set Up – You need iOS 8.1
Problem No. 2: Finding A Store
Problem No. 3: Dealing With The Cashier
Problem No. 4: It's No Better Than Swiping

Apple Pay: Seamless in Stores, but Quirky Online

When you are ready to pay, you don’t have to turn on the phone or unlock it. If you are near a terminal and have an app open, like Facebook, the phone turns automatically to the Pay interface. And in most cases, once you press the fingerprint reader, the transaction is over.

Paying for items through apps turned out to be far more problematic.

So Apple Pay seems to be halfway there.

Testing Apple Pay: Our quest to buy beer, gas, burgers and more with a smartphone

Bank of America Apologizes for Double Charging on Apple Pay

How To Stop Apple From Tracking You In Mac OS X Yosemite

The latest version of Apple's operating software for its Mac computers, OS X Yosemite is configured by default to send local-search terms and your location information back to Apple and its third-party search partners.

Apple acknowledged that it does glean some information from Spotlight. But it denies that it uses any personally identifiable information itself and says it only passes along very general data to partners like Microsoft.

This article explains how to turn off Spotlight snooping.

Everyone Loves This Story Of How An Autistic Kid Became Best Friends With Siri

Of all the worries the parent of an autistic child has, the uppermost is: Will he find love? Or even companionship? Somewhere along the line, I am learning that what gives my guy happiness is not necessarily the same as what gives me happiness. Right now, at his age, a time when humans can be a little overwhelming even for the average teenager, Siri makes Gus happy.

'Backoff' malware that hit Dairy Queen is spreading

Two weeks ago, Dairy Queen announced that 395 of its 4,500 independently-owned U.S. stores had been targeted, some for as long as seven weeks. During the ice cream shop breach, customer payment card, names, card numbers and expiration dates were acquired. 

Jimmy John's, P.F. Chang's, Goodwill and Kmart were also hit by the malware during the third quarter. 

"POS malware offers a high rate of return for criminals, which helps explain the spike," Damballa said. 

Due to the length of time these attacks tend to occur for before being discovered, a single point of sale terminal can yield tens of thousands of payment card records.

A recent survey from security company Trustwave found that it took an average of 114 days in 2013 between the date of an initial intrusion and the time it was contained. Home Depot earlier this year admitted that its network had been infiltrated for five months before being discovered.

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