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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekup Roundup of the best of the Web

A Virginia circuit court judge ruled this week that smartphone users can be compelled to give up their fingerprint, but not their passcodes, allowing police to search their devices.

handing over his passcodes would be in breach of his Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

But, a fingerprint - used by a number of devices, like the latest iPhones, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets - does not fall within these protections.

being made to touch your own phone does not require you to speak up in any way.

If a device is locked by both a fingerprint and a passcode, the passcode wins, meaning the device is protected.

Developer warns of yet another big iPhone security flaw

The gist of the issue is this: in-app browsers in third-party iOS apps have the ability to log keystrokes as they’re typed. In other words, when a browser window pops up in an app to let you log into a service like Google, Facebook or Twitter, it’s possible that your login details can be stolen. Worse yet, credit card data or bank login details can be stolen if entered in a browser window in a third-party app.

Reader comment:
I'm a devoted Apple fan.
Apple screwed up, they made a HUGE mistake and it's gonna be hard for them to get out of this.  BUT, that doesn't mean we should all curse Apples name and what-not. Despite some of their screw-ups, Apple still has made some great products and they've come very far with the iPhone 6. Every company is gonna have buggy OS's, Apple included. iOS has had it's fair share of bugs throughout its versions and so has android too. But Apple will eventually fix this; and release a more stable version.

12 Mind-Blowing Facts About Apple That Show Just How Massive The Company Really Is

Tim Cook Reveals The Reason Apple Killed The iPod Classic

"We couldn’t get the parts anymore, not anywhere on Earth," Cook said.

Apple Has Forced A Huge Change At Samsung

For years, Apple stayed away from the big-screen phone category, apparently in the belief — as founder Steve Jobs once said — that Apple's small 3.5-inch and 4-inch iPhones were just the right size for consumers because they could use them with one hand.

That was Apple's big mistake: Consumers did want big phones, and Apple basically ceded two years or more of big-screen sales to Samsung.

In 2013, Apple finally realized that big screens were driving growth in phone sales. And in September this year it launched two phones to address that. That move appears to have killed off much of the demand for Samsung's big phones.

Call me counterintuitive, but facts don't lie -- Android has won the smartphone wars, but it still isn't a business.

Samsung has failed to best Apple at the high end of the market, is losing money and position and is now involved in the classic race to the bottom, fighting rivals such as Huawei and Xioami with low cost smartphones.

Android manufacturers have been hoodwinked into supporting a charity, the only beneficiary of which happens to be Google.

Here's why Rite Aid and CVS turned off Apple Pay

Both Rite Aid and CVS are members of Merchant Customer Exchange, which is made up of 58 of the nation's largest retailers, including Walmart, Sears and Best Buy.  MCX launched a mobile payment network called CurrentC in September that competes with Apple Pay, Google Wallet and others.

This Tim Cook Slide Shows Why Apple Is At War With Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart's Answer To Apple Pay Has Already Been Hacked

CurrentC is sending emails to people who signed up for the beta version of the app warning them "that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you."

CurrentC is backed by MCX, the Merchants Consumer Exchange, which is a group of retailers trying to create a mobile payment system. It is being spearheaded by Wal-Mart.

The retailers in MCX are not accepting any other mobile payments, including Apple Pay.

The Apple Pay debacle is ultimately good for you

So this current skirmish is pretty much about customer data. To make matters worse for the retailers, they can't link their rewards programs to Apple Pay, a least seamlessly. So they're coming up with their own phone-pay system under a consortium called the Merchant Customer Exchange. Its payment system, called CurrentC.

CurrentC is not only less streamlined than Apple Pay and Google Wallet, it allows that gleaning of personal information that retailers have come to depend on.

Apple's entry-level iPad Air 2 costs $275 to build, retails for $499

Apple caught removing embarrassing autocorrect failure from history

Why Mac sales are up, when PCs are down

the average selling price of Macs was about $1,200 -- that in a PC market where sales are sluggish, at best, except below $300 selling price. Yet, according to financial disclosures, Apple shipped a record 5.5 million Macs, with units up 21 percent annually and 25 percent sequentially and generating $6.625 billion revenue; that's an increase of 18 percent and 20 percent, respectively, for the same time periods. Who in the hell is buying these things, and for so much money? The answer may surprise you.

many people who got a tablet "instead of buying a new PC in 2012", are purchasing computers now.

The question isn't so much will consumers and small businesses buy but what. Chromebook? MacBook? Windows notebook?

There, Apple's unified theory of personal computing -- similar user experience across devices -- is huge advantage.

All those people who put off PC upgrades since 2010 to buy iPads are potential -- and many likely -- Mac buyers.

How one man’s private files ended up on Apple’s iCloud without his consent

Apple, had just enjoyed weeks of applause within the computer security community for releasing a bold new form of smartphone encryption capable of thwarting government searches – even when police got warrants. Yet here was an awkward flip side: Police still can gain access to files stored on cloud services, and Apple seemed determined to migrate more and more data to them.

The once-clear line between devices – such as Macs or iPhones – and proprietary cloud services is all but vanishing, security experts warn.

Apple’s automatic saving function allows users to switch seamlessly between devices, without fear of losing documents or edits.

That’s great news if your Mac gets stolen and you need to buy a new one. But security experts such as Paul are asking, at what price in privacy?

Cook also made a thinly veiled criticism of Google Inc. GOOG, +1.26% saying that Apple wasn't checking what its users are searching, reading its users' email, or tracking the temperature in their homes or what they are buying. 

"We're not Big Brother," said Cook. "We'll leave that to others."

Reader Comments:

"Apple is not big brother."
Yes, but Google does not ask for as much of my money.

I have the choice of giving Apple my money---or not. If I use Google apps--any of them--I have no choice about giving them my personal data. They take it. They NEED it to exist. Google may not ask for your money, but you sure do "pay" for those nice, free apps. Don't kid yourself!!!

The biggest difference between Apple Pay and MCX is that MCX allows the merchants to keep the consumers' transaction data to build a dossier on consumer while Apple Pay does not.  The choice is obvious. 

"Apple is not Big Brother" No, but colluding with Big Brother.  Let's roll out a payment service that furthers digital currency, and that requires an Iden of your thumbprint.
This way, we can see what you buy and sell no matter what it is.
You think a camera on every corner is bad?  Just wait for the Cashless Society folks.

The 20 Most Popular TED Talks Of All Time

Podcasts So Good You Want to Binge-Listen

Elon Musk warns of our 'biggest existential threat'
Artificial Intelligence

Cambridge professor and heralded physicist Stephen Hawking, for instance, is in Musk's camp, saying AI may turn out to be our best and last creation.

Then there's tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who tweeted that he's "increasingly convinced [Musk] simply doesn't know what he's talking about".

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