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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Roundup

Apple Releases iOS 8.1.1, It's An Essential Update

Apple releases iOS 8.1.1 to improve performance on old products

Apple says the latest release should speed things up on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, two of the company's aging devices.

Apple has released OS X 10.10.1, its first update to Yosemite.

iOS 8 vs Android 5.0 Lollipop Review: Material Difference

Exclusive: The iPhone 6's A8 chip can play 4K video

Even though Apple hasn't announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.

The discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren't supported by iTunes.

Apple's A8 Chip In The iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Enables Support For 4K Video Playback

A device that has 4K support essentially means it has a horizontal resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels.

AW comment:  That's getting very close to movie theater resolution.

According to a report on Friday, Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are able to play back 4K video thanks to the powerful A8 system-on-chip, suggesting a future Apple TV model equipped with the same silicon would offer support for ultra high definition programming.

During testing of its media file conversion app WALTR, developer Softorino discovered Apple's A8 processor can play back 4K videos on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Reader comment:  Now if only 4K TVs weren't so eye-wateringly expensive.

Constantly Staring At Your Phone Is Bad For The Spine, Says Study

Some doctors are already working with patients that have head, neck and back pain caused by “text neck.”

DOJ: A child will die due to Apple's iOS 8 encryption tech

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell called the theoretical circumstance inflammatory and inaccurate, pointing out police have more tools at their disposal when it comes to gleaning information from mobile devices.

When asked why Apple can't create a backdoor to be used by law enforcement agents acting with proper court approval, Sewell said, "We can't create a key that only the good guys can use."

Encryption Again: Choose Wisely America

Note two things:
• The scaremongering using children, the typical way that the government shuts down anything reasoned debate.
• Not even a pretense that the desired change would prevent the death -- it would only be the post-hoc search of the phone that would be curtailed!

In a word, so what?  If little Suzy is dead then we have a suspect and a body; the fact that there was a murder hasn't changed.  That the police have to actually do their work the old-fashioned way doesn't change anything either, nor does access to someone's phone (or lack thereof) change DNA and other physical evidence.

Apple's executives apparently took this the same way I did, which is good.  Credit where credit is due.

But pay attention folks, because there are some 330 million of us here and complying with the DOJ's demands will get a hell of lot more of us killed than just little Suzy!

Apple-backed Rockstar ends patent war on Android, deal suggests

The news comes in part via a landmark court order in which a federal judge agrees to stay a series of lawsuits between Google and a patent consortium known asRockstar, that is primarily owned by Apple.

The Rockstar lawsuits threatened to further inflame a global patent battle over smartphones, and led Google to file a lawsuit of its own last Christmas in an attempt toshield phone makers.

Apple and the other Rockstar owners have apparently decided to defang Rockstar once and for all, instead of selling it to people who would operate it as a patent troll.

Some very interesting reader comments on this story.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." 
      -- Steve Jobs

Apple has made a slight tweak to its App Store by replacing the "Free" button with the "Get" button.  Here's Why.

Apple has been criticized by European regulators over the shady world of in-app purchases.

The EC believes that a free label might mislead a customer regarding the true cost involved with in-app purchases.

Apps on the iOS and Mac App Store will no longer have the "Free" label even if the apps do not have any in-app purchase option.

Settlement in Apple Case Over E-Books Is Approved

A federal judge on Friday approved a settlement in which Apple could begin paying $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers related to charges that it violated antitrust law by conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices and thwart efforts by Amazon.

Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan approved an unusual settlement reached this summer in which Apple agreed to pay $400 million to consumers in cash and e-book credits, and $50 million to lawyers.

The case was first tried before Judge Cote in July 2013. In her verdict, she concluded that Apple had been fully aware of the publishers’ frustration with Amazon’s pricing of $9.99 for new releases because it was eroding the perceived value of their books. She said Apple used that leverage, combined with a tight deadline for the introduction of the iPad, to pressure publishers into agreeing to sell their books through Apple’s iBookstore.

“Apple seized the moment and brilliantly played its hand,” Judge Cote wrote in that ruling.

Apple's $450 million e-books settlement gets final approval

Although the settlement is final, Apple only has to pay that amount if it loses its appeal of a 2013 price-fixing ruling. If the appeal is successful, Apple will pay only $50 million to ebook purchasers and $20 million to attorneys.

The Masque security bug may pave the way for data to be stolen from legitimate app sources on iOS devices, according to Trend Micro researchers.
Trend Micro is a company that sells anti-malware software.

While Apple is unaware of any reported incidents of the bug, researchers say the flaw could theoretically install malware or steal user data from iPads or iPhones.

However, most users need not worry as malicious apps are barred from the relative safety of Apple's App Store — so if you keep downloads within this sphere, the chance of your device being hijacked is minimal.

5 Best Open Source Web Browser Security Apps

Now you can search every tweet that was ever sent

Next Year, One Billion Works Will Be Free to Use Online
The number of creations under open 'Creative Commons' licenses has doubled since 2010.

When Fitbit Is the Expert Witness
An upcoming court case will use fitness-tracking data to try and prove a plaintiff's claim, bringing us one step closer to the new age of quantified self incrimination.

Self-tracking wearable devices can store up data over time that could be used against you in court.

The first known court case using Fitbit activity data is underway. A law firm in Canada is using a client's Fitbit history in a personal injury claim.

wearables data could just as easily be used by insurers to deny disability claims, or by prosecutors seeking a rich source of self-incriminating evidence.

Will it change people's relationship to their wearable device when they know that it can be an informant?

Your outdated Internet browser is a gateway for cyber attacks

An Identity Theft Victim's Story:
'Someone Had Taken Over My Life'

Protect your medical data from identity theft

Hackers, notorious for stealing credit- and debit-card information from stores, and other thieves are increasingly targeting medical records, which can be more valuable because they include such coveted data as Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver's license numbers and checking-account numbers, experts say.

A good place to start protecting yourself, say experts, is refusing to provide your Social Security number on forms or elsewhere, which is the key to identity theft. Medical providers usually ask for this number, even though it is rarely needed.

Many hospitals also ask for driver's license numbers, says Peel, even though they are also seldom required.

shred any medical documents, say experts, such as old medical bills and records. Current medical papers and electronic records should be kept in a secure place.

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