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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Year-End Wrap-up

2014: The year Apple got me to dump Android

Android is a great mobile platform, I've been using it since the very first phone appeared a few years ago.

If that's the case, then why drop it? For me the answer is simple. The evolution of iOS has been just as significant and it fits my wants and needs better than Android now.

On Android the distinction between smartphone and tablet use has always been clear.

The iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air I own work the same in the ways that matter, and I can use the same apps on both.

This is so significant it can't be overstated

On Android I often had to stop and think about which device I was using and thus which app to use for a given task. Then I had to figure out the app interface for either the Android phone or tablet. The two devices were never running the same version of the OS, and often the OEM had customized the operation in a different way on the phone and tablet. Far too often this caused the UI to be different, even on the same app.

What Impressed Me Most About The iPhone 6 Plus Is Something Nobody Really Talks About

The speakers on the iPhone 6 Plus are incredibly loud, clear, and vibrant.

with the iPhone 6 Plus, you don't get that shallow, tinny sound I've experienced with other phones.

10 things Apple won't say

The $3 Million iPhone: How Technology Has Raised Our Standard Of Living

We've heard a lot about income inequality and the end of the middle class in the last couple of years.

There's no questioning the math. You can pick from almost any chart you like, but I'll take one that Business Insider has used many times: wages as a percentage of GDP.

a lot of us are carrying, in our pocket, a computer that would have been unspeakably costly in 1991.

Here's Why You Should Never Let Your Kids Play With Your Smartphone

BlackBerry Is Working With Boeing On A Phone That Self-destructs

The Boeing Black device encrypts calls and is aimed at government agencies and others that need to keep communications and data secure.

Google unveils 'fully functional' driverless car

How Social Media Is Changing Our Brains And Reshaping Our Relationships

Daniel Siegel says:

The right hemisphere of the brain is used more for nonverbal communications (gestures, expressions, etc.) during face-to-face contact.

The left hemisphere of the brain is used more for verbal communications, including text and "social media".

"There's nothing inherently wrong with social media.  But if it is replacing time for face-to-face, then that could be a big problem."

The US Navy Tweeted An Intense Holiday Card

The Webcam Hacking Epidemic

Remote Access Tools (RAT) are software that allow a third party to spy on a computer user from afar, whether rifling through messages and browsing activity, photographing the computer screen, or in many cases hijacking the webcam and taking photographs of whomever is on the other side.

There's a real threat of being watched and recorded where you live, and without your knowledge or consent.

At web sites like, individuals, often men, trade and sell access to strangers' computers, often women, gained via RAT.

The National Security Agency, too, is involved. The agency has budgeted tens of millions of dollars for an aggressive effort to scale its hacking operations and "own the net," a proposition that, as The Intercept reported, envisions indiscriminately infecting millions with malware that has the capability for remote video surveillance by webcam.

Why Hacker Gang 'Lizard Squad' Took Down Xbox Live And PlayStation Network

‘Lizard Squad,’ The Hacker Gang That Shut Down PlayStation Network And Xbox Live For 2 Straight Days, Is Now Reportedly Attacking Tor

Anonymous To 'Lizard Squad': Stop Attacking Tor

Hacker Gang 'Lizard Squad' Says It Has Stopped Attacking PlayStation Network And Xbox Live — And Will Never Do It Again

A Hacker Group Has Shared 13,000 Passwords To Sites Like Amazon, Walmart

Forget the Sony Hack, This Could Be the Biggest Cyber Attack of 2015

Sony to show 'The Interview' in theaters 

plans to show once-canceled movie in limited release

The cancellation provoked considerable backlash among actors, directors and screenwriters.

Sony's 'The Interview' grosses $1 million in ticket sales from 331 theaters on Christmas Day.

"The Interview" was originally intended as a broad, wide-release Hollywood comedy set for more than 3,000 screens. But the studio on Dec. 17 scuttled those plans after hackers threatened violence against movie theaters and most exhibitors declined to screen the film.

Some theaters across the country hosted sold-out showings as many moviegoers trekked to the cinemas out of a sense of patriotism and support for free speech after the movie's rocky ride to its release date, while some went mostly for the comedy.

How A Cisco Exec Vanquished An Internet Troll And Saved 25 People

Web sites authored by anonymous trolls who make libelous accusations against innocent people are very hard to get shut down.

Surya Panditi managed to get 24 such sites shut down.

But the article doesn't say how.

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