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Tom Briant

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up

Apple just unveiled a ton of new Apple Watch Sport band colors

Jony Ive revealed a new series of Apple Watch Sport band colors at Milan Design Week.

While Apple is not currently launching the Apple Watch in Italy, Milan's influence as a harbinger of fashion makes it an important city for Apple to show off the new device.

The iPhone 6 Plus is my favorite computer

Within a few weeks, I realized my iPhone 6 Plus had replaced my iPad Mini.

I originally bought the iPad Mini in 2013 because I was sick of my tiny iPhone 5. I wanted a bigger screen to get stuff done and consume content like Netflix and articles I saved to Pocket. But I also wanted to do all that through iOS, which I think is a much better ecosystem than Android. The iPad Mini was the best choice for me. It was small enough to carry easily to meetings and interviews, but still gave me plenty of room to consume content. In fact, I found myself using my iPad more than my iPhone many days.

I sold my iPad Mini about a month after I got the 6 Plus. The perfect combination for me has turned out to be the iPhone 6 Plus and MacBook Air.

The 15 Apple Watch apps you need to download first, according to Apple

The 10 best iPhone apps you can get for a discount right now

Apple posted three Guided Tours for Apple Watch, showing off Apple Pay, Activity and Workout functionality.

With Apple Pay, Activity and Workout videos now live, the Guided Tours section of Apple's dedicated Apple Watch mini-site is now complete.

It's Apple Watch day.  We here at Engadget have put together a list of third-party apps that stand out from the 3,000-plus expected to be available at launch.

The 23 top Apple Watch apps you should get

The Apple Watch Battery is Designed to Last 1000 Complete Charge Cycles

Some interesting warranty and service info here.

Apple Watch 'not designed for the long haul,' says iFixit

Planned obsolescence -- the idea that a product will eventually be obsolete, forcing customers who want to keep using it to buy a new model -- has long been part of Apple's strategy.

By not making Apple Watch upgradable, customers will need to buy new models eventually to keep up with the times, iFixit argues.

Then again, it's hard to imagine too many customers actually looking to upgrade Apple Watch or any other smartwatch, for that matter.


Experts Tear Down The Apple Watch To Examine Its Components

While iOS devices may generally suffer less from malware than competing smartphone platforms ... researchers demonstrated a flaw that allows a maliciously configured Wi-Fi access point to crash an iPhone--without the phone even joining that network.

With a specially crafted cryptographic certificate, a bug could be triggered which causes the iPhone to crash whenever an app attempts an encrypted web connection--something that many apps do in order to maintain security.

In certain circumstances, Amit and his team were able to cause an iPhone to go into an endless cycle of reboots, rendering it essentially unusable.,2817,2482346,00.asp

The Apple Watch is already wiping the floor with the entire smart watch market

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that Apple's debut smartwatch has sold more than 2.3 million units since preorders opened, MacRumors reports.

Ming-Chi Kuo has a good track record on Apple: He was spot on with his predictions about the iPhone 5S, for example.

If Kuo's figures are correct, Apple has — in a stroke — cornered the entire smartwatch market.

How Steve Jobs became the greatest businessman the world has ever known

My favorite five tech trends that will revolutionize the world

The app revolution I started predicting eight years ago when the Apple iPhone first hit is very real. The biggest stock-market bubble of all time that I positioned my portfolio and my subscribers for is building right on schedule. Apple's about to hit the $1 trillion price target that I first put on it five years ago. 

And now I've got five new predictions for you, each of which is about to change the world we live in:

1)  the Wearables Revolution
2)  Google's Android
3)  Big Data
4)  Content is king
5)  The Trillion Dollar Social and Messaging Revolutions

How to Combine Multiple Internet Connections Into One Super Fast Pipe

Here’s how to do it, with a tool called Speedify.  Speedify is a combination software load balancer and VPN from Connectify.  While it’s not designed for security or privacy, it does some smart traffic shaping upstream at Speedify’s servers, so your traffic is automatically sent to the connection best suited for it.

Since it’s both software and a service, pricing is subscription based.

It’s available for both OS X and Windows.

if you’re security-conscious at all—or if you’re performing sensitive work of any kind—you may want to use a VPN with more of a focus on security than speed.

Twitter now allows anyone to privately message each other

Watch seniors try Snapchat for the first time

Some of their comments (in the video) are really good.

How to see everything you've ever Googled

These histories aren't 100-per cent comprehensive: They only include searches you've made while signed in on your Google account (Admittedly, if you have Gmail, this is probably more or less most of the time).

Carnegie Mellon Computer Challenges World's Best Poker Players At Texas Hold 'Em

How a robot can offer sound financial advice

We asked 4 robo advisers and 4 human advisers for portfolios for the same investor

The robot recommended portfolios look surprisingly interesting.

Bitcoin's Problem With Women

The lack of women in Bitcoin isn't just an issue of equality. It's a fundamental weakness of the currency itself. As long as the Bitcoin community is dominated by men geeking out about the blockchain, it's never going to be able to make the human connections that are required for widespread adoption.

So long as Bitcoin remains an overwhelmingly male domain, it's going to continue to concentrate on the economic problems, while missing the big social problems. Which means that it's going to continue going nowhere.

Reader comment:
The issue of the Bitcoin community and developers having no human perspective is an interesting one. So is the issue of the Bitcoin community having no women.
But to conflate those two issues so completely is problematic to me. It's based on the assumption that all women are non-technocrats, and that no men have a human/real-world perspective.

Reader comment:
Not atypical of the weak points in tech development (excessive focus on the whizbang rather the practical non-Nerd usages).

House Passes Cybersecurity Bills Despite Privacy Fears

"'Information sharing' is a misnomer," said Gabriel Rottman, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Really, what we're talking about is creating new exceptions to existing privacy law," he told the E-Commerce Times.

An Internet primer for healthy web habits

(Or, "How I learned to start worrying and start protecting my online privacy")

Nobody gives a damn about privacy and security, except BlackBerry.  That's a fact folks.  Apple claims they're not "focused" on using your data for advertising purposes, but they then force all the data through their systems for things like iMessage.  And by the way, that's neither seamless or painless either; I just watched someone with an iPhone lose all of the MMS images in their device, permanently.  It is apparently a relatively common bug to run into in iMessage and if it bites you then you're just plain screwed.

As for Google and Android they don't try to hide their intent at all.  Google wants your data, as much of it as it can get, for the purpose of selling advertising.  That's their business model, for good or bad, and when you use an Android device that's what you're giving to them.

A professional hacker explains how he dupes people into clicking on malicious links

Unlike criminals sending emails about winning a million dollars from Nigeria, sophisticated hackers spend time learning what they can about their target in order to craft an email — and a persona — that will look authentic enough for the victim to trust.

Use Linkedin, Facebook and other social media to find victims, for example those who work for a particular employer.

Use what you find out about each potential victim to craft a malicious E-mail that they will trust.

Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

Car Companies Say Home Repairs Are 'Legally Problematic,' Seek Copyright Restrictions

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

The EFF thinks the industry's desire to block exemptions has more to do with profits than safety.

Jennifer Dukarski, an intellectual property and technology attorney from Michigan firm Butzel Long, said there's an additional reason automakers are getting more aggressive in the copyright realm. Court rulings in recent years have eroded their patent protections, so they're searching for alternate ways to protect investments in research and development.

Reader Comment:
Are you kidding me? That's the most un-American thing I've heard. To not be able to repair and modify and work on your cars that you purchase is outrageous. The fact that this idea has even garnered momentum is deeply disturbing.

Reader Comment:
Actually this is a very typical thing for modern America.  The United States is run by an oligarchy of big corporations and big banks that tell the government what to do.  It's only the land of the free if you're a politician or a corporate executive. The rest of us live in a police state.

25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope: A Story of Redemption

"Even the most optimistic person to whom you could have spoken back in 1990 couldn't have predicted the degree to which Hubble would rewrite our astrophysics and planetary science textbooks," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.

after the telescope's launch, the scientific team realized the images they were receiving were blurry. It turned out that the telescope's mirror was ground ever so slightly to the wrong thickness. (The flaw arose because of a mistake with the testing equipment used during the mirror's construction.)

In 1993, the first Hubble servicing mission installed hardware that could adjust for the flaw in the mirror, and the telescope quickly blossomed to its full potential.

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