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Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up

The 17 best smartphones in the world

iPhone 6+ and iPhone 6 are in first and second place, respectively.

Your complete guide to every Apple TV channel, A to Z

A slide show with 63 slides

Do you get cable TV?  Find out how its selection compare with Apple’s.

Video: See how PC compares to Mac with Windows 10

Macs Up, iPads Down, As Apple Bucks the Death of the PC

At Apple, at least, the PC isn’t dead. At the moment, the world’s most valuable company is also pretty much the only major PC maker still seeing year-over-year growth in a shrinking market.

Apple Music is a mess, and it's alienating the company's biggest fans

Apple Music, released in June, was supposed to be Apple's big splash into the world of subscription on-demand music and online radio. But it seems to have a lot of bugs.

Apple’s done far more damage to Samsung via competition than litigation

It took a while, but Apple’s finally making Samsung pay for its transgressions. No, not via litigation in Apple’s endless proxy war with Google, but through good ol’ fashioned competition.

Litigation has proven to be a fool's errand for Apple and only helped raise the profile of Samsung in the process. Where before Samsung had been just yet another maker of plastic Android rectangles, Apple told the world that Samsung was its equivalent. A copy. And there’s no such thing as bad publicity. With hindsight it’s clear that the best way to compete is by building the most competitive product.

Apple's HomeKit Is Proving To Be Too Demanding For Bluetooth Smart Home Devices

So far, only five companies have launched HomeKit-certified smart home devices. What’s the hold up? Apple has thrown a plethora of challenges at hardware makers, and some developers say one of the biggest is complying with Apple’s strict security requirements on Bluetooth low energy devices.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

The intimidation campaign got a boost Thursday when a blog that frequently promotes the interests of the national security establishment raised the prospect of Apple being found liable for providing material support to a terrorist.

strong encryption will always exist, whether produced by small companies or foreign outlets. Terrorists can take their business elsewhere, while normal Americans will be left without a user-friendly, easily accessible way of protecting of their communications.

Apple could be held liable for supporting terrorism with strong iOS encryption, experts theorize

Reader comment:
Lawyers and neocons unite in scaremongering American firms to make your electronic devices less secure. How lovely.

Is Apple’s bold stance on encryption setting the company up for civil suits?

Apple’s strong support of user privacy — specifically including end-to-end encryption uncrackable by the government — could be setting the company up for civil suits based on the Antiterrorism Act and other laws, a legal blog has noted in a series of controversial posts.

While they note that Apple would have numerous potential defenses if sued either for negligence or violation of the Antiterrorism Act, they also suggest that Apple’s bold encryption policies are creating new risks that society needs to consider, and Congress may need to regulate.

It’s not for sale yet, but this company has an interesting idea for an alternative to the Apple watch

People are starting to walk differently because of texting

Texting – or checking social media or watching a video – while walking causes people to walk in a special movement pattern that protects them from accidents ...... effectively modifying their gait to compensate for the distraction.

The anti-social network: Users are 'detoxing' from Facebook, Twitter

many users of social media are starting to see it as a time suck - a distraction

How to see if your emails are being tracked in Gmail before opening them

there are now email-tracking tools that make it easy for people to see when you open an email, what you click, and where you're located

In response, a handy new tool called Ugly Email shows you when your emails in Gmail are being tracked, and it starts working before you click anything.

Installing Ugly Email is easy.

First you'll need to make sure you're using Google Chrome as your web browser

France Wants EU's Right to Be Forgotten to Apply in Global Search Results

Google refuses French order to apply 'right to be forgotten' globally

How to make sure your Facebook is as secure as possible

5 apps for spying on your spouse

We Are All Big Brother Now

By exposing the wrongs of police and politicians, video-phone democracy is reinventing freedom. But is this just another form of mob rule?

were taught to fear an Orwellian Big Brother, the all-seeing eye of a totalitarian police state. In the last few years revelations about the National Security Agency's intrusions into our private world have made some people wonder if that nightmare might still be coming true in this century.

Yet something closer to the opposite seems to be happening: We are all becoming Big Brother, collectively. Big Brother is us.

Video cases have brought to light systemic infringements of freedom that have been going on under our noses with no recourse to justice-until now.

Online bullying, especially among teenagers-attacks so vicious they sometimes result in tragic suicides of the bullied-has become a national epidemic. Social media can quickly make or break reputations, often without recourse to any real justice.

For every Bill Cosby who is brought to social justice there is an innocent victim of shaming.

In an order released Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Lucy Koh found that Fourth Amendment protections extend to location data generated by cellphones. Ruling against the federal government, Koh affirmed that law enforcement agencies must seek a warrant before acquiring historical location data produced by a cellphone.

Russian hackers have figured out a way to use Twitter to communicate with malware that's infected target computers, allowing them to cover their tracks while making their way into confidential government computer systems.

Most Android phones can be hacked with one text

A security firm says it only takes one malicious text message to spy on your phone and steal personal data.

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