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Tom Briant

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for September 12th


Mac User Groups Fade in Number and Influence, but Devotees Press On
Here's everything Apple announced Wednesday September 9th, 2015
A long list.
Big, beautiful photos of Apple's new iPhones
The biggest mistake Apple made with the new iPhone

Only 16 GB for the lowest cost model — not enough for most people.
Buy the 64 GB model instead.
Friends don't let friends buy 16GB iPhones
Apple just announced a product that Steve Jobs famously hated

A Stylus called the Apple Pencil
Everyone's freaking out about the price of the Apple Pencil
Would you pay $100 for a stylus?  Apple is pretty sure you will.

Apple Pencil: Hands-On With Apple’s Stylus For The iPad Pro
Only Apple Can Make the Perfect Stylus It Once Spurned
I noticed the difference between the Pencil and just a stylus: It felt great. Perfect. Better than any stylus I’ve ever used by a wide margin. It’s the first time I’ve ever written on a screen and actually felt like I was writing on the screen. There was almost zero latency, meaning the ink appeared to flow out of the Pencil and not trail half an inch behind.
Apple is fundamentally changing how you use your iPhone
The 3D Touch will change how Apple users interact with the home screen of apps and within it.

Here's everything you need to know about Apple's best iPhone camera yet

21 tiny design features that show Apple's insane attention to detail
The most interesting part of Apple's presentation wasn't a gadget
It was Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program.
You can upgrade your iPhone every year by paying a monthly fee.
Here’s the Photoshopped smile everyone is talking about

Jobs vs. Cook – Apple CEOs by the numbers

Apple and the FBI are at war over iMessage privacy

Apple has left US law authorities frustrated after refusing to comply with a court order to hand over text messages sent between iPhones linked to a drug and firearm investigation.

The US Justice Department wanted to obtain communication sent between the suspects' mobile phones in real time but due to Apple's encryption system, which makes iMessages unreadable to intercept, Apple said they would not be able to assist despite the threat of legal action.

The end-to-end encryption, which arrived with Apple's iOS 8, was introduced to increase privacy for users but it has caused a heated battle with authorities who protest that such encryption makes capturing criminals a far harder task.
Apple’s Ad-Blocking Feature Is Sending Publishers Scrambling
Seth Weintraub has made a career of reporting on Apple. His website,, is one of the go-to places for news about the company. But in an ironic twist, a feature tucked inside Apple’s latest software for the iPhone and iPad threatens to undermine the way his site makes money.
The prospect has set off alarm bells at many media companies, but Apple extended an olive branch in the form of an app within the upcoming operating system called News, which will allow publishers to bypass blockers to serve their own ads or let Apple sell ads and share the revenue.
Adblock Plus beat Apple to the punch - by one day - with the release of its ad-blocking browser for Android and iOS.
The release came just a day before Apple was expected to introduce an ad-blocking feature to Safari in iOS 9.,2817,2490853,00.asp

Reader Comment:
ABP should make it easier for legit sites to be whitelisted. They are contributing a great deal to the destruction of the free web. Paywalls will soon be everywhere and free content will be no more. They are also actively helping to kill many small publishing companies. I used ABP for a while to test it and the experience is not that different really. To better protect yourself from malicious websites download the WOT (web of trust) toolbar and educate yourself about what ads look like. There is no need for ABP at all. Flash block extension + WOT and you're good to go - that way you are helping to keep the web free!
Consumers are hurting themselves by installing this, because publishing companies will start charging a lot of money for their content in the future if this trend continues. Nothing will be free anymore and you will need a subscription to access certain networks and even blogs in the future. Is that really what we want?

Apple is frequently bashed for not being first to the punch with an idea.
Pointing out that Apple is a copy-cat is easy, but it also misses the wider point. And that is: design, design, design. Apple’s informal motto is ‘it just works’. And, well, the opposite was true of competitors products.

Apple, in refusing backdoor access to data, may face fines
the Justice Dept. served Apple with a court order in a case "involving guns and drugs," demanding it provide real-time access to iMessage, Apple's proprietary service for sending messages between iPhones.

Apple refused -- not because it necessarily wanted to, but because it couldn't comply. The iPhone and iPad maker reportedly told the feds that the service is encrypted, making it impossible for the company let alone the feds to access the data they demanded, unlike phone companies which, under US wiretap laws, are required to comply.

Apple said even it "cannot decrypt that data."
The criminal case is under seal in an unidentified U.S. federal court.

Paralyzed patients can control computers just by moving their eyes, thanks to this free software
Adult Player Android Ransomware Looks To Embarrass Prn Hounds With A Selfie Money Shot

An interesting article on what it was like to work for Ashley Madison

Calls from wives who put their kids on the phone to say " You've ruined our family, my mommy's crying".

The men vastly outnumbered the women.

computer algorithms automatically generating the flirtatious responses to eager men.

Easy to run up a large bill -- with nothing to show for it.

Top 100 list shows Ashley Madison passwords are just as weak as all the rest

The unwashed masses are horrible at picking passwords.
That TSA-approved lock on your suitcase just got hacked

images of the TSA's master luggage keys have been published online, meaning that anyone with a 3D printer can make their own.

Reader comment:
Look I worked for TSA in Portland OR down in baggage and we had several sets of these so-called master keys and let me tell you you had to really work the key in the lock and it only worked 25% of the time. You want to know our best master key? BOLT cutters. That's right. Those master keys are so unreliable good old fashioned bolt cutters did the trick every time.

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