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Tom Briant

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for September 26, 2015

3D Touch Is Apple’s New Secret Weapon

Apple’s first interface breakthrough happened when it unleashed real multitouch on the world.

This next interface trick is far more subtle. By sensing pressure applied on the surface of the Apple Watch, the new MacBook trackpad, and the new iPhones, Apple has added a new layer to the touchscreen experience.

3D Touch isn’t an incremental update. It is a real tool and you can be sure that, by CES time, manufacturers from Samsung to Xaomi will be offering stuff called Push Touch, Deep Finger, and Insert UI for their phones. It is inevitable. And Apple had it first.

I’m not saying Force Touch has changed the world. What it has done is tweak the world in a very meaningful way.

Why you should upgrade your iPhone every 3 years

It's less expensive than upgrading every 2 years.

personal finance site estimates that consumers can save up to 30% on average off of their monthly bill if they keep their phone for a third year and switch from a subsidized plan to a contract-free plan.

"Sprint and T-Mobile are both trying to undercut each other and trying to persuade you to keep your phone for more than two years," says Louis Ramirez, senior editor at

This trick lets you extend the warranty on your iPhone or MacBook from 1 to 2 years, and it doesn't cost you anything

The key is paying for your new gadget with the right credit card. The major credit cards — Visa, American Express, Mastercard, and Discover — all offer free warranty extensions in one form or another. But they aren’t all equal.

Apple widens gap between iOS, Android use in U.S.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley said his checks indicate there continues to be a greater mix of Android users switching to the iPhone 6 than in previous cycles, a reflection of demand for larger-screen premium phones and the industry shift away from two-year carrier contracts.

iOS 9 review: making the basics work even better

it's clear that what Apple built is far more nuanced than it might have let on.

iOS 9 is less about new, whizbang features and more about getting the stuff we do every day done just a little quicker, a little more efficiently. And you know what? That's more valuable than you might think.

Apple's latest major software release isn't a revolution, but a thoughtful refinement that makes iOS faster and easier to use. Make no mistake, most of the big new features here work great, but it's the little design changes that help mold iOS' core elements into something smarter. iOS 9 isn't perfect, but it's nonetheless a must-have download.

Apple swapped in its San Francisco typeface (first used on the Watch) and it very subtly changes the feel of iOS.

The stylus used to be ridiculed, but is now looking like the next big thing in smartphones and tablets

After years of neglect as a last-generation kind of idea, the stylus is ready to take its rightful place as the new best way to get things done on the go.

Using a stylus can be much more precise than using your finger.

Basically, Petschnigg says, we're on the third wave of smartphone input. The first, circa the late nineties, was T9 predictive text input, which made texting a lot easier - and sparked a revolution. The second was the multitouch screen, popularized by the very first Apple iPhone in 2007.

Now, eight years later, we're due for another big change. And it's looking like that could be the stylus.

Apple just released the first bug fixes for iOS 9

Just a week after releasing iOS 9, Apple is today issuing the OS's first bug fix update.

The new iPad mini is a major step above its predecessors

Apple unveiled a new iPad minilast week. It’s much better than the last two iPad minis in several significant ways.

Interesting list.

The iPhone 6S is as powerful as Apple's new MacBook

Daring Fireball's John Gruber compared test results from the iPhone 6S and new MacBook to find that the results from Apple's latest iPhone were actually higher in some cases.

11 ways to speed up your Mac

The 20 most fascinating iOS apps from TechCrunch Disrupt

16 reasons Android phones are better than iPhones
Or so the author claims.

Apple's iOS App Store just suffered its first major attack

several cyber security firms reported finding a malicious program dubbed XcodeGhost that was embedded in hundreds of legitimate apps.

It is the first reported case of large numbers of malicious software programs making their way past Apple's stringent app review process. Prior to this attack, a total of just five malicious apps had ever been found in the App Store.

The hackers embedded the malicious code in these apps by convincing developers of legitimate software to use a tainted, counterfeit version of Apple's software for creating iOS and Mac apps, which is known as Xcode, Apple said.

The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote speech

Interesting story about one company’s experience in the days when iTunes was just getting started.

Modified versions of Xcode used to sneak malware into App Store, Apple confirms

About 40 infected apps made it onto the App Store, according to security researchers.

The modified versions of Xcode were hosted on cloud storage run by China's Baidu. Baidu has already deleted the offending software, and Apple told the Times that it's working with developers to make sure they're using an authentic Xcode release.

XcodeGhost used unprecedented infection strategy against Apple

Xcode is available free of charge from the Cupertino, Calif. company's Mac App Store.

But the XcodeGhost gang did not infect that version of the development suite.

Instead, it modified a legitimate copy, seeded the counterfeit on a popular Chinese file-sharing service and promoted its fake-Xcode as not only the real deal, but available much faster from within China because of the service's speed advantage over trans-Pacific links to the official Apple site.

Chinese iOS developers took the bait -- hook, line and sinker. But by using the infected Xcode they unknowingly infected the apps they created with the bootleg.

iOS 9 Hack: How to Access Private Photos and Contacts Without a Passcode

Step-by-step instructions.

There is now speculation (but not conclusive proof) that the CIA may have been behind the big Apple Store hack

The selfie is now deadlier than Jaws

Selfies killed more people than sharks

How not to die while taking a selfie

The number of people watching TV is falling off a cliff

Didn’t ask for Windows 10? Your PC may have downloaded it anyway

Microsoft confirmed that it automatically downloads Windows 10 installation files on eligible PCs, provided automatic updates are enabled through Windows Update. The download occurs even if users haven’t opted in through the Windows 10 reservation dialog.

Windows 7 and 8 Spy on You, Just Like Windows 10 – Here’s How to Stop Them

Microsoft has been caught installing latest updates onto Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers that effectively introduce the same data collecting and user behavior tracking features used in Windows 10.

Google must take 'Right to Be Forgotten' worldwide, France says

Google maintains that regulator can't 'assert global authority'

Internet Marketers thought the Web would allow perfectly targeted ads.
Hasn't worked out that way.

Only 20 percent of the campaign's "ad impressions"-ads that appear on a computer or smartphone screen-were even seen by actual people.

Increasingly, digital ad viewers aren't human.

Eleven percent of display ads and almost a quarter of video ads were "viewed" by software, not people.  fake traffic will cost advertisers $6.3 billion this year.

Fake traffic has become a commodity. There's malware for generating it and brokers who sell it.

Are people with drones violating your privacy?

Hackers Took Fingerprints of 5.6 Million U.S. Workers, Government Says

The working assumption of investigators is that China was building a huge database of information about American officials or contractors who may end up entering China or doing business with it. Fingerprints could become a significant part of that effort: While a Social Security number or a password can be changed, fingerprints cannot.

In testimony to a House committee recently, the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, said it had seen no evidence that the data lifted from the O.P.M. over more than a year had been used for any financial purpose, like gaining access to bank accounts or credit cards.

"It was so big," one senior intelligence official said, "that we have to ask the question of whether the scope of it changed the nature of the theft."

Originally OPM said that about 1.1 million fingerprint records had been snatched up, but the agency later admitted that the number is actually 5.6 million.

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