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Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for November 22, 2015

5 clever iPhone tricks only power users know about

Neat video.

Here's how to make your iPhone battery last longer

Another neat video.

There's a hidden map in your iPhone of everywhere you've been

Apple says that this location data is "kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing."

First look: Apple Pencil paired with iPad Pro is no ordinary stylus

Another review of the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro together

Interesting video discussion about the iPad pro, which starts about 3 minutes + 30 seconds into the video.

Gawk at the Techno Guts of Apple's Pencil Stylus

iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 4: a closer look at the future of tablets

Interesting video.

The reviewer says the iPad pro is a tablet computer first, but the Surface Pro is a laptop first.

A homeless man has turned his life around after teaching himself to make music - by practicing his skills in the Apple store.

Sam Kirkpatrick, 25, was brought up in care and became homeless after leaving the system at the age of 18.

Apple now makes 94% of the profits in the smartphone industry, according to recent research by Canacord.

Samsung is now the only other major handset company earning significant profits from smartphones.

Everything Apple does can be explained by this one simple question

"How does this benefit the iPhone?”

iPhone sales aren't slowing down because Apple is removing any reason to hop off the train.

each new Apple product you buy improves the experience on all the other Apple products you already own — particularly the iPhone.  Other companies products (e.g., Surface Pro) don’t.

Make the most of Apple Music with these 10 tips and tricks

The time for “short selling" Apple stock is not here ... yet

Apple is telling us, without telling us, that its phone business is saturated.

Apple sees the need to find growth from new sources.

In venturing into a service-growth-oriented model, Apple is moving into uncertain waters, and investors must recognize that.

If Apple's mobile saturation is almost reached and they are transitioning their growth model, I consider that to be a big red flag for investors who have come to love Apple for their phones. They have been the best at phones. I love my MacBook Pro; it is the most powerful laptop on the market for what I do, but I think investors are often blind to risks in Apple.

There are risks here, but I am not ready to call Apple a short just yet.

Facebook Now Using Google App Indexing To Drive Visitors From Search Into Its App

Indexing - known so well to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals - has benefits to both Google and Facebook. Google has more content that might satisfy what people are searching for. Facebook gets traffic from Google for free.

Over time, Facebook has opened up more of the content is has to Google.

Facebook is not providing any new information through app indexing that Google doesn't already get.

15 Instagram tips and tricks everyone should know

6 wild uses for drones that aren't just photography

Such as protecting rhinos from poachers in Kenya

Chicago Becomes the First Big City to Enact Drone Regulations, Nails Them

notable is that the new rules are sensible and intelligent-which hasn't always been the case when the drone-regulation game has been played in other locales.

19 impossibly detailed views of Earth from space at night

Nothing to do with Apple or computing, but the pictures are FABULOUS.

Publishers: Here’s your counter-move to Apple’s ad blocking

In its most basic form, most ad-blocking technology is based on domain names. That’s why a blocker examining network requests will ban Google’s Ad Network but not The New York Times, for example.

All that publishers need to do is host both content serving and ad serving on their own servers.

Encrypting both content and advertisements will help.

This is a chance for publishers to resume their position at the top of the online advertising value chain.

New email scam targets your Apple ID

This phishing scam is a particularly good one. Some of the red flags you usually spot in phishing emails, like misspelled words, are in short supply.

It’s targeting people with Apple IDs, including 800 million iTunes users. This scam fools you by using Apple’s logo, mailing address and high-quality images of its products, like Apple Watch.

To protect yourself against this type of phishing scam, there are three simple steps to take.

First: Don’t open links inside emails, especially if you’re not 100% sure who sent it.

Second:  Contact apple directly - either by phone or by logging into Apple’s web site. Ask if Apple has sent you a link requesting updated contact information. Or, log into your Apple account; click on the Manage My Apple ID tab, to make sure your information is up to date.

AW comment:  I would hesitate to trust any phone number in any “Apple” E-mail.  There’s no reason that criminals couldn’t include a fake number that connects to them instead of Apple.  Go to Apple’s web site instead and get a phone number there.

Third, make sure your computer is as secure as it can be.

Foiling Electronic Snoops in Email

Trackers inserted into email can detect when a person opens a message and where they are when they do so. And it's not easy to thwart them

Edward Snowden Explains How To Reclaim Your Privacy

Government calls for encryption 'back door' after Paris attack, but is it worth it?

In October, the White House backed off on the idea of creating such a gateway, finding it would be difficult to do so without opening up a hole for cybercriminals. 

But last week's attack in Paris, which killed at least 129 people, is reviving the issue as lawmakers call for another discussion - despite the fact that how exactly the terrorists communicated is not yet known.

Weakening security for everybody doesn't automatically mean you can catch the bad guys, says Bruce Schneier, a cryptography and security expert who has authored 13 books.

Apple's CEO On Encryption: "You Can't Have A Back Door That's Only For The Good Guys”

The government asserts that encryption – when it is so strong that the police can not eavesdrop on communications in their efforts to catch and prosecute criminals – is a bad thing.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have amplified the government’s contention that strong encryption is putting our country (and our allies) at risk. This creates fear, uncertainty, and doubt for the American people – given that most of us do not understand the intricacies of encryption.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s point is that if Apple and the other tech vendors weaken encryption to where the government and police can eavesdrop on communications and access sensitive data, then hackers and cyber criminals will be able to do the same thing.

Imagine if all of the big companies came together and made a global announcement that they’ve decided to cooperate on weakening encryption. That would be an invitation to cyber evildoers everywhere – that says “come and get us”.

Encryption is a security tool we rely on everyday to stop criminals from draining our bank accounts, to shield our cars and airplanes from being taken over by malicious hacks, and to otherwise preserve our security and safety. We deeply appreciate law enforcement’s and the national security community’s work to protect us, but weakening encryption or creating backdoors to encrypted devices and data for use by the good guys would actually create vulnerabilities to be exploited by the bad guys, which would almost certainly cause serious physical and financial harm across our society and our economy. Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense.

Another security manual recommends using Apple iMessage: this time, ISIS

However, despite being distributed among ISIS supporters, it appears that even the terrorist group's most dangerous members are not actually following it.

Like encryption, backdoors can be also used by both good and bad people

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance

Intelligence agencies rolled right into the horror and fury in the immediate wake of the latest co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital on Friday, to launch their latest co-ordinated assault on strong encryption - and on the tech companies creating secure comms services - seeking to scapegoat end-to-end encryption as the enabling layer for extremists to perpetrate mass murder.

There's no doubt they were waiting for just such an 'opportune moment' to redouble their attacks on encryption after recent attempts to lobby for encryption-perforating legislation foundered.

Bottom line: banning encryption or enforcing tech companies to backdoor communications services has zero chance of being effective at stopping terrorists finding ways to communicate securely. They can and will route around such attempts to infiltrate their comms, as others have detailed at length.

Here's a recap: terrorists can use encryption tools that are freely distributed from countries where your anti-encryption laws have no jurisdiction. Terrorists can (and do) build their own securely encrypted communication tools.

technology is not a two-lane highway that can be regulated with a couple of neat roadblocks - whatever many politicians appear to think. All such roadblocks will do is catch the law-abiding citizens who rely on digital highways to conduct more and more aspects of their daily lives. And make those law-abiding citizens less safe in multiple ways.

Another hard political truth is that effective counter terrorism policy requires spending money on physical, on-the-ground resources - putting more agents on the ground, within local communities, where they can gain trust and gather intelligence. (Not to mention having a foreign policy that seeks to promote global stability, rather than generating the kind of regional instability that feeds extremism by waging illegal wars, for instance, or selling arms to regimes known to support the spread of extremist religious ideologies.)

If you want to speculate on fearful possibilities, think about terrorists being able to target individuals at will via legally-required-to-be insecure digital services.

Blaming Encryption for Terrorist Attacks Is a Mistake

We don't know the specifics of how the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday were carried out. That hasn't stopped the law enforcement community from shamelessly blaming encryption for helping terrorists, or from seizing the attack as an opportunity to defend surveillance.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks are a good example of what it looks like when a terrorist organization carries out a plot.  "I cannot remember a single instance in my career when we ever stopped a plot based purely on signals intelligence," retired CIA counterterrorism chief Charles Faddis told the New York Times at the time.

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