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Tom Briant

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

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

How to Set Up Your New iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

How to Set Up Your New Apple Watch

Apple Watch Users Discover Another Way to Go ‘Hands Free

Mr. Forrest, a manager at Freebirds World Burrito in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was cutting meat when the timer on his watch started buzzing and beeping. With his hands covered in meat juices, Mr. Forrest sniffed out a solution: He silenced the alarm with his nose.

“It definitely works,” said Mr. Forrest. “Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”

He said he has used the tip of his elbow to control his Apple Watch, but prefers his nose.

21 useful apps we love right now

Most of these apps work on both iOS and Android.
A few are Apple only.  A few are Android only.

Why I Returned My Apple Inc. iPad Pro

After spending a few days with a new iPad Pro, I decided to return the iPad Pro and continue plugging along with my trusty iPad Air 2.

iPad Pro is hardly the ideal productivity device for what I do

I love my iPad Air 2 as a consumption device, so I was hoping I could at least justify keeping the iPad Pro as a "bigger, better" iPad Air.

Sadly, I couldn't make that case to myself either.

How Tim Cook created a $25 billion beast of a business in 2015 in a market where Apple used to struggle

it wasn't until mid 2014 — when Tim Cook cuddled up to IBM to announce a new partnership to focus on selling more iOS devices to businesses — that Apple woke up and smelled a big new market.

IBM has now created 100 iOS apps for all sorts of business needs.

Locating Missing Mac Mail

How to “Rebuild” a “Mailbox” in Apple Mail

The only 9 apps released in 2015 that we're still actually using

11 apps 'The 4-Hour Workweek' author Tim Ferriss uses every day

100 podcasts that will make you smarter and more successful

How to Track Data Use, and Choose the Right Smartphone Plan

The average amount of mobile data consumed, or the bytes transferred over a cell-phone network, keeps growing every year. In 2014, American wireless subscribers consumed an average of 1.9 gigabytes a month, up from 1.2 gigabytes in 2013. That number is expected to rise to 11 gigabytes in 2019.

Heavier use comes with higher costs: Some carriers, like AT&T and Verizon, charge overage fees of $15 a gigabyte.

Each of the big American carriers offers an app or web tool for monitoring data consumption. But they were generally time-consuming or poorly designed.

Instead, the quickest way to monitor your data use is by simply using your phone. Each carrier has a hidden code that you can punch into your phone to get an update on data use.

For AT&T subscribers, the method is simple. You place a phone call to *DATA# (*3282#). AT&T will send a text message showing the amount of megabytes you have used out of your monthly allotment. It showed that so far this month I have used 464 megabytes out of 3 gigabytes.

Place a call to #DATA (#3282) and Verizon will show a report of your data use, both domestically and internationally.

Sprint customers can send a text message containing the word “Usage” to the number 1311 and get a text message with a data report.

T-Mobile subscribers can place a call to #WEB# (#932#) to receive a quick data summary.

Getting Gmail Verification Codes Without a Smartphone, or a Phone at All

Google has devised several ways besides text messaging to provide its 2-step security codes.

For Parental Controls, iPhones Beat Androids

“You’re giving your kid a lot of power when you hand them a smartphone, and kids’ digital savvy often outstrips their judgment,” said Caroline Knorr.

While it may be tempting to save money by buying cheaper Android devices for children, parents who want tight control over their children’s activities on smartphones will be better off buying iPhones for the family. Apple’s parental controls were detailed and took a while to set up, but they accomplished all of the restrictions that I wanted. The Android system was sorely lacking in features for regulating minors and only offered incomplete solutions for a small number of restrictions.

A key part of Family Sharing is a feature called Ask to Buy. With the feature enabled, whenever a child tries to download an app or make a purchase inside an app, the parent’s iPhone receives a notification and a detailed description of the content. The parent can then choose to allow or deny the purchase.

The feature should come in handy for parents who don’t want their children to rack up hefty credit card bills with in-app purchases.

Why millions are broadcasting their lives for fun and profit on Periscope

Periscope, the live-broadcasting app that lets users hit the "record" button to put almost anything - from views of exotic destinations and discussions about how to get ahead at business to the mundanities of daily life - online in an instant. The videos disappear 24 hours later.

Its push-to-broadcast simplicity and unvarnished aesthetic has attracted a range of stars - and would-be stars - hoping to capitalize on the increasingly dramatic shift of media consumption to mobile devices.

Like having your own reality TV show

I registered my drone. Here's why you should too

as required by a new Federal Aviation Administration rule.

the entire registration process took somewhere between two and three minutes.

there have only been a few serious accidents involving drones so far. But drones aren't toys, though they are increasingly marketed that way. The fact that drones will be a popular Christmas gift this year is no coincidence. 

More than anything, the FAA's drone registration is a way for it to send a clear message that it takes drones seriously - and all drone operators should too.

These incredible undersea cables are what connect you to the worldwide web

Nearly all of that data actually travels on submarine cables stretching hundreds of thousands of miles along the ocean floor.

This animation shows just how many stretch from coast to coast to coast, carrying tweets, YouTube videos, phone calls, and banking transactions as they go.

Take a moment to appreciate just how pervasive undersea cables are, how they survive more than 25,000 feet below the water, and ultimately help you access this article on a distant server.

Neat Video

9 crazy things that could happen after the singularity, when robots become smarter than humans

What Everybody Googled in 2015

People love to google other people. That’s the main takeaway from Google’s annual list of the year’s most popular searches.

Average Internet Speeds Up, But U.S. Still Has Work to Do

South Korea's 20.5 Mbps average Internet speed topped Akamai's list for the third quarter of the year, a figure nearly four times the worldwide average. The United States didn't even make it to Akamai's top 10 list, but it was certainly close with an average Internet speed of 12.6 Mbps (highest of any country in North or South America, at least).,2817,2496861,00.asp

Oregon police bust crime ring attempting to ship $750K+ worth of iPhones to Hong Kong

Tipped off by a suspect buying hundreds of iPhones with Apple gift cards, police in Oregon have cracked down on an organized crime ring that they say was shipping handsets to Hong Kong where they were to be sold on the black market.

The relatively high cost of Apple's devices combined with the company's limited worldwide distribution network — Apple retail stores operate in just 16 countries — provides lucrative arbitrage opportunities for smugglers.

"Backdoor" computer hack may have put government data at risk

But it's not yet clear whether hackers have taken advantage of the opening, or what damage might have been done.

Secret Code Found in Juniper's Firewalls Shows Risks of Government Back Doors

tech giant Juniper Networks revealed in a startling announcement that it had found “unauthorized” code embedded in an operating system running on some of its firewalls.

The security community is particularly alarmed because at least one of the backdoors appears to be the work of a sophisticated nation-state attacker.

“The weakness in the VPN itself that enables passive decryption is only of benefit to a national surveillance agency like the British, the US, the Chinese, or the Israelis,” says Nicholas Weaver

“This is a very good showcase for why backdoors are really something governments should not have in these types of devices because at some point it will backfire,” Prins says.

Green says the hypothetical threat around NSA backdoors has always been: What if someone repurposed them against us?

The first backdoor Juniper found would give an attacker administrative-level or root privileges over the firewalls.

The second backdoor would effectively allow an attacker who has already intercepted VPN traffic passing through the Juniper firewalls to decrypt the traffic without knowing the decryption keys.

Congress Slips CISA into a Budget Bill That's Sure to Pass

CISA had alarmed the privacy community by giving companies the ability to share cybersecurity information with federal agencies, including the NSA, “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” That means CISA’s information-sharing channel, ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, could also provide a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Even in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, and Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance and the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

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