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Tom Briant

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for January 13, 2016

Apple iOS 9.3 Released, It Has 3 Great New Features

Smart Education Upgrades
Night Shift
3D Touch Matures

The snag in all this good news? Apple has currently only made iOS 9.3 available to developers.

Juniper Research said that the Apple Watch accounted for 52% of smartwatch shipments globally in 2015. And that’s particularly impressive considering that the watch didn’t even launch until April of 2015.

Let's be clear: the MacBook isn't suddenly going to suit everybody, but almost one year down the line there are now five good reasons why you should reconsider using one.

iPhone 7 Leak Confirms Apple's Massive Design Gamble

leak after leak is confirming my theory 19 months ago that Apple is about to abandon the headphone jack…   

Unsurprisingly the news has met a hostile reception. An online petition against the move has netted over 200,000 signatures in 24 hours and even polls on Apple-specialist websites have been divided. 
So what can Apple do to convince users it knows best? Actually a lot.

Apple advertisements from as long ago as 1976

Why Apple's Investors Are Questioning its Future

The skepticism can be summarized as follows: the world worries that Apple will never find another iPhone.

That’s why there are lots of articles predicting Apple’s “doom”.

Investors fear that future products will require ... big investments and uncertain sales. Or that Apple will use its cash horde to make high-priced, or overpriced investments in unrelated fields.

The bottom line: Tech’s superstar is entering a world of low expectations, when it’s regularly beaten high expectations. It should be able to vault over the new, low bar with ease...

Apple Maintains Mac Sales Momentum Amid Overall Worldwide PC Market Decline

Amid an overall decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple is the sole manufacturer that saw positive shipment growth

49 Open Source Office Tools

Example 26: GIMP (stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program)
Replaces Photoshop (and saves you $239.88 per year)
The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or Gimp for short, is a very popular, high-quality photo authoring and editing program with features that rival Photoshop. It supports numerous image file formats, including tiff, jpeg, gif, png, psd and others. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Example 28:  OpenOffice
Example 29:  LibreOffice
The both Replace Microsoft Office (and saves you $99 per year and up)

Example 33: Gnumeric
Replaces Microsoft Excel (and saves you $99 per year and up)

How to see all the companies tracking you on Facebook — and block them

How the Internet of Things Limits Consumer Choice

In theory, the Internet of Things-the connected network of tiny computers inside home appliances, household objects, even clothing-promises to make your life easier and your work more efficient.

Except when the companies that make these connected objects act in a way that runs counter to  the consumer's best interests...

the story of a company using copy-protection technology to lock out competitors-isn't a new one.

As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, so too will anti-competitive behavior-which undercuts the purpose of having smart objects in the first place.

The Internet of Things is on track to become a battleground of competing standards, as companies try to build monopolies by locking each other out.

There's no reason not to cut the cord in 2016

Cheaper alternatives to cable TV.

The Twitter accounts stock-market investors need to follow in 2016

The New York Public Library Just Unleashed 180,000 Free Images. We Can't Stop Looking at Them.

The Flaw in ISIS's Favorite Messaging App 
And what it says about the difficulty of encryption

For more and more lawmakers, encryption is that perfect, pitch-black night in which radicalized things go bump.
But according to security experts, that attitude attributes much too much power to computer scientists.

as a new paper on the secure-messaging application Telegram reminds readers, it's easier to market impenetrable encryption than it is to implement it.

Telegram uses a custom protocol, MTProto, to secure its messages, a decision that breaks a cardinal rule of cryptography: Don't try to design your own, not if you can use an established approach instead.

The impenetrable encryption that lawmakers fear? Privacy advocates should be so lucky.

Why Are Digital-Privacy Apps So Hard to Use?

Protecting your data usually means navigating a miserable user experience.

Truly private online communications have been available for some time, but most require a high level of technology know-how. Those uncomfortable setting up a PGP key to encrypt their emails, for example, have for decades been left without an option to communicate securely.

Modern hackers can do much more than steal. They can even turn a machine against its owner, taking a device hostage and demanding money to return it.

Known as ransomware, the viruses that carry out these attacks are multiplying.

These attacks can be incredibly lucrative: One researcher found that a hacker made more than $1 million in a single day off of hapless users desperate for their data back.

A recent spate of attacks on police computer systems showed the sophistication of modern ransomware: When small police departments in Massachusetts, Tennessee, and New Hampshire were hacked, they found their vital databases encrypted and inaccessible.  All three departments paid ransoms ranging from $500 to $750 to regain access to their data.

The average ransom ask is $300.

The recent explosion of ransomware will only continue as more everyday objects are connected to the Internet.

Hackers are stealing millions from home buyers and sellers with a crafty scam

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