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Tom Briant

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Saturday April 23 2016

Reader comment to an article about Apple:
One of the reasons why there's fewer Apple products in the recycle chain is that they last longer (I'm writing this on a late-2008 MacBook Pro) or they still have value when they're replaced (Pads and phones being handed down or sold).   And while market share has been increasing in recent years (although lower overall sales), the vast majority of computers sold in the past have been PC clones.  In my family, Macs and iPhones get handed down like old clothes.
Apple Shares New 'Siri and Liam' TV Ad for Earth Day
Short but humorous.
21 tiny design features that show Apple's incredible attention to detail
Review: Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro Is the Best of Both Worlds
Neat video too.
Review: Apple's newer, smaller iPad Pro a terrific tablet
Review: Apple’s New MacBook Is a Gorgeous Laptop With 1 Drawback
The good: Super thin and light; Beautiful screen; Comfortable keyboard

The bad: Only includes one port; Expensive
Camera comparison – The Galaxy S7 Edge vs. the iPhone 6S Plus
How to recover music that disappeared from your iPhone
This article suggests several different tricks to try.
How to Turn Off “Hey Siri” on the iPhone and iPad
“Hey Siri” is a feature in iOS which lets you activate and query Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant service, by voice alone and without the need to touch your device.
Many iPhone owners find that Hey Siri frequently activates at unintended times.
you can turn off Hey Siri with a quick trip to Settings.

The Smartphone Revolution is dead; long live the smartphone

I'm sick of people looking at their smartphones, checking Facebook, group messaging friends, reading emails, checking the news or otherwise not focusing on the real world going on around them. I'm as bad as most other people about doing that, too. We're all sick of smartphone-dominant culture, but we all do our part to create that smartphone-dominant culture anyway. Is that going to change?

Sort of.

How to tell if someone has blocked your phone number on their iPhone
You can't easily find out for certain whether you've been blocked, but if you check for the telltale signs you can get a good idea of what's going on.
there's no way to be certain this is what's happened, so be careful before you start throwing around accusations!
A single ring and then being diverted to voicemail is a sign that you might have been blocked - but bear in mind that this can also result from the phone being switched off or set to auto divert.
To rule out the phone being switched off or set to auto divert, you can immediately ring again from a different number.
It is possible to bypass call blocking on an iPhone, but NEVER do it lightly:  You might be violating stalking or harassment laws.
5 annoying Apple Watch problems, and how to fix them
Best Apple Watch buying guide 2016
No, your Apple ID is NOT about to expire - don't fall for the scam!
iPhone users are being targeted by a scam that tricks them into handing over the Apple ID and other personal details
Watch out, iPhone users. A text-message phishing scam, disguised as a note sent by Apple Support, aims to lure unsuspecting iPhone owners to share their usernames and passwords.

The scam, which appears as a shady text message, is reportedly informing users that their Apple ID has expired and they’ll need to visit a fake website to receive a new one.
"As a general rule, never send credit card information, account passwords, or extensive personal information in an email unless you verify that the recipient is who they claim to be,” Apple states. “Many companies have policies that state they will never solicit such information from customers by email."
10 paid iPhone apps on sale for free for a limited time
One chart shows how mobile has crushed personal computers

The year was 2007, and Apple Inc.’s shiny handheld computer was finally being unwrapped after years of speculation. Not everyone could have predicted that just four years later, mobile devices would officially overtake the PC.

’60 Minutes’ asked a security firm to hack an iPhone and we’re all basically screwed
For the Apple haters out there, hold on to your hats… the hack perpetrated on Lieu will work on any phone, using any carrier, running any operating system, and it’s all thanks to a security flaw in a piece of technology you’ve probably never heard of.

Signaling System 7 (SS7) is a global network that connects all phone carriers around the world into a singular hub, of sorts. The hack exploits a known security flaw in SS7, but one that’s proven relatively difficult to fix due to the way SS7 is governed, or not governed, in this case.
The SS7 flaw can be used to hack any phone at any time, as long as the phone number is known. However, Nohl said that most people would not be a target for this type of attack. Politicians and other high-profile people would be more likely to fall victim to the SS7 flaw.

How To Avoid That Scary 60 Minutes iPhone Hack
The best option is to forego your phone’s normal calling feature in favor of communication apps that offer what’s called “end-to-end encryption.” With them, your conversations are secured from the time they’re sent to the moment they’re received. One popular example is Signal, favored by journalists and security experts. (Edward Snowden is among the software’s fans.)
The lnM60 Minutes’ demonstration highlights a wrinkle in the ongoing debate over privacy and national security. While law enforcement groups say encryption apps like Signal make it harder to solve crimes, others argue they offer law-abiding citizens a way to keep their communications safe from prying eyes and ears.

The biggest security mistakes people make when buying things online

1)  DON’T use a debit card.  A credit card has better protections.
2)  Advertisement E-mails:  NEVER click a link from any corporate E-mail.  Hackers send fake E-mails that look like corporate all the time.  A few hackers write stunningly good quality fakes. They’ve even been known to fake E-mails from friends and acquaintances.
3)  Fake E-mails often contain links to fake copies of corporate web sites where hackers attempt to trick you into giving them your personal info, such as social security number and credit card number so they can steal your money.
4)  Instead of clicking on a link in an E-mail, type the URL of a web site in the web browser.

Every one of us is in the cross-hairs of identity thieves.

Apple and the FBI return to Capitol Hill to talk encryption — this is why you should care 

Apple Inc. and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, joined by independent experts, will face off in a House of Representatives hearing.

Law enforcement has argued that strong encryption that technology companies use to protect user communications allows criminals to “go dark,” or hide without being noticed.

Security experts ... say the current debate fails to recognize that creating a backdoor for the government means weakening security for all users and making people more vulnerable to hackers at a time when computer security is already poor, and breaches are all too common.

A draft of a Senate bill crafted by Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, released last week, calls for companies to comply with court orders to give the government information — making it impossible for a situation like Apple’s pushback in the San Bernardino case to occur again. Privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the bill “simply anti-security.”

Security experts and technology companies also say if they allow U.S. law enforcement to have a backdoor, they’d be forced by other governments worldwide to abide by similar requests.

This has happened before. In 2007, lawmakers on Capitol Hill chewed out Yahoo’s then-chief executive, Jerry Yang, for complying with the Chinese government to turn over information about journalist Shi Tao. The company said the government forced its hand with documents similar to subpoenas. Rep. Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California, told Yahoo then that “while technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies.”

“We talk about the Jerry Yang moment,” Matthew Prince, chief executive of the security company CloudFlare, told MarketWatch in a recent interview.

FBI admits it can’t keep up with advances in technology

The FBI has long struggled to convince tech whizzes to take jobs at the bureau. Private companies offer higher salaries, the background-check process for a government job is onerous and, on top of all that, the agency won’t hire people who have used marijuana in the last three years or any other illegal drug in the last 10 years.

Reader comment:
The consequences of this idea to develop back doors to encryption will have devastating effects on all US tech companies that do business around the world. As soon as the US passes a law requiring tech companies to do this then every other Govt in the world will demand the same access and then lots of rogue officials in those Govt's will sell the access to criminal and terrorist organizations 
Either something is secure or it is not. The entire future depends on secure encryption so if we do this as a country we wreck our tech industries and make all American citizens a lot more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

FBI Got Useful Information Off San Bernardino iPhone
Interesting video.
According to CNN‘s sources, the iPhone shows no evidence of Farook communicating with known ISIS members or supporters.
FBI Paid More Than $1.3M to Crack San Bernardino iPhone
The hack works on only one model:  The iPhone 5c.
The FBI was also able to comb through his contacts for leads and confirmed that he was not in contact with ISIS members before the attack.
On Encryption Battle, Apple Has Advocates in Ex-National Security Officials
In their years together as top national security officials, Michael V. Hayden and Michael Chertoff were fierce advocates of using the government’s spying powers to pry into sensitive intelligence data.

But today, their jobs have changed, and so, apparently, have their views on privacy. Both former officials now work with technology companies like Apple at a corporate consulting firm that Mr. Chertoff founded, and both are now backing Apple — and not the F.B.I., with which they once worked — in its fight to keep its iPhones encrypted and private.
With the F.B.I. still pushing to open other locked phones, Apple’s backers are preparing for a long fight.

Drug cartels have turned social-media sites like Facebook into one of their most potent weapons

kidnappers and extortionists have seized on resources like Facebook and Twitter to identify new targets.

If they know where you are, if they know where you've been, if they know who your family are, then this is all information that they can use against you to try to extort more money.

The internet is the best set of parents a millennial could ask for

Baby Boomers had the skills to pass on, but withheld them out of fear that they would make their kids' lives difficult. So it should be no surprise that the generation raised on car seats, school lockdowns, and helicopter parenting grew into adults that often feel totally unprepared to open a bank account or schedule their own doctor appointments.

The one thing millennials have mastered is the internet.

the internet serves as a handy way to learn a life skill without admitting to the universe that you still feel like a child.

How Hacking Is Advancing the World of Farming

Dwindling farm incomes and open-source software are inspiring homespun hackers, helping advance farming technology. Manitoba farmer Matt Reimer has created a tractor that drives itself.

This company secretly runs the internet, and now it's raised another $8 million to rule everything else, too

Nginx — pronounced "Engine-X”.

As it stands right now, Nginx's flagship web-server technology is immensely popular, with 150 million websites using it.

Nginx's popularity also puts it in a difficult position. Most of those Nginx fans are using the free, open-source version of Nginx, where they never have to pay the company a dime for the software. But it does have two businesses: A premium version of its software and a consulting business.

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