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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Sunday August 28 2016


Apple Watch drops below $200 in the US ahead of Apple Watch 2 unveiling
The price is $100 off of Apple’s retail price which was reduced by $50 earlier this year from its original $349 base launch price.
Converting Spreadsheets in Apple’s Numbers to Excel
Apple’s spreadsheet program can edit Microsoft Excel files, but you need to take an extra step to use those files in Excel again.
Apple completely changed how Siri works and almost nobody noticed
Apple adapted Siri's voice recognition to use a cutting-edge artificial-intelligence technique called neural networks and switched it over on July 30, 2014.
Neural networks is a type of AI inspired by the human brain that has become especially useful thanks to today's powerful computers. Before that, Siri recognized human voices using more rudimentary AI techniques that have been around for decades.
Siri made half as many errors using the new neural network than it had before.
iFixit report claims 'Touch Disease' plagues iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units with touchscreen bug
According to iFixit, a manufacturing defect is affecting a growing number of iPhone 6 Plus devices, and some iPhone 6 units. The defect creates an unresponsive touchscreen and shows a flickering grey bar at the top of the display. Eventually, the touchscreen stops working entirely.
There’s no easy way to fix this yet.
Q. Can you process RAW images in Apple’s OS X Photos program?
A. Photos, Apple’s free image-editing program now included with the OS X operating system, can handle picture files in many digital camera RAWformats, as did Apple’s previous iPhoto software. For those unfamiliar with it, some digital cameras have a setting that allows them to capture images in an uncompressed format called RAW.
This article contains some instructions on how to use Apple’s Photos app to edit photographs in RAW format.
Tim Cook's crucial role at Apple extends well beyond his 5 years as CEO
These charts show how Tim Cook is doing after 5 years of running Apple
This is the MacBook Pro accessory I couldn’t live without
I purchased a Thunderbolt dock from OWC (Other World Computing), and I haven't looked back. 
At first, I wasn't sure if I needed this many additional ports, but quickly realized that yes, yes I did.
$244, available at Amazon.
Apple files Touch ID fingerprint patent to catch thieves

Apple has just filed a patent called "biometric capture for unauthorized user identification," which uses its Touch ID to store an image of fingerprints other than the user's on file.
If Touch ID detects a fingerprint that isn’t yours, it’ll store an image of the scan as a means of catching whoever may have stolen your phone.
However, it is unlikely that Apple will introduce the technology in a consumer product anytime soon.
Apple fixes serious security flaw after UAE dissident's iPhone targeted
Apple Inc issued a patch on Thursday to fix a dangerous security hole in iPhones and iPads after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident's phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking.

The attack on the dissident, Ahmed Mansoor, used a text message that invited him to click on a web link. Instead of clicking, he forwarded the message to researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab.

Experts there worked with security company Lookout and determined that the link would have installed a program taking advantage of a flaw that Apple and others were not aware of.
Inside 'Pegasus,' the impossible-to-detect software that hacks your iPhone
Updating iOS to the current 9.3.5 version is crucial for all users, since Pegasus is designed to infect a person's phone and it is virtually impossible to detect.
Built by a shadowy company called NSO Group, the software called "Pegasus" — discovered after being used against a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates — forced Apple to issue a critical software update on Thursday to protect its users worldwide.
The hacking software that completely takes over an Apple iPhone and turns it into a mobile surveillance device is pretty terrifying.
Pegasus was designed to do two things: completely take over all aspects of the iPhone, and operate like a "ghost" that a user would never be able to see.
Here’s what we know about the secretive company building terrifying tools to hack your iPhone
Lookout Security and Citizen Lab's Bill Marczak and John Scott-Railton believe Pegasus has possibly been in use to hack iPhones going all the way back to iOS 7. Apple's latest software update, iOS 9.3.5 (which was released Thursday), prevents this attack from working.
An Israeli company named NSO Group is reportedly behind the hacking tool for iPhones that forced Apple to issue a critical software update on Thursday.
NSO Group sells sophisticated hacking tools to governments, militaries, and intelligence agencies — and it tries to keep such a low profile it even changes its name on a regular basis.
NSO Group was founded in late 2009 by serial entrepreneurs with ties to the Israeli government.
NSO's 'Pegasus' spy tool transforms a variety of phones into mobile listening stations.
This App Can Tell if an iPhone Was Hacked With Latest Pegasus Spy Malware
mobile security company Lookout has now added Pegasus to the known threats its iOS security software is scanning for. Individuals or companies can use Lookout’s software to check their own devices for the presence of Pegasus, and the company has published detailed instructions on how to do so online.
Fact-checking the fact-checkers: gets an ‘A'
Site remains go-to destination when something seems too good or bad to be true
WhatsApp relaxes privacy stance, to share phone numbers with Facebook

Popular messaging service WhatsApp said it would start sharing users' phone numbers with parent Facebook Inc (FB.O), marking a notable shift in its stance on privacy.

When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, founder Jan Koum vowed to protect data of its users, saying the deal would not affect its privacy policy.

WhatsApp Betrays Privacy Stance, Will Share Data With Facebook

Facebook wants to collect as much data as possible about you, so that it can use it to sell more expensive ads and make more money. That’s the company’s stated business model. It’s not like the folks at WhatsApp didn’t see this coming, either.

WhatsApp is still a great app to use for secure messaging, but it is not longer the best option for privacy. Try using Signal instead.

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