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Tom Briant

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Sunday 10/2/2016


The biggest difference between the iPhone 7and iPhone 7 Plus isn't the size -- it's the camera. The 7 Plus includes two 12-megapixel cameras that fire off when you capture a photo, giving you one super image.
iPhone 7 Plus uses digital zoom instead of optical more often than you'd expect
Using the 2x setting in iPhone 7 Plus's Camera app doesn't always mean the telephoto lens will take the photo.
When you use the built-in Camera app, the iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t act like it has two distinct cameras each with its own lens. Rather, it shows you a single virtual camera that combines input from two lenses. This is abundantly clear when you use the clever method (suggested by colleague Aurélien Chevaleyrias) of holding your finger over one lens or the other to see what’s really going on. It may surprise you!
All the best new features in iOS 10 Messages
The little chat bubble is now a lot more than a texting app, with its own app store and the ability to send a lot more than just texts.
Police can’t read your iMessages, but here’s what they can see
one thing Apple knows is which phone numbers a person is at least considering sending a message to.
Apple stores the information for 30 days.
So what does all this mean? Apple still has far less information about its messages than a cellular provider has on its customers’ standard text messages.
Apple promises that your iMessage conversations are safe and out of reach from anyone other than you and your friends. But according to a document obtained by The Intercept, your blue-bubbled texts do leave behind a log of which phone numbers you are poised to contact and shares this (and other potentially sensitive metadata) with law enforcement when compelled by court order.
The Intercept received the document about Apple’s Messages logs as part of a larger cache originating from within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team, a state police agency that facilitates police data collection using controversial tools like the Stingray, along with conventional techniques like pen registers. The document, titled “iMessage FAQ for Law Enforcement,” is designated for “Law Enforcement Sources” and “For Official Use Only”.
Bounty for iOS jailbreak exploit jumps to $1.5 million
Zerodium is the same company that offered $1 million for an iOS jailbreak exploit last year.
Zerodium's new $1.5 million bounty is asking for a remote jailbreak exploit targeting iOS 10.
In addition, Zerodium has also doubled the bounty for similar exploits for Google's Android OS to a maximum of $200,000.
These zero-day exploits are valuable because they take advantage of software flaws in iOS and Android that even the vendors don't know about. However, these flaws can also be difficult to find, given that both Apple and Google are constantly improving their software.
Make the Mac’s Share Menu More Useful
iPhone 7 VS All Other iPhones In A Speed Test
The Apple Watch Series 2 is what the company should have put out last year: It's faster than the original, with longer battery life, a more intuitive OS, brighter screen, built-in GPS and waterproof design. If this were Apple's only new smartwatch, we would have given it an even stronger recommendation than we actually did. The problem is, the company does indeed have another wearable on offer. The Series 1, as it's called, costs a hundred dollars less and is basically last year's model, upgraded with the same dual-core processor used in the Series 2.
23 Apple Watch tips & secret features | watchOS 3 tips & tricks
How To Improve Apple Watch Battery Life Running watchOS 3
This is the giant auditorium that Apple is about to cover with dirt
The latest video on the progress of building Apple’s future headquarters.
The best 10 iPhone widgets for iOS 10
One of the most underappreciated features on the iPhone are its lock-screen widgets.

Apps are what killed the BlackBerry

It was THE status symbol for anyone in the early 2000s, and its physical keyboard made it instantly recognizable, but now the BlackBerry is dead.

But it wasn't the slowdown in the smartphone market or intense competition from Chinese companies which killed the BlackBerry, it was apps.

BlackBerry's announcement on Wednesday that it would not longer be making its own hardware, shows that it too completely missed just how important software, apps and the ecosystem surrounding them would be.

A High-Stakes Bet: Turning Google Assistant Into a ‘Star Trek’ Computer

The company calls its version of this all-powerful machine the Google Assistant.

It is a high-stakes bet: If this new tech fails, it could signal the beginning of the end of Google’s reign over our lives. But if it succeeds, Google could achieve a centrality in human experience unrivaled by any tech product so far.

If the Assistant or something like it does not take off, Google’s status as the chief navigator of our digital lives could be superseded by a half-dozen other assistants.

There is the mismatch between Google’s ambitions and Assistant’s current reality. Danny Sullivan, the founding editor of Search Engine Land, told me that so far, he hadn’t noticed the Assistant helping him in any major way.

Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyoncé

Most people treat social media like the stage for their own reality show, but Beyoncé treats her public persona more like a Barbie — she offers up images and little more, allowing people to project their own ideas, fantasies and narratives about her life onto it.

This strategy isn’t just for the rich and famous. It’s a useful way to think about how we could all behave online. Why fret about oversharing, or undersharing, or to what extent our online selves are true to our ac­tual self? We could instead use social media as a prism through which we can project only what we want others to see. We can save the rest for ourselves — our actual selves.

Obama Admin Wants To Surrender US Control Over Internet To Global Bureaucracy

The Obama administration is planning to relinquish American control over a central portion of Internet governance.

The implications of this move range from control by an international bureaucracy to totalitarian regimes locking up entire portions of the Internet, according to experts.

Lots of speculation in this article as to how bad this will be for both the internet and the U.S.

This is not a surprise nor something Obama cooked up in the dead of night.  If the US Congress wanted to intervene it has had years to do so and has intentionally not done so.

The author supports blocking this move, simply because he's not convinced that anyone has done the homework to prevent this from turning into yet another multinational boondoggle.

the current screamfest has exactly nothing to do with corruption and everything to do with imaginary bogeymen that do not exist.

Blockchain Will Transform And Reinvent Organizations, Ecosystems And Economies
Blockchain technology was originally used for crypto-currencies like BitCoin.  But blockchain tech can be used for so much more.
Having grown up in India, I have first-hand experience on how complex real estate transactions are executed.
The number of participants that are required to be involved from banks, insurance companies, brokers, land registries, government tax authorities, and other intermediaries is incredible, not to mention the ever-present danger that the seller of the property may not be the actual owner of the property being sold. (Title insurance does not exist in India).
Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto believes that up to five billion people worldwide suffer from lack of title to their property, which results in more than $20 trillion of capital that is outside of the traditional financial services ecosystem.
Blockchain can be used by individuals who want to complete transactions involving multiple parties.
Blockchains are built on shared ledgers where participants write transactions in near real-time to an unbreakable chain that becomes a permanent record of an asset or transaction. This is viewable by all parties in the transaction.
In the emerging blockchain economy, the role of third-party intermediaries to broker trust and/or to reconcile will increasingly be called into question as we reinvent new processes that eliminate the need for such reconciliation and intermediation.
The Global Cost of Electronic Waste
Computers, phones, and other digital devices increasingly are made to be thrown away—which is bad for both consumers and the environment.

The increase in consumption of electronics has two major adverse ecological effects. First, it significantly increases mining and procurement for the materials needed for production of gadgets. And second, discarded devices produce large quantities of electronic waste. That waste could be reduced through reuse, repair, or resale. Whether it ever will be is an open question.

There was a time when households would keep televisions for more than a decade. But thanks to changes in technology and consumer demand, there is hardly any device now that persists for more than a couple of years in the hands of the original owner.

Manufacturers have also used software updates to privilege newer models of smartphones and computers, invisibly pressuring consumers to buy new devices just to maintain parity of experience.

Electronic waste is a global ecological issue. It raises concern about air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, information security, and even human exploitation.

Google's Project Shield defends free speech from bonnet scourge

Cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs’ web site suffered a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.  Hackers conscripted hordes of connected gadgets like digital video recorders, routers and digital cameras into a botnet, which overwhelmed Krebs' website.

The security needed to ward off the attack would have cost Krebs up to $200,000 a year, but Google's Project Shield was able to fend off the DDoS attack for free.

Krebs' page was back up and running on Sunday.

The attack shed light on a little-known but important service offered by Google, one designed to protect journalists, news sites, election-monitoring sites and human-rights advocates from cyberattacks.

For now, the protection is available only to a select group.

Security blogger Brian Krebs says a massive distributed denial-of-service attack that took down his Web site last week was likely the consequences for his outing of two Israelis who ran a DDoS-for-hire business.

The pair, whom he identifies as Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani, both 18, were arrested in Israel at the request of the FBI six days after Krebs posted his blog and are now under house arrest.

If Krebs’s suspicions are true, it means that malicious actors with relatively modest means can summon up giant botnets comprised of IoT devices and deliver unheard of volumes of DDoS traffic.

Protect yourself from scammers by doing this one thing every time your bank calls

Excellent advice to avoid being scammed people who make fake calls about “your credit card problem”.

Down the rabbit hole, part 1: Making my life private and secure

Is it possible to make private all of your computers, smartphones, data and communications and still remain digitally connected? I’m going to find out.

The goal here is to find the right balance between privacy and security—and still enjoy the fruits of a hyper-connected, always-online, digital-to-the-hilt world—all while documenting the whole endeavor.


Down the rabbit hole, part 2: To ensure security and privacy, open source is required

If my goal is to secure all of my computing devices, I need access to the source code in order to do a complete and effective security appraisal of the software I am running.

Facebook has a feature that stalks you all over the internet — here’s how to turn it off
It’s more work to turn it off than you might expect.

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