Author: Brett Bogler

iPhone 7 Anticipated to be Most Complex Model Yet

OK, so now that it has been a few rounds of Apple iPhone releases, we know a thing or two about their product secrecy and production habits. Sounds a little creepy, but iPhone 7 anticipation will do that to a girl. Apple’s top two suppliers started hiring employees earlier than usual due to a ‘more complex’ iPhone 7 design and the rumors are swirling.

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As it is already May and we have little information besides buzzing rumors about the newest addition to the iPhone family, the iPhone 7 seems to be more secret than previous models. It has been speculated that the 7 will house the same framework as the 6. Most are saying that the infrastructure won’t be much of a wowzer either. Economic Daily News feels the opposite, stating that the iPhone 7 will be “more complex than previous models” and has been shown through Apple’s increased production hiring. Apple’s top two suppliers are Foxconn and Pegatron, and their usual hiring practice before the production of a new generation iPhone has commenced a month earlier than in the past. This has been the first time in two years that Foxconn has started recruiting in May. This leads me to believe that the earlier hiring means more production hands on deck, for something bigger and more complex.

The two rumors that I would most like to see are the dual camera system and a water proof design. As an optimist, I am going to keep believing these features are the reason for the increased hiring practices, until the official iPhone 7 release in September.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: iPhone 7 said to be ‘more complex’ than previous models

Ransomware like scam – Windows Product Key is “Invalid”

 

Now that ransomware is on the brain, a few crooks posing as tech support are tailoring their skills to work the system. A lock screen appears on your PC and claims that a users Windows license has expired and to simply call the tech support number provided in order to quickly and effortlessly solve the problem. A fake Microsoft technician answers the line and is more than happy to help, if you are willing to pay the price.

Users will see a lock screen appear on their machine that truly resembles a genuine Microsoft program. After the program installs it waits patiently for the user to restart the PC. After the restart the program activates and sequentially takes over the desktop and displays a highly sophisticated Windows Update screen. Unrecognizable to the naked eye that this is in fact ransomware.

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After the program activation, the infected PC will display a screen that tells the user the desktop has been made effectively disabled because of an expired license key, with the computer name being taken from the victims actual PC. Now that the PC is locked, the user thinks they are doing the right thing by calling the number provided and talking to who they think is a tech support working for Microsoft.

Malwarebytes called the number, and a fake Microsoft technician revealed a hidden functionality. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+T would bring up a built-in installer for TeamViewer. The tech support scammer on the other end of the call refused to give much more information without the $250 to unlock the PC, which of course, Malwarebytes did not pay.

If a user refused to pay the fee requested, they would have little resources to fix the machine on their own. Fortunately, security researchers have found a small loop hole. Discovered by  @TheWack0lian, Ctrl+Shift+S will allow users to kill the winlocker without touching the contents of their machine. The hardcoded values “h7c9-7c67-jb” or “g6r-qrp6-h2” or “yt-mq-6w” can be entered as the product key. These may work to unlock the machine, but is not a fix across the board as they will not work for all versions of the lockers.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Ransomware-like tech support scam locks screen, labels Windows product key as invalid

Apple Makes $1B Investment in Chinese Didi Chuxing

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Apple has decided to invest 1 billion dollars in the Chinese taxi startup, Didi Chuxing. This is by far the largest investment of funds that Didi Chuxing has received to date, as well as one of the largest investments Apple has ever made. Remember Beats? Apple shelled out 3 billion to them. But that is besides the point. Why is Apple so intrigued by Didi Chuxing?

“Didi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” CEO Tim Cook said. “We are extremely impressed by the business they’ve built and their excellent leadership team, and we look forward to supporting them as they grow.”

Didi Chuxing began as Didi Dache back in 2012. Last year they merged with Kuaidi, their rival service, and became Didi Chuxing. Didi Chuxing is available in 400 Chinese cities and offers services similar to Uber and Lyft, with taxi, private car, and ride-sharing. Impressively, Didi Chuxing facilitates more than 11 million rides per day! Bringing in a whooping 1.43 billion in 2015. It has been recently reported that Uber is losing 1 Billion a year in China due to competition from Didi.

Most likely that is all the information we will receive from Apple concerning their plans for the investment. Speculation around the investment stirs as Apple hasn’t been doing too hot in China. Recently China has shut down access to iTunes, iBooks, and iMovies, leaving revenue in China down by 11 percent in the most recent quarter.

It is my prediction that Apple is trying to regain market in China as well as advance themselves in the up and coming car market. Nothing has been released, but rumors around the Apple car are buzzing with anticipation as Apple has been recruiting auto executives and quietly searching for places to test drive automobiles. Suspect…

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Apple Makes $1B Investment in Chinese Uber Rival

3 Ways to Make Windows 10 Less Annoying

Sign in with a local account rather than a Microsoft account

Microsoft doesn’t exactly make this option super accessible to its customers. It’s not in big bold letters, but it can be done. As many of you might have already discovered during the initial setup Windows 10 will ask you to sign in with a Microsoft account, or create a Microsoft account if you do not already have one. If you would prefer not to sign in with a Microsoft account, you can choose a local account. The very tiny “Skip this step” option during setup is the golden ticket. When asked to create a new account in Windows 10 you will see again, a very tiny, “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” which will allow you to bypass with ease.

*If you have already fallen victim to signing in with your Microsoft account, open settings, click accounts and then “your email accounts“. This will present you with the option to sign in with a local account.

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Pull Back on Telemetry Settings 

Microsoft sends a hefty amount of telemetry information from your PC. This is not entirely a bad thing, as telemetry information shows how well or poorly your PC is operating, as well as how you use it. The main factor in which is problematic is the amount of information transmitted that ultimately takes your personal information with it. Protect yourself by changing the settings to manage security. The default setting sends the maximum amount of information possible.

In order to get to the settings changed required to perform this action you need to open the Settings app. After you have opened the Settings app you can continue to click Privacy > Feedback & Diagnostics. Click to the right of the Send your device data to Microsoft and you will see the full list of options. Choose Basic, close settings, and sleep better at night.

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Please Cortana, give it a rest 

Cortana is a great feature, but sometimes her persistent nature gets in the way of your needs. If you would rather use the search box without Cortana’s input, Cortana can be disabled. The search box on the taskbar will focus mainly on local files, settings and apps. I assume if you are annoyed by Cortana, that you missed the opportunity to tell her “No thanks”. If you have changed your mind and would like her to fade into the background, click the search box on the taskbar. This will bring the Cortana pane to you, where you can click the hamburger menu in the upper left corner. Proceed to click Notebook, then click Settings. Slide the top switch to Off, and Cortana won’t make a peep!

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Six Windows 10 annoyances: How to make them go away for good

 

Wires can’t keep up with faster Wi-Fi

Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, has been slowly appearing in homes, buildings and public hotspots, but according to researchers at OpenSignal, gigabit is not delivering to smartphones and wiring is the culprit. In part with how wireless technology works, and the performance of the wired networks Wi-Fi needs to work, the smartphone reach is strained. Researchers found that the 802.11ac which is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi capabilites, gives users an average of 32.4Mbps, more than double the speed of anything else on the market. In anticipation of even newer technology, this is actually a great deal slower than the 400Mbps that should be made available with newer versions not on the market, yet.

Researchers wanted to know what accounted for the hold up, as 32.4 and 400 have a great range between them. What has been noticed is that the built-in limitations of wireless are partly to blame, but rather that the speed of wire that is plugged into the access point is the real cause of slower speeds. As technology moves forward, Wi-Fi has surpassed wired networks in many places. However, the wired networks still remain, and if the data ultimately carries over 25Mbps cable broadband, that is basically as much as any user is going to get.

Ethernet is attempting to keep up as 802.11ac gets faster, with new LAN interfaces that can run 5Gbps. At the moment the pickings are slim, and getting 802.11ac with a smartphone is not the norm. In order to do so, a smartphone and wired network are necessary. Most of the time when a smartphone is using Wi-Fi it is on the older, slower, 802.11n. Currently, users in the United States were only on 802.11ac 7.9 percent of the time. wifi_80211ac


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Newer Wi-Fi’s faster, but it needs a fast wire behind it

 

Apple approaches enterprise and partners with SAP

apple-sap-1200x520Apple is making headway in the enterprise market, adding another major partnership to their resume, SAP. Apple will work alongside to develop more native iOS apps as well as an SDK for SAP’s HANA cloud platform. The SDK element is meant to open the door for the more than 2.5 million SAP users to develop and build native iOS apps that can access real time data through SAP systems. The agreement between Apple and SAP also includes a new “SAP Academy for iOS” in which SAP customers and partners are invited to meet face-to-face, learning how to design apps for iPhones and iPads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook relays his excitement about the deal by saying, “With 76 percent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAO is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad,”Cook said this week. Apple has said that roughly 310,000 businesses and public agencies use SAP applications and services.

During the past two years Apple has made some major deals. IBM, Cisco, and now SAP, many in the industry are predicting Oracle is next on the list for Apple. This would be a good move for Apple, as Oracle is one of the last pieces to the enterprise puzzle.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:Apple’s SAP deal means more iOS enterprise apps

 

Apple Music is quietly deleteing songs form user drives

apple-fixes-users-folder-bug-with-itunes-update_1Alright, as a person that values her carefully selected music library, I was pretty surprised to hear that my biggest fear was coming to life. Some users are complaining that Apple Music has been quietly deleting songs from their hard drives. James Pinkstone, average user, noticed after implementing Apple Music, that many of his tracks were mysteriously missing. Anyone that has battled with the transition of CDs to the digital age, knows that burning tracks from CD to music library is a long and painful task. It takes time to manually import the tracks, and if you are like many that have already upgrade their machines to the latest edition, know that CD players alone are becoming obsolete. So come to find out that many if not all of the tracks that you have painstakingly imported are suddenly missing, without your permission, would be infuriating.

The official comment from Apple concerning this issue was that, “the software is working as intended”. As intended! Apparently it intends to “clean up” user song content no matter if it has permission to or not. Not comforting. Pinkstone thought perhaps his songs would be made available through the cloud, but that was quickly determinded to not be the case. Luckily for Pinkstone, he has everything backed up. Take that Apple!

Apple patches vulnerable OS X Git version

5743588-Sick-green-apple-with-patches-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-PhotoNearly a month after Git vulnerabilities, CVE-2016-2324 and CVE-2016-2315 were made clear to Apple, they have finally been fixed. Upsetting to some, the patched version of Git was released on March 17th, but was not implemented into Xcode by Apple until about 6 weeks later. Apple released a new version of its Xcode development tool this past week, in order to patch two critical vulnerabilities in the Git source code management client. The Git vulnerabilities allow attackers to use malicious code on systems that utilized the initiated cloning operations.

Developers use Xcode to write applications for OS X and iOS as it is an integrated development environment. Xcode includes a package called the OS X Command Line Tools for Xcode, which contained the Git vulnerabilities. Now updated to 2.7.4. version, the Git with the command tools package should be back in working  order. System administrators and researchers alike criticized Apple for their lack of timely attention to the patches. Left in the dark and without a patch for 6 weeks, many were forced to resort to hacking in order to disable Git within company Mac machines, not exactly the ideal solution to the problem. When it takes Apple a month and a half to implement the fix, sometimes hackery is the only viable answer.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Computer World – Apple Patches

10 year old finds Instagram bug and cashes in big

facebook-instagramJani, the 10 year old that found a bug in Instagram, probably didn’t know you technically have to be 13 years old in order to even have an Instagram account. You may have to be 13 to have an account but there are no rules against age in the bug and hacking community. Jani found the glitch when he was able to delete any users comments off of Instagram. Jani says he was able to delete any text content he wished to, and although he didn’t proceed to delete any user text, he said if he wanted to he could have. The 10 year old, in true 10 year old fashion, related the severity of the bug to that of Justin Bieber, saying he could delete comments from anyone’s page, even Justin Bieber’s. Don’t worry Bieber fanatics, he resisted, and decided to rather exploit the bug to Facebook, wiping one of their comments from their test accounts and cashing in on $10,000.

The bug was detected by Jani in February, patched that same month, with his check in hand a month later. He has decided to buy himself a new soccer ball and bike. He also purchased two new computers for his brothers. Jani wishes to work as a security researcher when he is older, and we think he’s well on his way.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:10-year-old claims $10,000 bug bounty from Facebook

 

July 29th Marks the End of Free Windows 10 Upgrade

windows-10If you are one of the many that is stalling on upgrading to Windows 10 for free, now is the time to make moves. July 29th marks the end of the free upgrade offered by Microsoft, after July 29th Windows 10 will cost you a whooping $119. If you happen to be content with your current Windows software, you’ll be happy to hear that after July 29th you will no longer receive those pestering notifications encouraging you to upgrade.

As of right now Microsoft has relayed no intention of extending the free upgrade period any longer than the end of July. However, with the drastic change in price, Microsoft might encounter a shift in users willing to upgrade to Windows 10. I mean honestly, if you don’t want to upgrade when it is free, why upgrade when it costs you over a hundred bucks. This leads many to speculate that Microsoft may decide to extend the free upgrade period to get even more users on board. If this speculation turns out to be true, the update notifications are here to stay.

In the event this does happen, or perhaps you just truly despise having Windows constantly in your face about upgrading, there is a simple way to turn off Windows 10 upgrade notifications for good. Downloading, Never 10 by Steve Gibson Corporation will do the trick. After you have downloaded the software, click the “Disable Win10 Upgrade” button and your PC will stop the constant nagging. If the Windows 10 installer files have already been downloaded to your desktop, click the “Remove Win10 Files” button.  Even better, after you have done this you are free to delete Never 10, as it is not needed to continue blocking the notifications. If you do decide you miss your naggy relationship with Windows 10, you are free to download Never 10 again, and easily revert the changes you have made.

 


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Microsoft will soon stop nagging users to upgrade to Windows 10