In this election season, Leo says that touch screen voting machines are simply a bad idea. Technology can be a great thing, but not everything needs to be high tech. Voting machines need to be highly secure, must be constantly calibrated, and are ripe for hacking. Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we should, and voting machines are a great example of that. By keeping paper ballots, there's also a paper trail, so it's harder for someone to falsify them.
Apple announced a new MacBook Pro with an interesting OLED Touch Bar that replaces the function key row. The design is really cool, but technology reporters think that Cupertino has no idea who the new computer is for. Leo also says that people are complaining that Apple is only giving lip service to the Mac platform now, and when it comes to the professional market, Apple has lost its way. Leo doesn't disagree. Pros are complaining that Apple has eliminated key ports like the standard USB, and even the Magsafe connector, all in favor of a USB-C capable Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Microsoft announced its very first desktop computer, as well as some new apps they're calling the "Windows Creative Edition" of Windows 10. The desktop is called the Surface Pro Studio, a 28" all-in-one desktop with an articulating arm that collapses the high resolution screen down into a huge drafting table configuration for painting and drawing. There's two color standards, including True Color and standard RGB. They also announced a wireless dial which you place on the screen and then can use it to change color pallets, tool bar options, menu access, etc.
A new article on Motherboard details how hackers used a spearfishing attack to get passwords and break into the email of members of the Democrat National Committee, namely John Podesta, and also Colin Powell. The attack came as a phoney message from Google that someone had their password and they should change the password immediately, along with a big "change password" button.
President Obama has ordered the CIA to develop a "proportional response" to the reported Russian hacking of the DNC which exposed emails about the Clinton campaign. But Leo says what could the CIA expose by hacking the Kremlin? Putin posts bare chested pictures of himself on Instagram? The man is embarrassed by nothing! And could such a response cause an escalation? Leo says that our utility infrastructure is vulnerable to hacking and such a cyber war could devolve into crippling our electrical grid ... or worse.
Apple announced the iPhone 7 this week, taking the "courageous" step of removing the headphone jack in favor of lightning connected ones. They also announced AirPods, which are wireless Bluetooth 4 headphones with microphones in each ear. They cost $159. The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras, one 28mm wide angle and one 57mm telephoto. The Apple Watch Series 2 was also announced and it dropped the price of the Series 1 by $100, making it almost in the same price range as the Fitbit.
Remember when Apple refused to unlock an iPhone because to do so would unlock all phones? Well the company NSO Group has found several flaws in the iPhone operating system and they've been selling exploits to governments to spy on dissidents. They've apparently had the exploit for three years and have been selling it. Apple has moved to patch the exploits that have been reported, but the question is, have they gotten them all? Leo says there's something wrong about selling the ability to spy on people.
This week, after reports that over 35 batteries in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have exploded, Samsung has stopped sales of the Android phone and recalled them. Leo says that part of the problem may be the fast charge option. Leo recommends that if you have a Note 7, take no chances, and return it. T-Mobile is offering loaners until they have been replaced or refunded. Leo says that Samsung is doing the right thing, even though it will hurt the bottom line. Back it up, remove your SIM and bring it back to the place you got it.
Invitations are believed to be going out for Apple's Fall iPhone event on September 7th. Rumors point to the iPhone 7 removing the headphone jack in favor of either wireless airbuds or via a new lightning connected airbuds. There will also be a dual camera array which will take images in color and black and white to use it to make a more accurate image.
Remember the legal battle that Apple fought against the US Government to prevent unlocking of the iPhone's encryption? The US Gov't ended up going to a third party company who had created a hack to do it. Now that hack is being used to unlock and peer into the mobile phones of dissidents and other undesirable elements that the government wants to keep tabs on. Even reporters. Leo says that Apple has pushed out a fix to block it, and everyone should install iOS 9.5.3 to stop it. Otherwise, you're vulnerable.