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January 23Monday's News


Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking?

Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking?

Social media sites are not well-monitored playgrounds with protectors watching over you to ensure your safety. When you use social media, do you think about who might be using it besides your friends and connections? Following are some of the other users you may encounter.

  • Identity thieves. Cybercriminals need only a few pieces of information to gain access to your financial resources, such as phone numbers, addresses, names, and other personal information
  • Online predators. Are your friends interested in seeing your class schedule online? Well, sex offenders or other criminals could be as well. Knowing your schedule and your whereabouts can make it very easy for someone to victimize you, whether it's breaking in while you're gone or attacking you while you're out.
  • Employers. Most employers investigate applicants and current employees through social networking sites and/or search engines. What you post online could put you in a negative light to prospective or current employers. Think before you post
  • How Do You Protect Your Information? Although there are no guaranteed ways to keep your online information secure, following are some tips to help keep your private information private.

    • Don't post personal or private information online! The easiest way to keep your information private is to NOT post it. Don't post your full birthdate, address, or phone numbers online. Don't hesitate to ask friends to remove embarrassing or sensitive information about you from their posts, either. You should NEVER assume the information you post online is private.
    • Use privacy settings. Most social networking sites provide settings that let you restrict public access to your profile, such as allowing only your friends to view it.
    • Be wary of others. Many social networking sites do not have a rigorous process to verify the identity of their users. Always be cautious when dealing with unfamiliar people online and approving friend requests
    • Understand the role of hashtags. Hashtags (#) are a popular way to provide clever commentary or to tag specific pictures. Many people restrict access to their Instagram accounts so that only their friends can see their pictures. However, when someone applies a hashtag to a picture that is otherwise private, anyone who searches for that hashtag can see it. -- OIT Weekly.

Head to head: Apple's Time Machine versus three local backup utilities for macOS

Head to head: Apple's Time Machine versus three local backup utilities for macOS

Backing up your data to prevent loss in the case of digital disaster couldn't be much easier, but there are choices to make, and things you should to to guarantee safety. AppleInsider looks at some of your options, and helps you choose. -- AppleInsider.


Fastest magnetic read/write ever is incredibly energy efficient

Fastest magnetic read/write ever is incredibly energy efficient

Magnetic media, in the form of disk and tape drives, has been the dominant way of storing bits. But the speed and low power of flash memory has been displacing it from consumer systems, and various forms of long-term memory are in development that are even faster. But a new paper suggests that magnetic media may still be competitive--you just have to stop reading and writing it with magnets.

Using a specific form of garnet and some ultrafast laser pulses, a Dutch-Polish team of researchers performed what they suspect is the fastest read/write of magnetic media ever. And, for good measure, the process was extremely energy efficient. -- Ars Technica.

7 questions to ask before buying a used phone

7 questions to ask before buying a used phone

If you're in the market for a new smartphone, checking prices could give you a serious case of sticker shock. Both the iPhone 7 and Google's Pixel start at $649 and go up from there, with a top-of-the-line iPhone 7 Plus selling for $969.

If you're OK with having something that's a little less than the latest model, going with a used phone can save you a bundle. The downside? Getting a good deal -- and a phone that works -- takes more effort than buying a new phone off the store shelf. If you're willing to put in some legwork to save cash, here's what you need to know about buying a used cell phone -- and seven questions to ask before doing so. -- Cult of Mac.

iPhone, Take a Message

iPhone, Take a Message

The iPhone can display text transcriptions of your recorded voice mail messages -- as long as you have an iPhone 6s model or later. The phone also needs to be running the iOS 10 system software, and your wireless carrier must support the Visual Voicemail feature. (Most national carriers support it, although the transcription text is currently available only in American and Canadian English.) -- New York Times.

Slashdot's Interview With Swift Creator Chris Lattner

Slashdot's Interview With Swift Creator Chris Lattner

The creator of Apple's Swift programming language (and a self-described "long-time reader/fan of Slashdot") stopped by on his way to a new job at Tesla just to field questions from Slashdot readers. Read on for Chris's answers... -- Slashdot.

How to Factory Reset Apple AirPods, May Help with Battery and Pairing Issues

How to Factory Reset Apple AirPods, May Help with Battery and Pairing Issues

Have you been having issues with your AirPods battery indicator or pairing issues? Some users have reported that doing a factory reset helps with both. Bryan Chaffin walks us through how to do it. -- The Mac Observer.


About backups for iOS devices

About backups for iOS devices

You can copy and save the information on your iOS device by backing it up. If you replace your device, you can use its backup to transfer your information to a new iOS device.

This article can help you decide which backup method is best for you. In case you ever need an alternative backup, you can make a backup in iCloud and another in iTunes. -- Apple Support.

Where Do AirDrop Files Go? Locating AirDrop Files on Mac and iOS

Where Do AirDrop Files Go? Locating AirDrop Files on Mac and iOS

AirDrop is the excellent wireless file transfer feature available to Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and with it you can easily and quickly transfer pictures, movies, documents, and whatever else between any iOS or Mac OS device. Being on the receiving end of AirDrop, have you ever wondered where AirDrop files go on a Mac or on an iPhone or iPad? Wonder no more, we'll show you exactly where AirDrop files are saved to and how you can access their location in iOS and Mac OS. -- OS X Daily.

How to use your iPhone to translate foreign words to English (no app required)

How to use your iPhone to translate foreign words to English (no app required)

While it is no longer a secret that Apple provides a set of built-in dictionaries for when you stumble upon a word unbeknownst to you, there is an important distinction between some of the dictionaries available to you.

The tutorial below is going to highlight the difference between the two main subsets of dictionaries (thesaurus vs. actual language to language translation) and scrutinize if your language of choice is one of the few lucky ones Apple decided to support beyond the thesaurus. -- iDownload Blog.

How to find, view, and delete everything the Amazon Echo and Google Home know about you

How to find, view, and delete everything the Amazon Echo and Google Home know about you

Has Amazon's Echo and Google's Google Home taken up residence in your home? If not, you're probably at least considering adding one of these digital helpers. They are supremely useful after all, providing assistance with everything from weather forecasts to smart-home control. All you need to do is ask.

In order to fulfill your requests, however, both of these voice-activated digital assistants must upload your verbal commands to the cloud. Just what does that entail? The short answer is that your commands are saved to your Amazon or Google account respectively. And the more you use these devices, and the more services you link to them, the more their respective manufacturers will know about you. Those insights can range from what kinds of movies and music you like to what time you go to bed.

Fortunately, there are privacy options you can manage, as well as ways to purge that collected information. We'll show you how you can get the most out of these devices while maintaining the maximum amount of personal privacy. -- TechHive.

Ultra-quickly turn on subtitles/closed captions on Apple TV

Ultra-quickly turn on subtitles/closed captions on Apple TV

Here's a quick tip if you've an Apple TV 4, complete with touchpad remote control.

To enable subtitles/closed captions within a compatible app, just tap the touchpad three times. To subsequently disable them, tap three times again.

Easy! Alas, this doesn't work within all apps. It works in Apple's own apps, and you might have to experiment a little to see if it works in other apps. Notably, it doesn't currently work in Netflix. -- Mac Kung Fu.

Are Apple's wireless AirPods worth shelling out $160?

Are Apple's wireless Airpods worth shelling out $160?

After months of delays, Apple's wireless earbuds, or AirPods, are finally starting to ship out to consumers -- but if you haven't plunked down $160 yet, are they worth buying?

The Verge's Lauren Goode and Recode's Kara Swisher debated the merits of AirPods on the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask. Apple claims the AirPods can connect to multiple devices with less hassle than normal Bluetooth audio gear, but Goode said that feature has been inconsistent for her in practice. -- Recode.

New home network

New home network

A couple of weeks ago, I switched our cable TV and internet service provider from Wide Open West to Comcast, mainly because WOW's internet service had gotten terrible and their customer service was, if anything, worse. With the new service came a gigantic multipurpose modem/router/phone/wifi device (this one) for $10/month. I had Comcast go ahead and install this behemoth because I wanted my new service up and running as quickly as possible, and I figured letting them put in their standard stuff was the best way to achieve that. After I knew everything was working right, I could do some research, assemble a new system, return the big black box to Comcast, and reduce my bill. That's what I did yesterday and what I'm going to talk about today. -- Dr. Drang.