Who needs privacy?

With the warnings about the FaceApp app, most people don’t seem to give a crap what any license agreement says. Do you ever read the license agreement or think about what permissions the app wants access to?

Nah! Just want to use the latest viral app.

How many people install an app one day and then forget about it by the following week [if not earlier]?

Some install it only because it went viral and can now boast it is on their phone.

For example, how many people will use the FaceApp on themselves and family and friends and then run out on who to use it on.

[While at it, now the developer has images of family and friends even though those family and friends didn’t give the FaceApp user permission to use their picture.]

No different from the people who post that they are now at the airport taking a flight somewhere and won’t be back home for a couple of weeks [i.e. I’m not home. Rob me!] Wants access to my contacts, photos, camera and documents even though it’s a “flashlight” app? No problem.

I don’t remember the which [business] application for Windows it was but there was one that left a message way down in the EULA [that’s End User License Agreement] that said if you are reading this call a toll free number for a prize/reward. After its release, it took 3 months for someone to call and 2 a few more months for the second and third person to call.

I wish people would take the extra 15-30 seconds and see what is being taken from you.

You need to be smart with smart devices

You’ve heard of smartphones and probably smart TVs. Well, if you visit just about any electronic store, they have been invaded by smart devices.

Walk into some of the bigger stores and you will find maybe more than a dozen different brands. Even more on some online stores.

You can get, for example, smart locks. Say your favorite mother-in-law [!] decides to come for a visit but nobody is home. She calls you. With a few buttons on your smartphone, you can unlock the door and disarm the alarm. You could be thousands of miles away.

Or maybe you get notified that your balcony door has been opened and you know no one is home.

You can even turn on a light remotely [like advertised in a dumb commercial by a dumb telephone company].

You can even program a smart thermostat to lower the temperature when not at home or maybe turn on the air conditioning if the temperature rises over a certain temperature.

All nice and dandy but there are a few issues to think about.

First, with weak passwords is what some people use for their WiFi. A weak password lets them access your home network. Once they can access your home network they can spy on you and maybe even unlock your doors [let alone other things].

Second, when you enable these devices at home, you are effectively giving them access you your life. For example, they know when you come and go from your home. Cameras store information about you.

Third, there are legal issues. For example, if you forget to arm your smart alarm system, your insurance company could ask for the logs to verify if the system was armed or maybe you didn’t secure a back door or a window.

Read the fine print. When you enabled the devices, it could grant the vendor access to quite a bit of data.

The best suggestion is to stick with one company for your devices. For example, if you already have a Samsung smartphone [and maybe other devices from Samsung], consider using Samsung’s smart devices. The same can be said for Apple, Google or others. [As well, if you do have a single vendor, they can’t complain too much about incompatibility and/or blame another vendor].

If you use multiple vendors, that’s many additional passwords – let alone vendors that have your information.

If you do plan on using smart security devices consider checking for a starter kit which will include maybe sensors and a wall plug.

Also check whether your internet or cable provider already have some type of home security options. Part of what you will pay is for third party monitoring [if you choose that option].

Heads up! Out-of-band Security Update for Outlook coming today

Microsoft is expected to release an out-of-band security update for all supported versions of Outlook [the application].

The update is to corrected various issues.

It should be available around 1 pm Eastern time.

[Update: 2017/07/19] The update is delayed – not a good sign. It will now be release during the week of July 24th.

Possible issue with this month’s Windows 10 cumulative update

There has already been reports that this month’s Windows 10 cumulative update (KB3206632) may have an issue regarding Internet connectivity.

Some have reported that after installing and rebooting, they have no Internet access.

Those who are running Pro or Enterprise releases of Windows 10 can delay this update until verified by Microsoft and the update is re-released.

Unfortunately, for Windows 10 “Home” users, there is no option to delay the update.

If you do get this issue [will you be reading this?], the following may work:

  1. Run an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type: ipconfig /release
  3. Type: ipconfig /renew

This may fix the issue. If not technical, you can try the network troubleshooting tool and it should do the same thing. A drastic measure is to remove the network card drivers install them.

 

Apple revenue drops, Cook is still in charge

For the first time in 13 years, Apple’s reported falling revenue in the last three months to $50.6 billion – a decline of 13%. In the first quarter of 2015, Apple announced record revenue from the iPhone. The iPhone pulls in about 66 per cent of all Apple’s revenue with the remainder from Macs and the App Store.

Compare to last year where apple made $53 billion on goods and services. This was an all time high. Compare that to 1996bwhen Apple lost in excess of $1.5 billion and would eventually get a “loan” from Microsoft to hold off in bankruptcy. It is also Apple’s first revenue decline since 2003 [fell 1%].

As 2015 closed, Apple claimed record growth in China for Q4 thanks to new iPhones. 40 per cent growth in iPhone sales and 71% overall. But it turned into an 11 per cent year-one-year decline in the second quarter in China.

Research company Gartner earlier this month reported the era of double-digit market share growth for smart phones is done as it suggested global 2016 growth at 7% as consumers are also starting to hold onto their older phones for longer.

Apple already has stiff competition from cheaper phone providers in China [where Apple never was big] as well as Samsung and others around the world.

Apple is planning a $2 billion inventory reduction to choke off existing supply of iPhones already out there in order to regenerate demand.

Further problems is that under Steve Jobs, Apple innovated. They were the first with a true smartphone and tablets and were a leader for music players. Under current CEO Tim Cook, they seem to be copying everyone else for features.

In the last few years Apple has had many issues which have come up but rarely existed under Jobs. Among them:

  • “AntennaGate” – where holding your smartphone a specific way, reception was bad.
  • Numerous issues when upgrading OS X. For example when El Capitan came out, major upgrade issues. Took 2 updates to correct the problems.
  • An increasing amount of security issues [where odd things allow access to their iGadgets].

Sales of the latest low-end iPhone 6se hasn’t sold well. The latest iPad isn’t selling because older iPads are still functioning [unlike a smartphone, there is no contract for an iPad – so you don’t have to change it every two years]. Apple doesn’t even want to publically say how well the Watch has sold. Not a good sign.

Remember the MacDefender malware in around 2011? When it first came out, Apple sort of denied it even though about 25% of new support forum comments were related to it. After two weeks they acknowledged the issue and said to go buy an ant-virus software [which was unheard of before] from the AppStore [so Apple gets 30% of what you buy – nice – profiting from others’ misery]. Then only 2 weeks later was an update released to combat the issue.

Selling a base model iGadget reduces revenue as the consumer would most likely buy the full version – particularly if a Fanboi or Fangurl. Jobs never wanted to sell an iPad Mini for that reason [among others].

Apple continues to claim the end of the PC era but continues to sell them. Hypocrites.

Time to dump Cook. Surprised the shareholders haven’t done so by now.

Wow – no issues with Microsoft’s monthly patches

Maybe I should hold my breath or jinx things but so far this month of October for Microsoft patches has two interesting facts:

  • We have gone about 4 days now and there is no evidence that there is an issue with any of the patches released this month [this was considered a light month compared to the last few months].
  • This is the first month this year where no patch was released to fix a zero day vulnerability [that is basically a vulnerability that was just released and is being exploited heavily].

We’ll see how long this lasts!

Emergency out of band patch from Microsoft today

Microsoft is to release a critical out-of-band patch today [Monday, July 20] at 1pm EST/10am PST.

As usual, no word on what the patch fixes until it is released.

An out-of band patch is released when an issue is actively being exploited and Microsoft believes it can’t wait for the next “Patch Tuesday” – 3 weeks away.