Google+ April 2017 ~ High Tech House Calls

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why iOS 10.3 requires an extra tap to make a phone call by By Caitlin McGarry

When you install iOS 10.3, if you haven’t already, you’ll notice that there’s now an extra step to make a phone call. Before the update, tapping on a phone number would immediately initiate a call. Now, you have to confirm that you want to dial that number before the dialing begins. There’s a really good reason for this weird change.

According to the Wall Street Journal, an 18-year-old hacker allegedly wrote malicious code that, when tapped, would force your iPhone to dial 911 over and over. The prank led to thousands of 911 calls that overwhelmed emergency response systems in several states. There may have been people trying to reach a 911 operator that couldn’t because of the auto-dialing.

The code worked by exploiting the iOS auto-dialing feature, which is why Apple had to turn it off. Now you have to confirm that you want to make a call before the phone will initiate one.

It turns out that having Apple disable that feature on the iPhone is a whole lot easier than the call centers themselves blocking repeated 911 calls, a form of cyberattacking that could render 911 services unusable. According to the WSJ, each call center is managed by a local authority, not a centralized one, and getting every center on board with a fix would be near impossible.

How to detect a virus on your iPhone or iPad By Mark Jones,

Apple gadgets are known for having great security. That's because Apple devices using iOS are built in a way that denies files access to any system directories.
This makes it impossible for Apple users to download third-party applications. It can be inconvenient for users but Apple believes the added security outweighs the inconvenience.

That leads some Apple users to "jailbreak" their gadget. As you might know by now, jailbreaking is a risky way of bypassing Apple's software restrictions on iOS devices, allowing a user to install unauthorized apps and services.

It is a practice that is highly discouraged by Apple since it could lead to security holes that hackers could exploit. In fact, several users have reported that their Facebook, PayPal, and credit accounts were hacked after using jailbreaking tools.

How to detect an infected Apple device

If you did jailbreak your Apple gadget, here are some symptoms that it's infected with a virus:
  • Data usage - One thing you will notice if your gadget is infected with a virus is a large increase in data usage. A virus can eat away at data so you should compare the last few monthly statements from your cellphone provider. If you notice a huge spike in data usage, there's a good chance your gadget is infected.
  • Crashing apps - If you have a virus on your gadget, most likely apps will no longer function properly. They will crash continually while you try using them.
  • Pop-ups - While surfing online with the Safari browser, you might see pop-up ads all over the place. This could be the result of an infected gadget.
Continue reading and we'll tell you how to avoid and remove viruses.

How to update your iOS

Hackers are always looking for ways to infiltrate our gadgets. That's why it's important to keep your operating system up to date.
Whenever Apple discovers a vulnerability in iOS, it sends an update to patch it. Here are the steps to update your iOS:
Go into your "Settings" app and select "General." From there, select "Software Update" and your device will begin to check for updates. Then select "Download and Install."
To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select your device from the menu in your iTunes Library. Select "Summary" and then click on "Check for Update." Finally, select "Download and Update" and wait for the update to sync to your device.

How to remove a virus

If you suspect your iPhone or iPad may be infected with a virus, don't panic. You can easily wipe your gadget and start over with factory settings.
Here are the steps to wipe your Apple gadget:
  • Backup your device and all of the personal data on it using iCloud or iTunes - Click here for detailed steps to backing up your smartphone.
  • Go to Settings >> Tap General >> Tap Reset.
  • Tap "Erase All Content and Settings" to clear all apps and data from the gadget.
  • Restart your device and go through the initial setup steps again.
  • Sync into iCloud when you set up your device and restore your backed up data.
Watch this quick video to walk you through the steps:
You can also attach your iPhone or iPad to your computer and use the "Restore iPhone/iPad" button in iTunes to factory-reset the device. The key to these steps is they clear out all programs on your iOS device, which may have been compromised, and replace them with fresh copies. Your data and files should all be preserved, though you might lose some application settings.

If you suspect that restoring your phone to factory settings didn't do the trick, then feel free to take the gadget to Apple's Genius Bar. They have system-scanning software that detects and removes any hidden files.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Revealed! These laptops offer only HALF the promised battery life By Mark Jones,

Computer technology has come a long way since the early days. Super-fast processors and massive storage space are a couple of specs that have been greatly improved over the years.

You can even get a light-weight laptop that is faster and more powerful than what you would have found in a bulky desktop in the early 1990s. The battery life of a laptop has also made major strides. At least that's what some manufacturers would like us to believe, but are they being honest?

Are laptop manufacturers exaggerating battery life?

When you're in the market for a new laptop, hard drive capacity, processor speed, system memory (RAM) and battery life are some of the major factors that help make your decision. It turns out that several of the top manufacturers are exaggerating its laptop battery life.

A recent study by Which? shows that many of the top manufacturers are overstating the amount of time its battery will last between charges. In some cases, the estimated battery life was almost double what the actual battery life was.

Over the past year, Which? tested 67 laptop models from seven manufacturers. Researchers completed these tests by draining the battery from full charge until it died, at least three times for every laptop. Testing involved browsing the internet over Wi-Fi and watching movies until the battery shut down.

Out of the seven laptop manufacturers tested, Apple was the only one to meet expectations. In fact, Apple exceeded its battery life expectation of 10 hours by lasting an average of 10 hours and 15 minutes. Here is a comparison chart of each company's claimed battery life versus its actual battery life.

Claimed battery life10 hours7 hours 53 minutes10 hours 12 minutes9 hours 15 minutes9 hours 48 minutes6 hours 41 minutes7 hours 58 minutes
 Actual average battery life10 hours 15 minutes5 hours 59 minutes6 hours 53 minutes5 hours 12 minutes5 hours 2 minutes4 hours 34 minutes4 hours 45 minutes
As you can see from the chart, Dell and HP were the worst offenders. Both companies' actual battery life fell well short of its claims.

In response to this study, Dell told Which?, "It's difficult to give a specific battery life expectation that will directly correlate to all customer usage behaviors because every individual uses their PC differently. It's similar to how different people driving the same car will get different gas mileage depending on how they drive."

HP said setting selections like screen resolution will impact battery life, making it different for each user.

Here are some specific model test results:
  • Apple MacBook Pro 13 - Claimed battery life: 10 hours. Actual battery life: 12 hours
  • Dell Inspiron 15 5000 - Claimed battery life: 7 hours. Actual battery life: 3 hours 58 minutes
  • HP Pavilion 14-al115na - Claimed battery life: 9 hours. Actual battery life: 4 hours 25 minutes
  • Lenovo Yoga 510 - Claimed battery life: 5 hours. Actual battery life: 2 hours 7 minutes
Battery life probably isn't the ultimate feature that you're basing your purchasing decision on, but it is good to know how companies stack up. Start by finding the best features that fit your needs and go from there.