Editorial

So if Apple did make a 13-inch iPad Pro...

While Apple absolutely did not leak one on their website, elaborating on what that image wasn't got me thinking again about what a 13-inch iPad Pro could be. Yes, I still think a bigger iPhone 6 is far more important than a bigger iPad, but that doesn't make the mental exercise any less interesting. Beyond how Apple might scale the iPad display to 13-inches, how could Apple differentiate a larger tablet? What other features could Apple add to make an iPad truly "pro"?

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Find my Mac passcode lock brute-force attack: What you need to know!

When Apple launched Find my Mac as an extension to their Find my iPhone system back in October of 2011 they included the ability to lock a Mac down so that it couldn't be accessed or rebooted into alternate modes. The lock, however, was implemented using a simple 4-digit passcode (PIN). That meant, with only 10,000 possible combinations, the passcode was susceptible to brute force attack. That's nothing new. It's been known since the start. What's new is that automated tools have now been developed to make the attack both easier and faster, and they're being reported on without a lot of context. So, is it something you should worry about?

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Is Snow Leopard 'vulnerable to attacks?' Has Apple really abandoned it?

"Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Mac vulnerable to attacks," reads the headline on Computerworld. Is it the end for Apple's venerable OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" operating system, and are you at risk if you're still using it? Hardly.

(Do the world a favor and don't click on that link. I put it here in the interest of full disclosure, but let's not reward bad behavior.)

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No, Apple didn't 'leak' a 13-inch iPad Pro with stylus on their website...!

For a while now we've been getting innumerable tips about a supposed 13-inch iPad Pro — with stylus no less — being "leaked" on Apple.com as part of their most recent supplier responsibility report. We've gotten a dozen or so today alone. Here's the thing: Apple doesn't leak unannounced products. The odds of a new iPad appearing in a throwaway graphic — when no event is even in sight — is as close to absolute zero as the temperature in deep space. What you're looking at above is just the lid assembly of a MacBook. Nothing less and certainly nothing more.

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Why Samsung's fingerprint sensor needs to face the same scrutiny as Apple's Touch ID

Last week the new Samsung Galaxy S5 was introduced and along with it, Samsung's take on the fingerprint identity sensor. Apple, of course, introduced Touch ID fingerprint identity scanner alongside the iPhone 5s back in September of 2013. From launch Touch ID received considerable scrutiny over its implementation and its implications from the media, from security groups, and from the government. So, roughly 3 nano-seconds after the Galaxy S5 was swiped on stage, Apple enthusiasts began wondering out loud about just when exactly that same scrutiny would hit Samsung. Some felt it won't and that that's unfair. Others felt it won't and that that's perfectly reasonable. My take is that it has to, and not just for the sake of Apple/Samsung fairness, but for consumer confidence and the future.

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Mail gets improvements in 10.9.2, but some users still have trouble — how about you?

On Tuesday Apple pushed live OS X Mavericks 10.9.2. Among the changes are improvements to Apple's Mail app. Apple's certainly moved Mail in the right direction, but it hasn't solved everyone's problems. Are you one of them?

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Dear Apple: How about providing free iCloud backup storage for every iOS device?

iCloud has been around since iOS 5. It's supposed to be a convenient way to backup data to Apple's servers and restore it to your iPhone or iPad any time you reset, replace, or upgrade your device. iCloud isn't perfect, however, and there are several really annoying things about it I'd love to see Apple address in iOS 8.

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The 'Galaxy S5' problem

The Galaxy S5 has just launched to what can best be summed up as a collective "that's nice..." from the media and the industry at large. Much as last year's Galaxy S4 was jokingly referred to as the Galaxy S3S, this year that's already been recycled to Galaxy S4S (Galaxy S3S2?). Apple suffers from this as well. The reason S3S or S4S are jokes is because of Apple's biennial "S" branding, where every second year's iPhone delivers a mostly internal upgrade to the last. It's a reflection of the times in which we live. All the major operating systems have already rebooted. The smartphone revolution that began in 2007 has stabilized into a steady evolution. And that has consequences. Last year, shortly before Samsung's Galaxy S4 event, I wrote about the "iPhone 5s" problem. Now Samsung and the Galaxy S5 have a much bigger problem, even if it is months away... the iPhone 6.

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Comcast/Netflix: Fearing the end to net-neutrality... or just a price hike?

Over the weekend Comcast announced a "mutually beneficial interconnection arrangement" with Netflix that should improve the quality of Netflix streaming for Comcast customers. While it's raised alarms, it's also provoked a few article writers to declare this another nail in the coffin for net neutrality. As usual, the truth is much more complicated.

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iPhone 6: Six things I'd like to see!

iPhone 6 fantasies will no doubt reach fetishistic levels at some point, but we're far enough out from the fall, and from the inevitable leaks that will come as fall approaches, that many possibilities, many dreams, remain open to us. What with the all the new Android phones at MWC dropping like cluster bombs this week, I'll admit I'm incredibly eager to see what Apple has planned for this year as well. I'll preface it by saying all I've heard so far is that there'll likely be two iPhones this year, a 4-inch model and a bigger than 4-inch model. Whether that's the iPhone 5s dropped down, an iPhone 5sc made unabashedly plastic, or simply a smaller iPhone 6 remains to be seen. As does the size of the larger phone, from 4.3 to almost 5-inches. So let's begin there...

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