Editorial

Using strong passwords and keeping your online self secure

Earlier today, eBay issued a press release letting users know that a cyberattack "compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data." Users will be asked to change their passwords just in case, though they noted that eBay "has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity." This is sadly just one of many attacks recently, and something that won't be going away anytime soon, if ever.

Attacks like this are nothing new, over the years plenty of big-name sites have become victim to similar cyberattacks. Retial chain Target has been all over the news lately, and there's also vulnerabilities like the recent Heartbleed Bug that affected Google, Facebook, Yahoo and dozens of other sites.

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On Google, advertising, and invading your home appliances

In answering the federal regulators' questions last year, Google merely stated the obvious — 'mobile' doesn't fit the new categories of device of the future

Can't say I didn't see this coming.

Late last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission — one of the bodies that helps make sure businesses play fair — had some questions for Google regarding its year-end 2012 fiscal report, which was filed in January 2013. Some of those questions regarded Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility. Some had to do with taxes. Some with Motorola's Home business. Other questions had to do with the difference between the "cost per click" for advertising on desktop versus mobile.

It's Google's answers to that last section that got the headlines, of course. It's blogger gold. "ZOMG Google to put ads on thermostats and refrigerators and your newborn baby's forehead."

Only, that's not really what Google said.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 switches targets from iPad to MacBook

There's an old cliche that it takes Microsoft three tries to really nail a product. Like most cliches it's as true as it is untrue, but with the just announced Surface Pro 3 it really does look like Microsoft finally understands their product and its position in the mobile device spectrum. Because of that, it also looks like Microsoft is changing targets from the iPad to the MacBook Air. So what does that mean?

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iOS 8 wants: Interactive notifications and push interface redux

Another of my longstanding desires for iOS is interactive (what some call actionable) notifications, which takes interface from being pull — I have to go find what I want to do — to push —the system brings what I want to do right to me. Home screens, widgets, apps are all pull interface. I have to go to switch out of what I'm doing in order to go do something else. Interactive notifications are push interface. No matter what I'm doing, they come right to me. Depending on implementation and settings, that can be convenient or annoying, but it's inarguably powerful. OS X Mavericks got it last year. It'd be great of iOS 8 got interactive notifications this year.

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The Terminal Galaxy S5, Heathrow, and the value of just saying 'no'

Update: Heathrow has sent iMore a clarification to what Samsung is actually doing — and not doing — at Terminal 5

I awoke this morning to the news that Heathrow Airport in the U.K was going to allow Terminal 5 — reportedly the busiest terminal in the world — to be rebranded as 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5' for two weeks. I immediately checked the source link to make sure it wasn't a lesser Onion-style satirical outlet, and the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Neither were the case.

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iOS 8 wants: Privacy Sheets to make permissions manageable

Back in February 2012 I wrote about, in part, the need for more granular privacy controls for the iPhone and iPad. Later that year we got them in the form of iOS 6 Privacy Settings. Apps had to ask you for permission to use each and every one of them, but they'd ask one after the other. "[App] would like to use your current location", tap, "[App] would like to access your Twitter account", tap, "[App] would like to send you push notifications", tap, "[App] would like to—" You know the modal pain to which I'm referring. That's why I also wrote about the need for a saner, simpler management system — a Privacy Sheet. And that's why, on the eve of iOS 8, I'm writing about it again.

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Why high bit-rate and HD audio are all about marketing, not music

High bit rate — kilobit per second — and HD audio — 24bit vs. 16bit — are getting a lot of attention lately, whether it's because streaming services are offering more or less kbps or upcoming devices are promising higher fidelity sound or Apple is rumored to be adding those features to iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. The truth is, as far as it's been explained to me and I'm able to understand it, is that higher bit-rate and higher bit audio is more about marketing than it is about music. Yes, the quality of the mastering matters incredibly, as does the quality of the transcoding, but for most audio, with most modern codecs, we're well past the levels where things become transparent to the listener. Why is that?

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Apple's Nokia hire shows it takes iPhone photography seriously

I have a confession to make. Up until fairly recently, I absolutely hated the camera on iPhones. It wasn't until I got an iPhone 5s that I finally felt like I wasn't fighting the iPhone to take a good picture. That's why I'm excited about recent news that Apple hired camera talent from Nokia.

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Editor's desk: Sponsor and support the iMore and Mobile Nations podcasts!

We've built up a terrific set of podcasts here at Mobile Nations and iMore. Not only do we have our original, site-specific shows like the Android Central podcast and the iMore show, but we've got Debug for developers, Iterate for designers, Review for TV and movies, Vector for analysis, and ZEN and TECH for better dealing with our connected lives. They, all of them, have made it to the iTunes top ten lists, been blessed with incredible guests, and — thanks to you! — found amazing audiences. Now we're ready to take them to the next level. Here's the deal...

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Beats and Apple: Does such a marriage make sense?

Apple's rumored to be courting Beats Electronics with a $3.2 billion deal. Does such a deal make sense?

Rumors spread like wildfire on Thursday that Apple is negotiating to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. I'm skeptical that the arrangement makes a lot of sense for Apple.

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