If you’re like many, you may wonder what the big deal is about Hillary Clinton using a private e-mail server for her governmental duties. While there are way more important stories in the world, the concern about the former Secretary of state using an e-mail address linked to a personal server is legitimate. Besides the remote but intriguing possibility that she was handling foreign policy with a NextPrez2016@gmail.com handle, her sidestepping of the government network is a somewhat devious maneuver. Additionally, the security concerns that arise with using a private network are too dangerous when our nation’s sensitive information is involved.
All municipal and federal employees utilize government servers to correspond. As a former government worker, I can attest that rules stated I was never to use my personal e-mail for ”business”. With top flight encryption and consistent maintenance by IT engineers beyond the cutting edge, these networks are simply more secure than the average e-mail server. Big time public e-mail providers can’t be held to the same standard, because pictures of your week at the beach are a little less of a priority than protecting national security.
A public power outlet is a gold mine isn’t it? I know when I’m out with a certain friend he takes advantage of every working power outlet he can. He’s constantly on his iPhone. If he’s not e-mailing, he’s searching social media or taking pictures. Once his phone hits below a certain percentage he suddenly becomes a character in an adventure film, on a far and wide source for the hidden power. Sometimes the place we eat lunch depends on whether he can charge his phone. Yes, it’s that bad.
I’ve slowly realized that instead of combing backstreets and awkwardly procrastinating in stores until he gets a decent charge, I could be a little more proactive in helping him. We did some hands on research and found myriad ways to preserve an iPhone battery. This is iPhone centric, but some of the general rules apply to all smartphones. There are very practical solutions, as well as some I never would have thought about. At LaptopMD we’re known for curing smartphones, but part of any good Medic’s duty is making sure your phone is always in peak condition. Here are some tips for iPhone owners:
Battery Usage feature – i0S 8 has a new feature called Battery Usage, which allows you to see which programs are sucking up the most of your battery power. It’s a good idea to know which Apps are taking up the most power, so you can decide which Apps are the best to kill or maybe seek alternatives to. Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.
Don’t Kill Your Apps! – This is the most obvious solution……except it’s not a solution. The iOS system doesn’t actually hold background memory on Apps, so when you’re not using an app, it holds exactly 0% of your CPU, and subsequently none of your battery. Constantly “killing” your Apps does nothing but drain your battery.
It seems that in certain fields and among certain demographics, Apple products reign supreme. Among 20-somethings who work in “creative industries”, you’ll hardly find a single machine or gizmo without a shiny apple plastered somewhere on the case. Nevertheless, despite fitting squarely into that “20-something creative type” category, I refuse to own an Apple product. It’s not because I’m trying to buck a trend, or because I want to stand out from my peers. Really. It’s because when you look at it, there are very few positives to owning a Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Here’s my top 10 reasons why I personally will never (or at least not in the foreseeable future) own an Apple product (in no particular order):
Well ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we’ve made it into Time Out New York. Again. For the second time in as many years. How you like them apples, Tekserve? Looks like we’re quickly becoming a New York institution, and it’s about time, too.
It looks like after 10 years of slugging it out, we’re finally making it to the big time. And again it’s for our convenience. And if anyone should know about convenience, it’s writers. Trust me, I’ve been in the trenches. We’re some of the most hassle-averse people in the world. So if a writer tells you something is convenient, you bet it’s convenient.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we’re the only shop in the city that promises same-day service on most repairs and stays open until 9pm. And we do deliveries and pickups, did I mention that yet?
So what’s the next step? What’s next on LaptopMD+s quest for world domination? Maybe the New York Times (wink wink to any NYT reporters that stop in or read this). Then, we march off to conquer!
It seems the major cell phone OS companies just can’t let us have a break from their controversial shenanigans this month. First, highlighting both the vulnerabilities of the Android operating system, and Google’s powers to deal with it, we learned that the several apps in the Android Marketplace came with a bonus feature: a worm that could transmit you and your phones private info to the controllers of the virus. In a move that shouldn’t have been shocking, since the ability to do so is both written into the EULA for the Android OS and is found on every other cell phone OS, Google admitted that it had the power to reach into private users’ phones and remove the offending program remotely and without any notification to the user. Now, they sent notification anyway, apparently learning from the Buzz fiasco, but many people were still shocked and offended. Despite giving consent through the EULA, and despite the ability to do this sort of thing is standard for Google, RIM’s Blackberry OS, iOS, WinPhone7, and even Symbian and Palm OS.
Then, we shockingly discovered the meaning of the once-cryptic phrase found in our phone’s user guide: “iOS/Android may periodically send anonymous location information to Apple/Google.” Turns out, it means that iOs/Android may periodically send anonymous location information to Apple/Google. Mass hysteria and populist outrage broke out when it was discovered that Apple, and later Google, would periodically get location updates from users with smartphones. Because anonymous user information collection is now an invasion of privacy, because Apple “MIGHT” take the next step and collect private information, and then it “MIGHT” take the next step to selling or doing bad things with that information, and then it “MIGHT” trip on a slippery slope and then it’s goodbye freedom, hello 1984. Or, on the other hand, Apple “MIGHT” use it’s billions upon billions in cash reserves to simply tranquilize all Americans and implant them with a GPS location device, saving themselves a huge PR hassle.
Finally, it seems that congress has found itself with nothing to do and has plenty of time to kill (you know, now that the economy is completely fixed, unemployment is in the negatives, and we have secured freedom and democracy in every country in the world), so it has launched an investigation into the location tracking done by Apple and whether it was legal for apple to build in this capability. Despite a law passed in 2001 saying that this capability had to be built in. By law. Passed by congress. Rumor has it that Jobs has refused to acknowledge the congressional probe because it was formated for PC’s and could not be read.
Our intrepid founder, Arthur Zilberman, is quoted for a CNN Money tech blog about the importance of backing up data and why electronic gadgets just don’t seem to last as long we think they should. Highlights include:
“People have to remember that computers are machines — their parts wear out like the tires on a car,” says Arthur Zilberman, owner of Manhattan repair shop LaptopMD.
“We have people coming in crying every single day over losing term papers and photos,” Zilberman says. “They pay thousands of dollars to try to retrieve their data. If everyone backed up, we’d have a lot less business.”
Security experts and technology pundits have spent a long time now warning people about the dangers of unsecured wireless networks. As technology improves and more and more people go wireless and mobile, this has become an even bigger issue, and while we often look to quick technological fixes, more and more it looks like technology is making things worse instead of better.
Case in point? A little program released in October of last year called Firesheep has made it a snap for strangers to follow your browsing, and even log in as you to websites you’ve visited, on unsecured wireless networks.
The New York Times has an interesting piece on new (and not so new) technology that makes hacking wireless networks simple. Some of the programs showcased, like Firesheep, are relatively new and allow even users who can barely connect their printer to snoop on wireless activity. Especially troubling is the fact that those snoops can intercept your login information and access the websites and services that you used. A mild example would be a hacker taking your Twitter account info and posting spam under your name (something that has personally happened to me. It’s not fun to clean up after.)
A much more terrifying example would be a hacker stealing your credit card info if you used an e-commerce site that didn’t support SSL encryption (they’re out there, especially on smaller boutique e-stores). The take-away from this is never ever use a public, open wi-fi network to do anything unless you would be comfortable giving a play-by-play of all your activity to everyone around you by way of a megaphone. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable telling the barista at Starbucks where you’re surfing don’t surf there; save it for your home wired or secure wireless network.