How different is Apple’s newest Macbook Pro from previous models?

New Macbook from AppleInsider.com

This year, 2017, Apple came out with a new Macbook Pro, with many new features added to its model. They have added a touch bar and touch ID to log in, which is similar to the feature that is included in iPhones, used to log in. The touch bar replaces the function keys at the top of the keyboard, and things such as volume and brightness. In terms of storage and speed, the computer has up to 130% faster graphics, up to ten hours of battery life and 100% faster flash storage. The speakers have also been updated, as they now have up to 58% more volume, and two in a half times louder bass in the speakers.

The new computer is said to be thinner, lighter as well as being smaller, making it more convenient to carry around. Another added feature to the Macbook Pro, is that it has a larger trackpad, and they keyboard itself has also been redesigned to be thinner as well. The display of the computer itself has also been improved, as it brighter, has more contrast, and has more colors that give the display a  more realistic look to it.

How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It

This article discusses how people of the future may look back upon today’s society as a time of ‘renaissance’.  The article states that “for people of the future, our time may be remembered as a period not of death, but of rejuvenation and rebirth”.  Digital technology is allowing for many different art forms to take center stage and allow for anyone to be exposed.  Because of this, ads and revenue have too become a vital part of the internet and all it encapsulates.  However, a recent shift in subscriptions shows the growing potential behind the sustainability of the internet.

YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Apple music are just some examples of how subscriptions are taking over.  With a growing dependence on these services, the internet is becoming a reliable hub for all content creators across the globe.  Additionally, with the constant use of social media, content creators are ever so close to their audience and possess a new opportunity to directly communicate with millions at a moment’s notice.

As these trends continue to grow, the lives of content creators continue to do the same.  Hopefully, our time will indeed be considered a sort of modern-day renaissance.  I think that right now is a special time in the realm of technology and for it to merely be glossed over in the future would be a shame.  There are a lot of exciting and important changes taking place every day, and I hope that my kids one day learn about the pivotal times I lived in.

Massive Instant Direct Communication: How dangerous is it?

Ever since the dawn of time, humans have evolved technology to increase the efficiency of communication, from runners to telegraphs to computers. It is so easy now to message someone from across the world with just a few strokes of the keyboard. Now, we have developed fiber optic cables, which are able to transmit information faster than the electrons running through telephone polls. We have become so used to instant communication that, unfortunately, we have become addicted to it instead of using it when needed. Is this massive direct instant communication actually hurting us socially?

There are two sides to this argument. One is that because we have massive instant direct communication (which I will now be referring to as MIDC for the sake of word count and easy reading) has made our lives better because we can keep in touch with other people whenever we feel like it, which boosts efficiency and decreases loneliness. The other is that we have become so attached to our virtual lives that we have unfortunately put our constant connection first before experiencing the world around us.

As for my opinion? I would say that there are some benefits and downsides, but that’s not really that matters. What matters is getting people to understand both sides and to evenly balance it out. If you are spending too much time on your phone, computer, or other device that gets you connected, spend some time disconnected by exercising, meeting up with friends, or other such activity. If you are not spending enough time connected, make sure you do because, like it or not, the world is transitioning online.

Can Malware Turn Your Technology into an Eavesdropping Device?

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According to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), there are many malicious programs just waiting to turn computers into personal eavesdropping devices. Researchers explained as well as demonstrated just how easily most PCs and laptops are susceptible to this form of attack.

Programs such as “SPEAKE(a)R: Turn Speakers to Microphones for fun and profit” are able to transform headphones into a pair of microphones, without setting of unease. “‘The fact that headphones, earphones and speakers are physically built like microphones and that an audio port’s role in the PC can be reprogrammed from output to input creates a vulnerability that can be abused by hackers,’ says Prof. Yuval Elovici, director of the BGU Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) and member of BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering.”

“‘This is the reason people like Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg tape up their mic and webcam,’ says Mordechai Guri, lead researcher and head of Research and Development at the CSRC. ‘You might tape the mic, but would be unlikely to tape the headphones or speakers.'”

Malware is able to covertly reconfigure a headphone jack from a line-out jack to a microphone jack, converting the headphones into a hackable recording device that is predicted to have a range of several meters. Even worse, this process is able to continue even while the computer doesn’t have a connected microphone–and was demonstrated by the researchers in the SPEAKE(a)R video.  

Countermeasures, however, are possible, such as completely disabling audio hardware or using an HD audio driver to send an alert when microphones are being accessed. Extra precautions can be taken with anti-malware systems, which can monitor and detect unauthorized speaker-to-mic retasking operations and block them.

iPhone 8 to have major updates

Chinese factories as well as American internet sources have leaked a lot of interesting updates about the upcoming new iPhone. While some of these rumors come from the manufacturers and some come from sources here in America, they are all still rumors.

Some updates from the factories in China report that there will be a 5.8 inch iPhone, which is bigger than the current iPhone 7 plus, which has a 5.5 inch display, but smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, which is about 6 inches. The iPhone 8 is also rumored to have edge to edge design and feature an OLED (organic light emitting diodes) screen rather than the LCD screen used now. OLED’s are basically the upgraded version of LED lights, which are typical lights you would find in buildings, homes, or offices. This new phone may also play upon the new home button design of the iPhone 7, or may not include a home button at all.

One of the most surprising reports was of facial recognition technology in the phone. This would work by using laser and infrared located near the front-facing camera. However, this report hasn’t been reported by multiple sources like some of the other information about the new phone so reporters are more skeptical of this claim.

Apple does have a set release schedule for new products and with the exception of the iPhone SE, every iPhone has gone on sale in September, so the official announcement for the iPhone 8 should be around early September 2017.

Smartphone Photography

Apple’s new Iphone’s and Google’s new pixel phones, are revolutionizing photography. Within the power of a single touch, a person can take professional looking photographs with just a click of a button. With phones already taking better pictures and access to great apps, many options are available for customization for improved photography.

Continue reading “Smartphone Photography”

Backpacks: Becoming more than just fabric

Taken from TYLT.com

Backpacks are a bag with shoulder straps allowing it to be carried on someone’s back and they are usually composed just of fabric and various pockets. Today, with so much technology available to the public, such as laptops, smartphones, and smartwatches, the demand for charging ports has increased. Most of the time when someone’s phone is running low on battery, they may not be near a place where they could sit down, take out their charger and plug it into an outlet. Due to this issue, the more convenient solution is to be able to charge it on the go. Although portable chargers are available on the market, another solution which is possibly more convenient is backpacks which have built-in USB and battery to charge your devices.

One of these innovative, new back packs is the TYLT designed “ENERGI BACKPACK.” It has five external pockets and two internal pockets with a battery, allowing users to charge up to three devices at the same time. It is also “travel friendly,” meaning that it fits on the handle of any luggage when traveling, and getting through airport security is easy, as you could also keep your laptop in the backpack. With this new backpack, people will have a mobile charging station at their access at anytime.