Yowch!

Fancy Schmancy
Apple updated their laptop offerings last week, focusing on dazzling high-end Macbook Pros that add a narrow touchscreen strip above the keyboard in place of the function keys (the ones at the top that say F5, F6, etc.) AND a TouchID sensor, like the iPhone, so you can use a fingerprint in place of passwords.  That’s exciting, but expensive; the newest Macbook Pro without the Touch Bar starts at $1,499; with the Touch Bar, the 13” model starts at $1,799 and the top-of-the-line 15” model STARTS at $2,799.  Yowch!

The least expensive Apple laptop is now the venerable 13” Macbook Air ($999+); my beloved workhorse 11” Air, small enough to cram into a large handbag, will no longer be sold to consumers.

Apple Still Hasn’t Solved TV (But They’re Trying) 
Apple also launched a new TV app designed to unify the myriad video and TV apps (HBO, Hulu, Apple TV) on your iPad, Apple TV, or iPhone in a single, conveniently searchable place.  That would be fantastic if only it included Netflix and Amazon, which so far it doesn’t seem to do.  Stay tuned.

Diabolical Email Scam (Double Yowch!)
You know by now to ignore calls from the IRS, “Windows Technical Department,” Microsoft, Google, etc: they’re scams.   And you can spot the fake emails that try to entice you to sign in to your bank account, right?

But recently several clients received this email that appeared to be from a friend:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wedding Anniversary

John  & Mary Cather
cordially invite you to a special Dinner party
We request your presence as we celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Kindly View your private invitation for details and confirm your attendance
(Kindly tick yes to RSVP to this invite)
Cocktails, appetizers and many more will be served by our chosen chef
This invite is intended for you and is absolutely non-transferable
THANKS!!!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It looked like a simple invitation, but it’s actually a phishing attack: clicking the rsvp link asked for your Dropbox login. That's brilliant social engineering: most people would immediately respond out of good manners, and not consider the risk.
 
(I wanted to write about the DDoS attack, but this is late and too long already; if you're interested, you can read about it here).

Next time, I'll report about Google's new Amazon Echo competitor, preliminary NY Times review here: mine has shipped!