Selective Hearing

Apple updated the full-size iPad
(not the Mini, sadly), but the REAL news was the  price drop. The WSJ's excellent summary of the options is here (note: paywall), but the short version is that as long as yours can run iOS 10, you probably don't need a new one.

P.S. if you use Google Calendar on an iPad, be sure to get the latest update--it's finally optimized for iPad use.

Samsung is back
. . .after the exploding phone disaster.  Why should you care, O iPhone user? Because Apple is due to announce a major new phone this fall, and Samsung is pushing the bar pretty high for Apple to meet. Notable:
  • Nearly the entire front of the phone is a gorgeous screen--hardly any bezel (see? left is the Samsung, right is the iPhone. Much more screen without a lot more phone.) ----->
  • Face recognition and iris scanning are built in (creepy/cool!)
  • While the hardware’s stellar, Samsung loads the phone with bloatware (unnecessary software), so die hard Android fans may prefer the purer Google Pixel phones.

 La-La-La-La I Can't Hear You!!!Ever wish you could filter out all those stupid robocalls just like email spam?
While not quite as automatic, in most cases it’s fairly easy and free. Mobile carriers offer free call screening apps (e.g., AT&T CallProtect) and for digital phone lines, there’s NoMoRobo, which grew out of an FTC robocall-blocking competition;  learn more about it here.  Land lines, unfortunately, aren’t covered. (Read the terms carefully, please).

An ounce of prevention
 
Viruses aren't our biggest worry anymore; scams are. Scam calls, scam emails, scam websites.  To our immense frustration, SMART, EDUCATED CLIENTS fall for them EVERY SINGLE DAY; PLEASE DON'T BE ONE OF THEM. 

A little basic literacy goes a long way.  You will be much safer if you understand:

  • "fire-wall-warning-apple.com" is NOT an Apple website, 
  • "abcnews.com.co" is NOT ABC News
  • Apple and Microsoft and the IRS will NOT call you at home about problems detected on your account/computer/phone
  • a fifth-grade hacker can easily build a website that RESEMBLES a bank's and try to grab your login information
  • How to distinguish between a real pop-up notification from your computer and a fake one

The FTC has very good, if dry, info here. For reliable but livelier advice, try (don’t laugh) this AARP website.
 
And in Signs of the Apocalypse:
Even the University of Utah is offering college scholarships for competitive video gaming

Yikes!

Happy Spring, at last.

Alison Holtzschue
and the computers dot mom team