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Archives for February 2019 | Marten IT Blog

Apple sued over RIM-developed USB charging technology following preemptive action

In an article appearing on the AppleInsider website, they state "Non-practicing entity Fundamental Innovation Systems International on Monday filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the tech giant infringes on multiple patents covering USB charging and communication technologies."

It is interesting to note that these types of cases keep coming up where a "non-practicing" entity that have purchased some patents for the sole purpose of extorting money but do not actually use them for the purposes intended.

My opinion is that if a company or someone buys patents then they can only be used as a basis for litigation if these patents are actually being used by the owner or the owner has clear plans on how they will be used within a reasonable period of time.

In the absence of laws that restrict the ability of trolls to extort money, perhaps another approach is to keep these trolls in court until they have no further resources left to fight the case. This course of action should only be available when the entity is non-practicing in relation to the patents.

Source:
AppleInsider

Smart home devices attract hackers in their first five minutes online

In an article on gearbrain.com, they state that a new report emphasizes why people need to change default passwords and user names immediately

Within five minutes of a smart device going online, hackers will try to gain access by using well-known factory setting passwords and usernames. Even devices that have been updated, where a buyer sets up new credentials immediately, may be hacked because of security vulnerabilities built into the security camera, virtual assistant, thermostat or other product.

Read the full article at
gearbrain.com

CBA plugs 500,000 customers into Apple Pay in just two weeks

In an article on itnews, they state that "Stampede boosts mobile banking users by 50 percent.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s backflip on its longstanding Apple Pay boycott has paid off in spades, with more than half a million people flocking to the new payment service just two weeks after it was made publicly available to customers." And "The bottom line is CBA is prepared to sacrifice its transaction fee pipeline for customer satisfaction and loyalty."

Originally, CBA was one of the banks in a consortium that tried to get Apple to let them have access to the fundamental security (NFC). The ACCC ruled that their case was unjustified and it was basically a ploy which would have allowed banks to process transactions from within their own apps and thereby undermining the security. It would also have given banks access to data that they could have used for marketing or to sell on to others.

Read the article at
itnews

How to get more from Terminal and use it to control your Mac

The Mac, like Windows, has a graphical user interface for the user to make life easy and as simple as possible to use. However, in the MacOs there is the capability to perform m some very powerful actions from the terminal. This is because MacOs is based on Unix and there are any well know Unix commands that are available.

In an article on AppleInsider, they have listed and provided some useful commands but in reality there are many many more.

To read the article, go to
AppleInsider.

Apple bans Facebook from tech tools for tracking teen browsing habits

Apple Inc said on Wednesday it had banned Facebook Inc from a program designed to let businesses control iPhones used by their employees, saying the social networking company had improperly used it to track the web-browsing habits of teenagers.

Apple offers what are known as certificates that let businesses have deep controls over iPhones, with the potential to remotely install apps, monitor app usage and access, and delete data owned by a business on an iPhone. Apple designed the program for organizations whose staff use iPhones for official duties, when privacy needs are different from phones for personal use.

Source:
Reuters. (Click the link to read the full story)

Houzz Security Breach

Houzz has sent out a notification to its users who may have been affected by a security breach.

“Houzz recently learned that a file containing some of our user data was obtained by an unauthorised third party. The security of user data is our priority. We immediately launched an investigation and engaged with a leading forensics firm to assist in our investigation, containment, and remediation efforts. We have also notified law enforcement authorities.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified all Houzz users who may have been affected.”

If you have a Houzz account, it would be worth reading the following information on their site:
Houzz Security Update - FAQ

Using Dictation Commands As an Alternative To Keyboard Shortcuts

Applications on computers and the operating system itself uses many keyboard shortcuts to increase the workflow. This is all well and good but there comes a point where there are so many different combinations of keys to achieve various results that many of us just do not remember what they all are.

On the Mac you can use Dictation Commands to trigger a keyboard shortcut, menu item, or to even insert some text.
You can do this while typing, or while dictating. You can set the spoken phrase to precede a dictation command to make sure the command only executes when you want it to.

From one of my favourite sites that gives many useful hints, the author of the site has posted a video explains the process for using dictation.

Previously I had used Dragon Dictate which is (was) quite sophisticated but this has been now discontinued on the Mac (as far as I am aware), probably as many of its features are just native to the MacOS anyway.

See MacMost -
Dictation Commands for a video tutorial.

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