This Week In Web - 9.12.14

  •   Miki Pacifico

By Miki Pacifico

This week - Everything's coming up Apple for you and for me.

Seems like everything recently is related to Apple... 

Apple announced the release of the iPhone 6.

Apple retired the iPod Classic.

Apple created a new font for the Apple Watch.

Hacking of the Apple iCloud results in the release and publication of celebrity nude photographs and video.

Nevermind those pesky political or economic news headlines. We are here to talk about technology and the digital age and this week in technology Apple owns the stage. 


courtesy: Apple.com

If you are someone who absolutely must have the latest gadgets available then you are probably thrilled that Apple is releasing a bigger, lighter iPhone model. It has slightly faster wireless speeds and a slightly better camera. Other than that I am hard pressed to give you details on how the 6-Suite of iPhones is any better than the 5-Suite. I consider purchasing an unlocked, brick-esque Nokia analog phone circa 2001 on a nearly daily basis. As it stands, I have an iPhone 4S, an iPad mini, an iMac, and a first generation standard iPad at home. I’m about as Apple-fied as a person can get, but yet I just can't care about the iPhone 6. 

There's been a minor backlash to the retirement of the iPod Classic, mostly related to its superior storage space in comparison to newer models. 160 gigs of songs is a butt-load, especially when compared to the mere 64 gigs available in the iPod touch. I don’t really ever use the music function of my iPhone, though I imagine that I am in the minority on that one. 

Somewhere in the dusty shelving units that litter our home is a first generation iPod nano and a first generation iPod Classic. Devices so old we could probably auction them off as antiques. Instead of storing thousands of songs on my phone I stream Spotify for free (until I hit my expensive data limit and then I pay overages - thanks a ton, AT&T). 

Do we really even need iPods at all? Can we just reduce our number of devices by one and save us all the time and headache of trying to remember where we put that silly plastic gym armband thing so that we can go for a run?


courtesy: Apple.com

 

Speaking of reducing our devices, is there a reason to have a smart watch, really? Isn’t a smart watch simply another excessive consumer product used as a status symbol, like Google Glass or a Cadillac Escalade? Who needs to seat 8 people? I guarantee the majority of Escalade owners don’t have 6 children, and I can guarantee that the majority of smart watch owners don’t run enough to make the cost of the new Apple Watch worthwhile. That's right, husband, I am talking to you. You don’t run, ever. And no, I don’t want 6 children.


courtesy: CJ Schmit/Flickr 

 

I’ve talked a great deal on this blog about internet vulnerabilities and the prevalent nature of hacking in our digital culture. It's a fact that if you build a security system you have to have criminals who can breach it. The US Justice Department is seeking an expansion of the current laws to allow them to prosecute criminals from overseas who steal credit cards and other financial information from US citizens without ever making a transaction in the US. 

This would be a huge coup for the American people. As a wealthy (and showy) nation, we are a target for many poorer countries in Asia and Eastern Europe who seek to profit from our bumbling ways.

The ability to prosecute and punish foreigners for crimes committed against the US could potentially become a deterrent to foreign hackers. Current law requires that the criminals in question perform some sort of transaction with the stolen financials within the territories of the United States. This puts a major kink in the works of the Justice Department, as many hackers simply steal credit cards and then sell them within their own countries.

No word on how likely it is that Congress will close the loopholes that allow foreign criminals to slip between the cracks and remain at large, but the future of the internet and the American economy could depend on it. 


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