Have better passwords people!

SplashData, a large provider of security applications, just did its thing again, the thing that it does every year – published a list of the worst passwords, sourced from more than five million passwords leaked on the internet in the last 12 months, mostly from North America and Western Europe.

 

And is it good news? ….Not…really?

 

Like last year, this year has seen some pretty major data leaks, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting any better at passwords.
For the fifth year in a row,  you guessed it, Password is up there. Like right up there at the number 2 spot. The number 1 spot? 123456.

 

New entries this year include ‘donald’ and ‘princess’.

 

According to SplashData CEO Morgan Slaint:

 

“Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations.”

 

Here are the top 10 most popular passwords of 2018:

 

1) 123456
2) password
3) 123456789
4) 12345678
5) 12345
6) 111111
7) 1234567
8) sunshine
9) qwerty
10) iloveyou

 

The guys at SplashData estimated that almost 10 percent of people have used at least one of the top 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, and nearly 3 percent of people have used the worst password at one time, “123456”.

 

So, if you find your password on the list, what should you do?

 

Change it.

 

SplashData said that passwords should be no shorter than twelve characters and have mixed types of characters in each one. Aaaaand as hard to remember as it is, every log-in should have a different password, BUT investing in a password management app to store everything, generate random new passwords, and automatically log into websites is  a good idea.

 

 

Check the rest of the top 100 worst passwords out here. 

Apple’s $29 battery replacement offer ending soon

Any of you guys have an iPhone that needs a battery replacement?

 

You can most likely get it replaced for a new one by Apple for $29 , but you have to do it before December 31, 2018.

 

The devices that works with the program are the  iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X, as these are the models that were affected by the battery slow-down issue that Apple got in a bit of trouble for. The $29 replacement offer has been in place since Dec 2017.

 

After December 31, 2018, replacement batteries will be priced at $49, with the exception of the iPhone X which will be $69.

 

Does this sound like something you need? Yes? Here’s what you do:

 

You can go to the official battery replacement site here,  or alternatively take your iPhone to an Apple retail store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or send it in for replacement at an Apple Repair Center.

 

Either method could take up to five business days, but anecdotally in-store battery replacements are often completed more quickly.

 

Take note- if you have any other damage to your iPhone that impairs the replacement of the battery, like a cracked screen, that damage will need to be repaired first before the battery can be swapped out for a new one.

 

If you want to check on the health of your battery before doing any of this, open the Settings app, choose the Battery section, and select “Battery Health.”

 

If the battery is not operating at Peak Performance Capability, you will see a recommendation for a battery replacement in order to restore the full functionality of the device.

 

Sound like you? Go team go!

 

 

 

 

Costco offering discounts on Macs!

Good news US Costco members!!

 

Costco just started selling discounted models of the latest MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMacs on its website. 

 

The prices range between $50 and $200 lower than Apple’s prices.  There is a limit of two per customer, and they’re accepting pre-orders now, with shipments expected to begin the week of December 17.  Shipping and handling is included, and it appears as though in store pick up is an option as well.

 

Also, as a bonus, some of the configurations are bundled with AppleCare+ for Mac coverage.

 

You have to sign in as a member in order to view the prices – Check it out! 

 

 

 

New Apple Ads highlight Group Facetime and The Holidays

Apple has recently released a couple of new Ads, one celebrating the holiday season and one celebrating the joys of it’s new Group Facetime feature. As usual for Apple, both may make you feel all the feels. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re not crying – YOU’RE CRYING

 

 

 

Google Fi now available on iPhone and iPad

Google just announced that their Project Fi smartphone plan will now be available on iPhone and iPad, having previously only being available on Android devices. The service will now also be called Google Fi instead.

 

Interested? Here’s the deal:

 

You pay $20 for unlimited talk and text, and $10 for each GB of data used up to 6GB. Once you reach 6GB, data becomes free, but at 15GB, data speeds slow down. The monthly fee caps out at $80, not including taxes and fees. To add another person to the plan, it’ll cost you an additional $15 per person.

 

On the iPhone, LTE data speeds, unlimited texts, and unlimited calls are included, and there are no roaming fees in more than 170 countries.

 

Sounds very sweet, right? BUT… there’s a couple of downsides you should be aware of.

 

iMessage works normally, except sending texts to non-iPhones requires configuring some settings, and the visual voicemail feature in iOS won’t be available, instead being available as text messages, and you’ll need to call to check them. Google Fi’s network switching feature and VPN also do not work on iOS.

 

Google Fi operates as an MNVO, (mobile virtual network operator), so its coverage comes from carriers like T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint. Google devices are able to take advantage of network switching for better coverage, but this does not work on iOS. Instead, these devices will use T-Mobile’s network for calls, texts, and data, but international roaming is still available.

 

Calls or texts cannot be made over WiFi with Google Fi, and when outside of the U.S., the data hotspot feature won’t work.

 

Google Fi will work on the iPhone 5s and later, on iPhones running iOS 11 or higher. If the sweet upsides mean more to you than the couple of downsides, check it out more here. 

 

 

Samsung teases with foldable technology

Samsung just had their 2018 Developer Conference, where it showed off a fancy new foldable display, called Infinity Flex.

 

Basically, it’s a 7.3-inch flexible display that can be folded in half. It’s a smartphone, then whammo, look at that, it’s a tablet.

 

The Infinity Flex display, according to Samsung, is the “future of mobile display technology” and the foundation for the “smartphone of tomorrow.”

 

From the Sauce:

 

“Today is a big milestone and I’m sure you’re all wondering what it looks like in real life and how it works. Wonder no more. When it’s open, it’s a tablet, offering a big screen experience. It’s gorgeous. When it’s closed, it’s a phone that fits neatly inside your pocket.”

 

Samsung developed an advanced composite polymer that’s “flexible and tough” to replace the glass that’s usually used as a display cover in smartphones, as well as a flexible, malleable adhesive that’s durable enough to withstand hundreds of thousands of folds, and a new ultra thin polarizer that’s 45 percent thinner than the technology used in its current displays.

 

The display shown during the conference is part of a future device, with mass manufacturing on said device to begin in the coming months.  A new software platform is being developed in partnership with Google that supports two UIs, one when the device is open and one when it’s closed.

 

Pretty foldin’ cool!

 

 

Amazing news! You might be able to unsend FB messages sooon

A lot of the population of Facebook users have felt that sudden fall in the pit of your stomach, that knot of dread, the realization that you can never go back to how life was before. What are we talking about? The accidental message send.

 

Wrong content, for the wrong person, at the wrong time. Eep. 

 

On FaceBook, it’s always been, ‘well, you stuffed up, but what’s done is done, guy.’

 

Not so anymore!!

 

Apparently, Facebook Messenger is going to begin to let you unsend messages, for up to 10 minutes after you first pressed send (stupid fingers, stupid brain).

 

This glorious new feature should be coming out with a future update of Messenger,  which is when, we don’t know. But don’t worry – it’s coming.

 

 

 

 

Get thee to a polling place! Here’s how.

If you’ve been on social media or tuned into news or, like, gone outside, you’ll know that today is the day to vote for Midterm Elections!

 

Here’s a state-by-state list of when the polls open and close – with all times being local.

 

 

Alabama: 7 am to 7 pm
Alaska: 7 am to 8 pm
Arizona: 6 am to 7 pm
Arkansas: 7:30 am to 7:30 pm
California: 7 am to 8 pm
Colorado: All Colorado voters now receive a ballot by mail. Voters who prefer to vote in person can do so from 7 am to 7 pm.
Connecticut: 6 am to 8 pm
Delaware: 7 am to 8 pm
District of Columbia: 7 am to 8 pm
Florida: 7 am to 7 pm
Georgia: 7 am to 7 pm, except in Atlanta, where polling places remain open until 8 pm
Hawaii: 7 am to 6 pm
Idaho: 8 am to 8 pm
Illinois: 6 am to 7 pm
Indiana: 6 am to 6 pm
Iowa: 7 am to 9 pm
Kansas: 7 am to 7 pm
Kentucky: 6 am to 6 pm
Louisiana: 6 am to 8 pm
Maine: Polls open between 6 and 8 am in municipalities with a population of at least 500. In municipalities with a population of less than 500, polls can open between 6 and 10 am. Polls close at 8 pm.
Maryland: 7 am to 8 pm
Massachusetts: 7 am to 8 pm
Michigan: 7 am to 8 pm
Minnesota: 7 am to 8 pm (municipalities with fewer than 500 registered voters can open polling places as late as 10 am, but most do not)
Mississippi: 7 am to 7 pm
Missouri: 6 am to 7 pm
Montana: 7 am to 8 pm. Some smaller polling places may open as late as noon.
Nebraska: 8 am to 8 pm in the Central time zone; 7 am to 7 pm in the Mountain time zone
Nevada: 7 am to 7 pm
New Hampshire: Voting can start between 6 and 11 am and end between 7 and 8 pm, depending on your municipality.
New Jersey: 6 am to 8 pm
New Mexico: 7 am to 7 pm
New York: 6 am to 9 pm
North Carolina: 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
North Dakota: Voting can start between 7 am and noon and end between 7 and 8 pm, depending on your municipality.
Ohio: 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
Oklahoma: 7 am to 7 pm
Oregon: Oregon is a vote-by-mail state. Ballots must be turned in by 8 pm PT on Election Day.
Pennsylvania: 7 am to 8 pm
Rhode Island: 7 am to 8 pm
South Carolina: 7 am to 7 pm
South Dakota: 7 am to 7 pm
Tennessee: Varies by municipality.
Texas: 7 am to 7 pm
Utah: 7 am to 8 pm
Vermont: Polls open between 5 and 10 am, depending on the town. All polling places close at 7 pm.
Virginia: 6 am to 7 pm
Washington: Washington is a vote-by-mail state. Ballots must be turned in by 8 pm PT on Election Day at a county elections department or a designated ballot drop box. Otherwise, they must be postmarked no later than Election Day.
West Virginia: 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
Wisconsin: 7 am to 8 pm
Wyoming: 7 am to 7 pm

 

So now you know the times – is transport an issue getting in the way of having your say? Never fear!

 

Uber, Lyft and bike share services all have promotions to help get you there.

 

Uber sent out enough free ride promo codes to get over 15,000 people to and from the polls for free on Tuesday,  and is also offering $10 off a single ride to ALL users on Election Day. You’ll need the latest update, and when you’re ready to use, go to Menu > Payment > Add Promo Code and enter the promotional code VOTE2018. You will, however have to select the most affordable tier option available in your city.

 

Lyft is also helping out, in partnership with Buzzfeed with promo codes for 50% off your ride to your voting location on Tuesday. To get your code, go here.

 

Bike-share programs around the country will also be offering free rides all day. Motivate, is running a system-wide deal that’ll allow users to redeem a free day pass. The deal will apply to New York and New Jersey’s Citi Bike, Chicago’s Divvy, Boston’s Bluebikes, Washington, DC’s Capital Bikeshare, Minneapolis’s Nice Ride Minnesota, the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike, Portland’s BIKETOWN, and CoGo in Columbus, Ohio. To redeem the pass you’ll need to download your local bike share app and enter the promo code BIKETOVOTE (except Chicago Divvy riders, who must use code VOTE18, and Portland BIKETOWN riders, who use code BIKE2VOTE).

 

Alternatively, Lime is offering free rides on one of its bikes, e-bikes, or e-scooters to and from your polling location (up to 30 minutes) when you enter code LIME2VOTE18 in the app.

 

Get thee on a bike,/scooter/ in a Lyft/Uber and go exercise your right to vote!

 

 

Amazon is celebrating Alexa’s birthday by discounting her and all her friends

It’s Alexa’s birthday! If you wish that lady a happy birthday, she’ll give you a rendition of when Michael Buble sang Happy birthday to her. We’re not saying it’s not weird. But what isn’t weird? Amazon is -for a limited time only – discounting all kinds of Echo technology. So if you want a robot lady in your house, now might be the time.

 

You can;

 

Save $5 off Echo Buttons

 

Save up to 20% on a Tile Mate 1 pack or buy a Tile 4 pack and save up to $50 on an Echo Dot

 

Save $10 on Echo Dot Kids Edition

Get a Certified Refurbished Echo Plus for $79.99

 

Save $100 on Echo Look

 

Bundle and Save $40 on Fire TV Cube and Cloud Cam

 

Buy Two Echo Shows (2nd Gen), Get $100 off

 

Buy iHome AV2 speaker, get Echo Input for 50% off

 

Here’s a full list. 

 

You can also start shopping for Amazon’s early Black Friday deals right now if you’re in the shopping spirit!

 

 

 

 

 

Apple releases MacOS Mojave

Apple  has just released macOS Mojave 10.14.1, and if you want to update, you can go straight to the “Software Update” section of System Preferences, a new method introduced with the Mojave update.

 

But… you might want to know all the cool things you can do with it first, right?

 

 

Well, let’s start with the super fun stuff – Group FaceTime is finally here for everyone! Chat with up to 32 people at the same time! Friends, family, foes, who are we to judge? All we know is that it’s super fun/useful.

 

Next in line is another fun thing – more emoji characters! More than 70, actually. Check them out here. 

 

There’s the new Dark mode feature, which apparently lets you be more focused on your work. Try it out by going to the General pane in System Preferences.

 

Siri has been improved, you can now add Emoji to emails, and a new feature called Stacks will clean up your desktop by automatically organizing your files into related groups, or by date.

 

The Finder has been updated so it shows more data and makes things easier to find, The Mac App store has been remodeled, and screenshots have become more customizable and easier to use.  Just launch the new Screenshot utility or press Shift-Command-5 to use.

 

Another new feature allows you to use your iPhone to take a photo of or scan a nearby object or document and have it automatically appear on your Mac. Just choose Import from iPhone or iPad from the File menu in Messages, Finder, Mail,  Notes, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.

 

Four new Apps have also come along with Mojave, including News, Stocks, Voice memo’s and Home app,  where you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories.

 

 

Have fun!