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Most common passwords of 2017

I try to post articles like this at least once a year to remind people that if your password sucks, your chances of being "hacked" are much more likely.

Obviously my public education campaign has done nothing to change anything as the top passwords are the same as in 2016, however, now that some require 8 digit passwords, instead of 123456, people have moved to 12345678. Good job, haha.

MentalFloss has the full list.

When a website forces you to use numbers, symbols, and a certain amount of characters in your password, it can be frustrating, but those strength requirements are there for a reason. Without them, many users will enter a password that’s easy to remember and, by extension, is easy for hackers to guess. There are several ways to keep your online identity secure, but before you do anything else, make sure you’re not using any passwords from the list below.

Apple slows down old iPhones

No one can be too surprised that iPhone slow down over time, however, it appears that we now know why, old batteries. In a round about way, it has been figured out that Apple has been secretly slowing down your iPhone because as the batteries become older, running them at full throttle causes issues and less battery life (and who knows, maybe makes you buy a new one!). In the end though, people aren't super happy, nor should they be. TechCrunch has more details.

The gist, as it always is, is that Apple is being super petty and trying to force customers to upgrade their phones by making their old phones run slower.

As always, the answer is no. It would be beyond stupid and incredibly short-sighted for Apple to do this and, if it was actually true, would likely lead to tangles of a governmental and legal nature that no company like Apple would ever want to happen.

Instead, Apple is focusing attention on smoothing out the very high and quick peaks of power draw that can cause problems with older batteries.

How Far Has Apple Strayed

Back in Steve Jobs' day the slogan he coined was "It just works". That used to be the case, but it sure isn't anymore. It actually makes me a bit sad as the hardware and software combination of Apple was fantastic back in the day. With such a closed eco-system and massive profit margins, there is no reason they can't do that again - except they are lazy and are concerned about good quarter reports for their investors. A full rant by a guy much more informed is at the link below.

I also recognise that Apple has changed almost beyond recognition since Steve was on stage at keynotes telling us how stuff "just works." Apple's products are far more complex, the company is selling stuff at a rate that it could have once only dreamt doing, and the security landscape is totally different, and vulnerabilities now put hundreds of millions of users at risk.

Source: ZDNet

Nokia 9 to Run Android 8.0 Oreo

Nokia may not be making many headlines with their phones since Microsoft gave up on them - and even when Microsoft was trying to do something; still, they are still around and trying to stay viable. Their upcoming Nokia 9 will feature a very nice 5.5-OLED display, a solid Snapdragon 835 processor and good camera. The big news is that it has 128GB of storage - built-in. It's pretty much a flagship, but can it sell? 

The Nokia 9 will be powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip and a 3,250mAh battery. It has dual rear cameras (12MP and 13MP) and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. While we don’t know how much RAM the phone can hold, we do know it has 128GB of built-in storage, according to the documents. Screenshots contained in the filing suggest the phone will run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Source: TheVerge

Amazon Quietly Discontinues Free Music Storage

Amazon hsa decided that storing everyones music is not a money-maker. Their has been free plans as well as paid subscriptions that allow greater storage, but both of them are getting the axe. While you'll be able to listen to you uploaded music until Janury 2019, they won't let you upload any more music. 

Amazon has quietly updated a support page on its site indicating that it is discontinuing the ability for customers to upload and store music on its servers. Some customers have received emails alerting about the service discontinuation - but some have not.

Source: MyITForum

Bad Passwords of 2017

Every year we recommend that people change their passwords to something other than 12345, qwerty or password. Every year there are a few more creative ones added to the list of bad passwords - such as "passw0rd", but if you are using anything from this list of top 100 bad passwords, shame on you. Now go change it to something that is not on the list.

“Unfortunately, while the newest episode may be a fantastic addition to the Star Wars franchise, ‘starwars’ is a dangerous password to use,” SplashData CEO Morgan Slain said in a press release. “Hackers are using common terms from pop culture and sports to break into accounts online because they know many people are using those easy-to-remember words.”

Source: SplashData

MIcrosoft's 12 Days of Deals on PCs

If you're looking for some good deals on computer hardware, Microsoft always has some great deals on hardware prior to Christmas. In their latest sale, you can save up to $500 off of a new PC. They do have items ranging from $499 all the way to $2,200+, so if you are looking for something entry level, or a full-on workstation, they have you covered.

Source: Microsoft Store via Neowin

Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

If you're looking for a last minute gift, nothing says "I think of you often", like a gift card. If that's not your thing, maybe sometime else from Engadget's list will help you out. They have things priced from $15 and up so you should be able to find something for just about anyone. I find myself wishing for something more in the $1,000 price range however. Still, there are some great ideas (and gift cards are always pretty handy too).

Amazon’s Alexa updated Echo Dot speaker is an affordable way to help make a run-of-the-mill home smarter. The Dot is tiny and it doesn’t have a very big speaker, but it fits in all of the microphone technology used in the larger model. That lets you to chat with Alexa and tap her thousands of skills from just about anywhere in a room.

Source: Engadget

New Chrome Beta Mutes Autoplay Videos

One of my biggest pet peeves is autoplay videos and ads on different sites. The real problem is when I'm trying to record a podcast and things start playing wide-open. I've had to take different measures, but the latest beta version of Chrome will mute autoplay vides. I love it and am willing to switch back to Chrome for this reason alone.

Other bonuses in Chrome 64, as noted by 9to5Google, include an improved pop-up blocker, additional security measures that prevent malicious auto-redirects, and support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode. On Chrome OS, there is also a new “split view” feature that allows for easier multitasking with multiple windows.

Source: TheVerge

Eve V Review Crowdsourced Laptop

The Eve V is a crowdsource computer that is actually pretty solid. The goal of this project was to cut out the middleman, a full design team and in turn, produce a very capable machine for as little money as possible. The specification requirements are more were left up to a community of over 1,000 people and the result is the Eve V. It has great build quality, a nice keyboard, lots of ports and is priced well below the Microsoft Surface. The downside is the pen isn't perfect, Bluetooth keyboard is a little weak and the sound is anemic.

To really get a feel for what the Eve V has to offer, we need to look at the available configurations. The most basic model costs $799 and pairs an Intel Core m3 chipset with a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Microsoft's entry-level Surface Pro costs just as much and also has a Core m3 CPU, but only ships with 4GB of RAM. To further sweeten the deal, every Eve V comes with an active pen and keyboard cover. In the case of the Surface Pro, extras like these add an extra $260 to the bottom line.

Source: Engadget

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