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This is a stone.
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MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: MANAGING IT ON iOS
AFTER ELECTION RUPTURE, CEOS SEEK UNITY FOR STAFF, CUSTOMERS
LYFT LIFTS OFF WITH NEW LOOK, LIGHT-UP BEACONS
44 REVIEW: NEW ‘CALL OF DUTY’ A SPACEY BUT CONSERVATIVE SEQUEL
IN WORLD OF INTERNET-ENABLED THINGS, US SAYS SECURITY NEEDED 08 HIGH-RES COMMERCIAL SATELLITE LAUNCHES FROM CALIFORNIA COAST 28 NINTENDO ENDING JAPAN SALES OF WII U, SHIFTING TO SWITCH 32 NEW MACS, LENOVO LAPTOP MAKE TRADITIONAL KEYBOARDS TOUCHY 36 NAVER LAUNCHES $43 MILLION FUND TO SEEK CONTENT FOR SNOW 48 GOOGLE ALSO GETS FOOLED BY FAKE ELECTION NEWS 66 APPLE PAY EXPANDS TO CHARITIES, SAMSUNG PAY TO OFFER REWARDS 74 UK APPROVES THE EXTRADITION OF AN ALLEGED HACKER TO U.S. 78 JUDGE: AMAZON TO REIMBURSE CUSTOMERS FOR IN-APP BUYS BY KIDS 80 BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘DOCTOR STRANGE,’ ‘TROLLS’ STAY ON TOP 102 CARRIE FISHER REVEALS ‘STAR WARS’ AFFAIR WITH HARRISON FORD 112 COURT SIDESTEPS ISSUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT AUTHENTICATION 120 2016 SET TO BREAK HEAT RECORD DESPITE SLOWDOWN IN EMISSIONS 126 FACEBOOK’S FAKE NEWS PROBLEM: WHAT’S ITS RESPONSIBILITY? 144 TOADSTOOL FOOTSTOOLS: ARE ORGANISMS MANUFACTURING’S FUTURE? 152 GOOGLE RELEASES APP TO DIGITIZE BOXES OF OLD PHOTO PRINTS 160
TOP 10 APPS 82 iTUNES REVIEW 86 TOP 10 SONGS 134 TOP 10 ALBUMS 136 TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEOS 138 TOP 10 TV SHOWS 140 TOP 10 BOOKS 142
IN WORLD OF INTERNET-ENABLED THINGS, US SAYS SECURITY NEEDED
The Obama administration urged companies on Tuesday to make millions of devices safe from hacking, underscoring the risks posed by an increasingly bewildering array of internetconnected products permeating daily life, covering everything from fitness trackers to computers in automobiles. In a report obtained by The Associated Press, the Homeland Security Department described runaway security problems with devices that have been made internet-capable in recent years, a group that includes medical implants, surveillance cameras, home appliances, digital video recorders, thermostats and baby monitors. Image: Larry Downing
It said they posed “substantial safety and economic risks,” recommending immediate action by software and hardware developers, service providers, manufacturers and commercial and government buyers. No specific penalties were proposed for manufacturers failing to comply. No blame was placed on consumers buying and operating such products. “The growing dependency on networkconnected technologies is outpacing the means to secure them,” Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said. The department’s strategy represents an attempt to organize the so-far scattered cybersecurity efforts for the category of devices known as the “internet of things.” It comes less than a month after hackers harnessed an army of 100,000 internet-connected devices around the world, such as DVRs and security cameras, to attack Dyn Co., which helps route internet traffic to its destination. It caused temporary internet outages to sites that included Twitter, PayPal, Pinterest, Reddit and Spotify. Such threats are likely to increase, U.S. officials warn. “Securing the internet of things has become a matter of homeland security,” Johnson said. Tuesday’s guidance, he added, should help companies “make informed security decisions.” The report culminates a six-month review by Robert Silvers, the assistant homeland security secretary for cyber policy, who coordinated with cybersecurity experts, industry associations and branches of the government such as the Justice and State departments. They spoke about possibly holding companies 10
accountable through product liability principles and how to create a uniform rulebook for securing these devices. “We need to have a very serious national conversation about what the approach is, and we need to do it urgently,” Silvers said. The internet of things is decentralized and enormously complex, making it difficult to regulate. A camera with online capabilities may be designed in California, manufactured in China with parts from Taiwan and sold to someone who operates it on Germany’s network. Silvers said there is no benefit to “190 different national approaches.” Some industrial sectors have moved forward with their own recommendations. In September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published guidelines for selfdriving cars. The Food and Drug Administration published its own guidance for medical devices in January. For more than a decade, companies have added internet capabilities to devices as an additional feature, sometimes without security considerations. But adding security in wholesale fashion afterward is often more costly. It is also more complicated when change standard industry practices. Some fixes are easier than others. The government urged companies to ensure security setting are turned on by default. Unique passwords for each device should be required so hackers can’t use a single stolen password to control thousands or more devices. Manufacturers ought to make products whose vulnerabilities can be fixed remotely. Image: Manuel Balce Ceneta
“You can’t rely on a consumer to spend three hours to upgrade her toaster software. It’s not going to happen,” Silvers said. The government also highlighted the need for an “end-of-life strategy” for devices that aren’t created to last indefinitely. As a result, they won’t be patched and updated forever, leading to new vulnerabilities for consumers using devices beyond certain expiration dates. The recommendations were released before a congressional hearing Wednesday on the role of connected devices in cyberattacks. No government officials were expected to testify. To prevent more attacks, the government must increase security regulations for “what are now critical and life-threatening technologies,” according to Bruce Schneier, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and a well-known cybersecurity expert. “It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Schneier said in prepared remarks for the hearing. 15
Image: John Locher
AFTER ELECTION RUPTURE, CEOS SEEK UNITY FOR STAFF, CUSTOMERS
Apple CEO Tim Cook is telling his employees to “keep moving forward.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is saying “progress does not move in a straight line.” T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere tweeted “let’s see what an out of the box, nontypical, non-politician can do for America!” CEOs of major companies are taking stands about the results of the election - a departure from the traditional model of not mixing politics with business that major brands have long espoused. Some are using it as an opportunity to bring their employees together following a divisive election campaign. Others are using it as an opportunity to stress their companies’ values and mission, or an opportunity to make nice with Trump, who many CEOs were publicly against during the campaign. 17
The men and women who head the nation’s biggest companies know that having a hostile relationship with the Trump administration could make doing business difficult. They also know that they operate in liberal bastions like New York and San Francisco just as much as in Trump-leaning places like Fort Wayne, Indiana, or Charleston, West Virginia. “Neutral is the best policy,” says John Challenger, CEO of workplace consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas. T-Mobile’s Legere, who long was vocally opposed to Trump, congratulated the president-elect on Twitter for his victory last week, while holding off on judging the president-elect’s policies. Meanwhile another telecommunications executive, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, himself an immigrant and personally opposed to Trump, sent an email to employees saying that “it’s our obligation to accept the will of our fellow Americans and respect the new leader.” It’s possible that Legere and Claure made nice because the president appoints the chairman and commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, an agency that holds enormous influence over the telecommunications industry. All five FCC commissioners will see their terms expire during Trump’s first term. CEOs of automakers, including Ford’s Mark Fields, have also struck a conciliatory tone, partly because Trump has called for the repeal or renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has allowed the automakers to set up shop in Mexico tariff-free. 18
Many CEOs publicly expressed hope that the tensions dividing the country will diminish, and that American consumers will set aside their fears and get back to what they do best: shop. “We are hoping that in the postelection we are just going to see people ready to spend,” said Marvin Ellison, CEO of JCPenney. CEOs and companies that try to bring people together are “going to be the winners,” says Dr. Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. “That always works better from a brand perspective,” he says. Wall Street, which donated heavily to Hillary Clinton, also now faces an administration that could provide both profit and peril. Trump has said he wants to roll back some of the regulations in the Dodd-Frank law that was passed after the financial crisis, a move that would benefit big Wall Street banks. But the Republican Party’s platform also contains a provision calling for the return of the GlassSteagall Act, a Great Depression-era law that broke up big banks. There’s talk of a massive, $1 trillion infrastructure program that could rely on tax credits to private funding sources. Many of those programs will require Wall Street’s army of investment bankers and lawyers to help underwrite and finance. “The president-elect’s commitment to infrastructure spending, government reform and tax reform - among other things - will be good for growth and, therefore, will be good for our clients and for our firm,” said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, according to a transcript of a voicemail he sent companywide. 20
Image: Andrew Harrer
Image: Mark Wilson
In an email to his employees, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the election of Trump shows “the frustration that so many people have with the lack of economic opportunity and the challenges they face.” Trump’s victory drew a range of responses from CEOs in Silicon Valley, where popular sentiment had tilted strongly against Trump because of his statements on immigrants, women, overseas manufacturing and the use of encryption in consumer products like Apple’s iPhones. In a postelection email to employees, Apple CEO Cook didn’t mention Trump by name but acknowledged that many people had strong feelings about the outcome of the vote. Cook had let it be known during the campaign that he didn’t support Trump, although he generally avoided taking a public stance on the candidates. In his email, Cook said Apple would continue to support diversity. Cook didn’t mention encryption, which he has previously argued is essential to protect consumers’ privacy. But he added, “While there is discussion today about uncertainties ahead, you can be confident that Apple’s North Star hasn’t changed.” 23
Microsoft’s chief executive was more conciliatory. In a post on LinkedIn, the social networking site that Microsoft is buying, Satya Nadella wrote: “We congratulate the presidentelect, and look forward to working with all those elected yesterday.” But Nadella added that Microsoft is committed to “fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.” Facebook’s Zuckerberg, who had previously criticized Trump’s call for building a wall on the Mexican border, sounded subdued in a post on his own social network. “I thought about all the work ahead of us to create the world we want for our children,” he wrote. “This work is bigger than any presidency and progress does not move in a straight line.” The most combative response came from the CEO at Grubhub, an online food delivery service
based in Chicago. Matt Maloney said in an email to employees that he rejects Trump’s “nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics,” adding that anyone who disagrees should immediately resign “because you have no place here.” Maloney later backtracked in a tweet that said “Grubhub does not tolerate hate and we are proud of all our employees - even those who voted for Trump.” Other companies have taken the election and its aftermath as a marketing opportunity, most notably airlines. British Airways ran ads on Facebook urging people to visit London, using the tag line “had enough of this house?” under a photo of the White House. Air New Zealand ran ads on Instagram and elsewhere highlighting the results of the election and inviting people to visit New Zealand. Spirit Airlines promoted a 75 percent off sale for flights to Canada.
HIGH-RES COMMERCIAL SATELLITE LAUNCHES FROM CALIFORNIA COAST
A commercial satellite capable of taking highresolution images from space was launched last week from a military base along the California coast. The satellite known as WorldView-4 was lifted into orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base. WorldView-4 is the latest in a series of imaging satellites built by Lockheed Martin. It is operated by Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, which provides high-resolution images for government and private customers including first responders. 28
Image: Patrick H CWorkery
The camera aboard the satellite is so sharp that it can spot the make of a car from nearly 400 miles above Earth, according to Lockheed Martin. It joins sister satellite, WorldView-3, which launched from the Vandenberg base in 2014. Both satellites can capture images of objects as small as 1-foot across. Friday was the ninth launch for United Launch Alliance this year. ULA, a joint venture by Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co., has launched 112 times since it was founded in 2006. Its next launch is a NASA weather satellite scheduled for next week from Cape Canaveral, Florida. WorldView-4 was supposed to launch in September, but was postponed by a minor tank leak and two wildfires at the sprawling base, which encompasses nearly 156 square miles (405 square kilometers) along the Pacific Ocean. The fires forced the evacuation of administrative buildings, but did not affect the launch complex. Firefighters who were assigned to the launch were diverted to corralling the flames. A firefighter died and another was hurt when the water truck they were in overturned on a highway outside the city of Lompoc, miles from the fire lines.
NINTENDO ENDING JAPAN SALES OF WII U, SHIFTING TO SWITCH
Nintendo Co. is ending sales in Japan of its Wii U home console “soon,” although it’s not saying exactly when, and similar announcements are expected in other regions. The Wii U, which went on sale from late 2012, is being replaced by Switch, set to go on sale globally in March 2017. Nintendo says it will show it to reporters in Japan on Jan. 13. The Japanese video game manufacturer behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises has already shipped Wii U machines for U.S. sales through March, company spokesman Kenichiro Matsuura said Friday. Kyoto-based Nintendo has scored success with the remake of its 1980s FamiCom machine, called NES Classic Edition, which goes on sale Friday in the U.S. for $59.99. 32
Japanese have been snatching it up since it went on sale Thursday. Much smaller than the original machine, it comes packed with popular 30 game software titles, such as “Donkey Kong,” ‘’The Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Brothers.” Another recent hit the company has scored is “Pokemon Go,” an augmented reality game that can be played on smartphones. Nintendo’s earnings have suffered from lagging sales of the Wii U, as well as its 3DS handheld. After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo did an about-face last year and entered that sector. Pokemon Go is the first big success for Nintendo since that decision, underlining the company’s potential. 34
NEW MACS, LENOVO LAPTOP MAKE TRADITIONAL KEYBOARDS TOUCHY
Can the venerable laptop keyboard get more touchy-feely - and in a good way? We’re about to find out. Higher-end models of Apple’s MacBook Pro now come with a narrow touch screen above the regular keyboard for quick access to common settings and tasks, while Lenovo’s Yoga Book laptop loses the physical keyboard entirely. The traditional keyboard has never struck me as needing much improvement, although people who’ve grown up on touch screens might well feel differently. These touch innovations, in fact, may mostly be aimed at luring such users to laptops. So how do the new touch features improve typing and computing? 36
TOUCH SCREENS, NOT KEYBOARDS Many Windows laptops and tablets with physical keyboard accessories have long had touch screens. You still type primarily on a traditional keyboard, but you can poke screen icons and menus directly with your finger instead of navigating with a mouse or trackpad. This can be useful for basic tasks such as opening apps, moving the cursor to the search bar and rebooting the machine. But when fixing typos in documents, selecting email to delete and even editing photos, my trackpad is generally more precise than my fat fingers on the screen. A stylus helps, but I’m prone to misplacing it. It’s also generally faster to just keep your fingers on the keys.
TOUCH KEYS Largely for these reasons, Apple has shunned touch screens on its notebooks. But its high-end MacBooks are getting a separate, narrow strip that replaces the top row of function keys you’ll find on most keyboards. This Touch Bar offers the same functions, but instead of hitting F11 or F12 to change volume, for instance, you tap the speaker icon to bring up a volume slider. You can fix up to four icons in place; the initial defaults are brightness, volume, mute and the Siri voice assistant. The rest of the strip changes based on context. When you’re using the Safari browser, for instance, you typically get thumbnails of individual tabs for easy switching between websites. But that changes to play and pause if you’re watching Netflix, while your name and address pop up as choices when filling out 39
online forms. Apple’s Maps app offers one-touch access to nearby businesses or directions. Mail and Messages offer auto-complete suggestions as you type, plus a button for emojis, similar to what you’d find on iPhones and iPads. You get touch access to system controls, such as “cancel” and “save,” so you don’t have to move your cursor. Third-party apps can add their own functionality, too, though the ones I use regularly have yet to do so.
HABITS AND DISCOVERIES The new volume and brightness sliders are much easier to use than tapping the appropriate function key multiple times to get the level I want. In Photos, I can scroll through my library more quickly than using arrow keys. And the Touch Bar does make it easy to include emojis in messages. Because I use it frequently, I made the screenshot function a default icon. No more opening Grab, navigating a menu and returning to the window I’m trying to preserve. I’ve also discovered functions I never knew existed, such as the ability to highlight text in Preview with different colors. This may matter less if, like me, you’re a pretty good typist with a command of keyboard shortcuts. The Touch Bar will be more useful for those who look down at the keys when typing.
One suggestion: The mute icon stays the same regardless of whether the Mac is already on mute. How about a distinct icon to unmute, now that the options are dynamic?
FINGERPRINTS The Mac now turns on automatically when you open the lid. In place of a power button is a fingerprint scanner, similar to what’s found on mobile devices. You still have to type in my password occasionally as a security measure, but you can avoid doing so most of the time when resuming a session or installing new software. People sharing a computer can instantly switch profiles with their own fingerprints.
WHAT ELSE The MacBook Pro has a larger trackpad and is lighter and thinner than previous models, thanks in part to shorter keys that don’t feel awkward. You no longer get regular USB ports or an SD memory card slot for photos. That means buying adapters to connect older printers, scanners and your iPhone to the new USB-C ports. On the plus side, you can now connect the power charger on either side, depending on where the outlet is. And the MacBook retains a headphone jack, something the latest iPhones dropped.
If you don’t need the Touch Bar or the fingerprint scanner, you can save $300 with an entry-level MacBook Pro, but it is slower and has ports only on one side. The Touch Bar models start at about $1,800 for a 13-inch screen and $2,400 for 15 inches.
DISAPPEARING KEYBOARD Meanwhile, the 10-inch Yoga Book (about $500 for Android, $600 for Windows) retains the clamshell design of a laptop but has a second touch screen where the keyboard normally goes. Unlike pop-up touch keyboard in tablets, this one doesn’t block the main display as you type. Without physical keys, the device is just 0.38 inch thick, or about two-thirds the thickness of the new MacBooks. The Yoga provides both tactile and audio feedback when you hit the keys, although it’s still easy to miss the ones you’re aiming for. It takes longer to type because of all the typos, which gets annoying very quickly. You would think that with a touch keyboard, the Yoga could reconfigure the keys to toggle between upper and lower cases and switch languages, much the way a touch keyboard on a phone or tablet does on the screen. But the keys themselves always appear in standard English and in upper case, even when you’re typing in Thai. Call it a missed opportunity. An Australian startup called Sonder is already planning to ship such a keyboard for $199 this year, but who wants to carry around an extra accessory? If it makes it onto a future laptop, it could mark a true revolution that goes well beyond the minor changes the Touch Bar and the second touch screen offer. 43
LYFT LIFTS OFF WITH NEW LOOK, LIGHT-UP BEACONS
Ride-hailing service Lyft, the underdog rival to Uber, is getting rid of its iconic pink moustache logo and replacing it with something more useful - beacons. The light-up beacons, which Lyft calls “amps,” will be on the dashboard of Lyft drivers’ cars beginning Jan. 1 in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Beacons can communicate with people’s smartphones using Bluetooth technology. In retail stores, this means guiding you to a certain shoe display, for example. With Lyft, it means having your driver’s beacon light up a specific color once he or she is near. You can have your phone light up in that same color, too, then hold it up so the driver can see you. 45
Lyft says this will make it easier and safer for drivers and riders to find each other. This can be especially helpful at night, or in crowded areas where multiple people might be hailing a ride. San Francisco-based says it won’t use the beacons for ads, though the passenger-facing side might be devoted to sponsored campaigns, such as a beer company warning against drinking and driving. Lyft’s first symbol was a giant, bright pink, fuzzy moustache attached to the front of drivers’ cars. But it soon became cumbersome (it could get quite dirty, for example), and maybe a little too whimsical for a company working to expand. Next came the “glowstache,” a compact, pink, glowing plastic moustache. The amp, while still bright pink, is a clean, oval shape. Lyft held a retirement party for the ‘stache, said Melissa Waters, vice president of marketing. But the pink stays. “It’s loud, proud, quirky, fun,” she said. In upcoming TV ads, Lyft paints itself as just that, in deep contrast to a menacing, slick ride-hailing company called “Ride Corp.”
NAVER LAUNCHES $43 MILLION FUND TO SEEK CONTENT FOR SNOW
South Korean internet giant Naver Corp. has launched a $43 million fund with Japan’s Softbank to invest in content and technology startups. The investment fund will scout for new technology and talent for Naver’s mobile services with global ambitions, the company said Monday. 48
Naver spun off its video communications app Snow into an independent unit in August, hoping that it could replicate the success of its Line messenger app. Akin to Snapchat, Snow has been one of the most popular social media apps among young Asians since it was launched in September last year. Chiefs at two of Naver’s popular mobile services, Snow and Naver Webtoon, will join the investment fund as advisers. Softbank Ventures will run the fund, to which Naver will contribute $34 million. Kim Chang-wook, chief of Naver’s wholly owned subsidiary Snow, said that he will seek technology companies that can add fun and creative twists to its video app. The fund will support creators of videos, concerts, games and online cartoons using virtual reality or other technologies, said Lee Joonpyo, a director at Softbank Ventures Korea. Lee said one of the companies that he is reviewing for a potential investment offers a high-level voice changer. Just as Snow offers creativity with its face-changing software, the voice-changing technology will provide a new twist, he said. Naver is the parent company of the Line mobile messaging app, which netted $1.1 billion in an initial public offering in July. But Naver is struggling to find its niche and appeal to global audiences as it competes with better known entities like YouTube and Facebook. 50
FINANCE APPS FOR iPHONE, iPAD AND APPLE WATCH On the face of it, keeping your money situation in order should be pretty simple: as long as you are bringing in at least as much money as is going out, you’re in good financial shape. However, the process can actually be much trickier than this single sentence would lead you to believe. Thankfully, our iPhones and iPads are already helping us to organize and improve many aspects of our lives – so why shouldn’t we pay more attention to what they can do for preventing our cash from running too low?
TAKE STOCK WITH THE STOCKS APP There are various ways we can make more money, and an obviously decent money-spinner – provided that you know what you’re doing, of course – can be trading or investing. Whether you are a day trader or long-term investor, it’s a good idea to turn to the Stocks app. Preinstalled on all new iPhones, it’s largely as straightforward as its to-the-point name would suggest, as it’s great for speedily checking the stocks and markets that will have the greatest effect on you. It’s not too tricky to get to grips with, either – iMore has posted a comprehensive guide to using the Stocks app, including adding, rearranging, deleting and viewing stocks and managing the app’s notifications. However, we especially love how easy it is to check individual stocks or stock exchanges by turning to Siri. Just try it out by asking Siri “What is Apple’s stock at today?” Hopefully, by the time you read this, iPhone sales will still be sufficiently healthy for the stock… 55
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER However, being adept with your dip into the markets isn’t just a matter of buying whatever stock looks appealing at the time – it’s also about thinking long-term and spotting emerging trends. For that, good sources of financial news could prove invaluable. Thankfully, there’s an abundant supply of them in the App Store – a few notable examples being CNBC Business News and Finance, Yahoo Finance, TheStreet: Stock Market News, Quotes, Financial Analysis and Bloomberg. Meanwhile, financial periodicals available on your iOS device include MONEY Magazine and Financial Post Magazine.
PERSONAL OR BUSINESS, YOU CAN HANDLE IT Still, however successful you are in your trading or investing endeavors, the fruits of your labors could count for surprisingly little if your expenditure remains unduly high. That’s why you should look into not only making money, but also carefully managing your incoming cash. It’s where a good financial management app, like Money Pro, can help. You can download versions of it for both your iPhone and iPad and sync your data across the devices as you plan bills, budget, keep track of your accounts and take on other responsibilities. Meanwhile, if it’s the finances of a small business that you are seeking to manage effectively, you should pay close attention to Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software. Available in versions optimized for iPhone and iPad, it allows you to quickly look over how much 57
#01 – CNBC Business News and Finance By NBCUniversal Media, LLC Category: Finance Requires iOS 9.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – Yahoo Finance By Yahoo Category: Finance Requires iOS 9.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – TheStreet: Stock Market News, Quotes, Financial Analysis By TheStreet, Inc. Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – Bloomberg By Bloomberg Finance LP Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – MONEY Magazine By Time Inc. Category: Finance Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
#06 – Financial Post Magazine By Postmedia Network INC. Category: News Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
#07 – Money Pro By iBear LLC Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – QuickBooks Accounting By Intuit Inc. Category: Business Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
money your company is making and spending, open and overdue invoices, the day’s account balances, and many more aspects of your company’s financial health. You can initially try it for free with a 30-day trial – and it can make a great companion to the QuickBooks accounting app for Mac as well.
DON’T USE YOUR WALLET – INSTEAD, USE WALLET! The chances are that, over the years, you have amassed a great number of cards. While you have likely had a credit or debit card for a while, you could soon find your physical wallet overflowing as it struggles to contain such items as public transport passes, money-off coupons and loyalty cards. Having to carry all of these cards with you whenever you go out could not only literally stretch your wallet, but also regularly leave you with the cumbersome experience of sorting through all of them for that one card you really want at that particular moment. How time-draining… Your answer to these problems could be your iPhone’s Wallet app. Another app that is preinstalled on many new iPhones, Wallet allows you to register cards to give yourself digital versions that are readily accessible from the app. Many card providers have apps that let you register your cards in Wallet. iMore can again help out here, with a detailed run-down of how you can add, refresh, reorder, share and remove cards in Wallet. You can even have Wallet follow your location to let it show the most suitable card depending on where you are; for example, a Starbucks card when you are near a Starbucks outlet. 60
YOU CAN BANK ON GREAT EXPERIENCES WITH THESE APPS When logging into your bank account, have you ever thought to yourself that there must be a better method of doing it than typing a password? Over a decade ago, Tangerine Bank, then named ING Direct Canada, thought the same thing. It assisted with the development of a mouse featuring a built-in thumbprint scanner – but while the technology worked, the experience was too complex for many users to get to grips with, and the project never got past the pilot stage. Fast forward to 2014 and, with Apple having allowed apps to make use of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on iPhones and iPads, Tangerine took advantage. Many other banks have done the same, including Bank of America and U.S. Bank and in the United Kingdom, HSBC. However, this integration of Touch ID functionality is only one way in which mobile banking apps are helping customers to really smooth their experiences of banking on the move. Looking at the banks we have just mentioned, Bank of America’s iPhone app includes an accompanying Apple Watch app letting you check such details as your current balance, payment due and transactions from your wrist. Meanwhile, HSBC offers iPhone and iPad versions of its mobile banking app, which protects data through the use of 128-bit SSL encryption technology. Finally, of course, we can’t forget that trailblazer Tangerine Bank, which lets its customers review transactions, locate ABMs and receive vital notifications with its iOS app. Tangerine also offers an Apple Watch app. 62
#09 – Bank of America - Mobile Banking By Bank of America Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – HSBC Mobile Banking By HSBC Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#11 – Tangerine Mobile Banking By Tangerine Bank / Banque Tangerine Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Image: Bank of America/Joel Plotkin
#12 – PayPal By PayPal, Inc. Category: Finance Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
YOU CAN EASILY PAY A PAL WITH PAYPAL While the PayPal app has long been wonderfully convenient on iOS, it recently became even more enjoyable to use. That’s because PayPal has, just this month, reacted to one of Apple’s biggest moves with iOS 10: opening up Siri to integration with third party apps. Yes, it’s now possible for PayPal payments to be sent and requested through Siri, which means that, with an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10, you can now bark voice commands like “Hey Siri, send Michael $25 using PayPal”. The service explains more about this freshly-added functionality on its website. With so many developers of mobile banking apps having enthusiastically embraced Touch ID, it seems to be only a matter of time before we see their extensive use of the expanded Siri functionality. This bodes well for all of our financial futures. After all, as this article has made clear, there are already many ways in which we can access and check our financial details on our various devices. So as Siri increasingly enters the picture, it should become even easier for us to spot, in these details, big holes before they develop into seriously costly problems.
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
GOOGLE ALSO GETS FOOLED BY FAKE ELECTION NEWS
Google’s search engine highlighted an inaccurate story claiming that President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote in last week’s election, the latest example of bogus information spread by the internet’s gatekeepers. The incorrect results were shown Monday in a two-day-old story posted on the pro-Trump “70 News” site. A link to the site appeared at or near the top of Google’s influential rankings of relevant news stories for searches on the final election results. Google acknowledged the problem, although as of mid-afternoon Monday, the link to “70 News” remained prominent in its results. Although Google rarely removes content from its search results, the company is taking steps to punish sites that manufacture falsehoods. Image: Adrees Latif
In a move disclosed Monday, Google says it will prevent its lucrative digital ads from appearing on sites that “misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information.” The action could give sites a bigger incentive to get things right or risk losing a valuable source of revenue.
FAKE NEWS ON STEROIDS False information is nothing new on the internet, where debunkers have been batting down unfounded claims and urban legends for more than two decades. But the problem has gained more attention in the post-mortem of a bitterly contested presidential election in which Trump, a Republican billionaire and former reality TV star, defeated Hillary Clinton, a Democrat and former U.S. secretary of state who had been leading in the polls. Trump wound up prevailing in enough key states to win the Electoral College’s decisive vote, but is trailing Clinton in the overall popular vote with some ballots still being counted. Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has become one of the flashpoints in the protests against Trump’s election being staged in cities across the country. Google is just the latest company in the crosshairs. Fake news stories uncritically circulated during and after the election on Facebook have sparked a debate over the role of social media companies, which are key sources of news for large numbers of people. Critics suggest that these companies should be more careful to ensure they aren’t passing along misleading information. Image: Justin Sullivan
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE NEWS Google’s dominant search engine is the leading source of traffic to media sites, according to the online analytics firm Chartbeat. Meanwhile, a study by the Pew Research Center found about 60 percent of Americans get at least some of their news from social media sites such as Facebook, which now has 178 million users in the U.S. and Canada. In the election’s aftermath, Facebook has been accused of possibly swaying the election’s outcome by promoting fake news stories on its social network. Last summer, the company fired a handful of journalists who oversaw its “trending” news list and replaced them with an algorithm; fake news stories quickly began to trend. CEO Mark Zuckerberg brushed off that criticism as “crazy “ in an appearance last week. He elaborated in a Saturday post on Facebook in which he asserted that “more than 99 percent of what people see” on Facebook is authentic. Zuckerberg conceded more needs to be done to block bogus information, but said that determining what’s blatantly wrong isn’t always an easy task. “Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated,” Zuckerberg wrote. “While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted.” The stories featured in the feeds of Facebook users are primarily selected by automated formulas known as algorithms. Google’s search results are also powered by algorithms that the company regularly revises to thwart sites that attempt to artificially boost their prominence. 71
MORE, BETTER ALGORITHMS? Google conceded its search engine misfired with the 70 News story that falsely declared Trump the popular vote winner in both its headline and the body of the text. “In this case we clearly didn’t get it right, but we are continually working to improve our algorithms,” the company said in a statement. Bad information in an online headline or at the top of a story can be particularly damaging. Roughly 53 percent of the people who land on a web page stay for 15 seconds or less, according to Chartbeat’s findings. Incorrect information is bound to ripple across the internet as more people rely on their phones, computers and other digital devices to read news that is picked out for them by automated programs, said media analyst Ken Doctor of Newsonomics. “What we are seeing is the failure of the algorithm,” Doctor said. “These algorithms bring a lot of things into our lives that humans cannot do. But when algorithms fail, it highlights the fact that they are not just some kind of neutral technology. They are programmed by human beings and they have all the failings of human beings.”
It’s difficult to know what happened when an algorithm goes awry because Google, Facebook and other internet companies closely guard how they work, much the way Coca-Cola protects the recipe for its soda. But the growing power that Google and Facebook hold over the flow of information could increase the political pressure for them to be held more accountable, Doctor said. In the meantime, most people remain skeptical about what they read online. Only 4 percent of Americans have a lot of confidence in what they read on social media sites, according to Pew. Local news organizations fared better in Pew Research’s survey earlier this year, with 22 percent of Americans saying they trusted the information there.
APPLE PAY EXPANDS TO CHARITIES, SAMSUNG PAY TO OFFER REWARDS
Apple is making it easier for people to give to charities by expanding its Apple Pay payments service to nonprofits. Apple Pay is mostly known for enabling purchases at retail stores with the tap of an iPhone, although the service can also be used for online transactions on apps and websites. Apple had limited this to buying goods and services - until now. The American Red Cross, United Way and 18 other nonprofits will accept Apple Pay starting Monday. Others are coming soon. 74
Apple Pay can speed transactions because people don’t have to re-enter card and contact information, though people need to enable the service first. Apple says that websites and apps accepting Apple Pay report seeing twice as many people complete transactions, compared with other payment methods. Separately, Samsung says a payment service on its phones, Samsung Pay, will start offering points for each transaction, regardless of the amount spent. They will be redeemable for gift cards and Samsung products. Americans are just starting to warm up to mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. One of the chief hurdles is the fact that for in-store transactions, it’s not that difficult to pull out a plastic card to pay. And many merchants still do not accept such mobile payments. Although usage is growing, mobile payments are still a small portion of overall sales. 76
UK APPROVES THE EXTRADITION OF AN ALLEGED HACKER TO U.S.
Britain has approved the extradition of an alleged computer hacker who is accused of snatching data from the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Army and the FBI. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has authorized the extradition of 31-year-old Lauri Love, who faces 99 years in prison if found guilty on cyberhacking charges for allegedly compromising networks between October 2012 and October 2013 and stealing data. He has 14 days to appeal the decision. Love, who has Asperger’s syndrome, told the Daily Mail in an interview published Tuesday that the decision was a “kick in the gut.” He says he doesn’t “think much of my future life prospects.” Love’s father, the Rev Alexander Love, says “all we are asking for is British justice for a British citizen.” 78
Image: Jason Moon
JUDGE: AMAZON TO REIMBURSE CUSTOMERS FOR IN-APP BUYS BY KIDS
A federal judge has laid out rules for how Amazon must reimburse customers whose kids made in-app purchases without permission. The Federal Trade Commission sued the Seattle company in 2014, saying it was too easy for children to spend their parents’ money while playing games on mobile devices. The agency settled similar cases against Apple and Google. All three companies now require a password for in-app purchases or an opt-in to enable purchases without a password. Seattle U.S. District Judge John Coughenour found Amazon liable last spring, but he rejected the FTC’s request for a $26.5 million penalty as excessive. Instead, he said Thursday (10) that Amazon should notify affected customers and allow them to make claims. The judge denied Amazon’s request to reimburse the customers with Amazon gift cards. 80
#01 – Messenger By Facebook, Inc. Category: Social Networking Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – YouTube By Google, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – Facebook By Facebook, Inc. Category: Social Networking Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – Instagram By Instagram, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Snapchat By Snapchat, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – Bitmoji - Your Personal Emoji By Bitstrips Category: Utilities Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Perchang By Perchang Category: Games Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – Google Maps - Navigation & Transit By Google, Inc. Category: Navigation Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – Pandora - Free Music & Radio By Pandora Media, Inc. Category: Music Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – Gmail - email by Google: secure, fast & organized By Google, Inc. Category: Productivity Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – 1Doc: Microsoft Word edition By Chengyu Huang Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.10.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#02 – Xcode By Apple Category: Developer Tools Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later
#03 – OneDrive By Microsoft Corporation Category: Productivity Compatibility: OS X 10.9.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#04 – Slack By Slack Technologies, Inc. Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#05 – App for Instagram - Instant at your desktop! By Joacim Ståhl Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
#06 – The Unarchiver By Microsoft Corporation Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.6.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#07 – Dr. Cleaner: Disk,Memory,System Optimizer By Trend Micro Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – Microsoft Remote Desktop By Microsoft Corporation Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#09 – DesktopChat for Whatsapp By Pixel PawsA Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#10 – Full Deck Solitaire By GRL Games Category: Games Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 83
#01 – Minecraft: Pocket Edition By Mojang Category: Games / Price: $6.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – Heads Up! By Warner Bros. Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – Bloons TD 5 By Ninja Kiwi Category: Games / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – 7 Minute Workout Challenge By Fitness Guide Inc Category: Health & Fitness / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Plague Inc. By Ndemic Creations Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – Facetune By Lightricks Ltd. Category: Photo & Video / Price: $3.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Night Terrors: The Beginning By Novum Analytics Category: Entertainment / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 9.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – Enlight By Lightricks Ltd. Category: Photo & Video / Price: $3.99 Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – HotSchedules By HotSchedules Category: Business / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – MONOPOLY Game By Electronic Arts Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – GarageBand By Apple Category: Music / Price: $4.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later
#02 – Logic Pro X By Apple Category: Music / Price: $199.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#03 – Notability By Ginger Labs Category: Productivity / Price: $13.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#04 – Chat for Tinder By iCM Development Inc. Category: Lifestyle / Price: $2.79 Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#05 – Leo’s Fortune - HD Edition By 1337 & Senri LLC Category: Games / Price: $9.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
#06 – Civilization VI By Aspyr Media, Inc. Category: Games / Price: $84.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later, 64-bit processor
#07 – iPull -- Video downloader By Gabriel Arjones Category: Utilities / Price: $6.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – App for Google Calendar By JUNHUA XIE Category: Business / Price: $3.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#09 – Layers of Fear By Aspyr Media, Inc. Category: Games / Price: $13.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10.5 or later
#10 – Final Cut Pro By Apple Category: Video / Price: $399.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.11.4 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 85
Suicide Squad The government assembles an expendable team of the most notorious criminals to tackle a top secret mission. Their criminal history makes them perfect for the job, but will they see it that way?
FIVE FACTS: 1. Suicide Squad is the first non-Batman film to star the ‘Joker’. Ryan Gosling was originally slated to take on the role, but was not willing to sign a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. 2. Many of the cast members actually got ‘SKWAD’ tattooed to celebrate the film. Margot Robbie and Will Smith applied some of the tattoos themselves.
by David Ayer Genre: Action & Adventure Released: 2016 Price: $19.99
3. There were many people considered for the role of Harley Quinn before Margot Robbie was chosen, including Rooney Mara, Emma Watson, Emily Browning, Sara Paxton and Zooey Deschanel.
4. Will Smith took his role very seriously. To prepare himself to play Deadshot, he shaved his head and trained among US Navy Seals, who commended his skills with long distance shooting. 5. A sequel may already be in the works. Director David Ayer has been confirmed to return and so has Will Smith.
Wiener-Dog A darkly hilarious anthology film that follows a dog and all of the people she has touched over her short life.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Wiener-Dog is directed by Todd Solondz, the same acclaimed director behind the dark comedies Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse. 2. A viewing of Wiener-Dog at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 prompted angry responses from audience members due to its subject matter. Those offended began spoiling the film for others to discourage animal lovers from watching it. 3. Danny DeVito features as a screenwriting professor who is trying to get his second screenplay produced.
by Todd Solondz Genre: Comedy Released: 2016
4. The film revisits a character from Welcome to the Dollhouse. Dawn Wiener makes an appearance, but played by Greta Gerwig instead of Heather Matarazzo. 5. The script for this film was written years ago, but Solondz struggled to secure financing for it.
“Hardwired (Music Video)”
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct Metallica The ground-breaking, influential metal band stays on top form with its distinct brand of thrash and metal, including some amazing live performances of classics and some brand new tracks.
FIVE FACTS: Genre: Metal, Rock Released: Nov 18, 2016 26 Songs Price: $14.99
1. Hardwired…To Self-Destruct marks the first studio album for Metallica in eight years, which is the longest gap between albums the group has ever had. 2. The album has been released as a double album, combining many original songs with amazing live performances of their classics spanning as far back as the Dave Mustaine period. 3. IThis is the first Metallica album since 1983 to feature zero writing contributions from Kirk Hammett. 4. Despite Metallica’s historical objections to file-sharing and music piracy, the standard version of this album was leaked prematurely onto torrent sites on 12th November 2016. 5. Kirk Hammett had over 250 ideas for song riffs saved on his phone, but the phone was lost at an airport and the data was unobtainable. He has claimed that this greatly affected his input on the album.
“Hardwired…To Self-Destruct album trailer”
DNCE DNCE The break-out pop act comes to you with this amazing eponymous album, featuring the debut single “Cake by the Ocean”.
FIVE FACTS: 1. The band is led by Joe Jonas and fellow performer Jack Lawless. 2. The name ‘DNCE’ comes from one of the band’s song titles, and is supposed to represent being too drunk to spell the word ‘dance’. 3. DNCE recently followed Selena Gomez as the opening act for her tour. 4. The band cites many different influences for their music, including Weezer, Hall and Oates, Electric Light Orchestra and Prince. 5. The band recently appeared as ‘Johnny Casino and the Gamblers’ on the television broadcast of Grease: Live.
Genre: Pop Released: Nov 18, 2016 14 Songs Price: $10.99
“Cake by the Ocean”
BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘DOCTOR STRANGE,’ ‘TROLLS’ STAY ON TOP
Marvel’s mystical superhero adventure “Doctor Strange” and the musical animated release “Trolls” remained No. 1 and No. 2 at the box office for the second straight weekend, while new releases “Arrival” and “Almost Christmas” opened strongly. Disney’s “Doctor Strange” took in $43 million over the weekend, according to final ticket sales figures Monday. “Troll” followed behind with $35 million. The Amy Adams-led science-fiction thriller “Arrival” debuted with a better-than-expected $24.1 million. And the holiday-themed comedy “Almost Christmas” also landed solidly with $15.1 million. 103
The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC
CARRIE FISHER REVEALS ‘STAR WARS’ AFFAIR WITH HARRISON FORD
Carrie Fisher has revealed that Princess Leia’s romance with Han Solo in “Star Wars” extended off-screen, as well. Fisher tells People magazine that she enjoyed an “intense” affair with co-star Harrison Ford during the filming of the 1977 blockbuster. Fisher was 19 and Ford was 33 and married at the time of what she says was a three-month affair. The actress tells People, “It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.” She says the romance ended when shooting on the film did. Fisher writes about the fling in her new book “The Princess Diarist,” which recounts her experiences on the “Star Wars” set. She says that she gave Ford a heads-up about the book and he received a draft. A representative for Ford didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 113
REVIEW: NEW ‘CALL OF DUTY’ A SPACEY BUT CONSERVATIVE SEQUEL
Sticking with tradition despite a planet-hopping sci-fi setting, the latest “Call of Duty” is a conservative iteration of the annual first-person shooter franchise with safe, market-tested upgrades: a wisecracking robot, spaceship dogfights, ray guns and a scarred Kit Harington. While “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” (Activision, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, $59.95) includes moments of gaming grandeur, it doesn’t surprise, shock, or deliver any major new ideas in a year that’s seen heavy competition in the ever-popular genre, including new versions of “Titanfall,”‘’DOOM” and “Battlefield.” 114
After a surprise attack on Geneva, you play as the earnest Capt. Nick Reyes, leading a multicultural team representing the United Nations Space Alliance into battle against the Mars-based Settlement Defense Front. The straightforward war narrative hits you over the space helmet with its praise of military sacrifice, but it’s elevated by sharp - sometimes even heartfelt - dialogue and strong acting from “Homeland’s” David Harewood and others. Your jokey robot companion E3N leaves a more lasting impression than Harington’s character, an evil space admiral who makes sporadic appearances. As usual, several set-pieces shine: A giddy firefight outside a space warship sends players spinning upside down and sideways, and a confrontation with solar-powered robowarriors on a rapidly spinning asteroid is grimly intense. Gestures toward player choice - perks, side missions, a more realistic and challenging “specialist mode” - allow minor variations from the franchise’s familiar onthe-rails gameplay. Also helping to shake up shooting gallery monotony: creepy-crawly exploding “seeker bots” and zero-gravity grenades that send enemies floating up into your crosshairs. Multiplayer matches, where most players spend their time, were tweaked with a rudimentary weapon crafting system and “combat rigs” featuring individualized perks that substitute for last year’s “specialist” characters. Boost jumping and wall-running allow for innovative map design, and overall gameplay is slightly less frantic than last year’s “Black Ops III.” 116
I’ve never been much of a fan of the “zombies” mode, which blends puzzle elements with survival-type combat. But this year’s aggressively silly 1980s amusement park setting - with David Hasselhoff playing a DJ - is worth repeat visits to uncover its loopy secrets. For longtime “CoD” fans, though, a sense of “been there, shot that” lingers across all three modes. “Infinite Warfare” is polished and shiny, but doesn’t justify its existence like 2009’s “Modern Warfare 2” or 2012’s “Black Ops 2.” Perhaps a hard reboot is in order. Here’s hoping Activision stops promising “CoD” sequels every year so its developers have time to innovate and make the franchise feel vital again. Two and a half stars out of four.
COURT SIDESTEPS ISSUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT AUTHENTICATION
The Connecticut Supreme Court on Monday (14) sidestepped the issue of how social media accounts should be authenticated in criminal cases, in a ruling upholding a murder conviction. The court issued a 6-0 decision in the appeal of Derrick Bouknight, who argued prosecutors didn’t adequately prove a Facebook account they used as evidence was his. His appeal noted how easy it is to create fake accounts, hack into accounts and doctor photographs. While courts in other states have issued varying opinions on how to authenticate social media accounts, Connecticut justices instead said evidence against Bouknight was overwhelming and he didn’t prove the admission of the Facebook evidence had a substantial effect on the jury’s verdict. 121
Bouknight, 27, is serving a 70-year prison sentence for fatally shooting a man in New Haven in October 2010. A judge allowed into evidence photos from a Facebook account that police said was Bouknight’s. The photos showed Bouknight wearing a baseball cap and a glove that were similar to a cap and glove witnesses said the killer was wearing when he shot William Baines in a dispute over a $100 debt. Bouknight’s lawyer, Richard Condon Jr., said the trial court judge never found that Bouknight created or maintained the Facebook account or posted the photographs. He said the Facebook photos made Bouknight look like a “thug” and portrayed him in a negative light to jurors. The court did say, however, that there was “ample” evidence including witness testimony that indicated the Facebook account was Bouknight’s. Condon said Monday that he could not immediately comment because he had yet to review the decision. Bouknight has never said whether the Facebook page was his. Prosecutor Timothy Costello said it was the second case in which the Supreme Court avoided deciding on standards for admitting social media evidence. “Eventually a case will get up there where they will have to confront it,” he said. The issue has not made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
More than 40 states have based their evidence authentication rules on the federal rules of evidence, which allow for the authentication of evidence through the testimony of witnesses and circumstantial evidence. Some states, including Maryland, have taken a tougher approach. The Maryland Court of Appeals said in a 2011 case that social media evidence can be verified in several ways, including having profile creators testify the accounts are theirs, searching computers used to create profiles and having social media companies verify profile creators. Texas and other states have adopted lower standards, saying circumstantial evidence including photos and comments is adequate.
2016 SET TO BREAK HEAT RECORD DESPITE SLOWDOWN IN EMISSIONS
Global temperatures are soaring toward a record high this year, the U.N. weather agency said Monday, while another report showed emissions of a key global warming gas have flattened out in the past three years. The reports injected a mix of gloom and hope at U.N. climate talks in Marrakech this week. “Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” said Petteri Taalas, the head of the World Meteorological Organization. WMO’s preliminary data through October showed world temperatures, boosted by the El Nino phenomenon, are 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. That’s getting close to the limit set by the global climate agreement adopted in Paris last year. It calls for limiting the temperature rise since the industrial revolution to 2 degrees C or even 1.5 degrees C. 127
WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century. The only exception was 1998, which was also an El Nino year. Taalas said parts of Arctic Russia saw temperatures soaring 6-7 degrees C above average. “We are used to measuring temperature records in fractions of a degree, and so this is different,” he said. Environmental groups and climate scientists said the report underscores the need to quickly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for warming the planet. Another report released Monday delivered some positive news, showing global CO2 emissions have flattened out in the past three years. However, the authors of the study cautioned it’s unclear whether the slowdown, mainly caused by declining coal use in China, is a permanent trend. “It is far too early to proclaim we have reached a peak,” said co-author Glen Peters, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo. The study, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, says global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to grow just 0.2 percent this year. That would mean emissions have leveled off at about 36 billion metric tons in the past three years even though the world economy has expanded, suggesting the historical bonds between economic gains and emissions growth may have been severed. “This could be the turning point we have hoped for,” said David Ray, a professor of carbon 128
management at the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved with the study. “To tackle climate change those bonds must be broken and here we have the first signs that they are at least starting to loosen.” Chinese emissions were down 0.7 percent in 2015 and are projected to fall 0.5 percent in 2016, the researchers said, though noting that Chinese energy statistics have been plagued by inconsistencies. Peters said it’s unclear whether the Chinese slowdown was due to a restructuring of its economy or a sign of economic instability, but the unexpected emissions reduction “give us hope that the world’s biggest emitter can deliver much more ambitious emission reductions.” China, which accounts for almost 30 percent of global carbon pollution, pledged to peak its emissions around 2030 as part of the climate pact adopted in Paris last year. Many analysts say China’s peak is likely to come much earlier - and may already have occurred. “A few more years of data is needed to confirm this,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics. Even if China’s emissions have stabilized, growth in India and other developing countries could push global CO2 levels higher again. India’s emissions rose 5 percent in 2015, the study said. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States - the world’s No. 2 carbon polluter - could also have an impact. U.S. emissions fell 2.6 percent last year and are projected to drop 1.7 percent this year, as natural gas and renewables displace coal in power generation, the study showed. But it’s 130
unclear whether those reductions will continue under Trump, who has pledged to roll back the Obama administration’s environmental policies, including the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. Obama’s climate envoy, Jonathan Pershing, said Monday that China and other countries would move forward on climate action even if the U.S. reverses course under Trump. “I’m hearing the same from the Europeans,” he said. “I’m hearing the same from the Brazilians. I’m hearing the same from Mexico, and from Canada, and from smaller nations like Costa Rica and from Colombia.” Some researchers stressed that it’s not enough for global emissions to stabilize, saying they need to drop toward zero for the world to meet the goals of the Paris deal. “Worryingly, the reductions pledged by the nations under the Paris Agreement are not sufficient to achieve this,” said climate scientist Chris Rapley of University College London. 132
CLOSER (FEAT. HALSEY)
DON’T WANNA KNOW (FEAT. KENDRICK LAMAR)
LET ME LOVE YOU (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER)
BLUE AIN’T YOUR COLOR
HEATHENS TwenTy one piloTs
liTTle Big Town
STARVING (FEAT. ZEDD)
hailee sTeinfelD & grey
JUJU ON THAT BEAT (TZ ANTHEM)
Zay hilfigerrr & Zayion mCCall
A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS
TROLLS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)
YOU WANT IT DARKER
THE ESSENTIAL LEONARD COHEN
57TH & 9TH (DELUXE)
leslie oDom, Jr.
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC!, VOL. 60
HALLELUJAH (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
arTisTs of Then, now & foreVer
BLUE AIN’T YOUR COLOR
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!
HALLELUJAH (LIVE IN LONDON) [LIVE IN LONDON]
JUJU ON THAT BEAT (TZ ANTHEM)
Zay hilfigerrr & Zayion mCCall
CLOSER (FEAT. HALSEY)
liTTle Big Town
MARY, DID YOU KNOW?
The walking DeaD, season 7
WHAT WENT DOWN
VanDerpump rules, season 5
REUNION, PT. 2
The real housewiVes of orange CounTy, season 11
maDam seCreTary, season 3
supergirl, season 2
Jane The Virgin, season 3
CONTROVERSIES & LEGACIES
keeping up wiTh The karDashians, season 12
The walking DeaD, season 7
THE WATERGATE TAPE
Timeless, season 1
TRIP TO STABBY TOWN
luCifer, season 2
NO MAN’S LAND
SINCE I FELL FOR YOU
SETTLE FOR MORE
BUTTONS & LACE
FACEBOOK’S FAKE NEWS PROBLEM: WHAT’S ITS RESPONSIBILITY?
Facebook is under fire for failing to rein in fake and biased news stories that some believe may have swayed the presidential election. Its predicament stems from this basic conundrum: It exercises great control over the news its users see, but it declines to assume the editorial responsibility that traditional publishers do. On Monday, Facebook took a minor step to address the issue, clarifying its advertising policy to emphasize that it won’t display ads on sites that run information that is “illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news.” The company said it was merely making explicit a policy that was already implied. Its move followed a similar step by Google earlier on Monday, after the search giant acknowledged that it had let a false article about the election results slip into its list of recommended news stories. In the case of both companies, the aim is to discourage fake-news sites by depriving them of revenue. 144
Facebook is also said to be facing brewing internal turmoil over its influence and what it can and should do about it. Employees have expressed concern over Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation and racist memes largely associated with the alt-right, according to The New York Times and BuzzFeed. Some have reportedly formed an unofficial task force to investigate the role the company played in the election. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, insists that Facebook remains a neutral technology platform where its users can share anything they want, with only a tiny fraction of it fake or problematic. Last week, Zuckerberg called the idea that voters might have been influenced by what they saw on Facebook - fake, uber-partisan stories, such as a false one about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump for president - “pretty crazy.”
FACEBOOK CONTROL People update to Facebook so frequently that the company has no choice but to filter what everyone sees in their news feeds - the main artery through which users see posts from their friends, family, businesses, news sources and celebrities they follow. The company’s secret algorithms are designed to deliver the posts from friends and other sources that will draw people in and lead them to read and click and “like” and share - “maximizing their engagement,” in Facebook’s jargon.
Image: Luong Thai Linh
Facebook frequently tweaks its algorithm to improve engagement. Various changes have been aimed at shutting out sites that promote clickbait and other garbage that users say they don’t want to see, even as they click on it and share away. When users are surrounded by posts they want to see, they’re more likely to stick around. That’s key to Facebook’s advertising business. But it can be problematic when it comes to false but highly interesting posts. Facebook’s news feed “maximizes for engagement. As we’ve learned in this election, bulls--t is highly engaging,” former Facebook product designer Bobby Goodlatte wrote in an Election Day post. “Highly partisan, factlight outlets” on both the right and the left, he wrote, “have no concern for the truth, and really only care for engagement. ... It’s now clear that democracy suffers if our news environment incentivizes bulls--t.” Social media companies today have to acknowledge that they are news organizations, said Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum, a journalism museum in Washington. “Not like news companies of the 20th century,” he added. “But not just pipes where people get their news. They determine what is news.” In a post Saturday night, Zuckerberg rejected that idea. “News and media are not the primary things people do on Facebook, so I find it odd when people insist we call ourselves a news or media company in order to acknowledge its importance,” he wrote. “Facebook is mostly about helping people stay connected with friends and family.” 149
FACEBOOK AS NEWSPAPER - NO, SCRATCH THAT Back in 2013, Zuckerberg said he wanted Facebook to be people’s “own personal newspaper,” one that delivers the stories most interesting and important to them. That’s still the company’s goal - though minus any reference to itself as a media company of any kind. Of course, fake stuff has existed on the internet long before Facebook. And under the law, Facebook is no more responsible for what appears on its site than “the paper mills that print newspapers are responsible for their content,” said Steve Jones, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies communication technology. At the same time, Jones said he thinks the broader issue of Facebook’s responsibility is one that’s going to be “debated forever.” “Even the notion of truth is something that’s highly contested at this point,” he said. 150
Image: Paul Sakuma
TOADSTOOL FOOTSTOOLS: ARE ORGANISMS MANUFACTURING’S FUTURE?
The sturdy stools and spongy cushions made at a factory in upstate New York are formed with fungus. Ecovative Design is a business staking its growth on mycelium, the thread-like “roots” of mushrooms. The mycelium grows around small pieces of stalks and stems to create a boundtogether material that can be molded into soft packaging for glassware or pressed into the boards used for the footstools they recently began selling. 153
Image: Mike Groll
“It’s like growing a tree in the shape of your furniture,” said Ecovative co-founder Gavin McIntyre. “But rather than a tree, we’re using mushrooms.” The simple stools are organic markers in ambitious efforts by researchers worldwide to commercially grow fungi, bacteria and proteins into clothing and building materials. Proponents see micro-organisms as factories of the future, displacing energy-intensive manufacturing with more sustainable models. While the young grow-it-all field is still more about promise than actual products, companies are working on making bricks without kilns, leather without cows and silk without spiders. McIntyre rapped his knuckles on one of their “myco-boards,” which look and feel similar to the particle boards that are commonplace in cabinets and big-box store furniture. He was on the floor of Ecovative’s hangar-like facility north of Albany where chopped-up farm stuff is steamed and bagged up with mycelium. Stacked on high-rise racks, the minuscule white mycelium threads feed on the stalks and woody bits, binding it together. After a week or so, the big clear plastic bags look little like giant pieces of frosted shredded wheat. “The fungus is literally self-assembling,” McIntyre said. McIntyre and Ecovative co-founder Eben Bayer have been harnessing mushroom power since they were Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students growing fungus under their beds for a class project a decade ago. Today, they employ about 90 people in a business that found initial 155
success selling a compostable alternative to plastic foams used for packaging items like computers and glass bottles. But Bayer and McIntyre always believed mycelium to be more multifaceted. They figured out a way to create boards by adding heat and pressure and how to make flexible cushions. They sell boards to home furniture makers and recently started offering for sale their own grown-for-home items, like the $199 Imperial Stool. They see their mushroom boards as a formaldehyde-free alternative to composite wood products and are working with outside mills to ramp up production. As Ecovative makes boards, bioMASON in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, grows bricks from sand, water, bacteria and some nutrients. The bricks stiffen over several days with the formation of calcium carbonate between the grains of sand, mimicking the process that makes coral reefs sturdy. The company’s bricks have been used to pave a pair of courtyards in San Francisco, and it is working with builders and pavers who could make their bricks on site. “Traditional brick manufacturing is quite energy intensive, as well as concrete,” said company founder Ginger Krieg Dosier. Bricks and boards created from living organisms are sometimes called “biofabricated” products. An annual “Biofabricate” conference to be held Thursday in New York will feature speakers involved in efforts from everything to growing human tissue into ears to growing leather. 156
Image: Mike Groll
One conference participant, Tsuruoka, Japanbased Spiber, last year was involved in the unveiling of a prototype of North Face-branded “Moon Parka,” made with synthetic spider silk fibers. Plans to sell the parka in Japan have been delayed as they improve production. While many industries see growth potential in growing materials, there are still open questions on whether they will be better than current manufacturing techniques, said Andrew Pelling, of the University of Ottawa. Pelling, who runs a biophysical manipulation lab, has done work growing human ear cells using the cellulose from apples as a sort of scaffolding. He sees a lot of promise and interest from an array of industries, but he also believes there is a long road ahead for more sophisticated grown products. “We’re living in a biological stone age now,” he said. “I think we shouldn’t underestimate how much complexity there is in biology and I think there are still a lot of mysteries to figure out before we have real full control to dial in anything you want to grow or make or repair,” Pelling said. “And for me, that’s the exciting part.”
GOOGLE RELEASES APP TO DIGITIZE BOXES OF OLD PHOTO PRINTS
Google wants to make digitizing your many boxes of old photo prints as easy as opening an app. The PhotoScan app for iPhones and Android phones will use the phone’s camera to capture an old photo in four sections and stitch them together, much like a panorama shot. Google says this approach helps eliminate glare that can mar attempts to digitize a print by simply photographing the whole photo. 161
The app will make minor adjustments to restore color in faded photos and to aligned corners when the photo print is bent. Julia Winn, a product manager for the new app, said scanning photos with traditional scanners takes time, while third-party digitizing services cost money and require you to part with your photos temporarily, risking loss and damage. The free app, released Tuesday, will work with photos on a table, a picture frame and an album. It will also digitize slides when projected on a wall. Winn said the resolution of the digitized photo will be comparable to that from a flatbed scanner. You can store digitized versions on your phone or the online Google Photos service, which has unlimited storage for photos of up to 16 megapixels.
Other photo features announced Tuesday include: - The main Google Photos app is getting additional editing controls. There are new filters for those who like automation and more granular controls for those who prefer manual editing. The new manual options include “deep blue” to give skies and water more color, without oversaturating the rest of the photo, and “skin tone” to adjust only the colors on skins. - The service will also automatically generate additional types of video highlights, with background music, from your collection of photos and videos. The service initially organized images only around location and date. It recently started creating reels following a kid growing up. A new type, called lullaby, will gather shots from a newborn’s initial days. Coming next month: Christmas shots and happy moments from 2016. Pets and outdoor videos are coming in 2017.