iPhone 8 Reviews Collected

I have not had any hands on experience with the new iPhone 8 as of yet but I will very shortly. In the meantime I have collected some of the reviews that are starting to appear. Most of them are very positive so I wanted to share them with my dedicated readers who are considering upgrading to the new iPhone. I hope to write an expansive review in early October.

So in the meantime check out these reviews of the iPhone 8.

The Verge reminds us that this IS an iPhone, and a very good one at that. However, the iPhone 8 isn’t the iPhone X, and therefore “it’s not the future, and it’s not the cutting edge”. It is, instead, “just the default”. Therefore, Nilay Patel “can’t think of a single compelling reason to upgrade from an iPhone7”.

Engadget describes the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as “familiar-looking phones that mostly operate the way people expect them to”. In other words, “they’re conventional”. Chris Velazco calls the iPhone 8 an “incredibly powerful machine” which will appeal to “fans who want a blend of classic Apple style and top-tier performance”. But again, it’s no iPhone X.

TechCrunch focuses on the camera of the iPhone 8, with smartphone cameras being the focus of Apple’s attentions. Unfortunately, Matthew Panzarino suggests that the iPhone 8 “sits in the shadow of the iPhone X”. However, “a bunch of internal upgrades and a nice new glass back” make the iPhone 8 “the easy traditional choice this year”.

Wired describes the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as “virtually perfect phones” which do everything required of them. However, they’re “already obsolete” as “the iPhone X looms large over the 8, with its tiny bezel and Face ID and amazing cameras”. Which leads David Pierce to suggest that “if you want to be part of the future, save your money for now”.

Mashable claims that while “the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are meaningful upgrades for many of Apple customers […] they should have been called the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.” So Lance Ulanoff is happy to advise anyone who owns an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to “save up a few more bucks and wait for the iPhone X when it ships in November”.

There you go, are you considering an upgrade to the iPhone 8 or are you going to hold off for the iPhone X which is being released in late October?

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Viewing Your Credit Report for Free

With the recent Experian security breach now is a great time to start monitoring your credit. What is often considered to be an expensive and confusing task is actually quiet easy. In addition to many credit card company’s offering free credit monitoring services there are also straight up credit monitoring services like Credit Karma that do a great job that are free and can help you even improve your credit score.

Image result for credit security

With all of these regular security breaches your best bet is to keep an eye on your own credit reports and scores and make sure nothing is going on there that you don’t already know about. In this article, I’m going to show you how to get your credit report for free, which you can do once a year. Secondly, I’m going to show you how to get your free credit score, which you can get pretty much on a daily basis.

While there are many ways to get a free credit report my favorite option today is Credit Karma.

Credit Karma uses the VantageScore which seems to be becoming more popular than FICO.

Credit Karma gives you the score from both TransUnion and Equifax. If you click on View score details, you get all kinds of details on the credit factors that are helping and hurting you. These include credit card usage, payment history, derogatory remarks, credit age, total accounts and hard inquiries. You also get two full credit reports, so it’s a really nice service that is completely free.

Credit Karma also has a great mobile app for both iOS & Android so you can have access to your credit history, two of your credit reports, access to credit alerts and more from wherever you are – on whatever device you are using.

I have been exclusively using Credit Karma to monitor my credit reports, help me improve my credit score and even apply for and receive very reasonable loans.

You can learn more about Credit Karma here.

Note: I am not affiliated with Credit Karma in any way. I am just a big fan of their service and with security breaches all around us I wanted to share this with all of you, my dedicated readers.

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Bing Joins War Against Fake News

Microsoft is jumping on the fake news bandwagon, adding a “Fact Check” label to Bing. Facebook enacted a crackdown on fake news months ago, and Google soon followed suit. And now, Microsoft is joining the party. And you’ll soon see the fruits of these labors in Bing search results.

Image result for bing fake news

It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell fact from fiction. And we have the internet to blame for this phenomenon. Sure, false news stories, conspiracy theories, and urban legends were born and spread before the advent of the internet. However it’s much worse these days, mostly a result from the internet and social media.

Fake News Is a Serious Business

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is now much more prevalent than ever before. Fabricated news stories are being written, spread, and perpetuated to actually affect people’s opinions on specific countries, politicians, and celebrities. And the whole thing is becoming a serious business.

Having watched Facebook and Google both do their utmost to help people separate fact from fiction, Microsoft is adding a new UX element to Bing search results. The “Fact Check” label, as it’s called, will add fact-checking information to search results without the user ever having to leave Bing.

Essentially, Bing will add a note where applicable to news stories and web pages. These will instantly show users that a claim has been fact-checked by an organization such as Snopes or Politifact, and reveal what their assessment of it is. Whether it’s True, False, or somewhere in-between.

Bing Is Bigger Than You Think

I can already hear that the Fact Check label on Bing is meaningless because no one uses Bing. But that simply isn’t true. In fact, as Microsoft was keen to point out in August 2017, Bing is bigger than you think. So, given Bing’s popularity, Microsoft’s efforts to fight fake news should be applauded.

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iOS 11 Arrives

The iOS 11 release date is today, Tuesday, September 19, and it’s a big update for your current iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s new software update gives your smartphone or tablet a refresh, even if you’re not upgrading to iPhone X or iPhone 8. Your device will feel as good as new thanks to several iOS 11 features.

If you upgrade, you’ll be able to enjoy augmented reality, even more editing and adjustment options in the Photos and Camera apps, an improved Siri, and an all-new redesigned App Store (though, a word of warning, some older apps might not work).

Here on the east coast the download will be available after 1pm.

Be aware that there is going to be a massive strain on Apple’s bandwidth. If you’re not absolutely desperate for the upgrade, it might be sensible to wait a few hours before pressing Update. You’ll be able to enjoy a faster, smoother, and less troublesome upgrade experience.

How to Upgrade to iOS 11 (after 1pm EST today)

Back Up

Before giving your iPhone or iPad a nice little makeover, be sure your data’s all backed up. Uploading data to iCloud secures the basics like contacts, settings, and messages, but storage can be costly and it won’t save things like app preferences. For a more complete (and free) back-up, iTunes will save all the basics plus your apps, log-in credentials, and even your home screen arrangement. Plug your device into your computer, open iTunes, select your device, and choose “Back Up Now” under the “Manually Back Up and Restore.”

Fully Charged

You won’t be able to get all of iOS 11’s sweet new features if your device isn’t charged. You’ll also need to plug into an outlet and connect to Wi-Fi before you can start your download.

Make Sure You Have the Space

You’ll need about 2GB of free space to download the new OS. Make some room by deleting photos and apps you no longer need. Google Photos has a cool feature that automatically uploads your photos to its servers, and you can tell it to clear all the photos on your camera roll once they’re backed up. Do it ahead of time to save yourself the headache of frantically deleting stuff.

Get Started (after 1pm EST today)

Once you’re plugged in, backed up, and have space to spare, you’re ready to go. Your phone should notify you when the iOS 11 update is available, but if you’re feeling antsy, jump into the General tab in the Settings app and hit Software Update to start the download.

You can read my previous iOS 11 articles here to learn more.

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Blocking Annoying Auto Play Videos

Image result for chrome logoWhat is the most annoying thing on the internet today? I’ll answer for you: autoplaying videos, of almost any kind. That is why Google says it is finally going to do something about it. That’s right! The next version of Google Chrome mobile will limit the ability for sites to autoplay videos.

No More Autoplay

Before you take your hat off and throw it jubilantly into the air, there are some caveats.

According to the Google blog post that announced the upcoming change, if you have previously shown an interest in the media, it will autoplay. This means if you have interacted with the page the media is hosted on, if you’ve played it before, or if you’ve added the site to your mobile homescreen, the media will autoplay.

In addition, video content will automatically play if there is no sound — cue videos all starting with sound turned off (call me cynical).

The changes should help those users on limited data packages, as well as those on spotty internet connections.

It Isn’t All Good

At the same, Google will be making additional changes related to autoplay to increase the reliability of advertisements using muted video. This is also to encourage sites and advertisers to create muted videos, rather than use lower quality GIFs instead.

First, the current block autoplay function available to Android users will be removed. Second, autoplay blocking on mobile devices in data save mode will also be removed. All in all, I think we are running at about even.

There is one final change. A new user option will allow users to complete disable audio for an entire site. So if you have frequently visited sites that constantly autoplay horrifically noisy videos, you can silence them — forever.

And better yet, that change persists through browser sessions.

The new user options are set to appear in Chrome 63, and the actual autoplay abuse control in Chrome 64.

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How to Watch Star Trek: Discovery

With Star Trek: Discovery set to premier in a few days countless people have asked me “how do I watch the new Star Trek”? This is a great question because CBS is hoping to move away from traditional TV with Trek paving the way.

This is not the first time Star Trek has introduced the audience to new ways of obtaining our entertainment. Lets take a look at what I am talking about.

  • The Original Series – When TOS hit syndication (1970’s) it quickly became the most watched series in Syndication (except for possibly “I Love Lucy”) history and led to the modern rebirth of the franchise.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – TNG did not air on a network, but “first run syndication”. This was the first large scale TV series to do so and it’s success led to an onslaught of TV shows following suit, including “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
  • Star Trek: Voyager – Paramount launched their network, UPN in 1995 with the series premier of Voyager.

So there you go – Star Trek has often led the way with how we view TV and with Discovery CBS is hoping to do it again.


So you are still not sure how and where to watch Star Trek: Discovery? You’re not alone. I have broken down all the info into a guide to help you find out where and when to watch.

Discovery starts with a special 2-part (2 episode) premiere and will run for a total of 15 episodes for the first season. The season will be broken into two parts with a break starting November and scheduled to pick up again in January 2018.

Outside of the USA, Star Trek: Discovery will air on Netflix, except for Canada where it will be broadcast on CTV while in the states it runs exclusively on CBS All Access.

USA: Discovery premieres Sunday, Sept. 24 on CBS All Access

In the United States Star Trek: Discovery is an exclusive original show for the CBS All Access streaming service and premieres Sunday, September 24th.

  • The first episode (Part 1 of the two-hour premiere) will be available on CBS All Access at 8:30PM ET.
  • The second episode (Part 2) will be available exclusively on CBS All Access at 9:30PM.

Subsequent episodes will be available at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT starting Sunday, October 1st.

This streaming service from CBS costs $5.99 per month to subscribe ($9.99 without commercials). CBS All Access includes access to more than 9,000 episodes on demand – spanning current primetime, daytime and late night CBS series, as well as past seasons of select series and classic TV shows, including every episode of every Star Trek TV series.

You can watch CBS All Access on your computer, mobile devices, gaming devices and streaming devices. For more see TrekMovie’s buyer’s guide to CBS All Access devices. To subscribe CLICK HERE(with free trial).

CBS broadcast of Part 1 of premiere: In order to promote Star Trek: Discovery the first episode of the show (Part 1 of the 2-hour premiere) will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network on the same night as it is released on CBS All Access. To watch, tune in Sunday, September 24 at 8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes). To see part 2 of the pilot or any other episodes, you will have to subscribe to CBS All Access.

Buyer’s Guide To Streaming ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ On A Budget

One of the biggest challenges about Star Trek: Discovery for people in the U.S. is that it is exclusively available on the  CBS All Access  streaming service. With only around 1.5 million subscribers, it is likely that most fans will be signing up for the service for the first time. So the question is, how can you watch the show?

Are you already Discovery-ready?

The CBS app is available on Android and iOS, so you can certainly watch it on your phone or tablet screen easily, as well as on your computer through the CBS website. But Star Trek: Discovery is a show that is being promoted as ‘big’ and ‘cinematic,’ so you’ll probably want to watch it on your TV. “How do I do that?” you might ask. We’re here to tell you.

Star Trek: Discovery should be watched on a big screen

You may already have a device that is ready for CBS All Access. If you’re a gamer, the CBS All Access app is available on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and Xbox 360.  It’s also on any Android TV, including recent higher-end Sony smart TVs, which are CBSAA-ready. And many Vizio smart TVs from the last couple of years (E, M, or P series) have Google Chromecast built-in so they are also ready for you to use your smartphone or tablet to send the CBS All Access video stream to your TV.

If you have a dedicated streaming device such as a Google ChromecastRokuAmazon Fire TVApple TV, or Android TV, XBOX then you, are ready for CBS All Access.

All Access supported devices

 

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Equifax Breach Update

If you were one of the estimated 143 million Americans whose sensitive personal data was exposed in the recently revealed hack of the credit bureau Equifax, one of the first things you should do is put a freeze on your credit files.

Image result for Equifax breach

In an analysis earlier this week of the Equifax breach, IT security writer Brian Krebs recommended that people who believe their data is at risk should file a security freeze with the major credit bureaus. In the U.S., those reporting agencies include Experian, Equifax, Innovis, and TransUnion.

A freeze on an individual’s credit files ensures that identity thieves will not be able to use that person’s personal information to obtain loans or lines of credit. Anyone with a credit freeze can still seek loans or lines of credit by personally agreeing to unfreeze the information for those purposes.

Last week Equifax revealed that a security breach that occurred between the middle of May and July could have exposed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other information of as many as 143 million U.S. consumers.

Filing a Credit Freeze

People can usually file a credit freeze online, although some reporting agencies might require a request by phone or in writing. Filing can also sometimes require paying a fee, although that payment can be waived in most states with proof of a legitimate identity theft threat.

With a freeze in place on your credit file, ID thieves can apply for credit in your name all they want, but they will not succeed in getting new lines of credit in your name because few if any creditors will extend that credit without first being able to gauge how risky it is to loan to you by viewing your credit report.

In addition to seeking a credit freeze, potential victims of the Equifax hack should regularly request a copy of their credit reports and sign up for free credit monitoring with a verified provider. In order to avoid difficulties that could be caused by a freeze people should first obtain credit reports and sign up for monitoring before requesting to freeze their files.

Questionable Response by Equifax

Equifax is under serious fire not only for the breach, but for its responses since then. Security experts and officials alike slammed the company for a poorly designed response Web site, and for initially requiring potential victims to give up their rights to sue before they could obtain free credit monitoring. Equifax has since dropped its credit-freeze fees and requirement for binding arbitration in consumer disputes.

Members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee yesterday sent a letter to Equifax chairman and CEO Richard F. “Rick” Smith asking for a detailed timeline of the breach and more information about what the company is doing to “identify and limit potential consumer harm.”

Earlier this week Equifax posted a progress update for consumers on its security site to summarize its latest actions in response to the breach. Among the steps Equinox said it has taken are changes to ensure random PIN generation for users requesting security freezes, ramped-up call center support to reduce call wait time, improved security links from its Web site, and reversal of a policy that would have automatically charged customers seeking free credit monitoring for renewal of its TrustedID Premier service after one year.

As of today, at least 23 class-action lawsuits have already been filed against Equifax in federal courts across the U.S.

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Star Trek’s Voyager Shines on Netflix

OK friends, we only have about 2 weeks until Star Trek: Discovery premiers on CBS All Access, and I am just a little excited about it. With that in mind, Netflix recently reported on the most streamed Star Trek re-watched episodes and the results surprised many of us.

There are nearly 700 episodes of Star Trek spread across five television series and you’d assume the best episodes would translate to the most re-watched, right? After all, usually the cream rises to the top. Or does it?

Netflix has just released their list of the ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes of all time, and frankly, many trekkers were left a little bit shocked by the results. Especially when you realize the finale episode of Voyager is the most re-watched Star Trek episode of all time on the streaming service, and not other, far more well regarded classics.

As a matter of fact, none of the original series episodes are among the most re-watched  and only four The Next Generation episodes are in the top ten! You can check out Netflix’s list of the top ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes in the graphic down below.

My personal favorite Trek series (after the original series, of course) is Star Trek: Voyager and it can lay claim to having the most revisited episode of all, its series finale. As it turns out, the first episodes of any Trek series are usually the most-watched, so in an effort to seek data beyond default behavior, the first two episodes from any first seasons were omitted from the data. Also, it should be noted that the Borg show up in seven out of ten episodes. People must really want to be assimilated.

Usually, after the introductory episodes of any of the first seasons, it’s episodes introducing well-known parts of Star Trek lore that tend to be rewatched the most. The Next Generation and The Original Series can claim the largest audiences on Netflix, but Voyager and Deep Space Nine fans are better repeat customers, more likely to return for their favorite episodes.

Why Star Trek Voyager has so many Re-watches?

Both the original show and TNG have excellent, upgraded (remastered) high definition Blu-rays, while neither Voyager or Deep Space Nine do not. If you’re a hardcore Trekker, you will probably watch the Original Series and Next Generation on Blu-ray before watching a more compressed streaming version.

As for Deep Space Nine & Voyager streaming is the best – most convenient way to re-visit those crews. As for Voyager being so well represented here as compared to Deep Space Nine lets remember that Voyager is much episodic while Deep Space Nine has huge story arches – meaning its much easier to grab a Voyager episode here & there while Deep Space Nine’s longer story arches makes that a little more problematic.

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Microsoft Rolls Out New Windows Update

With all of the exciting Apple news this week I wanted to let everyone know that there is a new Windows 10 update being rolled out. Microsoft is now rolling out KB4038788 via Windows Update which bumps up the build number up to 15063.608. The update is available for Windows 10 PCs and Mobile device, and it includes a lot of fixes and security patches.

Here’s whats in the update:

  • Addressed issue where the color profiles do not revert to the user-specified settings after playing a full-screen game.
  • Updated HDR feature to be turned off by default in the OS.
  • Addressed issue where you can’t open the Start menu when you add a third-party IME.
  • Addressed issue with scanners that rely on inbox driver support.
  • Addressed issue in a Mobile Device Manager Enterprise feature to allow headsets to work correctly.
  • Addressed issue where some machines fail to load wireless WAN devices when they resume from Sleep.
  • Addressed issue where Windows Error Reporting doesn’t clean up temporary files when there is a redirection on a folder.
  • Addressed issue where revoking a certificate associated with a disabled user account in the CA management console fails. The error is “The user name or password is incorrect. 0x8007052e (WIN32: 1326 ERROR_LOGON_FAILURE)”.
  • Addressed issue where LSASS is leaking large amounts of memory.
  • Addressed issue where enabling encryption using syskey.exe renders the system unbootable.
  • Updated the BitLocker.psm1 PowerShell script to not log passwords when logging is enabled.
  • Addressed issue where saving a credential with an empty password to Credential Manager causes the system to crash when attempting to use that credential.
  • Updates to Internet Explorer 11’s navigation bar with search box.
  • Addressed issue in Internet Explorer where undo is broken if character conversion is canceled using IME.
  • Addressed issue with the EMIE where Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer repeatedly switched between each other.
  • Addressed issue where a device may stop responding for several minutes and then stop working with error 0x9F (SYSTEM_POWER_STATE_FAILURE) when a USB network adapter is attached.
  • Addressed issue where some apps cannot be opened because the IPHlpSvc service stops responding during the Windows boot procedure.
  • Addressed issue where spoolsv.exe stops working.
  • Addressed issue where the Get-AuthenticodeSignature cmdlet does not list TimeStamperCertificateeven though the file is time stamped.
  • Addressed issue where, after upgrading to Windows 10, users may experience long delays when running applications hosted on Windows Server 2008 SP2.
  • Addressed RemoteApp display issues that occur when you minimize and restore a RemoteApp to full-screen mode.
  • Addressed issue that sometimes causes Windows File Explorer to stop responding and causes the system to stop working.
  • Addressed issue that causes the Export-StartLayout cmdlet to fail when exporting the layout of tiles at startup.
  • Addressed issue where the option to join Azure AAD is sometimes unavailable during the out-of-box experience.
  • Addressed issue where clicking the buttons on Windows Action Center notifications results in no action being taken.
  • Re-release of MS16-087- Security update for Windows print spooler components.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel-mode drivers, Windows shell, Microsoft Uniscribe, Microsoft Edge, Device Guard, Windows TPM, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows Hyper-V, Windows kernel, and Windows Virtualization.

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Apple’s iOS Gets a Release Date

I have been writing about the upcoming iOS 11 for a month or so now and today we finally were given an official release date from Apple.

As expected it will be released in a week and a half, on September 19.


iPhone and iPad users will get a redesigned look with a new customizable control center, better Siri, Live Photo modes, a one-handed mode for the keyboard and much more.

The Apple iPad is getting much better with iOS 11. iPad Pro will finally receive true multitasking and much improved Split View app support. The new Files app allows real file sharing between apps. Drag and drop is also available – finally.

Also new on the iPad Pro tablets is the new dock, which acts and looks just like the dock on macOS and is available in any app and any screen.

I am especially excited about this news!

watchOS 4 will also debut on September 19 with some neat new health and fitness features. The Apple Watch will monitor your heart rate in what Apple calls Apple Heart Study and will signal for any irregularities. Apple hopes this feature will be able to help identify heart disease in the future.

Apple Music is completely redesigned for watchOS and in unison with Apple Watch Series 3can be streamed without an iPhone present.

Apple unveiled its new Apple TV 4K and along with it, tvOS 11 with a bunch of new features and a redesigned UI.

Apple has incorporated 4K content from major studios as well as 4K streaming content from the likes of Netflix and others. Sports fans will see upcoming games at the top of their list and tvOS will even show live scores so that you can see if a game is close and decide to tune in.

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