Microsoft Gets Cozy with Internet Pirates

Microsoft has been making waves this week with a few curious announcements about their new Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft is taking a brand-new approach with their upcoming release. First off, they are sending an early beta-build version to around 3 million users, and asking for their feedback. The idea is that in the end Microsoft 10 will be a joint venture between the company and its users. It’s a fresh approach and one that seems pretty popular thus far. At the very least it has definitely created a buzz.

Besides the usual improved interface options, there are some innovative features that are promised with Windows 10, including HoloLens, which is the first software to pluck a hologram straight from the future and make it a reality in our everyday lives. This is is by far the coolest feature of Windows 10, as well as a feature called “Windows Hello,” which will allow you to sign into Windows 10 with your face. Windows 10 will not require a password, as passwords in general are in the process of being phased out of technology anyway. So going forward you will be able to unlock your device by simply looking at your device. Other options for unlocking include the iris of your eye, or the print of your thumb.

Microsoft is even taking their release one step further by offering a free Microsoft 10 upgrade to those who have are running pirated earlier versions of the software. This is being done in an attempt to show users the value of having a user license. This is especially big news in China, where a reported three quarters of users are running illegal software.

Some are questioning why Microsoft would offer a free upgrade to folks who have swiped copies from them illegally. The consensus seems to be that because Windows 8 was received so poorly, the company is trying to save its reputation while getting users on the same page and leaving Windows 8 in the dust. Although this leaves XP and Vista users out in the cold, but they will have the option to pay for an upgrade. The amount that Microsoft will be charging for the new operating system is still unknown.

Microsoft has not been shy about admitting that they have set out to fix things that were poorly received with the Microsoft 8 upgrade, and they are addressing all these issues individually. It’s rumored that they skipped “Microsoft 9” and went straight to “10” in an attempt to further distance themselves from the last release.

The finished version of Microsoft 10 does not have a solid release date, but the company has promised that it will debut at some point during summer 2015.

Apple’s New Patent

The new word on the street is that Apple has obtained a patent for a technology that will allow users to locate a turned-off iPhone. For years now, Apple has had their “find your iPhone” app available, which allows users to track their iPhone in the event that it gets stolen or lost. The downside to the app is that it’s only able to track a phone as long it remains on. If the phone dies or is turned off, it becomes virtually untraceable. This is good news for phone thieves who simply have to turn the phone off for a while before wiping it clean. Currently, the tracker app can only send your last known location to your iCloud once your phone’s been turned off. With this new patent, that’s about to change. Rumor has it that the new technology will be released in the next iOS update.

What This Means for You

The new technology will allow your iPhone to send your location to your cloud even when the phone is off. Although this is amazing news for iPhone users that live in fear of losing their phones, there is also another concern. As of now, if you want to go “off the grid” for any reason, you can just turn off your phone. If you turn your iPhone off right now, you are untraceable. With this new update, Apple will be able to locate you at any time, regardless of whether or not your phone is on or off. This is likely to make those who value their privacy a little nervous. If you have your phone on you, Apple will literally know your whereabouts at all times.

Is This Feature Totally Necessary?

The news about the new “find your iPhone” update comes way after the invention of the “kill switch” that Apple started implementing in its phones in 2014. A kill switch allows you to turn off your phone remotely in the event that it is lost or stolen. The kill switch feature can only be activated by an unlock code that only the owner of the phone knows. Without the user’s code, the phone becomes a brick, rendering it completely unusable to whoever has possession of it.
When the kill switch feature was introduced, phone thefts started plummeting. The state of California is passing legislation in July 2015 that will require new smartphones sold in the state to have some sort of remote kill switch option. This new law is backed by police, whom have seen a huge drop in cell-phone thefts since the introduction of the kill switch feature. The rest of the 49 states are expected to follow in California’s footsteps and enact new legislation governing kill switches in the near future. With this in mind, it’s hard to say whether Apple’s new patent will amount to a handy new feature, or just another potential invasion of privacy.

Stay tuned for more updates from the tech experts at Cable Wholesale!

Getting Organized on a Budget

Spring is almost here, and that can only mean one thing: time to get organized with some spring cleaning. Whether you are getting your home or office together, we have some fixes that can help without hitting you in the pocketbook.

One of the main points of clutter is right behind your computer. Wires are like weeds and can easily take over your space if you don’t take control of them. Cable wraps, which come in different lengths and sizes, are easy fixes for cable clutter. The most popular options are spiral or “split loom” varieties. Either will work for getting your cables organized. Just gather your cables up in a straight line and get them inserted into the cable wrap and your office is already starting to look more put together.

If you don’t like the look of a wrap, you have the option of cable ties, also known as “zip ties.” These ties are made out of nylon and are super easy to use. Just gather your cables up and tie them together at a few different points. This gets all of your cables off the floor and gives them a streamlined look. Velcro cable straps are also an excellent choice, as they are reusable. Both the nylon ties and Velcro straps are super inexpensive.

If you are looking to make your cable clutter basically invisible, adhesive surface mounts are the best choice. This way you can hide cables behind your desk, behind your computer monitor, even along the wall. Adhesive surface mounts come in different sizes, so make sure you have your cable’s dimensions before you pick them up.

If you want to mount your cables for good, then cable clips are the best choice for you. These come with screws that will let you mount your cables to the wall, or any other hard surface. This is a permanent clutter fix once you install the hardware.

When it comes to plugging in all of your power cords, you can’t lose with a power strip surge protector. This is must-have when hiding power cords, and will also protect your electronics if there is an electrical surge, which can short devices out. Surge strips come with a variety of cord lengths and outlet amounts, so you are guaranteed to find one to fit your needs and to relieve your wall outlet.