Dave Masterson's thoughts on technology happenings, personal experiences, travels, work, fun, etc.

Entries in iphone (4)


iPhone battery deal

As a result of Apple losing (Yes, they don't win every time) a lawsuit, any iPhone user can purchase a replacement battery for $29 between now and Dec 31, 2018. The battery replacements were priced at $79 prior to this ruling. Once January 1st hits, the price will be $49.

My iPhone 7 is reliable but has suffered lower charge times in the last 6 months. I cannot make it through a day without charging in the car, plugging in at work, etc. 

I was a perfect candidate for this program! I made an Apple "Genius Bar" appointment on a Thursday for the very next day. When I went to the Apple store at our mall, I was told the replacement would be $29 as long as no water damage was found inside my phone AND I had never had it serviced at a third-party fix-it place. Good by me, I qualified.

The technician took me in on time, had me disable the 'Find My Phone" feature and asked me if I had done a backup. I had, but not via the iCloud online method. The more complete - "plug it into iTunes with a cable routine" is how I backed up my phone. He explained the reason a backup was necessary was that if the phone did not go back together smoothly or the screen did not calibrate properly, Apple would give me a replacement iPhone 7. This of course, would render my data lost without having done a backup before I arrived.

I gave them my phone, wandered around the mall at Christmastime for an hour, and returned to pay $32.03 (tax included) for the replacement of my battery. The tech explained that Apple recommends replacing the battery at 500 cycles or recharges - Mine had 959 - so I was overdue. 

I'm hoping this new battery in a phone that otherwise does all I require will allow me to do more with less midday recharging. 

I'd encourage owners of the iPhone 6, 7, or 8 to take advantage of this before next week. As you may imagine, many people will receive new Apple products as Christmas gifts. This will clog the Genius Bar appointments following December 25th. Get in on this while it's still civilized at the Apple store!



1Password is all that.

The app I use the most day after day after week is 1Password by Agile Web Technologies or AgileBits, Inc. It sells as a single user product for $24.99 or as a bundle of 5 (Family license) for $69.99. As of this writing, there are really significant discounts on the 1Password products, have a look...

Agile Store

I really lean on this app because I have so many passwords and logins to various websites. So do you! Think of all the things you have usernames and passwords for -

  • Email accounts
  • Frequent flyer/traveler /programs
  • Online bill pay
  • phone services
  • online shopping sites
  • credit card accounts
  • brokerage accounts
  • blogs
  • Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin social sites
  • Insurance accounts
  • Hootsuite dashboard (cause I told you that was good)
  • iTunes
  • subscription-based services
  • OSCAR and related private access websites

There are plenty more! 1Password installs on your machine or device and is very aware of places you visit that ask for usernames and passwords. If you're online, it installs a plugin to your Internet browser (think Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.) and it asks if you'd like to store new passwords as you encounter them. You can manually open 1Password and enter your sites and passwords, too, I've found that allowing 1Password to capture the info as you type works best. The data for your usernames, websites and passwords is kept safe in the 1Password software, behind a single "master password" you determine. You cannot forget this master password, it is the key to 1Password's effectiveness as a secure place to hold your valuables. When you look to add new login information to 1Password, you are prompted for the master password as you are when you look to recover one stored in 1Password. If you leave your computer or phone for a few minutes then try to access anything stored in 1Password, the master password is the only way in. So pick a good master password and remember it!

Along with login names and passwords, 1Password holds "Secure Notes," which are text documents you keep for yourself in the protective layer of 1Password. It can store "Wallet Items," things like driver license numbers, social security numbers or passport info. 1Password will also generate very unique and secure passwords wheneevr a need for you to choose a new one arises. This is a fantastic feature, here's why. If you can rely on 1Password to store and retrieve all of your login information, you really don't need to "know" your passwords anymore, except for your single master password which you'll enter frequently. So why not allow 1Passord to select a very secure, hardly possible to guess set of passwords for you? Following all the neat rules recommmended for strong password selection like special character use, mixing a long number of characters or digits, all that. If you really want to take your security and passwords that far, then you have to make the next move along with 1Password.

That is, using it on multiple devices. You will love 1Password to the point you'll want it on all of your devices. Phone, tablet, computers, everywhere. The way to make that happen is to have a Dropbox account. This free online storage software lets users keep up to 2Gb online for immediate secure retrieval. If you have a dropbox account, 1Password can save its encrypted password file in your Dropbox. Then any number of 1Passwords that you decide to use can all sync their password and login data with Dropbox and share info among your devices. If you add or delete a login on one computer, you'd see the change everywhere you use 1Password! This means that you don't have to remember all of your passwords or even the websites necessary to login to your online assets, just the one master password to unlock all of your stored data. Brilliant!

I've used it on multiple devices for several years and I tell every student in our training classes about 1Password. It's a great app for the obvious reason in that it saves my time and gives me plenty of information I'd ordinarily have in scribbled notes or in a bunch of scattered computer files. In my opinion, this tool is a "great equalizer" helping you make sense of all the online activity you rely on each day. I'm a 1Password user and proponent, one week on the system and you will be too.


The secret is in good hands, cases, jets...

As a quickie follow up to a post from a week and a half ago, here's more info from Fast Company magazine on jsut what lengths Apple will go to in keeping product specifications under wraps until they are ready to give the public a peek...

Fast Company article



It should be called Mal-Aware!

When you think about or try to list things that you have to manage each day to be productive, you'll find they add up quickly!  Personally and professionally, each of us is responsible for so many items that we've somehow incorporated into regular life, it's is amazing.  Reflect for a minute as I pass through a list that comes to me - obviously not complete but a good start...


  • My personal hygene, hair, teeth, shower, skin, etc.
  • My nutritional needs, eating all three meals and choosing good healthy foods.
  • My automotive needs, it HAS to work perfectly everytime I want to use it. A/C, brakes, tires, wiper fluid, windows up and down. I rely heavily on my vehicle to work well.
  • My communication tools - iPhone, XM satellite radio, email for personal and work, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter accounts, these things have to operate properly or I'm a bit off...
  • My office environment - the computer, printer, mouse batteries, wide screens in the conference rooms for presentations, this stuff I rely on. (As do many others that trust me to perform)

So now that you've seen my example and done some quick mental hopscotch to parallel to your own list, imagine this. Someone is outside your home before dawn loosening the lug nuts on your driver's side front wheel.  Just because. A person is in the supermarket is slicing open the dental floss packaging and spinning out the 350ft of floss in the container and placing it back empty in the wrapping so carefully, you cannot see it was tampered with when you make your purchase. In a dimly lit room oceans away, a person types code into the body of a pop-up ad. The code secretly stays on your computer, captures your keystrokes, and sends them back to "never-never island" to be used against you fradulently.  What I've just descibed is the now 20+ year old process known as malware creation.  People knowingly trying to undo what you rely upon ever day - the safe operation and security of your computing environment.  Malware is short for malicious software, which are any types of viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware, tracking cookies designed to disrupt your computing or online experience. Guess what? Defending against this type of threat is also part of my daily "things I always do" list.

Our retail brands, SIGNARAMA and EmbroidMe are ripe for such malware attacks because they exchange graphics, logos, text, photos and lists with customers and suppliers all day every day. Many people know the basics - like to keep their virus software up-to-date and scanning. Most have a firewall software system guarding against known threats that come through your Internet connection vs. through email. We don't just open attachments to mail from sources we don't trust anymore, the past has probably shown us why this practice is ill-advised.  Thumb or USB drives? Handle with care, they are responsible for many security breaches and malware transfers.  So are portable hard drives, popular and inexpensive as they have become.  It's a great practice for me to remind you BEFORE an incident arises that malware defense is imperative.

It takes a new step forward, however, when you consider that it's not just your PC that deserves attention. The first phone virus surfaced 6 or 7 years ago. Tablets soar in popularity.  More targets for the maligned app and software creators!  Any savvy or would-be developers looking to gain noteriety make fictitious or "play" viruses to see how far they'll spread.  Others use this practice of creating hoax viruses to test response methods of the general public or anti-malware firms.  SIGNARAMA and EmbroidMe stores are exposed to many scams involving viruses, trojans and the like.  Scams and virus hoaxes are easily refuted at www.scopes.com and www.sophos.com and www.hoax-slayer.com . Worth a look every once in awhile, some of them are very clever and entertaining. Scams of all types coming from email, malware, pop ups, apps for droids and iPhones, and Macs are a popular target now too.

Currently making headlines are the reports of state sponsored "cyber battles" between China and US-based Google. China retorts by saying the US digitally engineers and controls many of the happenings of the "Arab Spring" that reshapes the political scene in the east.  So as the stakes escalate, your daily "to do" list must include some awareness of what's happening with malware and what disruption would be the result of not paying attention and keeping vigilant. Scams and frauds have always been present, lurking and searching for those who will believe maybe it's not "too good to be true."  PC users, there are many good softwares poised to help keep you safe.  Mac users? I've used Sophos free antivirus software and that looks to be a good option. Tablet and smartphone users - you get the most attention right now because of the popularity of your devices. Just like looking for a new app, you can research and discover means by which you can protect what you do every day.  That is, you reliably use your devices free of interference, intrusion, theft, scam, fraud and the like. Be prepared, be aware!