Real cost of that new iPhone

Once you’ve decided to upgrade, figuring out your real cost is not easy.  One way or another you are paying the real price of the phone, which is about $600 give or take.  It’s always been this way, you just did not know how its cost was imbedded into your phone bill.  Now that phone companies, like ATT, give you various ways to purchase your phone it’s a little more obvious but still complicated.

iPhone and iOS upgrades

Here’s my take on the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and updating your current iPhone to iOS8.
You may have heard or read about the iPhone 6 Plus being “bendable,” especially if you accidentally sit on it or keep it in a pocket where it can get bent.  The actual number of complaints has been small – Apple says 9 people.  Additionally there is now some evidence that the original complaint and video are a hoax.  After this was reported Consumer Reports not only tested the iPhone Plus but also other phones.  The link to their report is here.  It’s probably not an issue.
In general, I’m a believer in waiting a bit – a few weeks or a few months – to upgrade. Aside from allowing time for problems to appear and be resolved, the lines will disappear and it will be easier to walk in to an Apple, Best Buy or your carrier store and pick one up.

I waited and just updated my iPhone and iPad to iOS 8.0.2.  Everything seems to be working fine.  You won’t see any major changes to look or feel.

The Mail App is one big improvement which I like.  If you swipe a message to the left you have more options to choose from for what to do with the message. If you swipe it to the right you can quickly mark it as unread – as I often do – to remember to deal with it later.

The Heartbleed Bug – Change all Your Passwords

Folks:  A huge security flaw was uncovered on the internet in recent days.  It is called the Heartbleed bug and it affects almost every signal site on the web where you are asked for a password to login.  Most major sites like Google, Amazon and Paypal,  have fixed the problem.  What this means is that your passwords have probably been compromised.  I know it is a huge pain but you must change all of your passwords.  You can read about the problem here, or just google the word ‘heartbleed’ and you will be inundated with information about it.

There is also this web site, which will test other sites to see if they have fixed the flaw.

Painless Backup

If you’re like me and don’t fully automate backing up your computer, it doesn’t get backed up for weeks, months or maybe a year.  It is easy to do these days and it is only getting easier.  Here’s a great article from Walt Mossberg, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now with Re/Code, on how to easily automate the process.

If you have a Mac, Time Machine should be a no brainer.  In addition, he recommends adding a cloud backup service.  Up until now the problem has been that the services for this have been expensive, if you have a large amount of data, and many services do not backed up external hard drives.

Enter BackBlaze, a cloud based service that cost $5/month with unlimited storage (Yes! Unlimited!)  and the ability to backup all your hard drives.  You set it up once, it works in the background and that’s it (until you need to restore a file or all your files.)

Check out the article here.

Update Apple Software – Now!


Apple has released an update to their OS X operating system for Macs and to iOS for iPhones and iPads.  These updates fix a serious security flaw that opens the door for your devices and your personal data to be compromised.  You should update everything now.  You can read about the security problem here.

On your Mac, click the Apple icon on the left of your menu bar and select Software Updates.

On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app, select General and Software Updates.

Update on the One RIng Scam

As I previous wrote, the One Ring scammers  steal your money by calling you, letting the phone ring once, and hoping you’ll call back.  The problem is that the numbers are pay-per-minute numbers.  The FTC has updated their information on this scam with the most used area codes.  They are: 268,284,473,664,649,767,809,829,849, 876.   Calling back one of these numbers could cost you $20 or more.

Bottom line:  if you get a call from a number that you don’t know, don’t call back.