Thurrott Daily: June 3

Thurrott Daily: June 3
Image credit: Getty Images

Tech tidbits from around the web.

6/3/2016 4:57:00 PM

Lenovo urges Windows 10 users to uninstall dangerous utility

Here we go again, and you’d think after the Superfish episode last year that Lenovo’s consumer PCs would be safest ones you could buy now. Nope. Laptop Mag reports:

Lenovo PC users: It’s time to fire up Add or Remove Programs.The company just put out an advisory warning to remove Lenovo Accelerator, a utility preinstalled on 115 different models of its Windows 10 desktops and notebooks that leaves users vulnerable to attack.

According to Lenovo, Accelerator “is used to speed up the launch of Lenovo applications,” but leaves users vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. Man-in-the-middle attacks work on network transmissions sent without encryption, typically over a public Wi-Fi network or when a user accesses an unsecured website.

No ThinkPad was harmed in the making of this vulnerability.

Windows Mobile 10 is starting to rollout on U.S. carriers, finally

Eight months after it was first expected to happen, Windows 10 Mobile is finally rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8.1 handsets on major U.S. carriers. There are two big examples today:

Windows 10 Mobile is now available for the Lumia 640 on AT&T (Neowin)

AT&T has now confirmed on its forums that the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade is officially available for the Microsoft Lumia 640.

Windows 10 Mobile is rolling out to the Lumia 735 on Verizon (Neowin)

The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade is available for Verizon’s Lumia 735. This is the first Verizon phone to be upgraded, and it’s the only phone that’s currently eligible.

“Why Google Home has a lot of catching up to do”

Well, for starters it’s not even out yet. And won’t be until the fall.

How to listen to and delete everything you’ve ever said to Google

This is pretty amazing. Gizmodo reports:

Here’s a fun fact: Every time you do a voice search, Google records it. And if you’re an Android user, every time you say “Ok Google,” the company records that, too. Don’t freak out, though, because Google lets you hear (and delete) these recordings. Here’s how.

Head over to Google’s Voice and Audio Activity page and start deleting all those recordings. You can delete them individually or all at once, just click the More > Delete Options > Advanced to get there. Each file will also have a plaintext transcript and recording information associated with it for your perusal.

From what I can tell, most of my “OK Google” sessions appear to be drunk dials.

“Google lags behind Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud in one important area”


Former Apple ad man says firm has lost the simplicity that Steve Jobs demanded

In other words, “what I said.” Anyway, Ken Segall, who worked alongside Steve Jobs, provides a commentary for The Guardian.

Though Apple’s customers remain fiercely loyal, the natives are getting restless. A growing number of people are sensing that Tim Cook’s Apple isn’t as simple as Steve’s Apple. They see complexity in expanding product lines, confusing product names, and the products themselves.

Apple now sells three different iPhones, four different iPads and three different MacBooks. The Apple Watch comes in seemingly infinite combinations of sizes and bands. The Apple universe is exploding with complexity! Or is it?

Yes, it is. And that Apple Watch is a great example: The firm needs to stock an insane number of watch and band variants in each of its retail stores just to satisfy the demands of a product that is much more fashion than functional/technical/useful. Anyway.

Once upon a time, Apple’s product naming was extremely simple … With the current models consisting of iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and SE, Apple’s naming scheme is becoming noticeably less simple. (And) the S naming has only served to confuse customers, and make it significantly more difficult for marketing to do its job.

(The S naming started under Jobs, btw.)

Simplicity is a matter of perception, and it’s hard to ignore the fact that Apple is struggling to present a simple image to its customers.

That said, it’s important to put Apple’s issues in context. Despite its current challenges – and its lapses – I don’t see any other technology creating a simple experience as well as Apple.

We live in a complicated world, and the companies that deliver simplicity are the ones who win in the end.

Define “win.” Apple isn’t winning in any of the major markets in which it competes—smart phones or PCs—and in fact is only “winning” in markets that don’t matter: Music and smart watches. Yes, yes. Apple makes more money than God. But it’s losing users to rivals. And I’m not sure there is any evidence, more generally, that simpler products “win.” Terrible products often win.


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