Inverselogic’s 2017 Gadget Gift Guide Is Here!

Another year, another holiday season!

2017 has set a new standard for fun, exciting events at Inverselogic. From building new relationships to attending conferences where our president Ara Aslanian has spoken, the year has been nothing short of eventful here. And with the launch of reevert, our backup, storage and recovery solution, we’ve had the pleasure of educating our clients about the best cyber and data security practices.

We make it our personal mission to not only serve our clients in the best ways possible, but also to tailor our services to their exact needs. It’s important to us to exceed our clients’ expectations, which is why we stay up-to-date with current technology trends and discover new, innovative ways to serve their ever-expanding business needs.

We wanted to take a moment to express our sincerest gratitude to our wonderful clients for making 2017 such a successful year. We’ve been given great opportunities to grow, learn, and succeed as a team, but we couldn’t have done it without you. We are more than thankful for all that we’re able to accomplish in partnership with you and your business. We hope that 2017 was just as prosperous for your team as well.

We are very excited to see what’s behind the doors in 2018 and wish you the most wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!

Please enjoy our 5th annual gift guide. We know the holidays are a busy time of the year for everyone, so we like to help you take the guesswork out of gift shopping.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
OUR 2017 GIFT GUIDE (PDF)

iPhone Users: Beware of Pegasus

Adobe Spark (12)

Warning to all iPhone and iPad users: you should update your software now. Pegasus has been released; and we’re not talking about the horse with wings. This software has been released by an Israeli “cyber war” company and if you choose not to update your software to iOS 9.3.5, you could be vulnerable to a serious security risk.

This latest malware has exploited three unknown bugs in Apple’s mobile iOS software and they’re not pretty. Pegasus targets iPhone’s via text message and invites the user to click on a web link. Once infected, Pegasus can turn your phone into a digital spy, right from your pocket. Your phone’s camera and microphone can be activated, as well as GPS and messages on chat/call apps.

This is the first reported hack where an iPhone (6) has fully been taken over remotely. Citizen Lab in Toronto was the first to discover the breach and alerted Apple about a week and a half ago. Today, Apple released the newest update, complete with security patches for these vulnerabilities.

Citizen Lab’s report states, “The attack on Mansoor is further evidence that lawful intercept spyware has significant abuse potential, and that some governments cannot resist the temptation to use such tools against political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders.”

Apple To Debut New iPad and iPhone In March

We’re used to seeing iPhone reveals around September of every year, but what we’re not used to is seeing new ones roll out in March. Buzzfeed News has reported that Apple has locked down March 15, 2016 for their new product reveal. It’s not going to be as large-scale as their last event in San Francisco, but there has been plenty of speculation about which products might be there.

After months of rumors, it seems that Apple will be releasing an updated and much smaller phone (in comparison to the 6s Plus). The rumored iPhone 5se phone is said to include many of the features of its much larger relatives, the 6s and 6s Plus, but have the body style of an iPhone 5s. It features a 4-inch display, a better camera, an A9 chip (like the 6s), and will support Apple Pay. Like the iPhone 5s, prices reportedly start at $450 for a 16GB model.

However, the iPhone 5se is not the only product that will take the stage at the event. The iPad Air 3 is said to be revealed during the event as well, making this the first iPad update since October 2014. The iPad Air 3 features many functionalities that the iPad Pro has, like better speakers and iPad Pro’s Keyboard compatibility.

As of now, there isn’t much info about what else will be featured at the product release, but we are expected new Apple Watch bands. Reports say that Apple may be holding off on a second generation Apple Watch until September of this year.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates as they’re released!

Meet Charlie, your (free) new meeting assistant

Have you ever spent a significant amount of time researching exactly who you’ll be speaking with at your next big meeting? Perhaps you Googled them or maybe even combed through Facebook or LinkedIn for hours with little to no avail. If this is you, Charlie might just be your answer. Charlie, a newly designed website/iOS app, may save you from face-palming at your next meeting while you think “I should’ve known that.” By helping you stay well informed, you’re sure to make a killer impression at the next meeting.charlie-logo-blue-on-transparent-vertical-e3de7fb52c2ac77d20b52dd9a435c410c39f9943672d905441dc08574d4eedea

Acting as your personal assistant, Charlie syncs with your Google Calendar and researches fellow meeting members on your behalf. This minimally invasive searching technique doesn’t dig too deep but provides you with key information such as who they are, what company they work for, if they’ve been in the news recently, and anything you might need to congratulate them on. The information that Charlie provides is the same info that you would find yourself if you had searched them on the web, but Charlie’s goal is to save you a few hours and provide it all in one place.

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Pictured above is Charlie’s free iOS app. This gives you access to Briefs, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter, Companies, etc.

 

By syncing your calendar to your account, your meetings are logged ahead of time and Charlie is able to do his research and email you key information before you’re set to walk in. Mimicking a true personal assistant, Charlie is able to provide you information (names, news, and even analytics) either through the app or via email.Capture1

Capture We gave Charlie a try and were very impressed by what he could do. If you’ve got a meeting coming up that you plan on crushing, you might want to bring on a new handy dandy helper (for free!). You’ll be sure begin building that professional relationship and leave a lasting impression on those you meet.

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Apple Music may be changing the music game

After twelve years of iTunes dominating the music purchasing world, it may have to settle for second best come June 30th. Going against what Steve Jobs had refused to believe in regards to music streaming, Apple is answering to the growing demand for all-you-can-access music. In August, Apple paid $3 billion to buy headphone maker Beats and Beats Music, a $10/month subscription service to unlimited music. The reveal of ‘Apple Music’ was the most talked about announcement at Apple’s Keynote developer’s conference yesterday in San Francisco.

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Apple Music as shown at Keynote Developer’s Conference on June 8th, 2015.

 

In an April 2003 press release, Apple’s late-CEO, Steve Jobs said, “Consumers don’t want to be treated like criminals, and artists don’t want their valuable work stolen.” For this reason, iTunes was able to satisfy the needs of both the artist and consumer by pricing each individual song at 99 cents, eventually raising the price to $1.29. In 2013, realizing that they needed to move with the times, Apple launched iTunes Radio in hopes of attracting the Pandora radio listeners. As an option, iTunes featured a “Buy Now” button if the listener wished to purchase a song. The response to iTunes Radio was not as hot as Apple had hoped and the demand for song downloads fell, two factors that played a significant role in the purchase of Beats Music. With the writing on the wall, digital downloads no longer make sense for the consumer that wants an instant connection anywhere he/she goes.

Beats Music is known for its impeccable ability to recommend songs and playlists. Currently, it’s most well-known feature is on its homepage – In what seems to be a music version of the game Mad Libs, you can fill out ‘the Sentence’ with key information including who you’re with, where you are, and what genre of music you’d like to listen to. With this, it is said to create and suggest a personalized playlist based off of your mood.

Beats Music was competing with 6 other top online streaming sites before the acquisition in August 2014: Pandora and Spotify take the lead while SoundCloud, Rhapsody, Rdio, and Jay-Z’s Tidal follow behind. Before Apple unveiled its plans to purchase the online streaming site, Beats Music saw a drop in unique visitors while Pandora and Spotify seemed to flourish. Although Apple is stepping into the game late, they sit on a huge stockpile of cash (As of March 2015, $193.5 billion) and that gives them an incredible advantage. Pandora and Spotify are still trying to figure out ways to become profitable, and as long as Apple continues to prosper with their hardware sales, operating Apple Music as a subscription service shouldn’t do any harm. In fact, with Beats Music’s unique set of qualities and Apple’s name backing them, it is expected to shoot them back up to the top – perhaps even changing the music business in its entirety. If Apple is able to convert even a fraction of iTunes listeners into Apple Music monthly subscribers, it would lead the number of worldwide music subscribers into the 100 Million range, which then serves as a turning point for streaming music to be looked at as a sustainable business model. Apple also has over 800 million payment relationships with current Apple ID users, which will work in their favor when Apple Music launches.

Since the purchase of Beats Music, iTunes and Beats have remained separate entities. Aside from promoting Beats Music through the app store and Beats Headphones/Speakers in Apple Stores, the two have not really joined paths. Apple’s announcement solidified the disintegration of Beat’s Music’s solo-identity. By embedding Beats Music into the current Music app as was announced, Beats Music features will automatically come with iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs. Apple Music is also expected to have a streaming radio station, Beats 1, that will be hosted by high-profile DJ’s.

Apple has always had a knack for inducing ‘ah-ha’ moments in consumers and helping them realize the benefits of each new piece of technology that they release. I anticipate a Beats/Apple Music resurgence with help from the $700 billion entity.  Throughout the years, Apple has earned a reputation for revolutionizing ideas that have already been introduced, a feat that is formidable for most other companies.  Beats Music via Apple looks like it will be a welcome change to the world of music.

LAUSD Selects Apple iPad for One-to-One Computing Needs

 

New LAUSD website_logoThe Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has just approved a $30 million contract with Apple, Inc. to provide iPads for every student in 47 of its K-12 schools. The deployment of the devices, including storage carts and charging stations, as well as infrastructure, monitoring, and mobile device management systems will cost an additional $20 million. Each device will cost $678 which includes preinstalled educational software and a three-year warranty, not including accessories. Students will be permitted to take the devices home, but access to select sites will be limited.

The devices will be available by this August 2013 upon roll out of phase one of the district’s Common Core Technology Program Plan (CCTPP). A primary goal of the program is to provide “…an individualized, interactive, and informative-rich learning environment.” Since new state and national tests will be taken on computers, the district aims to prepare students with more technological experience.

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Thirteen proposals were received by the district from firms interested in providing computing devices along with support, consulting, and other items required by the CCTPP. The contract was approved by a unanimous vote of 6-0, with the board stating that “Apple Inc,’s best and final offer was the lowest in price and was scored the highest by the selection panels.” For more details view their press release.

Phase one of the CCTPP will be funded with school construction bonds, normally used to build and modernize schools. The board also recently approved a $6.2-billion annual operating budget.

LAUSD iPad

Today, Apple also issued a press release with senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller, commenting on the winning contract:

“Education is in Apple’s DNA and we’re thrilled to work with Los Angeles Unified public schools on this major initiative… Schools around the world have embraced the engaging and interactive quality of iPad with nearly 10 million iPads already in schools today.”

LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation, with more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools, and 187 public charter schools.

iPad Mini Unveiled

If you didn’t get enough of the tablet craze last year, you should have plenty more this holiday season. With so many options like Microsoft’s Surface RT (sold out), Google’s competitively priced Nexus 7 (starting at 8GB for $199), and premium tablet hybrids like Asus’ TransformerPad Infinity, what more could consumers ask for? 
There are plenty of small tablets on the market.Image courtesy of arstechnica.com
Apple is betting that you might want a smaller tablet this time around. Yesterday Apple officially unveiled two new tablets that are sure to make it on many wish lists—the iPad fourth generation and the much anticipated iPad mini. While the fourth generation iPad has a better processor and Apple’s new lightning connector, there isn’t much else that differed from the last generation. 
Image courtesy of PCMag.com
The iPad mini, however, is a new contender for the small tablet market where Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD lead in sales. The mini is just .28” thick, weighs just 10.9 ounces, and has a 7.9” screen. The mini will also run on iOS 6 and have the new lightning port. While the screen is almost an inch bigger than most competitors in the small tablet market, resolution is slightly lower at 1024×768, compared to the 1280×800 resolution of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Apple claims the decision to retain these less than impressive specs was made to keep existing iPad apps compatible with the mini.
With these features in mind, the smaller iPad comes at a price that is anything but mini. The 16GB WiFi version will cost $329, and if you want the 64GB with 4G LTE, be ready to shell out $659. Comparatively, Amazon’s 16GB Kindle Fire HD is just $199 and the 16GB Nexus 7 is priced at $249. 
The iPad mini has a 7.9in display and weighs 10.9 ounces.
While we aren’t impressed with the mini’s lower resolution display, especially when the larger fourth generation features a beautiful retina screen and a faster A6X processor, overall the specs aren’t unattractive if you have considered the larger iPad but wanted something smaller. We expect the differences in resolution and processor will likely be overlooked by most who are willing to pay a premium for iOS and Apple’s sleek design. Orders for the mini can be placed on Friday, October 26 and WiFi versions will arrive in stores by November 2nd.

Apple Releases iOS 6

For those of you with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, the newest iOS has just been made available for download. Along with some minor changes, iOS 6 touts two great new features:  turn-by-turn navigation on Apple’s new Maps app and the Passbook app. Here’s the rundown on the latest update:
Apple Maps– Gone are the days of pre-installed Google Maps. While the new Maps isn’t as easy to use as Google’s, it is still impressive with fly-over mode and yelp integration. The one new feature worth noting is turn-by-turn navigation which lets users have a safer driving experience with voice guidance from Siri. 
Image of Apple Maps Courtesy of Engadget
 Passbook –The closest thing to an app that acts as a wallet, Passbook helps manage your coupons, tickets and reservations in one place. The app organizes your various items into large tabs, making it easier to pull up important information like confirmation numbers and scannable barcodes. As of now, no iPhone has NFC, making mobile payments something Apple might add on the next generation iPhone.
Image of Passbook App Courtesy of Egadget
 Minor Changes:
  • Do Not Disturb – This sets notifications off temporarily for a better night’s rest.
  • Panorama– The camera can now take panorama photos up to about 270 degrees.
  • Phone– New options allow you to get a reminder to call someone or message them back via text instead of the single option of only ignoring calls.
  • Facebook Integration– Facebook posts can now be made directly from the notification center.
While all new features will work on the 5 and 4S, features that have hardware requirements will not work on the 4 and 3GS.

Patent Wars Continue

Google completed Acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 2012
Android may have suffered from Apple’s win against Samsung last week, (Google stock dropped 1%, or $9.13 on Monday) but Google isn’t going to take the hit lying down. In a move to defend its hardware partners from Apple’s lawsuits, a patent infringement lawsuit has been filed by Google’s Motorola Mobility against Apple for seven patents. 
This suit is significant for a few reasons: The patents Apple sued Samsung for were non-essential design patents, whereas the Motorola patents were industry-essential standard patents. Also, the royalties Apple requested from Samsung for licensing the non-essential design patents were significantly higher than Motorola’s licensing requests for their industry-standard essential technology. This seems hardly reasonable and could be costly to Apple’s reputation. 
The devices in question are the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, the next generation iPad, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iPod Touch, and others that manage messages and content wirelessly. In Google’s ideal scenario these products would be banned in the United States in the same way Apple sought to ban Samsung’s. 
A patent war victory could result in a stalemate for consumers.
While this is unlikely, the ongoing battle over patents signals big changes in the industry for manufacturers and ultimately, consumers. If courts strictly enforce these patents, which is the precedent established by the Apple-Samsung ruling, manufacturers will either have to spend time and resources working around patented technology, or pay up in licensing fees for using patented technology. This translates to a compromised user experience and higher prices for consumers. 
Apple and Motorola Mobility will go to court for the wireless patents in 15 months. We wouldn’t bet on Apple taking this lightly, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for their next moves to take on Google and its partners in the future.

Local Government Embraces Tablets

Since tablets gained popularity they’re often used as tools for personal, business, and educational purposes. Now government agencies have found use for them too. The members of San Marino and South Pasadena city councils will start to use them to save on paper. Council members can view and take notes on digital copies of meeting agendas and documents. The new iPads will also be useful for sending email and conducting research.
Photo Credit: PCMag
Before digital copies of meeting documents were made available, San Marino’s council was printing 20 packets per council meeting which translates to about 32,400 pages each year. They estimated that about 100 hours each year have been spent assembling and delivering these packets. Even with the new paperless technology, council members can opt to receive hard copies of meeting agendas and packets. La Cañada Flintridge’s City Manager, Mark Alexander, says he would like to see how the iPads work out for the neighboring cities before deciding on whether to use tablets in their own meetings. The Fire Departments of Pasadena and San Marino have also purchased iPads for paramedics to document vital medical information during emergencies.