! CYBER CORNER !
IN THE NEWS: TARGET SECURITY BREACH MAY PUT CHILL ON HOLIDAY SHOPPERS
UNDATED (AP) _ It's the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history. And the Target data swipe comes at the worst possible time for the nation's second-largest discount retailer _ when it is trying to drive traffic into stores in the final days of the Christmas shopping season. Target has acknowledged what had been reported earlier _ that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts were stolen. The breach began over the Thanksgiving weekend _ and wasn't discovered until this past Sunday. The stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates _ as well as the embedded code on the magnetic strip on the back of the card. Target hasn't said exactly how the breach occurred _ but says it has fixed the problem. Target is advising customers to check their bank statements carefully.
IN THE NEWS: CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS SEEK LAUNCH OF SMARTPHONE ``KILL SWITCH''
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Two California officials are looking to revive efforts to have ``kill switches'' built into smartphones. Both State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon say the bill will be formally introduced next month at the start of California's legislative session. Gascon and other law enforcement officials have been pressing smartphone makers to install a switch that would render stolen or lost devices inoperable. Leno notes smartphone theft is common on California streets _ and that the crimes are becoming increasingly violent. He believes built-in anti-theft measures could deter thieves. But the nation's biggest carriers are cool to the idea _ saying a kill switch could let a hacker disable someone's phone.
ON THE WEB: POPTOPIA AND POP DONGLE BY POP SECRET
CYBERSPACE (AP) _ Have you smelled the new dongle? It may sound like a suggestive question _ but no more suggestive than, say, the smell of freshly popped butter-flavoured popcorn. And now people are bidding on a dongle for the iPhone or iPod Touch that produces the smell of _ popcorn. It works with a free app called Poptopia, created by the people who make Pop Secret microwave popcorn. When you download the game and ``feed'' freshly popped kernels into the game's ``mouth,'' you are rewarded with the smell of popcorn from the dongle. While the game is free, the dongle isn't. There are only a select number available for now _ and those who want one can submit bids on eBay. The current auction runs for another three days.
Poptopia app site: http://www.popsecret.com/poptopia
Pop Dongle eBay bidding site: http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/221336551427
IN STORES: APPLE iPHONE 5S
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ If you had an Apple 4S or 5 and decided to upgrade your operating system to i0S7, it gave you the chance to get the look and feel of the iPhone 5S. But after seeing the newest model up close, there are some features on the iPhone 5S that should make you consider it if you want to give someone _ or yourself _ the gift of a phone upgrade this year. One of them is Touch ID. It lets you swipe your finger across the home button to substitute for your password _ and some of the apps associated with it, like buying stuff on iTunes. Half the fun in setting up the sensor is feeling it pulsate over your finger as it ``takes'' your print and stores it. A second selling point is the new internal chip and co-processor. The A7 chip based on a 64-bit architecture, which basically means it has more power, runs faster and has stronger graphics. The M7 co-processor picks up the slack from the main chip to make the 5S more efficient and salvage battery life. And, there's the camera. It features the same 8 megapixel count as before _ but has a larger image sensor and takes better pictures in low-light situations. The flash is also improved _ and the movie camera can now shoot video in slow-motion, besides regular speed. The iPhone 5S comes in black, silver and gold _ and has a variety of prices, depending on memory size.
iPhone 5 site: http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s
Apple site: http://www.apple.com
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Oscar Gabriel can be reached at ogabriel(at)ap.org.
(The Associated Press)