Staff picks for the week of June 20, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our staff read this week.

Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop camera. You should consider it, too. (Read by Camillia S.)

It’s no secret that hackers are finding new ways to gain access to our information every day. No one is safe from a breach, not even Mark Zuckerberg, who is so aware of the risk that he covers the camera and microphone jack on his laptop with tape. This precaution is meant to prevent malicious hackers from “ratting” – gaining access to someone’s devices via remote-access trojans – and using the footage to extort and blackmail their victims. I’m no Zuckerberg, but I’m going to cover my camera just to be on the safe side. If I’ve learned anything from Mr. Robot it’s that hackers will use anything to their advantage to get what they want, and there’s no such thing as being too cautious.

Great ports we have loved (Read by Camillia S.)

In honor of #flashbackfriday, this slideshow takes you down a technological memory lane. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come and remember that at one time we thought a desktop the size (and weight) of a cinderblock was innovative and small. Fast forward a few decades and consumers demand lighter, faster, and more powerful computing in the name of convenience and mobility. As we say farewell to PS/2 ports, CD drives, and headphone jacks, let’s take a look at how things used to be back when the only wireless thing you owned was a TV remote.

Illustrating your thoughts in iOS Notes (Read by Heidi B.)

We’ve all heard it before: A picture is worth a thousand words. Now Apple device owners can create pictures with the new iOS Notes built-in drawing function. The best part? The new functionality is compatible with the Apple Pencil and other styluses, too. You need iOS 9 and a somewhat new device to use the drawing tool, so check out the article to see if yours makes the cut. Happy drawing, I mean, notetaking!

Your next assistant will know you better than you know yourself (Read by Alexandria H.)

The capabilities of virtual assistants are improving thanks to artificial intelligence (A.I.), making tasks like booking travel – even selecting preferential seating on a flight — a piece of cake. Advanced algorithms use current information along with past behavior patterns to interpret your preferences with more precision, yielding increased efficiency and cost savings. Technology has not only changed the way we travel, but it’s significantly lowered the cost to do so — something I think we all can appreciate.

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