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2013 was a lost year for tech

A look back at 2013 in technology. All the signs of an economy that has fallen flat.

All in, 2013 was an embarrassment for the entire tech industry and the engine that powers it—Silicon Valley. Innovation was replaced by financial engineering, mergers and acquisitions, and evasion of regulations. Not a single breakthrough product was unveiled—and for reasons outlined below, Google Glass doesn’t count. If it’s in the nature of progress to move in leaps, there are necessarily lulls in between. Here are all the reasons 2013 was a great big dud for technology as a whole.

2013 was the year smartphones became commodities, just like the PCs they supplanted. Even at the high end, Apple and Samsung’s newest flagship phones weren’t big leaps ahead from previous versions. The most that Apple could think to do with the new, faster processor in the iPhone 5S was animate 3D effects that make some users feel ill and a fingerprint sensor that solved a problem that wasn’t exactly pressing. Apple’s new iOS7 mobile operating system, which felt “more like a Microsoft release,” crippled many older iPhones and led to complaints of planned obsolescence.


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From the accompanying NSA story published by Der Spiegel

* In continuation of my other comment supporting iOS while not supporting Android *


When it comes to modern firewalls for corporate computer networks, the world's second largest network equipment manufacturer doesn't skimp on praising its own work. According to Juniper Networks' online PR copy, the company's products are "ideal" for protecting large companies and computing centers from unwanted access from outside. They claim the performance of the company's special computers is "unmatched" and their firewalls are the "best-in-class." Despite these assurances, though, there is one attacker none of these products can fend off -- the United States' National Security Agency.

Juniper Networks' 2013 Mobile OS Threat Assessment

Google Android has 92% of the entire world's Malware


Juniper Networks, Inc.



Apple iOS has less than 1% of mobile malware


I honestly could care less what anybody else uses or likes, but I'll get defensive for what I use & like because I know it is awesome quality. I use Apple Mac OS X since 2003 & iOS since 2012. I am happy. I'll also gladly smash lesser quality software & hardware when anybody tries to proclaim the lesser quality software & hardware is "better." I can't stand Microsoft Windows & Google Android. In my opinion, they're essentially the same. If I had to use either, I would. But I don't, so I don't.

From the new NSA story published by Der Spiegel

* In continuation of my other comment supporting Apple while not supporting Microsoft *


Having Fun at Microsoft's Expense

One example of the sheer creativity with which the TAO spies approach their work can be seen in a hacking method they use that exploits the error-proneness of Microsoft's Windows. Every user of the operating system is familiar with the annoying window that occasionally pops up on screen when an internal problem is detected, an automatic message that prompts the user to report the bug to the manufacturer and to restart the program. These crash reports offer TAO specialists a welcome opportunity to spy on computers.

When TAO selects a computer somewhere in the world as a target and enters its unique identifiers (an IP address, for example) into the corresponding database, intelligence agents are then automatically notified any time the operating system of that computer crashes and its user receives the prompt to report the problem to Microsoft. An internal presentation suggests it is NSA's powerful XKeyscore spying tool that is used to fish these crash reports out of the massive sea of Internet traffic.

The automated crash reports are a "neat way" to gain "passive access" to a machine, the presentation continues. Passive access means that, initially, only data the computer sends out into the Internet is captured and saved, but the computer itself is not yet manipulated. Still, even this passive access to error messages provides valuable insights into problems with a targeted person's computer and, thus, information on security holes that might be exploitable for planting malware or spyware on the unwitting victim's computer.

Although the method appears to have little importance in practical terms, the NSA's agents still seem to enjoy it because it allows them to have a bit of a laugh at the expense of the Seattle-based software giant. In one internal graphic, they replaced the text of Microsoft's original error message with one of their own reading, "This information may be intercepted by a foreign sigint system to gather detailed information and better exploit your machine." ("Sigint" stands for "signals intelligence.")

Increasing Sophistication

Until just a few years ago, NSA agents relied on the same methods employed by cyber criminals to conduct these implants on computers. They sent targeted attack emails disguised as spam containing links directing users to virus-infected websites.With sufficient knowledge of an Internet browser's security holes -- Microsoft's Internet Explorer, for example, is especially popular with the NSA hackers -- all that is needed to plant NSA malware on a person's computer is for that individual to open a website that has been specially crafted to compromise the user's computer. Spamming has one key drawback though: It doesn't work very often.

Apple OS X isn't necessarily immune from NSA hackers, but you'll notice NSA specifically, successfully targets Microsoft Windows & only Microsoft Windows is listed as being successfully targeted. Microsoft was also the first company to cooperate with NSA PRISM, starting 2007. Microsoft also helped NSA defeat Microsoft's encryption. Apple was the last named company to cooperate with NSA PRISM, starting 2012, a full year after Steve Jobs' death.

PRISM slide

Microsoft helps NSA defeat Microsoft encryption


Steve Jobs, shortly before his death in 2011, regarding Apple & Privacy.

'Finally, He Explains Himself'


I would say R.I.P. Steve, but Steve Jobs was Buddhist. Buddhist's believe in reincarnation. So I would have to say B.H.I.R. Steve, for Be Happy In Reincarnation, Steve.

A lack of gadgets doesnt mean

A lack of gadgets doesnt mean a lack of research. Reading any science website will show you that.

Its my one hope that when the economy truely craps out, it doesnt take research with it. We are at the point where technology has greatly benefited us but has also caused problems that need to be fixed and I would prefer not to end up back in the middle ages. Its sort of like a hump if you would. We need to get over this hump or risk falling back down the mountain. Trying to get up the mountain a second time will be much harder considering we have used up a large amount of the cheap easy energy.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

I develop apps for mobile devices and

the iOS 7 release pretty much turned the iPhone 4 into a brick. However the iPhone 5 has a much better javascript engine which helps us out since our applications are executing javascript.


This reads like total nonsense. I only read the snippet you posted, that was enough.

Apple leapt at least 1 year ahead of the competition with the 64-bit processor in iPhone 5s.



iPhone 5s is the fastest mobile phone in the world.



iOS 7 is NOTHING like Windows.

I know, I own a Sony Vaio that has Windows Vista, I have also used Windows 7. I own an iPhone 5 iOS 7 & a mid 2012 MacBook Pro OS X Mavericks.

iOS 7, while not perfect, is better than all past iterations of iOS. Also, in my opinion, since I have also used Scamsung Android, iOS 7 is far better than the nearest competition.

The person stupid enough to type up then publish the story you linked to, is a "smart" retard.

Sent from iPhone 5 iOS 7

do you work for Apple

or have stock?

just curious.

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.


I don't work for or at Apple. I also don't own APPL stock.

But years ago when Apple's stock was fluctuating between ~$100 to ~$150, I knew it was going to go up past $400 in only a few years; then suprisingly, even to me, it went up past $700. I sadly didn't have the extra money to buy any significant stock at a good price, so I haven't owned any.

I'm a proud fan & user of Apple. I bought the first flat screen iMac in early 2003, way before it was cool to own a Mac. It was a great investment, especially for freely using the internet with no worries of anything harmful or any hackers attacking my computer. I was all over the internet, nobody could mess with me.

Similar to now, there were literally zero malicious programs & no known exploits for OS X. I started with OS X Jaguar, then 2005 OS X Tiger. It wasn't until after the popularity of Apple increased astronomically with the iPhone, that a few known malicious programs & exploits were created.

Thankfully, Apple has always fixed them very fast, and that there have only been a few.

I wasn't trying to attack you personally. I have a mostly favorable opinion of you, I like you. My comment was strictly targeting the OP at the link because I know from personal use it's B.S. Also because I pay attention to Apple, so I am fairly well informed of the software & hardware.

Apple products are not perfect! I have sent Apple a few emails to their official Feedback that the company reads all messages sent to. But I have used Windows & Android, and wouldn't buy either. I also got my Sony Vaio I mentioned above, for free. I don't use it. I use MacBook Pro & iPhone 5.

Peace. :)

Oh no...Not offended

Just trying to understand...

I don't know much about the intricacies of the tech world. Just like to read stuff....

HAppy New Year

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.