Delete, Delete, Delete

Too many people still hit the “unsubscribe” link instead of the “delete” key when dealing with spam emails and texts. Then they wonder why they get even more spam. It’s simple: You’ve identified yourself as a live person, and you’ll click on something sooner or later.

The problem came to the forefront when one of our clients got hacked. In conversation, they complained about getting too much junk email – no matter how often they hit that “unsubscribe” link. They were beside themselves, but that didn’t need to be the case. And with the Presidential and Congressional election campaigns expected to be full blast for the next 15 months, you can expect to be inundated with unwanted emails.

Here are our junkyard tips for handling junk email and texts.

First and foremost, remember that “unsubscribe” and “delete” are not the same thing. When you hit the unsubscribe link, you are sending a response to an entity you never agreed to have a relationship with. You’ve let them know they hit a live, active email address they and their partners can exploit. It’s like letting a stranger into your house, and they immediately invite their buddies in to raid your refrigerator and see what else is around.

If you hit the delete key, you’ll erase that email – or text – from your device simply and immediately. That’s it. No interaction. They may figure it’s a valid email address or mobile phone number, but they can’t tell for sure it’s active, and they may decide to take yours off their list.

Our rule on unsubscribing is: Only unsubscribe from a list you subscribed to. We all get on various mailing lists for stores or as part of getting a special discount. You should not have any problem disengaging.

The same rules apply to text messages. Delete them. You can report them as junk if you like, but it’s enough to delete them. Be wary of any email or text that starts with “Hi, how are you?” Most are an attempt to hack your system. Just delete them.

With email or text, don’t click on links from strangers. Be careful about the sender. Hackers are getting much better at spoofing corporate logos and adding one character somewhere to a URL to fool you. It’s always safer to open a browser independently on your device and go to a website from there.

In addition to the political fundraising getting into full swing, the holiday shopping season is about to begin. You’ll get even more junk and see even more attempts to hack your system with offers “you can’t refuse.” Don’t just refuse them; delete them. For some hackers, this is the ideal time to plant malware or ransomware by catching you with your guard down.

If you think that you have taken in malware or ransomware by mistake, shut off your device and call us at 973-433-6646. We’ll help you take the steps to remove any malicious software on your device and get you safely back online.

GM Drops Infotainment Apps from EVs

Automakers have never made decent infotainment systems for their cars. Toyota tried forcing its own navigation and entertainment system on buyers some eight years ago and had to relent after two years. Now, GM is planning to drop Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in its electric vehicles, partly because they believe it will be too confusing for salespeople to explain how to use the apps. Seriously? Maybe they should train their sales reps beter.


According to reports on a recent survey by J.D. Power, only 56 percent of owners prefer to use their vehicle’s built-in system to play audio. That’s down from 70 percent in 2020. Less than half of owners said they like using their car’s native controls for navigation, voice recognition, or to make phone calls.

That makes a lot of sense to us and likely to you. Our clients are relatively comfortable with technology and have spent years compiling your music lists, contact lists, and key addresses for destinations. You travel a lot, which means you rent cars. Why would you ever want something that’s not portable? Additional surveys back up that point.

Car manufacturers have been notoriously awful in creating the technology that mirrors what we have on our phones. But it seems like people are warming up to systems developed by Google. JD Power found that models with Android Automotive with Google Automotive’s operating system, AAOS, “score higher in the infotainment category than those with no AAOS whatsoever.”

However, AAOS without Google Automotive Services (GAS) receives the lowest scores for infotainment. GAS refers to all the apps and services that come with the car when Google is built into the vehicle — also known as “Google built-in.” Ford, GM, and Volvo have said they will use GAS for their current and upcoming vehicles. Some Stellantis vehicles use Android Automotive but partner with other tech companies, such as Amazon for their app services.

That should make GM happy after deciding to block access to CarPlay and Android Auto in favor of a native Google infotainment system. If people like cars with GAS, or Google built-in, it could influence a buying decision.

Still, we would prefer to have the choice of using our cell phones for our music playlists and for driving directions. Our phones work better and can be updated more often and more efficiently. For us, the jury is still out, although two things could change our minds:

  1. Will infotainment software updates be included in regular updates from the auto manufacturer – or updated on the fly?
  2. Will the auto manufacturers provide connectivity where there’s no cellular service?

If you’re considering an EV that won’t accommodate CarPlay or Android Automotive, we can discuss the pros and cons of the decision. We can also help you set up Apple CarPlay or Android Automotive with your new or existing vehicles – EV, hybrids, or gas-powered. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.

iPhone 15: Silly Little Millimeters; Serious New Performance

The bezels are down to 1.5mm from 2.2mm, and displays for the new iPhone 15 Max and Pro will use a new technology called low-injection pressure over-molding, or LIPO. The Lightning port is out, USB-C is in for greater speed, and the new A17 Bionic chip will be in the Max and Pro models. We’re talking about some serious performance upgrades.

Industry pundits are calling this Apple’s most significant iPhone upgrade since the iPhone X, especially with the camera for the iPhone 15 Pro. While everything is still in the realm of speculation, the iPhone 15 could have a periscope camera. That’s a camera design that allows for much longer-range zoom than smartphones are otherwise capable of, going from the 3x optical zoom of the iPhone 13 Pro to potentially up to 10x or beyond. Apple is not saying which models will have the camera, but the company will be playing catchup. A number of Android phones – such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – already have one, with optical zoom ranges of up to 10x. While it’s not a must-have feature for most people, you could take decent-quality photos of things you can’t get close to, and that could be a welcome option for those not wishing to carry large DSLR cameras.

We talked about the advantages of the USB-C port last month for speed and flexibility. One respected iPhone analyst believes the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra will get USB-C ports that support data transfer speeds of up to either 20Gbps or 40Gbps, up from just 480Mbps on current iPhones. While USB-C isn’t a data standard, several types of USB-C cables exist, including USB 2.0, 3.0, and Thunderbolt 4. You’ll need to look at speed rates for each of them.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Max will have the world’s first 3nm chip — the A17 Bionic. It should enable Apple to claim the title of the world’s fastest phone once again and be more efficient, resulting in longer battery life. For comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max was already the best phone battery-life device, lasting over 13.5 hours in some tests. We’re curious to see how the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max perform.

One other improvement should be the replacement of the stainless-steel sides with titanium. It’s not only lighter, but much stronger. Speaking of the sides, a new action button should replace the old ringer/mute switch, enabling users to perform all sorts of shortcuts with just a press.

We should know more about all the new features, a release date, and prices at the Sept. 12 Apple Event. If that happens, preordering will start the following Friday, Sept. 15, and availability should begin the next Friday, Sept. 22. the price range looks like $749 to $1299.

If you have any questions about which new iPhone would best fit your needs and budget, we’re here to talk about it with you. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.