Welcome to the May 03, 2015 issue of
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Acer ChromebaseA new, 21.5" touchscreen Chromebase desktop computer is coming: Acer is launching an all-in-one Chromebase desktop with a touchscreen this summer. The article tells us Google is adding touchscreen support to Chrome OS, and with the new ability to install Android apps in Chrome, this looks like Google's full-size desktop answer to Windows 10 operating system, also due out later this year.

Chrome OS already has the built-in ability to edit and save Microsoft Office files in their native format, and the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension adds this ability to your Chrome browser on Windows or Mac computers. Of course, you can simply go to Office Live to run genuine Microsoft Office online in any browser. Also, I've just discovered Caret, a full-featured text editor for programming work that opens and saves files locally or to Google Drive. Up to now this has been a major drawback keeping me from using Chrome OS as my main operating system.

The battle is shaping up between Google and Microsoft: Google wants to grab a big chunk of the market share that Windows desktop and notebook computers have controlled up to now. The way to do it is to offer desktop computing and the most important features that Windows traditionally has offered, which are word processing, spreadsheets and presentations as well as email, web browsing, social media and videos. Even a cloud-based version of Adobe Photoshop is coming soon to Chrome.

Give a hungry man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day.
Teach a hungry man to fish, and he'll buy a funny hat.
Talk to a hungry man about fishing, and you're a consultant. - Scott Adams

Asus ChromebitThe Next New Thing is the Chromebit - an inexpensive HDMI dongle: Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $100. One end plugs into your TV's HDMI port, and on the other end is a USB port where you can plug in a keyboard or USB extender for more USB devices such as a keyboard and a mouse. More and more, people are switching from cable TV to video streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix or Crackle. Of course, you can spend $500 or more to get a "smart TV" - but why bother, if you already have an HDMI port or two on your TV?

Google's $35 Chromecast that also plugs into a TV's HDMI port was introduced a couple years ago and lets you "cast" anything from your Chrome browser, Netflix and certain other apps to your TV. This requires another device such as a computer using the Chrome browser, an Android tablet or smartphone to work. But the Chromebit takes the place of that other device. What we see happening is that the lines are quickly blurring between TVs and computers.

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The Security Blurb:
In contrast to Chrome and Android operating systems and the Chrome browser that are open-source software projects, Apple's Mac and IOS operating systems are closed, proprietary systems. Apple also uses its own encryption methods built into its software in order to sell its customers on the idea that their communications will be secure. But the NSA and CIA are upset with this idea that some "bad actors" could use Apple products for nefarious purposes.

So the CIA (and very likely the NSA as well) has set up "research projects" to figure out how to crack Apple's encryption techniques: THE CIA CAMPAIGN TO STEAL APPLE'S SECRETS tells how they have infiltrated Apple's Xcode software development package. This would create a backdoor into any Mac or IOS apps developed using this hacked version of Xcode, which could then "call home" to a CIA server with the user's data, encryption keys, etc. You may think this is OK to catch the "bad actors," but not if and when it's used for mass surveillance of the general public.

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle w ith that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer, tablet or phone. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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