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 Max Cherney
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News & Commentary Posts: 43
Max A. Cherney is a Contributing Editor for BYTE. Follow Max A. Cherney and BYTE on Twitter and Google+:

Articles by Max Cherney

When Will the Old Phone Networks Die? Not Soon

4/8/2013
Old phone systems never die. They just fade away. The phone companies that run the copper-based POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) may want to do away with it in favor of more modern, flexible and profitable technologies, but it's not going anywhere soon.

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Smartphone Kill-Switch Idea is DOA

4/7/2013
An epidemic of stolen cell phones has San Francisco district attorney George Gascón demanding that handset companies put a remote "kill switch" into the devices. They're blowing him off. Experts say that there's little upside in the kill-switch for Apple, Samsung and the other handset makers and that the scheme is probably impractical.

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iPhone 5S Likely to Channel Steve Jobs' Influence

4/2/2013
The iPhone 5S, which reports say will begin production in the second quarter of 2013, was the last iPhone designed with Steve Jobs in charge. Look for incremental change. If you were expecting Apple to add a back button, you're probably going to be disappointed with the iPhone 5S.

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Free Cellular Data From Karma, Where Available

4/2/2013
If you're lucky to be where they have signal then Karma, an $80 LTE hotspot, is a great deal. Karma provides free LTE hotspot bandwidth on the Clearwire network. Bandwidth costs $14/GB and you can earn 100MB by signing up friends.

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Google Nexus 4 Phone Slick, But Limited

3/11/2013
Google's flagship Nexus 4 phone is a compelling entry in a crowded marketplace. During my testing the Nexus 4 proved a reliable, capable piece of hardware. The display is great, and its size and weight make it easy to slip into a pocket. But, there are some hardware limitations that will likely deter people from buying it — the 3G only, no micro SD expansion, most notably.

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Mailbox App is Gmail on iPhone Done Better

3/8/2013
Mailbox's elegant approach, simple design, and system of swipes that handle email and task management make this app worth trying for everyone who uses Gmail on their iPhone. For someone who lives in their inbox, and uses email to manage tasks this may well be the best app to date. The UI is sophisticated and easy to use, as is email composition and reading. But, its long waiting list and exclusive Gmail-iPhone compatibility will exclude some iPhone users from trying the new app out.

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Android For Google Nexus UI Re-Imagined

2/23/2013
For Android enthusiasts Paranoid Android is a cool re-interpretation / customization of the Android 4.2.X OS. But, the complexity of the install, as well as the requirement to root the device will likely deter many people from using Paranoid Android 3, which is a shame. It's a well thought-out, extremely stable, clever modification to the stock UI. With the addition of the PIE feature in version 3 it gives Android 4.2.X some serious competition.

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iPhone App Soups Up Camera

2/12/2013
645 Pro for the iPhone has enough complexity to make professional photographers happy, even if it doesn't hold up to a mid-level DSLR back and decent prime lens.

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No More Carrier Contracts - Pre-Paid Saves Money

2/5/2013
In the U.S., subsidized phones from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint give us the illusion that expensive phones are cheap. But in most of the rest of the world, mobile access is bought on a no-contract, pre-paid basis. If you don't need a top-of-the-line phone upgrade every year or two, you can save a lot of money this way. It has advantages for BYOD as well.

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Personal Medical Tricorder Has Its Eyes On The Prize

1/15/2013
Hypochondriacs rejoice: California-based Scanadu has built a smartphone accessory and a smartphone/tablet app that can perform visual examinations and monitor vital signs and then displays them on a smartphone. It looks like a medical tricorder from Star Trek.

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Android Smartphone Developments At CES 2013

1/10/2013
There weren't many smartphone announcements at CES 2013, but most of them were for Android phones and here they are, including one phablet. Pantech, Sony and Huawei all announced phones — some exclusively for the Chinese market — and Intel released a CPU and reference platform optimized for Android and also designed for low cost in emerging markets.

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App Piracy Tools Going Down — For Now

1/7/2013
A popular app piracy tool has recently shut down, but two new options to bypass Apple DRM and install pirated iOS apps are available. Piracy of iPhone and iPad apps will still run wild unless app developers build in safety modules.

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Apple Discounts For Big, Loyal Buyers

1/6/2013
You would probably assume that volume purchasers get discounts from Apple, as they do from any other company. But how much? We have the numbers. And you don't have to be a real business to take advantage of the discounts — just use the products for business.

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Google Maps On iPhone To The Rescue

12/13/2012
Google's Maps app is a welcome relief to Apple's blundering attempt at a Maps app. It goes toe-to-toe with Apple Maps in many respects, but doesn't include some of the really neat features that are in the Android and Web apps. If you loved the old Google Maps on your iPhone, download this new app immediately. But if, like me, you use an iPad much more often, this is a disappointing release.

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GMail 2.0 Catches Up With Competition

12/7/2012
The latest version of Gmail for the iPhone and iPad has an elegant new design -- closer to that of Google Plus -- and several new features. Some of the improvements merely bring it up-to-date with competitors. Others, such as search, should make you think about switching from Apple's Mail.

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Visual Tour: Kaspersky Mobile Security For Android Phones

11/13/2012
Kaspersky Mobile Security is a comprehensive package that would seem to address many -- if not all -- of consumers' smart phone security concerns. It protects Android phones with anti-virus scans, blocks of unwanted calls and text messages, and theft recovery, all for just $9.95 a year. Too bad neither we nor Kaspersky could get the anti-theft tools to work.

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Image Gallery: iPad Mini Hands-On

11/6/2012
For small-tablet buyers the Mini is a great option. It's pricier than the Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7, but its size, elegant hardware and app ecosystem make the extra bucks worth it. If you already own a tablet, though, there isn't much reason to rush out and buy a Mini.

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SceneTap Guides You To Where Night Action Is

9/5/2012
SceneTap is a free app for iOS, Android, and the Web that uses anonymous video analytics (AVA) to display real-time information about night life in eight U.S. cities. It gives an accurate idea of how many people are at a bar or other hotspot, the male-to-female ratio, and even the average age of everyone inside.

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Adobe Flash Still Popular, With Or Without Apple

8/20/2012
Flash might be dead or dying on mobile, where it has no support on the iPad or iPhone and support has ended on Android, in favor of HTML5 video. But almost all large sites still use it, and in fact prefer it, and for good reason: It has advantages for digital rights management and advertising.

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How To Prevent Malware on Lion & Snow Leopard Macs

7/12/2012
The myth that Macs are immune to viruses was put to rest once and for all by Flashback, a malware program that infected hundreds of thousands of Macs. As a result of that attack, Apple was forced to respond with a removal tool. Don't wait for the next big Mac breach--there are five simple things you can do now to keep your Mac safe from infection. Here they are.

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OmniFocus: Getting Things Done On iPad, Mac

6/21/2012
OmniFocus is for people looking for a better way to manage their personal to-dos at home and on the go. It uses the Getting Things Done productivity system that was big a few years ago. The app is only for Apple devices, though, and mobile users will probably need to shell out for the desktop version, too, to be happy with the app.

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Your Phone Is Covered With Germs!

5/9/2012
Yes, there might be fecal matter on your phone. Soon you'll run your fingers all over the screen and then use them to eat a burger. See where we're going? Good thing there's PhoneSoap to sanitize your smart phone.

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iPad Diagramming Tool Is A Good Desktop Companion

4/16/2012
OmniGraffle is a useful diagramming tool with most industry standard features for a fraction of the price. Portability and intuitive use make it an attractive way to start working on any project. But, in order to create complex diagrams the desktop version is a must.

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Write To NTFS Drives With OS X Lion

3/26/2012
After upgrading my Mac from OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard to OS X 10.7.3 Lion, I discovered I could no longer write files to external NTFS-formatted drives. The problem is MacFUSE which, I found out, does not support the new 64-bit kernel. If this is happening to you, you must remove the old MacFUSE and install the newer version, which does support the 64-bit kernel. Here's how.

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