5 Things - Week Ending 1/25/13

This is the 36th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

Morgenthaler argues that with this technology, Siri could do for “thousands of activities what Amazon has done for shopping.” Under Apple, Siri could one day book flights, order flowers and offer fashion advice, becoming what former CALO program director James Arnold calls an “iTunes for everything else in the world.” Siri, the startup, took a commission anytime someone made a purchase via the app. Were Apple ever to do the same, it could tap into an entirely new source of cash.

Siri has a very interesting history. Long before it ended up on the iPhone and iPad it was a Defense Department research project that had a budget of $150 million.

I am in awe of all the things that Siri can already do but I believe that in a few years it will do so much more!

If you are curious about the origins of Siri this is an article worth reading.

Is It Legal to Rip a DVD That I Own?

Whitson Gordon:

There are minor exceptions—like for educational purposes—but in general no, ripping a DVD you own is sadly not legal. However, will you get caught? Well...there, you have some wiggle room.

This was a pretty common question that I would get asked when working at the Apple Store. The answer that I would give people is that it is technically possible to do so, but I was not going to help them figure out how to do it because it is technically breaking the law.

I hope that the law changes so that we can take the movies that we have already purchased on DVD and "rip" them so that we can easily watch them on our mobile devices.

Until then, I wouldn't recommend it and you won't be getting any help from me on the subject.

As Internet users adapt to old tricks, scammers find new tactics to exploit

Lauren Hockenson:

Now, security experts are seeing disturbing trends among scammers that make the old schemes appear to be child’s play. Appealing to the emotional pull of a victim is now just part of the scheme, which now includes familiarity dupes and long-term schemes to raid a bank account. These cons are more targeted, more ruthless and can take out even large corporations and entire governmental programs. There’s a new evolution in Internet con artistry, and it’s putting everyone at risk.

Check out the four new and scary ways con artists are getting their money on the Internet, and real-life examples of how they work.

It's sad that we live in a world where we have to worry about people trying to take advantage of us, but it's the reality that we live in. This article will get you up to speed on some of the increasingly more sophisticated scams out on the internet.

If you read this article you will learn about the following scams:

  • The Long Con
  • The Authority Dupe
  • The Puppet
  • The Bait & Switch

Tip: The 5 most common ways laptops are stolen (and how to avoid them)

Fabián Núñez:

People tend to think cars are safe places to hold things, but in reality, they aren’t. If there’s something valuable inside, it’s very likely thieves will feel tempted to break the window and run away with the lot. Though this usually happens when cars are parked with no one around, that’s not always the case.

A few of the ways might surprise you.


hipKey™ is a revolutionary new product that helps you keep an eye on your valuables. Whether keeping track of your iPhone, iPad or even your loved ones, hipKey™ will help protect the things you love most. At the push of a button, hipKey™ will save you time by helping you find your belongings. Simply attach the device to the item of your choice and you’re ready to go.

If you lose your keys, kids, or iPhone on a consistent basis (hopefully not your kids), then you might want to check out hipKey. I might pick one up and put in on my keychain so I make sure to never leave a location without both my keys and my iPhone.