IT Freedom Blog

5 January Technology Headlines

by Jessica Baker on

We are only a little over a month into 2019 and we already have quite a few headlines to talk about. Here are some of the biggest topics in the tech industry from the last month.

Google is Raising Prices

On January 16th Google announced they will be raising the prices for G-Suite Basic and Business. This is the first time Google has raised G-Suite prices. G-Suite basic will be increasing $1 per user/month, an increase from $5 to $6 per user/month. G-Suite Business users will see a $2 per user/month increase from $10 to $12 per user/month. There is currently no increase planned for enterprise users. Google says that those on the flex plan will see these prices go into effect starting April 2, 2019, and those on an annual plan will see the new prices reflected in their first bill after April 2nd.

The Biggest Data Dump Ever?

Troy Hunt, a regional director for Microsoft and creator of “Have I Been Pwned?”, clued the world in to the one of the largest data collections to be loaded into the HIBP database on January 17th. Named Collection #1, this data dump contained a total of 2.7 billion rows of data, amounting to 1.1 billion unique email and password combinations, and after the removal of still hashed passwords and anything with control characters the collection was left with 772,904, 991 unique email addresses and 21 million passwords. There is evidence that many of the records in this collection have come from previous breaches, like the LinkedIn, Yahoo and DropBox breaches, and they may have been public for some time. And just when we thought Collection #1 was bad...On February 1 Collections #2-5 were announced. With Collections #2-5 the total number of published accounts increased to 2.2 billion. The researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute concluded that 611 million of the usernames and passwords in #2-5 were not included in #1. This is why we always reiterate the importance of strong, unique passwords, and the use of a password manager.

What's New with Microsoft Office 2019 for Small Business?

Although it was released in September there have been questions about whether Office 2019 for small business is worth the upgrade. According to this review from BizTech magazine, it is. New features like focused inbox and user tagging can help increase email productivity. Finding documents in outlook is now easier with a new view and a new way to navigate documents.

The new OneNote for Windows 10, PowerPoint, Excel upgrades and translate features make for a better user experience, but there are pros and cons for deciding between Office 365 and Office 2019, so make sure you’re making an informed choice for your business.

Happy Birthday Facebook

On February 4, Facebook celebrated 15 years. What have they accomplished in those years? By the end of their first year, 2004, they had signed up around 1 million users. In December of 2018 Facebook had 2.3 billion users, or ⅓ of the population. From scandals and lawsuits, product launches (Facebook Home, Facebook Portal), innovations (Facebook Live, Marketplace, Instant Articles) and corporate buyouts (Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus) life in a world with Facebook is never boring. It also leaves us wondering, what does the future hold for Facebook?

Facebook is Buggy

On January 29 a bug in Apple’s Facetime application was made public after being discovered by a 14 year old in Arizona. This bug allowed someone placing a group Facetime call to hear everything happening on the recipient’s end of the call, even if they hadn’t actually answered the call yet. And an even more intrusive instance of the bug found that when the call recipient dismissed the facetime using the volume button on the phone, it allowed the call initiator to see video of the recipient.

This bug appeared in iPhones running iOS 12.1 and Macs/Apple PCs running macOS Mojave.

Apple has since disabled the group Facetime feature, but has yet to release an update completely fixing the issue.
Even though the feature has been disabled, turning off Facetime in the meantime until a fix has been released, isn’t a bad idea. To turn off Facetime:

  • On your iPhone: Settings → Facetime → Toggle off

  • On your Mac: Open Facetime → Click “Facetime” in the upper left toolbar → Select “turn Facetime off”

Check back next month for more industry updates, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on all technology updates throughout the year.

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