Need help with math? There’s an app for that in this week’s staff picks

Good morning! Here are the most interesting tech stories we read this week.

What it was like to stand in line for the first iPhone (Read by Heidi B.)

Believe it or not, it’s been 10 years since the first iPhone was introduced. Smartphones have undeniably become a staple in modern culture, but what was it like to wait in line for that futuristic “iPod phone” in 2007? This article focuses on one buyer’s journey into a mobile Apple world. His experiences included free burritos, a hyped-up crowd, and when he used his iPhone to find a restaurant for the first time, a spark of magic. The iPhone’s omnipresence today makes it feel like it’s been a part of society for far longer than a decade. This feel-good story is definitely worth a read.

3 ways to protect your data in the cloud (Read by Heidi B.)

Ah, the cloud. It gives consumers across the world a multitude of affordable storage options for their music, photos, and more. But what security risks does the cloud have, and how can you protect yourself? This article dives into the most common risk – stolen passwords – and the three best ways to protect your identity from cybercriminals. The coolest thing about these methods? They’re surprisingly simple! For one method, all you have to do is adjust your apps’ security settings, and you’re good to go. Happy protecting!

AI is making it extremely easy for students to cheat (Read by Alexandria H.)

When I think of my undergraduate years, I’m usually thankful I didn’t have apps like Instagram and Snapchat to distract me from my studies. However, one app I wish I did have is Wolfram|Alpha. This app uses artificial intelligence to not only solve complex math equations, but also to explain the steps it takes to arrive at its answers. In other words, Wolfram|Alpha is to math what CliffsNotes is to literature. This has some teachers feeling uneasy. It definitely begs the question of whether these apps are a form of cheating or as an education tool.

After ransomware attack, Windows XP is not back from the dead (Read by Camillia S.)

Windows XP is a cherished Microsoft operating system, but that doesn’t mean you should continue to run it. Three years ago, Microsoft stopped releasing updates for the retired system; however, recent ransomware attacks prompted the company to issue an update. This release was an exception and not a change in Microsoft’s policy. Even though millions of users still use XP, Microsoft has no plans to push out any other updates to the outdated OS. If you’re still holding on to XP, Microsoft encourages you to upgrade or to disconnect the PC from the internet to avoid any future threats.

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