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10 Years Ago Today, Steve Jobs Announced the iPhone

The world looked very different a decade ago. George W. Bush was president; the final Harry Potter book hadn’t been released yet; and while smartphones existed, they weren’t mainstream. But as The Verge reports, that last part began to change on January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs announced a "revolutionary product"—the first-generation iPhone—in a keynote speech at the Macworld 2007 expo in San Francisco.

The iPhone was sold as a mobile device, but as Jobs described, its potential wasn’t restricted to phone calls. As he described it, the gadget was "a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device." People could use it to communicate, and also to listen to/watch entertainment, store photos, and surf the internet.

"An iPod, a phone...are you getting it?" Jobs added. "These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone."

Not everyone was enamored with the iPhone. Some people said it was too expensive; others complained that it was only available on Cingular (later AT&T Wireless), or only came with 2G telephone technology. Plus, some people still loved their flip phones (remember the Motorola Razr?).

Still, the iPhone's popularity began to soar, slowly and steadily, after its official release on June 29, 2007. That year, as market intelligence agency Mintel points out, standard mobile phone sales declined for the first time, and smartphone sales exploded to more than $12 billion. And in the past 10 years alone, Apple claims, the company has sold over one billion iPhone units.

By now, the iPhone has been redesigned many times—it's come a long, long way from the first-generation product that Jobs initially presented 10 years ago. But today, we can take a few minutes to remember the clunky gadget that changed technology (and our lives) by watching the video below.

[h/t The Verge]

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Live Smarter
How to Spot the Convincing New Phishing Scam Targeting Netflix Users
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iStock

Netflix may send customers the occasional email, but these messages will never ask you to provide them with personal or payment info. You'll want to keep this in mind if you encounter a new phishing scam that The Daily Dot reports is targeting the video streaming service's subscribers in Australia and the UK.

MailGuard, an Australian email security company, was the first to take notice of the fraudulent emails. While similar scams have targeted Netflix users in the past, this current iteration appears to be more convincing than most. At first (and perhaps even second) glance, the messages appear to be legitimate messages from Netflix, with an authentic-looking sender email and the company’s signature red-and-white branding. The fake emails don’t contain telltale signs of a phishing attempt like misspelled words, irregular spacing, or urgent phrasing.

The subject line of the email informs recipients that their credit card info has been declined, and the body requests that customers click on a link to update their card's expiration date and CVV. Clicking leads to a portal where, in addition to the aforementioned details, individuals are prompted to provide their email address and full credit card number. After submitting this valuable info, they’re redirected to Netflix’s homepage.

So far, it’s unclear whether this phishing scheme has widely affected Netflix customers in the U.S., but thousands of people in both Australia and the U.K. have reportedly fallen prey to the effort.

To stay safe from phishing scams—Netflix-related or otherwise—remember to never, ever click on an email link unless you’re 100 percent sure it’s valid. And if you do end up getting duped, use this checklist as a guide to safeguard your compromised data.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

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Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter
Amazon
Amazon

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.

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