Cheat Sheet Q&A:
Today’s topic: iPhone hacking
You are probably the best person to answer this... I was texting, using the phone text not the internet and someone wrote in the text box. Not either of us. So in my opinion, that constitutes hacking.
What I would like to know, is there software to stop or prevent this, or do I have to change phone number?
Bottom Line: Hmm… I’d agree with you that you may be a victim of hacking. I do have two ideas about how this may be taking place.
- Spy software that’s installed on your phone or
- Your phone is “jail broken”
If you purchased you phone used, you’d stand the best chance of either of these scenarios taking place. I’ll elaborate a bit on each.
There are iPhone spy programs that can be installed and run in the background if you’re unaware. These most commonly are used by couples that are snooping on their significant others. What I think is most likely is actually the “jail break”.
A jail broken phone is one in which the factory settings of the phone have be altered. There are no known ways to externally hack a factory configured iPhone. However an after market altered phone certainly could enable the potential for someone to externally tap into your phone. Jail breaking was common with iPhones prior to the iPhone being compatible with all of the leading service providers. By jail breaking a phone a person could start service on a non-Apple exclusive service provider and potentially install unauthorized apps on the device as well.
I’d take your iPhone to the nearest Apple store and have them investigate these possibilities. If it is a hacking problem I don’t believe changing your phone number would be a solution. Good luck!
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: email@example.com
How accurate are hurricane predictions really?:
Bottom Line: I was reading the first of what’s likely to be many hypish hurricane season related stories yesterday. The irony is that ColoradoState, the UniversityCenter that provides the official forecast, is predicting a light season this year. According to the CSU forecast we’ll have only three named Atlantic hurricanes this year. The writer of the story still spun it into a “we’re due for another Katrina type” of hurricane story. I guess fear sells? Anyway you likely know that I’m a super skeptic of long range weather prediction. By the time I was halfway through the story I had the idea to actually check the accuracy of the CSU forecasts. Here’s what I found.
The CSU forecast has existed for 19 years. So how many years do you think they’ve accurately predicted the number of named Atlantic hurricanes? The answer… 1. Yes CSU’s forecast which is so widely reported and followed last year has been correct exactly one time or 5.2% of the time. We’ve had a right to be skeptical. So how close are they? The CSU forecast has been off by an average of 3 hurricanes per year or nearly 50%. So they’re right only 5% of the time and when they’re wrong they’re off by about 50%.
Now let’s just hope that means no hurricanes this year rather than six…
Florida is one of the three best places to buy real-estate:
Bottom Line: Real-Estate expert and author Shari Olefson has released a report on the three best places to buy real-estate right now. There were two cities and one whole state. Here they are:
- Dallas, Texas
- San Bernardino, California
That’ll work. Shari said that from Miami to Jacksonville over to Tampa and pretty much everything in-between represents a great relative value and opportunity. Positive publicity like this should only be a positive for our local real-estate market as South Florida tends to be the most desirable of all Florida real-estate. It also may serve as a reminder for you if you’ve been on the fence about making a purchase yourself.
Key ruling regarding health insurance and E-Cigs:
Bottom Line: We know that many have made the move to E-Cigs in the hope of being a bit healthier while still getting their fix. Now that the industry is maturing, regulators have started to move in and regulate the industry. Recent decisions included limiting advertising of E-Cigs in a similar fashion to traditional cigarettes while still allowing flavored E-Cigs to be sold. One of the most important rulings of all just occurred.
Based largely on a determination by the CDC, the health insurance industry is going to view e-cigs as the same as traditional cigarette smoking for the purpose of your premiums and risk category. So even if you were able to fly under they radar this year, it appears as though that won’t be the case when you renew later this year for next.
Want to make money with your investments? Look at what the analysts recommend and do the opposite:
Bottom Line: I find this somewhat entertaining, ironic and potentially empowering for you as an individual investor. As an advocate of the individual stock market investor I’ve long scoffed at the notion that Wall-Street analysts are part of the “Smart Money” system. It’s the implication of “Smart Money” that I object to. That suggests that all of the rest of us are what? Dumb? Jokes on them anyway. I’ve taken pride in outperforming them every year that I’ve been investing. Which isn’t necessarily as impressive as it sounds. You see they really just aren’t always that accurate.
There once was a time where analysts and their recommendations were needed and important. That was before the internet. Sure Wall-Street analysts have more access and pretty cool lunches with prominent execs but that doesn’t mean that they know something important that you don’t. For example if you did the exact opposite of what Wall Street analysts recommended in the most recent quarter – you’ve have done much better. According to Bespoke Investment Group:
- The top 50 recommended companies in the S&P 500 declined by 2.4% since March 5th
- The 50 least recommended stocks in the S&P 500 rose by 3.5% over the same period of time
So don’t feel as though you’re at a disadvantage. If anything “the Smart Money” guys aren’t as smart as you.