A CHEAT SHEET FOR TALKING TO YOUR FAMILY ABOUT TECH THIS CHRISTMAS
Hoverboards are not real.
- •What, exactly, is VR?Better to show than tell here. Come equipped with Google Cardboard. Download the NY Times app. Watch your relatives’ awestruck, head-rolling reactions. Take a sneaky selfie with them when they're staring into virtual space!
- •Should I buy an iPad Pro?The iPad Pro might actually not be the best tablet you could buy, and it’s unlikely that many people really need a $1,000 tablet-plus-accessories that sort of makes a full computer but isn’t quite there yet. Bottom line: it’s a very nice, very big iPad. But it’s still just an iPad.
- •Are hackers really fighting ISIS?Too soon to say, but signs point to "not really." Not only are there concerns that Anonymous could hinder the real fight against ISIS, but some reports say the hacktivist group could actually be targeting the wrong Twitter users as it attempts to take down ISIS-connected social media accounts.
- •If I have nothing to hide, why should I care about encryption?This is one of those debates that's likely to end badly. Just say that Tim Cook is against letting the government read your iMessages and then break out the VR headset to change the subject.
- •Microsoft made a laptop. Is it any good?Actually, yes! It's really good (although, on the heavy side, like all of us, after this meal). The trick is that you can pull the screen off to make a very large tablet.
- •Why did Microsoft make Windows 8 so terrible?Microsoft had big plans to get everybody using Windows on tablets, and those plans kind of fizzled. But there's good news: Windows 10 is free for most people and just wildly better than Windows 8.
- •What's new with the new iPhone?Mostly 3D Touch, which can detect how hard you're pressing on the screen and do different stuff. It's cool, and no, you're not going to break your phone.
- •Is my Dell computer really hacked?It’s possible, if you have a Inspiron 5000, an XPS 15, or an XPS 13. But Dell has posted instructions on how to permanently remove the problematic certificate from affected laptops.
- •Is the Apple TV an actual TV?Nope! Apple promised that it would be "the future of TV," so that's an easy mistake. It’s a $149 box that plugs into the existing TV to show stuff like Netflix and YouTube and iTunes and Crossy Road.
- •What exactly is the deal with Tinder?Never heard of it, grandma.
- •Who cares that Mark Zuckerberg took parental leave?Hopefully his choice will help diminish some of the stigma that exists when it comes to people — men especially — taking significant amounts of time off to be with their families.
- •So hoverboards are real now, right?No. Well, sorta. Look, actual hoverboards are either elaborate ads or require a huge copper track. What everybody is referring to are those two-wheeled things that are shipped out by so many different companies that we don't have a good name for them yet.