Western Digital announces My Passport SSD, drive will feature USB-C functionality for Macs

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Date: Friday, April 7th, 2017, 05:04
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News, USB-C

This could be interesting.

Hard drive manufacturer Western Digital on Thursday announced its My Passport SSD, its first portable SSD with a built-in USB-C port.

While the USB-C connection does require a bundled USB Type-A adapter, when connected to either USB-C or USB 3.x, it can hit speeds of up to 515 megabytes per second. The drive, unfortunately, is not Thunderbolt 3-compatible.

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Rumor: Next-gen, modular Mac Pro may not be available until early 2019

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Date: Friday, April 7th, 2017, 05:39
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, Rumor

As dead sexy as the idea of a revamped Mac Pro might be, it might not see the shelves until 2019.

Current rumors have Apple designing a modular Mac Pro, albeit Apple has stated that it won’t be available in 2017. The rumors point towards a design that might not be available until 2019.

Citing anonymous “people and sources who know their stuff”, OSNews’ Thom Holwerda writes that Apple’s decision “seems to have been made only in recent months” following professional user response to the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and the lack of Mac Pro updates.

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Apple begins offering refunds for customers who paid for the Workflow app

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Date: Thursday, April 6th, 2017, 05:51
Category: iOS, News, retail, Software

If you happened to pay the initial $2.99 fee for Apple’s spiffy new Workflow app, App’s going to give you that money back along with tax.

Apple has apparently begun emailing iTunes customers who recently purchased Workflow to let them know that the app is now free and that refunds are imminent.

It’s unknown as to exactly when the purchase window is for refunds.

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Rumor: Apple to debut next-gen Apple Watch later this year, will take two-generation approach to models available

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Date: Thursday, April 6th, 2017, 05:19
Category: Apple, Apple Watch, Hardware, Rumor, Uncategorized, Wearables

The current rumor has it that Apple will continue to sell the Series 2 Apple Watch as well as release the unit, dubbed the “Series 3”, thereby offering a choice of two generations of Apple Watch at different price points.

According to inside sources, Quanta will remain the sole supplier of the Series 3 Apple Watch while a new supplier, Compal Electronics, will be added to the roster to continue production of older models.

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Recently published patent application shows how Apple might incorporate Touch Bar, Touch ID functions into next-gen Magic Keyboard

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Date: Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 05:02
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Patents, Rumor, Touch Bar, Touch ID

Apple may be looking to bring both the Touch ID and Touch Bar features to an updated version of the Magic Keyboard.

A new Apple patent application, or at least some form of the application, shows a device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

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Apple offers slight speed bump for current Mac Pro, hints at new models in 2018

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Date: Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 05:38
Category: Apple, Hardware, Mac Pro, News

Apple’s pro-grade machine got a bit of a speed bump today, albeit it might not be the overhaul that users were expecting.

The tower, which has remained without an update for more than three years, is still available with the two base models retailing for $2,999 and $3,999. The lower-end model jumps from from a quad-core Xeon CPU to a 6-core one, and gets dual G500 GPUs (an upgrade over the G300 GPUs), while the step-up model gets an 8-core CPU (up from 6) and dual D700 GPUs (up from the D500). At present, there’s still no onboard USB-C and no Thunderbolt 3, which means it still won’t be able to run the LG UltraFine 5K display.

Apple also stated that new, pro-level iMacs are due later this year.

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Rumor: Apple orders 70 million OLED units from Samsung for next-gen iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, 05:37
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Processors, Rumor, Samsung

A company doesn’t buy 70 million components unless you’re probably going to include it in a future product.

Apple has reportedly placed an order for 70 million OLED panels from Samsung, which looks to be set to become Apple’s sold OLED supplier.

Demand for the 2017 iPhone, which is expected to feature a major design overhaul with an edge-to-edge display, glass body, and a premium price tag, is expected to be high as it typically is in a year when a new look is unveiled. Apple and Samsung are gearing up to meet demand with the large panel order.

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Apple releases iOS 10.3.1 update, offers bug fixes, security fixes

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Date: Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, 05:36
Category: Hack, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

After a major OS update come the fixes.

Apple on Monday released iOS 10.3.1, an update available for its iOS devices available as an over-the-air update or when connected to iTunes via a Mac or Windows PC.

The update, which weighs in at just under 30 megabytes as an OTA download, resolves issues such as a hardware-specific problem wherein iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c handsets had trouble updating over the air.

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Rumor: Apple said to be among corporations bidding to acquire Toshiba’s NAND unit

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Date: Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 05:31
Category: Amazon, Google, Hardware, Rumor, Samsung

Apple may just be in a bidding war for Toshiba’s NAND memory unit.

A report from the Korean Herald states that Apple, Amazon, Google and others are in a war for Toshiba’s NAND memory division, which accounts for 20 percent of the NAND market.

There are reported to be 10 bidders in total, although specific price points and bid amounts have yet to be made public. According to a separate report, however, U.S. equity form Silver Lake and chipmaker Broadcom offered 2 trillion yen, or $18 billion, for the business.

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LastPass exploit discovered, company scrambles to repair the vulnerability

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Date: Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 05:04
Category: Hack, News, security, Software

A serious vulnerability was recently discovered in the popular LassPass password manager and developers are scrambling to fix the issue which makes it possible for malicious websites to steal user passcodes and in some cases execute malicious code on computers running the program.

The flaw, which affects the most recent version of the browser extension, was briefly described on Saturday, March 25th, by Tavis Ormandy, a researcher with Google’s Project Zero vulnerability reporting team. When people have the LastPass binary running, the vulnerability allows malicious websites to execute code of their choice. Even when the binary isn’t present, the flaw can be exploited in a way that lets malicious sites steal passwords from the protected LastPass vault. Ormandy said he developed a proof-of-concept exploit and sent it to LastPass officials. Developers now have three months to patch the hole before Project Zero discloses technical details.

Ormandy offered the following statement:

“It will take a long time to fix this properly, It’s a major architectural problem. They have 90 days, no need to scramble!”

The blog post describing the issue had LastPass company officials thanking Ormandy for the alert and stating that a fix was on the way. In the meantime, it was suggested that LastPass users protect themselves by by entering stored passwords into websites using the LastPass vault as a launch pad for opening websites and entering passwords and enabling two-factor authentication on sites that offer it.

The attack was described as both unique and highly sophisticated. LastPass, in turn, stated that the company didn’t want to disclose details regarding the vulnerability or the fix to outside parties. Users, in turn, could expect a more detailed post mortem once the work was complete.

The string of vulnerabilities underscores the tradeoff that comes from use of any password manager. Storing dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of passwords in a single place poses catastrophic risks should that resource be breached. Exploits become easier by convenience features that, for example, store encrypted password vaults in Internet-accessible locations or automatically paste passwords into websites. Ultimately, password managers likely make the average user safer because they make it possible to use long, complex, and unique passwords. And that protects people in the event that their password is exposed in website breaches, which are much more common than real-world password manager exploits.

If you use LastPass, please take care and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Ars Technica, Twitter and blog.lastpass.com