Rumor: Apple could be exploring space-based broadband Internet options via ex-Google hires, discussions with Boeing

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Date: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017, 05:19
Category: Rumor

Apple may be getting involved in orbital communications satellites.

A recent report has stated that Apple poached two Google satellite executives to form a new hardware team within the company. The new hires, John Fenwick and Michael Trela, headed up Google’s spacecraft operations and satellite engineering, respectively.

The report noted that both Fenwick and Trela will report to Greg Duffy, the founder of Dropcam who was hired by Apple earlier this year. The trio is though to be working on a project to develop Apple’s own satellite program to beam broadband Internet access to assorted locations.

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California DMV grants Apple permit to test self-driving cars on public streets

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Date: Monday, April 17th, 2017, 05:48
Category: Hardware, News, Software

Apple’s self-driving car project is another step closer to completion.

The company has been granted a permit that enables it to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state of California, according to the California DMV website.

Apple was added to the list of permit holders that are allowed to participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program in California on Friday, joining companies like Google, Tesla, BMW, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and more.

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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

Apple joins Google, other tech companies in resisting ‘troubling’ FBI search warrant

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Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2017, 05:32
Category: Amazon, Apple, Google, iOS, Legal, Microsoft, News, security

Apple has joined Amazon and Microsoft in a court filing which supports Google’s decision to resist an FBI warrant demanding that it hand over emails stored outside the USA. The tech companies argue that this would set a ‘troubling’ precedent.

As reported, the FBI served search warrants ordering Google to surrender emails belonging to suspects in a criminal investigation. The emails themselves were stored on a server outside the USA. Google, in turn, refused, arguing that a domestic search warrant could not apply to data stored in a foreign country.

A Pennsylvania court both disagreed and instructed Google to comply with the warrant. Google has since appealed the ruling, with Apple, Amazon and Microsoft jointly filing an amicus brief in support of Google.

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WikiLeaks releases 8,700+ CIA-related documents, show agency efforts towards hacking Android systems, iPhones, operating systems and smart TVs

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Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, 05:43
Category: Android, Google, Hack, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, macOS, News, privacy, Samsung, security

This is pretty much one for the ages.

WikiLeaks has released more than 8,700 documents that have apparently originated from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, with some of the leaks saying the agency had 24 “weaponized” and previously undisclosed exploits for the Android operating system as of 2016.

Some of the Android-specific exploits were developed by the CIA, while others hailed from the U.S. National Security Agency, U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, and cyber arms dealers.

Among the smartphone-related tools developed by the CIA were assets that allow the agency to bypass encryption found in WhatsApp, Confide and other applications known to use encryption. These tools, according to WikiLeaks analysis, capture audio and message traffic before encryption has a chance to be applied.

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Tim Cook speaks out against fake news, cites tech companies’ responsibility towards the issue

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Date: Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, 05:53
Category: Google, Microsoft, News

It’s not easy operating in a world where “fake news” has become a term.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in between tours of schools and meetings with developers in a trip to Britain, commented about the scourge of fake news in comments to The Telegraph.

Cook, who pointed to false stories that spread like wildfire across the internet as a “big problem in a lot of the world,” stated that tech companies have a responsibility to intervene,

“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” Cook said. “There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic. We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will.”

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Apple joins coalition of 97 companies filing amicus brief against Trump immigration ban

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Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, 05:41
Category: Google, Legal, Microsoft, News

When 97 companies come pounding on your door, it may be time to listen.

Apple, along with 96 other companies, including Silicon Valley powerhouses such as Google and Facebook, filed an amicus brief late on Sunday to oppose the immigration order introduced by US President Donald Trump. An amicus brief is a legal filing that allows parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to offer their opinions to the court.

The brief says an open-ended ban does not aid America’s national security and instead undermines its interests. It notes that 200 of the companies in the Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.

Other backers include Alphabet (via Google), Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Uber. Amazon is not listed but this is because Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, is already backing the original lawsuit. The amicus brief legally supports the cases filed in Washington and Minnesota.

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Apple, other tech firms pen open letter to Trump administration voicing opposition to immigration ban

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Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2017, 05:25
Category: Apple, Google, News

On Wednesday night, a story broke that the heads of several major technology firms, including Apple, were prepping an open letter to United States President Donald Trump as a means to voice opposition to the immigration executive order that he signed last Friday.

On Thursday, a draft of the full letter was shared online. The letter detailed the importance of immigrants in the U.S., shared concerns as to how the Trump administration’s immigration ban will affect employees with visas and explains that the companies are prepared to lend a hand to help the Trump administration make logical and necessary changes if and when it is ready to accept the help.

The companies involved with the creation of the open letter are said to include Facebook, Google, Uber, Microsoft, Stripe, and more. The technology companies drafting the letter are reportedly working to include non-tech companies as well, but as yet none have joined.

The letter currently reads as follows:

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Apple releases Safari Technology Preview release 22, includes CSS, JavaScript, Web Inspector improvements

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Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2017, 05:00
Category: Developer, News, Software

It’s not a huge update, but it’s fun to play with.

Apple’s experimental web browser, Safari Technology Preview, was updated on Wednesday with a variety of bugs fixes and performance improvements impacting CSS, JavaScript, Web Inspector and more.

Safari Technology Preview 10.2 release 22, packs in a series of patches including enhanced JavaScript and CSS handling, as well as general website rendering.

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