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Posts tagged ‘Apple’


Apple picks a well-known executive to lead its electric car team

There’s been a lot of talk about Apple’s not-so-secret Project Titan electric car project, but… who runs it? We now have an idea. Wall Street Journal sources understand that Apple has picked Bob Mansfield, one of the company’s better-known executives, to helm its EV efforts. He’d effectively left the company in 2013 and only made a partial return after Apple scrambled to keep him (the Apple Watch is partly his baby), but he’s reportedly back in the swing of things now that Titan is ramping up — all senior managers in the car initiative have to report to him.

Neither Apple nor Mansfield are commenting on the apparent leak.

If accurate, the move might inspire some confidence. You may only remember Mansfield as the man who dove into technical details in Apple promo videos, but he led the hardware engineering behind some of the company’s biggest hits, such as early iPads, the iMac and the MacBook Air. He may not be an automotive expert, but he has a knack for making the company’s hardware visions become reality. That’s particularly important when Apple is entering an unfamiliar field and needs every bit of help it can get.

Source: Wall Street Journal


All 2017 Ford vehicles are getting CarPlay and Android Auto

Ford has confirmed that all of its 2017 models — every single car, SUV, light truck and EV — are smartphone-ready. They all come loaded with Ford’s Sync 3 entertainment system and are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those who’ve snapped any of the currently available 2017 models, such as the latest Escape, Fusion, Mustang and Explorer, can already enjoy the in-car technologies. They can use their iPhones (5 or newer) or their Android Lollipop (or higher) devices to access maps, music, messages and even third-party apps on their vehicles’ screens. Both systems give them access to voice commands, as well.

Ford also assures those interested in buying the upcoming F-150, Focus, Edge and all-new 2017 Super Duty when they come out later this year that they’ll have access to Google’s and Apple’s in-car tech. “Ford is not taking the traditional approach of introducing Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto on a few piecemeal models or as an expensive option on luxury vehicles only,” said Jeffrey Hannah from automotive technology research firm SBD. “The guesswork for consumers is over — if you buy any 2017 Ford vehicle with SYNC 3, you drive off the lot with both of these innovative technologies ready to go.”

Source: Ford


New in our buyer’s guide: All the phones (just the good ones)

It took us a while, but now that we’ve reviewed the Moto Z, we think we’re done testing flagship phones until the iPhone 7 or next Galaxy Note come out (whichever arrives first). With that in mind, we can now confidently say that the following phones belong in our buyer’s guide: the Samsung Galaxy S7, the HTC 10 and the iPhone SE. (Sorry, LG, maybe next year.) While we were at it, we also inducted the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets, since we likely them more or less equally. And, in the less-expensive realm, we added the Roku Streaming Stick in the A/V category. Head over to our buyer’s guide hub for all the details on these and many more. That’s it for now, but stay tuned — who knows what we’ll add after the next gadget-reviewing frenzy.

Source: Engadget Buyer’s Guide


Security bugs put Apple devices running iOS and Mac OS X at risk

Multiple security vulnerabilities were revealed by Cisco’s Talos security team earlier this week, identifying areas at risk of possible exploits in iOS devices and Mac OS X. Some experts believe the exploits to be complex to pull off and likely not worth the time to attack. Regardless, the bugs have already been fixed in the latest versions of both operating systems.

In its post, Talos described five particular vulnerabilities that would allow someone to insert malicious code that would activate when OS X processes certain image file formats: TIFF, OpenEXR, Digital Asset Exchange and BMP. The security team found the first exploit to have the most potential danger as it could be triggered by many applications like iMessages that automatically render that file format when received or present multiple images in tiled arrangement.

While the exploits appear similar to the Stagefright Android bug revealed last year, the comparison isn’t totally sound. For one, Apple devices and computers run far fewer versions of its operating systems and thus fewer are left behind in the updating cycle. But several of the attack vectors via MMS and iMessage proposed by Talos remain hypothetical, and even those they successfully simulated in OS X and Safari have a lower reward profile than multimedia messaging, reports Macworld. Dan Guido, CEO of security firm Trail of Bits, further dismantles the Stagefright comparison and points out on Reddit that crafting an exploit for iOS, tvOS or watchOS could take as much as six months.

Apple declined to comment, but the latest versions fixing the vulnerabilities for both OS X El Capitan and iOS 9.3.3 were released on Monday, July 18th the day before Talos’ report was released.

Via: Wired

Source: Talos


Review: AyeGear’s J25 Jacket Holds a MacBook, Two iPhones, Two iPads, and More

One of the realities of living in Toronto, Canada, about a two-hour drive from the nearest American city when traffic cooperates, is experiencing a distinctly four-season climate. Winter lives up to the stereotype of being bitterly cold, before giving way to a mild and rainy spring, and eventually a hot and humid summer. The warmth lasts for no more than three to four months, however, before the leaves turn orange in October and Starbucks brings out the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

For the past three months, I have been testing the AyeGear J25 Jacket to see how it holds up to those Canadian extremes, starting with a below-freezing, snowy day in early April to a comparatively sweltering 90º day in mid July. In addition to wearing the jacket around Toronto, I brought it with me on a recent trip to San Francisco, allowing me to test its convenience going through airport security and away from home in general. Ahead, find out if the jacket lived up to the task.

Fashion and Functionality

The jacket has over 25 separate compartments for storing portable devices, valuables, travel essentials, and general items, including six credit card and ID holders, two hand pockets, two chest pockets, two sleeve pockets, two smartphone pockets, two tablet pockets, two pen holders, two coin holders, two memory stick holders, two SD card holders, one back laptop pocket, and one passport holder.

There is also a Velcro-based earphone routing system along the neck of the jacket, an elastic strap that can hold a drink bottle, and an in-pocket retractable reel for securing your keys — or anything with a carabiner clip.

On my trip to San Francisco, I packed a tableful of items into the jacket with ease, including a 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, two iPhones, two SD cards, EarPods, Lightning-to-USB cable, wall charger, pack of chewing gum, car keys, sunglasses, passport, boarding pass, charging case, portable battery pack, wallet, and loose change. In addition to all of that, the jacket could hold two iPads.

My immediate reaction after putting on the jacket was that, perhaps as to be expected, it was rather heavy. It almost feels like wearing a lead apron at a dentist office during teeth X-rays. Walking around with all of your electronics and personal belongings strapped to your body obviously hunkers you down somewhat, and wearing this jacket for an extended period of time can become rather uncomfortable.

The weight might be a worthy tradeoff for frequent flyers, however, as the jacket makes airport security a much less frustrating experience. Anyone that has stood in line at the TSA checkpoint knows it can be a tedious, albeit important, process: take your shoes off, take your laptop out of its bag, and place all of your individual belongings in the bins before proceeding through the metal detector.

When wearing the jacket, however, all you have to do is quickly take it off with your shoes, much to the delight of those waiting behind you.

AyeGear’s J25 Jacket is built to last in all weather conditions. It is made from a mixture of cotton (67 percent) and nylon (33 percent) that proved to be waterproof — water drops bead off — and wrinkle free. The jacket also has an adjustable rollaway zipped hood, a breathable lining, and removable sleeves to turn the jacket into a vest, making it useful for hiking trips or similar activities in warmer weather.

In terms of fashion, the AyeGear J25 is not an incredibly stylish jacket — but it’s not ugly either. As a 20-something who typically wears skinny jeans and a slim v-neck crew shirt, I found the jacket to be baggier than ones I normally wear. To be fair, however, the jacket serves a specific purpose that inherently prevents it from being more of a formfitting jacket that I might purchase from a fashion retailer like H&M.

It also looks much nicer as a vest, in my opinion, so give it a go without the sleeves and hood when possible or consider the cheaper V26 Vest instead.


One knock against the AyeGear J25 is its price: £149.99​​, which is $198.75​ in the U.S. or around $260 in Canada and Australia based on current exchange rates — and that’s after the British pound’s recent post-Brexit vote decline. The jacket is certainly convenient, but whether it is worth dropping two bills on is debatable.

As is often the case, a better deal can be found on Amazon, where the jacket sells for between $149.99 and $190. Prices vary depending on the size selected.

Bottom Line

AyeGear’s J25 Jacket is a convenient, multipurpose jacket that fills a niche, particularly for the outdoorsman or frequent flyers, but its drawbacks of being somewhat heavy and expensive should be duly considered. For most people, it may be wiser to save your money and stick with a traditional jacket and backpack combo.

How to Buy

The J25 Jacket can be purchased on AyeGear’s website (~$198) or Amazon ($149.99-$190) in small, medium, large, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, or 5XL. Free delivery is offered within the U.K., while worldwide shipping is available.

Note: AyeGear provided the J5 Jacket to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

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A new iOS 10 feature warns against open WiFi networks

We all know it’s generally a bad idea to access unsecured networks via WiFi, but it’s not every day your phone warns against it. According to Florida-based Apple beta tester Jeb Stuart, iOS 10 will do exactly that.

After connecting to an open network, iOS 10 will display a “Security Recommendation” notification beneath the network’s name in the WiFi menu settings. When a user opens up the Security Recommendation, they’re greeted with a notification that “open networks provide no security and expose all network traffic.” There’s also a recommendation to configure your router to use AES encryption for the network.

It seems like a missed opportunity, as Stuart notes, to warn users after they’ve already connected, but it’s an important step forward in keeping users safe and ensuring they understand why what they’re doing carries important implications.

Via: iOS Hacker

Source: Jeb Stuart


Olympic-themed Apple Watch bands are only available in Rio

To celebrate the Olympic games, the Apple Watch is getting a series of commemorative straps that match the flags of 14 participating countries. GQ got the exclusive, saying that each model will set you back $49, and match the colors of the respective flags, such as the USA, Great Britain and New Zealand. Sprinter Trayvon Bromell (pictured) got his Team USA band a little earlier than everyone else, but it won’t be that easy to imitate him. That’s because the straps are only going to be sold in one Apple Store — the Barra da Tijuca location in West Rio de Janeiro through the month of August. Yeah.

It’s not the first time that Apple has produced ultra-rare nylon straps for its market-leading wearable. To celebrate Pride, the company gave participating employees a rainbow watch band. TNW suspected that the bands would soon make their way to eBay at a hefty premium, although we can’t find any available right now. It looks like limited-edition bands to celebrate special events is going to be one way that Apple keeps loyalists happy, and those who don’t fancy flying to Brazil to get that sweet Japan band quite miserable.

Via: AppleInsider

Source: GQ


Police Ask 3D Print Lab to Replicate Dead Man’s Finger to Unlock Phone

Police in Michigan are reportedly attempting to use a 3D model of a fingerprint to unlock a murder victim’s phone and reveal clues that could help solve an open case.

Fusion reports that the investigation is still ongoing, therefore details remain murky, but essentially instead of requesting that the phone manufacturer unlocks the murder victim’s handset, officers have asked computer scientists at Michigan State University to create a 3D printed replica of the victim’s fingers so they can do it themselves.

The victim’s body was apparently too decayed for a fingerprint to be directly applied to the phone, but the police already had a scan of the victim’s prints from when the man was arrested in a previous case.

Most fingerprint readers like Apple’s Touch ID are capacitive, meaning they use electric circuits that close when human skin comes into contact with them, which generates the image of the print.

However, a 3D printed finger doesn’t possess the conductivity that human skin does. So, to circumvent the problem, engineers coated the printed fingers in a thin layer of metallic particles so that the fingerprint scanner can read them.

Currently it’s unclear whether the method works, as the designers haven’t yet delivered the printed fingers to the police to attempt to unlock the victim’s phone.

Another potential stumbling block is that if the phone in question is an iPhone, then police may come up against a passcode screen, since newer Apple handsets request a passcode if the fingerprint unlock hasn’t been used within eight hours and the code hasn’t been entered in six days.

But if the technology is a success, then theoretically the authorities could use it on cases involving living suspects by applying for a court order.

Fusion notes that the courts draw a distinction between a fingerprint password and a memorized one. “Courts generally draw a line between the ‘contents of the mind’ (which is protected) and ‘tangible’ bodily evidence like blood, DNA, and fingerprints (which is not),” said Bryan Choi, a security, law and technology researcher.

So while a memorized password might be protected by the Fifth Amendment which protects against self-incrimination, a fingerprint isn’t. Indeed, in 2014, a court in Virginia ruled that a suspect can be required to unlock their phone using their fingerprint.

Therefore if a suspect is at large but the police have their phone in hand and their fingerprints on record, there’s nothing to say that the method could be used to unlock the device in the owner’s absence.

Choi argues that in this day and age, phones should be considered extensions of the mind and therefore protected under the Fifth Amendment and not just the Fourth Amendment (protection against illegal search and seizure).

“We offload so many of our personal thoughts, moments, tics, and habits to our cellphones,” Choi told Fusion. “Having those contents aired in court feels like having your innermost thoughts extracted and spilled unwillingly in public.”
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Edward Snowden Designed an iPhone Case to Guard Against Radio Snitching

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has helped to design an iPhone 6 case that detects if a handset is transmitting data when it’s in airplane mode.

The project was announced yesterday by design collaborator and American hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, the founder of Bunnie Studios and best known for being the first person to hack the Xbox and for legally challenging the DCMA act.

Mockup of Edward Snowden and Andrew Huang’s iPhone case (Image: Huang & Snowden)
The concept for the case is described in a paper titled Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance, which explains that the design is to protect journalists, activists, and rights workers from being tracked by governments.

The case features probe wires that access the phone’s antennae through the SIM slot to monitor signal transmission, while audible alarms and a display on the outside of the case inform users of their phone’s status.

Snowden and Huang write that using Airplane mode is “no defense” against radio transmission, which makes such a case necessary:

For example, on iPhones since iOS 8.2, GPS is active in airplane mode. Furthermore, airplane mode is a “soft switch” – the graphics on the screen have no essential correlation with the hardware state. Malware packages, peddled by hackers at a price accessible by private individuals, can activate radios without any indication from the user interface; trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.

introspection-engine-concept-rendering-2Concept design for the iPhone case (Image: Huang & Snowden)
The paper cites the case of American reporter Marie Colvin, who is reputed to have been tracked by the Assad regime in Syria and killed for covering stories about civilian casualties.

According to a lawsuit filed by Colvin’s family this year, the Sunday Times journalist’s location was discovered in part through the use of intercept devices that monitored satellite-dish and cellphone communications.

You can find out more about the project by reading the white paper at Pubpub.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple’s electric car might not hit the streets until 2021

Apple’s electric car initiative, dubbed ‘Project Titan,’ has been sort of an open secret for awhile now — but how close the company is to actually releasing a vehicle is anybody’s guess. Initial reports pegged 2019 as Apple’s foray into the automotive industry. Some sources predicted the first cars to roll off the line in 2020. Today, that presumptive launch date gets pushed back just one more year: according to The Information, we may not see an Apple car until 2021.

This new target date reportedly comes from an employee who was only briefly working with the Project Titan team — though during their time on the project, the delivery goal was apparently pushed from 2020 to 2021. The comment was presented as an aside in a profile piece on three brothers who worked on the project, but a delay wouldn’t be out of the question. Earlier this year, the Project Titan’s leader left Apple for personal reasons, and analysts have been wondering how the departure might effect the project’s timeline. Even so, we still don’t know when we’ll see an Apple vehicle on the road. At least not until the folks in Cupertino decide to speak up.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: The Information


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