Category - Security
A challenge to the sweeping "net neutrality" rules issued by the FCC in 2015 has been rejected by the Washington, DC US Circuit Court of Appeals. The court, which had previously rejected some of the FCC's earlier net neutrality proposals in a 2-1 ruling that forces AT&T and a national ISP industry group, which brought the challenge, to obey federal regulations that prevent the extortionate practice of blocking or slowing some internet traffic and prioritizing those that agree to pay the providers a fee.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all related to protection, including a durable Lightning cable, a way to minimize damage to your iPhone, a service to protect your phone number, and even a VPN to protect yourself online.
You didn't buy your Mac or your iPhone in order to while away the hours avoiding phishing scams and malware. Unfortunately, other people did buy theirs in order to con money or data out of you, so we have to be vigilant. That's the purpose of our three-part Pointers Special. This is how to protect your Apple device, your work, and your money -- and in this concluding edition, how to keep people from seeing what you're doing.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance continues his tirade against phone encryption with no backdoors yesterday. Speaking at a legal summit, the official decried Silicon Valley's choice to "engineer themselves out of criminal investigations" and noted that just in New York City, there were 270 phones that investigators sought to penetrate.
The login details of over 32 million Twitter accounts may be at risk, according to a search engine that specializes in leaked account credentials. The leak, which is believed to have been caused through malware infestations rather than a breach of Twitter's own servers, are said to include the usernames, passwords, and email addresses, notably with the passwords supplied to the search engine in plain text instead of being encrypted.
France is taking extra precautions ahead of the upcoming Euro 2016 soccer tournament, set to start on Friday, by launching an app to help visitors in the event of a terrorist attack. Named SAIP (Système d'alerte et d'information des populations), the app has been launched by the French Interior Ministry to warn fans of any attacks shortly after they occur, and if the immediate area is still at risk of further attack.
On Monday, we covered a range of tips in our last Pointers that are designed to help keep your identity and files safe, along with a few tips for avoiding the obvious scams. This time, we'll discuss some of those in more depth, add a few new ones, and bring up the most vulnerable point of attack on your security -- anyone having physical access to your machine. As Mac or iOS device owners, we enjoy a pretty strong level of security -- but as we use our computers and mobile devices more and more for important data and secure transactions, it becomes ever more important to be vigilant. Internet freedom isn't free, to borrow a phrase.
The UK's House of Commons has convincingly passed controversial legislation that will mandate that tech companies preserve certain user data for use by law enforcement if required, reports Bloomberg. The Investigatory Powers Bill, as it was originally intended, would have required companies like Apple to build in a back door into its iPhones. However, Apple and other tech firms including Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, and Facebook all lodged objections to the bill as it was originally cast. Despite the removal of the more onerous provisions, it still has its staunch critics who see it as an unnecessary intrusion into customer privacy, and a shift in power that gives authorities unprecedented access to user information.
As expected, Apple on Tuesday released the public-tester versions of its latest OS X and iOS betas -- the second round of 10.11.6 and 9.3.3 betas for testing. The two betas, now available to pre-registered public testers, offer no notable changes or major bug fixes, but instead focus on minor bugs, security enhancements, and performance or interface tweaks. Apple on Monday released developer versions of the updates, as well as developer-only betas for tvOS 9.2.2 and watchOS 2.2.2.
Two weeks ago, we simply mentioned that the next episode (following the Memorial Day break) was going to be 65, and boom -- AARP sent us a card. Consequently, this is the first-ever episode of The MacNN Podcast to be edited entirely at a Denny's. We're pleased to be back, and there's plenty to talk about -- this week, Statler and Waldorf (Charles and Mike) free-range from old Mac Pros (and what to do with them) to all the great new technology coming out at a furious pace (still) these days.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE