Tag - US Government
Tech companies have complained to the US government about a bill that aims to dramatically weaken the security of smartphones and other devices that rely on encryption. The open letter from the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, co-signed by three other groups, expresses "deep concerns" about the bill and other "well-intentioned but ultimately unworkable policies around encryption that would weaken the very defenses we need to protect us from people who want to cause economic or physical harm."
If FBI Director James Comey did himself and his agency a great public good by striking a conciliatory tone about the FBI's dispute with Apple under oath at the recent congressional hearings, recent filings and public comments by the Department of Justice -- in particular, it's latest brief with the court, which ratcheted up the accusatory rhetoric, going as far as to question Apple's patriotism -- has not only undone that goodwill, it may have set any resolution back catastrophically. In a cover story for Time magazine, Apple CEO Tim Cook echoed his SVP and General Counsel Bruce Sewell, saying he was "deeply offended" by the recent filing.
We thought last week was the beginning of the comedy portion of this whole depressing encryption debate between, essentially, the entire tech industry along with anyone who has ever understood the Constitution, and on the other side the US government and people terrified of terrorism -- which is a form of irony that doesn't yet have a name. Charles and Mike talk about a number of court cases and recent news, from the final chapter of the e-book case to the Chicago kerfuffle to -- as we must -- the latest turns in the FBI case, plus a lot of other topics
Over the last 24 hours, the Internet has been given something new to fight about. Following a federal judge's order that Apple embark on an odyssey to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c, Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded in kind, and politely told them to shove off. This further inflamed the ongoing encryption discussion, which leads us to right now: a battle for the privacy of Apple users' is being fought at the highest levels -- between a multi-billion international corporation and a bastion of the "free" world, the US government. We here at MacNN have three questions. One is for the public: where do you draw the line on freedom and privacy? The second is for Google and Samsung: where's your strong and definitive stand, because the governments of the world are coming for you next. The third is to our elected officials: do you have any clue what this is about?
Owners of some drones will have to register their details with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), as new rules concerning the flying machines come into effect. Originally proposed earlier this year, pilots of drones and unmanned flying machines weighing at least 0.55 pounds and as heavy as 55 pounds, including payloads such as camera systems, must perform an online registration with the FAA, as the US government continues to try and regulate the growing industry.
Apple's contentious time spent with e-book antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich has may be coming to a close. A letter filed jointly by Apple and the US government claims that the computer manufacturer has "implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by this court," and recommends that the antitrust monitor's tenure need not be extended.
Apple is working with the US government alongside a number of other major companies and institutions to develop new wearable technology. The Pentagon project, said to be using third-parties instead of its own development resources due to the rapid pace of creating new technologies, is aiming to create ways for sensors and other electronics to be embedded into the outwards-facing surfaces of vehicles, such as a jet, or part of the uniform worn by military personnel.
A measurement of US government web traffic has revealed that 26 percent of visits come from Apple devices -- with nearly 17 percent originating from iOS devices, with another nine percent from Macs. This puts the platform at about one-half the traffic generated by Windows devices (58 percent), with Android devices in third place with 14 percent. The data comes from analytics of over 300 government websites.
In a report set to be delivered to Congress this week, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Healthcare.gov website has a number of security issues yet to be addressed. While a number of steps have been taken to secure the health care portal since its troubled release, the complexity of the system and lack of security protocols in some instances still continue to plague the system.
During more of the interview for PBS' "Charlie Rose" show, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the thorny issue of user privacy, with Cook coming out strongly differentiating Apple from other companies, noting that Apple "tries not to collect data." Cook said he believes users "have a right to privacy," and used the issue to reiterate that Apple was not cooperating with US government spying programs.
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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