Tag - White House
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) proposal to open up cable services to any compatible set-top box instead of just those offered by cable companies has received backing from the Obama administration. The White House has released a statement supporting the FCC's "Unlock the Box" proposal, calling upon the FCC to press ahead with its plan, in order to increase competition and encourage innovation in the marketplace.
A new petition launched on the We The People government website is asking the White House to "halt efforts that compel Apple and other device makers to create a 'backdoor' for the Government to access citizens data." A controversy erupted when a US magistrate judge on Tuesday ordered Apple to assist the FBI in defeating the security settings on a recovered iPhone 5c taken from the deceased gunman behind the San Bernardino workplace massacre. Though Apple has offered some assistance, it says it will refuse the order to build a "backdoor" to bypassing the iPhone's security.
Responding to a recent controversy over Apple's being ordered by a magistrate judge to help the FBI override the passcode on an iPhone formerly belonging to mass-shooter who attacked a county government office last December. Following a response from Apple CEO Tim Cook that Apple would not create a "backdoor" per the judge's order that would prevent an encrypted iPhone from erasing itself after a certain number of unsuccessful login attempts, the White House has weighed in with a dubious claim that the technique would be limited to use in this one particular case.
The White House has reportedly come under fire from Apple CEO Tim Cook, accusing it of failing to provide leadership in the ongoing debate over device security and encryption. Speaking to Obama administration officials who talked to leaders in the tech industry in San Jose last week, Cook is said to have asked for the administration to issue a statement that defends the use of strong or unbreakable encryption to protect user data.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson attended a White House state dinner in honor of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, hosted by the President and First Lady. Cook and Jackson sat with the Obamas at the head table, and Cook had met previously with Xi at a conference in Seattle attended by numerous US tech CEOs and executives, many of whom were also at tonight's dinner. President Obama and President Xi held a joint press conference earlier in the day that covered cybersecurity, trade agreements, and military relations.
Google has updated both its iOS and Android apps to allow for playback of 60fps content, reports The Next Web. Originally introduced in October for videos viewed in the browser at 1080p and 720p resolutions, and also implemented for live streams, the 60fps clips can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet, with the majority of the higher frame rate content consisting of gameplay videos.
US President Barack Obama, still well known for using a specially locked-down BlackBerry as his personal smartphone, used a White House Executive Office-registered iPhone to post the first tweet on Twitter from his own @POTUS account. Improvements in security made to the iPhone starting with iOS 8 have apparently made the device worthy of being used by the President. Unlike other official presidential Twitter channel, Obama himself will tweet from the @POTUS account.
The Office of the President has announced a forthcoming White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection that will take place on Friday, February 13 at Stanford University. President Obama and representatives from business, government, cyber security firms and other interested stakeholders will gather in the hopes of finding a balance between protecting America's interests from the growing threat of cyber-attacks, while still protecting citizen privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook is among those who have been invited to speak.
Last month at his year-end press conference, President Obama responded to the first question with a call for stronger cybersecurity laws. Today, the President released a statement detailing what he would like to see in legislative proposals. Some of it attempts to address concerns plaguing CISPA, which has been floundering since 2011 but is staging a comeback in the new Republican-led Congress, among other plans.
President Barack Obama will push for legislation forcing companies to be quicker in revealing major intrusions of their servers, White House officials have advised. In a speech set to take place at the Federal Trade Commission later today, Obama is expected to propose a new law, requiring disclosures over server hacks and other security breaches within 30 days of occurring.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R