Tag - Briefly
It has been discovered that Apple acquired the two security researchers behind LegbaCore, Corey Kallenberg, and Xeno Kovah -- the developers of the firmware worm for Macs known as Thunderstrike 2. The hiring was revealed by fellow security researcher Trammell Hudson at a security conference in December, with Apple having brought the pair on board the previous month. LegbaCore had developed a method to infect Macs with a difficult-to-remove firmware hack that could be delivered via altered Thunderbolt connectors.
On Tuesday, Apple issued a minor upgrade to its Xcode development software, releasing version 7.2.1 specifically to fix some bugs and issues discovered since the release of v7.2 late last year. Among the most important of changes was that the certificate used by Safari Extensions and Push Notifications, along with certain kinds of Wallet passes, has been updated. Other issues resolved include a debugger crash and a command line tool that could time out.
Apple has apparently taken advantage of its sizable cash pile and a fortuitous opportunity to acquire an 86-acre site in northern San Jose for future development purposes, though it does not presently have firm plans for the location. In a deal with the city, Apple has up to 15 years to figure out what to do with the 4.15 million square feet of space. A likely option is that Apple will eventually build a third campus and office complex to house its growing workforce, which is currently spread out among many leased or rented spaces in the region.
Lynn University, a tier-2 US private college in Boca Raton, Florida -- which has had an iPad mini-centric curriculum for students and teachers since 2013 -- has opted to start providing its undergraduates and faculty members with a big upgrade: the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, and the company's Smart Keyboard accessory, saying the new devices "provide even greater flexibility" in its efforts to make university education more affordable. It will supply up to 1,800 devices beginning this semester.
In new remarks the head of AT&T has said that encryption standards for personal data privacy should be left up to Congress rather than tech companies. CEO Randall Stephenson -- who's own company has been widely accused of assisting the NSA and other agencies mass-harvest telecommunications data on Americans not under any form of suspicion -- told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't think "it is Silicon Valley's decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do."
U.S. Bank, the fifth largest American bank by deposits, on Thursday announced it had added support for Apple Pay to its FlexPerks American Express (Amex) credit cards. Users of the FlexPerks Reserve Amex card, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Amex card, and the FlexPerks Select+ card can immediately add their cards to the iOS Wallet program to gain Apple Pay functionality for online transactions, or retail store buying with an iPhone 6 or later, or an iPhone 5s paired with an Apple Watch.
New vehicles arriving later this year from Honda, Kia, and Lincoln will support Apple's CarPlay platform, as well as Android Auto. The latest announcements follow a long series of similar moves by most major car manufacturers for many model year 2016 and 2017 vehicles. Even Ford, a long holdout, said it would bring CarPlay support to its Sync 3-equipped 2017 cars, leaving Toyota as one of the major holdouts for now. The three carmakers have specified one model each for CarPlay support.
Supporting rumors that Apple was at one time hoping to offer its own low-priced package of TV channels that would not require a cable TV subscription, ESPN President John Skipper has revealed that his network is still working with Apple on trying to create "a great television experience" but has been "frustrated" by its inability to secure deals with networks and content creators. He told the Wall Street Journal that he did not expect to see an Apple package being offered in 2016.
On the legal observance of the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior, Apple's homepage has been altered to a full-screen remembrance, alongside a quote from him that reads "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'what are you doing for others?'". Apple CEO Tim Cook has often cited King as one of his biggest influences, and Cook speaks frequently about civil rights and justice for various minority classes.
Shortly before Apple introduced a new feature (seen in the latest betas of iOS 9.3) called Night Shift that reduces blue light emissions as the evening wears on to help fight eye fatigue and help with sleep, makers of a program that performs this function on Macs saw the iPhone maker reject a similar app for iOS. The OS X app is called f.lux, and was turned down because it used private APIs to manipulate the iPhone hardware, which is forbidden under the tighter rules for iOS.