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Justin O’Beirne Evaluates Apple’s New Maps and How They Stack Up Against Google Maps – MacStories
Justin O'Beirne has written about the evolution of Apple Maps and how the app compares to Google Maps several times in the past, which we’ve covered on MacStories. In his most recent analysis, O’Beirne asks whether Apple’s new efforts to update Maps has closed the gap with Google Maps. Backed up by over 100 images comparing the two sets of map data, the answer appears to be a qualified yes. In some respects, Apple has caught up and even passed Google, but in other areas, it remains behind.
Apple also has a long way to go before its Maps update is complete. As O’Beirne notes, the currently-updated map data covers a small fraction of the globe consisting of Northern California and a slice of Nevada. However, those 48 California and 4 Nevada counties contain a lot of new details.
One of the primary differences documented by O'Beirne is the amount of new vegetation detail in Apple Maps. The changes aren’t limited to parks and forests preserves. The new maps add significant greenery detail to cities and towns too. The differences and level of detail are striking. Vegetation has even been added to road medians.
apple  maps  mapping  google  comparo 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple’s New Map
Justin O’Beirne has a detailed look at what’s new in Apple’s limited rollout (big parts of California, a few counties in western Nevada) of all-new maps in iOS 12:
Unless they’re already listed on Yelp, none of the shapes Apple has added appear in its search results or are labeled on its map. And this is a problem for Apple because AR is all about labels — but Apple’s new map is all about shapes.
So is Apple making the right map?
O’Bierne’s keen observation is this: even in the areas where Apple’s new maps have rolled out, Google is still far ahead in correctly identifying places and specific destinations. And that might be the most important thing for maps to get right going forward. As usual, his piece is exquisitely well-written, designed, and illustrated.
apple  maps  mapping  daring_fireball  comparo  google 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Apple’s New Map
Has Apple closed the gap with Google’s map?
Perhaps the biggest surprise about Apple’s new map is how small it is...
Four years in the making, it covers just 3.1% of the U.S.’s land area and 4.9% of its population...
But don’t let its size fool you—it’s a dramatically different map from before, with a staggering amount of vegetation detail.
apple  google  maps  mapping  comparo 
13 days ago by rgl7194
Around the Watercooler: Bloomberg “Big Hack” Edition
Introduction
What do a former NSA hacker, a former defense contractor, and an expert in microcontroller hardware all have in common?
They now all work here at Cylance, and they are among a number of security experts we asked to weigh in on the still-unfolding, bombshell news article first reported by Bloomberg in early October.
For the unaware, Bloomberg’s cover story, The Big Hack, alleged the existence of a Chinese government espionage operation which sought to compromise the supply chain of a motherboard manufacturer called Supermicro by inserting microchips into them that would allow them to spy on American technology giants, including Apple and Amazon.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
18 days ago by rgl7194
iOS - CarPlay - Apple
Available on select cars, CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just connect your iPhone and go.
apple  carplay  overview 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Apple Completes Acquisition of Shazam – MacStories
Late last year, Apple announced that it had agreed to purchase Shazam, the music-discovery service. The acquisition was held up for a time by an investigation by the European Commission, which ultimately said the deal is not anti-competitive and could go forward. Today Apple announced that the deal had been completed.
In a press release, Apple said:
Shazam has been downloaded over 1 billion times around the world, and users identify songs using the Shazam app over 20 million times each day. With pioneering innovation in music identification, Shazam helps people discover, interact with and share video, audio or printed content across devices and mediums — and allows music fans to follow their favorite artists and share in the thrill of discovery.
Apple also announced that Shazam would soon be offered ad-free to all users.
apple  M&A  shazam  business  press_release 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Two new supply-chain attacks come to light in less than a week | Ars Technica
As drive-by attacks get harder, hackers exploit the trust we have in software providers.
Most of us don’t think twice about installing software or updates from a trusted developer. We scrutinize the source site carefully to make sure it’s legitimate, and then we let the code run on our computers without much more thought. As developers continue to make software and webpages harder to hack, blackhats over the past few years have increasingly exploited this trust to spread malicious wares. Over the past week, two such supply-chain attacks have come to light.
The first involves VestaCP, a control-panel interface that system administrators use to manage servers. This Internet scan performed by Censys shows that there are more than 132,000 unexpired TLS certificates protecting VestaCP users at the moment. According to a post published last Thursday by security firm Eset, unknown attackers compromised VestaCP servers and used their access to make a malicious change to an installer that was available for download.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Another Bloomberg Story about Supply-Chain Hardware Attacks from China - Schneier on Security
Bloomberg has another story about hardware surveillance implants in equipment made in China. This implant is different from the one Bloomberg reported on last week. That story has been denied by pretty much everyone else, but Bloomberg is sticking by its story and its sources. (I linked to other commentary and analysis here.)
Again, I have no idea what's true. The story is plausible. The denials are about what you'd expect. My lone hesitation to believing this is not seeing a photo of the hardware implant. If these things were in servers all over the US, you'd think someone would have come up with a photograph by now.
EDITED TO ADD (10/12): Three more links worth reading.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
TaoSecurity: Network Security Monitoring vs Supply Chain Backdoors
On October 4, 2018, Bloomberg published a story titled “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies,” with a subtitle “The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.” From the article:
Since the implants were small, the amount of code they contained was small as well. But they were capable of doing two very important things: telling the device to communicate with one of several anonymous computers elsewhere on the internet that were loaded with more complex code; and preparing the device’s operating system to accept this new code. The illicit chips could do all this because they were connected to the baseboard management controller, a kind of superchip that administrators use to remotely log in to problematic servers, giving them access to the most sensitive code even on machines that have crashed or are turned off.
Companies mentioned in the story deny the details, so this post does not debate the merit of the Bloomberg reporters’ claims. Rather, I prefer to discuss how a computer incident response team (CIRT) and a chief information security officer (CISO) should handle such a possibility. What should be done when hardware-level attacks enabling remote access via the network are possible?
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
More commentary on China, Apple, and supply-chain hacking | Mac Virus
Following up the previous story Supply chain hacking: bull in a China shop? [updated]…
[Additional: Motherboard – The Cybersecurity World Is Debating WTF Is Going on With Bloomberg’s Chinese Microchip Stories]
Paul Ducklin for Sophos: Apple and Amazon hacked by China? Here’s what to do (even if it’s not true) – more useful than most of the commentary I’ve seen!
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Government Perspective on Supply Chain Security - Schneier on Security
This is an interesting interview with a former NSA employee about supply chain security. I consider this to be an insurmountable problem right now.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Bloomberg blunder highlights supply chain risks - Malwarebytes Labs | Malwarebytes Labs
Ooh boy! Talk about a back-and-forth, he said, she said story!
No, we’re not talking about that Supreme Court nomination. Rather, we’re talking about Supermicro. Supermicro manufacturers the type of computer hardware that is used by technology behemoths like Amazon and Apple, as well as government operations such as the Department of Defense and CIA facilities. And it was recently reported by Bloomberg that Chinese spies were able to infiltrate nearly 30 US companies by compromising Supermicro—and therefore our country’s technology supply chain.
If you’ve been trying to follow the story, it may feel a bit like this...
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'Your Move, Bloomberg'
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple:
Sources tell the Erik Wemple Blog that the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Post have each sunk resources into confirming the story, only to come up empty-handed. […]
The best journalism lends itself to reverse engineering. Though no news organization may ever match the recent New York Times investigation of Trump family finances, for instance, the newspaper published documents, cited sources and described entities with a public footprint. “Fear,” the recent book on the dysfunction of the Trump White House, starts with the story of a top official removing a trade document from the president’s desk, an account supported by an image of the purloined paper.
Bloomberg, on the other hand, gives readers virtually no road map for reproducing its scoop, which helps to explain why competitors have whiffed in their efforts to corroborate it. The relentlessness of the denials and doubts from companies and government officials obligate Bloomberg to add the sort of proof that will make believers of its skeptics. Assign more reporters to the story, re-interview sources, ask for photos and emails. Should it fail in this effort, it’ll need to retract the entire thing.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  daring_fireball 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Should Bloomberg retract? | Mac Virus
John Gruber cites Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy’s tweet while considering Bloomberg’s decreasingly convincing insistence on the Apple/Amazon/etc. supply chain story: AWS CEO ANDY JASSY: ‘BLOOMBERG SHOULD RETRACT’
I have to agree: Bloomberg’s position is not looking very tenable.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: AWS CEO Andy Jassy: 'Bloomberg Should Retract'
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy on Twitter:
@tim_cook is right. Bloomberg story is wrong about Amazon, too. They offered no proof, story kept changing, and showed no interest in our answers unless we could validate their theories. Reporters got played or took liberties. Bloomberg should retract.
If you want a taste of Bloomberg’s attitude toward Apple’s and Amazon’s protestations, check out this video from Bloomberg TV from the day after the story was originally published. Jordan Robertson, co-author of the story, says this:
In addition, there is no consumer data that is alleged to have been stolen. This attack was about long term access to sensitive networks. So by that logic, companies are not required to disclose this information, so there’s no advantage for these companies in confirming this reporting.
This shows their dismissive attitude toward Amazon’s and Apple’s strenuous, unambiguous denials. Rather than give them pause, they blew it off.
I would argue that Amazon and Apple have a tremendous amount to lose — their credibility. If they wanted to hide something, whether for publicity or national security reasons (or both), the way to do it without risking their credibility is not to comment at all. Both Amazon and Apple have instead vigorously denied the veracity of this story.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  daring_fireball 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls on Bloomberg to retract its Chinese spy story | Ars Technica
"We were very clear with them that this did not happen," Cook tells BuzzFeed.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling on Bloomberg Business to retract a story that said his company was the victim of a hardware-based attack carried out by the Chinese government. It's the first time Apple has ever publicly demanded a retraction, according to BuzzFeed.
Since Bloomberg published the exclusive article 15 days ago, a gaggle of companies, well-placed government officials, and security researchers have publicly challenged its accuracy. Apple and Amazon have said they have no knowledge of ever finding or removing servers that contained the kind of spy chips Bloomberg alleged were found in the companies’ networks. Supermicro has also denied knowing anything about malicious chips being secretly implanted into any of its motherboards during the manufacturing process, as Bloomberg reported.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  tim_cook 
26 days ago by rgl7194
Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Calling For Bloomberg To Retract Its Chinese Spy Chip Story
"I feel they should retract their story. There is no truth in their story about Apple. They need to do that right thing."
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, went on the record for the first time to deny allegations that his company was the victim of a hardware-based attack carried out by the Chinese government. And, in an unprecedented move for the company, he called for a retraction of the story that made this claim.
Earlier this month Bloomberg Businessweek published an investigation alleging Chinese spies had compromised some 30 US companies by implanting malicious chips into Silicon Valley–bound servers during their manufacture in China. The chips, Bloomberg reported, allowed the attackers to create “a stealth doorway” into any network running on a server in which they were embedded. Apple was alleged to be among the companies attacked, and a focal point of the story. According to Bloomberg, the company discovered some sabotaged hardware in 2015, promptly cut ties with the vendor, Supermicro, that supplied it, and reported the incident to the FBI.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  tim_cook 
26 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Calling for Bloomberg to Retract Its Chinese Spy Chip Story
John Paczkowski and Joseph Bernstein, reporting for BuzzFeed News...
I’m calling it now. Bloomberg is fucked on this story. The longer they drag this out before a full retraction, the more damage they’re taking to their long-term credibility. Read their statement closely — they’re not saying their story is true or that Apple and Tim Cook are wrong. All they say is they spent a year on the story and spoke to 17 sources multiple times.
And the bottom half of BuzzFeed’s story is even more damning than the top — no one in the security community has been able to verify anything in Bloomberg’s story. Anything at all. And no other news publication has backed the story. Bloomberg is all alone on this.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  daring_fireball  tim_cook 
26 days ago by rgl7194
FBI security expert: Apple are “jerks” about unlocking encrypted phones | Ars Technica
"Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff," FBI official laments at conference.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials are continuing to voice their displeasure with Apple's approach to iPhone security, with one FBI official reportedly calling the company "jerks" and an "evil genius" this week.
Apple has repeatedly made it more difficult to access data on encrypted iPhones, making Apple customers safer from hackers but also preventing the FBI from breaking into phones used by suspected criminals.
"At what point is it just trying to one-up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?" FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley said yesterday while speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in Manhattan, according to a report by Motherboard. "Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff."
apple  privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  FBI  iphone 
27 days ago by rgl7194
FBI expert calls Apple "jerks" over encryption - Six Colors
Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin:
“At what point is it just trying to one-up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?” FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley said yesterday while speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in Manhattan, according to a report by Motherboard. “Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff.”
Flatley also used the word “jerks” to describe Apple and its approach to iPhone security, according to Motherboard.
I guess it’s like the old saying goes: one person’s “evil genius” is another’s “champion of personal privacy.”
apple  privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  FBI  iphone 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Jobs and Woz's first product: Blue Boxes - Six Colors
Stephen Hackett talked to Kristen Gallerneaux, curator at the Henry Ford Museum, about the unheralded first Jobs-Wozniak collaboration, an illegal Blue Box used for phone phreaking:
I think Jobs’s business and marketing mind really took flight with the Apple 1 in 1976, but the blue box was the foundation for that in 1972. It was the origin point for Woz and Jobs working together on a commercial product, and to learn about one another’s working style. Jobs saw potential to monetize the blue box-I believe they cost around $40 to produce, and were marked up to around $150. To meet sales demands, a few helpers were brought in to help out with assembly for large orders.
This was all spectacularly illegal, but they never got caught—and a few years later they were selling Apple I computers instead.
apple  history  steve_jobs  70s  hack  telephone 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Apple's New Data & Privacy Portal Lets You Download Your Data
Apple has released a new data & privacy portal that can be used to download data that is linked to your Apple ID. This data can include transaction history, Apple app history, AppleCare history, marketing data, and more.
To access the portal, you need to go to ªªhttps://privacy.apple.com andºº login with the Apple ID associated with your account.
Once you are logged in, you will be presented with the "Get a copy of your data", "Correct your data", "Deactivate your account", "Delete your account" choices.
For the most part, the choices are self explanatory and in this article we will focus mostly on using the portal to download your Apple data. It should be noted, though, that the "Correct your data" option simply brings you to a page containing links to the Apple ID  and Apple Store account pages.
To download your data, click on the "Get a copy of your data" option and you will be presented with a page displaying the type of information that can be downloaded.
The data that can be downloaded using this portal includes:
App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, Apple Music activity
Apple ID account and device information
Apple Online and Retail Stores activity
AppleCare support history, repair requests, and more
Game Center activity
iCloud Bookmarks and reading list
iCloud Calendars and Reminders
iCloud Contacts
iCloud Notes
Maps Report an Issue
Marketing subscriptions, downloads, and other activity
Other data
iCloud Drive files and documents
iCloud Mail
iCloud Photos
When downloading your data, it will be delivered in various formats. For textual data, it will be delivered as a spreadsheet or in JSON, CSV, XML, or PDF files. For binary files, it will be delivered in its original format. For example, images will be sent as image files and files stored in iCloud will be delivered as its native format.
Apple states that adding iCloud Drive files and documents, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Photos iCLoud Drive files will increase the size and time required to collect your data.
Once you have selected all of the items you wish to download, Apple will compile it into a downloadable archive. According to Apple this process can take up to 7 days to complete.
"As a reminder, this process can take up to seven days. To ensure the security of your data, we use this time to verify that the request was made by you."
While the archive is being created, you can check on its status by visiting https://privacy.apple.com/account.
apple  data  GDPR  privacy  download 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Macintosh Security: Apple's New Privacy Pages: Your Reading Assignment!
In this day and age, when the western world is being increasingly China-fied and Russia-fied, IOW devolving into totalitarian surveillance states, it's wonderful to watch Apple resist and insist upon user privacy. Good on 'em!
It used to be that Apple merely provided semi-annual transparency reports, annual white papers on Apple gear security and some diffuse documents about securing, hardening our Apple devices. Now, everything has been gathered into one area on their website for easy access along with elaborations no doubt inspired by EU's GDPR, General Data Protection Regulations.
Where to start:
Privacy - Apple
Our Approach to Privacy
Manage Your Privacy
Transparency Report
Our Privacy Policy
apple  data  privacy  GDPR 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Apple’s full Data & Privacy Portal now available in U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand | iLounge News
Apple’s full Data and Privacy Portal is now available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, MacRumors has discovered. While the data download option is being gradually rolled out, soon all Apple users in those countries will be able to download a complete copy of the data that Apple has associated with their Apple ID, including not only the standard information such as calendars, reminders, photos, and iCloud documents, but also purchase history, Game Center activity, AppleCare support history, app usage history, and more. The expanded version of the Data and Privacy Portal, which previously only allowed users to correct their data or delete their account, launched earlier this year in the European Union in order to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), although Apple said at the time that it would eventually be rolling out the feature worldwide. While Apple has allowed customers to manually request this data for some time, the new portal streamlines the process considerably.
apple  data  privacy  GDPR 
27 days ago by rgl7194
How to use Apple's data and privacy portal | iMore
Apple has launched a new Data and Privacy portal that lets you request changes to the data you've shared with the company. It also lets you delete your Apple ID and associated data. Here's how to use it!
With GDPR underway, you've probably already received a number of emails alerting you to privacy policy updates, new terms and conditions, and GDPR compliance from many of the sites and services you use online. Apple has joined the party with the launch of its new Data and Privacy portal. You can use the site to correct any erroneous personal information stored by Apple and delete your Apple ID along with its associated data.
How to use Apple's data and privacy portal
How to correct your data using Apple's data and privacy portal
How to delete your account using Apple's data and privacy portal
How to request a copy of your data using Apple's data and privacy portal
You can learn more about how Apple protects your data and your privacy here: apple.com/privacy
apple  data  privacy  GDPR 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Apple's updated privacy site and why it matters | iMore
Apple has expanded its privacy website, diving deeper and detailing even more broadly how the company's relentless belief in privacy and security defines every one of its products and services.
Tim Cook will be delivering the keynote speech at this year's International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, on Wednesday 24 October 2018. It's significant because Apple, as a matter of company policy, believes privacy is a fundamental human right. From Tim Cook at the very top to engineers on the front line, this belief permeates Apple and drives the company's product development process every bit as much as the technology itself. As much as Apple is designing for experience and for accessibility, the company is also designing for security and privacy.
Apple's belief in privacy is made manifest again today with the launch of an updated version of apple.com/privacy.
apple  data  privacy  GDPR 
27 days ago by rgl7194
Apple, Amazon server spy story is wake-up call to security pros (u) | Computerworld
I'm not convinced at the 'spy-chip' claims, but the tale helps illustrate the complex security challenges enterprises face.
Apple and Amazon have strenuously denied Bloomberg’s claims of a sophisticated hardware exploit against servers belonging to them and numerous other entities, including U.S. law enforcement  
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple to Congress: Chinese spy-chip story is “simply wrong” | Ars Technica
"Our internal investigations directly contradict every consequential assertion."
Apple isn't relenting in its attacks on last week's Bloomberg story claiming that tiny Chinese chips had compromised the security of Apple and Amazon data centers. In a Monday letter to Congress, Apple wrote that the claims in the Bloomberg story were "simply wrong."
Bloomberg's story, published last Thursday, claimed that the Chinese government had secretly added spy chips to the motherboards of servers sold by Supermicro. According to Bloomberg, these servers wound up in the data centers of almost 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon. But the three companies featured in the story—Apple, Amazon, and Supermicro—have all issued broad and strongly worded denials.
amazon  apple  china  chip  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
A Few Simple Apple Maps Tips
I still prefer Apple Maps over most other mapping apps because of its simplicity, integration with iOS, and support for pausing other audio sources.1 As with nearly every Apple app, many of the best features aren't obvious to a casual user. This information is available in many other places on the internet but I'm posting it here for all of the friends of Macdrifter.com and as a reminder that it's hard to make an app that is both simple and powerful.
First up, visit the Maps settings. There are a few tweaks available that add some useful options.
apple  maps  tips 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Supply Chain Security 101: An Expert’s View — Krebs on Security
Earlier this month I spoke at a cybersecurity conference in Albany, N.Y. alongside Tony Sager, senior vice president and chief evangelist at the Center for Internet Security and a former bug hunter at the U.S. National Security Agency. We talked at length about many issues, including supply chain security, and I asked Sager whether he’d heard anything about rumors that Supermicro — a high tech firm in San Jose, Calif. — had allegedly inserted hardware backdoors in technology sold to a number of American companies.
Tony Sager, senior vice president and chief evangelist at the Center for Internet Security.
The event Sager and I spoke at was prior to the publication of Bloomberg Businessweek‘s controversial story alleging that Supermicro had duped almost 30 companies into buying backdoored hardware. Sager said he hadn’t heard anything about Supermicro specifically, but we chatted at length about the challenges of policing the technology supply chain.
Below are some excerpts from our conversation. I learned quite bit, and I hope you will, too.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon  krebs  interview  101 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Another Bloomberg report, another supply-chain issue | Mac Virus
In a story from 9th October, Bloomberg tells us of New Evidence of Hacked Supermicro Hardware Found in U.S. Telecom.
“A major U.S. telecommunications company discovered manipulated hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network and removed it in August, fresh evidence of tampering in China of critical technology components bound for the U.S., according to a security expert working for the telecom company.”
The tampering described differs from that in Bloomberg’s previous report. This one describes an ‘implant’ in a server’s Ethernet connector. The communications company has not been named, but the report is based on information from Yossi Appleboum, described as “co-chief executive officer of Sepio Systems”, who suggests that this approach to snooping has been seen in other equipment supplied by China, while Bloomberg compares it to manipulations used by the NSA.
Commentary from The Verge: Tampered Chinese Ethernet port used to hack ‘major US telecom,’ says Bloomberg report.
Whatever the truth is of this story, it seems to go far beyond Apple, so also published on the AVIEN blog.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Named Source in ‘The Big Hack’ Has Doubts About the Story
Hardware security researcher Joe Fitzpatrick was one of the very few named sources in Bloomberg’s blockbuster “The Big Hack” story. He provided only background information on the potential of hardware exploits in general — he claimed no knowledge of this specific case. On Patrick Gray’s Risky Business (great name) podcast, he expresses serious unease with the story Bloomberg published. The whole episode is worth a listen, but here’s partial transcript...
I’m going to go with “something else is going on”.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple tells Congress it found no signs of hacking attack | Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) top security officer told Congress on Sunday that it had found no sign of suspicious transmissions or other evidence that it had been penetrated in a sophisticated attack on its supply chain.
Apple Vice President for Information Security George Stathakopoulos wrote in a letter to the Senate and House commerce committees that the company had repeatedly investigated and found no evidence for the main points in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on Thursday, including that chips inside servers sold to Apple by Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI.PK) allowed for backdoor transmissions to China.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  gov2.0  congress 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Statement From DHS Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise
Official statement from DHS:
The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story. Information and communications technology supply chain security is core to DHS’s cybersecurity mission and we are committed to the security and integrity of the technology on which Americans and others around the world increasingly rely. Just this month — National Cybersecurity Awareness Month — we launched several government-industry initiatives to develop near- and long-term solutions to manage risk posed by the complex challenges of increasingly global supply chains. These initiatives will build on existing partnerships with a wide range of technology companies to strengthen our nation’s collective cybersecurity and risk management efforts.
For me, having the current U.S. government weighing in publicly on this issue does not fill me with any sense of confidence or reassurance on either side of this story.
But, still: Bloomberg’s Big Hack story should eventually be fully-corroborated, if true. According to their report, there are thousands of compromised servers out there. If there are, security experts will eventually identify these rogue chips and document them.
And whatever you think of a statement from DHS, from what I’ve heard, this is only beginning. Apple is not letting this go.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  gov2.0  press_release 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
The iPhone Franchise – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Mission Impossible iPhone
This is what I meant when I said Apple’s second iPhone models capture how the company has changed not only its strategy but how the company seems to view itself:
2013 was a time of uncertainty, with a sliding stock price and a steadily building clamor heralding Apple doom via low-end disruption; the company, though, found its voice with the 5C and declared its intentions to be unapologetically high-end; the 5C’s failure, such that it was, only cemented the rightness of that decision.
In 2017 the company, for the first time in ten years, started to truly test the price elasticity of demand for the iPhone: given its commitment to being the best, just how much could Apple charge for an iPhone X?
This year, then, comes the fully-formed iPhone juggernaut: an even more expensive phone, with arguably one of the weaker feature-driven reasons-to-buy to date, but for the fact it is Apple’s newest, and best, iPhone. And below that, a cheaper iPhone XR that is nearly as good, but neatly segmented primarily by virtue of not being the best, yet close enough to be a force in the market for years to come.
The strategy is, dare I say, bordering on over-confidence. Apple is raising prices on its best product even as that product’s relative differentiation from the company’s next best model is the smallest it has ever been.
Here, though, I thought the keynote’s “Mission: Impossible”-themed opening really hit the mark: the reason why franchises rule Hollywood is their dependability. Sure, they cost a fortune to make and to market, but they are known quantities that sell all over the world — $735 million-to-date for the latest Tom Cruise thriller, to take a pertinent example.
That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.
iphone  business  strategy  apple 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The iPhone Franchise
I’m still catching up on coverage of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch event last month. Ben Thompson makes some excellent points:
The strategy is, dare I say, bordering on over-confidence. Apple is raising prices on its best product even as that product’s relative differentiation from the company’s next best model is the smallest it has ever been.
Here, though, I thought the keynote’s “Mission: Impossible”-themed opening really hit the mark: the reason why franchises rule Hollywood is their dependability. Sure, they cost a fortune to make and to market, but they are known quantities that sell all over the world — $735 million-to-date for the latest Tom Cruise thriller, to take a pertinent example.
That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.
How long does this continue? Ten years? Longer? It seems to me there’s no end in sight. The franchise isn’t just still going strong, it’s stronger than ever.
iphone  business  strategy  daring_fireball  apple 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Buzzfeed: 'Apple Insiders Say Nobody Internally Knows What’s Going on With Bloomberg’s China Hack Story'
John Paczkowski and Charlie Warzel, reporting for BuzzFeed...
This is an extraordinary stalemate. There’s no equivocation in Apple’s response, but Bloomberg stands by their story. Keep in mind, Bloomberg isn’t some fringe publication — they’re a very well-respected news organization with a lot at stake here. They’ve published some dubious stuff about Apple in the past — this piece last year claiming Apple “let suppliers reduce accuracy of the phone’s Face ID system to speed up production” comes to mind — but that’s just gossip. This “Big Hack” story isn’t gossip; it’s as serious as it gets. But Apple, officially, and now from multiple unnamed senior executives and engineers in this BuzzFeed story, are saying flat out that at least as pertains to them, it did not happen. (Keep in mind too that every single source in Bloomberg’s story was unnamed.)
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon  daring_fireball 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple Insiders Say Nobody Internally Knows What’s Going On With Bloomberg’s China Hack Story
“I don’t know if something like this even exists.”
Multiple senior Apple executives, speaking with BuzzFeed News on the condition of anonymity so that they could speak freely, all denied and expressed confusion with a report earlier this week that the company’s servers had been compromised by a Chinese intelligence operation.
On Thursday morning, Bloomberg Businessweek published a bombshell investigation. The report — the result of more than a year of reporting and over 100 interviews with intelligence and company sources — alleged that Chinese spies compromised and infiltrated almost 30 US companies, including Apple and Amazon, by embedding a tiny microchip inside company servers.
“We tried to figure out if there was anything, anything, that transpired that’s even remotely close to this. We found nothing.” 
According to Bloomberg’s reporting, an attack of this caliber isn’t just elaborate but “the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.” The security ramifications for the businesses (and consequently millions of Americans) are likely dizzying.
Both Amazon and Apple issued uncharacteristically strong and detailed denials of Bloomberg’s claims.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Supply Chain Security is the Whole Enchilada, But Who’s Willing to Pay for It? — Krebs on Security
From time to time, there emerge cybersecurity stories of such potential impact that they have the effect of making all other security concerns seem minuscule and trifling by comparison. Yesterday was one of those times. Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday published a bombshell investigation alleging that Chinese cyber spies had used a U.S.-based tech firm to secretly embed tiny computer chips into electronic devices purchased and used by almost 30 different companies. There aren’t any corroborating accounts of this scoop so far, but it is both fascinating and terrifying to look at why threats to the global technology supply chain can be so difficult to detect, verify and counter.
In the context of computer and Internet security, supply chain security refers to the challenge of validating that a given piece of electronics — and by extension the software that powers those computing parts — does not include any extraneous or fraudulent components beyond what was specified by the company that paid for the production of said item.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon  krebs 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Supply chain hacking: bull in a China shop? [updated] | Mac Virus
My colleague at ESET, Cameron Camp, today published the second of a series of articles [as the conference is now over, I don’t know if he plans on any further articles in the series] commenting on this year’s Virus Bulletin: Virus Bulletin 2018: Supply chain hacking grows up
It’s an interesting article that makes some good points. But what particularly interested me was that it came hard on the heels of Bloomberg’s report The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies claiming that
“The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.”
Could this be true?  Well, Amazon and Apple have strongly denied it, as has Super Micro Computer Inc, whose supply chain is alleged to have been infiltrated. So who knows? Probably none of the sources that have commented on the topic subsequently, but here are a few of them anyway...
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Bloomberg stands by Chinese chip story as Apple, Amazon ratchet up denials | Ars Technica
It's clear someone isn't telling the truth, but we don't know who.
On Thursday morning, Bloomberg published a bombshell story claiming that the Chinese government had used tiny microchips to infiltrate the data centers of Apple and Amazon. Apple and Amazon, for their part, responded with unusually specific and categorical denials. It's clear that someone is making a big mistake, but 24 hours later, it's still not clear whether it's Bloomberg or the technology companies.
On Thursday afternoon, Apple laid out its case against the story in a lengthy post on its website. The post specifically disputed a number of Bloomberg's claims. For example, Bloomberg says that after discovering a mysterious chip in one of its servers, Apple "reported the incident to the FBI," leading to an investigation. Apple flatly denies that this occurred.
"No one from Apple ever reached out to the FBI about anything like this," Apple writes. "We have never heard from the FBI about an investigation of this kind."
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple, Amazon server spy story is wake-up call to security pros | Computerworld
I'm not convinced at the 'spy-chip' claims, but the tale helps illustrate the complex security challenges enterprises face.
Apple and Amazon have strenuously denied Bloomberg’s claims of a sophisticated hardware exploit against servers belonging to them and numerous other entities, including U.S. law enforcement  
Chinese, Apple and chips
Put in very simple terms, the claim is that malicious chips were found inside servers used in data centers belonging to the tech firms.
These chips (it’s claimed) worked to exfiltrate data from those servers, which were themselves sourced from server manufacturer Super Micro. That company’s server products are/were also used by Amazon, the U.S. government, and 30 other organizations. The chips were allegedly put in place by employees bribed by Chinese government agents.
If that’s true, this constitutes a severe security incident. The reporters claim to have a number of witnesses to these events, though all parties strenuously deny the allegations.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple Strongly Refutes Bloomberg Report That Its Servers Were Compromised by Malicious Chips – MacStories
Earlier today, Bloomberg published a story claiming that Apple and Amazon discovered tiny, malicious chips on Elemental network servers built by Super Micro. According to the story, the chips were the work of Chinese spies and designed to infiltrate the tech companies’ networks. Shortly after publication, Apple responded in an email statement strongly refuting Bloomberg’s account.
Amazon’s chief information security officer similarly discredited the claims saying in part:
There are so many inaccuracies in this article as it relates to Amazon that they’re hard to count.
A short time ago, Apple elaborated on its initial statement to Bloomberg on its Newsroom website:
In response to Bloomberg’s latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers have ever been found to hold malicious chips.
Topsy is a startup that Apple acquired in 2013.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Newsroom: 'What Businessweek Got Wrong About Apple'
Apple Newsroom has just published an even stronger denial of Bloomberg Businessweek’s “The Big Hack” story:
Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that’s why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data. […]
Finally, in response to questions we have received from other news organizations since Businessweek published its story, we are not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations.
They’re defending both the security of their data center servers and the integrity of their public statements.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon  daring_fireball 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.
In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Bloomberg’s ‘The Big Hack’
Bloomberg Businessweek today published an absolutely incredible story alleging that Chinese intelligence compromised thousands of data center servers by infiltrating the supply chain to insert hard-to-detect rogue chips on motherboards from a company named Supermicro. The entire report, by Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley, is worth reading in full.
Bloomberg alleges that Apple and Amazon were both among the companies that installed the compromised hardware. Apple and Amazon both vehemently deny the report. Someone is either wrong or lying. This cannot all be true.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon  daring_fireball 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Chinese Supply Chain Hardware Attack - Schneier on Security
Bloomberg is reporting about a Chinese espionage operating involving inserting a tiny chip into computer products made in China.
I've written (alternate link) this threat more generally. Supply-chain security is an insurmountably hard problem. Our IT industry is inexorably international, and anyone involved in the process can subvert the security of the end product. No one wants to even think about a US-only anything; prices would multiply many times over.
We cannot trust anyone, yet we have no choice but to trust everyone. No one is ready for the costs that solving this would entail.
EDITED TO ADD: Apple, Amazon, and others are denying that this attack is real. Stay tuned for more information.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Bloomberg: Super Micro motherboards used by Apple, Amazon contained Chinese spy chips | Ars Technica
Super Micro, Amazon, and Apple deny everything in the report.
Tiny Chinese spy chips were embedded onto Super Micro motherboards that were then sold to companies in the US, including Amazon and Apple, reports Bloomberg. The report has attracted strenuous denials from Amazon, Apple, and Super Micro.
Bloomberg claims that the chips were initially and independently discovered by Apple and Amazon in 2015 and that the companies reported their findings to the FBI, prompting an investigation that remains ongoing. The report alleges that the tiny chips, disguised to look like other components or even sandwiched into the fiberglass of the motherboards themselves, were connected to the management processor, giving them far-reaching access to both networking and system memory. The report says that the chips would connect to certain remote systems to receive instructions and could then do things like modify the running operating system to remove password validation, thereby opening a machine up to remote attackers.
The boards were all designed by California-based Super Micro and built in Taiwan and China. The report alleges that operatives masquerading as Super Micro employees or government representatives approached people working at four particular factories to request design changes to the motherboards to include the extra chips. Bloomberg further reports that the attack was made by a unit of the People's Liberation Army, the Chinese military.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Bloomberg: China hacked server hardware by implanting a backdoor chip - Six Colors
Wild story from Bloomberg Businessweek’s Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley about backdoor chips surreptitiously installed in server motherboards during assembly, probably by the Chinese government:
Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.
A few things about this story. First, it’s all too plausible. The manufacturing supply chain  for most consumer technology has been strongly enmeshed in China for a couple decades now, which does potentially give the country unprecedented access to those components before they are shipped across the world. Secondly, nobody should doubt the skills of China’s information and cyber warfare teams—I certainly have no doubt that they are capable of carrying out such an exploit.
apple  hack  security  privacy  chip  china  supply_chain  server  amazon 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Two Point Failure: Trials and Tribulations of iPhone Activation
Yesterday I ended my day with a feeling of amused frustration. I received a new iPhone Xs as part of the Apple upgrade program.1 I've used this plan in the past and I've been happy with the results. I had no reason to suspect I'd end up in a long term relationship with Apple support.
The phone failed to complete authorization with Verizon. It rejected my PIN until my authorization was locked. No worries, I thought. I called Verizon and confirmed that my PIN was correct. They also confirmed that the new phone was indeed activated. Yet I couldn't get past the activation screen. Then the line went dead.
apple  support  iphoneXS 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple’s big news in 108 seconds — Apple - YouTube
Apple
Published on Sep 12, 2018
Here’s all the big news from Apple’s big event in less than two minutes. Introducing iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the largest display ever on an iPhone. Say a big hello to iPhone XR, with the all-new Liquid Retina display. Then take a look at the completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4. With the biggest Apple Watch display yet, and a new electrical heart sensor.
Learn more at https://apple.co/2x4QJOB
Song: “Loyal” by ODESZA https://apple.co/2x78Cvj
apple  apple_event  youtube  overview  watch  iphoneXS 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Sonny Dickson on What Went Wrong With AirPower
Sonny Dickson:
We have managed to obtain several pieces of exclusive information that shed some light on what challenges Apple is currently facing with the project. According to our sources, the broad feeling of many working the project at Apple is that the device may be doomed to failure, and may not be viable at all unless significant advancements can be made.
More details than what I’ve heard, but very much along the same lines. Todd Haselton at CNBC picked this up following Dickson’s report, and now it’s a bit of a news firestorm.
I’ll just emphasize that what I’ve written about AirPower’s problems is all filed under “this is what I’ve heard from people I trust, but none of them are directly involved”. My report is not filed under “this is what I can state as fact happened or is happening”. I literally wrote “what I’ve heard, third-hand but from multiple little birdies”.
I’ll add one new thing. After I published what I’ve heard, a wise and knowledgeable little birdie told me that it’s not at all uncommon for a project at Apple to have massive resets multiple times. [Cough, Titan.] What is unusual regarding AirPower is that it’s happened in the open, for the world to see. That is to say, the real mistake may not be a flawed coil design or whatever, but rather the decision to announce it when they did, before those problems were solved.
charger  apple  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
An Oral History of Apple's Infinite Loop | WIRED
Apple’s old HQ holds stories of pizza ovens, iPhone secrets, baseball bats, and what happened to Steve Jobs’ office.
Last month, Apple became the first company valued at a trillion dollars. With its new ring-shaped campus, all glass and curvy lines, it looks the part of a company bestriding an industry. But its dominance wasn’t always assured.
Twenty-five years ago, the computer revolution’s marquee company was in decline. Back then, it was just settling into shiny new headquarters, a campus of six buildings that formed a different kind of ring. Called Infinite Loop, the name is a reference to a well-known programming error—code that gets stuck in an endless repetition—though no one seems to know who applied it. Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends—many of them untold. Until now.
apple  history  steve_jobs 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
An Oral History of Apple’s Former Headquarters – MacStories
Steven Levy spent more than a year talking to past and present Apple executives and employees about the company’s former headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. As Levy describes it:
Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends—many of them untold. Until now.
It’s hard to pick among the anecdotes in Levy’s history, but one of my favorites is this from Phil Schiller because it captures the tough choice that had to be made when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and his empathy for customers:
Schiller: We’re like, “Steve! Newton customers are picketing! What do you want to do? They’re angry.” And Steve said, “They have every right to be angry. They love Newton. It’s a great product, and we have to kill it, and that’s not fun, so we have to get them coffee and doughnuts and send it down to them and tell them we love them and we’re sorry and we support them.”
There are fascinating details about Apple’s history in Levy’s piece that you won’t find anywhere else, and he’s done an excellent job weaving them into a cohesive, chronological narrative that shouldn’t be missed.
apple  history  steve_jobs 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: An Oral History of Apple's Infinite Loop
Absolutely fantastic piece assembled by Steven Levy for Wired:
Twenty-five years ago, the computer revolution’s marquee company was in decline. Back then, it was just settling into shiny new headquarters, a campus of six buildings that formed a different kind of ring. Called Infinite Loop, the name is a reference to a well-known programming error — code that gets stuck in an endless repetition — though no one seems to know who applied it. Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends — many of them untold. Until now.
There’s so much quotable stuff in here. Here’s just one, which I’ve heard before but which still made me laugh out out reading it again:
FORSTALL: Whenever I ate with Steve, he insisted on paying for me, which I thought was a little odd. Even if we went in together and he selected something quick like pre-made sushi, and I ordered a pizza in the wood-burning pizza oven, he would wait for me at the cash register for 10, 15 minutes. I felt so awkward. Finally, I told him. “Seriously, I can pay for myself, so please don’t stand there and wait for me.” He said, “Scott, you don’t understand. You know how we pay by swiping your badge and then it’s deducted from your salary? I only get paid a dollar year! Every time I swipe we get a free meal!” Here was this multibillionaire putting one over on the company he founded, a few dollars at a time.
As my friend John Siracusa quipped in a Slack group, “This is the most Steve Jobs quote ever.” Jobs enjoyed pulling one over on The Man even after he became The Man. That free lunch scam delighted him the way free long distance phone calls did with Woz and their blue boxes.
This whole history is simply terrific. Do not miss it. (That story from Tim Cook about the meeting with Gateway — oh my god.)
apple  history  steve_jobs  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple Has Permanently Banned Alex Jones' Infowars App From The App Store
Apple's App Store guidelines for developers forbid apps with "content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste."
A day after being banned from Twitter, Alex Jones and Infowars have been booted from yet another platform: Apple's popular App Store. As of Friday evening, searches on the App Store for Infowars return no results.
Apple confirmed the app's removal to BuzzFeed News, but declined to comment, pointing to its App Store Review Guidelines. The company said Infowars would not be permitted to return to the App Store.
The first clause of those guidelines explicitly rejects "defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way."
apple  apps  store  racism  hate  KKK  conspiracy_theory  politics 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple’s Acquisition of Shazam Approved by the European Commission – MacStories
Last December, Apple announced plans to acquire music-discovery service Shazam. The service, which makes iOS, watchOS, and macOS apps that can detect songs, TV shows, and advertisements from their sound signatures, has been on Apple’s platforms since the early days of iOS and is the engine behind Siri’s ability to recognize songs.
Since February, the deal has been on hold while the European Commission considered whether it would adversely impact competition. In a press release today, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy, explained...
apple  shazam  M&A  business  europe 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
16-Year-Old Teen Hacked Apple Servers, Stole 90GB of Secure Files
Well, there's something quite embarrassing for Apple fans.
Though Apple servers are widely believed to be unhackable, a 16-year-old high school student proved that nothing is impossible.
The teenager from Melbourne, Australia, managed to break into Apple servers and downloaded some 90GB of secure files, including extremely secure authorized keys used to grant login access to users, as well as access multiple user accounts.
The teen told the authorities that he hacked Apple because he was a huge fan of the company and "dreamed of" working for the technology giant.
apple  server  hack  teenager  security  privacy 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Privacy Policies Will Be Required for All Apps and Updates Beginning October 3rd – MacStories
If you go to an app’s product page on any of Apple’s app stores, sometimes you’ll see a link to a privacy policy and sometimes you won’t. That’s because when iOS, macOS, or tvOS apps are submitted for beta testing or sale, developers have the option but aren’t required to link to a webpage with a privacy policy or, in the case of tvOS, include the policy directly in the app’s product page because the Apple TV doesn’t support web browsing. That will change soon.
As of October 3, 2018, any new app or update uploaded for beta testing or sale must include a privacy policy. Apple announced the change on its App Store Connect developer portal, which requires a developer account to access. Apple also noted in its announcement that a developer’s privacy policy link or text will only be editable when a developer submits a new version of their app for review.
apple  developer  privacy  ios  apps 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple insists developers ramp up their privacy commitments | Computerworld
Developers must now say how they collect data, what they do with it, and take responsibility for how it is treated if it is sold on.
Apple recently told the U.S. Congress that is sees customer privacy as a “human right,” though the explanation didn’t at that time extend to how third-party developers treat data they get from iOS apps. Now it does.
Privacy for the rest of us
Starting October 3, Apple will insist that all third-party apps (including new apps and app updates) submitted to the App Store include a link to the app developer’s own privacy policy.
This is a big change, as until now only subscription-based apps needed to supply this information — and it also extends to the privacy policy itself, which Apple insists must be clear and explicitly in explaining:
What data the app/service collects
How this data is collected
What is done with that data
How data is stored
How users can revoke consent and demand deletion of their data
The policy must also promise that any third party to which that data is shared must provide the same or equal protection of user data as explained in the developer’s privacy policy.
apple  developer  privacy  ios  apps 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
YouTube bans Alex Jones, following Facebook and Apple’s lead | Ars Technica
YouTube cites policies against hate speech and harassment.
Conspiracy theorist and online troll Alex Jones got more bad news on Monday as YouTube banned Jones' channel on the platform.
"This account has been terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines," a notice on Jones's YouTube channel states.
The decision comes hours after Apple and Facebook made similar moves. Early on Monday, Apple removed five of the six podcasts from Infowars, Alex Jones's site, from its popular podcast directory. Facebook followed suit, taking down four of Jones's most popular pages and effectively banning him from the site.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Alex Jones hit with bans from Facebook and Apple | Ars Technica
Jones can appeal to have his banned pages republished to Facebook.
After more than a week of controversy and pressure, Facebook removed four pages run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its platform. According to a blog post published Monday morning, Facebook removed the Alex Jones Channel, Alex Jones, InfoWars, and Infowars Nightly News pages for "repeatedly posting content over the past several days" that violates the company's Community Standards.
"Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us," the blog post states. "Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Alex Jones’ InfoWars Podcast Removed from Apple and Spotify | Consequence of Sound
The far-right conspiracy theorist has also been barred from Facebook and YouTube
The entirety of Alex Jones’ podcast library, including his popular InfoWars program, has been removed from both Apple’s iTunes and Spotify, according to BuzzFeed News. Update: Jones’ YouTube channel has also been terminated for violating “community guidelines.”
The InfoWars founder is infamous for peddling far-right conspiracy theories, including his promotion of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as being a false flag attack perpetrated by the government. He is also a proponent of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, claims Stoneman Douglas survivor David Hogg is a crisis actor, and says NFL players protesting during the National Anthem are “kneeling to white genocide” and violence against whites.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple Kicked Alex Jones Off Its Platform, Then YouTube And Facebook Rushed To Do The Same
The removals are one of the largest crackdowns on conspiratorial news content by technology companies to date.
Some of the world's largest social media and tech companies kicked Alex Jones and his conspiracy-theory driven show, InfoWars, off their platforms on Monday after months of hand-wringing about how to handle a personality who claimed he was delivering news but didn't deal in facts.
Apple moved first, striking the entire library for five of Infowars' six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts apps. Among the podcasts, which were removed from Apple's iTunes directory, are the show War Room and the popular Alex Jones Show podcast, which is hosted daily by the prominent conspiracy theorist.
After that, platforms that have come under far more scrutiny for hosting Jones and his content — Facebook and YouTube — quickly followed suit after long and tortured deliberations. Spotify also did the same.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Removed Infowars From iTunes Podcast Directory, Then YouTube and Facebook Followed Suit
John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed...
I’m curious if these companies did this in cooperation, or if Apple acted alone and Facebook and YouTube followed in their wake. It sounds like this was Apple acting on its own and YouTube and Facebook followed their lead.
UPDATE: Also curious: Apple only removed Infowars from their podcast directory — the Infowars app remains in the App Store. Different standards? Seems hard to justify de-listing the podcasts for “hate speech” but leaving the app in place when it contains the same content.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics  daring_fireball 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify all ban Alex Jones’s Infowars - Vox
Apple’s Infowars ban altered an industry overnight — and dealt a significant blow to fake news.
Within the past 24 hours, Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have all joined in summarily banning far-right broadcaster and known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars network from their platforms.
The bans have been swift and startling, coming after mounting public backlash against Infowars’ pernicious rhetoric, which is most notorious for helping popularize the false belief that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting never happened. Jones is currently the defendant in a precedent-setting lawsuit brought against him by the parents of a Sandy Hook victim.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple is a $1 trillion company. What does that mean? — Quartz
Congratulations, Apple! You are now the US’s first company to ever to be valued at $1 trillion, and surely on a path to becoming a modern-day Dutch East India Company.
After being close to bankruptcy, death knells ringing in the media, Apple reinstated its original, visionary leader, Steve Jobs, as CEO in 1997. The rest writes itself. Apple went gone on to have a string of blockbuster hits—the iMac, the iPod, the MacBook, the iPhone, and the iPad, to name a few—that has seen it become a luxury-goods manufacturer like no company before it. And since Jobs’s passing, CEO Tim Cook has steered the company to become a well-oiled business that keeps putting out products that are at least slightly more interesting than the ones that came before them. Apple can seemingly do no wrong—financially, at least.
apple  business 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple now worth $1 trillion thanks to tax cuts and tax aversion schemes | Salon.com
Apple avoided paying $50 billion in American taxes; now the company is the wealthiest in the world
After the strongest 3rd quarter earnings for the company ever, Apple became the first U.S., publicly-traded company to be worth over $1 trillion. Yet Apple's trillion-dollar valuation is not solely a result of its role as an "innovator," to borrow a phrase from the meaningless biz-speak of Silicon Valley's elite. Tax avoidance schemes and corporate tax cuts helped too.
Earlier this year, Apple benefitted from a huge tax cut from Congress, allowing the company to pay 10.5 percent of taxes on foreign earnings versus 35 percent. Instead of paying an approximate $88 billion in taxes on the $252 billion held abroad, it paid $38 billion. Since then, Apple has been using its profits from the tax cut to buy back shares of its own stocks, a process that props up share prices and generally benefits company brass while doing nothing for workers.
"Buybacks are the corporate equivalent of steroids," Robert Reich, former secretary of labor, wrote last month. "They may make shareholders feel better than otherwise, but nothing really changes."
apple  business  finances  stock_market  taxes 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Tim Cook calls $1 trillion valuation a ‘significant milestone’ but emphasizes it’s about core values | iLounge News
Apple CEO Tim Cook has told employees that while the company’s trillion dollar valuation reached yesterday is a “significant milestone” it’s “not the most important measure” of the company’s success. In an e-mail obtained by Reuters, Cook noted that the record-breaking valuation is simply a result of Apple’s emphasis on its products, customers, and core values, and that Apple needs to continue to focus in these areas, “putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values” and that financial returns should simply be seen as a natural result of Apple’s innovation. “Steve [Jobs] founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” Cook wrote in the memo, adding that “Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.” The full text of the memo can be found at 9to5Mac
apple  business  finances  stock_market  tim_cook 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple Is Worth $1 Trillion; 21 Years Ago It Was on the Brink of Bankruptcy - The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — In 1997, Apple was on the ropes. The Silicon Valley pioneer was being decimated by Microsoft and its many partners in the personal-computer market. It had just cut a third of its work force, and it was about 90 days from going broke, Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, later said.
On Thursday, Apple became the first publicly traded American company to be worth more than $1 trillion when its shares climbed 3 percent to end the day at $207.39. The gains came two days after the company announced the latest in a series of remarkably profitable quarters.
apple  business  finances  stock_market  nytimes 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Closes With Market Cap Over $1 Trillion
Jack Nicas has a good piece in The Times looking back at the last 20 years of Apple history, in light of today’s news. A few landmarks:
1996: Apple’s market cap sunk as low as $3 billion before the NeXT reunification.
2007: Apple was worth $73 billion when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone.
2011: Apple was worth $346 billion when Tim Cook took the helm as CEO.
Apple closed today with market cap of $1.002 trillion. That “.002” looks insignificant but represents $2 billion — about what the entire company was worth in 1996.
apple  business  finances  stock_market  daring_fireball 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Apple crosses the trillion dollar threshold | iLounge News
Apple has officially become the world’s first company to cross the trillion dollar mark, as stocks spiked upward following Tuesday’s quarterly results. According to CNBC, stocks rose nearly three percent, hitting a high of $207.05 in midday trading today before dropping back below $207 again. While 9to5Mac noticed Apple’s own Stocks app — based on Yahoo Finance — reporting that Apple had already hit the mark, it took Google Finance a while to catch up, as the Yahoo Finance numbers were based on outdated information regarding outstanding shares. The trillion dollar market capitalization is based on the company’s total outstanding shares — 4,829,926,000 in this case — multiplied by the price of each share, meaning the stock price had to reach $207.05 for Apple to cross the threshold. Apple’s stock has since dropped down below $207, placing its current market cap at only $999 billion, although Apple still retains the distinction of being the first company to reach one trillion dollars in valuation, even if only for a few moments, beating out rivals like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s Alphabet.
apple  business  finances  stock_market 
august 2018 by rgl7194
That’s trillion with a T—Apple hits market value of $1 trillion | Ars Technica
Market capitalization of Apple surges after latest earnings report.
Apple, the company Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded in 1976 in possibly not a garage, became the most valuable company in the world in 2012, passing Microsoft as iPhone sales pushed the company into the stratosphere. Today, Apple's dominance of the financial world has reached a new milestone—the company has now topped $1 trillion in market capitalization, the collective value of all its shares of stock.
With a "market cap" of $884.01 billion, Amazon is Apple's closest rival; Google parent Alphabet trails Bezos' technology and retail giant with a market cap of $854.86 billion. Microsoft, from which Apple snatched the title of most valuable company in 2012, is at $827.53 billion today.
apple  business  finances  stock_market 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Steve Jobs' former ad man says Tim Cook is getting 'vanilla' advice that is making Apple bland (AAPL)
Steve Jobs' former ad man Ken Segall thinks Apple CEO Tim Cook is getting "vanilla" advice and that the company is not taking enough risks in its marketing.
He said that the tone of Apple's advertising had changed significantly since Jobs' death in 2011 and that the firm was failing to create personalities around new iPhones.
Apple is poised to unveil its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, during which we'll hear more about how the iPhone X has been received by customers.
Ken Segall, an advertising veteran and one-time ally of Steve Jobs, is worried that Apple is losing some of its chutzpah under CEO Tim Cook.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the former creative director at the ad agency Chiat/Day said Apple was not taking some of the marketing risks it did under Jobs and was failing to create personalities around new iPhones.
Segall worked on definitive campaigns such as "Think Different" and created the name iMac, so he knows which branding worked for Apple after Jobs' return to the company in 1997.
apple  advertising  tim_cook 
august 2018 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Ken Kocienda's 'Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs'
Ken Kocienda:
I wrote a book about my Apple career. Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs. It’s coming out on September 4. You can pre-order today.
In the book, I tell stories about developing the original iPhone, iPad, and Safari web browser, and I give my personal view on what made the Apple product culture special.
I’ve read an advance copy of the book, and for now I’ll just say this: it’s extraordinary. Take my word for it, go ahead and pre-order a copy now.
apple  design  steve_jobs  daring_fireball  books  iphone  ipad  safari 
july 2018 by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » It Just Works
Only it doesn’t.
Steve Jobs died and we’ve been living in the dark ages ever since.
Never underestimate the power of an individual. He or she can move mountains, or destroy them, just ask Trump. Geniuses have vision. They deliver what we didn’t even know we wanted. And the rest of the purveyors…
Never got the memo.
I’m frustrated.
apple  simplicity 
july 2018 by rgl7194
10 Years of App Store Controversies – MacStories
The App Store is a wildly successful product. In 2017 alone it brought Apple somewhere in the range of $11.4 billion, and app developers pocketed $26.5 billion – an increase of 30% over 2016. To kick off 2018, New Year's Day alone yielded $300 million of App Store purchases. With ever-more Apple devices in the world, the rest of 2018 is sure to end up in the record books.
When the App Store first launched in 2008, it was an unproven concept in the software market. Historically when you wanted to download software for your computer, you would usually visit the developer's website, which handled both the payment and actual download. While it could be argued that smartphones at that time weren't proper "computers," the computer designation undoubtedly fit the iPhone. With its powerful operating system built on Mac OS X, the expectation from many developers was that, eventually at least, the device would gain access to native third-party apps through traditional means. Instead, the iPhone – and subsequently, the iPad – has remained a closed platform. And for 10 years now, the App Store has been that platform's sole gatekeeper.
apple  apps  store  anniversary 
july 2018 by rgl7194
How the iPhone and App Store Have Redefined Accessible Software – MacStories
Everyone acknowledges the societal and technological effects the iPhone has had on the world. In late 2007, Time named the original model its "invention of the year," and rightfully proclaimed it "the phone that changed phones forever." Eleven years on, it is genuinely difficult to remember the world before the iPhone existed. Whatever your platform allegiance, there can be no disputing that the first iPhone pioneered the notion that everyone should carry a touchscreen supercomputer with them wherever they go. In hindsight, Steve Jobs wasn’t exaggerating when he boasted Apple would reinvent the phone.
Yet for everything the iPhone has meant to smartphones and to the world, there is a segment of users for which the iPhone has been truly revolutionary: disabled people. For many people with disabilities, myself included, the iPhone was the first accessible smartphone. The device’s multitouch user interface and large (for the time) display represented a total break from the smartphone conventions of the day. An unheralded ramification of this was how accessible these features made the iPhone. For example, the soft keyboard allowed users to compose text messages and emails without struggling with the T9 keyboards that were commonplace at the time. Likewise, the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display was considered large for the day, which made seeing content markedly easier than on the postage stamp-sized displays that dominated cell phones then. It’s a testament to the original iPhone’s greatness that its fundamental components were so solid that they redefined accessible computing, all without being "accessible" in the traditional sense. Its impact is put into greater perspective when you consider the first two versions of iOS (née iPhone OS) didn’t contain discrete accessibility features. The first bunch, VoiceOver, Zoom, and Mono Audio debuted in 2009 with the 3GS.
apple  apps  store  anniversary  accessibility 
july 2018 by rgl7194
Developers’ Decade-Long Rollercoaster Ride: The Business of Selling Apps on the App Store – MacStories
The case for native third-party apps on the iPhone was apparent immediately. By creating a device that blends into the background – with functionality entirely driven by software – Apple built a mobile computing platform that could become anything, so long as there was an app to drive the experience. The idea that the iPhone might be limited to a handful of stock Apple apps felt like a horrible waste to developers who were hungry to build their own apps.
When developers arrived in San Francisco for WWDC in 2007, they were eager for news of a native iPhone SDK. Instead, Scott Forstall took the stage and introduced iPhone web apps as Apple’s ‘sweet solution'. It didn’t go over well.
apple  apps  store  anniversary  developer 
july 2018 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 10 Years of the App Store: The Design Evolution of the Earliest Apps
Michael Steeber, writing for 9to5Mac:
Few contemporary innovations have changed how we live our lives and interact with the world around us more than iPhone apps. The creators of the first 500 available at launch had the unique opportunity of shaping the design direction and interaction methods of the millions of apps created since.
To celebrate the App Store’s 10th anniversary, let’s study the visual evolution of 10 original App Store apps.
Another great look back. Steeber selected a great group of apps from 2008 that are still going strong, and perfectly illustrates their design evolutions.
apple  apps  store  anniversary  daring_fireball 
july 2018 by rgl7194
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