How Social Media Warps Democracy

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Facebook and the Web of Trust

Here’s a long read to put on your list as you head into the weekend. It examines social media and its impact on democracy and our psyche.

The problem may not be connectivity itself but rather the way social media turns so much communication into a public performance. We often think of communication as a two-way street. Intimacy builds as partners take turns, laugh at each other’s jokes, and make reciprocal disclosures. What happens, though, when grandstands are erected along both sides of that street and then filled with friends, acquaintances, rivals, and strangers, all passing judgment and offering commentary?

Cellebrite Now Uses iOS Exploit Checkm8

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Checkm8 is an iPhone flaw in the bootrom that can lead to a jailbreak. It can’t be patched via software, and it affects the iPhone 4s through iPhone X. But attackers need physical access to your device, and the jailbreak can only be tethered, meaning that if the iPhone is restarted it disappears.

The Cellebrite UFED team is working quickly to provide users with support for the above-mentioned scenario.  This will be included with the launch of our iOS extraction agent in an upcoming release. The team is committed to providing a comprehensive, forensically-sound solution that adheres to Cellebrite’s high standards, is fully tested, and is admissible in court.

Speaking about recent rumors, if Apple did remove the Lightning port from future iPhones, I wonder if it would defeat companies like Cellebrite. I’m not sure if they could still extract data via the wireless charger.

Defense Department: We Need That Encryption You Want to Break

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Everyone from the Department of Justice, the FBI, and politicians like Senator Lindsey Graham are attacking encryption, calling for backdoors for the “public good.” But people who understand security are cautioning against such a move. This week Representative Ro Khanna forwarded a letter to Lindsay Graham from the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy.

As the use of mobile devices continues to expand, it is imperative that innovative security techniques, such as advanced encryption algorithms, are constantly maintained and improved to protect DoD information and resources. The Department believes maintaining a domestic climate for state of the art security and encryption is critical to the protection of our national security.

Pro Display XDR works on iMac Pro, But Only at 5K

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There has been much excitement and discussion around the new Pro Display XDR for the new Mac Pro – $1000 for a stand, anyone? AppleInsider reported that it works with iMac Pro too,  but only at 5K.

On supported systems, the Pro Display XDR has 6K resolution, at 6,016 by 3,384 pixels, but not everyone will be able to achieve that resolution. In a posting to Twitter, Thomas Grove Carter advises the Pro Display XDR connected to an iMac Pro is only capable of running at a 5K resolution, not 6K. According to the product specifications page, Apple advises the Pro Display XDR is compatible with a variety of Mac models, including the new Mac Pro with an MPX Module GPU, the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 2019 21.5-inch iMac, and the 27-inch iMac from the same year. Any Mac model is also supported if it has Thunderbolt 3 ports and is paired with either the Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro. The support page discussing the setup process for the display further says that the named Macs and the Blackmagic eGPU setups are able to support the 6K resolution with 10-bit color.

Meet The New Xbox - Coming Holiday 2020

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Microsoft unveiled the latest edition of the Xbox on Friday. Named the Xbox Series X, the console will be released for next year’s holiday season. Microsoft put out a video to show it off. Noticeably, the console looks a lot like a PC than previous models.

Broadband Companies Want FCC to Hide Data on Internet Speeds

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Internet providers have successfully persuaded the FCC to remove unfavorable data that shows their advertised speeds are typically higher than their actual speeds.

Internet experts and former FCC officials said the setup gives the internet companies enormous leverage. “How can you go to the party who controls the information and say, ‘please give me information that may implicate you?’ ” said Tom Wheeler, a former FCC chairman who stepped down in January 2017.

Jim Warner, a retired network engineer who has helped advise the agency on the test for years, told the FCC in 2015 that the rules for providers were too lax. “It’s not much of a code of conduct,” Mr. Warner said.

So it seems these companies regularly lie about their internet speeds. Shocking, I know.

Jonathan Morrison Reviews the Mac Pro With Music Professionals

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This is a great review to me because it puts it in the hands of professionals who can make the most out of a machine this powerful. Although it is about the power, it’s less of a “speeds and feeds” review (or at least less rote listing of specs) and more of how much work you can throw at it.

This covers 28-Core performance in Logic Pro X with over a hundred tracks, hundreds of plugins and casually creating a song from start to finish in 2 hours. There was a lot of doubt with the state of audio with the Mac Pro including Catalina stability but the results surprised me.