Iran Hackers Put Backdoors in VPN Servers

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A new report finds that hackers from Iran have been putting backdoors in VPN servers around the world in the “Fox Kitten Campaign.” It sounds like affected companies provide VPN for enterprise, rather than consumers. ZDNet suggests Pulse Secure, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and Citrix.

Though [sic] the campaign, the attackers succeeded in gaining access and persistent foothold in the networks of numerous companies and organizations from the IT, Telecommunication, Oil and Gas, Aviation, Government, and Security sectors around the world.

'AirPods Pro Lite' Production Unlikely to Start in Q2 2020

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Rumors began recently that Apple was set to release so-called “AirPod Pro Lite” headphones in the not too distant future. However, their launch could be delayed. MacRumors picked up on a report from DigiTimes that suggested production is unlikely to start in the second quarter of 2020.

While we still don’t have a full picture of what to expect with these upcoming earphones, DigiTimes today published another short paywalled blurb specifically describing ‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite as an “entry-level version of Apple’s ‌AirPods Pro‌ series” and saying that production will not kick off in the second quarter of this year as originally planned. Production of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite, an entry-level version of Apple’s ‌AirPods Pro‌ series, is unlikely to kick off in the second quarter as originally planned, according to industry sources.

Upgrades, Slow Internet, Hard Drives, and More – Mac Geek Gab 802

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

How’s your Catalina installation behaving? Have any Macs left to upgrade? Your two favorite geeks talk through it all. Then it’s time to diagnose the cause of slow internet, always a pesky one to diagnose! Add in some hard drive diagnostics, follow-ups on your subscription tracking, and John and Dave have a show chock-full-of-infotainment goodness to share with you!

Clearview AI Faces Class Action Lawsuit Similar to Facebook

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Two weeks ago Facebook settled a lawsuit alleging that it violated Illinois privacy laws. Now, Clearview AI is also facing a class action lawsuit in the state.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday on behalf of several Illinois citizens and first reported by Buzzfeed News, alleges that Clearview “actively collected, stored and used Plaintiffs’ biometrics — and the biometrics of most of the residents of Illinois — without providing notice, obtaining informed written consent or publishing data retention policies.”

Not only that, but this biometric data has been licensed to many law enforcement agencies, including within Illinois itself.

All this is allegedly in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, a 2008 law that has proven to be remarkably long-sighted and resistant to attempts by industry (including, apparently, by Facebook while it fought its own court battle) to water it down.

‘Robo Revenge’ Will Block and Automatically Sue Robocallers

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The newest service from DoNotPay is Robo Revenge. It will block robocallers and automatically sue them for you.

Robo Revenge combines both features to automatically add you to the Do Not Call Registry, generate a virtual DoNotPay burner credit card to provide scammers when they illegally call you anyways, use the transaction information to get the scammer’s contact information, then walk you through how to sue them for as much as $3,000 per call under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a law already on the books meant to protect consumers from calls that violate the Do Not Call Registry. The app also streamlines the litigation paperwork by automatically generating demand letters and court filing documents.

As a reader pointed out below, you’ll find this service within the DoNotPay app.

Blueprints Website Builder Lifetime Subscription: $39

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on Blueprints app for Mac by Bootstraptor, a prototyping tool for website ideation that will help you burn through your wire-framing time. It features 500-plus ready-made blocks, 200-plus prototype starter templates, and 30-plus navigation panels. A lifetime subscription to Blueprints is $39 through our deal.

You Can Stream on Pandora Directly From Your Apple Watch

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Pandora users Apple Watch can now stream music and podcasts directly from the wearable device, without needing their iPhone. It became a standalone app via an update on Thursday, AppleInsider reported.

Pandora’s official update reads, “Leave the phone at home and bring all of your listening with you thanks to our updated Apple Watch app. Now you can stream your favorite music and podcasts, straight from your wrist – no phone required.” Other services, like Apple Music, need users to pre-load music on an Apple Watch for a run or other exercise, when the iPhone isn’t in range. The feature requires the watch in question to be running watchOS 6 or greater.

Apple Shipped Just 2.6 million HomePods During the 2019 Holiday Quarter

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Apple Shipped 2.6 Million HomePods during the last three months of 2019. That is a long way behind its competitors, especially Amazon. David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, told Cult of Mac why he thinks that is.

“The price is still very high…That closes the door to a huge swathe of potential customers.” “I think there’s also a reasonable amount of consumer skepticism over the usefulness of Siri as a voice platform,” Watkins continued. “Amazon and Google have done an amazing job of building out their ecosystem around Alexa and Google Assistant, in partnership with so many smart home companies. Apple doesn’t have that strength of ecosystem around Siri.”

Apple TV+ Documentary 'Visible - Out on Television' Now Live

· · Cool Stuff Found

The Apple TV+ docuseries Visible – Out on TV’ is now live.  The five-part series seeks to tell that tale of the American LGBTQ movement via archival footage and interviews. Those interviewed include major stars like Ellen De Generes, Rachel Maddow and Neil Patrick Harris. The episode starts with the ‘dark ages’ before looking at life after the Stonewall riots, the consequences of the HIV/Aids epidemic, iconic moments such as Ellen De Generes coming out on TV, and the new wave of LGTBQ communicators. It is available now with an Apple TV+ subscription.

AT&T Blocks Encrypted Email App Tutanota

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In certain areas of the U.S. some AT&T users found they couldn’t access their inboxes in encrypted email app Tutanota.

Starting on January 25th 2020, we have had constant complaints from AT&T mobile users who were unable to access their encrypted Tutanota mailbox. While AT&T seemed willing to fix this when we reached out to them, the issue is still not solved and reports from users keep coming in.

While some AT&T users confirmed the block, others said that they were able to access Tutanota. As AT&T has not fixed the issue after more than two weeks, we are reaching out publicly in the hope of getting the attention of the right people at AT&T.