Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

The iOS 12.4 Jailbreak is a Big Deal

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iOS 12.4

It emerged a few days ago that in iOS 12.4 Apple accidentally reintroduced a way to jailbreak the iPhone. This brought with it a number of associated vulnerabilities. Will Bedingfield, writing at Wired, explained why this is a big deal.

Apple first fixed the problem in iOS 12.3 but reintroduced it in the latest version of its code, iOS 12.4, which was released in June. In doing so, Apple has inadvertently made it easier to jailbreak and hack its own product. This weakness let an attacker corrupt the phone’s kernel memory, allowing a security researcher, called Pwn20wnd, to develop and publish an iPhone jailbreak. This is a big deal for Apple, which offers a restricted user experience – apps on its app store are subject to rigorous testing and restrictions, for instance – in return for high security. The last time the newest version of iOS was open to a jailbreak vulnerability was back in 2015, when iOS 9 was prominent, and only for seven days.

Apple Card Transforming Goldman Sachs into Consumer Powerhouse

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Apple Card is a key part of Goldman Sach’s work to become a key player in the consumer market, its CEO said. David Solomon made the comments in an interview with CNBC.

“Apple Card is big, but it’s also a beginning,” Solomon said Tuesday in an internal memo obtained by CNBC. “In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses, with customer-centricity at the core of everything we do.” The co-branded credit card rolled out Tuesday to all U.S. customers, featuring a cash-back policy of up to 3% as well as a titanium, laser-etched physical card. “Apple Card makes a typically frustrating application process easy; it provides an interface with more useful information for the customer; and it places greater importance on customer privacy and security,” Solomon said.

Student Studying Disinformation Has Twitter Account Suspended as Part of China Crackdown

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On Monday, Twitter suspended over 900 accounts it said were involved in a Chinese disinformation campaign in Hong Kong. One of those people who had their account suspended, 24-year-old Luka Ivezic, told the BBC his account should not have bee amongst those flagged by the social media firm.

Mr Ivezic, who was born in Croatia and says he has never been to China, recently completed his thesis. The subject? “Disinformation, and how artificial intelligence can empower the tools that China and Russia have to misinform us.” “It is a bit ironic that something like this would happen to me,” he said after I contacted him about the list. According to documents released by Twitter on Monday, four of Mr Ivezic’s tweets were flagged, all of which discussed Artificial Intelligence, bitcoin and other related tech subjects. Tweets, which he says, he posted himself… “It doesn’t make any logical sense,” said Marin Ivezic, Luka’s father, a partner with consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, working on cybersecurity.

YouTube is Embracing Philosophy, Science, History

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YouTube creators are known for makeup tips and stunts. But the i looked into how the platform is aiming to offer content looking at philosophy, science, and history, in partnerships involving its creators and influencers.

YouTube executive Luke Hyams describes the platform as “the biggest video library and resource in the history of civilisation”. It is also a media giant competing in an increasingly crowded video entertainment market. Whereas rival streaming services throw their budgets at star directors, scriptwriters and acting talent, YouTube’s content focus is on its own “YouTubers’”, the creators and influencers who have used the platform to build channels that attract millions of visitors each day. Hyams, who is head of YouTube Originals for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will look to harness this homegrown talent in making a series of ambitious UK-commissioned shows which he hopes will become global hits.

Huawei CEO Expects no Sanctions Relief

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huawei logo

In an interesting in-depth interview with the Associated Press, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said he expected U.S. sanction against the company to go ahead. He said the firm is planning assuming they will happen. His daughter, the company’s CFO, is fighting extradition from Canada to the U.S. where she faces a number charges.

In an interview with The Associated Press at Huawei’s sprawling, leafy headquarters campus in the southern city of Shenzhen, the 74-year-old Ren said Huawei expects U.S. curbs on most technology sales to go ahead despite Monday’s announcement of a second 90-day delay. He said no one in Washington would risk standing up for the company. The biggest impact will be on American vendors that sell chips and other components to Huawei, the biggest maker of network gear for phone companies, he said. Washington has placed Huawei on an “entity list” of foreign companies that require official permission to buy American technology.

Chicago Music Summit Coming to Apple Store Michigan Avenue

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Apple Michigan Ave Front Entrance

The Apple Store on Michigan Avenue will host the second Chicago Music Summit it emerged Monday. 9to5Mac outlined some of the details of the event, which which will run for the second time this September. Details of the first two weeks of sessions also appeared as part of the Today at Apple program.

Apple describes the Chicago Music Industry Summit as a time to “connect with others and tap into creative resources to help further your career in music and the arts.” The month-long event collection is a collaboration with Apple Music and organized under the umbrella of Today at Apple, the program of daily creative sessions held in every Apple Store. Like all Today at Apple sessions, Chicago Music Industry Summit events are free to attend and generally take the form of hands-on labs, discussions, and live performances.

The Retreat That Tech Execs Escape to

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yoga retreat

The world can rest heavy on the shoulders of top tech execs. The New Yorker revealed the retreat that some, including those from Apple, escape to as they struggle with crises of conscience.

There are many upscale New Age retreat centers (Kripalu, in Massachusetts; Feathered Pipe Ranch, in Montana) where stressed-out executives can spend restorative weekends before returning to work with looser hip flexors and a clearer conscience. But Esalen is just outside Silicon Valley, so the executives who visit it have come from the likes of Intel and Xerox parc—and, more recently, from Apple and Google and Twitter. Esalen’s board of trustees has included an early Facebook employee, a Google alumnus, and a former Airbnb executive. Presumably, had there been such conspicuous overlap between a countercultural think tank and captains of any other industry—fast food, say, or clean coal—there would have been an outcry, or at least some pointed questions. But Big Tech was supposed to be different. It was supposed to make the world a better place.

Facebook Moderator Counselors Under Pressure to Disclose Details of Confidential Sessions

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In recent times, reports emerged about the toll being a Facebook moderator took on people. The company introduced access to on-site counselling for staff. However, The Intercept found that some therapists were put under pressure to disclose what was discussed in those confidential sessions.

Access to on-site counseling is one of the few bright points for this workforce. But now even this grim perk has been undermined by corporate prying, according to a letter drafted by a group of about a dozen Austin moderators who work across Facebook and Instagram. The letter alleges that, starting in early July, Accenture managers attempted to pressure multiple on-site counselors to share information relating to topics discussed in employee trauma sessions. This information was understood by both counselors and Accenture employees to be confidential, said several Accenture sources interviewed by The Intercept. It is not clear what specific information related to the sessions was sought by the managers.

The First Woman in Apollo Mission Control

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Poppy Northcutt was in Apollo mission control

We’ve just finished marking the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon. Of course, there were a number of Apollo missions before that. National Geographic told the story of Poppy Northcutt.  Aged 25, she became the first woman inside Apollo mission control.

“The whole society discouraged me” from a career in engineering, she recalls. Nevertheless, when she graduated early from what was then the University of Texas with a degree in mathematics, she knew she wanted to work in the space program, and in 1965 she got a job crunching numbers for NASA through TRW, one of the space agency’s contractors. “My job title was ‘computress’—a gendered computer,” she recalls. Computresses were subordinate to all-male teams of engineers… “Interesting little bugs kept showing up,” Northcutt recalls. “A small or inconsequential error could be fatal.” That lesson was driven home during the disastrous Apollo 13 mission, when Northcutt and team had to troubleshoot their return-to-Earth program to get those astronauts home safely.

 

Pokémon Masters Has 5 Million Pre-Orders Already

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Forthcoming game Pokémon Masters had already been pre-order five million times across iOS and Android, Cult of Mac reported. The game is not set to be released for another two-weeks. Well, people just gotta catch ’em all I guess….

With two weeks to go until Pokémon Masters launches on iOS and Android, it has already racked up 5 million pre-orders. The game is developed by DeNA, the same company behind the majority of Nintendo’s mobile games. Pokémon Masters focuses on real-time Pokémon battles, with teams of Trainers taking part in 3-on-3 battles. The game takes place on an artificial island, where DeNA says, “the rules of battle are different.” You choose three pairs for your squad and then use them to battle your opponents.