Report Links Apple Suppliers With Alleged Forced Labor Programs for Uyghur Muslims in China

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Male and female Uyghur Muslims

Seven Apple suppliers have been linked to forced labor programs that are suspected to be related to the alleged Chinese genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang region. That’s according to a new human rights report shared with The Information, picked up on by AppleInsider.

The Apple supply chain partner produce components, coatings, and offer assembly services to the Cupertino tech giant. At least five received thousands of Uyghur and other oppressed minority workers at specific plants that did work for Apple, according to an investigation by human rights groups and The Information. According to the report, evidence suggests that Advanced-Connectek, Luxshare Precision Industry, Shenzhen Deren Electronic Co., Avary Holding, AcBel Polytech, CN Innovations, and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing Co. participated in the forced labor programs. To identify those manufacturers and supply partners, the investigation used previously unreported public statements, images, and videos by Chinese government offices and state-run media organizations. That evidence found that the companies participated in what the Chinese call a poverty alleviation program.

iPhone 13 Models to Be Thicker With Larger Camera Bump

· Charlotte Henry · Link

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 pro

Models of the forthcoming iPhone 13 will be thicker than their iPhone 12 equivalents. They will also have larger, thicker camera bumps and the lenses will stick out less. That’s according to ‌schematics seen by MacRumors.

In addition to a thicker camera bump, Apple is changing the overall size of the camera bump, a shift that will also be most noticeable on the ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro. The ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro have camera bumps that measures in at around 28mm by 30mm, while the ‌iPhone 13‌ will have a camera bump that’s closer to square at around 29mm by 29mm, with the bump also located about a millimeter closer to the top of the iPhone. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro is expected to gain a larger camera bump, measuring in at around 36mm by 37mm, so rather than having a camera bump size similar to the ‌iPhone 13‌, it will be more similar to the ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro Max.

Zulu Exero Bone Conduction Headphones: $34.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Zulu Exero Bone Conduction Headphones

We have a deal on a pair of Zulu Exero Bone Conduction Headphones. Using a light vibration in the headset as they rest around your ears, music is generated just for you, without blocking out your surroundings. They’re lightweight and Bluetooth-enabled, at $34.99 through our deal.

Switchmate 2.0 Smart Switch for Toggle Style Light Switches: $19.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Switchmate 2.0

We have a deal on Switchmate 2.0, a smart switch that snaps over your existing light switches and controls them by doing the flipping for you. That means you don’t have to rewire the switch or replace your existing lightbulbs. Using the companion app, the Switchmate 2.0 can respond to voice commands, turn lights on automatically when you arrive home, and it has multiple timers for total smart lighting control. This device is $19.99 through our deal.

Court Finds NSA Collects Innocent Americans’ Data Anyway

· Andrew Orr · Link

Person holding a sign that says “NSA is watching you.”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) found that the NSA doesn’t follow the law and collections the data of innocent Americans. This is according to a recently declassified document [PDF] from November 2020.

From where we sit, it seems clear that the FISC continues to suffer from a massive case of national security constitutional-itis. That is the affliction (not really, we made it up) where ordinarily careful judges sworn to defend the Constitution effectively ignore the flagrant Fourth Amendment violations that occur when the NSA, FBI, (and to a lesser extent, the CIA, and NCTC) misuse the justification of national security to spy on Americans en mass.

Over 29,000 Databases Expose 19 Petabytes of Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

29,000 unsecure databases

Many companies aren’t properly securing their databases, like the one I wrote about this morning. But we have some numbers. CyberNews quotes “29,000 unprotected databases worldwide exposing 19 petabytes (19,000 terabytes, 19,000,000 gigabytes, etc) of data.

To conduct this investigation, we used a specialized search engine to scan for open databases of three of the most popular database types: Hadoop, MongoDB, and Elasticsearch. While performing the search, we made sure that the open databases we found required no authentication whatsoever and were open for anyone to access, as opposed to those that had default credentials enabled.

Apple Card Family Features, Restrictions Revealed in Support Document

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Card family

Apple has released a support document outlining the features of the recently launched Apple Card Family. AppleInsider published a breakdown of what it says.

Detailed in a support document, Apple Card Family is available to one cardholder and one member of their Family Sharing group who is 18 or older. Touted as a rethinking of traditional credit cards, the new service enables both members of an account to share a credit line while simultaneously building credit. A total of six people, including owners or co-owners, can be assigned to a particular Apple Card account. Participants must be 13 or older. Co-owners share full responsibility for account balance and payments, and have their credit reported equally in their own name, Apple says.

Finnish Mental Health Startup Vastaamo Leaked Patient Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

3D red alert sign

Vastaamo ran the largest network of private mental-health providers in Finland. William Ralston tells the story on WIRED, and how hackers used the data to threaten patients.

A security flaw in the company’s IT systems had exposed its entire patient database to the open internet—not just email addresses and social security numbers, but the actual written notes that therapists had taken. A group of hackers, or one masquerading as many, had gotten hold of the data.

What an incompetent company. No anonymization of patient records, no encryption of data. In other words, unfortunately common. Two developers hired at Vastaamo were even arrested in a previous security breach.

Pre-Order ScoutPro Ultimate All-in-One Charger: $99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

ScoutPro All-in-One Charger

We have a pre-order deal on the ScoutPro, an all-in-one charger that ships in July. This device features a large 24,000mAh internal battery and it can charge up to five devices simultaneously. It has two USB-C charging ports and a USB-A charging port. It also has magnetic wirelesss charging for iPhone 12 devices and a spot to charge your Apple Watch.  The pre-order deal is $99.

Epic Games Versus Apple: A Legal Overview

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Since it began on Monday, we have heard various bits of information coming out of the Epic Games trial against Apple. MacStories‘s John Voohres was a lawyer for many years and gave an outline of what we can expect as the case develops.

There is no legal prohibition against formulating a business strategy with the assistance of professionals to deal with a competitor. However, Epic’s actions arguably demonstrate a level of bad faith that could undermine its antitrust case, something Judge Gonzalez Rogers has essentially suggested at previous hearings. A very old legal principle that is known as the doctrine of ‘unclean hands,’ which Apple has raised and is based on the equitable notion that manufactured disputes should be discouraged, could prevent Epic from winning some or all of its claims, regardless of their merits.

IBM Creates World-First 2nm Computer Chip

· Andrew Orr · Link

IBM 2nm chip process

IBM has created a 2-nanometer chip using a prototype manufacturing process. It’s likely we won’t see these chips in the market until late 2024, however.

Chip makers routinely talk about their 10nm, 7nm, and 5nm nodes, in their efforts to pack more and more transistors on a piece of silicon. However, the nanometer nomenclature is often just marketing speak […] based on the company’s slides, there actually isn’t a component on the chip at a 2nm size. Instead, the announcement is more about a generational improvement from IBM’s earlier 5nm process, which debuted in 2017.

The chips must be insulated from human thought, as an errant memory of grandma from 1970 can cause quantum effects in the chip.“

Eazy-Arm Magnetic iPhone Holder: $11.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Easy-Arm Magnetic iPhone Holder

We have a deal on the Eazy-Arm Magnetic iPhone Holder. This device attaches to a laptop, computer monitor, or any vertical surface, with a magnetic holder for your iPhone. It has a charging port for your iPhone, and it’s available in black, blue, silver, or white. It’s $11.99 through our deal.

Poll Shows 63% of Americans Don’t Trust Their ISPs

· Andrew Orr · Link

Poll Shows 63% of Americans Don’t Trust Their ISPs

Mozilla is releasing results from a survey conducted with YouGov, showing that 63% of them don’t trust their ISPs (n=1305).

63 percent of consumers do not trust ISPs to look out for their best interests, and 72 percent want control of what they see online without meddling or interference from ISPs, according to the findings released today from a new survey we conducted with YouGov.

Purple iPhone 12 Begins Shift to Randomized Serial Numbers

· Charlotte Henry · Link

The transition towards Apple using randomzied serial numbers has begun. The recently released iPhone 12 model is the first device to have them, MacRumors  reported.

With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial number format, compared to the usual 12 characters for most other Apple products. Apple previously said its randomized serial numbers would initially be 10 characters long, so the purple iPhone 12 appears to be the first Apple product with a randomized serial number. The change likely extends to the purple iPhone 12 mini, but we’ve yet to confirm this.

Apple Responds After Australian Retailer Pulls AirTags Over Safety Concerns

· Charlotte Henry · Link

AirTags

Australian retailer Officeworks pulled AirTags off its shelves this week citing “safety concerns.” Apple has defended the product, reports TechRadar, insisting it meets all the relevant safety standards.

In response to the report, Apple issued the following statement to TechRadar: “AirTag is designed to meet international child safety standards, including those in Australia, by requiring a two step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery.  “We are following the regulations closely and are working to ensure that our products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labelling, well ahead of the timeline required.” As Apple’s statement above shows, the brand believes that it is conforming with the necessary regulations for sale of goods with coin batteries inside, and should be allowed on sale on Australian shelves.

App ‘Winnie’ Helps Connect Parents to Available Childcare Providers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Winnie childcare app

On Tuesday Apple shared the story of Winnie, an app that helps connect parents to childcare providers with openings.

Winnie is the brainchild of Chief Executive Officer Sara Mauskopf, 36, and Chief Product Officer Anne Halsall, 37, who met while working at the same startup six years ago. Both were mothers with young children, and knew how challenging it could be to find quality childcare.

Enpass Password Manager Family Plan 1-Year Subscription: $23.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Enpass

We have a deal on Enpass, a password manager that works in macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. With Enpass, data is saved locally on your device, and it allows you to store password, credit cards, social security number, identities, and more. A 1-year subscription is $23.99 through our deal.

Sensor From British Startup Could Turn Apple Watch into a Doctor

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Watch ECG with iPhone

Wearables, including the Apple Watch, are clearly going to play a big part in Apple’s future. According to a Telegraph report picked up on by Cult of Mac, a sensor from a British firm could be key to taking its medical capabilities to the next level.

The British startup promises to “bring laboratory diagnostics to the wrist.” And Rockley is undoubtedly(sic) working with the iPhone-maker. The company is about to have its IPO, and documentation filed with the SEC mentions, “Apple Inc., Rockley’s largest customer.” But the two companies’ cooperation might not lead to significant change as quickly as some might hope. In March, CEO Andrew Rickman said in the SEC filing, “The commercial launch of Rockley’s consumer product offerings is expected to be in 2022.”

Oprah Reveals Prince Harry Mental Health Apple TV+ Series to Air in May

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Oprah Winfrey Announcing Her Involvement with Apple TV+

We may finally be getting close to seeing Prince Harry and Oprah’s long-awaited Apple TV+ series on mental health. The talk show queen revealed that it is coming this month during a recent TV appearance, reported The Independent. 

Winfrey confirmed the release during a recent appearance opposite psychiatrist Dr Bruce D Perry on The Drew Barrymore Show.  “I want to just say that Dr Perry and I have also, for the past two years, along with Prince Harry and Apple, we’ve been working on this mental health series that’s coming out in May on Apple,” she said. The announcement of the duo’s partnership was initially made in April 2019 via a post shared to the official Instagram account for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Twitter Launches Audio Conversation Feature ‘Spaces’

· Andrew Orr · Link

Twitter versus clubhouse

Twitter is one of the companies trying to complete with audio app Clubhouse. On Monday Twitter officially released its feature called Spaces centered around audio conversations.

Today, we’re bringing the ability to host a Space to all accounts with 600 or more followers on Twitter. Based on what we’ve learned so far, these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience. Before bringing the ability to create a Space to everyone, we’re focused on learning more, making it easier to discover Spaces, and helping people enjoy them with a great audience.