The Struggles Faced by Apple's Hourly Workers

We’ve heard lots recently from Apple whistleblowers like Ashley Gjovick and Cher Scarlett, and the broader #AppleToo movement. But the conversation tends to focus on the company’s corporate staff. The Verge has a very powerful and distressing report, containing allegations about what it’s like for those who work in places like the Apple Store.

Over the past five months, Apple’s hourly workforce has been watching as corporate employees advocate for more pay transparency. Some have organized with employees in Cupertino under the banner #AppleToo, to call for better working conditions. Others are just now beginning to speak out — realizing that the issues their well-compensated corporate colleagues are experiencing could be greatly exacerbated on the frontlines. The Verge spoke with 16 current and former employees on Apple’s retail, support, and sales teams who say their complaints about working conditions and pay have largely been ignored. Some say they are governed more by algorithms and systems than actual managers, making it difficult to get holistic help. All of them note that while they came into the job believing in Apple’s mission, they see a profound breakdown in how the company’s corporate values translate to the frontlines.

Does Spotify Wrapped Prove The Streaming Servince is Better Than Apple Music?

Over on iMore, Joe Wituschek argues that Spotify is better than Apple Music for a lot of reasons, and the recently released Wrapped feature is one of them. He makes some compelling arguments as to why he has given up on Cupertino’s offering. However, I stick with Apple Music because I do think the curation and radio shows (which you can listen to on-demand as a subscriber,) make it worth the money. This is particularly true if you get an Apple One bundle.

Don’t get me wrong, Spotify isn’t without its problems either. Support for the HomePod is still nonexistant and, even though they were able to build an Apple Watch app and cellular streaming to it for a while, it took them YEARS to implement the feature. Apple Music even arguably has some design wins over Spotify with its Now Playing screen and more advanced audio features with Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio. No music streaming service is going to be perfect but, if there ever was one that got as close as possible, it has to be Spotify. The user interface and navigation are clean and easy to understand, the personalized playlists are spot on, and the performance of the app (across mobile and desktop) are really responsive.

Google Working on Own Watch, 2022 Launch Possible

Google is working on a wearable to challenge the Apple Watch, according to a report from Insider, picked up on by The Verge. It could launch as soon as next year. I suspect that such a device, long-awaited by many, will prove popular, but doubt it can displace the Apple Watch.

The watch (codenamed “Rohan”) is being worked on by Google’s Pixel hardware group separately from Fitbit, which Google bought for $2.1 billion earlier this year. According to Insider’s report, the new upcoming Google watch — it’s not clear whether Google will actually be calling it a “Pixel Watch” yet — will serve much the same role as the Pixel phones do for Android: an example for both consumers and hardware partners of what Google’s software is truly capable of when given the right hardware. The device is expected to cost more than a Fitbit and compete more directly with the Apple Watch, according to The Verge’s source.The watch will have basic fitness tracking features, including step counting and a heart rate monitor, with Google also reportedly working on debuting a Fitbit integration into Wear OS (codenamed “Nightlight”) with the new watch when it launches.

Hackers Steal $119 Million From Web3 Project 'BadgerDAO'

BadgerDAO reported on Wednesday that it lost about 2,100 bitcoin and 151 ether in a hacking attack.

Kryptobi, who said he is on the BadgerDAO support team and has been looking into the hack, told Motherboard that it appears someone injected a malicious script into BadgerDAO’s frontend after compromising an API key for BadgerDAO’s Cloudflare account. Cloudflare is a web infrastructure, content delivery network, and website security company, which is used by millions of sites on the internet.

Planned Parenthood Hack Leaked Data for 400,000 Patients

In October, a Planned Parenthood facility in Los Angeles suffered a data breach. It affected about 400,000 patients.

Letters from PPLA to affected patients warned that “we identified files that contained your name and one or more of the following: address, insurance information, date of birth, and clinical information, such as diagnosis, procedure, and/or prescription information.”

Facebook Requires More At-Risk Accounts to Use Two-Factor Authentication

Wired writes that Facebook will require at-risk accounts to secure with two-factor authentication, an important security measure for users.

Facebook Protect started as a pilot project in the United States ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and expanded leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Facebook enrolls some prominent public figures in the program automatically, but the company has also been creating mechanisms for people to nominate themselves for inclusion, like enrolling whole newsrooms. Once users join Facebook Protect, they can’t opt out.

Square's New Name 'Block' Highlights Company Focus on Blockchain

When pondering what Jack Dorsey would do after his departure from Twitter, my first thought was focusing on Square and cryptocurrency. Now, a few days later, the company has changed its name to Block.

We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs. Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.

Nvidia Builds 'Earth-2' Supercomputer to Accurately Simulate Climate Change

Nvidia is building a powerful supercomputer it calls Earth-2. They want to use simulation to make predictions in climate change with meter-scale resolution.

For the first time, we have the technology to do ultra-high-resolution climate modeling, to jump to lightspeed and predict changes in regional extreme weather decades out.

We can achieve million-x speedups by combining three technologies: GPU-accelerated computing; deep learning and breakthroughs in physics-informed neural networks; and AI supercomputers, along with vast quantities of observed and model data to learn from.

Alphabet Boss Sundar Pichai Prefers 'Ted Lasso' to 'Squid Game'

It seems that Ted Lasso has won over everyone, including Apple’s fiercest rivals. In a recent interview, reported on by iMore Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai praised the Apple TV+ hit, saying he preferred it to Netflix offering Squid Game.

The CEO recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg. During the interview, Pichai was asked to choose between the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” or the Netflix series “Squid Game. “While Picahi [sic] says he enjoys both shows, he said that “Ted Lasso” was the easy winner.

Qualcomm's New Snapdragon Chip Aims to Defeat Cops and Robbers

A report from PCMag today discusses Qualcomm’s latest chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It has anti-spoofing technology to protect against Stingrays.

Spoof cell sites can now be run on small, widely available boxes that pass bad data and phishing messages, Qualcomm said at its Snapdragon Summit today. Otherwise known as “Stingrays,” these faux cells can be run by criminals, law enforcement, or security agencies to collect your personal data without your permission.

'EWDoor' Malware Attacks Thousands of AT&T Internet Subscribers

Hackers are exploiting a bug from 2017 to attack the EdgeMarc Enterprise Session Border Controller. This device is used by businesses to manage phone calls and video calls.

The vulnerability being exploited to infect the devices is tracked as CVE-2017-6079, a command-injection flaw that penetration tester Spencer Davis reported in 2017 after using it to successfully hack a customer’s network. The vulnerability stemmed from an account in the device that, as Davis learned from this document, had the username and password of “root” and “default.”

AWS Launches No-Code ML Service Called Amazon SageMaker Canvas

Amazon SageMaker Canvas is a new machine learning service that doesn’t require any coding. It lets you build ML models and generate predictions.

SageMaker Canvas leverages the same technology as Amazon SageMaker to automatically clean and combine your data, create hundreds of models under the hood, select the best performing one, and generate new individual or batch predictions. It supports multiple problem types such as binary classification, multi-class classification, numerical regression, and time series forecasting. These problem types let you address business-critical use cases, such as fraud detection, churn reduction, and inventory optimization, without writing a single line of code.

Apple Set to Overtake Samsung, 5G iPhone SE on Way

Apple is set to overtake Samsung as the world’s top smartphone brand in the fourth quarter of this year. Furthermore, it could launch a 5G iPhone SE in the following three-month period. The finds from Trendforce, reported on by AppleInsider, could have very interesting consequences for the smartphone market going forward.

Trendforce…estimates that Apple will overtake Samsung and become the world’s top smartphone brand in the fourth quarter — the busy holiday shopping season — with 23.2% of the market. The analysis firm also forecasts that Apple is on-track to release with a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022. It believes that the device could be a “major instrument” in helping Apple achieve a more foothold in the midrange 5G market.