Qualcomm Sets Out Apple Silicon Competitor

Qualcomm is preparing for battle with Cupertino and its M-series chips. It laid out its competition to Apple Silicon for Windows device, which will launch in 2023, The Verge reported. Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that those working on this project used to work for Apple.

Dr. James Thompson, Qualcomm’s chief technology officer, announced the plans for the new chips at the company’s 2021 investor day event, with the goal of getting samples to hardware customers in about nine months ahead of product launches with the new chip in 2023. The new chip will be designed by the Nuvia team, which Qualcomm had bought earlier this year in a massive $1.4 billion acquisition. Nuvia, notably, was founded in 2019 by a trio of former Apple employees who had previously worked on the company’s A-series chips.

How The Script For 'CODA' Was Written in ASL

In a new interview with Gold Derby, Sian Heder discussed how she learned American Sign Language (ASL) and wrote CODA in it. I confess that it didn’t occur to me that such a movie would have to be scripted in this way, although it makes total sense when Ms. Heder explains it. The discussion gives another indication of the pioneering work by both cast and crew to make the film, which is available on Apple TV+.

It’s a “hugely different” process to write in ASL because it “has no written form.” Heder learned ASL in the process of making the film, but at first, “I wrote in English, and I wrote the way that I’ve written every script, where I’m talking out loud to myself and playing every part and really hearing the characters.” Then she and the film’s ASL consultants “went line by line through the script, every piece of dialogue, and we would go back and forth and discuss, and [ASL master Alexandria Wailes] would show me possible sign choices.” That process from the initial English-language script to the finished film was “really amazing,” Heder says. “People talk about that feeling as a writer where you watch your words come to life. And this was the most literal form of that.”

New 'BotenaGo' Targets Routers and Smart Home Devices in Devastating Attack

AT&T Alien Labs discovered malware it dubs BotenaGo. It affects millions of routers and Internet of Things devices found with smart homes. The “devastating” part comes from the fact that it uses over 30 separate exploits due to insecure devices.

The BotenaGo malware starts by initializing global infection counters that will be printed to the screen, informing the hacker about total successful infections. It then looks for the ‘dlrs’ folder in which to load shell scripts files. A loaded script will be concatenated as ‘echo -ne %s >> ‘. If the ‘dlrs’ folder is missing, the malware will stop and exit at this point. For the last and most important preparation, the malware calls the function ‘scannerInitExploits’, which initiates the malware attack surface by mapping all offensive functions with its relevant string that represent the targeted system.

Researchers Uncover Serious Flaws Within DRAM Chips

ETH Zurich reports that researchers from the Vrije Uni­versiteit Am­s­ter­dam and Qual­comm Tech­no­lo­gies found flaws within DRAM chips. The article I’m linking to is more of an announcement; ETH Zurich tells me the full results will be presented at IEEE in 2022.

It means that by re­peatedly ac­tiv­at­ing – or “ham­mer­ing” – a memory row (the “aggressor”), an at­tacker can in­duce bit er­rors in a neigh­bour­ing row, also called the “victim” row. That bit er­ror can then, in prin­ciple, be ex­ploited to gain ac­cess to re­stric­ted areas in­side the com­puter sys­tem – without re­ly­ing on any soft­ware vul­ner­ab­il­ity.

Apple TV+ Show Dr. Brain is Big Moment For Company and Korean Content

Dr. Brain premiered on Apple TV+ on November 4, the same day the streaming service went live in South Korea. As a new feature from Reuters shows, the move is a significant one, coming at a time when Korean content is more popular, and valuable, than ever.

Apple’s foray into original Korean content comes as the country’s entertainment industry reaches new global popularity, from k-pop superstars such as BTS to the 2020 Oscar-winning South Korean film “Parasite,” and now “Squid Game”, which became Netflix’s (NFLX.O)biggest original series launch. Director Kim Jee-woon said after the consecutive success of such Korean content, global audiences began to understand Korean culture through artistic works and that he had made an extra effort to get the translations right. “I hope Dr. Brain can prove there are diverse works in South Korea that cover a wide variety of genres, sensibilities and materials as much as previous mega hit Korean series,” Kim said.

FBI Says Data Was Not Compromised After Hackers Took Over Email Server

Hackers took over an FBI server over the weekend, sending thousands of fake cyberattack warnings. The agency says no personal information or data was affected.

The agency said it has fixed the software vulnerability that allowed the attack.

The fake emails originated from an FBI-operated server, which was dedicated to pushing notifications to the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP), which the FBI uses to communicate with state and local agencies. The compromised server was not part of the FBI’s corporate email service, the FBI added.

Get Ready For Apple vs Meta in the AR Headset Wars

Over the years, Facebook and Apple have become involved in an increasingly tense relationship, normally over issues of privacy. We’ve got used to snide comments about tracking and new privacy products. However, in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg News‘s Mark Gurman suggests we may not have seen anything yet. The fight over the AR headset space is set to be the real battleground, as Apple and the newly rebranded Meta go head-to-head in the hardware space for really the first time.

Meta has shipped headsets for several years, but 2022 is when the market is set to heat up, both in terms of hardware capabilities and competition. Last month, Meta previewed Project Cambria, its first true mixed reality headset. To date, Meta’s headsets have focused on virtual reality, enveloping users completely in the digital world. That compares with augmented reality glasses, which overlay digital information on top of the real world. The Cambria headset mixes both, adding full-color AR overlay abilities to VR. The Cambria headset also has far more advanced processors, sensors and lenses compared with previous Meta devices. That brings us to Apple, which plans to launch a similarly high-end mixed reality headset next year, perhaps within a few months of the Meta device. Apple’s offering will probably be in the $2,000 range, whereas I expect Meta’s to be quite a bit cheaper. Still, the two products will be direct challengers for users looking to jump into the metaverse.

Contract Lawyers Latest Sector to Face Remote Surveillance Programs

As WP reports, businesses are increasingly using surveillance software to monitor what their employees do on computers. Contract lawyers are the latest group to face this.

The monitoring is a symptom of “these pervasive employer attitudes that take advantage of these technologies to continue these really vicious cycles … that treat employees as commodities,” she said. “The irony in this situation is that it’s attorneys, who traditionally advocate for employee rights or justice when they’re made aware of intrusions like these.”

Newly Discovered 'OSX.CDDS' Implant Targets Visitors to Hong Kong Websites

Google’s Threat Analysis Group discovered a new macOS implant that security researcher Patrick Wardle dubbed OSX.CDDS. It targets “visitors to Hong Kong websites for a media outlet and a prominent pro-democracy labor and political group.”

Notable features for this backdoor include: victim device fingerprinting, screen capture, file download/upload, executing terminal commands, audio recording, keylogging.

How Thieves are Stealing Apple ID Credentials for Stolen iPhones

A report from India Today shares the story of how thieves tricked an Apple user to steal his credentials in order to unlock the iPhone they stole.

Vedant narrated his ordeal on Twitter and urged users to be aware of the types of attacks that can be used to extract sensitive information from users. He revealed that the first thing he did after losing his phone was log in to the Find My app with his Apple ID using his MacBook and try to get the phone’s exact location through the Find My app.

Classic phishing attack.

Could Apple Make Major Smart Home Moves in 2022?

As we go hurtling towards the holiday season, it’s always exciting to look at what might come next. Dan Moren has written a very astute take at what Apple might do in 2022 for Macworld. His look at the moves the company could make in the smart home market is particularly interesting.

Apple’s had a challenging couple years in the home space. It’s discontinued its full-size HomePod in favor of the smaller HomePod mini, and while it’s ramped up support for the upcoming Matter initiative that aims to interconnect smart home devices across manufacturers, that really won’t kick off in earnest until next year. But word of a “homeOS” project reared its head once again this week, after a mention in an Apple job posting. The term had cropped up earlier this year, ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference, but nothing more was heard of it until now. It could suggest a more in-depth investment in smart home tech for Apple, and, combined with a recent hire to oversee HomePod software might mean the company is reinvigorating development in that area.

YouTube Moves to Hide Dislike Count From User Interface

YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will begin hiding the number of dislikes videos have on its platform.

And earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.

YouTube is only making it harder to spot crappy videos at a distance. Now you’ll have to click on each video to be sure, or read the comments. More views = more money for Google.