iOS 12.2 Will Remove 'Do Not Track' Option

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In the next update of iOS and macOS Apple will remove the Do Not Track option from Safari. This is okay.

Removed support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.

Before I see a headline from Forbes titled “iOS 12.2 Has a Nasty Surprise” let me say that removing Do Not Track is good. It never did anything anyway because obeying it was completely voluntary. Which of course means that every website ignored it. And now it can be used to fingerprint your browser. Good riddance.

Why Don't Airlines Board Us Most Efficiently? Money

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Jet airliner at gate.

There are some very slow and inefficient ways to board passengers onto an airliner. Most airlines use some variation of them. But there are also some mathematically proven efficient, optimum ways. Why don’t the airlines use those? Money. This video analysis uses great graphics and demonstrates the problem.

Huawei Needs 3-5 Years to Address UK Security Concerns

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huawei logo

LONDON – It will take 3 to 5 years for Huawei to deal with security issues raised by the UK’s National Cyber Security Council (NCSC). Reuters saw a letter to British lawmakers from the Chinese firm in which it responded to the NCSC report that found it had exposed the UK’s telecom networks to security risks. The NCSC commented that it was in “regular dialogue with Huawei about the standards expected of their products.”

In a letter to lawmakers last week, Ryan Ding, president of the company’s carrier business group, said it would take up to five years to see results. “Enhancing our software engineering capabilities is like replacing components on a high-speed train in motion,” he said in a letter to the chairman of the British parliament’s science and technology committee.“It is a complicated and involved process, and will take at least three to five years to see tangible results. We hope the UK government can understand this.”


Hey You, Stop Buying Microsoft Office 2019

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In a weird new commercial Microsoft pit Office 365 against Office 2019 in an obvious ploy to sell more subscriptions.

Unsurprisingly, in the new ads, which give the actors twins various challenges to perform in the likes of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 beats Office 2019 every time. Yawn. The ads aren’t very good and you will cringe a few times…

Hint: You can directly buy Office 365 in the new Mac apps.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 Could be Modified After Qualcomm Patent Win

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Apple suing Qualcomm over patent royalty payments

Apple has looked into the possibility of modifying the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 after losing a patent trial to Qualcomm in Germany. AppleInsider picked up on German media reports that indicated that the components deemed to have violated Qualcomm’s “envelope tracking” patent could be removed and replace.

German-language publication WinFuture, in a report spotted by Foss Patents, that Apple is examining the possibility of creating a slightly modified version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. Aside from software changes, the models will apparently have an infringing component pulled from the design and replaced with another. The offending components which was the cause of the injunction were produced by Apple supplier Qorvo, and are said to have violated an “envelope tracking” patent held by Qualcomm. This refers to a method of conserving battery power while the modem is active.

AnandTech's Comprehensive iPhone XR Review

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Andrei Frumusanu wrote a long, detailed iPhone XR review, talking about the display, battery life, and more.

The iPhone XR is an interesting product for Apple: It is clear that it aims to be a lower-cost alternative to the higher-end XS flagships. Yet at the same time it’s not directly an alternative to either the XS or the XS Max, and rather represents a model that squarely fits in-between its two higher-priced siblings.

Although the iPhone XR has been out for a while, this is still a great review to read.

Security Researcher Won't Share macOS Keychain Bug

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Security researcher Linuz Henze found a macOS Keychain bug but won’t share it with Apple out of protest.

Henze has publicly shared legitimate iOS vulnerabilities in the past, so he has a track record of credibility. However, Henze is frustrated that Apple’s bug bounty program only applies to iOS, not macOS, and has decided not to release more information about his latest Keychain invasion.

It is odd that there isn’t a macOS bug bounty but I think withholding security information isn’t the way to go.

U.S. Navy Needs to Destroy 2 Tons of Hard Drives

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The U.S. Navy has issued a solicitation asking for an appropriate service to turn 4,000 pounds of storage devices into ash.

The information stored on these devices is highly sensitive, as evidenced by the physical security requirements set forth in the solicitation. The incineration facility must have “at the minimum, secure entry, 24-hour armed guards and 24/7 camera surveillance with recordable date and time capabilities.”

Any interested destruction service has to be located within 10 driving hours of the White Sands Missile Range.

What Would Happen if You Remove Apple From Your Life?

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Kashmir Hill has experimented with cutting out tech giants from her life. In week 5 she found out what it was like to remove Apple.

In addition to abandoning all my iProducts, I am blocking myself from interacting with Apple in any way, using a custom VPN designed for me by technologist Dhruv Mehrotra. The VPN prevents my devices from communicating with the 16,777,216 IP addresses controlled by Apple, rendering iCloud and any Apple apps defunct.

It’s an interesting experiment, especially going so far as to block Apple IP addresses. I look forward to Ms. Hill’s next experiment: Blocking Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all at once.

Blockchain and AI Might Be a Perfect Match

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Blockchain technology is sometimes presented as a cure-all – a technology that can improve everything from finance to health, and anything in between. While it may not be able to solve all the world’s ills, there is no doubt that it is a hugely powerful technology that can be used for a large amount of good. One field where the blockchain could have a profound effect is in artificial intelligence, as Yessi Bello Perez outlined on The Next Web.

Unlike cloud-based solutions, the data on a blockchain is broken up into small sections and distributed across the entire computer network. There’s no central authority or control point, and each computer, or node, holds a complete copy of the ledger – meaning that if one or two nodes are compromised, data will not be lost. All that takes place on the blockchain is encrypted and the data cannot be tampered with. Essentially, this means blockchains are the perfect storage facility for sensitive or personal data which, if processed with care with the use of AI, can help unlock valuable bespoke experiences for consumers.

AirPods Have Become One of Apple's Most Important Products

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AirPods were somewhat derided when Apple first released them towards the end of 2016.  They looked silly, and surely they were going to fall out of your ear? As it happens, they have been a huge success, selling millions of units. Lance Ulanoff posted his take on the accessory’s success over on Medium, and it is well worth a read. He highlights how central AirPods could be to Apple’s strategy going forward.

Then, somewhere along the way, I started noticing other people wearing AirPods. At first it was just the occasional sighting, like spotting a green parrot in Brooklyn. However, I remember the moment when I stood in a New York City subway car and noticed more than a half dozen people wearing AirPods. Apple’s oddball product had broken through.

What Phone Tethering is, And How to Use It

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You might have heard of the term “phone tethering” before. In case you didn’t know what it meant, David Nield put together a guide explaining the term and how to use it.

We’re going to focus largely on wifi tethering here—creating a wifi hotspot from your phone or tablet—but you do have other options. If you’ve got a spare USB cable you can create a more stable connection between laptop and mobile device, or you can tether via Bluetooth, which is significantly slower but less taxing on battery life.

I’ll put an addendum here. Tethering depends on your carrier, and some carriers don’t allow it, like prepaid carriers. I used to use Net10 and I couldn’t use create a Wi-Fi hotspot.

A Spy Linked to Black Cube Was Caught

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DJ Pangburn tells the story of how a spy linked to Black Cube was caught by Associated Press reporters and Citizen Lab.

Black Cube, which is based in Tel Aviv and London, has used undercover agents to approach women who had accused movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and dispatched operatives to probe Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes and another White House staffer involved with the Iran nuclear deal.

It’s a long read but a fascinating story.

The Ultimate Synergy: AI Might Finally Crack Nuclear Fusion

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Planet Earth

There is continuing, serious dread about the prospects of advanced artificial/augmented intelligence and the grave threat of climate change both threatening human life. But what if an unexpected synergy intervenes? What if AI techniques can be used to solve the very difficult problem of controlled nuclear fusion and provide abundant power? What if that meant we could abandon fossil fuels just in time to save the planet? The Verge investigates.

Digital Security Monthly Bundle Featuring NordVPN, Dashlane, Degoo, Panda: $9.99 per Month

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Vault Bundle

We have a deal on a bundle called Vault that includes NordVPN, Dashlane, Degoo, and Panda. NordVPN is a privacy-minded VPN; Dashlane is a password keeper; Degoo is an online backup service; and Panda is a multi-service security product. Our deal is for all four services for $9.99 per month, and promo code VAULT1 at checkout allows you to get the deal’s first month for only $1. Check out the details on the deal listing.

This Website Exposes Apple Censorship in China

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A new website called exposes how the company censors apps in China at the behest of the government.

A new website exposes the extent to which Apple cooperates with Chinese government internet censorship, blocking access to Western news sources, information about human rights and religious freedoms, and privacy-enhancing apps that would circumvent the country’s pervasive online surveillance regime.

I’m a fan of Apple, privacy, and Apple’s stance on privacy. That being said I think whenever Apple mentions privacy on its website there should be an asterisk with fine print saying: “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right except in these cases.”

Kraken buys UK Crypto Platform in Mega Deal

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Cryptocurrency Crime

LONDON – Kraken, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform, has acquired UK crypto platform Crypto Facilities.  The specific value of the deal is not known, but Yahoo Finance reported it is at least $100 million. This makes it one of the largest ever seen in the crypto industry, despite its current slowdown.

London-headquartered Crypto Facilities offers futures contracts for leading cryptos such as bitcoin and ethereum. Its data is also used to help calculate CME Group’s bitcoin reference rate. The company is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said in a release: “We are excited to introduce eligible clients to these industry leading futures and index products.