Microsoft, Like Apple, Will Miss Revenue Guidance For Next Quarter

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it will miss its revenue guidance for the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, The Verge reported. Apple made the same announcement just over a week ago.

“Although we see strong Windows demand in line with our expectations, the supply chain is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated at the time of our Q2 earnings call,” Microsoft said in a press release. The company did not give a specific revenue range for the segment; instead, it said it does “not expect to meet our More Personal Computing segment guidance as Windows OEM and Surface are more negatively impacted than previously anticipated.” During its earnings call last month, Microsoft issued quarterly revenue guidance for the personal computing segment between $10.75 billion and $11.15 billion.

Photo App Neural Cam Moves to Subscription

Neural Cam promises to give you Night Mode photos even if you don’t have the latest iPhones. It costs US$4.99 up front and recently moved to a subscription of US$4.99/month or US$35.99/year.

I’ve never used the app but people are saying the app is taking away features that people had paid for and locking it behind a subscription, a clear violation of App Store Review Guidelines, section 3.1.2(a).

Update: NeuralCam reached out to me to clarify: The Pro Pack is optional and only adds features for Pro users who subscribe. There’s also an additional 12-month introductory price at US$2.99/month. Finally, no features will be taken away from existing users.

iBaby Monitors Can be Exploited by Hackers

Parents using an iBaby Monitor M6S should be aware it has multiple security problems that open it up to hackers.

That means any ne’er-do-well can purchase an iBaby monitor and use it to access files from every iBaby monitor. Unbelievable? Believe it. For legal reasons, the Bitdefender researchers did not access data belonging to other real-world users. Instead, they set up a second test device and verified access.

Reddit CEO Brands TikTok 'Fundamentally Parasitic'

It turns out the Reddit CEO is not a big fan of TikTok. Steve Huffman called the video-sharing app “fundamentally parasitic” and “spyware” at a recent event, TechCrunch reported.

The comments from Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman were some of the more controversial offered up during a panel discussion with former public policy exec Elliot Schrage and former Facebook VP of Product Sam Lessin. During a brief conversation about the feature innovations of TikTok, Huffman pushed back hard on the notion that Silicon Valley startups had something to learn from the app. “Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them,” Huffman said. “Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.” “I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone,’” he later added.

Amazon Transcribe Will Now Redact Personally Identifiable Information

Amazon Transcribe has made a good step forward in protecting users’ privacy. It now allows personally identifiable information (PII) – social security numbers, credit card details and the like – to be automatically redacted, VentureBeat reported.

Amazon Transcribe is part of Amazon’s AWS cloud unit and was launched in general availability in 2018. An automatic speech recognition (ASR) service, Transcribe enables enterprise customers to convert speech into text, which can help make audio content searchable from a database, for example. Contact centers can also use the tool to mine call data for insights and sentiment analysis. However, privacy issues have cast a spotlight on how technology companies store and manage consumers’ data. Text-to-speech services can be used to search for keywords and sentiment at a later date, but phone calls often feature significant private data that may be transcribed by Amazon and stored in a searchable database — even if that information is not necessary for analysis. Meanwhile, regulations are springing up around the world to protect consumer data — including the recently implemented California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

NSA Spy Program Cost Taxpayers $100 Million and Was Overall Useless

Form 2015 to 2019 the National Security Agency (NSA) collected Americans’ domestic phone calls and texts. The program cost US$100 million but only one investigation was able to make use of that data.

Moreover, only twice during that four-year period did the program generate unique information that the F.B.I. did not already possess, said the study, which was produced by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and briefed to Congress on Tuesday.

“Based on one report, F.B.I. vetted an individual, but, after vetting, determined that no further action was warranted,” the report said. “The second report provided unique information about a telephone number, previously known to U.S. authorities, which led to the opening of a foreign intelligence investigation.”

Amazon's Eero Mesh Routers Now Support Apple HomeKit

Amazon’s eero mesh routers now support Apple’s HomeKit, AppleInsider reported. They are the first mesh routers to Apple’s smart home platform.

After appearing recently appearing imminent, Eero has finally made the update available to users of its eero, eero Pro, and eero Beacon models which add additional security for smart home devices. With HomeKit support, users are able to restrict communication for smart home devices to only communicate in the home, to the default connections recommended by the manufacturer, or no restriction whatsoever. With smart home devices controlling everything from our lights to our locks, knowing that they are prevented from sending data outside your abode can offer a great deal of peace of mind. The update is installed by heading to the “Discover” tab within the eero app.