Google Fi Customers Can Use iPhone eSIM

Google watchers have noticed that Google Fi customers can use the iPhone’s eSIM, although Google says this feature is in the process of rolling out.

A modern Apple device is required — XR, XS, XS Max, and 11 series, while this simplified iOS eSIM activation is currently only available to “new users who sign up for Google Fi.” The just-announced iPhone SE should also support eSIM, according to tech specs for the device.

Change Your Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Password Now

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi customers are being asked to change their passwords after hackers hijacked some accounts and changed router settings to direct users to malware sites.

The company decided to lock accounts and prompt a password reset because it couldn’t detect which accounts were hacked and which were not, and decided to act on all.

“Linksys is doing everything we can to make it tougher for the bad guys. But there are no guarantees,” Linksys said.

The Second Beta of macOS 10.15.5 is Available

The second beta of macOS 10.5.5 has been released. AppleInsider took a look at the new Battery Health Management feature.

Apple has made privacy a tentpole of this new Battery Health Management feature. The company says that all charging data is kept on-device unless the user opts-in to sharing anonymous analytics data with Apple. Finally, Apple is enabling the Battery Health Management feature by default, but users can turn it off by unchecking a new Battery Health Management box in System Preferences, under the Energy Saver category. This is similar to the Battery Heath features that have come to the iPhone over the last two years. On the iPhone, Apple allows users to manage their Battery Health and capacity, and disable performance throttling caused by reduced battery capacity. iOS 13 also quietly added a new Optimized Battery Charging feature, which aims to extend the lifespan of your iPhone’s battery to reduce how often the battery stays at 100% charge.

Facebook Scales Back Libra, Ties it to Fiat Currency

Facebook is scaling back its cryptocurrency project ‘Libra.’ Instead of trying to become the dominant global financial system, its new goals are less ambitious. Instead it will work as a layer on top of traditional fiat currency, much like Apple Pay.

The Libra Association said it had begun the process of getting regulatory approval for the payment network from the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority. To ensure that authorities around the world are on board, the Swiss agency is working with a “college” of regulators from over 20 countries. The association said it still aimed to bring the system live this year.

A good move by Facebook, in part because there was always going to be strong opposition to Libra. You might work with the government in some aspects, but you don’t mess with its money. And ultimately it’s still a way to compete with the likes of PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.c

Apple And Google Clash With NHS Over COVID-19 App

Apple and Google appear to be in a standoff with the UK’s National Health Service over the development of a COVID-19 contact tracing app. The Guardian reported that the firms’ desire to protect user privacy is as odds with proposals for the NHS’s app which aims to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Apple and Google are encouraging health services worldwide to build contact-tracing apps that operate in a decentralised way, allowing individuals to know when they’ve been in contact with an infected person but preventing governments from using that data to build a picture of population movements in aggregate. Their policies, unveiled last week, mean that if the NHS goes ahead with its original plans, its app would face severe limitations on how it operates. The app would not work if the phone’s screen is turned off or if an app other than the contact-tracing app is being used at the same time. It would require the screen to be active all the time, rapidly running down battery life, and would leave users’ personal data at risk if their phone was lost or stolen while the app was in use.

Eric Schmidt Says Coronavirus Should Make You Grateful For Big Tech

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes that the coronavirus should make everyone “a little bit grateful” for Big Tech, and direct their anger at the government instead.

The benefit of these corporations — which we love to malign — in terms of the ability to communicate … the ability to get information, is profound — and I hope people will remember that when this thing is finally over. So let’s be a little bit grateful that these companies got the capital, did the investment, built the tools that we’re using now and have really helped us out. Imagine having the same reality of this pandemic without these tools.

Of course, as Mr. Schmidt undoubtedly knows, reality is never black and white. We can be grateful to Big Tech while also keeping them and their policies in check. The internet is certainly an essential service, and this pandemic is an argument for making the internet a public utility.