Apple Suing Firm For Allegedly Reselling Devices it Was Meant to Recycle

Apple is suing a Candian firm, Geep Canada, alleging it resold around 100,000 devices which it had received to strip down and recycle, AppleInsider reported. The companies have been working together since 2014.

According to The Logic, Apple estimates that Geep Canada stole around 100,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches that it had been hired to recycle. Geep does not deny the thefts, but has filed a counter suit claiming that they were conducted by three “rogue” employees without the knowledge of the company. Apple argues that these employees were in fact senior management at the firm. Although the case has only now been publicly revealed, Apple filed its suit in January 2020 while Geep filed its countersuit in July. Seemingly, Apple discovered the alleged thefts at the end of 2017 or start of 2018, and at some point after that ceased working with Geep. In September 2019, Geep Canada merged with other firms to form Quantum Lifecycle Partners

Senators Agree to Subpoena Top Tech Execs to Discuss Section 230

U.S. Senators agreed to subpoena the CEOs of Twitter, Alphabet’s Google and Facebook on Thursday, Reuters reported. It is part of the lawmakers’ investigation into Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The panel’s top Democrat Maria Cantwell, who opposed the move last week, saying she was against using “the committee’s serious subpoena power for a partisan effort 40 days before an election,” changed her mind and voted to approve the move. “I actually can’t wait to ask Mr. Zuckerberg further questions,” Cantwell said. “I welcome the debate about 230.” The committee, chaired by Republican Senator Roger Wicker, had originally asked the executives to come on Oct. 1 on a voluntary basis and was ready to issue subpoenas last week. On Thursday, he said Section 230’s “sweeping liability protections” are stifling diversity of political discourse on the internet. “After extending an invite to these executives, I regret that they have again declined to participate and answer questions about issues that are so visible and urgent to the American people,” Wicker said.

Delve Into the ‘AI Dungeon’ for Text-Based Adventures

AI Dungeon is a text-based adventure game where the adventures are generated on-the-fly by machine learning. This means there are a near-infinite amount of adventures you can play. It’s available on the web and as an app for Android and iOS. There are two worlds you can play in: Xaxas (shown above) and Kedar (shown below). Xaxas is a world of peace and prosperity. It is a land in which all races live together in harmony. Kedar is a world of dragons, demons, and monsters. But there are other variations of AI Dungeon, like choosing a theme, playing multiplayer, or not choosing a world.

News Showcase: Google's $1 Billion Investment in Publishing Partnerships

Google is to invest $1 billion into partnerships with news publishers, CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post on Thursday. The product is called News Showcase, and will start rolling out in Germany and Brazil today, before expanding into other countries.

News Showcase is made up of story panels that will appear initially in Google News on Android. The product will launch soon on Google News on iOS, and will come to Google Discover and Search in the future. These panels give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets and related articles. Other components like video, audio and daily briefings will come next… We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The publications include award-winning national titles like Der Spiegel, Stern, Die Zeit, Folha de S.Paulo,Band and Infobae alongside regionally and locally significant publications such as El Litoral, GZH, WAZ and SooToday. The number of news publications will grow as we work to expand News Showcase to other countries including India, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Here’s How to Replace the iOS 13 Favorites Widget on iOS 14

We all know how much I like shortcuts, and Juli Clover came up with a clever way to replace the iOS 13 Favorites widget that was removed in iOS 14.

Why the Favorites widget was removed is a mystery and it could be a simple oversight with Apple planning to reintroduce it later, but for now, those who relied on the widget can recreate its functionality with Shortcuts. It takes some effort, but it may be worth the time investment if you often relied on your Favorites.

As my image above suggests, it’s only the widget that was removed. You can still add favorites in the Phone and Contacts apps.

Some COVID-19 App Users in the UK are Getting Alerts from Apple, Not The NHS

Some users of the England and Wales COVID-19 exposure notification app are mistakenly being sent messages that tell them to self-isolate. Sky News reported that they are test messages sent by Apple and Google, and this can be checked by trying to open the message to self-isolate.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed it was a “default message” sent by Google and Apple – the makers of the app’s technology – but it had already caused confusion… A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson confirmed that default messages from Google and Apple would disappear or not be able to be clicked on. An official Test and Trace instruction to self-isolate would produce a message inside the app which said: “Please stay at home and self-isolate to keep yourself and others safe.” Apple or Google notifications, the spokesperson said, could be called “COVID-19 EXPOSURE LOGGING” or “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications”. It is not currently possible to turn off default messages

Belgium Releases COVID-19 Exposure Notification App

Belgium released its COVID-19 app on Wednesday, AppleInsider reported. The tool is based on the API designed by Apple and Google.

Belgium’s new “Coronalert” COVID-19 contact detection and tracing app is available to download starting on Wednesday. Like many others in circulation, the app utilizes the Apple-Google framework for exposure notifications and is available for both Apple and Android phones. The app was developed by Belgian companies DevSide and Ixor, and audited for security by NVISO. The app itself is based on the Corona-Warn-App that Germany uses, as well as the European open standard DP3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing.) Like many countries, Belgium uses the app to help alert users to high-risk exposures to those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Apple, Epic Games, And The Row Over Sign In With Apple

The battle between Apple and Epic Games is heating up. Reporting from John Gruber at Daring Fireball shed an interesting light on one element of the row regarding Sign In With Apple (SIWA). Epic claimed it had been told that Fortnite players would access to the service on September 11, 2020.

Worth noting: Apple publicly stated that it was not doing anything to stop SIWA from working for Epic… I spent a few hours back on September 9 digging into this SIWA story, and multiple sources at Apple told me Epic’s claims were simply false. There was never a September 11 deadline for their SIWA support to stop working, and in fact, Apple’s SIWA team performed work to make sure SIWA continued working for Fortnite users despite the fact that Epic Games’s developer account had been revoked. There was no “extension” because Apple was never going to revoke Epic’s SIWA access.

MindNode Update Supports iOS 14 Scribble With Apple Pencil

MindNode issued an update on Wednesday that adds support for the iOS 14 Scribble feature with Apple Pencil. Users can try the new image picker to add photos, trigger actions with the new context menu, and use their Apple Pencil to hand write in nodes. Other improvements: Added support for opening URLs in third party browsers; Fixed opening of documents on Apple Watch that are outside MindNode’s iCloud container; Fixed image loading on Apple Watch of single file format documents and documents outside MindNode’s iCloud container; Improved support for third-party fonts by adopting the system font picker; Fixed an issue with opening documents that are outside MindNode’s iCloud container.

Apple’s T2 Security Chip Jailbroken by Checkra1n

The latest update of checkra1n adds support for bridgeOS, which runs on the T-series of chips. These are responsible for the Touch Bar, managing encrypted data in its Secure Element, and controlling Mac camera access.

The ability to exploit the T2 processor could also allow you to bypass the anti-repair mechanism built into the Touch Bar. Further, it may allow hackers to get rid of the password or unlock MDM-locked systems.

As far as the OS goes, we could also add secure boot certificates like Microsoft’s secure boot signing or a self-signed Linux certificate.

‘Smart Tasks’ Reminder App Syncs Calendar Events

Smart Tasks is an app that combines reminders and your calendar to see what tasks you have one week at a time. Features include: Drag and drop to quickly add, reorder, delete, and import tasks; Swipe on any tasks, category, or date to access quick actions to get things done quicker; Sync across devices; Categories; Dark mode support; Multiple reminders in tasks; Notes in tasks; Choose between 28 modern colors for category labels; Calendar; Import reminders from the Apple Reminders app; Today Widget; Export and Import Tasks and Categories; Drag multiple tasks; Routines; Routine reminders; Add, edit, delete, and view calendar events; Handoff. Smart Tasks has a limited amount of features for free, and has a subscription costing US$1.99/month or US$11.99/year.