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Security flaw in ‘nearly all’ modern PCs and Macs exposes encrypted data

Most modern computers, even devices with disk encryption, are vulnerable to a new attack that can steal sensitive data in a matter of minutes, new research says.

In new findings published Wednesday, F-Secure said that none of the existing firmware security measures in every laptop it tested “does a good enough job” of preventing data theft.

F-Secure principal security consultant Olle Segerdahl told TechCrunch that the vulnerabilities put “nearly all” laptops and desktops — both Windows and Mac users — at risk.

The new exploit is built on the foundations of a traditional cold boot attack, which hackers have long used to steal data from a shut-down computer. Modern computers overwrite their memory when a device is powered down to scramble the data from being read. But Segerdahl and his colleague Pasi Saarinen found a way to disable the overwriting process, making a cold boot attack possible again.

“It takes some extra steps,” said Segerdahl, but the flaw is “easy to exploit.” So much so, he said, that it would “very much surprise” him if this technique isn’t already known by some hacker groups.

“We are convinced that anybody tasked with stealing data off laptops would have already come to the same conclusions as us,” he said.

It’s no secret that if you have physical access to a computer, the chances of someone stealing your data is usually greater. That’s why so many use disk encryption — like BitLocker for Windows and FileVault for Macs — to scramble and protect data when a device is turned off.

But the researchers found that in nearly all cases they can still steal data protected by BitLocker and FileVault regardless.

After the researchers figured out how the memory overwriting process works, they said it took just a few hours to build a proof-of-concept tool that prevented the firmware from clearing secrets from memory. From there, the researchers scanned for disk encryption keys, which, when obtained, could be used to mount the protected volume.

It’s not just disk encryption keys at risk, Segerdahl said. A successful attacker can steal “anything that happens to be in memory,” like passwords and corporate network credentials, which can lead to a deeper compromise.

Their findings were shared with Microsoft, Apple, and Intel prior to release. According to the researchers, only a smattering of devices aren’t affected by the attack. Microsoft said in a recently updated article on BitLocker countermeasures that using a startup PIN can mitigate cold boot attacks, but Windows users with “Home” licenses are out of luck. And, any Apple Mac equipped with a T2 chip are not affected, but a firmware password would still improve protection.

Both Microsoft and Apple downplayed the risk.

Acknowledging that an attacker needs physical access to a device, Microsoft said it encourages customers to “practice good security habits, including preventing unauthorized physical access to their device.” Apple said it was looking into measures to protect Macs that don’t come with the T2 chip.

When reached, Intel would not to comment on the record.

In any case, the researchers say, there’s not much hope that affected computer makers can fix their fleet of existing devices.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing Microsoft can do, since we are using flaws in PC hardware vendors’ firmware,” said Segerdahl. “Intel can only do so much, their position in the ecosystem is providing a reference platform for the vendors to extend and build their new models on.”

Companies, and users, are “on their own,” said Segerdahl.

“Planning for these events is a better practice than assuming devices cannot be physically compromised by hackers because that’s obviously not the case,” he said.

The new iPhones will be called XS, XS Max, and XR, Apple leak confirms

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The names for Apple’s upcoming iPhones — the unveiling is today, in case you forgot — have been floating on the internet as rumors for a while, but a new leak on Apple’s own website all but confirms them. 

The new iPhones will therefore be called the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR. 

The names, first unearthed by ATH, appear in Apple’s product sitemap file, now taken offline. 

The iPhone XS will likely be the smallest, 5.8-inch variant of the device, while the iPhone XS Max will be the largest, 6.5-inch version. The iPhone XR will probably be the 6.1-inch iPhone, which is rumored to look similar to the other two (display notch and all) but with an LCD screen (instead of OLED) and a lower price.  Read more…

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Live from Apple’s 2018 iPhone event

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It’s time for some new iPhones.

Apple is set to reveal its iPhone lineup for 2018 at an event at its Cupertino, California, headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The event begins at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and Apple will be live-streaming the keynote on its website and, for the first time, on Twitter. Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal and Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong will be at the event, and you can follow their live updates right here.

While the devices Apple reveals on Wednesday will be new, they’ll be familiar — all rumors point to three new iPhones, all based on the iPhone X design, complete with edge-to-edge design, Face ID unlocking, and the so-called “notch.” Also expected: a new Apple Watch design with a slightly bigger screen, an upgraded version of AirPods, and possibly even refreshed iPads and a new entry-level laptop to replace the aging MacBook Air. Read more…

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Epic Games just gave a perk for folks to turn on 2FA; every other big company should, too

Let’s talk a bit about security.

Most internet users around the world are pretty crap at it, but there are basic tools that companies have, and users can enable, to make their accounts, and lives, a little bit more hacker-proof.

One of these — two-factor authentication — just got a big boost from Epic Games, the maker of what is currently The Most Popular Game In The World: Fortnite.

Epic is already getting a ton of great press for what amounts to very little effort.

Son: Do you know what two-factor authentication is?
Me: Uh, yeah?
Son: I get a free dance on @Fortnitegame if I enable two factor. Can we do that?

Incentives matter.

— Dennis (@DennisF) August 23, 2018

The company is giving users a new emote (the victory dance you’ve seen emulated in airports, playgrounds and parks by kids and tweens around the world) to anyone who turns on two-factor authentication. It’s one small (dance) step for Epic, but one giant leap for securing their users’ accounts.

The thing is any big company could do this (looking at you Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and any other company with a huge user base).

Apparently the perk of not getting hacked isn’t enough for most users, but if you give anyone the equivalent of a free dance, they’ll likely flock to turn on the feature.

It’s not that two-factor authentication is a panacea for all security woes, but it does make life harder for hackers. Two-factor authentication works on codes, basically tokens, that are either sent via text or through an over-the-air authenticator (OTA). Text messaging is a pretty crap way to secure things, because the codes can be intercepted, but OTAs — like Google Authenticator or Authy — are sent via https (pretty much bulletproof, but requiring an app to use).

So using SMS-based two-factor authentication is better than nothing, but it’s not Fort Knox (however, these days, even Fort Knox probably isn’t Fort Knox when it comes to security).

Still, anything that makes things harder for crimes of opportunity can help ease the security burden for companies large and small, and the consumers and customers that love them (or at least are forced to pay and use them).

I’m not sure what form the perk could or should take. Maybe it’s the promise of a free e-book or a free download or an opportunity to have a live chat with the celebrity, influencer or athlete of a user’s choice. Whatever it is, there’re clearly something that businesses could do to encourage greater adoption.

Self-preservation isn’t cutting it. Maybe an emote will do the trick.

Apple removes podcasts from InfoWars’ Alex Jones on iTunes

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Apple has taken a strong stand on InfoWars founder Alex Jones.

According to BuzzFeed, five InfoWars podcasts including War Room and The Alex Jones Show were removed from the iTunes and Podcasts directory, leaving only RealNews with David Knight available on the platform.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed to the news outlet it had taken down some of InfoWars’ podcasts. 

The spokesperson added the company “does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users.”  Read more…

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Apple has removed Infowars podcasts from iTunes

Apple has followed the lead of Google and Facebook after it removed Infowars, the conspiracy theorist organization helmed by Alex Jones, from its iTunes and podcasts apps.

Unlike Google and Facebook, which removed four Infowars videos on the basis that the content violated its policies, Apple’s action is wider-reaching. The company has withdrawn all episodes of five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its directory of content, leaving just one left, a show called ‘Real News With David Knight.’

The removals were first spotted on Twitter. Later, Apple confirmed it took action on account of the use of hate speech which violates its content guidelines.

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Apple’s action comes after fellow streaming services Spotify and Stitcher removed Infowars on account of its use of hate speech.

Jones has used Infowars, and by association the platforms of these media companies, to broadcast a range of conspiracy theories which have included claims 9/11 was an inside job and alternate theories to the San Bernardino shootings. In the case of another U.S. mass shooting, Sandy Hook, Jones and Infowars’ peddling of false information and hoax theories was so severe that some of the families of the deceased, who have been harassed online and faced death threats, have been forced to move multiple times. A group is suing Jones via a defamation suit.

The latest iOS 12 beta all but confirms a bigger iPhone X

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iOS 12 has truly been a treasure trove of both heating up the rumor mill and strongly hinting at upcoming devices.

Since last’s September iPhone X unveiling, rumors have been swirling that a larger model, presumably the iPhone X Plus, was en route for 2018. Now, legendary iOS developer, Guilherme Rambo, has taken to Twitter to show off a sketch of the presumed iPhone.

While digging through the latest iOS 12 beta, now up to version 5 for developers, he discovered a new sketch of what looks like a larger iPhone carrying the X’s trademark notch. You might recall that he found the original iPhone X in an iOS 11 beta at around this time in 2017. Read more…

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Apple’s iCloud user data in China is now handled by a state-owned mobile operator

If you’re an Apple customer living in China who didn’t already opt out of having your iCloud data stored locally, here’s a good reason to do so now. That information, the data belonging to China-based iCloud users which includes emails and text messages, is now being stored by a division of China Telecom, the state-owned telco.

The operator’s Tianyi cloud storage business unit has taken the reins for iCloud China, according to a WeChat post from China Telecom. Apple separately confirmed the change to TechCrunch.

Apple’s transition of the data from its own U.S.-based servers to local servers on Chinese soil has raised significant concern among observers who worry that the change will grant the Chinese government easier access to sensitive information. Before a switch announced earlier this year, all encryption keys for Chinese users were stored in the U.S. which meant authorities needed to go through the U.S. legal system to request access to information. Now the situation is based on Chinese courts and a gatekeeper that’s owned by the government.

Apple itself has said it was compelled to make the move in order to comply with Chinese authorities, and that hardly eases the mind.

It’s ironic that the U.S. government has pursued Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE on account of national security and suspected links to Chinese authorities, and yet one of America’s largest corporates is entrusting user data to a state-owned company in China.

The only plus for Apple users in China is that they can opt out of local data storage by selecting a country other than China for their iCloud account. Since it isn’t clear whether making that change today would see information migrated or deleted from the Chinese server, starting over with a new account is probably the best option at this point.

Hat tip @yuanfenyang

Apple’s Shortcuts will flip the switch on Siri’s potential

Matthew Cassinelli
Contributor

Matthew Cassinelli is a former member of the Workflow team and works as an independent writer and consultant. He previously worked as a data analyst for VaynerMedia.

At WWDC, Apple pitched Shortcuts as a way to ”take advantage of the power of apps” and ”expose quick actions to Siri.” These will be suggested by the OS, can be given unique voice commands, and will even be customizable with a dedicated Shortcuts app.

But since this new feature won’t let Siri interpret everything, many have been lamenting that Siri didn’t get much better — and is still lacking compared to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo.

But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them.

With Shortcuts, both play a major role in how Siri will prove to be a truly useful assistant and not just a digital voice to talk to.

Your Apple devices just got better

For many, voice assistants are a nice-to-have, but not a need-to-have.

It’s undeniably convenient to get facts by speaking to the air, turning on the lights without lifting a finger, or triggering a timer or text message – but so far, studies have shown people don’t use much more than these on a regular basis.

People don’t often do more than that because the assistants aren’t really ready for complex tasks yet, and when your assistant is limited to tasks inside your home or commands spoken inton your phone, the drawbacks prevent you from going deep.

If you prefer Alexa, you get more devices, better reliability, and a breadth of skills, but there’s not a great phone or tablet experience you can use alongside your Echo. If you prefer to have Google’s Assistant everywhere, you must be all in on the Android and Home ecosystem to get the full experience too.

Plus, with either option, there are privacy concerns baked into how both work on a fundamental level – over the web.

In Apple’s ecosystem, you have Siri on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, CarPlay, and any Mac. Add in Shortcuts on each of those devices (except Mac, but they still have Automator) and suddenly you have a plethora of places to execute these all your commands entirely by voice.

Each accessory that Apple users own will get upgraded, giving Siri new ways to fulfill the 10 billion and counting requests people make each month (according to Craig Federighi’s statement on-stage at WWDC).

But even more important than all the places where you can use your assistant is how – with Shortcuts, Siri gets even better with each new app that people download. There’s the other key difference: the App Store.

Actions are the most important part of your apps

iOS has always had a vibrant community of developers who create powerful, top-notch applications that push the system to its limits and take advantage of the ever-increasing power these mobile devices have.

Shortcuts opens up those capabilities to Siri – every action you take in an app can be shared out with Siri, letting people interact right there inline or using only their voice, with the app running everything smoothly in the background.

Plus, the functional approach that Apple is taking with Siri creates new opportunities for developers provide utility to people instead of requiring their attention. The suggestions feature of Shortcuts rewards “acceleration”, showing the apps that provide the most time savings and use for the user more often.

This opens the door to more specialized types of apps that don’t necessarily have to grow a huge audience and serve them ads – if you can make something that helps people, Shortcuts can help them use your app more than ever before (and without as much effort). Developers can make a great experience for when people visit the app, but also focus on actually doing something useful too.

This isn’t a virtual assistant that lives in the cloud, but a digital helper that can pair up with the apps uniquely taking advantage of Apple’s hardware and software capabilities to truly improve your use of the device.

In the most groan-inducing way possible, “there’s an app for that” is back and more important than ever. Not only are apps the centerpiece of the Siri experience, but it’s their capabilities that extend Siri’s – the better the apps you have, the better Siri can be.

Control is at your fingertips

Importantly, Siri gets all of this Shortcuts power while keeping the control in each person’s hands.

All of the information provided to the system is securely passed along by individual apps – if something doesn’t look right, you can just delete the corresponding app and the information is gone.

Siri will make recommendations based on activities deemed relevant by the apps themselves as well, so over-active suggestions shouldn’t be common (unless you’re way too active in some apps, in which case they added Screen Time for you too).

Each of the voice commands is custom per user as well, so people can ignore their apps suggestions and set up the phrases to their own liking. This means nothing is already “taken” because somebody signed up for the skill first (unless you’ve already used it yourself, of course).

Also, Shortcuts don’t require the web to work – the voice triggers might not work, but the suggestions and Shortcuts app give you a place to use your assistant voicelessly. And importantly, Shortcuts can use the full power of the web when they need to.

This user-centric approach paired with the technical aspects of how Shortcuts works gives Apple’s assistant a leg up for any consumers who find privacy important. Essentially, Apple devices are only listening for “Hey Siri”, then the available Siri domains + your own custom trigger phrases.

Without exposing your information to the world or teaching a robot to understand everything, Apple gave Siri a slew of capabilities that in many ways can’t be matched. With Shortcuts, it’s the apps, the operating system, and the variety of hardware that will make Siri uniquely qualified come this fall.

Plus, the Shortcuts app will provide a deeper experience for those who want to chain together actions and customize their own shortcuts.

There’s lots more under the hood to experiment with, but this will allow anyone to tweak & prod their Siri commands until they have a small army of custom assistant tasks at the ready.

Hey Siri, let’s get started

Siri doesn’t know all, Can’t perform any task you bestow upon it, and won’t make somewhat uncanny phone calls on your behalf.

But instead of spending time conversing with a somewhat faked “artificial intelligence”, Shortcuts will help people use Siri as an actual digital assistant – a computer to help them get things done better than they might’ve otherwise.

With Siri’s new skills extendeding to each of your Apple products (except for Apple TV and the Mac, but maybe one day?), every new device you get and every new app you download can reveal another way to take advantage of what this technology can offer.

This broadening of Siri may take some time to get used to – it will be about finding the right place for it in your life.

As you go about your apps, you’ll start seeing and using suggestions. You’ll set up a few voice commands, then you’ll do something like kick off a truly useful shortcut from your Apple Watch without your phone connected and you’ll realize the potential.

This is a real digital assistant, your apps know how to work with it, and it’s already on many of your Apple devices. Now, it’s time to actually make use of it.

Looks like Google is changing Android’s gun emoji into a water gun

Back in 2016, Apple swapped out the graphic used for its gun emoji, replacing the realistically drawn handgun with a bright green water gun.

Just a few days ago, Twitter followed suit.

And now, it seems, so will Google . The gun emoji on Android will likely soon appear as a bright orange and yellow super soaker lookalike.

As first noted by Emojipedia, Google has just swapped the graphics in its open Noto Emoji library on GitHub. These are the Emoji that Android uses by default, so the same change will presumably start to roll out there before too long.

At this point, Google making this change seemed inevitable. It seemed likely to happen as soon Apple made the jump; once others started following suit (Twitter earlier this week, and Samsung with the release of the Galaxy S9) it became a certainty.

It’s a matter of clarity in communication. If a massive chunk of people (iOS users) can send a cartoony water toy in a message that another massive chunk of people (Android users) receive as a realistically drawn handgun, there’s room for all sorts of trouble and confusion. Apple wasn’t going to reverse course on this one — and now that others have made the change, Google would’ve been the odd one out.

Apple Watch users could have access to a whole suite of new faces soon

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Gone through all the Apple Watch faces? Apple could be finally opening up the floor to third-party developers for Watch faces, hints a tiny line of code.

Apple has long maintained control over available faces for its Apple Watch, only allowing official partners like Disney and Pixar to release special editions. Customisation for users is currently limited to modifying “complications” on official watch faces, where there’s an ability to pull information from third-party sources.

But a tiny line of code could suggest the company is gearing up to loosen this exclusivity, a clue picked up by 9to5Mac. Read more…

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Box that unlocks iPhones is the hottest new gadget for police

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Law enforcement agencies — despite protests from privacy advocates — have long lobbied to get access to your smartphone.

Now a mysterious U.S. startup called Grayshift — which reportedly has an ex-Apple security engineer on staff — is providing iPhone unlocking tools to cops, according to Motherboard.

GrayKey is a box that measures four by four inches wide, and features two Lightning cables at the front, as per a post by security software company Malwarebytes. 

According to Forbes, Grayshift claims the device only works with iOS 10 and 11, with iOS 9 compatibility slated for the future. Devices ranging from the iPhone X to the 6 are supported, as are various iPad models. Read more…

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Nike ramps up membership benefits with Apple Music, ClassPass and Headspace unlocks for app users

 The top line is that Nike is rolling out some membership related updates to its app for iPhone and Android today. The updates will come in the form of new unlocks with partnerships like ClassPass, Apple and Headspace. There will also be a bunch of new unlocks coming for exclusive shoes and clothing. NikePlus Unlocks, the official name for these cards that appear in the Nike+ app Members… Read More

Apple is offering free repairs if your iPhone 7 won’t connect to a cellular network

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Apple is providing iPhone 7 owners with free repairs if they have one of the “small percentage” of devices that do not properly connect with a cellular network. 

The affected iPhone 7 devices will show “No Service” in the status bar at times even when cellular coverage is available in the area. The defect comes from a failed component on the main logic board, according to Apple’s website

The affected devices were manufactured from Sept. 2016 to Feb. 2018 and were sold in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and the U.S., according to Apple. 

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Apple says iCloud China data migration notice sent to some users in error

 Apple says that an email sent to users with Apple IDs with locations not set to China that their iCloud data was being moved to a Chinese company’s servers was done so accidentally. The Cupertino tech giant had announced Wednesday that next month it will begin the process of moving Chinese users’ iCloud data to servers hosted in China by state-owned Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) as… Read More

Those huge CPU vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, explained

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By now you’ve probably heard. A large portion of the world’s computer processors are vulnerable to at least one of two exploits that render them susceptible to hackers. But what, exactly, is going on — and what can you do to protect yourself?

While the answer to the first question is complicated, thankfully the answer to the second isn’t. It turns out that companies like Google and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to create patches for what the security community has named Meltdown and Spectre. 

But we’re not out of the woods yet, and, depending on your operating system, you still need to take some proactive measures to make sure your data is safe.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iPhones

Apple apologizes for slowing down iPhones, humans spent $200 million on apps this Christmas and Google retires the Pixel C tablet. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Apple’s hand is down and its $1 trillion dream now rests with consumers

 As we head into the end of 2017, it’s pretty safe to say that Apple’s fate — barring any major issue with its phones — is now in the hands of its consumers. With the iPhone X now in stores (if you catch them at the right time), Apple has now laid down its hand and waits to see where consumer demand lands. Read More

Pixelmator Pro is here to make your photos gorgeous

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Photoshop, Gimp, and Paint are solid photo editors, but they can be hard to use if you’re a casual photographer. Now, the team behind Pixelmator is here to help. Today, the company released new software called Pixelmator Pro, an advanced photo-editing app built for Mac. 

Pixelmator Pro is an upgraded version of the company’s existing software that includes upgraded tools and a streamlined workflow. Some of the new tools are also intelligent: The software can learn to straighten photos by detecting the horizon, accurately select and repair objects, and automatically name each of your layers. 

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Crunch Report | Twitter tests a new tweetstorm feature and Tesla unveils a semi truck

 Today’s Stories Apple pushes back on the release of the Homepod Twitter tests a new tweetstorm feature Tesla unveils a new semi truck Walmart will pilot the new Tesla Semis Credits Written by: Sarah Buhr Hosted by: Sarah Buhr Filmed by: Chris Gates Edited by: John Murillo Notes: Tito continues his journey in the Outback this week so you’re with me til Friday. Let’s… Read More

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The AR-powered fighting MekaMon robot goes on sale at Apple Stores

 After selling out of its initial run of 500, U.K.-based Reach Robotics scored a $7.5 million funding round to help it produce a more consumer-ready version of its battling robotics platform. Turns out VCs weren’t the only ones paying close attention to the company’s product: Apple has also been watching the company’s growth with keen interest. Read More

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Thieves stole more than 300 iPhone X devices from a UPS truck

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Even your iPhones are not safe.

More than 300 iPhones have been stolen from a UPS track in San Francisco, with the thieves making away with some $300,000 worth of products.

The thieves staked out the truck and grabbed a shipment, before it managed to deliver to an Apple store at the Stonestown Galleria shopping mall in San Francisco, according to news outlet CBS SF. 

They broke in and took all the smartphones whilst the UPS driver was at Macy’s making a delivery.

The thieves are still at large, and police are asking for help in tracking them down. 

“A witness observed three unidentified suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts exit a white Dodge van,” San Francisco Police Department Captin Rick Yick said. Read more…

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Crunch Report | Hey Dillon Francis, iPhone X Is Now Available For Pre-Order

Today we’re hanging out with EDM artist Dillon Francis, Apple opens for iPhone X pre-orders and releases a sleeve for MacBooks, Walmart starts using robots in stores and Russia condemns Twitter for banning two of its media companies from advertising on the platform. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | AOL Instant Messenger Is Shutting Down

AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down, some iPhone 8s are having battery problems and a smart bandage that releases meds on demand. All this on Crunch Report! Read More

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Apple explains what went wrong with Face ID at the iPhone X event

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During Apple’s big event Tuesday, Craig Federighi tried to unlock an iPhone X using Apple’s new face recognition system, Face ID, but something went wrong: The phone asked for a passcode, and Federighi quickly replaced it with another iPhone X, which worked as advertised. 

Now, in a statement to Yahoo, Apple has explained what happened during the presentation. 

“People were handling the device for the stage demo ahead of time and didn’t realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode,” an Apple rep told YahooRead more…

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All the new Apple iPhone features we know about from that big iOS 11 leak

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Apple kinda sorta just spoiled its own big event by letting slip some of the biggest updates coming to the new iPhone and Apple Watch. 

We’ve already detailed some of the possible new emoji goodies, Apple Watch updates, and iPhone naming updates, but there’s also a few other features revealed in the iOS 11 firmware leak.   

The massive outpouring of information includes a new set of wallpapers that feature Apple’s traditional abstract color patterns, images of flowers, and the planet Earth, as well as a new set of retro-style rainbow color patterns.  Read more…

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Here's the first 6 minutes of the 'Carpool Karaoke: The Series' premiere

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James Corden’s mega-popular segment now has an Apple flavor.

You can catch the first six minutes of the premiere episode of Carpool Karaoke: The Series, which released on Tuesday night, as part of a 16-episode season for Apple Music.

Will Smith is the first guest, and they open with a rendition of “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.” Then they get into a very over-the-top version of “Boom! Shake The Room,” while also discussing if Smith would ever play Barack Obama. 

There’s also a teaser of other hosts and guests, such Gwyneth Paltrow (an easy choice, given she’s in another of Apple’s shows, Planet of the Apps), Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, and Billy Eichner singing it out with Metallica, of all people. Read more…

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VCs determined to replace your job keep AI’s funding surge rolling in Q2

 These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this year, according to Crunchbase data. That’s more than they invested in all of 2016, marking the largest recorded sum ever put into the space in a comparable period. Read More

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Apple iPhone 8's new 'color' might turn your phone into a portable mirror

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A new rumor from leaker Benjamin Geskin says Apple’s upcoming OLED iPhone — or iPhone 8, if that’s what it’ll be called — will come in four colors, including an entirely new one: “mirror.”

Geskin shared no details about the new color, and the photos he supplied were photos of an iPhone in a mirror-colored case, not photos of the iPhone 8.

2017 OLED iPhone – four colors. New one – mirror likepic.twitter.com/BFBBpBQ2Vm

— Benjamin Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) July 8, 2017

We haven’t heard that particular rumor before, but it does make sense. With nearly every iPhone launch, Apple has been able to dictate the hot smartphone color of the year — with the iPhone 7 it was Jet Black, with the iPhone 6S it was Rose Gold, and with the iPhone 5S it was GoldRead more…

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Apple ARKit user puts a color changing Tesla Model 3 in his driveway before the car's release

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Elon Musk is working hard to make Tesla vehicles everyone can afford, but the only available versions of the tech-centric electric vehicle are still too pricey for some of us — but not in augmented reality! 

That’s what one Norway-based 3D designer decided when he used Apple’s new ARKit to create his own augmented reality version of the upcoming Tesla Model 3. 

Posting a video of the ARKit-created app on Twitter on Saturday, creator Jelmer Verhoog show off how it allows you to choose the color of your Model 3 while seeing how it looks in your own driveway.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | Apple Rolls Out Early Version Of Its Safe Driving Feature

Crunch Report June 22 Today’s Stories  Do Not Disturb While Driving feature rolls out in Apple’s newest iOS 11 beta Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users Tantan, China’s… Read More

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Is Andy Rubin's Essential Phone the iPhone killer we've been waiting for?

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Android inventor Andy Rubin finally took the wraps off his newest toy: the Essential Phone.

Yes, it’s an Android phone in an extremely saturated smartphone market and it’s wildly different from the second you look at its futuristic display. But can it dethrone the iPhone?

This week’s MashTalk is hosted by Mashable Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong and Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff.

If there’s anyone who can make you care about yet another rectangular slab, it’s Rubin. His new phone, the Essential Phone, is unequivocally designed for the future. Read more…

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WTF is Apple doing with a secret, car-focused office in Berlin?

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Hey Apple: WTF is going on in Germany?

The Cupertino company might be up to something on the down low in Deutschland, according to Business Insider‘s Sam Shead. The reporter investigated rumors of a secret Apple office focused on automotive development in Berlin, following an initial leak last year that Apple was snatching up German engineering talent in the wake of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia.  

It took almost half a year, but Shead’s tenacity appears to have paid off. He claims to have found the office smack dab in the middle of Berlin, in a nondescript building overlooking the city’s famous Gendarmenmarkt square area. Read more…

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Apple might reveal a new iPad next month

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A redesigned iPad Pro might be announced next month.

9to5Mac has obtained an image of what it claims is an inventory listing for cases for an iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen — an iPad that doesn’t exist yet.

According to the listing, Urban Armor Gear (UAG) is preparing to ship folio cases made for a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in June. 

Case leaks are a dime a dozen and nothing new when it comes to revealing unannounced products, but the fact that UAG, a major case maker, is throwing its weight behind what is only a rumored iPad Pro suggests Apple might not wait until the fall to revamp its most powerful tablet. Read more…

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The word “sheeple” is now in the dictionary, with Apple fans as example

Merriam-Webster added “sheeple” to their dictionary. It’s defined as “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced : people likened to sheep.” Here’s one of the two usage examples they include:

Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for

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Crunch Report | Elon Musk’s Tunnel Vision Gets Rendered

Elon Musk shows off a video about his tunnel boring company, The Boring Company, a self-driving Apple test vehicle is spotted in the wild and Cloudera and Carvana each price their IPO at $15; one does well, the other not so much. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer…Woooah

The Last Jedi Star Wars trailer is released, Facebook runs ads in French newspapers educating people on fake news and Apple gets permission from the DMV to start testing self-driving cars. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Apple might have a secret team working on glucose sensor technology for diabetes

 Apple has hired a group of biomedical researchers to work on a secret project to monitor diabetic patients using sensors, according to a CNBC report. An estimated 371 million people have the disease worldwide and in the last few years, several tech companies have been trying to come up with better solutions to help those afflicted. Virta is a newly launched startup tackling type 2 diabetes… Read More

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Apple could bring the Touch Bar to even more keyboards because duh

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One of Apple’s latest innovations could be making its way to even more keyboards. 

A newly granted trio of patents shows Apple might be working to bring its Touch Bar tech to more devices than just the MacBook Pro line. The Touch Bar famously debuted with the 2016 MacBook Pro, replacing the row of function keys with a much more functional super-responsive OLED touch panel. 

Since the computer’s release last November, the Touch Bar has been used in countless different ways, from the functional to the frivolous, and it’s proven to be a killer addition to the keyboard we never knew we needed — even if it’s not as sexy as some of Apple’s fanboys would’ve liked. Bringing it to more keyboards is just the next logical step. Read more…

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Truecaller gets payment support and Duo integration as it trickles to feature phones

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For Truecaller, an app that offers real-time caller ID and spam protection, the past two years have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. 

On one hand, the eight-year-old service continues to grow strongly in developing markets, and has also chalked out plans to attract people globally.

On the other hand, several features that made Truecaller so popular are now shipping out of the box with iPhone and Android smartphones. 

So what does the Swedish company doing to survive in the market? Partnerships, mostly, it said today at an event in New Delhi.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | Walmart Acquires Modcloth

Apple investing $500 Million into R&D Centers in China, Walmart acquires Modcloth, and John Mannes reports to us about his trip at South by Southwest. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Apple is opening new stores in Downtown Miami, Cologne and Nanjing

 While Apple’s retail team is currently remodeling all its stores, the company is also opening brand new stores around the world. Apple is opening a flagship store in Downtown Miami, a new store in a historic building in Cologne and a third store in Nanjing.
Last weekend, Apple reopened the 35th remodeled store across 18 different states. “Almost 50 percent of the stores in the U.S. Read More

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Apple's USB-C plans might not kill the Lightning connector

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Calm down, Apple fans. We’re probably not going to lose the Lightning connector — not with the iPhone 8, at least.

The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell on the tech world earlier this week with a report claiming Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 will ditch the company’s standard Lightning connector in favor of a USB-C port. This would be a huge move for Apple – on par with the iPhone 7 killing the headphone jack – as a shift in charging ports would leave loyal iPhone adherents with piles of Lightning-dependent accessories in the lurch

However, new information claims all three of this year’s iPhone models will keep the the Lightning connector, but they’ll adopt USB-C Power Delivery technology for super-fast charging speeds. Reliable Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities shared the news in his latest research note, which first surfaced on MacRumors.     Read more…

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