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Got An Apple Watch 5? How To Secure It In Three Simple Steps

Apple Watch Series 5 security tips

Following the publication of a U.S. patent that mentioned a fingerprint sensor for the Apple Watch, rumors have been rife that Touch ID will be coming to the wearable soon. If you’ve just received a gift of an Apple Watch 5, then rumors won’t help you secure it (or an Apple Watch 3 or 4 for that matter) from those who would use it to unlock other devices, perform Apple Pay transactions or access data. These tips, however, will.

Do you need to secure your Apple Watch?

Although one recent study has suggested that Apple is less trustworthy than Google when it comes to data encryption, that is something of an outlier. Apple has a pretty decent security record when it comes to the iPhone and its iOS operating system when compared to relatively insecure Android devices. Not that the iPhone is immune from device-specific malware as the iPhone only Krampus campaign demonstrates. The Apple Watch, however, doesn’t run on iOS; it uses the iOS-derived WatchOS instead.

So, is WatchOS free from any security issues? Well, if you check the security vulnerability database at CVE Details, you will see plenty of problems that could specifically impact WatchOS. There are 473 vulnerabilities listed in total, ranging from the low severity to the critical. But don’t panic; if you sort the results by “number of exploits,” you’ll notice there have been precisely zero for any of them. And Apple regularly updates WatchOS as it does iOS and operates a bug bounty program to reward those security researchers who uncover vulnerabilities, with a top bounty of $1.5 million (£1.15 million) on offer. So you don’t need to worry about securing it, right?

Wrong.

The security issues you do need to be concerned about now you are the owner of a shiny new Apple Watch Series 5 are, frankly, much the same as you face with any other mobile device. The wearable is, in practical terms, an extension of your iPhone. This means that you need to be aware of how it interacts with your iPhone and the access it provides to the smartphone itself, the data upon it and the services it facilitates.

Apple Watch security tip number one: Set a long passcode

The default four-digit PIN, what Apple refers to as a “Simple Passcode,” is not secure enough. Especially as most people will likely use the same PIN for their Apple Watch as they do for their credit cards, debit cards, smartphone, SIM card, and anything else that requires a four-digit code. Password reuse is a terrible thing, and the same applies to PIN codes which are just pretty bad passwords after all.

To strengthen your Apple Watch PIN, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and click on “Passcode” then disable the “Simple Passcode” option. After confirming your existing PIN, you will be able to set a new 10-digit code. The longer the PIN the more secure, in theory. However, the usability factor kicks in if you are using a random 10-digit code that you can’t easily remember. It’s not recommended to use memorable dates either; a threat actor will likely be able to guess these from social media information.

That said, a six-digit PIN is far more secure than the default and just as easy to remember. Or how about keeping the four-digit PIN you know off by heart and repeating it, in reverse, to create an eight-digit code? So 1234 (please don’t use that) would become 12344321. If you enable the “Erase Data” option, then another security feature kicks in: self-destruct. OK, it’s not quite that extreme, but not far off. After six incorrect PIN code attempts, the Apple Watch will initiate a 60-second delay between further attempts. Get it wrong ten times and all data will be erased from the device.

Apple Watch security tip number two: Get smart with more locking options

Either on your Apple Watch or iPhone, it’s less fiddly for those of us with fat finger syndrome to use the iPhone, make sure that the “Wrist Detection” option is toggled on. This has the effect of automatically locking your Apple Watch when you take it off, necessitating entry of that now longer PIN before unlocking.

There’s also an option to “Unlock with iPhone,” which works in combination with the wrist detection to automatically unlock your Apple Watch without needing the PIN code. As long, that is, the iPhone is close enough to the watch, which you must be wearing. It’s another good usability option with no substantial negative impact on security for 99.9% of people 99.9% of the time. As I said before, good security must be easy to use or people find ways to get around it. Which usually means they disable it altogether.

Apple Watch security tip number three: Lost Mode and Activation Lock

Every iPhone owner is familiar, I’m guessing, with the Find My iPhone iCloud feature or app, or “Find My” for iOS 13 users. If not, then get acquainted as it’s an essential part of your iPhone security posture. And that of your Apple Watch.

As well as being useful in finding your watch if you can’t remember where you left it last, Find My has some additional security-related functionality up its virtual sleeve. Things like being able to remotely wipe your data from your Apple Watch if it is permanently lost or stolen and activating “Lost Mode.” The latter will display a short custom message and number to call if someone finds your Apple Watch. More importantly, it will also disable Apple Pay which ticks a significant security concern box for most people who have lost their wearable.

You should also check that the Activation Lock function is enabled in Find My, and if it can see your watch, then it is. What does this do? How does making your Apple Watch worthless to any thief sound to you? Unless that thief knows your Apple ID and password, Activation Lock prevents them or anyone else from being able to wipe your data from the device. The result, an unsaleable Apple Watch.

For more Apple security advice, read How To Secure Your iPhone: 12 Experts Reveal 26 Essential Security Tips.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a three-decade veteran technology journalist and have been a contributing editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue in 1994. A three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) I was also fortunate enough to be named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 I was honored with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism. Contact me in confidence at davey@happygeek.com if you have a story to reveal or research to share.

Source: Got An Apple Watch 5? How To Secure It In Three Simple Steps

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Apple, Google, Nike And Other Big Stocks Just Hit All-Time Highs. Here’s Why

Topline: Wall Street cheered the release of November’s blockbuster jobs report on Friday, helping the market recover its trade-war-related losses from earlier in the week and putting a number of major stocks at new all-time highs.

Here are the major companies hitting new records:

  • Technology giant Apple hit a new record stock price on Friday, currently near $270 per share, after Citigroup boosted the company’s upside price target by 20% yesterday, predicting blockbuster holiday sales for products like Airpods and the Apple Watch.
  • Another of the big four tech companies, Google, also reached a new all-time high, trading near $1,342 per share. The company’s stock went higher after cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from their leadership roles earlier this week, giving Google CEO Sundar Pichai the top job at parent company Alphabet.
  • Big financial services companies hit new record prices too, boosted by Wall Street’s big rally on Friday: JPMorgan Chase shares passed the $135 mark, just a few months after a third-quarter earnings report that saw record revenue, while U.S. Bancorp, one of Warren Buffett’s biggest holdings, traded above $60 per share.
  • Upscale furniture chain Restoration Hardware, which recently got a $206 million investment from Warren Buffett, achieved new highs of around $242 per share, following a successful third-quarter earnings beat that exceeded Wall Street expectations.
  • Shares of yoga pants maker Lululemon Athletica, which has led the popular athleisure apparel trend in recent years, hit a new record high of more than $232 per share on Friday. Lululemon’s stock continued a surging run this year (up more than 85% so far in 2019), as the retailer looks to expand into areas like menswear, e-commerce and international sales.
  • Nike, the world’s most dominant athletic footwear and apparel brand, also hit an all-time high price on Friday. The stock traded above $97 per share, thanks to a recent price target upgrade from Goldman Sachs analysts, who see a 20% upside as the retailer continues to be wildly popular with consumers and expands into growing markets like China.

Key background: Despite ongoing trade uncertainty, the stock market ended the first week of December back near record highs. Solid economic data, namely a blockbuster November jobs report that far exceeded analyst expectations, drove the big Wall Street rally on Friday. Recession fears have cooled recently, as economic indicators like consumer spending and holiday sales remain solid as well.

Crucial quote: “A killer jobs report put to rest concerns that the U.S. economy was starting to show signs of slowing down,” says Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

Today In: Money

What to watch for: Trade news—it’s anyone’s guess at this point, with the crucial December 15 deadline for additional U.S. tariffs on $156 billion worth of Chinese goods fast approaching. If Trump imposes tariffs, which China has asked to be canceled as part of a phase one trade deal, that could heat up tensions and threaten the stock market’s year-end run.

The Trump administration has spent months going back and forth with China on trade negotiations, with tensions constantly escalating and de-escalating. With both sides yet to sign a phase one trade deal, Trump’s recent approval of U.S. legislation on Hong Kong further “stalled” trade progress, according to Axios. That could make it more likely that Trump will hold off on planned December tariffs to keep the deal alive.

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I am a New York—based reporter for Forbes, covering breaking news—with a focus on financial topics. Previously, I’ve reported at Money Magazine, The Villager NYC, and The East Hampton Star. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source: Apple, Google, Nike And Other Big Stocks Just Hit All-Time Highs. Here’s Why.

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Apple is getting a vote of confidence from Raymond James as it raised its price target to $280 from $250 per share. In response, shares of the tech giant hit a new all-time high and could add more gains by the end of the year.

Exclusive: A ‘Magic’ iPhone Hacking Startup Bites Back At Apple Lawyers — And Demands $300,000

In mid-August, Amanda Gorton and Chris Wade sat dumbfounded in their Boynton Beach, Florida, offices. They had just been sent a lawsuit that might yet kill their startup.

Within Gorton’s inbox was an email sent by a reporter containing a complaint filed by tech titan Apple against the married couple’s company, Corellium. The suit’s unceremonious appearance belied the gravity of the allegations they were facing: that they’d illegally copied the world’s most famous tech device, the iPhone.

Dubbed “magic” by some users, Corellium “virtualizes” iPhones, turning Apple phones into something you can play with on a PC. For Corellium customers, it lets them tinker with the iOS operating system to find functional problems or security vulnerabilities, all without risking breaking the iPhone, a famously locked-down device that doesn’t welcome anything not approved Apple. Unlike testing with the real thing, if the phone suddenly dies, you can just load up another one, making it useful for security researchers, developers and hobbyists, known as jailbreakers, who want to wrest back control of their iPhone. For Apple, though, this amounted to a copyright infringement of its product by “replicating” it without permission.

Today In: Innovation

To Wade, a curly-haired, bespectacled Australian with the wide, intense eyes of a wired tech guy, and the more composed Yale-educated partner Gorton, the news that Apple was suing landed like a “gut punch.” Via exclusive interviews with the founders and documents they provided ahead of their legal response to Apple filed late Monday night, Forbes has learned the iPhone maker was considering buying Gorton and Wade’s first startup, a Corellium predecessor called Virtual. And it appears subsequent years-long relations between the parties were ostensibly amicable before the big bust up in August.

When Wade first heard about the suit he thought it was a joke. It’s no joke. Onlookers who spy a Goliath flexing its muscles against a plucky David are hoping, for the sake of iPhone security, an agreement is found. “As I understand it, many security researchers have used Corellium and submitted bugs to Apple,” said Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director and general counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Apple declined to comment on the claims made in this article. It pointed Forbes to the original complaint against Corellium, in which it said the suit was not trying to “encumber good-faith security research, but to bring an end to Corellium’s unlawful commercialization of Apple’s valuable copyrighted works.” Summing up Apple’s withering opinion of Corellium, the Cupertino company wrote: “Corellium’s true goal is profiting off its blatant infringement. Far from assisting in fixing vulnerabilities, Corellium encourages its users to sell any discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder.”

Cutting to the Apple core

Gorton and Wade’s long relationship with Apple can be dated back to at least the early 2010s. At the time the couple were working at OpenPeak, an enterprise mobile management company that had caught the attention of Mark Templeton, then Citrix CEO, who was considering an acquisition. Not long after Templeton met Wade, saying he was impressed by the Australian’s ability to do things considered “impossible,” Citrix bought Virtual, a startup founded by the married couple in 2014.

But in selling to Templeton, Virtual had to snub another suitor: Apple. A document outlining an agreement between Apple and Virtual, seen by Forbes, prevented the latter from talking to any other company about an acquisition for 45 days as the Cupertino company considered whether it wanted to splurge.

Did that upset the Apple cart? Is this a revenge story? Wade and Gorton aren’t sure. Gorton says she and her husband were excited such a formidable company was interested in their embryonic business.

The pair paints a picture of friendly Apple relations. Wade says he’s consistently handed details of security weaknesses to Apple. In 2016, after Apple announced it was launching a so-called Bug Bounty, where researchers are given monetary reward for disclosing vulnerabilities in iOS (now up to $1.5 million), Wade planned on partly funding Corellium with those bounties. He wanted to do it transparently, he says, and in one email dated September 27 2017, Wade explicitly told Apple’s manager for security and privacy programs, Jason Shirk, that he would start submitting bugs to fund his iPhone virtualizing startup.

The filing also suggests Apple encouraged Corellium’s early business. Emails provided to Forbes indicate Apple was at least impressed. Just as Corellium was getting started, in August 2017, Apple hosted a dinner in China for the Tencent Security Conference. Wade and Shirk dined together on Apple’s dime and later exchanged messages, according to the email threads. In one Wade boasted that he could virtualize the latest iPhone. Shirk’s response? “Wow! You got iOS 10.3 running virtually?” Wade cheekily messaged back: “Actually, we’re running iOS 11 :).”

At some point in the last year, something soured. In its filing on Monday, Corellium said that it hasn’t been paid for any of the vulnerabilities it submitted. In a counterclaim, the startup said that rather than it owing Apple anything, the Cupertino company owed it more than $300,000. And Corellium claimed Apple had launched a rival product in handing out custom iPhones for security researchers, letting them dive deeper into iOS.

Right now, Gorton says the bootstrapped Corellium is profitable, with a handful of customers across government and private industry paying thousands for its products: up to $62,500 for an on-site appliance and $575 a month for a cloud-based, single-user license for a month. But with legal fees mounting and the threat of being forced to kill the killer feature of its product, that profit could dwindle and leave Corellium facing collapse.

Apple, meanwhile, might be facing a backlash from the cybersecurity community. It’s already faced criticism this year. When Google released research in September regarding attacks on iPhone users from the persecuted Uighur community in China, Apple’s response was controversial. In a rare public post, it sought to downplay what happened. To some onlookers, including former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos, Apple was suggesting that attacks on Uighurs weren’t “as big a deal as Google makes it out to be.” “Apple’s response to the worst known iOS attack in history should be graded somewhere between ‘disappointing’ and disgusting,’” Stamos tweeted.

There’s the sense that after having opened up in the post-Steve Jobs years—with its industry-leading bug bounty and Tim Cook’s ostensibly aggressive stance on protecting user privacy—Apple is taking a few steps back. And one of those steps might squish one of the more intriguing startups to enter the often mundane cybersecurity market.

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I’m associate editor for Forbes, covering security, surveillance and privacy. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com

Source: Exclusive: A ‘Magic’ iPhone Hacking Startup Bites Back At Apple Lawyers — And Demands $300,000

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A 16-year-old hacked Apple and stole 90GB of data over the period of one year. You know the best part is that he stored it all in a folder called “hacky hack hack.” It would make my day if you could also follow me on: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrtechtalktv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mr_TechTalkTV Music used: ‘beatsbyNeVs-Ridin’ https://youtu.be/bbtzvwKwql8 Thanks for watching and have a blessed day. Be sure to like, comment, share, and subscribe! Subscribe to TechTalkTV: https://goo.gl/9j4P1c IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to click the “bell” next to the subscribe button and select “Send me all notifications for this channel”. Otherwise, you may not receive notification when I upload.

Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

At the start of October, Apple was riding high following the launch of the iPhone, new online services were opening for business, and a number of new products were hiding in plain sight ready for a launch before Christmas. There was also every expectation that these products would be boosted by a second event in October. Well, it’s the end of October, and there hasn’t been an event.

It looks like Apple has decided that October’s second-line product launches are not going to get the exposure and the oxygen of a staged event. AirTags are still waiting to be activated, the AirPods Pro were launched by press release yesterday, and the iPad Pro has been deemed ‘good enough’ to get through the holiday season before a potential update in March 2020.

And a triumphant return of a large-screened MacBook Pro in front of the gathered excitement of the geekerati has been denied. Once it was a powerful statement of computing power and prestige, now it’s a tool to help sell more iPhones and subscriptions.

The update to the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been trailed throughout the year. Expectations have been rising from reports at the start of the year on Apple’s portfolio, through movement in the supply chain,  to the leaks that suggested production had started on the units earlier this month.

There is even evidence of the new laptop tucked away in a beta of MacOS Catalina with a nod towards the 16-inch form factor in the system icons. And let’s not forget the AirPods Pro. They require MacOS 10.15.1, and the eagle eyed will note that, as the digital presses roll on this editorial, MacOS 10.15.1 is to yet available to the public.

The new laptop would fill the void left behind by the loss of the 17-inch MacBook Pro in 2012, would reinvigorate Apple’s laptop range, bring back a physical escape key, and fix the embarrassment of the butterfly keyboard once and for all.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in... [+] Cupertino, California (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Everything was there for a launch, everything was there for an event that would allow Apple to explain its new strategy of a Mac ecosystem tightly tied to the iPhone, iPad, and online services. Everything was there for Apple to return to the ‘large screened laptop’ with the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was effectively the same size as the 15-inch model.

Everything was there except the drive and determination to push the Mac as a platform in general and the MacBook Pro specifically.

So yes, dear faithful geekerati. Go and buy the new MacBook Pro when it arrives. Go and develop your apps for iOS and iPadOS on it. Go and edit the films and TV series for Apple TV+, the games for Apple Arcade , the podcasts for (er) Podcasts… but don’t expect the genre-defining MacBook Pro to get any public recognition from Tim Cook.

Now read more about the first release of MacOS Catalina, and if you should upgrade…

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over fifteen years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and received a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and at my own site.

Source: Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

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After many years using MacBook variants I’ve made the switch to Windows. I’ve used every version of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that have been released. My current laptop of choice is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.Turns out switching from Mac to Windows isn’t as painful as I expected. FOLLOW ME IN THESE PLACES FOR UPDATES Twitter – http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy Facebook – http://facebook.com/lewis.hilsenteger Instagram – http://instagram.com/unboxtherapy

Why Apple Killed The MacBook Pro

Apple’s MacBook Pro remains an iconic product, but over the last few years Cupertino has pushed it back into the shadows; handing all the spotlight, attention, and shiny launch events to the iPhone. But it did more than that. It neutered a powerful laptop and turned it into a supporting player. Today’s MacBook Pro is a pale imitation of the original masterpiece.

Once upon a time Steve Jobs took to the stage, standing on the shoulders of Apple’s previous laptops, and announced the MacBook Pro. It was 2006, and the MacBook Pro pretty much defined Apple’s approach to for the next five years. It launched with Intel’s Core Duo chipset, an aluminium design, backlit keyboard, and a magnetic power connector so any trips would leave your laptop on a desk (whatever happened to that innovative idea?).

Four times faster than the G4 PowerBook, this was a laptop for the ages. Job’s Apple iterated on the design, ramping up the power, adding new apps, and increasing the portfolio to accommodate 17-inch and 13-inch versions.

When the time came to take on the lighter laptops from Microsoft (and arguably the Mayfly like rise of the netbook), the MacBook Pro was not compromised – instead the MacBook Air picked up that challenge and the Pro continued to push the envelope with Retina Displays, more powerful apps, and remained the gold standard for a workhorse laptop that could do anything, anywhere, with no compromises.

Today In: Innovation

The MacBook Pro was what you measured other laptops against, and frankly very little came close.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses a new version of the Mac Book during a "town hall" style event at Apple Headquarters October 14, 2008 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Getty

Then Tim Cook came along, taking over as Apple’s CEO in 2011. Given the lead time of products, Cook’s vision of Apple would arguably take a few years to become fully apparent, but when it did it was clear where his priorities lay.

The iPhone.

I’m not saying Apple should not have focused on the iPhone, after all this was a chance to dominate a new landscape (we’ll leave the discussion about how dominant Apple’s roughly twenty percent share actually is for another time. But Cook’s Apple decided that the company’s other products would be subservient to the needs of the iPhone.

That meant the Mac family, and especially the MacBook Pro, had to walk in the shadow and to reinforce the message  of the iPhone. New technology came to the iPhone and iOS first, with the Macs and macOS picking up similar apps later in the product cycle (and invariably sold as ‘now you can sync your iPhone docs to your Mac, doesn’t that make your Mac useful?’).

You even saw the physical design trends of the smartphone world affect the reliability and trustworthiness of the MacBook Pro. Everything was about making the machine thinner, lighter, more fragile, and reducing it to a single sealed unit that turned your personal computer from something you could tinker and upgrade to a ‘Tim says this is the way forward’ monolith.

Add in the move towards cloud based services, applications syncing data through to the internet to mobile devices, and the subtle indicators that your Mac was no longer a standalone machine but one that was a second-class interface to Cook’s world of monthly subscriptions, and is it any wonder that many consider Apple’s deskbound computers to be an afterthought?

Apple CEO Tim Cook previews a MacBook Pro during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California on October 27, 2016 (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Getty

The MacBook Pro is no longer the MacBook Pro.

The powerful standalone computer that did things differently was sacrificed. There never seemed to be a thought to keep the Mac family as something separate to the iOS product line. No, everything had to fall in line to support the annual retail temptation of the iPhone, every feature added to macOS was one that the iOS team had already provided to the smartphone, and the Mac lost its place as a premier product.

The MacBook Pro is dead. Long live the MacBook Pro. Excuse me for not putting out the bunting.

Now read more about the problems with the latest macOS update…

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: Why Apple Killed The MacBook Pro

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Say goodbye to the petite laptop. Read more: https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/09/a… Subscribe to Engadget on YouTube: http://engt.co/subscribe Engadget’s Buyer’s Guide: https://www.engadget.com/buyers-guide/ Get More Engadget: • Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/engadget • Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/engadget • Follow us on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/engadget • Read more: http://www.engadget.com Engadget is the original home for technology news and reviews.

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Apple’s Unpleasant Behaviour Is Hurting The Macbook Pro

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks about Apple Arcade during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple is expected to launch a new MacBook Pro later this month and hand a very small cup of lukewarm water to the parched throats of the macOS-powered geekerati. Tim Cook and his team are going to make sure the new laptop will go unnoticed by the general public when it is announced.

In Apple’s push to emphasis software and services, it’s tough to look at macOS and wonder what the deskbound platform would look like if Apple had decided to make it successful in its own right. As well as its role in being the developer platform for iOS and iPadOS apps, macOS has been slowly turned into a subsidiary OS which supports the features of iOS. New apps are rarely for new desktop purposes, but to support existing mobile purposes.

While the world is moving towards mobile, there is still a strong place for desktop apps. But Apple’s focus is on iOS, on subscription services delivered to mobile, and how to support the cloud based services. It’s tough for any Mac to stand out when your seen only as a secondary supporting character.

Today In: Innovation

Most Apple watchers are expecting Tim Cook and his team to organise a second consumer event at some point in October (my money is on October 29th) and this will be the last opportunity in 2019 for Apple to publicly introduce the 16-inch MacBook Pro…  which is already in production ahead of the launch.

But the event is unlikely to be just about the new MacBook Pro… or the full MacBook or Mac range… Apple’s slate has a number of products that are going to be loved by Cook much more than the macOS machines. There’s the traditional ‘don’t you think the iPhone has been doing well’ reinforcement to the hand-picked audience which will take up some of the digital column inches.

Apple has been working on geo-location tags, and the expectation is that the Apple Tags system will launch at this event with the ‘new power’ of the iPhone 11 switched on by a software update to interact with these tags (and other Apple devices).

And then there’s the ‘direct’ competition in the form of the iPad Pro, which is also expected to pick up an update for the holiday season.

Given the choice between eulogising the new iPhone, increasing its functionality, and promoting the walled-garden of the iPad Pro… or giving the MacBook Pro family room to breath and luxuriate in the limelight, I suspect Cook will choose the former. I would love to be proved wrong but nothing in the last year or two suggests that is going to happen.

Finally, there’s another truth about the MacBook range as a whole, and the MacBook Pro individually, that has to be noted. No matter what Apple says on the stage, the MacBook Pro is going to struggle in comparison to its Windows 10 counterparts. There are laptops with far better designs and styling (such as Microsoft’s Surface Book series), there are laptops far better suited to gaming and multimedia creation (such as the Razer Blade Pro), and there are far more portable and practical business laptops (HP’s Elitebook range).

Even restricting a comparison to the headline feature (increasing the screen size to 16 inches), the new MacBook Pro is falling short not just of Apple’s previous large screened MacBooks, but also of the top line large screened laptops where the going rate on the diagonal is seventeen inches. It might be ‘the biggest and best MacBook Pro from Apple’ but it’s nowhere close to being the biggest or the best laptop in the market.

An employee is illuminated by the screen of an Apple Inc. laptop computer as he works at Flock's office in Mumbai, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

© 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

I want Apple to prove me wrong. I want Apple to do more than a minimum viable upgrade to the MacBook Pro. I want a machine that is seen as more than a ‘use this to support your iPhone’, ‘code for your mobile devices’ or ‘edit your miniseries so it can feature on Apple TV’.

But I don’t think Apple wants any of that.

Now read more about how Apple’s decisions have doomed the Mac family of devices…

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: Apple’s Unpleasant Behaviour Is Hurting The Macbook Pro

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Apple’s Obsessive Behaviour Is Killing The Macbook Pro

With the iPhone 11 launch out of the way, Apple’s attention will turn from the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones to the iPad Pro and a new wave of tablets to accompany the newly forked iPadOS. But what of the upcoming MacBook Pro updates and the larger 16-inch laptop?

Looking closely at the attitude of Tim Cook’s Apple to the macOS powered laptops, you’d be forgiven in thinking that the MacBook Pro has already been moved to legacy status. The intense and almost obsessive focus on thin and minimalist design, coupled with restricting choice and denying Mac owners long-term flexibility, has pushed the still-useful and beloved laptop family out of the public’s gaze.

First up is the obsessive drive to make its laptops thinner and lighter. Yes, the resulting devices look lighter and I’m sure that focus groups presented with alternate designs will choose the prettier one, but a laptop is not phone, nor is it a tablet. You need a certain amount of size to enjoy the experience, to have space for powerful chips, to handle the cooling requirements, to allow for new technology, and to guarantee reliability.

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By all means use the MacBook Air for the ‘thin’ brigade, but for the workhorse laptop, the MacBook Pro, Apple’s decision to prioritise a thin design – notably the fragile butterfly keyboard – has allowed the competition to catch up with and overtake the MacBook Pro in terms of hardware options and software flexibility.

One obvious lucrative area where macOS has fallen behind is in gaming. MacOS

may have a significant share of the market, but where are the gaming options? They’re all using Windows 10, with access to a wide range of graphics cards, super processors, and fast refreshing densely packed 4K screens.

This speaks to another area where Apple’s obsessive nature has hindered the MacBook Pro. The inability to open up the system to graphics cards vendors is a poor choice at best, yet one where you could – if you look hard enough – understand why Apple is restricting the options inside the hardware. But is that any excuse to lock out some of the biggest names when using external graphics card caddies?

Apple has decided on the one true way to use your laptop, and has forced that through. If you want to do something outside of that definition, then the closed nature means you are out of luck.

Take the removal of the SD Card reader. Photographers are a notable demographic in MacBook Pro ownership and regularly tote a ridiculous number of cards around. It was an easy matter to pop these into their primary machine as required. Nope, that’s not the way forward that Apple sees it, so the SD card reader is removed.

And frankly, for a professional machine, the answer of using an external card reader in the USB ports or connecting through the camera is an embarrassment. And that’s before it leads to counting the number of available USB ports.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at... [+] the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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Finally, there’s Apple’s attitude towards the Mac machines in general, and the flagship MacBook Pro laptops specifically. While Tim Cook and his team are happy to sell them, and happy to remind developers about the machines, when it comes to the consumer events, the MacBook Pro is simply left in the wings.

WWDC saw the launch of the Mac Pro, and a focus on high specs and how it works for the multimedia creative (presumably focusing on the companies that are going to be supplying content for Apple’s subscription TV business). The real line items from WWDC were iOS and the reveal of iPadOS. The Mac was well down the running order and the MacBooks were nowhere to be seen.

Apple’s September event is the key consumer event for the year. It sets the tone for the year to come, it focuses the attention of the public on Apple’s core devices, and that was the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The side order of iPad was a kick in the teeth for those waiting for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The obsession of preserving September for just the iPhone and any supporting peripherals weakens the MacBook Pro. And yes, Apple has the option of an event in October where the MacBook Pro can be revealed, but I suspect that even if the 16-inch MacBook Pro is given a public reveal (rather than a humbling ‘launch by press release’) the priority at the october event will be the iPad Pro.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at... [+] the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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Tim Cook’s Apple is in the middle of a move towards software and services. At some point that means the focus on the iPhone and the iPad as standalone hardware will fade away and they will become little more than conduits for content. It means that there will come a point where Apple does not have to keep up with other platforms and manufacturers that are pushing the limits of technology – there are some would say that Apple is already following this model given the lack of change in the iPhone over the last few years.

What does that future look like? It looks a lot like the present day MacBook Pro. Unloved by management but continuing to perform vital tasks in the ecosystem; unnoticed by consumers who are lured into more profitable machines with software lock-ins and walled gardens that offer Apple’s accountants a thirty percent rake on everything; and unable to respond to competitors who are developing laptops and desk-bound machines for a new generation.

Now read why Apple is not just ignoring, but is afraid of your new MacBook…

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: Apple’s Obsessive Behaviour Is Killing The Macbook Pro

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After many years using MacBook variants I’ve made the switch to Windows. I’ve used every version of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that have been released. My current laptop of choice is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.Turns out switching from Mac to Windows isn’t as painful as I expected. FOLLOW ME IN THESE PLACES FOR UPDATES Twitter – http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy Facebook – http://facebook.com/lewis.hilsenteger Instagram – http://instagram.com/unboxtherapy

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Apple Just Did Something Remarkable And It’s Very Good News For Its Customers

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No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. That’s true for you and me, and it’s especially true for big companies like Apple. The thing is, when you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake, it goes a long way towards building trust. And trust is, by far, your brand’s most valuable asset.

Today, Apple apologized for how it had handled recorded snippets of users’ voice interactions with Siri, the company’s digital assistant. In a statement, the company said that  “we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”

You might remember that Apple, like pretty much every other tech company, recently admitted that it used contractors to listen to, and transcribe these recordings in an effort to improve the artificial intellience-powered service. Making matters worse is that fact that the company hadn’t disclosed this practice, and contractors often heard false-activations that revealed personal information and other private conversations.

Earlier this month, Apple paused its review program and ended its relationship with the contractors involved. Now, it appears to be taking the next step, which started with an apology.

That’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s not often that companies say, “I’m sorry. We messed up.” Sure, they sometimes say a lot of words that vaguely sound like “I’m sorry,” but rarely are they this direct. Apple basically called itself out, saying that it wasn’t living up to its own standards, and that it owed customers an apology for a problem it caused.

Along with the apology, maybe the even bigger news here is that Apple announced a series of steps it plans to take moving forward, including:

  • The company will no longer retain recorded Siri interactions, but will use computer-generated transcripts instead.
  • Apple will allow users to opt in to having their audio samples included in the company’s efforts to improve the product. Users will also be able to opt out at any time after that.
  • Apple will only allow its employees (not contractors) to listen to audio samples, and will delete any “inadvertent trigger,” of Siri.

This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Apple will now allow users to ‘opt in.’ This is exactly how it should work.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons why Apple would want to listen to recorded snippets of Siri interactions. That’s one of the only ways it can really know how accurate the AI is at understanding user requests and providing the right information for a human to review and correction. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t agree that that’s reasonable.

But Apple is changing the default assumption of an unspoken ‘opt in’ to one where people are given the choice to participate, instead of simply offering some opaque way of opting out. Companies offer opt out because they know most people won’t go through the trouble of changing whatever the default setting is, meaning people stay in whether they really want to or not.

Every tech company handling sensitive data should do exactly this. Don’t just let people opt out, or delete their history, or make a request to no longer be recorded. Make the default position the thing that’s best for the user, even if it makes your job a little harder.

Then, make your case for why your practice is worth it to the customer, and let them decide to participate or not.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

At its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off iOS 13, which will be coming to iPhones this fall. Some of the new features include a dark mode, an overhaul for Maps, and the ability to swipe to type. Here are the best features Apple showed off. The event took place at the San Jose Convention Center, not Cupertino as mentioned in the video. Tech Insider regrets the error. MORE IPHONE CONTENT: 23 iPhone Tricks To Make Your Life Easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U52mI… $479 Pixel 3a XL VS. $1,099 iPhone XS Max https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddAY… Lifelong iPhone User Switches To The Galaxy S10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3wb… —————————————————— #Apple #iPhone #TechInsider Tech Insider tells you all you need to know about tech: gadgets, how-to’s, gaming, science, digital culture, and more. Visit us at: https://www.businessinsider.com TI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider TI on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tech_insider/ TI on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techinsider TI on Amazon Prime: http://read.bi/PrimeVideo INSIDER on Snapchat: https://insder.co/2KJLtVo The Best Features Apple Just Announced Coming To The iPhone

Apple Is Spending Billions on Its Upcoming TV Service. It Could Be a Costly Mistake

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We already knew Apple is joining the crowded TV streaming business, but thanks to a report from Bloomberg we now know the company is preparing to launch it’s Apple TV+ service in November. That coincides with Disney’s upcoming streaming service
launch announced to appear on November 12.

Certainly, Apple can afford to spend the money. With more than $100 billion in cash on hand, the company has plenty of resources to pour into building out a content library. The bigger question is, however, is it worth it?

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Apple is spending $6 billion on original content, including The Morning Show, a drama produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Whitherspoon, which reportedly costs more to produce per episode than Game of Thrones.

 

Apple is entering tricky waters. Netflix became the dominant leader in video streaming mostly because it had a robust library of familiar shows and films that viewers cared enough about to pay $10 a month for. That lead has eroded as content creators like HBO, Disney, and NBC Universal enter the game with their own services in order to monetize their content by cutting out the proverbial middle man.

 

For example, Netflix is losing its top two shows — The Office and Friends — in the next year, which has forced it to double-down on creating original content. Despite those efforts, and the fact that it still has a huge collection of popular shows and movies, the company saw it’s U.S. subscribers decrease for the first time last quarter.

Which brings us back to Apple. The company has remained tight-lipped about what specific content users can expect but has indicated that The Morning Show will be a launch feature.

Of course, if the primary library will be original content, that could be a hard sell for users, especially as they become tapped out by the number of subscriptions available to different video services.

Apple has bet big on its services division to drive a large part of its future growth. In addition to Apple TV+, the company is counting on its paid News+, App Store, Music, and Arcade game subscription services. Those drive recurring revenue each month, and it’s conceivable that it won’t be long before the company offers a subscription bundle that includes all of these services.

 

Still, in order for any of them to succeed, users have to care enough about the content to plunk down money every month. Apple Music benefits from the largest library of music, as well as many exclusive releases. iOS is one of the largest gaming platforms in the world, so it’s not hard to see why it will attract subscribers.

But, with the TV+ service, the bottom-line question is this: will customers pay $9.99 a month for largely unknown shows? If so, Apple could easily become a leader in both content creation and delivery. If not, the company could be looking at a very expensive lesson in the economics of media production.

 

I suspect that because it’s Apple, the content will be top-notch enough for people to sign up. I also suspect that because it’s Apple, people will sign up. But the challenge Apple faces isn’t that different from those you do — though it’s probably on a slightly larger scale.

 

That challenge is that every time you leverage your brand to launch something new, there’s not only a risk, but a cost. For Apple that cost is $6 billion. The company can’t afford to get this wrong at that — or any price.

Neither can you.

 

By : Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

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Apple Confirms $1 Million Reward For Anyone Who Can Hack An iPhone

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Apple has massively increased the amount it’s offering hackers for finding vulnerabilities in iPhones and Macs, up to $1 million. It’s by far the highest bug bounty on offer from any major tech company.

That’s up from $200,000, and in the fall the program will be open to all researchers. Previously only those on the company’s invite-only bug bounty program were eligible to receive rewards.

As Forbes reported on Monday, Apple is also launching a Mac bug bounty, which was confirmed Thursday, but it’s also extending it to watchOS and its Apple TV operating system. The announcements came in Las Vegas at the Black Hat conference, where Apple’s head of security engineering Ivan Krstić gave a talk on iOS and macOS security.

Forbes also revealed on Monday that Apple was to give bug bounty participants “developer devices”—iPhones that let hackers dive further into iOS. They can, for instance, pause the processor to look at what’s happening with data in memory. Krstić confirmed the iOS Security Research Device program would be by application only. It will arrive next year.

$1 million for an iPhone hack

The full $1 million will go to researchers who can find a hack of the kernel—the core of iOS—with zero clicks required by the iPhone owner. Another $500,000 will be given to those who can find a “network attack requiring no user interaction.” There’s also a 50% bonus for hackers who can find weaknesses in software before it’s released.

Apple is increasing those rewards in the face of an increasingly profitable private market where hackers sell the same information to governments for vast sums.

As Maor Shwartz told Forbes, the cost of a single exploit (a program that uses vulnerabilities typically to take control of a computer or phone) can fetch as much as $1.5 millon. An exploit targeting WhatsApp where no clicks are required from the user, for instance, can be sold to a government agency for that much, though such tools are rare. Only one or two a year will be sold, from a pool of around 400 researchers who focus on such high-end hacking. “It’s really hard to research them and produce a working exploit,” he said.

Previously, a company called Zerodium was vocal about how much it will pay researchers before handing them to its unknown government customers. In January, the secretive company announced it was offering $2 million for a remote hack of an iPhone.

Krstić said the bug bounty had been a success to date, with 50 serious bugs reported since the 2016 launch.

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I cover security and privacy for Forbes. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com

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