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Apple Shares Fix for File Sharing Issues Following macOS High Sierra Security Update

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:49
Apple this afternoon published a new support document that walks users through repairing their file sharing options on their Macs after installing the 2017-001 Security Update for macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, which was released this morning.

Shortly after the security fix was released and users began installing it, file sharing complaints began surfacing on the MacRumors forums. Affected users saw file sharing fail to authenticate across multiple Macs. From MacRumors reader joedec:Immediately after installing this patch, file sharing fails to authenticate. I see this on multiple Macs. Hoping for some collaboration. [...]

With the Finder open a file share to any Mac with the security update installed. Status shows "not connected", when you try to "connect as" your username and password fail.According to the document, macOS High Sierra users who cannot access file sharing after installing the security update will need to complete the following steps:

1. Open the Terminal app, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
2. Type sudo /usr/libexec/configureLocalKDC and press Return.
3. Enter your administrator password and press Return.
4. Quit the Terminal app.

MacRumors readers who were having file sharing problems have tested Apple's fix and have confirmed that it does indeed work to solve the problem.

Apple issued this morning's security update to address a major vulnerability that enabled the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check.

The problem has been successfully fixed on machines running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, the current release version of macOS High Sierra, but Apple has not yet addressed the vulnerability in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, available to both developers and public beta testers.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Design Chief Jony Ive Discusses iPhone X and Apple Park in New Interview

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:34
Apple design chief Jony Ive recently sat down for an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, where he once again discussed his work on Apple's newest campus, Apple Park, and the latest flagship iPhone, the iPhone X.

As he mentioned in a prior interview, Ive is excited about the design space at Apple Park because it will allow the entire design team to work together. Industrial designers, font experts, motion graphics experts, and computer interface designers will be able to come together to interact in new ways and share ideas.

The design space will also feature several milling machines to create prototypes, which Ive believes are an integral part of the design process."I think you only really understand a material--its properties and attributes and, importantly, the opportunity the material allows--if you actually work it yourself," Ive says. "And the most remarkable point in the whole process is when you make the first model. We might like it, we might not, but the first model you make, everything changes."On the subject of the iPhone X, Ive says its all-glass design and edge-to-edge display is something Apple "aspired to for years." In comparison, Ive critiqued older iPhone designs. "It now seems to me a rather disconnected component housed in an enclosure," he said of the iPhone 7 Plus.

The rest of the interview, which also includes anecdotes on Ive's childhood and the Apple Watch, can be read over on the Smithsonian website.

Along with his interview in Smithsonian Magazine, Ive today spoke about the future of design at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, DC. The one-hour speaking engagement took place at 3:00 p.m. local time and appears to have covered many of the same topics that Ive spoke about in the interview.

“We have so much trust as a team, that we don’t censor our ideas.” - Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of @Apple, describing the creative process and dynamics of his team, “The best ideas come from the quietest voice. If you’re not listening, you’ll miss it.” #atHirshhorn

— Hirshhorn (@hirshhorn) November 29, 2017 Ive is also a 2017 honoree of the Smithsonian's American Ingenuity Awards, designed to honor revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts and sciences, education, and social progress.

Tags: Apple Park, Jony Ive
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Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine: 'Streaming Services Have a Bad Situation'

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 21:24
Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine sat down for an interview recently with Billboard to talk about The Defiant Ones, a four-part documentary series that focuses on the careers of both Iovine and his long-time partner Dr. Dre.

During the interview, Iovine commented on the state of the streaming music industry and the precarious position of companies focused solely on streaming music, like Spotify."The streaming services have a bad situation, there's no margins, they're not making any money," he said. "Amazon sells Prime; Apple sells telephones and iPads; Spotify, they're going to have to figure out a way to get that audience to buy something else. If tomorrow morning [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos wakes up and says, 'You know what? I heard the word "$7.99" I don't know what it means, and someone says, 'Why don't we try $7.99 for music?' Woah, guess what happens?"Streaming music, says Iovine, is "fine" with major companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google, but it's "not a great business" for standalone companies like Spotify. "They have to figure out a way to show the road to making this a real business," he said.

Iovine went on to explain that the record industry doesn't yet know "where technology is gonna go," and that things could shift at any moment with the debut of software and hardware breakthroughs. Referencing the 8-track, cassette tape, and CD, Iovine says companies need to adapt and "figure out their role."

According to Iovine, streaming services that offer content for free undermine the music industry and present a major problem that's not something television providers like Netflix have to deal with. Streaming services all offer the same general content, making it difficult to convince customers to pay when content is available elsewhere at no cost."So Netflix has all that original stuff and it's $11.99," he said. "Music, everybody has everything, plus the free tiers, every song is on YouTube, so how can they charge $11.99 to a consumer? I'm like, no. I'm gonna buy this and get the music for free.... It's a massive problem."Iovine's opinion on free music is likely one of the reasons why Apple is focusing heavily on exclusive content. Apple has purchased the rights to air multiple exclusive documentaries, and the company is working on exclusive television shows much like Netflix, with the aim of drawing in customers with original content.

So far, two shows have premiered exclusively on Apple Music: Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series. Apple has other television shows in the works, including an Amazing Stories reboot with Steven Spielberg and a morning talk show drama that will star Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Apple has not yet confirmed these new shows will be exclusive to Apple Music, but it's a possibility, and it's also possible Apple is planning on some kind of future service that offers both music and television content.

Jimmy Iovine's full interview, which goes into further detail on streaming services and covers The Defiant Ones, can be read over at Billboard.

Tags: Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music
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YouTube to Introduce New 'Reels' Feature for Sharing Short Videos

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 20:52
YouTube is testing a new Community feature called Reels, which was announced today in a blog post covering a expansion of the Community tab. As explained by YouTube, Reels is YouTube's answer to the popular "stories" format that's available on Instagram and Snapchat.

We want to do even more to give you easy ways to express yourself and engage with fans, so today we're also unveiling a new feature. Reels are YouTube's spin on the popular "stories" format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators. We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we'll give you those options. We're also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers.YouTube gave TechCrunch more information on Reels, and explained that it's meant to be a way for creators to express themselves and engage fans without the need to upload an entire video.

Reels will consist of a few quick mobile videos that are up to 30 seconds in length, which can be edited with filters, music, text, stickers, and more.

Unlike the stories features on other social media networks, Reels will not expire, and instead of being featured at the top of the YouTube app, they'll be available in a dedicated tab on the creator's channel.

YouTube plans to roll out Reels as a beta feature to "learn and improve the product" before rolling it out to all YouTube creators.

Tag: YouTube
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Many CarPlay Vehicles Debuting at Los Angeles Auto Show

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 19:29
Just a few days before the Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public, many automakers have debuted new vehicles compatible with Apple's CarPlay system, providing hands-free access to Maps, Messages, Phone, Music, and select third-party apps.

We've confirmed that CarPlay is available either as a standard option or as an upgrade in the following 2018 and 2019 vehicle makes and models:
  • 2018 BMW i3
  • 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
  • 2018 Hyundai Kona
  • 2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
  • 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
  • 2019 Audi A8
  • 2019 Genesis G70
  • 2019 Lincoln MKC
  • 2019 Lincoln Nautilus
  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS
  • 2019 Porsche Cayenne
  • 2019 Subaru Accent
  • 2019 Volvo XC40
It's likely that the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line, 2019 Kia Sorento, and 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 coupe and convertible also support CarPlay, although we haven't outright confirmed this information at this time.

CarPlay is now available in hundreds of vehicle models around the world, but there are still a few notable absentees at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The 2018 Mazda6, for example, will not support CarPlay at launch. "As a company we continue to look into implementing CarPlay into future Mazda vehicles," a spokesperson told us, echoing comments it has made in the past.

The company behind Jaguar, Land Rover, and Range Rover is also showing off several vehicles at the auto show, but none of them are compatible with CarPlay. The same applies for the 2019 Lexus RX L and 2019 Infiniti QX50.

A recent survey indicated that an increasing number of customers consider CarPlay a must-have feature, so it may only be a matter of time before some of those automakers holding out on CarPlay reverse course.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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Apple Support App Updated With Redesigned Interface and New Discover Section

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 18:56
Apple today updated its official Apple Support app to introduce an overhauled interface and a new "Discover" tab for learning about new features in the products you own.

The new Apple Support interface features a cleaner look with more white space and a universal search bar at the top of the "Get Support" section for locating articles more quickly.

When selecting a product to get help, the app is better organized into different topics, with support articles separated into "Popular Topics" and "More Topics." More recommended articles are also offered up during the support process, making it simpler to find help.

A new navigation bar at the bottom of the app is separated into "Discover," "Get Support," and "Account." Aside from Discover, these features were previously available, but were organized differently.

The new Discover tab is the biggest addition to the Support app. It's designed to surface tutorial articles that are specific to the device you own. On an iPhone 7 Plus, for example, the Discover section offers up articles like using the Files app, capturing Live Photos, and using Messages.

There's also a "Collections" feature that has sections like Welcome to iOS 11, Get to know your iPhone, Get the most from your iPad Pro, Apple Watch Workout, and more.

The new Support app is available starting today, with the update available in the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: App Store, Apple Support
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New Sports Section Goes Live in Apple's TV App in iOS 11.2 and tvOS 11.2

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 17:12
Apple this morning launched a new Sports section in its TV app, which appears to be available on devices running iOS 11.2 and tvOS 11.2. Sports can be accessed through the new dedicated Sports tab at the bottom of the app, located next to the "Watch Now" button.

First announced in September, the TV app's Sports section is designed to allow users to watch live sports games through integration with ESPN. Right now, ESPN appears to be the only app offering content through the TV app's Sports category, but additional Sports-oriented apps could offer support in the future.

Right now, since it's basketball season and there are several basketball games this afternoon, the TV app focuses heavily on basketball content. There are links to NBA games, men's college basketball, and women's college basketball, along with re-aired content and separate browsing sections for football and rugby.

Apple plans to change the focus of the app regularly to highlight relevant sports games that are upcoming, so when there are football games on, football will be more heavily prominent.

In a "Favorites" section of the app, there's an option to pick all of your favorite MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and other teams, which will tailor the content displayed in the app to your interests. The TV app will also send out notifications when important games you're interested in are airing, and those notification options can be customized in the Notifications section of the Settings app. You can also choose whether or not to display live sports scores in the TV section of the Settings app.

Beta testers who are running iOS 11.2 or tvOS 11.2 should be able to access the new Sports portion of the TV app starting today.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, iOS 11Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Releases macOS High Sierra Security Update to Fix Root Password Vulnerability

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 16:21
Apple today released Security Update 2017-001 to fix a serious vulnerability that enables access to the root superuser with a blank password on any Mac running macOS High Sierra version 10.13.1.

The critical bug, which gained attention after it was tweeted by developer Lemi Ergin yesterday, lets anyone gain administrator privileges by simply entering the username "root" and a blank password in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

The security update is rolling out on the Mac App Store now, and it should be installed by all users running macOS High Sierra as soon as possible. Regardless, starting later today, Apple said the security update will be automatically installed on all Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

Apple has since apologized for the vulnerability in a statement obtained by MacRumors:Security is a top priority for every Apple product, and regrettably we stumbled with this release of macOS.

When our security engineers became aware of the issue Tuesday afternoon, we immediately began working on an update that closes the security hole. This morning, as of 8 a.m., the update is available for download, and starting later today it will be automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra.

We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.The vulnerability does not affect macOS Sierra or any other previous version of the operating system.
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Snapchat Unveils Redesigned App Aimed at Separating Your Best Friends From Brand Content

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 15:16
Following an op-ed shared on Axios earlier this morning by CEO Evan Spiegel, Snapchat has now unveiled its radical redesign with the goal of creating a personalized user experience that's easier to navigate, particularly for new users (via TechCrunch). The app's update will start to roll out to iOS and Android users on Friday, and will be introduced to everyone "within a few weeks."

The update aggregates both Stories and direct messages into one place, to the left of the main camera section of the app, and an algorithm sorts and prioritizes this section by "who you talk to and view most." This personalized content is now separate from premium publishers, celebrity Snapchatters, and aggregated Story events in "Discover" to the right of the camera, where Stories were located previously.

Images via TechCrunch
According to Spiegel, this is an attempt to "separate the social from the media" and ensure that it's simpler to keep up with your real friends and not be inundated with things you might not care about created by brands and influencers.
With the upcoming redesign of Snapchat, we are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media. This will provide a better way for publishers to distribute and monetize their Stories, and a more personal way for friends to communicate and find the content they want to watch. The Discover area is curated by Snapchat employees but is also affected by an algorithm that will sort content based on your past viewing behavior, which Spiegel stated is inspired by Netflix's recommendation algorithms. Spiegel said that research has shown "your past behavior is a far better predictor of what you're interested in than anything your friends are doing," referencing rival companies like Facebook and Twitter.

All of this borders the camera section of the app, which you'll still see first when you open Snapchat. Navigation is made simpler thanks to icons that push you to specific sections of the app from this launch menu, including more obvious buttons for My Story, adding friends, Snap Map, and more.

The biggest change comes on the Friends page and its combination of Stories and direct messages. When you come to this area of Snapchat, you'll first see new Snaps and messages at the top, then Stories from close friends (who you watch and chat with the most), and then last will be other Stories from friends you don't interact with as much. Auto-advancing is back but with a new quality of life fix that provides a brief title screen that pops up with the name of the next friend in the queue, which you can easily swipe to skip.

Snapchat has been facing intense competition from Instagram and its own Stories feature, which it launched in August 2016. The Facebook-owned company's version of Stories quickly caught on with users and eventually managed to capture more daily active users than Snapchat in less than a year.

Tag: Snapchat
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Review: Logitech's CRAFT Wireless Keyboard is Pricey, but the Input Dial Is a Useful Addition

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:44
Last month, Logitech released the CRAFT, a wireless "Advanced Keyboard" complete with a creative input dial for controlling customizable, app-specific functions. I've been testing one out over the last few weeks to see if the company's latest Mac/PC accessory can live up to its $200 price tag.

At 960 grams (2.1 pounds), the full-size CRAFT Advanced Keyboard felt heavy against my daily workhorse, Logitech's compact K810. The extra space it took up on my desk was immediately noticeable, but on the upside it instills the CRAFT with a premium feel and there's absolutely no chance of it sliding about as you type or turn the dial.

The keys aren't any wider apart than you would expect of a typical full-size keyboard, but that does take a little getting used to if you're coming to it from the K810 or a 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro keyboard. Just something to think about.

The CRAFT, top, compared to Logitech's K810 keyboard ($99)
The CRAFT features smart illumination, with backlighting that detects hands and adjusts automatically based on room lighting conditions. The backlighting bleeds around the edges of the keys, which is something to note if that is likely to bother you. There are also proprietary buttons above the insert/home/page up keys that let you dynamically switch between any three connected devices.

Standard Mac system controls are clearly labeled along the top row of function keys, but are numbered slightly differently due to an additional "Show Desktop" function (F5). Helpfully, the modifier keys are labeled with both Mac and Windows commands.

Along the right-hand side of the keyboard's rear edge is a power switch and a USB-C port for connecting the supplied USB-C to USB-A cable, which charges the integrated 1,500mAh battery. The LED on the top-right of the raised aluminum strip glows blue when it has a decent charge, and red when the battery is low.

Meanwhile, the dial or "Crown" sits on the opposite end of the aluminum strip and is touch sensitive, so you can tap or turn it to adjust particular settings depending on the application.

Included in the box is a small USB Unifying receiver that uses 2.4GHz wireless technology to provide a connection up to 33 feet (10 meters) away. It's capable of connecting up to six keyboards and mice to one computer, so from that perspective it's a useful inclusion if you have any existing wireless Logitech accessories. Otherwise it just takes up another USB port. Fortunately, you can pair over Bluetooth instead, which is what I set out to do straight out of the box.

Unfortunately, my initial attempts at pairing the CRAFT failed. The keyboard kept disappearing from the Devices list in Bluetooth preferences before I was able to input the pairing code. After replicating the behavior on several other devices, I concluded that the keyboard was faulty and resorted to using the Unifying USB receiver until Logitech could get a replacement unit sent out to me.

The second keyboard I received paired over Bluetooth without a hitch. The backlight on the first pairing key pulsated as I connected the CRAFT to my MacBook Pro. Later I added an iPad mini 4 and an iPhone X to the mix, and was able to switch seamlessly between the three of them by tapping pairing keys 1, 2, or 3.

One of the first things I noticed after just a few minutes of typing on the CRAFT was the location and size of the Enter key: I can't tell you how many times my little finger has missed and accidentally hit the key directly above it ("\") .

As a UK user familiar with ISO-style keyboard layouts, my muscle memory continually expects Enter to extend vertically across two rows in an inverted L-shape, as it does on the UK versions of the K810 and the MacBook Pro, as well as on Apple's Magic Keyboards. The CRAFT is available only in an ANSI layout that will be familiar to US users, so it's something to consider if you're used to an ISO keyboard. Even now I will sometimes hit the wrong key.

The CRAFT's key travel is very reminiscent of pre-butterfly era MacBook Pro keys, which many users will undoubtedly welcome. The keycaps themselves have a shallow concave depression, which also feels nice to the touch. The keys are certainly closer together than on my MacBook Pro which takes some adjustment, but in my experience, finger fatigue isn't an issue with the CRAFT, and the angle of the keyboard feels just right for use on a computer desk. The hand proximity sensors also do a great job of illuminating the layout before you start typing, so you're never squinting in the dark for the correct key.

The Crown's functionality can be adjusted using the Logitech Options software utility, which has custom profiles for Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Adobe InDesign CC. Profiles for Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word currently only work on PC, according to Logitech.

Tapping the dial brings up an onscreen menu overlay offering functions specific to that app, like brush size, brightness, chart type, font size, and so on. Turning the Crown moves you through the menu, clicking it selects the appropriate tool, and turning it again adjusts the value or setting. After playing with it for a few hours, using it this way soon became second nature.

Additionally, the touch-sensitive Crown can be set up to access a variety of global Mac controls, so you can use it do things like activate screen zoom, navigate between apps, adjust brightness, or even assign to it a particular shortcut key combination.

It's also possible to assign Crown functions to each of your favorite apps, but after a bit of fiddling I found that I preferred to keep the controls global, so that turning the dial switched desktops, pressing it took the current app fullscreen, and pressing then turning changed the system volume. Using the Crown this way turned out to be a convenient method of performing these functions without having to look down at the keyboard, and made up for the fact that my MacBook Pro's trackpad is perennially out of reach on a raised stand.

Apart from assigning Crown controls, the Logitech utility also very usefully lets you remap function keys. For example, I never use the macOS Launchpad, which can be invoked using F4, so I re-assigned the key to display the Notifications sidebar instead.

Bottom Line
I found Logitech's wireless CRAFT advanced keyboard to be a solid, well-built peripheral that is comfortable in daily use – even despite my Enter key issues. I would have liked a longer battery life – for me it averaged about 8 days – but this isn't sold as a portable keyboard and anyway, you get plenty of warning before it completely runs out of juice.

As for the Crown, I found it intuitive and easy to get to grips with, requiring little thought when used to adjust system controls and only a gentle learning curve when working within Adobe apps.

That said, if you're a professional who spends a lot of time in a more niche creative application, you may run into trouble. The CRAFT's software support is still wanting on Mac, but that's something Logitech hopes to address soon.

My only real gripe is the price. $200 – or £180 in the UK – is a lot to pay for a wireless keyboard, dial or no dial. In my opinion, $150 would have been a more reasonable ask, given the current state of the CRAFT's software compatibility.

  • Customizable dial and function keys

  • Comfortable to use

  • Pairs with up to 3 devices

  • Battery life could be better

  • Lack of app support

  • Expensive

How to Buy
The Logitech CRAFT Wireless Advanced Keyboard costs $199.99 and can be ordered directly from the company's website.

Note: Logitech supplied the CRAFT Keyboard to MacRumors for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

Tag: Logitech
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Waze Becomes First Navigation App to Support Carpool Lanes

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:29
Waze today announced it is rolling out three new features in its popular crowdsourced navigation app for iOS and Android, the most notable of which is support for high occupancy vehicle lanes, also known as carpool lanes.

Image via TechCrunch
If you are driving with at least one passenger, or have a hybrid or electric vehicle with a special permit, Waze will now take carpool lanes on highways into consideration when determining your optional route.

If you are carpooling, the feature can enabled under Navigation > Add Toll/HOV pass within Waze's in-app settings. If you have a fuel-efficient vehicle, it can be selected as an option under Navigation > Vehicle Type.

Carpool lane support is initially available to Waze users in 22 states across the United States, and in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. More cities in the United States and Canada will be added over time.

The states supported include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Washington D.C. is also supported.

Next, a new "OK Waze" voice command allows for true hands-free use, allowing drivers to initiate navigation, get a preview of the route ahead, send traffic-related reports, add stops along the way, and more while staying focused on the road ahead. The feature can be enabled under Sound & Voice > Talk to Waze > OK Waze.

Talk to Waze is initially available to English-speaking Waze users in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, and will continually roll out in more languages soon.

Last, Waze now supports motorcycles as a vehicle type. In this mode, motorcycle riders will be directed on routes optimized for motorcyclists. Waze says the more motorcyclists ride in this mode, the smarter the routing will become.

Waze, developed by Google, is a free download on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone. Today's update doesn't appear to be available yet, although "OK Waze" functionality is working, so some changes may be implemented on the backend.

Tag: Waze
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Apple Countersues Qualcomm for Patent Infringement Related to Snapdragon Chips

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:12
In the ongoing legal feud between Apple and LTE chipmaker Qualcomm, Reuters reports today that Apple has made the latest move by filing a countersuit against Qualcomm and claiming that the supplier's Snapdragon chips -- used in many Android devices -- infringe on the Cupertino company's patents.

The countersuit is Apple's retaliation against Qualcomm after the latter company sought iPhone and iPad import bans in the United States over the summer. At the time, Qualcomm alleged that Apple infringed on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies that were designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while communicating. Apple denied any of these claims and said that Qualcomm's patents were "invalid."

Apple's new countersuit further revises its answer to Qualcomm's complaint from July by adding on the accusation of patent infringement surrounding the Snapdragon chips. The filing alleges that Apple owns "at least" eight battery life patents Qualcomm has violated, related to making sure that each part of the phone's processor draws only minimum power needed to function, powering down parts of the processor when not needed, and ensuring that sleep and wake functions work better for the user.

Apple specifically says that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 and 820 processors -- included in Samsung and Google smartphones -- infringe on these patents, but Apple has only named Qualcomm in its counter lawsuit. The specific monetary damages Apple is looking for were not disclosed.
Apple Inc on Thursday filed a countersuit against Qualcomm Inc, alleging that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips that power a wide variety of Android-based devices infringe on Apple’s patents, the latest development in a long-running dispute.

“Apple began seeking those patents years before Qualcomm began seeking the patents it asserts against Apple in this case,” the company wrote in its complaint. 2017 has seen rebuttal after rebuttal in the Apple versus Qualcomm legal battle, kicking off in January when the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices. Soon after, Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion, accusing the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. A Qualcomm countersuit followed in April, and the dispute escalated throughout the year with expanded lawsuits and claims lodged by each side.

Over the summer, Qualcomm began facing an additional lawsuit from the United States Federal Trade Commission, happening separately from the dispute with Apple but covering many of the same anticompetitive tactics that Apple claims in its own lawsuit.

Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm, Patent lawsuits
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Facebook Expands Captcha Test That Asks for Clear Photo of Your Face When Suspicious Activity is Spotted

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:23
Facebook users are beginning to notice a new account verification test on mobile devices that asks for them to upload a clear photo of their face, which will then be used to confirm that they are a real person, similar to other basic captcha tests that prove human users are not a bot. The selfie verification test has been around since at least earlier this spring, but the story is just now beginning to spread after more users have shared screenshots of the test on Twitter (via Wired).

Facebook told Wired that this new photo test was created to "help us catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending Friend requests, setting up ads payments, and creating or editing ads."

a friend sent me this: Facebook is now locking users out of account features, then demanding that those users "verify" their account to get back in by scanning an image of their face. AN IMAGE OF THEIR FACE.

— can Amy Goodman pls stop inviting Assange on thx (@flexlibris) November 28, 2017
Every step of the process is automated, from the moment when Facebook flags an account for suspicious activity and asks for a photo verification, to the actual process of checking the uniqueness of the uploaded photo, meaning you'd have to upload a picture not previously shared on Facebook. Once the process is done, Facebook said that it will "permanently delete" the image from its servers. This is one of "several methods" the company uses to detect suspicious activity.

Earlier in November, Facebook announced a trial for a "non-consensual intimate image pilot" program, where part of the process asked users to send such images to themselves on Facebook Messenger. This was intended to eventually prevent any of these images from being spread online by reviewing and hashing the image, "which creates a human-unreadable, numerical fingerprint of it." This way, if someone else did try to share the image on Facebook, the company's database of hashes would spot the image and prevent it from being uploaded.

As with any of Facebook's tests, it's unclear how widely available the new image verification system is currently, or if it will expand to a wider user base in the future. According to a deleted Tweet spotted by Wired, if Facebook asks you for the photo log-in you might be locked out of your account completely until you provide the image, with a message stating: "You Can't Log In Right Now. We'll get in touch with you after we've reviewed your photo. You'll now be logged out of Facebook as a security precaution."

Tag: Facebook
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Upcoming Microsoft App for iPhone Aims to Make Photo Transfers to Windows 10 Easier

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:44
Microsoft looks set to release a new iOS app for Windows 10 users in the coming months that lets them transfer photos from their Apple devices to their PCs more easily.

First discovered by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia, the companion app is said to support the fast transfer of photos and videos from Apple smartphones to PCs provided they're connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The app appeared briefly as an update on the Windows Insider "Fast Channel" and should become available to all Windows 10 testers soon.

The app seems to be for people who don't use Microsoft's OneDrive cloud backup service, as it replicates some features already available in the OneDrive app, which lets users upload pictures from an iPhone and import them directly into the Windows 10 Photos application.

The new software is part of Microsoft's wider mobile strategy to improve its iOS offerings, now that Windows 10 Mobile hardware is no longer a focus for the company. Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Phone back in July, and is no longer developing new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile.

(Via The Verge.)

Tag: Windows 10
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Apple Pulls App Store Games That Glorify Philippine President Duterte's Violent Drugs War

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:39
Apple has taken down games from its App Store that glorify the Philippine government's deadly drugs war, according to a regional organization supporting victims of illegal drugs (via The Philippine Star).

Last month, the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a letter demanding that the company remove several iOS games which it said valorized "the emerging tyranny of Duterte's presidency and his government's disregard for human rights principles".

Tsip Bato by Ranida Games
The group named 131 organizations from several countries as supportive of the letter of complaint, with groups working on human rights, youth and drug policy reform among them.

In a statement posted on its website yesterday, ANPUD said that it never received a direct response from Cook, but the runner games that its letter accused of promoting murder, extrajudicial killings and violence appeared to have been removed as of Tuesday.

They include Duterte knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime Fighter, Duterte Running Man Challenge Game, Fighting Crime 2, and Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba!, all of which featured Duterte or Philippine National Police chief (Ronald) Bato dela Rosa shooting down criminals while evading obstacles.

Despite their removal from Apple's App Store, the games remain available for Android users to download from the Google Play store.

Police chief Ronald dela Rosa told the Philippine Star that the removal of the games was a good idea, and that the government's operation to tackle drug users was not about killing or the use of violence, despite Duterte openly endorsing extrajudicial killings in his drugs war campaign.

"They made the wrong interpretation. Tokhang [the campaign] is not about shooting people," dela Rosa told reporters. Rather, he said, it involved policemen knocking on people's doors and urging suspects to stop illegal drug-related activities.

As least 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users were killed in the first six months of Duterte's crackdown, according to estimates from The Human Rights Watch group. Many of the killings are attributed to "unidentified gunmen".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: App Store, Philippines
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iHeartRadio App Updates CarPlay Support to Include Podcast Listening

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:51
Radio streaming service iHeartRadio has updated its official iOS app to include support for podcast playback through Apple's CarPlay feature, meaning listeners can now tune into their favorite iHeartRadio podcasts when they're on the road.

The latest update introduces podcasts in CarPlay through a number of new features, according to a iHeartRadio blog post announcing the changes.
"Continue Listening" lets you resume your last podcast right where you left off, without even having to think. "Your Podcasts" provides easy access to all the podcasts you follow on iHeartRadio right on your screen — no need to take your eyes off the road to find the content you love! And "Podcast Topics" helps you find that specific podcast you've been looking for.The Podcast Topics feature offers listeners 18 different categories to choose from, such as Fantasy Football, NPR, Business & Finance, Sports, and Spoken Editions.

Apple already includes its own Podcasts app in CarPlay, but according to PodTrac's industry audience rankings, iHeartRadio is the second largest podcasting publisher in the industry, hosting more than 520 original shows.

iHeartRadio is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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