Update to celebrity photo investigation >> Apple
After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.
To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification.
So the “iBrute” attack on Find my iPhone wasn’t involved. In hacking cases, it’s usually best to start with the least complex explanation – social engineering and password hacks – than complex attacks.
Lessons from the celebrity iCloud photo breach >> American Civil Liberties Union
Apple, Google and the other big tech companies should acknowledge that millions of their customers regularly use their products to engage in sensitive, intimate activities. These companies can and should offer a “private photo” option for sensitive photos that prevents them from being uploaded to the cloud. More importantly, they should treat their customers like grownups and educate them about how they can use their products and services to engage in intimate activities, as safely as possible.
Isn’t it called “Snapchat”?
Chart: how people use mobile payments >> Statista
The lack of NFC support in current generation iPhones has likely hindered a wider adoption of NFC by both merchants and consumers, as data published by Nielsen suggests. Only 37% of mobile payment users in the U.S. have used their smartphone to pay for goods or services using NFC, while 45% have made payments by presenting a barcode on their phone’s screen for the cashier to scan.
If Apple decides to include NFC in its future devices however, that could really be a breakthrough for NFC and mobile payments in general. Considering Apple’s solvent clientele and the fact that the company has reportedly reached deals with all three major credit card companies, it will be hard for merchants not to adopt whatever payment system Apple might present next week.
“It’s as secure as your iCloud account!”
“Um.. I’ll pay with cash, thanks.”
An inside look at Anonymous, the radical hacking collective >> New Yorker
One day in 2008, Doyon and Commander Adama met at the P.L.F.’s basement apartment in Cambridge. Adama showed Doyon the Web site of the Epilepsy Foundation, on which a link, instead of leading to a discussion forum, triggered a series of flashing colored lights. Some epileptics are sensitive to strobes; out of sheer malice, someone was trying to induce seizures in innocent people. There had been at least one victim already.
Doyon was incensed. He asked Adama who would do such a thing.
“Ever hear of a group called Anonymous?” Adama said.
A long read. Set aside some time.
Android game console maker Ouya in sale talks with Chinese internet giants, others >> Re/code
Ouya, the maker of a low-cost Android-based gaming console of the same name, has been engaged in preliminary acquisition talks with multiple big players in China, as well as a few here in the U.S., according to several sources close to the situation.
Sources said the talks are early, but that the company considers it one of its more likely options rather than raising more money. There are no current offers on the table, said sources, but the talks are proceeding.
The companies that Ouya has had discussions with include Xiaomi, Tencent and other in China and there has also been some engagement with Google and Amazon.
More likely an acqui-hire than a buy for the consoles. Remember Ouya consoles? Anyway.
‘Holy Grail’ battery scientist explains incredible breakthrough >> Forbes
Gordon Kelly on the development by Yi Cui of Stanford University of a lithium battery with a pure lithium (rather than silicon or graphite) anode, which could quadruple capacity:
Pure lithium anode batteries have been made before, just not with the same success. Until now the best lithium-anode batteries have carried a 96% ‘Coulombic efficiency’ rating which means they lose 4% of their capacity with every charge as the lithium anode eats away the lithium electrolyte. They die after 25 full charging cycles.
Cui’s team has raised this efficiency to 99%, taking the charge cycles up to 100. Still, that’s not enough for a commercial product. “The difference between 99 percent and 96 percent, in battery terms, is huge but the threshold for commercial viability is 99.9%,” says Cui. “While we’re not quite to that 99.9% threshold, we’re close.”
How Cui and his researchers are solving this is by building ‘nanospheres’ – protective layers of interconnected carbon domes on top of the pure lithium anode. Lithium expands almost infinitely while charging, stretching out in wild hair-like structures which can warp, break or even cause the battery to explode.
The nanospheres stem this.
Commercial development: maybe five years.
Eve >> elgato.com
Once known for its digital-TV-on-the-Mac recording system, the German company is now getting into HomeKit-connected gear:
The upcoming range of Eve senses gathers data on air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, energy and water consumption and more. Gain insights that help you improve your comfort, and make your home a smarter place.
Is it anything more than vanity metrics for the home, though?
How Facebook’s newest teen engineer supported his family with apps until cashing in >> GIgaom
Carmel DeAmicis :
getting to the top of the app store wasn’t just a fun goal for Sayman. It was a matter of keeping him and his family afloat financially.
Since the age of 13, Sayman had been supporting his parents and his sister with profits he made from prior apps. The recession hit the Saymans hard, and when their home was foreclosed upon Michael bought the family a smaller townhouse to live in. In Florida, the economy hasn’t rebounded quite as quickly as it has in Silicon Valley, and Sayman’s parents struggled to keep their local business — a chicken restaurant — profitable. When I spoke with Michael’s mother Cristina back in April, she told me, “Sometimes I’m embarrassed to say everything Michael did for us. It’s like he became the father of the family. It’s crazy.”
The financial struggles didn’t stop then. Even as Facebook was flying Sayman out to tour the campus and speak at conferences, he still owed tuition to his private high school, and the program wouldn’t give him his graduation certificate without it.