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New iOS Security Feature Ripe for Defeat
July 11, 2018
A new feature in iOS 11.4.1, which Apple released earlier this week, is designed to protect against unwanted intrusions through the iPhone's Lightning Port. However, the protection may be weak at best. The feature, called "USB Restricted Mode," disables data transfer through the Lightning Port after an hour of inactivity. In some cases, the phone might not charge, according to Apple.
WPA3 Arrives to Shore Up WiFi Security
June 27, 2018
Network devices with better security will be hitting the market this year, thanks to Wi-Fi Certified WPA3, which the Wi-Fi Alliance launched Tuesday. The announcement paves the way for the proliferation of devices that support the new, more secure protocol for WiFi communication, which is designed to replace the 14-year-old WPA2. The new protocol adds features to simplify WiFi security.
Apple May Go All-In With Audio
June 26, 2018
Apple plans to expand its audio product line next year with new AirPods, HomePods and possibly studio-quality over-the-ear headphones. The new generation of AirPods will feature noise cancellation, be water resistant, and have greater range, according to a report citing people familiar with the developments. Apple's plans reflect an expanded role for audio in the company's future.
The Dismal State of Healthcare IoT Security
June 25, 2018
The healthcare industry has been moving toward medical equipment connectivity to speed up data entry and recording, as well as improve data accuracy. At the same time, there has been a shift toward incorporating consumer mobile devices, including wearables. "The demand for connected devices has increased rapidly in recent years," noted Leon Lerman, CEO of Cynerio.
Fire Cubes, Home Theater Beams, and X-ray Cases
June 21, 2018
Amazon's latest gambit for taking over your living room is the Fire TV Cube. It works in much the same way as the Fire TV stick, but with the added impact this time around of stuffing in a smart speaker with the familiar tones of the Alexa voice assistant. You can use it to play whatever you want to see in up to 4K resolution from various streaming services.
Companies Team to Give Hard-Pressed Sales Reps a Boost
June 20, 2018
Mobile sales and business-to-business e-commerce platform Handshake has teamed up with Square to provide easy B2B ordering and payments via an app that enables a seamless workflow between the two companies' products. Using the app, B2B sellers can accept all major credit cards and see their money deposited in their bank accounts in one to two business days.
The IoT's Perplexing Security Problems
June 19, 2018
Worldwide IoT spending will total nearly $773 billion this year, IDC has predicted. The IoT will sustain a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent, and spending will hit $1.1 trillion by 2021, according to the firm's forecast. Consumer IoT spending will total $62 billion this year, making it the fourth largest industry segment, after manufacturing, transportation and utilities.
iOS 12 to Provide Stronger 911 Location Help
June 19, 2018
iOS 12 automatically will share location data for iPhones used to make emergency calls. The system will use an IP-based data pipeline developed by RapidSOS to share location data from iPhones with 911 centers. "Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Upcoming iOS Access Restrictions Could Stymie Law Enforcement
June 16, 2018
Apple plans to equip iOS 12 with USB Restricted Mode, which requires users to unlock their iPhone with their passcode before USB accessories can connect if the phone last was unlocked more than an hour earlier. The company included this feature in the developer versions of iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12. Apple will release USB Restricted Mode publicly in a future software update, it confirmed this week.
Nvidia May Be Lone Rider on Next Big Technology Wave: Robotics
June 11, 2018
Dell's most forward-looking people spoke about the future at Dell World a few weeks ago. One of the sessions I attended dovetailed with something that appears to be glaringly obvious -- to me, anyway -- which is that is that robots likely will be the next big technology wave. I then wandered around to find out what Dell was doing in robotics, and I couldn't find anything. Dell is not alone.
Dark Screen Mode Among New macOS Mojave Highlights
June 6, 2018
Apple on Monday gave the world a peek at macOS Mojave, the next version of its operating system for Macintosh laptop and desktop computers. The preview took place at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Mojave has a mix of new features that add to its good looks and utility as a productivity tool.
Apple Unveils New Siri Customization Tools at WWDC
June 5, 2018
The next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 12, will include a new feature that allows you to customize the way Siri works with applications on phones and tablets. The announcement was one of the highlights at the kickoff of Apple's WWDC on Monday. Called "Siri Shortcuts," the feature lets a user define a phrase that will trigger a set of actions by the apps on a device.
Teens Falling Away From Facebook
June 1, 2018
Ninety-five percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent of teens are almost constantly online -- but younger Internet users do not connect on Facebook as much as their older peers do, suggests a new Pew study. Although Facebook dominated social media across all age groups over the past decade, it has taken a backseat to YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat among today's teens.
Qualcomm and Huawei: More Partners Than Rivals
May 31, 2018
Because both Qualcomm and Huawei are technology leaders in the wireless segment and have invested heavily in 5G, they often are pitted against one another in political, financial and industry discussions. However, the truth is that the two companies complement one another and work together more than they compete against each another, since they come from different ends of the wireless ecosystem.
HomePod Gets Multi-Room Audio Chops With iOS 11.4
May 30, 2018
Apple has released iOS 11.4, the latest version of its mobile operating system, with some beefed-up features for its HomePod wireless smart speaker. The update allows users to create a stereo pair with two HomePods. It also supports multiroom streaming through AirPlay 2 connections. Music can be played in every room with a HomePod. It can be the same music in every room or tailored for each room.
Okta Offers Devs Free Tool to Set Up Multifactor Authentication
May 24, 2018
Okta has announced the Okta API Products One App, which lets engineering teams and developers implement multifactor authentication for any single website or application. Developers can use API Products for One App free if they display "Identity by Okta" on the login page of their app. Among Okta API Products for One App's features are authentication and directory services for Web or mobile apps.
Next-Generation 7nm Chips Headed for Fall iPhones: Report
May 24, 2018
Apple has ramped up production of its new 7-nanometer processor for its upcoming crop of iPhones. The new processor will be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10nm processor in Apple's current iPhone line, according to a report. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, one of Apple's partners, has begun mass production of the chip, which is expected to be called the "A12."
Budget-Friendly Surface Tablet May Horn In on iPad's Turf
May 17, 2018
Microsoft plans to release a line of Surface tablets priced in the $400 range later this year, according to a report. The tablets are expected to have 10-inch screens and rounded edges, and USB-C connectivity -- a first in Microsoft tablets. They will be about 20 percent lighter than the Surface Pros, and their battery life will be about four hours shy of the 13.5-inch Surface Pro.
How to Back Up iPhone Data to an External Drive
May 16, 2018
A recent incident reminded me of the importance of backing up one's phone regularly. Soon after carrying my recycling out to the curbside, I realized I had misplaced my 6-month-old iPhone. Cue brief panic, followed by deep concern that I'd somehow tossed my device into that transparent bag I'd left outside for the world to see. That led me to yelling "Hey, Siri" until the familiar chime sounded.
Fresh Funds Help BorderX Open Chinese E-Commerce Market to West
May 10, 2018
BorderX Lab, which was founded in 2014 by three former Google computer scientists, has raised $20 million in a financing round led by Kleiner Perkins. BorderX Lab offers the Beyond App mobile marketplace solution to facilitate cross-border e-commerce for global brands and merchants seeking access to the burgeoning Chinese consumer market. Beyond App is available for Android and iOS.
Android P Tackles Phone Addiction, Distraction
May 10, 2018
Google has revealed some major new features in the next version of its Android operating system for mobile devices. Now in public beta, the OS known as "Android P" includes features designed to address growing concerns about phone addiction and distraction. For example, a dashboard will show users how often, when and for how long they use each application on their phone.
Echo for Kids, Retro Voice Assistants, and a Second Snap
May 8, 2018
Amazon is trying to rope in younger members of the family to use its Alexa voice assistant with the release of a smart speaker for kids. The Echo Dot Kids Edition has a rubber case protecting a standard Echo Dot and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy. It includes a one-year membership for Amazon's subscription service for kids' books, videos, games, education apps and Alexa skills.
Google Assistant Gains Momentum in Smart Home Race
May 5, 2018
Google Assistant, the artificial intelligence software built into Android handsets and the Google Home smart speaker system, now can control more than 5,000 smart devices. That's up from just 1,500 products in January -- and the list of supported products includes everything from cameras and security systems to doorbells, locks and lights, to dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.
Fitbit's Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment
May 2, 2018
Fitbit and Google on Monday announced a new partnership on healthcare. Fitbit will develop consumer and enterprise health solutions that will use Google's new Cloud Healthcare application programming interface. Fitbit also will move to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its products and services. Fitbit will leverage Google Cloud's infrastructure and security features.
Could BlackBerry Displace Apple?
April 30, 2018
I spent a day with BlackBerry last week and it brought back memories of how Apple displaced the company around a decade ago. I, like a lot of folks, thought what Apple was attempting was impossible. However, after the fact, it didn't even look difficult. BlackBerry largely has completed its pivot to software and services, but a wave of new phones from its partners suggests new possibilities.
Snap Doubles Down on Spectacles Wearable Cam
April 27, 2018
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, on Thursday released the second generation of its Spectacles, a wearable video camera that captures short clips that can be synced to a smartphone. The new version also takes still photos and is designed to be water-resistant. The new Spectacles sport the same basic Ray-Ban style design as the first iteration, but they have been slimmed down and are less bulky.
Gmail Privacy and Security Get Ruggedized
April 26, 2018
Google has rolled out a number of new features designed to make its G Suite collaboration and productivity apps more efficient and safer to use. G Suite currently has more than 4 million paying business customers. The updates include a new design, enhanced security and AI components, and better integration of G Suite apps -- including Gmail, which is getting a brand new look.
Amazon's Latest Delivery Scheme Involves Handing Over Your Car Keys
April 25, 2018
Amazon has added a new option to its Amazon Key service for Prime members: in-car delivery, which allows drivers to place packages inside a locked trunk or elsewhere in a car that is parked in a publicly accessible area. The Amazon Key In-Car delivery service is available at no extra charge to millions of Amazon Prime members who drive certain cars.
Planned Apple News Subscription Service Could Address Fake News, Pay Walls
April 18, 2018
Apple plans to launch a news subscription service within the next year. The new service reportedly will combine features from its recent Texture acquisition and Apple's existing news app. Texture's technology and its employees will be integrated into the Apple News team, which will build the new service. The company will split revenues with publishers.
Vulnerabilities Abound in Popular Android Apps: Report
April 18, 2018
About 20 percent of the most popular Android Apps available through the Google Play Store contain open source components with known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, according to a report Insignary will release next week. The findings are the result of the company's recent comprehensive binary code scan of the 700 most popular Android Apps on the Google Play Store.
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