Authorities serve Apple with a warrant to access the Texas shooter’s iPhone SE

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Following the shooting in a Texas church a couple of weeks ago, it quickly emerged that the FBI was having trouble accessing data stored on the shooter’s encrypted phone. While authorities refused to disclose the make and model of the device, when Apple said that it had contacted the FBI to offer help, it all but confirmed early reports that an iPhone was at the center of the case. Now Apple has been served with a warrant to help local law enforcement officers to access messages, photos and other data stored on gunman Devin Patrick Kelley’s iPhone SE. See also:… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Privacy: Germany bans kids’ ‘spying’ smartwatches

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Regulators in Germany have introduced a ban on children’s smartwatches citing privacy concerns. Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA) describes the wearables as “spying devices” and advises parents to destroy them. The FNA said that parents had been using such smartwatches to listen in on their children at school, and warned teachers to be on the lookout for them. But a lack of regulation of the devices means that many have poor security, meaning they could be used by others to spy on wearers. This is not the first time German regulators have stepped into ban privacy-invading devices. An… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Voice-activated Siri could be coming to iMac Pro thanks to A10 Fusion chip

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It seems as though Apple’s upcoming iMac Pro will feature an A10 Fusion chip as a co-processor. The inclusion of the chip — the same one used in the iPhone 7 — has led to speculation that “Hey, Siri” support could be making its way to macOS. A couple of developers cracked open Apple’s BridgeOS 2.0 software package, and the code shows that the chip appears to be used to handle security and the boot process. But it’s the prospect of always-on “Hey, Siri” support that will interest many people. See also: No HomePod for Christmas as Apple delays launch… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Windows 8 onwards incorrectly implements ASLR security feature, but you can fix it

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Since Vista, Windows has included a security feature known as ASLR. Address Space Layout Randomization uses a random memory address to execute code, but in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 the feature is not always applied properly. A security analyst discovered that in the last three versions of Windows, ASLR was in fact not using random memory addresses, essentially rendering it useless. The good news is that there is a fix — but you will have to apply it manually. The idea behind ASLR is that by executing code in random locations, it helps to protect against exploits… …Continue reading on BetaNews

No HomePod for Christmas as Apple delays launch of smart speaker until 2018

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The launch of the eagerly anticipated Apple HomePod has been delayed until next year. The iPhone maker had planned to release its answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo in December, but now admits that more development is needed. The delay means that anyone hoping to get a HomePod for Christmas is going to be disappointed. Apple has not elaborated on the exact cause of the delay, but with a “premium” price tag of $350 — and this being a product coming from the Apple stable — customers are not going to be happy with something that is less than… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Adblock Plus tries to entice UC Browser users to Adblock Browser

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Adblock Plus is using the disappearance of the popular Android app UC Browser from Google Play to promote its own mobile web browser. An open letter to people looking for the currently-unavailable UC Browser calls on mobile web users to give Adblock Browser a try. The privacy-focused browser includes, obviously, an adblocker and, as Adblock Plus cheekily points out, “we haven’t been kicked out of the store.” See also: UCWeb sheds more light on the disappearance of UC Browser from Google Play UC Browser pulled from Google Play for shady activity Adblock Browser 2.0 for iOS adds Ghost Mode for… …Continue reading on BetaNews

UCWeb sheds more light on the disappearance of UC Browser from Google Play

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The Android web browser UC Browser disappeared from Google Play recently, and there has been great speculation about just what caused the app to be pulled. Now the company behind it has spoken out, giving a little more detail about what has happened. While it was previously thought that “misleading and unhealthy methods of promotion” were to blame, it turns out that a setting within the app was problematic. See also: UC Browser pulled from Google Play for shady activity Despite an email sent out to partners of the UC Browser maker — which made reference to “malicious promotion” –… …Continue reading on BetaNews

LastPass is working with Google to ensure its Android app is not delisted

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Google recently announced that it was going to take action against apps that misuse its Accessibility Services API. There are a number of big-name apps that make use of this API, including the likes of LastPass and Tasker. Users of the password management tool were concerned to hear that their favorite app could be affected. But the company has spoken out to say that it is working with Google, and there will be “no immediate impact” to its users. See also: Google clamps down on apps that misuse accessibility API — and it could affect your favorite apps Another password… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Microsoft starts charging for its beta exam program

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It’s always great when something is free, but there is the danger that it becomes undervalued. That’s precisely what seems to have happened with Microsoft’s beta exam program, so the company has decided to start charging candidates to sit exams. This is not so much about using the exams as a way of filling Microsoft’s coffers, but more about trying to ensure that people who want to take the exams are able to. The Windows-maker says that there have been many instances of no-shows, and this is depriving others of a seat. Microsoft says that there are always high levels… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Twitter outlines new verification policies and strips many right-wingers of their blue tick

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After awarding the coveted blue tick of verification to a white supremacist, Twitter recently announced that it would be pausing its verification program. Making good on this promise, Twitter says that it is not only no longer accepting public requests for accounts to be verified, it is also introducing new guidelines, and removing the verification tick from accounts that do not make the grade. This means that white nationalist Richard Spencer, far-righter Laura Loomer, English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and others no longer have a blue tick next to their names. While Twitter is promoting this clamp down as… …Continue reading on BetaNews

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