Weekly news recap – March 11, 2016
The latest news of the week. A round-up of the news over the past week so you can be sure of staying up to date with what’s happening in the world.
Apple has patented the “liquid metal” Home button
Back in 2010 Apple bought the company Liquidmetal, which is successfully experimenting with metal alloys. Since then, on web from time to time appear rumors about where Cupertino is going to apply this know-how. Recently it became known that the US Patent and Trademark Office granted apple 40 new patents, one of which describes the advantages of using the Home button made from “amorphous alloys” by Liquidmetal, on iPhone and iPad. The patent states that such button will have a number of unique properties, including increased strength, durability, resistance to corrosion, light weight and flexibility.
The plasticity of the alloy allows making the Home button more pleasant to use: it can be slightly deformed when pressed and returns to the normal form, if you release your finger. The technology will also allow to make a button touch sensitivity, which will open new horizons in the field of user interface. Of course, having a patent doesn’t guarantee anything, however there is a reason to expect the replacement of robust sapphire with more innovative material.
Tim Cook visited a “secret” meeting of billionaires in the United States
Tim Cook participated in the annual World Forum organized by the American Enterprise Institute on a private island. Guests of the event were billionaires, heads of transcontinental corporations, as well as members of senior management of the US Republican Party and all of them discussed the US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Reliable sources reported that the representatives of the political and business establishment of the United States have discussed ways in which it would be possible to prevent the nomination of Trump’s presidential election.
Among the guests invited to the event, in addition to the head of Apple were Google co-founder Larry Page, the founder of Napster Sean Parker, as well as the founder and the head of Tesla Elon Musk. The main question was not “how can we prevent it” but “how it happened”. Trump is currently one of the main contenders for the presidency from the Republican Party. On the eve the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto compared Donald Trump with Hitler.
“That’s the way Mussolini came to power, same as Hitler. They took advantage of the problems experienced by humanity after the economic crisis” – Nieto said in an interview with Excelsior
McAfee creator lied about hacking the iPhone of the terrorist from San Bernardino
Last week John McAfee, candidate for US president and founder of the McAfee company told in details how exactly he will hack the iPhone 5C, which belonged to a terrorist from San Bernardino. McAfee said that he is ready to eat his shoe if it doesn’t work.
During his interview McAfee explained the whole hacking process, in particular, he proposed to transmit through the iOS disassembler code, and then search for the desired data among “zeros and ones”. At the same time, he assured that all manipulations will take “half an hour”.
Later, on March 8 in an interview with the Daily Dot McAfee admitted that he deliberately lied. Apparently, the founder of antivirus company knows how modern encryption systems work in general and the iPhone’s protection in particular. McAfee said that his previous statement was with good intentions.
“My goal was to attract the attention of Americans to the FBI’s problem, which is trying to fool the American society. How I had to do it? Just directly say so? No one would listen to such nonsense. So I came up with something sensational” – said McAfee
Apple has released iOS 9.3 beta 6 for developers and participants of the testing program.OS
The new beta version of iOS 9.3 fixes some bugs of the previous versions and adds a number of functional improvements. The size of beta 6 update is only 38 Mb. Presumably, this is the last assembly before releasing GM-version of update.
The first ransomware for Apple OS X was recently discovered
On the last Sunday, experts have discovered the first virus cryptographer, also known as ransomware, threatening computers running OS X. The malicious code was found in the Transmission – BitTorrent client debuted last week. The infected version of the app contains malware KeRanger, which encrypts data on the user’s computer in three days after installation. After the attack KeRanger demands from Mac owners to pay a ransom in amount of 1 Bitcoin (about $400) to decrypt encrypted files.
However, there is no reason to worry anymore, Apple has already updated built-in protection mechanism on OS X, which is now successfully identifies and blocks KeRanger. Update was installed automatically and prohibits the execution of infected files using Apple’s XProtect technology. However, users who installed an infected version of the Transmission, may face some problems. Experts do not recommend to transfer money to the hackers, to not encourage their illegal activity and refer to the backup features of Time Machine and make a rollback of the operating system.
US authorities have filed a second lawsuit against Apple
The US Department of Justice filed a second lawsuit against Apple about the iPhone hacking, belonging to the accused in drug trafficking Jun Feng in New York (USA). With that smartphone authorities hoped to reveal the other participants in the scheme of drugs distribution, which was attended by Jun Feng.
On Monday, the US government brought new arguments in court. Prosecutors referred to the decision of the Court of California, which obligated Apple to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook. In addition, a representative of the Ministry of Justice says that the phone from the case of drug dealer in New York runs on an older operating system that Apple has agreed to hack several times in the previous cases.
Apple is resisting attempts to gain access to encrypted data, stating that it would set a dangerous precedent for the violation of the rights of users and that similar questions should not be considered in court and in Congress, which must enact appropriate legislation.
Court in Iowa doesn’t allow to hack the iPhone of the girl who was shot dead
Another case of iPhone hacking attempts came to the attention of the media as a result of the consideration of a crime in the state of Iowa. Involved in the case was the American Alexander Kozak, accused of killing a girl in Coralville mall.
22 years old Alexander Kozak shot 20-year-old Andrew Farrington in a shopping center in June last year, bringing a firearm to work. Kozak was a security guard in the mall, where also worked the deceased. It is reported that the man killed the girl on Friday night when the mall has a lot of customers. According to local press, the killer left his work post, headed home to get the weapon and when returned to the workplace fired three shots in the head of the victim.
The protection of the murderer requested information from the phone of the deceased, claiming that the alleged “iPhone” of the girl contains important information about the couple’s relationship. The lawyer of Kozak stated that his client had experienced psychological discomfort in a relationship at the time of the murder, and therefore worthy of the respective leniency.
The judge said about the impossibility of satisfying the protection request, explaining its decision by the fact that a few days before the death the victim changed the password on her smartphone and family members have not been able to unlock it.
World giant ExxonMobil adopting Apple Pay
Apple’s NFC payments system receives an extremely important boost from the world’s largest company in fuel industry, ExxonMobil. This support, already linked in January, now comes with a range of more than 6,000 stores in the United States, which is great asset to the Cupertino company.
In the United States, consumers will have at their disposal a much easier way to pay for the vehicle fuel. This is because the country’s largest gas stations company joined the Apple Pay service. ExxonMobil enabled Apple Pay on over 6,000 fuel stations across the United States, allowing customers to pay for fuel and other services, such as washing cars without having to take out the wallet.
By midyear, the list of ready-stores to work with these technologies will also join more 2,000 other stations, according to the publisher of CNET, with the objective of 10,000 stores with Apple Pay support by the final of 2016. This will make the user, instead of using the card with NFC, use his iPhone, which is enough to approach to the equipment, put the finger on Touch ID and the purchase will be validated. All this done in less than 45 seconds. No need for bar codes, cards, no multiple terminals, one for each company or bank, all centralized and easily accessible. It also facilitates the company and gives Apple a huge advantage in America, significantly increasing its portfolio of credit cards.