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Industry & Technology

Apple to developers: disclose screen recording or get booted from App Store

Ars Technica - February 8, 2019 - 4:14pm

Enlarge / The home screen on the iPhone XS. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Apple has begun notifying developers who use screen-recording code in their apps to either properly disclose it to users or remove it entirely if they want to keep their apps in the App Store. The move comes after a TechCrunch report showed that many apps do not disclose such activity to users at all, and some sensitive user data has been compromised through screen recordings.

"Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem," an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. "Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity."

The initial report highlighted third-party analytics code used by Air Canada, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hollister and other companies in their mobile apps that allows them to record the screens of users while they navigate the app. These "session replays" are designed to help developers work out kinks, make informed UI decisions, and better inform them on how users are interacting with their apps in general.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Jeff Bezos: Amazon boss accuses National Enquirer of blackmail

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 3:32pm
Jeff Bezos says National Enquirer attempted extortion by threatening to publish "intimate photos".

Lego Movie 2 isn’t just amazing—it’s also the Solo we always wanted

Ars Technica - February 8, 2019 - 1:30pm

Enlarge / This image's colors make me wish Optimus Prime was in the film. He's not. That's pretty much my only complaint about this family-comedy masterwork. (credit: Warner Bros.)

Confession time: I was not a massive fan of 2014's The Lego Movie.

I'm not a heartless idiot, of course. I enjoyed it. When it comes to the filmmaking duo that is Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, I'm ride-or-die since the Clone High days, and at its best, The Lego Movie saw them bounce between heart and weirdness in delightful ways. But the film's "surprise" reveal and its reliance on zillions of Lego-tweaked pop-culture references felt enough like a crutch to take me out of my investment in the film's strange brand of wit and heart.

I say all of this before uttering a word about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part to make something clear: I absolutely lost my marbles watching this pitch-perfect, hilarious, full-steam-ahead sequel. Lego Movie 2 is everything I hoped for from a film that comes with established characters and setting, and its comfort with the first film's gimmicks means it spends less time trying to prove itself and more time letting its varied characters grow and explore in exciting new territory.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Rocket Report: Rogozin’s crazy promise, SpaceX tests Mars engine, SLS slips

Ars Technica - February 8, 2019 - 1:00pm

Enlarge / The mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket takes to the skies. (credit: Aurich Lawson/United Launch Alliance)

Welcome to Edition 1.35 of the Rocket Report! The leader of Russia's space program, Dmitry Rogozin, has promised his president that the country can double its launch total this year. And if you believe that, well, we've got a trampoline to sell you that will allow your astronauts to reach orbit.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

ABL scales up vehicle performance. ABL Space Systems said that it will offer a more powerful variant of its RS1 rocket—up from 900 to 1,200kg to LEO—to find its niche in the crowded smallsat-launcher market. A launch will cost $12 million. Company executives told SpaceNews that the increase in performance comes after a year and a half of work to refine the design of the vehicle and better understand what it would take to produce the rocket.

Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Revolut admits making up stats in adverts

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 12:56pm
Digital banking service Revolut is referred to the City watchdog over its Valentine's Day "single takeaway" ad.

Apple to pay teenager who found FaceTime bug

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 12:54pm
The flaw let iPhone owners eavesdrop on people they called via the FaceTime video-chat system.

Robot aims to inspire girls to take STEM and other news

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 11:53am
BBC Click's Jen Copestake looks at some of the best technology stories of the week.

YouTube U-turn over child abuse singer

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 11:47am
YouTube deletes singer Austin Jones's channel, after he exchanges sexual images with underage girls.

Climate change: UK carbon capture project begins

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 7:46am
A controversial new scheme is capturing CO2 emissions from wood burning.

Australia parliament hit by cyber-hack attempt

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 6:37am
Politicians' passwords have all been reset, but officials say it appears no information was stolen.

Jeff Bezos goes public with alleged AMI blackmail over nudes

Ars Technica - February 8, 2019 - 1:40am

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

On Thursday afternoon, Jeff Bezos took to Medium to excoriate David Pecker and his company American Media Inc.—which owns the National Enquirer—for attempting "extortion and blackmail." Rather than comply with their demands, the Amazon founder and CEO (who also owns The Washington Post) has published emails from AMI executives threatening to publish a number of embarrassing photos of Bezos and a woman the Enquirer claims is his mistress.

The kerfuffle all started several weeks ago, when the National Enquirer published text messages that it alleged proved an affair between Bezos—who is married—and another woman, Lauren Sánchez. As a result, Bezos commissioned an investigation into how the paper obtained the text messages, an act which he claims has enraged Pecker. Bezos writes that AMI subsequently contacted his lawyers demanding a halt to the investigation. Should Bezos' lawyers not comply, the Enquirer would publish 10 purloined selfies of Bezos and Sanchez, one of which was described as a "d*ck pick."

The following day, Bezos writes that he received another email that he also reproduced in full on Medium. The message demands that he and his lead investigator, Gavin de Becker, make public statements to the effect that "they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and [they make] an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility."

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

'How a smartphone saved my mother's life'

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 1:04am
The smartphone is becoming a powerful medical tool that can diagnose a growing number of conditions.

EE data breach ‘led to stalking’

BBC Technology News - February 8, 2019 - 1:02am
A customer's ex-partner accessed her new address and bank details, before turning up at her home.

Just when an end seemed near, two 3D-printed gun-file legal battles get new life

Ars Technica - February 7, 2019 - 11:30pm

Enlarge / The information contained on this Defense Distributed USB drive has been sparking quite a bit of legal action over the last year. (credit: Nathan Mattise)

Last week, the legal drama surrounding 3D-printed gun files and firearms tech company Defense Distributed seemed near the finish line. A judge had newly ruled that a federal court in Texas lacked jurisdiction to decide whether a new New Jersey "ghost gun" law was unconstitutional in Defense Distributed v. Grewal. And a previous, separate effort from 19 states and the District of Columbia to keep the gun files offline, State of Washington v. Department of State, continued to sit in limbo as it had for months. Nothing happened in the case since the fall when the defense wanted to stay (or pause) the whole thing. The defense claimed rule changes were coming at the State Department within the next four months, and those tweaks would make Washington irrelevant.

But this week, two new and unexpected court filings have set the table for yet another round in this ongoing courtroom saga. In one motion, the judge in Washington v. State has decided the case won't wait any longer and can move forward. And in the other filing, Grewal may now get a sequel situated in the state of New Jersey, as Defense Distributed has submitted a fresh legal complaint against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The company did so after a website that hosted DD's gun files received a corresponding takedown notice from New Jersey.

Evidently it can’t wait

The last major action in Washington came toward the end of 2018 when the defendants filed a motion to pause everything for four months while the State Department considered new rules that it argued would "directly bear on this case." Washington et al. pursued this legal action initially because they believed that, when the Department of Justice settled its five-year legal battle with Defense Distributed in July 2018 and allowed the CAD files in question to be re-posted, that action violated the Constitution. But in a November 2018 filing, government lawyers for the defense explained that rule changes being considered by the State Department would make any legal conflicts in Washington moot.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Flickr gives free accounts a few more days to save their pictures from destruction

Ars Technica - February 7, 2019 - 10:47pm

Enlarge (credit: Randy Adams / Flickr)

Last November, photo-hosting site Flickr announced that it was going to slash the storage afforded to free accounts; they'd be capped at just 1,000 pictures each. Starting January 8 this year, free accounts with more than 1,000 pictures were rendered unable to upload any new images, and on February 5, the service was due to start deleting the excess images. Flickr intends to delete pictures working from the oldest to the newest until each account is brought under the threshold.

February 5 has come and gone, and so far nothing has been deleted. Deletion is still in the cards, but Flickr has extended its deadline to March 12, giving its users a few more weeks to rescue their pictures. The extension comes amid widespread difficulties with downloading pictures en masse from the site, especially among its very heaviest users. As Flickr's own help pages note, it can take as long as a week to package your pictures into a single downloadable ZIP file.

Alternatively, account holders can upgrade to Flickr Pro to safeguard their pictures.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Cable lobby asks for net neutrality law allowing paid prioritization

Ars Technica - February 7, 2019 - 10:20pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | nevarpp)

Cable industry chief lobbyist Michael Powell today asked Congress for a net neutrality law that would ban blocking and throttling but allow Internet providers to charge for prioritization under certain circumstances.

Powell—a Republican who was FCC chairman from 2001 to 2005 and is now CEO of cable lobby group NCTA—spoke to lawmakers today at a Communications and Technology subcommittee hearing on net neutrality (see a transcript of Powell's prepared testimony).

Powell said there is "common ground around the basic tenets of net neutrality rules: There should be no blocking or throttling of lawful content. There should be no paid prioritization that creates fast lanes and slow lanes, absent public benefit. And, there should be transparency to consumers over network practices."

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Woody Allen sues Amazon for $68m for dropping A Rainy Day in New York

BBC Technology News - February 7, 2019 - 10:17pm
The film-maker takes legal action against the company for allegedly refusing to release his latest film.

Apple pushes fix for “FacePalm,” possibly its creepiest vulnerability ever

Ars Technica - February 7, 2019 - 9:53pm

Enlarge (credit: Apple)

Apple has patched one of its creepiest vulnerabilities ever—a flaw in its FaceTime messenger app that made it possible for people to eavesdrop on audio and video captured by iPhones and Macs.

The bug in Group FaceTime, a feature that allows conference-call-style chats, made it trivial for someone to eavesdrop on someone else simply by initiating a FaceTime call, swiping up and choosing “add person,” and entering their own number to add themselves as a participant in a Group FaceTime call. While people on the receiving end would see a call was coming through, they would have no idea that the person trying to connect could already hear nearby audio and, in many cases, see video.

Two other potentially serious iOS security bugs Apple fixed Thursday have been under active attack in the wild, security researchers with Google's Project Zero said. One bug indexed as CVE-2019-7287, is a memory corruption flaw in the IOKit. Apple said it may allow apps to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Another memory corruption bug in Foundation, CVE-2019-7286 may allow an application to gain elevated privileges.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Second-generation Range Rover Evoque gets hybrid option

Ars Technica - February 7, 2019 - 9:07pm

Enlarge / A 2020 Land Rover Evoque parked on a drawbridge over the Chicago River. (credit: Jaguar Land Rover)

CHICAGO—At the Chicago Auto Show, Land Rover took the wraps off the newly redesigned Range Rover Evoque. Originally introduced for the 2011 model year, the second-generation subcompact SUV has undergone a complete makeover, featuring a hybrid powertrain option, advanced driver-assistance tech, and what Land Rover calls "groundbreaking" off-road tech.

Starting at $42,650 for the base S model, the 2020 Evoque keeps the coupe-like silhouette and dimensions of the first-generation models. Although it's roughly the same size, Land Rover has carved out more interior space for the second-gen Evoque to make the backseat more comfortable. There's also 6 percent more luggage space (now 21.5 cubic feet), which expands to 50.5 cubic feet when the back seat is folded flat.

In addition to the four-cylinder, 2.0-liter twin-turbo engine, there will be a 48V mild hybrid powertrain version that is paired with the internal-combustion engine. Like other hybrids, the Evoque will use regenerative braking to charge the battery positioned under the floor of the cabin. The engine will shut off when the Evoque drops below 11mph, and the car will tap the battery to boost acceleration once it starts moving again.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Instagram vows to remove all graphic self-harm images from site

BBC Technology News - February 7, 2019 - 8:40pm
But some pictures - such as scars - will be allowed to remain, the head of the platform says.

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