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Health Apps Sell User Data

A recent study from the BMJ found that many popular health apps share more data with advertisers than they probably should. The researchers analyzed 24 Android apps with scripts that simulate real world usage, and found that 19 of them shared potentially sensitive user data (PDF Warning) with 55 "unique entities." 14 of the apps transmitted the data over an unencrypted connection. The researchers stressed that the entities collecting the data not only have the ability to aggregate it with user information from other sources, but that they turn around and sell this information to other 3rd parties, which represents a huge potential privacy violation.

Sharing of user data is routine, yet far from transparent. Clinicians should be conscious of privacy risks in their own use of apps and, when recommending apps, explain the potential for loss of privacy as part of informed consent. Privacy regulation should emphasise the accountabilities of those who control and process user data. Developers should disclose all data sharing practices and allow users to choose precisely what data are shared and with whom.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 21, 2019 10:34 AM (CDT)

Apple Launches iMac With Coffee Lake and Vega

Today, Apple updated its iMac lineup with 9th generation Intel processors and AMD Vega graphics. The 21.5 inch iMac now sports up to 6 cores, while the 27 inch iMac gets what's presumably a fully enabled 8-core Coffee Lake die. Apple also says they're they're offering "Radeon Pro Vega graphics" in both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs. The subtext reveals that the smaller iMac has an optional "Vega 20" graphics card, while the larger one features the long-rumored Radeon Pro Vega 48. It's not clear if we'll ever see desktop gaming versions of these Vega GPUs, but some people have already pointed out that smaller Vega GPUs could cut into sales for the recently-launched RX 590.

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple's four software platforms - iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS - provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 19, 2019 11:13 AM (CDT)

What Happens When You Water Cool an Air Cooler?

What happens when you try to water cool and air cooling tower? One YouTuber decided decided to find out, as he sealed the upper part of a Hyper 212 EVO inside a closed ice loop. The setup managed to keep and overclocked 2500k at a stable 44C under load, but just how practical such a setup would be long-term remains to be seen. Check out the experiment below:

Ever since I can remember, when it comes to CPU cooling there are two main options, water cooling or air cooling. That got me thinking, why cant you do both. I took my Hyper 212 EVO and set out to water cool it, I thought it would be cool But I had not idea it would work this well.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 18, 2019 9:09 AM (CDT)

Valve Doesn't Sound Too Happy about the Epic Store Copying Steam Data

Could a lawsuit be brewing? A spokesperson with Valve has told Bleeping Computer the company is "looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam" following allegations the software was stealing users’ information without their express permission. Engineers with Epic have admitted some of the scrapped data could be sent to the company's servers.

In other words, Valve doesn't think the Epic Store client should be touching localconfig.vdf at all, and presumably would prefer it if Epic used the Steam API to gather friends lists. For Epic's part, it has not said that the entire file is uploaded, only that it parses out user IDs and uploads hashes of them, should users import Steam friends. In the future, Valve could potentially encrypt local user data to prevent the Epic client and other software from copying it.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 1:40 PM (CDT)

Apple Will Unveil Its Streaming Video Service on March 25

"It’s show time": Apple has sent out an invite for its next event on March 25, which indicates an official unveiling of the company’s long-rumored streaming video service. While the actual launch is reportedly months away, Apple is expected to tease some of its original TV content, which includes stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. A Bloomberg report suggests the company wants to win an Oscar badly.

Apple is spending billions of dollars on projects that feature stars like Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Durant, and producers such as J.J. Abrams. It’s also building a slate of films from Oscar-winning studios A24 and Cartoon Saloon. The company is racing to complete content deals with partners by this Friday, Bloomberg News reported this week. Apple will charge for some content, while other video will be free for Apple device users.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 1:05 PM (CDT)

Win Some, Lose Some in Qualcomm vs Apple Saga

A jury in federal court in San Diego awarded Qualcomm $31 million in a patent infringement case against Apple. Qualcomm requested damages amounting to $1.41 per iPhone. The three patents that Apple allegedly violated were related to battery life in mobile phones. In another case, a U.S. federal judge issued a preliminary ruling favoring Apple related to patent royalty rebate payments. Factories that build Apple iPhones paid Qualcomm billions of dollars to use Qualcomm's technology. Apple agreed to reimburse the factories. "Qualcomm and Apple had a cooperation agreement under which Qualcomm would pay Apple a rebate on the iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack in court or with regulators." Apple filed a lawsuit after it says Qualcomm refused to issue $1 billion in patent royalty rebates. Qualcomm alleged that "Apple had broken the agreement by urging other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission." Apple said it was just responding to regulators.

The decision will not become final until after the trial in the case, which begins next month. And it is unlikely that Qualcomm will make a new payment to Apple. Apple's contract factories, which under normal circumstances would pay Qualcomm for patent royalties owed on iPhones, have already withheld the nearly $1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. "Apple has already offset the payment at issue under the agreement against royalties that were owed to Qualcomm," Qualcomm's Rosenberg told Reuters.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 15, 2019 3:32 PM (CDT)

File Abnormality Causes Duplicate Tax Refunds

66,000 Louisiana residents are collectively $26 million richer as a file ran "abnormally," causing duplicate tax refunds on Wednesday, March 13. Many of these "double refunds" were direct deposited and banks are being notified of the overages. Refunds sent to debit cards are being "backed out." Division of Administration spokesman, Jacques Berry "urges anyone who received a larger refund than what they are actually due to not spend the money."

"It was a file abnormality," Berry said. "The file ran twice when it was only supposed to run once." "Hopefully we'll recover the vast majority of it before anyone mistakenly spends it," he said. "We appreciate taxpayers' cooperation while we recoup the overpayments," Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said in a statement.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 15, 2019 2:00 PM (CDT)

Lady Gaga Could Appear in Cyberpunk 2077

According to Actugaming.net's anonymous sources, Lady Gaga could show up as a character in Cyberpunk 2077. The star was reportedly seen entering CD Projekt Red's studios, and some sources claimed that she went there for some kind of motion capture performance. Lady Gaga is no stranger to motion capture technology, but just what role she'll (allegedly) play in the game isn't clear yet. The site's sources also corroborated previous rumors suggesting that CD Projekt Red would announced a release date at E3 2019, and mention that rumors of Lady Gaga's participation stretch all the way back to 2012. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

Of course, it will be necessary to wait until the event that will take place in June to see this in pictures but it is apparently the plans currently planned, although the information needs to be confirmed. If all goes well, the date should be unveiled at E3. However, the plans could very well be reviewed by then since the studio wants above all to refine their creation and we are told that it is not written in the marble. If we start now with the assumption, it is not unlikely to see the game be in the limelight during the Microsoft conference with why not, an appearance of Lady Gaga.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 14, 2019 9:10 AM (CDT)

Hackers Can Hijack Cars with Alarm Apps

Security researchers from Pen Test Partners claim they've found serious security vulnerabilities in high end car alarm services from Viper and Pandora. In a quick demonstration, the researchers showed that an attacker could pull up behind a moving vehicle with one of the commercial security systems installed, set off the alarm, disable the engine, unlock the doors, then drive off with it in a matter of minutes. On top of that, the researchers say they could geolocate vehicles, pull up owner and car details, and in some cases, adjust cruise control speed or snoop on drivers through a microphone. The researchers say the exploits affect up to 3 million vehicles around the world, and confirmed that the vulnerabilities they found were quickly fixed by the manufacturers, but note that they "have no idea if there are other vulnerabilities in the API."

Amazingly, the vulnerabilities are relatively straightforward insecure direct object references (IDORs) in the API. Simply by tampering with parameters, one can update the email address registered to the account without authentication, send a password reset to the modified address (i.e. the attacker's) and take over the account. It's possible to geo-locate and follow a specific vehicle, then cause it to stop and unlock the doors. Hijack of the car and driver is trivially easy. We found the flaws prior to fitting the alarms, but wanted to purchase and fit them to our vehicles for a full proof of concept.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 08, 2019 10:33 AM (CST)

Cinebench R20 Is Available on the Microsoft Store and Apple Store

Cinebench R20 is the latest CPU benchmark from Maxon and it is available for download from the Microsoft Store and Apple Store. Maxon has provided instructions for its use as many features of the program have been modernized to incorporate the latest advances of today's hardware and to reflect the capabilities of Cinema 4D. The new Cinebench R20 benchmark uses four times as much memory as Cinebench R15, requires 8x the computational power, and still retains the single core test option. This means the results of testing performed with Cinebench R15 aren't comparable to Cinebench R20 runs. Users can manually define a custom number of up to 256 render threads, even if your machine does not have that many cores. Cinebench R20 and Cinema 4D R20 incorporate the latest rendering architectures, including integration of Intel's Embree raytracing technology and advanced features on modern CPUs from AMD and Intel that allow users to render the same scene on the same hardware twice as fast as previously. No GPU support has been added to the benchmark.

Anyone who needs to evaluate hardware performance should add Maxon Cinebench to their testing arsenal. System administrators can use Cinebench to help make purchase decisions, journalists can use the results in reviewing hardware, hardware manufacturers can utilize the feedback in optimizing their latest products. Any computer owner can evaluate their individual system. Unlike abstract benchmarks, which only test specific functions of CPUs, Cinebench offers a real-world benchmark that incorporates a user's common tasks within Cinema 4D to measure a system's performance. Improvements to Cinebench Release 20 reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D's ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 05, 2019 4:46 PM (CST)

Samsung Offers to Supply Foldable Displays to Apple and Google

Sharing is caring: Korean IT news site ETNews is reporting Samsung has provided samples of its foldable display to Apple and Google, which will certainly make it easier for these giants to develop Galaxy Fold-type devices of their own, presuming they care to. MacRumors points out the former has been working on its own iteration of foldable-display technology, but if that doesn’t pan out, Apple can simply do business with Samsung.

Samsung has historically been both supplier and competitor to Apple and other smartphone manufacturers and provides the OLED screens for Apple's top of the line iPhones. According to the report, Samsung doesn't intend to keep foldable technology to itself and is instead working to dominate as a supplier for the technology. Samsung is said to be able to produced about 2.4 million units a year at this time but is considering moving up to 10 million units a year depending on demand.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)

Tim Cook: Apple Is Working on Future Products That Will "Blow You Away"

Speaking at yesterday’s annual general meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook teased investors he was "planting seeds" and "rolling the dice" on future products that will just "blow you away." Cook didn’t specify what these would be but hinted the company could soon unveil AirPods that support Siri and wireless charging, as well as Apple Watch models with new health features. Augmented reality smart glasses or even a full self-driving vehicle could be further in the horizon.

On the topic of services, Cook said Apple is well on its way towards meeting the goal it set in 2016, which was to double its $25 billion revenue by 2020. Later this month, Apple is expected to unveil two new products in the services category, including a new streaming TV service outfitted with original television shows and a new Apple News service with access to subscription news sites and magazines for a monthly fee.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 02, 2019 2:10 PM (CST)