Apple Uses Hidden Web Page to Recruit for a ‘Critical’ Company Role

A hidden web page has been discovered on Apple servers containing a job description for a "talented engineer" to work on a "critical infrastructure component" and an invitation to apply for the position at the Cupertino-based company.


The web page, originally located at us-west-1.blogstore.apple.com but since taken down, was discovered on Saturday by ZDNet's Zach Whittaker and describes a role within Apple that involves "exabytes" of data and "tens of thousands" of servers, as well as "millions" of disks. The introductory text reads:
Hey there! You found us. We are looking for a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component that is to be a key part of the Apple ecosystem.
Applicants for the role must have the ability to design and implement scalable apps and web services, and be familiar with Java 8, distributed systems, and modern servers, according to the job description. The exact nature of the job is not given, but given that it relates to web services, it could have iCloud, Apple Music, iTunes or the App Store in mind.

It's unclear when the role was actively being sought, but the fact that it is a hidden page suggests Apple was betting on the possibility that potential candidates for the job would have no difficulties uncovering it.
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Apple Says Bug Exploited by $500 Passcode Guessing Box to Crack iPhone 7 is Patched in iOS 11

iOS 11 patches an exploit that could be used to crack an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus passcode using a $500 hardware hacking solution, Apple confirmed to TechCrunch this afternoon.

The exploit, demonstrated by YouTube user EverythingApplePro yesterday, was never really of any concern to iPhone users because of the extreme parameters required to make it work in a timely manner, according to TechCrunch. It uses a $500 piece of hardware, requires physical access to an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, realistically only works with a 4 digit passcode, and slows down drastically more than 10 minutes after an iPhone's passcode was last changed.


The "box" shown off in the video is similar to tools used by law enforcement officials, and while passcode-guessing hardware like this does not normally work at this speed because iOS devices lock you out after several failed passcode entry attempts, there is a bug in iOS 10 that makes it possible to guess a passcode over and over for a short period directly after the passcode has been changed. TechCrunch explains:
On iOS 10, there is a "bug" for lack of a better term, that allows repeated, rapid guesses of the passcode if you've changed it within the last minute or so. This allows the box to work within that period. Once another threshold is crossed -- say 10 minutes after a passcode is changed -- you no longer have the freedom to guess rapidly.
Without the rapid guessing enabled by the iOS 10 bug, it takes much, much longer for a solution like box to get into an iPhone because it's slowed down by Apple's passcode timeout. A six digit passcode (now the default on iOS devices) that had not been changed recently would take approximately 9.5 years to crack, for example.

According to Apple, the behavior that allows the box to work has been patched as of iOS 11 beta 4.
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Apple Pulls Apple Pay Support From Websites Selling White Nationalist and Nazi Apparel

Apple has disabled Apple Pay support on websites selling white nationalist and hate group apparel and accessories, reports BuzzFeed.

While Apple did not provide a comment on its decision to pull Apple Pay from the websites, an Apple spokesperson pointed out Apple Pay guidelines that prevent the payments service from being used on sites promoting hate, intolerance, and violence based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

On Wednesday, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sold sweaters with Nazi logos, t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "White Pride" and a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators. [...]

Apple removed Apple Pay capabilities from little-known sites including AmericanVikings.com and VinlandClothing.com, the latter of which sells apparel with Nazi logos.
Apple's efforts to block Apple Pay from white nationalist websites comes following a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and supremacists clashed with counterprotestors over the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue located in Emancipation Park. The event culminated in the death of one person and the injury of 19 others after a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of people.

While Apple has not made an official statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared two tweets earlier this week calling the events "heartbreaking" and condemning violence and racism.


In addition to Apple, many other sites have been cracking down on white nationalist and white supremacist organizations. PayPal has also pulled payment support from some of the sites in question, while Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, and Airbnb have made efforts to white nationalist activity on their platforms.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Taiwan’s Massive Power Outage Had No Material Impact on Production of New iPhones

A massive four-hour power outage that affected 17 cities and counties across Taiwan on Tuesday had no material impact on the production of new iPhones, according to industry analysts speaking with Nikkei Asian Review.

iPhone 8 dummy model sandwiched between an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Apple suppliers Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, PowerTech Technology, and ChipMOS Technologies said the power outage did affect some of their production facilities in Taiwan, although they saw little impact on overall operation and shipments, the report noted. All three companies have resumed regular operations.

Apple's contract manufacturer TSMC also said its operations were not affected, as did fellow iPhone assembler Pegatron, according to Reuters.

The power outage caused a massive blackout in Taiwan, affecting more than 668,000 homes and businesses across the island, according to the South China Morning Post. The incident was blamed on human error at the Datan Power Station in Taoyuan, south of capital Taipei. It was Taiwan's worst blackout since 1999.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said Apple will begin production verification tests for the so-called iPhone 8 in late August, followed by mass production in mid-September. The high-end device is expected to launch in extremely limited quantities in September alongside the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.
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Apple Sets Aside ‘$1 Billion War Chest’ for Hollywood Programming

Apple has earmarked $1 billion to acquire and produce original television content over the next year to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The plans could see Apple procure and produce as many as 10 television shows, according to people familiar with the matter, thanks to a budget figure that is about half of what Time Warner's HBO spent on content last year and around the same amount as Amazon spent in 2013, after it announced its own move into original programming.


The budget will reportedly be controlled by Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were hired by Apple in June from Sony to oversee content acquisition and video strategy. Apple also recently hired former WGN America President Matt Cherniss to oversee development of the company’s worldwide video unit. Cherniss previously worked with Erlicht and Van Amburg to bring the Sony shows "Underground" and "Outsiders" to WGN.
Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht have begun meeting with Hollywood agents and holding discussions about shows Apple could acquire, the people familiar said. Mr. Matt Cherniss has movie experience, having worked as a production executive at Warner Bros.
WSJ notes that not only will Apple have a fight on its hands going up against rivals already heavily invested in original content, but it will also have to avoid jeopardizing its 15 percent cut of subscriptions from its App Store for services like Netflix and HBO GO.

As for the cost of programming, this can vary widely, from more than $2 million an episode for a comedy to more than $5 million for a drama, while high-end shows such as "Game of Thrones" can cost over $10 million per episode to produce.

For its video service to gain traction, Apple needs at least one hit, according to the people familiar with the plan who spoke to the newspaper. The company's initial video efforts include "Planet of the Apps", which was launched in June on Apple Music, and "Carpool Karaoke," which was launched last week. Apple has not revealed ratings for the shows but both have been criticized by reviewers.

Apple is hoping its efforts in original programming will bolster the appeal of iTunes movie rentals and other offerings through the store. Last year, iTunes generated an estimated $4.1 billion in revenue, but its share of the movie rental-and-sales market has declined to less than 35 percent from 50 percent in 2012, according to the report.
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Apple Adds to Video Team With Hire of Former WGN America Head

Former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios Matt Cherniss has jointed Apple to help oversee the development of the company's worldwide video unit, reports Variety.

Cherniss will serve under Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who joined Apple earlier this year to lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale. Erlicht and Amburg report to senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.


Back in June, Cherniss stepped down from his role as president at WGN America and Tribune Studios after Tribune was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Cherniss led WGN's own push into original content and away from re-runs, overseeing the launch of shows like "Salem," "Outsiders," "Underground," and "Manhattan," so he's well-positioned to help Apple make a deeper dive into original programming.

With the addition of Cherniss, Apple has a solid team, as its former two hires, Erlicht and Amburg, helped produce shows like "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul," and "The Crown."

Over the course of the last several months, Apple has been experimenting with original content as a way to promote its Apple Music service. The company has launched two shows so far, including "Planet of the Apps," a series about app developers pitching ideas to investors, and "Carpool Karaoke," a music-based show developed from the Carpool Karaoke segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

Apple is said to have bigger ambitions when it comes to original content, though, with rumors suggesting the company is pursuing deals with "triple-A-list" talent to create a roster of shows on par with Netflix and Amazon.
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Game-Streaming Platform Twitch Launches First Desktop App for Mac

Popular game-streaming platform Twitch officially launched its first desktop app on Thursday, allowing Mac users to enjoy all the features of the existing web-based platform within a standalone native application.

Based on the CurseForge platform acquired last year, the Twitch Desktop App lets users watch live streams, clips, and video on demand, all while chatting with fellow gamers. Plus there's a new Friend Sync feature that promises to help users find friends "across the creator-verse".


In addition to private messaging, Twitch on Mac supports voice and video calls, indicating a clear bid to compete with rival platform Discord, which began testing a new video chat feature yesterday. The app also supports thousands of game add-ons made by the modding community, as well as in-game overlays so users can manage calls without needing to switch between windows.

The desktop app also includes the Dark Mode recently introduced in the mobile version, making watching streams in low light environments easier on the eyes. Amazon-owned Twitch is also promising a cloud storage feature in the near future that will allow users to access their data remotely.

In addition to established features, the Twitch desktop app introduces Servers, a new virtual home for gaming communities where users can watch video, play, and chat together even when a game stream is offline.

The Twitch desktop app for macOS is available now and can be downloaded for free directly from the Twitch website.
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Apple Urged to Implement Feature That Sends an iPhone’s Precise Location to Responders in Emergencies

EENA, short for the European Emergency Number Association, has called on Apple to integrate a solution called Advanced Mobile Location into iOS to improve the safety of iPhone users in emergency situations.


Advanced Mobile Location recognizes when an emergency call is made and, if not already activated, activates a smartphone's GPS or Wi-Fi to collect the caller's precise location information. The handset then sends an automatic SMS to the emergency services with the caller's location, before turning the GPS off again.

For months, EENA said it has tried to establish contact with Apple to work on a solution that automatically provides accurate location derived from iPhones to emergency services and rescuers, but with no result so far.

Advanced Mobile Location is allegedly up to 4,000 times more accurate than current emergency systems, which rely on cell tower location with a radius of up to several miles, or assisted GPS, which can fail indoors. EENA lists several real scenarios where AML's location accuracy was less than 12 meters.


Last year, Google implemented a new AML-based solution called Emergency Location Service into Google Play services that automatically works on Android smartphones running its Gingerbread operating system or newer.

AML must also be supported by carriers. EENA said the service is fully operational in several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria, Iceland, and New Zealand, on all mobile networks.

In terms of privacy, Google said it never sees or handles the precise location obtained by its Emergency Location Service feature. Instead, the location is sent from the smartphone to emergency services only when a user explicitly places an emergency call, either directly or through their mobile network.

EENA said AML has saved many lives by more accurately pinpointing a person's position. Accordingly, several minutes of time can be saved, according to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute:
Ambulance Service measurements show that, on average, 30 seconds per call can be saved if a precise location is automatically provided, and several minutes can be saved where callers are unable to verbally describe their location due to stress, injury, language or simple unfamiliarity with an area.
EENA said it recognizes the efforts of Apple to improve the safety of its customers. It acknowledged the SOS functionality of the Apple Watch, which can automatically send the location of a caller to a specified contact. However, it believes the location should be sent to emergency services and rescuers as well.

Apple certainly cares about the safety of its customers. It doesn't appear to have publicly provided a reason against supporting AML.

Via: The Next Web
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Apple Stops Signing iOS 10.3.2

Following the release of iOS 10.3.3 on July 19, Apple has stopped signing iOS 10.3.2, the previous version of iOS that was available to consumers.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners who have upgraded to iOS 10.3.3 will no longer be able to downgrade their devices to iOS 10.3.2.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.

iOS 10.3.3 is now the only version of iOS 10 that can be installed on iOS devices by the general public, but developers and public beta testers can download iOS 11, a future update that is being beta tested and will be released in the fall.
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Red’s $15,000 ‘Red Raven’ Camera Kit Available Exclusively at Apple Stores

High-end camera company Red today announced that its Red Raven camera kit, priced at $14,995.95, is being sold exclusively through Apple.com and demoed at select Apple retail stores around the world.


Red describes the Raven camera kit as a "complete camera package" that features a "diverse" set of accessories that have been sourced from brands like Sigma, G-Tech, Nanuk, and of course, Apple, with the company contributing Final Cut Pro X. The full kit components are listed below:

  • RED RAVEN 4.5K camera BRAIN

  • RED DSMC2 Touch LCD 4.7" Monitor

  • RED DSMC2 Outrigger Handle

  • RED V-Lock I/O Expander

  • RED 120 GB RED MINI-MAG

  • Two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger

  • G-Technology ev Series RED MINI-MAG Reader

  • Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art

  • Nanuk heavy-duty camera case

  • Final Cut Pro X

  • foolcontrol for RAVEN Camera Kit


The Red Raven 4.5K camera, which can capture up to 120 frames per second, is designed to produce cinema-quality imagery while also remaining small and compact for portability. It weighs 3.5 pounds and can be used with drones, gimbals, and handheld configurations. As with all Red cameras, the Raven has a modular design that allows it to pair with both Red accessories and accessories from third-party brands.


The Red Raven Camera Kit with Final Cut Pro X is available for purchase from Apple.com starting today, with next-day delivery available.
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