iOS pirates are using Apple’s developer certificates to share hacked apps


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Just days after it was revealed that dozens of gambling and pornographic apps have been abusing enterprise certificates to distribute apps outside of Apple’s app store, Reuters has found that software pirates have been using the same process to distribute hacked versions of popular apps such as Spotify, Minecraft and Pokemon Go. The apps have been modified to block in-app advertising and make paid-for features available for free.

Source: Reuters

Windows 10 October 2018 Update still not released, running out of October


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Who doesn't love some new Windows?

Enlarge / Who doesn’t love some new Windows? (credit: Peter Bright / Flickr)

Microsoft is making yet more fixes to Windows 10 build 17763, the build that has been blessed as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

The update was initially published on the second Tuesday of the month, but within a few days Microsoft had to pull the update due to a bug that could cause data loss. It turned out that the bug had been reported numerous times during the preview period, but for whatever reason Microsoft had overlooked or ignored the feedback items describing the problem.

Microsoft fixed that particular bug and sent the fixed build to Windows Insiders to test. The fixes published today include a fix for another widely reported (but apparently ignored) bug when dragging files from .ZIP archives in Explorer. If a file within the archive has the same name as a

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The full Photoshop CC is coming to the iPad in 2019


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Adobe is bringing Photoshop CC to the iPad. Set for release next year, Photoshop CC for iPad will bring the full Photoshop engine to Apple’s line of tablets.

Photoshop for iPad has a user interface structured similarly to the desktop application. It is immediately familiar to users of the application but tuned for touch screens, with larger targets and adaptations for the tablet as well as gestures to streamline workflows. Both touch and pencil input are supported. The interface is somewhat simpler than the desktop version, and although the same Photoshop code is running under the hood to ensure there’s no loss of fidelity, not every feature will be available in the mobile version. The first release will contain the main tools while Adobe plans to add more in the future.

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Google backtracks—a bit—on controversial Chrome sign-in feature


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Article intro image

Enlarge (credit: Google Chrome)

Google will partially revert a controversial change made in Chrome 69 that unified signing in to Google’s online properties and Chrome itself and which further preserved Google’s cookies even when users chose to clear all cookies. Chrome 70, due in mid-October, will retain the unified signing in by default, but it will allow those who want to opt out to do so.

Chrome has long had the ability to sign in with a Google account. Doing this offers a number of useful features; most significantly, signed-in users can enable syncing of their browser data between devices, so tabs open on one machine can be listed and opened on another, passwords saved in the browser can be retrieved online, and so on. This signing in uses a regular Google account, the same as would be used to sign in to Gmail or the Google search engine.

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Apple iOS 12 review: Less mess


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The wait is over: After a splashy announcement at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, iOS 12 is finally ready. And the best part? While it’s far from the flashiest iPhone update ever — there’s no visual overhaul here or many hyped-up new features — iOS 12 might be the most pleasant Apple software update I’ve ever used.

Yes, “pleasant” — not “feature-packed.” As reported many, many times even before the announcement, Apple’s developers focused on sanding down the software’s rougher edges and making iOS as a whole faster and easier to use. That was no small feat, especially when you consider the number of issues that wound up plaguing last year’s big software release. For once, Apple crafted a software update that feels just as valuable on old hardware as it does on the shiny new stuff.

Apple’s iOS App Store changed the way we think about software


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Ten years ago today, Apple officially launched the iOS App Store and — for better or worse — it helped rewrite the rules of society. The iPhone, which debuted about a year prior, came with just north of 12 built-in apps to start. But with the coming of iOS 2.0 and the App Store, the sort of functionality you could squeeze out of Apple’s smartphone was only constrained by a developer’s imagination … and how much storage you had left.

Microsoft pulls Windows Sets “tabbed windows” feature from next release


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Windows Sets.

First previewed last November, Sets, a new Windows interface feature that will make every window into a tabbed windows, has been removed from the latest Insider Preview build of Windows 10. Moreover, the Verge is reporting that the feature won’t be coming back in this year’s next major update, due in October.

This marks the second time that Sets have been included in a preview release, only to be removed at a later stage prior to the release of an update. When first announcing Sets, Microsoft was very careful to note that it wasn’t promising Sets for any particular release—or possibly even ever, given the complexities of application compatibility and uncertainty about how people will actually use the feature.

The promise of Sets is certainly high. Putting tabs in every window is a way of solving certain long-standing requests such as the demand for tabs in Explorer

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ACLU urges devs to safeguard users with anti-snooping measures


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Apple recently announced that it was closing the loophole that allows authorities into iPhones via the charging and data port. The company said it wasn’t trying to defy police, but rather deter criminals and spies who aren’t bound by privacy laws. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes that government requests for personal data still represents a significant security risk to users, and is launching a guide for software developers to help them make more informed decisions about protecting the integrity of software update channels.

macOS Mojave’s dark mode makes late-night computing less painful


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The leaks were on the ball: macOS Mojave will include a dark mode. While the existing operating system already lets you darken the menu bar and dock, Mojave will extend that to the entire interface, whether it’s Finder windows or apps like iTunes. A dynamic desktop can gradually shift your background, too, so you won’t have to remember to change the appearance when the sun sets. Apple pitches this feature as helpful for pro media editors looking to minimize distractions, but it’s also handy for virtually anyone who uses their Mac late at night.

Source: Apple

macOS leak hints at dark mode and desktop News app


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Apple has inadvertently spoiled some of WWDC 2018’s mysteries in advance. Well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith has spotted a hidden video on the Mac App Store showing off what looks like a new version of macOS with a system-wide dark mode — not just the menu bar and dock as you see today. There’s no guarantee this would translate to iOS, but it would be helpful for both late-night computing sessions and media creators who find bright graphics distracting. This wouldn’t be the only addition, either.

Source: Steve Troughton-Smith (Twitter)

What to expect at WWDC 2018


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It’s officially June now, which means it’s time for us to pack our bags, get on a plane to California and take in the second major developer conference of the season: Apple’s WWDC. We’ll be on the ground at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center next week scrounging up insights from as many presentations and developer sessions as we can crash. But as always, the show’s focal point is the Monday keynote where Apple lays out its future in software. Be sure to keep your browser locked on our liveblog when the keynote begins on Monday, June 4 at 10AM PT/1PM ET — until then, read on for a primer on all the things we expect see once the keynote unfolds.

YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music but won’t kill user uploads


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Enlarge / The home screen of the revamped YouTube Music app, running on an iPad. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Google has confirmed that its revamped YouTube Music streaming service will eventually support key features of its Google Play Music app, including the ability for users to upload music files that may not exist in the service’s streaming catalog.

Google announced an overhaul for YouTube Music last week alongside a price bump for its YouTube Red service. It then began a “soft” rollout of the app for select users on Tuesday.

But the announcement of a revamped YouTube Music app has caused some confusion among those who subscribe to Google Play Music, a streaming music service Google launched in 2011 but has struggled to attract subscribers on the level of category leaders Spotify and Apple Music.

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Don’t expect Apple to combine macOS and iOS anytime soon


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At the end of 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple will merge its Mac and iOS software codebases. This would enable designers to create a single version that works on both platforms — and it was rumored to come as early as this year. But the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook denied this, stating that a merger would inevitably require diluting one operating system to make software compatible with the other. The compromises wouldn’t be what users actually want.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Next Gen Intel Processors Feature Redesigned Hardware to Address Spectre, Meltdown


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In order to protect against the recent Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced today that the company’s next generation of processors will feature redesigned components.

The CEO added that Variant 1 of the vulnerabilities will continue to be addressed via software, while Variants 2 and 3 will be addressed with the hardware changes.

According to Krzanich, these changes will begin with Intel’s next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Cascade Lake) as well as 8th Generation Intel Core processors that expected to ship in the second half of 2018.

Intel also released a video today (above) with more information to help viewers understand Spectre and Meltdown.

Developers love trendy new languages, but earn more with functional programming


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(credit: Stack Exchange)

Developer Q&A site Stack Overflow performs an annual survey to find out more about the programmer community, and the latest set of results has just been published.

JavaScript remains the most widely used programming language among professional developers, making that six years at the top for the lingua franca of Web development. Other Web tech including HTML (#2 in the ranking), CSS (#3), and PHP (#9). Business-oriented languages were also in wide use, with SQL at #4, Java at #5, and C# at #8. Shell scripting made a surprising showing at #6 (having not shown up at all in past years, which suggests that the questions have changed year-to-year), Python appeared at #7, and systems programming stalwart C++ rounded out the top 10.

These aren’t, however, the languages that developers necessarily want to use. Only three languages from the most-used top ten were in the most-loved

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iTunes Store drops support for Windows Vista on May 25th


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Ah, 2007: the days when Windows Vista was all the rage (or inducing rage), the Apple TV was brand new and music download stores were the hottest way to get the latest albums. Apple certainly remembers that year… and would like you to move on. The company has posted a support page warning that the iTunes Store will no longer work on Windows XP, Windows Vista and first-generation Apple TVs as of May 25th. iTunes itself will function, but new purchases and re-downloads are off limits. “Security changes” necessitate dropping these older platforms, Apple said.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Apple

The interface to send out a missile alert in Hawaii is, as expected, quite bad


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Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018.
Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as “false.”
(Eugene Tanner/AFP/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

The Honolulu Civil Beat claims to have obtained a picture of the interface used to send out tests and missile alerts to the people of Hawaii, and it’s not pretty.

It appears the employee who sent out the mobile and broadcast missile alert that sent Hawaii into a panic for 38 minutes on Saturday was supposed to choose “DRILL – PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” but instead chose “PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” from an unordered list of equally unintuitive and difficult-to-read options.

Alienware revamps its Command Center app with a centralized game hub


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Enlarge / The revamped Alienware Command Center’s home screen, with its game library on the right. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Another quick update out of CES: Gaming PC maker Alienware is refreshing the Command Center software that comes paired with its line of notebooks and desktops. The overhauled settings app will first arrive in February on a slightly updated version of the company’s Area 51 desktop, which loses a front USB port, adds a couple more fans and U.2 SSD support, and supports a wider breadth of LED colors on its chassis. The software will then come pre-installed on new Alienware devices going forward. Unfortunately, it won’t be available for the Dell subsidiary’s existing machines.

Apple updates macOS and iOS to address Spectre vulnerability


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Just a few days after Apple disclosed how it would be dealing with the Meltdown bug that affects modern computers, it’s pushed out fixes for the Spectre exploit as well. iOS 11.2.2 includes “Security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre,” the company writes on its support page, while the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update does the same for your Mac laptop or desktop. Installing this update on your Mac will also update Safari to version 11.0.2.

Via: Rene Ritchie

Source: Apple iOS, Apple macOS

Meltdown and Spectre: Here’s what Intel, Apple, Microsoft, others are doing about it


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Enlarge (credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/halfrain/5210931199/sizes/l)

The Meltdown and Spectre flaws—two related vulnerabilities that enable a wide range of information disclosure from every mainstream processor, with particularly severe flaws for Intel and some ARM chips—were originally revealed privately to chip companies, operating system developers, and cloud computing providers. That private disclosure was scheduled to become public some time next week, enabling these companies to develop (and, in the case of the cloud companies, deploy) suitable patches, workarounds, and mitigations.

With researchers figuring out one of the flaws ahead of that planned reveal, that schedule was abruptly brought forward, and the pair of vulnerabilities was publicly disclosed on Wednesday, prompting a rather disorderly set of responses from the companies involved.

There are three main groups of companies responding to the Meltdown and Spectre pair: processor companies, operating system companies, and cloud providers. Their reactions have been quite varied.

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