Friday Tech News Roundup #28

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

1Password bolts on a ‘pwned password’ check – Password management service 1Password has a neat new feature that lets users check whether a password they’re thinking of using has already been breached. At which point it will suggest they pick another. Techcrunch

Snips brings its privacy-focused voice assistant to cars – French startup Snips is announcing two things for its voice assistant SDK. Techcrunch

Tinder vulnerability let hackers take over accounts with just a phone number – A newly published attack let researchers take over Tinder accounts with just a user’s phone number, according to a new report by Appsecure. The Verge

Google Assistant will soon detect what language you’re speaking in – Google Assistant is getting some important language upgrades this year. The Verge

Apple’s AirPower said to be released next month, pricing info still unclear – Alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X last September, Apple showcased its wireless charging accessory called AirPower. The charging mat will allow Apple users to charge their iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch on the same surface. At the time, Apple teased a 2018 debut, and now it looks like we’re inching closer to that release…. 9to5Mac

New AirPods reportedly coming this year with ‘Hey Siri’ support, water resistant model in development – Apple is working on a new version of the AirPods truly wireless earbuds for release later this year, featuring a new wireless chip and support for ‘Hey Siri’ activation, according to a report from Bloomberg today. 9to5Mac

Nvidia is creating surveillance cameras with built-in face recognition. Uh, great? – Nvidia has partnered with AI developer AnyVision to create facial recognition technology for “smart cities” around the world. Mashable

Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre – The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penalties to HPC applications. HPCWire

Windows 10 updates could be installed much more quickly in the future
Microsoft is working to make the major updates for Windows 10 more streamlined, so that these currently twice-yearly upgrades don’t take nearly as long to install and configure. Techradar

Tim Cook Says Apple is Always Focused on ‘Products and People’ Over Wall Street Expectations – Apple’s CEO primarily reflected on the iPhone maker’s culture and approach that has led to products such as the iPhone X, Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod, and as to be expected, he talked up the company he runs. Macrumors

Friday Tech News Roundup #27

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

As Stripe backs away from crypto payments, Coinbase offers a new solution for e-commerce – Popular payment enabler Stripe announced plans to end support for bitcoin last month, but crypto exchange Coinbase is stepping into the gap after it released a new option for online merchants. Techcrunch

Apple and Android are destroying the Swiss Watch industry – In Q4 2017 – essentially during the last holiday season – market research firm Canalys found that more people bought Apple watches than Swiss watches. Two million more, to be exact. Brian Heater has more data but this news is quite problematic for the folks eating Coquilles St-Jacques on the slopes of the Jura mountains.Techcrunch

Microsoft’s next Windows 10 update will include high-performance mode – Microsoft is adding a new enhanced power mode to Windows 10 Pro for users who need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their computer. Mashable

Facebook’s new slogan: ‘If you think we’re not good for your business, leave’ – Facebook is famous for the mantra “move fast and break things.” But these days, the tech giant is all about time well spent, and with that comes a new tagline for everyone to follow: If you don’t like us, leave. Mashable

Intel’s new graphics drivers automatically optimize game settings – Intel is introducing a new feature for its processors with integrated graphics, allowing games to be automatically optimized on systems. The Verge

Apple says new apps must support the iPhone X Super Retina display – Today, Apple informed developers that all new apps that are submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display, starting this April, reports 9to5Mac. The Verge

Facebook using 2FA cell numbers for spam, replies get posted to the platform – Facebook is reportedly spamming some users by text, using a cell number they provided only for use in two-factor authentication. 9to5Mac

Receiving an Indian character crashes Messages and other apps in iOS 11 [U: Mac & Watch too] – There have been a number of cases where sending a particular message to an iOS device causes the Messages app to crash, leaving users unable to re-open it – and a new one has emerged in iOS 11. 9to5Mac

Researchers discover two new Spectre and Meltdown variants – Spectre and Meltdown are two serious, recently discovered security flaws tied to CPU hardware. Techspot

MIT’s new chip makes neural networks practical for battery-powered devices – Researchers at MIT have developed a chip capable of processing neural network computations three to seven times faster than earlier iterations. Techspot

5 Things I Love About iPhone X

iPhone X is now my primary phone since Jan 27 and I have since put my iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 Plus into storage. I got the 256GB version of iPhone X for $2249 and that was inclusive of Apple Care.

Although it’s expensive, I still feel that it’s valued for money.

Here are five things that I love about the iPhone X.

Face ID

Using Touch ID to unlock your phone with it is pretty convenient, compared to typing in your passcode, especially when your passcode is more than 6 characters long. However, Touch ID doesn’t really work when your fingers are wet. It’s particularly irritating if you are suffering from hyperhidrosis because your fingers are wet most of the time. I spent half of the time unlocking my phone using my passcode. Face ID changes the way phone is unlocked.

With Face ID, I just need to glance at it when the display is on and swipe up. It works correctly like 98% of the time. The times it doesn’t work is when I didn’t put the phone far enough for the camera to detect my face correctly. All you need to do is to cancel the passcode screen, reposition the iPhone, and swipe up again. And it will work again.

Super Retina HD and OLED Display

Apple made the OLED Super Retina HD display way better than the competition. The OLED used made blacks really black. When you play games like Inside, you actually feel like you are in a dystopian world because of the OLED display. Combined with the Super Retina HD, everything looks crisp and sharp.

With the wide color gamut, colors from videos and games are just popping out and looks great. It just made the whole viewing experiences much better than iPhone 7 Plus.

Overall Design

The all screen design with the thin bezels immerses you into whatever you are viewing. The way it follows the edge of the phone, joining up to the highly polished stainless steal band which then transit to a glass back made everything look really seamless. It is almost like the whole device is one solid thing.

And the controversial notch on top of the phone? It was one of the most unique and striking feature of the phone. It made the phone easily identifiable. In someway, it looks like the phone has very nice looking horns. I love just how original it was.

Size

At 14.36cm tall and 7.09cm wide, iPhone X is smaller than iPhone 7 Plus at 15.82cm tall and 7.79cm wide. It is much easier to hold and with it’s all screen design, screen estate is not compromise. You still get to see as much content as you can on a iPhone 7 Plus.

On the other hand, iPhone 7 or even iPhone 8 is way too small. The bezels and the home button take up much of the screen real estate and make webpages, images and videos too small for comfortable viewing.

Speakers

iPhone X has better sounding speakers than iPhone 7 Plus. With the volume bar set at center, it’s is louder. The sound are crispier and the bass is more perceivable. Even at a 75%, the sounds produced don’t crackle.

Bonus: Performance

With its new A11 Bionic chip, the phone is snappy and doesn’t have noticeable slowdown when watching videos, or playing games, and listening to music.

Switching between apps when multitasking also doesn’t feel slow and could keep up with me, enabling a more productive day.

Friday Tech News Roundup #26

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple AirPods are the latest tech product that can allegedly explode – Another tech product, another explosive allegation. Mashable

Some iPhone source code just hit GitHub, and Apple isn’t pleased – Apple’s legal team has been busy. Mashable

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Apple’s HomePod – Apple HomePod sounds really great, works with Apple Music, Siri is still meh, and it requires an iOS device to set up. The end, right? Mashable

Microsoft is testing authenticator logins for Windows 10 S users – It seems Microsoft may be aiming to ditch passwords sooner than some may have thought. The company first made their anti-password goals clear back in 2015 with the release of Windows 10 which launched with the “Windows Hello” facial recognition system for logins. Techspot

Intel rolls out random reboot-free Spectre microcode updates for Skylake chips – Back in January, we covered Google Project Zero’s disclosure of massive CPU security flaws Spectre and Meltdown. If you’ve never heard of these vulnerabilities before, here’s the gist: Spectre and Meltdown are two serious CPU security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal personal data from computers, mobile devices and servers without a given machine’s owner ever realizing it. Techspot

Hacker group manages to run Linux on a Nintendo Switch – Hacker group fail0verflow shared a photo of a Nintendo Switch running Debian, a distribution of Linux (via Nintendo Life). The group claims that Nintendo can’t fix the vulnerability with future firmware patches. Techcrunch

Nvidia up 10% after Q4 earnings beat, says cryptocurrency demand ‘exceeded expectations’ – Nvidia’s successes are continuing to pile on as the company’s gaming and data center businesses drove revenues up 34 percent year-over-year. Techcrunch

From July, Chrome will flag all unencrypted websites as ‘not secure’ – Google’s fight for a more secure internet continues with the announcement that its Chrome 68 update – to be released in July this year – will see all unencrypted websites (HTTP sites) marked with a ‘not secure’ label. Techradar

Surface Pro 5 release date, news and rumors – You might suspect that the Surface Pro (2017) is the closest we’ll ever get to the Surface Pro 5, but if Microsoft itself is anything to go by, you would be dead wrong. The Surface Pro 5 doesn’t exist right now, as Microsoft Surface leader Panos Panay confirmed last May, but it will when more meaningful changes erupt from the geniuses at Microsoft’s hardware design lab. Techradar

Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows strategy as it tries to outmaneuver Apple and Google – Last weekend, long-time Microsoft blogger Brad Sams reported that Windows 10 S – the latest version of the operating system, launched in mid-2017 – is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Business Insider

Friday Tech News Roundup #25

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

iPhone sales numbers dipped slightly, but revenue is up courtesy of the iPhone X – As far as sales figures go, this last quarter wasn’t entirely rosy for Apple. During today’s earnings report, the company posted sales of 77.3 million iPhones, down just under a million from this time last year. Of course, that 78.2 million figure from 2017 represented a new record for the company. Techcrunch

Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue from AirPods, Watches, TVs and other products last quarter – Other than its iPhones and computers, Apple sells a bunch of other products, like the AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats products, iPod Touch and, most recently, the HomePod. In Q1 2018, Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue for these other products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. Techcrunch

Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads due to frequent fraud – Those cryptocurrency ads that promise to make you rich in a matter of days? You won’t see them on Facebook any more. Mashable

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop is cheaper and slower at $799 – Microsoft has launched a new version of its Surface Laptop today, bringing the base unit price down to $799. The software giant quietly unveiled the cheaper Surface Laptop over at the Microsoft Store, and the new $799 variant ships with Intel’s Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That makes the new base model slower and cheaper than the previous version at $999 that shipped with a Core i5 processor and the same low amount of RAM. The Verge

Apple finally lists all the ways you can play audio on HomePod, and Bluetooth isn’t one – After a degree of confusion over the possible ways to play music on its new HomePod speaker, Apple has cleared things up by posting more information on compatible audio sources. The HomePod does indeed work with iTunes Match and purchased iTunes tracks as well as Apple Music, according to Apple’s website, which also mentions Beats 1, podcasts, and the ability to AirPlay “other content” from various Apple products. You should be able to beam songs from apps like Spotify, then, though you won’t be able to play them with spoken commands. The Verge

Google and 3M join the USI, an initiative aimed at creating an open standard for styluses – Touchscreens may have become the norm but styluses still have their uses. While they are primarily used throughout the digital art community, many regular users still prefer them over their fingers due to a stylus’ superior accuracy. Techspot

Cisco issues critical vulnerability alert for devices using WebVPN – Cisco recently issued an urgent security advisory regarding devices configured with WebVPN. The vulnerability is in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) devices. The company has labeled it a critical flaw with a CVSS score of 10 which is as high as the scale goes. Techspot

Samsung launches 800GB Z-SSD for AI and high-performance computing – There is no shortage of demand for faster enterprise storage and Samsung now has a new product to offer. The SZ985 Z-SSD is an 800GB, four-lane PCIe SSD based on Z-NAND memory that offers nearly ten times the read performance compared to 3-bit V-NAND chips. The SZ985 is designed for supercomputing and artificial intelligence applications and can act as an extremely high-speed cache drive. Techspot

Quantum Computers Threaten Data Encryption – The promise of quantum computing comes with a major downside: “Cryptographically useful” quantum machines will threaten public key encryption used to secure data in the cloud, a new report warns. HPCWire

Firefox users should update now to patch security flaw – Mozilla has released a critical update for Firefox that repairs a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to run unauthorized code on a user’s PC. Techradar

Journal #298

I will start off the journal with the following quote by Gary Vaynerchuk during his show, #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness:

“Stop focusing on dumb shit. Don’t be afraid to break things. Don’t be romantic. Don’t take the time to breathe. Don’t aim for perfect. And whatever you do, keep moving. Reread this a few times . . .”

That quote is a reminder for me, for you and for anyone reading this that we should focus on doing and trying stuff out, and not complaining.

What happened

I have been pondering for quite some time now about whether to buy iPhone X. It turned out that I wanted it even after waiting for at least four months since the iPhone X was announced.

So today, I went ahead to get it. I asked a friend to accompany me to the Apple Store at Orchard Road. We met up first at Jurong East MRT station before going on.

Once we reached Orchard Road, we made our way to Sushi Bar at Takashimaya to have our lunch first. Then we made our way to Apple Store.

Once we were there, I spent the first few minutes looking to see what kind of iPhone case they had. I couldn’t find the one I want. Then I went around and talked to my friend about the iMac because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get it. I told him the difference between the 4K monitors that you can get off the shelf and the one that comes with iMac.

The Mac uses a combination of software and hardware to achieve the insanely good graphics compared to what Windows can do. After some consideration, he somehow decided to get it after the WWDC in June to see if Apple announces any hardware refresh.

Then I went ahead to tell one of the staff that I wanted to get the iPhone X 256GB space grey. After payment, my friend and I made our way to iStudio at Plaza Singapura because I need to get the casing and screen protector. My friend also got himself a new screen protector and asked one of the staff to install for him.

After both of us were done, we made our move, heading home because there was nothing else to do.

Once I reached home, I put down my stuff and clear my desk so that I have a place to work with. I wanted to install the screen protector.

Here are some photos of the phone. Some photos are not that good because I had a hard time getting the camera to focus because of the high gloss, and the lighting in my room is bad.

The rear protector took me a long time to install because of dust keep falling on the display and lints from the cloth I was using to protect my phone from the solid desk. I became frustrated and toss aside the cloth and used scotch tape to pick up the dust particles. Then I went about setting down the screen protector. Then I flip the phone over and install the tempered glass protector. It was much easier to work with it but also there were quite a lot of dust and lint flying around.

After the installation of screen protector is done, I started cleaning up my old iPhone 6S by signing out of apps, and got the phone to backup my WhatsApp messages. I also went ahead to unpair my Apple Watch from my iPhone 7 Plus. Once that’s done, I switched my iPhone 6S off, took out the SIM card and installed it onto the iPhone X and went about setting up the new phone.

Fast forward a couple of hours, I’m finally done with the main migration. I still got a whole bunch of photos I have yet migrate. I will get around that tomorrow.

I didn’t go out for dinner too as I was busy setting up my phone earlier. So I asked my parents to pack some food back for me. While eating my dinner, I went to watch an episode from the show Saga of Tanya the Evil.

What I plan next

I don’t have much plan for tonight except for scheduling a phone call with a friend.

How I feel

I feel superb because I got a new phone. It’s shiny and the first few moments of using it made me feel great. It’s so intuitive and natural.

Friday Tech News Roundup #24

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Google hired professional photographers to help train its AI cameraHow – did Google get Clips, its AI-powered camera, to learn to automatically take the best shots of users and their families? Well, as the company explains in a new blog post, its engineers went to the professionals — hiring “a documentary filmmaker, a photojournalist, and a fine arts photographer” to produce visual data to train the neural network powering the camera. The Verge

Lyft employees may have improperly looked at customer data – As Uber goes, so does Lyft, apparently. The ride-hailing company says it’s investigating whether some of its employees abused access clearances and looked into customers’ information, with one saying it went on for “too long.” The Verge

Singtel to offer Apple Watch Series 3 with built-in cellular service from Feb 9 – Singtel will be the first telco in Singapore to offer a new model of the Apple Watch Series 3 which has a built-in cellular service, from Feb 9, according to a statement on Friday (Jan 26). Business Insider

Spotify user? You may as well forget about Apple HomePod – Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker is finally launching on Feb. 9. There are a dozen reasons why you shouldn’t buy one — it’s kind of big, it’s expensive, it doesn’t support the ballyhooed multi-room audio at launch, Siri (lol) — but my biggest concern hinges on its key selling point: music. Mashable

Apple raises privacy concerns by putting medical records on iPhones – Apple wants to put your medical history in the palm of your hand. The tech giant confirmed Wednesday that it intends to allow customers access to their medical records via iPhones on iOS 11.3 beta. But like with so many things in the world of highly personal data, putting medical information on a digitally connected device is not without risk — and how it all shakes out could have a huge impact on the lives of millions. Mashable

Firefox’s Quantum update will block websites from tracking you 24/7 – Mozilla’s speedy Firefox Quantum browser hit the ground running when it rolled out in November. On Tuesday, Mozilla released an update to the browser, called Firefox 58. Its most significant feature: 24/7 tracking protection. Mashable

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem – “The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved,” proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and received a patent for a “processor design, which allows representation of real numbers accurate to the last digit.” The patent (No. 9,817,662, “Apparatus for Calculating and Retaining a Bound on Error During Floating Point Operations and Methods Thereof”) was issued on November 14, 2017. HPCWire

Apple could be redesigning the iBooks app – As AppleInsider first spotted, the first beta of iOS 11.3 includes a subtle change. iBooks is now called Books. And Mark Gurman thinks it could be a sign that there will be bigger changes with Apple’s ebook reading app. Techcrunch

You can now buy a Surface Laptop with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed – Microsoft’s productivity-focused Surface Laptops were met with a fairly positive reception when they launched back in May. However, not everybody was a fan of the devices’ stripped-down Windows 10 S operating systems. The OS, created to compete with Google’s lightweight Chrome OS, only allows customers to download and use apps from the Microsoft Store. Techspot

Fitbit to end support for Pebble smartwatches in June – Fitbit on Wednesday said it would be extending its support of the Pebble smartwatch ecosystem for an additional six months, until June 30, 2018. Techspot

Friday Tech News Roundup #23

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple revamps web design for App Store – Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery. Techcrunch

A bug is messing up the keyboard for some Messenger users on iPhones (Update: Now fixed) – If you’re having issues with Facebook Messenger on your iPhone right now, you’re not alone. Techcrunch

Tim Cook: next iOS update will let users disable iPhone battery performance throttling – With its admission that it throttles performance on older iPhones, Apple is facing one of its biggest controversies in years. The feature may be for the benefit of the owner, but Apple’s failure to disclose what it’s been doing has been met with anger. Now, Tim Cook says a future update will allow the performance throttling to be switched off, if a user wishes. Techspot

World’s most powerful mobile spyware can read WhatsApp messages, take photos, more – Security firm Kaspersky has uncovered a new Android spyware tool that’s being described as one of the most powerful and advanced forms of mobile malware ever. Named after one of the domains where it was first identified, Skygofree can perform a number of malicious activities, including recording audio and reading WhatsApp messages. Techspot

Apple and Samsung are both under investigation by the Italian government over planned obsolescence – Italy’s antitrust organization has launched two separate investigations against Apple and Samsung over accusations of planned obsolescence. The Verge

Netflix encourages employees to interview at other companies — here’s why – Netflix’s approach to people management can come off as logical but harsh. Business Insider

Microsoft Office for Mac gets a major update – Microsoft has released a new version of Office 2016 for Mac, introducing new online features that bring it closer in line with the cloud-first Office 365. Techradar

Apple forgot the greatest lesson of the MacBook Air – Ten years ago, Steve Jobs hopped on stage at Macworld 2008 and did another one of his seemingly impossible magic tricks: He undid the string on a manila envelope, pulled out the MacBook Air, and forever changed laptops forever. Mashable

This simple text message can paralyze your iPhone — but a fix is coming – A newly discovered iOS bug lets an attacker construct a simple text message which, when sent to an iPhone, immediately freezes and possibly restarts it. Mashable

Facebook became your news diet. Now, it’s going to serve you junk. – Forget about media outlets and Facebook — worry about readers. Mashable

Friday Tech News Roundup #22

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Facebook feed change sacrifices time spent and news outlets for “well-being” – Facebook is making a huge change to its News Feed algorithm to prioritize friends and posts that spark comments between them at the expense of public content, news outlets, and importantly, the total time spent and ads you see on the social network. Techcrunch

Google claims its Spectre and Meltdown mitigation results in no performance degradation – It’s been a long week since we first learned about the now infamous Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities. One of the issues with mitigating the danger these vulnerabilities pose is that they could result in serious performance degradation. In a blog post today, Google claimed their solutions resulted in no performance degradation across the different mitigation techniques they have developed. Techcrunch

American drone companies aren’t built to compete – GoPro’s announcement this week that it would exit the drone business was greeted by many observers as a foregone conclusion. Karma, the company’s first foray into drones, had sold poorly after an embarrassing recall in 2016. Under pressure to cut costs amid slowing sales in its core action-camera business, GoPro’s hand was forced. Viewed in that light, Karma was just one more tech company side hustle that didn’t pay off. The Verge

New High Sierra bug lets you change App Store preferences with any password – A new bug has been discovered on devices running macOS High Sierra that allows anyone to access your App Store system preferences. The bug was spotted by MacWorld and the bug will be fixed in the next update as users running the 10.13.3 beta haven’t been able to reproduce it. It should be noted that the bug doesn’t allow access to sensitive user information on the Mac and doesn’t create exposure for users. User and other system preferences can’t be changed without the admin’s actual password. The admin also has to be logged in already for access. The Verge

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads – There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect application performance by 10-30 percent. The patch makes any call from user space into the operating system much more expensive, so I/O intensive applications are likely to be the worst hit. What does this really mean for HPC workloads? HPCWire

The Living Heart Project Wins Three Prestigious Awards for HPC Simulation -Imagine creating a treatment plan for a patient on the other side of the world, or testing a drug without ever putting subjects at risk. 3D modeling and simulation tools have opened the door to a new age of healthcare. Operations like the Living Heart Project are uniting industry-leading researchers, doctors, educators, and technology manufacturers to reach a higher standard for personalized medicine. Leveraging advanced modeling and simulation capabilities, the Living Heart Project has developed highly accurate, validated models of the human heart which can be personalized by patients’ unique traits and conditions. The Living Heart Project is a growing ecosystem that is fueling the collaborative development of commercially available heart models and exploring novel digital therapies. HPCWire

Android TV box sellers charged with copyright infringement in unprecedented move against piracy – In the first prosecution of its kind here, two Android TV box sellers have been charged with “wilfully infringing” the copyright of four companies – telcos StarHub and Singtel, entertainment giant Fox Networks Group and football’s Premier League. Channel Newsasia

One senator is probing Apple for more information on iPhone throttling issues – When it was discovered that iOS developers had quietly added a feature to the operating system that throttled processors in older phones with degraded batteries, the public was irate. In fact, people seemed more angry about the slowing down than about the phones that were unexpectedly shutting down which is what prompted the software modification in the first place. Techspot

Mac shipments up 7.3% year-on-year, reports IDC, despite a tough U.S. market – Mac shipments in Q4 2014 were up 7.3% year-on-year, according to IDC data. Apple substantially outperformed the PC market as a whole, which grew by just 0.7%. 9to5Mac

Apple shares revised iOS Security Guide w/ details on Face ID, Apple Pay Cash, more – Apple today has shared a revised version of its iOS Security Guide, dated January 2018. The new document, which comes in at 78 pages long includes new details on Apple Pay Cash, Face ID, and more… 9to5Mac

Friday Tech News Roundup #21

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple on Meltdown and Spectre bugs: ‘All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected’ – Apple just confirmed that nearly all of its devices are impacted by the serious vulnerabilities affecting processors made by Intel and other chip makers. Mashable

Cybersecurity agency: The only sure defense against huge chip flaw is a new chip – The tech world continues to come to grips with Wednesday’s revelation of very serious vulnerabilities associated with central processing units (CPUs) that affect, well, just about everyone with a computer. Mashable

The iMac Pro is tough to repair but has vastly improved cooling – Apple’s iMac Pro is the most powerful desktop computer Apple has ever created — well, at least until the launch of the all-new Mac Pro later this year. Mashable

Intel claims its new security updates make PCs ‘immune’ to Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs – Intel says it and its partners have “made significant progress” in rolling out security patches and firmware updates to protect against two major CPU bugs. The flaws were disclosed by Google’s Project Zero team this week, and the industry is scrambling to issue fixes and secure machines for customers. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the flaws affect nearly every device made in the past 20 years, and could allow attackers to use JavaScript code running in a browser to access memory in the attacker’s process. That memory content could contain key strokes, passwords, and other valuable information. The Verge

Burn-in test shows the iPhone X beating Samsung’s Note 8 and S7 Edge – As more phones are launched with OLED displays, burn-in problems have become even more relevant. As part of its ongoing iPhone X review, Korean tech site Cetizen tested Apple’s handset against Samsung’s Note 8 and S7 Edge in a burn-in test, and it was the iPhone that came out on top. Techspot

iOS 11.2.5 beta delivers Siri-powered, hands-free news podcasts – If you’re the type of person who tends to wake up to a cup of coffee and a newspaper, you might now be able to eliminate both of those steps if you own an iPhone. As reported by 9to5Mac, iPhone owners who opt in to Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 beta will be given the opportunity to stream a news podcast by simply saying “Hey Siri, give me the news.” Techspot

Apple just shared some staggering statistics about how well the App Store is doing – Apple has an annual tradition in early January of announcing how well its App Store is doing. Business Insider

Here’s what happens with your data when you use a Chinese messaging app – Verbal sparring between two Chinese billionaires over data privacy has shone a rare spotlight onto a topic in China that has also dogged global social media companies from Facebook to Twitter: who owns the content generated by the users and how to handle it. Business Insider

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6 – Chrome is now the most popular browser across all devices, thanks to Android’s popularity and the rise of Chrome on Windows PCs and Mac computers. As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox. While Google championed web standards that worked across many different browsers back in the early days of Chrome, more recently its own services often ignore standards and force people to use Chrome. The Verge

Intel Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controllers look to the future and the past – Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) can be pretty awesome, even if getting access to the 40 Gbps of bandwidth isn’t as straightforward as Intel has advertised. The standard has yet to really spread across the entire PC market, as it’s currently reserved primarily for relatively high-end laptops and Apple’s premium products. Intel is hoping to spread the adoption of TB3 with its just-announced JHL7x40 “Titan Ridge” series of TB3 controller chips. Techreport