Friday Tech News Roundup #20

It’s holiday season. There just isn’t much technology-related news. Below are the ones that I manage to which are interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple apologizes for not telling customers iPhones with older batteries would slow over time – Apple has today posted a letter on its website and a technical article in its Knowledge Base apologizing for not being more transparent about how it handles performance on iPhones with older batteries. Last week, Apple issued a statement that made it clear that changes it made a year ago were indeed slowing down the maximum performance of iPhones with older batteries. Techcrunch

Still living under the tyranny of the password in 2017 – When I lost access to my Google account recently, it left a gaping hole in my digital life and showed me just how tenuous the link to our online world can be. One thing I learned from the story I wrote last week about my experience was that I was far from alone. I got more than a dozen emails and tweets from folks who had been similarly locked out of Google, Facebook or Amazon Prime, and couldn’t figure out how to find their way back. Techcrunch

China begins regulating QR code payments – In an attempt to cut down on fraud, China’s central bank has announced plans to begin regulating payments by QR codes, barcodes, and other scannable codes. The regulations will initially cap payments by traditional QR codes to 500 yuan, or about $76 USD. When additional security measures are applied, the cap can raise to 5,000 yuan, or around $765 USD. At an even higher security level, banks and payment processors are given discretion over the cap. The Verge

Apple to release source code for Lisa operating system in 2018 – The source code for Apple’s ill-fated Lisa operating system and some of its key applications will be released to the general public in 2018. Techspot

Hackers are spreading cryptocurrency mining malware through Facebook Messenger – Either by choice or through hacks, drive-by cryptomining is becoming popular. The increasing price of cryptocurrencies has seen more websites surreptitiously mine Monero using visitors’ CPUs. But a newly discovered mining malware is even more malicious, and it’s being spread through Facebook Messenger. Techspot

AWS showed no signs of slowing down in 2017 – AWS had a successful year by any measure. The company continued to behave like a startup with the kind of energy and momentum to invest in new areas not usually seen in an incumbent with a significant marketshare lead. Techcrunch

Friday Tech News Roundup #19

Since tech news roundups are done every Friday, it is decided the heading becomes: Friday Tech News Roundup.

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

If your Android phone catches this malware, it could overload and warp – Cybersecurity researchers at the Kaspersky Lab intentionally infected an Android phone with a new species of nefarious malware. Two days later, the overtaxed phone battery had bulged and actually warped the phone. Mashable

Apple’s Design Delirium [Commentary] – I watch with increasing trepidation at the direction Apple is taking its products. The most recent concern came yesterday from Bloomberg that Apple intends to offer its software developers new libraries that will allow apps to serve both touchscreen interfaces like the iPhone as well as traditional mouse and keyboard setups on desktop computers using a single unified set of APIs. Techcrunch

The Apple Watch 4 could get a proven, life-saving feature – The Apple Watch 3, in its current form, is already a helpful tool for monitoring your heart rate. But it could soon be even more vital, as Apple is reportedly developing a new wearable that features EKG technology to detect heart abnormalities. Techradar

Intel to Take More Risks, Declares CEO in Memo – In a year-end call-to-arms memo sent to all Intel employees, CEO Brian Krzanich declared that “the new normal” at Intel will be change and risk-taking. According to a published story by CNBC, Krzanich said the company faces “an exciting challenge” in strategic, or “new growth,” markets (connected devices, AI, autonomous driving) where other companies have forged ahead of the chip giant. HPCWire

Apple now requires games with loot boxes to disclose odds – Apple is now requiring that any apps on the App Store that offer loot boxes must disclose the odds of the likelihood of players getting different types of items, according to a report from Polygon. The Verge

Apple revises its controversial guidelines on template-based apps – Apple today announced it’s amending the App Store guideline that banned apps created using templates and other app generation services. When the company revised its policies earlier this year, the move was meant to reduce the number of low-quality apps and spam. But the decision ended up impacting a much wider market — including small businesses, restaurants, nonprofits, organizations, clubs and others who don’t have the in-house expertise or funds to build custom apps from scratch. Techcrunch

Singapore start-up Hanalytics sets up AI research centre for neurology in China – Singapore artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Hanalytics on Friday (Dec 22) announced it has jointly established an AI research centre focused on neurology with Beijing Tiantan Hospital, which is affiliated to the Capital Medical University in China. Channel Newsasia

Twitter adds more verification options for two-factor authentication – Twitter today is beefing up perhaps its most important consumer-facing security measure, two-factor authentication (2FA), with an update to fully support third-party apps. Now, Twitter’s login verification feature (the name it gives its 2FA service) will let you rely on apps like Google Authenticator and Authy, whereas before you had to, by default, input a code sent via text message. The Verge

Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – Reddit users have noticed that Apple appears to be slowing down old iPhones that have low-capacity batteries. While many iPhone users have experienced perceived slowdowns due to iOS updates over the years, it appears that there’s now proof Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time. The Verge

iPhone apps could soon work on Macs, report says – Apple could be looking to bring its desktop and mobile software much closer together. Mashable