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France Moves to Impose Sanctions Against Google Over Privacy Policy


French officials today moved to impose sanctions against Google for failing to alter its privacy policy.


France's CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés) said it will initiate 'a formal procedure for imposing sanctions, according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law.'


The CNIL had given Google three months to make changes to its privacy policy. On the final day before the deadline, Google contested the request, 'notably the applicability of the French data protection law to the services used by residents in France,' CNIL said. As a result, the changes were not made, and CNIL made good on its sanction threat.


At issue is an update to Google's privacy policy that went into effect on March 1, 2012. The revamp consolidated 70 or so privacy policies across Google's products down to one. But with this change, Google also switched to one profile for users across all services rather than separate logins for offerings like YouTube, Search, and Blogger.


It's that account consolidation bit that had privacy advocates up in arms. In early Feb. 2012, the EU's Article 29 Working Party asked Google to 'pause' its privacy policy update, but Google declined. By October, CNIL issued several recommendations that covered how Google might improve its privacy policies, but Google did not make any changes.


In Feb. 2013, CNIL criticized Google for not responding to its privacy-related inquiries in a timely fashion. In April, it announced plans to crack down on Google, and by June, it threatened sanctions and imposed the three-month deadline.


Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has consistently argued that it does not believe its revamped privacy policy runs afoul of any privacy rules.


The CNIL said its request wanted Google to:


Define specified and explicit purposes Inform users with regard to the purposes of the processing implemented Define retention periods for the personal data processed Not proceed, without legal basis, with the potentially unlimited combination of users' data Fairly collect and process passive users' data Inform users and then obtain their consent in particular before storing cookies in their terminal.

Microsoft's Surface 2 launch: What to expect

Summary: Microsoft is readying its next-generation Surface tablets and peripherals for launch on September 23. Here's what we know (and think we know) on specs, pricing and availability.


On Monday, September 23, Microsoft will be launching (but not shipping) its next-generation Surface tablets at an invitation-only event in New York City.



In the past few weeks, lots of leaks have revealed much of what's expected to debut at the launch. Although Microsoft officials haven't commented on or confirmed these specs, I've heard and seen information that leads me to believe they are correct.


The new Surfaces are going to look almost identical to the current Surfaces, as they are going to use the same 10.6-inch screens and VaporMg casing and be compatible with the same snap-on keyboard/covers that the current Surfaces use.


They will have the same number of USB ports and they won't support LTE, just WiFi. The Surface 2, the successor to Surface RT, will be an ARM-based (Tegra 4) tablet with an estimated eight hours of battery life. It will feature a new ClearType full HD display, the one that debuted on the Surface Pro earlier this year. The Surface Pro 2, the successor to the Surface Pro, will run an Intel Core i5-based Haswell processor, and allegedly get seven hours of battery life instead of just four to five hours.


Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott has the full list of expected Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 specs, including weight, thickness, ports, etc.


The more interesting part of Monday's Surface launch, in my view, are the new Surface peripherals. In spite of Microsoft's claims last year that the company had no intentions of making a Surface Pro docking station, they built one. The new Surface docking station is expected to work with Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 models only. It is expected to include one USB 3 and three USB 2 ports, according to leaks.


And the expected Surface Power Cover -- a thicker version of the Surface Type cover/keyboard, is coming, too. This cover will include a built-in battery that will extend the battery life of Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 devices by some (still unknown) amount. I'm expecting new Touch and Type covers in a variety of colors at Monday's launch, too.


What about pricing and availability?

There are two big questions going into Microsoft's Surface 2 launch: Device availability and pricing. Obviously, Microsoft execs aren't commenting on either.


I've heard from one of my sources who has been in the loop on Surface information (and asked to remain anonymous) that both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 may be generally available on or around October 22 -- right around the time Window 8.1 is generally available, which is October 18.


I don't know if Microsoft will take preorders. I also don't have any information as to what the international and/or reseller distribution strategies look like. Microsoft was slow to make the first-generation Surfaces available outside the U.S. I am not sure what's changed in the company's distribution plans or capabilities on that front.


According to my source, it sounds like there are no huge price cuts in the works, which will surely disappoint those who've been expecting the so-so reception of first-generation Surfaces to have made Microsoft rethink its Surface pricing.


The aforementioned source told me that Microsoft is planning to continue to sell its first-generation Surfaces alongside its new Surfaces. The supposed plan is to keep Surface RT pricing at its current level ($349.99 for the 32GB model with no cover included) and introduce the 32GB Surface 2 at $499. A 64 GB Surface 2 will start at $599, the source said.


The Surface Pro will continue to start at $799. Surface Pro 2 will start at $899 for a 64GB version, according to the aforementioned source. There will be 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB models available at $999, $1,299 and $1,699, respectively, according to this source.


Touch and Type covers are still going to be priced separately, from what I've heard, as will the docking station.


I initially shared some of this pricing information as my 'Rumor of the Week' on yesterday's recording of Windows Weekly (as some eagle-eared live listeners heard).


Keep in mind, this pricing and availability information is from one source only. The actual pricing/availability -- if Microsoft announces that information on Monday -- may be different.


Monday's Surface 2 event won't be streamed live, according to Microsoft. But I'll be filing and blogging from it, starting around 10:30 a.m. ET on September 23. Also: The Surface team will be doing a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on September 23 at 3 p.m. EST, as well, where anyone can submit questions.


Evernote Post

According to Evernote CEO Phil Libin, 'paperless as a concept is stupid.' Speaking with WSJ this week on their new collaboration with 3M's Post-It notes, Libin continued, 'the goal is to get rid of stupid uses of paper.' Users will be able to purchase packs of Evernote-branded Post-It notes soon, each of them working with a unique tone calibrated to an Evernote app that, when you photograph said note, it organizes the note for you automatically. Evernote is a quickly expanding ecosystem of note-taking apps and products, and this week they've revealed a new wave.



Oddly enough, Libin also suggested that off-brand Post-It notes (not made by 3M, not branded as such) would also 'likely' work with the Evernote update. This collaboration is just one of several that are taking hold between 3M and Evernote - they've also shown off a new Evernote Post-It Notes Holder in the new Evernote market online. Green, yellow, pink, and blue are included.



Post-It notes captured by the iOS version of the Evernote app - in this instance - show how this update will bring an optimized experience to notes of this variety. Capturing notes not only organizes the ideas you've jotted down into categories automatically, it see the sometimes-off-kilter photograph you've taken and centers / clarifies it for you with ease.


Some packs of Evernote Post-It notes come with a free 30-day subscription to Evernote Premium too - 'some' as in 'most' when they're first released. We'll see if this offer keeps kicking down the road. The Post-It / Evernote collaborative effort is set to hit your local office supplies store immediately if not soon.


Ford CEO Mulally in lead for Microsoft CEO job?

Unnamed sources tell All Things Digital that, despite his initial claims to the contrary, Ford CEO Alan Mulally has warmed up to the idea of succeeding Steve Ballmer and is now a frontrunner candidate.




(Credit: Ford Motor Co.)


Ford CEO Alan Mulally's name has already be bandied about the candidate pool for replacing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last month. And it seemed the lively executive wasn't too interested in the post -- at least initially -- vowing to remain with his company in the upcoming year.


But All Things Digital is reporting Mulally may have had a change of heart. Citing unnamed sources 'close to the situation,' ATD's Kara Swisher said Mulally 'has become more amenable to the idea in recent weeks.' Mulally, who has been CEO of Ford for seven years and has earned kudos for a restructuring plan that helped return Ford to profitability, has yet to respond to Swisher's request for comment.



(Credit: CBS News)


Ballmer says he plans to retire within 12 months, once a replacement is found who will carry out the company's new vision of offering devices and services, not just software. Microsoft's board has formed a special committee to seek out potential candidates. Meeting with Microsoft's shareholders, the committee has been narrowing down its list of possible successors from an initial 40 people, both internal and external.


Soon after Ballmer's announcement, Microsoft bought Nokia for $7.2 billion, which made its CEO, Stephen Elop, a top contender for CEO.


Among others rumored to be leading the list of candidates are Microsoft Executive VP Tony Bates, who had previously been CEO of Skype, Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie, former Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky, and former Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson.



Facebook Finally Lets You Edit Posts


If autocorrect has ever ruined your Facebook post, your prayers have been answered. Facebook introduced the ability to edit status updates starting Thursday.


The latest update for the Android Facebook app adds the ability to 'edit your posts and comments and tap to see all your changes.' However, the editing has not been enabled on any of the Android devices we experimented with.


The editing feature will roll out to Facebook users on the web and Android devices over the next day, Facebook confirmed to Mashable. The eiting feature is not included in the latest iOS app, but will likely get pushed out in the next update. Users will see the option to 'Edit Post' when they click on the drop-down arrow in the top-right corner of a post.


Editing posts was potentially dicey territory for Facebook, since the it brings the danger of a bait-and-switch with followers. A user could conceivably write, 'Who likes ice cream?' and get hundreds of Likes and affirming comments, then edit the post to read, 'Who wants to beat up some cats?'


Facebook addresses this issue by marking the post as edited and letting users access the history of any edited post with a click. Google+, which has let users edit posts for some time, works in a similar fashion.


Facebook has been slowly granting users more editing capabilities over their content. Users can edit photo captions (that is, status updates with a photo attached) and the ability to edit comments arrived a few months ago. Page editors already have the ability to edit posts on their pages.


It's likely Facebook examined all the potential abuses and concluded the risk in letting users alter posts was minimal. It makes sense: Any user who would mislead followers or friends with a post they intend to maliciously edit would likely soon find themselves with few followers or friends of any value.


For journalists on Facebook, the value of editing posts is even greater. As Mashable's Emily Banks has argued, being able to edit a post in a transparent fashion makes Facebook posts more like articles on a website, and now reporters will be able to make corrections without deleting entire updates and losing conversation threads.


What's your take on editing posts: Yea or nay? Have your say in the comments.


Image: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

Evernote moves into hardware with its own Fujitsu Scansnap scanner

Summary: 'This is ridiculously the world's greatest scanner,' boasted Evernote's CEO.



It had been rumored before that Evernote, a wunderkind startup when it comes to producitity apps, was interested in dabbling with hardware.


The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has made some backwards-like steps before given its partnerships with companies producing a medium that is arguably the very platform Evernote is trying to replace: paper.


But Evernote doesn't seem to care about the critics as demonstrated through collaboration with legendary notebook maker Moleskine and Post-It Note creator 3M.


And hardware is definitely on the agenda at Evernote.


Introduced at the software comapny's third annual developer conference on Thursday morning, Evernote has teamed up with Fujitsu to debut an Evernote-branded scanner within Fujitsu's Scansnap portfolio.


'We're five years in. This is how we stretch. This is how we broaden our toolset,' remarked CEO Phil Libin about teaming up with other software, hardware and even apparel companies.


Based on the demo video, users can basically scan a number of different slips of paper in varying sizes (everything from letter documents to business cards) at one time, with each individual piece of content uploaded and archived in Evernote. The content is then searchable on the cloud service.


'This is ridiculously the world's greatest scanner,' boasted Evernote's chief.


Supported by both Windows and Mac via Wi-Fi, the Evernote Edition of Scansnap can read A3, B4, and 11x 17-inch documents with a limit of documents up to 34-inches in length and width.


The Evernote Scansnap scanner can be found the new Evernote Market, also launching on Thursday. Described by Libin as 'an in-app, e-commerce experience,' Evernote Market can be accessed from both mobile and desktop channels.


Priced at $495 in U.S. Dollars, the Evernote Edition Scansnap is available for pre-order now and starts shipping within the United States, Canada, and Japan on October 24.


That price tag also includes one year of membership for Evernote's Premium subscription service, simultaneously promoting the evolving Evernote lifestyle brand as the company works toward the goal of attracting more than a billion users worldwide.


Researchers Build a Working Carbon Nanotube Computer


PALO ALTO, Calif. - A group of Stanford researchers has moved a step closer to answering the question of what happens when silicon, the standard material in today's microelectronic circuits, reaches its fundamental limits for use in increasingly small transistors.


In a paper in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the researchers reported that they had successfully built a working computer - albeit an extremely simple one - entirely from transistors fashioned from carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes, which are cylinder-shaped molecules, have long held the promise of allowing smaller, faster and lower-powered computing, though they have proved difficult to work with.


The Stanford Robust Systems Group, however, has made significant progress in the last 18 months, advancing from building individual carbon nanotube transistors to simple electronic circuits made by interconnecting the transistors, and this week to a complete computer made from an ensemble of just 142 low-power transistors.


While Stanford's prototype computer is assembled from transistors that are gargantuan by industry standards - one micron vs. 22 nanometers - it is what computer scientists refer to as a 'Turing complete' machine, meaning that it is capable of performing any computation, given enough time.


'It can run two programs concurrently, a counting program and a sorting program,' said H. S. Philip Wong, a Stanford University electrical engineer, and one of the leaders of the group. 'We've spent a tremendous amount of time on this; in fact we've spent two generations of students on this.'


The computer is based on a subset of 20 of the instructions used by the commercial MIPS microprocessor, which itself was designed by a group of Stanford researchers led by Stanford's current president, John Hennessy, during the 1980s.


'I think this is a really nice piece of work,' said Supratik Guha, director of physical sciences at I.B.M.'s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. 'It's a rudimentary demonstration that carbon nanotubes can be used to build a universal computer, or a Turing-complete machine. This is not the most efficient computer, but that wasn't the point. It's one of the first steps.'


Because the factory processes that underlie the modern semiconductor industry require such painstaking precision, any new technology that the industry might use must be perfected more than three years before it can be considered for use in commercial production.


Carbon nanotubes have continued to excite the material science field because of their proliferating array of allotropes - different forms of the material - all with potential. Dr. Guha complimented the Stanford group for maintaining its focus on a single engineering advance.


Currently, semiconductor industry leaders can make integrated silicon circuits with a feature size of 22 nanometers, roughly 4,000 of which could be spread across the width of a human hair. With the arrival of a new generation of smaller transistors roughly every two years, the industry generally believes that silicon will be scaled down to a limit of 5-nanometer transistors sometime after 2020.


The constant shrinking of transistor size over the last half-century has been important because it has significantly lowered the cost of computing, making it possible to build ever more powerful computers that are faster and cheaper, and consume less power with each generation.


While Intel has been generally circumspect about what material technology it plans to turn to when silicon ceases to 'scale' down to smaller transistor sizes, I.B.M. has been more vocal and optimistic about the potential for carbon nanotubes.


The company has recently succeeded in creating an inverter, a basic logic element used in electronic circuits, using two different types of carbon nanotube transistors, and plans to demonstrate the device at a technical meeting at the end of the year.


The researchers said that their advance was not a scientific breakthrough, but it was a significant demonstration of the ability to work with a material other than silicon with great precision.


They also stressed that their research project was entirely compatible with industry-standard manufacturing processes based on silicon. This suggests that in the future it will be possible to build hybrid chips using carbon nanotubes at particular locations, and thus extend the life of silicon in computing.


The researchers said they were proud of their tiny prototype.


'This is a general computer and we can do anything with it,' said Max Shulaker, a Stanford graduate student who is a leading member of the research group. 'We could in principle run 64-bit Windows, but it would take millions of years.'


Day

Users booting up their newly released iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on Friday will be prompted to install a minor operating system update, intended to squash a few minor bugs Apple discovered with its latest handsets.



iOS 7.0.1 is exclusive to the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. It was actually released alongside iOS 7.0 on Wednesday, but did not affect users until Friday, when the new handsets were actually made available to the public.


The update is said to address an issue with the new Touch ID sensor found on the new iPhone 5s. Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD noted in his iPhone 5s review that Apple was planning to quickly release a patch to fix a minor bug related to using the fingerprint scanner for iTunes purchases.


Officially, Apple has said that the minor update simply includes 'bug fixes and improvements.' It's unknown how iOS 7.0.1 affects the iPhone 5c, which lacks the Touch ID sensor embedded in the home button.


iOS 7.0.1 can be installed as an over-the-air update via the iPhone's Settings application, or through iTunes when connected to a Mac or PC running the newly released iTunes 11.1.


Facebook Updates iPhone App For iOS 7


(click image for larger view)


Shortly after Apple pushed its iOS 7 update live on Wednesday, Facebook announced an iOS 7 update of its own. The changes coming to the new version of Facebook's mobile app focus on improving its design and navigation.


Users will notice that the icons for friend requests, messages and notifications that were traditionally found at the top of the app are no longer there. Instead, Facebook has added a new menu bar that runs along the bottom of the screen that makes it easier to switch between five options -- the news feed, your friend requests, messages, notifications and more -- while you're browsing your news feed. The 'More' button sends you to the main menu, where you can access the rest of Facebook's sections, such as events, pages, photos and other options.


In addition, Facebook also made improvements to the aesthetics of features such as notifications. Before, tapping the notifications button at the top of the app opened the list in a pop-up bubble. Now when you select notifications from the menu at the bottom, they load in a full screen as a scrollable list that displays similarly to the news feed. The social network has also added a translucent navigation bar at the top of that app that lets you view content underneath as you scroll through posts and photos.


[ Facebook must tread carefully in launching video ads. Read more: Facebook Video Ads: What To Expect. ]


The changes to Facebook's app are intended to place more of an emphasis on content, a spokesperson for Facebook said. This emphasis was also front-and-center in developing the new news feed that Facebook announced in March. The news feed redesigns how you navigate content, with individual feeds that feature photos, music, friends and content only from Pages that you follow. This new design is still slowly rolling out to users.


While Facebook added the tabbed design in its latest version, Twitter reportedly plans to get rid of that feature in its app. The two social networks have increasingly gone head to head in pushing out new features and updates. Twitter's iOS 7 update, however, still includes the bottom row of buttons.



The new iOS app is also available to users with iOS 5 or iOS 6, though there are small differences in these versions. Facebook's new iOS app is available for iPhones only and can be downloaded from the iTunes store now. Facebook said it is not bringing these interface changes to the iPad app just yet.


Facebook's version 6.5 of its mobile app is also now available in Czech, Finnish, Polish, Swedish and traditional Chinese, too, the company said.


Metrics, data classification, governance, compliance -- and your vendors -- are all part of the risk management equation. The The Risky Business Of Managing Risk report offers insight on the many pieces of the risk management puzzle, and how to make it work for your enterprise. (Free registration required.)


Google updates Chrome for iOS ahead of Android


AS MILLIONS of eager iPhone users battled to download iOS 7, Google announced that the Chrome 30 version for iOS was available just 30 minutes after iOS 7 became available.


As well as improvements to the full-screen experience for iPad users, the new Chrome design includes tighter integration with Google apps, similar to that seen in Android phones, allowing users to open searches for locations in Google Maps or searches for videos in Youtube.


Voice Searching also received a boost with the addition of pronoun recognition, allowing searches such as 'Who was the winner of Wimbledon 2013 AND where does he get his racquets?'


Finally, the ability to 'snap back' to search results using the back button makes searching significantly faster. With the battle of the voice recognition suites heating up, it's surprising that Google remains committed to adding more of its Google Now functionality to iOS. While the approach of Google Now compared to that of Siri is based far more around searching, there is a clear coming together of the two concepts.


That Google allows Apple users to experience the best of both worlds suggests that the residents of Mountain View either don't see their biggest rival as a threat, or that they think that there is room in iOS for both systems to co-exist.


In fact, once again this latest incarnation of the Chrome web browser has been released for iOS first, with versions for desktop and Android imminent but not yet available. µ


Apple's Control Center used to bypass iOS 7 passcode lock [u]

A security hole in iOS 7 has been reported in which Apple's Control Center, along with some quick finger work, can be used to bypass a passcode protected lock screen on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7, grating access to Mail, Photos and Twitter, and more.



The exploit, discovered by Jose Rodriguez on Thursday, take a bit of finesse to get right, though we have independently verified that it works. It is somewhat reminiscent of a lock screen bug in iOS 6.1 that allowed access to Contacts, Photos and Voicemail by using a complex string of commands including the emergency call feature.


As reported by Fortune, the recently discovered vulnerability involves Control Center, a new feature in iOS 7 that gives users quick access to commonly used apps and commands.


First, a nefarious user must invoke Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of a locked iPhone or iPad's lock screen. From there, the Clock app can be opened even without a passcode. Holding down the power button will bring up the shut-off pane. This next part is tricky, though is manageable with practice. Instead of swiping to power down the device, cancel is selected, followed quickly by one short and one long press of the home button. The device enters the iOS 7 multi-tasking view and from there Mail, Photos and Twitter can be accessed.


The exploit can be defeated by simply disabling Control Center in the lock screen, though this somewhat hampers the new iOS 7 capability. It should also be noted that access is only granted to app open prior to locking the device, and the titles affected by the workaround are limited. For example, Safari cannot be opened from the multi-tasking view.


We tested the bug on both the iPhone 5 and third-generation iPad, and while it took a few tries, the process does work.


Apple will most likely patch the issue in an upcoming software update.


Google tackles immortality with launch of health company Calico

Sci-Tech Digital Life News Technology News



Google bicycles at the company's campus in Mountain View, California. Photo: AP


Google is looking for the Fountain of Youth in its latest expansion beyond internet search.


The ambitious quest to reverse the ageing process and extend human life will be pursued by a new company called Calico that is being financed by Google, which has amassed a $US54 billion ($56.9 billion) stockpile primarily through its dominance of internet search and online advertising.


Calico will be run by former Google board member Arthur Levinson, best known as the ex-chief executive of biotechnology pioneer Genentech. Levinson resigned from Google's board nearly four years ago after the US Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into whether his overlapping role on Apple's board created conflicts of interest that might lessen competition between rivals. Levinson will remain chairman at Apple and Genentech while he runs Calico.


Google isn't disclosing how much money it will pour into Calico, but CEO Larry Page indicated that it won't be a major commitment. The comments are an apparent effort to placate investors who would prefer to see the company boost its profits even higher instead of pursue far-flung ventures that may never pay off.


'Please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business,' Page wrote in a post on his Google Plus profile.


Tackling daunting challenges outside search is something Page and his long-time partner Sergey Brin have always wanted to do since they founded Google 15 years ago. Google's success empowered them to realise that ambition.


Some Google projects that once seemed quirky have hatched potentially promising innovations, such as driverless cars and a wearable computer called Google Glass that can be worn like a pair of glasses. Page thinks of Google's bets outside its main internet business as 'moonshots'.


Some of those ventures have crashed and burned. One of them, called Google Health, aimed to set up a system to store digital medical records around the world. Page pulled the plug on Google Health shortly after he became CEO in April 2011.


Google and its venture capital arm have invested at least $US10 million in 23andme, a genetic testing start-up founded by Brin's wife, Anne Wojcicki.


Page, 40, is hoping Calico can find ways to slow the ageing process and other associated diseases. In his post, he said it was still too early to share other details about his hopes for Calico.


In an interview with Time magazine published online, Page suggested it could be 10 to 20 years before Calico's efforts bear fruit. But Page also said Calico's mission could prove to be even more important than curing cancer.


'One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you'd add about three years to people's average life expectancy,' Page told Time. 'We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that'll totally change the world. But when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it's very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it's not as big an advance as you might think.'


AP

Apple's Control Center used to bypass iOS 7 passcode lock [u]

A security hole in iOS 7 has been reported in which Apple's Control Center, along with some quick finger work, can be used to bypass a passcode protected lock screen on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7, grating access to Mail, Photos and Twitter, and more.



The exploit, discovered by Jose Rodriguez on Thursday, take a bit of finesse to get right, though we have independently verified that it works. It is somewhat reminiscent of a lock screen bug in iOS 6.1 that allowed access to Contacts, Photos and Voicemail by using a complex string of commands including the emergency call feature.


As reported by Fortune, the recently discovered vulnerability involves Control Center, a new feature in iOS 7 that gives users quick access to commonly used apps and commands.


First, a nefarious user must invoke Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of a locked iPhone or iPad's lock screen. From there, the Clock app can be opened even without a passcode. Holding down the power button will bring up the shut-off pane. This next part is tricky, though is manageable with practice. Instead of swiping to power down the device, cancel is selected, followed quickly by one short and one long press of the home button. The device enters the iOS 7 multi-tasking view and from there Mail, Photos and Twitter can be accessed.


The exploit can be defeated by simply disabling Control Center in the lock screen, though this somewhat hampers the new iOS 7 capability. It should also be noted that access is only granted to app open prior to locking the device, and the titles affected by the workaround are limited. For example, Safari cannot be opened from the multi-tasking view.


We tested the bug on both the iPhone 5 and third-generation iPad, and while it took a few tries, the process does work.


Apple will most likely patch the issue in an upcoming software update.


iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty

Apple's new fingerprint sensor Touch ID becomes the focus of a hack bounty, but with a twist. Rewards include cash, but also a patent application, some Scotch, and a book of erotica.



Apple demos Touch ID fingerprint reader for iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5S won't hit the streets until tomorrow, but there's already more than $16,000 in cash offered to the first person to hack its Touch ID fingerprint sensor.


IsTouchIDhackedyet.com is the brainchild of Nick DePetrillo, an independent security researcher whose last major public research was 2010's Carmen San Diego Project.


Soon after DePetrillo promoted the Touch ID site on Twitter, he was joined by Robert David Graham, a security researcher at Errata Security who created one of the first personal firewalls, and most recently the sidejacking technique for 'eavesdropping' on browser cookies. Graham manages the pledges and runs IsTouchIDHackedYet.com.


At the time of writing, the overall bounty is valued at more than $16,000. The cash bounty stands at $14,609 in US dollars, two-thirds of which comes from one researcher, and 8.151159 BitCoin, which currently converts to US$1,021. Other incentives include a free application from CipherLaw to patent the hack; several bottles of alcohol including Laphroaig, Maker's Mark, Argentine wine, Patron Silver, and Bulleit bourbon; a 'dirty sex book,' and an iPhone 5C.


To earn the bounty, DePetrillo spelled the rules out on Twitter. He wants to see video evidence of a successful iPhone unlock with a copied fingerprint. The video must show evidence of the fingerprint enrollment, the lifting of the print, the print reproduction, and phone unlock using the print.


Originally, Graham and DePetrillo believed that it would take a long time for the Touch ID sensor to get hacked. The rapidly-growing bounty, only two days old, has changed that.


'Now that it's up past $16,000, the problem may get solved sooner than we thought,' Graham said. But, he said, Touch ID will be hacked independently of the bounty value.


'I'm guessing the amount of the bounty correlates more with how much press this gets, rather than the actual difficulty,' he said. And difficult it is, they said, describing hacking the sensor as a 'tough problem.'


Apple did not respond immediately for comment. CNET will update the story when they get back to us.


Apple, said the researchers, is probably enjoying the attention the sensor is getting. 'I think Apple is quietly amused,' said Graham. 'I'm sure their engineers are confident in their abilities to address all conceivable weaknesses -- yet worried about inconceivable techniques hackers might come up with,' he said.


The bounty site got started when DePetrillo invited Graham to manage the bounty. DePetrillo chose Graham, whose grandfather was a World War II code-breaker, because he's 'trustworthy, honest, intelligent and quite handsome,' he told CNET.


Once Graham put the first four bounties offered on the site, they started using the eponymous hashtag. The bounty resembles one from a few years ago, when Adafruit Industries offered a bounty to hack the Kinect's motion sensor.


Assuming the sensor does get hacked, Graham and DePetrillo will pay out the bounties they've offered immediately. However, it will be up to the winner to collect the bounties from everyone else. So, if you're the lucky hacker who can crack the Touch ID sensor, you might wind up more of a literal bounty hunter than you expected.


New health company launched by google

Updated: 11:22, Thursday September 19, 2013

Google says it is launching a new company focused on health and well-being, and hinted at co-operation with longtime rival Apple in the venture.


A Google statement said the company called Calico 'will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of ageing and associated diseases.'


Arthur Levinson, chairman and former chief executive of the biotech firm Genentech and chairman of Apple, will be Calico's chief executive and a founding investor.


Announcing the new investment, Google CEO Larry Page said: 'Illness and ageing affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.'


'It's impossible to imagine anyone better than Art - one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation - to take this new venture forward,' he said.


Levinson said in the same statement: 'I've devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry's focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I'm tremendously excited about what's next.'


Levinson would remain chairman of Genentech and a director of Hoffmann-La Roche, as well as chairman of Apple, the statement noted.


Apple's CEO Tim Cook was quoted in the Google statement as saying: 'For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn't have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.'


Time magazine, which interviewed Page ahead of the announcement, said the details of the project were not yet clear but that it is likely to use its data-processing to shed new light on age-related maladies.


iOS 7 download problems? Join the crowd.

Apple's new iOS 7 experienced a rocky roll-out this week.


By Matthew Shaer, Amelia Pak-Harvey, Contributor / September 19, 2013



Tell us if this sounds familiar: After much wrangling, you manage to download the iOS 7 software for your phone or tablet. But when it comes time to actually activating the new operating system, Apple's servers are suddenly very unresponsive, and you spend the next six hours futilely clicking the 'try again' button, all while cursing your rotten luck. It happened to us. (Granted, by 11 p.m., we finally had iOS 7 up and running.)


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It also happened to plenty of other users, who this week flooded Apple forums with multitudinous complaints of non-working iPhones and iPads.


'I personally don't think Apple cares one way or the other,' one user wrote on the MacRumors forum, summing up the sentiment of a legion of frazzled Apple fans. 'If your network can't handle it then why should they care? Eventually everyone will get the update. This is why I always wait until the next day or a few days later. There's no point in dealing with that massive frustration.'


Over at the Washington Post, Timothy B. Lee says the delays should no longer surprise us.


'Running network services has never been one of the Cupertino company's strong suits,' he writes. 'Two years ago, Apple experienced similar problems when users rushed to download iOS 5. But the problems go back much farther than that. For more than a decade, Apple has struggled to build a robust suite of cloud computing services. Those services have been plagued by slow performance, outages, and strange glitches.'


For what it's worth, Apple's servers seem to be dealing better with the strain on Thursday. But things are still churning pretty slowly in Apple server-land. Our advice: Unless you absolutely must have iOS 7, wait a couple days for Cupertino to get things back up to optimal speed.


Waiting in line Wednesday at the Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston, David Zuber, a tourist from Solothurn, Switzerland, said he was looking forward to downloading the new iOS 7. But not right away - 'everyone's downloading it now,' he says.


iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty

Apple's new fingerprint sensor Touch ID becomes the focus of a hack bounty, but with a twist. Rewards include cash, but also a patent application, some Scotch, and a book of erotica.



Apple demos Touch ID fingerprint reader for iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5S won't hit the streets until tomorrow, but there's already more than $16,000 in cash offered to the first person to hack its Touch ID fingerprint sensor.


IsTouchIDhackedyet.com is the brainchild of Nick DePetrillo, an independent security researcher whose last major public research was 2010's Carmen San Diego Project.


Soon after DePetrillo promoted the Touch ID site on Twitter, he was joined by Robert David Graham, a security researcher at Errata Security who created one of the first personal firewalls, and most recently the sidejacking technique for 'eavesdropping' on browser cookies. Graham manages the pledges and runs IsTouchIDHackedYet.com.


At the time of writing, the overall bounty is valued at more than $16,000. The cash bounty stands at $14,609 in US dollars, two-thirds of which comes from one researcher, and 8.151159 BitCoin, which currently converts to US$1,021. Other incentives include a free application from CipherLaw to patent the hack; several bottles of alcohol including Laphroaig, Maker's Mark, Argentine wine, Patron Silver, and Bulleit bourbon; a 'dirty sex book,' and an iPhone 5C.


To earn the bounty, DePetrillo spelled the rules out on Twitter. He wants to see video evidence of a successful iPhone unlock with a copied fingerprint. The video must show evidence of the fingerprint enrollment, the lifting of the print, the print reproduction, and phone unlock using the print.


Originally, Graham and DePetrillo believed that it would take a long time for the Touch ID sensor to get hacked. The rapidly-growing bounty, only two days old, has changed that.


'Now that it's up past $16,000, the problem may get solved sooner than we thought,' Graham said. But, he said, Touch ID will be hacked independently of the bounty value.


'I'm guessing the amount of the bounty correlates more with how much press this gets, rather than the actual difficulty,' he said. And difficult it is, they said, describing hacking the sensor as a 'tough problem.'


Apple did not respond immediately for comment. CNET will update the story when they get back to us.


Apple, said the researchers, is probably enjoying the attention the sensor is getting. 'I think Apple is quietly amused,' said Graham. 'I'm sure their engineers are confident in their abilities to address all conceivable weaknesses -- yet worried about inconceivable techniques hackers might come up with,' he said.


The bounty site got started when DePetrillo invited Graham to manage the bounty. DePetrillo chose Graham, whose grandfather was a World War II code-breaker, because he's 'trustworthy, honest, intelligent and quite handsome,' he told CNET.


Once Graham put the first four bounties offered on the site, they started using the eponymous hashtag. The bounty resembles one from a few years ago, when Adafruit Industries offered a bounty to hack the Kinect's motion sensor.


Assuming the sensor does get hacked, Graham and DePetrillo will pay out the bounties they've offered immediately. However, it will be up to the winner to collect the bounties from everyone else. So, if you're the lucky hacker who can crack the Touch ID sensor, you might wind up more of a literal bounty hunter than you expected.


Mining an Old Claim

Several years ago, I was researching a story on modern day gold prospectors. One thing I discovered was that many of them that panned for gold or used sluice boxes would investigate old claims that expired years ago that nobody renewed because they thought the claim was played out.

According to my expert, it can take years for the gold to work its way out of the mountains and down
Photo By Marcin Chady
the river, but it will usually settle in the same places. So, it made sense to work an old claim.

As a writer, sometimes it helps to work an old claim. I'm thinking about this now because I ran across a manuscript I was working on several years ago. At the time my day job got in the way of me completing it. I looked it over and it's pretty good. So, I've put it in the queue of things to edit and publish. But it started me thinking. How many articles have I written over the years that could be updated and slanted for different publications. How many blog posts do I have of value? I'm considering collecting many of them into a book of essays on writing. I wrote a daily devotion for close to 10 years. Maybe a collection of devotions would be in order.

Then I have plot outlines, story ideas, pages of research for articles, novels and stories I never got around to writing. Some of them didn't take off because they simply weren't very good ideas. Some, however, I simply got sidetracked from and didn't get back to.

What's sitting unfinished in your files? What things have you written that could be repurposed in some way. Have a backlisted book that your publisher no longer carries? Why not get the ebook rights back and upload the file to Kindle yourself. Are there blog posts that could be collected into a book?

What old claim can you reactivate? There just might be publishing gold in them thar files.

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