The apps have not yet been patched against the FREAK attack, short for Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys, which was revealed by researchers on March 3.
The unpatched apps, which were not identified, are in categories including finance, communication, shopping, business and medicine, computer security company FireEye said in a blog post Tuesday.
The findings highlight how even some of the most publicized and severe flaws can take quite a bit of time to get fixed. That poses risks for people using apps whose developers are not quick to patch them.
Researchers revealed earlier this month that many software programs and browsers were vulnerable to FREAK, which is a flaw that can allow an SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Security Layer) encryption key to be downgraded to 512 bits — much weaker than the 2,048-bit keys typically used today.
The flaw is a legacy of U.S. government export restrictions in the 1990s that banned selling software products overseas with strong encryption keys. Many products can still be forced into using weaker keys, which can be cracked by running mathematical software on a public cloud service.
FREAK is unique in that a wide variety of products need to be upgraded to fix the problem. Apple and Google have patched their mobile operating systems, but many apps compatible with those devices must also be upgraded. FireEye found many examples where, as of last week, that hadn’t happened.
It found 1,228 Android applications in Google Play that are still vulnerable, of the 10,985 they analyzed. All the apps had been downloaded more than a million times. On the iOS side, FireEye said 771 of 14,079 apps it looked at were vulnerable, though in most cases only if they were running on iOS versions prior to 8.2, which patched the issue. Only seven apps were still vulnerable on iOS 8.2.
Users can tap or click a dollar icon in a new chat window to send money to their friends, after they link a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a U.S. bank to their accounts.
The free feature will roll out over the next few months for users in the United States who access Facebook Messenger through desktop computers or Google Inc’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS operating systems on mobile devices.
Users can create a PIN or enable Touch ID if they have an iPhone to add a level of security to the payments.
Snapchat had launched a similar service last November, called Snapcash.
The mobile messaging company partnered with online payments company Square to allow Snapchat users to link their debit cards to their account and quickly send money to a contact by starting a chat on a smartphone.
Apple Inc’s frequently mentioned TV service may soon become a reality as the iPhone maker is having discussions with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.
Apple has been talking to Walt Disney Co, CBS Corp, and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and other media companies to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.
Apple, which is aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September, the newspaper said.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. Fox and CBS declined to comment.
Several media companies are considering joining streaming-only services, or launching their own like HBO and CBS, to attract young people who do not subscribe to traditional pay TV packages. But programmers also fear the packages could become so popular that they undercut current, more profitable deals with cable companies.
In January, Dish Network Corp unveiled its long-anticipated video streaming service, named Sling TV, targeted at younger consumers who shun pricey cable and satellite subscriptions.
Apple has launched a first-ever public beta for iOS, offering some iPhone and iPad users a chance to test iOS 8.3, a still-under-development edition that has been in developers’ hands for more than a month.
The program, first reported two weeks ago by9to5mac.com, followed the debut of a similar program last year for OS X Mavericks. The Mac beta was later extended to include Yosemite, the current OS edition.
It was unclear whether Apple is allowing anyone to register with the iOS 8.3 beta, is rolling out the program gradually, or is limiting access to those who had previously received invitations via the Cupertino, Calif. company’s AppleSeed preview program.
Computerworld staffers who had previously registered for the Yosemite beta were unable to access the iOS version. They were not alone, as discussion threads filled with questions from people who wanted to know why they could not find the preview.
For one Computerworld reader, that might be just as well.
“With all beta software on a computer, users are generally discouraged from testing a beta operating system on their main computer, or a computer used for critical work,” noted Eric Jacobs in an email last month after news circulated about a possible iOS public preview. “For Mac users, that’s easily doable with a second computer, with an external hard disk, or a partitioned hard drive. Users can hop back and forth between the beta OS and the current OS.
For those who do try iOS 8.3, Apple recommended that they first back up their iPhone or iPad to their PC or Mac using iTunes — not to iCloud through an over-the-air backup — so that they can, if necessary, restore the device to its pre-beta state.
The SecuTABLET, based on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and being presented by BlackBerry unit Secusmart at tech fair CeBIT 2015 in Germany, reflects the Canadian company’s stress on secure connections for governments and businesses as it seeks to preserve a niche market after a drubbing in recent years at the hands of emerging smartphone makers such as Apple Inc.
“Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry’s portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions,” said Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, chief executive officer of Secusmart GmbH, in a statement on the new device.
The device was undergoing certification by the German Federal Office for Information Security for secure rating, the statement said, adding that the new tablet used the same security technology as the Secusmart Security Card.
“Working alongside IBM and Samsung, we have added the last link in the chain of the Federal Security Network. Subject to certification of the SecuTABLET, German government agencies will have a new way to access BlackBerry’s most secure and complete communications network in the world,” Quelle said.
Every three years I install Linux and see if it is ready for prime time yet, and every three years I am disappointed. What is so disappointing is not so much that the operating system is bad, it has never been, it is just that who ever designs it refuses to think of the user.
To be clear I will lay out the same rider I have for my other three reviews. I am a Windows user, but that is not out of choice. One of the reasons I keep checking out Linux is the hope that it will have fixed the basic problems in the intervening years. Fortunately for Microsoft it never has.
This time my main computer had a serious outage caused by a dodgy Corsair (which is now a c word) power supply and I have been out of action for the last two weeks. In the mean time I had to run everything on a clapped out Fujitsu notebook which took 20 minutes to download a webpage.
One Ubuntu Linux install later it was behaving like a normal computer. This is where Linux has always been far better than Windows – making rubbish computers behave. I could settle down to work right? Well not really.
This is where Linux has consistently disqualified itself from prime-time every time I have used it. Going back through my reviews, I have been saying the same sort of stuff for years.
Coming from Windows 7, where a user with no learning curve can install and start work it is impossible. Ubuntu can’t. There is a ton of stuff you have to upload before you can get anything that passes for an ordinary service. This uploading is far too tricky for anyone who is used to Windows.
It is not helped by the Ubuntu Software Centre which is supposed to make like easier for you. Say that you need to download a flash player. Adobe has a flash player you can download for Ubuntu. Click on it and Ubuntu asks you if you want to open this file with the Ubuntu Software Center to install it. You would think you would want this right? Thing is is that pressing yes opens the software center but does not download Adobe flash player. The center then says it can’t find the software on your machine.
Here is the problem which I wrote about nearly nine years ago – you can’t download Flash or anything proprietary because that would mean contaminating your machine with something that is not Open Sauce.
Sure Ubuntu will download all those proprietary drivers, but you have to know to ask – an issue which has been around now for so long it is silly. The issue of proprietary drives is only a problem for those who are hard core open saucers and there are not enough numbers of them to keep an operating system in the dark ages for a decade. However, they have managed it.
I downloaded LibreOffice and all those other things needed to get a basic “windows experience” and discovered that all those typefaces you know and love are unavailable. They should have been in the proprietary pack but Ubuntu has a problem installing them. This means that I can’t share documents in any meaningful way with Windows users, because all my formatting is screwed.
LibreOffice is not bad, but it really is not Microsoft Word and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying.
I download and configure Thunderbird for mail and for a few good days it actually worked. However yesterday it disappeared from the side bar and I can’t find it anywhere. I am restricted to webmail and I am really hating Microsoft’s outlook experience.
The only thing that is different between this review and the one I wrote three years ago is that there are now games which actually work thanks to Steam. I have not tried this out yet because I am too stressed with the work backlog caused by having to work on Linux without regular software, but there is an element feeling that Linux is at last moving to a point where it can be a little bit useful.
So what are the main problems that Linux refuses to address? Usability, interface and compatibility.
I know Ubuntu is famous for its shit interface, and Gnome is supposed to be better, but both look and feel dated. I also hate Windows 8′s interface which requires you to use all your computing power to navigate through a touch screen tablet screen when you have neither. It should have been an opportunity for Open saucers to trump Windows with a nice interface – it wasn’t.
You would think that all the brains in the Linux community could come up with a simple easy to use interface which lets you have access to all the files you need without much trouble. The problem here is that Linux fans like to tinker they don’t want usability and they don’t have problems with command screens. Ordinary users, particularly more recent generations will not go near a command screen.
Compatibly issues for games has been pretty much resolved, but other key software is missing and Linux operators do not seem keen to get them on board.
I do a lot of layout and graphics work. When you complain about not being able to use Photoshop, Linux fanboys proudly point to GIMP and say that does the same things. You want to grab them down the throat and stuff their heads down the loo and flush. GIMP does less than a tenth of what Photoshop can do and it does it very badly. There is nothing that can do what CS or any real desktop publishers can do available on Linux.
Proprietary software designed for real people using a desktop tends to trump anything open saucy, even if it is producing a technology marvel.
So in all these years, Linux has not attempted to fix any of the problems which have effectively crippled it as a desktop product.
I will look forward to next week when the new PC arrives and I will not need another Ubuntu desktop experience. Who knows maybe they will have sorted it in three years time again.
Microsoft has been running its “personal assistant” Cortana on its Windows phones for a year, and will put the new version on the desktop with the arrival of Windows 10 this autumn. Later, Cortana will be available as a standalone app, usable on phones and tablets powered by Apple Inc’s iOS and Google Inc’s Android, people familiar with the project said.
“This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame,” said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research and a part of the Einstein project, in an interview at the company’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters. Horvitz and Microsoft declined comment on any plan to take Cortana beyond Windows.
The plan to put Cortana on machines running software from rivals such as Apple andGoogle, as well as the Einstein project, have not been reported. Cortana is the name of an artificial intelligence character in the video game series “Halo.”
They represent a new front in CEO Satya Nadella’s battle to sell Microsoft software on any device or platform, rather than trying to force customers to use Windows. Success on rivals’ platforms could create new markets and greater relevance for the company best known for its decades-old operating system.
The concept of ‘artificial intelligence’ is broad, and mobile phones and computers already show dexterity with spoken language and sifting through emails for data, for instance.
Still, Microsoft believes its work on speech recognition, search and machine learning will let it transform its digital assistant into the first intelligent ‘agent’ which anticipates users needs. By comparison, Siri is advertised mostly as responding to requests. Google’s mobile app, which doesn’t have a name like Siri or Cortana, already offers some limited predictive information ‘cards’ based on what it thinks the user wants to know.
While app makers are passionate about developing for the Apple Watch, some are skeptical about the prospects of coming up with a big idea for the little computer on a wrist that hits stores on April 24, said Markiyan Matsekh, product manager at software engineering firm Eleks.
A killer app that grabs consumers’ attention will be key to the success of the Apple Watch and could spawn new companies, as the iPhone did. The photo-sharing app Instagram grew into a $1 billion business bought by Facebook Inc, and Snapchat has gone from a mobile messaging app to a company valued at $19 billion.
Apple has blocked some features, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, on the development kit, and the watch simulator cannot test all functions, developers said. Apple declined to comment on why developers cannot access certain features.
“The limitations are discouraging,” said Matsekh, who helped develop a Watch app to control a Tesla Model S without involvement from the electric carmaker.
App designer Mark Rabo believes Apple is spurring creativity though restraint.
The challenge he believes is “not trying to take a phone app and cram it into a Watch.”
Rabo is developing an app called “Revere,” that ties notes to calendars. The Watch will recognize the wearer is walking into a meeting and pull up previously dictated notes about the attendees, for instance.
Apple listed about 40 apps on its website as it unveiled its smartwatch on Monday with “thousands” more in the works, it said.
HBO’s standalone streaming service will launch on Apple Inc devices in April, ahead of the season premiere of hit series “Game of Thrones,” the network said, a move to reach millions of viewers who do not subscribe to pay television packages.
The new HBO Now service will cost $14.99 a month. It will include the network’s past, present and future series plus its lineup of Hollywood movies, HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler said at an Apple event in San Francisco.
It is the first time the premium network will be available to people with Internet access who shun traditional TV bundles with dozens of channels. Other media companies including CBS Corp and Dish Network Corp also are taking steps to reach those audiences.
“This is a transformative moment for HBO,” Plepler said after an introduction by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The move by Time Warner Inc’s HBO could threaten the video businesses of cable and satellite companies, which are fighting to keep customers from dropping their TV packages. It also amps up competition with streaming services such as Netflix Inc. HBO’s library of hits includes “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”
Starting in early April, HBO Now will be available through the Apple TV box and on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch. The fifth season of “Game of Thrones” premieres April 12.
Apple will be the exclusive digital provider of HBO Now for three months. The network also is aiming to convince traditional TV distributors to offer the service as early as April.
One of the hottest things we learned at the Mobile World Congress is that MediaTek is working with AMD on mobile SoC graphics.
This is a big deal for both companies, as this means that AMD is getting back into the ultra-low power graphics market, while MediaTek might finally get faster graphics and gain more appeal in the high end segment. The choice of ARM Mali or Imaginations Technologies GPUs is available for anyone, but as most of you know Qualcomm has its own in-house Adreno graphics, while Nvidia uses ultra-low power Maxwell GPUs for its latest SoCs.
Since Nvidia exited the mobile phone business, it is now a two horse race between the ever dominant Qualcomm and fast growing MediaTek. The fact that MediaTek will get AMD graphics just adds fuel to the fire.
We have heard that key AMD graphics people are in continuous contact with MediaTek and that they have been working on an SoC graphics solution for a while.
MediaTek can definitely benefit from faster graphics, as the recently pictured tablet SoC MT8173 powered by two Cortex-A72 clocked up to 2.4GHz and two Cortex-A53 has PowerVR GX6250 graphics (two clusters). The most popular tablet chip Appel’s A8X has PowerVR Series 6XT GXA6850 (octa-core) which should end up significantly faster, but at the same time significantly more expensive.
MediaTek MT6795 a 28nm eight-core with a 2.2GHz clock and PowerVR G6200 GPU at 700 MHz, which is 100 MHz faster than one we tested on the Meizu MX4, which was one of the fastest SoCs until Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 came out in late February.
AMD and MediaTek declined to comment this upcoming partnership, but our industry sources know that they both have been working on new graphics for future chips that will be announced at a later date. It’s cool to see that AMD will return to this market, especially as the company sold of its Imageon graphics back in 2009 – for a lousy $65 million to Qualcomm. Imageon by ATI was the foundation for Adreno graphics.
We have been reassured some 18 months ago by some AMD senior graphics people, that “AMD didn’t forget how to make good ultra-low power graphics” and we guess that this cooperation proves that.
All those people you see charging their phones at airports, coffee shops and other public places are a testament to how often batteries die out during the day. So while engineers are fighting against basic chemistry and physics to improve current Lithium Ion cells, is there a better way to recharge?
One answer might be fuel cells, which generate electricity through a chemical reaction and provide instant power anywhere. Unlike portable battery packs, they don’t need to be charged in advance. You just need a fuel cell cartridge.
The promise has been there for some time. A few years ago, electronics companies tried to popularize fuel cells based on methanol but they failed to take off. This time around, the focus is on hydrogen.
As hydrogen gas enters the fuel cell through a membrane, the electrons are stripped off and travel through an external circuit — that’s the flow of electricity. Upon exiting the fuel cell, the electrons are recombined with the ionized hydrogen and oxygen from the air, so the only by-product is water.
There’s already one hydrogen fuel cell on the market, with another promised for this year. Both were on show at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The main difference between them is in how the hydrogen is packaged so it’s safe to handle.
Intelligent Energy’s Upp stores it in a metal hydride compound that’s contained in a cartridge that snaps onto the fuel cell with magnets. Each cartridge is good for about 5 recharges of a smartphone and once exhausted should be returned to an exchange station for a fresh one.
The fuel cell, which is already on sale at Apple Stores in the U.K., costs £149 (US$228) and each cartridge is £6 (US$9). One downside: its heavy. The fuel cell and cartridges weigh 620 grams (1.3 pounds), and that’s not something you want to carry in your bag all the time.
Facebook Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc, BMW AG and others have spent weeks at Apple’s headquarters, working with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune apps that will debut alongside the device, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the process.
The watch, which will let consumers check their email, pay for goods at retail stores and monitor personal health information, will be Apple’s first major product launch since the iPad in 2010.
The company has scheduled a special event in San Fransisco on March 9 where it is expected to showcase Apple Watch, which will be launched in April.
Apple uses extreme measures to keep its work secret – Internet access is blocked inside the rooms and no outside materials can be brought in, Bloomberg reported, citing a person who attended the tests.
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller and Facebook spokeswoman Johanna Peace declined to comment. Reuters could not immediately reach United Continental and BMW for comment outside regular business hours.
German carmaker BMW said on Thursday its talks with Apple did not involve developing or building a car, denying a German magazine report.
Self-driving cars could yield billions of dollars a year in sales from mobile internet services and products, even if occupants spend only a small portion of their free time on the web, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company.
The study, released Thursday, also projects that widespread adoption of self-driving cars could lead to a 90 percent reduction in U.S. vehicle crashes, with a potential savings of nearly $200 billion a year from significantly fewer injuries and deaths.
In addition, the McKinsey study warns of several risks to established companies, including vehicle manufacturers, dealers and even insurance companies.
McKinsey projects that future owners of self-driving cars could save up to 50 minutes a day, some of which is likely to be spent surfing the web.
The consulting firm estimates the additional free time in the car could generate about $5.6 billion a year in digital revenue for each additional minute that vehicle occupants spend on the internet – as much as $140 billion if half their free time in the car, or roughly 25 minutes, is devoted to daily web surfing and shopping.
The revenue may be divided among the vehicle manufacturers, their major hardware and software suppliers and web-based providers of goods, information and services.
In the future, “people will be able to shop for services or products from their mobile devices or from embedded systems in the vehicle,” said Hans-Werner Kaas, senior partner and head of McKinsey’s automotive practice.
McKinsey said that while traditional automakers, especially premium brands such as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi, already are beginning to implement advanced driver assistance systems on their cars, they face new challenges in fielding fully autonomous cars from “attackers,” non-traditional companies that do not have legacy vehicle platforms or sales and service networks.
Those outside challengers include such newcomers as Tesla Motors Inc, as well as tech giants such as Apple Inc and Google Inc, both of which are poised to build self-driving cars.
The gradual shift to self-driving cars, which may automakers don’t expect to accelerate until after 2025, could trigger other profound changes in the auto industry.
Auto Motor und Sport said in its March 4 edition that the two firms were discussing possibilities for cooperating on the development of a passenger car.
Apple was impressed with BMW’s carbon-fiber electric cars, the magazine said, citing a “high ranking BMW manager.”
The BMW spokesman said: “We are in regular talks with companies from the IT and telecommunications sector, including Apple, concerning topics like connected vehicles. Developing or building a car is not a topic of these discussions.”
An Apple spokesman said the company did not comment on rumor or speculation.
Auto Motor und Sport said Apple cars could be sold in Apple stores and serviced at BMW dealerships.
Among the issues that needed to be resolved was whether BMW would allow Apple to develop an operating system for its i3 model, a step that would require BMW to reveal details of its own vehicle software to the technology giant, the magazine said.
Last month, a source told Reuters that Apple was looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to make a self-driving electric car, and was talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers.
AMD Liquid VR is not a retail product – it is an initiative to develop and deliver the best Virtual Reality (VR) experience in the industry.
AMD Liquid VR was announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and the company describes it is a “set of innovative technologies focused on enabling exceptional VR content development” for hardware based on AMD silicon.
Developers will soon get access to the LiquidVR SDK, which will help them address numerous issues associated with VR development.
Platform and software rather than hardware
If you were expecting to see a sexy AMD VR headset with a killer spec, the announcement may be disappointing. However, if you are a “what’s under the bonnet” kind of geek, there are a few interesting highlights.
AMD has put a lot of effort into minimising motion-to-photon latency, which should not only help improve the experience, but also keep you from experiencing motion sickness, or hurling over that new carpet that really ties the room together.
Headline features of LiquidVR SDK 1.0 include:
Async Shaders for smooth head-tracking enabling Hardware-Accelerated Time Warp, a technology that uses updated information on a user’s head position after a frame has been rendered and then warps the image to reflect the new viewpoint just before sending it to a VR headset, effectively minimizing latency between when a user turns their head and what appears on screen.
Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.
Latest data latch for smooth head-tracking, a programming mechanism that helps get head tracking data from the head-mounted display to the GPU as quickly as possible by binding data as close to real-time as possible, practically eliminating any API overhead and removing latency.
Direct-to-display for intuitively attaching VR headsets, to deliver a seamless plug-and-play virtual reality experience from an AMD Radeon™ graphics card to a connected VR headset, while enabling features such as booting directly to the display or using extended display features within Windows.
You can grab the full AMD LiquidVR presentation here. (pdf)
What’s next for LiquidVR?
It all depends on what you were expecting, and what the rest of the industry does. AMD hopes LiquidVR will be compatible with a broad range of VR devices. LiquidVR will allow hardware makers to implement AMD technology in their products with relative ease, enabling 100Hz refresh rates, the use of individual GPUs per each eye and so on.
To a certain extent, you can think of LiquidVR as FreeSync for VR kit.
Oculus CEO Brendan Irbe said achieving presence in a virtual world is one of the most important elements needed to deliver a good user experience.
He explained where AMD comes in:
“We’re excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus’ users have a great experience on AMD hardware.”
Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, Visual Computing, AMD, said content, comfort and compatibility are the cornerstones of AMD’s focus on VR.
AMD’s resident graphics guru said:
“With LiquidVR we’re collaborating with the ecosystem to unlock solutions to some of the toughest challenges in VR and giving the keys to developers of VR content so that they can bring exceptional new experiences to life.”
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s 3300 frames of AMD’s virtual reality vision.