Apple Is Spying On You, Facebook Launches Pocket Rival, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Netflix hits 50 million subscribers despite price hike, the Windows 9 Start menu is revealed, the Dota 2 gamers worth a cool $5 million, a sidewalk lane just for smartphone users, and the first trailer for The Imitation Game.
Security Researcher Finds iPhone Backdoor
A security researcher by the name of Jonathan Zdziarski claims to have found backdoors built into every iOS device. The accusation is that Apple put these access points in on purpose along with undocumented services designed to allow encrypted data to be retrieved at will.
Zdziarski also claims these services are always running in the background potentially leaking data, and that switching off your iPhone or iPad is the only way of securing that data. He suggests, rather ironically, that Apple has made progress in securing iOS against typical attacks while ensuring the company itself can easily access the 600 million iOS devices currently in the wild.
Apple has responded to the claims, actually admitting the existence of the backdoor. However, it denies it has anything to do with “any government agency” maintaining it is solely used by “IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues.” We’re not sure if that makes it OK, but you can make your own minds up.
Facebook Lets You Save Things For Later
Facebook has launched Save, its own basic read-it-later feature to compete against the likes of Pocket . Save, available on iOS, Android, and the Web, lets you store links for future reference, building into a list residing in the sidebar.
Facebook has rolled out Save two years after acquiring read-it-later startup Spool, which was immediately shut down. According to TechCrunch, Facebook tested a version of Save in 2012 which looked very similar to what is now rolling out. Which makes you wonder what the team responsible have been doing in the meantime.
Netflix Now Boasts 50 Million Subscribers
Netflix now boasts 50 million users, with the total rising from 37.56 million at the end of Q2, 2013 to 50.05 million at the end of Q2, 2014. Netflix has 36.24 million users in the U.S. and 13.80 in international markets. The recent price hike for new subscribers doesn’t seem to have affected growth. Probably because Netflix is still very much worth the money .
Windows 9 Start Menu Screenshot Leaks
There’s a good reason why the Windows 9 screenshot leaks have only shown off what was announced at BUILD, not a coincidence.
— Brad Sams (@bdsams) July 21, 2014
Another day, another leak of the Windows 9 desktop. This one, as leaked on Myce, shows the returning Start menu as it will (allegedly) look in Windows 9, otherwise known as Windows Threshold. This all looks very similar to what Microsoft revealed at Build , adding legitimacy to the leaks. However, it’s always best to take these things with a healthy pinch of salt.
Newbee Win $5 million Playing Dota 2
A team of professional gamers called Newbee has won The International 4 Dota 2 world championships. Newbee beat fellow Chinese gamers ViCi in the final to take home the $5 million top prize, with another $5 million being shared by the other teams competing in Dota 2 . Who would have thought playing games could ever be such a lucrative pastime.
A Sidewalk Just For Smartphone Users
If you are about to walk into me because you are looking at your smartphone then I will politely nudge you out of my way.
— David Hoang (@davidhoang) July 8, 2014
A sidewalk in Washington DC was briefly divided up into two lanes, one for pedestrians looking where they were going, the other for smartphone users engrossed in their mobile devices. Unfortunately, this isn’t permanent, but part of a National Geographic TV series called Mind Over Masses.
The idea was to see how people react to the lanes in an effort to study behavioral science. Most people, sadly, didn’t respect the lanes, some took pictures, while most smartphone users simply didn’t notice the markings. Which suggests we’re already fighting a losing battle against smartphone addiction .
The First Trailer For The Imitation Game
And finally, we have the first trailer for The Imitation Game, a new film detailing geek hero Alan Turing ‘s exploits during World War II. Turing was a computer science genius who massively helped the allied war effort by cracking German ciphers. He also devised the Turing Test for defining whether a machine could be classified as possessing artificial intelligence.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What do you think of the alleged backdoor data leaks found in the iPhone? Will you be using Facebook Save over other read-it-later services? Do you welcome the return of the Start menu in Windows 9?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Menno van der Horst via Flickr