Tech News

Apple Is Spying On You, Facebook Launches Pocket Rival, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 22-07-2014

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 What's New In iOS 8? After last year's big iOS 7 redesign, you'd expect a muted iOS 8 announcement at this year's Worldwide Developer Conference – but you'd be wrong. Read More 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 Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service As Bakari previously reported, the well loved Read It Later - which enabled users to save articles to read later from a bookmarklet or various apps it was integrated with - was discontinued and replaced... Read More . Save, available on iOS, Android, and the Web, lets you store links for future reference, building into a list residing in the sidebar.

Facebook 10 Reasons Why People Still Use Facebook [We Ask You Results] The main reason people still use Facebook is because everyone else uses it. Go figure. Read More 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 Aereo Supreme Court, Netflix Price Rise, Samsung Innovation, Han Solo Rug [Tech News Digest] Aereo lands in court, Netflix promises price rises, Reddit tampers with technology, the Samsung Innovation Museum, Amazon loves Goodreads, and Han Solo in Carbonite gets his own rug. Read More doesn’t seem to have affected growth. Probably because Netflix is still very much worth the money Is Netflix Worth The Money? There are more people who don't subscribe to Netflix as those who do, and that swathe of the population wants to know if they're missing out on anything. Is Netflix worth the money? Read More .

Windows 9 Start Menu Screenshot Leaks

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 Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 Update And Cortana Personal Assistant Windows Phone 8.1 gets a new personal assistant named after the Halo franchise's Cortana and a Windows 8.1 Update with a lot of minor changes to improve the experience for mouse and keyboard users. Read More , 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 What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care? In the world of games, Valve Corporation has recently grown into one of the largest and most consistent game publishers (with the skyrocketing success of their Steam distribution network) and game developers (with the international... Read More . Who would have thought playing games could ever be such a lucrative pastime.

A Sidewalk Just For Smartphone Users

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 How To Cure Smartphone Addiction (A Smartphone Detox) Smartphone addiction is real, and you could be affected. Read More .

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 10 Famous Geeks Who Changed The World (Not Who You Think) If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants. So, said the genius called Isaac Newton. What was true of one of the most brilliant minds of history should be... Read More ‘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 What Is The Turing Test And Will It Ever Be Beaten? The Turing Test is meant to determine whether machines think. Did the Eugene Goostman program truly pass the Turing test, or did the creators simply cheat? Read More 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

Related topics: Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Windows 9.

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  1. Luigi
    July 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Dear Mighty Dave, if Apple would spy us, they don't need backdoors via iPhone. They could just take a look to our hosted data from their iCloud servers. But I understand you may have a desperate need to bring visitors on your blog.

    • Dave P
      July 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Just Dave is fine, only my underlings call me Mighty Dave.

      The difference is Apple is open about the storing of data on iCloud, whereas these "backdoors" in iOS weren't previously public knowledge. The argument is whether you believe Apple when it states these services are diagnostic tools or whether there's another, more insidious reason for their existence. We made it clear in the article that it's up to you to decide that for yourself.

      There's no desperate need to bring visitors to MUO as it's doing rather well, thank you. There's a subtle difference between a compelling headline and a false one. This is the former.