Remember when Apple's FaceTime stopped working years ago? Turns out it was a deliberate part of Apple's planned obsolescence tactics.
Apple is accused of deliberately crippling features for people who didn't upgrade their iPhones and iOS, in a class action lawsuit over its FaceTime video-conferencing software.
Last week, US district judge Lucy Koh allowed a class-action lawsuit against the tech giant to move forward after she rejected Apple's argument that it can do whatever it wants with people's iPhones because users agree to its terms-of-service agreement.
At the heart of the lawsuit, filed in California, is a decision by Apple to kill off FaceTime for those who were not using the latest iPhone and the latest operating system software. In April 2014, they had let a digital certificate expire prematurely which broke the video-conferencing service for anyone using version 6 or lower of iOS.
Apple claimed at the time that there was a "bug" and users needed to upgrade to the latest version—iOS 7—to fix things. But internal documents suggest that Apple knowingly broke FaceTime for tech holdouts because it was costing it money.
Six months earlier, the latest version of its operating system, iOS 7, had been released, and included a fundamental change to the way FaceTime worked. But many iPhone 4 users were wary about iOS 7 because the resource-hungry upgrade made their phones run slowly.
So they stuck with iOS 6. But then FaceTime suddenly stopped working, and when asked about it, Apple told them to upgrade to iOS 7 or buy the latest phone: the iPhone 5.
Now that Judge Koh has certified the lawsuit, this means it can move forward as a class-action lawsuit and pull in others who have been affected. But there are a couple of limitations.
First, you have to live in California—Judge Koh rejected the attempt to make it a national class-action lawsuit because the laws under consideration vary widely across the United States. And second, it can't be on a jail-broken phone.
So if you live in California and got frustrated when your iPhone 4 became incredibly slow or were prevented from using FaceTime because you didn't want to upgrade to iOS 7 then you might be in line for a payout if the lawyers win the case.
Of course, this being Apple, if it does lose, it will appeal the decision to the ends of the earth... so don't expect that money any time soon.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Well, it just got easier to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 as a virtual machine—and SURPRISE: it’s all thanks to Microsoft.
Windows 10 Pro users are now able to spin up an enhanced Ubuntu virtual machine directly from the Hyper-V Quick Create tool.
The Hyper-V gallery Ubuntu image lets Windows users get a full Ubuntu 18.04 desktop session set-up and running sooner, with fewer post-install steps required to make it usable.
The bootable Hyper-V image of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS comes with xRDP pre-configured to support “Enhanced Session Mode” out-of-the-box.
“Enhanced Session Mode” in Hyper-V is kind of like Guest Tools in VirtualBox in that, once enabled, you get better integration between host and guest, including Clipboard support, Dynamic desktop resizing, Shared folders & drive redirection, and Seamless mouse sharing.
An awful lot of Ubuntu users run Ubuntu on Windows using virtual machines. Microsoft is aware of that fact, hence the creation of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Aware that many developers and IT admins on Windows rely on virtual machines to run Linux on Windows, Microsoft decided to roll its sleeves up and work with upstream XRDP—an implementation of Microsoft’s RDP protocol for Linux—to iron out the kinks.
And the result is this news: the Ubuntu 18.04 Hyper-V image, which is arguably more flexible than WSL as it supports a full GUI session, has neat system integrations, and (of course) actually uses the Linux kernel!
Microsoft says, "With only 3 mouse clicks, users will be able to get an Ubuntu VM running that offers clipboard functionality, drive redirection, and much more."
In short, the addition of Ubuntu 18.04 to the Hyper-V gallery gives developers and system admins "stuck" on Windows 10 a faster way to install an optimized version of Ubuntu 18.04 using Hyper-V.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Twitter has told an undisclosed number of users their private messages may have been leaked to third-parties for more than a year.
The software “bug,” which has since been fixed, involved direct messages between users and businesses that offer customer services via Twitter.
Affected users are being notified via a message that appeared when opening the app or logging on to Twitter's website.
Twitter says the issue has persisted since May 2017.
The company said it had resolved the issue immediately upon discovering it, on September 10 of this year—after the bug had existed for around 500 days.
Twitter said not all direct messages, which are supposed to be private, unlike normal tweets, were at risk, just those between users and companies—such as an airline.
While Twitter states they do not have evidence that the bug was exploited, they also express that they have no proof it has not.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Health officials, who are looking at how to apply blockchain technology to public health issues, consulted with Walmart on improving food supply traceability, and they plan to use the technology in the produce department.
After hundreds of people in the US became ill after eating contaminated romaine lettuce earlier this year, Walmart, along with many other food retailers and restaurants, pulled the potentially tainted produce from their shelves after regulators issued a warning. The company says the outbreak could have been stemmed sooner if there were a faster and easier way to trace what people had eaten.
Walmart thinks blockchain technology could be the solution. The big-box company worked for more than a year with IBM and 11 food companies to develop a blockchain-enabled food traceability network. Now, Walmart and its subsidiary, Sam’s Club, will require their leafy greens suppliers to use its blockchain technology to implement real-time, end-to-end traceability back to farms within a year, the company announced today.
The company claims its blockchain technology dramatically improves efficiency. In an early test, Walmart's vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas, brought in sliced mangoes and asked his team to "stop everything they were doing and trace that product back to its origin on a farm" a spokesperson said. "It took them nearly seven days, as the methods of tracking today are antiquated-- ometimes done with pencil and paper." But using the blockchain, that tracking process can be done in 2.2 seconds.
Looking back at the romaine issue, the stores had to throw out all romaine because there was no way to precisely identify which romaine was from the region where the contaminated lettuce originated. It not only affected Walmart, but all of retail and even restaurants. All romaine had to go.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been working with IBM on applying blockchain solutions to other public health issues consulted with Walmart on improving traceability to help public health officials investigate foodborne disease outbreaks and find the source of contaminated food.
Walmart said the aim of the resulting blockchain system is "to help reduce the number of people who fall ill during food incidents, while at the same time reducing losses for retailers and suppliers during a recall."
The spokesperson said the information about Walmart's leafy greens will not be immediately available to consumers, but that it's in their roadmap.
Sent to us by: Jeff Weston