Apple tells judge it’s ‘impossible’ to access data on locked iPhones

iPhone 6

Apple told a U.S. judge that accessing data stored on a locked iPhone would be “impossible” with devices using its latest operating system, but the company has the “technical ability” to help law enforcement unlock older phones.

Apple’s position was laid out in a brief filed late Monday, after a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York, sought its input as he weighed a U.S. Justice Department request to force the company to help authorities access a seized iPhone.

In court papers, Apple said that for the 90 percent of its devices running iOS 8 or higher, granting the Justice Department’s request “would be impossible to perform” after it strengthened encryption methods.

Those devices include a feature that prevents anyone without the device’s passcode from accessing its data, including Apple itself.

The feature was adopted in 2014 amid heightened privacy concerns following leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance programs.

Apple told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein it could access the 10 percent of its devices that continue to use older systems, including the one at issue in the case. But it urged the judge to not require it to comply with the Justice Department’s request.

“Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand,” Apple’s lawyers wrote.

A spokeswoman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Caspers, whose office is handling the case, declined comment.

Earlier this month, Orenstein expressed skepticism about whether he could require Apple to disable security on the iPhone, citing Congress’ failure to act on the issue of encryption despite the urging of the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Orenstein deferred ruling until Apple could had a chance to say if it was technically feasible and, if so, whether compliance with the proposed order would be unduly burdensome.” A hearing is expected on Friday.

The case is In re Order requiring Apple, Inc to assist in the execution of a search warrant issued by the court, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-mc-01902.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)










Apple tells judge it’s ‘impossible’ to access data on locked iPhones

iPhone 6

Apple told a U.S. judge that accessing data stored on a locked iPhone would be “impossible” with devices using its latest operating system, but the company has the “technical ability” to help law enforcement unlock older phones.

Apple’s position was laid out in a brief filed late Monday, after a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York, sought its input as he weighed a U.S. Justice Department request to force the company to help authorities access a seized iPhone.

In court papers, Apple said that for the 90 percent of its devices running iOS 8 or higher, granting the Justice Department’s request “would be impossible to perform” after it strengthened encryption methods.

Those devices include a feature that prevents anyone without the device’s passcode from accessing its data, including Apple itself.

The feature was adopted in 2014 amid heightened privacy concerns following leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance programs.

Apple told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein it could access the 10 percent of its devices that continue to use older systems, including the one at issue in the case. But it urged the judge to not require it to comply with the Justice Department’s request.

“Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand,” Apple’s lawyers wrote.

A spokeswoman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Caspers, whose office is handling the case, declined comment.

Earlier this month, Orenstein expressed skepticism about whether he could require Apple to disable security on the iPhone, citing Congress’ failure to act on the issue of encryption despite the urging of the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Orenstein deferred ruling until Apple could had a chance to say if it was technically feasible and, if so, whether compliance with the proposed order would be unduly burdensome.” A hearing is expected on Friday.

The case is In re Order requiring Apple, Inc to assist in the execution of a search warrant issued by the court, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-mc-01902.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)










Tyra Banks On Her New Startup And Why Every Woman Needs “F-You” Money

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA. Host of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Tyra Banks talked about her new business venture Tyra Beauty, ‘smizing’ and empowering women entrepreneurs with “f-you” money onstage at the Wall Street Journal Live conference today. “Every woman needs ‘f-you’ money’ to be able to do things independently,” she explained to an audience… Read More

EMC spins out VMware cloud services and makes them part of Virtustream

VMware sign Chad Scott Flickr

Enterprise software player VMware, which is partly owned by EMC — which in turn just got bought by Dell for $67 billion — today announced that its making some big changes to its cloud services.

VMware’s vCloud Air public cloud portfolio is becoming part of public cloud and cloud software provider Virtustream, which VMware acquired earlier this year.

Virtustream, for its part, will be part of a new Cloud Services Business that will be owned by EMC and VMware — each side will own half. The Virtustream business will report its finances in VMware’s quarterly earnings statements.

It’s a feat of financial engineering at its best.

One wrinkle in all of this: Dell at one point was trying to build a public cloud, but the company abandoned those plans. Now, bringing together Virtustream and vCloud Air, Dell will have a stronger cloud to push, and perhaps one day it could be a competitive force that could challenge the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer. Maybe.










Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Mobile preview adds missed calls and texting from PC, Skype integration, and more

Windows 10

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Mobile preview today. The new build for phones includes support for missed call notifications on your PC, the ability to send texts from your PC, Skype integration, as well as improvements to Cortana, the Photo app, and Storage settings.

With this build on your phone, Cortana will now notify you on your PC (as long you have Windows 10 build 10565 or higher) when you miss a call. When that happens, you can reply to the person who called you with a text right from your PC. Cortana then makes sure that your phone sends the text on your behalf.

missed-call-notification

There is a small caveat: Because this requires Cortana, you need to be signed into the same Microsoft Account on both your phone and PC. If you have multiple PCs and don’t want to receive missed call notifications on one of those PCs, you can go to Cortana’s Notebook and toggle the “Missed call notifications” option. You can also disable the notification completely.

Even if you don’t miss a call, you can send a text from your PC at any time. To do so, fire up Cortana, type or speak “Text” and the name of a contact on your PC (just like you would on your phone) and Cortana will do the rest.

cortana-text

Speaking of Cortana, she can now help keep track of your leisure time, including movie and event reminders. Cortana can also tell you where to go and how to get there on time, including an option to book and track an Uber ride. Just say “Book an Uber” and Cortana will get you a ride immediately. You can even add “to [airport name]” and as long as Bing recognizes the airport and it allows Uber, a cab will be on its way.

cortana-reactive-uber

This build also adds the long-awaited Skype integration into the Messaging, Phone, and video universal Windows apps. The Messaging app has additionally gained support for animated GIFs and includes the ability to search your messages while the Phone app now has the ability to search for contacts from Call History.

Storage settings have seen some improvements to bring a common experience across your PC and phone. You can now install applications to expanded storage such as and SD card or USB drive on both your phone and PC.

Also, you can now save offline maps to an SD card. Microsoft notes both of these storage additions were top requests made by its testers.

maps-storage

Last but not least, the Photo app now lets you mark local photos on your phone as favorites and have them shuffle on the Live Tile. The viewer has also been improved for zooming performance and file information. If you press and hold a photo, you should also see additional context menus:

microsoft_photos_windows_10_mobile

New features aside, this build also fixes the following issues:

  • Notifications, such as new messages, can be received without first unlocking the device.
  • Cortana’s background activity has been optimized for power usage.
  • We have fixed some of the issues that were causing the Start screen to not load. Additionally, we have made some performance improvements to the Start screen.
  • We have made performance improvements to Acton Center, including swipe to expand and dismiss notifications. Swiping to expand or dismiss notifications should happen more quickly.
  • The alarm icon now appears on the Lock screen when an alarm is set in the Alarms & Clock app.
  • The proximity sensor during calls is now behaving as expected on devices that may have previously failed to turn the screen off.
  • App downloads in the Store were sometimes getting blocked by a service hanging in the background – this should be resolved and app downloads should be more consistent.
  • The keyboard will switch languages less aggressively now.
  • Taping restart for apply an update will reboot the device immediately now.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number from 10549, made available to testers on October 14, to build 10572. Unlike Windows 10 for PCs, which launched on July 29, Windows 10 Mobile hasn’t been released yet — it’s behind in terms of features and polish compared to its PC counterpart.

Build 10572 has the following known issues:

  • Visual Voicemail sync is broken on some devices. You may need to call your voicemail directly within the Phone app > Settings > Change more settings for Phone > Call Voicemail.
  • Opening message threads within the Messaging app will crash on dual SIM phones if the second line’s Messaging tile is removed from the Start screen (even if only a single SIM is used). The second line’s Messaging app will also appear to be removed from the All apps list. To work around this issue, the second line messaging tile must be linked to the first line messaging tile by opening up the first line in the Messaging app then go to Settings > link tiles.
  • On Dual SIM devices, unpinning the second line Phone tile from the Start screen will make the entry disappear from the All apps list. Rebooting the phone will cause the tile and application to both reappear.
  • Photos cannot be selected for sharing through third party apps like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Beta, WhatsApp etc.
  • Some devices will get into a state where the Phone app will continually crash upon launch. Resetting the device will recover it from this state.
  • Devices that have updated from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 8.1 may lose the ability to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds or may fail to update to Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds all together. You can use the Windows Device Recovery Tool to first update your device to Windows Phone 8.1 and then upgrade to the latest Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build.

Microsoft plans to launch the first Windows 10 phones in November and roll out Windows 10 Mobile to existing Windows Phone users in December.

More information:

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Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Mobile preview adds missed calls and texting from PC, Skype integration, and more

Windows 10

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Mobile preview today. The new build for phones includes support for missed call notifications on your PC, the ability to send texts from your PC, Skype integration, as well as improvements to Cortana, the Photo app, and Storage settings.

With this build on your phone, Cortana will now notify you on your PC (as long you have Windows 10 build 10565 or higher) when you miss a call. When that happens, you can reply to the person who called you with a text right from your PC. Cortana then makes sure that your phone sends the text on your behalf.

missed-call-notification

There is a small caveat: Because this requires Cortana, you need to be signed into the same Microsoft Account on both your phone and PC. If you have multiple PCs and don’t want to receive missed call notifications on one of those PCs, you can go to Cortana’s Notebook and toggle the “Missed call notifications” option. You can also disable the notification completely.

Even if you don’t miss a call, you can send a text from your PC at any time. To do so, fire up Cortana, type or speak “Text” and the name of a contact on your PC (just like you would on your phone) and Cortana will do the rest.

cortana-text

Speaking of Cortana, she can now help keep track of your leisure time, including movie and event reminders. Cortana can also tell you where to go and how to get there on time, including an option to book and track an Uber ride. Just say “Book an Uber” and Cortana will get you a ride immediately. You can even add “to [airport name]” and as long as Bing recognizes the airport and it allows Uber, a cab will be on its way.

cortana-reactive-uber

This build also adds the long-awaited Skype integration into the Messaging, Phone, and video universal Windows apps. The Messaging app has additionally gained support for animated GIFs and includes the ability to search your messages while the Phone app now has the ability to search for contacts from Call History.

Storage settings have seen some improvements to bring a common experience across your PC and phone. You can now install applications to expanded storage such as and SD card or USB drive on both your phone and PC.

Also, you can now save offline maps to an SD card. Microsoft notes both of these storage additions were top requests made by its testers.

maps-storage

Last but not least, the Photo app now lets you mark local photos on your phone as favorites and have them shuffle on the Live Tile. The viewer has also been improved for zooming performance and file information. If you press and hold a photo, you should also see additional context menus:

microsoft_photos_windows_10_mobile

New features aside, this build also fixes the following issues:

  • Notifications, such as new messages, can be received without first unlocking the device.
  • Cortana’s background activity has been optimized for power usage.
  • We have fixed some of the issues that were causing the Start screen to not load. Additionally, we have made some performance improvements to the Start screen.
  • We have made performance improvements to Acton Center, including swipe to expand and dismiss notifications. Swiping to expand or dismiss notifications should happen more quickly.
  • The alarm icon now appears on the Lock screen when an alarm is set in the Alarms & Clock app.
  • The proximity sensor during calls is now behaving as expected on devices that may have previously failed to turn the screen off.
  • App downloads in the Store were sometimes getting blocked by a service hanging in the background – this should be resolved and app downloads should be more consistent.
  • The keyboard will switch languages less aggressively now.
  • Taping restart for apply an update will reboot the device immediately now.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number from 10549, made available to testers on October 14, to build 10572. Unlike Windows 10 for PCs, which launched on July 29, Windows 10 Mobile hasn’t been released yet — it’s behind in terms of features and polish compared to its PC counterpart.

Build 10572 has the following known issues:

  • Visual Voicemail sync is broken on some devices. You may need to call your voicemail directly within the Phone app > Settings > Change more settings for Phone > Call Voicemail.
  • Opening message threads within the Messaging app will crash on dual SIM phones if the second line’s Messaging tile is removed from the Start screen (even if only a single SIM is used). The second line’s Messaging app will also appear to be removed from the All apps list. To work around this issue, the second line messaging tile must be linked to the first line messaging tile by opening up the first line in the Messaging app then go to Settings > link tiles.
  • On Dual SIM devices, unpinning the second line Phone tile from the Start screen will make the entry disappear from the All apps list. Rebooting the phone will cause the tile and application to both reappear.
  • Photos cannot be selected for sharing through third party apps like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Beta, WhatsApp etc.
  • Some devices will get into a state where the Phone app will continually crash upon launch. Resetting the device will recover it from this state.
  • Devices that have updated from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 8.1 may lose the ability to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds or may fail to update to Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds all together. You can use the Windows Device Recovery Tool to first update your device to Windows Phone 8.1 and then upgrade to the latest Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build.

Microsoft plans to launch the first Windows 10 phones in November and roll out Windows 10 Mobile to existing Windows Phone users in December.

More information:

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Yahoo and Google revive search deal after 2008 antitrust lawsuit killed it

Yahoo

Yahoo says it will soon be able to choose Google to complete its users’ Internet searches and deliver ads around the search results.

Yahoo can also direct its searches to Microsoft Bing, or use its own search engine. It can also send its searches to other third party search engines. Yahoo will use its own discretion to select which searches go to Google, and can send as many or as few to Google as it wants, according to an SEC filing.

“Google’s offerings complement the search services provided by Microsoft, which remains a strong partner, as well as Yahoo’s own search technologies and ad products,” Yahoo says in its quarterly earnings release today.

Under the deal, Google will pay Yahoo a percentage of the revenue it earns from the ads it places around search results at Yahoo and Yahoo affiliate sites. The percentage will depend on whether the ads are seen on the desktop mobile devices, and on the geographic location of the target of the ads. Yahoo says it will pay Google for requests for image search results or web algorithmic search results.

In 2008 Yahoo had an similar advertising agreement with Google, but was forced abandon the partnership following a Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit. This time around both
Yahoo and Google have have taken steps to avoid the regulatory problems.

 

Yahoo also points to its announcement that it will be unifying all of its programmatic advertising systems under its BrightRoll brand. So marketers will be able to go to BrightRoll’s trading desk for programmatic buying of video, display, and native advertising.

BrightRoll’s demand-side platform (DSP) connects ad buyers and ad sellers of video and display ad space through integration with 100 other trading desks, websites and mobile apps. The trading desk uses Yahoo data to facilitate ad buying in real time.

 










Yahoo Shares Fall On Q3 Profit Miss, Recover Mildly On News Of Google Search Deal

yahoo-earnings Today following the bell, Yahoo reported its second quarter financial performance. Not discounting traffic acquisition costs (ex-TAC), Yahoo’s revenue for the period totaled $1.23 billion. The company earned $0.15 per share during the quarter, using adjusted metrics (non-GAAP). Investors had expected Yahoo to earn $0.17 off $1.26 billion in top line. Down 2 percent in regular… Read More

Yahoo reports weak $1.23B revenue for Q3 as Alibaba spin-off nears

Yahoo Wilson Lam Flickr

Yahoo reported third-quarter earnings of $0.15 per share on revenue of $1.23 billion. Analysts expected $1.26 billion in quarterly revenue and earnings of $0.17.

Though Yahoo missed expectations across the board, its mobile, video, native, social (MaVeNS) business picked up steam this quarter generating $422 million for the quarter, a year-over-year growth of 43 percent. Last quarter, the MaVeNS business generated $399 million in revenue.

Social was a big focus this quarter. Over the summer the company released a silent messaging app called LiveText that lets users live stream while they text and acquired social shopping app Polyvore. Shortly thereafter, Yahoo (finally) integrated Tumblr into its Flurry developer API, so developers can build a share-to-Tumblr button in native apps.

After the earnings announcement, Yahoo’s stock is relatively flat in after-hours trading, a change from its overall trend downward.

Yahoo’s stock price had been on the decline for just shy of a year. In October the trend began reversing in anticipation of Yahoo’s Alibaba shares spinning off in Q4. Investors have been concerned that regulators would challenge Spin Co’s tax-free status.

In its earnings statement, Yahoo notes that it paid the $3.3 billion in income tax liability from its sale of of Alibaba Group last year. The company also says it’s working on cutting expenses.

“This quarter we’ve reduced spending in areas such as workforce, facilities and discretionary expenses, and in our ongoing efforts to control expenses, we’ll continue to focus our headcount on growth initiatives,” said CFO Ken Goldman, in the statement.

But investors may still be concerned over the well documented “exodus” of Yahoo executives including chief development officer Jacqueline Reses and marketing partnerships senior vice president Lisa Licht.