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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Sunday June 26, 2016


Secrets of iOS 10: Apple's iPhone Future Revealed
'Vintage' Apple iPods reportedly rake in $20,000 on eBay
D***.  I should have bought the first iPod that Apple made — even though it was overpriced.
Apple can’t make enough of its newest iPhone
"Demand has been very strong and exceeds supply at this point, but we're working hard to get the iPhone SE into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” Tim Cook said.
7 simple tips for charging your iPhone as quickly as possible
Use These Secret Codes to Unlock Hidden Features on Your iPhone
Updated version of this article.
7 things to delete first when your iPhone storage is full
5 free iPhone-only apps that will make your Android friends jealous
You can hack your iPhone to make the logo glow like the one on a MacBook
But it will void your warranty.
7 ways you're completely killing your iPhone battery
Secret iPhone codes you should know about
I use my iPhone to hide that I’m homeless
... a growing community of homeless New Yorkers using the internet as a means of survival.
NASA adds popular app to Apple TV
With NASA's new Apple TV app, anyone's living room can be a space-observation deck.

Until now, users wanting to display NASA's app on their TV had to cast it through Apple's remote streaming software, AirPlay, or a similar service. But now, Apple TV owners can call up the app without having to send it through an iPad or iPhone.
Apple confirms iOS kernel code left unencrypted intentionally
Although encryption is often thought to be synonymous with security, the lack of encryption in this case doesn’t mean that devices running iOS 10 are less secure. It just means that that researchers and developers can poke around in the kernel’s code for the first time, and any security flaws will come to light more quickly. If flaws are revealed, they can be quickly patched.

Leaving the kernel unencrypted is a rare move of transparency for Apple.
Apple has begun to shift towards greater transparency, particularly on security issues, in the wake of its battle with the FBI
Chinese company in Apple patent suit nearly out of business
When a Beijing regulator recently ruled against Apple Inc. in a patent dispute, it handed a victory to a Chinese company that barely exists.
By the time regulators reached their decision this year, Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors.
Baili and its parent, Digione, are part of a rapid boom and bust in China’s new wave of smartphone makers.
Shocker! Company that sued Apple over iPhone 6 is a patent troll
As it turns out, sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 models were never halted, but the allegations against Apple were very much real, albeit frivolous. The short of it is that Apple will be able to continue selling the iPhone 6 as the case makes its way through the Chinese court system.
Notably, a number of former Schenzhen Baili employees told the Journal that the lawsuit was nothing more than a publicity stunt, presumably to draw attention to the company’s smartphone lineup.
China builds world’s fastest supercomputer without U.S. chips

China revealed its latest supercomputer, a monolithic system with 10.65 million compute cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors. This follows a U.S. government decision last year to deny China access to Intel's fastest microprocessors.

There is no U.S.-made system that comes close to the performance of China's new system, the Sunway TaihuLight. Its theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops, according to the latest biannual release today of the world's Top500 supercomputers.

The fastest U.S. supercomputer, number 3 on the Top500 list, is the Titan, a Cray supercomputer at U.S. Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a theoretical peak of about 27 petaflops.

China now has more supercomputers in the Top500 list than the U.S., said Dongarra. "China has 167 systems on the June 2016 Top500 list compared to 165 systems in the U.S," he said, in an email. Ten years ago, China had 10 systems on the list.

World's First 1,000-Core CPU Runs on AA Battery

If you thought Intel's 72-core Xeon Phi supercomputing chip had a lot of cores, think again. Researchers at the University of California-Davis designed a processor with 1,000 cores.

The team partnered with IBM to fabricate its design, called KiloCore. Each of the processor cores is individually clocked, so it can run—and shut down—independently of the others. That independence is crucial to managing the processor's power demands, enabling high throughput with relatively lower energy use.

In an impressive display of one-upmanship, UC Davis has created a monster of a chip, called “KiloCore,” which houses 1,000 independent processors. After a bit of math, that comes out to a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second. Holy shit.

But arguably the more impressive feat is how UC Davis was able to make such a monster chip actually energy efficient. According to UC Davis, the chip can perform 115 billion instructions per second and only give off .7 Watts

Antikythera Mechanism: Mysteries Of 2,100-Year-Old ‘Computer’ Revealed After Decade-Long Research

Scientists and archaeologists have long known that the Antikythera Mechanism — a device that was discovered in an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901 — was astonishingly ahead of its time when it was built nearly 2,100 years ago. However, there was one thing no one had been able to figure out — what exactly was this contraption, made of several large gears and cogs, used for?

Until now.

Scientists have come to the conclusion that the device was used for both astronomical and astrological purposes.

the Antikythera Mechanism, often called the world’s first analog computer, was, in addition to pinpoint the positions of sun, stars and the moon, used to predict solar and lunar eclipses — events ancient Greeks believed could impact human affairs.

“The Antikythera mechanism simulated a Hellenistic cosmology in which astronomy, meteorology and astral divination were intertwined,” the researchers said.

Whenever you use a texting app — Stop. Using. Periods. Period.

poor mom or dad doesn’t understand one of the cardinal rules of texting, which is that you don’t use periods, period. Not unless you want to come off as cold, angry or passive-aggressive.

The period is no longer how adolescents finish their sentences. In texts and online chats, it has been replaced by the simple line break.

You just hit send

Your words end up on a new line

a visual indication

that you have started

a new sentence,

Free TV's Decline Has Begun

The rise of cordcutting is hastening the end of free, over-the-air broadcast TV. Why? In part because those consumers who have abandoned traditional pay-TV service for online alternatives are threatening to cut into the massive licensing fees broadcasters now rely on to support their business.

With too little money to be made from free TV, the era of on-the-air (OTA) television is beginning to wind down. No wonder so many broadcasters are selling their spectrum back to the government.

Why San Francisco stopped teaching algebra in middle school

San Francisco in the twenty-first century is the town that STEM built.

the district's new mathematical course sequence, students would not be introduced to the joys of polynomials until high school.

many parents see the district's new standards as a dumbing down of the curriculum.

In fact, the evidence on early algebra is decidedly mixed.

New Android malware can secretly root your phone and install programs

Android users beware: a new type of malware has been found in legitimate-looking apps that can “root” your phone and secretly install unwanted programs.

The malware, dubbed Godless, has been found lurking on app stores including Google Play, and it targets devices running Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and earlier, which accounts for more than 90 percent of Android devices.

Some apps are clean but have a corresponding malicious version that shares the same developer certificate. The danger there is that users install the clean app but are then upgraded to the malicious version without them knowing.

The story of a DDoS extortion attack – how one company decided to take a stand

a member of the IT team at German payments processor Computop retrieved an email sent to one of the company's public addresses threatening to hit the firm's customer websites with a massive DDoS attack if a ransom of 15 Bitcoins (about £7,900) was not paid to the attackers by June 15.

The attackers had launched a smaller demo DDoS to prove their intent.

Instead of simply ordering his company to defend itself in conventional fashion he was going to write to all 5,000 of Computop's customers and partners telling them that on 15 June his firm's website was likely to be hit with a DDoS attack big enough to cause everyone serious problems.

Gladis probably didn't consider it at the time but he was making history. Companies hit by or threatened with DDoS attacks rarely talk about their experiences and absolutely never put such information into the public domain prior to an attack. It just isn't done. Business wisdom says that it's just too much of a reputational risk and might even seriously annoy the attackers. It's almost as if the industry sees the attack as being the victim's fault.

Gladys let their merchants know, in advance, of the forthcoming DDoS attack. A lot of large retailers came back saying that they liked being given a heads up. Nobody complained.

Did the plan work?

The date and time for the promised attack came and went and nothing happend. Gladis was told by the company's pen-testers that the attackers would have been able to detect that the vulnerable servers were now within a mitigation cloud and probably simply backed off.

Computop's story stands as a remarkable refutation to the idea that security is best served by secrecy.

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