#401 Feb 16 2015 – Apple Takes to the Highway!

This week’s headline story: Apple Heads to the Highway!

apple_carApple has transformed the tech industry with its iPhone, iPad and soon the Apple watch. What will be next for the world’s most successful corporation? According to the Wall Street Journal, it is likely to be an Apple-branded electric car! According to Wall Street Journal sources, Apple has employed hundreds of automotive specialists on a project code-named Titan which is housed an few miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Among top automotive experts to defect to Apple is head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development unit, Johann Jungwirth who has become head of Mac Systems Engineering.

According to sources, the project is working on an electric vehicle that looks like a minivan. It would take years to finish the project, and it is not certain if Apple will eventually build a car, the Journal said. The news signals that Apple is sharply raising its ambitions for automotive technology, which has become a prime area of interest for Silicon Valley companies ranging from Google to ride-sharing firm Uber to electric car-maker Tesla Motors Inc.

Apple is working on creating a car: WSJ [Reuters]

in other tech news…

  • Careful, Your Television Might Be Listening [NewsFactor]
    Government surveillance and businesses tracking users online have become perennial concerns to the Internet generation. Now, you may need to be careful about what you say in front of your TV. Samsung’s Internet-connected Smart TV reportedly may be listening in on users’ personal conversations. Samsung’s Smart TV privacy policy includes the warning, “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”
  • Google’s Vint Cerf warns of ‘digital Dark Age’ [BBC]
    Vint Cerf, the Google VP, known by many as the father of the Internet, is losing sleep over the future of data and your family photos. Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of information – on our hard drives or in “the cloud”. But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution, Cerf told the audience at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “I worry a great deal about that,” Mr Cerf said. “…old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed. Vint Cerf is promoting an idea to preserve every piece of software and hardware so that it never becomes obsolete – just like what happens in a museum – but in digital form, in servers in the cloud.

in Information Security News…

  • Report: Millions stolen from banks through sophisticated malware [Arstechnica]
    Hackers infiltrated over 100 banks in several countries, stealing millions of dollars in possibly the largest bank theft the world has seen, according to a report published by the New York Times. Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab is issuing a report that details how banks in Russia, Japan, the United States, and other countries fell victim to malware starting in late 2013 that allowed the hackers to watch video feeds, view daily operations, and impersonate bank officials. The malware allowed the hackers to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from the banks to fake accounts. “This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert,” Chris Doggett, of Kaspersky’s Boston office, told the Times.
  • Obama To Create New Agency To Examine Cyberthreats [NewsFactor]
    The White House is setting up a new agency designed to coordinate cyberthreat intelligence that currently is spread across the federal government. The agency would be modeled after the National Counter Terrorism Center, which was established after 9/11 to coordinate terrorism intelligence. The lack of such an agency before led to missed opportunities to thwart the 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • Apple Adds 2-Step Authentication to iMessage and FaceTime [NewsFactor]
    Apple has added 2-step authentication to iMessage and FaceTime. The extra security measure will reduce the chances that hackers can access user accounts, even if they have people’s usernames and passwords.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Apple Pay Takes Flight on JetBlue [Eccommerce Times]
    The Airline JetBlue has announced that it will accept in-flight payments through Apple Pay. Passengers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch, will be able to use Apple Pay to purchase snack boxes, food, beverages, onboard amenities and better seating.

and finally,

  • Facebook Lets Accounts Live After You Die [NewsFactor]
    Facebook is adding a new “legacy contact” option for users who want to control their accounts when they’re no longer around. If a Facebook user dies, the individual’s legacy contact will be able to write a post to appear at the top of the account’s Timeline, approve new friend requests and update the account’s profile picture and cover photo. However, users can also specify if they want their Facebook accounts permanently deleted after they die.

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