Apple’s anti-leaking strategy just leaked

Apple wages a constant war on leakers designed to ensure it can unveil new products on its own terms. But the leaks never seem to stop, and it’s evident they won’t anytime soon.

The Outline’s William Turton obtained a leaked recording of an Apple presentation on Apple’s anti-leaking efforts, hilariously highlighting how difficult it can be to stop leaks.

The presentation reveals the elaborate steps Apple takes to safeguard the secrecy of its products. Apple has recruited a large team of anti-leak investigators, including people who previously worked at the National Security Agency, the FBI, and the Secret Service. One investigation lasted for three years.

“These investigations go on a long time,” Lee Freedman, who was an assistant US attorney before leading Apple’s investigation team, said in the recording. “We don’t take a defeatist mentality and say, ‘Oh well, it’s going to leak anyways.’” In one case, Apple pursued a case for three years before identifying the leaker.

One of Apple’s big challenges has been leaks from manufacturing facilities in China. To prevent these leaks, Apple requires Chinese workers to be searched as they enter and leave factories where Apple products are made. In the recording, an Apple official bragged that Apple screens more people than the TSA: “Their peak volume is 1.8 million a day. Ours, for just 40 factories in China, is 2.7 million a day.”

Apple has less draconian, but still extensive, security procedures at its American campuses.

Apple’s brass believes that all this secrecy helps the company’s bottom line. Early leaks of a forthcoming product could discourage customers from buying Apple products that are already on store shelves. And the surprise of a big Apple product reveal makes news organizations more likely to cover it.

At the same time, it’s hard to be sure if any of this really matters. Apple loyalists are going to buy a new Apple product sooner or later. And Apple is such a prominent brand that there’s little risk of customers not hearing about a new Apple product

[Source”pcworld”]

Why Atari’s New Console Could Be Just What The Gaming Industry Needs

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Yesterday, I reported on the recent GamesBeat interview with Atari CEO Fred Chesnais, a chat that confirmed the existence of an upcoming Atari console. The news came as a bit of a surprise, and since that break, speculation has been running wild. Forbes’ own Paul Tassi posted an interesting take on the whole situation, and honestly, I think he makes a great point—the market is indeed full, and introducing a brand new platform, especially one potentially poised to take on those of industry giants like Sony and Microsoft, may be an exercise in overzealous futility. And yet I can’t sit still, so break out the one-button joysticks and dusty Combat cartridges—we’re going to play devil’s advocate.

Even with everything seemingly stacked against such a machine (and there’s a lot, believe me), I still can’t manage to shake my naive excitement. I’ve been gaming for a long time, since the late 80s if I’m counting right, so the prospect of a legitimate Atari revival has set my imagination on fire. I know they’re not even close to the same company that released the 2600 and the Jaguar (or the criminally underappreciated Lynx handheld), but I feel like the potential for something compelling lay not only within this recent hardware announcement, but also amongst the remnant echos of Atari’s yesteryear 8-bit greatness. Before the infamous video game market crash of 1983, they all but owned the digital entertainment market, so who’s to say that they can’t stage a screaming comeback?

The deck is, without a doubt, stacked against such an impromptu market breach. Why? Because as it stands, Sony and Microsoft are in a constant and incredibly expensive battle for console market dominance. And while Nintendo occupies some strange, PG-rated corner of said market, one filled with jovial plumbers, wacky hardware innovation and awful online implementation, they absolutely dominate that space with consistently good first-party titles and an insane degree of consumer loyalty. When paring out the market shares, precious space for an additional dedicated gaming hardware option shrinks to almost nothing. And for the most part, it’s been this way since Sega bowed out of the race back in 2001 with its legendary Dreamcast. So beyond mobile devices and PC, we have three major options for gaming platforms. But what if people want more? What if they’re eager to try something different but lack the opportunity to jump ship?

Believe it or not, there was a time in gaming history when we did have more options. Way more, in fact. Back in the 1990s, all over the span of roughly ten years, the gaming market saw the introduction of a crazy amount of original, completely unique home consoles. Some were weird. Others ludicrously bizarre. Many were quirky experiments that only lasted several months before disappearing forever. Huge mainstream successes like the SNES and N64 were simply the machines that bubbled to the top. For every PlayStation sold there was an Apple Pippin left to forlornly rot on a lonely Circuit City shelf, ignored and forgotten by the gaming masses.

There was Panasonic’s 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, which introduced Gex—and an insane MSRP—to the world. Sega released the Sega CD and 32X, the bulky combination of which made for quite the conversation piece (and a heavy means by which you could defend your house from lions and swooping pterodactyls). And oh God, the Virtual Boy, which didn’t even last a full year before Nintendo pulled the plug. Still, that’s just the tip of the hardware iceberg: CD-i, Amiga CD32, Saturn, and Neo Geo CD are all among the onslaught of consoles that ran the gamut from world-changing to painfully obscure. The failure rate was high, though through all the pricey risks, gamers had choices. Sure, many of them weren’t the best and absolutely didn’t pan out in the long-term, but we weren’t strictly relegated to two or three major sources for our gaming needs. There was a power in that pool of options, and if we wanted to game on a Pioneer LaserActive, we could (though we might cry about it during, after and later).

If Atari’s new product ends up being a proper console with properly powerful innards, it could bring back that sense of choice, something that’s sorely missing from today’s market. Just imagine if they were able to entice several AAA developers and secure a handful of compelling exclusives; Ataribox-only titles you couldn’t find on Xbox, PlayStation or Switch. At the very least, it would make for an interesting 2018 E3, or at least one more exciting than this year’s ho-hum showing.

Oftentimes I’m struck by how homogeneous the gaming industry has become, so I think a gutsy newcomer (in the form of a wise old-timer) would do well to stir up the pot. We need something less, shall we say, predictable. And if the product is solid enough, if it bucks enough trends and pushes the right boundaries, customers may shock analysts and wander outside the comfortable camps that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have set up.

It’s all just speculation at this stage, of course, but it’s fun to wonder. I just hope it’s nothing like the Ouya, bless its tiny Android heart.

[Source”GSmerena”]

Apple just created, and killed, a generation of AR businesses

Two weeks ago, Apple introduced ARKit, its solution for placing 3D objects realistically into a ‘real’ place. Basically, augmented reality.

And it just so happens that the Holy Grail of the home decor and architecture game has been, for years, being able to place decor and furniture inside a customer’s actual space. Over the past decade, as mobile has taken off, that dream has been transferred from the desktop web browser to phones and tablets.

A couple of factors have lined up to allow this category to explode and become, I believe, one of the first big breakout uses of AR in the App Store.

  • First, these kinds of apps need a huge library of 3D models of furniture and accessories. Whole companies were born in the early days that just offered to scan and import these for big companies.
  • The tech that allowed them to accurately perform SLAM (Simultaneous Location And Mapping) calculations in real time is far from trivial. Placing objects into a world required people to build the tech from the ground up by creating models of the rooms as well as the objects themselves.

Both of these points are now moot.

I can’t tell you how many of these kinds of companies I’ve seen over the years. Some of them were not bad at all, some were terrible, all were pretty much held back by the technology it took to map a room and place objects. I’ve written extensively about how Apple’s purchases over the last few years have gotten them to a place where they’re able to pack this into a phone — you can read that here.

The best recent stab I’ve seen at this model is called Modsy. It’s a pretty impressive process that has you take a few smartphone pictures that it stitches together and dresses up on its side, delivering you a fully decorated room a couple of days later. But that’s still far from real-time. ARKit is.

Modsy

 

So now here we are, with the ability for just about anyone to spin up an AR window inside their app. I predict that we’re going to see some real crap over the next few weeks and months as people just “put an AR on it.” But aside from that, we’re going to see a plug unstoppered on industries that needed a reliable version of this kind of AR portal in order to execute on a vision.

IKEA has announced that it is going to be allowing people to see their particular brand of lasts-just-long-enough furniture set into place in their own homes. IKEA won’t be the last though, by far.

It was even pointed out to me on Twitter that Apple probably just sherlocked the Pair app (a 500 Startups alum that we covered last August, incidentally) that was part of its inaugural Planet of the Apps episode.

The years and years of attempts at this, along with the technical pipeline of the modern online retail experience, has led most big furniture and accessory (and fashion btw) distributors to have all of their products modeled. Either from the original designs (all done in 3D now anyway) or scanned afterwards. Most catalog shots and online images are snapshots of what is technically, at the least, a 360 degree model of an object.

This means that there is a big pent up demand and a reservoir of available material to populate AR worlds. Thousands, hundreds of thousands — probably millions of 3D models of real stuff.

And we’ve now removed what was the biggest technical hurdle by divorcing the “room model” from the “object model.” Apple democratized AR to the tune of hundreds of millions of available portals — but it also did it to the tune of billions of points of interest. Every physical “node” of the world is now a potential layering aspect for AR.

Matthew Panzarino

@panzer

Every major furniture distributor already has 3D models of their products. This is gonna spread like wildfire. https://9to5mac.com/2017/06/19/ios-11-apple-ar-augmented-reality-ikea-app/ 

Follow

Mike Rundle

@flyosity

@panzer So Apple is about to Sherlock the Planet of the Apps dude who said his app was more important than his kids lolol

Twitter Ads info and privacy

 

This is just a curiosity when it comes to individual experiences, but the potential is ridiculous when you start thinking about it in a persistent way.

So if everyone can do it then the value is diminished, right? Not really. This should just allow designers and developers to move up the stack. Now they’re no longer burdened with adapting an existing AR system to their needs or (shudder) manufacturing them from scratch. The focus can be purely on big idea thinking about how to apply AR, the experience of doing so, and how best to conjoin it with other systems like voice, mapping and photography.

Apple just built the AR industry’s shovel. Now all you have to do is decide where to dig.

The initial wave of AR stuff will be right along the lines of what I discussed above. Furniture placed in the real world to see how it looks; filter; fun tricks; games. After that, we’re going to see some really insane stuff as people see what it means

[Source”GSmerena”]

The Moly X1 with Windows 10 Mobile is just $179 via Indiegogo

Image result for The Moly X1 with Windows 10 Mobile is just $179 via Indiegogo

The Moly X1 is an attractive phone running Windows 10 Mobile. The phone came out earlier this year but cost around $300 at the time. Now, the company is evidently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds and get the phone in more hands for a lower price.

The campaign has the phone with either US/Canada or Europe/Australia 4G LTE variants starting at just $179. From there the price goes up to $190 with a case and all the way up to $229 when the lower tiers run out.

The Moly X1 is a decent, low-cost phone especially for $179. While the camera is lacking the rest of the phone has a very elegant design as noted in our unboxing.

Here are the rest of the phone’s details:

Coship Moly X1 specifications

  • 5.5-inch HD or Full HD display with Gorilla Glass
  • 4G LTE support
  • 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD expansion (14.5GB available)
  • micro-USB charging
  • 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 4.0 A2DP/HFP/OPP
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4/5.0GHz
  • Sensors: G-sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor
  • Dimensions: 154.8 x 78.6 x 6.9mm
  • Weight 4.9 oz (139 grams)

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

Nougat-powered LG Aristo arriving at MetroPCS for just $59 on January 23

In this day and age where new phones are still being released with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s great to hear about new, budget-friendly handsets that are running the latest version of Android out of the box. In this case, MetroPCS will be selling such a phone, the LG Aristo, for just $59 starting on Monday, January 23. That price comes after a $70 instant rebate.

The 5-inch phone has a display resolution of 1280 x 720. Inside, the LG Aristo will have a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, along with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, and a microSD card slot that can increase that storage by up to 32GB. It also has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, and a removable 2,410mAh battery. It also sports a rear-mounted fingerprint reader below the camera..

Obviously, the hardware specs on the LG Aristo are on the lower end, but this phone might be good to get for a secondary device, and it does have the latest Android OS version pre-installed, which is definitely a plus.

If you don’t want to mess with buying a phone from MetroPCS, its parent company, T-Mobile, will sell the same device on January 25. It will cost $144 for its full retail price, or you can get it $0 down and just $6 per month for 24 months.

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

 

Yes, You Need a Pattern Library… Just Not Yet.

featured_pattern

Designer guilt.

I feel it all the time, I’m sure you do too. I feel this guilt when I fail to do something that the design community has insisted that all designers must do.

When I jump right into high-fidelity prototypes, I feel guilty. When I rely too much on my own assumptions rather than user insights, I feel guilty. And, when I fail to start a pattern library at the outset of a new project, I feel guilty.

For the first two points, sure, you should feel guilty. These are best practices for reasons I won’t get into here. (Don’t believe me? Take a look here, and here.)

But should you feel guilty for not starting a pattern library?

I’ve realized that the answer is No. You shouldn’t.

I’m not suggesting you don’t need a pattern library at some point. You do. Just maybe not right now. In fact, creating an obligatory pattern library too early in your project could be slowing down your process.

How? Well, at the beginning of a project it’s beneficial to be a little messy. Keeping things loose is key to a Lean UX process as you test assumptions to determine what your users need. Now is not the best time to focus on your pattern documentation.

After a while, though, the strain of not having a pattern library will set in. You’ll know that it’s time to start investing in your pattern library when these four signs emerge:

YOU’RE HAVING THE SAME DISCUSSIONS OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Developers will often tell you they abide by the principle of DRY — Don’t Repeat Yourself. This keeps their code clean, and free of redundancies.

Pattern libraries can help product teams follow this principle as well.

By the time we were a few months into building our app, my team was feeling a sense of deja-vu when discussing our designs. What pattern do we use for opening a modal again? What should the text field look like on this page?

A shared pattern can help avoid these cyclical discussions. Now, when the question of what pattern to use comes up, we have a reliable point of reference.

YOUR TEAM IS REFERRING TO THE SAME PATTERNS BY FIVE DIFFERENT NAMES

“Let’s use the modal that fades as it shoots up and has a typeahead search field.”

Yes, I said this in a meeting. No joke. This was one of those moments when the stark realization of our need for a pattern library set in.

Pattern libraries can help create a common language across your team, and departments. When you say “frying pan”, you can assume I have the appropriate image in my head. In the same way, you could say “Modal List Picker” and your team will know exactly what you’re talking about.

SMALL INCONSISTENCIES ARE MOUNTING

It’s an unfortunate reality, but your app will have a few tiny fissures at the start. An outcast font here, some renegade margins there. That’s OK. You’re still figuring things out.

Over time, though, these tiny fissures begin to add up to more serious cracks in the user experience. Your app may start to feel unpolished, asymmetrical.

Malcolm Gladwell once wrote how people can detect fraudulent art within seconds. You don’t want to risk your users writing off your app in the same, unconscious manner.

The process of creating pattern library can help your team focus on identifying and fixing these inconsistencies before they get out of hand.

NEW TEAMS ARE WORKING ON THE PRODUCT

During the initial stages of a new product, it’s common for a small team to take complete ownership. This keeps everyone focused, so they’re able to react to customer needs and insights as fast as possible.

As the product grows, the amount of teams and contributors will grow as well. Without pattern documentation, new teams may rekindle the pattern debates you thought were over.

A pattern library can help in communicating the what, how and why behind your patterns to new teams and stakeholders.

It’s best to remember that pattern libraries are tools, not dogma. Yet, if you’re designing a product, you’ll feel the guilt. You’ll worry you’ve ignored practical advice and have let your team down.

That’s OK. It’s more important to take some big leaps of faith, watch your ideas fail, and keep on learning and iterating.

You’ll build a pattern library someday, don’t worry. The time will come when you can’t ignore strain. Best of all, it won’t feel like an obligation.

It’ll feel like an epiphany.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Microsoft just made Windows 10 more secure

Microsoft just made Windows 10 more secure

Windows 10 is making considerable efforts to tighten up on the security front, and Microsoft has just announced changes to how it vets drivers for the operating system – all of these must now be digitally signed by Redmond.

As Betanews spotted, it was actually last year that Microsoft announced that all kernel mode drivers would need to be submitted to the Windows Hardware Dev Center portal in order to be digitally signed.

But at the time, Microsoft didn’t enforce this as a rule – due to various ‘technical-readiness’ issues, it was only implemented as policy guidance.

However, from now on, starting with installations of Windows 10, version 1607, this will be fully enforced and any drivers not signed off by the aforementioned Dev portal won’t be loaded by the OS.

Fresh installs

Note that this doesn’t apply to old drivers, just to new ones going forward. Also, the new policy only applies to fresh installations of Windows 10, so systems upgraded from previous versions of Windows will still allow the usage of cross-signed drivers.

The idea of the new policy is to make users less vulnerable to rogue drivers potentially laden with malware, as Windows 10 obviously won’t accept any driver that isn’t signed off by Microsoft in the future.

Redmond is also making a number of improvements to security with the incoming Anniversary Update, including enhancements for Windows Hello, and fresh anti-malware measures for Windows Defender. The update starts to roll out tomorrow.

 

 

[Source: Techrader]