Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Apple Patent

An Apple patent has revealed designs for a new gadget that could instantaneously turn an iPhone into a MacBook hybrid.

The technology giant filed the patent last year for an electronic accessory device that can be used to extend the functionality of a smartphone to a laptop-style terminal.

“It is anticipated that the accessory device is not a stand-alone computing device but only acts in concert with a host device,” the patent, which has just been published, says.

“The host device can be a portable computing device, such as  a smart phone, media player, tablet computer, or other portable computing device.”

9to5mac notes that the iPhone would effectively become the ‘brains’ of the laptop which would run iOS over MacOS.

Another design showed an iPad which could slot into the space where the laptop’s screen would usually be.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Google Punishes Symantec

Google is considering a harsh punishment for repeated incidents in which Symantec or its certificate resellers improperly issued SSL certificates. A proposed plan is to force the company to replace all of its customers’ certificates and to stop recognizing the extended validation (EV) status of those that have it.

According to a Netcraft survey from 2015, Symantec is responsible for about one in every three SSL certificates used on the web, making it the largest commercial certificate issuer in the world. As a result of acquisitions over the years the company now controls the root certificates of several formerly standalone certificate authorities including VeriSign, GeoTrust, Thawte and RapidSSL.

SSL/TLS certificates are used to encrypt the connections between browsers and HTTPS-enabled websites and also to verify that users are actually visiting the websites they intended to and not spoofed versions. These certificates are issued by organizations known as certificate authorities that are trusted by default in browsers and operating systems.

The process of issuing and managing certificates is governed by rules created by the CA/Browser Forum, an organization whose members include browser vendors and certificate authorities. When those rules are violated, browser and OS vendors can revoke trust in the offending certificates and sanction the responsible certificate authorities, going as far as kicking them out of their root certificate stores.

Google says that an investigation into a recent incident indicates that Symantec has not upheld security practices expected of certificate authorities, such as validating domain control,  auditing logs for evidence of unauthorized issuance, and minimizing the ability for the issuance of fraudulent certificates.

If Google’s plan is put into practice, millions of existing Symantec certificates will become untrusted over the next 12 months in Google Chrome. This will be a gradual process where every new Chrome release will distrust a new batch of certificates starting with Chrome 59,  which will revoke trust in certificates that have a validity period of over 33 months.

This will put enormous pressure on Symantec, as the company will have to contact all customers, validate their identity and the ownership of their domains all over again, and replace their existing certificates with new ones, most likely at no cost.

Some companies will likely have problems replacing their certificates on such short notice, as they might be used in payment terminals and other hard-to-reach embedded devices.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Google Security Updates

Google has spent the past year working with third-party manufacturers and phone carriers to improve its update system for Android, which is often criticized for not being fast enough to protect users from known vulnerabilities. And while Google says it has made some progress in this area — Android issued security updates to 735 million devices from more than 200 manufacturers in 2016 — about half of Android users still aren’t receiving important security patches.

“There is still a lot of work to do to protect all Android users: about half of devices in use at the end of 2016 had not received a platform security update in the previous year,” Android security leads Adrian Ludwig and Melinda Miller wrote in a year-in-review post. Android issued monthly security updates during that time frame.

When phone makers discover vulnerabilities in their products — either through external reports from security researchers or through internal audits — it kicks off a race to patch the problem before it’s widely exploited. But in the Android ecosystem, which includes hundreds of carriers and manufacturers, pushing those updates out to every user is a complex process.

While Google-manufactured Pixel and Nexus phones and tablets receive automatic updates, hundreds of manufacturers that run Android on their devices don’t push security updates to their customers immediately. This practice can leave customers waiting for months to get updates, and their devices are vulnerable in the meantime.

Ludwig told TechCrunch that Google has been able to cut the wait time for security updates from six to nine weeks down to just a few days by working with carriers and manufacturers. “In North America, just over 78 percent of flagship devices were current with the security update at the end of 2016,” he explained. “It’s a good number in terms of the progress that it represents. We think we can do better.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Apple Products

Apple Inc. introduced a revamped version of its most popular-sized iPad at the cheapest price yet, and a shiny red iPhone 7, whose sales will help to combat AIDS.

Apple unveiled a new 9.7-inch iPad with a brighter Retina display starting at $329, and a special edition red-aluminum finish iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, part of the company’s decade-long partnership with (RED), which contributes to the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS.

The new iPad starts at $329 for 32GB with Wi-Fi and $459 for 32GB Wi-Fi plus cellular. It will be available to order starting March 24 in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries and regions. The iPhone (RED) models will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at $749 from March 24. Apple also announced new storage capacity for the iPhone SE. That 4-inch display model will now be available in 32GB and 128GB models, doubling the current capacity and replacing the previous models.

Other product launches Tuesday include a new app called Clips, that helps people combine video clips, photos and music that can be shared through social media and messages. Apple also said its Swift Playgrounds iPad app, which helps students learn to code, is available in five additional languages: Japanese, French, German, Spanish and simplified Chinese.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lights, Camera... The Top 7 Trends in Corporate Video Content

by Vern Oakley

We live in a visual society, and increasingly a video society. The corporate world knows this, and is leveraging video for uses other than just branding or marketing. Video is now often used to communicate important messages for moving people to action: for example, to invite investors to take a stake in your company, to encourage employees to rally around a strategy or initiative, or to recruit prospective employees.

As a filmmaker and creative director, I’m constantly looking for the next technology or trend to make my own work stronger and understand the context that corporations are coming to the table with. Here are some trends I’ve noticed lately.

1) Welcome to the video tsunami. Video is by far the way more and more people want to receive messages and information. We’re at the crest of the wave, and the surf is up. By 2020, 84% of all Internet traffic will be video. That’s an astounding number.

2) Video continues to move in-house. Many of the Global 1000 corporations have in-house video departments.  The middle market is looking to outsource the whole video operation and avoid staff and space allocations.  More to come on that.

3) There’s a lot of terrible video out there. The barrier to entry is so low in terms of costs, and business is so thirsty for content, which means that there is a perfusion of mediocre video. A great percentage of it is simply ignored.

4) Smart businesses demand ROI and ROI demands context. To understand and create effective video content is a skill unto itself. What distinguishes the merely acceptable from the truly great is an advanced level of strategic and creative thinking, a firm grip on the business challenges, and the societal context your audience is experiencing.

5) Virtual Reality is a contender. We’ve barely scratched the surface of VR’s massive potential for corporate and institutional applications. While VR is currently in the “trough of uncertainty” stage of its development, there’s no doubt more immersive and interactive video experiences are here to stay.

6) Culture beats strategy. Cultural differentiators are the most surefire (some might say only) way to stand out in a crowded global business environment. It starts at the top – no secret there.  A lot of the most compelling work solves a specific communication challenge around building and improving a company’s culture, for example, human resources (recruiting, on–boarding  retention), investor relations, CEO or executive messaging, values, purpose, and corporate communications.

7) Business has two speeds: faster and faster. Every project has tight time constraints. This is a result of the speed of business and the reality of the lives of corporate leaders. As service providers, we need to understand their pressure and work with it to assemble pop-up teams at a moment’s notice, and how to do great creative work under duress.

Video is here to stay. The future is filled with potential and opportunity. In the end, understanding your audience, making work that begs to be viewed and shared, and having clarity around the business problems you’re using video to solve add up to the successful use of video in a noisy world.

Veteran filmmaker, teacher, speaker, and industry thought leader Vern Oakley is CEO and creative director of Tribe Pictures, which he founded in 1986. Oakley has created films for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and their leaders, including American Express, AT&T, Pfizer, Princeton, and NYU Law. His mission is to help humanize the world’s most successful leaders and institutions, helping them to craft their stories and to create meaningful human connections. To this end, he has studied with a variety of experts and institutions, from Arthur Penn and the Actor’s Studio to Harvard Business School.

Oakley directed the major motion picture, A Modern Affair, as well as the Emmy-winning children’s TV program, Reading Rainbow. His work has won over 500 international awards, including the Cannes Golden Dolphin, and he is currently an Adjunct Professor in Baruch College’s Communications Graduate Program. To learn more, visit www.vernoakley.com.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

iPhone 8 Rumors

Apple just might whet our appetites for a September unveiling of the iPhone 8 (or iPhone X) with an event later this month or early in April regarding some new iPads and maybe some low-end iPhones. But we won’t be distracted: On to the iPhone 8 rumors!
The word is that Apple and Samsung are going to hogging up most of the shiny, energy-efficient OLED displays being pumped out this year, leaving poor Huawei and others on the outs. And after all that, it turns out that Apple’s OLED displays on its anticipated 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will have a “gentler” curved screen than that found on the rival Samsung Galaxy S7 (and likely, the S8).
This mild news comes courtesy of Nikkei Asian Review, as reported by 9to5Mac and others. The news is based on one unnamed source…
“The curve will be gentler than screens in Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. This is partly due to the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens, according to the source.
While the curved screen will allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches and make the iPhone even sleeker, it will not offer significant new functions, the person said.”
In other words, based on this report, don’t anticipate Apple doing anything wild and crazy like running information down the sides of its curved iPhone displays.
This latest report is part of a back and forth narrative that has bounced from Apple going very curvy to settling for a regular old flat screen.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Vihoo Indiegogo Offer

Vihoo has announced the launch of their aerospace-engineered Phone Ring on Indiegogo, March 16th, designed by a NASA engineer.

In light of the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, Vihoo re-designed the phone case into a premium aluminum phone ring that embraces the iPhone with a simple click, and preserves the look and feel of iPhones as Apple designers intended. The two-piece hinged, diamond-cut, anodized premium aluminum ring offers the smoothest iPhone experience yet. In combination with Vihoo’s Ultra Premium shatterproof, full-screen rounded edge 3D Corning Glass Protector called “The Schild Visor”, users can “take the edge off”, resulting in a seamless user experience.

The iPhone accessories market has seen rapid growth with each release of a new model, and in just the first two weeks of a new release, consumers buy more than $250 million of accessories. However, the more beautiful and rigid the iPhone design evolves, the thicker and larger, the rubber and plastic cases become; morphing the iPhone into walkie-talkies-looking phones.  More than 30% of iPhone users don't like or use cases due to their size and look, and unlike other phone cases, the Vihoo Phone Ring respects your choice to keep your phone simple and elegant.

With this in mind, Vihoo founders, Harry and Jack, rolled out a design that makes the case for iPhone users who hate covering the intended design of their phone with chunky, rubber cases and complicated application processes.  

“Our Phone Ring actually came out of our trying to build the best possible stand for our new wireless Phone PC project---an ultra thin,wireless smart device utilizing artificial intelligence and adaptive learning with gesture control to improve the user experience, says Harry Reninger- Co-Founder Vihoo Inc. We love Apple engineering and hated to put a rubber/plastic case on our iPhones. We wanted to create a best-in-class protection system while maintaining the look and feel of the phone itself.”

The Phone Ring’s patent pending hinge technology, allows for a hassle-free application with hinges that open at the bottom and once the phone is placed inside, magnets help click it close, with no interference to your phone’s signal. This level of engineering extends to the patent pending Crash Zone Technology. Co-founder, Jack's former NASA aerospace engineering has applied fracture dynamics to the Phone Ring, embedded in all four corners of the phone to absorb impact, plus dense cushioning, lining the sides and the strength of the magnets itself.

Consumers will have the chance to pre-order exclusively on Indiegogo the Vihoo Phone Ring and Premium Corning Glass Protector combination for $40, which will retail for $80. The Phone Ring will also be offered individually for $25, retail for $39.95, in the iPhone classic colors as well as the top 10 Pantone colors for 2017.