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YouTube TV review: Not a game-changer out of the gate, but...

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GOP asks Ajit Pai to kill plan for helping customers avoid...

Comcast's X1 TV system and apps.Comcast reader comments 99 Share this story The Democratic plan to save cable TV customers money on set-top box rental fees no longer has any real hope of passage since the Federal Communications Commission switched to Republican control.

But just in case, GOP lawmakers have asked new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to close the docket on the proceeding and make its death official. "We are writing to ask that you close the docket on the set-top box proceeding... and signal clearly to consumers, content producers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and video programming distributors that the Commission's consideration of the set-top box proposal is at an end," House Republicans wrote to Pai today. Nineteen Republican representatives signed the letter, led by Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), the chair and vice chair of the Commerce Committee; and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), the chair and vice chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, kicked off the set-top box effort more than a year ago with the hopes of saving customers money on cable box rentals.

The original plan would have required pay-TV providers to make video programming available to the makers of third-party devices and software without the need for a CableCard.
In turn, Wheeler hoped app and device makers would offer alternatives to the set-top boxes, which require costly monthly fees. Comcast and other cable companies lobbied heavily against the plan and pushed an alternative proposal that would require cable companies to make their own video applications for third-party set-top boxes. Wheeler ditched his original plan and accepted the basic outline of the cable industry proposal with some changes: Wheeler wanted the cable company apps to include the same recording functionality provided in rented set-top boxes, and he wanted the industry to use a standard license so that device makers wouldn't have to comply with different licensing terms for each pay-TV operator. Because of these changes, the cable industry (along with programmers, Republican lawmakers, and Republican FCC commissioners) continued opposing the plan. If the FCC had passed the modified cable industry plan, consumers would have been guaranteed cable company video apps on streaming boxes like the Apple TV and Roku, or anything that runs iOS, Windows, or Android.

But despite having a 3-2 Democratic majority, Wheeler wasn't able to get enough votes at the commission because Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel withheld support. When Republican Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, that was the death knell for the set-top box plan because it ensured the FCC would switch to a Republican majority. The fact that the set-top box proceeding is technically still open is considered a problem by House Republicans. "Without a clear indication that the Commission rejects this current proposal, content creators will be hesitant to invest in high-quality video programs," they wrote to Pai.

Additionally, "video programming distributors will not know whether their contracts will violate FCC policy." Pay-TV providers should also be given "a clear sign that they can bring technological advances to set-top boxes and video delivery without fear that the Commission [will] overturn them by regulation," the lawmakers wrote.

The potential of set-top box regulation "has cast a shadow over investment and innovation in traditional video programming delivery," they claimed. Consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge today urged Pai to "end [the] cable box ripoff," pointing out that Section 629 of the Communications Act "directs the FCC to ensure that consumers can choose from a competitive market for 'unaffiliated' devices that can access their complete cable TV or other pay-TV subscriptions." Comcast and other pay-TV companies do offer video streaming apps, but deployment is uneven across cable companies and devices. Congressional Democrats have also fought for set-top box reform. Pai, an ex-Verizon lawyer, hasn't announced a decision, but it doesn't seem likely he'll approve anything remotely similar to Wheeler's plan. He voted against the original plan, and in the ensuing months Pai urged FCC leadership "to walk away from its deeply flawed set-top box scheme." The FCC's other Republican commissioner, Michael O'Rielly, also opposes the revised plan that Wheeler based on the cable industry's apps proposal. Pai has said that the FCC should focus on eliminating traditional set-top boxes by encouraging cable providers to deploy more video applications that can replace the devices, but it hasn't supported requiring the cable companies to so.
In general, he has pledged to eliminate regulations for communications companies rather than add new ones.

Apple Patches Critical Kernel Vulnerabilities

Apple today released new versions of iOS and macOS Sierra and addressed some overlapping code execution vulnerabilities in both its mobile and desktop operating systems. The updates were part of a bigger release of security updates from Apple that also included Safari, iCloud for Windows, and watchOS. The most critical of the bugs were a pair of kernel vulnerabilities, CVE-2017-2370 and CVE-2017-2360, which could allow a malicious application to execute code with the highest kernel privileges.

The two bugs, a buffer overflow and use-after-free vulnerability, were reported by Google Project Zero’s Ian Beer and were patched in iOS 10.2.1 and macOS Sierra 10.12.3. A critical libarchive buffer overflow vulnerability, CVE-2016-8687, was also patched in iOS and macOS Sierra. “Unpacking a maliciously crafted archive may lead to arbitrary code execution,” Apple said. Apple also patched 11 vulnerabilities in the iOS implementation of WebKit, a half-dozen of which lead to arbitrary code execution, while three others attackers could abuse with crafted web content to exfiltrate data cross-origin. Many of the same Webkit vulnerabilities were also patched in Safari, which was updated to version 10.0.3. Rounding out the iOS update, Apple patched a flaw in Auto Unlock that could unlock when Apple Watch is off the user’s wrist, along with an issue that could crash the Contacts application, and another Wi-Fi issue that could show a user’s home screen even if the device is locked. The macOS Sierra update also patched code execution vulnerabilities in other components, including its Bluetooth implementation and Graphics Drivers (code execution with kernel privileges), Help Viewer, and the Vim text editor. The Safari update also patched a vulnerability in the address bar, CVE-2017-2359, that could be exploited if visiting a malicious website, allowing an attacker to spoof the URL. tvOS was updated to version 10.1.1, and the same kernel, libarchive and webkit vulnerabilities present in iOS were patched in the Apple TV OS (4th generation). The watchOS update, 3.1.3, was a sizable one as well with patches for 33 CVEs, including 17 code execution vulnerability. The iCloud for Windows 6.1.1 update, for Windows 7 and later, also patched four Webkit vulnerabilities addressed in other product updates, all off which lead to arbitrary code execution.

A lesson from network outages: Redundancy matters

Online outages are serious.
Vendors lose money for every minute their users can't reach their web services, and business productivity tanks when employees can't access the web applications they rely on to get their jobs done. People can be convinced to forgive the occasional blip, but full-blown outages reinforce the impression that nothing truly critical should be entrusted to the internet. A look at some of the outages over the past year reveals a disturbing pattern. While the move to cloud-based architecture and applications has reduced complexity in IT infrastructure, that has come at the cost of resiliency.
IT has to regularly balance redundancy -- which improves resiliency -- with complexity, and recent outages show that redundancy keeps getting left behind.

Taking the time to assess potential "what if" scenarios and plan for the worst-case scenario could have, if not prevented, at least minimized the effects of these outages. "IT needs to plan for redundancy on critical services," said Nick Kephart, a senior director at network infrastructure monitoring company ThousandEyes. Department of Redundancy Department Redundancy is a basic IT tenet. Whether it's multiple backend servers running the same web applications or setting up disk drives in RAID arrays, IT regularly ensures availability even in the case of a failure. Yet the massive DDoS attack against DNS (Domain Name System) service provider Dyn showed that many organizations failed to think about redundancy on their critical infrastructure. The attack overwhelmed Dyn's servers with enough junk traffic that legitimate DNS requests were no longer being answered. Web properties that had relied on Dyn to direct traffic to their servers realized too late that not having a backup DNS provider meant they were, for all intents and purposes, cut off from the rest of the internet during that period.  Those who load-balanced their DNS name servers across multiple providers -- such as Amazon, who used both Ultra DNS and Dyn -- were able to switch during the outage and remain unaffected. The internet usually hums along without any major issues, but the growing intensity and frequency of DDoS attacks proves that DNS needs to be treated as critical Internet infrastructure and protected as such.

The attack against DNS wasn't an aberration -- cloud-based DNS provider NS1 was hit earlier in the year, and there was also the June attack that targeted all 13 of the DNS root servers. "It was a large-scale attack on the most critical part of the internet infrastructure and resulted in roughly three hours of performance issues," said Archana Kesavan, a manager at network infrastructure monitoring company ThousandEyes. For many enterprises, Dyn seemed like the logical way to address redundancy for DNS services because Dyn already provides a distributed architecture.
IT teams don't want to have multiple DNS providers because it increases complexity to the network infrastructure, but DNS outages can and do happen, so IT teams need to double or even triple up on their DNS providers.
IT should also lower the time-to-life settings on their DNS servers so that traffic can be redirected faster to the backup provider in case of an outage at the primary one. Popularity can hurt, too Outages aren't just the result of malicious activity or equipment failure. Popularity can be just as damaging in the absence of proper network and capacity planning.

There is no such thing as too many visitors, and a hit application everyone is clamoring for is fantastic. Or at least, until the increased traffic melts down the servers and the network collapses under the load, then everyone loses.  Lack of a CDN (content delivery network) front end can be costly if traffic bursts aren't factored into the network architecture, Kephart said. January had one of the largest lottery jackpots in recent history, but Powerball couldn't keep up with the frenzy surrounding the mega-million payout. Neither the application nor the network could handle the uptick in traffic, leading to increased packet loss and extended page load times. Powerball avoided complete meltdown by distributing traffic across Verizon's Edgecast CDN network, Microsoft's data center, and the Multi-State Lottery Association data center just before the drawing. "The damage was already done, and user experience to the website was sub-standard," Kesavan said. PokemonGo's servers experienced similar outages when the combination of network architecture and overloaded target servers prevented users from playing the game.

Apple's servers struggled to handle the much-anticipated launch of Nintendo's Super Mario Run, with sporadic outages affecting all its online stores, including the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple TV, and Apple Music. Benchmarking and capacity planning is critical, especially before software updates and large-scale events. No matter how well the network architecture is designed, CDNs and anycast servers can support the network and maximize user experience. Did we say redundancy yet? Don't forget about Infrastructure redundancy, either.
It's tempting for IT teams to think, "My ISP can handle this, I don't need to do anything else," but even upstream providers can have outages, whether because of a mistaken configuration, hardware failure, or a security incident, Kephsart said. Networks by nature will have outages and face security threats, so IT needs to design into the network architecture the flexibility to react when something fails.

Enterprises generally do a good job of building redundancy within their own data centers, but they overlook doing the same for third-party infrastructure providers.  Don't rely on a single provider, because that becomes a single point of failure.

Distribute dependencies across ISPs, DNS providers, and hosting companies. It is hard to justify security decisions when the only way to tell if it worked is to be able to say, "Hey, we didn't get hacked," or, "We didn't have an outage," at the end of the year.

Those are great goals, but when there are competing demands, it's hard to justify the extra expenses or added complexity on the possibility that bad things won't happen.

But that's the kind of calculus IT needs to be doing every day.

Smartphone patent wars redux: Nokia sues Apple, big time

Photo by Tim Duckettreader comments 63 Share this story Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have launched a major legal attack on Apple, filing lawsuits in Germany and the US that accuse Apple of infringing 32 patents. According to Nokia's statement, the patents cover technologies that include display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding.

The US lawsuit includes 10 patents and was filed in federal court in East Texas, a venue that's long been favored by patent owners. Most of the patents originated at Nokia, but at least one originated at Lucent Technologies. Nokia agreed to buy Alcatel Lucent in 2015 and completed the deal last year. The new lawsuit (PDF) appears to be a major revival of the patent battles Apple and Nokia fought between 2009 and 2011.

Back then, the two companies were also engaged in litigation that spanned the globe.

All that was put to rest with a settlement in 2011, which analysts estimated at the time may have been worth hundreds of millions of euros to Nokia.

Despite those payments, Nokia said in a statement today that Apple refused to license "other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products." Of course, that might be because Nokia didn't offer them as part of the 2011 settlement package.
Some Nokia patents were distributed to so-called "patent trolls," also called patent assertion companies or PAEs.

Those PAEs include Acacia Research Corp., a branch of which won a $22.1 million verdict against Apple in June. "Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products," said Nokia patent chief Ilkka Rahnastoin a statement. "After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights. The Nokia lawsuit accuses every version of iPhone—from the iPhone 7 all the way back to the iPhone 3GS—of infringing Nokia patents.

Also accused are iPad Pro and every version of iPad Air and iPad Mini, as well as the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and services like Find My iPhone and Find my iPad. As one example, Nokia says that US Patent No. 6,701,294, which it acquired from Alcatel-Lucent, is infringed by Apple's Siri feature in iOS 10. "Apple's Siri acts as an intelligent personal assistant in conjunction with the user interface... of Apple mobile devices," the complaint states.

The Siri-using products have a "translator unit," an "evaluator unit" and an "interrogator unit for querying said one or more prescribed databases," and a "supplier unit" to give information to the user.
In Nokia's view, the Apple "supplier unit" consists of "the Siri program, including the Apple device, wireless connections, and backend servers." Nokia's business has gone through dramatic ups and downs since its earlier dispute with Apple. Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014.

But Microsoft struggled and ultimately exited the smartphone sector anyway earlier this year, taking a final write-down on the $7.1 billion Nokia purchase and laying off up to 1,850 workers. Earlier this month, Nokia announced plans to get back into the smartphone business with Android-powered phones that will be on the market next year. Just yesterday, Apple filed an antitrust lawsuit (PDF) against Nokia in federal court in San Jose.
In it, Apple accused the Finnish company of transferring "massive numbers of patents" to patent assertion companies like Acacia. Nokia reached a deal with "each of its PAE co-conspirators" to separately enforce a diffused patent portfolio, "to maximize the aggregate royalties that can be extracted from product companies," Apple lawyers allege. "Nokia and those PAEs have thereby increased market power and created or enhanced monopoly power associated with those patents." Apple claims that Nokia's strategy of working with PAEs to stack up big royalty payments is a violation of US antitrust laws, as well as a breach of contract.

The breach of contract claim says that Nokia violated its commitments to license certain standard-essential patents on a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) basis.

Download iOS 10.0 – iOS 10.2.1 Information

iOS 10.2  iOS 10.2 introduces new features including the TV app (US Only), a new and unified experience for accessing your TV shows and movies across multiple video apps.

Emoji have been beautifully redesigned to reveal even more detail and over 100 new emoji have been added including new faces, food, animals, sports, and professions.

This update also includes stability improvements and bug fixes.   TV Use Up Next to see the movies and shows you’re currently watching and pick up where you left off Get recommendations for new movies and TV shows in Watch Now  Discover new apps and the latest iTunes releases in the Store  Access the Library for your iTunes purchases and rentals   Emoji Beautifully redesigned emoji that reveal even more detail Over 100 new emoji including new faces, food, animals, sports, and professions   Photos Improves stabilization and delivers faster frame rate for Live Photos Improves accuracy of groupings of similar photos of the same person in the People album Fixes an issue where Memories might generate a memory from photos of screenshots, whiteboards or receipts Fixes an issue where the camera would stay zoomed in after switching back from the Camera Roll on iPhone 7 Plus Additional support for RAW digital cameras   Messages Adds new love and celebration full screen effects in Messages Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented the keyboard from displaying in Messages   Music Swipe up the Now Playing screen to more easily access Shuffle, Repeat and Up Next Choose how to sort Playlists, Albums, and Songs in Library   News Stories you’ve saved for later now appear in the new Saved section The best paid stories from channels you subscribe to will now appear in a dedicated section in For You It’s now easier than ever to get to the next story, just swipe left or tap Next Story while reading   Mail Fixes an issue that caused the Move sheet to persist after filing a Mail message Addresses an issue with long press activating copy and paste in Mail Fixes an issue in which the wrong message would be selected after deleting a Mail conversation   Accessibility Adds BraillePen14 support to VoiceOver Fixes an issue where the braille table could switch unexpectedly with VoiceOver Fixes an issue where sometimes Siri enhanced voices were unavailable to VoiceOver Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not re-order items in lists Fixes an issue where Switch Control was sometimes unable to delete Voicemails   Other improvements and fixes Adds notification support for HomeKit accessories including window coverings, occupancy, motion, door/window, smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leak sensors Adds notification support for HomeKit accessories when software updates are available to HomeKit accessories  Improves Bluetooth performance and connectivity with 3rd party accessories Fixes an issue that could cause FaceTime participants to appear out of focus Fixes an issue that could cause FaceTime calls to appear with incorrect aspect ratio and orientation Fixes an issue that prevented some Visual Voicemail from completing playback Fixes a Safari Reader issue that could cause articles to open as empty pages Fixes an issue that could cause Safari to quit unexpectedly after marking an item as read in Reading List   For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222 iOS 10.1.1 This update fixes bugs including an issue where Health data could not be viewed for some users. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:  https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222 iOS 10.1 This update includes Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus (beta), transit directions for Japan, stability improvements and bug fixes. Camera and Photos Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta) People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library Maps Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes Messages New option to replay bubble and full screen effects Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio Apple Watch Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text Other improvements and fixes Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories Improves AirPlay Mirroring performance when waking a device from sleep Fixes an issue where playback would not work for iTunes purchased content when the “Show iTunes Purchases” setting is turned off Fixes an issue where certain selfie apps and face filters used with the FaceTime HD Camera on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not display a live preview Fixes an issue in Health where individual strokes are converted to separate characters when using the Chinese handwriting keyboard Improves performance of sharing websites from Safari to Messages Fixes an issue in Safari that caused web previews in tab view to not display correctly Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly Fixes an issue that in some cases caused the search field to disappear in Mail Fixes an issue that could prevent Today View Widgets from updating when launched Fixes an issue where Weather widget sometimes failed to load data Fixes an issue on iPhone 7 where Home Button click settings would not appear in search results Fixes an issue that prevented spam alert extensions from blocking calls Resolves an issue that could prevent alarm sounds from going off Fixes an issue where audio playback via Bluetooth would cause the Taptic engine to stop providing feedback for some users Resolves an issue preventing some users from restoring from iCloud Backup For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222 iOS 10.0.3 iOS 10.0.3 fixes bugs including an issue where some users could temporarily lose cellular connectivity.  For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222     iOS 10.0.2 iOS 10.0.2 fixes bugs and improves the stability of your iPhone or iPad.

This update:   Addresses an issue that could prevent headphone audio controls from temporarily not working Resolves an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library Fixes an issue that prevented enabling some app extensions   For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222   iOS 10.0 - iOS 10.0.1 Messages Expressive Messaging Bubble effects let you send messages loudly, gently, slam or with invisible ink Full-screen effects to celebrate special moments Tapback for quick replies to messages, links, and photos Handwritten messages animate like ink on paper Digital Touch lets you send sketches, taps, and heartbeats Tap to replace can emojify your text with just a tap Rich links show a preview of web pages you share iMessage apps New App Store for iMessage Use the power of apps in Messages to share and collaborate with friends Download stickers to send and place on text bubbles and photos   Siri Siri now works with the following types of apps Messaging apps to send, search and read back text messages VoIP apps to place phone calls Photos apps to search for images and photos Ride service apps to book rides Payment apps to make personal payments Fitness apps to start, stop, and pause workouts CarPlay automaker apps to adjust climate, radio, seat, and personal settings   Maps All new look Proactive suggestions for places you’re likely to go next, based on your routine or appointments in Calendar Improved search with new callout design, clustered results and category filters Home, work, favorite locations, and locations from upcoming Calendar events are displayed on the map Displays where your car is parked via CarPlay or Bluetooth Weather for the currently viewed area Extensions Make a reservation within Maps using extensions from participating reservations apps Book a ride to a destination within Maps using extensions from participating ride service apps Turn-by-turn navigation improvements Search along route for gas stations, food, and coffee shops Automatic view adjustment of the road ahead Use pan and zoom during navigation Option to avoid tolls and highways   Photos Advanced face recognition designed with deep learning to automatically group similar faces together Object and scene recognition to intelligently search for photos by what’s in them using advanced computer vision that scans your library locally on device Places album to see all your photos, videos and Live Photos on a map Memories Intelligently highlights forgotten events, trips, and people, and presents them in a beautiful collection Memory movies automatically edited with theme music, titles, and cinematic transitions Related memories make it easy to rediscover even more photos in your collection, based on location, time, people, scenes and objects Easily share with family and friends Brilliance control applies region-specific adjustments to brightness, highlights and contrast   Home New Home app to securely manage and control HomeKit enabled accessories Scenes to control groups of accessories with just a tap Rich Notifications with quick actions to control accessories Optionally share home access with family and friends Remote access and automation of accessories with Apple TV or iPad   Apple Music An all-new design for Apple Music brings greater clarity and simplicity to every aspect of the experience Navigate your Library with an improved menu and see all of the Downloaded Music that you can play on your device while offline See recommendations in For You that highlight mixes, playlists, albums, and Connect posts—selected for you based on the music and artists you love Visit Browse to more easily see exclusive releases, find curated playlists, and discover the most important new releases—picked by our editors each week Listen to Radio more easily—clearly see what’s live on Beats 1, hear your favorite shows on-demand, or choose a curated station for any genre of music Play music with an improved Now Playing experience—swipe up to view available lyrics and quickly see or edit songs that are coming up next   Apple News An all-new design in For You adds bold typography, vibrant color, and distinct sections that make it easier to find stories on specific topics See the most important stories of the day within Top Stories—updated by our editors throughout the day Find the most popular stories right now within Trending Stories—selected based on what others are reading See all of your stories grouped into easy-to-understand sections on the topics you follow or read Discover the best and most interesting stories of the week within Featured Stories—selected by our editors Share stories more easily—just tap the icon on any story to send it to a friend right from For You Receive breaking news notifications from some of your most trusted sources Subscribe to your favorite magazines and newspapers directly in News New personalized Today View widget lets you keep up with the latest stories throughout the day   Experience Raise to Wake automatically wakes the screen as you raise your iPhone Rich notifications that support real time information, audio, photos and videos Today view is redesigned and supports all new widgets for apps like Weather, Up Next, Maps, Stocks and more Control Center is redesigned with easier to access controls including dedicated cards for music playback and Home Expanded use of 3D Touch Lock screen notifications to support an expanded view and access to quick actions New quick actions for built in apps like Weather, Stocks, Reminders, Health, Home, FaceTime, iCloud Drive and Settings Home Screen widgets Control Center for access to quick actions for Flashlight, Timer, Calculator and Camera Clear all in Notification Center   QuickType New emoji, including gender diverse options to existing characters, single parent family variations, rainbow flag and beautiful redesigns of popular emoji Contextual predictions for current location, recent addresses, contact information and calendar availability using deep neural network technology Emoji predictions Calendar events are intelligently populated using deep learning technology with information from your conversations in Mail and Messages Multi-lingual typing now lets you type in two languages at once without having to switch keyboards Rest & Type on iPad intelligently adapts to your unique typing patterns Predictive typing now uses deep neural network technology for greater prediction accuracy   Phone Voicemail transcription (beta) Spam call alerts with spam call identification apps Support for third party VoIP apps receiving calls on the Lock screen, including support for Call Waiting, Mute and Do Not Disturb   Other improvements Apple Pay in Safari View two pages at once using Split View in Safari on iPad Notes collaboration lets you invite people to work on your notes together Markup support in Messages, Photos and PDFs stored in Notes Bedtime Alarm in the Clock app lets you set a regular sleep schedule and receive bedtime reminders Health adds support for health records and organ donation (US Only) Stabilization support for Live Photos for improved camera capture Live Filters support when capturing Live Photos iCloud Drive now supports Desktop and Documents folders from macOS Live search results in Spotlight for Chinese and Japanese Siri support for Spanish (Chile), Chinese (Cantonese - China), English (Ireland), English (South Africa) Ling Wai and Kaiti Black document fonts for Chinese Yu Kyokasho and Toppan Bunkyu fonts for Japanese New definition dictionaries in Traditional Chinese and Danish and bilingual dictionaries in Dutch and Italian New keyboard for Spanish (Latin America)   Accessibility Magnifier now uses the camera on your iPhone or iPad like a digital magnifying glass for real-life objects New range of display color filters to support different forms of color blindness or other vision challenges VoiceOver adds a Pronunciation Editor to customize the way words are pronounced, additional voices, and support for multiple audio sources Additional text highlighting options in Speak Screen and Speak Selection, as well as the ability to speak keyboard letters and predictive typing suggestions to support multi-modal learning Switch control now lets you control iOS, macOS and tvOS all from the same iPhone or iPad, so you don’t need to configure switches for the secondary device Software TTY allows you to place and receive TTY calls without the need for traditional hardware teletypewriter accessories Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit:    http://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:       http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Download watchOS 3.0 -3.1.3 Information

Languages Download icon watchOS 3.1.3  This update includes improvements and bug fixes. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222 watchOS 3.1.1  This update includes improvements and bug fixes. Fixes an issue that could prevent contact names from appearing in the Messages app and notifications Fixes an issue that could impact ability to respond to notifications Resolves an issue where the Stocks complication may not update on the watch face Fixes an issue that may prevent the Activity rings from displaying on the Activity watch faces Fixes an issue that prevented the dials on an analog watch face from appearing after changing the temperature unit in the Weather app Resolves an issue that could cause the Maps app to stay launched after navigation has ended Resolves an issue where the incorrect date could be displayed in the Calendar app month view For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222 watchOS 3.1 This update includes improvements and bug fixes. New option to replay bubble and full screen effects in Messages Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled Fixes an issue that could cause the notification for Timer complete to be delivered twice Resolves an issue that could prevent Apple Watch Series 2 from fully charging Resolves an issue where Activity rings may disappear from the watch face Fixes an issue that prevented Force Touch options from appearing in some third-party apps For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222 watchOS 3.0 This update includes support for pairing multiple watches to one iPhone, Maps improvements and new language support.

This release also includes additional improvements and bug fixes. Performance and Navigation Press the side button to access your favorite apps in the Dock Apps in the Dock launch instantly with already updated information Add up to 10 apps in the Dock, control music from Now Playing or launch your most recently used app Swipe edge-to-edge to quickly switch your watch face Swipe up from the bottom of your watch face to access important settings in Control Center Watch faces New Minnie Mouse, Activity, and Numerals watch faces Complications now available on Photo, Photo Album, Timelapse, and Motion New complications including Workout, Music, and Messages New Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app on iPhone to add and customize watch faces Discover and add third party complications in the Face Gallery Activity Ability to share and compare your Activity rings Rank alphabetically, or by progress towards Move goal, Exercise goal, steps or today’s workouts Automatic notifications when a friend completes their rings, finishes a workout, or earns an achievement Customized smart replies for encouragement or smack talk New Sharing tab in the Activity app on iPhone to view history Workout Quick Start for most commonly used workouts Multiple metric view, customizable for each workout type New gestures for pause, resume, and marking segments Labels for “Other” workouts to keep track of Yoga, Pilates, Cross Training, and more Auto-pause for running workouts Siri support for pause, resume, and end workouts Route maps with speed indicators for outdoor workouts Wheelchair use Activity rings optimized for wheelchair users Accounts for varying speeds, terrains, and pushing techniques Pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals Time to roll notification and roll ring New Outdoor Run Pace and Outdoor Walk Pace workouts Breathe New Breathe app to take a moment in your day for short deep breathing sessions Calming visualization and haptic cues guide you while you inhale and exhale Adjust session length and breaths per minute Summary upon completion including heart rate Time to breathe reminders Weekly summary Communication Expressive Messaging Full-screen effects to celebrate special moments Tapback for quick replies to messages, links, and photos Handwritten messages animate like ink on paper Send recent built-in or third-party stickers View secret messages with invisible ink Scribble Write words on the display and Apple Watch will convert the handwriting to text Use the Digital Crown to scroll through predicted options Available in English (US), Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese Reply options available in the Messages and Mail notification, including Digital Touch, emoji, and smart replies New emoji, including gender diverse options to existing characters, single parent family variations, rainbow flag, and redesigns of popular emoji Emergency SOS Press and continue to hold the side button to call emergency services Automatically notify SOS contacts and share your location Display your Medical ID with information about medications, allergies, and medical conditions Adjusts the emergency number to your current location Home New Home app to control HomeKit enabled accessories Enable scenes created on your iPhone to control groups of accessories with just a tap Control favorite accessories from your wrist, even remotely with Apple TV or iPad Support for IP cameras to see live video in rich notifications and accessory controls Other improvements New Reminders app for managing scheduled reminders, grocery lists, and more New Find My Friends app for viewing location of friends and family Pay with Apple Pay within third party apps Delete events and switch calendars in Calendar app Support for FaceTime Audio calls directly from Apple Watch Search for Settings in Apple Watch app on iPhone Camera app controls for Flash, Live Photos, HDR, Zoom, Burst, and Front or Rear facing Siri support for Spanish (Chile), Chinese (Cantonese - China), English (Ireland), English (South Africa) Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

US Copyright Office sides with cable companies against FCC’s set-top rules

Iain Watsonreader comments 67 Share this story The United States Copyright Office has sided with cable companies in their fight against a Federal Communications Commission plan to boost competition in the TV set-top box market. The FCC proposal would force pay-TV providers to make channels and on-demand content available to third parties, who could then build their own devices and apps that could replace rented set-top boxes. Comcast and other cable companies complain that this will open the door to copyright violations, and US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante agrees with them.

The Copyright Office provided advice to the FCC at the FCC's request, and Pallante yesterday detailed the concerns her office raised in a letter to members of Congress who asked her to weigh in. "In its most basic form, the rule contemplated by the FCC would seem to take a valuable good—bundled video programming created through private effort and agreement under the protections of the Copyright Act—and deliver it to third parties who are not in privity with the copyright owners, but who may nevertheless exploit the content for profit," Pallante wrote. "Under the Proposed Rule, this would be accomplished without compensation to the creators or licensees of the copyrighted programming, and without requiring the third party to adhere to agreed-upon license terms." There are already "third-party set-top box devices, mainly produced overseas, that are used to view pirated content delivered over the Internet," and the FCC's plan could expand the market to include devices "designed to exploit the more readily available [cable TV] programming streams without adhering to the prescribed security measures," Pallante wrote. Consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, a supporter of the FCC's original set-top box plan, criticized the Copyright Office's analysis, saying it ignores the interests of consumers and contains various inaccuracies. "This letter is another example of how the Copyright Office has become dedicated to the interests of some copyright holders—as opposed to providing an accurate interpretation of copyright law," Public Knowledge Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer wrote. The proposal doesn't require "delivery of content to third parties," it simply lets consumers watch the video they subscribe to on the devices of their choice, he argued. It's not like CableCard, Copyright Office says The Copyright Office, which processes registrations of copyright for books, music, movies, software, and other works, says that under the FCC plan, third parties "would have no way of knowing all of the requirements and limitations" imposed by licensing agreements between programmers and pay-TV providers.

Among other things, such requirements can be related to the types of devices that video may be viewed on, limitations on advertising, and channel lineups, the letter said.

For third-party devices such as the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV, contracts can also include "requirements to exclude applications used for the consumption of pirated works" before allowing pay-TV content on the device. While the existing CableCard system already allows access to pay-TV content on third-party devices, the Copyright Office argues that this is not equivalent because the CableCard regime is administered by the CableLabs cable industry consortium, "which licenses the CableCARD technology to third-party device manufacturers in written agreements" and can thus "impose and maintain appropriate standards for the delivery of content to consumers." By contrast, Pallante wrote, the FCC proposal would require pay-TV operators to support content protection systems that are administered by an independent entity that isn't controlled by the cable industry. The Copyright Office provides some examples of how contracts between programmers and cable companies could be violated, such as: The Proposed Rule requires MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributors] to make licensed programming feeds available to third-party device or software manufacturers free of charge and without “discrimination,” thus potentially undermining copyright owners’ ability to enforce exclusivity agreements, including “windowing” or “tiering” agreements that make content available on certain platforms before others. ... Even if third-party devices and applications did not replace the advertising that appears in the programming itself, the Proposed Rule would appear to allow them to add additional advertising as part of the programming stream, e.g., advertising spots before or after an on-demand video, or banner advertising next to or overlaid on top of a program, without any requirement that resulting advertising revenues be shared with either the MVPD or the content creator. Public Knowledge argued that "While two parties are free to negotiate amongst themselves, they cannot bargain away the rights of third parties. What the Copyright Office advocates is encouraging distributors to negotiate away their consumers’ rights without those consumers’ consent." More specifically, "While your cable provider can agree not to build DVR features into its equipment, that cannot and does not make it illegal for consumers to record their favorite shows at home," Public Knowledge wrote. FCC finalizing proposal FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has insisted that third parties will have to respect copyright under his proposal, but fellow Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has expressed concerns about copyright. Rosenworcel's statements raise the possibility that the plan could be changed significantly before a final version is approved.
In the meantime, FCC officials are reviewing an alternative proposal from the pay-TV industry that would require cable companies to deploy video applications for third-party set-top boxes using open standards. After today's FCC meeting, Wheeler promised that his final proposal will simplify the implementation while protecting "copyright and contract enforcement of copyright" and providing choices to consumers "that they so long have been denied."

Apple TV can p0wn you in more ways than it entertains...

Thirty-three fixes flung at Cupertino's telly-enhancer Apple has patched 33 problems, collectively named in 58 CVEs, in its latest TV-enhancing computer-puck, of which 10 enable arbitrary code execution, six with system privileges. 32 of the flaws hit third-generation Apple TV devices and just one its newer, fatter, fourth-gen beast. The good news is that the changes will automagically appear for those users with automatic updates turned on. The rest are susceptible to nasties like a memory corruption flaw (CVE-2015-5776) that allows remote attackers to gain arbitrary code execution or crash applications.

Another three holes in an old version of libxml2 allow remote denial of service (CVE-2012-6685, CVE-2014-0191 and CVE-2014-3660 reported by Google's Felix Groebert). Other flaws facilitating arbitrary code execution with system privileges can be triggered by malicious or malformed DMG files, plists, and an app. App engineers stamped out 27 flaws including 19 code execution holes that attackers could otherwise exploit with crafted web content. Some cross-origin flaws mean images and cookies could leak to third party sites. Ironically, the source of five flaws was the TaiG jailbreaking team (@TaiG_jailbreak), which found messes concerning the execution of unsigned code. One of the group's finds revealed a method of enabling arbitrary code execution with system privileges. ® Sponsored: Building secure multi-factor authentication

You may have to wait awhile for that Apple TV service...

Enlarge Image The new Apple TV supports apps, but there's still no Internet-based live TV service. Remember that Apple TV service everyone's been waiting for? Looks like you're going to wait even longer. Apple has paused plans for a service that st...