Apple is also on Arcade All-In, I / O sessions show what Google is cooking this year, Outlook.com has been hacked, and more. Here are your montages of the biggest stories of the weekend:
Google Location Data Help Police Search Witnesses and Suspects
The New York Times broke a fascinating story over how the police used Google's location data this weekend Find both witnesses and suspects in connection with cases that they find it difficult to crack. The report is instructive and absolutely scary.
While we can all understand how helpful this data is and promising to catch the evil, the question arises of what happens when you target the wrong person. One such story was highlighted by the New York Times (NYT) when a man was arrested for murder but was released a week later when they realized he was not. It's great that they found out so quickly, but it could just as easily have gone the other way, and it took months for the real criminal to be caught.
Here's how it works: Google keeps track of the exact location of the device location it stores in a database called Sensorvault. If police find it difficult to find witnesses or pin down a suspect, they can request all of the device information for a particular area where a crime is committed. Google initially provides completely anonymized device information that allows police to track devices to identify potential suspects (and in some cases, witnesses who may not have reported). Once it has a better idea of the devices it is after, it formally requests complete information from Google.
At this point, Google abandons all goods: usernames, emails, phone number, real name, the works. If the person is actually guilty, that's great! If not, then I am less enthusiastic.
This report highlights the potential drawbacks of the possibility that Google is constantly tracking your device ̵
According to Google, only the data of users who chose location tracking will be stored in Sensorvault. Recently, however, Associated Press noted that Google also tracked users after disabling the location log. So take that for what it's worth.
Although there is still much to discuss on this topic, I will stop here for the sake of brevity. I'd like to encourage everyone to read the New York Time report because it's very enlightening.
Apple News: Apple bets on arcade bets
In addition, Apple goes to war with Qualcomm.
- According to a recent report by The Financial Times (paywall), Apple spends more than $ 500 million to receive its recently announced results arcade service is running. This is something serious money. [via 9to5Mac]
- Apple and Qualcomm go to war this week in court and it's getting ugly. [The Verge]
Even though the Qualcomm thing itself is interesting enough, it's a messy situation, which is likely to be lengthy and boring and (at least now) truly boring. So let's talk about this game instead!
You'd be forgetting Apple Arcade, which was announced at its event late last month. It's Apple's takeover of games where users can pay a single price (not yet announced) to access a game that includes "over 100" new, original and exclusive games on the company's hardware. These include Mac, iPhone and Apple TV.
It has been largely overshadowed by things like News +, the new TV app, and TV +, but it's still a big deal for Apple. The fact that the company is investing millions of dollars into the service is quite enlightening. However, this is the most information we have received about the service outside of Apple's event itself … which is not very much yet.
To be more specific, the numbers are unbelievable: according to the Financial Times report, Apple spends millions on each of its 100 titles for Arcade. Apple offers a small extra to the developers who make their game exclusive to Arcade, although it is not exactly stated what this additional incentive is.
According to 9to5Mac, citing its own sources, all arcade games will be "exclusive to mobile phones", which means that they are not available on other mobile platforms (see: Android). However, developers can offer the titles on PS4, Xbox and Switch. The latter option is interesting because switch games are often compared to mobile titles. In fact, Fortnite Switch players compete against mobile players because they feel underprivileged to play against other consoles.
But I digress. Apple Arcade sounds interesting and is very promising, considering how much Apple is ready for it. We look forward to receiving more detailed Apple cost and model information as the launch period approaches "this fall."
Google News: Google's New Home Location Scanner
Plus I / O sessions, Linux apps on Chrome OS 75 get USB support, a new Chromebook comes with a fingerprint scanner, YouTube uses "Quality Watch Time." "As a new measure of the success of videos and much more.
- Google recently released a new app called WifiRttScan for 802.11mc inside positioning. Indoor GPS is coming. Also more precise tracking. Great. [9to5Google]
- The first Google I / O sessions with Android Q, Chrome OS, Material Dark, Camera, Games, and more emerged this weekend. [9to5Google, Android Police]
- Linux apps running Chrome OS 75 were supported with USB, including debugging for Android phones. Oh, damn it. [About Chromebooks]
- Speaking of Chromebooks: A new baseboard code-named "Hatch" recently appeared in a commit with full biometric support. Attach the Chromebooks with fingerprint scanners. [Chrome Unboxed]
- Starting with Chrome 75, websites can no longer recognize when using incognito mode. Well. [Techdows]
- Android Police recently reported that a handful of HTC apps have been removed from the Play Store. Well, they start running in again. [Android Police]
- That's fun: YouTube uses a new internal metric called "Quality Watch Time" to measure the video's success, but it's still not sure how it will work. That sounds promising. [Bloomberg]
- The Verge went into action with the upcoming Galaxy Fold. And they liked it pretty much. [The Verge]
While we talked about how to use 802.11mc for indoor tracking (indoor GPS, if you will), and we're actually quite excited about the tech, this news hit the site, according to the latest report at a pretty disagreeable time New York Times.
However, the exact location of interiors is definitely important. Imagine that you are in a huge shopping center looking for a specific business. You can walk around until you find them, read the huge maps that are hard to read anyway, or simply power up your smartphone and find the shop you want. I know which one I would choose.
But now it's more obvious than ever that another side of this coin has to be considered: An even more accurate location tracking means that Google knows exactly where you are – and probably what you are see! – even if you are in a building. The imagination can run with all sorts of ideas about how a particular record is used.
Hyperspecific ads that are based on something you've seen in a store? Probably. What if, given the NYT contribution, you pin someone to a crime for recently buying items that can be linked to the crime – such as bombing. This is highly speculative, but there is still something to consider.
Just like so many other things that have to do with modern technology, the future for this type of thing is exciting and frightening.
Microsoft News: HACKED
It does not look too good for Microsoft this morning, with details about hackers affecting the credentials of a support agent for accessing customer emails, and Internet Explorer allowing hackers to Stealing files that are both over the weekend. On the other hand, Microsoft added Google, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo as search providers in Edge Canary. Yes,
- Hackers had access to Microsoft's webmail services for over three months – Outlook.com, @msn, and @hotmail. Access has been reported to be achieved by using the credentials of a support agent. More below. [TechCrunch, The Verge]
- There is a security vulnerability in related messages in Internet Explorer that allows hackers to access (and take over) your files. Even if you do not use IE. Oof. [Engadget]
- Good news: Microsoft added more search options to Edge Canary. If you do not like Bing as the only option, you can now choose Google, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo as the primary option. Cool. [Techdows]
- Here's a look at Microsoft's up-and-coming Xbox One S without a disc. [Techradar]
After two hacks / breaks came out, it was a pretty lousy weekend for Microsoft. According to the reports I read, the email hack affected about six percent of users. Hackers were given access to users' email addresses, folders, subject lines, and the email addresses of the users they corresponded to. According to Microsoft, not the actual emails themselves or the passwords for the accounts.
This particular violation occurred between January 1 and March 28, leaving the door open for nearly four months. That's a pretty long time for someone to search your emails. More intriguing or worrying is how the hackers even gained access to the accounts: by using the credentials of a support agent. Oof.
However, after the credentials were identified, the access was revoked.
Of course, there is also the IE violation, which allows hackers to access files on user PCs, even if they do not use IE. This was largely due to an unpatched exploit in the browser that anyone who allowed outside access to hate when an attachment (sent via chat or e-mail) was opened.
To make things worse, Microsoft allegedly refused to take advantage of the issue and said it would be "considered" in a future release. Perhaps the message of the violation will force Microsoft to respond and publish an urgent patch, but in the meantime, we recommend that all users be careful about what they click, especially when it comes to attachments.
Other News: Big Brother Is Watching (to Facebook, Anyway)
Facebook accidentally leaves behind cryptic but worrying messages in Oculus controllers, Amazon is the largest to announce a music-streaming ad-based service Airplane of the world flies and more.
- Hidden "jokes" have been found in thousands of Oculus controllers, including annoying messages like "Big Brother peeps." That's not scary at all, right? [Gizmodo]
- Amazon may launch an ad-based music streaming service this week. [Billboard]
- Twitch's first free game is a karaoke title for live streaming.
- You can now change your PSN ID. Sony takes it on itself to change the title classified as offensive and to violate their TOS. [Enadget]
- A fascinating look at people who still use – and pay for it! – The AOL e-mail service was featured this weekend in the OneZero by Medium. It's Wild [OneZero]
- Have you heard of Amazon Peccy? No? See a feature of Fast Company to learn more about the company's internal mascot. It's weird and I love it somehow. [Fast Company]
- Good news: The road says there is a Horizon Zero Dawn sequel in the works and I can not wait. [Techradar]
- The largest plane the world has ever seen flew over the weekend. It is huge. [Wired]
The hidden messages in Oculus controllers were originally meant to be limited to prototype units, but somehow they got into "tens of thousands" of production units. You know, usually that would be pretty funny, but considering the story of Facebook … not so much.
Several messages were hidden in the controllers: The Masons were here, Hi iFixit! See you!, Rent this room and others. Worst of all, of course, is the ominous "Big Brother is Watching," which was, frankly, just in bad taste, kidding or not.
Nate Mitchell, the co-founder of Oculus, has confirmed that this should never happen in retail stores and that the messages were "inappropriate". Agreed, Nate. Conversely, this was not the best move.
Unfortunately, the little secret has no effect on the functionality of the controllers and is expected to ship with Quest and Rift S units later this year.