FBI investigating alleged iCloud celebrity hack as Reddit ‘suspect’ declares innocence

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The FBI is now leading the investigation into the alleged iCloud hack in which nude photographs of a number of celebrities were obtained, reports the Telegraph. FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller said:

[The FBI is] aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.

It has been suggested that a vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed attackers to brute-force passwords in order to access the iCloud accounts of celebrities …  Read more

Apple HR chief Denise Young-Smith emails employees about diversity & inclusion

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Apple’s Vice President of Global Human Resources Denise Young-Smith emailed all Apple employees last week regarding diversity and inclusion. The email continues Apple’s recent string of events to promote diversity within the company. In mid-August, Apple released diversity data and held events on campus to promote inclusion. Young-Smith was promoted to head of all Apple HR earlier this year, and she received additional attention last month when she was added to Apple’s official executive biographies web page. The full email, via a source, is below:

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In-depth, high-quality hands-on video of iPhone 6 assembled from leaked parts

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We now have our best look yet at the iPhone 6 until Apple officially launches the device on September 9th. Russia-based YouTuber Rozetked has put together what appears to be a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (hands on footage of the 5.5-inch model went online this morning) with several of the leaked components that we’ve seen all over the web the last several months. The comparison shows both black and white front plates, along with a space gray rear shell. The video compares the design to the existing iPhone 5s and gives a very close look at the overall design aesthetic. You can find the video along with some more still photos below:

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Apple ‘actively investigating’ alleged iCloud hacking that caused celebrity nude photo leak

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Re/code has received a statement from Apple about the alleged hacking incidents. Natalie Kerris says:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

As is the norm with Apple’s public facing commentary, the company has not said much about the situation. Somehow, compromising personal pictures of several celebrities have leaked online and many are blaming iCloud as the root cause. The events are muddled by the fact that some of the reported claims have transpired to be fake Photoshopped images, although some — like the images of Jennifer Lawrence — have been confirmed to be legitimate.

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Review: Apple wireless keyboard for Logic Pro X from EditorsKeys

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There are a few companies that make skins specifically for Apple’s keyboards to add icons for the various shortcuts that pros use daily in apps like Logic Pro and Final Cut. I’ve tried a few in the past, but the benefits never seemed to outweigh the tradeoff of putting a clunky rubber skin over Apple’s masterfully built keyboard. The latest Logic keyboard I received in for review from EditorsKeys, however, has actually won me over and proven up to the task of permanently replacing my stock Apple keyboard. Read more

Vulnerability in Find My Phone service and weak passwords may explain alleged celebrity photo leaks

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The Next Web is reporting that a vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed attackers to brute-force passwords in order to access the iCloud accounts of celebrities.

The vulnerability allegedly discovered in the Find my iPhone service appears to have allowed attackers to use this method to guess passwords repeatedly without any sort of lockout or alert to the target. Once the password has been eventually matched, the attacker can then use it to access other iCloud functions freely.

A tool to exploit the weakness was uploaded to Github, where it remained for two days before being shared on Hacker News …  Read more

Founder Anand Shimpi latest Apple hire from hardware review site AnandTech

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AnandTech founder and EiC Anand Shimpi announced last night via a post on the site that he had decided to retire from technology journalism, but didn’t specify what he’d be doing instead. Today, Re/code reports that Shimpi will be going to Apple, as confirmed by the tech firm’s representative, though his exact role is still unknown.

Earlier this year AnandTech’s Brian Klug also left the site for a role at Apple with a focus on building mobile processors for the company’s iOS lineup. It’s possible and perhaps likely that Shimpi will be taking up a similar role in quality assurance or marketing.

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Apple has reached agreements w/ American Express & MasterCard to work on iPhone payments system

We reported in May that Apple was expected to launch an iPhone payments system with the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

Apple wants to replace yet another daily tool with your iPhone: your wallet. Executives from the Cupertino-based technology company have begun discussions with directors from retail store chains about a mobile payments service, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. Previous reports indicated that Apple is exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies. These latest mobile payments-related discussions, which have occurred with retail store brands such as those that sell luxury clothing and premium goods, have taken place over the past couple of months, according to the source. The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.

Subsequent reports echoed that same Information including naming Visa as a partner.  Re/code today reports that Apple has signed up a major American financial institution to work on its iPhone wallet program.

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.

Apple’s new payments system is expected to let iPhone 6 owners use their phone in place of a credit card or cash to pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores. Customers will present their phones at the checkout counter of partnering retailers to transmit payment information to complete a purchase. It’s not clear which retailers have signed on to accept such payments.

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Apple ‘spaceship’ campus construction caught on film by flying drone

9to5-image 2014-08-31 at 10.18.52 AMThe 8-minute video, highlighted by Apple Spotlight and embedded below, shows the latest progress on Apple’s Campus 2. Although the spaceship site is cordoned off by high walls to prevent pictures at street level, a GoPro-equipped drone has no trouble getting the aerial shots seen in the video. Images of the campus were last seen in JulyRead more

Apple execs discuss $400 price point for wearable with the media, what do you think?

Re/code via sources unknown says today that Apple has been considering the $400 price point for its wearable, expected to be announced on September 9th and available for sale in 2015.

Apple executives have discussed charging around $400 for the company’s new wearable device. Pricing has yet to be finalized for the forthcoming product, which is expected to begin shipping next year.  Sources say consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.

The price positioning is reminiscent of Apple’s latest product launch, the iPad, in which price points of $1,000 were batted around before Steve Jobs took the stage and conjured up the jaw-dropping $499 starting price point.

But without knowing about the wearable product, how can we judge the price point… Read more

Apple wearable reportedly only being previewed at iPhone event, shipping next year

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via @EA_Roa

Following Re/code’s report earlier this week that Apple will announce its wearable product (iWatch, iBand) alongside new iPhones on September 9th, Re/code now adds that the device won’t actually be available this year.

Sources in position to know tell me it won’t arrive at market for a few months. “It’s not shipping any time soon,” said one. So when does Apple plan to ship its eagerly anticipated wearable? That’s not clear, but my understanding is that we’re unlikely to see it at retail until after the holiday season — think early 2015.  Read more