Apple employees are reportedly walking into walls at the companys fancy new glass office

People in glass offices was likely to watch where they’re running. Collisions have been one very clear downside of Apple’s $ 427 million spaceship office in Cupertino, according to a story out of Bloomberg.

The “people familiar with the incidents” won’t say how widespread a phenomenon all of this is, but there’s a definite potential downside to glass walls in a set where occupants are regularly staring down at their telephones. In an effort to combat the phenomenon, some have apparently taken to sticking Post-Its on potential hazard zones — a sort of primitive sort of augmented reality.

As someone who regularly operated into stuff, I can personally confirm that walls , not people are to blame in this situation, and likely the whole things is more a source of brief personal embarrassment for those involved. As the tale points out , none of the impacts have warranted a post to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Transparency, after all, is the key to addressing these issues.

This does, however, reflect a story from 2012, in which an 83 -year-old woman filed suit against the company after injuring herself after bumping into a glass surface at an Apple Store. The suit, which was later settled out of tribunal, claimed the company “was negligent … in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/ or doorway to exist without proper warning.”

Likely these reports, however, won’t result in a black eye for the company.

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This new text bomb crashes most Mac and iOS apps with a single Unicode symbol

TechCrunch has learned of a potentially serious new bug affecting a broad range of Apple devices.

During their development work on an international news feed, software engineers at Aloha Browser discovered two Unicode emblems in a non-English language that can accident any Apple device that uses Apple’s default San Francisco font. The glitch instigates crashes on iPhones, iPads, Macs and even Watch OS devices that display text containing the symbol on their screens.

When one of the two symbols is displayed in an app, the software crashes immediately. In many cases, the app cannot be reopened and is necessary reinstalled. TechCrunch “ve managed to” recreate this behavior on two iPhones running an older version of iOS, one iPhone operating iOS 11.2.5 and a MacBook Pro running High Sierra.

The bug crashes apps including Mail, Twitter, Messages, Slack, Instagram and Facebook. From our testing, the committee is also crashed Jumpcut, a copy and paste plugin for Mac. While it initially appeared that the Chrome browser for Mac was unaffected and could safely display the emblem, it subsequently crashed Chrome and the software would not reopen without crashing until uninstalled and reinstalled.

TechCrunch has been in touch with Apple about the health risks timeline for a software fix and will update this story accordingly. According to the team at Aloha Browser, Apple is aware of the bug and it may have been reported by another development squad, as well. [ Update: Apple has confirmed that there’s a fix be forthcoming. Apparently this only affects current versions of the software, and this is already fixed in the betas of iOS, tvOS, macOS and watchOS .]

This is Apple’s second text bomb headache of the year. In January, software researcher Abraham Masri discovered an iOS flaw that allowed a specific URL to crash any iPhone it was texted to, sometimes resulting in a kernel anxiety. In 2016, another glitch could crash any iPhone or the Safari browser if a user clicked the URL for CrashSafari.com. In 2015, a so-called “Unicode of Death” could overload an iPhone’s memory employing some Arabic characters. Now we’re looking at Unicode of Death 2.0.

Because so many apps are affected, the new text bomb could be used to create mass chaos if spammed across an open social platform or used to target individuals via email or messaging. The new bug affects a broad swath of Apple devices and crashes nearly any major app they run, stimulating it particularly destructive if not resolved quickly.

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Telegram apps fall foul of iOS App Store content rules

Update: Both Telegram iOS apps are now back on the App Store. Original story follows below

The Telegram messaging apps appear to have breached Apple’s App Store guidelines and are currently unavailable for download on iOS. 9to5Mac spotted the absence yesterday, having been alerted via a Reddit thread.

At the time of writing a search for Telegram on the App Store returns Viber, Skype, Messenger and WeChat chat apps, as the top results, but not Telegram.

Both the original Telegram app and a rebuild, called Telegram X, which the messaging company officially announced for Android yesterday — billing it as a coding experiment aimed at speeding up development of the platform — have been taken off the iOS App Store for now.

It’s not entirely clear what the problem is. But responding to a Twitter user’s question, about why both its iOS apps are AWOL, Telegram founder Pavel Durov tweeted that it relates to “inappropriate content”.

“We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store, ” he wrote.

We’ve reached out to Apple and Telegram with questions and will update this story with any additional information.

Apple’s developer guidelines for iOS apps include a segment on security that proscribes “upsetting or offensive content”. A sub-section here, considering user-generated content( which would apply to any messaging app with a public broadcast facility, as Telegram has ), notes these types of apps “present particular challenges” — and must therefore contain 😛 TAGEND

A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app

A mechanism to report offensive content and timely responses to concerns

The they are able to block abusive users from the service

Published contact information so users can easily reaching you

Apple addresses iOS source code leak, says it appears to be tied to three-year-old software

Earlier this week, iOS source code showed up on GitHub, raising concerns that hackers could find a way to comb the material for vulnerabilities. Apple has confirmed with TechCrunch that the code appears to be real, but adds that it’s tied to old software.

The material is gone now, politenes of a DMCA notice Apple sent to GitHub, but the occurrence was surely notable, given the tight grip the company traditionally has on such material. So, if the code was, indeed, what it purported to be, has the damage already been done?

Motherboard, which was among the first to note the code labeled “iBoot, ” reached out to author Jonathan Levin, who confirmed that the code surely appears real and called it “a huge deal.” While the available code appears to be fairly small, it could certainly offer some unique insight into how Apple runs its magic.

“Old source code from 3 years ago appears to have been leaked, ” the company said in a statement provided to TechCrunch, “but by design the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always foster customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the most recent protections.”

Much of the security concern is mitigated by the fact that it appears to be tied to iOS 9, a version of the operating system released three-and-a-half years ago. Apple’s almost certainly tweaked significant portions of the available code since then, and the company’s own numbers show that a large majority of users( 93 -percent) are running iOS 10 or afterwards. But could the commonalities offer enough insight to pose a serious potential threat to iPhone users?

Security researcher Will Strafach told TechCrunch that the code is compelling for the information it gives hackers into the inner workings of the boot loader. He added that Apple’s likely not thrilled with the leak due to intellectual property fears( consider: the DMCA request referenced above ), but this information ultimately won’t have much if any impact on iPhone owners.

“In terms of end users, this doesn’t really mean anything positive or negative, ” Strafach said in an email. “Apple does not use security through obscurity, so this does not contain anything risky, simply an easier to read format for the boot loader code. It’s all cryptographically signed on end user devices, there is no way to actually use any of the contents here maliciously or otherwise.”

In other terms, Apple’s multi-layered approach to keeping iOS secure involves a lot more precautions than what you’d see in a leak like this, however it may have constructed its route to GitHub. Of course, as Strafach correctly points out, the company’s still likely not thrilled about the optics around having had this information in the wild — if only for a short while.

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Apple has hired tech team from data science startup SVDS

Apple has made a quiet but interesting move in its longer-term strategy around courting more business from enterprises. The company has hired the tech team — at the least 18 people, including at least two co-founders, one of whom is the CEO — from Silicon Valley Data Science( SVDS ), a startup based out of Mountain View that provides business transformation consulting to enterprises and other organizations using data science- and engineering-based solutions.

SVDS the startup is not part of the deal: we had tip-off that Apple acquired the company but Apple responded to our queries to confirm it had not acquired the company, without elaborating farther( we’d originally been tip-off off on the via deal an anonymous tip ).

We also reached out many other people connected with the company, including investors, founders and other employees.

“I’m sworn to secrecy at the moment, ” one person connected with the company told me when I contacted him. “I’d prefer not to comment, ” another said.

“Everything is confidential, ” a third reply said. “Apple acquired the tech team to support product dev ambitions. Can’t say more.”

It’s not clear what is going on with SVDS itself. Its website is still up, but the SVDS social accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter have not been updated since November, although it did come online to post a blog on December 28, with a short, upbeat message wishing readers a happy holiday.

The 18 or so people who have updated their LinkedIn profiles to now working for Apple appear to have made up between one-half and one-third of the company.

They include Sanjay Mathur, who was a co-founder and CEO of SVDS, who now describes himself as a strategy and analytics leader at Apple on LinkedIn. Another one of the company’s founders and its CTO, John Akred , now lists his current chore as “algorithms at Apple” on his LinkedIn profile. SVDS’s principal architect, Serena Cheng, now lists her task as engineering product administrator at Apple. And Scott Kurth, who had been VP of client answers at SVDS, is now also a strategy and analytics leader at Apple.

In a way, SVDS is not your traditional Silicon Valley tech startup: it is focused more on consultancy around existing technology than constructing the tech itself, although those who have worked on enterprise IT implementations and problems know that often some of the more interesting solutions are created to fill a want, and sometimes the basis for products in their own right.

SVDS itself was founded by Jim McLean, Akred and Mathur, who respectively cut their teeth at big investment and consultancy firms( McLean at 3i and Crosslink; Akred and Mathur at Accenture) in previous roles.

The team, which at the beginning of this month numbered around 30 according to LinkedIn, also counts a number of data scientists and other technologists as well as consultants in its ranks with years of cumulative experience between them. SVDS has raised around$ 3 million in funding from a notable group of investors that include Crosslink, GSV Capital, Cendana Capital and the well-known tech investor Frank Quattrone.

It’s not always completely clear what Apple intends to do with its acquisitions — human or otherwise — but it’s notable that the company has been steadily ramping up its focus on working with large and small enterprises in recent times.

Apple last broke out how much it made from its enterprise business in September 2015, when CEO Tim Cook said the company built $25 billion in the 12 months to June 2015, accounting for 14 percent of its revenues in that period. “This is not a hobby. This is a real business, ” he said at the time.

It’s a sentiment from which he has definitely not retreated: “Enterprise is like the mother of all opportunities, ” he said last year, in an interview with Bloomberg.

While Apple has not broken out enterprise revenues, you can do rough computations to guesstimate what the value for it might be today. Employing its coming fiscal year 2017 revenues of just over $229 billion, 14 percent of that would work out to about $32 billion in FY 2017.

As with Apple’s other business, a large part of its enterprise sales will be attributable to the purchase of hardware like iPhones, iPads and Macs. But these days, the company is no stranger to the fact that when it comes to corporate buyers, they often attain device selections that are tied in with larger IT projects that include the building of business answers that could include apps and much more — a transformation from its previous positioning and reputation.

Starting in July 2014, Apple started to ink deals with the likes of IBM, Cisco, SAP, Deloitte and most recently Accenture to assist induce the case to enterprises for Apple-based answers to their business needs, building iOS productivity apps, business transformation services, legacy IT migrations, IoT-based services and more.

Interestingly, these are all areas where SVDS happens to have worked on in the past, both immediately with clients as well as part of R& D projects that it devises to expand people’s skillsets.( The latter list has included a large project analysing Caltrain lags to predict their arrivals; a visual representation of the history of rock-and-roll; and trying to put a figure on the value of data .)

At least one of these partnerships, with Accenture, co-locates Apple employees within Accenture squads. One guess I’ve had is that SVDS could have been acquired by one of these partners and is continuing to work with its tech team, which has now moved over to Apple.

Again, we’re not altogether certain where this squad is working; this is just an trained guess, which highlights things that both Apple and SVDS were already doing, and could be doing more , now in collaboration. We’ll update this story as we learn more.

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Apple wants to gather all your medical records in the Health app

Apple announced a new health attempt as part of iOS 11.3. The new Health Records section in the Health app lets you gather and view all your medical record. The company is partnering with hospitals and clinics.

Apple released the first beta version of iOS 11.3 today. While the new version of iOS is going to remain in beta testing for a couple of months, it should be available as a free download to all iPhone users pretty soon.

Health Records is going to be a new menu in the Health Data section of the Health app. You’ll be able to add any file to this menu as long as it’s a CDA file( Clinical Document Architecture ). Some hospitals already email you those files or build them available on their website. But Apple wants to automate this process.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and others are already testing the feature with their patients. Health Records is based on FHIR( Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources ), a standard when it comes to data formats and APIs.

So it means that those hospitals and clinics will be able to push this data to your phone directly. You’ll receive a notification alerting you that you merely received a new medical record. Data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode.

And it looks very thorough based on the screenshot. You’ll be able to listing your allergies, medications, immunizations and lab outcomes in the Health app.

This could be particularly useful for patients who get a lot of laboratory results to track cholesterol or something else. Newest outcomes appear at the top of the Healthcare Records timeline.

It’s going to be hard to convince every single hospital and clinic around the U.S. and around the world to adopt the new Health Records feature. But here’s a listing of all the institutions participating in the beta test 😛 TAGEND

Johns Hopkins Medicine- Baltimore, Maryland

Cedars-Sinai- Los Angeles, California

Penn Medicine- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Geisinger Health System- Danville, Pennsylvania

UC San Diego Health- San Diego, California

UNC Health Care- Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Rush University Medical Center- Chicago, Illinois

Dignity Health- Arizona, California and Nevada

Ochsner Health System- Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

MedStar Health- Washington , D.C ., Maryland and Virginia

OhioHealth- Columbus, Ohio

Cerner Healthe Clinic- Kansas City, Missouri

Apple pledges $350 billion investment in US economy over next five years

Apple is about to give the U.S. economy a huge boost in the form of a $350 billion five-year investment. As part of that, it will commit $55 billion this year alone and schemes on adding 20,000 new jobs over that time frame. Following in the footsteps of Amazon, it also plans to add a new campus somewhere in the U.S. this year.

There is a lot of news here. Let’s start with the big-picture investment of $350 billion, which Apple says does not include ongoing tax pays, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages or the sale of Apple products.

It will, however, involve taxes on repatriation of some of Apple’s cash reserves, which are currently in the $256 billion scope. It anticipates $38 billion coming from repatriation taxes, but much of it will be capital expenditures on the part of the company.

For starters, there will be $30 billion, which will help fund a number of projects, including building the aforementioned new campus. The scheme is for this to initially home technical support for customers. Apple says it will announce the locating of this new facility subsequently this year, with a plan to construction the building run on 100 percentage renewable energy sources.

But wait, it’s not done yet. It will also invest $10 billion of that fund in new data centers in the U.S ., adding to the seven already in operation or schemed. There is a new one coming in Iowa and they violated ground on one in Reno just today, in addition to data centers already in operation in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.( This number includes co-location facilities not owned and operated by Apple .)

The company also plans to expand the advanced manufacturing money it started last spring, from$ 1 billion to$ 5 billion. The notion is to bring advanced manufacturing tasks to the heartland and it is already funding projects in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Finally, Apple plans to expand its coding initiatives, helping students and teachers from K-1 2 and at community colleges across the country learn valuable coding skills.

While there is clearly a large public relations element to this announcement, the amount of money and investment involved from a private company here is just staggering, and should help create new jobs, induce local economies and help educate students for the next generation of jobs. Hard not to like that.

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Tim Cook says youll soon be able to turn off the system that slows iPhones as the battery gets older

As we learned back at the end of December, Apple has been limiting the maximum performance of iPhones as the batteries within get older. The goal, they’ve stated, is to prevent random device shutdowns as time goes on and the battery’s output starts to wane.

But that’s something they ought to have explained better from Day 1 of the software change; most users would never expect that swapping a battery could impact a phone’s speed. It’s a misstep that had now been resulted in apologies, lawsuits, and the rollout of a new battery replacing program.

And soon, it seems, you’ll be able to turn off the battery/ performance balancing system all together. Tim Cook mentions the coming change in an interview with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis 😛 TAGEND

“We will tell somebody we’re slightly reducing, or we’re reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart. If you don’t want it? You can turn it off. Now, we don’t recommend it, because we suppose people’s iPhones are really important to them, and you never can tell when something is so urgent…”

You can see the relevant bit for yourself at just after the 4:00 mark 😛 TAGEND

Apple had previously promised an update that would offer better insight about the life of your battery and its impact on your device, but this is the first time I’ve heard them mention allowing the user to turn off battery/ performance management overall.

Cook had noted that these changes, as with most things Apple rolls out, will ship to developers first( sometime next month) before arriving for all. We’ve reached out to Apple for more details.

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Apple buys app development service Buddybuild

Apple continues to ramp up its efforts to court developers by making it easier establishing and iterate their apps for its platforms. The iPhone giant has now acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver-based app tools startup that describes itself as “mobile iteration platform” focused on continuous integration and debugging tools — essentially devoting an app growth squad a simple workflow for iterating and pushing their apps out into the world through GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab.

Apple confirmed the acquisition directly to us, and the startup also noted the move in a blog post this afternoon.

No financial terms have been disclosed for the deal. Apple tells TechCrunch that the team( currently hiring around 40 or so technologists) will stay put in BC, a fact that the startup celebrated by noting that it’s “always been proud to be a Canadian company.”

As part of the acquisition, Buddybuild will be rolled into Xcode, Apple’s suite of developing tools for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, although Apple and Buddybuild have not given a specific timeline of when that will happen.

Buddybuild’s service will continue to be available to existing customers as a standalone product through the company’s site — though new clients will no longer be accepted through that portal, beginning today.

But the bargain also means the effective end of the Android app development that the company added last February. That facet of the service will be sunset in March. Apple similarly discontinued Android compatibility when it acquired TestFlight, effectively removing a key developing tool from Google’s ecosystem.

The system should fit nicely into Apple’s existing decide of tools, bringing additional methods for testing, debugging and deploying mobile apps through a proprietary channel.

More to the point, it should make developing and iterating apps for iOS that much easier than before.

Apps are a key battleground for smartphone makers: they lure users to buy their devices, and when the pace of smartphone acquisition slows down as marketplaces mature, apps increasingly become a revenue stream in their own right.

Apple, whose iPhones have long been outstripped by devices powered by Google’s Android in terms of market share, still produces considerably more revenue from apps than the latter. Of the $17 billion are produced in Q3 from apps globally( excluding China ), Apple accounted for around $11 billion of it, according to App Annie.

But with Google outstripping Apple in downloads, you can see some of the math that might lead Apple to constructing sure its platform and app tools remain developer-friendly and replete with new features and tools to make it easier to use.

The move echoes Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight back in 2014, which began to require users to utilize Xcode to utilize the service.

Buddybuild was founded in 2015 by former Amazon employees Dennis Pilarinos and Christopher Stott. In its nearly three years of existence, the startup has managed to raise around $8.8 million, including a $7.6 million Series A led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield back in May of 2016.

Stewart Butterfield has served as an advisor for the company, and Slack has become one of its more prominent clients. The remaining roster of existing customers is an impressive one, including Mozilla, Hootsuite, Reddit, SoundCloud, FourSquare and The New York Times.

Buddybuild added in its blog post that Vancouver has become something of a hotbed for software developing, and adding Apple’s extra cache should make local recruitment even easier if the company does decide to grow.

Additional reporting by Ingrid Lunden

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Apple rerouting employee shuttles after highway attacks shatter windows on buses during commutes

In the past week, five Apple commuter shuttles carrying employees to and from the company’s Cupertino offices have been attacked, several sources tell us. Windows on the bus were shattered by what staff members shall be suspecting was a gun being fired at the vehicles.

All five incidents took place off Highway 280 near Woodside, Calif. The first assault took place Friday evening, with an additional three buses targeted during yesterday morning’s commute and another one afterward that evening.

Since-deleted post from Twitter user describing shuttle attack.

A source tells us that due to the nature of how the windows were impacted, some suspect the weapon being used could be a BB or pellet gun. A is present in Mashable today theorized that the issue has the potential to have been caused by someone throwing rocks.

In response, we’ve learned that Apple has rerouted the bus routes for employees living in San Francisco, adding 30 -4 5 minutes of commute time each route, as the company working in cooperation with authorities to see what exactly is going on.

Apple has submitted a police report with a description of the suspect to local authorities. We have reached out to Apple for remark. We also have reached out to other tech companies in the area, wondering about whether similar shuttle attacks have taken place. Facebook told TechCrunch that there had not been attacks on their shuttles.

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