Generally speaking, updates remove bugs, but in the case of Google’s 2016 Pixel XL, a new problem was introduced with the Android 8.1 update this January. When charging in certain circumstances, the OG Pixel XL will (dangerously) attempt to pull up to 40% more current than it has negotiated from the charger, repeatedly entering and leaving a charging state as the charger shuts off due to overcurrent protection.
Generally speaking, updates remove bugs, but in the case of Google’s 2016 Pixel XL, a new problem was introduced with the Android 8.1 update this January. When charging in certain circumstances, the OG Pixel XL will (dangerously) attempt to pull up to 40% more current than it has negotiated from the charger, repeatedly entering and leaving a charging state as the charger shuts off due to overcurrent protection. So if you’ve noticed your Pixel XL recently flashing “charging rapidly” multiple times after being plugged into the stock charger, that’s why.
At first glance, the specific circumstances required to trigger the problem might seem unlikely, but if you’re using the stock charger, they’re guaranteed.
Samsung’s A-series spans the range of smartphone sizes from big to small, but it has gaps – there’s an A5 and an A7, but no A6. Or is there? A Samsung SM-A600FN and an SM-A605G showed up on Geekbench. If they follow Samsung’s typical naming convention, they will be the Galaxy A6 and Galaxy A6+ (hopefully with a year attached, to keep things consistent). It’s not a given, though, the Galaxy A8 (2018) is A530. Geekbench scores: Samsung SM-A600FN (Galaxy A6?) Samsung SM-A605G (A6+?) Anyway, the Galaxy A6 is powered by a Exynos 7870 chipset previously seen in the A3 (2017) and…
Today Google has released it’s 4th annual so-called “Android security year in review,” a number-heavy report meant to demonstrate the improvements made over the last year when it comes to security. And it’s not just ego-stroking, Android made great strides during 2017 on the subject. From the launch of Play Protect to increased distribution of security patches, Android as a platform has never been more secure.
For the full details, you can read the report in its entirety, but the short version is that most of the enhancements to Android security experienced over 2017 stem from Play Protect, announced in May 2017 at Google I/O.
An acoustical analysis of Apple’s HomePod published Wednesday found the speaker boasts a relatively flat frequency response, characteristics often associated with accurate sound reproduction, but those results might be misleading. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
On the evening of February 7, Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai reported that code from the secure boot-up portion of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system—referred to as iBoot—had been posted to GitHub in what iOS internals expert Jonathan Levin described to the website as “the biggest leak in history.” That may be hyperbole, and the leaked code has since been removed by GitHub after Apple sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown request. But the situation may still have implications for Apple mobile device security as it could potentially assist those trying to create exploit software to “jailbreak” or otherwise bypass Apple’s security hardening of iPhone and iPad devices.
The DMCA notice required Apple to verify that the code was their property—consequently confirming that the code was genuine. While GitHub removed the code, it was up for several hours and is now circulating elsewhere on the Internet.
The iBoot code is the secure boot firmware for iOS. After the device is powered on and a low-level boot system is started from the phone’s read-only memory (and checks the integrity of the iBoot code itself), iBoot performs checks to verify the integrity of iOS before launching the full operating system. It also checks for boot-level malware that may have been injected into the iOS startup configuration. This code is a particularly attractive target for would-be iOS hackers because—unlike the boot ROM and low-level boot loader—it has provisions for interaction over the phone’s tethering cable.
Apple has reportedly hired a number of employees away from startup Silicon Valley Data Science, providing roles to members of the firm’s technology team, including co-founders and the CEO, with the move potentially made to help Apple improve its partnerships with enterprise customers. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
OnePlus has sent a letter to customers this morning, and confirmed in a post on the company’s forums, that it was the target of a credit card hack. The attack was accomplished via a malicious script injected into the OnePlus.net payment page code, and allowed the attackers to see customer’s credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes – enough information to easily allow those cards to be used for fraudulent purchases.
Pollution isn’t just a problem here on Earth. It’s also an issue in space where a growing collection of space debris is orbiting our planet. From used rockets to fragments of obsolete satellites, millions of pieces of this space junk are not only cluttering up space, but also threatening our off-world operations.
For their study, the scientists successfully simulated an orbital laser station that would target and zap pieces of space debris under 4 inches long with 20 bursts of light per second for 2 minutes. This zapping is designed to either force the junk to burn up in the atmosphere or push it out of the way, preventing collision.
The team concluded that it would be possible to launch these laser stations and that they would be effective in clearing out space junk and preventing future collisions.
These orbital laser stations could solve a major problem for the space industry. In 2015, the ISS crew had to evacuate their living quarters after an old satellite threatened to collide with the station. Had it actually collided, it could have damaged billions of dollars worth of equipment.
However, this laser-blasting plan isn’t without issues.
Firstly, it is only equipped to destroy very small pieces of space debris. It is unclear whether it could push much larger pieces of space junk out of harm’s way. The logistics of creating the laser stations would be complicated, too. Who would build them? How many would they build? Additionally, while the orbital laser stations are designed specifically for demolishing space junk, is it possible that they could be used as weapons?
Government agencies would need to work out answers to these questions and others before this successfully simulated technology could be utilized in the fight against space junk.
If they could find a way to ensure the orbital laser stations were used safely and as intended, though, the stations could make a major dent in the space junk problem, which is expected to get worse in the coming years, with thousands of new satellites on track to join those already in low-Earth orbit by 2025.
So far, all of the proposed solutions to the growing space junk problem have significant downsides, so we’ll need better solutions if we have any hope of preventing our active technologies from becoming dangerous space junk in the future.