Archive | November, 2013

Catherine Zeta-Jones Donning Wedding Ring after Reconciliation Rumors

5 Nov

After Michael Douglas revealed their reconciliation, Catherine Zeta-Jones stepped out donning her wedding ring on Monday (November 4).

The 44-year-old actress kept to herself as she shopped in Greenwich, Connecticut with her diamond sparkler sitting pretty on her left hand.

According to reports, Douglas told reporters that he is back with Catherine and the pair is “doing great.”

In addition, Michael talked about the couple’s Halloween plans on “Live with Kelly and Michael” and said, “My son Dylan was a Hobbit, my daughter Carys was a kind of flapper, and Catherine was Snow White.”

Both stars are now wearing their wedding rings and are working hard to keep their marriage alive.

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Apple iOS engineering VP Henri Lamiraux retires

4 Nov

Apple iOS engineering VP Henri Lamiraux retires

Long-time Apple veteran Henri Lamiraux has retired. Lamiraux was most recently vice president of iOS engineering, where he was responsible for the development of apps included with iOS. Lamiraux left Apple a couple of weeks ago, according to an email communication he shared with 9to5Mac.

Lamiraux decided “a little while ago” to leave once iOS 7 launched, he told Mark Gurman. The report paints Lamiraux’s responsibilities within Apple as crucial to the development of iOS, managing bug fixing, feature implementation and feature distribution, along with frameworks within the OS that enable developers to make apps.

Lamiraux had been with Apple for 23 years, starting in Mac software engineering, eventually moving to iOS development even before the iPhone was introduced.

Source: 9to5Mac


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Google+ for iOS to get background image sync and full resolution uploads

2 Nov

Announced at this mornings Google+ event, Google+ for iOS is in line to get pretty substantial update for those of us who use the service for backing up our photos. Thanks to iOS 7, Google+ will soon be able to auto sync your photos in the background, instead of needing to have the app open as is currently required.

Better still, iOS Google+ users will soon be on a par with their Android cousins, with the ability to upload full resolution images. Currently, a scaled down version of your photos gets uploaded, but all that is set to change in the next update. This in particular is a welcome addition, after all, why would you want to share scaled down photos shot with the impressive camera on the new iPhone 5s?

So, Google+ users; happy with this? I know I am, let me know what you think of it!


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badBIOS: Next-gen malware or digital myth?

2 Nov

November 01, 2013

[Ed. note: This story originally stated that it was believed that badBIOS can infect other machines via ultrasonic audio. Rather, as amended below, it is believed that badBIOS can communicate with other machines already infected with badBIOS via ultrasonic audio.]

Security researcher Dragos Ruiu calls it “badBIOS.” According to him, it’s a strain of malware that has persisted amongst the machines in his laboratory for almost three years and that has proven near-impossible to clean out. But some parts of his hypothesis about how it’s spreading are so strange that even other experts are skeptical.

Ars Technical is reporting in detail about Ruiu’s saga, which seems to involve a piece of malware so polymorphic that it seems to be able to spread by infecting everything from a system’s BIOS on up.

What’s strangest about this malware is that it even seems to be able to communicate with other infected computers that are airgapped — that is, machines that aren’t physically connected to a network.

badBIOS appears to be OS-agnostic, as Ruiu has found it in Windows, BSD, and OS X machines. Reflashing the BIOS does not appear to help, either. Infected machines refuse to boot from external devices, and any USB drives plugged into a system are also infected — possibly by way of the USB controller.

BIOS-infecting malware by itself isn’t new; one of the first rootkits that infected system BIOSes, Trojan.Mebromi, was discovered back in 2011. But how is it possible that the BIOSes of machines from completely different manufacturers could all be vulnerable to such an attack?

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Tech industry calls for ‘oversight and accountability’ of NSA surveillance

1 Nov

Internet companies in the U.S. are demanding that the surveillance practices of the U.S. should be reformed to enhance privacy protections and provide “appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms.”

In a letter on Thursday to the chairman and members of the Committee on the Judiciary, a copy of which was provided by an industry source, Facebook, AOL, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo said they welcomed a debate about how to protect both national security and privacy interests and applauded the sponsors of the USA Freedom Act, a legislation aimed to end bulk data collection by the National Security Agency, for their contribution to the discussion.

The companies had until now focused on asking the government for permission to reveal information on users’ data requests by the NSA, which are covered under “gag orders” that prohibit recipients of orders from discussing them in public.

Google and Microsoft, for example, filed motions before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to be allowed to provide aggregate statistics on orders and directives that were received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and related regulations, which the government has so far refused.

Yahoo asked the court to allow it to make public documents from a 2008 dispute over a data request that would show that the company had resisted the order. The Internet companies are attempting to counter disclosures by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, that the government had real-time access to content on the servers of the Internet companies under a surveillance program called Prism, which these companies deny.

The stakes for the companies were raised this week after The Washington Post reported that NSA has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, giving it the ability to collect metadata and actual content from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans.

In the letter, the Internet companies wrote that transparency will help to counter “erroneous reports that we permit intelligence agencies ‘direct access’ to our companies’ servers or that we are participants in a bulk Internet records collection program.” The companies said that they have consistently stated that they only respond to legal demands for customer and user information that are targeted and specific.

“Allowing companies to be transparent about the number and nature of requests will help the public better understand the facts about the government’s authority to compel technology companies to disclose user data and how technology companies respond to the targeted legal demands we receive,” according to the letter.

But transparency is only a first step for the Internet companies, who are now also asking for reform of government surveillance practices. “We urge the Administration to work with Congress in addressing these critical reforms that would provide much needed transparency and help rebuild the trust of Internet users around the world,” according to the letter, which was addressed, among others to Patrick J. Leahy, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, who is one of the sponsors of the USA Freedom Act.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s e-mail address is

John Ribeiro, IDG News Service , IDG News Service

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service.
More by John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

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