On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is available method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forthin the All Writs Act Order in this case.
As much as the FBI would love to think that they came up with the solution, but it was Snowden criticizing the FBI’s claims about unlocking the phone that seems to have been the tipping point. With numerous groups claiming to have ways to unlock the iPhone, the FBI pushing for Apple to create a way for them to unlock an iPhone has long been suspected of being an entry to the encrypted software.
If the FBI had this alternative available since the start, it would appear suspicions about the FBI using this an attempt to make future requests easier were true. If this is the case, trust in the FBI could be damaged even more with people questioning why the FBI wanted easy access to everyone’s iPhones.
Apple is currently under a lot of pressure from the US government, with the FBI looking to “request” their help in unlocking an iPhone. The problem people find is that the FBI are requesting Apple do something that Apple are not comfortable with, and as a result, have been ordered to do so under a very old and rather vague act. One of the most famous faces regarding the US Governments digital behaviour, Edward Snowden, has now spoken out regarding the FBI’s claim it needs Apple to unlock the iPhone in question.
Speaking at a Conference via Video chat, Snowden stated the while the FBI say they need Apple’s ‘exclusive technical means’ to unlock the iPhone in question, he believes that claim is nothing more than lies.
The reason he says the FBI’s claim is rubbish is simply because several people have come forward with alternative methods for the FBI to gain access to the phone. It should be noted that Apple has already said they would have handed over the data if the FBI hadn’t tried to reset the iCloud password for the iPhone.
With the alternative methods not being mentioned at the congressional hearing regarding the FBI’s case for bypassing Apple’s security features, it would appear to many that the FBI are looking for a precedent to force companies to unlock their devices, something which they originally stated would not happen (but now appears to be the case).
You can view the conversation on surveillance, democracy and civil society in which Snowden spoke below.
You’ve probably heard by now that Nvidia and Samsung don’t see eye to eye when it comes to patents. This little dispute has escalated to Nvidia suing Samsung and then Samsung countersuing Nvidia in the process, leading to a whirlwind of alleged patent infringements. Now, Nvidia apparently revealed some details about the ongoing dispute on its blog.
For those who are not aware with the case, Nvidia sued Samsung back in September last year for infringing their IP by using one of the company’s GPU patents without sharing some of its profits. Samsung then went on to sue Nvidia and one of their smaller customers, Velocity Micro, for allegedly infringing six out of eight patents the South Korean manufacturer owns (Velocity reportedly infringed all of them).
Nvidias’ case is scheduled to have a hearing in late June and they are now assured by some good news in their pretrial decision, having the judge siding with the GPU maker. With this, Nvidia aims to block some Galaxy phones and tablets from landing on the US market. In addition to the latter, Nvidia comes with two more updates on the case.
It seems that Nvidia went on to counter sue Samsung with an additional four patent infringements aside from the seven cited in its first case the company filed. Also, the court gave a January 11th 2016 date for the trial to begin, where it will focus on the six patents filed against Nvidia, the additional two filed against Velocity, as well as the new four patents filed against Samsung.
This all seems a bit confusing (and childish to some extent), but it seems that yet again the two companies are playing ping-pong over IP infringements. Will it ever end? Also, the two companies struck a deal in which Samsung agreed to make chips for Nvidia not too long ago. However, looking at the two companies from a consumer perspective, you might agree that their behaviour seems a bit like the video below.
Nope, we’re not talking about the screeching sounds of a Dial-Up modem from the 90’s – you can (apparently) hear WiFi with the help of some fancy hearing aids.
In comes Frank Swain, not exactly a bionic human, but has the ability to listen out to a WiFi signal. He’s able to do this by utilizing his modified hearing aids installed with his special ‘Phantom Terrains’ tooling.
Designed in conjunction with sound artist Daniel Jones, Swain has reportedly been experiencing a decrease in his hearing abilities since age 20. He applied and was approved for a grant through a UK innovation charity – rending Phantom Terrains a possibility. The software operates through a jail broken iPhone and works by tuning into wireless communication fields. This software picks up information such as the router name, encryption modes and distance to the device.
Swain produced a whole essay on this subject, published in New Scientist. Thanks to IFL Science, we were able to get our hands on an excerpt of it:
“The strength of the signal, direction, name and security level on these are translated into an audio stream made up of a foreground and background later: distant signals click and pop like hits on a Geiger counter, while the strongest bleat their network ID in a looped melody,” Swain writes in an essay in New Scientist. “The audio is streamed constantly to a pair of hearing aids. The extra sound layer is blended with the normal output of the hearing aids; it simply becomes part of my soundscape. So long as I carry my phone with me, I will always be able to hear Wi-Fi.”IFL Science and New Scientist
What exactly is the point of this software function? We’re not exactly sure. But it’s pretty cool none-the-less.
Interested in hearing exactly what it sounds like? Thankfully they’ve uploaded it to Sound Cloud and it mirrors something of a horror movie or space-based gaming cut scene.