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About speculative execution vulnerabilities in ARM-based and Intel CPUs

Apple released a support document to answer any queries about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that were recently discovered to affect most modern CPUs.

Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store. Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Just remember to update your OS whenever they are available just so you get the bug fixes.

Say hi to Park

Welcome to Park

Ever since July 2011, when Steve Jobs presented to the Cupertino City Council the plans for the new Apple campus, the world has waited for the day for the new campus to be ready. Today, Apple announced that it will be ready and open for employees to start using from April – and the new campus will also be called Apple Park.

The theatre that sits at the highest point of the campus, which when ready will be where Tim Cook does his keynote address, is aptly named Steve Jobs Theater.

“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

In two days time, it would have been Steve Jobs’ 62nd birthday. The opening of Apple Park, six years after he unveiled its plans, would have been a wonderful birthday present for him.

Additional photos and a drone fly-by video of the campus taken in late January can be seen below.

Putting Apple TV’s Aerial screensaver on your Mac

One of the features of the four generation Apple TV, is the Aerial screensaver it provides. When the screensaver kicks in, AppleTV randomly pulls a slow moving HD video of a famous city, taken from the sky. From Dubai to China, San Francisco to New York. You’ll get to see a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline or busy traffic along its roads.

To get this screensaver on your Mac, you’ll need this open-source screensaver call Aerial programmed by John Coates. The screensaver pulls the same video feed as the Apple TV and allows you to customise the screensaver you want to see – or like me, you can choose to see all.

To download, simply click on this link to grab the latest screensaver v1.2. Double click on the downloaded file to install. You might have to go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy tab to allow installation of the screensaver file.

When you’re done, go to the Desktop & Screen Saver tab to configure the Aerial screensaver. As I mentioned earlier, you can select which video to run or like me, just select them all. The other option you should configure is to select ‘Cache Aerials as they play’. What this does is to download a copy of the movie file after it runs so that the screensaver still works when you’re offline. You can also choose to manually download all the video files at one go.

Lastly, sit back and relax as your Mac brings you to a random city…

Beautify your selfie with Meitu – think twice

Selfie-beautifying app Meitu, which is growing in popularity among the selfie-loving generation, might not just be beautifying your face as you snap them. According to many reports, the Android and iOS versions are requesting and apparently sending more data to their servers.


According to Jonathan Zdziarski, the iPhone version of the app is quietly checking to see whether your phone is jailbroken (because that’s not creepy), which cellular carrier you’re using, and is even potentially able to uniquely identify your device using the hardware MAC address of your phone.

Why would it need all that? He speculates that the company is selling your information to companies who’ll target you with advertising.

Seems like on the Android platform, it’s worse.


It’s normal for a photo app to require permission to access a phone’s camera and camera roll, so that it can take pictures or edit ones already on the device. But, as information security researcher Greg Linares notes, the Android version of Meitu wants a lot more than that: the app can access information about what other apps users are running, their precise locations, their unique device identifier numbers (IMSIs), call information, carrier information and wifi connections.

In this time an age where given the right information, someone can be able to identify you based on your app usage, your location at a particular time and day … and much worse if someone has nefarious motivations to use those data.

I’d rather be safe than have a flawless selfie on my Instagram.

New Ad : Made in CNY

Besides working with artists to create artworks to celebrate Chinese New Year, Apple also released four short videos with the same ‘Made in CNY’ theme, focusing on the features found on the iPhone and the iPad.

New Ad : iPhone 7 + AirPods – Stroll

Apple has released four new ads showcasing the AirPods. Starring Lil Buck, a LA-based dancer joking to the tune of Down by Marian Hill. Defying gravity, the main ad – Stroll – showed how it magically stays in place while he danced. The other ads also show how you interact with the AirPods and also how easily it pairs with the iPhone. See all of them above.

Currently there’s a 6-week wait for the AirPods if you want to buy them via Apple. I’ve tried it briefly and they stayed snuggly within my ears although I didn’t do anything physical to try to dislodge it.

One thing which I can vouch for is the new W1 chip definitely extends both the range and the battery life. I bought the Beats Solo3 Wireless headset when it was first launch in September. With an average two-hours plus usage daily during commute, I only need to change these cans once every two weeks. As for range, you can read the test by iDownloadblog to see how far the W1 extends the coverage. Lastly, if you’re using the iPhone with a Mac, and owns an iCloud account, pairing is done once you do on one device. It syncs across your other Macs or iOS devices via iCloud and just need to select it via the Volume control to play music to your W1-powered device.

Wireless earphones are the way to go – whether Apple killed the 3.5mm jack or not – once you go wireless, you’ll never look back, especially ones with the W1 chip.

iPhone at ten

Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the MacWorld 2007 Keynote address. Before that, we had pagers, candy bars with chunky keyboard with slow and limited apps. Look where we are now. We communicate seamlessly with people all over the world, play games that are used to be on consoles, watch movies that used to live within cinemas … and so much more.

Thanks to the internet, if you were not able to watch Steve Jobs in his prime, you can relieve those moments again as he introduces the iPhone.

Apple celebrates CNY

In time for the Chinese New Year, Apple gathered five young Chinese artists to “reinvent classic motifs to deliver new year blessings with a contemporary twist”. Using Apple products like the iPad Pro, MacBook Pro and the iMac together with creative apps, the result of this collaboration is five artworks that incorporate both traditional symbols with contemporary references.

Quirky, yet full of Chinese symbolisms, these colourful artworks can be downloaded as wallpaper for your Macs or iOS devices here.

Apple has also brought these artists to various Apple Stores across Hong Kong and China in the coming weeks for them to share their stories behind the collaboration.

Starting on 10 Jan’17 where you can meet the illustrator behind the Lucky RoosterVicto Ngai in Apple Canton Road, Hong Kong.

There are four more sessions scheduled for the other artists:

  • 14 Jan will be Ye Hongxing at Apple Wangfujing,Beijing, China
  • 18 Jan will be Zhou Fan at Apple Parc Central,Guangdong, China
  • 20 Jan will be Jiang Shan at Apple Pudong,Shanghai China
  • 22 Jan will be Eszter Chen, location to be determined.

You can find out more at the China Made in CNY page.

Remember how you share earphones?

Casey Liss created a Magic Moment with his new AirPods.

With about a minute to go, I opened up my AirPods, ensured they were connected to my iPhone, woke Erin up, and handed her one. She popped in the left, me the right, and we were able to share New Year’s together. We did so silently, with Declan sleeping between us, none the wiser.

This is the perfect script for the AirPods ad that Apple should make.