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Submission + - Lavabit case undermines claims NSA had Heartbleed early

lseltzer writes: If the NSA really did have Heartbleed "for years" as was claimed recently by Bloomberg news, they wouldn't need to go after Lavabit. They wouldn't even want to. A column on ZDNet argues that the way the Lavabit case played out, and other circumstances, strongly indicate that the NSA did not have access to Heartbleed

Submission + - 'Kill switch' may be standard on U.S. phones in 2015 (

mpicpp writes: The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015, according to a pledge backed by most of the mobile world's major players.

Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry's largest trade group.

All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United States after July 2015 must have the technology, according to the program from CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft.

Submission + - Vintage 1960s era film shows IRS defending its use of computers (

coondoggie writes: It’s impossible to imagine the Internal Revenue Service or most other number-crunching agencies or companies working without computers. But when the IRS went to computers — the Automatic Data Processing system --there was an uproar. The agency went so far as to produce a short film on the topic called Right On The Button, to convince the public computers were a good thing.

Submission + - Why Apple Wants Its Software to Be Free

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Sam Grobart writes in Businessweek that Apple has decided to give away long-awaited upgrade to Mac OS X, code-named Mavericks for free as well as two other software suites, iWork and iLife, that are now available for download free of charge while Microsoft charges $120 for the base version of its latest operating system, Windows 8.1, and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. By going free, Apple has acknowledged something that’s been true in the industry for years: Software is a means to sell hardware. Apple’s strategy here is to get you on a device and with the latest version of its software as quickly and painlessly as possible says Grobart. "Does it want to get caught up in the intricacies of a pricing scheme for OS X Mavericks? No, it does not. Better to just remove price as a consideration and make it part of the device you’re using." This runs counter to Microsoft’s DNA as a software company. That strategy worked really well for a while but just as there’s been a shift in interest to well-designed devices (as opposed to the beige boxes that defined the PC era), so has there been an expectation that software be as seamless and costless as possible. "Apple's real message is that if it can get all customers on the latest software — a model that has worked for iOS since two-thirds of users have iOS 7 now — the company gets more customer loyalty," says Larry Dignan. "Apple is betting that the OS sales are a thing of the past. The real money revolves around services like app sales, subscriptions, e-books and iTunes Radio."

Submission + - Apple may no longer support older OS X versions (

lseltzer writes: Has Apple changed their policy on security updates for versions of OS X older than the current one? Apple has released Mavericks and disclosed the 50+ vulnerabilities fixed in it, but they have not released an update for Mountain Lion. Therefore, Mountain Lion users have 50+ unpatched vulnerabilities. The company has no policy on product lifecycle, but they have always released security updates for at least the prior version of OS X. The new approach indicates that they want to make the OS X lifecycle like the iOS one: There is only one current versions and if you want any support you will upgrade to it.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.