Apple Fight On iPhone Access Extends To Other Cases

Apple Fight On iPhone Access Extends To Other Cases

Apple has been locked in a legal and public relations battle with the government in the California case. (AFP Photo)

WASHINGTON:  Apple is battling the US government over accessing locked devices in at least 10 cases around the country, in addition to the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers, court documents show.

The existence of other court disputes lends credence to Apple’s argument that the high-profile legal case in California is about more than a single iPhone.

Apple provided a list of cases where it is opposing the US Justice Department’s requests in a February 17 letter to a federal judge in Brooklyn, where the company is challenging government efforts to access an iPhone in a drug trafficking case.

The letter said all the requests sought Apple’s assistance under the All Writs Act, a 1789 law which allows the courts broad authority to help law enforcement.

“Apple has not agreed to perform any services on the devices to which those requests are directed,” Apple’s lawyer Marc Zwillinger said in the letter.

The letter said the cases were “similar in nature” but did not provide specifics about the government’s requests.

It said the San Bernardino case was “even more burdensome” than the other requests because it would require the company to create new software to help investigators break into the iPhone.

Apple has been locked in a legal and public relations battle with the government in the California case, where the FBI is seeking technical assistance in hacking the iPhone of Syed Farook, a US citizen, who with his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik in December gunned down 14 people.

US officials argue the case would not set a legal precedent, but Apple and its supporters claim it could force the company to do the same in other cases and lead to a weakening of security.

In the Brooklyn case, prosecutors responded to the Apple letter with their own filing, claiming that the company’s position has been “inconsistent at best.”

The letter from US Attorney Robert Capers said that “numerous judges around the nation have found it appropriate, under the All Writs Act, to require Apple to assist in accessing a passcode-locked Apple device where law enforcement agents have obtained a warrant to search that device.”

Apple’s letter to the Brooklyn judge cited eight additional cases in New York, California, Illinois and Massachusetts where the government was seeking assistance in accessing iPhones or iPads.

[“source-ndtv”]

RIP Free Basics, No More Refunds on Amazon, and Other Headlines This Week

RIP Free Basics, No More Refunds on Amazon, and Other Headlines This Week

This week in tech, we’ve seen some major developments on Net Neutrality in India, and also some impressive scientific developments. There were also some big game releases, so there’s a lot to track. Worried you missed out on any news this week? Here are the highlights that we’ve picked this week.

Apple, no stranger to legal tussles, might be back in court again thanks to iPhone Error 53. Google meanwhile is having a good year, and gave CEO Sundar Pichai a record setting stock grant of $199 million, making him the highest paid CEO of a publicly traded company in the US this year.

In India, there’s some interesting news about phones this week – Reliance Retail’s fourth Lyf-branded smartphone, the Flame 1, launched at Rs. 6,490. The phone supports 4G LTE, and will work on Reliance Jio’s network, as well as any other 1800MHz network. The Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Flame 1 offers dual-SIM support. The handset is powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) processor clubbed with 1GB of RAM. It packs 8GB of inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB). Reliance isn’t the only player with 4G news this week though – Vodafone rolled out its service in Bengaluru this week.

vodafone_4g_delhi_reuters.jpgHTC has slashed the price of the HTC Desire 728 Dual SIM by Rs. 1,000 – the phone was launched just last month, at Rs. 17,990, and is now available at Rs. 16,990. Speaking of shopping online though, you’re not going to be able to get refunds on phones from Amazon anymore. “All mobile phones that are fulfilled by Amazon, purchased on or after 7th February 2016, will have a replacement only policy. Mobile phone items that are fulfilled by Amazon will no longer be eligible for refunds,” a statement posted on Amazon India’s returns policy page states.

There were some big developments in gaming, as one of the biggest piracy groups in the world announced it won’t crack single-player PC games anymore. This would have given game companies something to feel happy about, except that the group quickly took an about face on the subject. Thegroup’s chief announced they were close to breaking the copy protection on games like FIFA 16. This was apparently because people thought the group was quitting because of the technical challenges in the new copy protection, so it wants to prove that isn’t the case.

At the same time, piracy for shows and movies might get even easier, as you can now stream movies, TV shows on the Pirate Bay so all you need is your browser – no torrents software is needed, thanks to a plugin called Torrents Time. It may not be a very good idea though if you are worried about your privacy and security.

thepiratebay_logo_wiki_1.jpgMeanwhile, at the start of the week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) laid downregulations on discriminatory pricing that are strongly in favour of net neutrality. These new regulations also don’t allow for Facebook’s Free Basics which is why the social network shut down the project in India.

Not everyone was happy with the decision, which drew a lot of criticism from several Silicon Valley luminaires, especially Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, who said an anti-colonial mindset was hurting India. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had earlier said he was disappointed by the Trai verdict, he condemned Andreessen’s outburst, saying he found the comments deeply upsetting.

Facebook isn’t the only social network in the spotlight this week though. Twitter has drawn ire for its changes to the timeline, and the company rolled out the new Facebook-like algorithmic timeline. The good news – if you don’t like this feature – is that you can opt out of seeing the updates. CEO Jack Dorsey, under pressure to improve Twitter’s financial prospects, also said he is planning to make Twitter less confusing.

square_dorsey_ap.jpgQualcomm unveiled new Snapdragon SoCs for mobiles, which will probably make their way into phones soon. A fuel-cell maker also talked about new battery technology that could give smartphones a seven day battery life.

On Friday, Albert Einstein’s century-old theory about gravitational waves was confirmed and it’s a major development that may inaugurate a new era of astronomy in which gravitational waves are tools for studying the most mysterious and exotic objects in the universe. That being said, it’s also a pretty complicated subject. If you’re wondering what are gravitational waves, and why should you care, the previous link should have you covered.

These were the big highlights of this week according to us. Did we miss something? Tell us via the comments.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

MWC 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and Other Things You Can Expect

MWC 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and Other Things You Can ExpectThe annual Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona is both a launch pad and a proving ground for tech companies, many of which will launch their most important products of the year within hours of each other and compete for the world’s attention.

Over the course of the week, we’ll see a slew of smartphones, wearables, tablets, appliances, accessories, apps, and other announcements from companies both big and small. Some secrets have spilled, and some have been given away to build hype. Here’s a quick look at what we know, what we’re guessing, and what we’re hoping to see at MWC 2016.

Samsung
It’s all but officially confirmed that Samsung will be releasing its next flagship Galaxy S model right on schedule, and it now looks like there will definitely be a Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but not a Galaxy S7 Edge+ just yet. The phones will be made of metal just like their predecessors, but will apparently make up for past compromises by supporting microSD cards and being resistant to water and dust. Battery capacity has apparently received a healthy bump.

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According to leaks, the phones will be sold with Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 820 SoC in some regions, and with Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 in others. We expect 4GB of RAM and at least 32GB of storage. There are even reports of a free VR headset being offered with each unit. Apart from those phones, the company is expected to use its launch event to show off new smartwatches, tablets, andperhaps some new VR products for 2016. Samsung’s big launch event is scheduled for Sunday and we will be there to give you live coverage.

LG
LG has kept its flagship phones out of the MWC spotlight, but is now shaking up its usual mid-year refresh schedule. The LG G5 has been confirmed for an early debut, and one of the features the company has confirmed so far is an always-on display that will show notifications without taking too much of a toll on battery life. There might also be a G5 Lite, if the latest rumours prove to be true.

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It looks like we’ll see the launch of a mid-range phone called K8, which will join the K7 and K10 which were launched at CES. We can also expect to see the newly announced X series, which looks like it will include multiple models, each with one of the flagship G-series’ features. The LG X Cam will feature twin cameras, while the X Screen will have a low-power secondary display for notifications.

We also hope to see new watches, given last year’s emphasis on the Watch Urbane series. Maybe LG will keep experimenting with new platforms and designs – its competitors have certainly done so over the past year. LG kicks of MWC-related launches with its event on Monday.

Sony
Sony could keep up its six-monthly refresh schedule with a fresh Xperia Z lineup, but if so, the company is doing a good job at keeping them under wraps. It’s more likely that we’ll see new mid-range phones and wearables, replacing older models and fleshing out Sony’s product lines.

Huawei
Huawei was one of the few companies to do anything around flagship smartphones at CES, so it isn’t entirely sure what it will pull out of its hat now. Following the Mate 8, we might see the debut of the more mainstream Huawei P9 and a few mass-market models including ones under its Honor label.

Xiaomi
Xiaomi has confirmed that it will preview the Mi 5, but launch details aren’t certain. It looks like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 will power Xiaomi’s latest high-end push, so it will be interesting to see what price point the Chinese behemoth will hit, and when it will launch the Mi 5 in India. We wouldn’t mind refreshes to the rest of the lineup as well. While the official Mi 5 launch event is in China, a media preview is scheduled in Barcelona on February 24, so be sure we will share everything we find out.

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Microsoft
With the Lumia 650 launched just this week, Microsoft might not have any new phones to show off. That said, there’s still bound to be a lot of curiosity around the Lumia 650 and its siblings, the Lumia 550, Lumia 950, and Lumia 950XL. Microsoft should also be showing off its nifty Continuum feature, and its ever-growing portfolio of apps for Android and iOS. Hopefully, there will be third-party Windows Phone devices. Beyond phones, the Surface 4 Pro and Surface Book will most likely make an appearance, plus of course a slew of Windows 10 devices in all shapes and sizes from partner companies.

Nokia
The former tech superpower managed to steal quite a bit of attention last year with its gorgeous N1 tablet, but we haven’t heard anything further post-show, and the launch we were hoping for never happened. There’s a little part of us that is really hoping Nokia will be even bolder and disclose plans to enter the Android market in a serious way.

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Lenovo
Lenovo might try to establish the positioning of the Moto lineup relative to its own Vibe and other models, but we only have indications of one major new launch, which is promised to be a ‘gorgeous’ new phone with stereo speakers. Stay tuned for more teasers as the launch date draws nearer.

Beyond the hype
Of course one of the best parts about an industry trade show is discovering new companies and being surprised by the unexpected. We can look forward to loads of startups in the IoT and wearables spaces. Health and fitness will be a huge deal, as will automotive entertainment and safety. Companies that have not typically dabbled in tech will show up in droves, touting tie-ups or experiments of their own. On the infrastructure side, buzz around 5G and new Wi-Fi and LTE standards will certainly be strong. Mobile payments might not be relevant to India right now, but several players will be pushing for their standards to become dominant.

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Noteworthy absences
HTC has launched new flagships at the past few MWCs, but there hasn’t been much noise from the company of late. It isn’t certain whether we’ll see an HTC One M10, but mid-range phones should be on display. The company is more likely to emphasise its second-generation Vive VR headset, and might dip its toes into the wearables and IoT markets. Asus was expected to have its next generation ready as well, but it looks as though the company will be keeping things low-key.

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Apple never participates at industry trade shows, but it seems very likely that it will host its own event in March to launch a new 4-inch iPhone, iPad Air, and updated Apple Watch. BlackBerry has confirmed that it will be skipping the show as well, so we won’t have any insight into its roadmap beyond the Privjust yet. Last year’s star Jolla, which launched its tablet last year, is unlikely to have anything to show off given its recent troubles.

What are you looking forward to the most from MWC 2016? Let us know in the comments below.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

The Daily Fix: Dissent and freedom in India and nine other great weekend reads

The Daily Fix: Dissent and freedom in India and nine other great weekend reads
Photo Credit: IANS
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The Latest: Top stories of the day
1. The Delhi Police want the National Investigation Agency and the Special Cell to probelinks between Jawaharlal Nehru University and the terrorist, Afzal Guru.
2. The Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will contest the Tamil Nadu polls together.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi opens the Make in India Centre in Mumbai.
4. India is “too tolerant” of intolerance, says economist Amartya Sen.

Weekend reads
1. In the Hindu, Gopalkrishna Gandhi explains how the decision to impose President’s rule usually emanates from Delhi.
2. In the Telegraph, Ruchir Joshi on everyday racism in India.
3. In the Indian Express, read Amartya Sen’s lecture on dissent and freedom in India.
4. In Mint on Sunday, Sowmiya Ashok explores the lives of two men who had escapedbonded labour.
5. In Mint Lounge, Somak Ghosal on what literature tells us about love and aging.
6. In the Guardian, Jason Burke on how it’s time for the West to update its image of Inda.
7. Also in the Guardian, Robert McCrum imagines a sequel to War and Peace.
8. In the New Yorker, Nicola Twilley gives you the inside story of how scientists finally found gravitational waves.
9. In the Independent, Alexander Lenz on why you should care about the discovery of gravitational waves.
10. In the Washington Post, Yoav Fromer on why Democrats shouldn’t fear Bernie Sanders’s talk of a revolution.

[“source-Scroll”]