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Hackers use Congressman’s iPhone to demo ability to listen into calls, monitor texts, track location [Updated]

CBS correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, left, with hacker Karsten Nohl

CBS correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, left, with hacker Karsten Nohl

Update: Rep. Ted Lieu has now written to the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requesting a formal investigation into the vulnerability. In his letter, the Congressman says that the flaw threatens ‘personal privacy, economic competitiveness and U.S. national security.’ The full text of his letter can be found at the bottom of the piece.

Apple may take iOS security so seriously that it’s willing to do battle with the FBI over it, but German hackers have demonstrated that all phones – even iPhones – are susceptible to a mobile network vulnerability that requires nothing more than knowing your phone number. Armed with just that, hackers can listen to your calls, read your texts and track your position.

60 Minutes invited the hackers to prove their claims by giving a brand new iPhone to Congressman Ted Lieu – who agreed to participate in the test – and telling the hackers nothing more than the phone number. The hackers later replayed recordings they’d made of calls made on that iPhone …



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Did Apple leak a new MacBook on 60 Minutes? Probably not

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Apple was careful in highlighting its attention to detail to secrecy in its 60 Minutes segment, but the Apple web forums are currently ablaze with speculation about a potential leak in one of the clips. Behind Bruce Sewell, Apple SVP and General Counsel, is what appears to be a new kind of MacBook. From the image, it looks to be larger than a 12-inch Retina MacBook and with a different screen aspect ratio. This has fueled speculation that this is a pre-release glimpse at an upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro.

It certainly is a compelling theory. The MacBook name is not visible, the edges of the MacBook do not seem as curved as the shipping MacBook or MacBook Pro, and the aspect ratio itself seems different. However, it is hard to believe that Apple would make such a fundamental mistake as to leave secret products in the open for TV cameras to spot them. The idea of Apple intentionally leaking a new laptop also seems farfetched to me, although the whole point of the 60 Minutes spotlight is to hype Apple …



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60 Minutes goes inside Apple’s weekly exec meeting, design studio, spaceship campus, & more

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Update: We’ve updated the 60 Minutes Apple episode via Vimeo at the bottom

As expected, this weekend’s episode of 60 Minutes on CBS was chockfull of Apple news and anecdotes. Retail chief Angela Ahrendts, design head Jony Ive, CEO Tim Cook, and many more all joined host Charlie Rose to discuss a wide range of topics, including encryption, terrorism, design, retail, and much more…



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Caption contest: What is Jony Ive explaining to Charlie Rose?

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When CBS shared a photo of Charlie Rose touring Apple’s secretive design studio to promote an upcoming 60 Minutes piece, we got to wondering what it was Jony Ive was explaining to Rose.

How thick the iPhone 7 will be now that Apple has decided to include all the various features people have asked for? What the first prototype of the battery hump looked like? How much thicker his wallet got after his promotion?

[tweet https://twitter.com/llsethj/status/677682671716319233 align=’center’]

Post your entries in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook, and the best one will win an Aukey Bluetooth Speaker and a 20,000mAh USB battery pack. Keep it clean, please …

We’ll update the post with the winner on Sunday before the show airs. Good luck!

Charlie Rose to tour Jony Ive’s ‘secret design studio’ and new Store design for CBS on Sunday

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Jony Ive will give a rare look into Apple’s secret design studio in Cupertino this coming Sunday, December 20th. Ive will lead Charlie Rose through the secret design study for his popular show 60 Minutes on CBS. In addition to a tour of the design lab, Rose will also get a “first look at Apple’s store of the future” from retail chief Angela Ahrendts.



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Pandora for iPhone redesigned, adds mini-player and notifications

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The Pandora iPhone and iPod touch app today received a thorough redesign that is slightly more starker and in line with the iOS 7/iOS 8 design style. The update formats the app for iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus’s higher-resolution display and adds various new mini-player and notifications features:

• With the new Personalization Icon, the Thumb History for your favorite stations is at your fingertips.
• Accidentally thumbed a song up or down – now you can un-thumb simply by re-tapping the Thumb Icon.
• We’ve included a new Mini-Player so you can control your music while you browse your track history.
• Stay in the loop when new music is added to your favorite stations and much more with our redesigned Notification & Activity Feed.

Pandora is free on iTunes.



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Bill Gates talks emotionally about his last visit with Steve Jobs [Video]

We’ve heard Bill Gates talk about his last, emotional meeting with Steve Jobs before. First in the Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs bio and then again in a video interview with ABC, but last night Gates once again discussed the final meeting in an interview with 60 Minutes (above). Gates talks about Steve’s sense of design despite very limited engineering background, his “intuitive sense for marketing that was amazing,” and his emotional last meeting where the two discussed a number of topics including products, family, and the yacht Steve was having a built at the time.

“He showed me the boat he was working on and talked about how he’s looking forward to being on it,” Gates told 60 Minutes, “even though we both knew there was a good chance that wouldn’t happen.”

Jobs told biographer that he cracked the code to building an HDTV

The Washington Post details an interesting revelation from Steve Jobs to biographer Walter Isaacson prior to his death earlier this month.

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

That is particularly interesting when you consider that Apple has been rumored to be entering the TV business since the beginning of time. There has also been speculation that Apple’s Siri Voice control could play a big part in Apple’s HDTV venture.

Jobs’ passage could also relate to the current Apple TV model which Apple just makes the pass-through box, instead of Apple actually manufacturing the LCD TVs themselves. Obviously with iCloud only being released this month, there could be some Apple TV updates coming shortly.

Meanwhile, CBS posted another clip from the 60 Minutes interview with Isaacson in which Jobs himself reveals on tape the circumstances around meeting his biological father, below:



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60 Minutes preview with Walter Isaacson touches on cancer treatment

The blurb from CBS seems to eerily echo a Quora post by a Harvard Cancer Doctor Ramzi Anri that basically said that his cancer was mild and treatable but spread while he was trying to treat it holistically.

While Mr. Jobs was trying all sorts of alternative [medicine] his tumor grew, and grew, and grew…

… and then it somehow grew beyond control.

  • Jobs waited so long before seeking normal treatment that he had to undergo a Whipple procedure, losing his pancreas and whole duodenum in 2004. This was the first alarming sign that his disease had progressed beyond a compact primary to at least a tumor so large his Pancreas and duodenum could not be saved.
  • Jobs seemingly waited long enough for the disease revealed to have spread extensively to his liver. The only reason he’d have a transplant after a GEP-NET would be that the tumor invaded all major parts of the liver, which takes a considerable amount of time. Years, in most neuroendocrine tumors. It could be that this happened before his diagnosis, but the risk grows exponentially with time.
  • We then saw the tumor slowly draining the life out him. It was a horrible thing to see him lose weight and slowly turn into a skin and bones form of himself.

Yet it seems that even during this recurrent phase, Mr. Jobs opted to dedicate his time to Apple as the disease progressed, instead of opting for chemotherapy or any other conventional treatment.

Isaacson also seems to imply that it spread during that time and obviously in hindsight, Jobs was regretful for not choosing to operate on it sooner. Isaacson said,

“I’ve asked [Jobs why he didn’t get an operation then] and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened…I didn’t want to be violated in that way,'” Isaacson recalls. So he waited nine months, while his wife and others urged him to do it, before getting the operation, reveals Isaacson. Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, “I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…we talked about this a lot,” he tells Kroft. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it….I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”

As Ryan Tate said,

In the end, may prove the most compelling reason to forgive the brilliant CEO his many faults: Of all the people who suffered on the dark side of his headstrong, iconoclastic decisionmaking, it was Jobs himself who appears to have paid the biggest price.

Jobs also told Isaacson:

Jobs had actually met the man who turned out to be his biological father before he knew who he was. He also talks about the discussion he had with Jobs about death and the afterlife, explaining that for Jobs, the odds of there being a God were 50-50, but that he thought about the existence of God much more once he was diagnosed with cancer. Another aspect of Jobs’ character revealed was his disdain for conspicuous consumption. He tells Isaacson in a taped conversation how he saw Apple staffers turn into “bizarro people” by the riches the Apple stock offering created. Isaacson says Jobs vowed never to let his wealth change him.

The full interview will air on Sunday.