Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Kid-Focused Apps Track Location, UK Spying, and More Security News This Week

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Kid-Focused Apps Track Location, UK Spying, and More Security News This Week

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Emily Waite

Tesla is in the news again this week, but this time it has nothing to do with fires or Twitter or Elon Musk smoking weed. Instead, it’s because hackers figured out how to steal a Tesla Model S by cloning its key fob. WIRED’s resident car-hacking reporter Andy Greenberg broke that news, and explains why the attack might also work on cars from McLaren and Karma.

Lily Hay Newman has the behind-the-scenes story on how hackers got past British Airways defenses in August, plus an alarming report about how a decade-old technique can break the encryption of just about any computer. Yikes.

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Preorder the iPhone XS or Shop 15 of the Weekend’s Best Tech Deals

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Preorder the iPhone XS or Shop 15 of the Weekend’s Best Tech Deals

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Apple

What a week! Maybe you, like us, are clinging to your wallet with all your strength, trying to save up 100,000 pennies (or a few less) for one of the new iPhones announced this week. If so, we have some tips on how to preorder everything. If your trusty phone still has life left in it, don’t feel left out! We’ve worked with our friends at TechBargains to bring you 14 of the best tech deals that we’ve seen around the web.

Preorder the Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired 5 STEM Toys to Entertain and Enlighten Your Kids

Hexbyte Tech News Wired 5 STEM Toys to Entertain and Enlighten Your Kids

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired How Los Angeles Is Helping Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Hexbyte Tech News Wired How Los Angeles Is Helping Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Getty Images

Los Angeles doesn’t have a great environmental reputation. It’s the car capital of the United States. It’s famous for its curtains of smog, and for stealing a bunch of water once.

But the city is in the midst of a metamorphosis. With fewer, yet stronger storms on the horizon, it’s begun an ambitious plan to cut its reliance on imported water in half by 2025. And it’s emerging as a leader in the frantic international quest to curb emissions—in 2016 alone, it slashed emissions by 11 percent, the equivalent of taking more than 700,000 cars off the road.

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Self-Driving Car Developers Should Put Pedestrians First

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Self-Driving Car Developers Should Put Pedestrians First

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Natalie Behring/Reuters

Since March, when an autonomous vehicle killed a pedestrian in Arizona, forecasts for AVs have been decidedly less optimistic. But autonomous vehicle promoters are undeterred. AI entrepreneur Andrew Ng contends that self-driving cars will be safe for pedestrians when walkers and cyclists conform to their limitations. “What we tell people is, ‘Please be lawful and please be considerate,’” he told Bloomberg.

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired How Fitbit Started the Wearables Craze That Got Us All Moving

Hexbyte Tech News Wired How Fitbit Started the Wearables Craze That Got Us All Moving

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

10,000 steps has become the standard metric by which we measure daily activity. But it was initially chosen because it sounded neat when you said it in Japanese.

Ben Wiseman

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

10,000 steps has become the standard metric by which we measure daily activity. But it was initially chosen because it sounded neat when you said it in Japanese.

Ben Wiseman

As Japan entered the 1960s, everything seemed to be in motion. Construction swept through Tokyo as the city prepared to host its first Olympic Games. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the original bullet train, sped along the southern coast of Honshu. More cars filled the roads. The only thing not moving, it seemed, were people’s legs.

Prosperity fostered convenience, which encouraged inactivity—or so a doctor reportedly told the founder of Yamasa Tokei Keiki. In response, the company released the world’s first commercial pedometer, the manpo-kei. Kei means “meter,” and manpo, “10,000 steps.”

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Space Photos of the Week: Florence, From Way Way Up Above

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Space Photos of the Week: Florence, From Way Way Up Above

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

We’re bopping all over the great beyond this week, starting from the International Space Station, where astronauts imaged Hurricane Florence from 254 miles above Earth. Gliding over to the next planet, let us visit a unique set of dunes on Mars. The Hubble Space Telescope, for its part, goes for a wide shot of Saturn and its moons. The ringed planet sports its own massive storm, but unlike Florence, Saturn’s hexagon-shaped storm continues to be a scientific mystery. Both of these tempests do share something in common: Each looms above its respective atmosphere and is incredibly photogenic.

Once we leave Saturn, we check out a bizarre galaxy called AM 0644-741. Huge amounts of x-rays emanate from AM 0644-741, and scientists think they are caused by either several black holes or neutron stars—both are known for glowing strongly in the x-ray spectrum. After we magically survive this experience, we’ll have time for one more galaxy, NGC 4036. This lenticular galaxy is 70 million light years away and has captured the interest of astronomers because of the glowing haze of gas that surrounds it.

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Hexbyte  Hacker News  Computers No, Apple didn’t delete that guy’s movies. Here’s what really happened

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers No, Apple didn’t delete that guy’s movies. Here’s what really happened

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers

Hexbyte  Hacker News  Computers Apple TV 4K

Sarah Tew/CNET

Perhaps you’ve heard a story that goes like this: 

“Apple’s ‘buy’ button is a sham, because Apple has the right to remove movies from your iTunes library after you’ve bought them. If Disney decides it no longer wants to offer a particular movie in your country, your ‘purchase’ is no better than an extended rental. Only Blu-rays and DVDs are safe.”

Here’s the thing: Some of that may be true. But the story about disappearing digital copies isn’t. Or, at the very least, it’s a lot more complicated than that. 

Though his tweets went viral, and though he did chat with Apple Support, the company didn’t delete or actively “remove” the movies that disappeared from Dr. Anders Gonçalves da Silva’s iTunes library and his devices. It seems to have been a more complicated mix-up, based on the fact that da Silva moved his residence from one country to another. 

Most importantly: Apple tells CNET that it won’t delete your movies, either. At least, not ones you’ve downloaded.

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers The tweet that started it all

It’s not too surprising that the original tweetstorm caught fire:

Me: Hey Apple, three movies I bought disappeared from my iTunes library.

Apple: Oh yes, those are not available anymore. Thank you for buying them. Here are two movie rentals on us!

Me: Wait… WHAT?? @tim_cook when did this become acceptable? pic.twitter.com/dHJ0wMSQH9

— Anders G da Silva (@drandersgs) September 10, 2018

It’s tough not to be outraged by a seemingly tone-deaf letter like the one above. “A customer bought these movies, they’re gone, and he’s only getting a couple rentals in return?”

Indeed, dig deeper into Apple’s Terms of Service, and you’ll see that it quietly warns that you may not be able to re-download content if it’s “no longer offered on our Services.” It’s not hard to see why headlines like “Apple can delete the movies you purchased without telling you” started spreading around the web. 

But take a closer look at da Silva’s tweet, and there’s something interesting going on. Apple Support thinks he’s in Canada, while da Silva’s Twitter profile and LinkedIn show he’s from Australia. That’s a rather large geographical difference.

When we reached out to da Silva, he clarified the disparity: He moved to Canada, roughly nine months ago, after purchasing the films in Australia. Not only is that two separate countries, it’s two separate iTunes Store regions. Perhaps Canada doesn’t offer those films anymore, and that left him unable to access them in his new location?

Hexbyte  Hacker News  Computers apple-redownloads-policy

“Content may not be available for Redownload if that Content is no longer offered on our Services.”


Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

The thing is, those three titles — Cars, Cars 2 and The Grand Budapest Hotel, according to da Silva — are still available to purchase in both Australia and Canada, CNET confirmed. He could buy new “Canada” copies right now. So why are his “Australia” copies gone?

And it doesn’t seem to be a matter of Australian purchases not working in Canada, either. “I have other purchases made while in Australia, and using the same Australian iTunes account, that are working perfectly fine,” da Silva told CNET. 

Generally, you can take iTunes purchases with you when you travel, though Apple’s fine print does include a caveat in case they disappear:

The word “might” might be important here.


Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

But there’s another possibility: Perhaps da Silva still has access to the Australian versions of these movies, but not the Canadian ones?

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers Apple’s statement

That’s certainly what Apple seemed to be hinting when we asked the company about it this weekend. Apple said:

“Any movies you’ve already downloaded can be enjoyed at any time and will not be deleted unless you’ve chosen to do so. If you change your country setting, some movies may not be available to re-download from the movie store if the version you purchased isn’t also available in the new country. If needed, you can change your country setting back to your prior country to re-download those movies.”

Sure, Apple’s statement doesn’t say exactly what happened to da Silva’s movies, or admit that Apple Support may have made a mistake when parsing the original response. But it clearly states that the company doesn’t delete movies without your permission — and that you should even be able to re-download movies from your “prior country” if they’re not available in the new one. 

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers Two possible culprits

More likely, the phrase “if the version you purchased isn’t also available” speaks volumes about what actually happened here. Few films have a single version sold throughout the world. For a variety of reasons, a movie may get trimmed in one country to get a more approachable rating (say, PG-13 in the US), or to cut politically or culturally sensitive content. And that’s not even counting directors’ cuts, in which multiple versions of the same film may be sold in the same region. 

The other issue is that “region hopping,” a common tactic among film lovers worldwide to get earlier or different versions of movies, is becoming harder and harder. So, even when someone has legitimately moved from one region to another, as Dr. da Silva has, he may be penalized by the digital walls that sellers like Apple, Amazon are continuing to raise to close cross-region loopholes. (Amazon, Vudu and any other retailers of digital content have the same sort of contracts with the studios that Apple does.)    

Indeed, those movies may still be stored in da Silva’s Australian account — but he can’t easily switch back to the Australian region to download them again. 

When we asked him to try, he sent us this photo:

Hexbyte  Hacker News  Computers unnamed-1

Anders G. da Silva

Apple generally requires customers to have a local credit card or PayPal account on file, which generally means he’d need a local billing address too. Since he now lives in Canada, not Australia, that’s a little difficult — though da Silva says Apple Support is promising to send him a workaround.

But even the workaround isn’t particularly user-friendly. To get back into the Australian store, da Silva will have to forfeit his Canadian store subscriptions and store credits, he says. (Apple’s support page suggests the same.) And if he wants to go back to the Canadian store, he’ll need to download them to a Mac or iOS device, and use them as a local server, in order to stream them to his Apple TV.

Hexbyte Hacker News Computers What we still don’t know

The reason da Silva’s missing movies got so much attention: they seemingly revealed Apple wouldn’t stand by its customers if the studios tried to pull their films. We now know it’s premature to say anything like that.

To be clear, the ability to buy or rent movies on services like iTunes and Amazon already fluctuates according to studio “windowing” calendars. But even if a movie you could buy on iTunes becomes unavailable to purchase for a few weeks — or months — it remains accessible in the cloud to those customers who bought it when it was being sold. 

At least, that’s how it’s worked so far. We can’t be sure what will will happen if Disney — or any other content provider — “recalls” a digital purchase, as a publisher did with an ebook of George Orwell’s 1984 on Amazon back in 2009. It sounds like your “already downloaded” movies are safe, but what about cloud-based movies you’ve only ever streamed? Apple doesn’t say.

We may have to cross that bridge when we come to it. As for da Silva, he now admits that his situation was a bit of an edge case: 

“I fell into a licensing crack, it seems.”