Monday, September 26, 2022

Apple will let you roll back the iPhone’s security patches

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/ Don’t do it without a very good reason though

Sep 13, 2022, 12:14 AM UTC|

But doing so obviously leaves your phone unprotected. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Apple will let you remove the security patches installed by iOS 16’s Rapid Security Response system, which can install patches without the need to fully update your iPhone (or even without having to restart it, in some cases). According to a support document spotted by MacRumors, you can remove a Rapid Security Response update by going to Settings> General> About, then tapping on the iOS Version. From there, you’ll be presented with a “Remove Security Update” button.

The document doesn’t give any examples of why you’d need to uninstall one of the patches, leaving your phone open to the vulnerability it protects against. It’s easy to imagine a few special circumstances where the feature could be useful, perhaps if one messes up some special work-related software or management tools, for instance. Otherwise, it’s one of those features that most people should probably never use unless they have a very specific reason and fully understand what they’re doing — kind of like the new extreme Lockdown Mode, which is included to protect users from “highly sophisticated” targeted cyberattacks.

It’s nice to have control, but most people shouldn’t need it

Rapid Security Response is turned on by default, although you can turn off the updates by going to Settings> General> Software Update> Automatic Updates and toggling “Security Responses and System Files.” If you do so, you’ll have to wait for full iOS updates to get the security patches. Again, I’d personally recommend against turning the feature off unless you have an explicit reason to, given how many of Apple’s recent updates have patched out pretty serious vulnerabilities.

The system is also coming to macOS in Ventura, which hasn’t been officially released yet — so far, Apple’s support documents for its desktop OS don’t mention whether you’ll be able to roll back those updates as well.

Logitech might have just confirmed Apple’s next new iPads.

A product page for Logitech’s Crayon stylus, which is compatible with the iPad, lists two unreleased devices: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an 11-inch iPad Pro. It also notes that the devices are “coming soon.”

Apple’s rumored to release those two iPads at an event this October, in addition to an entry-level iPad that the website didn’t mention.

The United Arab Emirates is shooting for the Moon with plans for a lunar rover.

The country just announced that its first lunar rover is ready to go and will launch sometime in November — the exact date is still TBD. The “Rashid” rover will ride to space on a SpaceX rocket and will be carried to the Moon’s surface by a lander from Japanese company ispace, which has been working toward a Moon mission for years.

David Pierce42 minutes ago

Even Slack thinks the green “online” status was a bad idea.

Ali Rayl, the SVP of product at Slack, thinks away messages and status indicators are a good idea. But the green circle that screams “I AM ONLINE!” isn’t the right way to do it:

I never wanted to add the green dot. I think the green dot is very harmful… If your green dot is on and you get a DM and don’t [respond] it’s like, what’s the matter?

Apple Maps turns 10.

The app was released on this day 10 years ago… and immediately became a laughingstock, leading to multiple people getting canned and a public apology from Tim Cook.

Now that Maps is a good enough product to warrant advertising, my big question is: when does Apple release a version for Android or the web? Apple made an alternative to Google Maps — now it needs to make a real competitor.

Welcome to the new VergeRevolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13

Fingerprint-protect your incognito Android browsing sessions.

Got a handy tip via 9to5Google: If you want to keep an incognito Chrome tab hidden on your Android phone, you’ll soon be able to fingerprint-protect it by going to Settings> Privacy and Security> Lock incognito tabs when you leave Chrome. If you don’t see that setting yet, either wait or try chrome://flags/#incognito-reauthentication-for-android. I tried it myself (see below) and it works like a charm.

You can fingerprint-protect incognito tabs.

Your bitcoin chart of the day.

This great chart from Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal shows tech stocks following the price of major cryptocurrencies. Basically, when Bitcoin has a bad week, it takes the whole industry down with it.

Awesome chart from @TheStalwart newsletter today. It’s clear BTC is the leader and Naz the follower.

So if BTC breaks to a lower low and Naz doesn’t that would say something. Otherwise, the trend is your friend.

I added the red lines. pic.twitter.com/G42MjrbC2o

— Helene Meisler (@hmeisler) September 19, 2022

Nvidia all but confirms GeForce 40-series launch.

A 40-hour countdown stream by Nvidia includes Easter eggs like a Discord “User40” profile with an Ada Lovelace photo. Lovelace is Nvidia’s rumored next-gen GPU architecture, and all the hints of 40 all but confirm the GeForce RTX 40-series will launch tomorrow during a special broadcast at GTC. There’s even a Ti or Tie joke thrown in for good measure.

Nvidia drops multiple hints around Lovelace and 40. Image: Nvidia (Twitch)

Puerto Rico goes completely dark, again.

Nearly five years ago, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing thousands and causing the worst blackout in US history. Reuters reports that the island is without power once again after Hurricane Fiona struck early Sunday.

In 2017, US officials told The Verge that the island couldn’t repair its way out of disaster and would need to rebuild. But just days before Fiona hit, the GAO reported that only $1 billion has been spent on long-term rebuilding projects out of a $32 billion fund.

President Biden says “the pandemic is over” — but that’s not just his call.

Even though Biden also said that COVID-19 is still a problem, expect this 60 Minutes soundbite to become the center of a heated political argument about whether the pandemic is really over. As Verge health reporter Nicole Wetsman explained last year, the “end” of the pandemic won’t come from one person declaring it so — even if that person is a world leader.

Fortnite meets Splatoon.

Epic just released the latest season of Fortnite, which adds new locations, weapons, and a character played by Brie Larson. Perhaps the most notable thing, though, is a traversal mechanic where players can swim across the island as a glob of liquid metal. It feels a lot like Splatoon. Coincidentally, Nintendo released Splatoon 3 earlier this month. Now we just need the squid kids in Fortnite.

The new chrome in Fortnite’s latest season. Image: Epic Games

Collapsed crypto co-founder Do Kwon insists he’s “not on the run.”

South Korean authorities issued a warrant for Kwon’s arrest after the fall of his company’s Terra stablecoin wiped out $60 billion in funds. Kwon was initially thought to be somewhere in Singapore, but now local police can’t find him. On Twitter, Kwon maintains that he’s not running from the police and says he’s willing to cooperate.

I am not “on the run” or anything similar – for any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide.

South Korean prosecutors aren’t buying it and said in response that Kwon is “obviously on the run.”

Apple has a Will Smith problem.

The New York Times reporting on the lose-lose situation at Apple over the release of Emancipation, a $120 million Civil War drama starring Will Smith that finished filming about a month before Smith climbed on stage during the Oscars in March and slapped Chris Rock:

“If they shelve the movie, does that tarnish Apple’s reputation? If they release it, does it tarnish their reputation? … Hollywood likes a win-win situation. This one is lose-lose.”

The film is said to have generated an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” in private audience screenings, according to NYT’s sources, with Smith’s performance described as “volcanic.” Some are now pushing for the film’s release before the end of the year to make it eligible for awards consideration.

Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory reached a new milestone.

After opening the Austin-based plant back in April, Tesla announced on Twitter that the location built its 10,000th Model Y electric SUV. We’re still waiting for the “future home of Cybertruck” to actually start building the thing, though, and that isn’t expected to happen until next year.

What happened to CryptoKitties?

CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game known for its NFT cats, took off when it first made its debut in 2017. Things have come crashing down since then, sending the value of most CryptoKitties plunging. Matthew Smith over at IEEE Spectrum has an excellent write-up on how the game’s breeding mechanism and Ethereum gas fees contributed to its demise.

CryptoKitty in the past three months is about 0.04 ether, or $40 to $50, which is often less than the gas required to complete the transaction. Even those who want to casually own and breed inexpensive CryptoKitties for fun can’t do it without spending hundreds of dollars.

Developers are already spicing up the iPhone 14’s Dynamic Island in ways I didn’t expect.

One developer, Kriss Smolka created a Pong-style game, called Hit the Island, that challenges you to bounce a ball between your paddle and the Dynamic Island to earn points.

Meanwhile, Christian Selig, the dev behind the Apollo app for Reddit, added the fun option to keep an adorable pixelated pet on the Dynamic Island when using the app. I don’t have an iPhone myself, but I’m looking forward to seeing how other devs put their own spin on the new feature.

The Fifth Circuit really blew up the First Amendment by upholding the Texas social media law.

The law still isn’t in effect, but the court’s opinion sets up a Supreme Court battle over the future of content moderation and the First Amendment. Mike Masnick has a good (if wonky) breakdown up already. It’s… well, it’s one of the dumbest First Amendment opinions in a long time.

The fact that Oldham claims, that “the Platforms are no different than Verizon or AT&T” makes me question how anyone could take anything in this ruling seriously.

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