Archive for December 31, 2017

What else You expect from Apple? Apple Slowing iPhones Because of Old Batteries

Apple has publically apologized to its customers for slowing older iPhones in order to keep up with declining battery life. After all this fiasco, the company has said that they would reduce the price of batteries of the affected phones to from $79 to $29.
In their initial apology letter, the firm said that the batteries would be available in late January, but an updated apology says the batteries will be available now. 

The company told The Verge in a statement that “we expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away.” 

“Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.” They will soon update the details on Apple.com.

In a rare public apology on its website on Thursday, Apple clarified that the reason behind slowing down the software  was to protect phones with older batteries from sudden crashdown and customers can now replace their batteries at the reduced price.

Ripple passes Ethereum to become World’s Second-Largest Cryptocurrency

Ripple has overtaken Ethereum as world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. Its XRP token climbed more than 50% on Saturday.

In just 24 hours, Ripple rose to as much as $2.20.

Ripple has had one of the biggest growth amongst digital tokens this year, going from less than a cent ($0.006523) in January, to $2.24 on Saturday, which represents a surge of almost 350 times in value.

This could be because of the increase in interest by speculators, as is the case of most cryptocurrencies, but various experts claim that Ripple is worth looking into.

The advantage of ripple, according to its backers, is that it is not just a cryptocurrency but is also used as a digital protocol that acts as a bridge to other currencies and doesn’t discriminate against peers, whether they are using digital money, fiat currencies, or even mobile minutes.

Unlike bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Ripple follows a centralised system and its owners are known.

Romanian hackers charged for infiltrating 65% of Washington’s outdoor surveillance cameras

 Two Romanian hackers are allegedly charged with infiltrating over two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras in Washington, DC, days before  President Trump’s inauguration, according to the Department of Justice. 

Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru were the two hackers, who infiltrated 65% of the outdoor surveillance cameras as a part of ransom scheme. The attack affected 123 of the  D.C. police department’s 187 outdoor surveillance cameras, as a result, the cameras were not functioning for several days. 

On 15 December, both of them were arrested along with other three Romanian hackers in Romania and will face prosecution in Europe. 

 “This case was of the highest priority due to its impact on the Secret Service’s protective mission and its potential effect on the security plan for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, said in a statement.



According to court filings, prosecutors are planning for the extradition of Isvanca and Cismaru. They both might face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Microsoft Sues IP Address for Windows, Office Piracy

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against an individual IP address that was reportedly attempting to activate a pirated version of Windows and Office. The IP address points to a Comcast office in New Jersey and is accused of trying to activate over 1,000 copies of the software.

It is unclear who the complaint is filed against as the lawsuit mentions “John Does 1-10” and the IP address (73.21.204.220).

The full complaint can be seen below.

“During the software activation process, Defendants contacted Microsoft activation servers in Washington over 2800 times from December 2014 to July 2017, and transmitted detailed information to those servers in order to activate the software,” Microsoft claims in the complaint.

Microsoft is suing for both copyright and trademark infringement and has asked the court to seize all copies of the unlicensed software.

Morgan Stanley considers Bitcoin to be of no value

Cryptocurrencies dominated the financial news space in 2017, with bitcoin rising more 13 times this year, as per Coindesk, even as prices have remained very volatile. The cryptocurrency’s worth continued to fluctuate wildly this week, bouncing back to nearly £12,000 on Wednesday after plummeting to around £8,000 last week.

But a top financial services firm is making the case that, despite soaring stock prices, the popular digital currency Bitcoin may actually be worth nothing at all.

Jamie Dimon, the erstwhile CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, was quoted in an interview in New Delhi saying that ‘cryptocurrencies to me are worth nothing’. Morgan Stanley top analyst James Faucette sent out a paper to his group’s clients, titled 'Bitcoin Decrypted' devaluing the already volatile cryptocurrency. The memo suggested that the true value of Bitcoin was $0.00. Faucette said Bitcoin had 'virtually no acceptance, and shrinking'.
Faucette’s team of analysts argue that not only is Bitcoin hard to equate to real-world money, less online retailers are accepting the cryptocurrency as payment. It operates as a payment network but there are very few places that actually accept it.

According to the report, the number of top 500 eCommerce merchants who accept Bitcoin has dropped from five in 2016 to three in 2017.

Bitcoin can’t be considered a 'real currency' like the U.S. dollar, because the cryptocurrency doesn’t have an interest rate associated with it, i.e. it has no cash flow, Faucette said.

In the report, Faucette opined that Bitcoin's price is largely driven by the supply and demand for the digital currency, the same way in which investor attribute a high value to gold which makes it a worthwhile investment option.

“Unlike buying digital gold, Bitcoin doesn't have any intrinsic use like gold has in electronics or jewellery, but investors appear to be ascribing some value to it."