Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own
- If you plan to use one of Amazon Web Services’ new bare-metal Mac instances in its cloud for more than 77 days a year, you may be better off just buying the Mac Mini instead.
- The Register makes that suggestion after AWS revealed the price for its Mac instances: $1.083 an hour, $25.99 a day, or about $9,490 a year.
- Do the math: $1999/$25.99 = 76.91 – so you’ll be better off buying that Mac Mini if you need one more than 77 days a year.
- AWS will sell the Mac instances for less on its EC2 Savings Plans, and when The Register fiddled with that facility, it seemed to suggest we could pay vastly less than the per-hour plan though didn’t offer a firm price.
- Meanwhile, Mac-hosting outfit MacStadium offers what looks to be the same Mac Mini as a bare-metal system for $139 a month.
The biggest tech stories this morning.
- So Samsung might give the Galaxy Note series a break in 2021, according to a Reuters report, but the stylus (Samsung calls it an S-Pen, of course), compatible with Galaxy S devices, may well live on.
- Samsung’s second flagship series — a giant device with an almost-retro style input pen that slotted into the phone — was ridiculed when it first appeared.
- The bigger screens even influenced Apple, and we soon saw the company launch iPhone ‘plus’ models to compete at that size.
- In true Spotify fashion, there are some key changes to the tool this year, with the biggest being that the personalized version of Wrapped is now mobile only, available inside the company’s apps on Android and iOS.Continue reading.
- Like the iPhone 12 series also announced then, while the device comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable, it doesn’t ship with a USB-C power adapter.
Apple’s $129 MagSafe Duo charger is now available
- Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger is now on sale online, after initially having been announced without a release date as part of this year’s iPhone launch.
- The $129 folding accessory includes a magnetic wireless charging puck for the iPhone 12 as well as an Apple Watch charger.
- It’s pretty expensive for what you get, especially when you consider that it doesn’t include a charging brick.
- You’ll need to use at least a 20W USB-C adapter, like Apple’s own $19 option, in order to get the faster charging speeds — and even then it won’t be as fast as the regular 15W MagSafe charger.
- That said, I can see the appeal as someone who would rather not carry two separate power bricks and cables to charge my watch and phone when traveling.
- If so, right now Apple says the MagSafe Duo will ship within one business day.
Apple releases its 'Best of 2020' App Store winners and most downloaded apps of the year
- The “Best of 2020” winners this year include a number of apps that helped people transition to a life spent at home.
- The streaming service had just won “best app” in Google Play’s User Choice category, announced on Tuesday alongside its other Play Store winners.
- And this year, they reflected people’s focus on self-care and mental health, remote work and learning, staying connected with family and friends, interactive and social gaming, and more.
- Apple selected a handful of apps to reflect these “app trends,” including self-care app Shine, remote learning app Explain Everything Whiteboard, family messaging app Caribu, charitable giving app SharetheMeal and the revamped Pokémon GO, which shifted to support indoor gaming.
- Not surprisingly, these lists included remote work must-haves like Zoom and Gmail; a number of escapist games and, not coincidentally, pandemic simulator Plague, Inc.; the viral hit Among Us!
iPhone zero-click Wi-Fi exploit is one of the most breathtaking hacks ever
- Earlier this year, Apple patched one of the most breathtaking iPhone vulnerabilities ever: a memory corruption bug in the iOS kernel that gave attackers remote access to the entire device—over Wi-Fi, with no user interaction required at all.
- Beer’s attack worked by exploiting a buffer overflow bug in a driver for AWDL, an Apple-proprietary mesh networking protocol that makes things like Airdrop work.
- Beer said that Apple fixed the vulnerability before the launch of the COVID-19 contact tracing interfaces put into iOS 13.5 in May. The researcher said he has no evidence the vulnerability was ever exploited in the wild, although he noted that at least one exploit seller was aware of the critical bug in May, seven months before today's disclosure.
- The beauty and impressiveness of the hack is that it relies on a single bug to wirelessly access secrets locked away in what’s arguably the world’s most hardened and secure consumer device.
Apple's MagSafe Duo Charger is now available for $129
- You can now purchase Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger from the company’s store for $129.
- A solo MagSafe charger has been available for quite a while — and it only costs $39 — but it doesn’t work with the Apple Watch.
- The Duo does, so you can simultaneously charge your iPhone and your Watch.
- Or any two compatible devices, really, which also includes the Wireless Charging Case for AirPods and other Qi-certified products.
- While the device comes with a USB-C to Lightning Cable, it doesn’t ship with a USB—C power adapter.
- The lack of an adapter does’t really come as a surprise, seeing as the company’s other recent releases like the new Apple Watch and the iPhone 12 don’t ship with one either.
- In addition to the standard and Duo chargers, the MagSafe line also includes cases for the iPhone 12 lineup.
Apple's MagSafe Duo charger is now available
- Back in October Apple announced the MagSafe Duo, a folding travel charger capable of charging both the iPhone and either an Apple Watch or AirPods simultaneously/wirelessly.
- In an unusual move, the company didn’t specify exactly when it’d start shipping — or even when it’d go up for sale.
- Some rumors suggested late December, while others were uncertain it would even make it out before the end of the year.
- When was this thing actually going to be released?
- The MagSafe Duo just appeared on Apple’s own store and, with delivery estimates as soon as this week, it looks like they’re shipping them immediately.
- TechCrunch Editor-In-Chief Matthew Panzarino gave the charger a spin a few weeks ago, calling it “useful, but expensive and underwhelming,” while noting that it feels like something that should cost around $70 rather than $129.
This incredible exploit could have let hackers remotely own iPhones without even touching them
- Today, Google Project Zero security researcher Ian Beer has revealed that, until May, a variety of Apple iPhones and other iOS devices were vulnerable to an incredible exploit that could let attackers remotely reboot and take complete control of their devices from a distance — including reading emails and other messages, downloading photos, and even potentially watching and listening to you through the iPhone’s microphone and camera.
- According to Beer, that’s because today’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches use a protocol called Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) to create mesh networks for features like AirDrop (so you can easily beam photos and files to other iOS devices) and Sidecar (to quickly turn an iPad into a secondary screen).
- Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company does cite Beer in the changelogs for several of its May 2020 security updates that are linked to the vulnerability.
'Code Switch' from NPR is Apple's podcast of the year
- After the Google Play Store and Spotify shared the top content on their respective platforms, Apple has chimed in with a selection of the most popular podcasts, audiobooks and books people in the US downloaded through its online stores.
- The company picked Code Switch as the best audio show of the year.
- While the series has been on the air for the better part of seven years, it became significantly more popular over the summer as people across the US took to protest the death of George Floyd and other instances of racial injustice.
- As in past years, the company also shared a selection of the most popular audio shows people listened to through Apple Podcasts.
- When it comes to shows new to 2020, Unlocking Us, Nice White Parents and CounterClock made the top three for the year.
Italy fines Apple $12 million over iPhone marketing claims
- Italy has again hit Apple with a fine for what the country's regulators deem to be misleading marketing claims, though the fine is only €10 million ($12 million)—a pittance from a company like Apple.
- Further ReadingApple fined $1.2 million for misleading Italian consumers on AppleCareThis time around, Italy's Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) claims that Apple told consumers that many iPhone models are water resistant but that the iPhones are not as resistant as Apple says.
- While Apple lists IP67 or IP68 ratings for its various smartphones, its support documents nonetheless advise users not to submerge their iPhones.
- The regulator interprets Apple's actions as an effort to put its best foot forward in marketing, even as it acknowledges in its customer support channels that the reality is more complicated than a simple rating.