TLDR Daily Update 2020-05-05
New Macbook 💻, SpaceX's Tom Cruise movie 🚀, Amazon VP calls company 'Chickenshit' 🐔
Big Tech &
Apple announces new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard (2 minute read)
Apple has announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro featuring a Magic Keyboard and optional Intel 10th Gen processors. Starting at $1,299, the base model comes with 256GB of storage and 8GB RAM. It can be upgraded to 32GB of ram and 4TB of storage. The new Macbook Pro is now available to order on Apple's website and will arrive in select stores and retailers later this week.
Amazon VP Resigns, Calls Company ‘Chickenshit’ for Firing Protesting Workers (2 minute read)
Tim Bray, Vice President at Amazon, has quit the company due to its handling of whistleblowers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bray called the company 'chickenshit' for firing employees who organized protests over Amazon's lack of protective actions. Last week, Amazon ended a program that allowed employees to take unlimited unpaid time off during the pandemic. Bray stated that the company had become toxic and that staying in his position would have meant signing off on actions he despised.
Malaria 'completely stopped' by microbe (3 minute read)
A microbe was discovered in mosquitoes in Kenya that can completely protect mosquitoes from malarial infections. Microsporidia are closely related to fungi and most are parasites. Data from studies suggest that the microbes can completely block malaria in mosquitoes. Researchers are investigating different strategies for increasing the number of infected mosquitoes.
US germ warfare research leads to new early Covid-19 test (5 minute read)
Scientists working for DARPA have designed a new COVID-19 test that could potentially identify carriers before they become infectious and spread the disease. The blood-based test can detect the virus' presence as early as 24 hours after infection. It is expected to be put forward for emergency use approval by the FDA within a week. If approval is granted, the test should begin rolling out in the US in the second half of May.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Stealing your SMS messages with iOS 0day (4 minute read)
A 0day bug exists in iOS 13.4.1 that allows malicious attackers to steal iMessage history. The bug allows apps to access sms.db and send it to a remote server. Steps for exploiting the bug are detailed in the article. The best way to protect yourself from this exploit is to avoid downloading any suspicious apps before Apple releases the next iOS update
Tom Cruise and Elon Musk's SpaceX are making a movie in space, report says (1 minute read)
Tom Cruise and SpaceX are working on a project with NASA to shoot an action film in outer space. No studios are involved with the project at this stage. SpaceX is planning its first-ever launch of astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27. Cruise is known for taking risks while making his films and Elon Musk has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows.
Apple, Google ban use of location tracking in contact tracing apps (2 minute read)
Apple and Google have announced a ban on the use of location tracking in contact tracing apps. The companies are working together to create a contact tracing system that public health authorities will have access to use. Privacy and preventing governments from using the system to compile data on its citizens is a primary goal of the project. Apple and Google's contact tracing system uses Bluetooth signals from phones to detect encounters and doesn't use or store GPS location data. If public health authorities want to continue using GPS data they will need to use unstable and battery draining workarounds. Apple and Google will only allow one app per country to use the system but will support countries that opt for a state or regional approach.