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Apple, Cisco, Daimler and BMW complain to Brussels over patents

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What you need to know
Apple and several other companies have written to the European Commission urging them to stop patent abuse.
In particular, patents refer to autonomous cars and other connected devices.
The letter states that unfair licenses are damaging competitiveness and innovation.

Apple, Cisco, Daimler and BMW are part of a coalition of technology companies that have written to the European Commission to call for an end to the abuse of standard essential patents in the field of driverless cars and connected devices.

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According to the Irish Times, the big group says they are denied essential patent licenses in fair terms:

In a letter to the committee, the companies said that the lack of access to patents in fair terms “is increasingly undermining the competitiveness of these important highly innovative industries and is already damaging technological innovation in Europe.”

It was later reported that Nokia has refused to offer licenses to Daimler and others for autonomous car parts, a measure that the Commission is currently investigating.

According to the letter:

The practice of some standard essential patent owners to grant licenses only to certain companies. . . prevents companies through the Internet of things and relatively innovative technology industries from planning investments in research and development … “This practice represses innovation, discourages the entry of new markets and links suppliers with established customers.

 

Image result for Apple and coalition of tech companies urges the EU to stop self-driving patent abuse

 

Consequently , European companies and consumers can pay higher prices than they would in a more competitive market ”

The letter was signed by a total of 27 companies, including Ford, Dell, Lenovo and Sky. Among them, it is said that they have invested $ 50 billion in the sector. Ursula von der Leyen, Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton were commissioned to lead the commission. The letter concludes:

“We urge you to take decisive measures to ensure that European law and policy protect innovation in all sectors and avoid practices that undermine the profitability of investments for the benefit of Europe’s future.”

It is no secret that Apple is working on autonomous automotive technology in the form of its Project Titan initiative. The wide range of companies involved in this latest report seems to suggest that unfair patent licenses seem to have invaded much of the industry and that many companies in different sectors feel excluded from patent owners.

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GTA IV has disappeared from Steam because of Games for Windows Live

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WTF?! If you’ve encountered the annoyingly annoying problem of old Windows Live games that don’t work, Rockstar has a solution: don’t buy them. The company was satisfied that it removed GTA IV from Steam due to the problems caused by the Microsoft Games for Windows Live platform, although in theory it could be solved with an update. Confused? Me too.

 

Image result for GTA IV has disappeared from Steam because of Games for Windows Live

 

You may or may not have noticed that Grand Theft Auto IV is no longer available on Steam. Although it’s an old game, it could be said to be the best game in the GTA series. The removal of the purchase link from your page was due to problems with the Microsoft Games for Windows Live (GFWL) platform. Rockstar confirmed that this is the case in a statement to The Verge:

“Grand Theft Auto IV was originally created for the Games For Windows Live platform. Since Microsoft is no longer compatible with Games For Windows Live, it is no longer possible to generate the additional keys necessary to continue selling the current version of the game. We are looking for other options to distribute GTA IV for PC and will share more information as soon as possible. ”

Microsoft closed the Windows Live game store in 2013, marking the beginning of a phasing out of the platform which was launched in 2007. Finally, Redmond decided that it made no sense to continue supporting GFWL in competition with Xbox Live and the support ended in 2014. Players could only redeem points on one or the other. Furthermore, it intervened in its cross-compatibility plans.

Since the removal of the platform, many users have complained that GFWL is causing problems with some games, including GTA IV. Although alternative solutions exist, they are quite complicated. So much so that people have published long guides on how to run the game.

In light of this, Rockstar has decided to stop selling it until it finds a distribution solution that works. Apparently, the company believes that removing GFWL from a twelve-year title is not part of the budget, but has not specifically excluded it as an option. However, it may not have been as problematic if the study had addressed the problem like other editors in 2013, when it was clear that the problematic platform was coming out.

Even more confusing is that Rockstar did not update the game two years ago to eliminate expired songs. Of course, deleting the song files and changing the code that calls them is a much simpler solution than trying to fix the GFWL disaster.

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A new MacBook could be in the works, according to Apple regulatory filing

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What just happened? It’s a new year and with it comes the usual influx of product rumors, teasing and regulatory presentations. Today’s news falls into the latter category: a mysterious new Apple product has appeared in the databases of the Eurasian Economic Commission and, although the details are scarce, there are reasons why MacBook fans get excited.

 

Image result for A new MacBook could be in the works, according to Apple regulatory filing

The product was first seen by 9to5Mac and bears the model number “A2289”. In particular, the presentation (which has been approved) attached to the article refers to a “personal laptop”, which is the perfect description for a new MacBook.

However, if that’s not enough, the presentation also indicates that the device will run macOS 10.15. Unless Apple plans to implement the desktop operating system on its mobile devices, a new MacBook is almost confirmed. However, as we said, other details are unknown: we are not sure what the screen size or resolution will be, nor do we know how much the device will cost or what new features it will have.

That said, we can make some informed assumptions. As 9to5Mac points out, it would be logical for the next MacBook to introduce Apple’s old (but golden) scissor switches, the predecessor of the notoriously unreliable butterfly keyboard design that has hit Mac users in recent years.

The next laptop will likely be 13 inches in size, as Apple launched a 16-inch MacBook with scissor switches a couple of months ago. However, this is pure speculation and Apple may have something completely different up its sleeve (perhaps a new MacBook Air).

However, we are excited to see what this mysterious notebook will look like. There is likely to be an announcement or at least a provocation for the device at some point in the next three or four months (or less, if we’re lucky).

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Princeton study: US carriers do little to protect customers from SIM-swap attacks

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In summary: if you use SMS for two-factor authentication in your online accounts, you can change it as soon as possible. According to Princeton researchers, five of the major U.S. operators. UU. They are doing little to protect you from SIM exchange attacks, which offers attackers an easy way to reset their passwords and access their confidential data or impersonate online.

Image result for Princeton study: US carriers do little to protect customers from SIM-swap attacks

While it’s always a good idea to use multi-factor authentication to protect your online accounts, it doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from anyone who wants to steal sensitive personal data.

According to a Princeton University study, five of the major prepaid U.S. operators. UU. They don’t protect it from something that experts call a “SIM swap” attack. We have covered this type of theft several times in the past.

The way it works is for an attacker to convince an operator to reassign the victim’s phone number to a new SIM card without going through all the standard security questions to verify his identity. This effectively allows the scammer to hijack someone’s account and use two-factor authentication to reset passwords on important online accounts such as emails and bank accounts.

The researchers signed up to 50 prepaid accounts in Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Mobile and Tracfone and spent much of 2019 looking for ways to trick call center operators into linking their phone numbers to a new one. SIM. What they found was that they only needed to successfully respond to a security challenge to do so, even after multiple unsuccessful attempts, which claimed not to raise any warning signs.

After intentionally providing incorrect PINs, they were asked to verify other details such as postal codes or other information about the owner of the real account. Investigators told call center employees that they could not remember that the information at that time the standard procedure seemed to be to ask for the last two calls made from their number.

This is the weakness that makes the process exploitable. Attackers can easily trick someone into calling specific numbers by using websites that promise one thing or another. The researchers also found that 17 of the 140 online services that use SMS for two-factor authentication don’t use any other method to verify their identity, which makes it even easier for scammers to commit identity theft or steal information. Personnel of the victims.

Princeton experts have informed operators and T-Mobile told them earlier this month that they no longer use call logs as an authentication method. Others, such as Verizon and US Mobile, said they had received less than 1% of SIM exchange requests over the phone and continuously updated their cybersecurity practices.

The obvious conclusion is to avoid using SMS as a two-factor form of authentication and instead use an authentication application. For those of you who own an Android phone, Google allows you to use the phone as a two-factor physical authentication key, which is the safest method there is.

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