Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Friday, March 22, 2019!

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1. Apple new entertainment service isn’t taking on Netflix

One of Apple’s announcements on Monday looks like it’s out already, with the big news that Apple isn’t going to try and take on Netflix/Hulu and so on, directly. What does that mean?

Marketplace:

  • Recode report suggests that Apple will launch another kind of entertainment store, and will “be helping other people sell streaming video subscriptions and taking a cut of the transaction.”
  • So, Apple won’t be in the streaming wars, but providing a marketplace. Just like iTunes, and the App Store.
  • That changes the view of what’s to come. Apple won’t be trying to partner up to buy the rights to stream TV shows and movies like Netflix, but on-selling subscriptions to channels via a storefront.
  • Plus Apple’s own content, which is reportedly costing it $2 billion per year, as added value. (Netflix spends $10 billion.)
  • That could be bundles, such as HBO and Showtime, and Apple’s content.
  • We didn’t know what to expect but this indicates a more Apple-like play rather than something really bold, which isn’t usually how Apple does things anyway.
  • And Apple already offers this right via iTunes for TV and movies and music of course, but will be trying to make it a much bigger media marketplace, likely with a new name and branding.
  • Will Apple allow people to buy in from outside the Apple ecosystem? Is that what the Samsung TV tie-ins with iTunes was actually in advance of?
  • We’ll find out more this coming Monday, March 25 at 10am PDT.

2. Facebook stored everyone’s password in plain text

“Hundreds of millions of Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees,” as first reported by KrebsOnSecurity. Yes, you should now change your password.

  • Passwords of “between 200 million and 600 million” Facebook users were searched by 2,000 employees, with 20,000 having access to non-encrypted files.
  • These engineers or developers made around nine million internal queries of the database.
  • (For some reason, these people didn’t report the obvious security issue. The issue turned up following an investigation into privacy and security.)
  • Facebook admitted the report was true within a few hours. Who knows what would’ve happened if Brian Krebs hadn’t reported it, via internal source leaks.
  • Facebook says it hasn’t “found signs of misuse of this data,” and you can read their post on the matter here: “Keeping Passwords Secure.”
  • (The jokes write themselves about that headline choice)
  • And just because this is a whole thing, here’s some fun for you – take a read of Facebook’s blog post on the issue. Enjoy how routine, safely handled, precautionary, and perfectly normal it all sounds in Facebookland:

As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems. This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way.”

  • When “some user passwords” literally means a range between 200 and 600 million … yeah, I just, I mean, I’m very tired.

3. Enable these awesome new Chrome gestures to swipe back or forward (AA).


4. Here’s more on the Google Maps web interface changes that are filtering out, from yesterday’s mention (Android Police).


5. Cloud gaming is the future (whether you like it or not) (AA).


6. Nokia 7 Plus phones in Europe sent user info to China for months, HMD Global responds and details an error on its behalf (AA).


7. Deal: Google Home Max is $100 cheaper at most major retailers (AA).


8. Here’s where 48 billion robocalls come from (Axios).


9. Also, is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II with Google Assistant support, worth it? (SoundGuys).


10. Tesla sues former employees for allegedly stealing data, Autopilot source code, and handing it to a Chinese self-driving start-up. (Reuters)


11. Microsoft device stores digital info as DNA: translated “HELLO” into DNA and back again (Engadget).


12. Doomed Boeing 737s lacked two safety features that it sold only as optional extras (NY Times). Boeing will now includes these “features” for free.


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