Sir Apfelot newsreel week 32, 2023

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Sir Apfelot Newsreel. Here you will get some interesting news to take with you into the weekend. Maybe there is one or the other topic that will tempt you to do a deep dive. Among the Apple and tech news that caught my eye in week 32 of 2023 are the following: Downfall as a security vulnerability for Intel CPUs from 2015 to 2020, Netflix plans TV video games with iPhone as a controller, Apple Watch soon only with fast charging accessories, Aqara scenes can be transferred to Apple Home, Foxconn is said to supply Apple with AI servers, M3 Max is already being tested internally, and more!

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In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 32 of the year 2023 you will find the following reports, among others: Downfall vulnerability affects Intel CPUs from 2015 to 2020, Netflix uses iPhone as a controller for TV video games, Apple Watch accessories will soon only be included Fast charging puck, Aqara scenes usable in Apple Home, iPhone 15 action button allegedly confirmed, M3 Max tested and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 32 of the year 2023 you will find the following reports, among others: Downfall vulnerability affects Intel CPUs from 2015 to 2020, Netflix uses iPhone as a controller for TV video games, Apple Watch accessories will soon only be included Fast charging puck, Aqara scenes usable in Apple Home, iPhone 15 action button allegedly confirmed, M3 Max tested and more!

Downfall: Vulnerability affecting most Intel processors since 2015

Memory optimization on numerous Intel processors ensures that hackers can use them to spy on sensitive data. This applies not only to private computers and computers used in companies, but also to servers. On the vulnerability set up specifically for the "Downfall". Website it says (translated): "Downfall attacks target a critical vulnerability found in billions of modern processors in PCs and cloud computing. Identified as CVE-2022-40982, this vulnerability allows a user to access and steal data from other users sharing the same computer [...] " 

And also: "The vulnerability is caused by memory optimization features in Intel processors that unintentionally expose internal hardware registers to software. This allows untrustworthy software to access data saved by other programs that normally shouldn't be accessible [...] " – On the linked website, which serves as a downfall profile, you will find further details in an FAQ, among other things. The downfall vulnerability affects Intel Core i chips from the 6th generation (Skylake) from 2015 up to and including the 11th generation (Tiger Lake) from 2020. Reference is also made to Intel's own page for addressing security vulnerabilities: here. 

Malwarebytes analysis: Germany is a popular target for ransomware

The anti-malware solution provider named Malwarebytes has a new report on the use of malicious software issued. The period from June 2022 to June 2023 was examined for this purpose Ransomware ranked 4th worldwide; 124 such attacks on computer memory are said to have been counted. Only English-speaking countries such as Canada (159 cases), Great Britain (196 cases) and the USA (1.462 cases) rank higher. The extortion attacks are said to have primarily hit companies, organizations and authorities as well as educational institutions. The hacking organizations behind the attacks were also listed: LockBit, Black Basta, Royal, PLAY, ALPHV, CLOP, MalasLock, Vice Society, 8BASE and more. (Which)

iPhone as a controller: Netflix as a gaming environment on the TV

Netflix has a new app called Netflix Game Controller in the App Store stored for iPhone and iPad. The app page still looks pretty empty, but you can already see what the new software is intended for. Not only the screenshot, which shows virtual buttons and a virtual joystick, but also the description indicate the utility of the program (translated): "Coming soon to Netflix. Play games on your TV with the Netflix Game Controller. This game controller app pairs with your TV and allows you to play games on Netflix using your phone or mobile device.“ – The Netflix games that are already available on the go are also coming to the television.

Minimal movements: Linux now more popular than macOS on Steam

Speaking of video games, these are supposed to be become more important from macOS Sonoma on the Apple Mac. However, this trend desired by Apple is not yet apparent - at least not with Valve's most popular video game client "Steam". Because the evaluation of the July survey, in which all possible information from the operating system to the graphics card to free hard disk space and VR headset is queried, shows a rather sobering picture. Overall, macOS is used by 1,84% of those surveyed, currently just overtaken by Linux at 1,96%. Windows can claim 96,21% for itself. Other statistics are also interesting for Mac fans, for example that the MacBook Pro is used most for gaming, followed by the MacBook Air. (Which)

Apple Watch charging accessories: Apple enforces fast charge mode

Third-party providers that offer charging accessories for the Apple Watch and install a charging puck in them must purchase the same directly from Apple. From October 2023, however, the modules issued to third-party manufacturers will only trigger the smartwatch's fast charging mode. There is then no longer an option for slower loading, for example with the older version of the Mfi modules. "Accessory manufacturers have until August 31, 2023 to submit product plans to Apple for approval using the original C162 slow-charge module. But September 30, 2023 is the last date to order this version. After that, any new accessories will be forced to use the upgraded C962 fast charge module' it says (translated) at AppleInsider, where reports from manufacturers are referred to.

Aqara: Smart Home scenes can be completely transferred to Apple's HomeKit

Aqara, a manufacturer of various smart home devices, offers the option of setting up scenes in its in-house app. These combine certain lights and lamps with other devices and their options. With one tap, you can change the mood of the room, trigger a variety of device actions, and more. If you prefer to use Apple's Home app, you can count on the HomeKit standard. In the latest version of the Aqara app (version 4.0.2) and with updated hub devices, scenes can now be passed from there to Apple Home. To do this, a created scene is selected, "Additional settings" selected and "Add to Apple Home" tapped. (Which)

Confusing voicemail announcement: Apple has improved iOS 17 beta 5

I saw you a few weeks ago already shownthat there was confusion among testers of the iOS 17 beta or those who called them. Because the new "Live Voicemail" function, in which the message spoken on the tape is transcribed on the display of the person called, was described with the note that the person called could still take the call. As a result, some callers waited for it and the voicemail messages consisted mostly of silence. In iOS 17 beta 5, the default voicemail greeting is now different. It is no longer pointed out that the person called could still answer. However, no attention is drawn to the automatic transcription either. (Which)

iPhone 15 Pro case designs to confirm action button to replace mute button

Apple's iPhone 15 (Pro) is due out this fall bring a few significant hardware changes. Not only is Lightning to be replaced by USB-C, there are also rumors that the mute switch will be gone. This mechanical switch, which is located on the left side of the device above the volume buttons, is to be replaced with an action button. The idea came from apple watch ultra, where the action button can be assigned various functions. Muting will certainly also be available on the iPhone, along with other quick selection options and settings – for example for operating aids. Images of alleged protective cases should now confirm the action button on the iPhone 15 (Pro). (Which)

Generative AI at Apple: Foxconn servers are to be used for development and testing

The fact that Apple is moving in the world of AI development, even if it doesn't really appear so from the outside, has been getting through for some time now and again. Now the South China Morning Post reports (referring to Taiwan's Economic Daily News) that Foxconn is to supply Apple with the appropriate servers. Foxconn already equips the chip manufacturer NVIDIA, the ChatGPT provider OpenAI and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) with servers. The servers intended for Apple for training artificial intelligence and neural networks are to be manufactured in Vietnam. This coincides with Apple's further efforts to further diversify the manufacturing locations of its hardware and to get it out of China bit by bit. (Which)

Apple M3 chip: Max version is already being tested

Apple is expected to unveil new Mac models with the M3 chip this fall. For example, a new MacBook Air with M3 is conceivable from October. Will Apple then announce the release plan for the extensions to the M2 chips new Mac models (especially new MacBook Pro models) with M2024 Pro and M3 Max should appear in early 3. Information from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who sent out his "Power On" newsletter again on Sunday, gives hope for this schedule. It claims that Apple already has new Macs in the pipeline with the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. The latter should be able to come with up to 14 CPU and 40 GPU cores. For comparison: the Max M2 has a maximum of 12 CPU and 38 GPU cores.

PS: At the beginning of next week I can announce an alternative iPhone App Store, which should come under iOS 17 as a result of the opening of the market in Europe! There is still an embargo on the information, but get it in advance Sir Apfelot app or Newsletter , so you don't miss out on this red-hot news!

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