Sir Apfelot Wochenschau - Apple and tech news of week 1 2018

It is the first Friday of 2018 and therefore time for the Sir Apfelot weekly newsreel for calendar week 1 2018. Again, various Apple and technology messages were flushed up over the week that aroused interest in the Apfelot house. The Apple iMac Pro is there again, but there is also a security breach in macOS, as well as viruses, Trojans and eavesdropping on iOS and Android. There is also a message that brings together Amazon, China dealers and the German tax office. So it was another exciting week;)

The Sir Apfelot newsreel of calendar week 1 in 2018 has the following topics: iMac pro teardown from iFixit, security leaks under Windows and macOS, charging smartphone battery correctly, Alphonso turns apps into bugs, Apple reacts extensively to iPhone brake displeasure, network enforcement law is active, and the tax office has its sights set on China retailers on Amazon.
The Sir Apfelot newsreel of calendar week 1 in 2018 has the following topics: iMac pro teardown from iFixit, security leaks under Windows and macOS, charging smartphone battery correctly, Alphonso turns apps into bugs, Apple reacts extensively to iPhone brake displeasure, network enforcement law is active, and the tax office has its sights set on China retailers on Amazon.

iMac Pro: iFixit teardown shows repair options

Once we could already see how the iMac Pro can be taken apart and professionally dismantled into individual parts; you can find the message in this post. But now there is also a teardown from the people who dismantle almost every (popular) electrical device: iFixit. On January 2, 2018, the iMac Pro teardown published. Details about the hardware and the tools required can be found in the article on the site. The individual components are also shown there with appropriate photos. Here is just the quick conclusion: the assessment of the ease of repairs is a rating of 3/10. The only super-positive point is that RAM and CPU are modular and therefore good for upgrades.

And here is the associated video so that you can get an idea of ​​it ad hoc:

Very "simple": convert the anti-virus app into spy software

Like the star berichtetThis is how the former NSA hacker and current head of research at Digita Security, Patrick Wardle, was able to use the Russian anti-virus program Kaspersky to read data from a PC. He is said to have used a Windows vulnerability to load his own signature into the security program - namely the abbreviation TS / SCI, which is used to identify top secret data with US authorities. Kaspersky then found the relevant files and quarantined them, where hackers can simply fish them out. You can find details in the linked Stern post at the New York Times as well as in Patrick Wardles Blog.

Current BSI warning about Kaspersky (15.03.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX): Read all the background here

Security leak allows root access on the Mac

If we just laughed that the Kaspersky vulnerability was found again in a Windows PC, we can now marvel at a security vulnerability in Apple's macOS that has been around since 2002. "The leak is a compromise of the IOHIDFamily kernel drivers in macOS. These drivers are a kernel extension that is mainly used to connect interfaces such as a mouse or keyboard and which the manufacturers of such components can access“You can on read. However, in order to exploit the security gap on the part of the hacker, the user must log out; there is also no remote hack. You can find details in the linked article.

Charge smartphone battery correctly - between 65% and 75%

The Business Insider has (again) an article published about how or in which charge range the battery of a smartphone should be charged so that it can enjoy the longest possible service life. The "Battery University" and the Samsung blog called. The conclusion from the individual sources and articles: one should never completely discharge the cell phone battery or charge it to 100%. It is best to keep the charge level between 65% and 75%. Since this can hardly be dealt with in everyday life, good spectra between 45% and 65% or 25% and 65% are given as an alternative. For on the go I can give you the AUKEY PB-N15 Recommend Powerbank;)

Apple's iPhone brake explained

As already shown in the newsreel reports of last year, Apple has ensured with an iOS update that older iPhone models with (possibly) weak or damaged batteries are throttled. The performance suffers noticeably as a result. At the end of 2017 a support document came out from Apple (HT208387) that caught the eye this week. Under the heading "iPhone battery and performance", a few things about the lithium-ion batteries in iPhones are explained, for example chemical aging, avoiding unexpected shutdowns thanks to the new update, and so on. With that the whole thing is at least explained by Apple directly. And now we know: It's not a bug, it's a feature;)

More articles from the newsreel:

Battery replacement for iPhone 6 and newer models

As a further reaction to the displeasure with the iOS update with the performance throttle, Apple also announced at the end of December that the batteries of iPhones from the 6 model would be replaced without ifs and buts. The fee was reduced to 29 euros and a test to assess the battery status should also be omitted. In addition, the difference to the new price should be credited to those customers who recently had the battery changed. That reports among other things You can find details in the corresponding notice:

• Apple is reducing the price of changing the battery on an iPhone outside of the warranty period by 60 euros - from 89 € to 29 € - for everyone with an iPhone 6 or newer whose battery needs to be replaced. This is valid worldwide through December 2018. More information will be available soon at

• At the beginning of 2018 we will publish a software update with new features that give users more insight into the condition of their batteries so that they can see for themselves whether this affects the performance.

• As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better. This also includes performance management and the avoidance of unexpected shutdowns with older batteries.

Until the end of 2018, you can have the battery of iPhone 6 (Plus), iPhone 6s (Plus), iPhone SE, iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus) and iPhone X replaced worldwide at a lower price. I think this message will be of most interest to you if you have an iPhone 6, 6s or 7 that has been noticeably slowing down or showing other glitches lately. I've heard of cases where an iPhone 7 (just a year old and with 84% battery health) has already been affected by iPhone braking (check with GeekbenchApp). A clear case for battery replacement!

Around 1.000 apps and games are supposed to listen on iOS and Android

Back berichtet the star with reference to the New York Times: The eavesdropping software from the start-up Alphonso is integrated in numerous apps, including 250 games that are interesting for children, among others. This listens through the microphone / microphones in the smartphone, even if the corresponding app is not currently running. Access has to be confirmed by the user, of course, but many of them usually don't worry about why the game app or other software wants to access certain components. Officially, however, it is not the users themselves, but their user habits with regard to television, cinema, advertising and the like should be monitored and exploited in order to better coordinate advertising and other placements.

I once googled for "Alphonso Software" for fun and came across the Google Play Store, where numerous apps and games are displayed. With these you will find the note:

This app is integrated with Alphonso software. Subject to your permission, the Alphonso software receives short duration audio samples from the microphone on your device. The audio samples never leave your device, but are irreversibly encoded (hashed) into digital “fingerprints.” The fingerprints are compared off-device to commercial content (eg, TV, OTT programming, ads music etc.). If a match is found, then appropriate recommendation for content or ads may be delivered to your mobile device. The Alphonso software only matches against known audio content and does not recognize or understand human conversations or other sounds.

Powered by Dolby® on supported devices

This information, not only in the Google Play Store, but also in the Apple iOS App Store, is also available on the Heise website. By doing Post with the headline "How to find apps that collect data with the help of Alphonso" it is mentioned that you should look carefully into the description of the app before downloading.

Network Enforcement Act of the FRG: in force since January 1, 2018

Now let's get into real life, and there in the legal department: As among other things GameStar and Heise have reported, there is a lot that you should know about the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) ​​of the FRG. The declared aim of the law is less hateful content and extremism on the Internet, also and above all on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. The site operators themselves are asked to treat content in accordance with the law. Failure to do so can result in fines. In addition, networks with more than 2 million users must submit corresponding reports every six months. You can find details about the law in the linked sources. The deletion period for content reported as extremist or illegal is therefore 24 hours.

Tax office takes action: China dealers on Amazon in their sights

In read at I have that the German tax office has confiscated both warehouse goods and the Amazon credit from large China dealers. As early as the end of 2017, the news should have come from China that many large retailers were kicked out of Amazon. In addition, the FBA stocks were retained (FBA = Fulfillment by Amazon / Fulfillment by Amazon). The reason: the German tax office took action. In some cases it is said to have been stocks worth two to three million euros. This is based on the fact that retailers do not comply with the relevant VAT regulations when selling in Germany.

In the linked post you will find, among other things, a message translated from Chinese that provides information on how Amazon is communicating the problem to retailers. Basically there is the short announcement that it is no longer allowed to sell on Amazon, that FBA stocks are withdrawn and the balance at Amazon Payments Europe SCA is frozen. It also shows how you can identify shops on Amazon that have been affected by the general impact of the authority: they no longer show products, although they have received reviews in the last 30 days. Meanwhile, bigger media like Die Süddeutsche picked up the topic.

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