Enterprise

Spotify might sue Apple for US$ 26.6 billion in fines

EU is investigating antitrust claims

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Image source: Pixabay

Recently, Qualcomm finally relinquished Apple from an eternity of torment. Throughout the past few months, the American chipmaker chased the iPhone maker through legal loopholes. Qualcomm accused Apple of breaching copyright laws. Last month, both companies settled the dispute out of court, creating a new mutual deal.

As the seas finally settle down, another challenger approaches. In the EU, Spotify is taking Apple to court over a supposedly unfair advantage. Specifically, Apple’s payment system is unjustly cutting off other streaming services.


Behind the scenes, Apple charges a staggering 30 percent of every transaction through the App Store. As such, app developers are either settling with reduced revenues or bigger price tags. Spotify has much more to lose. Given Apple’s wonky pricing schemes, Apple Music is benefitting more from the system.

Case in point, Spotify charges more on Apple’s store compared to its standard offerings. Outside Apple, Spotify offers their premium service for only US$ 9.99. In contrast, Spotify asks for US$ 12.99 on the App Store. The streaming service is calling it the “Apple tax.”

Spotify’s lawyer, Thomas Vinje is making a case against Apple. Additionally, Vinje argues that other streaming services are also feeling the pressure. However, they are “too afraid to take on Apple,” according to Vinje.

Currently, the case is just starting. The EU competition commission has agreed to investigate. If found guilty, Apple might cough up ten percent of its global revenue. With the company’s worldwide success, the fee might total up to US$ 26.6 billion. Even for Apple, this fee is more than just a drop in the bucket. Expect a lot more drama as the situation escalates.

SEE ALSO: Spotify introduces its app for Apple Watch

Enterprise

Apple is trademarking the slofie

Is the slofie a thing now?

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“Selfie” will always be a part of our everyday lexicon. Even if you don’t like taking selfies, you still know what a selfie is. Since the invention of the front-facing camera, everyone has taken a selfie in one form or the other. Likewise, most people also know what a groufie is — the selfie’s group-oriented cousin. Both the selfie and the groufie have seemingly covered all the bases in the front-facing phenomenon. Besides, we have enough of these terms to last us a lifetime.

Apparently, Apple doesn’t think so. At its latest iPhone 11 launch event, the company introduced another monstrosity into our packed vocabulary — the slofie, a selfie but shot in slow motion. The slofie promotes Apple’s newest camera feature. The iPhone 11 Pro’s front-facing camera packs in a slow-motion shooting capability. The camera shoots at an astonishing 120 frames per second.


As with the Animoji years ago, Apple is going all-in on the slofie. The company has applied for a trademark on the term. The trademark application covers all software involved in shooting the slow-motion selfie. Basically, Apple wants to control the market when the iPhone 11 drops. If the slofie does gain traction, it will likely face competitors and imitators. (For example, the Animoji had its fair share of imitators.) A trademark can prevent that from happening.

In another vein, Apple is still trying to make slofies a thing. Apple, please don’t make slofies a thing.

SEE ALSO: The Apple Watch Series 5 is here!

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Apps

SIM card vulnerability puts your sensitive information at risk

It’s called the SIMjacker

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SIM cards are very important. However, a new SIM card vulnerability found out by AdaptiveMobile Security might be putting our information at risk. The Simjacker exploit, which was recently found out and still being investigated on, allows malicious hackers to steal sensitive information from your phone through a SIM card.

Mechanism of attack

Infographic explaining the attack using Simjacker vulnerability | Photo by Simjacker.com

How does the Simjacker vulnerability work?


First, a hacker sends a malicious code to your phone through SMS. Then, the malicious code is read directly by your SIM card. The code then causes the [email protected] browser to send sensitive information to an accomplice device through SMS.

According to the report pulished by AdaptiveMobile Security regarding the vulnerability, the [email protected] browser is found on most SIM cards even though its development was abandoned many years ago. [email protected] browser was never updated, so it carries the risk of sending sensitive information to hackers when exploited successfully.

Sensitive information retrieved and transmitted by the [email protected] browser include location and the IMEI of an exploited device. The IMEI is a shorthand for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a 15 digit number unique to your smartphone that has some information about your device including its brand and model. As such, hackers can determine your exact location if you have a compromised SIM card, regardless of what device you have.

And the worst part of the attack is that you have no way of knowing that it has already been done since it all happens within the SIM card.

Origin and scope of the attack

The purpose for carrying an attack varies. However, the report traces the origin to an unspecified private company that works with governments to monitor individuals. So, there is a real possibility that it has been used to spy on us. And rightly so, since specific individuals were targeted in a certain country.

The report also warned that over one billion smartphones across all continents could be at risk to the vulnerability — and you could be one of them.

Response to the attack

In response to the discovered vulnerability, industry association SIMalliance has already put up recommendations for network providers to secure their networks. At this point in time, you can’t do anything to secure yourself from the vulnerability, unless you decided to go SIM-free.

But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just give your smartphone number like a free lunch. It also pays to update your smartphone once in a while, since some updates are designed to secure your phone from these kind of vulnerabilities and attacks.

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Enterprise

Huawei thinks about selling its 5G business

Will hopefully appease Western tensions

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Once again, Huawei is weighing all its options. As time rolls by, the company is slowly losing its grip on the Western market. Even after a temporary wave of full support, the US government has gone cold turkey. Huawei is still on the blacklist. In the meantime, the company’s temporary operating license is merely receiving extensions. Unfortunately, extensions don’t mean much without a definitive end.

Huawei is in dire straits. According to a recent interview with The Economist, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is mulling over a drastic move: selling its 5G business to the highest bidder.


Throughout the entire controversy, Huawei’s detractors have often decried the company’s 5G technology as a potential security threat. According to the detractors, the Chinese government can seize control of the company at any time.

Hence, a potential sale can alleviate geopolitical pressures. If a sale is concluded, the purchasing customer will have access to the technology’s inner workings. The customer can check if the network does have a Chinese backdoor built into it. Further, they can tailor the technology in any way they want.

Since plans are plans, the Huawei boss still doesn’t have any potential customers in mind. Likewise, the company has not announced a price yet. If you’re eyeing your wallet for a huge purchase, you’ll have to wait for when Huawei announces the sale.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is still getting the Android 10 update

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