bugs

Meltdown, Spectre affect Mac, iOS but there are no known exploits

Meltdown, Spectre affect Mac, iOS but there are no known exploits

The computing industry has just gotten its first security scare of the year and boy is it a big one. Nicknamed Meltdown and Spectre, the security vulnerabilities take advantage of how modern processors work on the hardware level, making it a tad difficult to fix without repercussions. Plus, it affects not just in Intel but AMD and even ARM CPUs as well and doesn’t discriminate between operating systems either. So while Macs and iOS devices, often hailed for being very secure, aren’t immune, Apple’s latest bulletin basically says stay calm and keep updated.

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CPU flaw: Key details of the huge processor problem [Fixes are here!]

CPU flaw: Key details of the huge processor problem [Fixes are here!]

An Intel bug was just announced which could have negative effects on the performance capabilities of computers all over the world. Before we go any further, I need to be clear in saying this will not have a significant effect on most users, or so we're lead to believe thus far. Intel has not released all the details on the issue, but we do have a general idea of what's happening and what to expect.

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Intel chips have a severe security flaw and the fix isn’t good

Intel chips have a severe security flaw and the fix isn’t good

Intel isn’t exactly having a good few months as far as security goes. Just two months ago, the chip maker admitted to having discovered quite a number of severe security flaws in its firmware, specifically those related to its Management Engine. Now another, still undisclosed vulnerability has both Linux and Windows kernel programmers scrambling to put out a fix. Unfortunately, this is a case where the cure is almost, just almost, as bad as the disease, potentially causing almost all modern Intel processors to perform significantly slower than they do today.

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LastPass Authenticator Android app is easy to break into [Updated]

LastPass Authenticator Android app is easy to break into [Updated]

Password managers are supposedly the cure for the seemingly innate human tendency to use weak passwords. A special class of password managers take it a step further by using two-factor or two-step authentication or 2FA. But what is said authentication manager itself isn't as bulletproof as it should be? That is the rather odd situation that users of LastPass Authenticator on Android now find themselves in after it was revealed that it is almost trivial to get into the app and access the 2FA codes need, in turn, to get access to accounts and private data.

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Galaxy Note 8 battery has a different but serious problem

Galaxy Note 8 battery has a different but serious problem

Just when you thought Samsung has the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco well behind it, another battery-related problem pops up. And unsurprisingly, it affects its successor. Users, mostly concentrated in the US, are reporting that their Galaxy Note 8 phablets have stopped charging and won't even start up after it has been fully drained. And while Samsung seems to be replacing practically bricked devices, the randomness of the problem, not to mention Samsung's silence, is making owners anxious and apprehensive.

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Google Home Max reported to have latency with line-in connection

Google Home Max reported to have latency with line-in connection

Google’s latest foray into the world of smart home speakers hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing compared to the first gen Google Home. The Google Home Mini had a manufacturing defect that ruined the touch controls for everyone. And now the Google Home Max, which only just started shipping in time for the holidays, has its own issue as well. Fortunately, it might be something that can be fixed by a software update and might not even matter much to the majority of the speaker’s users.

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New iPhone jailbreak tool comes from Google

New iPhone jailbreak tool comes from Google

Jailbreaking iPhones and iPads have somewhat fallen out of fashion because of two things. One is that Apple has addressed some of the pain points that previously made jailbreaking ideal, or even necessary. The second is that each new update made it harder and harder to find ways to jailbreak iOS. Some seem to have even given up on jailbreaking because of the latter. Hope, however, springs eternal with a new tool that could be the gateway to jailbreaking iPhones today and tomorrow. And, somewhat ironically, the tool comes from within Google HQ.

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iOS 11.2 HomeKit bug allowed unauthorized access to smart locks

iOS 11.2 HomeKit bug allowed unauthorized access to smart locks

iOS 11.2 has been out in the wild now for a month so you’d expect most of the critical bugs and issues to have surfaced by now. Well, most of them have but that does still leave room for some undiscovered problem. Unfortunately, that was indeed the somewhat frightening case that HomeKit users with smart locks may have been blissfully unaware of. It turns out that iOS 11.2 brought with it a vulnerability that allowed unauthorized persons to unlock doors and garages remotely via Apple’ smart home platform.

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Google Home Mini reportedly crashes when used at high volume

Google Home Mini reportedly crashes when used at high volume

The Google Home Max, launching in less than two weeks, is supposed to be Google’s audiophile contender. The old Google Home was more or less decent but the Google Home Mini was probably never meant to be used to jam. Still, you wouldn’t expect it to crash and burn, not literally thankfully, when you do use it for rocking out to your favorite music. Unfortunately, some owners are discovering exactly that and Google is still in the dark as to its cause.

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Pixel 2, 2 XL random reboots could be related to LTE

Pixel 2, 2 XL random reboots could be related to LTE

Just when you thought the string of complaints against the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were over, here comes yet another one. Actually, it’s an old one that may have just received an important clue towards its solution. Second gen Pixel owners have been reporting random reboots of their phones and, given their randomness, no answer was yet given, even by Google. Naturally, some users did their own sleuthing and at least one may have finally stumbled upon a clue: the Pixel 2’s LTE functionality.

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OnePlus preinstalls app that can be used as a backdoor

OnePlus preinstalls app that can be used as a backdoor

With just days left before its final hurrah for the year, OnePlus seems to be involved yet again in a controversy surrounding privacy and security. No, it's not a rehash of last month's data collection scandal. This one is potentially more harmful, especially since OnePlus itself may be unaware of its existence until now. The startup apparently left a diagnostic app preinstalled on its smartphones since the OnePlus 3 that, with just some simple nudging, can be used to gain root access to the device, with or without the user's knowledge.

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Some iPhone X reported to have crackling, buzzing from earpiece

Some iPhone X reported to have crackling, buzzing from earpiece

The recent slew of issues, be it hardware or software, coming from brand new smartphone models might have some wondering if quality control is going downhill or if users have just become too meticulous about their devices. And since some of these involve really expensive smartphones, the expectations of perfection are even higher. The latest to join the list of complaints is, unsurprisingly, the iPhone X, which is now reported by some owners to exhibit either crackling or buzzing audio coming from the phone’s earpiece speaker at high volumes.

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