The Bug-Bounty Edition Friday, August 5, 2016

Starting This Fall, Apple Will Pay Up To $200,000 For iOS And iCloud Bugs, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

As part of a security presentation given at this year's Black Hat conference, Apple today announced that it would be starting up a bug bounty program in the fall. The program will reward security researchers who uncover vulnerabilities in Apple's products and bring them to the company's attention. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and many other companies have offered bug bounty programs for some time now, but this is Apple's first.

For now, Apple is intentionally keeping the scope of the program small. It will initially be accepting bug reports from a small group of a few dozen security researchers it has worked with in the past. For now, bounties are only being offered for a small range of iDevice and iCloud bugs.

Apple Releases iOS 9.3.4 For iPhone And iPad, Calls It An 'Important' Security Fix, by AppleInsider

"iOS 9.3.4 provides an important security update for your iPhone or iPad and is recommended for all users," the release notes read. It's available through Software Update in the iOS Settings app, or by connecting via USB to iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Buy Stuff, Says Apple

Apple Store iOS App Updated With New Recommendation Features, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Features include recommendations based on which Apple devices you own, better in-store alerts, and when favorited products are available in stores you’re visiting.

Apple Celebrates Diversity In New iPhone Ad To Air During The Olympics, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Apple's latest iPhone ad is a sweet one, juxtaposing images of people across the globe with a recording of Maya Angelou reading her poem "Human Family."

Change Or Retire

Apple And The Gun Emoji, by Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia

If Apple goes ahead with this change in the public iOS 10 release, one person could innocently tweet a toy and have that be seen by others as a weapon.

Apple And The Gun Emoji, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

This is a tricky dilemma, but I think it’ll all work out, and other vendors will follow Apple’s lead and this glyph will be represented by a toy gun everywhere within a few years. Hiding the pistol from the emoji keyboard is timid. Changing it to a toy is a statement.

Microsoft Just Changed Its Toy Gun Emoji To A Real Pistol, by Cherlynn Low, Engadget

Looks like Microsoft and Apple may not be on the same page about firearm emojis afterall. Right after Apple changed its gun emoji to a water pistol in iOS 10, Microsoft replaced its toy pistol emoji with an actual revolver.

Fine Art Of Pricing

As Evernote Slowly Kills Its Free Service, Apple Notes And Others Plug The Gap, by Peter Moon, AFR

After enjoying Evernote's free hospitality for seven years, it may seem churlish to thank it by walking away. But keeping simple, text-based notes is a nearly universal requirement and, for our money, it shouldn't need a separate subscription service.

Behind The Scenes

Kagi Shuts Down After Falling Prey To Fraud, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Over 10 years ago, Kagi was looking to expand its business. In the process, they started handling subscriptions for a company selling a legal consulting service — the idea was that you’d pay a monthly fee and be able to get answers to legal questions. The company was both legit and seemingly successful, and the service was real, but what Kagi missed in their due diligence is that the firm’s sales team used high-pressure sales tactics. As a result, many customers were unhappy, and to avoid further pressure when trying to cancel their subscriptions, they instead disputed the credit card charges, generating what Kee described as “an amazingly large number of chargebacks.”


Timepage Introduces Proactive ‘Assistant’ For Smarter Notifications, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Timepage updated yesterday with a new Assistant, a contextually aware tool for keeping your schedule as organized as possible.

Art Text 3 Review: Bend 3D Text To Your Will With This Slick Mac Design App, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Art Text 3 is easy-to-use Mac software for creating logos, social media graphics, and more in just a few clicks thanks to an intuitive user interface.

Disney Launches Child-focused Messaging App With Built-in Games & Safety Features, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The free app offers stickers from just about every Disney movie you could name, customized cartoon avatars, built-in games and safety features designed to keep things family-friendly.


So, What If Your Computer Was An iPad Pro?, by Carolina Milanesi, Recode

It is interesting that, as Microsoft and Apple came to one similar product from two very different perspectives, they are now fighting a battle on opposite fronts but with one common interest: Changing how people think of a PC. While the task seems more arduous for Apple because of the millions and millions of PC users out there, I actually think it will be harder for the Surface, as Microsoft needs to balance its own desires and goals with those of the partners in the Windows ecosystem.

Gwyneth Paltrow Joins Apple’s ‘Planet Of The Apps’ Reality Series, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Actress-entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow will serve as a mentor to contestants in Apple’s “Planet of the Apps,” a reality-competition series designed to showcase the tech goliath’s iTunes App Store that is set to bow in 2017.

In addition, tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk and musician-entrepreneur will.iam (who was previously attached to the project) will serve as advisers. The series is co-produced by Apple and Propagate Content’s Ben Silverman and Howard Owens.

Wait Over For Pokemon Go In Brazil Ahead Of Olympics, by Associated Press

The hit, augmented reality game, in which players roam around the real-life world to collect virtual monsters and medals, became available in Brazil late Wednesday.

Bottom of the Page

I am cursed with an inability to sleep early at night.

Okay, it wasn't an inability, but it is highly undesired. Lately, every time I sleep early -- and by early, I'm only talking about 10pm, and not like before dinner time -- I wake up early. Typically, I will end up unable to go back to sleep at around 4am.

This morning however, I woke up at 1am, and was pondering the meaning of life (and other inconsequential things) until my alarm clock went off.


What should one be testing when one is test-'driving' a self-driving car?


Thanks for reading.