Apple

Processor Flaws Give Hackers Access to Your Data

Episode 1452

Processor

2018 brought about the news that every processor built in the last ten years have a flaw in them that could give hackers access to sensitive data. Initially believed to affect just Intel processors, the latest is that this affects every single processor made, regardless of platform.

The flaws utilizes a technique called "processor speculation," which enables the processor to speculate what the user will do next in order to accelerate performance. But the feature also gives hackers access to sensitive L2 cache data like passwords. It's especially true for networks.

Processor Hack Affects All Computers Made in Last Ten Years

Episode 1451

Processor

The latest exploit "Spectre" affects every single chip made in the last ten years. At first, security researchers thought that the exploit only affected Intel processors, but it turns out this hack also effects ARM, AMD, and any other processor that uses speculative prediction. The white hat hackers who found the flaw discovered that you can use it to access valuable data including passwords and other information. Leo says that Microsoft has already pushed out a fix, and Apple's High Sierra has patched the vulnerability with a recent fix. Apple has also patched the iPhone and iPad.

Apple Releases iMac Pro

Episode 1448

Apple iMac Pro

Apple has released the iMac Pro, which it announced earlier this year. This computer starts at $4,999, and it's not hard at all to configure it up to $10,000. This is for professionals who are using it for business, like 3D design, photography, and video editing. Even if you did decide to spend the money on that, it still wouldn't be the fastest computer out there. This isn't even the fastest Mac. It all depends on what you do. It's using the Intel Xeon chip, which has 8, 10, 12, and 16 cores. But, when you get these multiprocessor Xeon chips, they run at a slower clock speed per process.

Why doesn't T-Mobile insure the iPhone X?

Episode 1448

Mike from Tinley Park, IL
Apple iPhone X

Mike got an iPhone X on T-Mobile from the Apple Store. He took it to T-Mobile to activate it, but found out that T-Mobile won't insure it. Leo says that's because Mike bought it from Apple, not T-Mobile. So Apple Care applies. Leo tends to self-insure because extended warranties are profit centers for the seller. But the iPhone X is very expensive to repair or replace. So he does make an exception with Apple Care, but he'll want to get Apple Care Plus. If he breaks it once, it's probably going to pay for itself.

Should I buy a refurbished MacBook Pro?

Episode 1446

Eric from Long Beach, CA
MacBook Pro

Eric is looking to get a Best Buy refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro for $600. Is that a good deal? Leo says he usually recommends getting a refurb model from the manufacturer. He'll get a warranty that way. Best Buy probably wiped the hard drive and checked a few things, but it's not strictly refurbished. 4GB RAM is also a little light, but it will support High Sierra MacOS. Warranty wise, a good refurb should include a 1-year warranty. 3 months won't really help him. Leo would also recommend spending a little more money and getting a 2015 model.

Does Apple CarPlay support Google Play Music?

Episode 1443

Jonathan from New York, NY
Apple CarPlay

Jonathan wants to know if CarPlay will support Android and Google Play Music. Leo says that Google Play Music will be coming to CarPlay soon. Although it's unclear when it will get seeded down to older models. Siri probably won't interact with it or control it, though. This seems counter to the very idea of CarPlay to begin with — that it's a handsfree experience when driving.

How can I pitch an idea to Apple?

Episode 1442

Chris from Hemitt, CA
Apple Headquarters

Chris has an idea for a product and would like to pitch it to Apple. Leo says simply put — he can't. It's likely that he won't get anywhere with an unsolicited pitch for a product. The protocol is usually to refuse such things with a legal rejection letter. That's because patent trolls will sue a company for ideas and if they come out with a similar product a few months or a year after they'd pitch to them, they could sue them. Google is more open though. He could try raising money on Kickstarter for his idea.

Should I turn off my phone's background refresh and location services to save battery life?

Episode 1437

Mike from Maine
iOS Privacy Settings

Mike just upgraded to iOS 11.1 and he's wondering if turning off Background App Refresh and Location Services will save battery life. Does it make a difference? Leo says that he would do that for privacy issues rather than battery life. It's a good idea to change it to use his location only when the app is working. Apple would let him decide both by app. Leo does recommend leaving it on for his maps app, though. Apple does a very good job of managing battery life, and in most cases, turning off all those services is a finesse he doesn't need to really hassle with.