The biggest scare haunting Apple stock in recent months has been whether the slow at first, then quite sudden collapse in both the Chinese economy, not to mention its burst stock market bubble (which in Chinese propaganda retrospect, is now a great thing), will put the breaks on Chinese purchases of Apple’s most important and profitable product – the iPhone. Indeed according to a just released UBS report, while it takes the average New York worker about 24 hours to afford a 16GB iPhone 6, this number rises to 218 hours in Beijing. And the great China’s economic slowdown the higher the number will go, and the lower Apple’s revenues in the coming quarters.
However, for China’s middle class, whose dreams of market bubble riches just went up in a margin call, there is still hope to pretend to be richer than one’s neighbor courtesy of a faux rose gold cell phone. The answer: a tablespoon of sperm.
As Xinhua reports, “technophiles may not have to reach far to find the cash for Apple’s latest model. According to an advertisement with the Shanghai Sperm Bank – all you have to do is donating.”
“No need to sell a kidney…Shanghai sperm bank can make your iPhone 6s dream come true,” says the ad which has gone viral on China’s most popular social networking app WeChat this week.
Capitalizing on the country’s lust for new technology, the sperm bank hopes to fix a shortage in donors ahead of the release of the iPhone 6s next week. Those who qualify to donate can receive up to 6,000 yuan for 17 ml of semen. The latest Apple model is expected to cost around 5,288 yuan.
The morbid jokes just write themselves:
“Why sell your kidney when you can donate sperm? It’s a great deed that can bring happiness to a whole family,” said microblog Weibo user “Wojiushiwutong”.
As a reminder, while “selling kidneys” is usually just a phrase, in China it became all too real in 2011 when a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy and iPhone and an iPad. “To sell a kidney has become a well-known metaphor for the fever pitch surrounding Apple products.”
A sperm bank in central China’s Hubei Province posted a similar ad highlighting a picture of the new rose gold iPhone 6s, a color created mainly to attract Chinese consumers. The Shanghai ad is bluntly titled “New Solution to Get iPhone 6s”, evoking some criticism that the sperm bank is being insensitive.
“I don’t like the idea of making money out of sperm donation to buy new iPhones. Sperm donation is a very serious cause for public good,” one Weibo user said. But a spokesperson with the Shanghai sperm bank told Xinhua the campaign has worked well so far, raising awareness and attracting potential donors.
The reason why 17 ml of sperm are so valuable in China is because not only are there thousands of infertile couples in China, but all sperm banks across the country face donation shortages because many young men are unaware or too embarrassed to donate, forcing the banks to turn to social media.
Even if they do find a sufficient pool of potential donors, certain criteria must be met to be eligible. Donors must be between 22 to 45 years old, hold a college degree and have high-quality semen that can survive the rigors of freezing and thawing.Which still keeps the pool of eligible candidates in the tens if not hundreds of millions.
It was not exactly clear how potential female consumers of iPhone are supposed to capitalize on this latest Chinese craze, and while there are countless, and very humorous, places one can take this latest manifestation of capitalism perhaps gone too far, one potential Chinese “channel check” may have appeared: masturbation as a leading indicator of iPhone sales. Because just when sales were starting to turn flaccid, here comes China’s sperm-for-iPhones Hail Mary, promising at least several more quarters of firm stock reactions to EPS beats.
– Rotten Apple: Former Leader Breaking Down (Dana Lyons’ Tumblr):
This is just a quick-hitter post on another former leader that is breaking down. As we have mentioned several times – in particular on July 22 and August 5 – the ever-thinning stock market rally is starting to lose the relatively few leaders still keeping it afloat. That July post noted the relative weakness in the equal-weight Nasdaq 100, even as the cap-weighted index remained near its highs. One reason was the performance of Apple Inc. (AAPL), the largest stock in the index, and the entire U.S. market. When AAPL is moving higher, it can mask a lot of problems in the broader market. Unfortunately for bulls, AAPL is beginning to crack. It began on the day of the July post when it got crushed following its earnings release. It has since broken down more, recently dropping below its post-2009 UP trendline.
– “No Brainer” AAPL Enters Correction, Down 12% From Recent Highs To 6-Month Lows (ZeroHedge, Aug 3, 2015):
Having broken its 200DMA earlier this morning, selling pressure has continued in the “as goes AAPL, so goes the US economy market” stock. Now down almost 12% from earnings exuberance, AAPL is in correction territory and is trading at six-month lows…
Paging Carl Icahn…
– Apple watch needs to see your blood before it works! (Jim Stone, April 29, 2015):
Here’s something interesting and creepy beyond belief – the Apple watch needs to see your blood and know it is being worn before it can receive calls and notifications, OR before it can be used to do any online transaction.On the back of the Apple watch there is a light that has to penetrate your skin and see your blood before the watch will accept the fact that it is being worn. This is part of the heart monitor function. At first I thought this had to be a hoax, but the apple blogs confirm it is real. Apple refuses to comment.Because of this, people who have tattoos on their wrist cannot use the apple watch to do much of anything, not even make calls or receive notifications because tattoos block the watch from seeing their blood. They can’t make online purchases or do anything that requires security because the apple watch wants to see your blood to prove it is you wearing it, and if it cannot it will not enable even basic features. Continue reading »
– The Fate of The Tech Bubble Is In The Hands Of Just One Company (ZeroHedge, April 24, 2015):
With the Nasdaq sitting at new highs having finally eclipsed the previous record of 5,048 set in March of 2000 and with consumers not-so-eagerly awaiting their chance to get in on the supposed wave of the wearables future by purchasing their very own Apple Watch, we learn that the fate of the tech bubble now rests entirely on the shoulders of Tim Cook because as FactSet notes, “blended Q1 Y/Y EPS growth for the Information Technology sector is 0.7% [but] excluding Apple, the blended earnings growth rate for the sector would fall to -5.1%.”
That rather disconcerting statistic makes this the scariest chart in the world for tech investors:
And as it turns out, it’s not just the tech space. Y/Y EPS growth for the entire S&P 500 is expected to come in at -2.8% — excluding Apple knocks more than a full percentage point off the already negative results: “The blended earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 is -2.8%. Excluding Apple, the blended earnings decline for the S&P 500 would increase to -3.9%.”
In other words, the market better hope there are a lot of these people out there: Continue reading »
– Hillary Clinton Caught In Another Lie (ZeroHedge, April 1, 2015):
Three weeks ago, when Hillary Clinton was scrambling to come up with a credible lie to explain why she was using a personal server for email distribution – one that was not US government property and thus exempt from official FOIA requests – she said during a press conference at the United Nations that the reason was simple: it was simply a matter of “convenience” of carrying just one device.
“when I got to work as secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
As it turns out she lied. Again. Continue reading »
– The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets (The Intercept, March 10, 2015):
RESEARCHERS WORKING with the Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained effort to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Intercept.
The security researchers presented their latest tactics and achievements at a secret annual gathering, called the “Jamboree,” where attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released. Continue reading »
– How Christy Turlington Cost Apple $17 Billion: The Annotated Apple Watch Event (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2015):
Well that escalated quickly.
AAPL stock surged exuberantly on news of a gold Macbook – ran Friday’s high stops… then started to tumble on the Apple Watch release, but things got really bad once the Christy Turlington cheesey infomercial kicked in:
– US Espionage Blowback: China Drops Apple, Cisco From State Purchase Lists (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):
Another quarter of leaks of ubiquitous US espionage in every corner of the world, and sure enough we get another quarter of China just saying no to spending any more money on companies which are, as far as Beijing is concerned, a natural extension of the NSA. According to Reuters, China has just dropped some of America’s leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, chief among them Cisco (which already was hammered a year ago due to the Snowden revelations), and everyone’s favorite $1 trillion market cap or bust cell phone maker, Apple. Continue reading »
– Why Apple, With $178 Billion In Cash, Is Raising Debt (ZeroHedge, Feb 2, 2015):
Virtually all of AAPL’s cash growth in the December 31 quarter took place offshore, where its cash hoard rose from $137 billion to $158 billion (mostly thanks to the previously mentioned surge in Chinese iPhone purchases). How much of Apple’s cash is domestic? As the following chart shows, a paltry $20 billion of AAPL’s cash, or barely above 10%, is held domestically – one of the lowest levels in the past 4 years – and can be used for such corporate activities as stock buybacks and dividends.
It also means that total US debt to nominal GDP as of Sept 30, which was $17.555 trillion, is now 103%. Keep in mind this GDP number was artificially increased by about half a trillion dollars a year ago thanks to the “benefit” of R&D and intangibles. Without said definitional change, debt/GDP would now be about 106%.
It also means that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.
And now we wait for the US to become Spain, and add the estimated “contribution” from hookers and blow to GDP, once again pushing the total debt/GDP ratio below the psychological 100% level.
With the apparent goal of ‘protecting civilians’ from ISIS and Syria’s al-Assad, the US and Turkey appear to be close to agreeing on the creation of a no-fly-zone along a portion of the Syrian border. As WSJ reports, U.S. and Turkish officials have narrowed their differences over a joint military mission in Syria that would give the U.S. and its coalition partners permission to use Turkish air bases to launch strike operations against Islamic State targets across northern Syria. The no-fly-zone would provide sanctuary to Western-backed opposition forces and refugees. As Bloomberg notes, this is a significant reversal of Obama’s earlier policy (fearing it would be a significant strain on the U.S. Air Force and put fliers in mortal danger) pushing US closer to outright proxy war with Russia via direct confrontation with al-Assad’s airforce.
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war.
The new top-security, fortified facility in Moscow includes several large war rooms, a brand new supercomputer in the heart of a state-of-the-art data processing center, underground facilities, secret transport routes for emergency evacuation and a helicopter pad, which was deployed for the first time on Nov. 24 on the Moscow River. The Defense Ministry won’t disclose the price tag for the site, but it is estimated at the equivalent of several billion dollars.
ermany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published a video report of immense implications – possibly the first national broadcaster in the West to admit that the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day.
The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” confirms what has been reported by geopolitical analysts since at least as early as 2011 – that NATO member Turkey has allowed a torrent in supplies, fighters, and weapons to cross its borders unopposed to resupply ISIS positions inside of Syria.
In one surreal scene from the DW report, anti-Syria terrorists are seen walking across the border and literally shot dead just on the other side by Kurdish fighters.
Local residents and merchants interviewed by Germany’s DW admitted that commerce with Syria benefiting them had ended since the conflict began and that the supplies trucks carry as they stream across the border originates from “western Turkey.” The DW report does not elaborate on what “western Turkey” means, but it most likely refers to Ankara, various ports used by NATO, and of course NATO’s Incirlik Air Base.
ISIS Menace Was NATO All Along
– Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises (Natural News):
A flu vaccine manufactured by Novartis is killing people in Italy, with the death toll now rising to 13 people according to a reports from The Age, News.com and WAtoday.com.au.   
“The number of people who have died in Italy after being administered a flu vaccine made by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has risen to 13,” say reports.
The deaths occurred “within 48 hours of being administered the [vaccine]” and Italian health authorities have issued a partial ban on the vaccination batches believed to be causing the fatalities.…
Yesterday, when we commented on what was largely a pre-determined outcome of the Swiss gold referendum, we said that there still “is the question of what happens to the tension in the gold swap market: as noted last week, the 1 Month GOFO rate had tumbled to the most negative in over a decade. It was not clear if this collateral gold squeeze was the result of Swiss referendum overhang or due to other reasons. The market’s reaction on Monday should answer those questions.”
Well, a few hours ago we got the GOFO update for the “day after” and the answer is clear: it wasn’t fear of the Swiss referendum after all because the 1 Month GOFO just crashed even deeper into negative territory with the entire curve through 6M now red, and with 12 month GOFO just 0.6 bps away from negative for the first time. At this rate, tomorrow’s update will suggest that big institutions expect the gold swap shortage to persist through the end of 2015!
Also, judging by the gold reaction, which is about $50 from the overnight lows, someone else appears to have noticed that the rather shocking shortage of synthetic gold among institutions, which is finally seeping through into that whole “price discovery” process, where supply and demand actually matter.
Bottom line: whatever caused the record scramble for rehypothecated gold, it wasn’t fears about the outcome of the Swiss referendum. Something else spooked the precious metal a month ago, and as seen on the chart above, things have only gotten progressively worse since then.
– US Debt In Public Hands Doubles Under Barack Obama (ZeroHedge):
As noted previously, total US debt is now over $18 trillion. Here is where it gets even more surreal: debt held by the public on January 20, 2009, Obama’s inauguration day, was $6.3 trillion. It is now $12.9 trillion, a 105% increase. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is Senator Barack Obama saying on July 3, 2008, that the $4 trillion in debt added by Bush was “irresponsible and unpatriotic”…
– President Obama ‘Fixes’ Ferguson (ZeroHedge):
So, a task force (aka Police Tzar) by Executive Order, more funding for local police equipment, and figure out how to
make gold from leadpromote effective crime reduction while building public trust
Ok, off to the golf club…
Since 2006,MRAPs, helicopters, machine guns, and night-vision-goggle have been increasingly evident across America as the good ol’ yankee copper morphs into a full-metal-jacket-looking killer (even as the FBI admits the threats to police have not escalated as much as the media would like). So it isjust ‘lucky’ that Ferguson has reignited a narrative that enables President Obama “to discuss federal programs and funding that provide equipment to the state and local enforcement agencies,” in a series of meetings today at The White House. We suspect funding will increase (for your own protection) and a new SWATification Tzar will be unveiled.
With a third of S&P 500 capital expenditure due from the imploding energy sector (and with over 20% of the high-yield market dominated by these names), paying attention to any inflection point in the US oil-producers is critical as they have been gung-ho “unequivocally good” expanders even as oil prices fell. However, as Reuters reports, new data suggests that the much-anticipated slowdown in shale country may have finally arrived – permits for new wells dropped 15% across 12 major shale formations last month, as one analysts warns, “the first domino is the price, which causes other dominos to fall.”
– Record cold in Pincher Creek, Alberta (Ice Age Now):
Blasts old record low set in 1896
– StealthFlation!!! Got Gold? (ZeroHedge):
They Will Reflate! There Won’t Be Growth! There Will Be Blood!
When a well paid NFL football lineman quits the game to raise food for the needy, that’s an unusually interesting story. After St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown decided to leave the game for good, his agent told him that he was making the biggest mistake of his life. Jason adamantly replied, “No I’m not. No I’m not.…
The build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe is hostile and destabilizes the Baltic, once the safest region in Europe, a senior Russian diplomat charged. The alliance’s chief accused Moscow of conducting aggressive exercises close to NATO borders.
The trade of accusations between Russia and NATO continued on Monday ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting this week.
By bringing in more weapons to Eastern Europe, some of them with highly-destructive power, the North Atlantic alliance is undermining regional security, Russia’s deputy foreign minister told Interfax.
“What are NATO military commander in Europe Philip Breedlove and the likes of him doing? They are trying to shake up the most stable region in the world, which is Europe’s north. Those endless military exercises, rebasing of aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons to the Baltic nations. This is the reality, a very negative one,” he said.
Big news for the Right to Know movement! Awareness regarding the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has mushroomed, forcing the world to finally put genetically spliced food under the microscope.Organizers announced in London on November 11 that they will be performing the world’s first ever comprehensive and independent study on the safety of GMOs and their associated pesticides. Referred to as “Factor GMO,” the project has already begun the preparatory phase, but the full-blown experiment is expected to launch in 2015.The $25 million study will be the first long-term combined GMO/pesticide safety study involving multi-generational, toxicology and carcinogenicity arms. “Neutral” scientists with reportedly NO ties to the biotech industry or anti-GMO movement will be monitoring 6,000 rats fed GM corn over a three-year period.…
The most popular name for baby boys in the UK is Muhammad, according to a new chart for 2014 compiled by BabyCentre. The name, also spelled as Mohammed and often given after the Muslim prophet, has seen an enormous gain in popularity, jumping 27 ranks.…
So you don’t indulge in sugar. You never take antibiotics. You eat a pretty good diet. Why are you still battling Candida?You may have to look no further than your mouth. If you have amalgam fillings – mercury fillings – the cause of your Candidiasis might be staring back at you.…
Over 50 percent of the government’s elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have been accused of misconduct and subsequently probed by the state’s policing watchdog, new figures reveal.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has investigated “44 referrals from police and crime commissioners” relating to potential impropriety on behalf of 23 separate police chiefs, a spokesman for the body said on Monday.
This figure amounts to more than half of the 41 PCCS who were officially elected in November 2012, he told RT.
A Cambridge doctor who admitted to serial sexual abuse of dozens of young cancer patients has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Myles Bradbury, who worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, admitted to 25 offences including sexual assault, voyeurism and possession of over 16,000 images of children.
The 41-year-old blood cancer specialist further admitted to the abuse of 18 young patients in his care between 2009 and 2013.
Unless the scientific community and political leaders act soon, cold, dark days are ahead, because the evidence is clear that the earth is rapidly growing colder because of diminished solar activity, says author John L. Casey, former NASA consultant.
Trends indicate we could be headed for colder temperatures similar to those seen in the late 1700s and early 1800s when the sun went into a “solar minimum” — a phenomenon with significantly reduced solar activity, including solar flares and sunspots, says Casey.
In his new book “Dark Winter,” Casey posits that a 30-year period of cold has already begun. Frigid temperatures and the food shortages that inevitably result could lead to riots and chaos.
“All you have to do is trust natural cycles and follow the facts, and that leads you to the inevitable conclusion that the sun controls the climate, and that a new cold era has begun,” says Casey.
Is it any surprise oil prices are cratering? With global GDP expectations plumbing cycle lows, JPMorgan just confirmed the global slowdown is accelerating as their Global Manufacturing PMI printed 51.8 – its slowest level of ‘expansion’ since September 2013.New Orders fell to the lowest reading since July 2013 and New Export Orders to the lowest since June 2013.
But the US is really decoupling this time…
For the 3rd month in a row, US Manufacturing PMI dropped from 4-year highs to 10-month lows. At 54.8, missing expectations of 55.0 (and down from 55.9) for the 5th month of the last 6 as extrapolated hopes fade into the usual cyclical un-decoupled collapse into year-end (but ignore NRF data). Sadly for the bullish decoupling meme, Markit notes, “the principal cause of the slowdown is a renewed downturn in export orders, which fell for the first time since January.” So, amid all of this doom, ISM then beat expectations, printing 58.7 vs 58.0 expectations (down slightly from October’s 59.0 print) led by – rather ironically – new export orders surging… US data has gone full China.
Thousands of people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland, after the nation’s parliament approved a same-sex marriage law and the church’s archbishop expressed support for the vote, Finland’s Yle News reported.
– Apple: AAPL Flash-Crashes Over 7% (ZeroHedge):
Did Icahn just cover? Cramer’s view: “that’s silly” And no – there’s no catalyst – this is your most liquid efficient stock market in the world at work…
Another day full of global macroeconomic disappointments is certain to send the S&P500 to all time-higherest records as 100,000 or so E-mini contracts exchange hands between central banks and Citadel’s algos.
Tags: Amalgam, Apple, Barack Obama, Candida, Collapse, Corruption, Crime, Economy, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, GMO, Gold, Health, Mercury, Military, Obama administration, Police, Police State, Politics, Science, Sex, Society, Syria, Turkey, U.K., U.S., Vaccination, Vaccine
– Why Apple Is Preparing To Issue Even More Bonds (ZeroHedge, Nov 3, 2014):
As its recent 10-K confirmed, AAPL’s domestic cash – the amount of cash available for such corporate transactions as dividends and buybacks – had dropped to just $18.1 billion (and that is including the several billion in commercial paper issued in fiscal Q4), the lowest domestic cash hoard since March 2010, a time when AAPL’s offshore cash was a tiny $24 billion compared to the near record $137 billion last quarter! So knowing full well that a buyback a day keep the Icahnator away, AAPL, urgently looking to refill its domestic cash since its offshore cash remains untouchable (absent being taxed on its repatriation), did the only thing it could do: prepare to issue more bonds, which is what we forecast would happen a few weeks ago, and what the WSJ overnight confirmed is already in progress.
– Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (New York Times, Sep 10, 2014):
When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.
“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.
Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.
Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends.
I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night.
Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t. Continue reading »
– Apple Doesn’t Take Customer Security Seriously – 5 Irresponsible and Shocking Lapses (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 3, 2014):
I’m the furthest thing in the world from a technology or security expert, but what I have learned in recent years is that a dedicated, sophisticated and well funded hacker can pretty much own your data no matter how many precautions you take. Nevertheless, the major technology companies on the planet shouldn’t go out of their way to make this as easy as possible.
In the wake of the theft of private images from several prominent celebrities, many people are rightly wondering whether how vulnerable their data is. The answer appears to be “very,” and if you use Apple, the following article from Slate may leave you seething with a sense of anger and betrayal.
Mar 25, 2013
“Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?” Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman (‘Quants’ & ‘Money & Speed’), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.
Those routes go by resounding names like ‘Cayman Special’, ‘Double Irish’, and ‘Dutch Sandwich’. A financial world operates in the shadows surrounded by a high level of secrecy. A place where sizeable capital streams travel the world at the speed of light and avoid paying tax. The Tax Free Tour is an economic thriller mapping the systemic risk for governments and citizens alike. Is this the price we have to pay for globalised capitalism?
At the same time, the free online game “Taxodus” by Femke Herregraven is launched. In the game, the player can select the profile of a multinational and look for the global route to pay as little tax as possible.
research: William de Bruijn
camera: Jean Counet
montage: Bart van den Broek
geluid: Tim van Peppen, Benny Jansen, Joris van Ballegoijen
productie: Marie Schutgens
animaties: Bitcaves & Motoko
International Sales for this documentary are handled by NPO Sales: http://www.nposales.com/?s=backlight
– China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple (RT, Aug 25, 2014):
Following revelations of America’s National Security Agency’s global internet surveillance system, combined with a desire to enhance domestic production, China is beating a path towards unveiling its own operating systems in October.
The Chinese-made substitutes would first be introduced on desktop devices, later expanding to include smartphones and other hand-held devices, Ni Guangnan heads an official operating system development alliance established in March, Xinhau reported at the weekend.
“We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores,” Ni told the trade paper. Continue reading »
– Apple engineered surveillance back door into 600 million iPhones (Natural News, July 22, 2014):
A highly skilled hacker who presented at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York has dropped a massive bomb on the state of smartphone privacy. Jonathan Zdziarski, an active member in the iPhone development community who helped work on many early iOS “jailbreak” iterations, says Apple has deliberately engineered back door surveillance systems into the iPhone, allowing both the company and the government easy access to users’ personal data.
During his presentation, Zdziarski, who goes by the hacker alias “NerveGas,” showed detailed slides explaining how iOS is inherently insecure — on purpose. His investigation into the coding behind iOS revealed that the seemingly user-friendly system, which is used on hundreds of millions of Apple iPhones, contains a number of “undocumented high-value forensic services” and “suspicious design omissions,” both of which make it relatively easy for private data to be extracted from users’ phones. Continue reading »
– China Fears iPhone Is “Threat To National Security” (ZeroHedge, July 12, 2014):
With threats and promises over cyber-crimes fleeting back and forth between the US and China, it appears – through the ‘back-channel’ of the nation’s state broadcaster CCTV – China has stepped it up once again. As AFP reports, China has accused US technology giant Apple of threatening national security through its iPhone’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location. While not exactly a ‘new feature’ of the phones, the timing of China’s public lambasting reflects the escalating mutual distrust between the US and China over the extent of cyber-espionage.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has accused US technology giant Apple of threatening national security through its iPhone’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location.
– Minimum Wage Consequences? iPhone 6 Will Be Made By “FoxBots” (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014):
First it was burgers, then waiters, traders, and recently earnings-report-writers; but now it’s iPhones. The endless pressure to raise minimum wages, demand bathroom breaks, expect to sleep, and tolerable breathing standards have finally culminated in China’s FoxConn – manufacturer of the iPhone – to use a ‘robot army’ to build the new model. As The Daily Mail reports, The firm has pledged to have a million robot workers by the end of the year – and CEO Terry Gou has revealed the robots, dubbed ‘Foxbots’, are in the final stages of testing.
It is believed Foxconn will install 10,000 robots as a test. Continue reading »
– Apple, Google to pay $324 million to settle conspiracy lawsuit (Reuters, April 24, 2014):
Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin.
Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another’s employees in order to avert a salary war. They planned to ask for $3 billion in damages at trial, according to court filings. That could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.
– Foxconn Working With Google on Robotics (Wall Street Journal, Feb 11, 2014):
Foxconn has long been associated as the partner for Apple, assembling the majority of the U.S. company’s iPhones and iPads.
But few people know the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, also known as Hon Hai Precision industry, has been quietly working with Google.
People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Foxconn has been working with former Android executive Andy Rubin since last year to carry out the U.S. company’s vision for robotics.
To speed up robot deployment at its own factories, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou met with Rubin in Taipei recently and they discussed new robotic technologies, they said.
– Appelbaum: ‘Scary’ NSA will spy on you – every which way they can (RT, Dec 30, 2013):
Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum revealed what he calls “wrist-slitting depressing” details about the National Security Agency’s spy programs at a computer conference in Germany on Monday where he presented previously unpublished NSA files.
Appelbaum is among the small group of experts, activists and journalists who have seen classified United States intelligence documents taken earlier this year by former contractor Edward Snowden, and previously he represented transparency group WikiLeaks at an American hacker conference in 2010. Those conditions alone should suffice in proving to most anybody that Appelbaum has been around more than his fair share of sensitive information, and during his presentation at the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg on Monday he spilled his guts about some of the shadiest spy tactics seen yet through leaked documents.
Tags: Apple, Barack Obama, Cell Phone, Dell, Edward Snowden, GCHQ, Glenn Greenwald, Global News, Government, Hugo Chavez, Jacob Appelbaum, Mobile Phone, New World Order, NSA, Obama administration, Politics, Surveillance, Technology, U.S., WIKILEAKS
– Obama Says He’s Not Allowed iPhone For ‘Security Reasons’ (Huffington Post, Dec 4, 2013):
The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: U.S. President Barack Obama.
At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s smart phone, the iPhone, for “security reasons,” though he still uses Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad.
– MasterCard joining push for fingerprint ID standard (USA Today, Oct 2, 2013):
The addition of MasterCard will help FIDO expand its standard to more types of transactions. The company’s experience handling the multitude of existing payments industry standards will also be valuable.
SAN FRANCISCO — MasterCard is joining the FIDO Alliance, signaling that the payment network is getting interested in using fingerprints and other biometric data to identify people for online payments.
MasterCard will be the first major payment network to join FIDO. The Alliance is developing an open industry standard for biometric data such as fingerprints to be used for identification online. The goal is to replace clunky passwords and take friction out of logging on and purchasing using mobile devices.
Apple’s new iPhone 5s smartphone has a fingerprint sensor, but the tech giant is not part of FIDO. However, Google is part of the Alliance, and devices running Google’s Android operating system will have fingerprint sensors by next year.
– LA officials may delay school iPad rollout after students hack them in a week (engadget, Sep 26, 2013):
Just a week after it began the first phase of putting iPads in the hands of all 640,000 students in the region, the Los Angeles school district already has a fight on its hands. In a matter of days, 300 children at Theodore Roosevelt High School managed to work around protective measures placed on the Apple tablets, giving them complete access to features — including Facebook, Twitter and other apps — that should otherwise have been blocked.
– Hackers Breach iPhone 5S Fingerprint Security (ZeroHedge, Sep 23, 2013):
Dubbed as a “game-changer” despite being around on devices for years (Motorola Atrix anyone); a ‘paradigm’ shift in mobile payment security; and a revolution in handheld devices by any and all investors bullish of the stocks; Appl’s fingerprint-scanning TouchID is everything you want it to be – apart from secure. As Der Spiegel reports, the well-respected German hacker group Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has thrown a wrench in the works by bypassing the smartphone’s much-heralded fingerprint scanner just two days after launch. The CCC, as the clip below illustrates, successfully bypassed the biometric security system, called TouchID, using “easy everyday means.” So, the question now is – will the NYPD demand everyone downgrade their phones?
It is supposed to represent a major step forward in mobile phone security by replacing the password. But the fingerprint sensor on Apple’s new iPhone 5S has already been compromised just two days after it went on sale. The German hacker organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) says it has successfully bypassed the biometric security system, called TouchID, using “easy everyday means.”
the CCC said in a blog post, it wanted to demonstrate how fingerprint biometrics is “unsuitable as [an] access control method and should be avoided.”
Such fingerprint technology has been around for a while — it was included as a feature on the Motorola Atrix smartphone, launched in 2011 — but TouchID has been reported as a significant step forward. That assertion is categorically denied by the CCC, with a hacker known as Starbug, who was responsible for bypassing the fingerprint security, saying: “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake.”
“It is plain stupid to use something that you can’t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token,” he said, referring to fingerprints.