Apple shares a wealth of news on its big day, but few surprises
Once a year, Apple holds its Worldwide Developers Conference, and the tech world gets a boatload of updates from the company. The ship’s not quite as leak-proof as it used to be, though, so there were few surprises in the mix. Tim Cook and company unveiled:
— Apple Music, a streaming service, and an Internet radio station called Beats One;
— an update to iOS 9 that features multitasking, a new, improved Siri and an actual “news” app;
— a major new OS release for Macs dubbed El Capitan that includes natural language search and browser improvements;
— the ability to write apps that are native to the Apple Watch;
— open-sourcing Swift, a move that could help propel the programming language to wider use.
Meanwhile, it’s building a major content-delivery network, sources say
Naturally there’s a lot more going on at Apple than it talked about at WWDC, and among those activities, says Bloomberg, is the move to build a high-speed network and data centers that can compete with Amazon, Google and Microsoft in cloud services. Apple’s push into more streaming content as announced on Monday will likely put pressure on what until now has been an infrastructure supplied by others.
Facebook’s Place Tips location service passes test, goes into wide release
Facebook is expanding a location-aware program that will let businesses pop information into the top of your news feed. Place Tips lets brick-and-mortar stores send information to users’ News Feeds, by sensing where customers are through Bluetooth beacons placed in participating business locations. Facebook began piloting the program earlier this year with a handful of companies in New York, and is now opening it up to small and midsize businesses across the U.S.
Ruby is tops as coding bootcamp enrollment booms
Syrian Electronic Army takes down US Army website
The U.S. Army’s website was defaced and later brought down Monday, with the Syrian Electronic Army claiming responsibility. The group of hackers supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed to have posted several messages on Army.mil Monday afternoon; one graphic, showing Syrian troops, included the text, “The defender of honor, Syrian Arab Army.”
Sharing economy workers need protection
The proponents of the so-called sharing economy (where app-based middlemen share in transaction revenue) like to trumpet how the freelance Uber drivers and TaskRabbits have the freedom to work when they want to. But U.S. Senator Mark Warner thinks all those not-quite-employees need a safety net, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Virginia Democrat is calling for programs that would give insurance and other benefits to workers classified as independent contractors.
Hospital drug pumps can be hacked to deliver the wrong dose
A security researcher claims to have uncovered vulnerabilities in several models of pumps used to deliver medication in hospitals, that would let a hacker remotely change the dosage being administered, Wired reports. The pumps are all made by Hospira, which has over 400,000 intravenous drug pumps installed in hospitals.
Malware can sneak into health-care settings via connected devices
There’s more bad news for health-care technology managers, besides the boom in medical identity theft and hackable drug pumps: Security Ledger writes about a new report from TrapX that identifies unprotected medical devices as vulnerable points that are giving attackers a foothold in networks. Particularly critical are some radiologic imaging systems, which may not show up to security monitoring systems but let malware infections fester on hospital networks.
IDG News reporters Blair Hanley Frank and Nick Barber review the highlights of Apple’s WWDC news.
One last thing:
It was a blockbuster deal for an idiosyncratic Swedish game developer when Microsoft bought the home of Minecraft last year. Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson share an inside view of how the acquisition shook up Mojang.