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Contact Info for Millions of Instagram Influencers, Celebrities, and Brand Accounts Leaked Online

A database that contained contact information for millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities, and brand accounts was recently leaked online, reports TechCrunch.

The database, which was hosted by Amazon Web Services and contains more than 49 million records, was accessible without a password or other credentials according to the security researcher who informed TechCrunch about the leak.

Records include public data pulled from Instagram, such as profile picture, biography, and follower numbers, but also private contact information like phone numbers and email addresses.

Records also calculated the "worth" of each account based on follower count, engagement, reach, likes, and shares.

The database was initially uploaded and shared by Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, a company that pays Instagram influencers to share sponsored content. Though uploaded by Chtrbox, the database includes info from influencers who have never worked with the company.
TechCrunch found several high-profile influencers in the exposed database, including prominent food bloggers, celebrities and other social media influencers.

We contacted several people at random whose information was found in the database and provided them their phone numbers. Two of the people responded and confirmed their email address and phone number found in the database was used to set up their Instagram accounts. Neither had any involvement with Chtrbox, they said.
After hearing from TechCrunch, Chtrbox took the database offline, but the company's CEO did not respond to a request for comment on how the data was obtained.

Instagram parent company Facebook said that it was looking into the issue and aiming to determine whether the data was from Instagram or other sources. "We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available," said Facebook.

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U.S. Justice Department 'Leaning Against' Approving T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

The United States Justice Department is "leaning against" approving the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, reports Bloomberg.

The merger might not be approved because the two companies "don't go far enough" to resolve antitrust concerns raised by the U.S. government.


Bloomberg's report comes shortly after United States Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said that he would recommend approval of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sprint have implemented changes to their merger to allay concerns, including the sale of Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of a 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built, but these steps may not be enough to earn approval.

Back in April, there were reports suggesting the DoJ had told Sprint and T-Mobile that the merger would not be approved as it was originally structured, which prompted the plans to sell Boost Mobile.

Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the merger requires the government to approve the deal. A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would combine two of the four major carriers in the U.S., and it would use the T-Mobile name.

The two companies would have close to 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon. The U.S. DoJ is concerned the deal would be a major threat to competition.

Sprint and T-Mobile planned to have the merger completed no later than the first half of 2019, but that date was pushed back to late July earlier this year.

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Google Launches New $999 Glass AR Headset for Enterprise Customers

Google today announced the launch of a new enterprise-focused Google Glass headset, the Glass Enterprise Edition 2.

The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 looks more like a traditional pair of glasses than a futuristic headset thanks to safety frames designed in partnership with Smith Optics, but for those who don't need safety glasses features, there's also a standard version that looks like the original.


Both versions feature a 640 x 380 Optical Display Module that displays augmented reality content over the real world view, while also offering up a smart voice assistant for getting tasks done.

Inside, there's an updated, faster Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera, USB-C port for faster charging, and a larger battery.


Google says the Snapdragon XR1 features a significantly more powerful multicore CPU and a new artificial intelligence engine for "significant power savings," improved performance, and support for computer vision and more advanced machine learning capabilities.

Google Glass 2 runs Android Oreo, which is meant to make it easier for businesses to develop for and deploy.

The new version of Google Glass is priced at $999, down from $1,599 for the original version, and like the prior Enterprise Glass option, it is not available directly to consumers.


Google originally released Google Glass in 2013 as a mass market product, but it wasn't well-received due to privacy and functionality concerns. Google then relaunched it as an Enterprise product for businesses in 2017, with the redesigned version available as of today.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own augmented reality smart glasses, which could be somewhat similar in design to Google's version. Apple has had AR smart glasses in development for several years now, and rumors have suggested we could see a launch in 2020.

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, almost one week after seeding the first iOS 12.4 beta, and two weeks after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


There were no new features discovered in the first iOS 12.4 beta, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available - the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public.

If we find new features in the second beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, which is expected to be introduced at WWDC in June.

Update: The second beta of iOS 12.4 is also available for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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Apple Stores Quietly Carrying New LG 23.7-Inch UltraFine Display

Over the past few months, supplies of the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays have dried up at Apple's retail and online stores, leading to speculation on the future of Apple-approved displays beyond a rumored ultra high-end 6K display perhaps coming alongside a revamped Mac Pro later this year.


As shared by TidBITS, however, Apple retail stores are now quietly carrying a new $700 23.7-inch UltraFine display from LG. TidBITS' Julio Ojeda-Zapata was able to locate the new display in two different Apple retail stores, but it is not currently listed in the company's online store.
To my surprise, an employee told me I should consider forgoing the 21.5-inch model. Why? “Because we have a larger LG display for the same price.” Laid out for me on the floor were boxes for the two monitors—including the 23.7-inch version that had seemingly come from nowhere.
At 23.7 inches, the new UltraFine display sits between the original 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K display, but there is some confusion over the resolution of the display. Ojeda-Zapata claims that it only offers a resolution of 3360x1890, which would not reasonably allow it to serve as a Retina-quality display, but a user manual (PDF) for the display indicates that its native resolution is in fact 3840x2160. That's still less than that 4096x2304 resolution of the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K, but it would at least qualify as an Ultra HD resolution that is typically marketed as being 4K.

Ojeda-Zapata purchased the new display and shares a brief overview of it, noting that it carries the same design as the previous UltraFine 4K/5K displays sold by Apple and offers a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and three regular USB-C ports on the rear. The original UltraFine 4K/5K displays only offered a single Thunderbolt 3 port in addition to the three USB-C ports, so the extra Thunderbolt 3 port on the new display allows for daisy-chaining additional Thunderbolt 3 accessories over a single connection.

Tag: LG
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Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement

Apple has informed its retail staff that it will substitute some Apple Watch Series 3 repairs with the Apple Watch Series 4, due to low inventory on the older model. The announcement was spotted by an internal memo delivered to staff and Authorized Service Providers, seen by 9to5Mac.


Now, customers looking for a repair or replacement of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and cellular, can instead receive the stainless steel Series 4 model with GPS and cellular. The change is said to apply to Apple retail stores and ASPs globally, but it's unclear at this time if the Series 4 upgrades are a permanent solution to the Series 3 shortages.

Apple's new repair/replacement upgrade for the Apple Watch is the latest of several instances of the company substituting Apple Watch repairs with newer models. This began in January, when the company announced that some first-generation Apple Watches and Apple Watch Series 1 could qualify for Series 2 replacements, due to supply constraints on repair parts for the older models. Then, earlier in May, Apple confirmed that repairs of certain Apple Watch Series 2 models will be fulfilled with equivalent Series 3 models due to temporary shortages of unspecified Series 2 parts.

To initiate a repair, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. As usual, it's not guaranteed that all locations will acknowledge existence of this internal policy, especially given that there is no definitive end date, so your mileage may vary.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Google and Other Suppliers Begin Cutting Off Huawei Following U.S. Trade Ban

Last week, president Donald Trump signed an order to restrict Huawei Technologies from selling its equipment in the United States in an attempt to curb Huawei's access to U.S. markets. This included placing Huawei on a blacklist that could forbid it from doing business with American companies.


Now, the effect of the blacklisting has hit the China supply chain this week, with chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom all telling their employees that they will not supply Huawei until further notice. Additionally, Google has cut off the supply of hardware and some software services to Huawei, specifically suspending all business with the company "that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing" (via Bloomberg and Reuters).

Google's suspension is particularly troublesome for Huawei's hardware business:
The suspension could hobble Huawei’s smartphone business outside China as the tech giant will immediately lose access to updates to Google’s Android operating system. Future versions of Huawei smartphones that run on Android will also lose access to popular services, including the Google Play Store and Gmail and YouTube apps.

“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” the source said.
Although Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome will disappear from future Huawei smartphones, anyone who owns an existing Huawei device with access to the Google Play Store will be able to download app updates from Google. The impact of the blacklisting is expected to be "minimal" in China, because most Google mobile apps are already banned in the Chinese market, where popular alternatives from Tencent and Baidu are more common.

In regards to the presidential ban, Huawei is said to have been stockpiling enough chips and other vital components to keep its business afloat for at least three months, in preparation for such an event. According to sources close to the company, executives believe Huawei has become a bargaining chip in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China and that things will go back to normal once a deal is reached.
Huawei “is heavily dependent on U.S. semiconductor products and would be seriously crippled without supply of key U.S. components,” said Ryan Koontz, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities Inc. The U.S. ban “may cause China to delay its 5G network build until the ban is lifted, having an impact on many global component suppliers.”
Apple has a long history with Huawei, which hasn't been completely amicable over the past few months. Earlier this year, the U.S. Justice Department announced a series of criminal charges against Huawei for bank fraud, wire fraud, obstructing justice, and stealing trade secrets, sometimes aimed at Apple. Despite all of the issues for the company, Huawei remains a dominant force in the China smartphone market and was far ahead of Apple in the first quarter of 2019.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Google, Huawei
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Toshiba Planning to Buy Back Memory Unit Shares Purchased Last Year by Apple and Others

Last June, Toshiba completed the sale of its memory chip unit to a global consortium of companies led by Bain Capital and including Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate Technology. Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Toshiba is now set to buy back these shares under a refinancing plan.


Specifically, the four companies (excluding Bain Capital) are set to sell their preferred shares back to Toshiba for about $4.5 billion by the end of the month, and together they made a few hundred million dollars on the investment in Toshiba. Toshiba received the capital to buy out the companies from Japanese banks, totaling $11.8 billion.

Looking ahead, the company is now planning to become publicly listed in Tokyo near the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020. Toshiba's plan to re-acquire its memory chip unit comes over two years after it first announced plans to sell the unit in January 2017, followed by bidding for the unit that began in March 2017.

The Bain-led consortium eventually prevented Western Digital from taking control of Toshiba's memory chip business, which at one point threatened legal action against Toshiba. Apple eventually joined a "last ditch" effort to win the bid with Bain Capital, which will remain a majority owner of the memory chip unit even after Toshiba buys back its shares from the other four companies.

Tag: Toshiba
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Powerbeats Pro Water Resistance Test: Find Out What Happens if You Drop Apple's Newest Earbuds in the Toilet

Apple's new Powerbeats Pro earbuds feature a "reinforced design" for improved "sweat and water resistance" along with an official IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they should be able to hold up to a good amount of moisture.

Still, there were a lot of reports of the Powerbeats 3 failing due to sweat exposure, so we thought we'd test the liquid tolerance of the Powerbeats Pro with a series of water resistance tests.

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An IPX4 water resistance rating means that the Powerbeats Pro were able to withstand splashing water for at least 10 minutes, which is pretty decent because most people don't sweat buckets of water for an extended period of time.


We tested splashing water, jets of water, and even an extended dunk in water, and the Powerbeats Pro held up and worked well after every single test. Here's what we did:

- Test 1 - Simulated a drop in a kitchen sink with heavy splashes of water.
- Test 2 - Set the Powerbeats Pro in the shower for several minutes to simulate heavy rain.
- Test 3 - Dropped the Powerbeats Pro in the toilet, submerging them briefly.
- Test 4 - Dunked the Powerbeats Pro in a bowl of water for one minute.
- Test 5 - Dunked the PowerBeats Pro in a bowl of water for five minutes.
- Test 6 - Dunked the Powerbeats Pro in a bowl of water for 20 minutes.

After each water test, the sound coming from the Powerbeats Pro was muffled when we tested them, but once we got the water out, the earbuds were back to sounding normal.


The Powerbeats Pro survived all of our water tests. Nothing changed with the sound profile, the buttons continued to work, and charging was also fine. This suggests that the Powerbeats Pro do indeed have superior water resistance to the Powerbeats 3 and should hold up well to sweat.


We do not recommend showering with the Powerbeats Pro, using them in the rain, swimming with them, or otherwise exposing them to excessive moisture. Even when things are decently water resistant, the water resistance can wear down over time so it's going to be best to keep the Powerbeats Pro as dry as possible.


While the Powerbeats Pro did well in our tests, we've only continually exposed them to water and moisture for a couple of hours. We still don't know how they'll hold up to sweat over time, but right now, things are looking positive.

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Some 2018 Lexus Vehicles Eligible for $199 Software Update to Add CarPlay Support

Lexus recently announced that it is bringing CarPlay to some older vehicles, following the launch of CarPlay in new 2019 Lexus vehicles last September.

CarPlay can be installed in the 2018 LS, LC, RC, RC F, and NX, and as pointed out by iPhone in Canada, the new CarPlay options are available in both the U.S. and Canada.


According to Lexus, 2018 and 2019 vehicles equipped with a Lexus Multimedia System can have an enhancement installed that adds CarPlay compatibility along with support for Alexa. A full list of eligible vehicles is below:
  • 2018 LS
  • 2018 LC
  • 2018 RC and RC F
  • 2018 NX
  • 2019 NX (produced before October 2018)
  • 2019 RC F (produced before October 2018)
  • 2019 ES, without factory navigation (purchased before October 2018)
Lexus says that it is "pleased" to offer the software enhancement for $199, and Lexus owners who are interested should contact their Lexus dealer for more information.

Lexus says that new software will be installed on the Lexus Multimedia System to add the CarPlay feature, and a Lexus dealer is required to install the update.

CarPlay is already available in select 2019 Lexus vehicles including the 2019 UX crossover and the 2019 Lexus ES.

Lexus and parent company Toyota were among some of the last major car manufacturers to introduce support for CarPlay, instead supporting the SmartDeviceLink platform from Ford and Livio.

The wide availability of CarPlay spurred Toyota to reverse course and support Apple's platform after all, and the first 2019 Toyota and Lexus vehicles with CarPlay were announced in early 2018.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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Apple Park Decorated With Rainbow Colors in Celebration of Steve Jobs and Formal Opening of Campus

Apple Park is decorated with the colors of Apple's classic rainbow logo today in celebration of the formal opening of Apple's new headquarters, and as a tribute to its late co-founder Steve Jobs, who helped conceptualize the spaceship-like design of the main building on the campus prior to his death.

First and foremost, Apple has set up a stage with a rainbow arch within the inner circle of the main building, as we shared last week.


The rainbow colors can further be seen on some stairs and walkways at Apple Park, on coffee cups at the Caffè Macs employee cafeteria, and on some of Apple's shuttle buses. Apple employees have also received classic Apple rainbow logo pins with the message "thank you for being part of what makes Apple, Apple."





Apple's design chief Jony Ive reflected on the rainbow's significance in a recent interview:
There is the resonance with the rainbow logo that's been part of our identity for many years. The rainbow is also a positive and joyful expression of some of our inclusion values and I think that one of the primary reasons the idea resonated so immediately and so profoundly with us was the form -- the connection from an aesthetic design point of view. A semi-circle relates so beautifully and naturally to the form of the ring.
Rumors suggest that Lady Gaga will be making a special performance at Apple Park later today. The pop star has visited Apple before, having previously dropped by its Infinite Loop campus to visit Steve Jobs. Apple executive Eddy Cue recounted that experience in an interview with Steven Levy last year:
Lady Gaga once came in to visit Steve. I don't know exactly what she was wearing, but it looked like it was made out of, like, a Glad trash bag, and she had these huge heels and these gigantic glasses. I'm thinking, "This is going to be a disaster." But she sat down and started talking with Steve and she had all these great ideas.
Lady Gaga also performed at the iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London in 2013.

Apple employees began moving into Apple Park as early as the spring of 2017, but the process took many months, and some construction and landscaping also continued for quite some time. A recent drone video showed that the campus now looks lush and green, with hundreds of trees and a large central pond.


Lady Gaga's performance would in all likelihood be a private event for Apple employees.

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Google Pixel 4 Leaks Suggest Punch-Hole Selfie Camera and Total Lack of Physical Buttons

Google may have only just announced its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones, but rumors about this year's forthcoming Pixel 4 are already appearing, and the latest alleged leak suggests the search giant's redesigned handset will lack physical buttons.

MacRumors render of Pixel 4 based on leaks

This information has been shared by Jon Prosser's Front Page Tech YouTube channel, which last year was the source of several accurate details about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL over a month before they launched, and also confirmed the Pixel 3a devices' existence before they were formally announced.

According to Prosser's source, the Pixel 4 will use capacitive touch areas on the sides of the aluminum handset in lieu of clickable physical power and volume buttons. Prosser suggests these touch-sensitive areas may use an extended version of Google's existing Active Edge technology currently found in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 that lets users squeeze their phone to launch Google Assistant or silence incoming calls and notifications.

In addition, Prosser's source corroborates other recent rumors, including the presence of punch-hole front cameras embedded in the display – akin to those seen in Samsung's Galaxy 10 Plus and other smartphones this year – and either an optical or ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor.

The rear of the device is expected to feature a new dual-lens camera setup including either a telephoto zoom or super-wide-angle sensor, and they may be aligned horizontally in the upper left corner of the handset rather than the more typical vertical orientation seen on other dual-lens smartphones.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to be 4G LTE devices and will likely be announced during the second week of October – or just a few weeks after Apple is expected to launch its flagship successors to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

(Via PhoneArena.com)

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