New Video Shares First Drone Footage Since Recent 'Apple Park' Announcement

In the first drone update since Apple officially named its Spaceship campus "Apple Park," Matthew Roberts has shared an ongoing look at the progress of the campus as it grows ever closer to the official employee move-in date in April. The last collection of video updates came at the end of January and saw walkways, lamps, and parking lots beginning to appear on the site.

Now, the R&D center is "as polished as ever," according to Roberts' newest aerial update video. On the vehicle garages, solar panel installation is finally at 100 percent completion, while the main circular building has received more solar panels but progress on that front has yet to be completed.


As is usual for these updates, landscaping efforts are a major part of the continued construction on the site. Now, more trees have appeared above the underground tunnel and workers are prepping the area to finish the meadows surrounding the campus. The walkways part of last month's update can be seen cutting through the campus as well -- in total there will be 2 miles of walkways at Apple Park.

Other updates include "major changes" to the fitness center and the ongoing progress to the large courtyard inside of the main building. In the center, more drought resistant trees have been planted and more landscape features have appeared. More than 12,000 employees will work at Apple Park, including company CEO Tim Cook.

In its official announcement last week, Apple mentioned that the theater at Apple Park will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater" after the late CEO, who would have turned 62 last Friday. The theater is one of the buildings that won't be open when the campus begins moving employees in this April, and is expected to officially be ready later this year.

Berkshire Hathaway More Than Doubled its Stake in Apple in January

In an interview with CNBC today, billionaire investor Warren Buffett revealed that his holding company Berkshire Hathaway held around 133 million shares in Apple prior to the company's record-breaking earnings results on January 31.


Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it held 57.3 million shares in Apple as of December 31, 2016, so it more than doubled its stake in the iPhone maker in January. The holding, which reflects about 2.5% of Apple's outstanding shares, is worth over $17 billion if the shares are still held today.

Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a nearly $1 billion stake in Apple last May, which led the iPhone maker's stock to soar 9% once the investment became public knowledge. Apple stock has been on the rise since then, closing at an all-time high of $137.11 last week just nine months after setting a 52-week low of $89.47 in May 2016.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Says Trump Administration Will Be 'Catalyst' for Self-Driving Tech

In a bid to reassess self-driving car guidances following the Obama administration, the Trump administration's newly appointed Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, said this weekend that she is reviewing the guidances while urging companies "to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public." Chao said that there's a lot at stake in improving and regulating the technology, and ensuring that passengers are safe when they use the new self-driving systems (via Reuters).

The guidances referenced by the Obama administration asked carmakers to voluntarily detail each of their self-driving systems by using a 15-point "safety assessment" precaution. Most regulations were also urged to be looked at by the federal government and taken out of the hands of the states. As a new administration approached last November, automakers concerned about the guidelines -- citing a need to give up "significant data" and likely facing months-long delays in testing -- asked the incoming Trump staff to re-evaluate.

Google tests out its "Waymo" self-driving technology

Earlier in February, automakers faced Congress to request a few legislative changes that they hoped would "speed self-driving cars to U.S. roads." According to Chao, the Trump administration will do everything it can to be "a catalyst" for the industry and not become a blockade to progress in self-driving vehicles. Chao's thesis hit on asking Silicon Valley companies to first and foremost figure out a way to "educate a skeptical public" about why self-driving cars would be a good thing in the first place.
"This administration is evaluating this guidance and will consult with you and other stakeholders as we update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance.

She said the Trump administration wanted to ensure it "is a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not an impediment. In particular, I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology."
Vehicle automation has become a hot topic over the past few years, and even Apple hasn't escaped the rumors of working on a self-driving vehicle. The hopes for an "Apple Car" have largely been dashed after vans roaming around the country were debunked as data-collecting vehicles for Apple Maps, and any of the company's efforts to build a full Apple Car have since shifted towards focusing on an autonomous driving system. In a letter to federal regulators last year, the company further confirmed its interest in "machine learning and automation" as it relates to motor vehicles, hinting that Apple wouldn't be averse to creating self-driving software that's used in another manufacturer's vehicle.

The letter was sent to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and some of it aligns with other automakers' concerns over the established self-driving guidances. In its letter, Apple referenced an issue with delayed testing for companies entering the automobile industry with automation technology, as well as an agreement that companies should share sufficient data in relation to crashes and near-misses, but it should never come at the expense of breaching privacy.

Both of these suggestions, and a collection of others, are points that Chao aims to evaluate as the administration updates and amends the guidance for self-driving vehicles, "to ensure that it strikes the right balance." The Transportation Secretary also mentioned a concern over potential employment loss in the context of vehicle automation growing, as well as promising to help the Federal Aviation Administration develop drone regulation standards "to ensure that drones can be safely integrated into our country’s airspace."

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Car
Tag: Donald Trump

Apple Store at Pentagon City to Reopen March 4 With Next-Generation Design

Apple has announced that its retail store at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City shopping mall in Arlington, Virginia reopens on Saturday, March 4 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store, which originally opened in August 2005, has been closed for renovations since September 25 of last year.

Apple Pentagon City has expanded into adjacent storefronts (Image: Jordan Sheckman)

Apple Pentagon City will be the iPhone maker's latest retail store to be updated with its next-generation design introduced in 2015.

The newer look often includes wide, open spaces with some combination of indoor trees, large glass doors, touch-sensitive sequoia wood tables and shelves, seating areas for community events, large 6K resolution video screens for product marketing, and light boxes extending the length of the ceiling.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Google Responds to Reports of Unexpected Account Sign-Outs

Google has responded to multiple reports of users being unexpectedly logged out of their Google accounts, in order to assuage fears that the logouts were security related.

The unexpected sign-outs began on Thursday night and continued through Friday, affecting multiple services including Gmail, Chromecast, YouTube, and Google Play.
During routine maintenance, a number of users were signed-out from their Google accounts. This may have resulted in you being signed out of your account or seeing a notification about "A change in your Google account" or "Account Action Required".

We hear your concerns that this appeared to potentially be phishing or another type of security issue. We can assure you that the security of your account was never in danger as a result of this issue.
Google said the issue with its Google Accounts engine also caused some Google Wifi and OnHub devices to automatically revert to factory settings. "Unfortunately, these devices need to be set up again," said Google. "We'd like to share our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience." Instructions on re-setting the Wi-Fi devices can be found here.


The reports initially caused some concern among users, coming in just hours after it was revealed that content delivery network CloudFare had been informed by Google of a bug that leaked memory, which could potentially contain private information cached by search engines.

Cloudflare worked with the affected search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to erase any remnants of the sensitive data from their caches, and the bug has since been patched.

Tag: Google

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Thunderbolt Station 3 Lite From CalDigit

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with CalDigit to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Thunderbolt Station 3 Lite, which is designed to work with the new 2016 MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook Pro is equipped with Thunderbolt 3, but it offers a limited number of ports, making a dock or some form of dongle essential for most users who have older accessories. The TS3 Lite, a small hub that includes support for Thunderbolt 3, is ideal for users who need a robust but portable solution.

The TS3 Lite features two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports with 40Gb/s throughput, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port, a DisplayPort, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and Audio In/Out ports. It doesn't support 85W charging though, so you'll need a separate cable to power your MacBook Pro.


It's able to support a single 5K monitor at 60Hz or dual 4K monitors, and it ships with a Thunderbolt 3 cable. With daisychaining, up to six Thunderbolt 3 devices can be connected to a single computer, and the included USB-A and USB-C ports can be used to connect a variety of other accessories.

For instances when a computer is not available, the TS3 Lite features a Stand Alone Charging function that allows users to charge devices like an iPad or an iPhone using the USB-A ports on the TS3 Lite even when it's not connected to a computer.


The TS3 Lite, which features a brushed aluminum enclosure that matches well with Apple devices, measures in at 8 inches by 3.15 inches and it weighs less than a pound, so it's easy to pack into a bag with your computer and it doesn't take up much space on a desk.

CalDigit charges $199 for the Thunderbolt 3 Station Lite, but we have two to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest will run from today (February 24) at 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time on March 3. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 3 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Cloudflare Bug That Leaked Sensitive User Data From Various Websites and Apps Now Fixed

Content delivery network Cloudflare has confirmed the existence of a bug that caused search engines to cache sensitive user data from a variety of well-known apps and websites. Google researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered and reported the bug to Cloudflare, and the company has since fixed the bug and published a detailed blog post about exactly what happened.

According to Cloudflare, the period of greatest impact for the "parser bug" ran from February 13 to February 18, although the extent of the leak stretches back months. The heart of the issue was a security problem with Cloudflare edge servers, which were returning corrupted web pages by some HTTP requests running on Cloudflare's large network.


In what the company referred to as "some unusual circumstances," occasionally private information was returned as well, including "HTTP cookies, authentication tokens, HTTP POST bodies, and other sensitive data."
It turned out that in some unusual circumstances, which I’ll detail below, our edge servers were running past the end of a buffer and returning memory that contained private information such as HTTP cookies, authentication tokens, HTTP POST bodies, and other sensitive data. And some of that data had been cached by search engines.

The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence.
As shared in a tweet by Ormandy this week, that data also included private dating site messages from OKCupid, full messages from a "well-known chat service," passwords from password managing apps like 1Password, and more (via Fortune). In response, some companies -- like 1Password -- have published blog posts confirming that "no 1Password data is put at any risk through the bug reported about CloudFlare."

To expedite a solution, Cloudflare responded to Ormandy's discovery and turned off three minor features of the network -- email obfuscation, Server-side Excludes, and Automatic HTTPS Rewrites -- discovered to be using the same HTML parser chain "that was causing the leakage."

In its blog post, the company said that it has "not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits" in relation to the time that the parser bug was active. It also noted that, while serious, the scale of the bug was still relatively low: around 1 in every 3,300,000 HTTP requests through Cloudflare potentially resulted in memory leakage. "That’s about 0.00003% of requests," the company noted.

Cloudflare worked with the affected search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to erase any remnants of the sensitive data from their caches. The company's chief technology officer, John Graham-Cumming, concluded the blog saying, "We are very grateful to our colleagues at Google for contacting us about the problem and working closely with us through its resolution. All of which occurred without any reports that outside parties had identified the issue or exploited it."

Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple cut ties with server supplier Super Micro Computer in order to avoid a potential future scenario where user data might be put at risk, similar to Cloudflare's leak. Early in 2016, Apple was said to have discovered a potential security vulnerability in one of Super Micro Computer's data center servers and effectively ended its business relationship with the network company shortly thereafter.

For a technical dive into Cloudflare's parser bug and its origins, check out the company's blog post.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Will Move His Office to Apple Park

Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to work out of Apple Park, the official name for Apple's second spaceship-shaped campus, according to information obtained by The Chronicle.

Cook will presumably move his office from Apple's Infinite Loop campus to Apple Park when it opens for employees in April of 2017. Apple announced its plans to open Apple Park in April in a press statement released this morning.


Apple Park will eventually house more than 12,000 employees, who will move to the campus over a period of six months. While Apple Park will open in a little over a month, smaller construction projects and landscaping will continue into the summer.


In addition to the main ring-shaped building, Apple Park includes a visitor's center with a full Apple Store and cafe, a fitness center for employees, auxiliary research buildings, underground parking structures, a cafeteria, and a theater named "Steve Jobs Theater" after late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The entire campus is powered by 100 percent renewable energy and features huge swathes of greenery suitable for the California climate, with more than 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees.

First conceived in 2011 by Steve Jobs, Apple Park has been under construction since 2013 and is rumored to have cost Apple upwards of $5 billion.

Latest Chrome Canary Build Includes Support for MacBook Pro Touch Bar

The newest build (58.0.3020.0) of Chrome Canary, Google's experimental browser, includes support for the Touch Bar built into the 2016 MacBook Pro, indicating Touch Bar support will soon be added to the Chrome browser.

On the Touch Bar, the current Chrome Canary build offers a search/URL bar, forward and back buttons, a refresh/stop option, a button for opening a new tab, and a button for adding a new bookmark.


It's much a simpler implementation than Touch Bar support in Safari, which includes preview tabs for quickly switching between windows. There are also no controls available for video or music playback in the browser.

Features are tested in Canary before being added release builds of the Google Chrome browser, so Touch Bar support is expected in Chrome 58, set to be released during the week of April 25th.

Those who want to give Touch Bar support a try ahead of the release of Chrome 58 can download Chrome Canary from Google.

Tags: Google, Chrome

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 24 With User Timing and Link Preload

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 24 includes fixes and improvements for Web API, JavaScript, CSS, Web Inspector, Rendering, Accessibility, and more. Both User Timing and Link Preload are new experimental features in this version of Safari Technology Preview.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Apple's Presence in Cambridge Office Confirmed, Reportedly Centering on Siri Research

Over two years ago it was reported that Apple was planning on opening a new R&D office in Cambridge, England, and after that multiple reports suggested that the company was primarily working on Siri research at the location.

Besides a few job posts Apple never formally admitted to being the occupant at 90 Hills Road in Cambridge. This week, however, Cambridge News has spotted confirmation of Apple's presence in the city, in the form of the Apple logo appearing on signage outside of the office building.

For the last two years Apple has been tight-lipped about its office in Cambridge, but now it seems the iPhone maker is ready to come out of the closet.

The tech giant has repeatedly refused to confirm it is operating out of 90 Hills Road, next to the entrance of the Botanic Gardens. But now its iconic logo has appeared on signage outside the building.
News of the office in Cambridge began in November 2014, and then one year later in November 2015 Cambridge News reported that Apple was hiring staff in the area to work on Siri. That rumor came in the wake of Apple's acquisition of the UK-based startup VocalIQ, which specializes in speech technology and finding ways for users and computers to have a more natural dialogue.

Now, it is believed that more than 30 employees -- including former staff from VocalIQ -- are at work at the Cambridge office. Today's report states that the workers at 90 Hills Road are "developing new versions of Siri to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google." Last month, industry sources stated that Apple is working on "enhanced Siri" capabilities for future iPhones, citing another Apple acquisition (machine learning startup Turi), while also mentioning the company's desire to best its competitors in the AI assistant space.

Tag: England

Apple Names its New Campus Auditorium 'Steve Jobs Theater'

Apple today announced that the 1,000-seat auditorium at its new Apple Park campus will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater" in memory of the company's late co-founder, who would have turned 62 years old on February 24.


Steve Jobs Theater, a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder with the world's largest freestanding carbon-fiber roof, is situated atop a hill at one of the highest points of the 175-acre campus, overlooking meadows and the main building.

Apple CEO Tim Cook:
“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”
Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs:
“Steve was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness. It was his favorite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well,” said Laurene Powell Jobs. “He would have flourished, as the people of Apple surely will, on this luminously designed campus.”
Apple design chief Jony Ive:
“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments. We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “Connecting extraordinarily advanced buildings with rolling parkland creates a wonderfully open environment for people to create, collaborate and work together. We have been extremely fortunate to be able to work closely, over many years, with the remarkable architectural practice Foster + Partners.”
Apple Park will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April, and the Steve Jobs Theater will open later this year.