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Russian Authorities Order Internet Providers to Block LinkedIn Website

Russia's communications regulator has blocked public access to LinkedIn after an earlier court ruling found the social networking firm to have violated data storage laws (via Reuters). LinkedIn, which has over 6 million registered users in Russia, becomes the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities after falling afoul of the country's stringent data storage laws, which require personal information of Russian citizens to be stored on Russian servers. LinkedIn's site will be blocked within 24 hours, according to a report by the Interfax news agency. One Internet service provider, Rostelcom, said it had already blocked access to the site, while two others – MTS and Vimpelcom – said they would do so within 24 hours. LinkedIn has yet to comment on the order by the Russian communications regulator, but the U.S. company warned earlier this month that the court ruling risked denying access to its site for millions of individual and corporate members situated in Russia. A spokesperson for Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor told Reuters it had received a letter from LinkedIn management on Friday requesting a meeting, but that the watchdog had to get approval from the country's foreign ministry before the meeting could take place. The law requiring companies that store the personal data of citizens to do so on Russian servers was introduced in 2014, but has never previously been enforced. The law was adopted on grounds of "overall state security issues" and "increased instances of personal data leakage", but critics see it as part of

Apple Continues to Recruit Talent to Join Secretive Automotive Team

Apple continues to recruit talent to bolster its "Project Titan" team, which is rumored to be researching an electric vehicle. Over the past several weeks, the company has hired multiple employees from Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, and other companies in the automotive and technology industries, likely to join hundreds of others already working on the so-called "Apple Car." Apple hired former Tesla Motors engineering manager Hal Ockerse last month to join its own software engineering team, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ockerse was employed at Tesla between July 2014 and August 2015, working on hardware architecture and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) components, including cameras, radars, LiDAR, and engine control units (ECUs). Ockerse does not list his responsibilities at Apple, but it is likely that he is working on Apple's car-related project. His experience prior to Tesla includes an eleven-year stint at Gentex Corporation, where as a research manager he worked on advanced driver assist solutions, a three-axis automotive electronic compass, custom designed HDR image cameras and sensors, and more. Apple also recruited former Texas Instruments design engineer Subhagato Dutta to join its in-house technologies team in July. Dutta is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, known for its research on self-driving vehicles, and worked on an automotive algorithm and imaging algorithm development team at Texas Instruments between July 2012 and November 2013. Yakshu Madaan joined Apple as a technical program manager in July, according

Apple Exploring Carbon-Fiber Enclosures for Future Devices

"Carbon Fiber" decal on MacBook Pro Apple has long been rumored to be experimenting with carbon-fiber enclosures for their future laptops and iOS devices. The benefits of carbon fiber over traditional materials has included high tensile strength, low weight and low thermal expansion. Back in November 2008, reports suggested Apple would replace aluminum parts in the MacBook Air with carbon fiber in order to further drop the weight of the ultra-thin laptop. Then in 2009, a patent application was published also revealing that Apple had been researching the use of carbon-fiber composites for use in the exterior shells of electronic devices. In that document, Apple was specifically working on improving the cosmetic appearance of carbon fiber which it described as "often being black, [providing] a narrow range of surface appearance to the molded article and therefore may give a 'tired', unexciting look." Finally, this past year, two separate reports indicated that Apple had been working on prototype iPad 2s with carbon fiber backings (2). Now, a relatively recent hire of Senior Composites Engineer Kevin Kenney (via 9to5Mac) seems to indicate more of the same. Kenney had previously worked at Kestrel Bicycles which is credited with being the pioneer of the carbon fiber frame design with the world's first all-carbon bicycle frame in 1986. Apple has always paid special attention to the aesthetics of its consumer products, seemingly trying to always shave off a few millimeters of thickness or ounces of weight off of its latest products. Exploring alternative