The Tech Corner
The Tech Corner is a technology news and advice column presented each week courtesy of Melvin McCrary at Georgia Computer Depot in Cedartown.
Apple has admitted it deliberately slowed down older iPhones, saying the move improved performance. This ends years of speculation, but sparked a flurry of lawsuits.
However, a more recent study found that what appeared to be a clear deterioration in iPhone 6 handsets when they moved from iOS 10.2.0 to 10.2.1. However, handsets which got a new battery regained much of their f ormer performance. (Source: techcrunch.com)
Apple has now confirmed this, saying the update will “smooth out the instantaneous peaks” in processor use that could trigger the shutdown. It says it’s also done the same with the iPhone 7 and will likely do so with other models if and when needed.
More charitable critics have said that even if Apple was acting to help users, it blundered by not telling them about the change and therefore fueling the conspiracy theories that suggested ulterior motives.
The l awsuits claim the update and slowdown was a breach of “implied contract” because Apple didn’t warn users about the possibility of such a move when they originally bought the phones. The claimants also say the slowdown has caused them e c o nomic damages. (Source: statesman.com)
Late week, Microsoft issued out-of-band updates that address Meltdown and Spectre, two security flaws said to be affecting almost all CPUs released since 1995.
The Redmond-based OS maker was not planning on releasing the updates until next week, on Patch Tues- day, but was forced to roll out fixes after Google went public with details about the two vulnerabilities.
According to a Microsoft security advisory, these are the Windows security updates that address the Meltdown and Spectre flaws for various Windows distributions.
The Microsoft updates are not all- out fixes. Some Windows PCs may require additional CPU firmware updates to mitigate Spectre attacks, but the Microsoft updates appear to fully-address the Meltdown flaw. Problems with some anti-virus software may lead to BSODs. Microsoft also warns that the Meltdown and Spectre security fixes are incompatible with some anti-virus products.
Microsoft is only offering the Windows security updates released on Jan. 3, 2018, to devices running anti-virus software from partners who have confirmed their software is compatible with the January 2018 Windows operating system security update.
A paper, authored by a team from the Graz University of Technology in Austria, discussed breaking KASLR protection of kernel code, a security feature used by both Linux and Windows.
After researchers published their paper, work on improving KASRL spurned the creation of the KAISER project, a security-hardened version of the KASRL feature.
Linux maintainers have already shipped versions of the Linux kernel containing the said fixes. Microsoft has also released fixes, but only for Windows Insiders builds, with patches for mainstream
Windows branches expected next week. Cloud providers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are set to patch issues, with companies to announce planned downtime.