Australia says foreign government behind cyber attack on lawmakers

A cyber attack on Australian lawmakers that breached the networks of major political parties was probably carried out by a foreign country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, without naming any suspects.

16-Inch MacBook Pro With All-New Design Expected in 2019, 13-Inch Model May Gain 32GB RAM

Apple will release a new MacBook Pro with a 16-inch to 16.5-inch display and an all-new design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.



Tonight, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note looking at Apple’s releases in 2019. MacRumors has obtained a copy of the report and perhaps the most exciting prediction for Mac users is the revelation that Apple is working on a 16″-16.5″ MacBook Pro. Unfortunately the report provides few details beyond that it is an “all-new” design, suggesting Apple is revamping their current MacBook Pro design.

A 16″-16.5″ screen would be the largest screen Apple has provided on a MacBook Pro since the discontinuation of the 17″ MacBook Pro in 2012. Close followers of Apple’s MacBook Pro refresh cycle have been expecting Apple to continue with the current design until at least 2020. The MacBook Pro last saw a redesign only two and half years ago.

Kuo also says Apple may add a 32GB RAM option to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, without providing further details.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
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Israel trims funds to Palestinians over militant stipends

Israel will cut around 5 percent of the tax handovers to the Palestinian Authority over its financial support for jailed Palestinian militants, the Israeli security cabinet said on Sunday, following similar U.S. legislation last year.

Apple to Announce TV Service at March 25 Event, But Launch is Months Off

While Apple is planning to preview its rumored streaming TV service at an event that’s set to be held on March 25, a launch may not happen for several months.

According to sources that spoke to Variety, Apple will announce the service in March, but it may not be available to customers until the summer, or as late as fall.

Sources familiar with the plans say Apple’s video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation. Apple has vowed to its high-caliber producing partners to mount marketing blitzes on behalf of the shows in addition to the service itself.

Apple has more than two dozen original television shows in the works, many of which have already been cast. It’s not clear if filming has started, but holding the launch of the service until at least some of the shows are available would make sense.

Apple has not yet announced its March 25 event, but multiple rumors from well-respected sites have indicated that’s the date when it will be held.

The March 25 event will be focused on services, and Apple is not expected to debut new hardware even though there are multiple rumors of products getting a spring refresh.

We could instead see devices like the AirPower, iPad mini 5, new AirPods, a seventh-generation iPad, and a seventh-generation iPod touch announced via press release given that these are all minor updates.

Major stars that include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, all of whom have roles in Apple shows, have been invited to attend the March event, which will also include an announcement of a new Apple News service.

Variety‘s sources caution that specific plans for the event and how the video service will be introduced may be “in flux until the minutes Cook steps on the stage.”

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)

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Google’s Planning a Cheaper Smartphone to Rival iPhone XR

Google is planning to unveil a cheaper smartphone as part of an aggressive effort to draw more users into the Google ecosystem and to better compete with Apple, according to a recent report from Nikkei.

Google is said to be planning to exploit Apple’s current pricing issues. Apple suffered poorer iPhone sales than expected during the holiday quarter, and one major factor was the high cost of iPhones around the world.

Google’s alleged low-cost smartphone, via Andro News


Google’s upcoming smartphone will be priced similarly to Apple’s iPhone XR, which costs $749 for the entry-level model in the United States. Google is targeting customers looking for a more affordable smartphone option and customers in emerging markets where higher-priced smartphones don’t sell well.

Prior Google smartphones, such as the latest Pixel, have started at higher prices. The 2018 Pixel 3 released in October was priced starting at $799.

Along with a new lower-cost smartphone, Google is planning on hardware that includes new smart speakers, wearables, and web cameras. Google has been planning its hardware push for years and has scooped up hundreds of hardware engineers and supply chain specialists from Apple.

Google wants to use Google-branded hardware to push various Google services, a tactic that has been successful for Apple.

Alleged photos of Google’s lower-cost Pixel smartphone surfaced earlier this year, depicting a device that looks a lot like the Pixel 3 but with a plastic shell.

Rumors have suggested the smartphone will feature 1 5.56-inch 2,220 x 1,080 LCD display instead of an OLED panel, along with a Snapdragon 670 processor, 32GB of storage, a headphone jack, 4GB of RAM, the same high-quality 12-megapixel camera that’s in the Pixel 3, and a 2,915mAh battery.

It’s not entirely clear when Google will debut the new lower cost smartphone, but one solid guess is Google I/O, which will take place in May.

Tag: Google

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Apple Requiring Two-Factor Authentication for Developer Accounts as of February 27

Starting on February 27, Apple will be requiring all developers to have two-factor authentication enabled for their Apple IDs, with two-factor necessary for signing into Developer accounts after that date.

Apple today told developers via email that the requirement is being implemented to help keep developer accounts more secure and to make sure that no third-parties can access a developer account.



Developers who do not have two-factor authentication enabled for their Apple IDs will need to turn it on by February 27.

Two-factor authentication can be enabled on an iPhone or Mac by following Apple’s instructions. Once enabled, a verification code from a trusted device will be required when logging in to a developer account.

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Apple to Invite Hollywood Stars to TV Service Launch on March 25

Apple is planning to unveil both its news service and its TV streaming service at its March 25 event, reports Bloomberg, and celebrities will be in attendance.

Apple’s plans for a March 25 event were revealed yesterday, but at the time, Apple was only known to be unveiling an upcoming news subscription service in Apple News. The rumored TV service that’s in the works will also reportedly be included.



Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and JJ Abrams are set to attend the event, which will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. All of these actresses are starring in television shows that Apple has purchased, and JJ Abrams is directing one of them.

Apple’s upcoming video service is said to be similar to Amazon’s Prime video option and Netflix’s service. It will include TV shows and movies acquired by or funded by Apple, and Apple has more than two dozen original television shows in the works. An actual paid subscription service will launch by the summer.

There is some confusion over Apple’s streaming TV plans. While Bloomberg‘s report suggests Apple’s content will be delivered via paid streaming service, other rumors have indicated that Apple plans to provide at least some of its original content to Apple device owners for free.

These other rumors have also suggested that Apple will be teaming up with content providers like Showtime to allow Apple owners to sign up for add-on services like Showtime premium through its TV app, where the upcoming streaming service will presumably be available.

Apple’s plans for its TV service will become clearer after March, when the details are officially announced.

Along with its TV service, Apple is going to unveil a premium news service that will let Apple News users sign up for a $9.99 per month subscription that will provide unlimited access to paywalled content from sites like The New York Times and the Washington Post, though Apple is said to be still negotiating deals ahead of the service’s launch.

There’s also a magazine subscription service in the works, which will provide unlimited access to dozens of magazines for $9.99 per month, similar to the Texture service that Apple acquired in 2018. All of these services could potentially be bundled into a single subscription package option in the future.

The March 25 event is believed to focus solely on services, with Apple not planning to introduce any hardware.

Several hardware products, such as the iPad mini 5, seventh-generation iPad, AirPower, updated AirPods, and seventh-generation iPod touch are in the works and are expected to be updated in the spring, but those updates are not expected at the March event and could instead come via press release.

With the AirPower having already been announced and all of the other updates being relatively minor in scale based on circulating rumors, it makes sense for the new products to debut more quietly.

The iPad mini 5, for example, is expected to be quite similar in design to the iPad mini 4, with the exception of an updated processor, and the same goes for the seventh-generation iPad. That device may get a slightly bigger 10-inch screen and a new chip, but the changes won’t be significant.

AirPods rumors have been a bit mixed, but it looks like we may get a wireless Charging Case and “Hey Siri” functionality with other features saved for a later update in 2019 or 2020. We’re also not expecting significant design changes to the seventh-generation iPod touch, which will look similar to the sixth-generation model.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)

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Tim Cook Named to President Trump’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the 25 members of the Trump administration’s new American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.



The advisory board’s recommendations will help guide the National Council for the American Worker‘s efforts to establish a strategy to ensure that American students and workers have access to “affordable, relevant, and innovative education and job training that will equip them to compete and win in the global economy.”

The board, co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, is expected to help address a “skills crisis” due to the rapidly increasing use of technology, automation, and artificial intelligence that is shaping many industries across the United States.

The full list of members:

  • Jay Box, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System

  • Walter Bumphus, President & CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

  • Jim Clark, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

  • Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • Juanita Duggan, President & CEO, National Federation for Independent Business

  • Elizabeth Goettl, President & CEO, Cristo Rey Network

  • Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, & CEO, Lockheed Martin

  • Eric Holcomb, Governor, Indiana

  • Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA

  • Al Kelly, CEO, Visa

  • Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP America

  • Sean McGarvey, President, North America’s Building and Trades Unions

  • Doug McMillon, President & CEO, Walmart

  • Craig Menear, Chairman, President, & CEO, Home Depot

  • Michael Piwowar, Executive Director, Milken Institute

  • Scott Pulsipher, President, Western Governors University

  • Kim Reynolds, Governor, Iowa

  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, & CEO, IBM

  • Scott Sanders, Executive Director, National Association of State Workforce Agencies

  • Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO, Society for Human Resource Management

  • Jay Timmons, President & CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

  • Sheree Utash, President, WSU Tech

  • Marianne Wanamaker, Professor, University of Tennessee

President Trump established the National Council for the American Worker in July 2018 to “create and promote workforce development strategies that provide evidence-based, affordable education and skills-based training for youth and adults to prepare them for the jobs of today and of the future.”

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.

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