In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from Apple’s iOS malware to VW’s diesel scandal — it’s all here.
Although it has its detractors, Apple’s closed ecosystem has helped it to maintain strict control over its iOS App Store, with stringent checks working to eliminate malware from making it into the store. In recent days, however, a number of security firms have uncovered the existence of infected iPhone apps in the iOS store, in what looks to be the biggest security breach in the store’s seven-year history. Security firm Palo Alto Networks (PAN) said it’d so far uncovered 39 infected apps “potentially impacting hundreds of millions of users” in multiple countries. It described the malicious software as “a very harmful and dangerous malware that has bypassed Apple’s code review and made unprecedented attacks on the iOS ecosystem.”
Nickelodeon isn’t just for today’s kids. The network has confirmed that it will launch The Splat a programming block that will speak to the children of the ’90s by bringing back favorites of that era, such as Kenan & Kel, Hey Dude, Rugrats, and more. Set to launch on Teen Nick on Oct. 5, The Splat will span the late-night to overnight hours, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET.
Other programs to be featured on the The Splat include All That, Clarissa Explains It All, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Salute Your Shorts, The Wild Thornberrys, Ren & Stimpy, and Rocko’s Modern Life. If you grew up in the ’90s, the list should be more than a little familiar to you. Fear not if you see an old favorite missing, though: Nickelodeon has plans to roll out still more classic shows in the future.
Facebook-owned Oculus took to the stage to announce at Oculus Connect 2 the future of its anticipated virtual reality headset. Many consider VR to be the future of video games, so the world was watching to see exactly what the company would reveal. The first major thing that Oculus announced was that it will be making it easy for consumers to buy a computer that can support the headset. The Oculus Ready PC program will make it so gamers can quickly see PCs that meet the recommended settings. These settings are 8GB RAM, an Intel i5 processor, and an NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 GPU. Approved systems will be marked with a distinctive Oculus sticker, similar to Microsoft’s “Windows 10 Ready” stickers used earlier this year.
Life has been anything but a train wreck lately for Amy Schumer. Not only did the actress win an Emmy on Sunday night, Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books confirmed today that it has struck a deal with Schumer to publish her upcoming memoir. Sources tell THR that the agreement includes a $9 million advance. With a working title of The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, the book will reportedly be a collection of comical essays about Schumer’s childhood, family, and feminist viewpoints. Gallery Books revealed in a statement that it also “will feature personal and observational stories from Schumer that range from the raunchy to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing.” No release date has been announced, but the memoir is expected be published in the fall of 2016.
Fresh off a successful night at the Emmys, Amazon Studios is ready to add to its growing pool of original content. The online retail giant will launch its fall pilot season in the coming months, featuring six projects. Amazon announced the lineup Wednesday, and shared the names of the high-profile players involved with the pilots. It’s a varied and intriguing lineup, to say the least. The pilots set to debut are Edge, a western set in the post-Civil War era; Highston, a comedy about a 19-year-old who disagrees with his parents’ belief that he needs psychiatric help; Good Girls Revolt, the story of several young female researchers fighting to be treated fairly; One Mississippi, a dark comedy about a woman coping with the sudden loss of her mother; Z, a bio-series pilot based on the life of ’20s icon Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald; and Patriot, a political thriller about an intelligence officer tasked with keeping Iran from going nuclear. Highston, One Mississippi, and Z will all be half-hour pilots, while Edge, Good Girls Revolt, and Patriot will each be hour-long pilots.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
What was once estimated to be 1.1 million fingerprints stolen in an extended breach on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year, has grown to 5.6 million. This is in addition to the approximately 21.5 million government employees and contractors whose personal information was compromised. The growing stash of information taken has thus far included these fingerprints, ‘sensitive’ information, and social security numbers. The SF86 form was a likely target of information, as it is a required document for all applicants in the security clearance process. Applicants share their personal background information — including family information, residences, drug backgrounds, bank records, job assignments, and more — in the extensive questionnaire.
The creators of the hit podcast Serial may have settled on a case to explore in the upcoming second season. Numerous sources have told Maxim that the Serial team is looking into the case of Sgt. Bowe Berghdal, a U.S. soldier charged with desertion and misbehavior after leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009. Serial host Sarah Koenig reportedly attended a preliminary hearing for the case at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio last week, according to one of the Maxim sources, along with at least one of the show’s producers. Screenwriter Mark Boal, who is reportedly working on a film adaptation of Bergdahl’s story, was also said to be among the crowd. The sources say he has collaborated with the podcast’s team by sharing his research material and taped interviews with Bergdahl.
Are you looking to grab a shiny new iPhone 6S? Well T-Mobile just might have the best deal around, if you have an iPhone or another Android phone to trade in. Right now you can get the iPhone 6S 16GB for only $5 per month if you trade-in an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and sign up with the Jump On Demand program. If the iPhone 6S Plus 16GB is more your thing, it’s only $9 per month. Switching from Android? No problem, T-Mobile will give you the same deal if you trade-in a Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, or a Galaxy Note 5. Other carriers are now offering similar deals to iPhone users.
The Volkswagen Group has announced that more than 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide are equipped with a so-called “defeat device” that allows them to emit between 10 and 40 times the legal amount of a toxic pollutant called nitrogen oxide. The list of cars affected includes Volkswagen models like the Golf, the Beetle, the Passat, and the Jetta, as well as cars manufactured by Audi, SEAT, and Škoda. The defeat device takes the form of a highly advanced software algorithm that detects when a car is being tested for emissions and automatically turns on emissions-control systems. Volkswagen admits the software is programmed into cars equipped with the four-cylinder TDI engine that’s known as Type EA 189 internally, though it allegedly doesn’t have any effect in a vast majority of models. Additionally, newer Volkswagen Group vehicles powered by a Euro 6-compliant TDI engine are not fitted with the device.
The music industry isn’t doing well, but revenue from streaming music is holding it back from a catastrophic slide. That’s the Cliff Notes of a new Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) report released this week. It shows streaming still going strong, but just how that will affect the flailing industry as a whole remains to be seen. Music streamers like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube contributed 33 percent of total recorded music revenues in the first half of 2015, according to the report. That increase has kept music-industry revenues, which decreased just 0.5 percent year-over-year to $3.166 billion, from significantly declining, even as CD sales are in free-fall and digital downloads continue to slip.
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