Apple Watch leak offers rare glimpse inside ‘Ultra security program’

Image: Apple Demo New images and video purporting to show an Apple Watch prototype, concealed by a security case that resembles a tiny iPod, offer a rare look behind the product-development curtain of the notoriously secretive company built by Steve Jobs. First teased a few months ago by Twitter user Apple Demo, this is our first look at the device turned on and running Apple’s own internal development apps on a pre-watchOS 1.0 software build.
The video starts by showing what appears to be the original cardboard packaging used to deliver the prototype hardware to testers. “This product is classified as Apple Confidential and is designated an ‘Ultra’ security program,” reads the label. “This prototype MUST be returned when recalled or when your,” says the…
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The ashes of Scotty from Star Trek are aboard the International Space Station

James Doohan played Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek TV show | Getty The ashes of the late James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott on the original Star Trek television series, have been aboard the International Space Station for 12 years— and the Times of London has the fascinating backstory of how it happened. Doohan died in 2005 at the age of 85, and his family wanted to fulfill his wish of getting on the ISS.
Official requests to bring Doohan’s ashes on the ISS were denied, but Richard Garriott— one of the first private citizens to travel on the space station— managed to smuggle some of Doohan’s ashes into the space station’s Columbus module. Garriott says he took a laminated a picture of Doohan and some of his ashes and put it in under the floor of the Columbus. He didn’t tell…
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Apple iCloud sign-in and activation issue appears resolved after nearly 36 hours

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge To all of you who got a new Apple device for Christmas, congrats! But you might have had some difficulty setting up and signing in to iCloud along with other Apple users. First reported by Apple Insider, as of Saturday morning, Apple’s system status page was showing “some users affected” by an issue that began at around 4:45AM ET on December 25th.
Nearly 36 hours later, the issue appears to be over. A status update at 4:35PM ET Saturday shows the issue as “resolved.”
The issue appeared to be affecting multiple devices. The system status page didn’t show issues with any other parts of iCloud or other Apple services.
Apple Support tweeted Friday afternoon that it was aware of the issue, and said it was “experiencing a high capacity at…
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Tesla’s new Boombox feature will let car owners fart at unsuspecting neighbors

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Tesla’s new holiday update will finally give people the ability to use a new Boombox mode, which can broadcast custom audio on the outside of the car (hence the name). As is common with new Tesla features, Boombox combines real utility with lowbrow humor: owners can use fart and goat sounds in lieu of normal, boring honking sounds car horns usually make.
The mode rolled out with a number of other updates as part of Tesla’s firmware 2020.48.26 update, and is something Tesla fans have eagerly anticipated. In the new mode, which can be seen at the timestamped section in the video below, several sounds are available for Tesla owners through the Toybox section they can use in place of a regular horn: goat baaing, applause, a little “tada”…
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GoDaddy wins our 2020 award for most evil company email

What’s the cruelest prank you can make on employees who are struggling during a global pandemic when millions of people have lost their jobs or lives? GoDaddy — a web domain registrar once best known for its sexist advertisements — tried to find out when it sent employees a fake email informing them they’d receive a $650 holiday bonus. As The Copper Courier originally reported, GoDaddy sent an email phishing “test” to its employees promising much-needed money; “2020 has been a record year for GoDaddy, thanks to you!”, it said. “Though we cannot celebrate together during our annual Holiday Party, we want to show our appreciation and share a $650 one—time Holiday bonus!”
The employees who clicked the link then reportedly received an email…
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Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro said to cost $199

The upcoming Galaxy Buds Pro collection. | Evan Blass More details of Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds with active noise cancelation have leaked, including the price.
According to slides shared on Twitter by WalkingCat, the Galaxy Buds Pro will cost $199 at launch making them $80 cheaper than the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, our noise-canceling champions. Samsung’s pro buds will feature strong IPX7 durability against dust and water, and up to 8 hours of listening time which can be extended to 28 hours with the charging case. WalkingCat provides this handy chart to compare specs across all of Samsung’s wireless buds.
Image: WalkingCat Samsung Buds comparison chart. WalkingCat also shared a slide showing an exploded view of the new active noise…
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra S Pen support confirmed by FCC

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. | Photo: WinFuture An FCC listing confirms that Samsung’s S Pen stylus can be used with the company’s upcoming flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra phone. The confirmation, first discovered by Android Authority, comes in a test report for model number SMG998B. The discovery lends clarity to recent statements from Samsung mobile president TM Roh, who said that some of the “most well-loved features” of the Galaxy Note will be coming to other Samsung devices in 2021.
The FCC test report explicitly describes an EUT (Equipment Under Test) device that can be used with an S Pen in both hover and click modes. “The EUT can also used with a stylus device (S Pen). The EUT operates with the S Pen in two different inductive coupling modes of S Pen motion detection (Hover and…
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Microsoft and Google join Facebook’s legal fight against infamous spyware vendor

Image by Alex Castro / The Verge A group of high profile tech companies including Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and VMWare have filed an amicus brief in support of Facebook’s legal action against NSO Group, Microsoft has announced. Facebook-owned WhatsApp sued the spyware vendor last year, alleging that its software was used to hack 1,400 devices via a vulnerability in the messaging service. Other companies listed on the filing include the Internet Association, and Microsoft subsidiaries GitHub and LinkedIn.
In response to Facebook’s lawsuit last year, NSO Group has argued it should benefit from “sovereign immunity,” Reuters reports, because it sells its tools to foreign governments. However, in July a judge denied its request to dismiss the lawsuit. Now NSO Group is…
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