Internet Recovery for iOS; Tesla Roadrunner Battery Project; Samsung Already Fixing Galaxy S20 Cams; Clearview Face Match Startup’s Customer List Stolen

Recently, we reported on Apple’s CarKey API, that will enable iPhones with proper credentialing from your car maker’s app to open and start your car. Now, 9to5mac.com reports that more has been discovered in the beta of iOS 13.4, including the ability to restore an iPhone or iPad over the air…Internet Recovery for iOS! Apple has had this for their Macs for some time, but it would be especially helpful for iOS devices…and even more for the Watch or HomePod than for phones or iPads, since the Watch and HomePod don’t have external connectors. A new feature has been spotted in iOS 13.4 called OS Recovery. Except for the name and a graphic, not much else appears, so stay tuned…this could be a real boon to Apple mobile device users, saving a trip to the Apple Store or sending the device in to Apple if the system quits working.

Tesla has been running a super secret project to make improved batteries called Roadrunner. Apparently, they are using the dry electrode tech of Maxwell, a company they acquired, and have built on it with their own team based in Canada at a Tesla research lab. According to electrek.co, they will move away fro wire bonding on the cells and use a laser welded tech instead. Tesla plans to build their own batterie packs, and is making the equipment to build the assembly line, too. If all is true, they have found the holy grail of batteries…cheaper to make, and higher energy density..enabling them to use less batteries and still get longer range than ever. The packs apparently can hit the almost mythical $100 perf kWh price point that allows electric vehicles to hit price parity with gas cars with no subsidies. The tech will also enable the Tesla pickup and the big rig to have monster range between charges. Elon Musk plans to have one of the new battery packs installed in a Model S or Model X for the ‘Battery Investor Day’ in April! Tesla will produce the cells themselves in the US, Europe, and China.

It seems like we just went through this with Samsung last year…remember when the Galaxy Fold screens were breaking on review units before the phone ever came out to the public? Now, engadget.com says reviewers are having trouble with the new (unreleased) Galaxy S20’s super duper cameras. Samsung says they are working on a fix coming in a future update to ‘improve the camera experience.’ Neither the reviewers…including PC Mag…nor Samsung will say what the problems are. The issues seem to be with the autofocus on the S20 Ultra (the one with the 108 MP cam), and are causing out of focus pics, as well as wobbles in the image. Also, reviewers say the image processing is too aggressive, causing excessive smoothing in skin tones. The S20 and S20+ have a different camera setup, and don’t seem to be as affected. It’s unclear if Samsung will have the fix in place before the phone gets into the hands of the public, which could be dicey.

We’ve written about Clearview, which has been scraping the net for pictures of billions of faces and putting them in their massive, secret database. The company has deals with some 600 law enforcement agencies to use their software. Now, arstechnica.com reports that someone hacked their system and stole their entire customer list! Clearview’s response seems to be a shrug. “Unfortunately, data breaches are part of life in the 21st century,” Tor Ekeland, an attorney for Clearview, told The Daily Beast. “Our servers were never accessed. We patched the flaw and continue to work to strengthen our security.” Clearview did post a couple of notes on their blog, making it clear that they don’t make their software available to the public, and that its not a consumer application. Whether it was industrial espionage, government spies for a nation, or a hacker group…they don’t know at this point. It’s becoming a new normal…if information gets into a database and especially if it flies across the internet, good luck on anything being kept private!



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