Author Archives: Garścia Janusz

Apple may have to pay a fine which amounts to $27 billion

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EU has accused Apple of improper competition practices. The Commission accused Apple of breaching EU rules of fair competition as they believe Apple holds a dominant position – specifically in the market of music streaming.

Apple’s App Store charges a 30% commission fee on all subscriptions bought through their system. On top of that, they forbid advertising other subscription options through their app on the App Store. If you remember their dispute with Epic Games, Fortnite was kicked from the App Store exactly for breaching their latter part of the policy mentioned.

EU claims that Apple is distorting what was supposed to be a healthy competition and that ultimately the system takes toll on the customers, due to the fact that companies partnering with Apple have to up their prices in order to combat the 30% ‘Apple tax’.

If Apple is found guilty they will have to face a fine of 10% of annual revenue which accounts to $27 billion, and adjust their business model so that it works in a way that doesn’t affect healthy competing.

Apple responded to the accusations with:

“Spotify has become the largest music subscription service in the world, and we’re proud for the role we played in that. Spotify does not pay Apple any commission on over 99% of their subscribers, and only pays a 15% commission on those remaining subscribers that they acquired through the App Store. At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows. Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that. The Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf is the opposite of fair competition.”

Spotify has its own take:

“Today is a big day. Fairness is the key to competition… we are one step closer to creating a level playing field, which is so important for the entire ecosystem of European developers.”

“Ensuring the iOS platform operates fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications. The European Commission’s Statement of Objections is a critical step toward holding Apple accountable for its anticompetitive behavior, ensuring meaningful choice for all consumers and a level playing field for app developers.”

Another parties also join in opposing apple in their anticompetitive practices as Apple is pressured the situation is yet to escalate, although slowly Apple is seen taking a step back – lowering the % fee, and skipping it for some services. We have yet to see what will happen as Apple is pressed with more and more antitrust complaints.


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Tesla announced that there was someone in the driver’s seat during the Texas crash.

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Recently, there have been an uproar about a fatal crash involving two men (59 years old and 69 years old) and a Tesla vehicle. Tesla’s stocks took a dip and there was a lot of speculation about the ability of Tesla’s self-driving systems. It is commonly known that all of the safety systems in cars can be easily exploited, but that isn’t a design flaw – that is humans exploiting their own safety. The situation got pretty heated quickly and was covered by media immediately blaming Tesla. It was even covered here, a post by a fellow student Maciek Głazek, where he explains more about the crash itself.

New details on fatal Tesla crash raise questions about ...
photo from:

According to a discussion that happened on an Monday’s earning call Q1 2021 the company’s CEO Elon Musk stated that from the logs that they have gathered so far has shown that the vehicle was not in autopilot and that there was no Full Self-Driving option purchased in the crashed Tesla model. On top of that, Tesla’s VP Lars Moravy stated that the all of the seatbelts (after the crash) were unbuckled and that the steering wheel was deformed, indicating that someone was in the driver’s seat.

This is surprising, because the local authorities were quick to announce that they are 100% certain there was no one in the drivers seat. Tesla continues to argue that media is covering them unfairly, as the company is newsworthy and brings a lot of clicks.

Unfortunately the SD card from the car couldn’t be retrieved and the situation may be subject to change. Be on the lookout as authorities and the company announce their stand.


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Apple knew about the FaceTime eavesdropping bug already a week ago

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Recently a post went viral on 9to5mac about a FaceTime breach which allowed you to listen and see the person you were calling without them knowing or accepting the call.  But this post is not about the bug itself, it’s about Apple’s response.

On 19th January Michele Thompson’s 14 year old son made this discovery and a day later his mom tried reporting the bug to Apple. She sent a video, emailed, faxed them, made posts about it on Facebook and Twitter, but to no avail. Apple decided to disable Group FaceTime calls after more than a week after the report made by Michele T, on Monday 28th of January. They announced to have it fixed later this week.

The bug is now branded as FacePalm and got pretty popular so beware what you say when someone calls you. On top of that, a lawsuit have been filed towards Apple by a Houston Texas-Based Lawyer who claims that the exploit enabled an unknown entity to eavesdrop on his private conversation with a client.

This puts Apple in a pretty bad light, since they are pretty good at boasting how secure their products are and how they care about their customers. During the CES 2019 Conference Apple put up a poster which said:

Whatever happens in you iPhone, stays in your iPhone.

If an exploit like that went through testing and got released it makes me wonder how many more infectious bugs can be out there to discover and used for a wrong cause.




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Amazon Scout robots are on their way to deliver packages

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Amazon Scout is a fully-electric robot that uses autonomous devices to safely deliver goods to the customers. 

After many hours of development in Seattle, Amazon has finally decided to let their robots to the tasks they were designed for. Initially, only 6 robots have been released now and all of them are in Washington state, Snohomish County. They will deliver packages Monday through Friday in daylight hours. While traveling through the County’s pavements, the robots can avoid human, pets or other objects on the way, but at the initial release which took place at Wednesday – Amazon said that the robots will be accompanied by an Amazon employee.

This is how the process is supposed to look like.

As you can see the robot is fairly big. My main concern is security. What could be stopping a potential robber from just straight up coming up and stealing the whole robot or when the lid opens taking out the package and running off. The idea is great, but somehow seems to have many holes that could be exploited. Those questions aren’t answered yet, but Amazon is looking at it pretty optimistically.

We are happy to welcome Amazon Scout to our growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers and look forward to taking the learnings from this first neighborhood so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries.

Looks like they are equipped with proper tools and a plan. It is very exciting to see new autonomous devices helping people like this robot or Amazon’s drones. Questions will arise:

Is it likely for robots like this to take jobs away from people, leading to more unemployment?

And when will the technology leave the US and make it to Poland?



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Motorola RAZR coming back with a folding screen for just $1,500!

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe once very popular and now iconic flip phone Motorola RAZR, first released in 2004, is now making a comeback – perhaps in a new form. It is said to include a folding screen. Lenovo partnered with Verizon to start selling the phone starting in February with a $1,500 price. The Wall Street Journal released a post about this yesterday. The release date is not yet known, it’s said to be in February but if you look at the fact that the product is still being tested and is not yet finished, it’s clear that the date might change.

It’s cool that the phone is back with the nostalgia and all, but the price is extremely high for what used to be a flip phone. That’s why it’s said that their new RAZR will use the innovative technology of a folding screen, similar to what Samsung teased for quite some time now. As there is no clear confirmation on the specs, design, screen size etc. these are mostly speculations backed up by some information.

The idea of having a foldable tablet-size phone in your pocket is really appealing – but how valid is it?

Will the new phone completely abandon the previous design or will it stay true to their legacy design? In my eyes, it doesn’t really make sense to release a flip phone ($1,500 btw) as it makes no sense in today’s tech and trends on the current market. The price is what you would pay for some of the Apple’s newest products and I don’t think that Apple fans will suddenly transition to Motorola because they released a new RAZR.

There’s no denying that there will be a lot of competition too since Samsung is planning to release theirs folding phone (Galaxy F). Another one is a Royole FlexPai which was showcased during CES and there also have been rumors of Microsoft working on a new foldable dual screen device as well.

According to the mentioned Wall Street Journal report RAZR is supposed to be released with a striking number of 200,000 copies. It actually is quite a big number considering the price, but it’s safe to assume that the phone will include some of the newer technology – for that price.




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Bose introduces QuietComfort – a noise-canceling system for cars

Reading Time: 2 minutesBose is known for a good audio and for their noise-canceling technology used in their headphones, for example: Bose QuietComfort 35source:

With the technology at hand they have decided to take it and implement it into cars. As cars are getting lighter and more electric cars are released they are also getting more prone to noise. The way it works is that the car would be equipped with 4 accelerometers, tiny microphones and an algorithm. The meters and microphones are supposed to take in the nice while the algorithm calculates and sends counter waves using the car’s sound system.

For a better explanation straight from the Bose’s press:

Accelerometers mounted on the vehicle body enable a Bose algorithm to continuously measure vibrations that create noise. This information is then used to calculate an acoustic cancellation signal, which is delivered through the vehicle’s speakers to reduce the targeted noise. Microphones placed inside the cabin monitor residual noise levels, allowing the system to adapt the control signal for optimized performance over different road surfaces, while automatically adjusting over time as the vehicle ages.

There’s no telling as to how good this will actually be since they’re not dealing with headphones anymore but with a car which is much bigger and harder to deal with. Bose aims to cooperate with car makers and aims to release their technology in 2021. Also they mentioned microphones, I imagine privacy-freaks might have a problem with that – people will be worried that they are being tapped, but then again cars might already be tapped as of today. All that could be a problem if these were normal microphones, but they might be microphones that only pick up the frequency without recording anything which is much more likely.

Here is Bose’s video and explanation on their new technology.


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50 000 Printers hacked in order to prolong PewDiePie’s number one spot on YouTube.

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Felix Kjellberg, a swedish YouTuber known as PewDiePie, is in the middle of a “YouTube subscribers war” where the prize is the number on spot considering the amount of subscribers on a channel. The war is fought between him and T-Series, an Indian media company which does bollywood music videos. Right now T-Series is the fastest growing channel on YouTube and has the number one spot regarding video views.

We’ve seen lots of posts, tweets, videos with people preaching the message of helping Felix remain the number one by subscribing to him, we’ve even had another YouTuber buy billboards to spread the message.

But this is like nothing before. Twitter user known as TheHackerGiraffe has found an exploit that enabled him to hack 50 thousand printers. First words about it came from twitter where people thought it was actually PewDiePie’s propaganda. PewDiePie took a bit of hate to the face because of this, but not enough to affect him – it’s not the first time and not the last time he gets bullied.


Because of this event the subscriber war took a twist and PewDiePie is still number one but not for long since T-Series is growing 4 times quicker. Here’s a live sub counter from YouTube provided by FlareTV

A bit about the technical side of the “hack”.

“TheHackerGiraffe scanned the Internet to find the list of vulnerable printers with port 9100 open using Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices and exploited them to spew out a message.

The hacker mainly uses an open-source hacking tool to exploit vulnerable printers, called Printer Exploitation Toolkit (PRET), which has been designed for testing printers against various known vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to capture or manipulate print jobs.”

The Hacker News

Apparently this is more of a trick than a hack. It’s not very complicated and it’s already been done by a hacker called Weev in 2016 in order to broaden antisemitism and by another hacker in 2017 who just printed silly drawings on around 150 000 printers.

TheHackerGiraffe in his AMA on reddit claimed that he hacked only 50 000 out of 800 000 potential printers that are still exposed to attacks. In perspective, that’s a lot of printers to be used in a bad way like phishing, blackmailing or just simply abusing it. It shows how insecure IPP/LPD printers are – especially when they’re not up-to-date. To somehow portray how easy this attack may be TheHackerGiffare wrote:

Think of it as a giant print button on the internet.

Having this power in his hands our “Friendly Giraffe” instead of abusing it he decided to help a YouTuber he liked and out of all the options he had – he decided to send the following message:

It’s a good way to raise awareness about security. This trick could have cost companies a lot of money since ink and paper doesn’t come for free. On top of that a trick like that could be pulled off by a kid and they could suffer consequences because of that. It is said that all a hacker need is your Fax number to hack your printer. At the end of the day a fun little game of a subscriber war has thought us a lesson about our security.


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