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Apple disables Walkie Talkie app due to vulnerability that could allow iPhone eavesdropping

Apple disables Walkie Talkie app due to vulnerability that could allow iPhone eavesdropping

Apple has disabled the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app due to an unspecified vulnerability that could allow a person to listen to another customer’s iPhone without consent, the company told TechCrunch this evening. Apple has apologized for the bug and for the inconvenience of being unable to use the feature while a fix is made. The Walkie Talkie app on Apple Watch allows two users who have accepted an invite from each other to receive audio chats via a “push to talk” interface reminiscent of the PTT buttons on older cell phones.
US growing largest crop of marijuana for research in 5 years

US growing largest crop of marijuana for research in 5 years

The U.S. government is growing the largest crop of research marijuana in five years, responding to interest in varieties with high levels of THC and CBD. The government is the only source of pot for nearly all research in the U.S., while it still considers it illegal and dangerous. Scientists have asked for weed that more closely matches what’s sold in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse said in an email Thursday to The Associated Press.
Moment Air brings an anamorphic lens to DJI’s drones for cinematic flair

Moment Air brings an anamorphic lens to DJI’s drones for cinematic flair

Moment, the company that makes high-quality lenses for smartphones, is expanding its expertise to drones — specifically the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. The platform is called Moment Air and it doesn’t just include lenses, but also filters, a new mounting system, as well as an iPhone case. There’s only one lens available at the moment, and it’s the Drone Anamorphic Lens. Moment released its cinematography-focused anamorphic lens for smartphones last year, which offers a cinema-wide aspect ratio as well as neat lens-flare effects. This lens delivers the same results, but it has been redesigned with “aerospace-grade composites and metals” — Moment is calling this “Featherlight” construction — to ensure it isn’t too heavy for the drone.
ACLU And Other Groups Form Coalition To Push Justice-Focused Marijuana Legalization Model

ACLU And Other Groups Form Coalition To Push Justice-Focused Marijuana Legalization Model

Ten leading civil rights and criminal justice reform groups announced on Tuesday the formation of a coalition to advocate that marijuana legalization legislation must be comprehensive and include wide-ranging social equity provisions. Members of the Marijuana Justice Coalition (MJC) include the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Center for Law and Social Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, NORML and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google to testify to Congress on antitrust

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google to testify to Congress on antitrust

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google have been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify next week as part of House lawmakers’ wide-ranging investigation into big tech companies and the threats they may pose to competition. The hearing, scheduled for July 16 in front of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee that deals with antitrust, will bring simmering Democratic and Republican frustrations with Silicon Valley into public view, potentially setting the stage for further scrutiny — or regulation — of an industry that has long insisted that its size doesn’t harm rivals or consumers.
Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Just nine months ago, Stearns Lending was very much in growth mode, acquiring an equity interest in Citywide Home Loans, rolling out new loan programs and acquiring other new lending channels. But the tide appears to have turned as Stearns is now facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Stearns Holdings, the parent company of Stearns Lending, announced Tuesday that it is launching a “comprehensive financial restructuring plan” that will see the company reorganized through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the company, the plan is being conducted in agreement and coordination with Blackstone, the private equity giant that acquired a majority stake in Stearns Holdings back in 2015.
Apple tweaks laptop lineup with cheaper Air; MacBook disappears

Apple tweaks laptop lineup with cheaper Air; MacBook disappears

Time for a game of laptop musical chairs. Apple made some adjustments to its portable line-up this morning, with a cheaper price point for the MacBook Air and improvements to the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro. But the 12-inch MacBook? It’s gone, baby, gone. In addition to its new $1,099 ($999 for college students) price tag—which cuts $100 off the old price, and $150 off for college students—the MacBook Air now features True Tone capability on its display and the new keyboard materials introduced in other MacBook Pro models back in May. Other than that, the model is basically unchanged from the one we declared the best Mac to buy for a student.
Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

(CNN)Marijuana use among young people in the United States overall has climbed in recent years, but a new paper suggests that in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, marijuana use among youth may actually be falling. Laws that legalized recreational marijuana were associated with an 8% drop in the number of high schoolers who said they used marijuana in the last 30 days, and a 9% drop in the number who said they'd used at least 10 times in the last 30 days, according to the paper published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. "Just to be clear we found no effect on teen use following legalization for medical purposes, but evidence of a possible reduction in use following legalization for recreational purposes," said Mark Anderson, an associate professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, who was first author of the paper. "Because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work, we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature," he said.
Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro

Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro

Apple is apparently set to ditch the butterfly mechanism used in MacBooks since 2015, which has been the root of reliability issues and its low-travel design has also not been popular with many Mac users. In a report published today, Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will roll out a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, offering durability and longer key travel, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is also getting the new scissor switch keyboard, but not until 2020. The new scissor switch keyboard is a whole new design than anything previously seen in a MacBook, purportedly featuring glass fiber to reinforce the keys. Apple fans who have bemoaned the butterfly keyboard should be optimistic about a return to scissor switches.
Scientists Sue DEA Over Marijuana Cultivation Application Delay

Scientists Sue DEA Over Marijuana Cultivation Application Delay

A group of researchers recently filed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), asking a federal court to force the agency to respond to its application to manufacture marijuana for research purposes. The researchers argued that cannabis produced by the only federally authorized cultivation facility at the University of Mississippi is of poor quality and inadequate for their clinical trial on the use of marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. It’s an argument that’s supported by a recent study, which found that cannabis from the sole approved source is genetically closer to hemp than it is to marijuana that’s available to consumers in state-legal markets—calling into question the applicability of much research to the reality of the cannabis market.
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