Apple’s Surprising MacBook Pro Problem


Security researchers are reporting a significant flaw in Apple’s T2 security chip that has a wide-ranging impact on the MacOS platform, especially the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro machines. With the issue located in the read-only memory portion of the T2, the flaw is effectively unpatchable, leaving user data exposed.

As first described by Belgian security firm IronPeak, it is possible to gain control over the core Operating System. This could facilitate data extraction, allow keylogging software or malware to be installed, and any number of other potential uses. The exploit relies on code previously used to jailbreak the iPhone X handsets. Mahit Huilgoi has more details at iPhoneHacks:

“The exploit is called check8 and was developed initially for iPhone X. Interestingly, the iPhone X is powered by A10 processor, and the T2 chip is also modeled after the A10 processor. Typically, the T2 chip throws a fatal error whenever it gets a decryption call. However, the attackers can circumvent the check with the help of a blackbird vulnerability. The worst part is that sepOS/BootROM is Read-Only memory, which means Apple will not be able to patch this without changing the hardware.”

Because of the physical nature of the flaw in the T2 chip – the exploit is in the read-only memory of the chip –

Apple’s Surprising Decision To Delay New iPhone Update


This years release of the iPhone SE allowed Apple to keep overall sales of the iPhone family high as other manufacturers saw falling sales due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a success for Apple, which is why not releasing an update in 2021 is a good idea.

Various details on Apple’s 2021 handsets have been popping upper the last few months. The latest information come from Mizuho Securities (with a hat tip to Ross Young). Daniel Deakin takes a closer look at the reporting for NotebookCheck:

“As for the Apple iPhone SE 3, it seems fans of the smaller form will have to wait until spring 2022 before the third-generation SE makes an appearance. Apparently, it will have a 6.06-inch LCD screen, dual rear camera system, and a fingerprint sensor. While the iPhone 13 smartphones will be treated with integrated touch panels based on Samsung’s Y-OCTA technology, the third-generation Apple iPhone SE 3 will have to make do with an in-cell touch solution for its screen.”

The report details four iPhone 13 handsets, echoing the expectations of 2020’s upcoming iPhone 12 portfolio, but it’s the iPhone SE news that has caught my attention.

The second-generation of the iPhone SE launched earlier this year, leaning heavily into specifications that broadly matched the iPhone 11 family, including the matching system on chip in the A13 Bionic. While the styling of the iPhone SE harked back to the design introduced by the iPhone 6, the SE could stand shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone 11 for most users.

The same was true of the original iPhone SE when it was launched just after the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

The initial advertising that compared the SE to its compatriots illustrated a portfolio

The surprising future of mortgage technology


Talk to any mortgage technologist about the future of the industry and two topics will emerge immediately: big data and smarter automation. I know this because this is what we’ve been talking about in our industry for the past decade. While big data and smart automation are still at the forefront of these conversations today, the focus has evolved.

When the concept of big data first emerged, it was a dream based on the need to centralize information so lenders could run analytics to gain insight into the nature of their evolving businesses and the changing demands of customers.

While we discussed the details, other industries, like healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, were building out robust API infrastructures to pool information into big data centers. Today, while the mortgage industry has the technology to support this, we’re still in the early stages of determining how it should be used.

We have fared much better on the automation side. Purveyors of very complex financial instruments, sold to risk-averse investors under the careful oversight of government regulators, have given us a process that must conform to investor and regulatory compliance requirements. Uniformity is a perfect breeding ground for automation.

With the advances we’re seeing in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation, we have become experts at configuring our technology to meet the changing needs of lenders.

But there is still a problem.

Over the past few years, we’ve applied virtually all of our solutions to the front end of the mortgage loan origination process. The goal has been to improve the efficiency of the origination process, primarily from the borrower’s perspective, in order to better ease consumers into a process they find intimidating at best.

Almost all of the lender’s technology investment over the past few years has been focused on

The surprising future of vaccine technology


LOU REESE: The largest gains in human longevity ever are debatably attributed to vaccine technology.

The antibiotic revolution was very important, but vaccine technology is currently over 6.2 billion people in the world have been vaccinated right now. These are the most widely distributed medications and solutions that have ever been brought to mankind. And the consequence was that we really dramatically improved our quality of life and our longevity. We gave people better, healthier, longer lives.

LARRY BRILLIANT: Vaccines are the best thing science has ever given us. It saved hundreds of millions of children’s lives. It eradicated smallpox. It has reduced the population explosion. I know that’s pretty paradoxical but as long as there are vaccines children will not die as they did when I was in India. There were places that 50 percent of kids died before the age of five. When that happens parents have many more babies because they expect to lose so many. Vaccine has changed that.

BILL NYE: Vaccines, you know, part of the reason I’m able to be here talking with you is my grandparents did not die in 1918 during the Spanish flu when it is estimated 50 million people died. Twice as many people as were killed in combat in World War I died of this disease. If you go to old cemeteries you can see these tombstones of very young people that died of the flu. People just lost sight of history.

BRILLIANT: I live in Marin County. I live in the epicenter of the antivax movement. It’s pretty obvious I have not been very successful in my own county in persuading people. And I understand. This is a very complicated business. Measles, for example, one of the M’s in MMR, measles spreads faster than any other virus we’ve