Tech round-up for January 12: CES 2018, Meltdown and Spectre, Vancouver developers are good for Apple

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Categories Consumer technology |

This week, a look at some of the neat things to be revealed at CES 2018, news on the two vulnerabilities that make nearly every computer accessible to hacking, and three reasons Apple likes Vancouver.

Highlights from CES 2018

Nearly all computers being used today are vulnerable to hackers, it turns out

Good thing nobody uses computers these days, because they’re all vulnerable! Oh, wait…

As the new year dawned, the world was stunned to learn of reports from computer security experts that nearly every modern computer is vulnerable to hackers.

What’s different about this momentous discovery is that unlike other flaws that have been caused by software, these vulnerabilities are in the processing chip itself.

Meltdown and Spectre are the names given to the two vulnerabilities, and fixes for the problems are already being distributed. Intel says fixes for most systems have been released and Apple’s been rolling out updates all week.

The early discoveries of the problems actually took place some six months earlier, but researchers, including Google’s Project Zero team, kept the news quiet while companies tried to come up with fixes for the problem.

Three reasons Apple Computers likes Vancouver

  1. Among the most popular apps for iOS devices in 2017 was an app developed in Vancouver. Splitter Critters, a clever puzzle game in which you cut and shift the animations. Developed by RAC7 Games, Splitter Critters was also named Game of the Year by Apple’s editors. Other popular iPhone games last year included Don’t Starve, by Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment, and Alto’s Adventure, by Snowman in Toronto.
  2. The Watch app of the year for 2017 was also developed in Vancouver. RunGo, from Leaping Coyote, supports runners with some 100,000 routes around the world, stat tracking, and voice navigation (which has proven to be very helpful to people with visual disabilities).
  3. Buddybuild is a company that provides tools for mobile software developers that makes it easier for them to create apps. Last week, Apple acquired Buddybuild for an undisclosed sum. Founded by a couple of former Amazon employees and based in Vancouver, Buddybuild counts as clients the New York Times, SoundCloud, Reddit, and Vancouver neighbours Hootsuite and Slack. The Buddybuild systems are going to be integrated into Apple’s homegrown developer tools, Xcode, while the company’s engineers are joining Apple’s engineering group, although the office will be staying in Vancouver. This move will help Apple make it easier for developers to create apps for Apple products while cutting out the toolset from Android developers.


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