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IBM launches a quantum computer as a cloud service

IBM launches a quantum computer as a cloud service

Every current computer, tablet or smartphone uses processors. They may have different architectures, but they all share the fact they’re made with silicon. Data is processed as a series of 0 and 1, corresponding to off and on states of tiny transistors inside the chips. To give you an idea of how small these transistors are, inside a modern day chip there can be billions of them. That’s how binary computers work, through the bit, but today IBM made a quantum computer available through the web as a cloud service to give a taste of its power to the public… and it’s not quite your average consumer device. Read More…

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The Apple vs FBI opens up again as the latter requests again the tech giant to unlock another iPhone

The last debate regarding the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone 5C has been closed just hours before the beginning of the legal trial. The FBI had claimed to have found a way to unlock the phone even without the help of Apple through third parties. We still don’t know how it did happen, although some suggest a technique called NAND mirroring, but soon after the FBI closed the case and seemingly ended it there.
Turns out that whatever technique they used to decrypt the locked iPhone 5C is not universal for every other iPhone. After having arrested a drug dealer in New York, thus sequestrating his newer iPhone, they found out it could not be accessed at all.

As FBI has claimed, they have a way to unlock iPhones that are older than the iPhone 5 (included). Up from the 5s the security measures in place are too good to overcome (should be noted that when Apple transitioned from the 5 to 5s, the CPU architecture moved from 32 bit to 64 bit). Read More…

Apple’s iOS 9 update may render your iPhone 6 useless

When iOS 9 launched some users had been hit with an “error 53” message at the end of the process. Rather than updating the device, it made some Apple iPhone 6’s owners a brick. Little was known about this cryptic error: Apple only knew that it was an unrecoverable system failure and the fix was to change the device with a new one (paying for it of course).

Error 53 would show up if the home button assembly had been repaired by a third-party rather than Apple itself: this is common practice among users as third-parties ask a fraction for the service compared to Apple. A large number of users found themselves forced to pay for a replacement when iOS 9 was made publicly available, and now we know why.

The home button on the iPhone 6 also houses the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. While it is extremely handy for unlocking the device, it’s also used for more important things like purchases on the App Store, Apple Pay and sometimes to access sensible information. The Touch ID sensor that comes with the iPhone has a unique pairing with the device itself: replacing the component causes this pair to fail, and locks you out permanently from using this feature at all, including all of those that depend on it. It’s meant to be a security feature to prevent that somebody could replaced the original Touch ID with a malicious one. When updating the device to a newer release of iOS additional security checks are the cause of the fatal error 53 that permanently makes the iPhone useless. Read More…

An ill-starred Retina MacBook Pro’s amazing odyssey (and why Apple’s amazing as well)

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Some time ago I talked about an ill-starred Retina MacBook Pro 15″, year 2012. Faulty computers happen, but this particular one was really unlucky to say the least. Quick recap: repaired a grand total of four times in 2015 alone, two times the upper clamshell and the logic board each.

We left ourselves with the logic board finally getting replaced; unfortunately video issues struck again. Weird artifacts were displayed when waking up the computer and once it even had a kernel panic. For me it was yet another visit to the Apple Store where, kindly, they agreed to replace the logic board again (and that was for the fourth intervention). It lasted for four days and then the issue returned. I wasn’t really excited to return to the Apple Store once more: of course it’s a great place, but in these circumstances I was sort of staggered. Read More…

Microsoft’s new Surface Book and 13″ Retina MacBook Pro: two faces of the same medal

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Something that Apple does great is designing software and hardware to work together. It’s a well known fact that finds proof every now and then like in the iPhone 6s that, although it has less powerful hardware on paper compared to other recent smartphone, it delivers much sleeker performance.

The MacBook Pro lineup received a dramatic update back in 2012 with the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro: soon after the 13″ model was fitted with a Retina display, becoming one of the most notorious Macs around. Notebooks of the same class actually had to compete with a formidable opponent. These notebooks had the disadvantage of running all the same OS and none of them was truly optimized like the MacBook.

Credits due where they’re due, Microsoft made quite an impressive job in releasing their first ever notebook that ships with their newest operative system Windows 10, and it seems to give a run for the money to the 13″ MacBook Pro. Read More…

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