If you have an iPhone, stop what you're doing and update it to the latest operating system, iOS 9.3.5 (to do this, go to your Settings app, tap "General," and then "Software Update." Then tap "Download and Install"). Why? As Motherboard reports today, security researchers have found a new malicious program that can secretly bypass the security on your iPhone and capture almost all of your data, including all your texts, phone calls, emails, even burrowing into your Facebook and Gmail apps.
Apple is no stranger to the billion-with-a-B milestone. The computer company counts its profits in billions, its app download figures in billions and the amount of shade CEO Tim Cook throws at FBI director James Comey in billions as well. Now the company has another figure to attach the word to: one billion iPhones sold.
We like to think of our phones as our own, tools that we purchase and then control once they're in our possession. That's only ever partially true, even if we get the phone without a contract through a company. But there are ways for people to have even less control of their elaborate pocket computers. Like this patent recently granted to Apple, which would allow infrared transmitters set up in specific locations to prevent phones from recording video or audio.
An app called I SEA made a splash last week when it purported to give anyone, anywhere the power to save Mediterranean migrants. With just a smartphone, a few spare minutes, and a sharp eye, users of I SEA could help spot migrant-laden vessels in distress and alert authorities. Numerous publications including Reuters, Wired, Fast Company, and Newsweek published positive coverage.