Tag Archive: Tim Cook



After years toiling away in secret on its car project, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has for the first time laid out exactly what the company is up to in the automotive market: It’s concentrating on self-driving technology.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on June 5. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook said in his most detailed comments to date on Apple’s plans in the car space. “It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”

The prospect of self-driving cars has seen a slew of technology companies push into the auto industry, which is estimated to be worth $6.7 trillion (roughly Rs. 431,29,903 crores) by 2030, according to McKinsey & Co. Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit has signed partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Lyft Inc. to develop the technology. And carmakers from BMW AG to General Motors Co. have opened sizable Silicon Valley offices and dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire autonomous vehicle startups.

Apple had initially been seeking to build its own car, before recalibrating those ambitions last year to prioritise the underlying technology for autonomous driving, Bloomberg News reported. The iPhone maker had hired more than 1,000 engineers to work on Project Titan, as the car team is known internally, after it started in 2014.

Ballooning costs and headcount led to Apple veteran Bob Mansfield being given the reins of the team in 2016. Cook has never before openly outlined Apple’s plans, though public filings have surfaced in recent months that provided snapshots of Apple’s efforts.

The iPhone maker secured a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April to test three self-driving sports-utility vehicles, photos of which emerged several weeks later. A half-dozen vehicles had been surreptitiously testing the autonomous technology on public roads in and around the San Francisco Bay area for at least a year, according to someone familiar with Project Titan. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on how long the company has been conducting road tests.

 

In December, Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, penned a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealing the company’s interest in automotive technology. It became public when it was published on a federal website. In the letter, Kenner wrote about the company’s excitement surrounding the potential for automated systems in fields like transportation.

“There is a major disruption looming there,” Cook said on Bloomberg Television, citing self-driving technology, electric vehicles and ride-hailing. “You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame.”

Cook was also bullish about the prospects for electric vehicles, a market which last week helped Tesla Inc. become the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker by market capitalisation, even as it ranks well outside the top 10 by unit sales.

“It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station,” Cook said.

Apple invested $1 billion last year in Didi Chuxing, the biggest Chinese ride-hailing service. The announcement came soon after Mansfield took over Project Titan and set about cutting hundreds of engineers. Whereas Apple had initially been building its own car, Mansfield scrapped those plans in favor of building an autonomous driving system. The company will make a decision on whether to proceed with the push later this year, the people said at the time.

In the interview on Bloomberg Television, Cook was hesitant to disclose whether Apple will ultimately manufacture its own car. “We’ll see where it takes us,” Cook said. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Advertisements

Tech industry titans Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt took their battle for corporate domination to the heart of Europe on Tuesday seeking to win over new startups and IT enthusiasts.

ha

 

In a rare move, Apple chief executive Cook and his bitter rival, Alphabet boss Schmidt appeared at the opening day of a seminar organised in Amsterdam for the week-long Startup Europe Fest – although they did not take the stage together.

And Schmidt, chief executive for Alphabet and former Google boss, triggered laughter when he revealed he had an iPhone – made by his rival – in his pocket as well as a Samsung.

When an audience show of hands revealed more people had an iPhone than an Android, Schmidt said ironically: “So much for the Android monopoly in Europe.”

“The Samsung is better, has a better battery. Are we clear?” he insisted. “And to those of you who are iPhone users, I’m right!”

At the top of the corporate world, Apple and Google are in a back-and-forth battle to be number one.

It’s not clear which of the two Silicon Valley giants will emerge on top in a contest which highlights the contrast of very different business models.

The two companies have a virtual duopoly on the smartphone market, but Apple makes its own hardware and software while Google provides only the free Android software for handsets, including many made by low-cost manufacturers.

“Part of our job is to seed the market with ideas,” Schmidt said, as the two men lobbed a series of jabs at each other’s companies in their separate appearances.

‘Creativity, innovation’
He also urged more European entrepreneurs to take a risk and get behind startups, saying Google was hiring thousands of Europeans every year because they had nowhere to go to on their home continent.

Apple was meanwhile on a mission “to bring the app economy to places where it’s missed, because … we recognise it hasn’t gone everywhere yet and we want it to very much,” Cook told the Amsterdam forum.

“There is nothing like … unlocking the creativity and innovation of millions of people,” he said.

He also defended Apple from accusations that it was operating a kind of “closed” policy on its app store.

There were now two million apps on the Apple store, “that doesn’t sound too closed. We do curate … there’s certain things we don’t want to sell like pornography,” he added.

“As Apple we have always felt that our role is to stand at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, because that’s where the real magic comes.”

The Netherlands is hosting the week-long event as part of meetings organised during its six months at the helm of the European Union presidency.

“The thing that has fundamentally changed from being the shop-owner on the corner is that now you are selling your product to the world,” Cook added.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


“I am looking at India holistically and we are here for the next thousand years,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Friday, adding that he instantly feels like he belongs here in India.

ha

 

In an interview given to the news channel NDTV, Cook said: “India is much more strategic. We are thinking about a really long innings in the country. We are here for next thousand years. We are not making the most but the best. We will never make a product that we are not proud of.”

“Apple has a bright future for retail in India. We will sell pre-owned phones with new warranty,” he added.

When asked about China, Cook said: “India is different than China,” adding that the announcement about Apps development facility in Bengaluru and Maps Development Centre in Hyderabad were just the beginning.

Speaking on the importance of 4G, he said that “you will see a reliable signal quality after 4G which is critical for India’s progress”.

“We are planning to bring Apple Pay to India,” he added. Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments through Apple devices.

“There is nothing like having customers telling neighbours you should buy Apple products. Word of mouth is the best marketing,” Cook observed.

Earlier, Cook who arrived in New Delhi after watching an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Kanpur on Thursday, began the Delhi leg of his four-day India visit with a call at his corporate office where he was greeted by Apple India employees.

Defying the scorching heat, Cook later on Friday afternoon visited an Apple store situated at DLF Galleria, Gurgaon.

“I went to one store in the morning and I was very happy what I had seen there,” he told NDTV.

Cook watched the IPL match between Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders at Kanpur on Thursday. He arrived at the Green Park stadium on the invitation of IPL chairman and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla.

The atmosphere at the IPL match, Cook said, was “exciting”.

“It’s tough to watch in this heat. But it’s exciting to watch cricket,” he told IPL’s official broadcaster Sony Six channel during an interview at the ground.

Talking about his overall experience being in India, Cook said: “It’s hugely important and the talent here is incredible. It’s unbelievable being here.”

Cook is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Most iPhone and iPad users, if not all, have a folder on their home screen that reads something like this: “Apple apps,” “junk,” or “useless.” This folder usually contains Apple-made stock apps such as Compass, Calculator, Stocks, Find my iPhone, Voice Memos, Apple Watch, and Weather. For years, Apple has been criticised for not giving users the ability to remove or hide these stock apps, and it appears, the company plans to give its customers some flexibility with the next version of iOS.

ha

 

Folks at AppAdvice looked into the metadata of iTunes app to find a few strings of characters that suggest that Apple is going to allow users to hide apps very soon. The strings, according to AppAdvice, reads “isFirstParty,” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp,” and seems to be appearing on every app in the App Store.

It’s a welcome move – provided it does happen – because plenty of users are not really happy allocating the previous home screen real estate to some of Apple’s pre-installed stock apps that they hardly ever use. Furthermore, for a user with a 16GB storage variant of an iPhone or iPad, these apps can eat up a significant amount of available storage. The blog claims that currently the value is set to “false,” but with WWDC around the corner, Apple may make the needful changes to give its users the ability to hide the apps.

In an interview last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed News that the company is aware that not all of its users are big fans of the apps that it ships with its devices, but added the complexities that are in play here before it could even think about giving its users the option to remove apps. Cook said, “There are some apps that are linked to something else on the iPhone. If they were to be removed they might cause issues elsewhere on the phone. There are other apps that aren’t like that. So over time, I think with the ones that aren’t like that, we’ll figure out a way [for you to remove them].”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple has “an obligation” to protect user data and privacy, chief executive Tim Cook said Monday, reaffirming his stand in a high-profile court showdown with the US government on encryption.

Cook was speaking at an Apple product unveiling at the company’s headquarters, one day before a court hearing on a hotly contested FBI effort to force the company to help break into the iPhone of a shooter involved in a deadly December attack.

“We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy,” Cook told the crowd gathered for the event.

“We believe strongly we have an obligation to help protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers. We will not shrink from this responsiblity.”

Cook’s remarks were the latest in a battle with the US government over efforts to compel Apple to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the attackers in last year’s deadly shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California.

Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, argues that the FBI is seeking a “back door” into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December 2 massacre that left 14 people dead.

Because of the iPhone’s encryption, Apple contends it would need to build a weaker operating system to help the FBI crack the phone’s passcode.

The US Justice Department argues that it is making a “modest” demand that could help reveal vital evidence in a terror case.

An FBI victory could serve as a legal precedent backing requests for access to iPhones by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

A hearing was set for Tuesday before a magistrate in a federal court in Riverside, California. Whatever the decision, the ruling is likely to get additional hearings before the region’s appeals court and possibly the US Supreme Court.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


If the FBI wins its court fight to force Apple’s help in unlocking an iPhone, the agency may run into yet another roadblock: Apple’s engineers.

Apple employees are discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities. Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees.

Among those interviewed were Apple engineers who are involved in the development of mobile products and security, as well as former security engineers and executives.

The potential resistance adds a wrinkle to a very public fight between Apple, the world’s most valuable company, and the authorities over access to an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the December mass killing in San Bernardino, California.

It also speaks directly to arguments Apple has made in legal documents that the government’s demand curbs free speech by asking the company to order people to do things that they consider offensive.

“Such conscription is fundamentally offensive to Apple’s core principles and would pose a severe threat to the autonomy of Apple and its engineers,” Apple’s lawyers wrote in the company’s final brief to the US District Court for the Central District of California.

The employees’ concerns also provide insight into a company culture that despite the trappings of Silicon Valley wealth still views the world through the decades-old, anti-establishment prism of co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, last month telegraphed what his employees might do in an email to customers: “The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe,” Cook wrote.

Apple declined to comment.

Apple said in court filings last month that it would take six to 10 engineers up to a month to meet the government’s demands. However, because Apple is so compartmentalized, the challenge of building what the company described as “GovtOS” would be substantially complicated if key employees refused to do the work.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The US founding fathers “would be appalled” by a Department of Justice request to unlock an encrypted iPhone, Apple Inc said on Tuesday in its final brief before a court showdown next week.

Apple is fighting a court order obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month, which requires the company to write new software to disable passcode protection and allow access to the phone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, Rizwan Farook.

Apple on Tuesday said Congress had declined to give the Justice Department the authority to compel Apple’s help.

“Although silence is sometimes a weak indicator of intent, it is a different story when Congress actively considers legislation to address a major policy issue, yet deliberately declines to enact it,” Apple said.

According to Apple, the government also believes the courts can order private parties “to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up. The Founders would be appalled.”

The US founding fathers “would be appalled” by a Department of Justice request to unlock an encrypted iPhone, Apple Inc said on Tuesday in its final brief before a court showdown next week.

Apple is fighting a court order obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month, which requires the company to write new software to disable passcode protection and allow access to the phone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, Rizwan Farook.

Apple on Tuesday said Congress had declined to give the Justice Department the authority to compel Apple’s help.

“Although silence is sometimes a weak indicator of intent, it is a different story when Congress actively considers legislation to address a major policy issue, yet deliberately declines to enact it,” Apple said.

According to Apple, the government also believes the courts can order private parties “to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up. The Founders would be appalled.”

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Calling a New York judge’s ruling “an unprecedented limitation” on judicial authority, the Justice Department asked a Brooklyn federal court on Monday to reverse a decision that said Apple Inc. wasn’t required to pry open a locked iPhone.

The government’s 45-page brief comes a week after US Magistrate Judge James Orenstein issued his decision in a routine drug case, dealing a blow to the Obama administration in its battle with the tech giant over privacy and public safety.

Government lawyers called their Monday request routine, arguing that the case is not about asking Apple to do anything new, or to create a “master key” to access all iPhones. Apple has opposed the government’s move in a separate case involving the shooter who killed 14 people Dec. 2 in San Bernardino, California.

Apple’s pushback has fueled a national debate over digital privacy rights and national security. Apple had previously assailed the government’s move, saying US officials were seeking “dangerous power” through the courts and trampling on the company’s constitutional rights.

The Brooklyn case involves a government request that is less onerous for Apple and its phone technology. The so-called extraction technique works on an older iPhone operating system and has been used dozens of times before to assist investigators.

The California and New York cases both hinge on the government’s interpretation of the centuries-old All Writs Act. The new cases present another challenge for federal courts, which have to sort out how a law that is used to help government investigators squares with privacy and encryption in the digital age.

The government asserted in court papers Monday that Orenstein’s ruling in New York is “an unprecedented limitation on” judicial authority and that his legal “analysis goes far afield of the circumstances of this case.” It also stated that the government “does not have any adequate alternatives” to obtaining Apple’s assistance because attempting to guess the passcode would trigger the phone’s auto-erase security feature.

Federal prosecutors cited several examples in which Apple has extracted data from a locked device under the law, including a child exploitation case in New York, a narcotics case in Florida and another exploitation case in Washington state.

Apple responded Monday: “Judge Orenstein ruled the FBI’s request would ‘thoroughly undermine fundamental principles of the Constitution’ and we agree. We share the judge’s concern that misuse of the All Writs Act would start us down a slippery slope that threatens everyone’s safety and privacy.”

In October, Orenstein invited Apple to challenge the government’s use of the 1789 law that compelled the company to help the government obtain iPhone data in criminal cases. Since then, lawyers say Apple has opposed requests to help extract information from over a dozen iPhones in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York.

In the California case, officials are looking for access to the phone used by Syed Farook but owned by San Bernardino County, where he was a health inspector. Federal investigators say the attack by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, was at least partly inspired by the Islamic State group. The couple died later in a gun battle with police.

FBI Director James Comey told a House judiciary panel last week that the government was “asking Apple to take the vicious guard dog away and let us pick the lock” on the iPhone. Should Apple create the specialized software to allow the FBI to hack the iPhone in California, Comey said it would take 26 minutes to do what’s known as a brute force attack – testing multiple passcodes in quick, computational succession.

Apple has said that being forced to extract information from an iPhone, no matter the circumstance, “could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand.”

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Some criminals have switched to new iPhones as their “device of choice” to commit wrongdoing due to strong encryption Apple Inc has placed on their products, three law enforcement groups said in a court filing.

The groups told a judge overseeing Apple’s battle with the US Department of Justice on Thursday that, among other things, they were aware of “numerous instances” in which criminals who previously used so-called throwaway burner phones have now switched to iPhones. They did not list a specific instance of this practice.

The brief by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and two other also cited a jailhouse phone call intercepted by New York authorities in 2015, in which the inmate called Apple’s encrypted operating system “another gift from God.”

The government obtained a court order last month requiring Apple to write new software to disable passcode protection and allow access to an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the December killings in San Bernardino, California.

Apple asked that the order be vacated, arguing that such a move would set a dangerous precedent and threaten customer security.

Tech industry leaders including Google, Facebook and Microsoft and more than two dozen other companies filed legal briefs on Thursday supporting Apple. The Justice Department received support from law enforcement groups and six relatives of San Bernardino victims.

The law enforcement groups said in their brief that Apple’s stance poses a grave threat to investigations across the country.

They listed several instances where Apple previously turned over data, and in one case, that cooperation helped clear an innocent man suspected of a homicide.

Apple has said it respects the FBI and has cooperated by turning over data in its possession. “Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants,” Tim Cook said in a letter to customers last month.

The San Bernardino request is different, Apple says, because it requires them to crack a phone with a software tool that does not currently exist.

Law enforcement officials have said that Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were inspired by Islamist militants when they shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 others on December 2 at a holiday party in San Bernardino. Farook and Malik were later killed in a shootout with police, and the FBI said it wants to read the data on Farook’s work phone to investigate any links with militant groups.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Information contained in an encrypted iPhone could help finally answer whether there was a third assailant in the San Bernardino terror attack that killed 14 people, according to court papers filed by the county’s district attorney.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Friday that the question of a third attacker has nagged investigators despite no supporting evidence.

“We’ve never been able to completely eliminate it,” he said. “We know we have some witnesses that said they thought they saw three … some saw two, some saw one. The majority said two, and the evidence we have up to this point only supports two.”

Still, he said investigators would like to definitively answer the question, and unlocking the phone could help do that.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire December 2 at an annual training of his San Bernardino County co-workers. They died hours later in a shootout with police. The 14 people killed marked the deadliest terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

In a brief filed in federal court Thursday, San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos cited two 911 calls reporting three perpetrators during the attack.

“The information contained solely on the seized iPhone could provide evidence to identify as of yet unknown co-conspirators …” according to Ramos’ brief.

The brief also suggested that the county-owned iPhone used by Farook may have introduced a “lying-dormant cyber pathogen” endangering the county’s computer network.

Burguan said he’s never heard that theory and knew of no problems.

Such a breech is technically possible but unlikely, said David Meltzer, a computer security expert and chief research officer at TripWire, a commercial IT security firm.

If an employee wanted to introduce malicious software into the county’s network, Meltzer said they would be more likely to use a desktop or laptop PC because it’s easier to download and manipulate malicious code on a PC’s operating system.

The district attorney is among many weighing in on the fight between Apple and the government ahead of a March 22 hearing in which Apple is asking a judge to reverse an order requiring the company to create a software program that overrides iPhone security features.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook cited in another court brief, Mark Sandefur – the father of one of the men killed in the terror attack – also cited reports of three attackers, saying the phone must be unlocked.

“Several of the survivors tell me bone-chilling stories of where they were, and what they saw,” Sandefur wrote. “Some of them describe in precise detail, laying on the floor, hiding under furniture and the bodies of their co-workers, that they saw three assailants, not two, walking around in heavy boots as they carried out their murders.

“What if there is evidence pointing to a third shooter?” Sandefur wrote. “What if it leads to an unknown terrorist cell? What if others are attacked, and you and I did nothing to prevent it?”

Among those backing Apple are civil liberties advocates and some of the company’s biggest competitors, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

The last of the 22 surviving victims of the attack was released from the hospital Thursday, the Press Enterprise reported.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)