Weekly Roundup: Zero-day hacks rock Apple, WhatsApp changes privacy policy

August, the weekend of months. This week a zero-day hack rocked Apple, WhatsApp announced a major privacy change and Tesla announced a new model that takes Ludicrous Mode to the next level. Would you rather get the Weekly Roundup in your inbox? Same, TBH. 

1. Hackers are honing in on mobile devices. The latest example was an Apple zero-day hack targeting activist Ahmed Mansoor that employed not one but three zero-day exploits that were addressed by a patch. The investigation suggested these were the work of a shady cybersecurity company, and the software may have been used for years by governments looking to compromise political targets. So, if you haven’t done so yet, update your iOS devices to 9.3.5.

2. WhatsApp came out with a huge shift in its privacy policy. The Facebook-owned messaging app will now share user data with Facebook for ad targeting. You have a few options: stop using WhatsApp, or take advantage of the partial opt out the app is offering users for a short period of time. Here’s a step by step on how to opt out. 

3. Google announced a major change to its search results. The company will start punishing mobile sites that make content less accessible with intrusive ads, by ranking them lower in search results. These are ads that appear right when you open a site, take over the whole page and have the smallest possible button for dismissing them. Good riddance!

4. Can Apple social? Apple may be working on a video recording and editing app that may be similar to Snapchat. There’s no mention of ephemeral content, but reports said the app is supposed to be easy to use with one hand for video recording, and mentioned filters and drawing functionality.

5. Tesla isn’t slowing down. The company’s stock surged after Elon Musk teased an announcement on Twitter, and then revealed a shiny new model. Tesla has a new Model S P100D that is boosting Ludicrous Mode up by 0.1 second 0-60 mph time.

Tesla’s new Model S P100D

Tesla’s new Model S P100D adds range and cranks Ludicrous Mode up a notch http://tcrn.ch/2c4pgop

Posted by TechCrunch on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

6. Uber was just upstaged by a small MIT spinout. A much lower profile company called NuTonomy launched the world’s first self-driving taxi as its autonomous vehicles hit the roads of Singapore. The three-year-old company had been privately testing self-driving cars in Singapore since April. Uber, what say you?


7. What’s really going on at Hyperloop One – the futuristic transportation system proposing to shoot humans from point A to B at 750 miles-per-hour? (Besides a leadership shake up, lawsuit, countersuit and $80 million in funding.) The company is still in its early stages, but is gathering huge potential to change the transportation industry – if the company can bring itself up to speed.

8. For the first time, astronomers discovered a planet orbiting our sun’s nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri. Proxima b is officially the closest exoplanet to Earth, but what’s important about this is that it’s at the right distance from its sun to support liquid water…and potentially alien life. Welcome to the neighborhood, Proxima b!

This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper-right of Proxima itself. Proxima b is a little more massive than the Earth and orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface.

This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System.

9. Android Nougat came out of beta. It’s available for Google’s own Nexus devices (the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player), the Pixel C tablet and the General Mobile 4G. The most apparent change is in the notifications system, with a closer look to Google’s Material Design guidelines.

10. Y Combinator held its Summer 2016 Demo Days 1 and 2, consisting of presentations from startups ranging from farming drones, autonomous security guards to next-gen tampons. In-flight VR entertainment and security guard drones were amongst our top pics for the most promising startups from Day 1. Gunshot detectors, sales team analytics and credit reports for immigrants were some of our favorites from Day 2.

11. Harvard Business School students are taught about the art of venture capital. Among one case study the class learned last year was in fact the story of Rothenberg Ventures, founded by a HBS graduate and subject of recent VC downfall.