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Samsung Bites Back At iOS Green Bubble Shaming, Rather Misses The Point

Samsung USA has created a Giphy page called Green don't care (which I suspect is meant to read 'Green, don't care) for Android users to fire back at their iPhone owning friends.
You know what it's like to be the green bubble. We made a whole gallery of green GIFs so you can message your blue bubble friends and show them it's good to be green
Some of the GIFs are clever - I especially like the Snake chomping down on the iMessage blue bubble, but it rather misses the point. Android users in iOS group chats break functionality for everyone.
Outside of the US and UK it isn't a problem because Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are the default group messaging tool in the rest of the world. But where iMessage is popular there's definitely some friction between blue and green bubble users.
Apple's strategy clearly being that peer pressure and the danger of becoming a social outcast will persuade Android users to switch to an iPhone. It's a strategy which seem…
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FIAT To Push Ahead With Small EVs Based On 500 And Panda

FIAT will br bringing electric power to the small car market from next year, with both the new 500 and new Panda getting electric versions following the release of the standard versions.

It's a big risk for FIAT, who have already struggled with the 500e, which was released to satisfy Claifornian emissions regulations and cost FIAT more than twice as much to build as it was selling the little car for.

The problem being that entry level cars are expected to command entry level prices - and the cost of electrification is high enough to make that difficult to achieve.

FIAT's plan is to equip its city cars with a battery sized appropriately for city driving - a range of around 100km. That's a smart move on FIAT's part, mirroring my post around the affect of excess battery on price and performance purely to be able to boost the claimed mileage - something which most owners will never test.

There's also a plan to allow customers to swap in a larger battery if required, th…

It Isn't Just Tesla's Cars catching Fire According To Walmart

The Verge is reporting  on a lawsuit filed by Walmart against Tesla after the solar panels installed by the company (mostly as Solar City, before the Tesla buyout) caused fires at several Walmart stores.
Walmart alleges that "years of gross negligence" and "failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla" sparked the blazes and led at least seven locations to close temporarily over the last seven years
Given that Tesla has just relaunched its solar panel offering with a new low cost leasing option, this suit couldn't have arrived at a worse time.
Still, if you were considering Testa's new offer now might be a good time to press the pause button until a) there's some resolution to this case, b) Tesla demonstrates how it will ensure there are no repeats and c) the company proves it has a viable business model for the future.

Another Tesla Fire In China - This Time Third Party Repairer To Blame

Another Tesla has spontaneously combusted in China - this time in the Hangzhou province, with the local fire department having to force entry into a repair shop to extinguish the flames.

Unlike previous incidents it seems there's at least a goof chance that the cause of this fire was improper handling of the vehicle and battery pack by the repair shop itself.

It seems the Model S was in the shop for repair after being water damaged and the integrity of the battery was compromised. The shop repairing the car wasn't Tesla approved and probably wasn't following any of Tesla's handling policies.

Even though Tesla seems to be in the clear here, the company's reputation can't help but suffer in the eyes of the general public who don't see the reason behind the fires, just that another Tesla EV has gone up in smoke.

And the fact that it is only Tesla which seems to be having these fires isn't going to be helping.

80% Of Porsche Owners Have iPhones, So Porsche Is Giving Them Apple Music Built In

Porsche's Taycan will be its first electric car but it will also be the first car to come with Apple Music pre-installed in its in-car entertainment system. Porsche will be footing the bill for the subscription and data charges, at least initially.

I suspect that Apple was the prime mover behind this deal. Porsche says 80% of its US customers own iPhones, but only around 10% of iPhone owners subscribe to Apple Music. Even a small cohort of Porsche buyers potentially boosts that number. More importantly, that group has a degree of influence which could help drive others to subscribe.

The cost of the subscription and the data to run it will be insignificant to Porsche and its customers. When Apple starts to extend this deal to more mainstream manufacturers . and internationally - I suspect Spotify will be in real trouble.

Trend Micro Uncovers More Android Malware

Trend Micro is reporting the discovery of a new mobile ad fraud malware in several applications being served to Android users from the Google Play Store. Labelled 'Hidenad' it uses a sophisticated set of tools to ensure that it isn't detect when Google scrutinises the apps behaviour and then makes itself difficult for users to find and remove.
These adware-laden apps posed as 85 photography or gaming applications on Google Play, where they have netted more than eight million in combined downloads
Google was informed and the apps are now no longer available from the Play Store.
Given the number of installs and the frequency at which the affected ads could be programmed to display, it's very likely someone made a bunch of cash on this particular scam. Affected customers - the companies who bought ads - should go after Google to ensure that it firstly stops the fraudsters from profiting from the scam, and then that it does a proper job of actually ensuring its advertis…

Apple Accidentally Unpatches iOS, Exposes Jailbreak

Apple's most recent versions of iOS - 12.4, is missing a patch for a code execution vulnerability which was patched in 12.3. It's a mistake which is sure to be resolved quickly, but still one that raises questions about the way Apple is managing its code delivery.

This has been exploited already to create the first publicly available jailbreak in several years. Whilst jailbreaking is an activity which some users undertake in the full knowledge of the risks they are exposing themselves to, this vulnerability could also allow apps within the App Store to perform a code escalation and escape from the app's sandbox, wreaking havoc on the device or giving access to data which the user had no intention of sharing.

I expect that Apple will resolve this in days, so not a long term exposure, but I'd certainly expect an inquest into this to be happening even as the code is re-patched.