Apple’s H1 2020 to reportedly include new tracking tags, a wireless charging mat, high-end headphones and more – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a recent research note laid out his vision for Apple’s first six months of 2020 which includes a new iPhone, a refreshed iPad Pro / MacBook Pro / Air, a set of high-end headphones, tracking tags and a wireless charging mat.
Apple this week turned in a record-setting earnings report ahead of a first half that’s forecasted to be loaded with new products.
The iPhone SE 2, as you may have heard, is expected to resemble the iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch display and modern internals. Look for it to launch by the end of March starting at $399. The new iPad Pro, meanwhile, is said to feature a triple-lens rear camera array that supports 3D sensing for augmented reality applications. Like the iPhone, it could arrive sometime in March, we’re told.

As MacRumors points out, Kuo wasn’t entirely clear on the MacBook Pro / Air refresh. We could see one, the other, or possibly both. Earlier rumors suggested Apple is planning a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Magic Keyboard. If you recall, Apple refreshed the Air last summer and gave it a new starting price of $1,099.
Apple’s high-end headphones will reportedly support Bluetooth but that’s all Kuo had to say about them. The Tile-like tracking tags, which we first heard about last year, could break cover under the AirTags name and may even support Ultra Wideband technology for improved tracking accuracy.

The biggest surprise of all was word of a small wireless charging mat. Apple generated a ton of hype for its AirPower charging mat but ultimately canceled development last year due to quality concerns.
Masthead credit: Apple Store by Hadrian

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Russia blocks encrypted email service ProtonMail – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Russia said on Wednesday it had blocked the Swiss email service ProtonMail, popular among journalists and activists for its focus on user privacy and high level of encryption.
Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said ProtonMail, which uses end-to-end encryption to protect user data, had been used to send fake, anonymous bomb threats.
Such threats have frequently led to mass evacuations of public buildings across Russia.
Roskomnadzor said that ProtonMail had refused to provide Russian authorities with information on the owners of email accounts allegedly associated with fake bomb threats.
It said these had been sent via ProtonMail since last year and that incidence had increased this month after a similar service, Smartmail.com, was blocked.
Protonmail denied having received any requests for assistance from Russian authorities and said the block would do nothing to stop bomb hoaxes but rather only limit ordinary Russians’ access to privacy in communications.
“We have received reports that ProtonMail and ProtonVPN are currently partially blocked in Russia. We are reaching out to the appropriate authorities to get the block lifted as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.
It said any perpetrators seeking to continue sending false bomb threats could resort to another email service or continue to access ProtonMail via a virtual private network (VPN).
“We condemn this block as a misguided measure which only serves to harm ordinary people,” ProtonMail said.
Russia has increasingly introduced restrictions on internet use, including requiring messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and asking social networks to store users’ personal data on servers within the country.

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Britain’s Huawei compromise puts Australia’s cyber hawks under pressure – Strategy – Cloud – Networking – Security – Software – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The Australian arm of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has wasted no time in using its strictly limited inclusion in the United Kingdom’s 5G build to put the boot into Australia’s security apparatus, claiming the government here was given dud advice.
And so begins the great hectoring.
The telco equipment maker on Wednesday seized on the UK’s highly anticipated decision to allow the company some limited participation in the nation’s 5G rollout, despite frenetic lobbying from Washington to have Huawei banished as it is in Australia.
“This decision by the UK Government proves beyond doubt that there is a way to manage security on 5G networks without excluding vendors simply for being from a certain country,” Huawei Australia’s director of corporate and public affairs, Jeremy Mitchell said.
“It also demonstrates that the Turnbull Government was given incorrect advice that the Core and Radio networks cannot be separated on 5G – that is completely incorrect as the UK operators are now doing it in the real world.
The British decision not to go down the road of full exclusion is certain to be used as a precedent by Huawei to argue that fears surrounding its equipment and ownership really born of geopolitical friction and posturing rather than technical and employee security concerns.
The UK’s limited deployment, which comes swiftly after a sturdy election victory for the Conservatives, sends a firm signal that a key member of the post-war Five Eyes intelligence sharing network is prepared to manage its security risk exposure on its own terms rather than in lockstep with allies.
Make that ally. Johnson knows full well that allowing the UK’s cyber posture to be sock-puppeted by the US would not be a great starting point for reasserting the kind of national independence he fought the election on.
He also doesn’t want to be a price and standards taker beholden to a pair of hard-nosed Scandi manufacturers. 
Australia has been one of Huawei’s most difficult markets with the equipment maker very publicly excluded by both sides of politics from both the Tempemail Broadband Network and nascent 5G rollout.
The strong line being run out of Australian security agencies advising policymakers about the risks of allowing Huawei near Australia’s critical infrastructure has also been bolstered by US miltech-aligned thinktanks essentially seeking to set the narrative around cyber posture and risks.
A key proponent of thought leadership and research is the Australian Security Policy Institute that has never been shy of calling out growing regional Chinese influence or Huawei as a protagonist of extending Beijing’s reach.
While much of the concern aired about state sponsored cyber intrusion, espionage and interference is very legitimate, so too is the observation that many of the US-aligned miltech firms supporting ASPI drink from the publicly funded cyber protection trough.
There are strong commercial interests in maintaining and growing those markets, and supporting research and a strong public policy presence is a core tool in fostering public and political persuasion.
(It’s certainly been more effective than some of the cack-handed lobbying efforts of Facebook, Google and assorted other big IT vendors now copping it for not paying tax).
As a former colonial power whose reach helped create the two biggest republics in the world, Britain’s role in balancing competing American and Chinese demands was always going to be more politically nuanced and independent than Australia’s.
And the delivery somewhat more polished.
When Britain’s decision on 5G was made clear, it came after lengthy public discourse and debate followed by stage setting and then some diplomatic theatre. Johnson also had a major election victory under his belt and some domestic expectations to meet.
In contrast, Australia’s August 2019 decision was a rushed piece of deck clearing that landed immediately prior to yet another internecine execution of a Prime Minister.

We have been informed by the Govt that Huawei & ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology to Australia. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely & securely delivered wireless technology in Aust for close to 15 yrs
— Huawei Australia (@HuaweiOZ) August 22, 2018
Amid the fracas of a leadership change there was essentially a void of leadership commentary or background on the 5G decision in the aftermath, with both politicians and securocrats transfixed by the second political implosion in as many terms.
Compare that to the plain speaking and necessarily long blog issued by the UK Tempemail Cyber Security Centre’s Technical Director, Dr Ian Levy.
There’s now a strong contest over what’s core, what’s non-core or edge (why do political promises come to mind) and whether allowing any ‘high risk’ vendors near 5G or fibre backhaul is a good idea.
Levy does appear to have rather a gift for calling bullshit on FUD and cyber Sinophobia with an eloquent spray.
“In 5G you need lots of smaller basestations as well as big ones, and the small ones will be on lampposts, bus shelters and other places that aren’t secure from physical interference by bad guys,” Levy observes.
“So, if your network design means that you need to run really sensitive functions processing really sensitive data (i.e. core functions) on an edge access device on top of a bus stop, your choice of vendor is the least of your worries and you probably shouldn’t be designing critical national infrastructure.”
Levy also cogently argues that for all of 5G’s promises, it will never be all things to all people. 
“The international standards that define what a 5G network actually is allow you to do all sorts of things, and some of those things could lead to security or operational risks that can’t be mitigated. That doesn’t mean you have to do them,” the NCSC technical lead says.
Contrast that with the views of Simon Gilding, who was until last December the Australian Signals Directorate’s head of signal intelligence and offensive cyber missions who has now become an ASPI senior fellow.
Gilding reckons it’s a pivotal moment in world affairs.
“If you have the keys to 5G networks, you will be trusted with the nervous system running down the backbone of every country which uses your gear and contracts you to service it,” Gilding write in ASPI’s earnestly titled zine, The Strategist.
“That includes critical infrastructure and safety-critical systems on which the lives and livelihoods of our citizens depend—traffic, power, water, food supply and hospitals. You get to be ‘The Borg’,” Gilding continues.
What Gilding omits to mention is that a major thrust of China’s technological evolution is to ensure it does not become beholden to Western technology systems for critical infrastructure that could compromise its own national security.
That spans across communications equipment, payment systems, social media and the internet as a whole. China is giving as good as it gets on that front, especially when it comes to rapid scaling (not that we need any more bike share schemes).
What critics of China’s rapid tech expansion often avoid mentioning is that policies of globalisation prosecuted in the UK and US under both sides of politics led to the Five Eyes losing their carrier equipment manufacturing capacity to a Scandinavian duopoly.
Malcolm Turnbull called it out when he left office and now the NCSC’s Levy is also sheeting home some obvious, if inconvenient, facts.
Under the heading “The market is broken” Levy points out that without Huawei, the UK would have been locked into choosing from the telco equivalent of Ansett and TAA.
“There are only three scale suppliers of 5G RAN kit that can currently be used in the UK: Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei. That’s crazy, so we need to diversify the market significantly in the UK so that we have a more robust supply base to enable the long term security of the UK networks and to ensure we do not end up nationally dependent on any vendor,” Levy said.
“Being nationally dependent on any vendor would be bad, but it would be particularly bad when that’s a high risk vendor. 
“We’re not nationally dependent on anyone now and the measures the government has announced today ensure that won’t happen in the UK in the future, regardless of the commercial drivers.”
Cue the Boris banquet in Beijing.

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SpaceX completes its fourth successful launch for satellite-based internet service ‘Starlink’ – Blog – 10 minute

In context: SpaceX might be best known for its rockets and ridiculous flamethrowers, but the company has other ambitions as well. It also wants to become an ISP through its “Starlink” internet service, which will use satellites to create a global, orbital network for all to take advantage of — especially those in rural or otherwise underserved areas.
Despite some fears from astronomers surrounding the idea, Starlink’s satellite deployment has mostly continued as scheduled. The first Starlink test satellites were launched in May of 2019, and two more batches followed before the end of the year.
Now, SpaceX has hit another milestone: it has successfully launched its fourth Starlink payload via the Falcon 9 rocket, which contained 60 internet-beaming satellites. That might seem like a significant figure — it brings the total number of active Starlink satellites to about 240 — but given SpaceX’s broader goals, it’s a mere drop in the bucket.

Eventually, SpaceX wants to deploy tens of thousands of satellites, which could take a while at the rate the space giant is going. Regardless, the end result will likely be worth it. SpaceX wants Starlink to offer customers high-speed broadband internet at an affordable price, though the details have not been nailed down yet.
You can watch a recording of Starlink’s latest launch above, but if you want to learn more about the project as a whole, feel free to check out more of our coverage here. Alternatively, you can drop by the official Starlink website for additional information.

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Lake Macquarie City Council launches new community portal – Projects- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Lake Macquarie City Council has rebuilt its online presence as it established a new digital service platform to streamline the way it engages with residents.
The new community portal was designed to offer council a single view of its customers and a personalised online portal through which forms could be accessed or submitted around-the-clock.
Applications and development coordinator Tom Eather told iTnews It was initially envisaged as a plug-in to the council’s existing website, however, a review of the website led to a significant widening of the projects scope.
“The website was built by the old communications manager mainly as a way of sharing council news,” Eather said.
“So there were about 5000 pages that were mostly content and full of council jargon, rather than services customers could use.”
Working with CMS provider OpenCities, the council designed a new site that could manage all of its current digital interactions and had the scope to incorporate any future functionality with minimal work or disruption.
Strong buy-in from the council’s chief executive helped ensure the expanded scope of the project was fully supported by the council and all of the divisions which suddenly had to come onboard.
Eather said that while the early stages had proved difficult due to the unexpected expansion, developing the new site and community portal using agile methodologies and a beta website on which customers could give feedback helped deliver a robust result.
“This was actually OpenCities’ first time doing a beta launch in Australia, I think because local government is typically quite risk averse by nature.
“But we’d definitely do it again. Our IT team is used to working that way, and the positive feedback helped keep the project on track.”
The only major complaint, Eather said, was that the old site and its search function were so broken users had just rote learned where to find the documents and services they needed, all of which was moved about in the rebuild.
Thankfully, the new site’s search function works fine those complaints are reducing as users figure out how to find the information and services they need.
Using data from Deloitte, the council estimates the switch to greater online service delivery will save almost $450,000 dollars in the coming year through reduced calls to its data centre and quicker processing times.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 5G is the world’s first 5G-compatible slate – Blog – 10 minute

In brief: Samsung on Wednesday announced a new version of its flagship Galaxy Tab S6 which the company is calling the world’s first tablet to support 5G connectivity. Aside from the inclusion of a 5G modem, the new Galaxy Tab S6 appears to be identical to the original.
The original Galaxy Tab S6 launched last summer sporting a 10.5-inch OLED display powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC. Buyers could configure it with either 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 8GB of memory and 256GB of local space. Both models include a microSD card slot that can accept cards as large as 1TB.
It also ships with an S Pen stylus that attaches magnetically to the rear of the slate, just under the dual camera array. A 7,040mAh battery can power the portable for up to 15 hours on a single charge, Samsung said.

Samsung said the revised slate will go on sale in South Korea starting January 30. A model with 128GB of storage in mountain gray will run you 999,900 won, or around $850. No word yet on whether or not Samsung plans to sell the 5G-equipped tablet outside of its home country.
Given how early we are in the 5G lifecycle, it may make more sense for Samsung to wait and add 5G to its next-gen tablet for a global release. Then again, Android tablets don’t have the momentum they once did meaning new models are fewer and far between and Samsung may not want to wait that long to introduce a 5G tablet to a wider audience.
Masthead credit: 5G by B.Zhou

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Ad industry calls for delayed enforcement of CCPA- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Five major advertising trade bodies are asking California’s attorney general to delay enforcement of the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) by six months so companies have more time to comply with the law.
The 4A’s, IAB, ANA, American Advertising Federation (AAF) and Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) have sent a letter to California AG Xavier Becerra, saying its members and other businesses don’t have sufficient time to implement regulations before the 1 July enforcement date given the “extraordinary complexity” of the law.
“Unfortunately, it is presently unclear when the rules will be finalized and whether they will be further amended,” the letter said. “Just five months before enforcement is scheduled to begin, companies that are subject to the CCPA are faced with the likelihood that the draft rules could substantially change from their present form and impose entirely new requirements.
“Thus, in order to avoid consumer and business confusion with respect to the new rules, we request that you further delay the enforcement of the law to begin six months from the date the CCPA regulations become final,” concluded the letter. “This short deferral will give businesses the time they need to understand and effectively operationalize the rules helping ensure consumers have access to the rights afforded under the new law.”
The intent of the law is to give internet users more control of their personal data by allowing them to prevent the sale of their information to third parties and forcing businesses to disclose where their data is going.
The state began its consumer privacy initiative in December 2017. The first form of the CCPA bill was passed in September 2018. The most recent amendments were approved last October, and it went into effect on 1 January this year.
Despite the long runway, the trade groups said it’s “presently unclear when the rules will be finalized and whether they will be further amended.”
“[T]he draft rules imposed on businesses entirely new recordkeeping obligations, notice requirements, and verification rules, among many other novel requirements,” the letter said. “Businesses are still contending with the proposed regulations’ new mandates and are working earnestly to adjust their systems and build new processes to facilitate compliance.”
Early last year, the IAB sat in front of congress to criticize the CCPA. It called for a federal consumer privacy regulation that would avoid a patchwork of varied state-by-state acts.
“While well-intentioned, their rigid frameworks impose significant burdens on consumers, such as rampant over-notification leading to consent fatigue in consumers and creating an indifference to important notices regarding their privacy,” IAB executive vice-president for public policy, Dave Grimaldi, said last February.
The 4A’s and ANA recently came together in criticism of Google’s decision to rid its Chrome browser of third-party cookies, another move it said would negatively impact its members.
The letter to the California AG was signed by Grimaldi; Dan Jaffe, ANA group executive vice-president of government relations; Alison Pepper, the 4A’s senior vice-president; Christopher Oswald, ANA senior vice-president of government relations; David LeDuc, NAI vice-president of public policy; and Clark Rector, AAF executive vice-president of government affairs.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Attorney General Becerra:
As the nation’s leading advertising and marketing trade associations, we collectively represent thousands of companies, from small businesses to household brands across every segment of the advertising industry, including a significant number of California businesses. Our members engage in responsible data collection and use that substantially benefits consumers and the economy, and we strongly support meaningful and effective privacy protections in the marketplace.
Although the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) went into effect on January 1, 2020, the final regulations have not yet been promulgated, leaving our members and thousands of other California businesses uncertain concerning their ultimate compliance obligations. Given the extraordinary complexity of the law and the wide range of open issues to be clarified from the draft guidance, there will not be sufficient time for many businesses to effectively implement the final regulations prior to the anticipated enforcement date of July 1, 2020. We therefore ask you to delay enforcement of the CCPA until at least six months from the date of finalization of the rules implementing the law, in order to provide businesses a sufficient time period to implement the new regulations before being subject to enforcement.
I. It is Appropriate to Provide Businesses a Reasonable Period of Time to Implement the New Regulations
As soon as the California Legislature passed the CCPA, it was clear that the law’s requirements would evolve through both the legislative and rulemaking process. It was not clear, however, that the key CCPA provisions would be substantially amended so close to its effective date, and that the rules implementing its terms would not be finalized until after the law became operative.
While we recognize that the amendments in the California Legislature delayed the development and formal release of draft regulations implementing the CCPA until October 11, 2019, these draft rules presented significant new and unprecedented requirements, such as the requirement for a business upon receipt of a consumer opt-out request, to “notify all third parties to whom it has sold the personal information of the consumer within 90 days prior to the business’ receipt of the consumer’s request that the consumer has exercised their right to opt-out and instruct them not to further sell the information.” Moreover, the draft rules imposed on businesses entirely new recordkeeping obligations, notice requirements, and verification rules, among many other novel requirements. Businesses are still contending with the proposed regulations’ new mandates and are working earnestly to adjust their systems and build new processes to facilitate compliance.
Unfortunately, it is presently unclear when the rules will be finalized and whether they will be further amended. Just five months before enforcement is scheduled to begin, companies that are subject to the CCPA are faced with the likelihood that the draft rules could substantially change from their present form and impose entirely new requirements. Publications disseminated by your office indicate that the draft rules will be revised not only after input received during the initial comment period, but that you will also hold at least one subsequent 15-day comment period on the content of those updates. If any changes to the regulations are made that constitute “substantial and sufficiently related” changes, the Attorney General (“AG”) must provide for at least a 15-day public comment period. If, on the other hand, any of the changes to the regulations are “substantial, but not sufficiently related” changes, the AG must issue a new notice in the California Regulatory Notice Register and provide for a new 45-day public comment period. The rules will not be effective until the rules are submitted and reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law, further reducing the time available to businesses to implement the regulations. This timeline increases the likelihood that the draft rules will not be finalized before, or only a short period prior, to the law’s July 1, 2020 enforcement date.
We and our members strongly support the underlying goals of the CCPA. The limited and quickly shrinking time before the existing enforcement deadline, however, will place business in a nearly untenable position. Without final regulatory requirements, business will be unable to make operational changes to their systems, further delaying finalization of their compliance programs. Businesses should be afforded an appropriate time period to implement the new regulations once they become final and before being subject to enforcement.
II. Providing a Reasonable Period of Time for Implementing the New Regulations Benefits Consumers
While the law instructs the AG not to bring any enforcement action prior to July 1, 2020, there is no restriction on you providing a reasonable period of additional time for California businesses to review and implement the final regulations before initiating any enforcement actions. Thus, in order to avoid consumer and business confusion with respect to the new rules, we request that you further delay the enforcement of the law to begin six months from the date the CCPA regulations become final. This short deferral will give businesses the time they need to understand and effectively operationalize the rules helping ensure consumers have access to the rights afforded under the new law.
Business attempts to comply with an incomplete legal regime risks causing significant consumer frustration and the implementation of inadequate or duplicative compliance tools. While we understand that your office is working expeditiously to provide clear rules for businesses to operationalize the CCPA, the clock is working against well-intentioned businesses in their compliance efforts.
We urge you to give California businesses the opportunity to understand what is required under the law before they are put at risk for being penalized for violating its terms.
* * *
While our members support California’s intent to provide consumers enhanced privacy protections, the evolving nature of the CCPA and the draft nature of the proposed rules makes the current enforcement date of July 1, 2020 a difficult deadline for businesses and consumers alike. Consumer privacy is best served when businesses that leverage data do so in accordance with clear and concrete laws and regulations that present them with adequate time to adjust their practices to come into compliance with the new requirements.
We urge you to accept this proposed six-month enforcement moratorium, thereby giving businesses throughout the United States that operate in California adequate time to prepare to adhere to the law’s final form. Delaying the CCPA’s enforcement in this manner will help ensure that businesses can effectively provide consumers with the new protections and rights that the law and its implementing regulations require.
Thank you in advance for consideration of this request.

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How to Clear Data Facebook Collects About You from Other Sites and Apps – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Facebook is one of the world’s biggest advertising platforms, and that’s because it knows a lot about you, me, and everyone.
Facebook uses many tools to track people across the Internet, whether they have an account with the social networking site or not, and most of them rely on the online activity data other apps and websites share with Facebook.
Everything we do online generates an extensive amount of behavioral data, from buying clothes to looking for hotels, which apps and websites often share with advertising companies, allowing them to build more accurate profiles of your interests and needs.
However, after facing worldwide criticism over privacy and data breach controversies, Facebook last summer announced a privacy tool, called Off-Facebook Activity, which gives users more control of their data collected by Facebook.

Starting today on Data Privacy Day 2020, the Off-Facebook Activity feature is now available to every user around the world, which was initially made only available to users in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain for testing.
Initially introduced as “Clear History,” the tool offers users a clear summary of what information Facebook holds on you based on other apps you used or websites you’ve visited and also lets you delete it from your account if you want to.

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites, and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to.”

How to Use Off-Facebook Activity Tool?

However, it’s important to note that the feature doesn’t actually allow users to delete their browsing information from Facebook servers; instead, it simply lets users dissociate collected data from their Facebook account.
For example, I tried it and found that over 1000 apps and websites had shared my online activity with Facebook in the past 180 days, many of which are news, banking, and healthcare organizations, and even LinkedIn.
To access Off-Facebook Activity tool:

Go to ‘Settings & Privacy’ in your Facebook app,
Select ‘Off-Facebook Activity,’
On the next screen, you are provided with a list of all the websites and apps that had shared your data with Facebook.
You can choose specific apps to see how many interactions you had with them.
You can download activity details by clicking on the number of interactions and clicking Download Activity Details at the bottom of the popup.
If you’re very concerned about the data that Facebook holds on you, it’s worth clearing your history by clicking on the ‘Clear History.’

It should also be noted that after using the “clear history” option, you will be logged out of certain websites you have accessed using your Facebook account.
Besides this, clearing history doesn’t stop third-parties from future data-sharing, and there’s another option, called ‘Manage Future Activity,’ which also doesn’t restrict Facebook from receiving your activity data from the businesses in the future. It’s just, the new information won’t be associated with your account.
Still, it’s a remarkable step forward towards transparency and control, as Facebook rivals such as Google don’t offer anything comparable to the “Off-Facebook Activity” page.

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Ford can now 3D print locknuts for your wheels using your unique voice pattern – Blog – 10 minute

In context: The implementation of GPS tracking in newer automobiles have made stealing a car more problematic for thieves. However, they can still take your wheels in the dead of night.To protect their expensive alloys, some owners use locknuts. One of these on each wheel prevents a thief from removing them with a standard lug wrench. However, locking nuts are not foolproof.
Ford engineers have come up with a novel solution to this problem. Using the owner’s voice pattern, Ford can create uniquely contoured nuts and keys. Special software takes the sound waves and forms them into a 3D circle. This pattern is used to 3D print locknuts and keys as one piece using acid and corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
Ford says they have also included measures to prevent cloning.
“The design also includes second level security features that prevent the nut from being cloned or copied. The unevenly spaced ribs inside the nut and indentations that widen the deeper they go prevent a thief from making a wax imprint of the pattern, as the wax breaks when it is pulled from the nut. “
The carmaker says that using the owner’s voice is optional. Patterns can also be developed from things like the driver’s initials, a logo, or even a favorite race track.

While Ford claims the nuts are more secure, there are not a whole lot of thieves going around making wax molds. It is unclear how the new locknuts would prevent the most common method of removal — brute force. Hammering a slightly undersized socket onto a locknut, then using a breaker bar on it can defeat most locking solutions. There are also removal kits you can buy for about $100.
Ford’s press released did not mention mitigations to forcing its locknuts loose. So is it really a more secure design, or is it just more of the same with a personalized touch?
Either way, it is a very creative use of 3D printing, and it is not limited to just making locknuts. Ford says that it uses the technology to create specialized production tools from nylon and plastics, which are 100-percent recyclable. They can also print them on-demand without having to wait for them to be manufactured.
“Having our very own plug-and-play printer enables us to make tools and parts exactly when we need them, and to replace them faster than ever before,” said Lars Bogner, a research engineer at Ford’s Advanced Materials and Processes division. “For some tools, the delivery time was up to eight weeks, but with 3D printing, the turn-around has been reduced to just five days.”
Masthead credit Shawn Knight

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Starring Maisie Williams, Audi’s Super Bowl spot marks a new chapter in its advertising- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Audi’s Super Bowl ad is a youthful, musical breakthrough into sustainability messaging. But despite the star-studded casting of Maisie Williams, the ad is more than a Big Game commercial: it’s the first test of the brand’s entirely new marketing strategy.
Picture the scene. You’ve just found out you’ve won your first ever automotive client. The brief is exciting: a total global repositioning campaign with a great budget.
The brand loved your ideas and wants to get started straight away. It wants that big, hero film you pitched ready to go live by the last week of January. But it’s already November.
“Is there any flex on the launch date?” No. Because the ad’s going to run in a 60-second slot during the Super Bowl.
That’s what happened to 72andSunny Amsterdam, which won the Audi account at the end of last year.
The task at hand was also huge: present Audi as a progressive, design-obsessed, digitally connected, electrifying and sustainable car brand that still prizes the customer experience and engineering. The agency was, at first, overwhelmed with the scope of the challenge and the epic imagery it might require.
“We thought of scripts that had people building rockets and marching against things,” recalls Rey Andrade, executive creative director at 72andSunny. “And we entertained that for a minute because we needed to get it out of our system.
“But then we quickly landed on the idea that we need to have fun. We need to find a way to talk about progress in a way that’s modern. People are getting really tired of getting lectured at by brands, so we said, ‘let’s be a little bit more populist about this’. Let’s make something people can smile at.
“Once we edited the brief in that way, it really started to unlock better ideas.”
The final idea was something rather unexpected from Audi, which has never shied away from the irreverent but has also never quite embraced populist joy.

The spot opens with Maisie Williams climbing into an electric Audi E-tron. She gets stuck in traffic in the middle of a polluted cityscape, and becomes exasperated at the petrol fumes, trash, chaos and warnings of climate change on the radio.
The music then cuts to her singing one of the most recognizable songs of the last decade: Let It Go from the Disney movie Frozen.
“Our initial worry was that this is not an easy song for anybody to sing,” says Andrade. “But [Williams] put in the work and she wasn’t shy about it either.
“I think there are other actors we could have put into that role that might have made it feel more self-important than it needed to be. I think her performance and her expressions… help the audience know that we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.
“We have a big message and we’re serious about what we’re doing as a brand. But it’s not a lecture.”
As the music builds to its storm-raging, cold-not-bothering crescendo, a cast of characters joins in the song. The landscape around Williams also grows more surreal.
The shoot, Andrade admits, was intense under the time pressure. But it was also “probably the best boot camp for understanding what an automotive production can feel like” – a needed lesson for a shop inexperienced in the legal regulations of advertising cars.
‘The first chapter’
The film produced was never meant to be known as ‘the Audi Super Bowl ad’. The client, head of brand Sven Schuwirth, asked for an ad to promote the Audi E-tron Sportback. The timings simply happened to align.
The commercial will be rolled out around the world after Sunday’s (2 February) game. It will be supported by the brand’s “biggest ever” activation across TV, digital and social.
“For us, it’s simply the start of the first chapter of our overall new brand campaign,” Schuwirth says. “Our aim is to become the most progressive premium brand.”
Audi plans to do this not with a convoluted brand strategy but with a complete operational overhaul.
It’s shifting focus to sustainability, design and digital, while the electrification of its fleet underpins the next generation of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’; the company aims to introduce around 30 electrified vehicles by 2025 and become carbon-neutral by 2050.
Products as ‘ambassadors’
Schuwirth has revamped his marketing strategy to coincide with the revamp of the organization. He’s given his agency three key tasks – regenerate the brand, “emotionalize” the brand and futureproof the brand’s perception in terms of sustainability and electrification.
But he’s also bucking traditions with regards to going to market.
“In the past, we always produced dedicated or isolated product launch communication pieces, like every other automotive company,” he explains. “We are going to stop spending on isolated products in the traditional way and try to launch products under the umbrella of the brand a bit more consistently.
“We will simply take all our products or services… and instead [use them] as ambassadors of that brand story.”
With Audi rewriting the rules of automotive branding just as Andrade’s team is learning them, it’s fair to say 72andSunny’s Amsterdam office has had an interesting three months.
But it’s also been blessed with a bit of Super Bowl luck: both Williams and Let It Go featured in the first script, and the creative team managed to land both the in-demand star and the famous song.
“I think it was also kind of fortunate that we were allowed to do the pitch work without [having to think], ‘OK, this is going to run at the Super Bowl’,” says Andrade.
“All of those considerations could have really distracted us from just thinking about the brand itself.”

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