Apple confirms it uses Google’s cloud for iCloud


A file that Apple updated on its website last month provides the first acknowledgment that it’s relying on Google’s public cloud for data storage for its iCloud services.

The disclosure is fresh evidence that Google’s cloud has been picking up usage as it looks to catch up with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud infrastructure business.



Flight Sim Company “FSLabs” Combats Piracy by Sending Them Your Chrome Passwords


This has to be a first. The tl;dr of this is that if the company detects their software installation using a blacklisted/fraudulent product key, it pushes a “test.exe” to the target machine. This executable was revealed to be the Chrome Password Dumping Tool by SecurityXploded – available at The dump of the passwords is packaged by an included “base64.exe” and sent via HTTP back to FSLabs. Once this was revealed to the public, the company issued a statement defending their stance on piracy, followed by a new release of their downloader that promises this DRM is not included. Superhero or supervillian? Read more here.

Dell might sell itself to VMWare in a massive deal


Dell is weighing a sale of its business to VMware, a massive and unusual deal that would allow Dell to go public by essentially selling itself to a company that it owns, according to CNBC’s Alex Sherman.

Shares of VMware were down 9% on the report, which cited anonymous sources and noted that Dell was also considering other strategic options.

Dell owns 80% of VMware, a publicly traded software virtualization company that Dell acquired when it purchased EMC for $67 billion in 2015.


What does “J” mean in e-mail messages?


Credit to Per Christensson here for this completely random explanation.

What does “J” mean in e-mail messages?

Answer: If you’ve ever received an e-mail with a mysterious “J” in the body of the message, you may have been perplexed by its meaning. Some messages have a single J, while others have several. Most J’s appear at the end of sentences, but they can appear anywhere in the message So what does this enigmatic character mean and why does it show up in e-mail messages?

The J is actually supposed to be a smiley face.

If you have Wingdings installed on your computer, the following character will appear as a smiley face. Otherwise, it will be the letter “J”: J

This is because the letter J represents a smiley face icon in the Wingdings font. Microsoft Outlook, a popular e-mail client, automatically converts the : ) and : – ) text emoticons into smiley face icons using the Wingdings font. Therefore, when Microsoft Outlook users type smiley faces in an e-mail message, they are sent as visual smiley face icons.

The smiley face icons show up correctly on most user’s computers, since most Mac and Windows-based machines include the Wingdings font. Most modern e-mail programs also support formatted text, including custom fonts. However, if you don’t have the Wingdings font installed or your e-mail program or webmail interface does not support formatted text, the smiley face will show up as a “J”. Also, if a message has been forwarded several times and one of the users in the forwarding chain could not view the smiley face correctly, it will be transmitted as a “J” to all future recipients. Therefore, you may occasionally see “J’s” in your e-mails, even if your computer and e-mail program supports the Wingdings font.

Hopefully, now when you go back and look at your messages with mysterious “J’s”, they will make sense in the context they appear. It should also be easier to interpret future occurrences as well.

Signal partners with Microsoft to bring end-to-end encryption to Skype


In collaboration with Signal, Microsoft is introducing a Private Conversations feature in Skype, powered by Signal Protocol. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Allo already use this technology. The protocol combines the Double Ratchet Algorithm, prekeys, and a triple Diffie–Hellman (3-DH) handshake, and uses Curve25519AES-256 and HMAC-SHA256 as primitives.