Lost and found: Here’s how to locate your iPhone when it goes missing

It’s an all too common scenario. You and your friends go out for a few drinks on a Saturday night. One drink turns to two, then three, and somewhere — probably in between the four shots of horrendous well whiskey and your oh-so-fantastic karaoke rendition of Jewel’s You Were Meant for Me — you go from a casual night out to painting the town red. Your iPhone, the essential piece of tech that’s basically become an extension of you, disappears somewhere without a trace.

More: Find your phone with these helpful tracking tips

Fortunately, Apple is hip to this sort of thing. The Cupertino-based company has conveniently been offering the Find my iPhone feature and accompanying mobile app since 2010, allowing users to remotely locate, lock, or wipe their iPhone using iCloud or another iOS device. Using Find my iPhone is simple, requiring little more than the initial setup and activation, and can really save you should you discover your precious device is nowhere to be found. The software even works on other devices including your iPad, iPod Touch, and even your Mac. It won’t prevent you from losing your phone, but it may help you find it so long as you activate the feature prior to losing your device. Now, just make sure to check the crevices of your couch one last time…

Step 1: Check the requirements

Although optimized for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Find my iPhone is available on all devices equipped with iOS 5 or later. The utility is completely free and compatible beginning with the iPhone 3GS, third-generation iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, and all the latest versions thereof. A valid iCloud account is also required and devices without cellular data must be connected to a registered Wi-Fi network to be located.

Step 2: Download and install the app

Tap the blue App Store icon located on your iOS home screen, search “Find my iPhone” within the Search panel, and select application from the list of results. Afterward, tap the blue Get button in the upper-right corner followed by the resulting green Install button to download and install the app. Alternatively, download the app from iTunes and sync it with your iOS device.

Final 2

Step 3: Activate Find my iPhone

Once installed, tap the main Settings icon, followed the iCloud option near the center of the Settings menu. Enter your Apple ID in the resulting pop-up window if prompted, or tap Get a free Apple ID and follow the onscreen instructions to set up your free iCloud account. Swipe to the bottom of the menu once signed in, select the Find My iPhone option, and toggle the on-off switch to the right of Find My iPhone before tapping the Allow option in the resulting pop-up window. Repeat the process using the same iCloud account information for any iOS device you wish to activate.

Fortunately, Find My iPhone does more than just allow you to track your iPhone in a pinch. The feature also enables Activation Lock as of iOS 7, which securely stores your Apple ID in Apple’s activation servers and automatically links to your device. Said feature then requires your password be entered before anyone can turn off Find My iPhone, erase your device, or reactivate it. It requires no action on your part and serves as yet another security measure designed to prevent theft and unauthorized use of your phone.

Find My iPhone Screen 3

Step 4: Lose your iOS device

Obviously, this doesn’t come recommended, but finding your iOS device once lost is likely the reason you chose to use the app in the first place.

Step 5: Locate your iOS device

Once lost, you can either use another iOS device or access your iCloud account on the web to locate your lost or stolen device. Keep in mind that it’s not possible to locate the device if you didn’t activate the Find my iPhone function before losing your device.

Using another iOS device

Tap the Find my iPhone icon from the home screen (the icon resembles a old-school radar display), enter your iCloud login credentials in the appropriate fields, and tap the blue Go option located in the pop-up window. Once logged in, select the lost or stolen device from the list of devices setup with Find my iPhone to view the device’s location.

Additional options for remotely wiping the phone and forcing it to play a sound — accessible via the Actions option located at the bottom of the display — are also available, along with a intuitive Lost Mode that provides options for locking the device with a four-digit passcode and displaying a contact phone number of your own choosing directly on the lock screen.

Find My iPhone Screen 5

Using your iCloud account on the Web

Open your favorite browser and navigate to the iCloud homepage before signing in with your Apple ID and password. Afterword, click the large Find My iPhone icon, select All Devices at the top of the window, and select the lost or stolen device from the resulting list of activated devices.

Additional options for remotely wiping the phone and forcing it to play a sound should appear in the upper-right corner, along with a intuitive Lost Mode button that provides options for locking the device with a four-digit passcode and displaying a contact phone number of your own choosing directly on the lock screen.

Step 6: Take action

Once you locate your iPhone or iOS device, use one of Find my iPhone’s built-in functions to help recover the device. Tap the gray Play Sound button featuring the speaker to force the your phone to play a high-pitched ping continuously for two minutes, or tap the gray Erase iPhone button followed by the Erase iPhone confirmation to completely wipe your device of all content and settings.

Final 2

If running iOS 6 or later, tap the middle Lost Mode button followed by the Turn On Lost Mode confirmation before entering a phone number where you can be reached. Then, tap the green Next button in the upper-right corner, enter your desired message in the resulting text field, and tap the green Done button to activate the message.

Find My iPhone 13

There’s no guarantee the ringing, erasing, or messaging will help you get your device back — regardless if you know it’s precise whereabouts. Rather than confront the potential thief yourself, it may be wise to contact your service provider and the police, informing them of the situation and your intentions to recover the device. You never know when things might escalate like they did in San Francisco in 2012.

A conversation about tech M&A trends and Trump

In recent years some very big brands outside the tech space have been stepping in to acquire technology companies as the pressure to keep up with consumer-powered digital trends touches more industries, from automobile makers to traditional retailers.

And with a new U.S. president in office, there are signs M&S activity could accelerate further this year, given Trump’s talk of torching business regulation to encourage more deal-making. 

TechCrunch talked to John Stiffler, senior M&A director at business and technology consulting firm West Monroe Partners, to get his take.

What sorts of clients does West Monroe Partners work with on M&As?
Stiffler: On the M&A side we help both private equity and corporate strategics in the middle market space buy and sell really pretty much any type of business form an industry perspective but the big three where we spend most of our time would be manufacturing & distribution, healthcare and high tech.

High tech could be anything from businesses that have products in the cloud, platform as a service, or infrastructure as a service. Or something that might be a little bit more mainstream, in terms of shrunk-wrapped software, that kind of thing.

That’s macro level. We do probably 300, 350 transactions or so a year, both for private equity and strategics. We represent probably about 30 to 35 per cent of the firm’s revenue. The rest of the firm’s revenue comes from things outside M&A.

What are the factors you see encouraging non-tech companies to acquire startups?
Stiffler: The tech space is such a competitive space, generally speaking, and in some of the stuff that we’ve seen is it’s a little bit of plugging technology gaps that the large corporation, mid-market facing or frankly even larger than that, just can’t build on its own quickly enough.

The point is that if I’ve got the need to compete with an Amazon, for example, how do I do that without having to go hire my own tech team?  Start up my own application platform etc. Maybe I can buy some of that and supplement my team, or in fact maybe just completely buy it and integrate in.

One of the examples would be last year… on the Wal-Mart side there was a good acquisition, if you will: Jet. Wal-Mart wanted to be able to compete with Amazon. Instead of actually trying to crank out their own set of applications they just bought Jet.

So the premise is that as tech services are becoming so much more prevalent and dominant for consumers, there’s more of an urgency for the non-tech players to be getting into this space in a big way — which is then driving more M&A activity?
Stiffler: Yes, well said.

Do you have any data to quantify growth in this type of M&A activity?
Stiffler: I don’t have any specific data… A lot of it really is just based on what we see. As I said, 65 per cent of our business comes from things outside of M&A and oftentimes we’re consulting for these businesses that are considering how to get better in terms of competition. And in many cases it shows up as ‘hey why don’t we just wait to buy technology assets’. And so because we don’t track that, per se, I don’t have any specific metrics.

Are there particular tech areas of special interest to the sectors your firm focuses on for M&A?
Stiffler: Generally this whole idea of getting technology into a space where you can reach the consumer more rapidly or that you can provide a service that’s easier for the user/customer to use is key. The Jet acquisition of Wal-Mart is one.

Interesting stuff too. If you look at Ford, GM, they’re buying all kinds of things like that again. And in some cases in the automobile industry it’s how do I stay concurrent with the consumer of the automobile such that they want to have all these technology based component in their vehicle as well as how they manage their vehicle. So you buy a car today, you can get access to the car via the web. You can do all kinds of good things like that. Big, behemoth companies like that don’t necessary have some of those capabilities built in. So a lot of it is to be more relevant to the consumer. To be first to market so to speak with certain technologies that the consumer might want, and so on. That’s generally driving a lot of it.

A lot of it also that we’ve seen is just general operational efficiencies. So take the consumer/end-user out of it, how do we become more efficient as a business in the technology space, such that we can replace aging systems that cost a tremendous amount of money to maintain. Or for that matter we don’t have the right resources to really maintain those systems anymore, so we need to get into more mainstream technologies. So it’s all the legacy based stuff as well, that comes into play here.

Have you heard of any deals in play where a non-tech firm is really eyeing up a tech company?
Stiffler: Nothing that I could probably speak to with any authority at this point. There are inklings of certain things that are out there — but nothing that would be, I guess, quotable.

There have been Disney-Netflix M&A rumors for a while now…
Stiffler: Yeah… That [rumor] comes to mind, of course. There’s some interesting things.

How do you see the Trump administration affecting M&A activity?
Stiffler: If you look at some of the regulatory/other things that might happen as a result of Trump jumping into office, there’s going to be some interesting play from that.

He’s been pro-biz for all of his campaign. He did oppose the AT&T-Time Warner merger. There’s probably a good deal of optimism that he’s probably going to relax a bit on his stance, all round, allowing these kinds of things to happen. So the pro-stance and the Department of Justice and some of the antitrust things that they were looking at under Obama I think we’ll see… that under that pro-business stance, large-scale deals will likely become more feasible. That’s generally speaking what the industry might be saying.

And what we’re hearing from some of our private equity investors who are looking at buying and merging businesses — now this obviously isn’t a corporation, these are private businesses, or businesses going from public to private, there’s not as much regulation if you will in that — but we see those guys being more bullish on opportunities to take advantage of that. So the punchline is I think it’s going to be an easier time for large corporations to do some of the things that may have been difficult over the last eight years. I think we’ll see a little more activity in the private sector as a result of just a very favorable deal climate.

So faster deal-making if Trump is removing barriers for business. But might there not be concerns down the line of problems emerging later, i.e. due to a lack of due diligence as regulations are pared back?
Stiffler: I haven’t heard that. In the conversations that I’ve had with my private equity clients, there’s just been a lot of healthy optimism about what things will look like this year. I haven’t heard that they’ll be some push back this year.

What might Trump’s moves towards deregulation do for tech company valuations — might they be pushed up?
Stiffler: There’s so many things that are driving tech company valuations up, there are just so many opportunities with some of the businesses that are available, or not available and are hot commodities for people to pursue, but some of those have to do with generally just the market, the industry at large if you will.  But I think if we look at his relaxing certain regulatory based things, if the markets continue to do well financially, if the lending climate continues to be strong, with low interest rates and he puts pressure in that space to continue to keep the economy humming, you’re going to see the deals stuff continue quite robust.

Because with the strong credit market, and rates low, and debt readily available, you’ll continue to see lots of really, really good activities. In the meantime corporate strategics still have a tremendous amount of cash and they need to put it to work, and what you’ll see is those businesses will continue to put upward pressure on deal valuations because they usually… don’t have the short term issues of needing to buy and sell such that they can return values to shareholders immediately — like private equity looks like — they can actually hold onto businesses indefinitely, so they can actually spend a little bit more, typically, than the private equity client can so they’ll drive up deal valuations as well.

So there are some signs that there might be more acceleration for tech valuation this year?
Stiffler: I would say so. All the things that we see and hear, and some of the stuff that I’ve read… is saying that for sure. But we’re certainly seeing it in the market, at least at this point.

What are your general M&A predictions for this year across the sectors you work in?
Stiffler: I think that in the healthcare space we’re going to continue to see a tremendous amount of activity, it’s still so fragmented from a tech perspective. I talk about things all the way from clinical trial management, where there’s just such a mess of fragmentation in that space, and people that can bring together some really interesting capabilities for the pharma-based businesses probably will have first mover advantage, so I think that there’s going to be a lot of work in the healthcare space. Not just clinical, but if you look at taking a number of smaller businesses that might be regional practices, like some kind of a provider model, and bringing that into more of a national practice, the whole thing around what may or may not happen to Obamacare may have an effect on some of the things that folks are doing but generally speaking I think healthcare’s going to be very robust.

There’s going to be quite a bit of effort in the high tech space. A lot of the Silicon Valley based companies and companies like that will continue to be very, very busy on the acquisition side, I think, just because of the volatility and the need to accelerate. So I think it’s a healthy outlook for those two spaces. Manufacturing and distribution will continue to bump along but the first two I expect to see quite a bit of work in that space.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity

Featured Image: Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock

5 songs you need to stream this week: Run The Jewels, The Veils, and more

Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

More: Spotify may upgrade its free account to give users more on-demand streaming

Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Run The Jewels — Talk To Me (and more)

Energetic rap duo Run The Jewels invaded NPR’s Tiny Desk recently, performing selections from their latest album, Run The Jewels 3, for an enthusiastic live audience. The trap-influenced music is fantastic as a pick-me-up in the dark days of winter, and so is the vibe of the performers, who were all smiles throughout their 11-minute set.

Download it now on:

Amazon iTunes

The Veils — Swimming with Crocodiles (and more)

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Chilling digital drum grooves blend with warm keyboard sounds and pedal steel guitar on Swimming With Crocodiles, the opening track on a recently released live video from the London-based band The Veils. Thoughtful and intimate, the steadily-evolving music of songwriter Finn Andrews remains perfect for the most introspective moments in your day, whether you are gathering your thoughts for a task at hand, or making creative new plans for the future.

Download it now on:

Amazon iTunes

iLL Brown — Friends (featuring Freddie Gibbs, BJ The Chicago Kid, G-Wiz)

Chicago producer iLL Brown recruited a few celebrity guests for his latest track, Friends, with verses from Freddie Gibbs and G-Wiz, and gospel-like choruses from acclaimed singer BJ The Chicago Kid. The song takes a classic “chop-up-the-soul Kanye” West approach, but adds some Dr. Dre-influenced synth tones on the high end, in a mash-up of Midwest and West Coast hip-hop that will have you jamming out to all week.

Dirty Projectors  — Cool Your Heart (featuring DΔWN)

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There’s an enthralling island groove beneath The Dirty Projectors latest single, Cool Your Heart, that grabs your ears and doesn’t let go. Co-written by Solange Knowles and featuring the vocal skills of Dawn Richard on a series of beautiful harmonies and choruses, the song is equally suited to club outings as it is bedroom dance contests.

Download it now on:

Amazon iTunes

Lowly — Mornings

A repeating drumbeat and ’80s-influenced synthesizer tones are the core of Lowly’s new single, Mornings, which feels like it could easily show up in a montage sequence in the next season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Mornings is one you’ll want to add to your night-driving playlist, a spooky and atmospheric jam that works best when the stars above are in visible motion.

Download it now on:

Amazon iTunes

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes — and check out our playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

Android Wear is back in business with two new watches from LG

Why it matters to you

The LG Watch Style and Watch Sport are “designed with Google,” and set the standard for Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches.

Android Wear 2.0 is officially here, and while the update is due to roll out to current smartwatches in the “coming weeks,” you can experience it now with LG’s all-new Watch Style and Watch Sport models.

LG’s two new smartwatches were “designed in collaboration with Google” — most likely in a similar fashion to how most Nexus devices were built. Both devices serve different purposes, if you can’t tell from their very basic names. The Watch Style is the smaller, elegant option with swappable bands, and the Watch Sport is bulkier, bigger, but packs way more features.

More: Google keeps Android Wear ticking with version 2.0

Bigger and better: The LG Watch Sport

If you want the best Google and Android Wear have to offer, the LG Watch Sport is your best bet. While Sport is in its name, it looks just as elegant as the Watch Style — albeit bigger and thicker.

The Watch Sport has a 1.38-inch, full-circle Polymer-OLED display, and its screen packs a 480 x 480-pixel resolution with 348 pixels-per-inch. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor with 768MB of RAM. It houses a 430mAh battery and has 4GB of internal storage, and you’ll find the following sensors: GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, a PPG to measure heart rate, and an ambient light sensor.

NFC means you can now use Android Pay — a new addition in Android Wear 2.0. The Watch Sport also allows for cellular connectivity, making it equally useful when your phone isn’t nearby.

The screen is covered by the stainless steel case and Gorilla Glass 3 — all of which helps make it 14.2mm thick. It’s IP68 dust- and water-resistant, meaning you can take it for a dive a little deeper than 1 meter for more than 30 minutes. The strap is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, but unfortunately it isn’t compatible with Android Mode’s snap-and-swap bands.

More: Casio WSD-F20 Android Wear smartwatch: Our first take

There are three buttons with specific functions on the right side of the watch that help make it look sporty. One triggers Google Fit and another Android Pay — in the middle is a rotating power button that lets you call upon Google Assistant when you hold it down. Google Assistant is also a new addition in Android Wear 2.0.

The Watch Sport’s colors are titanium, and a gorgeous dark blue.

How sunshine is bringing radio to remote parts of South Sudan

In South Sudan, most people don’t have a TV. They rely on radio to get information. But limited access to power means entire communities of are left in information darkness for days at a time, especially in remote areas. One man is turning to the sun to change that. 

Issa Kassimu, an electrical engineer, came up with the bright idea of setting up the country’s first solar-powered local radio station, Mayardit FM. Since March 2016 the station has been running on sunshine.  

The devastating impact of information darkness

Mayardit FM is not only changing the media landscape, it is also transforming people’s lives. Vulnerable populations in South Sudan are very isolated and any kind of information darkness can have a devastating impact. 

Since South Sudan’s independence in 2011 more than 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict. The majority of them, almost 1.6 million, are internally displaced and reliant on word of mouth and radio to find out how to access food, water and shelter. 

Kassimu got the solar-powered radio to start broadcasting in under a month.

Kassimu got the solar-powered radio to start broadcasting in under a month.

Image: Internews

Sunlight vs information darkness

Based in Turalei, in the northeast part of South Sudan, Mayardit FM is fitted with 84 solar panels and 48 batteries and can broadcast for 24 hours using reserve energy built up from sunlight. Kassimu says that so far $172,000 was spent on switching to solar power, but those costs will be covered within five years and will eventually save them money on fuel, equipment and repairs. 

“We used to spend $22,000 a year just to maintain the generators. In those remote locations, fuel is two to three times more expensive than the cost in Juba, so I thought of something that could at least be sustainable,” he said

Dependency on generators 

While Mayardit FM relies on solar power, most radio stations in South Sudan depend on generators for electricity — because only 1% of the population has access to the country’s electrical grid. These generators regularly break down due to the unstable energy they produce. 

Kassimu is one of a select few in the country who knows how to repair them. He spends a lot of time travelling, single-handedly fixing generators. Remember, South Sudan is the size of France so there are large distances involved and people often wait for days in information darkness.

“Once a generator breaks down, it would take me up to five days to fly to the location and fix it. And the radio would remain off air,” Kassimu says. 

Issa Kassimu and his solar (lightbulb) idea are changing how radio works in South Sudan.

Issa Kassimu and his solar (lightbulb) idea are changing how radio works in South Sudan.

Image: internews

Reaching remote areas with local radio 

For remote parts of South Sudan radio is often the only link to the outside world.  Kassimu is part of a network of six local radio stations called the Radio Community which aims to bring radio to the entire country, broadcasting in local languages and reaching up to 2.1 million listeners. Two of the stations are off air because of the volatile situation in those areas. 

The project is run by Internews, an NGO funded largely by USAID that aims to empower local journalists and develop the capacity of media outlets. South Sudan is one of Internews’s biggest projects. 

“The illiteracy rates in South Sudan are incredibly high,” says Steven Lemmy, the Radio Community’s Senior Broadcast Engineer. Adult illiteracy rates are around 30%. 

“So, if you use one language to broadcast to all the people around the country who speak different dialects, they will not understand. The only thing you can do is bring these standalone radio stations to different, often remote, localities,” he says. 

Map showing the four functioning Radio Community stations.

Map showing the four functioning Radio Community stations.

Image: internews

The risks of working in war-torn South Sudan 

The Radio Community say they’re not political. But the conflict in the country has affected them. In July 2016, their station manager in the city of Leer was killed in Juba. According to Internews, he was targeted because he was a member of the Nuer tribe. 

Kassimu and Lemmy maintain that it is not a risk to keep the local stations on air and would rather emphasize peace and cooperation in South Sudan.

However there is no escaping the fact that the situation is dangerous. Seven journalists were killed in South Sudan in 2015 alone. 

“This is one of the countries where our colleagues are exposed to tremendous risk and some of them lost their lives in the past 10 years. Sometimes its not easy and its quite risky to be a journalist,” says Ratomir Petrovic, the chief of the UN Radio Miraya in South Sudan, the country’s largest national radio station with the widest geographical reach. 

Steven Lemmy (bottom left) with the staff of Mayardit FM.

Steven Lemmy (bottom left) with the staff of Mayardit FM.

Image: internews

How radio is saving lives  

“Whenever we open a radio station we employ the locals,” Lemmy says. “We bring them out, we train them, give them the skills they need in broadcasting. And the editorial part of it is managed by the Radio Community. 

“When you know that you can impact other people to such a great extent, you start to think broader and work harder to make sure these radios are broadcasting. It is the radio which is telling people there is an outbreak of cholera and you need to do A, B, C, D.” Kassimu says. 

“At the end of the day it (the radio) saves lives.”

Magic Leap CEO defends his AR company on Twitter after photo leak

Founder and CEO of Magic Leap Rony Abovitz has defended his company on Twitter.
Founder and CEO of Magic Leap Rony Abovitz has defended his company on Twitter.

Image: Getty Images for Wired

Shortly after a photo of company hardware was leaked, the CEO of the augmented and mixed reality company Magic Leap has gone online to correct the record.

On Saturday, Business Insider published an image of what it said was “a working prototype” of the Google-backed startup’s portable augmented reality device given to it by a source. On Twitter, Rony Abovitz claimed Saturday the photo showed only a “R&D test rig.”

The image depicts a man with a kit on his back that looks as if it’s in the early stages of development, but Abovitz’s tweet suggested it was not intended as consumer technology. “The photo you are all excited about is NOT what you think it is,” he wrote. “The photo shows an @magicleap R&D test rig where we collect room/space data for our machine vision/machine learning work.

“We do this in order to understand lighting, texture, various surfaces.”

As Mashable noted earlier, the leaked photo has done little to assuage fears the company’s technology has been overhyped. With investors including Alibaba and Legendary Entertainment, the secretive company is rumoured to be working on a head mounted display that superimposes 3D animation on the real world.

A December report in The Information raised questions about whether Magic Leap was ready for primetime amid concerns that much of its work could not be commercialised or miniaturised. Two former employees also reportedly told the outlet a promotional video showing the technology in action was in fact created by the special effects company, Weta Workshop.

Abovitz concluded his Twitter statement by reassuring fans: “We will not let you down.” 

No word yet on when the world can see exactly what Magic Leap has been building.

Magic Leap has been approached for comment about the leaked photo.

Charge your phone and so much more with this cool little pen

Why it matters to you

Plain old pens can be boring gifts, but the ChargeWrite is anything but — it’s also a powerbank, memory drive, stylus, and more.

You can’t just gift someone a pen these days. It has to be a pen that is also a camera that is also an app that will help you track how many steps you’ve taken. And while the ChargeWrite doesn’t quite check all those boxes, you can rest assured that it is no ordinary pen. With a built-in external 16GB flash memory drive and a powerbank charger, this pen is also a stylus, screen cleaner, powerbank, and storage drive.

The result of a collaboration between Montreal-based entrepreneurs Shaun Teblum and Rob Gold, the ChargeWrite seeks to solve two problems: One, having your phone die midday; and two, never having a pen when you need one (because despite the ubiquity of mobile devices, sometimes you need an actual writing utensils). Now you’ll never forget your pen at home, because your most prized possession (your phone) depends on it.

“It happens to the best of us, we rush through that important call, silently hoping the battery doesn’t die at the worst possible moment.” said Shaun Teblum, co-founder of ChargeWrite. “Whether you’re a student, or a professional, most of us need to give our phone a mid-afternoon boost, and ChargeWrite is an easy way to do that.”

MoreAnker 5-port speed charger gives you fast power on the fly at a 67 percent discount

With two months left in its Indiegogo campaign, ChargeWrite has already garnered the support of nearly 500 backers, and has raised over $30,000, which is over 300 percent of its original goal. So what differentiates ChargeWrite from other charging devices? First off, it’s cable free — all the adapters needed to charge both the pen and your smartphone are built in. Further, this writing device features a universal smartphone tip, which means you can plug it into any iPhone lightning port or any Micro USB device, including Android phones. Moreover, the ChargeWrite is there when you need it, as it’s capable of holding its own full charge for over a month.

“We designed ChargeWrite to pack as much battery as possible, yet still be small enough to be comfortable to write with,” explains Teblum. “It’s packed with features, it’s easy to use, and it’s always there when you need it.”

Starting at just $29, ChargeWrite wants to fit any budget, and you can get yours here.

Paws for a moment to coddle your kitten with our favorite feline-friendly apps

Our furry overlords aren’t always easy to amuse, so you might consider installing some apps for cats on your smartphone or tablet. We’ve been checking out what’s available for our feline friends and their humans, and we’ve found a couple of fun cat games, some music especially for kitties, a game for cat lovers, and a handy first aid app.

More: Bluetooth bow ties, kitty cams, and more weird wearables for your pet from CES

Just be warned — if you are going to let your cat play on your tablet or smartphone, scratches are a very real risk for some of you. Others can expect disdainful looks and general indifference.

Cat Fishing 2

Cat Fishing 2

If your cat has ever attacked your phone or tablet screen, then this app is for them. A fish swims around on screen and your cat can paw it to score points. It starts with one fish in the first round, then two, and finally three fish on screen at once. If your feline friend loses interest, then the game emits a meow after 30 seconds to try and tempt them back. It would be better if the fish just swam indefinitely, but sadly there’s a time limit on each round after which they disappear. This means you’ll have to keep restarting it. On the plus side — few cats can resist batting at a little fishy.

Download now for:

Android iOS

Relax My Cat

Relax My Cat

Music can certainly influence our moods, so why not cats? This app has a few different tunes that have been specially composed for cats. Each one is supposed to evoke a different mood, so there’s a track for making them sleepy, a tune for playtime, and even one for separation anxiety. It’s easy to use — just choose the track you want and set a time limit. Does it really work? That depends on your cat. There’s nothing especially feline-sounding about the music, so you could probably get similar results by creating your own playlists. The Android app is worth a go, because it’s free, but the iOS version is $2.

Download now for:

Android iOS

Cat Alone 2

Cat Alone 2

This simple Android game for cats challenges your kitty to catch different on-screen objects. You can choose from six different options – red light, spider, feather, mouse, dandelion, or water drop. The animations are simple and you can also turn on vibrations to add another dimension. See what piques your cat’s interest. If they like this, then check out the original Cat Alone which features a laser pointer, ladybug, finger, fly, butterfly, or cockroach.

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Android iOS

Cat Simulator

Cat Simulator

This game gives you a taste of what it’s like to be a cat. Pick and customize your feline, then get to work scratching carpets and furniture, catching mice, and generally causing mischief. There are a few different locations to explore and lots of things to interact with. Cat Simulator even has a multiplayer mode, so you can compete with other cat-crazy players. It’s graphically basic, but it’s easy to play and offers a few laughs for kitty fans.

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Android iOS

Pet First Aid

Pet First Aid

Developed by the American Red Cross, this app is packed with practical advice that can help you to diagnose and treat your cat. It contains step-by-step instructions for common emergencies, and there’s a mix of text, photos, and videos to help you identify the issue and deal with it. You can also use the app to create a profile for your pet, track veterinary appointments, and find emergency vet hospitals. To encourage you to learn about pet first aid there are quizzes with badge rewards. It’s completely free and it also covers dogs.

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Android iOS

Apple’s Tim Cook speaks out against immigration ban during UK visit

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Apple and several of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley have spoken out against President Trump’s controversial immigration ban, but not many tech CEOs have aired their views on camera, until now. 

Earlier this week, during a visit to the University of Glasgow in Scotland to receive an honorary degree, Tim Cook opened up about his feelings on the travel ban that was recently struck down in the courts. During a long fireside chat session, Cook talked about the beauty of getting people with “different backgrounds and all different points of views that are able to create the best products.”

He even invoked the name of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, saying, “Steve was the son of an immigrant. Our company has immigrants in it that are key to the innovation of our company.” Passionately detailing why he hasn’t remained silent on the issue, Cook also said, “Our simple view is that Apple would not exist without immigration, so this is a huge issue for us.” 

Capsule8 Launches Linux-Based Container Security Platform

Cybersecurity startup Capsule8 this week announced that it has raised US$2.5 million to launch the industry’s first container-aware, real-time threat protection platform designed to protect legacy and next-generation Linux infrastructures from existing and potential attacks.

CEO John Viega, CTO Dino Dai Zovi and Chief Scientist Brandon Edwards, all veteran hackers, cofounded the firm. They raised seed funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as individual investors Shandul Shah of Index Ventures and ClearSky’s Jay Leek.

“The cloud has catapulted Linux to the most popular platform on the planet, and now the use of container technology is exploding,” said Bob Goodman, a partner at Bessemer. “Yet there has been no world-class commercial security offering focused on securing the Linux infrastructure — until now.”

Capsule8 is solving the difficult problem of providing zero-day threat protection for Linux, whether it be legacy, container or some combination of the two, he added.

Linux Focus

Windows protection tends to focus on “find the bad executable,” which makes sense in that environment because bad executables are ubiquitous in an attack, noted Capsule8’s Viega.

However, that approach doesn’t work well in a Linux environment, so Capsule8 focuses on detecting and protecting against system compromise, he told LinuxInsider.

The other typical approach in Linux is a network appliance, Viega said. However, there is not much context on the network, particularly as end-to-end encryption starts to become ubiquitous in the enterprise, so this approach doesn’t find much and leads to many spurious alerts.

“The result is that most Linux compromises either go undetected or are a surprise — companies find their data on a forum at a later date and they find they had no clue they were attacked,” he explained.

Among the most noteworthy incidents, the company cited the massive breach at Yahoo, which went undetected for years until the stolen data showed up on the Web.

While Linux-based systems present many of the same security problems as Windows-based systems, the biggest difference in attacks can be found around malware, according to Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research at Trend Micro.

“While we do regularly see malware targeting Linux systems, it’s a more common occurrence that the malware implanted on Linux systems is there to be distributed to Windows clients connecting to that Linux system,” he told LinuxInsider.

On the defensive front, there’s a stark contrast in the amount of effort required to support the rapidly changing software on Linux platforms, Nunnikhoven pointed out.

“Given the nature of Linux and GNU, release cycles are a bit more erratic, and there’s a lot more variation that requires a mature and robust response by security providers,” he said.

Customer Base

Capsule8 already has signed up customers for its prerelease product, including SourceClear and Namely.

Capsule8 is the first product that supplements SourceClear’s predeployment detection with runtime threat protection for Linux systems, CEO Mark Curphey said.

There are three core principles that should guide decision making when adopting new technology, suggested Daniel Leslie, director of cybersecurity and technology at Namely. They are scalability, maintainability and security.

Protecting infrastructure at scale without sacrificing stability or performance is essential, he said.

Analytics vs. EDR

Capsule8 likely will take an agent-based approach primarily focused on visibility, speculated Adrian Sanabria, senior analyst for information security at 451 Research.

“They’re talking about gathering tons of details about what’s going on with the operating system, processes, applications, network connections, file activity, etc.,” he told LinuxInsider.

“I think EDR (endpoint detection and response) is actually the best and closest comparison I can find — it is more like that, based on the details I can find so far,” Sanabria maintained.

There’s a big difference between security analytics products and EDR, in that “EDR products tend to be workstation-based, and none of them are container-aware that I know of,” he pointed out.

“On the container side, there’s a lot of competition already,” Sanabria continued, “but none of the container security startups are doing Linux security. The one exception would be Trend Micro. The latest release of Deep Security includes container-aware support, and the product actively defends against attacks, whereas it sounds like Capsule8 will initially just be a monitoring product.”

Commercial container security is probably Capsule8’s best bet for growth, he suggested.

“451 does a lot of enterprise surveying on a regular basis,” Sanabria noted, “and I’ve got to say, ‘Linux Security’ is one thing I’ve never seen on the list of ‘pain points’ — even at the bottom of the list.”

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.