Apple FaceTime Bug Lets Callers Eavesdrop on You Before You Accept Their Call

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

If you recently called someone using Apple's new Group FaceTime feature, you may have noticed a concerning privacy issue—and if you were the recipient of a Group FaceTime call, you may have fallen victim to the bug without realizing it. As CNN Business reports, the bug allows Apple users to eavesdrop on people they're calling via FaceTime, and in some cases, spy on them by video even if they don't accept the call.

The security flaw appeared shortly after Apple rolled out Group FaceTime in December, and it's since been linked to iPhones and iPads on iOS 12.1 and Apple PCs on macOS Mojave with the feature.

If the bug is activated on your device, FaceTime will automatically transmit audio from the other person's phone when you call them, rather than starting from the moment they answer the call, as the app normally does. If the recipient declines the call by pressing a volume button or the power button, there's a chance FaceTime will send live video of them instead of hanging up. And the recipient has no indication that this is happening.

The bug can be triggered easily by adding your own phone number to a Group FaceTime call between you and another person. With that information, anyone can take advantage of the vulnerability to snoop on other iOS users. According to Apple's status page, Group FaceTime is "temporarily unavailable" while the company gets the privacy issue is sorted out, but if you've already downloaded Group FaceTime, the bug may carry over to two-person FaceTime Calls.

If you want to be sure no one is using your iPhone to eavesdrop on you, the safest move is to disable FaceTime until Apple announces a foolproof fix. To do that, open Settings on your iPhone or iPad, select FaceTime, and toggle off the green switch next to the app name. For Mac computers, open the FaceTime app, drop-down FaceTime from the menu bar, and click Turn FaceTime Off to disable the feature.

[h/t CNN Business]

BioLite Has Designed a Headlamp That Won't Irritate or Slip Off Your Head

BioLite
BioLite

Headlamps are convenient in theory. Instead of fumbling with a flashlight or your phone in the dark, you can strap one to your head and walk your dog, do some late-night grilling, or venture around your campsite hands-free.

But in reality, the awkward design—with a bulky light that digs into your skin and slides down your forehead—cancels out much of the product's appeal. Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way, as the folks at BioLite have demonstrated with their reinvented headlamp.

The BioLite HeadLamp 330, which debuted on Kickstarter in 2018 and is now available on Amazon, promises to make you forget you're even wearing it. Inspired by modern wearables, BioLite has retooled various elements of the clunky traditional design to make it as comfortable as it is functional.

A man wearing a red HeadLamp 330
BioLite

The ultra-thin light sits flat against your skull, which means you won't have any painful marks in the middle of your forehead when you take it off. The band itself is made from a moisture-wicking fabric that feels good on your skin, even when you're working up a sweat. And unlike conventional headlamps, BioLite has redistributed the power source to the back of the head in its design, balancing the weight and taking care of any slippage issues.

As is the case with other BioLite products, technology is an essential part of the design. The 330-lumen lamp projects light up to nearly 250 feet in front of you. There are variable lighting settings, too: You can opt for either a white spot or floodlight, both with dimming options, or a strobe light feature; there's also a red floodlight. It can run for three and a half hours at maximum brightness or 40 hours at minimum brightness, and when it needs to be recharged, you can just plug it into a micro-USB source like a solar panel or powerbank.

Get your own BioLite Headlamp for $49 on Amazon. It's available in in ember red, ocean teal, sunrise yellow, or midnight gray.

Teal headlamp.
BioLite

Bioengineering Student Is Building Custom Prosthetic Arms From LEGO Bricks

iStock.com/serts
iStock.com/serts

The custom LEGO designs built by 19-year-old David Aguilar aren't meant to sit on a shelf. For years he's been ignoring the instructions that come with LEGO sets to make functioning prosthetic arms for himself, and now he's sharing his creations online, Reuters reports.

Aguilar—who lives in Andorra, a small principality on the French-Spanish border—was born with a rare genetic condition that left him without a right forearm. He built his first artificial limb out of LEGO bricks at age 9, and hasn't looked back. Today Aguilar is pursuing an eduction in bioengineering at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Spain, and he's already on LEGO prosthetic No. 4.

After acquiring complex LEGO sets for things like airplanes and construction vehicles, Aguilar reconfigures them into arms and adds electric motors that allow him to move his fingers and bend his elbow. He documents his building process on YouTube under the name Hand Solo. Each arm he builds is named MK followed by the model number (MK I, MK II, etc.), a nod to the MK suits built by Tony Stark in the Iron Man series.

The LEGO prosthetics are more than conversation starters—they're also affordable compared to professionally made robotic limbs on the market. Aguilar tells Reuters his dream is to one day provide cheaper options to prosthetics-wearers like him.

[h/t Reuters]

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