Apple’s Multi-Billion Dollar US Deal (Plus Photoshop Gets an AI Upgrade) | 2MTB May 26th, 2023

Today In Tech News:

  1. Photoshop Gets an AI Upgrade
  2. Winrar Sunset by Windows Update
  3. Apple’s Multi-Billion Dollar US Deal
  4. Android’s Screen Recording Trojan

Photoshop Gets an AI Upgrade

Adobe has given Photoshop an incredible facelift with its new integration with the Firefly generative AI.

The go-to design platform will now allow creators to add, extend, and remove content using simple text prompts with  the “worlds-first” co-pilot in creative and design workflows.

The changes created by the AI will be non-destructive as each of the generated edits will live on their own layer of the project.

Photoshop is the first app to get an AI co-pilot, but Adobe has announced that they plan on bringing Firefly integrations across the Creative Cloud suite, Document Cloud suite, Experience Cloud suite, and Adobe Express.

The AI co-pilot is currently available in the desktop beta version of Photoshop and will be generally available in Q3 or Q4 of this year.


Winrar Sunset by Windows Update

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer of Windows and Devices, has announced upcoming Windows 11 features in a blog post Tuesday.

Features mentioned include:

  • A native AI assistant called Windows Co-pilot, 
  • Native Bing Chat plugins, 
  • A development productivity companion called Dev Home, 
  • AI features in the Microsoft Store
  • Native support for .rar, .7z, and .gz archive formats

This means you will no longer have to not pay for Winrar or 7zip as Microsoft is integrating libarchive into Windows 11.

Libarchive is an open-source Multi-format archive and compression library written in C and has been used by other operating systems since as early as 2004.

According to Panay, “You now can get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows.”

Microsoft sources at The Verge have stated that Windows 11 support for the new formats should roll out in a work-in-progress build later this week.


Apple’s Multi-Billion Dollar US Deal

Apple is making moves to fulfill its investment promise to the United States with a multiyear, multi-billion dollar deal with the technology manufacturing giant Broadcom.

The partnership is revolving around the manufacturing of 5G radio frequency components and highlighted the manufacturing of Film Bulk Acoustic Resonator filters, or FBAR filters, for future Apple products.

CEO Tim Cook has spoken on the partnership saying “We’re thrilled to make commitments that harness the ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit of American manufacturing…” and that the company will “continue to deepen our investments in the U.S. economy because we have an unshakable belief in America’s future.”

The release highlighted the Broadcom facility in Fort Collins Colorado as a key manufacturing and technology hub as the partnership hopes to expand upon the 1,100 Broadcom jobs there today.

This deal is expected to be one of many over the next few years as it is a part of the $430 billion investment commitment Apple promised the United States economy in 2021. 


Android’s Screen Recording Trojan

The ESET security team, a Google App Defense Alliance partner, has deemed a once harmless Android screen recorder as a Trojan.

The iRecorder – Screen Recorder app, was originally released in the fall of 2021 as a vanilla screen recorder until August 2022, when version 1.3.8 was released.

The new version came with malware based on the open-source project AhMyth that ESET has dubbed AhRat.

Once the app is installed, the Trojan has the ability to turn on the microphone to record audio and grab files with the extensions seen on screen, including images, web pages, videos, and documents.  

It then can compress the files into archives, and finally sends the archives to a Command and Control server.

Once the attack has run its course the rat pings the C&C server to ask for new attack configurations every 15 minutes.

Google has removed iRecorder from its store but 3rd party stores are still hosting the malicious app for download.

Ways to mitigate your risk of app trojans are to 

  • update your phone’s operating system to the latest version, 
  • avoid downloading apps from third-party marketplaces, 
  • remain cautious when granting third-party apps permission to access your files, camera, and microphone, 
  • and finally use a mobile antivirus like Bitdefender or Norton


What Are Your Thoughts?

  • Do you prefer Winrar or 7-zip?
  • Will Adobe’s AI give it the advantage it needs over free options?
  • Who sold sea shells by the sea shore? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of the page!

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