How Apple and Google became unlikely allies in fight against COVID-19

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Apple and Google's contract-tracing app could prove crucial to fighting COVID-19.
Insiders detail how Apple and Google created a COVID-19 contact-tracing system in just weeks.
Photo: Timon Studler/Unsplash CC

A handful of Apple and Google employees turned a novel approach to fighting COVID-19 from a spark of an idea to a pandemic-fighting tool in less than a month. The tech giants combined forces in March, intent on creating a contact-tracing app capable of monitoring the movements of people who might have come in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.

CNBC reported inside details Tuesday on how Apple’s initial contact-tracing project — code-named “Bubble” — went from two employees to dozens, and enlisted the help of others at Google.

Apple tells Senate privacy is a ‘fundamental human right’

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Apple
Bud Tribble has been with Apple longer than any other employee.
Photo: CSPAN

Apple’s VP of software technology, Bud Tribble, made an appearance before the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee today to advocate for an overhaul of privacy laws in the country.

During the hearing, Apple was joined by other figures from tech giants like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and others to advise lawmakers on the current state of internet privacy. Tribble told lawmakers that Apple views privacy as a “fundamental human right,” but the company went short of offering solutions.

Apple wants US to overhaul privacy laws

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Apple takes privacy seriously
Any future privacy legislation will likely have little effect on Apple as it already bends over backward to avoid collecting user information.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A high-level Apple executive will tell the the U.S. senate tomorrow that the iPhone maker is in favor of federal privacy regulations.

He’ll be testifying along with representatives of Google and other companies likely to argue against privacy laws.

Today in Apple history: NeXT customers get early taste of OS X

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NeXTstep
NeXTStep was an operating system ahead of its time.
Image: NeXT

September 18: Today in Apple history: NeXTStep gives NeXT customers an early taste of OS X September 18, 1989: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT Inc. ships version 1.0 of NeXTStep, its object-oriented, multitasking operating system.

Incredibly advanced for its time, NeXTStep is described by The New York Times as “Macintosh on steroids.” In an ironic twist, the operating system Jobs plans to use to compete with Cupertino turns out to be one of the things that saves Apple a decade later.

Steve Jobs’ co-workers share fondest memories of Apple co-founder

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What was it really like to work for Steve Jobs?
What was it really like to work for Steve Jobs?
Photo: Jigsaw Productions

Today is the fourth anniversary of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ passing, and as has become tradition on October 4, some of his closest co-workers are sharing their fondest memories of what it was like working alongside him.

Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, Andrea Jung and Bud Tribble all shared short essays with Apple employees this morning on the company’s intranet. To commemorate Jobs’ legacy, Tim Cook told employees in an email to stop older executives today and ask what Jobs was really like.

With controversial movie Steve Jobs set for release later this month, Jobs’ co-workers’ essays provide a look at aspects of the visionary Apple CEO’s personality that those who only knew him through the public eye probably missed.

Here’s what Jobs’ friends had to say about working with him: