Pennsylvania Man Faces Federal Charges in Apple iCloud Breach

Today's topics include a guilty plea by the individual charged with the Apple iCloud hack, reports that Polycom and Mitel are engaging in merger talks, Salesforce.com's introduction of Field Service Lightning and a study that shows personal digital assistants are not always helpful in emergencies.

In September 2014, news first broke that someone was able to gain access to private pictures of a number of high-profile Hollywood celebrities stored in Apple's iCloud service.

On March 15, the U.S Department of Justice announced that it has charged 36-year-old Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pa., in connection with a phishing scheme that led to the leak of intimate celebrity iCloud images.

The DOJ stated in a release that Collins was engaged in a phishing scheme to get user names and passwords from November 2012 until the beginning of September 2014.

Collins has agreed to plead guilty to the charges and will enter his plea and be sentenced at Federal Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, according to the DOJ.

Communications technology vendors Mitel and Polycom reportedly are in merger talks, an idea that was first floated several months ago by activist investor Elliott Management, which bought large stakes in both companies.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that Mitel made the initial overture to Polycom, though the structure of such a deal had not yet been worked out. There also is no guarantee that such a merger will happen.

Salesforce.com continues to expand the capabilities of its cloud applications with the March 15 announcement of a new offering for Service Cloud customers.

The CRM giant says Field Service Lightning is designed to bring repair personnel, service representatives and other field workers into the mobile era by giving them real-time access to the latest customer data on their mobile phones or tablets.

Distraught, suicidal or injured smartphone users who rely on their handset's personal digital assistant software to get help in an emergency may not get the assistance they need, according to a new study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The report, published on March 14, reviewed the four most popular personal digital assistant services—Apple's Siri, Google's Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana and Samsung's S Voice—and found that the conversational agents were inconsistent and only recognized and responded to some health concerns appropriately, while not helping with others.

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