Apple Updates iOS, OS X to Harden Security

Today's topics include Apple’s security improvements to iOS and OS X, a new mobile application from SAP that provides real-time budget information, the Oracle v. Google Copyright trials enter the second week and Google plans to phase out Flash Player support in Chrome browsers.

Apple updated its mobile and desktop operating systems on May 16, with the release of iOS 9.3.2 and Mac OS X 10.11.5 with patches to a number of security vulnerabilities. For Apple's OS X desktop operating system, the new update follows the 10.11.4 release that debuted on March 21, while the iOS 9.3.1 mobile operating system update came out on March 31. As has been the case with prior Apple updates, Google's Project Zero security researchers and Trend Micro researchers are the leading sources for the reported vulnerabilities that were patched by Apple.

Oracle President Safra Catz and Android lead developer Dan Bornstein were the spotlight witnesses on the stand May 16 on Day 6 of the third Oracle v. Google copyright case. Oracle is seeking $9.3 billion in damages and lost profits because it claims Google has made more than $42 billion on the Android mobile device operating system, which Oracle says borrows heavily from the open-source Java programming language without obtaining licenses.

Google says it shouldn't have to pay damages or licensing fees for Java. Catz provided one of the more humorous responses thus far in the trial. At one point, she dismissed Google's suggestion that Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and Java specifically to trigger a litigation showdown with Google.

Continuing a move it began last year, Google will phase out default support for the Adobe Flash multimedia player in its Chrome browser by the end of 2016. A slide presentation that Google apparently recently published shows that Flash Player would continue to be bundled with Chrome, even after the end of the year. However, it will not be the default option on Chrome for running multimedia content as it has long been. Instead, that role will go to HTML5.

According to Google, after this year, Chrome will treat HTML5 as the default option for sites that support the protocol. If a site requires Flash, Google will serve up an alert giving users the option of enabling the player to run Flash on that particular site. Depending on the user's preferences, Google will then honor that setting for the user's subsequent visits to the site.

SAP has introduced RealSpend, a mobile application that provides users with real-time budget and spending information by pulling data from their financial reporting systems. This is the first time SAP's budget-planning software has been offered as part of its HANA Cloud Platform, its platform-as-a-service technology that supports a multitude of third-party applications and enables customers to extend their core applications to the cloud. It's also one of the first applications to connect to SAP S/4HANA Finance, a hybrid platform that supports on-premise and cloud environments, without replicating data.

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