Apple is working on a new security feature that would make it harder for investigators to get data off iPhones, Microsoft wants to make Walmart cashier-less, and Chicago is teaming up with Elon Musk to build high-speed transit tunnels to its airport.
First up from LinkedIn is news that Apple is beta-testing a security feature that would hinder law-enforcement access to data from iPhones. Apple has unveiled a software feature that stops other devices, like computers, from accessing iPhone data via its lightning port an hour after the phone was last unlocked. The company says this USB Restricted Mode feature is designed to protect its devices from all potential intruders, and adds that it isn’t designing its security improvements just to frustrate law enforcement. If you recall, Apple refused to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernadino shooter back in 2015. The Wall Street Journal calls this update the “latest twist in [Apple’s] long-running standoff with law-enforcement agencies over user privacy.”
Next from Reddit, Microsoft is reportedly following in the footsteps of Amazon’s cashier-less and checkout-free grocery store, which opened in Seattle earlier this year. According to Reuters, Microsoft has a group of 10 to 15 people dedicated to creating new retail store technology and is in talks with Walmart for a potential joint effort. Microsoft has supposedly been testing attaching cameras to shopping carts in order to track purchases as customers walk around stores. With Amazon expected to open more Go locations this year, Microsoft and Walmart will need to act soon if they hope to be successful competitors.
And last but not least from Reddit again, the city of Chicago has picked Elon Musk and his Boring Company to create a high-speed underground transit tunnel between O’Hare International Airport and Block 37, an urban mall in the middle of Chicago’s downtown core. Musk’s system consists of 16-passenger pods that will depart every 30 seconds or so and will travel at speeds of around 100 miles per hour, which would result in a trip of about 12 minutes one way. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the project will cost less than a billion, and will be paid for without taxpayer money. So far, the contract is still being negotiated, so there is no official timeline yet.