CBS Drama ‘All Rise’ Will Use FaceTime and Zoom to Film New Episode Amid Social Distancing

Many television shows and movies have paused filming at the current time as people practice social distancing, which has delayed new movies and television content. One CBS drama series, "All Rise," has a unique solution, though, and plans to film in actors' homes.


"All Rise" will use programs like FaceTime, WebEX, and Zoom, along with "other available social media and online technology," according to TVLine. The episode, which will focus on current events, will feature footage recorded by each of the series regulars within their homes, with the judge virtually presiding over a bench trial in an episode that mirrors current events.
"It's a unique chance for our All Rise family to band together - in our different homes, even cities - to tell a story about resilience, justice and the power of community," executive producer Greg Spottiswood said in a statement.
Virtual footage will be shot in each of the series regular's homes, with VFX added in post production to create the necessary backgrounds. A cinematographer operating solo from a vehicle will capture exterior footage representing "the desolate environment that currently exists on the streets and in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles."

The episode is set to air on Monday, May 4, and if it goes well, we could see other TV studios adopting similar techniques using software and hardware from Apple and other technology companies to create content remotely.
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iOS 13.4 and macOS 10.15.4 Prevent FaceTime Calls From Working With Some Older iPhones and iPads Amid Pandemic

Newer devices running Apple's recently released iOS 13.4 and macOS 10.15.4 software updates are currently unable to make FaceTime audio and video calls with older devices running iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6, according to numerous users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, and Twitter.


Apple normally recommends that users who cannot make or receive FaceTime calls update their devices to the latest software version, but iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6 are the last supported software versions for several older devices, including the iPad 2, third-generation iPad, iPhone 4S, the first-generation iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Devices running iOS 13.3.1 or macOS 10.15.3 can still make FaceTime calls with older devices, so it is unclear if this is a bug introduced with iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or if this was an intentional decision. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but we will update this story if we hear back.

In any case, the timing of this is unfortunate due to the ongoing pandemic. Many affected users have mentioned being unable to reach a grandparent who still uses an older iPad, for example, during a time when social distancing is strongly recommended.

Hopefully this proves to be a simple bug that is resolved in short order.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS Catalina

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Apple Pays VirnetX $454 Million for Patent Infringement After U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Apple’s Appeal

Apple has paid VirnetX a total of $454,033,859.87 following the conclusion of a long-running patent infringement battle, VirnetX announced today.


The patent dispute between VirnetX and Apple dates back to 2010 when VirnetX accused Apple's FaceTime feature of infringing on its intellectual property, and there are multiple lawsuits involved.

In this particular case, Apple was ordered to pay $302 million in October 2016, but with interest and other costs included, the judgement was increased to $440 million. Though Apple appealed the $440 million award many times, courts have continually ruled in VirnetX's favor.

Most recently, Apple attempted to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal, but the Supreme Court in February 2020 declined to intervene.

Apple claimed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of many of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation, leaving Apple responsible for the $440 million payment.

This is just one of two VirnetX cases that Apple has been fighting. In the second case, VirnetX was awarded $502 million, but the ruling was partially overturned last year and sent back to the lower courts to determine new damages. Apple in February attempted to get a rehearing to determine patent validity, but was denied.
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Apple Won’t Get Rehearing in VirnetX Patent Infringement Battle Dating Back to 2010, Court Rules

Apple will not be able to get a rehearing in its ongoing patent battle with VirnetX to argue that the patents it is accused of infringing are invalid, reports Bloomberg.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today rejected Apple's request to reconsider a November ruling that confirmed Apple infringed on two VirnetX patents.


The patent dispute between VirnetX and Apple dates back to 2010 when VirnetX accused Apple's FaceTime feature of infringing on its intellectual property, and there are multiple lawsuits involved.

In this particular case, VirnetX was awarded $502.6 million in April 2018 after a court ruled that Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features infringed on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

An appeals court later reexamined the ruling and determined that Apple had infringed on two VirnetX patents, but the other two counts were reversed in November 2019 and the $502.6 million award was vacated. The case was sent back to a lower court to determine whether revised damages can be calculated or if there will be a new damages trial, but the ruling was ultimately in favor of VirnetX.

At this time, with Apple's request for a rehearing on patent validity denied, Apple and VirnetX are awaiting details on the new damages Apple will be required to pay.

In a separate case, Apple was ordered to pay $440 million to VirnetX for similar patent infringement issues. Apple appealed that ruling multiple times as well, but an appeals court in January 2019 ruled in VirnetX's favor, leaving Apple responsible for a $440 million patent infringement fee.


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Attention Correction Feature in iOS 13 Beta Enables Appearance of Eye Contact During FaceTime Calls

A new feature in the latest iOS 13 beta makes users appear as if they're looking directly at the camera to make eye contact during FaceTime calls, when actually they're looking away from the camera at the image of the other person in the corner of their screen.


The FaceTime Correction Feature as demoed by Will Simon (@Wsig)

The new "FaceTime Attention Correction" feature, first spotted by Mike Rundle on Twitter, can be turned on and off in the FaceTime section of the Settings app, although it only appears to work on iPhone XS and XS Max devices in the third iOS 13 beta sent out to developers on Tuesday.

Why the feature is limited to these devices right now remains unknown. It clearly relies on some form of image manipulation to achieve its results, so maybe the software algorithms require the more advanced processing power of Apple's latest devices.

Rundle predicted in 2017 that FaceTime attention correction would be introduced by Apple in "years to come," but its apparent inclusion in iOS 13, due to be released this fall, has surprised and impressed him.

For more details on the many features coming to iPhones with iOS 13, be sure to check out our comprehensive MacRumors roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

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Apple Wins Lawsuit Over Group FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug

Back in January, there was a major FaceTime bug that allowed a person to force a FaceTime connection with another person, providing access to the user's audio and sometimes video even when the FaceTime call was not accepted.

The bug led to a lawsuit from Houston lawyer Larry Williams II, who claimed that the vulnerability allowed an unknown person to listen in on sworn testimony during a client deposition.


Williams filed his lawsuit in January, just a day after the bug was publicized, and yesterday, a court ruled in Apple's favor and dismissed the case. The court did not find Williams' argument that the FaceTime vulnerability was "unreasonably dangerous" to be valid, nor did the court believe that he provided sufficient evidence to prove that Apple knew of the defect.
Williams's petition does not allege facts about any available alternative design. He fails to allege facts about the iOS 12.1 software as to whether the defect that allegedly allowed a third party to "eavesdrop" on his group FaceTime call was "unreasonable" for the product's ordinary use. Williams's generalized allegation that the iOS 12.1 software was "unreasonably dangerous" and caused him injury falls short of the Rule 8 threshold.

Williams's petition recites the pleading elements, but it does not allege facts that could show Apple's knowledge of the defect or that Apple could reasonably have foreseen that an unknown third party would listen to Williams's group FaceTime call without his permission.

Williams's claim also fails because he did not state facts that could show that Apple's alleged negligent design or manufacture of the iOS 12.1 software proximately caused his injury.
In the lawsuit, Williams had requested unspecified punitive damages for negligence, product liability, misrepresentation, and warranty breach.

The FaceTime eavesdropping bug was perhaps one of the most serious issues that have affected Apple products in recent history.

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There was no way to avoid the malicious FaceTime calls, which exploited a Group FaceTime vulnerability. Apple disabled Group FaceTime server side and kept it unavailable until an update could be released to fix the issue.

The vulnerability was officially addressed in iOS 12.1.4, released in February, and Group FaceTime remains unavailable on all versions of iOS 12 released prior to 12.1.4.

Apple FaceTime Eavesdroppin... by on Scribd




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Group FaceTime Bug Fix Included in iOS 12.2 Beta 3

The third beta of iOS 12.2, released to developers this morning, includes a fix for the Group FaceTime bug, which also reenables Group FaceTime on devices running the iOS 12.2 beta.

Apple addressed the Group FaceTime bug in the iOS 12.1.4 update released on February 7, but there has been no new iOS 12.2 beta until today, so the Group FaceTime feature has remained unavailable to iOS 12.2 users because the server has been offline.

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The FaceTime bug allowed someone to spy on you without your permission or knowledge. By exploiting the bug, a person could initiate a Group FaceTime call with you and then add themselves to the call again to force a Group FaceTime connection, as demoed in the video below.


When the Group FaceTime connection was forced using this method, the bug caused the person to be able to hear the audio on your end, even if you did not answer the call. In fact, on your end, it would continue to look like the standard incoming FaceTime call interface. In some situations, if you pressed the side button to silence a call, it would even give the person access to your video.

Given the severity of the bug, Apple took its Group FaceTime server offline while preparing the iOS 12.1.4 update. Group FaceTime was reinstated on devices running iOS 12.1.4, but it does not work on iOS 12.2 beta 2 or devices with iOS 12.1.3 or earlier installed.

It should be noted that Group FaceTime is still somewhat broken following the update. In iOS 12.1.4, there is no option to add a person to a one on one Group FaceTime call because the "Add Person" button is grayed out. Group FaceTime calls need to be started with two or more people at the current time.

Other users have been unable to use Group FaceTime at all, and have had trouble adding additional people even during a call with more than one person. Apple is presumably working out these bugs and will have further fixes available in the future.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Group FaceTime Still Partly Broken After Security Update, Apple Aware

A few weeks ago, Apple's Group FaceTime was discovered to have a major security flaw which potentially allowed users to listen in on others without their permission. The flaw was quickly publicized forcing Apple to shut down FaceTime servers temporarily while a patch was being created. A week later, Apple released iOS 12.1.4 which addressed the security issue and re-enabled Group FaceTime for those users.


Unfortunately, Group FaceTime even under iOS 12.1.4 hasn't quite been restored to its former functionality. A MacRumors forum thread started the day after 12.1.4's release revealed users who found themselves unable to add more users to a FaceTime call. As it turns out, it appears that users are no longer able to add a person to a one-on-one FaceTime call. The "Add Person" button remains greyed out and inactive in this situation. The only way to add another person to a Group FaceTime call at this time is to start the call with at least two other people. This slight distinction appears to be the source of confusion for many users.

MacRumors forum user Bob-K persisted in his support calls with Apple, and was finally told that the "Add Person" button not working in that situation was a known issue and that they didn't know when it would be fixed.

Apple Support on Twitter also appears to be aware of this restriction:

We were able to reproduce this issue, but it appears this workaround isn't entirely reliable as one user reported being unable to consistently add people even during a group call. A search of Twitter shows a number of users who believe that Group FaceTime remains disabled, though some users may simply be unaware of the iOS 12.1.4 update, or may be confused by the greyed "Add Person" button issue.

Apple is actively working on iOS 12.2 Beta which has not yet seen the addition of the patch for Group FaceTime, but we'd expect them to address the ongoing bugs in a later 12.2 beta release.


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Texas Software Engineer Daven Morris Also Reported FaceTime Bug to Apple One Day Before it Made Headlines

In a support document outlining the security content of iOS 12.1.4, Apple credited both 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, Arizona and Daven Morris of Arlington, Texas with reporting a major Group FaceTime bug to the company that allowed users to eavesdrop on others.


Thompson and his mother are widely known for being the first people to discover and report the bug to Apple, over a week before it made headlines on January 28, but nothing was known about Morris until now.

The Wall Street Journal today shared a few details about Morris, noting he is a 27-year-old software engineer who reported the bug to Apple on January 27, several days after the Thompsons but one day before it made headlines. He apparently discovered the bug a week earlier while planning a group trip with friends.


Apple on Thursday said it will compensate the Thompson family for finding and reporting the bug and make an additional gift toward Grant Thompson's education. Apple hasn't disclosed the exact sums of the donations. It's unclear if Morris will also be compensated by the company for reporting the bug.

In a statement issued to MacRumors, Apple apologized for the bug a second time and assured customers that it has been fixed in iOS 12.1.4, as has a previously unreported vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime:
Today's software update fixes the security bug in Group FaceTime. We again apologize to our customers and we thank them for their patience. In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security. This includes a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime. To protect customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest software, we have updated our servers to block the Live Photos feature of FaceTime for older versions of iOS and macOS.
Apple has reenabled its Group FaceTime servers, but the feature will remain permanently disabled on iOS 12.1 through iOS 12.1.3.

Widely publicized last month, the FaceTime bug allowed one person to call another person via FaceTime, slide up on the interface and enter their own phone number, and automatically gain access to audio from the other person's device without that person accepting the call. In some cases, even video was accessible.

We demonstrated the bug in a video at the time:


Apple already faces a lawsuit in Texas, a proposed class action lawsuit in Canada, questions from a U.S. Congress committee, and an investigation by New York officials over the bug and its serious privacy implications.


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Apple’s iOS 12.1.4 Update Also Fixes Live Photos Vulnerability, FaceTime Bug Reporter to Receive Bounty and Gift Toward Education

Following the release of iOS 12.1.4, Apple today issued an apology to customers and said that it had found and fixed the Group FaceTime bug and an additional security vulnerability involving Live Photos in the FaceTime app.


From a statement provided to MacRumors:
Today's software update fixes the security bug in Group FaceTime. We again apologize to our customers and we thank them for their patience. In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security. This includes a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime. To protect customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest software, we have updated our servers to block the Live Photos feature of FaceTime for older versions of iOS and macOS."
Going forward, Apple says that the Live Photos feature will not be available in FaceTime on older versions of iOS and macOS. Capturing a Live Photo will require iOS 12.1.4 or the new version of macOS 10.14.3. Apple is also restricting Group FaceTime from devices running earlier versions of iOS.

Apple in a security document released this morning outlines the specific fixes that were implemented in iOS 12.1.4 and the macOS 10.14.3 supplemental update.

Apple fixed a logic issue that existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls with improved state management, and the Group FaceTime testing led to the discovery of the Live Photos issue. Apple says that the Live Photos bug was fixed with "improved validation on the FaceTime server."

Additional Foundation and IOKit bugs were fixed in iOS as well, addressing memory corruption issues that could lead to elevated privileges for applications.

Apple lists Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School as one of the people who discovered the FaceTime bug. Thompson and his mother made multiple attempts to get into contact with Apple to inform the company of the bug well ahead of when it went public. Daven Morris of Arlington, TX is also listed as a person who discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Apple.

Apple has apologized for missing those messages and has vowed to improve its bug reporting system to make sure future bug reports are distributed to the right people. Apple will be compensating the Thompson family for finding and reporting the bug, and Apple will be providing an additional scholarship to be put towards Thompson's education.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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