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Cydia closes purchases for its iOS jailbreak store

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Dec
18

In the earliest days of the iPhone, Cydia arose as a rival distribution channel to Apple’s App Store, built specifically for jailbroken smartphones. Now, more than decade later, Cydia founder Jay “Saurik” Freeman has decided to shut down in-app purchasing through the Cydia mobile store after he acknowledged a bug related to PayPal digital token authorization that affected “very few users,” via TechCrunch. Through Cydia, users could buy mobile software designed to run on a jailbroken iOS device, but the jailbreaking community has grown smaller over the years as Apple’s iOS ecosystem has grown more robust and secure.

“The reality is that I wanted to just shut down the Cydia Store entirely before the end of the year, and was considering moving the timetable up after receiving the report (to this weekend),” Freeman wrote in a Reddit post published late last week. “This service loses me money and is not something I have any passion to maintain: it was a critical component of a healthy ecosystem, and for a while it helped fund a small staff of people to maintain the ecosystem, but it came at great cost to my sanity and led lots of people to irrationally hate me due to what amounted to a purposeful misunderstanding of how profit vs. revenue works.”

Freeman said that shutting down the service doesn’t actually help him financially, as he still has to pay for hosting the archived Cydia repositories, a cost he says his new job helps him cover. So instead of shutting the store completely, he decided to simply disable the purchasing mechanism. It sounds as if the Cydia project itself may imminently come to an end, but Freeman says he’s planning a more “formal” post next week to better explain the PayPal issue and also outline the roadmap for Cydia going forward.

Whats Popular Today Mon 17 Dec

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Dec
17

Transgender Miss Universe

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They Shall Not Grow Old

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Stephen Miller

government shutdown… [read more]

Eagles vs Rams

Nick Foles, Carson Wentz, rams vs eagles… [read more]

SOUND OF MUSIC

the sound of music… [read more]

WWE TLC

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Miss Universe 2018 winner

who won miss universe 2018, Ashley Graham… [read more]

Miss Universe 2018

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Barcelona

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Seahawks

Seahawks vs 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, seahawks game… [read more]

Prithvi Shaw ruled out of Australia Tests, Hardik Pandya to join India squad

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Dec
17

India opener Prithvi Shaw will miss the entire Test series against Australia after continued pain in his ankle. He sustained the injury during a tour game early this month and although there had been hope that he might be fit in time for the Boxing Day Test, it is learnt that the team management will send him back home and bring in Mayank Agarwal.

Meanwhile, the allrounder Hardik Pandya who proved his fitness in a first-class game against Mumbai this week, will be travelling to Australia to link up with the Indian team. His state captain at Baroda, Kedar Devdhar, said as much at a post-match press conference, although it is unclear whether he is replacement for Shaw or an addition to the squad.

Hardik, who has been out of action with a back injury sustained during the Asia Cup in September, appeared in no particular discomfort as he got through a workload of 28 overs in the Ranji Trophy match at Wankhede stadium. He picked up a five-for in the first innings and added a couple more wickets in the second innings. Also on show as his batting ability as he struck 73 off 137 balls even as he kept losing partners at the other end.

Shaw was seen doing fitness drills in Adelaide and while that Test was ongoing, coach Ravi Shastri had been hopeful of his making a “speedy recovery.” The 18-year old had struck an aggressive century on debut against West Indies, a performance that earned him a Man of the Series award.

India had been hit by a couple of other injuries since their victory in Adelaide. Frontline spinner R Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma were ruled out of playing the Perth Test with abdominal and back issues respectively.

Cricket: India chase 287 to win second test

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Dec
17

PERTH (Reuters) – India need 287 runs on a menacing Perth Stadium pitch to win the second test after Australia were all out for 243 in the middle session on the fourth day on Monday.

Quick Mohammed Shami picked up a career-best 6-56 as the hosts lost six wickets for 51 runs before a 36-run last-wicket partnership between Mitchell Starc (14) and Josh Hazlewood (17 not out) boosted their tally.

Usman Khawaja top-scored for Australia with 72, while Aaron Finch (25) was dismissed first ball by Shami on resumption of his innings after retiring hurt on day three.

Reporting by Tristan Lavalette; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

Akshaye Khanna’s mother passes away

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Dec
17

Geetanjali Khanna, the first wife of late Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna and the mother of actor Akshaye Khanna has passed away at the age of 70. Geetanjali Khanna was suffering from a heart ailment and breathed her last at her Alibaug residence. However, the exact cause of death hasn’t been ascertained yet. She was declared brought dead by the Alibaug Civil Hospital on Saturday night.

According to reports, the two sons, Akshaye and Rahul Khanna, along with their mother kept visiting their farmhouse in Mandwa. Geetanjali and Akshaye came around 11 AM on Saturday. In the afternoon, she was taken to a local doctor when she complained of uneasiness.

Geetanjali went to sleep, and between 9 and 10 pm when Akshaye checked on her, he found her body temperature had dropped. Akshaye and Rahul then took her to the civil hospital, where she was declared brought dead.

The funeral took place earlier today. Actor Vinod Khanna had passed away due to an advanced stage of bladder cancer last year. Both Geetanjali and Vinod Khanna had married in 1971 and parted away in 1985.

Akshaye Khanna's mother Geetanjali Khanna dies at 70Loading

Rahul Khanna shares a throwback picture with Akshaye Khanna as they pay tribute to the Blues Brothers!

Cydia Store has shut down (app store for jailbroken iPhone tweaks)

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Dec
17

For years the Cydia Store was a key component of the iPhone jailbreak scene — jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad gives you access to files, settings, and features that would otherwise be unavailable, but the Cydia Store makes it easy to find and install apps that take advantage of those features.

But the Cydia Store has basically been maintained by one person — Jay Freeman, also known online by his nickname “Saurik.” And this weekend he announced that he’s shut off the ability for users to buy apps from the Cydia Store.

The move comes in response to the disclosure of a major security vulnerability — but Saurik says he was planning to shut down the Cydia Store entirely by the end of the year anyway.

To be clear — users can still download free apps from Cydia, and folks who’ve already paid for apps/tweaks can continue to download them.

What’s gone is the ability to pay for items in the Cydia Store. That’s due to a vulnerability that opened the door for malware to cause logged-in-users to make unauthorized purchases using PayPal. No user data was compromised, but it was still a pretty serious bug — and a complicated one to fix. The person who discovered the bug recommends users unlink their PayPal accounts from the Cydia Store.

Saurik says one reason he had been planning to shut down the Cydia Store by the end of 2018 was that it was difficult and expensive to maintain, and didn’t bring in even enough revenue to cover the store’s hosting fees — he’s currently paying for the costs of serving “many terabytes of bandwidth per month” out of his own pocket.

Whats Popular Today Sun 16 Dec

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Dec
16

Mark Ronson

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Ryan Garcia

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NFL

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Matt Damon

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Nebraska volleyball

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UNC basketball

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Canelo fight December 15, 2018

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Lakers vs Hornets

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Fresno State football

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NFL games

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Afif Hossain, Zakir Hasan haven’t developed as expected, says Bangladesh selector

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Dec
16

Poor form has held back some of Bangladesh’s young cricketers who, at the start of the year, were touted for big things. Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that Afif Hossain, Zakir Hasan and, to a lesser extent, Mahedi Hasan had been disappointing in domestic and representative sides since making their T20I debuts in February this year.

Afif is a left-handed opener who bowls useful offspin, once snaring Chris Gayle as part of a five-wicket haul on T20 debut. Zakir is also a left-handed batsman who keeps wickets and is also known for his fielding. Both Under-19s graduates have been billed as the next big stars emerging from Bangladesh but so far they have struggled to find a spot in the senior side regularly.

Mahedi, an offspinner who is useful with the bat, had impressed in the 2017 BPL along with Afif and Zakir. All three were doing well in the Dhaka Premier League List-A competition when they were picked in the T20I side in place of some senior players who were injured at the time.

“We had high hopes about Afif and Zakir but they have been quite disappointing, to be honest,” Minhajul told ESPNcricinfo. “They haven’t made use of their skill development as well as given game planning much thought. Afif and Zakir didn’t do well in domestic cricket or in the Emerging Teams Cup.”

Afif made two first-class centuries immediately after his T20I debut but, for Bangladesh A, he scored only 64 runs in six innings against Sri Lanka A and Ireland A. He has averaged 16.90 in the current first-class season, before making just 20 runs in the two Emerging Teams Cup matches.

ALSO READ: ‘As long as he is alive, Hope will play’ – Brathwaite

Zakir averaged 28.92 in 13 innings for Bangladesh A, before making three fifties in seven first-class matches this season so far. He made 69 in one of his two Emerging Teams Cup appearances.

By contrast, Mahedi has done very well in this season’s Bangladesh Cricket League first-class tournament, averaging 80.50 with bat and taking 16 wickets at 26.75. “He is not out of contention,” Minhajul said. “Mehidy Hasan Miraz is playing all three formats while Nayeem Hasan made a wonderful start to his Test career. We consider him [Nayeem] as Miraz’s backup but Mahedi is also one of the offspinners in our radar.”

The Bangladesh team management have instead trusted Nazmul Islam, Ariful Haque and Abu Jayed in recent times, with the trio regularly picked in the senior side. Nazmul has played all 13 of Bangladesh’s T20Is this year while Jayed has made an impressive start to his Test career. Ariful meanwhile has made debuts in all formats this year.

One thing in common among Nazmul, Jayed and Ariful, as well as Mohammad Mithun who made his Test debut this year, is the length of time they have spent in domestic cricket. Afif, Zakir and Mahedi need a few more seasons in domestic and A-team cricket before they can have enough experience for their individual skills to develop, and to find consistency.

It answers a long-standing question in Bangladesh cricket: do they really need to give youth a chance at the top so quickly? Perhaps, given the evidence, it is more important to let these young cricketers succeed and fail in domestic cricket for a few years before being picked at the highest level.

Sri Lanka’s Wickremesinghe sworn in as PM before president

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Dec
16

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as prime minister before President Maithripala Sirisena, local media said on Sunday, likely ending a political crisis that began in late October when he was ousted in a surprise decision.

Wickremesinghe was sworn in around 11:15 a.m. (0415 GMT), which was considered as an auspicious time for Wickremesinghe, who took over the post for the fifth time.

The South Asian island country had plunged into instability after Sirisena replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was then twice sacked by parliament. Rajapaksa resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.

Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Don’t miss this SRK’s comment on Gauri’s post

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Dec
16

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let’s work together to keep the conversation civil.

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Apple Stops Signing iOS 12.0.1, Here’s What Jailbreak Users Should Know

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Dec
16

After releasing iOS 12.1, Apple has stopped signing iOS 12.0.1. There are several implications which you should know of if you’re an average user and if you’re someone who is into the jailbreak scenario. iOS 12.1 brought a plethora of new additions to the table including Group FaceTime, eSIM support and much more. Henceforth, while there might be little reasons to downgrade to the previous firmware, there are times when you need to do so. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the matter.

Apple Is No Longer Signing iOS 12.0.1 – Here’s What It Means For Jailbreak Users

As we have mentioned earlier, Apple has stopped sighing iOS 12.0.1, which means that users can no longer downgrade to the previous version if they have updated to iOS 12.1. People on the lookout for a jailbreak are recommended to stick to older versions of iOS for a potential jailbreak release. If a jailbreak is available and you’re resting on the latest firmware, you can no longer downgrade to the previous build if Apple stops signing it.

cydia-ios-11Related Cydia Store For Jailbroken Devices Is Officially Shutting Down – Here’s What You Should Know

If you think a potential jailbreak for iOS 12.0.1 is on the way or might release soon, be careful about not upgrading. If you do so, there will not be a way to downgrade to the previous build. Up until this time, we have seen several security researchers who have demoed an untethered jailbreak for iOS 12. However, nothing has been released to the general public so far.

downgrade iOS 12.0.1

JAilbreak exploits sell for millions of dollars which means we won’t see a working jailbreak anytime soon since developers would work to make a profit. If you’re still hopeful, you can rest on iOS 12.0.1. Be sure to not to upgrade your iOS device as downgrade would not be possible.

There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more details on the matter. This is all for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think a potential jailbreak is on the way? Share your views with us in the comments.

Whats Popular Today Sat 15 Dec

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Dec
15

Jennifer Lawrence

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Warriors vs Kings

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Obamacare

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Chick-fil-A

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Canelo vs Rocky

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Roma

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Mick Mulvaney

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Artie Lange

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Bill Fralic

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‘We now bat better outside the UAE than in the UAE’

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Dec
15

5:38 AM ET

Born in Johannesburg, schooled at Westville Boys’ High, and fluent in Afrikaans, Mickey Arthur is as South African as they come. But Arthur hasn’t been here for five years, having last visited for a family funeral, and his intentions for this homecoming are clear: “I’ll make no secret of it, I’d love to come back here with a Pakistan team that is very talented, and win,” Arthur said after Pakistan arrived for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is.

Arthur’s first Christmas in the country of his birth for half a decade won’t involve much of the usual festive celebrations, and he insisted he “does not do” holidays. “Cricket is 24/7 for me,” Arthur added . “This is hard work. In fact, I’m working even harder here. But it is great to come back into an environment that I’m so familiar with.”

Arthur has brought a Test squad that is rebuilding around the experienced core of captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah, and Arthur reckons they have a “good chance” of securing a first ever Test series win in the country.

“We’ve come here with a very exciting young team. It’s a team that’s starting to gel well together. We’ve played unbelievable white-ball cricket. Our 50-over team is on the up, our T20 team has been exceptional, but we sit trying to build up a Test team. It’s a young Test team at the moment, but a very exciting Test team. We really think we have a good chance out here.”

The last time Pakistan toured, playing three Tests in 2013, AB de Villiers scored two hundreds and was Player of the Series. There is a very different look to South Africa’s current squad, and Arthur suggested that while South Africa’s batting is still good without de Villiers, Pakistan’s bowling is better than it was five years ago.

“They’re a good batting line-up, they are, but we’re a very good bowling line-up. So we do feel we can make some inroads there, for sure. Our bowling attack is incredibly skillful in all conditions. The one thing we do know is that we’ve got a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets comfortably. Our challenge is getting ourselves to 350, 400. If we can get runs on the board, we know that we can get 20 wickets and we can bowl in all conditions.”

The visiting batsmen will be aiming to move ahead of the inconsistencies that saw them twice score more than 300 and twice being rolled for under 200 in the recent 2-1 loss to New Zealand. “I hate that word ‘inconsistency’ because we’re trying everything to try and make us more and more consistent,” said Arthur.

Indeed, the Pakistan coach is realistic about the challenge facing his batsmen, but also laid out a statement of intent for the current batting crop. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that the South African bowling attack is exceptionally good. We know that that’s going to be a real challenge.

“I’ll make a statement now, that our young batting group now bat better outside the UAE than they do in the UAE. There’s some very talented young batsmen there. They don’t stand on leg stump anymore. Our batsmen get to off stump, they cover the bounce, they cover the pace and they cover the swing. And they play very well in these conditions.”

As for the lower order, which folded so spectacularly to hand New Zealand a win and the early advantage in the series in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, Arthur joked: “They’re going to get a lot of hard nets.”

For Sarfraz, the key ingredient for his batsmen to prosper on South African tracks will be to play “positive cricket”, a mantra that he broke down thus: “You have to show intent. Positive is not just to play your shots all around the world, just like Fakhar Zaman. Only Fakhar Zaman can play like Fakhar Zaman, and we tell him to play his own game. But the other players also have to show intent and play positive cricket. You have to, to win series outside your country.”

After a warm-up against an Invitation XI, Pakistan’s tour will start with a historic Boxing Day Test match at Centurion – the first time that the annual fixture has moved inland from the coast since readmission. It’s a ground Arthur knows well, having played 17 times there during his domestic career with Griqualand West and Free State teams, but the character of the Centurion pitch has changed dramatically since his playing days.

“It’s changed totally,” Arthur agreed . “I was watching the Test match last year, and it looked like you were playing in the UAE. The surface was completely bare. I’m not sure what’s going on over there. If it does turn, then happy days. I’m not sure it will, but I watched the [Mzansi Super League] T20 game the other night, and the square did look a lot better. We just hope for good wickets. If there’s a bit of grass, then happy days as well, because we’ve got the bowlers to expose that.”

Before the first ball is bowled at Centurion, Arthur will no doubt catch up with friends and family in South Africa, and for him, South Africa is a “lekker plek om te kom speel (a great place to come and play),” but he doubled down on his intentions here. There will be, he says, “no holiday. I’ll enjoy only if we win.”

Trump picks Mulvaney as chief of staff

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Dec
15

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday moved to end speculation that he was having a hard time finding a new chief of staff, naming his budget chief Mick Mulvaney to the top post on a temporary basis.

Mulvaney, a hard-charging conservative and former congressman, will be the third person in two years to try to bring order to what has often been a chaotic White House. Trump named him after two other prominent candidates withdrew from consideration in the space of a week.

“For the record, there were MANY people who wanted to be the White House Chief of Staff,” Trump said on Twitter. “Mick M will do a GREAT job!”

The job is seen as one of the most important jobs in Washington: the gatekeeper to the president charged with marshalling the resources of the office to carry out his priorities.

The most recent occupant – John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general – had some success in restoring order after he was appointed in July 2017, but had a rocky relationship with Trump. Kelly will stay through the end of December.

Mulvaney will take the reins at a time when Republican Trump, weakened by Democrats winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives in elections last month, grapples with investigations into his businesses and most controversial policies. In addition, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether there was collusion between Trump’s 2016 election campaign team and Russian officials.

Mulvaney, 51, rose to prominence as a founder of the powerful House Freedom Caucus conservative voting bloc. He brings an in-depth knowledge of Congress to the job.

As head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), he has experience working with Trump and his top aides at the White House.

But the temporary nature of Mulvaney’s appointment may undermine his authority in speaking for the president, and limit his ability to do the job, said Chris Whipple, author of a book on White House chiefs of staff called “The Gatekeepers.”

“Donald Trump desperately needs a White House chief who can execute his agenda, and you can’t do that if you have an expiration date on your forehead,” Whipple said.

‘CONTINUED AMBIGUITY’

Mulvaney, who has often defended Trump’s economic policies on the closely watched Sunday political talk shows, has long been cited as a contender for the chief of staff job.

He has led budget talks with the U.S. Congress for Trump, including during a government shutdown in January. In 2013, with the House Freedom Caucus, Mulvaney helped orchestrate a government shutdown as a protest against funding for then-President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Mulvaney and Trump face another funding deadline on Friday. If they cannot resolve an impasse with Congress, there will a partial government shutdown.

Even though Mulvaney was designated as “acting” chief by Trump, a White House official told reporters there was “no time limit” on his appointment.

Past presidents have also pulled in OMB directors to the post of chief because of their experience in negotiating with Congress, said Nick Kachiroubas of DePaul University, who has interviewed 11 former chiefs of staff.

Former Democratic President Bill Clinton elevated his OMB Director Leon Panetta to the job, as did former President Barack Obama with Jack Lew.

Mulvaney, though acting, will not be seen as “an outsider,” giving him “more juice” in working with White House officials than a temporary chief otherwise might, Kachiroubas said.

“The big question we all ask is, why is this temporary?” he told Reuters.

“It only speaks to continued ambiguity in the White House.”

Mulvaney will remain OMB director, and his deputy Russ Vought will handle the office’s day-to-day operations, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

FIRST AYERS, THEN CHRISTIE

For months, as his relationship with Kelly deteriorated, Trump had negotiated with Nick Ayers to take on the role. In a surprise move, Ayers, a Republican strategist and chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, declined the position on Sunday.

Ayers had wanted to do the job on an interim basis, but Trump had sought a two-year commitment, which Ayers ultimately rejected, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Trump insisted this week that he had a deep pool of “great people” lining up to push for the job. “I have so many people, I cannot interview them all,” he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

But hours before Trump announced Mulvaney’s appointment on Twitter, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – seen as a frontrunner for the job – also withdrew his name from consideration.

Trump had been considering his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as possibilities to replace Kelly on a long-term basis, sources familiar with the situation said.

This is not the first time Trump has turned to Mulvaney in a pinch.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Last November, he named Mulvaney the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that had been closely associated with former President Barack Obama’s tenure.

The appointment was fought in court, but Mulvaney prevailed and ran the agency until earlier this month, when Trump’s official pick was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; Editing by Grant McCool and Sandra Maler

Big B serves food at Isha Ambani’s wedding

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Dec
15

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let’s work together to keep the conversation civil.

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iOS 12.1 Jailbreak and Safari Browser Bug New Leaks

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Dec
15

It’s been a while since the latest iOS 12.1 has been launched and nobody managed to find a way to jailbreak this operating system. During the last months, many experts from the jailbreaking community have done their best to find some security breaches within the A12 Bionic chip. Only a few managed to explore the system, but none of them figured out how to bypass the safety limitations from iOS 12.1.

Seeing that so many people failed, another expert is trying to exploit some flaws which will allow him to jailbreak the iOS 12.1. Min Zheng, also called Spark, who currently works for Alibaba, recently claimed that he knows a way to jailbreak the latest iOS. He is planning to do that by exploiting the bug spotted in the Safari browser.

The bug causes connectivity issues, but it can contribute to a successful jailbreaking process

The news about a bug causing mal-functioning in the latest iOS version made a lot of users regret that they updated their iPhones. The information was spread by Linus Henze on Twitter. The man used the social network for describing the bug and mentioned some possible ways to exploit it.

The news about the bug from the Safari browser and its’ potential use for the jailbreajing community became viral very soon. Min Zheng announced that he could use the exploit with the purpose of performing a remote jailbreak. He used the same communication method, Twitter,

The jailbreak completed through this process would work on devices ran by iOS 12.1 and older versions. On the other hand, when the community members asked for more information, Zhen didn’t share any details. In this case, we don’t know if Alibaba’s staff member managed to perform a jailbreak on Apple’s most recent operating system.

If Zheng completed this process, he won’t reveal the information or make the jailbreak public any time soon. At least, iPhone users with iOS 12.1 devices are happy to know that their handsets can be the subject to jailbreak.

Adam ThronesAdam Thrones

Adam Thrones is still early into his career as tech and digital marketing reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Adam earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Adam has a passion for emerging technology and writing on his blog. He is always eager about the new gadgets on the market and likes to cover updates on software.

Whats Popular Today Fri 14 Dec

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Dec
14

Aus vs Ind

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Shai Hope, Kemar Roach ruled out of ongoing third ODI

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Dec
14

Shai Hope and Kemar Roach are ruled out of the ongoing third ODI against Bangladesh in Sylhet. Both are under observation after they received injuries on the field.

Hope was hit on the helmet with the ball deflecting off his bat as he tried to pull the first ball of the 50th over. It initially appeared to have not been much of a blow as he only called for the physio after two more Mohammad Saifuddin deliveries.

He continued and remained unbeaten on 108 at the end of the innings but didn’t come out to field. In his absence, Shimron Hetmyer assumed the wicketkeeping duties.

Roach, meanwhile, bowled only three overs in the Bangladesh innings before walking off holding his right hamstring. Roach’s hamstring spasms are being monitored by the team physio. Roach is not part of the West Indies T20I side and will be returning home after the third ODI.

Hope is, however, part of the T20I squad. The series begins in Sylhet on December 17.

Analysis: Security, free speech in focus as Seoul braces for possible visit from N.Korea’s Kim

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Dec
14

SEOUL (Reuters) – Speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Seoul for the first time has sparked debate in South Korea over how to allow citizens to express often strongly held views while preventing any international incidents.

To pull off the summit he wants – full of inspiring imagery of Korean unity and reconciliation – President Moon Jae-in needs to walk a fine line between providing sufficient security for Kim and being accused of stifling speech to appease a dictator.

Unlike tightly controlled Singapore, where Kim took a surprise night time stroll before his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June, Seoul is routinely roiled by protests.

Many South Koreans still take a dim view of North Korea in the wake of their 1950-53 war and decades of hostility, making the risk of disruptions to the visit high.

A summit in Seoul now appears unlikely this year, but small yet vocal groups of conservative protesters who routinely gather on Seoul streets to protest against Moon or to urge Trump to bomb North Korea have already mobilized to protest any visit by Kim.

At a recent rally in downtown Seoul, banners read “Let’s punish Kim Jong Un” and organisers said they intend to try to “arrest” the North Korean leader.

“Once (Kim) steps on our land he will be captured and no one can take responsibility for what will happen afterwards,” Ihn Ji-yeon, a leader with the far-right Korea Patriots Party told Reuters at the rally.

Seoul police declined to comment on those claims.

Opposing groups have also been vocal in wanting to welcome Kim and calling for more engagement with the North, encouraged by a relaxation in enforcement of national security laws.

PREVENTING THE UNEXPECTED

At their summit in Pyongyang in September, Kim told Moon he would visit Seoul “at an early date”. South Korean officials pressed for it to happen this year, but they now say that appears unlikely.

Any summit in Seoul would likely be overshadowed by a lack of progress on negotiations between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

That could leave Moon and Kim little leeway to progress their goals of declaring an official end to the Korean War, forging closer ties and resuming joint economic projects.

Kim’s visit would be the first by a North Korean leader to the South, so security forces of both sides would be treading on unknown ground.

The security office of South Korea’s presidential Blue House would likely oversee the whole operation, while North Korean security forces would conduct inspections ahead of time, as well as provide personal protection for Kim during the visit, said Lee Man-jong, a law and police professor at Seoul’s Howon University.

At the 2010 G20 summit, Seoul mobilized about 50,000 security forces, and about 35,000 for Trump’s state visit in November last year, Lee said.

Police sources said South Korean authorities are likely to declare the highest level of emergency preparedness for a Kim visit.

Under that plan, all five of Seoul’s 1,200-officer-strong police divisions specialising in crowd control would be mobilised, with all annual leave cancelled for police officers, said one police official, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak publicly.

Tens of thousands of other officers would likely be called up from other police and government agencies, including the military, he said.

FREE SPEECH CONCERNS

Some critics of the Moon administration say they fear authorities will work with North Korean security to tamp down even peaceful displays of opposition to Kim.

“If Kim Jong Un really visits Seoul, what the government should never, ever do is contrive a ‘welcoming’ atmosphere by forcibly banning anti-Kim Jong Un protests or mobilising pro-North Korea gatherings,” said Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Baek Seung-joo. “The Blue House cannot and should not order anything more than sheer maintenance of order when Kim Jong Un visits Seoul.”

Another lawmaker who visited Pyongyang during the September Korean summit told South Korean media Kim Jong Un acknowledged the likelihood of protesters if he visits, but did not seem concerned by the “disagreeing voices” he might face.

A spokesperson for South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Moon’s administration would “strive to actively communicate” with critics of a Kim visit.

Slideshow (4 Images)

“There will be no compromise in our firm stance guaranteeing free speech in the process,” Nam Sang-kyu told Reuters in a statement. “As… the contemplated visit by (Kim) is to mark the very first visit by a North Korean leader, our administration is fully committed to prepare the event in a safe and efficient manner, and thus successfully complete the event.”

During the summit with Trump in Singapore, local police, hotel staff, and North Korean security guards at Kim’s hotel would warn onlooking guests to keep their phones down and forced some who were caught taking photos of Kim to erase them.

“In South Korea, there are bound to be protesters against Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship,” Baek said. “Only when we allow protest and also show Kim Jong Un Seoul, and the way our system is, can there be a learning moment for Kim Jong Un.”

Writing by Josh Smith; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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