For me, today is highlighted by the release of the really great Butch Walker album, Stay Gold, and the b-side release from Carly Rae Jepsen. If you hit read more you can see all the releases we have in our calendar for the week. Hit the quote bubble to access our forums and talk about what came out today, what albums you picked up, and to make mention of anything we may have missed.
Bill Marczak and John Scott-Railton of the Citizen Lab:
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.
The ensuing investigation, a collaboration between researchers from Citizen Lab and from Lookout Security, determined that the links led to a chain of zero-day exploits (“zero-days”) that would have remotely jailbroken Mansoor’s stock iPhone 6 and installed sophisticated spyware. We are calling this exploit chain Trident. Once infected, Mansoor’s phone would have become a digital spy in his pocket, capable of employing his iPhone’s camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording his WhatsApp and Viber calls, logging messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements.
If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad: upgrade it to iOS 9.3.5 as soon as possible.
Voting has commenced for the “pick the stage name” contest for Riot Fest Chicago. I’m pretty sure Mr. Bieber is a Chorus reader, so I feel a little biased.
A source close to production tells us MTV honchos are giving ‘Ye 4 minutes to do with as he pleases. He can rap, sing, dance or even just stay silent … and we’re told show producers are totally clueless which door he’ll pick.
Lorde’s new album is written and currently in the production stages. Because the internet is, well, the internet … we learned this after a “fan” posted on Lorde’s Instagram page asking, “Do you think we will ever get another album or should we just give up on you as an artist?” Lorde then responded:
give up on me if you want to! I’m an artist, I write a record when I have enough special stories to tell, and it’s all me, every melody every lyric, not some team who just start the machine up every eighteen months like clockwork. the record is written, we’re in the production stages now. I’ve worked like a dog for a year making this thing great for you guys
It’s only been three years since the last one. Try being a Brand New fan.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people and ticketed seven more at the Blink 182 concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, including one man being held on $1,500 bail.
Deputies arrested 23-year-old Brandon Robinson of Amherst, charging him with harassment, criminal trespass, and resisting arrest. Deputies say Robinson jumped a fence to get into the concert, then fought with security guards trying to apprehend him. He was arraigned in Darien Town Court and taken to jail on $1,500 bail.
Apple has announced their Apple Music Festival lineup: Alicia Keys, Bastille, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chance the Rapper, Elton John, Michael Bublé, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams, and The 1975.
The full lineup was announced today by Julie Adenuga, the London voice of Beats 1, an Apple Music radio station that celebrates the best new music every day. Apple Music lets fans get even closer to their favorite performers during the Apple Music Festival with exclusive playlists, artist news and backstage interviews throughout September. The 10 spectacular nights of live performances will be made available live and on-demand to Apple Music members in 100 countries on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, Apple TV and Android phones.
Perpetually struggling SpinMedia, the collection of music and pop culture websites once known as Buzz Media, is officially on the block, sources tell Media Ink.
The company, which snapped up both Vibe and Spin and promptly converted the music magazines to all-digital sites, has retained the investment bank Petsky Prunier to shop for a buyer.
The websites, which also include The Friskly, Idolator, Go Fug Yourself, Celebuzz, Buzznet, Death & Taxes and others, is estimated to be losing at least $5 million a year on revenues of around $18 million, sources said.
I feel bad because a lot of people I know are probably going to lose their jobs. But the writing has been on the wall for half a decade, at least.
Jim Weber, writing on LinkedIn:
I had read that the IOC was banning the press from using GIFs but I didn’t see how that applied to me. Sure, I didn’t have the rights to any footage at the Olympics — just like countless blogs and users don’t have rights to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA footage that they create GIFs out of and profit from every day.
But I figured the worst thing that would happen is the GIF would be deleted from my account, as Twitter often does in these situations.
Boy was I wrong.
After an interminable wait (in music industry standards, at least), Ocean fulfilled his contractual obligations, sources tell Billboard, and increased his potential profit share from 14 percent to 70 percent of total revenues from Blond within a 24-hour period, seemingly pulling a fast one on the biggest music company in the world in the process. Def Jam and its parent Universal, stuck with an overshadowed visual album that isn’t for sale, and cut out of any revenue from the “proper” album that’s headed to the top of the charts on the strength of 225,000 to 250,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 25, were left with what amounts to a very long music video and without one of their marquee artists.