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Pixel Watch prototype, Apple’s App Store improvement, Martian solar eclipses and more

In what seems to be a mistake, a prototype of the Pixel Watch was left behind at a restaurant in the US. From its looks, many of the rumours around Google’s first smartwatch might come true, including the crown, a hidden button, and an overall minimalistic design. 

Since the recent discovery of the Springshell exploit, many hackers have been attacking servers in an attempt to install crypto-mining malware, according to researchers at security firm TrendMicro. Apple’s App Store has warned developers that it’ll actively remove apps that haven’t been updated in a “significant amount of time”, giving developers 30 days to update their apps. 

Last but not least, astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory reported that 29 out of the 100 galaxies they were studying showed evidence of black holes near their centres. NASA has also released footage from the Perseverance Mars rover of a solar eclipse from the surface of Mars. 

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Google’s first smartwatch on the horizon

  • A Google Pixel Watch prototype was left behind at a restaurant in the US and looked in line with the recent rumours around the watch, including the crown, a hidden button and the minimalistic design. 
  • It’s possible that the watch could be announced at Google’s I/O next month, alongside the Pixel 7 lineup. 
  • AndroidCentral reported that a source had stated that the watch could be a testing model for the Pixel’s internal team. 
  • According to reports from 9to5Google, code hidden inside a Google update indicate that the watch might run on an Exynos chipset instead of the usual Snapdragon one found in most Wear OS 3 compatible watches. 
  • The band also seems to be proprietary, looking similar to Apple Watch sports brands. 
H/t: AndroidCentral

Hackers actively exploiting the SpringShell vulnerability

  • A vulnerability in Spring, one of the most widely used Java frameworks for enterprise-level applications in Java, is being actively used to install crypto-mining malware on servers. 
  • According to security firm Trend Micro, roughly 700 attempts per day were recorded between April 1 and April 12 to exploit the vulnerability called SpringShell.
  • The number of attempts peaked on April 3, coming in at nearly 3000 attempts. 
  • Researchers don’t know yet how many of the attempts were successful. 
  • The company researchers also found attempts to exploit SpringShell to install the Mirai botnet. 
  • The bug can be patched by updating to Spring framework version 5.3.18 and 5.2.20 or greater. 
H/t: TrendMicro via Ars Technica

Apple is removing old apps as part of “App Store improvement”

  • Apple has warned developers whose apps haven’t been updated in “a significant amount of time” that they’ll be removed from the app store unless they receive an update in the next 30 days. 
  • If no updates are received during this period, the affected apps will be removed from the App Store, but any previously downloaded apps will remain on users’ devices. 
  • Several app developers, especially ones whose games might be improved, have expressed their concerns about the program, stating that games can exist as completed objects. 
  • Earlier this month, Google’s Play Store also announced that it’d limit the visibility of apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release. 
  • Android developers have until November 1, 2022, to update their apps but can apply for a six-month extension. 
H/t: The Verge

Black holes destroy thousands of stars during growth

The four galaxies with their black holes coloured in blue dots. | Source: NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory
  • Researchers at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have released a new report stating the possibility of black holes destroying thousands of stars as they grow. 
  • Out of a survey of over 100 galaxies, 29 showed evidence of black holes near the centre. 
  • The group has released four images of separate galaxies, NGC3344, NGC 6503, NGC 1385, and NGC 1566, captured with the Hubble Space Telescope and overlayed with images from Chandra showing these galaxies containing multiple black holes.
  • According to the study, the black holes responsible for this star destruction are stellar-mass fuelled by what astronomers call “stellar growth”. 
  • A paper on the researchers’ findings has been published in The Astrophysical Journal. 
H/t: Chandra X-Ray Observatory via BGR

Perseverance records the most zoomed-in Martian solar eclipse

  • NASA has released footage of a Martian solar eclipse, the most zoomed-in one ever recorded by the Perseverance Mars rover. 
  • The eclipse lasted only around 40 seconds and shows Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons floating by in front of the Sun. 
  • Mars’ moons are quite small and don’t cover the entire sun during an eclipse, meaning the moon’s shadow is visible in front of the Sun.
  • The footage was captured using Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z camera, specialising in taking zoomed-in photos and videos. The camera can also take 3D pictures and record high-speed video. 
H/t: NASA via BGR

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