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Apple, Facetime, Robert Macmillan discussed on WSJ Tech News Briefing
So before apple disabled the function late Monday users of group FaceTime were able to listen in on others through their smartphones. A disappointing earnings report Tuesday and an overall lack of enthusiasm for the iphone has the company on the defense as of late. Let's talk about it all joining us now on the line. It's been a busy week on it is neck of the woods. So we're happy to have him on for just a moment. Robert MacMillan in our San Francisco bureau. Hi, Robert, I'm good. How apple doing because let's talk about this FaceTime situation. I, you know, I do this tech podcast and people ask me things. And I try to explain this bug turns out, I'm not that good at it. Would you mind breaking down the bug? I if you will this was one of those bugs that really creeps people out because it allows you to listen in on somebody when they're not expecting it on the on the on the iphone. So the way it worked was you would use this. Brand new awesome feature that apple introduced in October of last year called FaceTime groups, and you would call somebody the FaceTime. And as that number was ringing. You could add yourself to the group. And once you had it another a second person to the group, the the person you were calling would start streaming audio from their phone, whether they answered the call or not so we were testing it here. And I called a another reporter in the bureau and as the phone was ringing. I could I could hear him, you know, making dinner for his family, and he was telling me all this stuff. And I was just texting what he was saying was to his wife kids, and it was really let me tell you. It's not supposed to work that way, you're supposed to have some control over. When somebody's hearing. What's coming out of your phone? I would hope so and apple acted quickly. And and the bug was fixed. How how secure should we feel though Bob where if we landed? So this gut went public. On Monday, people started posting video of sharing video about how how to explore this problem on Monday and apple very quickly within a few hours. I'd say disabled the group FaceTime teacher. So that should have got rid of the pro of the problem. Security experts are saying disabled time for the time being and apple is is curiously trying to get a patch out right now, which should be out any any day. Now, they said by the end of the week and making the story just a little more painful for apple that it was that they were alerted to this at least a week before by a teenager, and his mother, you you heard about this what a precursor to to this whole story apple has the most impressive security team of any tech company in the world. And this bug was found by a fourteen year old who was getting ready to play a game before night with his friends. Fortnight was used to. It. It's it's it that that's the you know, everybody makes mistakes. And it's just the fact that this bug was when you when you when you exploitative so obvious, and it was just so easy to find an easy to take advantage of. It's a real black eye for apple security team. It's just an interesting time for apple big picture because we saw signs of trouble for apple about a month ago when the company slashed its guidance, you know, came as a big surprise disappointing earnings report on Tuesday the same day, we find out about this FaceTime app. Put this into context for us. How big of a hit is is this for apple..