Billy Lau and Yeongjin Jang from Georgia Institute of Technology have presented a demo at Black Hat of a way of stealthily compromising Iphones and other Ios devices with gimmicked chargers. The devices need to be unlocked -- either having no unlock code to begin with, or unlocked by the user after connection -- but apart from that, the device can compromise any Ios device.
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The Daily Beast investigated the autocomplete on Apple Ios devices (Iphones, Ipads, etc), and discovered that there was a long list of "sensitive" words that the devices have in their dictionary but would not autocomplete -- you would have to type them out in full to get them into your device. This list includes words such as "abortion," "rape," "ammo," and "bullet." They documented their methodology in detail.
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"The Plaintiff became totally out of synch in his romantic relationship with his wife, which was a consequence of his use of his Apple product.
" [Above the Law via DF
Reuters reports that Apple will build
a new solar farm with NV Energy Inc, to power the computing giant's new data center in Reno, Nevada. The plan is seen as "a major step towards its goal of having its data centers run on renewable energy."
Apple's new wearable device is called a "Beeper" and the hospital where my niece works is beta testing them! She just started her medical residency and they issued her one.
With a new trailer out to promote Kutcher-starring biopic Jobs, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has new thoughts on the movie—not all of them negative. [Jesus Diaz / Kinja]
Andrew Albanese, my editor at Publishers Weekly, has been tracking the antitrust action the DoJ brought against the big six publishers and Apple over price-fixing very carefully, and he's written a great-looking, DRM-free ebook about it called "The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight." Here's what he had to say about it:
It is mostly about the backstory of the case, how publishers' antipathy to $9.99 led them to what turned out to be a pretty fateful decision. It is also available in all the major e-book stores, Sony, B&N, Apple, and Amazon. Amazingly, Amazon is featuring it on their Singles home page here in the U.S.
So one note that might be of interest to you, I was surprised to learn in writing this essay how little the publishers negotiated their initial e-book retail terms back when the e-book market was just beginning. And, more to the point, that the thought they did put into e-books was all related to the negative aspects of digital: how to stop piracy, DRM, controlling unauthorized use. This is kind of where this whole legal saga begins. When Amazon came to launch the Kindle in 2007, the publishers were so focused on the bad things that digital might bring that they never really considered, hey, what if this e-book thing really works? What if this Kindle thing takes off?
Remember, at the time Amazon launched the Kindle, the publishers were stumping for the Google Settlement, so their attention was focused more on stopping the digitization and indexing of long out-of-print books that were making money for no one. As a result, they barely negotiated their initial financial terms with Amazon. Amazon officials testified that, in some cases, they just accepted the financial terms publishers had already proposed for e-books, while publishers mostly sought to address DRM, and security concerns. No one apparently stopped to ask Amazon, “Oh, by the way, how much are you planning to charge consumers for our e-books?”
It is easy to say in hindsight, but the major publishers’ fear of digital piracy had kept them from considering the prospects of digital success. And, of course, all of this was exacerbated by the fact that the Kindle was a closed platform, so, the more successful the Kindle became, the more power the company had over the publishers' customer. As you once wrote, the DRM and security they'd insisted on became a whip to beat them with. Another interesting chapter in the way DRM has impacted the publishing industry.
The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight
Apple apparently has the power to decrypt iPhone storage in response to law-enforcement requests, though they won't say how. Google can remotely "reset the password" for a phone for cops, too:
Last year, leaked training materials prepared by the Sacramento sheriff's office included a form that would require Apple to "assist law enforcement agents" with "bypassing the cell phone user's passcode so that the agents may search the iPhone." Google takes a more privacy-protective approach: it "resets the password and further provides the reset password to law enforcement," the materials say, which has the side effect of notifying the user that his or her cell phone has been compromised.
Ginger Colbrun, ATF's public affairs chief, told CNET that "ATF cannot discuss specifics of ongoing investigations or litigation. ATF follows federal law and DOJ/department-wide policy on access to all communication devices."
...The ATF's Maynard said in an affidavit for the Kentucky case that Apple "has the capabilities to bypass the security software" and "download the contents of the phone to an external memory device." Chang, the Apple legal specialist, told him that "once the Apple analyst bypasses the passcode, the data will be downloaded onto a USB external drive" and delivered to the ATF.
It's not clear whether that means Apple has created a backdoor for police -- which has been the topic of speculation in the past -- whether the company has custom hardware that's faster at decryption, or whether it simply is more skilled at using the same procedures available to the government. Apple declined to discuss its law enforcement policies when contacted this week by CNET.
It's not clear to me from the above whether Google "resetting the password" for Android devices merely bypasses the lock-screen or actually decrypts the mass storage on the phone if it has been encrypted.
I also wonder if the "decryption" Apple undertakes relies on people habitually using short passwords for their phones -- the alternative being a lot of screen-typing in order to place a call.
Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones [Declan McCullagh/CNet]
Over at Apple, Jony Ive is reportedly pulling back on the skeuomorphism for iOS 7. I'm glad. I don't care for skeuomorphism except in a very few instances, like the 1982 Chrysler Town & Country seen above with Ricardo Montalbán.
Consumerist's Laura Northrup rounds up several years' worth of stories from Apple customers who say they were denied warranty support on their computers because they'd smoked around them. As an annoying ex-smoker, I can sympathize with a tech who doesn't want to work on a machine that smells like an old ashtray, but that's what painter's masks are for -- I've also serviced machines that reeked of BO and other less savory odors. This just feels like a way to weasel out of doing warranty service and forcing customers to pay for new machines. If the company has a policy of not fixing machines if you smoke near them, it should say so when it sells you the warranty: WARNING: IF YOU LIGHT UP NEAR YOUR LAPTOP, WE WON'T EVER FIX IT, EVEN IF IT IS MATERIALLY DEFECTIVE.
Dena set up an appointment at the same Apple store. They told me that they would take pictures of the computer – both inside and out before determining whether to proceed and that if the only problem was the optical drive, they’d probably just replace it. Dena called me earlier this week to deliver the “bad news.” She said that the computer is beyond economical repair due to tar from cigarette smoke! She said the hard drive is about to fail, the optical drive has failed and it isn’t feasible to repair the computer under the warranty. This computer is less than 2 years old! Only one person in my household smokes – one 21 year old college student. She said that I can get it repaired elsewhere at my expense. I asked why my warranty didn’t cover the repair and was told it’s an OSHA violation.
Smoking Near Apple Computers Creates Biohazard, Voids Warranty
Robert McMillan explains what happens to the data generated and stored with Siri queries: "Once the voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your user number from the clip
, deleting the number from the voice file. But it keeps these disassociated files for up to 18 more months for testing and product improvement purposes." [Wired]
Posted online is a preview of the first installment of
Manga Taishō and Mari Yamazaki's manga bio of Steve Jobs.
John Brownlee has a solution to the "big cat" problem now faced by OS X's marketing team
, which has run out of cool ones to use as version titles
Derived from Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple
, rumors spread of "fake" engineering projects within Apple, crafted to expose leakers. Not quite, reports Jacqui Cheng
: "Our own sources acknowledged that Apple may not tell an engineer what project he or she is about to work on until the time comes, which is what Lashinsky was talking about in Inside Apple
. Lashinsky clarified that the "fake" projects line didn't come from him but secondhand from an audience member, who had himself heard about it from a friend."
that a team of "about 100 product designers are working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad."
Scott Snibbe, the developer for Björk’s "Biophilia" app, has developed an iOS app for the Philip Glass remix project—the app is titled REWORK_
Here is a video of My Great Ghost, whose remix of "Music in 12 Parts" is the first track on the record, performing an entirely new track using the app.
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John Herrman is brilliant.
Vintage ad scanned and Flickr'd by James Vaughan.
Wouldn't it be nifty if the newest iteration of iTunes, which in my opinion is one of a great company's poorest products, looked like this? The Ping-less iTunes 11 is set to launch this month, likely today, according to hints dropped in this Wall Street Journal profile of Apple exec Eddy Cue. It's not that big a secret, anyways; the Apple.com iTunes splash page says it's "coming in November," and there aren't many days left in November.
Below, *actual* screenshots of the new interface. Come to think of it, the new UI resembles the vintage ad more than iTunes 10 does! But I don't like it. I wish iTunes were a skinnable, interpret-able service with an API, like Twitter is (for now, anyway)—imagine if you could use any third-party client you wanted to access the service, as cleanly and free of cruft as you please.
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In this video
, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)
Bob Knetzger is a toy and game designer and the Toy Inventor's Notebook columnist for MAKE. He says:
Saw your cool post on clunky 80's Apple ][ software interfaces -- wow, that really takes me back.
That kind of horrible interface is what inspired me to develop the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][ and other home computers.
This EasyKey brand was created by me and my two partners at the time, fellow industrial designer Rick Gurolnick and programming and hardware whiz EE Dan Schoff. Together we started a small company called Neosoft that created some of the most highly regarded educational software of the 1908s. We created products for CBS Software, Simon and Schuster, and others, that combined the clever 6502 assembly language programming techniques (who remembers page flipping, pixel patterns to create extra pseudo colors, and sound waveform zero-crossing for A to D sound tricks?) with solid educational values together with state of the zippy bit-map art work.
The titles were award-winning, museum-level quality, and just plain FUN! Baby dinosaurs hatched out of their eggs to show your scores, human body cut-away layers dissolved to show internal organs, maps and timelines came to life...and more. And this at a time when most Apple ][ software offered space invader sprites.
With our EasyKey titles you could change programs and just swap the keyboard cover. Here, play US Presidents games without any typing or spelling--just press for your choice:
Kids around the world had fun and learned with our programs--here's an Aboriginal student in AUS tries out some looking-and-counting games with Number Farm -- as depicted in National Geographic:
After losing a patent lawsuit with Samsung in the UK, Apple was required to post information about the ruling on its website and in media advertising. After seeing Apple interweave the details into an amusing editorial
and later tuck it out of sight with a clever web design trick
, the court appears not to be amused
. As quoted by Chris Foreman at Ars Technica:
"The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying," Sir Robin Jacob noted in the final order, which was published online on Sunday. "There is a further false innuendo that the UK court's decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true. Apple's additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it."
Three million iPads have been sold in the the three days
since Apple launched a new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad.
Apple was recently ordered by a UK court to publicly display a notice that Samsung did not copy the iPad with their Galaxy tablet to undo the damage they've done by making that accusation. And like a scolded child, they're scuffling their feet and mumbling "sorry" to the ground.
It's no surprise that their apology is at the bottom of the page, or that you need to scroll to see it. What's sneaky about it is that the large image of the iPad on their homepage resizes automatically to force that text to always appear below the fold when you load the page. Apple's webmasters have written in code to figure out how tall your browser window is, then make the site's design just big enough to push the apology out of your view and make you scroll to see it.
apple.co.uk [via Reddit] Thanks, Majd!
The guys at Gizmodo
did a side-by-side comparison
of voice search on iPhone, using Siri vs. using Google Voice Search for iOS. (Thanks, Joe Sabia!)
“Wow, it feels like a Kindle,” and “Ew, the screen is terrible,” were Mrs. Daring Fireball’s initial reactions when Gruber handed her the iPad Mini
to see what she, "an avid daily user of an iPad 3," thought. "Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience," Gruber writes
. But his prediction: "This is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model." [daringfireball.net]
iOS chief Scott Forstall is out, SVP Jonny Ive moves to head of Interface design—lots of changes at One Infinite Loop. Dan Moren at Macworld writes about the executive shuffle
Apple announced late Monday. "It's the kind of drama we in the tech press usually only get from watching Game of Thrones,
" says Dan. "Consider what Monday’s maneuvers mean for the hardware, software, and services coming out of Cupertino.
This parody promo for the iPad Mini is funny and factual.
If Apple's iOS Maps disaster was actually avant-garde art… (Thanks, Dustin Hostetler!)