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.
Heard is a useful app for settling those "but *I* said and then *you* said" arguments with your kids.
When you activate the app, it begins recording everything around you on a 12-second buffer (extend it to five minutes for $1.99). Any time you want, click the “Push to save” button to save the current clip. Do nothing, and the self-destructing buffer lets the audio slip into the ether.
Why would anyone not in the NSA want an app like this? With Heard, you can capture anything from your baby’s first words to a key point in a lecture without hovering your thumb over the record button all day.
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.
Bob Self, publisher of Baby Tattoo, says: "I have a lot of fun publishing books by artists whose work I really dig, but I had extra fun producing Baby Tattoo's newest (and widest) book Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod. The lavishly illustrated book is now available for pet lovers, octopus owners and art aficionados everywhere. Written and illustrated by 16 year veteran Disney story artist Brian Kesinger, the physical ink-on-paper book was designed for those who enjoy the more tactile things in life (a version of the book with fancy metal corners is available exclusively from the publisher). Not to leave out those who prefer their books to be enjoyed electronically, this project also marks Baby Tattoo's first excursion into the realm of e-books with a spiffy iOS version of the book that includes music and narration.
Created by Audanika in Germany, SoundPrism is a stunning interface that immerses the user in a relaxing, meditative music making experience. . The iOS app, most impressive on iPad, is incredibly intuitive, generating an alluring grid of glowing tiles whose colors represent pitch. But while it’s easy for total non-musicians to make stunning melodies, the interface design is steeped in some deep musical theory. The SoundPrism tiles are arranged in a Circle of Thirds, a symmetric model that the app’s musician developers believe is a fantastic method for teaching basic harmonic theory. In fact, if you’re a music theory geek, Audanika created a harmony theory blog to explore the “symmetry model” embodied by their app.
Boing Boing alum John Brownlee writes about an atrociously ugly Super Mario Bros. clone that hits players up for $500 worth of in-app purchases on the first screen.
I bet you’re itching to play it. Sadly, though, you can’t. Apple’s already yanked it from the App Store. You probably didn’t want to play it anyway, though: it has to be the most shamelessly abusive examples of in-app purchases that mortal mind can comprehend.
The amazing thing here isn’t that Apple banned it, it’s that they didn’t catch any of this to begin with! Especially considering the fact that the developer, Mario Casas, seems to reupload this exact same game to Apple — with the exact same in-app purchase scheme — every couple of months with a new name and new graphics, scamming players until he’s caught. And thus the cycle starts anew.
This Cult of Mac video makes it look pretty easy to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad. What is a good reason to do it? If you have jailbroken your iOS device to do something cool that you couldn't have accomplished with a non-jailbroken device, please tell us about it in the comments.
Hundreds is a minimalist puzzle game from Semi Secret Software, the makers of Canabalt. Each of its 100 levels is filled with one or more floating circles. When you press down on a circle, its numerical value and size increases. Your goal is to enlarge the circles until their combined values add up to 100. But as a circle grows, it turns red, and if anything touches a red circle, it’s game over.
One of my favorite iOS games is Kingdom Rush, a medieval fantasy tower defense game. It's free to play on the Web. I talked about it on Jesse Thorn's Bullseye radio show here, and Jane and I reviewed it on Apps for Kids here. Here's what I said about the game in an earlier post:
The cartoonish art is very appealing, as are the monsters and towers. The goal of the game, like all tower defense games, is to prevent the invading hordes from making it through a gate to your kingdom at one end of the display. You do this by placing towers staffed with archers, knights, magicians, and cannoneers along the path that the monsters run down (the monsters appear from a trail emanating on the opposite side of the display). As you kill the monsters, you collect gold, which can be used to buy more towers. Even though there are a few more bells and whistles, it's a simple game -- but addictive.
For today only, the iPhone version is free (regularly $.99). There's an HD version, too, but that will set you back $2.99