Category Archives: News
Security expert and Mac hacker Charlie Miller has uncovered an issue in iOS that would allow an app, downloaded from the App Store, to install and run malicious code on a device from a remote computer.
The flaw, which Miller reportedly did upload to the App Store and got past Apple’s security checks, would create an app that appears to be innocuous (like Miller’s example app, which just runs stock information), but could then download instructions from another computer and then run any commands, steal user files (like photos and contacts) without permission, or even make the iOS device vibrate or play sounds.
Miller’s app has already been removed from the App Store, and we’re certain Apple will plug this hole in an upcoming update.
Hopefully things will be fixed soon. If you’re really worried, it’s probably a good idea to hold off on updating or downloading any new apps, especially any that don’t come from well-established developers. Still, as Apple is aware of this problem (since Miller’s app has been pulled), it’s unlikely that any more apps this bug will make it onto the Store itself.
Apple has donated some iPads to Oregon for use in a pilot program to deliver votes with Apple’s magical tablet.
A new movement to reach disabled and home-bound voters will head out to nursing homes and other places, armed with iPads, and then use those devices to record and register votes in advance of a special election.
Not only does a touchscreen allow voters to record their preferences with simply a finger, but it also allows for zooming in to bigger text and otherwise reading ballots and other documents.
The current initiative is just a test, but it’s set to be used in the next general election as well. If things go as planned, Oregon will likely deploy the program all across the state. Apple reportedly donated five iPads to begin with (and the state spent $75,000 on the custom software), but officials only estimate they’d need about 72 iPads to carry the plan out across the entire state.
There is one issue, however: Apparently this system still relies on a paper ballot, which is printed out after the actual choices are made on the iPad. Many of these users don’t have the ability to read their choices back, so the iPad plan may still not work even for this limited solution. But if that problem gets fixed, some Oregonians will be able to register their votes with the iPad.
The iPhone 4S is flying off the shelves in the US and abroad. An inventory check of 30 Apple retail stores by Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore suggests stores are selling their entire stock of handsets as soon as they hit the loading dock.
Between 85% to 90% of stores surveyed run out of inventory each day. Apple stores are receiving daily shipments and customers unable to buy a handset due to low inventory are being instructed to make an online appointment for next day pickup on a first come, first serve basis.
If you are looking to purchase an iPhone 4S, Apple stores may be your best option. Inventory at Sprint, Verizon and AT&T is “more sporadic” says Whitmore, with shipments arriving only occasionally. Some stores surveyed were out of stock and others were unsure when they would receive their next order.
Online orders are also backlogged and subject to a one to week delay.
This demand is not limited to the US or initial launch countries. According to Ticonderoga Securities’s Brian White, the iPhone 4S went on pre-order last Friday in Hong Kong and sold out within 10 minutes. Besides Hong Kong, pre-orders for the handset also began in 14 other countries last week, bringing the total number of countries with the iPhone 4S to 44.
Remember that scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where Scotty converses with a vintage Mac by picking up the mouse and intoning “Computer…” to it?
Well, YouTube regular “napabar” has gone one better by getting Siri on an iPhone 4S to create a text file on a mint-condition Mac 512K. Talk to the iPhone 4S, and moments later a text file appears on the Mac 512K.
As with many attempts to use older technology — in this case, a 27-year-old Mac — a bridge between the old and the new is needed. In the following video, you can see how napabar does this.
He uses Siri’s capability to write and send an email using voice to move a message to his Mac, which runs an AppleScript to extract the text in the message, then move it to a bridge PowerBook that is sharing the Mac 512K’s floppy drive (remember those) via AppleTalk.
Sure, there are probably easier ways to do this, but it’s still amazing that an Apple machine over a quarter-century old can be integrated with the latest Apple technology. In many ways, it demonstrates the continuity of some of the underpinnings of the Mac architecture that allow things like this to be accomplished — even if the process is somewhat convoluted.
On Friday, a German court granted Motorola an injunction against Apple and awarded damages in a patent infringement case.
This ruling was a default judgment handed to Motorola because Apple, for some unknown reason, failed to defend itself in this case.
Much confusion exists over the impact of this decision. Apple responded in a statement to CNET and claimed “This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case.” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet also said, “It does not affect our ability to do business or sell products in Germany at this time.”
According to FOSS Patents, the key words in Apple’s statement are “at this time.” Apple could petition the German court and will likely receive a temporary suspension of the default judgment. This request for a second judgment, based on the merits of the case and not on a default decision, could bring the case all the way to the Federal Court of Justice and could take years to complete. If Apple fails to convince the courts to grant a temporary stay, this injunction could have a material impact on Apple’s business in Germany.