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China collecting Apple iCloud data; attack coincides with launch of new iPhone

Posted on October 21st, 2014 at 14:28 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

After previous attacks on Github, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, the Chinese authorities are now staging a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on Apple’s iCloud.


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Apple killed Finland’s two biggest industries, says Prime Minister

Posted on October 13th, 2014 at 20:52 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

In the early 00s, Finland’s two biggest industries were paper manufacturing and cell phones, led by the then-dominant Nokia. A decade later, both industries are in trouble — and as the country’s prime minister suggested in a recent interview, Apple might be to blame in both cases. “One could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told CNBC on Monday. “We just have to keep at it.”


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Comments:

  1. One could say a lot of things. The guy has a gift for getting attention.

Microsoft CEO to women: Don’t ask for a raise

Posted on October 10th, 2014 at 21:49 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote]:

A lot of advice is thrown at women to be considered equals in the workplace — lean in, speak up, be confident, demand raises and promotions, don’t dress “slutty” — which in itself is problematic because it places the onus on women to correct the culturally entrenched male dominance in workplaces.

(Companies should be the ones working to demolish the “old boys club,” and putting practices into place including strict policies on sexual harassment, equal pay, mentorship and paid maternity and paternity leave, for starters.)

However, advice given by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hit a new level of terrible: Don’t ask for raises, trust that your “super powers,” “the system” and “karma” will get you what you want. I’m not sure what mystical world Nadella is living in, but I imagine that there, raises gallop magically into a woman’s bank account via a unicorn.

Update: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued an apology, which an be read here.

Steve was too limited when he said it:

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”

Because, really. If you’re trying to rephrase something that came out inartfully the first time, don’t try to fit it into one tweet. Take up all the goddamn space you need so that it comes out better the second time. A petri dish has more culture than Microsoft..


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Comments:

  1. A tweet is the modern way to make sure a lot of people see (and read) your statement. Sending out a link to 5,000 words isn’t going to somehow be more helpful.

    He was clear about the parts that mattered: he fucked up, and he now understands why and how. Seems pretty sane and healthy to me.

    (People have commented that there isn’t a culture at Msft of asking for raises (just promotions or review scores) and that Nadella was commenting from that narrow perspective. It’s not an excuse, but it’s perhaps an explanation for the tone-deaf response.)

  2. Also, you’re citing Steve Jobs in a discussion of how to treat employees? Really? Steve Jobs who was a notorious nasty asshole to his employees? Yeah, I’m sure him screaming at people how much they sucked created an environment where women thrived. Not.

  3. The difference, @Desiato, is that Steve treated men and women pretty much equally cruelly.

    The discussion here isn’t how to treat employees in general; it’s how women should be treated as equals to men.

  4. Exactly. Steve could be a huge asshole to individuals, and did scream at people. But this is the company he created.

  5. Awesome. This is the company that Gates and Ballmer created. So what’s with that culture now that you claim Msft doesn’t have?

    Whereas Apple has culture, you say? Culture that engages in backdating of executive stock options? Culture that makes it OK to conspire with competitors to not recruit each others employees, thus keeping salaries down? GREAT culture. Yeah, walking in the pride parade totally makes up for that stuff.

    Go ahead and keep cherry-picking, John…

  6. John, please watch what the woman who interviewed Nadella has to say about the incident. (She is the President of a prestiguous technical college and a role model to women entering engineering fields)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DOOy0R5rVHE

    (Interesting bits are in the first ~4 minutes I think.)

1997

Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 20:03 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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3 Years ago today

Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

Remembering Steve


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Eric Schmidt on Google privacy: We’re ‘more secure’ than Apple

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 at 22:18 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google

[Quote]:

The seemingly ongoing battle between Google and Apple has been well-documented, but it’s always at its best when the CEOs start trading blows. In an interview with Charlie Rose last month, Tim Cook took Google to task for its data collection practices. Unsurprisingly, Eric Schmidt wasn’t too pleased with Cook’s representative of his company, so he took the time to respond on a CNN Money segment this week.

[..]

“Someone didn’t brief him correctly on Google’s policies,” Schmidt quipped. “It’s unfortunate for him. In the first place, in Google’s case, we have always been the leader in security and encryption. Our systems are far more secure and encrypted than anyone else, including Apple. They’re catching up, which is great.”

First, Tim Cook wasn’t talking about how well they protect data from others – he was talking about how well they protect data from themselves… here’s what he said:

[Quote]:

Cook said Apple makes most of its profits by selling hardware, unlike many of its Silicon Valley neighbors that profit from advertising targeted at their users.

“Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product,” Cook said. “I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried.”

So, Let me summarize this back-and-forth:

“You’ve been spying on your users!”

“That’s not true! We protect our users from being spied on by other people all the time!”

So, Schmidt, you’re a deceptive little douche.


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What am I running inside my bash?

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 at 19:07 by John Sinteur in category: awesome, Software

[Quote]:

I have a long running bash instance (inside a screen session) that is executing a complex set of commands inside a loop (with each loop doing pipes, redirects, etc). The long command line was written inside the terminal – it’s not inside any script. Now, I know the bash process ID, and I have root access – how can I see the exact command line being executed inside that bash?


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My guess is…

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 at 9:58 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

Microsoft had a few internal builds calling it “Windows 9″, and they started testing all kind of third party software and ran in to this.

And that’s when they decided to call it Windows 10….


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Comments:

  1. Blimey! That has the ring of reality – “the sins of the fathers” (and mothers)…

  2. Innnteresting. But does OS.name not return the NT version instead of the marketing name? I don’t have any Windows anymore, so can’t try it.

  3. Well, even if it does, you can trust people to do the wrong thing in code anyway…

  4. ….uh?

    If it returns “NT 7.x” or whatever they’re up to, how does this kind of code create a problem?

10 new features of Windows 10

Posted on October 1st, 2014 at 20:39 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote]:

Late last night, Microsoft unveiled the next version of the Windows operating system, Windows 10. The company says that the new operating system is designed to run across a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, servers, as well as tiny Internet of things devices. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience at the right time on the right device,” Microsoft’s operating systems chief Terry Myerson said. However, Windows 10 isn’t fully designed yet. At the event, Microsoft demonstrated several new features of the operating system, but noted that this is just the scratch of the surface it plans to ship with the final version of Windows 10, which ships next year.

In that case, you’d better not install it on your surface, right?


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Nein! Nein! Nein!

Posted on October 1st, 2014 at 13:50 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote]:

Microsoft is to put some numerical distance between its poorly received Windows 8 operating system and its replacement by calling the new version Windows 10.

The new operating system, expected to be released next year, comes three years after the launch of Windows 8. It was announced at an event aimed at business users in Seattle.

“Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever,” Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group, told the audience. “It wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.”


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Comments:

  1. Let’s look at the numerical history of Windows (desktop) releases:
    Windows 95 (odd number): good
    Windows 98 (Even number): meh
    Windows 98 SE (Released in 1999): better
    Windows ME: awful
    Windows XP (Windows 5?): Good
    Windows Vista (6): OUCH
    Windows 7: Good
    Windows 8: meh

    The fact that Microsoft is jumping to Windows 10 means even they know it’s going to be awful.

Apple Watch Sneak Peek

Posted on October 1st, 2014 at 10:46 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, batshitinsane

If you thought people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 was batshitinsane, check this:

[Quote]:

Apple invited people to check out the new Apple Watch in person — for one day only — in Paris during Fashion Week, at the Colette boutique on Rue Saint Honoré.

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Comments:

  1. No one creates buzz like Apple. It’s the 8th wonder.

  2. These look like genuine hipsters not placeholders.

Inside the building where Apple tortures the iPhone 6

Posted on September 29th, 2014 at 23:59 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

If you use enough force to bend an iPhone, or any phone, it’s going to deform.”


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The Shellshock Bug In About Four Minutes

Posted on September 26th, 2014 at 14:27 by John Sinteur in category: Security, Software


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Comments:

  1. Very cogently put. And from the window you can see New Oxford Street, the video seems to have been shot from 78 New Oxford Street, according to Google street view.
    Sorry my attention drifted to the Sally shop in Fairgate House.

iPhone hoax: No, you can’t recharge it in the microwave, LAPD warns

Posted on September 24th, 2014 at 14:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

No, the latest iPhone software does not allow for the device to be quickly charged by heating it up in the microwave, despite some convincing, but very fake online ads.

Microwaving the phone will not only ruin the device, it could cause a fire or explosion, authorities said.

But a hoax floating around the Internet seemed so legitimate to some that even police are spreading the warning, as noted by the Los Angeles Police Department communications unit on Twitter.

So clearly, as if there was any doubt, iPhone users are not smarter than average.


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Comments:

  1. Apparently the fix for a bent iPhone 6+ is to put it in the microwave for 3 seconds.

  2. Wood grain finish? ZOMG, did I miss a trend or something?

Black Market Takes Over the iPhone 6 Lines

Posted on September 21st, 2014 at 14:16 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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Joan Rivers posts from the grave: ‘I’ve just bought an iPhone!’

Posted on September 20th, 2014 at 15:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, If you're in marketing, kill yourself

[Quote]:

Comic legend Joan Rivers has been dead for over a week now, but apparently that hasn’t stopped the Fashion Show star being chuffed to bits with her new iPhone 6-feet-under.

In a warning to PR companies everywhere, sponsored scheduled posts appeared on Rivers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts on Friday morning – before they were quickly taken down.


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Comments:

  1. She would have died laughing!

Apple’s “warrant canary” disappears, suggesting new Patriot Act demands

Posted on September 19th, 2014 at 11:58 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

When Apple published its first Transparency Report on government activity in late 2013, the document contained an important footnote that stated:

“Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us.”

Writer and cyber-activist Cory Doctorow at the time recognized that language as a so-called “warrant canary,” which Apple was using to thwart the secrecy imposed by the Patriot Act.

Warrant canaries are a tool used by companies and publishers to signify to their users that, so far, they have not been subject to a given type of law enforcement request such as a secret subpoena. If the canary disappears, then it is likely the situation has changed — and the company has been subject to such request.

Now, Apple’s warrant canary has disappeared. A review of the company’s last two Transparency Reports, covering the second half of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, shows that the “canary” language is no longer there.


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Sep 18, 2007, seven years ago

Posted on September 18th, 2014 at 9:27 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Microsoft


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Comments:

  1. Of the characters in this wee psychodrama a couple are deceased; Mr. Jobs and Nortel. I guess you could also say that Mr. Ballmer and Microsoft are gone from the game.

  2. 2007?? Now way, this is late ’70s or earyly’80s. Jobs sais Apple has 500 people working. He talks about the Apple II. This is pre Mac (i.e., pre 1984).

  3. Sorry, I must have clicked on some link after the Balmer video. :-) It’s good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfxxRKBgos8

  4. @Jan-Mark: Hmm…1970’s…Did Mr. Ballmer have hair?

How do launch numbers for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S phones compare?

Posted on September 16th, 2014 at 11:42 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google

[Quote]:

Some rivalries will never die — chocolate vs peanut butter, Yankees vs Red Sox, and iPhone vs Android, just to name a few. With the announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, many Android users took to the Internet to loudly exclaim how underwhelmed they were by the devices. Its new features were things they’d already had for years, except for all the ones that weren’t, of course. Rivalries are fun, but the musings of voices on the Internet aren’t nearly as important as the voices of the buying public. And when you compare the launch numbers of various Samsung Galaxy S phones to the iPhone 6 and earlier iPhones, there’s absolutely no competition.

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And still the overall market share of Android is higher. I think it’s because people who get an iPhone make a conscious choice to do so, and (most) people who get an android do so because they walk into a store and tell the sales rep they want “a phone”. They will make calls, use facebook, make a selfie, and that’s it. They never download an app unless recommended by a friend (“get snapchat!”), and just use the phone as a phone and are very happy with it.


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Comments:

  1. I don’t think that android users are attached to a brand. In my case, I have chosen between several brands before buying the phone, (Samsung, Sony, LG…). In addition, I’ve chosen and “old” model that runs smoothly the latest Android version, I’ve been waiting and studying several models. I would say that buying an iPhone the first day is not a conscious choice but an impulsive one. In addition, just released products have flaws, so buying it the first day is more like being a tester.

    I use several app, all free, among them you can find the “Rain Alert”, Maps (also offline), email, google drive (spreadsheets, documents), games…

    In Android, there are plenty of choices of high-end and other market segments phones. There are a lot app, but I think that Android users usually go for the free ones.

  2. Purchasing of iPhones may be social signalling of wealth and taste for some. Other people are excited by technology and like to try out new stuff. These are conditioned reactions to marketing not actually impulses. All these users are wealthy enough to make that choice and regularly buy new devices. These are nice products for nice people.

    What’s the marketing opposite of the “long tail”?

    Disclaimer: I bought my Android phone from a yard sale. I forgot the brand.

  3. One very simple factor: in the iOS ecosystem, there are 3 viable models right now. How many high-end-ish phones does Samsung have? S4 and S5 in several editions (regular, mini, active); Edge; Note; Duos… AT&T wireless has 10 listed as currently available. Sales in the Android domain are split over more models.

  4. There’s another gotcha in this graph: the Apple numbers are all for the first 1-3 days only, and the Samsung numbers are for 30-60 days. But the numbers are *per*day* sales. So Samsung had those lower numbers consistently over 30 days, and we don’t know what the drop-off was in Apple’s numbers. I don’t doubt that Apple’s numbers are higher, but this chart is deceptive.

  5. No, I don’t think that’s the gotcha. That’s the whole point of the graph. the iPad 3 had 1 mil of sales in 3 days, the S5, in 30 days, has yet to reach that number. Maybe it would have been clearer to have all bars at the same number of days, but then the samsung stuff would be 1 pixel on the left side of the graph..

  6. You are not comparing like with like. It’s a false comparison and the sort of sub high school use of stats that Apple cultists trot out to prove that their gang is the bestest ever, like deranged One Direction fans.

    When I upgraded from my Samsung S3 earlier this year I had a wealth of options to choose from (of which the Iphone was one) offering different combinations of features, allowing me to select the one that best suited me.

    With Apple, an upgrade means a choice of 1. New iphones are an event. So yes, if you are a devotee you are naturally going to want the latest iteration and you will want it as soon as it comes out. With Android there is no such pressure to upgrade to the latest model, as there are new and improved models coming out all the time. A new Samusung simply is not a big thing that will drive people to preorder.

    I can’t wait to find out what is wrong with the new iphone as 4 million people at once find out that holding it the wrong way cuts the signal, or syncing it with the cloud wipes everything or some such.

    For the record I switched to HTC.

  7. @John: The graph clearly says “units/day”. It’s meant to deceive.

  8. Or rather, it says “units/day” once you pay attention. It’s not actually *clear*, which is that makes it deceptive.

Minecraft

Posted on September 15th, 2014 at 21:46 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

H4vqsCs


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Apple Pay Details: Apple Gets 0.15% Cut of Purchases, Higher Rates for Bluetooth Payments

Posted on September 13th, 2014 at 10:34 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

According to a new report from The Financial Times, Apple stands to make quite a bit of money from its payments service. Banks and payment networks will be forking over 0.15 percent of each purchase to Apple, which equates to 15 cents out of a $100 purchase.
They are also paying hard cash for the privilege of being involved: 15 cents of a $100 purchase will go to the iPhone maker, according to two people familiar with the terms of the agreement, which are not public. That is an unprecedented deal, giving Apple a share of the payments’ economics that rivals such as Google do not get for their services

According to bank executives, Apple was able to negotiate with so many partners and receive choice deals because the industry didn’t see anything threatening in Apple Pay. One executive suggested that Apple’s payment model continued to put banks “at the centre of payments.” Apple may also have been able to negotiate better deals due to the tight security it has in place for Apple Pay. Payments will be made via NFC with a one-time token, and also secured with a Touch ID fingerprint.


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Comments:

  1. Whatever threats they saw were probably overcome when they were offered an apparently magical solution to a problem that is considered perpetual, boring and difficult in banking.

  2. Yeah. And let’s see just how fast a man-in-the-middle attack will be successfully made. I would guess less than a month from when the phone is released to the public. 1. Intercept token. 2. Re-vector it to credit the malefactors instead of the real store. Oops – where did my $$ go? Why does the store want their $$? I paid, didn’t I?

  3. It’s cool that they managed to negotiate that, but it’s going to be noise on Apple’s income statements for a looooong time.

Why the iPhone 6 Plus is the must-have phone for Manchester United fans!

Posted on September 12th, 2014 at 12:35 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

r0hG9l4


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Cyanide & Happiness #3678

Posted on September 10th, 2014 at 9:36 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

910


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Comments:

  1. I bought Apple stock a couple of weeks later. It had fallen to $15 per share in post-9/11 trading.

Images of apple wearables confirmed

Posted on September 9th, 2014 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

There’s not much time now before the announcement, and some pictures of the apple wearables have leaked. These are confirmed as having come from Apple.
1. http://i.imgur.com/DOwUPh.jpg
2. http://i.imgur.com/5aAu9h.jpg (apple logo clearly visible)
3. http://i.imgur.com/XrFzih.jpg (showing range of colors)
4. http://i.imgur.com/PpLv1h.jpg (hinting at a future google glass competitor?)


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Comments:

  1. oh god i hope these leaks are true; I’ll buy that white one immediately!

  2. *cough* :-)

  3. @des – clearly you don’t realize that the new Apple wearables allow you travel back to the ’80’s.

  4. S’OK, I owned enough apple schwag in the 80s, don’t need to live that again. I’ll take the watch instead. :)

    I thought Tim Cook was going to pay U2 for the album by giving them each a watch, but no.

The Joy of Tech comic… Apple Event Survival Kit!

Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Cartoon

[Quote]:

2043


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Apple courts fashionistas as smartwatch expectations mount

Posted on September 6th, 2014 at 21:41 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

Apple Inc has invited top fashion editors and bloggers in unprecedented numbers to its Tuesday launch gala, further evidence that the iPhone maker is preparing to take the wraps off a smartwatch.


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Wearables

Posted on September 4th, 2014 at 10:49 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

According to a designer who works at Apple, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, in bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.


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Comments:

  1. They are going to release a $50,000 watch?

The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Do you feel safer yet?, Privacy, Security

[Quote]:

As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims’ iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place. But one step in the hackers’ sext-stealing playbook has been ignored—a piece of software designed to let cops and spies siphon data from iPhones, but is instead being used by pervy criminals themselves.

On the web forum Anon-IB, one of the most popular anonymous image boards for posting stolen nude selfies, hackers openly discuss using a piece of software called EPPB or Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker to download their victims’ data from iCloud backups. That software is sold by Moscow-based forensics firm Elcomsoft and intended for government agency customers. In combination with iCloud credentials obtained with iBrute, the password-cracking software for iCloud released on Github over the weekend, EPPB lets anyone impersonate a victim’s iPhone and download its full backup rather than the more limited data accessible on iCloud.com. And as of Tuesday, it was still being used to steal revealing photos and post them on Anon-IB’s forum.

[..]

The fact that Apple isn’t complicit in law enforcement’s use of Elcomsoft’s for surveillance doesn’t make the tool any less dangerous, argues Matt Blaze, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and frequent critic of government spying methods. “What this demonstrates is that even without explicit backdoors, law enforcement has powerful tools that might not always stay inside law enforcement,” he says. “You have to ask if you trust law enforcement. But even if you do trust law enforcement, you have to ask whether other people will get access to these tools, and how they’ll use them.”


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Apple Issues Media Advisory Related to Celebrity Photo Theft

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 at 0:11 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Privacy, Security

[Quote]:

Apple issued a media advisory related to recent celebrity photo theft, saying the accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on users names, password and security questions and was not related to any breach of Apple’s systems, including iCloud.

Over the weekend a number of nude celebrity photos appeared online. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Lea Michele, Victoria Justice and Kirsten Dunst all had their photos comprised, among others.

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website athttp://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.

If you are a celebrity, it’s more likely that people know the name of your first pet, or your mothers maiden name…


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Comments:

  1. Right John, it is why I advise people to make up random letters and numbers for those all too frequently used security questions. Also, never use the same answer twice.

9 September, Apple Media Event

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 at 13:03 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

Rumors are pretty solid about the iPhone 6, but it’s unclear if there’s going to be any wearables, iWatches, or similar.

And the rumors about them are as varied as the rumors were about the original iPhone. So, how accurate are those rumors? Take a look at what people predicted the iPhone will look like, and take that as a reference…

tumblr_inline_nb6qejwByO1qmx7gv


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Comments:

  1. Tim Cook at D11 2013 on the subject

  2. I’ll correct a couple of letters in one word:

    “And the rumors about them are as vapid as the rumors were about the original iPhone.”

  3. An interesting observation is the pace of the iOS 8 beta releases. Usually it’s every 2 weeks right up to GM at the day of the media event. This time they’ve not done a beta for a few weeks, and it’s unlikely they will do one between now and next week.

    So, looks like they are hiding some major new feature.


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