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Submission + - Starfish smartwatch saga illustrates entrepreneurial stumbling blocks (

An anonymous reader writes: Starfish calls itself, “The next biggest thing is the next smallest thing: The world’s first ever interactive iPhone and iPad mirroring device on your wrist.” The reality is that building products is hard. Building products with amazing feature sets is harder still. And, as the old saw says, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Submission + - Samsung Sets Up Shop on Sand Hill Road, Launches $1.1 Billion in Venture Funds (

quantr writes: ""Samsung Electronics said on Monday that it is launching two venture funds worth a total of $1.1 billion as well as a strategy and innovation center on Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Road.

A $100 millon Samsung Catalyst Fund will focus on early-stage companies while a $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund will target companies of all sizes.
In addition to the Menlo Park office, the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center will have offices in Korea and Israel and be led by Samsung Electronics’ newly installed president and chief strategy officer, Young Sohn.""


Submission + - Raspberry Pi in iPod (

peterburkimsher writes: "The Original PiPod!
I thought that the Raspberry Pi was too bulky for my pockets. So I soldered some new connectors, and put it inside the shell of an original first-generation iPod!
Hopefully a Model C will be released so that the Pi can be compatible with iPod cases in future.


Submission + - Untethered iOS 6.1 Evasi0n Jailbreak Arrives For iPhone, iPad, And iPod Touch

An anonymous reader writes: The jailbreak tool evasi0n for iOS 6.x, meaning currently iOS 6.0 and iOS 6.1, has finally been released. It can perform an untethered jailbreak of the iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch running either of those two mobile operating systems. You can get it now for Windows (XP and higher), OS X (10.5 and higher), as well as Linux (x86 / x86_64).

Submission + - Apple Discontinues Mac Pro in EU (

jones_supa writes: Apple has been forced to remove the Mac Pro from sale in European Union after an amendment to a safety regulation left the machines incompliant. The updated electronics safety standard IEC 60950-1 increases requirements around electrical port protection and the fan guards in the system. Apple does not plan to modify their machines and will simply pull them from market in the EU. Apple wishes to warn customers and partners about the change so that they would have sufficient time to order Mac Pro units and meet any needs prior to 1 March, when the amendment comes into effect.

Submission + - Mars Rover Curiosity: Less Brainpower Than Apple's iPhone 5 (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "To give the Mars Rover Curiosity the brains she needs to operate took 5 million lines of code. And while the Mars Science Laboratory team froze the code a year before the roaming laboratory landed on August 5, they kept sending software updates to the spacecraft during its 253-day, 352 million-mile flight. In its belly, Curiosity has two computers, a primary and a backup. Fun fact: Apple’s iPhone 5 has more processing power than this one-eyed explorer. “You’re carrying more processing power in your pocket than Curiosity,” Ben Cichy, chief flight software engineer, told an audience at this year’s MacWorld."

Submission + - US wants Apple, Google, and Microsoft to get a grip on mobile privacy ( 1

coondoggie writes: "When it comes to relatively new technologies, few have been developing at the relentless pace of mobile. But with that development has come a serious threat to the security of personal information and privacy. The Federal Trade Commission today issued a report on mobility issues and said less than one-third of Americans feel they are in control of their personal information on their mobile devices."

Submission + - Passcode bypass on iPhone 5 iOS 6.1 allows full access to Phone and Contacts app

PNutts writes: Using a specific sequence of actions it's possible to achieve full access to the Phone and Contacts apps. You can make calls, create and delete contacts, listen to and delete voice mails, etc. Here's a link to the YouTube video showing the procedure:

Submission + - Gabe Newell: Steam Box's biggest threat isn't consoles, it's Apple (

silentbrad writes: The biggest danger facing the success of Steam Box or any other PC ecosystem hoping to find space in the living room is Apple, according to a lecture given by Valve co-founder Gabe Newell to a class at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs. "The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform," Newell said. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room? ... We're happy to do it if nobody else will do it, mainly because everybody else will pile on, and people will have a lot of choices, but they'll have those characteristics. They'll say, 'Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I'll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently. Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room.' ... I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."

Submission + - Micron Lands Broad "Slide to Unlock" Patent (

Zordak writes: Micron has recently landed U.S. Patent 8,352,745, which claims priority back to a February 2000 application---well before Apple's 2004 slide-to-unlock application. While claim construction is a highly technical art, the claims here are (for once) almost as broad as they sound, and may cover the bulk of touch screen smart phones on the market today. Dennis Crouch's Patently-O has a discussion.

Submission + - Judge Koh Rules: Samsung Did Not Willfully Infringe (

sfcrazy writes: In a nutshell there won't be a new trial, as Samsung wanted, because the judge thinks that the trial was fair despite allegations that the jury foreman could have been biased. She also ruled that there won't be any more money for Apple as the iPhone maker failed to prove they were 'undercompensated' by the jury. The most important ruling was that she also found that 'Samsung did not willfully' infringe'.

Submission + - DARPA open source security helped FreeBSD, Junos, Mac OS X, iOS argues Watson (

An anonymous reader writes: In a February 2013 ACM Queue / Communications of the ACM article, A decade of OS access-control extensibility , Robert Watson at the University of Cambridge credits 2000s-era DARPA security research, distributed via FreeBSD, for the success of sandboxing in desktop, mobile, and embedded systems such as Mac OS X, iOS, and Juniper's Junos router OS. His blog post about the article argues that OS security extensibility is just as important as more traditional file system (VFS) and device driver extensibility features in kernels — especially in embedded environments where UNIX multi-user security makes little sense, and where tradeoffs between performance, power use, functionality, and security are very different. This seems to fly in the face of NSA's recent argument argument that one-size-fits-all SELinux-style Type Enforcement is the solution for Android security problems. He also suggests that military and academic security researchers overlooked the importance of app-store style security models, in which signed application identity is just as important as "end users" in access control.

Submission + - Apple trademarks its Stores to deter copycats (

walterbyrd writes: "The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) approved Apple's request to trademark the design and layout of its stores last week, according to patent office records.

Apple has requested that no store be allowed to replicate various features, including "a clear glass storefront surrounded by a panelled facade" or an "oblong table with stools... set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall"."


Submission + - Apple patents Apple Store (

sosume writes: Apple finally convinced the US Patent Office to grant patents for its Apple Store design. Despite many thousand years and forms of prior art, this seems like a new form of abuse of the patent system.

Submission + - Why Oracle won't issue Java for iOS anytime soon (

digiti writes: "They say that today all companies are software companies. In less than 5 years all companies will be mobile companies. So why isn't Oracle "getting it", why aren't they on the iPhone, on Android and even Windows Phone?
This post tries to answer that from the perspective of a former insider that talks about the DNA difference between Sun and Oracle with details that weren't discussed previously. Will Oracle suddenly flip on mobile like they did on cloud computing?"


Submission + - iPad grows to 128GB, directly targeting Surface Pro, ultrabooks (

noh8rz10 writes: holy moly! iPad gets a heavyweight sibling, clicking in at 128GB. This places it in range of storage for Surface Pro and ultrabooks. It's clearly targeted at the professional market, as the press release cites xrays and cad files as reasons. Should M$ be afraid? Methinks so. Best part, pricing is growing by log 2. Just as the 32GB version is $100 more than the 16, and the 64 is $100 more than the 32, this new version is $100 more than the 64!

Submission + - Book Review: The New Apple II User's Guide by David Finnigan

wclarke writes: "It's not often that a book is published with the goal of instructing readers thoroughly in the use of a particular 8-bit computer in a contemporary setting, but The New Apple II User's Guide by David Finnigan is such a book. Released in 2012 and immediately the talk of the town in Apple II circles (yes, these circles exist,) this sturdy 774 page paperback sets out its twin goals in its introduction: (A) To enable anyone who is a newcomer to the Apple II computer to acquire a mastery of the machine, and (B) To serve as a reference book and refresher for those who are already experienced with Apple IIs, or indeed, experts. The book is named after the original The Apple II User's Guide (1981) by Lon Poole et al, which was very popular in its day. The scope of Finnigan's book encompasses the entire range of Apple II models, from the original II of 1977 right through to the 8/16-bit Apple IIGS (1986), though the last computer's 16-bit persona, comparable to that of the Amiga and Atari ST in behaviour, is a world unto itself and not a focus of the book.

Of the A and B camps described above, I claim to hail from the Expert end of camp B, and to bring some context to my review I should first say something about myself. I was born with an Apple II+ in my mouth, or rather my dad placed one there in 1981, when I was six years old, by buying one of these then still-new marvels of technology. This was a time when having 48KB of on-board RAM would draw an admiring whistle from the service guy at Computerland. My family upgraded to an Apple IIGS in 1990 which then continued to be my principal computer until 1996. So for a solid fifteen years, the Apple II was my sole gaming and programming home, and I grew to know its ways like the back of my hand. I was surprised by the liveliness of the Apple II community when I encountered it anew online in the Noughties. It's a community which continues to produce new products for the II, whether software (EG a Twitter client) or hardware (EG a flash storage card) on an almost monthly basis. The first line of The New Apple II User's Guide rhetorically asks "Why still use the Apple?" and supplies this answer: ". . . after three decades, it's still not finished yet. Or in other words, not everything that can be accomplished, has been accomplished." This state of affairs is what makes the arrival of such a book today a viable proposition, as well as a novel one. In his author's bio, Finnigan declares only eight years' experience with Apple IIs prior to writing the book, demonstrating that he could have benefited from its contents back in 2004 if only it had existed at the time.

Chapter 1, "Meeting Your Apple", begins with an overview of the nature of the Apple II's longevity, then moves into an explicit "Who This Book Is For" section, anticipating the various relationships the reader might have with the Apple II (ranging from "I just got one off ebay!" to "I am a grizzled veteran" – my words) and advising them in turn on how best to make use of the book. It also makes the important statement that the book assumes no prior knowledge of Apple IIs on the reader's part. If you did just score an Apple II off ebay, at a garage sale, through inheritance or from a spooky attic, the book will guide you through the process of getting it up and running from absolute first principles, beginning with identifying which model of Apple II you have acquired. The book's text is of a good size and generously spaced, and Finnigan is a clear communicator. Concise descriptions and occasional original black and white photos ensure that important features of the computer are always clearly identified when you are being walked through hands-on technical tasks. This is particularly important when the guide later turns its attention to the interior of the computer and its expansion slots; how and where to connect the various cards which support features like printing or telecommunications, or what to plug into the equivalent ports found on the back of later Apple models. The book's completist approach allows it to stand in for any original manuals that might be missing when you acquire a second-hand Apple II.

In its third chapter, the book opens onto the enormous subject of the BASIC environment and BASIC programming. It is worth pointing out for those unfamiliar with the computer that the Apple II's BASIC prompt is a genuine gateway to all its capabilities. Apple II BASIC programs can utilise both main graphics modes (lo-res and high-res), produce noise from the speaker, read input from peripherals (paddles, joysticks, mice), send output to printers and other hardware, and address any memory location in the computer. For anything that you might like to try to do with the machine, the BASIC environment is where you can instantly explore your ideas, switching between editing and execution in a single environment without any time spent compiling code. This is obviously why the bulk of The New Apple II User's Guide – roughly half of it, though not consecutively – concentrates on this environment. Chapter 3 begins by describing the use and syntaxes of BASIC, and introduces procedural programming concepts in a manner appropriate for folks who might never have encountered them before. The logical progression of the lessons and demonstrations has been carefully plotted. They start with a one line program producing ye olde "HELLO WORLD!" and build the reader's skill set up to such complex projects as the development of a basic but functional word processor, a database which can read and write text records from disk, and ultimately a few programs which demonstrate the Apple's sprite and audio features with the aid of a dash of assembly language.

In the case of the shortest code examples, the reader will have no trouble typing them in and will appreciate each example as a result. But the most substantial program listings, such as that for the word processor, can run up to eight pages in length. Digital copies of all the program listings are freely available for download at the author's companion website which is rich with many other Apple II links and resources in general. However, the digital program listings can obviously only be copy-pasted into Apple II emulators, meaning that if you're working with real hardware, you will indeed have to type them in if you want to run them. Those of us who lived through the days when magazines and books routinely published multi-page listings for readers to type in might experience a twinge of nostalgia at the recollection, but the romance of the experience was definitely outweighed by the fact that you would often end up with a program that didn't work, and no way of tracing your mistakes. Mercifully, the biggest program listing in The New Apple II User's Guide is still an easy to read baby compared to the average hobbyist listing from the 1980s, but I'm still surprised that the author hasn't made a disk image available containing all the programs from the book.

Then again, not disseminating such an image may have been a deliberate choice. The book's belief in building up the reader's understanding of each new topic from first principles means that Apple II newbies will emerge from The New Apple II User's Guide with a great sense of self-reliance. From my Grizzled Veteran perspective, I can confirm that there are no oversights which would result in a newbie having to look anywhere else for information; the book is indeed the one-stop shop of practicality that it claims to be, obviating the need to go trawling around the Internet for the thousands of slices of information which have been collated here. The same observation is relevant for veterans with regards to using this volume as a reference. The last third of the guide consists of appendices, including a complete BASIC/DOS/ProDOS command reference and a list of important memory addresses. This is the kind of detailed information which Apple II programmers usually have to look up in one of numerous 20 to 30-year-old reference books (which they also have to keep handy while they're working) or which has to be extracted from the higgledy-piggledy of the web.

Understandably, the guide doesn't enter into a discussion of which commercial Apple II software products from back in the day might make a lot of workaday tasks easier, thus avoiding the legal, ethical and logistical minefields related to the varying copyright statuses of these programs. To veteran eyes, there's a slight element of frustration in imagining having to go back and use the simplest file maintenance tools included on the vanilla DOS 3.3 and ProDOS system master disks (tools necessarily described in the book) while knowing that stuff like Copy II Plus is out there. It is similarly difficult for me to contemplate manually coding up a shape table (the Apple II's built-in sprite container system) today, an arduous process fully demonstrated in the book, when so many utilities can expedite that process. Only in the case of tasks which are thoroughly beyond the terrain of rolling-your-own is third party software mentioned, and these tasks tend to coincide with the modern era in which suites of free software have been produced by Apple II enthusiasts to tackle them. For instance the tenth chapter, on the subject of networking, offers explicit instruction in the use of several free modern programs for the purposes of getting an Apple II online, or connecting it to other PCs.

Nevertheless, I find it hard to argue against any of the book's first-principles-first stance. The guide works with the reader at the level of the metal. Even in the uncommon circumstance in which you had only the Apple II computer itself to work with – no disk drives or other storage media or operating systems in sight – you could flip its power switch, be greeted by the BASIC prompt and proceed from there to code, test, explore or produce whatever other effects you wanted to, armed only with knowledge gained from The New Apple II User's Guide. Ultimately, the nature of the book complements the nature of 8-bit computers in general, and reminds us what is so attractive about them compared to today's powerful but largely impenetrable boxes. The 8-bit machines represent self-contained worlds which are immediately accessible to users and infinitely flexible, but still simple enough to be understood or controlled by a single person.

I can highly recommend The New Apple II User's Guide to all newcomers who have a practical interest in the Apple II (the book is 100% practical – it contains no history) and to readers who already have a degree of interest in the machine, whether that interest stems from a past acquaintance they may seek to reignite or from ongoing Grizzled Veteran status. The newcomer can start at the front of the book and develop their skills in the chronological order of the chapters, working towards the back where the solid reference section stands in for numerous reference tomes from the Apple II's heyday. Another advantage of this being a 2012 book is that the reader can be sure they're getting the best version of each piece of information. The Apple II community has had a long time to track down any bugs and discrepancies in the computer itself, its tools, operating systems and the vast body of historical documentation about all of these things. The trouble with relying on random online reference materials for the Apple II is that they often consist of ancient scans of already ancient pieces of paper, and even veterans can get caught out by, for instance, googling up information from 1981 that ended up being corrected in 1983. Finally, in the course of reading The New Apple II User's Guide, I even learned some things I didn't know about the computer's commands and features, and I've had the Apple II in my life for over 30 years.

The New Apple II User's Guide is available from Amazon and Createspace

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book free of charge by the publisher for review purposes. There was no discussion of what I might say about it and this review is my honest assessment.

About the reviewer: Wade Clarke is a Sydney-based musician, artist, game author and Apple II head. His website is"

Submission + - Australian government hits out at Apple over taxes (

An anonymous reader writes: The Australian goverment has followed the UK lead in hitting out at multi-national technology companies who make a fortune in their country, and then pay virtually no tax. It comes after Apple quietly filed its Australian accounts with the national regulator on a public holiday. Unfortunately for Apple ... people still noticed!

Submission + - Apple's iOS Enterprise Deployment Policy Used to Spread Fake, Pirated Apps (

hypnosec writes: A new loophole in Apple’s iOS enterprise deployment procedures is being targeted to install pirated apps on non-jailbroken iPhones it has been revealed. According to reports there have been instances wherein pirated apps were found on iOS devices over the last few weeks and these apps are appearing on devices that are not even jailbroken through some Chinese app store like services. Such a development puts enterprise users at the risk of rouge installations that may eventually lead to disclosure of private and confidential information.