An anonymous reader writes in with bad news for Apple. "It would appear that Apple has lost an attempt to trademark the 'iPad Mini.' This time it's not nefarious foreigners subverting the just order of things simply by trademarking something several years before Apple did. No, that was what happened in Brazil with the IFone. Nor is it people nefariously selling the rights to everywhere but China but Apple's lawyers didn’t notice, as happened with iPad in China. No, this time it's the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office saying that Apple simply cannot have a trademark on 'iPad Mini.' For the simple reason that the law doesn't allow them to trademark something which is just a description of the product."
Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!
An anonymous reader writes "An article at The Verge makes the case that Apple's development of its cloud services hasn't been accompanied by the necessary effort to ramp up security to match users' increasing levels of risk. As evidence, they use a recent (and very simple) security hole that allowed anyone to reset an Apple ID password with just a user's email address and birth date. Apple's initial response failed to fully stop the exploit, and then it took several days for them to fix the issue. 'A server-side attack on Apple's cloud could get customers' credit card numbers and addresses, device backups with their encryption keys — as well as contacts and Apple IDs — anonymously and in bulk. Those systems may be defended like a castle, but bandits have plenty of places to chip away at private information at the periphery: intercepting wireless location data, cracking the still-private protocols for services like FaceTime or iMessage, or imitating iTunes updates to install to take over a user's phone. There's nothing sexy about securing these systems. None of them contribute directly to Apple's bottom line. And when it came to securing a business netting it an estimated $2 billion each year, Apple locked the screen door and left the front door open, without asking anyone else to check that the house was safe.' The article also points out that many other cloud service providers have detailed privacy and security policies, and actively participate in developing best practices, whereas Apple's procedures are shrouded in the company's typical secrecy. The article comes alongside reports of a way for people to DDoS other users' iMessage box."
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Forbes: "... it is an almost certainty that within the next few years, three biometric options will become standard features in every new phone: a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, facial recognition powered by high-definition cameras, and voice recognition based off a large collection of your vocal samples. ... We store an enormous amount of our most intimate and personal information on cell phones. Businesses today are already struggling with policies regarding bringing devices from home, and it’s only going to get more difficult. A study by Symantec highlighted the depth of the problem – around the world, all different types of companies consider enterprise mobile device security to be one of their largest challenges. ... Ever since Apple purchased Authentec Inc in July of last year, there has been an endless stream of news stories obsessing over whether Apple will include a fingerprint scanner in their next release. In reality, Apple is one among many players, and whether they include a biometric sensor in the 5S or wait till the 6 is largely irrelevant, the entire mobile industry has been headed this way for years now. ... There are separate questions as to whether these technologies are ready for such a wide-scale deployment."
David Greelish, Founder of the Atlanta Historical Computing Society, has taken it upon himself to "tell the story of Apple.” Greelish partnered with Lonnie Mimms, a local computer collector, with a museum-quality exhibit dubbed the "Apple Pop-Up Museum." From the article: "...Mimms wanted to focus specifically on Apple—partly because of Steve Jobs' recent passing, but also because of Apple's 'overwhelming success and stardom.' And so the two teamed together to create the Apple Pop-Up Museum, which will be part of the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 1.0 when it opens in Atlanta on April 20 and 21, 2013. In a twist of historical fate, the show will be held in an old CompUSA store, with 6,000 feet of the CompUSA regional corporate offices being used for the Apple Pop-Up museum. '[Mimms] and his staff are literally building a museum within the separate rooms,' Greelish told Ars."
whoever57 writes "Several European phone carriers have complained to the EU about the contracts that Apple imposes on them if they want to sell the iPhone. Because the contracts stipulate a minimum purchase, and the Carrier must compensate Apple if they fail to sell through that minimum, it has the effect of forcing the carrier to promote iPhones ahead of alternative phones. The European Commission is monitoring the situation. Apple claims that its 'contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the EU.'"
There have been video editing apps available for Linux for years, from ones meant to be friendly enough to compete on the UI front with iMovie (like the moribund Kino, last released in 2009, and the actively developed PiTiVi and Kdenlive) to editors that can apparently do nearly anything, provided the user is a thick-skinned genius — I'm thinking of Broadcast 2000/Cinelerra. Then there's VJ-tool-cum-non-linear editor LiVES, which balances a dense interface with real-time effects for using video as a performance tool, and can run on various flavors of UNIX, including Mac OS X. Dallas-based developer Jonathan Thomas has been working for the last few years on a Free (GPL3 or later), open-source editor called OpenShot, which aims for a happy medium of both usability and power. OpenShot is Linux-only, though, and Thomas is now trying to kickstart (as in, using a Kickstarter project) a cross-platform release for OS X and Windows, too. I've been tempted by dozens of KickStarter projects before, but this is the first one that I've actually pledged to support, and for what may sound like a backwards reason: I like the interface, and am impressed by the feature set, but OpenShot crashes on me a lot. (To be fair, this is mostly to blame on my hardware, none of which is really high-end enough by video-editing standards, or even middle-of-the-road. One day!) So while I like the idea of having a cross-platform, open-source video editor, I have no plans to migrate to Windows; I'm mostly interested in the promised features and stability improvements.
wiredmikey writes "In an effort to increase security for user accounts, Apple on Thursday introduced a two-step verification option for Apple IDs. As the 'epic hacking' of Wired journalist Mat Honan proved, an Apple ID often carries much more power than the ability to buy songs and apps through Apple's App store. An Apple ID can essentially be the keys to the Kingdom when it comes to Apple devices and user maintained data, and as Apple explains, is the key to many important things you do with Apple, such as purchasing from the iTunes and App Stores, keeping personal information up-to-date across your devices with iCloud, and locating, locking, or wiping your devices.' 'After you turn [Two-step verification] on, there will be no way for anyone to access and manage your account at My Apple ID other than by using your password, verification codes sent your trusted devices, or your Recovery Key, a support entry announcing the new service explained."
angry tapir writes "It's been a long-running joke that it's cheaper for Australians to get a plane ticket to the U.S. if they want to buy Adobe's Creative Suite instead of paying local prices. But appearing before a parliamentary inquiry into the disparity between IT prices in Australia and elsewhere, Adobe's local chief appeared to suggest just that." Other companies gave their responses to the inquiry as well. Microsoft said they'll simply charge what the market will bear. Apple tossed out a host of reasons for the price difference; its retail partners, digital content owners, exchange rates, taxes, import duties, and an apparent inability to alter the price set by its U.S. parent company.
skade88 writes "Apple now owns and runs enough renewable energy power plants that 75% of their world wide power needs come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydro. From the Apple Blog Post: 'Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.'"
First time accepted submitter Steve Patterson writes "Thankfully, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has announced that 'Android and Chrome will remain separate.' Rumors that the products would be combined emerged last week when leadership of Android and Chrome were consolidated under Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai. Schmidt stated the obvious, but if you are a developer and you took the bait and thought the rumors might be true, you already read enough of Google Chrome or Google Android documentation before Schmidt's clarification and confirmed that consolidating the two products would be, well, stupid."
An anonymous reader writes "A new trojan specifically for Macs has been discovered that installs an adware plugin. The malware attempts to monetize its attack by injecting ads into Chrome, Firefox, and Safari (the most popular browsers on Apple's desktop platform) in the hopes that users will generate money for its creators by viewing (and maybe even clicking) them. The threat, detected as "Trojan.Yontoo.1" by Russian security firm Doctor Web, is part of a wider scheme of adware for OS X that has "been increasing in number since the beginning of 2013," according to the company."
First time accepted submitter danhuby writes "Apple have removed sweatshop-themed game Sweatshop HD by UK developers LittleLoud from their app store citing clause 16.1 — 'Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.' According to the PocketGamer article, Littleloud's head of games, Simon Parkin, told Pocket Gamer that 'Apple removed Sweatshop from the App Store last month stating that it was uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Why did Apple hire former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch as vice president of technology? Adobe and Apple spent years fighting a much-publicized battle over the latter's decision to ban Adobe Flash from iOS devices. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was very public in his condemnation of Flash as a tool for rich-content playback, denigrating it in an April 2010 letter posted on Apple's Website as flawed with regard to battery life, security, reliability and performance. Lynch was very much the public face of Adobe's public-relations pushback to Apple's criticism; in a corporate video shot for an Adobe developer conference in 2009, he even helped run an iPhone over with a steamroller. (Hat tip to Daring Fireball's John Gruber for digging that video up.) As recently as 2010, he was still arguing that Flash was superior to HTML5, which eventually surpassed it to become the virtual industry standard for Web-based rich content. It's interesting to speculate whether Steve Jobs would have hired someone who so publicly denigrated Apple's flagship product. But Jobs is dead, and his corporate successors in Cupertino—tasked with leading Apple through a period of fierce competition — obviously looked at Lynch and decided he'd make a perfect fit as an executive."
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Apple has released a new update for iOS that prevents the jailbreak evasi0n released last month. But that hacking tool has already become the most popular jailbreak ever: It's been used to remove the software restrictions on 18.2 million devices in the 43 days between its release and the patch, according to data from Cydia, the app store for jailbroken devices. In its announcement of the update, Apple says it has fixed six bugs and was polite enough to credit the hackers behind evasi0n with finding four of them. At least one of the bugs used by evasi0n remains unpatched, according to David Wang, one of evasi0n's creators. And Wang says that he and his fellow hackers still have bugs in reserve for a new jailbreak, although they plan to keep them secret until the next major release."
The guy who came up with the LazyHusband app, Ethan Duggan, isn't married. That's good, because he's only 12 years old. One of his local (Las Vegas) TV stations says this about him: "...the 12-year-old from Henderson, Nev., said he was tired of always replying to his mother's questions of how she looked in an outfit, he came up with common phrases that, with a touch of the screen, can tell his mother, 'You look amazing today.'" The app costs 99 cents for iOS, Android or Kindle. Ethan admits that Dad helped, but says the app is his own work and was his idea. He's now working on Lazy Kid and Lazy Wife. The TV story says, "Phrases for Lazy Kid include, yes, I did my homework and I love you. Ethan said he is having a hard time coming up with common phrases that a wife might say to her husband." Pro basketball retiree turned business guy Shaquille O'Neal is reportedly interested in LazyHusband, which means you may hear plenty more about LazyHusband and the prodigy who created it.
redkemper writes with an excerpt from BGR.com of interest to anyone in the market for a new phone: "Samsung's Galaxy S 4 might not offer much in the way of an exciting new exterior design, but inside, it's a completely different story. The retooled internals on the U.S. version of the Galaxy S 4 were put to the test by benchmark specialists Primate Labs and the results are impressive, to say the least. The Galaxy S 4 scored a 3,163 on the standard Geekbench 2 speed test, just shy of twice the iPhone 5's score of 1,596. That score was also good enough to top the upcoming HTC One, the Nexus 4 and the previous-generation Galaxy S III."
An anonymous reader writes "A piece attacking Apple's treatment of Chinese consumers that aired on official government TV last week was followed by a wave of anti-Apple posts on Weibo (China's equivalent of Twitter) by Chinese celebrities. On the China-watching site Tea Leaf Nation, Liz Carter reports that sharp-eyed Weibo users noticed something funny about one such post from an actor and singer named Peter Ho: 'Cannot believe Apple is playing so many dirty tricks in customer service. As an Apple fan, I feel hurt...Need to post around 8:20 pm.' What was this 'need to post at 8:20 pm' business? After Weibo lit up with sarcastic tags such as #PostAround820, Ho claimed (rather unconvincingly) that someone must have hacked his account and posted the anti-Apple 'Weibo'. Mike Elgan at CultOfMac notes a parallel with the Chinese government's rough handling of Google in 2009, which led to Google's closing of its mainland operations. Google claimed that government commissioned hackers had apparently stolen search engine source code, Gmail messages and other user data. An earlier article by Elgan on Datamation notes the uneasy business relationship between Apple and China."
Trailrunner7 writes "Apple on Thursday released a large batch of security fixes for its OS X operating system, one of which patches a flaw that allowed Java Web Start applications to run even when users had Java disabled in the browser. There have been a slew of serious vulnerabilities in Java disclosed in the last few months, and security experts have been recommending that users disable Java in their various browsers as a protection mechanism. However, it appears that measure wasn't quite enough to protect users of some versions of OS X."
redletterdave writes "Apple is facing a potential class action suit in San Francisco's California Northern District Court after an owner of its MacBook Pro with Retina display accused the computer company on Wednesday of 'tricking' consumers into paying for a poor-quality screen, citing an increasingly common problem that causes images to be burned into the display, also known as 'image persistence' or 'ghosting.' The lawsuit claims only LG-made screens are affected by this problem, but 'none of Apple's advertisements or representations disclose that it produces display screens that exhibit different levels of performance and quality.' Even though only one man filed the lawsuit, it can become a class action suit if others decide to join him in his claim, which might not be an issue: An Apple.com support thread for this particular problem, entitled 'MacBook Pro Retina display burn-in,' currently has more than 7,200 replies and 367,000 views across more than 500 pages."
jasnw writes "I'm one of apparently many people who moved to OS X from Linux in the early/mid 2000s for their desktop system, keeping Linux boxes around for the heavy lifting and server work. I may also be part of a large segment of that group now considering a return because of all the iOS-ification of OS X, despite the fact that the Linux desktop still falls short in the 'it just works' area. I'm angry enough at Apple, and wary enough of Linux, that I might just go to using Windows 7 for the desktop (not Win8, however). What is the feeling/experience of other 'traitors' who run OS X for the desktop and Linux for everything else?"