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Programming

Teachers Get 1 Week To Test Tech Giants' Hour of Code 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
theodp writes "In a move straight out of Healthcare.gov's playbook, teachers won't get to preview the final lessons they're being asked to roll out to 10 million U.S. students until a week before the Dec. 9th launch of the Hour of Code nation-wide learn-to-code initiative, according to a video explaining the project, which is backed by the nation's tech giants, including Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon. The Hour of Code tutorial page showcased to the press sports Lorem Ipsum pseudo-Latin text instead of real content, promised tutorial software is still being developed by Microsoft and Google, and celebrity tutorials by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are still a work-in-progress. With their vast resources and deep pockets, the companies involved can still probably pull something off, but why risk disaster for such a high-stakes effort with a last-minute rush? One possible explanation is that CS Education Week, a heretofore little-recognized event, is coming up soon. Then again, tech immigration reform is back on the front burner, an initiative that's also near-and-dear to many of same players behind Hour of Code, including Microsoft Chief Counsel Brad Smith who, during the Hour of Code kickoff press conference, boasted that Microsoft's more-high-tech-visas-for-U.S.-kids-computer-science-education deal found its way into the Senate Immigration Bill, but minutes later joined his fellow FWD.us panelists to dismiss a questioner's suggestion that Hour of Code might somehow be part of a larger self-serving tech industry interest."
Communications

Researchers Show Apple Can Read iMessages 124

Posted by timothy
from the leetspeak-vs-panopticon dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "The Apple iMessage protocol has been shrouded in secrecy for years now, but a pair of security researchers have reverse-engineered the protocol [original analysis] and found that Apple controls the encryption key infrastructure for the system and therefore has the ability to read users' text messages–or decrypt them and hand them over at the order of a government agency. ... The researchers found that while that basic framework makes sense from a security point of view, there are a number of issues with the iMessage system. One major issue is that Apple itself controls the encryption key infrastructure use for iMessage, and has the keys for each individual user. The upshot of this is that Apple has the ability to read users' messages if it so chooses. The researchers who looked at iMessage, known as Pod2g and GG, said that there is no evidence that Apple is in fact reading users' iMessages, but it's possible that the company could. Users' AppleID passwords also are sent in clear text to the Apple servers."
Government

Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "Ireland and its tax system came under some extreme scrutiny earlier this year when it was revealed that Apple funneled billions of dollars of revenue though three subsidiaries based in the country. Thanks to a loophole, none of these subsidiaries were tax-resident in Ireland, meaning they didn't even have to pay Ireland's relatively low 12.5% corporation tax rate. Worryingly for Apple, Ireland's finance minister may now shut this loophole. A measure within a new budget bill (PDF) would disallow Apple's status as a 'stateless' corporate entity for tax purposes. Apple will still be able to select a country like Bermuda as its tax residence, but it's a step in the right direction."
Apple

Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos 791

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-plug-to-rule-them-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nokia's former head designer has called on Apple to work with the broader technology industry and end its policy of having proprietary connectors for its device chargers and accessories. Other experts say Apple cannot continue to go it alone with Lightning Connectors and ignore Micro USB."
Apple

A Peek At Apple's Planned $5B HQ 257

Posted by timothy
from the looks-rather-nice-from-here dept.
theodp writes "The Mercury News has an exclusive sneak peek of Apple's planned headquarters in Cupertino, which Steve Jobs personally sought approval for in 2011. 'We found that rectangles or squares or long buildings or buildings with more than four stories would inhibit collaboration,' Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, explaining the motivation behind the so-called Apple Ring. Nice, but if you wanted to hurt the feelings of the Design Gods at Apple, you could point out that, for all its $5 billion glory, what Apple calls 'the best office building ever' doesn't look all that different from an old-school $3.95 6250 BPI magnetic tape reel (still available on eBay, kids!)."
Bug

Irony: iPhone 5S Users Reporting Blue Screen of Death 192

Posted by timothy
from the ok-this-feels-intuitive dept.
MojoKid writes "It's been a long time since many have seen a dreaded 'blue screen of death' (BSoD), but it's back and in the most unlikeliest of places. Oddly enough, some Apple iPhone 5S owners are reporting BSoD errors, though they're a little different from the ones you may remember seeing on Windows desktops. Rather than spit out an obscure error code with a generic description, some iPhone 5S devices are suddenly turning blue before automatically restarting. The Numbers app in Apple's iWork suite, a free program with new iPhones, seems to be the primary cause, though BSoD behavior has also been observed in other applications, according to complaints in Apple's support forum."
Desktops (Apple)

Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone 414

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-wish-my-laptop-had-just-one-button dept.
Barence writes "Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth claims Apple will follow Ubuntu's lead and converge the iPhone and MacBook product lines. Speaking to PC Pro to mark the upcoming launch of Ubuntu 13.10, Shuttleworth said that the failed Ubuntu Edge smartphone — an attempt to bridge mobile and desktop computing devices — had set an example that others will follow. 'We've seen a very interested ripple go through the industry, and an uptick in interest in convergence,' Shuttleworth added. 'People are saying yes, mobile processors are catching up with the desktop. When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, it called the processor "desktop-class," and I don't think that was an accident – it was sending what we think is a very clear signal that it will converge the iPhone and the MacBook Air.'"
Patents

Obama Administration Refuses To Overturn Import Ban On Samsung Products 298

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sure-this-won't-be-construed-as-favoritism-by-anybody-anywhere dept.
Chris453 writes "In August 2013, President Obama issued a veto to an import ban of the iPhone 4S after Samsung won several court battles against Apple claiming that the iPhone 4S violated several of Samsung's patents. A few months ago, Samsung was on the receiving end of a very similar case filed by Apple. The International Trade Commission decided that several of Samsung's phones (Transform, Acclaim, Indulge, and Intercept models) violated Apple's patents, and should face import bans. Despite the similarities between the two cases, the Obama administration today announced that it would not veto the International Trade Commission import ban against Samsung products. The move that could spark a trade dispute between the U.S. and South Korea."
Apple

Meet the Voice Behind Siri 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-sound-familiar dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with a story about an actress who claims to be the voice behind Siri. "Own an iPhone or iPad? Since Siri was released on the iPhone 4S in 2011, I bet you, like me, have been wondering who the real voice behind Apple Virtual voice assistant Siri is. She has provided weather forecast, restaurants tips and has power announcements at airport around the world. Well, the real voice behind Siri has been revealed, and she is Atlanta-based Actress Susan Bennett. While her name might not ring a bell to you, her friends , those who have worked with her, her family and even forensics expert recognized her voice, and says she is the real Siri."
Iphone

The Story of the Original iPhone's Development 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody-wants-to-see-how-the-iSausage-is-made dept.
jds91md writes "Today's NY Times delivers a great story of the development of the iPhone by Apple. It focuses on the events during the leadup to Steve Jobs taking the stage with shockingly buggy prototypes and pulling off the show that is now history. 'Only about a hundred iPhones even existed, all of them of varying quality. Some had noticeable gaps between the screen and the plastic edge; others had scuff marks on the screen. And the software that ran the phone was full of bugs. The iPhone could play a section of a song or a video, but it couldn’t play an entire clip reliably without crashing. It worked fine if you sent an e-mail and then surfed the Web. If you did those things in reverse, however, it might not. Hours of trial and error had helped the iPhone team develop what engineers called “the golden path,” a specific set of tasks, performed in a specific way and order, that made the phone look as if it worked.' One of the big problems was the phone's connectivity. The man in charge of the iPhone's radios, Andy Grignon, had to deal with Jobs's anger when rehearsals didn't go well. Grignon said, 'Very rarely did I see him become completely unglued — it happened, but mostly he just looked at you and very directly said in a very loud and stern voice, "You are [expletive] up my company," or, "If we fail, it will be because of you." He was just very intense. And you would always feel an inch tall.'"
China

Activists Angry After Apple Axes Anti-Firewall App 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-world-walled-web dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that Chinese web users are criticizing Apple after the company pulled a free iPhone app called OpenDoor, which enables users to bypass firewalls and access restricted internet sites. The developers of OpenDoor — who wish to remain anonymous — told Radio Netherlands that Apple removed the app because it 'includes content that is illegal in China.' 'It is unclear to us how a simple browser app could include illegal contents, since it's the user's own choosing of what websites to view,' say the developers. 'Using the same definition, wouldn't all browser apps, including Apple's own Safari and Google's Chrome, include illegal contents?' Chinese internet users were disappointed by the move by Apple. Zhou Shuguang, a prominent Chinese blogger and citizen journalist, told U.S.-based Radio Free Asia that Apple had taken away one of the tools which internet users in China relied on to circumvent the country's great firewall. 'Apple is determined to have a share of the huge cake which is the Chinese internet market. Without strict self-censorship, it cannot enter the Chinese market,' says one Chinese user disappointed by the move by Apple."
The Courts

Apple and Nokia Outraged That Samsung Lawyers Leaked Patent License Terms 201

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-make-him-stop-bragging dept.
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. courts have strict rules in place governing the treatment of confidential business information. The most sensitive information is labeled 'highly confidential — attorneys' eyes only', meaning that only a company's outside lawyers are allowed to see it. The Apple-Nokia patent settlement contract and deals Apple struck with others (Ericsson, Sharp, Philips) were such highly confidential business information. But a Samsung executive allegedly boasted in a patent licensing negotiation with Nokia a few months ago about knowing all the terms of the Apple-Nokia deal because the Korean company's lawyers had provided it to their client, against the rules. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California now wants to find out more before deciding on sanctions against Samsung and its law firm, Quinn Emanuel."
Businesses

Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola 208

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-in-a-name? dept.
cagraham writes "According to consultancy firm Interbrand's latest 'Best Global Brands' report, Apple is now the world's most valuable brand, with an estimated worth of $98.4 billion. Since Interbrand began issuing the report in 2001, Coca-Cola has previously always claimed the top spot, but fell to third place this year, behind both Apple and Google. Tech companies now make up six of the top ten brands, but only 12 of the top 200. The report comes a week after Apple reported record sales numbers, moving 9 million iPhone 5s and 5Cs during their opening weekend."
Education

Students Hack School-Issued iPads Within One Week 375

Posted by samzenpus
from the extra-credit-hacking dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. Now Sam Sanders reports at NPR that less than a week after getting their iPads, high school students have found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use. The students are getting around software that lets school district officials know where the iPads are, what the students are doing with them at all times and lets the district block certain sites, such as social media favorites like Facebook. 'They were bound to fail,' says Renee Hobbs, who's been a skeptic of the iPad program from the start. 'There is a huge history in American education of being attracted to the new, shiny, hugely promising bauble and then watching the idea fizzle because teachers weren't properly trained to use it and it just ended up in the closet.' The rollout of the iPads might have to be delayed as officials reassess access policies. Right now, the program is still in Phase 1, with fewer than 15,000 iPads distributed. 'I'm guessing this is just a sample of what will likely occur on other campuses once this hits Twitter, YouTube or other social media sites explaining to our students how to breach or compromise the security of these devices,' says Steven Zipperman. 'I want to prevent a "runaway train" scenario when we may have the ability to put a hold on the roll-out.' The incident has prompted questions about overall preparations for the $1-billion tablet initiative."
IOS

Why iOS 7 Is Making Some Users Feel 'Sick' 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-not-supposed-to-eat-the-phone dept.
dryriver sends this story from The Guardian: "The introduction of fake zooms, parallax, sliding and other changes in Apple's new iPhone and iPad software has a very real effect on people with vestibular disorders. ... It makes frequent use of zoom and slide animations; the home screen boasts parallax, with icons apparently floating above subtly animating wallpaper. And it's making people sick. Triggers and symptoms vary, but TidePool mobile app developer Jenni Leder's experience is not uncommon. A self-professed power-user, she frequently switches apps; but on iOS 7, this has caused headaches and feelings associated with motion sickness. 'I now have to close my eyes or cover the screen during transitions, which is ridiculous,' she told The Guardian, adding that there's nowhere to hide: 'It's not apps that affect me, but accessing them. Tap a folder and the view zooms in. Tap an app and it's like flying through the icon and landing in that app's micro world — and I'm getting dizzy on the journey there.' Reactions to screen-based systems — especially those utilizing 3D effects — aren't new. Cynthia Ryan, executive director of the Vestibular Disorders Association, says 3D effects can cause 'intense nausea, dizziness and vertigo,' sometimes from general vision problems, but also from visual-vestibular conflict. She added symptoms 'manifest more severely if a viewer already has a disorder of the vestibular system.'"
Patents

Steve Jobs Video Kills Apple Patent In Germany 100

Posted by timothy
from the bit-of-an-oopsie dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today the Federal Patent Court of Germany shot down an Apple photo gallery bounce-back patent over which Cupertino was/is suing Samsung and Motorola. A panel of five judges found the patent invalid because the relevant patent application was filed only in June 2007 but Steve Jobs already demoed the feature in January 2007 (video). While this wouldn't matter in the U.S., it's a reason for a patent to be invalidated in Europe. For different reasons someone thought the iPhone presentation was a mistake. It now turns out that when Steve Jobs said "Boy have we patented it!" his company forgot that public disclosure, even by an inventor, must not take place before a European patent application is filed. But Apple can still sue companies over the Android photo gallery: in addition to this patent it owns a utility model, a special German intellectual property right that has a shorter term (10 years) and a six-month grace period, which is just enough to make sure that history-making Steve Jobs video won't count as prior art."
Idle

Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway 311

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wrong-turn dept.
solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."
Television

Apple Offers Refund To Stiffed Breaking Bad Season Pass Customers 215

Posted by timothy
from the we're-sorry-you-caught-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two weeks ago, a man sued Apple after finding out that the $22.99 he paid for a season pass of Breaking Bad was only good for the final season's first 8 episodes. ... In light the mix-up, Apple late on Monday began informing folks who purchased a season pass for the 5th season of Breaking Bad that they are entitled to a refund in full in the form of a $22.99 iTunes credit." "Mix-up" seems an entirely charitable description.
Cellphones

Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-lot-of-units dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple managed to sell nine million iPhones over the weekend, with the company claiming its initial supply of high-end iPhone 5S units completely sold out. Apple didn't sell out of the new iPhone 5C, its plastic-cased (and cheaper) alternative to the iPhone 5S; models are still available for shipment within 24 hours from Apple's online store. And the iPhone 5S selling out is no surprise: in the weeks ahead of the new iPhones' launch, rumors persisted that the initial production run of the device was relatively small in scope, which would make it far easier for Apple to sell out of its first batch. But how many iPhone 5C units did Apple actually manage to sell? In August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that Apple would produce just over 5 million iPhone 5S units ahead of the device's launch weekend; if that number's accurate, and Apple sold every single one, it would mean Apple sold roughly 4 million iPhone 5C units in order to reach that 9-million-sold figure for both models. That's an impressive figure for any smartphone, of course, and it could quiet some of the naysayers who have spent the past several months suggesting that Apple's best years are behind it."
Security

CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken 481

Posted by timothy
from the well-if-that's-all dept.
hypnosec writes with word that the Chaos Computer Club claims to have "managed to break Apple's TouchID using everyday material and methods available on the web. Explaining their method on their website, the CCC hackers have claimed that all they did was photograph a fingerprint from a glass surface, ramped up the resolution of the photographed fingerprint, inverted and printed it using thick toner settings, smeared pink latex milk or white woodglue onto the pattern, lifted the latex sheet, moistened it a little and then placed it on the iPhone 5S's fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone." Update: 09/22 21:32 GMT by T :Reader mask.of.sanity adds a link to a video of the hack.

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