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Reality Check: Despite Apple’s Privacy Pledge, Cops Can Still Pull Data Off a Locked iPhone

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A reminder to iPhone owners cheering Apple’s latest privacy win: Just because Apple will no longer help police to turn your smartphone inside out doesn’t mean it can prevent the cops from vivisecting the device on their own.

“I am quite impressed, Mr. Cook! That took courage. But it does not mean that your data is beyond law enforcement’s reach.”

–  iOS forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski

On Wednesday evening Apple made news with a strongly-worded statement about how it protects users’ data from government requests. And the page noted at least one serious change in that privacy stance: No longer will Apple aid law enforcement or intelligence agencies in cracking its users’ passcodes to access their email, photos, or other mobile data. That’s a 180-degree flip from its previous offer to cops, which demanded only that they provide the device to Apple with a warrantto have its secrets extracted.

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In fact, Apple claims that the new scheme now makes Apple not only unwilling, but unable to open users’ locked phones for law enforcement. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access [your personal] data,” reads the new policy. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

“I can do it. I’m sure the guys in suits in the governments can do it. And I’m sure that there are at least three or four commercial tools that can still do this, too.”

But as the media and privacy activists congratulated Apple on that new resistance to government snooping, iOS forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski offered a word of caution for the millions of users clamoring to pre-order the iPhone 6 and upgrade to iOS 8. In many cases, he points out, the cops can still grab and offload sensitive data from your locked iPhone without Apple’s help, even in iOS 8. All they need, he says, is your powered-on phone and access to a computer you’ve previously used to move data onto and off of it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple will No Longer Unlock User’s Mobile Devices for Police, Even with Search Warrants

Obama Big brother

The Washington Post reports: Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

big-brother-halfThe move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

As the new operating system becomes widely deployed over the next several weeks, the number of iPhones and iPads that Apple is capable of breaking into for police will steadily dwindle to the point where only devices several years old — and incapable of running iOS 8 — can be unlocked by Apple.

Apple will still have the ability — and the legal responsibility — to turn over user data stored elsewhere, such as in its iCloud service, which typically includes backups of photos, videos, e-mail communications, music collections and more. Users who want to prevent all forms of police access to their information will have to adjust settings in a way that blocks data from flowing to iCloud. Read the rest of this entry »


Time Cover: Never Offline

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New Apple Watch Allows Wearers to Start and Stop the Flow of Time

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Tim Cook announced Tuesday the release of Apple’s long-rumored watch, the latest in wearable technology. 

Here are some features of the new device:

  • 13-megapixel camera enables users to take crystal-clear pictures of wrist
  • Allows wearers to start and stop the flow of time
  • Discreet, but not so discreet that anyone would mistake it for a regular watch
  • Comes in a variety of colors and styles to express your personal submission to the planet’s dominant tech company
  • Adjustable ticking volume
  • All the convenience of a traditional watch that needs to be charged every 12 hours
  • Built-in thinkpiece regarding the increased connectivity yet simultaneous isolation of the millennial generation
  • Small size and intricate circuitry able to drive twice as many Chinese workers to suicide as iPhone
  • Makes it easier for muggers to see whether or not you’re carrying an expensive electronic device
  • Another screen to throw into your current rotation of things you look at

Read the rest of this entry »


Hyped Curved-Face Speculation Debunked


[PHOTO] I Have to Admit, the New iPhone is…


Coconuts: Kirsten Dunst Leads Celeb Anger at Apple Over Stars’ Nude iCloud Images Stolen

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From Mail Online: Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the ‘Find My iPhone‘ function of its iCloud service may have helped an unknown hacker steal nude photos of her and ‘100 other celebrities’.

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[Also see - The CELEBRIGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation]

[More - Social Media Goes Cuckoo Bananas Over Massive Celebrity Nude Photo Leak]

The Spiderman star tweeted ‘Thank you iCloud’ along with icons representing a slice of pizza and a pile of poo on Monday afternoon, the day after naked photos of her were published online.

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Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the 'Find My iPhone' function of its iCloud service may have helped a hacker to steal nude photos of her and '100 other celebrities'.

Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the ‘Find My iPhone’ function of its iCloud service may have helped a hacker to steal nude photos of her and ‘100 other celebrities’.

The supposed hacker behind the scandal has claimed that they broke into stars’ iCloud accounts, including those of Dunst, Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Rihanna, before publishing them on 4chan, the image-sharing forum.

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A list of the alleged victims of the hack – a staggering 101 in total – has also been posted online; most of whom have not seen any photographs leaked by the hacker.

Yesterday, British actress Emma Watson, a friend of Lawrence, condemned the ‘lack of empathy’ shown by social media users towards victims of the hack.

She tweeted: ‘Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.’ Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Remember When Apple Used to Crush Leaks with Ruthless Efficiency?

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Me Neither!

TMZ.com reports:

…We’re told the phone was smuggled out of a Foxconn factory in China … where the majority of iPhone models are manufactured.  The owner of the phone says the smuggler is his friend — an ex-employee —  who worked in Foxconn’s hardware department designing the outer casing for the new model…(read more)

 TMZ.com


Apple’s $700 Million Bet: ‘Nobody has ever invested this much money on sapphire’

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“Manufacturing synthetic sapphire is costly, so the material has been used sparingly, to protect against extreme conditions in airplane windows or as a scratch-resistant cover for expensive watches.”

WSJ‘s Daisisuke Wakabayashi reports: Synthetic sapphire is designed to replicate one of the hardest minerals on earth but is costly to produce, Pictured, a 15″ diameter sapphire boule before it is cut into its final shape. GT Advanced Technologies

[Also see: Why Apple's iPhone 6 won't need a case]

Apple Inc. created the blueprint for a smartphone when it covered the touch screen of its first iPhone in glass, instead of plastic. Now, it is betting $700 million that sapphire, a harder and more expensive material, can replace glass and better protect future devices.

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The first sapphire display screens for the forthcoming larger iPhone and smartwatch are expected to roll off production lines this month at a Mesa, Ariz., facility that Apple opened with materials manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies Inc. At full capacity, the plant will produce twice as much sapphire as the current output from the nearly 100 manufacturers world-wide, says Eric Virey, a senior analyst at French research firm Yole Développement. Read the rest of this entry »


Siri Emerges from Beta: ‘Do You Use it to its Fullest or is it Still a Party Trick?’

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“What I discovered…Siri seems to be one of those things that polarizes views: people either loving it and using it every day, or dismissing it as a useless gimmick. Not too many people seem to fall between the two.”

Yesterday our Hong Kong Bureau Chief posted a tantalizing peek into the future of AI – “Real AI in Your Pocket” — and in the comments section, I posted an anecdotal description of a recent experience using the still-developing Siri, and it led me to wonder who’s writing what about Siri these days, and I landed on this. Though it confirms that most of what can be done with Siri is conventional, to the point of being disappointingly trivial, sometimes the smallest things can yeild daily benefits, and are easy to overlook. The question is valid: Is Siri just a party trick?

ben-lovejoy-macFor 9to5MacBen Lovejoy writes: When Siri lost its beta tag almost a year ago, I suggested it might be a good time for those who’d been frustrated with its early performance to give it another chance. What I discovered through your comments was that Siri seems to be one of those things that polarizes views: people either loving it and using it every day, or dismissing it as a useless gimmick. Not too many people seem to fall between the two.

But Apple has continued to work hard on improving the service, adding new capabilities as well as refining its ability to handle existing ones. It might not yet be as sophisticated as its creators envisage for the future, but a year on seemed a good point to revisit the topic and find just how many of its capabilities people are using … 

“Most people know Siri can read your mail, but again you can be much more specific than this…”

Everyone knows you can ask Siri to call someone, and that if you’ve identified contacts by relationship you can say things like “Call my girlfriend,” but you can also get more specific. “Call my father on his work phone,” for example, or “Make a FaceTime audio call to Phil.”

Similarly, with text messages, you can be casual in your phrasing: “Let Sarah know I’m running ten minutes late.” Calendar queries, too, can also be more specific than general enquiries about your appointments, such as “When am I meeting Barbara?”

Using Siri to tweet? You can ask for your location to be added, along with any hashtags: “Tweet, with my location, having a great night out, hashtag drinking.” And if you want to know what’s trending on Twitter, you can simply ask “What’s going on?”

Digital Life Tech Test Apple iOS 7 Software

Apple Maps may not have gotten off to the best of starts, but there’s a lot of location-based functionality built into Siri to make your life easier. Some are basic, like “Give me walking direction to Alison Smith’s work.” Others are more sophisticated like “Make a reservation for two at a romantic French restaurant around here tonight at 7pm.”

Or fancy a movie instead? “Where is Guardians of the Galaxy playing?” will show you nearby locations and times, together with the Rotten Tomatoes review. If you’re in the U.S., you can also ask Siri to buy tickets. Not sure whether the movie is the right choice? “Play the movie trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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Still got work to do in the meantime? “Show me the nearest WiFi hotspots.”

Location-based reminders are something without which I’d forget half the things I’m supposed to do. “Remind me to call Sam when I get home,” “Remind me to post the letters when I leave here” and “Remind me to buy milk when I’m at Tesco” are just a few examples. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Tribute: ‘Remembering Robin Williams’

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Apple – Remembering Robin Williams


Apple agrees to $400 million settlement in ebook price-fixing case

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple has agreed to an approximately $400 million settlement as part of the high-profile ebook pricing fixing case in federal court that would cover  consumer consumer damages and civil penalties for the 33 states involved.  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made an announcement today detailing the settlement that was also discovered in documents filed with the courts. Schneiderman noted the amount that Apple will ultimately pay of the $400 million settlement will depend on the outcome of  Apple’s still pending appeal of “the court’s July 2013 finding that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise E-book prices.”:

View original 304 more words


The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman’s Trail of Dead and Damaged Men

Alix-tats

Police hunted down the prostitute accused of watching a Google exec overdose—and found a trail of dead and damaged men in her past

For The Daily BeastMichael Daly reports: The detectives from the Santa Cruz police department could see an unmistakable injection mark in the arm of the deceased Google executive.Alix-cuffed
But the detectives could see no drugs and no syringe on the yacht where 51-year-old Forrest Timothy Hayes had been found dead from a heroin overdose. What the detectives did see was a pair of wine glasses on a table. They also noted that somebody appeared to have straightened up the cabin.

“We’re like, ‘Holy smoke, this isn’t her first rodeo.'”

The body had been discovered on the floor of the main cabin by the captain, who had been retained by Hayes after he purchased the 50-foot powerboat. Hayes had started out as an automotive executive in his native Michigan, which was in keeping with his decision to eschew eco-friendly sails such as were favored by other Silicon Valley types and buy a craft powered by big fuel guzzlers.

[Also see – Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose  [Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

But he had come West to take increasingly senior positions with Sun Microsystems and then Apple and finally with Google X, the research and development division whose projects included the perfect one for a one-time car guy: the self-driving auto. Hayes had become enough of a techie that he had installed a wireless surveillance camera system on his yacht. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose

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For the LATimesJoseph Serna reports: The woman accused of being a high-priced escort who administered a lethal dose of heroin to a former tech executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz will not be charged with murder in the case, but still faces manslaughter, prostitution and drug counts, prosecutors said Wednesday.

“Police identified her as a suspect after learning that she and Hayes allegedly had a relationship that began with the help of Seeking Arrangements, a website that caters to affluent clients seeking ‘sugar babies.'”

Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, of Folsom was arrested Friday in connection with the overdose death of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, who worked for GoogleSun Microsystems and Apple.

[Also see - Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley] & [The Black Widow of Silicon Valley]

“Rather than trying to help or calling 911, police say, Tichelman packed up the drugs and needles and at one point stepped over the body to finish a glass of wine before leaving.”

Tichelman had been booked on suspicion of murder, but on Wednesday, Santa Cruz County prosecutors charged her with eight counts, including manslaughter, prostitution, destroying evidence and several related to administering and possessing heroin.

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Tichelman’s arraignment was postponed until July 16, but she remained in custody in lieu of $1.5-million bail.

Prosecutors said the charges could still change as the investigation continues. Read the rest of this entry »


Amazon Unveils ‘Fire Phone’

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Amazon Fire Phone Associated PressAfter months of leaks and speculation, Amazon unveiled its ‘Fire Phone’ smartphone. The new phone has a 4.7-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera and unlimited photo storage in cloud, as well as a 3-D like effect where the images move where you do.

The phone will be available July 25, and sells for $649 to $749 with no contract…(read more)

Digits – WSJ

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Amazon Fire Phone Associated Press


Analyst: Apple plans to release cheaper iMacs, 8 GB iPhone 5s at WWDC

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For 9to5Mac reports:

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a few more predictions about what we’ll see from Apple in the near future. According to a new KGI research note, Apple could potentially release cheaper versions of the iMac and iPhone 5s during its developer conference next week to accompany its software announcements.

Earlier today new references to an unreleased iteration of the the iMac appeared in an OS X developer preview, likely indicating the impending release of a new model. It’s quite possible that this could be the cheaper iMac referred to in the report. Read the rest of this entry »


4.7-Inch iPhone 6 Confirmed for Sept 2014 Release Date as Apple Orders 50M iPhones from Pegatron

More voices were added to the snowballing iPhone 6 discourse, its 2014 release date supposedly gaining more ground as a new render and fresh details defining the hotly-anticipated handset came out. (Photo: Nikola Cirkovic)

More voices were added to the snowballing iPhone 6 discourse, its 2014 release date supposedly gaining more ground as a new render and fresh details defining the hotly-anticipated handset came out. (Photo: Nikola Cirkovic)

For International Business TimesErik Pineda  writes: The iPhone 6 release date is fast shaping up to become real on September 2014 as mass production of the 4.7-inch version is reportedly already underway, according to new reports.

[See also: REPORT: APPLE ON VERGE OF BUYING BEATS FOR $3.2B]

Reports coming from Taiwan and Japan, which according to MacRumors were picked up by Industrial & Commercial Times and MacOtakara respectively, appear to indicate that Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron has started production activities for the tech giant’s 2014 iPhone thrust.

Pegatron is one of the iPhone maker’s two major mobile device assemblers from Asia. The one is Foxconn, which according to Apple Insider is slated to take up some 85 per cent of iPhone production duties this 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »


Apple’s CEO Puts Cronyism Over Profit

 

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Justin Danhof, Director of the Free Enterprise Project (and one of Tim Cook’s least favorite investors) joined the program to discuss his recent dust-up with the Apple CEO… Apparently, Cook thinks that return on investment isn’t nearly as important as pursuing “green energy” dollars from DC.

Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.

Read the rest of this entry »


Reality-Based World to Tim Cook: ‘Screw You’

Tim Cook: Guzzling the climate-alarmist Kool Aid

Influenced by board member Al Gore? Apple CEO Tim Cook:  Guzzling the climate-alarmist Kool Aid

“If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

As Glenn Reynolds says “Duly noted”

At Apple shareholder’s meeting, Tim Cook tells off ‘climate change deniers’ | Ars Technica


Apple Stands Up to The Feds: Formally Appeals eBooks Antitrust Ruling, Asks for Monitor to be Suspended

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Apple has formally appealed the Department of Justice’s ebooks antitrust case, via the Associated Press. Previously, Apple has only officially complained about the power of the appointed monitor — now they are asking for the entire case to be re-evaluated.

Apple said that the ruling is a “radical departure” from modern antitrust law.

Apple claims it was ignorant of any inter-publisher price fixing and that Apple setup iBooks through legal arrangements without knowledge of any behind-the-scenes collusion.

Read the rest of this entry »


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