Apple publishes new legal process guidelines for law enforcement information requests

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Earlier this month Apple announced its decision to notify customers of law enforcement requests for user information. Today the company also published a new set of guidelines for law enforcement officials regarding how it will handle such requests, what types of information can be obtained, and more.

Most of the document contains information regular customers won’t ever need to know, but for those interested in Apple’s participation in the legal process will find a wealth of information here. The document also confirms once again that Apple will notify users in most cases where law enforcement requests their personal information:

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Samsung bought two patents specifically for use in Apple trial, say attorneys

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In the ongoing patent trial where Apple is claiming Samsung infringed five of its patents, and Samsung is claiming Apple did the same to two of its patents, it has been suggested that Samsung bought the two patents concerned specifically to sue Apple. The allegation was made by Apple’s attorneys, reports The Verge.

The original inventors on the video patent, for instance, originated in Oklahoma, and the gallery patent originally belonged to Hitachi. In the case of the video patent, Samsung disclosed that it paid $2.39 million to acquire it in 2010, the same year FaceTime debuted alongside the iPhone 4. Apple hopes that will stand in stark contrast with its five patents, two of which were filed the day the company introduced the iPhone, and all developed within the company …

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Developers overwhelmingly liked the iOS 7.1 changes – how about you? [Poll]

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Back in January, when Apple released the third beta of iOS 7.1 to developers, we asked them what they thought of a whole bunch of specific changes, and whether they preferred the iOS 7 or 7.1 versions. Developers overwhelmingly favored the changes.

You can see below how developers voted on the specific elements. We’re asking you just to give an overall thumbs-up or down to the revamped user-interface …  Read more

Mavericks How-to: Block contacts in FaceTime and iMessage on OS X

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With the highly anticipated update to Mavericks 10.9.2, users gained the ability to block contacts in FaceTime and iMessage. This has been a long-awaited addition, since iOS 7 received this feature five months ago. If you previously blocked people in iOS 7, the block list syncs over from your iOS devices to your Mac through iCloud. Make sure Documents and Data is turned on in order for that to occur.

Now with Mavericks, you are able to block certain phone numbers from iMessaging or FaceTiming you without needing to get up and grab your iOS device…

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Reasons for delay in SSL fix to OS X unclear as a single line of code found responsible

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Update: Apple issued OS X 10.9.2 the following day, which included a fix for the SSL bug.

After Apple fixed the SSL bug in iOS, it’s unclear why three days have passed without an OS X fix after it was revealed by Reuters that the vulnerability was created by an error in a single line of code.

The problem lies in the way the software recognizes the digital certificates used by banking sites, Google’s Gmail service, Facebook and others to establish encrypted connections. A single line in the program and an omitted bracket meant that those certificates were not authenticated at all, so that hackers can impersonate the website being sought and capture all the electronic traffic before passing it along to the real site.

As the bug is in Apple’s SSL authentication code, it leaves a whole range of apps vulnerable, not just Safari …  Read more

Sony expands camera operations to likely supply Apple with front-facing iPhone cameras

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Sony is positioned to dramatically increase its sales of CMOS cameras to Apple for use in an unreleased iPhone, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Sony already supplies most of the rear-facing iSight cameras shipping on iPhones today, and as the report suggests, negotiations between Sony and Apple to double the amount of CMOS sensors supplied points to Sony also providing the sensor for the front-facing iPhone camera… Read more

Apple details how it handles customer data, discloses government information request stats

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In light of the recent reporting in regards to the NSA and governments across the world and their connection to the data that technology companies hold on their customers, Apple has published a lengthy document detailing its customer privacy policies.

We believe that our customers have a right to understand how their personal information is handled, and we consider it our responsibility to provide them with the best privacy protections available. Apple has prepared this report on the requests we receive from governments seeking information about individual users or devices in the interest of transparency for our customers around the world. This report provides statistics on requests related to customer accounts as well as those related to specific devices. We have reported all the information we are legally allowed to share, and Apple will continue to advocate for greater transparency about the requests we receive.

Additionally, the company has published charts that detail how many customer data requests it has received Between the beginning of January and end of June this year from governments.

Breakdown of important details:

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Apple confirms some users experiencing iTunes Store outage

Some users may be experiencing difficulty making purchases on the iTunes Store, according to Apple’s system status page. We’ve heard mentions of issues beginning this morning, and Apple reports trouble starting around 1:30 PM EST. Game Center and FaceTime also experienced issues this afternoon, though the former may be somewhat difficult to notice.

Apple’s iMessage service has been suffering turbulence for days now, which is not reflected on the system status page as it may be limited to iOS 7 users. Apple told the WSJ it is working on a fix for its iMessage issues in a future software update and recommends a workaround in the meantime. Read more

iOS 7 How-to: Blocking FaceTime calls, Phone calls, and iMessages

Before iOS 7 it was rather inconvenient to block a phone number, and there was nothing built into iOS that would allow you do so. If you got phone calls from Telemarketers you can always register your number for free on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you wanted to block specific people, you had to contact your carrier to do so. For example, with AT&T, you can pay $4.99 per month per line to block up to 30 numbers with their Smart Limits. With Verizon Wireless, you are able to block up to five phone numbers per line with no charge. With Sprint you fill out a form on their website and it appears there is no additional fee.

Dealing with your carrier can be a rather tedious, and with the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, you no longer have to…

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iWatch watch: a roundup of some of the more interesting concepts

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Some iWatch concepts are, well, just a bit silly. But this concept by Stephen Olmstead has the kind of restrained design one might expect from Apple. Sure, the hardware design doesn’t quite have the finesse and finish of something Jony Ive would create, but it strikes me as along the right lines. The matching colored wallpaper and straps are a good fit with both iOS 7 and what we’re expecting from the iPhone 5C.

Some of the screens look a little unrealistic – I don’t see anyone scrolling through apps one at a time like that, or hitting a date on a calendar of that size – but Siri, Weather and Compass all look good. And Facetime on the iWatch? Hell yeah: we’ve all been wanting wristwatch videophones since those SF programs we watched as a kid, right?

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Martin Hajeck always produces interesting work. While I’m not a fan of the rather chunky-looking hardware shown here (I’d hope Apple can create something sleeker), the colored, embossed leather straps look every inch the sort of thing you’d expect Apple to produce…. Read more

Apple releases iOS 6.1.4 for iPhone 5 with updated speakerphone profile

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Apple has just released a new iOS .1.4 software update for the iPhone 5 that includes an updated speakerphone profile. That’s really it as far as public updates but Apple often updates some stuff behind the scenes including some bug fixes and security updates. The 11.5MB update (kinda big for just a profile, no?) is for iPhone 5 only and can be downloaded directly at the following links:

iPhone5,1 (iPhone5,1) 6.1.4 (10B350) 05/02/2013 13:07:01
iPhone5,2 (iPhone5,2) 6.1.4 (10B350) 05/02/2013 13:07:01

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An à la carte Apple TV concept integrates Siri, FaceTime, and cable/satellite providers (Gallery)

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A member of The Verge forums, going by the name of “Knowledge”, posted the Apple TV concept below that envisions a future Apple TV OS where users could tap into multiple content sources from cable/satellite providers, local devices, and elsewhere. It would also integrate Siri (and Facetime) for scheduling recordings, changing channels, etc., and a unified search of all content.

Unified search looks for content in library, app store, iTunes, and TV Guide. Also brings the ability to use Siri for scheduling recordings, setting reminders, changing channels, playing music, playing video from library, opening an app, finds content available for purchase in iTunes, etc etc.

The full gallery is below: Read more