Apple responds to iPhone 6 Bendgate controversy, says only 9 customers have complained

iPhone 6 Plus bend

Apple has officially issued a statement regarding the iPhone 6 bending controversy saying the issue is rare during real world use and that it’s only received complaints from 9 customers (via CNBC). Apple adds, according to the reports, that the “new iPhones feature steel/titanium inserts to reinforce stress locations and use the strongest glass in the industry.” Apple also commented that bending is “extremely rare” during normal use and that it performs a number of strength and durability tests (as you’d expect) before it ships new devices (via WSJ):

Since going on sale Friday, Apple said only nine customers have contacted the company about a bent iPhone 6 Plus—the larger and more expensive of its two new iPhones. Apple said both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus passed a series of tests meant to check the products’ strength and durability to withstand every day, real-life use.

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Metadata analysis of leaked photos suggest complete iPhone backups obtained

eppb

A forensics consult and security researcher who analyzed metadata from leaked photos of Kate Upton said that the photos appear to have been obtained using software intended for use by law enforcement officials, reports Wired. The software, Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker (EPPB), allows users to download a complete backup of all data on an iPhone once the iCloud ID and password have been obtained.

If a hacker can obtain a user’s iCloud username and password with iBrute, he or she can log in to the victim’s iCloud.com account to steal photos. But if attackers instead impersonate the user’s device with Elcomsoft’s tool, the desktop application allows them to download the entire iPhone or iPad backup as a single folder, says Jonathan Zdziarski, a forensics consult and security researcher. That gives the intruders access to far more data, he says, including videos, application data, contacts, and text messages …

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WIRED now also saying iPhone 6 will have NFC and mobile payments

Apple iPhone 6 (Mockup) 43

WIRED is the latest publication to report that the soon-to-be-announced iPhone 6 will be accompanied by a new mobile payment system using NFC technology.

The company’s next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, sources familiar with the matter told WIRED. In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it’s unveiled on September 9. We’re told the solution will involve NFC.

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Instagram introduces Hyperlapse to stabilize and speed up your video

Instagram HyperlapseFacebook-owned Instagram is introducing a new video capturing app for iPhone and iPad (and Android soon) called Hyperlapse. The photo (and video) sharing social network recently soft launched a new app called Bolt in Singapore, South Africa, and New Zealand that focused on quickly photo messaging friends, but Hyperlapse is more like an advanced feature that could have been found within Instagram. Hyperlapse offers up a unique way to capture and edit video using processor smarts to make panning shots smoother and  add a time-lapse effect similar to the iOS 8 camera app.

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iMessage “being taken over by spammers,” accounts for almost a third of mobile spam

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Security company Cloudmark claims that almost a third of mobile spam messages are now being sent via iMessage thanks to the ease with which they can be sent from a Mac, reports Wired.

Thanks to one particularly aggressive campaign from a junk mailer, [iMessage spam] accounts for more than 30 percent of all mobile spam messages [...]

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Cloudmark’s Tom Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Applescripts, you can tell your Mac to send message to whoever they want.”

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Former Siri team working on radically new virtual personal assistant with true artificial intelligence

ios-8-siri

“Siri is chapter one of a much longer, bigger story,” says Dag Kittlaus, one of three of the original creators of Apple’s virtual personal assistant. The team, originally acquired by Apple as part of its $200M purchase of Siri, has now left the company to form a new startup, Viv Labs, to work on the rest of that story.

The vision described by the team in a lengthy piece in Wired is certainly ambitious. The problem with Siri, they say, is that it can only do things it has been explicitly programmed to do.

Though Apple has since extended Siri’s powers—to make an OpenTable restaurant reservation, for example—she still can’t do something as simple as booking a table on the next available night in your schedule. She knows how to check your calendar and she knows how to use Open­Table. But putting those things together is, at the moment, beyond her.

What Kittlaus and his team want to do is create a personal assistant which can learn to do new things for itself …  Read more

Apple pulls last remaining Bitcoin wallet app from App Store

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

Photo: wired.com

Blockchain, the most popular Bitcoin wallet app, has become the latest casualty of Apple’s apparent crackdown on Bitcoin apps. The app was removed from the App Store yesterday without explanation.

Apple had previously removed BitPak and Coinbase, leaving Blockchain the only remaining Bitcoin wallet app. Blockchain had been in the store since April 2012, and has around 120,000 users, and developer Nicolas Cary is accusing Apple of having an ulterior motive for its removal …  Read more

New renders of Apple’s Spaceship HQ provide the most detailed view yet

space

New renders released by the City of Cupertino from Apple’s planning documents provide the most detailed view yet of what life inside the company’s new spaceship headquarters will be like.

inside

Illustrating everything from cafes to car-parks, the renders are intended to provide a feel for what the building will be like to work in, rather than just its appearance as a structure. They also include additional renders of the upper level of the 1,000-seat auditorium.

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Full gallery below …

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People are saying the iPod classic dies this year…again

classic

The iPod Classic is the gadget that refuses to die. Despite containing a hard drive when everything else is flash memory and physical controls when everything else is touchscreen, this 2009 device which isn’t a trillion miles removed from the original iPod design of 2001 remains on sale on the Apple Store to this day.

But not for long, according to Wired. The piece pulls together a whole bunch of commentators who all agree that this will be the year that Apple retires the elderly design. Perhaps they are right, but we can recall a certain rumor-phobe website called for the death of the iPod Classic as far back as 2011:

Specifically, if you want to buy an iPod shuffle or iPod classic from Apple, you should do it sooner rather than later. We’ve heard those two iPods are getting the axe this year [2011].

Ars Technica is also feeling an end to the iPod touch this time.

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Logitech announces wired iPad keyboard for the classroom in Lightning and 30-pin variants

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We know that Bluetooth keyboards are usually the go to solution for a bringing a traditional typing experience on the iPad. We’ve reviewed plenty from Logitech in the past that we highly recommend, but today the company launched what it says is a better solution for iPad keyboards in the classroom. Logitech says having to connect multiple iPads to Bluetooth keyboards in classrooms is a big hassle for teachers, and to combat that it is introducing a plug-and-play, wired keyboard in both Lightning and 30-pin variants:

“Schools are increasingly purchasing iPads for use in the classroom,” said Mike Culver, vice president and general manager of mobility at Logitech. “While tablets are enabling new ways of teaching and testing, there’s a challenge when a teacher needs to simultaneously pair multiple iPads with multiple wireless Bluetooth keyboards. We developed the Logitech Wired Keyboard for iPad to specifically solve this problem, so students can now simply plug it in and start typing.”

The full-sized keyboard has the usual iOS hotkeys, a durable, spill resistant exterior, and the low profile keys you might be used to from other Logitech keyboards.  Read more

Apple comments on Gizmodo/Wired writer’s account hacking, here’s how it went down…

We reported over the weekend on the hacking of the digital life of Wired’s Mat Honan.

Mat Honan wrote up his whole story over at Wired. The scariest part is that they were able to reproduce the hack using two pieces of publicly available information and a phone call.

We talked to Apple directly about its security policy, and company spokesperson Natalie Kerris told Wired, “Apple takes customer privacy seriously and requires multiple forms of verification before resetting an Apple ID password. In this particular case, the customer’s data was compromised by a person who had acquired personal information about the customer. In addition, we found that our own internal policies were not followed completely. We are reviewing all of our processes for resetting account passwords to ensure our customers’ data is protected.”

On Monday, Wired tried to verify the hackers’ access technique by performing it on a different account. We were successful. This means, ultimately, all you need in addition to someone’s email address are those two easily acquired pieces of information: a billing address and the last four digits of a credit card on file. Here’s the story of how the hackers got them.

Scary. Scary. Scary. Read more

Steve Jobs tried to hire Linux founder a decade ago

This is an interesting little paragraph from Wired’s profile of Linus Torvalds, the founder of Open Source Linux OS:

Torvalds has never met Bill Gates, but around 2000, when he was still working at Transmeta, he met Steve Jobs. Jobs invited him to Apple’s Cupertino campus and tried to hire him. “Unix for the biggest user base: that was the pitch,” says Torvalds. The condition: He’d have to drop Linux development. “He wanted me to work at Apple doing non-Linux things,” he said. That was a non-starter for Torvalds. Besides, he hated Mac OS’s Mach kernel.

Linux is now the core of many operating systems, such as Android, Chrome WebOS, and a few others. If Apple hired Torvalds in 2000, Linux might not have made it to 2012.

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