cracked Stories July 17, 2015

Yep, that’s a cracked Apple Watch display. Nope, it’s not actually an Edition, just plated, but the $549 and up steel model uses the same sapphire display as Apple’s $10,000 and up watch. And yes, the Apple Watch’s sapphire display reacts to accidental drops against hard surfaces just like iPhones.

In describing the craftsmanship of the Apple Watch, Apple calls sapphire “the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond,” adding that “that’s why we chose it to cover the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition faces,” but it still sells a $79 AppleCare+ warranty to cover accidental damage because sapphire is clearly not invincible.

Here’s what to expect if you accidentally break your Apple Watch display and what I learned about how easily it can happen… expand full story

cracked Stories December 26, 2013

Evad3rs team again addresses iOS 7 jailbreak concerns: no money exchanged, disappointed w/ cracked release

After much controversy surrounding the surprise release of a public iOS 7 jailbreak from well-known jailbreakers the evad3rs, the team has published another open letter to clear up some questions and concerns related to the release.

The biggest questions many are still asking are related to why and how the group made a deal with Taig, an app store of sorts that was installed on jailbroken devices in China, while not including an updated Cydia store in the release. While the group cleared up much of the situation in its first letter and removed Taig following piracy concerns, the latest letter addresses questions specifically regarding if any money was exchanged with Taig. It also expresses disappointment that the company released a cracked version of the jailbreak.

The full letter is below:

Privacy and Taig

First and foremost, and of utmost concern, is privacy. No one’s data was ever sent anywhere. Of course, as a member of the community whose work frees devices, it would be against everything we’ve worked for the last 7 years to jeopardize the security of the users of our software. To reiterate, no Taig software was installed unless the computer’s language was set to Chinese. Furthermore, no Taig software would run unless the user opened the Taig application.

After rumors abound of encrypted data being sent for users in China who’ve installed Taig, we decided to do what we do best – reverse engineer the code of Taig to understand what was being sent. Taig transmitted data similar to what Cydia transmits. Unique device identifiers were transmitted in encrypted form similar to how Cydia uses SSL to protect the privacy of its users. Taig did not transmit any private user data from the devices at all.

Piracy and Taig

Our written and verbal agreement with Taig banned it. They assured us it was not in there. We did not check every package in their store but a cursory examination before release found no problems. However, after investigation and after notification from the community, we found examples, including pirated tweaks, Apple App Store apps, and even pod2g’s PodDJ app. We dropped the ball on this. While we at first did not believe Taig purposefully violated our agreement, the depth of the transgression against the software developers and the jailbreak community cannot be overlooked and we could not move forward after that even if it were fixed. We terminated our relationship with them. We are very disappointed that they have decided to put up a cracked version of the jailbreak on their site that installs Taig. We did not give them any permission or source code.

We have refused all monies from Taig

There have been a lot of rumors listing various amounts we’ve been paid. We have received no monies from any group, including Taig. We will not be accepting any money. Our donations are being given to Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure to help protect jailbreaking as your legal right.

Jailbreak Updates

We are working hard to fix the problems with the jailbreak. Unfortunately, it’s the holidays and we would like to spend time with our friends and family. The events of the last couple of days have been extremely stressful for us and we need some time to recover. We will work as hard as we can to resolve any remaining issues. Thank you for your understanding.

We worked very hard to bring this jailbreak free of charge to the community. We hope you can all enjoy it.

evad3rs

cracked Stories March 13, 2013

First Pebble teardown claims watch is unrepairable, lacks Bluetooth 4.0 support (Update: Pebble responds)

Update: We’ve received information directly from Pebble that the watch does indeed support Bluetooth 4.0. The company provided the following explanation regarding iFixit’s findings:

The Bluetooth chips TI sent to Panasonic were labeled CC2560 but have been flashed with the firmware (and BT LE support) of a CC2564. That’s why the module was labeled PAN1316. Many chip vendors make silicon consistent between product lines but simply flash different firmware to enable features. Our chips were labeled CC2560 because TI asked us if we wouldn’t mind using them with CC2564 firmware to speed up our order. Pebble most definitely has Bluetooth LE support, though it has not yet been enabled in our operating system.

iFixit has performed its usual teardown process for yet another device today, this time giving us a look inside the recently launched Pebble Bluetooth smart watch. iFixit admits it has no way of rating the repairability of this type of device, and for that reason isn’t giving it a repairability score like usual. Unfortunately, at first glance the watch doesn’t appear to be easily repairable with the report noting waterproofing makes for a “very inaccessible battery.” iFixit noted that excessive adhesive used to keep out water made it impossible to access the insides of the device “without compromising the display”:

The Pebble employs tons of adhesive to keep water (and tinkerers) out. Add in a bezel around the screen, and it’s impossible to separate the cases without compromising the display.

The report also claimed that the Bluetooth chip being used does not appear to support Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE), despite the company promising support for the protocol in a future software update:

The backside of the motherboard houses a Panasonic RF module, promising both Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) functionality, as advertised by the folks at Pebble. Removing the EMI shield reveals a Texas Instruments chip in the same family as, but slightly different than the one we expected. According to its datasheet, this chip doesn’t support BLE. Word on the street was that Pebble had BLE functionality just waiting to be activated with a firmware update, but we can’t find evidence of the hardware to back up this hidden potential.

The good news is iFixit estimates the battery in Pebble will last 6 to 10 years and the developers confirmed a recycling program will be in place. We’ll have to wait for official word from Pebble on the questioned Bluetooth 4.0 support. You can check out the full teardown from iFixit here.

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