document Stories May 28, 2015

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Earlier this week a bug was discovered that centered around a string of text that when received via a message would cause your iPhone Springboard to crash and the Messages app to crash continuously. At the time, Apple said it was aware of the bug and working to push an update to fix it. In the meantime however, the company tonight has published an official support document with a few suggestions on how to temporarily work around the issue.

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document Stories May 13, 2015

Updates to Google Docs & Slides let you insert & quickly edit images on iOS

Google is today rolling out updates to its Google Docs and Slides mobile apps bringing the ability to insert images directly from the app on both phones and tablets.

With the update, iPhone and iPad users will be able to access their camera roll or snap a new photo to insert directly into a document or Slides presentation.

In addition, the update includes quicker access to make basic edits in Slides by allowing users to enter crop mode by double tapping any image in a presentation.

Google notes that both of the new features will work in offline mode.

The updated Docs and Slides apps should be hitting the App Store today.

document Stories May 8, 2014

GoodReader update adds masses of editing flexibility, offers 60 percent discount

GoodReader, the popular PDF management app for iOS, has been updated to version 4 – with a mass of new editing features. New features are:

  • Insert blank pages for notes and drawings, solving the problem of not having enough space to annotate or draw images on a document
  • Rearrange pages in a document
  • Rotate individual pages – or even all of them
  • Delete any pages from a document
  • Extract individual pages as separate files, and split PDF files into halves – enabling a sub-set of pages to be shared as its own file
  • Email individual pages rather than the entire document
  • Append pages from other PDF files …

document Stories December 31, 2013

Yesterday we reported on a presentation by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum that reportedly showed leaked NSA documents in which the agency claimed to have a “100 percent success rate” at installing spyware on iPhones. Following those accusations, Apple has officially responded in a statement provided to TechCrunch:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security.  Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements.  Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers.  We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

The leaked NSA documents detailed in Appelbaum’s presentation above and first released on German news site Der Spiegel claimed an NSA program called DROPOUTJEEP allowed officials to access almost all data stored on an iPhone, including location, text messages, contact lists, and the device’s microphone and camera. The reports claimed the NSA needed physical access to devices to install the spyware– something it could accomplish by intercepting online shipments– but a version that could be remotely installed was reportedly in development. Apple’s statement today seems to address Appelbaum’s accusation (below) that Apple might have had prior knowledge of the program: expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

document Stories April 4, 2013

Internal DEA document complains it’s impossible to intercept iMessages

The Drug Enforcement Administration has warned in a recent internal document that iMessage’s secure end-to-end encryption is preventing law enforcement from eavesdropping on suspects in criminal investigations. CNET got its hands on the document that warned “it’s ‘impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices’—even with a court order approved by a federal judge”:

The DEA’s “Intelligence Note” says that iMessage came to the attention of the agency’s San Jose, Calif., office as agents were drafting a request for a court order to perform real-time electronic surveillance under Title III of the Federal Wiretap Act. They discovered that records of text messages already obtained from Verizon Wireless were incomplete because the target of the investigation used iMessage: “It became apparent that not all text messages were being captured.”

Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, said yesterday that “Apple’s service is not designed to be government-proof.” “It’s much much more difficult to intercept than a telephone call or a text message” that federal agents are used to, Soghoian says. “The government would need to perform an active man-in-the-middle attack… The real issue is why the phone companies in 2013 are still delivering an unencrypted audio and text service to users. It’s disgraceful.”

document Stories April 1, 2013

Apple denied iPad mini trademark in the US

BBC reported today that Apple was recently denied a trademark for “iPad mini” after authorities in the United States claimed the term was “merely descriptive.” Apple still has until July to convince the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but its official stance thus far according to a recently surfaced document is that iPad mini fails to “create a unique, incongruous, or non-descriptive meaning in relation to the goods being small handheld mobile devices comprising tablet computers capable of providing internet access.” In other words, “mini” simply describes a variation of the device, rather than a unique feature that differentiates it from the full-sized iPad.

An excerpt from the USPTO document:

The term “IPAD” is descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix “I” denotes “internet.” According to the attached evidence, the letter “i” or “I” used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services.  Applicant’s goods are identified as “capable of providing access to the Internet”.

The term “PAD” is also descriptive of the applied for goods. The term “pad” refers to a “pad computer” or “internet pad device”, terms used synonymously to refer to tablet computers, or “a complete computer contained in a touch screen.” Please see the attached dictionary definition. In addition, the attached excerpts from third party websites show descriptive use of the term “pad” in connection with tablet computers. This marketplace evidence shows that the term “pad” would be perceived by consumers as descriptive of “pad computers” with internet and interactive capability. Applicant’s goods are identified as “a handheld digital mobile electronic device comprising tablet computer”.

The term “MINI” in the applied for mark is also descriptive of a feature of applicant’s product. Specifically, the attached evidence shows this wording means “something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class”.  See attached definition. The word “mini” has been held merely descriptive of goods that are produced and sold in miniature form.

The main request by the USPTO is that Apple added a disclaimer clarifying that it is only seeking the exclusive right to “MINI” as part of the entire iPad trademark. That would prevent claiming exclusive rights to the word mini, which the USPTO noted, “others may need to use to describe or show their goods or services in the marketplace.”

This isn’t the first time that Apple has run into hurdles related to its iPad trademark. It previously fought cases in both California and China with companies claiming to own rights to the iPad name.

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