Wired Stories April 7, 2016

9to5Toys Last Call: Beats Solo2 Headphones $90, Digits calculator for iOS free, Bluetooth audio adapter $14, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Apple’s Pay Once & Play 50% off iOS game sale: Transistor, Brothers, Rules!, Implosion, Radiation Island, more

Beats Solo2 Wired On-Ear Headphones (multiple colors) $90 shipped (Orig. $200), more

Digits, the calculator for humans on iOS is now available for free (Reg. $4)

Add Bluetooth to nearly any speaker w/ the Mpow Streambot Mini for $14 Prime shipped

Apple Deals:

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch Wi-Fi 128GB in all colors: $760 shipped (Reg. $949)

Apple 12-inch Retina MacBook 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB: $990 shipped (Reg. $1,299), more

Apple 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Newest Version) 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB: $1,600 shipped (Reg. $1,999)

Apple TV 4th gen: 32GB $109 (Reg. $149), 64GB $154 (Reg. $199) w/ VISA Checkout

What if I told you that you could get a great Apple Milanese Loop knockoff for a tenth of the price ($16 Prime shipped)?

Apple Watch 42mm Space Gray Milanese Loop Band + Aluminum Dock: $27 Prime shipped (Reg. $35)

Cut the Rope Time Travel for iPhone and iPad goes free for the very first time (Reg. $1)

Brothers A Tale of Two Sons iOS puzzle-adventure game gets its first price drop: $2 (Reg. $5)

Transistor action RPG for iOS matching its lowest price ever: $3 (Reg. $10)

App Store Free App of the Week: CHOMP interactive storybook goes free for the first time ($3 value)

Apple offers Day One 2 iOS journal app for free ($10 value)

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Audio-Technica’s best selling ATH-M50x studio headphones + FiiO A3 amp $130 shipped ($180+ value)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

iPhone SE and Galaxy S7/Edge cases in a variety of styles/colors from $3 shipped

Walmart launches iPhone SE $100 discount, other Apple/Samsung devices too!

Smartphone Accessories: Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III $249 shipped (Reg. $300), Aduro 2-Outlet USB Surge Protector $10, more

Buy a refurbished Apple AirPort Express Wi-Fi router w/ 1-yr warranty for $49 shipped (Orig. $99)

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Ryobi’s new Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener has a Bluetooth speaker and more

Wired Stories August 17, 2015

Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre talk Apple Music, their USC program, & more in Wired cover story

Wired’s new cover story featuring Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre includes interviews with the Beats co-founders turned Apple executives and also some quotes from others on the Apple Music team. The article has a lot of backstory on the duo pre Apple’s acquisition of Beats, much of which we’ve heard in the past, but mostly discusses the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, an undergraduate program the two Apple executives have started at the University of Southern California.

“If you tell a kid, ‘You’ve got to pick music or Instagram,’ they’re not picking music,” Iovine says. “There was a time when, for anybody between the ages of 15 and 25, music was one, two, and three. It’s not anymore.”

The school aims to create a new generation of creative executives by assembling a faculty drawn from the schools of art, business, and engineering in an ambitious new curriculum. This, Iovine says, will be his true legacy, a pipeline of professionals, equally at home in the worlds of tech and culture, who can steer the music industry through whatever displacements lie ahead. “If the school doesn’t work, to me the whole thing failed,” Iovine says. “Because then you’ve got to pray for freaks, and that’s no way to run a business.”

You can read the full Wired cover story online here.

Wired Stories April 2, 2015

Applewatch2-copy

WIRED has posted a new story on the Apple Watch, which revolves around interviews with Apple human interface designer Alan Dye and Apple’s VP Technology Kevin Lynch, who heads Apple Watch software. The piece shines new light on the foundation of the smartwatch project at Apple as well as some new details about the product — which ships later this month.

Amusingly, Lynch did not know what he would be working on when he accepted the Apple job. He walked into the role with the project already underway; early ‘experiments’ from the iPod team with click-wheels and such. Dye says that the idea for a watch blossomed during design meetings for iOS 7, Apple’s major software overhaul.

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Wired Stories February 24, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iTunes gift cards 20% off, Lumsing speaker & car charger $25, Wired magazine $5, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

iTunes gift cards 20% off w/ email delivery from PayPal: $100 for $80 or $50 for $40

Lumsing 4-port USB wall charger $11, Bluetooth speaker and dual USB car charger $25 Prime shipped

One-year magazine subs from $5/yr: Architectural Digest, Wired, Dwell, Runner’s World, more

LifeProof finally begins accepting preorders for its first waterproof iPhone 6 Plus case

Small States: Etwas builds timeless bags with legacy and heirloom design in mind – giveaway worth $380

More new gear from today:

Headphones: Klipsch X11 in-ears $100 (Reg. $132+), Sennheiser HD205-II over-ears $25 (Reg. $50)

More deals still alive:

New products & more:

Wired Stories September 25, 2014

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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Wired Stories September 3, 2014

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 Stories August 28, 2014

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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Wired Stories August 26, 2014

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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Wired Stories August 21, 2014

imessage-spam-inline3

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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Wired Stories August 12, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Wired Stories July 31, 2014

Security researchers say USB security ‘broken,’ can take over Macs or PCs

The USB standard has a fundamental security flaw that allows an attacker to take over any device it is connected to, whether PC or Mac, say security researchers in a frightening piece by Wired.

Describing the proof-of-concept Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell plan to present at the Black Hat conference next week, they say the weakness is fundamental to the way in which USB works. Rather than storing malicious files on a USB device, the researchers managed to hack the USB controller chip that enables a USB device to communicate with a computer, changing its firmware. That means it can allow absolutely any USB device, from a USB key to a keyboard, to be compromised.

“These problems can’t be patched,” says Nohl, who will join Lell in presenting the research at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. “We’re exploiting the very way that USB is designed.”

“You can give it to your IT security people, they scan it, delete some files, and give it back to you telling you it’s clean, [but] the cleaning process doesn’t even touch the files we’re talking about.”

Unlike most malware, which targets Windows, this exploit allows any USB device to emulate a keyboard or mouse, taking complete control of both PCs and Macs.

As it’s undetectable, the exploit could be silently added to a USB key when it is inserted into a PC, and then infect the next device it’s connected to. There is, say the researchers, no protection at all against the method of attack short of never sharing USB devices – treating them as you’d treat a hypodermic needle: only ever using one you know to be brand new, and not dreaming of allowing anyone else to share it.

Wired Stories February 6, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Wired Stories November 11, 2013

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.

auditorium

Full gallery below …

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Wired Stories September 6, 2013

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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Wired Stories May 22, 2013

Logitech-Wired-Keyboard-for-iPad

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.  expand full story

Wired Stories August 6, 2012

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. expand full story

Wired Stories July 30, 2012

Samsung Chief Product Officer talks patent wars and rectangles

After execs from both companies could not come to terms in an attempt to settle, both Samsung and Apple take the stand in a San José, Calif., court room this week. Apple and Samsung will face off for allegedly stealing each other’s patents. Apple also claims that Samsung’s Galaxy devices “slavishly” copied its beloved iPhone and iPad. The same type of trial already played out in many countries across the pond. It will be interesting to see where this all goes, especially after the injunctions against Samsung’s products we have already seen.

Samsung Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham recently sat down with the folks at Wired to answer a few questions on the recent legal matters, shedding more light on Samsung’s view of the whole legal fiasco. First off, Packingham answers a question regarding the separation between Samsung’s component business that supplies necessary parts to Apple and the product team that Apple thinks is a bunch of copycats. Packingham answered: “There are times when I’m absolutely appalled that we sell what I consider to be the most innovative, most secret parts of the sauce of our products to some other manufacturer — HTC, LG, Apple, anybody…But you know, we also use Qualcomm components, and we source from other component manufacturers as well.”

Apple, of course, gets a ton of parts from Samsung, and it even partnered with Samsung on a factory in Texas to make A4 and A5 chips for the iPhones and iPads.

Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive speaks on Apple’s design process and the ‘Bankruptcy Days’

Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive spoke at the British Embassy’s Creative Summit this morning about Apple’s design focus, and Wired was on hand to get the report.

The Apple executive primarily described how revenue does not drive the folks in Cupertino but rather “great products” do. He noted the company is “pleased with revenues,” and its goal is again not “to make money.”

“It sounds a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products,” said Ive. “If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money.”

Ive made similar comments on the day of his Knighting [audio] and to Walter Isaacson for the “Steve Jobs” Bio. Moreover, Tim Cook has reiterated Apple’s great products goal many times since he took the reigns as CEO.

Ive also recounted at the summit Apple’s bankruptcy days. He said Steve Jobs recognized Apple products needed to be better, so that is where the chief’s attention remained instead of trying to earn money.

He explained how, in the 90s, Apple was very close to bankruptcy and that “you learn a lot about vital corporations through non-vital corporations”. When Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997, his focus was not on making money — “His observation was that the products weren’t good enough. His resolve was to make better products.” This was a different approach from other attempts to turn the company around, which had focused first and foremost on cost savings and revenue generation.

According to Wired, Ive then detailed how thrilled he feels to “be a part of the creative process”:

Wired Stories July 22, 2012

Wired does a Steve Jobs cover complete with halo and horns

The article sounds a bit boring with the TIRED anecdotes from the Isaacson bio, but it is something to see Wired still trotting out Jobs covers to sell some mags.

Wired’s cover story has gone live.

Wired Stories July 9, 2012

Report: Apple gets tough on websites selling access to iOS betas

A report from MacStories yesterday claimed that many third-party websites selling developer access to Apple’s iOS betas are no longer live.

The blog apparently contacted the websites’ owners. It soon confirmed with at least one that Apple recently submitted a copyright infringement claim, so the website’s hosting service immediately took the page offline. A Wired report from last month by Andy Baio first spotlighted the trend of websites that sell developer access to iOS betas by doling UDID activations to any paying user. Apple restricts UDID activation to registered developers.

The Wired report allegedly sparked a flurry of website takedown requests. The CEO of Fused, a hosting service, even admitted to the MacStories, “Apple has been fairly heavy-handed with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests to the ones we host”:

  • After noticing several of the sites mentioned in Baio’s article had become unavailable in recent weeks (activatemyios.com, iosudidregistrations.com, activatemyudid.com, udidregistration.com, instantudidactivation.com), we reached out to some of them asking whether Apple was behind the takedown of their “services”, which infringed on Apple’s developer agreement. While most of our emails bounced, we heard back from one of the site owners (who asked to remain anonymous), who confirmed his hosting provider took down the site after a complaint for copyright infringement by Apple. Similarly, the CEO of Fused tweeted in a reply to Andy Baio that Apple had been “fairly heavy-handed” with DMCA requests to UDID-selling sites hosted on their network.
  • In the email, the site owner said that their website made $75,000 since last June, when Apple released the first beta of iOS 6 to developers. “We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6″, the site owner commented, adding that they will soon launch another similar site, “with better and more secure data lines to handle Apple”.
  • The owner of another site replied to our emails with a “no comment”. According to him, “the Wired article has caused all these sites to go down”.
  • Indeed, it appears Apple has started taking action against these sites recently, and more precisely after Wired ran the story on UDID activation.

To install an iOS beta, developers must register their account with Apple and receive UDID activation for $99 a year. Third-party websites, on the other hand, sell UDID activation for a cheaper price—usually around $10.

Wired Stories April 23, 2012

Apple to drop 17-inch MacBooks, slim down iPhone w/ in-cell?

You can read into these reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities as much as you want. Kuo claimed this morning that Apple is about to axe the 17-inch MacBook Pro line entirely while introducing a rumored all new MacBook design by Q3 2012 (via MacRumors). Kuo also alleged Apple will adopt in-cell display technology to help slim down the next-generation iPhone by up to 1.4mm to under 8mm. IHS told Wired earlier about the advantages of in-cell displays:

“The advantage of in-cell is that you’re streamlining the manufacturing process, so in time you should be able to drive efficiencies and reduce cost.” IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander told Wired. “Additionally, by reducing the number of layers, you reduce the size and thickness of the device, making it thinner and lighter.”

According to the report, Kuo said in-cell would provide a reduction of approximately 0.5mm, while other reductions could come from the battery and a thinner metal casing on the back.

Since Apple’s smartphone competitors have generally slimmed down their high-end offerings to 7-8mm, Apple needs to make a leap forward from 4S’ 9.3mm thickness. We believe Apple will aim at 8mm or below (at least 1.4mm slimmer) for iPhone 5, in a bid to ensure brisk sales through 2014, while peers will also continue to introduce increasingly slim models next year… As such, all iPhone 4S components that account for thickness must be slimmer, specifically, touch panel, battery and casing. Moreover, a marginal amount of space is required between the three parts for the sakes of assembly tolerance and thermal expansion of components.

Wired Stories March 20, 2012

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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