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Apple Still Behind in Chinese Smartphone Market Despite iPhone 5 Sales

The iPhone 5 launched in China back in December with the company expecting it to make waves like it did in the United States. However, customers in China appear to be a bit smarter than the ones in the U.S. and don’t just run out and buy the next smartphone Apple releases just because of the symbol...

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In-App Purchase Hack Allows You to Get Free Stuff

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 17-07-2012

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In-App PurchaseAbout a week ago, Alexey Borodin, a Russian developer, hacked Apple’s In-App Purchase program for every device running anything from Apple iOS 3.0 to iOS 6.0. This allowed iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users to circumvent the payment process and basically steal any in-app content that they wanted to.

Apple confirmed the hack and stated that it was investigating the issue and, this week, tried to block the hack, though was unsuccessful. Now, Apple is starting to offer a proper solution, although it isn’t quite ready. Apple has started including unique identifiers in the validation receipts for in-app purchases. Developers recently started seeing the new receipts, which include a new field called “unique_identifier”.

According to a report from MacRumors, “As one developer noted to us, apps are no longer supposed to be collecting the UDID and thus it is unclear whether Apple’s use of the identifier for this purpose is simply a first step toward a broader implementation of unique receipt identifiers for increased security or if Apple is attempting to identify those users and devices who are sharing their receipts with the Russian hacker to allow the method to function.”

The worst part about this hack is that iOS developers have absolutely no way of protecting their apps. Store receipts don’t work since the only thing you need to bypass this is a single donated receipt which can then be used to authenticate anyone’s purchase requests. Borodin’s circumvention technique relies on installing certificates, changing DNS settings to allow the authentication of the purchases and then emulating the receipt verification server on the Apple App Store.

The unique identifiers have set Apple on a proper path to a decent solution, though Borodin has declared that he wants the company to fix the problem by either changing its APIs or placing new blocks on its service. It seems that Apple will have to start encrypting the connection and update iOS so that it is unaware of the changes being made. In turn, this will stop apps from being able to approve false purchases.

Source: ZD Net – Apple adds unique identifiers to fight iOS in-app purchase hack

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New 3D Google Maps Coming to iOS

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 05-06-2012

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3D Google Maps on iPadGoogle recently unveiled what it is calling the “next dimension” of its Google Maps service with new full 3D renderings for Google Earth that were demonstrated live on Apple’s iPad. Google has been utilizing automated technology to extract data from aerial models captured by planes owned by Google. Google uses the imagery from these planes to create 3D mapping imagery.

Images of the ground are taken at 45 degrees from four different angles. Those pics and data can then be combined to recreate maps in 3D. The entire process allows 3D maps to be created without human interaction, which was necessary with previous iterations of 3D imagery in Google Earth.

Google first demonstrated the technology by showing off individual buildings and cities on Apple’s iPad instead of an Android device. However, Google did announce that the service would be coming to both iOS devices and Android devices and that the technology would be part of both the Google Maps service and the company’s Google Earth application.

Google also hopes that it will have communities of nearly 300 million people mapped out in its new space. In addition to that, the company revealed that it will bring an offline version for its Maps software to Android devices and is working “very hard” to bring offline maps to iOS as well, though it hasn’t offered up a time table for that.

This reveal comes just days before Apple is supposed to hold its own keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. At the conference Apple is expected to unveil an all new version of the Maps software for iOS, which will get rid of Google Maps.

It has already been reported that Apple’s new mapping technology will reach iOS later on this year and is expected to be a part of iOS 6, the much anticipated next-gen operating system from the company. The mapping intentions of Apple have also been clear since 2009 when the company started acquiring mapping technology companies. In that year Apple purchased Placebase, Poly9 in 2010 and C3 in 2011.

Source: Apple Insider – Google unveils new 3D maps coming to iOS and Android

 

Turning Off In-App Purchases on Your iOS Device

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 07-12-2011

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In-App PurchasesI don’t think I have to remind you just how many apps are available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (over 500,000). If you are an iOS user, you have undoubtedly purchased or downloaded at least one app from the App Store and, in doing so, you have probably noticed that some of them offer the option of purchasing additional content. These apps usually come in the form of apps that have multiple levels, like Angry Birds. If you enjoy playing games on your phone, you can also check out ข้อเสนอโบนัส UFABET for some extra fun!

This type of content can be anything, like more levels, character designs in games, like that business simulation game online, or added functionality and expansions. However, not all (but a lot) of apps with additional content for purchase allow you to buy from directly inside the application itself.

Unfortunately, not every app that allows in-app purchasing is as up front about the fact that they do this and, sometimes make it extremely easy to “accidentally” purchase in-app content. One of the more controversial apps of late to pull a stunt like this was Smurfs’ Village. Children played the game on their parent’s phone and unknowingly purchased a whole lot of undesired content.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution that makes sure something like this doesn’t happen to you. Just follow these quick and easy steps and you will have in-app purchasing disabled until you say otherwise, making sure your child doesn’t accidentally rack up a huge phone bill with in-app purchases.

STEP 1: Turn on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and from the home screen select the Settings application. From here, select “General”.

STEP 2: Scroll about halfway down the page and find “Restrictions”. Select it and then select “Enable Restrictions”.

STEP 3: Once enabled, you will be asked to create a password. The password locks certain functions on your iOS device. After you enter it twice, you’re on to the next step.

STEP 4: After creating your password, scroll down to the “Allowed Content” section and select it.

STEP 5: Slide the bar next to “In-App Purchases” from “ON” to “OFF” and that’s that! No more accidental in-app purchases will rack up on your phone bill.

Source: Digital Trends – How To: Turn off in-app purchases on Apple products

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Apple Bans iOS Cracker from Developer Program

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 08-11-2011

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Charlie MillerApple is cracking the whip as the company has just banned security researcher Charlie Miller from its iOS developer program. Mr. Miller’s offense? He publicly demonstrated a proof-of-concept attack that would enable an app developer to execute arbitrary code on any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that is running version 4.3 of iOS or later.

For this Miller has been suspended from the developer program for one year. According to a recent tweet from Miller, “First they give researcher’s (sic) access to developer programs, (although I paid for mine) then they kick them out.. for doing research. Me angry.” Apple broke the news to Miller via a letter that the company was kicking him out of the program for breaking its terms of service.

Before getting an app to the Apple App Store, Apple first vets the app. If approved, the company then signs the code to ensure that the app cannot be changed. However, the flaw that Miller discovered essentially breaks the iOS application security walled garden, allowing malware attacks to be launched.

According to a statement from Miller in his unlisted YouTube video that demonstrates the attack, Miller said, “The flaw I found is in the way that Apple handles code-signing. Code-signing is important because that’s the way that Apple protects you from malware.” Here is a link to Miller’s video because unlisted videos can only be viewed by someone who already has a link to the video itself.

In order to test the vulnerability he had discovered, Miller created Instastock, a fake stock market app that Apple accepted. “It doesn’t do anything weird or funny, it just checks the stocks,” said Miller in the video. At least, that’s what it appears to do. After being  downloaded from the Apple App Store and first run, the app contacted an attacker’s server.

For the purpose of the test, the server (in this case) was located at Miller’s home in St. Louis and he didn’t have to push in any code to the app while it was being reviewed by Apple. However, after it was approved, Miller was able to open a shell with the device and issue remote commands, making the iPhone do everything from listing directories and processes to making the phone vibrate or download the user’s address book for the attacker.

Miller added, “You can imagine downloading a nice app like Angry Birds, but instead of just being Angry Birds, it actually could download and do anything it wants, and Apple would have no idea that had happened.” In addition to that Miller disclosed the code-signing vulnerability to Apple several weeks ago, although he did fail to mention the proof-of-concept app that he’d uploaded to the App Store, the same app Apple approved and made available in September.

Miller also demonstrated the exploit in his video, which was also posted in September. However, Apple apparently did not hear about the proof-of-concept attack demonstration until Monday, the same day Miller detailed the flaw and provided a link to his YouTube video to Andy Greenberg at Forbes.com. A mere hours after the story hit the web, Apple canceled Miller’s iOS developer account.

By day Miller is a simple principal consultant at the security research firm Accuvant. However, it appears as if Miller is now best known for “hacking” Apple wares. At the Black Hat Conference over the summer, Miller demonstrated how to hack Apple laptop batteries by reprogramming the firmware. This would allow a hacker to brick the battery or even make it serve malware.

Miller isn’t letting this ban phase him, however, as he intends to demonstrate his code-signing attack next week at the SyScan Conference in Taiwan and then again at the Infiltrate Conference in Florida in January. Is Apple’s reaction a bit extreme? Especially considering the fact that Miller found a major fault in Apple’s programming and then proceeded to tell the company about it? This writer thinks so, but what do you think? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Information Week – Apple Excommunicates iOS Cracker

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The Third Beta for Apple’s iOS 4.3 Releases

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 01-02-2011

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Apple iOS 4.3The third pre-release Beta of iOS 4.3, Apple’s forthcoming software update for their beloved iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to developers, has been released making it the third release in nearly three weeks.

The third beta of iOS 4.3 comes to us under the title of 8F5166b and comes to us just weeks after the first beta of the update was released. Full details about what may or may not be included or have been changed or unchanged in this newest software update are still up in the air.

January 12 marked the first beta release for iOS 4.3 revealing a new Personal Hotspot feature which will allow an iPhone to share its 3G internet connection with as many as five devices via Wi-Fi if your carrier allows it. The new software also allows third-party applications to use AirPlay in order to stream video. There is even a software option to change the iPad hardware switch between mute and orientation lock.

The second beta landed just a week later on January 19, the same time Apple revealed the new iPad multi-touch gestures were just a preview of coming features allowing you to gather input. Apple stated that the feature, which includes four-finger gestures to switch between multitasking applications or return to the home screen, will not be available to customers in the first release.

This newest beta came just a day before Apple and News Corporation were set to launch The Daily, a new tablet-only daily newspaper. The Daily is said to run $0.99 per week and could very well debut next to an update to iOS that would allow recurring application subscribers through the app store.

A lot of people are excited about iOS 4.3 and it seems that Apple wants to make sure their customers are getting what they want by releasing all of these betas. Now, if we could only get video game developers, like those made games such as 해외배팅사이트, to do the same thing.

Source: Apple Insider

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