Apple Archive

Anticipating the iPhone 6: Rumors Seem Feasible

The iPhone is undoubtedly the most sought after mobile device on the planet even though Samsung is really giving Apple a run for their money, in a literal sense. With rumors starting to stir around once again on the internet we found ourselves speculating what is to come of the next version of the iPhone, which may set in motion what other smartphone makers start to move towards in design and feature aspects.

Even though the iPhone as rather slacked off of true innovation in the last couple iterations, it is still the one device that people stand in long lines for awaiting their chance to lay down a good portion of their weekly paycheck on the hottest device to come out of California, though manufactured overseas.

What we know about the next generation iPhone is that it is revolving around the name iPhone 6 and will be offered in a bigger flavor as well as a smaller version, which may match the screen size of the current iPhone 5S and 5C. Analysts and sources claim that Apple will have a 5-inch screen version of the iPhone and then the smaller one. Additionally, there have been so-called leaks of the new iPhone 6′s case circulating through various channels on the internet but no one has confirmed those. Though, some of the cases look rather convincing.

The exclusive Applebyte Cnet video below is a nice roundup of what is to come of the iPhone 6, or whatever it is called as the NEXT iPhone, in addition to Apple’s latest happenings and highlights that you may have not known about.

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Apple CarPlay Looks to Redefine Automotive Interaction and Infotainment

It was probably only a matter of time before Apple got into the automotive game in some form or another. So far Apple seems to be playing this game on a fair level playing field as they showcase a simplified interface for the infotainment system and automotive controls, which was first hinted at CES 2014. What we are seeing now are several automotive manufacturers with plans to integrate Apple CarPlay into their vehicles.

The automakers who have announced plans for Apple CarPlay are BMW, Ferrari, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Volvo. Of these, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will be the very first adopters of this new Apple tech in their vehicles.

Below is a demonstration of Apple CarPlay, which is said to be a seamless integration with current iPhones and other Apple devices.

Our question is, would you want Apple or a variation of Apple OS X in your car in place of whatever system is running for your GPS Navigation, audio controls, AC/Heater controls or even your vehicle settings?

Popularity: 9%

Hacker Claims He can Shut Down Apple MacBook Battery

How would you like to wake up one day to a fiery house all because some hacker decided he was going to hack into your MacBook’s battery and blow it up? That would not make for a good day to say the least.

A famous Apple hacker, Charlie Miller, has found a way to hack into Apple Macbooks battery and manipulate the software that controls the battery to basically shut it down. In other words, Miller is able to modify the battery power controller chip, the chip that monitors and controls all laptop battery functions and power management, and shut down the laptop having access to its own battery.

Miller explained how this is possible at a recent presentation at the Black Hat security conference Thursday in Las Vegas.

The exceedingly scary part about Millers discovery is he thinks it could be a way for a hacker with this know-how to actually make the Macbook explode.

CNN sat down the Miller in a Q and A session. The edited transcript is available below for your entertainment. Hopefully what Miller is explaining cannot be replicated by the average hacker or all of some Macbook users may be in for some serous trouble.

CNN: Tell me what you were able to do with Apple’s laptop batteries.
It’s sort of complicated, but the way batteries get charged in your laptop is there’s a little chip in your battery and the computer talks to that chip to figure out what’s going on. That chip will tell it how much charge it has, how much charge it needs, how much charge it should give it — that sort of thing. What I figured out was how to change the software that runs on that chip.
When it comes from the factory, they don’t want you messing with it, so they set up passwords and stuff to prevent you from doing that. There’s two passwords, actually, and Apple didn’t change those, so you can just find documents on the Internet that said what those were and then I could change the firmware on the chips to make it (the battery) do whatever I wanted.

So what does that allow you to do?
Well, you could make it not work anymore. You can make the battery to where the computer doesn’t even know it’s plugged in. …
My goal was to see if I could make one blow. I never did that. There’s lots of different protections to stop that from happening, and also I was a little scared to blow one up in my house, you know.

Why blow it up? Why was that the goal?
I approach it like, what can people do to me, right? So I don’t want to wake up one day and have my computer blow up. I want to be the one looking at that — not the bad guys.
So I found this thing where Apple didn’t change their passwords. Well, now they’re hopefully going to change their passwords, right? So then next time I buy a laptop from Apple I won’t have to worry quite so much that someone will do something (bad).
I released a tool that you could run, if you’re particularly paranoid, that would fix this problem.

Is this the first time a hack has targeted a battery?
No one that I know has ever looked at it — or no one has ever published anything about it. You carry this thing around with you, and it has a chemistry set in it.
Other people go into a store, and they think about what to buy. I think about how to steal stuff. I don’t (actually) do it — that’s just kind of how I think.

You target Apple products primarily. Tell me why you’ve chosen to do that?
That’s a good question. I started this gig four years ago — and so back then the Apple products were way easier to break into than, say, Windows.

Really?
Yeah, they were very far behind in security.
That goes against the common perception.
Yeah, I know. People thought they were secure when they weren’t. And when I told people that, no one would believe me.
So the reason I started is it was easy. But since then, with (OS X) Lion coming out, it’s caught up. Now it’s not any easier anymore. I either have to find something else that’s easier to work on — or whatever.

Do you like Apple products?
Yeah, I have an iPhone in my pocket right now. That’s another reason. If I use it, I want it to be secure. I don’t want Steve Jobs having a commercial saying it’s secure — I want it to actually be secure. That’s my job to figure out what’s secure and what’s not.

Currently, do you think Apple products are more secure than their counterparts?
(Apple) iOS is definitely more secure than Android. Lion is basically comparable to Windows 7. You can nitpick on those two, but they’re basically both really good.
Android is lacking a couple of features that iOS has, so it’s behind.

Do you have any security tips for iPhone users?
Make sure to set a passcode for it. Otherwise, if someone picks up the phone, there’s nothing there. So set a passcode. It’s not going to protect it forever, but at least it’s some barrier for some kid that picks it up.
Don’t jailbreak your phone if you care about the security of it — because that breaks all of the security. Make sure to configure for remote “locate and wipe,” so if you lose it you can either find it or blow away all of your data on it.

How long is your mobile password?
It’s four digits, which Dino (fellow Apple hacker Dino Dai Zovi) showed in his talk you can break in 18 minutes. So if I don’t get my phone back in 18 minutes I’m in trouble. I’ve tried longer ones, but it’s just impractical. I couldn’t stick with it.

How did you get into hacking in the very beginning?
I’ve been into computers and thought hacking was cool. I got my Ph.D. in math from Notre Dame and I got hired by the NSA (National Security Agency) to be a cryptographer. But when I got there, I didn’t really like that, so they had a training program in computer security, so I learned the basics of my training there in an internship.

Where do you do your work?
At my house. I work out of my house. I’m a consultant. I spend half my time doing consultant work and the rest of my time doing research — like this kind of stuff.

Where do you live?
St. Louis.

How long did it take you to do the battery hack?
It took about seven months — it took a really long time. Most of my research projects are like two weeks, or a month or something. But this one was so far from my comfort zone, and there had been so little written about it that it really took a long time.
So basically you’re giving away information about how to break things in an effort to make it more secure. Some people might be confused by that.
I mean, people think that — like with my battery thing — that if people didn’t talk about this, no one would have ever found out about it. And that’s just not the case.
No matter what we talk about here, there’s always bad guys — or guys who are trying to do this to make money — that are just as smart as us. And there are way more of them.
All we can do is present to everyone what we know. You can’t defend against something you don’t know.

Do you feel paranoid using Apple products knowing how many flaws you’ve been able to find in them?
A little bit. But they’ve gotten so much better. Like the iPhone. For the first year, when the iPhone came out, it was horrible. It was awful. It had no security in it, basically — at all. And then when the second iPhone came out it was much better. And since March it’s had basically every feature a security guy would want.
It’s not just me. I think it’s everyone saying they want more secure devices.

Do you work with Apple?
Not exactly. I have a cordial relationship with them. I shared with them my paper on the battery stuff like three weeks before the talk. But then again, if they would have told me not to do it I would have said, “Go to hell.” I don’t want to be their adversary. I want to have them fix stuff — and I want them to get better. I try to share with them.

Are they working on this battery thing?
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot they can do except start again and get it right.

Have hackers ever targeted you?
If they have, I haven’t caught ‘em.
I’d be pretty easy to hack, I think. I don’t practice the best security myself. I’m impatient. So anytime security is going to add a lot of hassle I’m not going to do it.
I’m the cobbler whose kids have no shoes or whatever. And everyone knows exactly the software I use, the hardware I have, so it probably wouldn’t be that hard.
I just try to be a really nice guy so no one wants to go after me.

So, are you anymore scared than you were before reading the transcript above?

Popularity: 10%

Mobile Device Privacy Debate Heats Up: Apple, Google Summoned to Senate Hearing

By now you have probably seen on the news or a media website reporting that the Apple iPhone can track your location potentially evading your privacy. Lately there has been a big uproar about privacy and the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and others are now having a conversation about all of the hoopla involving iPhones and other mobile devices and their ability to track locations without the user knowing about it.

Senator Al Franken has summoned Apple and Google to participate in an upcoming hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee to talk about privacy, mainly Mobile device privacy.

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“Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips,” Franken said in a statement. “But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers’ privacy-particularly when it comes to mobile devices-keep pace with advances in technology.”

Sure the media has attempted to make a mountain out of a mole hill in talking about how the iPhone purportedly records your location and it can be retrieved in some form or fashion. What Apple may be claiming is that data is only accessible by the iPhone user but we all know if there is a way hackers will find it.

So far, Google nor Apple have admitted to being summoned by Franken to go over these ‘Privacy issues’.

What do you think about iPhone and other mobile device privacy? Is it a major issue? Should they address it NOW instead of later when several lawsuits are smacking Apple in the face?

Popularity: 15%

The Apple iPad 2, What Is It Really and Who Buys Them?

Now that the iPad 2 has gone on sale and people are literally in amazement at the super-thin size and built in cameras, have you decided exactly what it is?

The first iPad literally redefined the power of Apple and how they can introduce a new device that isn’t exactly a replacement or upgrade of any other electronic gadget on the market but yet make people want and “need” it. Just like the MP3 player, Apple pretty much filled a void that people did not know existed with the introduction of the iPod. The new iPad 2 is a thinner, faster and better iPad that can take photos and video. We know exactly what the iPad 2 replaces, the first iPad. So what is the iPad and iPad 2?
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Is it a tablet computer, a netbook replacement, an e-reader? It is in a nutshell a hodgepodge of all of these things but more along the lines of something that makes a statement to others. Toting around an iPad or new iPad 2 says something about a person. Does it say they have the money to spend on a device that they really did not need or something that has filled a very small void in their life such as what the iPod did about a decade ago? I can’’ place my finger on it but I will bet you that owners of iPads and the new iPad 2 have owned other Apple devices before and they are not exactly poverty stricken people.

Apple and Steve Jobs are probably sitting back and wondering what all this fuss about an economic downturn is all about. Apple has been literally banking in the past few years surviving what economic experts have said to be the worst economic conditions since the great depression. The Apple iPad and new iPad 2 are just another one of those “insanely successful devices”, which is how Cnet put it in the latest iPad 2 review video below.

Who from 1984 would have dreamed that some type of one-inch thick tablet device have a dual core processor or better yet, a touch screen used as the interface? More more more is the motto of today when America consumes three times as much oil than it produces and a country that is literally infatuated with portable electronic gadgets. I have come to the conclusion that the iPad and iPad 2 can be for virtually anyone. Yes, even those Android fan boys who hate Apple or even the poverty stricken person (that still has food on the table of course) who may end up spending their last dime on something that is cool as the iPad just so they can keep up with the Jones. Yes, the Apple iPad and iPad 2 is just that powerful and has that type of effect on people. I mean really, look at it. Isn’t it just full of awesome?

Popularity: 22%

Synergy: How To Use One Keyboard and Mouse on Multiple Computers for Free

During my perusing of the Internet for something interesting to share with my readers, I stumbled upon an update to an application Synergy that lets you share your Keyboard and Mouse on Multiple computers. The best part about Synergy is that it works and it is Free!

The guys at Lifehacker were so generous enough to explain in detail how Synergy works and how to setup your ‘server’ (the computer that your mouse and keyboard is physically connected to) and the clients (Windows or Mac computer that does not have a keyboard or mouse).

Way back in the day two jobs ago, I use to use three PCs all with only one keyboard, monitor and mouse. This was done through a KM switch. Now with today’s technology this can be done virtually through software and your network. All you need is a working network, two or more computers connected to the same network and the free Synergy app.

The video below is a tutorial of Synergy on how to set it up and how it all comes together.

Try it for yourself if you have two or more computers that you wish to use the same keyboard and mouse for. Be sure to leave your comments below about the Synergy app.

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Techie Speculations for 2011 and CES 2011 Preview

apple-ipadWhat will the year 2011 bring in terms of tech and technological advances in our lives? No one really knows with a 100% certainty and that in itself is a 100% certain thing! In order to clearly see into the future of the year 2011 we have to look back into the year 2010 and wait for the upcoming CES 2011 (Consumer Electronics Show of 2011).

In the year 2010 we saw Apple release their first tablet in the form of the Apple iPad and they even released a new iPhone 4 with a revolutionary ‘retna display’. Microsoft put themselves back into the mobile device game with Windows Phone 7 while Android managed to steal some of the thunder away from the Apple iPhone. Blu-ray disc sales volume has gone up while Netflix streaming members has also. Social media is chugging along with over 500 million Facebook members and no competition in sight. 3D HDTVs are attempting to be a big hit among those with the monetary means. The new Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf aim to change the way we consume massive amounts of gasoline each year. Each of these stated technologies, at one point and time, had its fair share of doubters but they all seemed to prevail.

Now on with 2011 and we have 2nd generation products speculated to be introduced in the coming months such as the Apple iPad 2. 2011 is not such a mystery after all because we already know that these tech items are going to be naturally upgraded in some fashion. If 2010 taught us anything about the advancements of technology it is we cannot put anything in stone based off of some rumor although many of the techie rumors of 2010 proved to be very accurate. So now let today’s rumors shape tomorrows dreams. Start saving your money now because from what I hear (another rumor), 2011 will bring us some of the most advanced and revolutionary tech devices and software we have ever seen.

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Check out Cnet’s CES 2011 preview video below.

Stay tuned for our update during the CES 2011 (Consumer Electronics Show of 2011) which is set to kick off January 6, 2011. This should give us a clear indication as to what specific tech devices we will see throughout year 2011. Happy New Year!!!

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Best Tech Gifts for 2010 Holiday Seasons – Gift Guide

It is that time of year again. You have to figure out what to get your loved one or a close friend and you don’t mind footing the bill to buy them some new tech gadget. So which one do you choose? We have a few top-tech-gifts to choose from for this year’s holiday season.

Some of the new tech gadgets out this year are simply amazing. You have everything from the new Apple iPad to new Flat-Screen HDTV sets. So what are some of the best rated tech gadgets to choose from for holiday gifts?

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Best Tech Gifts for 2010 Holiday Season

Apple iPad
A great gift for those who do not mind using iTunes and the App Store to purchase apps. Great for someone who is already familiar with Apple’s iOS and who may already have an iPhone. Pretty much the number 1 rated tablet on the market in terms of portability and ease of use. Prices start at $499.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
Available on Sprint, T-Mobile Verizon and AT&T. An excellent alternative to the Apple iPad. Runs off of the Android OS and has a starting price of $399

Amazon Kindle
Great e-book reader that has the largest library of e-book readers so far. Excellent screen for reading in bright sunlight with built-in Wi-Fi. Prices start at $139.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350
An excellent pocket digital camera with a fast shutter. If you are sick of that shutter delay then the Sony Cyber-shot line-up may be your answer. Prices start at $150

Garmin Nuvi 3790T GPS
One of the best GPS units on the market currently but comes at a higher price point starting at $440. Great function and super slim. Has an excellent touch-screen and software is easy to use compared to many other GPS units in this class.

Apple iPhone 4
Obviously one of the hottest items on the tech market period. An excellent buy if you are upgrading that old flip phone. The iPhone 4 is getting some serious competition with Android powered phones lately and now the introduction of Windows Phone 7 OS. Prices start at $199 with a 2/year contract via AT&T.

HTC Evo 4G
Sprints best smartphone and one of the most talked about Android OS phones on the market. 4G speed is awesome but coverage of 4G connectivity is limited right now in the US. Prices start at $149 with a 2/year contract.

Roku XDS Streaming Player
The Roku XDS is a great media device allowing Netflix streaming and a very wide range of media playing abilities. If you are not an avid iTunes movie goer then the Roku XDS may be your choice over the Apple TV. The price is $99.

Panasonic Viera TC-P46G25 Series HDTV
Panasonic is still sold on their plasma technology in flat-screen HDTV as are many avid TV consumers. Picture quality is among the best in the industry providing the deepest blacks you can find on virtually any flat-screen HDTV on the current market. Has built-in streaming abilities such as Netflix. Prices start around $990 at various stores. Shopping around for this one with some patients will save you some money.

Panasonic HDC-SD60K HD Camcorder
Camcorders have come a long way now offering High-Definition recordings in just about every model currently available. The new Panasonic line has great quality and records great Hi-Def video. Shop around and look at the whole line before you drop the starting price of $350 on this one.

Apple Macbook Air
If you have the cash, pick one of these up! This is by far one of the best laptops in the smallest factor form you can get on the market. The downfalls of it is its memory is not upgradable limiting you to either the 2gb Ram/64GB flash drive version on the 11-inch or up to the 4gb Ram/256GB flash drive version on the 13-inch. Prices start at $999 for the 11-inch 2gb Ram/64GB flash drive version and go up to $1,599 for the 4gb Ram/256GB flash drive version on the 13-inch.

HP Envy 17
A great looking laptop with an Apple-ish feel to it. Big clear screen and customization options. Good price for a big laptop full of power. Prices start at $1,299.

Apple iPod Touch, iPod nano, iPod Classic
Among the best mp3 players around. Although not truly classified as an ‘mp3’ player, the vast iTunes library turns the iPod Touch and Classic into a great portable media machine. New iPod nano offers the smallest size of most mp3 players yet packed full of audio functionality. Prices start at $49 for the iPod shuffle, $149 for the iPod nano, $229 for the iPod touch, and $249 for the iPod classic.

Playstation 3 slim & Xbox 360
Gaming is on a new level this year with new systems from both Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. It all comes down to preference for which system you want. The PS3 Slip sports great multimedia features and bluray disc playback. The Xbox 360 has been upgraded to a slimmer and sleaker case with 1080p HDMI output and the optional Kinect system. The Nintendo Wii continues to offer unsurpassed interactivity. Nintendo Wii bundle starts at $195, Xbox 360 slim starts at $299 and the PS3 Slim starts at $299.

Dell UltraSharp U2711
If you are looking for the Mac-Daddy of computer monitors, then go no further than the new Dell UltraSharp U2711. This is the first monitor, aside from the new iMac 27inch built-in screen, to offer 2560×1440 resolution not to mention its 27-inch size. Prices start at $899.

Apple iMac 27-inch
If you do not know about the new iMac then you must come from under your rock. The latest iMac is the best looking desktop there is if you do not mind it’s all-in-one form factor. Pimped out with the Intel Core i5 2.8GHz and marvelous 2560×1440 27-inch LED backlit screen, the new iMac is a monster that can also run Windows 7. Prices start at $1199 for the 21.5 inch version and $1,699 for the 27-inch Core i3 version.

What items will you buy this year for the holidays?

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Apple Introduces New Macbook Air and OS X Lion

macbook-air-1Today during Apple’s Keynote address they went over new versions of their iLife software in addition to OS X Lion and the new Macbook Air. The major highlight of the event would naturally be the new Macbook Air laptop followed by the new Mac OS X Lion which features newly integrated gesture-functions from iOS (iPod touch, iPhone and iPad) devices.

The new Macbook Air is yet another revolutionary design with a slider uni-body aluminum shell and frame that at its thickest point is only .68 inches and then tapers down to a mire .11 inches. Two versions of the Macbook Air will be offered, the 13.3 inch version which weighs 2.9 pounds and a 11.6 inch version that weighs 2.3 pounds. Prices start at $999 for the 11.6 inch with 64gb of flash storage space and a 5 hour battery life. The 13.3 inch Macbook Air will start at $1299 for the 128gb model with 7 hours of battery life surfing the web. If you wish to bump up the storage space to 128gb (double the size) on the 11.6 inch version, it will cost an extra $200. For 256gb of flash memory storage on the 13.3 inch version, it will add on another $300 to the price for a total of $1599. All Macbook Air laptops have a 30 day standby time.

No optical drive and no hard drive in either of the models although they all include a built-in web cam to take advantage of Facetime, which is offered in beta version to all Mac users starting today. The screen resolution for the 11.6 inch Macbook Air is 1366×768 while the bigger 13.3 inch version gets 1400×900. A full list of all of the specs can be found on Apple.com.

Will you be purchasing the new Macbook Air which goes on sale today any time soon? Do you think Apple has done a good job with the newest Macbook Air?

Popularity: 7%

Apple iPad over-’Exposed’ In New Amazon Kindle Ad?

Have you seen the interesting commercial where a woman at the poolside is reading her Kindle in direct sunlight while the guy next to her is attempting to do the same with an iPad but is not successful at doing so? If not, then check out the video below.

The video below is Amazon’s new commercial for its Kindle e-reader that is going after the Apple iPad in many ways than one. For starters, Amazon touts the Kindle’s screen as being readable in direct sunlight which can be a make-it or break-it kind of deal for those looking for a new e-book reader. Not only does Amazon’s Kindle ‘shine’ in readability outdoors, but the advertisement takes another stab by having a bikini-clad actress in the ad saying, “It’s a Kindle. $139,” and then smiles and says, “I actually paid more for these sunglasses.” These are all bonuses in my book. Also, who wants to look at the dorky guy that needs to shave holding his hand over the iPad so he can read it in the sunlight?

We all know that the iPad can do all types of stuff that the Kindle can’t but that is at a price of $499 vs. the Kindle’s $139 price. The point in this ad just takes a different direction for picking a fight with the new Apple iPad.

What do you think about it? Is it a very clever ad or are they (Amazon) barking up the wrong tree and bound to get pooped on by the Apple iPad?

Popularity: 15%