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News tagged: Apple


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by Karl Bode 06:00PM Tuesday Nov 11 2014
The Electronic Freedom Foundation last week filed a petition with the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office to extend and expand six different exemptions to the DMCA, covering everything from the right to bypass car DRM -- to the right to continue tinkering with games no longer supported by the developers. In a blog post the EFF notes the group also urged the Librarian of Congress “to extend and expand the exemption that allows you to ‘jailbreak’ your phone from those restrictions, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).”

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In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.

After significant clamor, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which made unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, though it punted on the uglier problems inherent in the DMCA.

Among those problems is the fact that concerns citizens and groups like the EFF have to return to the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress to argue common sense points over and over again every three years -- thus the EFF's renewed exemption request.

"EFF fought for—and received—an exemption to cover jailbreaking phones in 2010 and 2012," states the group. "But thanks to the frustrating way DMCA exemptions are considered, groups like EFF have to return to the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress every three years and argue the case anew. This is an unnecessary drain on the public—after all, it's not like the arguments against jailbreaking have gotten any better—but we hope to use the opportunity to renew the rule for phones and expand it to tablets as well."

9 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:06AM Monday Sep 29 2014
Consumer Reports, who you'll recall was all over Apple for the company's flawed antenna design of the iPhone 4, has issued a report stating that the bending issues related to the new iPhone 6 Plus have been overblown. The organization conducted a series of exhaustive stress tests on the device to ultimately conclude that the phone is "not as bendy as believed." The accompanying video illustrates they used a "three-point flexural test," to test the device's integrity, and found that it was on par with other leading devices including the HTC One (M8).

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by Karl Bode 04:27PM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
In the midst of bendgate comes the news that Apple's latest iOS 8 patch came with numerous bugs, including one that caused problems with the iPhone's fingerprint sensor, and another that disrupted cellular functionality. After Apple's forums filled with complaints and users struggled to roll back the update, Apple wound up pulling the patch entirely. "We have received reports of an issue with the iOS 8.0.1 update," Apple said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can. In the meantime we have pulled back the iOS 8.0.1 update.”

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by Karl Bode 02:36PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
Apple this week announced that the company will no longer unlock the company's phones and tablets at law enforcement and intelligence community demand. The announcement was made this week alongside the unveiling of a new privacy policy and the company's new iOS 8 operating system.
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by Karl Bode 12:23PM Thursday Aug 28 2014
After months of speculation bordering on the nauseating, we appear to have a somewhat hard date for the release of the new iPhone(s) and Apple's long-awaited iWatch: September 9. ReCode had already discovered that the two different-sized iPhones would be revealed on that date, and now states the iWatch will be unveiled as well at the same media event. The iWatch is expected to have significant integration with Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform, as well as with Apple's home device integration platform HomeKit.

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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Monday Jul 28 2014
back in 2011 both AT&T and Apple were sued for pitching a $30 unlimited data plan for the 3G-enabled iPad, then withdrawing the unlimited data plan option one month after Apple began selling the device. Last year AT&T and Apple settled the lawsuit, and those impacted users are now receiving checks for $40. Don't spend it all in one place, kids!

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by Karl Bode 04:53PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Last month Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which aims to make unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, even if it doesn't fully address the myriad of problems with the DMCA. In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.
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by Karl Bode 10:32AM Thursday May 22 2014
For about as long as Apple's iMessage has been around, users who left the iPhone and switched to other ecosystems like Android have complained about text messages sent from iPhone friends getting lost in a sort of SMS purgatory. The problem really started gaining attention when Adam Pash blogged about the problem earlier this month, which led to a lawsuit against Apple.
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by Karl Bode 09:09AM Wednesday May 21 2014
Following on the heels of similar and controversial interconnection deals between Netflix, Comcast and Verizon, rumors have emerged that Apple is striking similar deals with the largest ISPs. According to a blog post by Dan Rayburn, Apple's negotiating paid interconnection deals with "some of the largest ISPs in the US" in order to deliver Apple content more efficiently to consumers, bypassing some of the traditional transit partners like Level3 and Akamai.
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by Karl Bode 09:14AM Thursday Mar 20 2014
Back in June of 2010, you might recall that a security hole in AT&T's website allowed two individuals to gain access to the e-mail addresses of 114,000 owners of 3G Apple iPads, including "dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians." A group calling itself Goatse Security at the time claimed responsibility for the "hack," which in addition to e-mail addresses resulted the group obtaining user ICC-IDs -- used to identify their specific iPad on the AT&T network.

One of those two individuals responsible for obtaining the data was Andrew Auernheimer (aka "Weev") an Internet-famous troll who was recently convicted of accessing a computer without authorization and identity fraud, and sentenced to serve 41 months in prison.
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by Karl Bode 07:41AM Thursday Oct 03 2013
Apple has hired Cable industry veteran and long-time CableLabs exec Jean-François Mulé to work on "something big" over at the Cuppertino giant. MultiChannel News notes that Mulé posted to LinkedIn, stating he's going to be "challenged, inspired and part of something big." Rumors of both an Apple television and an Apple subscription TV service have long been around, though just like every other company (Google, Intel, Sony, Microsoft) Apple has found it impossible to get the cable and broadcast industry to sign off on licensing deals for technologies that could potentially disrupt the legacy TV market.

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by Karl Bode 02:21PM Tuesday Sep 10 2013
As countless leaks already predicted, Apple today announced that they're offering a few new iPhones: a slight flagship iPhone refresh called the iPhone 5S, and a new line of cheaper, brightly-colored iPhones with the A6 chipset known as the 5C.

The 64 bit A7-powered iPhone 5S comes in gold, silver and black and features improved battery life, a better camera, and fingerprint security.
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by Karl Bode 12:28PM Friday Aug 23 2013
While we're still some way away from the Internet video revolution truly taking off, we're starting to see some cracks in the licensing wall the legacy TV industry has created to prevent disruption. Viacom recently agreed to licence TV content to Sony for their planned subscription live TV service, and reports suggest Disney has been in talks with several companies to license ESPN content for similar efforts.
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by Karl Bode 08:24AM Monday Jul 15 2013
According to a new study by the NPD Group and Connected Intelligence, 80% of the 60.8 million tablets currently estimated to be in use are Wi-Fi only. Of those tablets that do have an embedded 3G or 4G radio, only about half of them have an active data plan. Meanwhile, 83% of video viewing on tablets is done in the home. You'll recall that wireless carriers first got terribly excited about selling netbooks, then got terribly excited about selling tablets, but data continues to show that people aren't interested in shelling out the extra money for a device-specific data plan. However, shared data plans that allow users to add a tablet to a plan for just an additional $10 each month could slowly change these numbers slightly.

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by Karl Bode 08:53AM Tuesday Jun 18 2013
AT&T recently annoyed users by blocking Google Hangouts video chat, just a year after taking heat for blocking Facetime. AT&T pretended the move was about network logistics, but they were actually using the blockade to force grandfathered unlimited users on to metered plans (the Facetime block was ultimately removed for metered users).
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by Karl Bode 08:37AM Friday May 24 2013
A Florida woman has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Apple because the power button on her iPhone 4 broke. According to the lawsuit, Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but refused to acknowledge the flaw in order to sell more phones. The plaintiff's lawyers are claiming Apple colluded with AT&T to violate federal RICO racketeering laws -- while also claiming that Apple has violated California consumer protection laws. Apple just got done sending out $15 checks after settling a lawsuit over the faulty antenna design in the iPhone 4, which resulted in users in low signal areas losing connectivity if they held the phone in a certain way.

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by Karl Bode 10:21AM Monday May 06 2013
We've noted repeatedly how privacy technology discussions often have a bizarre and amusing lack of context, the press getting borderline hysterical about every NebuAD or CarrierIQ scandal, while all-but ignoring that carriers and the government buy, sell and trade all user information daily with a total disregard (and often disdain) for law. Your iPhone tells Apple you went to Costco? Unified outrage.
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by Karl Bode 10:27AM Tuesday Apr 23 2013
As you might recall, the initial iPhone 4 suffered from a design flaw wherein if users held the phone in a certain way, the phone would lose cellular connection. Given the flaw only reared its head in areas with weak signal, it wasn't a problem noticed by many iPhone 4 users, allowing Apple to brush aside the design flaw as imaginary, irrelevant and/or common to all smartphones. While the flaw was fixed in the design of the iPhone 4S, eighteen different lawsuits related to the iPhone 4 continued, and were settled in February of last year. As part of that settlement, impacted users were slated to get $15 checks they're only just now starting to receive. Don't spend it all in one place!

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by Karl Bode 11:37AM Tuesday Apr 16 2013
Venture capitalist and former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler remains the top candidate to replace departing FCC boss Julius Genachowski, according to analysis from Medley Global Advisors. According to the report, Wheeler has seen a flurry of coordinated support from the Democratic party ahead of what could be announcement in the next week or two.
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by Karl Bode 09:47AM Wednesday Mar 27 2013
A new report by OpenSignal investigates just how much bigger screens (increasingly the rage as Android phones get continually larger) impact data usage. According to the firm, each additional square inch of screen area leads to 75 MB of additional data downloaded per month over a cellular connection. Over Wi-Fi, each additional square inch of screen area leads to 288 MB of additional data consumed per month. Specifically, the firm found that the bigger the screen is -- the more likely you are to use it for entertainment or your primary computing device, leading to more data consumption. The study was based on 9,962 data usage patterns collected from 9,962 mobile devices.

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