Apple’s Spotted Firewall: Tsk Tsk

Apple has been selling the new Leopard OS X upgrade on its improved security, but it’s not as secure as you might think. By default, the firewall is set to off, the opposite of Windows Vista. (Why don’t people talk about XP anymore?) Even with the firewall enabled, incoming connections targeted at certain system services can still succeed; researchers were able to access the NetBIOS Naming Service over a LAN with full blocking enabled. Not the most ideal setup. UDP can’t even be turned off from within the OS controls. Apple also doesn’t include the latest versions of bundled open-source…

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Hacker Software Jailbreaks iPhones Without a Computer

This seems to be an Apple banner day: three out of five news items concern the company. The latest news? A hacker program for the iPhone named AppSnapp installs itself on iPhone and iPod Touch devices by exploiting a vulnerability in the embedded Safari browser, and then patches the vulnerability after installation. A rather interesting idea, that is. The website for the program boasts that your device is more secure with AppSnapp than it is without, as the vulnerability used is a long-standing TIFF handler problem. The program does not unlock the phone; users must use anySIM for that. The…

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No Credit or Debit Card, No iPhone

Speaking of Apple, it has come out recently that consumers can only buy an iPhone with a credit or debit card; cash isn’t accepted any more. This restriction comes as an addition to the two-phone-per-person limit enforced since the iPhone’s release. An employee at the Apple Store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood says Apple needs to do it so they can track who buys the iPhones. The estimated are costing them money — up to $4,500,000, according to some estimates — and Apple wants to crack down. This whole business of unlocking and relocking the iPhone is getting ridiculous; it’s…

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Leopard: 2,000,000 Copies Served

Just in the time since October 26, when Apple’s Leopard OS X upgrade was released, over two million (yes, 2,000,000) copies have been sold, according to Apple. This number would put Tiger, the previous version, in second place when it comes to first-weekend sales. Steve Jobs says that the new upgrade is getting good reviews, and the innovative features are making more people than ever think about switching to the Mac. Personally, I’m not too much of a Mac fan — I find them pricey, and the interface is a little weird to me, a Windows user — but the…

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iPhone Stats: 250,000 Units Unlocked

Apparently, the 10% to 15% guestimations analysts made about unlocked iPhones were too low. A whopping 18% (approximately 250,000) of all iPhones sold so far (about 1.4 million) are unlocked and running on networks other than AT&T. Apple COO Tim Cook, who made the announcement, also warned users that Apple won’t let the phones remain unlocked for long. Remember ? I’m watching for another one; it’s definitely coming. Apple may be , but you’ll still have to take your apps on an AT&T service plan.

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Apple iTunes: $canReg = ($haveCreditCard) ? "Welcome to iTunes!" : "Go away!";

I’m not done complaining about Apple yet. I just downloaded iTunes so I could play my music files and have them show up in Google Talk without updating Windows Media Player to version 11. So I have to convert them to MP3, big deal. They’re three times the size, but I can just back up the original WMAs and re-convert them if I lose the MP3s. Anyway, that’s not really what I’m complaining about; it’s a minor annoyance that iTunes can read WMA files but won’t play them or add them to your library without converting them to AAC or…

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Regressions in Firefox 2.0.0.8

Mozilla is reportedly rushing to fix several regressions in the latest security update to the Firefox browser, version 2.0.0.8. The patch could be available as early as next week, and will address problems with startup crashes (on XP), two page-rendering issues (all versions), and an odd bug that disables extensions on a fraction of Windows PCs. I’ve noticed some issues with the toolbar reverting to default state, adding things back and removing others, and the address bar failed to respond to the return key earlier today until I restarted the browser, but I have definitely seen the toolbar bug before,…

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iPhone Incites Consumer Awareness of Locked Phones

Apparently, has sparked consumer awareness in the United States. People are starting to ask themselves why their phones are locked. This is a good thing; carriers have been locking phones for years, and it boils down to the insertion of a few lines of code in each phone’s software that keeps it from working with someone else. The handset makers and service providers do it intentionally, to make more money at the expense of their consumers. In other parts of the world, where GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) phones are the norm (we have them here, but some networks…

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iPhone SDK Due in February

In what looks like a response to all the iPhone hacking going on, Apple has announced that they will be releasing an SDK (Software Development Kit) for the iPhone and iPod Touch this coming February. A step in the right direction, finally. Soon, hacks like Jailbreak and the newer iPhoneJailBreak won’t be necessary. Third-party apps will be written and installable directly on the phone without any tweaks. I can finally say, “Go Apple!”

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iJailBreak: New iPhone App Installer

PC World reports that a thirteen-year-old coder, named AriX, has released an application to install third-party applications on the new iPhone firmware. It is freely downloadable from Google Code. The only interaction necessary, according to the article, is a soft-reset of the iPhone. I don’t know what’s more impressive: The fact that the new encrypted software has been cracked, or the fact that a 13-year-old did this. Very impressive! Congratulations, AriX!

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