Rick Astley Worm Appears for Jailbroken iPhones

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Date: Monday, November 9th, 2009, 05:53
Category: iPhone, News

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When your iPhone’s been rickrolled, that’s saying something.

Per CNET, reports started spreading this weekend that iPhone users in Australia had been falling victim to “ikee,” a worm that replaces default wallpaper with a picture of Rick Astley, the British pop singer whose song “Never Gonna Give You Up” has gained eternal infamy thanks to the mainstreaming of the “Rickrolling” prank craze. The photo is accompanied by the message “ikee is never gonna give you up,” and it’s apparently quite difficult to remove. According to security firm Sophos, this is the first worm detected that targets the iPhone.

The vulnerability itself is pretty specific, as the handset must be jailbroken in order to be affected. The worm appears to spread by searching an infected phone’s contacts to find other jailbroken-phone users who have installed the Unix software SSH (secure shell) but haven’t yet changed their passwords from Apple’s default root password, “alpine.”

Sophos says that it has not heard of any occurrences of the worm outside Australia, and that while it doesn’t appear to do anything worse than irritate and embarrass affected users, that it highlights the vulnerabilities that jailbroken iPhone users face.

Orange Announces November 10th Launch Date for UK Customers

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Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 06:40
Category: iPhone, News

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Wireless carrier Orange announced that Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3GS handsets will be available to the company’s customers on November 10th, marking the end of a two- year exclusive deal with operator O2.

Per BBC News, Orange said it would offer the handset to pay as you go, pay monthly and business customers.

Customers taking out 24 month contracts worth £30 or £45 a month will get the handset for free.
The Orange tariffs are very similar to O2 and the cheapest 24 month contract is £29.36, compared with £34.26 with O2.

“Since we announced the iPhone on Orange we have already seen more than a quarter of a million customers register their interest on our website,” said Tom Alexander, head of Orange UK.

Back in September, both Orange and Vodafone announced that they would be offering the iPhone. Vodafone said the phone would be available on its network from 2010 but has yet to confirm pricing details.

O2 has offered the iPhone since its UK launch in 2007.

Rumor: Apple May Switch From AT&T to Verizon as Official iPhone Carrier

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Date: Wednesday, October 28th, 2009, 08:51
Category: iPhone, News, Rumor

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Should Apple end its exclusive carrier agreement with AT&T next year, it will likely mark the end of its estimated US$450 carrier subsidy for the iPhone, a new analysis has forecast.

Per AppleInsider, analyst Brian Marshall with Broadpoint.AmTech said that the “sweetheart” carrier subsidy provided by AT&T for the iPhone would not be attainable with Verizon. According to Marshall’s note to investors, the analyst believes that the iPhone will be added to the Verizon network in the second half of 2010, but not without consequences.

A non-exclusive iPhone, Marshall forecast, would command roughly a US$300 carrier subsidy. But he believes that any losses would be made up in volume, as Verizon is predicted to sell roughly 14 million iPhones in the 2011 calendar year. With an average selling price of around US$500, which would account for another US$7 billion in revenue for Apple.

“While AAPL started off with exclusive arrangements in 2007 with the original iPhone launch, the company has since migrated towards multiple carriers per region,” the note said. “In our view, diverse carrier support is a key element to driving global penetration of the iPhone (from ~3% share today of the total handset market). Therefore, we believe the chances are high the iPhone will find its way onto the VZ network in 2H10.”

Marshall’s assumption of 14 million Verizon iPhones is based on the performance Apple has had on AT&T’s network. Within six quarters of the iPhone’s launch, the handset has become 4% of AT&T’s postpaid subscriber base.

In the September quarter, the iPhone was said to represent more than 90% of AT&T’s total postpaid additions — an increase from 57% from a year earlier, and 33% in September 2007. It is based on the strength of the iPhone that AT&T has posted subscriber gains on market leader Verizon, adding 2 million customers last quarter to Verizon’s 1.2 million.

AT&T activated a record 3.2 million iPhones last quarter, of which nearly 40% were customers new to the wireless carrier. But CEO Ralph de la Vega also predicted that the iPhone will not remain exclusive to AT&T forever, though he believes his company’s portfolio will remain strong after the device jumps to other carriers.

Apple Modifies iPhone BootROM on 3GS Models to Stop Hacking Efforts

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Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 04:56
Category: iPhone, Software

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If you can’t beat them on software, change the BootROM. Per iClarified, Apple has taken an usual step in its efforts to stop groups from hacking its iPhone hardware and installed a modified iPhone 3GS BootROM. The report noted that the new iPhone is no longer vulnerable to the so-called “24kpwn” exploit.

Over the years, it’s this exploit that hackers have used to jailbreak the iPhone. With the most recent update, they will have to find another way to hack the device.

Jailbreaking of the iPhone is nothing new, but it has been an ongoing battle between Apple and the hacking community since the first iPhone was released. It seems whenever a new version of the iPhone OS is released, Apple breaks the most recent hacks.

However, within days or weeks, the hacking community comes out with a “fix” and the cycle starts all over again. There is no word yet on how the community will get around the latest update.

Apple Reportedly Working on FM Radio Application for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 06:54
Category: iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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Apple is reportedly developing an FM radio application for the iPhone and iPod touch, with similar functions now available to iPod nano users. Per 9to5Mac, the company is developing an FM radio application that would work in the background, like listening to music via iTunes, while users check email and surf the Internet.

Last month Apple added an FM radio tuner to the popular iPod nano with the ability to pause and rewind your favorite radio stations and shows while on the go.

The radio supports tagging in the US, with listeners able to buy songs they hear on air via iTunes.

According to 9to5Mac: “The holdup on this app is that Apple is trying to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchases into the functionality of the program.”

The website suggests Apple could could add some Shazam technology to help with those stations that don’t support tagging, which appears to be the majority of them.

Apple’s iPhones and iPods are already able to receive FM radio signals but the function has only be used for the Nike+ ecosystem until now according to 9to5Mac.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.1.2 Update

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Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 06:49
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released version 3.1.2 of its iPhone OS firmware. The update, which weighs in at over 200 megabytes and can be downloaded by attaching your iPhone to your Mac or PC, clicking the device in iTunes, then clicking the “Check for Update” button, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Resolves sporadic issue that may cause iPhone to not wake from sleep.
- Resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart.
- Fixes bug that could cause occasional crash during video streaming.

The update also leads to a small carrier update from AT&T for American users.

If you’ve installed 3.1.2 and noticed any changes, for good or ill, please let us know what you think.

Mophie Announces Trio of New Chargers/Adapters for iPhone, iPod

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Date: Thursday, October 8th, 2009, 04:07
Category: Accessory, iPhone, iPod

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Accessory outfitter Mophie announced the launch of three new charging devices geared towards charging iPhones, iPods and other USB-charge compatible devices. Per iPodNN, the first product is a US$15 Low-Profile USB Car Charger which plugs into a vehicle’s power socket and provides a single USB outlet.

The company also released a new Dual USB Wall Charger that provides two USB ports for powering or charging two different items from one AC outlet. The device plugs into wall sockets only and features a folding design for better portability and retails for US$20.

Finally, the company also introduced a dual application charger works in the car and home, the Car and Wall International Charger. The device has a swiveling arm for connecting to car power sockets at odd or difficult angles. It provides USB power from a car socket, wall socket and can work internationally with Mophie’s International Adaptor Power Kit. The charger goes for US$25 and the International Adaptor Travel Kit retails for US$15.

Apple Store Customer Allegedly Displays Gun in Wake of iPhone Troubles

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Date: Monday, October 5th, 2009, 07:50
Category: iPhone

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You love your iPhone or you hate it.

Per the WCPO web site, a frustrated customer at the Kenwood Towne Centre Apple store Thursday afternoon ended up going to jail after police say he showed an employee a gun.

According to court records, Donald Goodrich, 38, of Westwood, was frustrated his iPhone was not working properly.

He told the employee he was, “So mad, I could pop a 9mm at it.”

The Apple Store employee allegedly told Goodrich there was no need for that with Goodrich replying “I’ll do it right now. Look!”

Goodrich then allegedly opened the right side of his shirt, displaying a black, 9mm handgun.

Goodrich had a concealed weapon permit.

The employee told Goodrich she’d get his phone fixed and walked him over to a technician in the store, then told her manager, who called police.

Goodrich is charged with aggravated menacing, causing fear of harm to an Apple employee and also faces a carrying concealed weapons charge for not telling the deputy he had a gun. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday morning.

Elgato Announces EyeTV for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2009, 05:00
Category: iPhone, iPod, Software

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Software developer Elgato has announced the release of EyeTV for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. The iPhone application lets Elgato EyeTV users view TV recordings wherever they are. EyeTV also gives users on the go control over remote recording, scheduling as well as providing a TV guide.

Per Macworld UK, the application requires a Wi-Fi connection for watching live TV on your iPhone or iPod touch.

EyeTV for iPhone connects to any Mac running the latest version of Elgato’s software, EyeTV 3.2, and will automatically find a Mac on the local network using Bonjour.

The application can also find and access a remote Mac via “My EyeTV”, a free locator utility introduced as part of the latest EyeTV 3.2 software update, which sets up any router that supports UPnP or NAT-PMP protocols automatically.

Users can manually configure their routers and/or use a dynamic DNS service.

The application is available from the Apple iTunes App Store EyeTV, retails for US$4.99 and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and an EyeTV 3.2 or higher TV tuner.

China Unicom to Begin Selling iPhone 3G in October

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Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 04:56
Category: iPhone

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Apple’s iPhone 3G smartphone will go on sale in China in October, operator China Unicom said on Monday.

According to Macworld UK, the handset will go on sale in October for around 5,000 yuan (US$733), the operator said, without offering specific pricing for the two iPhone 3G models, which have storage capacity for 16GB and 32GB of data, respectively.

The Chinese version of the iPhone 3G, which intentionally lacks Wi-Fi networking support, will be offered with eight different service plans, which range in price from 126 yuan to 886 yuan per month, China Unicom said. These packages will include 450MB to 4GB of mobile data access, 120 to 880 SMS messages, 15 to 95 MMS messages, and between 320 to 3,000 minutes of talk time.

Details of all eight pricing plans were not available, and it was not immediately clear if iPhone 3G customers would pay the full retail price with all of these plans.

The Chinese launch of the iPhone 3G closely tracks the commercial launch of China Unicom’s 3G service, which is based on WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology.

The 3G service officially starts operations on 1 October, which is a national holiday and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.