Heartbleed bug hits the Internet

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Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014, 08:25
Category: Announcement, Hacks, privacy, security, Websites

heartbleedA newly announced bug, dubbed “Heartbleed” has got online companies on the run as they race to patch the insecurity. In spite of all the current fervor however, the bug has actually been around for about two years. It may also be the first wide-scale bug to have its own web page and logo (heartbleed.com). Heartbleed is based on a fault in functionality in the widely used OpenSSL library. OpenSSL is the cryptographic software that protects information being transferred from server to server throughout the internet. It is meant to stop hackers from intercepting secure information such as logins, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

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Could the Facebook app be killing your battery?

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Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Apps, battery, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

ios7-facebook-logo-iconWe recently did a piece on iPhone battery saving tips, but it looks like we need to add another one to the list. Evidence has been found that Facebook’s iOS app may be a suspect in shortening battery life. The web site overthought.com, run by Scotty Loveless, has its own battery saving tips which adds Facebook’s app as a culprit. Being an ex-Apple Genius gave Scotty some extra insight into his own iPhone’s battery drain. Fueled by evidence collected over the years in the support field, and recent finger-pointing to the iOS 7.1 update as the cause for many users’ battery woes, he set out to pinpoint the most likely, and serious, battery draining problems.

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Safari updated to version 7.0.3

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Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 15:04
Category: App Store, Apple, Mac, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, OS X, security, Software

safari_icoEarlier this week, Apple released an update to Safari bringing it up to version 7.0.3 for Mavericks and Safari 6.1.3 for Mountain Lion and Lion users. The updates are available through the OS X App Store application. You will need to quit Safari, if it is open, in order to complete the update. The following is the list of changes in the update:

  • Fixes an issue that could cause the search address field to load a webpage or send a search term before the return key is pressed
  • Improves credit card auto fill compatibility with websites
  • Fixes an issue that could block receipt of push notifications from websites
  • Adds a preference to turn off push notification prompts from websites
  • Adds support for webpages with generic top-level domains
  • Strengthens Safari sandboxing
  • Fixes security issues, including several identified in recent security competitions

Interesting to note is Apple’s nod to non-Apple sources for the security fixes, although the specify sources are not named.

 

 

Pebble 2.1.1 update now in the App Store, appears to solve crashing issues

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 14:05
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconSometime yesterday, Pebble’s updated iOS app to fix the problems introduced by the 2.1 update, appeared on the App Store. Version 2.1.1, in our experience, has resolved the problems, in particular the inability to launch the iOS app. I simply installed the new version over the old and everything started up fine. There was a method posted on some sites for removing 2.1 and reinstalling the old version, but I do not know the results of trying this. Pebble’s response was little more than a confirmation that the updated app had been submitted and then the fact that the 2.1.1 version was showing up in the App Store. The following in the list of changes introduced by the 2.1/2.1.1 update:

Pebble iOS App (v.2.1.1) Release notes:

  • Share apps with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, and text message.
  • New apps added to the appstore.
  • Fixed issues with version 2.1 (released 31-Mar-2014)
  • Bug fixes.

New features, if upgrading from v1.x app versions:

  • Pebble watchapp directory: browse, find and install the latest watchapps for Pebble.
  • List of prior notifications are now stored on your Pebble.
  • Watchapp locker: keep track of your favorite apps and manage the apps on your Pebble.
  • Completely revamped and improved user interface design.

 

Let us know in the comments if you are still having any trouble.

 

 

iOS Pebble 2.1 app critical fail [updated]

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014, 09:46
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconThe latest version of Pebble’s iOS app has proven to be a problem. Released on March 31st, the 2.1 version has totally disabled the app, generally crashing when anyone attempts to run it. Pebble advises anyone who has not yet updated the app not to do so until a fix is in place. If you are one of the lucky ones, it is recommended that you turn off Automatic Updates on your iPhone. Pebble has stated that a 2.1.1 update has already been submitted to Apple, but there is not yet any information on when it will go live on the App Store. While some sites are reporting that the buggy update prevents the smart watch from working, that is not necessarily the case. Being one of the unfortunate upgraders, I find that my Pebble is still working normally, but that I simply can’t make any changes other than what is available through the watch’s on-board settings. This includes switching out apps and watch faces from your Pebble locker, which is controlled by the iOS app. The iOS multitasking manager even seems to think that the Pebble app is open and running, which may indicate that the app is not actually crashing, but that something is wrong with the app’s ability to present its interface. Hopefully Apple will recognize the need for approval urgency and the new update will appear shortly, so keep a sharp eye out for it and let us know when you see it hit the App Store.

Update: 04-03-2014

Version 2.1.1 has been submitted and is now available in the App Store. The updated appears to have resolved the problems. More details here.

 

 

Maps app gets serious in iOS 8

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Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

Maps_iOS7Isn’t that typical? We just get a nice, new 7.1 update for iOS and people have already moved on to talk about what’s new in iOS 8. iOS 8?! Yes, apparently details about the next OS for iDevices has been leaking out of Cupertino, and one item of particular interest seems to be Maps. Most should be familiar with the story of Apple Maps by now. Apple dumped Google Maps as the default mapping solution for iOS 6, to be replaced by Apple’s own mapping solution. While pretty to look at, the new solution gets deployed without public transit info and then proceeds to prove that it really wasn’t ready by giving some horribly incorrect directions. Sadly, it still appears to be doing that. With the combined acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark and HopStop, Apple will hopefully be able to shake the bugs out of their mapping data as well as finally provide transit information within the Maps app. Rumors are that the transit info will even include schedules for shuttles and “enhanced” airport directions. A new “augmented reality” view will also overlay local information about the area that you’re mapping.

Personally, I’ve had pretty good results with Maps within the Bay Area, but I wouldn’t mind the security of not wondering if I should double-check everything in Google Maps.

 

 

Happy Monday! iOS 7.1 is here!

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 10th, 2014, 15:20
Category: Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iTunes Radio, Software

7.1_icon_trMondays don’t generally offer much to get excited about what with the return to the harsh, fluorescent lighting of the workplace, the annoying commute, and the reminder that you stayed up too late drinking on Saturday AND Sunday; but at least Apple there for you this week with a shiny, new iOS update. Yep, 7.1 is here, a little later than expected, but still in time to beat the iTunes Festival. Seeing as how this is a “major” update, you should probably have iTunes make a backup of your device before pulling the trigger on the 7.1 update. If you can’t wait, because maybe you are stuck in a boring meeting, you can update over-the-air too, but you’ll probably need around 2 GB free on your device.

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Recent security updates make Macs more secure, unless you’re a Snow Leopard user

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Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apple, Lion, Mac, privacy, Processors, security, Software

snowleopardEverybody was concerned last week when it was announced that a nasty bug in OS X was leaving Macs vulnerable to attacks that could grab information traveling across shared networks. While it has been confirmed that the bug only affected Mavericks, Apple simultaneously posted security updates for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was no sign of any security love for Snow Leopard (10.6). This really shouldn’t be a surprise to most people since 10.6 was also skipped when a previous security update was released as well as an update to the Safari browser. The omission of 10.6 from the current update simply confirms that Snow Leopard is no longer on Apple’s radar.

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OS X 10.9.2 update is out, run don’t walk to Software Update

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Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, 16:46
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, OS X, security, Software

apple_logoAmongst recent criticism about Apple’s failure to fix an SSL security flaw in OS X, and recently patched on iDevices with iOS 7.0.6, today they released the OS X 10.9.2 update which is available via the App Store app. There was a long list of application updates and system fixes, but noticeably absent in the list was mention of the specific SSL security hole that has been dominating the news recently. The good news is that several sources confirm that there is indeed a fix for it present in the update. This one is pretty important, so it is strongly recommended that you apply the update sooner rather than later…like now would be a good time. Apple historically does not like to confirm or draw notice to security issues in software, especially not ones that have been around longer than they should have been, which probably accounts for this. Apple’s official page on the update is here, but a list of items is included below.

My personal recommendations for applying system updates;

  1. Make sure you run a backup, or that Time Machine has done so recently
  2. Close all running apps (except the App Store of course)
  3. Open Disk Utility and perform a Repair Permissions, the close Disk Utility
  4. Install the update
  5. Once the Mac applies the update and reboots, run Repair Permissions again
  6. Go get some coffee

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Microsoft finally patching up Skype message sync problems

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Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014, 09:14
Category: Announcement, Microsoft, Software

skypeiconFor some time since Microsoft acquired Skype, the conferencing and messaging software, users have been plagued by messages that won’t sync from one device to another. Additional problems included delayed notifications of new messages or notification of messages that have already been read. Anyone who used iMessages in its early days will recall similar, frustrating issues with Apple’s internet chat service.

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