Hacker cites iOS 6 code as becoming more secure, offering “tougher protections”

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Date: Wednesday, December 26th, 2012, 07:18
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

Hacking an iOS device may be getting tougher to do.

Per iPodNN, in a recent tweet, hacker i0n1c has revealed that the forthcoming iOS 6.1 update adds “again tougher protections” to the codebase even compared to iOS 6, suggesting that security has been dramatically improved.

While many users have perfectly legitimate reasons (beyond just wanting to) for jailbreaking their iOS devices, because the technique relies on finding an exploitable “hole” in the OS code that could also be used for malicious purposes, Apple is naturally very eager to close up avenues by which unofficial or dangerous code could be injected into the device — even though many “unofficial” apps are simply ones that were rejected by Apple for App Store guideline violations, mostly for altering core OS elements.

Closing down jailbreaking loopholes will also close off one of the principle sources of pirated apps, also giving Apple considerable incentive to cut off the practice. Holes in Android code are frequently used to install scamware, malware, privacy-compromising and even virus-ridden apps — a growing problem for Google, though the ability to heavily customize and “root” Android devices is a major selling point to the most technically-proficient of Android’s audience.

The hacker community believes that iOS 6 will eventually get an “untethered” (meaning “persistent through restarts”) jailbreak, but that iOS 6.1 may represent the end of the free jailbreaking road. The security may simply have reached a point where only those likely to sell any remaining exploit secrets are likely to be able to come up with any.

Apple has made security a top priority on iOS, since it is the only platform where malware is all but completely unknown. Many of the security improvements made in iOS have also been transferred to the Mac as applicable, including complete sandboxing of applications and developer “signatures” on apps.

In his tweet, i0n1c refers to a “changing of the guard” that has brought much-improved security to iOS. It’s unknown if this refers to Craig Federighi’s recent promotion to handle both iOS and OS X, or if this is a reference to Kristin Paget, a top white-hat hacker herself who is now listed on LinkedIn as a “Core OS Security Researcher” at Apple.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Earth updated to 7.0.2.8415

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Date: Wednesday, December 19th, 2012, 08:13
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, software giant Google released version 7.0.2.8415 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 40.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

What’s New:
- We have included substantial performance improvements to this build. You should see scenes load more rapidly than in our previous public Beta release.

- We have included minor tweaks to the Tour Guide UI.

Issues fixed in this release:
- We fixed the bug that prevented users from recording movies from saved tours.

- Wikipedia text displays in tours.

- Gray buildings and extruded polygons have improved lighting effects.

- Imagery holes no longer appear after sun has been turned on in DirectX on certain hardware configurations.

- Icons align correctly upon installation of .dmg.

Known issues in Google Earth 7:
- When run in DirectX mode on certain Radeon graphics cards on Windows, SketchUp models and extruded polygons will appear gray. To work around this issue, run Earth in OpenGL mode.

- When run in OpenGL mode on certain Intel graphics cards, SketchUp models and extruded polygons will appear gray. To work around this issue, run Earth in DirectX mode.

- Clamped Polygons and Image Overlays display multiple instances in 3D cities on certain hardware configurations.

- KML overlays don’t render correctly in 3D cities in DX on certain hardware configurations.

- Water surfaces around coastlines will flicker then resolve upon zoom.

- Placemark and linestring quality diminishes in the Plugin with browser refresh. To workaround, zoom closely into the KML you want to view.

- Terrain and Water Surface oddities exist at the antimeridian.

Google Earth 7.0.2.8415 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.101

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 18th, 2012, 07:22
Category: News, Software

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Hey, an update’s an update.

Late Monday, Google released version 23.0.1271.101 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This build contains the fix to a bug with sound distortion with microphone input: 157613.

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.101 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Revised Google Maps app for iOS goes live, now available

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 13th, 2012, 08:29
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

You’ve been hankering for it and it’s here.

Late Wednesday, Google released the iOS-native version of its Google Maps application. The app, a 6.7 megabyte download via the App Store, adds the following fixes and changes:

Search:
- Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.

- Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.

- Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.

Directions:
- Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.

- Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.

- Access live traffic information in cities across the world.

Street View and imagery:
- View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.

- See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.

- View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.

Simple and easy to use:
- An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.

- Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.

- Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.

Google Maps 1.0 for iOS requires iOS 5.1 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.97

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012, 08:05
Category: News, Software

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Hey, an update’s an update.

Late Tuesday, Google released version 23.0.1271.97 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Some texts in a Website Settings popup are trimmed (Issue: 159156).

- Some plugins stopped working (Issue: 159896).

- Fixed a known crash (Issue:161854).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.97 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple, Google reportedly partnering on $500 million bid for Kodak’s patents

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Date: Monday, December 10th, 2012, 07:50
Category: News, Patents

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Apple and Google may not always see eye to eye on matters, but both of them know a deal when they see one.

Per Bloomberg, Apple has reportedly teamed up with Google to offer a bid for Kodak patents worth over US$500 million.

On Friday, the news site cited two sources familiar with Kodak’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings who claim Apple and Google have become partners in a grab for 1,100 patents owned by the erstwhile photography monolith. Sources say the Apple-Google consortium was behind a bid placed a bid earlier this week.

When bidding first started, the companies led two separate teams, with Apple’s consortium including Microsoft and patent holdings firm Intellectual Ventures, while Google joined up with RPX Corp. and a number of Asian handset manufacturers. At the time, it was thought that HTC and Samsung were part of Google’s team.

Before the imaging patent auction began in August, Kodak estimated the value of its portfolio to fall between US$2.2 and US$2.6 billion, though the first round of bids were reportedly in the range of US$150 million to US$250 million. Under the terms of Kodak’s US$793 million loan agreement, the winning bid for the portfolio must not be lower than US$500 million.

Interestingly, Kodak previously leveraged patents in a suit against Apple and HTC, as well as an ITC case against Apple and RIM, as a last-ditch effort to stay afloat. Apple subsequently took action and sued Kodak after claiming ownership of ten patents related to the QuickTake camera, which was a cooperative project between the two companies. A judge ultimately ordered the Cupertino, Calif., company to halt current and future litigation so the bankruptcy proceedings could continue.

In November, sources claimed both Apple and Google remained interested in the patent cache, and Kodak said it was “confident” that the minimum woud be reached.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google releases updated iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, 06:36
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, News, Software

Remember how you liked a native iOS version of the YouTube app?

It’s back.

Per AppleInsider, Google on Tuesday released its native YouTube app for Apple’s iDevices, bringing an optimized user experience for iPad and the iPhone 5′s 4-inch screen as well as other enhancements.

When Google launched the first standalone YouTube for iOS app in September, the effort was largely considered to be a stopgap until the company was able to build a universal version that would work on both the iPad and iPhone, including the then-unreleased iPhone 5.

Until now, iPad users wanting access to YouTube were forced to download third-party apps or use the ubiquitous web video service’s web client through Safari. With Tuesday’s update, YouTube is now native on all iOS devices, including the Retina display-toting iPad. The app also supports the iPhone 5′s 4-inch display, meaning the app no longer has black “handlebars” when viewing videos in landscape mode, a major gripe some had with the original version released before iOS 6.

The new version offers the following fixes and changes:
- Optimized for iPad and iPhone 5.

- Stream videos with AirPlay.

- Tap logo to open your Guide of channels.

- Add and remove videos from your playlists.

- Clickable links in video descriptions.

- Improved accessibility with VoiceOver.

YouTube for iOS weighs in at 11.6 MB, requires iOS 5.0 or later to install and run and can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Rumor: Apple hiring dozens of Israel-based former Texas Instruments chip engineers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, 06:06
Category: Hardware, Processors, Rumor

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Never doubt the power of hiring the best engineers you can find.

Per The Next Web, Apple has reportedly hired a number of former Texas Instruments engineers living in Israel, with the new employees said to bolster the tech giant’s research and development resources in the region.

Sources familiar with Apple’s developing Israel-based operations have stated that the company has been hiring “dozens” of engineers to work in the cities of Haifa and Herzliya, the latter of which being the home base of purchased the flash memory maker in December of 2011.

The sources went on to say that Apple is picking up former TI employees who were laid off in a culling of 250 jobs at the company’s Ra’anana location, which itself is part of a larger global workforce cutdown of around 1,700 employees. According to TI Israel’s website, the Ra’anana campus was responsible for wireless connectivity solutions like WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS and OMAP products. OMAP, or Open Multimedia Applications Platform, is a type of system-on-a-chip developed by the Texas-based company currently being used in portable devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.

Apple in April was reported to be gearing up for a major hiring campaign to fill spots at its Israel R&D center located in Haifa’s Scientific Industries Center, which boasts a collective of high-tech companies like Google, Intel and IBM. The recent TI Israel hires won’t be the first for Apple, as former Deputy CEO Etai Zaitsman is said to be working on the Haifa initiative headed up by Aharon Aharon, a veteran of Israel’s tech industry.

In May, users discovered a number of listings on Apple’s job board for SoC engineers located in the Haifa and Herzliya Pituah regions of Israel.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.95

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 30th, 2012, 08:54
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a bug fix.

Late Monday, Google released a beta of version Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.95 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- [161564] High CVE-2012-5138: Incorrect file path handling. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Jüri Aedla).

- [$7331] [162835] High CVE-2012-5137: Use-after-free in media source handling. Credit to Pinkie Pie.

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.95 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a bug fix.

Late Monday, Google released a beta of version Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- No audio from Flash content when speaker configuration is set to Quadraphonic (Issue: 159924).

- Aw, Snap renderer crash on Windows Server 2003 (Issue: 160559).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.91 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.