Apple now hiring Maps Ground Truth managers in seven countries to help clean up iOS 6 Maps application

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Date: Thursday, March 28th, 2013, 05:04
Category: iOS, News, Software

When in doubt, add additional staff to a project.

Per iMore, Apple is increasing its efforts to improve Maps around the world, having recently posted open positions for Maps Ground Truth managers in seven countries. Previously, Apple had only been hiring for these positions in Australia. Among other dutites, managers are expected to be able to do things like provide feedback for their area to enhance maps, according to the company’s job postings web site.
- Testing new releases of map code and data around the U.S.

- Collecting ground truth data to allow for analysis of the impact of potential map code or data changes relative to known truth.

- Utilizing local expertise to provide feedback about U.S.-specific mapping details.

- Evaluating competing products in-region relative to our maps.

Ground truth refers to collecting mapping data locally rather than by satellite imagery or other remote means. We heard about Apple retail employees being asked to help improve Maps back in October. This, however, points to teams of people dedicated to mapping improvements.

Apple has been steadily improving Maps since the launch of iOS 6 in September of last year. Enhancements to Flyover, 3D buildings, and turn-by-turn navigation have been made to locations around the world. There is still a long way to go, but there is no doubt that Apple’s making the effort to fix its mistakes.

Google Chrome updated to 26.0.1410.43

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Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 05:12
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a worthwhile update.

On Tuesday, Google released version 26.0.1410.43 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- “Ask Google for suggestions” spell checking feature improvements (e.g. grammar and homonym checking).

- Desktop shortcuts for multiple users (profiles) on Windows.

- Asynchronous DNS resolver on Mac and Linux.

Google Chrome 26.0.1410.43 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 purchases WifiSLAM, attached “indoor GPS” technology for $20 million

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Well, Apple had to buy SOMETHING…

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple recently closed a deal worth about $20 million to acquire WifiSLAM, a Silicon Valley firm focused on building technology that affords users positioning data while indoors.

The news paper was able to confirm the acquisition with an Apple spokesman, though the company did not give details of the deal or what it plans to do with WifiSLAM’s “indoor GPS” technology.

“[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time,” the spokesman said, declining further comment.

In the report, the publication cited people familiar with the acquisition as saying Apple paid some US$20 million in the recently closed deal.

WifiSLAM is a developer of indoor positioning technologies, which extends location data to the inside of buildings and other structures using Wi-Fi signals. The data can be used by third-party apps to accurately grant handset users positioning data where GPS signals are absent.

The indoor positioning startup is two years old and has already raised funding from angel investors, though the exact amount is unknown. WifiSLAM has a number of ties to Google, including the company’s co-founder Joseph Huang, who was a software engineering intern at the search giant. Current Google employee Don Dodge is also listed as an angel investor.

Apple could implement the positioning assets into its much maligned iOS Maps app as an answer to Google’s Indoor Maps initiative, which leverages crowdsourcing to deliver indoor location information for a number of sites worldwide.

While Apple’s first-party mapping service has seen improvements since stumbling out of the gates in September 2012, many users still prefer to use the Google Maps iOS app, which offers features like Street View and a more robust set of satellite imagery.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.172

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Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 07:08
Category: News, security, Software

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Hey, take an update where you can find it.

On Wednesday, Google released version 25.0.1364.172 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This release contains stability improvements, and a new version of Adobe Flash.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.172 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.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.160

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Date: Friday, March 8th, 2013, 07:52
Category: News, security, Software

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You can’t fault a company for regularly updating its software.

On Friday, Google released version 25.0.1364.160 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- [Fixed] High CVE-2013-0912: Type confusion in WebKit.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.160 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.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.155

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Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2013, 06:09
Category: News, Software

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Hey, an update’s an update.

On Wednesday, Google released version 25.0.1364.155 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This release fixes a crash when typing in the Omnibox.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.155 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.

Researcher locates HTML 5 exploit, floods hard drive with cat images in proof of concept video

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Date: Monday, March 4th, 2013, 07:32
Category: News, security, Software

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In as much as Java and Adobe Flash Player have taken recent beatings where security is concerned, apparently no platform is safe.

Per the BBC, a recently discovered flaw in the HTML 5 coding language could allow websites to bombard users with gigabytes of junk data, with a number of popular browsers being open to the vulnerability.

According to developer Feross Aboukhadijeh, who uncovered the bug this week and posted it to his blog, data dumps can be performed on most major Web browsers, including Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Opera, the BBC reported. The only browser to stop data dump tests was Mozilla’s Firefox, which capped storage at 5MB.

If in doubt, this proof of concept video sorta says it all…:



The problem is rooted in how HTML 5 handles local data storage. While each browser has different storage parameters, many of which support user-definable limits, all provide for at least 2.5 megabytes of data to be stored on a user’s computer.

Aboukhadijeh discovered a loophole that bypasses the imposed data cap by creating numerous temporary websites that are linked to a user-visited site. Because most browsers don’t account for the contingency, the secondary sites were allowed local storage provisions in amounts equal to the primary site’s limit. By generating a multitude of linked websites, the bug can dump enormous amounts of data onto affected computers.

In testing the flaw, Aboukhadijeh was able to dump 1GB of data every 16 seconds on his SSD-equipped MacBook Pro with Retina display. He noted that 32-bit browsers like Chrome may crash before a disk is filled.

“Cleverly coded websites have effectively unlimited storage space on visitor’s computers,” Aboukhadijeh wrote in a blogpost.

The developer has released code to exploit the bug and has created a dedicated website called Filldisk to highlight the flaw. In true internet meme fashion, the site dumps images of cats on to an affected machine’s hard drive.

Bug reports have already been sent to makers of the affected Web browsers, and Aboukhadijeh said malicious use of his code has yet to been seen in the wild.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google opens Maps API to entire developer base

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 08:04
Category: News, Software

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Well, this is one pretty definite way to win the GPS app war…

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google has expanded its Google maps SDK for iOS developers. The SDK, which was quietly launched back in December, allowed developers to do two things: first, they can embed Google Maps in their apps instead of Apple Maps, and second, they could specify in their apps if an address or directions should be opened in Apple Maps, or the Google Maps app. However, in order to access the SDK, iOS developers had to register their interest and wait in line to be approved, which led to a limited amount of third-party apps bringing Google maps back.

Google has now released version 1.1 of Google Maps SDK for iOS. Not only does the updated SDK include support for ground overlays, gesture control and geodesic polylines, it makes the Google Maps API immediately available to all developers that want it. Now a developer simply needs to grab their keys from the Google API Console.

With the release of Google Maps SDK for iOS version 1.1 users can expect to see a quick uptick in the number of iOS apps that are using Google Maps again.

If you’ve had a chance to play with the new SDK, please let us know.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.99

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

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Ya can’t knock a regular update.

On Thursday, Google released version 25.0.1364.99 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Improvements in managing and securing your extensions.

- Better support for HTML5 time/date inputs.

- Javascript speech API support.

- Better WebGL error handling.

- And lots of other features for developers.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.99 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.

Google Chrome updated to 24.0.1312.57

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Date: Thursday, January 31st, 2013, 07:25
Category: News, Software

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An update’s an update.

Late Wednesday, Google released version 24.0.1312.57 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Mac: r177690 Fix renderer crashes when using certain IMEs. (Issue 152566)

- Mac: r178517 Fix microphone input dropout with Pepper Flash. (Issue 168859)

- Chrome Frame: r178591 Fix renderer exiting in certain cases when opening a new Window from Chrome Frame. (Issue 171877)

Google Chrome 24.0.1312.57 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.