O'Grady's PowerPage » Microsoft

Uncovered documents point towards CIA-sponsored program to break iOS device encryption, install backdoors

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015, 09:45
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

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When the CIA sponsors a full-on “jamboree” focused on breaking the security found in the iPhone and iPad, there’s something to be said for that.

According to recently obtained top-secret documents, security researchers were gathered at a CIA-sponsored “Jamboree” event wherein attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released.

By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.

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Microsoft Office apps for iOS updated to 1.6, add iCloud support

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015, 06:00
Category: iOS, News, Software

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This should come in handy.

A recent update of Microsoft’s Office for iOS now includes support for iCloud.

Microsoft’s vaunted word processor, spreadsheet and presentation apps now use iCloud as a document storage provider. Documents can be opened, edited, and saved directly to and from the service for users on iOS 8.

Alongside iCloud support, Microsoft promises unspecified “bug fixes” in the latest versions.

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Smartphone theft drops dramatically in London, two U.S. cities following kill switch implementation

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:34
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Legal, News, Software

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This may be better news, but keep an eye on your iPhone when you’re in crowds.

Thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three major cities since manufacturers began implementing “kill switches” that allow the phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen, authorities said on Tuesday.

The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York in the 12 months after Apple Inc added a kill switch to its devices in September 2013. In London, smartphone theft dropped by half, according to an announcement by officials in the three cities.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Johnson, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among numerous officials arguing for new laws mandating the kill switches.

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Microsoft acquires Sunrise for $100 million, looks to expand cross-platform calendar app technologies

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 13:05
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, News, Software

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When in doubt, buy the best calendar app you can and make it part of your services package.

Microsoft has shelled out a reported US$100 million for Sunrise, an outfit offering a suite of calendar products for mobile and desktop users that connects with and consolidates calendars from different providers. It’s available on the iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and on the Mac App Store, as well as offering a web client.

Users can access their calendars from Google, iCloud, and Microsoft Exchange, as well as connecting to a wide range of other third-party apps. That cross-device and cross-platform support has helped it gain significant traction among users.

The purchase furthers Microsoft’s push into supporting the platforms of rival technology firms. Microsoft made waves when it released a touch-friendly version of Office for Apple iOS, for example, before it did so for its own Windows 10 platform.

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NFL forbids use of iPhones, other gadgets on the sidelines during the Super Bowl

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 30th, 2015, 11:39
Category: Fun, iPhone, News, Software

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If you’re going to be on the Super Bowl sidelines, LEAVE YOUR IPHONE AT HOME!!!

Of course, that’s if you’re going to be on the sidelines. Otherwise, bring your iPhone along.

NFL players and coaches are allowed no other tablets or smartphones on the sidelines. (Recently, the Cleveland Browns were accused of breaking that rule with texts from the press box to the field). In the coaches’ booth, no computers are allowed. Aside from the Microsoft tablets, Vince Lombardi could time-travel to coach the Patriots or Seahawks on Sunday and not find himself at a terrible technological disadvantage.

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Apple accounts for 51% of devices as Christmas gifts

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, retail

senoriphone6

These are the days of giving devices as gifts.

Specifically, Apple devices.

Per Flurry, 2014 turned into a banner year for Apple, its devices accounting for 51 percent of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their popularity in Asian markets where December 25th is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.

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Microsoft acquires HockeyApp development tool, incorporates new iOS and Android SDKs into Visual Studio Online services

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 12th, 2014, 11:22
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software

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It’s hard to say what Microsoft will do with it, but it could be interesting.

According to a blog post over on the Microsoft Developer Network, Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a class leading service for mobile crash analytics and app distribution for developers building apps on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The company stated that it will integrate HockeyApp into the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to expand Application Insights support for iOS and Android.

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, HockeyApp offers a range of mobile development services enabling developers to develop, distribute, and beta test great mobile applications.

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Apple Store locations to host Hour of Code introductory programming events on December 11th

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 5th, 2014, 11:24
Category: Developer, News, Software, Uncategorized

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Programming may not be your thing, but this could still be something nifty to take your kids to.

Per TechCrunch, Apple is participating in this year’s Hour of Code, the second annual worldwide event designed to help spark interest in and provide access to coding education among youth and students. Apple’s participation will involve offering free one-hour workshops at its Apple Store retail locations, during which they’ll provide attendees with an introduction to basic computer science concepts.

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Apple releases OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 19:13
Category: News, Software, Yosemite

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‘Tis a day for updates.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple has released OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 with bug fixes and performance improvements for Macs running the latest version of the desktop operating system.

The update offers the following fixes and changes:
– Improves Wi-Fi reliability.

– Improves reliability when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server.

– Resolves an issue that may prevent Mail from sending messages through certain email service providers.

– Addresses an issue prevents connecting to remote computers using Back to My Mac.

– Resolves an issue where sharing services, Notification Center widgets and Actions may not be available.

– Addresses an issue that could cause Notiication Center settings to not be retained after a restart.

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Microsoft begins overhauling Skype, launches selected users to Skype for Web beta

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 11:19
Category: News, Software

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A while back, it was reported that Microsoft has been significantly overhauling Skype.

As of Friday, the company announced that it is starting to roll Skype out onto the Web. Per 9to5Mac, Skype for Web will allow users to chat, video call, and manage contacts from a web browser without having to download the Skype app. Microsoft is currently offering Skype for Web as a beta to select users.

To participate in the Skype for Web beta, Microsoft says to log on to Skype.com where the browser-based version of the video calling will be and check for an invitation. The company says its making invitations available to a small number of users to start and will expand to users worldwide “in the coming months.”

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