Feature list surfaces for USB Type 3 protocol, cables to carry audio, video, power

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Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 10:16
Category: Hardware, News

There’s a lot to be said for a reversible cable.

And if it carries different kinds of data, that’s even better.

Per Macworld, industry groups VESA and the USB 3.0 Promoter Group outlined some of the specs of the upcoming, reversible Type-C USB cable. The cable, which is said to offer USB 3.1′s 10Gbps of data transfer speed, will also carry up to 100 watts of power and be able to deliver audio and video signals via DisplayPort technology.

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These features come courtesy of the “Alternate Mode” technology introduced in the recent USB Power Delivery specification—the one that enables 100W power delivery. Alternate Mode essentially lets Type-C be used for more than mere data transfer by allowing “Structured Vendor Defined Messages” to repurpose the pins in the cable for alternative uses. VESA’s “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” announced today leverages those capabilities.

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Apple releases OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks update

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Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014, 11:49
Category: Mavericks, News, security, Software

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In the midst of the iPhone 6 hype and hoopla, a major operating system update just hit.

Late Wednesday, Apple released OS X 10.9.5, which includes the following fixes and changes:

- Safari version 7.0.6.

- Fix for VPN-related vulnerability.

- Fix for file access from SMB servers.

- Fix for the reliability of virtual private network connections that use USB Smart Cards as IDs.

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Video shows new, reversible USB cable for iPhone 6

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Date: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, 16:54
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPhone 6, Lightning, Patents, Rumor, Uncategorized

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Last week presented us with a look at a new cable rumored to be coming from Apple with the iPhone 6. This new USB to Lightning cable has a reversible USB connector, meaning you can insert it into an ordinary USB port in both orientations just like the Lightning end. Now MacRumors points us toward a video, posted by the same person as earlier photos, showing the cable being plugged in both ways.

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Apple releases first OS X 10.9.5 beta, Safari seeds, to developer community

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Date: Thursday, July 31st, 2014, 10:04
Category: News, Software

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The first beta for OS X 10.9.5 as well as the new Safari builds are out the door.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday pushed out to developers the first beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks maintenance update alongside new builds of Safari 7.0.6 and 6.0.6.

The new OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks seed, build number 13F7, comes one month to the day after Apple released OS X 10.9.4 to the public in June, which brought fixes for Wi-Fi connectivity and wake-from-sleep bugs.

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Jonathan Zdziarski’s talk at hacker conferences shows backdoors on every iOS device, questionable services being run

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Date: Monday, July 21st, 2014, 16:25
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security

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There’s apparently a back door access point on every iOS device on the market.

Per The Apple Core, forensic scientist and author Jonathan Zdziarski has posted the slides (in PDF format) from his talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York called Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices.

Zdziarski, better known as the hacker “NerveGas” in the iPhone development community, worked as dev-team member on many of the early iOS jailbreaks and is the author of five iOS-related O’Reilly books including “Hacking and Securing iOS Applications.”

In December 2013, an NSA program dubbed DROPOUTJEEP was reveled by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum that reportedly gave the agency almost complete access to the iPhone.

The leaked document, dated 2008, noted that the malware required “implant via close access methods” (presumably physical access to the iPhone) but ominously noted that “a remote installation capability will be pursued for a future release.”

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British iOS device repair firm finds connection between third-party USB adapters and damage to iPhone 5 power management components

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Date: Friday, June 20th, 2014, 11:03
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

You know those nice, cheap third-party iPhone cables you can buy for dirt cheap at the check out line at the convenience store? They might be capable of damaging a power management component in the iPhone 5 handset.

Per iOS device repair firm mendmyl, a series of damaged power management components in Apple’s iPhone 5 handset has been traced back to unofficial USB adapters as well as USB-to-Lightning cables.

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The working theory, though not officially confirmed, is that the third-party charging accessories do not properly regulate electrical current as it flows into the handset, which will then either burn out or render a power distribution component labeled “U2″, which is located just beneath the A6 processor on the iPhone’s logic board. The U2 component routes power to the iPhone 5′s battery and integrated charging controller as well as the sleep/wake button and controls certain USB functions for the handset.

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Apple releases MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for mid-2013, early-2014 MacBook Air notebooks, addresses sleep, peripheral issues

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Date: Wednesday, June 11th, 2014, 10:46
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

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This might prove helpful.

On Wednesday, Apple released its MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for the mid-2013 and early-2014 MacBook Air notebooks. The update, a 4.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Improves reliability when waking from sleep and when booting while certain USB and Thunderbolt devices are connected.

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OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

Holiday gift round-up: Part Deux

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Date: Friday, December 20th, 2013, 08:16
Category: Accessory, battery, Consumer Electronics, Gadget, Hardware, Holiday, retail, Review, Software, The Apple Core

Christmas-GiftHere’s part 2 of my Gift Guide, which may turn into that “what I get when I return my Christmas gifts for credit” list, seeing as how it’s only 6 days until Christmas. The second half includes a number of gift ideas that I’ve stolen borrowed from some other gift guides because they are really good suggestions for things I’d like to get for myself. I’ll throw in a couple more of my own at the end.

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Review: Budget Lightning cables from iSmooth (Updated)

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 11:02
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, Opinion, Review

LIGHTNING2MCABLEMAIN_mediumBefore I upgraded from my iPhone 4S to the new 5S, I wanted to be prepared. Unlike previous iPhone upgrades, I had to deal with the switch from the 30-pin to the Lightning connector which was introduced with the iPhone 5. Over the years I had collected a stash of chargers and cables as well as accessories, such as the Mophie Juicepack, which I had grown dependent on, and now had to replace. Not an inexpensive endeavor, especially with Apple’s premium price for replacement Lightning cables ($19-$29). Not expecting to find anything, at least not of great quality, I hit Amazon.com to see if there were some cheaper alternatives. After some exhaustive reading of reviews, I settled on cables made by iSmooth.

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