Siri being tested in jailbroken iPad 1

It's been ten days since Siri hit the scene and the virtual assistant is in the process of being torn apart by the hacking community. Siri, as it exists on the iPhone 4S, has been ported to the iPhone 4 and now the iPad 1. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who worked on the iPhone 4 port, has shared his progress with @jackoplane who has successfully ported the app to the iPad 1. Several images of Siri running on the tablet device document this achievement.

Unfortunately, neither the iPhone 4 nor the iPad port is fully functional at this point. Siri still needs to connect to Apple's servers to work and the servers are configured to accept requests only from the iPhone 4S. Potentially, these devices could be spoofed to look like an iPhone 4S which could open this functionality to jailbroken devices.

Jailbreaking and porting may be the only solution for owners of older hardware who want Siri on their iOS devices. It's doubtful that Apple will bring Siri to the iPad 1 or the iPhone 3GS. Apple may not want to support this older hardware and these models may also lack the processing power required for the voice assistant. But as some of you pointed out in one of our latest "You're The Pundit" posts, Apple could decide to bring Siri to the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 once it comes out of beta.

[Via Jailbreakstory]

Siri being tested in jailbroken iPad 1 originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Steve Jobs changed Apple

With news of Steve Jobs's change of roles at Apple sweeping the web, it's worth looking back at how the company changed during his reign as CEO.

Apart from taking Apple from its dismal depths to the most valuable company on Earth, under Jobs's leadership Apple also completely transformed several industries while outright inventing others.

This is what Apple's main products looked like in 1997, before Steve Jobs retook charge of Apple for the first time since leaving in 1985:

Did you own any of these? Chances are pretty good that you didn't. Very few people did. I didn't, although both Mike and Steve claim that they still have Newtons sitting on the shelf. Apple was on its deathbed back then, while Microsoft was unassailably ascendant. Apple was considered at best a niche company for niche users; at worst, it was considered a boondoggle. Michael Dell, CEO of the company that bears his name, famously quipped that Apple should be liquidated and the resulting money given back to the shareholders.

A year later, in 1998, this happened:

Steve Jobs killed the beige boxes and introduced the iMac, the genesis of Apple's new focus on style. The iMac stood out in the crowd in the late 90s, its unmistakable silhouette a stark contrast to the sea of anonymous beige/grey/black boxes of its competition. And in a move that would typify Apple's approach over the coming years, the iMac both introduced new technology and mercilessly pruned away the old -- it was the first mass market computer with USB and the first to ditch the floppy drive. Every Mac made since then can trace some part of its design back to this late-90s progenitor, the product that caught the world's attention and made us all think that maybe Apple was in it for the long haul after all.

Then in 2001, this happened:

Whether you thought it was revolutionary or "lame," over the course of the early- to mid-2000s the iPod went on to utterly dominate the portable music player scene. Ten years after its introduction, the iPod (and its descendants, in the form of the iPhone and iPod touch) has effectively killed both the CD player and the CD itself for a large portion of the music-listening crowd. More so even than the iMac, the iPod turned Apple's fortunes completely around and made the company a force to be reckoned with for the first time since the 80s. A well-known "halo effect" ensued, where users enamored of the iPod's interface, craftsmanship, and ease of use started buying up Macs in large numbers. It's no huge stretch to say that without the iPod, Apple as we know it might not exist today.

Then, in 2007, this happened:

Touchscreen smartphones are everywhere now, to the point that many of us take them for granted. But in 2007, the iPhone knocked the entire phone industry on its ear. Looking like something that came straight out of Captain Kirk's belt, the iPhone proved to be every bit as revolutionary as Apple claimed. Naysayers everywhere predicted the iPhone would be Apple's doom, because the company was now dipping its toe into an established market with industry giants who were all too eager to slap this upstart tech company into the dirt.

The pundits were all wrong; the iPhone has single-handedly transformed the smartphone market from the RIM-dominated days of monochrome, button-laden BlackBerrys into the new world of glass-paneled touchscreens that adapt to our needs rather than requiring us to adapt to theirs. The App Store showed the iPhone's true potential; far more than a phone + iPod + internet navigator, thanks to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps the iPhone could become almost anything to almost anyone.

Then, in 2010, this happened:

In the 1980s, Apple called the Macintosh "the computer for the rest of us." Sadly, it never really lived up to its potential as the computer for the masses -- that mantle fell upon Windows, for better or worse. Less technically-inclined users have always wanted a computer that simply gets out of their way and lets them use it, and that desire is likely a major factor in the iPad's tremendous success thus far. Geeks will obsess over what the iPad doesn't have -- ports, menus, windows, a built-in keyboard, an accessible file system, and so forth -- and just like the iPhone, scores of analysts the world over predicted the iPad would fizzle in the marketplace and prove to be Apple's first big misstep in ten years.

Instead, the iPad has done to the tablet market what the iPod did to the portable music player market: upended it, redefined it, dominated it. People may question whether anyone needs the iPad, particularly if they've never used one before. I know -- I was one of them. But perhaps more than any of the products discussed here, the iPad points the way to the future of computing. Instead of intransigent boxes that get in the way of what we want to do half the time (yes, even Macs), the future of computing is computers as an appliance, far more adaptable to our needs than the traditional PC ever was or ever could be.

This is what Apple's main products look like today:

This is what fourteen years of progress looks like. I can only imagine how things will be in 2025.

Over the course of the coming weeks, we will undoubtedly hear from many sources that Steve Jobs's move from CEO to chairman means the doom of Apple. We've already been hearing that for years. Looking back on how Jobs changed Apple, it's not hard to see why so many pundits might think Apple's success is dependent on having Jobs at the helm -- but Apple's success hasn't been due to a single man. No man builds an empire alone, and the best-built empires live on profitably long after their founding fathers have handed over the reigns to someone else.

Apple is a company composed of thousands of talented and visionary individuals. The iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad didn't spring fully-formed from Steve Jobs's forehead. Neither did the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, OS X, iLife, iTunes, or the App Store. To view Apple as Santa's workshop and Steve Jobs as Mr. Claus is to miss the point entirely.

No one can predict with certainty what the future holds for Apple now that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO. Many will try, no doubt. But history shows the folly of counting Apple out before the match is truly finished -- if you'd told 1997's tech pundits that Apple would be where it is 14 years later, they'd have laughed you out of the room.

All of us at TUAW want to thank Steve Jobs for turning Apple into a company worth writing about, worth getting excited about, and worth making a daily part of our lives. I'm not known for being an optimist most of the time, but I still don't see any of those things changing anytime soon.

How Steve Jobs changed Apple originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple releases iOS 4.3.4/4.2.9 to fix flaw

Hands holding jail barsAfter a little more than a week after disclosure, Apple has patched three flaws in iOS for iPod Touch, iPad, iPad2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the Verizon iPhone.

You may recall the return of the website 10 days ago which exploited these vulnerabilities to provide an easy method of jailbreaking your iDevice.

The updated version for all but the Verizon iPhone is version 4.3.4, while Verizon customers can update to 4.2.9. To update just open iTunes, check for updates and plug in your phone/MP3 player/tablet.

This raises one of my big pet peeves with Apple products.. Why do I have to tether to update? Oh! I see you will have that feature in iOS 5? I guess I will stay vulnerable until I happen to be in the same city as my copy of iTunes...

JailBreakMe do not update warningTwo of the fixes are for font handling issues in PDFs that allow for remote code execution (RCE). The third fix is in the graphics handling code and can be exploited to allow for elevation of privilege (EoP).

It appears the hack used at least two of the three flaws to jailbreak the iDevices. It initially downloaded a PDF to gain the ability to run arbitrary code and then sent down a PNG file that elevated itself to root to perform the jailbreak.

If your phone is not jailbroken, I recommend updating as soon as possible. If you have jailbroken your device you will need to decide if you wish to trust the unofficial "patch" on Cydia and stay jailbroken, or if you should join the herd and go with Apple.

Goatse hacker pleads guilty to stealing iPad user data

Hacker typingDaniel Spitler, an alleged member of the Goatse Security hacking group, has pleaded guilty to breaking into AT&T's systems and obtaining the email addresses of iPad users.

The story of how a vulnerability on AT&T's website allowed outsiders to scoop up the email addresses of early adopters of the Apple iPad made huge news headlines this time last year.

Goatse (don't Google it, trust me..) bombarded the AT&T website service with thousands of requests using made-up ICC-ID codes (an internal code used to associate a SIM card with a particular subscriber).

By flooding the website with so many made-up ICC-IDC codes, some were bound to relect a genuine one, and when this happened the website believed them to be a genuine iPad user and revealed the associated email address.

Email addresses. Image source: Gawker

In total, about 120,000 iPad users were said to have had their email addresses exposed. The court in Newark, New Jersey heard that victims of the hack included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and Rahm Emanuel, who was the White House chief of staff at the time.

26-year old Spitler, who hails from San Francisco, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28th, and could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In all honesty, although taking the information was clearly against the law, the hack probably received so much media attention at the time purely because it was iPad-related rather than because of the data that was taken.

That's not to say that you want your email address exposed (it could potentially have become a victim of phishing attacks, for instance, targeting iPad owners) but there is presumably much more damaging information that could have been taken.

Another man, 25-year-old Andrew Auernheimer, has pleaded not guilty to the hacking charges and continues to faces prosecution.

Follow @gcluley

Apple iOS update quashes location tracking “bug”

iPhoneApple has released an iOS update for the iPhone and iPad, addressing concerns that the devices were tracking users' locations.

As was widely reported last month, a bug in Apple's software meant that iPhones and iPads were collecting location-related data and were archiving it on users' computers.

It was found that location information stored on your computer could pinpoint your iPhone's whereabouts for up to a year afterwards - something which caused a storm of protest from those concerned about their privacy.

And you can see their point. After all, someone with access to your PC might find the backup file in your iTunes and determine places that you regularly visit. And you had no idea that that information was being stored.

iPhone tracking

At the time of the revelation I think my biggest concern was the sheer amount of data that was being backed up to PCs. I couldn't see a legitimate reason for up to a year's worth of location data to be held.

Apple responded to the media interest, and admitted that devices were collecting information about cell towers and WiFi hotspots around users' current location, even when users had specifically turned off Location Services.

Apple says that the newly-released iOS 4.3.3 update will no longer back up location data cached on iPhones and iPads to users' computers, and fixes the Location Services bug.

iOS 4.3.3 update

If you install the update, the location data stored on your iPhone or iPad will reportedly only stretch back seven days, and the cache will be deleted in its entirety if you disable Location Services.

It would still be nice, of course, if the cache of location data was also encrypted - to prevent snooping eyes. Apple says that they plan to encrypt the data in the next major iOS software release (iOS 5.0?).

iPad survives 500 foot fall from airplane thanks to G-Form Extreme Sleeve

Companies like G-Form enjoy wowing people with products that protect your device under the most extreme conditions. This time around, the team took an iPad, slipped it into their Extreme Sleeve and dropped it from an ultralight airplane.

Similar to the iPhone that plummeted from a plane, the iPad fell over 500 feet, flipping through the air and landing with a resounding thud in a grassy field. After retrieval, the iPad emerged from the sleeve fully functional with nary a scratch. The helmet cam attached to the outside the Extreme Sleeve did not fare so well and, unfortunately, broke on impact.

Unlike the Otter Box, which is a rigid and bulky case, the G-Form Extreme Sleeve uses PORON XRD, a flexible and thin material known for its ability to absorb impacts. The sleeve is lightweight and flexible, yet protects your iPad 1 and iPad 2 from harsh falls and impacts. The Extreme Sleeve comes with a life-time guarantee and is available in black and yellow. Folks can pre-order one now for US$59.95, and they will begin shipping on May 2.

Read on to watch the falling iPad and the reactions of the enthusiastic team at G-Form.

[Via ZDNet]

Continue reading iPad survives 500 foot fall from airplane thanks to G-Form Extreme Sleeve

iPad survives 500 foot fall from airplane thanks to G-Form Extreme Sleeve originally appeared on TUAW on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barack Obama and the iPad-in-Chief

US President Barack Obama has been well-known for his love of RIM's BlackBerry, at least until last year when he admitted that the device is now "no fun" because of the security strictures he faces as Commander-in-Chief. The President has also said that technology in the White House is "30 years behind," with a lack of "really cool phones and stuff." The President recently admitted he got an iPad, but until a recent photo, it wasn't clear whether he got the old model or the new iPad 2. Consider this mystery solved, because based on this photo of him boarding Marine One it's clear the President is toting around a brand-new iPad 2, complete with a Smart Cover.

The iPad-in-Chief

We're still not sure what the President uses his iPad for, though it's funny to picture the world's most powerful politician playing Angry Birds on Air Force One while the "football" sits nearby. It seems Apple's device has been cleared by White House security, which typically is not an easy feat -- the President reportedly had trouble getting clearance for his BlackBerry. If you work for a company whose IT department has been reticent about letting the iPad in, you've now got some potent ammunition for your counterargument.

Thanks for the tip, Alex!

Barack Obama and the iPad-in-Chief originally appeared on TUAW on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Applecore helps keep your cables organized

Apple's in-ear bud cords are just like any other -- they'll get tangled up sooner or later. I can't tell you how many times I've stuffed the earbuds in my pocket on the way out the door, only to have to spend a few minutes untangling them when I want to listen to music or podcasts on my iPhone. But this nifty little cord organizer, cleverly called an Applecore, might actually help.

They're nice and cheap, too -- the smallest one is only $1.99, and there are two larger sizes for $2.99 and $4.99 in a variety of colors. Of course, you'll still have to wind and unwind the cables every time you want to use them (which will probably cause a little more wear and tear than just your standard tangling), but an organized cable is worth it, right? And you have to admit, that's a pretty elegant design. No better way to make your earbud cables stay organized and look good.

[via BGR]

Applecore helps keep your cables organized originally appeared on TUAW on Sun, 24 Apr 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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