Unlocked iPhone 4S coming in November, won’t work with CDMA

If you were planning to preorder an unlocked iPhone 4S today, you're going to have to wait a little while. The unlocked and contract-free version is available starting in November, with no specific date listed on the Apple website.

There's another bit of a surprise, although it makes sense: the unlocked iPhone 4S won't work on CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Why does this make sense? Most of the world currently runs on GSM networks. Even though the iPhone 4S is touted as a "world phone" that can run on both GSM and CDMA networks, most of the people who will use an unlocked, contract-free phone are like world travelers who need the ability to swap a micro-SIM card to get on a new local GSM carrier.

For some reason, Apple is also warning that potential buyers of the unlocked GSM iPhone 4S may require a credit check, and that they must be at least 18 years of age to make their purchase.

The pricing on the contract-free iPhone 4S is fairly steep as well. The 16 GB version starts at US$649, the 32 GB model is $749, and the 64 GB model will retail for $849. The contract-free GSM iPhone 4, which Apple started selling in June of 2011, also sold at similar prices.

Unlocked iPhone 4S coming in November, won't work with CDMA originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 07 Oct 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hired at 14 by Apple

There's a story that was published almost two years ago by programmer Derek Sivers that is worth repeating now, especially for those of us who are depressed by the job market. Indeed, that's why Sivers originally penned his story two years ago: to show that persistence and a little knowledge can pay off big. The story is about the time Apple hired a fourteen year old kid named Tom Williams.

Williams was a boy from Victoria, Canada who worshiped former Apple CEO John Sculley. As a young teen, through necessity, Williams started his own software company called Desert Island Software, but his real goal was to meet John Sculley and get hired by Apple. So starting at the age of twelve Williams started calling John Sculley's assistant every morning for a year and a half. Talk about persistence. That eventually led Apple to invite the boy down to Cupertino for the 1993 WWDC. There, Williams was promised five minutes with Sculley. That five minutes turned into half an hour and Sculley was only pulled away because he needed to walk onstage to introduce the Newton. But that brief period with Sculley impressed some people at Apple so much that just a year later, Apple hired the fourteen year-old Williams.

Tom Williams' story is a great one that teaches what perseverance can accomplish, but it's also got some interesting gems in it, like how Apple got around child labor laws by hiring the fourteen year old as a consultant contracted by Apple through a Canadian company. That way the Canadian company was responsible for any child labor issues. Click on over to Derek Sivers site to read the whole story, as told by Tom Williams.

Hired at 14 by Apple originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPhone prototype N94 leaked, possibly to be an iPhone 4S

There are lots of crazy rumors flying around about the new iPhone announcement coming later on this year (or as soon as next month), but this is one of the more credible. The picture above comes from a site called UbreakIfix through our friends at Engadget, and purports to show a prototype for the iPhone called the N94. It's a long story (which you can click through to read yourself), but essentially, the latest rumor says that this device is the latest testing version of what may become an "iPhone 4S," a slightly cheaper version of the iPhone 4 set to be introduced right alongside the iPhone 5.

Of course, these are all still rumors, and Engadget admits the timing isn't quite right on this one -- this is apparently an "Engineering Verification Test" piece from last March, which makes it older than some of the other prototypes that have reportedly leaked out. It's unknown whether this is the real thing or just another test unit.

But the wheels are clearly in motion on a new iPhone. And if the rumors play out as predicted later on next month, we might see not one but two new iPhones available for purchase.

iPhone prototype N94 leaked, possibly to be an iPhone 4S originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 29 Aug 2011 16:30:00 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 iOS 4.3.4 jailbreak bugfix jailbroken already

Most iPhone and iPad users are perfectly happy with the software on the device as it is shipped by Apple.

A minority, however, prefer to open up their devices. By doing this, they can:

* Run applications and extensions not approved by Apple.

* Download software from alternative appstores, without tying those downloads to an Apple account.

* Access all the files and configuration data on their device directly, in order better to understand and secure it.

Liberating your device sounds like a great idea, but this behaviour has been stigmatised amongst corporate users.

Firstly, the action of removing artificial security restrictions is known as "jailbreaking," making it sound like a doubly-dangerous criminal act. (Since only crooks are supposed to be in jail in the first place, jailbreakers are not only criminals, but recidivists to boot.)

Secondly, jailbreaking opens up the less security-savvy user to additional risks. Some jailbreakers don't take on the additional responsibility which goes with the increased power over their device. That's how the now-infamous iPhone viruses Ikee and Duh were able to spread.

Thirdly, jailbreaking isn't supposed to be possible. So every jailbreak relies on you exploiting a software vulnerability to escape from Apple's artificial strictures. That means you have to trust the creators of the jailbreak not to abuse the exploit you're choosing to run against your device.

The flipside, of course, is that those who don't jailbreak their phones are trusting Apple not to leave the sort of exploitable hole that would permit crooks to break into the internals of their device.

And Apple hasn't been terribly trustworthy on that score. Despite a solid commercial reason for keeping its devices secure - namely, that an unjailbroken device can only shop at the Apple AppStore - few of Apple's operating system versions stay safe for very long.

Early in July, the JailbreakMe site published an automated, on-line method for opening recent iDevices running iOS 4.3.3.

(The jailbreakers also provided a patch by which you could close the remotely exploitable hole, for your own safety, after jailbreaking.)

Apple, to its credit, caught up within two weeks with an iOS update to version 4.3.4, closing the hole used by JailbreakMe.

But the jailbreakers claim to be back in already. By all reports, the latest jailbreak doesn't work for iPad2 users, and it can't be done simply by visiting a website.

You need to plug your device in to a computer, in what's called a "tethered" jailbreak, and you need to re-jailbreak it every time you reboot.

Nevertheless, Apple's latest security fix has been circumvented already.

With this in mind, the tricky question becomes, "Whom should I trust more: Apple or the jailbreakers?"

I can't answer that question - and if your iDevice is provided by your company, you shouldn't try to answer it by yourself.

Perhaps the best way to approach the issue is to rephrase it more equivocally, in the manner of Google, which sets out not to be evil, rather than actually to be good.

So, if you're thinking of jailbreaking, ask yourself, "Do I distrust the jailbreakers." If not, then jailbreaking may be for you. Just be sure to read all the security guidelines associated with the process, and be sure you have the explicit permission of the owner of the device.

PS. I have an iPad. It is jailbroken.

Follow @duckblog

Apple releases iOS 4.3.4/4.2.9 to fix JailBreakMe.com 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 JailBreakMe.com 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 JailBreakMe.com 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

Adobe Flash security update for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux and Solaris users

Adobe Flash patchIt doesn't matter if you run Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris or even Android.. if Adobe goes public about a security vulnerability in its Flash product, you better install the patch to protect against the problem.

Adobe's emergency patch was issued over the weekend to protect against a cross-site scripting vulnerability.

Targeted attacks could use the vulnerability to trick users into clicking on a malicious link delivered in an email message.

Adobe says that Adobe Flash Player and earlier are vulnerable on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems. On Android, Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions are at risk.

You can visit a page on Adobe's website to determine which version of Adobe Flash you are running.

More information can be found in Adobe's security bulletin APSB11-13.

Apple’s market value is more than Microsoft and Intel combined

Apple's market value is now greater than Microsoft and Intel combined. When the market closed on Friday, Microsoft had a market value of US$201.59 billion and Intel had a value of $115.21 billion. Combined, they have a market value of $316.8 billion which is just below the $317.60 billion of Apple. This may the first time Apple has exceeded the portmanteau.

As MacDailNews points out, no one can forget what Bill Gates said about Steve Jobs in an unpublished 1998 interview conducted by Robert X. Cringely for Vanity Fair. Then the CEO of Microsoft, Gates wondered, "What I can't figure out is why he (Steve Jobs) is even trying (to be the CEO of Apple)? He knows he can't win."

At that point, Microsoft was trading at $29 and had a market cap of $250 billion. Apple was down to a lowly $7.25 and had a market cap of $6 billion. Steve Jobs had resumed the helm as CEO of Apple and was looking to turn things around. I'd say he has been successful, wouldn't you?

Apple's market value is more than Microsoft and Intel combined originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Jun 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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