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Pursuit of Slenderness May Mean No More Headphone Jack In iPhone 7 ( 400

An intriguing rumor reported by PC Mag (and initially reported in this Japanese blog) holds that Apple may drop the standard headphone jack from the next revision of the iPhone, in favor of Bluetooth and Lightning connectors. From PC Mag's article: The big question is just how such a move might affect all the other headphones one can buy, as well as the other devices Apple makes. While we can envision some manufacturers making iPhone-exclusive variants of their headphones, we doubt that Apple's potential decision to chop out the headphone jack is going to suddenly make for a market full of Lightning-only headphones and earbuds. There are, after all, plenty of non-iPhone devices that still use the 3.5mm connection. And, of course, you could just pair any ol' pair of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds with the iPhone 7.

Apple Looks To Introduce OLED Displays In iPhone Models From 2018 ( 225

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is expected to integrate organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology in its iPhone handsets from 2018. The Cupertino-based giant will jump from liquid crystal display (LCD), which has been used in iPhones since 2007, to OLED – turning to suppliers like LG Displays, according to Japanese reports. The switch follows the steps of other smartphone makers such as Samsung and LG, which have both already integrated OLED technology in their mobile device ranges.

On iFixit and the Right To Repair ( 246

Jason Koebler writes: Motherboard sent a reporter to the Electronics Reuse Convention in New Orleans to investigate the important but threatened world of smartphone and electronics repair. As manufacturers start using proprietary screws, offer phone lease programs and use copyright law to threaten repair professionals, the right-to-repair is under more threat than ever. "That Apple and other electronics manufacturers don't sell repair parts to consumers or write service manuals for them isn't just annoying, it's an environmental disaster, [iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens] says. Recent shifts to proprietary screws, the ever-present threat of legal action under a trainwreck of a copyright law, and an antagonistic relationship with third-party repair shops shows that the anti-repair culture at major manufacturers isn't based on negligence or naiveté, it's malicious."

How Apple Is Giving Design a Bad Name ( 461

ColdWetDog writes: Co.Design has an article by two early Apple designers on how the company has lost its way, and quite frankly, lost its marbles when it comes to user interface design. In the search for a minimalist, clean design, it has forgotten time honored UI principles and made it harder for people to use Apple products. As someone who has followed computer UI evolution since the command line and who has used various Apple products for a number of years, the designers' concerns really hit home for me.

Of course, Apple isn't the only company out there who makes UI mistakes. And it is notable that the article has totally annoying, unstoppable GIFs that do nothing to improve understanding. User Interfaces are hard, but it would be nice to have everybody take a few steps back from the precipice.


Manhattan DA Pressures Google and Apple To Kill Zero Knowledge Encryption ( 291

An anonymous reader writes: In a speech to the 6th Annual Financial Crimes and Cybersecurity Symposium, New York County District Attorney for Manhattan Cyrus Vance Jr. has appealed to the tech community — specifically citing Google and Apple — to "do the right thing" and end zero-knowledge encryption in mobile operating systems. Vance Jr. praised FBI director James Comey for his 'outspoken' and 'fearless' advocacy against zero knowledge encryption, and uses the recent attacks on Paris as further justification for returning encryption keys to the cloud, so that communications providers can once again comply with court orders.

Tim Cook: Apple Won't Create 'Converged' MacBook and iPad ( 337

LichtSpektren writes: In an interview with, Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that Apple is currently not looking to create an iPad that runs Mac OS X. "We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad, because what that would wind up doing, or what we're worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You'd begin to compromise in different ways." Cook also commented that he does not travel with a Mac anymore, only his iPad Pro and iPhone.

Beats Music To Shut Down November 30 ( 61

UnknowingFool writes: After November 30, Beats Music subscriptions will be cancelled and no longer work, according to Apple. Subscribers can use Apple Music, which has many of the same features. This shutdown was not unexpected when Apple purchased Beats last year for $3 billion, as Apple has a history of buying companies for various reasons other the products. Many former companies have been absorbed into Apple in one form or another in this manner: the technology of Fingerworks peripherals was the start of multi-touch for iPhones; PA Semi and Intrinsity personnel were the core of Apple's internal chip design teams; and AuthenTec made biometric technology that became the backbone of Touch ID.

Mac App Store Apps 'Damaged' Following Security Certificate Bug ( 66

An anonymous reader writes: A slew of complaints are emerging against Apple after users were forced to delete and re-install Mac App Store apps in the wake of a major security management error. The problem manifested with the apparent expiry of security certificates which validated the apps, but even after the certificates were updated yesterday to expire in 2035, the problems were not resolved; some users were unable to verify the new certificates, and others could not even connect to the internet. In some cases the programs had to be reinstalled from scratch, deleting the user's existing settings.
The Almighty Buck

Apple Apparently Planning Mobile Peer-To-Peer Payment Service ( 69

An anonymous reader writes: According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning peer-to-peer services (paywalled) as an adjunct to its Apple Pay system. The company is said to be in talks with major banks including JP Morgan and Wells Fargo to develop a new framework that could be in place as early as 2016, and which would facilitate payment transfers directly between Apple devices such as the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: "Microsoft Surface Book Tries Too Hard To Do Too Much" ( 478

MojoKid writes: Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't making any friends on the PC side of the aisle this week. Cook took to the interview circuit this week to heavily promote the release of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and didn't waste any time kicking some dirt in the eyes of PC consumers around the world. When questioned on his thoughts about PCs, Cook wondered, "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?" Many would take issue with those comments. But we'll leave those comments behind, because Cook decided to set his targets on the current darling of the PC community — the Microsoft Surface Book. Even though Cook says that his company's relationship with Microsoft is "really good," he went on to say that the Surface Book "tries too hard to do too much" and that "it's trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither." It will be interesting to see Mr. Cook's reaction as sales figures for the device roll in post holiday shopping season.

Google Will Retire Chrome Support For XP, Vista, OS X 10.6-8 In April 2016 ( 140

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced it is extending Chrome support for Windows XP until April 2016. The company will also end Chrome support for Windows Vista, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion at the same time. This means Google will provide regular Chrome updates and security patches for users on these operating systems for five more months. After that, the browser will still work, but it will be stuck on the last version released in April.

Proof-of-Concept Ransomware Affects Macs ( 163

sarahnaomi writes: Ransomware, the devilish family of malware that locks down a victim's files until he or she coughs up a hefty bounty, may soon be coming to Mac. Last week, a Brazilian security researcher produced a proof-of-concept for what appears to be the first ransomware to target Mac operating systems (Mac OS X). On Monday, cybersecurity company Symantec verified the researcher's findings. "Mabouia is the first case of file-based crypto ransomware for OS X, albeit a proof-of-concept," Symantec wrote in a blog post. "It's simple code, I did it in two days," [said] the creator of the malware.

How a Mobile App Firm Found the XcodeGhost In the Machine ( 69

SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes: A Denver-based mobile app development company, Possible Mobile, had a tough time figuring out why Apple recently rejected its app from the App Store. After a lot of head scratching, it eventually found the XcodeGhost malware hidden in an unlikely place — a third-party framework that it had wrapped into its own app. Their experience shows that the efforts of malware writers can have far-ranging effects on the mobile app component supply chain.

Apple Wages Battle To Keep App Store Malware-Free ( 85

alphadogg writes: Apple is facing growing challenges keeping suspicious mobile applications out of its App Store marketplace. Over the last two months, researchers have found thousands of apps that could have potentially stolen data from iOS devices. Apple has removed some of affected apps since it was alerted by security companies. But the problems threaten to taint the App Store's years-long reputation as being high quality and malware free.

First Remote-Access Trojan That Can Target Android, Linux, Mac and Windows 63

An anonymous reader writes: Hackers have put on sale OmniRAT, a remote access trojan that can target Androids, Linux, Mac, and Windows PCs. The tool costs $25-$50, which is only a fraction of $200-$300,the price of DroidJack, another Android RAT. Avast is currently reporting that the RAT was used this summer in Germany, spread to victims via SMS messages. The Softpedia article about OmniRAT includes a video, but declined to post the tool's homepage. You can easily find it via a Google search.

FireEye: Many Companies Still Running XcodeGhost-Infected Apple Apps ( 23

itwbennett writes: In September, more than 4,000 applications were found to have been modified with a counterfeit version of Xcode, dubbed XcodeGhost. On Tuesday, FireEye said in a blog post that it has detected 210 enterprises that are still using infected apps, showing that the XcodeGhost malware 'is a persistent security risk.' In addition, whomever created XcodeGhost has also developed a new version that can target iOS 9, called XcodeGhost S, FireEye wrote.

How Apple Is Preventing the Apple TV From Becoming a Console Rival ( 129

An anonymous reader writes: Apple's new set top box is on sale now, and has launched with several high profile games in the new tvOS App Store, including Guitar Hero Live and PS4 hit Transistor. However, as one writer points out, the Apple TV is still not an adequate console replacement, and it's not because of the graphics. Instead, several software issues and restrictions issued by Apple itself prevent developers from creating blockbuster exclusives for the platform, including the requirement that all games be playable using the bundled remote, lack of support for four players, and the 200MB initial app download limit. If these remain in place, can the Apple TV become a viable games platform, where the Ouya and PlayStation TV have failed before?

Somebody Just Claimed a $1 Million Bounty For Hacking the iPhone ( 100

citadrianne writes with news that security startup Zerodium has just paid a group of hackers $1 million for finding a remote jailbreak of an iPhone running iOS 9. Vice reports: "Over the weekend, somebody claimed the $1 million bounty set by the new startup Zerodium, according to its founder Chaouki Bekrar, a notorious merchant of unknown, or zero-day, vulnerabilities. The challenge consisted of finding a way to remotely jailbreak a new iPhone or iPad running the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system iOS (in this case iOS 9.1 and 9.2b), allowing the attacker to install any app he or she wants app with full privileges. The initial exploit, according to the terms of the challenge, had to come through Safari, Chrome, or a text or multimedia message. This essentially meant that a participant needed to find a series, or a chain, of unknown zero-day bugs."

Amazon Follows Through: Drops Apple TV, Chromecast 233

Hot Hardware notes that Amazon has stopped selling two pieces of hardware -- Apple TV and Google's Chromecast -- that compete with Amazon's own streaming business. (They promised to drop them a while back; not everyone though they actually would.) From the article: While some have likened this move to being anti-competitive, it's hard to grasp whether the legal system would agree. Amazon's defense is that since these devices don't support Prime Video, it doesn't want to sell products to its customers and have them assume that they will."

Apple Usurps Oracle As the Biggest Threat To PC Security 320

AmiMoJo writes: According to data from Secunia, Apple's software for Windows is now the biggest threat to PC security, surpassing previous long term champion Java. Among U.S. users, some 61 percent of computers detected running QuickTime did not have the latest version. With iTunes, 47 percent of the installations were outdated versions. There were 18 vulnerabilities in Apple QuickTime 7 at the time of the study. Oracle has now fallen/risen to 2nd place, followed by Adobe. All three vendors bundle automatic updater utilities with their software, but users seem to be declining new versions. Update fatigue, perhaps?