Kara Swisher: ‘Apple’s Product Event Will Be Held Week of March 21’ →

February 28, 2016 · 13:37

Kara Swisher:

Attention Apple nerds, investors, media and everyone else who needs to know when Tim Cook’s next product event is going to be held: It’s going to be the week of March 21.

Or to put it another way, it’s not going to be on March 15, the time frame that other outlets previously reported, according to several sources. It is not clear if the event was moved or if this was the timing Apple had always planned.


Confirmed by John Paczkowski and Jim Dalrymple.

The UK’s Proposed Spy Law Would Force Apple to Secretly Hack Its Phones Too →

February 26, 2016 · 14:50

Danny O’Brien:

You don’t need to look to Beijing—or even the future—to find the answer to that question. The newly proposed British spying law, the  Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), already includes methods that would permit the British government to order companies like Apple to re-engineer their own technology, just as the FBI is demanding. Worse, if the law passes, each of these methods would be accompanied by a gag order. Not only would Apple be expected to comply, but the IPB would insist that Tim Cook could not tell the public what was going on without breaking UK law. At least in the current fight between Apple and the US government, we’re having the debate out loud and in public.

I’m always reminded of ‘V for Vendetta’ when I read about the absurdity of UK laws, and little to no public outcry.

Apple Files Motion to Vacate the Court Order to Force It to Unlock iPhone →

February 26, 2016 · 01:04

Matthew Panzarino:

Apple’s reasoning in the brief rests on three pillars. First, that forcing Apple to write code that weakens its devices and the security of its customers constitutes a violation of free speech as protected by the Constitution.

Second, that the burden the FBI is putting on it by requesting that Apple write the software and assist in unlocking the device is too large. Apple argues that it would have to create the new version of iOS, called GovtOS, which requires coding, signing, verification and testing. It would then have to create an FBI forensics laboratory on site at its headquarters and staff it. The burden would then extend to what Apple views is the inevitable onslaught of additional devices that would follow after the precedent was set.

In addition to free speech, Apple argues that the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process clause prohibits the government from compelling Apple to create the new version of iOS. Apple argues that there is no court precedent for forcing a company to create something new, like GovtOS.

“But compelling minimal assistance to surveil or apprehend a criminal (as in most of the cases the government cites), or demanding testimony or production of things that already exist (akin to exercising subpoena power), is vastly different, and significantly less intrusive, than conscripting a private company to create something entirely new and dangerous. There is simply no parallel or precedent for it,” reads the filing.

App Store Deals — 25/02/2016 — Lots of Free Games

February 26, 2016 · 00:32

I have played none of the games and use none of the apps listed below, but I am getting the new Assassin’s Creed Identity as soon as I get back home — it’s not a deal, but it’s one of my favourite series of games.

★ (New!) Assassin’s Creed Identity – iOS – Games – €4.99
Ballistic SE – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
CLZ Comics – Comic Database – iOS – Utilities – €14.99 > €0.00
CRUSH! – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
DEATHSMILES – iPhone – Games – €11.99 > €0.00
Devastator – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
Domino – Mac – Games – €4.99 > €0.00
Don’t die in dungeons – iOS – Games – €0.99 > €0.00
Dora Appisodes HD – iOS – Education – €6.99 > €0.00
Fireball SE – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
HoPiKo – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Inferno 2 – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Inferno+ – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
JoyJoy – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
popCalendar – Mac – Productivity – €4.99 > €0.00
Russian Multiplication – iOS – Education – €3.99 > €0.00
SideSwype – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Slydris – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
SpotFiles – Mac – Utilities – €4.99 > €0.00
Study Cal – Student Planner – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.00
Super Crossfighter – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: Lair – iPhone – Games – €4.99 > €0.00
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: Lair – iPad – Games – €6.99 > €0.00
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: Lair – Mac – Games – €6.99 > €0.00
TextNut – Mac – Productivity – €24.99 > €0.00
Totems: Game of Conquest – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €0.00
Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch – Tyranid… – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
White Noise HQ – iPhone – Healthcare & Fitness – €0.99 > €0.00
xClipboard – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €0.00
XView – Mac – Utilities – €6.99 > €0.00

Kevin Roose Dared Two Hackers to Destroy His Life — Here’s What Happened

February 25, 2016 · 16:00

Kevin Roose:

Several months ago, while I was typing a few e-mails at my dining room table, my laptop spoke to me.

“You…look…bored,” it said in a robotic monotone, out of nowhere.

Startled, I checked my browser tabs and my list of open applications to see if anything had been making noise. Nothing had. I hadn’t been watching any YouTube videos, browsing any pages with autoplay ads, or listening to any podcasts when the voice appeared.

Then I realized: this was the hacker. The same hacker who, for the prior two weeks, had been making my life a nightmare hellscape — breaking into my email accounts, stealing my bank and credit card information, gaining access to my home security camera, spying on my Slack chats with co-workers, and—the coup de grâce—installing a piece of malware on my laptop that hijacked my webcam and used it to take photos of me every two minutes, then uploaded those photos to a server owned by the hacker.

Hence the robot voice. From his computer on the other side of the country, the hacker spied on me through my webcam, saw that I was unenthused, and used my laptop’s text-to-speech function to tell me “you look bored.”

I had to admit, it was a pretty good troll.

Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Will Discontinue Providing iPhones for Employees →

February 25, 2016 · 15:59

Maricopa County Attorney’s Office:

Effective immediately, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will discontinue providing iPhones as option for replacements or upgrades for existing employees. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced the decision today, first communicated to applicable staff on Sunday, February 21, citing Apple’s recent refusal to cooperate in unlocking an encrypted iPhone used by individuals involved in the recent San Bernardino shootings.

“Apple’s refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety,” Montgomery said. “Positioning their refusal to cooperate as having anything to do with privacy interests is a corporate PR stunt and ignores the 4th Amendment protections afforded by our Constitution.”

There are currently 564 smartphones deployed throughout the office, 366 of which are iPhones.

This just gets better and better.

Tim Cook in an Exclusive Interview With ABC News on Privacy →

February 24, 2016 · 23:09

Enjoli Francis:

In an exclusive interview today, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained to ABC News anchor David Muir why he refused to create software that would help the FBI break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters.

“I think safety of the public is incredibly important — safety of our kids, safety of our family is very important,” Cook said. “The protection of people’s data is incredibly important, and so the trade-off here is we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities.”

The PR battle continues.

Apple: Pencil Support for Navigating iOS UI Will Return in Next Beta →

February 24, 2016 · 16:44

Chris Welch received an official statement from Apple regarding navigating the UI with the Apple Pencil, which I mentioned recently:

Apple Pencil has been a huge hit with iPad Pro users, who love it for drawing, annotating and taking notes. We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we’ve been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle. We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.

This is good news. Whatever the real reason, I’m glad it’s here to stay.

Siri Reportedly Coming to OS X 10.12 (Codenamed ‘Fuji’) →

February 24, 2016 · 16:39

Mark Gurman:

Instead of integrating Siri as a swipe menu akin to the Mac’s Notification Center or as a full screen view like on the iPhone and even the iPad Pro, Siri for the Mac will live in the Mac’s Menu Bar. Similar to the Spotlight magnifying glass icon for search and notifications icon for Notification Center, a Siri icon in the top right corner of the menu bar will activate the voice control feature.

At last! I hope Siri also gains the ability to understand multiple languages in one sentence, eg. ‘Hey Siri, give me travel directions to Grande Anse des Salines’.

Siri on the Mac will have its own pane in System Preferences and users are said to also have the option to choose a keyboard shortcut for activating the service. Like with recent versions of iOS, users will be able to enable Siri at the first startup of OS X 10.12, according to sources. If the Mac running the new OS X version is plugged into power, a “Hey Siri” command will work much like with recent iPhone and iPad models.

That would be strange, especially considering the ‘Hey Siri’ works on the most recent iPhones and iPads without the devices needing to being plugged in.