All good things must come to an end. In April of 2013 we published an article that Apple and their iOS based devices would begin to slide in 2016. It was in response to a survey/analysis claiming that Apple would reclaim the crown from Google by 2016 and dominate through 2018. For some reason the technical and financial press were jumping at the announcement for Windows phone 8.x. The fact that Windows phone held a single digit market share at the time did not seem to matter to them.
It is said that nature abhors a vacuum and that is certainly true. Something will come along to fill the void if we let nature take its course. Unfortunately this law is a little mutated in the consumer electronics market and especially in the PC component world. Here is reads; the market cannot stand not having an “It” technology, so we much create one. It seems that the last few years we have been watching this happen.
Not that long ago there were rumors popping up that Apple was buying a failed division of Qualcomm. This was Qualcomm’s Interferometric Modulator Display (also known as IMOD or Marisol). The concept was brilliant even if the execution was not. If Marisol had worked the way that Qualcomm hoped they would have delivered a full color screen that used a fraction of the power and generated very little heat.
The life of a security researcher is not all beer and pizza. In most cases the days are long and very few seem to appreciate what you are doing. From the stand point of a security researcher they are the good guys trying to help push an agenda of security. They spend countless hours finding the holes in code and hardware before the “bad guys” do. Sure there are bug bounty programs that pay fairly well and some researchers work for larger firms, but it is not all about the money or attribution.
Want to play a trick on your iPhone owning friends? Well we have a good one for you. According to Reddit there is a sequence of symbols and Arabic characters that will cause an iPhone to crash and reboot. Oh the joy you will have playing this game over and over with your friends. To add even more to the fun the original text that caused the issue will still be in the messenger app. That means if you open it up… your phone reboots again.
Remember that pesky anti-trust suit that Apple faced over fixing eBook prices with publishers? Well if not, let me remind you. When Apple brought their eBook store to iOS they knew they were facing an uphill battle against Amazon. To counter this they worked out a deal with several publishers to fix prices at a certain level and also to guarantee that they got the best prices along with a few exclusive books. They were found guilty of this and are supposed to be making amends for it along with having a watchdog looking over their shoulders.
Over the weekend there was a lot of talk about how Windows in particular is vulnerable to a flaw that is linked to SMB. This flaw could allow someone to grab user information by forcing a redirect to a malicious server using the SMB protocol. The way it works is pretty simple; if you give someone a URL that begins with the work “file” then Windows (and some other systems) will think that you want to use SMB to connect to a file share. If the server that the link (URL) points to uses even basic authentication then you can try and tempt a user to put in their own credentials and grab them during the exchange.
So Apple has released review samples to the press in order to build up interest in their entry into the smart watch market. It is an interesting move for Apple as they have sent out their $1,000 product to a select group of reviewers just to see what they think. After reading a number of them (some I could not get all the way through) it seems that Apple might not have the magnificent product they were hoping for and even the most Apple faithful sites had a hard time spinning the deficiencies that are there.
A couple of days ago Apple formally announced their Apple watch product along with specifications and pricing. The majority of the press and market analysts have been in a frenzy since the announcement and have tried to act like this product is more than a late comer to an already large vertical. According to people that were present at the event the announcement was met with very little excitement and the applause that happened for the Apple watch was very limited.
The wonderful topic of “kill switches” in smart phones has arisen again with three major cities claiming a directly connection between iPhone theft and the addition of a kill switch into Apple devices. Now the news is pushing stories with titles claiming a 50% reduction in “smart phone” theft. These claims are simply not true. The first thing to note is that Apple is not the only company with a smart phone and the second is that there was already a reduction in theft of Apple device prior to the lunch of the iPhone 6. The demand and allure of the iPhone 5 line was not really enough to get a thief’s hear racing.