Tag Archives: iphone

Leica i9 concept pairs $1,000 camera with $200 iPhone

26 Apr

When you think of manufacturers that create products to go hand-in-hand with the Apple iPhone tech gadgets, Leica probably wouldn’t come to mind.

The seemingly brilliant minds at Black Design Associates hope to change that, however. The Leica i9 concept pairs an iPhone 4 with a fixed-lens rangefinder camera, and the result is nothing short of extraordinary.

Slipping your iPhone 4 — black or white — into the back of the i9 brings the camera to life, activating the compact optical zoom, dedicated aperture and shutter dials, flash and light meter. Images are instantly viewable on the iPhone, where it’s safe to assume they’re stored as well.

The camera back doubles as a case, but you’re probably going to want to use it with a headset, unless you like talking to a camera. There’s no sign that the i9 tech gadgets will even reach the prototype phase, but nobody is going to stop the high-end camera’s designer from dreaming — especially when said dreams make us weak at the knees.

Source from Engadget

Verizon CFO suggests next iPhone will be a ‘global device’

24 Apr

We’re guessing it wasn’t on the company’s agenda for its earnings call earlier today, but Verizon CFO Fran Shammo let slip one other interesting iPhone tidbit in addition to its news of 2.2 million iPhone 4 activations. Here’s what he said:

The fluctuation, I believe, will come when a new device from Apple is launched, whenever that may be, and that we will be, on the first time, on equal footing with our competitors on a new phone hitting the market, which will also be a global device.

That pretty clearly suggests that the next iPhone — supposedly coming in September — will be a world phone, which just so happens to coincide with rumors to same effect we’ve heard as recently as this week. Of course, there’s been talk of a dual-mode GSM / CDMA iPhone electronic gadgets even before that, considering that the Qualcomm baseband chip used in the Verizon iPhone is technically capable of supporting both CDMA and GSM networks — Apple simply chose not to or wasn’t able to take advantage of that particular functionality at the time.

sourceBarrons Engadget

Your iPhone’s watching you. Should you care?

22 Apr

Your iPhone’s watching you. Should you care?

Researchers announced today that they found what look like secret files on the iPhone that track user location and store it on the device, without the permission of the device owner. It’s unclear what the data is used for and why Apple has been collecting it in iOS electronic gadgets that carry a 3G antenna for nearly a year now.

Alasdair Allan, senior research fellow in astronomy at the University of Exeter, and writer Pete Warden, who discovered the log file and created a tool that lets users see a visualization of that data, say there’s no evidence of that information being sent to Apple or anybody else. Even so, the pair note that the data is unencrypted, giving anyone with access to your phone or computer where backups may be stored a way to grab the data and extrapolate a person’s whereabouts and routines.

Who are the researchers and how did they find this?
Warden, who used to work at Apple (though not on the iPhone), and Allan had been collaborating on some location data visualization projects, including a visualization of radiation levels over time in Japan after the earthquake, when Allan discovered the file on an iPhone. “After we dug further and visualized the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements,” they wrote in a blog post.

When did this start and what devices are tracking this data?
According to Allan and Warden, the tracking did not begin until iOS 4, which was released in late June 2010. This was the first version of iOS to drop support for devices like the original iPhone, with devices like the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod Touch getting a more limited feature set. Along with iPhones, 3G-enabled iPads are also keeping track of the data, though it’s unclear if this is true for people who have 3G electronic gadgets without active cellular subscriptions.

The tracking data itself was actually discovered last year. A tool by French programmer Paul Courbis, that’s similar to the one released by Allan and Warden, is able to plot up to 10,000 of these data points from the database file to a Google Map. The issue was known in forensics circles but not widely, Allan and Warden said in a news conference this afternoon at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. An application they released that allows people to see what data is on individual devices makes the abstract tracking concept more real.

Did they contact Apple on their findings?
The researchers said they had contacted Apple’s Product Security team, but hadn’t heard back.

Where is this data being stored?
The database of location information is stored primarily on your phone, though due to the iOS device backup system in iTunes, these files can also end up on your computer. When iTunes saves these backups, which are set by default to be stored every time you sync an iOS device, the data file goes along with it.

What’s curious is that this log can extend across multiple devices as long as those electronic gadgets use the same restore point. Allan and Warden noted that the database used as part of the project spanned an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4, the latter of which had used a restore point.

The researchers have more technical details and the downloadable application to see a visualization of the data collected from your phone over time here. The application does not work with iPhones on Verizon, the researchers said.

What’s inside this data?
A database of cell tower coordinates and timestamps to indicate when your device was connecting with them. This includes what operator you’re on and the country code. The research also found that Apple was tracking data about what Wi-Fi networks you were connecting to, which also included slightly less accurate location information, but continued to track that data by time. The researchers’ visualization app shows large blue dots for frequent activity and smaller red or orange-colored dots for less frequent activity. However, it’s unclear exactly what is triggering the logging, they said.

Is there an easier way to see that information than a giant database form?
Yes, Allan and Warden created an open-source software program that is able to go through the data from the database file and turn it into a visualization of what towers your device connected to based on the dates and times. The pair say the application intentionally cuts down on the accuracy of this data to keep the software from being used for bad things. You’re also likely to see points in places you haven’t been, since the tracking tools within the iPhone make use of nearby cell towers to triangulate location. “As a data geek I was excited to have this data set, but I don’t want anyone else to have this data,” Allan said.

What is the harm with this data being collected and stored on the device?
“By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple [has] made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements,” the researchers wrote in their FAQ.

While acknowledging that there is no need to panic, the researchers noted that if someone gets hold of the device, they can access the unencrypted data. “Your cell operator has this information,” they said in the news conference. Anyone who wants it has “to get a court order to get that from a provider. But now, all you have to do is lose your phone electronic gadgets in a bar.”

Apps on the device cannot access the data, because it is “sandboxed,” the researchers said. However, it could be accessed by software on the computer that holds the backup, they said.

How do I protect this data from being seen by others?
The data file itself is completely unencrypted, meaning anyone who gets hold of it can access the data freely. On the iTunes side, there’s an option to encrypt your backups, which will keep someone who gets access to a backup file while rummaging through your hard drive from being able to dig through it and pull out the database file.

To enable that feature, click on the device icon when it’s plugged into iTunes, then check the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” item in the “Options” area. As for your iPhone, or iPad with 3G, your best bet is to keep someone else from getting it in the first place, and then using Apple’s free “Find My iPhone” app to do a remote wipe if it’s lost or stolen.

How do I turn this tracking off?
Right now there’s no way to turn the tracking off, since it’s baked into the operating system. Turning off GPS will make the device less functional for location-based services such as mapping.

Can Apple do this?
According to the iTunes terms and conditions, yes. The company pretty clearly spells out its right to “collect, use, and share” location data any time it pleases.

That said, the company made a big kerfuffle about making third-party application providers–as well as the built-in Google Maps application–alert users when location was being used by including an arrow in the status bar that is required to appear whenever the phone is sending or receiving location data. This feature came as part of iOS 4, which is when the company began the tracking process.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs also made it a point during an interview at the D8 conference last year that privacy was a topic of utmost importance to the company. “Before any app can get location data, they can’t just put up a panel asking if it can use location, they call our panel and it asks you if it’s OK,” Jobs said. “That’s one of the reasons we have the curated App Store. A lot of the people in the Valley think we’re old-fashioned about this. But we take it seriously.”

Why is Apple doing this?
Apple has not responded to requests for comment. Allan and Warden suggest the company has been using this tracking technology as a precursor to extended location-based services it plans to add as a part of a future version of iOS.

Backing that claim up is an Apple patent application that surfaced back in February, which showed that Apple was considering a service called “Places.” Based on the filing, the service would offer Apple electronic gadgets owners a way to locate one another using GPS. While there are third-party applications like Loopt, Foursquare, and Beluga that let people do this, such a feature would presumably be a built-in part of the phone, and rely on geodata logging for any past history features.

“There are legitimate use cases here, but the matter underscores the need for vendors to be clear about what data they collect and what they are doing with it,” said Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of mobile security provider Lookout in a call with CNET.

Is Apple the only one doing this?
Android does not appear to do this, sources familiar with the platform said. A Google spokeswoman said the company had no comment on the matter. A Microsoft representative told CNET that the company’s Windows Phone platform does not store location history, and that the “Find My Phone” service only keeps the phone’s most recent location.

Source from CNET

Apple sues Samsung: here’s the deal

21 Apr

So we all know that Apple’s suing Samsung alleging myriad IP infringements, but you may not know what all the fuss is about. On one hand, the lawsuit is surprising because Apple gets much of the goodies it needs to build its iconic iPhones, iPads, and Macs from Sammy, and common sense dictates that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. On the other hand, however, folks in Cupertino don’t take too kindly to copycats, and while it’s hard to put a dollar value on the brand equity Apple currently enjoys, this lawsuit shows it’s valuable enough for Apple to risk upsetting its relationship with Samsung and jeopardizing its supply chain. Having given the court docs a good read, here’s our rundown of what’s going on.

According to Apple’s complaint, phones from Samsung (particularly the Galaxy S variety) and its Galaxy Tab are eroding the efficacy of Apple’s carefully crafted brand. That brand is built, in no small part, upon the trade dress (aka the appearance and packaging) of its iDevices and its trademarked iOS icons, and Apple has spent over two billion dollars on advertising from 2007-2010 to stake out a little space in everyone’s brain that associates the iPhone’s looks and its progeny’s derivative forms with Apple. It’s worked quite well too, as Apple revealed (for the first time) in its complaint that it has sold over 60 million iPod touches electronic gadgets, 108 million iPhones, and 19 million iPads total. Problem is, Apple views the Galaxy devices, their TouchWiz UI, and packaging — with their Apple-esque appearance — as illegal infringers on its hard-earned mental real estate, and it’s suing Sammy to stop the squatting and pay for its IP trespassing ways.

Of course, Apple isn’t just dragging Samsung to court for cashing in on the iPhone image in our hearts and minds — Jobs and company have accused Sammy of infringing several of their patents, too. Apple asserts that TouchWiz and the Galaxy S infringe upon its iOS home screen and iPhone 3G design patents. Additionally, the complaint says Samsung has run afoul of several Apple utility patents for: the iOS instant messaging interface, the “bounce back” effect you get upon scrolling too far in a list or window, control and status widgets, UI status windows that disappear a set time after being opened, and scrolling and ellipse multi-touch gesture recognition. In light of these alleged mass IP infringements, Apple’s asking the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions to take Samsung’s Galaxy electronic gadgets off the market, in addition to the usual request for punitives, triple damages and lost profits. We’ve already heard that Samsung will “respond strongly” to Apple’s show of legal force, but time will tell if Sammy’s strong response comes in, or out of court. Those looking for a full breakdown of Apple’s legal claims can hit the more coverage link below.

How to Keep Your iPhone and iPad Location Data Private

21 Apr

We heard earlier that iPhones and iPads electronic gadgets are silently and consistently tracking our locations, and logging the info when we perform syncs or backups. While this fact may be kind of scary on its own, the worst part is that the data is totally unencrypted and available to anyone who gets their hands on your devices or backup folders on your laptop. As of now, there’s no way to stop your iOS 4-running electronic gadgets from logging this data, but you can keep it on lockdown with a simple click.

Want to know how to keep this data private? Just keep reading.

By encrypting your backups, your location data will be accessible only by password. In order to add this layer of security to your iDevice, first, you must plug it into your computer and connect to iTunes. Select your device from the iTunes menu, and then scroll down to the bottom of the device’s main screen. Click the button that says “Encrypt iPhone (or iPad electronic gadgets) Backup” and then enter a hacker-proof password. It’s that simple.

Source from geeksugar

White iPhone 4 Could Arrive within Weeks

15 Apr

The White iPhone 4 has been very elusive over the last 9 to 10 months. It was first announced along with the regular iPhone 4 tech gadgets and since then, it has been delayed over and over to a point where most people believe Apple wont bother with the device and instead launch a white iPhone 5 in the next few months.

Bloomberg is now reporting that “three people with knowledge of the plans” have said the white iPhone will be launching within the next few weeks, before the end of April.

The new version of the smartphone is expected to arrive on both the AT&T network as well as Verizon network. The report doesn’t tell us if international locations will get the device, but we suspect they will in time.

We also hear that Apple could be pushing the launch of the device so that it takes the pressure off the launch of the iPhone 5 tech gadgets later this year. By selling a lot of white iPhone 4′s, it would lower the demand for the iPhone 5 a little and help keep the shortages down to a minimum.

Reasons for the delay have never been officially announced, but have been hinted as being problems with the white coloring, problems with peeling, problems with the flash leaking as well as sensor problems. Perhaps these are all good guesses, but I doubt Apple will make any official announcement regarding this.

Price wise, expect them to cost the same as the regular black versions of the same tech gadgets.

Source from gadgetvenue

Sony CEO accidentally outs possible 8MP camera in iPhone 5

8 Apr

An inadvertent slip of the tongue by Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer could confirm rumors that Apple will use the company’s 8MP camera sensor in its upcoming (but allegedly delayed) iPhone 5 electronic gadgets.

Possible details about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 have emerged from an unlikely source: Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer.

While speaking with the Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg at a forum at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on Friday, Stringer made an off-handed comment that may indicate that the next-generation iPhone will come loaded with an 8MP camera — a significant boost from the iPhone 4′s 5MP camera.

The comment was made by the Sony CEO while he was talking about the one of the company’s plants Senai being damaged by the tsunami that hit Japan last month. So far, Apple has sourced mobile cameras from OmniVision electronic gadgets, which provided the 5MP camera for iPhone 4 and the 3.2MP camera for the 3GS. But if interpretations of Stringer’s comment are correct, it would indicate that Apple may start buying cameras from Sony.

“Our best sensor technology is built in one of the (tsunami) affected factories,” said Stringer (as paraphrased by 9to5Mac founder Seth Weintraub, who caught the quote). “Those go to Apple for their iPhones…or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us?”

According to Electronista, interpretations that Sony is taking over Apple’s camera production are corroborated by a rumors in February that Sony was stepping in because OmniVision couldn’t have an 8MP camera sensor ready in time for Apple’s launch date. Also, Sony’s sensor, which is currently used in its Xperia Neo handset, would meet Apple’s demands of quality over megapixel quantity with its low-light, low-noise capabilities.

As 9to5Mac points out, The Street reported in April 2010 that Apple would adopt Sony’s 8MP camera for the iPhone 5. This was included in the same report that correctly predicted a 5MP camer for the iPhone 4 electronic gadgets.

Damages to Sony’s Sendai plant — which is located in one of the areas hardest hit by the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami — could also explain why Apple is said not to be debuting the iPhone 5 during its WWDC on June 6, which has been the release event for Apple’s latest iPhone since its release of the iPhone 3G in 2008.

 

Source from digitaltrends

Oscium’s iMSO-104 turns iPad, iPhone into mixed signal oscilloscopes

8 Apr

We’ve seen oscilloscopes repurposed as clocks and MAME machines, but we hardly ever see the pendulum swing in the opposite direction. The iMSO-104, however, actually turns your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into an oscilloscope display. Using a Cypress Semiconductor system on a chip, the iMSO-104 electronic gadgets tout a 5MHz bandwidth and as much as 12 megasamples per second, and connects to your device by way of the dock connector — according to its maker, it’s also the world’s smallest and most portable oscilloscope. That’s all well and good, but what we really want to know is, does it support Tennis for Two? The iMSO-104 is now available for pre-order for $300, but if you’re itching to see the thing in action, you can download the corresponding app today and give it a test drive. Full PR after the break.

Source from Engadget

Videotron parent company tries to push iPhones off its TV network in Quebec

30 Mar

What happens when a giant media company owns both a wireless carrier and a television network? Shenanigans — or at least that’s what now seems to be going on in la belle province of Quebec, where the parent company of cable and wireless provider Videotron and television network TVA has seemingly decided to throw its weight around a bit. Apparently, some folks from Quebecor Inc. recently realized that a number of television shows produced for TVA featured iPhones tech gadgets somewhat prominently, which just so happens to be a phone that isn’t offered by its Videotron subsidiary.

Their solution? Ask the shows’ producers to feature phones that are available on Videotron instead, like the Nexus One — provided free of charge, of course. There doesn’t seem to be an outright iPhone ban, however, and at least one show has apparently been given specific permission to let its characters continue using their iPhones tech gadgets — although another show’s producer says he “wouldn’t be surprised” if such a ban was eventually put in place.

 

Source from Engadget

Giveaway: Every Impactband Color for Iphone

29 Mar


These thick rubber things are called impactband(s). They have been proven to protect an iPhone from serious drop heights (video below). Sure they’re thick, but some people won’t mind considering a broken iPhone is very expensive to replace. These electronic gadgets usually cost $25 here, but today is your day to try and get one for free.

All you have to do is leave a comment stating why you need one. The eight best comments will win. Oh, don’t forget to use your real email address so we can contact you by tomorrow.

Details:

Leave only one comment
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Contest ends at 12:00pm EST 3/29/2011