Monthly Archives: March 2013

Is It true? iMessage DDoS attacks foreshadow a bigger threat

Recently, several iOS developers became victims to an iMessage DDoS attack that crashed their app and inhibited their devices. The attacks were executed using a simple AppleScript, where the attackers are able to send out an unlimited, fast-pace amount of messages to the recipient. Depending on the content of the message, the app would either crash, or would shell out notifications at an annoyingly, alarming rate.

The good news for right now is that the attacks only seem to be limited to a small group of people, and only to devices that have been jailbroken. However, the bad news is that anybody, jailbroken iPhone or not, can become a victim to these attacks. One of the victims, Grant Paul, stated, “What’s happening is a simple flood: Apple doesn’t seem to limit how fast messages can be sent, so the attacker is able to send thousands of messages very quickly.” It also looks like the hackers are using throwaway emails, so simply blocking their email will not solve the issue. Another victim, iH8sn0w, stated that he was attacked on Wednesday night. He received a blast of messages saying “Hello Human” and “We are Anonymous…” He was able to track down the sender’s email. The developers have discovered that the attacks originated from a Twitter account that sells UDIDs, and that the account was also responsible for facilitating the installation of pirated apps. While these attacks are small now, they have the potential of becoming widespread. All the attacker needs is your email address. These attacks are able to stall your device because you would need to clear you iMessage queue in order to perform any other actions. Another version of the attack involves mass sending of unicode characters and/or large messages, which ends up crashing your iMessage app and prevents you from re-opening it. Right now, there are no real solutions to the problem besides disabling your iMessage app. Hopefully Apple is able to come up with an effective solution soon. [via The Next Web] Story Timeline Apple iMessage an unexpected shock to carriers: Goodbye SMS cash-cow With a little work, Google Talk could blow iMessage out of the water Samsung unveils ChatON service to compete with iMessage, BBM, and others iMessage support revealed in iChat for OS X Lion BlackBerry outage hits third day while iMessage threat circles Apple working on AirPlay Mirroring and iMessage for Max OS X Apple iMessage bug allows others to spy on your convos iMessage experiencing difficulties as Apple works on fix iMessage DDoS attacks foreshadow a bigger threat is written by Brian Sin .


Is It true? Find treasure with Google’s new treasure map

Following up on YouTube’s April Fool’s Day prank, Google has launched one of its own. It’s similar to its prank last year, when it launched an awesome 8-bit version of its Maps service. This year, Google has transformed Google Maps into a treasure map. In order to access the map, all you have to do is click on “Treasure Mode” on the top right of the Google Maps page. Then you can watch as your location is magically transformed into a treasure map.

Google provided an informational video that goes in-depth with its prank. It says that the Google Maps Street View Team discovered the treasures maps of William “Captain” Kid on September 16th, 2012, while they were on an expedition in Madagascar. There are several locations, like San Francisco’s Treasure Island, or San Jose State University, that have the “X” symbol marking treasure spots. In the video, Google shows that there are many ways to decrypt the codes on Google Maps. Some symbols are revealed with sunlight and others when you align your mobile device with other mobile devices. There are more dangerous ways to decrypt symbols, such as holding your mobile device or laptop over an open fire, or skydiving in order to align your device with the landscape. Of course, Google is courteous (and pre-cautious) and has labeled some of these methods with “Don’t not attempt at home”. All in all, it’s a well-executed and in-depth April Fool’s Day prank, expected from a company like Google. Throughout today and tomorrow, we should see some more awesomely thought-out pranks, so keep a lookout for them. If you haven’t already, check out YouTube’s April Fool’s Day prank, where they say that YouTube was actually an 8-year long contest where the winner is awarded an MP3 player and a $500 stipend. Story Timeline Set Google Maps as the default maps app on iOS with a few tweaks Google Maps for iOS downloaded over 10 million times in just 48 hours Hyundai to bring Google Maps integration to upcoming car models Google Maps opens North Korea Google Maps Street View ads panoramic imagery from Grand Canyon Google Maps goes inside NFL stadium for first time Google Maps for iOS updates with Google Contacts, local search improvements Google Maps could be banned in Germany due to Microsoft patent lawsuit After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down Find treasure with Google’s new treasure map is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Apple will reportedly launch iRadio by Summer

Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch its own web-based music streaming service, and one that will rival Pandora. The new music service will be called iRadio, and will follow Pandora’s example of music streaming. Music services like Spotify and Pandora provide a great revenue stream for music labels. According to the labels, Pandora accounted for 25% of their revenue last year.

However, the labels are getting worried because Pandora is attempting to negotiate for lower royalty fees. Currently, it pays 12 cents per 100 songs, but it needs to have a lower rate in order to generate a profit. Despite it not generating a profit, Pandora’s 12 cents per 100 songs fee is much lower than the 21 cents per 100 songs recommendation provided by the Copyright Royalty Board. Even Spotify, with its millions of users, is paying 35 cents per 100 songs. The labels aren’t planning on lowering Pandora’s royalty fees however. They believe that the web radio industry is still growing, and that there will be other services that will be just as good as Pandora. They’re banking on Apple’s iRadio becoming a success. A source told The Verge that there is no doubt that Apple’s iRadio is coming, and that Apple has achieved a lot of progress with music labels. The sources say, “Apple is pushing really hard for a summertime launch”. If Apple really is far into negotiations with music labels, perhaps the music labels were able to convince the company that a 6 cents per 100 songs royalty fee was too low. Regardless, with Apple’s power, its iRadio service would most likely be an instant hit, and it may deal incredible damage to Pandora’s business, especially since Pandora has just restricted its mobile users to only 40 hours of free music streaming per month. If the music labels offer Apple a better rate than Pandora, Pandora is expected to make a case in front of Congress with the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA) bill. The bill, if approved by Congress, would lower Pandora’s (and other web radio’s) royalty fees so that they can generate a profit. [via The Verge] Story Timeline Spotify reportedly aiming at free access for mobile users Pandora limits mobile users to 40 hours of free streaming per month Apple’s low royalty rate offer for streaming music has record labels grumbling Pandora talks February 2013 audience metrics and fiscal 2013 financials Pandora arrives on Windows Phone 8, ad-free until 2014 Spotify reportedly plans to add video on-demand service Apple will reportedly launch iRadio by Summer is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? PlayStation 4 demand will reportedly outpace supplies at launch

There is speculation going around that the demand for the PlayStation 4 will outpace the available supply for the console system at launch. Gamestop stated that around 900,000 of its members have signed up for its “PlayStation 4 First To Know List”. While it’s more of a pre-registration than it is pre-orders, Gamestop says that its lists are usually a “strong indicator” for the number of people planning on pre-ordering the device.

The news came from Gamestop’s President Tony Bartel. He stated, “Although we have been given no official numbers by Sony, we do believe that demand will far outpace the supply of this product during the launch window”. If his statement is true, the high-demand for Sony’s PlayStation 4 is a good sign for the video game industry. The industry has been on the decline for quite some time now, with recent numbers showing the industry dropping 25% in sales. Also, in other good news, the PlayStation is looking to launch globally by the holiday season this year. There were rumors circulating around that stated that Europe would have to wait until 2014 to get their hands on the game console due to distribution issues, however Gamestop assures consumers that that’s not the case. Sony has yet to release images of the PlayStation 4, however, it has released information regarding the PlayStation 4′s specs and its peripherals, like its DualShock 4 controller. The PlayStation 4 is an impressive console. The PlayStation 4 demonstrations showed off the stunning graphics that games on its system will be capable of. There were also a bunch of features announced that make the system much more than a game console centered around the living room. You will be able to use the remote play feature to stream games onto your PS Vita, tablet, or smartphone so that you can play your games anywhere in the house. Check out our PlayStation 4 guide on everything you need to know about the console. [via CNET] Story Timeline PlayStation 4 event wrap-up: Everything you need to know Sony unveils PlayStation 4 specs, Dualshock 4 controller and PlayStation 4 Eye camera PlayStation 4 will be able to play used games, says Sony PlayStation 4 console: why the box doesn’t matter Sony CEO says PlayStation 4 “still in development” PlayStation 4 used games policy: yes and no Retailers already launching pre-orders for PlayStation 4 Sony teases social aspects of PlayStation 4 with new screenshots PlayStation 4 demand will reportedly outpace supplies at launch is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Apple gets denied the iPad Mini trademark

Apple has been denied the trademark for its iPad Mini devices in the U.S. The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Apple’s application because it says that the word “Mini” is “merely descriptive” of Apple’s iPad. The reviewer of the application stated, “the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of the applicant’s goods.” Apple is able to appeal the decision, however, and will most likely be granted the trademark as long as it addresses all of the reasons why the application was denied.

The rejection letter was sent to Apple back in January 24th. The reviewer stated that the term Mini just described “something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class.” The reviewer referred to other products with the term Mini slapped onto their descriptions as well, and stated that the word is so common, and that Apple’s use of it only describes “a small sized handheld tablet computer. Apple needs to find a better way to distinguish the iPad Mini from the regular iPad in order to obtain the trademark. Alongside these grounds for refusal, the reviewer also stated that Apple is not allowed to submit images from its product webpages in its trademark applications. Something strange about that refusal is that it’s actually common for Apple to use images from its product webpages, and that this is the first time that USPTO has had a problem with it. Apple has until July 24th to appeal its trademark application with the appropriate amendments, but Apple should already be well on its way to solving the issue. Apple’s iPad Mini has gained a lot of popularity in the past 6 months, with consumer interest in the device almost doubling from what it was before. You can check out our iPad Mini review in order to see if its a tablet you should get. [via Apple Insider] Apple gets denied the iPad Mini trademark is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down

No, not really. In celebration of April Fool’s Day, YouTube went all out with their (highly unbelievable) prank. Now some of you may be saying, “You’re one day early YouTube, it’s March 31st”, but you have to keep in mind that its April 1st in some countries already, like Japan. In its April Fool’s Day prank, YouTube stated that after 8 years, the contest that is YouTube, will finally come to an end come midnight, April 1st.

The video shows footage of YouTube’s offices where 30,000 staff members are reviewing ALL of the content that has ever been uploaded to YouTube. In the video, Tim Liston, the “Competition Director”, states that it’s finally time to pick the “winner”. He also says that the entire process of determining the winner will take 10 years. The “winner” of the competition will be revealed in 2023 when YouTube’s site goes back online. The video features interviews with a variety of uploaders with popular video uploads. There are interviews with iJustine, the uploaders of “____ reacts to ____” videos, Charlie bit my finger, David After Dentist, and more. The winners of the contest get a pretty terrible prize. They get a MP3 player that can be strapped to their sleeves, as well as a $500 stipend to be used towards their next creative venture (8 years well spent). All in all, it was a creative video that will get you some laughs. Of course, if YouTube really were to shut down, it’d be a nightmare. How else are we going to get easy access to hands-on video demonstrations, or learn how to tie a tie? Fortunately for all of us, YouTube is doing extremely well and is seeing no threats of being shutdown, unlike Google Reader. Just last week, YouTube announced that it finally has 1 billion monthly active users. If YouTube was really a contest, which video would you nominate to win? Story Timeline YouTube tipped to launch its own music streaming service YouTube’s One Channel design taken out of beta YouTube co-founder planning on launching rival service YouTube Capture now available for iPad Simon Cowell to launch next competition on YouTube YouTube’s newest milestone: 1 billion unique monthly users YouTube announces live-streaming tools for game developers After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Facebook’s Android OS will be called “Facebook Home”

Last week, we reported that Facebook is planning on revealing its own customized version of the Google Android operating system . They will be debuting their “special” version of the Android OS onto one of HTC’s devices. It’s speculated that it will launch on a new HTC device, however, there’s also reports that the OS will be able to run on HTC’s older handsets, and even on its upcoming flagship handset, the HTC One.

Now reports are saying that Facebook’s version of Android OS will be called “Facebook Home”. Sources revealed to 9to5Google that the tagline on Facebook’s invitations, “Come See Our New Home On Android”, is actually a teaser to the new product name. Facebook’s version of the OS will feature deep integration into Android. Facebook Messenger, Photos, and Contacts will be set as the default programs, with Facebook Messenger being used for both messaging your Facebook friends, as well as sending out SMS text messages. The HTC smartphone that will feature the new, modified Android OS, and will most likely be announced at the event as well. Many sources say that the phone highly resembles the iPhone 5. It will have a home button at the bottom-center of the phone, with capacitive buttons on its right and left side. The device will have a screen larger than 4-inches, with speculations that it will be 4.3-inches. The phone is also said to be similar in size to the iPhone 5. On top of both of these reveals, we’re also expecting Facebook to announce an upgrade to its Facebook for Android app. Android users have been waiting for a long time to have a decent Facebook for Android app. The current app, while much better than the versions before it, could still use a lot of work. We’re hoping that the app is just as smooth as the iOS app, if not better. Facebook had its employees work extra-hard on the Android app, so it’d be nice to see the results that have come from that. Tune in with us on April 4th, 10:00 A.M. PST, for the official updates from Facebook’s event. [via 9to5Google] Story Timeline Facebook brings ads straight to your newsfeed Facebook game developers made $2.8B in 2012 Facebook improves mobile app install ads for developers Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook April 4 event invite teases Android-related announcement Facebook event to reveal “real” Android app (not a phone) HTC “Facebook phone” Android software integration tipped Facebook gets approval to build a low-key second campus Facebook is testing out a new button Facebook’s Android OS will be called “Facebook Home” is written by Brian Sin .