Tag: iOS

iOS writes nonsensical science paper but gets accepted

mad scientistA Kiwi boffin was somewhat surprised when a paper, which he wrote using Apple’s auto-correct formula was accepted for a prestigious science conference.

Christoph Bartneck, an associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received an email inviting him to submit a paper to the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in the US in November.

Since he had no knowledge of nuclear physics he used iOS autocomplete function to help him write  the paper.

“I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions… The text really does not make any sense.”

For example:

“The atoms of a better universe will have the right for the same as you are the way we shall have to be a great place for a great time to enjoy the day you are a wonderful person to your great time to take the fun and take a great time and enjoy the great day you will be a wonderful time for your parents and kids,”

The conclusion of the paper was that “Power is not a great place for a good time” which is a lesson for us all.

The paper “Atomic Energy will have been made available to a single source” was illustrated using the first graphic on the Wikipedia entry for nuclear physics and he submitted it under a fake identity – associate professor Iris Pear.

But when he submitted the paper it was not only accepted three hours later but he got an email asking if he could do an oral presentation on the paper at the international conference.  All he had to do was pay a grand to register.

“I did not complete this step since my university would certainly object to me wasting money this way,. My impression is that this is not a particularly good conference.”

The International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics will be held on 17-18 November in Atlanta, Georgia, and is organised by ConferenceSeries: “an amalgamation of Open Access Publications and worldwide international science conferences and events” and was established in 2007.

Apple does not want to know how the FBI hacked its iPhone

3 monkeys 3Fruity cargo cult Apple is not going to try and force the FBI to tell it how it hacked the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist and what security hole it used.

Attorneys for Apple speaking on background during a media briefing call on Friday said that it believed the method used to unlock the iPhone 5c would be short lived.

FBI director James Comey admitted that the hack used to unlock the encrypted phone works on a “narrow slice” of devices.

Of course Apple’s attorneys were guessing. They don’t know what the flaw was, but argued that the normal product development would see that a fix for the flaw would be implemented down the line. A little bit of an odd argument.  Apple is basically saying that it will fix a flaw it did not notice sometime in the future when it does not matter.

Apple is usually slow in fixing flaws in its software, it is hard to see it fixing this one, if it finds it, for any reason other than rubbing the FBI’s face in it. Apple was extremely embarrassed when it told the world that its iOS system was so secure it would require it to write a backdoored version of the OS to allow the FBI access. Then an Israeli firm used one of the many security loopholes it has at its disposal to let the FBI in.

Apple backs down on bricking phones

apple-dalek-2One of the problems with trying a PR “champion of freedom” image is that you cannot appear to be seen as its total opposite in other parts of your business model.

When Apple released an update which bricked the phones of everyone who fixed their phones themselves, or used an unauthorised supplier it faced the wrath of customers and a court case.

Apple and its fanboys justified its actions as being in the interests of fanboys and made sure that their phones contained officially blessed parts. Unfortunately it was pretty clear to everything that it was only in Apple’s interest and it might be in trouble for playing monopoly again.

Apple has issued a new build of iOS that restores iPhones bricked after having third-party repairs.

The Fruity Cargo Cult said a new version of iOS 9.2.1, available over iTunes, will restore mobiles frozen with an ‘Error 53’ message.

To install the fixed version of iOS, users should update their copy of iTunes on their Mac or PC, connect the computer to the iPhone via a USB cable, and force a restart. iTunes should then be able to install the fixed version of iOS via a full device restore.

It is an interesting paradox here. Apple has tons of support for standing up to the FBI and not installing a back door in its software to stop hardware tampering (even if the FBI does not want a back door installed)  and yet they want Apple to dump a feature which prevents tampering by them.

While it would appear that this is the users’ problem it is more to do with the fact that in the first case Apple appears to be mostly standing up for its users’ privacy and in the second it was just standing up for itself.

Apple sued for creating bricks in its wall

pink-floyd-the-wall-alan-parkerThe fruity cargo cult Apple is facing a class action for bricking the phones of naughty users who dared not to use its genii to repair their phones.

Apple issued an update which bricked iPhone 6 devices that have been repaired by third parties. The so-called “Error 53” problem appeared after an iOS software update and seemed to affect devices with replaced or damaged home buttons and Touch ID sensors.

Basically this means that anyone dumb enough to buy an iPhone 6 but shrewd enough to realise that it did not have to be repaired by Apple is facing an expensive problem. They have to get their phone re-repaired by Apple for the original fault and the one that Jobs’ Mob created.

Apple claims that it has done no such thing and the error is the result of a “security feature.” The iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure.”

We are not sure if they ran that particular excuse through the common sense department of the company for checking. Why would Touch ID need to do that?

The idea is similar to one which Microsoft uses to check that you are not installing multiple copies of Windows onto your PC and with a similar but less drastic result. To say that Apple was unware that this would be the result of its “security feature” suggests that either its software people are so stupid that they did not know that would happen, or the company was trying to weed out those who had “unauthorised components”.

PCVA, the Seattle-based law firm considering a class action lawsuit thinks the latter. On its website it said: “We believe that Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops.”

Smartphone apps spy on you

GoogleA report from scientists in the USA have concluded that using Android and iOS apps runs the risk of your data being shared with others.

Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that 47 percent of 110 iOS apps they studied shared location data, while 73 percent of Android apps shared peoples’ email addresses.

Android apps are more likely to share personal names and addresses than the IOS apps.

But rather worringly one Android health app, the researchers claimed, shared medical information with third parties.

One iOS app, Localscope, sent data to 17 third party domains while 93 percent of Android apps connected to a domain called safemovedm.com No one, perhaps except Google, knows why this happens or what’s going on at safemovedm.com

Apple dominates the tablet market

Dell TabletDespite falling sales of tablets in general, data released shows Apple still leads the way in shipments of tablets.

Digitimes Research said that Apple represents 23.9 percent of shipments, followed by Samsung at 14.5 percent of the market.

But the remaining places are disappointing for other vendors, with Microsoft only having 2.3 percent of the market, Amazon 4.8 percent, Lenovo 5.3 percent, and Acer 1.3 percent.

The market research firm said that of the 38.5 million tablets it estimates will ship in this fourth quarter, 30.3 percent will have seven inch screens, 18.3 percent nine inch screens,, 5.3 percent eight inch screens and 9.2 percent tablets with eleven inch screens or above.

While Apple is doing well on shipments, in operating system terms it’s good for Android (56.8%), and Apple iOS 36.4 percent. MIcrosoft has a miniscule 6.9 percent of the market with Windows.

The market research outfit said that sales have fallen 22.6 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

Key iOS feature borked

chef-appleA feature from Apple which was supposed to push apps to its iCloud is broken and the fruity cargo cult has pulled it.

App slicing is a good idea on paper.  It allows users to save resources on their shiny toys by splitting the Apple data  between the phone and the cloud.

Of course it requires some clever programming to make it work and Apple is having a lot of problems with the iOS9 operating system.

According to Apple its App slicing is currently unavailable for iOS 9 apps due to an issue affecting iCloud backups created from iOS 9 where some apps from the App Store would only restore to the same model of iOS device.

When a customer downloads your iOS 9 app, they will get the Universal version of the app, rather than the variant specific for their device type. TestFlight will continue to deliver variants for your internal testers.

Apple assures us that App slicing will be enabled with a future software update, although it is possible that having pulled it, we will never see its like again.

Apple finally admits update bricks phones

maxresdefaultFruity cargo cult Apple has admitted that its iOS 9 update process has bricked the phones of some users.

There have been many complaints that devices were unable to progress past the “Slide to Upgrade” screen when moving to the latest version of iOS.

Apples solution is not great.  It is telling users to wipe their device and pray to Steve Jobs that you made a backup.

Instructions posted to the Apple support site advised users to perform a factory reset on the frozen iThing and then restore from a previous backup.

Apple’s suggested clean install procedure does work, but it can take you several goes.

The issue appeared to be largely relegated to devices running iOS 7 skipping over to iOS 9, Apple would not confirm if that was in fact the case.

In fact the only work around you can be sure of is to hit your iPhone with a hammer and buy something less problematic, and cheaper.

Apple can’t get its watch to run on time

 Apple watchApple has some problems with its watchOS 2 update and has delayed its planned rollout.

The big watchOS 2 update was supposed to bring some big improvements to Apple Watch, including an improved Siri, native apps, third-party complications, and new watch faces.

According to Pocket-lint.com  the  watchOS has some problems which are taking longer than expected to fix.  It was supposed to be out yesterday but those wearing the Apple Watch will have to endure the existing OS wait a bit longer.

Jobs’ Mob has confirmed that it has discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 and the roll out will happen  shortly.

Apple’s iWatch has been a huge disappointment since it was released and most users are hardly using it for anything other than telling the time. It had been hoped that updating the watch would make it a little more acceptable to those who paid a fortune to own it, and perhaps improve battery life.

The iOS 9 update for iPhones and iPads is not affected and it should be rolling out to supported devices.

Smartphone sales slow worldwide

ANDROIDSales of smartphones across the world have slowed down as the market becomes more saturated.

According to data from Gartner, sales in the second quarter showned the slowest growth since 2013, with 330 million units shipping. That’s up 13.5 percent from the same quarter in 2013.

Where growth has come, its for low cost 3G and 4G smartphones in emerging markets. Smartphone sales in China, however, fell by four percent in the quarter for the first time ever.

Gartner said the Chinese market is now driven by replacement.

Apple’s iPhones continue to challenge Samsung top end phones, with the Korean giant showing a decline of 4.3 percent in market share and 5.3 percent in unit sales.

Huawei surged by 463 percent, while iPhone sales grew by 36 percent in the quarter.

Price wars continue as vendors gear up for new models planned in the second half of this year.

On the operating system front, Android remained the number one driver, but saw its growth fall, followed by Apple’s iOS. Microsoft struggled to sell Windows phones.