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Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare (updated)

Updated. Former Gizmodo writer Mat Honan is having a pretty bad day . As you can read on his Tumblr post (not to mention elsewhere ), hackers compromised his iCloud account. They used that access to reset his iCloud password, reset his Gmail password, gain control of his Twitter account (which in turn gave them access to Gizmodo’s Twitter feed and 400K followers) and generally wreak mayhem. Unfortunately, Honan’s iCloud account was tied to his iPhone and iPad, which both had Find my iPhone/iPad turned on. In the attackers’ hands, the FMI utility was turned against Honan and both devices were remotely wiped. It got worse: his MacBook Air had Find My Mac enabled, which meant the hackers could erase his SSD… and they did. Honan’s iCloud password was unique to that service, but it was also only seven characters long and hadn’t been changed in years. Given the many points of exposure when iCloud accounts are compromised — and the potential risk of serious consequences if remote wipe utilities like Find My Mac are controlled by malicious actors — we recommend using a memorable but strong password for iCloud. (Strong and unique passwords are a good idea in general, but while Google’s accounts have options for two-factor authentication with SMS or the Google Authenticator app, iCloud doesn’t.) [Honan was targeted by a hacker group that had previously gone after high-profile Twitter users, which is an unlikely scenario for most of us. However, the risks of an unintended or malicious data wipe if you lose control of your iCloud password are real whether you're an Internet celebrity or not. -Ed.] The easiest way to come up with a strong password is to use a tool such as Diceware , but as our Twitter followers point out you do need to be able to enter your iCloud password quickly and easily on iOS devices if you plan to install or update App Store apps. It’s not always simple to balance security and convenience, but it’s important to consider the risks before you go with an easy-to-crack password. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to segregate the Find My Mac feature from the other Mac iCloud features like Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud and Back to My Mac; if there was, you could have a ‘shadow’ iCloud account used only for that, with no email or App Store exposure at all. You can, however, set up separate iCloud accounts for email, calendars and contacts and/or App Store purchases — but that rapidly defeats the “all your data, anywhere” advantages of iCloud in the first place. A toggle switch to disable Find My Mac’s remote wipe capability could also it a little more consumer-friendly, with a separate PIN code to turn the feature off or on; alternatively, with FileVault 2 Apple could replace the drive wipe with an encryption/lock pass to prevent thieves from accessing the data. But the odds of encountering a determined hacker clan set on wiping your computer remotely are arguably far lower than those of losing your MacBook to carelessness or theft; good backup strategy plus Find My Mac is a better choice for the latter risk. Our sympathies to Mat; we wish him luck in recovering his data and piecing his digital life back together. Update : Mat reports that he is working with Google to restore his account access (and, since his phone was linked to his Google Voice number, his ability to receive and send text messages) and has a Genius Bar appointment today to review his options for data recovery on his MacBook Air. Continue reading Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare (updated) Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare (updated) originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 01:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare (updated)

Dear Aunt TUAW: Will my brand new refurb Mac come with Mountain Lion?

Dear Favourite Aunt TUAW, I’m using British spelling in honor of the Olympics. I know that I haven’t called lately but I’ve been very busy waiting for my new Refurb Mac mini. It’s going to replace my trusty but aging 2007 edition. I’ve fetched my Firewire cord and have the step by step method of transferring data, etc… and then it struck me – will the new Mini come already equipped with Mountain Lion? How will that affect the migration? I can’t sleep as I fret about this, so please offer your expert advice. Thanks… Your 16th favorite nephew, Mark Dear Mark, Auntie’s pretty sure that “Aunt” is spelled identically on both sides of the Atlantic, although she should point out that you (and all of her nieces and nephews) have always been her favourite. (See what she did there?) Auntie gave Apple a call and confirmed that refurb minis qualify for the Up to Date program. You’ll be able to upgrade for free. What’s more an Apple rep confirmed that the migration assistant will work between OS versions, so you’ll be able to move your data from the original Lion install to your new mini — whether you’ve already upgraded it or not. Cheers, pip pip, and Tally-Ho (two can play at that game ), Auntie T. P.S. Uncle Rich is now squirming. Not just because of Auntie’s take on the entire British Empire, but also because he’s not a huge fan of Migration Assistant’s reliability. He writes, “Migration Assistant [redacted] impressively on my iMac. I extracted my MBP HDD and put it in a USB caddy. Told Migration Assistant to use it as the source and let it do its thing. Rebooted; system seemed good. Disconnected the USB drive… and it stopped booting. Something I had on the old OS X install was cross-connected to the USB HDD, and wouldn’t start without it! Never did figure out what it was. In the end I did a clean install of Lion, then told Migration Assistant to move only my home directory and not any of the other settings or apps. I had carried my OS X install forward from Leopard onwards, so it was high time for a clean out anyway.” Continue reading Dear Aunt TUAW: Will my brand new refurb Mac come with Mountain Lion? Dear Aunt TUAW: Will my brand new refurb Mac come with Mountain Lion? originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Dear Aunt TUAW: Will my brand new refurb Mac come with Mountain Lion?

Apple vs. Samsung: Trial roundup

Under normal circumstances, the proceedings of a patent trial would be about as exciting as watching grass grow on TV, picture-in-picture, while paint dries on the main channel. However, Apple versus Samsung has been surprisingly fascinating so far, but less so for the legal wranglings than for the information surfacing during the trial. Evidence and testimony presented during the trial is giving us unexpected insights into Apple’s inner workings. By now you’ve probably already seen the very early iPad and iPhone prototypes that were published last week and the giant iPad prototype from a week earlier yet. If not for the current patent trial between Apple and Samsung, it’s unlikely these prototypes would have seen the light of day until many years from now, if ever. Yet we’ve learned that Apple was designing prototypes for the iPad as long as ten years ago. More bits of info have come to light in the past few days: Nearly 40 iPhone and iPad prototypes revealed in Samsung trial The Verge has galleries of prototypes for both the iPhone and iPad. Many of these images are of prototypes we already saw last week, but several new ones have surfaced showing yet more designs that Apple considered and ultimately rejected. Feast your eyes on the iPhones and iPads that might have been, but that’s the best you’ll be able to do for now; it’ll be a long time before any of these walk out of Apple’s labs and show up on eBay . Apple designer: iPhone crafters are “maniacal” Reuters describes testimony from Christopher Stringer, a veteran member of Apple’s design team. Describing that team, Stringer says they are “a pretty maniacal group of people. We obsess over details.” The team often discusses those ideas around a kitchen table, brainstorming design concepts before heading off to do some CAD mockups. According to Stringer, Apple’s design process doesn’t follow a linear idea-sketch-model-prototype path and, as the huge swath of prototypes proves, Apple isn’t afraid to abandon a concept altogether if a better one comes along. Apple’s Case Against Samsung in Three Pictures AllThingsD shows three photos Apple has entered into evidence to support its claim that Samsung has slavishly copied the iPhone’s design. If you’ve seen any of those “Before the iPhone –> iPhone –> After the iPhone” images before, you’ll find Apple’s evidence very familiarly laid out. Apple’s timeline shows that Samsung was in the Palm/Blackberry lookalike business during the early 2000s. The first few years after the iPhone was a time of transition for Samsung’s designs, with several different form factors in play. In 2010, going by Apple’s chart Samsung eventually said the heck with it and settled on a design stunningly similar to the iPhone — designs that persist to the present day. Phil Schiller takes the stand in the Apple v. Samsung trial The Verge liveblogged Phil Schiller’s testimony, and some of his remarks were revelatory. Schiller testified that each new model of iPhone has sold as many units as all the iPhones before it. That obviously includes the current iPhone 4S, the “disappointing” iPhone that multiple pundits insisted would be Apple’s downfall last year. Fact-checking Schiller’s statement proves he’s right; the iPhone’s growth has indeed been exponential so far. It may even be possible for the next iPhone to sell over 200 million units — though don’t count on it. If you do the math, you’ll find that sort of growth isn’t sustainable. Schiller called the iPad “a risk to our image” because the tablet category was essentially dead when the iPad was first introduced. Indeed, many people dismissed the iPad as frivolous and doomed to fail at its unveiling less than three years ago. Schiller also revealed that, contrary to previous statements, Apple does indeed engage in market research for its products via surveys and other methods. 85 percent of customers who purchased the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 said the device’s appearance was either important or very important to their decision to purchase it — a key metric when attempting to prove that Samsung’s similarly designed devices conceivably caused financial damages to Apple. “I was pretty shocked at the appearance of the Galaxy S phone and the extent to which it appeared to copy Apple’s products,” Schiller said. When he saw the Galaxy Tab and how similar it was to the iPad, he suddenly felt that Samsung intended to copy Apple’s entire product line. Samsung’s lawyer asked Schiller if Apple expected to change its design for the forthcoming “iPhone 5.” To absolutely no one’s surprise, Schiller declined to comment. Apple’s Software Boss Reveals the Origin Story of iOS Senior VP of iOS software Scott Forstall took the stand after Schiller. He first described Apple’s intentions for OS X, calling it “an operating system that could last for another 20 years.” Looks like we can look forward to OS X Ocelot after all. The decision to develop the iPhone had a simple motivation: Apple’s staff hated their cellphones. They’d already been working on the iPad project, so the team adapted the work it had done so far to a smaller product, which eventually became the iPhone. This team was segregated from the rest of Apple for years, and secrecy was paramount even by Apple’s legendarily locked-down standards. Here’s Apple’s e-mail thread about a 7-inch iPad CNET shows off an email from Eddy Cue, described during Scott Forstall’s court testimony, which shows Apple has indeed shown interest in developing a smaller version of the iPad. “I believe there will be a 7″ market and we should do one,” Cue said in a January 2011 email to Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Scott Forstall after using a Samsung Galaxy. “I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time,” Cue said in the email, which contradicts claims Jobs made during an October 2010 financial call where he dissed the usability of smaller tablets. Cue found few usability problems: “I found email, books, facebook and video very compelling on a 7″. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable.” Samsung presented this as evidence that Apple draws just as much “inspiration” from its competitors as Samsung has. Time will tell if Apple releases a smaller iPad that looks almost identical to the Galaxy Tab. Apple vs. Samsung: Trial roundup originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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SonicPics lets you easily create narrated slideshows on iOS

SonicPics is an intriguing US $2.99 app that allows you to make a slide presentation and then narrate it, all on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. That’s quite a lot of functionality that usually takes a lot more hardware. Take your photos off your camera roll and select them inside SonicPics. Get them in the order you want. Then hit the record button and start narrating. You swipe to the next picture to control the sync. You can swap images around, but then you have to re-do the narration. When you are satisfied, the presentation needs to be rendered, and then it can be emailed, saved to your camera roll, or uploaded to YouTube. The resulting file can run up to 60 minutes duration, if you have the space on your device. You can also select the audio quality. Even the lowest-quality option sounded pretty good. I can see lots of uses for this app, in real estate, education, creating illustrated audio books, and even creating simple presentations when you are on the road. With all my positive comments, there are still some negatives. There is no way to have a music background instead of narration. Even better would be to have narration plus a background track. Although you can label each image as you prepare your presentation, those labels don’t make it into the finished video. There is no help or FAQ with the app. You have to be pretty inquisitive to figure out you have to flip each image to the next one while recording. A simple on-screen prompt would fix that. If you are doing a long narration and make a mistake, you have to start over again. That is going to be frustrating. The developer tells me some of those changes are coming, and he agrees about the lack of help (which is easy to fix). I still like this app very much. It is reasonably priced, and the issues I’ve mentioned are hardly insurmountable for an update. I can see using this on vacation and putting together a quick slide show for friends and family back home. This app is a great idea, and if it continues to evolve it is going to be awesome instead of just very good. Gallery: SonicPics presentations on the fly Continue reading SonicPics lets you easily create narrated slideshows on iOS SonicPics lets you easily create narrated slideshows on iOS originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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SonicPics lets you easily create narrated slideshows on iOS

Social Telephone: Inappropriate for everyone and not as clever as South Park

When we first heard of Social Telephone ( Free , $0.99 to remove ads), the TUAW consensus that we weren’t sure whether the game could be played in a reasonable period of time. It works like this: twelve players in turn see either a phrase or a drawing. They then describe the drawing, or draw the phrase. The material is then passed anonymously onto the next player. The game handles all the team details, passing items anonymously from one player to the next. In the end, your app updates and you can view the entire twelve-part sequence. Here’s an example of a sequence I participated in. What made this sequence stand out from the others, and made it “filmable” for consumption by a TUAW audience, is that it did not contain any off-color phrases or sexually-explicit material. That made it the exception. Although participants can report inappropriate sequences, apparently most users don’t care and are apparently gleefully sharing their wild humor with others. I have no idea why this app has a 4+ rating. I strongly encourage parents to limit access to children. As for teens and young professionals, well, you know what you’re getting into. It probably plays better with beer. The app crashed several times during use, the drawing tools are pretty awkward to use, but if you want to go all Beavis and Butthead well, this is the app for you. Social Telephone: Inappropriate for everyone and not as clever as South Park originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Social Telephone: Inappropriate for everyone and not as clever as South Park

Updated DODOcase for iPad is colorful, stronger, and could be yours

Since the first TUAW review of the DODOcase iPad case back in May of 2010 , many TUAW bloggers and readers have fallen in love with the book-like folio case that revitalized the bookbinding industry in San Francisco and started a popular accessory category. The company has just finished a major redesign of the wooden tray that cradles the iPad , so we’re reviewing the case and giving a TUAW reader an opportunity to get one. Design The basic design of the DODOcase hasn’t changed much in the two years it’s been on the market. It uses time-honored bookbinding techniques to wrap a rigid fabric cover around a wooden interior frame to protect your iPad from damage, and it looks great in the process. DODOcase sent one of their Spring/Summer 2012 cases (starting at US$79.95) to test, and it’s a refreshing change from the “any color you want as long as it’s black” cases from 2010. This case is encased in bright green and blue (“Meadow” and “Lake”) bookbinding cloth that just pops ! The inside uses that same bright blue material, and there’s the familiar bookplate affixed to the inside cover for personalizing the case. The new case features the familiar magnets to turn your iPad 2 or new iPad on and off. The big difference I can see between my original 2010 DODOcase (black case in the gallery photos) and the new model, other than the available bright colors, is the new wooden tray. DODOcase is now using solid strips of bamboo to encase the iPad, different from the original laminated strips that could crack and break if the case was dropped. I’ve noticed that the tray on my original DODOcase is somewhat bowed; that wouldn’t happen with the new, stiffer tray. Gallery: DODOcase 2012 The original model had a completely open top for easy access to the power/sleep button and headphone jack on the iPad. Now, the case completely surrounds the top and features a cutout for the headphone jack as well as a laser-cut bamboo power button. The bottom of the case now covers more of the iPad as well, giving even more protection to your tablet. Since the case is now designed for both the iPad 2 and new iPad, there’s an option for a camera hole if you’re inclined to use your tablet for photography. Functionality What can I say? The DODOcase is still an extremely popular and well-built iPad case, winning the TUAW Best of 2011 award for iPad cases that was awarded to DODOcase by TUAW readers and staff. The company is obviously proud of the award, featuring it on the recycled cardboard wrapper that is used to hang the case on store displays. I do have two suggestions for DODOcase that would make the case even better than it is. First, please get rid of those little leather stick-on pads that are used to hold the iPad tightly into the tray. They have a tendency to fall off if you need to take your iPad out of the case with any frequency, and other manufacturers have done a great job of designing polyurethane or rubber inserts that are a permanent part of the tray. My second suggestion is to create a case that can be propped up more easily. For examples of both suggestions, please refer to the Portenzo cases with the “IntelliStand” option . Conclusion DODOcase continues its streak of brilliance in iPad cases with a new, stronger design and a variety of color options that bring a refreshing relevancy to this venerable product. Pros Stronger internal tray brings extra protection to the DODOcase line New, constantly changing exterior designs brighten your life while still offering excellent protection Compared to the competition, many DODOcase iPad cases are a bargain Craftsmanship of the DODOcase products is incredibly good Cons Case doesn’t have some of the stand options available from other vendors Use of “stick-on” tabs in the corners to hold the iPad in place seems outdated Who is it for? Anyone looking for a book-style iPad case who wants a quality American-made product that will last. Giveaway And now it’s time for a giveaway. The winner of this random drawing receives a Spring/Summer 2012 iPad 2/3 DODOcase in the Meadow/Lake color scheme. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before August 6, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time. You may enter only once. One winner will be selected and will receive a Spring/Summer 2012 edition DODOcase for iPad 2 and the new iPad valued at $84.90. Click Here for complete Official Rules. Loading… Continue reading Updated DODOcase for iPad is colorful, stronger, and could be yours Updated DODOcase for iPad is colorful, stronger, and could be yours originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Updated DODOcase for iPad is colorful, stronger, and could be yours

EA sues Zynga for copyright infrigement, cites Tiny Tower

EA has dropped a lawsuit on Zynga’s doorstep, claiming that one of Zynga’s latest Facebook games, called The Ville, is essentially an infringing copy of EA’s popular The Sims . You can read through the entire complaint at Scribd. What’s most interesting about this whole case — other than two companies fussing over whose millions are whose — is that EA is casting itself as the defender of innovation for casual and social gaming. Forty-seven points into the complaint, EA brings up the Tiny Tower/Dream Tower debacle , in which Zynga released a game very similar to Nimblebit’s popular Tiny Tower called Dream Tower. In EA’s post about the lawsuit, the general manager of EA’s Maxis Studio (creators of The Sims Social) says that “Maxis isn’t the first studio to claim that Zynga copied its creative product. But we are the studio that has the financial and corporate resources to stand up and do something about it. Infringing a developer’s copyright is not an acceptable practice in game development. By calling Zynga out on this illegal practice, we hope to have a secondary effect of protecting the rights of other creative studios who don’t have the resources to protect themselves.” Now, whether any other studios allegedly copied by Zynga have the resources to “stand up and do something about it” might still be in question. But reading through the complaint, it’s more than apparent that EA isn’t going after Zynga just for themselves — they’re trying to establish a repeated pattern of Zynga’s infringement. And given Zynga’s stock troubles lately, a big lawsuit like this is probably the last thing the company needs. It’ll be very interesting to see how this litigation moves forward. Continue reading EA sues Zynga for copyright infrigement, cites Tiny Tower EA sues Zynga for copyright infrigement, cites Tiny Tower originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 Aug 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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EA sues Zynga for copyright infrigement, cites Tiny Tower

Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter now definitely available

It appeared and disappeared a few times over the first day of supposed availability, but now it seems to have arrived for good: the Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter originally announced with the most recent laptop refresh is now on sale. The adapter works with all Thunderbolt -equipped Macs and supplies 7W of power for bus-powered devices. Given the theoretical bandwidth of Thunderbolt far outstrips the FireWire spec, the adapter should have no problem keeping up with the fastest drives. Thanks to Eric J Continue reading Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter now definitely available Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter now definitely available originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 01:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter now definitely available

Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare

Former Gizmodo writer Mat Honan is having a pretty bad day . As you can read on his Tumblr post (not to mention elsewhere ), hackers compromised his iCloud account. They used that access to reset his iCloud password, reset his Gmail password, gain control of his Twitter account (which in turn gave them access to Gizmodo’s Twitter feed and 400K followers) and generally wreak mayhem. Unfortunately, Honan’s iCloud account was tied to his iPhone and iPad, which both had Find my iPhone/iPad turned on. In the attackers’ hands, the FMI utility was turned against Honan and both devices were remotely wiped. It got worse: his MacBook Air had Find My Mac enabled, which meant the hackers could erase his SSD… and they did. Honan’s iCloud password was unique to that service, but it was also only seven characters long and hadn’t been changed in years. Given the many points of exposure when iCloud accounts are compromised — and the potential risk of serious consequences if remote wipe utilities like Find My Mac are controlled by malicious actors — we recommend using a memorable but strong password for iCloud. The easiest way to come up with a strong password is to use a tool such as Diceware , but as our Twitter followers point out you do need to be able to enter your iCloud password quickly and easily on iOS devices if you plan to install or update App Store apps. It’s not always simple to balance security and convenience, but it’s important to consider the risks before you go with an easy-to-crack password. Our sympathies to Mat; we wish him luck in recovering his data and piecing his digital life back together. Continue reading Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 04 Aug 2012 01:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Hacked iCloud password leads to nightmare