At 20:00 CT on December 14, an Internet intruder gained access to one of the Ars Web servers and spent the next hour attempting to get from the Web server to a more central machine. At 20:52, the attempt was successful thanks to information gleaned from a poorly located backup file. The next day, at 14:13, the hacker returned to the central server and replaced the main Ars webpage with a defacement page that streamed a song from the band Dual Core. That song, "All the Things," features the chorus:
Drink all the booze,
hack all the things!
The hacker didn't have long to drink all the booze and hack all the things, fortunately; by 14:29, our technical team had removed the defaced page and restored normal Ars operations. We spent the afternoon changing all internal passwords and certificates and hardening server security even further.
Log files show the hacker's movements through our servers and suggest that he or she had the opportunity to copy the user database. This database contains no payment information on Ars subscribers, but it does contain user e-mail addresses and passwords. Those passwords, however, are stored in hashed form (using 2,048 iterations of the MD5 algorithm and salted with a random series of characters). -- Ars Technica.
If there's one thing we humans like to do, it's make music. Seriously, we've been doing it since prehistoric times, so it's no big surprise that we'd find many ways to bring music to our latest tool: the iPhone and iPad.
While there are a ton of different ways to play or make music on your iOS device of choice, here are nine rather weird ones, plus some fantastic videos to hear and see just how its done. -- Cult of Mac.
Would you like to surf the web, watch streaming videos, read newspapers and do everything else you normally do on your Mac browser, in full screen on your TV? Pinch to zoom, swipe, bookmark pages -- all using your iOS device as a remote control?
AirBrowser let's you do all these things. You can get the full desktop browsing experience on your television, with all the sites you visit optimally scaled to fit your TV's screen size. Read on and watch the AirBrowser video for more info on this easy-to-use app. -- .
John Martellaro has been hunting for a new display for his 2013 Mac Pro. The Apple Thunderbolt display would normally be a strong candidate, but it was quickly eliminated from the competition. In this Part I, John explains the research he did in preparation for a new display. -- The Mac Observer.
Apple's FileVault disk encryption option in OS X is a security feature that is highly recommended, especially for portable systems that can be easily stolen. The feature is easy to set up in the Security system preferences, after which the system should take up to a few hours to encrypt the drive, depending on the size and type of drive being used. This should be relatively straightforward; however, in some cases the encryption may get stuck and show a progress bar that will not advance, even after days of waiting. -- MacIssues.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover we focus on two of the most outstanding granted patents issued today covering Touch ID and Apple's future Lightning based audio connector. -- Patently Apple.
In inside look at Corning's labs suggests what's next for the inventor of Gorilla Glass.
Someday your smartphone might be able to help you in a new way when you're traveling: by telling you whether the water is safe to drink.
Although a water app isn't close yet, researchers at Corning and elsewhere recently discovered that they could use Gorilla Glass, the toughened glass made by Corning that's commonly used on smartphone screens, to make extremely sensitive chemical and biological sensors. It could detect, say, traces of sarin gas in the air or specific pathogens in water. -- MIT Technology Review.
Hackers of NY founder Dani Grant has discovered a security flaw that enables Delta passengers to access the boarding passes of others, even those flying with different airlines like Southwest. Grant realized that she could share a link allowing anyone to download her boarding pass, and then change one digit in the URL and be presented with a completely different boarding pass belonging to someone else. -- Engadget.
There are tons of reasons why you might need to reformat your Mac: It's slowing down, filling up with too many unneeded files to delete manually or suffering from major technical issues that can't be fixed otherwise.
Or maybe you're just selling it as you move on to a better, faster Mac and need to remove everything.
In today's video, we show you how to completely reformat your Mac and set it back to factory settings, all without the need for a recovery disk or drive. -- Cult of Mac.
Recovery is a set of tools you can depend on in a rare emergency -- typically when something drastic stops you getting into OS X. It looks a lot like OS X proper, but its capabilities are limited to essential maintenance tools that help you get up and running after a critical problem. It's even possible to download and reinstall the whole operating system. -- Mac|Life.
Advancements in modern technology come with a little good and a little bad. For example, take disk drive storage. Today, the storage is massive and the prices are low.
Except for solid state storage (SSDs); the kind you find on almost every Mac these days. Yes, prices are coming down. Yes, Apple helps ease the paradox between high priced SSDs and cheaper storage in hard disk drives with Fusion Drive, but that doesn't alway fix my iTunes problem. This does. -- Mac 360.
I wrote about a month ago about my travails getting Handoff and Continuity features to work on my Macs and iOS devices. With the exception of my MacBook Pro, which does not work at all with these features, all my other devices -- my iMac, iPhone, iPad Air 2 and iPod touch -- work. It's clear that the problems are on Apple's side; something to do with devices being correctly registered with their servers. -- Kirkville.
If you use Passbook on a regular basis to store things such as boarding passes, your hotel reservation, or any other kind of information, there are likely times when you want to easily share that information with someone else. Whether that's sending an Airbnb reservation with someone else traveling with you, movie tickets, or another kind of pass, Passbook lets you share cards in just a few taps! -- iMore.
If you've got an iPhone, you've got Passbook built right in. With Passbook you can add rewards cards, payment cards via Apple Pay, and more. Some apps even use Passbook as a convenient way to view information at a glance. All you have to do to get started is add a few cards! -- iMore.
Carriers like Verizon, ATT&T and T-Mobile are fighting a price war that could last months. The longer it endures, the more choice consumers will have.
This hasn't exactly been a banner year for wireless carriers' stocks. While the S&P 500 Index has risen 8% this year, AT&T and Verizon, which together control about 83% of the wireless market, are down 8%. -- Time.
Spoiler alert -- it's not a series of tubes.
Poor Ted Stevens. For the past eight and a half years, the world has had many a laugh at the late Alaska Senator's expense after he described the Internet as "a series of tubes" while arguing against a Net Neutrality amendment in 2006.
Of course, anyone who's ever sent an email or eyed a kitten photo online knows there aren't any actual pipes involved. Still, the next time you hear someone essentially refer to the Internet as plumbing, ask them how the darned thing really works. According to Milton Mueller, a professor of information studies at Syracuse University, not only is the web not tubes (or a "web," really), but it's actually just a set of instructions. -- Time.
About 100,000 or more websites running the WordPress content management system have been compromised by mysterious malware that turns the infected sites into attack platforms that can target visitors, security researchers said.
The campaign has prompted Google to flag more than 11,000 domains as malicious, but many more sites have been detected as compromised, according to a blog post published Sunday by Sucuri, a firm that helps website operators secure their servers -- Ars Technica.
Researchers say they can have computers examine body camera video footage and accurately identify a person wearing a body-mounted device in about four seconds, according to a recently released paper. The authors of the study had their software look at biometric characteristics like height, stride length, and walking speed to find the identity of the person shooting the footage. As they point out, this could have both positive and negative implications for civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel if they're using body-mounted cameras. (It's important to note that this research paper, Egocentric Video Biometrics, was posted to the arXiv repository. As such, it's not considered a final, peer-reviewed work.) -- Ars Technica.
Star Trek Captains Picard and Kirk could talk to any alien, no matter how different it was from humanity, thanks to the universal translator, a magical sci-fi device that explained away why strange civilizations in far-away solar systems all spoke English.
That future just got a little less far-fetched, thanks to Skype Translator, a new preview service that uses technology from Microsoft Research to translate two different languages back and forth in real time. -- Cult of Mac.
Third-party developers are already making apps for the Apple Watch, but they're doing so with one hand tied behind their backs.
Coders that Cult of Mac spoke with are pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to bring apps to the Watch so early, but many note they must abide by severe limitations to get their apps ready for the Apple wearable's launch next spring. -- Cult of Mac.
The subject of today's Quick Tip is deleting songs from iTunes playlists. No, not just removing songs from playlists, but deleting songs entirely out of your library from there. So if you've got a whole playlist or two, say, filled with music you no longer want, you can get rid of all of it, lickety-split! -- The Mac Observer.
Planck's constant is one of the fundamental constants in the universe. For example, it defines the relationship between the energy of, say, a photon and its frequency. It's widely used in the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics. Recently, using just a Lego kit and some other equipment, including a laser, Leon Chao at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, showed how to make this measurement. This is for real, and it works because the experimental technique simply requires a well crafted balance. It's all written up in the M.I.T. Technology Review. You could actually do the experiment yourself because the costs of parts is only about US$500. Very cool.
Being your Mac's default e-mail reader, Mail is likely the program you use to read messages on your various internet accounts (Google, Yahoo, iCloud, among other). However, for some who use Mail, after upgrading OS X you might find a problem where the text cursor behaves sporadically, and will move backward a few characters every now and then as you enter text, interrupting your ability to type continuously. In addition, you might see garbled output, either as you type or as you read messages sent to you. -- MacIssues.
Apple allows you to "hide" music, books, videos, apps and other content you previously purchased from the company's various online stores. To remove these items from view, you need to log into your Apple account through the iTunes program on your Windows PC or Mac. If you are not already logged in, open iTunes, go to the Store menu and choose Sign In.
Once you have logged into your account, click the iTunes Store button. On the right side of the main iTunes Store screen, click the Purchased link. This takes you to the list of purchases you have made in that content category (like Movies or Music).
To hide a purchase from view, move the cursor over the item's thumbnail image. A small black "x" appears in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail. Click the "x" and then click the "Hide" button when the alert box asks you to confirm your decision. Click the content labels (like Music or TV Shows) on the top-right side of the Purchased screen to get to the thumbnails for those items.
If you ever want to see those past purchases, open iTunes and choose View Account from the Store menu. After you log into your account page, scroll down to the "iTunes in the Cloud" section to Hidden Purchases and click the Manage button. Choose the content type you want to reveal and click the Unhide button under the item's icon to return it to your Purchased list. -- New York Times.
Today the BBC has announced that a new TV programme called "Apple's Broken Promises" will be airing shortly on the net after it's been broadcast on BBC TV. It's not going to be a very Apple friendly programme to be sure. Whether any part of the BBC's special programme will borrow from China Labor Watch's report titled "Two Years of Broken Promises," is unknown at this time. The BBC is scheduled to air this special programme this coming Thursday. -- Patently Apple.
Concern about technology -- the printing press, the steam engine or the computer -- supplanting humans is not new. But this time may be different.
Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there are signs that this time may really be different. The technological breakthroughs of recent years -- allowing machines to mimic the human mind -- are enabling machines to do knowledge jobs and service jobs, in addition to factory and clerical work. -- New York Times.
Starting in OS X Mountain Lion, Apple introduced a new way to view messages in the OS X Mail app: conversations. This new view automatically groups and displays all of the messages originating from the same topic, allowing users to keep easier track of long email chains, especially those involving multiple people. -- TekRevue.
I know I am late to the iOS party, since I only got a smart phone about a month ago, and all of you may already know this but the spam on my iPhone is just insane and I saw no way to stop it on my iPhone. And that is because, there is no way to stop it on the iPhone. It must be stopped on the account server, which in my case is iCloud, and that is doable. Here is what I found. I hope it helps me and you.
1. Try not to open any spam emails and never click on suspicious links
Every time you open a spam email, it lets the sender know that there is an active email account and user at the email address the spam was sent to. So, one way to reduce spam is to left swipe on the message in your inbox and then tap on the Trash button that appears or tap on the MORE button which will allow you to move it to the Junk folder. This deletes the spam but doesn't report it. Sometimes the spam email appears at the top of your inbox and is the default selected email when you launch the Mail app and opens automatically. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this. If this happens, don't click on any of the links. Simply swipe to reveal the Trash button and then delete the spam email.
2. Move emails to Junk Folder or Spam Folder to Report it as spam email (iCloud and Gmail)
Help with how to report and reduce spam email on iPhone, iPad (Mini), iPod TouchDeleting junk email is one way to get rid of spam but it doesn't prevent it from getting sent again. There is a way to actually report spam email as spam. Here's how: go to your inbox and locate the spam email but don't open it. Then, tap on the Edit button at the top right of your screen. This will allow you to select the email by tapping in the little circle to the left of the message without actually opening the email. Once you have selected the spam email, tap on the Move button at the bottom middle of the screen. Locate and then tap on the Junk Folder or Spam Folder in your email account. This will move the spam email to this folder and it will report it to the spam filter as junk mail. Over time, this helps improve spam filters on the server.
3. Create a Rule in your iCloud account to automatically re-route an unwanted message
Help with how to report and reduce spam email on iPhone, iPad (Mini), iPod TouchIf the above steps don't help with reducing spam emails from a particular sender, you can create something called a "Rule". A Rule will automatically detect a message from a particular sender and reroute it to a specific folder -- Trash Folder, Junk Mail Folder or any other folder you specify. In order to create a rule for your iCloud account, you will need to access your account on a normal computer's web browser. First, select and copy the senders email address from the spam email you received. Then, go to iCloud.com and login. Click on the Mail icon. Once your email account has loaded, click on the little gear icon in the upper right and select "Rules…" from the drop down menu. Next, click on "Add Rule…" which will allow you to paste the sender's email address in the popup box. Once you have pasted the email address, select "Move to Folder" to automatically reroute all future messages to a specific folder on your account. You can route the messages directly to the Trash, to the Junk Folder (which will report it to Apple as spam email), or to another folder that you specify. After selecting the folder, then click on Done and your rule will be created.
In the latest iOS 8, there are of course changes to the Mail app settings. You can now customize what the swipe actions do to your mail through the settings. This is useful if you want to change the default swipe actions that come with iOS 8.
Apple on Friday supplied developers with a third beta of OS X 10.10.2, a forthcoming maintenance and security update for its Yosemite operating system for Mac, with indications that it may address lingering Wi-Fi issues. -- AppleInsider.
Prior to iOS 8, Apple required iTunes customers to purchase content on a per-account basis, but a new Family Sharing feature lets users living in the same household share apps, music, iBooks and more. -- AppleInsider.
Looks like the unedited version of Papers, Please will be appearing on iPad after all. "Just talked to Apple. The initial rejection for porn was a misunderstanding on their part," Pope tweeted. "They suggested I resubmit with the nudity option. I'll make an update to restore the nudity over the weekend (default to off) and it should be available next week." -- Ars Technica.
Apple's splash into home automation with addition of HomeKit to iOS 8 is expected to have a huge impact on sales of smart home devices in 2015 according to a Park Associates report that found 37% of U.S. households plan to purchase one or more devices next year. -- Cult of Mac.
We never cease to be amazed at all the amazing DIY projects that Mac fans do with old Apple hardware. Case in point: see this vintage Apple Extended Keyboard? It's not hooked to a computer. It is a computer, thanks to the embedded Raspberry Pi inside. -- Stray Poetry.
If you bought a Mac from 2013 on, you can download the iWork suite of apps -- Pages, Keynote and Numbers -- from the Mac App Store absolutely free.
But what if you bought an older Mac? You have to pay, and they're expensive, running $19.99 each.
Thankfully, there's a trick you can use to download them from the App Store for free. Here's how. -- Cult of Mac.
Let's talk about batteries! Today Melissa Holt is going to walk us through checking the cycle count of laptop batteries and comparing that number to what Apple says is the maximum we can expect from each model. From that info, you'll know whether your battery is a happy camper or is close to needing replacement. Uncovering future problems before they become emergencies is the subject of today's Quick Tip. -- The Mac Observer.
Workflow is a cool new app for the iPhone and iPad that lets you automate actions that otherwise would be tedious, or even impossible without other apps. You can even save your workflows so they show up on your Home screen just like any other app. Read on to learn how to build your own apps in Workflow. -- The Mac Observer.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook has whet our appetite several times about his company's interest in the consumer side of watching TV. For too long, we've been waiting for something, we're not sure what, that brings to fruition what we hope is a futuristic and better vision. But what if new technology isn't what's stopping Apple. John Martellaro has a hunch. -- The Mac Observer.
Add interest to your photos with these post processing techniques in this week's iPhonegraphy 101. Vern Seward runs through several techniques and apps you can use to take your photos to the next level, after you click the shutter. -- The Mac Observer.
The Spotlight index in OS X is the database used for quickly accessing file information on your Mac. While this is primarily used for finding files on your system, there are several other services that use Spotlight's information, and if there is any damage to Spotlight then you might see odd problems and behaviors dotted throughout your system. -- MacIssues.
For encryption to be widely used, it must be built into attractive, easy-to-use apps like those people already rely on.
Security and privacy expert Micah Lee recently described how he helped set up cryptographically protected communications between whistleblower Edward Snowden and the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who would share what he had learned about the NSA's surveillance programs with the world. Lee's tale of how the three struggled to master the technology was an urgent reminder of a problem that has bugged me for a while and has implications for anyone who wants to ensure the privacy of personal or professional matters. -- MIT Technology Review.
Hybrids are a much more cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions than newly released hydrogen fuel cell cars.
If you want to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, you should probably skip the hydrogen fuel cell cars now coming to market and buy a (much cheaper) hybrid instead. -- MIT Technology Review.
A new online publication, Design Explosions, the brainchild of UX Launchpads, kicks off a series of "design lessons" with an in-depth look at how current Google and Apple iOS mapping interfaces work and why. Design Explosions assumes that product building teams are smart and talented, and that there are well-considered reasons that underlie why the products look and work as they do. Its in-depth analysis of Apple Maps and Google Maps on iOS makes for a fascinating and informative read, and provides a welcome respite from the usual "We Look at Two Interfaces and Tell You Who Won" type of critique.
Google may own the world's most popular mobile operating system in Android, but it wants iPhone and iPad developers to recognize that the company has a lot to offer for them as well. Enter a new web series called Route 85, which will consist of a set of videos uploaded to the Google Developers channel on YouTube to showcase everything from SDKs to code libraries that iOS developers can take advantage of. -- 9to5Mac.
Adobe Flash Player updates address a recently identified Adobe Flash Player web plug-in vulnerability.
If you're using an out-of-date version of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in, you may see the message "Blocked plug-in," "Flash Security Alert," or "Flash out-of-date" when attempting to view Flash content in Safari. -- AppleCare Knowledge Base.
Despite the frequent re-use of architectural elements at Apple's retail stores, there are some stores with unique features, and in one case a very surprising feature. Along the exterior stone wall of the New Haven (Conn.) store are mounted 12 steel shields representing the residential colleges of Yale University, which owns the Apple store property. No other store in the chain has such a feature or, in fact, any object attached to the store, either representing Apple or another company or institution. -- ifo Apple Store.
Guy Kawasaki, co-author of 'The Art of Social Media' discusses Apple's transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook and what he sees for the company in the year ahead. -- Bloomberg TV.
If you're anything like the staff at Macworld Towers, digital kit will slowly accumulate over time, until the point you could feasibly build an aluminium and white house from your various devices. If a lot of those old devices are iPods, you might at some point start thinking you'd like to get any synced music off of them, given that you might no longer have all of it in iTunes.
iTunes is fine for getting music on to devices, but you'll need other apps to rescue tunes from aging hardware. -- Macworld UK.
One great way to improve the performance on any Mac is to install more RAM. On older models this is actually a very simple procedure, and if you use third party RAM from companies such as Crucial you'll find the cost quite affordable too. Modern Macs are a different story. Of the current range there are only three models that can be manually upgraded. These are the 27" iMac (either the Retina or non-Retina models), the Mac Pro, and the non-Retina 13" MacBook Pro. For all other Macs Apple has chosen to solder the RAM, making it virtually impossible to remove. You can of course use the built to order feature on the Apple website to upgrade the RAM at point of purchase, and we recommend in some cases that you do this, as it may well extend the productive life of your Mac. -- Macworld UK.
I'm running iOS 8 on my iPhone along with a couple of iPads and an iPod touch. I also have Yosemite on my Mac. At first I was impressed by the feature that lets my iPhone ring through to my other devices, but now when I receive a call, the whole house fills with ringtones and my work is interrupted when it happens. Is there anything I can do to shut up some of these devices? -- Macworld.
You know it could happen some day: you might lose your iPhone, iPad or laptop. If you've activated Find My iPhone (or the similarly named feature for other devices), you'll get an approximate location for the device, but if it's in an apartment building or office building, or if there's no Wi-Fi or cellular access, you might not be able to track it down precisely. -- Macworld.
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