MacObserver

Software Pirates Violating Apple’s Developer Program Rules, Distributing Hacked Apps

6 days 11 hours ago

Software pirates are using enterprise developer certificates to put hacked versions of popular apps on iPhones. An investigation by Reuters found illegitimate versions of apps such as Spotify, Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, and Minecraft have been distributed away from the App Store. The modified versions of the apps allow iPhone users to avoid adverts, fees, and game rules. However, they are in violation of Apple’s developer program which stipulates the apps can only be distributed via the App Store.

Illicit software distributors such as TutuApp, Panda Helper, AppValley and TweakBox have found ways to use digital certificates to get access to a program Apple introduced to let corporations distribute business apps to their employees without going through Apple’s tightly controlled App Store. Using so-called enterprise developer certificates, these pirate operations are providing modified versions of popular apps to consumers, enabling them to stream music without ads and to circumvent fees and rules in games, depriving Apple and legitimate app makers of revenue.


Charlotte Henry

Amazon Cancels Plans for New York Campus

6 days 12 hours ago

Amazon announced Thursday it has canceled its plans to build a corporate campus in New York City. The proposal had faced opposition from some unions and lawmakers, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Times reported. In particular, opponents were aggrieved by a proposal from city and state officials to give the company $3 billion incentives package.

It was a remarkable win for insurgent progressive politicians led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose upset victory last year happened to occur in the district where Amazon had planned its site. Her win galvanized the party’s left flank, which mobilized against the deal. As recently as Wednesday, the governor had brokered a meeting between Amazon executives and the union leaders who had been resistant to the deal, according to two people briefed on the sit-down. The meeting ended without any compromise on the part of Amazon, according to the people.


Charlotte Henry

DuckDuckGo Version 7.15.0 Adds Automatic Data Scrubbing, Keyboard Shortcuts

6 days 15 hours ago

In DuckDuckGo’s app it has a button to clear your tabs and history. In DuckDuckGo version 7.15.0 it added an option to clear it away automatically the next time the app restarts. It also added keyboard shortcuts for iPad users.

• You can now have your tabs and data cleared automatically. Go to settings to configure this feature.
• Support for external keyboards with a range of shortcuts. See the full list below.
• Support for international and emoji based URLs
• Bug fixes and improvements

Keyboard shortcuts:
• Cmd-T or Cmd-N to open a new tab
• Cmd-W to close tab
• Shift-Cmd-] and Shift-Cmd-[ or Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab to move to the next/previous tab
• Ctrl-Shift-\ or Cmd-Shift-\ to show all tabs
• Esc to cancel typing in the address bar OR close the tab switcher OR close the suggestions
• Enter to select the current tab and close the tab switcher
• Cmd-[ and Cmd-] or Cmd-Right Arrow and Cmd-Left Arrow to move back/forward
• Alt-Cmd-F to edit address field
• Up/Down Arrow to navigate auto complete suggestions and tabs in the tab-switcher
• Cmd-Alt-Backspace to quickly delete all your tabs and data


Andrew Orr

Battleheart 2 Gives You Cute Heroes to Battle Monsters

6 days 15 hours ago

Another game I recently started playing is Battleheart 2. It’s a follow-up to the first Battleheart which launched in 2011. In this RPG you’ll take command of a party of heroes and slay hordes of monsters in frantic, realtime battles that will put your reflexes to the test. With each victory you’ll face ever greater dangers, and grow more powerful through a robust equipment and skill system offering vast combinations of heroes, items and abilities.

My advice when you build your team is to add a necromancer. You can only have four people in your party, but necromancers can summon skeletons, which gives you a workaround to that limit. And when you reach the point where you can start using passive skills, you can increase the health of your skeletal allies.


Andrew Orr

How Apple News Affects Publishers

6 days 17 hours ago

Great analysis as usual by Ben Thompson. He writes how the Apple News subscription might be good for certain publishers, and bad for others.

To that end, I am sure that a significant number of publications will sign up for Apple’s offering; clearly the company is confident enough to leak a date. And, frankly, many publications should: most publishers are already locked into the volume game when it comes to their editorial direction, and Apple News subscription payouts will be additive to the bottom line.

The main thing that concerns me is how revenue will be driven by clicks. I hope that Apple News doesn’t become a flood of yellow journalism.


Andrew Orr

5G Security Concerns and Huawei

6 days 20 hours ago

As the rollout of 5G comes ever closer, there has been an increased focus on Chinese firm Huawei’s role in the network. Many Western countries have raised concerns that the company is an arm of the Chinese state and used for spying. This something Huawei has repeatedly denied. Late in 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump was reportedly even considering an executive order that would have banned the use of Huawei equipment, Bloomberg News has a nice roundup of the current state-of-play.

5G isn’t easier to hack than its predecessors, but it will eventually connect many more devices than in the past, so protection from outside malign forces becomes a larger concern. Some nations are worried that Chinese 5G equipment, chips and software could be outfitted to spy on other nations.


Charlotte Henry

What’s the Difference Between QLED and OLED TVs?

1 week ago

In the process of writing about Samsung’s 2019 TVs, sizes and prices, CNET’s David Katzmaier also explains the difference between Samsung’s QLED TVs and the OLED technology from other makers. It’s an important distinction. The key is the ever so geeky Quantum Dots. (Image credit: Samsung.)


John Martellaro

NASA Confirms Mars Rover Opportunity is Dead

1 week ago

NASA confirmed Wednesday that the Mars Rover Opportunity is officially dead. It had been on the Red Planet for a record-breaking 15 years and helped establish the presence of water there. Space.com reflected on the historic craft which, along with its twin, Spirit, launched the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission in summer 2003. Opportunity landed on the planet’s surface in January 2004, a few weeks after Spirit.

Opportunity roamed the Martian surface for nearly a decade and a half, covering more than a marathon’s worth of ground and finding conclusive evidence that the Red Planet hosted large bodies of liquid water in the ancient past. The golf-cart-size rover and its twin, Spirit, also helped bring Mars down to Earth, in the minds of scientists and laypeople alike.


Charlotte Henry

DoBox Portable Wireless Dock for Apple Devices: $299

1 week ago

We have a deal on the DoBox, a portable wireless dock for Apple devices. This device allows you to connect your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to an internet cable, printers, flash drives, hard drives, keyboards, TVs, projectors, monitors, speakers, and much more and use them all wirelessly via DoBox’s built-in Wi-Fi. And, you can use it a portable battery, too. Check out the promo video below for a look at this device. You can get the DoBox for $299 through our deal.


Bryan Chaffin

Former Director of FBI, CIA Foiled a Phone Scammer

1 week ago

William H. Webster, a former director of both the FBI and CIA, foiled a phone scammer who threatened him and his wife.

Over a number of weeks, Thomas, calling himself David Morgan, made a series of calls to the Websters, and they soon turned threatening: he described their house, and he said that if they didn’t hand over $6,000, he’d shoot them in the head or burn their house down, boasting that the FBI and CIA would never find him.

Can you imagine the look on that guy’s face when he learned who he threatened?


Andrew Orr

Remember Bandersnatch? Netflix Saved Your Choices

1 week ago

Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch is a choose-your-own-adventure game that went viral. As it turns out, Netflix saved the choices you made.

He found that Netflix is tracking the decisions its users make (which makes sense considering how the film works), and that it is keeping those decisions long after a user has finished the film. It is also stores aggregated forms of the users choice to “help [Netflix] determine how to improve this model of storytelling in the context of a show or movie.”

This doesn’t seem like a huge issue to me. This is standard analytics the platform keeps.


Andrew Orr

Former Apple Vice President Charged with Insider Trading by SEC

1 week ago

Former Apple Vice President of Corporate Law, Gene Levoff, was charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday. He was put on leave by Apple in July 2018, and his employment was terminated in September 2018. CNBC reported on the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey.

Gene Levoff, senior director of corporate law and corporate secretary until September, “traded on material nonpublic information about Apple’s earnings three times during 2015 and 2016,” according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. “Levoff also had a previous history of insider trading, having traded on Apple’s material nonpublic information at least three additional times in 2011 and 2012. For the trading in 2015 and 2016, Levoff profited and avoided losses of approximately $382,000,” the complaint says.


Charlotte Henry

Cloud Backup Service Backblaze Raising its Price

1 week ago

Backblaze is a popular service to back up your computer to the cloud. In its first price increase, the company announced it will go from US$5 to US$6 per month. [Backblaze: The Least Reliable Hard Drives] Backblaze Price Increase The price will increase starting March 11 5PM PT for both new and existing users: The…


Andrew Orr
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2 hours 58 minutes ago
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