Tag - SMS
The revelations of the NSA surveillance first broken by Edward Snowden continue. The NSA is accused of building the "Dishfire" surveillance network, which targets 200 million text messages per day for collection and analysis. Information collected by the program allegedly includes names, phone numbers, and images.
While under normal circumstances most users would never see an unwanted or "spam" message in the OS X and iOS program Messages, Apple has now set up abuse reporting mechanism to help deal with those who have the issue. Using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, users can send a screenshot of the unwanted message, phone number or email address of the spammer or harrasser, and time/date info on the message. Unwanted or spam SMS and MMS messages should still be reported to users' cellular providers rather than Apple.
Apple has released an official statement on reports from hacker Pod2g and others that a serious flaw exists in the SMS protocol that allows spoofing of addresses, meaning that users could receive messages (directing them to websites or phone numbers) that aren't from the party they appear to be from. Apple's statement points out that iMessage does not have the same problem.
Security researcher Pod2g has discovered a flaw in the way iOS handles SMS messages that could conceivably allow for malicious texters to disguise messages as being from a known or trusted source, potentially getting users to reveal information they normally would not, or rack up inadvertent charges on their bill. Pod2g refers to the flaw as "severe" and plans on releasing a tool to allow iPhone 4 users to send messages in "raw" PDU format until the vulnerability is fixed.
Google has increased the reach of Google+ SMS accessibility to include 41 new countries. The extended list of nations that can send and receive updates to the social network are primarily based in Asia and Africa, helping users in some areas where mobile data is not widely available.
Twitter has upgraded the direct messaging capabilities for its texting service. Now, in addition to tweets, users whose service providers support MMS can attach and share videos. To send, all a user need do is enter the text of a tweet as normal, attach a photo to the message, and send it to the relevant Twitter code.
The iPhone Dev Team, a group better known for iPhone jailbreaking, has allegedly found a way to send SMS messages from a 3G iPad. The additional functionality reportedly requires raw code, as the feature has yet to be officially enabled on the tablet, according to details listed on a Twitter post. SMS messages are also prohibited from AT&T accounts bundled with the 3G models.
A number of iPhone users, including MacNN reader NyxoLyno "Nick" Cangemi, have voiced frustration with the lack of a character counter when typing SMS messages. The handset's messaging interface does not provide any notification when 160 characters have been exceeded in the communication bubble.
Yesterday's release of the iPhone 2.2.1 firmware may have also fixed a problem with SMS messaging, accounts on Apple's support forums suggest. The issue involves an error message triggered every time a user attempts to send a text, previously impossible to resolve with any resets or settings adjustments, though some success has been reported after switching SIM cards. The problem appears only to manifest after installing the v2.2 firmware.
Filemailer 2.0 ($15) is a utility that helps users share files between computers. The content can be dragged to the desired recipients name and the software will then automatically compress the file, enter its information in the subject line, insert the pre-composed message into the body, and send the file. The 2.0 update now features support for TLS authentication, and includes a new option to organize contacts into groups for sending to multiple recipients. [Download - 4.2MB]
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl