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iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 what did we get

On Tuesday of this week, Sept. 10th, Apple held their event. We speculated on what we would get and talked about the other questions that still remained to be answered. Well now we have our answers. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 were shown off so what did we get? Well we’re going to cover some of the details and also talk about some of the questions that are now created about where do they go form here. The video of the keynote is now available on the Apple site, go watch it.

So to go through what we got to see at the keynote, there was the

iPhone 5c (Android Free)

The iPhone everyone thought was going to be cheap turned out to be “less expensive” instead. No one should have been surprised since Apple doesn’t do cheap and yet they were. When netbooks proliferated the computer landscape Apple did the MacBook Air. It was far from cheap but “less expensive” than a MacBook Pro. The iPhone 5c is the same. It is far from cheap but at $99 for a 16GB model on a 2 Year contract(US) it’s cheap enough that it becomes a throwaway phone. It’s something parents can buy their teen as an emergency phone. It’s a phone people less interested with the latest and greatest technology as well as people coming from a feature phone can buy without sticker shock.

So the iPhone 5c comes in five colors, white, pink, yellow, blue and green. Yes pink, not red or fuchsia they proudly proclaimed it pink on stage.

5c

The phone internals are the same as what is in last years model, the iPhone 5, with the exception of a slightly bigger battery and a slightly better FaceTime camera. This is impressive because I own an iPhone 5 and it is one hell of a smartphone. The wallpaper that comes on the iPhone 5c will match the color of the phone plus with iOS 7’s transparencies the OS will play even more on the color aspect. The pricing on contract is 16GB at $99, 32GB at $199 and $549 off contract. The pre-orders for the iPhone 5c will be available tonight and the phones will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th.

iPhone 5s (Forward Thinking)

The iPhone 5s is the flagship model and brought a lot of things that were already rumored but became reality. The iPhone 5s comes in three colors, Silver, Gold and Space Grey. The silver and gold models have a white face and white accents while the space grey is the only model with a black face and black accents.

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So they have added one more color, the gold but for me it sucks because I don’t like the white face. I wonder why they didn’t have the gold with both a white and black face? Perhpas this is just my personal color bias but I would have loved a black and gold model. It’s a trivial thing I will just get the Sky Grey model but I’m just a little sad at the lost oppurtunity :_(

Starting down bottom you will notice that the home button no longer has the little rounded rectangle on it. It also now has a stainless stell ring around it with the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. The Touch ID will be used to unlock the device as well as authenticate a user for app store purchases. It can be trained to know up to 5 different finger prints and has 360 degree readability. The all new A7 chip inside is a 64 bit processor, the first in mobile and although it may not make sense on the iPhone it’s forward thinking for other iOS devices and future iPhone models. The new iOS 7 operating system (OS) is also 64 bit taking users along for the 64 bit transition of iOS devices. Now 64 bit typically means the ability to address more memory but it also means instead of doing things faster it does more things at the same speed. So you still end up accomplishing more but in a different way. Just imagine two people trying to eat as many hot dogs as they can. One guy takes normal sized bites but eats as fast as possible. While the other guy eats at the same speed but he takes bites twice as big. Even though he’s eating at the same speed as the first guy the bigger bites means he’ll finish faster. The ability to address more memory might not make sense now but in the iPads or in future generations of the iPhone and iPads that ability to address more than 3GB or RAM will make sense.

Continuing with the upgrades inside was the introduction of a new chip the M7. The new chip measures motion by taking readins from the accelorometer, gyroscope and compass. A task that would have be done by the A7, so that frees up some computing cycles on the A7 chip itself. The M7 chip allows for a new breed of apps while adding to the existing functions of the phone. The chip knows if you’re driving, running, walking, or sleeping. So for example if you switch from driving to walking the Maps app will switch from driving directions to walking directions automatically.

The cameras on the iPhone 5s got some upgrades too ofcourse. It now has a dual LED flash which is able to combine depending on the lighting of the scene being photographed to create better colors and skintones. The back camera now has a larger sensor, larger pixels and a larger aperture which all combine to let in more light for better pictures. This combines with the camera app in iOS 7 for new features like. Burst mode which snaps multiple shots at 10 images a second, great for action shots. Slow motion video, the camera shoots video at 120 frames per second allowing the user to play back the video at 1/4 of the speed for interesting effects. The front camera also has larger pixels along with better backside illumination. Better backside illumination allows more light to the sensor resulting in better pictures and video for great FaceTime calls and world renowned “selfies”.

The iPhone 5s will be sold at the same prices previous models of iPhones have sold at. On a 2 year contract (US) 16GB at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 while off contract the 16GB iPhone 5s starts at $649 (US). There will be no pre-order available for the iPhone 5s and they will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th. You can get them at your local Apple store or by going to a carrier store. Although carrier stores usually don’t get as much stock on launch day as the Apple store.

iOS 7

The new OS has undergone some drastic changes to the look and feel while still doing most things the same way it always has. The new OS will be released to everyone next Wednesday Sept. 18th. It will support iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPad Mini. Beyond the new look and colors there are many refinements as well as new features that enable a user to get things done faster and easier. The notification center is now available from the lock screen to enable glancable information. There is a new Control Center that gives the user quick access to some of the typical phone controls like Wifi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, etc. The Control Center is also available from the lock screen. Some users will not like the new colors and look of the interface and icons. Some will not like system changes like swiping down from anywhere on the home screen to open Finder instead of swiping the home screen right. You can’t please everyone but I have a feeling that this iOS will please almost everyone and that is Apple’s aim with it.

iOS 7

iWork (Free)

The next big announcement was that iWork for mobile which they listed as consisting of Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto was going free. It will be going free for new iOS devices and as I have been told devices running iOS 7. This is awesome news for me since I already own two of the five software and would love to have the others. It will be a great bundle and should be yet another plus for users looking at upgrading their iOS device. It will also be a great addition to users upgrading to iOS 7. When users install iOS 7 there should be a prompt like there is now for downloading iBooks and the Podcasts app. It will now also include the five apps listed above.

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Questions

Naming
Now that this has all been revealed there are a few questions that come out of these new introductions. With the release of the iPhone 5c the iPhone 5 model is gone. So going forward what is Apple going to name their iPhones? Next year will be the iPhone 6 and most likely the iPhone 6c with the iPhone 5s internals. However if there is an iPhone 6s there would be an iPhone 7c. Apple can call these devices whatever they want and it will sell but having the c model with a higher number than the flagship iPhone just does not seem feasible to me. They could also just kep the iPhone 6c name for release with both the iPhone 6 and 6s by upgrading the internals inside based on the previous year’s model. However even though the device is different having the same name just doesn’t seem sexy enough in my opinion. What I think is that they will drop the “s” model and just stick with full number releases from now on with the “c” model alongside. So there will be an iPhone 6 and 6c, 7 and 7c, 8 and 8c, etc. There would also be the possibility of them dropping the number altogether and having just the iPhone and iPhone c like they did with the iPad. However that also has it’s own advertising downsides.

Screen
Now that the iPhone 5s is out the rumors of the iPhone 6 are already starting to swirl. The biggest thing is that Apple will release an iPhone with a bigger screen. We are one year away so there is plenty of time for this rumor to pick up steam. I’m still not sure how I would feel about a bigger screen and it would depend how big of a screen. I love the screen size right now and the ease of using the phone with one hand. However if there was a 5″ iPhone I would definitely buy it. Any bigger than 5″ and for me personally that is too big. I would have to pass on that model and that will be the question Apple will contemplate if they are thinking of doing a bigger screen iPhone. Users all have different sized hands along with different opinions on what size is comfortable and what size is too big. As with Apple’s devices they make decisions based on what benefits the majority of their users. So if they do go to a bigger sized screen I’m sure it will be at a size that will please existing users and entice some users. But it wont please everyone so we’ll see if it happens at all.

64 bit
The A7 chip and iOS 7 are both now 64 bit. The upcoming iPads will have the new chip so does the 64bit come into play on those devices which would make much more use of more than 3GB of RAM? Or is this a future play for 7 or 8th generation iPhones/iPads that will eventually use RAM capacities north of 3GBs?

Well one thing is for sure it was an interesting event with some great devices launched. So are you getting a new iPhone 5s or 5c?

Pictures: The Verge, Apple

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Star S5 Butterfly, a Knockoff beautiful than original

There are a ton of Chinese knock offs running around the Android under-markets. Many Asian countries actually have very thriving markets for good looking, yet budget smartphones which ape the famous models. Star S5 Butterfly is another among the growing army of replicas, but it has something really interesting and eye-catching which the other cheap knock offs lack. The Star S5 Butterfly is clearly inspired by HTC’s Butterfly smartphone, as the name blatantly implies, yet it is somehow more stylish than the original.

As you can clearly see, the Star S5 Butterfly copies the design aesthetics of the original HTC Butterfly very closely, right down to the red and black colors. But that is where the similarities end, the 5 inch smartphone is actually more acutely styled than the HTC counterpart. While the HTC Butterfly is a very amazing looking smartphone and always turns heads, its bland black front and red slab back are a little too much. The Star S5 Butterfly, ditches the full red back and opted for subtle red highlights making it stand out even more.

Make no mistake though, the Star S5 Butterfly is still a shameless doppelganger, the specs are a clear testament of that. The Star S5 Butterfly packs a 5 inch screen with a fairly impressive 720p resolution and a quad core MediaTek MT6589 processor clocking at 1.2 GHz. 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage and microSD card slot are also featured. A 12 MP rear facing camera and an ample 3 MP front snapper are adorning the Star S5 Butterfly. Not to mention Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Dual-SIM support. The Star S5 Butterfly while not quite up to HTC’s smartphone level but is still one hell of a smartphone.

Star S5 Butterfly is not only a looker but also has the “guts” to run smoothly. This package becomes especially attractive if you consider the $222.99 price mark. Yet we won’t truly be able to gauge the performance, until we get our hands on this beautiful deceiver. Of course, there’s the matter of after sales software updates and customer support, but at the cheap price of sub-$250, many will be willing to take a leap of faith, including your’s truly.

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35% of Android Apps Are Secretly Stealing Your Info (In China)

According to a report submitted on Wednesday by China’s Engrish-heavy “Data Center of China Internet”, or DCCI for those of us trying to sound articulate, just over 1/3 of all the apps downloaded on Android in their country  are ridden with malware designed to collect and package users info for the open market.

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“The report looked at each data-tracking function individually and found that, for example, more than half of the apps were tracking user locations, and 13.2 percent were doing so even though user location has no connection whatsoever to the app’s functionality. 21.2 percent of apps will check out your address book, 18.1 percent are reading your call records, nearly 12 percent are reading your text history, and some are even sending texts (14.7 percent) or making calls (14.7 percent) for you. In each of these categories, a significant percentage of the apps are doing these things secretly, even though there’s no reason for them to be doing them at all.”

Across the top 1400 apps, the firm found that 75%  were taking everything down from credit card information, to passwords, to emails and text messages. Anything you put on a phone from the contacts list to where you are, who you’re with, and even what you’re saying; in certain cases they found apps that had the ability to discreetly turn on the microphone even if the screen was locked or phone was “off” with the battery still in it.

Some analysts have begun to speculate this may not be a coincidence, as the Chinese government hasn’t exactly been shy about spying on its citizens, and when all is said and done this is just a more efficient way of getting that task accomplished. With our concerns about the NSA or CIA bugging phones and Apple building backdoors, even if they wanted to only the highest courts in the land would approve evidence collected in this manner in America for the most heinous of crimes.

In China it’s likely the government would have no problem using gathered evidence to have you locked up for treason in about three text messages flat, and that’s just another reason why we’ll never get a chance to see “The Wire: Beijing Edition”.

Source| Tech in Asia

 

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Was China Alone in the Cyberattacks?

A Java vulnerability that was worn by the Homeland Security Department was responsible for computers and even entire companies to be left vulnerable to the activities of hackers. A multitude of companies, including Twitter, Facebook, the Washington Post, Bloomberg and even the New York Times of all claiming there were attacks on the networks. For some of them, the attacks were relatively minor and no user account information or any other type of confidential information was sacrificed. With all of these attacks, it was believed by many to be the work of none other than China itself. Just yesterday, it was reported that security group in Virginia had discovered evidence that the attacks were centered in the building located near Shanghai.

 What was China’s response?

China has not taking any of this lying down. Today, the Chinese military denied the hacking allegations made by the tech company in Virginia. Now there are reports that an Eastern European group has also packs such companies as Apple, Facebook and twitter, in addition to several other smaller hacks. On Tuesday, Apple confirmed that some of the employee computers have been compromised after they visit a website for iPhone developers and Facebook said that their computers were also compromise after employees visited a developer site. However, both of these companies have claimed that no user data was compromised during these attacks. This was unlike twitter who claim that nearly a quarter of 1 million users were at risk.

It is unknown whether or not China was truly responsible for these attacks, or whether this group was working independently or concurrently with China. The problem has gotten so severe, that President Obama made the point in his State of the Union address. Whether or not China is truly responsible has yet to be established, but for the future of all virtual media and virtual companies, the ability to maintain confidentiality is indeed important.

Identity thieves are not the only one to hack computers there is so much information that is available, such as blueprints, business statements, invoices, and proprietary manufacturing techniques, which can be used by the hackers to replicate trademark technology. Relations between China and the United States may become strained as a result of these activities, so is important to establish concrete evidence for either claim, whether China is truly guilty or not. It doesn’t make any sense to jump to conclusions, only to be proven wrong later.

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Group Mandiat Points Finger at China

For so long, people in America have been pointing the finger at China for a series of cyber attacks that targeted such places as the Washington Post, Facebook and twitter. For some of these attacks, it was estimated that user account information was compromised. All of these attacks were due to a Java vulnerability, which was hatched earlier this month, or so many have hoped. Things got so severe that the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to the American people to disable Java until an appropriate patch was released.

 Java and China

ChinaThe group that has linked China to the attack is a Virginia-based Mandiant. This company compiled a 60 page report that was published on Tuesday and described a six-year. This group observed a group of hackers stealing hundreds of terabytes of data, from 141 organizations across 20 industries around the world since 2006. All of this activity was traced the four networks near Shanghai. This is also the headquarters of the Unit 61398, which is a secret division of the Chinese military.

The sheer size of this operation leaves little doubt that it was at least in part supported by the Chinese military. China, predictably, has protested these findings and the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei stated that these findings were inconclusive and insisted that China instead with the victim of cyber attacks which originated in the United States.

Mandiat hypothesized that hundreds and even thousands of people work within the unit in China, as is a 12 story structure. The victims of the cyber attacks had their origins in this building with 87% being observed. With that number, 115 targeted United States organizations. The group stole intellectual property, blueprints, manufacturing processes and business plans. While the report did not list companies by name, it is known that Coca-Cola, RSA and Chertoff Group are among the victims.

Many in the United States are concerned and they are saying there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of attacks being employed in the country. These attacks have the potential to be quite severe, as they could target such things as the power grid, financial system and even Wall Street.

But China is not alone with the cyber attacks, as their other organizations in other countries are believed to have a hand in it. President Obama signed an executive order which was designed to address the concerns of cyber security. Even highlighted the need in his State of the Union address.

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Facebook is the Victim of An Attack

Facebook is in one of the unlucky companies. It seems that has been a bad month for companies, as many of them are now vulnerable to hacks. It can be remembered for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and even twitter have claimed they’ve been the victims of hacks. Now to add to the troubles, Facebook has admitted that they had been the victim of an attack that took place in January.

As of now, nothing is known for certain, yet many people are pointing fingers at various groups, one of which is located in China. All of this is merely speculation and Facebook has not released anything who they believe is responsible for these attacks.

How is Facebook attacked?

According to insiders at Facebook, some employees visited a compromised site and the machines were infected with malware. Facebook then contacted law enforcement and they began an investigation. As of now, Facebook has not released any details related to this case.

Twitter announced a similar attack that took place, which had been attributed to a group in China, yet that has yet to be proven. Neither Facebook or twitter has mentioned this. Facebook has found no evidence any user information was compromised, unlike twitter, who said as many as a quarter of 1 million users were grist having their personal information hacked.

All of this is contributed to a Java vulnerability, which has been installed on many computers. Oracle has attempted to patch this on February 1. The Department of Homeland Security issued alerts about the software and advise users to disable it and telling appropriate patch was released. If you’re using Java, is recommended that you download the latest versions and updates.

Java is used most often as a plug-in for many web-based applications. Its prevalence has been installed on virtually every PC is around today. Therefore, the vulnerability in it is very worrisome. And if China or people within its borders are responsible for these attacks, and this can seriously affect the relations between the United States and China.

Hopefully with the patches several released by Oracle, these types of attacks become just a bad dream. As always, make sure that you have the latest version of security software installed in a you exercise caution when visiting sites. Part of vulnerabilities can be exploited by careless users who do not think. If you have any questions, consult your local computer expert. If you believe you are risk, then they will be able to assess the situation.

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New York Times

New York Times victim of cyberattack

Surprisingly, the New York Times has reported that they have been on the receiving end of an attack from Chinese hackers. These attackers were able to crack passwords and use them on a number of computers, even though there was antivirus software installed on them. As of now, the New York Times has yet to answer any questions from other news agencies.

New York Times

According to Candice Garmoe, “Advanced attacks…underscore how important it is for companies, countries and consumers to make sure they are using the full capability of security solutions. The advanced capabilities in our endpoint offerings, including our unique reputation-based technology and behavior-based blocking, specifically target sophisticated attacks.”

But even with all the software, there were 45 instances of malware found on these computers and only one of those were identified by the antivirus software. Hopefully, this will not only be a lesson for news agencies, but for developers of antivirus software as well. Sensitive information needs to be protected, otherwise it could put innocent lives at stake.

Who was behind the attack on New York Times?

The Chinese government has stated they were not behind the attacks, even though the same methods have been used by them in the past. It may have been possible that these hackers are looking for criticism in the way of stories, especially when they criticize Chinese officials such as the Prime Minister of China himself.  “Chinese government officials said the reports would have consequences, and the attacks began shortly thereafter,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

China does crackdown on any opposition within its own country, and it seems that those attacks can extend beyond its own borders. This puts the attack on the New York Times is very possibly originating within the Chinese government itself. After all, China is known as putting extreme pressure on their own media and even censoring such material, even on Google itself. In fact, while many outside of the country know of the event of a college student standing before an approaching tank in a protest, many in China do not and that is due to their censoring efforts.

Even the New York Times has said that the attacks were caught very early on and they were tracked as they moved about the network. Of course, this could be an attempt by the New York Times to save face in light of these attacks.

It seems that maintaining the privacy of the network isn’t just to protect reporters, but their sources as well. Some people might feel hesitant about talking to reporters if they know that their identities or where they got their information will be revealed. News agencies everywhere can learn from the attacks on the New York Times and be able to stop them wherever they are.

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T3KD Weekly Seventy One

So this week on T3KD Weekly we only had two topics, but they were very deep topics. We talked about Apple in China, about Foxconn and we tried not to be racist. Then we talked about how to enable the online voting system we talked about last week.

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Hosts: Matthew Weber, Ricky Williams, Vincent Hui

Topics: Apple in China revisited, Online Voting Solutions, Picks of the week, Final question.

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T3kd Weekly Sixty Three

We know what you’re thinking. No title. Don’t worry we had lots of good one liners that would’ve made great titles, but we’re trying something new. A lot of podcasts have great and funny show titles. So we are just going to do the number from now on. If you see a number post on the site, you will know it is a podcast. This week we talk about Apple in China, and about the recent rumors surrounding next gen consoles. We also talk about our 5 most anticipated movies of 2012.

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Hosts: Matthew Weber and Vincent Hui

Topics: Apple in China, Game Console Rumors, and 5 most anticipated movies of 2012

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