15 Feb 2011 @ 7:29 PM 

Granted part #1 of this article turned out to be a little more complex to execute that first reported (don’t believe EVERYTHING you read in a blog!), but this one turns out to be a little more serious.

Reported fairly widely in the mainstream tech-press, this vulnerability permits the retrieval of private data from the iPhone and bypasses any user passcode available. Looking at the process involved, this puts the technique into the hand of someone with mid-level technical expertise (thankfully we aren’t quite at the Hollywood-security model of hitting a few keystrokes to bypass a password prompt).

The following video gives you a good demonstration of the process and for those wanting a little more detail, the technical paper supporting this process can be found here.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 15 Feb 2011 @ 07:32 PM

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 20 Jul 2010 @ 8:25 PM 

It would seem that Apple have now gone into damage control with the Antennagate problem touched upon in the last New Tech Order post. It appears that Apple have announced that they will be providing free bumper cases to disgruntled iPhone 4 owners or providing refunds for those who have already purchased one.

Too little too late? Hard to say at this point, at least it seems that Apple PR are starting along the right track. However, will this be the advantage need for those nipping at Apples heels to take?

And on the topic of Apple troubles, it would seem that my upgrade to iOS 4.0 and the subsequent 4.0.1 seems to have been a lucky one. Widespread reports are filtering through of massive performance issues post upgrades for iPhone 3G and 3GS users! Lucky me…I guess.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 20 Jul 2010 @ 08:25 PM

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 18 Jul 2010 @ 5:39 PM 
iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

Apple have made their iOS 4.0.1 software upgrade available today. Unlike other upgrades, you don’t receive a critical security fix that will keep you safer, and you don’t get a new feature that will make your use of the phone even more complete. What you do get is a better way of displaying how well (or how bad) the phone reception is in your area.

This is in response to the recent bad press received by the launch of the new iPhone 4 regarding the loss of signal that can occur when you are holding the phone. Apple admitted that the algorithm to calculate the number of bars shown for a given signal strength was incorrect and this new and complete iOS update will fix that “problem”.

This is truly a great and worthy update to spend time downloading. You will now see just exactly how crap the phone service in your area actually is instead of being lulled into a false sense of security with the full 5 bars at all times until you are out of range.

While I think the iPhone 4 is a nice piece of design work and will no doubt raise the bar yet again amongst handset makers to try and compete, it does highlight one major design flaw that seems evident across a range of technology devices; design over function.

Devices that are designed to send and receive signals require an antenna. Very simple, something that has been known about radio based transmission devices for a large number of years now. Unfortunately the antenna on the common mobile phone seems to have gradually over time vanished. The average consumer possible thought that new technology came about to relieve the need for an antenna, however not really. All phones regardless of model or design have an antenna place somewhere within the device. It may not be obvious however it is there.

In the case of the iPhone 4, it would seem that the need to keep to the design standard of Apple won out over the need to actually produce a product that would viably work in common use scenarios. The antenna on the iPhone 4 is actually wrapped around the outside of the casing in an effort to save space. Holding the phone (as you normally would while making a phone call) attenuates the signal to the point where it may either lose the call or connection you are on or at the very least degrade it.

Now comes the corporate spin part. One possible fix to this problem is to use the Apple produced iPhone 4 bumper case. Hmmm, could it be possible that Apple were prepared for this occurrence?

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 18 Jul 2010 @ 05:39 PM

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 28 May 2010 @ 6:28 PM 

First up let me say; I own an iPhone, I like the iPhone and will probably use one until a smart phone alternative appears that has the application eco-system developed to a level I am comfortable. I generally fall into the category of smart phone users who use their device as a phone and portable ultra-mini computer.

Now that said, I do have concerns about the security of the device and the way it is slowly creeping into the corporate arena. The the following link from www.h-online as an example; Vulnerability in iPhone data encryption.

I will let you read the page for yourself, but in brief bypassing iPhone encryption can be as easy as turning it on! Add this to the amount of personal information that can be stored in 8 GB or more, and I would really recommend changing every password you have if your phone gets stolen, lost or even out of your possession for a matter of minutes.

Coming soon: iPhone in-Security Part #2: adventures with iPhone data theft

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 28 May 2010 @ 06:28 PM

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 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:02 PM 

If you are a Windows users (Vista or Windows 7 from all accounts) you may have found that after the recent iTunes upgrade to version 9.1.0.79 that the Bonjour service suddenly stopped working.

For a good number of iTunes users this may mean little. However, if you are using an iPhone/iTouch with applications relying on the Bonjour service to communicate data then you are suddenly without a significant capability on your device.

I would assume that Apple will eventually realise the erro and send out a fix, however it has been about 2 weeks so far with very little chatter from any quarter as to what is going on. So if you are keen to get back the functionality you lost with the upgrade, here are some steps that may work for you.

Step 1: Remove the new Bonjour service
This needs to be done carefully so that you have minimal remnants left on your machine for the next step. I found the following blog post, How to Uninstall or Remove Bonjour Mdnsresponer.exe fairly helpful. The key thing to note here is that you are best to undertake a reboot after each uninstall process

Step 2: Downgrading the Bonjour service
The problem with the iTunes upgrade was that it upgraded the Bonjour service to version 2.0 which as it turned out seems to not like the Windows platform that much. Luckily you can still find the old version of Bonjour (version 1.0.6) from CNET Downloads. Download this version and install it onto your computer. Once the install is complete, give the machine another reboot to be safe

Step 3: Bonjour is now working
At this point, if you check the Services control panel applet you should see that the Bonjour service is now working. If you start your iTunes and look at the Sharing tab under the Preferences option in the Edit menu you should also see some options displayed instead of the helpful warning that the Bonjour service is not running and you should enable it.

I have tested this with all my applications using the Bonjour service and find that they work correctly using the old Bonjour installation. iTunes also functions without issue.

Good luck and hope this helps you out until Apple get their act together.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 10 Apr 2010 @ 06:03 PM

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 02 Mar 2010 @ 10:58 PM 

Anyone who has owned an iPhone for some time (or really anytime at all for that matter) will realise there are good apps, bad apps, useful apps and useless apps. Sadly the Fart App has been with us for some time not to mention an array of other useless and trivial apps.

Ok, I kind of get it….people want to have fun with their phone and I will admit to downloading some less that useful apps on my iPhone for a laugh (and then generally deleting them shortly after).

However, it would seem that these days may be behind the iPhone user with the refusal of the Duck Phone App. This app will (or rather would have) given you the ability have your phone quack at you when a call comes in. In the grand scheme of it possibly not the most useless app. This app is a reference to the US reality TV show Jersey Shore which features an old fashion duck shaped phone. Have to admit to not having seen the show before not really being a fan of the genre, however here is a clip which I am sure will demonstrate:

My question to Apple is this. Having recently removed all the “Sexy Apps” (with some notable exceptions) and now the “fart app category” of apps, are you trying to create a market for the less regulated apps stores?

Personally this won’t have a great deal of impact on me. I can get through the day without a duck phone and bikini girls on my phone. But the question of where the line will end up does raise itself a little. Who actually owns the individual iPhone? The person who is footing the bill or Apple? I would think that perhaps a little more freedom of choice would not be out of order from the company that took on “big brother” not that long ago:

Or perhaps, this version is a little more applicable today:

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2010 @ 03:04 PM

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