In The News...

Amazon Opens Up Prime Video Streaming now available on monthly plans

Amazon has just opened up their video offerings, previously only available to prime members, to everyone. Looks like amazon is taking it’s rivalry with netflix to the next level.

For just $8.99 users can access all the moves, tv shows and amazon exclusives $1 cheaper than Netflix who recently put their prices up.

On top of this Prime membership will also be available in a monthly plan for US customers at $10.99 per month. Prime membership nets you access to early lightning deals before they are available to everyone and free shipping on a vast array of products.

• Amazon Prime 
Price: $8.99 a month. 
Benefits: Downloads for offline viewing; free use on JetBlue flights. 
Exclusive shows: Transparent; Mozart in the Jungle; The Man in the High Castle.

• Netflix 
Price: $7.99-$11.99 month. 
Benefits: Viewing on multiple screens at same time; global access to some shows. 
Exclusive shows: House of Cards; Orange Is the New Black; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

• Hulu 
Price: $7.99-$11.99 a month. 
Benefits: Many current network TV shows available within days of broadcast. 
Exclusive shows: Casual; The Mindy Project; Seinfeld.

iOS App Review, Reviewed

App Review : Drops The Rain Alarm

Drops – The Rain Alarm is an iOS app to do with one of the United Kingdom’s favourite talking points. the weather. More particularly the rain. Its sole task is to let you know when the rain is about to start, albeit with a bit of warning, in your area. Or anywhere else you’d like to know about. The premise is basic but Drops has a clever trick up it’s sleeve.

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Podcasts

Podcast : Getting The Band Back Together

It’s almost like the old band getting back together. This week the collective minds of Karl and Matt from the Mac&Forth show join me to go through the Apple stories of the week, the new shiny stuff they’ve bought since the last time we were all together and a new data saving app recommendation. Think little snitch but easier to use.

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In The News...

Apple Promotes “Live Tune-In” on Fourth-Gen Apple TV

A new feature for owners of the fourth-gen Apple TV called Live Tune-In has started getting a heavy push on the splash screen today. Live Tune-In,” a feature letting people jump straight into the live TV feeds of select apps.

While a lot of the device’s offerings are games, music and on-demand video, even in the 21st century sometimes people just want to flip channels and see what’s on.

It should be a universal feature but it’s not with only some apps having access to the live tv feature. The feature is triggered by a SIRI command, examples given included “Watch CBS” and “Watch ESPN live”. As seems to be the case with so many of Apple’s offerings, Live Tune-In will not do a thing for Discovery since a user has to be subscribed to a service with a live stream before it becomes searchable.

How you discover when a new and noteworthy show is on is still another thing altogether and personally I’d like some sort of notification service baked into the Apple TV to remind me when Gotham is on, or comes onto netflix rather than relying on a third party app.

In The News...

Talk of a Locked iPhone 6 Hack from Cellibrite

It appears that Cellibrite is close to accessing data on the passcode protected iPhone 6 – emphasis on ‘appears’. This comes from  the story of Italian architect Leonardo Fabbretti. When his son died recently the man wanted access to the photos the boy had taken on his iPhone. The father actually had access to the device though touch ID, though a passcode is still required once the device is powered down. Fabbretti appealed to Apple for help.


Customer care tried to help but their attempts to retrieve the requested data failed. And if the San Bernardino case between Apple and the FBI taught us anything, it’s that Apple currently has no way made to access data on a passcode protected iOS device.

While we do not know for certain that it was the Israeli firm Cellibrite that eventually got the FBI into the iPhone 5C used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, that firm’s name was bandied about a lot. Many are convinced that that Cellibrite did assist the FBI.

Whatever the case, the company got Fabbretti’s attention and they got his son’s iPhone 6, and now Fabbretti says they’ve gotten data off the phone — kind of.

A conversation between Fabbretti and CNN Money has been published

Fabbretti spoke to Cellibrite on Thursday, with promising news provided on Friday. They were able to download the directories with the iPhone’s content, but there is still work to be done in order to access the files, Fabbretti told the report, before claiming the forensic team felt good about its chance success.

Good or bad as that sounds, it’s nothing like official. Cellibrite has declined to comment on Fabbretti situation.

Podcasts

EP58 – Sideshow Bob Sums Up Batman vs Superman Nicely.

Plainly put Batman Vs Superman sucked. In all ways and levels it’s just a bad film but at least Affleck isn’t to blame more Warner studios where it’s obvious the film was interfered with. Did we expect anything else after Warner’s botched attempt at a console game.

It comes to something when you’re watching DareDevil on Netflix and the fight scenes there kick BvS ass.
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In The News...

Apple Ordered to Stop Using Term “Split View” in India

Apple’s in trouble yet again with something it’s named and this time Split View is under scrutiny. Split view is the 2 pane view bought in iOS 9 and adding a new usefulness to the iPad. The Delhi High Court has ordered the Cupertino company to stop actively using the marketing term SplitView in India over an alleged trademark infringement.

Nestled within India is a company there called Vyooh, who is a Microsoft vendor, and they apparently have the name ‘SplitView’ trademarked.

A report from the Indian Times said,

“The Delhi High Court has directed the US tech giant not to use the name ‘SplitView’ in any of its products or services such as iPad, iPhone or iOS operating system after a little known Delhi-based software company Vyooh moved court, alleging trademark violation.”

From vyooh.com

SplitView enables a true multi-monitor experience with VMware VDI, Citrix (RDP and ICA), Terminal Services, Remote Desktop, HP RGS, Sun Ray ALP as well as other virtualization, remote desktop and thin client technologies. Additionally, SplitView provides several productivity boosting enhancements such as the ability to move windows efficiently between multiple monitors.

Court documents have an unidentified source, likely a principle at Vyooh, saying “This order will send a strong message to multinational software companies to respect the intellectual property rights of Indian software developers.” Or, you know, it could send a strong message about what a PITA it can be to do business on the subcontinent.

You could be forgiven to be just a touch cynical at the timing of this court case given Apple is about to launch a major push into Indian territories but if they own the trademark it isn’t unlike Apple to ignore such things.

Source : http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/

In The News...

Kanye West Album Expected to Hit No. 1 on Almost All Streaming

This probably isn’t the message Kanye West was hoping to send, but here it is. Tidal just isn’t big enough to support a major album. Weeks after its release as a Tidal exclusive, West’s latest album The Life of Pablo is expected to top the billboard charts for April 23.

This is not a victory for Tidal though, as the April 23 will include the first results from other streaming music services as well as purchases from both Tidal as well as West’s own website.

There is a way to spin this as good news for all streaming players though. Assuming Kanye’s album makes the top of the charts, it will have done so with almost no sales and almost all streaming.

“It should be the first Billboard chart-topper to get the majority of its album sale equivalents from streaming, not downloads or physical copies — yes, only a fraction of listeners likely had permanent copies. The achievement is somewhat arbitrary (you still can’t buy the album at places like iTunes), but it shows that on-demand listening is so popular that you don’t need downloads to create a hit.”

In The News...

Adobe Issues Critical Cross-Platform Update for Flash Playe

Adobe has issued a critical Flash Player security update for everyone who still used Flash Player. The update or updates for OS 10, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OX, address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacked to take control of the effected system through ransom ware.

The so-called “CERBER” attack affects Flash-based ads. There is good news, more good news and bad news around the attacks. The good news, there’s no known instance of the attack affecting Mac users. Windows 10 is being actively exploited though with users being billed as much as $1000 to get back access to their data. At least that had been the case, bringing us to the more good news.

The servers involved in the ransom ware have been cut off. The bad news, there’s more to come. Trend Micro’s TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog brought up the issue saying,

“Currently, all servers hosting these malvertisements are now inaccessible. Some reports mentioned that CERBER is being peddled in the Russian underground market as ransom ware-as-service (RaaS). This confirms that we will be seeing more of CERBER in the near future.”

So as always if you have anything Adobe on your system it’s always worth taking the latest update onto your system, even if they are prone to the occasional zero day exploit.

In The News...

Proposed Feinstein-Burr Encryption Legislation Leaks Out

A discussion draft of the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” has hit the web. This is a legislation being shopped around by Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina. Spelled like it sounds, the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” basically says that any entity that makes encrypted devices would have to hand over the information on those devices in an intelligible format when served with a legal order to do so. However, there seems to be an interesting case with the government wanting to having its cake and eat it too. While the law would require companies to jimmy the locks for the, the proposed legislation also states, “Nothing in this act may be construed to authorize any government officer to require or prohibit any specific design or operating system to be adapted by any covered entity.” If I’m reading that correctly, and it’s certainly possible that I’m not, it sounds as if the legislation says we’re not going to tell you what you can and cannot do with your software or hardware, but you do have to make it so we can get in when we want to.

The way Engadget sees it, the proposed legislation shies away from specific technical demands, but the wording of the Act itself, with no contingencies for inaccessible data, makes end to end encryption impossible. Any data encrypted by companies must also be able to be decrypted. It sounds as if they want what a lot of legislators have indicated they would like, a backdoor that would only work for the good guys. MacRumors says of the discussion draft, “It says that all providers of communication services and products, from hardware to software, must both protect the privacy of residents of the United States through “implementation of appropriate data security,” while still respecting the “rule of law” and complying with legal requirements and court orders to provide information stored either on devices or remotely.”

Now, hypothetically, let’s say a court order is issued to unlock your iPhone 9, Apple complies, and the authorities find you’ve been using WhatsApp or some other communications app that’s end to end encrypted. Well, you can relax. The legislators think that that won’t be possible. According to Engadget, “The bill also wants “license distributors” to ensure their products provide access to the government. As such, stores such as iTunes and Google Play would have to make sure the apps they sell have little to offer in terms of security features. WhatsApp with its new end-to-end encryption, for instance, wouldn’t pass the screening process.” And that’s how we thwart ISIS! Because they would never jailbreak a smartphone to side load an encrypted communications app. They’re terrorists, not monsters. I know they’re monsters, I’m making a point.