On today's Buzz Out Loud, Jason confesses his noob security mistake, Consumer Reports wants the world to know they STILL don't recommend the iPhone 4. Plus, Mark Zuckerberg's Hollywood moment isn't going to be as fun as he hoped, and we predict the MPAA will go nuclear if rumors of a permanent HDCP crack are true.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
I think we can all agree at this point that the iPhone 4 launch is not going well for Apple or its customers. In just two days since its release, iPhone 4 owners have found a plethora of potential and real-world problems, from a faulty antennas and Bluetooth headset connectivity issues to screen discolorations and scratches.
Then there's the phone's glass. Why oh why did Apple decide to use glass for the back of the iPhone 4? As Ryan Salerno, a Gizmodo writer, discovered this morning, glass is breakable.
The good news, if you can call it that, … Read more
It used to be that parents would encourage their kids to do arts and crafts projects. Now they're making them fix their cracked iPhone screens.
Just ask Brett, who you last saw building his own iPad stand for $12.40. He's my 10-year-old nephew, and his father put him to work recently to fix his cracked iPhone 3GS screen, which was apparently caused by an encounter with a set of keys. To be clear, the cracked portion you're looking at--see photos below--is only the protective layer of glass that sits on top of the LCD, not the … Read more
Decryption specialists PSW-soft's Guaranteed Word Decrypter (GuaWord) is a simple command-line utility for decrypting DOC files used in Microsoft's Word 97 and 2000 and Word XP, 2002, and 2003 in its default (40-bit) mode. It won't decrypt files from Word versions prior to 97, French versions of Word, Word files using newer 128-bit or 256-bit encryption, or other passwords such as read-only passwords; the developer offers other tools for those jobs. It doesn't recover passwords, either; it simply removes them. But for opening compatible Word files, it's a fine tool, if a bit old-school.
GuaWord'… Read more
A German computer engineer said Monday that he had cracked the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's mobile phone calls.
In an attempt to expose holes in the security of global wireless systems, 28-year-old Karsten Nohl cracked the 21-year-old GSM algorithm, which is used to encrypt 80 percent of the world's mobile calls, reports The New York Times.
Nohl revealed his success at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, Germany. He said that 24 people worked independently to reproduce the code book, or binary code log, for the algorithm, which contains the equivalent of about … Read more
Wolfgang's Vault, which offers high-quality digital recordings of rock concerts, has been trickling out updates since I wrote about its new iPhone app last month. On Tuesday, the site will begin to offer a new optional membership model where $48 a year gets you $50 worth of merchandise, plus discounted downloads and other benefits.
Wolfgang's Vault offers free streams, and downloads that cost up to $12, of professionally recorded concerts, in various formats up to and including lossless FLAC files. The Vault got its start by buying the recorded archives from San Francisco concert promotion company Bill Graham … Read more
Microsoft only just released final code for Windows 7 to manufacturers and the company is already facing a security risk.
The Windows Genuine Advantage antipiracy system in the Windows 7 Ultimate release to manufacturers (RTM) has reportedly been compromised by some Chinese hackers, according to a variety of Chinese forums, and first reported by Neowin.com.This means the user can fully activate the software offline without connecting to Microsoft's activation server.
The software's RTM code is generally the same as the retail code, which will be available to the public in October. PC makers tend to get … Read more
We've all read those blogs that "reveal" the parts cost of a fill-in-the-blank, Kindle, iPod, or Palm Pre. If you ask me, this simplistic, by-the-numbers gambit overlooks most of the costs of bringing a product to market.
First and foremost, products, all products, are priced to what the market will pay. I don't care if it's a 16-ounce bottle of Poland Spring water, Coldplay concert tickets, or a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, retail prices are determined by what the market will pay. And luxury products have higher profit margins than mass market stuff. Oh really?
But the mindless rash of blogs that purport to add up the parts costs, for example $39.51 for the display, $15.96 for 8 gigabytes of flash memory, $15.41 for components, and $12.39 for the 3-megapixel camera, to calculate the cost of anything are hugely misleading. The writer merely subtracts the parts cost from the retail price and concludes the difference is the "profit."
Does the writer assume the company's factory doesn't pay rent or for electricity or heating and air conditioning? And that the factory labor force works for free?
These articles completely ignore other costs, such as research and development and engineering expenses associated with creating say, a Kindle. Manufacturers also pay significant licensing fees for technology used in their products.
Shipping costs of large products such as flat-screen TVs must be factored in before determining the final cost to the consumer.
Oh, and what about the online or brick and mortar retailer? They have their own set of expenses for rent and employees. Some of whom might need health insurance. … Read more