Not a good week for Apple, dear readers. Not a good week at all. It started with a few people posting images online of bent iPhone 6 Plus devices. Those photos got passed around like a Wi-Fi password at a tech convention and, within hours, "Bendgate" was born. The reports are mostly similar: owners either sat on their iPhone 6 Plus or placed the phone in the front pocked of their pants, retrieved the phone later, and found it to be sporting a new, unintentionally ergonomic shape.
While the media took the story and ran and people rushed to YouTube to post wave after wave of bend test videos, it remains to be seen just how widespread an issue this is. We've certainly seen bent iPhones with the release of previous generations, and for its part Apple indicateshave actually reported the issue to them directly -- all receiving new phones for their trouble.
The problem is surely a bit more widespread than that, but we'll never know how widespread if people don't take their concerns directly to Apple. So, if you've got a wobbly iPhone, take it to your nearest Apple Store. If, however, yours is still straight and true, maybe try and be careful which pocket you place it in, yeah?
The other bad news for Apple this week was a botched attempt at patching iOS 8. Apple released version 8.0.1 of its mobile operating system on Tuesday, but about about an hour later, the update. The update was supposed to fix bugs in iOS 8, but instead a large percentage of people who downloaded the update found their phones unable to connect to a cellular network. Some iPhone owners also reported that Touch ID -- which lets you unlock an iPhone using your fingerprint -- was no longer working.
Only a painful, manual rollback to iOS 8 would fix the issues. Thankfully Apple pulled out all the stops and gotreleased Thursday evening. I've just applied that myself, and am happy to say it's working just fine...so far.
The result of all this churn? About a five percent stock drop from its high this week, as I write this.
BlackBerry's Passport gets stamped
More and more smartphone users are demanding big phones. And, of course, BlackBerry fans love their physical keyboards. In what can only be described as a somewhat optimistic attempt at giving users everything they want in one device, the company on Wednesday launched the. It is a massive slab of a thing, with a 4.5-inch square display sitting atop a squat keyboard.
It looks odd and feels even more strange to hold, but honestly I like the concept -- if not necessarily the execution. I like even more that BlackBerry seems to be, announcing plenty of new features and functions that only professionals will really appreciate. I genuinely wish the company had taken that tact years ago, as attempts to go after mainstream consumers have seemed misguided.
As of now, the Passport is only available unlocked in the US for $599. AT&T has confirmed it will sell the Passport, but hasn't provided a price or date of availability. When it launches in Europe and other countries later this year, the price will be €649 in France and Germany, $699 in Canada and £529 in the UK. (No Australian price was released, but the US price converts to around AU$675.)
Bash Bug may cause widespread online chaos
We're still putting together the pieces, so don't panic just yet, but we may have a security flaw of epic proportions on our hands. In what's been called the or "Shellshock," a flaw in a commonly used shell for Unix and Linux could mean millions of network devices are wide open for attack. If that weren't enough to keep you up at night, take a moment to process the idea that that this flaw has existed for something like 25 years -- and nobody knows for how long it's been exploited.
A large percentage of Internet-connectable devices, surely too many to count, rely on Unix or Linux at their core, everything from smart baby monitors to smart door locks. Again, nobody knows just how many of them are vulnerable, but this bug could mean many of them are exposed. Apple, for its part, put major fears of a vulnerability in its OS X to rest by saying that the.
What to do? For now, there's not much that we can do other than wait and see. Expect a raft of patches and software updates in the coming weeks. Until then, batten down those firewalls and try to have yourself a good weekend.