Apple faces a whole lot of inbound requests to unlock iPhone devices from law enforcement officials, according to a new report from CNET. Seized iPhones with a passcode lock are apparently secure enough to frustrate a lot of police agencies in the U.S., resulting in a wait list that Apple has put in place to help it deal with unlock requests from the authorities.
The waiting list was long enough that it resulted in a 7-week delay for a recent request by the ATF last summer, according to the CNET report. The good news for iPhone owners is that the ATF in that instance turned to Apple as a last resort, after trying to find a law enforcement body at either the local, state or federal level that had the capability to unlock the phone in-house for three months to no avail. The bad news is that an affidavit obtained by CNET, the decryptions seem to take place without necessarily requiring a customer’s knowledge, whereas with Google there’s a password reset involved that notifies a user via email of the unlock.
Apple can reportedly bypass the security lock to get access to data on a phone, download it to an external device and hand that over to the authorities, according to an ATF affidavit, which means that ultimately, the information on an iOS device isn’t 100 percent secure. But overall, repeated reports peg Apple devices as particularly resistant to prying eyes operating in law enforcement.
A previous report from CNET also identified iMessage as resilient in the face of outside surveillance attempts, especially compared to more common text communication methods like SMS. Combined, the reports suggest that Apple’s technology for its mobile devices is especially good at repelling unwanted advances, which is great for privacy buffs, though the policies around when and why Apple does share that information needs more fleshing out.
We’ve reached out to Apple to see if they have any official comment on the unlock queue from law enforcement and how they proceed with requests, and will update if we hear more.
Go here to read the rest: Apple’s iPhone Security Measures Prompt Queue Of Unlock Requests From Law Enforcement
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is “partially” opposing a request by the estate of Aaron Swartz for the release of documents related to the investigation that led to Swartz’s arrest and prosecution in federal court.
In court papers filed today, MIT counsel states that its opposition stems from two factors: its concerns about people in the MIT community named in the documents and the security of its computer networks.
MIT has previously stated that it would release the documents with redactions of names and other information. MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in email to the MIT community earlier this month:
On Friday, the lawyers for Aaron Swartz’s estate filed a legal request with the Boston federal court where the Swartz case would have gone to trial. They demanded that the court release to the public information related to the case, including many MIT documents. Some of these documents contain information about vulnerabilities in MIT’s network. Some contain the names of individual MIT employees involved. In fact, the lawyers’ request argues that those names cannot be excluded (”redacted”) from the documents and urges that they be released in the public domain and delivered to Congress.
The paper filed today reiterates this position, basing it on threats already made to MIT staff and three separate hacking incidents at the university.
The information includes “email, the names, job titles, departments, telephone numbers, email addresses, business addresses, and other identifying information of many members of the MIT community.”
Swartz has become a symbol in the Internet community since his suicide. His supporters have led the debate about the role MIT played in Swartz’s prosecution and the vigilance of the U.S. Attorney General in the case.
MIT claims it is fully cooperating in the investigation that has come since Swartz’s suicide.
Sometimes the smallest, most mundane tasks are the things you really dread — and put off for weeks. Like booking an oil change for your car, or finding a nice play for an anniversary date and buying tickets, or finding a good dentist in a new city and scheduling an appointment. It’s stuff that any patient person with Internet access and a cell phone can do, but takes up just enough time and mental energy that it can be a huge drag.
That’s why wealthy people have personal assistants. And lately, that’s why I’ve been using Fancy Hands.
As we’ve written before, Fancy Hands is a three-year-old NYC-based startup that lets you book a personal assistant to complete tasks for a flat fee, ranging from $25 for five tasks a month, to $65 for 25 requests per month. Unlike TaskRabbit and Exec, Fancy Hands isn’t for tasks that need to be completed in person, like picking up dry cleaning (it has integrated with TaskRabbit’s API to help arrange such errands, though). Its team of personal assistants are all based in the United States, but distributed throughout the country — armed with patience, web-searching skills, and phone lines, they get paid to do all the research and “desk errands” that can really drag you down.
And today, Fancy Hands is set to become even more, well, handy: It’s launching its first-ever native app for the iPhone. Up until now, Fancy Hands has been available only as an app in the web browser, as well as through email and phone (you could leave a voice message with a task assignment). An Android app is also in the works, with beta signups here.
One of the coolest features with Fancy Hands for iOS is that it lets you book a new request by either typing it or speaking it (there’s a cute “Talkie” animation that moves its lips when you do.) This is all a custom-built technology, not a Siri integration, Fancy Hands founder Ted Roden tells me. The key here is that bad computer transcription is not a worry, since a human will actually be listening to your request.
Another very cool baked-in new feature is that the Fancy Hands app suggests tasks for you, incorporating your location, calendar, weather, date, and most importantly your task history. This gets the service even closer to what I’d imagine it’d be like to have a real-life, full time personal assistant. “Looks like it’s your grandparents’ anniversary in three days; shall I send flowers?” Yes, please.
Naturally, the mobile experience also ties in photos more seamlessly — so you can take a photo of a “for sale” sign on a car and ask Fancy Hands to make a call and get details about the vehicle, for instance.
Roden says that growth has been solid so far, with users across all continents except Antarctica and 60 hours’ worth of pure phone calls being completed by assistants every day (I hate being on the phone for even five minutes, so God love all those people.) The big move into mobile could certainly accelerate that, since it optimizes for people who don’t have the time to even type their tasks.
“We’re seeing a lot more tasks that are related to being out and about, like ‘I’m on vacation in NYC and we thought the Union Square green market was open today, doesn’t appear to be, find out when it is,’” Roden says.
There is a whole wave of apps promising to turn your phone into a personal assistant, and some of those are certainly exciting. But what I love about Fancy Hands is that there are actually people at the other end of this one, living in the United States and making money (and doing things that only humans can really do). Some of Fancy Hands’ more closely related competitors, such as GetFriday, are primarily staffed with assistants based in other countries.
Plus, when I show up to my dentist’s office and the receptionist tells me she’s “spoken to my assistant,” I feel pretty darn fancy.
Fancy Hands, which has a full-time staff of nine, has raised $1 million in funding from Betaworks, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, and others.
Check out the new app here. And here are more screenshots:
Read more from the original source: Fancy Hands Now Has An iPhone App, So You Can Book A Personal Assistant Anytime
www.newtlabs.co.uk – Welcome to my WordPress tutorial. This video is a WordPress tutorial on how you can make the most of your WordPress website and WordPress theme by adding new WordPress posts and WordPress pages. The best thing about WordPress is that you once the initial theme is in place, you can modify it as much as you like! So this is a WordPress Posts tutorial and a WordPress pages tutorial for beginners ideally or anyone that is interested in getting to know WordPress. Includes adding text, images, internal and external hyperlinks, mentions categories and tags and touches on the media library. Check out my other WordPress videos (coming soon) and if theres a specific video you would like me to do please request in the comments. If you’re interested in getting your very own, unique WordPress theme designed at a surprisingly low price, please visit www.designsteez.com or contact me at email@example.com
Today the USPTO published an Apple patent application (spotted by UnwiredView) that ventures a little farther afield than most, and describes a mobile banking concept that is truly innovative, which could essentially turn iTunes into a micro-lending bank. The patent outlines a system whereby a user would post requests for small amounts of cash using their iPhone, which other nearby users could respond to to provide some quick funds when there’s no ATM nearby.
The lending party would be paid the full amount from an account (which, while not named specifically, could easily be an iTunes account), which would first deduct that total, plus a small service fee, from the iTunes account of the person making the cash request. So, in a real world example, I could open this “Cash Transfer Application,” type that I need $20 and that I’m at the Starbucks at 4th and Main, enter a search range and send it out. Then, anyone within that radius also using the app would get the request, and be able to volunteer to walk over to my location and provide me with the amount requested on the spot.
Unlike a lot of Apple patents, which simply describe refinements or extensions of existing tech already in use by the company, this method for so-called ad-hoc cash dispensing is a remarkably novel invention. And it could work, too; Apple describes that in one embodiment, the service fee could be split between the person on the ground supplying the cash and iTunes itself, which would provide an incentive to participate. And while it’s true that it’s rare in many places to find a store that doesn’t accept either debit or credit, or isn’t in close proximity to an ATM, there are still plenty of times this could come in handy, and if the service fee is reasonable, it could actually be more convenient than finding and using an ATM anyway, especially when on vacation.
The patent was originally filed in July, 2011 and published by the USPTO today. It’s a pretty bold concept, and one that would push iTunes into a role akin to a bank that many analysts have been suspecting it could move into with mobile payments anyways. But Apple also appears to be leaving the door open to work with other partners on this system, since they never really pin down the source of the funds from the pay out “account” described in the patent itself. Either way, this could be an interesting and unique way of approaching the growing opportunity for mobile device-based commerce and banking.