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Comment news flash: iSuppli's BOMs are deliberately low (Score 1) 143

iSuppli's business model revolves around finding you low prices for components (for a nice, hefty fee, of course) for your next big consumer electronics product; these teardowns are just advertising for that service. In order to pull customers in, they mark down the lowest plausible price for each component; it's unlikely that even Apple can get these low prices for each component.

Practially every teardown they show is low-balled, because there's no way to verify any of these numbers, and lower numbers gets them more contracting business.


Pinch-to-Zoom and Rounded Rectangles: What the Jury Didn't Say 147

CharlyFoxtrot writes "Steve Wildstrom at Tech.Pinions takes on some of the what he calls folklore surrounding Apple v Samsung, investigating what was and wasn't part of the case and how the media got it wrong: 'There's one serious problem with the first sentence, which was repeated dozens of times in stories in print and on the Web. Apple only has a limited patent on the pinch to shrink, stretch to zoom gesture that is a core element of touch interfaces. And the 826 patent wasn't in dispute in the Samsung case because Apple never asserted it. In fact, this particular patent does not seem to be in dispute in any litigation.'"

Comment Re:Comparisson to Android? (Score 1) 91

This is well-written, but mostly incorrect, based on some bad assumptions about sandboxing and encryption.

The main differences are as follows: the iOS sandbox is somewhat weaker than the Android sandbox. It restricts fewer things and in the past (not sure if it was fixed these days), key first-party apps such as the web browser were not sandboxed at all, which is how several generations of jailbreak worked.

No, the iOS sandbox is stronger, in that it supports more fine-grained control over access to individual syscalls (based on the BSD-heritage Mandatory Access Control framework), as well as the API-level and filesystem permission-level isolation that Android relies upon. Jailbreaks didn't rely on a lack of sandboxing, for the most part -- they exploited kernel bugs in e.g. the graphics driver. It took until 2011 that "rooting" on Android even approached the complexity of the 2008 iPhone exploits; the neccesary exploits on Android were generally much simpler.

Android was designed from the ground up with the mentality that there should ideally not be an "us vs them" divide - Android treats all apps more or less the same, security-wise, meaning that the browser is just a regular app that runs in a permission-controlled sandbox like any other. This open design is one reason why the permissions UI on Android is more complex than for iOS - apps can do more things and the OS has to communicate that to you.

This is only partially true. Android most certainly does distinguish between "system apps" and 3rd-party apps -- why do you think people have to root their phones to remove crapware?

The main reason that Android's permissions UI is more complex is ... a design issue. The Android team decided that it was better to make all users click through a screen showing a bunch of scary shit, so that they could later blame the user if the app does something strange. "Dialog fatigue" ensures that very few people actually read the whole UI, and the fact that you can't (on a stock system) individually deny any access (while still using the app) means that most people just suck it up and run the app and take their chances.

Most of the rest of what you wrote is wrong, because you base it on the statement that Android's sandbox is stronger.

With regards to other features, like drive encryption, as of the latest releases I believe both operating systems are largely comparable.

Okay, now go back and actually read the Apple paper, starting with page 8. iOS's encryption is fine-grained -- the whole partition is encrypted, and then individual files are further encrypted, depending on the application and use (e.g. you can receive new email and take new photos while the phone is locked; that stuff is then encrypted and written to flash, and cannot be accessed until you unlock the phone with a PIN. Older contents cannot be decrypted until you unlock the phone). Android only got encryption with 3.x and 4.x -- about 2 years after it appeared on iOS -- and it's a shitty implementation (requires a full battery, AC power, and > 1 hour to enable or disable; any interruption will cause data loss; must enter PIN code on boot, which then causes the whole flash to be decrypted in memory until you turn the phone off).


Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop? 732

jakooistra writes "My sister recently asked me for a laptop recommendation. I said, 'Sure, what are techie brothers for,' and diligently started my search for her perfect laptop. Two days later, I feel like I've aged two years. Every laptop vendor seems to want to sell a dozen different, poorly-differentiated models, with no real way of finding out what is customizable without following each model to its own customization page. And there are so many vendors! How am I, as a consumer, supposed to find what I need? Is there a website, hiding somewhere I just can't find, that tracks all the multivariate versions and upgrade choices in an easily searchable database?"

ModMyPi Raspberry Pi Case Offers 5% Back To the Foundation 82

An anonymous reader writes "The Raspberry Pi Model B is now available to purchase, but most people are still waiting for new stock to be manufactured and delivered. In the meantime you can prepare for the tiny PC's arrival by figuring out what to do about a case. The fact the Raspberry Pi ships without a case doesn't cause a problem when using it, but encasing it in plastic will help protect and keep the dust off the components. has already reported on one case design from hobbyist designer Marco Alici, but now another one has appeared that actually has a release date, color options, and an extra incentive to purchase it."

Jumentum Introduces a Single-Chip Linux System 76

An anonymous reader writes "The Jumentum open source project has announced a single-chip programming system based on the NXP LPC1768 (the same as in the mbed) that can generate PAL/NTSC video and use a PS/2 keyboard, so it may operate as a standalone BASIC programmable computer, similar to many old BASIC computers (e.g. Apple ][ or C64) of yore. Projects such as the Raspberry Pi provide a multichip Linux solution, and the Humane PC uses three AVR microcontrollers, but the Jumentum system can provide a true one-chip solution. Video is generated by software, and only a few external resistors are required to interface to a composite video input. With the Jumentum system, you can take your tiny one-chip computer on-the-go, or use it as part of your own electronics projects (using for example, the mbed) to give it a convenient interface (along with Jumentum's Ethernet web and USB interfaces)."

Facebook Taking On Apple? 127

oDDmON oUT writes "Techcrunch has a piece about Facebook's Project Spartan, which aims to deliver app store functionality through the use of HTML5 in the iOS Safari browser. Given Facebook's shifting sands privacy stances, as well as their track record with their "trusted partners", I don't think I'd be alone in wondering if this wouldn't put a great big stake in the heart of the assertion that iOS is the most secure operating system in existence today."

Apple Rips Off Rejected App, Says Wireless Sync Developer 549

Haedrian writes "Apple is famous for going to absurd lengths to enforce its patents and trademarks. It recently sued Amazon for calling its app store Appstore. And it has publicly lectured competitors to 'create their own original technology, not steal ours.' Last year, UK developer Greg Hughes submitted an app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries, which was rejected from the official App Store. Fast forward to Monday, when Apple unveiled a set of new features for the upcoming iOS 5, including the same wireless-syncing functionality. Cupertino wasn't even subtle about the appropriation, using the precise name and a near-identical logo to market the technology."

Tennessee Bans Posting 'Offensive' Images Online 372

Chaonici writes "Last Monday, Tennessee's Governer Bill Haslam signed a law prohibiting the transmission or display of an image that is likely to 'frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to' anyone who sees it. In Tennessee, it is already illegal to use other methods of communication, such as telephones or e-mail, to offend someone; the new law updates legislation to include images sent or posted online. However, the scope of this law is broader, in that anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court finds that a violator should have known that someone would be offended by the image in question, they face up to a year in prison or up to $2,500 in fines."

NC Governor Allows Anti-Community-Broadband Law 356

zerocore writes "North Carolina governor Bev Perdue will not veto a bill that will limit small town municipalities' ability to create community broadband when private industry will not go there. 'The governor said there is a need to establish rules to prevent cities and towns from having unfair advantage over private companies. But she said she was concerned that the bill would decrease the number of choices available to consumers. The bill would require towns and cities that set up broadband systems to hold public hearings, financially separate their operations from the rest of government operations, and bar from them offering below cost services. They also couldn't borrow money for the project without voter approval in a referendum.'"

Geohot Denies Involvement In PSN Hack Attack 136

Stoobalou writes "Soon-to-be-celebrity hacker and thorn in Sony's side George 'Geohot' Hotz has denied any involvement in the ongoing breach at the PlayStation Network. The 21-year-old hacker — who is best known for creating the first software-based hack for the iPhone, and getting hypervisor access and exposing the root key to the PlayStation 3 — has made it clear that he had nothing to do with filleting Sony's online gaming servers, saying 'I'm not crazy.'"

Murdoch Voicemail Hacking Story 'Ain't Over Yet' 113

lee317 writes "Reuters is reporting that Rupert Murdoch's headache over the alleged phone hacking by his News Corp's reporters could be small compared to what is ahead. So far, around 20 public figures who believe their voicemail messages were intercepted by journalists at the popular News of the World tabloid are suing News International, the UK newspaper arm of News Corp. After a public apology from the newspaper aimed at 'put(ting) this problem into a box,' a UK judge eluded to the fact that civil cases against the firm could run into next year at least."

Comment Re:My experience with Apple... (Score 2) 133

I think that the issue here is that Apple is required to "only allow one download per purchase, under normal circumstances" (or something to that effect). Emailing them and asking for them to make an exception and let you redownload the music may be within the terms of their license, but "automatic" redownloading apparently isn't.

Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.