Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple iPhone 5S Finger Scan Vulnerabilities


Fingerprint scanners have always been vulnerable to hackers who are willing to go the extra mile to bypass them. Over the years, we’ve seen everything from people using Gummy Bears, Play-Doh and more sophisticated techniques to bypass these biometric scanners. It’s not really a surprise then, that Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the new iPhone 5s is vulnerable to these kinds of hacks as well. As Germany’s Chaos Computer Club (CCC) announced today, it has managed to bypass TouchID by creating a fake finger that uses lifted prints to fool the scanner into believing it’s dealing with its rightful owner.

But let’s put this hack into perspective. Getting this to work isn’t quite as easy as the CCC hackers make you think it is in their press release or this video:

First you need some kind of colored powder or superglue to lift the fingerprint. Then you have to scan the fingerprint, invert it and print it with a resolution of 1200dpi or more onto a transparent sheet. After that, you build your fake finger by smearing pink latex milk or white wood glue into the pattern that the toner created onto the transparent sheet and wait for it to set. Finally, the CCC writes, “the thin latex sheet is lifted from the sheet, breathed on to make it a tiny bit moist and then placed onto the sensor to unlock the phone.” This method should work for virtually every fingerprint scanner on the market today.

If somebody is willing to go through all of this to break into your phone, chances are you have bigger issues than fingerprint security. Also, given that most iPhone users probably don’t even use a PIN code to secure their devices today, Touch ID still marks a massive step forward in smartphone security — even given the remote chance that somebody would lift your fingerprint and go through the trouble of bypassing it.

...More at Hackers Bypass Apple's Touch ID With Lifted Fingerprint

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Don't Sell Your Apple Stock

"If you own Apple stock, odds are good you bought it for the wrong reasons. Don’t sell it for the wrong reasons, too. 
The tech giant’s shares have plummeted from a high of over $700 in September to around $521 today, driven by a worry that the iPhone 5 isn’t selling as well as initially anticipated, a shifting sales mix that tilts more toward lower-margin products and investors seeking to take profits before 2012 comes to a close. 
For a while, there was nothing but love for Apple. It’s ubiquitous, cool and makes a lot of money — all of which are terrible reasons to buy it. 
“Attention is a scarce resource. When there are many alternatives, options that attract attention are more likely to be considered,” wrote Brad M. Barber, a professor in the Graduate School of Management, University of California, Davis. There’s certainly no shortage of media coverage about Apple, which is still up nearly 30 percent for the year in spite of its recent slide...."

More at Why now's not the time to sell Apple stock.

More Reading:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The New Google Maps Review

A simple and short review of the new Google Maps App. It is a bit different from the Apple Maps. After using each...I will use both depending where I'm going and what I will be doing. They are both useful and of course Google has been doing this a bit longer than Apple and will have more info at your finger tips for the Google version.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple iPad Mini Review

Apple has unveiled a new member of the family: the iPad Mini. This device is a clear response to the market pressure the cheaper Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 have placed on the existing iPad. So how does this scaled down version of the iPad compare with its newly refreshed big brother and the Android tablets that still come in at a lower price?
Comparing Specs with the Competition
Screen Size: iPad Mini's comes in at 7.9 inches, compared to the 9.7 inch screen of the iPad and the 7 inch screens of the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7. With a narrower bezel, iPad Mini fits a bit more screen into the same real estate.
Resolution: 1024x768 — this is not the Retina display that Apple touts as its high end screens on the iPhone 5 and the bigger iPad. Rather, it's the same resolution as the iPad 2, but with more pixels per inch. Also, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD have higher resolution 1280x800 screens.
Thickness: 7.2mm thick — that's roughly 1/3 of an inch, or a little thinner than a pencil, and significantly thinner than either of the leading competitors.
Weight: .68 pounds, 53% lighter than the fourth-generation iPad. Competing Android tablets weigh slightly more: Nexus 7 tips the scales at .75 lbs, and the Kindle Fire HD at .88 lbs.
Processor: The dual core A5 chip is same as iPad 3 that came out in 2011, and even Apple says the A6 chip in the iPad 4 and the iPhone 5 is twice as fast for some tasks as the A5. The Nexus 7 has a newer quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and the Kindle Fire HD has a 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, but you can only compare the performance of these processors against the iPad once you benchmark them in the real world; the numbers and specs don't tell you everything. But I'd give the edge to the Nexus 7 purely on hardware.
Cameras: iPad Mini: front and rear-facing cameras. The camera on the back is a 5 megapixel, same as the iPad 4 but lower res than the iPhone 5's 8 MP camera. The Nexus and Amazon tablets have only front facing cameras that are lower resolution than the Mini.
Other Specs
The Mini will come in a Wifi-only model and an LTE version with access to cellular networks on the go. It will use the new smaller lightning connector so you'll need all new charging cords and adapters if you have lots of accessories with the previous 30-pin connector.
Apple says it gets 10 hours of battery life, is made primarily of aluminum & glass, and it comes in both black and white. It will be available for preorder on Friday, October 26 and is set to ship November 2.
iPad Mini 16GB WiFi only — $329 ($459 for the 16GB with LTE cellular connectivity)
iPad 4 16GB WiFi only — $499
Kindle Fire HD 16GB — $199
Nexus 7 16GB: $249 — But rumors are flying of an even cheaper Nexus tablet releasing next week and/or a big price cut on the Google tablet in time for the holidays.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

iPad Mini Latest News

"When it comes to evaluating the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is the (presumed) iPad mini. 
In order to compete in the 8-inch tablet market, most rumors have hinted that the iPad mini has been designed for compromise. Some sources say no cellular data. Others say no Retina. Still others say the price has to be compromised to accommodate the iPod touch....More at You're the Pundit: What will we get with the mini?"
 More Reading:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple CEO: We Blew It with Maps App

Cook said in a statement that Apple had let its customers down by putting out a subpar product. "We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and are doing everything we can to make Maps better," the statement read.
Apple's iPhone 5 went on sale Sept. 21, and complaints about the shortcomings of the Maps program started early and came often. In short, phone buyers felt Apple Maps wasn't even approaching the standard set by Google Maps, much less surpassing it, prompting a frantic search for a replacement.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Siri vs Samsung S-Voice

Very interesting results...Siri bested S-Voice in most of the test. When they both got it right, Siri was faster to the answer. Apple's presentation in it's results were much better than the S-Voice. Half of the results for the Galaxy, when it could not give me an answer, asked me if I would like to "search the web for answers...that's its job. Siri is the clear winner here, not surprising.

Apple Earpod Review

"These are very solid for a free pair of earphones, and they will outperform any of the previous Apple earphones that they have made previously, including the $80 Apple in-ear earphones".

Apple MacBook Pro 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 Notebook Computer - MC975LL/A (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apple Delay's iPhone 5 Shipping Times

Apple has already pushed back shipping estimates for iPhone 5 pre-orders, just hours after the phone was added to Apple's online store.
The iPhone page on Apple's online store promises a release date of Sept. 21 in retail stores, but the pre-order page for the phone says all three models--the 16GB, the 32GB and the 64GB--will be shipped in two weeks if ordered online today.
Read More Here.