It started as a petition needing only 100,000 signatures requesting that the White House make an official response to the right of cellphone owners to lawfully unlock their cellphones. The Library Of Congress deemed unlocking one's cellphone illegal in October 2012; a ruling that would take affect in the new year. Now, the White House has officially announced that they too agree with the 114K petitioners. It recommends that cellphones be unlocked as long as the customers first meet their carrier's contractual agreement. The White House has even included tablets to the list of devices. Consequently, the Library of Congress has agreed and support the review their policy, which was strongly urged by the FCC.
"The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs." - White House Administration
Read More | White House
Six grueling years of the ACCC dragging Google in and out of Australian courtrooms and hearings for "misleading advertisements" displayed in search results have now come to an end.
Five Australian High Court judges have overturned a ruling requiring Google to set up programs that properly vet ads. The lawsuits started because of the specific claim that if one were to search Google in 2006 for "Honda Austrailia," the user would also be shown sponsored ads from competing car companies. This new ruling, however, proves that the concern of the ACCC is an outdated one.
Read More | Reuters
Tis the season for stealing! No, what? 7,000 Nintendo Wii U consoles were nabbed from a SeaTac Seattle Air Cargo warehouse on Saturday night. Get this--the getaway vehicles were two semi trailers. The burglars managed to use forklifts to steal the pallets of the gaming consoles. It is speculated that it was an inside job. Police authorities are on the lookout for two semi trailers with the branding logo of McKinney. However, more likely than not, these will end up on internet sites such and Craigslist and eBay. Considering that each unit costs $300, it's not crazy to say that the thieves walked away with roughly 2.1 million dollars. Like they say, it's the most wonderful time of the year!
Read More | ABC News
Here's what Samsung had to say:
"Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court. In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice."
Read More | The Verge
Heard of the Capper that nabbed 1.5 million worth of iPads from John F. Kennedy Airport? Coincidentally, the heist happened in the same building used in the movie Goodfellas. You can't make this stuff up! If you haven't heard, here's the story:
Right before midnight on Monday the 12th, robbers used JFK airport forklifts to load two pallets of iPads onto a truck. An airport worker, who was returning from break, saw and confronted the group but was unable to stop them. Law enforcement believes this was an inside job. It has been reported that airport worker, Renal Rene Richardson, was arrested as an accomplice for allegedly acting as a look-out. The FBI was tipped off by other workers who reported that Mr. Richardson made inquiries as to where the iPads were being stored and the location of the forklifts. The other suspects remain at large.
Read More | http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/15/appleipad-minis-theft-jfk/
Another example of a thief not understanding technology. A man was arrested for allegedly stealing a fifteen-year-old girl's smartphone at knife point, and then inadvertently uploaded a picture of himself on the victim's Facebook account. According to the girl's police report, she was playing with her younger brother at the playground when two men approached and stole her smartphone. As always, practice "out of sight of out mind" and know your surroundings, as small mobile electronics are high on thieves hit list.
Read More | WCVB
Apple acknowledged today that it has been legally ordered by a UK judge to publicly state on Apple.com, or a full page ad in a UK newspaper, that Samsung tablets are "not as cool" as the iPad. The UK's case revolved around whether Samsung's tablets infringed on the iPad design and trade dress, which Apple lost. Such a verdict leads one to conclude that if Samsung's designs were, in fact, "cool," that Apple would have won the case.
Leave it up to Apple's genius to take full advantage of the situation by killing two birds with one stone. By including the judges contradictory ruling verbatim, they highlighted the unflattering statements regarding Samsung products compared to Apple's, as well Samsung's failure to make its products cool based on the perspective of "the informed users overall impression." The saving grace for Samsung is based specifically on the choice of name branding on the back of the device.
Read More | Apple
Somber news for the jailbreaking and unlocking community. Per rule of the Library of Congress, it will be illegal to unlock any smartphone (including iPhone) or jailbreak any tablet (including iPad) purchased after January 1, 2013. The only exception is jailbreaking or rooting a smartphone, which is covered by the DMCA for the next three years.
B. Wireless telephone handsets – software interoperability
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.
C. Wireless telephone handsets – interoperability with alternative networks
Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable a wireless telephone handset originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, if the operator of the wireless communications network to which the handset is locked has failed to unlock it within a reasonable period of time following a request by the owner of the wireless telephone handset, and when circumvention is initiated by the owner, an individual consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of the computer program in such wireless telephone handset, solely in order to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, and such access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
This exemption is a modification of the proponents’ proposal. It permits the circumvention of computer programs on mobile phones to enable such mobile phones to connect to alternative networks (often referred to as “unlocking”), but with limited applicability. In order to align the exemption to current market realities, it applies only to mobile phones acquired prior to the effective date of the exemption or within 90 days thereafter. - US Library of Congress.
Read More | Library of Congress
Yet another case of malware found on Google Play. A 20-year-old man suspected of an elaborate Android Trojan SMS scheme was arrested in France. The alleged hacker tallied over 17,000 Android users that installed malicious software posed as copy cat apps. The scheme works by sending SMS messages at a premium cost. The hacker then earns a micro-transaction fee, leaving the unsuspecting user with an unexpected hefty monthly bill.
The hacker informed French authorities that he was more motivated by the technical aspect than monetary gain and had goals of becoming a software engineer. Cyber criminals have made inroads into making malware in the Android platform partly because the Google Play Store is open and is not curated and vetted for security like Apple's App Store. Hackers have created clone malware of popular apps like Skype, Instagram, and Angry birds. Some of these apps steal personal information and passwords and can capture pretty much anything you type.
Computer venders Security, like Sophos, strongly advise Android users to be vigilant and also install their free anti-virus security suite.
Read More | The Register
"The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization. Additionally, with iOS 6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID" - Natalie Keriss Apple Spokeswoman
Unique Device Identifiers, or UDIDs, are somewhat similar to a serial number or a social security number for devices. It is comprised of about 40 alphanumeric characters that basically identifies you as the device owner. It could be used for targeted ads and marketing analytics, or it can be utilized for development purposes like app and software distribution.
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