Samsung Taps David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider, and Kit for Smart Home Ad

1 hour, 35 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Samsung released on Tuesday a rather entertaining commercial for its (lolbecauseapplehomekit) smart home effort. I'm not sure what exactly the commercial is pushing, but it features David Hasselhoff and his Knight Rider legacy, as well as William Daniels, reprising his role as the voice of Kit, Mr. Hasselhoff's "smart car." Of particular enjoyment is Mr. Hasselhoff's attempt to smooth talk a hot young member of the crew, who is plainly unimpressed and mentions her father might have talked about Knight Rider. Maybe. As I said above, it's very entertaining. One other note: that this commercial is devoid of specifics could suggest that Samsung has at last learned it lesson, and will wait to copy what Apple unveils after the unveiling rather than release a sad, pathetic excuse of a "FIRST POST!" product beforehand that it then has to apologize for later. We'll see. [Via Mashable]

Apple: Celebrity Photo Theft Due to Compromised Passwords, Not iCloud Security

1 hour, 50 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · News

Cloud Security

Apple released a statement Tuesday claiming that stolen celebrity photo thefts released over the holiday weekend were the result of targeted attacks on individual accounts, rather than a breach of iCloud security or Find My iPhone. The company said in an "Apple Media Advisory" that it was continuing to investigate and was working with law enforcement to identify the thieves.

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That statement was an uncharacteristically quick response for Apple—it's also a sign that the company wants to get out in front of this issue. This is precisely the kind of issue where Apple is best served by being open, transparent, and aggressive. 

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-09-02

4 hours, 6 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Your online photos may not be quite as safe as you think. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet talk about the news that nude photos from several celebrities have been stolen, how thermal imaging cameras can steal your credit card PIN code, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Analyst: New iPhones Coming, Maybe an iWatch, too

5 hours, 47 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Apple Stock Watch

With Apple's September 9 media event only days away, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says two iPhone models are coming with NFC support and a digital payment system may be announced, but he puts the odds on an iWatch announcement at 50 percent. He also expects first weekend iPhone 6 sales will be strong, but won't beat last year's 9 million unit iPhone launch.

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If first weekend iPhone 6 sales don't top iPhone 5S sales, get ready for the "Apple is doomed" reports. And if there isn't an iWatch announcement, the "If Steve Jobs were alive" articles won't be far behind.

Report Claims iWatch Still in Testing, No Sept 9 Unveiling

6 hours, 56 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's rumored iWatch is still in the engineering testing phase and hasn't made it to production testing yet, according to insider sources. The sources also say the iWatch won't make an appearance at Apple's September 9 media event.

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This looks like a case where someone is trying to weave an entire tapestry from a single thread, and they're misinterpreting what little information they have. What's more likely is that Apple will introduce its wearable next week, but won't ship anything until late this year or some time in early 2015.

Apple Lands Digital Wallet Deal with Amex, Visa, MasterCard

8 hours, 19 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's plans to turn our iPhones into digital wallets took a big leap forward now that the company has reportedly struck deals with American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. Along with the major credit card companies, Apple has deals in place with major retailers and banks, according to insider sources familiar with the company's plans.

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Assuming Apple does include NFC technology in the iPhone 6, it could be a move to support digital wallet systems outside the United States. Or, Apple could continue to ignore NFC and pursue its own digital payment system that combines WiFi, iBeacons, and apps.

Happy Labor Day

8:00 AM EDT, Sep. 1st, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

In observance of Labor Day, a U.S. holiday, The Mac Observer will be taking the day off for a little outdoor fun with friends and family, and we hope you are, too. We'll resume our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday, September 2. Enjoy the holiday!

How to Use a FLIR Camera to Steal a PIN Code, and How to Stop It

5:23 PM EDT, Aug. 31st, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

The FLIR One camera is a very cool personal thermal imaging camera that attaches to your iPhone. That's cool. I love this thing. It makes thermal imaging inexpensive and highly portable. It turns, out, however, that it also makes a long-known method of stealing a PIN code much more accessible, as shown in the video below. Mark Rober posted a detailed video to YouTube explaining and demonstrating the problem. Better still, he also shows you how to protect yourself against this method (touch all of the keys while you're entering your PIN). Show this to your friends and family and get them to spread the word. The screenshot I included shows the problem at a glance. Watch the video for the full story. [Via TheLoop]

{video} https://i.ytimg.com/vi/8Vc-69M-UWk/mqdefault.jpg {/video}

Apple’s Spaceship Campus through a Drone’s Eye

3:54 PM EDT, Aug. 31st, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out this very cool video of Apple's spaceship campus construction site, shot through a GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition mounted on a drone. We've seen several great photos from KCBS reporter Ron Cervi, but YouTube member jmcminn's high definition video is a feast for the Apple-obsessed eye. The video, which was shot on August 24th, shows more progress on the building's structure, including some slab work (or whatever futury thing Apple is doing for its foundation). Also, while we're here, think about the number of drones that could be flying over corporate HQ's everywhere sooner, rather than later. For company's like Apple whose ply in trade is built partially on secrets, drones are part of a brave new world. [Via Fortune -> @applespotlight]

{video} https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pfZvimPkKio/mqdefault.jpg {/video}

Get Free Bitcoins with 45 Website Faucets that Really Pay [Update]

8:00 PM EDT, Aug. 29th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Link

Bitcoin Faucets

I've gathered 45 different Bitcoin "faucets"—websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads—and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. I started off with eight sites, but this update adds several more and removes some faucets that have gone dark for a total of 41 different Bitcoin faucets that really pay, plus a Dogecoin faucet and a Litecoin faucet.