Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]

Teen gets Probation for Hacking into Apple Servers

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hacker breaking in to Apple servers

The Australian teen who was arrested for hacking into Apple’s servers and making off with more than 90 GB of data has been sentenced to eight months probation. The defendant’s attorney said it was all innocent fun because he was just a big Apple fan. The magistrate, however, saw it differently. Bloomberg quotes her:

Your offending is serious. It was sustained, sophisticated, and a successful attack on the security of a major multinational corporation.

The teen’s “fun” took place between June 2015 and November 2016, and again in April 2017. He’s lucky, because had he been charged as an adult he could’ve been facing 10 years in jail.

Kids Already Working Around iOS 12 Screen Time Limitations

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Child play with Apple iPad

Screen Time in iOS 12 sounds like a great way to keep your kids from spending too much time playing on their iPhone or iPad—unless you’re a kid. To that end, kids have already found ways to work around parent-imposed limits. Some are changing the date and time on their devices, and others are more creative. Business Insider reports one parent saying,

Finally today, my son revealed his hack: When he runs out of screen time and his games get locked, he heads to App Store, downloads a previously installed (but later removed) game through the cloud icon, and it works without limitations!

That’s how resourceful a 7-year-old can be. Maybe Apple should start hiring kids for its Screen Time team.

OmniFocus 3 for the Mac Gets New Forecast View, More Powerful Filtering

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The Omni Group released OmniFocus 3 for the Mac on Monday. The new version of the powerful task management app has a new Forecast view with a redesigned chronological task and calendar list. Version 3 also includes tags for better organization, more control over repeating tasks, ands more. OmniFocus Pro users also get sophisticated filtering rules. And both versions include light and dark mode views. OmniFocus 3 for the Mac is priced US$39.99 for the standard version and $79.99 for the Pro version. You can download OmniFocus 3 at the Omni Group website, or through Apple’s Mac App Store.

OmniFocus 3 for the Mac Gets New Forecast View, More Powerful Filtering

Apple, Salesforce Partnership has Marriott Putting HomePod in Hotel Rooms

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HomePod on a shelf too close to the wall

Apple’s partnership with Salesforce could turn in to a big boost for HomePod sales. Marriott plans to use software that comes from the team up with HomePods in hotel rooms so customers can use their voice to change the room temperature, order food, and more. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said,

At Salesforce’s annual customer conference this week, Marriott International will demonstrate a new system that uses Salesforce and Apple tools so that hotel guests can turn up the heat, order a sandwich or hail a ride using Siri with an Apple HomePod in their hotel room. And at the next Marriot the guest stays at, Siri will remember the guest’s preferences—even their favorite sandwich.

That sounds like an opportunity for a lot of HomePod exposure and a nice way to boost user familiarity. I wonder if Marriott customers will feel comfortable with a HomePod in their room, or if they’ll worry about privacy.

Qualcomm Says Apple Stole Trade Secrets, Gave them to Intel

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Apple suing Qualcomm over patent royalty payments

Apple and Qualcomm’s ongoing legal battle just took an interesting turn. Qualcomm is now accusing Apple of stealing its LTE modem-related trade secrets and giving the information to Intel. Axios quotes from the legal filing:

Although discovery is ongoing, it is clear that Apple’s conduct went far beyond simply breaching the contract originally sued on. Indeed, it is now apparent Apple engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm’s confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance of lower-quality modem chipsets, with the ultimate goal of eliminating Qualcomm’s Apple-based business.

That’s a pretty serious allegation, and one that could be a major headache for Apple if it proves to be true. It’s no secret Apple was tired of relying exclusively on Qualcomm for iPhone modem chips and felt it was paying too much in patent royalties. Their case is scheduled for trial next spring, and it’s looking like it’ll be filled with drama.

Apple Watch Series 4 Unboxing

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Apple Watch Series 4 is available now with bigger displays and new ECG heart monitoring sensors. The Mac Observer’s Jeff Gamet checks out the new smartwatch in this unboxing video.