Apple really is hosting a media event on September 12 where it's all but certain we'll see a new iPhone announced. Hackers say the snatched 12 million iPhone identifier codes from the FBI, but the FBI says no way. Nokia showed off its new Lumia smartphones -- along with its poor fake video skills -- and Apple may be looking at launching its own streaming music service. Again. And Mac OS Ken's Ken Ray has a little something to throw down on all of those topics.
It's iPhone Time! Probably
Congratulations to iMore. That site's Rene Ritchie nailed the date weeks ago: Apple is holding a press event next Wednesday, September 12th. Apple sent out an invitation to select members of the press this week, calling them to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10AM Pacific Daylight Time.
That went out as I was recording a show with Clayton Morris about when Apple was gonna send out its invitation. Heh heh.
The text of the invition is simple, reading 'It's almost here.' And it offers no details beyond that. But the large "5" that appears in shadow beneath the number 12 blazoned across the invitation strongly suggests that the focus of the event will indeed be the forthcoming iPhone 5, or whatever Apple chooses to call it.
Yes, with a number "5" on the invitation, there are still questions about what the thing will be called.
New iPhone: Guessing the Numbers
How many of the "New iPhone 5 New iPhones" will Apple sell when it launches? Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is willing to guess, without knowing for sure what it looks like, or even what it does.
AppleInsider has Uncle Gene figuring that Apple could sell as many as 10 million of the new devices in just one week. In a note to investors issued Tuesday after Apple's invitations went out, Mr. Munster said starting sales in September could mean that iPhone sales expectations for the current quarter are too low.
Right now, Wall Street is expecting sales of between 22 million and 23 million iPhones this quarter, though his munificence thinks sales could go as high as 28 million units.
So I guess his expectations were lower than Wall Street's. Quoting AppleInsider, "Munster believes Apple could sell a total of between 6 million and 10 million new iPhones in the final week of September, barring potential supply issues."
Hackers & Free-range UDID Codes
Well, here's something fun: 12 million iOS UDIDs -- or unique device identifiers -- formerly in the hands of the FBI, currently in the hands of a hacker group, one million of which they've posted online.
CNET says AntiSec, a group associated with Anonymous, "claims to have posted 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers by breaching FBI security."
From what appears to be an AntiSec Pastebin post:
During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by Supervisor Special Agent (I'm not going to says his name) from (I'm not going to say his office except to say he's with the FBI)... was breached using the AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of "NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv" turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.
The post says AntiSec posted the UDIDs out of suspicion the FBI was using them for nefarious purposes, like tracking people. They also wanted to protest the use of UDIDs in general.
While the group says it has over 12 million UDIDs, AntiSec says it posted a million because it figured that would be enough to prove that what it had was what it said it had. The group also removed personal information such as full names, cell numbers, and addresses from the list it posted.
But they've got it. Assuming that what they have is, in fact, what they say they have.
Hey here's a question: Assuming that what they have is what they say they have, which scares you more: that the FBI is potentially tracking at least 12 million people through their iThings? Or that the FBI could just lose that information?
The FBI is denying the AntiSec claims. Wired has the Bureau saying,
The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.
I don't mean to split hairs but "there is no evidence indicating" is not quite the same as an unequivocal "no," is it?
Maybe if they cut down the verbiage. The FBI Press Office took to Twitter yesterday over the issue, saying: Statement soon on reports that one of our laptops with personal info was hacked. We never had info in question. Bottom Line: TOTALLY FALSE
Does that settle the story? Not really. I mean AntiSec did get the UDIDs from somewhere. And why would they want to rattle the cage of the Federal Bureau of Investigations with a complete lie? At the same time would the FBI just flat out lie about whether they had the info in question?
Lots of people lie about lots of things and lots of them smaller than these. I have no idea who's telling the truth here. And no idea if we'll ever really know.
Where are Langley, Frohike and Byers when you need them?
For Apple's part, AllThingsD has the all-things-iMaker issuing a statement, saying:
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.
So Apple says "It wasn't us" and the FBI sort of gingerly says "it wasn't us," though it feels more like what the FBI is saying is "don't look at us." And AntiSec is dancing around saying, "LOOK AT US! LOOK AT US!"
There is a fourth party or group in this story. The alleged file allegedly stolen from the alleged FBI guy's alleged computer -- and I say "alleged computer" because it was a Dell -- the file was named "NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv."
Wired says: The FBI did not say whether the NCFTA, which was allegedly referred to in the file name the hackers obtained, possessed the data.
NCFTA refers to the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance. The NCFTA is a non-profit that was founded in 1997 by FBI agent Dan Larkin as a conduit between private industry and law enforcement agencies to help them exchange data and cooperate on cases.
The organization's members include financial institutions, telecommunications firms, ISPs, and other private industries.
So even if the FBI didn't have it, an organization that works with the FBI and banks and ISPs and telcos and who knows who else may have. Meantime, the Twitter account AnonymousIRC, which is believed to be associated with AntiSec, says, "People whose UDID was on the list released by AntiSec might want to compare their installed apps. A common culprit might be found."
Using the powers of deductive reasoning that just leaves one possibility: anyone.
Lumia & It's Almost Real Camera
S is for September. S is also for smartphones, as this week and next week will likely prove.
BusinessInsider says Microsoft and Nokia got together in the New York City this week to introduce the Nokia Lumia 820 and the flagship Nokia Lumia 920, both of which will be powered by Windows Phone 8. And boy oh boy did they screw up the 920 intro. More on that in a bit.
The 820 will be a 4.3-inch device with NFC technology and a "Carl Zeiss lens for sharp photos." Storage is the buyer's call, being dictated by the microSD card slipped into the machine.
And users can change the back shell on the device. Seven colors from which to choose, meaning Nokia Lumia 820 owners can have a different color phone every day of the week.
When it'll be available, how much it'll cost and who will carry it? Small issues not mentioned at the event. One assumes it'll be the budget smartphone, though, since its not as robust as the 920.
That dual-core device features a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, an 8MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics and this awesome technology called PureView with which Nokia really wanted to impress people. So they faked the demo.
A piece on that debacle from Electronista says: One benefit of PureView is Nokia's optical image stabilization (OIS), as demonstrated in promotional media, featuring a couple recording with the phone as they ride down a river road. The ad showed side-by-side video, representing the OIS feature in action. Nokia has since confirmed in an apology that the video was not shot with the Lumia 920 as originally represented, but by a film crew with physical stabilization, on a truck riding alongside the couple.
The Verge was the first to spot the gaffe publicly, noting "a curious reflection in the window of the trailer in the background. It's not a young man riding his bicycle alongside the cheerful model, but instead a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway -- with what appears to be a large camera rig."
In an apology on its official blog, Nokia says "hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologize for the confusion we created."
Seriously? If I put the salt next to the sugar and you grab the salt thinking it's sugar, I should apologize for the confusion I created. If -- on the other hand -- I hand you salt and tell you it's sugar, I should apologize for lying. Or, probably I should just hand you sugar in the first place.
The rest of the camera's supposed to be pretty neat (and let's hope it actually works). The company claims it has a stellar maps experience, a great big battery, and that wireless charging thing we've heard rumored for the phone over the past few days.
When it'll be available, how much it'll cost and who will carry it? Small issues not mentioned at the event.
Stream for Me, Apple
And finally, today, the streaming music service from Apple rumors are back.
The Wall Street Journal says Apple "is looking to create a streaming radio service to rival current offerings like Pandora in a supposed attempt to protect its position as the world's largest music dealer."
How does offering free music protect your position as the biggest music seller? Follow-up question, how many times have we done this story or stories like it?
The piece says talks have just gotten underway so this is nothing we'll see anytime soon, if ever. Story's out there. Read more about it if you like. I think I'm kind of done with it until Apple actually announces something.