Thursday, March 17, 2011

Apple Rethinks Inventory Management, Scrambles Online Order Numbers




Apple has made changes to how it handles iPad 2 inventory deliveries and scrambled its online order numbers, according to an AppleInsider report.

Sources tell the site that Apple has decided to have retail stores hold on to new shipments until the next day in an effort to ease the sales process for customers and employees.

A person familiar with Apple's retail operations informed AppleInsider this week that the new shipment of iPad 2 stock sold by some stores on Tuesday was actually delivered on Monday. Apple is said to have elected to hold the inventory for a next-day sale to grant its inventory control specialists the time to "calmly and accurately" process new shipments.

Interestingly, Apple has also decided to scramble its online order numbers to prevent analysts from using them to estimate iPad sales figures.

Last year, for the first-generation iPad launch, enthusiastic users at the Investor Village AAPL Sanity Board compared order numbers and cracked Apple's code to calculate total sales. In response, a person familiar with Apple's ordering systems explained that the company changed its Web order number generating method to a random number.




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Saurik Comments on the Status of Cydia




Saurik has penned a very detailed commentary on current status of Cydia and what's being done to improve it.

The huge comment below was left on an iPhoneDownloadBlog article about Cydia 1.1.

[via EvilPenguin]

-----

● "Multitasking is a must and not having it is rather pathetic especially since iOS 4 has been out 8 months."

This is simply not possible at this time. I realize everyone wants it, and hell: I want it, too; but everyone saying it is important doesn't make it possible. The reason Cydia doesn't have iOS 4 compliant multi-tasking is that, to make the modifications it makes to the system, it runs as "root", a user that has more permissions on the system than anything else, which means that SpringBoard, a lowly process running as "mobile", cannot suspend/resume it.

Now, this is something that /can/ be remedied, and is something that I've been thinking of how to do for a long time, but all the obvious ways people like to bring up for making Cydia's GUI run as mobile with only small parts running as root would make Cydia run slower, and speed is something that is primary on everyone's minds when they are using Cydia. Luckily, there are things I've figured out that may make this more reasonably possible, but certainly not for this release.

● "The ability to leave mobile substrate on when using Cydia. I understand it's to reduce intstalling app conflicts but not having access to SBSettings is a pain especially since Cydia doesn't multitask yet! BOO."

If you did this you would find your system would suddenly become unusable. I realize that it sounds all nice and fuzzy that Mobile Substrate should modify all applications on the system, including Cydia, but again: Cydia runs as root. Almost all extensions in the ecosystem are NOT designed with this in mind, and when suddenly given root access start destroying the permissions of your configuration files and Media folders, making all normal applications unable to use them.

Therefore, with this release of Cydia, I've gone through the "big ticket items"–which seem to come down to Activator (what starts SBSettings), libstatusbar (adds notification items to the status bar), and SimulatedKeyEvents (injection of key events from Veency)–to verify with their developers that they will work correctly in an environment running as root. These extensions (plus WinterBoard, which doesn't work on root on 4.x but is harmless, and will be fixed in a future release) are what are available from inside of Cydia until Cydia is modified to run as mobile.

● "I for one can't wait for a better looking interface. And a auto back up function would be great. Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see it"

A backup function actually does not require pushing a new build of Cydia, but it requires time to figure out how to scale the users to support the kind of load Cydia has. Cydia is running with many orders of magnitudes more users than any of its competitors have, which means that a lot of things that people like to think "should be simple, X did it" are actually much harder to implement. I also keep privacy at the forefront of my mind while building features like this, and want to be 100% certain that no one can get access to your installed products list other than you.

As for a "better looking interface", I try hard to maintain something that competes with Apple's products. A few things rotted on 4.x (the positions and sizes of some buttons), and the various "black" interfaces (the black bar and the black screen) get mixed reports, but otherwise the main problem users have with Cydia is not Cydia: it is with repositories. Every time I've gotten actual feedback "this specific thing is bad", where that thing isn't something that Apple themselves do in their iTunes or App Store applications (which should be taken as the "intuitive model"), it is in areas of the interface I simply do not have any control over: the content shown for a package by the repository.

● "less geeky terms (for instance, why ‘Changes' when they should really say ‘new releases/updates'?)"

Maybe I'm crazy, but I always thought of the word "Changes" to be a very non-geeky end-user term for "stuff that changed". It certainly isn't a technical term: it was not chosen because of some geeky desire to have the codebase match the UI, nor was it chosen because it had some esoteric meaning in Latin or Greek. It was instead chosen as it was a single word that immediately meant to the largest number of people I talked to exactly what that page did: showed you what changed. Regardless, "New Releases/Updates" certainly won't fit on a tab label.

● "Hopefully Cydia 1.1 will be much more faster!"

As with /every/ release of Cydia, Cydia 1.1 is faster than previous releases. In specific, it is faster than 1.0.3366 by a good margin, which itself was faster than 1.0.3222 by an even larger chasm. On this note, however, it is important to note that Cydia is tackling a hard problem: no other application I have seen on the iPhone, from Apple or any third party, is attempting to search index and manage tens of thousands of data items, on the client, in real time, aggregated from user-selected sources.

In contrast, Cydia has some of the fastest technology in existence with regards to handling this data, whether it be custom algorithms (Cydia includes a locale-aware string comparison radix sort, which AFAIK is the fastest sorting algorithm in any iOS application) or special on-disk data structures (new in 1.1 is "Cytore", a new way to store local metadata on packages that can be loaded nearly instantaneously from flash; for those out there who are technically minded, it is an on-disk memory mapped hashtable, which drastically beats out alternatives people like to try to bring up such as SQLite).

● "less loading data (do i REALLY need to see all the changes in the list at once?)"

Despite myths to the contrary, the amount of data displayed in the Changes list does not drastically affect how quickly it loads. There /was/ a bug in many versions of Cydia 1.0 that caused there to be at least a little delay related to the number of items on the list, but this bug was already fixed as of 1.0.3366. The cost of the calculation is deciding what entries should be on the list at all (and specifically which ones are actually updates vs. new releases), not displaying them all at once. That said, Cydia 1.0.3366 moves the loading of changes until after you click the tab, which makes it more evidence how much time is being spent on this feature (which itself is, again, faster on 1.1).

● "Less memory usage"

Despite Cydia 1.1 continuing to attempt to juggle tens of thousands of items in memory, thanks to Cytore, it uses much less memory than ever before. Other optimizations have been made, as with every version of Cydia, in order to decrease the memory usage of the app as a whole. Additionally, and in particular, Cydia 1.1 is much more conscientious of memory warnings, and attempts to throw out as much state as possible during these events.

That said, the amount of memory on even reasonably modern devices (anything past the iPhone 3G) available for running applications (not in total, but available after Apple's system applications get their share), is an order of magnitude greater: whereas on an iPhone 3G you were working with maybe 20MB of available memory, on an iPhone 3G[S] you have 150MB, and an on iPhone 4 you have 400MB available. So, despite Cydia 1.1 actually needing less memory to operate than Cydia 1.0, the pressure on memory is pretty much gone, and will not affect future users thanks to hardware upgrades.

● "I agree with many of the other comments listed above, but what I find most important is stability, speed and more advanced search capibilities. For instance, if someone types in an app name wrong or just wants to type in a keyword in a search, Cydia should provide suggestions."

Unfortunately, this device is simply too slow to provide "advanced search capabilities", and certainly not suggestions, given the constraints of "from user-selected repositories" "in something resembling real time". That said, Cydia 1.1 has a much better search mechanism, including an integer-arithmetic radix-sorted relevancy algorithm I managed to implement.

What would really be needed to have a truly amazing search experience is to not do searching on the client: to instead handle it on my servers. This is how products like the App Store, Kindle, or Netflix work: it is not at all common for services users are used to to attempt to manage the entire database /on the device/, doing local searching, rather than having the data and computation for that existing in offline-indexed search structures on a massive server in the cloud.

Unfortunately, the reason people use Cydia are varied, and many people are using Cydia with repositories that frankly they shouldn't be: whether the repository contains software that is dangerous (a niche community with tweaks receiving minimal testing, or using bad practices like on-disk file patching) or downright illegal (there are things you are allowed to do in your country that I cannot in mine), I am certainly not going to be acting as the centralized storage and indexing gateway for people to find and manage this content.

Instead, what keeps people coming back to Cydia is the fact that it acts as the fundamental alternative: that rather going to Apple, with their carefully curated set of centralized experiences, you go to Cydia, "the wild west of software", where software modifies other software in a kind of reckless
abandon that is going to lead to pain even in the best possible scenarios, and in the worst possible worlds is going to lead to things that you will not be able to list on a default repository, and which Cydia may even warn you about installing, but which you should still be able to access and even search for using Cydia's search mechanisms.

● "Finally, i hope they fixed those awful errors cydia give you everything time you open it."

Errors from Cydia do not come from Cydia. If you type a URL into Cydia for a broken repository, that repository is going to be low-quality and is going to cause you problems. If it is offline, Cydia is going to tell you it is offline, and if it is malformed Cydia is going to get angry about that. Cydia is simply going to sit there idly while there are a ton of broken and offline repositories in your list: it will tell you all of the errors involved in the hope that you will remove the broken repositories and get on with your life (which is a very apt metaphor, as most third party repositories are very slow, and cause your refresh experience to take a very very very long time).

● "I want to see a rate and review section added like on the app store."

We actually tried this, and it was a miserable failure: more time had to be spent moderating the reviews, most of which were misleading, inflammatory, or downright inappropriate, than anyone got value out of this mechanism: it was even worse than on the App Store, which is notorious for bad reviews (people often rate down a package for inane reasons, making the data horribly invalid).

Given these issues, I attempted to put together a vision of how comments and ratings could work in Cydia, and even made a trial implementation (screenshots were even handed out at some points, and I did demos at a few conferences), but when word came up that I was even considering releasing it, I received strong pushback from some of the best developers in the ecosystem–the people you are most likely to want to give mega-good reviews to–that if I continued with that they would give up on the ecosystem, due to the issues from before.

And, to be honest, I am not certain that I would have solved those problems, and given subsequent experiences from alternative products, and looking at how people used the ratings, what people said in the comments, and how things finally got rated, I no longer believe that I would have: I believe the concept of the off-the-shelf "comments and ratings" to be a fundamentally flawed system that inherently leads to abuse.

Now, not all rating systems need to be "off-the-shelf", so something truly innovating and "actually solving the problem" is what I hope to one day provide for Cydia. In the meantime, however, I always do my best to avoid injecting seriously suboptimal tradeoffs into our ecosystem.

● "It'll be important though that device and iOS version are included though since so many differences w compatibilty."

You are, however, preaching to the choir here. Cydia has, for a while, contained numerous features that would allow repositories to help with this problem.

1) a mechanism to specify firmware compatibility on packages (packages can Depends: specific firmware revisions).

2) the Cydia Store lets vendors block purchases for specific firmwares (any paid product can register its compatibility with its repository, and then I will filter it to users who can use it).

3) the firmware version is sent as part of the user-agent to the web pages for each product, allowing developers to display their own warnings.

4) compatibility is even more specially able to be done by feature detection, allowing packages to say "I need voiceover support on a device with a camera running an armv7 CPU and a retina screen".

In essence, there is very little excuse for packages, repositories, products, or anything else in the Cydia ecosystem to be poorly specified in terms of firmware compatibility. That said, almost no packages in the ecosystem, and even very few products (where one would imagine this to be the most important), have this information included at any of these levels, which is rather disappointing.

So, Cydia 1.1 is not going to attempt to improve on any of these mechanisms, as Cydia 1.0 already has more than enough of them: the real onus is now on the developers and artists of specific items.

● "Also would like to see a lot of dead content pulled"

I do not have any control over what content is available in Cydia. I mean, I can refuse to personally accept money for it, but I have almost no introspection over things that are either free or sold on the developer's website. For years I have attempted to get repositories to pull obsolete packages: they refuse. Instead of lobbying me, who agrees with you and is powerless, you need to be sending these complaints to the default repositories: BigBoss, ModMyi, and ZodTTD.

● "Tags saying if installation of apps/tweaks, etc need a springboard refresh or the device needs to reboot."

While this is often stated, this is simply not how this mechanism works: packages compute whether they need a reboot or reload as they install, allowing packages to make optimizations like "I only need to reboot if the user is using this firmware version and has this other package installed with this setting specified". In fact, all of my packages that need features like this attempt these optimizations, and often you will not need as many reboots or reloads because of it.

Therefore, specifying this as static tags on a package would increase the number of reboots a user has to perform needlessly. That said, for packages where it is not obvious (extensions are going to require a reload, and MobileSubstrate is going to require a reboot), such as cases of MMS clients that require a reboot, it should certainly be best practice for the developer to put this information on their package information screen. This is even easier for the developer/vendor than modifying the package, and even then is very uncommonly specified: adding the tag therefore won't even change how often it is reported.

● "In regard to stability, it would be nice if Cydia had a solution for repos or apps that didn't add correctly, instead of just having endless errors popping up. These fixes alone, to me would be more beneficial than a new redesign to Cydia's layout or other cosmetic changes."

With regards to repositories that did not add correctly, as stated by Ryan Petrich, Cydia 1.1 should no longer end up in situations where broken repositories are so unusable that they are also undeletable. That said, many users complain about repositories installed via a package: to delete these repositories you will need to remove the package that represents them.

(Due to some of these complexities, it is Cydia policy going forward that no repositories will be installable from default repositories via packages, and the existing ones under More Sources will be transitioned to a new mechanism for handling these that has been added that will allow more direct, simpler, and safer manipulation of repositories using a soon-to-be-revamped More Sources page.)

============

Thank you all, by the way, for your interest in Cydia: the fact that you care at all about what features are or are not in Cydia 1.1 means a lot to everyone working on the project.



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The New York Times Launches Digital Subscriptions




The New York Times announced today that it is launching digital subscriptions for its Web site, NYTimes.com, and its applications for smartphone and tablet. The subscription plan allows for free access to a set amount of content across digital platforms. When the monthly reading limit is reached, users who are not already home delivery subscribers will be asked to become digital subscribers.

Digital subscriptions will be available in the United States and globally on March 28, 2011. The Times is launching digital subscriptions in the Canadian market beginning today in order to fine-tune the customer experience prior to the global launch.

For non-home delivery subscribers, the basic package - NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App - will start at $15 every four weeks. The NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App package is currently available for purchase by users in Canada. On March 28, the global launch, The Times will offer three digital subscription packages, all of which include access to the Web site. Details are outlined below.

In making today's announcement, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times, said, "Today marks a significant transition for The Times, an important day in our 159-year history of evolution and reinvention. Our decision to begin charging for digital access will result in another source of revenue, strengthening our ability to continue to invest in the journalism and digital innovation on which our readers have come to depend. This move will enhance The Times's position as a source of trustworthy news, information and high-quality opinion for many years to come."

Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, added, "As the market for and delivery of digital content evolves, we believe that supplementing advertising revenue with digital subscription revenue makes tremendous sense. The step we are taking today will further improve our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers across the world on any platform, while maintaining the large and growing audience that supports our robust advertising business."

Details about the digital subscription:
● All users of NYTimes.com are able to enjoy 20 articles at no charge each month (including slideshows, videos and other forms of content). Beyond 20 articles and for open access to the site, users will be asked to become digital subscribers.
● On The Times's smartphone and tablet applications, the Top News section will remain free. To delve deeper into the apps' other sections, users will be asked to become digital subscribers.
● The Times is offering three digital subscription packages that allow users to choose the devices on which they want to access Times content. NYTimes.com will be included as part of any subscription. Details and pricing for these plans is available at www.nytimes.com/access. Introductory offers will be available.
● All New York Times home delivery newspaper subscribers receive free, unlimited access* to NYTimes.com and the full content on all of The Times's applications. Home delivery subscribers can go to http://homedelivery.nytimes.com to sign up for free access.
● Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media will be able to access those individual articles, even if they have reached their reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles.
● The homepage at NYTimes.com and all section fronts will remain free to browse for all users at all times.

In keeping with Apple's new subscription service terms, The Times will make 1-click purchase available in the App Store by June 30 to ensure that readers can continue to access Times apps on Apple devices.

Subscribers to the print edition of the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times, will receive free, unlimited access* to NYTimes.com.

For more details about The Times's digital subscriptions, go to www.nytimes.com/access, or see the FAQ's: www.nytimes.com/digitalfaq.











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An Open Letter to Jon Bon Jovi On What’s Really “Killing The Music Business”




By Jeremy Horwitz
Editor-in-Chief, iLounge

Hi Jon,

When my wife—a huge and long-time Bon Jovi fan—asked me to spend over $300 for two floor seat tickets to your Valentine’s Day show in Toronto, there were two reasons that I said yes. First, I really love my wife, and would do almost anything for her. Second, I looked through my iTunes collection and realized that there were more good Bon Jovi songs inside than there were for most of the musicians I “love.” Once my wife assured me that your concerts focus mostly on the songs I liked, I plunked down the cash for the seats, and spent the next four months watching my wife smile every time we discussed Valentine’s Day.

To be totally honest with you, the concert was great. We both had a lot of fun, snapped pictures and video clips from the floor, and told our friends and family how much we enjoyed it.



But now you’re putting our happy memories in jeopardy. For whatever reason, you told The Sunday Times Magazine during an interview that “Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.” I’m not going to try and tell you all of the ways that you’re deeply, profoundly wrong. Instead, I’m just going to focus on a few of them.

(1) My wife has carried around all of your albums (and many more) on Steve Jobs’ Apple devices since she bought her first iPod years ago. I know from personal experience that she taps into your collection at home, in the car, and on vacations—literally at the drop of a hat, whenever she wants. If she hadn’t, I would have forgotten about your band back in the 1980’s. No CD player or radio station would have changed that, I can guarantee you.

(2) When we got married, her music collection became mine and vice-versa. It’s because of her collection of Bon Jovi music—and her constant access to it on Apple’s devices—that I could look at my iTunes library and realize how many of your songs I liked.

(3) We attended your concert in Toronto a month ago. Photos from that concert were uploaded to Facebook using our iPhones, and from my digital camera using a Mac. And when I was testing the iPad 2, guess what I used as examples to show off how the new version of iMovie can edit videos from digital cameras? Sample concert footage. And it looked pretty great, too.



Jon, you lead the world’s top-earning touring band, which made $146.5 million on its last tour alone. If the music business is being killed, you’re still doing exceptionally well, so it’s hard to understand why you’d be complaining about anything right now. But let me take a guess or two.

In the interview, you seem to be upset that kids no longer buy an entire album based on the cover, and suggest that people would be better off not knowing what it sounds like before they make a purchase. I’m sorry, but that’s just crazy. Yes, Apple lets people buy singles rather than entire albums. It also lets people preview tracks before buying albums, and recently extended those previews to 90 seconds per song. This way, potential customers can be sure they’re getting what they want before hitting the buy button—a good idea because those of us who aren’t making tens of millions of dollars a year don’t want to buy bad songs, or worse yet, entire albums full of junk. Singles and previewing let us pick out the tracks we like, rather than having to pay for filler. And there’s a lot of filler in the music business these days.


Taken on an iPhone 4

During the concert in Toronto, and presumably many others you’ve performed over the years, the audience clearly wanted to hear your hits. Crowd noise dimmed significantly every time you said you were going to play “new stuff,” but the energy level went through the roof whenever a classic track started to play. As an aging rock star—granted, one who puts on a hell of a show—you must hate that each stadium full of people just wants to hear the songs you put out 20 years ago. You surely want to point fingers at the system that distributes your music, the way people consume music these days, other performers, and anything other than the music itself for not catching on. At one point in the concert, you knocked Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and seemingly Madonna and Justin Timberlake for not being real musicians. As talented as you may be, it’s obvious that you’re angry about popular music for some reason.

You shouldn’t be. If you don’t realize it already, iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac have given you a platform that would have been inconceivable when you were a kid. You constantly live in your fans’ pockets, on their computers, and inside their cameras. That attachment leads them, and in some cases their spouses, to keep listening to you, watching you, and paying you for more. The more good music you make, the more Apple has empowered you to make money on it in some way, and to spread the word to others. Like me. Like the friends we reached on Facebook. And so on.



Steve Jobs isn’t the problem here. The music industry is the problem—too many bad songs are the problem. It’s the reason the audience doesn’t roar when you talk about playing a new track or two that were added for a re-release of your greatest hits. If your greatest hits were from the last three years, imagine how much money you’d be making on album sales even beyond your touring.

Speaking just for myself, the next Bon Jovi concert I’ll consider attending now will be one with a completely different set list of tracks that I like as much as the ones you released 20 years ago. All you have to do is start recording them, and I promise that my wife or I will purchase them. So will the rest of your fans. Until that happens, and other musicians start churning out great music by the album rather than the song, the industry’s going to be in trouble. And if it keeps blaming the system rather than itself, it will deserve its fate.

Best,

Jeremy

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Judge Gives Sony Access to Geohot's Paypal Account




Magistrate Joseph Spero has ruled that Sony may subpoena Geohot's Paypal account to obtain the information of anyone who donated to him.

This is the latest in a series of questionable rulings in which Spero has allowed Sony to access Geohot's hosting, YouTube, and Twitter accounts in their quest to prosecute Geohot for jailbreaking the PS3.

Wired notes that "The latest development allows the Japanese console maker to acquire 'documents sufficientto identify the source of funds (.pdf) in California that went into any PayPal account associated with geohot@gmail.com for the period of January 1, 2009, to February 1, 2011,' Spero ruled."

It's not exactly clear but we are hoping the only information Sony can obtain is the geographical location of donators. Sony is trying to sue Geohot in San Francisco rather then in his home state of New Jersey.



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WordPress for iOS Update Fixes Over 100 Bugs, Adds Pull to Refresh




WordPress for iOS has been updated with over 100 bug fixes and the ability to 'Pull to Refresh'

It's easy to manage your WordPress blog or site from your iOS device. With WordPress for iOS, you can moderate comments, create or edit posts and pages, and add images or videos with ease. All you need is a WordPress.com blog or a self-hosted WordPress.org site running 2.9.2 or higher.

What's New In This Version:
After three months of development, WordPress for iOS 2.7 is now available and fixes over 100 bugs, which means better performance and fewer crashes.

We've also cleaned up the user interface to make it easier to manage your blog. For example, now you can just use "Pull to refresh" to update the Comments, Posts, and Pages lists.

You can download WordPress from the App Store for free.









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Steve Jobs Offers Help to Apple Team in Japan




Steve Jobs has sent a message to the Apple Team in Japan offering help to those who need it.

-----
To Our Team in Japan,

We have all been following the unfolding disaster in Japan. Our hearts go out to you and your families, as well as all of your countrymen who have been touched by this tragedy.

If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.

Again, our hearts go out to you during this unimaginable crisis.
Please stay safe.
Steve and the entire Executive Team
-----

Click here to read an account of how Apple handled the crisis in Japan. You can donate to help here.


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Apple Posts Three New 'If You Don't Have an iPhone' Ads




Apple has posted three new ads that all begin with 'If you don't have an iPhone you don't have...'

Take a look below.










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SIM Interposer Provides Legally Questionable Unlock For All iPhone 4s Video




Gevey has released a SIM Interposer which can unlock the iPhone up to iOS 4.3 by force activating the baseband using the emergency dialer.

A blog post by Laforet explains that the SIM Interposer works by adding a EEPROM chip to your SIM card just like a TurboSIM. You then call 112, a number that can be called from any GSM phone, free of charge, with or without a SIM card on any compliant network. Once the call connects you hang up then toggle Airport mode on and off. When the network connection resumes you will be unlocked.

What does it mean to unlockers?
1. It works if A.your network handles 112 calls properly according to the GSM standard; B.they are tolerant to TSMI spoofing and does not actively validate your SIM again for incoming calls.

2. Unlike its ancestors, the i4 SIM interposer is not a drop-in-and-forget device. The exact precedure must be performed should the device restart, lose reception for an extended period of time or move to another PLMN. In all these situations the TMSI expires and has to be obtained again. Theoretically it is possible for a daemon to automate the process similar to ZeroG, but that only makes thing more convoluted.

3. It is, without question, unethical or downright illegal to use the technique anywhere 112 is a legitmate emergency number. Not a huge issue in China where the number is only used for informative purposes and the networks cannot be bothered to fix the issue.

4. All firmware/baseband combinations for the i4 up to iOS4.3 are vulnerable, however the exploit may be patched in any future software updates or via the carrier. If apple can influence providers to block Cydia it is not impossible for them to press them to fix the exploit. The only way to permanently unlock your baseband is NCK.

5. SIM interposer should not harm your phone hardware, however your network could request IMEI and identify your device during the emergency call. Your identity cannot be faked and it is possible that they will ban your account. There is a reason why SIM cards remain legally the property of the service provider: you are not supposed to tamper with them without breaching contract.

6. Notwithstanding all the problems, SIM interposer does not cause any battery drain since it is only active transiently, nor would it cause signal loss because it does not change cellular transmission other than the initial validation step.

Laforet concludes by saying that the $50 mod can be unreliable and is legally questionable. If you are desperate for an unlock it may be worth a try. Otherwise Laforet suggests you wait for the 40-bit NCK hack by the iPhone Dev-Team.



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iPad 2 Smart Cover Doubles As Refrigerator Mount




The iPad 2 Smart Cover can double as a refrigerator mount for your iPad, a MacRumors forum member discovered.

Steven let us know about his unique use for the iPad 2 Smart Cover. Try at your own risk.

Check it out below...


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Boy Genius Switches Back to AT&T From Verizon




The Boy Genius Report has published an interesting article about their experiences with a Verizon iPhone. Jonathan S. Geller (aka Boy Genius) was ecstatic about the new Verizon iPhone only to discover that it didn't perform as well as he expected.

"In the end, my personal experience with Verizon’s iPhone in and around New York City ended up being about the same as it was when I was on AT&T. This, combined with other advantages AT&T’s network has, has made me finally decide to switch back. Literally moments before I wrote this article, I synced up my Verizon iPhone and restored it to my AT&T iPhone (I can do this because the OS on the Verizon iPhone is lower than the AT&T iPhone — if I ever wanted to switch back, I couldn’t restore my data until the Verizon iPhone OS is updated to version 4.3). I missed the ability to talk on the phone while data is still flowing (even though I hate talking on the phone). I missed AT&T’s extremely fast data speeds. I missed knowing that if I ever travel outside of the country, I don’t have to get a new phone (even though I hate flying — no, seriously, try me). I missed feeling like I’m in the digital age instead of the stone age."

Has your experience with Verizon's iPhone been better or worse than AT&T? Let us know in the comments!


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New Connection Bar in Gmail for iPhone




Google has introduced a new 'Connection Bar' in Gmail for iPhone that lets you know the status of your connection and mail activity.

Using Gmail in Safari on your iPhone gives you access to fast search, conversation view, stars, labels, and more. But it’s sometimes frustrating not knowing whether your email has been sent or whether your phone has a functioning internet connection at all. To address this, we recently introduced the "connection bar." The connection bar appears at the bottom of the screen when needed to give you the info you want— and then gets out of the way.

The connection bar appears when the app launches and is checking for new mail. It also appears when your phone is offline, back online and sending, and then again when it finishes sending all messages.

Take a look by visiting gmail.com on your iPhone.







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Case Prototypes Show No Change in Shape of iPhone 5




HardMac has obtained renderings of iPhone 5 cases from a 'reliable' source which show no change in the shape of the device.

This information has not been confirmed but since our source is reliable, we take the risk of publishing it. These cases would be prototypes of the iPhone 5 cases, based on the mockup that was provided by Apple. There is apparently no fundamental change on the placement of the buttons and the SIM card slot.

iDealsChina recently posted design drawings that they believe to be for the upcoming iPhone 5 which show a larger edge-to-edge screen while keeping the same body shape.




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