Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Apple iTunes DRM Free Tracks Contain User Data

It’s great that Apple is starting to sell DRM free music, right? Well, you might want to think again, because, apparently, the tracks contain data embedded data that contains the full name and account information, including e-mail address, of who bought them. That’s right, full name and account information of who bought them. This data has always been there, but before, no one could share the DRM tunes, now they can share the tunes with anyone, and that data could be tracked back to the person, or persons, who bought it, and, it could also be spoofed by someone on the internet. Your data could be embedded in a music file and dropped on a peer to peer network for the whole world to share, and for the suit happy music labels to see. Playlistmag.com referred to it as Watermarked iTunes files.

The big question, of course, is what might Apple do with this information? Because it can be spoofed, it’s not exactly the best way to determine who is sharing music, and in any case, tracing a link back such as this would leave a copyright holder in a gray area. Embedded data or not, the mere presence of the data in a file found on a share is not an unassailable indicator of copyright infringement.

That said, it would be trivial for iTunes to report back to Apple, indicating that “Joe User” has M4As on this hard drive belonging to “Jane Userette,” or even “two other users.” This is not to say that Apple is going to get into the copyright enforcement business. What Apple and indeed the record labels want to watch closely is: will one user buy music for his five close friends? The entertainment industry is obsessed with the idea of “casual piracy,” or the occasional sharing of content between friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if some data was being analyzed in aggregate, although Apple’s current privacy policy does not appear to allow for this. As with the dust-up over the mini-store, Apple should clarify what this embedded data is used for. Source: Apple hides account info in DRM-free music, too

While I don’t think iTunes users would buy music from the iTunes store to share on P2P networks, someone could, and that someone could change the data to anyone they wanted to. I bet there are files with Steve Jobs email address in them online right now. I also bet there will be cleaners created soon to clean the data, but, this does make you wonder what Apple will and could do with it.

In other Apple news, it was reported that iTunes version 7.2 had broken the ability to play Mp3′s that had been ripped from music purchased from the iTunes store. Most users had figured out that you could buy songs from the iTunes store, burn them to CD and then rip them to MP3 to get rid of the Fairplay DRM. The EFF had reported that the upgrade to version 7.2 of iTunes had broken this, but now, according to a post on Playlistmag.com, it appears it is merely a bug and you can bypass it by recreating your iTunes music library.

Yesterday, I noted that iTunes 7.2 had trouble syncing certain MP3 files to an iPod. It appears that this is a bug.

Specifically, if you burn a playlist of iTunes? protected music to a CD in iTunes 7.2 and then rip that CD in the MP3 format (a trick people often use to remove the tracks? copy protection), those MP3 tracks won?t copy to an [tag]iPod[/tag]. Try, and you?ll be told that the tracks are incompatible with the iPod.

The bug appears to take the form of some problem with the iTunes music library, causing these specific tracks to be deemed incompatible with the iPod. You can put things right by recreating your iTunes library. Source: More on iTunes 7.2 and MP3s

This knowledge base article from Apple will walk you through recreating your iTunes library, and this one, iTunes: How to backup and restore playlists, will show you how to backup and restore your playlists.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 1, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Categories: Apple   Tags: , ,

Todays Tech

Some more of the notable, and not so notable, news running about today.

Hack Attack: Control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse This is one great post, and something I will definitely be trying out at work and at home.

Cracking open the Microsoft Zune Portable media players are all the rage. View this gallery for an inside look at Microsoft’s new Zune. From the device’s packaging to its software and the device itself, here’s what you get (and how it works) when you buy a Zune.

Cracking open the Linksys WRT54G wireless router The Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router is one of the most common 802.11g devices deployed, a favorite of everyone from Linux fans to Windows users. Take a look inside what powers this ubiquitous device.

Wi-fi? Why worry? While the heating effects of high exposures to electromagnetic radiation can be damaging, the power levels of wireless connections are much lower than the microwave ovens and mobile phones which share the frequency range, and treating them in the same way is the worst sort of scaremongering.

An Open Letter to Apple from a Lifelong Gamer Mac convert asks Apple to make some good games.

Microsoft, Trying to Avoid a European Fine, Defends Demand for Royalties Microsoft, seeking to avoid another multimillion-dollar fine in its antitrust battle with the European Commission, filed documents with competition officials yesterday defending its demand to be paid royalties for releasing some software code to competitors.

9 ways ColdFusion 8 will rule web development Ben Forta and Adobe are getting into full swing with ColdFusion 8 Scorpio Pre-Release tour. Last night Ben gave us in Seattle a taste of things to come. Here is why it will kick the tar balls out of everything else on the market.

Intel cuts server and desktop CPU prices Intel has published price cuts of up to 40% for is 3000-sequence uni-processor server CPUs and updated its desktop CPU lineup with lower prices and new products.

WIRED journo won’t do email interviews–ironic A WIRED journalist pinged me for some comments on Michael Arrington and his A-list blogger status. I told the journalist to send me the questions by email and he refused. He said Dave Winer did the same thing.

Calacanis Won’t Do Phone Interview Jason McCabe Calacanis is complaining about a Wired reporter who wants to do an interview with him, but refuses to do it via email. He says it’s “ironic” that a magazine covering the digital age refuses to use email for its interviews.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 24, 2007 at 6:16 pm

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Security Roundup

Some interesting security related stories.

U.S. Database Exposes Social Security Numbers The Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of people who received loans or other financial assistance from two Agriculture Department programs were disclosed for years in a publicly available database, raising concerns about identity theft and other privacy violations.

Google draws privacy complaint to FTC “Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,” the complaint reads. “Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.”

This one could potentially be big, if the data that Google collects from the browsing habits of people with their toolbar, the information they gather from people searching their site(s), the data they collect from their ads on a major portion of the internet, the data they collect from their online programs, like Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, etc, the data they collect from people using Google Checkout, the data they collect from Youtube and all of the embedded videos, if this data is used by people working for Google or by someone who is able to access it from the outside, it is staggering, I am sure, the amount of information they could compile and use on people.

A hacker managed to break into a Mac and win a $10,000 prize as part of a contest started at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver.

Depends on your definition I guess, sitting there with nothing running, no one could get into them, on the second day, they sent contestants urls via email and one hacker was able to exploit a vulnerability in Safari and open a back door that gave him access to everything. While they did not crack the OS itself, it did crack a tool that many people use on such a system, it’s the same as all of the IE vulnerabilities that get exploited, though they certainly have the better track record over Windows. Here is more from zdnet.

MacBook Pro hijacked with Safari zero-day Hackers Dino Dai Zovi and Shane Macaulay teamed up to hijack a MacBook Pro laptop at the CanSecWest security conference here, effectively pouring cold water on the Mac faithful’s belief that the machines are impenetrable. Dai Zovi, a former Matasano researcher who has been credited in the past with finding Mac OS X vulnerabilities, exploited a zero-day flaw in the built-in Safari browser to take complete control of the machine.

Seeing through walls Have you considered that someone could be reading what’s on your monitor from a few rooms away? It’s unlikely, but possible, as work by Cambridge University computer security researcher Markus Kuhn shows.

ISP Kicks Out User Who Exposed Vulnerability; Doesn’t Fix Vulnerability Apparently, a college student discovered and published a pretty major vulnerability found in the routers the company uses, allowing anyone to access the routers remotely. Rather than thank the customer for finding and highlighting a pretty serious vulnerability, the company has cut off his service and threatened him with lawsuits. Oh yeah, they also haven’t bothered to fix the vulnerability — despite it being published 7 weeks ago. The reasoning from the ISP is astounding. They claim that since they can’t find any evidence that anyone ever used the vulnerability, he must have discovered it by “illegal” means. Who knew that simply probing for security vulnerabilities was illegal? And, of course, the ISP told the guy he’s not allowed to talk about its legal threat to him — which isn’t actually legally binding. It’s not clear if the ISP doesn’t understand what it’s done or simply doesn’t want to fix the vulnerability.

Interact with the security community CanSecWest, the world’s most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security, is about bringing the industry luminaries together in a relaxed environment which promotes collaboration and social networking. The conference lasts for three days and features a single track of thought provoking presentations, each prepared by an experienced professional and talented educator who is at the cutting edge of his or her field. We give preference to new and innovative material, highlighting important, emergent technologies, techniques, or best industry practices.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 21, 2007 at 4:39 am

Categories: Security   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Todays Tech

Here are some of todays tech stories.

This is How We Catch You Downloading Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company?s techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed ?forensic quality? evidence for use in court cases.

Joost: It’s The Metadata, Stupid! Now those are all valid points, but the real key to Joost’s success may be something else: A metadata framework that might just revolutionize the way we watch television.

Apple WiFi iPod due Q3 2007? Let’s not bet the farm Perennial Apple rumor-ist DigiTimes has come out with a biggie today, predicting a non-iPhone, WiFi-connected iPod in Q3 this year.

Apple’s iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays Apple plans to release an iPod with Wifi in the second half of 2007.

Can LeapTag Capture The Magic Of StumbleUpon? It?s a good way to keep track of websites that you like using tags, and it?s also useful for serendipitous discovery of new sites you might like, based on the things you?ve already bookmarked.

Microsoft addresses speed issues in Outlook update Latency issues led to irate users even before November launch.

Is This Google’s Achilles Heel? To summarize, it looks like Matt wants people to report to Google when they see paid links, because they want more “data” on the issue of paid links. Oh, its also the third post in a single day on paid links.

Live Internet Video Stream New experiment from Chris Pirillo.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Categories: Apple, Google, Tech News   Tags: , , ,

Windows Vista News 3/31/2007

More news about windows vista.

Microsoft makes copying Vista a monster task With Windows XP, antipiracy measures were a bit of an afterthought. But with Windows Vista, Microsoft had pirates in its sights from the get-go.

Apple Adds Vista Support to Boot Camp Apple on Wednesday pushed an update to its Boot Camp dual booting feature, providing support for the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, as well as updated drivers for various hardware included with Intel Macs.

Update on Microsoft Security Advisory 935423 Little more info from Microsoft on the Windows animated cursor vulnerability, how long they have known, time of the first attack, how they are fixing it, etc.

Microsoft: Rise in attacks on Vista loophole Just a day after release, the vulnerability in the ani files has caused hackers to pick up the pace on their attacks on some versions of Windows.

Windows Vista Update Solves IPod Issues Microsoft patched a bunch of bugs earlier this week, including the one involving the iPod. Grab the update here.

3 reasons Vista lets down gamers Hardware incompatibilities, backward incompatibility and lack of directX 10 games, visit the site for details.

3rd Party Patches Critical Windows Flaw Not content to wait for Microsoft to remedy the issue, independent security firm eEye released a temporary patch for a critical flaw affecting Windows that can lead to a crash-restart-crash loop. But Microsoft does not recommend such third-party patches.

Windows Vista ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver Denial of Service A weakness has been reported in Windows Vista, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

Living With Vista: First 30 Days With the new version of Windows finally out, early users say they’re bedeviled by hardware and software problems–but some love the OS anyway.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 31, 2007 at 6:27 am

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Steve Jobs Says No DRM! No DRM!

The MASTER of marketing, Steve Jobs of Apple has put out a call to the big four music companies to allow them to sell DRM free music in the iStore. I have not heard a truer statement in awhile than this one, “So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.” It is completely ridiculous that the music companies require all online music stores to “protect” the music with a DRM, these stores would be perfect without it, as you could buy one or two songs from a CD instead of buying the whole CD. This is how it should be and I bet the increase in the number of songs purchased to increase dramatically.

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system. Source: Thoughts on Music

It will be interesting to see how the music companies, Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, respond to this call for action, if anyone can get people talking about something, it is Steve Jobs. Take a look at the picture below, it is a screenshot of Techmeme, an online news aggregator that tracks news stories. Usually when a post is featured on the site it only has a few sites talking about it, some big stories will have 20 or 30 sites talking about it. This post by Steve Jobs has probably three times that many sites discussing it.

Thoughts on music

It’s easy to go on record and make sure everyone remembers that the music companies are the bad guys, hehe, Bill Gates has already gone on record as hating DRM, and the music companies are probably going to do it anyway, and they have already made billions with DRM. Plus, he reinforces the view that he and Apple are the cool people, sticking it to the man. However you look at it, no DRM sounds really good to me.

No DRM! No DRM! No DRM!

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 7, 2007 at 7:20 am

Categories: Apple   Tags: , , , , ,

Verizon Told Steve Jobs No Thanks

Looks like Verizon passed on the iPhone from apple a couple years ago, saying Apple wanted to much, including a percentage of the monthly cell phone fees, say-so over where it could be sold, and even say-so on whether a iPhone would be repaired or replaced, kind of taking Verizon out of the loop and surely making it harder for anyone to support the phone. I can hear the phone calls now, “What do you mean I have to call Apple now, can’t you all fix it?”

Among other things, Apple wanted a percentage of the monthly cell phone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers, said Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president. “We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn’t reach a deal that was mutually beneficial.”

Verizon’s decision to pull the plug on talks sent Apple into the waiting arms of Cingular, which will be the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. The multifunction device is expected to ship in June and cost about $500.

The problem? While Apple and Verizon stores would have it, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other Verizon distributors could have been left out. “That would have put our own distribution partners at a disadvantage” to Apple and Verizon stores, Gerace said.

Customer care was another hitch: If an iPhone went haywire, Apple wanted sole discretion over whether to replace or repair the phone. “They would have been stepping in between us and our customers to the point where we would have almost had to take a back seat on hardware and service support,” Gerace says. Source: Verizon rejected Apple iPhone deal

This is one of those items I will probably never have, I have never liked phones, and certainly don’t want to spend over $100 dollars on one, let alone $500, plus monthly fees that will likely be jacked up some because of Cingular having to give part of the monthly cell phone plans. I’m not an Apple hater by any means, love the iPods, looking forward to trying out a Mac pretty soon, but I’m certainly not an Apple fan boy either. The only way I will ever try one out is if it shows up in a box at my door one day, so, I probably will only see one if someone I know gets one. I don’t think I will see one for a long time.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 29, 2007 at 8:27 pm

Categories: Apple, Gadgets   Tags: , , , ,

Another iPost about the iPhone

I have been wondering why exactly Apple went ahead without an agreement with Cisco Systems and used the iPhone name for their new smart phone. They have been talking to Cisco about the name since 2001, so you know they have a plan with or without Cisco’s agreement. Could it be, they want Cisco to agree after they have already decided to use the name, as some sort of macho thing so everybody can see that Cisco gave in? I doubt it, but you never know, Steve Jobs has never cared who he took on in his past battles, so maybe he needs another notch for his belt. More likely it has to do with he fact that Cisco never REALLY tried to protect their copyright, since there are at least two other devices using the name and a couple more patent requests for it, if I am reading correctly. And, as they said in the keynote, they are the first company to use the iPhone name for an actual cell phone, Cisco’s is for a line of internet phones, and as one of the reasons for trademarks is to prevent consumer confusion, most probably would not be confused by both companies having an iPhone product, since they are certainly different.

Another tactic is what News.com called the McDefense strategy, where they have a family of trademarks, such as everything beginning with an i, iPhone, iPod, iMac, iTV, etc, etc. Which could explain some of the lawsuits they threatened recently to some iPod accessory makers.

Apple can also argue that it owns a “family” of trademarks related to the iPhone, said Craig Mende, a lawyer with trademark and copyright firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu in New York. For example, the iPod, iTunes, iMac, iWork and iLife products all bear a strong association with Apple, so the company could argue that consumers would naturally associate the iPhone with Apple.

The most famous example of this strategy is used by McDonalds, which has successfully argued that any other company that attached “Mc” to their product, like a McPhone, is creating consumer confusion that the McPhone is a McDonald’s product. Even though you really shouldn’t eat a phone, consumers would automatically associate McDonald’s with anything using the “Mc” prefix, Mende said. Source: How Apple could fight Cisco

But, even in that case, just adding an “i” to something is not enough to give it a family grouping, and others are doing the same thing, Sony uses a technology called iLink, there is an iBoat Store, the Soundcast iCast and the Klipsch iGroove, to name a few. Plus, Cisco really hadn’t used the name until last year, when it actually changed the names of the Linksys CIT200 and the Linksys CIT310 to iPhones, and, personally, I don’t recall seeing an iPhone in the available options when we were installing a Cisco VOIP network last year. I will have to check and see if we still have the catalog, or maybe it was a PDF, that we used to look at the available phones.

There are many different ways Apple could get to use the iPhone, and, all of the buzz from his keynote will certainly help. Look at how much coverage they got from announcing the iPhone, you would think Jobs just turned water into wine, but such is the reaction to most Apple fanatics, not that it is bad, I wish I liked a company as well as people like Apple, but I don’t. If you ask the average person on the street who makes the iPhone they will say Apple more than likely, and if you ask who owns the trademark tot he iPhone? People like me and people who read my blog and other blogs will know who owns the trademark, but most people will say Apple does, more than likely, and if you tell them Cisco is making some iPhone products? They will probably think Cisco is infringing on Apple or that they are making “clone” iPhones, or knockoffs. Who will the likely winner be? Apple more than likely.

Added: Just saw this post, about how a company, Ocean Telecom Services, could possibly be a shell company who applied for a trademark, that sounds a LOT like the iPhone. The company also applied for the same patent in Australia as well.

C 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; MP3 and other digital format audio players; handheld computers, personal digital assistants, electronic organizers, electronic notepads; magnetic data carriers; telephones, mobile phones, computer gaming machines, videophones, cameras; prerecorded computer programs for personal information management, database management software, electronic mail and messaging software, paging software, database synchronization software, computer programs for accessing, browsing and searching online databases, computer software and firmware, namely operating system programs, data synchronization programs, and application development tool programs for personal and handheld computers; electronic handheld units for the wireless receipt and/or transmission of data that enable the user to keep track of or manage personal information; software for the redirection of messages, Internet e-mail, and/or other data to one or more electronic handheld devices from a data store on or associated with a personal computer or a server; and software for the synchronization of data between a remote station or device and a fixed or remote station or device; computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks

C 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: hand-held unit for playing electronic games Source: Apple vs. Cisco over iPhone

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 12, 2007 at 10:55 pm

Categories: Apple, Cisco   Tags: , ,

Apple iPhone Videos

Here I have added links to may new iPhone videos and other iPhone news information.

Read more...

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 4:09 am

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Cisco Only Wanted Openess and Clarity from Apple

Apparently, Apple doesn’t care about others trademarks, just their own. According to a blog post from Cisco, they did not want money from Apple for using the iPhone trademark, nor did they want royalties on the iPhone, or even an exchange of services, they wanted to work together, now and in the future, they hoped their products could interoperate and hoped to facilitate collaboration with Apple. But Apple said, this is the iPhone without striking a deal with the trademark holders, hence the lawsuit.

Cisco owns the iPhone trademark. We have since 2000, when we bought a company called Infogear Technology, which had developed a product that combined web access and telephone. Infogear?s registrations for the mark date to 1996, before iMacs and iPods were even glimmers in Apple’s eye. We shipped and/or supported that iPhone product for years. We have been shipping new, updated iPhone products since last spring, and had a formal launch late last year. Apple knows this; they approached us about the iPhone trademark as far back as 2001, and have approached us several times over the past year.

Fundamentally we wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future. In our view, the network provides the basis to make this happen?it provides the foundation of innovation that allows converged devices to deliver the services that consumers want. Our goal was to take that to the next level by facilitating collaboration with Apple. And we wanted to make sure to differentiate the brands in a way that could work for both companies and not confuse people, since our products combine both web access and voice telephony. That’s it. Openness and clarity. Source: UPDATE on Cisco’s iPhone Trademark – Commentary from Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel, on Apple’s infringement of Cisco’s iPhone trademark.

He goes on to say, Apple discussed the patents pending on their new technologies, so he knows they value intellectual property, and he asked, if someone created a product and called it the iPod but said it was different because it used a different video format, how would Apple react? I think Apple will have to give in, especially since the Cisco iPhone had been registered for the trademark in 1996, about ten years ago. How long has the iPod been around?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 11, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Categories: Apple, Cisco, Gadgets   Tags: , ,

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