Tag Archives: iPad

Apple’s TLS/SSL bug

A serious flaw in Apple’s TLS/SSL (Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer) was discovered last week. All current Apple hardware and software was found to be vulnerable to bogus security certificates. Apple reportedly pushed out patches to iPhones and iPads using IOS 6.0 and later. This week they released a large OS X update that includes a fixed TLS/SSL module.

Visit https://gotofail.com to learn if your Apple device is vulnerable. If so, get thee to the update.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Learn how to fix gadgets

I like the philosophy expressed by http://www.ifixit.com: stuff should be repairable, and users should have free access to repair information for their stuff. ifixit logoThe site’s goal is ambitious. It provides illustrated maintenance and repair information for everything from automobiles to cell phones.

ipad air teardwonSome modern handheld devices, including Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s iPad tablets, aren’t designed for ease of repair. Quite the opposite. By gluing in their batteries, their manufacturers exhibit disdain for society and environment. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries in such devices might have a lifetime of 1.5 to 2 years, so it makes sense to allow the owner to change the battery in a device that might enjoy a 4 or 5 year useful lifetime. Otherwise, when their batteries die, these devices are likely to become landfill.

The iPad Air and Surface Pro 2 teardowns show just how service unfriendly these designs are. The ifixit people rate these tablets a 1 or 2 on a repairability scale of 0 to 10. In my opinion, this makes them poor designs, despite their other virtues.

Bookmark ifixit.com. You just might need it soon.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

This guy’s cloud burst.

How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking

Never put all your eggs in one basket cloud.

The sad story of what happened to Mat Honan has been big news for the past ten days or so. All of his devices and data were interconnected via Apple’s iCloud, and they all got wiped clean within minutes. Here’s his story, in his own words. Excerpts:

Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification . . .

It turns out, a billing address and the last four digits of a credit card number are the only two pieces of information anyone needs to get into your iCloud account. Once supplied, Apple will issue a temporary password, and that password grants access to iCloud.

(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around, baby, two’s a crowd

No technical skill was requs guy’s e-life. The hacker(s) just needed patience, knowledge of customer service procedures at each provider, a method, a couple lucky guesses, and convincing telephone presence. We worry about the security of 128-bit encryption, or the virtues of SHA-2 (secure hash algorithm) versus SHA-1, when the most vulnerable part of any system is the humans who use it.

The fact that the authentication value of a credit card’s last four digits is zero at Amazon and significant at Apple is worrying. Apple claimed that a service rep didn’t follow its password reset procedure. In fact, the procedure WAS followed; it was just a flawed procedure. Apple has reportedly changed their customer service procedure for authenticating an account owner over the phone.

iPad2 supersedes an ancient Xubuntu laptop PC

photo: Apple
This 80-something lady moved to an iPad.


e upgraded an ancient Dell laptop (333 MHz Pentium, 256MB RAM, 4.7 GB disk) from its original Windows 98 to Xubuntu 8.04 in May 2009. (Resurrect old hardware with Linux) It worked well, for such a wimpy piece of hardware. It was destined for use by a lady who’s over 80 years old and non-technical. Initial reports were positive.

This weekend I learned that she has replaced this feeble laptop with a new Apple iPad 2. Seems like a smart move to me.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Wall Street Journal & NY Times like the iPad 2

Screenshot: Charlie Rose Show
Apple does it again.

Last night, Charlie Rose interviewed two notable industry reviewers, Walt Mossberg (tech columnist for the Wall Street Journal) and David Carr (media columnist for the New Your Times). The topic? The iPad 2, of course. In a nutshell, they’re both enthusiastic about it. According to them, about 80 other manufacturers will enter the tablet market soon, but Apple is already one generation ahead of them.

The interview included glimpses into their own industry: newspapers. They both seem to think that printed paper editions will remain, but will take on a role of prestige edition, while electronic delivery of newspapers — and books — will become the primary delivery method. They think that footnotes, references, etc. will be bundled into each publication, and be instantly viewable via hyperlinks within the text.

They agree that with the iPad 2, Apple and Steve Jobs have hit a home run.

(I like the extra-cost accessory cover/stand. Seems brilliantly designed.)

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695