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Apple Fixes Error 53

Earlier this month, reports of Error 53 flooded news papers and the internet. The error, which caused phones to be ‘bricked’ upon detection of unofficial repairs, has thankfully been addressed and fixed by Apple.

An updated version of iOS 9.2.1 is available for users who update their devices using iTunes only. This is because users that updated their iPhones via iCloud would not have gotten the error anyways. It should be noted this is not a brand new iOS, just a fixed version of iOS 9.2.1.

Apple also issued a new document on their website which lays out the possible causes and fixes for Error 53.

Unfortunately, the update will not be able to re-enable Touch ID. Apple claims that allowing a third-party sensor to function without official Apple verification will seriously compromise security. A corrupted Touch ID could allow access to the phone and data.

Freedom 251

An Indian company, Ringing Bells, has recently launched the world’s cheapest smartphone. Priced at a measly £2.50, this phone seems unreal. As cheap as it maybe the phone boasts some pretty decent specs: Android Lollipop 5.1, 1.3 GHz quadcore processor, 4-inch screen, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal memory and a 3.2 megapixel front camera.

Users will be able to access all Google Apps and the phone comes with some pre-installed farming and fishing apps which are aimed towards the phone’s target market.

It is still unclear how the company managed to manufacture such a cheap smartphone and many are even calling it a ponzi scheme.

One user discovered that whitener had been used to cover up the real logo. It seems that the phone is a product of Adcom, which is known for selling re-branded Chinese phones.

As it turns out, there’s an option to buy half a phone. HALF. A. PHONE.

Furthermore, the site was offline after a minute! The website had booked full page ads but didn’t have the capacity to handle a second of traffic.

Additionally, the phones seems to be a copy of Apple with many of the icons lifted from the iPhone.  If Apple sues, which it most likely will, India can wave goodbye to this budget phone!

The phone seems to be selling at a loss and the only way Ashok Chadha, president of Ringing Bells, can explain how they intend on making money is “economies of scale”. The company does not seem to be subsidized or registered by any Government Agency.

Twitter Integrates GIPHY and RIFFS

Twitter has made the decision to integrate GIPHY and RIFFS in order to make it easier for users to use GIFS in tweets. A new library will allow users to browse for the perfect GIF, short for graphics interchange format, to add to their tweet.

GIPHY users create GIFs to be used for entertainment purposes. After Twitter’s announcement, “Introducing GIF” was trending on Twitter and some users even tweeted their own reaction images in response.

The rollout for the GIF search began on Wednesday and will become available to all users soon.

4Chan at it again

A rumour, originated from 4Chan, has managed to trick users into killing their iPhones. The rumor sent users looking for an Easter Egg that did not exist. Users tried to get their phones to display Apple’s classic and other retro logo designs by setting their iPhone’s date back to 1970. This led to the 64-bit iOS devices being ‘bricked’.

Apple has addressed the issue and reassured users that it will send out an update to fix affected devices.

HSBC kills off passwords.

Customers of HSBC will not have to use passwords to access their bank accounts via phones or the iPhone app. Great news for those of us who always forget our passwords! The bank has started to roll out fingerprint verification recently while the bank hopes to roll out the voice recognition system before the summer.

These systems will be much safer than passwords and users will be less vulnerable to cyber attacks.

An estimated 15 million customers will be able to use this system which is intended to make banking safer and quicker. Customers will provide the bank with a voice print which will analyze the users talking speed, cadence and pronunciation. Customers will be able to then access their accounts by reading set phrases. The system will allegedly work even when the customer had a cold.

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Weekly Headlines: Malware Museum, Faster Internet, Error 53, and Amazon’s Quirky Terms and Conditions.

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It’s Friday which means that it’s time for some weekly headlines. So here’s your weekly dose of the happenings in the technological world.

Fast internet? Is that even possible?

Well apparently it is! There isn’t a whole lot I hate more than slow internet and I’m sure that there are a lot of people out there who would agree. Thanks to the brilliant scientists at University College London (UCL), slow internet might be the thing of the past! They have developed new fibre-optic equipment which could transfer data at 1.125 terabits/second! This is almost 50,000 times more than the average broadband speed found in UK homes. To put things in perspective, this new equipment would let users download a whole TV series in HD in a fraction of a second! If that isn’t mind blowing then I don’t know what is!

The scientists plan on testing the equipment to see whether it can effectively carry data across thousands of miles. Due to distance and the deterioration of data signal means that consumers will not be getting the same speed discovered at the laboratory. Professor Bayvel at UCL stated that this new technology could improve speed by 10 times if commercialized.

Error 53

Error 53 is a message which disables iPhone users’ handsets if it detects any repairs done by non-Apple technicians. Last week, thousands of iPhone 6 users received said message which basically rendered their phones completely useless. Funnily enough, Apple has 65 listed numerical errors but error 53 is not one of them. Any users looking for information on this error should head to Apple forums which discuss this nightmare at length.

Apparently, when an iPhone hits error 53 it needs to be sent straight back to Apple and users receive a brand new phone. Even the Apple ‘Geniuses’ have no idea how to fix it.

Since last week Apple has recognized  the error and linked it with Touch ID repairs. The error has only come to light when users tried to update to iOS9. It would be advisable to back up your phone completely before updating!

A lot of users have shown outrage at this incident, claiming it to be a violation of rights. David Fewer from the University of Ottawa claimed “it certainly looks like they are interfering with my property.”

Phil Kundu, the owner of Irepair.ca has stated that his company has stopped repairs on iPhone 6 and 6S models. It sure seems like Apple is targeting third-party device repairing industry.

Despite the justifications provided by Apple, lawyers in the U.K, U.S and Australia are seeking complainants for law suits against Apple.

 Malware Museum?

Want to relive your worst nightmares from the 90s? Well then head on down to the Malware Museum where you can re-experience viruses without them actually destroying your device! Sure viruses were scary, provocative, and destroys of all happiness, but they were also quite artistic!

This museum has been put together by Jason Scott and many of the viruses come from the personal collection of Mikko Hypponen, chief research scientist at F-Secure.

The viruses displayed at the museum seem to have come from twisted and hilarious personalities. My favorite is the Casino virus. This delightful piece of malware steals all your personal information, wipes it from your device and then gives you the option of winning it all back in a game of Jackpot.

Maybe these viruses seem funny right now because they can’t destroy our computers but we’ve got to admit, they truly are a work of art.

Jason Scott also has an archive of bulletin board messages.

In case of a Zombie Apocalypse, use Amazon

Amazon has announced in their Terms and conditions for Amazon Web Services that Lumberyard, their free cross-platform 3D gaming engine should not be used in medical equipment or self driving cars with just one exception, a Zombie Apocalypse. So if your neighbor is banging on your door while simultaneously crying out “BRAAIIIIINNNNSSSS”, feel freely to use Amazon’s new software to create #D games designed to run heart and lung machines or drive your car.

This free publicity hasn’t hurt Amazon one bit. In fact, this single sentence in an otherwise boring document has helped bring attention to Amazon’s open-source software!

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Weekly Headlines

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Apple Forecasts Falling Revenues Since 2013

For the first time in more than a decade, Apple has forecasted a decline in sales. This further reinforces the observation that the smart phone market has reached saturation. According to Apple, the revenue for the first three months of 2016 will be between $50 billion & $53 billion, way under the previously estimated $55 billion. This further cements the concern that Apple has reached the peak of iPhone growth, a thought that has lead stocks to fall 20% this month.

63% of Apple’s entire revenue comes from smart phone sales. The rest of Apple’s products don’t even come close to being as profitable as the iPhone. The MacBook and iPad only brings in 13% and 8% of the total revenue respectively. Other products, comprising of the Apple Watch, iPod, Beats and headphones, are only worth 6% in total. Apple’s reliance on the iPhone and the Chinese market is a big worry for investors. The unstable Chinese economy has had staggering effects on the rest of the world. With most of Apple’s profits coming in from the Chinese markets, if China falls, Apple will most likely go down with it.

Bye-Bye Google Glass

It seems that Google Glass had bid adieu to the internet. The company behind Google Glass has been fairly quiet about the product for the past couple of the months. Now it seems that all social media accounts owned by the Google Glass have been taken down. Google+ was the only account that gave a farewell message.

“Hi Explorers, we’ve had a blast hanging out with you on G+ throughout the Explorer Program. From now on, if you have any questions about your Glass, you can get in touch with us here.” The account then gave a link to Google’s support page for Glass.

Since its launch in 2013, Google Glass was not a wildly popular product. Customers complained that it made it too easy for the user to record others without permission.  Others thought it was too overpriced and out of reach.

Google has decided to discontinue the consumer version of the product and instead sell them to surgeons as a specialist tool.

Hooray for Facebook

Facebook has exceeded expectations with a 52% jump in quarterly revenue as it made the decision to sell more mobile focused ads. Facebook is now in a strong enough position to challenge Google as the Internet’s most powerful company. Although Google is still three times larger by revenue, Facebook is rapidly closing the gap. In addition, Facebook has its fingers dipped in lots of other projects such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence. However, social networking remains the heart and center of Facebook; in the final three months of 2015, Facebook signed on a further 46 million users!

Glitchy Uber

Uber has accidently shared the personal information of one of their drivers. When several other drivers logged on to the website to download their 1099s, they were accidently sent the Florida drivers 1099. This contained her social security number, address, tax ID and earnings. Uber has confirmed that other drivers were not compromised and stated that the data breach happened due to a ‘bug’.  Uber has said that the tab allowing partners to download their tax information will be disabled until the problem can be solved. Furthermore, Uber will also help the Florida driver with credit monitoring until the issue is taken care of.

This was not the first time a driver’s personal data was let loose. In May 2014, the names and license numbers of thousands of drivers were stolen. In another incident, tax information of thousands of other drivers was released on the website.

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Weekly Headlines

Our Newsletter

It’s the last day of the week and we are here to bring you some of the week’s headlines!

Peach for iPhone

The co-founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann, released a new social media app called Peach which caught the attention of ‘early adopters’. It created a buzz on Twitter and with the addition of positive press, it quickly climbed the download charts in the iPhone app store (sadly, there is no Android version. Yet.)

Some quickly started to compare the app to Tumblr, Snapchat, and Instagram. However, there is nothing even remotely like retweeting or sharing in the app. It doesn’t even have hashtags!

The app lets users unleash their creativity by allowing them to draw with their finger or use ‘magic words’ to share Gifs, the weather and even shout out a message. . However, when I personally tried the app, I didn’t really feel the urge to delete my Facebook or Twitter and jump on the Peach bandwagon. To read more about this app, click here! Let us know if you tried it!

Apple news is off to a rocky start!

It is pretty much a well established fact that Apple can do no wrong! So when Apple news was launched, more than a hundred publishers from all over the world signed on! Little did they know that the app had one pretty major glitch. No one has any idea how many people are actually reading! Apple has been passing on inaccurate data to the publishers. Although publishers don’t pay to have their content on the News app, knowing the number of readers is important when it comes to selling advertisement.

“We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, stated. “We don’t know what the right number is,” but he added that it was better to undercount than over-count traffic.

Want more information? Click right here!

Exploding Hoverboard

Youtuber Stephen Leenott, otherwise known as BlueBritish, showcased just how dangerous Hoverboards can be. Having left the Hoverboard, which he bought from eBay, to charge the previous night, Leenott took his new toy outside for a maiden run. According to the video, the Hoverboard appeared dead when Leenott tried to start it. The Hoverboard then let out a hissing sound, followed by smoke and flames!

The cause of the fire is unknown but Hoverboards do contain lithium batteries. These have been known to explode when configured improperly. However, it is likely that defectively constructed motors and wiring may have caused this fire, as well as others.

Click here to watch the video (You can skip ahead to 1:12).

No more Social Media at Work!

A new ruling by the EU could give your bosses access to your social media, especially the private chats. No folks, this is not a drill. You can go ahead and panic now! This new ruling comes after a Romanian engineer was fires in 2007 after using Yahoo Messenger at work to privately message his friends and professional contracts.

The company stated that the use of such apps was a direct violation of company policy. The engineer argued that the firm had violated his right to privacy. The EU Court of Human Rights ruled in the favour of the company. They reasoned that it was acceptable for a company to ensure that all professional tasks were being done.

This ruling now gives employers the right to monitor their workers and their private chats but only during work time.

Xbox live goes down

On Wednesday, The Xbox Live network went down for several hours which stopped Xbox One and Xbox 360 users from accessing the store and other online features. Although the issue was later resolved, it managed to get on the bad side of none other than Snoop Dogg.

An enthusiastic gamer, he uploaded a short but very entertaining video on Instagram clearly incredibly upset about the issue. In true Snoop Dogg manner, the passionate speech was full of profanities. He even threatened to ditch Xbox for rival Playstation. It is worth noting that the Playstation network was also down for several hours last week.

SoundCloud Partners with Universal Music

Despite being at odds with most of the music industry due to its popularity, SoundCloud has signed a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. The record giant has signed popular artists including the Weeknd and Sam Smith.

This deal will let SoundCloud access to Universal’s catalog and let artists make money from advertisements on the free service. SoundCloud is used by over 175 million people so we’re guessing both parties are very happy with this agreement.

Out of the big players in the music industry, Sony is the only one to not shake SoundCloud’s hand.

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The Biggest Tech Blunders of 2015

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Every year we get companies that mess up in some way or products that are such big flops that we can’t help but write about them! 2015 was definitely not a good year for the companies mentioned below.  We present to you some of the biggest blunders of 2015!

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Earlier last year Google has to completely overhaul it’s Map Maker feature in Google Maps after someone use it to draw an Android peeing on apple. That’s right. That actually
happened! It’s both hilarious and appalling at the same time! This little gem was discovered by a Hacker News user who claims that this is more likely a prank by a Google Maps user. Google claims that despite edits being moderated, some inaccuracies go unnoticed. Funnily enough, this was not the only time some abused Google’s Map Maker feature. Another Hacker News user discovered an image a couple of miles east of the first which read ‘Google Review Policy is Crap’. Both images have since been removed and the users suspended.

google-crap_3279810b

 

Facebook faced some major backlash after it made the unfortunate decision to include facebook_txxc“fat” in the list of emotions available on Facebook. To make matters worse, they added a chubby-faced emoticon to go along with the feeling. Moreover, a Harvard student was able to create a Chrome extension which could pull locations from Facebook Messenger and actually track his Facebook friends! Facebook ended up rescinding the internship initially offered to the student.

 

 

reddit-rebellion_a8ay.1280

When Reddit fired Victoria Taylor, manager of the popular AMA interviews, Reddit users rebelled. In an act of solidarity, they were able to shut down more than 260 subreddits which limited the site for the whole of July 3. Amidst the rebellion and backlash over offensive content, CEO Ellen Pao was also fired!

 

ashley-madison_e79e.1280

The month of July (and probably the rest of the year to be honest) was probably the busiest month for divorce
lawyers. Ashley Madison, an online cheating site, was hacked by online vigilantes. User details were stolen and posted online, and chaos ensued. The CEO was ousted, marriages were ended and the PR team for the Duggar family probably had a major nervous breakdown.

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Click below for iPhone Storage Tips!

 

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Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to take a video or a string of selfies because the light is good, and your clothes are on point and your iPhone not so kindly informs you that you have no more storage space left? Worst. Nightmare. Ever!

Well, we are here to provide you with some tips on how to maximize your storage space and make room for pictures of cute puppies.

Your camera roll and your music aren’t the only things that take up your iPhone’s storage space.

The first step is to check what apps are taking up the most space by following these steps:

Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage.

downloadA list of applications will come up detailing the amount space they are taking up. Unfortunately, the phone wont show with video, picture or music file is taking up the most space. There won’t be any general specifications in this case. This does not apply to other apps. For example, the space used by a certain game, does not need to be broken down further.

You will need to watch out for apps that download data onto your phone. For example, Spotify can use up a lot of space if you have downloaded songs to listen to offline.

Apple users are also presented with the opportunity to store their files on the cloud. High-resolution photos take up more space than regular ones so storing them on the cloud will help free up some space. With Apple’s new iCloud Photo Library feature, users can store high-resolution picture on the cloud and low-resolution copies on your phone. Users can access the high-resolution copy from the servers and see it on their phone. This can be done by following these steps:

Settings > iCloud > Photos. Ensure that iCloud Library is selected. Next, click on Optimize iPhone storage.

It should be noted that Apple only offers 5 GB of free cloud storage. The 5 GB of storage space has to contain all your backups and synced data in addition to your photos and videos. You can go ahead and buy more space: 20 GB for $0.99/month or 200 GB for $3.99/month.

Settings > iCloud > Storage > Buy more storage.

Additionally, you can use other services to upload and store your photos. For example, both Maxbackup & Acronis offer high levels of security for your data coupled with a price as low as 30 pence/GB.  For more information on that, feel free to contact us!

Another option is to just transfer the photos to your laptop and delete them from your phone. However, you will need to make sure your laptop is secured and that you have created a back up of important files.

Instead of updating your iOS system over the air, simply connect your Apple device to iTunes and download your update from there.

Plug in your device to your laptop > Open iTunes > Select device > Check for update.

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