TIME Apple

WATCH: Conan Weighs In On iPhone 6 ‘Bendgate’

The fix for a case of iPhone 6 dysfunction

Conan O’Brien’s aiming his shtick in Apple’s direction, weighing in on these purportedly bent iPhone 6 handsets, dubbed Bendgate or Bentgate or Bendghazi or whatever you want to call it.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus broke sales records in the lead-up to their launch last week, but a casual video emerged showing a guy applying extreme-sports-pressure to the 6 Plus model, at which point it bent.

The fix, if your shiny new Apple wunder-toy’s “not quite ramrod-straight,” quips Conan: “Try a rock-hard Samsung gadget instead.”

TIME Companies

BlackBerry Faces Steep Challenge as It Aims for Turnaround

Blackberry The Blackberry Passport

BlackBerry is hoping to improve its outlook with the launch of its 4.5-inch square-shaped Passport

BlackBerry Ltd. has had a busy week — it debuted a new smartphone called the Passport and reported a narrower quarterly loss. But do those rosy headlines suggest a turnaround is underway?

Not necessarily. The Canada-based company on Friday reported it recognized hardware revenue on about 2.1 million smartphones for the quarter ended Aug. 30, a tiny figure compared to the over 10 million smartphones Apple sold over the weekend after the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. BlackBerry’s quarterly revenue plunged 42% to $916 million from the year-ago level.

And for those keeping score: back when Apple debuted its first iPhone in 2007, it took 74 days to ship its one millionth smartphone. BlackBerry managed to ship over 3 million devices in a quarter over roughly the same time period.

Of course, this reversal of fortunes isn’t a surprise. BlackBerry’s worldwide smartphone market share is under 1%, according to data from research firm International Data Corporation, far less than Apple’s hold on about 12% of the market. BlackBerry’s market share was a far more sturdy 13.6% just three years ago, signifying just how quickly things can turn sour for a smartphone maker when it falls out of favor.

BlackBerry is hoping to change all that with the launch of its 4.5-inch square-shaped Passport, touting the device’s larger screen and apps geared to professionals that have defected to other devices. As Fortune reported last month, BlackBerry is hoping government, finance and health care workers will find the device’s unorthodox dimensions ideal for their work.

The device is off to a fairly decent start, according to CNET, which reports 200,000 BlackBerry Passport smartphones have been ordered since launch.

Investors have bought into the BlackBerry turnaround story before, only to be burned later when reality set in. The company’s shares rose in the months leading up to the company’s launch of a new operating system, called BlackBerry 10, which was unveiled in 2013. Investors had placed a big bet that plan could work, sending BlackBerry’s [then known as Research in Motion] shares up 59% in the 12 months before issuing quarterly results in June. Disappointing sales of the Z10 phone resulted in shares tumbling some 28%.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Software

How to Fix iOS 8’s Most Annoying Features

Whether you’ve got a new iPhone 6 or you’re happy holding on to your iPhone 5 or 5S, Apple’s mobile operating system update iOS 8 is great. There are a ton of useful new features like family sharing, swipe-to-respond notifications and the data-aggregating health app. But not everything about the update is sunshine and gumdrops – there are some annoying new features, too.

Thankfully, many of these annoyances are just new default settings. You can switch a lot of these defaults back to the way they were in iOS 7, and without much effort. Here are five of the most common complaints people have with Apple’s mobile operating system update, and the five best ways to fix or work around them.

Turn Off Handoffs

If you have an Apple iPad, iPod Touch or MacBook that uses your Apple ID, you may start to automatically get phone calls on all these devices. You can easily turn this off on some or all of them if you choose. Just enter into each individual gadget’s Settings menu, tap FaceTime and then turn off iPhone Cellular Calls.

Hide Recent Contacts

Personally, I like the upper row of friends and family pictures that come up when I double tap my home button. It provides easy access to your Favorites and those you’ve contacted recently. But if you don’t want people snooping on whom you’ve been calling and texting recently or you prefer the old iOS 7 version without those circular pictures, you can shut it off from the Settings menu. Just tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then tap Show in App Switcher (under Contacts). Turn off both toggles.

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Apple

Deleting Your Photos No Longer Actually Deletes Them

The Photos app in iOS 8 now comes with a Recently Deleted folder, which houses the snapshots you’ve chosen to delete for 30 days before they’re completely deleted from your device. This is nice to save you from accidentally deleting important photos, but terrible if there’s a photo you want deleted completely and immediately. Once you delete a snapshot from your main folder, be sure you also go into the Recently Deleted folder to select it and then delete it for good.

Stop Voice and Video Messages from Self Destructing

Sending and receiving short audio messages via iMessage is a lot of fun, but due to file size restraints, those items are quickly auto-deleted from your phone. You can change this to save those messages indefinitely by default if you’d like. Enter your phone’s Settings, tap Messages and then tap Settings. Tap Keep Messages, then change the Audio Messages and Video Expiration time to never.

But before you do, I’d urge you to strongly consider signing up for free cloud storage from a secondary provider to iCloud. I like the 30 GB free allotment currently offered by Microsoft OneDrive. It’s the best way to keep all that media, plus your own personal photos and videos, saved indefinitely without needing to pay for more iCloud storage or pay more for a phone with a larger drive.

Turn Off Predictive Text

I found the new Predictive Text feature to be a lot of fun in the first few hours of iOS 8, but its novelty wore off quickly when it proved more distracting than useful. Thankfully, it’s easily turned off. Enter your settings app, tap General, then tap Keyboard. Toggle Predictive off, and the deed is done.

This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Social Media

There’s a New Social Network Called ‘Ello’ That Is Creating Quite a Buzz

The website is by invite only and boasts a complete lack of advertisers and data mining

Tired of Facebook with its intrusive research and targeted advertising?

Say hello (“h” optional) to Ello, a new social network described by its creators as “simple, beautiful and ad-free” and that is starting to take the Internet by storm.

“We originally built Ello as a private social network,” says the site’s About page. “Over time, so many people wanted to use Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.”

The website has a black-and-white color scheme and a clean, scroll-down structure that allows the users to post pictures, status updates and comment on each other’s posts.

The site’s manifesto denounces the practice other social-media companies employ of tracking and recording a user’s every move and converting it into data to sell to advertisers. “We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership,” the creators of the site who describe themselves as a “small group of artists and designers” say, before ending with, “You are not a product.”

What is adding to the intrigue of the social network is that one can only join with an invite.

Mashable reports that the site is receiving between 4,000 to 30,000 requests an hour, and that a few existing users have already begun selling invites on eBay for anywhere from $5 to $150.

The sites upcoming features include iOS and Android apps, video integration and an Emoji index.

TIME NBA

A Microsoft Guy Bought the Clippers So Now iPads Will ‘Probably’ Be Banned

Los Angeles Clippers Fan Festival
Jeff Gross—Getty Images The new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer, addresses the media after being introduced for the first time during the Los Angeles Clippers Fan Festival on August 18, 2014, in Los Angeles

Expect to see some Surface tablets on the team bench instead

One of Steve Ballmer’s first acts as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers might be to do away with the team’s iPads.

In an interview with Reuters on his plans for the NBA franchise he bought for $2 billion a few months ago, the former Microsoft CEO revealed that the fate of all the Apple devices used by the team’s staff was one of the first things head coach Doc Rivers brought up.

“It’s one of the first things he said to me: ‘We are probably going to get rid of these iPads, aren’t we?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we probably are.’ But I promised we would do it during the off-season,” Ballmer said.

Not surprising, considering that Ballmer was the CEO of Apple’s major competitor for 14 years and is still the company’s largest individual shareholder. In fact, his loyalty to his old company is so strong that no one in his family is allowed to use an iPhone. So why should his team be any different?

“Most of the Clippers are on Windows, some of the players and coaches are not,” he told Reuters.

If the ban goes ahead, any iPads the team uses for courtside strategy will most likely be replaced by Microsoft’s Surface tablets.

The Clippers, under Ballmer’s ownership, will hope to emerge from the shadow of their former owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA and forced to sell his team earlier this year after racist comments he made to his then girlfriend became public.

[Reuters]

TIME Smartphones

Apple Releases iOS Update It Says Will Fix New iPhone Problems

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A member of the media inspects the new iPhone 6 during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2014

Apple's anticipated fix to its faulty iOS 8 was released Thursday evening

Apple released an update to its iOS 8 late Thursday that it says will fix the numerous bugs with the original operating system.

The iOS 8 had a number of serious issues, and users widely reported an iOS 8.0.1 connectivity issue that caused dropped calls on their cellular network, affecting primarily iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. The update also disabled the Touch ID function, which allows people to unlock their phones with fingerprints.

Apple’s widely anticipated iOS 8.0.2 fixes connectivity issues, repairs a bug so that the touted HealthKit apps can be made available on the App Store, among other glitch fixes.

Check out the full list of bug fixes below:

TIME Tech

Tech Firms Desert Powerful Right-Wing Group After Climate Change Spat

Silicon Valley distances itself from the American Legislative Exchange Council

Google wasn’t the first major tech company to leave powerful conservative activist organization the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over its position on climate change, but it seems to have been the one that set the other dominoes falling.

After Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the company would no longer support the group, which opposes environmental regulations and has said climate change could be “beneficial,” Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp all issued statements indicating that, for unspecified reasons, their memberships in the group would be allowed to expire.

Microsoft had already quit the organization in August, according to the liberal group Common Cause which monitors ALEC, after a Boston-based investment group raised questions about the company’s support in light of ALEC’s opposition to federal renewable energy programs.

The group is known for creating model legislation that promotes free market and conservative policies, which it then works to pass in state legislatures around the country. On energy policies, it has sponsored initiatives to curb the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and opposed federal programs aimed at increasing the production of energy from renewable sources.

It has been extraordinarily effective at getting legislation passed, particularly in the last several years, and has become a favorite target of progressive groups, much like the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who are themselves reputed to be major ALEC supporters. ALEC did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TIME. In response to news that Google would be pulling its support, ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson said in a statement, “It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial.”

The most recent wave of departing Silicon Valley companies haven’t explained their decisions to leave ALEC, but the news comes after intense lobbying from liberal and environmental organizations. “We reevaluate our memberships on an annual basis, and are in that process now,” Facebook said in a statement. “While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, like net neutrality, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress and so will be unlikely to renew our membership in 2015.”

Similar spurts have happened in the past. According to records kept by ALEC watchdog The Center for Media and Democracy, in 2012 both Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced a parting of ways with ALEC. The same year McDonald’s announced it was revoking support for the group and Pepsi followed the next day with an announcement that it too had cut ties with the group.

The Guardian reported in 2013 that ALEC was facing a “funding crisis” following the departures of a number of member firms.

TIME Security

Experts Say ‘Bash’ Bug Is a Major Vulnerability But Not a Major Threat

computer virus
Getty Images

Cybersecurity experts explain why the Bash bug might actually not be as risky as the Heartbleed bug discovered earlier this year

When the Heartbleed software bug was disclosed in April, there was no shortage of publicizing its risks and defensive measures—and for good reason. And the Bash bug, discovered Wednesday, is prompting similar widespread fear. The security flaw is named after a vulnerable piece of software, Bash, that’s built into several ubiquitous operating systems, including Apple’s Mac OS X.

“People were taking Heartbleed very seriously,” said Jim Reavis, CEO of cybersecurity firm Cloud Security Alliance. “If people don’t take Bash seriously, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Cybersecurity experts like Reavis don’t doubt that the Bash bug is dangerous: it is, and it needs urgent attention. The afflicted Bash software, released in 1989, is an open source software that was built-in to Linux and Mac OS operating systems and then widely integrated into many corporate and personal computer programs, experts said. Preliminary estimates say it could impact up to 50 percent of Internet-connected servers, according to Darien Kindlund, director of threat research at FireEye, a network security company.

“Bash is yet another type of open source software that has been reused, repurposed,” Kindlund said.

But the threat posed by the Bash bug—it could theoretically remotely command computers and extract private information—is overblown, cybersecurity experts told TIME. Average computer users aren’t likely to be directly targeted by hackers, experts said. And for the vulnerability to be triggered, the attacker would need to deliver content to the user, and then get the user to execute Bash with that content, according to Kindlund. Normal web browsing, emailing or other common activities do not involve calling Bash. What average users should be worried about are more traditional hacking techniques, like phishing emails and links to malicious websites, said John Gunn of VASCO Data Security.

“There are so many other methods that have a high degree of success that would take priority over [Bash as a hacking tool],” Gunn said. “The vulnerability really exists for large organizations that may have servers running Linux.”

Companies who have web servers that aren’t updated internally on a frequent basis may be most at risk because they continue to use old technology, according to Kindlund. Some companies who still store private data on Internet-facing servers—an outdated practice, as it makes sensitive information more vulnerable—or do not have strong security may vulnerable as well, but they can take precautions by inspecting each and every of their Linux-based servers, said Tanuj Gulati, CTO of Securonix, a security intelligence firm.

“The Apples or the Amazons or the Googles of the world aren’t the ones I’m worried about the most,” Reavis said. “But it could be some big companies that use this technology, but simply don’t have an awareness budget, or not taking this seriously.”

Still, many companies already have protection mechanisms in place that would prevent Bash from inflicting significant harm. Most servers can detect anomalous traffic and behavior, and many already take precautionary efforts by keeping records offline where they are inaccessible, Gunn said.

“What this Bash vulnerability depends on is a lot of other failures,” Gunn added. “This isn’t a single point of failure, whereas in Heartbleed, it was.”

Numerous patches for the Bash bug have already flooded the market. While security researchers have claimed the patches are incomplete, experts agree that fully fixing the vulnerability would take years. Additionally, that there have not been any known major breaches using Bash has also boosted security experts’ confidence that the bug may not pose a widespread threat.

“Most vulnerabilities of value are either shared or sold in the hacking community,” Gunn said. “If this had been a viable hacking method, it would’ve been exchanged in the hacking community, and it has not.”

But fact that Bash may not pose a major threat to individuals or companies doesn’t mean its danger should be understated, experts agreed.

“You saw a lot of worry about [Heartbleed], and there really wasn’t much that happened. The economy didn’t grind to a halt. Cities didn’t black out,” said James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s a vulnerability. A flaw.”

 

TIME iPhone 6

Apple Defends Against Allegations of Bending iPhone 6 Plus

Only nine customers have formally complained, Apple said

Following days of silence, Apple is defending the new iPhone 6 Plus against allegations that it bends easily. The company told The Wall Street Journal that only nine customers have contacted Apple to complain about a bent iPhone 6 Plus. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus passed requisite stress tests that mimicked normal use, Apple said.

In videos and on social media, some iPhone 6 Plus owners have claimed they can bend the device in their pockets or even in their hands. The issue, now known as “Bendgate” or “Bendgazi” online, is just one headache Apple is dealing with this week. Wednesday the company pulled an update to iOS 8 after customers complained that the new software was causing problems with cellular service and Touch ID. Apple later apologized for the faulty update and issued directions for users to revert to the original iOS 8 software.

The mix of bad news has put a beating on Apple’s stock, which fell more than 3% in trading Thursday, dipping well below $100 per share, though other tech companies have also had rough days on the market.

Apple did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

[WSJ]

 

TIME Iran

Twitter Chief Trolls Iranian President on Twitter

Newest Innovations In Consumer Technology On Display At 2014 International CES
Ethan Miller—Getty Images Twitter CEO Dick Costolo speaks during the Brand Matters keynote address at the 2014 International CES at The Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called out Hassan Rouhani over Iran's official Twitter ban

Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, has a bone to pick with Iran: you can’t use Twitter there.

And on Thursday, Costolo tweeted at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani—currently in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly—with a Twitter burn for the ages:

With access to Twitter and Facebook officially banned in the Islamic Republic, Iranians have to find other ways to bypass the state’s Internet filtering system. That’s if they’re not the country’s president, who is a prolific tweeter and apparently has unfettered access to the social network. But Costolo’s tweet isn’t just a muted form of digital social activism; it’s a pragmatic defense of his company’s business interests in Iran.

Rouhani doesn’t appear to have responded yet to Costolo’s tweet, which may be because it’s just too hard to come back from a tweet like that.

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