Any device from Apple's popular trinity of multitouch gadgets can be used to control the AR.Drone using the AR.FreeFlight application, which will be available for free in the App Store. The controlling device can easily be paired with the “quadricopter” using Wi-Fi. Once connected, the drone can beam streaming video to the controlling device, thanks to two on-board cameras.
But even if you are unlikely to fly a reconnaissance mission anytime soon, there is another reason to buy the $300 toy – augmented reality games. The drone will debut with a couple of games, both of which will be available for $2.99 each from the App Store.
Andrew Auernheimer, a 24-year-old authorities believe is one of the hackers who participated in Goatse Security's shenanigans in which some 114,000 iPad owners' emails were obtained through a security flaw and then posted online for all to see, has been arrested. Want to venture a guess as to why?
If you said "drugs," then you cheated, but you're also correct. By way of an FBI search warranty, Auernheimer, who goes by the name "Escher" and the hacker handle "Weev," had his home raided earlier this week. It's unclear what prompted the warrant, but during the search, authorities claimed to have found drugs.
Auerner faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor possession charge. According to Lt. Anthony Foster of the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the drugs included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals.
What's interesting about all this is there doesn't seem to be any indication that Auernheimer faces charges for the hacking incident, even though he's believed to be a key member of the Goatse Security group that discovered the security flaw in an AT&T website for iPad users. In a letter sent out last week to iPad owners, AT&T said it would assist in the investigation of any illegal activities related to the security breach.
It's probably fair to say that Research in Motion (RIM) has Apple envy, but then again, so do a lot of mobile companies. We say this in part because, if we're to believe a report in The Wall Street Journal, RIM plans to claim a slice of the tablet pie that's now dominated by Apple.
Naturally RIM is unwilling to confirm or deny the report, but citing people familiar with RIM's plans, the WSJ says the tablet device will serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry, which sounds an awful lot like the iPad, which serves as a larger-screen companion to the iPhone/iPod touch. Still in the early stage of development, the BlackBerry tablet, or whatever it will be called, will connect to cellular networks by tethering to BlackBerry phones, and it could be ready by the end of the year.
But it's not just the iPad that has RIM's design team working overtime, the company is reportedly working ferociously to build other devices and software to gain back market share from Apple. One of these devices is a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, which makes sense given that RIM and their BlackBerry phones are perhaps most famous for the hardware keyboards. The phone will sport a new version of the BlackBerry OS and purportedly will work like the iPhone, meaning you'll be able to swipe your way through screens and menus, enlarge images with your fingers, and so forth. You can also expect a universal search bar that will comb through not only the phone, but online data too, the WSJ says.
AT&T can send out apology emails to their heart's content for a recent security breach that had hackers posting emails of some 114,000 iPad owners, but at the end of the day, Apple's slate is still vulnerable, hacker site Goatse Security said.
As Goatse Security explains it, "all iPads are vulnerable" through the Safari browser. Safari apparently doesn't block off high-numbered, illegitimate ports or communication channels, and when combined with the broswer's ability to automatically fulfill software requests, a user need only click a malicious link to invite trouble. A hacker could, in theory, gain unauthorized access, and do so fairly easily.
Goatse Security's disclosure was in response to AT&T calling the recent attack "malicious" and requiring "great effort." According to AT&T's email, the security flaw that allowed the recent breach has been turned off and is no longer an issue. Goatse Security, however, denied that any "great effort" was involved, saying it took only an hour to bust into the system.
According to Vietnamese site Tinh te, the 7-inch Samsung tablet to be called the “Galaxy Tape” will run Android 2.2 (Froyo). It will be powered by a 1.2 GHz A8 processor, and feature 16GB inbuilt memory and a 4,000mAH battery. It is said to weigh 370 grams.
What do you do if a security screw-up leads to over 114,000 email addresses being exposed, including those registered to politicians, celebrities, military personnel, and other prominent figures? You apologize, of course, and take refuge in your exclusivity contract, if you have one (as AT&T does).
"Recently there was an issue that affected some of our customers with AT&T 3G service for iPad resulting in the release of their customer email addresses," AT&T's Dorothy Attwood stated in an email to its customers. "I am writing to let you know that no other information was exposed and the matter has been resolved. We apologize for the incident and any inconvenience it may have caused. Rest assured, you can continue to use your AT&T 3G service on your iPad with confidence."
In the email, Attwood blamed the incident on malicious hackers who exploited a function designed to make the iPad's log-in process faster by pre-populating an AT&T authentication page with the email address used to register a user's iPad for 3G services.
"AT&T acted quickly to protect your information – and we promise to keep working around the clock to keep your information safe," Attwood continued. "Thank you very much for your understanding, and for being an AT&T customer."
As if those who want to pair Apple's iPad with 3G service have a choice (actually, they do, but it requires jailbreaking, tethering to a smartphone, or using a mobile hotspot device like Verizon's MiFi).
Steve Jobs bills the iPad as revolutionary and magical, while Apple haters peg the tablet as a ginormous waste of $500+. Chris Lucas, proprietor of Pearl restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, has found a way to make Apple's slate a little bit of both. His will be the first restaurant in Australia -- and maybe the world -- to replace paper-based menus and wine lists with iPads.
"The thirst for knowledge from consumers these days is massive," says Lucas. "It doesn't matter whether it's ingredients, origins of produce. or wine, and particularly Old World wine, this platform can provide as little, or as much, information as each customer wants.
"This is not a gimmick. I really reckon this is going to set a precedent."
The iPads will come with custom software that will allow hungry patrons to "drill down" for information. View the wine list, for example, and you'll be able to not only see the price, but dig further to see suggested food matches, recipes, and even make your way to the wine maker's website. What the tablets won't do, however, is replace the wait staff.
"We don't want the consumer placing the order," Lucas clarified. "There is still a very important role for service staff in a smart restaurant, but the graphics and functionality make this thing a very important resource. I think a lot of traditional restaurant situations can be very intimidating. This is a way to liberate the consumer."
The life of a white hat hacker isn't one I envy. They do an amazing job of uncovering security exploits that threaten us all, but whistle blowers who come forward too often seem to get the cold shoulder, or worse yet, labeled as criminals. This is the situation allegedly facing Goatse security, the firm that first reported on the iPad data leak that exposed over 114,000 iPad email accounts last week.
According to a Goatse spokesman known only as "Weev", "We did this as niceguy as we could. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article that implies pretty strongly that we are criminals. We did not publically release the dataset, we waited until we confirmed the system was secured before we went public with technical details. I hope they don't try to get charges pressed but if charges are pressed we will fight it and win".
A similar situation is facing a Google employee who recently exposed a vulnerability in Windows XP and was labeled by Microsoft as "irresponsible". It can sometimes be difficult to gage the intention of those who bring these exploits to light, and at least in this case, Google insists the employee in question was acting alone. Regardless of how you feel about each of the individual cases listed above, it raises interesting concerns about how to deal with situations like this in the future.
Are these guys criminals or heroes? Let us know what you think after the jump.
In what's being described as AT&T's worst security breach in recent history, the wireless company went and left sensitive information on 114,067 owners of the iPad 3G exposed on the Web. The subscriber data was obtained by a group calling itself Goatse Security, who then published the personal email addresses of the victims, including military officials, CEOs, prominent politicians, and celebrities.
AT&T, which has confirmed the breach, insists that only email addresses were lifted, and that more sensitive data like credit cards and home addresses were not compromised.
"AT&T was informed by a business customer on Monday of the potential exposure of their iPad ICC IDS," AT&T said in a statement. "The only information that can be derived from the ICC IDS is the e-mail address attached to that device. This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday; and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the e-mail addresses. The person or group who discovered this gap did not contact AT&T. We are continuing to investigate and will inform all customers whose e-mail addresses and ICC IDS may have been obtained. We take customer privacy very seriously and while we have fixed this problem, we apologize to our customers who were impacted."
While this one falls on AT&T's shoulders, the breach doesn't look good for Apple, either. This latest incident comes just weeks after an Apple employee left an iPhone prototype in a bar.
Even if you reject the iPad on an intestinal level—you know, because you don’t want to be associated with mock turtlenecks and man bags—then you should still view Apple’s device as a referendum on the looming wave of tablet computers. The bottom line is that the iPad is damn useful. The referendum has passed.
The LED-backlit display clocks 1024x768 pixels across 9.7 diagonal inches. Those are netbook-like specs in a physical formfactor that’s more attractive (both aesthetically and functionally) than any netbook. The best part about the screen is that it defines the iPad in toto—without the baggage of a hinged physical keyboard, track pad, or pointing stick, the iPad thrives when typing, web-surfing, or doing similarly simple tasks while lying on your back.