If you’ve upgraded to Apple’s iOS 9, and found that a load of stuff you want to look at online is suddenly blocked (hey, we’re not here to judge you, okay?), there’s a really easy way of getting around it, so you can fill you boots with whatever you like.
Apple’s content blockers are enabled or disabled through the Safari section of Settings, as you’d imagine, but if you only want to do it temporarily, and quickly while looking at something you wouldn’t normally get stuck into, then there’s a nice shortcut you can employ.
If you tap and hold on the reload button in Safari, it will give you an option to ‘Reload Without Content Blockers’, which means you can quickly look at a page as the developers of the page intended. With this method, there’s also an option to look at the desktop version of the site, if that’s your thing (you might want to hit a ‘submit’ button on Tumblr, which isn’t available on the mobile app, or whatever).
Either way, it is as easy as that. If you want to turn off content blocking completely, then go into your settings and mess around in there.
Obviously, that means there was an original Stagefright bug, so this is a new and improved security threat. The vulnerability allows hackers to take over an Android phone by sending it an MMS message, and it works by exploiting holes via an MP3 or MP4 video.
Mark James, a security specialist at ESET said: “Visiting a website and previewing an infected song or video file could enable the attacker to gain access to your mobile device and run remote code, in theory allowing them full access to your device enabling them to do whatever they wish … including installing other malware, or just harvesting your data for use in identity theft.”
All very typical thus far. Now, for some more techie stuff.
“The first vulnerability (in libutils) impacts almost every Android device since version 1.0 released in 2008. We found methods to trigger that vulnerability in devices running version 5.0 and up using the second vulnerability (in libstagefright),” said Zimperium, the company that first disclosed the original Stagefright bug.”
“The security holes lie within the media processing systems of Android, which can be broken, potentially allowing access to the the rest of the smartphone using specially crafted MP3 audio files or MP4 videos – both common formats for songs and videos.”
Okay? Good. Now, back to Mark James – seeing as very few people have got to this bit of the article because they’re bored and would rather be looking at cats on Reddit, he’s got the job of finish the tale to no-one.
“The first version of Stagefright required some information, namely your mobile number to be able to send the text message to your device,” says James. This new version does not even need to know any of your information to be successful. This, in theory, enables a much wider audience and indeed could enable access to over 1bn android devices.”
Google have been notified and are going to be patched some time this month. As a further bit of security, here are the best apps you can download to protect your phone from malware and the like. Stay safe, children.
In That London, there’s plans to crack down on Uber, and restrict the service they provide. Black cab drivers will be pleased at that, but supporters of Uber are not. Who supports Uber? People who get cheaper fares from them and business leaders.
Together, presumably, they have reacted angrily to the idea that Uber could be hamstrung, with London’s transport authorities accused of “arbitrary” proposals that could “damage London”.
In fact, these words came from The Institute of Directors, who represent thousands of big bosses across Britain, and they are not at all impressed with Transport for London’s plans to ban some of the features that come with Uber’s business. Elsewhere, roughly 100,000 (and counting) people have signed an online petition supporting Uber.
The TfL are unrepentant though, saying that the consultation they’re carrying out will hopefully provide new regulations which should improve passenger safety, and “maintain a clear distinction between the taxi and private hire trades”. So what are they planning on doing? Well, they’re looking at imposing a minimum five-minute wait between ordering a car and it arriving, and a ban on showing cars available for hire on apps.
“These new rules would embed economic inefficiency and create artificially high prices for passengers,” said Simon Walker, director general of the IoD. “Imposing a minimum five-minute wait time will just mean passengers stand on the side of the road looking at their car, unable to get in – wasting time, clogging streets and costing money. Outlawing companies from showing available cars on an app is a Luddite solution to a problem which doesn’t exist.”
“Their proposals for further restrictions to an already heavily-regulated industry are backwards and would damage London’s reputation as a city which celebrates innovation and embraces change.”
The mere mention of Starbucks sends certain people into a frenzy, muttering about tax and generally being annoyed at the price of the coffee served up. Of course, the rest of the world either shops there or simply ignores it.
Anyway, for fans of Starbucks – here’s a thing – you can now order and pay for your coffee before you even enter the shop. The new mobile order and pay service basically enables you to speed up the process of getting a brew (unless everyone else is using the app, in which case, queueing is still going to be a thing).
An update in the existing Starbucks app rolls out today, which allows you to pre-order and pre-pay for a drink (or a snack) and all you have to do is rock up to your local Starbucks and collect your goods. This is great if you’re socially anxious or a miseryguts.
If you want in, have a look at the top right of the app, where the order section has been updated. It does exactly as you imagine, enabling you to tweak your order and all that, before going fetching it. The app will give you an estimated time to pick up your order, which is estimated by the distance between your device’s location and your store of choice. It’ll even consider walking and driving times, which is a nice touch.
You’ll need a Starbucks account card though – that’s how you get billed.
This service has been going great-guns in America, and the UK is the first place outside of the States to give this a whirl. Initially, it’ll be an Apple-only affair (typical), before being rolled-out across all platforms. If you prefer, you can just make a flask of tea and shut up moaning about people’s shopping habits.
If you’ve bought yourself a new iPhone, or updated to iOS9, you may have noticed that your data allowance is being ravaged. That’s nice, especially if you’ve only just been able to switch your phone back on after it kept bloody crashing all the time.
If you have noticed (or haven’t, in which case, you might have an unpleasant surprise when you get your next bill), there’s an easy workaround for the problem.
The issue is to do with a new feature called ‘WiFi Assist’, which switches your phone to 4G when your WiFi connection is rubbish. This has been an Android feature for a while, but new to Apple, hence the potential for a horrible surprise come bill time.
To switch off the service, here’s how:
Go to Settings from your home screen. Then, click on ‘Mobile Data’ (if you’re in America, you should hit ‘Cellular’) and then scroll to the bottom of the list, and underneath your apps you’ll find ‘WiFi Assist’ where you can toggle with the settings. Obviously, you’ll be wanting to switch it off.
And that’s it. You can leave WiFi Assist on for a bit to see how you go on, but if you find your data is being blitzed, then at least you know how to stop that from happening again in the future.
As people get more jumpy about their personal privacy, the more anti-snooping devices appear on the market. BlackBerry have said they’re going to release a privacy-concerned device.
One handset that has people talking is the Blackphone 2, from Silent Circle. They have revamped their phone, and it aims to help you manage your personal data by adding software to the standard-issue Android OS.
You will be able to fine-tune what each app, site visited and service does, and what information it gives out while you use them.
This particular phone will cost you around £525, and will provoke puns based around ‘Paranoid Android’. What does it do you ask? Well, if you buy a Blackphone 2, you’ll be able to manage data sharing via the phone’s security centre, and you’ll be able to edit and mess around with each of your apps.
“At the moment it’s often about accepting everything or denying all the app permission requests,” said David Puron, head of engineering at Silent Circle. “We wanted it to be more fine-grained than that.”
“The industry is moving in the right direction and is incorporating the permission controls which is something we have done for 18 months,” he added. “It’s a good sign that these technologies are being progressively adopted.”
The phone lets you create separate virtual spaces, who you can set differing permissions for apps, depending on whether they’re being used personally, for work, or whether you’re letting your child play with your phone. It’ll enable encryption by default, and can be wiped remotely too. Sound like your kind of thing, or are you not arsed anymore and know that privacy is long dead and you might as well enjoy how Google link everything up, after poking around in your business?
Anyway, if you want the option of going off the map, it looks like there’s going to be a number of phones on the market to fulfil that need.
If you use a mobile phone, your bill could be set to rise following Ofcom’s latest announcement on new bandwith usage charges. The telecoms regulator sets the price at which use of the UK’s bandwidth is sold to mobile phone operators, but after consulting on the notion that the current £64.4m annual charge wasn’t a market rate, a new charge of £199.6m per year has now been announced- over a threefold increase. Unsurprisingly Britain’s mobile phone operators are not best pleased and are warning of price rises for consumers.
The new announcement follows an extensive consultation period- Ofcom were first charged with calculating an actual market rate by the Government back in 2010, and the latest figure is lower than the latest estimate of £228.3m floated in February and far less than the initial five-times increase they first came up with. So really, the mobile operators should be pleased they’ve got off lightly, and accept that they need to pay a market price rather than pocketing all the profits for themselves, right?
Unfortunately not. Operators have not ruled out raising prices to absorb the cost of the new fees- under the new charges, Vodafone and O2 will see their fees more than treble from £15.6m a year to £49.6m. EE’s charges will rise from £24.9m to £75m, while Three’s bill will go from £8.3m to £25m. The new fees will be introduced in two phases and will be in place by the end of October next year.
A spokesman for EE wasn’t best impressed, telling the Telegraph:
“We think Ofcom has got this wrong. The proposed licence fees for 1800MHz spectrum are based on a flawed approach.”
“The trebling of fees is bad news for British consumers and business as it raises the risk that we won’t be able to offer the best prices, and invest and innovate at the pace we and our customers would like,” he continued, passive-aggressively, finishing that “we’re also very disappointed that Ofcom has not reflected the higher costs we’ve taken on to meet enhanced coverage obligations that Ofcom and Government encouraged us to accept.”
A Vodafone spokesman said the company would be “reviewing Ofcom’s new fees” and that it was “too early to say” whether costs would be passed on to consumers as they represent “a significant increase” taking into account the investment they are putting into their “network and services”.
An O2 spokesman said, concisely: “We’re examining the decision in detail before deciding how best to proceed.”
Three declined to comment.
Ofcom, however, is unimpressed. “We have listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward by industry, and conducted a complex and comprehensive analysis to determine the new fees,” said Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s group director of spectrum.
“The mobile industry has not previously had to pay market value for access to this spectrum, which is a valuable and finite resource, and the new fees reflect that value.”
Ofcom continued: “The operators have had five years’ notice that the fees would be increased to reflect full market value and we expect them to have budgeted for this,” said a spokesman.
“We’ve listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward by industry. The fees announced today are in line with analysts’ expectations and with the amounts that operators pay for accessing spectrum in other countries.”
However, the final effect on consumer bills will remain to be seen, as shareholder profits are likely to be more important than happy customers, particularly if any increase ends up being industry-wide.
When Apple released iOS 9, little did they know how much bother it was going to cause them. Users angrily tweeted about how it had completely borked their phones and some had to do factory resets to get everything working again.
Basically, once iOS 9 has downloaded, a glitch meant that some people’s devices froze after users were prompted to “Slide to Upgrade.”
However, Apple seem to have fixed everything now, which is good news for those of you with an iPhone or whatever. And the update looks like this.
So what have they sorted out? Well, the new update fixes the issue where some couldn’t complete setup after updating. It also sorts out the issue where alarms and timers failed to sound off.
It also fixed the issue in Safari and Photos where pausing a video could cause the paused frame to look like a mess. It also sorted out the problem where some people with a custom APN setup via a profile would lose data.
You can download and install iOS 9.0.1 by opening Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.
Apple, who have been the bastions of cleanliness and righteousness (in their own minds) for such a long time, are having a ‘mare. An update has been making people’s iPhones crash (here’s how to fix it), Apple accounts have been stolen, and the camera borked (how to fix that, here).
Now, they have confirmed that malicious code has found its way into a number of official apps that are being sold in the App Store.
In a statement, Apple said that they’d found and removed apps that included a malicious program called Xcode Ghost, which is a fake version of Apple’s software development program Xcode. This thing hides malware in legit apps, and Apple said: “We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps.”
One of the popular apps that were affected was WeChat, where bad versions of it appeared and were available globally. WeChat themselves, said that the issue affected an older version of their program, so if you’ve been keeping it up-to-date, you should be fine. The company say that, thus far, they’ve not found anyone who has had their personal information swiped.
So, another public black eye for Apple, as they’ve been letting so many apps with nasty code through their normally watertight development stage. They need to sort it out, quickly.
Most people charge their mobiles overnight, because you can get it revved up and ready to go while you’re asleep, which is the only time you’re not using it. However, some people have said that overcharging your phone is bad for it.
Is that true?
Well, according to one tech writer, it isn’t. In fact, overcharging any modern device won’t affect them in the slightest.
Answering a question on Quora, tech writer Jesse Hollington said: “You simply can’t overcharge an iPhone, or any other modern electronic device, for that matter. When your iPhone is plugged in and reaches 100%, it switches to external power and simply runs from that.”
Basically, his explanation shows that any device that uses a Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer battery has to incorporate a charging circuit that cuts off charging power when it reaches 100%.
Hollington added that, if you charge your battery before it is fully depleted, that is actually the preferable way of doing things, regardless of what the bloke down the pub told you. This is something to do with ‘charge cycles’. He said: “Every time you charge your iPhone up from 90%, you’re using 10% of a complete charge cycle. This means you could charge your iPhone up from 90%-100% 5,000 times before you’d have to worry about running out of charge cycles.”
“However, if you deliberately drain your battery to zero and then recharge it, you’re needlessly using up a complete charge cycle. Obviously if you’re using your iPhone until the battery goes dead, that’s fair, but there’s no need to deliberately drain it before recharging it, and you’ll actually shorten your battery life if you do so.”
That’s if you can even use your iPhone. That said, if you have been stung by the iOS 9 update, here’s some things to try out before throwing your phone out of the window.
There’s been a lot of chat about iPhones crashing thanks to Apple’s latest update. People have been saying that their phone is bricked. Thanks stupid Apple.
The problem is the Slide to Upgrade screen isn’t responding, so here’s some thing you can do to fix everything. Kinda.
Apple have said that they’re going to release a new update soon, which will sort everything out, but if you’re in a rush and can’t wait for Apple to pull their finger out, here’s some workarounds.
What To Do If Your iPhone Won’t Work After Updating
You need to connect your iOS device to a computer that you’ve previously synced with iTunes and make sure that iTunes is open.
Then, you need to select your device and if you don’t see it listed, you’ll have to do a ‘Force Restart’. You do that by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. You drag the slider until your device turns off, and then, when it has done that, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.
If you did a backup of your device before updating to iOS 9, then restore it to the previous OS. If you don’t know how to do a backup of an Apple device, click here to see how. Hopefully, that should do it.
If not, and you’re still seeing the Slide to Upgrade screen and everything is borked, then you’ll need to restore your device.
If you don’t see your phone on your computer, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home button for 10 seconds or so, until your device restarts and appears in iTunes. Then, it’ll prompt you and you’ll choose Restore. Basically, this is a factory reset, so your phone will be as good as new, but you might lose some stuff if you haven’t backed things up or saved them to a cloud.
From now, thanks to Apple being a regular glitchfest, it’d be worth doing sporadic backups of everything, just in case this all happens again/
While the government are trying to stop people from undertaking Freedom of Information requests, so we can’t look at their correspondence and dodgy deals, funnily enough, they’re not so concerned about privacy when it comes to the public’s messages.
MI5 boss Andrew Parker is asking the government to get new powers to monitor communications, which means that encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp and iMessage could be banned.
Of course, they’re blaming terrorists again, and Parker has said internet companies have a “responsibility” to share information about their users, and that the use of strong encryption in apps should be illegal.
This backs David Cameron’s views on the matter, where he said that he doesn’t want to “allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read”. Maybe, like the government’s FOI idea, we should all charge the authorities £600-a-pop if they want to look in our messages. Sound fair?
Parker reckons that encryption is “creating a situation where law enforcement agencies and security agencies can no longer obtain under proper legal warrant the contents of communications between people they have reason to believe are terrorists”.
“They are using secure apps and internet communication to try to broadcast their message and incite and direct terrorism amongst people who live here who are prepared to listen to their message.” He added that it “is in nobody’s interests that terrorists should be able to plot and communicate out of the reach of any authorities with proper legal power”.
Just imagine, if we can’t have encrypted messages, what baddies might be able to do, if they can hack into everyone’s messages too! Of course, Apple and Facebook (who own iMessage and WhatsApp respectively) are keen to commit to their users privacy (apart from all the times they use your details to make cash and the like).
Anyway, keep an eye out for the Home Secretary bringing back the Snooper’s Charter, as your privacy isn’t too much of a concern to the current government.
We told you what Apple have in store for the new iOS 9 update, but it isn’t all good. A lot of people have been noting that the update is making their devices crash. Apple have been having a lot of glitches lately, haven’t they? ‘Just works’ indeed.
On social media, some have said that they’ve been unable to use their phones at all, while others have just lost patience and done a factory reset, losing all their non-backed up data in the process. Ideally, Apple would fix it and issue an update, stat.
People with older iPhones have noticed that their phones are seizing up on a “swipe to upgrade” page, even though Apple deemed this upgrade as ‘friendly’ to older devices.
Another problem here is that iOS 8 was a glitchfest too, and some of the bugs in that weren’t ever properly fixed. Apple are risking annoying a lot of people who have paid a lot of money for a ‘premium’ product. If they keep this up, their customer base could drop.
So what should you do if you haven’t upgraded yet, but are thinking of doing so? Well, it’d be a good idea to wait a few days, and let Apple sort their mess out and iron out the bugs that are in their system at the moment. You’re in no rush.
You thought Microsoft had quietly taken Zune out the back a killed it ages ago didn’t you? Well, not the case because they’ve just announced (to the 6 people that were using it) that they’re pulling the plug on their music service on November 15th. We’re setting up a helpline and will be holding a memorial in due time.
So, if you are using Zune, start saying your goodbyes, as Microsoft have said that you won’t be able to stream or download anything from it after that date, and, gallingly, anything you bought with DRM won’t play if the license can’t be renewed.
And people wonder why so many people illegally download music.
That said, your Zune device, and all the MP3s you have, will work as normal, so that’s something at least, eh? There’s more - Zune Music Pass subscribers will be migrated over to Microsoft ‘s new Groove service, which works with Windows 10, Xbox One, Android and iOS. Concerning the latter, we’d be very surprised if any Apple Fanboys are prepared to use a Microsoft music product on their devices.
If you’re on a monthly Zune pass, then your account will switch to a Groove Music Pass, which will cost you £8.99 per month, or £89 if you’re buying an annual pass.