Denial of Service Prank Crashing iMessage App for Targeted Developers [Mac Blog]

March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Next Web is reporting that a group of iOS developers has been targeted with a series of rapid-fire messages on iMessage, creating a sort of denial-of-service (DoS) attack that crashes the iMessage app.

Grant Paul, one of the targeted iOS developers explains how the attack worked:

“What’s happening is a simple flood: Apple doesn’t seem to limit how fast messages can be sent, so the attacker is able to send thousands of messages very quickly,” Paul says.

The second part of that, he explains, is that if a user sends a ‘complex’ text message using unicode characters that force a browser to render ‘Zalgo’ text, or simply uses a message that is enormous in size, them the Messages app will eventually crash as it fails to display it properly. This will effectively ‘break’ the Messages app on iOS by forcing it to close and stop it from re-opening because it can’t render that text.”

iH8sn0w, an iOS jailbreak tool and app developer, showed TNW a proof-of-concept AppleScript that would be able to create the barrage of iMessages. A potential spammer would only need a person’s email address and the AppleScript to engage in the attack, especially after Apple unified phone numbers and email addresses in iOS 6. 

imessagedos
Currently, there is no way to block particular senders in iMessage, though iH8sn0w said it should be possible for Apple to notice the bursts of messages and block them as repetitive spamming. Victims can also disable iMessage entirely.

It’s not clear who initiated the attack, nor why these developers were targeted, though it appears the attacks are merely a prank.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/denial-of-service-prank-crashing-imessage-app-for-targeted-developers/

Apple Has No Plans for Dedicated iOS Gaming Controller

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

app_store_games_bannerFollowing today’s rumor that Apple was quietly polling developers at this week’s Game Developers Conference about support for a forthcoming gaming controller for iOS devices, the ever-reliable Jim Dalrymple has quickly quashed that report.

As usual, Dalrymple provides no additional comment beyond a simple “Nope”, but his selective quoting of the source material suggests that he is denying any current plans for an Apple-branded controller.

“Long rumoured – and hoped for – GDC 2013 has finally provided confirmation that Apple will release its own dedicated game controller.”

Nope.

Dalrymple has solid connections at Apple and has on numerous occasions and with 100% accuracy either confirmed or denied specific rumors. Prior to today, his most recent such statement came last month when he nixed a claim of a television-related Apple media event scheduled Apple for this month.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/apple-has-no-plans-for-dedicated-ios-gaming-controller/

Music Executive: ‘iRadio is Coming’, Apple Pushing for Summer Launch

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

ItunesNegotiations between Apple and record companies regarding Apple’s rumored ‘iRadio’ music service are progressing, The Verge reports as one tidbit in a larger article about the music industry in general.

The last report about Apple’s streaming music service came earlier in March when Apple was reported to be offering half the royalty rate that Pandora pays for a similar product.

Much has been written about Apple’s plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said “iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore.” Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.

It has been reported in numerous publications that Apple wanted to launch its service sometime in 2013, but was having difficulties negotiating royalty rates that were satisfactory to both sides.

That Universal and Warner are the companies claimed to have made the most progress with Apple is noteworthy — Universal was the last of the four major labels to sign onto Apple’s iCloud service, while Warner has been wary of cloud-based services in the past.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/music-executive-iradio-is-coming-apple-pushing-for-summer-launch/

Apple Working on Dedicated iOS Game Controller?

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Pocketgamer reports that Apple spoke with a number of developers at the Game Developers Conference this week about providing game support for a new, official iOS game controller. Apple was rumored to have a physical game controller in the works for the iPhone last year, but nothing has yet seen the light of day.
Two iCade Game Controller Products

Of course, there’s no official word yet, but Apple has been active during the conference talking to developers about its plans and ensuring plenty of games will support the joypad at launch.

It’s been operating a meeting room at the show, albeit booked under a pseudonym company name to avoid media attention.

However, speaking anonymously, multiple developer sources have confirmed the news to PocketGamer.biz.

Back in 2008, Apple applied for a patent relating to a Wiimote-like controller, but there is no indication that patent is related to this effort.

There are a number of third-party game controllers including the iCade line and an Atari Joystick. However, these third-party efforts have been hampered by a lack of widespread support from developers.

MacRumors had heard previously that Apple had originally supported accessory makers in their quest to make official dock-connector game controllers, but then the approval process was mysteriously halted. Some had speculated at the time that Apple was working on their own game controller solution.

For what it’s worth, none of our GDC contacts have heard anything to corroborate the Pocketgamer story, and there is no indication of when or if such a controller might launch.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/apple-working-on-dedicated-ios-game-controller/

Piracy-Crippled Game From Hunted Cow Returns to App Store as ‘Battle Dungeon: Risen’ [iOS Blog]

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last December, asynchronous multiplayer strategy game Battle Dungeon hit the App Store. Less than a week after the game was released, an .ipa file surfaced on the internet and illicitly obtained copies of Battle Dungeon caused a huge amount of stress on the game’s servers.

The team behind Battle Dungeon, Hunted Cow, was forced to shut it down after the server load caused technical difficulties that the team did not have the resources to fix.

Hunted Cow did not give up on Battle Dungeon and has today released a new version of the game in the App Store. Battle Dungeon: Risen is a redesigned single player version of Battle Dungeon that features a number of improvements.

battledungeon
Battle Dungeon: Risen offers up all new content, along with improved graphics and a lower price. The game has also been stripped of in-app purchases, allowing all upgrades to be obtained with gold earned in the game.

We’ve integrated our AI code in to the game and developed a complete single player campaign. Along with all new maps and enemies, so don’t be surprised if you see a skeleton or two wandering our new and improved dungeons. We’ve also gone over all our levels with some new tools that should give it much more vibrant and realistic lighting. In addition to this, each mission now includes a 3 star challenge rating and we’ve implemented Game Center leaderboards and achievements.

As a turn-based strategy game, Battle Dungeon: Risen features 12 different scenarios to play through with several different classes, massive battles, and an array of items to earn.

Battle Dungeon: Risen can be downloaded for the iPad and the iPhone from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/piracy-crippled-game-from-hunted-cow-returns-to-app-store-as-battle-dungeon-risen/

Vine Updated with Web Embeds, Third Party Sharing on Facebook and Twitter [iOS Blog]

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Twitter has updated Vine for iOS, adding a feature that allows Vine users to embed their videos on web pages. The embed option, which is located in the app, can be used for self-created videos and for videos created by others. Embeds can also be done via the Vine.co webpage assigned to Vines on the internet.

Video sharing offers two stylistic choices, including “Simple,” which is a borderless video displayed at full resolution and “Postcard,” which is the standard Vine look.

vine
Vine users can also share other users’ Vine videos on Facebook and Twitter with the newest version of the app, as long as the videos have been previously shared by those who created them. Finally, the update includes a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements.

-Now you can share posts by others to Twitter or Facebook, or embed them on the web.
-Fixed an issue that caused the camera to freeze when starting a new recording
-Resolved a bug that that caused the camera to record without touching the screen
-Other minor fixes and performance improvements

Vine can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/vine-updated-with-web-embeds-third-party-sharing-on-facebook-and-twitter/

Unlikely Rumor Claims June 20 Media Event to Introduce iPhone 5S [iOS Blog]

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Macotakara reports that the long-running Japanese magazine MacFan has claimed that Apple will be holding a special media event on June 20 to introduce the iPhone 5S. According to the report, the iPhone 5S will actually launch in July with the rumored lower-cost iPhone following in August.

Various analysts and other sources have been indicating that the iPhone 5S could launch as soon as June or July, but MacFan‘s specific claim of a June 20 media event seems to defy common sense on several levels.

iphone_5_event_lineiPhone 5 media event line (Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
First, while Apple has not yet announced dates for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, a tentative long-range schedule that leaked several years ago and continued gap in the Moscone Center’s public schedule have suggested that the company is likely to hold the conference the week of June 10-14.

Apple could certainly choose to introduce the iPhone 5S at WWDC as it did for several years before it shifted iPhone launches to later in the year for 2011 and 2012, although the company has shown that it is willing to hold WWDC without a major hardware launch and instead focus on iOS and OS X for its developer community.

Still, even if Apple chooses not to introduce the iPhone 5S at WWDC, it seems extremely unlikely that the company would expect the media to return for a separate media event just a week later to show off the iPhone 5S. Even when it is running a tight schedule to launch significant numbers of new products, Apple schedules significant gaps between its announcements in order to allow each one to have its full share of publicity.

Second, Apple almost universally holds its media events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, with the theory being that Mondays are poor days for members of the media who may need to travel to the event location the day before and that Thursdays and Fridays don’t leave enough time for the full publicity impact before the news cycle is interrupted by the weekend. The one recent exception to Apple’s scheduling trend was its education-focused media event on Thursday, January 19, 2012, but that event was unusual in several respects, including its location in New York City and a strict focus on content such as iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U rather than any new hardware.

As a result, we believe that June 20 is a very unlikely date for an iPhone media event, with Apple being much more likely to either introduce the iPhone 5S at WWDC itself during a Monday keynote (regardless of what week the conference is held) or at a Tuesday or Wednesday media event at least several weeks removed from WWDC.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/29/unlikely-rumor-claims-june-20-media-event-to-introduce-iphone-5s/

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