Cracked Already: Chaos Computer Club Crack’s Apple’s New TouchID

TouchID, Apple, iPhone, iOSGermany’s Chaos Computer Club has reportedly cracked Apple’s newest feature, TouchID. As you probably know, people lucky enough to pick up an iPhone 5S this weekend are able to open their iPhone and charge their iTunes account with a simple thumb print.

Using some pretty comprehensive technology, the fingerprint scanner, built into the iPhone 5s’ home button, scans the users fingerprint. Rather than comparing it to a stored fingerprint locally or on a server,the technology compares the data in the fingerprint to verify the identity of the user. It also requires that the user be alive, breathing and attached to the person it belongs to.

For their customer’s protection, Apple has blocked the TouchID feature from developers. Apple insists that no one actually has a saved version of the fingerprint, but for now the technology is protected from anyone not working at One Infinite Loop.

Well despite being protected from developers, hackers have been able to crack the TouchID feature.

The biometrics team at Germany’s Chaos Computer Club were able to use a hacking technique that dates back to 1994 in order to breach the TouchID security.

The blog nakedsecurity has simplified the procedure for cloning fingerprints and then unlocking an iPhone 5s to these 7 steps:

  • Take a hi-res (2400dpi) photograph of the fingerprint.
  • Digitally invert the image so that the valleys of the print are black.
  • Laser print (1200dpi) the image with a very thick toner setting.
  • Smear white woodglue (or latex) over the printout and allow to set.
  • Carefully peel off the glue or latex sheet.
  • Breathe on the surface so it’s slightly moist and conductive.
  • Unlock phone.

What’s more in this story is that the hackers at Chaos Computer Club didn’t use a picture of the iPhone owners fingerprint to clone, rather they lifted the print off of a glass surface and were able to make a working duplicate.

Now obviously this is a lot of steps to take to just get access into someone else’s iPhone, but it sure beats cutting a finger off  (which won’t work anyway).


Am I The Only One On Earth Who Thinks Mailbox Sucks?

Mailbox app,iPhone,gmail,startupsI stood in line to get the latest app phenomena mailbox. I’m an early adopter so I was able to get into the app about 36 hours after my text message saying it was officially ready. I went through the process of downloading the app that showed me how many people were behind me and how many were in front of me. When I actually got into the Mailbox app there were over half a million people behind me.

To that, the creators of Mailbox get a big fat well played. They created an ear piercing buzz and created hype that will never be replicated quit that way again.

I’ve heard and read so many stories about how impressed people are with mailbox. A couple of my journalist friends seem to love it, even ones with much larger publications than nibletz. I can’t seem to figure that out one bit.

I also just read this piece on Business Insider, it’s a love letter from Cablevision’s PR Guy Jim Maiella, who’s been using email just as long as I have. Again I can’t figure this out.

I would assume that some of my journalist friends at larger publications than nibletz receive more email than I do. Perhaps I’m wrong, but for the record on a week day I get between 300-500 new emails on my main account.

I try to separate accounts where my important account is one address and my account for PR folks to bombard is another, but I’m talking about my “important” account, that’s where I receive 300-500 emails per day.

I can’t see how Mailbox was designed for anyone who gets more than a handful of messages a day, or anyone who’s corporate account is with Gmail.

So let’s go over why I think Mailbox sucks.

long pressing and swiping right can take entirely too long for people who receive a high volume of messages.

Quick deletion

All of the promotional mentions before Mailbox was released said that it would allow you to delete email quickly. I’d say a good 90% of my emails can be deleted by just reading the preview line of the email.

To delete an email on Mailbox you need to long press to the right. This may seem cool and hipster but it takes a lot longer to long press to the right than it does to simply batch check a bunch of emails in the GMail app or the native iOS app and then hit trash.

There’s also the issue of the wrong swipe. I tried the first few days to use the long press and swipe deletion method but every once in a while I swiped too fast telling the app to take an entirely different course of action.

While later is a great feature, Mailbox doesn’t bring through the rest of your folders, again troublesome for someone who is more than a casual emailer

Folders Suck

When I installed the Mailbox app it added a few cool delegation folders to my GMail account. The later folder is the one I liked the best.

What it didn’t do is allow me to take the actual useful emails that I needed to keep and put them into the folders they need to go into. I found myself going to inbox 0 and then trying to keep up with Mailbox so I could use it but it wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least.

The first two days using Mailbox I tried to keep emails I needed to delegate until the end of the night and then go back to the computer and delegate them accordingly but that just ended up being one more headache.

I’m definitely not one of those “email haters”. I love email I would much rather someone email or text me than actually talk on the phone. Talking on the phone takes too long and requires a secondary form of input if the person is talking about something important. For instance if I take a phone call from a business colleague about business, I’m most likely taking a note on a computer, phone or iPad so email takes out an entire step.

I was under the impression that Mailbox would improve my efficiency… not so much.

I’m still waiting for an email app that will allow me to one click and create a calendar item in Google Calendar and than click back to the contact, record and keep them all together. Yes I’m looking for a GMail CRM.

After this posting though, Mailbox is going into my trash box.


Belkin First To Produce Lightning Accessories

Belkin,Apple,iPhone,iPhone 5,lightning,GriffinWhen Apple made the decision this year to switch from the 30 pin connector that they introduced in 2001 to the new lightning connector on their devices today, the world went into a panicked frenzy. Now, households were going to have a mix of 30 pin devices and lightning devices, until eventually every Apple device they owned had a lightning connector.

The lightning connector is slimmer, can go in on either side and is considerably faster at both data transfer and charging. Because the connector is smaller it’s less likely to cause the cord to break if it gets tangled. The lightning connector also does away with the locking clip which makes it easier to pull the cord away from the device.

Although Apple’s loyal customers with older generation iPods, iPads and iPhones mixed into their iLifestyle, are undoubtedly upset, it’s Apple’s accessory partners that have to be feeling the biggest pinch. Companies that were known for their data accessories like Griffin, Belkin and even Verbatim, were able to revive themselves by making accessories for Apple’s consumer electronics.

Fret not, all of the accessory companies will eventually get around to making accessories with the lightning connector. Belkin is actually the first one out of the gate. The popular accessory company has produced a car charger and a home dock which both have lightning connectors.

While many of the case manufacturers have already had an iPhone 5, iPad Mini or the new, the new iPad case ready to go, accessories for power and audio are the ones most affected.

Larry Fishback, an Apple customer we met at the Lenox Square Apple store this weekend told us “I’ve got a home audio dock on my desk at home and another at work, as well as an in dash system that all use the old connector.” Fishback is a loyal Apple user and was purchasing an iPad Mini this weekend. For now he says he’s going to use the 3.5mm cord adapters for his docks. He plans on upgrading his iPhone 4s to an iPhone 5 when more lightning accessories are available.

Corrine Watson, also from Atlanta, is hoping that the new lightning connector devices will be able to control the music function on her iPhone 5. “Once I plug my iPod into my car stereo I can control it with the car stereo controls, I hope we can still do that with the itty bitty connector”.

BGR reports that Apple is holding a workshop for it’s accessory partners on the lightning connector. There are also Asian knock offs already on the market.

Both Belkin accessories retail for the normal $29.99 Apple accessory price.


Source: BGR

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Apple’s iPhone Outsells All Microsoft Products Combined

(photo: SAI)

While Apple and Microsoft are duking it out over which company has the record as the wealthiest company of all time, SAI (by way of CultofMac) is reporting one startling fact this morning.

According to CultofMac, the iPhone, even with people holding off for the next version, has generated $22.7 billion dollars in the last quarter. This compares with Microsoft’s total revenues of $17.4 billion in revenue for the last quarter. This takes into consideration all of the Redmond company’s products across all disciplines.

While Microsoft insists they are going to have a huge push for Windows 8, a Windows 8 phone and the Windows 8 powered Surface tablets, the anticipation for the next version of the iPhone is at a buzz louder than it’s ever been.

Rumors are floating around rampantly as to what features Apple will throw into the next release of the iPhone. Some are saying the next iPhone will have a bigger screen. Others are saying it will have a 19 pin connector vs a 30 pin connector. One rumor that most everyone agrees on is that the next iPhone will have 4G/LTE a standard being adopted by all four major carriers.

This means that demand will be at an all time high. AllThingsDigital reported yesterday that FBR Capital Analyst Craig Berger said:

“We expect the iPhone 5 … has the potential to generate the most promising device upgrade cycle in Apple’s history,” in a statement to investors.

Source: SAI


Contest: There’s A New Kid In Town, The TechSlinger And You Can Win One This Summer

At Chicago TechWeek we got to meet the team from Michigan startup TechSlinger. This is a new wearable accessory designed to easily transport your tablet, your phone, your wallet and other small items. You can even hang your keys from it.

At first glance you may not think it’s for you, but it so is. Especially if you carry multiple gadgets with you and one of them is an iPad or Android tablet. You see, when you go out to a meeting or a networking event, or any event for that matter and you bring your tablet you’re putting a device that costs hundreds of dollars at unnecessary risk.

I’ve witnessed first hand people who’ve had their iPads turned conveniently into coasters. I’ve seen people leave them behind and drop them, shattering the screen, trying to hold a beer or other drink. Oh and of course the countless times I’ve seen beer, soda and other liquids poured onto the iPad.

Granted, you want to take your iPad or tablet with you because you undoubtedly have work to do, or you want to show off the latest app you’ve downloaded or pictures and videos of the kids. Well that’s great except most purses can’t fit iPads, no one wants to bring the bulk of a backpack or briefcase out with them, and holding them is risky.

The TechSlinger looks like an under jacket holster and has one pouch designed to hold an iPad or tablet and then the other side has two compartments. One is a secure compartment for your phone the other is a secure compartment for your wallet, credit cards, money, license, etc. I actually hold a 16,000mah portable battery in my extra pocket insuring that not only are my devices with me but backup power is as well.

The TechSlinger fits under any jacket, blazer or suit coat and keeps your gadgets from interfering with important things, like walking.

At the recent TechCrunch meetup in Atlanta over 40 people asked about the TechSlinger. At the airport, TSA folks were asking about the TechSlinger, and of course on three different trips to three different Apple stores, people asked about the TechSlinger.

Well low and behold we’ve got Techslingers to give away.

Here’s how it works. Starting this week at ComiCon 2012 in San Diego, just tweet

“@nibletztweets & @techslinger I need a #techslinger” and if you’re lucky you’ll be randomly selected to win one. We’ll randomly draw winners in San Diego, Washington DC, Memphis, Cincinnati and other places along our sneaker-strapped nationwide startup road trip, and you’ll win. It’s that easy. Then your friends will ask, “where’d you get that”.


Find out more about the TechSlinger here

Here’s more coverage from Chicago’s TechWeek

Oh and we’re on this cool sneaker strapped, nationwide startup roadtrip

Virginia Startup: SpydrSafe Launches First Scalable DLP Solution For Enterprise


As more and more people fall into the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) category, the need for enterprise solutions for multiple managed devices has risen. Security is an issue that’s paramount to companies allowing employees to bring their own device to work. Security can also be a headache for IT departments.

Data loss is one of the main security threats that enterprise IT professionals are concerned about with people bringing their own devices to work. Before the rise in popularity of bringing one’s own device, IT departments could control the flow and security of data, especially in a Blackberry enterprise server dominated world. Now with BYOD the main element of security is gone and IT departments need to find a solution that will secure their data no matter who owns the device.

A Virginia startup called SpydrSafe is addressing that problem for people that are bringing their own Android devices to work. SpydrSafe Mobile DLP™, safeguards against data loss with innovative technology that delivers app-level protection on Android smartphones and tablets.

“Protecting corporate information on mobile devices presents enormous challenges for enterprise IT departments. The risk of data breaches is no longer solely an external threat as more employees use their own personal devices in the workplace (BYOD).” said Michael R. Pratt, Chief Executive Officer of SpydrSafe Mobile Security. “SpydrSafe Mobile DLP™ addresses the issues created by BYOD by providing enterprise IT the tools necessary to safeguard data that is accessed and used by mobile apps.”

The SpydrSafe solution consists of two main parts:

SpydrSafe Mobile DLP™ is an advanced mobile data loss prevention solution comprising SpydrSafe Mobile DLP™ for Android and SpydrSafe Security Manager™. The SpydrSafe Mobile DLP™ for Android app is available on either Google Play or Amazon Appstore for Android.

SpydrSafe Security Manager™ is a SaaS (Security-as-a-Service), cloud-based security management console used by IT administrators to add and enroll new users, assign users to groups, assign policies and access audit and reporting information.
About SpydrSafe Mobile Security, Inc.


Check out SpyderSafe here at their website

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from “everywhere else”

Startups helping startups that’s what this is all about

Apple Fixes Issue With App Store That Caused Thousands Of Apps To Crash

Apple is a company that usually doesn’t have very many issues when it comes to iTunes or the App Store–at least as far as malware and large coding errors are concerned. However, this week has been a tough one for Apple, users, and developers alike as one of Apple’s servers had an issue delivering DRM code to the apps updated or downloaded. This faulty coding caused apps to misbehave and crash upon opening in many cases–nearly thousands in the App Store were affected. While this was just for a very brief period of time, a lot of uneasy customers were afraid their iPhone was either being attacked by malware or completely malfunctioning when it came to third-party apps.

The company issued a fix today however, that took care of most of the issues that we know of, and a few we didn’t. First, Apple fixed all of the apps added to the App Store or updated, and then pushed an update to apps that were affected for users to download. They also took care of the developers as well, by reviewing not just 1-star reviews, but all reviews published about an app that was affected. Ensuring that both users and developers have been taken care of, Apple again shows why they have the reputation of some of the best customer service around. If you have an iDevice that was suffering from any of these crashes or issues, be sure to check the App Store and  receive the necessary updates.

T-Mobile Announces $4 Billion Deal To Bring LTE-Advanced In The Next 2 Years

T-Mobile is now the only major US carrier that isn’t offering any LTE devices right now. They’re also the smallest major US carrier, and they’re the only one that still doesn’t have the beloved iPhone (which turned out to be less of a carrier-gold-mine than expected after all). However, they have great prices, so customers keep their contracts and are happy to use T-Mobile. However, T-Mobile still has room to improve in their service reliability and availability, and one of the ways they can do this is by finally adding LTE into the mix.

Today, the Senior Vice President of Technology for the company announced that T-Mobile is, in fact, working on LTE–and it’s LTE-Advanced at that. Nokia Siemens and Ericson have worked a deal out with T-Mobile that will allow them to fuel their network improvement over the next two years with a 4 billion dollar investment. This investment will help T-Mobile add HSPA+ to 400 more networks, bring 37,000 of them up to date, and push their LTE-Advanced equipment into usage. T-Mobile fans rejoice. There is no word on exactly when LTE will hit T-Mobile, but this 2-year timeframe is a start. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on T-Mobile’s steady improvements and upgrade to LTE.

Apple May Seek Restraining Order Against Samsung Galaxy S III Launch


Many long time Android enthusiasts have been quite impressed at how the Samsung Galaxy S III launch in the US has gone thus far. Samsung held their event on May 3rd in London and announced an international release of the new flagship device later on that month.

At the time of the press event Samsung had said that the US would see the device later this summer. Based on previous product launches of high end Samsung Android phones, with the four major carriers in the United States, Android enthusiasts feared that we wouldn’t see the device until September, just before the seasons change.

Monday, Samsung and Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and US Cellular all divulged their plans for the launch of the phone and it’s going to be sooner thrasher than later.

Well now there is a chance that Apple may rain on Samsung’s parade. Apple was in court earlier today, and in court said they may seek a restraining order, as early as tomorrow, against the import and sale of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Reuters is reporting that Apple attorney Josh Krevitt made that claim at a hearing today before Judge Lucy Koh, who has been presiding over all of the Apple vs Samsung and Samsung vs Apple law suits in the United States.

Apple filed papers on Tuesday seeking to ban the import and sale of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Both parties appeared before Judge Koh in a hearing today. Koh told the attorneys that she wouldn’t rule on anything pertaining to the Galaxy S III as the Galaxy Nexus was the focus for today’s hearing. Koh said that Apple could file a temporary restraining order against the Galaxy S III.

Source: Reuters

iPhone To More Prepaid Carriers, Next Up Virgin Mobile

We knew when we reported earlier this month, that Cricket Wireless was getting a prepaid version of the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4, that other prepaid carriers wouldn’t be far a long. Cricket will start offering the iPhone on June 22. A mere 10 days later the iPhone will also arrive on Virgin Mobile, one of Sprint’s prepaid arms.

While Cricket has a presence in most of the Best Buy’s in the continental United States, they are still considered a regional carrier. At last count they covered 60 million pops with their own network, however they have a roaming agreement with Sprint and even offer service in Best Buy stores that aren’t part of Cricket’s actual footprint.

In contrast, and using Sprint’s entire footprint, Virgin covers 278 million people.

Both prepaid brands offer an “unlimited” data option although there is throttling involved on the Cricket side.

The prepaid wireless industry has evolved over the last few years. Earlier on it was considered an industry aimed at older folks who literally only needed a phone for emergencies, people with bad credit and people who needed a “disposable” or “burner” phone.

Now cost conscious consumers across the country are going with the reliable convenience of prepaid carriers like Cricket Wireless, Virgin Mobile (Sprint), Metro PCS and Boost Mobile (Sprint). T-Mobile has a pretty big prepaid arm. AT&T and Verizon also offer prepaid services but nothing to the likes of any of the other prepaid carriers.

Consumers may rather opt for the higher cost of phone acquisition to get the iPhone without having to be roped into a two year contract.

Source: Business Insider

Massachusetts Startup: iCache Releases Digital Wallet For iPhone

So far the only true NFC product available to smartphone users is Google Wallet. ISIS, the collaborative effort by AT&T, Verizon Wirless and T-Mobile is slated for a launch sometime this summer. However, Friday, iCache, a Massachusetts based mobile payment startup has released their GeoCard and iCache Geode Wallet.

This $200 accessory is part iPhone case, part card reader, part biometric security system and a whole lot of mobile wallet.

By now we have all realized that bar code scanning on a mobile phone is hit or miss, and anyone who has tried NFC has probably experienced that blank stare from the cashier like you just did the latest human chopping trick from David Copperfield’s arsenal before their very eyes.

Whether Google wants to admit it or not, we are still way ahead of the NFC curve and even further ahead of the NFC revolution.

In the meantime the folks at iCache have figured out safety, security and convenience with the Geode Wallet and GeoCard. The wallet supports all barcode based loyalty and reward cards and all magnetic stripe based credit cards.

For credit cards you simply use the enclosed credit card reader to extract your information to your phone. Then, when you want to use any of your credit cards, you select which one you want to use and it loads that cards info onto your Geode Card which is a rewritable magnetic stripe card. You have one card now, that’s safely and easily stored in the phone case that rewrites your info super quickly and securely onto your Geode Card.

What about safety and security?

The only way you can access the Geode Card on your wallet app is after use inning on using your finger print. Yes, iCache has included a biometric finger print reader. Only after your fingerprint is deleted can you access the wallet and the ability to rite write onto the rewritable card.

As for loyalty cards, they are just as easy. Simply take a picture of every barcode reward and loyalty card you’ve got and it captures the card information. Add a few notes if you would like and you’re ready to roll.

iCache already knows that barcodes are hit or miss on a smartphone or even iPhone screen with retina display, that’s why they’ve included an e-ink display on the back of the case which makes the barcodes as easy to read as on the cards themselves.

Now I know you’re thinking that $199 is a lot for any accessory but now that you really can leave the wallet at home, and it’s super secure, it’s worth every penny. iCache leaves no stone unturned.

Just don’t lose your phone.

Check it out for yourself at

Cricket Becomes First Carrier To Offer iPhone On Prepaid Plan

As of today, Cricket Communications is the first carrier to offer a pre-paid iPhone plan. The company announced that they will begin offering the iPhone on June 22 with a plan of unlimited voice, text, and data for $55. This plan is, obviously, contract free, so the price of the iPhone will be higher, but users will not be locked in for any amount of time. They will offer the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, $399 for the 8GB iPhone 4 and $499 for the 16GB iPhone 4S.

Because this is a CDMA network, these devices are not unlocked, and you cannot buy an unlocked version from Apple and use it on Cricket’s network. It must be bought directly from Cricket, and they are currently not offering the iPhone online so you will need to call and order via phone or in-store until they do so. This should be a pretty big deal for any Cricket users trying to find their next high-end smartphone, and it’s another big step for pre-paid carriers in the US. The iPhone has finally started to branch out here in the states after going to Verizon, then spreading to Sprint and trickling down to smaller carriers such as Cricket. We’re still nowhere near the UK when it comes to purchasing any phone and taking it to any network, but it’s nice to see steps in that direction. Be sure to give your Cricket store a call on June 22 to pick up a shiny new iPhone.

Facebook Preparing For Mobile Hardware Battle?


Reports are coming hot and heavy this Memorial Day weekend, that Facebook is reinvigorating it’s “Facebook Phone”. Business Insider and the New York Times are staying on top of the story.

According to SAI (sourced to the New York Times) Mark Zuckerberg is personally vetting engineers to join the Facebook team. According to reports he has several iPhone engineers and even an iPad engineer making the shift from Cupertino to Menlo Park.

Zuckerberg has been apparently asking all kinds of tough questions of his new Facebook Phonre recruits, including what chips are in the iPhone.

Potential investors were reportedly concerned about Facebook’s mobile presence when Zuckerberg took Facebook on their pre-IPOD road show.

There is no time frame for the reported release of the Facebook Phone. The device has been rumored for the past three years.

Last year Facebook endorsed two HTC Android devices, the HTC Salsa and the HTC Cha Cha. Both devices featured deep Facebook integration including a dedicated Facebook button on the front of both phones. Despite the social network having over 800 million members, the HTC Salsa and HTC Cha Cha were just marginal selling phones.

The HTC Cha Cha debuted in the US on AT&T. Despite having heavy Facebook integration and even being the sponsor phone for a reunited Blink 182 tour, the Status didn’t even last a quarter.

So why do they think they’ll have better success? Well one piece of the puzzle is an app store. Facebook already had some heavy hitters developing apps for the Facebook platform. Zynga was even able to grow large enough to go public based on the success of their Facebook social games.

Zynga and Facebook have been working hand in hand together now for years. Zynga may be waiting for the offices Facebook phone before releasing mobile versions of their blockbuster hits FarmVille and CityVille.

Facebook’s mobile apps are consistently top five in all other app stores. They just recently release the Facebook camera app which provides deep integration with Facebook, and the ability to post up to 30 photos at a time to Facebook. The Facebook camera may explain the reasoning behind the purchase of Instagram and Light Box

Boston Startup: About Last Night The Ultimate Night Life Social App

copyright © 2012 - Nibletz Syndicate

We love About Last Night for several reasons. First off the crazy Bostonian serial entrepreneurs who co-founded About Last Night are pretty awesome. About Last Night is one of several startups that are incubating in their own personal incubator. Brothers Darren Dodge and Derek Dodge have a bunch of their own startups “cooking in the microwave, we just open the door and check on them” says Darren.

But really, the great thing about About Last Night is the robustness of the platform. They left no stone unturned, but at the same time the UI is appealing and not too cluttered.

About Last Night is about sharing the good times you had last night. The About Last Night crew showed off good times spent Sunday night in Times Square, at Bubba Gumps and other fine establishments around New York.

The app allows you to follow people you don’t know (like Twitter), People you do know (like Facebook) and your favorite night spots and locations (like a reverse FourSquare), again it’s like leaving no stone unturned.  It feels a bit like path, but it’s more about the jello shots you did at the Ale House, not waking up at 7:35 with a hangover and brushing your teeth.

They’ve been working on About Last Night for the last six months and they’ve come out with an easy and fun to use app. They’ve got plenty of time to work on even more startups, ya know with the Red Sox sucking and all…

Check out the video below:


Find out About Last Night here

More TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 coverage here

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