Jul 15

iOS 4.3.4

Apple has released new updates for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, 3rd and 4th Gen iPod touch, and all iPad models.  The updates don’t add any new features or include bug fixes, they’re simply a security update to plug a PDF hole used in a web-based jailbreak solution at JailbreakMe.com. So, you can update or not update without much effect unless you are using or plan to use a PDF-exploit-based jailbreaking method.

iOS 4.3.4 applies to all of the iOS devices listed above save the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4; its update is iOS 4.2.9.

To download and apply the updates for your device or devices, simply connect to iTunes and check for latest updates.

Yeah, so… umm… where’s Mac OS X Lion?

Thanks Jon
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Aug 03

JailBreakMe.com: The Second Coming

If you’ve been itching to jailbreak your iPhone 4, stop rocking back and forth in that dark corner; the iPhone Dev Team has developed a new jailbreaking tool that works via the Safari browser, freeing your iPhone from Apple domination without even installing an app on your Mac or PC.

The web-based jailbreaking solution is available at www.jailbreakme.com.  Apparently, the tool is made possible by exploiting a bug in the way iOS handles PDF fonts (via Daring Fireball).  Aside from the iPhone 4, the new tool also works with other iOS and iPhone OS devices.

Just visit the site, slide the tab at the bottom of the screen and wait for the magic to happen.

But be warned: the magic can include some nasty side effects.  Some users are reporting bugs, including the loss of FaceTime and MMS functionality, though the developers claim this error has now been fixed – and there is also a workaround.

Our advice: if you really want to jailbreak your iPhone, wait a while longer.  We imagine comex et al. will polish their tool over the coming days, which could save you from a heap of trouble.

So…  are you feeling lucky?

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Jul 27

Unlocked The United States Copyright Office meets on occasion to debate exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  At the group’s latest meeting, several important exceptions to the act were carved out, and one of them should be of particular interest to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners: jailbreaking, the group found, does not violate the DMCA.

So what does this finding mean for users?  Not much, actually.  Its only real-world effect will be to help prevent Apple from taking legal action against providers of jailbreaking tools or those that aid in those tools’ dissemination.  Apple can still continue to take steps to make jailbreaking difficult, including releasing software updates which nullify the jailbreak. 

Yesterday, Apple replied to the Copyright Office action, stating that jailbreaking your device, while legally protected, will void its warranty.  This is ridiculous, particularly when considering that taking your MacBook apart and adding new hardware doesn’t void its warranty.  How can one argue that changing hardware doesn’t void a warranty, but installing software does?  They can’t, really.  But no argument needs to be made – the company can do as it pleases.

In the end, this is a minor win for consumers.  But a win all the same.  Companies will continue to hobble the technology their customers pay for as long as it is tolerated.  And in this practice, Apple may be one of the most prominent offenders, but it is by no means alone.

Learn More:

EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers

Wikipedia: iOS Jailbreaking

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