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About Luke Dormehl

Luke Dormehl Luke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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USB security is fundamentally broken, claim security experts

USB Mavericks

According to findings by researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell, USB security may be profoundly broken, with no way around it.

Nohl and Lell have highlighted a flaw in USB devices which potentially offer hackers the ability to sidestep all currently known security measures used by a computer. Called the BadUSB exploit, the vulnerability allows hackers to meddle with the firmware which controls the functions of various USB plug-ins, such as mice, keyboards and thumb drives.

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Yo wants copycat app booted out of App Store

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Where there’s a popular idea, you can be sure the clones will follow. Earlier this year the popular app in question was Flappy Bird, and here in July it’s simplified message app Yo, which has to date received $1.5m in funding.

A few weeks back we wrote about Yo spoof Hodor, but it seems that there’s another more pressing clone out there, called Yolo, which Yo founder Or Arbel describes as “a complete fake copy of our Yo app.”

In response to Yolo, Arbel has filed a complaint with Apple, asking it to remove Yolo from the App Store since it allegedly infringes on Arbel’s copyright and trademark.

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Eighth Ohio Apple Store to open later this year in Toledo

Picture: Toledo Blade

Picture: Toledo Blade

Apple is set to open a new Apple Store in Toledo, OH’s Franklin Park Mall sometime during the fourth quarter of 2014. This will be Ohio’s eighth Apple Store, with its seventh opening last month in Dayton.

The company has already posted 15 job openings via its website, while it recently advertised a full-time retail general manager post via the website CareerBuilder.com.

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Shazam unleashes new always-on music recognition app for Mac

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Song recognition service Shazam has launched a cool new Mac app. Called, originally, Shazam for Mac, the always-on app lives in your Mac’s menu bar, and offers some neat features.

Constantly listening for songs to identify, Shazam for Mac springs to life whenever it finds a song you want to know about, creating a playlist as it goes along, and alerting users via a standard Notification Center popup. Once a song has been ID’d, the app gives you the option of one-click access to lyrics, music videos, or the option to buy the track on iTunes.

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What blew our minds (and what didn’t) at Comic-Con 2014

Chinese smartphone maker trying to beat iPhone 6 to market with sapphire display

vivo-sapphire_2

As has been seen time and time again, all Apple needs to do is hint at an area it’s interested in exploring (see: smart watches) and much of the tech world will trip over itself trying to beat it to market (see: Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch.)

The latest company to jump on this bandwagon is, apparently, VIVO, the Chinese manufacturer which previously released the world’s first QHD/2K smartphone. According to sources cited by the Chinese media, VIVO is taking a big swing at Apple (and, yes, the iPhone 6 was specifically mentioned) by rushing to release its new 5-inch flagship handset, with an all-metal frame and sapphire glass display.

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Does Apple’s deal with IBM signal ‘the end of desktop?’

macintosh-bye

Does the iOS-centric IBM-Apple deal equal the end of the road for desktops? Absolutely it does, if you believe Bob Tinker, CEO of the newly-public company MobileIron.

Discussing the recent alliance between the two tech giants during his company’s first earnings call, Tinker pointed to the IBM-Apple deal as something of a signal moment for mobile. “I think of it as a positive that IBM’s committed to building mobile apps for enterprises, switching away from Windows to mobile platforms,” he noted.

“This signals the end of the desktop era. IBM once made a deal with Microsoft in the late 1980s that ushered in the era of the desktop, and now they’re ending it with Apple.”

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How Apple’s smart music tech could push you harder in workouts

There have been many wearables and quantified-health applications over the past few years, but most have steered clear of proclaiming themselves medical devices. Some of the rumors about the iWatch (such as the fact that it will be able to listen to the sound blood makes as it flows through arteries, and use this to predict heart attacks) may sound a bit too good to be true. But the number of biosensor and biomedical engineers Apple has snapped up recently makes us think the iWatch could be a device that crosses over firmly into the "medical monitoring" category. According to one recent report, a reason for the long delay before launch is that Apple is awaiting certification from the Food and Drug Administration to get the iWatch approved as medical equipment. Given Apple's recent announcement of the Health app for iOS 8 to collect and show data on calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels and more, plus the conspicuous absence of a health-tracking fitness band in Apple's last iPhone 5s ad, the idea that the iWatch will be geared toward health seems as close to a foregone conclusion as you get for a device that hasn't even been officially announced yet.

Apple’s new smart music patent application would fit perfectly within a fitness-tracking device like the iWatch.

If you’re a runner or a gym user, chances are that at some point you’ve put together a workout playlist of some sort, full of the kind of Rocky-esque power ballads you want entering your ears and coursing through your veins as you strive toward physical perfection.

According to a patent application published Thursday, Apple could be looking to take a lot of the pain out of that kind of gain. The application in question deals with a handheld or wearable device capable of controlling the tempo of music so as to affect the mood and behavior of users during exercise.

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Westboro Baptist Church plans hatefest outside Apple HQ

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Whacko fundamentalist group (and presumed Android users) the Westboro Baptist Church have announced plans to picket Apple again.

What’s the reason this time? Well, aside from the fact that Apple makes very nice computers and smartphones, apparently the church elders have just gotten around to finishing Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Apple’s co-founder, because they’ve taken issue with Steve Jobs.

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Kindle app adds Wikipedia integration and notes export

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Say whatever you want about the cold reception afforded its Fire Phone, but Amazon’s had a pretty great year when it comes to its core business of selling books: first announcing the creation of its Kindle Unlimited scheme, and now updating its iOS Kindle app with a few nifty features.

Chief among these are Wikipedia integration, letting readers pick selected words from any text they’re reading and link to the relevant Wikipedia page — particularly useful in the case of non-fiction books.

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