Apple Releases Software Update to Fix ‘Error 53’

Some iPhone users recently encountered a very worrying message which disabled their handset. The ‘Error 53’ code occurs when an unofficial repair shop replaces the connector between the Touch ID sensor and iPhone home button. Usually, it’s quite easy to acquire a replacement handset from Apple if any problems arise. Although, this depends if the phone is within the warranty period and the store might ask for a proof of purchase. In these situations, customers have to resort to repair shops who charge a fee for their services. As you can imagine, this error code caused a great deal of panic and anger among loyal Apple customers.

Thankfully, Apple has released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 but you can only find this version via iTunes. This will restore the functionality of any iPhone rendered useless by the ‘Error 53’ code. In a statement, Apple said that the

“…error 53 occurs when a device fails a standard security test designed to ensure that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is working correctly.”

The company also added:

“We apologise for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.”

“Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”

Mobile analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight provided an insight into the reasons why Apple enforced such as strict security measure:

“To me, there was a lot of logic in what they said around the ‘error 53’ element,”

“If you’re using your fingerprint to unlock sensitive data or make payments and there was the ability for someone to replace the screen and modify the module to take control of your phone – that’s not a good thing at all.”

This makes sense because cyber-criminals might alter the sensor to find any personal information on a stolen handset. Given the amount of online banking and wireless payments, it seems like a logical idea. On the other hand, Apple has a reputation for restricting their devices and trying to keep total control.

Researchers Prove How They Can Stop a Corvette with a Simple Text Message

Since a couple of hackers found a way to remotely control a Crysler, we’ve heard a lot of similar successful attempts on other vehicles. The latest comes from researchers over at the University of California, who have taken an interest in third-party devices coupled to the TCUs.

The TCUs are directly linked to a vehicle’s Controller Area Network bus, who sends and receives messages from all systems. The thing is that TCUs also have a SIM card to send data back to the manufacturer or insurance companies. This is how the researchers were able to discover, target and compromise a Corvette’s systems with just a simple text message.

The researchers made a two-staged attack, first by updating the device’s software, then making use of funnel commands which could be sent directly to the CAN bus. They were able to prove on a Corvette that they can remotely start the windshield wipers and ally the breaks while the car was moving.

In the researchers’ paper, they state that finding mobile numbers for TCU SIMs is fairly easy, having assigned numbers that start with the 566 area code. They also said that the TCUs are not cryptographically signed, allowing them to install the malicious software update without the TCU knowing and that TCU NAND flash units share the same SSH key, allowing hackers to use it on other TCUs.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Apple Released iOS 7.0.4 and 6.1.5 With Fix For FaceTime and 6.0.2 For Apple TV

Apple has just released iOS 7.0.4 for iPhone, iPad and iPod that fixes an issue that was preventing some people from making FaceTime calls. In addition to this there is the usual round of performance improvements and bug fixes. The update is sized at 17-18 MB, depending on your device. You can choose between an OTA update through the handset’s Settings or alternatively you can connect your phone to iTunes on your PC or Mac and do a full backup and restore.

 
 
 


Apple has also released iOS 6.1.5 for the iPod Touch 4th Generation as an alternative fix for the lower end device. A new version 6.0.2 of the Apple TV software is also available, although it is unclear what has been changed. iOS 7.0.4 comes just over three weeks after the release of iOS 7.0.3, which added support for iCloud Keychain and fixed accelerometer issues. iOS 7.0.4 can be downloaded via the software update tool in the settings menu on iOS devices.

Thank you MacRumors for providing us with this information

Improved Battery Life For Microsoft Surface Pro 2 In New Firmware Update

As the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 released, users experienced poor battery performance when it comes to web browsing and video playback. Shortly after, Microsoft pushed an update that addressed the issue. What the update does is allowing the Marvell WiFi solution to drive down to even lower power states, conserving more power and hence improving battery life.

AnandTech performed tests on the Surface Pro 2 after updating to the newly released firmware and noticed a 16% increase when playing back video compared to the previous firmware tests made. Here is a screenshot with the updated benchmark results:

Also, Surface Pro 2 now manages better battery life than Surface 2. Microsoft told AnandTech that their internal target was over 8 hours, and this firmware update brings it up to snuff via a nearly 25% increase in battery life when performing a browsing battery life benchmark test. The screenshot below represents the benchmark results for this test.

A software update also rolled back the Surface Pro 2’s video drivers to an earlier version that is told to have fixed the display corruption on wake issue as well. Take note though that Surface 2 did not receive any similar battery life changing firmware update, hence no improvement for the device. Don’t fret though, as Microsoft could release one soon enough.

Thank you AnandTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of AnandTech

Galaxy Gear To Finally Support Galaxy S4, SIII, Note 2, and other Samsung devices

One of the Galaxy Gear’s most unfortunate drawbacks was the watch being incompatible with anything except the Galaxy Note 3. It seems that this is not the case from now on. Beginning this month, Gear will finally spread its horizons and play nicely with other Galaxy devices.

Samsung announced Wednesday that Galaxy Gear will now work with the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II through the latest Jelly Bean update. Samsung will also extend Gear compatibility to other Galaxy devices through a separate software update beginning at the end of October. Expect Gear compatibility to make its way to the Galaxy S4 mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom.

In the run-up to the Galaxy Gear announcement, everyone was hoping for an open device that could work with all mobile devices, but were disappointed to learn that Samsung seemed to view Gear as little more than an accessory for the Note 3.

While this new approach may help Gear survive beyond this Christmas season, it is probably not a viable long-term strategy. With the bounty of smartwatch competition coming down the pike, the market winner will be the one that successfully embraces the largest pool of varied mobile phone spectrum, not just a narrow band.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information.