Apple Sent Two Engineers to Customer’s House to Figure Out Music Deletion Bug

A couple weeks ago Vellum’s James Pinkstone wrote on his blog that Apple Music and iTunes Match deleted 122 GB of his personal music collection. The post kicked off a wave of speculation about whether Apple Music intentionally deletes users’ music. Apple eventually confirmed that the deletion was a glitch and that a fix was incoming. Today, Pinkstone wrote a blog post detailing how two Apple engineers named Tom and Ezra visited his home to try to recreate the problem.

itunes_match_2015
Before they arrived, Pinkstone said that Apple told him a couple of things: Amber, the Apple Support Representative who told him the music deletion glitch was a “feature” functioning as intended, was mistaken and the company was convinced the issue wasn’t user error.

The engineers spent the day at Pinkstone’s house researching the issue, telling Pinkstone to use Apple Music, iTunes and his personal library as he would in the past. The next day, Tom returned to collect the data logs and cleared any evidence of him being on the laptop. Apple’s engineers weren’t able to recreate the problem, though Pinkstone notes that they did think the issue was a glitch that needed to be combatted. Yesterday’s iTunes 12.4 update includes safeguards to protect users from the music deletion bug.

Through an external drive connected to my laptop, we were now using a specialized version of iTunes in the hopes that the deletion would again occur; an idea that we knew may not pan out, since I’d had Apple Music for eight months before that first mass deletion. If something did go wrong, though, this version of iTunes would document what happened in more detail than the consumer version could.

Pinkstone’s Apple engineer visit is a good example of how far the Cupertino company will go to try to correct bugs in its products. MacRumors has heard several reports of Apple sending out engineers to the homes of users experiencing unique problems in an attempt to research them for fixes. The entire visit can be read about on Pinkstone’s blog.
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A couple weeks ago Vellum’s James Pinkstone wrote on his blog that Apple Music and iTunes Match deleted 122 GB of his personal music collection. The post kicked off a wave of speculation about whether Apple Music intentionally deletes users’ music. Apple eventually confirmed that the deletion was a glitch and that a fix was incoming. Today, Pinkstone wrote a blog post detailing how two Apple engineers named Tom and Ezra visited his home to try to recreate the problem.

itunes_match_2015

Before they arrived, Pinkstone said that Apple told him a couple of things: Amber, the Apple Support Representative who told him the music deletion glitch was a “feature” functioning as intended, was mistaken and the company was convinced the issue wasn’t user error.

The engineers spent the day at Pinkstone’s house researching the issue, telling Pinkstone to use Apple Music, iTunes and his personal library as he would in the past. The next day, Tom returned to collect the data logs and cleared any evidence of him being on the laptop. Apple’s engineers weren’t able to recreate the problem, though Pinkstone notes that they did think the issue was a glitch that needed to be combatted. Yesterday’s iTunes 12.4 update includes safeguards to protect users from the music deletion bug.

Through an external drive connected to my laptop, we were now using a specialized version of iTunes in the hopes that the deletion would again occur; an idea that we knew may not pan out, since I’d had Apple Music for eight months before that first mass deletion. If something did go wrong, though, this version of iTunes would document what happened in more detail than the consumer version could.

Pinkstone’s Apple engineer visit is a good example of how far the Cupertino company will go to try to correct bugs in its products. MacRumors has heard several reports of Apple sending out engineers to the homes of users experiencing unique problems in an attempt to research them for fixes. The entire visit can be read about on Pinkstone’s blog.
Discuss this article in our forums

GarageBand goes to China with new instruments and Live Loops

If you’re looking to bring some new voices to the music you make in GarageBand, Apple’s got you covered. The company has recently added a slew of Chinese instruments including the pipa and erhu to the app. That’s in addition to some 300 loops of musi…

If you're looking to bring some new voices to the music you make in GarageBand, Apple's got you covered. The company has recently added a slew of Chinese instruments including the pipa and erhu to the app. That's in addition to some 300 loops of musi…

‘Pokemon Go’ field test signups are now live

Pokemon Go, the mobile app that allows users to travel the globe on their own Pokemon journey, is finally open for registration for United States users. Niantic Labs’ field test is available to sign up for right now, with users being chosen to try ou…

Pokemon Go, the mobile app that allows users to travel the globe on their own Pokemon journey, is finally open for registration for United States users. Niantic Labs' field test is available to sign up for right now, with users being chosen to try ou…

Bar Roulette routes your Uber to a random bar nearby

Cocktail Glass Want to go party the night away but not sure where to go? Bar Roulette’s brand new iOS app has you covered. Press a button to summon an Uber, and it will take you to a bar picked from the highest-rated bars on Yelp and Foursquare. The twist? The app won’t tell you where you are going until you arrive. It aims to break you out of your routines and add a bit of adventure to your life. Read More

Cocktail Glass Want to go party the night away but not sure where to go? Bar Roulette’s brand new iOS app has you covered. Press a button to summon an Uber, and it will take you to a bar picked from the highest-rated bars on Yelp and Foursquare. The twist? The app won’t tell you where you are going until you arrive. It aims to break you out of your routines and add a bit of adventure to your life. Read More

Bentley Apple Watch App Puts In-Car Controls on Passenger’s Wrist

British luxury car maker Bentley has released an Apple Watch app that treats Bentayga SUV passengers to a bevy of car functions not seen before on a smartwatch.

The app uses “bespoke digital architecture” that synchronizes with the vehicle’s Touch Screen Remote (TSR) system, enabling passengers to access in-car climate control and entertainment systems, including the ability to adjust the heating, ventilation, and massage functions of their seats.

Bentley's new Bentayga Apple Watch App
Elsewhere, users can also monitor real-time car information from within the app, such as vehicle speed, distance travelled, and outside temperature. Meanwhile, media functions for hi-fi and digital TV include the ability to change volume, adjust playback controls, and switch media sources.

And if the driver seat is too reclined for passengers’ liking, this can be adjusted from the app, too.

The Bentayga TSR app is a free download available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

The Bentayga SUV starts at $229,100.

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British luxury car maker Bentley has released an Apple Watch app that treats Bentayga SUV passengers to a bevy of car functions not seen before on a smartwatch.

The app uses “bespoke digital architecture” that synchronizes with the vehicle’s Touch Screen Remote (TSR) system, enabling passengers to access in-car climate control and entertainment systems, including the ability to adjust the heating, ventilation, and massage functions of their seats.

Bentley's new Bentayga Apple Watch App

Elsewhere, users can also monitor real-time car information from within the app, such as vehicle speed, distance travelled, and outside temperature. Meanwhile, media functions for hi-fi and digital TV include the ability to change volume, adjust playback controls, and switch media sources.

And if the driver seat is too reclined for passengers’ liking, this can be adjusted from the app, too.

The Bentayga TSR app is a free download available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

The Bentayga SUV starts at $229,100.

Discuss this article in our forums

Hardened Security Features of iPhone 5s Successfully Hacked in LAPD Murder Investigation

iPhone-PasscodeLos Angeles police investigators have discovered a workable method to bypass the hardened security features of a locked iPhone 5s, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In court documents seen by the newspaper yesterday, LAPD detectives found a “forensic cellphone expert” who could unlock the iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of “The Shield” actor Michael Jace, who is accused of killing her at their L.A. home in 2014.

The claim appeared in a search warrant filed during the same period that the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the earlier model iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. In that high-profile case, the FBI eventually unlocked the phone with the help of professional hackers, paying them up to $1 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability.

According to FBI director James Comey, the method obtained by the bureau only worked on a “narrow slice of phones“, which did not include models of the iPhone 5s and after, presumably because the latter devices are equipped with Apple’s proprietary Secure Enclave, a separate security-hardened portion of the core processing chip with its own secure boot and personalized software where private encryption keys are stored and used to secure data.

Prior to the the FBI’s acquisition of its hacking method, several security experts warned that the ability the bureau sought from Apple would in fact work on later devices, while Apple claimed back in February that the method the FBI asked it for to unlock an iPhone 5c was also possible on newer devices with the Secure Enclave. According to TechCrunch, Apple said at the time that the technical solutions would be different than they are on the iPhone 5c, but not impossible.

According to The Times, the search warrant filed in the April Jace killing did not detail the method used by the LAPD to open the later-model iPhone 5s, nor did police reveal the identity of the cellphone expert. It’s also unclear what operating system April Jace’s phone had.

The iPhone 5s has been at the center of the investigation after it was claimed that the actor and his wife argued “about their relationship” via text message shortly before he is alleged to have shot her. Michael Jace’s attorneys successfully persuaded a judge to delay his murder trial, arguing that the dead woman’s phone should undergo a more exhaustive search than one initially conducted by police.

Shortly after her killing, April Jace’s cellphone was locked by a passcode, which “hindered” the investigation. But in January 2015, an Apple technician was ordered by an L.A. judge to help police extract data from the phone, according to the search warrant.

That attempt apparently failed to obtain any information and a second attempt by the L.A. County district attorney’s office the same month left the phone “disabled”. The following month, authorities tried to inspect the iPhone but it didn’t even turn on, the warrant stated.

But in March, investigators learned that a forensic cellphone expert could “override” the security features and let authorities view the phone’s contents. A senior investigator with the district attorney’s office was apparently then able to examine the phone in April. Jace, 53, is currently awaiting trial in the case.

Last week it was reported that the FBI will not reveal to Apple the method it used to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, because it does not have the rights to the technical data about how the method functions. Apple wants details on the flaw so a fix can be implemented. Until it does, the FBI can keep using the vulnerability so long as it remains unpatched.

Amid its dispute with the FBI, reports suggest Apple has already begun work on implementing stronger security measures to protect iOS devices in order to counter the threat of hackers rather than the government. Apple has also said it has revamped its internal security teams.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone-PasscodeLos Angeles police investigators have discovered a workable method to bypass the hardened security features of a locked iPhone 5s, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In court documents seen by the newspaper yesterday, LAPD detectives found a “forensic cellphone expert” who could unlock the iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of “The Shield” actor Michael Jace, who is accused of killing her at their L.A. home in 2014.

The claim appeared in a search warrant filed during the same period that the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the earlier model iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. In that high-profile case, the FBI eventually unlocked the phone with the help of professional hackers, paying them up to $1 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability.

According to FBI director James Comey, the method obtained by the bureau only worked on a “narrow slice of phones“, which did not include models of the iPhone 5s and after, presumably because the latter devices are equipped with Apple’s proprietary Secure Enclave, a separate security-hardened portion of the core processing chip with its own secure boot and personalized software where private encryption keys are stored and used to secure data.

Prior to the the FBI’s acquisition of its hacking method, several security experts warned that the ability the bureau sought from Apple would in fact work on later devices, while Apple claimed back in February that the method the FBI asked it for to unlock an iPhone 5c was also possible on newer devices with the Secure Enclave. According to TechCrunch, Apple said at the time that the technical solutions would be different than they are on the iPhone 5c, but not impossible.

According to The Times, the search warrant filed in the April Jace killing did not detail the method used by the LAPD to open the later-model iPhone 5s, nor did police reveal the identity of the cellphone expert. It’s also unclear what operating system April Jace’s phone had.

The iPhone 5s has been at the center of the investigation after it was claimed that the actor and his wife argued “about their relationship” via text message shortly before he is alleged to have shot her. Michael Jace’s attorneys successfully persuaded a judge to delay his murder trial, arguing that the dead woman’s phone should undergo a more exhaustive search than one initially conducted by police.

Shortly after her killing, April Jace’s cellphone was locked by a passcode, which “hindered” the investigation. But in January 2015, an Apple technician was ordered by an L.A. judge to help police extract data from the phone, according to the search warrant.

That attempt apparently failed to obtain any information and a second attempt by the L.A. County district attorney’s office the same month left the phone “disabled”. The following month, authorities tried to inspect the iPhone but it didn’t even turn on, the warrant stated.

But in March, investigators learned that a forensic cellphone expert could “override” the security features and let authorities view the phone’s contents. A senior investigator with the district attorney’s office was apparently then able to examine the phone in April. Jace, 53, is currently awaiting trial in the case.

Last week it was reported that the FBI will not reveal to Apple the method it used to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, because it does not have the rights to the technical data about how the method functions. Apple wants details on the flaw so a fix can be implemented. Until it does, the FBI can keep using the vulnerability so long as it remains unpatched.

Amid its dispute with the FBI, reports suggest Apple has already begun work on implementing stronger security measures to protect iOS devices in order to counter the threat of hackers rather than the government. Apple has also said it has revamped its internal security teams.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple to Analyze Recovered iPhone of Florida Teens Lost at Sea

Apple has agreed to examine a recovered iPhone at the center of a dispute between the families of two Florida teens who went missing during a fishing trip last summer (via ABC News).

In July 2015, 14-year-old Austin Stephanos and his friend and neig…

Apple has agreed to examine a recovered iPhone at the center of a dispute between the families of two Florida teens who went missing during a fishing trip last summer (via ABC News).

In July 2015, 14-year-old Austin Stephanos and his friend and neighbor Perry Cohen, also 14, launched a single-engine vessel on a fishing expedition off the coast of Palm Beach County, Florida. The boys never returned, and despite a Coast Guard-led eight-day search of the Atlantic covering 50,000 nautical miles, their bodies were never found.

recovered_iphone_austin_stephanos

The recovered iPhone that belonged to Austin Stephanos (Image: Blu Stephanos)


Last month, their abandoned boat was discovered by a Norwegian crew 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda, along with a locked box inside of which was Stephanos’ heavily water-damaged and inoperable iPhone 6.

Cohen had borrowed Stephanos’ phone to communicate with his family the day they disappeared, and the Cohens wanted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to treat the phone as evidence in an open missing persons case, but the agency insisted on returning the phone to Stephanos’ family, according to a local television report.

Cohen’s mother, Pamela Cohen, sued Stephanos’ family to have the iPhone returned to the state, to allow her access to its contents, and if necessary, have the phone turned over to law enforcement as evidence in a possible criminal investigation.

In the emergency hearing yesterday, Cohen’s attorney pointed to an accident investigation report that suggested foul play in the boys’ disappearance. According to the court file, Cohen’s stepfather, Nick Korniloff, contacted the FBI in the belief that the boys had been abducted, but no official criminal investigation was undertaken.

Both families have now consented to turn over the phone to Apple, which “has already agreed to take in the phone” and analyze it for answers, according to a lawyer representing the Stephanos family. It will be sent to Cupertino via FedEx for forensic examination in-house. Apple has not commented on the lawyer’s claim, although the company has previously acknowledged that it was asked to look at the device.

It’s unclear whether the iPhone was passcode-protected when it was in working order, nor is it known what methods Apple will employ in its attempts to recover data from such a damaged device, therefore comparisons between this case and Apple’s dispute with the FBI over its refusal to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s phone are premature. In the event that anything is found that sheds light on the circumstances of the boys’ disappearance, the data will be given to a judge, who will consider if it is evidence and whether it may be shared with the families.

The phone “potentially holds the key to answer a question that a mother desperately needs answered,” the Cohens’ lawyer told the judge presiding over the hearing. “And let’s be clear, your honor, the boys are not declared dead.”

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Discuss this article in our forums

Former General Electric CEO Passed on Buying Apple for $2 Billion in 1996

Former chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch had an opportunity to purchase Apple for $2 billion and passed at the chance, according to information shared by Bob Wright in an interview with The New York Post about his book The Wright Stuff: From NBC to Autism Speaks.

Back in 1996, when Apple was struggling ahead of Steve Jobs’ return, then CEO Michael Spindler, who took over after John Sculley was ousted, was “practically begging” General Electric to buy Apple.

applege

“The stock price was $20, and [Spindler] was explaining he couldn’t get the company moving fast enough and the analysts were on his case,” Wright told The Post in an interview on Tuesday. “He was sweating like mad and everybody said, ‘We can’t manage technology like that.’ We had a chance to buy it for $2 billion.”

A purchase by General Electric would have radically changed the company’s history and it’s questionable whether Apple would still be around as a brand today had that happened. Later that same year, after GE declined to make the purchase, Apple bought NeXT for $427 million and Steve Jobs returned to lead the company in 1997.

One of Jobs’ first major projects was the iPod, which launched in 2001 and set the company on its current path. The iPhone followed in 2007, the iPad came in 2010, and the Apple Watch, Apple’s newest product, launched in 2015.

As of today, Apple is worth more than $600 billion, while General Electric is worth less than half of that. In fact, Apple holds more than two thirds of the value of General Electric in cash, with over $215 billion on hand.
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Former chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch had an opportunity to purchase Apple for $2 billion and passed at the chance, according to information shared by Bob Wright in an interview with The New York Post about his book The Wright Stuff: From NBC to Autism Speaks.

Back in 1996, when Apple was struggling ahead of Steve Jobs’ return, then CEO Michael Spindler, who took over after John Sculley was ousted, was “practically begging” General Electric to buy Apple.

applege

“The stock price was $20, and [Spindler] was explaining he couldn’t get the company moving fast enough and the analysts were on his case,” Wright told The Post in an interview on Tuesday. “He was sweating like mad and everybody said, ‘We can’t manage technology like that.’ We had a chance to buy it for $2 billion.”

A purchase by General Electric would have radically changed the company’s history and it’s questionable whether Apple would still be around as a brand today had that happened. Later that same year, after GE declined to make the purchase, Apple bought NeXT for $427 million and Steve Jobs returned to lead the company in 1997.

One of Jobs’ first major projects was the iPod, which launched in 2001 and set the company on its current path. The iPhone followed in 2007, the iPad came in 2010, and the Apple Watch, Apple’s newest product, launched in 2015.

As of today, Apple is worth more than $600 billion, while General Electric is worth less than half of that. In fact, Apple holds more than two thirds of the value of General Electric in cash, with over $215 billion on hand.
Discuss this article in our forums