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iPhone 3G User Files Class Action Lawsuit Over iOS 4 Upgrade

Steve Jobs introduces iOS 4.1 update
(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)

iPhone 3G users are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore! Incensed over what they claim are “unsavory, dishonest and deceptive business practices” on Apple’s part by crippling their devices with the iOS 4 update.

AppleInsider is reporting on the sensational details of the latest class action lawsuit against Apple, which was filed on October 29 by the law firm of Cohelan Koury & Singer in a San Diego County state court on behalf of their plaintiff, Bianca Wofford. The suit claims that Apple touted the iOS 4 upgrade as a “significant advance and triumph” for the iPhone 3G, but instead what Wofford received was a handset that effectively became a “virtually useless ‘iBrick.’”

Of course, Wofford wasn’t alone — the iOS 4 update wasn’t kind to many iPhone 3G users. The lack of multitasking aside, the update caused the device to act more sluggishly than before, a problem that was mostly resolved with the iOS 4.1 update almost three months later.

The suit notes that the plaintiff’s iPhone 3G went from being 99 percent reliable to “about 20 percent functionality” as a result of the upgrade. The plaintiff also claims that iOS 4 “rendered the iPhone 3G devices virtually unusable, constantly slowed, crashed or frozen” and she appears particularly hostile about the length of time it took Apple to address the problems.

At the heart of the lawsuit appears to be the fact that Apple does not allow downgrades for its iOS devices — with no way to revert back to iOS 3.x when iOS 4 didn’t work out, iPhone 3G users were faced with either dealing with it or buying a newer iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, which the lawsuit seems to consider part of Apple’s “unsavory, dishonest and deceptive business practices.”

According to a separate report from Wired, the suit requires approval from a judge before it is granted class action status, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can read the entire lawsuit in PDF form and judge for yourself.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Steam's User Growth Up 178%, Users Still Fragging Happily

It’s been months now since Valve’s Steam cloud gaming client has been around for the Mac operating system, and we’ve noticed a generally happier disposition from the Mac gaming community–especially after they’ve managed to shoot our faces off in Frag the Editor Friday (never mind the fact that we’re having a tough time getting through a whole campaign in Left 4 Dead 2).  Valve has announced that Steam’s year-over-year user growth has gone up 178% from last year.

The company has also had a sales growth of over 200%. Currently, there are over 30 million accounts with a library of 1,200 games available for purchase. The company also adds that it’s increased its internal infrastructure to handle this kind of gamer traffic, with its servers currently running at 400Gps–enough to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

The growing market share for Steam also means that both PC and Mac gamers can live in perfect harmony, what with the massive library of games offered for both platforms. Don’t forget to join our Steam group to kick our booties in Frag the Editor Fridays!

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Steam.


iOS Apps That Transmit Data Could Put User Privacy At Risk

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You might not think much about the small applications you might download for your iOS devices that ask to “phone home” (i.e. send information from your device to some known or unknown source). But, new research done at Bucknell University by Eric Smith shows that sometimes applications would transmit data over the network in plain text, allowing network eavesdroppers to potentially steal critical information.

Studying over 57 different applications from the App Store, Smith discovered that besides the UDID (the unique identifier assigned to every iOS device), some applications would also send transmit personally identifiable information over the network, and in some of the instances, the information was transmitted without any encryption at all.

“For example, Amazon’s application communicates the logged-in user’s real name in plain text, along with the UDID, permitting both and network eavesdroppers to easily match a phone’s UDID with the name of the phone’s owner. The CBS News application transmits both the UDID and the iPhone device’s user-assigned name, which frequently contains the owner’s real name,” says Eric Smith in his report.

With some technical, but widely available software like Wireshark, a network eavesdropper could easily access the data being transmitted from your device to the application’s home server. This is where the potential security risk exists. Because only a few applications use SSL encryption for the transmission, the personal data is sent over the network in plain, readable text.

Hopefully Apple will be able to address this issue in the future by potentially requiring app developers to give full disclosure about the type of data they are collecting and transmitting, or by creating a way for developers to collect this data and transmit it in a more secure manner.

You can read the full report by Eric Smith by clicking here [PDF link].

via Ars Technica


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.