Apple has signed on to an open letter asking for more transparency from the U.S. government’s national security requests. Joining Apple are AOL, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, Wikimedia Foundation, Y Combinator, and many other groups. Notably absent from the list are any major telecom companies, which reportedly refused to sign the letter. The signing companies want permission to publicly report statistics on government requests related to the USA PATRIOT Act, FISA, and National Security Letter statutes. The letter is addressed to President Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and a variety of other prominent members of the House and Senate.
Maintenance release to the free text editor that mirrors many of the fixes in BBEdit 10.5.5. (Free, 9.8 MB)
Maintenance release with over 30 fixes and improvements. ($49.99 new, free update, 12.6 MB)
Is it worth paying a monthly fee to be able to upgrade your smartphone or tablet more often? Maybe. Josh Centers analyzes what the new T-Mobile and AT&T plans mean for Apple users.
You may have heard that the Tumblr app inadvertently transmitted passwords in the clear on Wi-Fi networks, but what else might be at risk? Over at PCWorld, Eric Geier performed an experiment to see what he could intercept over an unsecured Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. Using a Windows laptop with a wireless network analyzer and a rooted Android phone, he was able to see the Web pages other connected users were viewing, as well as email and unsecure logins. Geier offers a number of tips to improve Wi-Fi security while in public, including always using SSL connections to Web sites, when available.
Social network and infrastructure service App.net has released a new tool called PourOver that enables you to publish RSS feeds on App.net. PourOver will be especially appreciated by bloggers who wish to send new post links to App.net automatically. The open-source syndication tool supports Pubsubhubbub for real-time publishing and flow control to space out posts.
Need to point out visual errors in iOS, or just want to get a chance to play with iOS 7? Josh Centers tells you why you want to check out Bugshot.
Apple’s professional audio app has been redesigned, sporting numerous new and improved features. ($199.99, 650 MB)
Nashville-based attorney Chris Sevier has filed suit against Apple in federal court for enabling his pornography addiction. Sevier wants Apple to enable an Internet filter in iOS devices by default, and allow it to be circumvented only upon sending a signed form to Apple. While iOS parental controls could use some work, Sevier’s request is rather over the top, to say the least, and we don’t anticipate needing to explain a judge’s decision in the case. Sevier was arrested earlier this year for stalking country star John Rich, and the Tennessee Supreme Court has placed Sevier on disability inactive status for mental illness.
Jon Lipsky, the lead developer on TouchDraw, received an email complaint about a competitor’s app. He helpfully looked up the correct contact information, only to find that the competing app, Diagram Touch, was in fact a cracked and repackaged version of TouchDraw. Lipsky went on to discover a pirated version of OmniGraffle that was repackaged in the same way. Other developers have voiced the same issue in his post’s comments. Until Apple gets this under control, watch what you buy, and don’t take any wooden nickels!
It’s the end of an era. The August 2013 issue marks the final U.S. print version of the venerable PCWorld magazine, founded in 1983. However, PCWorld will still publish on the Web, and the print magazine will continue in some other countries. PCWorld’s sister publication, Macworld, will continue to arrive on newsstands each month for the foreseeable future.
It was bad enough to learn that your iPhone is making you timid, but now researchers say it may be hurting your fitness as well. Researchers at Kent State University have identified a correlation between heavy smartphone use and a more sedentary lifestyle among college students. Those who spent large amounts of time on a smartphone — up to 14 hours per day — were less fit than those who averaged only 90 minutes a day.
Can’t take a vacation this summer? Now you can simulate all the fun of a road trip on your iPhone or iPad with Desert Bus — and support a great cause at the same time.
According to a study performed by Harvard Business School, your iPhone is sapping your will. Due to the contracted body posture required to operate a smartphone or tablet, users actually grow less assertive than when using desktops or laptops. The reason is that your posture and gestures actually affect your body chemistry, decreasing testosterone and increasing cortisol levels. So sit up straight!
Dropbox is beefing up its developer APIs to enable Dropbox-savvy apps to improve syncing and integration. But will the new Datastore API be able to replace Apple’s beleaguered iCloud syncing? We talked to some prominent Mac and iOS developers to find out.