The folks who gather early every morning in the West Wing office of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have something new in common these days. Practically everyone has an iPad -- or will have one very soon.
Emanuel just got his, as did senior adviser David Axelrod and deputy press secretary Bill Burton. Both communications director Dan Pfeiffer and press wrangler Ben Finkenbinder have one on order. Economic adviser Larry Summers takes his to staff meetings.
The device is the hot, new White House toy, a gizmo that is popping up around Washington but seems to be particularly in vogue at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
You don't say. I don't think this counts as a scoop anymore.
A hacking group has obtained the e-mail addresses of 114,000 owners of 3G iPads by exploiting a security hole on AT&T’s Web site, according to a report by Gawker.
The group also obtained the identification number that those iPads use when they communicate over AT&T’s network, known as an ICC-ID. It is not clear what that information could be used for.
According to Gawker, which was given a copy of the list of e-mail addresses, it includes military personnel, staff members in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and people at the Justice Department, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security. Private-sector addresses that were exposed include those of executives at the New York Times Company, Dow Jones, Condé Nast, Viacom, Time Warner, the News Corporation, HBO and Hearst, along with bankers and venture capitalists.
The hacking group, Goatse Security, found that a program on AT&T’s Web site, when given an iPad’s ID number, would return the owner’s e-mail address. It used a script that could guess IDs and collect the associated e-mail addresses. The group eventually notified AT&T of the breach, and the security hole was closed.
Like it does with the iPhone name, Apple is also licensing the iOS name of its iPhone operating system from Cisco Systems. iOS 4 is a new name that will replace Apple's "iPhone OS" moniker, and it is the operating system that will power the new iPhone 4 as well as older versions of the device. Cisco's own IOS is used on some of its hardware devices. Apple also received the FaceTime trademark from a company called FaceTime Communications, which is planning to change its name.
If the license fee is based on units sold, Cisco could be making out like bandits.
Of yesterday's Apple announcements, none is more welcome to me than Safari 5. If for no other reason than this:
They've gone back to the old progress bar! Wooooo!
Now it matches the behavior they've stubbornly—and rightly—stuck to for the iPhone and iPad, and gives you visual feedback of the amount of loading progress, unlike the strange and crippled slate-gray button-spinner thing of Safari 4:
But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that the blue progress bar that fills up the address field from left to right—as we've been accustomed for so long—is still, and seemingly forever, gone. Apple doesn't seem to want us seeing an activity indicator that shows actual progress anymore; they'll give us a little spinner, sure, but no more progress bar. And never mind that Safari on the iPhone still has the blue progress bar; now it's just there to mock us on the desktop, who now have to pretend it's 1995 again with the functional equivalent of the Pulsing Breathing Blue N in the upper right corner of our Netscape window.
But that's okay; they'll probably helpfully get rid of the progress bar in Safari for iPhone OS 3.0.
It's nice to be wrong sometimes.
Of the other features that are new, the Reader mode looks quite pretty—it's like a little piece of iBooks in a desktop browser. I may find myself using it from time to time, just because the affordance of switching from full-page mode to reader mode and back is so lightweight and unobtrusive and pleasant.
I'll be looking forward to trying out the new HTML5 hotnesses. The new Firefox-esque location bar is rich and meaty and feels far faster and more graceful than Firefox's. Bing is now officially invited to the party, signalling that Apple views Google as a bigger threat than Microsoft these days. And geolocation should be fun.
And oh yeah, the new iPhone looks pretty cool too. Hey, gyroscope! And a high-res screen with pixel doubling. Woo again!