Apple’s In-App Purchases Security System Down

Many iOS developers are experiencing an outage of a major security feature used for in-app billing. Applications use a “verifyReceipt” function that distinguishes legitimate receipts from those that are fraudulent. Since 7:ooPM PST last night, the verification system has been down, and Apple has not yet acknowledged the problem. Some devs expect to have lost thousands of dollars in revenue due to the outage, but others have managed to create a temporary workaround to negate the issue.

The Sandbox version of the site, used for testing, is up, but the URL used for real transactions shows a 404 error. With the page down, developers cannot verify that receipts are valid, and therefore can’t honor purchases because of the possibility the receipt has been forged.


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Rumor: Amazon Launching New Tablet on September 28th?

Look out Apple, because Amazon could be close to launching its rumored tablet to compete with the iPad. While Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, with competition that is next to none, this Amazon-flavored tablet could become the first legitimate threat to Apple’s tablet. Amazon’s new tablet could be announced at the press conference the online retailing company has invited the media to attend on Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 AM Eastern.

This tablet, which will allegedly run Android, will be effective at competing with the iPad because of its price tag. Amazon is rumored to price the 7-inch version of this tablet at just $249.99. If released, this will be Amazon’s first tablet and will join the Kindle family of eReaders that Amazon has been selling since late 2007.

[This Is My Next]

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NASA Releases Official Ringtones

NASA, everyone’s favorite space agency, has released official “historical sounds” ringtones for the iPhone. The tones include the well known audio from most major missions, including the world famous “Houston, we’ve had a problem“, and many beeps, bloops, and rocket blast-offs. If you want to up your geek cred while out on the town, check out the full library here, and if you’ve never added custom ringtones to iTunes, make sure to read the step by step instructions. Regular old MP3 files of the audio are also available for less picky devices.

Here’s a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” every time you get a phone call. Or, you can hear the memorable words “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” every time you make an error on your computer. We have included both MP3 and M4R (iPhone) sound files to download.

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Spotify US Goes Public, Offers Unlimited Streaming to Free Users for 6 Months

Spotify launched in the US earlier this year, but has remained only available to the internet-elite (and paying members) until today. In conjunction with their partnership with Facebook, the streaming music service is now open to the public, and will offer unlimited streaming to free users for 6 months. Non-paying customers are usually limited to just 10 hours a month, so it’s quite a steal. Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy mobile streaming or offline caching without a Premium account.


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Macy’s Adds iPads to eVending Machines in Stores

The department store Macy’s has rolled out new vending machines in many of their stores across the United States. Instead of dispensing candy and snacks, however, these vending machines offer a variety of different electronics instead. Among the products offered are several Apple devices including the iPad, iPod touch, and iPod nano. There’s also a slew of digital cameras, GPS, and headphones to pick from.

And don’t worry, your iPad doesn’t clank to the floor like a chocolate bar would; instead, it is conveniently loaded onto the side collection panel on the right. Thank goodness. But still, would you buy your next shiny Apple device from a vending machine like this?

[The Consumerist via TiPb]

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Steve Jobs is the 39th Richest American According to Forbes

For three decades, Forbes Magazine has ranked the 400th most wealthy American individuals in their Forbes 400 listing. This year, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, the latest Forbes 400 list is once again topped by Bill Gates, the richest person in the United States with a net worth of $59 billion. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett ranks second with a $39 billion valuation, while Oracle’s Larry Ellison takes bronze with $33 billion.

Diversified’s Charles and David Koch round off the top five with $25 billion apiece. Further down the list, Apple’s former chief executive Steve Jobs ranks 39th on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $7 billion. Other notable individuals include Mark Zuckerberg (14th, $17.5 billion), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (15th, $16.7 billion apiece), Michael Dell (18th, $15 billion), and Steve Ballmer (19th, $13.9 billion).


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iPhone 4S Cases Arriving at AT&T Stores Ahead of Launch

Apple is expected to announce two different iPhone models at their October 4 media event, and cases for one of those phones, the “iPhone 4S,” are already showing up at AT&T stores ahead of launch. The packaging you see here is for an OtterBox Commuter case for the rumored, but unreleased, mid-range iPhone 4S.

The leaked images are coming from iOS hacker @chronic on Twitter, who has proven to have a fairly good track record over the past few months. Will, as he is known, adds that OtterBox would not waste $800,000 on packaging for an upcoming device that they weren’t sure existed yet.

Better looks after the break. (more…)

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Apple Testing New iPad Lending Program for Employees

Apple employees will soon be able to loan an iPad, for up to one week, as part of the new iPad lending program that the Cupertino-based company is testing. The program will allow for Apple employees to freely use the iPad during their one week lending period, at no cost, and then return it for others to use.

Apple’s flagship retail store in San Francisco will be the first to initiate the “pilot” program, which may be focused on getting store employees to better understand how the iPad, a product that they sell frequently, works.


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Facebook f8 Developer Conference Streaming Live

Facebook’s annual f8 developer conference is about to begin, and you can view a live stream of the action online. The social network received a design overhaul earlier this week, and the company is expected to announce a music streaming service that allows users to share and listen to tracks with friends. Facebook for iPad may finally be released too, so stay tuned in at LiveStream to get the news as it happens.

  • A “Timeline” profile view has been introduced. It summarizes your Facebook-life by combining all your stories, apps, and important events into one page, which can be navigated by year. The farther back you go, the more condensed the timeline gets. Like Time Machine for social networking.
  • Integration with Netflix, Spotify, MOG, Rdio, and others for sharing videos and listening to music with friends. Once you approve an app to post in your timeline once, it will never prompt you again. Facebook calls this “Frictionless”, but it will be seen as very invasive by users who appreciate privacy.
The event is over, and there is no iPad app to be found. Maybe next year!


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