AT&T Sued Over Alleged Phantom Traffic, Inflated Data Charges

An iPhone user in California is suing AT&T for supposedly inflating his data usage and charging him for data transfers that never took place. To confirm his suspicions, Patrick Hendricks hired a consulting firm to test his claims. They claim to have found AT&T regularly inflated incoming data transfers between seven to fourteen percent, and up to as much as 300 percent.

To further test their theory, the firm monitored data charges for 10 days on an iPhone with all push notifications shut off, location function disabled, no active apps and no email account set-up. AT&T reported 2.2 MB of data usage for the phone.

Hendricks claims that not only was he charged for data transfers that never took place, but the practice curtailed his use to the point that he feared taking full advantage of the data he was allotted for his $15 per month plan which allowed for 200 MB data.

Other users have chimed in with similar experiences, citing multiple megabyte drains literally overnight, when phones were inactive.

If the lawsuit is deemed to have merit, it could turn into a class-action suit involving millions of AT&T subscribers who use capped data plans. It would not include those who are covered under an unlimited plan.

The timing could not be worse for AT&T, as some experts suggest they could lose approximately 25% of their users to Verizon. It also coincides with rumors that AT&T may be allowing once-unlimited users unhappy with their capped plans to return to their former plans. Apple has not been named as a defendant in the case.

[InfoWorld] [Computerworld]

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Apple Responds to eBook Debacle

Apple has issued a statement regarding yesterday’s rejection of Sony’s eBook app. While they claim that no changes have been made to the developer terms or guidelines, the policy does, in fact, seem to be new.

“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines, we are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.” – Trudy Muller, Apple spokesperson

Essentially, Apple will allow companies to offer eBook purchases directly from the provider (for example,, as long as they also offer the same content via in-app purchases—where Apple gets a 30 percent cut. Currently, Amazon’s app offers content by redirecting users to their website for the actual purchase, but even this loophole is now covered.

This could result in a corresponding price hike for eBooks through 3rd party sellers, since 30% is likely their entire profit margin. Alternatively, Apple could exempt specific sellers—like Amazon and Sony—from the price cut, and merely benefit from the additional control of content. It would be unlikely, though possible, for the apps to be removed by their creators if an agreement can’t be met. There isn’t any real benefit for the end user, no matter how you spin it. Apple is simply flexing their muscles.

[Ars Technica]

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Apple Picking Off eBook Competition?

Apple has rejected Sony’s eBook reader application for the iPad, citing the fact that the store does not route in-app purchases through Apple. The Kindle and Nook eBook readers have not yet been removed from the App Store (though they commit the same offense as Sony).

It seems to be pretty cut-and-dry at this point, and while one rejected app is no reason to fret, if Apple continues to kill off the competition—or force them to pay the Apple-tax, it could spell bad news for customers who favor their freedom of choice.

The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.

Recently, Apple has loosened their grip on the App Store’s tight restrictions, and even allowed apps like VLC to exist within their walled garden (however briefly). But, driving all in-app sales through Apple is a definite cause for concern: if Apple shaves and extra percentage off the top of competitor’s eBook sales, it could cause their prices to rise—the beginnings of anti-competitive practices.


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Interview With The Woz

Everybody loves Woz and his antics, and Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky sat down with the Apple co-founder for a rather hilarious interview, which covers everything from his current executive position at Fusion-io, to his European Championship Segway Polo team.

Although he claims that he has no inside information about Apple products, he mentions that the white iPhone (queue sighs) will be available soon, and speaks shortly about iOS versus Android, as well as the time when AT&T broke into his home — metaphorically, of course.

If you’re interested in tales of his past and current acts of defiance, including his numerous fake-IDs, skip ahead to the 35 minute mark for a shot of his perforated 2-dollar bill note pad and a story about his run-in with the Secret Service.

Topolsky: ”Are you going to get a Verizon iPhone when they are available?”

Woz: “Well, yes and no. I mean I’m not going to get one — I’m going to get two.”

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Exclusive: Greenpois0n RC5 Surprise Revealed?

It isn’t enough to blow you straight off of this planet as you stick it to Apple by jailbreaking your device, but there are two features that this jailbreak will reportedly be sporting that hasn’t been seen in a while.

With all of the excitement surrounding the Greenpois0n RC5′s release, which is really any day now, there have been some mysterious tweets from prominent members of the team developing the jailbreak tool regarding some pretty special features.

A tipster, who goes by the name of Slurpeeking, has contacted me, stating that we would soon see verbose boot (video of it here on an older firmware), and custom boot logos (imagine an image on your device as it boots up) in the upcoming Greenpois0n release. So there you have it: Greenpois0n’s big release should add a new degree of customization.

So, what other information is there to go on, besides the solitary word of a tipster? Well, we do have a plethora of mysterious tweets from people who are known, or widely thought, to be working on the jailbreak tool, like pod2g and p0sixninja. I’ve included one such quote after the read link, though there may be plenty of jewels waiting to be discovered in their timeline.

So, the consensus? Maybe verbose boot, maybe custom boot logos, maybe both, or maybe something entirely different. But, at this time, I’m inclined to think that we’ve gotten a verbose boot and some boot logos headed our way!


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Verizon iPhone IPSW Live

Apple has uploaded the Verizon iPhone-specific firmware build 8E200, so anyone with the right know-how can tear it apart. It appears to be running iOS 4.2.6, and should still be vulnerable to the limera1n exploit.

via @MuscleNerd

Verizon iPhone IPSW is now live! Here are the keys, tell us what you find!

If the i4 crypto engine couldn’t get those, it would have been bad sign for limera1n. But it did, so there’s still hope.

via @iH8sn0w

@MuscleNerd I think its still vulnerable. However, we’ll probably see an updated batch in a few months. =/

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Motorola Has Apple in its Sights with New ’1984′- like Commercial

First off, if you haven’t seen Apple’s ’1984′ commercial, go watch it — it’s such an interesting look at the way Apple viewed themselves then, and provides a good scale that shows how much (or, possibly, how little) has changed. The commercial was only aired once: January 22, 1984, during the Superbowl XVIII. The commercial is one of the most highly lauded of all time. Steve Jobs even described the brief by saying, “I want to stop the world in its tracks.”

Fast forward to Superbowl XLV, where Motorola plans to release a commercial based on the same platform, even going so far as to claim that ’2011 looks a lot like 1984.’ They claim that there is “one authority, one design, one way to work.” All of those claims are obvious slams to Apple, and the Apple ecosystem that the iPhone and iPad are based around. They go on to state hardware reasons why their product — in this case, the Motorola Xoom — is and will continue to be superior (dual core 1 GHz processor, among other reasons).


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Accessory Review: CableJive dockXtender and duraSync Cable

I first saw CableJive’s products at CES and they were kind enough to send samples of their products for review. Amid the bejeweled cases, quirky penguin-shaped USB drives, and biometric accessories, cables could certainly get lost on the trade show floor. But a quality cable is not something that escapes my attention.

Liking to use my iPod Touch or iPhone in a variety of docks, I long ago abandoned some cases in favor of those which either came with a universal dock adapter or a slider case where part of the case could be easily removed for docking. However, I know a few iPhone users who cannot abide by anything but the Otterbox Defender case, as they have brutalized their phones in the field, and the case has performed. Unfortunately, these same users are as hard on their Apple stock cables as they are on their phones, resulting in frays and breakage.

CableJive has all the bases covered for such users. Read on for my review of two of their products, the dockXtender cable and duraSync.


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Greenpois0n RC5 Release Imminent

According to a source of the most reliable variety, greenpois0n RC5 wil be released very soon. The tool will be able to jailbreak all devices on iOS 4.2.1, no strings attached (both literally and figuratively).

via @p0sixninja

@poisixninja it’s 0x5A% done now

Sorry, We’ve been “wasting” our time for research for 4.3 rather then development. Awesome things coming in RC5 though!!

0x5A is hexadecimal for 1011010 (or 90% for you laymen), so it is quite clear that the tool is on the brink of completion. Apparently something special is in the works for next release, but as usual, the crafty hackers publicly torment us with vague messages, so we’re not sure what exactly it is.

Man do we have something in store for you guys in the new GP :D

@Jaywalker9988 wasn’t kidding. The surprise for the newest Green Poison is sick! I love it!

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