Archive for October 2, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Microsoft Suspends Development of Touch-friendly UWP Office Apps

Peter Bright (Hacker News):

Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile first made their debut with Windows 8.1. Their significance is twofold: they have a user interface that’s designed to be touch-friendly, and they’re built using Microsoft’s modern UWP (Universal Windows Platform) framework. They’ve been regularly updated since their introduction, but no longer. The use of UWP meant that the same app core could be used on both desktop Windows and Windows 10 Mobile, but with Windows 10 Mobile no longer a going concern, this compatibility is no longer a priority.


Microsoft has been trying to get third-party developers to build UWP applications. UWP applications have some desirable features: they’re safer (because they’re run in sandboxes and have a phone-like security model governing their access to files, cameras, GPS, and similar sensitive capabilities), they play better with power management capabilities (the operating system has greater ability to suspend them or terminate them to free memory), and certain parts of the UWP APIs are meaningfully more modern. In general, UWP applications should play much better with high-resolution screens, for example.

Passcode Bypass Method Exposes Contacts and Photos in iOS 12

Tim Hardwick:

A passcode bypass vulnerability has been discovered in iOS 12 that potentially allows an attacker to access photos and contact details on a locked iPhone.

The rather convoluted bypass method was shared in a video by Jose Rodriguez, who has discovered iOS bugs in the past that Apple has subsequently fixed.


Concerned users can do so by navigating to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (that’s Settings > Touch ID & Passcode on iPhones with Touch ID) and disabling the Siri toggle under the "Allow access when locked" menu.

Darren Eastman Sues Apple

Thomas Claburn:

In 2009, Eastman says, Jobs made him “promise that he’d always work for Apple and indicated that a job would always be available for him.” And Jobs, he said, asked Eastman to report Mac software and hardware quality issues directly to him if the problems could not be resolved through standard channels.

These reports continued until Jobs’s death in 2011, Eastman says.

Under CEO Tim Cook, however, Eastman contends Apple’s commitment to quality has declined.

Ethan Baron:

“Many talented employees who’ve given part of their life for Apple were now regularly being disciplined and terminated for reporting issues they were expected to (report) during Mr. Jobs tenure,” Eastman alleged in the filing.

“Cronyism and a dedicated effort to ignore quality issues in current and future products became the most important projects to perpetuate the goal of ignoring the law and minimizing tax.


“Notifying Mr. Cook about issues (previously welcomed by Mr. Jobs) produces either no response, or, a threatening one later by your direct manager,” Eastman claimed.

“There’s no accountability, with attempts at doing the right thing met with swift retaliation.”

Is he alleging that engineers are tasked with helping Apple to avoid paying taxes? Or he is just adding his opinions on unrelated issues to his lawsuit while people are listening to him?

Malcolm Owen:

Darren Eastman wants to be acknowledged as an inventor for five Apple patent applications, according to filings with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Filed on Thursday, the complaint alleges how Eastman’s ideas were accepted and then employed by Apple in its products and filings, but without his crediting.

A patent application for electronic ticketing is claimed to have been taken from technology developed by Eastman before joining Apple in 2006, and was declared in an Intellectual Property Agreement he signed with the company the previous year. In February 2006, Eastman told former CEO Steve Jobs about the ticketing concept, with Jobs replying it was “insanely great” and potentially able to break a monopoly held by Ticketmaster.

For the patent application relating to Find My iPhone, Eastman claims he lost his original iPhone in 2008, inspiring him to come up with a device location system.


After joining in 2006, Eastman was fired on September 26, 2014, under claims of unprofessional and inappropriate communications. The issue is said to be due to attempts to solicit his manager to “do his job” to integrate a crucial fix to Disk Utility in Yosemite before its release.

Previously: Disk Utility in El Capitan, Apple, Ireland, and the EU.

Update (2020-06-09): Dennis Sellers:

In what is now the fourth version of his legal claim, filed in California against his former employer, Eastman says he should be listed on no less than 16 patents; 13 of them covering the Find my iPhone service and three covering Apple’s Passbook ticketing feature.

Mikey Campbell:

Presiding Judge Jon S. Tigar last week ordered the parties to a magistrate judge for settlement talks. If an amicable solution is not found, the case will go to court in June.