Google ‘mortified’ over Wi-Fi data gathering

Google on Friday confirmed that its Street View cars had inadvertently captured e-mail messages and passwords during their image gathering missions, the result of WiFi sniffing software that was included in Street View cars without authorization, reports InformationWeek. The acknowledgment comes after data protection authorities in Canada and Spain said as much following the conclusion of investigations into Google’s WiFi data gathering in those countries. Google VP of engineering and research Alan Eustace, who first disclosed the company’s WiFi data gathering in May, apologized again and promised changes to prevent similar incidents in the future…

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Apple offers app store discounts to schools

Apple has introduced a volume purchase program for schools looking to buy applications for students’ iPhones, iPod Touches, or iPads, InformationWeek reports. The App Store Volume Purchase Program was introduced Aug. 9 on the site for iOS developers. iOS is the operating system that ships with the iPad and the latest iPhone and iPod Touch. The new program lets U.S. educational institutions buy apps in volume for distribution to students and faculty. In addition, developers can elect to offer special education pricing for their apps, when purchased in volume. Schools are a major customer base for Apple, which has offered discounts on Mac computers to students and faculty for years. While the small screen of the iPhone and iPod Touch limits their use in the educational market, the iPad’s nearly 10-inch diagonal display makes it a potential alternative to hardcover textbooks and documents handed out by professors. Indeed, Apple reportedly has pitched the iPad to the education market, believing the device can be used to easily share information with others…

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iPhone 4 antenna glitch sparks lawsuit

A pair of Maryland residents filed a lawsuit against Apple on June 30, claiming the iPhone 4’s wonky antenna has caused them “emotional distress,” InformationWeek reports. “Plaintiffs were sold defective iPhone 4 units, which drop calls and data services when held in a manner consistent with normal wireless phone use,” plaintiffs Kevin McCaffrey and Linda Wrinn said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court for Maryland. The pair “have experienced numerous dropped calls and, as a result, plaintiffs are left with a device that cannot be used for the normal purpose and in the normal manner in which such devices are intended to be used,” the court papers state. The lawsuit also names Apple partner AT&T as a defendant. Many iPhone 4 buyers have reported that Apple’s new smart phone drops its signal if the bottom left corner of the device is covered by the palm of the user’s hand—a situation that’s common when the phone is wielded by lefties. McCaffrey and Wrinn are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and are also asking the court to prohibit Apple from selling any more iPhone 4 units until the problem is fixed…

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iPad eMail accounts hacked

InformationWeek reports that hackers broke into AT&T’s servers and stole eMail account information on more than 100,000 Apple iPad users, the network carrier disclosed on June 9. The company said it discovered the breach on June 7 and has notified affected customers. It also said the vulnerability that allowed the hackers into its computer network has since been fixed. “This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by June 8, and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the eMail addresses,” an AT&T spokesman told the Reuters news agency…

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