Category Archives: Technology

doubleTwist bugfix release

We just pushed out another doubleTwist release. It fixes the following issues:

  • Fixed the exception that was occurring if you had http entries in your iTunes library (e.g. streaming radio)
  • doubleTwist now displays properly if you are running Windows at 120dpi
  • Allows + sign in e-mail addresses

You should be getting a notification in the application that there is an update available. If you don’t want to wait for the notification, right click on the doubleTwist tray bar icon and select “Check for update”.

To report bugs, please use our contact form or send them directly to me if you’d prefer that.

Issues that are still not fixed include:

  • iTunes is not detected if your iTunes library is in a non-standard location.
  • If you are behind a corporate proxy server, the installer and/or login to doubleTwist may fail.

Ideas on the next doubleTwist UI

Here is one of the concepts we came up with for the share section of doubleTwist. What do you think? We’d like to make it as easy as possible to share the content you’ve created, whether it’s stored on your computer or a connected device, with your friends. When you connect a device such as a Nokia N95, it shows up under My Devices and you are able to share media directly from your device just like in the current UI. The area in the bottom right corner is a mini player that lets you preview videos before you share.

dT UI concept

doubleTwist desktop has launched

After a lot of hard work, we’ve finally released doubleTwist desktop. The goal of doubleTwist is to simplify the flow of media across devices and social networks. To give an example: say you shot a video with your Nokia N95 cellphone. How do you send that video to your friend and make sure he’ll be able to play it on his iPod or Sony PSP? Yesterday, the easiest solution was to give up. As of today, the answer is doubleTwist. With doubleTwist, you’ll be able to share and sync digital media without worrying about codecs and bitrates.

Download doubleTwist and send us your feedback! If you are a developer and want to add support for a new device, check out our developers page.

Nikon lenses for sale

I am selling two Nikon lenses. Both lenses are brand new and have only been used on one trip. I’m selling them because I decided to switch to the Sony A700. I went through three Nikon D80s with severe hot pixel issues (at ISO100). Got fed up and instead of waiting for the D300 went with the Sony A700.

  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D-AF lens w/Hoya 52mm HMC UV filter: $125
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 G-AFS ED-IF DX lens w/Hoya 67mm HMC UV filter: $320

If you buy both lenses, I’ll throw in a free SanDisk 2GB Extreme III SD Memory Card.

Update: the lenses have been sold.

Quote of the day

A friend sent me this quote:

No way that “the market” forced Apple to do anything. Steve Jobs is the undisputed master of all reality. Surely Mac loyalists will find some way to spin this… I know! Steve didn’t want all that money anyway, so he decided to lower prices of his own volition. Surely he will soon lower prices on the iPhone and the iPod, right?

— Posted by Ed

Think Closed

I was expecting that the iPhone firmware update would simply relock unlocked iPhones so that they could only be used with AT&T. I was wrong. As you may know by now, after an unlocked iPhone has been upgraded with the 1.1.1 firmware it will refuse to activate with any SIM. The technical evidence so far indicates that this was intentional by Apple. Although the iPhone is still alive, it’s completely useless. It’s essentially a brick.

Has Nokia or Sony Ericsson ever bricked or refused service on an unlocked phone? Not that I’ve heard of, and if they did, they would have been quickly sued in several countries where consumer rights are more strongly protected.

Did Sony ever brick PSPs over homebrew software? Did Microsoft ever overwrite someone’s BIOS with garbage because they detected an illegitimate Windows installation?

In light of other things Apple has done lately, such as adding an encrypted hash to the iPod database to lock out non-Apple software and disabling TV-out on the iPod unless the 3rd party accessory you’re using has an Apple authentication chip, it’s evident that Apple is well on its way to become one of the most consumer hostile tech companies.

When Steve Jobs claimed the iPhone was 5 years ahead of every other phone, was he talking about the iPhone’s revolutionary handcuffs?

In a world where open technologies are increasingly becoming the norm, Apple’s way of Thinking Different means marching in the opposite direction.

Update: According to the iPhone Dev Wiki, there is now a method for downgrading from 1.1.1 to 1.0.2 to revive your iPhone. There’s even a tutorial on YouTube.

Apple FUD about iPhone unlocking

Apple issued a FUD-filled press release yesterday about iPhone unlocking. A poster over at Ars, Quitch, offers this view:

So either Apple is intentionally bricking the phone, or their engineers haven’t heard of checksums.

Oh this is a hard one…

Apple’s claim that “unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software” is a blatant lie if you use the common sense definition of damage. Apple, of course, is using a different definition of damage: any change to the iPhone software that Apple doesn’t like is considered damage.

In any case, I doubt Apple has intentionally engineered the update to brick any iPhones. According to the iPhone Dev Team, there have been several hundred thousand downloads of the iPhone unlocking software. There’s no way of knowing exactly how many people have actually unlocked their iPhones, but I estimate it’s tens of thousands. Imagine the PR fallout from the iPhone price drop. Now double that… and mix in some lawsuits.

The only way Apple could unintentionally brick any iPhones is if they’re doing a diff patch of the baseband firmware without verifying that the original firmware hasn’t been modified. I doubt they’re doing a diff patch, but we’ll find out later this week when Apple releases the update.

As for the “you’ve modified the sacred firmware!” argument that’s being parroted around by some people, tx2tn over at Ars nails it:

As far as the “you changed the firmware” issues. That’s a load of crap. Yeah, you changed the firmware. So what? There is no great universal mystery about firmware. It’s just code, and under almost any other circumstances (translation – the rest of the world outside of Apple), can be reloaded to just start over. If it can be changed to be hacked, it can be changed to be reset back to normal.

Firmware is not magic.

Update: The iPhone software 1.1.1 update is out. According to early reports an unlocked iPhone will revert to being locked and inactivated with no way to reactivate with any SIM. The update also wipes out 3rd party applications.

iPhone Independence Day

I’ve found a way to activate a brand new unactivated iPhone without giving any of your money or personal information to NSA AT&T. The iPhone does not have phone capability, but the iPod and WiFi work. Stay tuned!

Update:

Magic iTunes 7.3.0.54 numbers:

Offset 2048912: 33C0C3

Offset 257074: 28

Offset 257013: 33C9B1

Add “127.0.0.1 albert.apple.com” to c:windowssystem32driversetchosts

Download Phone Activation Server v1.0 to activate your iPhone for iPod+WiFi use. Note that this application will not do anything unless you understand the magic numbers as well as add the hosts entry. Phone Activation Server (PAS) requires that you have the MS .NET Framework 2.0 installed.

Download PAS v1.0 Source Code.

Unbricking the iPhone

I’ve been playing with a friend’s iPhone to see how the activation process works (there are people who want an iPhone to use it as an iPod and WiFi device without having to enter into a 2-year AT&T contract).

The following pieces of information are used to activate an iPhone:

Unfortunately, the activation data is cryptographically signed. The following certificate (“Apple iPhone Activation”, issued by “Apple iPhone Certification Authority”) is used to verify the signature:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----