Apple now allows users to see whether a device has Activation Lock enabled from the web

Apple has unveiled a new tool for users to help determine whether an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is configured to use Activation Lock. The page works much like the tools used by carriers such as AT&T to determine whether a potential trade-in device was protected with the feature. You enter the IMEI or serial […]

Source: 9to5Mac

Your Inner Drone: The Politics of the Automated Future

Your Inner Drone: The Politics of the Automated Future

Rovio reveals stellar voice cast for upcoming animated movie based on Angry Birds

Rovio reveals stellar voice cast for upcoming animated movie based on Angry Birds

Rovio has revealed the voice cast of the upcoming animated movie based on Angry Birds.

Source: App Advice

Elon Musk Just Teased Something Called The ‘D’

Elon Musk Just Teased Something Called The 'D'

Elon Musk just sent out this cryptic tweet and teaser image of what may be a modified Model S that’s due to be revealed on October 9. And he’s hinting at something else. Maybe that upgraded Roadster we’ve been promised? Let the speculation begin…

About time to unveil the D and something else

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2014

And let the jokes commence…

Source: Gizmodo

Your Inner Drone: The Politics of the Automated Future

Your Inner Drone: The Politics of the Automated Future

Rumor calls out Windows 95 as the reason Microsoft skipped version 9

Still confused about why the new version of Windows is 10, instead of 9? Beyond the loosely defined numbering schemes that are all too common in tech (how many iPhones did it take to get to 6?), a note posted to Reddit could provide an answer. Reddit user cranbourne claims to be a Microsoft developer, and cites rumors that early testing with the name "Windows 9" ran into problems with code used as a shortcut to detect when apps are running on Windows 95 or Windows 98. The problem, is that it was never written to actually check for the extra character. Whatever the real reason is, Microsoft isn’t saying, and it gave Gizmodo a vague non-answer about the new name so your conspiracy theory is as good as ours (we think they were avoiding a Tolkien nine rings of power reference, and we have evidence to prove it.)


Microsoft dev here, the internal rumours are that early testing revealed just how many third party products that had code of the form:

if(version.StartsWith("Windows 9"))

{ /* 95 and 98 */ } else {

and that this was the pragmatic solution to avoid that.

LOL at the "real" reason MSFT went straight to Windows 10! This code is all over the place:

- Christer Kaitila (@McFunkypants) October 1, 2014

The news that Windows 10 may have been named that way because of .StartsWith("Windows 9") checks reminds me of

- Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) October 1, 2014

I bet the real reason it’s called Windows 10 is because some enterprise app written 20 years ago checks for "Windows 9x". #imaginethemeeting

- ଅନିଲ (@anildash) September 30, 2014

It sounds bizarre, and other versions of Windows have had different names publicly and internally to avoid such issues (Windows 7 aka Windows 6.1). Still, it carries weight for a couple of reasons and developers we asked found the reasoning plausible. Programmer Jeff Atwood points out a similar issue that hit Windows 2000 and certain Pentium processors back in the day, while indie dev Christer Kaitila exposed exactly how much of the potentially offending code is out there with a simple search. If you have a better idea, let us know in the comments below.

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Source: Reddit

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Apple Creates Tool to Check Activation Lock Status on iOS Devices

Apple has released a new Activation Lock Status tool (via iDownloadBlog) that will make it easier for people buying a used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to avoid getting a device that is locked to another user.

Accessible via, the Activation Lock Status Checker allows users to enter a Device IMEI or Serial number to check whether a device has Activation Lock turned on.

Activation Lock was introduced alongside iOS 7 and is designed to prevent iPhones and iPads from being stolen. When Find My iPhone is enabled, it effectively locks an iOS device to a user’s Apple ID account, and even when wiped, the device will require the original Apple ID and password.

Activation Lock has cut down on iPhone-related thefts in major cities, but it has also affected users who purchase an iOS device used. If Activation Lock is enabled, a used iOS device will be entirely useless until unlocked by the original owner.

If an iOS device does have Activation Lock enabled, Apple’s tool will give users a clear warning that an Apple ID and password will be required before another user can activate the device. It also provides instructions on how to remove Activation Lock from a used device, which requires contacting the previous owner.

Anyone who is purchasing or selling a used iOS device should find Apple’s new tool very useful, as it can be used before a transaction takes place to ensure the iOS device will be usable by the new owner.

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Source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – Front Page

Daring Fireball RSS Feed Sponsorship Openings

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How the Soviet Union destroyed the fourth biggest lake in the world

How the Soviet Union destroyed the fourth biggest lake in the world

NASA has published these two images of the Aral Sea, which used to be the fourth biggest lake in the world before the Soviet Union plugged into the rivers that fed it to irrigate massive agricultural areas. The photo on the right was taken in 2000. On the left you can see its current state.

In the 1960s, the Soviet Union undertook a major water diversion project on the arid plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The region’s two major rivers, fed by snowmelt and precipitation in faraway mountains, were used to transform the desert into farms for cotton and other crops. Before the project, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers flowed down from the mountains, cut northwest through the Kyzylkum Desert, and finally pooled together in the lowest part of the basin. The lake they made, the Aral Sea, was once the fourth largest in the world.

Although irrigation made the desert bloom, it devastated the Aral Sea. This series of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite documents the changes. At the start of the series in 2000, the lake was already a fraction of its 1960 extent (black line). The Northern Aral Sea (sometimes called the Small Aral Sea) had separated from the Southern (Large) Aral Sea. The Southern Aral Sea had split into eastern and western lobes that remained tenuously connected at both ends.

Here’s the lake prior to the Russian stupidity:

How the Soviet Union destroyed the fourth biggest lake in the world

You can read more about this environmental crime here.

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Source: Gizmodo

YesVideo’s Legacy Republic Is Building A Freelance Workforce To Digitize Family Photos and Videos

legacy republic YesVideo announced a new initiative today that aims to recruit an army of “Legacy Makers” to help digitize family photos and videos.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with YesVideo, the company was founded back in 1999 and focuses on converting videos (in formats like VHS and 8 millimeter film) to digital, then making the content available online and on DVD. With Legacy… Read More

Source: TechCrunch