Comcast renames man Asshole Brown after he tries to cancel cable

Wired reported on Comcast renaming a customer Asshole Brown for trying to cancel his subscription.

Consider the case of Ricardo Brown. After Brown’s wife had a disagreement with the cable company recently, Comcast started sending him monthly statements under the name “Asshole Brown.”

Comcast employees revealed that the company values sales above customer service. Comcast admitted that their retention specialists are trained to make it easy for customers to choose to stay instead of leaving the service.

Changing the customer’s name to a rude name on an official statement is a new low.

Apple had to follow Android’s lead in Flash in order to be cool

John Gruber wrote about Christopher Dawson of ZDNet writing on the lack of Flash support on iOS.

Dawson:

I give Apple a year until they cave. Android tablets will just be too cool and too useful for both entertainment and enterprise applications if they don’t.

YouTube now defaults to HTML5 video instead of Flash.

Bigger than Hollywood

Asymco reported on [iOS developers earning more than Hollywood Asymco](http://www.asymco.com/2015/01/22/bigger-than-hollywood/).

Apple paid $10 billion to developers in calendar 2014. Additional statistics for the App store are:

  • $500 million spent on iOS apps in first week of January 2015
  • Billings for apps increased 50% in 2014
  • Cumulative developer revenues were $25 billion (making > * 2014 revenues 40% of all app sales since store opened in 2008)
  • 627,000 jobs created in the US
  • 1.4 million iOS apps catalog is sold in 155 countries

Or to put things in perspective:

Put another way, in 2014 iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from box office in the US.

Android password manager vulnerability unpatched after almost two years

Ars Technica reported on Android password managers being wide open to sniffing attacks.

Almost two years later, the threat remains viable in at least some, if not all, of the apps originally analyzed. An app recently made available on Google Play, for instance, has no trouble divining the passwords managed by LastPass, one of the leading managers on the market, as well as the lesser-known KeePassDroid. With additional work, it’s likely that the proof-of-concept ClipCaster app would work seamlessly against many other managers, too, said Xiao Bao Clark, the Australia-based programmer who developed it. While ClipCaster does nothing more than display the plaintext of passwords that LastPass and KeePassDroid funnel through Android handsets, a malicious app with only network privileges could send the credentials to an attacker without the user having any idea what was happening.

The vulnerability has been known since early 2013 but app developers are not keeping users informed of it:

“Besides the insecurity of it, what annoyed me was that I was never told any of this while I was signing up or setting up the LastPass app,” Clark wrote in an e-mail. “Instead, I got the strong impression from LastPass that everything was very secure, and I needn’t worry about any of it. If they at least told users the security issues using these features brings, then the users themselves could decide on their own trade-off between usability and security. Not mentioning it at all strikes me as disingenuous.”

The finger is pointed at Android for the source of this vulnerability:

As already alluded, the threat stems from the use of the Android clipboard, which acts as a temporary cache for text that is being copied and pasted, either within the same app or from one app to another. Android has no official programming interface that secures the clipboard. By design, its contents are available to any app installed on the phone, from the highest privileged banking app to one with no privileges at all. (ClipCaster, for instance, requires no permissions.) Siegrist rightly noted that any password manager that makes use of the Android clipboard—and there are plenty, including LastPass—is vulnerable.

Both the app developers and Android should be making users aware of such a vulnerability so that they can take measure to avoid having their passwords from being stolen.

Apple’s iOS devices accounted for 78% of record setting Cyber Monday mobile sales

AppleInsider reported on Apple’s iOS devices accounting for 78% of Cyber Monday mobile sales.

Mobile phones and tablets accounted for 21.9 percent of online orders on Monday, a major increase over last year’s 15.9 percent mobile proportion. On Black Friday, the firm said the mobile devices made up an even greater 30.3 percent of orders.

“The vast majority of mobile shopping happened on Apple devices over the weekend – 78%,” the firm noted, “while only 21.6% happened on Android devices.”

As we have seen before, iOS generates more revenue than Android. This trend could be due to the different type of users the platforms attract.

Chinese iPhone 6 Plus appetite has Apple seeing green

AppLovin reported on an increase in Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus sales in China.

Plus (pun intended), Morgan Stanley estimates that the 6 Plus’ profit margins are as much as 61% higher than that of the iPhone 6. From data we have collected and corroborating third party reports, it seems China’s ravenous appetite for the 6 Plus will buoy Apple’s next reported earnings.

BlackBerry wants iMessage

Business Insider reported on BlackBerry’s CEO stating that iMessage should be allowed on BlackBerry.

The CEO laid out his argument in a blog post on the BlackBerry website, 9to5mac notes. In it, Chen writes that it’s unfair for the government to tell big US telecommunications companies such as Time Warner, Verizon, and Comcas, that they can’t discriminate against some forms of data, while other content providers continue to do so.

Chen writes:

Unfortunately, not all content and applications providers have embraced openness and neutrality. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service.

I didn’t think it was a case of BlackBerry allowing iPhone users to use BBM. It seemed more like an inevitable move to slow the exodus of BlackBerry users by letting them use the BBM service with iPhone users instead of switching to iPhone.

Nevertheless, this is quite a significant change of hearts since BlackBerry had previously claimed that iMessage is insecure.

Putting words in Steve Jobs’ mouth continues apace

Macalope on BGR putting words in Steve Jobs’ mouth.

BGR’s headline: “Here’s why Apple’s upcoming ‘iPad Pro’ will be a failure, according to Steve Jobs”

So, does Boy Genius Report believe its own headline? Seem like it doesn’t. Strange that it’s the headline, then. The page title is “iPad Pro Specs Leak: 12.9-inch iPad may have a stylus accessory.” Which is less salacious and therefore completely useless. No one’s reading that! Put the ghost of Steve Jobs in the title and now you’ve got something baby! Something wrong on many, many levels, sure, but something.

Click-baiting headline for an article that does not understand the difference between stylus as a tool and stylus as the main interface.

In 2010 following the launch of the iPad, Steve Jobs famously said “if you see a stylus, they blew it.” His comment targeted earlier tablet products that relied on styluses for input as opposed to focusing on finger input.

Macalope:

True! And guess what? He was right. If you need a stylus for the general operation of a tablet, it’s junk. Is a stylus good to have in certain use cases? Oh, guess what again, that’s a different question.

Samsung market share plunges in South Korea

Business Insider reported on Samsung losing market share to Apple in South Korea.

Apple has been particularly successful in South Korea, where Samsung has traditionally dominated its home market. Figures show that Samsung’s share has plummeted from 60% in September to 46% in November. Apple, meanwhile, has made unprecedented headway, soaring to 33%. According to Counterpoint research director Tom Kang, previously, “no foreign brand has gone beyond the 20% market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry.”

What is significant is how the loss in Samsung’s market share is directly related to Apple’s growth.

The entitlement mentality

RazorianFly writing on the entitlement mentality.

“I think that entitlement mentality is what has killed these promotions. Getting free stuff is no longer enough. It must be exactly what you want.”

Sad state of affairs. Reminds me of how people complain about what they get in free goodie bags because the gifts are not what they want.