Malicious Worm Hits Jailbroken iPhones

iPhone 3GS

Nefarious hackers are trying to get extract banking information from people with jailbroken iPhones. The good news is that the problem is currently restricted to ING Bank customers in The Netherlands. The bad news is that it could spread. Engadget Mobile has reported:

It targets jailbroken handsets with SSH installed, but this time adds the ability for the hacker to remotely control and access the phone. By throwing up a purported ING Direct login page, he (or she, or they) can collect your online banking credentials and, presumably, all the cash they are supposed to protect. Presently isolated within the Netherlands, this outbreak may spread further still, as it is capable of infecting other jailbroken iPhones on the same WiFi network.

I’ve always been wary of the whole jailbreaking process. Sure, it frees up the iPhone and allows for all sorts of unofficial apps, but it can also be problematic with official updates and programs. Apparently hackers target jailbroken iPhones too, since this is the second worm targeted towards these handsets. There are lots of cool things you can do with an unlocked iPhone, but it just doesn’t seem worth the hassle (for me).

Any of you using a jailbroken iPhone? Hopefully your banking 411 is safe.

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OnLive Cloud Gaming Service Shown Running on iPhone

OnLive on iPhone

OnLive CEO Steve Perlman showed of a version of the company’s cloud gaming service running on an iPhone at a Wedbush financial conference last week. Perlman blogged:

I showed OnLive running simultaneously on 2 iPhones, a TV, and a computer. What is really cool is that all 4 devices had access to the full OnLive Game Service, so they could play the same games, spectate on each other’s (and Beta users’) game play, watch Brag Clips, check out Gamer Profiles, etc.

For now, OnLive on a cell phone is only a technology demo. But, for those of you who have been asking about OnLive on cell phones, the answer is yes, it is coming. And, it is REALLY cool.

This is a huge development for the cloud-gaming startup, as well as a potentially cool one for the iPhone platform. While all sorts of approvals and permissions have to be set for OnLive to be an approved app, it would be tremendous if the company could take advantage of huge installed base of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Not only would it be big for OnLive, but it would also further the iPhone’s position as the fastest growing segment of the gaming market.

It will be interesting to see how OnLive progresses and whether it can overcome the hurdles facing cloud gaming. For now I’ll ask you if you think the service would be more appealing with an iPhone/Android/WebOS/S60 app. How about it?

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Verizon Getting a CDMA iPhone by Summer 2010?

iPhone 3GS

Rumors of the iPhone heading to Verizon have been swirling for months, but most of them pointed to the carrier getting an LTE version of Apple’s hardware. According to Northeast Securities, that’s not the case. GigaOm has reported:

According to Northeast Securities, the device may finally arrive next year. Citing its supply-chain checks, the financial services firm said in a research note issued today that Apple will launch a WCDMA/CDMA2000-enabled version of the device — not an LTE version — through Verizon by the summer of 2010.

Whether it’s CDMA or LTE, getting the iPhone would be huge for Verizon. I’d jump at the chance to get an LTE iPhone, but a CDMA iPhone is a serious contender. Of course I’m still waiting for T-Mobile to release an Android phone with a beefy processor, an OLED screen, UMA functionality, and a great keyboard…but something tells me that I’ll be waiting for a long, long time.

Any Verizon customers out there excited by this news? Would any of you switch to Verizon to get an iPhone on its excellent network?

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Ghosts Attack Exclusive Video Redux

Just in case you didn’t read my interview with Tarver Games’ Chris Cross (and shame on you if you didn’t — Cross is a sharp dude), here’s the exclusive Ghosts Attack video that accompanied the piece. It’s one of the more interesting games for iPhone. Please check out the video and lemme know what you think (please)!

Tarver Games’ Chris Cross Talks Going from Consoles to iPhone, Ghosts Attack, Little Helmet Heads, and More!

Chris CrossChris Cross achieved a great deal of notoriety in the gaming business from his work on the Medal of Honor series. You’d expect a game designer that had success on big-budget console-games would continue to work on big-budget console-games, but Cross has gone in a different direction — iPhone gaming. He recently started up a new development house — Tarver Games — and has a few iPhone/iPod Touch products in the works. Tarver’s first game, Ghosts Attack, has been submitted to Apple for approval and should be out shortly. I recently interviewed Cross to learn more about Tarver Games, get the skinny on Ghosts Attack, ask him why he went from consoles to iPhone, and to ask him some of your questions.

Cross is an excellent and entertaining person. Check out everything he has to say and be sure to hit the break for an exclusive Ghosts Attack video.

Raymond Padilla: Chris, you’ve had tremendous success on home consoles. Why head to the iPhone? Is it the excitement of undiscovered territory? A new challenge?

Chris Cross: Thanks Ray — Yes, I have had success on home consoles and who is to say I won’t again? But for the moment, we (Tarver) have decided to bring our first IP — Ghosts Attack — to the iPhone. Just take a look at what’s going on today with games, budgets, platforms, and accessibility. The iPhone offers both developers and consumers an incredible chance at amazing products and apps for a fraction of the cost of console products.

RP: Some of my readers might need a primer on your upcoming game, Ghosts Attack. Would kindly give a brief primer on the game?

CC: Ghosts Attack is an alternate reality/FPS with a twisting — and a bit twisted :) — storyline. Ghosts Attacks integrates Google Maps technology with a dynamic alternate reality gaming experience. You explore a parallel world that was accidentally discovered by a group of scientists 40 years ago. Using the Map Kit in the iPhone SDK we let you use our own world map as your guide. There are mysteries to uncover, hostile enemies to fight, fast shooting action, a remote rover to pilot and a whole lot more.

Continue reading “Tarver Games’ Chris Cross Talks Going from Consoles to iPhone, Ghosts Attack, Little Helmet Heads, and More!”

Apple to Offer Subscription TV Through iTunes?

iTunes 9

The word on the street is that Apple will be competing with cable and satellite providers by offering a subscription television service through iTunes. The proposed service would require a $30 subscription and would work with all iTunes compatible devices. All Things Digital has reported:

The company is trying to round up support for a monthly subscription service that would deliver TV programs via its multimedia software, multiple sources tell me.

A so-called “over the top” service could theoretically rival the ones most consumers already buy from cable TV operators–if Apple is able to get enough buy-in from broadcast and cable TV programmers.

I would love for cable and satellite providers to have another competitor. As it is, the service is too expensive. While $30 a month sounds brilliant, I worry about Apple getting all the programming I want. My TV tastes are all over the place. I’d want WWE shows, HBO series (Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage), boxing, baseball, American Idol, and superhero cartoons (just off the top of my head).

Would you be down with television provided by Apple?

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iPhone Games Dominate New Releases in App Store

iPhone 3GS

Apple’s iPhone has evolved into quite the multifaceted device. While it was initially lauded for being an easy-to-use smartphone with a fantastic web browser and outstanding movies/music capabilities, it quickly became a prominent gaming system. In fact, games have been dominating Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPod TouchGigaOm’s Om Malik reported:

From August 2008 to the same month in 2009, more apps were released in the “games” category than any other and, as a result, the iPhone (and iPod touch) became a new handheld gaming platform, one that impacted Nintendo DS. The Japanese game device maker acknowledged that the iPhone and iPod touch were among the reasons why its profits declined drastically in the most recent quarter.

Are any of you taking iPhone gaming seriously? Or do you think it’s more of casual gamer thing? I’m loving Civilization Revolution and greatly looking forward to Ghosts Attack. If you have any iPhone game recos, I’d love hear ’em!

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iPhone and iPhone “Killers” Explained in Religious Terms

iPhone 3GS

In the most brilliant tech analogy I’ve read in 2009, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler explained the deal with iPhone and iPhone “Killers” in religious terms. He wrote:

In a religious sense, the iPhone is a monotheistic religion. Basically, its OS believes in one device. Yes, I know there is the iPod touch, as well as variations of the iPhone (original, 3G, 3GS), but these are essentially all the same device with essentially the same hardware, just boosted specs. Meanwhile, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc. are all polytheists. But “pagans,” while perhaps not exactly right, is a cooler term, so let’s go with that. All of these other mobile OSes are pagans. They answer to many devices, their “gods.”

With this analogy in mind, the notion of one of Apple’s competitors coming up with a single device that will destroy the iPhone is stupid. That’s not the battle being waged. It’s not about the Motorola Droid vs. iPhone or the Nokia N900 vs. iPhone. The real battles in those cases are Google vs. iPhone OS and Maemo vs. iPhone OS, respectively. While it’s easier to write about the T-Mobile myTouch taking on the iPhone, that’s not really the point.

And also, MG Siegler should get some kind of medal or a trophy for this analogy.

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Tarver Games’ Ghosts Attack Teaser Video

A few days ago, I asked you for questions for an iPhone developer that’s being headed up by a “top guy” with extensive console experience. The developer is Tarver Games. The man is Chris Cross. The game is Ghosts Attack. Some of you might be familiar with Cross as a former game design director at EA, responsible for numerous Medal of Honor titles. After a successful run on consoles, he’s turning his attention to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

Ghosts Attack is being positioned as the Tarver’s flagship title for iPhone. One of the most interesting features about it is that it uses Google Maps to dynamically create levels that resemble your current surroundings. I’ll be chatting with Chris soon to learn more about the game and to ask him your questions. For now, check out this trailer and let me know what you think (please)!

Verizon Rolls Out “iDon’t, Droid Does” Campaign, Targets iPhone

Verizon is getting ready to position the Motorola Droid (the phone codenamed Sholes) as it’s anti-iPhone. Following up its clever “There’s a Map for That” campaign is the “iDon’t, Droid Does” TV spot. Check it out the commercial below.

As much as I dig Google Android and detest AT&T, I really don’t think the Motorola Droid (coming in November) has a chance in hell against the iPhone. While I really like the OS, the hardware has been lacking — particularly in the CPU department. Unless it happens to be a phone that isn’t Sholes, I’m not expecting anything difference from the Droid.

With the iPhone having years to gain mind and market share — not to mention the luxury of having a $99 option to boost the installed base — going up against it with one model is a difficult quest. While I think a Verizon + Motorola victory is impossible, it’s another solid step for Google Android, which many analysts say will own a significant percentage of the mobile-phone market within two to three years.