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Apple Kicks f.lux Out of iOS For Side Loading

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Side loading is a technique for Apple iOS which involves using Xcode to install a piece of software.

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F.lux is a popular desktop program, cross-platform, which allows the user to automatically adjust the brightness of their screen based on the time of day. The developers had recently created an iOS version but found a normal installation was not possible without requisite APIs in iOS, and so encouraged users to install the app using the Xcode method.

Also read: XcodeGhost Malware Threatens iOS users, FireEye Warns

Then Apple contacted the people at f.lux and told them they were being naughty. The developers quickly complied with the request, saying:

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Apple has contacted us to say that the f.lux for iOS download (previously available on this page) is in violation of the Developer Program Agreement, so this method of install is no longer available.

They went on to list some statistics regarding the mobile device page of f.lux. In 24 hours, the page had been accessed almost 200,000 times. It went on to discuss why f.lux exists, which is to combat sleeplessness due to eye fatigue. The developers said that it’s become harder for people to properly undergo observation because many people are using their smart phones and other such devices right before bed. Thus a mobile client which had the same features as the desktop version would be valuable in determining whether or not it aided people in sleeping.

f.lux cannot ship an iOS App using the Documented APIs, because the APIs we use are not there. In the last 5 years, we have had numerous conversations with Apple about our product and what would be required to make it work with iOS. […] We respect Apple’s products enormously, and we urge Apple to allow work like ours to continue through Documented APIs.

It seems that at a time when Apple is finding its app store under attack from several directions that the company would make more efforts to encourage legitimate developers like f.lux. Apple suffered its first major malware breaches of the app store this year, the latest of which was most notable. A piece of software called InstaAgent passed all the app store requirements and went on to steal tens of thousands of Instagram login credentials. The company’s iron grip on what is and is not allowed in its operating systems is occasionally absurd, as in the case of f.lux, which appears to have significant demand.

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  1. RK Patel

    November 17, 2015 at 7:12 am

    The developers had recently created an iOS version but found a normal installation was not possible without requisite APIs in iOS, and so encouraged users to install the app using the Xcode method.

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Artificial Intelligence

Beware Uber Drivers! The Robot Cars Are Coming

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Uber Self-Driving Car

Uber announced that that the world’s first self-driving Uber cars are on the road in Pittsburgh, the Steel City. The road ahead is still long, but the implications are staggering.

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Lifestyle

GPU-Maker Nvidia Moving into Autonomous Vehicles with Chinese Search Giant Baidu

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Nvidia and Baidu, which is basically the Chinese version of Google, are teaming up to create a “cloud-to-car” autonomous car platform for auto manufacturers worldwide.

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Communication

The DEA Digs Your Instagram Bong Selfies

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It will come as no surprise to the average Hacked reader that the government is interested in their social media activity. People talk, and a lot of times, give themselves away, even when doing things which can get them in lots of trouble. Thus the DEA, FBI & Secret Service, all of course with some help from the NSA, are quite keen to know what’s going on with social media.

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Specifically the DEA revealed as much in their 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, an annual report the agency publishes. On page 80, they write:

Social media reflects how younger people perceive marijuana use as evidenced by various Internet searches that demonstrate minors using marijuana publicly and with impunity. Social media users of all ages, but primarily younger individuals, have posted hundreds of thousands of photos of themselves with marijuana products on various social media sites; these photos are associated with hashtags that represent marijuana (e.g. #420, #710, #BHO, #dabs). In 2014, approximately 1,200 new photos and videos were posted to Instagram® each day associated with the hashtag #BHO, a slang term for marijuana concentrates.

In November 2014, after the success of a popular online challenge, another social media challenge was issued for people to post photos and videos of themselves using marijuana in public places with the corresponding hashtag #loudchallenge. In response to the challenge, people have posted videos of themselves using marijuana in restaurants, in airports, on public transportation, and in classrooms.

The report also discusses the up-tick in explosions caused by butane extraction of THC, which then yields a form of hash popular nowadays known as “dabs.” While it’s technically never been illegal to take or post a photo of drug activity, it is not always advisable in states where the prohibition of the plant is still a reality.

Also read: Don’t Worry #EDM Fans – You Can Still Search Your Favorite Instagram Hashtag

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But even in legal states, it can be a bad idea to post pictures of grow operations that have not followed the letter of the law, as Susan Squibb of the Cannabist cautioned Coloradans earlier this year:

So, it’s O.K. by state law to post online photos of your home grow, but [Colorado Attorney Lauren] Davis mentions there may be other risks. One factor to consider is whether the photos show off a garden compliant with local laws. Davis says, “If you are not within your legal limits (e.g. your town has a plant cap), you could be facing law enforcement scrutiny for the posting.” So make sure your garden is compliant before posting photos.

Big Brother is watching, and he’d rather you punish your liver than light up that bong. So take all the pictures of kegs and booze you want, those are considered past times. But take the wrong picture of yourself doing something with marijuana and you might find yourself in trouble, as Jeremy Clayton found out last year.

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