Weekend Recap: Apple Password Reset Fixed, Nokia CEO Tosses iPhone

Storybots Abc Videos 200pxAnother weekend, another recap! And what a truly weird, wild weekend it was, which kicked off with Apple discovering (and then plugging) a big security hole in its Apple ID password reset system, Nokia's CEO tossing a reporter's iPhone and a look at how the Cleveland Museum of Art is implementing the iPad for personalized tours. Missed all of those stories? Then you've come to the right place, my friends...

Apple Plugs Security Hole in Password Reset System

As we reported on Friday afternoon, Apple wrapped up last week by having a gaping security flaw in its Apple ID password reset system exposed, potentially affecting all users who haven't yet switched to two-step verification. With nothing more than the Apple ID in question and the user's date of birth, anyone with knowledge of the vulnerability could reset the password, bypassing any security questions that might otherwise foil them. According to iMore, Apple's iForgot web page returned late Friday night with the security hole closed, so users are once again safe from harm -- but we'd recommend activating two-step verification on your Apple ID, just the same.

Nokia CEO Tosses Reporter's iPhone During Interview

The Verge reported Friday that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop attempted to deflect questions about an updated Lumia 928 handset during an interview with MTV3 in Finland last week by tossing the interviewer's iPhone across the studio floor. The uncomfortable exchange obviously made it to YouTube, where it can now be enjoyed by one and all around the globe. Elop promised to replace the presumably broken iPhone with another handset, although he continued to dodge the existence of a Lumia 928, which is widely rumored to land here in the U.S. on Verizon Wireless.

Apple Introduces "Offers In-App Purchases" Warning for Freemium Apps

As first noticed by The Guardian, Apple is now publishing a small "Offers In-App Purchases" warning on so-called "freemium" apps that cost no money to download, but could potentially rack up a big tab afterwards. The small text warning is located directly below the Free button for each affected app in iTunes, or to the left of the Free button on the iPhone. The tweak is likely in response to the recent bad publicity the App Store has received from kids racking up big in-app purchases on their parents' iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, almost always to their surprise.

Cleveland Museum of Art Uses iPads for Customized Tours

The New York Times is reporting that the Cleveland Museum of Art has added Apple's iPad to their interactive tour experience, which also includes a 40-foot wide touch screen which displays icons of all 3,000 objects on display there. By touching one of the icons, that exhibit can be moved to an iPad to create a personalized tour focused strictly on the visitor's interests. The custom tours can be also be shared with other visitors who choose to bring their own iPad or rent one from the museum for $5 per day. The interactive addition is the work of museum director David Franklin, who fully expects other museums to copy the concept soon enough.

StoryBots Debuts Trio of New Kid-Friendly iOS Apps

The folks over at StoryBots released three new free apps for kids last week, so we'd be remiss if we didn't give you a heads-up about them. The first is KidQuoter for iPhone, which allows parents to capture all the funny things your little one says, turn it into art and share it with the world. ABC Videos gathers the company's ABC Jamboree videos from YouTube and puts them into a single app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, while Tap & Sing for iPad helps kids learn music and have a lot of fun at the same time. All three apps are now available on the App Store, so what are you waiting for…?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


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WD TV Play Review

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Western Digital has been making streaming set-top boxes for several years now. Their WD TV line has consistently packed a lot of value into their little black boxes. The latest, called WD TV Play, continues in that tradition, offering a plethora of content options at a lower price-point than some of their competitors.

At 4.2 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches, the blocky, rounded corner shape of the WD TV Play immediately brings Apple TV to mind. The two devices share a lot of similarities, beyond their names and physical appearance. Both also bring streaming internet content to your television. Like Apple TV, WD TV Play features apps for Netflix and Hulu, and can stream local files. Where WD TV sets itself apart, however, is in the services it offers beyond the iTunes Store.

Since WD isn't married to Apple's content universe, it offers users a wider range of services. While Amazon's Instant Video is noticeably absent, WD could add the service with an update (and frankly, we'd be surprised if they didn't). The WD TV also offers content from Cinema Now, Flixter, Vudu, and several others. Sure, these are smaller players in the online video marketplace, but we certainly can't fault WD for casting as wide a net as possible.

Slingbox owners will be pleased to know that the box also works with those devices, making it a simple solution for streaming content from your Slingbox in another room, or another state for that matter. When it comes to music, WD TV Play supports Spotify and Pandora out of the box, in addition to a few smaller services.

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Like Apple TV, the WD TV Play doesn't have any local storage, although the WD offers a USB port, so you can easily plug in a drive full of content and use WD's interface to playback your entire music library. With support for DLNA devices, you could do the same thing wirelessly from your Mac, with the addition of some DLNA server software.

The interface on WD TV Play sticks with the "Mochi" tiled interface of its predecessor. You  can move individual apps around, and some can be widgetized to display information. The remote is simple to use, but the mostly same-sized buttons are laid out in a grid pattern that doesn't offer much to help you navigate without looking. There are dedicated buttons for Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu Plus, although two of them can be reconfigured to launch different services.

While WD TV Play offers some additional options beyond the Apple TV, navigating the device can be frustrating. The Hulu app in particular had an annoying habit of registering two clicks on the remote, when we'd only pressed once. Luckily, there's an app that turns your iOS device into a much more reliable Wi-Fi remote. The added ability to type on your device, rather than use the WD TV's oddly-designed onscreen keyboard is another major bonus.

Western Digital tries to set its box apart by incorporating additional services. There are channels for Twitter and Facebook, but they're the runts of the litter. For example, the Twitter interface isn't even large enough to show an entire tweet, forcing you to select an individual tweet in order to read the whole thing. We don't know anyone who would want to read Twitter four truncated tweets at a time. Facebook is worse, taking up most of the screen with chrome and buttons, while your newsfeed is presented two statuses per screen.

The bottom line.
For owners of Apple TV or earlier WD TV models, there's not a lot to convince you to switch or upgrade. But if you're looking for a do-almost-everything streaming box, WD TV Play offers a lot of bang for just a few bucks, even if the "extras" don't amount to much.

Review Synopsis



Western Digital




WiFi or Ethernet connection, TV with HDMI or composite input.


1080p output. Simple setup. Onboard WiFi & Ethernet. USB port for connecting external drives.


No Amazon Instant. Navigation feels sluggish. Facebook and Twitter channels fall short.

3.5 Good

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