State-run China Central Television has called iOS 7's Frequent Locations function a "national security concern" in a noon broadcast, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report quoted researchers as saying that people with access to the underlying data could get a glimpse of the broader Chinese situation, or "even state secrets." Electronic security has become a sensitive topic for the Chinese government in the wake of leaks from Edward Snowden, revealing that the NSA is spying on Chinese leaders, and that American businesses have willingly or unwillingly provided the NSA with access to demanded data.
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4 hours ago | Posted in: industry
The battle between Verizon and Netflix over connectivity continues, with Verizon completely refusing to accept any of the blame for slow streams. The latest feud installment involves a Verizon blog post claiming its network operations team found no congestion on the Verizon network in a recent review, laying the blame squarely at Netflix's connection decisions instead of with itself.
5 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets
There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch. It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.
Following a flurry of claims -- most of them from dubious Far East sources -- about enormous advance orders for the iPhone 6 or "localized haptic feedback" or robots building the iPhone and endless parts leaks (or could some of them be 3D printer fabrications?), a new photo has emerged purporting to show the LCD and home button bracket for the forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The photo comes from a Taiwanese enthusiast site.
Apple on Thursday seeded new betas of Safari for OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.x), number as versions 7.1 and 6.2 respectively, that feature a new build of WebKit with a number of improved and new features. The betas, once released to the public, will help bring the Safari used with those versions closer to the expected updated Safari that will ship with OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the fall. Among the improvements are Web-GL powered 3D rendering, support for IndexedDB for web applications and more.
Following an emergency patch issued by Adobe yesterday for a vulnerability in Flash Player and Adobe AIR that the company deemed "critical" for users to upgrade to, Apple is now blocking all un-upgraded versions of the plug-in in Safari, though the warning dialog will take users to the Flash Installer page where they can obtain the patched version. Users of OS X 10.6 and higher must be running version 18.104.22.168 in order for the Flash plug-in to work normally. Windows and Linux users are also affected by the flaw.
10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps
LinkedIn, the social platform for professional networking, has released a redesigned version of its LinkedIn Contacts app for iOS. LinkedIn Connected offers users relevant updates about people in their networks, and notifications about job changes, birthdays, and more. The revamp includes the same features as the previous release, with a focus on relationships. LinkedIn Connected is free to download.
14 hours ago | Posted in: industry, accessories, iPhone apps, mobile phones, Apple
A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).
The popular translation app iTranslate, previously for iOS devices only, arrived on the Mac on Thursday with the release of iTranslate for the Mac on the Mac App Store. The program, which is accessed from the menubar when running, offers instant translation with support for over 80 languages. Users simply input or paste text and the program provides a translation into the desired language. It also feature voice output so that users can hear the correct pronunciation of a word or phrase.
IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.
IBM announced today that it is re-committing itself to the computer landscape, as the company intends to spend $3 billion on research into future chip technologies. Over the next five years, Big Blue will invest in two "broad research and early stage development programs" in search of an innovation in the field. The shift in strategy comes at a time when the company was rumored to be selling off its chip manufacturing business.
17 hours ago | Posted in: education, enterprise, Apple
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
17 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, iPhone apps, iPad, iPad apps
Major League Baseball is entering into a second phase of iBeacon deployments at stadiums. Beginning this is project for the 2014 All-Star Game, which is being hosted at Target Field in Minneapolis. People with a supporting iPhone and the latest version of At the Ballpark will get extra content, including interactive material, when visiting nine different exhibits in the stadium. iBeacons are already in use at 28 other ballparks, but mostly for check-ins and discounts.
18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps
MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th.
19 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, iPhone apps
Misfit, the creator of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has announced a partnership with Beddit enabling sleep tracking in the official Misfit apps for iOS and Android. Rather than relying on the Shine, there is now a Misfit/Beddit-branded sleep monitor. The device is placed on a mattress, and tracks breathing, heart rate, restlessness, snoring, and ambient sound. The apps analyze this data over a seven-day period, and can also use it to trigger an alarm during a light sleep phase, ensuring a more refreshed feeling.
According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges, and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without their consent.
21 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, software, Apple
Apple has released iTunes 11.3 for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is support for iTunes Extras associated with HD movies, granting access to things like galleries, commentaries, behind-the-scenes clips, and short films. Not every movie has Extras, since these require special formatting on the part of content creators, but even previously-purchased titles can get Extras for free if they're added later.
22 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
Apple has placed orders for a massive 68 million in initial iPhone 6 units -- roughly twice what it ordered for the iPhone 5, according to Taiwan's Business Weekly. Mass production is slated to begin later this month. It's uncertain, though, if the paper is referring solely to the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone -- the device most commonly tagged with the "iPhone 6" name -- or the supposed 5.5-inch iPhone as well, in which case the 68 million figure would make more sense. In either scenario, Apple is likely keen to avoid the supply shortages that plagued the iPhone 5 and 5s.
TSMC has begun shipping Apple A-series processors out for assembly, according to the Wall Street Journal. Production is said to have begun on 20nm fabrication lines in the first quarter, but shipments have only started happening more recently. Despite TSMC's involvement, the firm is expected to split orders with Samsung, which has traditionally produced every A-series chip.
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage into any application by allowing the online storage account to act like a USB drive plugged into the Mac. Version 4.1.2 increases the background write size to files of 600MB, and will now set S3 mime-types based on extension. The alignment of non-Retina icons have also been fixed, and connection error messages have been improved.
MacFamilyTree is a genealogy program that can help users discover and visualize their family history. The software also features a number of built in reports and charts, and allows users share genealogical data using the GEDCOM standard. Uploading issues related to FamilySearch have been resolved in this update, along with problems exporting PDF files. In addition, the person context option in the edit section should now work as expected.
Tinderbox is a tool for storing and organizing notes, plans, and ideas. The software allows users to make a visual map of all their notes, with support for linking similar ideas together. The latest release features a new icon, a variety of fixes, and several minor improvements.
Feeder is a utility for creating, editing, and publishing RSS and iTunes podcast feeds. A problem where SFTP authentication errors would not be reported has been resolved with this update. An issue that resulted in Feeder attempting to save an enclosure upload that no longer exists has also been fixed.
OmniOutliner is a tool for collecting, creating, and organizing information. The v4.1 update introduces new colored toolbar icons, as well as the ability to create links to rows for quickly navigating between sections. OmniOutliner 4.1.1 corrects a couple technical issues for the Mac App Store.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: Apple
The European Court of Justice has issued a decision granting Apple an EU trademark on the layout of its retail stores. The ruling (PDF) states that "the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," giving the trademark scope enough to cover all of Apple's locations.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: industry, security, iPhone apps
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has escalated the conflict between it and ride-sharing service Lyft. A warning by the TLC, issued yesterday, reminds residents that while the service is indeed opening on Friday and will be offering free rides for two weeks to new subscribers, that the service is unlicensed to operate, and un-investigated drivers may pose a danger to riders.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, security, mobile phones
Security-focused communications firm Silent Circle today announced the expansion of Out-Circle Calling (OCC). The expansion allows for encrypted hybrid calling, which enables Silent Circle members to make and receive encrypted, private voice calls through the company's Silent Phone service to non-Silent Circle subscribers in 79 total countries.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: industry
Aereo may have found a way to it to continue offering a service to subscribers with the key lying in the recent Supreme Court decision against the start-up. In a joint letter filed with the US District Court, the company claims that, since the Supreme Court ruled it operated as if it is a cable company, it should be eligible to the same statutory licenses cable companies use.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: software
Music streaming service Spotify is spreading into Canada in the near future, long after launching in a number of other major markets. While the exact date of the service's launch in the country is unknown, Engadget reports the company is accepting sign-ups for a queue to receive pre-launch invitations, suggesting that it is likely to go live for all potential users sooner rather than later.
Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, Apple
Ahead of what is expected to be a significant revamp or re-invention of the Apple TV, rivals such as Roku and Google's Chromecast dongle are allegedly outselling Apple's entry in the streaming-settop-box wars, claims a new study. Though still more popular worldwide, the report from Parks Associates believes that Apple sold just over two million Apple TV units in the US last year, which if true would place it third behind Roku and the Chromecast, both of which sold about 3.8 million units in the US in the same period.
On Wednesday, Apple released its fiscal 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report and announced through it that the company will focus on achieving "net zero energy use," a goal it has already accomplished with all 21 of its Australian retail stores and 140 of its US outlets, alongside its latest data centers and its forthcoming Apple Campus 2 headquarters. The solar array that supplies most of the power used at the Maiden, North Carolina data center is the largest privately-owned array in the country.
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