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Retail employees complain of violations of break and meal times, final paychecks
While Apple wrestles with a lawsuit alleging an improper "gentleman's agreement" that prevented it and other tech firms from "poaching" their most valuable employees, the company has now been named in another legal action that concerns itself with labor violations for its retail and corporate operations workers. The new lawsuit, granted class certification on Monday, charges Apple with mismanaging and providing inadequate breaks and meal times, as well as being slow on issuing final paychecks.
Suit makes a third attempt at suing tech company over March 2012 policy change
Google's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that dates back to 2012 failed today after a California district judge ruled that the search company will have to fight the breach of contract and fraud claims. The first lawsuit was dismissed last December, with the stipulation that any further pursuit would require an amended complaint. The new complaint could have been dismissed "with prejudice" after two previous complaints were dismissed by the judge.
Larger markets waiting on next iPad, sales in developing markets are way up
For the second time in as many quarters, Tim Cook has had to explain away drops in iPad sales. Last quarter, the iPad saw a 16 percent drop from the year-ago quarter, but Cook detailed a credible explanation that channel inventory from the holiday season had overstuffed retailers and that the drop was actually only three percent because of that, which fell within normal ranges. This time, iPad sales were down about 9.2 percent, which Cook largely blamed on anticipation for the next iPad coming this fall.
Marty O'Donnell takes settlement in individual suit after Harold Ryan denied benefits
Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy which Ryan denied.
Expected profits fall shy of expectations, Nokia deal responsible for $0.08 EPS hit
Microsoft released its quarterly revenue figures for the end of the 2014 fiscal year, revealing that the company pulled in $23.38 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter. While the revenue numbers beat the expectations of $23 billion, earnings per share (EPS) missed the mark at $0.55 per share. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the software company to hit $0.60 EPS based on the $23 billion in revenues.
iPod continues terminal decline
In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.
iPhone and Mac units rise, iPad takes a hit
Apple revenues rose 6 percent year-over-year to $37.43 billion in its third fiscal quarter, which ended in June, the company has announced. Profits were up 12.3 percent to $7.75 billion, while earnings per share climbed from $1.07 to $1.28 when adjusted for the recent 7-to-1 stock split. Gross margin increased from 36.9 percent to 39.4 percent.
Curved 4K television includes installation by Samsung engineers
Samsung has put the 105-inch Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES this year up for pre-order in the United States. The UN105S9, a super-sized curved television capable of displaying a 4K-resolution image, is being priced by the electronics giant at $120,000, far higher than any other television in the company's entire S9 television range, including last year's $40,000 set.
Company says no breach confirmed, but continuing investigation with authorities
Goodwill Industries International, the business entity behind the popular nonprofit second-hand stores, announced this week that it is investigating a potential data breach involving credit card data. The breach was said to occur in selected stores within the United States, but Goodwill has offered no information on which stores were affected.
Case may supplant other solutions costing tens of thousands of dollars
Thermal imaging company FLIR will launch pre-orders for its infrared camera-containing case on July 23 at AM. Once mounted, the case for the iPhone 5 and 5s displays a live thermal image of the world right on the phone's screen, giving users the ability to "see" in an array of conditions, including complete darkness.
Previously released for iOS in August, turns tablets into notebook, sketchpad
Those looking for a note taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August.
New drives feature self encryption, remote management
Intel Corporation today announced an addition to the Intel Solid-State Drive (SSD) Professional Family: the Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series. This new business-class SSD for secure enterprise use has been designed to deliver users enhanced security and manageability features over its predecessors.
Samsung sees big setback
Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- managed shares of just 2.1 and 1.4 percent.
Mobile app from Amazon stores retailer card details, no mobile payments by card yet
Amazon has quietly launched an app to help people manage gift cards and loyalty cards with stores. The Amazon Wallet app for Android and the Fire Phone is able to store membership cards for retailers on the smartphone, allowing shoppers to digitally carry all of their store cards and gift cards without having to also bring along the physical versions.
Groups unified, refute Verizon's net neutrality stance allegedly helping them
Verizon's claims that the US Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules would hurt the disabled and blind have come under fire by those Verizon claims to be looking out for. In a filing with the FCC, several disability advocacy organizations clearly disagree that Verizon is looking out for the best interests of the disabled, and request that "In no case should accessibility considerations form a basis for permitting paid prioritization more broadly, and the Commission should reject any overture to the contrary."
Mac Pro for consumers?
Today in the MacNN forums Mac Elite PeterParker was asking fellow forum goers if they thought that Apple would ever create a Mac Pro in the sub 2k price range for people who aren't quite "pros" who want that style of desktop. Today Forum Regular "Nassifer" was trying to determine why their notebook was so slow after doing a complete restore to 10.9.4, and turned to the forums looking for advice.
iMacs from $1,099
Apple's online store this week has a variety of refurbished iMac models on sale starting as low as $1,099 for the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive. A $270 discount is offered on the 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,529.
11.6-inch MacBook Air cut to $950
This week BestBuy.com is offering sale prices on a variety of Mac models, one being the 11.6-inch MacBook Air which has seen a $150 discount from $1,099 down to $949. That discount makes this the best price currently available on this Mac model by $50. Free shipping is included and sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage. A one year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Drive pricey, but in larger sizes cheaper than equivalent iPad storage
Accessory manufacturer PQI is now shipping the Gmobi iStick, an Apple "MFi" USB flash drive. The device, with a Lightning and conventional USB head is designed for Apple's entire series of iOS devices with a Lightning port, and is available in capacities from 8GB to 64GB.
Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse released for OS X July 24
Feral Interactive today announced the upcoming release of its fairytale platforming game Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a reworking of the SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive original. Players navigate the 3D game as Mickey, with the goal of rescuing Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel. Players will run, jump, swing and swim through whimsical levels such as a haunted forest, and solve puzzles along the way.
Says meeting involved company's product creation process
In a new TV interview, LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant confirms that he did recently meet with Apple design head Jonathan Ive. Talking with Bloomberg, though, Bryant makes no mention of the iWatch or other future Apple products. Instead he says that he has been talking to leaders across industries to learn more about the product creation process, since he is moving into business as he comes to the end of his basketball career.
Haswell-based Toughbook 53 survives 3-foot drops, splashes
Panasonic has unveiled another semi-rugged notebook in its Toughbook computer range. The Toughbook 53 is a hard-wearing notebook capable of surviving a three-foot drop and survive in challenging environments, while still offering a 14-inch 720p touchscreen and stylus-enabled display and a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3GHz.
Company loses only 25,000 customers in the quarter versus 66,000 YAQ
Joining the chorus of quarterly earnings reports, Comcast has released its own figures. The company is reporting consolidated revenue for the second quarter increasing 3.5 percent to $16.8 billion, with earnings per share at $0.76, a a 16.9 percent increase from the $0.65 reported in the second quarter of 2013.
Nvidia Shield Tablet retains game-streaming functionality of original device
Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks. The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7, the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console.
Suggests basic and rejected iWatch capabilities
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that it might be dependent on a special wristband, equipped with technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, haptic feedback, biometric sensors, and/or wireless receivers.
Company planning mass European expansion in September
Netflix is the latest company to release its quarterly financial results. Touting expansion to 50 million subscribers in the US, the company reports $1.15 billion in revenue from streaming, adding 1.7 million subscribers in a quarter. Profit came in at $212 million, nearly triple that of the second quarter of 2013.
Speaker with Pendleton's art is a limited edition run
Logitech's boutique audio line Ultimate Ears is expanding its limited-edition lineup of UE Boom with the announcement of its collaboration with artist Don Pendleton on UE Boom -- Jettison Edition. This limited-edition run of UE Boom is designed with Pendleton's distinct organic cubist graphic style and is the latest in a series of one-of-a-kind acoustic skins for UE Boom.
Despite lack of expansion, FiOS driving wired gains
Verizon Communications has released its second quarter 2014 financial results. The company reports its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage growth in operating income and earnings per share, with $31.5 billion in revenue, a 5.7 percent increase from a year ago, with income of $7.7 billion, a 17.2 percent increase from the year-ago quarter.
Future of service unclear, with low adoption and very slow growth
Nascent television streamer Aereo appears to be in rough shape, above and beyond just the Supreme Court ruling, and US Copyright Office declarations. The company's subscriber numbers are dismal, with a total of 77,596 subscribers at the end of 2013, making it unclear what traction the service may have if it continues operation, or has to raise its rates in the wake of defeats it has been dealt recently.
Twitch overhauls Android app interface, adds user profiles
Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and users.
South Korean capital aims to stop Uber over unregistered taxi services
South Korean capital Seoul could potentially ban Uber in the city, in favor of its own still-in-development app. The city government advised that it would try to ban the car-hailing app, as current South Korean law makes it illegal to provide any sort of fee-based transportation service via privately-owned vehicles not registered to do so with local authorities.
Xiaomi Mi 4 has 5-inch 1080p display, claimed quick-charging battery
Chinese mobile device manufacturer Xiaomi has unveiled two new items for the Chinese market. The Xizomi Mi 4 continues the Mi device line with a 5-inch display and a hint of iPhone styling, while the Mi Band is a low-cost fitness band which can be used as a proximity security system for the smartphone, allowing the Mi 4 to automatically unlock when it is held in the same hand that is also wearing the band.
Offbeat ad shows human affection for MacBooks, 'the notebook people love'
An new ad by Apple that debuted on Monday takes something of a different approach than the company's recent iPhone and iPad commercials -- both in that it features a Mac (in this case the MacBook Air) and that shows off clearly-used equipment featuring user's methods of customizing their Air models mostly through the use of stickers, giving the ad its name. Using a stop-motion approach, dozens of customized MBAs are shown at one point even "playing" a game of Space Invaders on the lid.
May enable collection of private data by Apple, governments
[Updated with rebuttal from Apple] Apple's iOS platform contains several backdoors that may allow for Apple and/or governments to collect private data, according to a forensic scientist, Jonathan Zdziarski. Presenting at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference, Zdziarski said that that there are several conspicuous design gaps -- and some deliberately-included forensic services -- that make it possible to extract data using forensic tools. The services have names such as "lockdownd," "pcapd," and "mobile.file_relay."
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