Copyright © 2016
OmniNerd has an interesting discussion on the stastics behind iTunes' Party Shuffle feature, which allows users to play back higher-rated songs more often. The author looks at how star ratings affect playback counts: "For the rating-biased trial the preference algorithm appears to be linear from 12% to 27% for the rated songs. Moving from the 5-star rating downward, the linear preference declines around 4% with each step down in rating, but doubles over the drop from 1-star to unrated with a fall of 8%. While one star may seem like the lowest rating, no-rating proved the black sheep of the lot."
Apple has committed to help fund a new education initiative in Michigan that will bring a small, high-quality high school to Detroit. According to The Detroit News, Apple will give more than $1 million over five years to the new Detroit-area high school, which designed as a model to improve the state's failing education system and also may be the first in a series of initiatives that leverage and link businesses to state high schools. Apple will help finance, equip, and finance the school: "Details of the Detroit school will be announced Tuesday. It will eventually house roughly 400 students, starting in the first year with just freshman and sophomore classes. Teachers will be hand-picked and will get ongoing training from Apple, as well as other support. The computer maker will put more than $1 million over five years into the school, which will open this academic year in an existing building."
Apple on Friday said that Freescale Semiconductor will supply its microprocessors for orders placed by Apple through the end of 2008, according to MarketWatch. "In a regulatory filing, Apple said that under the terms of the purchase agreement signed Aug. 22, it is under no obligation to purchase Freescale microprocessors other than for work in progress that was in place at the time the agreement was executed." The G4 chips are used in Apple's notebook computers and the Mac mini. [update; first published 8/26]
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS