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Reveals increases in R&D spending, iTunes revenue and profit
Closer analysis of the financial reports Apple has filed with the SEC reveals that some accounting changes the company made to increase transparency in its reporting of some expenditures and revenue has also revealed increases in both investments and profits in various divisions. The company increased its investment in Research & Development (R&D) by a full 33 percent in the December quarter, about the same as it did the year before. The reclassifications show that iTunes as a business is about the size of Microsoft's Windows and Office businesses.
Quarterly earnings less than 2011, analysts still happy
Earlier this afternoon, Yahoo released its highly-anticipated quarterly and yearly financial results. The search engine posted revenue of $1.346 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, a 2 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. Despite the increase, net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $272 million, an eight percent decrease from the same period of 2011. Earnings for the entire year was $3.945 billion including a one-time gain of $2.755 million related to the sale of Alibaba shares, compared to $1.049 billion for the prior year.
Comprised of jailbreak veterans, team will unveil hack February 3
While iOS 6 never got a public "untethered" jailbreak, a new team of hackers comprised of well-known veterans of other jailbreak teams will be releasing a solution for devices using iOS 6.1 (which was just released today) on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3. The delay in releasing the jailbreak, the security flaw for which was discovered but kept secret some time ago, is due to the team not wanting to give Apple a chance to fix the issue before the jailbreak is released. There is no word yet of any unlocking solution, however.
Antigua allowed to waive $23 million in US copyrights annually
Following Antigua's announced intention to develop a online store using its ability to suspend copyright payments to the US awarded as part of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling, US spokesperson Nkenge Harmon warned the island nation that the move would "authorize the theft of intellectual property" and the US and its copyright holders would not tolerate the move.
Inability to filter out pornographic videos to blame
Twitter's new six-second video sharing app Vine is no longer an Editor's Choice nor featured on Apple's App Store following a flood of pornographic submissions that are easily searchable and shareable using the app. Twitter even briefly (and accidentally) featured an adult scene as one of its "Editor's Picks" shortly after the app's release last Thursday. The Vine app is still available through the app store, but any promotion of it has been suspended and the app itself is likely to be removed if Twitter cannot quickly fix the issue.
Pair of hydrofluoric acid leaks not reported to authorities
Korean news agencies are reporting that electronics giant Samsung is covering up a hydrogen fluoride tank gas leak that killed one worker, and hospitalized four in a South Korean plinth. The incident began last night at 11PM local time, when a large tank of hydrofluoric acid started leaking. Initially stopped by workers, the patch gave out at about 5AM local time, releasing 10 liters of aerosolized acid to the environment. Samsung did not report the incident to local authorities until 3PM, nearly 14 hours after the initial incident, and an hour after a worker for the maintenance crew died.
Voice message feature migrates over from Messenger
Facebook has updated its core iOS app to v5.4, adding several features. The most significant may be voice messages, an option originally limited to Messenger. Videos, meanwhile, can now be recorded and shared from within the app, eliminating the need to use Apple's Camera or a third-party alternative.
Bluetooth keyboard support, iCloud music streaming among upgrades
Today's Apple TV 5.2 update, released alongside iOS 6.1, adds a few new features. The most important may be the ability to stream music via iTunes in the Cloud, cutting out the need to stream from a connected computer or iOS device. Accordingly Apple has also incorporated Up Next, the feature first seen in iTunes 11 that shows what music is coming up and allows for quick editing of the playlist.
New revision adds SDK for iOS 6.1, bug fixes
In conjunction with Apple's updates of the Apple TV and iOS software, Xcode 4 has been updated to version 4.6. The new revision includes software developer kits for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS 6.1, C++11 support for some new features, plus other fixes and improvements.
Apple TV, Lightning cable offered at steep discount on removed pages
Over the weekend, office supply retailer Staples had a series of mockup Apple product pages available for viewing on its e-commerce site. While the retailer does sell Apple accessories, such as iPad and iPhone cases, the inadvertent reveal showed an Apple TV for a surprisingly low price of $50. If Staples is preparing to stock Apple products, it would be the first time the retailer would be selling the Cupertino manufacturer's hardware in the US since the Performa era in the '90s.
Movies expected same-day as DVD, television day after broadcast
Two days before its BlackBerry 10 hardware rollout, Research in Motion (RIM) has revealed video and music partners for its storefront. The biggest names in the announcement are Sony Pictures, Universal Music Group, Walt Disney Studios, and the Warner Music Group. RIM has claimed that its BlackBerry World media store will include a large catalog of music, television, and movies, with most movies available the same day as the DVD release.
Suggests Russia, China flooded with mobile devices mid-2013
Nvidia may be moving towards building its own mobile devices for sale in Russia and China, according to one report. The chip maker, after showing off Tegra 4 at CES, could end up creating smartphones and tablets running on its own hardware, and end up selling them through OEMs as white label hardware.
Half-Life quietly released for Mac on Steam
Valve has released a Mac-compatible version of the original Half-Life on Steam. While its sequel, Half-Life 2 and other Source engine based games have been available on the platform for some time, the original 1998 release had been limited to Windows until now. The Steam page for the game hasn't been updated to show Mac compatibility yet, but we at MacNN have confirmed that the game will indeed download and run on modern Macs. Half-Life is available as a $10 download from the Steam store.
Update expands LTE support, tweaks Siri, iTunes Match
(Updated with security, Apple TV info) Apple has officially released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update is available through iTunes or as an over-the-air download, and makes several important tweaks. For instance, it enables LTE on the extended number of carriers Apple announced last week; an official list has been posted on the company's website.
Device will allegedly resemble iPhone 5 from front
The rumored low-cost iPhone may resemble an iPhone 5 from the front, but otherwise use a different, mostly plastic design, iLounge sources claim. The device is expected to keep the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen, but elsewhere use blend traits of the normal iPhone 5 with the iPod styling. This includes curved edges similar to the iPod classic, and a bottom akin to the fifth-generation iPod touch.
Discussions could see console ban lifted in near future.
The Chinese government may reverse its ban on video game consoles in the future. Ministerial figures are reportedly discussing lifting the ban, put in place in the year 2000 in order to protect the physical and mental development of younger members of the population, which could open up the Chinese market for gaming products from Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and others.
Group claims Google promised privacy
A group of 12 people in the UK are suing Google for tracking their browsing habits via Apple's Safari browser, says The Telegraph. The case is being handled by a lawfirm called Olswang, which says that between the summer of 2011 and the spring of 2012, cookies in Safari were generating profiles of users without their knowledge, despite promises by Google and default settings in the browser. "Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them. We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologize and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion," says Olswang partner Dan Tench.
Only second UK carrier to offer Visual Voicemail
UK carrier EE has turned on Visual Voicemail for iPhone 5 owners. Visual Voicemail allows people to treat voicemail like an email inbox, instead having to call a carrier's number and respond to prompts. With EE, though, the option is only available to iPhone 5 owners subscribed to a 4GEE plan. Data consumed by voicemail doesn't count against any caps.
No word on Beijing rumors
Apple is opening a research and development center in Shanghai this summer, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce has announced. The company is said to have secured three buildings in Pudong, the city's main finance and commerce district, of which one will be devoted to procurement management and R&D. Apple itself has yet to make an announcement, but the company rarely talks about its infrastructure projects.
13-megapixel rear camera capable of 30-fps 1080p video
Pantech has revealed its first smartphone with a full HD display, succeeding the 5-inch Vega S5 the company unveiled in July. The Vega No. 6 phablet has a 1920x1080-resolution IPS screen measuring 5.9-inch diagonally, which is claimed by Pantech be the first in South Korea of it's size to be able to use an LTE data connection.
Practice punishable by fines, imprisonment, for unlocking
Phone unlocking without carrier permission is now illegal in the United States. A 90-day transition period, permitting the practice after an exemption added to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was reversed in October, has now run out, something that now forces customers to either ask and potentially pay carriers for unlocking services, or to buy phones that have been unlocked beforehand.
Meta partners with Epson to tackle Google Glass
Startup Meta has partnered with Epson to break into the nascent wearable devices market. In contrast with Google's Project Glass single display approach, Meta's planned product will utilize dual 3D displays. It also aims to add further depth to the AR experience by incorporating 3D tracking for gesture control, which his highlighted in the video embedded below.
Unlimited Mix downloads, included song lyrics
Nokia is introducing an upgrade option to its Music service, with minor service improvements given in exchange for a subscription bringing it in line with premium-tier offerings from other services like Spotify. Nokia Music+ will expand on the existing free Mix Radio service by offering access away from Nokia handsets, the removal of download limits, and an improvement of sound quality.
HTC introduces Mini, companion handset for Butterfly smartphone
In a sign that 5-inch handsets may be a little more than some people can comfortably handle, HTC has introduced a companion handset accessory for its Butterfly 5-inch smartphone in China. Making a mockery of convergence, the HTC Mini is a dumb terminal that is NFC-equipped and connects over Bluetooth to the Butterfly allowing the user make calls over a more convenient form factor. Additionally, it can also function as a remote control for the Butterfly along with a few other tricks.
Evidence points to iPad 4 enroute with double current storage
Apple appears to be prepping a 128GB version of its current fourth-generation iPad. Three pieces of evidence have surfaced hinting strongly to that effect. iOS 6.1 beta code and icons for a 128GB have also turned up in iTunes 11, while an SKU for the 128GB model has also been leaked to 9to5 Mac by an employee of a major US retailer with the label 'Ultimate' attached to it.
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