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Current US ban on self-unlocking likely to be reversed
Following a decision by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress that ruled that unlocking an iPhone without carrier permission is now illegal -- and pressure from both President Obama and the FCC to reverse the ban -- AT&T has clarified its policy and will unlock customer smartphones that have completed their contract. The move requires a customer's account to be in good standing with no unpaid balance, but the company has not mentioned an extra fee for the service.
Judge had questioned whether it would proceed during appeal process
Judge Lucy Koh, who has been overseeing the primary US court battles between Apple and Samsung, ruled Friday to allow a second lawsuit against the Korean electronics giant to proceed -- despite expressing reservations on the idea while the appeal of the first Apple-Samsung trial is still being heard. Koh was apparently persuaded by filings from Apple's lawyers that the second case should go forward because of "ongoing" infringement and harm to Apple. The new case involves patents related to Apple's Siri voice assistant.
Samsung withdrew injunction requests but not damages actions
A German court has accepted Samsung's plea and scheduled a retrial of a case against Apple for allegedly infringing a 3G standards-essential patent (SEP) after the Korean electronics maker presented a new theory to the court that allowed it to sue Apple for damages. Samsung had been forced to withdraw all European lawsuits involving SEPs that asked for injunctions due to a ruling from the European Commission that such a practice was illegal and anti-competitive, however it is still free to sue for damages from potential infringers.
Lack of store-wide encrypted connection could have been exploited
After first being alerted to the potential problem last summer, Apple has addressed a potential security issue with connections to the App Store and is now encrypting active content over HTTPS by default as of late last month. A Google security researcher pointed out the potential for an attack in July, noting that a malicious network attacker could conceivably field user passwords, scan the apps on a user's device or even trick users into downloading fake upgrades or prevent an app from installing.
2011 and 2012 models affected, seemingly no SSD commonality
Reports have surfaced that some users who purchased a Retina MacBook Pro are experiencing mostly unexplained bursts of system cooling fans shifting to fast speed. A 27 page thread on the Apple support forums is collecting user data on the phenomenon, with no user fix apparent. Apple has yet to issue a formal response on the matter.
Uses card scans to help verify transactions
Online payment service PayPal has launched a new iOS SDK for developers. The tool should let iOS apps integrate PayPal checkouts directly, including optional direct credit card payments. For those, apps will have to rely on PayPal's card.io system, which involves taking a photo of a credit card for scanning purposes.
Win an iSkin Slims case for the iPhone 5
Keeping an iPhone safe from scuffs and scratches, day in and day out, can be tricky, and a lot of protective cases add too much extra bulk to make them practical. One solution is to make a thinner case, and iSkin has done exactly that with the iSkin Slims. MacNN has teamed up with iSkin to give away twelve of the world's thinnest and lightest iPhone 5 case ever made to our readers.
Scosche releases iPhone 5 bike mountable case
Scosche has launched a new iPhone 5 case that can be secured to a bike's handlebars or frame. The reqKASE is made from silicone and uses an adjustable strap that can be mounted vertically or horizontally. An integrated notch system also helps to ensure that the device doesn't spin or move while riding. Full back and side protection is provided by the case, but the headphone jack, speakers, mute switch, volume controls, and forward facing camera all remain accessible.
Discounts up to $50 available on iPads, iPods
At its eBay refurb store, Apple is now selling the 13.3-inch MacBook Air for $899 -- $100 less than the price of a similarly refurbished model at the official online Apple store, AppleInsider notes. Other products are also getting unusual deals, such as 32 and 64GB iPod touches, which are going for $179 and $229 -- $30 and $50 off Apple's normal refurb costs. Verizon models of the iPad 2 are listed at $429 for 32GB and $529 for 64GB, in each case $50 less than normal.
New revision of the collar-mounted device is waterproof
Mobile safety and security developer Securus has unveiled the SpotLite 2.0, a GPS pet locator that enables tracking and location of cats and dogs. The new 2.0 version, in addition to being waterproof, enables pet owners to keep tabs on companion animals online with an Apple, BlackBerry or Android smartphone or tablet device, by sending a text message, and also view turn-by-turn GPS directions to recover pets on the run.
Compares impact of Windows 8 to Windows Vista launch
A senior executive in Samsung has declared that Windows 8 has failed to "bolster demand for PCs." Jun Dong-soo, president of Samsung's memory chip division, told reporters that, while Windows 8 has made little headway, he also believes the personal computer industry will not be rebounding anytime soon.
Why did Andy Ihnatko switch from iPhone to Android
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Clinically Insane member "subego" posted a link to a story about why long-time Apple user and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Andy Ihnatko jumped ship and traded in his iPhone for an Android, read more and join in the conversation here. Also yesterday, one Fresh-Faced Recruit started a thread looking for some help figuring out why their Finder is lagging so much -- a solution has yet to be found.
Low prices on refurbished Mac Pro and Apple accessories
A price cut of $680 is offered on the refurbished Mac Pro with a 2.8GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 3GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now priced at $1,819. Save 24 percent off the list price of the refurbished Mac Pro with a 2.4GHz 8-Core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $2,649.
DealNN roundup: new 21.5-inch iMac, $1,279
At MacConnection.com this week, save $20 on a new 21.5-inch iMac (model no. MD093LL/A) which carries an MSRP of $1,299, but is currently $1,279 -- making it about $15 less than the lowest price we have seen on this model anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, and sales tax applies for residents of New York state. This iMac features a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, with 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive. A Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard are included, along with a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Senator proposing a bill to scrap current FAA rules
In a frustrated letter to FAA director Michael Huerta on Thursday, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) expressed concern with Huerta's "lack of direct engagement" on the subject of in-flight use of personal electronic devices. The senator is proposing a bill to greatly increase the usage window of cellphones, tablets, music players, and other electronic devices before, during, and after the flight, including during takeoff and landing.
Plaintiffs say Apple withholding previously-ordered documents
Apple must show how it's complying with earlier court orders to turn over evidence in a lawsuit over iOS location tracking, US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has ruled. Plaintiffs have accused the company of withholding documents; either way, Grewal states that it's "unacceptable" that Apple waited over three months to show compliance with a November order. "Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order," he writes. "In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents."
Rolling updates blog post complains about 'elite' users
The founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, called out users of Linux that believe that using the operating system is "supposed to be hard." A blog post by Shuttleworth responding to recent changes and rolling releases in the Ubuntu Linux distribution complained about aspects of the community that seemingly want Linux to be an insular, introverted and exclusive operating system.
Apple changeover may be unlikely
Apple and Samsung are expected to add wireless charging to their phones in 2013, industry sources for DigiTimes claim. The people don't elaborate, except to suggest that Apple will probably develop its own wireless charging system, whether integrated directly into iPhones or dependent on connected accessories. Third-party wireless charging accessories are already available for the iPhone, but are dependent on special cases and charging stands.
Loss of 10-percent of workforce planned following earlier reductions
Google is laying off 1,200 employees from Motorola Mobility, in an effort to bring the hardware maker into profitability via restructuring. The loss of 10-percent of its workforce is a continuation of reductions announced last summer, adding to the 4,000 jobs, a fifth of staff, that the company previously said it will remove.
Claims lawsuit 'must proceed now' to stop Samsung
Apple on Thursday filed an objection to putting its second US lawsuit against Samsung on hold while the verdict in the first is reviewed, Bloomberg reports. In February US District Judge Lucy Koh said she was dubious about whether it was important for both cases to proceed, especially since the first's outcome is being appealed. "This case must proceed now, in order to stop the ongoing sales -- and relentless launch -- of Samsung’s latest infringing devices, which have caused, and every day continue to cause, continuing harm to Apple," the Thursday filing reads.
Would mark unusual course reversal for Apple
Apple is planning to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in the low-cost iPhone, and manufacture it using TSMC's 28nm production lines, claims an industry watcher quoted by the China Times. The move would be unusual, since Apple currently relies on its own A-series processors for iOS devices, which are produced at a Samsung facility in Texas. The Times' report does say, though, that Apple will continue to use A-series chips in other devices.
Patent involves combining map data with a database
A German court has revealed it is inclined to ban Google Maps in the country, as part of ongoing patent litigation. Judge Dr Matthias Zigann of the Munich I Regional Court told Google and Motorola Mobility that it is currently looking at holding them liable for infringing a Microsoft patent, as the patent covers a “big idea” and deserves a "construction commensurate with said big idea."
BlackBerry Z10 headed set to make US debut with AT&T on March 22
BlackBerry is set to debut its all touchscreen Z10 smartphone in the US on March 22 with AT&T, reports Bloomberg. The device is finally set to reach US customers around 6 weeks after its launch because US carriers go through an extended testing regime before putting products up for sale. The device will arrive in the US on the back of what CEO Thorsten Heins claims are ‘encouraging’ early sales of the device, which will have reached 21 markets by the end of this week.
Theaters to use satellite, terrestrial service for digital film distribution
Five movie studios have signed an agreement with the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) to distribute films through its satellite network. Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, and Lionsgate will be using the network as a way to delivery movies and other content to theaters across North America.
LG reveals second take on its 27-inch Personal Smart TV
LG has revealed its revamped 27-inch Personal Smart TV MT93. As with the original, the device supports PC inputs over HDMI allowing it to do double duty as both a monitor and TV in rooms where space is at a premium. While the original sported a chrome/silver bezel, the new model sports an ultrathin black bezel while it also incorporates a redesigned stand.
Galaxy S4 set to debut Exynos 5 Octa, feature 5-inch AMOLED 1080p display
With just a week away from the official launch of the Galaxy S4, the key specs of Samsung’s eagerly awaited Galaxy S3 successor has had its specs ‘confirmed,’ reports Pocket-lint. Citing an unnamed, but reliable source, the Galaxy S4 will debut Samsung's previously announced 28nm Exynos 5 Octa, eight-core CPU. The source also confirmed original reports that the device will sport a 5-inch Super AMOLED 1080p display.
New app can test native, web and hybrid apps in development
Software development tool maker Telerik has released an automated testing tool for iOS applications called Test Studio for iOS (free). The program introduces a cloud sync web portal for both test automation and beta user feedback and works with web, native and hybrid apps. The cloud sync portal gives developers a way to get real-time feedback from beta testers, track automated tests and even author UI tests that can then be run on the app being developed. It avoids image-based detection in favor of object-based recording.
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