SSL bug could still be found in Mac servers running PostgreSQL, MacPorts, other add-ons
Apple has confirmed on Thursday that all of its operating systems and key web services, as well as its website and iCloud service, are not affected by the "Heartbleed" SSL flaw that is threatening much of the web. The "Heartbleed" bug, a flaw in the implementation of later versions of OpenSSL -- which is used by many but not all websites to handle secure log-ins and other transactions -- has put as much as two-thirds of the World Wide Web at risk.
Exhibit helps Westerners understand the fear of living in area with land mines
To help promote awareness of land mines and international efforts to clear them from former battlefields around the world, a museum in New York City will be hosting an exhibit utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, headphones and an iOS or Android app to create a "virtual minefield." The idea, part of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action being held on April 4, is to allow users to experience the fear of land mines.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Online learning company Coursera adds Android app
Coursera, a free online education company, has released an app for Android, joining its iOS counterpart. Coursera offers over 600 real college and university courses from various educational institutions, and students can receive a mark of completion if all components of a course are finished. The newly-released app allows users to browse the course list and enroll in classes, stream video lectures, and download class materials. Free to download, Coursera's app is available through Google Play.
2013 Supplier Responsibility summary builds on previous successes
Apple has updated its Supplier Responsibility report, highlighting both continuing improvement and pointing out new initiatives designed to further improve conditions and social issues along its supply chain. Apple reports it achieved 95 percent compliance among all suppliers in limiting workers to a maximum 60-hour work week in 2013, and the company has doubled the number of factories offering free worker education and development programs. The company is also now training additional environment, health and safety (EHS) personnel for its workplaces.
Deals with unauthorized purchases made by children in games
As part of a settlement Apple agreed to with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over problems and excessive charges made by children through in-app purchases (IAPs), the company has sent out letters to some iTunes account holders, offering refunds "in certain cases" where a child has been able to make unauthorized IAPs without the parents' awareness. There have been numerous incidents made public of children who racked up extraordinary charges through IAPs.
Secondary-school stores have until end of May to sell hardware
Only a day after analyst Charlie Wolf noted that Apple's North American education-segment sales had hit an all-time quarterly record, Apple has reportedly declined to re-authorize contracts permitting Apple Authorized Campus Stores across Canada, effectively ending the program -- allegedly due to declining on-campus sales. The current contracts are scheduled to end with the current school year, beginning in June.
Study notes US education sales now up over $1B per quarter
Analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham and Company has focused on Apple's success in the education market in his latest note to investors. Pointing out that the company recently achieved EDU segment sales of over $1 billion per quarter, Wolf notes that Mac sales have held steady over the past seven years, including post-2010 when the iPad was introduced and became an extremely popular educational tool, eating into sales of other PCs.
SmartSound Software announces new soundtrack creation plug-in for Final Cut Pro X
SmartSound Software has announced a new plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, offering custom music creation like soundtracks. Designed to take advantage of Final Cut Pro X's new Generator technology, Sonicfire Pro 5's new direct access to the Final Cut timeline, providing an efficient workflow. Users can drag a SmartSound Music Placeholder from the Generators section onto the FCPX timeline where music needs to be added, and extend it to the desired length.
Institutional and volume buyers now get better price break
Organizations and enterprises that spend more than $5,000 a year on Apple products will be seeing an increased discount on volume buying of Apple hardware. Apple as of last week has improved its hardware volume purchasing discount, and added the unlocked iPhone and Apple TV to the program for the first time. The improvement in discount ranges from one to three percent, depending on the level of annual spending on Apple products.
Ruggedized Latitude 13, multi-touch S520, Mobile Computing Cart shown
Bolstering its education lineup, Dell today announced the Latitude 13 Education Series laptop, Dell Mobile Computing Cart upgrade kit and Dell Interactive Projector S520. While tailored for the schoolroom, the Latitude 13 ruggedized laptop is also available to Dell online customers.
Conservative group's proposal questioned costs of environmental initiatives, more
A shareholder questioner from a conservative front group, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), who questioned Apple's humanitarian policies of worker education, services for the disabled, and particularly environmental initiatives -- and also demanded that the company commit to only policies and projects that were explicitly profitable -- was sternly rebuked by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an unusually direct exchange.
Apple changes and adds to mobile device management programs
Ahead of the release of iOS 7.1, expected in the middle of next month, Apple has proceeded with an overhaul of its existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms for educational, enterprise and institutional clients. It launched a new Volume Services web site earlier this month, and has now activated a number of features on that site, kicking off a big push for large-scale iOS deployments.
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
Software takes phones with power, Wi-Fi to calculate complex problems
At the Mobile World Congress, Phone manufacturer HTC has unveiled an initiative to allow idle Android smartphones -- connected to a power source and networked by Wi-Fi simultaneously -- to use processing time to solve computing problems suitable for solution on a massively parallel computing cluster. HTC claims that using the "Power to Give" program, the combined power of one million idle HTC One phones add up to a one-petaflop supercomputer, which, if indexed, would place it around 35th on the top 500 supercomputers in operation today.
Changes won't affect most of the public
iOS 7.1 should ship "around March 15," and incorporate an overhaul of Apple's existing mobile device management (MDM) platform, a source tells AppleInsider. The company is said to be working with several MDM vendors and institutional clients on the overhaul. It has already launched a new Volume Services website, which is reportedly still in testing but includes options like "Automate MDM Enrollment" and "Buy Apps and Books in Volume." The new tools are expected to go live around the same time as iOS 7.1.
Assistive communication app leads the pack
Hovering on the edge of awareness for most iOS users exists a class of apps that I hope you never have to use, or even see. I'm talking about assistive communication applications for the iPad and other tablets -- used to help people unable to speak from injury, disease, or other reasons. One of the leaders of the pack (and the first to market a few years ago) is AssistiveWare's Proloquo2Go, an application designed for easy customization for end-users to be given a voice, some for the first time in their lives.
Part of the US tradition of 'inventor-heros,' captured in pre-Mac era
A rarely-seen picture of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The image, part of the "American Cool" exhibit, shows a bearded, long-haired Jobs from 1981, riding a motorcycle between meetings on Apple's campus. The photographer responsible for the image, Charles O'Rear, is also well-known for the iconic, digitally-generated "Rolling hills/Teletubbyland" background used for Microsoft's Windows XP.
Email to developers, publishers requires age ratings by this June
In addition to updating developers generally about the recent iBookstores expansion, Apple has also asked publishers and developers of e-books aimed at children and teens to provide "interest age" ratings to their publications, even with digital textbooks earmarked as educational material. The move is to help the iBookstore classify the appropriate age range for e-books, suggesting the company will further categorize future titles within the Juvenile Fiction and educational books genres. Developers and publishers must begin including the "interest age" information with their submissions by June of this year, the email said.
Apps, educational systems discussed
As a part of his tour of the United Arab Emirates, Apple CEO Tim Cook today met with Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi and other government officials in Dubai, says the Khaleej Times. The ensemble reportedly discussed developing next-generation educational apps, and the potential of creating an entirely new educational model that other nations might adopt as well. Al Gergawi is said to have lauded the potential of a public-private partnership with Apple.
President, Prime Minister ask for technology part investment, get promise of 'unique' Apple Store
Following on from reports yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook held a high-level meeting with Turkey's President Abdullah Gül regarding the country's FATIH initiative, a potentially $4 billion deal to supply Turkey's students with iPads. Also discussed at the meeting was improving iOS keyboard support of the Turkish language, adding more content to Turkey's recently-opened iTunes stores, and further localization of support, such as through Siri.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
Follows visits to Ireland, UAE, mostly on educational tech topics
Apple CEO Tim Cook, already on something of a world tour following recent visits to China, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, will meet once again with Turkey's President Abdullah Gül on Tuesday, presumably to further discuss a potential $4 billion iPad educational initiative as well as open the country's first-ever Apple Store, located in Istanbul. The store is a 21,500-foot facility in the city's Zorlu Center, and follows the opening of the online Apple Store for Turkey back in October.
Not profits, not marketshare: 'to put technology in the hands of the people'
[Update: added "behind the scenes" video] It is hard to imagine anymore, but for a long time prior to the twin developments of the home computer and the modern Internet, technology that allowed creative professionals to thrive was rare, expensive and in the hands of a very few. As part of its ongoing celebration of the Mac's 30th anniversary, Apple has now posted a 90-second movie shot entirely with iPhones, spanning five continents and illustrating the reach of creative and professional technology today.
Says chip violates university-developed patent
The University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm -- the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation -- is suing Apple for violating a university patent through the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini. The patent is titled Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer, and credited to several computer scientists who were at UW Madison. It describes a way of improving "the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors."
Four firms singled out for supporting educational high-speed Internet deployment
[Updated with Apple statement] As part of his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama thanked four tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and Sprint -- for their involvement and support of his and the FCC's ConnectED high-tech initiative, which aims to level the playing field for poorer districts by providing high-speed Internet access to all of America's schools and students. Obama described the participation as a "down payment" on connecting schools and students over the next three years.
Design of first Mac still as admirable and clever as Apple's latest devices
To celebrate the Mac's 30th anniversary on Friday, repair site iFixit posted a teardown guide for the original 1984 Macintosh 128k, using a model loaned to them by Adam Rosen's The Vintage Mac Museum. While not revealing anything previously unknown about the model, the opportunity allowed the company to take fresh, high-resolution photos of the innards and detail specifics of some parts, such as original component manufacturers.
Specs remain the same, housings further ruggedized
Intel has introduced minor updates to its Education Tablet and Classmate PC reference designs for use in classroom environments. The tablet offers Intel's newer dual-core 1.2GHz Clover Trail SoC, though it still runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean rather than one of the latest builds. The company has also added more rubber around the edge of the housing to help avoid damage from accidental drops or bumps, while the battery life has been extended to a claimed 12 hours.
Educational content now in dozens of countries
Access to iBooks textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager has expanded to a number of new countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Apple has announced. Textbooks are now available in 51 countries -- including Brazil, Italy, and Japan -- while the Course Manager can be found in 70, among them Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Controversial program to grow by $115 million
The Los Angeles Board of Education has announced plans to expand its distribution of iPads to 38 more campuses before state testing begins this spring, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tablets will be given to students, teachers, and administrative staff; the Unified School District is also set to equip seven high schools with laptops.
Countries operate on different sales timetable
Apple has begun its annual Back to School promotions for Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Apple is offering a $100 App Store gift card with qualifying Macs, and a $50 card with iPhones and iPads. Equivalent cards are being given out in New Zealand, but with prices adjusted to $125 NZ and $65 NZ, respectively.
RealSense will use embedded 3D cameras to allow for NII interface
Intel's CES press conference on Tuesday focused on the interaction between man and machine, thanks to an embedded 3D camera the company has developed in conjunction with a number of hardware partners. The devices Intel will integrate the technology into include 2-in-1 tablets, ultrabooks, touch-enabled all-in-one PCs, and other mobile devices.
Library offers 48 iMacs, iPads, other tablets for client use
Last summer, a daring reimagination of the public library -- and perhaps, a testament to Apple design philosophy -- opened in Bexar County, Texas. The Bibliotech Library, bereft of printed books, opened in an underserved county with the mission of providing digital assets to the local community at a fraction of the cost and floor space of a traditional library.
Initiative long in development
CEO Tim Cook and some other Apple executives will be visiting Turkey in February to discuss a potential education deal estimated to be worth up to $4 billion, according to local publication Emlak Kulisi. Cook is expected to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gül to discuss the country's "FATIH Project," which will replace textbooks and other aspects of Turkish schooling with tablets and computers. Apple has been vying to make the iPad Turkey's tablet of choice; in May, controversial Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Apple's headquarters.
Sales galore on games and other apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
[Updated again with yet more app deals] Freebies and discounts on iOS apps are in plentiful supply during this holiday season, and MacNN is scouring the US App Store and web to bring our readers the best of these discounts, most of which should be locked-in throughout the next week or so (Apple is closing its iTunes Connect service, which allows developers to change App Store prices, until December 27). Here are just some of the best deals we've found for you.
Small and light six-inch touchscreen ebook reader examined
Five years ago, we thought that by the end of 2013 there'd be a bigger market for e-book readers. Then, along came the tablet that Jobs built and a slew of followers-on. Just as the iPod did away with most of the competition, the tablet market seems to be having much the same effect on the ebook reader segment. Kobo, a big player in the international market, has a well-received line of e-readers, and we got a chance to spend a month with the Kobo Aura, one of its latest devices. Read on to see what we thought of this dedicated e-reader.
Educational-oriented Dell Chromebook 11 shipping in January
Dell has unveiled its first Chrome OS notebook, the Chromebook 11. Aimed at the education market, the Chromebook 11 offers up an 11.6-inch edge-to-edge glass screen with a resolution of 1366x768, entry-level specifications, and a low price tag, in a device measuring less than an inch in thickness and weighing in at 2.9 pounds.
Scheme aims to teach 5 million students the basics of programming
The start of Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15) sees both the Democrat and Republican sides of the US government, as well as a number of celebrities and tech giants, endorsing the "Hour of Code." The initiative hopes for approximately five million students in 33,000 schools in 166 countries to spend time learning how to code, as it attempts to make programming more accessible.
Twitter account of Nintendo engineer hints at possible tablet
Nintendo could be working on its own Android tablet, according to a report. The game console producer is said to be in the process of making a tablet specifically for educational games, something which will be a marked departure from Nintendo's existing hand-held devices, such as the Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS, and the gamepad used on the Wii U console.
Apps adopt look similar to Newsstand redesign
Following long after its iLife and iWork refreshes, Apple has updated the mobile iBooks and iTunes U apps to suit the look of iOS 7. Both apps have jettisoned the skeuomorphism of previous versions in favor of designs similar to the iOS 7 Newsstand. This includes elements like "flat" shelves, although iBooks continues to sport page-turning animations.
Google begins greater push for educational segment
Google on Wednesday launched a new, education-focused segment of its Play Store Android app repository. The new feature will allow Google to spotlight the teaching- and learning-oriented apps on its popular mobile operating system, and perhaps to carve out some space in the educational market for tablets. That segment is currently dominated by Apple's iPad.
Dramatically faster troubleshooting, resolution achieved with visuals
In a quiet update today, Apple is now giving users who have a problem the option of initiating a screen-sharing session directly with AppleCare representatives. While screen-sharing has been a tool available for the reps for some time to help customers, it usually comes only after many other areas of discussion and testing of a problem have already been tried. The practice can be a great help in quickly troubleshooting or identifying the cause of a problem.
Latest in a series of independent fixes to fine-tune updated Mavericks apps
Another standalone fix issued by Apple on Thursday patches iBooks for Mac that addresses a number of bugs in the first release. Earlier today, Apple issued updates for the late 2013 MacBook Pro as well as a Mail patch that fixes one of the bigger complaints about the latter program, namely its handling of GMail accounts. Users had complained that iBooks for Mac would sometimes mishandle and mis-display the available book library when imported from iTunes.
New distribution option lets organizations control individual app use
Apple has made two new improvements to its Volume Purchase Program for business and education. The first is a concept called Managed Distribution, allowing organizations to assign or revoke app licenses for individual users, instead of operating through redemption codes. A school, for instance, can assign apps and books to select groups of students, or one student at a time. The function supports iOS 7 and Mavericks clients, and can be controlled through OS X Server's Profile Manager or updated third-party device managers.
Only one in four US elementary schools using tablets, 94 percent iPad
Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts on Monday that Apple already had 94 percent of the market of tablets used in education, a figure he called "unheard of" and something he'd never seen before in his career -- but a new survey indicates that Apple's success is just the tip of the iceberg in the segment, with plenty of room to grow. A new survey has found that only about 25 percent of the US elementary school market has or is in the process of deploying iPads or other tablets.
iPad said to control overwhelming number of educational tablet sales
During its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple's educational sales topped $1 billion in revenue, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The executive made the comments during the company's official results call. He also claimed that the iPad represents 94 percent of all educational tablet sales, though the source of that data was unmentioned.
School district has yet to meet order threshold for promised discount
The Los Angeles Unified School District is running well over budget in its plan to equip 47 schools with iPads, the Los Angeles Times reports. The program was originally budgeted for $50 million, but this was based on an early iPad pricing estimate putting each tablet at $650; in all $20.3 million was budgeted for iPads, the rest going to needed training and infrastructure. When the program was formally announced this summer iPad pricing had already crept up to $678, and budget disclosures now reveal that the District is actually paying about $770 per device, adding another $4 million to the program's cost.
Aperture 3.5 update adds iCloud photo sharing, SmugMug, more
In a notable change, Tuesday's release of Aperture 3.5 lists among many of its changes a switch to Apple Maps for its "Places" feature, dumping Google Maps. The change is just one of a lengthy list of mostly minor changes, but which include support for iCloud photo sharing, multi-contributor Photo Streams, and adding videos to shared streams. In addition, a minor v2.1 update was made to iBooks Author, mostly to make it compatible with the new iBooks for Mac.
All now 64-bit, free for iOS 7 and Mavericks upgraders
Apple has launched updated versions of the apps formerly known as the "iLife" and "iWork" suites for OS X and iOS 7. On the Mac, iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband get makeovers, with major changes seen in Garageband to bring it much more in line with Apple's existing "Pro" audio app, Logic Pro. For iOS, the three programs have been updated for the iOS 7 look, with iPhoto for iOS gaining the ability to make photo books. The iWork apps have received new templates and design overhauls, but are otherwise only lightly changed.
Deepens ties with China
Apple CEO Tim Cook has joined the advisory board of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, according to the university's website. A mission statement indicates that the board holds annual meetings to "offer advice on the development of Tsinghua's SEM." Other high-profile members of the board include Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa, Walmart CEO Michael Duke, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.