A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.
Top Stories | AAPL Stock: 102.25 ( + 0.12 )
3 hours ago | Posted in: audio
Plantronics announced a new model of Bluetooth headphones this week with the BackBeat Pro. The over-the-ear headphones feature a long battery life, 40mm drivers, active noise-cancelling technology and "Plantronics signature audio performance and design." Not leaving noise cancelling as the only trick of the headphones, Plantronics also added a smart feature to help consumers pick up where they left off if the headphones are removed.
5 hours ago | Posted in: education, gaming, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Notability, an iOS app well-regarded for its ability to handle multiple ways of taking notes -- audio recordings, handwriting, drag-and-drop and typing -- has arrived on the Mac. The OS X version ($10) matches the iPad and iPhone version feature-for-feature, but is optimized for the Mac environment. Users can drag in various file types to add to the note, scale and transform handwriting and sketches, and -- new to the program -- work with smart keyboard shortcuts. The iOS version is also available as a separate $3 purchase.
8 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps
The Hamburg, Germany court system has reauthorized Uber to operate, at least temporarily. Despite the resurrection, which was based on a technicality, the court did dictate that the service was "probably illegal" as drivers for the service lack a passenger transportation license, similar to the situation that Lyft faced in New York City.
JP Morgan Chase & Co plus at least four other financial institutions have reportedly come under attack by hackers. According to a quartet of people familiar with the investigation, the possibility exists that gigabytes of customer data, including banking information, may have been stolen by the assailants with a "zero-day" attack, who may to be linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers.
A "massive structure" is being constructed on the campus of the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the site of Apple's September 9 press event, witnesses say. The structure is encased in a white barricade, and appears to be about three stories tall. "Scads" of security staff are reportedly protecting it, and administrators will only say that they "are not at liberty to discuss that [structure] due to client wishes."
[Updated with Bloomberg confirmation of iWatch debut] As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9 press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern.
12 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
The next-generation iPhone should include NFC-based mobile payment technology, sources tell Wired. The magazine doesn't go into specifics, except to claim that the mobile payment system will be "one of the hallmark features of the device when it's unveiled on September 9." A past report from The Information suggested that there might be a "secure element" in the new iPhone that would safeguard financial information, presumably a reference to allowing Touch ID to verify NFC purchases using the secure enclave.
Retrica Pro features 24 vintage filters that can be viewed in real-time while capturing images. The software also includes a number of post-production tools, such as crop, blur, and border options, as well as support for sharing images directly to various social networks. In v2.2 users can now randomly select filters when editing photos from the system albums. Swiping with the in-app album is also now possible, and a FAQ section has been added to help answer some common questions.
Pocket Casts is a podcast manager that allows users to keep track of all their favorite podcasts. Version 4.6.3 fixes some issues that could prevent episodes and playlists from syncing, along with an issue that could cause the 'Play all from Here' long press on the podcast page not to work. Performance has also been improved and a new option for cleaning up duplicates has been added.
Diptic Video can be used to make dynamic video collages. Users can select several video clips or still photos from their camera roll and integrate them into one of Diptic’s 35 layouts. Furthermore, four video playback modes are included to select from and each clip can be trimmed directly within the app. Panorama support has been improved with this release.
Wunderlist can help users jot down all of their iras and keep them in organized lists. The latest release adds the ability to move, complete and delete multiple items by tapping on the “Edit” button. Users can also now find an overview of starred todos by going to the Action Bar and sorting by priority. Other changes include fixes for a number of reported issues and better sorting for non-Latin-based languages.
LINE is a mobile messaging client for iOS devices that allows users to send messages and make free voice calls to other users. Among several minor bug fixes, the v3.8.2 update also features a Russian localization. Several minor bugs have been resolved with this update.
13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
New photos from French site Nowhereelse indicate that the iPhone 6 will again come in silver, gold, and "space gray" tone. SIM trays and Touch ID sensors all show the same range of colors used for the iPhone 5s. The trays may also be somewhat curved, presumably to fit the rounded edges on the iPhone 6's chassis.
14 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging
Ricoh's Pentax K-camera collection has been joined by a new mid-class camera. The Pentax K-S1 is a DSLR with a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor combined with the Prime MII imaging engine, giving it a maximum sensitivity of ISO 51,200, a top shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second, and a continuous shooting rate of up to 5.4 frames per second.
14 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
18 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging
The latest in the Olympus Pen Micro Four Thirds camera line has been revealed as a shooter that caters itself to selfie photography. The PEN E-PL7 features a 3-inch 1.04 million-dot touch-enabled display on the back capable of flipping 180 degrees downwards, an action which triggers a "Selfie Mode" that optimizes settings for self portraits.
23 hours ago | Posted in: software
On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its standalone version of Office for Mac, Office 2011, to version 14.4.4. The update provides the latest fixes for Office, and includes general functionality improvements in Microsoft Word, particularly with keyboard language detection. For PowerPoint, it improves handling of certain complex objects, and in Outlook the update includes new descriptions for supported account types.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: security
A "malvertising" campaign made the rounds last week hitting at least eight high-profile websites according to security firm Fox-IT. The firma noticed that the sites were redirecting their visits to other places, allowing it to discover that sites were using vulnerabilities in software like Java and Flash to inject malicious programs. The purpose of the "malvertising" was to infect machines with botnet malware involved in boosting advertisement clicks.
A leaked internal memo seems to reveal that Costco's in-store wireless kiosks may begin offering AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads beginning on Thursday, August 28. The offer applies only to devices activated at the kiosk rather than iPhones or iPads that may be offered on the main sales floor. Costco resumed selling iTunes gift cards after a nearly four-year dispute with Apple ended in early June; iPhone and iPad sales were resumed just before the end of that month.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that both Apple and educational curriculum and textbook publisher Pearson will re-bid on a new contract to supply the LA United School District (LAUSD) with computer and tablet options as part of a program that could eventually grow to $500 million. Both companies were the core of the previous contract that would have seen all students receiving iPads, but questions of cost overruns, problems and lack of transparency combined to force the district to cancel that arrangement.
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple
A little over a week after the last one, Apple has issued a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is identified as build 13F24. Areas of testing focus remain unchanged, and include Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: audio
T-Mobile is expanding its Music Freedom program, almost doubling the number of music streaming services which can be used by subscribers without touching their LTE allowance. The seven existing music services, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, and Spotify, have been joined by another six, just two months after the carrier launched the initiative.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets
Apple is planning to announce the long-speculated iWatch health and fitness wearable at its September 9 iPhone event, rather than in October as was originally anticipated, says Re/code's John Paczkowski. It's not clear whether Apple accelerated its schedule, or if October was just a speculative rumor. In any case, the iWatch is expected to exploit not just HealthKit -- Apple's health and fitness tracking platform -- but HomeKit, designed to unify home automation technology.
The Apple on Campus program -- which lets students buy discounted Macs and accessories through their school -- has been halted in Belgium and Switzerland, according to Apple officials. "Yes, Apple on Campus was stopped. However, the Apple Education Store discounts are obviously still valid," says a spokesperson for Apple Switzerland. Those prices are not as cheap as those that were available through Apple on Campus, however. One exception to the discontinuations is a program in Switzerland known as Neptune.
PayPal is currently offering digital iTunes cards at 25 percent off for UK customers. Users can purchase iTunes codes to redeem for music, films, TV programs, games, apps and more from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store and the App Store. Content purchased can be accessed on iOS devices and Mac or PC computers. The discount offer is available until tonight at 11:59 BST.
Apple's US online store is now offering iPhone shoppers the chance to purchase a device via an AT&T Next upgrade plan, instead of just choosing a two-year contract or going unlocked. Previously, people on a Next plan had to upgrade through AT&T itself. Apple's site provides a chart illustrating the differences between the 12- and 18-month Next plans and going with a regular contract.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps
Cloud storage service Dropbox has drastically updated its paid offerings, changing not only the pricing, but also adding new features to the subscription. The new Pro account provides a large 1 terabyte allocation of cloud storage to customers, far more than the old Pro account allowed, with the Pro subscription priced at $9.99 per month.
LaunchBar is a tool that can provide quick access to apps, documents, contacts, and bookmarks, as well as a music library or various search engines. Version 6.1 introduces a new feature called Staging, which allows users to create multiple selections and act on them all at once. This could be used to select multiple files and send them all via e-mail, launch multiple apps simultaneously, or open several web bookmarks.
Cocktail provides users access to some of the more advanced functions within the Unix Shell. The software features are organized into five categories, while the Pilot-mode will automatically scan a system and perform any necessary maintenance routines. Version 7.6 introduces the option to disable DNS prefetching, as well as to hide users with unique identifiers below 500 in the login window. An issue in which Cocktail may not detect quinary (en4) network interface has also been addressed.
CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. The latest release has added a new option to diagnose a network when a connection failure alert is displayed. An issue where syncing would fail to add new local files has also been resolved, along with a problem where the wrong public key fingerprint would be displayed.
Tinderbox is a tool for storing and organizing notes, plans, and ideas. The software allows users to make a visual map of all their notes, with support for linking similar ideas together. The v6.0.3 update includes a number of improvements for the Attribute Browser, Map View, and Outline View, as well as a fix for a crash that occurs when Tinderbox switches to the foreground or background whilst updating the document inspector.
BBEdit is a text-editing suite that places emphasis on coding through project support features and the recognition of common syntax structures. The latest release has updated code signings as required by OS X 10.9.4 and later.
Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: computers
Despite earlier reports, the release window for a thinner MacBook Air -- possibly with a 12-inch screen -- is now ambiguous, according to Digitimes. Taiwanese supply chain sources say that the machine will ship "possibly at the end of 2014 or in 2015," although component production has allegedly started "in small volumes." That could mean that even if the product doesn't arrive this year, it will ship in the first quarter of 2015.
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