Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China's Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss man-in-the-middle attacks against iCloud users, according to Reuters and China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Reuters notes that the Chinese government has so far denied allegations of involvement, which in particular tied the attacks to the state firewall used to censor Internet access in the country. As for the meeting, Xinhua says only that the pair shared views on "protection of users' information" and "strengthening cooperation and in information and communication fields."
Top Stories | AAPL Stock: 103.22 ( + 0.75 )
Google Play Music has been updated for both Android and iOS, with a new look and extra features. While it has received a Material Design-influenced makeover, similar to the leaked Gmail update, the main change users will notice is the inclusion of activity and time-related playlists, something Google has introduced courtesy of its acquisition of Songza in July.
In its latest SEC 10-Q filing, Apple has revealed certain company details -- including the fact that it still spends a small fraction of the money other tech firms do on Washington lobbying, and that it continues its practice of awarding its executives restricted stock units (RSUs) that could be worth millions if they stay with the company and it continues to do well. CFO Luca Maestri and Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts both received their first executive bonuses as part of the disclosure.
During its conference call to analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that the company had spent $17 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter on further stock buybacks, the largest amount since the March quarter and bringing the total spent across the fiscal year to $45 billion. About half of the money was spent buying shares on the open market rather than through banking partners, an unusual move for a large corporation. The stock came close to another record high on Tuesday, but has yet to crack its $110 all-time (adjusted for both splits and buybacks) share high.
13 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Early benchmarks of the new iMacs show the Retina 5K iMac as having high enough performance to beat the 2013 Mac Pro in some tasks, suggesting that in some cases it may be better to buy the new high-end iMac than a base-level Mac Pro. Results for the range, appearing on the 64-bit Geekbench 3 benchmark, has the high-resolution 5K iMac's 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor option dominating the board for single and multi-core performance when compared to previous iMacs, and it manages to also put up a good fight when compared to configurations of last year's Mac Pro.
After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal instead offers incentives to certain employees to help wind down the plant, and provides a way for GT to pay back the money it owes Apple.
A new set of consumer headphones was released by Alpine Electronics that sets out to bring the concert experience to users in order to "feel their music." The patented TKR3 full frequency immersion technology attempts to recreate the sensation of a live show with a "unique sound field expansion." The Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers, programmable audio processing, powered digital amplifiers, and a lithium battery for up to 10 hours of play. The Alpine Headphones can be used with the Alpine Level Play app for iOS, which creates playlists based on the "energy level" of the songs on the device. The Alpine Headphones are available at Alpine's website or Apple Stores for $300.
Apple is aware of "intermittent organized network attacks" against people trying to sign into iCloud.com, says Dow Jones. It insists however that iCloud servers haven't been breached, and that people using iOS or the latest version of OS X -- Yosemite -- should be unaffected. The company doesn't specifically mention China, which is where the browser hijacks are taking place.
The latest installment of the Civilization franchise from developer Firaxis Civilization: Beyond Earth, today has a slightly narrowed release date for OS X as well as declared hardware and OS requirements. While the PC release is imminent on October 24, the Mac version will ship in time for holiday 2014. Civilization: Beyond Earth, will require OS X 10.10 Yosemite, an Intel Core i3 processor or greater, running at 2.2GHz or more, and 4GB of RAM. Minimum GPU specs are the Nvidia GeForce 640M, ATI Radeon HD 5750, or Intel Iris Graphics with 256 MB.
A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.
19 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, mobile phones
Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger 6-inch phones. In our review we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the "plus" in this portable car mount.
Apple is beginning to ship the earliest preorders of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 bought at its online store, accounts say. Notifications are being sent out today. Some orders are scheduled to ship on October 23rd specifically, while other people have been given a broader 23rd-27th timeframe.
20 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design
Extensis today released a major update to its Suitcase Fusion 6 font manager. The new version brings full OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 integration, font library synchronization with Dropbox or Google Drive accounts, as well as continuing bug fixes and speed enhancements.
21 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets
Razer's Nabu connected wristband is getting closer to launch, after finally receiving approval from the FCC. The wearable, which first surfaced at the start of the year before undergoing public beta testing and being subject to delays over hypoallergenic testing, is tantalizingly close to meeting a supposed October launch time, which could allow Razer to capitalize on holiday sales in an increasingly congested market.
21 hours ago | Posted in: iPad
T-Mobile's US branch has announced that it will start offering preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on Wednesday. While the hardware available to preorder since last Friday already supports T-Mobile, ordering directly from the carrier opens up financing options. 16GB LTE models can be had for no down payment on a two-year contract, monthly fees being approximately $26 for the Air 2 and $22 for the Mini 3. That's on top of a mandatory Simple Choice data plan.
22 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple
One headline on MacNN this week has caused a bit of a stir in the forums, when Mac Elite "WizOSX" pointed out that Apple has announced that all iOS apps must support 64-bit code by February. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having trouble playing video with their Windows notebook computer, and is wondering if the MacBook Air would be able to handle it better.
Apple's online store has been slashing prices on refurbished 27-inch iMac models in the wake of last week's unveiling of their current-generation 5K model. The 27-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive is now $1,399 after a $400 discount. A $310 discount is offered on the refurbished 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $1,489.
22 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals, upgrades/storage, Apple
Right now at B&H.com, get the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook on sale for $1,280. That's a savings of $120 off the regular price of $1,400, and it is $109 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Also provided is a free gift of either security software LoJack or Windows virtual environment software Parallels. This MBP features a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
23 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
Even though Apple Pay -- launched yesterday with iOS 8.1 -- is nominally supposed to be US-only at the moment, it's already working overseas, anecdotes indicate. In particular the service is functional in Australia, as long as a person is using both US credit cards and region settings on their iPhone. The region toggle is needed to make Apple Pay show as an option.
23 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets
When it comes to choosing the barcode scanner you are going to buy for your business, there are a lot of choices. But you can't just go out and buy the first scanner you come across. There are some significant differences between some types of barcode scanners. The most important criterion to get a handle on is the type of barcode you use. There are 1D codes like the UPC codes you can find in just about every retail store and then there are 2D codes like QR and DataMatrix which are rarer, and in the case of QR codes, mainly used for other purposes. Some scanners can read all types of barcodes while others can only read the 1D codes. If you use a 1D code format, any scanner you pick will read it so the only other criteria you need to concern yourself with are price and mobility.
GoodReader is a PDF reader that features both annotation and cloud sync capabilities. Version 4.6 includes a new option for handling files from iCloud Drive, which lets users open and annotate files without first copying them into GoodReader’s local storage. In addition, Touch ID can now be used to unlock the entire app, or select files. An issue that prevented the GoodReader folder from appearing in iCloud Drive on some Mac computers has also been resolved.
Tractor DJ is a mobile tool for creating audio mixes using songs stored on an iOS device. The latest release includes support for both Audiobus and inter-app audio, allowing users to chain together multiple audio apps. Recorded mixes can also now be opened in other apps, such as Dropbox, and double tapping on the EQ and volume sliders will now cause them to reset.
AirDisk Pro can be used to store, view, and manage files directly on any iOS device. Users can connect to the app from any Mac or PC over a Wi-Fi network and transfer files via drag and drop. The v4.1 update is fully optimized for iOS 8 and includes various fixes for reported issues.
Infuse is a mobile media player with support for 14 different file formats. Version 3.0 introduces support for officially licensed and certified DTS and DTS-HD audio, as well as for streaming content stored on Wi-Fi hard drives. Additional support has also been added for accessing content from Mophie’s Space Pack iPhone case.
Xbox SmartGlass allows users to control an Xbox One console with an iOS device. The free app can be used to navigate through the console's interface, as well as enter text, control media playback, and browse the internet. With the latest update, the app can now stream live TV directly from the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner. TV and OneGuide have also been made available in more markets and various bugs have been addressed.
Office supply store Staples appears to be the latest victim of a breach of customer payment information. The company issued a brief statement saying that they were looking into the matter, after several banks reported fraudulent activity with a pattern pointing to the source being Staples stores in the US northeast.
Tue October 21, 2014 | Posted in: Apple
Apple's second store in Turkey is launching this Saturday at 10AM, the company has announced. The outlet is situated on one of the middle floors of Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall. It will be open from 10AM to 10PM seven days a week, and the company is already beginning to accept reservations for appointments including workshops and Genius Bar service.
Following a year of development in Steam's Early Access program, Steam Marines finally made its way to the general public a few weeks ago. Similar in style to games like Space Hulk and XCOM, Steam Marines is a top-down strategy shooter that requires players to carefully plan out each turn. Available for $15 through Steam, Desura, and the Humble Store, is this 2D retro-styled game worth your time and the unavoidable stress it is bound to cause?
Tue October 21, 2014 | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design
Realmac Software today announced the immediate availability of RapidWeaver 6, a major new upgrade to the company's long-running website creation app. RapidWeaver 6 has over a dozen major new features, and hundreds of enhancements and refinements, and is built exclusively for OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite.
Tue October 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone
Apple may, for a second time, have to adjust the ratios of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus production to more equally favor the Plus, sources tell Digitimes. Earlier this month the company is said to have noticed that global demand for the Plus was stronger than expected, and adjusted accordingly. After last weekend's launch in China, though, the company is said to have discovered strong demand there too. Chinese wanting a regular iPhone 6 can reportedly buy one without much trouble, but face a long wait if they opt for the bigger phone.
Verizon today reported double-digit year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up 7 percent year over year.
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