Electronista

Thursday, July 10

IBM to invest $3 billion into research for new computer chips

IBM announced today that it is re-committing itself to the computer landscape, as the company intends to spend $3 billion on research into future chip technologies. Over the next five years, IBM will invest in two "broad research and early stage development programs" in search of an innovation in the field. The shift in strategy comes at a time when the company was rumored to sell off its chip manufacturing business....

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Apple Volume Purchase Program coming to 16 more regions

Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates....

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MLB launches second iBeacon expansion, updates iOS apps

Major League Baseball is entering into a second phase of iBeacon deployments at stadiums. Beginning this is project for the 2014 All-Star Game, which is being hosted at Target Field in Minneapolis. People with a supporting iPhone and the latest version of At the Ballpark will get extra content, including interactive material, when visiting nine different exhibits in the stadium. iBeacons are already in use at 28 o...

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MonkeyParking halts San Francisco parking auctions after city warning

MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th. ...

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Misfit, Beddit collaborate on sleep-tracking tech

Misfit, the creator of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has announced a partnership with Beddit enabling sleep tracking in the official Misfit apps for iOS and Android. Rather than relying on the Shine, there is now a Misfit/Beddit-branded sleep monitor. The device is placed on a mattress, and tracks breathing, heart rate, restlessness, snoring, and ambient sound. The apps analyze this data over a seven-day pe...

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FTC files in-app purchase lawsuit against Amazon, seeks refunds

According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without...

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iTunes 11.3 brings iTunes Extras for HD movies

Apple has released iTunes 11.3 for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is support for iTunes Extras associated with HD movies, granting access to things like galleries, commentaries, behind-the-scenes clips, and short films. Not every movie has Extras, since these require special formatting on the part of content creators, but even previously-purchased titles can get Extras for free if they're added later....

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iPhone 6 rumors claim 68M in initial units, localized haptic feedback

Apple has placed orders for a massive 68 million in initial iPhone 6 units, roughly twice what it ordered for the iPhone 5, according to Taiwan's Business Weekly. Mass production is slated to begin later this month. It's uncertain though if the paper is referring solely to the 4.7-inch iPhone -- the device most commonly tagged with the iPhone 6 name -- or the 5.5-inch iPhone as well, in which case the 68 million fi...

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TSMC begins shipping A-series processors for Apple

TSMC has begun shipping Apple A-series processors out for assembly, according to the Wall Street Journal. Production is said to have begun on 20nm fabrication lines in the first quarter, but shipments have only started happening more recently. Despite TSMC's involvement, the firm is expected to split orders with Samsung, which has traditionally produced every A-series chip....

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Apple wins European trademark rights on Apple Store layouts

The European Court of Justice has issued a decision granting Apple an EU trademark on the layout of its retail stores. The ruling (PDF) states that "the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," giving the trademark scope enough to cover all of Apple's locations....

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NYC fires back at Lyft launch; promises vehicle seizures, fines

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has escalated the conflict between it and ride sharing service Lyft. A warning by the TLC issued yesterday reminds residents that while the service is indeed opening on Friday, and will be offering free rides for two weeks to new subscribers, that the service is unlicensed to operate, and un-investigated drivers may pose a danger to riders....

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Silent Circle expands encrypted calling to 79 countries

Security-focused communications firm Silent Circle today announced the expansion of Out-Circle Calling (OCC). The expansion allows for encrypted hybrid calling that enables Silent Circle members to make and receive encrypted, private voice calls through the company's Silent Phone service to non-Silent Circle subscribers in 79 total countries....

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Aereo asks court to allow it use of statutory content licenses

Aereo may have found a way to it to continue offering a service to subscribers with the key lying in the recent Supreme Court decision against the start-up. In a joint letter filed with the US District Court, the company claims that, since the Supreme Court ruled it operated as if it is a cable company, it should be eligible to the same statutory licenses cable companies use. ...

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Briefly: Spotify heads to Canada, Google Maps adds distance measuring

Music streaming service Spotify is spreading into Canada in the near future, long after launching in a number of other major markets. While the exact date of the service's launch in the country is unknown, Engadget reports the company is accepting sign-ups for a queue to receive pre-launch invitations, suggesting that it is likely to go live for all potential users sooner rather than later. ...

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Roku, Chromecast outselling Apple TV in US, says report

Ahead of what is expected to be a significant revamp or re-invention of the Apple TV, rivals such as Roku and Google's Chromecast dongle are allegedly outselling Apple's entry in the streaming-settop-box wars, claims a new study. Though still more popular worldwide, the report from Parks Associates believes that Apple sold just over two million Apple TV units in the US last year, which if true would place it third be...

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Apple takes bolder stand on renewable energy, aims for 'net zero' goal

On Wednesday, Apple released its fiscal 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report and announced through it that the company will focus on achieving "net zero energy use," a goal it has already accomplished with all 21 of its Australian retail stores and 140 of its US outlets, alongside its latest data centers and its forthcoming Apple Campus 2 headquarters. The solar array that supplies most of the power used at the M...

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Wednesday, July 09

Briefly: D-Link's 802.11ac wireless access point, Edjing adds new UI

D-Link has announced the release of the DAP-2660, a new high-power 802.11ac wireless access point. Enclosed in a low-profile white housing, the DAP-2660 can be installed on the ceiling or wall-mounted in locations that require access to a wireless signal. Its maximum wireless signal rates are up to 300Mbps using a 2.4GHz band, and 867Mbps using the 5GHz band. The access point supports advanced radio management featur...

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Report: Yosemite adopted by developers at 4X rate of previous version

Just a month after the first Developer Preview was released at the Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple's OS X 10.10 Yosemite is already starting to show up in significant numbers in general Mac web traffic statistics. While 0.2 percent may not seem like a lot, it is four times higher than the percentage seen by the last major OS X upgrade, Mavericks, at the same point in its pre-release state. New features and be...

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Gartner, IDC: Mac sales slip in Q2, Apple still in fourth place

Although Apple still retains about 10 percent of the US PC market and remains the fourth-place manufacturer, new preliminary numbers from market analyst firms IDC and Gartner note that Apple was the only top-five PC manufacturer to post negative growth from the year-ago quarter, dropping between 1.3 and 1.7 percent (the two firms disagree on the specifics). IDC says Apple now holds an even 10 percent, while Gartner s...

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Briefly: Grid 2 Reloaded Edition for OS X, Checkout 4.0 POS

Feral Interactive has announced that its multi-discipline racing game Grid 2 Reloaded Edition will be released for Mac gamers this summer. Featuring "World Series Racing," players aim to become the star driver of the league by facing off against international drivers from local clubs. Races are set in a variety of locations, such as mountain roads and city streets of Paris, Miami or Hong Kong. Each vehicle option var...

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Hyundai offers extended demo of CarPlay tech in 2015 Sonata

A new, 11-minute video of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata offers viewers an in-depth look at CarPlay, Apple's car technology for iOS device integration. In addition to showing off the system itself, the video also makes clearer how CarPlay (and other technologies like Android Auto) can co-exist with built-in infotainment systems that are part of the vehicle itself. The video also distinguishes Apple's "Siri Eyes Free" featur...

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NFB asks for Apple to set disability standards for App Store titles

The National Federation of the Blind will soon start a campaign to get Apple to factor in accessibility when it approves App Store titles, according to Reuters. The organization approved a resolution for the campaign at a convention held last week in Orlando, Florida. While there are no plans to repeat a 2008 lawsuit which targeted iTunes' accessibility, some NFB members -- including California board member Michael...

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Cook promises Apple workforce diversity report 'at some point'

Apple will eventually release data about the racial and gender diversity of its workforce, according to Tim Cook. The CEO made the comment at this week's Sun Valley conference in Idaho. "We'll release the information at some point," he remarked. "We are more focused on actions."...

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Apple's Cook, Cue make appearances at 2014 Sun Valley conference

As anticipated, Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior VP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue are currently in Idaho for this week's Sun Valley media conference. Cook was spotted by the Wall Street Journal's Doug MacMillan. Cue, meanwhile, was briefly stopped by The Information's Jessica Lessin, who asked if he was talking to companies about TV programming deals. "Nah, just going back to my hotel room," the executiv...

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Vimeo redesigns Apple TV app to streamline viewing, browsing

Vimeo has launched an update of its app for the Apple TV, according to an official blog post. The new app has a more streamlined interface, reducing the number of button presses needed to get to sections like the Watch Later queue, uploaded videos, or collections. The home page now features a number of curated channels, such as monthly staff favorites and popular videos. One of these is a Vimeo On Demand section, ...

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Apple tried nudging FTC into investigating Google Play, email reveals

Apple's general counsel, Bruce Sewell, tried to get the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate in-app purchase policies at Google Play, an email obtained via the Freedom of Information Act shows. Days after Apple agreed to pay a $32.5 million settlement over its own approach to in-app purchases, Sewell forwarded a Consumer Reports story to FTC commissioners Edith Ramirez and Julie Brill. The article accused Goo...

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Disney content returns to Japanese iTunes Store

Disney content is once again available on the Japanese version of the iTunes Store, according to an official statement. That content suddenly disappeared recently, and without explanation. In talking with Variety, though, Disney confirms that "the interruption was due to difficulties negotiating the renewal of the old contract between Apple and Disney Japan. The new contract was signed on Wednesday and both rentals...

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UK follows US in banning uncharged electronics from air travel

Following on from a recent decision by the US Transportation Security Administration effectively banning uncharged electronics on flights to the United States, the United Kingdom is preparing to do something similar. The Department for Transport is now requiring air passengers arriving or departing the UK to have their devices charged before going through security checkpoints. ...

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New Foxconn robots to serve in supporting role, report says

Foxconn's upcoming robot deployment on Apple-based production lines will only be in a supportive role, leaving human jobs mostly intact, claims Taiwan's United Daily News. Sources say that the robots will help in tasks like locking down screws and polishing parts, leaving the most essential tasks -- namely assembly and quality control -- to people. The sources add that the robots will first be used at Foxconn's Zhe...

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Beijing court upholds Zhizhen patent in dispute over Siri

Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope tha...

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Adobe issues 'critical' patch for Flash for AIR, OS X, Windows, Linux

Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 14.0.0.145, is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their ...

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Briefly: Google Search app's fix function, Odyssey.js map tool beta

Google Search's voice recognition has a new feature that aims to relieve the problem of misheard words. Prior to the update, users would need to restart their verbal search query if it was originally misheard by the app - now, the command "no I said" is in effect, meaning that the new search replaces just the one word that was incorrect. The update is available for both iOS and Android versions of Google Search....

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