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Foxconn looking to build $5.7B factory to win iPhone display orders

10/23, 11:41am

Apple's chief assembly partner, Foxconn, is hoping to gain orders for iPhone displays by building a new factory in Zhengzhou, China, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The company is allegedly in talks with Zhengzhou's government about getting financial help for the factory, which could cost up to 35 billion yuan, or about $5.7 billion. One of the topics under discussion is how much money local government would have to invest in the project.

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GT Advanced confirms split with Apple, will repay $439 million [u]

10/23, 10:44am

(Updated with Apple response, hints at future initiatives) GT has confirmed its split with Apple via a press release, offering further details on the terms. "GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple," the statement explains. "GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa [Arizona] and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF sales.

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Apple to open 25 new Chinese stores in two years, says Cook

10/23, 9:31am

As part of his trip to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told local media that the company is planning to open 25 stores in Greater China during the next two years. "Greater" China includes not just mainland China but Hong Kong and Taiwan. So far there are no Apple Stores in Taiwan, but there are three in Hong Kong and a dozen on the mainland, most of those being split between Beijing and Shanghai.

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Briefly: Fantastical 2 update, Yahoo Mail adds new notification types

10/22, 11:59pm

Flexibits has announced the release of two free updates for calendar app Fantastical 2, available as separate native versions for iPhone and iPad. The iPhone variation provides native display support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and includes an enhanced landscape view for iPhone 6 Plus. Both apps now require iOS 8, and feature new text-enabled event and reminder creation with Fantastical's new app extension. Interactive notifications let users snooze an alert or complete a reminder, and the app now can be viewed in the Notification Center with Fantastical's Today widget. Currently on sale for twenty percent off, Fantastical 2 for iPhone is priced at $3, and $8 for iPad.

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Apple to drop support of SSL 3.0 due to POODLE vulnerability

10/22, 11:55pm

In a note to developers, Apple has announced that due to a serious security flaw in SSL version 3.0, the company will be dropping support for the protocol beginning Wednesday, October 29 for all of its push notifications, which are delivered through Apple's own servers. The company will switch to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the service, and notes that developers will need to build in support for TLS in their apps to ensure uninterrupted push notification compatibility if they haven't already.

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Tim Cook posts photo from latest China visit

10/22, 10:10pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a picture from his latest trip to China on Twitter, showing him sharing a laugh with a factory worker named Zhang Fan, who helps assemble the iPhone 6 at a factory in Zhengzhou. While Foxconn's factories manufacture equipment for a wide variety of technology firms including Google, Microsoft and others, Cook is the only CEO to routinely visit the facilities and personally investigate conditions and safety at the plants. He called the meeting with Zhang "an early highlight" of the trip.

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Twitter introduces Digits, a new way to log into applications

10/22, 9:32pm

Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities instead.

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Apple found not guilty of infringing on expired GPNE patents

10/22, 9:09pm

Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" from the iPhone maker), but was awarded nothing.

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AT&T reveals third quarter earnings, falls short of estimates

10/22, 8:11pm

AT&T's quarterly results fell short of industry projections when the company announced $32.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2014. The resulting earnings per share (EPS) was $0.63, missing the projected $0.64 EPS on $33.25 billion in revenue. While the company may have missed projections, it announced that it picked up more than two million mobile and broadband customers.

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Teardown of iPad Air 2 by iFixit confirms 2GB RAM, smaller battery

10/22, 8:00pm

A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.

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Google debuts Inbox as tool for managing email with automated bundling

10/22, 7:35pm

Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.

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Rare Apple I computer sold at auction for $905,000

10/22, 6:42pm

On the same day that Apple's stock closed at the second-highest price it has achieved in 2014, a new record-high price for its first computer -- the original Apple I -- has also been set, by a considerable margin. While an incredibly rare still-functional Apple I model (thought to be one of just six in such pristine condition) along with a letter from Steve Jobs was sold in May 2013 for $671,400, the latest auction in New York saw this latest unit -- one from the original first batch of 50 -- change hands for $905,000.

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FCC freezes clock on merger reviews of Comcast/TWC, AT&T/DirecTV

10/22, 5:33pm

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agreements.

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OS X Yosemite nudges Chrome, Firefox users into trying Safari

10/22, 5:08pm

People using Chrome or Firefox within OS X Yosemite are seeing push notifications asking them to try Safari, accounts say. The messages tout Safari as "fast, energy efficient, and with a beautiful new design," and even include "Later" and "Try Now" buttons. They appear to be triggered by launching Chrome or Firefox for the first time after the Yosemite upgrade.

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New iPad Air 2, Mini 3 available for Personal Pickup at Apple Stores

10/22, 4:14pm

Shoppers at Apple's online store now have the option of selecting Personal Pickup as a delivery option for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. When preorders opened last Friday, the company required all orders to be shipped. Notably, some stores are listed as having iPads ready for pickup today, even though Apple Store workers are saying they won't have tablets on sale until later this week, or even next week. Shipped orders are beginning to arrive on doorsteps however.

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