San Francisco pursues 'fear and distrust' strategy
The San Francisco Police Department is pursuing a "fear and distrust" strategy in an attempt to wreck the city's black market for mobile devices, particularly iPhones, the Huffington Post writes. Sting operations are targeting both the buyers and sellers of stolen devices, the idea being to deter people from going the illegal route. The SFPD has reportedly had help from Apple, which loaned a collection of iPhones that were then sold by undercover police officers.
Hopes to connect rural locations with unused TV spectrum
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
Project may exceed cost of new World Trade Center
The budget for Apple's upcoming "spaceship" campus in Cupertino has ballooned by $2 billion to a massive $5 billion, say five Bloomberg sources described as close to the project. Architectural firm Foster + Partners is reportedly looking to slash $1 billion from that budget, but that could still make the new campus more expensive than the new World Trade Center in New York City, which is expected to cost $3.9 billion. The attempt at cost-cutting is said to be behind the delay of the campus' opening until mid-2016.
Companies could be forced to hand over data
The California State Assembly is set to consider a new bill, the "Right to Know Act of 2013," that may force companies to disclose personal data. Supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the proposal (PDF) would require companies to provide copies of all data collected on its customers, including a list of third parties with which the personal data has been shared.
Details still undisclosed
The designs for the next two generations of iPhone have already been developed, claims the district attorney for San Francisco, George Gascón. Unusually, in an interview about smartphone and tablet thefts, Gascón claims to have been personally informed about the future hardware by an Apple government liaison, Michael Foulkes. Their designs "preceded Tim Cook [becoming CEO]," Gascón says, while arguing that he would eventually like to see a killswitch technology that could disable a mobile device after it's reported stolen. Many devices can already be remotely wiped, including the iPhone, but all this does is remove any personal information or content.
Authorities accept building design from Frank Gehry
Facebook has received permission to build a second campus designed by Frank Gehry near its existing location. Authorities of Menlo Park have permitted the new build, a 22-acre site west of Bayfront Expressway in California, and will include a rooftop park and an underground tunnel to connect the two campuses as part of the design.
Says workers can't be treated equally with law in place
The US Defense of Marriage Act "hurts legally married same-sex couples and prevents companies from treating all employees as equals," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling tells AllThingsD. "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we hope the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional." The quote comes in response to questions about Apple's participation in legal measures against DoMA and California's Proposition 8.
Corporate amicus curae brief filed with Supreme Court
Apple is joining with at least 60 other large corporations in submitting a filing to the Supreme Court in support of extending marriage rights to gay people and against California's Proposition 8, continuing the iPhone maker's long record of supporting equal rights for homosexual couples. Other "friend of the court" filings are coming from diverse sources, including one that includes over 75 well-known Republican leaders -- including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, among others.
Companies can require addresses, phone numbers in California
Apple and other online retailers aren't breaking state law by requiring people to submit their address and phone number when making credit card payments, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The decision at least temporarily ends a proposed class action brought by David Krescent, who charged that Apple should not be able to require the extra information for iTunes purchases. Reuters reports that eBay and Walmart submitted briefs in support of Apple.
Fourth SF outlet pegged for Castro Street
New information has emerged on anticipated Apple Stores in Berlin and San Francisco. Bloomberg sources indicate that as expected, Apple is planning to open up its first Berlin location in a former movie theater at Kurfürstendamm 26. Kurfürstendamm is one of the main shopping streets in Berlin, and the theater in question is across from a Hard Rock Cafe. The location was originally tipped over a year ago, and job listings began appearing in March. MacNN can confirm that Apple has already started hiring people for the store.
Should allow AT&T to make significant LTE expansions
AT&T has bought $1.9 billion in 700 MHz B spectrum from Verizon Wireless, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. AT&T says that the licenses should cover over 42 million people in 18 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. As a part of the deal, it will also get AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum in five of those markets.
Sites in Texas, California also allegedly under consideration
The states of Oregon and New York may be competing for a chip factory under consideration by an Apple supplier, says The Oregonian. Oregon's economic development agency, Business Oregon, says it is trying to recruit a company operating under the codename "Azalea." A non-disclosure agreement is preventing any more details from emerging, though a similar project --tagged with a "Project Azalea" codename -- is being pursued in New York state.
Leases could be stopgap until 'spaceship' campus is finished
Apple is again expanding its California office space, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. The company has signed leases for two buildings: one is a 57,479-square-foot office in Santa Clara, while the other is a 11,552-square-foot location in Apple's hometown of Cupertino. The Cupertino space is being subleased from a company called Roamware.
Plants not expected to build Apple hardware
Foxconn is considering establishing its first manufacturing plants in the US, according to "market watchers" cited by DigiTimes. Locations in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles are currently said to be under evaluation. Foxconn is based in based in Taiwan, and does most of its manufacturing in China, exploiting the cheap labor costs there.
Apple branches out of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong
The first Apple Store in Shenzhen, China will launch on November 3rd, the company has announced. The Yi Tian Holiday Plaza outlet will open its doors at 9AM local time on Saturday, but typically operate between 10AM and 10PM. On Fridays and Saturdays the shop is set to stay open an extra half-hour.
Building too young to be historic, state and federal rules say
Earlier this week, the Fremont City Council halted attempts at designating the first Macintosh factory as a historic site, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The city had been hoping to use the building to promote Fremont, both in terms of history and importance to Silicon Valley. Staff recommended dropping plans, though, when it was pointed out that the factory is 30 years old, and therefore too young to meet state or federal criteria for becoming a historic site. In general, buildings can only become historic when they're at least 50 years old, says Fremont planner Kelly Diekmann.
Governor Brown signs bill, calls it 'science fiction'
California governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law legislation establishing safety and performance regulations for the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways. The Associated Press reports and Google confirms that the governor signed SB1298 in a ceremony at Google's Mountain View headquarters. Speaking at the bill signing, Governor Brown said the emergence of autonomous cars meant that "today we're looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality."
California, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy getting new shops
Apple is preparing to open five new Apple Stores this week. The first is the Rio Shopping outlet, based in Valladolid, Spain. That shop will launch at 10AM local time on Thursday, likely in anticipation of the iPhone 5's debut on Friday. Three stores elsewhere will in fact launch at 8AM on Friday, an unusually early hour reserved for iPhone rollouts.
Car smashes through Temecula facade
Apple has confirmed plans to launch its first retail store in Sweden. As previously rumored, the outlet will open in Täby Centrum, a mall in the suburbs of Stockholm. The debut has been set for 10AM on September 15th; notably the Täby store will also be Apple's first in all of Scandinavia, despite the relative wealth of markets like Sweden and Norway.
Incident cracks smartphone theft ring
Tracking a stolen iPhone led to an elaborate chase through the streets of San Francisco earlier today, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Around 6:30 AM, two armed robbers stole an iPhone from a person on a street in the neighborhood of Ocean View. Using a GPS tracking app -- possibly Find My iPhone -- police were able to narrow the phone's location down to a place in Noe Valley. When the suspects spotted police closing in, they ran, and one of them tried to climb over a gate near St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Suspect now in custody
Thieves last month stole over $60,000 worth of "computers and personal items" from the home of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The house, on the 2100 block of Waverley Street in Palo Alto, was actually broken into on July 17th. It took until August 2nd however for police to arrest Kariem McFarlin, a 35-year-old man from Alameda. On August 7th, he was arraigned on one count of residential burglary and selling stolen property.
Could be harbinger of wider problems for Apple
San Francisco will soon stop buying Macs for the city's 50 agencies, according to Department of Environment officials speaking with the Wall Street Journal. The officials say that within the next two weeks it will send out letters to agencies explaining that Macs "no longer qualify" for city money, following Apple's request to have 39 desktops, monitors, and notebooks pulled from a list of EPEAT-certified products. Workers will still be able to buy Macs, but only through a process described as "long" and "onerous."
Gov. Brown cites Apple energy promises
The office of California Governor Jerry Brown has approved Apple's upcoming "spaceship" campus for a streamlined environmental review, says the San Jose Mercury News. While the change isn't expected to speed up the structure's construction, which will only start next year, it should allow Apple to bypass some potential headaches during the review process. With the project classified under the "leadership project" designation, any legal challenges should be fast-tracked through the court system.
Deal will cost city $15 million
San Diego's Unified School District has bought almost 26,000 iPads from Apple to distribute to 340 classrooms this fall, says 10 News. The purchase is coming through a voter-sanctioned funding program, Proposition S, which allocates money toward modern technology in local schools. The District's deal will cost it about $15 million, although it is saving some money by opting for the $399 iPad 2, on top of which it is getting an educational discount bringing the price of each tablet down to about $370.
Stanford shop to use 'glass box' design
New details have emerged about two upcoming Apple Stores. The first of these is another Parisian outlet, which Apple has announced will launch Friday morning at 9 AM in the city's Quatre Temps mall. The shopping center sits along the north extension of the Champs Élysées. Apple already has several Apple Stores in the Paris area, but just a handful scattered throughout the rest of France.
AZ, FL, HI, OK have similar legislation planned
California Senate Bill 1298 unanimously passed the California State Senate today outlining performance and safety requirements for autonomous, or driverless, vehicles on the California roads system. California Highway Patrol would have the responsibility to evaluate the operation of unmanned vehicles. Google, a sponsor of the bill, has tested driverless cars in California in the past.
Passing Facebook passwords to employers being blocked in California
The state of California is close to banning requests from employers to interviewees and the workforce in general for Facebook login details. Assembly Bill 1844, passed yesterday, would protect workers from being asked for their social-network usernames and passwords, minimizing personal liability from disclosing private information.
Each to offer discounted iPhone prices
Three more regional US carriers will begin carrying the iPhone on May 18th, according to separate announcements. These include Kentucky's Bluegrass Cellular, California's Golden State Cellular, and finally Kansas' Nex-Tech Wireless. Following in the footsteps of other regionals, the companies will be offering iPhones at discounted prices; this includes $149, $249, and $349 tiers for the 16, 32, and 64GB iPhone 4S, and a $49 pricetag for the 8GB iPhone 4.
Project mired in review
A proposed home for Apple's senior VP of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, is generating a heavy amount of controversy and legal contention in the town of Bonny Doon, California, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Mansfield and his wife Andrea first filed in 2010 for county approval to build on 45 acres of a former quarry on a knoll. The planned home should measure 9,000 square feet -- though only 6,000 is above grade -- and include features like a basement theater and an agricultural roof, as well as outdoor amenities like a potting shed, four barns, and outdoor kitchen, and a herd of goats.
New building meant to reduce eavesdropping
During a Tuesday meeting, the Cupertino Planning Commission approved an Apple request to build a new off-campus cafeteria, Mercury News reports. The facility should measure 21,468 square feet, and will be located on the corner of Alves and Bandley, just a short walk or bicycle ride from the campus at 1 Infinite Loop. Apple's director of real estate facilities, Dan Whisenhunt, explained during the meeting that the cafeteria will allow Apple workers to eat and talk without being overheard by competitors.
Carrier trade association against privacy bill
A proposed privacy law requiring police to obtain warrants for handset tracking has been criticized by a trade association respresenting AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, CNET has reported. CTIA - The Wireless Association wrote that the California law would "create greater confusion for wireless providers when responding to legitimate law enforcement requests."
Arden Fair outlet could more than double in size
Apple's second retail store in Rome is opening on Saturday at 10AM, the company has announced. The shop is located inside the Galleria Porta di Roma on Via Alberto Lionello, far to the north. The outlet is over 16 kilometers away from the existing Roma Est location, which is on the city's eastern outskirts.
Apple, Google, Microsoft among groups with deals
California's Office of the Attorney General has secured agreements from several major corporations on improving privacy in mobile apps, according to a spokesman. Under the terms of the arrangement the companies will ask developers to include privacy policies for apps, informing users before a download what an app will access, as well as what will be done with the data. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research in Motion have signed on.
Location one of Apple's oldest outlets
Apple will at last reopen its main Pasadena retail location on Saturday at 10AM, the company has announced. The store has been out of commission since April, when it closed for remodeling. A nearby temporary outlet has been serving the public since then.
State still gets a portion of foreign earnings
A tax refund issue dating back to 1989 has been resolved in Apple's favor by the state of California's Supreme Court, but Apple's accompanying request for a change in tax status for multinational companies like itself was denied, meaning Apple and others will not see huge tax breaks in the state for "repatriating" foreign earnings back to the US. The case was specific to Apple's overseas earnings in 1989, but has implications for companies generally, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Thief found just few doors away
A stolen iPad was ultimately responsible for recovering the Christmas gifts of two California families this weekend, the LA County Sheriff's office says. In Westlake Village, a man was reportedly woken up by a noise at 3:30AM on Christmas Day, only to discover it was a burglar in his home stealing gifts. The man chased the criminal, but quickly lost sight of him; a search by deputies yielded no results.
Apple exporting US jobs, says Brown
Members of the Occupy protest movement should target companies like Apple, rather than protest at places like the docks in Oakland, California, says former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. On Sunday the San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial by Brown, in which he accused the Occupy movement of hurting the 99 percent in the form of dock workers and truck drivers. "If the Occupy people really want to make a point about the 1 percent, then lay off Oakland and go for the real money down in Silicon Valley," the column reads.
Mini-store currently just 450 square feet
Apple is working on replacing its current Santa Rosa Plaza outlet in California, sources claim. The shop is one of the smallest in Apple's chain -- measuring only 450 square feet -- and in fact one of just two remaining mini-stores of a group of six that launched in 2004. Apple quickly abandoned the mini-store concept, opting for increasingly larger spaces.
Among largest corporate solar projects
An updated plan for Apple's forthcoming "spaceship" campus has been published at the City of Cupertino website, and shows that Apple is planning to cover the roof in solar tiles, notes 9to5Mac. The roof is estimated to measure about 750,000 square feet, and if at least 500,000 is covered in solar cells, it's believed that Apple may be able to generate upwards of 5MW of power. The number also assumes 10W of power per square foot.
Pickup now available across California
Apple has once again expanded the retail pickup options available from its online store. The option is now available across California, where previously only the state's Bay Area Apple Stores were eligible locations. The program started with just three San Francisco outlets. Earlier this week, pickup coverage grew to include New York City.
Checkout option would be limited to shelf items
Apple may be ready to unveil its overhauled Fifth Avenue cube on November 4th, sources for MacRumors claim. Work on replacing the original cube has been in progress since June, with special accommodations made to allow shoppers to continue entering the store below. The project is estimated to be costing Apple at least $6.6 million, and has seen an original 90 glass panels reduced to just 15.
Abdicates to courts to appease police unions?
Democratic Governor Jerry Brown of California has vetoed a bill passed nearly unanimously by his state legislature that bans searches of people's smartphones without a warrant, a surprise decision that is seen as out-of-character for Brown and may have been motivated by monetary support from the state's police unions, Wired is reporting. The veto means that authorities can search any person's smartphone for any reason during an arrest.
Building lacks 'connection to human size'
New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger has written a harsh critique of Apple's forthcoming "spaceship" campus, designed by Foster + Partners. The writer describes the building as a "gigantic donut," and calls it "troubling, maybe even a bit scary," in part because it lacks the functionality of the devices Apple makes. "A building is also a tool, but of a very different sort," Goldberger says. "In architecture, scale -- the size of various parts of a building in proportion to one another and to the size of human beings -- counts for a lot.
Part of preparations for new iPhones
The Chestnut Street Apple Store in San Francisco is temporarily closed and reopening on October 5th, messages posted on the Apple website and on the building itself reveal. The closure is likely related to renovations, given the presence of a black construction facade covering the windows. An AT&T van was today spotted outside of the store, though what if anything technicians were installing is unknown.
Area residents worry about traffic, overpopulation
Apple's new Cupertino campus may not have a completely smooth path towards approval, the results of a local public consultation suggest. The meeting was hosted by Cupertino mayor Gilbert Wong, who himself claims that the new complex is "definitely not a done deal," since it has to undergo a "public process." Many people at the meeting also expressed worries connected to the scale of Apple's ambitions.
City approves without discussion or naming Apple
The Santa Monica Planning Commission approved Apple's Third Street Promenade store on Wednesday night without fanfare, according to the Santa Monica Dispatch. Although the city is said to have prepared a "detailed" report on the project, without mention of Apple's name, the store was approved last night without discussion. It was in fact put on the Commission's Consent Calendar, which makes approval virtually automatic unless people specifically object to one or more items.
May signal future of Apple retail design
Apple is hoping to build a Third Street Promenade store in Santa Monica, California constructed with an all-glass roof, a building proposal reveals. The project is expected to go in front of the Santa Monica Planning Commission tonight, and immediately tips itself as an Apple Store thanks to images depicting typical Apple design choices, including table layout and the structure of the glass panels. While the applicant is listed as "ASB/Blatteis Promenade Holdings," and no retailer is mentioned, this is consistent with Apple's usual policy of trying to conceal its retail plans before a store is announced.
Expansion plans pick up pace
Apple is planning three major Apple Store openings for this Saturday, reports note. In the US Apple will finally be opening its long-awaited Berkeley store, located at 1823 4th Street. The outlet was greeted with some mild controversy before its construction, since plans called for it to swallow up an outdoor plaza frequently used by animal adoption agencies to showcase pets. As is usual with Apple Stores, the grand opening is scheduled for 10AM local time.
Upgrades planned for other shops
Apple's rapid retail expansion plans also appear to include new shops in Denver, Colorado and Sarasota, Florida. A source indicates that a second Denver outlet will be built at Union Station, which is being rehabilitated to make it a major hub for transportation, commerce and gatherings. The developer includes an Apple logo in a video rendering of the project, but this is now claimed to be more than just wishful thinking.
May mark transition to Startup Sessions
Apple's new Americana outlet in Glendale, California should come closer to a fully-realized version of the Apple Store 2.0 concept, a report suggests. The final look of the location has yet to be made public, but a corporate-level source in Apple's retail division has allegedly provided some information. The store should for instance have a front facade done entirely in glass, instead of mixing in silver-colored panels.