Tag - Hurricane Sandy
Google, working with Governor Cuomo, has donated tablets to a New York non-profit in order to help people still affected by Hurricane Sandy, a storm that is estimated to have caused around $65 billion in damage when it hit the eastern seaboard one year ago. A total of 17,000 Nexus 7 tablets worth over $2.7 million at retail were handed to the New York State Community Action Association, and will be provided to a number of locations to help support a range of existing programs.
Verizon today deployed a number of Wireless Emergency Communication Centers to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. The carrier deployed its WECCs on Staten Island, at Monmouth University in New Jersey, and at two locations in Toms River, New Jersey. The WECCs offer public access to device-charging and computer work stations, wireless phones, and other devices to enable visitors to contact friends and family.
The US iTunes Store now features a section, accessible from the main page, that accepts donations to help with relief efforts on behalf of victims of hurricane Sandy. Apple has traditionally opened a page for Red Cross donations after disasters, and this one has preset amount options ranging from $5 up to $200. All of the donations will go directly to relief efforts, which are continuing as large sections of the ortheastern US are still without power and flooding is still an issue in areas. The area is slowly recovering, but major public safety, health and other challenges remain.
AT&T and T-Mobile have announced today that, in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, each carrier will allow customers to place calls from the other's coverage area without incurring roaming fees. The no-roaming agreement applies to AT&T and T-Mobile customers living in areas heavily affected by the hurricane, and where capacity is available for subscribers with a compatible device.
Hurricane Sandy has caused a quarter of cell towers to go down in 10 states. The Federal Communications Commission also claimed that cell coverage will deteriorate further while the storm continues its devastating path, with high winds causing localized flooding, loss of power, destruction of property, and in some cases, causing fires.
Google has updated its Crisis Map to cover Hurricane Sandy, with a view to helping people survive the weather event. The map can be used to track the storm, as well as provide regional alerts and other information that would be useful in such an emergency, and is similar to the Crisis Map used by those affected by Hurricane Issac.
Google has sent out an email to press participants informing them that the Nexus event scheduled for Monday, October 29, has been canceled. The cancellation comes as New York prepares to take the brunt of a "perfect storm," in which Hurricane Sandy is predicted to strike the city as a hybrid of hurricane and nor'easter. The search giant has not given any information on when a rescheduled event might be held.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R