U.S. sponsored report says governments should attack Bitcoin and undermine it

A new report from the influential RAND think tank suggests that governments should attack Bitcoin and blockchain technologies to undermine the public’s perception of their utility and security. Read more…

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PC makers are in for a blue Christmas

The holiday shopping season is usually a huge boon for PC manufacturers, but according to the latest estimates from the International Data Corporation, shoppers have decided to skip the PC upgrade as a gift this Christmas. PC shipments are expected to drop 10% during the fourth quarter of 2015, predicts IDC in most recent PC […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Partners With Imagine Dragons and One4 Project to Aid in Refugee Relief Efforts

SAP and the One4 Project today announced a partnership with the band Imagine Dragons and Apple that aims to provide support to the UN Refugee Agency as it addresses the refugee displacement crises occurring in Europe (via Forbes). The new single by the band, called „I Was Me,“ is out now on iTunes for $1.29, and both Imagine Dragons and Apple have confirmed that all proceeds from its sales will go toward relief efforts.

SAP, the corporation supporting One4, has also announced it will donate 10 cents for each of the first five million purchases of the new single. Each member of the project hopes the funds not only aid in providing relief for the refugee crises, but bring the international issue into the public eye.

Apple has already been supporting the relief efforts, opening up iTunes Store donations to the American Red Cross last month to help those displaced from their homes due to violence and forced to migrate across the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe. Those interested in supporting the cause can purchase „I Was Me“ on iTunes right now.

Note: Due to the nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.



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Apple Likely Trying to File for ‘AirPods’ Trademark

Apple may be taking steps to protect the name „AirPods,“ based on recent trademark filings in a number of countries. While Apple itself is not directly linked to these applications, the pattern of filings is consistent with Apple’s usual strategy and MacRumors believes Apple is indeed responsible for them.

A trademark application for „AirPods“ was made in the United States on September 22 by a company called Entertainment in Flight, LLC, a Delaware firm housed at the Corporation Trust Center, a strategy Apple has used a number of times in the past to hide its trademark work. The company was created in early September and appears to have no visible operations other than last week’s trademark filing.

We have been unable to find a concrete link between Apple and the AirPods trademark, but the evidence we’ve gathered is highly suggestive that Apple is indeed behind the filing. Assuming this is indeed the case, speculation then turns to the reasons why Apple is interested in the name.

The trademark filing in International Class 9 includes mention of audio accessories, earphones, microphones, wireless communication devices, and similar types of products, and with Apple already calling its existing line of earphones „EarPods“ it seems reasonable to speculate the „AirPods“ name could be intended for a wireless version of the company’s earphones.

Audio components and accessories; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital video recorders and players; remote control apparatus; audio speakers; earphones, headphones; microphones; voice recording and recognition apparatus; radios, radio transmitters, and receivers; handheld digital electronic devices and software related thereto; wireless communication devices for voice, data or image transmission; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, interfaces, and adapters for use with all of the aforesaid goods

Apple of course already offers several models of wireless earphones and headphones through its Beats brand, but Apple has so far kept the Beats hardware brand separate from its own and may prefer to offer a wireless earphone option under its own brand and styling.

Other circumstantial evidence pointing toward Apple being behind the filing includes:

– Citing a March trademark application in Jamaica as a priority date for the registration. Apple commonly files first in Jamaica to establish its claim on a trademark, as the country does not maintain an online trademark database, making it easier for Apple and other companies to hide such filings.

– Use of a Gmail account on contact information. Apple’s shell companies almost always use Gmail addresses based on the companies’ names for their filings, and this is the case with Entertainment in Flight.

– International trademark filings made by known Apple-associated law firms. Alongside the U.S. filing, Entertainment in Flight made similar filings in a number of other countries around the world, and in each case used the services of law firms previously used by Apple and other known Apple shell companies to handle the filings: Locke Lord in the European Union, Bryn Aaflot in Norway, Baker & McKenzie in Australia and Canada, and attorney Pinar Arikan in Turkey.

The European filing covers two additional classes of trademarks: Class 38 for „transmission of digital audio, video and multimedia content“ and Class 41 for „entertainment services“ such as non-downloadable media and reviews and recommendations of entertainment content.



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Apple Likely Filed ‘tvOS’ Trademark for New Apple TV in November 2014

An overnight report from 9to5Mac claims the new operating system for the revamped Apple TV will be called „tvOS“, and it appears Apple may indeed have moved to trademark that term as long ago as November 2014.

A series of trademark filings for the name were made in mid-to-late May in a number of countries by a company called Television OnStream LLC, which appears to be a shell corporation created just days earlier and based out the Corporation Trust Center in Delaware. Apple commonly uses this tactic to hide its trademark filings, although many other companies employ similar strategies.

The mid-May timing is also interesting given it occurred just a few weeks ahead of WWDC where Apple was rumored to be introducing the new Apple TV until what appeared to be a last-minute decision to push back the announcement to this month.

All of the May trademark applications cite a priority date of November 2014 for a filing made in Jamaica, yet another of Apple’s typical strategies for hiding trademarks. Jamaica is a frequent location for Apple’s initial filings as the country does not publish an online database of trademark filings, making it difficult to track them down.

In another similarity to Apple’s previous trademark patterns, Television OnStream LLC conveniently shortens to an acronym of „tvOS“, much as Apple previously hid its „iPad“ trademark behind a company named IP Application Development.

One final similarity between the „tvOS“ filing and known Apple trademarks is the use of specific law firms to handle the filings. For example, Television OnStream used London-based firm Locke Lord to handle its Italian filing, and Apple used the same firm to protect its „watch OS“ trademark in Italy earlier this year. In Turkey, the same trademark lawyer handled both Apple’s „watch OS“ filing and Television OnStream’s „tvOS“ application, and in Mexico both companies used the law firm of Arochi & Lindner to handle their filings.

As is common with these filings, there is no concrete link between Apple and the new „tvOS“ trademark, but given recent rumors and a number of similarities to Apple’s past behavior in hiding trademark filings, it appears likely Apple is indeed behind the „tvOS“ applications.

(Thanks, Rodney and Lennart!)



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HyperLink for Apple Watch Review: A Quality Stainless Steel Link Bracelet at Sport Band Pricing

While the stainless steel Link Bracelet is one of the nicest looking Apple Watch bands available, it is also the most expensive with a $449 price tag for the 38mm or 42mm version. For comparison, you could purchase an entire Apple Watch Sport for $100 less than the Link Bracelet.

But for those looking to give their Apple Watch more of a premium Rolex-like appearance without breaking the bank, look no further than the HyperLink Stainless Steel Link Bracelet from HYPER by Sanho Corporation, which launched today on crowdfunding website Kickstarter with a $50,000 funding goal.

Design

HyperLink is crafted from the same 316L stainless steel alloy used for the Apple Watch, providing the band with added strength and corrosion resistance. The metal is also water and sweat resistant, allowing you to carry out everyday tasks such as showering, washing your hands or jogging without worrying – although you’re probably still better off wearing a Sport Band for the latter.

The Swiss-inspired band has a unisex link bracelet design available in three models: 42mm Space Black, 38mm Silver and 42mm Silver. 38mm in Space Black is also listed as a possible stretch goal on Kickstarter, although no specific funding level is listed. The 42mm Silver model that I tested closely matched the look and feel of my stainless steel Apple Watch – well beyond my expectations for a non-Apple band.

The silver HyperLink that I tested has a lustrous appearance on the outside, while the inside is flatter in comparison. Meanwhile, the Space Black model has an additional diamond-like carbon (DLC) layer added for a sleek, durable and scratch resistant finish. The band, slightly thinner than a Sport Band, did not attract any noticeable scratches or scuffs after wearing it over the course of one week.

Fit

When I first tried on the HyperLink, I immediately noticed that it was well oversized for my wrist. But like most stainless steel bands, it is possible to remove individual links by inserting a very thin-pointed screwdriver or tool into the pinholes on the side to pop out the pressure-sensitive pins holding the bracelet together. Disappointingly, no such tool was included alongside the band.

Fortunately, I found an adjustable screwdriver laying around the house that was thin enough to pop out the pins holding together individual links. The process was rather simple and should be familiar to anyone that has ever owned a common stainless steel wristwatch before, but the lack of a tool included in the box is definitely something to consider when choosing between stainless steel bands.

HyperLink is precision CNC milled to fit the Apple Watch, and the results are favorable. Unlike some third-party bands, the adapters on HyperLink slide into the Apple Watch as effortlessly as official bands sold by Apple. The band also has a convenient quick clasp mechanism that enables you to quickly put on or take off your Apple Watch – much faster than the Classic Buckle or Sport Band in my testing.

For the first few days, I wore the HyperLink rather tight against my wrist and noticed some pinching of my skin when closing the quick clasp mechanism, but otherwise the band was comfortable, lightweight and did not catch my hair. I have since added one link back to the band for a more loose and relaxed fit that gives the Apple Watch some flexibility on my wrist and makes it easier to take on and off.

Bottom Line

HyperLink is a premium yet affordable Apple Watch band that receives my recommendation, especially at its $49 early bird price; even at its $69 or $99 price points, it is a worthwhile option – with only a few drawbacks – to consider among third-party Apple Watch bands.

HYPER by Sanho Corporation also has a reputable track record of successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, including CloudFTP, iStick, Pearl (Kickstarter), Pearl (Indiegogo), iPin for iPhone/Android, iPin for iPhone and HyperDrive for MacBook. The campaigns have altogether raised over $1.6 million.

Pros:

Affordable ($49-$99)
316L stainless steel
Precision CNC milled to fit Apple Watch
Polished, scratch-resistant design
Lightweight and comfortable to wear
Water and sweat resistant
Quick clasp mechanism
Adjustable links

Cons:

No link adjustment tools included
GMobi logo on link bracelet is an eyesore

How to Buy

HyperLink is $49 on Kickstarter in any size or color for the first 1000 early bird pledgers, at which point the price rises to $69. The regular retail price will be $99 following the crowdfunding campaign.

HYPER is also offering bulk deals on the HyperLink through Kickstarter, including two bands for $98, three bands for $147, five bands for $245, ten bands for $490 and larger reseller packages.

HyperLink’s crowdfunding campaign runs from August 25 to September 30, with early bird and regular rewards expected to ship in October and November respectively. The band will be shipped to retailers in December and sold for $99.



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