ISIS calls Anonymous ‘idiots’, but urges members to exercise caution online

ISIS has hit back in response to a declaration of war by hacking group Anonymous, calling them „idiots.“ The terror group, however, posted guidelines and urged its members to exercise caution online. Read more…

Tim Cook: iPad Pro Will Replace Notebooks and Desktops for ‘Many, Many People’

Ahead of the launch of the iPad Pro, Apple executives have been doing a series of interviews to drum up excitement and interest in the device. Earlier today, The Independent published an interview with Tim Cook where he shared his thoughts on the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro’s target market.

This afternoon, The Telegraph published a second interview where Tim Cook spoke further on his vision of the iPad Pro as a PC replacement and how tablets are subsuming the PC market. According to Cook, the iPad Pro will serve as a replacement for a notebook or desktop computer for „many, many people.“

„I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?“ […]

„Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.“

Cook also said the iPad Pro will be highly appealing to artists and other creatives, pointing towards the ease of use of the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro’s sound system, two features he also highlighted in his earlier interview with The Independent.

According to Cook, sales of the new Apple TV were „very strong,“ a sentiment he echoed for the Apple Watch, which will „set a new record this quarter.“ Cook also said Apple doesn’t have plans to introduce sensors or other health features that would cause the FDA to get involved with the device. He didn’t rule out the possibility of other products that require FDA approval, like apps.

We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it – maybe an app, maybe something else.“

Tim Cook’s interview, where he also speaks on the iPad mini 4 and device cannibalization, the health benefits of the Apple Watch, and the possibility of an Apple subscription service is well worth reading over at The Telegraph.

Apple’s iPad Pro will go on sale online on Wednesday, November 11. Pricing for the iPad Pro starts at $799 for the entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model. A 128GB Wi-Fi only model is available for $949, and a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model is available for $1,079.

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L.A. schools to receive $6.4m from botched iPad deal

The long-running disaster that was the L.A. Unified School District scheme to provide iPads to every student, teacher and campus administrator is apparently over — with Apple among the companies agreeing to pay out a $6.4 million settlement. The tentative payout is hopefully the last phase in an aborted $1.3-billion plan for the second-largest district […]

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


The only thing better than beautiful bikes? Innovative bike gear

LAS VEGAS — If you need proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the bike industry, look no further than Interbike. The massive bike show here is an undeniable indication that innovators are still plugging away in their garages, trying to build the next big thing and prep it for Kickstarter. Independent […]

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


Apple Music Lands Over 20,000 Indie Labels as Beggars Group and Merlin Sign Deal

Apple Music has signed two major indie music rights holders Beggars Group and Merlin Network, which represent over 20,000 indie labels and distributors, reports Billboard. The licensing agencies agreed to sign up for Apple Music after Apple changed course and agreed to pay artists on a per-stream basis during the streaming music service’s three-month trial period.

British singer Adele is signed to Beggars Group label XL Recordings (via DeviantArt)

„I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about,“ said Merlin CEO Charles Caldas. „With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.“

Beggars Group is a British company that distributes labels 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records and XL Recordings among others, representing artists such as Adele, Arcade Fire and Radiohead, and helping along the careers of Basement Jaxx, M.I.A, The Prodigy and others. Merlin is an aggregator of several smaller labels that have represented music groups such as The xx.

Billboard obtained a copy of the full Apple Music letter sent to Merlin Network members:

Dear Merlin Member

I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about. With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.

As you know Merlin has not historically had a direct contract with Apple. Apple has direct deals with our members, and that continues to be the case. Therefore, the amendments referred to above will apply to your existing direct agreements, and the amended contract will shortly appear on iTunes Connect. However, Apple has indicated that in the future they are open to engaging with Merlin as a central point of communication and negotiation for our membership.

Apple has a long standing, deep rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work. We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that’s good for the long term and we look forward to its launch on June 30.

We would remind you as ever that each member must make its own independent decisions in relation to Apple Music and its business in general.

Apple Music has also been endorsed by independent music advocate group Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), an agreement reached just hours after the Beggars Group and Merlin deals, according to Billboard. WIN was established in 2006 to address the business, creative and market access issues faced by indie artists and the larger independent music sector.





UK Indie Labels Say Apple Music Free Trial Could ‘Literally Put People Out of Business’ [iOS Blog]

Apple’s newly announced music streaming service, Apple Music, is upsetting a handful of independent United Kingdom-based music labels who house artists such as Adele and Arctic Monkeys (via The Telegraph). Under the terms being proposed by Apple, labels will receive no compensation during the three-month free trial given to Apple Music users. The labels argue that this trial period will „literally put people out of business,“ and refuse to support the service, which launches in under two weeks on June 30.

According to Andy Heath, the chairman of industry lobby group UK Music, no British independent labels have agreed to Apple’s terms or plan to in the future. Most of the labels claim Apple hasn’t thoroughly prepared the labels for the launch, and that the time between its announcement and launch has left little time for contract negotiations.

“If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business,“ Heath stated. „Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.

Apple hasn’t thought this through at all and it’s not like them. They can’t spring a contract like this on us three weeks from release.“

Apple has attempted to reassure skeptical labels that once the three-month free trial ends, Apple Music will support a 71.5 percent revenue sharing contribution to labels backing the streaming service. The number will even be slightly higher – about 73 percent – outside of the United States to counterbalance the no royalty payment policy during the trial period. It’s still not enough for some labels, according to Heath.

“I think the dynamic here is nothing to do with the royalty rates but there are elements of these deals that are just too difficult for smaller labels to do. It will literally put people out of business.

Smaller labels would be completely screwed. Apple just has to move on this.”

Apple Music was officially unveiled last week during WWDC as a three-tiered service with basic music streaming, a live global radio station, and a social media platform that allows fans to follow favorite artists. The long-awaited service will officially launch on June 30 with a three-month trial period that will allow everyone to try it out for the summer. Afterwards, Apple Music will cost $9.99 per month for users who want to stick around.





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