JCPenney Testing Apple Pay Support for Store Cards, Nationwide Rollout Coming in Spring 2016

JCPenney has started testing its store credit cards with Apple’s Apple Pay payments service, allowing customers at one location in Texas to add their JCPenney charge cards to Apple Pay. Customers in the Dallas–Fort Worth area visiting the JCPenney store at The Village at Fairview are able to participate in the Apple Pay pilot program, which is set to roll out to stores nationwide in the spring of 2016.

Customers with a JCPenney charge card receive a notice about the Texas pilot program when attempting to add a JCPenney card to Apple Pay using the Wallet app. The notification also includes details about the full launch of the JCPenney Apple Pay service.

Apple Pay support for store credit cards is a new feature, introduced alongside iOS 9 but announced at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Thus far, Kohl’s is the only major retailer that currently allows its store cards to be added to Apple Pay, but both Kohl’s and JCPenney have been touted as the two major partners for the feature.

iOS 9 also brought Apple Pay support for in-store loyalty cards, allowing customers to add their rewards cards to the Wallet app to further cut down on the number of physical cards that must be carried. Walgreens is the first retailer to support the Apple Pay rewards program.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: JCPenney
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Apple Promotes iPad in Classroom With New Education Profiles

Apple has shared a new Heart Anatomy education profile and a Philadelphia Performing Arts school profile that promote the iPad in the classroom.

The first profile shows how iPads allow Jodie Deinhammer, a science teacher at Coppell High School in Texas, to better educate her students about the complexity of the human heart using iTunes U, digital textbooks and apps including BioDigital Human, The Human Body Lite and MotiConnect.

“The heart unit is important because kids need to know how to take care of themselves and live a healthy life. Heart disease is a huge problem, and it’s something they don’t know a lot about. […]

With the heart unit, there are lots of great visualizations I could never provide before. Now students can just click on them on iPad, and it makes the learning more concrete, so it sticks with them.”

iBooks textbooks such as Life on Earth provide Deinhammer’s students with a closer look at heart anatomy and the complexities of blood flow through the heart muscle, while the iPad and other apps are also used in multiple lab activities for heart rate, histology, dissection and more.

“The iPad has afforded our students the opportunity to learn science at a deeper level. They’re able to make connections that weren’t really possible before the technology came into the classroom.”

The second profile provides a snapshot of how the Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter K-12 school, has used iPads to create custom learning materials and lesson plans for teachers. The school uses the iWork suite, iTunes U and other apps such as Elements 4D and Volcano 360º.

„You’ll never remember a test you took, but you will remember something you created. And you will remember the moment when a teacher says to you, ‘Wow, that’s really awesome.’ And those are the things our students get to take away with them.“ — Christine DiPaulo, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology

Apple has shared over a dozen educational profiles on its website to date.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: education
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Air (Don’t Buy)
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Apple Promotes iPad in Classroom With New Education Profiles

Apple has shared a new Heart Anatomy education profile and a Philadelphia Performing Arts school profile that promote the iPad in the classroom.

The first profile shows how iPads allow Jodie Deinhammer, a science teacher at Coppell High School in Texas, to better educate her students about the complexity of the human heart using iTunes U, digital textbooks and apps including BioDigital Human, The Human Body Lite and MotiConnect.

“The heart unit is important because kids need to know how to take care of themselves and live a healthy life. Heart disease is a huge problem, and it’s something they don’t know a lot about. […]

With the heart unit, there are lots of great visualizations I could never provide before. Now students can just click on them on iPad, and it makes the learning more concrete, so it sticks with them.”

iBooks textbooks such as Life on Earth provide Deinhammer’s students with a closer look at heart anatomy and the complexities of blood flow through the heart muscle, while the iPad and other apps are also used in multiple lab activities for heart rate, histology, dissection and more.

“The iPad has afforded our students the opportunity to learn science at a deeper level. They’re able to make connections that weren’t really possible before the technology came into the classroom.”

The second profile provides a snapshot of how the Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter K-12 school, has used iPads to create custom learning materials and lesson plans for teachers. The school uses the iWork suite, iTunes U and other apps such as Elements 4D and Volcano 360º.

„You’ll never remember a test you took, but you will remember something you created. And you will remember the moment when a teacher says to you, ‘Wow, that’s really awesome.’ And those are the things our students get to take away with them.“ — Christine DiPaulo, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology

Apple has shared over a dozen educational profiles on its website to date.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: education
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Air (Don’t Buy)
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Apple Pay Now Supports HSBC and Over 70 Other Issuers in U.S.

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 75 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 600 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

HSBC, one of the ten largest U.S. banks, highlights the complete list of Apple Pay participating issuers. As a disclaimer, it should be noted that some smaller banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple’s website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers:
Achieva Credit Union
Alcoa Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union
Alliance Credit Union
AmeriServ Financial Bank
APCO Employees Credit Union
Bank of American Fork
Bridgewater Savings Bank
Community Bank & Trust
Cross Keys Bank
Directions Credit Union
Eagle Bank
East Texas Professional Credit Union
Eastman Credit Union
Eaton Family Credit Union
FedEx Employees Credit Association
First Bank of Newton
First National Bank of Granbury
First Northern Credit Union
First State Bank of Colorado
First United Bank
First Western Trust
Fleur de Lis Federal Credit Union
Generations Federal Credit Union
Guaranty Bank Trust
Hastings City Bank
Haven Savings Bank
Heartland Bank
Heritage First Bank
HomeTown Bank
HSBC
IH Credit Union
Impact Bank
Jeanne D’ Arc Credit Union
Johnson Bank
Kennebec Savings Bank
LBS Financial Credit Union
Lewiston State Bank
MainStreet Bank
Marlborough Savings Bank
Marquette Savings Bank
MAX Credit Union
Members First Credit Union of Florida
Merco Credit Union
Miami Postal Service Credit Union
Monson Savings Bank
Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union
OceanFirst Bank
Omni Community Credit Union
One Bank & Trust
P1FCU
PeoplesBank
PeoplesChoice Credit Union
Perfect Circle Credit Union
Phenix-Girard Bank
Planters Bank & Trust Company
Point West Credit Union
Public Service Credit Union
Quest Federal Credit Union
Red Crown Federal Credit Union
Semiconductor of Maine Federal Credit Union
Service Credit Union
SIU Credit Union
Solarity Credit Union
Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union
Sterling Bank & Trust
Team One Credit Union
Texas Dow Employees Credit Union
The Park Bank
TMG Financial Services
Velocity Community Federal Credit Union
VisionBank
Western Rockies Federal Credit Union
Whitney Bank
York County Federal Credit Union

Apple Pay remains limited to the United States and United Kingdom, although Apple is committed to an international rollout of the mobile payments service in additional countries such as Canada and China in the future.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Apple is planning a November launch of Apple Pay in Canada, which was likely prematurely leaked by TD Canada Trust. Other rumored banks include BMO, CIBC, RBC and Scotiabank.



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New Apple TV Teardown Provides Closer Look at A8 Chip, Larger Heat Sink and Siri Remote

iFixit has posted a hardware teardown of the new fourth-generation Apple TV, providing a closer look at the set-top box’s A8 chip, flash storage, redesigned power supply with a larger heat sink and other logic board components. The website also provided a teardown of the accompanying Siri Remote.

Under the hood, the new Apple TV features a dual-core, 64-bit Apple A8 chip with 2GB of SK Hynix LPDDR3 SDRAM, custom Apple memory controller, SK Hynix NAND flash storage, Universal Scientific Industrial Wi-Fi module and SMSC USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet controller.

Apple TV 4 Components List
Apple A8 APL1011 SoC
SK Hynix H9CKNNNBKTBRWR-NTH 2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00045 Wi-Fi module
SMSC LAN9730 USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet controller
Apple 338S00057 custom memory controller
Texas Instruments PA61
Fairchild Semiconductor DF25AU 010D 030D
DP2700A1
SK Hynix H2JTEG8VD1BMR 32 GB NAND Flash
NXP 1112 0206 5271B4K
V301 F 57K C6XF G4

The new Apple TV also has a larger heat sink, which is likely a contributing factor to the set-top box’s taller form factor. The redesigned power supply is rated at 12V at 0.917A, compared to the third-generation Apple TV’s rating of 3.4V at 1.75A. The heat sink is situated above the heat-sensitive logic board.

The teardown of the Siri Remote reveals a ST Microelectronics low-power ARM Cortex-M3 MCU, Qualcomm CSR1010 Bluetooth radio, Texas Instruments low-power digital signal processor, the same Broadcom touch screen controller used in the iPhone 5s/5c and iPad Air, 410 mAh battery and a few other chips.

iFixit gave the new Apple TV a strong repairability score of 8 out of 10, with ten being the easiest to repair, because it has only a few major components, a replaceable power supply and standard Torx screws. It also found the Siri Remote has a wide gap, making it easy to pry apart for repairs.



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Just like Ahmed: Woz got arrested for building gadgets in school

Ahmed Mohamed can count Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak among his many supporters in the tech world. According to Woz’s most recent Facebook post, he sees a lot of himself in the 14 year old Texas boy who was arrested for bringing a homemade digital clock to school. While Ahmed’s teacher’s mistook his clock for a […]

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


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Apple Continues to Recruit Talent to Join Secretive Automotive Team

Apple continues to recruit talent to bolster its „Project Titan“ team, which is rumored to be researching an electric vehicle. Over the past several weeks, the company has hired multiple employees from Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, and other companies in the automotive and technology industries, likely to join hundreds of others already working on the so-called „Apple Car.“

Apple hired former Tesla Motors engineering manager Hal Ockerse last month to join its own software engineering team, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ockerse was employed at Tesla between July 2014 and August 2015, working on hardware architecture and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) components, including cameras, radars, LiDAR, and engine control units (ECUs).

Ockerse does not list his responsibilities at Apple, but it is likely that he is working on Apple’s car-related project. His experience prior to Tesla includes an eleven-year stint at Gentex Corporation, where as a research manager he worked on advanced driver assist solutions, a three-axis automotive electronic compass, custom designed HDR image cameras and sensors, and more.

Apple also recruited former Texas Instruments design engineer Subhagato Dutta to join its in-house technologies team in July. Dutta is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, known for its research on self-driving vehicles, and worked on an automotive algorithm and imaging algorithm development team at Texas Instruments between July 2012 and November 2013.

Yakshu Madaan joined Apple as a technical program manager in July, according to his LinkedIn profile. Madaan previously served as an operations manager at Tata Motors, the largest Indian automotive manufacturer, between July 2012 and August 2014. Madaan also designed and developed fuel injection strategies as a research assistant at the Indian Institute of Technology and UBC in early 2011.

Apple has been recruiting automotive experts since at least February for its automotive-related project, including former Tesla, Ford and GM employees, but there still remains some uncertainty as to whether Apple is working on its own vehicle or building upon its CarPlay platform for an enhanced in-car experience. As expected, the project remains highly secretive in Cupertino.

Last week, it was reported that former Tesla firmware engineer Jamie Carlson left the company to join Apple’s „Special Projects“ group in August, alongside several other autonomous vehicle experts. Apple also hired Doug Betts, former Senior Vice President of the Chrysler Group, and Paul Furgale, a researcher who specializes in autonomous vehicles, according to a report in July.



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A look at a Microsoft Specialty Store on launch day: Insider shirt design, thoughts, and more

Microsoft is holding events all across the globe today to celebrate the launch of Windows 10. We took a look at a Microsoft Specialty Store to get in on some of the excitement. Read more…

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