Intense new DOOM trailer unleashes the power of Hell

The demons are back. The first trailer for DOOM‘s campaign mode was revealed this morning by Bethesda, and it’s way more intense than the original version you fought through on your Mac back in the 90’s. The game puts you in the boots of the iconic DOOM Marine who wakes up to find out the […]

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


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Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay

Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps).

„Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,“ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. „China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.“

Apple Pay in the country will work with the China UnionPay Quickpass, an existing contactless payment service. Customers will be able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a UnionPay QuickPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal to make a payment at participating stores.

Reaching a deal to bring Apple Pay to China has been a priority for Apple, given China’s increasing importance to the company. A partnership between Apple and China UnionPay was first hinted at in February, when the first iOS 8.3 beta introduced support for the China UnionPay network. Talks reportedly stalled later that month, but in the weeks ahead of today’s announcement, rumors pointing towards a deal picked up.

A recent rumor has suggested Apple is aiming to launch Apple Pay in China before February 8, 2016, which marks the start of Chinese New Year. According to Apple’s press release, the service will be available following „relevant tests and certification“ required by Chinese regulators.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: China UnionPay
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European Probe of Apple’s Irish Tax Policies Extended to 2016

A decision in the European Commission probe of Ireland’s alleged „sweetheart tax deal“ with Apple will likely be delayed until after the Irish elections in early 2016, as Financial Times reports the executive cabinet has now requested supplementary questionnaires in the lengthy investigation.

The European Commission began Apple’s Irish tax probe in June 2014, and the Brussels-based executive body formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in September 2014. A decision was originally expected earlier this year, but the additional information requested will likely cause further delays.

Apple’s tax policies have been scrutinized on numerous occasions over the past three years, as the company is said to utilize multiple subsidiary companies located in the Irish city of Cork to move money around without significant tax penalties. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and Ireland vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative ruling, according to the report.

Apple’s Irish tax probe is part of a larger crackdown by the European Commission on possible corporate tax avoidance in EU countries. Earlier this month, the commission reportedly accused McDonald’s of „benefiting from arrangements that allowed it to pay no tax on European royalties in Luxembourg,“ and Fiat and Starbucks were ordered in October to repay up to €30 million in back taxes.

Tags: Apple, European Union, corporate tax, European Commission, Ireland
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Apple Pay Gains 40 New Participating U.S. Issuers

Apple has updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list with 40 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has nearly 800 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

The newly added Apple Pay participating issuers are reflected below, although it’s worth noting that some 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:

American Heritage Federal Credit Union

Associated Credit Union

Bangor Savings Bank

Bank of Bourbonnais

Bank of Clovis

Bank of the Pacific

Baton Rouge Telco Federal Credit Union

BHCU

Cardinal Bank

Corning Credit Union

First Financial Credit Union (IL)

First National Bank of Trenton

First Nations Bank

First Republic Bank

Flint Area School Employees Credit Union

Glass City Federal Credit Union

Guaranty Bank and Trust Company

Hawthorn Bank

Hills Bank and Trust Company

Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union

Leader Bank, N.A.

Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union

Midcoast Federal Credit Union

Oatworth Capital Bank

Ohio Valley Bank

Partnership Financial Credit Union

Penn Liberty Bank

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union

Prime Merdian Bank

Reading Cooperative Bank

Republic Bank

Section 705 Federal Credit Union

Secured Advantage Federal Credit Union

Southern Bank

Southwest Missouri Bank

TowneBank

West Plains Bank and Trust Company

WesTex Federal Credit Union

Wilmington Savings Fund Society

WSFS Bank

Apple is committed to an international expansion of Apple Pay, having launched the mobile payments service in Australia and Canada last month in partnership with American Express. Apple Pay is also coming to Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain in 2016, and is rumored to launch in China by February 2016.

On the merchant side, Cinnabon, Chili’s, Domino’s, KFC and Starbucks will support Apple Pay in the U.S. starting in 2016.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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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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European court rules Apple and other tech companies are violating privacy

In a landmark decision Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that European Union regulators can override the Safe Harbor agreement, a 15-year-old accord that has — until now — allowed Apple, Google, Facebook, and about 4,500 other U.S. companies to transfer data from European users to the U.S. The court believes that the current […]

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


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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 Pay Adds 46 More Banks and Credit Unions in U.S.

Apple has once again updated its list of participating Apple Pay issuers, adding 46 more banks and credit unions to the list of institutions whose customers can set up credit and/or debit cards with the service. The new additions increase the number of banking institutions in the U.S. supporting Apple Pay to over 425, and just last month the service expanded to the United Kingdom, where most of the country’s major banks are already on board.

1st United Services Credit Union
Align Credit Union
Atlantic Regional FCU
Bank of Marin
Bank of Oklahoma
Central Pacific Bank
Community & Southern Bank
Countryside Bank
Dominion Credit Union
DuPage Credit Union
Dutch Point Credit Union
Electro Savings Credit Union
First Bank of Dalton
First Clover Bank
First Collinsville Bank
First County Bank
First Midwest Bank
First National Bank and Trust
First National Bank of McGregor
First State Bank Nebraska
Greater Iowa Credit Union
Gulf Coast Educators FCU
HarborOne Bank
Horizon Bank
Illinois National Bank
Jax Federal Credit Union
LGE Community Credit Union
Meadows Credit Union
Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union
Metro Health Services FCU
MidFirst Bank
Northwest Federal Credit Union
Premier Bank
SAC FCU
The Bank of Commerce
The Cooperative Bank
The Paducah Bank & Trust
Thomaston Savings Bank
TTCU The Credit Union
UniBank for Savings
United Bank
US Community Credit Union
USE Credit Union
USF Federal Credit Union
West Alabama Bank & Trust
Westerra Credit Union
With most of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. already supporting Apple Pay, most of the recent additions to Apple’s list are community banks and credit unions with relatively small numbers of customers. But for those who do bank with these institutions, Apple Pay support will be a welcome addition as merchant support for the contactless payments service continues to grow.



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Apple boosts bus drivers’ pay ahead of union vote

Apple has boosted pay for its contracted shuttle bus drivers ahead of a vote this weekend, in which unionized drivers in Silicon Valley will vote on a package for improved wages and benefits. Drivers are demanding hourly pay increases to $21-$25, which will then increase again to $22.50-$28.50 in three years. They also want pension […]

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