Apple almost signed Uber to handle its same-day deliveries

Apple nearly made a deal with Uber for its new same-day delivery service, before ditching them in favor of startup courier service Postmates Inc., according to a new report. Apple allegedly considered adopting Uber’s new delivery project, known internally as…Read more ›



Прочетете повече

Apple’s e-book antitrust monitor is charging for reading the paper

Michael Bromwich, the court-appointed antitrust monitor who infamously handed Apple an “unprecedented” legal bill of $138,432 for his first two weeks’ work, is back — and his latest eyebrow-raising offence is charging Apple to “review relevant media articles.” What does…Read more ›



Прочетете повече

June WWDC Launch Looking More Likely for 12-Inch Retina MacBook Air

Despite rumors earlier this week suggesting the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air could see a launch during Apple’s upcoming March 9 media event, The Wall Street Journal tonight released a report indicating the notebook won’t be shipping until Q2 2015. The site shared the tidbit in a detailed report on upcoming features that might be added to the larger-screened 12.9-inch „iPad Pro.“

While suppliers are gearing up to ship the new 12-inch MacBook Air in large quantities in the second quarter, Apple’s launch schedule remains unclear, the people said.

A Q2 2015 shipment date for the 12-inch MacBook Air suggests Apple could be planning to launch the notebook around June, possibly at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple has launched products during WWDC before, introducing the Mac Pro in 2013 and the Retina MacBook Pro in 2012.

Rendering of the 12-inch MacBook Air next to an existing MacBook Air by Martin Hajek
Aside from a potential launch date for the notebook, there’s one other significant point of interest in The Wall Street Journal‘s report – a clear distinction between the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Some users have speculated that due to the similarity in screen size and the iPad-like features rumored for the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air, the two products are actually one, but this new report makes it very clear that Apple is developing two separate product lines.

Separately, Apple also plans to broaden its product offering with a new 12-inch MacBook Air, people familiar with the matter said.

Earlier this year, Apple’s suppliers started mass production of a 12-inch MacBook Air, featuring a higher resolution display, they said.

There is some convergence between the two products, despite the fact that one is an iPad and one is a MacBook. The 12-inch MacBook Air is rumored to have iPad-like colors, fewer ports, and no Magsafe charger, while tonight’s WSJ report points towards an iPad with USB ports, but it’s likely the two products will continue to be separated by operating system.

Though Apple may not plan to launch the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air during its March 9 event, there’s still a good chance the company may refresh its existing 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air lineup, which are overdue for an update. Screenshots said to be from a 13-inch MacBook Air with a Broadwell processor and integrated Intel HD 6000 graphics were shared this afternoon, suggesting a refresh is imminent.




Прочетете повече

Original Apple Watch Health Features Were Dropped Due to Consistency Issues

Before Apple unveiled the Apple Watch last September, reports indicated the device would come with 10 sensors to track health and fitness data, leading some healthcare professions to find the unveiled Apple Watch’s health features disappointing. In a new report, the Wall Street Journal offers a look at the original Apple Watch health features that were dropped due to consistency problems.

Apple began developing the watch about four years ago, with a focus on health and fitness. It’s not unusual for Apple to experiment with many technologies or shift focus during product development, but the watch was especially challenging, people familiar with the matter said. Internally, the project became known as a “black hole” sucking in resources, one of these people said.

The Apple Watch originally featured censors that measured the conductivity of skin, allowing the device to detect stress levels and heart-rate monitoring similar to an electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG. Apple also experimented with ways to detect blood pressure or how much oxygen is in a user’s blood. However, a mix of consistency problems and potential oversight caused Apple to switch the focus of the device from health-related to a more general do-everything product.

The skin conductivity features didn’t perform well with people who had hairy arms or dry skin, while results varied depending on how tight an Apple Watch was worn on users’ wrists. Additionally, if Apple decided to use the health date to provide „health or behavioral advice“, the Cupertino company would have to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulators.

While these features were dropped for the first version of the Apple Watch, sources tell WSJ that they could appear in future versions of the device, echoing a Reuters report from September.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company’s objective with Apple Watch is to „change the way people live their lives“ and that people would be surprised by the breadth of what the device can do, which includes activity monitoring, reminding users to stand up after a certain time period and non-verbal communication with friends. Apple is currently asking developers to have their Apple Watch apps ready by mid-February, with some developers traveling to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters for help.

Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will launch in April. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will make five to six million units for the first quarter, with half of those units being the entry Apple Watch Sport and one-third being the mid-tier stainless-steel Apple Watch.




Прочетете повече

U.S. Justice Department Accused of Using Fake Cell Towers on Planes to Gather Data From Phones

The United States Justice Department has been using fake communications towers installed in airplanes to acquire cellular phone data for tracking down criminals, reports The Wall Street Journal. The program has reportedly been in place since 2007 and uses Cessna airplanes that operate out of „at least five“ metropolitan-area airports.

Aircraft in the program out outfitted with „dirtbox“ devices produced by Boeing that are designed to mimic cellular towers, fooling cellphones into reporting „unique registration information“ to track down „individuals under investigation.“ According to the WSJ, these devices let investigators gather „identifying information and general location“ data from thousands of cellular phones in one flight, and Apple’s encryption policies don’t prevent the collection of data.

Cellphones are programmed to connect automatically to the strongest cell tower signal. The device being used by the U.S. Marshals Service identifies itself as having the closest, strongest signal, even though it doesn’t, and forces all the phones that can detect its signal to send in their unique registration information. Even having encryption on one’s phone, such as Apple Co. ‘s iPhone 6 now includes, doesn’t prevent this process.

The technology is aimed at locating cellphones linked to individuals under investigation by the government, including fugitives and drug dealers, but it collects information on cellphones belonging to people who aren’t criminal suspects, these people said. They said the device determines which phones belong to suspects and „lets go“ of the non-suspect phones.

The fake tower devices are able to interrupt calls on „certain phones,“ with authorities attempting to minimize harm by ensuring they doesn’t interrupt emergency calls, and the technology can pinpoint a suspect’s cellphone location down to three meters.

The program is run by the U.S. Marshals Service, and some individuals involved have raised concerns about the legality of the operation and „if there are effective procedures“ in place to safeguard the handling of data acquired, as it is said to capture data from thousands of non-criminal individuals as well.

It is not known how often the flights take place as the WSJ‘s sources did not divulge that information, but they reportedly „take place on a regular basis.“ Justice Department officials did not confirm or deny the existence of the program when questioned, stating that a discussion of the matter could „allow criminal suspects or foreign powers to determine U.S. surveillance capabilities,“ but a representative said that Justice Department agencies comply with federal law and seek court approval for their activities.

A Verizon spokesperson said that the company was not aware of such a program and did not participate, while spokespeople from AT&T and Sprint declined to comment.

Note: Due to the political 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.




Прочетете повече