Apple releases iOS 8.1.1 update

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 18:50
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

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It’s a minor update, but it might make a difference.

Per MacRumors, Apple has released iOS 8.1.1, a minor update that includes several bug fixes. Apple first seeded the iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers on November 3.

iOS 8.1.1 is available immediately as an over-the-air download or through iTunes and includes bug fixes and increased stability and performance improvements for both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s, two of the older devices that support the operating system.

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Verizon Wireless adopts harsher early termination fees, draws criticism

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 11:07
Category: News, wireless

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Well, this should give you another reason to dislike Verizon.

Per Macworld and Droid Life, wireless carrier Verizon recently changed the terms of its customer agreement to state that the carrier will not discount its early termination fee (ETF) until the eighth month of service.

In other words, if you signed up for a new iPhone with Verizon in December, you wouldn’t see a reduction in your ETF until at least July. Verizon previously discounted its ETF by $10 every month beginning with the first month of service.

The new terms only apply to new customers that sign up for service on or after Friday, November 14th. Under the new terms, your ETF would reduce by “US$10 per month in months 8–18, US$20 per month in months 19–23, and US$60 in the final month of your contract term.”

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Apple seals UnionPay deal, takes step to incorporating Apple Pay into Chinese marketplace

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 11:30
Category: News, retail

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Apple may be a little bit closer to bringing Apple Pay to Chinese shores.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple announced a deal over the weekend where customers can use the system to link a China UnionPay credit or debit card to their Apple ID for one-tap App Store purchases, which could eventually lead to using their iPhones in retail stores, too.

Prior to the UnionPay deal, China’s iTunes Store customers were forced to set up pre-paid accounts linked directly to bank accounts — a process that was inconvenient and didn’t quick purchases easy.

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Apple informs some users of “unexpected delays” for some Retina iMac units

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 10:46
Category: iMac, News, retail

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You might have to get your loved one a nice side gift, as the really nice iMac you ordered for the holidays could be delayed.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of new orders for Apple’s recently launched 27-inch Retina iMac aren’t the only ones seeing delayed shipment times as Apple has just started informing some customers of unexpected delays for orders placed as long ago as last month.

Readers pointed to an email from Apple informing them that delivery of their shiny new iMac has been pushed back up to an additional two weeks. One reader contacted by Apple ordered the device on Oct. 31 and at the time was provided with a shipment estimate of 7-10 days and delivery estimate of Nov. 14-19.

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AT&T ceases “permacookie” tracking program for the time being, Verizon still enacting its own version

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 04:45
Category: iPhone, News, privacy, wireless

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There are consequences for when a wireless carrier installs something that apparently tracks its user base a little too closely with no convenient means of removal.

Per Macworld and ProPublica, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have been caught up in a privacy firestorm over their use of so-called “permacookies,” a method of tracking what their users do while browsing the Web with the intent of sharing that data with advertisers. Verizon’s permacookie program lives on, but AT&T has ceased the practice.

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Microsoft begins overhauling Skype, launches selected users to Skype for Web beta

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Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 11:19
Category: News, Software

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A while back, it was reported that Microsoft has been significantly overhauling Skype.

As of Friday, the company announced that it is starting to roll Skype out onto the Web. Per 9to5Mac, Skype for Web will allow users to chat, video call, and manage contacts from a web browser without having to download the Skype app. Microsoft is currently offering Skype for Web as a beta to select users.

To participate in the Skype for Web beta, Microsoft says to log on to Skype.com where the browser-based version of the video calling will be and check for an invitation. The company says its making invitations available to a small number of users to start and will expand to users worldwide “in the coming months.”

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Rumor: Department of Justice combining fixed-engine planes, fake cell towers to spy on cell phone users

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Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 11:22
Category: iPhone, Legal, Rumor, Uncategorized

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Well, you’re going to have to snoop on cell phones SOMEHOW, and the Department of Justice thinks a small, fixed-wing Cessna is the way to do it.

Per AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, a supposed secret spy program equips small aircraft with a device dubbed a “dirtbox,” which pulls data from mobile phones by masquerading as a cell tower. The project aims to identify criminals through their devices, but the wide net also snares cellphones used by the general public.

Purportedly operated by the U.S. Marshals Service’s Technical Operations Group, the dirtboxes are manufactured by Digital Receiver Technology, a subsidiary of Boeing, and installed on fixed-wing craft like those built by Cessna. The two-foot-square devices identify themselves as legitimate cell towers with the strong signals, tricking mobile phones into reporting IMSI information.

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Apple Pay now accounts for almost 1% of Whole Foods transactions

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Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 10:28
Category: iPhone, News, retail

wholefoods

The good news is that Apple Pay is starting to get some traction.

The bad news is that your organic produce still costs more than the human mind can actually perceive.

Per the cool cats at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, since going live in late October, Whole Foods has already processed over 150,000 Apple Pay transactions, this according to CIO Jason Buechel.

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Rumor: Chipmakers gearing up production of Apple Watch components for possible early 2015 launch

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:59
Category: Hardware, Rumor, wireless

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Apple may have begun ramping up production of the Apple Watch for release in the relatively near future.

Per 9to5Mac and DigiTimes, while Apple has yet to provide a specific launch date for the Apple Watch, leaving its early 2015 timeframe and internal memo revealing a spring launch after Chinese New Year as the only information to go by in terms of a release date, chipmakers in Apple’s overseas supply chain are reportedly gearing up to begin production of the Apple Watch. The report, citing industry sources, claims that between 30 to 40 million units of the upcoming wearable device have been ordered.

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Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

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Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

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