Apple’s data centers to be powered by water? [update]

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Apple, Business, Environment, News, The Apple Core

green-energy-plugI don’t think Greenpeace can say that Apple isn’t trying. Apple’s huge data center in North Carolina, which powers iCloud, uses huge amounts of power, and until recently has been utilizing available sources of energy which are primarily coal-burning sources such as those supplied by companies such as North Carolina’s Duke Energy. This is something about which Apple has been catching flak from environmentalists, but late last year, Apple took control of a project built by Earth By Design (EBD), a Oregon-based developer of green energy, that uses small Kaplan turbines built adjacent to a local irrigation canal. According to WIRED;

“[...] a regulatory filing [says that] the project will generate 5 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power a small town, but a fraction of what Apple’s Prineville, Oregon, data center will ultimately require. As users increasingly store their data and photos in the iCloud, Apple has been forced to rapidly ramp up the number of servers it runs in the iCloud. In the past few years, the company has developed new data centers in Prineville, Maiden, North Carolina, and Reno, Nevada.”

Greenpeace has lauded this as a groundbreaking move by Apple. According to Greenpeace analyst Gary Cook, “This is certainly the first time I’ve seen this being this done by a private company and not a utility.”. Meanwhile, other companies have turned to solar and wind to power their data centers which is just as important in the move towards more responsible power usage by major technology companies.

 

Update:

If you’d like a more in-depth look at the 45-Mile Hydroelectric Project and how it works, check out Jason O’Grady’s post on ZDNet.

 

 

Update Rundown for April 14th, 2014

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 08:31
Category: Apps, Mac, Microsoft, Software

software-updateEvery so often we like to post info on updates of some of our favorite software along with some high profile apps that are pretty essential to anyone on a Mac. This information is brought to you by updates I get from developers, but mostly by MacUpdate, although not officially, because that is what I use to keep all my apps up to date. I also like to add some value by throwing in some extra notes from my experiences. So let’s get to it!

TaskTime4 5.1.5

This app for tracking your time and printing invoices has been my goto for my freelance work for years. It’s inexpensive ($20) and the developer is very responsive.

  • Interface tweaks
  • improved functioning of Category popup menu
  • fixed sorting project reports by clients
  • fixed pause button size problem with autopause enabled
  • fixed stop button issue (moved timing buttons to toolbar)
  • fixed reports bug

 

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Amazon grabs a new demographic…comic book readers

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Amazon, Announcement, Business, iPad

comics-by-comixologyIf you love comic books and love reading on your iPad, you’ve probably heard of comiXology. The company (and app) are responsible for bringing comic books into the digital age of online purchasing and reading content on a mobile device. So it was only a matter of time before it attracted the eye of the largest online source for purchasing reading material. ComiXology’s CEO, David Steinberger, posted the news on their web site Thursday afternoon that they had been purchased by Amazon.

 

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Heartbleed bug hits the Internet

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014, 08:25
Category: Announcement, Hacks, privacy, security, Websites

heartbleedA newly announced bug, dubbed “Heartbleed” has got online companies on the run as they race to patch the insecurity. In spite of all the current fervor however, the bug has actually been around for about two years. It may also be the first wide-scale bug to have its own web page and logo (heartbleed.com). Heartbleed is based on a fault in functionality in the widely used OpenSSL library. OpenSSL is the cryptographic software that protects information being transferred from server to server throughout the internet. It is meant to stop hackers from intercepting secure information such as logins, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

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Greg Christie retiring from Apple

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 09:11
Category: Announcement, Apple, iPhone, Patents, PDA, User Interface

apple_logoAfter 18 years with Apple, Human Interface chief Greg Christie is leaving the company at the end of the year. Christie was instrumental in the development of the first iPhoneOS. There were recent suggestions that the retirement announcement was promoted by difficulties regarding working with Senior VP of Design, Jony Ive. Apple has denied any problems in their official announcements, and have stated that Christie has been planning his retirement from Apple for some time, and that he will be staying on until the end of the year while some restructuring of Apple’s Human Interface Group takes place.

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Could the Facebook app be killing your battery?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Apps, battery, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

ios7-facebook-logo-iconWe recently did a piece on iPhone battery saving tips, but it looks like we need to add another one to the list. Evidence has been found that Facebook’s iOS app may be a suspect in shortening battery life. The web site overthought.com, run by Scotty Loveless, has its own battery saving tips which adds Facebook’s app as a culprit. Being an ex-Apple Genius gave Scotty some extra insight into his own iPhone’s battery drain. Fueled by evidence collected over the years in the support field, and recent finger-pointing to the iOS 7.1 update as the cause for many users’ battery woes, he set out to pinpoint the most likely, and serious, battery draining problems.

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Apple’s “Spaceship” Campus nearing construction launch date

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014, 16:42
Category: Apple, News

As recent photos have shown, Apple may be close to breaking ground to begin construction of its new campus, slated to be finished sometime in 2o16. Apple Toolbox has been keeping an eye on site developments and has just released another batch of photos showing the current status of the new campus’ home. Photos taken nearly a month ago had shown that several building were still standing on the site. Now it appears that the area has finally been cleared and that it appears a number of heavy construction vehicles have arrived and are further preparing the area.

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An iWatch as soon as this summer?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014, 16:29
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

xl_Apple iWatch 2-1The latest rumors on Apple’s supposed entry into the wearables market suggests that the device may hits the shelves as early as this summer, sometime after WWDC. The report comes from the Economic Daily News out of China and is claiming that Taiwan’s Quanta Computer will be the exclusive manufacturer of the iWatch, initially producing sixty-five million of the devices. Apple is thought to be producing a chip specifically for the iWatch based on the same architecture as the A7 which currently runs the iPhone 5S, and will be produced by Samsung. As Cult of Mac points out, regardless of the heated battles between the two companies, Samsung is still the only place to go for high-output production of ARM based chips. The report goes on to reveal many of the details we’ve heard before, such as the display being made from sapphire glass and that the watch’s functions will be focused on biometrics and integrate tightly with Apple’s Healthbook app.

 

[iWatch concept courtesy of Venestudio Designs]

 

 

iPhone Tips: Improving Touch ID accuracy

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, 09:37
Category: Apple, iOS, iPhone, security, Software, Tips

touchid-iphone5s-fingerprint-sensor-cropSince I was in a fingerprint scanning news mood, I thought it would be a good time to share this tip that I learned recently. Courtesy of iOS 7.1, you can now add additional training to your Touch ID settings in order to improve accuracy. In iOS 7.0.x, the only way to try and improve Touch ID was really to start over, and once it told you that the training was finished, you could opt to continue adding more scans of your finger. In 7.1, Apple made it fairly painless.

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Apple’s Touch ID vs. Samsung fingerprint scanner

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Android, Apple, iOS, iPhone, Software, User Interface

touch-id-iconIn three days, anyone who has been longing to get their hands on a new Samsung Galaxy S5 will get their wish, assuming quantities are sufficient. The internet has already been awash with reviews and first looks, but video demos of Samsung’s fingerprint scanner, making its debut on the S5, have been of particular interest. Over on YouTube, user iCrackUriDevice has a pretty thorough comparison between the S5’s scanner and Apple’s Touch ID scanner on the iPhone 5S. (does anyone else see the irony in the 5S vs. the S5?)

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