Apple joins Google, other tech companies in resisting ‘troubling’ FBI search warrant

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Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2017, 05:32
Category: Amazon, Apple, Google, iOS, Legal, Microsoft, News, security

Apple has joined Amazon and Microsoft in a court filing which supports Google’s decision to resist an FBI warrant demanding that it hand over emails stored outside the USA. The tech companies argue that this would set a ‘troubling’ precedent.

As reported, the FBI served search warrants ordering Google to surrender emails belonging to suspects in a criminal investigation. The emails themselves were stored on a server outside the USA. Google, in turn, refused, arguing that a domestic search warrant could not apply to data stored in a foreign country.

A Pennsylvania court both disagreed and instructed Google to comply with the warrant. Google has since appealed the ruling, with Apple, Amazon and Microsoft jointly filing an amicus brief in support of Google.

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Cortana updated to version 2.0.0, incorporates overhauled features, fixes

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Date: Monday, March 13th, 2017, 05:59
Category: iOS, Microsoft, News, Software

If you’re curious about Cortana on iOS, Microsoft has overhauled the app and released version 2.0.0 on the App Store.

The company on Friday released an updated Cortana app with the goal of simplifying how the AI assistant works on iOS.

The refreshed app loads faster, and defaults into listening for voice commands and questions. The homescreen can also display Google Now-style information cards on items like news, weather, traffic, package deliveries, and nearby restaurants.

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Touch Bar functionality arrives for Office for Mac suite

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Date: Friday, February 17th, 2017, 05:10
Category: MacBook Pro, Microsoft, News, Software, Touch Bar

You can now use the 2016 MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar with Office for Mac.

Following a brief beta preview, Microsoft has rolled out Touch Bar functionality for the feature.

Originally announced less than 12 hours after the MacBook Pro launch, Touch Bar support is being added to all of the main Office apps, according to release notes for the productivity suite. Wider availability of the feature began on Thursday, just eight days after users enrolled in Microsoft’s beta testing program were able to try it out for the first time.

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Tim Cook speaks out against fake news, cites tech companies’ responsibility towards the issue

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Date: Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, 05:53
Category: Google, Microsoft, News

It’s not easy operating in a world where “fake news” has become a term.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in between tours of schools and meetings with developers in a trip to Britain, commented about the scourge of fake news in comments to The Telegraph.

Cook, who pointed to false stories that spread like wildfire across the internet as a “big problem in a lot of the world,” stated that tech companies have a responsibility to intervene,

“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” Cook said. “There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic. We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will.”

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Microsoft offers Touch Bar features in Office for Mac via Office Insider beta program

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Date: Thursday, February 9th, 2017, 05:30
Category: MacBook Pro, Microsoft, News, Software, Touch Bar

This could be pretty nifty.

Following the original October event for the 2016 MacBook Pro, wherein it was announced that Microsoft Office would offer Touch Bar integration in the coming months, this appears to be about to come true.

Microsoft has announced that Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook would feature Touch Bar support, including quick access to text formatting, object ordering and other tools.

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Apple joins coalition of 97 companies filing amicus brief against Trump immigration ban

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Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, 05:41
Category: Google, Legal, Microsoft, News

When 97 companies come pounding on your door, it may be time to listen.

Apple, along with 96 other companies, including Silicon Valley powerhouses such as Google and Facebook, filed an amicus brief late on Sunday to oppose the immigration order introduced by US President Donald Trump. An amicus brief is a legal filing that allows parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to offer their opinions to the court.

The brief says an open-ended ban does not aid America’s national security and instead undermines its interests. It notes that 200 of the companies in the Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.

Other backers include Alphabet (via Google), Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Uber. Amazon is not listed but this is because Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, is already backing the original lawsuit. The amicus brief legally supports the cases filed in Washington and Minnesota.

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Microsoft hints at bringing Visual Studio to macOS, launch date unknown

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Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 2016, 05:12
Category: Developer, Microsoft, News, Software

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It’s a sign of both Microsoft and Apple growing up to the point that they’re sharing development tools for each other’s platforms.

Microsoft has announced that it will be launching Visual Studio, its primary coding interface, for macOS. This has been a long time coming, but it’ll allow developers to easily write for platform-independent cloud services like Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s Amazon Web Services.

The software is based on app development platform Xamarin Studio, and the change could encourage Mac and iOS developers to make more apps for Windows, as these users will no longer have to buy a Windows computer or set up a virtual machine to access Visual Studio.

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Tech media godfather David Bunnell remembered

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Date: Thursday, October 20th, 2016, 12:18
Category: Macworld Expo, Microsoft, News

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On Tuesday, October 18th, technology journalist David Bunnell, who also founded PC Magazine, PC World and Macworld, passed away in his home in Berkeley, California. He was 69 years old.

Bunnell, whose career included working at MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico, worked alongside Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

Bunnell attended the University of Nebraska from 1965 to 1969, graduating with a B.A. in history, was active in the anti-Vietnam war movement and was elected president of the Students for a Democratic Society.

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Microsoft releases Pix, goes toe to toe with built-in iOS camera app

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Date: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016, 16:26
Category: iOS, Microsoft, News, Software

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Microsoft is attempting to hone in on the iPhone camera’s turf.

The tech giant’s research arm has launched Pix, which enhances the photos that users take in a variety of ways, on Wednesday morning. The app is designed to make photos look better and even improves on Apple’s Live Photos ability to capture scenes that have moving elements in them.

The free app is now available on the iOS App Store and is particularly well-suited to take pictures of people, and is built to make adjustments to a photo on the fly as the scene changes. That way, the exposure of an image should always be tuned to the right conditions. It recognizes faces and uses Microsoft’s Hyperlapse technology to stabilize video shot with the app as well.

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Cortana intelligent assistant app now available in App Store

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Date: Wednesday, December 9th, 2015, 08:08
Category: iOS, Microsoft, News, Software

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This could be something cool to play with.

Microsoft, which has been offering Cortana as a small-scale beta since last month, has announced that Cortana is available on the App Store now.

Even so, Cortana isn’t expected to have quite as deep a functionality as Siri, which is deeply embedded into iOS. Still, you can tinker with it and see how it fares with the questions you might have to ask it.

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