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Apple acquires real-time capture firm Faceshift, intended purposes unknown

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015, 07:11
Category: Finance, News, Software


It’s hard to say what Apple will do with its new toy, but it’s been confirmed that it just bought a real-time motion capture firm.

The company apparently acquired Faceshift, a Zurich-based capture firm, which has worked with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors, including Faceshift Studio software with plugins for Maya and Unity. The company was also working toward consumer-facing software like a Skype plugin that would support real-time avatars for video chat.


iFixit posts teardown of Smart Keyboard, finds interesting switches, conductive fabric among components

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015, 07:33
Category: Accessory, Hardware, MacBook, News


The extremely cool cats at iFixit tore into Apple’s new Smart Keyboard recently and found some interesting stuff inside.

The teardown, which was published today, reports that Apple used a conductive fabric as well as a key design borrowed from the 12-inch Retina MacBook.

The device uses multiple layers of fabric and plastic to keep it water and stain-resistant, repair firm iFixit noted. This includes microfiber, plastic, and what iFixit calls a nylon layer — in marketing, Apple refers to it simply as polyurethane.


Square launches NFC reader compatible with Apple Pay for small businesses

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2015, 08:10
Category: Apple Pay, News, retail


This could come in handy.

Mobile payments company Square today announced the launch of its new NFC reader within 100 small businesses around the country, letting stores who previously were unable to accept Apple Pay due to the lack of a required contactless reader, to begin supporting the service. The reader will act like all other Apple Pay-accepting terminals, letting users wave an iPhone or Apple Watch near the device to complete a purchase.


LG cancels LG Watch Urbane Second Edition LTE project, cites unspecified hardware issue

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2015, 07:06
Category: Android, Hardware, News, Wearables, wireless


It looks like LG’s upcoming smartwatch, the Urbane Second Edition LTE, won’t come to fruition. Citing an unspecified hardware issue, the project has been canceled. There is no word at this time if the device will be released at a later date, but for now, LG is calling this a full-on cancellation of the launch.

The company had the following comment to offer:

We understand that you are currently reviewing our latest smartwatch; however, late in the quality assurance process for the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, our engineers were made aware of a hardware issue which affects the day-to-day functionality of the device. After further investigation, the decision was made to cancel the rollout of the Urbane 2nd Edition LTE due to the complicated nature of the issue.

Whether the device will be available in the future will be decided at a later time. For now, our top priority is to ensure that only products that meet our very specific quality standards are available for purchase.


Apple addresses charging issue requiring hard restart with iPad Pro

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 20th, 2015, 07:11
Category: iOS, iPad Pro, News


This may be the first fix Apple has to address with the iPad Pro.

Only days after buying theirs, some customers began complaining about an issue that caused the iPad Pro to become unresponsive after charging, requiring a hard restart to restore functionality.

Apple has issued a support document letting customers know it’s looking into the problem and recommending the aforementioned hard restart as an interim fix.


Apple Pay launched in Australia through American Express partnership

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2015, 08:51
Category: Apple Pay, Finance, News


Apple Pay has just launched in Australia.

In a somewhat limited capacity, but it’s launched.

On Thursday, Apple, partnering with American Express, launched Apple Pay in Australia.

At present, no co-branded cards are currently supported, and only stores equipped for AmEx wireless payments are accepting transactions. This does include major chains though, among them Coles, Harvey Norman, Starbucks, Woolworths, and others.


iFixit tears down Apple Pencil, posts findings

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2015, 08:44
Category: Accessory, Hardware, News


The coolest of felines at iFixit have torn down the Apple Pencil and found some amazing stuff inside.

The crew, which had to resort to opening the device with a small circular saw and breaking a flex cable in the process, found that the plastic outer casing reveals a metal inner one. The tip contains two separate emitters, used to determine both the angle and orientation of the Pencil in order to adjust the width of the pen stroke.


95 banks, credit unions, including H&R Block, added to Apple Pay list

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 08:57
Category: Apple Pay, Finance, News


Apple on Tuesday added yet more banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay issuers, bringing the grand total to over 740.

Among these was tax preparer H&R Block, which offers the prepaid Emerald debit card.

Acme Federal Credit Union

Alpine Bank

Alpine Credit Union

Altier Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union

American Trust and Savings Bank

Ashland Credit Union

Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union

Avidia Bank


Instagram changes APIs, feed access to third-party apps following discovery of malware

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 07:45
Category: Developer, iOS, News, security, Software


In the wake of a security breach, you make changes.

Following the recent discovery of the InstaAgent malware, which was Instagram passwords from users, Instagram has instituted much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively killing off a large number of apps that read Instagram feeds.

Over on its developer web site, Instagram explained that its API is changing, the way it distributes its feed is changing and the current API is being shut down. The company offered the following comment:

We’ve updated our Platform Policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:

Help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.

Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy, and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.

Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media, and share media using web embeds.


Early Apple Pencil orders in the U.S. move closer to shipment

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015, 07:26
Category: Accessory, News, retail


If you ordered an Apple Pencil last week, there’s a good chance it’s getting ready to ship.

Since the launch if the iPad Pro, supplies of the Apple Pencil have been constrained. At launch, there were no Apple Pencils or Smart Keyboards available for purchase in the U.S. with in-store pickup, and the first online orders listed delivery dates of November 19 at the earliest, more than a week after the iPad Pro became available.

On Tuesday, a number of pre-order customers are seeing some movement with their orders, receiving notifications that their Apple Pencils are now preparing for shipment. Current estimates from some customers have the Apple Pencil arriving between November 20 to November 24.