Amazon raises Prime pricetag to $99

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Amazon, Business, News, retail

amazon-money1Back in February, we wrote about rumors that Amazon might be raising the cost of its Prime service as much as $40. Amazon decided to split the difference rather than alienate all its customers by only raising the price by $20, but it seems that was enough to rile up a lot of Amazon Prime customers into threatening to stop paying for the service. An email was recently sent to current subscribers to notify them of the change which included an explanation for the price increase;

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”

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Pebble updates device hardware and iOS app to version 2.0.2

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Accessory, App Store, Installation, iOS, iPhone, News, Software, Wearables

Pebble-202-updatePebble has released the latest software for the Pebble Smartwatch. Once the iOS Pebble app is downloaded or updated, it will prompt to let it update the firmware on the watch, leaving both at version 2.0.2. The update includes the following;

Pebble OS Firmware, ver. 2.0.2

  • Fixes an issue preventing some users from successfully installing the Pebble OS 2.0 firmware onto their watches.

Pebble App for iOS, ver. 2.0.2

  • More JavaScript apps included!
  • Fixed a number of crashes.

No update for the the recently updated Pebble app for Android to Pebble 2.0…YES, it’s out now! More on that in a future post.

 

 

Apple finally ditches 2nd Gen iPad

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPad, News

elipad2Tuesday, Apple finally retired the iPad 2, replacing it with the 16 GB 4th Generation iPad. “But wasn’t the 4th Gen iPad retired?”, you ask. Yes, the 4th Generation iPad was officially discontinued in October of last year, but it appears Apple felt it needed a new lease on life when compared to the aging iPad 2. Like the original iPad mini (still available) the 4G iPad is ONLY available in a 16 GB version, now acting as Apple’s entry-level “large” tablet device. This now means that the original iPad mini has the only non-retina display among the iPad and iPhone lineups. The iPad 2 was also the last device in the iPad line to sport the old 30-pin dock connector, leaving the iPhone 4S as the sole device in Apple’s current product line to still have one.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.31.10

Governor of Arizona vetoes anti-gay bill

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2014, 21:58
Category: Apple, Legal, News, Social

Brewer_SB1062_vetotweetYou may have heard that last Thursday, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill (SB1062) that would allow Arizona business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers, as an extension of asserting their religious beliefs. The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote, then went to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to be approved or vetoed. The bill immediately became the subject of criticism and protests from not only LGBT groups, but also high-profile companies and organizations. Of the latter, the most significant of these, to Arizona at least, were Apple and the NFL. Apple, in November, announced plans to build a sapphire glass plant in Arizona which would bring jobs and other income.

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Lisa mouse used by Steve Jobs is retreived from time capsule

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Apple, History, News

Jobs-83-Lisamouse-1A video that was acquired by CNET that shows part of the excavation of the “Steve Jobs Time Capsule” recording during the show Diggers on the National Geographic Channel from last year. The show is gearing up for its season premiere, and full details of the excavation of the Steve Jobs Time Capsule will start off the season on February 25. As the story goes, Steve Jobs gave a talk at the Aspen International Design Conference in 1983. In that talk, he talked about the future of technology and eluded to several concepts such as the iPad, wireless networking, and cloud services such as the App Store.

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Shipping estimates for the Mac Pro get push back again

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Date: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, 12:25
Category: Apple, Desktop Mac, Mac Pro, News, retail

Mac Pro assembly lineIt appears that the shipping dates for the new Mac Pro have been knocked back to April as Apple struggles to meet the demand for the new trash can cylindrical tech wonder. Apple’s only response?

“Demand for the all new Mac Pro is great and it will take time before supply catches up with demand.”

I think we knew that. Looks like everyone will have to struggle with their aging, silver behemoth for a few more months.

 

MacPro-Aprilship

Critical update for Flash released

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2014, 09:56
Category: Hack, Mac, Malware, News, security, Software, Windows

adobe-flash-playerEarlier it was Java, now it has been discovered that Adobe’s Flash software also has a vulnerability that gives complete control over compromised systems to hackers. This vulnerability, fixed in the just released version 12.0.0.44, affects Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.43 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh and Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.335 and earlier versions for Linux, although Linux was listed as having a lower priority rating. Adobe has detailed the problem in a security bulletin. All users are recommended to update Flash on their computers, as well as Google’s Chrome browser which has it’s own Flash component. The version of Chrome that includes this fix is 32.0.1700.107 and should update this automatically, but you may have to restart the browser for the correct version to register in the “About Google Chrome” window. If you want to check which version you are running before going through the update process, you can go to this page on Adobe’s site. You can download OS specific installers from here. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply two Flash updates, one for IE and one for any alternative browsers (Firefox, Opera, e.g.). Both updaters can be found on the download page. On a Mac, if you already have Flash installed, you can also go to the Flash Player settings in System Preferences and click on the Check for Updates button in the Advanced tab. Our friends at Kaspersky Labs make another appearance in the Acknowledgements of the security bulletin where Adobe thanks them for discovering the vulnerability;

“Adobe would like to thank the following individuals for reporting the relevant issues and for working with Adobe to help protect our customers:

Alexander Polyakov and Anton Ivanov of Kaspersky Labs (CVE-2014-0497)”

So if you’ve got the time now, and you probably should make the time, get those updaters downloaded and installed. Almost makes you want to remove both Java and Flash doesn’t it?

Apple starts repairing iPhone 5C screens in stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, 09:28
Category: Apple, AppleCare, Hardware, iPhone, News, retail, Retail Store

AppleGeniusBarBack in November we mentioned Apple’s plans to start offering in-store screen replacements for the iPhone 5S and 5C. This week, Apple started its roll-out of iPhone 5C repairs, so if you’ve got an iPhone 5C with a cracked or broken screen, the Geniuses at the local Apple Store can replace it while you wait, rather than sending it out. This makes two models that can be repaired in-store, the iPhone 5 and now the 5C. The 5S, for now, still needs to be sent into Apple for repairs, possibly due to the added complications of working around the Touch-ID sensor/home button. No news yet on when the 5S plan will get rolled out. As we reported before, the in-store replacement cost should be $150, with the price being $80 if your iPhone is covered by the original warranty or an AppleCare plan. The policy should be rolled out to all stores by the end of this week, but could take a little longer if the store is not in or near a large city.

I’m back! Did you miss me? Reviewing last week.

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014, 08:37
Category: Apple, Article, Consumer Electronics, Google, News, Opinion

newspaperI was sick for most of last week, which accounted for the crickets you might of heard when you loaded up the PowerPage. While I get back up to speed on all the current tech news, I thought I’d provide a short list of key articles from last week by other tech sites to get you caught up in case you missed them.

Target data hack only the beginning of massive, sophisticated attack – BGR.com

This is one story that hit close to home. Because of the breach, my credit card company is reissuing my credit card with a new account number which means I get to spend a day or so updating ALL of my automatic billing accounts. Have you noticed this sort of thing seems to be happening more frequently lately? Frankly, I’m starting to consider switching to stuffing my mattress with cash.

Google’s smart contact lens tracks glucose levels for diabetics – AppleInsider.com

Wow, Google really wants to do do stuff with your eyes. While I applaud the clever idea of “always on” monitoring of glucose levels, I have to question why this tech needs to be stuck in your eye. While tears can provide this information, blood is actually the better source for it. Current glucose meters already require regular calibration and a margin of error, partly due to variations in blood. How are you going to do this with a contact lens? And how do you account for the many people who can’t or won’t wear contact lenses, and adding prescriptions to them for people who do wear them? Wouldn’t it be better to have a sensor imbedded under the skin, that anyone could use and didn’t have to be constantly cleaned, removed, replaced, etc.? Eyes are already responsible for a lot of data, do we need to be sticking more things in them?!

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules – MacObserver.com

If you aren’t familiar with the battle for net neutrality, you should start educating yourself because this won’t go away for some time, and if people aren’t paying attention, they could just get royally screwed by large corporations that are fighting it. The “net” part refers to the Internet and in a nutshell, without net neutrality, everything you do on the internet (which IS practically everything) will cost you more, especially your connection to it. This ruling is kind of a drop in the bucket, but it is a minor setback in the fight to maintain neutrality and keep the greedy profit-seeking providers from gouging everyone just to watch a movie or read an email.

Beware of this Apple ID phishing scam – TUAW.com

I think people on the whole have been getting better about detecting phishing scams, where unscrupulous types attempt to sucker innocent people into willingly handing over their account information by posing as an email from a service they use. Now someone is trying this with an email that looks like a security warning from Apple. Read the details in the article and remember to ALWAYS be cautious with these kinds of requests and make sure the messages are actually coming from where they say they are.

Box overhauls iOS apps and offers 50GB of free storage for life – Macworld.com

Now THIS is a hot tip, and one I took advantage of myself. I’ve had a Box account for some time, but never really used it because the default, free account only provided 5 GB of storage and I have quite a bit more available to me over at their competitor, Dropbox (Oooo…I should write an article about how I did that.). Also, at the time, Box wasn’t as slick and well integrated with the Mac and iDevices as Dropbox. Well, now Box is throwing down the gauntlet and offering 50 GB of storage to users that create (or have) an account and download the iPhone and/or iPad apps, for the next 3 weeks or so at least. Plus, the new iApps have been overhauled and look pretty spiffy. I won’t give up Dropbox, but I’m sure going to find a use for that 50 GB. Can you say “online backup”?

Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee – 9to5Mac.com

This was kind of a surprise, but with wearable computing and home automation being the hot topics at CES this year, it seems to make sense. Perhaps I’m more surprised Apple didn’t acquire them given its pedigree and Apple-like design. While I was kind of disappointed to see another successful company swallowed up by a big fish, I wasn’t as paranoid as a lot of people who felt the proper response was to rip the device off the wall and put it on CraigsList. This one’s a two-fer since it’s a perfect lead in for Apple marketing chief Schiller unfollows Nest & Tony Fadell on Twitter following Google deal.

Prototype iPhone nabs $1500 on eBay

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 3rd, 2014, 08:30
Category: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News, Sighting

iphone-originalAnybody remember the original iPhone? I do, I had one and I think it’s still my favorite design of all of them so far. The body was aluminum, except for a section at the bottom which was plastic so as not to interfere with reception, all rounded edges, and a nice chrome bezel around the glass face. The original iOS (then iPhone OS) seems dated now with no folders, no select/copy/paste, and at the beginning NO APPS except the Apple ones, if you can imagine that. Well  it seems some intrepid person got their hands of one of the prototypes for the first iPhone and sold it pretty quickly on eBay for a measly $1500. That’s only the price of three subsidized iPhones now, and two unlocked ones. Not long ago, an original Apple I (one of the ones built in Steve Job’s garage) sold for $671,400, and an original Apple II for $6,100. Apparently the device didn’t have an actual OS on it, at least not like the public would eventually see, just a bunch of apps designed to run the iPhone through a battery of tests. For some images of the pre-iPhone iPhone (grabbed from the now expired eBay auction), head over to Redmond Pie to see what the fuss is about.