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.

 

Will the next NSA satellite have an Apple logo?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPhone, Legal, Mobile, Mobile Phone, News, privacy, security, Services, Software

geoeye-1-satellite-apple-460Well, perhaps that is a stretch, but Apple’s possible connection with the NSA was revealed in a report dating back to 2008. Reuters explains that the report outlined a system that the NSA was developing, called DROPOUTJEEP, which would be software implanted into an iPhone that allows infiltrators to push and pull and retrieve data from iPhones such as contact lists. The report didn’t actually specify any involvement by or with Apple, although the iPhone is referenced in the report.

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Tim Cook takes self-inflicted pay cut

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 08:43
Category: Apple, Business, Finance, News

Tim-Cook-to-be-declined-Double-Salary-Bonus-by-AppleI remember the days of Gil Amelio (sorry to single you out Gil) and other CEOs of Apple who basically ‘took the money and ran’. In those days, the “golden parachute” was the norm for essentially kicking out CEOs who weren’t helping the company. Definitely a weird practice. Then Steve Jobs came back and famously paid himself a salary of $1.00 per year…yes, 1000 pennies. Of course he received a truckload of stocks which paid off more than a salary would have, and was also good PR. Now it appears that Tim Cook may be taking a page from Steve’s handbook by sacrificing some of his profits as a result of poor Apple stock performance in 2013. According to Apple, Tim Cook wanted to “…set a leadership example in the area of CEO compensation and governance.”.

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iPhone users exhale, MyGlass for iOS back in the AppStore

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Date: Friday, December 20th, 2013, 09:49
Category: Android, Apps, Developer, Gadget, Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Review, Software, Software, The Apple Core, Wearables

MyGlass_for_iosYou might have caught some stories about the long awaited MyGlass app appearing on the AppStore, and then quickly disappearing leaving iPhone users crying, “nooooooooooooo!”. Well, they can relax, Google re-released the app and it’s available for download. About a week ago, I had the opportunity to play with a Google Glass without having to shell out $1500. As it happens, someone I knew had one and was willing to ship it out to me to play with (that “someone” being Jason O’Grady from The Apple Core). My full review will be available soon, so I’ll skip over a lot of Glass details to focus on the app and what it adds to the Glass-iOS experience.

 

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iBeacon rollout in Apple Stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 08:28
Category: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, News, privacy, retail, Retail Store, Services, Software

apple-store-ibeaconLast week Apple started rolling out iBeacon, Apple’s location based technology that offers a “better user experience”. What they mean is that when you are in a store with an iPhone, they can track your location to the foot, allowing iBeacon to send you notifications with info on the product you are standing in front of, coupons, sales, or general info on the store. It has been pointed out that Apple use coupons and rarely has sales (except Black Friday), but since the iBeacon technology will be sold outside of Apple, it is sure to be used by the likes of Target and Walmart.

 

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Apple releases plans for new San Francisco store

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Date: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 08:07
Category: Apple, News, Retail Store

apple_logoNot long ago, word went out that Apple was planning to move its downtown San Francisco location to a newly designed building two blocks away. The space they chose is across from the historical Union Square Park, and replaces the building that was formerly the Levi’s retail store. This move will be the first relocation of a high-profile Apple store in the 12 years since Apple began making its retail presence. Perhaps becoming one of the more public of Apple’s store constructions, concerns arose when plans for the new store indicated the removal of the fountain designed by noted artist Ruth Asawa and constructed in 1970. This, along with some other design elements, prompted a great deal of criticism. Around August of this year, the architects submitted design changes that retained the fountain (although it will be moved 10 feet) as well as changes to the building to make it less “massive” and jarring with the surrounding architecture. Now, according to ifo Apple Store, as part of a plan to gain city approval for its expanded San Francisco retail store design, Apple’s architects have submitted a package of renderings, photographs, architectural drawings and descriptions describing the construction in minute detail. In addition, the plans have been made public for all to see, an unprecedented move by Apple who usually keeps all building plans under wraps. You can check out a number of proposal renderings on ifo Apple Store’s site here and download the 127-page PDF of the complete building plans here.

Google opens Glass Mirror API

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013, 08:38
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Developer, Gadget, Google, News, Opinion, privacy, security, Wearables

google_glass_grey-580-90Last week, Google finally made the Glass API for Google Glass open to all developers. Previously, the API was only available to developers that actually shelled out the $1500 to own the Google Glass hardware and were added to a whitelist of approved owners. Now Google doesn’t care if you have the software or not. TechCrunch breaks down the methods for developers to write software for Google Glass.

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Amazon CEO announces plans for drone delivery fleet

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 09:20
Category: Consumer Electronics, Fun, Gadget, News, privacy

amazon-experimenting-with-drones-that-will-deliver-packages-in-30-minutesI had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st (seriously, I usually can’t remember what month it is), but apparently Jeff Bezos has every intention of delivering packages using autonomous helicopter drones flown straight to your doorstep, or personal heli-pad, in 30 minutes or less. He does admit that it is a few years off, but Amazon engineers are hard at work perfecting the technology. In a detailed article, Bloomberg recounts the Amazon CEO’s plan which was unveiled on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program. In it, Bezos shows interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines, called octocopters, that can serve as delivery vehicles carrying as much as 5 pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment center.

 

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Apple in a buying mood, acquires social analytics firm Topsy

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 08:24
Category: Announcement, Apple, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, News, Services

topsyApple seems to be pretty busy this quarter buying up companies. Apple reportedly bought social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, Topsy’s tools can decipher how often a term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign. Describing Topsy’s process, WSJ noted;

“The company is one of a handful of Twitter Inc. partners with access to the so-called “fire hose”—the full stream of tweets since 2006, which now average roughly 500 million a day. Topsy then analyzes this information and resells it to customers.”

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