Microsoft is trimming the fat with 18,000 layoffs

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Date: Monday, July 21st, 2014, 08:47
Category: Announcement, Business, Microsoft, News, Windows

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It’s not an easy thing being a Microsoft employee right now, as the software giant is doing quite a bit of refocusing which means some of those workers will inevitably be left in the dust. Just ask the 13,000 employees who were let go last Thursday after CEO Satya Nadella outlined the coming changes in an email to employees sent the morning that the axe fell. About 12,500 of those layoffs were actually Nokia employees who only recently became Microsoft employees as the result of a $7.2 billion acquisition of the company in April. However, the layoff spree isn’t finished as there are still 5500 more layoffs to come in the next six months according to a report at Business Insider.

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Apple pays $400 million settlement in ebook pricing case

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Date: Thursday, July 17th, 2014, 06:51
Category: Legal, News

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Sometimes you get stuck with your hand in the cookie jar.

Per Reuters and AppleInsider, Apple has agreed to pay up to US$450 million to settle a class-action lawsuit from states and consumers accusing the iPad maker of illegally fixing e-book prices and raising costs.

The settlement was first revealed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who indicated that the deal will resolve claims for consumer damages and civil penalties brought forward in lawsuits by the state of New York and 32 other states and territories.

Schneiderman said the settlement could result in payments of up to US$400 million to consumers. Total costs in the conditional settlement are said to be around US$450 million.

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Apple adding transition encryption to boost iCloud email service security

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Date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014, 12:36
Category: iCloud, News, security

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Apple looks to be overhauling its iCloud email service security by including end-to-end encryption for messages sent from me.com and icloud.com, according to new data from Google’s Gmail transparency effort and The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

The report suggests that at least 95 percent of the messages sent to Gmail from users of iCloud mail is now encrypted, just one month after Apple initially promised that such a change would be forthcoming.

Apple is using industry-standard Transport Layer Security, or TLS, infrastructure for the encryption. With TLS, both sending and receiving servers as well as the email messages themselves can be verified for authenticity, nearly eliminating the possibility of email being unknowingly intercepted by a third party.

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Apple is looking to employees to test its new Photos app

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Date: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Mac, News, Opinion, OS X, photos, Pictures, Pro Apps, Software

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We’ve mentioned in a previous post that Apple plans to replace the once venerated pro-level photo management app, Aperture, and presumably iPhoto as well, with an all new application called simply Photos. Now Apple is looking for someone to put it through its paces, and looking no further than its own collective of employees.

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Apple expands iPad, iPhone trade-in program to Australian market

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Date: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, 06:31
Category: iPad, iPhone, News, retail

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Apple’s iPhone and iPad trade-in program is coming to the land down under.

Per MacRumors, Apple today expanded its iPhone and iPad trade-in program to Australia, giving customers who trade in an older device credit towards the purchase of a new device. Users who trade in an iPhone can earn up to A$250, while users who trade in an iPad can get up to A$215.

Apple’s current press release states that the iPhone 5s, 5c, and iPad Air are not eligible for the credit, nor are first-generation devices like the iPhone 3GS or the original iPad. All other devices are eligible, however, and Apple will still recycle original models for free.

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Apple launches developer blog for Swift programming language

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Date: Monday, July 14th, 2014, 16:09
Category: News, Software

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A little transparency goes a long way.

Following the announcement of its new Swift programming language for iOS and OS X, Apple has launched its Swift developer blog, which is designed to bring Swift-based news, updates and information to the public.

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Apple blocks older Flash plug-in version if Safari, pushes users to adopt new, more secure, version

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Date: Friday, July 11th, 2014, 11:51
Category: News, security, Software

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You may not like doing it, but you’re going to have to snag the newest version of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in.

Per AppleInsider, Apple late Thursday issued a security message saying it has blocked old versions of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in for Safari, citing a recent flaw that could potentially allow hackers to harvest browser data like cookies.

Users with out of date plug-ins will be met with a message saying, “Blocked plug-in,” “Flash Security Alert” or “Flash out-of-date” when attempting to access Flash content in Safari. Clicking on the alert takes users to Adobe’s Flash installer page, where the latest version of the plug-in can be downloaded and installed.

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Apple falls to third place behind Google, Roku in U.S. streaming device market

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Date: Friday, July 11th, 2014, 06:30
Category: Apple TV, News, retail

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As much as you may love and adore your Apple TV, it’s fallen to third place in sales next to its competitors.

Per Gigaom, Google sold 3.8 of its Chromecast streaming devices in 2013, making the device about as popular as Roku’s streaming devices.

Roku and Chromecast were the two most successful streaming devices sold in the U.S. in 2013, according to new data from Parks Associates, which puts Apple TV on third place.

Google sold an estimated 3.8 million Chromecast streaming sticks after introducing the product in mid-2013, according to Parks, which also estimates that this about equals Roku’s sales throughout 2013. Apple, on the other hand is trailing, having sold just a bit more than two million devices in the U.S. last year, according to data shared by Parks.

Still, the global picture might prove a little rosier for Apple, which has sold more than 20 million Apple TV units since its introduction in 2007, whereas Roku’s total sales since its launch were 8 million by the end of 2013.

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Apple releases iTunes 11.3 update

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Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014, 17:54
Category: iTunes, News, Software

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It’s not a huge update, but it might add to your movie watching experience.

On Thursday, Apple released version 11.3 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 239.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- iTunes 11.3 includes all-new iTunes Extras for HD movies. iTunes Extras can include behind-the-scenes videos, short films, high-resolution image galleries, director’s commentary, scenes, and more. These immersive iTunes Extras can also be enjoyed on Apple TV with Software Update 6.2 now, and will be available on iOS 8 this fall. New iTunes Extras will be automatically added to your previously purchased HD movies as they become available at no additional charge.

iTunes 11.3 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: TSMC begins producing A-series processors for Apple’s iOS devices

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Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014, 10:44
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has finally begun producing Apple’s A-series processors.

Per the Wall Street Journal and AppleInsider, TSMC started production on its 20-nanometer fabrication lines in the first quarter of 2014, with shipments commencing in the second quarter. While Samsung will reportedly remain one of Apple’s top suppliers for now, the company will split orders with TSMC for the near future.

“Apple’s order is a big deal to the company. TSMC has assigned a large team to support Apple as you know this client is very picky,” a source familiar with the Apple deal told the publication.

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The current rumors have stated that TSMC had begun manufacturing so-called “A8″ chips for Apple’s next-generation iPhones and iPads surfaced in March. Those processors are though to be quad-core models, doubling the dual-core setup of the current-generation A7.

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