Auto maker Toyota slow to add CarPlay support, will stay with own technology for the time being

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Date: Monday, February 23rd, 2015, 03:50
Category: iOS, News, Software

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As nifty as Apple’s CarPlay technology is – and promises to be – some auto makers seem slow to pick it up and run with it.

Despite being among the first automakers to sign on with Apple’s CarPlay initiative, Toyota is reportedly planning to stick with its own in-house infotainment system for the foreseeable future.

“We may all eventually wind up [with CarPlay or Android Auto], but right now we prefer to use our in-house proprietary platforms for those kinds of functions,” Toyota spokesperson John Hanson told the New York Times. Hanson limited his comments to the U.S. market, and while Apple’s iPhone remains wildly popular in Toyota’s home country of Japan, it does not seem likely that the stance will change across the Pacific.

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Apple extends repair program to MacBook Pro notebooks that may be experiencing AMD GPU glitches

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Date: Friday, February 20th, 2015, 04:37
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

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If your rather expensive MacBook Pro notebook is exhibiting video issues, Apple just began a new program which might be able to help you.

A new repair initiative, officially titled “MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues,” applies to MacBook Pro computers sold between February 2011 and December 2013 that exhibit distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts, Apple said.

The issues have been associated with malfunctioning discrete AMD GPUs installed within the MacBook Pro notebooks.

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List of Apple employees tasked to electric car project begins to emerge, key players surface

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Date: Friday, February 20th, 2015, 04:00
Category: Hardware, News

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Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been word of an employee poaching war between Apple and Tesla, Apple hiring from the auto industry and speculation as to exactly what Applee might be working on.

It’s apparently clear that Apple is looking to go beyond an iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system and the majority of the new hires seem to be reporting to one Steve Zadesky, who hails from an automative background.

The Wall Street Journal and 9to5Mac are reporting that Apple has put together a team of hundreds for the electric vehicle product, including former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth, but here are some of the other key team members picked from within the company and hired from outside to join the team.

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Apple Watch hits Self magazine, makes its U.S. cover debut

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Date: Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 05:46
Category: News, Wearables

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It had to happen sometime.

A few months after being featured on the cover of Vogue China, the upcoming Apple Watch made its U.S. debut on the cover of Self magazine this month with cover model Candice Swanepoel wearing the Sport Edition of the device.

From Self:

Considering Swanepoel’s athletic prowess, it was an ideal accessory for her sporty cover shoot. She told SELF, “I’m an athlete. I use every single muscle, especially my core and arms, when I pose. It’s so important for me to feel strong!”

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Samsung acquires LoopPay, looks to become an Apple Pay competitor

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Date: Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 05:53
Category: Finance, News, retail

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It never hurts to be part of the payment infrastructure.

Only two months after rumors surfaced that Samsung was considering becoming an Apple Pay competitor, the South Korean conglomerate has reportedly acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay to bolster its efforts.

Samsung began talks with LoopPay in December to integrate the latter’s magnetic payment technology into next-generation Galaxy devices. That partnership has apparently turned into an acquisition, as noted by Re/code and the Wall Street Journal.

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Apple now permitted to trade with Cuba following lifting of restriction by U.S. government

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, 11:23
Category: Legal, News

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Apple can now trade with Cuba.

Which is a good thing, as they have awesome weather and even better food.

Apple has removed Cuba from its restricted country list for foreign trade, reflecting the fact that some of its hardware and software are now legally eligible to be exported to the Caribbean country.

Apple’s new stance is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which recently amended its Export Administration Regulations. The changes create an exception for Consumer Communication Devices, under a license entitled “Support For The Cuban People.”

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Apple comes up against roadblocks, regulatory concerns in bringing Apple Pay to Chinese marketplace

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, 05:46
Category: Finance, Legal, News, Software

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Apple may have a few roadblocks before it can get Apple Pay into the Chinese marketplace.

As introduction efforts proceed, China’s central bank, UnionPay bank-card service and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are standing up to Apple’s effort to bring the Apple Pay no-card-no-cash payment system to iPhone users in China.

At the same time, Apple has not yet “acknowledged regulators,” and as a result, “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements” for a commercial operation.

Apple is also struggling with its relationship with UnionPay, China’s state-owned credit- and debit-card system operator. Sources close to the companies said that talks aimed at an agreement that would open China to Apple Pay have stalled.

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First-gen Apple Watch may have had assorted health-related features cut, trimmed down to make April ship date

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Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015, 10:41
Category: News, Wearables

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Sometimes you have to slim down your feature list to make a shipping date.

An interesting piece by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Apple may have cut multiple planned health features to allow the first generation of the Apple Watch to ship on time.

The report states that the features would have contained an array of sensors to help measure a wearer’s health, albeit the first demo units of the wearable device apparently showed no such sensors in that model.

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Microsoft Office apps for iOS updated to 1.6, add iCloud support

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Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015, 06:00
Category: iOS, News, Software

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This should come in handy.

A recent update of Microsoft’s Office for iOS now includes support for iCloud.

Microsoft’s vaunted word processor, spreadsheet and presentation apps now use iCloud as a document storage provider. Documents can be opened, edited, and saved directly to and from the service for users on iOS 8.

Alongside iCloud support, Microsoft promises unspecified “bug fixes” in the latest versions.

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Hacker group may have hidden within the NSA for 14 years, successfully compromised OS X, iOS devices among other efforts

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Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015, 06:40
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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This goes into the category of “man, it’s long, but you’ve got to read it”.

An article on Ars Technica discusses the Equation Group, a group of hackers that had an incredible amount of success, were able to use revolutionary methods in their work and may have been embedded within the National Security Agency.

In addition to the findings, researchers within the Kaspersky Group found “redirects that sent iPhone users to unique exploit Web pages. In addition, infected machines reporting to Equation Group command servers identified themselves as Macs, an indication that the group successfully compromised both iOS and OS X devices.”

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