Is peace on the horizon for smartphone rivals?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, 08:20
Category: Uncategorized

gavel_transI’m not holding my breath that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war will end any time soon, but perhaps there is hope that one day in the future, we won’t have to read any more posts or articles about the never-ending ruling appeals filed by Apple or Samsung, or at least not as many. As of last Friday, Apple and Google have agreed to drop all current patent infringement lawsuits between them and move on with their lives.

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Apple fixes disappearing Users folder “bug”

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Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Uncategorized

blueitunes11logoThere was quite a bit of online discourse when a recent set of Apple updates rendered people’s Users folder invisible in OS X. The Mac Observer’s observations concluded that it was the iTunes 11.2 update rather that the 10.9.3 update as many initial thought, which seems to be confirmed by Apple’s release of iTunes 11.2.1 which fixes the problem. What confused the matter was that there were reports of Apple representatives telling people that it was intentional. After all the hacks and fiddling to restore the folder visibility, it seems that patience won out as Apple’s latest iTunes update restores visibility of the Users folder. Initially I was annoyed at the possibility that Apple was “dumbing down” OS X again, as it did when it made the user’s Library folder invisible, but as I thought about it, unlike accessing the Library folder (as an IT consultant and power user), I rarely if ever access the the Users folder. Fortunately that’s not the case and was just a “whoopsie”on Apple’s part, unless they are just backpedaling on their initial decision, so go out and update without worry.

Is Apple getting a bit slack about vetting software updates, in spite of the new beta program? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

Swarm hits the iOS App Store

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 16th, 2014, 08:58
Category: Uncategorized

Swarmapp_logoWhat is Swarm, you ask? Swarm is the new iOS app from Foursquare that aims to separate the check-in functions of Foursquare that we all know and love, and stick them into a new app. Here is the App Store blurb explaining the app;

With Swarm, you can easily see who’s out nearby and who wants to hang out later.

Features:
- Want to meet up with friends? Quickly open up the app to see who is out nearby. 
- Want to share what you’re doing? Checking in is faster and more fun than ever.
- Got an idea for something fun to do? Easily message all of your nearby friends.

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Apple’s iPhone upgrade promotion starts today

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Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Uncategorized

iphones-5s-5c

According to 9to5Mac, sources close to Apple say that starting today (May 8th), Apple will begin contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email this week, inviting them to come into their local Apple Store to upgrade their device to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. No trade-in prices have been mentioned, but it’s expected that this is an extension of Apple’s iPhone hardware trade-in program which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Reports from outside sources have said that Apple has recently increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-programwhich it may be leveraging in the promotion in an attempt to increase iPhone sales.

Back in January, Apple posted its first quarter iPhone sales and analysts were disappointed that it didn’t meet their expectations. Even though Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 47.8 million a year earlier, Wall Street analysts were expecting closer to 57 million iPhones to be sold. These “disappointing” numbers may be the impetus behind the upgrade promotion which will hopefully bring up sales numbers for the current quarter.

What about you? If Apple knocks on your door, are you inclined to run to your nearest store to upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

No new hardware at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014, 09:09
Category: Uncategorized

wwdc14 crop

We you eagerly anticipating a first glimpse of new Apple TV and iWatch hardware at WWDC? Hopefully you can settle for peeks at iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, because it sounds like that’s all we’re going to get. Sources have told Code/red that Tim Cook has no intention of parading out its upcoming hardware, or software associated with it, at the convention.

Healthbook-appicon

What you will probably see is a lot about Healthbook, Apple’s new health and fitness tracking app, which many speculate will tie in closely with the hardware of the iWatch. You can get a ton of info on Healthbook over at 9to5Mac with this article which covers it in quite a bit of detail.

How disappointed are you about the news? Will new iOS and OS X goodies be enough? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

ComiXology removes in-app comic purchasing

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 1st, 2014, 14:08
Category: Uncategorized

Comixology_biteI think it’s safe to say that it was Amazon that did the removing, but the fact remains that a major feature of the iOS app was removed. For the Android version, there were also some changes, but not as drastic. Comic purchases are now routed through comiXology instead of Google. The move is intended to avoid paying Apple and Google a premium for making purchases through their systems.  For Apple, that means loosing 30 percent of each purchase, something it has charged for in-app purchases since 2011. Instead of buying within the app, in the iOS case, customers will now have to make purchases via the comiXology website. Purchases will then be downloaded to the app once the user opens it, much like e-books do on Amazon’s Kindle for iOS app.

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New MacBook Airs sport new processors and cheaper

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Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, 09:05
Category: Uncategorized

macbook-air-13-inchApple’s MacBook Air models were quietly updated on Monday, with the only major changes being a slight speed-bump and a lower price. Anyone hoping for Airs with Retina Displays will have to wait a bit longer. At $100 less than the previous models, the starting price for an 11″ Macbook Air is $899 which now uses a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache, and 128 GB of flash storage. Both the 11″ and 13″ models can be configured with the faster 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-29 03.21.17

 

If you’re pinching pennies, now might be a great time to grab a discount on the old models.

 

 

Excavators dig up hundreds of buried E.T.s

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Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, 08:48
Category: Uncategorized

'ET' FILM - 1982Relax, there is no need to call up Fox Mulder, these E.T.s weren’t buried by a government conspiracy. They were buried 30 years ago by a video game company. The mid-80s saw a lot of changes in not only the personal and business computing market, but also the home video game markets. The two were no doubt intertwined as the emergence of affordable personal computers meant that not only could you do your accounting and word processing on your computer at home, but you could also play games, leaving many to ask, “why should I spend the extra money to buy a separate gaming console?”. It’s not like the gaming console ever went away, but at the time it meant new business challenges to companies like Atari, Coleco, and Mattel who had new sources of competition besides each other and had to struggle to stay in the game (no pun intended). The 80s also seemed to introduce rumors of companies sending their failed products to landfills and Atari was one of them (see also: Apple Lisa).

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California kills smartphone ‘kill switch’ bill

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Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 09:55
Category: Uncategorized

Back in February, State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon introduced a bill that would mandate the inclusion of a “kill switch” in phones sold in the state of California. If approved, the anti-theft feature would have been required to be preloaded and automatically enabled on all smartphones sold after January 1, 2015, leaving the phone inoperable if stolen. In a statement put out by Leno and Gascon at the time of the bill’s introduction, in San Francisco alone, cell phone thefts make up 66 percent of all robberies. Just over the bridge in Oakland, thefts are even higher to over 75 percent. The statement also said that recovering those phones cost consumers in the US more than $30 billion in 2012.

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Mac Pro shipping times are improving

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Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 08:56
Category: Uncategorized

Mac Pro assembly lineBack in mid-February, shortly after the new Mac Pro was announced, we reported about how shipping dates were listed for “April”. Well, April is here and it looks like Apple is finally catching up as shipping times are now listed as 3-5 weeks. At the beginning of April, times had started showing up at 5-6 weeks and have been slowly improving. Alas, you still cannot walk or drive to tour nearest Apple retail store and pick one up. All sales of the Mac Pro are through the online store, which will probably be the case until Apple catches up with its backlog of orders. There are some online retailers selling Mac Pros, which you might get sooner, but their supplies have been limited by Apple.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-24 16.30.29