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.

Apple’s iOS App Store nets $10 billion in 2013

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 10th, 2014, 09:26
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, Business, Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

apple-moneyAccording to an announcement by Apple on Tuesday, the company took home more than $10 billion last year from iOS app sales. Christmas sales put them over the top with customers downloading almost 3 billion apps, making December Apple’s most lucrative and successful month in the App Store’s history. BusinessWire’s coverage of the record setting sales quoted Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue;

“We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store. The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.”

Apple also reported that iOS developers have now earned a collective $15 billion from sales on the App Store.

A new way to use your iPhone on the web

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 10th, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apps, Fun, Game, iOS, iPhone, Software, Websites

Screenshot 2014-01-09 14.55.08I was doing my daily web browsing and while looking for CES stuff, and stumbled upon this, a fake 2027 CES presentation from Omnicorp. Don’t recognize the name “Omnicorp”?! Shame on you, now go straight to Netflix and queue up Robocop. Ok, it’s not on Netflix streaming, so shame on them too. Well, find it and watch it for goodness sake, it’s a classic! Anyway, Omnicorp is a fictional corporation in the near future that buys the Detroit police force in the hopes of monetizing it. In order to save money, Omnicorp hopes to build its own robotic police force and lay off all the human ones.

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iOS 7.1 beta 3 released to developers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 8th, 2014, 08:09
Category: Apple, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Software, User Interface

iOS-gear-settingsApple has just released the latest beta update to iOS 7.1. Currently, the official 7.1 update is expected to drop sometime in March. Other than numerous backend improvements and bug fixes, Apple seems to be tweaking the interface as well. Developers who have had a chance to go over 7.1 list several screens that replace rectangular buttons with new circular ones. I guess they felt there simply wasn’t enough circles already. A few of the other changes that have been found are listed below;

  • Parallax can be disabled for wallpapers
  • Phone now has a new dialer and answer UI
  • New Repeat and Shuffle buttons
  • New power off UI
  • New dialogue in Safari ‘Search or enter an address’ now reads ‘Search web or enter site name’
  • New ‘New’ button for creating iTunes Radio stations in Music
  • New reduce white point option in accessibility contrast settings

Apple to hold it’s fiscal Q1 2014 earnings call on January 27 at 5PM ET/2PM PT

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, 09:10
Category: Announcement, Apple, Business, Finance

apple_logoApple posted the date of its first quarter earnings release and conference call on its Investor web page, announcing the date to be January 27th. MacRumors notes that the release will…

“… provide a look into initial iPad Air and Retina iPad mini sales during their first quarter of availability as well as iPhone 5s and 5c sales throughout the holiday. Apple reported a record number of iPhone/iPad sales during fiscal 2013, at 150 million iPhones and 71 million iPads. In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Apple guided expected revenue of $55–58 billion and gross margin between 36.5 and 37.5 percent. If the company meets even the low end of that guidance, it will count as the strongest quarter for Apple in history.”

It is expected that CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will be on hand for questions. Apple will live-stream the earnings call via its Investor website. A link to the upcoming broadcast should show up on the web page in the coming weeks.

Apple buys SnappyCam

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, 08:54
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, Digital Camera, iOS, iPhone, photos, Software

3015176-inline-i-1-snappy-cam-faster-appleNo more than a week into 2014 and Apple is already scooping up another small technology company. This time it’s an iPhone app called SnappyCam and its developer, John Papandriopoulos. Don’t go looking for it in the AppStore though, it has unfortunately been removed, so if you ‘snapped’ it up (couldn’t resist) consider yourself lucky. As for everyone else, wait a while and you may see the benefits of the app showing up in an iOS update. So what was so amazing about SnappyCam?

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Pebble Steel and Pebble appstore announced at CES

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 6th, 2014, 20:03
Category: Accessory, Announcement, Consumer Electronics, Wearables

Pebble-steel-largePebble kicked off CES 2014 today with a live stream of its new products. You can see a replay here on the Pebble blog page. The two biggest announcements were the introduction of the Pebble Steel and the upcoming Pebble appstore. The Pebble Steel, as its name suggests, is a new line of watches made of forged and CNC-machined stainless steel, adding a classier look to the now iconic smart watch. The Steel comes in two styles, brushed stainless and matte black. Both watches also come with a second, black leather strap in case you prefer leather over the standard metal band.

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Blackberry suing Typo Products over keyboard design

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 6th, 2014, 10:53
Category: Accessory, Cases, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, Patents, User Interface

TypoKeyboard-vs-Q10

In the litigious world of  tech companies who scramble daily to protect their patents and intellectual property, you can expect anything claiming to be new and innovative to be hit by a roomful of lawyers saying it isn’t true. Such is the case with the Typo Keyboard case which was getting ready to launch at this week’s CES event in Las Vegas. Typo Products, which was founded by Ryan Seacrest and his business partner Laurence Hallier, was hit with a lawsuit from Blackberry claiming copyright infringement of Blackberry’s own keyboard design.

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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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