Apple drops ship time for iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets to one day, Retina 5K iMac back in stock

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Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014, 09:35
Category: iMac, iPhone, News, retail

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Apple is catching up with demand and you might be able to snag an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Retina 5K iMac for Christmas.

Per AppleInsider, Apple appears to be catching up with demand for its latest devices as the Online Apple Store on Thursday shows one-day ship times for most iPhone 6 Plus storage configurations, 1 to 3 days for iPhone 6 and immediate availability for the Retina 5K iMac.

Apple’s online storefront has been updated to reflect iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates of one day for 16GB and 64GB models in all three colors and major U.S. wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Ship-by times for iPhone 6 models in the same capacities also dropped to 1 to 3 days.

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T-Mobile offers cheaper family plans, other deals in promotional efforts to win marketshare

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Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, 14:23
Category: iPhone, News, wireless

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The wireless carrier price wars continue.

And maybe you can use it to your advantage.

Per Macworld, T-Mobile is rolling out yet another limited-time offer on wireless service, this time bringing the cost of unlimited data way down for families.

The carrier is now charging US$100 per month for two lines with unlimited 4G LTE data, down from a regular price of US$140 per month. Additional lines cost US$40 per month—same as before—and subscribers can have up to 10 total lines at this price.

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Sprint launches new promotion, offers to halve the wireless bills of customers switching from AT&T and Verizon

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Date: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014, 09:20
Category: News, retail, wireless

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Sometimes competition is a good thing.

Per Re/code, Sprint unveiled an aggressive new price promotion Tuesday that it claims will halve the bills of customers who defect from AT&T and Verizon in the latest salvo of an increasingly bitter price war.

Under the terms of the deal, which kicks off Friday, a customer can bring a current AT&T or Verizon bill to a Sprint store and store representatives will set up a new plan that is half of the service portion of that bill (the cost of calls, texting and data). In addition to that service cost, though, customers have to buy an unsubsidized device, either up front, through installments or using one of Sprint’s new leasing plans.

Sprint will also pay up to US$350 in early termination fees or remaining device-installment payments, though customers must turn in their existing devices.

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T-Mobile settles with FCC, agrees to post more transparent data throttling information

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Date: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, 10:46
Category: News, wireless

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When the FCC leans on you, it’s time to come clean.

Per AppleInsider, U.S. wireless provider and iPhone carrier T-Mobile this week announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission, in which it will be more upfront and honest with customers about its bandwidth speed.

T-Mobile has pledged to provide “accurate information” to customers about the speed of their Internet connection, even when their performance is throttled according with their data plan. The changes came from pressure by the FCC, after it was discovered that T-Mobile was providing customers with inaccurate information when they run sped tests.

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AT&T ceases “permacookie” tracking program for the time being, Verizon still enacting its own version

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 04:45
Category: iPhone, News, privacy, wireless

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There are consequences for when a wireless carrier installs something that apparently tracks its user base a little too closely with no convenient means of removal.

Per Macworld and ProPublica, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have been caught up in a privacy firestorm over their use of so-called “permacookies,” a method of tracking what their users do while browsing the Web with the intent of sharing that data with advertisers. Verizon’s permacookie program lives on, but AT&T has ceased the practice.

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AT&T admits to testing “unique tracker” on smartphones, offers opt-out option

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Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 11:55
Category: iPhone, News, security, wireless

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This isn’t the best news.

According to Forbes, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have ceded that they’re tagging their customers with unique codes that are visible to third parties, making smartphone users far easier to track on the Web than they’ve ever been before, targeted advertising being that much easier to create as a result of this. After the findings by researchers, AT&T admitted it’s “testing” a new way of tracking its customers for ad display purposes.

“There’s nothing ready to announce,” said AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel. “We’re still testing.”

But that means, yes, AT&T customers are being tagged by AT&T in a way that’s visible to the websites they visit, but AT&T says it’s building in what it considers to be a privacy-protective measure: the unique code for each user will change every 24 hours. Siegel says this is happening now, but Kenneth White, one of the researchers who discovered the tracking, says that is “categorically untrue,” saying he found three identifying codes being sent by AT&T that were persistent.

“AT&T does not currently have a mobile Relevant Advertising program. We are considering such a program, and any program we would offer would maintain our fundamental commitment to customer privacy,” read a statement from AT&T. “For instance, we are testing a numeric code that changes every 24 hours on mobile devices to use in programs where we serve ads to the mobile device. This daily rotation on the numeric code would help protect the privacy of our customers. Customers also could opt out of any future AT&T program that might use this numeric code.”

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Verizon backs off on controversial data throttling plan set to begin in October

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Date: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 11:27
Category: News, wireless

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A little competition’s a good thing.

According to The Verge, a statement from wireless carrier Verizon stated that the company will not be throttling 4G LTE data speeds for users grandfathered in to unlimited data plans, while at the same time announcing a buffed data plan promotion.

In July, Verizon announced plans to expand its “network optimization” initiative, which amounts to throttling data speeds for subscribers with unlimited data plans when the telco’s 4G LTE network is congested. The enhanced policy was set to go live in October.

Verizon Wireless won’t be throttling the LTE speeds of its remaining unlimited data customers after all. In an eleventh hour reversal, the largest U.S. carrier has just announced that it’s “decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans.”

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Apple announces 10 million iPhone 6 handsets sold during launch weekend

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Date: Monday, September 22nd, 2014, 11:07
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Another year, another broken record.

Per Macworld, Apple announced on Monday that it sold ten million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models combined after the first weekend of availability—a new record for launch weekend iPhone sales. It’s no surprise, after Apple announced last Monday that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders hit 4 million in the first 24 hours alone.

The latest iPhones became available on Friday, September 19th in 10 countries and territories worldwide.

Apple’s latest sales record beats the company’s 2013 iPhone launch weekend for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which topped out at nine million devices.

However, the iPhone 5s and 5c were available in 11 regions worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. For this year’s launch weekend, China was left off the initial launch list.

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Customers complain of difficulties pre-ordering iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets

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Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014, 15:37
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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The pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are coming in.

And they’re overwhelming Apple.

Per AppleInsider, Friday’s kickoff for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus preorders was marred by a series of glitches, issues and errors that left a number of customers frustrated with Apple and its carrier partners’ inability to keep up with overwhelming demand.

Readers reported that they’d experienced a number of problems attempting to place their order for Apple’s next-generation handsets on Friday. Things kicked off just after midnight Pacific, 3 a.m. Eastern, but initial customers were only able to access preorders via the iOS Apple Store app, and not through Apple’s website on a traditional browser.

And while U.S. carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint were accepting preorders, customers could not buy a handset for T-Mobile, directly from the carrier or through Apple’s website, for hours Friday morning. That also affected AT&T customers looking to buy a no-contract, no-subsidy unlocked handset compatible with AT&T’s network.

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I’m back! Did you miss me? Reviewing last week.

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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.