All Articles Tagged "apple"
Apple owners didn’t used to have to worry about viruses–until now. There is a software bug called “Gotofail” that is wreaking havoc on Apple gadgets. Apple has quietly released a notice that the hole has been plugged, but details about the situation are scarce. The bug affects “every single Apple device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, or desktop or laptop computer,” reports Business Insider.
Apple announced that there is a security flaw in its iOS operating system for iPhone and iPad that affects encryption. Encryption allows you to send info via the Internet without worrying about hackers getting hold of data like your credit card number when you shop online.
In short, Gotofail makes your computer think it’s connecting to secure servers, even when servers are used by hackers.
Unfortunately, OS X users are really in danger. “Gotofail directly affects OS X apps. Any hacker monitoring them would find a goldmine of data if they wanted it. Major communication apps like Apple’s email client and iMessage are vulnerable, even the Safari web browser,” reports Business Insider, which suggests that OS X users stop using Safari for now.
If you haven’t updated your Apple devices, do so now.
Creator Removes ‘Flappy Bird’ From App Store, eBay User Selling iPhone With The Addictive Game For $90,200!
Ever heard of “Flappy Bird”? It’s aggravating, yet addictive; it’s like “Angry Birds” — ‘cept you’re the one that’s angry. Amidst the Flappy Bird craze, the overwhelmed creator deleted the game from app stores. Capitalizing on its scarcity, eBay users have no shame in selling Flappy Birds (with the iPhone 5) for $90,200!
“I will take Flappy Bird down. I cannot take this anymore,” Dong Nguyen, the game’s creator, said. “I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.” Though the hair-pulling game garnered 50 million downloads and reeled in $50,000 a day, Nyugen stayed true to his word and yanked “Flappy Bird” off Apple App and Google Play stores.
“Press people are overrating the success of my games… please give me peace,” Nguyen tweeted.
While the Vietnam-based developer backs out the glaring spotlight, eBay sellers are rubbing their hands with sinister zeal for a chance to capitalize off Flappy Bird’s growing rarity. One user is selling an iPhone 5S for $1,499. Why? Because it’s got “Flappy Birds” pre-installed of course!
“A comparable second-hand iPhone without Flappy Bird can be easily be had on eBay for $500 to $600, so in this instance, the game — which was an ad-supported freebie — commands a premium of $900 or more,” Time reports.
But nothing is more absurd than the $90,200 price tag for an iPhone 5. Clearly, this seller is testing the waters to see if anyone is insane enough to make such an outlandish purchase.
And who else is capitalizing off Nyugen’s media-shy personality? A slew developers have come forth with “Flappy Bird” clones such as “Flappy Wings,” “Clumsy Bird,” and “Fly Birdie — Flappy Bird Flier,” The latter is already number two, according to Metro, on the iOs charts!
The success of Flappy Bird is peculiar. Unlike Angry Birds, which took nine months to make with hundreds of programmers, Flappy Bird was made in two to three days by one man. And he didn’t even promote the app — a la Beyonce — after its release last May. It surged into popularity in mid-January and remained number one for a month.
As Flappy Bird flaps no longer, many people are still bewildered by Nyugen’s step down.
We’re just not wooed by the iPod anymore! During the past three-month holiday season, Apple only sold six million iPods — this is a 53 percent plunge from last year’s numbers. It’s the steepest drop in iPod sales Apple has ever had, The Huffington Post reports.
IPod sales have been declining due to the success of the iPhone — the device already fulfills the function of the iPod; it holds a massive collection music, so why bother purchasing the iPod?
Even Steve Jobs called the iPhone “the best iPod we’ve ever made.”
Though the iPhone broke sales record during the last holiday season, tech pundits aren’t impressed. They expected the beloved smartphone to secure $57 million in sales, but instead Apple reeled in $51 million.
But Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to CNN Money, had an explanation for the disappointing quarter:
“Cell phone companies’ longer upgrade cycles were partially to blame for weak American sales. He also noted that orders for the iPhone 5S were stronger than expected, so it took some time for Apple to make enough of the smartphones to meet customer demand.”
But investors aren’t too swayed by Cook’s statement. With a prediction of $42 million in revenue next quarter — a bit short of analysts’ $46 million forecast — investors attribute Apples lower-than-expected sales to lack of innovation.
According to USA Today, Apple has plans to expand its horizons to TVs, smartwatches, home automation and mobile payments, but the tech giant’s innovative pace is too slow for many investors.
“It’s been in this lull for a long time now,” said Jason Jones of HighStep Capital, a tech hedge fund firm. “There’s a lot riding on this year, especially for Tim Cook who needs to show the world that he has some innovation up his sleeve.”
Apple’s shares have decreased from $700 to $500 in recent years. “The stock may not rebound until the company unveils at least one or two of these new devices,” USA Today adds.
“‘Apple is lagging’ in critical growth areas not making full use of assets such as iTunes, [Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial] said,” The Washington Post reports.
It’s not all bad news for the tech giant, though. Apple sold 4.8 million Macs; this is up 17 percent from last year. And 26 million iPads were sold during the same quarter — exactly in line with stock analysts’ predictions.
Flexing its innovative genius, Apple has — somehow, someway — condensed the finesse of the beloved iPhone into a sleek wristwatch! The name of this new incredible concept, according to Entrepreneur, is called the iWatch.
Apple’s new, still-speculative wearable technology infuses Nike FuelBand‘s design and a minimalist version of Apple’s iOs 7 interface into a sleek, smart wristwatch. Users can access a few of their favorite apps and even make calls on iWatch with just a swipe of the fingertip.
So who’s the mastermind behind this concept? At first, a mock-up design of the Apple iWatch was released by Thomas Bogner back in October.
But a San Francisco-based tech interface designer, Todd Hamilton, pushed Bogner to the side and created a better, more efficient interface:
“[Bogner's iWatch] was an impressive concept that got a lot of people excited including myself. However, it had a major flaw: the orientation of the interface made it impossible to use,” Hamilton said on his blog. “It needed to feel natural on the wrist and look like something Apple would actually produce.”
So basically, instead of being horizontal like Bogner’s, Hamilton suggested the iWatch be vertical. This version also “updates the operating system in order to give viewers a better vision of what the operation of the device might really look like,” according to Mashable.
The iWatch is rumored to rival Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Watch.
While Apple is keeping the iWatch hush-hush, there’s talk that the tech giant will aim to make the smartwatch health-focused. Apple has hired biomedical experts — like Nancy Dougherty – who are developing technological medical sensors, Business Insider reports.
The Apple app store sure had a great 2013. According to the tech giant, customers spent more than $10 billion on apps last year. And December proved to be the best month with sales of more than $1 billion in that month alone.
“App Store customers downloaded almost three billion apps in December making it the most successful month in App Store history,” according to a press release. Apple’s developers have now earned a whopping $15 billion on the App Store.
The introduction of iOS 7 helped boost sales as developers were able to create apps that took advantage of the redesigned user interface and more than 200 new features and APIs.
“Games were the top-downloaded lists for both free and paid-for apps on the iPhone,” reports The Telegraph. And Candy Crush Saga was the most popular free app of 2013, while, paid apps, Minecraft was the leader.
Following Candy Crush Saga for the top free apps were: Snapchat, Temple Run 2, 4 Pics 1 Word, YouTube, Google Maps, Facebook, Instagram, Despicable Me: Minion Rush and Skype for iPhone.
After the pocket edition of Minecraft, the top 10 paid iPhone were: Angry Birds Star Wars, Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, Temple Run: Oz, The Chase, Facetune, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Plague Inc., Angry Birds Star Wars II, and Minute Workout Challenge.
When looking at free iPad apps, again Candy Crush Saga came out on top, followed by YouTube, Skype for iPad, Temple Run 2 and BBC iPlayer. The top paid iPad apps were: Minecraft – Pocket Edition Wreck-it Ralph, Angry Birds Star Wars HD, The Chase, and Temple Run: Oz.
Did you download apps from the Apple Store last year?
Apple, under pressure from shareholders, is giving its board of directors team a much-needed face lift. The tech giant pledges to revamp its corporate charter to be more inclusive of women and minorities — two of the most underrepresented groups in Fortune 500 executive positions, Time reports.
Currently, Apple’s governing committee is predominantly white. The board members consist of seven Caucasian men over the age of 50; Andrea Jung — former CEO of Avon — is the only woman and person of color on the team.
Adding a splash of color and some feminine perspective can only widen the scope of innovative ideas that will appeal to a broader range of consumers.
“We live in an increasingly complex global marketplace, and the companies that can hire, attract and retain women and people of color are better equipped to capitalize on global opportunities and avoid missteps that may not be apparent to a more homogeneous group,” said Larisa Ruoff, director of shareholders at the Sustainability Group.
The Sustainability Group has taken a proactive stance to expedite Apple’s transition into a more diverse, inclusive corporation. Playing no games, the group sent a letter to Apple back in August and asked the company to “make adding women and people of color a priority, and to report back to investors on how it’s making those changes,” Bloomberg reports.
Also co-signing with The Sustainability Group are shareholders Trillium Asset Management LLC. “There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple,” added Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston’s Trillium. “It’s all white men.”
Over the past couple of months, both groups had several talks with Apple representatives to variegate their executive team. The multi-million dollar corporation caved in and vowed to amend their board’s bylaws:
“The Committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.”
Apple seeks to solidify this amendment to their charter with a February 28 vote among the tech giant’s shareholders.
Smartwatches and Internet eyeglasses. These are just a taste of the tech gadgets that came out in 2013. In reviewing them all, The Los Angeles Times has just come out with its top 10 must-have devices of the year. Here are some products that made the list:
1. Google Glass: Of course, these groundbreaking smartglasses are in the number one spot. Google’s high-tech eyewear are the most expensive item on the newspaper’s lineup. But even at $1,500 a pair, Google has already sold them to a few thousand early testers. For that high-ticket price, users get to perform a variety of tasks like playing music, sending messages, making phone call, shoot pictures and record video.
Glass will be available to the general public in 2014. We had the chance to try them on earlier this year. Here’s our take.
2. Apple iPad Air: Believe it or not Apple didn’t really innovate in 2013, reports the LA Times. The tech giant’s iPad Air, which is a thinner, lighter, sleeker version of its popular tablet, impressed the newspaper with its innovative product. At $499, the iPad Air is 0.29 of an inch thick, weighs exactly one pound and is outfitted with Apple’s fast new A7 64-bit chip, making it perfect for gaming.
3. Google Chromecast: ”Chromecast is a digital TV receiver that functions much like Roku and the Apple TV, but at a far lower price and in a much smaller package,” reports the Times. Chromecast is $35, plugs into the TV’s HDMI outlet and streams content from users’ smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers with Wi-Fi connection.
4/5. (Tie) Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One: It took both companies more than seven years to release new video game consoles–and it seems Sony and Microsoft returned strong to the market. Sony released the Playstation 4 ($399.99), and Microsoft came out with the Xbox One ($499.99). And the two systems are pretty similar — each offering 500-gigabyte hard drives in a black shell design. Both are selling strong, though neither is a clear leader, and stores are on back orders.
6. Nokia Lumia 1020: “The Lumia 1020 is one of the most impressive gadgets we’ve seen this year, yet it had one of the worst launches,” declares the newspaper. True, the product seemed to have gotten lost in the mix. But it features top-of-the-line specifications, including a 720p HD 4.5-inch screen and the highest-resolution smartphone camera, with 41 megapixels.
However, when it came out this summer, the platform was still missing many popular apps and at $299 with a two-year contract when it launched, it was on the high end. Now it has added more apps and dropped the price to $199 with a two-year contract. It also added Instagram, Vine and Waze — three apps that had been missing.
Also on the list were Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch; the durable LG G Flex smartphone with a curved screen, which is not yet available in the U.S.; and Leap Motion Controller motion sensor device.
Did you grab up any of these devices in 2013?
Last year, it was Facebook that was the highest-rated workplace in America. This year, Facebook plummeted down to fifth place and Bain & Company, a global strategy consultant firm, snatched the social network’s No.1 spot. Let’s talk about which companies slipped (or stepped up) on GlassDoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work!
Twitter, who wasn’t even on the list last year, managed to snag a cozy second place. “Plenty of awesome people to collaborate with and learn from,” one GlassDoor reviewer said about Twitter. “Good food” is a consensus among the comments as well. While there weren’t many cons at all, many reviewers noted that Twitter is losing its “startup feel” which is a detriment for the growing company.
LinkedIn launched itself into third place from last year’s 14th spot. The business-centered social network is ranked 4.6 out of 5 starts among GlassDoor’s reviewers. By the comments, you’d wonder if LinkedIn’s employees even work at all: ”Free catered lunches, a plethora of snacks and drinks to choose from, ping-pong, foosball, team outings… these perks are just the icing on the cake.”
But all-in-all, employees believe its LinkedIn’s friendly workplace environment that make it one of the best places to work. Its downsides seem to mirrors some of Twitter’s cons which are the growing pains that the employees seem to be experiencing at the company.
If you’re wondering about Google, this company unfortunately dropped down two spots from No. 6 to No. 8. Many reviewers say that Google’s intelligent work environment fuels one’s inner-competitive nature. While this is beneficial for the company’s productivity, some have experienced too much pressure from such a cutthroat landscape.
“Sometimes you feel like a very small fish in a big sea. The promotion process isn’t the best. I’ve seen a number of people receive promotions who definitely didn’t deserve it, while others who do, get passed over.” one Google engineer stated.
Apple didn’t even make it to the top 10! The corporation slumped down one spot from 34 to 35. According to some reviews compiled by CNN Money, Apple lost its spot due to issues in the career mobility department. “ If you’re not the type to seize every opportunity, expect to be in the same position for a long time,” a Mac specialist lamented.
Reviewers also say that if you want to work at Apple, you’re going to have to actually love it. It’s not an easy job! “Not for the lazy or faint of heart,” one said. “Need to do it for reasons other than money,” an Apple campus rep noted. A front-end engineer explained that there was little work/life balance on the job — he noted working very long hours during product launches.
It seems like you can’t go wrong with tech companies, nearly 50 percent of GlassDoor’s list involve information technology. And what’s best about GlassDoor’s Best Places to Work list is that the top 50 are based purely on employee ratings. In this way, readers get a generally unbiased report on the most-loved workplaces in America.
Have you worked at any of these places?
Apple has generously launched “Hour of Code,” a program that offers students free one-hour classes to learn about the inner-workings of today’s widgets and gadgets, Cruxial CIO reports.
“Hour of Code” is part of Code.org‘s campaign to broaden the appeal of computer science — especially for women and students of color. Kicking off Computer Science Education Week 2013, President Obama took time out of his busy schedule to urge Americans to take advantage of Apple’s in-store coding classes:
“Don’t just buy a new video game, make one. Don’t just download the latest app, help design it. Don’t just play on your phone, program it,” Obama said. “No one is born a computer scientist, but with a little hard work and some math and scientist, anyone can become one. This week is your shot and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
These classes will begin at 5PM today in Apple and Microsoft locations around the country.
Code.org, who has many high-profile sponsors including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, has a mission to implement coding within the K-12 educational community. The push, in part, is due to U.S. students’ poor track record in math and science.
Among 34 countries, America stands in 26th and 21st place for math and science, respectively, according to UPI. Adding to these dismal numbers, only eight percent of computer science students are of color and only 15 percent are women.
There are 1.4 million computing jobs available in America, but with only 400,000 computer science students, the skills gap is a major issue. The culprit behind these disparties, according to Code.org, is the scarcity of computer programming classes in schools. Only 10 percent of educational institutions offer coding classes and more than 70 percent don’t accept computer science as math credit for graduation. More parents are taking the initiative to get training for their kids. But if your family can’t afford these extra courses, you could get left behind.
To combat these dispiriting statistics, Code.org has secured Angela Bassett, Ashton Kutcher, Shakira and more to endorse the campaign. The nonprofit organization is reminding young America that their minds will pave the future of the U.S. As Obama says, “If we want America to stay on the cutting edge, we need young Americans to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything.”
Some news stories actually make you want to start believing in conspiracy theories. Here’s one that might. It seems that wireless carriers may be blocking a relatively simple solution to phone thefts in order to make a profit. About 1.6 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, with nearly 40 percent of all robberies in major U.S. cities involving mobile devices.
Not only do people buy more phones is they need to replace stolen ones, but also customers are more apt to opt for insurance offered by phone companies.
This is actually a lucrative side hustle for carriers — the top four wireless carriers will earn more than $7.8 billion this year in insurance premiums from their customers, according to an estimate by industry trade publication Warranty Week (via Huffington Post). According to Businessweek, Asurion, a phone insurance company that pays the wireless carriers for each policy they sell, made an estimated $98 million in profit in 2010. Typically, phone insurance plans range between $7 and $11 monthly, and they require consumers to pay deductibles as high as $200 for a replacement phone. And most often, these are nor new phones but refurbished used phones ones. Asurion’s insurance plan doesn’t guarantee customers will receive the same model as the one they lost.
“If you do the math, the phone companies are making out like bandits,” Richard Doherty, a director for Envisioneering Group, a market research firm, told HuffPo.
But here’s the kicker. A top prosecutor is accusing phone companies of standing in the way of a solution that could protect consumers from violent robberies just so that they can make more money.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón claims he has obtained emails showing how phone companies are blocking the introduction of a so-called kill switch that would render phones inoperable if stolen. If installed on phones, it would undercut the value of phones being sold on a global black market, which would lead to a sharp reduction in thefts.
“These emails suggest that the carriers are rejecting a technological solution so they can continue to shake down their customers for billions of dollars in insurance premiums,” Gascón said in a statement. “I’m incensed. … This is a solution that has the potential to end the victimization of their customers.”
Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have now demanded that phone manufacturers create new smartphone technology to make the devices less attractive to thieves. Apple and Samsung have already introduced new features this summer that they said would render stolen devices useless.
Phone companies have “worked hard over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem,” the CTIA said in a statement, pointing out that a new database of phone serial numbers is being shared among carriers. Last year, wireless companies agreed to share serial numbers after being pressured by the Federal Communications Commission and police chiefs nationwide to reduce cell phone thefts.