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Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 3:07 am

Apple have reached 100% renewable energy usage at all of their data centers, with their corporate facilities not far behind with 75% renewable energy. Considering the company was at just 35% renewable energy for their corporate facilities two years ago, this is a swift, and great change:

 

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Our goal is to power every facility at Apple entirely with energy from renewable sources - solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. So we're investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows.

 

Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.

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Apple's iOS 7 could see more of a 'flat design', Apple wants to simplify iOS even more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 2:00 am

With Tim Cook steering the Apple ship, we are seeing the company go in a new direction, something I'm guessing will help them gain more users, but not alienate others who like iOS. The latest news is that the Apple CEO has set Jony Ive with leadership of Apple's Human Interface teams, as well as his role as the head of Industrial Design.

 

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This news has suggested that Apple's hardware and software user interfaces could be intertwined even more, with one executive in charge of everything you see and touch on an iOS device. The Wall Street Journal has chimed in, confirming that this is true, with mobile software teams being briefed about new hardware prototypes earlier in the design cycle. Ive is now sitting in on the human interface team's review sessions, where he can have more one-on-one time with the new designs.

 

Some suggested that in Apple's next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more "flat design" that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn't have further details. Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative. For the past few years, Apple has unveiled versions of its mobile operating system in the summer.

 

Design is one example of the increased "collaboration across hardware, software and services" that Apple said it was aiming for when Cook pushed senior vice president and mobile software chief Scott Forstall out of the company last year.

Bill Gates throws $100,000 on the table, wants you to build a better... condom

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 11:31 am

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have put up a $100,000 of initial funding for someone who designs the "next generation of condoms." The money won't stop there, as the funding will expand up to $1 million for whoever is capable of delivering the next-gen contraception.

 

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Considering that the basic form of contraception hasn't received many changes over the years, it is used by an estimated 750 million people across the world for both reducing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. The Foundation's description of the challenge explains it as: "The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom."

 

A next-gen condom might give men more sensation, pushing them to use them more often, for the good of global health. When it comes to female condoms, "suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts."

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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm sells 1.1 million copies in just two days

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:34 am

My Facebook feed has been set ablaze of the last few days due to the first expansion to StarCraft 2, Heart of the Swarm, being released. Blizzard have now announced that they sold 1.1 million copies of the game in just 48 hours.

 

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The 1.1 million copies are from combined physical and digital copies, but Blizzard hasn't said how it split in terms of sales. Blizzard launched StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm on my birthday, I mean March 12, and saw their launch date event broadcast online with an additional 1.1 million viewers, with the concurrent viewers sitting at around 125,000.

RumorTT: Samsung to release Galaxy Tab 3 Plus with octo-core processor and AMOLED HD display

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 9:32 am

Samsung might not be baking in their octo-core Exynos 5 processor in to the US-based Galaxy S4, but it looks as though they could be saving some of those eight-core processors for their upcoming, but still rumored Galaxy Tab 3 Plus.

 

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The rumored tablet will feature the octo-core Exynos 5 processor, a Super AMOLED Full HD display which will arrive as either a 10.1- or 11.6-inch panel. There are reportedly two prototypes floating around, with the final screen size not yet finalized. We should hear more on this in the coming weeks.

Apple acquires WiFiSlam, an indoor GPS mapping startup

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 8:56 am

Apple is still trying to begin to (because they aren't right now) compete with Google and their far superior mapping service, where the Cupertino-based company have just acquired an indoor GPS tracking startup, WiFiSlam.

 

 

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Apple have acquired the startup, who specializes in WiFi-assisted indoor GPS functionality for smartphones. What makes this news interesting is that the company was reportedly founded by a few ex-Google staff a couple of years ago, with one of their investors included a Google employee. A stronger confirmation on this is the fact that any WiFiSlam-related apps have been removed from the Google Play Store.

 

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Apple reportedly coughed up $20 million for the startup, but no confirmation on this has materialized. I'm sure we'll see more on this in the future.

LeakedTT: Samsung Galaxy S4 mini pictures and specs appear

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 23, 2013 1:03 am

And just like that the tech crowd has moved on from the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S4 Mini. Samsung first introduced the "Mini" line with the Galaxy S3 Mini last year. We're now seeing what are purported to be leaked pictures and specifications of an upcoming Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone.

 

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The expected launch time for the device pictured above is sometime in June or July. The screen will be a smaller 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD. This yields a pixel density of just 256 ppi. The device will be powered by an unknown 1.6GHz dual-core processor. The operating system will be Android 4.2.2 with the TW Nature UX 2.0 laid on top.

 

We're hearing that the device might also come with a dual SIM slot, which some customers will appreciate. Considering the device will be a budget phone, I'm leaning towards it not coming with a dual SIM. We'll have to wait and see.

Google expands Transparency Report with daily highlights of links not removed

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 22, 2013 11:45 pm

Google continues to expand its Transparency Report. This time Google has added a list of recently submitted URLs for takedown that the company declined. This latest update comes on the heels of Google expanding the report to include a statistics on the number of false DMCA takedown requests received.

 

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Besides having the effect of calling out the sheer ignorance (stupidity?) of the rights managements groups, the new section brings attention to these links that the company attempted to have removed. Obviously, some of the requested links that were rejected by Google are more entertaining than others.

 

For instance, Audiolock issued a takedown request for 25 different URLs. Google denied 84 percent because many of the links were to the band's music on iTunes, Spotify, and eMusic. Go figure.

 

Check out the newly updated Transparency Report and feel free to send us any especially humorous takedown requests similar to the one above.

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Apple disables iForgot password recovery page after exploit discovered

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 22, 2013 10:42 pm

After a security hole was discovered in Apple's iForgot password recovery page that allowed passwords to be recovered with just an e-mail and date of birth, Apple has disabled the page for obvious reasons. Navigating to the page now returns a "Currently Unavailable" status message that suggests you "check back later."

 

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Make sure to enable two-step authentication on your account to help protect from future vulnerabilities such as this.

 

At the time of writing, Apple's page continually timed out for both my coworkers and myself.

Apple starts warning of free apps that 'offer in-app purchases'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 22, 2013 10:21 pm

Apple obviously felt the sting of a recently settled lawsuit as they have added a warning to free apps that have in-app purchases. This will allow parents to easily identify which free apps offer in-app purchases and hopefully prevent their kids from going crazy with micro-transactions.

 

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The warning doesn't appear to be present on the mobile App Store or on the Apple website. It is confirmed to be showing in the App Store that is contained within iTunes. We do expect it to eventually show up on the mobile version of the App Store.

 

An interesting idea that could spring from this new warning is the ability to filter apps that allow in-app purchases. Apple has clearly identified free apps that contain in-app purchases. Now all they need to do is implement a parental filter to prevent those apps from being used or downloaded. Apple has not said that this feature will be implemented.

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