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Apple says Google Now hasn't been submitted for approval

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 10:32 pm

Apple is refuting Eric Schmidt's hint that Google had submitted a Google Now app for approval. Schmidt had commented earlier today about whether Google Now would be coming to iOS devices. "You'll need to discuss that with Apple. Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of the apps we make they approve and some of them they don't."




While his comment seemed to indicate that Google had submitted an app to Apple, Apple says that this isn't the case. Apple confirmed that no Google Now app has been submitted for approval as of yet. Previously rumors swirled that Apple was delaying the approval of, or rejecting completely, a Google Maps app.


We'll have to hear what Google has to say about what Schmidt meant. For now, it appears that Google Now is not confirmed to be coming to iOS.

Apple brags data centers now powered by 100% renewable energy, emissions still up 34%

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 9:32 pm

Going green is the big push right now and has been for the past several years. Apple releases its "Apple and the Environment" report to show just how Apple's business affects the environment around us. The latest report shows that while Apple is moving towards green energy use, its overall production of CO2 is still increasing.




Apple has started to brag that its data centers are 100 percent powered by renewable energy sources. Even with this change, Apple's overall production has increased by 34 percent. Apple attributes this increase to its overall increase in products sold. It's true that Apple produces less CO2 per dollar revenue.


Since 2008, Apple has reduced its emissions per dollar revenue by 21.5 percent. Apple has also increased renewable energy at its corporate facilities by 114 percent. However, facilities only contribute 2 percent of Apple's emissions. 61 percent, or the large majority, come from the manufacturing of the devices.

Apple unveils two-step verification for iCloud, Apple ID

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 8:32 pm

Apple is implementing a security feature known as two-step verification. It's similar to the security measures used by Google and other web services. Users are able to enable the service through the Apple ID website, after which two-step verification will be required to make changes to a user's account.




Users will set up a trusted device, such as a Mac or iPhone, and will need to print a recovery key. In order to reset a user's password, they will need to have access to the recovery key that they printed out. The first time you attempt to buy an app on a new device, you'll be required to enter a pin that can be accessed from a trusted device.


You can head over to the Apple ID website to enable it for yourself. It's definitely recommended, though it's only currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Appeals court says Isohunt is liable for users' copyright infringement

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 7:36 pm

The Ninth Circuit of Appeals has ruled that Isohunt's founder, Gary Fung, is liable for copyright infringement committed by the site's users because he possessed "red flag" knowledge that infringement was occurring. In its 59-page ruling, the Ninth Circuit court upheld most of a lower-court's decisions.




The main takeaway from this ruling is that if a site's operator is found to be inducing copyright infringement, they are no longer allowed in the safe harbor. The Court was able to identify that Fung induced copyright infringement through his posts on the Isohunt forums:


[Fung] communicated a clear message by responding affirmatively to requests for help in locating and playing copyrighted materials...posted numerous messages to the isoHunt forum requesting that users upload torrents for specific copyrighted films.

HTC CEO Peter Chou lays it all on the line, says he will quit if One smartphone fails

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 6:30 pm

HTC CEO Peter Chou is so committed to the success of the HTC One that he has reportedly said that he will quit his job and leave HTC if the upcoming One smartphone is a flop.




In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Chou said that in the event that the HTC One is a failure, he will resign his position at the company. At the moment, things are not looking good for Chou as HTC's flagship release has been delayed until the end of this month due to delays.




The delays were first thought to be caused by HTC's new "Ultra Pixel" camera technology, or its aluminum uni-frame body, but we recently discovered that is not the case. In fact, HTC is having issues getting many of its components due to being downgraded from a tier one manufacturer.

Continue reading 'HTC CEO Peter Chou lays it all on the line, says he will quit if One smartphone fails' (full post)

Canon launches new EOS Rebel SL1, world's smallest and lightest DSLR

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 5:31 pm

Canon has just released what it is billing as the "world's smallest and lightest" fully featured DSLR. The EOS Rebel SL1 weighs in at just 14.36oz and is 25 percent smaller than its older sibling, the Rebel T4i. The new SL1 is targeted at competing with the current micro four-thirds mirror-less models that are flooding the market.




Featuring a new 18-megapixel CMOS based APS-C sensor, and Canon's very fast Digic 5 image processor, this little DSLR packs a punch. An ISO range of 100-12800 can tame low light situations, and is expandable to 25600 for stills and 6400 for video. The SL1 is capable of shooting four frames per second of continuous shooting.




The SL1 also features a 9-point auto focus system that is capable of autofocus tracking when shooting video. This is enabled by the bundled 18-55 f/3-5.6 IS STM "kit lens" that features Canon's movie servo autofocus feature. The EOS SL1 will hit shelves in April with a body only price tag of $650 or $800 with the kit lens.

Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 4:33 pm

A new virus specific to Mac has been discovered by Russian security firm Doctor Web. Named Trojan.Yontoo.1, the virus injects ads into webpages on the infected machine.




The malware works by installing an adware plugin into any of the popular browsers then overlays an advertisement in key locations on webpages. Doctor Web says that this trojan is just another piece of a large adware puzzle that has been infecting OS X for some time now.




The virus can be caught in several different ways, with the most popular method being the use of movie trailer pages in which users must install a plugin to view the content. Other methods of injection have been media player enhancement programs and download accelerators. One indication of infection is that when launched, Trojan.Yontoo.1 will prompt users to install a program called "Free Twit Tube" or something similar.


No information has been released from Apple on a removal tool yet, and it is expected that Apple will just patch its XProtect.plist which already blocks about 15 previous malware attacks. The best thing is to avoid any installs from unknown websites or anything that has a funny name. Remember, Google is your friend and if you are unsure of an application's validity, a five second search could prevent an infection. Be smart.

Apple wants your iPhone to be more cat like and less like toast, new patent designed to lessen drop damage

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 3:29 pm

What do you do when you have more cash reserves than any other company in the world? You develop a system that magically flips your company's flagship phone into the proper position during a fall to lessen damage. Yes, Apple has patented a method that turns your phone into a cat.




US Patent #20130073095 describes a "Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device" that appears to use centrifugal force to reorient an iPhone in the event of a drop or fall. From the patent drawings, it looks like a small motor with a weight on one end would spin up and make the phone flip into an orientation that would lessen damage to sensitive parts like the screen.


The patent also mentions alternative methods that would deploy airfoils to levy aerodynamics to reorient the phone. There is also mention of cables that could be jettisoned to catch the phone mid fall, and other far out there concepts like gas canisters used in conjunction with thrust nozzles to reorient the phone. Below you can see more of the artwork courtesy of Apple Insider.


The patent states:


In one example, the protective mechanism is configured to alter the device orientation as the device is falling. This may allow a less vulnerable portion of the device to impact the surface at the end of a freefall. For example, the protective mechanism may be activated to rotate the device so that it may impact a surface on its edge, rather than on a screen portion.

Windows Phone 8 users get ad-free Pandora through the end of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Six months ago Microsoft announced that Pandora would be coming to Windows Phone 8 and that its users would be treated to one year of ad-free listening. While it may be a little late, Pandora for Windows Phone 8 is finally here and Redmond kept true to its word.




The new Pandora App for Windows Phone 8 has been completely redesigned from the ground up specifically for Microsoft's mobile OS. Users are able to pin their favorite stations to Live Tiles, the main Pandora tile always displays track information, and the app can be put into "kid mode", which blocks all traces of explicit content.


Unlike the iOS and Android version, the Windows Phone 8 app does not feature song lyrics or artist biographies. Other than that, the apps are mostly the same. Microsoft has paid for nine months of free service in advance and it's users will not be subject to ads or the recently implemented listening cap. When the free period is over, users will have to subscribe to Pandora One for $36 a year or $3.99 a month.

BlackBerry 10 apps surge past 100,000 in total with 30,000 added in last two months alone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Back in January, BlackBerry 10 launched with more than 70,000 applications in its app store called BlackBerry World. This morning BlackBerry has announced that those numbers now exceed 100,000.




In the past seven weeks, over 30,000 apps have been added to the BlackBerry World catalog, and more seem to pour in every day. This announcement comes with less than 24 hours before carriers like Verizon open up pre-orders for the new BlackBerry Z10 ahead of its retail launch next week on March 28.


Martyn Mallick, VP of Global Alliances at BlackBerry, said:


"The response to the BlackBerry 10 platform and applications has been outstanding. Customers are thrilled with the applications already available, and the catalog just keeps growing, now with more than 100,000 apps.


Top brands and application providers are joining us every day and are seeing the benefits of being early supporters of the new platform. We constantly hear from developers that the BlackBerry 10 tools are easy to build with and that we provide opportunities for app differentiation that they do not see on other platforms."