Apple HR chief Denise Young-Smith emails employees about diversity & inclusion

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Apple’s Vice President of Global Human Resources Denise Young-Smith emailed all Apple employees last week regarding diversity and inclusion. The email continues Apple’s recent string of events to promote diversity within the company. In midAugust, Apple released diversity data and held events on campus to promote inclusion. Young-Smith was promoted to head of all Apple HR earlier this year, and she received additional attention last month when she was added to Apple’s official executive biographies web page. The full email, via a source, is below:

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In-depth, high-quality hands-on video of iPhone 6 assembled from leaked parts

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We now have our best look yet at the iPhone 6 until Apple officially launches the device on September 9th. Russia-based YouTuber Rozetked has put together what appears to be a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (hands on footage of the 5.5-inch model went online this morning) with several of the leaked components that we’ve seen all over the web the last several months. The comparison shows both black and white front plates, along with a space gray rear shell. The video compares the design to the existing iPhone 5s and gives a very close look at the overall design aesthetic. You can find the video along with some more still photos below:

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Apple ‘actively investigating’ alleged iCloud hacking that caused celebrity nude photo leak

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Re/code has received a statement from Apple about the alleged hacking incidents. Natalie Kerris says:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

As is the norm with Apple’s public facing commentary, the company has not said much about the situation. Somehow, compromising personal pictures of several celebrities have leaked online and many are blaming iCloud as the root cause. The events are muddled by the fact that some of the reported claims have transpired to be fake Photoshopped images, although some — like the images of Jennifer Lawrence — have been confirmed to be legitimate.

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Review: Apple wireless keyboard for Logic Pro X from EditorsKeys

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There are a few companies that make skins specifically for Apple’s keyboards to add icons for the various shortcuts that pros use daily in apps like Logic Pro and Final Cut. I’ve tried a few in the past, but the benefits never seemed to outweigh the tradeoff of putting a clunky rubber skin over Apple’s masterfully built keyboard. The latest Logic keyboard I received in for review from EditorsKeys, however, has actually won me over and proven up to the task of permanently replacing my stock Apple keyboard. Read more

Plácido Domingo to close iTunes Festival on September 30, show kicking off today with deadmau5

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Placido Domingo has been announced as the final closing act for Apple’s iTunes Festival London. Apple has also added a few more acts than what had been previously announced, to round out the lineup. This includes The Mirror Trap, Friend Within and the London Electronic Orchestra.

The month-long festival starts today at 9 PM UK time (1 PM PST), with ‘Deadmau5′ headlining Monday’s show. A full schedule can be found online at http://itunesfestival.com.

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New hands-on footage claims to show 5.5-inch ‘iPhone Air’ (Video)

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As the days go by leading up to next week’s September 9th event, the part leaks for Apple’s next flagship handsets keep streaming in. The 5.5-inch model in particular has been getting a lot of attention lately, with multiple sources leaking photos of its casing and supposed components. Today’s offering, courtesy of French site Nowhereelse.fr, is another look at the shell of what the publication is calling the “iPhone Air.”

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Vulnerability in Find My Phone service and weak passwords may explain alleged celebrity photo leaks

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The Next Web is reporting that a vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed attackers to brute-force passwords in order to access the iCloud accounts of celebrities.

The vulnerability allegedly discovered in the Find my iPhone service appears to have allowed attackers to use this method to guess passwords repeatedly without any sort of lockout or alert to the target. Once the password has been eventually matched, the attacker can then use it to access other iCloud functions freely.

A tool to exploit the weakness was uploaded to Github, where it remained for two days before being shared on Hacker News …  Read more

Countless celebrity nude photo leaks being blamed on supposed iCloud hack (Updated)

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A plethora of reports are swirling around the internet that countless private celebrity photos have leaked (no, we’re not going to link you), and—what are as of right now baseless—rumors claim that someone found a vulnerability in Apple’s iCloud platform and exploited it to obtain the images. Of the celebrities reportedly involved are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Avril Livigne, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mary Kate Olsen, Hillary Duff, and many others.

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Founder Anand Shimpi latest Apple hire from hardware review site AnandTech

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AnandTech founder and EiC Anand Shimpi announced last night via a post on the site that he had decided to retire from technology journalism, but didn’t specify what he’d be doing instead. Today, Re/code reports that Shimpi will be going to Apple, as confirmed by the tech firm’s representative, though his exact role is still unknown.

Earlier this year AnandTech’s Brian Klug also left the site for a role at Apple with a focus on building mobile processors for the company’s iOS lineup. It’s possible and perhaps likely that Shimpi will be taking up a similar role in quality assurance or marketing.

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Apple has reached agreements w/ American Express & MasterCard to work on iPhone payments system

We reported in May that Apple was expected to launch an iPhone payments system with the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

Apple wants to replace yet another daily tool with your iPhone: your wallet. Executives from the Cupertino-based technology company have begun discussions with directors from retail store chains about a mobile payments service, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. Previous reports indicated that Apple is exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies. These latest mobile payments-related discussions, which have occurred with retail store brands such as those that sell luxury clothing and premium goods, have taken place over the past couple of months, according to the source. The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.

Subsequent reports echoed that same Information including naming Visa as a partner.  Re/code today reports that Apple has signed up a major American financial institution to work on its iPhone wallet program.

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.

Apple’s new payments system is expected to let iPhone 6 owners use their phone in place of a credit card or cash to pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores. Customers will present their phones at the checkout counter of partnering retailers to transmit payment information to complete a purchase. It’s not clear which retailers have signed on to accept such payments.

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Apple highlighting top ten reasons apps get rejected on new developer page

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As noticed by Apfelpage, Apple has published a new page to be more open about why it rejects apps. A chart at the bottom of the page shows the top ten reasons for app rejection in the last seven days; such as lack of information, crashes or bugs encountered, complicated user interfaces. Around 60% of rejections come from violation of just ten guidelines of the App Store rules. Some of these, like the existence of placeholder text in applications, seem rather trivial issues and it’s interesting that it arises so frequently as a cause of rejection.

The page goes into more detail on some of these points. In one instance, Apple highlights what it deems to be a ‘substandard user interface’, which apparently is responsible for 6% of all rejections. In the example, Apple advises use of a tableview to cleanly lay out information.

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Apple ‘spaceship’ campus construction caught on film by flying drone

9to5-image 2014-08-31 at 10.18.52 AMThe 8-minute video, highlighted by Apple Spotlight and embedded below, shows the latest progress on Apple’s Campus 2. Although the spaceship site is cordoned off by high walls to prevent pictures at street level, a GoPro-equipped drone has no trouble getting the aerial shots seen in the video. Images of the campus were last seen in JulyRead more