Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook Air 11, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear

Today

AAPL: 94.40

0.81
Stock Chart

With schools about to break up the the summer holidays, now would be a great time to line up some activities to keep them entertained – and Bose has come up with an interesting-looking option. The BoseBuild speaker is a $149 Bluetooth speaker that kids build themselves from prefabricated parts. Instructions are provided by a companion iOS app.

The build itself looks pretty basic, but there are a whole bunch of activities along the way that teach kids how a speaker works – from the fundamentals of how sound is created through to frequencies and waveforms …

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9to5toys 

June 28

AAPL: 93.59

1.55
Stock Chart

Noise-cancelling headphones are great when you just want to eliminate all outside noise, as you might on board a plane, but there are times when you want to be able to block most outside noise, but not all. Being able to hear car engines while cycling, or announcements while on a train, for example. That’s what the Here One wireless earbuds are designed to do.

The company says it uses smart noise filters to provide what it calls ‘layered listening.’

Control the volume of streamed audio and ambient sound simultaneously. Safely listen to music while riding your bike, or access live commentary at a game while still experiencing the cheering crowd. Unlike normal headphones, Here One doesn’t isolate you from the world […]

Selectively filter out an airplane engine, office chatter, a siren, and more. Amplify speech to tune into every word at a crowded restaurant or party … 

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One of the things that really spoils live concerts these days is that half the people there don’t seem to want to watch it live at all – they’d rather watch it through their phone screen, holding the device up and blocking the view of those behind them. This is a problem Apple is seeking to solve in a patent first applied for in 2011 and granted today …

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9to5google 

Reuters reports that South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Apple for possible anti-competitive practices in the country. This appears to support an earlier unconfirmed report in Korea Times that FTC was examining the legality of Apple’s contract terms with mobile carriers.

Sources said Apple Korea has pressed carriers into buying a minimum volume of promotional iPhones and sharing the burden of repair costs […]

In April, the FTC ordered the rectification of 20 unfair provisions in contracts with its certified repair service partners. The contracts included stipulations that the repair firms could not file lawsuits against Apple Korea within a year after any dispute.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes an earlier case in France …

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June 27

AAPL: 92.04

-1.36
Stock Chart

A recorded episode of the French TV show On n’est pas Couché (We are not Asleep) was filmed with iPhones after a power outage at the studio took out the TV cameras.

You can watch the video below of the moment when the power went out, together with footage of filming continuing using iPhones …

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While a previous Macotakara report suggested that the iPhone 7 would be available in a deep blue color, replacing Space Gray, the blog is now suggesting that this is not the *case*.

I have heard another information that space grey would not be disconnected, but would be possibly updated to much darker color. Also, the new color would not be deep blue, but possibly formal black which is close to black.

This tallies with something heard from one of our own sources …

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electrek 

Apple’s record as the biggest target in the world for patent claims doesn’t look likely to change any time soon. The WSJ reports that two out of the three top rankings for the most international patent filings are Chinese companies: Huawei and ZTE.

Last year, Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker and the leader in the telecommunications-equipment market, was the largest filer of international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which makes it easier for companies to file patents in multiple countries […]

Patents are also playing a role in the harsher mobile landscape Apple and Samsung are navigating in China, where regulators increasingly insist that foreign companies play by Beijing’s rules.

We recently got a very stark view of what ‘Beijing’s rules’ means when it comes to patent battles …

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Apple Store in Covent Garden, London
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With a long-running EU investigation into the legality of Apple’s tax arrangements in Europe still showing no signs of reaching a conclusion, the size of last year’s UK tax bill isn’t likely to help its cause. Apple’s latest accounts show that it paid just £12.9M ($17M) in UK corporation tax despite making an estimated £2B ($2.6B) profit in the country.

As the Mail Online notes, this is the equivalent of just two hours’ profits on its global sales …

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June 24

AAPL: 93.40

-2.70
Stock Chart

The Verge reports that Uber is testing a new version of its app that offers customers good news and bad. On the plus side, it will specify a fixed fare up-front, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying. On the downside, it will be much less obvious when surge-pricing is in effect …

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9to5toys 
iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone
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With Apple expected to switch to OLED screens for future iPhones, it appears that it may not need to rely completely on the two major manufacturers for long. While Samsung and LG currently manufacture most of the world’s OLED screens between them, Nikkei reports that Sharp expects to be doing the same ‘before 2018’ …

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June 23

AAPL: 96.10

0.55
Stock Chart

If you’re one of the 2.5M Americans planning a European vacation this summer, T-Mobile has a pretty sweet deal for its Simple Choice customers: free unlimited speed data throughout July and August, up from the normal 128Kbps limit.

The Un-carrier today announced it’s unleashing summer travel, giving customers unlimited high-speed data, up to 4G LTE speeds, throughout Europe all summer long […]

Starting July 1st all the way through August 31st, T-Mobile’s giving Simple Choice customers unlimited high-speed data across all of Europe (except Andorra) – all at absolutely no additional cost – so you can share, Skype, snap and scope every moment of your European holiday … 

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9to5google 

Jony Ive was one of ten ’eminent figures’ awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Oxford yesterday. The degree was awarded at Encaenia, the University’s annual honorary degree ceremony, where Ive became a Doctor of Science.

The announcement listed Ive’s lengthy list of previous accolades …

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electrek 

June 22

AAPL: 95.55

-0.36
Stock Chart

Shenzhen Baili, the Chinese company that last week managed to win a Beijing patent office ruling that the iPhone 6 copied its own Baili 100C smartphone, is effectively defunct, reports the WSJ.

[Parent company] Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors. Digione has been absent from China’s mobile-phone market for at least a year and Baidu has accused it of squandering its investment.

When the WSJ attempted to track down the company behind the alleged patent, it found no signs that it was still operating …

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