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

July 22

AAPL: 98.66

-0.77
Stock Chart

Apple has already told investors to expect a substantial year-on-year decline in Q3 earnings when it reveals the numbers next week, so it’s no surprise that analysts are mostly downbeat in their predictions for the quarter. However, there is an optimistic note in most of the analyst notes summarized by Business Insider when it comes to the outlook for 2017 …

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A Deutsche Bank research note based on supply-chain sources claims that Apple will sell the iPhone 7 with a Lightning-to-audio dongle, rather than providing Lightning headphones, reports Business Insider.

It also suggests that the iPhone 7 Plus will have 3GB of RAM. All of the note’s other predictions echo things we’ve heard many times before: similar design to the 6s; dual cameras on the Plus, improved camera on the standard model; better sound, possibly stereo; better waterproofing; and a touch-sensitive Home button.

Supply-chain sources aren’t always the most reliable source of information on Apple’s plans, as Tim Cook himself has observed, and there are a couple of reasons to treat this report with some suspicion …

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Apple has once more been dubbed the world’s favorite company after last year losing out to Google.

Each year, FutureBrand looks at the world’s 100 largest companies and asks 3,000 consumers and industry professionals to score them on a range of factors, and to explain how they feel about their preferred companies. The two top feelings respondents had toward Apple were passion and admiration. Apple was ranked highly for individuality, authenticity, innovation and thought-leadership.

However, it’s possible that Apple may have retaken the number one slot on a technicality …

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9to5toys 

Security researchers last year discovered what they described as ‘the worst Android vulnerability ever,’ able to infect a phone with malware simply by sending an MMS message to it. The vulnerability, dubbed Stagefright, didn’t even require people to open the message for their phone to be infected.

A Cisco researcher has now discovered a similar vulnerability in OS X and iOS, that could allow an attacker to gain access to your stored passwords and files simply by sending you a malicious image file …

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July 21

AAPL: 99.43

-0.53
Stock Chart

The Japanese video game developer Square Enix, best known for the hugely popular F&SF franchise Final Fantasy, has created a webpage teasing a new role-playing game for the Apple Watch, Cosmos Rings.

The page provides no details bar the name, a single image and confirmation that the genre is an RPG. The page specifically names the Apple Watch, indicating that it will not be available for Android Wear smartwatches …

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9to5google 

The use of an Apple ID for a perfectly legal purchase was the key piece of evidence that has enabled the Department of Homeland Security to identify the man they suspect to be the owner of the biggest pirate website on the net, KickAssTorrents.com (KAT).

A lengthy criminal complaint filed against Ukranian national Artem Vaulin by the U.S. Attorney’s Office explains how the Apple ID enabled authorities to identify the suspect …

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It seems you can hardly turn a corner in China without bumping into an iPhone 7 mockup these days. With widespread consensus on the expected design, we’re now seeing both physical mockups and renders in a range of colors, so we’ve pulled together a number of them in a gallery, together with a new video …

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When covering Apple patents, we do so with the disclaimer that the company patents a huge number of ideas that never make it into products, but one group is taking no chances. A Care2 petition has launched a petition asking Apple not to implement a recently-granted patent that would allow iPhone cameras to be disabled remotely.

While the patent has in mind situations like concerts, where the audience can have their view blocked by a sea of cameraphones, the petition is concerned about the potential for more sinister uses of the technology …

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electrek 

July 20

AAPL: 99.96

0.09
Stock Chart

We’ve been hearing conflicting reports on whether or not Apple will be allowed to open retail stores in India ever since Tim Cook met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September. A new Bloomberg report suggests that Modi may be about to finally give the go-ahead.

While India is currently a very small market for Apple, Cook has repeatedly described the country as the next China. The huge population and growing middle-class means that India has enormous future potential for Apple, but a law has so far prevented the company from opening official Apple Stores there …

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If you were of the view that the Pokémon Go hype has gotten completely out of hand, the evidence file just got thicker. Nintendo’s value has more than doubled since the game was launched, notes The Verge.

Ever since the launch of Pokémon Go earlier this month, Nintendo’s market capitalization has more than doubled, ending Tuesday trading at a fantastic $42.5 billion. Such has been the appetite for Nintendo stock, in fact, that on Friday it broke the single-day trading record in Tokyo this century, with $4.5 billion of stock changing hands.

Yep, that makes the games company – which only sees indirect benefits from Pokémon Go – worth more than Sony, at around $40B. And if that weren’t crazy enough, one analyst has even made the unlikely claim that the game could be worth $3B in revenue to Apple …

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9to5toys 

An online poll of U.S. iPhone owners found that only 9.3% were planning to upgrade to the iPhone 7 due to the expected design being so similar to the iPhone 6/6s. That contrasts with 25.2% who would upgrade for a brand new design.

At this point, it’s unclear whether Apple is simply holding back significant design changes for a special 10th anniversary iPhone, or is – as a Nikkei report suggested – switching to a three-year major refresh cycle. But the Quartz survey indicates that the latter would be a dangerous move …

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July 19

AAPL: 99.87

0.04
Stock Chart

Update: With version 2 of the firmware, the previous maximum volume is now a recommended maximum. You now get a verbal message that you’re at the safe limit, but can then continue to increase the volume to the same level as typical earphones.

With it now looking all but certain that there will be no headphone socket in this year’s iPhone, demand for wireless headphones is likely to reach a new high. And when it comes to choosing a pair, Bragi’s Dash – marketed as ‘truly wireless smart earphones’ – seem on the face of it to be a very Apple-esque solution.

You can’t get much more minimalist than these. You have an earphone for each ear, and that’s it. No connecting cords, no neckband, nothing.

The earphones can also make a pretty good claim to living up to the ‘smart’ part of the branding, controlled by a mix of touch and gesture – such as nodding to accept an incoming call and shaking your head to reject it. For times when you don’t want to carry your phone, you can load music into the 4GB on-board memory. Which is handy when you’re swimming, as they claim to be 100% waterproof. And the carry-case has a built-in battery for on-the-go wireless charging.

I tried out a pair to find out whether they really do live up to the hype …

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9to5google 

Evan Blass has tweeted what he says are the codenames of two 2016 iPhone models. The tweet implies that the lack of a third codename indicates that only two models are planned. Both names are small towns in California.

From the volume of rumors about an iPhone 7 Pro, it appears likely that Apple has at least explored the idea, but the company of course plays with numerous ideas that never make it to market …

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Government officials in Iran have threatened to ban iPhones from the country, and ‘collect’ existing ones, unless Apple appoints an official representative in the country.

“If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” Tasnim News Agency quoted the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office as having said on Sunday.

The move is said to be aimed at countering the smuggling of smartphones into the country …

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July 18

AAPL: 99.83

1.05
Stock Chart
electrek 

It’s almost exactly a year since we learned that Apple was making ResearchKit available to big pharmaceutical companies and GlaxoSmithKline would be using the platform to carry out clinical studies. GSK has now announced the first of those studies.

The study will use the GSK PARADE iPhone app to conduct surveys and use iPhone sensors to collect and track common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: joint pain, fatigue, and mood. It will also track activity and quality of life measures for 300 patients over a three-month period. 

The company says that it sees significant benefits by collecting data via ResearchKit …

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