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

May 24

AAPL: 97.90

1.47
Stock Chart

Apple famously sits on a huge stockpile of cash – $215B at the latest count – but a new report from corporate credit rating agency Moody’s puts the number into perspective. It shows that if you exclude banking & finance, a sector that sits on a lot of cash by definition, just three companies hold 23% of all the corporate cash in the USA: Apple, Microsoft and Google.

GeekWire notes that this is the first time that all five of the top spots have been held by tech companies, with Apple holding twice as much as Microsoft and three times as much as Google …

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May 23

AAPL: 96.43

1.21
Stock Chart

Spotify is clearly feeling the competition from Apple Music, and is now matching the Cupertino company’s family deal of $14.99 per month for up to six family members. This literally halves the cost of Spotify’s previous family membership, as well as extending it from five to six people …

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9to5toys 

Apple and the Maine Department of Education are swapping out iPads for MacBooks after a survey found that students and teachers alike favored laptops for older students. The deal means that there will be no additional cost to schools for exchanging the devices, reports the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.

Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson said that the success of iPads in primary grades had make them look like the right choice at the time, but they have turned out to be less than ideal for older students …

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9to5google 

May 20

AAPL: 95.22

1.02
Stock Chart

The fallout from the standoff between Apple and the FBI in the San Bernardino case continues. Following the introduction of one bipartisan bill in the House of Representives in February, seeking to protect encryption against any state-level legislation that might compromise it, a new bill has now been introduced in the Senate ,,,

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electrek 

May 19

AAPL: 94.20

-0.36
Stock Chart

Apple’s falling sales coupled to strong growth from emerging Chinese brands saw the iPhone’s worldwide market share drop just over three points from 17.9% in the first quarter of 2015 to 14.8% in the same quarter this year, according to Gartner.

Although a saturated smartphone market is part of the challenge faced by Apple, global smartphone sales did continue to grow, by 3.9% to 349M units.

Market leader Samsung also saw its share fall in the same period …

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9to5toys 

A wristband that zaps you with a 255-volt electric shock if you over-spend is the latest idea from Intelligent Environments, a company that first announced the Pavlock wearable 18 months ago as a way to dissuade owners from visiting time-wasting websites.

The band would be triggered, explains the BBC, if your bank balance drops too quickly.

If the funds in the account go below an agreed limit, the band kicks in. It can also work with smart meter Nest to turn down the heating and save energy bills if funds are low.

Unsurprisingly, no bank has yet signed up for the service. But while the idea may be silly, it seems to me that the underlying concept here is exactly where the Internet of Things should be headed …

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A patent published today suggests that Apple may have plans to allow the Apple Pencil to be used with Mac trackpads as well as the two iPad Pro models.

The patent was originally filed in 2014, when Apple referred to the Apple Pencil as ‘the stylus.’ Much of the text focuses on use of the stylus with a ‘touch screen display’ (aka an iPad), but several of the drawings show what appear to be a trackpad and iMac …

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The Fitbit Blaze 'fitness watch'
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With the Apple Watch the most convenient way to use Apple Pay, Fitbit appears set to bring contactless payment tech to its fitness bands from next year.

After acquiring mobile payment company Coin earlier this month, Fitbit hinted to TNW that it would add NFC payment capabilities to one or more of its devices next year …

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9to5google 

Something that has been bugging me for some time is that my iPhone, normally unlocked with Touch ID, asks for my passcode way more often than it ought to. That mystery has now been solved by a bullet-point that Apple added to its iOS Security Guide earlier this month – though the behavior has been there a lot longer.

Previous versions of the document said that iOS devices should only ask Touch ID users for their passcode in one of five circumstances. I found I was frequently asked for my passcode when none of these applied, but a sixth, recently-added bullet-point explains it …

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May 18

AAPL: 94.56

1.07
Stock Chart
Pictured here with my iPhone SE for scale
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When a well-respected audiophile brand known for an amplifier costing a cool $150k launches an AirPlay speaker system, you can be sure of two things. One, it’s going to be pretty special. Two, it’s not going to be cheap.

Sure enough, Naim’s first wireless offering – the Mu-so which I reviewed earlier this year – came in at $1500. I did, though, consider it worth every penny. It’s a true replacement for a hifi system, delivering room-filling sound that I couldn’t fault. The design is fantastic, build-quality first-rate and it offers every input source you could ever want: AirPlay, Bluetooth, UPnP, Spotify Connect, Tidal, wired Ethernet, USB, optical and 3.5mm analog.

If you liked the sound of it but thought that $1500 was pushing things a little, there’s good news and bad …

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The Economic Times reports that Tim Cook is meeting with the heads of major carriers in India in order to form ‘strategic partnerships’ as the country accelerates its LTE rollout. The smartphone market in India has so far been constrained by slow data speeds in most parts of the country.

Cook has said the advent of high-speed 4G networks in India will expand the market for iPhones, flagging elsewhere, making it a key market for the company.

Cook is said to be meeting with Bharti Airtel, the largest carrier in the country; Reliance Jio Infocomm, which plans to roll out LTE services nationwide this year; as well as Vodafone and others …

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electrek 

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