Apple releases OS X 10.10.3 supplemental update to fix startup issue

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Approximately one week after releasing OS X 10.10.3 to the public, Apple has released an OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Supplemental Update to fix a startup issue related to video drivers. The update is available on the Mac App Store in the Software Update tab. 10.10.3 introduced the new iCloud-based photos app, new emojis, and improved Google login for accounts with two-factor authentication.

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The best Apple Watch headphones and earphones

Up until now, Bluetooth wireless audio was purely optional for Apple’s devices: every iPad, iPhone, and iPod has shipped with a 3.5mm audio port to connect with wired earbuds and headphones. The Apple Watch is different: it’s Apple’s first fully wireless device, with no user-accessible ports to connect accessories, even though it can work as a standalone music player during workouts. The lack of a headphone port is actually a positive, since tethering your wrist to your head with a cable would look silly, and isn’t ergonomically ideal. Thankfully, Bluetooth headphones have come a long way over the past few years, shrinking from gangly and boxy earmuffs into earphones comfortable enough to exercise with.

Since one of the Apple Watch’s major selling points is fitness functionality, this quick guide to the best Apple Watch headphones and earphones focuses mostly on accessories that can work anywhere, rather than options you can’t wear while exercising. But I’ll include some larger options, too, just in case you’re picking a pair for non-athletic use, or to share with your iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Mac…

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Purported 12-inch ‘iPad Pro’ cases show stereo speakers, iPhone rumored to use same 7000 Series aluminum as Apple Watch Sport

Sonny Dickson has today posted images of an iPad Pro case that reiterates previous manufacturing renders and reports. Like a render seen in January, the case has holes for stereo speakers situated on top and bottom of the device.

The ‘iPad Pro’ has been widely reported to be in development for some time, featuring a larger 12.3 – 12.9 inch display. It is unknown if the new case images offer any new information — they could have been conjured up based on the previously leaked renders. Chinese case manufacturers have offered mixed indications of future Apple product plans. The iPhone 6 design was widely leaked through cases appearing online, but other instances have not been as fruitful.

Today, there has also been a rumor around the next iPhone’s materials …

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Apple is constructing two new solar sites in China w/ partner SunPower

Apple Solar Center

After announcing a new partnership earlier today with The Conservation Fund to protect 36,000 acres of forest, news of another environmental effort by the company comes as SunPower announces plans to build a new solar power project in China.

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 16, 2015– Continuing its growth in the world’s largest solar photovoltaic market, SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd., SunPower’s project development joint venture, and Apple. 

The two new solar sites, Apple’s first in the region, are already under construction and expected to be complete by the end of the year. Apple previously worked with SunPower on its solar projects in the US, including locations in California, Nevada, and North Carolina. Read more

Apple partners with The Conservation Fund to protect 36,000 acres of forest for sustainable product packaging

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Through a press release and a post on Medium by Apple VP Lisa Jackson, Apple and The Conservation Fund have today announced a ‘breakthrough’ arrangement for sustainability. The deal involves Apple purchasing 36,000 acres of forest land in the eastern United States.

Apple will use the paper from the forests for sustainable product packaging with guarantees to ensure that “forests stay forests” and harvested timber is done so in a sustainable way.

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Solutions to the 12-inch MacBook’s single port begin hitting Kickstarter

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The radical approach taken by Apple in equipping the new 12-inch MacBook with just a single port for both power and connectivity makes the machine extremely sleek, but somewhat problematic to use when you want to connect multiple devices. Two Kickstarter projects aim to solve that.

First, InfiniteUSB, which already provides stackable cables for standard USB ports, has launched a USB-C version called, unsurprisingly, InfiniteUSB-C. Each cable has a combined USB-C plug and socket at one end, enabling you to piggy-back as many as you need, and either a Lightning, Micro USB or USB socket on the other end …  Read more

L.A. Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” over failed iPad project

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The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  Read more