May 26

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Infamous patent troll VirnetX has formally asked a Texas court this week to order Apple to stop providing its FaceTime and iMessage features to customers. The request follows VirnetX’s victory in court earlier this year to the tune of $625 million, which the firm wants to see increased by $190 million or more, Law360 reports:

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Adobe is showing off a new feature coming to the next big version of Photoshop CC called content-aware crop. In the video demo below, Adobe gives the example of cropping a photo of a child by straightening the horizon in the shot, but doing so cuts off the lifeguard sign behind the child. Content-aware crop solves this problem…

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Last year, I wrote a Feature Request asking that Apple give third-party apps access to Siri, and generally work at beefing-up both the intelligence and the capabilities of its intelligent assistant. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an opinion piece pointing to the fact that Viv is exactly what Siri should have been by now.

This week, a report suggests that I may finally be getting my wish. Apple is said to be not only planning to offer a Siri SDK to all developers, but also building an Amazon Echo/Google Home type box that will embed Siri more deeply in the home through integration with HomeKit. We will, says the report, find out more at WWDC.

If true, the implications could be profound – perhaps even meaning that we’ve hit ‘peak app’ …

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The Financial Times is reporting that Apple considered a buyout of Time Warner late last year, with Apple executive Eddy Cue raising the idea at a meeting with Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy, Olaf Olafsson. The idea of bid was very much tentative and did not enter serious negotiations involving Tim Cook, according to the report. However, Apple is still interested in acquiring media company talent and sources indicate the company is ramping spending on original content: “several hundred million dollars a year”.

Apple has long been rumored to want to launch a skinny cable subscription service for internet television, in concert with its Apple TV set top box. At Startup Fest earlier in the week, Tim Cook said he wants Apple to be a catalyst in the entertainment business.

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I’m not normally one for hiding Apple’s gorgeous designs away inside cases, but my 11-inch MacBook Air is used almost exclusively when I’m out and about, so it does normally live in a TwelveSouth BookBook case to keep it safe on its travels. I adore that case, so persuading me to set it aside for an alternative would not be an easy task.

But I was very taken with the leather iPhone and iPad cases I recently reviewed from NY-based Burkley, so I decided to give one of the company’s snap-on leather MacBook Air covers a try. It currently offers these for the MacBook Air only (both 11- and 13-inch) – though it does also have a non-snap-on variation for the 12-inch MacBook.

Burkley likes to mix up its leather offerings for each product, with the Antique Camel Leather I liked last time not available for the MacBook, so I tried the Special Burned Tan Leather. This is a fairly standard tan color in the center, with darker burned-in edges …

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