Websites begin exposing Safari push notification support as Mavericks nears public release

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With the launch of Mavericks imminent, a handful of major websites have begun supporting the Safari Push Notification feature. These sites include The New York Times, NBA.com and social network Pinterest. HTML 5 web notifications have been supported by all major browsers, including Safari, for a while. However, the HTML 5 native feature requires the page to be open for notifications to be sent, as noted by MacRumors.

Meanwhile, Safari Push Notifications mirror the user experience associated with native app push notifications. With user consent, a supporting website can send notifications to your Mac without the page (or even, Safari) being open. This is because this system uses Apple’s Push Notification Service servers — rather than the local client — to function. Because of this server-side integration, the utility of website notifications increases dramatically.

With major support already implemented by such big sites, it seems like this will be a big deal for end-users. More sites will undoubtedly roll out support in the coming days. For instance, CNN was used to demo the feature at WWDC but is yet to go live publicly. Mavericks is expected to launch by the end of the week. It is very likely Apple will confirm the OS’ launch date at its special media event later today. Read more

Steve Jobs’ childhood home could become a protected historical site

CNN reports that the childhood home of Steve Jobs could soon become a protected historical site as a Los Altos Historical Commission is set to perform an evaluation of the property today. The property, located at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, was Jobs’ childhood home since the seventh grade and its garage later became the location where Jobs, Steve Wozniak and other early employees would build the first Apple computers before officially forming the company in 1977.

The seven-member Los Altos Historical Commission has scheduled a “historic property evaluation” for the single-story, ranch-style house on Monday… If the designation is ultimately approved, then the house on 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, will have to be preserved… Read more

Apps & updates: The World Ends with You, CNN 2012 U.S. Election Center, Clueful, more

The World Ends with You: Solo Remix: Square Enix has reworked the title originally released for Nintendo DS in 2007 with an all new combat system, HD art, and new music. The $18 iOS port (and $19 iPad version) has made a few changes that hardcore fans of the game are not too pleased with, but overall first impressions have been positive.

Square Enix’s fresh-faced hit The New York Times called “one of the best role playing games ever designed for anything” has busted onto iOS in a big way… Enjoy the game in full HD on your Retina-enabled iPhone 4 or later device. Art and animation across the game has been redrawn just for this release, making combat a beautiful experience. This is how all 2D classics should look.

CNN app for iPad version 1.7: CNN’s iPad app, in addition to its official iPhone app, was updated today with the ability to follow the 2012 presidential race through CNN’s U.S. Election Center. The update also includes improved “easy-to-use navigation” for browsing stories and video.

Clueful: A few weeks back we mentioned that BitDefender’s iOS app for detecting apps that access private data was removed from the App Store without much explanation from Apple. Today the company has relaunched the Clueful app as a web app accessible from your iOS devices at Cluefulapp.com. The new web app will let you manually search for info on any given app, opposed to the previous app that would detect the apps running on your device.
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Another publication investigates Foxconn: CNN interviews an iPad assembler, Apple responds

After The New York Times published a lengthy two-part piece covering the controversial working conditions of Apple’s supply chain within Foxconn factories in China, other publications are doing their own investigative work to find out more informtion. The NYT’s second installment brought us the backstory of Foxconn worker Lai Xiaodong leading up to his death at a factory explosion in Chengdu. Today, CNN published a video of journalist Stan Grant who recently sat down for an interview with a current Foxconn employee and iPad display assembler:

“I can’t bear it anymore. Everyday was like, I get off from work and I go to bed. I get up in the morning, and I go to work. It became my daily routine and I almost felt like I was some kind of animal.”

The video starts off with Grant showing “Miss Chen,” who requested her name be changed for the interview, and the finished iPad she helps assemble on a daily basis but has never used. Miss Chen told CNN her Foxconn bosses informed her not to talk with media or “criminal liability shall be investigated according to law.” Chen, a poor Chongqing university student, said she took the one-month job with no experience on promises of “great benefits and little overtime.” Chen described her experience upon arriving at Foxconn:
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Republican Presidential candidates ponder Apple outsourcing gadget-making to China

Apple received a mention in a big way during CNN’s Southern Republican Presidential Debate held yesterday at the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina. The debate featured Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. At one point (mark 1:01:55), CNN host John King asked the candidates in the light of the ongoing Foxconn controversy to lay out their plans to bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States.

More precisely, King zeroed in on the fact that Apple is “a breathtakingly important American company” that employs most of its workforce in retail stores, but hires half a million low-paid workers through its Far East suppliers and contract manufacturers that actually assemble its products (just like any other technology company does, mind you). Santorum has “a plan in place” to put this strategy to an end (quote right below the fold), as do other candidates. They also talked SOPA and discussed other burning issues. Just watch the clip…

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Apple passed $400B market cap briefly today, set all-time company high of $431 a share

Hot off the heels of Apple’s iBook Textbooks and iBooks Author announcement, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company passed a $400 billion market cap briefly today, AllThingsD pointed out. Apple also saw a new company record of $431 a share this afternoon —up $2 from yesterday’s record. As the afternoon continued on, Apple’s market cap went down to $398 billion again, but it is still close to coming back. For comparison, the world’s most valuable company, Exxon, has a market cap of $417 billion. Apple was at one time the most valuable company in 2011.

As CNN Money pointed out, Apple with a market cap of $400 billion is worth more than the countries Greece, Austria, Argentina, and South Africa.

Apple dominated financially in 2011, and it continues in 2012. Next Tuesday, the company will report what is expected to be record earnings from Q4. Apple is also expected to break past the sales of 5 million Macs and up to 30 million iPhones, some analysts claimed. We will be covering Apple’s financial announcement next Tuesday. Stay tuned!

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NYT ‘Elections 2012′ iPhone app: Get live news, opinion, polls and election results on tonight’s Iowa caucuses

It’s Caucus Day in Iowa, and most Americans will be tuned into their favorite news channel to see who the winner will be.  This year, though, the elections entered the twenty-first century due to The New York Times’ “Election 2012” free iPhone application available through the App Store.

According to the NYT, the app gives iPhone users “news, opinion, polls and live election night results,” from its own publication and other top sources, while providing “the best campaign coverage anywhere.”

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Letters to Steve: Steve Jobs fan mail gets a Kindle Book treatment

The title says it all: “Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs“. A new book penned by CNN technology writer Mark Milian takes a look at the hundreds of emails between Jobs and the people that discovered his publicly available email address. It also includes never-before-published e-mails exclusive to the book, which is available starting today for $2.99 on Amazon.

This book is based on interviews with many of the customers and fans Jobs communicated with. These tales reveal the intricacies of how Jobs portrayed himself as likable and accessible through direct interaction with fans. He handled customer-service inquiries himself and carefully revealed hints about upcoming Apple products, guaranteeing headlines on blogs. However, some of these letters, when analyzed, provide a glimpse into his “reality distortion field,” in which he lobs insults, bends the truth and uses misdirection in order to manipulate anyone on the receiving end.

To accompany the release of the book, CNN is running a three-part series on their website. The first part in that series was published today and details Jobs’ emails related to customer service. Here’s an excerpt where customer  Scott Steckley recalls receiving a phone call from Jobs after emailing him regarding a long wait for his Mac repair:

“Hi Scott, this is Steve,” Steckley recalled hearing from the other end of the phone.

“Steve Jobs?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Jobs said. “I just wanted to apologize for your incredibly long wait. It’s really nobody’s fault. It’s just one of those things.”

“Yeah, I understand.”

Then Jobs explained that he expedited the repair. “I also wanted to thank you for your support of Apple,” Jobs said. “I see how much equipment you own. It really makes my day to see someone who enjoys our products so much and who supports us in the good times and bad.”

This next one has been posted before but is still entertaining:
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Amazon/iBookStore post pre-releases of iSteve authorized biography: The Book of Jobs

Amazon today lists the Walter Issacson authorized Biography of Steve Jobs, the one commissioned by the Apple CEO last year.  Issacson will have had three years of access to the normally reclusive Steve Jobs.  Listed at 448 pages, the book will be published by Simon & Schuster.

Product Description

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In iSteve: The Book of Jobs, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, iSteve is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

About the Author

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and ofKissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

Before you get too excited however, the book doesn’t ship for nine months (March 2012). But even so, it will likely be a big hit and as you know with iPads, it is good to get in early.

The iBookstore has a placeholder as well:

Full Res book cover below:

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