Apple and Amazon refuse to make full federal workforce diversity data public

From Apple's diversity microsite

From Apple’s diversity microsite

Although Apple published its own employee diversity report back in August, USA Today reports that the company has refused to make public the full data from its federal diversity filing. While companies are required to file this information annually in a form known as EEO-1, they are not legally obliged to make the data public.

Facebook, eBay, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn are among the technology companies that have made public their EEO-1s […]

Chief among the companies that decided not to disclose their EEO-1s were Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

When USA Today pressed the matter, Twitter released its filing and Microsoft agreed to do so by the end of the month, but Apple and Amazon did not respond …  Read more

Samsung appeal against Apple’s $930M award for patent infringement begins today

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

The latest court battle between Apple and Samsung begins today, with Samsung appealing against the $930M it was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringement in the first trial between the two companies. Samsung is arguing that the amount awarded was “excessive and unwarranted.”

It’s of course not the first time that the sum awarded has been disputed. Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, with $450M of that later cut and a retrial required to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M …  Read more

Microsoft’s new Cortana ad mocks Siri for lack of contextual reminders and traffic reports

Microsoft has released yet another Cortana advertisement that mocks Siri for lacking contextual reminders and real-time traffic reports. Microsoft pokes fun at the personal voice assistant by claiming that it “just got bigger,” a sarcastic reference to the larger screen sizes on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Perhaps the Redmond-based company is overlooking all of the new features Siri gained in iOS 8. Read more

Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

google

Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

Read more

Xiaomi has competition in the iPad mini cloning business as Nokia announces N1 tablet

nokia-n1-main

Xiaomi has built its business on copying Apple, so it wasn’t a great surprise when it launched its iPad mini clone, the Mi Pad. It’s slightly more surprising to see post-Microsoft Nokia going down the same route, today launching its N1 tablet which has cloned everything from the curved edges to the speaker grilles at the bottom of the device to the button placement at the top. Even the friggen website looks like it was lifted from the apple.com domain.

The Android-powered N1 is Nokia’s first new product since selling its devices and services division to Microsoft last year …  Read more

Microsoft begins inviting users to Skype for Web beta

skype

We told you Microsoft released a redesigned version of Skype for the Mac earlier last month, and today Microsoft says the communication software is starting to roll out as a service on the Web. Skype for Web will allow users to chat, video call, and manage contacts from a web browser without having to download the Skype app. Microsoft is currently offering Skype for Web as a beta to select users. Read more

Flashlight alpha app for Mac could show us the future of Spotlight

flashlight

Spotlight, the search tool built into OS X, got a lot smarter in Yosemite – but one developer thinks it could go a whole lot further. He’s developed Flashlight, an app that extends the capabilities of Spotlight to include weather animations and Wolfram Alpha searches.

More interestingly, he’s intending it to act as an unofficial API other developers can use to add functionality to Spotlight …  Read more

Microsoft adding Dropbox integration including syncing and sharing to Office for iOS

Office Dropbox iPad

Microsoft and Dropbox announced a new partnership between the two companies today and a commitment to bring integration between Dropbox and Office apps on iOS and Android. Currently Office users rely on local storage for saving files or Microsoft’s own OneDrive service for saving and syncing files, but the newly announced partnership will allow Office users to use the popular Dropbox service as an additional storage and syncing option and introduce new features between the productivity apps and syncing service. Read more

Microsoft redesigns Outlook for Mac, says new Office coming in 2015

Outlook for Mac 2014

Microsoft has today announced an updated version of its Outlook for Mac software with an updated design and performance improvements. The new version of email, calendar, and contacts app from Microsoft is available through the company’s Office 365 subscription service,  and Microsoft says it offers a more consistent experience with the iPhone and iPad versions.

In addition to releasing the new version of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft has shared that it will ship a new version of Office for Mac in 2015. An overhauled version of Office, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, will be available for Mac users as a public beta in the first half of 2015 while Microsoft is targeting the second half of 2015 for the commercial release. Read more

Microsoft OneNote for iPhone and iPad updated with iOS 8 support, iPhone 6 design, and more

Microsoft has pushed out updates for its OneNote client on both iPhone and iPad, adding support for new features added in iOS 8 and a design that’s optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Users can now password protect sections of documents directly from mobile devices (a feature that used to require a Windows PC). Those with an iPhone 5s or newer will also find that they can now unlock password-protected sections of documents using Touch ID. That feature isn’t mentioned in the iPad change log, so users on the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 might need to wait for a future update to enable it.

Read more