Mac OS X software update temporarily broken, likely due to expired SSL certificate

Apple’s SSL certificate that is responsible for verifying and authenticating connections to Apple’s Mac App Store software update servers has expired, causing the Mac App Store to issue errors like those above. Another error notification points to the swscan.apple.com server as being the issue, below.

Server-cert-error

 

A quick search shows that this SSL certificate expired yesterday May 24th at midnight.

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Apple and Shazam planning to team up for music identification feature built into iOS

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Apple and Shazam are teaming up to build a music identification feature natively into iOS, according to a Bloomberg report. The feature will allow users to find the name and artist of a song that’s playing, likely with the option to download the song from the iTunes Store or create an new iTunes Radio station.

Unlike some of Apple’s other music-releated features (such as Podcasts and iTunes U), the system will be built into the OS directly rather than require a separate download. So far there isn’t any confirmation of whether this feature will appear in iOS 8 or a later version, but with WWDC right around the corner, Apple will need to work quickly to secure the deal if the feature is to be announced with the next-gen software update.

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Apple to open local, mobile-focused stores in India to promote entry-level products

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Apple is planning to change up retail in India in a big—and small—way, according to a report by The Economic Times. According to the Times, Apple plans to open a collection of small, iOS-centric stores. The stores will be setup by local distribution partners, not by first-party retail staff. While the main focus of these locations will be on mobile devices, Apple’s other offerings will also be represented to some degree in each store.

In fact, the focus of these stores will not even be Apple’s latest devices, according to the report. Instead, these local shops will focus on the less-expensive models that Apple offers, including the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. Macs and other products in these smaller stores will also be lower-priced models. The goal of the local establishments seems to be to place Apple’s most affordable products as close as possible potential customers—a neccessary move if Apple is to continue gaining ground in the country.

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Retail section of Apple.com updated with new design inspired by iOS 7

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Apple quietly updated the retail section of its website today with a new look that more closely resembles iOS 7. Where the previous version of these pages used content boxes, borders, textured backgrounds, and gradients, the new page instead utilizes ample whitespace and thinner typefaces.

The change is probably best illustrated on the section’s home page, where images previously constrained by content boxes now fill the entire page. On the “Learn” page, buttons with heavy gradients have been replaced by thinly-outlined, lighter versions of the previous design. Gradient-filled headers have disappeared from every page, now replaced by unadorned text.

Oddly, the “Make a Reservation” button that allowed users to quickly create a Genius Bar appointment has been removed from the site’s navigation. Appointments can only be made by navigating to the Genius Bar page and clicking a link in the first paragraph of that page’s content. The Concierge page has not been updated to the new design yet.

You’ll find a bunch of before-and-after comparisons and take our poll on the new design below:

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Apple opens official online store through Chinese e-commerce site Tmall

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Apple has launched a new online store through Tmall, a Chinese popular e-commerce site Tmall, reports the Wall Street Journal. Tmall, which is owned by the Alibaba Group, is already home to thousands of official retail outlets for other brands, such as Nike. The new storefront will not replace Apple’s own first-party store, but will instead complement it.

Like the store on Apple’s website, the Tmall store will be participating in Apple’s “Red Friday” sales event later this week. Unlike Apple’s eBay store in the United States, the Tmall site sells brand-new products rather than refurbished ones.

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Apple launches Best of 2013 page on iTunes, highlights top music, apps, books, and more

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Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

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