Apple rumored to be planning €2B ($2.7B) European data center in Netherlands

Google data centre at Eemshaven (photo: computable.nl)

Google data centre at Eemshaven (photo: computable.nl)

iPhoneclub (translation) says that Apple’s rumored plan to build a new data center in Netherlands are now focusing on the town of Eemshaven.

Eemshaven is an ideal location due to the high-speed transatlantic fiber optic cable link to the USA. Google already has a 10,000 square meter data center in the town, and it is believed that Apple has already been granted outline planning permission for its own center …  Read more

Google Play app arrives on iOS to stream movies and shows over WiFi

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Today, Google has released a new application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow Google Play users to stream purchased movies and TV shows. You cannot rent or purchase content via this application: you must download it from Google Play on Android or the web and then the purchased titles will be available to stream via this app. The application is only supported in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. WiFi is currently required for streaming. The app also allows streaming to the ChromeCast.

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Apple settles with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over App Store in-app-purchases

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Apple CEO Tim Cook informed Apple employees today via email that the company has settled with the United States Federal Trade Commision over an in-app purchases dispute. Cook says that Apple and the FTC have been negotiating for “several months.” The issue in the App Store comes down to the controversies surrounding children spending money too easily in the App Store without the consent of their parents.

Cook notes that “protecting children” has been a priority for everyone at Apple, and Cook notes that the App Store has industry leading controls for security and privacy, making the need to deal with the FTC surprising. Cook’s email details the safeguards in place for the in-app purchase system. Cook also notes the great lengths that Apple went to in order to appease customers who may have been harmed by in-app purchases:

Last year, we set out to refund any in-app purchase which may have been made without a parent’s permission. We wanted to reach every customer who might have been affected, so we sent emails to 28 million App Store customers – anyone who had made an in-app purchase in a game designed for kids. When some emails bounced, we mailed the parents postcards. In all, we received 37,000 claims and we will be reimbursing each one as promised.

Cook also says that it doesn’t feel right that the FTC intervened here. Alas, a settlement has been reached:

It doesn’t feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled. To us, it smacked of double jeopardy. However, the consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren’t already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight.

Here’s Cook’s email in full:

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Tesla’s Model S App is 9to5Mac’s Best iPhone Application of 2013

There have been a lot of important apps released for iOS (and Mac) this year. As you can imagine, we’ve covered many of the big ones.  But for me, nothing has been a bigger game changer than Tesla’s Model S App. I’m sure many folks will pooh-pooh the idea that an app that is for 30,000 or so households should even get mainstream coverage. But bear with me here. The company has revolutionized the ways in which cars interact with smartphones and these advancements will trickle into more car/apps over the coming years..

For those out of the loop, the Tesla Model S is a fully electric car that can seat up to 7 people, propel them from 0-60 in about 4 seconds and has a battery range of about 250-300 miles fully decked out. It has the lowest coefficient of drag of any mass produced car, has gained the best safety rating ever from the NHTSA and has more interior storage space than many minivans and SUVs.

Many have compared its disruptive nature and its charismatic CEO Elon Musk to Apple and Steve Jobs. Read more

Mac Pro appears on 3rd-party reseller sites where money can be saved

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Shortly after going live on the Apple Store site, the Mac Pro is starting to appear on third-party reseller sites. While you’re unlikely to get your hands on one any sooner than buying via Apple (which currently lists Dec 30th as shipping dates), it can’t hurt to make a few calls.

You may also be able to save yourself the sales tax. B&H, which has the machines on pre-order, only charges sales tax in NY, and MacMall charges sales tax in just five states (and that’s in addition to the whopping $5 discount off the base price!) …  Read more

Apple releasing ‘assembled-in-USA’ 2013 Mac Pro tomorrow

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After three years without a substantial update and several months of teasing and promoting, Apple has finally announced that tomorrow it will begin selling the newly designed and more powerful Mac Pro it first showed off at WWDC back in June. (Full press release below.)

The road was certainly not rapid between update cycles with two years of nary a word on whether or not the Mac Pro line had any life left in it and a full year of teasing and promoting the 2013 model being released tomorrow. Let’s take a look at the Mac Pro saga that led to today’s debut… Read more