Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook Air 11, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear

Today

AAPL: 106.10

0.10
Stock Chart

CarPlay has been a long time coming to BMW, but it now looks like the system is available as a $300 option across almost all models.

We saw back in May that it was on the way to the X5 and X6 M, and a month later the same option appeared for the M3 and M4, suggesting that BMW might have been reserving it for higher-end models. As of today, though, ‘Apple CarPlay Compatibility’ appears as an entertainment option across most of the range …

expand full story

Bang & Olufsen has announced two new wireless speakers, featuring a conical design and 360-degree sound projection. Both speakers support Apple’s AirPlay – as well as Google Cast, DNLA and plain old Bluetooth – and are compatible with the company’s BeoLink system for multi-room setups.

B&O has a reputation for great aesthetics and hi-tech features as well as fantastic sound, and Engadget reports that you won’t be disappointed on this score …

expand full story

After it was revealed that Apple paid an effective tax rate on its European profits of just 0.005% in 2014, a local tax and advisory firm has said that while other multinational companies had similar arrangements with Ireland, Apple’s deal was ‘the most brazen.’ The comment was made by Aisling Donohue, a partner at tax and business advisory firm MGPartners, reports Bloomberg.

The European Commission yesterday ordered the Irish government to recover €13B ($15B) in taxation from Apple after it was ruled to have offered the company illegal tax breaks. Apple is appealing the ruling.

Netflix says that it believes that the type of tax avoidance measures employed by Apple and other U.S. tech companies are ‘unsustainable’ …

expand full story

9to5toys 

AP reports that an LA judge has dismissed a claim by Monster founder and former Beats shareholder that the company tricked him out of his share of the company prior to its acquisition by AppleNoel Lee had claimed that double-dealing and misrepresentation by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine cost him a between $30M and $150M.

Lee filed the lawsuit back in January of 2015, making two main claims against Beats. The first alleged that the company entered a ‘sham’ deal with a smartphone maker, selling 51% of the company to HTC before later buying it back. The sale triggered a clause in the contract that ended the partnership between Beats and Monster …

expand full story

August 30

AAPL: 106.00

-0.82
Stock Chart

If you’re a parent who’s ever wished you could just give your kids a sedative to calm them down, apparently you can – handing them an iPad has exactly the same effect.

A French medical study reported at the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong Kong found that using iPads to reduce anxiety levels in children prior to surgery was every bit as effective as the sedative midazolam. Midazolam is normally administered prior to a general anaesthetic … 

expand full story

Tim Cook has today posted an open letter regarding today’s ruling that the company must pay €13B ($15B) in back tax after Ireland broke the law in offering the company a sweetheart deal. In it, he states that Apple is ‘confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed’ on appeal.

It’s honestly hard to see where such confidence comes from. The letter effectively makes three arguments, only one of which is relevant to the case …

expand full story

9to5google 

A month after Australian banks demanded the right to have their own apps access the NFC chip used for Apple Pay, Apple has issued a formal response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The company argues that giving Australian banks what they want would be doubly harmful to consumers.

A fortnight ago, the ACCC denied the banks an interim ruling, but said that it would be considering the matter more fully.

Apple initially dismissed the idea on security grounds, also claiming that the banks were acting as an illegal cartel. It has now made a 21-page formal submission to the competition authorities, explaining the two additional reasons it believes such a move would be detrimental to the interests of consumers …

expand full story

August 26

AAPL: 106.94

-0.63
Stock Chart

One of the major benefits of Apple’s ecosystem is that it’s a pretty secure environment. Take OS X (soon to be macOS). The first ever example of OS X ransomware seen in the wild was earlier this year, when it was major news. Other Mac malware exists, but it’s rare enough that individual examples make the news – and most of those require users to do something irresponsible, like install software from an unknown source.

Contrast that with Windows, where the BBC reported that the number of viruses, worms and trojans in circulation topped the one million mark as long ago as 2008. That may be somewhat exaggerated, but most sources agree that the number is in six figures.

iOS is an even more secure platform. Sure, if you jailbreak an iPhone, all bets are off, and there are ways to install sketchy apps on iOS devices using an enterprise certificate. But absent those two things, it wasn’t until this year that the first example of iOS malware was found …

expand full story

electrek 

August 25

AAPL: 107.57

-0.46
Stock Chart

JP Morgan, an investment banker for Apple, has said that the worst-case outcome of a long-running European Commission investigation into the legality of Apple’s European tax arrangements could be a back-tax bill of $19B. It had previously been estimated that the bill might amount to $8B.

The estimate was made as the US Treasury Department warned the European Commission about taking action against US companies over tax avoidance allegations, reports the BBC

expand full story

9to5toys 

We reported last month that Apple CEO Tim Cook was to host a political fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and the event took place last night. Apple’s environmental initiatives VP Lisa Jackson – a board member of the Clinton Foundation charity – was also in attendance.

Attendees had to hand over anything from $2,700 to $50,000 to attend the event, which took place at a private residence in Los Altos, and a couple of them shared some photos and a short video clip …

expand full story

Bloomberg reports that Apple is to go head-to-head with Snapchat and Instagram by developing its own video-sharing app as part of a push to target younger users. The company is said to said to be motivated by the fact that social apps generate the greatest level of engagement on the iPhone, Facebook users averaging 50 minutes a day, Snapchat users 30 minutes.

The goal behind the project’s development is to offer simple video editing with tools that appeal to the generation of users growing up with Snapchat and Instagram, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private […]

Apple’s current plan calls for its project to become a stand-alone app, presumably as a download via the App Store, but the company may decide to package the functionality into the iPhone’s existing camera application, the people said.

The focus will be on short, fun videos that are super-quick to create …

expand full story

9to5google 

August 24

AAPL: 108.03

-0.82
Stock Chart

With Tim Cook set to receive more than $100M in stock bonuses as he reaches his fifth anniversary as Apple’s CEO today, the Financial Times has assessed the performance of AAPL under his leadership in a series of five charts.

In a ‘good news, bad news’ chart, the FT begins with a Bloomberg chart showing cumulative sales of the iPhone against income from the device as a percentage of total revenue. While analysts have focused on recent year-on-year dips, there’s no arguing with the steady rise in cumulative sales, Apple recently selling its billionth iPhone.

But the overall trend is also for the company to be increasingly dependent on iPhone revenue, making the decline in sales more worrying than it might otherwise be …

expand full story

A Kickstarter campaign which got fully-funded on day one is offering a choice of two external GPUs for MacBook Pros that offer up to ten times the performance of the top-end built-in one. Connected via Thunderbolt 2 or 3, the Wolfe Pro gets you an NVIDIA GTX 970 GPU for $599, with estimated delivery in March 2017.

The GTX 970 has 1664 cores operating at 1050MHz, for a peak computing power of 3.49 teraflops, with rendering speeds almost ten times higher than a maxed-out 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD R9 M370X GPU. Frame rates exceed 70 frames per second, creating a machine suitable for high-end gaming and VR applications.

The company also promises that backers will be given the option of upgrading to the even more powerful GTX 1060 when available …

expand full story

August 23

AAPL: 108.85

0.34
Stock Chart

Much has been written about the convenience of Apple Pay, especially on an Apple Watch. Instead of reaching into your pocket or bag for your wallet, and extracting the card you want to use, you can simply double-click the side button on the Watch and hold out your wrist.

But there’s one aspect of Apple Pay that I’ve always felt fails to get the full attention it deserves: the fact that it never hands over your card details to retailers. Even on Apple’s own microsite, the feature is buried in a paragraph whose heading is about the use of fingerprints.

Yet the list of major chains who have seen customer card details compromised is virtually a Who’s Who of retailing and the hotel trade. Acer, Carphone WarehouseCVS Photo, Eddie BauerHiltonHome Depot, K-Mart, Marriott HotelsMichaels, Neiman Marcus, P.F. Chang’s, Staples, Starwood HotelsSuperValu, TargetTrump Hotels and Wendy’s. That’s even before we get into the Oracle hack that may have exposed almost every US credit card … 

expand full story

electrek 

Submit a Tip

cancel

Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP