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

August 19

AAPL: 109.36

0.28
Stock Chart

No 9to5Mac reader is going to be at risk from malware that directs users to a scam website and asks them to download software, but Malwarebytes has discovered a previously unknown piece of Mac malware that could easily fool less technical users.

Thomas Reed, lead researcher at Malwarebytes, told us that he found the malware on a scam page hosted on the official Advanced Mac Cleaner website …

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Zac made the point yesterday that just because the iPhone 7 is sounding like a second S-year model, that doesn’t mean that mass-market buyers – ‘normals’ – won’t be wowed by it. Apple has an enviable ability to take relatively mainstream features and make them sound magical, and a report by French site NWE seems to make one rumored feature sound more likely.

While the dual-camera system slated for the larger iPhone 7 Plus is an obvious talking point, it’s also been suggested that the smaller model may get the optical image stabilisation (OIS) currently limited to the iPhone 6/6s Plus.

A claimed photo of the camera module for the 4.7-inch iPhone has four slots around it, similar to those found in the 6/6s Plus, but not in the standard model. These would appear to be for the tiny motors needed to move the lens in an OIS system …

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Apple has a fierce reputation for driving a hard bargain with its component suppliers, using its size and status to demand ultra-competitive pricing. But according to Digitimes, suppliers in Taiwan are starting to resist demands for ever-greater discounts.

Apple is said to have asked downstream part and component suppliers […] to reduce their quotes for iPhone 7 devices by as much as 20% even though order volumes for new phones are reportedly 30% lower than those placed a year earlier. Major downstream suppliers, notably Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and associated companies under the Foxconn Group, have replied Apple that they could not be able to accept orders without reasonable profits at this time.

The two sides each appear to be bringing persuasive arguments to the table …

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9to5toys 

You’re officially the person with everything if you’re seriously planning to lay out $249 on a levitating Apple Watch charger – though Kickstarter backers can get one for slightly less at $199, or $159 if you’re very quick.

Since the Apple Watch itself charges inductively, the designers of the LIFT charger decided to take things one step further by using magnets to suspend the charger above its powered base, allowing it to float freely in mid air …

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August 18

AAPL: 109.08

-0.14
Stock Chart

Following the modest upgrades AT&T announced to its mobile plans yesterday, both T-Mobile and Sprint have hit back with new ‘unlimited’ plans.

T-Mobile has replaced all its plans with a single one called T-Mobile One.

It’s 100% unlimited and comes with unlimited talk and text and unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data – including unlimited standard definition video – all on America’s fastest 4G LTE network.  And, it’s available at a great price: just $40 per line for a family of four.

As with all carrier plans, there are some caveats in the small-print …

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9to5google 

Back in 2014, some of the biggest investors in the U.S. suggested that Apple could be the first company to achieve a trillion dollar valuation by market cap, having gotten two-thirds of the way there that year before later slipping. Investment site Motley Fool yesterday acknowledged that the company could indeed be just ‘one home-run product’ away from this, but made the seemingly-unlikely argument that Amazon may get there first …

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The total number of UK banks and card companies supporting Apple Pay has reached 20, as Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank announced that they now support the mobile payment platform. Though originally separate, the two banks were merged in 2005, retaining separate branding but operating as a single legal entity, CYBG

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Analysts are suggesting that Apple might in future buy the A-series chips it uses in iPhones and iPads from Intel, following an interesting turnaround by the chipmaker this week, reports Fortune.

Intel has long offered foundry services in which they manufacture chips designed by customers, but that service has so far been limited to chips based on its own architecture. As of this week, however, the company has announced that it will also be able to produce ARM-based chips. This would allow Intel to compete with TSMC and Samsung for Apple’s iPhone and iPad chip business …

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electrek 

August 17

AAPL: 109.22

-0.16
Stock Chart

In a move that seems tailor-made for parents who want to ensure their kids are driving safely when they borrow the car, the latest car adapter from Automatic logs driving style even when you’re not in the car. Data is transmitted via a built-in 3G connection, with no data plan or subscription required …

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Zero Waste means nothing sent to landfill sites
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Apple has announced that all 14 of its final assembly plants in China are now zero-waste compliant, meaning that none of the waste is sent to landfill. Waste products are instead recycled, re-used, composted or burned to generate energy.

Typically, paper and cardboard are sent to paper mills for recycling, glass & metal is melted for re-use, plastic is recycled into packaging materials and food is composted …

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Austrian newspaper derStandard is reporting that Apple is close to finalizing contracts to open its first Apple Store in the country, on the upmarket shopping street Kärntner Straße in Vienna. Kärntner Straße (shown below) is described as ‘a magnet for international brands,’ with most major retail chains having a presence there.

The company is said to be taking over the flagship premises occupied by fashion company Esprit …

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9to5toys 

With Apple looking all but certain to be dropping the 3.5mm headphone socket in favor of audio via the Lightning socket of the iPhone 7, Intel backs the move to digital audio but suggests Apple is using the wrong connector, at least in its iOS devices.

The chipmaker has announced that it will be adding digital audio to the USB-C spec later this year, reports CNET, and that this will be ‘the right connector for audio’ …

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August 16

AAPL: 109.38

-0.10
Stock Chart

Reuters reports that Apple is to build its first research and development center in China, citing a statement by the official Chinese state broadcaster.

Tim Cook reportedly made the commitment to Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, stating that the center will be built by the end of the year.

The pledge comes after the head of China’s industry and technology regulator in May told Cook he hoped Apple could deepen its cooperation with the country in research and development and stressed information security.

Apple likely has two reasons for investing in R&D within China …

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9to5google 

One-time AAPL skeptic Warren Buffett appears to now be strongly invested in the company’s future. Just three months after it was discovered that his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway had purchased more than a billion dollars worth of AAPL stock, a new regulatory filing reveals that the Berkshire has boosted its stake by 55% to a holding worth $1.46B, reports Reuters.

Berkshire owned 15.23 million Apple shares worth $1.46 billion as of June 30, up from 9.81 million shares as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing from Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate … 

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electrek 

Bob Messerschmidt is in a good position to talk about the development of the Apple Watch. It was his heart-rate sensor startup that Apple bought for use in the Watch, and the company then hired him from 2010 to 2013 to work on the project. An interview with Messerschmidt by FastCo provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of developing a new Apple product.

Of particular interest is the tension between the engineering and design teams, engineers putting forward the best approach from a technical perspective, designers pushing back where that approach conflicts with their knowledge of trends, fashion and user behaviour …

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