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June 23, 2013

New Apple Store at QuakerBridge Mall near Princeton, NJ opening Saturday (Updated)

9to5Mac reader @TylerBiedka over the weekend visited the upcoming site of a new Apple Store at the QuakerBridge Mall just a few miles south of Princeton, NJ.

It has been speculation that Apple will be opening a new store in the newly upgraded QuakerBridge Mall, just 5 miles south of Princeton University sometime this fall.
It seems as though they might be ahead of schedule. I was there just last night, and the traditional black barrier was up with the logo and website. Although today was a different story. The black barrier was gone, the steel frame is exposed, and just the glass is covered in black wrap. (Please see attached images).
In addition, as I walked up to the store, my iPhone 5 picked up on the Apple Store wifi. It seems as though the store will be open early to mid july. (Please see attached wifi screenshot).

The new store site hasn’t exactly been a secret but with a working Wifi and the telltale black signage, it would appear that the Autumn opening speculation might be a bit conservative.

Update: (June 25th) The Store page has gone live indicating that it will open on Saturday morning.

June 21, 2013

Blind Chinese dissident at NYU given iOS devices loaded with tracking software and spyware

not an iPad

Reuters has an interesting story on Chinese dissident/activist Chen Guangcheng who currently is at NYU on a Fellowship. Apparently he was given an iPhone and an iPad with tracking and spying software aboard.

The devices were screened by NYU technicians within a few days and were found to have been loaded with hidden spying software, said Cohen, who arranged the fellowship for Chen at NYU Law School, helping defuse a diplomatic crisis between the United States and China after Chen took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

“These people supposedly were out to help him and they give him a kind of Trojan horse that would have enabled them to monitor his communications secretly,” said Cohen.

The iPad was eventually cleaned up and returned to Chen at his request, the second source said.

NYU is pointing the finger at Heidi Cai, the wife of activist Bob Fu who gave Chen the iOS devices (along with other electronics).

Among the first visitors in May 2012 to the New York apartment Chen had moved into with his family after a dramatic escape from house arrest in China was Heidi Cai, the wife of activist Bob Fu. She brought an iPad and iPhone as gifts.

In examining the iPad and the iPhone, [NYU] found software that allowed a third party to secretly connect to an inbuilt global positioning system, essentially turning a device into a tracking device, said the second source. The technicians also found hidden, password-protected software that backed up the contents to a remote server, the source added.

“It’s perfectly consistent with their desire to manipulate and control the situation and know whatever confidential advice he is getting,” [NYU’s] Cohen said.

Bob Fu is of course denying the accusations, saying that it is some sort of “007 thing”.

Asked about the gadgets, Fu told Reuters that his wife had given two Apple devices to Chen shortly after the dissident had settled in New York. Fu runs a Christian group called ChinaAid that supports underground churches in China and victims of forced abortions.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of spyware,” said Fu, who was in southeast Asia when his wife delivered the devices. He called the allegations “ridiculous” and “like a 007 thing.”

“We knew that the first thing after they arrived, they’d want to call their family members, so we wanted to provide communication devices, iPhone and iPad,” Fu said by telephone from Texas.

Chen is accusing NYU of forcing him out of his fellowship due to pressure from the Chinese government which is also allowing NYU to build a campus in Shanghai. So really, everyone is a suspect.

June 20, 2013

5,100 3rd party ATG MacBook batteries recalled from Best Buy

The AP has the story: Best Buy is recalling 5,100 replacement batteries for the MacBook Pro due to a fire risk.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday that there have been 13 reports that the battery caught fire. One consumer suffered a serious burn on the leg.

Best Buy Co. is voluntarily recalling both black and white ATG lithium-ion replacement batteries for the notebook computers. The batteries were sold online or shipped to customers through its Geek Squad services from September of 2008 through June of 2012 for about $50.

Best Buy said it is contacting customers to ask them to return the batteries for replacement or for a Best Buy gift card. Company spokesman Jeff Shelman noted that Best Buy is only one of many retailers that may have sold the batteries.

The model number “MC-MBOOK13B” is on the label of the black battery and “MC-BOOK13W” is on the label of the white battery. The ATG logo is on both.

Best Buy’s official statement switches the “U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission” with “reports from consumers”:

After receiving reports from customers of these lithium ion batteries overheating when charging, we believe the right thing to do is to contact our customers and ask them to return the product for replacement or for a Best Buy gift card. While we are only one of many companies that may have sold these batteries, we feel they are a potential fire and burn hazard and want to keep our customers safe.

 

Recall Details

Units

About 5,100

Description

This recall involves both black and white ATG lithium-ion replacement batteries for MacBook Pro notebook computers. Model number “MC-MBOOK13B” is on the label of the black battery and model number “MC-BOOK13W” is on the label of the white battery. The ATG logo is on both batteries.

Incidents/Injuries

The firm has received 13 reports that the battery caught fire, including one report of a serious burn to a consumer’s leg.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled battery, remove it from the computer and contact Best Buy for a replacement Apple brand battery or a $50 Best Buy gift card as a full refund. Best Buy is contacting its customers directly.

Sold at

Bestbuy.com and Partstore.com, or shipped to customers through the Geek Squad Protection fulfillment at Best Buy from September 2008 through June 2012 for about $50.

Importer

BTI Corp., of Las Vegas

June 17, 2013

From 9to5Toys.com:

StackSocial has a pretty impressive bundle hitting this evening for just $29.99. In it you get 9 solid apps including: Painter Lite: Ease Into the World of Digital Art TuneUp: Organize Your iTunes Music Collection in Just a Few Clicks Disk Drill Pro: Protect and Recover Data Like a Pro MoneyWiz: Personal Finance For Your Mac Voila: The Best All-in-One Mac Screencapture Tool DVDRemaster 8: The Ultimate DVD Re-Encoding Solution DesktopShelves: Fight Clutter on Your Desktop by Organizing Files on Shelves MacScan: MacScan is the premier Macintosh security program NetSpot Pro: The Only App for Wireless Site Survey, Wi-Fi Analysis, & Troubleshooting on Mac OS X

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 11.38.01 PM

StackSocial also has Dragon Dictate for half off at $99 for both PC and Mac.

June 14, 2013

Here’s what iOS 7 looks like on iPad and iPad mini [Official]

No surprises or shockers here but we had missed this image which was hiding on the bottom of the Apple iOS 7 page but was spotted by iGen.

We’d heard even before the keynote that Apple was behind in releasing iOS 7 for iPad and as such initial iOS 7 betas are only for iPhones and iPod touches.

Notably, you may notice the red icon, which isn’t present on the iPhone or iPod touch, presumably for Photo Booth.

June 13, 2013

Speed Test iOS 6 vs. iOS 7Beta [Video]

Keep in mind that iOS 7 is a beta which isn’t yet fully optimized. The results are still pretty close which for all of the improvements seems to be a pretty sweet deal.

June 11, 2013

Even the head of Android is excited to try out iOS 7

Sundar Pinchai, the relatively new head of Android since Andy Rubin’s departure, doesn’t mince words when it comes to his interest in iOS7. The more pessimistic among us would say that he wants to copy all of the new features but he’s probably just curious like everyone else. 

June 9, 2013

AT&T slips in some bad news ahead of WWDC: Upgrade eligibility moved from 20 to 24 months

Not a bad PR move on AT&T’s part: While everyone is getting hyped for WWDC, Ma Bell throws the same curve ball that Verizon threw at us in April. You must now wait the full 24 months to be eligible for phone upgrades rather than getting in at 20 months as you could have previously.

Today, we’re announcing a 24-month upgrade policy across all of AT&T’s wireless products and services.  This aligns device upgrade eligibility with our standard two-year wireless agreement and it applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.

The move shouldn’t be a huge deal for iPhone customers who are used to two year cycles who can plan ahead to 2014.

June 7, 2013

June 6, 2013

Kevin Rose gives his familiar WWDC predictions [Video]

The Digg founder and current Google Ventures partner has a storied history with Apple rumors. For instance, he predicted the Retina iPad but was just over a year early on that. In that post we noted that Rose’s predictions were a bit shaky:

Rose has been very hit-and-miss over the years in terms of his Apple predictions. Prior to the launch of the first iPhone he incorrectly predicted the device having a physical keyboard and most recently, Rose claimed the new Apple TV would be called the “iTV” and would include an App Store as well as ad supported TV stations. On the other hand, Rose was correct about the Apple TV’s September launch date, iPad remote feature, and $99 price point and was also correct about the fourth-generation iPod nano’s features and even posted a photo of it. Rose was also correct about copy/paste in iOS 3.0 as well as new iTunes features.

In this case, Kevin Rose’s source seems to be a big 9to5mac reader. MacBook Airs? Sure, sure. Big changes in iOS 7? Yeah, yeah and yeah. We’ll have the definitive WWDC 2013 roundup later today.

June 3, 2013

May 31, 2013

May 24, 2013

May 20, 2013

May 18, 2013

May 16, 2013

Outgoing Intel CEO Paul Otellini’s big regret? Not landing an Intel chip in Apple’s iPhone

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Interesting exit interview with Intel CEO Paul Otellini wherein he says (duh) he regrets not trying harder not to get his chips inside the iPhone (and subsequently iPod touch and iPads).

But, oh, what could have been! Even Otellini betrayed a profound sense of disappointment over a decision he made about a then-unreleased product that became the iPhone. Shortly after winning Apple’s Mac business, he decided against doing what it took to be the chip in Apple’s paradigm-shifting product.

“We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it. And the world would have been a lot different if we’d done it,” Otellini told me in a two-hour conversation during his last month at Intel. “The thing you have to remember is that this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do… At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought.”

While there seems to be some sentiment that if Otellini had tried, Intel would have won Apple’s iOS device business. But, it clearly isn’t that simple. ARM chips use an order of magnitude less power than Intel chips, even to this day.

Also, if Intel is so great at powering mobile device chips, why wouldn’t Android devices (And Windows 8 devices!) have used them as an advantage?

Steve Jobs and Apple prioritized efficiency over raw power which may have proved to be one of the winning advantages of the feature-rich iPhone and iPad over a decade plus of Windows machines.

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