Florida Stories May 12, 2016

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Apple has told the families of two teenage boys lost at sea that it has been unable to recover any data from the iPhone belonging to one of them. The families had hoped that content on the phone might have provided clues as to what happened.

14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen failed to return from a boating trip last July, but their 19-foot boat was boat was found drifting 100 miles from Bermuda back in March, and on it was an iPhone belonging to Stephanos. Apple agreed last month to attempt to recover data from the phone, but the SunSentinel reports that the company’s efforts were unsuccessful …

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Florida Stories August 13, 2014

Murder suspect really did ask Siri for advice on hiding a body

One of the best-known Siri easter eggs is its response to the question “Where’s a good place to hide a body?” Siri’s usual response was to ask “What kind of place are you looking for? Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps.”

In a story you really couldn’t make up, Kirotv reports that ‘a Florida man’ on trial for a 2012 murder seriously did ask Siri for this advice, according to evidence presented in court yesterday.

New evidence presented Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of killing his roommate showed he apparently asked Siri on his iPhone, “I need to hide my roommate.”

Pedro Bravo is accused of killing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar in 2012.

The Huffington Post reports that the query no longer works, but trying it myself today, the response I got from Siri was “What, again?”.

It was reported in June that Apple is looking to replace Siri’s Nuance-powered back-end, while the former Siri team are working on a next-generation virtual personal assistant.

Update: Bravo’s lawyer argued in court that while the query was made out on the defendant’s phone, it was not done on the night of the murder and is ‘not evidence’ that Bravo was the one who made it. The detective in the case agreed.

Florida Stories July 30, 2014

Apple lets customers in nine states know how to buy Macs and/or accessories tax-free

Apple is emailing customers in nine states that offer sales tax holidays to let them know they have an upcoming opportunity to buy Macs and/or accessories tax-free.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee all offer dates on which you can buy at least some Apple gear free from sales tax.  The email provides a link to a webpage where you can click on your state to find out the dates, qualifying products and the maximum spend.

Missouri appears to offer the best deal, with a wide range of products qualifying and a maximum spend of $3500. Several states require a computer to be one of the items purchased.

If you’re not fortunate enough to live in one of the qualifying states, hit up 9to5mac.com/products to find the lowest prices on Apple gear (many only charge tax in states where they operate).

We also noted yesterday that Retina MacBook Pros had dropped to their lowest-ever prices in the refurb store, and you can find more Apple deals over on 9to5Toys.

Florida Stories May 14, 2013

Nearly three years after the device first launched, GigaOm points us to a recently filed class action lawsuit that claims Apple’s iPhone 4 has a defective power button. The lawsuit claims that a defective flex cable typically causes the on/off switch to fail shortly after the device’s one year warranty has expired. It also claimsApple is aware of the problem, which is costing users around $149 to fix off of warranty.

Apple of course still sells the iPhone 4 through a number of carrier partners as its low end, $0 down iPhone option.

According to the lawsuit, “thousands of iPhone 4 users have suffered” from the issue that Apple allegedly knew existed before manufacturing and selling the device. The problem has never received a lot of mainstream media coverage or a response from Apple, but the lawsuit notes that a support forum on Apple’s website boasts over 800K views since first popping up in January 2011.                                                                                                         expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Florida Stories May 9, 2013

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As we reported last week, AT&T today launched its new pre-paid wireless MVNO called Aio Wireless with the iPhone 5 on offer, front and center. Currently, the service is only available in Houston, Orlando and Tampa but it is expected to roll out nationally over the coming months.

The company will offer 4 plans: Aio Basic, Smart and Pro phone plans at $35-40 for 250MB, $55 for 2GB and $70/month for 7GB data respectively. Each plan will shift to lower speed data after data is used up and also offers unlimited calls and text on AT&T’s network. They will also offer a tablet plan that starts at $15/month for 250MB.

The MVNO will carry Android, Windows and Apple smartphones including iPhone 4S for $499 and iPhone 5 for $649 without subsidy. They also cap 4G data at 4Mb/s so LTE speeds shouldn’t be expected.

Clearly this, as well as Verizon’s upcoming MVNO-like service, will address the competition from T-Mobile and other pre-paid carriers.

Press release and rate plans follow: expand full story

Florida Stories April 16, 2013

Several job postings looking for both hardware and software engineers reveal that Apple is looking to begin its own chip development in Orlando, Florida.

Last week we learned that Apple is hiring software engineers to work on fingerprint technology at Authentec in Melbourne, Florida, which is about one hour south of the future site of the company’s development labs.

The job posting are interesting as Samsung, which works with Apple to develop the custom chips used in iPhones and iPads, continues to compete with Apple in the smartphone and tablet space.

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