Technology Stories March 30, 2016

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In this episode, Zac and Benjamin discuss the new Apple Watch bands, the conclusion to Apple’s FBI standoff, iOS quality control, and much more. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories January 6, 2016

Happy Hour 21

Welcome to the first ever live edition of Happy Hour straight from Las Vegas at CES 2016! In this episode we’re discussing some of the latest announcements, new accessories for Apple products, and more! The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories December 23, 2015

Happy Hour 21

This is our year in review. We’ll discuss everything we’ve seen, product releases, and how we feel about it all in the Apple ecosystem. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories December 2, 2015

Happy Hour 21

Recently, we’ve seen a good amount of iPhone 7 rumors with everything from USB-C support to Apple potentially removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. It all sounds a bit crazy, but today we’ll get to the bottom of the rumors and discuss what’s actually possible and what makes sense. Big thanks to Jamf Now (formerly Bushel) for sponsoring this week’s episode. To find out what awesome cloud-based mobile device management can do for you, check out https://www.jamf.com/happyhour.

The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories November 25, 2015

Happy Hour 21

This week, we’re discussing all things Apple Pencil. Should you buy one? Who is it for? Today, we’ll get to the bottom of Apple Pencil along with our impressions and opinions. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories August 26, 2015

Another week in the world of Apple and it looks like Tim Cook may have violated some important SEC regulations. Along with that, there has been major demand for Apple Watch, but not where you’d expect it. Oh, and remember Bendgate? Looks like it won’t affect the iPhone 6S. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Technology Stories June 23, 2015

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Earlier in the year, the Bluetooth SIG appointed an Apple employee as secretary of the board. The two institutions are developing their relationship further today with the announcement that Apple is now a Promoter Member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This is the highest level with the organization and gives Apple voting rights.

Promoter members get voting rights on Bluetooth corporate matters and a guaranteed seat on the board of directors. Current promoter members Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia and Toshiba ‘unanimously welcomed’ Apple to the position.

This means that Apple will now have significant influence over the technological roadmap for Bluetooth in cooperation with these other companies.

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Technology Stories June 2, 2015

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In addition to the Apple Events channel for viewing the WWDC keynote returning last night, Apple TV has added a NatGeo TV station from the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild channel. Apple’s latest channel includes next day full episodes of shows and documentaries covering science, history, culture, and more. expand full story

Technology Stories May 27, 2015

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WWDC is right around the corner, and you can definitely expect some interesting changes with iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. This week we discuss some of those changes, along with some new features for the next iPhone. Also, it looks like Jony Ive has moved on from his position as Senior Vice President of Design at Apple. What is he up to now? The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

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Technology Stories May 20, 2015

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Apple’s plan to manage upcoming HomeKit-compatible accessories could revolve around a new iOS app called “Home,” according to sources familiar with the app. Introduced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, HomeKit is an Apple initiative designed to encourage accessory makers to integrate “connected home” accessories such as Wi-Fi garage door openers, smart thermostats akin to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, and wireless door locks with iPhones and iPads. Using Siri or the Home app, users will be able to remotely control parts of their homes directly from iOS devices…

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Technology Stories May 11, 2015

A new report from ETNews claims that Apple is investigating silver nanowire technology to improve touch panels in its much anticipated upcoming 12+-inch iPad:

Apple is planning to apply nano new material on touch panel. By changing ITO-based clear film with silver nano wire (AgNW) material, it plans to raise sense of touch and decrease cost.국내 은나노와이어 Domestic AgNW based touch-screen panel (TSP) industries are getting ready to commercialize the products as soon as possible.

The report, citing sources close to the supply chain, adds that Apple has already requested samples of the tech from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display and others earlier this month.

And it isn’t the first time we’ve heard Apple is experimenting with the technology. The company has a patent for a “Touch Screen Display with Transparent Electrical Shielding Layer” which details an IPS LCD that utilizes “microscopic metal meshes, such as silver nano-wires (AGNW)” as a conducting layer. In the patent, published in January 2014, Apple imagines a display with better power efficiency, a thinner design, and reduced light reflectivity for an iPad. Here’s an excerpt: expand full story

Technology Stories April 30, 2015

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There’s no denying that connected smart home accessories are on the rise. Apple’s HomeKit is slowly making an entrance into this space, but for the moment there are a wide variety of accessories available that can make your house a lot cooler. Today we’re taking a look at some of the essential options that have been around for a little while, but are definitely must-haves if you’re into the smart home scene. These devices may not be necessary, but they make things around the house more convenient… expand full story

Technology Stories April 2, 2015

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WIRED has posted a new story on the Apple Watch, which revolves around interviews with Apple human interface designer Alan Dye and Apple’s VP Technology Kevin Lynch, who heads Apple Watch software. The piece shines new light on the foundation of the smartwatch project at Apple as well as some new details about the product — which ships later this month.

Amusingly, Lynch did not know what he would be working on when he accepted the Apple job. He walked into the role with the project already underway; early ‘experiments’ from the iPod team with click-wheels and such. Dye says that the idea for a watch blossomed during design meetings for iOS 7, Apple’s major software overhaul.

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Technology Stories March 31, 2015

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Continuing its high-level executive hiring spree, Apple has recruited Dolby Executive Vice President Mike Rockwell to become an executive in its hardware division, 9to5Mac has learned. According to a source, Rockwell has likely been hired to bolster the audio and display performance of future Apple products, which could include anything from next-generation Apple monitors to professional audio/video editing tools to speakers. Rockwell’s LinkedIn profile confirms he joined Apple in February but does not specify his role.

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Technology Stories March 19, 2015

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Today we’re taking a look at the Ring Video Doorbell. This may be familiar to some of you out there as it was featured in our Top Smart Home Tech of CES 2015 article a few months back, but we’ve finally got our hands on it and today we’re going to see what it’s all about…

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Technology Stories January 14, 2015

Samsung rumored to be making a ~$7.5B offer to buy BlackBerry…for its patents

Update: BlackBerry is denying the story:

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.

Samsung approached BlackBerry regarding a possible takeover of the company for as high as $7.5 billion, according to a report from Reuters (via CNBC)BlackBerry stock has jumped 16% following the report.

Blackberry stock skyrocketed Wednesday afternoon after a report that the device maker had been approached by Samsung about a potential takeover… At its high, Blackberry was up more than 21 percent… South Korea’s Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry’s current trading price, the source said.

The report says executives from Samsung and BlackBerry met last week regarding the possible takeover, but both companies declined to offer a statement to Reuters for the story. The buy would be mostly for access to the patent treasure trove according to the GlobeandMail. 

Smartphone company Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has recently approached BlackBerry Ltd to buy the company for as much as $7.5-billion, looking to gain access to its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters. South Korea’s Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 per-cent to 60 per-cent over BlackBerry’s current trading price, the source said.

Recently Samsung announced a partnership with BlackBerry in an attempt to push its Knox security services and mobile devices to enterprise customers, and it’s likely Samsung would be after BlackBerry’s patents and presence in the enterprise. The companies announced in November that the partnership would include bringing BlackBerry’s BES12 platform to Samsung Galaxy devices equipped with Knox. 

BlackBerry currently develops its enterprise platforms and BBM messaging services for both iOS and Android, but what an acquisition might mean for support on non-Samsung devices remains to be seen.

Technology Stories January 8, 2015

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There’s a very clear message delivered on the CES 2015 show floor: Smart home tech is definitely a thing. There is a ton of tech/accessories being showcased at CES that are designed to make your home life easier through connectivity. We’ve roamed the show floor searching high and low to bring you a roundup of some of the best smart home tech that was announced…

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Technology Stories December 29, 2014

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It’s no surprise, the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 is right around the corner and we’ve been prepping our gear and getting ready to hit the show floor. The whole thing kicks off on Jan 5, 2015 and we’re excited to dive in and bring you coverage of the latest gadgets and accessories that 2015 has to offer.

That being said, it takes a bit of work to put together the content that you’ll see and a backpack full of gear. Most of us try to pack light, but there are very important things that are necessary to make sure the job gets done. Today, we’re taking a look at the gear I’m lugging around the show floor. I may not have everything I’m used to, but these essential tools help make the coverage a bit easier…

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Technology Stories November 18, 2014

Apple iMessage Messages iOS 8

Bloomberg reports that a federal jury has found Apple guilty of infringing on six patents related to outdated pager technology from the 1990s. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has ordered Apple to pay a $23.6 million settlement for violating six patents owned by plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC in the case. expand full story

Technology Stories September 25, 2014

Apple says some bent iPhone 6/Plus phones will be replaced under warranty

An Apple support representative has told TNW that iPhone 6/Plus phones that have experienced warping in normal use would qualify for replacement under warranty if they pass a test known as “a visual mechanical inspection.” It should be noted that this is simply one AppleCare rep speaking, and not an official statement by Apple.

That is 100 percent up to the Genius you speak with at the store. There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one.

Apple was not able to provide any information on what the test involves, though one commentator below suggests that it is simply comparing the phone to a set of reference photos used to distinguish phones damaged by misuse from those considered faulty. In some rather Steve-like phrasing, the representative said that support chatroom comments revealed that “we’re looking into this with an insane amount of detail.”

Photos of the iPhone 6 and, especially, 6 Plus bending whilst in pockets starting emerging a couple of days ago. Video tests, though, do seem to indicate that a substantial degree of force is required.

Our own poll suggested that around 30 percent of readers are concerned about the issue, with 11.5 percent saying that they already own an iPhone 6 and are worried about damaging it, and 18 percent stating that they are delaying purchase until the issue is resolved.

iDevice warranty specialists SquareTrade found that the iPhone 6 passed all its breakability tests, describing it as the “toughest iPhone yet” and noting that it beat all other phones in its drop tests.

Technology Stories September 8, 2014

Apple hyping up tomorrow’s event by forwarding homepage to event live stream

We’re less than 24 hours away from Apple’s big iPhone 6, iWatch/iBand, and mobile payments event. Apple is continuing to raise hype for the event by forwarding its www.apple.com homepage to the actual live stream page for the event. We’ll know for sure tomorrow, but it seems like Apple believes it has several surprises in store for tomorrow. We’ll have a full news hub with the latest coverage before, during, and after the event tomorrow.

Technology Stories April 7, 2014

I’d find this video hard to believe were it not for its credentials. The WSJ reports that StoreDot, the start-up behind the technology, has its background in the Nanotechnology department of Tel Aviv University, and it’s been demonstrated at Microsoft’s Think Next conference.

Ultra-fast battery charging has been seen before, but using special (and not very portable) battery technology. This system charges batteries compact enough for smartphones. It’s demonstrated here with a Samsung Galaxy S3, but the company says that it plans to make versions for other phones, which will could certainly include the iPhone …  expand full story

Technology Stories January 29, 2014

Blink and you missed the tech stuff in the State of the Union address

Technology got only the briefest and vaguest of mentions in last night’s State of the Union address, with little in the way of new commitments.

President Obama promised six more “hubs for hi-tech manufacturing,” adding to the two hardly anyone had heard of in Raleigh and Youngstown that “connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.” The government apparently kicked in $100M in funding for research into 3D printing and energy-efficient chips. Nothing was said about where the new hubs would be or what they would do.

Aside from that, there was a pledge to connect 99 percent of schools to high-speed broadband over the next four years, which doesn’t seem an overly ambitious deadline for something so basic; generalised promises to reform the NSA; and a plea for Congress to reverse cuts to government research funding.

A one-line mention of possible patent reform, with no firm pledge. Nothing on net neutrality. ISP or carrier monopolies and collusion. Nothing on tightening rules on data security in the wake of large-scale credit card compromises. Not much on immigration reform, to help tech companies hire the people they need. And no specific pledges on limiting the powers of the NSA.

Is is just me, or is it odd to spend so much time talking about the economy and job-creation, but so little on steps to help the industry that is expected to drive much of that growth?

Apple did get a brief name-check, as one of the companies supporting the high-speed broadband initiative.

Tonight, I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, we’ve got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and twenty million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit.

In a statement to The Loop, Apple said that it was contributing hardware, software and expertise to the project.

We are proud to join President Obama in this historic initiative to transform America’s schools. Apple has a long history in education, and we have pledged to contribute MacBooks, iPads, software and our expertise to support the ConnectED project. We look forward to announcing more details with the White House soon.

Technology Stories January 9, 2014

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I know, it seems an odd question. But a few different things over the last couple of days got me thinking …

Years ago, before either Google or Apple ecosystems were really deserving of the term, I managed all my device synchronisation manually: I decided what content got synced on what devices. My music too: iTunes was allowed to play it, but not to manage it – I took care of the folder structures and meta-data myself. And the miscellaneous notes I kept were in a folder full of text files, the format deliberately chosen to be compatible with anything, not sitting inside Apple’s Notes app.

My view was that it should be me, not some piece of software or online service, that made the decisions about how things got done. Fast-forward to today, however, and things are quite different around here …  expand full story

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