February 11, 2015

Apple’s SVP of Operations Jeff Williams said today that the Cupertino company made changes to its requirements for supplier factories with regard to bonded labor practices in October. The practice in question centers on suppliers charging workers recruitment fees in exchange for a job on the assembly line.

Apple now says that these fees should be paid by employers, and employees should not pay anything at all.

As Bloomberg notes, Apple has previously stated that its supplier partners should not charge laborers “excessive fees” equal to a month’s pay or more, but with the recent shift has banned what Williams referred to as “bonded servitude” entirely.

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Happy Hour is back and better than ever. Join us as we kick off the first episode and discuss everything you need to know about Apple’s master plan for iOS 9, a new music streaming service in the works, Apple Watch launch details, and more. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the first episode embedded above.

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Apple announced Starbucks as an Apple Pay partner when it unveiled the mobile payment system last fall, and today the coffee chain is beginning to roll out support for Apple Pay through the latest version of its iPhone app.

While Starbucks does not yet accept Apple Pay in its brick-and-mortar stores, customers have long been able to pay with the iPhone app in stores using a digital Starbucks Card barcode scanned by a barista. Starting today, customers can load credit to a Starbucks Card within the app using Apple Pay as a payment method. expand full story

It’s not easy to create a legitimately novel accessory these days, and it’s even harder to sail smoothly through a crowdfunding campaign to bring one to market. Sanho — better-known as Hyper thanks to a popular line of battery products — spent much of 2014 preparing to release a female-friendly combination compact mirror and USB battery pack, using both Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns to raise funds for its production. After making a public splash at the 2015 CES alongside the new (and world’s smallest) laser pointer iPin, the mirror-battery Pearl ($40) is now shipping to customers.

The result — a 3.6″-diameter circular double mirror with a 3000mAh battery underneath — has been finished with silver, gold, or red glossy metallic exterior paint, and a white LED light ring inside. In short, it’s an elegant and welcome option for female iPhone users, delivering a combination of solid build quality and good value for the price.

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