Tag: apple

Church forced to buy thousands of dollars worth of iPhones

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405A US church is scratching its head after it was charged for thousands dollars of iPhones , that it never bought.

It seems that God works in mysterious ways and is dropping the hint that the old religion is past, and Christians everywhere should be worshipping shiny consumer toys with an Apple on them.

A mysterious person used the Fountain of Life’s name to buy more than a thousand dollars worth of iPhones.

A man first tried to buy iPhones in the church’s name at Verizon, but was sent forth into outer darkness by the Apple staff who suspected he was not telling the truth. However when the man came back Apple staff realised he was a true believer and the buy  went through.

The Fountain of Life’s pastor, Preson Pitchford ,was shocked that someone would use the church’s good name to get the tools of a rival consumer based religion like that.

Wells was in her office at the church on the day of reckoning when she received the bill from AT&T.

The bill charged the church for 17 iPhones, all bought on separate days with different phone numbers.

“That just amazes me that somebody could get away with it not just once, not just twice, but multiple times,” Pitchford said. “We don’t use iPhones here at the church. We don’t even use AT&T.”

The suspect used the church’s address and a fake federal tax ID number. Police are still working to figure out if the phones were bought from a store or online.

Pitchford fears it could happen to another church.

“This guy is polished,” Pitchford said. “He’s done it before, and he will do it again.”

AT&T told church members they won’t have to pay the money, that it will be taken care of by the company’s fraud department.

Judges question Apple’s Samsung harm

Samsung Logo GrillworkApple received a shock in a US Appeals court when judges actaully questioned if it had been really financially harmed by Samsung stealing its ideas.

Apple told a US appeals court that rival Samsung should be barred from selling products that infringe on its smartphone patents, but the judges were skeptical.

Judge Kimberly Moore was skeptical that Apple was being harmed since it already licenses some technology to other companies. “You’ve already licensed these patents up the wazoo!” she said.

For those who don’t speak American, she was saying that it was difficult to claim you were damaged by the patent information being used, when you gave it to lots of other people for a small fee.

In the latest round, Apple is seeking an injunction against sales of some Samsung products it says infringe on its patents for technologies such as slide-to-unlock, auto-correct and quick links that can, for instance, send a telephone number from an email to the phone dialer.

Apple lawyer William Lee said Samsung could quickly design work-arounds for the patents but did not do so. He told the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington that Samsung was harming Apple.

Moore disagreed: “You’ve licensed them to everyone. So why is it irreparable harm if Samsung uses the patents?”

Judge Sharon Prost said she was “having a hard time getting past irreparable harm.”

Lee said other smartphone companies, like Google and Huawei had not licensed the technology.

To make matters worse, Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan said the South Korean company had all but stopped using the patents, so no injunction was needed.

Moore lost his rag a bit and wondered then if Samsung had stopped using the patents, why were they still fighting it. “Why am I wasting my time?”

It is a good question. The so called thermonuclear war started by Steve Jobs when Samsung used his rounded rectangle design failed to do anything other than keep lawyers rich. Now it seems pointless to continue it. But it is a bit on the nose to expect Samsung to quit.

Apple, Google scramble to fix bug

330ogleBoth Google and Apple devices are vulnerable to a bug and the companies are rushing to create patches for people that have such devices.

The bug – named Freak – has been in devices for years and follows US government rules in the 1990s which forced tech vendors to offer weak encryption for devices being exported abroad. While the US government changed those rules, the vulnerability remained in later iterations of the software.

Google has apparently already fixed the bug, while Apple will push an update as early next week.

Freak stands for factoring attack on RSA-Export keys – and was apparently first discovered by French researchers, whose findings were later confirmed by other experts in the field.

Quite a few well known websites, including government websites, support the less secure encryption but Google has advised people to disable that support.

Apple fanboys get political

The late Steve Jobs with an iPadOwners of shiny expensive Apple gear are starting to use their phones to mount political campaigns.

According to the Guardian newspaper Apple fanboys are trolling their politicians with iMessage texts in protest over a law which would increase the length of time the government retains communications data.

Apparently the matter only interests Apple fans, either that or the Guardian can’t conceive of anyone in Australia other than iPhone users getting upset about what happens in politics.

According to the Guardian, Apple’s messaging service, built into iOS devices and the newest versions of Mac OS X, lets users send text, picture, voice and video messages through an SMS-style app or an email address.

Senator George Brandis, the Australian attorney general, was the first minister to be on the receiving end of Apple fanboy wit.

Users sent photoshopped pictures, Blade Runner quotes and questions to the senator, who has been at the forefront of pushing the data retention bill through the Australian legislature.

Journalist Lauren Ingram even messaged him the entire first chapter of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

What is strange about this story is not that internet users are trolling politicians, but that the Guardian has only named Apple users as doing it. Unlike usual Tame Apple Press advertising, it seems to be actually true.

It was only possible because the pair had taken part in Jobs’ Mob’s iMessage scheme and hooked up their government email as part of their attempts to be cool with the yoff of today.

Shortly after the iMessage bombardment began, Brandis unlinked his senate email address from the service – but other ministers didn’t move so quickly, and Buzzfeed News reports that Greg Hunt, the environment minister, had his iMessage account hooked up to his government email as well.

Intel loses the plot – analysts

Intel-logoA financial analyst said that an announcement made by Samsung at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona has thrown into sharp relief Intel’s inability to capture market share.

Mark Hibben, at Seeking Alpha, said that while the CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, delivered a keynote at MWC, Samsung’s announcement of the Galaxy S6 phone shows that the California company is way behind in its egregious goals.

Hibben said that Samsung is targeting Apple’s iPhone 6, “making it clear that Apple and Samsung completely dominate the mobile device world, leaving Intel with only aspirations”.

The Galaxy S6 smartphone uses a Samsung 64-bit processor, using the company’s 14 nanometre FinFET process.

He said this shows that ARM has leaped into the process lead over Intel, which only has its SoFIA on a 28 nanometre TSMC process, said Hibben. That, he thinks, makes Intel two generations behind process tech for smartphones.

He said companies like Apple and Samsung “can deploy staggering capital resources in the pursuit of non Intel Inside”.

Intel made a $4.2 billion loss in its mobile group in 2014.

 

Smartphone sold over a billion last year

smartphones-genericIn 2014, sales of smartphones to individuals reached 1.2 billion units worldwide, a rise of 28.4 percent compared to 2013.

Worldwide sales of smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2014 saw an increase of 29.9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013, totalling 367.5 million units, according to Gartner.

And in the fourth quarter, Samsung lost its number one spot to Apple – as a result of product introductions in Apple’s case, and erosion of sales in Samsung’s case.

Samsung lost 10 percent in market share, according to Anshul Gupta, a Gartner analyst. “Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013. This downward trend shows that Samsung’s share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure,” said Gupta.

For the whole year, Samsung remained the leader, shipping 307,597 units worldwide, while Apple shipped 191,426 phones.

The top five vendors in the fourth quarter were Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi, according to Gartner. These last three vendors are all Chinese companies.

Enterprise to boost tablet sales

cheap-tabletsA report said that adoption of tales by commercial enterprises are set to boost sales in Western Europe.

IDC said the commercial market for tablets will reach over 11 million units by 2019 – that’s 130% CAGR.

The tablet market so far has largely been driven by home users, and by early adopters in corporations. Newer designs are lighter, better connected and have options including keyboards.

IDC said that devices are now shipping with features that IT departments like, particularly in security, and both Samsung and Apple have started to target the corporate market.

According to Chrystelle Labesque, a research manager at IDC, over two thirds of the enterprises IDC surveyed in Western Europe have already deployed tablets.

The main reason for their adoption in enterprises include price erosion, more features and increasing employee productivity.

The news couldn’t come any sooner for vendors selling tablets for personal use. All indications are that there is a degree of saturation in this sector.

 

LG and Samsung make iWatch screens

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picLG Display and Samsung Electronics are to supply screens for Apple smartwatches when the shiny toy finally hits the shops.

The Electronic Times reported that LG Display will be the sole supplier of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the Apple watches that go on sale in April.

Samsung Display will also become a supplier for the next version of the smartwatch that is expected to go on sale either sometime in the second half of this year or early 2016.

No-one is confirming the rumour, but it makes sense and is probably true.

Apple has scheduled a special event on March 9, where it is expected to showcase Apple Watch. To have got this far in the production process, Jobs’ Mob should have sorted out its display supplier months ago.

The watch, which will let consumers check their email, pay for goods at retail stores and monitor personal health information, represents Apple’s only product introduction since the 2010 launch of the iPad.

The watch is likely to sell millions, but only because of the Apple logo. It has been shipped so late and with half of the promised healthcare enhancements dropped, because Jobs’ Mob could not get them to go.

Ericsson sues Apple

EricssonSwedish company Ericsson has taken Apple to court and also complained to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), it said today.

Ericsson claims that Apple refused its offer to have a court decide fair licensing terms that would be binding on both companies. And because of that, it has filed a complaint with the ITC seeking to exclude its products for infringing patents directly linked to 2G and 4G LTE standards.

It filed a second complaint with a Eastern district Court in Texas asking for damages and injunctions for “infringement of patents that are critical to many other aspects of Apple’s devices”.

This second instance related to 41 patents which Ericsson claims covers not only 2G and 4G/LTE standards, but other patents related to semiconductors, user interface software, location services and application and the iOS operating system.

Ericsson claims that by refusing its reasonable licensing offer used in both Apple smartphones and tablets, “Apple harms the entire market”.

Apple’s global licence agreement for Ericsson mobile technology apparently expired last month.

Apple copies Intel and drinks milk and honey

Apple's Tim CookFruity cargo cult Apple is set to copy Intel’s success by shifting an ever increasing amount of development work to Israel.

Chief Executive Tim Cook was in Israel on Thursday to visit the company’s new research and development offices in Herzlyia.

Jobs’ Mob also has an R&D center in Haifa, in the country’s north, which is Apple’s second largest research and development hub outside of the US.

Jobs’ Mob recently bought two Israel outfits – Anobit Technologies and PrimeSense which both make microprocessor chip designs.

Apple has also hired most of the Israeli employees of a chip-design division that Texas Instruments decided to shut down in 2013 in Ra’anana, some 10 miles north of Tel Aviv and has been hiring like crazy for its chip design center in Haifa.

On its current jobs posting site for Israel, Apple is advertising for a range of hardware and software positions, including silicon and semiconductor design and testing engineers who will be required to work in labs.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Shlomo Gradman, chairman of the Israeli Semiconductor Club as saying that Apple’s Israeli acquisitions and its expanding local workforce show that the company is becoming more and more independent on the chip level, where it once had to rely on external suppliers.

Cook said in the meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin that Israel and Apple have got much closer together over the last three years than ever before

Microsoft gives kids a cloud

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeAs part of its push to dominate the cloud, software giant Microsoft is giving away free Office 365 subscriptions to students outside the US.

Schools will have to buy subscriptions for staff and faculty, but once they do, students  – and even teachers – can self-install for no charge by using a school-issued email address at the Office in education website.

This will give Microsoft a huge customer base for its products, after signing up, kids will get access to the newest Office, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher, and be able to install them on up to five computers and five phones or tablets.

An account also comes with Office Online and a 1TB of OneDrive storage.

The move could totally kill off moves by Google to get its cloud storage system into schools, or for that matter Apple’s push to get its expensive tablets into the education market.

The advantage of Microsoft giving away the software to school kids is that it instils a generation with training on its software which will be carried over to business decisions made later in life.

In the US, Apple and Google have been making inroads into the schools market, based on marketing in Apple’s case and cheaper software in Google’s.

US tech economy suffering because of paranoia

Senator McCarthy On 'Face The Nation'The US economy is officially suffering because its government is not reigning in its paranoid security services.

One of the world’s biggest markets, China, has said that it is no longer using high-profile US technology brands for state buys, amid ongoing revelations about mass surveillance and hacking by the US government.

That means that key brands, including Cisco, Intel, Apple and McAfee — among others — have been dropped from the Chinese government’s list of authorised brands.

The number of approved foreign technology brands fell by a third, based on an analysis of the procurement list. Less than half of those companies with security products remain on the list.

Chinese companies were said to offer “more product guarantees” than overseas rivals. Some claim it has cost the US government many billions of dollars figure on the impact of the leaks.

US companies have been moaning that the activities by the NSA are harming their businesses in crucial growth markets, including China. However, the US government has claimed that its aggressive spying plan meant that Americans were safer and spying on everyone was the only way to catch terrorists.

This included backdoors being placed in US products sold overseas. Those revelations sparked a change in Chinese policy by forcing Western technology companies to hand over their source code for inspection. That led to an outcry in the capital by politicians who accused Chinese companies of doing exactly the same thing, when they hadn’t.

Microsoft said its fourth-quarter earnings that China “fell short” of its expectations, which chief executive Satya Nadella described as a “set of geopolitical issues” that the company was working through.

HP said its fiscal first-quarter earnings had “execution issues” in China thanks to the “tough market” with increasing competition from the local vendors approved by the Chinese government.

However Cisco has been suffering the most. Earlier this month at its fiscal second-quarter earnings, the networking giant said it lost 19 percent of its revenue in China, amid claims the NSA was installing backdoors and implants on its routers in transit.

Tablets slow right down

cheap-tabletsOnly 221.4 million tablets will ship worldwide this year – a drop of 11.9 percent compared to 2014.

That’s according to Digitimes Research (DR), which predicts that Apple will continue to take the lead, managing to ship over 54 million units this year. While this sounds healthy, that’s a predicted decline of 16/6 percent.

The so-called “white box” market will see the biggest decline, with a drop of 20 percent. Margins on these products are super slim.

DR gives estimates for the different vendors’ shares of the market – with Apple accounting for 24.5 percent, Samsung 16.3 percent, Lenovo 5.3 percent, Asustek 4.2 percent, Google 1.7 percent, Acer 1.7 percent, and Amazon only 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, a report in Chinese language Economic Daily News said that Amazon has cut orders of tablets, sourced by Compal and Quanta by as much as 30 percent.

Compaq has the lion’s share of Amazon tablet business, churning out 80 percent of them compared to Quanta’s 20 percent, the Economic Daily News said.

 

Apple has to pay troll toll for use of iTunes

trollFruity cargo cult Apple has gone up against the Troll Gods of East Texas and ended up having to pay $532.9 million.

A federal jury found Apple’s iTunes software infringed three patents owned by Texas-based patent licensing company Smartflash. Smartflash wanted $852 million in damages.

The jury deliberated for eight hours and said that Apple not only used the Smartflash patents without permission, but also did so wilfully.

Apple claimed the outcome was another reason why reform is needed in the patent system to curb litigation by companies that do not make products themselves, such as Smartflash.  Although it has done rather well itself by patenting the rounded rectangle, which it did not really invent.

“We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.

Smartflash sued Apple in May 2013 alleging the Cupertino, California-based company’s iTunes software infringed its patents related to accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos and games.

The trial was held in Tyler, the hub of the East Texas region, which over the past decade has become a focus for patent litigation in the United States. Some of the biggest jury verdicts have been awarded in the district. Smartflash is also based in Tyler.

Apple tried to avoid a trial by having the lawsuit thrown out. But earlier this month U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who presided over the case, ruled that the Smartflash’s technology was not too basic to deserve the patents.

Apple argued that it did not infringe the patents and asked the jury to find they were invalid because previously patented inventions covered the same technology.

Smartflash’s suit said that in 2000, the co-inventor of its patents, Patrick Racz, met with a man named Augustin Farrugia to discuss the patents’ technology. Farrugia, the complaint said, later joined Apple and became a senior director there.

Peak Google is the latest daft rumour

Google's Eric "Google Glass" SchmidtThe US tech press is full of a bizarre story that Google might have hit its peak.

According to NPR, some tech industry observers aren’t sure that Google will be ready for the next big thing and there is talk of something called “Peak Google”.

Farhad Manjoo wrote in The New York Times:  “Technology giants often meet their end not with a bang but a whimper, a slow, imperceptible descent into irrelevancy.”

Now apparently Google is having trouble mastering mobile. When you look at the fact that most of the world uses Google Android this one might be a little hard to swallow, but apparently it is all because smartphones and mobile computing have killed off the PC and no one wants to buy adverts.

In a world cantered on a fragmented mobile advertising market, Google could suffer.

Google has also not had much luck with getting its innovations into the market. Resources have been directed toward lots of flashy ideas that, in many cases, ultimately lack in financial follow-through.  Google Glass was a case in point.

Other reasons include the normal esoteric decline which always follows businesses which get too big. It is normal among technology companies for a dominant company to be unable to dominate the next big thing. Industry giants lack the manoeuvrability of a younger company.

However there is are some reasons to believe that all this is total rubbish. Google has so much money sitting in the bank it can just buy the new technology it needs. It bought Android in 2006 and Nest in 2014. There is no reason that it just can’t buy its way into the next big thing.

In addition, it is curious that few people are saying the same thing about a tech empire with even less ability to adapt – Apple. If Google goes then surely Apple will be long gone before the search engines demise.  After all tablets are tanking, ipods have long vanished, the smartphone market is saturated, and Apple, unlike Google, is out of ideas.