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Posts tagged ‘Apple’

29
Jul

AT&T Urges FCC to Drop $100 Million Fine, Says Data Throttling Doesn’t Harm Customers


Last month the United States Federal Communications Commission announced that it would fine AT&T $100 million for misleading customers about its unlimited data plans and not adequately warning customers about throttling their data speeds. AT&T has since responded, arguing that data throttling doesn’t harm customers, the company is being prejudged and that its First Amendment rights are being violated in a response first found by The Hill (via Ars Technica).

ATT Logo

The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible. Its “moderate” forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority. Both, moreover, reflect an unseemly effort to coerce settlement. And the NAL and the related press campaign confirm that the agency has already prejudged AT&T’s liability, abandoning any pretext that the Commission remains an impartial arbiter of the case.

AT&T, who wants the FCC to drop the fine, claims that it has made all the required disclosures to customers, pointing out that its Unlimited Data Plan customers were more likely to renew their contracts than non-Unlimited Data Plan customers. Additionally, the telecommunications company argued the FCC would be outside of its authority in both imposing the fine and making other requests because the statute of limitations on the case has passed.

Lastly, AT&T argued that the FCC has no authority to order the company to inform its customers that it violated the Transparency Rule in not telling them about speed changes when throttling data because the statement would both be untrue and a violation of AT&T’s First Amendment rights.

AT&T ceased selling Unlimited Data Plans years ago but continues to have customers grandfathered to its Unlimited Data Plans. Previously, the company throttled its Unlimited Data Plan customers once they exceeded 5 GB of LTE data, but in May the company changed its policy to only throttle customers when connected to a cell tower experiencing network congestion.


29
Jul

Intel and Micron Unveil New Memory Class That’s 1,000 Times Faster Than Current Technology


Intel and Micron today announced 3D Xpoint, a new class of memory that the companies are calling a “major breakthrough in memory process technology.” 3D Xpoint (pronounced cross point) is said to be up to 1,000 times faster and more durable than the NAND Flash storage that’s currently used in mobile devices and solid state drives. It’s the first new memory chip to come to the market in 25 years.

Intel and Micron say that 3D Xpoint was built to create a non-volatile, high-performance high-capacity storage and memory solution that was also affordable. In addition to being faster than NAND Flash, it’s also 10 times denser than the DRAM chips used in computers, which means much more data can be stored closer to the processor and accessed quickly.

A smartphone equipped with 3D Xpoint technology would potentially see much faster performance than a smartphone using existing technology, and because a single die can store 128GB of data, more storage fits into a smaller and more energy efficient package. 3D Xpoint is also versatile — fast enough to replace DRAM and stable enough to be used for long term storage.

intel3dxpoint

The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.

Intel and Micron provide several use cases for 3D Xpoint technology, suggesting it will let retailers quickly detect fraud patterns in financial transactions and allow healthcare researchers to process and analyze larger data sets in real time. For consumers, 3D Xpoint will allow “faster interactive social media” and more immersive gaming experiences.

“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” said Mark Adams, president of Micron. “This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.”

As a nascent technology, 3D Xpoint is designed to complement existing NAND Flash and DRAM options because it will likely be too expensive to serve as a standalone option at launch, but in the future, it has the potential to introduce dramatic performance improvements in mobile and desktop products.

According to Intel and Micron, 3D Xpoint samples will be available later this year to select customers, but mainstream use may be a ways off. It is not clear if Apple will adopt 3D Xpoint when it first becomes available, but the company does often aim to implement cutting edge technology in its devices for maximum speed and performance.


29
Jul

Amazon proposes a delivery drone flight plan


Amazone Drone Delivery

Following the FAA’s recent relaxation of commercial drone flight regulations, Amazon is forging ahead with plans to employ the machines for deliveries. But first, the company has proposed some ground rules to keep the fledgling industry flying safely and out of the way of manned aircraft. Currently the FAA only allows drones to climb to 400 feet and they must remain within the pilot’s line of sight. They also cannot be operated within five miles of an airport. Amazon’s proposal builds off these initial restrictions with faster, long-range drones flying between 200 and 400 feet up. Slower and short-range drones would operate below 200 feet.

The biggest challenge is making sure that these machines don’t run into obstacles, airplanes, helicopters or each other. As such Amazon wants every drone to file the UAV equivalent of a flight plan prior to takeoff, just like manned aircraft already do. The drones would also need to maintain an internet connection in case they need to receive emergency instructions (i.e. “Thunderstorm ahead. Land now.”) as well as obstacle avoidance and sensing systems to keep them from crashing into trees, birds, utility poles or just sideswiping one another.

It’s basically a mirror of the current (and exceedingly safe) system employed by the FAA for commercial airliners. What’s more, Amazon wants to create a neutral central computer system to handle all of these flight plans and location data that any participating company could freely access. This access would extend from hobbyists flying homebrew quadcopters to tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook along a tiered flightpath scheme. “It’s completely doable,” Gur Kimchi, Amazon’s VP of drone delivery, told Bloomberg News. “We think it’s something feasible that everyone can rally around.”

[Image Credit: Amazon/Associated Press]

Filed under: Wireless, Science, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook

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Source: Bloomberg

28
Jul

Apple Watch Leading to Healthy Lifestyle Changes Among Early Adopters


Less than four months after the Apple Watch launched, many early adopters are finding that the wrist-worn device has motivated them to make healthy lifestyle changes. From walking and exercising more often to making healthier choices and playing more sports, market research firm Wristly found that many Apple Watch buyers are taking full advantage of the wearable’s health and fitness features.

Apple Watch Workout
More than 75% of survey participants among Wristly’s panel of nearly 1000 Apple Watch buyers indicated that they “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” that they have been standing more since receiving the Apple Watch. Similarly, 67% of participants agreed that they walk more, 59% agreed they make better health choices and 57% said they exercise more often with the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Lifestyle Changes
Early adopters are generally satisfied with the Apple Watch’s health and fitness features, especially those included stock on the device. An aggregate 89% of survey participants were either “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with the built-in Activity app, while around 80% were satisfied with the heart rate sensor and hourly standup reminders and just over 75% were satisfied with the Workout app.

Apple Watch Satisfaction Features
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop echoed similar sentiments in his Apple Watch review in June, in which he shared his personal story about losing 40 pounds using HealthKit and Apple Watch. After ten months of exercising, weight lifting and healthier eating decisions, Dalrymple lost four pant sizes and two shirt sizes, and the Apple Watch kept him motivated to reach his goals:

applewatchfitnessApple Watch furthered my transformation. I can see on my wrist every minute of the day where I’m at for standing, movement, activity, calories and much more.

One minute please, Apple Watch says I need to stand up.

If Apple Watch says stand, I stand. I still don’t know why. Maybe I just want to complete those rings every day and feel good about that. Maybe standing every hour really is good for me. I don’t know, but I’ll indulge this little device on my wrist and stand.

Making healthy lifestyle changes requires consistency, and Wristly found that many early adopters are still wearing the Apple Watch regularly. 86% of survey participants said they are still wearing the Apple Watch on a daily basis, while 12.3% wear it on most days, 1.3% go several days without wearing one and three respondents reported that they no longer wear the Apple Watch.

While the Apple Watch is certainly not the only wearable device motivating people to get in shape, the Move, Exercise and Stand rings, workout summaries, achievement badges, progress updates, personalized feedback and its other health and fitness features appear to have challenged early adopters in ways they did not expect.

Wristly is the largest independent Apple Watch research platform with an opt-in panel of around 1000 Apple Watch buyers. The research firm recently found the Apple Watch to have a 97% customer satisfaction rate, a number that Apple CEO Tim Cook cited during the company’s recent third quarter earnings results conference call.


28
Jul

T-Mobile will swap your iPhone 6 for the next model at no extra cost


T-Mobile CEO John Legere in front of the iPhone 6

If you’ve ever had to upgrade an iPhone months after launch, you’ve likely felt some anxiety: you need a new device right now, but you know you’ll feel buyer’s remorse when the next model shows up in September. T-Mobile thinks it can set your mind at ease, however. It’s launching a promo that lets you swap the iPhone 6 for its successor while locking in the $15 per month JUMP On Demand lease price — so long as you buy the existing handset by September 7th, you just have to trade it in to upgrade. You’ll also get first dibs on the next iPhone if you order it from the carrier within the first two days of availability, so you shouldn’t be waiting for days simply because you ordered a few minutes too late.

You’re also getting a perk that applies whether or not you care for shiny new hardware. T-Mobile now includes Apple Music as part of its Music Freedom effort, letting you stream albums and playlists on the fledgling service as much as you like without denting your monthly data cap. It’s not a surprising move (virtually every significant music provider is covered at this stage), but it’ll definitely make life easier if you absolutely have to listen to some T Swift during your commute.

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Source: T-Mobile

28
Jul

T-Mobile Adds Apple Music to Music Freedom, Offers Free ‘iPhone 6s’ Upgrade With iPhone 6 Trade-In


T-Mobile today announced that it has added Apple Music to Music Freedom, allowing Simple Choice customers to listen to the streaming music service without the cellular data counting against their monthly 4G LTE data plan. Apple Music joins dozens of other streaming music services supported by Music Freedom, including Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud and SiriusXM.

Apple Music T-Mobile Music Freedom
T-Mobile also announced that customers who purchase an iPhone 6 for $15 per month through the JUMP! On Demand trade-in program will be automatically eligible to receive a free upgrade to the next iPhone — the so-called “iPhone 6s” — when it is released, with the $15 monthly promotional price carrying over to the new smartphone.


Purchasing an iPhone 6 through JUMP! On Demand will also land you priority access to the next iPhone, when T-Mobile receives inventory of the next-generation device, for those that upgrade within the first 48 hours of availability. T-Mobile claims these two new Apple promotions are the last of the carrier’s Un-carrier Amped moves this summer.


28
Jul

‘Steve Jobs’ Movie Chosen as Centerpiece for 53rd New York Film Festival


Danny Boyle’s upcoming Steve Jobs film has been selected as the Centerpiece of the 53rd New York Film Festival, which takes place from September 25 through October 11. The announcement was made by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which hosts the NYFF each year.

SteveJobs-NYFF53-640px
Steve Jobs will be screened for audiences at the festival on October 3, about a week before the movie gets a wide release on October 9. New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones voiced excitement for the Aaron Sorkin-penned movie’s Centerpiece selection at this year’s NYFF, a position held in past years by movies like No Country For Old Men and Inherent Vice.

“You hear that a bio of Steve Jobs is being produced, and of course you see multiple possible movies in your head . . . but not this one. Steve Jobs is dramatically concentrated, yet beautifully expansive; it’s extremely sharp; it’s wildly entertaining, and the actors just soar—you can feel their joy as they bite into their material.”

The 17-day film festival previously announced that its opening and closing night films will be Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk and Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, respectively. Tickets to the festival aren’t exactly open to the public at large, but those interested can sign up to become a Film Society member, and provide a small donation, to receive “exclusive benefits” like early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public.

These benefits reduce the cost of the festival to packages ranging between $300 and $1,250. There are also VIP passes available that begin at $5,000 and go up to as much as $20,000 to include multiple tickets, exclusive VIP seating, and exclusive NYFF53 commemorative items like the festival’s official poster and a limited-edition tote bag.


28
Jul

Apple Pay Now Supports HSBC and First Direct in the UK


Apple Pay today expanded its participating issuers list within the United Kingdom, adding support for both HSBC and First Direct customers. Both banks were announced as starting partners for the UK branch of Apple Pay, but were delayed until late July at the last minute.

uk apple pay
HSBC and First Direct join a list of UK Apple Pay partners that includes: American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Still listed as coming soon are: Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank and TSB. Although Barclays has confirmed “imminent” support for the contactless payment service, the bank has yet to be listed on Apple’s Apple Pay UK site.

Along with the announcement of HSBC and First Direct support, customers using Apple Pay in the UK will also be able to start taking advantage of the service at both Five Guys restaurants and Wilko stores across the country. UK support of Apple Pay launched on July 14, and has been steadily expanding its roster of retail partners and financial institutions in the subsequent weeks.


28
Jul

Xbox One screenshots are coming to SmartGlass on Android and iOS


Halo 3: Oblivious

Xbox One users who also own a Win 10 phone have long been able to share their gaming screenshots using Microsoft’s Smartglass app. Now that ability is coming to both Android and iOS devices. Users will be able to view, share, and save their screenshots. There are some restrictions however. For Android users, the new features will only be available, at least initially, on the Android Xbox One SmartGlass Beta. And for Apple fans, only those users who have already signed up for the iOS Xbox One SmartGlass Beta program through the Apple Store.

[Image Credit: commorancy/Flickr]

Filed under: Gaming, HD, Apple, Microsoft, Google

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Source: Major Nelson

28
Jul

HSBC and First Direct now support Apple Pay in the UK


Apple Pay Launches In The UK

Apple Pay’s UK launch was spoiled earlier this month by lacklustre support from some of the nation’s most popular banks. HSBC and First Direct were among the notable omissions, but today they’re stepping up and giving customers the option to link their debit and credit cards. That means you can start using your iPhone or Apple Watch for contactless payments in Starbucks, Nando’s and the London Underground, as well as inside apps like Domino’s and Just Eat. Lloyds, meanwhile, has promised to support Apple Pay this autumn, but we’re still waiting on dates from Barclays, Halifax, M&S, TSB and Bank of Scotland.

[Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]

Filed under: Cellphones, Wearables, Software, Mobile, Apple

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