Apple introduces new MacBook Pros with faster processor and more

MBPros2014Early Tuesday, Apple introduced new MacBook Pros with a faster processor, Retina display,  CD/DVD Superdrive, and larger RAM choices and more for a price cut of just $1,099.00 (cutting the price to $100.00 off the older models).

For more information, click here.

CNN/Money: Is THIS Apple’s new Smartwatch?

AppleSmartwatchIn the patent filingApple (AAPLTech30) revealed a square smartwatch design, but it didn’t disclose too many more details about the iWatch.

Most of what the company revealed shows that the device may have many of the same features as its competitors’ smartwatches — a touchscreen, an accelerometer, a GPS receiver, Bluetooth, and alerts via vibration. The iWatch connects to a mobile device, displays notifications and allows users to accept or decline phone calls.

If there’s anything unusual about Apple’s filing, it’s that the iWatch can be used apart from a smartphone. You can store music and video on the smartwatch itself and play it back directly from the watch. You can even plug a set of headphones directly into the watch via a socket on the upper left corner.

Apple said the iWatch might respond to specific movements from its wearer. For instance, Apple said a user might shake, bounce or tap his or her wrist to accept or decline a notification or phone call.

The company said the watch could receive text messages, social network posts or news alerts, but it’s unclear if users can send messages from the watch. Apple also didn’t say if the watch would let users make phone calls.

It’s also unknown what the watch will be made of, though Apple said the band would be made of a non-metal material. Rubber, silicone, plastic, Mylar and vinyl were cited as possibilities.

Though the patent gives the world a glimpse at Apple’s smartwatch ideas, it is not necessarily reflective of a final product that will hit store shelves. Though many Apple patents look exactly like the finished products that it sells to customers, Apple notoriously patents many technologies that are dramatically different from the ones that it ultimately brings to market. Some never even see the light of day.

Apple has long been rumored to be releasing an iWatch. Chatter about an Apple smartwatch intensified after Nike (NKE) pulled the plug on its Fuelband fitness deviceearlier this year. Apple and Nike have partnered on technology for runners since 2006.

Over the past year, many of its competitors have brought smartwatches to market, most notably Samsung’s (SSNLF) Galaxy Gear. Google (GOOGLTech30) has also developed its Android Wear software for smartwatches, which has appeared on LG’s G Watch, Samsung’s Gear Live watch and will soon run on Motorola’s Moto 360 watch.

Apple is set to report its quarterly financial results after the stock market closes Tuesday afternoon. Shares of Apple rose 1% in early trading and are up nearly 20% this year. 

(Suppose) Screenshot of Windows 9 Making the Rounds

MicrosoftLogoAccording to The Verge, that is claiming that they have obtained a Screenshot of the new Start menu in the upcoming Windows 9 operating system.

“Microsoft provided an early look at its new Start Menu for a future version of Windowsearlier this year, but freshly leaked screenshots are offering an even closer look at the company’s progress towards its major desktop revamp. Two screenshots have emerged on myce that show the new Start Menu in a recent build of codename “Threshold.” Microsoft is currently working on a number of products as part of its Threshold efforts, including a version of Windows that will likely be named Windows 9 when it ships next year. Microsoft is currently labelling this development version of Windows as “Windows 8.1 Pro,” but this is placeholder branding until the latter stages of testing and the final name is ready and confirmed.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Amazon.com announces ‘Kindle Unlimited’

kindle-unlimitedEarly Friday, Amazon.com announced Kindle Unlimited.  The service allows a customer to pay one flat fee in order to download thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, etc.  The price is $9.99 per month and is available today.

For more information, click here.

Microsoft to discontinue 18,000 jobs in 2014, laying off more than 14% of their workforce

MicrosoftLogoA few days ago, we reported that Microsoft’s new CEO was getting ready for a big shakeup at Microsoft.

The ax has come down that the company will be eliminating 18,000 jobs (about 14% of their workforce) over the coming months.  This comes as the company is trying to gain its footing after the lackluster sales of its Windows 8 operating system.

The layoffs are the most ever in the company’s history.

Apple outlines Apple and IBM pact

AppleIBMApple has dedicated an area on their web site to outline how the company and IBM plan on bringing the Mac to the business world.

The below is the official press release:

Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to

Transform Enterprise Mobility

CUPERTINO, California and ARMONK, New York—July 15, 2014—Apple® and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an exclusive partnership that teams the market-leading strengths of each company to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone® and iPad®.

The landmark partnership aims to redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change—grounded in four core capabilities:

  • a new class of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad;
  • unique IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration;
  • new AppleCare® service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise;  and
  • new packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management.

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform. The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction—faster and easier than ever before.

As part of the exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide.

“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

“Mobility—combined with the phenomena of data and cloud—is transforming business and our industry in historic ways, allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. “This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services. We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but can’t imagine living without. Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform.”

Apple and IBM’s shared vision for this partnership is to put in the hands of business professionals everywhere the unique capabilities of iPads and iPhones with a company’s knowledge, data, analytics and workflows. Specifically, the two companies are working together to deliver the essential elements of enterprise mobile solutions:

- Mobile solutions that transform business: The companies will collaborate to build IBM MobileFirst for iOS Solutions—a new class of “made-for-business apps” targeting specific industry issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others, that will become available starting this fall and into 2015.

- Mobile platform: The IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS will deliver the services required for an end-to-end enterprise capability, from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration. Enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix—IBM’s development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

- Mobile service and support: AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance from Apple’s award-winning customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM.

- Packaged service offerings: IBM is introducing IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management for device supply, activation and management services for iPhone and iPad, with leasing options.

Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June and available later this year, Apple’s iOS 8 is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store℠, giving users incredible new features and developers the tools to create amazing new apps. For enterprise, iOS 8 builds on the new IT model for a mobilized workforce by improving the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed or restricted, with expanded security, management and productivity features.

Apple designs Macs, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

IBM’s 5,000 mobile experts have been at the forefront of mobile enterprise innovation. IBM has secured more than 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security, that have been incorporated into IBM MobileFirst solutions that enable enterprise clients to radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption, help organizations engage more people and capture new markets.

IBM has made a dozen acquisitions in security in the past decade, has more than 6,000 security researchers and developers in its 25 security labs worldwide that work on developing enterprise-class solutions.

IBM has also established the world’s deepest portfolio in Big Data and Analytics consulting and technology expertise based on experiences drawn from more than 40,000 data and analytics client engagements. This analytics portfolio spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware, and includes more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations.

For more information regarding the new Apple and IBM solutions, please visit www.ibm.com/MobileFirstForiOS or www.apple.com/ipad/business.

Press Contacts:
Edward Barbini
IBM
[email protected]
(914) 499-6565

Natalie Kerris
Apple
[email protected]
(408) 974-6877

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, AppleCare and App Store are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Google now warns iOS users of Adobe Flash

GoogleSearch giant Google added another board to Flash’s coffin on Tuesday with the announcement that it would warn users searching from mobile devices — like Apple’s iPhone or Android handsets — when the contents of a search result were “mostly Flash.”

Source: AppleInsider.com

 

Microsoft’s new CEO prepping company for BIG shakeup

MSCEO2014Source: TheVerge.com

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a broad email to all employees today outlining the company’s ambitions for the new financial year. Top of the agenda is reshaping what the “core” of Microsoft is, and Nadella admits the devices and services description, introduced by former CEO Steve Ballmer, was helpful, but that “we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.” That unique strategy is a Microsoft that’s focused on mobile and cloud, a similar message that Nadella has hinted at previously. “We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more,” Nadella boldly states.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Oracle Ends Java Support for Windows XP

WindowsXPLogoBy: TechWorld.com and InfoWorld.com:

Windows XP hold-outs pay attention. If you run the Java runtime on XP, it looks as if the current version is about as good as it gets. The next version, 7u65 and 8u11, due to ship in the middle of July, will not support or run on XP.

Oracle hasn’t announced this so much as sneaked out the information on its Java support site.

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“As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP and therefore it is no longer an officially supported platform,” says the text.

Sure enough, checking the operating system list for JDK 7 and JRE 7 certified system configurations, Windows XP is now missing from a list that contains Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

According to Danish security firm Heimdal, which first noticed the issue after being tipped off by partners, XP users will be able to download and install the new version of Java but it won’t load correctly. Oddly, when the firm tried to confirm this with Oracle it got no reply.

Techworld asked Oracle for a comment and was met with a similarly chilly silence. It seems that the firm has made its position as clear as it wants to and that’s the end of the matter.

“Windows XP still accounts for approximately 20 percent of the PC’s in use, according to global market data. Of those XP users some 82 percent also use Oracle Java according to our intelligence. . This means that millions of PC users, who still run Microsoft XP, are being left in the dark with a piece of software that is known to be very vulnerable,” said Heimdal’s CEO, Morten Kjaersgaard.

Java had experienced 131 CVE reports in 2013, more than in XP itself, meaning that running Java on the latest version (Java 7 update 60, 7 June) represented a huge risk going forward, he said.

“This is a huge security problem.”

Given that vulnerabilities for this version will accumulate over time, XP users determined to continue using Java should disable and then de-install all versions on their computers as soon as possible.

Techworld already recommends that consumers don’t use it on any version of Windows because its atrocious track record for vulnerabilities and exploits. Java has for some time been bad news for any Windows user who doesn’t genuinely need it in the first place.

“Our attempts to get this verified by either Oracle in Germany or Denmark, has simply led to a “no comment”, lack of answers to our emails with direct questions, or a reply that Java hasn’t been supported for XP since 8th of April,” Kjaersgaard told Techworld.

So now you know. No new Java.

FTC: T-Mobile made millions in Bogus Charges

T-MobileLogoAP: T-Mobile USA knowingly made hundreds of millions of dollars off its customers in potentially bogus charges, a federal regulator alleged Tuesday in a complaint likely to mar the reputation of a household name in wireless communications.

In its complaint filed in a federal court in Seattle, the Federal Trade Commission claimed that T-Mobile billed consumers for subscriptions to premium text services such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile collected as much as 40 percent of the charges, even after being alerted by other customers that the subscriptions were scams.

“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent,” said FTC Chair Edith Ramirez in a statement. “The FTC’s goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges.”

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a separate inquiry into T-Mobile’s billing practices, which could result in fines if it finds any wrongdoing.

The practice is often referred to as “cramming”: businesses stuff a customer’s bill with bogus charges associated with a third party. In this case, the FTC says T-Mobile should have realized that many of these premium text services were scams because of the high rate of customer complaints. In some cases, the FTC says, as many as 40 percent of customers demanded refunds in a single month on certain services.

The FTC said one way for consumers to try to prevent fraudulent charges is to ask their providers to block all third-party businesses from providing services on their phones.

T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US, Inc., is a publicly traded company. According to its website, Deutsche Telekom AG maintains a 67 percent ownership in the company’s common stock.

Sprint Corp., the third-largest cellphone carrier, is in talks to buy T-Mobile US Inc., according to published reports. Analysts believe such a link-up would face stiff opposition from the same regulators who blocked AT&T from buying T-Mobile in 2011.

 

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