Google

Google Paid $1 Billion To Keep Search On iPhone (bloomberg.com) 77

phantomfive writes: As the Google v. Oracle copyright case drags on, Oracle is claiming that Android has generated $31 billion in revenue for Google, $22 billion of which was profit. Court records also show Google paid Apple $1 billion USD to keep their search bar on the iPhone. A revenue sharing agreement was in place as well. At one point, Apple got 34% of the revenue generated by Google searches on iPhones. Both companies later requested that the information be redacted from the record, but once something is released on the internet, it tends to stay there.
Businesses

Apple To Launch First European Development Center (thestack.com) 43

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has announced plans to launch its first iOS app development center in Europe. The location will be in Naples, Italy, with the center aiming to teach youngsters how to code. The announcement was made 21 January and explained how the center would provide students (children and young adults) the practical skills and training required for developing iOS apps for "the world's most innovative and vibrant app ecosystem". The center will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum that will prepare the youths to be a part of Apple's developer community.
Businesses

Tech's Big 5 -- Here to Stay? (nytimes.com) 250

schwit1 tips a piece at the NY Times about the most entrenched companies in consumer technology: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. The article makes the case that these five have a such a strong grip on the modern tech industry that they're destined to stick around for the foreseeable future. From the article: Tech people like to picture their industry as a roiling sea of disruption, in which every winner is vulnerable to surprise attack from some novel, as-yet-unimagined foe. ... But for much of the last half-decade, most of these five giants have enjoyed a remarkable reprieve from the boogeymen in the garage. And you can bet on them continuing to win. So I’m coining them the Frightful Five. .... Though competition between the five remains fierce — and each year, a few of them seem up and a few down — it’s becoming harder to picture how any one of them, let alone two or three, may cede their growing clout in every aspect of American business and society. ... In various small and large ways, the Frightful Five are pushing into the news and entertainment industries; they’re making waves in health care and finance; they’re building cars, drones, robots and immersive virtual-reality worlds. Why do all this? Because their platforms — the users, the data, and all the money they generate — make these far-flung realms seem within their grasp."
Sony

Apple, Samsung, and Sony Face Child Labor Claims (amnestyusa.org) 187

An anonymous reader writes: Amnesty International has accused Apple, Samsung, Sony, and other tech companies of failing to do basic checks to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined by children. A new report explains how cobalt is harvested from mines by children as young as seven years old. The cobalt then ends up in lithium-ion batteries sold to device-makers throughout the world. The list of companies who use these batteries also includes Daimler, Dell, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Vodafone, Volkswagen, and ZTE. Amnesty International notes that half the world's cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where many mining operations have terrible track records for accidents and concern for workers' welfare. They say, "the vast majority of miners spend long hours every day working with cobalt without the most basic of protective equipment, such as gloves, work clothes or facemasks to protect them from lung or skin disease." According to UNICEF, about 40,000 kids worked in mines across southern DRC in 2014.
Businesses

Trump Says He'd Make Apple Build Computers In the US (businessinsider.com) 875

mrspoonsi writes with Business Insider's report that presidential candidate Donald Trump says he'd like to make Apple "start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries." From the article: Trump's ultimatum to the most valuable company in the world was made towards the end of a 45-minute speech he gave at Liberty University in Virginia on Monday. The most popular candidate in the Republican party said he would impose a 35% business tax on American businesses manufacturing outside of the United States. Apple has manufactured its Mac Pro at a factory in Texas since 2013, but the vast majority of its products (including the iPhone) are largely made and assembled in China. How Trump would force Apple's supply chain, which relies heavily on a vast network of suppliers and large factories throughout Asia, to be brought stateside remains unknown. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently called the U.S. tax code "awful for America." If Trump (or anyone) thinks this is a good idea, why start or stop with Apple?
Businesses

Apple Releases 2015 EEO-1 Diversity Data Over Weekend (qz.com) 112

theodp writes: Just days after it came under fire for dismissing a call for diversity as "unduly burdensome and not necessary," Apple quietly released its 2015 EEO-1 diversity report (dated 10/6/2015, reflects the 8/1 payroll). Like other tech companies' diversity disclosures, Apple's EEO-1 raw numbers can't really be reconciled to the percentages based on undisclosed raw numbers that grace the infographic-heavy diversity progress narrative CEO Tim Cook spoke to last August. As to why they keep two sets of diversity books, Apple explains, "The EEO-1 has not kept pace with changes in industry or the American workforce over the past half century. We believe the information we report elsewhere on this site is a far more accurate reflection of our progress toward diversity." Taking this stance allows Apple CEO Tim Cook to boast that "in the United States, we hired more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year," while ignoring Apple's EEO-1 report, which indicates that Black employees showed a year-over-year net increase of only 1,475 employees and accounted for only 1.9% of the 4,333 YOY net increase in "Professionals" at Apple (White employees accounted for 50.6%, Asian for 42.1%). If you want to check the math, Apple's EEO-1 data (typed in from the content-copy-not-allowed 2015 and 2014 PDFs) and additional charts can be found in this Tableau workbook.
EU

Apple May Owe $8 Billion To the EU After Tax Ruling (bloomberg.com) 148

Robotron23 writes: An investigation by the EU Commission may make Apple liable for up to $8 billion in back taxes. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates Apple has paid only 1.8% tax on profits between 2004 and 2012 — this ruling increases their liability to 12.5%. This decision comes hot on the heels of a tax avoidance settlement Apple reached with Italy last month for $347 million.
Security

Apple's Gatekeeper Still Broken (csoonline.com) 80

itwbennett writes: This weekend, Apple security expert Patrick Wardle will detail a vulnerability in Apple's Gatekeeper that makes it possible to bypass the anti-malware defense. This is the same vulnerability that was disclosed last April, which Apple said it patched later. Wardle was able to easily bypass Apple's fixes. He says "all Apple did was blacklist the signed apps he was abusing, but didn't fix the underlying issue, which is that, essentially, Gatekeeper functions as a guard that doesn't check" software already on the whitelist.
Privacy

Nvidia Blames Apple For Bug That Exposes Browsing In Chrome's Incognito (venturebeat.com) 165

An anonymous reader points out this story at VentureBeat about a bug in Chrome's incognito mode that might be a cause for concern for some Apple users. From the story: "If you use Google Chrome's incognito mode to hide what you browse (ahem, porn), this might pique your interest. University of Toronto engineering student Evan Andersen discovered a bug that affects Nvidia graphics cards, exposing content that you thought would be for your eyes only. And because this only happens on Macs, Nvidia is pointing the finger at Apple."
Businesses

Apple Purchases Software Company To Read Users' Expressions (thestack.com) 56

An anonymous reader writes: Apple's first disclosed acquisition of 2016 is software company Emotient, which specializes in reading users' expressions while they operate computers. Emotient uses AI software to break down micro-emotions shown on each face in a video frame and quantify it into three indicators: is the subject paying attention to the advertising, are they emotionally engaged, and are they showing a positive or negative emotion? The faces are pixelated to provide user anonymity without sacrificing the expression.
Education

K12CS.org: Microsoft, Google, Apple Identifying What 1st Graders Should Know 145

theodp writes: On Sunday, The Simpsons declared computer coding class the nation's latest educational fad (script). Proving Principal Skinner's point, K12CS.org on Thursday announced a New Framework to Define K-12 Computer Science Education, the collaboration of participants from a number of states (MD, CA, IN, IA, AR, UT, ID, NE, GA, WA), large school districts (NYC, Chicago, San Francisco), technology companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple), organizations (Code.org, ACM, CSTA, ISTE, MassCAN, CSNYC), and individuals (higher ed faculty, researchers, K-12 teachers, and administrators). "A steering committee initially comprised of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, and [tech bankrolled and led] Code.org will oversee this project," explained a CSTA blog post. "Funding for the project will be provided by Code.org and the ACM. The framework will identify key K-12 computer science concepts and practices we expect students exiting grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to know."

In a FAQ, K12CS.org envisions a Programming and Algorithms standard for 1st Graders that calls for the 5-year-olds to "Work collaboratively in clear roles (e.g., pair programming) to construct a problem solution of a sequence of block-based programming commands." A day before the announcement, Politico reported that K-12 CS education is expected to get a State of the Union mention this year, and that the White House and U.S. Dept. of Education have been trolling for CS success stories in conjunction with the announcement of a broad set of new commitments to CS Education in early 2016.
Programming

The Swift Programming Language's Most Commonly Rejected Changes (github.com) 339

An anonymous reader writes: When Apple made its Swift programming language open source in early December, it opened the floodgates for suggestions and requests from developers. But the project's maintainers have their own ideas about how the language should evolve, so some suggestions are rejected. Now a list has been compiled of some commonly rejected proposals — it's an interesting window into the development of a language. Swift's developers don't want to replace Brace Syntax with Python-style indentation. They don't want to change boolean operators from && and || to 'and' and 'or'. They don't want to rewrite the Swift compiler in Swift. They don't want to change certain keywords like 'continue' from their C precedents. And they have no interest in removing semicolons.
Software

Windows, OS X, and iOS Top 2015's List of Software With the Most Vulnerabilities (venturebeat.com) 111

An anonymous reader writes: Which software had the most publicly disclosed vulnerabilities in 2015? According to a site called CVE Details, which organizes data provided by the National Vulnerability Database, Apple's Mac OS X was near the top, with 384 vulnerabilities. iOS followed closely, with 375 vulnerabilities. The list splits out Windows into its separate versions, so it's hard to get an accurate count — simply adding them all together yields a total of over 1,000, but there are likely many duplicates. Other top spots went to Adobe's Flash Player, with 314 vulnerabilities; Adobe's AIR SDK, with 246 vulnerabilities; and Adobe AIR itself, also with 246 vulnerabilities. The four major web browsers also ranked quite highly.
IOS

Apple Faces $5 Million Lawsuit Over Allegedly Slowing the iPhone 4S With iOS 9 (mashable.com) 344

An anonymous reader writes: A $5 million lawsuit filed in New York federal court alleges that Apple's iOS 9 mobile operating software significantly slows down the iPhone 4S. According to the complaint: "The update significantly slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone. Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4S. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4S owners that the update may or will interfere with the device's performance."
Microsoft

Microsoft Makes a Selfie App For the iPhone (theverge.com) 50

New submitter Nanmillerp sends word about Microsoft Garage's newest app which aims to take the best selfies possible. The Verge reports: "Microsoft's newest app for iOS isn't a piece of productivity software. No, it's a selfie app. Unambiguously called Microsoft Selfie, the product is designed to improve photo qualities like color balance, skin tone, and lighting for the most shareable shot possible. It's a more subtle version of Lumia Selfie, Microsoft's previous self-portrait app designed for Windows phones. On a deeper level, Microsoft Selfie appears to be just one of the many ways the company is using machine learning in everyday situations, similar to the software Microsoft released back April that would guess your age based on a photo. Microsoft Selfie's app description says it takes 'age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables into account' to help alter your self-portraits with 'intelligent enhancements.'"

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