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Move Over Apple - Samsung Files For a Patent On Page Turn 125

Nate the greatest writes "Remember last year when Apple received a patent on the faux page curl in iBooks? Lots of people laughed at the idea that Apple could patent the page turn, but not Samsung. The gadget maker has just filed for their own page turn patent. The paperwork explains in great detail what the page turn looks like, how the software would work, and what on screen gestures could be used to turn the page."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF: Trust Twitter — Not Apple Or Verizon — To Protect Your Privacy 75

tdog17 writes "Verizon and MySpace scored a zero out of a possible six stars in a test of how far 18 technology service providers will go to protect user data from government data demands. Twitter and Internet service provider scored a perfect six in the third annual Electronic Frontier Foundation 'Who Has Your Back?' report. Apple, AT&T and Yahoo ranked near the bottom, each scoring just one star. 'While we are pleased by the strides these companies have made over the past couple years, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Amazon holds huge quantities of information as part of its cloud computing services and retail operations, yet does not promise to inform users when their data is sought by the government, produce annual transparency reports, or publish a law enforcement guide. Facebook has yet to publish a transparency report. Yahoo! has a public record of standing up for user privacy in courts, but it hasn't earned recognition in any of our other categories. Apple and AT&T are members of the Digital Due Process coalition, but don’t observe any of the other best practices we’re measuring. ... We remain disappointed by the overall poor showing of ISPs like AT&T and Verizon in our best practice categories.'"

iTunes Store Turns 10 184

An anonymous reader writes "On April 28, 2003, Apple launched the iTunes Music Store. In their original press release, they called it 'revolutionary,' in typical PR fashion. As the service reaches its 10th anniversary, it seems they were actually correct. From The Verge: 'At launch, it was Mac-only and offered a relatively tiny catalog: 200,000 songs (it currently has 26 million). But it did have the support of the major record labels of the day: Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony, and BMG. The partnerships were key to helping Apple take control of music distribution — without the songs, the iPod was a nicely designed but empty box. ... Jobs certainly had his challenges. Vidich said he's the one who suggested that iTunes charge 99 cents per track and he remembers Jobs nearly hugged him. At the time, Sony Music execs wanted to charge more than $3 a track, according to Vidich. No doubt a $3 song price would have tied an anchor around iTunes' neck, stifling growth. 99 cents, on the other hand, was below the sub-$1 psychological barrier — and has continued to be an important price point for not only music but the wide swath of 99-cent iOS apps in the store. ... Apple bet that the majority of consumers wouldn't have an issue with its lock-in tactics, and it bet correctly.'"

Chinese Court Fines Apple For Copyright Violations 102

hackingbear writes "The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled in favor of a group of Chinese authors, and Apple will have to pay them in excess of 730,000 yuan (US$118,000) for infringement. Apple had not gotten permission before selling their books on the Apple App Store, it noted. These cases were the second batch of lawsuits filed against Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union, which includes prominent members like prolific blogger and novelist Han Han who have become a pop culture star through his creative and cynical writings criticizing the (Chinese) government."

WWDC Sells Out In 2 Minutes; Ticket On eBay 45 Minutes Later 162

alphadogg writes "The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference sold out in just two minutes today, blowing away last year's record of two hours. Tickets went on sale today at 10 a.m. PDT, as was announced yesterday, when Apple said its event would be held June 10-14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Apple WWDC runs neck-and-neck with the annual Google I/O event in the race for hottest tech show. The Google event, slated for May 15-17 at Moscone Center, sold out in 45 minutes this year. While transferring tickets for WWDC is generally not allowed, an ambitious eBay seller is attempting to get $10K for the $1,600 ticket."
The Almighty Buck

Apple To Launch Largest Stock Repurchasing Plan In History 282

An anonymous reader writes "In conjunction with its earnings report for the second quarter of 2013, Apple issued a press release announcing some major plans for its ever growing stockpile of cash. It is increasing its quarterly dividend payout to investors by 15%. What's more, the company will spend $60 billion in stock repurchases, making it in Apple's words, 'the largest single share repurchase authorization in history.'"

Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents 121

New submitter Rideak writes with this excerpt from CNet about an ITC ruling against Motorola in their case against Apple for violating a few of their proximity sensor patents: "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ended Motorola's case against Apple, which accused the iPhone and Mac maker of patent infringement. In a ruling (PDF), the ITC said that Apple was not violating Motorola's U.S. patent covering proximity sensors, which the commission called 'obvious.' It was the last of six patents Motorola aimed at Apple as part of an October 2010 complaint."

Siri Keeps Your Data For Two Years 124

New submitter LeadSongDog writes with news that Apple has provided information on how long it holds onto voice search data used by its digital assistant software Siri. Speaking to Wired, an Apple representative said the data is kept for two years after the initial query. "Here’s what happens. Whenever you speak into Apple’s voice activated personal digital assistant, it ships it off to Apple’s data farm for analysis. Apple generates a random numbers to represent the user and it associates the voice files with that number. This number — not your Apple user ID or email address — represents you as far as Siri’s back-end voice analysis system is concerned. Once the voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your user number from the clip, deleting the number from the voice file. But it keeps these disassociated files for up to 18 more months for testing and product improvement purposes." This information came in response to requests for clarification of Siri's privacy policy, which was not very clear as written. The director of privacy group Big Brother Watch said, "There needs to be a very high justification for retaining such intrusive data for longer than is absolutely necessary to provide the service."

Trader Pleads Guilty To Illegal Purchase of Nearly $1B In Apple Stock 174

An anonymous reader writes "A trader who last year made an unauthorized purchase of nearly US$1 billion worth of Apple stock has pled guilty to wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy. On October 25, 2012 — the same day Apple posted its Q3 2012 earnings — David Miller of Rochdale Securities made a number of unauthorized purchases of Apple shares which ultimately led to the demise of the financial services firm he worked for. The aim of Miller's action was to make a lot of money very quickly by purchasing large quantities of Apple shares and selling them in a post-earnings surge."
Open Source

OpenShot Close To Funding Final Stretch Goal: Video Editing Server 32

The Kickstarter project we mentioned late last month to bring open source video editor OpenShot to Mac and Windows as well as its native base of Linux has surpassed its initial funding goal, and now is just shy (just under a thousand dollars shy, at this writing) of reaching all of the items on a revamped list of stretch goals. The only goal on that list not yet funded is a tantalizing one. JonOomph writes "The lead developer has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot." Like all Kickstarter projects, though, there's no actual guarantee that things will come to pass as hoped; ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances. Update: 04/16 16:53 GMT by T : Some hours remain, but they've crossed the $40,000 line. I hope the funding is adequate to support the outlined plans.

Apple Near Deal For Radio Service 143

An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch and The Verge are reporting that Apple is near a deal with Universal Music to provide a streaming 'iRadio' music service. 'Apple is expected to launch a web radio service similar to Pandora's later this year, provided that executives there can strike an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment as well as music publishers. Talks with Sony, which operates the third label, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony / ATV, the music publishing company jointly run with the estate of the late singer Michael Jackson, are said to not be as far along towards reaching a deal. ... As for the financial terms, Apple will not receive the steep discounts it had sought for the labels' music.' Apple's 400 million active iTunes accounts could give even Pandora, with its 200 million users, something to worry about. 'For startups and streaming music companies, this means looking closely at the competitive advantages offered by their own platforms and decided how best to position their own services. A key advantage, and one that will likely get emphasized by virtually everyone challenged by an iRadio, is cross-platform compatibility. Apple will likely be able to offer something along those lines through iTunes on Windows, but for the most part it'll be a strictly iOS/Mac affair. That, combined with personalization and recommendation engines, along with other value add features, will be the way to combat an iTunes streaming service, but no matter what, an Apple product will change the face of this market.'"

Google, Apple Lead Massive List of Companies Supporting CISPA 153

redletterdave writes "TechNet, the trade association representing and led by dozens of prominent technology companies including Google, Apple and Facebook, has formally come out in support of CISPA, sending a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter said: 'We commend the committee for providing liability protections to companies participating in voluntary information-sharing and applaud the committee's efforts to work with a wide range of stakeholders to address issues such as strengthening privacy protections. As the legislative process unfolds, we look forward to continuing the dialogue with you and your colleagues on further privacy protections, including discussions on the role of a civilian interface for information sharing.'" The White House won't support the bill in its current form, but they plan to work with legislators on a compromise. The current text of the bill is available online.

FDA Approves Software For iPhone-Based Vision Test 46

anderzole writes "The FDA recently gave clearance to Vital Art and Science Inc. (VAS) to market software which enables people with degenerative eye conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy to monitor their vision at home with their iPhone. The software, which is called myVisionTrack, isn't a replacement for regular visits to the doctor, but rather allows patients to keep tabs on their vision in between visits with eye care professionals. VAS notes that retinal diseases affect approximately 40 million individuals worldwide and 13 million in the United States. While treatments have been developed to deal with degenerative eye conditions, early diagnosis is of paramount importance — which is why the software is so important."
The Courts

Judge Slams Apple-Motorola Suit As 'Business Strategy' 140

jfruh writes "Faced with an Apple vs. Motorola lawsuit that involves 180 claims and counterclaims across 12 patents, a judge in Florida has thrown up his hands and accused both companies of acting in bad faith. Claiming the parties' were engaged in 'obstreperous and cantankerous conduct', he said that the lawsuit was part of 'a business strategy that appears to have no end.'"

Where Will Apple Get Flash Memory Now? 245

An anonymous reader writes "EE Times examines whether Samsung could be about to control the equipment output of Apple by putting the Cupertino company on a rationed supply of NAND flash as the non-volatile memory goes into short supply in 2013. The analysis argues that Apple may need to put down billions of dollars of cash to fund a guaranteed NAND flash supply plan, something that Samsung did in the middle of the last decade."

Apple Bans Sale of Comic Book On All iOS Apps Over Gay Sex Images - Update 299

New submitter RicardoGCE writes "Apple has banned all iOS apps from carrying Saga #12, a comic book created by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and published by Image Comics. The reason for the ban is the depiction of oral sex appearing on the computer monitor that serves as the head of one of the characters. The content has been deemed pornographic, and sale of the comic has been blocked. Comixology will allow users to sync their purchases, however, so users of their app will be able to read the book on their i-devices. They just won't be able to buy it through the iOS version of the app." Vaughan himself points out the sexual representation in this issue ("two postage stamp-sized images") are not as graphic or as prominent as other situations from past issues. The difference is that this depiction is of a homosexual encounter rather than a heterosexual one. Image Comics took the high road, saying they regret the decision, but that it's "Apple’s decision and it would be inappropriate for us to tell another company how to run its business."
Update: 04/10 18:36 GMT by S : As it turns out, reports of Apple censorship were wrong. Comixology posted today on their blog that they were the ones who decided to remove the issue of Saga from the app. They did so because they were trying to follow Apple's content guidelines. The issue will be available via their app soon.

Why AppGratis Was Pulled From the App Store 146

RougeFemme writes "By now, you may know that AppGratis, a popular app discovery app, was recently pulled from the App store. Apple listed violations of the following guidelines: '2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected. ... 5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.' Now, the company's CEO, Simon Dawlat, has made a blog post with 'the rest of the story.'" As it turns out, AppGratis had been cleared by Apple for guideline 2.25 as recently as October, and its iPad version was approved less than a week ago. The brand new Apple review team member who contacted the company isn't able to explain what went into the decision to ban it now. Dalwat says the complaint about guideline 5.6 was 'another surprise for us since we only send one "system notification" a day to our users, coming in the form of a generic, opt-in only "Today’s deal is here!" message, which is precisely how Apple recommends developers to use its push notification service.'" However, the AllThingsD article cites sources claiming Apple was "more than a little troubled that AppGratis was pushing a business model that appeared to favor developers with the financial means to pay for exposure." Dalwat does not address this in his post.

Is the DEA Lying About iMessage Security? 195

First time accepted submitter snobody writes "Recently, an article was posted on Slashdot about the claim that law enforcement made about being frustrated by their inability to decrypt messages using Apple's iMessage. However, this article on Techdirt suggests that the DEA may be spewing out disinformation. As the Techdirt article says, if you switch to a new iDevice, you still are able to access your old iMessages, suggesting that Apple has the key somewhere in the cloud. Thus, if law enforcement goes directly to Apple, they should be able to get the key."

German Court Finds Apple's 'Slide To Unlock' Patent Invalid 120

New submitter anderzole writes "Germany's Federal Patent Court on Thursday invalidated all of Apple's claims for its slide-to-unlock patent. They death blow for Apple's slide to unlock patent was likely a Swedish phone called the Neonode N1m that launched well before the iPhone and featured its own slide to unlock implementation. The N1m was released in 2005 while Apple's own patent for slide to unlock wasn't filed until December of 2005."
The Courts

Judge Denies Class Action Status In Tech Workers' Lawsuit 103

We've mentioned a few times the "gentleman's agreements" which some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley used to reduce the risk of employee poaching. walterbyrd writes "This comes from the same judge who awarded Apple $1 billion from Samsung. 'A federal judge on Friday struck down an effort to form a class action lawsuit to go after Apple, Google and five other technology companies for allegedly forming an illegal cartel to tamp down workers' wages and prevent the loss of their best engineers during a multiyear conspiracy broken up by government regulators.'" The lawsuit itself is ongoing (thanks to a ruling last year by the same judge); it's just that the plaintiff's claims cannot be combined.