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Angry Parents Sue Apple, Claim Apps Made Their Kids Addicts

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 20-04-2012

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Apple appsApple seems to be getting sued a lot recently. First, it was the elderly woman suing Apple for a broken nose, and now we have parents suing the company. A host of parents have banded together to file a class action lawsuit against the technology giant for game apps that, according to the parents, have turned their kids into addicts. The main reason for the uproar seems to be expensive in-app purchases made by the parents’ kids.

Really? Parents are blaming Apple for their kids becoming addicted to apps? First off, Apple doesn’t even make the games that they put on their devices. The apps are made by developers who just use Apple devices as platforms for their product. It’d be like suing Sony because you are addicted to some television show you watch on your Sony t.v.; it just doesn’t make much sense.

However, the main thing here is that it isn’t Apple, or even the app developers’, fault that kids are becoming “addicted”, it’s the parents’ fault. First off, the parents should monitor what their children are doing on their devices. Don’t just hand over your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch all willy nilly without first checking up on what your kids are doing with them.

Second, explain to your kids that it is NOT OK to just go buying stuff whenever they please for that game they are playing. If you get a bill that shows you recently spent $100+ in app purchases, tell your kids that what they are doing is wrong. If that doesn’t work, then take the device away from them! No access to the device means no chance for your kid to go buying stuff. Problem solved.

What’s even worse is that these parents are suing Apple, the biggest technology company in the world. Not only will they probably not win, but even if they do, it won’t make any type of financial dent in Apple’s funds and has also given world-wide recognition to the idiocy and poor parenting skills of these individuals. Good luck living that down.

Source: The Stir – Outraged Parents Sue Apple Computer for Turning Their Kids Into Addicts

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Over Half the Households in America Own Something Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 28-03-2012

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Apple productsCNBC has just commissioned a new survey which depicts exactly why the stock price in Apple has been on such a rise over the past several years. According to the survey, over half of all the homes in the entire United States own a product made by the Cupertino tech giant. In addition to that, 1 out of every 10 homes that do not own an Apple product plan to purchase one in the next year.

According to Vice President of Hart Research Associates Jay Campbell, which conducted the CNBC survey along with Bill McInturff, “It’s a fantastic business model – the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more. Planned obsolescence has always been  part of the technology industries sales model, but Apple has taken it to a whole new level.”

The survey discovered that a total of 49% of the homes in the United States didn’t own a single Apple product. A total of 16% owned a single Apple device with 12% owning 2 devices, 13% owning 3 to 4 devices and 9% owning 5 or more devices, totaling  51% of American homes.

In addition to those findings, the survey discovered that a home’s income level is a strong indicator of Apple product ownership. 28% of homes making under $30,000 per year only own one Apple product while 77% of homes making more than $75,000 per year own one or more.

63% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 and between 35 and 49 own Apple products, whereas only 50% of the 50 to 64 age range do, with those aged 65 older having 26% owning an Apple product. 61% of households with children also own an Apple product, as opposed to the 48% of households without children.

The average home in the South owns 1.2 Apple products, which marks the smallest in any region, while the average household in the country owns 1.6 Apple devices. In addition to that, CNBC noted that the survey polled 836 Americans from March 19th to the 22nd and contained a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

Source: Mac Rumors – 51% of US Households Own An Apple Product

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Apple.com Upgrades to Retina Display Images, Users Tweak Safari to View on Mac or PC

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 13-03-2012

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Apple Retina DisplayIf you haven’t heard by now, Apple’s official website has secretly been updated to take full advantage of the new Retina Display on the new iPad/iPad 3. If you want to see what the site looks like with its new update, you can, even if you don’t have an iPad 3. All you have to do is perform a simple tweak on your Apple Safari web browser from your Apple desktop or laptop.

Apple has started upgrading different sections of its website with new high resolution images large enough to fit on the iPad 3’s Retina Display. What’s more is that these images can currently be found on the homepage of Apple.com and even on the site’s dedicated iPad page.

It was initially believed that Apple users needed to enable HiDPI resolutions with developer tools on their Mac computers in order to view these particular images. However, a shortcut has recently been discovered which will allow any desktop using Safari to view the Retina Display enhanced images on Apple.com.

In order to view the images you need to open Safari and choose Preferences. Once inside, go to Advanced and check the option labeled as “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” Once you do this you will be able to right-click on the Apple.com homepage and choose “Inspect Element”.

After you do all of this, choose the “Console” option, paste the following and hit return:

AC.ImageReplacer._devicePixelRatio = 2
new AC.ImageReplacer()

After that is done, the Safari developer console should respond with “klass”. You can now close down the “Inspect Element” and head over to View and choose to Zoom In. By using this method, users will be able to get a close-up look at the graphically enhanced Retina Display pages on Apple’s website, whether they are using Mac OS X or Windows.

Source: Apple Insider – How to preview the Retina display enhanced Apple.com in Safari on Mac or PC

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Claims Apple Has Improved Working Conditions More Than Any Other Company

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 14-02-2012

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Apple CEO Tim CookEverybody has heard about the working conditions in Apple’s factories overseas, mainly with regard to Foxconn. Every so often the media will catch wind of people living and working in horrible conditions or killing themselves because of their job. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook is once again defending the company’s track record of improving work conditions at these facilities, noting that Apple has done more to address the problems than any other company.

In a recent statement from Cook on the subject during a recent investor conference, the CEO stated, “No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple.” This statement comes after growing criticism over the working conditions at factories used to build Apple products like the iPhone and iPad.

There was even a story published in the New York Times highlighting some of the poor conditions Chinese workers face. Activist groups SumofUs and Change.org delivered a total of 250,000 signed petitions calling for a more ethically built iPhone. However, the company is taking it all in stride with Apple allowing the Fair Labor Association to audit its Foxconn plants.

In addition to that, Apple has gone on the offensive in defending its actions. Supporters of Apple are also pointing out that rival companies, like HP and Dell, use the same manufacturing facilities.  Critics argue that since Apple is a leader in the industry, the company should lead in its call for better working conditions.

Cook also mentioned that Apple finds the use of child labor “abhorrent” and said that the practice is extremely rare in the company’s supply chain. It is a “top priority” for Apple to eliminate child labor all together, according to Cook, who also noted that a supplier who intentionally uses underage labor could be fired. “We don’t let anyone cut corners on safety,” he said.

Source: CNET – Cook: Apple’s improved working conditions more than anyone

Apple to Open Mini Stores in Target

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 17-01-2012

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TargetTarget, in my opinion, is one of the greatest stores on the planet. The ones around my neck of the woods literally have everything: clothes, electronics, movies, toys, games, cameras, home goods, food and even a Starbucks, Pizza Hut and food court. So, whenever I go into Target, I can’t help but say to myself, “How could this place possibly get any better?” By adding an Apple store, that’s how.

Reuters had originally reported that Target would be installing special displays for Apple products in concordance with a new effort known as “The Shops of Target”, something the retailer announced last week. Target will begin with 25 stores around the country, which is the same number that was initially reported by Apple Insider last week as well.

The Cupertino giant already offers a plethora of devices and accessories at Target, though selection is limited to iOS products like the iPhone, iPod and iPad. The mini Apple stores found within other big name retailers, like Best Buy, include all of that with the addition of Apple computers.

A spokesman for Target could not confirm nor deny whether or not these new mini Apple stores inside of Target would include Apple’s computers as well, though it stands to reason that, if Apple is making a big deal out of it like they are, we may very well see Apple computers added to the list.

Other companies, like Wal-Mart, already offer limited selections on laptops though none offer complete Apple computers. Should Target begin retailing Apple’s famous computers, we could very well see Target become the next big thing in the retail market. I know that this definitely excites me because it gives me yet another thing to look at during one of my many trips to Target on the weekends.

Source: CNET – Target confirms plans for mini Apple stores

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Apple Supposedly Designing Wearable Computers

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 21-12-2011

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iPod Nano WatchThink wearable computers are only things Marty McFly can get ahold of? Think again, because Apple is apparently working on designs for wearable computers and has even gone as far as to create a few prototypes, just because they can. Multiple unnamed sources are claiming that a small team at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California are hard at work on these devices, as well as concepts for other wearable computer products.

The New York Times reports that Apple’s wearable computer concept will include devices that transmit data to your iPhone or display information on iPod screens. Apple is also said to be playing with the idea of a wrist watch-style iPod that has a curved glass surface along with a Siri voice control interface.

The curved glass surface idea began as a rumor in the beginning of 2011, though at the time it was also assumed that the glass was for the next generation iPhone. That rumor, however, quickly became debunked when the iPhone 4S was released with the exact same screen format as the previous iPhone 4. Though, maybe the rumor isn’t false and is simply referring to the iPhone 5?

It seems likely that Apple is working on new designs and accessories for these wearable computers since iPods, iPads and iPhones are already extremely portable. Wearable devices seem like the next logical step for Apple though the sources are saying that just because Apple has prototypes does not mean we will be seeing these devices anytime soon.

Regardless, Apple is already teasing consumers with wearable tech with the iPod Shuffle and the new version of the iPod Nano. The new iteration of the Nano includes a lot of watch faces and some companies have even made wrist bands specifically designed to hold the iPod like a standard wristwatch.

Nevertheless, the mere thought of Apple bringing together the iPhone, wireless data technology and Siri onto a single, wearable device is definitely exciting and something that many people are praying the company is actually serious about bringing to life. I just hope they find a way to recreate the hoverboard from Back to the Future. If there is a company alive today that can do so, it is definitely Apple.

Source: The Mac Observer – Apple Working on Wearable Computer Prototypes

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Investigation Finds 22 Additional Fake Apple Stores in China

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 12-08-2011

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fake Apple storeIn an ongoing investigation, even more local Chinese retailers have been found to be selling Apple computers and products under the Apple name, without the permission of Apple itself.

Reuters has reported that 22 more unauthorized Apple retailers have been identified by Chinese authorities in Kunming, located in the southwest region of China. As a result of the bust, the retailers have been forced to discontinue the use of any Apple branding in their stores, mimicking a similar effort that started earlier this week in Beijing.

These crackdowns come a little less than a month after a high-profile blog post on the phony shops, which featured a lookalike shop in Kunming, which led to the closing of two stores in the area. A Reuters story a few days later noted that the same investigation that led to those closures also found out that all of the five Apple stores in the area were selling Apple-made products purchased from third-party authorized resellers.

A report from China Day earlier in the week stated that officials in Beijing have taken steps to keep fake Apple retail stores in the area from duping customers, forcing them to cover up any Apple branding from the front of their stores.

While Apple has yet to comment on the fake stores, Reuters noted that the investigation that led to the identification of the 22 stores originated from Apple China targeting the stores for unfair competition and trademark violations.

Apple filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago which suggests that the company has been busy on a similar effort here in the states. The suit, which was filed in New York, takes aim at three companies and 52 individuals.

Source: CNET – Report: 22 more fake Apple stores found in China

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Apple’s WWDC Sells Out

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 30-03-2011

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Apple WWDC 2011So Apple’s annual developers conference is coming up, but don’t bother looking up tickets because Apple sold out of them on Monday. Yeah, they sold out already, and in record time nonetheless. With fast ticket sellouts come quick scalpers and that is definitely the story here. Many people are scalping tickets to the event on sites such as eBay and Craigslist with prices reaching as high as $4,599, which is nearly triple the sticker price of $1,599.

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) runs from June 6th to June 10th, 2011  and was sold out as of Monday, March 28th, 2011 in less than 12 hours which was dramatically faster than last year when it took a lousy eight days to sell out. 2009 wasn’t even close when it took almost a month to sell out. Tickets for this year’s WWDC were priced at $1,599, the same as they were for the 2010 edition.

Apple allows developers to buy multiple tickets with extra activation codes in order to hand them out to colleagues. However, some of these developers are taking advantage of the sellout and are selling their extra tickets at extremely high prices. The ticket with the highest bid that I have seen so far stood at $3,000.

A pair of tickets seen on the New York and San Francisco editions of Craigslist have been priced at $2,400 and $2,500. A seller in California had priced his extra ticket at $2,000 and increased the price by $500 a few hours later.

According to Rohit Sethi, the man in California selling the ticket, “I can deal for $2,500 only and by bank transfer. If you have any friends in the bay area, I can give them the code in person and they can activate on the spot too for authenticity by giving money in person.”

The only people allowed to attend the event are Apple-registered developers but the entry bar is low. Programmers only have to pay $99 for a one-year membership to Apple’s developer program and that’s it, there are no other eligibility requirements.

One good thing, for developers that is, is that Apple does not explicitly restrict the resale of WWDC tickets. Apple has not immediately replied to questions about their resale policy or whether or not they will take any action against people who resell WWDC tickets.

Scott Schwarzhoff, Vice President of Marketing for Appcelerator, the company known best for their multi-platform Titanium development tool, was not surprised about how fast the tickets for the event sold out. According to him, “The message from Jobs at the launch of the iPad 2, that this is the ‘post-PC world’ is hitting home. If you want to be part of that post-PC world, as a developer you need a ticket, and that ticket is WWDC.”

Schwarzhoff also argued that even though the iPod and iPhone have been successes for Apple, the iPad is the first device that has really grabbed the attention of business software developers. “You’re seeing demand from the more traditional IT and computing industry because of the iPad,” said Schwarzhoff. “The iPad is affecting areas that previously weren’t affected by a pure consumer device.”

It has already been noted that this year’s conference is expected to focus primarily on software as opposed to hardware and that the iPhone 5 will most likely not be in attendance. This intrigues me. With one of the most anticipated devices since the iPad 2 not coming out at the conference it surprises me that the conference sold out so fast.

But if you want a ticket to the show, you had better hit up eBay or Craigslist, and you must also be ready to part with about $2,000 to $3,000 at least.

Source: ComputerWorld – Apple’s WWDC sells out; scalpers price tickets up to $4,600

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Steve Jobs Has Some Harsh Words for the Tablet PC Market

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 03-03-2011

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Steve JobsHey, does anybody remember the tablet PC? Yeah, you remember, the device that had the ability to seamlessly transform from a fully portable tablet into a highly functioning desktop PC. Well, as cool an idea as it sounded like, the device became a relatively obscure PC product category that was pretty much passed over by consumers. Well, the hits don’t stop there because CEO of Apple Steve Jobs had a few “interesting” words to say about the product.

What is surprising is that while there is a long history of the device and this category, there is not a concrete definition on what exactly this device is. I guess the best definition you can muster up would come from looking at hybrids of the device like the EliteBook 2570p from HP or the Lifebook T900 Tablet PC from Fujitsu, which cost $1,599 and $1,899 respectively.

The tablet PC has been a lackluster attempt, especially if you compare it to Apple’s tablet juggernaut known as the iPad. Apple’s attempt to fuse a laptop with a tablet is clearly one of the most popular pieces of technology to hit the market in the last five years, and the introduction of the iPad 2 yesterday is only going to make the device more popular.

Jobs made it a point to tell the crowd at the iPad 2 press event yesterday just how crappy tablet PCs are and how awesome his iPad 2 is. According to Jobs’ statement, “We sold almost 15 million iPads in 2010. And remember that’s just nine months. That’s April through September. That’s more than every tablet PC ever sold. The tablet PC crashed and burned. The modern tablet PC is the iPad.”

Obviously Jobs is going to think that his product is the best, but he does have a point. The Windows interface that you maneuvered via a stylus never quite caught fire, not to mention the fact that the Windows 7 tablet interface is not as user-friendly as Apple’s iPad UI.

Apple isn’t the only company that is hitting the tablet PC with a few shots. The demise of the tablet PC market will come swiftly as PC makers like ASUS, Dell, HP and others do their part in expanding the tablet market with such devices as the HP TouchPad and the Dell Streak.

Source: cnet – Apple’s Jobs: The Tablet PC ‘crashed and burned’

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Macworld 2011 Shines Despite Apple’s Absence

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 02-02-2011

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Macworld 2011At this year’s Mac Expo there was a lot to enjoy including iPhone cases encrusted with crystals and iPad apps for star-gazing. However, everything seemed to be muted considering the fact that the patriarch of all of these products was absent at the annual gathering of Apple enthusiasts.

The crowd was down to 25,000 from the 40,000 to 50,000 people that are usually there when Apple itself is heavily involved and the company’s CEO Steve Jobs stars in presentations that include unveiling new devices like the iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple pulled out of the show in 2010 but engineers from the company still make pilgrimages to Macworld in order to see what entrepreneurs and fans are making of their products.

According to Anna-Marie Pardini, who is in charge of maintaining the relationship between HP and Apple, “The energy is still really high. The nature of the show has definitely changed. Eleven years ago there were no iTunes, no iPhone and, until recently, there was no iPad.”  Pardini went on to say, “You’ve seen Apple expanding and changing markets and changing the way we do things. It is like never stepping into the same river twice.”

The expo floor had anything and everything from data storage devices and computer security services to applications for playing or working on Apple devices. SouthernStars.com showed off something known as Sky Safari software which essentially turns your iPad into a “window into the night sky.” A newly launched Sky Wire cable allows people to use their iPhone to command telescopes to automatically find celestial objects.

There were a whole slew of iPhone cases which included one coated in Swarvoski crystals glued on by hand in tiger, parrot, skull, frog and other patterns with prices ranging from $300 to $350. A rhinestone covered Luxmo iPhone case was also on display, priced at $75. According to David Fung of Luxmo, “Apple people enjoy making a statement.”

US+U claimed to have the most functional iPad case that included a cuff on the back as a handle allowing you to hold your iPad single-handedly in a fashion similar to a paint palette. A Waterproof Dry Case was created to vacuum seal smartphones in plastic while at the same time allowing users to plug in headsets and listen to music.

“You could be in a sandstorm or out in the water and not have to worry about it,” Jordan Messick of Dry Corp told AFP. “If nothing else survives, at least your iPhone is going to.”

A Boom application which pumped up sound coming from Macintosh or iPad speakers was among ten products awarded “Best of Macworld” honors. Another winner was Ten One Design, a startup that invented Fling joysticks which stick onto iPad faces in order to provide video game console controls.

A lot of great products were on display at Macworld but the overall feel of the show was seriously dampened with the absence of Apple and Steve Jobs. With Jobs’  health issues and no new products from Apple it’s unclear when Apple may return.

Source: Canada.com

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