Google's Android OS may have a leg up on Apple with a new app that has been developed. In this video from Reuters, Jim Drury explains how a group of eye-care professionals designed an application that allows Android devices to be used as mobile eye exam units. This will make the diagnosis of eye problems for hundreds of thousands of people who cannot travel to the city much easier. Third world countries will definitely benefit from this amazing new app!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
If you have can't decide whether Google's Google Now voice recognition software is better than Apple's Siri, then this video could help. Watch 50 voice commands put to action by the two programs, and see which one you would prefer to have. This video from Phone Buff demonstrates the ability of these two programs to translate voice commands into action.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Still undecided about purchasing an iPhone 5s? Check out this video review of the new model and see if the new features are what you're looking for. Remember to check out our selection of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in our Bytes 4U section.
Apple is still maintaining a tight grip on its supply of iPad Minis with Retina Display. The much coveted device is still not available in carrier stores, and this could be because the Cupertino company does not feel its supply chain is strong enough to maintain the demand in carrier stores, as well as in Apple’s own direct customer base.
As of this morning (Friday, December 6), Verizon still has the iPad Mini with Retina Display backordered all the way out till December 16th. AT&T is not looking any better with its 21-28 day waiting period when the tablet is ordered online. Neither of the carriers has offered any information as to when the iPad Mini with Retina Display would actually be in their brick and mortar stores, according to CNET. T-Mobile has not yet given a date as to when the iPad Mini with Retina Display would be available. The company’s website simply says that it will be “available for shipment soon.” Apple’s direct availability of the tablet has seemed to improve in recent days, as the waiting period is now listed as 5-7 days, rather than the 5-10 days that had been listed last week.
The cellular models of the iPad Mini with Retina Display are now available for walk in purchases in some Apple retail stores in the U.S., although Verizon and AT&T still do not have the tablet.
Apple’s launch of the iPad Mini with Retina Display was uncharacteristically quiet, with the tablet being launched on the company’s website at midnight, and with no public announcement. This is probably due to supply constraints, which do indeed seem to be plaguing the carriers. The new iPad Mini with Retina Display is one of the most sought after holiday gift items this year.
While Verizon and AT&T may not have any of the devices for sale, Tiny Apple Bytes does have available devices. To get your iPad Mini with Retina Display from Tiny Apple Bytes, simply visit our Bytes 4U page and select the model you want!
In July Judge Denise Cote of the New York federal district court passed a conviction down on the iPad, claiming that it was a part of a conspiracy to increase e-book prices. This doesn’t really seem to make sense on the surface, as the tablet actually caused e-book prices to drop when it entered the market in 2010. Consumers were able to choose more freely where they would purchase their e-books, and the competition subsequently caused a price reduction.
The judge appointed a personal friend, Michael Bromwich, as a monitor of the situation. However, Bromwich used his position to rip into the Cupertino based tech giant. His role in the mess following the lawsuit is rather scandalous, as he is billing Apple $1,100 per hour to investigate the company. Oh, and as if that’s not enough, he has also called in a second law firm to help ensure he gets the job done right because he has no experience in this area. The first two weeks of his investigation landed Apple a bill for $138,432.40.
Bromwich has asked for meetings with all of Apple’s upper echelon, including Tim Cook and Jony Ive, presumably to pump them for information. Judge Cote also wants Bromwich to meet with her every month and hand over detailed reports of what he has found without having an Apple attorney present at the meeting. The WSJ says this is completely unconstitutional.
The editorial column in the Journal says, "Special masters are typically imposed on a company to remedy a pattern of especially egregious conduct using a settlement consent decree in which litigants agree to the terms of the appointment. Judge Cote foisted Mr. Bromwich on Apple over its objections, to punish the company for what she ruled was price-fixing when the late Jobs tried to alter the payment structure of e-books in December 2009 and January 2010."
Judge Cote has withdrawn her request for private meetings with Bromwich after Apple loudly voiced its objections. However, the Journal says that withdrawing the request is not enough.
"The Second Circuit where her ruling is on appeal should remove her from the case. Her condominium with Mr. Bromwich is offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary.”
What do you think? Is this a gross abuse of power for a judge to place a personal friend in charge of a massive investigation, then try to gain information without both parties present? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The rumors have come to pass, and Apple and China Mobile have signed a deal to launch the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in China. According to the Wall Street Journal, China Mobile and Apple have signed the contract and the 700 million subscribers the Chinese carrier has in its customer base will soon be able to purchase their new iPhones.
China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world by subscriber count, and a 700 million head market is a big stroke for Apple. That means that China Mobile’s customer base is around two times the entire population of the U.S. This deal has been in the making for several years, with Apple executives trying to get a contract inked with the giant wireless provider. No doubt the carrier will see great success with the iPhone launch to its customer base, which is largely made up of China’s middle class.
Apple has been marketing the iPhone in China, and the country is the second largest market for the Cupertino company, coming in behind the United States. However, Apple has been losing ground to other smartphone manufacturers, including Xiaomi. The reason for this is that competitors often offer cheaper options than the iPhone, which attracts more users.
In September, Apple was able to gain clearance from the Chinese government to allow China Mobile to operate the iPhone on its wireless network. This was a big victory for Apple, and quite possibly what has fueled the rumors surrounding the deal for the last few months. Earlier this week, China Mobile also made progress with the government, securing permission to operate a fourth generation network. This new type of network uses TD-LTE technology, which is extremely fast, and will replace the 3G network currently in place.
This deal could mean a huge boost for Apple in the coming weeks. The launch is rumored to be happening on December 18th, so we don’t have long to wait until we find out just how big this deal is for both companies.
|Credit: Charles Dapharak/ AP|
Blackberry has managed to keep one loyal customer while enduring the loss of millions of others to companies like Apple and Samsung. President Obama has said that he is not allowed to use an iPhone because it is a security risk. He told a group that because of “security reasons” an iPhone is off limits, and instead he uses a Blackberry device.
Blackberry Turning Sour
Blackberry was once the device of choice, but in recent years the company has slipped from the forefront of the market to become a distant memory in the minds of a 30 plus generation. The company shed market share to Apple after the advent of the iPhone, and Samsung and other manufacturers have been eating away at what was left of the manufacturer’s customer base.
Blackberry has struggled just to maintain and even keel of late, and recently its CEO, Thorsten Heins, was ousted and replaced by John Chen. The company’s board hopes that Chen can turn the struggling smartphone maker around, but in the meantime, any customer held on to is a plus. The fact that the president of the United States is a loyal customer could be a major advertising boon for the company.
Apple Growing Sweeter
Apple has become a world leader in the mobile market, with its iPhone taking the world by storm. The iPad tablet line has also been a very successful product for Apple and will no doubt help bolster sales during the holiday shopping season. The release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last year have carried Apple through the year, and the recent launch of the iPad Miniwith Retina Display and the iPad Air have boosted its numbers.
While Blackberry may have succeeded in keeping Apple from entering the White House, Apple may very well be the force that places Blackberry execs in the poor house if Chen can’t straighten the ailing company out.
Want to see the difference in the iPad Air and the new Galaxy Note 10.1 model? Then take a look at this, as the two products are compared. Awesome spec comparison of the two tablets.
From the tops of massive wind turbines to 50 feet below the surface of the water, the iPad has become a necessary part of many people's lives. Check out this awesome video from Apple detailing how iPad can be used in places you may have never thought it was possible to take a tablet.
Facebook and Twitter have been hacked on a global scale. I know this sounds absurd, but the fact is that both of these networks have been compromised due to the use of simple passwords. This cannot be blamed on a lack of security by Facebook or Twitter. Instead, this one falls directly on the users’ heads.
Trustwave is a Chicago based company that specializes in cyber security. The company posted to its blog that more than 2 million accounts on the Internet, including some on Facebook and Twitter, have been compromised by the “Pony” botnet controller virus. The virus is a piece of malware that spies on your computer via a keylogging script. It was spread around to computers all over the world, leaving many of them exposed to the hack.
Trustwave tracked the activities of the virus to a server in the Netherlands. They managed to do this through an “elite team of ethical hackers,” which successfully traced the information that had been stolen. According to SpiderLabs, Trustwave’s “hacking division,” said that some 650,000 sets of website credentials were stolen in a blog post last June. This was done through the Pony, version 1.9. However, according to the latest report, this time the theft was a very “stable and consistent operation” while the report from June described a more “hit and run” setup.
This time around, 1,580,000 website login credentials and 320,000 email logins were stolen through a server in the Netherlands. The server was first spotted on November 24th, and the accounts that have been compromised are numerous.
Here is a breakdown of the numbers:
· Facebook – 318,121
· Yahoo – 59,549
· Google – 54,437
· Twitter – 21,708
· Odnoklassniku (Russian social network) – 9,321
· LinkedIn – 8,490
· ADP (Payroll solutions provider) – 7,798
These accounts were compromised by a lack of private security by users who chose weak passwords. If your password is “password” or “123456,” then you’re at a much higher risk of being hacked than if you chose “SupercaliFragilisticExpealidocious.” While that might seem a bit over the top, I am sure that the account holders at ADP who found their money managing accounts compromised would disagree with you wholeheartedly.
According to John Miller, a security manager at Trustwave, there was “no evidence” that the hackers actually logged into the accounts. However, he admitted there was no proof otherwise, saying, “but they probably did.”
The bottom line is that if you want to be secure in today’s world, you should choose a password that’s hard to guess. Trustwave has compiled a list of passwords they consider to be extremely insecure, and are suggesting users do not ever incorporate into any online accounts.
Stay away from these passwords at all costs, and protect yourself from attacks like this one. Trustwave did note that most of the accounts that were compromised were located in the Netherlands, however, that is not to say someone will not target the U.S. in the next attack.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) set its highest closing price of 2013 yesterday, when it closed at $566.32. The stock has not closed this high since December 4th of 2012, which makes this the highest close in more than a year. The stock could be well on its way to the $600 price target set by Investor Place for January of 2014.
The holiday season is ramping up for Apple, and great numbers from Black Friday and Cyber Monday have no doubt helped to bolster the stock’s share price. It could be an Apple Christmas after all, if things keep looking up for the Cupertino company.
No New iPhone
Last year’s holiday season marked one of the best that Apple has ever seen. The launch of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini boosted sales figures through the roof, and the stock hit highs of more than $700. The following months left shareholders feeling deflated as the stock then plummeted to less than $400 per share, dashing the hopes of hitting $1100 price targets set by over enthusiastic analysts.
Apple Looks Good
Apple is looking good these days, and although there is no new iPhone this year, the launch of the iPad Air and iPad Mini with RetinaDisplay have proven sufficient attention grabbers. The public is snapping up these two products, and Apple had even experienced a supply constraint on the iPad Mini with Retina Display. Those issues seem to be easing now, and the device is proving to be a popular gadget.
The stock is on the move again today, following yesterday’s encouraging close. Currently it is trading at $563.52, which is a $2.80 decrease from its opening price. However, the stock has been fluctuating above its opening price most of the morning. No doubt, it will close near the same price it did yesterday, if not above that price.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
|Screenshot China Mobile Subsidiary Website|
China Mobile and Apple Inc. have been rumored to be planning an iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch for the middle of this month. However, new developments in the story seemed to indicate that China Mobile had opted to launch the phone earlier. In fact, a website for one of the wireless conglomerate’s subsidiary companies in Suzhou was launched late yesterday, with the option to pre-order the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Report Based On Site
The story was published by Fortune’s online tech portal, then later updated to reveal that China Mobile denied any deal with Apple being fully developed. A spokesperson for the Chinese wireless carrier told CNN’s Beijing office today that there is no deal with Apple yet. However, the fact that a deal had been on the minds of the two companies is an undeniable fact. Apple has been trying to sort out an agreement for more than six years with China Mobile.
Apple's Biggest Holdout
China Mobile has more than 740 million subscribers on its network, which makes it a valuable prize for Apple to acquire a contract with the company. However, so far, China Mobile has been Apple’s biggest holdout.
If China Mobile were indeed testing a soft launch of the iPhone 5 in its market, then Suzhou would have been a suitable place to do so. This city is one of the richest in all of China, and it has a large population. This population would not only be aware of the iPhone, but would also be able to afford the purchase price.
Site Taken Down
The website which allowed for the pre-ordering of the iPhone has been replaced with a page that has Chinese characters on it. According to Google Translate, the page reads: "Reservation page information update, will be reopened later appointment. Please try again later, thank you for your support of Suzhou Mobile!" This change was made after China Mobile made its statement to CNN that there was no deal with Apple Inc. Either the site was a hoax, or China Mobile has pulled it down and denied any involvement with it.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
The Nasdaq stock exchange has had quite a year so far, with a massive 33 percent increase that is equal to a 1,000 point rise. In fact, the exchange topped the 4,000 mark just in time for Thanksgiving this year, and the holiday shopping season is only just begun.
The Nasdaq is powered mostly by tech stocks, which explains the big rise it has seen this year, as the tech market has expanded and grown exponentially. While the massive increase in the exchange’s overall value seems monumental – and it is – but it is so much more impressive because its number one company by value has not really pushed the numbers this year.
Apple Not Keeping Up With The Rest Of The World
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most valuable stock in the world. However, it has fallen far behind the pack this year, and has only risen 4.5 percent. Last September saw Apple Inc. touch its high water mark of $702, followed by a subsequent slide and recovery to its current level of $556.07 per share. The stock seemed to sour in the mouths of investors almost overnight, and it shed value by more than $200 per share before finally leveling out and making a comeback.
Apple Staging A Comeback
While it has seemed that shareholders in Apple have been left with sour cider for the last few months, it is possible that some sweet nectar may be just around the corner for the Cupertino company. We recently reported that Apple is projected to hit $600 per share by January of next year, and the company is climbing towards that mark each day.
While the stock gained $10.11 per share today and rose by 1.85 percent, the fact that it is inching towards that $600 mark could be a sign that investor confidence in the company is once again growing. The company is a conundrum of sorts, with analysts having multiple predictions regarding its future. However, the company has a huge cash pile, which Carl Icahn believes should be distributed through a massive share buyback program. The company also manufactures and sells the premier electronic devices of the day, with iPhone and iPad being household words in America and other thriving nations.
What Does The Future Hold?
Will Apple make a comeback to its glory days in the $700 price range? I think so, although I look for it to be somewhere in the fall of next year. I believe the iPhone 6 launch and possibility of an iWatch launch could be the catalysts to push the stock back to its stellar heights. In the meantime, buying shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be a great way to squeeze some juice from the sometimes bitter market.
Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned at the time of this writing.