All Articles by Derek Kessler

Russia wants Apple's source code to prove it's not used for spying

The Russian government has asked for security cooperation from Apple and enterprise services firm SAP. The proposal would see Apple handing over the source code for their products so Russia could inspect them for backdoors or defects that could be exploited by spy agencies like the NSA. Apple has repeatedly denied working with the NSA or other government agency to create such backdoors, but the Russian government, well, they're not wanting to take any chances.

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Apple Stores will help you save some dough during US state tax holidays

Both the brick-and-mortar Apple Retail Stores and Apple Online Store will be participating in various state tax holidays around the United States. The holidays, designed to spur sales while giving shoppers a bit of relief, are typically scheduled are the beginning of August, and lop off the state sales tax that is added to purchases (local county and city taxes still apply, though).

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Square getting an EMV chip update for more secure mobile credit card payments

The little card reader that launched a mobile payments revolution — Square — today unveiled a new version of their card reader that is designed to work with the EMV chipped credit cards. EMV credit cards are a mainstay around the world and just starting to make headway in the United States (including a fraud liability deadline for businessses coming up in October 2015), and the new version of Square supports EMV in addition to the old-school magnetic swipe strip.

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Three UK launches Wi-Fi calling app, inTouch

UK carrier Three now has a Wi-Fi calling app for iOS. The app, called Three inTouch, lets Three subscribers place phone calls with their existing Three number over Wi-Fi, even if they don't have a cellular signal. And it's all done at no cost, regardless of whether you're on a contract or prepaid plan. There's just one problem… Wi-Fi calling will be built into iOS with the release of iOS 8 in just a few month's time.

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NPR One is the one-stop shop for public radio on your iPhone

When it comes to public radio on your phone, your search might just get to end with the new NPR One app. Released today into the iPhone App Store, NPR One pulls together public radio stations from across the United States and works to automatically curate stories you'll want to listen to. It is, as NPR notes, "public radio made personal."

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Blink aims for the security camera trifecta: wireless, affordable, and long-lasting

A new Kickstarter project, Blink, is mixing up the standard home security camera model by going truly wireless. There are plenty of home security systems out there with "wireless" cameras, but that wireless is only in the transmission of data — they still need to be wired up for power. Blink, however, is touted as having a year's worth of battery inside. And unlike other systems which hook into a central hub, Blink ties straight into your Wi-Fi network and communicates to their cloud service and an app on your phone (with plans for iOS and Android).

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iPhone 6 event once again rumored for mid-September

The latest rumor suggests that Apple is tentatively planning to unveil the iPhone 6 in mid-September. With the iPhone 4s having launched in early October, and the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s hitting in subsequent Septembers, mid-September 2014 certainly seems fairly likely for the iPhone 6.

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Apple kicking off OS X Yosemite public beta tomorrow

Apple promised a public beta for Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and a public beta you shall get. Starting Thursday, Apple will be sending out invitations to test out the next version of OS X. The invites will be going out to the first million people that are signed up through the Appleseed public beta program.

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Kobe Bryant went to Apple and talked about product design and basketball with Jony Ive

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant went to Apple to have a chat with designer Jony Ive. They talked product design. And process. And basketball. But that was a month ago, when it was reported that the iWatch was being tested by professional athletes like Bryant.

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Facebook will now let you save those lists and quizzes for later

Facebook will soon let you save your favorite things from Facebook. Not a local save, mind you, more of a Pocket for Facebook, and only in Facebook. With the save feature a tap or two will let you save a link, place, or bit of linked media (movie, TV show, or music) for later reference. Those hilarious (or incriminating) status updates and photos? You still can't save those — you'll still have to resort to a screenshot for that.

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OS X 10.10 Yosemite developer preview 4 now available

If you're part of the OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta program, you can now grab Developer Preview 4 from the Mac Dev Center. What's in the update is hidden behind the veil of the nondisclosure agreement, but members of the developer preview program can now download and install the latest version of the beta to both test it for bugs and (perhaps more importantly) develop new and updated apps that take advantage of the new stuff that Yosemite has to offer.

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iPhone and iPad app developers are the most likely to be making money

It's not easy to make it as an app developer. That's the key takeaway from the latest State of the Developer Nation report from Vision Mobile, pulling together data from more than 10,000 mobile developers (including some of you) across 137 countries. With that many developers they were able to get a broad view of what's popular and (more importantly) what's successful in making great apps.

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Battery-less Philips Hue Tap switch taps in for US availability

US customers can now buy the Philips Hue Tap switch from the Apple Store to easily control their Philips Hue lights. Previously the Hue Tap was only available in Europe, which makes sense as Philips is a Dutch company. The switch has no batteries and is powered through kinetics simply by pushing the buttons. Yep, buttons — there are four three smaller round affairs and one big button that comprises most of the face.

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iCloud emails are now encrypted from prying eyes while in transit

Apple has quietly implemented in-transit encryption for iCloud emails. Emails sent to or from an @icloud.com or @me.com address are now encrypted. Previously Apple only encrypted emails sent between iCloud addresses. The encryption will help to secure emails moving between servers from snooping, particularly on the part of the government.

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Apple partners up to sell more iPhones in exploding Vietnamese market

Apple's sales expansion plans hinge on Asia, and while China gets most of the attention, Vietnam is also a target for selling more iPhones. Along with the rest of the smartphone market, Apple seems to have hit a market saturation point in North American and Eastern Europe. But growth of the smartphone market in Asia is exploding right now, and will likely continue to be so for a while. In Vietnam, Apple has partnered with electronics retailer FPT's F.Studio stores to sell the iPhone direct to consumers.

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Crushed by a stampede of petitioners, the FCC extends net neutrality comment period

Crushed by a flood of commenters, the FCC has extended the open comment period for their Open Internet proceedings until Friday. When we wrote about the importance of net neutrality back in May, the FCC had opened the door for open comment, and that window was due to close today. But after having been smashed yesterday and today by people like you registering their thoughts with the FCC about how best to address net neutrality, the FCC has extended that window to Friday.

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iPhone 5s continues reign as world's best-selling smartphone, Galaxy S5 who?

The iPhone 5s has been on the market for nearly 9 months, and in that time it has reigned as the best selling smartphone around the world. For nine months straight, in any given quarter, no phone has sold more units than the iPhone. Or so says Counterpoint Technology Research Firm. That's especially impressive when you consider that in our modern technology world, the iPhone 5s is now "old" and our attention has turned to the hotly-anticipated iPhone 6. And considering how many challengers have come along and threatened to dethrone the aging 5s, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S5, it's even more impressive.

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Touch ID trademark application rejected, cites likelihood of confusion

The United States Patent & Trademark Office this week published a letter on their rejection of Apple's attempt to trademark the "Touch ID" name given to their fingerprint-sensing home button authentication system. The rejection comes over a likelihood of confusion with a trademark granted to Kronos Technology Systems of Massachusetts for… Touch ID.

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iTunes Extras are now on Apple TV, coming this fall to iOS 8

If you have an Apple TV, you can now dive into your iTunes Extras on your biggest screen — and in the not-too-distant-future you'll be able to do that on an iOS 8equipped iPhone or iPad as well. The fun part of the Apple TV getting iTunes Extras is that the feature was remotely enabled a week after last week's Software Update 6.2. Now when hitting play on a movie with iTunes Extras on Apple TV, users are presented with the option to either play said movie or to jump into said movie's Extras.

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iTunes 11.3 gives your movies all-new, all-streaming iTunes Extras

Apple has released iTunes 11.3, bringing some improvements to iTunes Extras for HD movies. This biggest change is that you will no longer need to download iTunes Extras to your computer before using them. Along with the changes in iTunes, iTunes Extras are now available for the Apple TV. The lack of iTunes Extras support for Apple TV has been a sore spot for years, so it's great to finally see them making the jump out of iTunes. Additionally, when iOS 8 is released in the fall, iTunes Extras for movies will be supported on your mobile device too.

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