Editorial

DOJ vs. FTC: Apple knows when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

Earlier today the FTC announced a $32.5 million decree against Apple over the way it handles in-app purchases. The FTC says that Apple failed to inform parents when their kids might run up huge bills in in-app purchases, and needs to do a better job. The FTC also wants Apple to pay out claims for those in-app purchases to the tune of (at least) $32.5 million.

Quite frankly, that's chump change for Apple.

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Tim Cook is Apple's moral center and 'we believe' its post-PC battle-cry

Steve Jobs was not only Apple's visionary, he was one of the most important cultural influencers of our time. Apple. Mac. NeXT. Pixar. iMac. iPod. iTunes. iPhone. iPad. Any one of those would be a worthy achievement. All of them, a universe denting one. But Steve Jobs is gone and Tim Cook now helms Apple. He was an operations guy, not a product guy. He didn't dream up the next world-changing product, but he did make those dreams a reality. It would be easy, natural-even, for him to continue in an operational role as CEO, but steadily, over the course of the last two years, he's been doing more than that. He's been taking on a moral role as well.

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Rant: The hell that is iOS 7 Visual Voicemail on AT&T

Visual Voicemail and iOS 7 don't play nicely together, at least not on AT&T. Complaints about it are all over the internet, and I've been suffering with it since September. So, I decided to do some digging. After researching online and wasting time on the phone with AT&T, I've realized how much of a breakdown in communication there is between phone makers and the carriers.

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Why we fear Google

Companies are predators, like wolves or wildcats or snakes; it's their nature to bite, and we know that when we pick up their products and services. I don't mean that to sound overly dramatic. Just like when I riff on "any company sufficiently large is indistinguishable from evil", it's meant as a reminder mostly to myself. The bigger they are, the smaller the chance they can act in the best interests of all of their customers, all of the time. That means, inevitably, some of the time it'll be my best interests they're acting against. Some of the time it'll be my favorite app that gets gutted or pulled, my most important service that gets compromised or killed, my personal data that gets misused or abused. We know that, all of us, because we've all experienced it. It's why we get nervous when big companies move quickly or do anything unexpected. Most recently, it's why the internet projected collective angst when Google bought Nest.

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Why you should delete every travel app from your iPhone and just use Foursquare

I recently went on vacation for a few weeks. Given my job at iMore, I did what any of you would expect me to do — I loaded up my iPhone with all the interesting travel apps I could find, all the ones I thought would help me explore more, all the ones that would help me make the most of my time in London and Paris. Guess what? I ended up not using any of them. What I ended up using was an app I'd had installed on my iPhone for years... Foursquare.

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The rise and fall of QuarkXPress: How a titan lost control of an industry they defined

We've seen it happen over and over again. A company exercises almost monopolistic control over an industry (BlackBerry and smartphones, Atari and video games, Microsoft and...well, everything) and then they lose their footing. More nimble competitors sweep in and eat their lunch. Nowhere is this lesson underscored more than in the desktop publishing market with QuarkXPress. So writes Dave Girard in Ars Technica.

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Editor's desk: The biggest thing missing from CES 2014

You don't go to CES. You survive it. CES is like standing in front of a firehose of wondrous, grotesque gadgets, some amazing, some imbecilic, yet the sheer volume and velocity being fired out of any hose... hurts. This year we tried to to blanket our coverage, to bring you as much as inhumanly possible, and Georgia Dow, Anthony, Simon Sage, and Richard Devine on the ground, and Peter Cohen, Ally Kazmucha, Joe Keller, and Chris Parsons back at HQ managed to get almost 50 videos shot, edited, and posted over 3 days. We can argue that maybe it was too much — I'd agree, next year we're going to go for the less-is-more approach — but it was the job they were all given and they kicked it's ass. I can't thank them all enough.

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How many customers does Apple need before it's not a cult anymore?

We've all heard it before: that Apple users are mindless sheeple incapable of thinking for themselves. That they'll buy any polished turd because it has an Apple logo on it. That they're slavishly devoted to the brand. Apple as cult is an outmoded concept, a worn-out trope and a really lazy way to understand the company's appeal. And I'd really like to see that description of Apple stop.

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Booth babes at #CESlive: The next generation!

CES of years past used to have a plethora of scantily clad women whose whole reason was to titillate and draw attention to various tech products. This caused an outpouring of angry feedback from various groups who felt that it was exploiting women and not setting the proper tone for CES. This year there is a lack of the infamous “Booth Babes” but we did find a whole lot of beautiful and bright women selling various products and thought you might want to take a look.

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Apple sees increased use in business, thanks to its success in the home

The iPhone's famed "Halo Effect" is creating opportunities for Apple in business. A recent report from Forrester Research shows that global business spending on Apple computers and tablets has increased dramatically in recent years, rising from 1 percent in 2009 to 8 percent in 2012, according to a new article in the Wall Street Journal (it's behind a paywall).

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