Editorial

China syndrome: On Apple linkbait and mainstream meltdowns

There are several stories floating around the web this week concerning boycotts planned against Apple, the result of stories floating around the web last week concerning working conditions in China. While in some cases the sentiment is good and the intention noble, in many cases its based on lazy, exploitive journalism and shallow, opportunistic activism, fed by a soundbite- and sensation-seeking readership.

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Mobile Nations fitness month: Week 2! [iPad 3 + Xbox Kinect giveaway]

The quest to get thinner, stronger, faster, and healthier with iMore and Mobile Nations continues!

We've survived the first week. We've set our goals and whether we achieved them (yay!) or are still working on them (take that!), we're feeling better and doing better because of it. And we're getting tons of great feedback. This might just be the year where mobile and lifestyle fully come together, where eHealth and eFitness -- or iHealth and iFitness -- finally start making the impact we've all been waiting for. It's gone from being a token arm band case to being an entire ecosystem of highly specialized companion apps and accessories.

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Warning: WD-40 will not fix your Home button, may damage your iPhone or iPad

Do not -- repeat -- do NOT put WD-40 or any such substance in your iPhone or iPad -- it won't permenantly fix your Home button and may, in fact, damage it far worse. The idea that repeatedly squirting WD-40 into your iPhone or iPad Home button could fix responsiveness began floating around the internet last month and has gotten some attention -- that needs to be stopped immediately. Keep in mind we're huge fans of DIY repair here at iMore. We have a weekly column focused on DIY repair. But putting WD-40 is not DIY repair. It's dangerous, particularly for iPhones and iPads that are built with moving, plastic parts.

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How Apple is defending against Samsung and Motorola's unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory patent attacks

Apple is increasingly playing defense against lawsuits from Samsung and Motorola that seek to take iPhones and iPads off the shelves and out of stores. Apple is trying to do the same to their competitors, of course, but there's a subtle difference -- Samsung and Motorola are suing Apple over FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory) patents and are apparently seeking licensing that's anything but fair and reasonable, and may in fact be discriminatory.

FRAND patents are typically typically pledged as part of a standard, which makes them essential to a technology, the organizations that govern those standards require them to be equitably licensed back to everyone. That's the whole point of having standards. If you want your invention to become a standard, you let it be used as a standard.

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Samsung makes fun of iPhone users, fails to show Galaxy Note features, in Super Bowl attack ad

Samsung has aired another of their good-natured iPhone attack ads, which should be an occasion for merriment and ego-prickly good fun. But once again the commercial feels like it missed it's mark. Or rather, the whole series of commercials still seem awkwardly in search of a mark. This one stars the latest in Samsung's broad-range of devices, each separate by a different Galaxy monicker and roughly 0.25-inches of screen size, the Galaxy Note. It's something that can't quite make up it's mind between being a phone and a tablet -- I'm not going to call it a phablet -- and that's either the best of both worlds... or the worst. The jury is still out. How big is it? 5.3-inches of HD Super AMOLED big, baby. (Yes, that's exactly inverse the iPhone's traditional 3.5-inches.)

It's also got a stylus.

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Is AT&T tightening the screws on unlimited iPhone users with new, overly aggressive data throttling?

Is 2GB really all it takes now to be considered a "top 5" iPhone data user by AT&T and have your data throttled down?

AT&T now seems to be throttling iPhone users on grandfathered, unlimited data plans when they hit a paltry 2GB of data usage. We all know AT&T has been threatening to throttle iPhone users on unlimited data plans for quite some time now. AT&T announced data throttling last August and started implementing it last October. Since then we've heard from some of our readers that they were getting throttled down to 2G EDGE speeds. And it seems to be getting even more egregious.

As a rational person -- and long time customer -- I had a hard time believing it. I've been using anywhere from 4 to 8 gigabytes a month since October and never received any warning from AT&T. In fact, I told everyone in our AT&T forums that I had not yet received the infamous text message from AT&T, accusing me of being a "top 5%" data users.

Until yesterday.

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Could Apple release a separate 4G LTE iPad 3 and Phone 5 in select markets?

We'll likely get a new iPad 3 sometime this March and an iPhone 5 later this summer or fall, but will either or both of them run on the new, ultra-fast 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks? And if they do, will LTE be built into every device, or will there be special models made for just those networks that support it?

Right now there's only one iPhone 4S and it runs on both GSM/HSPA+ and CDMA/EVDO Rev. A, on every carrier that offers it. That's a change from the iPhone 4 that debuted as GSM/AT&T only and later had a different model, with a different antenna, released for Verizon. Likewise, the iPad 2 still doesn't come in a unified model, having on version for AT&T/GSM and one for Verizon alone.

So, while Apple has moved to unify their manufacturing for iPhone 4S, they have in the past, and still to this day, made separate models of iPhone and iPad to handle different network technologies.

And they could do it again for LTE.

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This was our Macworld

This was our Macworld. Other Macworlds were different. But this one was ours.

Macworld | iWorld 2012 was not the event of old, where Steve Jobs put sneaker to keynote stage and introduced us to everything from the iPhone to the MacBook Air, and where Apple's massive booth, and the massive booths of countless accessory makers, filled Moscone to capacity.

Apple has held their iPad keynotes -- and just recently the education event -- outside of Macworld, at a time and place of their own choosing. And CES has made a concerted effort to steal away the accessory booths, and now has more iPhone and iPad cases in their halls than any person, sane or otherwise, would ever want to walk through at any one time.

Some would say they tried to take the heart from Macworld, but all they took was the keynote and the bigger booths. Macworld's heart, it turns out, was never in either of those things. It was in the community. And it endures.

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Paper books vs. iBooks and Kindle books

There's an interesting debate taking place about the merits and virtues of modern electronic books like Apple's iBooks or Amazon's Kindle books and their traditional counterparts -- old fashioned paper bound and proper.

They're qualitatively different, inarguably. The feel of board and cloth and leather is warm and textured compared to the crisp coolness of glass, aluminum, and plastic. The gentle sound of pages flipping is vastly different than a tap or swipe or click. The sharp smell of a fresh new novel or musky scent of an old tome exists in a different dimension from the relative sterility of chips and displays.

Yet the weight, permanence, and nostalgia of traditional books can be a disadvantage when it comes to carrying them, correcting them, and moving the state of the art of knowledge forward once again.

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Google's new privacy policy and of "don't be don't be evil"

Probably like many of you, I received my new Google Privacy Policy via email this week, and while couched in language about creating a more "beautiful" experience for us, the users -- read: products -- it's also clearly about Google leveraging their popular services like Search and Gmail to help their new services, like Google+, become competitive with Facebook and Twitter.

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