As it turns, you can donate more than just blood to help others; you can donate your voice, and all it costs you is a stretch of time in a recording booth. And if Professor Rupal Patel and Dr. Tim Bunnell fulfill their vision, voice donations from all over the world may someday be generated with an iPhone app.
There are millions of people with speech impairments, and currently the vast majority of them must use generic synthesized voices to communicate. (Think Stephen Hawking.) Apple’s Siri is a voice built from human samples, although in her case the voice wasn’t “mixed” with anyone else’s.
The hiring agreement between Google, Apple, and others that recently scandalized the tech industry may have been bigger than initially suspected. At first, it was believed to be a collusion between seven major tech firms that stifled competition and, in the process, worker wages through an agreement to not hire each others’ employees. The Department of Justice eventually filed and settled a suit with the companies in question that resulted in their agreeing to bring an end to the illegal, anticompetitive practices.
But new details, which surfaced in court documents from a related civil suit, reveal that the scheme may actually have extended beyond Silicon Valley. Per a Pando Daily report, the conspiracy began as a high-level agreement between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt before growing to encompass dozens of companies with a combined workforce exceeding one million people.
There are many good questions that can be asked about Apple. We’re not going to look at any of those today, though.
Forbes contributor Lois Geller asks, “Why Doesn’t Apple Have A Real Loyalty Program?” (No link but tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)
Yeah, like a punch card! Buy ten Macs and get the eleventh Mac free. (Mac must be of equal or lesser value. One per customer. Void where prohibited by law.)
being anonymous, just got more anonymous…….
According to the project roadmap, it’s built on the existing open-source chat program Instantbird and all communication would be sent through Tor’s onion-layered relays.
There’s been an increased need for more secure communication tools ever since Edward Snowden outed the NSA’s Prism surveillance program.
While the law enforcement has reportedly had trouble cracking the encryption that Apple uses for iMessages, the NSA is thought to have collected plenty of other communications.
read more @ TechRadar
Rich Mogull at TidBITS has an interesting article about the new highly advanced cryptographic options in Apple’s iCloud system, that essentially make it impossible even for government agencies like the NSA to spy on your iCloud data.
This week Apple released a massive update to their “iOS Security” white paper for IT professionals. It contains more information on iOS security than Apple has ever shared publicly before, including extensive details on Touch ID, Data Protection, network security, application security, and nearly all security-related features, options, and protective controls.
For the first time, we have extensive details on iCloud security. For security professionals like myself, this is like waking up and finding a pot of gold sitting on my keyboard. Along with some of the most impressive security I’ve ever seen, Apple has provided a way to make it impossible for agencies like the NSA to obtain your iCloud Keychain passwords.
The paper is incredibly dense, even getting to the level of detail of which flavor of particular encryption algorithms are used in which security controls. I will likely be digesting it for months, but one particular section contained an important nugget that explains why the NSA can’t snoop on your iCloud Keychain passwords.
Read the rest: TidBITS: How to Protect Your iCloud Keychain From the NSA.
Here’s that iOS Security White Paper:
In an emotional response to the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), Apple CEO Tim Cook soundly rejected the politics of the group and suggested it stop investing in Apple if it doesn’t like his approach to sustainability and other issues.
The first question challenged an assertion from Mr. Cook that Apple’s sustainability programs and goals—Apple plans on having 100 percent of its power come from green sources—are good for the bottom line. The representative asked Mr. Cook if that was the case only because of government subsidies on green energy.
Mr. Cook didn’t directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.
In my opinion, Apple is one of the few companies that approach their business in this manner, and this is precisely why they make great products - they care more about what can be done with their devices and how green they can make them than they care about the ROI of said devices.
Tim Cook’s response to these suggestions was very blunt:
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.
He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
Way to go, Mr. Cook.
Internet retail giant Amazon is reportedly planning to preempt Apple’s rumored springtime Apple TV refresh with an Android-powered set-top box of its own — and the device could go on sale as soon as next month.
If this is true, then we may never see an Amazon Prime channel on the Apple TV.
According to Counterpoint’s Monthly Market Pulse report for October 2013, Apple’s iPhone 5s continued to be the bestselling phone globally during October. Apple’s iPhone 5s sales saw an upward sales momentum as Apple continued expansive roll-out for its flagship model thus further widening the gap with its arch rival’s flagship model Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Apple’s iPhone 5s topped the best-seller’s list despite the component shortages causing long waiting periods in several channels and without Mobile China that is expected to launch iPhones in the coming days ahead.
Apple disclosed content from users’ accounts to U.S. government officials fewer than 1000 times during the first six months of 2013, according to a Report on Government Information Requests that the company issued on Tuesday.
“Apple’s main business is not about collecting information,” the company said in the report. In detailing its interactions with governments, both in the United States and around the world, Apple hoped to provide more transparency about the processes. Moreover, the company says that it has repeatedly made the case for more openness in its meetings with government officials; along with the report, Apple is also filing an amicus brief with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), supporting other cases requesting more transparency.
“We feel strongly that the government should lift the gag order and permit companies to disclose complete and accurate numbers regarding FISA requests and National Security Letters,” the company said in its report. “We will continue to aggressively pursue our ability to be more transparent.”
With this move, Apple joins the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, and Google; earlier this year, all three of the companies voiced their desire to be more open with the public about government requests.
The debut of Apple’s new 64-bit A7 Application Processor has been assailed by more than one industry figure insisting that the new chip isn’t anything special, but a series of iOS developers are reporting huge performance gains and already using the new chip to accomplish “desktop class” tasks that were not previously possible on a mobile device.