YouTube Joins the Streaming Music Market with Music Key

9:31 AM, Nov. 13th, 2014 · · News

Google owned YouTube is throwing its hat into the streaming music market with a new service called YouTube Music Key. The subscription-based service, which launches as a beta on November 17, promises ad-free music and videos through the YouTube website and in the company's iOS and Android apps.

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YouTube has brand recognition, and it's music and videos will be ad-free for Music Key subscribers. Considering Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio and other streaming music services have already drawn in so many subscribers, YouTube may have a hard time finding a place to fit into the market.

AT&T Stops Fiber Upgrade Over Net Neutrality Fight

11:22 AM, Nov. 12th, 2014 · · News

AT&T's plans for bringing fiber connections to 100 cities is on hold because the company doesn't feel comfortable moving forward while the future of Net Neutrality regulations are up in the air. The FCC is considering its oversight options for the companies providing Internet connections, Verizon is threatening legal action depending on what decision the Commission makes, and the White House is pushing for strict controls.

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On one hand, delaying the fiber rollout makes sense because AT&T doesn't know exactly how it will be able to use the infrastructure once it's in place. On the other hand, this sure feels like ham fisted posturing to show that preserving Net Neutrality is bad for consumers.

Apple Could Turn to Alibaba for Apple Pay in China

8:49 PM, Nov. 11th, 2014 · · News

Apple in China

An Alibaba executive claimed on Tuesday that his company was in discussions with Apple about cooperating on a mobile payment solution for the Chinese market. Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai said in an interview that the two companies were talking without claiming they were close to a deal.

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit over Lost Text Messages

4:34 PM, Nov. 11th, 2014 · · News

Judge Lucy Koh, the same Judge overseeing Apple and Samsung's ongoing patent infringement legal fight, gave the green light to a lawsuit over text messages that never made it to smartphone owners who switched away from the iPhone. The lawsuit alleges Apple should have told customers text messages wouldn't be delivered if they dumped their iPhone for an Android-based smartphone.

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People are willing to file lawsuits over most anything, including lost text messages. Maybe lawsuits over OS X Yosemite being too flat will be next. That said, if the bug that blocked texts from current iPhone owners to former iPhone owners does cross California's unfair competition laws, then Apple needs to be held accountable, regardless of how ridiculous the case seems.

Obama Calls for Net Neutrality, GOP Attacks Plan as ‘Obamacare for Internet’

5:20 PM, Nov. 10th, 2014 · · News

Net Neutrality?

President Barack Obama issued a call on Monday for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality." In a multipart plan, President Obama proposed that the FCC reclassify broadband providers as public utilities, and laid out four specific provisions to protect the Internet from deep-pocketed interests. The radical wing of the GOP, including Tea Party darling Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), immediately launched a counter offensive calling the president's proposal "Obamacare for the Internet."

Apple Rolls Out Lost iMessage Repair Tool

10:59 AM, Nov. 10th, 2014 · · News

Much to Apple's surprise, not everyone that buys an iPhone sticks with the platform, and that led to a problem where switchers never saw text messages from their friends who stayed with iOS. Apple has finally addressed the problem with a new Web-based utility that unlinks phone numbers from iMessage so you'll still see texts when switching to an Android or Windows smartphone.

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Good for Apple for fixing the lost SMS problem for people who don't want to use an iPhone any more. Shame on Apple for building a text messaging system that requires a special utility just so you can keep getting texts from your friends that still use iPhones.

Countermeasure in Home Depot Data Breach: MacBooks, iPhones For Execs

10:00 AM, Nov. 10th, 2014 · · News

One of the countermeasures taken during Home Depot's data breach was for all the executives to get MacBook Pros and iPhones as they had better security than Windows, which was actually the attack vector.

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This was an interesting read. Finally knowing how it all went down at Home Depot was illuminating, and hopefully happens a lot less with the new payment methods available (chip and sign or Apple Pay).

Apple Ramps Up for Black Friday Sale, Plans 8AM Store Openings

9:06 AM, Nov. 10th, 2014 · · News

Apple's Black Friday sale promotion will be back again this year with special discounts and early store openings, but not quite as early as some previous events. This year Apple will open its retail stores at 8AM local time instead of painfully early, like 4AM, or last year's 6AM start.

Lawyers Seek Class Action Victims for Apple Pay Suit against Rite Aid and CVS

8:11 PM, Nov. 7th, 2014 · · News

Apple in Court

That odor is the smell of chum in the corporate waters, as law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe LLP announced Friday that it was launching an "investigation" into Rite Aid and CVS's decision to block Apple Pay and Google Wallet. The firm said it was considering a class action lawsuit against the pharmacy chains based on antitrust law.

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My favorite part is the language in the press release that casts this private, for-profit law firm as crusading protectors of the public.