Bluetooth Beacons Can Track You Inside Stores

· · Link

Bluetooth beacons are small devices that some stores hide throughout the building. Apps on your phone can pick up the signals they emit and send information back.

In order to track you or trigger an action like a coupon or message to your phone, companies need you to install an app on your phone that will recognize the beacon in the store. Retailers (like Target and Walmart) that use Bluetooth beacons typically build tracking into their own apps. But retailers want to make sure most of their customers can be tracked — not just the ones that download their own particular app.

I bet iOS 13’s new Bluetooth controls will affect this.

Mattel’s New Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit in Apple Stores

· · Link

Mattel’s new Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit is available exclusively in Apple Stores. Vehicles cost US$6.99, the Race Portal is US$39.99, and the Smart Track Kit is US$179.99.

With the Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit, Hot Wheels id vehicles can be raced on a track that incorporates digital tracking elements through an app on the iPhone or iPad. The system allows users to keep track of speed, count laps, build a digital garage, and more, providing a mix of physical and digital play.

Activ5 Smart Fitness Devices Launches in Apple Stores

· · Cool Stuff Found

Activbody, Inc., announced that its flagship product, the portable smart fitness device Activ5, is now available at apple.com and in select Apple Stores. The Activ5 is unique because, with its companion training app, users are able to access and track their activity from over a hundred personalized 5-minute strength-training workouts and exercises that can be performed anywhere. Activ5 recently announced an Apple Watch app and the adoption of HealthKit. The app includes exercise and heart rate tracking and calculates energy burned. With HealthKit, users will be able to see the data tracked on Apple Watch in the Apple Health app on iPhone. “We are experiencing phenomenal interest and growth globally due to the effectiveness of Activ5, and our ongoing commitment to meaningful, customer-centric enhancements including our recent Apple Watch app announcement,” said Dan Stevenson, CEO of Activbody. You can buy it from the Apple Store, online and retail, for US$129.95.

Activ5 Smart Fitness Devices Launches in Apple Stores

QiStone2 Wireless Portable Charger: $59.99

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the QiStone2 Wireless Portable Charger. This device has an 8,000mAh battery, a USB-C charging port, and a standard USB charging port—in addition to its Qi wireless charging ability. It’s $59.99 through our deal.

Modernize Your Mac’s Clipboard

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Dr. Mac says, “While it’s quaint that the Mac Clipboard has remained virtually unchanged for three decades, I’ve never understood why Apple has avoided adding new functionality to the Clipboard. Today’s Macs have plenty of horsepower and can easily manage more than one item at a time on the Clipboard!

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Has Big Backers

· · Link

Facebook is preparing to launch a new cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal found that the project has backing from some of the biggest names in finance and e-commerce.

Facebook Inc. has signed up more than a dozen companies including Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., MA +0.20% PayPal Holdings Inc., and Uber Technologies Inc. to back a new cryptocurrency it plans to unveil next week and launch next year. The financial and e-commerce companies, venture capitalists and telecommunications firms will invest around $10 million each in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, called Libra, according to people familiar with the matter. The money would be used to fund the creation of the coin, which will be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies to avoid the wild swings that have dogged other cryptocurrencies, they said.

Tim Cook Talks Privacy and Trade With President Trump

· · Link

Tim Apple Cook met with U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday. Reuters reported that the two discussed the ongoing trade dispute with China, U.S. investment, immigration, and privacy.

Trump’s meeting with Cook was disclosed by daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump during an event that Trump held with governors on skills development. Cook is a frequent visitor to the White House and has worked with Ivanka Trump on her job training and education initiatives. The president often name-checks Cook as a business leader who has brought jobs and investment back to the United States. On Thursday, Trump spoke with Cook about “trade, U.S. investment, immigration and privacy,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said. A spokesperson for Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

How Surveillance Affects the Legal System: A Judge’s View

· · Link

We often read about surveillance from the perspective of us, the users, or technology companies. Here is a judge’s view on it.

Congress is way behind in determining how far the police can go in using technology to invade people’s privacy, and many of the legal disputes arising from this collision have not reached the Supreme Court. For the public, as a practical matter, the rules of the road are being decided by prosecutors. Your privacy is not their highest priority.

I think that’s ultimately the heart of the matter: We have a technologically-inept government.

Video Shows Apple's Look Around is Much Smoother than Google Maps Street View

· · Cool Stuff Found

LooksAround vs Street View

Apple revealed that there would be a new Look Around feature in Apple Maps at iOS 13. It is similar to Street View in Google Maps. However, a new video posted on Twitter by WordPress developer Reüel van der Steege shows that Apple may have beaten its rival. Look Around seems to be much smoother.