Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

iPhone Saves Man Shot by Arrow

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We’ve heard stories about iPhones identifying heart defects. However, AppleInsider picked up on another way an iPhone has saved a life – the device blocked an arrow shot at it’s user!  Police in New South Wales, Australia, were called by a man reporting someone wielding a bow and arrow. When the victim went to take a picture of the assailant, they fired an arrow, which was absorbed by the iPhone.

The arrow struck the iPhone, with the arrowhead partially passing through the device but ultimately embedding the ammunition… This is not the first time a person has escaped major harm thanks to the company’s hardware. In 2017, a witness to a shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport revealed a MacBook Pro in his backpack was hit by a stray bullet, one that could have caused serious injury.

Apple News Magazine Subscriptions Heading for macOS

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Appe News Magazines Sub notifications

lt looks like the Apple News subscription service will launch on macOS as well as iOS. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith shared some screenshots of a the new service as they appear in the latest beta of macOS 10.14.4. MacRumors reported that they showed notifications for subscribers when the latest edition of a magazine is released. We are expecting to hear about Apple’s News subscription service at its March 25th “It’s Showtime” event.

The screenshots show notifications from the Apple News subscription service, which will alert subscribers when new issues of their favorite magazines are available. Similar subscription information has also already been seen in iOS 12.2, with the subscription service called “Apple News Magazines.” Apple’s magazine subscription service is based on Texture, the digital magazine app that it purchased in 2018.

Sprint Brands AT&T 5G 'Fake' in New York Times Advert

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Sprint took out a full-page advert in Sunday’s New York Times hitting out at AT&T’s 5G claims. MacRumors reported that the advert branded AT&T’s claims as “fake 5G”, saying it was not faster than Sprint’s 4G LTE network. In February, Sprint filed a lawsuit against the 5G claims.

In the letter [PDF], Sprint calls AT&T’s 5G Evolution “fake 5G” and clarifies that AT&T is not, in fact, offering faster speeds than other carriers who deliver the same 4G LTE advancements that AT&T has enabled such as three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4×4 MIMO…AT&T first started upgrading customer iPhones to read “5GE” in the iOS 12.2 beta, and the misleading branding will become much more widespread when iOS 12.2 sees a public release.

Taika Waititi to Direct Series of 'Time Bandits' for Apple

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Time Bandits movie now an Apple television series

Apple’s in-development series Time Bandits will be directed by Taika Waititi, Variety reported.  The series was based on a film, originally released in 1981,  written by Monty Python star Terry Gilliam. It told the story of a young Brit called, Kevin, who finds a time hole in his wardrobe. Apple’s streaming service is expected to be revealed at its March 25th event, confirmed Monday.

Apple’s adaptation will be co-produced by Paramount TV, Anonymous Content, and Media Rights Capital. Waititi will direct and co-write the pilot, as well as executive producing alongside Gilliam and producer Dan Halsted. Waititi was recently announced as one of several directors for the Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.” The TV adaptation of his horror mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” premieres March 27 on FX, and his next film, “Jojo Rabbit,” is slated to comes out this fall.

Spotify Premium Users can get Hulu for Free

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Spotify Premium users can now access Hulu’s ad-supported tier at no extra cost. However, The Verge said that these users cannot add premium channels, such as Showtime or HBO, to their account alongside Hulu. The deal also excludes those who have a family plan on the music streaming service, but others can access Hulu via the ‘Your Services’ section of an account. This offer is time limited though – it will close on June 10th, 2019.  Hulu recently lowered its pricing to $4.99 a month, following Netflix’s recent price hike.

To take advantage of this deal, new Spotify users can sign up now. Just be sure to activate Hulu on the “Your Services” page within account settings. If you already get Hulu through Spotify, you won’t have to do anything to start saving an extra $3 per month. On the other hand, if you subscribe to Hulu and don’t yet have a Spotify account, you’ll need to cancel your billing through Hulu, then set it up through Spotify to receive the discount.

iOS 12.2 Beta 5 Now Available

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Apple released the fifth developer beta of of iOS 12.2, as well as watchOS 5.2, tvOS 12.2, and macOS 10.14.4 Monday.  9to5 Mac took a look at what we’ve seen in the beta versions released so far and what else is new. iOS 12.2 features focussed on Apple Home smart TV support, and also included Animoji, and the release of  Apple News in Canada.

iOS 12.2 and the related software updates largely focus on supporting smart TVs that work with Apple’s Home app. Other changes include new Animoji characters includuing the new shark, owl, giraffe, and warthog options — plus a few more changes. iOS 12.2 beta 2 also includes changes to the AirPlay icon in Control Center plus AT&T ‘5G E’ in certain markets on certain iPhones and iPads.

Amazon Echo Still has no Killer Apps

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Amazon Echo smart speaker

Amazon’s Echo range of smart speakers are hugely popular. However, the device has not triggered a huge range of apps, nor standout successes, in the way smartphones did. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play store have far more apps on them, and generate farm more revenue for developers. Bloomberg News spoke to some developers to discover what the issues were.

Echo-branded smart speakers have attracted millions of fans with their ability to play music and respond to queries spoken from across the room. But almost four years after inviting outside developers to write apps for Alexa, Amazon’s voice system has yet to offer a transformative new experience. Surveys show most people use their smart speakers to listen to tunes or make relatively simple requests—“Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes”—while more complicated tasks prompt them to give up and reach for their smartphone.

Facebook vs Snapchat is Like Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

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Facebook’s so-called “pivot to privacy” has elicited a number of reactions. One of the more incisive ones comes from Kara Swisher. In a New York Times Sunday review column, Ms. Swisher compared Facebook’s attempts to bolster private messaging, in direct competition with Snapchat, to the battle between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. In that case, Mr. Jobs’s “stunning creativity” eventually “won out.” This time, the size of Facebook may mean Mr. Zuckerberg can make a success of the Snapchat model. If he really means it.

Mr. Zuckerberg is to Bill Gates as Mr. Spiegel is to Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs always had better ideas and vision than Mr. Gates. But Apple spent a long time in dire straits while he pushed his high-level concepts about security, privacy, and design and simplicity. Mr. Gates, on the other hand, was an unqualified genius at business models and systems, and he clearly understood the depressing truth that good enough was good enough for a lot of consumers.

Silicon Valley Workers Look to Improve Conditions for Contractors

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The treatment of contractors was a key issue raised by the recent Google walkout, and by workers and other Silicon Valley firms. Apple itself has been criticized for how non-permanent staff are treated. Now, some workers at Facebook are getting organized. FastCompany reported that they have started a group called Workers for Workers, and are surveying permanent and contractor colleagues about their working conditions.

The fight for solidarity may now be spreading to Facebook, with the launch this week of a group called Workers for Workers. Its website features anonymous stories by Facebook contractors, known as “contingent workers.” The first (and thus far only) post, by someone called “Alice,” states: “The number one thing I’m worried about right now is being stuck in these kinds of contracting roles forever. Never making more than $25 an hour, and being a permanent contractor . . . ”

Apple AR Headset Set for 2020, According to Top Analyst

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Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple’s forthcoming AR headset is set to be released 2020, according to high-profile Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He added that manufacturing will beging by the end of 2019, according to AppleInsider. Significantly, it looks like your iPhone is going to most of the hard work, while the glasses act as a display.

 Kuo claims the first generation of Apple’s AR glasses will only act as a display, with a nearby iPhone performing all of the processing, including rendering scenes, providing a data connection, and location-based services like GPS. It is unclear if the accessory would be connected by a cable or take the wireless route and use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or another similar technology for close-range communications.

There is Only One Blockbuster Left in the World

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And then there was one. The Blockbuster video rental store in Bend, Oregon is to be the last one remaining. A store in Morely, Australia announced Thursday that it will be closing its doors to rentals. It will permanently close at the end of March, the Verge reported. It is hardly surprising that the Blockbusters are going given the growth of online streaming, but it is nostalgia-inducing all the same.

For anyone who’s been paralyzed by choice at the sheer volume of films available on Netflix, having your choice limited by a physical selection of discs can feel particularly freeing. After today’s final day of rentals, Australia’s last Blockbuster store will remain open until the end of the month to sell off its stock, including DVDs, Blu-rays, and even “shop fittings and fixtures.”