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Posts Tagged ‘ Apple ’

 

Developers at Google, Apple and other tech companies have created a browser API that enable users buying goods and services online with cryptocurrency.

 

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with the help of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and Mozilla initiated the project in 2013. Currently, the API is being implemented in browsers including Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge, Apple’s Webkit, Mozilla’s Firefox, the Samsung Internet Browser and Facebook’s in-app browser.

 

The API is based on what the group sees as a way to offer consumers more payment options and merchants a more secure online checkout. When activated, the Payment Request API will allow new payment information for Bitcoin, ether and other more traditional online payment methods to be stored directly in the browser. Users will then be able to choose from a drop-down menu of available payment methods supported, a kind of expansion on the auto-fill feature already widely enabled at checkout.

 

Nevertheless, merchants will need to integrate the API and pick which payment methods they want to accept. At this stage, customers will need to download the browser extension and signal what payment methods they use. Therefore, merchants need to build websites that acknowledge the new payment methods, while users need to have wallets that use the same protocol developers are writing.

 

The W3C is already working with third-party apps to integrate both distributed ledger solutions and non-credit card forms of payment into the API in a way that can be interpreted by merchants and consumers.

 


 

Apple’s latest A11 is currently the most powerful mobile chipset in the market, but do you know what and how its name ‘Bionic’ came about? Well, Apple just wanted the A11 to sound cool, according to a writer from The Verge. 

Apple told me it’s called Bionic because the company realized names like A8 and A9 weren’t particularly exciting compared to its competitors chip names, so it added ‘Fusion’ to the A10’s branding last year. So this year it’s ‘Bionic’.

 

So what ‘exciting’ names have Apple’s competitors come up with? Samsung’s processors are marketed as Exynos, while Huawei brands its chipsets as ‘HiSilicon Kirin’. Qualcomm consolidates its mobile platforms under the ‘Snapdragon’ branding. In the computing space, there are more interesting names, such as Intel’s ‘Coffee Lake’ CPUs and AMD’s Ryzen 3 processors. 


 

Apple is likely to lead the 3D sensing technology space for the next two years as there is reportedly no rival with comparable capabilities at the moment.

 

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the adoption of 3D sensing technology among Android OEMs will be delayed by Qualcomm’s inability to develop and ship similar products. In fact, Qualcomm is said to only make significant shipments from 2019. Xiaomi is said to be the only potential Android OEM to adopt Qualcomm’s technology. It is gauging consumers’ response to Apple’s 3D sensing technology on the iPhone 8 before going ahead to implement similar technologies on its devices.

 

Kuo previously reported that the advanced 3D sensing technology and algorithms related to the 3D camera sensor on the iPhone 8 would help Apple stay ahead of the competition by a few years.

 

 


 

Apple has long been known for their efforts in producing smartly designed products complete with minimalist packaging, but have you heard about their efforts at environmental conservation? The tech giant has just recently had about 320,000 acres of working forest in China certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being “responsibly managed”.

 

This basically means that Apple is now protecting or has created enough sustainable forest to offset the fiber used in their product packaging. Apple Insider reports that Apple has stated that two-thirds of this newly certified forest is owned and managed by Maoyuan Forestry in Hunan province, while the remainder is managed by the state-owned Qinlian Forestry Company in Guangxi.

 

It seems the World Wildlife Fund also worked with both companies to help them implement forest management plans and training for employees to help them identify High Conservation Value Forest, hence helping to speed up the process.

 

Lisa Jackson, VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, said “the Chinese were willing to be wonderful partners, both on the private- and public-sector side because they have a real appreciation for the forest resource,” so we can probably expect to see more such initiatives in the future.

 

Apple’s forestry initiative started in early 2015 with the purchase of 36,000 acres of vulnerable forest land in Maine and North Carolina through The Conservation Fund’s Working Forest Fund. In March, yields from these two states hit 100 percent carbon neutral. The next year, Apple started applying pressure on its Asian supply chain to commit to clean energy agreements, hence moving closer to their stated goal of powering all their facilities worldwide with 100 percent renewable energy.

 

 

 

Apple just released its quarterly earnings report and it is safe to say that the company has had a stellar second quarter of 2017.

 

Some key figures: US$45.4 billion in revenue, US$8.7 billion in profit, 41 million iPhones sold, and 4.29 million Macs sold.

 

However, one of the most important figures is that sales of iPads returned to growth year-over-year for the first time since 2013.

 

Apple sold 11.92 million iPads in the last quarter, and this compares favorably to the 8.92 million units sold in the previous quarter. It is also substantially more than the 9.95 million units sold in the same quarter last year.

 

These numbers far exceeded analysts predictions. Most of them believed that sales of iPads would continue to fall.

 

Apple released the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro in July, and also introduced a new iPad in March. It seems like these new products are a hit amongst users.


 

Apple has announced that it will enable PayPal payments in its digital stores, including iTunes, iBooks, Apple Music and the App Store.

 

The deal struck on 11 July 2017 will enable Apple customers in US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia and parts of Europe to choose PayPal as a payment option. The US-based payments service provider has also stated that it will integrate with Siri and bring the One Touch feature to Apple ID accounts, allowing for faster purchases.

 

Customers with an Apple ID will be able to select “PayPal” as a preferred payment method, which will make it the default payment method and all future purchases will be charged to the PayPal account. This includes one-time purchases as well as monthly fees such as Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage.

 

PayPal will also be added as a payment option directly on iOS, the company says. This will be available in all 12 markets, including the U.S.

 

 

 

Initially rumored to debut in the Apple Watch Series 2, micro-LED display technology could debut on future  Apple Watch devices next year.

 

Citing information from one executive source, Nikkei Asian Review reports that “Apple is working very hard to foster the Micro LED technology” and the use of the new display technology could be introduced “as early as next year” beginning with wearables. 

 

However, micro-LED technology is still at an early stage of development with high costs, low yield rate and technical issues. Therefore, it is unlikely that Apple will push the micro-LED technology into smartphones anytime soon. As and when the display technology matures, micro-LED could be the key for Apple to cut its reliance on Samsung to supply OLED panels for its devices.

 

The cell phone business seems so ancient these days that it’s easy to believe the sides are entrenched.

 

You’re either an iPhone person who mocks anyone who has an Android phone. Or you’re one of those Android or other non-iPhone people who derides everyone who has an iPhone.

Is it worth trying to get people to switch? Apple thinks it is.

 

In a new campaign aimed at the Android types, Apple claims that it’s better along several axes. More than that, though, the campaign wants you to believe that it’s astoundingly easy to give up your Android and come over to the bright — or, depending on your perspective, dark — side.

 

Five short ads highlight Apple’s allegedly superior offerings. One claims that the music in your world will become so much more jolly when you have an iPhone. For no obvious reason whatsoever.

 

Another says that the iPhone keeps you away from digital snoopers — and they’re very creepy-looking.

 

Then there’s speed. Apparently, iPhones are far faster than Android phones. Blindingly so, says this ad. Oh, it seems to me that all new phones start fast and then slow down as they age.

 

Another ad insists iPhone will straighten out your photos — and migrating them is so easy. Why, Apple will even send movers to your house to help you.

 

Talking of easy, the last ad doesn’t even bother with a semblance of rationality, settling for just telling you to jump because it’s simple.

 

Is this all persuasive? Not if you’re ingrained in your ways and fear that something, somewhere along the line will be lost if you change systems. This campaign is more a nag for those who already have the nagging feeling that something might be better on the other side of the fence.

 

For me, it’s like cooking with gas or electric. They both work. I’ve always been comfortable with gas. Last week, I ended up cooking on a very fancy electric stove top. It was surprisingly good. Would I get one? Probably not.

 

The gas hasn’t let me down enough yet.

 

 

 

Some Mac users may have fallen victim to a new Mac malware called Proton. Over the weekend, the malware infected unsuspecting users by hitching a ride on a trusted server that hosted downloads for HandBrake, a popular DVD ripper and media encoding program. The malware provides a backdoor for malicious activity, such as stealing stored files.

At the point of propagation, none of the 55 most widely-used antivirus services detected Proton. As of writing, the VirusTotal tracking website showed only 12 services that are capable of picking up on the new malware. Researcher Patrick Wardle has plenty of other Proton details listed on his blog.

According to Ars Technica, the folks maintaining the HandBrake download mirrors said that one of their two servers was compromised by the malware. There is a 50 percent chance for a Mac user who downloaded HandBrake between May 2 and May 6, 2017 to be infected with Proton.

 

To check for the malware on your Mac, you can do a simple checksum verification by going to the Mac terminal and type in the following:

shasum /path/to/HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg

“path/to” refers to your HandBrake installation location/filename.

Alternatively, you can type “shasum” within Terminal and drag the file to the Terminal window. If it returns:

0935a43ca90c6c419a49e4f8f1d75e68cd70b274

You’ve struck lottery. Remove the malicious malware as soon as possible. To disinfect the Mac, you can remove the following Launch Agent plist file:

fr.handbrake.activity_agent.plist

Also remove the following file from your ~/Library/RenderFiles/ location:

activity_agent.app

Then proceed to nuke your Mac reset and change all passwords.

According to Ars Technica, Proton is a general-purpose backdoor malware that’s on sale on the Dark Web for as much as US$63,000. It offers keylogging, remote access, stealing of files, and the ability to take and upload webcam or screenshot video and images.

Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. It generates so much profit that the latest reports indicate that its cash reserves have swollen to over US$250 billion, with the actual number of its cash reserves expected to be revealed later this week during its earnings call.

To offer some perspective, that’s more than the foreign currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined. The next richest tech company is said to be Microsoft, which has US$126 billion in cash.

Another interesting tidbit is that Apple has doubled its cash hoard in just over 4.5 years. And in the last three months of 2016, it made US$3.6 million per hour.

But like many other big U.S. companies, most of this cash is parked overseas. However, President Trump’s proposal to offer a one-time tax holiday on corporate cash brought home has sparked fresh speculations that Apple could hand back more money to shareholders or make more acquisitions.

The report also says that Apple could, theoretically speaking, acquire both Tesla and Netflix and still have plenty left to spare. Apple is said to be exploring the automotive industry and has also started producing its own original TV content.

Lee Pinkowitz, a Georgetown University professor of finance, also said that Apple’s cash reserves are more than sufficient for its needs. He said, “If this a rainy-day fund, they’re saving for a millennial flood.”

If you were Apple and were allowed to bring all that cash home, what would you do with all money?