Apple Sold 20 Million Apple TVs, Which Are Now Far From A Hobby + MORE

Looking for a quality Refurbished iPad or iPad 2? We have sourced all models to meet your expectations. Just Go to Shop at the top of the website and choose your model. Since the launch of iPad2 1st generation iPad Wi Fi and 3G models have significantly come down in price, so be sure to check them out. Regardless which model iPad you choose, we have a comprehensive collection of products at discount prices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Lauds Office On iPad, Chides Microsoft For Not Delivering It Earlier

– techcrunch.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook Lauds Office On iPad, Chides Microsoft For Not Delivering It EarlierApple CEO Tim Cook took time to answer a question about Microsoft Office for iPad arriving this past month, and his answer was surprisingly long. “I do see that Office is a very key franchise,” he said, and also added that he “wholeheartedly welcome[s] Microsoft to the App Store.”Cook admitted that Apple’s “customers are clearly responding in a good way that [Office] is available,” and also said it’s definitely a good thing for the iPad in the enterprise and for enterprise users. But it wasn’t all praise for Apple’s long-time rival and occasional partner.
“If it had been done earlier, it would’ve been better for Microsoft frankly,” Cook said about Office’s arrival on Apple’s tablet, which is indeed something users have been asking about for years, ever since the original launch of the iPad itself. To its credit, Microsoft did manage to deliver a solid product that really does nail the tablet user interface and a mobile user experience, even if it is a shame that its full functionality is locked behind the requirement for a recurring Office 365 subscription.

Gawker Killer Asteroid Coming Relatively Soon | Jezebel Heads Up: Lots of People Have Herpes.

– gizmodo.com

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9 Key Takeaways From Apple’s Surprising Earnings Call

– cultofmac.com

9 Key Takeaways From Apple’s Surprising Earnings Call
Photo: Alex Washburn/Wired

Apple turned what could have been a deathly boring financial ritual into an occasion for celebration Wednesday, posting record numbers and making headlines with some unexpected moves.
Here’s our take on everything you need to know from the latest quarterly earnings call.

Apple is rich
First off, let’s take a look at the cash Apple has on hand — $150 billion to be exact. Tim Cook stressed that this enormous pile of money would be used to focus on Apple’s top priority: making amazing products and investing in the essentials (retail, marketing, new markets, supply chain). “We are not going to underinvest in this business,” he said.
Apple shares more wealth
Two massive initiatives will let Apple share all that wealth with investors. First off, Apple took the wraps off an almost unheard of seven-to-one stock split, causing one veteran financial reporter to tweet his surprise. “I’ve followed $AAPL for 18 years,” tweeted Arik Hesseldahl (@ahess247). “Rarely been as surprised by an earnings report as I was today.
Meanwhile, Apple is adding about $30 billion to its Capital Returns program. Usually cranky super-investor Carl Icahn (or is that iCahn?) sounds stoked about the boost to the stock-buyback program. “Agree completely with $AAPL’s increased buyback and extremely pleased with results,” he tweeted. “Believe we’ll also be happy when we see new products.”
Apple’s announcements received a ton of attention on Wall Street, and after-hours trading rocketed the stock price up 7.65 percent (about $40 per share) as of this writing.
Apple still knows how to innovate
Innovative new products are in the pipeline, Cook assures us, but for now, Apple fans (and stockholders) can try to wrap their heads around that crazy seven-to-one stock split. Seven-to-one? WTF? Cupertino’s innovative boardroom maneuvers prove Apple still possesses an uncanny ability to shock and awe — even when it comes to mundane matters like stock splits and capital returns.
The new CFO is dreamy
Everyone loves Luca Maestri, says our resident Italophile Nicole Martinelli. Listening to the incoming Apple CFO discuss gross margins and operating expenses was like relaxing in a soothing bath of Prosecco. Smart, dapper and loaded for bear with a tantalizing yet understandable Italian accent, Maestri stole the show from outgoing CFO Peter Oppenheimer.
The iPad is all-around amazing
Speaking of the smooth-as-silk Maestri, his take on the iPad was flattering, as he pointed out that two-thirds of iPads registered last quarter were snapped up by first-time iPad owners. It’s clear who’s winning the tablet wars. “iPad accounts for four times the web traffic of all Android tablet users combined,” said Maestri.
Similarly, Cook jumped in during the Q&A session near the end of the hour-long call to sing the praises of Apple’s tablet, telling investors, “I am very bullish on iPad.” He noted it’s the only Apple product to become an instant hit in three key markets: consumer, business and education. They’ve sold 210 million iPads in only four years. Even more surprising, iPads are used by 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and 91 percent of tablets activated at the enterprise level were iPads. Many businesses have written key proprietary apps that embed the iPad deeply within the companies’ operations.
The iPod is a dead man walking
The iPod started the mobile revolution, but it was only mentioned as a past achievement during Wednesday’s call. Sales of the music players continue to plummet as listeners move to streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio. The iPod era is ending with a whimper, not a bang.
Apple TV is not a hobby
Amazon’s Fire TV might have stolen some brain share in the past couple of weeks, but Tim Cook isn’t worried. During the call, he reminded us all that Apple’s little no-longer-a-hobby set-top box is making so much damn money that we all have to take it seriously.
“When you look at the sales of the Apple TV box itself and the content bought off the Apple TV,” he said, “for 2013 that number was over $1 billion. It didn’t feel right to me to call something that’s making $1 billion a hobby.”
As for Amazon? “Apple TV compares extremely favorably to the content that is on the Amazon FireTV,” Cook said. So there.
China is the new Wisconsin
Apple is making inroads in new corners of the world. “There’s a number of markets out there where we’re beginning to really catch on to a number of customers,” said Cook in response to a question. “I am particularly proud of the results in these markets. These have not been historic strong points for Apple.”
Perhaps most encouraging: China sales grew 13 percent year-over-year, Cook said, with an all-time revenue record in greater China of $9.8 billion. iPhone sales rose 28 percent and Mac units rose 13 percent in the country. All of this, Cook pointed out, far outpaced predictions made by market research firm International Data Corporation. iTunes services revenues more than doubled year-over-year and iPad demand has grown by 6 percent (IDC predicted flat tablet growth). “I feel like there’s still loads of opportunity there,” Cook said.
Tim Cook is fierce
Every time our new fearless leader took the lead during the earnings call, he sounded rock-solid. When answering questions, he was direct, clear and unerringly optimistic. For example, when Office for Mac came up, his answer was, basically, bring it. “If it had been done earlier it would have been even better for Microsoft, frankly,” he said.
Is Cook finally stepping out from the shadow of Steve Jobs? If nothing else, the current Apple CEO is tough, no-nonsense and as fierce as a lioness defending her cub. If, of course, her cute little furball was the biggest company in the world.

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Apple Sold 20 Million Apple TVs, Which Are Now Far From A Hobby

– techcrunch.com

Apple Sold 20 Million Apple TVs, Which Are Now Far From A HobbyThe Apple TV continues to gain traction despite little effort from Apple. On today’s financial earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has sold 20 million Apple TV boxes. By the end of 2013, the company had sold approximately 10 million Apple TV units. The product is clearly on-pace for a killer year even with new offerings from Amazon and Roku.“I’m feeling good about this business and where it could go,” Tim Cook said, further revealing that the company stopped calling the product segment a hobby once it pulled in $1 billion in revenue in 2013. “It didn’t feel right to me to refer to something that brought in a billion dollars as a ‘hobby,’” he said.
“We’ve got a pretty large installed base there,” Cook said, speaking to competitors. He feels the Apple TV stands “extremely favorable” against other streaming devices like the new Amazon Fire TV.
Cook failed to go into future plans in the space. He didn’t reveal any upcoming Apple TV features or partnerships. But with this sort of traction, why change course?

Daily Roundup: Samsung's love of plastic, Siri for Apple TV and more!

– engadget.com

Daily Roundup: Samsung's love of plastic, Siri for Apple TV and more! You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all…

By the numbers: a breakdown of Apple’s Q2 2014 earnings call

– 9to5mac.com

Apple went over its Q2 2014 earnings today on its quarterly conference call with CEO Tim Cook and incoming CFO Luca Maestri. The company announced that former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will finally be joining the executive team as SVP of Retail. Cook also addressed the recent debut of Microsoft’s Office productivity suite on the iPad.
But, as with any earnings call, the numbers that define Apple’s success or failure in the market took center stage. Here are some of the big ones you might have missed:

$150.6 billion – The size of the cash pile Apple is current sitting on
98% - Customer satisfaction rating for the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display
95% - iPad’s current share of the U.S. education tablet market
4x - The amount of web traffic generated by iPad users in comparison to Android devices. As in, all Android devices. Every single one combined.
24 – The number of companies Apple has acquired in the past 18 months
800 million - The number of iTunes accounts in use worldwide
60% – The percentage of new iPhone 5c users who made the jump from Android
62% - The percentage of users who switched from Android to the iPhone 4s. Yeah, that’s right. The iPhone from 2011.
50% – The iPhone’s current market share in Japan
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4S, 5C, Angela Ahrendts, earnings call, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, luca maestri, Market share, Q2 2014, Tim Cook Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of AAPL Company, iPhone, and iPad.What do you think? Discuss “By the numbers: a breakdown of Apple’s Q2 2014 earnings call” with our community.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Lauds Office On iPad, Chides Microsoft For Not Delivering It Earliertechcrunch.com
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9 Key Takeaways From Apple’s Surprising Earnings Callcultofmac.com
Apple Sold 20 Million Apple TVs, Which Are Now Far From A Hobbytechcrunch.com
Daily Roundup: Samsung's love of plastic, Siri for Apple TV and more!engadget.com
By the numbers: a breakdown of Apple’s Q2 2014 earnings call9to5mac.com

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Apple mends a Heartbleed security bug in its latest WiFi routers + MORE

Searching for the right Refurbished Apple iPad? Look no further as we surely have many refurbished iPads for you to choose
from. 1st generation or 2nd generation models are available at rock bottom prices. Just click Shop on our top menu and click iPad Wi Fi / 3G or iPad 2 Wi Fi / 3G and you’ll be amazed what you will find!

Apple Opens OS X Beta Testing To All Users With New Seed Program

– techcrunch.com

Apple Opens OS X Beta Testing To All Users With New Seed ProgramBefore today, you needed a developer account to help test Apple’s upcoming software releases before they hit the general user population. You didn’t need to actually develop anything, but it would still cost you $99 per year to partake, and technically it was still sort of against the rules. Today, Apple introduced its OS X Beta Seed Program to make pre-release Mac operating system software available to all who want to help try it out.You can sign up here, and all you need is an Apple ID.  Once signed up, users can test out Mavericks pre-release builds before they’re launched for everyone else, and then submit feedback to Apple to help it iron out the kinks before general launch. It’s not for everybody, but early adopters who appreciate getting the chance at a sneak peak of tweaks before they come to market will appreciate the opportunity.
The program comes with its own special utility software for installation on your Mac, which makes pre-release versions of OS X visible in your Mac App Store’s Updates tab. You’ll also need to agree to Apple’s Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement to participate, which is probably quite similar to the one it makes developers sign before testing software, but there’s no fee to participate.
This move comes only a few weeks ahead of Apple’s WWDC developer conference, which kicks off June 2 this year. Apple is expected to reveal the next version of OS X at that event, and there’s a good chance it will also release a preview build of the operating system for pre-release testing at the same time, so it’ll be interesting to see if participants of the new Seed Program get access to that software ahead of time, too.

Green Is The New White For Apple On Earth Day [Gallery]

– cultofmac.com

Green Is The New White For Apple On Earth Day [Gallery]
Under the watchful eye of Tim Cook Apple’s gone from the most powerful tech company in the world to the most green. Yesterday’s new ad shone the spotlight on Apple’s environmental practices but the true celebrations of going green kicked off today for Earth Day.
Select Apple Stores around the world sprouted green leafed logos to go with new Earth Day shirts and lanyards for Specialists and Geniuses, but rather than driving all the way to your local store we’ve gathered shots of Apple Stores near and far celebrating Apple’s pledge to leave the world better than they found it.
Take a look:
New York
The iconic 5th Ave store looks greener than ever thanks to Apple’s subtle addition.

Earth Day Genius Lanyards
Apple Store Geniuses were given a new green shirt for work today with the green Apple logo, along with new lanyards that read “Every day is Earth Day at Apple.”

Paris
The Apple Store at the Louvre in Paris always looks stunning but the green flair still manages to pop in a sea of masterpieces.
Strasbourg, France

Japan
Not a single person walking past this Apple Store in Japan seems impressed with Apple’s green leaf.
England
Apple’s stores on Regent Street and Covent Garden in London received the Apple Earth Day package.
Munich

China
Shoppers at the store in Hong Kong descend down Apple’s gorgeous glass staircase with the green logo overviewing the city.

Grand Central

Houston
An inside view from the Highland Village store in Houston Texas shows it’s business as usual inside the store.
Apple Campus
Apple Stores aren’t the only spots enjoying some Earth Day celebrations.
Apple HQ had its own green Apple logo ceremoniously draped on the building along with a company Beer-Bash at lunch followed by a Jack Johnson concert to add to the festivities.

Celebrating Earth Day with Jack Johnson at Apple with our great team. pic.twitter.com/J3IfmAUNth
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 22, 2014

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Apple mends a Heartbleed security bug in its latest WiFi routers

– engadget.com

Apple mends a Heartbleed security bug in its latest WiFi routers Apple has largely avoided the wrath of the Heartbleed security flaw, but it now appears that the company’s products aren’t completely immune. The crew in Cupertino just updated its most recent AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule WiFi routers to fix a…

Damon Albarn – Heavy Seas of Love (Featuring Brian Eno)

– gizmodo.com

[embedded content]
The man who doubles as a cartoon gorilla(z), Damon Albarn, is releasing a solo album called Everyday Robots next week. This is the beautiful video for his collaboration with Brian Eno, Heavy Seas of Love. It was shot entirely on an iPad by Albarn himself, in a totally lovely and not at all cheesy way.
The album won’t be fully released until next Tuesday, but in the meantime, you can stream it on iTunes Radio. “Heavy Seas of Love” is actually the third track, and third video, that Albarn has let loose ahead of the album drop (“Everyday Robots” and “Lonely Press Play” came first). This particular song has such a relaxed yet uplifting sound, and the visuals—psychedelic cityscapes from Albarn’s travels around the world—go with it perfectly. It’s a nice match for a spring day like today—not to mention an example of iPad photography we can get behind. [Stereogum]

Apple airs new “Gigantic” TV ad, promoting content creation on the iPhone 5s

– 9to5mac.com

Apple has begun airing a new iPhone 5s ad this evening, first premiering on Agents Of Shield. This ad, featuring the interesting song ‘Gigantic‘ by the Pixies, takes a very different tone than the “Metal Mastered” ad released in October, which showed that gold really is best.
The ad shows common- and uncommon tasks people can accomplish with their iPhone, such as creating music, tracking their health, shooting videos and photos, and playing games. The ad ends with the tagline “You’re more powerful than you think”.

Advertising for the iPhone 5s has been sparse, especially in comparison to the campaigns for the iPhone 5c. Aside from just 3 commercials, the only other 5s advertising we’ve seen are some print ads that ran shortly after the phone’s introduction.
Thanks Dan for the video!Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: ad, Apple, commercial, iPhone, iPhone 5S For more news on AAPL Company, Apple, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.What do you think? Discuss “Apple airs new “Gigantic” TV ad, promoting content creation on the iPhone 5s” with our community.

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Apple Opens OS X Beta Testing To All Users With New Seed Programtechcrunch.com
Green Is The New White For Apple On Earth Day [Gallery]cultofmac.com
Apple mends a Heartbleed security bug in its latest WiFi routersengadget.com
Damon Albarn – Heavy Seas of Love (Featuring Brian Eno)gizmodo.com
Apple airs new “Gigantic” TV ad, promoting content creation on the iPhone 5s9to5mac.com

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New Apple Campus 2 Video Shows Eco-Friendly Aspects Of The “Mother Ship” + MORE

Looking for a quality Refurbished iPad or iPad 2? We have sourced all models to meet your expectations. Just Go to Shop at the top of the website and choose your model. Since the launch of iPad2 1st generation iPad Wi Fi and 3G models have significantly come down in price, so be sure to check them out. Regardless which model iPad you choose, we have a comprehensive collection of products at discount prices.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review: Hardware Triumph, Software Facepalm

– gizmodo.com

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review: Hardware Triumph, Software FacepalmS

Last year, the original Xperia Z Tablet was one of our absolute favorite tablets. It was so wonderfully thin and light, plus waterproofiness? Fantastic. But the laggy software Sony put on top kind of knee-capped its potential. This year, the hardware is even better. Bordering on masterful! But some lessons Sony just refuses to learn.
What Is It?
It’s a rather stunning 10.1-inch Android tablet. It’s got the hottest guts out there, a gorgeous screen, and it’s impossibly light, thin, and waterproof (up to 5 feet of fresh water for 30 minutes).
Why Does It Matter?

Sony’s tablet offerings have been getting better and better. It’s willing to try some crazy stuff, that doesn’t always work but could help shake things up. Not to mention last year’s Xperia Z Tablet was pretty fantastic. This one’s even better
S
Design

The first time you pick it up you just think, “No way!” It’s so thin and so light that it feels like you’re holding a shell, a non-working prototype of what some college futurist thinks the Tablet of the Future will look like. To put it in context, despite having a 0.4 inch larger screen, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a full ounce lighter than the iPad Air (15.5 ounces on the Z2 versus 16.5 ounces for the Air), and it’s thinner, too (0.25 inches versus 0.3 inches for the Air). That would be pretty impressive in itself, but add in the fact that it’s IP58, which makes it waterproof to five feet of water for up to half an hour, and the thing starts to feel borderline magic.
It looks very much the same as last year’s tablet, which is to say that it’s almost a perfect rectangle with very slightly rounded corners. Around the edges it has a nubby, chrome power button (matching the rest of the Xperia line) and volume rocker, ports for the micro USB port, and for micro SD cards. There are also a couple of pins on the bottom so you can use it with one of Sony’s many keyboard docks, and up top there’s an IR blaster for controlling your home entertainment system.
S
The face of the device is Sony’s 1920 x 1080 “TRILUMINOS Display with Live Color LED and X-Reality for mobile.” Sounds fancy. The good news is that it looks terrific. Again, the blacks aren’t as dark as they would be with an AMOLED screen, but the colors are super vibrant and really pop, and you can crank the brightness reasonably high. Sony made another ingenious move this year, putting stereo speakers on the front of the device. They’re so small you almost can’t see them.
S
The back is a brushed, soft-touch plastic that feels very nice and grippy, and there’s also an 8MP camera on the back which takes very good photos for a tablet, but still… done. And if you shoot vertical video with a tablet you’ll be sentenced to live in a hut without electricity for two years. Fun fact.
Using It
Again, more than any other tablet, the Xperia Z2 has that “Holy crap this is amazing!” feel to it the first time you pick it up. It’s so light that you can hold it from the side one-handed, longways, and you don’t feel like your hand is even going to get tired. We tested the tablet in four feet of water for ten minutes (before the lifeguard asked us what the hell we were doing) and it came out working just fine, so if you’ve been dreaming of streaming Netflix while taking a bath, this is the device you want.
It’s also terrific for gamers. The dual, front-facing speakers have been improved over last year. For starters, they’re almost impossible to accidentally muffle. This means you can hold the tablet in whatever way is most comfortable and still get solid, immersive sound. It’s awesome for FPS games like Dead Trigger 2. It’s also great for watching video. The considerable horsepower of Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and a whopping 3 (three!) gigs of RAM mean that even the most graphically challenging games play buttery smooth.
S

And yet, that still isn’t enough to make Sony’s own skin run smoothly. Again, the third-party UI Sony has chosen to go with looks nice enough, but it runs like garbage. There is stutter and lag all over the place, and this lack of smoothness is a major problem, because it makes the most impressive hardware we’ve ever seen on a tablet feel like it doesn’t really work that well, or that cohesively. The good news is that this is a pretty easy fix: just install a third-party launcher (I used Nova) and presto, it’s as impressively smooth as you would hope. You’ll want to swap out the keyboard, too. So it’s great that these are easy fixes, but it’s absurd that it’s something you have to fix yourself. Nothing Sony’s UI brings to the table justifies this debilitating performance.
Sony also pre-loads the device with a hefty number of apps. Most of them are pretty weak (like Album, Movies, and Reader), though some of them like Sony Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, and Playstation app are pretty good. Again, you can control your TV using the TV SideView app (which also acts as a program guide) but like last year, Sony forgot to pre-install this actually-useful app. Weird.
The screen is bright enough to be used outside (though it gets worse the more your fingerprints smudge up the screen, and it’s not as bright as other tablets like the Nexus 7), and battery life was very solid, especially if you put it in power saving mode. The tablet has another trick in that it can act as the brain for Sony’s Digital Noise Canceling Headset (MDR-NC31EM). Because the tablet provides the intelligence and power-source for the buds, it allows them to be much smaller. Happily, they sound terrific.
S
Like
Basically everything about the hardware. The lightness, the thinness, the lovely screen, the front-facing speakers, the waterproofiness, the Snapdragon 801, the 3GB RAM. All that stuff is just great. We also like that it can power noise canceling earbuds, that it can control your TV, and that it just feels so damn good to hold.
S
No Like
In contrast, it’s basically all software. Again. The skin Sony puts on just doesn’t work very well. It slows things down, it makes things look worse, and it’s less intuitive to use than stock Android. In fact, if this thing was a Nexus device and ran stock Android we’re probably be head-over-heels for it, which means that if you have the skills to root and install better software on this tablet, then this is the tablet you want, hands down.

Software aside, we wish the tablet supported wireless charging so you didn’t have to fiddle with port-covers every time you want to charge, and we wish the speakers had a little more bass. The bezel could be shrunk down, too. For such an outdoorsy tablet, it should be able to go brighter. Oh, and it’s pretty expensive compared to something like the very capable Nexus 7. Other than that, there’s not much to gripe about.
S
Should You Buy It?
If you don’t mind installing a third-party launcher (many of which are excellent, free in the Google Play app store, and take seconds to install, even for non-techies) and you want a full-sized Android tablet, then YES, absolutely. If you’re willing to go further and root it, then double-yes.
At $500 for the 16GB version and $600 for the 32GB it’s the same price as the iPad Air, and frankly, the hardware is just much, much more impressive. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you’re willing to fix the software problems the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the best full-sized tablet available today. Get the 16GB version and toss a cheap micro SD card in there if you need more storage. You can pre-order it starting today, and it will be in stores May 4th. [Sony]
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Specs
• Network: Wi-Fi• OS: Android 4.4.2 with Sony’s UI• CPU: 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801• Screen: 10.1-inch 1920×1080 TRILUMINOS Display (224PPI)• RAM: 3GB• Storage: 16 or 32GB + micro SD up to 128GB• Camera: 8MP rear / 2MP front• Battery: 6000 mAh• Dimensions: 10.47 x 6.77 x 0.25 inches• Weight: 15.5 ounces• Price: $500/16GB or $600/32GB

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Apple Is Serious About Doing Mobile Payments, But Don’t Expect Anything Soon

– cultofmac.com

Apple Is Serious About Doing Mobile Payments, But Don’t Expect Anything Soon

We’ve known that Apple has been interested in mobile payments for some time. Now the company is interviewing potential candidates to lead the initiative, according to a new report from Re/code.
Apple’s head of e-commerce, Jennifer Bailey, has reportedly been meeting with executives in the payments industry “to fill head of product and head of business development positions.”
While Apple’s “ambitions” are described as “very, very serious,” it’s likely that any sort of mobile payment system from Apple won’t come out anytime soon.
Back in January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is “laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service.” The 600 million iTunes Store accounts Apple has on file would ideally work to purchase physical goods and services with something like an iPhone as the conduit.
Tim Cook has said that handling mobile payments was one of the main reasons for creating Touch ID, the fingerprint authenticator in the iPhone 5s.”The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with,” he said during Apple’s last earnings call. “It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.”
Apple has recently been in talks with established players in the payments industry. PayPal and Apple have allegedly been talking behind closed doors, and there have even been rumors that an acquisition of Square was considered.
Since Apple is still looking to related fill positions, it’s safe to say that it’ll be awhile before its mobile payment plans see the light of day.

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Alex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like “ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation.” If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.
(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by Alex Heath.

New Apple Campus 2 Video Shows Eco-Friendly Aspects Of The “Mother Ship”

– techcrunch.com

[embedded content]Apple has posted a new video of their oddly-shaped UFO headquarters, this time focusing on eco-friendliness and how Steve Jobs’ original ideas about sustainability and environmental design went into creating the unique space.
The company will supply 1,000 shared bicycles at the new HQ and will use 30% less energy than the typical office building. It will also include solar and other renewable energy sources.
Built in the “fruit bowl of America,” the new 2.8-million-square-foot space will house 13,000 engineers and be finished in 2016.
Below are some more shots of the amazing new space.
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Apple Store logo leaves start going green in honor of Earth Day (photos)

– 9to5mac.com

In line with our report from last week, Apple has begun updating its logos on some of its more high-profile stores with green-colored leaves. Some users in Asia, Italy, and Australia are already posting posting photos of the tweaked logo. Apple Store employees will also be wearing green colored shirts to celebrate Earth Day for the next week. More photos:

And from Settib.It:

Also in honor of Earth Day, Apple updated its website with an environment-focused video narrated by Apple CEO Tim Cook, posted new environment statistics, and made VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson available for an extensive interview. Apple is expected to hold an Earth Day event of sort at its Cupertino campus tomorrow.Filed under: AAPL Company Continue reading more about AAPL Company at 9to5Mac.What do you think? Discuss “Apple Store logo leaves start going green in honor of Earth Day (photos)” with our community.

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Apple Store logo leaves start going green in honor of Earth Day (photos)9to5mac.com

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A Brief History of Easter Eggs in Tech + MORE

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A Brief History of Easter Eggs in Tech

– gizmodo.com

A Brief History of Easter Eggs in TechS
The Easter egg—as in a hidden surprise or in-joke, not the chocolate treat—can be dated back to the last Russian imperial family who gifted people with jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs containing additional surprises tucked away inside.
But in modern times the secret Easter egg has become more associated with technology, and can be found in everything from software—especially video games—to hardware where designers will include graphics and messages on circuit boards. So if you’re not already in a pleasant chocolate bunny-induced sugar coma, we’ve put together a brief look at the history of the Easter egg in our favorite tech.

Atari’s Adventure Game
Developed by Warren Robinett for the Atari 2600, Adventure is often credited as being the game that re-kindled and re-purposed the use of the term Easter egg. Players who successfully navigated and performed a specific action in one of the game’s catacombs would gain access to a secret room that simply displayed a message from the developer: “Created by Warren Robinett.”
Other game carts with secret messages that pre-date Adventure have surfaced, but it was supposedly Atari that first re-used the term Easter egg to describe Robinett’s secret addition to the game.
S
Apple Macintosh SE Development Team
Previous versions of the original Apple Macintosh had an image of the computer’s development team hidden away in the ROM which wasn’t that easy to access. But on the Apple Macintosh SE all you had to do was hit the debug button and then type ‘G 41D89A’ to be presented with this dithered masterpiece. After all, what else are you supposed to do with a whopping 256 KB of memory when you really only need 89 KB?
Image by Damian Ward/Flickr
S
Windows 3.1 Development Team
A lot of the original Easter eggs hidden in software and computer games were included by the development teams yearning for a little more recognition. Possibly thanks to Bill Gates’ iron fist, MS-DOS lacked any kind of interesting Easter eggs. But as the company grew and Windows 3.1 was released, the coders managed to slip in an egg giving them their due credit.
Users needed to hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift while navigating to the About section of the Program Manager where they could then double-click on the various colored segments in the Windows logo. Eventually a small chalkboard would appear scrolling the developers’ names and if the user was was diligent enough, they would even occasionally get an adorable graphic of what’s known as the Microsoft Bear.
S
The Konami Code
Possibly the mother of all Easter eggs, the Konami Code—as it’s come to be known—was a cheat code designed for the original NES. Kazuhisa Hashimoto was tasked with porting the 1985 arcade game Gradius to the home console, but found the game too hard to play while testing. So he included a small bit of code that instantly gave him a full set of power-ups whenever he entered the sequence: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. To a child of the ’80s, reciting that sequence is as easy as reciting the alphabet.
Fortunately Hashimoto forgot to remove that extra bit of code from the game before it was released on the NES, and somehow players found it. In North America the code is more associated as originating with the game Contra, but it has since been used in countless titles, programs, and these days, even websites.
S
Excel 97′s Hidden Flight Simulator
Some of the most popular and well-known Easter eggs were games hidden in software designed for less-entertaining purposes. Spending endless hours entering data into a spreadsheet would drive anyone crazy, so the Microsoft Office developers working on Excel 97 included a full-on flight simulator complete with procedurally-generated terrain.
Accessing it required a series of specific actions as well as a long code, so if you weren’t already in-the-know there’s no way you would have accidentally stumbled across it. And not surprisingly it’s not the easiest flight simulator to actually fly with your mouse or keyboard. But something tells us the office drones of the late ’90s didn’t care. You’ll also notice the names of the developers located on one of the mountains in that screenshot, once again taking credit where credit is due.
S
Google Maps Swimming Directions
As a company pledged to not being evil, Google has been pulling fun pranks and hiding Easter eggs on its pages since its inception. One of the first to really spread across the internet was discovered shortly after Google Maps was introduced. Besides blowing Mapquest out of the water with a fantastic interface, it also provided very usable directions, even if you asked it to plan a route from New York to Paris.
When you inevitably ran out of drivable roads and reached the coast, it simply instructed users to “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean.” These days Google and its various sub-pages are chock full of Easter eggs and surprises, from causing it to snow on your search results, to even using the Konami Code in Google Docs.

A Hidden Message In Tesla’s Model X Teaser
There are of course thousands upon thousands of Easter eggs we haven’t even begun to touch on. And we encourage you to leave your favorites in the comments. (I’m particularly fond of the rare N64 Goldeneye sneeze.) But we’ll leave you with one of our recent favorites.
A few months ago Tesla’s Elon Musk posted an obscure black and white teaser image of his company’s upcoming Model X electric SUV on Twitter. And knowing full well the image would be dragged into Photoshop and fully analyzed, it included a hidden message only revealed when you started tweaking the levels: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” As cryptic as the Model X’s silhouette.
Lead Image by leungchopan/Shutterstock

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The Konami Code (if you don’t know it, then shame on you!) has long been part of geek lore. But now it can be part of your work day too: Google… Read…

Users finding first-generation Apple TVs unable to connect to iTunes Store

– 9to5mac.com

Some users of the first version of Apple’s set-top box are reporting that their devices are suddenly unable to connect to the iTunes Store, according to a 19-page discussion thread (via MacRumors) on Apple’s support website. A backend change is likely responsible for this problem, though Apple hasn’t yet clarified whether this is a permanent change or a temporary glitch.
The issue was first reported three days ago, with new reports coming in every day since. Thus far no one has been able to find a remedy. At least one user in the thread notes that his Apple TV is working fine while connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable, but it seems such successes are few and far between.
Second- and third-generation devices (the small block “hockey puck” models) seem to be unaffected. This outage follows a similarly mysterious drop in FaceTime connectivity for users of iOS 6.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple TV, ITunes Store Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of AAPL Company, Apple TV, and ITunes Store.What do you think? Discuss “Users finding first-generation Apple TVs unable to connect to iTunes Store” with our community.

The AWS Course: Be The Best Host Out There With Amazon Web Services [Deals]

– cultofmac.com

The AWS Course: Be The Best Host Out There With Amazon Web Services [Deals]

Cloud computing is quickly becoming the standard method of creating scalable, manageable Web Application Services. Today Cult of Mac Deals is offering a course that will give you an in-depth walkthrough on how to utilize the wide range of cloud computing services that Amazon provides.
You’ll learn what is available in AWS, and how to use it effectively for your own needs. After you start by learning exactly what cloud computing is, and why you should be using it, you will be shown all the wonderful features that AWS brings to your digital life. And Cult of Mac Deals has this course for only $19 – a savings of 61%!

This course has been built by Infinite Skills, a Canadian based company that offers an ever-growing range of high quality eLearning solutions that teach using studio quality narrated videos backed-up with practical hands-on examples.
The top features of this course include:
Over 51 lectures and 5 hours of content
Learn how to take advantage of amazons robust and scaleable solution to host your web sites
Gain a solid understanding on how to build, configure and administrate web and cloud services using AWS
Create and managing EC2 instances
Use Elastic Load Balancers, CloudWatch, CloudFormation, S3, RDS and Dynamo.
Learn about CloudFront services, ElastiCache, VPC, SNS, SES, SQS and Route 53
Create a 3 tier scalable Web Application using the tools learned
Once you have completed the video training course, you will be fully capable of creating and deploying your own web applications using the services and skills you just learned.
So what are you waiting for? Learn to create, deploy and host your own web applications by getting this course for just $19 today!

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Allan Blocker is the lead editor at StackSocial;, an e-commerce platform offering flash sales on digital tools, web apps, and tech gear. He sleeps, breathes, and would probably eat Mac apps if it was at all possible. Follow Allan on Twitter @allanblocker.
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Posted in Daily Deals | Tagged: amazon, Amazon Web Service, Amazon.com, AWS, business, cloud, cloud computing, CloudFront |

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A Brief History of Easter Eggs in Techgizmodo.com
Users finding first-generation Apple TVs unable to connect to iTunes Store9to5mac.com
The AWS Course: Be The Best Host Out There With Amazon Web Services [Deals]cultofmac.com

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Gillmor Gang: Action Items + MORE

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Secret Trade: How One Man Got An iPad Air Weeks Before Apple Announced It [CultCast]

– cultofmac.com

Secret Trade: How One Man Got An iPad Air Weeks Before Apple Announced It [CultCast]
Back in September, popular Youtuber Lewis Hilsenteger released a hands-on video of what he believed to be the outer shell of the iPad 5. The video exploded on the Internet, and six weeks later when Apple announced the iPad Air, it confirmed the parts were spot-on.
So how does someone get their paws on the parts of one of Apple’s most anticipated gadgets weeks before it’s announced? On this week’s CultCast, Hilsentenger is our guest — and he’s going to tell us exactly how he did it.

Chuckle your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the audio adventure begin!
Our thanks to our friends at iFixit for supporting this episode! You’ve seen iFixit’s amazing teardowns of the hottest tech and gadgets, but did you know you can use their free step-by-step repair guides to fix virtually anything? Check them out at http://iFixit.com/cultcast, and for the best tools around for fixing Macs and iDevices, pick up their Pro Tech Toolkit! Get $10 off with code “CultCast” at checkout.

Click on for the show notes.
Leave your comments, topics, or suggestions on our new Facebook page! We always try to include them in the show. Facebook.com/TheCultCast.
Thanks to our sponsors
New Relic, the all-in-one web application performance management tool that lets you see performance from the end user experience, through servers, and down to the line of application code. Put simply, New Relic helps the people who build modern software understand the stories their data is trying to tell them. If you’re ready to make your software run better, head over to http://newrelic.com/cultcast for a free 30 day trial.
And Mailroute! MailRoute is a secure hosted email filtering service that you can have up and running in minutes. Stop worrying about spam & viruses, and bounced or missed emails. MailRoute is the leading cloud service for email protection — and they don’t read your email in order to show you ads! To remove spam from your life for good, go to http://mailroute.net/cultcast for a free trial and 10% off, for the lifetime of your account for a free trial and 10% off, for the lifetime of
Episode
CultCast #123 – Private Parts
On The CultCast this week
Lewis Hilsenteger – Youtuber and the man behind the popular UnboxTherapy channel.Erfon Elijah – Cult of Mac writer and host of The CultCast.Buster Heine – Cult of Mac writer and community manager.Alex Heath – Cult of Mac writer and alien expert.
Links to this week’s stories
Story links:
Leaked Image Appears To Show iPhone 6 Front Panel [Rumor]

http://www.cultofmac.com/274506/leaked-image-appears-show-iphone-6-front-panel-rumor/#4M9daeGKyek4W1iK.99

Leaked Assembly Line Photos Could Reveal Big Battery Life For iPhone 6

http://www.cultofmac.com/274521/leaked-assembly-line-photos-reveal-big-battery-life-iphone-6/#UkssSuePdS0xHRgh.99

Leaked Foxconn Images Appear To Show iPhone 6 Chassis [Gallery]

http://www.cultofmac.com/274357/leaked-foxconn-images-appear-show-iphone-6-chassis-gallery/#El7xEvOjX2acSluk.99

LG To Be Sole Supplier Of Flexible Displays For iWatch [Rumor]

http://www.cultofmac.com/274515/lg-sole-supplier-flexible-displays-iwatch-rumor/#DlWDjve7GGRvZBGh.99

David Fincher Backs Out Of Directing Steve Jobs Movie For Sony

http://www.cultofmac.com/274427/david-fincher-backs-directing-steve-jobs-movie-sony/#GckSKiMwlPfYHMQb.99

Google Glass Sells Out In First One Day Sale

http://www.cultofandroid.com/61562/google-glass-sells-first-ever-one-day-sale/

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Gillmor Gang: Action Items

– techcrunch.com

Gillmor Gang: Action Items
Gillmor Gang: Action Items

The Gillmor Gang — Dan Farber, Kevin Marks, Semil Shah, Danny Sullivan, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor — played the latest favorite game of the Mobility Addicted. It’s called Lock Screen, and some of us think it’s where the early adopters meet the great unvarnished Silent Majority. Forget clicks or swipes or doing anything; it’s all about glancing.
What this means is that social scientists need to figure out how to measure the impact of a push notification as it flashes on the lock screen, that ephemeral moment when a prioritized message makes it upstream enough to be born in the pool of the Now. It’s couch potato politics at the Wearables. Who’s making the popcorn?
@stevegillmor, @semil, @dannysullivan, @kteare, @dbfarber, @kevinmarks
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
Live chat stream
The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

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Secret Trade: How One Man Got An iPad Air Weeks Before Apple Announced It [CultCast]cultofmac.com
Gillmor Gang: Action Itemstechcrunch.com

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