California Rejects ‘Kill Switch’ Requirement Legislation for Smartphones

California legislators narrowly rejected a bill that would require smartphone manufacturers like Apple to preload and automatically enable antitheft “kill switch” in their phones, according to CNET. The law was backed by California State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

Failing to reach a minimum of 21 votes in favor, the final tally was 19 yes’s to 17 no’s, with one senator not voting. Leno told CNET that he plans to take the bill up again next week. “The game is not yet over,” he said.

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Gascon accused opposition of the bill of protecting the Continue reading

Silicon Valley giants settle class action suit over anti-poaching pacts (updated)

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, (L) in

Silicon Valley’s tech giants aren’t going to face that class action lawsuit over no-hiring deals, after all. Adobe, Apple, Google and Intel have all reached a settlement in the case, which would have otherwise headed to trial in late May. The terms of the deal haven’t been revealed, but we wouldn’t be shocked if a significant amount of cash traded hands. About 64,000 employees had wanted $3 billion in damages after their bosses reached under-the-table deals to avoid poaching each other’s staff; while Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar settled last year for just $20 million in total, they’re small by comparison.

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Apple, Google Settle Class-Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have settled the lawsuit levied against them for their anti-poaching agreements, reports Reuters. The settlement was revealed in a court filing, but the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

The no-hire agreements between the companies first came to light in 2011, after tech workers filed a class action lawsuit alleging the companies had conspired not to poach employees from one another in an effort to keep salaries lower.

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No-solicitation agreements dated back to 2005 and in addition to Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe, involved Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Continue reading

iOS 6 Users on Devices Able to Run iOS 7 Must Upgrade to Fix FaceTime

facetime_ios_iconApple today released a new support document, detailing the issue behind the recent problems some iOS 6 users have been experiencing with FaceTime. According to Apple, a bug resulting from an expired device certificate has rendered FaceTime unusable on older versions of iOS and the only solution to the problem is to update to the latest version of the operating system.

Devices capable of running iOS 7 must be upgraded to iOS 7.0.4 or later, while devices unable to run iOS 7, such as the fourth-generation iPod touch, must upgrade to iOS 6.1.6.

If you started to have issues making Continue reading

Opera’s Coast iPhone browser is a speed dial for your favorite sites

Last year Opera introduced Coast, a simple mobile browser designed specifically for the iPad, and today it brought the same unique experience to the iPhone. Coast is a little different than Chrome or Safari, and streamlines browsing by organizing shortcuts to sites on menu pages like they’re apps. Think of it like your phone’s home screen, except exclusively for the internet. It’s intentionally pretty barebones, and doesn’t have much besides those site icons — so no address bar or back button. While the stripped down browser may sound a bit restricting at first, we’ve been testing the iPhone app for Continue reading

Apple’s Future OS X Names May Include Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Sur, Redwood, Pacific, and More

mavericks_round_iconFollowing recent trademark investigations related to the iWatch, French site Consomac has discovered [Google Translate] that Apple may also be using a pair of shell companies to protect various California-related names in anticipation of future OS X releases. Apple’s Craig Federighi announced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference that the company would be shifting gears on OS X naming, moving from big cats to “places that inspire us in California”. The current OS X Mavericks was the first to adopt the new naming pattern, taking its name from a popular surfing spot known for its massive waves.

Consomac notes Continue reading

Tim Cook Auctions Charity Lunch Meeting at Apple HQ

Charity auction site CharityBuzz is hosting a second listing to meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, this time offering a lunch meeting.

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The auction is the second Cook has volunteered his time for, with last year’s coffee auction raising $610,000 for the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights. The 2014 auction benefits the same cause, which aims to achieve a “just and peaceful world by partnering with human rights leaders, teaching social justice and advancing corporate responsibility.”

Two people can meet with Cook for lunch, for approximately one Continue reading

Pioneer Talks CarPlay: Working with Apple, Pricing, and the Future

carplay_iconFollowing last month’s formal introduction of Apple’s CarPlay system for integrating iPhones with in-dash vehicle systems, there were some questions about whether the feature would be able to make its way to aftermarket products or if it would be limited to auto manufacturers putting it into brand-new vehicles. That question was answered earlier this month, with both Alpine and Pioneer announcing their plans to launch CarPlay-compatible systems.

Pioneer appears to be in the best position to move quickly with CarPlay, as its latest NEX systems already include CarPlay-compatible hardware, which will be enabled with a firmware update expected in Continue reading

Apple Researching Temperature, Pressure, and Humidity Sensors for Mobile Devices

A pair of patent applications published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by AppleInsider describes how an electronic device such as an iPhone, iPad or even a wristwatch could be used to detect ambient conditions such as temperature, pressure, humidity and sound. The applications appear just as Apple has been rumored to be incorporating such functionality into the iPhone 6, and the company’s rumored iWatch has also been said to include an array of sensors.

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Cutaway view showing environmental sensors inside a mesh-covered recess in a device’s body

The first patent, titled “Electronic Devices Continue reading

Updated 11-Inch and 13-Inch MacBook Airs Reportedly Coming Next Week

Apple may be planning to update its MacBook Air line next week, according to a new report from MacGeneration [Google Translate]. Citing reliable sources, the website notes that references have been made towards new devices featuring screens of 11-inches and 13-inches, which are the current display sizes for the MacBook Air.

Apple last updated the MacBook Air in June 2013, which featured Intel’s energy-efficient Haswell processors, faster PCI Express-based storage, and faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

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If the claims turn out to be true, it is likely that a new MacBook Air at this point in time Continue reading