Thursday, April 17, 2014

Apple Incorporating System for Anti Theft Technology

anti theft technology
A section of Smartphone industry segment which includes Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft have signed a voluntary program spearheaded by the U.S. wireless industry which seems to incorporate a system for anti theft technology into handsets probably by July 2015 and all major US cellular providers would require all Smartphone manufacturers to come with specific anti theft features which is one of the latest options to curb down theft of Smartphone that are on the rise.

To overcome phone theft, many lawmakers had put pressure on manufacturers as well as wireless carriers to install smarter anti theft technology on Smartphone resulting in a group of tech and phone companies coming up with this anti theft initiative.

Being dubbed as `the Smartphone Anti Theft Voluntary Commitment’, this initiative was reported by the CTIA Wireless Association, recently as a plan to stalk the incidents of Smartphone thefts in the U.S; and this program is being supported by the top five U.S. wireless carriers while the makers of Smartphone and OS, Apple, Google, Huawei, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola together with Samsung are all in agreement to participate, as reported by Re/code. Moreover the companies which have signed on to this commitment also agree to make a `baseline anti theft’, available to their consumers who would be purchasing devices manufactured after July 2015.

Software to Lock down the Phone when Stolen/Missing

As per the documents, the tool would enable consumers to wipe data remotely from a stolen or lost Smartphone, rendering the said device, non-functional to an unauthorized user, besides emergency calls as mandated by the FCC and prevention of reactivation without the consent of the user and then reverse the operations when the device has been located.

The software would enable the user to lock down the phone when the device is reported to be missing or stolen and reactivate it only on receiving the same with the correct password or personal identification number.

The President of CTIA and CEO, Steve Largent has also commented saying that ` they appreciate the commitment made by companies to protect wireless user in the event of their Smartphone being lost or stolen and at the same time it’s important different technologies are made available as a trap door which could not be exploited by hackers and criminals.

With the cooperation of policymakers, law enforcement and the consumers, they would be able to deter theft and protect user’s personal information available on Smartphone.’ Details of the Smartphone Anti Theft Voluntary commitment’, could be checked at the official site of CTIA.

Find my iPhone/Activation Lock

Though Apple has already many of the agreement’s features installed in the iOS and iCloud with the option of `Find my iPhone and iOS 7’s Activation Lock, the `find my iPhone’, helps users to locate, lock as well as wipe lost or stolen devices. The `activation lock’, would need the entry of an associated Apple ID together with the password before turning off Find my iPhone, for erasing data or re-activating the device after remotely erasing. Presently, this program is voluntary though legislators had earlier tried to impose these requirements by law.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Apple’s New CarPlay Infotainment

Users are looking forward for some option in taking advantage on Apple’s new CarPlay infotainment which is being offered without the purchase of a new vehicle. It was reported that the aftermarket manufacture Alpine would be proposing a CarPlay compatible receiver and the same would be released later this year.

The device can be connected to an iPhone 5 or later with the use of wires wherein drivers would be able to view maps on its 7 inches screen, use voice commands to access messages, play music and make calls. Moreover the system would also be capable to read messages and directions aloud as well as enable drivers to conveniently access other iPhone functions. It was also reported that the company would be shipping the units in the US as well as Europe for a price of $500 to $700 which was first reported by a Japanese financial news service Nikket Asian Review without the installation fees.

It is presumed that the new stereo besides sporting a seven inch diagonal touch screen would also support the CarPlay’s Siri powered voice commands. Moreover this move is being implemented soon, in order to obtain advantage along with some financial gains, aiming to boost business further by bringing the first stand alone console which can use CarPlay to the consumers

The First Aftermarket Option

After the introduction of CarPlay made by Apple earlier this year, it seems that its entry in the aftermarket were slim and while a Kenwood representative informed that the system would most probably not appear in any of the products during 2014, a Pioneer spokesperson denied the report indicating that they would be offering something of their own.

This aftermarket option would most likely be a relief to the users as well as boost CarPlay adoption and though this system is presently available in upcoming vehicles coming from famous luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Volvo, other compatible models are also expected like the BMW, Ford, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota to name a few.

The device would also be the first aftermarket option to add CarPlay support to the car while some new cars from famous brands of automakers would be expected to come from the factory with CarPlay support.

Capable to launch app with content

CarPlay enables the user to plug in the iPhone into the car to see content from its screen on the screen of the car and the app from the Smartphone and the screen can be visible on the Alpine unit’s screen. The user would also be capable of launch app with other content using gestures on the screen of the console.

While some of the car manufacturers will now be offering standard vehicle provided with CarPlay with the system, the Japanese company’s device is supposed to be the first aftermarket CarPlay product compatible with the system which will first be available in the U.S. and Europe. Thereafter the unit would then go on sale in Alpine’s native Japan as 2015 approaches.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apple’s Plan for Clean Energy

Apple is planning an expansion on its use of clean energy in order to power its iCloud data centers by using the facility of its company’s Prineville, Oregon which has now been connected by a small hydroelectric project acquired by the makers of iPhone.

This report had been revealed by The Oregonian and its initial proposals for the project showed that it would generate between three and five megawatts, sufficient to power around 2,000 to 3,500 homes though Apple will need only a small amount of the power to run the facility. The project which is 45 mile long is located near Haystack Reservoir in a Jefferson County irrigation canal around 20 miles from Prineville and the price paid by Apple for the project is not known though the earlier owner, EBD Hydro, it was reported had secured around $8.5 million in federal loans as well as grants in helping to finance it.

The company had planned to begin work late 2011 though it was not clear if the facility was operative and Apple had declined to comment while EBD remained unresponsive to inquiries to the deal. The Oregon data center of Apple has already been using wind energy as its California center and Apple relied on the largest privately owned solar farm in the country of its Maiden N.C. activity while its upcoming center at Nevada will be using solar and geothermal energy.

Power Data Center with Renewable Energy

Apple plans to power its data center entirely with renewable energy like its other leading data center operations stating that it buys its local renewable wind energy from Prineville facility and the company is exploring the possibility to acquire land for a huge solar array.

Apple had started construction of the Prineville facility in October 2012, flattening and clearing the site, where the two 338,000 square foot construction would eventually stand and the land preparation with the construction have cost Apple around $68 million inclusive of server hardware, construction cost together with labor costs.

 The facility is presumed to cost hundreds of millions of dollars or could be also billions. Additional plans were also on; to take the 45 mile project offline when the irrigation canal would be shut in the month of winter and hence Apple’s hydro deal would be providing a small portion of the company’s electricity consumption.

Plans to Double the size of Oregon Data Center

Most of the big internet companies operate data centers in Oregon; include Facebook, Google and Amazon who are drawn in part by the low power prices of the region and to a greater extent by tax exemption on their expensive computers and a big data center would cost $1 billion or even more to equip.

It was also revealed that last September, Apple was on the look out to double the size of its Oregon data center and that the company was planning to purchase additional land at a nearby site which would house a second structure of similar size.

It was also reported that Apple would be paying around $10,000 every year to the government of Prineville and Crook County for a 15 year property tax exemption.

MakerBot's iOS-connected 5th generation of 3D

3D Animation for Mac and Windows PC

The technology behind 3D printing has been improving with market leaders like MakerBot making headway to expand its lineup of devices in enhancing its connectivity with Apple’s iOS ecosystem. MakerBot Industries had recently held an event in Boston at one of its new retail locations to show off it 5th generation of 3D printers and the company new Digitizer desktop 3D scanner offering a sneak peek at KeyShot5 which is the latest generation of the 3D animation and rendering application for Mac and Windows PCs.

It is one of the first 3D printer and scanner from MakerBot that can be controlled with software through the Mac while the new iOS specific applications are also in the pipeline from the company. MakerBot Mobile will also be providing for iPhone users the capabilities to monitor as well as control the new fifth generation printer while the MakerBot PrintShop on iPad will enable users to create and print 3D objects.

User-friendly 3D Printing Platform

The 5th generation MakerBot entry includes the new user friendly 3D printing platform which is app and cloud enabled while the USB and Ethernet connectivity will be joined by Wi-Fi support later. The hardware is inclusive of an onboard camera and diagnostics with assisted built plate leveling with a new Smart Extruder, motion controllers together with gantry designs.

 Moreover it has an 11 percent bigger build volume with quicker print times than its fourth generation predecessor. Its other fifth generation 3D printers are the Replicator Mini and the Replicator Z18 which are priced at $1,375 and $ 6,499 respectively.

In addition to its forthcoming full featured iOS application, MakerBot Industries is also offering its Thingiverse app which enables mobile users to browse 3D printer files that are available on the Thingiverse site and using the iPhone app, users can also browse, review as well as upload images of printed objects to MakerBots’ online community.

Ten minutes to Scan in Three Dimension Object

Regarding the new Digitizer, it takes around ten minutes to scan in a three dimension object for a maximum size of 8 x 8 inches to create a render for the company’s 3D printers. Moreover the system uses a turntable style platter to rotate the object while scanning by lasers making it easy for the person to scan in an object using a 3D printer without using advanced software.

In addition to its Digitizer and 3D printers, the company will also sell plastic filaments spools for printing new object with small trinkets for those of whom would be interested in spending more than thousand dollars on a printer or scanner and the items that are available at their Boston store includes a tiny recreation of Fenway Park, an iPhone dock that angles the handset’s speaker forward which can amplify it for listening to audio and a rendition of the park’s fabled left field `Green Monster’.

They would also be offering 3D printing services for users who would need a onetime replication and would not want to own a printer. The company will also be offering the fifth generation MakerBot Replicator 2 and MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental for purchase at discounted prices to the users.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple offer hi-res 24-bit tracks on iTunes

Apple’s Major Overhaul of iTunes

Following a report, Apple is considering a major overhaul of iTunes and the company is making plans to enter into the high definition music industry with 24-bit track. It was reported that Apple will be launching hi-res audio sales in two months to coincide with the release of the three Led Zeppelin remasters and would probably charge an additional dollar for high resolution tracks and the new features would be offered in line with the usual iTunes track with the option of album purchase.

Presently Apple needs publishers providing 24-bit ALAC tracks along with high sampling price to improve sound quality for transcoding to lossy AAC format which is currently available on iTunes. AAC cuts a good amount of data from the original mastered version like the MP3 codec, trading subtle nuances in dynamic range, detail, fidelity with other sound quality metrics for small sized files.

Supporting the rumor is Apple’s Mastered for iTunes initiative providing studios along with specialized software, especially AU Lab, helping in checking how AAC conversion could affect the uncompressed masters. The studios could then pass the original 24-bit masters to iTunes at a varying sampling rate, creating files without loss and encoding them into 16-bit AAC tracks. This would mean Apple would have a huge repository of lossless music.

Music in a 24-Bit Format

Apple had been working on providing music in a 24-bit format for some time and a report of 2011 stated that the company was in talks to increase the quality of iTunes Music. Presently Apple has been selling audio files on iTunes in a 16-bit lossy AAC format encoded at 256 kbs to a minimum file and high definition 24-bit downloads would offer better details with greater depth with deeper bass response when compared to traditional 16-bit music downloads and the file sizes would be much larger.

Apple has been offering16-bit audio files presently but the company is encouraging artist to submit music in a 24-bit 96 kHz resolution which can be used to create more accurate encodes. Since Apple has accepted 24-bit files for years, it has a large catalog of high quality audio files which could be offered for sales at a premium of $1 over the traditional iTunes tracks.

Better Digital Music

Moreover Hi-res audio has been getting popular with the present generation and music sites like HDtracks are gaining deals with multiple major record labels. Popular artist like Credence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young and many others are putting out high resolution audio with an audio platform called Orastream pointing that the artist are working with technologies making the digital music sound better.

If Apple choose to start selling 24-bit audio tracks it would dominate the competing sites based on its existing user base and boost its digital downloads by appealing to audiophiles presently unhappy with the quality of iTunes tracks. Apple is asking sound engineers for 96 kHz, 24-bit WAV files with the possibility to process its very own `mastered for iTunes’, versions and also to start selling music in `better than CD quality’ resolution and format. Do check out for more refreshing technology information at Macmyth