Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Apple's Echo Rival Could See You With Built-In Camera


Apple’s Echo Featuring Camera/Facial Recognition Functionality

Apple is said to be working on an Amazon Echo rival which according to reports may feature a camera and facial recognition functionality. The device with the in-built camera would be capable of detecting who will be in the closeness of the speaker using facial recognition technology and automatically activates that individual’ preferences like choice of music and lighting.

The hardware would be released by the end of the year though it is likely to be made available in 2017. However, they have warned that Apple would change its plans to include a camera or may even scrap the device completely. Apple had refrained from commenting. Due to the Echo together with its built-in voice assistant known as Alexa, Amazon tends to play a vital role in the transition in the homes of people.

Apple finds itself behind even though it had launched Siri before the digital assistant had come in. Presently neither Echo nor Google’s recently proclaimed devices, Google Home, tend to have cameras. They are both voice-activated speakers which enables you to control the home appliances by loud communication commands.

Intelligent Cameras in Devices – Risky

Apple’s device also tends to obey voice commands via Siri, Putting intelligent cameras in devices seems to be risky for companies since it tends to raise questions regarding privacy. Intel intended to release a TV box with a camera though it ditched the plan for its first product.Intel had informed that it was owing to the cost as well as the time taken to build the device though the company also encountered backlash over concerns that the box would be watching you all the while. Intel eventually had sold the business, OnCue to Verizon which did away with the hardware in support of a streaming service known as Go90.

Supporters of smart cameras in devices, state that there is little privacy or security risk to consumers as long as the camera is kept turned off by default and consumers have the option to use it. Apple has been the leader in the drive for more security and privacy for its consumers and its combative battle with the FBI earlier in the year had drawn attention to the requirement of stronger security on devices. It is doubtful that Apple would include a camera in a smart home speaker unless it could also ensure the device is secure.

New Model of Apple TV Set Top Box – Built-in Mic/Speaker

Though the Independent had reported that the device would be Siri-based and would be a standalone device, another report later in the week claimed that the device would be coming to homes as a new model of the Apple TV set top box that would have a built-in mic and speaker.

But a main drawback to an Apple TV based Echo competitor would be the hard wired connection to a television set which would eradicate an attractive feature of the Echo, the facility of putting it anywhere in the house. Though the earlier reports had not revealed a possible delivery date for the device, Sources had indicated that it could probably be by the end of 2016 but 2017 would be a possibility.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Your Next iPhone Could be Built by Robot Workers

Credit: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Foxconn – Replace Human Workers with Mechanical Ones

One of the manufacturing companies developing iPhones has replaced around 6,000 factory workers with robots. According to the South China Morning Post, Foxconn that tends to produce components for Apple and Samsung has reduced the workforce in half, in one of its factories to replace the human workers with the mechanical ones. It has not been revealed by the company, what factory the robots seem to be working in and if they would be manufacturing the iPhone 7.

The workers in the US have been demanding $15 per hour wages, which has put pressure on employers. Though the initial investment in robots could be higher, they could be beneficial in the future since they don’t tend to get sick, deterred or have other problems. Reports from China have shown that Foxconn pays its employees very low together with unwarranted stress on them with big orders. One report has suggested that the company had installed safety nets in the factory in order to prevent the workers from committing suicide. A spokesman for Foxconn had mentioned that they are applying robotics engineering as well as other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace the monotonous task which was earlier done by employees.

Harnesses Automation

It has been indicated by Foxconn that it intends to grow its robotic employee roster as it `harnesses automation. On doing so, it expects that its human workforce would be able to focus on higher value added elements in the process of manufacturing, like research, development as well as quality control. The manufacturer had spoken to BBC and had confirmed that a lot of the manufacturing tasks seem to be automated though did not mention whether this would mean huge job cuts all over the board.

The company has plans to train its workers to focus on other elements in the manufacturing process. The robots would be brought in to ensure that monotonous task earlier done by humans would be performed by the machines. According to the experts it is an accepted element that the robots would be replacing human workers and within a span of 30 years it would be likely that mechanical beings would take over most of the jobs.

Changeover to Robots Hurtful to Human Job Markets

Moshe Vardi, professor in computational engineering had mentioned at a conference earlier in the year that they are approaching a time when machines would be capable of outperforming humans at almost any task. With the increase of robots, humans will end with an existential dilemma. Vardi states that computer scientists have been working on building machines which could compete in everything humans tend to do.

 If machines are capable of doing all the work or even 50% of the jobs that humans tend to do, what will the people do? Companies which operate in the region where Foxconn had engaged its robotic workforce had invested 4.2 billion yen in robots since September 2014. The first employee in the UK which could lose out to robots is customer service agents.

With Silicon Valley giants going directly with new chatbots, there would be interaction with more and more robotic customer service personnel instead of human employees. The changeover to robots would be hurting the human job market though the manufacturers are of the belief that it would open up potentials for highly skilled workers to fill in the vital posts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Apple Patents iPad Cover with its own Display


Apple’s Patent – iPad Smart Cover with Flexible Display

Apple has been awarded a patent for iPad Smart cover having its own `flexible display’ built-in. Based on a patent that has been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the latest version of Apple of its Smart Cover comprises of a flexible display, solar panels to collect energy, inductive charging together with a smart keyboard and its smart connector. The prevailing cover tends to fold over the screen, awakening the iPad from sleep mode but besides that it does not seem to live up to its smart branding. However a notion sketched out by the company foresees an accessory which would be providing `significant expansion in functionality’. For instance it could roll out in front of the device in order to provide extra screen space or display the name of a song or a movie that has been playing on the tablet when rolled up. It could also be used as a full second display or utilised as an input device wherein a stylus or finger could be used in controlling the screen of the tablet. The patent application has also mentioned that the solar cells could be added to the cover which would soak up the rays of the sun to power the iPad. A variety of patents have been held by technology firms that have never seen the daylight and hence there is no guarantee that this would go into production in the future.

Extending Usability/Functionality of Tablet Device

Apple had noted in the filing that this was a way of extending the usability as well as the functionality of a tablet device without the need of making it larger. Though there is no sign that Apple has been working on making this a reality, patent blog Patently Apple which has reported the news first, records that permitting this patent also comprises of a smart connector for the cover something that is used in its latest device, the iPad Pro that comes with a smart keyboard which tends to connect in a similar manner. The patent had been filed initially in 2011 a year after the launch of the iPad and had been approved recently.The patent officially granted, for a cover attachment with flexible display, envisages a futuristic iPad cover with its own display spread over the folding panels which could be utilised for anything as per the drawings of Apple. Different notification or reminder can be displayed on the panels or transform into media controls when a movie is being played on the tablet.

Serves as Wacom-Style Drawing Pad

Its patent application notes that AMOLED screens would be perfect here as they can light up single pixels, leaving the rest turned off, thus saving battery life. Another image portrays the cover that serves as a Wacom-style drawing pad which seems a bit laid off with the refined precision which has been permitted by the Apple Pencil and the screen technology in iPads recently though it is yet a neat idea. The patent illustrates various ways in which the Smart Cover display can be used from simply extending the iPad’s own display through text only displays of things like reminders to a joint display and the touchpad. Selected options tend to show the display as a full input device, enabling both handwritten notes as well as drawings.

Monday, May 23, 2016

India Claims to Have Tool to Defeat iPhone Encryption


Tool for Mobile Forensics

According to the New Indian Express, communication and IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad had mentioned recently that as part of a program, a tool for mobile forensics has been created which could handle smartphones, inclusive of Apple’s iPhone. India apparently has a secret technology to decrypt iPhones.This is not to say that a tool has been developed which would bypass encryption, instead a process to get past the lock screen has been created.

 Prasad had stated that the tool had come about, as a part of a continuous process of research and development instead of being a case of singling out iPhone for specific attention. Prasad has not revealed which other handsets and devices the government is capable of accessing, though smartphone users would be pleased at his admission that a universal encryption key has not been developed.The iPhone was in the midst of a legal battle between Apple and the FBI, earlier this year, when the FBI had sought the help of Apple in accessing a locked iPhone 5C that had been utilised by one of the two terrorist involved in the December attack in San Bernardino, California which had left 14 people dead.

Endanger Security & Privacy of Users

While the company had initially complied, it refused a court order demanding that it build a tool providing backdoor access into the iPhone. Apple together with most of the tech industry, believe that building such a tool would endanger the security and privacy of users. The conflict had ended towards late March when the feds had paid for a technique which had successfully unlocked the iPhone. The FBI had persevered that it needed the help of Apple for another case but relented after it had successfully hacked into the second iPhone.

As per tech firms, weakening encryption that seems to scramble data in order to be read only by the intended person tends to violate the privacy of device owners. Law enforcement officials state that encryption obstructs their ability to access data in criminal investigations. BlackBerry had faced trouble in India as well as other countries that had insisted on gaining access to encrypted customer data stored on the company’s server, in 2010. BlackBerry debated that it did not possess the encryption key and hence could not provide access to the data.

India On-going in its Research & Development

Apple had refrained from commenting immediately in response to writers request. India has a forensic tool for mobile which can apparently break into iPhone of Apple and maybe FBI should make a note of it. It is not known precisely what the tool is, which devices it is capable of cracking into and what operating system version they tend to run on.

However the confirmation of the tool comes from Ravi Shankar Prasad. The LAPD recently, had been successful in hacking into an iPhone, which raised doubts as to whether the FBI legally could break into the iPhone. If what the Indian communication minister says is true regarding the tool, then it would mean that India has a more sophisticated tool than the FBI. The minister allegedly said that India is on-going in its research and development in order to upgrade its tools and technologies in harmony with its ever-changing software and devices.

How Rose Gold became the new Black


Gadget have become Blushing Hue of Rose Gold

Gadget which has been black and white these days have now become hot colour of blushing hue of rose gold. This is an option for gadgets of Apple from iPhone to MacBook to Beat headphone and phones from a number of Android device makers. Rose gold began with a glowing start last September with the launch of iPhone 6S line. It was reported by CNET staffers around the world that people had been queuing up specially to get hold of the shimmery, sugary shade and iPhone shoppers in China have been swept up in a pre-order state for the rose gold tint. Apple has not released the breakup of sales figures by colour and has not responded to the request of it for comment, but around 40% of pre-orders during the opening weekend of iPhone 6S, were for rose old models as per an estimate by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. What the sensation of rose gold has to prove is whether it can withstand. Maria Killam, an interior designer and colour expert has said that it is definitely a trend and not a classic look. Presently it is almost everywhere.

Difference Between Samples Apparent

Since the launch of iPhone in September, rose gold had arrived on Sony’s new Xperia X Performance, Huawei’s Mate S and P9 and the latest flagships of Samsung, the Galaxy S7 and S7Edge, though Samsung tried to distinguish itself by calling the colour pink gold. An inside look at the process was obtained during a visit to the Sony Mobile headquarters in Tokyo wherein design pro Jeanna Kimbre had laid out an array of 15 or so colour samples which has been considered for the Xperia X. It was not as simple as looking at a Dulux colour chart and each colour had been printed on the material the phone will be crafted to precisely represent the final product. Difference between the samples had been apparent though dizzying. The designer’s job is to work out which shade would produce a favourable response with regards to the final product proposed to appeal to consumers all together.

General Material Trend Moving Towards Metal

According to Kimbre, general manager of the Sony Creative Centre, which brings together all the designers of the company under one roof, has commented that the general material trend is moving towards metal and rose gold seems to be high-class with that. Earlier to that, she was the design lead on the Xperia X phone project. The design team at Sony tends to have a strong brand heritage to take into consideration, though Kimbre is of the belief that designers should look beyond their own companies as well as industries for a sense of direction. She states that what are the needs and wants, one is going to have in two years’ time. When it comes to colour, looking to trends beyond the tech world is mainly important and fashionable hues seems to be well known in industry lines. Rose gold is not just the go-to colour for tech designers presently but is also the hot thing in the world of hair styling as per multiple celebrities, Cosmo and the arbiter of cutting edge style – Instagram.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac


This is something every computer owner dreads. No one wants to leave their PC vulnerable to viruses, malware, or theft of personal information. Unfortunately, this is all too common, not just for Windows users but for Mac users as well. With more and more tech lovers choosing to purchase Apple products, it is essential that your computer is protected. But don’t worry, there are many antivirus programs to choose from these days, and some are more effective than others. Not sure which to choose? Then we might have the suggestion for you. This review of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac will help you narrow down the search.

You want your computer to be fast, efficient, and protected, and Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac delivers on all three. Not only does it work to block and remove adware, detect malware, and scan your computer effectively, but also it does not slow down your computer. Many of us put off that important computer scan for one simple reason. We have work to do and need our computer running quickly, but most antivirus programs slow down absolutely everything. Even something as simple as opening up your web browser can feel like a time-consuming task. Not with Bitdefender. It does not negatively affect the speed of your computer, which means you can get your work done and keep your computer safe and protected.

It doesn’t end there, however. There are many other positive aspects of this antivirus program, such as accuracy. Independent tests have shown that Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac detected 100% of on-demand malware and 96.5% of on-access malware. Why is this significant? Both of these scores are well above the industry average (which is 91.3% and 91.2%, respectively). This antivirus program does not perform a quick surface scan. It goes above and beyond. What does that mean exactly? You can feel good knowing that the program is giving you an in-depth, complete, and accurate virus scan. That will lead to some much deserved peace of mind.

Perhaps one of the best features of this antivirus program is the Autopilot. You just turn on Autopilot and that’s it; the Bitdefender program automatically monitors your computer throughout the day. It pays attention to any and all changes, and this ensures that your computer is always protected. Just like the rest of this streamlined design, the Autopilot feature is simple and easy to use. All you need to do is click on a button. From that point on, you won’t have to deal with any irritating pop up windows and reminders. Plus your computer will continue to run at its normal speed, no slowing down and no hassle.

So what is the verdict? Is Bitdefender Antivirus a good choice? If you are looking for a solid antivirus program, then this is it. Bitdefender Antivirus is simple, easy to use, fast, effective, and it has handy additional features like Autopilot. You will never have to worry again! Keeping your computer - and all of your private information - safe has never been easier. This antivirus program allows you to stop, scan, and move on with your day.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apple Granted Patent for System With Wireless Messages To Enhance Location Accuracy


Apple Address Weakness Characteristic in GPS Based Navigation System

In a patent granted to Apple, the company imagines complete cities outfitted with low-power wireless transmitters capable of sending pinpoint precise location data as well as dynamic environmental alerts, to iPhones and in-car navigation systems. As issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Patent of Apple, tends to continue the investigation into beacon-based navigation of the company though on a grand scale. Rather than aiding iPhone owners in locating car that may be parked in an underground lot or locate their position utilising advanced geo-fencing algorithms, the latest invention of Apple tends to address weakness characteristic in all GPS –based navigation systems.

The present patent endeavours to resolve reception issue which come up in thickly inhabited cities, at times referred as urban canyon environments for their elevated buildings while simultaneously increasing the granularity of positioning data. Essentially, the solution of Apple tends to consume less power than A-GPS, Wi-Fi positioning as well as cellular tower triangulation procedures, all present augmentation to vanilla GPS.The plan calls for a multitude of stationary transmitters to be installed at strategic locations next in the vicinity of the city roads, like adjacent building, within pre-existing traffic lights, guard rails, roadside signs together with other structures.

Transmitter – A Smart Wireless Hub

Every transmitter is mostly a smart wireless hub rising with radio transceivers, which is a perfect configuration support cellular, Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi and GPS data transfer proprieties and the equipment can be fed by AC line power or solar system.A stationary waypoint device, in operation broadcasts its location data, plotted on a Cartesian plane through wireless Bluetooth LE message.

Each message is sent at known signal strength enabling the receiving device such as iPhone or car to induce relative location built on received signal strength indicator – RSS value. The receiving device could utilise various techniques in determining its total position based on the number as well as quality of the messages received, with two choices comprising of triangulation together with time-of-flight computations. In some examples, an iPhone could utilise location data provided by static devices in performance with GPS details though the invention of Apple has the capability of operating as a locked system.

Apple’s Invention – A Role in Autonomous Vehicle Logic

As an addition, the transmitters could also send out z-axis data to be used on multi-level highways for instance, a measurement which is regularly available from commercial GPS system. With regards to navigation, the system can be organised in tracking vehicle movement with great degree of precision. A series of transmitters for instance, could be installed along off-ramps and on-ramps, forks in a road, freeway exits as well as other locations where the traditional GPS system tends to fail in resolving user position with sufficient accuracy.

Though it has not been mentioned in the recent document, the invention of Apple could play a role in autonomous vehicle logic and the described transmitters in particular could be shaped to broadcast rich data comprising of information with regards to traffic, road as well as other driving conditions. User for instance could be informed of an upcoming speed limit change, rough weather, and risky road condition while driving past a connected transmitter.

With the prevailing car equipment, these messages could present an audible alert and an onscreen dialogue. In future, nevertheless, the same roadside beacon could inform an on-board AI of the neighbouring atmosphere warning it to take action when necessary.

The Rise of the Robots — Friend or Foe?


Robots – Friends or Foe

Advancement in technology would mean that robots tend to look and behave like humans and also seem to behave like their human counterparts. Financial Times’ Richard Waters and Kana Inagaki have learned the latest humanoid robots and debate whether these machines could really bring about a change in the society. FT has put forth this question whether robots could be Friend or Foe in their very 21st century YouTube series `Living with Robots', all about man and machine.

Japan seems to have a thing for robots right from aiding the elderly in Japan to humanoid robots being created and the series going ahead in the role of these man-made machines, in our home to our workplace and to the world that surround us.

The series, ‘Man or Machine? Building Robots Like Us takes us to Japan wherein the researcher are making use of the prevailing technological advances by creating robots which look like humans. In the documentary – Man or Machine, Building Robots Like Us, there are two examples and Japanese one tends to focus on creating robots with faces and bodies like human beings. They are android and Kana Inagaki of Financial Times speaks to one of them, Matsukoroid, a popular late-night TV host.

Technology – Interesting Less Machine-Like

Chief executive of A-Lab, co-creator of Matsukoroid, Takeshi Mita had commented that people would find it creepy or scary on seeing an android at first sight, However, human seem to be malleable and hence they can accept the presence of androids with passage of time an occurrence which does not tend to happen with other robots. The Japanese method is to make the technology very interesting to the common people as well as less machine-like.

Senior Manager of Toshiba, Hideo Aruga, state that there are people who are not good with machines such as the elderly, people with disabilities as well as children and for them it is essential to have android who can transmit information for them. The Japanese tend to see android robot as the solution to the altering demographics in their nation and with the biggest rate of elderly on the earth together with a decline in birth-rate, it envisages androids as an appropriate replacement for less human workers. Androids can look after the elderly, work in childcare and can help the disabled. The designer is of the belief that the public feels the link due to the characteristic of human in these machines.

Interesting Prospective, Not Shared by Robotic Researchers

Richard Waters of Financial Times state that it seems to be an interesting perspective which is not shared by robotic researchers in the United States. He goes on to describe that the approach of North America’s Silicon Valley is aimed on emerging technology which is definitely not human but focused on learning to expect what we humans need to do. Robot that has also contested in DARPA’s robotic challenge should not be mistaken for human inspite of being most bipedal and in possession of two upper limbs.

Silvio Savarese, assistant professor at Stanford University has described the kind of androids that are developed in Japan as robots which according to him could create fear in people and debates that robot need to be practical and cute and not anthropomorphic. He together with his colleagues are the creators of the Jackrabbot in the Computational Vision and Geometry Lab at Stanford, which is a self-navigating automated electric delivery cart which tends to operate in the attendance of human without colliding in them.

New Immersion lawsuit adds Apple's iPhone 6s, MacBook to patent infringement row


Immersion Corporation – Prolonged Legal Battle Against Apple

A leader in haptic feedback technology, Immersion Corporation, has prolonged its legal battle against Apple on Thursday with new patent infringement suit directing technology built into iPhone 6s together with numerous MacBook models. The lawsuit that was filed with the United States District Court for the District of Delaware states that Apple had significantly infringed on four owned patents linking to haptic technology defined as physical feedback to user action or UI dealings. Apple had first debuted an accurate haptic engine in Apple Watch and since then had incorporated same technology all through its device line-up. The latest declaration of Immersion comes on the heels of an U.S.

International Trade Commission complaint and the lawsuit that is filed in the same Delaware court in February and all these three case have named AT&T as a co-defendant. In present day’s complaint, Immersion mentions owned U.S. Patent Nos. 8,749,507, 7,808,488, 8,581,710 and 7.336,260, each of which tend to cover a feature of the in-house developed haptic technologies of the company. Three claims seems to go after 3D Touch tech of Apple that combines a force-sensitive display as well as a linear vibratory motor that has been dubbed as the Taptic Engine offering contextual vibratory feedback of z-axis user gestures.

Peek and Pop

Immersion’s 507 and 488 patents, specially covering timing intervals and variable input pressure in haptic systems are being declared against `Peek and Pop’ generation on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The most recent flagship smartphone introduced in Apple, `Peep and Pop’, is a function of 3D Touch pressure-sensitive gesture input which tends to permit users to preview cross-linked content without the need of opening a standalone app. For instance, user can start a light press in order to `peek’ a hyperlink included within an email, while a deeper press tends to `pop’ the content into Safari.

The Quick Actions feature of Apple that portrays a list of app shortcuts on the iOS home screen on a deep press event is said to be in infringement of Immersion’s 710 patent for Systems and Methods for Haptic Confirmation of Commands. `Quick Actions tend to enable a main function of 3D Touch. Lastly, Immersion is leveraging its `260 patent for a Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations’ against the Force Touch track-pad technology of Apple as included in the 12-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Jury Trial to Resolve the Lawsuit

Force Touch has also been included in the Magic Track-pad 2 that is equally open to examination in the case of Immersion who is in search of compensatory as well as supplemental damages which could be tripled if Apple is found to have deliberately infringed the declared intellectual property. Immersion states that as to why AT&T has been included in the lawsuit, is because the carrier sells Apple products and is thereby encouraging and facilitating infringing use by others.

By that logic, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, together with the other carriers should be included also in the lawsuit. Immersion has stated that it would like a jury trial in an attempt of resolving the lawsuit against Apple and AT&T and would like to receive compensatory damages for the same. In its earnings released recently, the company has also asked that progress be made with regards to United States International Trade Commission Complaint over the same problem which seeks a U.S. sales addition on the aforementioned products.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Main Reason Apple Just Invested $1 Billion in the Uber of China


Apple’s $1 Billion Investment in Didi Chuxing Technology

Apple Inc. has confirmed that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing company, Didi Chuxing Technology Co, which rivals Uber in China. With this investment Didi will have the rights in the Middle Kingdom where it can claim to be one of the few companies to be receiving funding from Apple.

The competition in building and providing autonomous vehicles tends to pit the two most valuable companies in the world, namely Apple and Google parent Alphabet Inc. besides others, against one another as well as against the worlds’ most valuable private venture-capital backed company, the rival of Didi – Uber Technologies Inc.

Apples’ investment lines up with Chinese Internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd together with Tencent Holdings Ltd who are investors for Didi and Lyft Inc., the biggest U.S. rival of Uber who had taken an investment from Didi last year. The high profile venture capital firms such as Coatue Management, Global, GGV, Softbank and Tiger have supported Didi and their support had set the foundation for a global anti-Uber alliance which comprise of Lyft in the US, Grab in Southeast Asia and Ola in India.

Apple the Outlier in the Mix of Tech Heavyweights

In spite of its influence and brand name, Apple seems to be the outlier in this mix of tech heavyweights, a smartphone company among a mass of global investors and Chinese media giants. The assets in mapping as well as artificial intelligence of Apple would definitely help Didi in the future, the emerging self-driving car industry overlaps with the ride-hailing industry.

As of now, it is difficult to imagine what Apple could bring to Didi which Alibaba as well as Tencent cannot. Apple had enjoyed success in the Middle Kingdom due to its popularity of the iPhone and now makes almost a quarter of its revenue from sales to China, though its glorious day seem to be diminishing. Other indications of stress in China have emerged recently.

A high profile Apple investor, Carl Icahn has confirmed that he sold off all his shares in the company two weeks ago, since he was worried about the possibility of reducing sales by the Chinese’s government. Coordinated reports had been published by Chinese state media outlets that Huawei, the Chinese maker of Telco equipment and smartphones, had started charging Apple patent fees linked to wireless communication technologies.

Apple True Beneficiary of Deal

However, in spite of how the $1 billion would be placed in Didi’s reserves, Apple would be the true beneficiary of the deal. It would be a cause for celebration for any tech company to be receiving an investment from Apple but Didi has such an enviable position in China that the funding would be bringing little more than cash at least in the short term, for the company.

If funding seems the gasoline for ride-hailing company, then Didi seems to be leading Uber in China. The company had raised $4 billion in secured funding after a merger last year valued at $15 billion. Meanwhile, Uber China has been reportedly valued at around $8 billion after a $1.2 billion funding somewhere in January. Strong reliable data contrasting the popularity of the services of the company tends to remain scarce.

However, company numbers suggest broadly that Didi seems to occupy around 90% of the ride-hailing market in China. Apple has not confirmed publicly regarding its interest in automobile, though Mr Cook had stated that the automobile industry is on the threshold of a massive change with software and self-driving technology having a huge role in future cars.

Friday, May 13, 2016

iPhone App can alert you if Your Device Gets Hacked


An App to Alert User if Device is Hacked

An app has been developed to alert the user if their device tends to get hacked. Systems and Security Info that debuted in Apple’s App Store over the weekend, offers a multitude of details regarding your iPhone. The app displays your CPU, memory as well as the disk usage together with a list of all running processes. With regards to security, it can also tell if your device has been compromised or probably affected by any malware. Considerable amount of information in the app seems to be basic and easy to understand.

A green light near a specific item is good since it means that you are in the clear while a red light would indicate that there could be a likely security problem. The app also makes you aware if the device has been jailbroken, which is important if one has bought a used phone or had lent it to someone.

 Jailbroken devices however are more vulnerable to malware since their owners can install app which bypass the intense scrutiny of Apple. Jailbreaking an iOS device enables users to gain more control over their device, interfering with the operating system, tweaking the iOS user interface as well as enabling apps to be installed from third party app stores, like Cydia.

Apple Making Jailbreaking Difficult for Device Owners

At the same time it is disapprove by Apple since it rips out most of the security which Apple had built in iOS, designed to protect users from malicious attacks and un-vetted apps. Due to this Apple is keen on making jailbreaking as hard as possible for device owners. By comparison, it is much easier to install unauthorised code on an Android device. Apple, Google as well as other software makers have been continually fighting to avert malware-ridden apps from attacking their respective app stores and devices.

The iOS operating system of Apple has mostly been considered more secure than the Android of Google since Apple provides a tighter vetting process to approve apps. However certain malware strains seem to have infected the devices of Apple, even those that have not been jailbroken. System and Security Info had been developed by Stefan Esser, a German security researcher as well as an iOS hacker who had cooked up jailbreaks for different versions of iOS in the past.

Provide Public with Low Cost Solution

Esser stated that with the new app, he wanted to provide the public with low cost solution which would enable them to find out if someone used one of the public jailbreak or a customized version to hack and backdoor the device. Moreover, the app also fixes if the programming code in iOS is digitally signed by Apple to check that it is not altered by an outside party.

Esser assured a series forthcoming blog posts to explain further on how the app tends to work and what it means when it notices any issues on the iPhone. Protecting one’s iPhone is important since your smartphone possibly knows more about you, than your closest friend or partner.

A smartphone tends to carry all the photographs, together with your private messages, your location, your contacts, your online searches as well as the phone conversations. If the new iOS app tends to help iPhone and iPad owners in informing them when their devices have been secretly jailbroken, then it is certainly a good option for security.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Siri creators will unveil rival virtual assistant Viv


New AI Bot – Taking Technology to Next Level

Apple has been getting ready to unveil, two creators of Siri, virtual assistant for iPhone and iPad, with a new AI bot which say will be taking the technology to the next level. According Washington Post report, for the first time, Viv which will be demonstrated publicly at a most important conference soon is said to be the most highly expected technology to come out of a start-up this year.

However, Viv is by no means alone in this attempt. The mission to define the next generation of artificial intelligence technology had generated an arms race among the five major tech giants namely Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.com who have announced major investments in virtual assistant software over the past year. Envisioned to be an improved vision of Siri, developers want consumers to capable of getting a pizza delivered for instance, without the need to phone, fill out a form online to use a restaurant app.

All that is needed is to tell Viv what pizza is needed and from which location. AI assistants have been advertised for long as the next big shift in digital commerce enabling users of smartphone to book a cab, make reservation in a restaurant as well as buy film tickets without the need to type a letter.

Makers Want Technologies in a Range of Products

According to the Post, Viv Labs has been partnering with about 50 outside companies comprising of GrubHub, Uber, Zocdoc and SeatGuru to enable its AI tap into their services. Viv’s chief executive, Dag Kittlaus, informed Washington Post that `it is about taking the way that humans have naturally interacted with each other for thousands of years and applying that to the way they interact with services. Everyone knows how to hold a conversation.

Mr Kittlaus together with his colleague Adam Cheyer were among the co-founders of Siri that had been the first mainstream virtual assistant when it had been obtained in 2010 by Apple. The newspaper had reported that instead of restricting Viv to another company, like Siri, the makers wanted the technology in a range of products comprising of TVs, cars and all types of connected devices. Siri, since its launch in 2011 has become progressively intelligent and now can hold basic two-way conversation with its users. Though it is not without faults but still tends to struggle in understanding different accents as well as specific commands.

Changeover to Turn Smartphones/Smart Homes/Cars – Virtual Assistants

In 2014, Microsoft had launched its own assistant known as Cortana while Facebook had unveiled `M’ in August. The silent four year old Viv is among the extreme along in an endeavour which several in Silicon Valley believe heralds the next big shift in computing and digital commerce.

 Julie Ask, an expert in mobile commerce at Forrester, stated that for the next five years, that changeoverwould turn smartphones and probably smart homes as well as cars together with other devices into virtual assistantswith supercharged conversational abilities.Powered by artificial intelligence and exceptional volumes of data, they could be the portal wherein billions of people tend to connect to every service and business in the internet world.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Apple Loses Trademark Fight Over iPhone Name in China


Apple Lost Trademark Fight in China

Apple has lost a trademark fight in China which means that the firm that tends to sell handbags together with the other leather goods can continue using the name `iPhone’ and the `R’ registered trademark symbol. According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court had ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology.

 Xintong Tiandi, in 2010 had trademarked `iPhone’ for leather products. In 2002, Apple had filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods but the same had not been approved till 2013. The Legal Daily, in Chinese, is extensively recognised as the official spokesperson for the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the country and its report had come out in late April though it had only just been widely circulated.

Apple had first bought the case against the company to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012 then when that failed had filed a lawsuit in a lower Beijing court. However, both had ruled against Apple and so it had appealed to the higher court. The higher court ruled that Apple could not prove that it was a popular brand in China before Xintong Tiandi had filed its trademark application in 2007.

Apple Facing Problems in Other Operations

Apple iPhone had first gone on sale in China in 2009. The decision comes close to the latest quarterly earnings report of Apple which indicated a 13% drop in revenue on slower iPhone sales and sales had dropped by 26% in China.

Apple has also been facing problems in other operations in China. Beijing had passed a law in March which required all content shown in China to be stored on servers established on the Chinese mainland. As a consequence iBooks and iTunes services of Apple were shut down in the country. Apple had mentioned that it expected access to the service would be restored quickly.

This move had been seen as a blow to Apple since China seems to be the second biggest market for its products. Carl Icahn, billionaire investor had recently sold all his shares in Apple due to concerns regarding the technology firm’s predictions in China.

Apple Credited for Popularizing iPhone

According to a source familiar with the matter, Apple and Xintong Tiandi had also earlier knocked each other. The U.S. firm had won at least five distinct iPhone-related trademark disputes against Xintong Tiandi in other categories like rubber products as well as advertising services. At least from Xintong Tiandi’s side there does not seem to be any hard feeling regarding the lawsuit. Mr Xiong had stated that his company would be open to any kind of commercial cooperation with Apple in the near future.

The Chinese firm, in a press release had also credited Apple with popularizing the iPhone name and in turn contributed to the success of Xintong Tiandi. Xintong Tiandi had mentioned in the release which had been posted online by PRNewswire and verified by Mr Xiong that the successful commercial operation and marketing of Apple had made `’iPhone the symbol of high tech and fashion.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Addictive new iPhone Game Lets You Play Without Unlocking Your Screen


Play Games from Lock Screen

Anyone who has spent a little time around the App Store will confirm that users of iPhone and iPads tend to have no shortage of games from which to select. App Store tends to have a variety of choices to choose from. Besides this game, there are six games which the user can play from your Lock Screen.

The need of unlocking the phone to play the new Flappy Bird which is quite addictive does not arise, since it tends to live in your Notification Centre. The same was built by Ivan De Cabo, a 22 year old who had built it in a weekend. The creator informed TechCrunch that he wanted to do a simple game just for improving his code skills and decided to do it in the Notification Centre. This was done for two reasons; one was to challenge himself and to see if it could be possible.

The little dinosaur tends to sit between the weather and the stocks and one can get him to jump over cacti for as long as possible. The game is said to be based on the Google Chrome Easter egg. This enables the player to play a version of the game when Google Chrome is unable to access the internet.

Favourite Locked Screen App

To play the Chrome version of Steve The Jumping dinosaur one needs to just press the space bar when the computer informs that the internet is not available and can play the game. Though Steve The Jumping Dinosaur is surely the favourite locked screen app, it is definitely not the first. In 2014 the tech company had cracked down on developers creating apps for the Notification Centre since they stated that it was for `information presentation only’.

On the App store, an unlikely platform game which one would recognise from the broken safari browser `Steve The Jumping Dinosaur, is now made available to the user. The game for now is fun and one can unlock new characters as you progress. Steve The Jumping Dinosaur is a free game which can be accessed without unlocking the phone. It not only kills time but also makes it just a bit easier to have fun with gaming without the need to fidget about while entering the passcode. It is a fun game wherein users can play on pulling down the Notification Centre of the iPhone on the locked screen.

Integration with iOS Notifications

On doing so, it will bring up Steve The Jumping Dinosaur as he tends to sit between the weather and the stocks, running as well as jumping over the incoming cacti. It also tends to feature Nyan Cat. Being highly addictive and oddly baffling, the game tends to work as a widget in notification enabling the iPhone user to play any time without the need of unlocking the phones. The remarkable thing is the integration with the iOS notifications. Some of the apps that had been blocked from being utilised include PCalc, a quick access calculator, Launcher, an app-launching widget for the notification centre and Drafts an app to make notes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Optimize Your Company's Success With These Business-Building Techniques


If you're interested in making your company increasingly successful with each passing year, now is the time to start implementing business-building techniques that will enable you to realize the goal. Here are three company optimization strategies that can take your organization from average to exceptional:

1. Utilize Maintenance Services.

If you're serious about optimizing your business this year, make sure that you're utilizing maintenance services. These services empower you by keeping your commercial equipment and machines in top notch condition. Doing so decreases the likelihood of workplace accidents while also accelerating the completion of daily tasks. Utilizing HVAC maintenance services can also ensure that you and your staff members are comfortable while working. In the event that you work within the automotive, glassware, or lighting sector, you can obtain vacuum metallization equipment services from companies like Vergason.

2. Develop A Strategic Plan.

In addition to utilizing maintenance services, make sure that you develop a strategic plan. This plan will empower you to develop a clear understanding of your company's vision and how you will realize the goals that lead to ever-increasing levels of success. There are several components that you may want to include in your strategic plan, and some of them include a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) outline.

3. Market Online.

One final business-building technique you should definitely implement is online marketing. This strategy is empowering because it enables you to market your products to people all over the world. The best way to get your eCommerce project underway is by locating a team of digital advertisers who have extensive experience working with people in your distinct industry. Be sure to select a marketing company that offers diverse services to ensure that you can gain maximum online exposure. Some of the services you should be looking for include:

-social media marketing
-online reputation management
-web design and development
-search engine optimization
-content marketing
-responsive web design

Don't Delay: Start Building Your Business Today!

When you're ready to optimize your company's level of success, it's time to get things moving forward by implementing strategies that work. Three strategies that you may find particularly beneficial include utilizing maintenance services, developing a strategic plan, and marketing online. By utilizing these strategies continuously and in conjunction, you will likely find that your company starts moving forward in a marvelous manner!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Autocorrect Fail? Apple has a Solution


Apple’s Patent Application – Autocorrected Words Underlined within Text Message

Autocorrect has been an indispensable tool to text quickly though it could also lead to some humiliating errors. A new patent application has been reported that Apple intends fixing autocorrect and has come up with a solution to this error. The company had filed a patent for a fix which would see message recipients warned that the words by the sender have been automatically corrected, thus averting the confusion of viewing incoherent or rude message.

At the moment, autocorrected words are presented just the way as any other word, when messages are being written as well as read. The proposal of Apple is that they would be highlighted using an underscore in both the typing window andwhen it is read by its intended target, distinguishing an autocorrected word from any other word.

The document which had first been marked by blog Apple Insider, intends a feature which would distinguish visually specific words in a text message which has been autocorrected. It is not known how Apple intends to do so, though the images of the patent application portray autocorrected words being underlined within a text message. Thepatent reads `an improved user interface for displaying electronic messages including replacement character strings is needed.

Accept Changes/ Request Clarification

An idea illustrated in the document included an `Accept changes’ button which a user can tap to approve the autocorrected message prior to sending it. Another image shows a `Request Clarification’ button that seems to be an option for the recipient to utilise it while receiving a text which does not make much sense owing to autocorrect edits.

 Additional method could include a few proposals for words which could make more sense in the given context. iPhone keyboard of Apple tends to offer option to choose from, while autocorrecting a misspelled word yet once the change has been applied, has no graphic display that a word had been edited. It is a good idea which could eradicate confusion but there is no sign that Apple intends to bring this feature to iPhone software in the near future. Patent application only indicates that this is an issue which Apple is looking into.

Additional Details at Worldwide Developers Conference

Devices, methods and graphical user interfaces for sending and receiving electronic messages comprising of replacement character strings, tends to improve communication between a sender as well as recipient, which is done by notifying the sender or the recipient when a character string had been replaced by an electronic device. As in the case of several patents of Apple, it is not clear when or if this would really make it into its software and probably the fix would work only on iMessage of Apple.

 The metadata involved in marking some words as corrected would not be suitable for text messages together with other services like WhatsApp or emails would find it complex to support the standard. Apple would probably unveil additional details regarding the new features coming to the iPhone at the time of the opening keynote at its Worldwide Developers Conferences to be held on June 13.