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Friday November 14

17:46
Apple Pay Doubled Mobile Wallet Transactions at Walgreens,...

Apple Pay has been available in quite a few retail stores since its release more than three weeks ago on October 20, but thus far there's been little concrete indication of its popularity with customers. A new report from The New York Times, however, sheds some light on Apple Pay's early success. McDonald's, an early Apple Pay partner that accepts the payment system in all of its 14,000 restaurants in the United States, saw Apple Pay accounting for 50 percent of all of its tap-to-pay transactions. At Walgreens, a drugstore chain of more than 8,000 stores, Apple Pay doubled the number of mobile wallet payments being made. As shared earlier this month, Whole Foods processed 150,000 Apple Pay transactions between October 20 and November 6, which equated to an...

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14:13
Apple Eyeing the Huge Corporate Card Market for Apple Pay...

Apple's new Apple Pay is making headlines everywhere and with a likely Apple-Alibaba alliance in the wings, it's only going to expand at an accelerated rate. Even though Apple Pay only got off the ground on October 20th, FIS Global is on record as stating that a major part of Apple Pay that is missing relates to corporate cards and that "Apple is missing out on many opportunities by not allowing commercial cards to be used with Apple Pay."

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12:29
AT&T Stops Using 'Perma-Cookies' to Track Cu...

In late October, researchers discovered that AT&T and Verizon had been engaging in some unsavory customer tracking methods, using unique identifying numbers or "perma-cookies" to track the websites that customers visited on their cellular devices to deliver target advertisements. Following significant negative attention from the media, AT&T today told the Associated Press that it is no longer injecting the hidden web tracking codes into the data sent from its customers' devices.The change by AT&T essentially removes a hidden string of letters and numbers that are passed along to websites that a consumer visits. It can be used to track subscribers across the Internet, a lucrative data-mining opportunity for advertisers that could still reveal users'...

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12:02
First Look at the New Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones

Earlier this week, Beats Electronics introduced new Solo2 Wireless on-ear headphones, the first product the company has released since its acquisition by Apple became official back in August. While the headphones are not yet available for purchase on the Beats website, Mike Liang, aka HiFiGuy on YouTube has gotten an advanced first look at the new Solo2 Wireless headphones and has shared both photos and first impressions with MacRumors. The Beats Solo2 Wireless headphones share the same design as the Solo2 headphones that Beats introduced back in May, with Beats' signature large cups emblazoned with the Beats logo. Aside from some small print on the box, there's no Apple branding...

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11:05
Grocery Store Chains Winn-Dixie and BI-LO Begin Accepting...

Following in the footsteps of office supply store Staples, Winn-Dixie and BI-LO have become the second and third retail chaisn this week to begin accepting Apple Pay in their retail locations. According to a tipster who spoke to MacRumors, Apple Pay will officially be supported at Winn-Dixie beginning on Monday, November 17, but multiple reports on Twitter suggest that both Winn-Dixie and its sister store BI-LO have already begun processing Apple Pay payments. Winn-Dixie is is a major grocery store chain that operates in the southeastern United States, with more than 500 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Similarly, BI-LO, a grocery store chain owned by the same parent company, consists of more than 800 stores...

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10:02
Apple, HP & others Defeat Patent Troll which opens the...

A Patent Troll goes down in Flames: Late yesterday a "patent troll" by the name of US Ethernet Innovations that had sued a number of major technology companies over four Ethernet patents that it said their networking products contained has been defeated in court and was ordered to pay costs. This technically now opens the door for the Apple v. Oracle case to resume.

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09:52
U.S. Customers Favoring iPhone 6 Over 6 Plus by 3:1 as 91%...

Following the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus back in September, a new survey of U.S. customers by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) details the adoption rate of the first thirty days of the devices' lifespan. The survey data, shared in a research note published today by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, indicates that 91 percent of iPhone owners bought either an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus in the first four weeks of launch, rising from 86 percent in the first two weeks. Uptake of the new models also compares favorably to last year's iPhone launch, which saw 84 percent of customers in the first thirty days opting for the iPhone 5s and 5c. Most of the increase in share for the new models since the initial launch period has come from the iPhone 6, which saw an increase of six percentage points to 68 percent, while the iPhone 6 Plus remains at around 23-24 percent of purchases, despite both facing...

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09:33
GT Advanced's Failure Reveals the High Stakes Risk of...

Apple and manufacturer partner GT Advanced parted ways after the sapphire supplier filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. While most Apple supplier relationships are kept secretive, the background story behind the GT-Apple partnership was revealed in a series of court documents filed by GT that were recently made public. A follow-up report by The Guardian provides an interesting look at how a deal with Apple often can make and sometimes break a supplier. While the report does not introduce any significant new information, it is a good summary of the chain of events and may help some readers get caught up on the story. In...

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08:23
Samsung's Mobile Chief Lost his $630,000 Bonus for La...

Do you remember one of our reports this summer titled "Angry Samsung Takes Back Billions in Bonuses from 100 Samsung Mobile Division Executives for Poor Performance?" Well, a new report published today tells us that Samsung's mobile chief J.K. Shin didn't get a bonus this quarter because of Samsung's profits imploding mainly due to poor smartphone and mobile device sales.

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07:12
Video: A New Service gives you a 50% Chance of resurrectin...

In a new CNN video published this morning we learn that TekDry, a relatively new start-up company, has a mission of saving the world from wet phones. In the test noted above, round one didn't revive an iPhone while in round 2 it did. So it's not a miracle process, but it may be a last ditch solution if you've out of options.

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06:22
Crazy: Russia's Entire Market Cap Falls below that of...

A Crazy Stat worth Noting: In today’s Bloomberg TV "Bart Chart," Bloomberg’s Mark Barton takes a look at the valuation of Apple shares compared to the Russian stock market.

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Thursday November 13

20:30
Apple Responds to 'Masque Attack' Vulnerability,...

Just a couple days after the discovery of an iOS vulnerability referred to as Masque Attack because of its ability to emulate and replace existing legitimate apps with malicious ones, Apple has responded in a statement to iMore.  "We designed OS X and iOS with built-in security safeguards to help protect customers and warn them before installing potentially malicious software," an Apple spokesperson told iMore. "We're not aware of any customers that have actually been affected by this attack. We encourage customers to only download from trusted sources like the App Store and to pay attention to any warnings as they download apps. Enterprise users installing custom apps should install apps from their company's secure website."Masque Attack works by luring a user to install an app outside of the iOS App Store by clicking a...

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17:05
U.S. Spy Program Uses Secret Technology on Planes that cou...

We reported in late September that the iPhone 6 was only given the green light to be sold in China after rigorous regulatory scrutiny which led Apple to reassure the Chinese government that their new smartphones didn't have security "backdoors" through which U.S. agencies could access users' data. Just when you thought that the U.S. Government learned its lesson about spying on their people and foreigners around the world, a new report opens that old wound. According to a new report this evening, The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of cellphones through fake communications towers deployed on airplanes, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

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16:09
An Unflattering Report Paints Ex-Apple Fadell as being Mer...

We briefly noted in a 2012 report that a new BBC Interview with Ex-Apple Executive Tony Fadell revealed a very bitter man who was pleased to see Scott Forstall, Former VP of iOS Software, "get what he deserved." Considering that Forstall was legally unable to defend himself at that point in time, the remarks by Fadell seemed to be a cheap shot. Obviously Steve Jobs didn't have a problem with Fadell's leaving the company. And now a new report shows that Mr. Humble Pie is really a tyrant as much or worse than Scott Forstall ever was, if you believe the feedback of his own employees that is.

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15:33
U.S. Justice Department Accused of Using Fake Cell Towers...

The United States Justice Department has been using fake communications towers installed in airplanes to acquire cellular phone data for tracking down criminals, reports The Wall Street Journal. The program has reportedly been in place since 2007 and uses Cessna airplanes that operate out of "at least five" metropolitan-area airports. Aircraft in the program out outfitted with "dirtbox" devices produced by Boeing that are designed to mimic cellular towers, fooling cellphones into reporting "unique registration information" to track down "individuals under investigation." According to the WSJ, these devices let investigators gather "identifying information and general location" data from thousands of cellular phones in one flight, and Apple's encryption policies don't prevent the collection of data. Cellphones are...

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14:27
BlackBerry and Samsung Form Alliance to Challenge Apple-IB...

At a BlackBerry event held earlier today in San Francisco they announced a new management-services partnership with rival Samsung Electronics. This is the very first time that the two companies have teamed up for a major product. The new partnership is designed to compete head-on with the new Apple-IBM alliance.

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13:49
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission Seeks Privacy Assurances...

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is seeking assurances from Apple that it will prevent sensitive health data collected by its upcoming smartwatch and other mobile devices from being used without owners' consent.

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13:37
FTC Questioning Apple About Health Data Protection Policie...

The United States Federal Trade Commission has met with Apple representatives several times over the past few months to discuss Apple's privacy practices covering health data collection, reports Reuters. The FTC is reportedly seeking assurance that Apple will prevent health data collected by the Apple Watch and other iOS devices via the Health app from being used without express user consent.The two people, both familiar with the FTC's thinking, said Apple representatives have met on multiple occasions with agency officials in recent months, to stress that it will not sell its users' health data to third-party entities such as marketers or allow third-party developers to do so.An Apple spokesperson told Reuters that the company "works closely with regulators around the world" to make its built-in data protections clear. "We've been very encouraged by their...

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12:55
U.S. Government Issues Bulletin on iOS Masque Attack Threa...

It was just Monday that we posted a report titled "FireEye Releases Details of Masque-Attack on iOS in Q2. The attacks were apparently occurring in China alone. Today the U.S. government stepped in ...

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11:40
U.S. Government Warns iOS Users About 'Masque Attack...

The United States government today issued a bulletin warning iPhone and iPad users about the recent "Masque Attack" vulnerability, a security flaw that first surfaced on Monday of this week, reports Reuters. Masque Attack is a vulnerability that can allow malicious third-party iOS apps to masquerade as legitimate apps via iOS enterprise provision profiles. Written by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Teams, the bulletin outlines how Masque Attack spreads -- luring users to install an untrusted app through a phishing link -- and what a malicious app is capable of doing.An app installed on an iOS device using this technique may: -Mimic the original app's...

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10:13
Shipping Estimates for 27-Inch Retina iMac Slip to 2 to 3...

Supplies of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display have been slowly dwindling ahead of the holidays, and as of this week, shipping estimates for both standard and custom configurations have slipped to two to three weeks. At launch on October 16, shipping estimates were briefly at a day before slipping to 3 to 5 days, later moving to 7 to 10 days before slipping again on Monday. The base Retina iMac, with a 3.5GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB fusion drive, is in stock at many retail Apple Stores around the country and can be picked up same day, but when ordered from the online store, it carries the same two to three week shipping estimate as all custom configurations. While Retina iMacs ordered from the online Apple Store may not arrive until December, some Apple resellers...

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09:32
Apple's Market Capitalization Sets First New Record H...

Apple's market capitalization reached a record high today, breaking the $660 billion mark to sit in the range of $662-664 billion for much of the day's trading so far. The new high breaks a previous closing record of $658.15 billion set on September 19, 2012 and intraday high of nearly $661 billion reached two days later. Market capitalization measures the market value of a business and is calculated by multiplying the stock price by the number of available shares. Apple comfortably leads all U.S. companies in market capitalization, with its closest competitors being Microsoft and Exxon, which have market capitalizations of just over $400 billion each. Fourth-place Google falls sits at roughly $370 billion. While Apple's share price has been...

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09:10
Jonathan Ive Talks Design, Failure, and More in Appearance...

Jonathan Ive, Apple's Senior VP of Design, made a rare public appearance at the Design Museum in London yesterday (via Cult of Mac). At the event, he discussed everything from his view on the future of design to his opinions on failure with museum director Deyan Sudjic.We shouldn’t be afraid to fail - if we are not failing we are not pushing. 80% of the stuff in the studio is not going to work. If something is not good enough, stop doing it.The talk with Sudjic also included a roomful of up-and-coming design students, with Ive offering additional perspective on the design process and rejection."The best ideas start as conversations. A small change at the beginning of the design process defines an entirely different product at the end. At the start of the process the idea...

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07:45
Initial Apple Watch Production Set for 30-40 Million Units

Today DigiTimes is reporting that chip suppliers involved in the Apple Watch supply chain are gearing up to start production for the upcoming wearable device. The initial production target is larger than what the entire smartwatch market was forecast to do in 2014 and never did.

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07:40
Staples and Radio Shack to Offer Modest Black Friday Disco...

Customers looking for discounts on Apple products this Black Friday have two more retailers to add to their shopping lists -- Staples and Radio Shack. Black Friday discount website BFads recently published leaked sales flyers from both retailers in advance of the biggest shopping day of the year. Staples is offering discounts on a variety of Apple gear, including $80 off the 16GB iPad Air WiFi ($319), $60 off the Retina iPad mini 2 ($239), $70 off the iPad with Retina Display ($279) and $20 off the Apple TV ($79). The office supplier also is taking 10 percent off all Beats by Dr Dre headphones and 15 percent off all iTunes gift cards of $50 or more. As an added bonus, customers with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus can save time during checkout by...

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