Apple shares wobble ahead of iPhone 6 launch

Only days before Apple (AAPL) releases its keenly anticipated iPhone 6, the company's stock is wobbling amid renewed investor concerns that the shine may be off the tech giant. Several factors are combining to weigh on the shares. These include the recent theft of celebrity photos from their mobile phones, which could deter consumers from using Apple's iCloud online storage service, and a sense among some Apple watchers that the company has lost its innovation mojo. The malaise raises the stakes for Apple's introduction of its latest iPhone and of a wearable device on Sept. 9. In short, either Apple rekindles its product magic, or there could be bigger hits to its stock price. The barrage of data thefts from celebrities who kept nude photos of themselves on their phones caused an immediate drop in Apple shares on Tuesday. More than 100 celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, found their images circulating on the Internet. Apple initially claimed its iCloud system wasn't the problem. But Apple quickly moved to patch a security gap that might have allowed the data thieves access to the images, although the company still denies any fault. Whatever enabled the theft, the incident has come at an inopportune time for Apple. According to social media analytics firm Networked Insights, there has been more online conversations about the photo scandal than about the upcoming iPhone 6, which is not what the company would want as it prepares for a major product launch. But Apple has a bigger worry: The perception that its heralded flair for designing groundbreaking new devices is on the wane. That poses a greater threat to Apple than other tech vendors because the company has famously relied on a steady succession of hit products to drive its growth. In recent years, for instance, the iPod gave way to the iPhone, which was eventually joined by the iPad. But iPad unit sales have been declining, and Google (GOOG) Android not only has gained a Continue Reading

Relax! Your iPhone 6 Isn’t About to Shed 40% of Its Performance

Early in the year, two major security exploits came to light known as Spectre and Meltdown. Both Spectre and Meltdown are exploits that can take advantage of the way that many high-performance processors operate in order to extract sensitive data from a user's computing device. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has said that its A-series applications processors that power its iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV product lines are, indeed, affected by both Spectre and Meltdown, but the company has also released updated versions of its iOS operating system that guard against these exploits. Image source: Apple. Those updates don't significantly impact performance on iOS devices, per Apple. It might be surprising, then, that Apple-focused website Cult of Mac recently published a story titled, "Spectre fix can drastically reduce iPhone performance." The story claims that the iOS update -- iOS 11.2.2 -- that incorporates these fixes effectively craters the performance of the A8 chip inside of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus series of smartphones. It cites results from a single blogger that show a roughly 40% drop in performance in the popular processor performance test Geekbench 4. Here's why, if you're an iPhone 6/6 Plus owner, you shouldn't worry about the latest version of iOS dramatically reducing the performance of your device. Something else is slowing down that iPhone 6 Since all of the Apple A8 chips are functionally identical, every iPhone 6/6 Plus should see the same kind of performance reduction that the blogger cited by Cult of Mac suffered. If that isn't the case, then we can safely conclude that something else was going wrong with the blogger's iPhone 6 (he probably needs a new battery for his phone). To try to see if the fixes that Apple incorporated into iOS 11.2.2 to guard against these exploits really did crash the performance of the A8 chip, I searched for results of iPhone 6/6 Plus devices running iOS 11.2.2. I found plenty of results of such devices Continue Reading

Inside iPhone 7: Why Apple Killed The Headphone Jack

Apple VP Greg Joswiak is grinning as he holds up what is easily the smallest iPhone adapter I have ever seen. iPod white and about the length of a matchstick, it’s designed to connect audio headphones with an industry standard 3.5-millimeter analog plug to the Lightning port on Apple’s newest iPhone, which no longer bears the industry standard jack they require to work.“This time, we’re putting an adapter in every box,” Joswiak quips, a wry nod to the backlash evoked in 2012 the last time Apple killed a widely used iPhone port — a move that rendered thousands of peripherals designed to interact with it incompatible without a $29 adapter, and pissed off legions of people in the process.Apple is no stranger to killing things people use all the time — and even love. But the headphone jack? It’s on a whole other level than disc drives or ports named after their number of pins. The headphone jack predates not only Apple, but computers themselves. And it is ubiquitous. So, when you’re killing a century-old standard around which the entire audio industry developed, it’s wise to take precautions. Invented for use with telephone switchboards in the late 1800s, the audio jack is among the oldest existing electrical standards. Originally 6.35-millimeter in width, it was reduced to 3.5-millimeter in the '60s, a transformation that made it pervasive across most every piece of electronic audio equipment you can think of — home stereos, car stereos, camcorders, guitar amps, laptops, airplane entertainment systems, cochlear implants, smartphones, and — until today — the iPhone.Apple is arguing that the future of audio is wireless, that the world’s current assumptions about mobile audio are not only antiquated, but worthy of immediate abandonment. In a world of Spotify and Sonos, it’s tough to disagree. But right now that future comes with a price: You’ve got to leave behind the Continue Reading

Flip phone lovers say Motorola’s new RAZR ad a smart call

Not everyone flips over the latest smartphone. In fact, there’s still plenty of people hung up on their unsophisticated, dumb phones. And mobile providers are noticing. Motorola got tongues wagging this week with a nostalgic 90s-themed ad featuring teens flaunting the old school RAZR flip phone. “Flip back to the RAZR days of yesteryear and get ready for the future,” reads the new 45-second spot’s tagline. “We will transform mobile again on June 9," a Motorola rep cryptically told The Daily News, noting that the company is not re-releasing the original RAZR. But “Hello Moto” maniacs are still hoping that an upgraded flip phone is on the line. There’s certainly an audience for it. When Sarah Lisovich’s iPhone broke, she dug up her hot pink V3 RAZR flip phone that she’s held onto for 10 years as a replacement. The simplified device was a welcome change. “Limiting apps and phone time allows me to feel more present while feeling a little nostalgic about the style that once was the new ‘cool,’” said the 23-year-old from Chicago. “Many people enjoy the sleek touch screen features of smartphones, but I prefer playing, fidgeting, and flipping my flip phone, and pushing buttons.” She’s not alone. Flip phone and “dumb” phone sales grew by 2 million in the U.S. last year, for a total of 24.2 million sold, according to research firm IDC. Smartphones are still far more popular, but their growth remained flat in 2015. And Apple reported its first loss in 13 years last month as iPhone sales dropped 16%. Basic handsets are making a comeback. Trendsetters such as Anna Wintour and Rihanna have been seen rocking the throwback devices. Adele featured a flip phone in her hit “Hello” video last fall. Robert DeNiro told People he still has a flip phone because “they’re easy to Continue Reading

FBI Unlocks San Bernardino Attacker’s iPhone, Drops Case Against Apple

LIVE UPDATES: Capitol Gunman Was Known to Police, 1 Bystander Injured Judge Nap Explains Why the Intelligence Community Sides With Apple Against FBI The FBI has successfully accessed the information on the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist, the Justice Department says.The government is now essentially dropping its legal action against Apple, Bret Baier reported.Officials have asked a California judge to vacate her order directing the tech giant to comply with the effort.Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously pushed back against the order, saying, “The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone."The iPhone belonged to Syed Farook, the now-dead radicalized Muslim who went on a shooting rampage on Dec. 2 with his wife Tashfeen Malik, killing 14 people.What do you think about the case? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Cruz: We're Tired of the Dems' 'Moralizing and Lecturing' on Islamophobia 6 States Call for Convention to Consider Amendments Limiting Federal Gov't Pete Hegseth Visits First Muslim-Majority U.S. City   Continue Reading

Apple: We can’t access data on iOS 8 iPhones, iPads — even with police warrants

If your iPhone is running Apple's new operating system, police will likely never be able to touch your data. Apple announced Wednesday a new encryption built into iOS 8 that makes it nearly impossible for the tech giant to unlock iPhones and iPads, even for cops with a search warrant. With the new security features, only a customer's passcode can grant access to a phone or tablet's personal data such as photos, call histories and emails. Anyone without the passcode — cops or Apple officials, for example — simply can't get in. The California company previously had the ability to collect user's data when ordered by a court. But with iOS 8, Apple forfeited that power, apparently as a way to bypass government-issued court orders. "It's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8," the company explained in a statement on its website. The move seems to be a response to accusations that tech companies work in cahoots with governments to collect and analyze users' data. The statement continued: "Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a 'back door' in any of our products or services." But even with a ramped-up device encryption, Apple still has the power to access data stored on its iCloud, a service which backs up user's photos, contacts and other data to a server. A user can turn off iCloud back-up to ensure all data stays on his or her phone — and out of a search warrant's reach, the Washington Post said. The iCloud came under fire in late August when hackers allegedly found a flaw in the system and leaked hundreds of celebrities' nude pictures. Apple denied those accusations, maintaining its security could not be breached like that. Apple said its latest move separates the company from its competitors, who maintain the ability to access Continue Reading

Updated: Police scanner odd 911 calls

The sometimes sad, often odd, occasionally amusing bits and pieces of life in York County, Pennsylvania tweeted  while listening to York County Department of Emergency Services, 911 Communications from April 2010 to present while covering news for ydr.comThe 888 tweets almost never made the paper or a web update, but are still a micro slice of life.Originally posted to twitter @paulkuehnelJune 7#911call: For a neighbor throwing food into their poolJune 6 #911call: Police: a driver is arguing with police that turn signals are not required in the state of PennsylvaniaMay 23#911call: For two neighbor goats eating her flowers, ongoing problem. Description of goats: brown and whiteApril  10#911call: for a hollowed out cantaloupe that smells like kerosene on a baseball pitchers mound.April 4#911call: For a peacock that was in a tree, now on the groundMarch 28#911call: For side damage to an Alfa Romeo. Police: A what? 911: It's a classic car #badday for classic car ownerMarch 27#911call: For check of welfare, person left hospital. Police: Person not happy with care went home and removed her own IV.March 27#911call: For a trashed house and snoring coming from the third floor.March 9#911call: For a neighbor's goat on their propertyMarch 7#911call: For a 14 yr old "who doesn't want to get her education today."March 1#911call: Caller: A man working on his dump truck now has it stuck in a mud hole, bc caller believes he wants more moneyFeb 29#911call: Caller advised subject left highly intoxicated, hit a parked car and left their ID in the shopping cart#911call: Caller says he found a pot bellied pig, brought it home, and now it is trying to bite the kids.Feb 28#911call: caller advises she gave her bank card to a subject to get a soda and he came back an hour later.Feb 24#911call: For two cement rabbits stolen out of a flower bedFeb 22#911call: for a husband who overslept and is angry and throwing thingsFeb 21#911call: caller advises a person is in the Continue Reading

Should you upgrade to the new iPhone 8 or iPhone X?

With summer coming to an end and fall rapidly approaching, we turn our attention—as we always do at this time of the year—to California, where Apple is busy unveiling its newest iPhone models to the world.Like apple-picking, drafting a fantasy football team, and taking photos of foliage, trying to figure out if you should upgrade to a new iPhone is an annual end-of-summer tradition.This year, Apple is throwing three new phones into the mix: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. Let's get to the bottom of each new device so you can figure out if an upgrade is in your future.Instead of releasing modified versions of last year's iPhones, tacking a lowercase "s" onto their names, and calling it a day, Apple is breaking from tradition and jumping right to the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.But the spirit of the "s" is still alive with these new iPhones, because although they technically belong to the new "8" generation, the upgrades themselves are rather modest.Basically, the iPhone 8 is to the iPhone 7 what the iPhone 6s was to the iPhone 6.· Wireless charging will be available for both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. The feature will work similarly to how Samsung's flagships have charged wirelessly for years now: Users place their phone on a wired pad to induce charging. The technology is powered by Qi, a widely used standard across the industry.· Both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus feature upgraded camera sensors with OIS (optical image stabilization) and better video quality. While the inclusion of OIS isn't new, the sensors on both phones are reportedly larger, and both devices also feature upgrades to the image processing software. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can also capture 4K video in 60FPS as well as super-slow, 240FPS video in 1080p.· iPhone 8 Plus users will see upgrades to the 7 Plus's Portrait mode. Apple claims that it's improved the dual sensors for cleaner portrait shots, and it's also introducing a new Continue Reading

iPhone lost in the mail; why was Jackson woman charged $225 for it?

How did a missing iPhone lead to a $225 charge on Jackson resident Kathy Brady's AT&T Wireless bill?If you've ever had to mail a cellphone back to a company, you've probably wondered what happens if the package gets lost.Brady knows. She had to ship a replacement iPhone back to Asurion, the cellphone insurance company, after she no longer needed it. It never arrived and her  AT&T Wireless account was charged for the cost of the phone: $225."They don't care how it got lost," Brady said. "They just don't have it."After Press on Your Side got involved, Asurion credited $225 to her account.Here's what happened.In May, Brady discovered that her husband's iPhone 6 had water damage. it wouldn't work and there were some signs of moisture behind the screen. More: AT&T gives customers weapon against robocalls More: Here's how to protect your mobile phone She called Asurion right away, filed a claim and was on her way to receiving a replacement iPhone. Meanwhile, she put the damaged phone in some rice to try to dry it out. To her surprise, it worked. A few days later, the old phone was fine.Brady contacted Asurion to report that she didn't need a replacement. Just send it back, she was told. The company sent her a return label to attach to the phone's box when it arrived.So Brady brought the unopened box to AT&T Wireless at the Freehold Raceway Mall. "They said no, we can't take it. You have to bring it to the post office," she said. They helped her put the label on the box and get it ready.She dropped it off at the post office in Jackson and received a tracking number. The next day, the tracking report showed the phone was accepted by Asurion's shipping partner. "That was the last it was ever seen," Brady said in a note to Press on Your Side. "No record of it from there."A charge for $225, the cost of the phone, appeared on her AT&T bill. She filed a search request with the U.S. Postal Continue Reading

The 10 biggest moments in the history of iPhone

On Jan. 9, 2007, Apple introduced the world to the iPhone. With its all-touch interface and sleek design, the iPhone took a very different approach to the smartphone, which had been defined by front-runners like BlackBerry.Ten years later, the iPhone is perhaps the most important device launched this century. It made smartphones a must-own device, and helped to transform how we live. Practically everything we do is through a smartphone, and the iPhone is a big reason for this shift.So how did we get here? Here's a look at the 10 most important moments in the iPhone's history.During a keynote at the MacWorld expo in 2007, the co-founder and CEO at the time says the concept was inspired by computers, with bitmap screens that could display any user interface and a pointer like the mouse. That's why the iPhone ditched keyboards. As for the pointer, Jobs opted for the pointing device "we're all born with": our fingers. This is also the moment we learned Jobs really hated using a stylus.A 4GB model (yes, a smartphone with 4 GB of storage really existed) sold for $499, and the 8 GB model sold for $599 when they launched in the U.S. in June 2007. Roughly two months after launch, Apple had sold 1 million iPhones.The launch of the iPhone 3G also marked the debut of the App Store, where users could download third-party applications, either free or paid. Apps like Shazam and Pandora were among the early hits. Remember games like Tap Tap Revenge? It got its start on the App Store, too. Downloads topped 10 million during the App Store's opening weekend.Last year, Apple revenue App Store downloads topped 130 billion. It's the reason why many of us can't let go of our smartphones.With the touchscreen and app store, smartphone makers like BlackBerry and Palm struggled to compete with Apple. Then Google decided to create its own smartphone operating system, called Android. It launched in September 2008 with the T-Mobile G1 before other smartphone makers including HTC, Continue Reading