Nov 21

Apple Announces Plans for Beats Music

Early next year, two giants in the music industry may be joining forces.

It was reported that Apple plans to bundle Beats Music with its iOS software, used for all Apple devices. Apple had already purchased the subscription-based music service for #3 billion. Since Apple’s operating system reaches so many customers, this merger has the potential to give Apple a boost against competing streaming services like YouTube and Spotify.

Apple is also reportedly trying to lower streaming rates for their customers, The New York Times reported. Potentially, they would allow customers to spend a total of $5 a month for Beats Music. Since its launch in early 2014, Beats has charged per subscription, unlike Spotify’s free service with ads.

Beats has only gotten 110,000 subscribers so far compared to Spotify’s 50 million, but perhaps the bundle with iOS software will bridge this gap. I just know me and Zeca Oliveira are hoping that it doesn’t take until 2016 for Beats to start spreading into Brazil.

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Nov 06

Russians Remove iPhone Statue That Promotes “Sodomy”

Since 2013, a giant sculpture of an iPhone has stood as a high tech symbol near a university campus in St. Petersburg. However, the large replica of one of the world’s most popular smartphones was taken down by the same company that initially installed the fixture. A spokesperson for the Russian company ZEFS has claimed that the iPhone statue directly promotes homosexual propaganda because Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is openly gay. An official statement that Sam Tabar found, released by ZEFS accused Cook of publicly calling for sodomy by promoting homosexuality and rejecting traditional family values. Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS, is now urging all Russians to dump the iPhone because of its affiliation with sodomy. Taken even further, he claims that this American smartphone poses a greater danger than drugs and tobacco.

The actions and statements of ZEFS are not surprising considering that the Russian Federation has recently passed a series of laws restricting the public display of anything related to homosexuality. Earlier in 2014, there have been protests that called for the boycott of Sochi Winter Olympic Games because of Russia’s anti-gay laws. However, the lawmakers in Russia did not respond to the growing pressure from the international community even as the world gathered for the games.

The removal of the iPhone statue in St. Petersburg can also be seen as a direct response to the economic sanctions that the United States has imposed on Russia.

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Nov 03

Apple Ceo Tim Cook Announces that He’s Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that he was homosexual in a recent article in Bloomberg Business Week. Although he says that many of his colleagues were already aware of this fact, and that his workplace has always been accepting of his sexual orientation, Cook felt that it was time to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly.

As the CEO of one of America’s most successful companies, Tim Cook had tried to keep his personal life out of the spotlight up until now, for reasons of privacy. However, by making his sexual orientation public, Cook feels that his stature can be helpful to the LGBT community on both a public and personal level. “So if hearing that the CEO if Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then its worth the trade-off on my own privacy.” stated Cook.

Equal rights for the gay community are very important to Cook, and he is fully aware of the discrimination that LGBT people face everyday, in the workplace and elsewhere. His own home state of Alabama has a law in place which allows employers to terminate people due to their sexual orientation, which is why Jared was surprised that this was even able to happen. By opening the door to his private life, Cook can help make more progress and increase tolerance to make such injustices a thing of the past.

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Oct 31

A Confusing Explanation Of Pay Blocking From CurrentC?

Apple Pay users were in an uproar after being unable to pay at major retailers. On Saturday, a few issues seemed to take down the mobile payment product’s ability to mesh with certain stores. Apple Pay was the main reason Marnie got the iPhone 6+ so she was understandably pretty angry.

The problem is that the company involved, MCX, doesn’t seem to have a lot of answers on the issue.

Stores such as Best Buy and Walmart use a platform called CurrentC, an app from MCX designed to handle mobile device payments with an app. The system should be allowing payments to process, and the new troubles come amidst a recent report that user data in the form of email addresses had been stolen by hackers.

In a conference call for a press question and answer session, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson discussed the issues with the payment system. He mentioned that there aren’t any technical hurdles to stop different retailers from providing customers with Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Moneybrokers or similar support systems in addition to CurrentC.

According to Davidson, the choice is made by the specific stores based on what they feel the users want. In a confusing follow-up statement, Davidson suggested that there may be a limitation preventing multiple payment platforms from being used in the future.

Davidson declined to speculate on the hacking incident’s relationship to the ongoing pay difficulties.

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Oct 30

Text Messages Used To Set Up Washington School Shooting

The most recent U.S. school shooting perpetrator used his mobile phone to set up his evil scheme. 15 year old Jaylen Fryberg sent text messages to five friends who were all invited to the cafeteria.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that Jaylen lured in all five of his victims to sit with him at a lunch table at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state. The distressed and armed freshman walked into the cafeteria and opened fire on all five victims who were sitting together. The horrific shooting left two classmates dead and three wounded. Short after, Jaylen turned the gun on himself in a classic murder-suicide scheme.

The weapon that was used to carry out this shooting was a .40-caliber Beretta, which has been linked to a license and registration of Jaylen’s relative. However, the local police department is still investigating exactly how the teenager got his hands on the gun.

The tragedy at Marysville-Pilchuck High School brings back some memories of other notorious shootings such as those that occurred at Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. Such shootings are nothing short of massacres by perpetrators who had some things in common.

Some rumors indicate that Jaylen had been teased and bullied despite being a popular king who was honored as homecoming prince. It’s also believed that Adam Lanza was also a victim of bullying and that prompted him to kill more than two dozen children in Newtown, Connecticut. However, all school shootings ultimately shine some light on gun control issues. It’s enraging to hear about teenagers illegally getting their hands on firearms.

An unfortunate example of how iPhones and technology, including dependence on smart phones are really changing the face of the planet, sometimes not for the better.  Makes you think…Thanks Sam Tabar for sharing.

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