SchwarzTech
April 24, 2014

Link: The Life of a Stolen Phone ☍

Rachel Swan for SF Weekly takes a look at some of the legal and social implications of smartphone theft:

“They videotaped me turning my phone off, sending a text, and then receiving the location of the text,” Alex recalls, noting that the BART cops were fascinated; “Find My iPhone” hadn’t received that much buzz outside Apple fan-club circles, and most non-techies still didn’t know it existed. Alex gave the cops permission to subpoena his phone records from Apple.

Go and enable Find My Phone and Activation Lock right now if you haven’t already.

April 23, 2014

Link: GameStop to Open More ‘Simply Mac’ Stores ☍

Steve Kaskovich for The Star-Telegram (via MacRumors):

[GameStop CEO Paul] Raines said GameStop’s confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple.

Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015.

I’m excited about this—if they’re run correctly, they’ll offer another option for markets not served by Apple’s stores, and may make Mac sales and service a bit more accessible. I know Apple offers service where you can ship your devices in, but a face-to-face option may be more appealing to those who fall on the more novice end of the spectrum.

April 22, 2014

Link: Apple Opens OS X Betas to Non-Developers ☍

Apple now allows anyone with an Apple ID to try out the latest betas of OS X and offer feedback. I think this could allow Apple to find and fix problems sooner than later, but also it seems that the rumors are more focused around iOS betas, so why not? For those keeping track at home, the last time there was a public beta offered by Apple, it was the OS X Public Beta.

The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.

Join the OS X Beta Seed Program and accept the Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement. Apple will provide a Beta Access Utility for your Mac, which gives you access to pre-release versions of OS X in the Mac App Store Updates panel.

“There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”

April 21, 2014

Link: Better ☍

Apple updated their Environmental Responsibility page and not only does it demonstrate many of the important points well, there’s an excellent video explaining some of these philosophies narrated by Apple CEO Tim Cook himself.

April 18, 2014

Link: Nike Fires FuelBand Team, Might Stop Making Hardware? ☍

Nick Statt for CNET:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET. [...]

The shoemaker isn’t throwing in the towel on technology. Rather, it’s turning away from hardware and realigning its focus exclusively on fitness and athletic software, a strategic shift that would still benefit the company in the long run, analysts said.

If it’s me reading the signs (and others have already suggested it), Nike’s decision to focus on software really opens to door for someone else to get involved in these kind of devices, especially when you consider who is on the board. Then again, maybe people really aren’t getting excited about wearables when smartphones can handle these things and Nike is making a smart exit.

Update: Re/code is reporting that Nike is denying the report about the shutdown, but that there were a few layoffs.

April 17, 2014

Patent Pending: 34: Beautiful Convictions ☍

In the latest episode of Patent Pending, Matt and I talk about Dropbox and privacy, Heartbleed, and much more…

April 16, 2014

Link: Seagate’s LaCie Admits to Yearlong Breach of Customer Card Data ☍

Arik Hesseldahl for Re/code:

LaCie, the French hard drive company, admitted yesterday that it has suffered a significant breach of its e-commerce systems lasting nearly a year.

The company posted a notification to customers on its site yesterday saying that agents from the FBI had notified that someone had used malware to penetrate its systems and gain access to the credit card information of people buying hard drives on the site. The site has temporarily stopped taking orders.

First word of a possible attack came on March 17 when security blogger Brian Krebs published evidence that the site was among about four dozen that had been compromised by way of a flaw in ColdFusion, a Web application development platform from the software company Adobe.

Is it just me, or does it seem like credit card information being stolen is becoming more common, or at least more high-profile?