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Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Jobs,” the Steve Jobs biography directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starring both Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Josh Gad as Wozniak, can now be purchased or rented in iTunes.

The film, which scored a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, can be purchased for $19.99 in high definition or $14.99 in standard definition. A 24-hour rental is also available for $3.99 (SD) or $4.99 (HD).

“Jobs” can also be purchased or rented via Amazon Instant Video for $14.99 and $4.99, respectively, and it is available on both Blu-ray ($22.99) and DVD ($17.99) from Amazon.com.

Originally released on August 16, the movie received mixed reviews from critics, who felt that it was unappealing and focused too heavily on Apple rather than on the life of Steve Jobs. Original Apple employees like Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez also criticized the movie for its inaccuracies.

During its opening weekend, “Jobs” made just $6.7 million, which was below the $8-9 million projected by its distributor, Open Road Films. In theaters the movie, which had a budget of $12 million, has earned $16.1 million in the U.S. and $19.8 million abroad, for a worldwide total of $35.9 million.

Another Steve Jobs movie, from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, remains in the works with a prospective 2014 release date.

Yesterday, a survey published yesterday by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster stated that the iPhone 5s is approaching 90% availability in Apple’s U.S. retail stores, with supply begin to match consumer demand of the device.

Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the shortened wait times for the high-end iPhone is due in part to supplier Foxconn and its high volume production, with the company adding more workers to its assembly lines in China as its overall production capacity grows.

iphone5s

The Taiwan-based contract manufacturer, which has more than one million workers in China, has operated 100 production lines around the clock in Zhengzhou, north central China, at full capacity, according to executives at Hon Hai. The company has about 300,000 workers at its Zhengzhou site, dedicated to just making the iPhone 5S and key components such as metal casings.

To get a glimpse of just how complicated it is to manufacture the iPhone 5S, Hon Hai executives said the company has about 600 workers on each iPhone 5S production line to handle assembly work.

“We have been churning out about 500,000 iPhone 5Ss everyday, the highest daily output ever,” said the executive who declined to be named.

The executive cited in the report also stated that it takes a longer time to assemble an iPhone 5s compared to the iPhone 5c or previous generation iPhone 5, with only 500 workers per production line to assemble the two lower-end devices.

Notably, a report from Digitimes earlier this month stated that the Zhengzhou factory would be ceasing production of the iPhone 5c to shift the facility’s manufacturing efforts toward the iPhone 5s. Foxconn was also previously estimated to be operating at only a minimum capacity of 8-9,000 iPhone 5c units per day.

Originally released in September, supplies of the iPhone 5s remained somewhat constrained following the launch, with the bulk of stock tending to go to Apple’s own retail stores. However, while supplies continued to be scarce during September and October, they have appeared to generally improved throughout November, with several colors and capacities of the iPhone 5s available for immediate pick up in Apple Stores in the United States.

Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, has routinely made your smartphone’s screen better and more damage-resistant, but the company is about to take things to a whole other level. Taking the stage at the MIT Mobile Technology Summit, Corning showed off new display technology that goes far beyond screen protection. Its new Gorilla Glass will feature anti-microbial coating, which will kill virtually all microbes on the screen’s surface over two hours. It’s not an instant clean, but it’s better than carrying around a filthy phone in your pocket all day. The new Gorilla Glass will also make your phone’s screen way more transparent, which means checking your phone in broad daylight is going to be much, much easier. We’ve all tried to read an e-mail on our phone in a parking lot on a bright summer day – it just doesn’t work. Thanks to Corning, borrowing a phone from a friend in the future will not only be a far better – and less icky – experience.

Mobile Upgrade Plans

Within the space of little more than a week, three of the largest carriers in the US have introduced completely new plans to go alongside traditional contract agreements and prepaid services. T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless, with their new plans called Jump, Next, and Edge, respectively, are all going after the same thing: subscribers who want to get the newest smartphone as quickly as possible. That’s not the only thing that brings these new plans together, however. They’re all extremely complicated. And make no mistake, carriers like it that way – it’s easier to overcharge if customers don’t know it’s happening. So let’s untangle the secrets behind these plans to see which (if any) are a good deal. The best way to analyze these plans is to take a real-world example. For the charts below, we’re looking at what you’d expect to pay for a Galaxy S4 on each of these carriers using one of their new plans.

Read the full story at The Verge.

Time Warner Cable on Apple TV

As we’ve heard for the past month, Apple and Time Warner Cable are close to inking a deal that would bring a TWC app to the Apple TV’s homescreen – for the first time bringing live TV broadcasts to the device. But some recent reports are bringing things into sharper focus, giving us some more insight into what the future of Apple’s service is going to look like. Earlier this week, the New York Times wrote that the app would allow “some of the company’s 12 million subscribers to watch live and on-demand shows without a separate set-top box.” Friday, Bloomberg adds that “while the deal would add a Time Warner app, that just means viewers won’t have to switch from Apple TV back to their cable box: They’d still need to subscribe to Time Warner Cable and wait around for a technician to install it.” The TWC app would likely be based on its existing iPhone and iPad software.

Read the full story at The Verge.

Locationary

Apple has acquired the Toronto-based Locationary, a small Canadian startup, backed by Extreme Venture Partners and Plazacorp Ventures. Multiple sources familiar with the deal tell AllThingsD it closed recently and includes Locationary’s technology and team, both. The price of the acquisition couldn’t immediately be learned. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed the deal with the statement the company typically releases when news of one of its acquisitions surfaces: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Apple’s plans in this case are fairly obvious: Beef up its new mapping service. The troubled launch of Apple’s home-brewed mapping software last year sparked a world-wide consumer backlash capped by a rare apology from CEO Tim Cook.

Read the full story at All Things D.

New Jersey Supreme Court

Cellphone users have a reasonable expectation of privacy of their cellphone location information, and police must obtain a search warrant before accessing that information, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled Thursday. “When people make disclosures to phone companies and other providers to use their services, they are not promoting the release of personal information to others,” wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in an unanimous ruling on an appeal. “Instead, they can reasonably expect that their personal information will remain private.” The issue of boundaries in the use of cellphone data by law enforcement agencies has figured in other courts and state legislatures. The Montana legislature passed a law recently requiring police and other agencies to obtain a search warrant from a court before tracking a person using location information from an electronic device.

Read the full story at ComputerWorld.

BlackBerry Q10

Back in the day, owning a smartphone (pretty much) meant owning a BlackBerry. If you needed to get work done on the go, a BlackBerry was THE phone to get. Being a “CrackBerry addict” was a badge of honor and, if a high school kid had one – he or she was absolutely in the “in” crowd because BBM was the “cool kids” social media tool of choice.

That was then. Today, in a world dominated by touchscreens and (most importantly) apps, having a BlackBerry screams to all the world about your “old school” roots or that the IT department at your job is so antiquated that it is forcing you to use this distant relative of a modern-day device.

Whether you’re on iOS or Android – which, according to StatCounter, combine to make up over 60 percent of the mobile market – you have access to hundreds of thousands of apps. Apps define today’s mobile experience more so than any other feature on your phone. Secondary mobile platforms, like Windows Phone and BlackBerry, simply can’t compete; their app stores are suboptimal when compared to Apple and Google.

But do they need to compete?

Back in January, BlackBerry showed off its newest operating system, alongside its new flagship phone, the Z10 (which recently had its price slashed all the way down to $49.99 after poor sales in its first six months). The Z10 was a smartphone modeled after top-tier phones like iPhone and Galaxy S III, and featured a 4.2″ touchscreen. But much like Windows Phone, a lack of app support and lackluster hardware made the Z10 a nonstarter.

Perhaps the last act of a desperate organization, BlackBerry recently launched the Q10, which is a return to the familiar BlackBerry form factor for hardcore BlackBerry fans. The Q10 has a keyboard and a small, but serviceable touch screen.

So – what makes the phone special? Is it worth buying? Should you switch from your iPhone or Android to a Q10? Is it worth an upgrade from older BlackBerry phones?

What Makes it Special?

The Q10 is the BlackBerry that should have come out three years ago. It’s the next generation BlackBerry with a keyboard, and anyone who is a BlackBerry fan is going to want this phone.

The Q10 looks like your traditional Blackberry. It has a 720 720 pixel touchscreen that takes up the top of the device, and a physical keyboard on the bottom. The phone resembles the BlackBerry Bold, the most popular BlackBerry device of a generation long past. There’s no track ball on the Q10 as the touchscreen renders it obsolete.

If you want flawless e-mail and texting with a physical keyboard – and don’t need much more than that out of a smartphone – this is the device for you. I’d forgotten how nice it feels to type on a physical keyboard. I’ve been a glass keyboard user for quite some time, between my new Galaxy S IV and the iPhones I’ve had for the past few years.

What Are the Downsides?

Try as it might, BlackBerry is not an app-driven platform. If you’re an app person, this isn’t the phone for you; you’re going to want to stick to an iPhone or high-end Android device. (But you already know this.)

We live in a world where new phones have to have all kinds of new capabilities. Apps really make the phone. Since Steve Jobs created the App Store and let third-party developers take his platform to the next level, having a bountiful app store is a necessity for a smartphone to succeed.

It is important to understand that the BlackBerry App Store does have apps for the most popular services: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Sports, News, Weather, etc. It just doesn’t go deep and, to be frank, it never will.

The BlackBerry is not an AppPhone; Androids & iPhones are not BlackBerrys

If you hold up a Galaxy S IV next to the Q10, side-by-side, even a person who’s never used a smartphone before will be able to tell that the devices are very, very different.

Side by Side: Galaxy S IV and BlackBerry Q10

It’s easy to tell which is the better, more modern phone.

There’s no contest. A 720 720 screen – even with a nice, physical keyboard – isn’t enough to make up for the lack of screen real estate that the S IV (or other phones of its size) provides. The Q10 is not a device you will enjoy reading an eBook with, nor will you care for its web browsing experience. That said: in a pinch, it will do.

Should You Upgrade?

The BlackBerry Q10 has one purpose and one purpose only: If you’re a BlackBerry Bold or Curve user, and you want the next-generation BlackBerry, it’s here. The Q10 has 4G LTE, an app store with basic essentials and a decent camera. If you’re sporting a Bold or Curve – or, if you already have an iPad or other tablet and simply need the best possible typing experience available on a handheld device. upgrade to the Q10 now.

If you’re anyone else… $199 with a two-year contract will put you in a much more powerful, much more capable device running Android 4.2.x. Did I forget to mention the iPhone 5? Yep. That is not a device you should be considering right now. It’s already two-year-old technology. If you’re in the market for a smartphone or app phone right now, go with Samsung, Sony, LG or HTC. Apple has a lot of catching up to do.

Turning 30

Ever wonder what it’s like to be 80 years old?

Oliver Sacks, a neurology professor at NYU, shares the truth about life as an octogenarian in a piece for The New York Times called “The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding).” In the column, Sacks writes:

“I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together.”

Isn’t that beautiful?

An 80th birthday is cause for celebration, but along the way other milestones matter too. For instance, the big 3-0.

By the time we say goodbye to our twenties, what should we have experienced in our careers?

  1. At least one intern has addressed you as “Mr.” or “Ms.”
  2. Seven words: moved from your parents’ house for good.
  3. Handled every schedule imaginable – days, nights, weekends, weekend nights, holidays, holiday nights… you get the idea.
  4. Written so many cover letters that you could pen an autobiography of failed job applications.
  5. Had such a terrible boss that you questioned the very idea of working to earn a living.
  6. Realized that your college major – once a pivotal career decision – really didn’t matter all that much.
  7. Slaved away in your office on a picture-perfect Sunday because, well, the work’s just gotta get done.
  8. After several years in the professional ranks, your resume no longer has traces of college clubs and achievements.
  9. Battle tested, you don’t even flinch when the client says, “This isn’t what I wanted. You’ll need to do it again.”
  10. Maintained a 401k and contributed funds to the point that you can actually see it working.
  11. Defused a stressful office situation by saying, “In my experience, here’s what we should do.”
  12. Landed a nice raise and proceeded to buy something you would never get otherwise.
  13. Elected to take an advanced education course (or pick up a new skill) because of the value it added to your career.
  14. After bouncing from job to job, you finally see the value of a stable situation with long-term potential.
  15. Been there and done that long enough to understand who you are and the type of work that gets you out of bed in the morning. If your twenties were the decade to get knocked around, then may you spend the next ten years cashing in on the education.

What would YOU add to the list? Comment below!

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

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