Ah, to be ten years old again — and arrested for stealing £400,000 ($654,000) worth of Apple products.
That is the news coming out of Coventry, in the UK, where a dawn raid saw police arrest a boy and a 37-year-old man for their part in a series of commercial and domestic burglaries.
The Apple products — mainly made up of iPads, iPods and iPhones — were taken during two October raids in nearby Leicester.
Investigating Detective Inspector Nick Dale, said: “We want the community to sit up and take notice of our efforts to tackle organised crime. Law-abiding citizens can rest assured we’re taking strong action against suspects, whilst criminals should be asking themselves ‘am I next?’.”
Apple products continue to be some of the most stolen products out there.
In other UK theft news, a man’s iPhone was recently stolen in the city of Bath while he posed for pictures with breakfast cereal mascot, the Honey Monster.
A new report from analysts Park Associates has placed Apple at the top of the list for most desirable brand in the desktop computer category.
Apple has previously topped the survey for most desired brand in tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and streaming devices — but this adds one more platform to the list.
“In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key consumer electronics categories,” John Barrett, Parks Associates director of consumer analytics noted.
Apple debuted as the third most desired desktop brand in 2011, prior to knocking HP from second place in 2012, and finally displacing Dell for this year’s top spot.
The research shows the top-five intended brands for desktops are as follows:
The most popular brands among tablet shoppers are:
2. Amazon (Kindle)
4. Microsoft (Surface)
For streaming media devices, top brands are the following:
1. Apple TV
4. D-Link (Boxee Box)
The survey was conducted across 2,500 households in the U.S. during this year’s fourth quarter.
It is worth pointing out, however, that while this survey is about “desirable” brands, this does not necessary translate to actual purchases.
An example of this was Park Associates’ previous research which placed Apple TV as the most desired streaming media device available — only for it to be outsold by Roku boxes.
Park Associates didn’t give a specific reason for the discrepancy but noted that, “being the ‘preferred’ brand is certainly an advantage, but consumers can still change their minds”.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the Secret Service does not allow him to use Apple's iPhone for security reasons, explaining why the leader of the free world still carries around a BlackBerry from 2007.
The president's documented fondness of BlackBerry devices may be overdone, as he admitted to a group of White House visitors that the Canadian smartphone is the only device certified to be used in his post, reports AFP via Security Week.
"I'm not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone," Obama said to at an event promoting his health care initiative. He added that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, are iPhone users who spend a lot of their time using their devices.
Before he assumed office in 2009, Obama was regarded as the most tech-savvy president in history. A large part of that description came from his adoption of mobile tech like the BlackBerry, which he fought to keep against the wishes of the Secret Service.
As highlighted in a Washington Post report from September, presidents quickly fall behind the times when it comes to the cutting-edge. With computer technology moving at a steady yet rapid pace, proven government security measures cannot be installed fast enough to allow for the same flexibility afforded the everyday consumer.
BlackBerry is known to have solid security and was the go-to device for the U.S. government before the rise of the iPhone, but with the proliferation of Apple's handset and those running Google's Android operating system, things have changed. Earlier this year, Apple's last-generation iOS 6 operating system was granted FIPS [Federal Information Processing Standard] 140-2 level 1 validation, allowing certain government agencies to adopt specialized devices running the software.
The low-level cryptographic certification gives Apple a foot in the door for government contracts, like Department of Defense employees, but still limits iPhone and iPad use to security clearance levels well below those assigned to the president.
While it is unlikely that President Obama will be able to use an iPhone during his remaining tenure, he has been seen carrying and using other Apple devices, including a third-generation iPad and a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application detailing a full-function "smart dock" that continually listens for cues to activate and communicate with the voice recognition functions of docked devices, like the iPhone and iPad.
Apple's "Smart dock for activating a voice recognition mode of a portable electronic device" filing clearly describes an iOS device accessory unlike anything the company has manufactured. Like third-party peripherals, Apple's proposed dock can include a speaker, microphone and built-in screen, but goes further by allowing access to the Siri virtual assistant.
Currently, Apple's only docking solutions for both the iPhone and iPad are limited to charging and line-out audio. In contrast, the proposed dock would have a screen, tactile controls or a touch panel with which a user can interface. Other embodiments include a scroll wheel, buttons and other manual controls.
Instead of carrying Siri onboard, the dock would be mostly headless until an iPhone or iPad was operatively coupled to the unit. Basic functionality like a clock and radio are provided, but voice recognition and heavy processing are accomplished by the iOS device.
Basically, the dock listens for a specific prompt, recognizes an activation request by the user, relays commands to the docked iPhone and executes any operations returned by the device. Examples could be playing a song or facilitating communication between the user and Siri.
In operation, a user would perform an initial setup that would include assigning an audio prompt, such as a spoken word or hand clap, that will be used to activate the unit and its services. For example, a user may want to set the prompt as a finger snap. When in listening mode, if the dock "hears" a finger snap, it will activate the iPhone's voice recognition feature.
By setting listening thresholds, the dock can selectively filter out ambient noise while still allowing a user to operate their device remotely using only audio cues. Since the system relies primarily on audio input, an effective limiter must be implemented to ignore responses by Siri. In these scenarios, the dock would deactivate listening mode during voice recognition operations.
Internal components include a wireless communications module for accessing off-site databases and Internet assets like webpages or cloud storage. If, for example, a user wanted to change their schedule for the day, they could initiate Siri via the always-listening dock and modify a calendar stored in iCloud.
In addition to the built-in hardware, the dock can also be fitted with add-ons like a removable hard drive, environmental sensors, a GPS module and more. Some embodiments allow for the dock and iOS device to be paired but uncoupled, meaning the dock... [Read More]
iTunes users across the country are reporting an issue Apple ID being unable to log them into iTunes to make purchases or access previous purchased. A wave of Apple customers have taken to the online support forums over the past 12 hours to complain about a that is preventing users from being able to log in to iTunes.
When trying to sign in to the iTunes Stores the bug pitches back an error that reads “FATAL::Unable to process your request. Please try again.” Unfortunately the error isn’t limited to just desktop iTunes users, as many iPad and iPhone owners are having the same sign in problems.
The entire Cult of Mac staff checked our devices and everything seems fine here, but there’s a long Apple support forum thread of people claiming everything isn’t peachy, with other threads popping up in other categories as well. One forum user said Apple Support claimed they were aware of the server issue on their end, while others received a lot more resistance from Apple’s support staff.
MacLife reports that they’ve also experienced the issue, first on their iPad only but then the Fatal Error began to appear on their Mac as well. Affected users say that so far password resets haven’t helped in the slightest bit, while Apple’s Services status page currently states that there are no known issues or outages as of 8:45AM PST.
Apple has yet to address the issue but we’ve reached out for comment and will update you with more info when it’s available.
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