Thursday, September 12, 2013

Twitter Announces It's Filed for an IPO via a Tweet




Twitter announced today that the company has filed for an IPO. The announcement came in the form of a tweet.

We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.

The tweet reveals that Twitter is filing using the new 'secret' IPO process made available by the JOBS act. This lets them make initial SEC filings without public scrutiny until they decide to actually sell shares to the public.

The fact that Twitter is taking advantage of a JOBS filing means that the company’s annual revenue is less than $1 billion, since anyone above that threshold can’t use that process. “Secret” IPOs have been popular throughout 2013, though this is the first time we’ve seen a company acknowledge the initial S-1 filing in public.


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Apple Now Requires an Apple ID to Make Online Genius Bar Appointments




Apple is now requiring that you sign in with an Apple ID to make an online Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store, observes TechCrunch.

The reasons for this are manifold but there is an ongoing effort to tie in a user’s Apple ID with all of their actions in Apple’s ecosystem. This new procedure is in place for Genius Bar and Workshop appointments and there is now a profile page that allows you to see all of your appointments past and present.

The site says the change is also to "give the control of a Genius Bar appointment to a user directly, who must know their credentials and enter them before being able to confirm a payment."

Another factor may be the time savings. Instead of having to enter a user's information when they arrive for the appointment it will already be populated.





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U.S. Government Releases iPhone App to Identify and Locate Child Predators




U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released a new iOS app called 'Operation Predator' that aims to help fight and prevent child exploitation.

This app makes it easy for the public to report suspected child exploitation in their community. As part of Operation Predator, the public can use this app to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents identify and locate suspected child predators, and protect victims from further abuse. Call the HSI Tipline directly, submit a tip online, help identify most wanted suspects, read about the latest investigations and arrests, receive alerts when new suspects are being sought and learn about our partner agencies - right from this app.

You can download Operation Predator from the App Store for free.












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Microsoft is Working on 'Cortana' Personal Assistant to Rival Siri




Microsoft is working on a 'Cortana' personal assistant to rival Apple's Siri and Google Now, reports ZDNet.

Signs of Cortana were first spotted on a Lumia allegedly purchased on eBay. The phone was running a beta of the Windows Phone OS and had an unrecognized app installed called 'zCortanaApp'. The 'z' indicates a test build.

The name 'Cortana' comes from an artificially intelligent character in the Halo series of video games. Like in the game, Microsoft's assistant will be able to learn and adapt using machine-learning technology such as the 'Satori' knowledge repository that powers Bing, says ZDNet.

Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire "shell" -- the core services and experience -- of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One operating systems, from what I've heard from my contacts.

In Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's strategy memo from July he hinted at "a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell."

"Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it."

The shell will "broker information among our services to bring them together on our devices in ways that will enable richer and deeper app experiences," Ballmer said.

The 'Cortana' assistant likely won't appear until 2014-2016, according to Microsoft execs. Bing officials reportedly told CNET that Microsoft decided to wait until it had something revolutionary, rather than evolutionary.





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Apple Plans to Use Its New M7 Chip to Improve Maps, Locate Your Parked Car?




Apple is planning to use the new M7 chip in the iPhone 5s to improve its Maps experience and maybe even locate your parked car.

The new M7 coprocessor is like a sidekick to the A7 chip. It’s designed specifically to measure motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass — a task that would normally fall to the A7 chip. But the M7 is much more efficient at it.

Apple notes that the M7 can determine if you walking, running, or driving and will adjust the Maps application according.

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.

A new report from 9to5Mac says that Apple is testing a tool for the Maps app that will use the M7 to determine where you parked your car.

"Sources say that Apple is testing a tool for its Maps app that, with the M7 chip, could analyze when your car is parked. When you park your car, the iPhone will register the car’s location. Now when you return to the parking lot, your iPhone will be able to help you assist with finding your car since it knows the vehicle’s location."

Apple is said to be working on other new Maps features as well including public transit directions and indoor mapping. Apple has acquired several companies to help it in this endeavor and we could see a vastly improved Maps application by iOS 8.


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Apple Increases Battery Size of iPhone 5s by 10%, iPhone 5c by 5%




Apple's FCC filings reveal that the size of the battery for its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones have been increased by 10% and 5%, respectively.

AnandTech reported the discovery earlier today:

While I'm somewhat skeptical sometimes of the accuracy of battery capacities as reported in FCC disclosures (which I noted about the battery size for the Nexus 5), these numbers seem credible given what I've heard, the statement Apple made during the keynote about the 5C battery size going up, and what I'd expect with some board re-layout for the 5S. The iPhone 5S ends up getting an almost 10 percent increase in size versus the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C goes up around 5 percent versus the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 offered up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G, 8 hours of LTE Internet use, and 225 hours of standby time. Those times have been increased to up to 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE Internet use, and 250 hours of standby time on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.


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Samsung Says Its Next Smartphones Will Have 64-Bit Processors




Following Apple's announcement of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, Samsung has announced that it plans to release a smartphone with a 64-bit processor and expand its business in China, reports the KoreaTimes. Samsung’s mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun made the comments at a weekly meeting with chief executives of Samsung’s key affiliates in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul.

“Samsung understands that Apple intends to boost its mobile business in China, as well as in Japan, meaning that we should try harder in these countries,” Shin said.

“Apple believes that it can boost its market share in China thanks to stronger brand awareness. However, with better pricing, a diversified product lineup and solid partnerships with local channels, Samsung plans to keep its current momentum in China. We have no reason to allow Apple to steal market share from us,” said one low-ranking industry executive.

Samsung is top smartphone seller in China with 19.4% of the market. Apple has 4.3% of the market.

Shin also confirmed that Samsung would be releasing a smartphone with a 64-bit processor.

“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin said.



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