Apple Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Reno Warehouse With Visit From Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple today started construction on a new warehouse in downtown Reno, Nevada, with the site visited this afternoon by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal.

In a speech given at the groundbreaking of the warehouse, which is located near the company’s Reno data center, Cook said the data center is a key component in the ecosystem that provides billions of iMessages, photos, and FaceTime calls to customers around the world each day.

“We’ve invested $1.6 billion in the region today and over the course of the next six years, we intend to invest an additional $1 billion,” said Cook.

“Reno plays an incredibly important role in the products and services that we provide our customers worldwide. Without the data center here, none of this would be possible.”

Apple’s presence in Reno kicked off in 2012 with the construction of its data center. As part of that deal Apple was required to build a facility in the downtown Reno tourism improvement district, hence the warehouse.

Apple plans to use the upcoming Reno, Nevada warehouse to move equipment to the data center, which Apple allowed the Reno Gazette-Journal to tour today following Cook’s speech.

Image via the Reno Gazette-Journal


The site shared nearly 50 photos captured from inside the data center, filled with racks and racks of the servers that power Apple services. The images provide glimpses at Apple’s server setup, cabling, cooling operations, cleaning rooms, and more.

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Apple Paying Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston $1.25M Per Episode for Upcoming Morning Show Drama

Apple is paying Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston “upward of $1.25 million” a piece for each episode of their upcoming morning talk show drama series, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The show, which is based on Brian Stelter’s non-fiction book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV” explores the drama-filled lives of the men and women who star on morning talk shows.



Witherspoon and Aniston’s $1.25 million salary per episode includes fees for executive producing and points on the show’s backend, as both are serving as executive producers on the series. Apple has already ordered 20 episodes of the show, split into two seasons.

Witherspoon’s high salary on Apple’s new television show drove up the price of her salary on the second season of HBO’s “Little Big Lies,” for which she will receive $1 million per episode.

One Hollywood agent told The Hollywood Reporter that if HBO matches Apple’s price, “it inflates the whole ecosystem of TV actor salaries.” HBO programming president Casey Bloys wasn’t as concerned, though.

“It’s not a shock to anybody that having a second season of an ongoing series is easier to have with those deals in place,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys tells THR. “Every outlet has to make their own decisions about economics that make sense for them. I’m not going to shake my fist and say, ‘Darn it, Apple!’ If that’s what made sense for them for that show, God bless.”

In addition to the morning show drama, Apple is working on two other TV shows with Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company with Witherspoon serving a executive producer. One is “Are You Sleeping,” a psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer, while the other is an untitled comedy series starring Kristen Wiig.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Plans $350 Billion Boost to U.S. Economy Over 5 Years, 20,000 New Jobs, and a New Campus [Updated]

Apple today highlighted its plan to to bolster the U.S. economy through job creation, existing investments, and new investments, with the company on target to contribute $55 billion to the economy in 2018 and $350 billion over the course of the next five years.

Along with its $350 billion contribution through direct employment, investment with domestic suppliers, and the App Store economy, Apple will increase its Advanced Manufacturing Fund from $1 billion to $5 billion.



The Advanced Manufacturing Fund is designed to create jobs in the United States through investments in Apple suppliers. Apple has already invested $200 million in Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, and $390 million in Finisar, a supplier that makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components found in the iPhone X’s True Depth camera.

“Apple is a success story that could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.”

Apple plans to repatriate much of its overseas profits and expects to pay taxes of $38 billion when doing so, which Apple says is likely to be the largest payment of this kind ever made. That tax payment, combined with its U.S. investments and planned capital expenditures, will account for $75 billion of its projected $350 billion contribution.

Apple will be paying 15.5 percent in taxes to repatriate its overseas cash, suggesting the company plans to repatriate approximately $245 billion, or nearly all of its foreign money.

Apple will create 20,000 new jobs and spend $30 billion hiring new employees at its existing campus and opening a new campus. Apple has a new campus in the works that will “initially house technical support for customers.” Its location will be announced later in the year.

More than $10 billion of Apple’s planned capital expenditures will be investments in data centers across the United States, with Apple breaking ground on a new facility in Reno, Nevada starting today.

Apple’s final plan to bolster the economy is through education. The company will expand its current coding initiatives that are designed to help people learn how to create iOS apps using Swift and it will increase funding for ConnectED to help students in “historically underserved communities” learn coding skills.

Update: Apple today also told employees that it will issue a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law. Stock grants will be issued to most employees below a director level worldwide “in the coming months.”

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus Was China’s Second Best-Selling Smartphone in 2017

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus was the second best-selling smartphone in China last year and outperformed iPhone 7 sales by some margin, according to new market research, suggesting price is not the only concern amongst Chinese consumers.

Low-cost smartphones have dominated the Chinese market in recent years, while high-end devices from companies like Apple typically see low sales numbers in the country. But a report from Counterpoint Research reveals Apple’s 5.5-inch device reached second place with a 2.8 percent market share overall, while Oppo’s similarly sized R9S ended 2017 as the market leader with a 3 percent share. In third and fourth place the Vivo X9 and Oppo A57 took 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent of the market, respectively, while Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 7 sat in fifth with 2.4 percent, suggesting the smaller form factor display dampened interest amongst consumers.

Apple was the only foreign brand in China’s 2017 market top 10, according to the research, thanks to the success of its iPhone 7 series. An uptick in sales in the second half of the year was reportedly due to the implementation of price cuts, which increased Apple’s competitiveness against lower-cost local brands. For example, an iPhone 7 Plus with 128GB storage received a 16 percent price cut, putting it around the $900 mark.

The big winner though was Oppo, whose product and pricing strategies were most in sync with the demands of the Chinese market, enabling it to end the year with three different models in the top 10. In terms of product strategy, Oppo focused on selfie and social media features, both of which are popular with Chinese consumers in the high-volume middle-tier market, where smartphones cost between $200 and $400.



According to the report, higher replacement demand and a bigger dependence on mobile apps has spurred fierce competition in China, which is home to the world’s biggest smartphone market in terms of sales volume. Apple fared well, however, managing to ship an estimated 11 million iPhones overall in the third quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to separate research conducted by Canalys.

The strong growth, buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region. Data isn’t yet available for the fourth quarter, when the iPhone X launched in China, although the model’s high price and supply constraints likely inhibited growth in the short term, despite excitement around all-display/bezel-free phones.

Apple was the fifth largest smartphone maker in China in Q3 2017, behind local brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi, according to Canalys data.

Tag: China

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Malicious Link Texted to Mac and iOS Devices Can Cause Freezes and Resprings

A link that exploits a bug in iOS and Mac devices was shared on Twitter this afternoon, and if you receive this link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can freeze up or respring, and the Messages app can become unusable.

The link, which goes to a Github page, breaks the Messages app and causes problems on both iOS devices and Macs. Simply receiving the link results in issues, likely due to the Messages feature that lets you preview web links. We tested the bad link and while we saw few resprings, it did reliably cause the Messages app to freeze entirely.



The only solution appears to be to quit out of the Messages app and then delete the entire offending conversation to restore full functionality.

These kinds of Message-based bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app in the past. Such bugs are not serious, but they can be highly irritating when abused as a prank.

It’s best not to send the link to friends, because it can cause the sending device to freeze up and crash as well. If your device is affected, quit the Messages app on Mac or iOS, open it back up, and immediately delete the entire message thread.

On Mac, you’ll need to swipe right on the trackpad or right click on to the person’s name to delete the conversation, while on iOS, you’ll need to swipe to the right on a person’s name to bring up the delete option.



Blocking the domain using Parental Restrictions may prevent the link from affecting your iOS devices. You can turn on Restrictions on iPhone or iPad by going to Settings –> General –> Restrictions –> Websites –> Limit Adult Content and adding “GitHub.io” to the “Never Allow” list.
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High School Student Interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently took the time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with high school student Rebecca Kahn, and her account of the interview was shared today by the National Center for Women & Information Technology as part of a new “Innovator to Innovator” series to celebrate the upcoming 2018 Aspirations in Computing Awards.

Kahn says that she first emailed Cook when tasked with interviewing a person of interest in technology during her computer class at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina. She wasn’t expecting a response, but Cook read her email and agreed to do the interview with her.

Kahn and Cook discussed several topics that are regular favorites of Cook’s, including the importance of learning to code at a young age, advocating for more women in tech leadership roles, and the importance for companies to treat everybody with “dignity and respect.”

Cook told Kahn that his aim in life is to “work for some higher purpose” that he sees as his “North Star,” a goal that has influenced his time at Apple.

Apple is “all about doing just a few things, but the few things that we do, we want to make the very best in the world. Because we believe those make a much larger difference in the world than if we were to focus on just making the most.”

While he openly admits to his failures, Tim also optimistically regards them as lessons to avoid repeating. Whenever he feels discouraged, he tells himself to “keep your eye on your North Star, and keep moving” because the “worst thing to do would be to fail and quit. Failure is just temporary, but quitting lasts forever.”

Kahn’s full account of her interview with Cook, which covers more thoughts from Cook and her impression of the Apple CEO is available on the Aspirations in Computing site.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology plans to share additional conversations that Apple executives have had with Aspirations in Computing community members in future additions to the “Innovator to Innovator” series.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Apple in Bidding War for J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Drama

Apple and HBO are embroiled in a bidding war for a new sci-fi drama television series penned by J.J. Abrams, reports Variety.

Little is known about the series at this time, but it’s said to deal with a “world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force,” and it marks the first television series Abrams has written since “Fringe” in 2008.



Most recently, Abrams wrote “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and he is working on the upcoming and as of yet untitled “Star Wars: Episode IX.” In the past, Abrams has worked on shows that include “Lost,” “Felicity,” and “Alias.”

Abrams would serve as executive producer on the sci-fi series, alongside Ben Stephenson, head of TV for Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. The series would be produced by Warner Bros. Television, and while Variety says Apple and HBO are the top bidders at this time, the studio is open to other bidders.

Apple already has two other sci-fi shows in the works, including a revival of 1985 Steven Spielberg sci-fi series “Amazing Stories” and an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for “Battlestar Galactica.”

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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New York Attorney General Leads Filing of Multi-State Lawsuit to Block Rollback of Net Neutrality

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this afternoon announced that he and 22 other Attorneys General have teamed up to file a lawsuit aiming to stop the Federal Communications Commission’s planned rollback of net neutrality.

The multi-state lawsuit [PDF] asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the FCC’s repeal order, calling it arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion that violates federal law.



“An open internet – and the free exchange of ideas it allows – is critical to our democratic process,” Schneiderman said in a statement on his website. “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers – allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online. This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet.”

The FCC has not filed its new rules with the Federal Register, so the repeal is not yet final, but the lawsuit has been filed out of “an abundance of caution” and to “preserve the right to be included in the judicial lottery procedure.” It’s essentially the states’ way of establishing the first step towards a full challenge of the FCC’s decision.



The lawsuit is backed by Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

In related net neutrality news, 50 senators have now endorsed a legislative measure to override the FCC’s net neutrality repeal, reports The Washington Post. With one additional Republican vote, a Senate resolution of disapproval will be able to be passed, but it will still need to make it to the House and be signed by President Trump.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Review: Ten One Design’s Mountie+ Turns Your iPad Into a Second Screen Attached to Your Mac

Ten One Design’s new Mountie+ is an update to its existing Mountie, a device that’s designed to allow you to attach an iPad or iPhone to your laptop for use as a second display. The Mountie+, which I’ve been using for the last few weeks, was created for Apple’s larger 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad models.

With the Mountie+, I can attach an iPad to the left side, right side, or top of my MacBook Pro using a simple double clamp mechanism. Made from plastic, one side of the clamp buckles onto my MacBook Pro, while the other side is meant to hold the iPad. I had to take my iPad Pro’s Smart Cover off to use Mountie+, but it will work with slim cases attached.



The clamp works using soft pieces of grippy rubber to grasp both the display of the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro, and there are different sized rubber inserts to fit different devices. The grip is super tight and fitted to both devices, so the iPad Pro is going absolutely nowhere while in the Mountie+. There is absolutely no slippage, and even when I pull on my iPad with a good amount of force, it does not budge.



The first Mountie+ I had actually gripped my MacBook Pro too tight and caused visible distortion to the display even with the correct inserts. I was concerned about long term damage, so Ten One Design sent a replacement. The second Mountie+ had no issues with fit and did not cause prolonged screen distortion when I clamped it shut.



For the record, if you have one that fits a little tight like I did, Ten One Design will swap it out for you. To be honest, I’m still mildly concerned about the pressure the mount exerts on my MacBook Pro, but the original Mountie has been around for quite awhile and it’s not an issue that’s been raised, so it appears to be safe.

For my setup, the Mountie+ worked right out of the box, but some people may need to make component swaps. In that situation, I think it’s a little unclear how the Mountie+ works and which components are needed — I felt like Ten One Design needed to include clearer instructions. It’s not immediately clear which side of the clamp goes where, nor how you’re supposed to position it.



Here’s how it works: Open up the buckles on the Mountie+, put the thinner side on the MacBook Pro with the smaller tabs facing the display side, and then put the thicker side on the iPad Pro. Line everything up and then close the buckle to clamp it all down tight.

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Twitter Rejects Claims It Snoops on Private User Data Including Direct Messages

Twitter has rebuffed claims by a conservative media outlet that its staff monitor users’ private data, including direct messages sent over the social network (via TechCrunch).

Earlier this week, Project Veritas, which hosts sting operation-style videos produced by self-proclaimed “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe, posted footage that appears to show Twitter engineers admitting that teams of employees access users’ data.

In one brief clip, a senior network security engineer appears to say that the social media company would be able hand over President Donald Trump’s data, including deleted tweets and direct messages, to the Department of Justice, subject to a subpoena.

Last week, Twitter criticized Project Veritas in a public statement for its “deceptive” and “selectively edited” report.

We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative. Twitter only responds to valid legal requests and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.

Referencing its privacy policies and terms of service which explain how it holds and stores information that users choose to share, Twitter said it is “committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules”.

Project Veritas has been criticized in the past for using underhand and deceitful methods in its investigations. In November last year, one of its undercover employees was caught trying to bait reporters at The Washington Post by falsely claiming to be a sexual assault victim of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. 

Twitter regularly reveals the number of legal requests it receives and responds to in its biannual transparency report. The company received 2,111 government information requests in the U.S. and produced at least some information for 77 percent of them during the period between January 1 and June 30, 2017.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Twitter

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