Apple Offers Free Genetic Testing to Cupertino Employees

Through Apple’s AC Wellness services that offer health benefits to Cupertino employees, Apple has begun providing its staff with free genetic testing, reports CNBC.

AC Wellness operates on-site health clinics on and near Apple’s Cupertino campuses, and through a partnership with Color Genomics, employees are able to get genetic screenings for diseases.


Genetic testing is expected to help employees uncover health problems that could turn into risks later in time, allowing patients to take preventative steps. Color’s test is able to look for gene mutations associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The test created by Color is not sold directly to consumers and is instead ordered by clinicians at AC Wellness, with a follow up appointment required to discuss the health results.

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Through Apple's AC Wellness services that offer health benefits to Cupertino employees, Apple has begun providing its staff with free genetic testing, reports CNBC.

AC Wellness operates on-site health clinics on and near Apple's Cupertino campuses, and through a partnership with Color Genomics, employees are able to get genetic screenings for diseases.


Genetic testing is expected to help employees uncover health problems that could turn into risks later in time, allowing patients to take preventative steps. Color's test is able to look for gene mutations associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The test created by Color is not sold directly to consumers and is instead ordered by clinicians at AC Wellness, with a follow up appointment required to discuss the health results.


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With Apple’s New Austin Campus Underway, Is Apple Still Looking at North Carolina?

A year to the day after Apple announced plans to spend $1 billion on a new corporate campus in Austin, Texas, to initially support 5,000 employees with the potential to grow to 15,000, television station WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, has shared an update and a few new details related to North Carolina’s attempts to attract the new campus.

Rendering of Apple’s upcoming Austin campus

While it didn’t conduct a public competition like Amazon, Apple was open about its plans to construct a new corporate campus, announcing its intentions in January 2018. A number of cities emerged as top contenders to land Apple’s new campus, but by May 2018, sources were reporting that it was all but a “done deal” that the new campus would be located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) near Raleigh and Durham, with a temporary location for up to 1,000 employees planned for an existing office building in nearby Cary.

Months went by without an official announcement from Apple, and with Apple ultimately revealing the campus would be built in Austin, many have wondered what went wrong in what appeared to be late-stage negotiations between Apple and North Carolina.

The December announcement seemed to surprise the governor and state legislative leaders, who hours later released a joint statement touting economic growth in North Carolina and pledging to “keep doing everything we can” to attract jobs. […]

Since then, there’s been little explanation about how or why the deal dissolved by year’s end.

But given the company’s notorious penchant for secrecy, [North Carolina Senate Majority Leader Harry] Brown said, media coverage of the potential plans for North Carolina didn’t help.

“Apple and companies like it are very sensitive to information getting out, and there’s a possibility that could have hurt the negotiations with Apple a year ago,” he said.

Even since the Austin announcement, there have been some curious developments in North Carolina that have hinted Apple may still have plans for the area. Most notably, in December 2018 just weeks after the Austin announcement, a mysterious entity known as Acute Investments purchased several tracts of land in RTP totaling around 280 acres, a massive investment that did not come with any public announcements. The Acute Investments representative listed on the deeds for the properties is local attorney Bruce Thompson, who is registered as a lobbyist for Apple, among other companies.

Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by Acute Investments and “controlled by Apple”

As a result, Apple has long been suspected of being the mystery buyer in RTP, and today’s report from WRAL indicates that North Carolina Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland has finally confirmed that the land is indeed “controlled by Apple.”

In an interview with WRAL News last week, Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland declined to provide specifics about the state’s active recruitment of Apple. But he did point to a purchase of about 280 acres of Wake County land in Research Triangle Park for almost $50 million in late December 2018, just weeks after Apple’s Austin announcement. […]

Reached this week by phone, Thompson declined to comment.

But Copeland confirmed in the interview that the land is “controlled by Apple.”

In addition, the state of North Carolina continues to refuse to release any information regarding its negotiations with Apple for the new campus, claiming that the project remains “open.” Governmental authorities are typically required to release information to the public about their corporate recruitment efforts once a given project has ended, but North Carolina continues to insist the Apple project, known by its code name of “Project Bear,” has not been closed.

So given that the new campus has been announced for Austin and ground has now been broken there, it’s unclear what Apple’s plans are for North Carolina. Are negotiations actually still underway for yet another Apple campus to be located in RTP, or is the continued “open” status of the project simply a ploy by Apple to try to keep its negotiations secret for as long as possible? And why spend tens of millions of dollars on RTP land when Austin had already been chosen?

Is Apple looking at yet another significant campus in the near future, or is it banking land and leaving negotiations with North Carolina open as a backup plan or to provide options for much further down the road? It’s not clear when we’ll have answers to these questions, but given Apple’s appetite for office space, it would not be surprising if the company finds itself looking to expand again in the not too distant future.

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A year to the day after Apple announced plans to spend $1 billion on a new corporate campus in Austin, Texas, to initially support 5,000 employees with the potential to grow to 15,000, television station WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, has shared an update and a few new details related to North Carolina's attempts to attract the new campus.

Rendering of Apple's upcoming Austin campus

While it didn't conduct a public competition like Amazon, Apple was open about its plans to construct a new corporate campus, announcing its intentions in January 2018. A number of cities emerged as top contenders to land Apple's new campus, but by May 2018, sources were reporting that it was all but a "done deal" that the new campus would be located in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park (RTP) near Raleigh and Durham, with a temporary location for up to 1,000 employees planned for an existing office building in nearby Cary.

Months went by without an official announcement from Apple, and with Apple ultimately revealing the campus would be built in Austin, many have wondered what went wrong in what appeared to be late-stage negotiations between Apple and North Carolina.
The December announcement seemed to surprise the governor and state legislative leaders, who hours later released a joint statement touting economic growth in North Carolina and pledging to "keep doing everything we can" to attract jobs. [...]

Since then, there's been little explanation about how or why the deal dissolved by year's end.

But given the company's notorious penchant for secrecy, [North Carolina Senate Majority Leader Harry] Brown said, media coverage of the potential plans for North Carolina didn't help.

"Apple and companies like it are very sensitive to information getting out, and there's a possibility that could have hurt the negotiations with Apple a year ago," he said.
Even since the Austin announcement, there have been some curious developments in North Carolina that have hinted Apple may still have plans for the area. Most notably, in December 2018 just weeks after the Austin announcement, a mysterious entity known as Acute Investments purchased several tracts of land in RTP totaling around 280 acres, a massive investment that did not come with any public announcements. The Acute Investments representative listed on the deeds for the properties is local attorney Bruce Thompson, who is registered as a lobbyist for Apple, among other companies.

Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by Acute Investments and "controlled by Apple"

As a result, Apple has long been suspected of being the mystery buyer in RTP, and today's report from WRAL indicates that North Carolina Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland has finally confirmed that the land is indeed "controlled by Apple."
In an interview with WRAL News last week, Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland declined to provide specifics about the state's active recruitment of Apple. But he did point to a purchase of about 280 acres of Wake County land in Research Triangle Park for almost $50 million in late December 2018, just weeks after Apple's Austin announcement. [...]

Reached this week by phone, Thompson declined to comment.

But Copeland confirmed in the interview that the land is "controlled by Apple."
In addition, the state of North Carolina continues to refuse to release any information regarding its negotiations with Apple for the new campus, claiming that the project remains "open." Governmental authorities are typically required to release information to the public about their corporate recruitment efforts once a given project has ended, but North Carolina continues to insist the Apple project, known by its code name of "Project Bear," has not been closed.

So given that the new campus has been announced for Austin and ground has now been broken there, it's unclear what Apple's plans are for North Carolina. Are negotiations actually still underway for yet another Apple campus to be located in RTP, or is the continued "open" status of the project simply a ploy by Apple to try to keep its negotiations secret for as long as possible? And why spend tens of millions of dollars on RTP land when Austin had already been chosen?

Is Apple looking at yet another significant campus in the near future, or is it banking land and leaving negotiations with North Carolina open as a backup plan or to provide options for much further down the road? It's not clear when we'll have answers to these questions, but given Apple's appetite for office space, it would not be surprising if the company finds itself looking to expand again in the not too distant future.


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Jura Anchor Uses the AirPods Lightning Port to Add a Carabiner

Jura’s new Jura Anchor and carabiner setup are designed to add a little handle to the charging case of the AirPods and AirPods Pro, so you can attach it to a bag, backpack, belt loop, or keys.

The setup includes a Jura Anchor that connects to the ‌AirPods‌ using a “proprietary connector” designed to fit into the Lightning port of the device along with a carabiner made from ether titanium or zinc alloy.


Jura promises that the connector that it’s using to attach to the charging case of the ‌AirPods‌ can hold 15x the weight of the ‌AirPods‌. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ case weighs 1.61 ounces and the ‌AirPods‌ case weighs 1.34 ounces, so that means the Jura anchor can hold somewhere around 24 ounces at maximum.


It’s easy to envision a situation where the ‌AirPods‌ are attached to the outside of a bag and pop off from force or someone sees the ‌AirPods‌ hanging and just snaps them up, so this doesn’t seem like the greatest solution for keys or the exterior of a bag.


A lot of bags have a little keyring inside designed for keys, though, or other internal loops, which would work well with the Jura Anchor if you just wanted to keep your ‌AirPods‌ locatable within a bag. The Jura Anchor started out as a Kickstarter project, but the company is now taking traditional orders.

The Jura Anchor with a titanium carabiner is priced at $34.99, and the Jura Anchor with a zinc alloy carabiner is priced at $24.99. Orders placed now will ship out “in early December” so be aware that there’s no specific shipping date being provided at this time.

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Jura's new Jura Anchor and carabiner setup are designed to add a little handle to the charging case of the AirPods and AirPods Pro, so you can attach it to a bag, backpack, belt loop, or keys.

The setup includes a Jura Anchor that connects to the ‌AirPods‌ using a "proprietary connector" designed to fit into the Lightning port of the device along with a carabiner made from ether titanium or zinc alloy.


Jura promises that the connector that it's using to attach to the charging case of the ‌AirPods‌ can hold 15x the weight of the ‌AirPods‌. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ case weighs 1.61 ounces and the ‌AirPods‌ case weighs 1.34 ounces, so that means the Jura anchor can hold somewhere around 24 ounces at maximum.


It's easy to envision a situation where the ‌AirPods‌ are attached to the outside of a bag and pop off from force or someone sees the ‌AirPods‌ hanging and just snaps them up, so this doesn't seem like the greatest solution for keys or the exterior of a bag.


A lot of bags have a little keyring inside designed for keys, though, or other internal loops, which would work well with the Jura Anchor if you just wanted to keep your ‌AirPods‌ locatable within a bag. The Jura Anchor started out as a Kickstarter project, but the company is now taking traditional orders.

The Jura Anchor with a titanium carabiner is priced at $34.99, and the Jura Anchor with a zinc alloy carabiner is priced at $24.99. Orders placed now will ship out "in early December" so be aware that there's no specific shipping date being provided at this time.


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Apple Used DMCA Takedown to Temporarily Remove Tweet With iPhone Encryption Key

Apple recently used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get Twitter to remove a viral tweet that featured an iPhone encryption key, provoking the ire of the security community, reports Motherboard.

On December 7, security researcher “Siguza” on Twitter shared an encryption key that could potentially be used to reverse engineer the ‌iPhone‌’s Secure Enclave, which handles encryption for the device.


Just two days later, a law firm that works with Apple sent a DMCA takedown notice to Twitter, requesting that the tweet be removed. Twitter complied, deleting the tweet.

Today, the tweet reappeared, and Siguza said that the DMCA claim was “retracted.” Apple confirmed to Motherboard that it sent the takedown notice and then asked Twitter to put the tweet back in place.

iPhone11,8 17C5053a sepi 9f974f1788e615700fec73006cc2e6b533b0c6c2b8cf653bdbd347bc1897bdd66b11815f036e94c951250c4dda916c00

— Siguza (@s1guza) December 8, 2019

Reddit also received several DMCA takedown requests for posts shared on r/jailbreak, a subreddit where security researchers and hackers discuss methods for jailbreaking Apple iPhones. It’s not clear if this is also Apple, as the source of the takedown requests was unable to be verified.

Still, security researchers suspect Apple, and according to Motherboard, they see Apple’s actions as an attempt to stifle the jailbreaking community.

For many years, there was no available jailbreaking software for modern iPhones, but that changed earlier this year when Checkra1n, a jailbreak for certain devices running iOS 13, was released. Checkra1n doesn’t work on iPhones released in 2018 and 2019, but it does work on all older ‌iPhone‌ models, which has likely put Apple on edge.

Apple is also in the middle of a lawsuit against Corellium, a mobile device virtualization company that supports iOS. Corellium’s software allows security researchers and hackers to create digital replicas of iOS devices for the purpose of finding and testing vulnerabilities, and the security community has criticized Apple’s decision to levy a lawsuit against Corellium.

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Apple recently used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get Twitter to remove a viral tweet that featured an iPhone encryption key, provoking the ire of the security community, reports Motherboard.

On December 7, security researcher "Siguza" on Twitter shared an encryption key that could potentially be used to reverse engineer the ‌iPhone‌'s Secure Enclave, which handles encryption for the device.


Just two days later, a law firm that works with Apple sent a DMCA takedown notice to Twitter, requesting that the tweet be removed. Twitter complied, deleting the tweet.

Today, the tweet reappeared, and Siguza said that the DMCA claim was "retracted." Apple confirmed to Motherboard that it sent the takedown notice and then asked Twitter to put the tweet back in place.


Reddit also received several DMCA takedown requests for posts shared on r/jailbreak, a subreddit where security researchers and hackers discuss methods for jailbreaking Apple iPhones. It's not clear if this is also Apple, as the source of the takedown requests was unable to be verified.

Still, security researchers suspect Apple, and according to Motherboard, they see Apple's actions as an attempt to stifle the jailbreaking community.

For many years, there was no available jailbreaking software for modern iPhones, but that changed earlier this year when Checkra1n, a jailbreak for certain devices running iOS 13, was released. Checkra1n doesn't work on iPhones released in 2018 and 2019, but it does work on all older ‌iPhone‌ models, which has likely put Apple on edge.

Apple is also in the middle of a lawsuit against Corellium, a mobile device virtualization company that supports iOS. Corellium's software allows security researchers and hackers to create digital replicas of iOS devices for the purpose of finding and testing vulnerabilities, and the security community has criticized Apple's decision to levy a lawsuit against Corellium.


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Apple Upgrades Holiday Shipping, Offers Free Next-Day Delivery and Free Courier Service in Some Areas

Apple today updated its holiday shipping policies to ensure that people are able to order and receive gifts ahead of when Christmas, Hanukkah, and other celebrations begin, with the company now offering faster free shipping options.

For in-stock Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch orders, Apple is offering free same-day courier delivery in cities where courier delivery is available. Other products will cost $9 for courier delivery, which is Apple’s standard courier pricing.


For orders where courier delivery is not available and for items that don’t qualify for free courier delivery, Apple is offering free next-day delivery on any in-stock item ordered by 3:00 p.m. on December 23. That deadline means that any item ordered by that time will arrive before Christmas on December 25.

Apple is also offering holiday returns right now, which means anything purchased between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned until January 8, 2020.

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Apple today updated its holiday shipping policies to ensure that people are able to order and receive gifts ahead of when Christmas, Hanukkah, and other celebrations begin, with the company now offering faster free shipping options.

For in-stock Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch orders, Apple is offering free same-day courier delivery in cities where courier delivery is available. Other products will cost $9 for courier delivery, which is Apple's standard courier pricing.


For orders where courier delivery is not available and for items that don't qualify for free courier delivery, Apple is offering free next-day delivery on any in-stock item ordered by 3:00 p.m. on December 23. That deadline means that any item ordered by that time will arrive before Christmas on December 25.

Apple is also offering holiday returns right now, which means anything purchased between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned until January 8, 2020.


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Mac Pro Build to Order Options

Apple’s new Mac Pro became available for purchase today, giving us our first look at all of the available upgrade options and pricing tiers.

The entry-level ‌Mac Pro‌ with an 8-core Xeon processor is priced at $5,999, but the GPU, processor, RAM, and storage space can all be upgraded for additional money.


Below, we’ve listed the available upgrade options from the base machine, which is equipped with a 3.5GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB RAM, Radeon Pro 580X, 256GB SSD, no Apple Afterburner, and no wheeled frame.

Processor Options

  • 3.3GHz 12‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz – +$1,000
  • 3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz – +$2,000
  • 2.7GHz 24‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz – +$6,000
  • 2.5GHz 28‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz – +$7,000

RAM Options

  • 48GB (6x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – +$300
  • 96GB (6x16GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – +$1,000
  • 192GB (6x32GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – +$3,000
  • 384GB (6x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – +$6,000
  • 768GB (6x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – $14,000
  • 768GB (12x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – $10,000
  • 1.5TB (12x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory – +$25,000

GPU Options

  • Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory – +$2,400
  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory each – +$5,200
  • Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory – +$5,200
  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory each – +$10,800

Apple will soon add a Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB GDDR6 memory and an option for two Radeon Pro W5700X.

Storage Options

  • 1TB SSD storage – +$400
  • 2TB SSD storage – +$800
  • 4TB SSD storage – +$1,400

Apple will soon add an additional 8TB SSD storage option, but it is not available at this time.

Apple Afterburner

Adding an Apple Afterburner card to the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost an additional $2,000. The Apple Afterburner is a PCIe accelerator card that offloads the decoding of ProRes and ProRes RAW video codecs in apps like Final Cut Pro X.

Other Upgrade Options

Adding a stainless steel frame with wheels to the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost $400, as a frame with feet is the standard option.

The ‌Mac Pro‌ comes with a Magic Mouse 2, but can be upgraded to a Magic Trackpad 2 for an additional $50. ‌Mac Pro‌ buyers can get both the mouse and the trackpad for $149.

A rack mount option for the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost an additional $500, starting at $6,499, and is not yet available with Apple labeling it “Coming soon.”

How to Buy

The ‌Mac Pro‌ is available for purchase starting today, and orders placed now will begin delivering between December 19 and December 27. A machine with all possible upgrades will cost upwards of $50,000, close to 10 times the base cost of the ‌Mac Pro‌.

This article, “Mac Pro Build to Order Options” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple's new Mac Pro became available for purchase today, giving us our first look at all of the available upgrade options and pricing tiers.

The entry-level ‌Mac Pro‌ with an 8-core Xeon processor is priced at $5,999, but the GPU, processor, RAM, and storage space can all be upgraded for additional money.


Below, we've listed the available upgrade options from the base machine, which is equipped with a 3.5GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB RAM, Radeon Pro 580X, 256GB SSD, no Apple Afterburner, and no wheeled frame.

Processor Options



  • 3.3GHz 12‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz - +$1,000

  • 3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz - +$2,000

  • 2.7GHz 24‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz - +$6,000

  • 2.5GHz 28‑core Intel Xeon W, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz - +$7,000

RAM Options



  • 48GB (6x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - +$300

  • 96GB (6x16GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - +$1,000

  • 192GB (6x32GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - +$3,000

  • 384GB (6x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - +$6,000

  • 768GB (6x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - $14,000

  • 768GB (12x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - $10,000

  • 1.5TB (12x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory - +$25,000

GPU Options



  • Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory - +$2,400

  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory each - +$5,200

  • Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory - +$5,200

  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory each - +$10,800

Apple will soon add a Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB GDDR6 memory and an option for two Radeon Pro W5700X.

Storage Options



  • 1TB SSD storage - +$400

  • 2TB SSD storage - +$800

  • 4TB SSD storage - +$1,400

Apple will soon add an additional 8TB SSD storage option, but it is not available at this time.

Apple Afterburner


Adding an Apple Afterburner card to the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost an additional $2,000. The Apple Afterburner is a PCIe accelerator card that offloads the decoding of ProRes and ProRes RAW video codecs in apps like Final Cut Pro X.

Other Upgrade Options


Adding a stainless steel frame with wheels to the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost $400, as a frame with feet is the standard option.

The ‌Mac Pro‌ comes with a Magic Mouse 2, but can be upgraded to a Magic Trackpad 2 for an additional $50. ‌Mac Pro‌ buyers can get both the mouse and the trackpad for $149.

A rack mount option for the ‌Mac Pro‌ will cost an additional $500, starting at $6,499, and is not yet available with Apple labeling it "Coming soon."

How to Buy


The ‌Mac Pro‌ is available for purchase starting today, and orders placed now will begin delivering between December 19 and December 27. A machine with all possible upgrades will cost upwards of $50,000, close to 10 times the base cost of the ‌Mac Pro‌.


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Apple Concerned Ex-Employees Accused of Theft of Trade Secrets Will Flee to China

Apple today asked a federal court to continue monitoring two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets, citing “deep concerns” that the two could attempt to flee the country before their trials.

According to Reuters, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should have their locations monitored because they are flight risks.


Zhang was charged with theft of trade secrets back in July 2018 after he attempted to steal data on the car project that Apple has in the works. Prior to when he was caught, Zhang worked on Apple’s compute team, designing and testing circuit boards to analyze sensor data in autonomous vehicles.

Zhang had “broad access to secure and confidential internal databases,” and after announcing his plans to leave Apple for China-based XMotors, an investigation was launched due to suspicious behavior. Just ahead of leaving, Zhang accessed sensitive content that included prototypes, power requirements, low voltage requirements, battery systems, and more. Zhang was ultimately arrested at the airport in July 2018 attempting to leave for China.

In a separate incident, Apple caught Jizhong Chen, another Apple employee, taking photographs “in a sensitive workspace.” After launching an investigation, Apple security officials found that Chen’s personal computer contained “thousands” of Apple Car-related files, including manuals, schematics, photographs, and diagrams.

Chen had recently applied for a position with a China-based autonomous vehicle company and was arrested for theft of trade secrets one day before he was set to fly to China. Recently, it was also discovered that Chen had classified files from the Patriot missile program that belonged to Raytheon, his ex-employer.

Both men have been monitored electronically after being released on bail ahead of their trials, and they are now seeking to have that monitoring end. The lawyer for the men has said that they have not shown signs of violating pre-trial conditions thus far and did not actually share Apple’s intellectual property with a third party.

The lawyer has also argued that each man was going to China to visit relatives, not to escape prosecution, and that both have strong ties to the United States. Chen and Zhang are both facing multi-year prison terms and hefty fines if convicted.

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Apple today asked a federal court to continue monitoring two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets, citing "deep concerns" that the two could attempt to flee the country before their trials.

According to Reuters, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should have their locations monitored because they are flight risks.


Zhang was charged with theft of trade secrets back in July 2018 after he attempted to steal data on the car project that Apple has in the works. Prior to when he was caught, Zhang worked on Apple's compute team, designing and testing circuit boards to analyze sensor data in autonomous vehicles.

Zhang had "broad access to secure and confidential internal databases," and after announcing his plans to leave Apple for China-based XMotors, an investigation was launched due to suspicious behavior. Just ahead of leaving, Zhang accessed sensitive content that included prototypes, power requirements, low voltage requirements, battery systems, and more. Zhang was ultimately arrested at the airport in July 2018 attempting to leave for China.

In a separate incident, Apple caught Jizhong Chen, another Apple employee, taking photographs "in a sensitive workspace." After launching an investigation, Apple security officials found that Chen's personal computer contained "thousands" of Apple Car-related files, including manuals, schematics, photographs, and diagrams.

Chen had recently applied for a position with a China-based autonomous vehicle company and was arrested for theft of trade secrets one day before he was set to fly to China. Recently, it was also discovered that Chen had classified files from the Patriot missile program that belonged to Raytheon, his ex-employer.

Both men have been monitored electronically after being released on bail ahead of their trials, and they are now seeking to have that monitoring end. The lawyer for the men has said that they have not shown signs of violating pre-trial conditions thus far and did not actually share Apple's intellectual property with a third party.

The lawyer has also argued that each man was going to China to visit relatives, not to escape prosecution, and that both have strong ties to the United States. Chen and Zhang are both facing multi-year prison terms and hefty fines if convicted.


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Apple’s Most Devoted Fans Once Again Take Center Stage in a New Edition of ‘The Cult of Mac’

Back in 2004, then-Wired editor Leander Kahney published The Cult of Mac, a photo-filled book containing an array of anecdotes about fans, collectors, and others with special connections to Apple and the Mac. While Kahney took the opportunity to add a chapter on the iPod when the book was published as a paperback edition a couple of years later, the book remains an interesting look at a time when Apple had only recently surfaced from its near-death experience of the 1990s.

As outlined by Kahney in The Cult of Mac, Apple may even have been saved by those devotees to the Mac, some of whom became an army of essentially unpaid evangelists seeking to convert over to Mac anyone and everyone who would listen. Some even went as far as to stake out CompUSA stores to educate or counteract clueless salespeople who only wanted to sell Windows machines and were uninterested in directing customers to the Mac section of the stores, while others shared their love for the Mac with the world through tattoos, stickers, vanity license plates, and more.

“The Cult of Mac” first edition (left) and new second edition (right)

Much has changed for Apple in the fifteen years since the original release of The Cult of Mac, with the iPhone launching Apple to its current position as a consumer electronics and lifestyle behemoth. No longer the underdog, Apple has attracted millions upon millions of loyal customers into its ever-expanding ecosystem of devices and services.

So now with 2020 right around the corner, Kahney has teamed up with David Pierini, a writer for Kahney’s independent Cult of Mac site, to release a second edition of The Cult of Mac, another photo-heavy book that would fit right in on any Apple fan’s coffee table. Rather than a revision or update of the original, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is more of a companion book, revisiting some of the same themes but introducing some new ones and sharing new anecdotes about some of Apple’s biggest fans.

The coffee table nature of the second edition of The Cult of Mac is evident before you even open the cover, as the book itself is cleverly designed to resemble one of Apple’s iconic MacBooks, wrapped in a silver plastic jacket with an Apple-shaped title logo on the “lid” of the book. There are even four black “feet” on the rear of the book to match those used on Apple’s notebooks.


Opening the front cover of the book continues the theme, as it reveals a MacBook Pro keyboard and top case with the inside cover serving as a mock display, complete with an overlaid “macOS” app window on the transparent plastic jacket sharing an introductory description of the book. The next several pages of the book including the Table of Contents gradually shift orientation, encouraging the reader to reorient the book from the landscape mock computer into a traditional portrait orientation. It’s all cleverly done and a fun way to dive into the book.


The book itself is an easy read, broken up into short chapters and sections with lots of photos and artistic design elements. The book is about 200 pages and I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours thanks to the emphasis on visuals over text, but the layout makes it easy to just pick up the book and read a few pages here and there.


Following a brief introduction, the second edition of The Cult of Mac tackles “The Line Sitters,” those who camped out for days ahead of a major product launch, sometimes in an effort to be first to get their hands on Apple’s latest devices and other times just for publicity. Subsequent chapters look at the way Apple fans have paid tribute to Steve Jobs, collectors and museums dedicated to Apple’s products, those in music and photography who have found inspiration from and utility in Apple’s devices, and those who repurpose old Macs for products such as jewelry, aquariums, and more.

The book wraps up with a look at those dedicated Apple fans whose obsessions date back even further than the Mac to the Apple II family, as well as a quick trip around the world to look at fandom in several different countries, including an iPad magician in Germany, the Russian and Ukrainian luxury ‌iPhone‌ markets, and users in the Middle East who use special cases to carry multiple iPhones for work and personal use.


Overall, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is an enjoyable read which, like the original, treads some different ground compared to the many Apple-related biographies and histories that regularly hit the bookshelves, including Kahney’s own biographies of Jony Ive and Tim Cook. It’s also a contrasting type of coffee table book compared to product-focused ones like Apple’s own “Designed in California.”

The Cult of Mac, Second Edition debuts December 17, and it’s available for pre-order now at Amazon in hardcover for $39.95, or if you don’t have a need for the physical book you can pre-order the Kindle edition or Apple Books edition for $23.99.

This article, “Apple’s Most Devoted Fans Once Again Take Center Stage in a New Edition of ‘The Cult of Mac’” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Back in 2004, then-Wired editor Leander Kahney published The Cult of Mac, a photo-filled book containing an array of anecdotes about fans, collectors, and others with special connections to Apple and the Mac. While Kahney took the opportunity to add a chapter on the iPod when the book was published as a paperback edition a couple of years later, the book remains an interesting look at a time when Apple had only recently surfaced from its near-death experience of the 1990s.

As outlined by Kahney in The Cult of Mac, Apple may even have been saved by those devotees to the Mac, some of whom became an army of essentially unpaid evangelists seeking to convert over to Mac anyone and everyone who would listen. Some even went as far as to stake out CompUSA stores to educate or counteract clueless salespeople who only wanted to sell Windows machines and were uninterested in directing customers to the Mac section of the stores, while others shared their love for the Mac with the world through tattoos, stickers, vanity license plates, and more.

"The Cult of Mac" first edition (left) and new second edition (right)

Much has changed for Apple in the fifteen years since the original release of The Cult of Mac, with the iPhone launching Apple to its current position as a consumer electronics and lifestyle behemoth. No longer the underdog, Apple has attracted millions upon millions of loyal customers into its ever-expanding ecosystem of devices and services.

So now with 2020 right around the corner, Kahney has teamed up with David Pierini, a writer for Kahney's independent Cult of Mac site, to release a second edition of The Cult of Mac, another photo-heavy book that would fit right in on any Apple fan's coffee table. Rather than a revision or update of the original, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is more of a companion book, revisiting some of the same themes but introducing some new ones and sharing new anecdotes about some of Apple's biggest fans.

The coffee table nature of the second edition of The Cult of Mac is evident before you even open the cover, as the book itself is cleverly designed to resemble one of Apple's iconic MacBooks, wrapped in a silver plastic jacket with an Apple-shaped title logo on the "lid" of the book. There are even four black "feet" on the rear of the book to match those used on Apple's notebooks.


Opening the front cover of the book continues the theme, as it reveals a MacBook Pro keyboard and top case with the inside cover serving as a mock display, complete with an overlaid "macOS" app window on the transparent plastic jacket sharing an introductory description of the book. The next several pages of the book including the Table of Contents gradually shift orientation, encouraging the reader to reorient the book from the landscape mock computer into a traditional portrait orientation. It's all cleverly done and a fun way to dive into the book.


The book itself is an easy read, broken up into short chapters and sections with lots of photos and artistic design elements. The book is about 200 pages and I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours thanks to the emphasis on visuals over text, but the layout makes it easy to just pick up the book and read a few pages here and there.


Following a brief introduction, the second edition of The Cult of Mac tackles "The Line Sitters," those who camped out for days ahead of a major product launch, sometimes in an effort to be first to get their hands on Apple's latest devices and other times just for publicity. Subsequent chapters look at the way Apple fans have paid tribute to Steve Jobs, collectors and museums dedicated to Apple's products, those in music and photography who have found inspiration from and utility in Apple's devices, and those who repurpose old Macs for products such as jewelry, aquariums, and more.

The book wraps up with a look at those dedicated Apple fans whose obsessions date back even further than the Mac to the Apple II family, as well as a quick trip around the world to look at fandom in several different countries, including an iPad magician in Germany, the Russian and Ukrainian luxury ‌iPhone‌ markets, and users in the Middle East who use special cases to carry multiple iPhones for work and personal use.


Overall, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is an enjoyable read which, like the original, treads some different ground compared to the many Apple-related biographies and histories that regularly hit the bookshelves, including Kahney's own biographies of Jony Ive and Tim Cook. It's also a contrasting type of coffee table book compared to product-focused ones like Apple's own "Designed in California."

The Cult of Mac, Second Edition debuts December 17, and it's available for pre-order now at Amazon in hardcover for $39.95, or if you don't have a need for the physical book you can pre-order the Kindle edition or Apple Books edition for $23.99.


This article, "Apple's Most Devoted Fans Once Again Take Center Stage in a New Edition of 'The Cult of Mac'" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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New iPhones Access Location Info When Settings are Disabled Due to Ultra Wideband, Toggle Coming in Future Update

Earlier this week, security researcher Brian Krebs found that the new iPhone 11 Pro models access user location data even when all apps and system services on the iPhone are set to not request the data.

Krebs told Apple that he had found a possible privacy bug as this presumably should not happen, but Apple told him that there were no concerns and the ‌iPhone‌ was operating as designed. “It is expected behavior that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings,” Apple said.


Krebs came to the conclusion that Apple has certain system services that check for location regardless of whether the setting has been disabled individually for apps and system services, which, as it turns out, is accurate.

Apple today provided more context in a statement to TechCrunch, explaining that the new ‌iPhone‌ models that have a U1 ultra wideband chip are using location data to make sure they’re not in restricted areas.

As Apple explains, there are some areas where ultra wideband technology is not allowed because of international regulations, so the ‌iPhone‌ must make sure it is not in these locations.

Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if ‌iPhone‌ is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.

The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.

Apple says that the location checks are done on device and no data about location is being sent to Apple’s servers.

In the future, Apple plans to provide a dedicated toggle that will turn off the ultra wideband technology and thus disallow the background location tracking that’s currently going on.

This article, “New iPhones Access Location Info When Settings are Disabled Due to Ultra Wideband, Toggle Coming in Future Update” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Earlier this week, security researcher Brian Krebs found that the new iPhone 11 Pro models access user location data even when all apps and system services on the iPhone are set to not request the data.

Krebs told Apple that he had found a possible privacy bug as this presumably should not happen, but Apple told him that there were no concerns and the ‌iPhone‌ was operating as designed. "It is expected behavior that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings," Apple said.


Krebs came to the conclusion that Apple has certain system services that check for location regardless of whether the setting has been disabled individually for apps and system services, which, as it turns out, is accurate.

Apple today provided more context in a statement to TechCrunch, explaining that the new ‌iPhone‌ models that have a U1 ultra wideband chip are using location data to make sure they're not in restricted areas.

As Apple explains, there are some areas where ultra wideband technology is not allowed because of international regulations, so the ‌iPhone‌ must make sure it is not in these locations.
Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if ‌iPhone‌ is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.

The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.
Apple says that the location checks are done on device and no data about location is being sent to Apple's servers.

In the future, Apple plans to provide a dedicated toggle that will turn off the ultra wideband technology and thus disallow the background location tracking that's currently going on.


This article, "New iPhones Access Location Info When Settings are Disabled Due to Ultra Wideband, Toggle Coming in Future Update" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Shares the ‘Best of 2019’ Highlighting Top Apps and Games, Plus First Apple Music Awards

Apple today hosted an event in New York City where the company announced its annual “best of” lists, highlighting the best apps and games of the year, along with sharing details on the musical artist of the year and the top song through the new Apple Music Awards.


After sharing details with members of the media, Apple released all of its top picks in a new article available on its Apple Newsroom site.

This year, Apple is recognizing its favorite apps and games for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac, and there’s a new Apple Arcade category.

‌Apple Arcade‌ Game of the Year – Sayonara Wild Hearts by Simogo (Apple Arcade)

‌iPhone‌ App of the Year – Spectre Camera by Lux Optics ($2.99)

‌iPhone‌ Game of the Year – Sky: Children of the Light by thatgamecompany (Free)

‌iPad‌ App of the Year – Flow by Moleskine (Free)

‌iPad‌ Game of the Year – Hyper Light Drifter by Abylight S.L. ($4.99)

Mac App of the Year – Affinity Publisher by Serif Labs ($49.99)

Mac Game of the Year – GRIS by Devolver / Nomada Studio ($4.99)

‌Apple TV‌ App of the Year – The Explorers by The Explorers Network ($4.99)

‌Apple TV‌ Game of the Year – Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap by DotEmu ($7.99)

Apple has also announced the first ever ‌Apple Music‌ Awards, likely meant to be similar to other music awards like the VMAs and and AMAs. Apple has named Billie Eilish its Global Artist of the Year and the Songwriter of the Year along with her brother Finneas. Lizzo is Apple’s breakthrough Artist of the Year, and the Song of the Year is “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. All of the winning artists are receiving a special Apple-designed award.

Apple plans to hold a live awards ceremony at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park Campus on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. The event will include a live performance by Billie Eilish, and it will be live streamed so Apple customers can watch.

‌Apple Music‌ will celebrate the inaugural ‌Apple Music‌ Awards with a bespoke performance from Billie Eilish at the Steve Jobs Theater at ‌Apple Park‌. The show will be unlike anything ever seen from this unanimously crowned Artist of the Year. This exclusive event will be streamed live around the world on December 4 at 6:30 p.m. PST.

Apple’s full article has a more complete list of details on all of the apps and games that were highlighted, along with more information on the Apple Music Awards.

This article, “Apple Shares the ‘Best of 2019’ Highlighting Top Apps and Games, Plus First Apple Music Awards” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple today hosted an event in New York City where the company announced its annual "best of" lists, highlighting the best apps and games of the year, along with sharing details on the musical artist of the year and the top song through the new Apple Music Awards.


After sharing details with members of the media, Apple released all of its top picks in a new article available on its Apple Newsroom site.

This year, Apple is recognizing its favorite apps and games for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac, and there's a new Apple Arcade category.

- ‌Apple Arcade‌ Game of the Year - Sayonara Wild Hearts by Simogo (Apple Arcade)
- ‌iPhone‌ App of the Year - Spectre Camera by Lux Optics ($2.99)
- ‌iPhone‌ Game of the Year - Sky: Children of the Light by thatgamecompany (Free)
- ‌iPad‌ App of the Year - Flow by Moleskine (Free)
- ‌iPad‌ Game of the Year - Hyper Light Drifter by Abylight S.L. ($4.99)
- Mac App of the Year - Affinity Publisher by Serif Labs ($49.99)
- Mac Game of the Year - GRIS by Devolver / Nomada Studio ($4.99)
- ‌Apple TV‌ App of the Year - The Explorers by The Explorers Network ($4.99)
- ‌Apple TV‌ Game of the Year - Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap by DotEmu ($7.99)

Apple has also announced the first ever ‌Apple Music‌ Awards, likely meant to be similar to other music awards like the VMAs and and AMAs. Apple has named Billie Eilish its Global Artist of the Year and the Songwriter of the Year along with her brother Finneas. Lizzo is Apple's breakthrough Artist of the Year, and the Song of the Year is "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. All of the winning artists are receiving a special Apple-designed award.

Apple plans to hold a live awards ceremony at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park Campus on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. The event will include a live performance by Billie Eilish, and it will be live streamed so Apple customers can watch.
‌Apple Music‌ will celebrate the inaugural ‌Apple Music‌ Awards with a bespoke performance from Billie Eilish at the Steve Jobs Theater at ‌Apple Park‌. The show will be unlike anything ever seen from this unanimously crowned Artist of the Year. This exclusive event will be streamed live around the world on December 4 at 6:30 p.m. PST.
Apple's full article has a more complete list of details on all of the apps and games that were highlighted, along with more information on the Apple Music Awards.


This article, "Apple Shares the 'Best of 2019' Highlighting Top Apps and Games, Plus First Apple Music Awards" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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