Archive for January, 2014

A Guide to Bitcoin’s Legality In Different Countries Around the World

A Guide to Bitcoin's Legality In Different Countries Around the World

Americans are spoiled—at least where Bitcoin's concerned, we are. While people are free to mine, spend, and speculate on Bitcoin freely here in the States, citizens of other countries aren't so lucky.

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Adam Clark Estes

January 31st

Uncategorized

This amazing magic eye music video hides fun secret moving images

Remember how frustrating those Magic Eye images were when you were a kid? It seemed like everyone but you could see the hidden message. Until you figured it out and rubbed it in everyone's face that they couldn't see it. This video by Young Rival is just like those Magic Eye pictures only it turns the whole hidden message thing into one entire music video. It's so much fun.

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Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Casey Chan to Gizmodo

January 31st

Uncategorized

This amazing magic eye music video hides fun secret moving images

Remember how frustrating those Magic Eye images were when you were a kid? It seemed like everyone but you could see the hidden message. Until you figured it out and rubbed it in everyone's face that they couldn't see it. This video by Young Rival is just like those Magic Eye pictures only it turns the whole hidden message thing into one entire music video. It's so much fun.

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Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Casey Chan to Gizmodo

January 31st

Uncategorized

It’s time to embrace the future of phone networks – and the death of telephone numbers

FCC Telephone Network Upgrade
If you've been on pins and needles waiting for HD voice calls to become the norm, the wait is apparently almost over. The Washington Post reports that the FCC voted to begin rolling out a trial program for fiber-optic telephone networks later this year. According to the report, phone carriers will set up the trials in designated test areas all over the U.S. as the FCC prepares for a full-scale transition to Internet Protocol networks in the future. Interestingly, that may also eventually lead to the death of traditional phone numbers.

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Jacob Siegal

January 31st

Uncategorized

Apple Said To Be Focusing On Health With iOS 8 And iWatch, Following Exec Meeting With FDA

iphone-5s_m7_hero

Apple’s plans for iOS 8 focus on redefining health tracking via mobile devices, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, which has a terrific track record when it comes to rumors it has sourced itself. The report details a new marquee application coming in iOS 8 called “Healthbook” that monitors all aspects of health, fitness and workout information, including vitals monitored via the new iWatch, which is said to pack a bevy of sensors and to be “well into development” according to 9to5Mac’s sources.

The health monitoring app called “Healthbook” will come pre-installed on iOS 8, which, if true, would be a huge blow to third-party apps including those made by Fitbit, Nike, Runkeeper and Withings just to name a few. It would track and report steps, calories burned, distance walked and more, including weight fluctuations, and blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate and more.

Apple’s focus on health in iOS 8 is given credence by a number of new reports from this week, including the news from the New York Times earlier today that Apple execs met with the FDA late last year to discuss mobile medical applications. Apple also reportedly hired Michael O’Reilly, M.D. away from a position as Chief Medical Officer of Masimo Corporation in July 2013. O’Reilly is an expert in pulse oximetry among other things, which is used to non-invasively take key vitals from a user via optical sensors.

9to5Mac’s report details functionality of the proposed “Healthbook” app, which, as its name suggests, takes a lot of cues from Passbook. It’ll offer swipeable cards for each vital stat it tracks, letting users page through their medical and health information. The report cautions that this functionality could be taken out prior to the final release of iOS 8: With the FDA’s involvement, one concern might be getting the necessary approvals to market the software as a potential medical aid.

As for the iWatch, the new report doesn’t add much in terms of firm details, but it does suggest we could see a release before year’s end, and offers that it could feature sensors that provide data to Healthbook. That app could also use existing third-party monitors and devices designed for iOS to source data, however. One more tidbit about the iWatch suggests that maps will be a central feature of the device, and navigation on the wrist is actually a prime potential advantage of smartwatch devices that has yet to be properly explored.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on these developments, and will update if we learn anything more.

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Darrell Etherington

January 31st

Gadgets

Mobile

Video: Steve Jobs biographer takes back Apple criticism after calling Google more innovative

Walter Isaacson Interview Apple
Walter Isaacson, who is best known for writing the authoritative biography of Steve Jobs, is walking back some of his criticisms of Apple. A couple of weeks ago, Isaacson said that Google had taken over Apple's role as the tech world's biggest innovator and suggested that Apple would have already released another game-changing product by now if Jobs were still the CEO.

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Brad Reed

January 31st

Apple

iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking

Header

Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development…

Fitness-1

Fitness monitoring:

Apple plans for iOS 8 to include an application codenamed “Healthbook.” The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. Furthermore, the app will have the ability to manage and track weight loss. The software will be a pre-installed challenger to offerings such as those from Nike and Fitbit, making it all the more intriguing that Apple CEO Tim Cook still sits on Nike’s Board of Directors.

Health tracking: 

Besides fitness tracking, a marquee feature of “Healthbook” will be the ability to monitor a user’s vital signs.

The application will be able to track a person’s blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources.

The software is also programmed to allow users to enter details about their medications so that they could be reminded to take pills at scheduled times. This will likely integrate with iOS’s existing Reminders application.

Last month, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble met with F.D.A. officials in the United States regarding health applications, as noted earlier today by the New York Times. However, actual details about what was discussed were not shared.

App interface:

The “Healthbook” application is said to take multiple user interface cues from Apple’s own Passbook app, which is software for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials normally stored in physical wallets.

The new health and fitness application’s interface is a stack of cards that can be easily swiped between. Each card represents a different fitness or health data point. The prototype logo for “Healthbook” is similar to Passbook’s icon, but it is adorned with graphics representing vital signs.

Sources warn that the health functionality could ultimately be removed from iOS 8 before its scheduled introduction. Apple develops several features for future operating systems and then finalizes which features make the cut for the release closer to launch.

iWatch ties:  

M7

While current iPhone hardware is capable of measuring steps due to the recently introduced M7 chipset’s motion tracking abilities, the smartphone is incapable of measuring vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. Apple has patented technology for smartphones to track blood pressure, but it is unlikely that it plans to add such functionality to its iPhone lineup this year.

Instead, Apple has likely developed this new version of iOS with the upcoming iWatch in mind.

Sources have previously indicated that Apple’s wearable computer will have sensors to track and measure aspects of the human body. “Healthbook” could be the conduit for users to read the data that the iWatch will collect. Indeed, sources with knowledge of the iWatch’s development say that the future product is designed to be heavily reliant on the iPhone.

Based on the health information that iOS 8 is capable of reading, Apple’s wearable device will seemingly have sensors at least capable of measuring blood pressure, hydration, heart rate, and steps. iOS 8 combined with the iWatch is said to be able to monitor several other pieces of health and fitness data, but additional specifics are not as clear as of now.

Sources also hint that Apple has developed technologies to be able to pack several different sensors into a single chipset for miniaturization purposes.

imgs3401-x2

As Cook said last year, “the whole sensor field is going to explode.” “It’s a little all over the place right now… with the arc of time, it will become clearer,” Apple’s chief added.

With iOS 8 likely to ship this year, a connection to the iWatch would seem to point to the wearable device also shipping in 2014.

Cook previously told Apple employees that “big plans” are on the roadmap for this year. Other than the speculation that emerges from Cook’s comment and Apple’s work on iOS 8, there has been little other indication that Apple plans to reveal its wearable product this year. Furthermore, another possibility, albeit a more unlikely one, is that iOS 8’s health functionality will be optimized for third-party health accessories in 2014 and Apple’s own hardware in future years.

A slew of blood pressure monitors, body weight scales, pedometers, heart rate monitors, fitness bands, and glucose meters that can connect wirelessly to iPhones already exist in the technology accessories market. Apple has even promoted these products in its online and retail stores. “Healthbook” could be a boon for the existing medical hardware market and make those devices more intuitive for end-users.

Hires:

Last year, Apple hired several health, medical, and fitness experts to work on these hardware and software projects. Some of the notable names include former Nike advisor Jay Blahnik and former Senseonics vice president Dr. Todd Whitehurst.

This year, Apple added Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect and Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence to its iWatch development team. We have also learned that Apple has also hired Michael O’Reilly, a former executive at Masimo Corporation who worked on noninvasive pulse sensors, last summer.

Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch, hardware executive Bob Mansfield, and senior hardware engineering manager James Foster are also said to be key players in the iWatch project.

Ski resort: 

Succeeding iOS 7, a major redesign of the Apple mobile device experience, iOS 8 likely will not feature major interface or graphics changes. There will be minor enhancements across the system, but none that are as noticeable as the changes introduced last year.

iOS 8 is codenamed “Okemo,” a popular ski resort in Vermont, U.S. This codename continues a long tradition of Apple internally naming iOS releases after ski resorts (Mac OS X releases are instead named after wines).

Apple has been actively developing enhancements to its Maps app, such as transit directions and indoor mapping, but sources say that development of an in-house transit feature is not moving along as quickly as some company leaders have hoped, and the feature is far from a lock for iOS 8. Sources also add that mapping functionality will be a focal point for the iWatch.

Game changers:

By leveraging the existing iPhone user base, Apple’s plans for a health and fitness-focused version of iOS and the potential of an advanced, sensor-packed wearable computer could allow it to re-invent yet another critical industry.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Blahnik, Cook, fitness, Health, Healthbook, iOS 8, iWatch, Mansfield, Okemo, Passbook, sensors

For more news on AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and Apple continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking" with our community.

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Photo

Mark Gurman

January 31st

Apple

Mac

iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking

Header

Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development…

Fitness-1

Fitness monitoring:

Apple plans for iOS 8 to include an application codenamed “Healthbook.” The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. Furthermore, the app will have the ability to manage and track weight loss. The software will be a pre-installed challenger to offerings such as those from Nike and Fitbit, making it all the more intriguing that Apple CEO Tim Cook still sits on Nike’s Board of Directors.

Health tracking: 

Besides fitness tracking, a marquee feature of “Healthbook” will be the ability to monitor a user’s vital signs.

The application will be able to track a person’s blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources.

The software is also programmed to allow users to enter details about their medications so that they could be reminded to take pills at scheduled times. This will likely integrate with iOS’s existing Reminders application.

Last month, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble met with F.D.A. officials in the United States regarding health applications, as noted earlier today by the New York Times. However, actual details about what was discussed were not shared.

App interface:

The “Healthbook” application is said to take multiple user interface cues from Apple’s own Passbook app, which is software for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials normally stored in physical wallets.

The new health and fitness application’s interface is a stack of cards that can be easily swiped between. Each card represents a different fitness or health data point. The prototype logo for “Healthbook” is similar to Passbook’s icon, but it is adorned with graphics representing vital signs.

Sources warn that the health functionality could ultimately be removed from iOS 8 before its scheduled introduction. Apple develops several features for future operating systems and then finalizes which features make the cut for the release closer to launch.

iWatch ties:  

M7

While current iPhone hardware is capable of measuring steps due to the recently introduced M7 chipset’s motion tracking abilities, the smartphone is incapable of measuring vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. Apple has patented technology for smartphones to track blood pressure, but it is unlikely that it plans to add such functionality to its iPhone lineup this year.

Instead, Apple has likely developed this new version of iOS with the upcoming iWatch in mind.

Sources have previously indicated that Apple’s wearable computer will have sensors to track and measure aspects of the human body. “Healthbook” could be the conduit for users to read the data that the iWatch will collect. Indeed, sources with knowledge of the iWatch’s development say that the future product is designed to be heavily reliant on the iPhone.

Based on the health information that iOS 8 is capable of reading, Apple’s wearable device will seemingly have sensors at least capable of measuring blood pressure, hydration, heart rate, and steps. iOS 8 combined with the iWatch is said to be able to monitor several other pieces of health and fitness data, but additional specifics are not as clear as of now.

Sources also hint that Apple has developed technologies to be able to pack several different sensors into a single chipset for miniaturization purposes.

imgs3401-x2

As Cook said last year, “the whole sensor field is going to explode.” “It’s a little all over the place right now… with the arc of time, it will become clearer,” Apple’s chief added.

With iOS 8 likely to ship this year, a connection to the iWatch would seem to point to the wearable device also shipping in 2014.

Cook previously told Apple employees that “big plans” are on the roadmap for this year. Other than the speculation that emerges from Cook’s comment and Apple’s work on iOS 8, there has been little other indication that Apple plans to reveal its wearable product this year. Furthermore, another possibility, albeit a more unlikely one, is that iOS 8’s health functionality will be optimized for third-party health accessories in 2014 and Apple’s own hardware in future years.

A slew of blood pressure monitors, body weight scales, pedometers, heart rate monitors, fitness bands, and glucose meters that can connect wirelessly to iPhones already exist in the technology accessories market. Apple has even promoted these products in its online and retail stores. “Healthbook” could be a boon for the existing medical hardware market and make those devices more intuitive for end-users.

Hires:

Last year, Apple hired several health, medical, and fitness experts to work on these hardware and software projects. Some of the notable names include former Nike advisor Jay Blahnik and former Senseonics vice president Dr. Todd Whitehurst.

This year, Apple added Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect and Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence to its iWatch development team. We have also learned that Apple has also hired Michael O’Reilly, a former executive at Masimo Corporation who worked on noninvasive pulse sensors, last summer.

Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch, hardware executive Bob Mansfield, and senior hardware engineering manager James Foster are also said to be key players in the iWatch project.

Ski resort: 

Succeeding iOS 7, a major redesign of the Apple mobile device experience, iOS 8 likely will not feature major interface or graphics changes. There will be minor enhancements across the system, but none that are as noticeable as the changes introduced last year.

iOS 8 is codenamed “Okemo,” a popular ski resort in Vermont, U.S. This codename continues a long tradition of Apple internally naming iOS releases after ski resorts (Mac OS X releases are instead named after wines).

Apple has been actively developing enhancements to its Maps app, such as transit directions and indoor mapping, but sources say that development of an in-house transit feature is not moving along as quickly as some company leaders have hoped, and the feature is far from a lock for iOS 8. Sources also add that mapping functionality will be a focal point for the iWatch.

Game changers:

By leveraging the existing iPhone user base, Apple’s plans for a health and fitness-focused version of iOS and the potential of an advanced, sensor-packed wearable computer could allow it to re-invent yet another critical industry.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Blahnik, Cook, fitness, Health, Healthbook, iOS 8, iWatch, Mansfield, Okemo, Passbook, sensors

For more news on AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and Apple continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking" with our community.

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Photo

Mark Gurman

January 31st

Apple

Mac

M7-powered Pedometer++ gets major update with new design and export options

IMG_2279 IMG_2281 IMG_2280

Pedometer++ rose to fame after developer David Smith moved quickly to have an M7-enabled fitness app available for the iPhone 5s. The newest update builds on the original in several key ways. Importantly, it changes the design of the app from a list to a chart-centric format showing one week of activity at a time. You can flip through a week at a time, a big improvement of the previous layout.

The tint color of the app indicates the current day’s progress towards the daily step goal. If you have hit your daily limit, it changes the feel of the entire look. The navigation bar, buttons and titles turn green to reflect your achievement. It’s a really clever detail that just adds that extra level of polish to the app.

Version 2 adds a handful of localizations for other languages and the ability to export your data. The app opens an email compose window with a CSV attached of your step count history.

Apple is actively developing health-tracking functionality for the next version of iOS. For now though, Pedometer is a fantastic choice for fitness tracking without needing additional hardware. I have personally clocked over 400,000 steps so far in the app and the improvements brought in the latest update are only going to encourage me to clock even more steps.

Pedometer++ is free on the App Store.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: App Store, Apple, David Smith, iOS, iPhone, iPhone 5, Pedometer, Smartphones

For more news on AAPL Company, Apple, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "M7-powered Pedometer++ gets major update with new design and export options" with our community.

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Photo

Benjamin Mayo

January 31st

Apple

Mac

Middle school student forced to ‘stop, drop and roll’ when her iPhone burst into flames in her pocket

iPhone Catches Fire in Student's Pocket
Walking and texting might not be the only risk associated with smartphone ownership. According to the Portland Press Herald, a middle school student in Kennebunk, Maine had to stop, drop and roll after her iPhone spontaneously caught fire in her pocket. She reportedly sustained minor burns during the incident and was quickly taken to the nearest hospital for treatment. Thankfully, the injuries were insignificant enough that the student was told she could return to school the same day.

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Jacob Siegal

January 31st

Apple

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