Apple’s HomePod: Paying $350 for a speaker that says “no” this much is tough

Jeff Dunn

What is this thing?

That, in essence, is the question most onlookers have asked about Apple’s HomePod speaker since its unveiling last summer. The natural inclination is to compare it to smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. It’s a speaker with a talking assistant in it, the thinking goes. Apple just wants a piece of that growing pie.

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apple – Ars Technica

Apple Offers Free Repair for iPhone 7 Devices with ‘No Service’ Bug

Acknowledging that a “small percentage” of iPhone 7 devices are affected by a hardware level bug which prevents them from connecting to a cellular network, Apple confirmed the launch of its latest iPhone repair program last week — where it will offer a free ‘No Service’ repair for select iPhone 7 devices that meet certain criteria.

According to the memo published to its website late last week, Apple has determined that certain iPhone 7 devices may indicate there’s “No Service” in the status bar — whether cellular/LTE coverage is available or not — due to what the company has determined to be a component failure on the handset’s main logic board.

Which iPhone 7 Devices Are Affected?

Apple points out that the iPhone 7 models affected by the bug were sold in the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Macao, exclusively, and were manufactured between September of 2016 and February of this year.

The company provided the following model number guidance for determining if your iPhone 7 is eligible for a free repair:

What Other Terms Apply?

As with Apple’s other iPhone repair programs, this one is not without its fair share of caveats and restrictions.

  • The company stipulates that affected devices must be serviced in the country where they were originally purchased — and that all outstanding, unrelated damages (cracked screen, dead battery, etc.) must be resolved via a separate repair service prior to being eligible for a complimentary ‘No Service’ repair.
  • “Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program,” Apple asserts, adding that in order to qualify for the free ‘No Service’ repair users must have purchased their eligible iPhone 7 device within the last two years.

What If I’ve Already Paid for This Repair?

For eligible iPhone 7 owners who’ve already paid for an out of pocket repair resulting from the ‘No Service’ issue, Apple promises to be in contact via email so as to arrange for reimbursement.

“If you believe you paid for a repair related to this issue, and have not received an email from Apple by the end of March 2018, please contact Apple,” the company says.

My iPhone 7 Is Eligible — How Do I Get Service?

Apple notes that its carrier partners including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are not taking part in this repair program. The only way to get service is by sending your device into an Apple Repair Center.

The whole process can be initiated by locating and scheduling an appointment at your local Apple Store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or by contacting Apple Technical Support.

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Apple acknowledges iPhone 7 ‘No Service’ issue, launches repair program

Apple has acknowledged that a small percentage of iPhone 7 models are affected by ‘No Service’ issue and has announced a repair program for the models affected by the issue. The company says that the iPhone 7 with models number A1660 manufactured between September 2016 and February 2018 and sold in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and the U.S are having the issue.  Apple said that it will repair the models which are affected by the issue free of cost but will examine prior to any service to verify if it is eligible for the program. The company says that the issue is due to a component that has failed on the main logic board. Apple will contact the customers who may have paid for the service prior to the launch of this program through email to arrange for a refund. However, customers who haven’t received the email from Apple but paid for the repair can contact Apple support directly. The model numbers with A1660, A1780 in China, A1660 in Hong Kong, Macao, and U.S. (includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), A1779 in Japan are eligible for the repair program. Customers need to contact Authorized Apple Service Provider, visit an Apple retail store, or get in touch with …
Fone Arena

Apple Launches iPhone 7 “No Service” Repair Program, Check If You’re Eligible For Free Out Of Warranty Replacement

Apple has today launched an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus “No Service” issue repair program. Check here to see if your device is eligible for free out of warranty replacement.

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Redmond Pie

Apple launches repair program for iPhone 7 users with ‘No Service’ issues

Apple today has launched an official repair program for a small number of users experiencing an issue where their iPhone says “No Service”. This issue seems to be specific to the iPhone 7, according to Apple.



Apple rejects net neutrality testing app, says it offers “no benefits to users”

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Brian A. Jackson)

An iPhone application that attempts to detect whether ISPs are throttling online services was rejected by Apple when its developer tried to get it into the company’s App Store.

David Choffnes, a Northeastern University professor who researches distributed systems and networking, built an app called “Wehe” that tests the speeds of YouTube, Amazon, NBCSports, Netflix, Skype, Spotify, and Vimeo. Abnormally low speed results for one or more of those services might, in theory, provide evidence that your mobile carrier is throttling a service.

But as Motherboard reported today, Apple refused to let the app into the iPhone App Store, telling him that “your app has no direct benefits to the user.” Motherboard was able to test a beta version of the app using Apple’s TestFlight platform and provided this screenshot of the application in action:

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apple – Ars Technica

Alchemy launches ‘no code’ IoT asset intelligence

Alchemy launches ‘no code’ IoT asset intelligence

Newly launched Alchemy IoT outlines its plans for a new approach to managing industrial assets using artificial intelligence.

Alchemy IoT, a provider of IoT asset intelligence for industrial IoT, launched last week with $ 4 million in funding.

According to the company, its product is driven by a ‘no-code’ approach to what it calls ”IoT asset intelligence”. This, apparently, focuses on simplifying how management, performance and maintenance of industrial assets can be improved using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The company plans to target small to medium-sized industrial customers with limited technical and data science resources – the sorts of organizations that find it tough to bring complex IoT applications online.

Read more: IIoT could revolutionize UK manufacturing, says Siemens-led report

Shifting value stream

Alchemy IoT CEO Victor Perez says that the cloud-based approach behind his team’s software eliminates complexity and cost from big data and IoT initiatives, by shifting the “value stream” to the IoT asset itself.

He and his team have built standardized workflows to enable the adoption of the company’s ‘Clarity’ application, software that creates a digital twin of industrial assets. Using Clarity, users can visualize asset information in the form of graphical dashboards, analyze asset performance through unsupervised machine learning and take proactive action to increase the productivity of industrial fleets and machinery.

“Clarity delivers self-learning, predictive analytics to automate complex tasks typically performed by high-cost and scarce data scientists. Offering asset data analytics through a low-cost SaaS [cloud] model also enables customers to quickly deploy and scale thousands of devices within 48 hours of using Alchemy’s auto-provisioning capabilities,” said Perez.

Read more: Survey shows IIoT has “crossed the chasm”, claims Zebra

AI via SaaS AI, for IoT

To clarify then, that’s device asset intelligence (AI) analysed using cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) from a young operation taking a comparatively new set of AI tools (in both senses of the acronym) to market.

The operation of this software, meanwhile, depends on Alchemy’s proprietary Self-Learning Maintenance Algorithm (SeLMA), which seeks to make each connected asset more intelligent in terms of its awareness of its own operational state.

“Clarity simplifies how data is viewed and analyzed to track maintenance activities, monitor alerts and receive critical feedback on asset performance. Core features of the application include sensor data monitoring to aggregate and filters data related to the health, operations and performance of connected industrial assets to deliver real-time data, including mobile assets tracked via GPS,” said Perez.

The product also features notifications and alerts when operational anomalies are detected. It is mobile enabled and there are customization options to tune dashboards and event actions.

Coming soon: Our Internet of Manufacturing event will be coming to Munich on 6 & 7 February 2018. Attendees will get the chance to learn more about how smart devices and sensors open up new paths to increased productivity and profitability for industrial companies. 

The post Alchemy launches ‘no code’ IoT asset intelligence appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

20 Years Ago Steve Jobs Explained the Importance of ‘Saying No’

Steve Jobs was a remarkable man who achieved great success in his life — whose innovations and contributions in the areas of technology, computing, and design have made a lasting impact on the lives of billions.

But there’s a lesser-known secret about Jobs you should probably know: he didn’t achieve anything in his life by tackling it all at the same time and divesting his efforts, or by shifting from one project to another without giving it a second thought.

Jobs believed, rather, that one’s power to achieve focus over a task — and to see it through until completion — is what will determine the project’s success.

But how on Earth does one “achieve focus” over a project or task?, you might ask, In a world full of people, possessions, and stimuli constantly clamoring for our attention?

The answer, according to Jobs, is that you must learn how to “say no.”

The Art of Focus

Jobs’ rationale was delivered on the sidelines of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, 1997 — the year he returned to the helm of Apple after having been ousted from the company amid a tense power struggle some 12-years prior.

He was fielding questions from some of the developers in attendance, many of whom were concerned about the future of Apple, when one dev raised their hand and asked Jobs about his decision to pull the plug on Apple’s software engineering platform, “OpenDoc.” However the answer Jobs gave was likely much broader and more impactful than the dev expected.

“I know some of you spent a lot of time working on stuff that we put a bullet in the head of. I apologize. I feel your pain,” Jobs begun, while going on to explain that “Apple suffered for several years from lousy engineering management. And there were people that were going off in 18 different directions–doing arguably interesting things in each one of them. Good engineers. Lousy management.”

“And what happened was, you look at the farm that’s been created, with all these different animals going in different directions, and it doesn’t add up. The total is less than the sum of the parts. And so we had to decide: What are the fundamental directions we’re going in? And what makes sense and what doesn’t? And there were a bunch of things that didn’t. And microcosmically they might have made sense; macrocosmically they made no sense.”

Watch the whole exchange from WWDC 1997 in the YouTube video here.

Just Say “No”

From Jobs’ perspective, the ability to focus on a task, without getting distracted or regressing into a procrastinated state, is by simply “saying no.” No, to the shiny objects, pesky people, and the seemingly limitless number of voice constantly vying for our attention.

“Focusing is about saying no,” Jobs concluded, which ultimately proved to be one of the iPhone inventor’s greatest skills. Rather than divest his efforts, Jobs was known for paying close attention to everything he achieved  — whether it was the iMac G3, the iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, or any of his other brilliant creations.

“Steve was the most remarkably focused person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and the man Jobs once described as his “spiritual partner” in an interview with Vanity Fair.

“What focus means is saying no to something that you [think]–with every bone in your body–is a phenomenal idea,” Ive concludes, adding that Jobs used to ask him ‘How many things have you said no to?’ today.

“And you wake up thinking about it. But you say no to it because you’re focusing on something else.”

Jobs’ wisdom is certainly relevant, and holds true even to this day, regardless of what we seek to achieve in our lives. Simply “saying no,” of course, is no easy feat — especially for those who tend to bounce from one idea to the next, or try to ensure that everybody’s happy.

But at the end of the day, according to Jobs’ infallible wisdom, the goal should be to channel your thoughts and feelings to work for you instead of against you. Then, as Inc.’s Justin Bariso puts it best, “instead of trying to do it all, you can simply do it right.”

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The Koch brothers say they will have “no influence” over Time Inc.’s iconic magazines

But they’re putting $ 650 million into a deal to buy the publisher

Charles and David Koch say they’re investing in the magazine business because it’s a good investment — not because they want media outlets to carry their conservative messages.

That’s the on-the-record answer to the question the media world has been asking for a couple of weeks, since we learned that the billionaire brothers were going to back Meredith’s bid for Time Inc.

Now that deal is official, and the brothers say they’re putting $ 650 million into the merged company but won’t meddle with it. From their press release announcing the deal:

“[Koch Equity Development, a Koch Industries subsidiary] will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations. KED’s non-controlling, preferred equity investment underscores a strong belief in Meredith’s strength as a business operator, its strategies, and its ability to unlock significant value from the Time Inc. acquisition.”

It’s certainly possible the Kochs just think there’s a good deal to had here. And there are certainly other billionaires who have invested in media companies without monkeying with them: Warren Buffett has had a fondness for local newspapers. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal used to be a major investor in Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate.

It’s also possible that Koch’s media investment will be less expansive than it seems right now. As we said before, the next key question will be whether Meredith-plus-Time’s future involves Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other titles that don’t seem to make sense in Meredith’s portfolio.

And in any scenario, the merged company is going to be slimmer than it is now. Time Inc CEO Rich Battista is supposed to leave when the deal closes — the two companies say that will happen in the first quarter of 2018 (though AT&T thought it would own Time Warner by now, too).

Battista won’t be the only employee leaving the combined company. Meredith says it can pull out “cost synergies of $ 400 million to $ 500 million in the first full two years of operation.”

Time Inc. employees, who have spent the last decade acclimating to yearly layoffs, know how some of those synergies will be achieved.

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