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Beats and Earbuds, Nokia's Imaging Brains And US Legal Requests, Tiny Displays And iPhone 6 Release Dates

May 10 2014, 1:51pm CDT | by

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Beats and Earbuds, Nokia's Imaging Brains And US Legal Requests, Tiny Displays And iPhone 6 Release Dates

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Beats and Earbuds, Nokia's Imaging Brains And US Legal Requests, Tiny Displays And iPhone 6 Release Dates

Taking a look at Apple’s purchase of Beats, more iPhone 6 rumours, killing the heartbeat buds rumor, staff movements, legal requests, an upset Swatch, and the progress of the circular HQ. Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many things that happened around Apple over the last seven days.

Apple Inexplicably Buys Beats

While the final confirmation has not yet arrived there is every indication that Apple’s purchase of Beats Electronics, the company behind a number of fashionable headphones and audio equipment, for $3.2 billion dollars (reports Mashable  via Dr Dre’s Facebook video message). While many people are scratching their heads at this deal, including Forbes’ Gordon Kelly :

But what really highlights the lunacy of the Beats deal are the alternatives Apple is spurning. As mentioned, if it is about headphones then Monster is the better and cheaper purchase and audiophile brands like Shure, Sennheiser, Grado, Bowers & Wilkins, AKG and ACS all wipe the floor with Beats and could be purchased for peanuts. Meanwhile if it is about streaming why not aim for the very top since Spotify itself carries a valuation of roughly $4 billion. Apple takes top spot and removes its biggest rival in one fell swoop.

If and when the deal is complete and Apple start to work with its new department, we’ll see the thinking behind the purchase. For now, it is a bit of a mystery.

Get Ready For The iPhone 6 In August

Staying in the rumour territory are the reports of the iPhone 6 availability (reports Reuters  and others). While history suggests a late September reveal, a number of companies in the supply chain believe that the next smartphone from Apple will be announced one month earlier, in August. A 4.7 inch screen will arrive that month, and a phablet with a 5.5 inch or larger screened device will follow. While these are unconfirmed, there is more evidence building up to back up this case.

Heartbeat Headphones a Secret Spoof (or is that a spoof itself…)

Speaking of rumour, the idea of heartbeat sensing headphones (mentioned in Apple Loop last week) has proven to be a fake story  planted via… Unless the idea of the heartbeat headphones being a spoof is actually a double-spoof. Time will tell, but it still sounds more plausible than many stories. Couple that with the hire  of the medical researcher Eric Winkier  there’s a general feeling (still) that Apple are looking for more medical devices and hardware. If not this story, what else are they working on?

Apple Swoops In For Nokia’s Imaging Expert

More interesting movements for staffing at Apple, as Cupertino hire Ari Partinen from Nokia (reports The Guardian ). Having spent seven years with the former smartphone manufacturer, and working on landmark imaging devices such as the Lumia 1020 and the PureView 808. Imaging is still one of the battlegrounds of innovation in the smartphone wars, so the knowledge and drive  that Partinen brought to Nokia will be welcome inside Apple.

Apple’s Communications VP To Retire

Staying with staffing news, Apple’ long-serving VP of Worldwide Corporate Communications Katie Cotton is leaving . Having spent eighteen years working hard to create a void of silence and no comment, she’s now moving on to spend more time with her children.  Her replacement will likely continue that policy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Someone Has Been Asking About Your Data

Requests for data from government agencies remains a touchstone issue, and Apple’s statement this week  talks about their approach to legal requests. Unless there is a non-disclosure clause, Apple will reveal requests for user data under US law at their own discretion.

Apple has also noted what can and cannot be made available:

Please note the only categories of user-generated active files that can be provided to law enforcement, pursuant to a valid search warrant, are: SMS, photos, videos, contacts, audio recording, and call history. Apple cannot provide: email, calendar entries, or any third-party App data.

The Tiny Display Company That Could Answer Apple’s OLED Issues

Forbes’ Mark Rogowsky has picked up on another acquisition by Apple. LuxVue Technology works on micro-LCD technology, and has previously raised $43 million in funding . Why would Apple be interested in a company that works with very small screens? Rogowsky thinks the answer lies in the OLED technology, and not the obvious smartwatch angle.

It’s possible the technology LuxVue is working on could be scaled to larger, smartphone-sized displays as well. One great feature of the Moto X is that it can turn on only a small portion of the screen to show notifications, thereby using very little battery to do so. That trick relies on OLED technology, which can “wake” only a few pixels at a time. On an LCD like the iPhone’s, once you turn on the screen’s backlight, you are basically using all the power of the display. It’s less efficient and one of the reason why OLED will ultimately overtake LCD — even if the completion of that transition is still years away.

Would You Confuse iSwatch With iWatch?

Swiss watchmakers Swatch aren’t particularly happy with Apple’s trademark on ‘iWatch’. It’s rather close to ‘iSwatch’, which they use for a range of digital watches (reports James Titcomb  for The Telegraph). It’s no more than a quiet note to Apple at the moment, but worth keeping an eye on.

And Finally… 

Construction of Apple’s circular HQ is under way, and Apple Toolbox has a number of pictures of the current work . Although there is still lots of work to go, the shape is obvious from the dirt tracks and foundations.

That’s it for this week on the Apple Loop, have a great weekend, and see you here next week! Forbes’ previous Apple Loop column can be found here .

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Billionaire Boys Club: A Printed History

Source: Clash Music

Pharrell's label descends on Glasgow.While the obvious buzz surrounding Glasgow currently stems from the Commonwealth Games – which started this week – elsewhere the introduction of Fashion Cultures (part of the Merchant City Festival) sees exhibitions, talks and events excite the city’s fashion crowd. Standouts include the artist Scott King’s ‘How I’d Sink American Vogue’ exhibition and an ‘in con ...
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The Clash Film Column: Rock Of Classical Ages

Source: Clash Music

Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' "Hercules" - Arrivals
Dwayne’s heroic Hercules, and more…Swords and sandals and sweat and fun… Unless you’re a Secret Cinema goer. - - - That was the week in which... New research demonstrated a decline in the number of women working in major films. In a week in which a feature examining music industry misogyny became Clash’s most popular read of the week, writer, producer and all-round font of film knowledge Stephen Follows published a study of gender d ...
Source: Clash Music   Full article at: Clash Music 39 minutes ago

Update: 7

Premiere: Billie Barten - Unaware

Source: Clash Music

Striking songwriting from a teenage prodigy...For most people, their teenage years are a clumsy collision of self-doubt and growth spurts, hair growing in awkward places and cheap drinks down the bus shelter. Billie Marten, though, is different. Still only 15 years old, the adolescent prodigy has earned stunning plaudits with her mature, emotionally gripping work. Recently released ‘Ribbon’ EP was the perfect introduction. Arrangements were kept sparse, wi ...
Source: Clash Music   Full article at: Clash Music 1 hour ago

Update: 6

FSA K-Force Light BB386EVO review


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Though it may not look like it, your bike’s chainset probably accounts for around a tenth of its total weight. The K-Force Light BB386EVO is the latest top-end chainset from Taiwanese component giant FSA, featuring hollow carbon arms and 10/11-speed compatible chainrings. Our 50/34 version, with 175mm cranks, weighed 572g plus bearings.Highs: Stiff, light, shifts wellLows: Price, finish easily damagedThe K-Force Light’s spider appears superficially similar to the four-ar ...
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Conan's Robot Office

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Track Of The Day 25/7 - George The Poet

Source: Clash Music

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'My City'Teeming with global culture, London’s enormous diversity spills into everyday patois. Walking around the city, the sheer dexterity of languages, the fusion of nation to nation is apparent in the way people speak; an endless feast for the ears, the tumbling rhythms matches to ever evolving sounds. It’s something George The Poet clearly recognises. A pivotal figure on the spoken word scene, ...
Source: Clash Music   Full article at: Clash Music 1 hour ago

Update: 3

Premiere: Pale Seas – Places To Haunt

Source: Clash Music

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Debut EP emerges...Naivety, that’s what spring to mind when listening to Pale Seas. Still a fresh project – new EP ‘Places To Haunt’ is their first – there’s an innocence, a sense of doing this for the first time running through their music. Lead cut ‘Wicked Dreams’ was a neat taster. All dreamy vocals and guitars that seem to melt and fade, Pale Seas have a neo-psychedelic, oddly unsettling side. ‘Places To Haunt’ ...
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Update: 2

Girl Band Share New Single 'De Bom Bom'

Source: Clash Music

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Dublin group continue to impress...Noise rock par excellence, Girl Band continue to surprise. Whether it’s a seven minute debut single (‘Lawman’) or a thirty second Record Store Day release (‘The Cha Cha Cha’) the band manage to keep up guessing. New single ‘De Bom Bom’ will be released on September 1st via Dublin’s Any Other City Records, restricted to 500 copies. As a special bonus, the B-side is occupied by a cover of ‘I Love You’ by K Records’ crew Beat Happening. Feral, fe ...
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Update: 1

Emory University honours the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta with a mobile tour app

Source: Canadian Business Online

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