Apple pitches Hollywood on rushing movies to iTunes

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Apple wants a deal with studio execs to bring high-priced movie rentals to iTunes within days of release.
Apple wants a deal with studio execs to bring high-priced movie rentals to iTunes within days of release.
Photo: William Iven/UnSplash

Apple and Hollywood are reportedly in talks to provide home-video rentals of movies as little as two weeks after theatrical release.

Studio heads from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 21st Century Fox have indicated recently they are looking for deals. Two unidentified sources close to the talks told Bloomberg News the studios are considering partnering with Apple and iTunes.

Apple will pay state EPA fine for mishandled toxic waste

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Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Photo: Thomas Dohmke

Apple will pay the state of California $450,000 to settle claims that it improperly handled industrial waste at facilities the company ran in Silicon Valley.

Apple said the violations relate to reporting and tracking mistakes, claiming that health and safety standards at its waste facilities exceed the state’s requirements.

Supreme Court sides with Samsung in patent battle with Apple

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A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday brought relief to Samsung in its lawsuit with Apple over smartphone design patents.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday brought relief to Samsung in its lawsuit with Apple over smartphone design patents.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major blow to Apple Tuesday when it sided with Samsung in a smartphone patent battle that had the South Korean company staring at hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties.

In a unanimous ruling, the Court ruled a patent violator does not have to turn over all its profits from sales if the stolen design involved certain components and the not the entire device.

Tim Cook says Apple Watch sales ‘off the charts’

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Apple Watch Series 2 waterproof
Apple says the Apple Watch set a sales record for the first week of holiday shopping.
Photo: Apple

A day after a gloomy third-quarter sales report about the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook says the device is already having a record holiday as one of the season’s most popular gifts.

He shoppers bought a record number of Apple Watches during the first week of holiday shopping, and the wearable is on pace to have its best quarter ever to close out 2016.

People love Apple’s doomed AirPort more than any other router

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Apple's routers are #1.
Apple's routers are #1.
Photo: Apple

Apple sure seems to be doing routers right. At least according to the more than 3,000 customers polled in J.D. Power’s 2016 Wireless Router Satisfaction Report.

Apple came out as the top-rated router manufacturer in Overall Satisfaction, which would be great news for the AirPort team — if Apple hadn’t just disbanded it.

The job of a designer is to be a psychologist [Podcast interview]

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Belkin's design director Oliver Seil says designers are basically psychologists.
Belkin's design director Oliver Seil says designers are basically psychologists.
Photo: Oliver Seil/Belkin

In the last decade or so, lots of companies have gotten design religion. Design has been brought in-house, where it can shape products from the very get-go. There’s an obvious source for this idea — Apple.

This week on the Kahney’s Korner podcast, I talked to Oliver Seil, senior design director of Belkin International’s Innovation Design Group. We discussed Belkin’s products and design process; the surprising complexity of USB cables (and why they cost so much); and why Apple has had such an enormous influence on design and manufacturing.

You can listen to the podcast or read a full transcript of the interview below. (Or dive into the show notes.)

How industrial design is changing the tech industry [Kahney’s Korner Podcast]

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Belkin's design director Oliver Seil says designers are basically psychologists.
Belkin's design director Oliver Seil says designers are basically psychologists.
Photo: Oliver Seil/Belkin

For many ugly years, manufacturers considered industrial design an afterthought. They would outsource the task to a contractor or neglect it altogether, in an effort to get products out quickly and cheaply.

The result: hideous-looking products that didn’t work well or proved difficult to use.

Nowadays, companies like Apple are changing the game when it comes to incorporating industrial design and user experience into product engineering.

On this episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talk with Oliver Seil, senior design director with Belkin International’s Innovation and Design Group. Seil is Belkin’s Jony Ive, the top designer who overseas the company’s diverse array of products.

Belkin specializes in mobile accessories, from power packs and iPhone cases to WeMo home automation products