FaceTime proposal leaves hopeless romantic stuck on a cliff


This proposal turned out to be a real cliffhanger.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Whether it’s customizing a smartwatch to deliver the message, or persuading the developers of a popular app to help you win over the woman of your dreams, tech fans have certainly come up with some adorably neat ways to propose to their loved ones over the years.

Decidedly less so was the plight of Apple user and, apparently, godawful mountain climber Michael Banks. His idea? To climb 600 feet up Morro Rock in California — so that he could get a volcanic outcrop as his background — and then pop the question via FaceTime. Before getting hopelessly stuck, of course.

Proposed law could ban Apple from selling iPhones in California


The iPhone isn't ditching LCD screens.
Designed by Apple in California. Just not for sale there.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple could be banned from selling iPhones on its home turf of California if a new bill banning unbreakable encryption is passed.

Called bill 1681, the proposed law was put forward by California assembly member Jim Cooper, who wants any smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015 to be “capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.”

Why the kill switch law can make iPhone theft obsolete


SACRAMENTO — California just flipped the kill switch for smartphones, in a move to make iCrime a thing of the past.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962). The law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.

There’s some reason to hope that the kill switch will do for smartphones what sophisticated alarm systems did for cars: make stealing them less appealing than a pair of leg warmers. Car thefts plummeted 96 percent  in New York City when engine immobilizer systems came into play.

Bye bye, iCrime! California moves to make iOS-style ‘kill switches’ required by law



Introduced in iOS 7, Activation Lock is a feature that prevents users who recover a lost or stolen iPhone from activating the device without signing in with the Apple ID used to erase the device remotely.

By all accounts, Activation Lock has made a difference in stopping smartphone theft, especially in New York. But in California, law may very well mandate smartphone features like Activation Lock shortly.