Say goodbye to those ugly labels on the back of your iPhone


These ugly labels will soon be a thing of the past. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
These ugly labels will soon be a thing of the past. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

On otherwise flawless devices that strip away any unnecessary components, the ugly small print on the back of an iPhone or iPad — including the serial number, FCC logo, CE logo and model number — has always stood out.

Well, thankfully Jony Ive and the rest of his design-obsessed team can finally do away with it for good, thanks to the E-label Act law signed in by President Obama on Wednesday. The bill, which unsurprisingly was heavily supported by those in the tech industry, means that gadget makers can now add software-based labels as opposed to having to print the identifying information onto their hardware.

Proposed FCC rule change could deliver the Apple TV you’ve been dreaming of


Apple's new improved TV could be coming as early as this fall.
Photo: Robert S. Donovan / Flickr CC
Photo: Robert S. DonovanFlickr CC

A proposed change in U.S. regulations could have massive implications when it comes to bringing about the kind of integrated Apple television set Steve Jobs talked about producing.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a revision of rules that would afford Internet streaming services the same treatment as traditional cable and satellite television companies when it comes to negotiating with channel operators like HBO.

If the change is made, online providers would gain “access to programming owned by cable operators” and be able to negotiate licensing deals with content providers like HBO or local TV stations. Wheeler says the move would “encourage new video alternatives by opening up access to content previously locked on cable channels,” similar to the way regulatory changes in the ’90s enabled satellite TV to compete with cable operators.

AT&T and Verizon fight plan to make 911 callers easier to find


Photo: Flickr/BenSpark
Photo: Flickr/BenSpark

Each second wasted during a 911 call could be the difference between life and death, making precise location data crucial to the whole lifesaving process, but according to the top U.S. cellphone carriers, getting that exact location to responders is just a little too expensive on 911 calls from a smartphone.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are fighting back on an FCC proposal that aims to save lives by making it easier to locate 911 callers. The government proposal calls on carriers to upgrade their networks so that tracking callers indoor is easier, but AT&T says the project would be a waste of scarce resources.

Learn the tips and tricks of an Instagram pro, this week on The CultCast



This week: now with over 300,000 followers, we welcome back professional Instagram’er Cory @WithHearts Staudacher to share his iPhone photo editing tips and reveal which camera apps he relies on daily. Also on the docket: why our cities deserve municipal internet; unlocking your iPhone gets legal (again); great changes on the horizon for Apple’s Podcasts app; and our musings on the freshly-updated 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros.

Kick back and relax whilst we amuse you with each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.

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The unsightly labels on the back of your iPhone might soon disappear


The unsightley symbols on your iPhone might soon disappear Photo: Moridin, Flickr
The ugly government hieroglyphs on your iPhone might be going digital Photo: Moridin, Flickr

The back of your iPhone is about to get a little more minimalist.

Thanks to a new bill introduced in the Senate, manufacturers may soon be allowed to use digital stamps on smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, instead of using the strange symbols etched onto the back of your iPhone.