Apple celebrates International Women’s Day on iTunes and iBookstore

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iTunes is promoting movies and TV shows with strong female characters.
iTunes is promoting movies and TV shows with strong female characters.
Photo: Apple

Apple is going all out to feature great media that promotes strong women by creating special sections in iTunes and Apple Music for International Women’s Day.

iPhone, Mac and Apple TV users can comb through Apple’s handpicked choices in categories like music, movies and books to find stories and entertainment that promotes strong female characters.

It’s not just you, iCloud is down now for some users

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iCloud is down.
Photo: Apple

Are you having a hard time backing up files to iCloud or listening to songs on Apple Music? You’re not alone.

It appears that Apple’s iCloud services are currently impacted by a major Amazon web services outage that has crippled the internet on the East Coast. It’s unclear what is causing the problem but Apple says only 0.04 percent of users are effected by “slower than normal performance.”

Here are all the Apple services that are down:

Apple forced to pay $450 million after Supreme Court rejects e-book appeal

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Apple's eBook appeal is just getting started. Photo: Apple
Apple's e-book legal battle is finally over.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s nearly three year legal battle over charges that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books is finally coming to end.

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal, which leaves the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in place. Apple will finally have to pay $450 million as part of the settlement.

Apple offers 14-day refund window for digital purchases in Europe

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iTunes is down!. Photo:
Getting a refund for accidental iTunes purchases is easier than ever. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has introduced a new 14-day return window for digital purchases made in several European countries. App Store, iTunes, and iBookstore items purchased in the U.K., Germany, Italy, and France are now eligible for complete refunds, and users are not required to give a reason for returning their order.

Apple celebrates the National Book Awards with huge iBooks sale

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Photo: Cult of Mac

Last night, Ursula K. Leguin, the author of seminal fantasy and science-fiction books like The Left Hand of Darkess and the Earthsea series, won a National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

During her speech, she made an impassioned defense of fantasy books, saying we needed such literature because “hard times are coming” when novels that can transport the mind will have actual social value.

It sounds like Apple might have been listening, because they are currently promoting the winners of the National Book Award, past and present, on the iBooks Store.

Apple Bars Sexy Comic From Appearing In App Store. Or Does It?

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Apple has clashed with comic creators over its decision to ban Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals from selling on the iOS version of Comixology. The title, published by Image Comics, tells the story of two people whose orgasms give them the power to stop time (!).

Somewhat confusingly, at time of writing Apple was still selling the comic via its iBooks storefront.

Publishers To Pay iBookstore Customers $3 For Each NYT Best Seller Purchased

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Photo: Apple

While Apple decided to hold out for a court battle — that it eventually lost — five of the publishers involved in the iBookStore price fixing antitrust case have already reached settlements with the DOJ. Two of those publishers, Penguin and Macmillan, are already sending out emails to customers to notify them that they’re eligible to receive iTunes credit, or a check for the settlement.

DoJ Wants Apple To Terminate Deals With Publishers, Link To Rival Bookstores Instead

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Photo: Apple

The ongoing iBooks antitrust case between Apple and the United States Department of Justice took a very interesting twist this morning when the DoJ and 33 state Attorneys General laid out plans to remedy Apple’s wrongdoings and restore competition to the market.

The DoJ wants Apple to terminate all of its deals with book publishers, and refrain from entering into any new ones for at least five years. It also wants the company to start selling e-books from rivals like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.