Apple plunged Facebook into chaos when it broke its internal apps, new book reveals

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Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
Situation brought Facebook to a near-standstill for employees.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple triggered a “hot war” that compounded ongoing tensions with Facebook when it pulled the social media giant’s enterprise certificate last year. The decision, which temporarily broke all of Facebook’s internal apps, coincided almost exactly with Facebook’s earnings call.

“As [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] spoke [on the call], people on Facebook’s campus could not test new products and were canceling meetings because they could not get the shuttle,” writes author Steven Levy in his new book, Facebook: The Inside Story, which is published in hardcover today.

Today in Apple history: Massive layoffs clear out Apple’s ‘bozo explosion’

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This was one of the worst (and one of the most significant) days in Apple history.
Photo: Bonhams

February 25 Today in Apple history: Apple layoffs: Black Wednesday clears out the 'bozo explosion' February 25, 1981: Apple CEO Michael Scott oversees a mass firing of employees, then holds a massive party.

“I used to say that when being CEO at Apple wasn’t fun anymore, I’d quit,” he tells a crowd of Apple staffers. “But now I’ve changed my mind — when being CEO isn’t fun anymore, I’ll just fire people until it is fun again.” For many people at Apple, the day is the worst in company history — and an early sign that the fun startup culture of the early days are gone forever.

iPhone manufacturer offers perks to try and woo people back to work

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Foxconn Wisconsin
Foxconn is trying its best to get people back to work.
Photo: Foxconn

Apple manufacturer Foxconn is trying to woo people back to the iPhone production lines by offering new perks at its major assembly plants in Shenzhen and Chengzhou.

The company has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in some factories being temporarily closed and only a fraction of employees returning to work when they were reopened. With iPhone orders to fill, Foxconn’s doing its best to make up for lost time.

Apple won’t testify at congressional hearing on tech industry ties in China

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iPhone sales are finally rebounding in China
Tim Cook has spoken about China being Apple's future biggest market.
Photo: Tim Cook/Weibo

Apple won’t attend a March congressional hearing about the tech industry’s relationships in China, the Washington Post reports.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley called the March 4 hearing. Hawley has raised concerns about tech companies’ reliance on and possible cozy relations with China.

App Store Confidential author ‘surprised’ by Apple’s attempt to halt book

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Apple's not happy about former Apple employee Tom Sadowski's new book, App Store Confidential.
It's the book Apple tried to ban. Or, at least, slow down.
Photo: Murmann Verlag

The author of App Store Confidential says he is “surprised” by Apple’s attempt to halt sales of the book, and by the company’s allegations that the German-language memoir reveals trade secrets.

Tom Sadowski, a former App Store manager who worked at Apple from 2009 through 2019, told Cult of Mac he’s not sure which parts of his new book Cupertino objects to. “I’d love to [know], but unfortunately I don’t,” he said. “I am accused of betrayal of secrets without specifying it more precisely.”

Signal is the European Commission’s encrypted messaging app of choice

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Signal app
Signal is all about privacy.
Photo: Signal

The European Commission doesn’t want its staff using WhatsApp or iMessage for internal communications. Instead, they must start using end-to-end-encrypted messaging app Signal as part of a push toward greater security.

“Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging,” noted an instruction that reportedly appeared on internal EC messaging boards in early February.

Today in Apple history: Happy birthday, Steve Jobs!

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It took 20 pounds of personal computing artifacts to form the face of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs was born on this day in 1955.
Photo: Jason Mercier

February 24: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs birthday February 24, 1955: Steve Jobs is born in San Francisco. He will go on to co-found Apple and become one of the most important figures in the history of consumer technology. He’s also probably a big part of why you’re reading this website right now.

Happy birthday, Steve! Let’s take a moment to reflect on your innovation, artistry and overall brilliance on what would have been your 65th birthday celebration.

Apple subpoenas major bank and intelligence contractor in ongoing battle with Corellium

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Company that ported iOS to browsers hits back at Apple
Corellium makes software that allows people to simulate iOS on browsers.
Photo: Corellium

Apple has reportedly subpoenaed Santander Bank and $50 billion intelligence contractor L3Harris Technologies as part of its ongoing battle with cybersecurity startup Corellium.

Apple wants to know how both groups are using Corellium’s software. This software lets companies run virtual versions of iOS for security and functionality testing.

Nonprofit seeks old Apple Watches to donate to people in need

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App Home Screen Apple Watch Series 4
Recycle Health is a wearables charity working out of Tufts Medical School.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Have an old Apple Watch you want to donate to a good cause? Recycle Health, a nonprofit working out of Tufts Medical School, is collecting fitness-tracking wearables to donate to underserved populations.

These include homeless people, veterans, people in senior living homes, and intellectually disabled adults, in low-income communities. The hope is that the fitness-tracking devices could lead to “sustained behavior change” among those who need it.

Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 10 billion downloads

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With iTunes 10 billion downloads milestone, Apple becomes the world's biggest music vendor.
Apple becomes the world's biggest music vendor.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 23: Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 10 billion downloads February 23, 2010: The iTunes Store officially passes the 10 billion music downloads mark, reaching a major milestone. The 10 billionth purchase? “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash.

The buyer of the song in question is Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia. As part of a “Countdown to 10 Billion Songs” promotion by Apple, Sulcer wins a massive $10,000 iTunes Store gift card — and receives a personal phone call from Steve Jobs for good measure!