Apple acquires startup co-founded by iTunes Festival boss

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Denzyl Feigelson 2
Apple has snapped up an artist-friendly music marketing firm.
Screenshot: Tileyard Education

Apple has reportedly acquired U.K.-based music creative services and artist development company Platoon.

The company has history with Apple, being co-founded by former Apple live events and artist relations exec Denzyl Feigelson. Described as “a platform for fearless creatives,” Platoon has helped develop a number of early stage artists in the U.S. and UK since launching in 2016.

Apple sends out notification pushing iPhone users to upgrade

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Apple advertising 1
This is the message received by users.
Photo: Steve Lederer/Twitter

Apple’s apparently taking its “fire drill” approach to pushing the iPhone XR and XS seriously. As noted by developer Steve Lederer on Twitter, Apple recently sent out a push notification prompting users to upgrade to the iPhone XR or XS.

This was sent out to people on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, so it’s not really breaking Apple’s own App Store rules stating that apps should not send unsolicited spam to customers. However, it’s also not the kind of soft sell we’d usually expect from Apple.

Australia’s new anti-encryption laws are bad news for Apple

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Apple takes privacy seriously
Apple is all about privacy.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Australia’s population may be less than 10 percent of the United States’ but its new anti-privacy laws could still have Silicon Valley tech giants quaking in their boots.

The country’s newly passed laws mean that law enforcement officials are allowed to access encrypted messages when required. That affects companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and, yes, Apple.

If you picked Apple’s IPO over Microsoft’s, you can start crying now

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Microsoft Windows
Apple may be the cooler company, but Microsoft's where the money is.
Photo: Microsoft

If you’d had the foresight to invest in Apple and Microsoft back when they first went public, it’s no secret that you’d be sitting on a big old pile of cash today.

But which company would have made you more money? CNBC recently crunched the numbers and, well, the results are somewhat surprising.

Apple Pay teams up with retailers to offer festive discounts

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Apple Pay holidays 1
Here are some of the holiday savings you can make!
Photo: Apple

‘Tis the season to be jolly — and, if you’re Apple, to try and pick up a few more Apple Pay stragglers before the year ends.

With that in mind, Apple has launched its special Apple Pay holiday offers, granting users an assortment of festive discounts from 19 different retailers. The discounts are available when you use Apple Pay in certain retailers’ apps or on the web, through December 19. Here’s what’s on offer:

Today in Apple history: Lousy quarter proves Steve Jobs isn’t invincible

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$1 trillion value
A perfect storm of bad news leads to a massive $195 million quarterly loss for Apple.
Photo: Apfellike

December 6: Today in Apple history: Apple suffers first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs' return December 6, 2000: Apple’s stock price falls after the company posts its first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs’ return to the company in 1997.

Shares tumble $3 to just $14 a share as doom-predicting pundits worry that the big Apple comeback might come screeching to a halt.

Little did they know….

Handwritten Steve Jobs document fails to sell at auction

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Jobs document
A section of the Steve Jobs Apple-1 spec sheet, with two Polaroids.
Photo: Bonhams

A vintage handwritten spec sheet in which Steve Jobs called the Apple-1 motherboard a “great deal” has failed to sell at auction.

The document, written in the mid-1970s, was up for auction as part of Bonham’s “History of Science and Technology, Including Space History” collection. Its asking price was $60,000. However, the bidding “only” reached up to $28,000, thereby failing to meet its reserve. A couple of historical Apple items did sell, but for less than expected.

Aquarium calls out Apple’s incorrect squid emoji

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Squid 1
We don't want to get graphic, but Apple's squid emoji would poop out of its face.
Photo: Apple

The national nightmare that was “bagelgate” may be over, but Apple is apparently swimming into more controversial emoji territory. This time, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is pointing out that Apple’s squid emoji is physiologically incorrect.

Essentially, Apple’s lack of biological accuracy means that its squid emoji would, among other things, poop out of its face. For shame!

You can now use Siri to check up on your Apple Store orders

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Siri
"OK, Siri, where's my new iPhone?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You can now use Siri to check up on product availability or the whereabouts of your latest orders, courtesy of the official Apple Store app for iOS.

Version 5.2 of the app adds new Siri Shortcuts support, letting you create custom voice commands to carry out these tasks without having to open the app.