Fired Apple lawyer released on $500,000 bond

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Apple sign
Gene Levoff is accused of insider trading while at Apple.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

Gene Levoff, former senior director of corporate law and corporate secretary at Apple, has been released on a $500,000 bond after pleading not guilty to charges of insider trading.

Levoff, who formerly prevented Apple employees from insider trading, is accused of using nonpublic information to buy and sell tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Apple stock. He was fired by Apple last September, two months after being placed on leave.

An insurance giant is now ‘right to repair’ movement’s big weapon

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right to repair
iCracked repairs broken iPhone screens by sending technicians to the customer.
Photo: iCracked

Insurance giant Allstate has purchased third-party smartphone repair company iCracked, giving the Right to Repair movement much-needed lobbying muscle.

Already, the insurance company has assigned a lobbyist to proposed legislation underway in New Hampshire, one of 15 states considering Right to Repair bills opposed by tech companies, including Apple.

Apple takes heat over Saudi app that tracks women

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Saudi government app
A Saudi man can use a government app to restrict the travel of his wife or daughter.
Screenshot: iTunes

A U.S. senator is asking Apple and Google to pull an app in Saudi Arabia that men use to track and restrict the movements of women.

Sen. Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google boss Sundar Pichai asking them to “immediately remove” the app Absher, from their app stores.

Millenials pick YouTube over Apple as top brand

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YouTube in Safari on iMac Pro
Apple lost to YouTube in a brand-ranking survey among millenials, but slipped only to second place.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

YouTube is labeled the new “most intimate brand” according to a survey of millennials. Apple took the title last year, but now drops to second place.

Other brands that did well include Netflix and Disney,  Android-maker Google came in at ninth place. Samsung didn’t make the top ten.

Apple’s awesome chip team is now designing iPhone modems

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Apple A4 chip
Johny Srouji’s team is in charge of modem development.
Photo: Apple

Apple has shifted to in-house modem chip engineering led by senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji, according to a new report.

The move all but confirms that Apple will develop its own cellular chips for future iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models after years of sourcing them from Intel and Qualcomm.

Apple will pay France $571 million in back taxes

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Apple France tax
Europe continues to chase Apple for unpaid taxes.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has agreed to pay French authorities around $571 million in back taxes, according to new reports.

Apple today confirmed the deal but did not disclose the sum itself. The agreement comes after a multi-year audit into Apple’s accounts by the French tax administration.

Facebook employees considered quitting after iOS apps shutdown

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Facebook employees
Facebook employees went through a tense 24 hours.
Photo: Facebook

Apple’s sudden shutdown of Facebook’s internal apps for iOS created enough chaos this week that some working for the social network company were openly talking about quitting, according to reports.

The Facebook employee apps show shuttle schedules, campus maps, and company calendars. Apple disabled all of them Wednesday after it learned Facebook ran a research app where iOS users could be rewarded for their data, a sideloaded app that violates Apple’s developer rules.

Google pulls ‘research’ iOS app and issues apology to Apple

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Google research app
Google rewards the family that willing shares its data.
Screenshot: Google/YouTube

Apple may have another tech giant to deal with over an iOS app that bypasses the App Store and Cupertino’s strict developer terms.

Until late today, Google ran a research app that monitored and analyzed internet usage and enticed users with rewards to download the app directly from Google with a developer’s code and registration.