Tim Cook awarded $58M of Apple stock for performance & tenure achievements

Chance Miller writing for 9to5Mac:

As noted in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Tim Cook on Monday was awarded 560,000 restricted Apple stock units. Cook was given these stocks as time and performance awards. At Apple’s stock price at the end of day Tuesday of $103.12, those stocks are worth roughly $57.5 million.

Cook chose not to sell any vested restricted stock units, although 290,836 were withheld by Apple to keep in line with minimum statutory tax withholding requirements.

iPhone sales grow 93% in Q3 2015

Gulveen Aulakh writing for ETtech:

The Cupertino-based company’s sales of iPhones in India grew 93% in the third quarter albeit off a far lower base faster than 87% growth in Greater China markets, comprising China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The company’s global phone sales rose 35% to 47.5 million units.
 
“(In) India we grew at 93% and this is on top of the Greater China numbers that grew 87% during the quarter against a market of 5%,” Apple’s chief executive officer and director Tim Cook said during an earnings call Wednesday morning. “So, we did exceptionally well I think in any way that you look at it,” he said.

and

iPhone sales growth in India were higher than 45% growth recorded in several countries, including Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Turkey, Cook said, while sales more than doubled in Germany, Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The iPhone 5s was selling like hot cakes a few months ago when it was available on Flipkart, Amazon.in and Snapdeal for as low as ₹30,000. No wonder the numbers did so well.

Buying Lokmanya The Film Legally vs. Pirating It

Ever since I’d seen its trailers, I was excited about watching the movie Lokmanya: Ek Yug Purush. It is a Marathi film that was released in the theaters on 2nd January, 2015 and its lead actor, Subodh Bhave, received widespread praise for his portrayal of Lokmanya Tilak. It was a pretty solid movie, but the thing that I was most excited about was the preparation and efforts that had gone into making it. It was exciting to see a Marathi film in this form. I went for its screening on the very first day and thoroughly enjoyed it. The make-up and the sets, along with the dialogues and the music were top notch. I was glad to see a Marathi film of this quality running housefull shows around the city.

I had decided to purchase a copy of the film whenever it was going to be released to the public. I wanted to own a high-quality version of the film and would gladly pay for a Blu-ray of it. Leading up to its release, I tried contacting its director, @omraut via Twitter, to ask him whether they’d be releasing Blu-ray version of the film (Marathi films usually get released on Blu-rays), but unfortunately received no response from him. I was hoping if not for a Blu-ray, we’d at least get the option of a legal, digital download in 1080p via iTunes or Google Play Movies.

Unfortunately, the film only got released on CD and DVD. Fine, I said, and went ahead and pre-ordered the DVD anyway via Amazon . While I waited for the delivery, a friend of mine told me that a 720p version of the film was already out on torrents and that he’d already downloaded it and watched it. Since I’d already pre-ordered the DVD, I told him I’d just wait for its delivery.

When the DVD got delivered, I was throughly disappointed. The DVD packaging was flimsy and terrible and when I tried to play the DVD, it just wouldn’t play. I tried to rip it using Handbrake, but that kept failing too. I looked up on Amazon and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Two others had complained that their DVDs too were corrupt and wouldn’t play at all.

Here I was, all excited about a movie I really liked, ready to pay good money to own a high-quality version for viewing at home but without any options to do so. The copy that I legally bought and paid for ended up not working at all. On the other hand, my friend who pirated a copy not only watched a much higher quality version than my DVD, he also got to watch it much before me. And of course, he would watch the entire film without trouble.

Oh well…

iPhone 6 India TVC by Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is one of the two major distributors of Apple products in India, the other being Redington. Over the last couple of years, the sales of iPhone have gone up in the country, thanks to Apple’s push and strategic moves in the market. However, the high price of the devices are still a factor when people make their decisions and purchasing a phone on EMIs is often preferred, so much so that some companies offer an exclusive discount on this mode of payment.

Yesterday, Ingram has released this beautiful India-specific TVC for the iPhone 6.

 

Nicely done.

Password Related Changes coming in WordPress 4.3

WordPress 4.3 Beta is now ready for testing and the team has listed the notable changes arriving with version 4.3. This one below is really good to have.

We put a lot of work into Better Passwords throughout WordPress. Now, WordPress will limit the life time of password resets, no longer send passwords via email, and generate and suggest secure passwords for you.

I wish Automattic themselves offered a Two-Step Authentication plugin for self-hosted WordPress installations.

Offscreen Magazine in India

offscreen-1

I have been a huge fan of Offscreen Magazine ever since they announced their 3rd Issue. The first two issues ran out of stock before I could order them, but I have purchased every single issue since the third one and love reading every bit of it. Offscreen is a fantastic magazine with some amazing content from talented individuals around the globe and it gives you great insight into the life and workings of people that you look up to. And all this is effectively put together by a single person — Kai Brach.

 

Every issue of Offscreen is available in limited quantities and there are no reprints. You can order it directly from the website, but there have been two major disadvantages attached to it:

  • The Shipping — Offscreen ships via Standard Post from Germany, so local shipping is handled by your country’s local post. So if you’re in India, your delivery entirely depends on India Post and how good their service is. Additionally, your shipment cannot be tracked, so you’re in the dark as to how long it’s going to take to reach you or if it even reaches you at all. In my experience, it takes about 5 weeks for a shipment to reach me.
  • The Payment — Offscreen uses PayPal for their payments, so your only option of payment is a Credit Card.

I’ve been speaking about this with Kai and my friends in India and I’ve always wanted to improve this. So I’m glad to tell you now that you can now purchase Offscreen Magazine locally India, directly from the Beautiful Pixels Store. Many thanks to Kai for his support.

Here’s what you get if you order the magazine from us:

  • Local Payment Options — You can pay using Net Banking, Debit Card or Credit Card.
  • Priority Shipping — You get shipping that can be tracked online & don’t have to rely on India Post to “do the needful”.

We currently have Issue #11 in stock and for sale on the website, but you can sign up if you’re interested in future or past issues. We have plans to bring many more such interesting magazines and products to India, so stay tuned.

If you want to purchase Offscreen Magazine #11, you can do that here.

Twitterrific’s New Facial Recognition Feature

A couple of days ago, The Iconfactory released version 5.12.1 of Twitterrific, the popular Twitter app for iOS. A subtle yet brilliant new feature introduced in this release is the facial recognition feature for the rich media previews in the timeline. Allow me to elaborate what this is with a couple of screenshots:

I tweeted out something today with a link and an attached photo. Here’s how that tweet looks in the official Twitter app: 

  
and here’s how the same tweet looks in the new Twitterrific:

  
Twitterrific 5.12.1 makes use of the Facial Recognition API in iOS to detect faces in any previews on your timeline and crops them so that the faces are always in focus. It’s a small addition, but makes a big impact to your timeline.

It’s the little details like these that have an immense effect on the overall delight that an app gives you. Twitterrific was already a fantastic Twitter app for iOS and didn’t need to add this feature, but now that they have, I wish this was default in every app out there. 

Twitterrific is available for Free on the App Store.

Bharti Airtel files FIR against former employee for stealing confidential data to aid Reliance Jio

Romit Guha, reporting for ETtech:

“(Yasir Majid) after having been relieved from the services of the company (Airtel), took up employment with M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd…It thus became evident that the said Mr Yasir Majid downloaded, copied and extracted the aforementioned confidential financial data/information of the company for his own use and the use thereof by his current employer M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., who is a business competitor of the company,” said the first information report (FIR) filed by the police, a copy of which was viewed by ET.

and…

Data that were unauthorisedly transferred included details of locations of Airtel’s base stations used to transmit airwaves and plans for future installations of such equipment, “highly confidential” financial information about the company’s BTS wise activation gross revenue details for the Jammu & Kashmir service area and a power point presentation used at the zonal business manager’s meeting on February 15.

The Release Notes of the Reuters TV iOS App

Reuters is one of the most widely known news agencies in the world. They offer an app called Reuters TV on the iOS App Store. Available for both the iPhone and iPad, the app offers a personalized TV news service wherein you can watch on-demand & insightful video programming for the topics you’re most interested in. It makes great use of rich media and graphics to offer an immersive experience and it is one of my favorite ‘news’ apps that I use to keep up with the news.

I also love Reuters TV for its release notes on the App Store. Being a news agency, Reuters takes a clever approach towards the Whats New in Version on the App Store. Here’s what the release notes for the latest version released today (v1.1.2) look like:

EAGAN, Minnesota (Reuters) – Battling the onset of a brutal allergy season and unusually high pollen counts, developers in America’s midwest contended with red eyes and runny noses to release another update to the Reuters TV app.

The new release surprised commentators, who had not been expecting a release so soon after iPad compatibility was added. In brief comments, a spokesperson for Reuters TV said the new app resolves a number of minor bugs and speed issues that had crept into the recent release and claimed it addresses “technical debt”.

A high ranking team member, who declined to be identified, described working through the night to deliver improvements for the new version. He claimed the new app will run “a heck of a lot faster” and “a whole lot smoother”.

Analyst Chance Johnellor said he was “confident” the updated app will perform reliably, pointing to research his team had done to suggest the update delivered improved performance and battery life.

Spokespeople for Reuters TV declined to comment further on the release, noting that they appreciated all user feedback and that further updates are planned soon. The team can be reached at hello@reuters.tv.

This isn’t a one-off case though, they’ve been doing this since the very first version.

Version 1.1.1

reuters-tv-v111

Version 1.1.0

reuters-tv-v110

Version 1.0.1

reuters-tv-v101

The Reuters TV app is available Free on the App Store and you can read and watch the content for 30 days. After that, a subscription is just $1.99 a month.

Major zero-day exploit found in iOS & OS X

The security flaw itself sounds scary, but the following bit from the article is far more scarier

The Register says the team reported the flaws to Apple in October of last year. At that time, Apple said that it understood the seriousness of the flaws and asked the researchers to give it six months to address them before the exploit was made public. In February, Apple requested an advance copy of the paper, yet the flaws remain present in the latest versions of both operating systems