Walt Mossberg’s Review
Walt puts to the test the battery-life claims of Apple’s new MacBook Air and Sony’s Vaio Pro.
8758 posts and columns on Apple
In an SEC filing Monday, billionaire investor Carl Icahn revealed a 9.27 percent passive stake in voice-recognition firm Nuance Communications, whose technology is reportedly behind Apple’s Siri. The stock had slid 21 percent over the past 12 months, but rose more than 8 percent after hours on the news.
After a quick review, Apple has cleared an update to Amazon’s Kindle for iOS app that fixes a bug in the previous version that deregistered iOS Kindle devices, deleting libraries, bookmarks and other settings. The updated app is now available in the iTunes App Store.
Apple said today it would appeal U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh’s decision against blocking sales of certain Samsung devices found to have infringed Apple patents in a trial that resulted in a billion-dollar verdict in Apple’s favor. Koh ruled that Apple failed to prove the infringing products significantly harmed iPhone sales.
The Justice Department said today it had reached a settlement with Penguin Group (USA), one of six companies it had accused of conspiring to raise prices of e-books. The agreement, if approved by the court, would leave only two companies — Apple and Macmillan — facing the lawsuit, due to go to trial in June. Settlements were reached earlier with Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.
Time magazine announced the eight frontrunners for its annual Person of the Year honor today, and right up there with Barack Obama and young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai are a pair of Silicon Valley CEOs — Apple’s Tim Cook and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer. The runaway winner in the online reader poll was North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, thanks to strong support among the Internet Wiseguy demographic. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
News Byte“This American Life’s” retraction of monologist Mike Daisey’s discredited account of Apple’s Chinese manufacturing facilities brought the public radio show its most online listeners ever in a single week. The episode chalked up almost 900,000 downloads or streams in that time, topping the record previously held by the original Daisey show.
News Byteretracting an earlier report critical of working conditions in the Chinese plants of Apple supplier Foxconn because it contained “significant fabrications” by narrator Mike Daisey. In a program scheduled to air Sunday, host Ira Glass will talk with Daisey about “why he misled ‘This American Life’ during the fact-checking process,” and will conclude by “separating fact from fiction, when it comes to Apple’s manufacturing practices in China.” Daisey defended his work, saying, “My show is a theatrical piece. … What I do is not journalism.”