Blog Posts by Chase Kell

  • Apple patent hints at advanced stylus for iPhone, iPad

    A recently published patent suggests Apple is working on stylus support for future touch devices, the second rumour in as many weeks to directly conflict with the thoughts of the late Steve Jobs.

    Rumours of an iPad Mini began to heat up when Apple reportedly hired two LCD panel suppliers to produce 7.85-inch touchscreens. It was no secret that Jobs did not support a miniaturized iPad, nor was he a fan of including stylus support with Apple's mobile devices.

    But according to a CNET report, Apple has all but officially begun production of the iPen.

    "Despite the late Steve Jobs' mockery of a stylus, Apple has been tinkering with the notion of an iPen complete with haptic feedback," writes Roger Cheng in the report. "That's according to a newly published patent application unearthed by enthusiast site Patently Apple."

    Competitors such as Samsung and HTC have released mobile devices that feature stylus control, but the reported iPen is expected to advance the capabilities of this popular

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  • IBM bans Siri over information leak concerns

    Samuel L. Jackson loves Siri, and Zooey Deschanel is quite the fan herself. But the brass at IBM aren't exactly singing the praises of Apple's voice-activated personal assistant.

    IBM CIO Jeanette Horan recently revealed the company has banned all employees from using Siri on company-issued iPhones.

    "Siri has had her visitor badge revoked at IBM," writes Michelle Maltais in the L.A. Times. "Apparently she can't keep quiet about what she hears."

    According to the Times, voice-recognition services such as Siri will transmit what they hear to a database. This is an effort to improve the service by making it smarter, growing its vocabulary and knowledge of different accents. But this kind of documentation, however benign or innocent in nature, has become a cause for concern at IBM.

    "We're just extraordinarily conservative," revealed Horan in a Christian Science Monitor piece. "It's the nature of our business."

    Siri's banishment has generated quite the buzz online, but Jacqui Cheng from Ars

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  • Apple appears to have begun production on a product Steve Jobs would have never approved during his time as CEO.

    According to a report from Liberty Times, the makers of the iPad have selected two LCD panel suppliers to produce 7.85-inch screens for the iPad Mini, a new tablet expected to be released this fall.

    "The paper (Liberty Times) claims that LG and AU Optronics have been certified to produce the panels for the much rumored device," reveals Seth Fiegerman in a Business Insider piece. "The report also says that two other companies — TPK Holding and Chimei Innolux — have signed on to produce six million backlight modules for the iPad Mini screen."

    Since the emergence of the seven-inch Kindle Fire, which provided a healthy boost to Android's tablet market share, the internet has been replete with rumours of an iPad Mini.

    "Apple has since regained lost ground and remains the dominant player in the tablet arena," says Lance Whitney in a CNET blog. "Still, the iPad has watched its

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  • Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dead at 63

    Donna Summer, the woman affectionately known as the Queen of Disco, died in Florida this morning after a battle with cancer. She was 63.

    According to a TMZ report, sources close to Summer have stated the singer was trying to keep a tight lip on the extent of her illness.

    "We spoke to someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago ... who says she didn't seem too bad," shares TMZ. "In fact, we're told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on."

    The five-time Grammy award winner rose to superstardom in the '70s with hits such as "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance" and "Bad Girls." Her success continued well into the '80s with "This Time I Know It's for Real," and "She Works Hard for the Money."

    Summer, along with producer Giorgio Moroder, were accredited with defining the '70s dance music era, influencing a slew of acts including David Bowie and Duran Duran.

    Summer married Bruce Sudano, the Brooklyn Dreams singer, back in the '80s. They have two daughters.

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  • Facebook testing new ‘pay to promote post’ tool

    The first Facebook user to be exposed to the site's latest content sharing feature was so skeptical, he or she thought it was a con. In fact, it took a statement from a Facebook spokesperson to confirm the new "pay to promote post" feature is indeed genuine.

    "We're constantly testing new features across the site," revealed the spokesperson on "This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends."

    Facebook has begun testing the "pay to promote" feature among users in New Zealand. For a small fee, users can ensure that the content they share will be more visible to friends, colleagues and family. The goal is to determine if users are interested in "paying to flag up their information."

    "We're going to see a lot more ideas like this where they are testing out different ways to try to make money," shares internet analyst Ian Maude.

    According to the spokesperson, Facebook is currently testing several different methods of

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  • Hundreds of fans gathered Monday to celebrate the midnight release of Diablo III, the third chapter of the famed video game series that had been 12 years in the making.

    Anxious gamers had begun sharing their excitement online since word of a third installment hit the web, but the anticipation became tangible when nearly 2,000 eager fans gathered at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Orange County, California.

    "When we first started doing midnight launches, we didn't think anyone would come, but now we do them for all our games, and they get bigger and bigger," explains Rob Pardo, VP of game design at Blizzard Entertainment Inc. in The Washington Post. "It's great for not only the fans but also the development team. They get to be here when everyone is buying the game and see the excitement."

    Fans huddled around the stage to watch the artists sketch Diablo characters live, view never-before-seen footage and indulge in a little trivia. "Loot storms" provided Diablo fans with an opportunity

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  • Apple reportedly dropping Google Maps from iOS 6

    The idea that Apple really does not need Google Maps is nothing new. The makers of the iPhone seemed to get that ball rolling when they departed from the competition's mapping service with the new version of iPhoto.

    But up until now, Apple has continued to use Google Maps to power the iOS Maps app. Gizmodo is reporting that Apple is set to drop Google's mapping service with the release of iOS 6 in favour of a brand new in-house system.

    "The move away from Google Maps would make sense from Apple's point of view, given Cupertino's holy war against Google," explains Kyle Wagner in the piece. "And it has been moving further away from the service, using OpenStreetMaps data in its latest update. Add that to the mapping companies that Apple's been stockpiling — C3, Poly9, Placebase — and Apple seems more than ready to shove off on its own."

    We should see this transition at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company is expected to debut its new operating system.


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  • Facebook becoming a hot topic in Canadian courts

    Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues at Facebook are no strangers to the courts, including those north of the border.

    The social titan recently vowed to fight back against a B.C. woman's lawsuit alleging a privacy breach. The suit seeks to end the company's practice of turning users into brand ambassadors when they  'like' a product or service.

    But keeping Facebook topical in courtrooms across the country are two cases that indirectly involve the social site.

    In the case known as A.B. vs. Bragg Communications, a teenaged victim of online bullying sought to bring defamation charges against her tormentors in Nova Scotia but under a pseudonym, in order to protect her privacy.

    The Nova Scotia court of appeal ruled against the teen just last year, citing that an anonymous person "should not be allowed to bring a defamation action against another," reports the Vancouver Sun.

    "To be able to proceed with a defamation claim under a cloak of secrecy is contrary to the quintessential features of

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  • Instructor Jerry Wheeler uses a miniature bulldozer to teach a safety and equipment orientation class.I'm sure many can remember this question from their childhood: if I dig a deep hole to the other end of the world, where would I end up?

    China quickly became the popular guess, but a new Google Maps-based website reveals that, if such a thing were possible, children across Canada would find themselves swimming somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Except for those in the southeastern corner of Alberta, that is, who would find themselves on the French Southern & Antarctic Lands. allows users to pinpoint the location that is exactly half way around the world from where they are. You simply double click on the map, or drag the map to your location, and the second map below immediately identifies the area that is diametrically opposite to where you stand.

    "The site defines two antipodal points as being connected by a straight line through the dead center of the Earth," explains Samantha Murphy in a Mashable blog. "For example, New York City's antipodal point is in the Indian

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  • There must be hundreds of developers who would give their right arm — so to speak — to attend Worldwide Developer Conference 2012, but only one is prepared to legally change his name for a ticket to this year's event.

    Apple announced Wednesday that its annual WWDC will take place from June 11 through June 15 in San Francisco. Tickets, which went on sale the same day at around 8:30 a.m. EDT, were sold out in just two hours, likely before many developers on the west coast had woken up.

    Yet unlike at concerts or professional sporting events, tickets are not transferable for this year's conference — the name printed on the pass must match the ticket holder's identification, which makes scalping a very bad idea, if not next to impossible. But one daring developer seems to have found a loophole.

    "An anonymous developer on Wednesday posted a want ad on Craigslist," shares Zach Epstein in a BGR blog. "Under the headline, 'I will legally change my name to yours for a WWDC ticket — $1,600,' the

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