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Apple Daily: ‘Apple Car’ May Be Tested Soon; Samsung Appeal Denied in Apple Case

New documents suggest that Apple is a lot farther along in its rumored quest to design its own car than previously suspected, although the nature of the car itself is still anyone’s educated guess. In other news, Samsung’s latest attempt to lessen the amount it has to pay to Apple in the aftermath of 2012′s big patent suit was just denied.

Documents Suggest ‘Apple Car’ is Close to Prototyping Stage

We can all stop wondering if the long-rumored Apple Car (or “Project Titan”) is real, according to a new report from The Guardian. It’s so real, in fact, that Apple already appears to be close to the prototype phase, as documents obtained through a public records request strongly suggest that Apple was looking for authorization to test it at California’s GoMentum Station way back in May.

GoMentum Station is known as “the largest secure test facility in the world,” and competitors Mercedes-Benz and Honda have reportedly already used the site’s roughly 20 miles of simulated highways, city streets, railroad crossings, and cattle guards for their own self-driving car experiments. The site, located northeast of San Francisco, contains 2,100 acres on a former naval base that’s now run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

Concept via TechnoBuffalo

The correspondence in the documents reveals that Apple engineer Frank Fearon wrote in May that: “We would… like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”

Frank Hall, the program manager for autonomous vehicles at GoMentum Station, responded later in the month, stating that the facility would have to postpone a tour until an unspecified date, but that “We would still like to meet in order to keep everything moving and to meet your testing schedule.”

The new report says nothing about the details of “Project Titan” itself, but it’s notable for assuming in the headline that the car will be self-driving. Previous rumors have been at odds on this subject, with some claiming that the car is merely an electric car and others claiming that it’s both electric and self-driving.

The current batch of rumors tend to agree that Apple plans to release the car in 2020, but that could change. And, of course, there’s always a chance that we may never see the so-called Apple Car at all.

 

Court Rejects Samsung’s Latest Appeal in Patent Case

Samsung is still hard at work trying to lower to amount it needs to pay Apple in the aftermath of 2012′s big patent suit, but according to the San Jose Mercury News, its latest efforts were shut down by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The Korean tech giant was attempting to get the court to reconsider a key point that would affect 0 million of the 8 million payment owed to Apple, but the court would have none of it. As of today, Samsung’s only option left is to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Samsung was originally ordered to pay Apple billion in damages to Apple in 2012, but that number went down a bit following revelations that the jury had made a mistake in part of its judgement. Another appeals court earlier this year brought down the amount to the current 8 million, and Samsung’s latest appeal came after the company wanted all 12 judges on the Federal Circuit court to rehear the case. The three-judge panel from earlier in the year, it claimed, has erred “when it left intact a jury’s verdict that the South Korean tech giant’s smartphones and tablets infringed on Apple’s design patents.”

Google, HP, Facebook, Dell, eBay, and other Silicon Valley companies sided with Samsung’s effort in the latest appeal, arguing in a “friend of the court” brief that forcing Samsung to pay the specified amount would stifle innovation.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Apple Tied With Samsung Shipments, Ampere Wireless Charging Case

Analysts and pundits are still realizing the larger implications of Apple’s insanely profitable quarter, and new reports reveal how the Cupertino company has caught up with Samsung in a key race. In other news, there’s a cool new wireless iPhone charging case in the works on Kickstarter.

Report: Apple Shipped As Many Phones As Samsung Last Quarter

More news about the wider significance of Apple’s record-breaking quarter continues to roll in, this time from Security Analytics, who claims that Apple tied with rival Samsung to dominate smartphone shipments for the quarter.

According to the report, both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million handsets during the quarter (although Samsung’s still well in the lead as regards the annual total). As a result, at least for the quarter, both companies could claim a market share of 19.6 percent.

It’s worth noting that Strategy Analytics’s conclusions are partly based on informed guesses, as Samsung stopped reporting the numbers of its shipments a few years ago. (IDC, for instance, reported a couple of hours ago that Samsung shipped a slightly more impressive 75.1 million units.

The last time Samsung and Apple had a more or less equal share of the market was in Q4 2011. Samsung and Apple might be tied as regards shipments, but the news is much different on the profit scale. The Korean company’s sales for the period ranging from October to December 2014 were down 27 percent from last year according to its own earnings report released today, and the company’s mobile sales were down a whopping 64 percent year over year. (Its semiconductor business is positively booming, though, in part due to widespread demand for them from companies like, yes, Apple.)

‘Ampere’ Wireless Charging Case Turns Heads on Kickstarter

If you’re the type of person who likes to charge your iPhone on the go but doesn’t like to bother with cumbersome extra accessories, you should check out Novelsys’ new Ampere sleeve on Kickstarter. It looks like most other leather sleeves for the iPhone, but the quirk here is that it comes with a 2,700-mAh battery tucked inside that charges your phone wirelessly.

There’s a (literally) small catch for us iPhone users in that we’ll have to stick a tiny Lightning receiver on the bottom of our phones to get it to work as intended. But that seems like a small price to pay considering the convenience involved.

Right now, the real price you’ll have to pay is a pledge to Novelsys’s Kickstarter for the project, and that’s just for the early bird pricing. (And you’ll want to hurry, as there’s only 30 of those left as of this writing.) After that, the price jumps up slightly to .

Plenty of people are taking notice. The team asked for ,000, but the project’s already earned ,259 on the strength of just 373 backers and there are still 15 days to go.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Deals: Keep Your iPhone Safe from the Elements with the Leverage Case

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Your iPhone is an important piece of technology that you keep on you at all times and you probably paid good money for. The last thing you want to do is leave it behind, but you have to keep it safe as well. That is where the Leverage i5 case from Graft Concepts comes in. It’ll protect your iPhone for you and will look good doing it. It’s on sale in our latest Deal.

The Leverage case has one job: keep your iPhone protected. But its service doesn’t just end there, as it’s also a stylish piece that won’t sacrifice looks for functionality. It won’t bulk up your iPhone and make it less convenient to keep on your body, but it provides the phone with the protection you’d expect and it deserves.

The Leverage case from Graft Concepts usually retails for . If you head over to our Deals tab, you can save yourself 27% off that price. That brings your total to just .99. Given how much this case can save you if your iPhone takes a spill, it’s more than worth it. So grab this deal today!

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Law & Apple: Silicon Valley Poaching Case Paused

Law & AppleSilicon Valley has long been the center of the universe for technology workers. If you want to play on the big stage for software engineers, the storied northern California tech hotbed, first named publicly in the early ’70s, remains the place to be. But what if you found out that all of the major tech companies there were in cahoots to suppress your salary? What if you had proof that the heads of companies like Apple and Google were slinging emails around, asking each other to not hire you? You’d probably do what those very companies seem to love to do: you’d sue.

High-Tech Workers vs. Apple

In May 2011, five software engineers launched a public class action suit against Apple, Google, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Adobe, Intel, and Intuit. The suit claimed that, based mostly on emails between top executives like the late Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, the companies entered into a mutual agreement to not hire employees from any of the other companies involved in the pact. Judge Lucy Koh ruled in February 2012 that the case could proceed, but at the time stated there was concerns with “how it ties together” into a possible conspiracy between all of the companies.

In a decision released just this past Friday, Judge Koh apparently felt those concerns were still unresolved, and ruled that the lawsuit cannot proceed as a class action. For now.

Tech Workers

We’re gonna need a bigger lawsuit boat.

The plaintiffs, according to Judge Koh, have yet to demonstrate there is enough in common for class action certification at this time. However, Judge Koh stated that the court was “keenly aware” of new evidence that could allow the engineers to sue as a group. Gaining class action certification is significant, as it would allow the plaintiffs the potential to win larger financial settlements than if they were to sue individually.

Everyone involved in this case understands how important the class action certification is, and Judge Koh has clearly allowed the plaintiffs some latitude to answer any remaining concerns, particularly involving any alleged conspiracy between the companies being sued. A new law firm has been assigned to the plaintiffs, and apparently they have been tasked to answer “certain specific questions” pertaining to the remaining issues preventing class action certification.

The email exchanges between Jobs and Schmidt are impossible to ignore, but an alleged secret conspiracy between Silicon Vally’s biggest players could include damages to hundreds or even thousands of high tech workers. Judge Koh is carefully ensuring that the case is structurally sound before the court opens those floodgates.

Follow this writer, Adrian Hoppel, on Facebook.

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Deals: Make your iPhone Case a Swiss Army Knife with Krome CargoCase

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Owners of the iPhone know how attached to it you can become. It’s just as important to have with you at all times as, say, your forms of indentification or credit cards. If keeping it safe and sound is a top priority of yours, then you need the Krome CargoCase, a four-in-one phone case that will hold all of your valuables along side your beloved iPhone. It’s on sale in our latest Deal.

The Krome CargoCase is the one accessory you need to keep all of your important belongings safe. It perfectly houses the iPhone, be it the 4, 4s, or 5. But it also leaves enough room for cards, tools, USB drives, and anything else that you want to make sure you have on you at all times. Stop searching the house every morning for a bunch of things that are laying all over the place. Keep them safe and secure in the Krome CargoCase.

The Krome CargoCase usually retails for . If you head over to our Deals tab, you can take 27% off of that price. That means you pay just . It fits the iPhone 4, 4s, and 5, so pick your model and get your case today!

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