Cities scramble to upgrade ‘stingray’ tracking as end of 2G network looms

OAKLAND, CA—Documents released last week by the City of Oakland reveal that it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.

The Oakland Police Department, the nearby Fremont Police Department, and the Alameda County District Attorney jointly applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to “obtain a state-of-the-art cell phone tracking system,” the records show.

Stingray is a trademark of its manufacturer, publicly traded defense contractor Harris Corporation, but “stingray” has also come to be used as a generic term for similar devices.

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Possible 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Rear Shell Showcased in New Video

A video showcasing what is claimed to be the rear shell of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 was published today by Nowhereelse.fr. While component leaks have been abundant for the 4.7-inch version, this is one of only a few leaks for the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is rumored to be entering production in September. The site’s sources also claim Apple has selected “iPhone Air” as the name for this larger iPhone version.

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The metal frame in this latest leak is similar in appearance to a rear shell that appeared last month. Both shells have thick antenna breaks, a rounded opening for an updated True Tone flash, a cutout for the Apple logo, a space for elongated volume buttons and a side mounted power button.


Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 at an event scheduled for September 9th at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California. While it most certainly is an iPhone event, it is not known whether the company will announce both the 4.7-inch and the 5.5-inch models at this time.

If Apple introduces the 5.5-inch model on September 9th, the company may stagger the retail sales of the two phones, offering the 4.7-inch model sometime in September and waiting to ship the 5.5-inch version until the end of the year due to production issues.






Trinitite: The radioactive rock buried in New Mexico before the Atari games

Trinitite specimens.

Four months ago, Ars Technica sent me out to Alamogordo, New Mexico to be present at the unearthing of a landfill that was long-rumored to hold a trove of Atari games, dumped at the site after the video game crash of 1983. As I was preparing for the trip, my coworkers and I chatted about the event in the editors’ IRC channel.

”When you’re hanging out in the trash dump be sure to look out for Trinitite,” automotive editor Jonathan Gitlin told me.

”What’s Trinitite?” I asked. He explained that it was a type of radioactive glass that formed during the first test of the first nuclear bomb in 1945. I did a quick Google search and understood (somewhat incorrectly, more on that later) that collecting and selling Trinitite had been made illegal long ago. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for the murky green or red glass when I was in Alamogordo, and I finished booking my motel room.

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Apple Finalizes Lineup for 2014 iTunes Festival in London, Starts Tonight [iOS Blog]

itunes_festival_london_2014 Apple has posted its final lineup for this year’s iTunes Festival in London, which starts tonight and now includes acts such as Placido Domingo, SBTRKT, Friend Within, Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra, Imelda May and The Mirror Trap. Deadmau5 will headline tonight’s list of opening acts as Placido Domingo will close the show on September 30.

Apple previously announced two separate expansions to its lineup throughout the past month, as artists such as Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, and others will account for 30 nights of concerts The Roundhouse throughout this month.

The iTunes Festival begins tonight at 9 PM in the UK and will be broadcast via Apple TV channel, official iOS app [Direct Link], and iTunes Desktop application.






Apple Not Expected to Ship Reversible USB-Lightning Cable or New Adapter Alongside iPhone 6

Apple will likely not be shipping a new Lighting cable or redesigned USB power adapter alongside the iPhone 6, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider). Kuo notes that he doesn’t expect either accessory to receive design changes when shipped alongside the iPhone 6, noting that”cost concerns” and”limited improvements to overall user experience” are preventing Apple from making such moves.

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Moca.co’s prototype USB adapter and Lightning cable based on Apple’s designs

The report follows recent leaks of a revamped Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector as well as a revamped power adapter. The new USB adapter is said to be capable of powering all iPhone, iPod and iPad mini models with support for up to 2A of current, twice that of the current adapter shipping with the iPhone.

Last month, third-party vendor Moca.co stated that Apple has yet to move forward with manufacturing orders with the new cable, likely indicating that it will not ship with iPhone 6. However, the company also stated that the redesigned power adapters are in mass production, and could in fact ship with Apple’s new handset.

Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 for the first time next Tuesday, September 9, as any new accessories will likely be announced alongside the device.






New Aerial Video Shows Significant Construction Progress at Apple Campus 2 [Mac Blog]

Apple appears to be making significant progress on its forthcoming “Spaceship” campus in Cupertino, as an aerial video shared by YouTube user jmcminn (via Apple Spotlight/9to5Mac) shows the site now featuring constructed walls, spots for buildings, and a more defined oval shape.


Apple closed off sidewalks and built a number of privacy fences to keep the area hidden, but this latest video taken with a DJI Phantom 2 drone and GoPro camera goes above the site to show an assortment of vehicles and materials helping to build Apple’s newest campus. Previous photos showed initial work on the site’s walls and deep trenches for what was said to be “underground tunnels.” The site was once the home of Hewlett Packard’s former offices, which were vacated and demolished by Apple ahead of its initial work on its Campus 2 project.

Apple is currently at work on the first phase of its Campus 2 construction, which includes the 2.8 million square foot ring-shaped main building and an underground parking facility capable of holding 2,400 cars. Those structures will also be complemented by a 100,000 square foot fitness center and a 120,000 square foot auditorium, with some of the landscape being occupied by more than 4,500 trees.

The first phase of construction is expected to be completed by 2016, and will be followed by additional 600,000 square feet of buildings along with another parking structure in the second phase.






Apple Hires Longtime Technology Journalist Anand Lal Shimpi

After announcing his departure from AnandTech, veteran technology journalist Anand Lal Shimpi will join Apple in an undisclosed role, reports Re/code. A representative for Apple confirmed that Shimpi would be joining the company, but also declined to provide any further details.

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Image credit: Anandtech

Shimpi launched AnandTech in 1997 and established the website’s reputation around in-depth analysis and reviews on a number of topics from the world of technology, including posts on Apple’s line of desktops, notebooks, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and accessories.

In his farewell post on AnandTech published yesterday, Shimpi stated that he “won’t stay idle forever” and added that there are “a bunch of challenges out there.”






Sports fan lobbyist fights NFL blackouts, taxpayer-funded stadiums, and Comcast

David Goodfriend, founder of the Sports Fans Coalition.

Since 1973, the National Football League has prevented local TV stations from broadcasting games when tickets aren’t sold out—and Federal Communications Commission rules enable this decidedly fan-unfriendly policy. The rules are finally close to being overturned, and if they are you can thank David Goodfriend.

Founder of the Sports Fans Coalition, Goodfriend is an attorney and lobbyist with years of experience in government and private industry. He was a Clinton Administration official, a Congressional staffer, legal advisor at the FCC, and executive at Dish Network. The Sports Fans Coalition teamed with four consumer advocacy organizations in 2011 to petition the FCC to stop supporting the NFL’s blackout regime.

In practice, the FCC rules primarily benefit the NFL because the nation’s other major sports leagues don’t punish fans by keeping games off local TV when they aren’t sold out. The NFL has resorted to astroturfing to make it seem as though the general public supports blackouts, and dismissed opposition from fans as being incited by cable and satellite companies. NFL attorney Gerard Waldron (who also lobbies for broadcasters on other matters) disparaged Goodfriend’s motivations, telling Ars that the Sports Fans Coalition “has received funding from Dish, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon,” and that Goodfriend “has close and longtime ties to Dish as their former in-house lobbyist and now is an outside consultant.”

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