Violence dims Syria truce hopes, over 100 killed

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian troops pounded opposition areas, activists said, killing 74 civilians in an offensive that has sent thousands of refugees surging into Turkey before next week’s U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at staunching a year of bloodshed.

Apple patent could lead to face-based user switching in iOS and beyond

Apple continues to consider ways to enable easy user switching and control for iOS devices using facial recognition, which may eventually lead to facial unlock features in the iPhone or iPad. A recently published patent application details an automatic user-switching system which can lock, unlock, and reconfigure a device for unique users based on face detection using a front-facing camera.

Beyond the use of a facial recognition to enable the system, however, we think the concept of multi-user iOS devices has been a long time coming. Furthermore, the same system could be easily adapted to desktop systems, making it easier to share an iMac or even a MacBook among family members or coworkers.

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Weekend Ar(t)s: Longing for another Machinarium iPad experience

During the weekend, even Ars takes an occasional break from discussing Wi-Fi patent owners or the latest Nokia phone. Weekend Ar(t)s is a chance to share what we’re watching/listening/reading or otherwise consuming this week.

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Roche may boost bid for Illumina after rebuff

CHICAGO, April 7 (Reuters) – Drugmaker Roche Holding AG
may be willing to up the ante in its attempt to buy
Illumina Inc., a disease fighter, after a
recommendation that Illumina’s shareholders…

Universal Studios’ Movies Now Available on iCloud

Several readers have noticed that Universal Studios’ movies are now available for re-download through Apple’s iCloud service. In March we reported that both Fox and Universal were not yet participating in iCloud video streaming due to contractual obligations with HBO. HBO was reportedly working with both Fox and Universal to loosen these restrictions.

HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.

When searching for movies in iTunes, Universal movies no longer have contain a warning that the movies are not available through iCloud, while Fox’s movies retain the warning:

Universal Studios (left) vs 20th Century Fox (right)

Another reader was able to confirm he was able to re-download 40 Year Old Virgin. Previous movie purchases from Universal should now be available for redownload in your previous purchased menu on iTunes.

Fox is also said to be in negotiations with expectations that their movies would also become available through iCloud in the near future.

Avalanche buries 124 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – An avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army battalion headquarters near the Indian border on Saturday, burying 124 soldiers and 11 civilians, with no sign of survivors 17 hours later, the military said.

UK probes Apple iPad marketing over 4G access

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s advertising regulator is deciding whether to launch an inquiry into Apple Inc’s marketing of its latest iPad following what some customers said were misleading claims about access to 4G, which is not available in the country.