TIME Gadgets

Watch Apple’s Bizarre Phone Call With ‘Chief of Secrecy’ Stephen Colbert

"Hello Red Delicious. This is Granny Smith. Over."

While Apple unveiled its thinnest-ever iPad Thursday during an event at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters, the super-secret tech giant also made time to poke fun at itself for accidentally releasing images of its new iPads the day before.

During a demonstration of how Apple’s new OS X Yosemite allows Macs to serve as a speakerphone for phone calls, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi made a call to Apple’s “Chief of Secrecy,” Stephen Colbert. But Colbert waits for Federighi to use his Apple-themed code name—Granny Smith—to authenticate his identity before they can discuss some classified Apple details, like how Colbert wants his position to be renamed.

Watch the video above to see if Colbert ends up with the title “Supreme Allied Commander of Super Secrecy” or “Intergalactic Chancellor” or “Supereme Commander.” Or if he’ll just go with his given Apple code name, “Red Delicious.”

TIME Gadgets

Apple’s New OS X Yosemite Available Today for Free

OS X Yosemite will work with iOS 8 to provide a seamless cross-device user experience

Apple’s OS X Yosemite, its latest operating system for Mac computers, will available Thursday for free download, Apple said during an event at its Cupertino, California headquarters.

OS X Yosemite, available in beta since July, offers among other new features an updated design, a Notification Center that links to third party content, a powerful Spotlight search, and improved Safari functions including a new tab view and sharing functions on third party websites.

Apple emphasized that Yosemite will also work in conjunction with iOS 8, Apple’s latest operating system for mobile devices. Yosemite will use iCloud to provide a seamless cross-device experience, an initiative Apple calls Continuity.

While Apple already uses iCloud to sync the Calendar and Notes apps across devices, users will now have additional features with the Handoff feature. Users will be able to work on presentations or documents on one device, then pick up where they left off on another device. Additionally, SMS text messages—not just iMessages—will appear across Macs, iPads and iPhones. With OS X Yosemite, Macs will also be able to serve as a speakerphone for telephone calls.

And Apple Watch isn’t left out of the Continuity project either. Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, showed how the Apple Watch can be used as a remote to control presentations on a Mac.


What Your Zip Code Says About You

Keith J. R. Binns—Getty Images

In an age of information, it's harder than ever to hide who you really are

U.S. zip codes were designed in 1963 to tell USPS how to sort your mail — but now they might tell others how you live your life.

Software company Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation project has combined U.S. Census demographic data with marketing data to offer a picture how we live — whether you’re spending Saturdays in line for the opera or for government assistance, or if you’re getting takeout from Chick-fil-A or Whole Foods.

All you have to do is enter your zip code to receive your postal code horoscope. You can also look up zip codes of places you’d like to visit, relocate or expand your business. In an age of big data, there’s seemingly no end to what the boundless flows of information can tell us — everything from who we want to sleep with to when we’ll discover alien life.

Here’s what Esri has to say about a few places in America:

In 89412, the zip code of a rural Nevada town that’s so isolated it’s the farthest point in the continental U.S. from a McDonald’s:

Most of us live in heavily-forested areas of Appalachia, Texas, Arkansas, and other parts of the country. Forestry provides jobs for many of us. We are very conservative politically; religious faith, traditional gender roles, and family history are profound influences. We’re relatively self-sufficient; we grow our own produce and maintain our vehicles…

In 33109, America’s richest zip code of Fisher Island, Fla., where the median income is over $1 million:

We’re affluent retirees who live in exclusive communities in warm climates. We worked hard, invested wisely, and now we’re experiencing the payoff. We drive luxury cars or SUVs and donate generously to charities. We contract for home maintenance services so chores don’t interfere with our active social life, trips, golf games and boating….

In 48503, the zip code of Flint, Mich., the U.S. city with the highest murder rate:

We shop for groceries at Walmart supercenters and buy clothes, household items, and sundries at Kmart. We have credit card balances; some have student loans… We play games online and check out dating sites. We trust TV for news and information and we enjoy fast food regularly.

In 99723, the zip code of Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the U.S. that’s farther north than the Arctic Circle:

The relative peace of our affluent, family-oriented neighborhoods in the outer suburbs provides welcome relief from our hectic jobs, long commutes, and busy lives with growing children. Any minute we can save is critical, so we’re fans of conveniences such as banking and shopping online and housekeeping services…

Click here to learn more about where you live.

Read next: Here Are The Best Cities For Trick-or-Treating

TIME legal

Why U.S. Sanctions Mean Some Countries Don’t Get Any iPhones

Apple iPhone Technology Embargo Sanctions
An attendee displays the new Apple Inc. iPhone 6, left, and iPhone 6 Plus for a photograph after a product announcement at Flint Center in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Bloomberg via Getty Images

A sanction a day keeps Apple away

Some 36 additional countries will receive shipments of Apple’s iPhone 6 this month, with over 115 countries on track to get the big-screen smartphones by the end of the year. But a handful of countries won’t be receiving any Apple products at all.

Among the Apple-less countries are Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Cuba, which face trade sanctions from the United States. That means the “exportation, reexportation, sale or supply” of any Apple goods from the U.S. or an American anywhere is prohibited in those countries, according to Apple’s global trade compliance. Add to those Apple-less countries several African and Middle Eastern nations, among other countries, which Apple’s sales locator indicates have neither Apple Stores nor authorized Apple product resellers.

Apple did not respond for comment on whether authorized distribution channels exist in countries that aren’t sanctioned by the U.S. but still present a difficult business climate, like Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Yemen. Technology and trade experts were reluctant to speculate why Apple may not penetrate these markets, but some pointed to a lack of demand or infrastructure.

In the map below, Apple-less countries appear unshaded:

The world recently bore witness to what happened when China, not subject to U.S. sanctions, was deprived of the iPhone 6’s initial release: a gray market exploded while rumors swirled that the “Chinese mafia” was storming Apple Stores around the world to collect iPhones for resell to high-income buyers.

That same grey market boom is happening in countries that do face U.S. sanctions, though for different reasons. While Chinese buyers were simply unwilling to wait for the iPhone 6’s official release in their home country, high-income buyers in sanctioned states are creating demand for a product that will likely never be sold in their country. That demand is being met by unofficial providers like the “Apple Syria Store” and “Tehran Apple Store,” two unofficial Apple distribution channels in the Middle East, for example.

A lack of iPhones in some countries, however, is only a problem for those countries’ wealthiest residents. Indeed, the iPhone craze overshadows a higher-stake battle: Access to less-hyped but important American technology in countries where such technology continues to be restricted.

The U.S. has put in place sanctions against Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Iran to discourage those countries from abusing human rights, sponsoring terrorism or launching nuclear programs. While the sanctions were largely intended as economic embargoes, they also disrupted the free flow of information by severely limiting residents’ access to communication technology, advocates say. That technology includes not only electronics like Apple’s iPhone, but also American software and websites like Apple’s App Store, Adobe Flash, Yahoo e-mail and educational platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera. In many sanctioned countries, attempts to access those sites result in a “blocked” page. In certain countries it’s also prohibited to update whatever American software is available, leaving in place security vulnerabilities in countries where surveillance and censorship are commonplace.

“It’s still a fairly new issue, because it wasn’t really until the Arab Spring that people started to realize communication technology as a tools of free expression,” said Danielle Kehl, a tech policy analyst at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

Observers first began to note the impact of U.S. sanctions on communication technology during Iran’s Green Movement in 2009, when protesters demanding the president’s removal used the Internet as an activist tool, according to independent tech policy researcher Collin Anderson. Within years, activists won over U.S. officials, who exempted certain technologies from American sanctions on Iran to empower protestors. That hasn’t yet been replicated in other sanctioned countries.

Anderson also said that pressure from the Iranian diaspora contributed to a decision by U.S. officials to issue a sanction exemption that allowed the export or re-export of “certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications” to Iranians. Apple then “quietly updated its compliance policy” to match the change, Anderson said.

“Apple is in an under-appreciated way one of the most responsive adopters of U.S. policies [that lift sanctions on technology],” said Anderson.

Apple had some market incentive to comply quickly with the change. Most of these sanctioned countries have significant amounts of mobile phone subscribers buying devices purchased from non-U.S. countries or companies, according to Anderson and data from the International Telecommunications Union.

Despite all those potential customers for Apple and other tech firms, tech policy analysts agreed the onus is on U.S. officials to invoke change. But that Apple and several other companies chose to engage with complex, high-risk sanctions in Iran shows that when the policies change, companies tend follow suit.

Still, Kehl said the other, risk-averse option for companies is to “over-comply” with Iranian sanctions, or to treat the laws as if they were complete embargoes in order to reduce their liability. That’s what happened in 2009 when LinkedIn blocked Syrian accounts and when Google blocked its code.google.com developer’s tool in Sudan.

Even Apple appeared to over-comply in 2012 when a Apple Store employee in Alpharetta, Georgia refused to sell an iPad to Iranian-American woman after he heard the woman speaking Persian, according to Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council. “If [Apple] had reason to believe you were going to take an Apple product to Iran, or if you were going to resell it, [Apple] had to take action to stop people,” explained Abdi, who slammed the practice as discriminatory in a New York Times op-ed. The woman later received an apology from an Apple customer service employee, as NPR noted at the time.

The greatest pressure for change, however, is coming from within the sanctioned countries. Iranian bloggers have discussed banned technologies at risking of criminal charges, Sudanese computer science students have demanded more educational tools, and Syrians have called for U.S. imports of basic technological needs. Several non-profits have reported that sanctioning U.S. technology is highly detrimental to affected countries’ growth, while Abdi added that sanctions have prevented the electronic delivery of humanitarian aid or day-to-day monetary transactions because many banks are affected.

Still, tech companies have in recent years shown more willingness to engage government officials on matter of policy, particularly after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s surveillance leaks. Twitter sued the U.S. Justice Department earlier this month to disclose government requests for user data, while popular websites like Netflix, Mozilla and Reddit joined an online protest against the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules they said could divide the Internet into “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.” In the most visible tech-backed activism to date, Wikipedia and Reddit “blacked out” their webpages and Google censored its logo to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was later shelved by its author.

Analysts are not expecting Apple to be at the forefront of the battle to lift U.S. sanctions. But as several organizations and advocates pressed for changes to American trade policy towards Iran, it would be hard to believe they would turn away Apple’s support.

“[Apple] is very quiet about these things—like either Apple is the best, or maybe the worst. But it seems like it’s the best,” Anderson said. “[Apple's] recognition of [the policy changes regarding Iran] was the first moral victory for everyone who had worked so hard on this.”

TIME Companies

Converse Sues Dozens for Selling Knockoffs of Chuck Taylor All Stars

But trademark infringement in fashion has historically been difficult to prove

Converse filed suit against 31 companies, including Wal-Mart and K-Mart, Tuesday for trademark infringement.

The shoemaker alleges that the companies ripped off the iconic striped, toe-guard design of Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars, the New York Times reports.

The American company filed a total of 22 separate lawsuits seeking monetary damages in the U.S. District Court of Brooklyn, according to court documents. Other companies named in the complaints include Skechers, FILA, Ed Hardy and Ralph Lauren, among other retailers that Converse claims has unfairly copied the Chuck Taylor sneaker’s design.

Converse, which was bought by Nike in 2003, has also filed a separate lawsuit to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), a federal agency with the authority to stop counterfeit shoes from entering the country. Many shoe retailers manufacture their footwear outside the U.S., and a successful lawsuit with the USITC would be effective in preventing the sale of the allegedly copycat shoes.

“The goal really is to stop this action,” Converse CEO Jim Calhoun told the Times. “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon.”

Trademark infringement accusations in the footwear industry are not new, and are hard to prove in the fashion world, according to several law firms experienced in similar cases. But that Converse has named a whopping 31 companies is somewhat unprecedented in an age when fashion feuds tend to be one-on-one. Recent lawsuits include LVL XIII Brands Inc. alleging that LVMH copied its nameplate design in August, and California shoemaker Gravity Corp accusing Under Armour of intentionally copying the sound of one of their product’s names.


TIME Crime

Boy, 10, Charged With Homicide of 90-Year-Old Woman

Fifth-grader accused of beating the nonagenarian to death told police he was "only trying to hurt her"

A 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy was charged as an adult Tuesday for the criminal homicide of a 90-year-old woman, CNN reports.

The fifth-grader was visiting the home of his grandfather on Saturday when he assaulted Helen Novak, said the Wayne County District Attorney in northeast Pennsylvania. The boy’s grandfather was reportedly caring for the nonagenarian.

Police reports say that the boy admitted grabbing a wooden cane, holding it to Novak’s neck and then punching her in the neck and stomach. An autopsy ruled Monday that Novak’s death was homicide by blunt force trauma to the neck.

The boy, now held without bail at Wayne County Correctional Facility, had told police shortly after the incident that Novak had yelled at him after he entered her room, and that he “was only trying to hurt her,” according to the police report. His preliminary court hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.

A youth of any age who is charged with murder is charged as an adult in Pennsylvania, while other states set 15 years as the minimum age alongside other criteria, according to the Juvenile Law Center, the oldest public interest law firm for U.S. children.


TIME ebola

Dog of Dallas Ebola Patient Rehoused, Given Toys

Bentley, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola.
Bentley, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola. Sana Syed—City of Dallas Public Information/AP

City officials have pledged to keep 'Bentley' safe

Officials said Tuesday one-year-old Bentley, the dog of the Dallas nurse infected with Ebola, has been moved to a nearby decommissioned naval air base where he’ll be supplied with bedding and toys, the Associated Press reports.

The future of the King Charles Spaniel has been a hot topic ever since Excalibur, the dog of a nurse infected with Ebola in Spain, was euthanized last week. Spanish officials were concerned Excalibur could transmit the virus, and obtained a court order for euthanasia, despite animal rights protests and a Change.org petition with over 400,000 signatures. To date, there has not been a documented case of Ebola being transmitted between a human and a dog, though a CDC study reported it is possible for dogs to contract Ebola.

Bentley will be monitored for Ebola symptoms at the Hensley Field base in southwest Dallas, where he has been since Monday, officials said. The city’s mayor Mike Rawlings, who has previously promised to take care of the dog, maintained Tuesday that city officials will do everything to care for Bentley.


TIME Crime

5 Teens Charged Over Ice Bucket Challenge Prank on Autistic Boy

The victim's mother had encouraged people to share the video to help catch those involved

Five Cleveland teens were charged Tuesday after dumping a bucket filled with urine, tobacco spit and water on a 15-year-old autistic boy in a cruel twist on the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The teens, whose ages range from 14 to 16, were charged in juvenile court for assault, delinquency and disorderly conduct, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The incident, which occurred on Aug. 18, had been reported to police in early September after the victim’s mother found a video of it on her son’s cellphone. In an effort to track down the perpetrators, she encouraged media outlets and viewers to share the video, which has since amassed over 400,000 views on YouTube.

Dean Valore, the attorney representing the victim’s family, said that while the boy and his family were scarred by the ordeal, their situation has benefitted from an outpouring of support.

“He wants to be a normal kid,” Valore said. “He wants to fit in and he wants to have friends.”

[Columbus Dispatch]

Read next: Here’s How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Started

TIME Addiction

Man Treated for Google Glass Addiction

Google Glass
A visitor of the "NEXT Berlin" conference tries out the Google Glass on April 24, 2013 in Berlin. DPA/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors observed a "notable, nearly involuntary movement of the right hand up to his temple area and tapping it with his forefinger"

San Diego doctors have identified the first known case of “Internet addiction disorder” involving Google Glass, according to a new study.

The 31-year old patient is a service member who checked into the U.S. Navy’s Substance Abuse Program for alcoholism treatment, the study published in Addictive Behaviors said.

During his residential treatment program, the doctors identified that the man “exhibited problematic use of Google Glass,” which manifested in “a notable, nearly involuntary movement of the right hand up to his temple area and tapping it with his forefinger.” The motion is used to activate the wearable technology.

The man had worn the device for up to 18 hours a day, and told doctors he would become extremely irritated and frustrated without the technology’s assistance, the report said. He also reported having dreams where his vision appeared as though it was seen through the lenses.

Addiction expert and report co-author Dr. Andrew Doan told NBC News Tuesday that the patient has now completed a 35-day program and is displaying fewer Google Glass withdrawal symptoms.

“Internet addiction” is not classified as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association, the agency that defines whether or not certain mental conditions are psychiatric disorders. But many experts believe the problem merits proper treatment, which has led to the opening of the first U.S. Internet addiction treatment center last year.

The condition has reportedly reached dramatic levels in China, where some say violent measures have been taken to address it.

TIME Books

Australia’s Richard Flanagan Wins Man Booker Prize

Australian author Richard Flanagan, author of 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' speaks after winning the prize at the awards dinner, at the Guildhall on Oct. 14, 2014 in London.
Australian author Richard Flanagan, author of 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' speaks after winning the prize at the awards dinner, at the Guildhall on Oct. 14, 2014 in London. Alastair Grant—Getty Images

Third Australian to claim the $80,000 prize

Australian author Richard Flanagan was awarded the 2014 Man Booker Prize Tuesday for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Flanagan’s novel tells of an Australian surgeon, Dorrigo Evans, haunted by his affair with his uncle’s wife. The story is set during World War II as Evans struggles to treat prisoners of war forced by Japan to construct the Thailand-Burma Railway.

“The two great themes from the origin of literature are love and war. This is a magnificent novel of love and war,” said British philosopher A.C. Grayling, who chaired the judging panel. Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism.”

Flanagan’s novel—his sixth—took home the $80,000 prize over the five other shortlisted novels announced in September. He is the third Australian and first from Tasmania to win the prize, considered the U.K.’s most famous literary award and one of the most prestigious in the world.

This 2014 Man Booker Prize was the first year the award was available to all writers outside of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland and Zimbabwe. Two Americans, Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler, were among the shortlisted authors.


Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser