TIME Apple

The Apple Watch Will Be Released in April

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Apple’s long-awaited smartwatch will ship in April, company CEO Tim Cook told investors on an conference call Tuesday after Apple posted its latest earnings report.

Apple has previously said its Apple Watch would ship in “early 2015.” Many observers took that to mean sometime in the first quarter, so an April release date would meet that expectation.

The Apple Watch will start at $349 and come in a variety of styles and colors. It will pair up with Apple’s iPhones and include features like text message notifications, on-watch calling and fitness tracking.

(Read more: Hands-on with the Apple Watch)

Apple’s quarterly report blew past Wall Street’s expectations Tuesday, with the company posting earnings of $3.06 per share on revenue of $74.6 billion, compared to a predicted $2.60 a share on $67.69 billion in revenue. The company also said it sold 74.5 million iPhones, up 46% year-over-year and shattering its previous quarterly record by more than 23 million units.

However, the success of Apple’s larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones appear to be eating into its iPad sales, which were down 17%. Apple sold 21.5 million iPads in the quarter, missing expectations and adding new doubts about the tablet’s future.

TIME Mobile

Apple Pay Is Coming to Thousands of Laundry and Vending Machines

No more mooching off your coworkers for change for a Coke

Next time you’re standing in front of a vending machine and cursing yourself for not bringing along cash or coins, your smartphone may be all you need.

Apple Pay is coming to approximately 200,000 self-serve appliances like vending machines, laundry machines and parking pay stations around the country, USA Technologies announced Tuesday. The company builds cashless payment systems into retail devices; its ePort payment system boasts a Near Field Communication sensor that is now compatible with Apple Pay.

The number of vendors accepting Apple Pay has been steadily increasing since the service launched on the iPhone 6 in October. The mobile payment and digital wallet service faces competition from Google’s Wallet app and CurrentC, an upcoming mobile payment system backed by large retailers like Walmart.

TIME Internet

Google Fiber Expands Into Southeastern U.S.

Plans for Portland, San Antonio and other cities also in the pipeline

Google’s high-speed broadband service will soon be available to consumers in four metropolitan areas in the Southeastern U.S.

The company announced Tuesday that Google Fiber will soon be available in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. Since the expansion encompasses the surrounding areas of these metropolitan hubs, Google says it’s technically expanding into 18 new cities total.

Google launched Google Fiber nearly three years ago in Kansas City and has since expanded the service to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. Google Fiber offers download and upload speeds of up to one gigabit per second, which the company says is 100 times faster than basic broad speeds, for $70 per month.

The service has mostly been viewed as a way to shame traditional ISPs into boosting their own broadband speeds. A speedier Internet benefits Google because it allows people to execute search queries faster, which lets Google serve users more ads.

Google didn’t offer a timetable for when customers can start buying Google Fiber in the new cities. It has also tapped Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose as five additional cities where Google Fiber may be rolled out in the future.

TIME White House

Man Who Crashed Drone at White House Had Reportedly Been Drinking

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The south side of the White House is seen January 26, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Turned himself in after seeing news reports about the crash

The pilot of a small unmanned drone that crashed on the White House lawn early Monday had been drinking before the incident took place, law enforcement officials told the New York Times.

The still-unidentified government employee turned himself in to authorities after seeing news reports about the crash, which triggered a lockdown at the White House and nearby government buildings.

The Times reported the man had a feeling the drone might have touched down on the White House grounds, but he went home to sleep regardless.

While this particular remote-controlled aircraft posed little risk to the President or others, the event caused concern that similar drones could represent a national security threat.

President Obama himself used the incident to call for a new regulatory framework around small unmanned aircraft. Some Federal Aviation Administration rules apply to small, hobbyist-piloted drones, but the agency lacks an effective enforcement mechanism to punish offenders, largely leaving local law enforcement to sanction pilots who put the public’s safety at risk.

Judging by a Secret Service photo released Monday, the drone was a DJI Phantom, which are about two pounds and just over a foot across and retail for $479 and up:

United States Secret Service

Many Phantom models are capable of carrying a video camera, but it wasn’t clear from the image if the unit in question was equipped with one.

[NYT]

 

TIME Security

Taylor Swift’s Instagram and Twitter Just Got Hacked

Taylor Swift arrives at the 16th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Taylor Swift arrives at the 16th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Jon Kopaloff—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Hackers gonna hack hack hack hack hack

Taylor Swift’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked Tuesday afternoon before quickly being recovered 15 minutes later.

The hacker wrote a tweet encouraging Swift’s 51 million fans to follow someone claiming to be the leader of the hacking group “Lizard Squad.”

Swift has the fourth most popular account on Twitter. After regaining access to her account, she tweeted the following:

 

 

“Never a dull moment,” the singer wrote on her Tumblr, adding the hashtag #hackersgonnahackhackhackhackhack.

TIME policy

Websites Plan ‘Internet Countdown’ to Defend Net Neutrality

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Protesters hold a rally to support "net neutrality" on May 15, 2014 at the FCC in Washington, DC. Karen Bleier—AFP/Getty Images

FCC will vote on new net neutrality rules Feb. 26

The organization behind a widespread online protest last fall over net neutrality is trying to stage another one as the Federal Communications Commission vote on new net neutrality rules draws near.

On Monday, Fight for the Future, an Internet advocacy group, began organizing an “Internet Countdown” to tick down the hours until Feb. 26, when the FCC is scheduled to vote on net neutrality, the principle that all data should be treated equally online. Internet advocates worry that the FCC may enshrine within its new rules the right for Internet service providers to charge a premium for “fast lanes” that would allow some websites to load more quickly than others. Internet advocates argue that boosting sites for money would stifle innovation, as start-ups would load more slowly than established brands.

Fight for the Future is pushing for a reclassification of broadband companies such as Comcast and Verizon as telecommunications services, which would let the FCC force those businesses to adhere to the tenets of net neutrality. The organization is trying to convince popular websites to embed its countdown timer on their websites to raise awareness about the upcoming FCC vote.

Fight for the Future has had success with this tactic in the past. A planned “Internet Slowdown” in September, in which websites either throttled their own traffic or posted an image of the “spinning wheel of death” to symbolizing throttling, was adopted by big online names such as Mozilla, Reddit and Foursquare. So far, the new Internet Countdown doesn’t seem quite as widespread, with the liberal blog The Daily Kos being the biggest organization currently participating. Fight for the Future and other organizers say they will announce other participants as they come on board.

Even as the FCC vote draws near, the Republican-led Congress is mulling legislation that might protect net neutrality while also removing the FCC from enforcement.

TIME Social Media

Snapchat Now Shows You Video From Comedy Central, Vice and More

'Discover' is Snapchat's latest experiment with branded content

Snapchat is adding a new portal for editorial content from a range of media partners, the company said Tuesday. The new feature, called “Discover,” will offer Snapchat users video content from National Geographic, Vice, Comedy Central and others, including TIME sister publication PEOPLE.

“Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams,” reads Snapchat’s announcement of the new feature. “It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”

The deal makes sense for the publishers involved, many of whom are looking for ways to put their content in front of younger users to build relationships as their income levels — and thus value to advertisers — increases. Most of Snapchat’s 100 million-plus monthly users are between the ages of 13 and 25, with many users checking the app multiple times a day.

While big brands like McDonalds and Taco Bell have long used Snapchat as a way to connect to younger consumers, the company didn’t roll out a formal advertising mechanism until this past October. These pieces of sponsored content, like a sneak preview of the movie Ouija, appear in users’ feeds under more traditional messages from friends.

Snapchat is currently valued at about $10 billion. The startup, helmed by CEO Evan Spiegel, turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook back in 2013.

TIME Video Games

Super Bowl Simulation Predicts Patriots Victory

of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
New England Patriots at the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Massachusetts. Elsa—Getty Images

The annual Madden simulation is pretty accurate

EA Sports has released its annual Super Bowl Madden simulation and it is good news for New England Patriots fans as digital Tom Brady and company were able to pull out an epic come from behind victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

In this year’s simulation, the Seahawks led 24-14 in the third quarter following a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run, but the Patriots dug deep and came storming back to win 28-24.

Computer Tom Brady threw for all four of the Patriots touchdowns in the simulation and was awarded his third Super Bowl MVP award.

The official Madden Simulation has an all-time record of 8-3 in predictions so while New England fans should be excited, Seattle fans should know there is some hope left.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Security

Facebook: Hackers Didn’t Cause Worldwide Outage

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone Facebook
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Despite hacking group Lizard Squad's claims, Facebook said it was not hacked

Facebook says hackers didn’t cause a worldwide outage Tuesday morning, denying claims made by a rogue hacker group. Instead, the company said the 45-minute Facebook and Instagram outages were the result of an internal change made on the social network’s systems.

The disruption “was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. “We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone.”

Hacking group Lizard Squad appeared to claim responsibility for the outages, which made it impossible for Facebook and Instagram users to access those websites and apps.

Lizard Squad has also claimed responsibility for recent hacks against Malaysia airlines.

TIME Drones

Obama Calls for Drone Regulation After White House Crash

The FAA is currently drafting drone rules

President Barack Obama has used the crash-landing of a drone at the White House Monday as an opportunity to reemphasize the importance of regulating unmanned aircraft.

In an interview with CNN, Obama said the remote-controlled quadcopter that caused a brief security scare on Monday was the kind “you buy in Radio Shack,” calling for a regulatory framework for drones that will “get the good and minimize the bad.”

“There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife,” Obama said. “But we don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.”

Drones are currently restricted from most airspace, except at low heights and at designated testing sites. The capital has stricter regulations than most on flying unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently drafting regulations that will allow for wider use of the devices. However, the process has been fraught with delays.

[CNN]

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