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Apple on Tuesday updated the official App Store Review Guidelines, officially taking a stance against third-party applications for the Apple Watch whose sole purpose is to tell the time, as first discovered by developer David Smith.

A newly added clause of the agreement guiding third-party development now explicitly states that Watch applications which simply tell the time will be flatly rejected.

It’s worth mentioning that these rules have been enforced since the onset as there has never been a single time-telling Apple Watch app, or a fart app, (or a custom face for that matter) available on the App Store.

In addition to time-telling apps, Apple also doesn’t want third-party developers to create custom faces for the Watch. The device ships with a selection of ten highly customizable faces, but that’s about it, at least for the time being.

For the time being, because the official Apple Watch User Guide implies that additional Apple-made faces might be coming soon by way of a future Watch OS software update:

Apple Watch includes a variety of watch faces, any of which you can customize to suit you. Check frequently for software updates; the set of watch faces that follows might differ from what you see on your Apple Watch.

So, where does that leave third-party developers?

We know native Watch apps are due later this year because Apple itself has acknowledged as much. Having said that — and I’m only speculating here — the firm may allow custom watch faces through an updated software-development kit that should support the creation of native apps which execute directly on the device.

At the end of the day, it will come down to company policy, not technology.

Even if we never see custom Watch faces, I’m sure the jailbreak crowd will eventually take care of that. Other people, like journalist Jason Snell, are holding their breath for third-party faces or, at the very least, third-party complications for existing faces.

“I’d be fine if Apple took a strong hand with faces and only approved a very small number that passed a very high bar,” he wrote, adding:

I’d be okay if Apple kept tight control of the faces… if developers could provide data from their apps as complications on existing faces. I’d love to plug in my Weather Underground temperature, for instance—today Apple’s standard temperature widget was a full ten degrees off of the actual temperature in my town.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple also appears to have taken a tough stance against fart apps on the Apple Watch. Sure enough, the App Store Review Guidelines have long pointed out that apps may be rejected over duplicate functionality, “particularly if there are many of them, such as fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra Apps.”

The same restrictions now apply to fart apps on the Watch.

As one developer confessed to Cult of Mac, his Watch app got rejected for letting people remotely control a fart sound broadcast from the iPhone.

“We noticed that your Apple Watch app is primarily a fart app,” Apple explained in an email to this developer. “We do not accept fart apps on Apple Watch.”

No surprises here.

Who’s feeling sad about the lack of fart apps on their Watch?

And what’s up with so many people spewing hate on Twitter against the Mickey Mouse face? Keep your inner Peter Pan alive, people!

Source: David Smith, Cult of Mac

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Microsoft And Apple Waging Unjust Patent War On Android Says Google

Microsoft and Apple Waging Unjust Patent War on Android Says Google

There comes a time in every great invention’s life where it has to defend itself against those who would falsely claim to have created it come hunting. Thus is the word coming out of the Google offices today via David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Google. He speaks harshly of both Apple and Microsoft in the following manner: “a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.” Is there any salt to Drummond’s claims? He continues to drum up some rather scary factoids in his release today, not all of them simple conjecture.

Businesses like Winstron, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics Itronix, and HTC have signed agreements with Microsoft to pay listening fees for each Android device sold while Barnes & Noble, Motorola, and Samsung have been sued to continue adding to these ranks. Drummond notes that a single smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 of what he calls “largely questionable” patent claims, where Google’s competitors, Drummond continues, “competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers.”

What this means, if what Drummond says is true, is that instead of creating new devices with innovative features to compete with Google, its competitors are fighting through litigation. Drummond continues by noting that this “anti-competitive” strategy is taking the cost of patents and driving it WAY beyond what they’re “really worth.” For example the Notel patent portfolio recently sold for nearly five times what it was estimated at pre-auction: $1 billion to $4.5 billion at the hammer fall. Drummond notes though that “the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means” and that therefore as these purchases of patents and suing of manufacturers is likely to draw regulatory scrutiny and this “patent bubble” will pop.

Drummond concludes his public statement with the following:

We’re not naive; technology is a tough and ever-changing industry and we work very hard to stay focused on our own business and make better products. But in this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it.

We’re looking intensely at a number of ways to do that. We’re encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it’s looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means. We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.

What do you think? Does Google have a point, or are those with the patents the ones who have the right to get the patent cash?

[via Google]

Apple ‘Surprised’ By Gt Advanced Bankruptcy Filing, Company Spokesperson Says

Company spokesman Chris Gaither said in a written statement to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other major outlets that “we are focussed on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT’s surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps”.

After purchasing a 1.4-million-square-foot facility in Arizona from a solar-panel producer for $113 million last year, Apple basically leased the site to GT Advanced. The idea was that Apple would own the plant and the equipment while GT would focus on component production.

But up until that point, GT was only known as a leading maker of sophisticated furnaces used to grow synthetic sapphire. According to the terms of the multi-year agreement, Apple would prepay $578 million — contingent on meeting certain technical requirements — for the cutting-edge equipment.

GT agreed to start repaying Apple beginning 2024. Crazypants analysts expected GT’s 2014 revenue to grow fifteen fold on the heels of the Apple deal alone.

The problem is, GT as a equipment manufacturer has never dealt with Apple in the past and it admittedly had no experience whatsoever running a large-scale mass production that can match Apple’s insane needs.

Unfortunately, the huge gamble has failed to pay off.

Suffering low yields and ongoing manufacturing woes, GT was unable to ramp up production of sapphire, prompting Apple to reportedly withhold the last $139 million payment, enough to push GT into financial distress.

As a result of these miscalculations and the fact that Apple unveiled new iPhones with heavy-duty Gorilla Glass glass screens, rather than sapphire, GT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, a move designed to allow the firm to continue normal operations and meet its obligations until it reorganizes its business and negotiate new financing arrangements with its creditors.

“Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet,” GT Advanced Chief Executive Tom Gutierrez said in a news release.

Waisuke Wakabayashi of The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple opted against using the precious gemstone, whose hardness is second only to diamond, after the material “proved brittle” and cracked in testing.

As of September 29, GT had about $85 million in cash.

Shares of GT nosedived 90 percent on the news.

The bankruptcy filing should’t disrupt Apple’s supply chain as the California firm has been sourcing scratch-resistant sapphire material for the Touch ID sensor and the iSight camera lens from other suppliers.

And even though two of the three distinct editions of the Apple Watch, due in early 2024, do feature a sapphire coating to protect their Retina screen, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says GT’s bankruptcy won’t affect Apple Watch production as Apple is already working with a handful of other sapphire ingot (or cast) suppliers including Hansol and Harbin Aurora Optoelectronics.

For what it’s worth, the Mesa facility was supposed to create more than 700 high-quality jobs in the first year and “generate significant capital investment” going forward, as per The Arizona State Governor Janice K. Brewer’s November 2013 press release.

In addition, the project was expected to benefit the state by producing approximately 1,300 construction and other associated jobs.

Is Apple going to now buy GT for cheap and run the plant itself, do you think?

[Reuters, The Wall Street Journal]

The New Faces Of Netbooks

After being panned for having cramped keyboards and “junky” hardware, netbooks evolved over the past month to include bigger screens, better graphics and larger keyboards. Netbooks will now be able to play full high-definition movies with Lenovo’s new IdeaPad S12 netbook. Asustek Computer this month introduced the Eee PC T91, a netbook with a touch screen. Jumping outside Windows, Acer announced plans to put Google’s Android on its netbooks, which should provide an Internet-savvy computing experience.

Lenovo’s great graphics game

One of the knocks against netbooks was poor graphics capabilities, but Lenovo has addressed that concern with its newly announced netbook. The IdeaPad S12 netbook has a 12-inch screen that can play full high-resolution movies, thanks to a powerful chip with an Nvidia graphics processor under the hood. The processor is part of an Nvidia chip package called the Ion platform, which couples the GeForce 9400 graphics core with Intel’s Atom netbook processor.

“For the first time … users will be able to enjoy brilliant 1080p high-definition video with silky smooth playback,” a Lenovo representative said. Strangely enough, Lenovo doesn’t offer an optical drive, such as Blu-ray, with the netbook. But users can buy an external Blu-ray drive or download high-definition content from the Internet.

Before bringing a system with Ion graphics to market, Nvidia will first introduce an S12 netbook with Intel’s integrated graphics. Those systems will become available in June, with prices starting at US$449. Models with Ion will become available a few months later, and pricing for them wasn’t immediately available.

Strong graphics aside, Lenovo has added sundries such as a larger keyboard that make the netbook easier to use. Lenovo claims a six-hour battery life, though it was unclear whether this was for laptops with or without Ion graphics.

Only a few netbooks, such as Intel’s Classmate Convertible, have touch screens. Now Asustek has joined that exclusive group. Asus finally introduced the Eee PC T91 touch-screen netbook, which was originally announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The netbook has an 8.9-inch touch-screen on which users can touch up photos or leave handwritten memos using their fingertips.

Acer’s Android netbook dreams

So what can users expect with an Android netbook? It’s hard to predict, but I’m expecting Android to be a bare-bones OS, much like the version you see on Android smartphones. Users will do most of their tasks, such as word processing, using online applications such as Google Docs.

Top companies including Hewlett-Packard and Dell are already investigating Android for netbooks, so it may well evolve into a OS that competes with Windows. Acer plans to launch its first Aspire One netbooks with Android in the third quarter.

HP’s Minis

The company also launched Mi’s cousin, the Mini 110 XP edition, which comes with Windows XP. It can have as much as 1GB of memory and 160GB of hard drive storage. HP says an optional Broadcom HD video accelerator could become available in July, allowing the laptop to play back full 1080p high-definition content. Pricing for the laptop starts at $329.99

The netbooks weigh about 2.33 pounds and are powered by Intel’s Atom N270 or N280 processors, which run at 1.6GHz and 1.66GHz, respectively.

Fujitsu’s traditional take

The netbook’s price tag of $449 is high, but the company has built-in Bluetooth capabilities and three USB ports, which is unusual for a netbook. However, vendors such as Dell, Asus and Acer offer cheaper netbooks with integrated features such as webcams, which could be a better option for those who don’t need Bluetooth or extra USB ports.

Apple Stops Signing Ios 9.3.1, Downgrades No Longer Possible

Apple has officially pulled the plug for signing iOS 9.3.1 on Friday.

The change means iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can no longer downgrade to iOS 9.3.1 via iTunes and will now be forced to install iOS 9.3.2 upon any attempts to restore their devices.

Unlike a number of recent iOS signing closures in the past, Apple seems to have pulled the plug on iOS 9.3.1 for all of its devices at once this time rather than for only some devices now and more later.

Apple stops signing iOS 9.3.1

The iOS 9.3.1 firmware was launched at the end of March and was followed by iOS 9.3.2 in the middle of May. iOS 9.3.1 has been available to iOS device users to restore or downgrade to for about three weeks following the initial iOS 9.3.2 firmware release, which fixed minor bugs throughout iOS.

A second iOS 9.3.2 release was also put out to the public on June 2nd after the original software update was pulled for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro by Apple due to problems, and these issues may have been the only reason for some users to have any desire to downgrade back to iOS 9.3.1.

Now that the problem has been resolved in the latest iOS 9.3.2 release, there’s really no reason for anyone to need go back to iOS 9.3.1 in the long run, and with Apple no longer signing iOS 9.3.1, it would be impossible to downgrade anyhow.

It should also be noted that Apple has iOS 9.3.3 in the pipeline for a near-future release, as the second beta was seeded to developers less than a week ago.

What it means for jailbreakers

There is currently no jailbreak for iOS 9.2 or later, and the latest jailbreak only covers firmware up to iOS 9.1, so it’s technically irrelevant to jailbreakers that iOS 9.3.1 is not being signed anymore. Friday’s change shouldn’t really harm your chances of being able to jailbreak again if you’re stuck on iOS 9.3.2.

Although some might be strongly opinionated that a jailbreak for iOS 9.3.1 would be more likely than a jailbreak for iOS 9.3.2 due to the rapid succession of firmware updates from Apple as of late, my opinion tends to differ.

iOS 9.3.2 is a minor update and it doesn’t appear to contain any major security updates. Any jailbreak that would have been released for iOS 9.3.1 would have almost certainly worked for the current iOS 9.3.2 release too, but with WWDC 2024 on the horizon, it doesn’t make sense for any jailbreak team to release a jailbreak right now as we await more news on the upcoming iOS 10 announcement.

With that being said, if you were waiting on iOS 9.3.1 and crossing your fingers for a jailbreak, I don’t think it would harm your chances if you were to update to iOS 9.3.2. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you to make that call.

Wrapping up

With Apple no longer signing iOS 9.3.1, all users will be forced to upgrade to iOS 9.3.2 when they attempt to restore their devices in iTunes. Fortunately, this change won’t get in the way of jailbreaking since no jailbreak even existed for iOS 9.3.1 in the first place.

To easily check and see if a firmware version is being signed for your device, you can use a handy online tool called chúng tôi which allows you to select your device from a list and see the firmware versions that Apple currently supports for your device. If the firmware appears green, it’s being signed; if it appears red, it’s not being signed.

How To Find, Download, And Install Custom Icons In Linux

Linux users have the freedom to customize their system to fit their preferences, including the desktop theme and icons. There are many simple ways to create custom icons in Linux to change the look and feel of your system. We will discuss the following methods to use custom icons:   

Finding and installing custom icons from trusted websites

Using the Tar Command for One User or System-Wide Usage

Modernize Xfce Desktop with Cool-Looking Icons

Install Paper Icon Theme in Linux Mint Cinnamon

Create App Shortcut on Ubuntu with GNOME Desktop

Finding and Installing Custom Icons in Linux from Trusted Websites

There are many places online for users to download custom icon themes. Below are websites that are trusted by the Linux community.

Table of Contents

The source for almost all open source projects, including custom icons, is Github. hosts high-quality Gnome-based icon themes.

The artwork sharing community, chúng tôi is known for the high-quality themes and icons created by its contributors

Users can download custom widgets from the official KDE store. is another trusted website for icon themes.

Your system’s file manager will create a folder automatically and put the contents of the archive inside it.

Enter the following command in terminal to create a hidden icon folder in your home directory:

Locate the downloaded icon theme, usually found in your download folder. Use the CD command below to get there. 

To install the icon there, move it to the hidden icons directory you created.

Using the Tar Command for One User or System-Wide Usage

Search for an icon theme from one of the trusted websites listed above. Below is a screenshot of a set of icons from

Download the icon set using the following tar command:

$ tar xJpf papirus-icon-theme-20240203.tar.xz

Next, move your extracted icon folder into place. If you are installing it for just one user, move it to:


Put the folder into the following location for a system-side installation:


Open a terminal and use one of the following commands depending upon the type of installation:


Select Themes or Appearance tab.

Find the option to select the icon theme you downloaded and select it to apply.

Modernize Xfce Desktop with Cool-Looking Icons

Xfce is a popular desktop environment for Linux because it’s lightweight and runs on low resources. However, it looks and feels old.

Customizing themes and adding custom icons in Linux can spruce up the desktop and make it look more modern and fresh.

Go to chúng tôi to find and download an icon theme set you like (such as the one below), extract it, and put it in the .icons directory in your home directory.

Install Paper Icon Theme in Linux Mint Cinnamon

There are two ways to install icon theme sets in Linux Mint. Downloading the icon theme and extracting it to the ~/.icons directory is discussed above.

Another way is to use a PPA (A Personal Package Archive). Below is a screenshot of a cool-looking icon set called Paper Icon Theme.

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the command below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme

After installing the icon theme, from the Menu, go to Settings, then Themes.

Here you will see all the available icons. Select the set you want to use.

Create App Shortcut on Ubuntu with GNOME Desktop

The instructions below will also work for any other distributions that use the GNOME desktop. 

Classic desktop operating systems include icons on the screen such as the trash bin, the file manager, and application shortcuts.

While in Windows, many programs will ask if you want to create a desktop shortcut, Linux distributions do not.

Make sure you have the GNOME Tweak Tool Installed and enable the Show Icons option.  

Look for the application icon and either drag and drop it onto the desktop or copy it from the .desktop file (Ctrl+C shortcut) and paste it on your desktop (Ctrl+V shortcut).

Instead of seeing a logo or icon for the application, you will see a text file with a warning that says: untrusted application launcher.

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