Following two back-to-back accidents in China believed to be iPhone-related, Apple has added a page to its China website dedicated exclusively to informing consumers about its chargers.
A message at the top of the page states that Apple has always placed the safety of its consumers as a foremost concern, and that all of its products, including the iPhone and iPad, must go through rigorous testing for safety and reliability.
The passage then reads (translated from the Chinese):
When you charge your iPhone or iPad, we suggest that you use all USB power adapters with correspondingly-labeled USB cables. These adapters and cables can be purchased as individual items from Apple and authorized Apple retailers.
Below the message, the page features detailed pictures of the power adapters for some of Apple’s latest devices, with specifications for the each adapter’s corresponding power cord and red arrows pointing to the official Apple guarantee labels on each device.
The appearance of the page, which is unique to Apple’s China site, is almost certainly in response to two life-threatening incidents in China purportedly involving counterfeit Apple device chargers. Earlier this month Ma Ailun, a 23 year old woman from Xinjiang, died tragically from electric shock when she allegedly used her iPhone 5 while connected to an unauthorized charger. Just days after that, a man from Beijing fell into a coma after allegedly inserting a third-party charger into his iPhone 4. Both incidents made international headlines.
Following Ma’s death, Apple issued a statement expressing condolences to the Ma family, and pledged to investigate the matter and cooperate with authorities.
By publishing the webpage, Apple is making a concerted effort to show support for its customers in a year in which it received several towel-whippings from the Chinese media. The company came under scrutiny in April, when the People’s Daily (China’s foremost party-mouthpiece newspaper) issued reports accusing the company of shirking on its warranty policy in China. The incident prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a formal apology.
In its latest earnings report Apple revealed that its revenues in China dropped 14 percent year-on-year, but this statistic is best understood as a temporary lull. The company remains bullish towards the Middle Kingdom, with Tim Cook stating earlier this year that China is Apple’s most important market, and that the company intends to double the number of Apple stores in the country within two years.
Top image credit: Feng Li/Getty Images
YouTube-rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video-recording app to encourage user-generated content
French video-sharing service Dailymotion has launched a video-camera app for iPhone users, as it looks to encourage more users to upload their own content.
The Paris-based company claims to be the second biggest video-sharing service on the Web behind – you guessed it – YouTube. Following the collapse of a much-rumored Yahoo acquisition earlier this year, France Telecom’s CEO promised to invest 30-50m in Dailymotion, a company owned by France Telecom’s subsidiary Orange.
Whether a dedicated recording app was always on the cards isn’t clear, but it’s an interesting move from the company and brings it into line with YouTube which also has a Capture app.
How it works
Dailymotion Camera was designed in-house and, given its simplicity, it’s clearly aimed at everyone – even those with a rudimentary grasp of smartphone technology.
It has a record/pause/resume button which does exactly what you’d expect, and when you’re done you click the ‘tick’ button.
You can then trim the clip to your desired size, choose a filter (if you want), and then upload. You will of course have to connect your Dailymotion account, while you can also connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles too.
You can manage multiple video clips recorded separately, which can be ordered into a final deliverable. You can also access videos directly from your camera roll.
“UGC [user-generated content] is an important part of our video library, but many of our 115 million users have not had the skills or tools to document their worlds – preferring to view content than create it,” says Cedric Tournay, CEO of Dailymotion.
“We want to encourage this to change by providing a free, simple tool for any user – UGC and professional – to easily produce and upload top quality video content.”
Dailymotion Camera is available to download for free now, and this is in addition to the existing app for viewing videos. An Android version is in the pipeline, we’re told, but no definitive date has been set for that.
Dailymotion Camera | App Store
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Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
Travel metasearch engine Momondo has launched a new standalone iPad app for travelers, making it easy to find things to do based on so-called ‘moods’.
How it works
Currently available for Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, New York, Paris and Rome – with more cities en route – Momondo Places features seven individual downloadable guides, which means this can be used offline.
Each city defaults to ‘everything’, which covers more than 200 things-to-do for each city. You can flip the guide like a book, skip to specific chapters or search manually.
But the centrepiece of Momondo Places are the six moods it lets you search by.
Now, I’d be more inclined to call these category-filters than moods per se – it’s not ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘energetic’ etc. It’s ‘Social’, ‘Fancy’, ‘Cultural’, ‘Local’, ‘Family’ and ‘Romantic’, but nonetheless it’s a super-easy way of honing in on the kinds of things you’re looking for.
For example, when you apply the ‘Family’ mood, the guide automatically only includes the activities and places it things are suited to this. And you can see everything plotted out on a map too, letting you tap on each site to see more details.
Yes, Momondo Places is ultimately an extra marketing arm for the company’s existing flight search engine service, but it’s a nicely designed, useful app that should go down well with travelers. And it’s free, too.
That said, Momondo will need to ramp up the available number of cities, something that is currently in the works, and also make this available for iPhones and Android devices too.
Momondo Places | App Store
Social security, drivers license, PIN and… domain names? Who would have thought, say 20 years ago, that a defining name, marked with at least two periods and three W’s would be defining characteristic of our digital profiles?
A good domain name can clearly describe who and what something is in a few characters; be it a business, organization, government, or personal blog, an owned domain name is an essential DNA building block to branding, SEO and digital presence.
Domain names have gotten more creative (or complicated, depending on how you look at it) over the past few years. The king of the domains, .com, in the past few year has been challenged by vanity URLs.
With links shortened in vanity fashion to market a company, it’s more important than ever to secure (and never let go!) of domains that could be associated with you main company site. For example, type in http://tnw.to in your search bar and thenextweb.com still comes up.
This opens the door for marketing from the beginning with simple cosmetic alterations on a domain theme. In the quest for obtaining and maintaining the optimal domain name, the stakes can be high – leaving buyers vulnerable to scams.
Take a moment to learn what to watch out for and how to protect yourself against the domain demons.
Domain name scams can come at you from multiple angles. The two main types of scams, as identified by the Office of Fair Trading in the UK, are registration and renewal scams.
Domain registration scams, also known as domain slamming, happens when the domain name registrar attempts to deceive the owner into transferring their domain over to them from their current registrar.
An unsolicited domain slamming email from Network Solutions / Wikipedia.org
The non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names andNumbers (ICANN) is the governing body of keeping the Internet operational and stable by providing tech maintenance of DNS root registries and managing net protocol numbers.
ICANN introduced the safety measure of domain locking, also known as registrar-lock, in 2004. When you set the lock it prevents accidental modifications, such as transfers, from happening.
Some domains run on “EPP” code. If you as the domain owner hold the eight character authorization code required to transfer, you must willingly supply it to a domain registrar to transfer.
This extra step requires you to mindfully acknowledge what company you are transferring to. Keep you codes close!
Not as common, but sometimes the scammer, or problem, is someone you know or something you forgot. President and CEO of Workbox, Inc., Eric Weidner, has been working on the Web for the past 17 years. He’s noticed some common problems his clients have been forced to deal with.
“The most common challenge my clients have faced is losing logins to their domain name registrar service account, or having logins withheld by a disgruntled employee or subcontractor,” Weidner said. “Retrieving a lost login can be a real nuisance, and people only seem to realize they don’t have them when they need them most!”
Keep logins to your domain name registrar account information updated, safe and only shared between a few people. Always have the information distributed to more than one person in case something happens to the person or their job.
Protect thy name
Another common scam in world of domains is coming out of Asia, mainly from China. The registrar will send a company president or CEO a notification that another company is attempting to purchase domains featuring signature elements of the brand in question.
Additionally, the registrat will claim they saved the day and ethically halted the bulk registration in order for the domain owner to have a chance to purchase the domains instead. The scammer will usually put a one-to-two-week limit on the “hold.”
It’s a ploy that leverages pressure and fear of domain squatters within the company head or domain owner. When the scam goes through, it’s usually the owner attempting to protect the trademark of a company, individual or product.
Arm yourself against this scam by acknowledging that these domains in question often have different top-level domains (TLDs) such as .cn or .in instead of .com. If your company does have business or interest in Asia, take charge and register your domain with a country-specific TLD upfront.
If you are hit with an email that does look like a scam, contact your main domain name registrar that you trust. They will help you move forward with the appropriate, economical actions.
“None of my clients have been scammed to my knowledge,” Weidner said. “But, quite a few have asked me about emails that were clearly scams, and I told them to ignore them.”
Attention to detail
In the next few months, we will begin to see additional generic top-level domains (gTLDs) being registered and used in the mainstream. For example, instead of .com we will see .shop and .Chicago – and potentially other brand-centric ones like .walmart and .msnbc.
With more options for domain variation, there are also unique opportunities for scams. Say you own a website with a country code specific TLD, sampledomain.nz. Another common scam you might experience is an company taking your international domain and pitch you for renewal on one similar, such as sampledomain.info.nz.
The best defense against this is to know what domain you want and read any notifications worthy of attention closely for small details. Mark an alert on your calendar when your owned domain is in need of renewal. This way, any notifications outside of this will be noted as false.
Money back not guaranteed
If you do fall victim to a domain scam, there is no guarantee you can get your money back – whether it’s a $4.50 transfer charge or hundreds of dollars in TLD domain purchases.
Elusive scammers, false names and domain registrars based overseas make it difficult for legal action to proceed. You should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if this happens. This friendly, animated video explains how!
We leave you with some last notes on how to secure your domain from common scams.
1. Irrelevant information, wrong information, misspellings and inconsistencies should be a red flag that the correspondence in question about your domain name is likely a scam.
2. If you do not recognize the person or company who sent the correspondence concerning your domain name, you should likely delete immediately and flag as spam in your inbox.
3. Check the URL details of the registrant (the part after the @) who contacted you on Whois.com. Likely the registry date will have been a couple days prior. The scammer will use this URL and name for a short time before discarding for a new one to avoid getting caught or leaving a trail.
4. Whois.com will also tell you the real expiration date of your domain. Confirm that this matches the number of years you paid for.
5. Scroll to the bottom of this European Domain Centre site and utilize their directory. Check any questionable emails against their current list, the copy and paste the identified spammer email address into your email “block” list.
6. Weidner’s parting words on the subject were, “If you get an email or call that seems at all fishy, ask someone you trust with experience building and hosting websites. Also, be sure you know who your registrar is and that you have access to the login.”
Stay safe out there!
Top image credit: Shutterstock/jesadaphorn
The European Commission has accepted book publisher Penguin’s proposals to scrap all of its existing ebook agency agreements – including its deal with Apple, most importantly – and refrain from adopting any similar partnerships for the next five years.
Penguin, along with competitors Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck, were all criticized for working with Apple and damaging the European ebook market by switching to an agency model.
This allowed the publisher, rather than the retailer, to set the sticker price seen by consumers in digital storefronts. Given that Apple takes a 30 percent cut of each sale regardless, this suited both the publishers and iBookstore vendor just fine. It also prevented other retailers, such as Amazon or Google, from undercutting these prices.
It differs from the wholesale model, whereby retailers are able to negotiate with publishers for the general rights to an ebook and then sell it at whatever price they like. The European Commission has concluded that Apple may have been trying to control ebook prices – a breach of antitrust rules in the European Union.
Under the new agreement, a two year “cooling-off” period will be instigated, by which all retailers will be able to discount Penguin ebook titles as they see fit.
The book publisher is also banned from using the so-called Most Favored Nation (MFN) clause – which meant publishers had to price ebooks on Apple’s services at least as low as the cheapest price offered by any other retailer – in all necessary renegotiations.
Joaqu n Almunia, Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “After our decision of December 2012, the commitments are now legally binding on Apple and all five publishers including Penguin, restoring a competitive environment in the market for ebooks”.
A similar antitrust case in the United States came to a close in May this year when Pearson, Penguin’s parent publisher, confirmed it would pay $75 million in consumer damages. A US federal judge has since ruled that Apple truly did conspire to raise the price of ebooks across the market.
Apple has since confirmed that it plans to appeal the decision. “Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations,” company spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.
“We’ve done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge’s decision.”
Image Credit: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Geeksphone’s Peak+ Firefox OS smartphone looks to capitalize on consumer interest, rather than developers’
Spanish mobile startup Geeksphone has started selling a new version of the Firefox OS-based Peak, called the Peak+, which is aimed at consumers, rather than developers as earlier models were.
The device was announced on Thursday and will set back wannabe Firefox OS device owners 149 (excluding taxes) to add their name to the day one pre-order list.
The first handsets are set to start rolling out in mid-September, although if you wait until then to buy one the price will likely be higher as the company is touting the 149 deal as a time-limited offer, though it wasn’t saying exactly what the full price will be when they go on sale from September 15.
Key specs include a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4.3-inch qHD screen, 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel on the front for video calls or ‘selfies’. It also has 1GB of RAM to keep it all ticking along, pretty much the only under-the-bonnet spec change .
Things aren’t so hot on the storage side of things, with only 4GB on board, but it does have a microSD slot for cards up to 32GB and also includes 25GB of online cloud storage, delivered through a deal with fiabee.
The device follows the release of the Keon and Peak handsets a little earlier in the year, both of which run the open source, HTML 5-based Firefox OS.
However, while both devices sold out of the online store very quickly, they were in fact intended for developers that wanted to start building and testing apps for devices using the platform before the first retail handsets made it to market.
In announcing the Peak+, Geeksphone has recognized that consumers also want to see what all the fuss is about with the new platform, but not compromise on consumer-friendly features like a decent camera or processor, or in this case a slight jump in RAM.
While the specs might not scream high-end (they’re not), Firefox OS is primarily aimed at emerging markets and there are very few handsets available. For a mid-range handset, it’s essentially the best-specced Firefox OS handset you can order today.
Update: After publishing this, a Mozilla spokesman got in touch with the following message:
“Today, Geeksphone announced the pre-sale of a new device based on Boot to Gecko technology. We want to clarify that this new phone that was announced is based on Boot to Gecko technology with pre-release software, but is not a certified or supported Firefox OS device.”
Well, that clears that up then.
Featured Image Credit – Getty Images