Mac Pro Will Rise Again; Nintendo Switch Warping issue; Oath for Pete’s Sake

Apple has…well kind of…admitted that the ‘trash can’ Mac Pro was a dumb design, and lifted the curtain slightly on the next generation of Pros. Daringfireball.com’s John Gruber was one of the handful of journalists that got to peek at it. The bad news is…it’s due next year. On the plus side, it will be more modular, and accommodate high end CPUs and GPUs, and won’t need to look like a dongle octopus! There will also be an Apple branded Pro display. For those that can’t wait, Apple will also release a Pro level iMac yet this year….so, can we call that one ‘semi-pro?’ In addition, the present ‘trash can’ Mac Pros get a speed bump as an upgrade, and the price is right…the $2999 entry level model gets a 6 core processor, and the $3999 model goes from 6 cores to 8.

In a literally ‘not cool’ item, the hot new Nintendo Switch is a little TOO hot when docked. Bgr.com says with heavy play in the dock, they are physically warping. Apparently, there is a thread on Reddit talking about the issue, complete with pictures of the bent Switch units. For some of the early complainers, the company says that they would either repair the unit or transfer all of its data to a new console and then ship it back. They have yet to publicly acknowledge the problem, though.

In what is becoming a rather long line of stupid rebranding names, Verizon’s Frankenstein mash up of Yahoo and AOL will be called Oath. Maybe the clown who came up with this name should be called an OAF! Techcrunch.com says the name was first acknowledged on Twitter yesterday. The company is modestly claiming that they are launching one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital. Yeah, with a moniker like Oath, good luck with that.


Verizon Swallows Most of Yahoo; GM & Lyft to Launch Driverless Electric Car; iPhone 7 Rollout Date Determined

As rumored over the weekend, Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.83 billion. Recode.net says they will roll up the core Yahoo business into Verizon-owned AOL. Tim Armstrong, who came to AOL from Google and revitalized it as a web sales engine, will run the combined AOL/Yahoo. Marissa Mayer will, as they say, exit. The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, its shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s convertible notes, certain minority investments, and Yahoo’s non-core patents. All of those will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at closing.

GM and Lyft will begin testing an electric, driverless vehicle before the end of the year. According to futuritech.info, the General plans to first release the vehicle on the Lyft platform, and then spread to the rest of the mass market. So far, GM and Lyft are keeping the timeline close to the vest as to when the vehicles will be available to most anybody, so stay tuned for that.

Two quick iPhone 7 notes from bgr.com…according to reputable leaker Evan Blass, the latest from Apple will hit the shelves September 16th. This points to a rollout by Tim Cook & company on September 6th or 7th. We also hear the headphone jack-less phone will ship with a dongle…oh, how we love those…so you can use your present headphones or earbuds. A new profit center for Apple, as angry users lose or break the stupid dongles, and have to buy more…probably for 20 or 30 dollars each!


Future Fuel Cell Powered Macbook Could Run Days or Weeks

We just reported about 10 days ago about a British company called Intelligent Energy working with Apple on a fuel cell battery case that can keep your iPhone going for a week. Now, businessinsider.com says Apple has a patent for a fuel cell battery that could run some of its devices for days or even weeks. This one describes a “portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device,” and it joins others Apple already had on the books. This one seems to be aimed at MacBooks…the filing mentions the ‘MagSafe’ connector, but not the Lightening connectors used on iPhones and iPads. Apparently, you would just replace a fuel cartridge ‘detachably affixed to the fuel cell system’ when the fuel runs out.

It seems like everyone has a smartphone now…and that perception isn’t far from reality. According to an analysis by ComScore picked up by marketingland.com, US smartphone penetration hit 77% in July. In the social media race on smartphones, Facebook dominates more than ever. They stay #1, and Facebook’s freestanding Messenger app is now #2, bumping YouTube to third place. Don’t shed a tear for Google though…their apps hold down slots 3, 4, 5, and 6! Pandora radio, Gmail, Instagram, and Yahoo stocks round out the top 10.


The Edge Is Pushing Samsung Galaxy S6 Sales Up Dramatically

Samsung is expected to raise guidance on the new Galaxy S6 by almost 50%…from 35-40 million smartphones to 50-55 million this year..due to the new Edge model. 9to5google.com picked up that figure from usually reliable KGI Securities.

In the wake of Microsoft renegotiating a search deal with Yahoo, geekwire.com reports that Bing’s desktop search share in the US has edged past 20% for the first time. Google still dominates search with 64.4% of the market, though.

Speaking of Microsoft, they’ve patented a way to use ultraviolet light to disinfect filthy touchscreens. According to thenextweb.com, UV light runs from a source on the side of the screen through a new transparent film on the screen’s surface.


Samsung Rumored to Be Looking At Buying AMD

Samsung’s future smartphones and tablets could have graphics that really scream. Geek.com says they are rumored to be about to acquire AMD…the chip and graphics card maker. The Radeon graphics card tech would be particularly appealing to Samsung. AMD also has a large patent portfolio.

Yahoo and Microsoft have agreed to a 30 day extension to the deadline to renegotiate a ten year search deal. According to reuters.com, the original 10 year deal made in 2010 allowed for changes or termination after 5 years. Even with the partnership, Google still controls about 2/3 of the search market, and both Yahoo and Microsoft have been disappointed with their combined 30 percent.

This could be an actual lifesaver for cyclists. Theverge.com reports that Volvo has developed a special reflective spray paint that is only visible at night. Dubbed ‘Lifepaint,’ the washable material lasts about 10 days. It’s completely invisible until hit by the glare of headlights, then it glows. Besides bikes, it can be applied to clothes, helmets, shoes, and backpacks. It’s been rolled out in Kent and London, United Kingdom first, and if it does well will be offered here.


Microsoft Apps Coming to Android Via Samsung

Microsoft appears to be making a major move to invade Android’s turf. Business insider.com has picked up a report from Sam Mobile that says Redmond may have cut a deal to have apps like Microsoft Office Mobile, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype pre-loaded on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6. We’ll know for sure March 1st when the S6 is introduced.

If you’ve been wanting to use Apple iWork apps on other than your home Mac, you’re in luck. Apple has made Pages, Numbers, and Keynote accessible through iCloud Beta to users without an apple device. Mac rumors.com says you get a gig of storage when you sign up for a free iCloud account.

The contextual home screen for Android called Aviate, which changes through the day to suit your needs, has added search outside the US. Engadget.com reports that the app…which was bought by Yahoo last year…is a free download from Google Play.


Will Apple Replace Google for Search On iPhones Next Year?

A big fight behind the scenes over your iPhone. Theinformation.com says Apple’s deal with Google is up next year, and Yahoo and Microsoft are scrapping to become the default search engine. Siri already relies on Bing for its (or her) search results!

Would you like to get $550 trade-in for your iPhone? Blackberry is offering up to that amount to switch to a Blackberry Passport. Thenextweb.com reports it varies by model, and $150 of it is on a Visa prepaid card, from December through next February.

The Gear VR virtual reality visor is just a start, and more joint Oculus and Samsung products are coming. Cnet.com says that’s according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.He declined to be specific, except to hint about ‘storytelling.’


More Bandwidth for Wi-Fi On The Way

In a move that will help everybody, arstechnica.com reports that the FCC has freed up a good deal of space in the 5 Gigahertz band. In English, that means that, down the road, you will enjoy better wi-fi connections…and yes, some people say ‘jiga-hertz.’ It’s a geek thing.

Production on the iPhone 6 screens…at least the 4.7 inch version, may start next month, but macrumors.com says they’re having trouble with the new, thinner in-cell technology that may delay the 5.5 inch model past the early September release of the 4.7 inch model.

As Marissa Mayer continues her makeover of Yahoo, they may kill the Shine women’s site by second quarter. Recode.net says they’ll cut it all up into online ‘lifestyle’ magazines.