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Apple's Already Planning to Expand New Data Centre

Apple has been busy building one of the world’s largest data centers in Catawba County, North Carolina for some time now. This colossal edifice of silicon, wire and awesomeness is rumored to be the keystone of Apple’s future cloud-based computing ventures. Can MobileMe users expect to see more storage space coming their way? Perhaps, if we’re lucky, Apple will finally start putting the media-streaming know how they snagged through the purchase of LaLa to work for content-hungry iTunes users. No matter what Cupertino has planned for their massive North Carolina data facility, one thing is certain, it’s gonna be big… and stands to get a heck of a lot bigger.

According to All Things D, in addition to the 183 acres of real estate that Apple purchased in Catawba County to build their 500,000 square foot data center on, the company has also bought an additional 70 acre parcel of dirt directly across the road from their new facility resides. What could it mean.

Well, there’s two answers to that one, in our opinion: Either nothing or a lot.

If you can afford it (and Apple most certainly can) than you need allows for some wiggle room should you decide to expand a ways down the road. With this in mind, it seems perfectly reasonable for Apple to purchase a few extra acres for later use should they feel the need to expand the scope of their operations in the area. That said, in the company’s recent history, Apple has seldom left anything to chance. If you’re seeing a product today, chances are, it was planned as part of the company’s road map several years ago. With last week’s roll out of the new series of MacBook Airs, Steve Jobs proclaimed that we were looking at the future of notebooks. Much of the future, as Apple sees it, relies upon solid state drive technology. That technology, while obviously superior to old school moving-parts drives, is wicked expensive for the time being. It could very well be possible that Apple, foreseeing the success of Flash-based  computers, plans on providing a huge amount of cloud-based storage for MacBook toting consumers in order to keep the cost of their hardware relatively low.

So what will it be: Did Apple buy the additional land in order to have room to grow or is it all part of their master plan? Only time will tell how this one is gonna play out.


Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter



Concurrent Data and Voice Rumors for CDMA Suggest iPhone is Coming to Verizon

As the hourglass turns, so do the days of our lives–and the influx of iPhone on Verizon rumors that flood the internet. We’re hearing reports that the forthcoming CDMA wireless standard could help encourage smartphone manufacturers, like Apple, to make handsets that work on simultaneous voice and data transmissions.

Currently, Apple is already touting this feature on the AT&T network. The possibilities excite those of us still dealing with the seemingly substandard CDMA network, but where the speculation suggests that Apple is considering bringing the iPhone to Verizon is beyond us, as this news mostly sounds like it’s something existing Verizon customers should look forward to, and not those that are merely waiting for a reason to switch. Sure, this is another reason Apple should consider Verizon to host the iPhone, but it’s not at all an indicator that it’s going to happen.

And on that note, whatever happened to the rumors about the white iPhone 4 landing in Apple Stores? Did we forget about that one, too?

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.


iOS Apps That Transmit Data Could Put User Privacy At Risk

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You might not think much about the small applications you might download for your iOS devices that ask to “phone home” (i.e. send information from your device to some known or unknown source). But, new research done at Bucknell University by Eric Smith shows that sometimes applications would transmit data over the network in plain text, allowing network eavesdroppers to potentially steal critical information.

Studying over 57 different applications from the App Store, Smith discovered that besides the UDID (the unique identifier assigned to every iOS device), some applications would also send transmit personally identifiable information over the network, and in some of the instances, the information was transmitted without any encryption at all.

“For example, Amazon’s application communicates the logged-in user’s real name in plain text, along with the UDID, permitting both and network eavesdroppers to easily match a phone’s UDID with the name of the phone’s owner. The CBS News application transmits both the UDID and the iPhone device’s user-assigned name, which frequently contains the owner’s real name,” says Eric Smith in his report.

With some technical, but widely available software like Wireshark, a network eavesdropper could easily access the data being transmitted from your device to the application’s home server. This is where the potential security risk exists. Because only a few applications use SSL encryption for the transmission, the personal data is sent over the network in plain, readable text.

Hopefully Apple will be able to address this issue in the future by potentially requiring app developers to give full disclosure about the type of data they are collecting and transmitting, or by creating a way for developers to collect this data and transmit it in a more secure manner.

You can read the full report by Eric Smith by clicking here [PDF link].

via Ars Technica


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