Apple has begun to illuminate its iconic logo in red to highlight its participation in Product (RED) in time for World AIDS Day. The Cupertino-based company began its show of support in its Sydney flagship store yesterday, with stores across the world in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Europe, and the U.S. soon to follow suit. Founded by Bono and Shriver in 2006, (RED) is a licensed brand meant to raise awareness and financial support for HIV/AIDS awareness prevention program in Africa. Proceeds from the sale of Product (RED) branded goods contribute to the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which finances independent programs targeting those diseases.
The official number that Apple reports to have raised for Product (RED) is around $75 million dollars, but earlier this year Bono lashed out against Apple for being notoriously coy about its sales figures. Though Apple has participated in Product (RED) since 2006, this marks the second year that the computing giant has rolled out a fully-fledged campaign coordinated with the initiative.
"This year, we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores,” recently out Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort, as well.”
In addition to special editions of iPods, iPads, and accessories, Apple is rolling out Product (RED) applications that, while non-physical, will contribute to the campaign in the same way.
“For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments, which are having a profoundly positive impact, "Cook said. “Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give.”
SCRUFF CEO Eric Silverberg took to The Huffington Post to give the internet a brief, but insightful, lesson in “trilateration,” the process through which a person’s specific location can be pinpointed with a few bits of information and a little bit of know-how.
“The most important thing you should know about location-based apps is this: Any app that shows relative distance between members can be used to pinpoint your location.” He explains. “While there are measures we have taken to protect our community, it's critical that all users understand the benefits and limitations intrinsic to location-based apps.”
All mobile social networking apps with geo-location functionality can approximate a user’s general location, Silverberg explains, but a basic understanding of geometry can easily reveal a user’s position even after deciding to turn off detailed GPS tracking features:
“If I know you are 1 mile away from me, but I don't know which direction, then the circumference of a circle, centered at my location, defines the set of possible places you could be. If I simply move to two other places and record your relative distance, with those three readings I can calculate your location.”
According to Silverberg SCRUFF has attempted to circumvent some of the security “flaws” inherent in all location-aware services by randomizing users’ location data on SCRUFF’s backend. Every phone or tablet using the SCRUFF app sends its location information back to app’s servers so that other users can request it upon tapping a profile. For those users who select to have their locations hidden from the general public, SCRUFF will go so far as to spoof where a person actually is.
“This means that, if [a user] lives in the West Village in NYC, he could potentially appear in between two people in SoHo,” said Silverberg.”[We also] take density into account, so if you live in the city, your location will be randomized by a few blocks, but in the country it could be a few miles or more.”
Anderson Cooper has a long line of titles to his name. CNN news anchor, talk show host, and most recently, Vito Russo Award honoree at the GLAAD Media Awards. He is also a bonafide gay icon and quite possibly journalism's hunkiest, and smartest specimen.
Now, Mr. Cooper can add comic book hero to his credits.
Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the silver fox chose to follow his passion [for] journalism with a vengeance. Join writer Michael Troy...for an account of his life from decorated journalist to out and proud gay man.
Robbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.
Frankmusik is the electro-music project of 22-year-old London remixer Vincent Frank, an upcoming artist in his own right who recently finished a U.K. tour with Sam Sparro and Alphabeat.
In an interview last month with Click Music, Vincent spoke about working with Stuart Price (who is currently working on the Killers' third set) on his debut Frankmusik album: "Because the album's not coming out until March 2009, I've got Stuart Price working on the record. I could namedrop the fact that, you know, he did Madonna's last album... but I don't need to... sorry. [laughs]. He's very, very, very talented, and very successful, and I think he sees a bit of me in him, when he was younger. He's very inspiring to work with, and there's no ego, and there's no bullshit, like a lot of big producers can have, when you go into their studio, and take up their time - this is very much an us project. He's gone to America to do The Killers' album, when he comes back in July, we'll be working on mine for about three weeks.
Rihanna to be the face of Gucci's new UNICEF charity campaign. In the meantime, the pop diva appears on the cover of In Style's August issue, where she talks about her own look, and being inspired by Grace Jones: "It has evolved without my even noticing it. Lately I’m obsessed with Thierry Mugler…Grace Jones inspires me…she has extraordinary style and she’s fearless. I love designer Martin Margiela: Kanye West told me about him. I also like Dsquared, Chloé, Zac Posen—he makes flattering lines."
First New Edition and now Michael Jackson: If reports are to be believed—and at this point, nothing's shocking—the onetime King Of Pop is recording a duet with New Kids On The Block. "It's very exciting, says 38-year-old Kid, Donnie Wahlberg. "It's one big party and everyone wants to join us."
Bloomingdales will offer a limited-edition Beatles iPod during the holiday season, stocked with every song from the band's back catalog. Of course, by limited, I mean there will only be 100 available. The Fab Four's songs are still unavailable on iTunes, but Bloomingdales recently acquired the rights to Beatles images from Apple Records.
After not appearing on television since 1975, legendary rock act Rush to do The Colbert Report. Says Stereogum, "The best part of all this, of course, is that thanks to Stephen's tendency to interview bands post-performance, we'll finally get to stop wondering if Geddy Lee speaks like an ordinary guy."
Please welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.
Steve Jobs revealed the latest updates to Apple's iPod line at a press conference in San Francisco today. Despite insistent buzzing over the past week online, there was no surprise Madonna appearance at the event or unveiling of The Beatles' back catalog for the iTunes music store, although KT Tunstall performed live. Mostly the revelations stuck mainly to the MP3 player itself.
The big news is the all new 8mm thin iPod Touch, which will use the same interface as the iPhone (and has approximately the same size screen). "We think it's one of the seven wonders of the world," Jobs joked. The Touch player has Wi-Fi capabilities that allows users to now search for and download songs from the iTunes Wi-Fi music store. They've also struck up a deal with Starbucks to allow downloading and music discovery from their locations. The iPod Touch also features a Safari browser and YouTube channel.
The iPod Touch has a battery life of 22 hours and is available in 8 GB ($299) and 16 GB ($399) sizes. It ships to stores by the end of the month. iPhone users will also receive an update connecting them wirelessly to the iTunes store, and Apple has dropped the price point on the 8GB iPhone by $200, to $399.
They're not exactly covering James Blunt's new single, but The Feeling were recently posed with the task of choosing a song from the year 1973 to cover for a compilation celebrating the 40th anniversary of the BBC's Radio 1 station.
Forty artists were each given a year to choose a song from spanning across the station's time on the air. The Feeling's openly-gay frontman Dan Gillespie-Sells explained on the band's website why they picked Carly Simon's "You're So Vain": "When they gave us 1973, it was actually quite hard to pick a song that we wanted to do. There were obvious things like, 'Life On Mars' by David Bowie, but I thought we should do a song that was very unlike us. So eventually we went for the Carly Simon track. We recorded it down in the big country house where we were working on our new album. It started off as a late-night jam and eventually mutated into this weird version of the song. It doesn't really sound like us or the original...I really like it, but it's pretty bonkers too."
Other acts on the tribute set include Robbie Williams doing "Lola" by The Kinks, Amy Winehouse covering "Cupid" by Johnny Nash," Kylie Minogue taking on Roxy Music's "Love Is The Drug" and Natasha Bedingfield with her version of Madonna's "Ray Of Light."
Dapper Dan & Co. are certainly no strangers to doing tunes by other bands. Their cover of The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star" -- which they used to perform at gigs in The Alps before getting signed -- appeared as a B-side on their European CD single for "Rosé". The group is even working with former Buggles singer-turned-mega-producer Trevor Horn in sessions for their sophomore album.
The double-disc Radio 1. Established 1967 will be available October 1 from Universal. [Full track list]
Courtney Love on reports she publicly bashed Amy Winehouse: "I keep my own counsel about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll and I do not judge others unless I know they are a danger to other people beloved in my own life."
It's a widescreen iPod, mobile phone, and "internet communicator" all in one using a touchscreen navigation. Only one button, the home button. Thinner than any smartphone. Comes with full-featured internet browser, integrated Google search and maps, free Yahoo push IMAP email (like BlackBerry), runs OSX, widgets. Shipping in June in $499 and $599 models, exclusively with Cingular. Developing...