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France Announces An Ambitious New Data Strategy

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

After four long months of speculations and political maneuvering, the French Government finally announced that France is getting its first Chief Data Officer. While the name of the CDO is still unknown, a source told me that current Etalab director Henri Verdier should get nominated later this week.

Back in February, I interviewed Henri Verdier about Etalab’s work on Data.gouv.fr, France’s open data platform. As a reminder, open data is the idea that certain information should be freely available to everyone to reuse as they wish, without any copyright restriction.

Open data will become an even more central part of the French Government. The CDO will work with Secretary of State Thierry Mandon and Prime Minister Manuel Valls to handle multiple important tasks.

First, it’s all about pursuing Etalab’s work when it comes to open data. The small team acted as a startup and quickly iterated on its central…

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Tim Cook, Jony Ive & other Apple execs talk Apple Watch & more in Bloomberg Businessweek interview

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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Bloomberg Businessweek published an interesting profile on Apple today that includes interviews with Tim Cook and other Apple executives while detailing how the structure of the company has changed in recent years under Cook:

Almost everything else on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif., is different. The executive wing once radiated nervous energy, with handlers scurrying to anticipate the whims of Apple’s temperamental co-founder. Now there’s tranquility in the hallways, a reflection of the new boss’s calm Southern demeanor. Downstairs, the cafeterias are packed—the workforce has almost doubled. A mile away, behind a ring of fences, construction crews are building the massive foundation for the circular “spaceship” campus that will accommodate 12,000 workers when it’s completed in a few years…

The piece also includes also includes some interesting bits about Apple’s latest announcements including Apple Pay and the Apple Watch as well as quotes from interviews with Apple executives Jony Ive, Jeff…

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Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Beats on Apple TV

In addition to shipping iOS 8 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today, Apple has released a software update to Apple TV (third-generation) users as well. As we previewed before, the new version of Apple TV’s software brings a refreshed design with thinner text and flatter icons bringing it more in line with iOS’s look and feel. The update also includes a newly added Beats Music channel for the subscription streaming music service Apple purchased earlier this year.

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Apple reportedly earning 0.15% from each Apple Pay transaction over iPhone 6/Apple Watch

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple PayThe Financial Times has an interesting detail not disclosed or previously reported about Apple’s new payment system introduced earlier this week and due out next month. Through Apple Pay, which uses a combination of NFC and Touch ID for authorizing mobile payments, the iPhone maker will collect 0.15% of each transaction that goes through the service.

Bank chief executives fawned about the “exceptional customer experience” and the “exciting move”. They are also paying hard cash for the privilege of being involved: 15 cents of a $100 purchase will go to the iPhone maker, according to two people familiar with the terms of the agreement, which are not public. That is an unprecedented deal, giving Apple a share of the payments’ economics that rivals such as Google do not get for their services.

That means that every time you use your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to check out…

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The Gold Apple Watch Could Cost As Much As $1,200

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

A jewelry contact familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that the gold, 18-karat version of the Apple Watch could cost around $1,200 retail when it launches in January. This has been corroborated, based on size and weight, by jewelers familiar with the material Apple is using to make its Apple Watch Edition pieces. It should be noted that this is an estimate and the piece could come in well below that price.

Although there is still some confusion as to whether the watch will be gold plated or actually made of gold, the jeweler suggested that it would be sub-optimal not to make the watch out of solid gold alloy, a decision that will drive up the price. The estimate is based on the leaked design images of the iWatch that appeared this weak.

Chad Rickicki, a watch expert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said that a case the size and shape…

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Square and Apple acquisition talks reportedly fell apart over pricing disagreements

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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TechCrunch is reporting today that Apple and mobile payment processor Square were briefly in talks about a possible acqusition. The talks didn’t get far, it seems, as the two companies couldn’t reach an agreement on how much Square was actually worth. Eventually, Square walked away:

Separately, TechCrunch has heard that Square and Apple were in acquisition talks, but that Square walked away. Apple wanted the company to come aboard, but the discussed price was a sticking point: Apple wanted to buy Square for around $3 billion, one source said. Square, valued at the time at a firm 66 percent delta to that price point, declined to accept.

It’s interesting to consider what Apple Pay might have looked like if the merger had gone through. You can read the more over at TechCrunch.

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EA developing games, second screen experiences for wearables like Apple Watch

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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One thing that Apple didn’t get into during its keynote presentation is any possible gaming experiences that might come with its new Apple Watch wearable. Today, however, EA has announced that it’s already prototyping ideas for wearables like Apple Watch. In a blog post from EA’s Mobile gaming head Frank Gibeau, the company announced announced it has a team working on ideas for gaming on wearables including standalone games and second screen experiences for console and mobile games:

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