Mitchel Broussard

Mitchel is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. Southern Louisiana-born, he lives off of bad TV, good books, and great video games. Despite a few close calls, he has yet to forget the face of his father.



Nintendo Prefers Super Mario Run Pay-Once Model, Calls Freemium Structure of Fire Emblem Heroes an 'Outlier'

As Nintendo keeps launching new properties onto smartphones, the company has taken different strategies in regards to each app's payment model, including free-to-play (Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes) and pay-once-and-play (Super Mario Run). According to a senior official at the company, Nintendo actually "prefers" the Super Mario Run model over Fire Emblem Heroes, despite the more lucrative future that Fire Emblem Heroes' in-app purchases have in store for Nintendo (via Nikkei). According to Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, Super Mario Run's revenue "did not meet" the company's expectations. Ahead of the game's release, it was reported that Nintendo was eyeing a pay-once model so that parents could download Super Mario Run for their kids without the added anxiety of in-app purchases appearing later in their iTunes purchase history. It appears that the gaming company still intends for most of its future apps to follow in Super Mario Run's footsteps and not those of Fire Emblem Heroes, with a senior company official referring to Heroes as "an outlier" in the grand scheme of Nintendo's mobile strategy. Yet [Super Mario Run] was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game "did not meet our expectations," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said. Even so, Nintendo has no intention of switching focus to freemium games. "'Heroes' is an outlier," a senior company official said. "We honestly prefer the 'Super Mario Run' model." The company is believed to care more about expanding the

Twitter Considering Paid Subscription Tier for Professional Users on TweetDeck at $20/Month

Twitter is said to be "considering" whether to implement an all-new paid subscription tier that would be introduced in a premium package for TweetDeck, Twitter's popular desktop client, and be aimed directly at professionals (via Reuters). If enacted, this would be the first time Twitter charges users for any part of its social media services, which began eleven years ago in March of 2006. A mockup of what the premium TweetDeck subscription service could look like Twitter is looking at providing a professional experience for people on TweetDeck that would pack in advance tools and features not found anywhere else on the service. The premium package would cost $19.99 per month, be accessible on both desktop and mobile, and include the following features: - Exclusive news/alerts summaries personalized for you - Content management tools like bookmarks, to-do lists, and 'save for later' - Cross posting to other social media platforms - Advanced custom trend analysis and alerting tools - Exclusive content on social media best practices and strategy - Enhanced tools for managing and creating custom audience lists (e.g., by interest, customer, or region, etc.) - Exclusive priority customer support - The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts - Advanced publishing features (e.g., scheduling, collaboration, drafting, etc.) - Advanced tools for sorting or filtering searches - An ad-free experience - Analysis tools for understanding topics or conversations on Twitter - Ability to access this experience on both desktop and mobile devices - Ability to securely

Instagram Continues to Build 'Safer, Kinder' Community With Two-Factor Authentication and Blurred Posts

Instagram today continued its rollout of pressure free, community-focused updates that now include a blur filter to obscure potentially sensitive content, as deemed by the Instagram review team when a particular post is reported. Instagram said that this means users are "less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app," but they can still view the image or video by simply tapping on the blurred post. Security is getting beefed up in the new update as well, with Instagram enabling two-factor authentication for every user. As it is everywhere else, when the security measure is implemented by a user they will have to type in a code -- sent through a text message -- every time they log in to their Instagram account. Instagram said that these updates will help the app continue to move towards "fostering a safer, kinder community." Instagram's kindness-focused hopes for its community will be represented in a worldwide meet-up happening March 25 and 26, where users everywhere can find local meet-ups "to share their stories and spread kindness in the world." The first step is to celebrate the kindness our community is already known for. On March 25 and 26, tens of thousands of Instagrammers all over the world will come together for Worldwide InstaMeet 15 to share their stories and spread kindness in the world. You can find an InstaMeet near you or spread kindness by leaving an encouraging comment, giving an inspiring person a like or sharing a message of support with a friend. Our teams are focused on making Instagram a kind, welcoming place for

VUDU iOS App Updated With $2-$5 Disc-to-Digital Movie Conversions Using Barcodes

Walmart today announced that a new update to the mobile app for its streaming movie service, VUDU, will allow customers to scan and digitize any physical DVD or Blu-Ray into digital form for a price between $2 and $5, right from their smartphone. The update is an expansion of Walmart's "Disc-to-Digital" in-house service, which encouraged customers to bring their physical movies to a local Walmart to transfer them into cloud storage, and in recent years also added digital conversion on home computers. Now, Mobile Disc-to-Digital will work on both iOS and Android devices and will support nearly 8,000 films from Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. VUDU said it intends to keep adding support from more distributors over the coming months. “The average movie collector owns nearly 100 DVDs and Blu-rays. We know these customers have invested a lot into building their physical movie collections,” said Jeremy Verba, general manager, Vudu. “As more and more customers create digital libraries, we are constantly looking for ways to help them unlock additional value from the movies they already own.” “Like Walmart, at Vudu we’re always striving to save our customers time and money,” added Verba. “Our Mobile Disc-to-Digital service is a key part of Vudu’s broader effort to make digital entertainment access simple and convenient.” To convert a movie into a digital copy, customers must navigate to the new disc-to-digital

WikiLeaks Continues 'Vault 7' With New Documents Detailing Mac-Related CIA Exploits

WikiLeaks today continued its "Vault 7" series by leaking details concerning CIA-related programs that were built with the intent to infect iMac and MacBook devices. Today's "Dark Matter" installation of Vault 7 follows a few weeks after WikiLeaks debuted "Year Zero," which focused on exploits that the CIA created for iOS devices. In a response the same day that Year Zero came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in the leak were already patched. Now, WikiLeaks is shedding light on Mac-related vulnerabilities and exploits, which the leakers claim "persists even if the operating system is re-installed." The project in question, created and spearheaded by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch, is called the "Sonic Screwdriver" and represents a mechanism that can deploy code from a peripheral device -- a USB stick, or the "screwdriver" -- while a Mac is booting up. According to WikiLeaks, this allows an attacker "to boot its attack software" even if the Mac has a password enabled on sign-up. In the report, it's said that the CIA's own Sonic Screwdriver has been stored safely on a modified firmware version of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Besides the Doctor Who-referencing exploit, Dark Matter points towards yet another bounty of CIA programs aimed at gathering information, infecting, or somehow crippling a Mac device. "DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants. Documents on

Apple to Begin iPhone 6, 6s, and SE Manufacturing in India Over Next Few Months

Government officials in India today confirmed that Apple will begin manufacturing iPhone devices within its Bangalore plant over the next few months, in a bid to boost the company's presence within the Indian smartphone market. As was previously reported, Wistron will take the brunt of iPhone manufacturing in the country, focusing on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE. In terms of timeline, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s will begin production in the next four-to-six weeks, while Wistron will hold off adding the iPhone SE to the production line for another three months, according to the officials familiar with Apple's plans speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Today's news falls directly in line with a report from February that said Apple was planning to begin assembling iPhone SE devices within India in the coming months. “Almost all preparations have been done for launching Apple’s first phase project in Bangalore through Wistron,” the official told The Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been working hard to develop our operations in India,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations.” A Wistron spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on “rumor or speculation.” Apple has been slowly and steadily ramping up its presence in India, over the past few months laying the groundwork by negotiating terms with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking tax concessions from locally manufactured iPhones, and setting up a local distribution center to streamline logistics as its

Google Maps Introduces New Location Sharing Feature With Real-Time Friend Tracking

Google today announced an update coming to the iOS, Android, and desktop versions of Google Maps will introduce a way for users to share their real-time locations with friends and family. Google's update differs from the location sharing in Apple Maps, Messages, and Find My Friends, which all lack the ability to follow friends around on a map in real-time. In Google Maps on iOS, users will be able to tap into the app's side menu, choose "Share Location," and pick from a selection of approved contacts who will see their current location. Contacts are pulled from existing Google accounts, and users can also send links through Messages to friends who aren't on their contacts list when they need to share their location. After a user's location is shared, their chosen contacts will see where they are within Google Maps, represented as a small face icon that moves in real-time according to where the sharer is located. A small icon above the compass in the app will remind users that their location is being shared for the period of time they requested, but they can also choose to end sharing early. Google today posted a video to detail a real scenario where its location sharing feature could come in handy, focusing on the creation of a surprise birthday party. The video also shows off how users can share their car trips with friends, so they can see an ETA on when the sharer should be arriving. Google said that location sharing will be rolling out worldwide sometime soon. Google Maps can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Siri and Alexa Battling to Become Go-To Voice Assistants in Hotel Rooms

Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are being put through their paces in a "tech incubator" hotel chain, in order to determine which voice assistant brings more to the table for guests wanting to order room service, control lights, change TV channels, adjust the temperature, and more (via Bloomberg). The main incubator for the test is happening in Aloft Hotels, which are owned by Marriott. The Aloft Hotel in Boston is using Amazon Echo devices and a collection of iPhones and iPads to gather information on which voice assistant will ultimately best serve guests in the long run. Marriott hasn't divulged information on who might be the winner as of yet, but the company did say that it expects to decide if it will expand the test to more chains besides Aloft Hotels "as early as mid-year." Marriott expects to decide whether to adopt the technology for one or more of its chains as early as mid-year, potentially boosting sales for the device of choice. More important, it will increase the winning company’s exposure in the market for voice-activated devices, which are gaining more mainstream traction. “Those two players are in the game right now,” said Toni Stoeckl, who oversees the Aloft, Element, AC and Moxy chains as global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott. There are almost 130 Aloft hotels in the U.S., and more than 100 additional ones planned. Carolina Milanesi, a market analyst with Creative Strategies, compared the introduction of voice assistants into hotel rooms to when the hospitality industry began putting iPhone docking stations into rooms so guests

Logitech Debuts Education-Focused 'Rugged Combo' Case for New 9.7-Inch iPad

Logitech today announced a new series of accessories made for schools using the just-announced 9.7-inch iPad, or any iPad with a similar form factor. The "Rugged Combo" includes both a case for the iPad as well as a detachable keyboard, and when both are connected Logitech said they combine to become "the ultimate classroom solution" for taking notes, tests, going on field trips, and studying. The Rugged Combo protects the iPad from drops as high as six feet and includes a kickstand with mechanical hinges that ensure the device remains sturdy at any angle. Logitech is specifically targeting grade school classrooms that use iPads in their curriculum, with advantages including a transparent window on the back of the case that provides an easy glance for asset tagging to scan and mark the school-owned property before and after students use the iPad. “iPad is changing the way teachers teach and students learn, and the Logitech Rugged Combo for the new 9.7-inch iPad is built from the ground up with personalized-learning in mind,” said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility at Logitech. “We worked with Apple to design the Rugged Combo to be incredibly durable and protect iPad while bringing a secure keyboard connection that’s approved for testing, so teachers and students can focus on expanding what’s possible inside the classroom and beyond.” According to Logitech, the detachable keyboard has "laptop like typing" and provides a secure data entry point if teachers decide to submit tests to students on the iPad. The secure connection between the keyboard and case is

Apple Watch Gets New Striped Woven Nylon, Classic Buckle, and Standalone Nike Sport Bands

As has been expected, Apple today debuted a new Spring 2017 lineup of Apple Watch bands that introduces all-new options like Striped Woven Nylon, sold-separately Nike Sport bands, and new colors for Hermès. Every band is available to order today on Apple.com. Striped Woven Nylon bands now come in Berry, Tahoe Blue, Orange, Red, and Pollen. There's also an all-new Midnight Blue Woven Nylon band, but it lacks the new stripe pattern. New Sport band colors include Pebble, Azure and Camellia, and the Classic Buckle has gotten a small buckle redesign and now comes in Sapphire, Berry, and Taupe. Users can also finally buy the Nike Sport Band separately in Anthracite/Black, Pure Platinum/White, and Volt/Black. The company is introducing new collections of Nike Bands as well, including a 38mm and 42mm Space Grey Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Sport Band and 38mm and 42mm Silver Aluminum Case with Pure Platinum/White Sport Band. Apple Watch Hermès is gaining new colors: 38mm Double Tour in Bleu Zéphyr Epsom leather, 38mm Double Buckle Cuff in Fauve Barenia leather, 42mm Single Tour in Lime Epsom leather, and 42mm Single Tour in Colvert Swift leather. One new addition to the Hermès collections has been made and it includes the Apple Watch Series 2 with the 38mm Double Buckle Cuff in Fauve Barenia calfskin leather. For first time Apple Watch owners, Apple has simplified collections down to bundles that only include Sport Bands, Nike Sport Bands, and the Milanese Loop. This means that bundles including Woven Nylon, Link Bracelet, and Classic Buckle options

Apple Announces Video Creation iOS App 'Clips'

Among announcements of a new 9.7-inch iPad and red iPhone 7, Apple today has unveiled a new first-party video creation app called "Clips." According to the company, with Clips users will be able to "create expressive videos" with ease on both an iPhone and iPad. The app lets users combine videos, images, and music into one seamless video that can then be shared through iMessages, and on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Users will be able to create animated captions called "Live Titles" using only their voice, and apply effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters. “Clips gives iPhone and iPad users a new way to express themselves through video, and it’s incredibly easy to use,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Apps Product Marketing. “The effects, filters and amazing new Live Titles we’ve designed for Clips let anyone make great-looking, easily sharable videos with just a few taps.” Users can record content directly within Clips, or add in video and photos from the Photo Album. Clips isn't out just yet, but users will be able to get their hands on Apple's new app beginning this April on iOS devices running iOS 10.3. Last summer, it was rumored that Apple was working on a new video-sharing social network app which would include shooting, editing, and uploading videos "in less than one minute." With today's reveal of Clips, it appears that Apple decided to nix the social network side of that app and focus instead on tools to fuel user creativity that can be shared

Apple's AR Team Includes Talent From Lucasfilm and Weta Digital, Smart Glasses Still 'A Ways Off'

It's been known that Apple has people working on augmented reality initiatives for future devices, which range from the technology's inclusion in a future version of the iPhone to separate "mixed reality" glasses. Today, a Bloomberg report has gathered all of the speculation surrounding Apple and AR together, while also providing some insight into a few lesser-known areas of Apple's AR project. Apple's augmented reality team is said to combine "the strengths of its hardware and software veterans," along with new additions within the company, according to people familiar with Apple's plans. The team is run by Mike Rockwell, who came from Dolby, and also consists of Yury Petrov (formerly of Oculus), Avi Barzeev (formerly of HoloLens), Cody White (formerly of Amazon's VR project "Lumberyard"), Tomlinson Holman (formerly of Lucasfilm), and more. A concept image of what AR on future iPhones could look like. The total scope of Apple's AR team is rounded out by many camera and optical lens engineers, as well as "people with experience in sourcing the raw materials for the glasses." Apple has even included talent from 3D animation company Weta Digital, which worked on films like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. This team of individuals, along with AR advocate Tim Cook, see the new technology as a way for Apple "to dominate the next generation of gadgetry and keep people wedded to its ecosystem." Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss

TSMC Won't Make Official Decision About Building U.S. Plant Until 2018

Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company won't make a decision about moving some of its chip manufacturing into the United States until sometime in 2018, according to company spokesperson Michael Kramer (via Reuters). Although recent reports have focused on Foxconn's potential move stateside for Apple-specific iPhone manufacturing, TSMC chairman Morris Chang in January mentioned that the supplier was not ruling out the U.S. as a location for one of its foundries. Now TSMC is putting off an official decision until next year, with Kramer stating that the company would lose a lot of its "flexibility" if it moved production into the United States. Sources in Taiwan point towards a decision coming specifically in the "first half of 2018," with upwards of $16 billion potentially being invested in getting the American plant up and running. "We won't make a decision until next year," TSMC spokesperson Michael Kramer said. The company currently gets about 65 percent of its total revenue from the United States. "We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States. But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for instance (in Taiwan), we could send thousands of people here as support, whereas it's harder in the States," he told Reuters. No Apple supplier has made an official decision about building a plant in the U.S as of yet. Last year, Foxconn looked to be in the preliminary stages of building an assembly plant in the U.S., but this month chairman Terry Gou raised uncertainties about such plans. Both TSMC and Foxconn have teamed up

Philips Hue Reveals New Candle Light Bulb Coming to Europe in April and U.S. Later This Year

Philips today announced that its connected smart bulb lighting system, Philips Hue, is getting a new addition in the form of the E14 candle light bulb. Customers will be able to buy the new bulb in both color and white ambience versions in the U.S. later this year, and in Europe in April. The common candle bulb will fit a wide array of household lighting fixtures, and Philips said this means that Hue "can now be used in over 80% of light sockets commonly used in households around the world." “The candle has been one of the most requested products by Philips Hue customers. We’ve spent time ensuring it is of the highest quality and available in both white ambiance and white and color ambiance. It is an important next step to ensure seamless integration in all rooms, giving you the freedom to personalize lighting throughout your home,” says Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader Connected Home Systems at Philips Lighting. Otherwise, the candle light bulb will function the same as previous Hue products, connecting to the company's smartphone app through the Philips Hue Bridge accessory and allowing users to customize lighting colors, set schedules and geo-fences, and turn the lights on and off. According to Philips, candle light bulbs are mainly used in decorative lamps made for the bedroom, and with the white ambience bulb's dimming features users can get a better night's sleep and wake up more energized. The new accessory is a 40W equivalent bulb with 470 lumens of brightness and will be priced around $40 for a single bulb when it launches in the U.S. later in 2017.

Google 'Motion Stills' Update Lets Users Customize Default Frame of Live Photos

Last year Google launched an app called Motion Stills that fixed a lot of issues that users had -- and still have -- with Apple's new Live Photos feature introduced in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With the new update, Motion Stills now lets users customize the displayed frame that appears automatically in the camera roll of the iOS Photos app. The intent is to display more clearly what the Live Photo image is composed of, particularly when the frame displaying the content is taken from a blurry or unclear segment of the Live Photo. Now, users can cycle through any frame from a Live Photo in Motion Stills, choose a new image, and export it back out to the iOS Photos app with the new frame. This exporting process keeps the Live Photo in Apple's custom 3D touch looping format and not the GIF format of Motion Stills. As The Verge pointed out, there is a catch in the basic function of Live Photos that could result in a customized frame appearing lower-resolution in the Photos app. There is a catch. For space reasons, Live Photos only save the primary frame in full 12-megapixel clarity, with the other frames handled as lower-resolution video; choosing one of these frames will therefore result in a photo with less detail than the original. But since the vast majority of Live Photo viewing probably happens on phones, this may not be a major issue for you.Other than the new frame feature, Motion Stills as a whole lets users turn Live Photos into easily shareable GIFs. The app also uses Google's video stabilization technology to smooth out jittery images and freeze

Swatch Working on Apple Watch Competitor With Custom-Made OS and Better Battery Life

Swatch is developing its own operating system for an all-new smartwatch intended to compete directly with Apple Watch and Android Wear, according to company CEO Nick Hayek (via Bloomberg). The new smartwatch will be an addition to the Tissot brand, a subsidiary of The Swatch Group, and is set to launch towards the end of 2018. With its debut so far out, details remain scarce on both the watch itself and the Swatch-made user interface, but Hayek mentioned that the technology will require less battery power and will "protect data better." According to Hayek, the company's strategy will give Swatch the chance to become a worthy competitor to Apple and Samsung wearables because of its focus on a beefy battery which wouldn't require users to charge the watch every day, or every other day, like Apple Watch. The already-announced Tissot Smart Touch compared to Apple Watch Series 2 Swatch’s approach will work better because it’s trying to “think small” as one of the biggest problem for wearable devices is battery drainage, Hayek said, speaking at the Biel, Switzerland headquarters of Omega, another of 18 brands that Swatch produces. “There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” the CEO said. Luca Solca, an analyst who follows the luxury watch industry, pointed out that Swatch's own-made OS could be the company's first mistake. “People use smartwatches expecting to use the same apps they have on their mobiles," Solca explained. "A proprietary operating system defeats the

Amazon iOS App Gains Alexa Voice Assistant to Track Orders, Shop, and More

Amazon today announced that it will introduce its Siri competitor, Amazon Alexa, directly into the company's iOS app over the course of the next week (via VentureBeat). With the addition of Alexa, users will now be able to ask questions about the status of their orders, use their voice to initiate searches, play music, and start audio books from Audible. Alexa's powers go beyond Amazon's shopping features -- users will also be able to use the voice assistant to search current news stories, check the weather, and even control smart home products. This means that iOS users who don't own any Amazon hardware can now gain access to Alexa's growing list of skills, which let users easily link multiple services together for quick voice control interactions. Some users will begin seeing the Alexa update in Amazon's iOS app [Direct Link] starting today, but the rollout is expected to reach everyone on iOS by next

Six Months After Launch, Developer Excitement Over iMessage Apps is 'Fading'

The iMessage App Store turned six months old this week, and the app analysts at Sensor Tower have decided to see where Apple's miniature app store stands among users and developers following an initial launch rush last year. According to Sensor Tower, more than 5,000 apps have either added iMessage features, or launched exclusively on the text message-based App Store. Unfortunately, while the growth is noticeable -- and on par with the original App Store in 2008 -- it has begun subsiding on a month-to-month basis, with Sensor Tower noting it is "seeing signs that the initial rush of excitement over iMessage apps is fading among developers." From September to October the number of iMessage-enabled apps grew 116 percent, from 400 to 1,100. By the end of November, the iMessage App Store had grown 108 percent to include around 2,250 apps. Things began slowing down in December where growth was marked at 65 percent, with 3,700 iMessage apps stocking the App Store worldwide. As 2017 began, the iMessage App Store hit its slowest growth period yet: it saw an 18 percent increase from December to January, and a 9 percent increase from January to February. Sensor Tower points to confusion over the iMessage App Store's UI and app discovery that could be leading to an overall lack of user interactivity with the apps, and subsequently resulting in developers' fading interest. The analysts still look forward to the iMessage App Store's "real test" of growth down the line as iOS 11 approaches later in the year. Any new platform will see an initial surge in offerings due to the

iLuv Launches 'Rainbow8' Smart Bulb With HomeKit Support and Hub-Less Design

iLuv today announced its first Apple HomeKit certified device called the "Rainbow8," an IoT connected smart lightbulb system that includes Siri compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity so users can interact with their lights from an iPhone or iPad. One of the distinctions between Rainbow8 and Philips Hue is that iLuv's product doesn't require a central, router-connected hub. To get started the company said that "all you have to do is simply plug in," and Rainbow8 will search for a nearby smartphone with the company's app. Once it's set up, users can set up schedules and geo-fences that activate and deactivate based on their location. Custom lighting scenes can be created and with the addition of HomeKit support, users can ask Siri to turn them on and off. As an improvement on the company's Rainbow7 Bluetooth smart bulb, the Rainbow8 includes over 16 million color options, has a dimming feature, offers 800 lumens of brightness, and will last for a lifespan of over 20,000 hours. This user friendly smart bulb is now brighter and longer lasting, saving you money in the long run. "iLuv is very proud of the direction we are going," said Jason Park, head of marketing at iLuv. "The Rainbow8 is not our first smart product, but it is definitely one of our most impressive ones. Unlike most smart bulbs on the market, the Rainbow8 does not require a hub. All you have to do is simply plug in and get started. Once set up, users can do everything from schedule their lighting to setting triggers that control the lights based on their location. You can also create your own

Apple Not Listed on New Legal Brief Opposing Trump's Second Travel Ban

Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more than 60 other companies have either decided not to sign, or have yet to sign, a new legal brief filed in federal court in Hawaii this week, constituting the makings of a lawsuit looking to block the second version of President Donald Trump's travel ban (via Reuters). Trump referred to the new order as a "watered-down version" of the original, but a federal judge in Hawaii nevertheless blocked the revised order. Over a month ago, Apple joined 100 U.S. companies in support of a legal brief that opposed the first immigration ban. That order banned Syrian refugees from entering the United States, blocked citizens of seven countries (Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and suspended entry of all refugees entering the U.S. for 120 days. The new ban removed Iraq from the list, exempted green card and visa holders, and toned down "contentious language referring to religious minorities." On Tuesday, a new legal brief was filed in a Hawaiian court on behalf of 58 total Silicon Valley companies voicing support for the state's blocking of Trump's order, down from 127 companies on the first brief. A few companies mentioned on the new opposition brief include Kickstarter, Airbnb, and Dropbox. Although the current list is small, hope for the lawsuit to succeed is growing, and New York lawyer Robert Atkins -- who co-authored the new brief -- said "we do expect the group to expand." Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc are among more than 60 technology