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Developers received a pleasant surprise last Friday as Apple launched a blog dedicated to its new Swift programming language for iOS and OS X. Offering a "behind-the-scenes look" into Swift "by the engineers who created it," the open blog appears to be yet another indication of a more friendly, more open Cupertino. And there's plenty more Apple news in our weekend recap, so keep reading, won't you...?
Apple's rapid growth in China may have just hit a speed bump: The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that state-run China Central Television has branded the iPhone a "national security concern," criticizing the way Cupertino's smartphone collects and stores "frequent location" data, which researchers claim could be used to "gain knowledge of China's economic situation or 'even state secrets.'" Apple quickly rebuffed such claims by touting how location data is encrypted and stored locally on the device, but the report comes at a crucial time as iPhone sales in China are rising — currently six percent compared to rival Samsung's 17.8 percent share.
Nothing is worse that needing to share a large file with a client or co-worker and having to wait for the upload to finish before it can be downloaded at the receiving end. That's why Dropbox announced Friday a new initiative called "streaming sync," offering "improved multi-client sync time for large files" the cloud storage provider claims will be 1.25x to 2x faster than the current method. Streaming sync works with any file 16MB or larger and requires the latest version of the Dropbox desktop client, while the new feature will be rolling out gradually over the next couple of weeks to users.
Getting paid by vendors in a timely fashion can make or break many small businesses, which is why President Obama's administration recently launched a new initiative called "SupplierPay" to help small contractors get invoices paid within 15 days. AppleInsider reported Friday that Apple and a number of other U.S. corporations including Coca-Cola and IBM have now joined the ranks of SupplierPay, allowing smaller suppliers to have a healthier cash flow and increase their chances to prosper. "For the small business suppliers, benefiting from SupplierPay means having more capital to invest in new opportunities, new equipment, and new hiring," The White House said in a press release last week.
Adobe's Lightroom Journal blog finally addressed one of those nagging questions about Creative Cloud subscriptions last week: What happens to Lightroom after a membership ends? The answer, it seems, is that Lightroom 5.5 or higher goes into limited mode, with the ability to open libraries and access photos or slideshow, web, book, and print creations — but no ability to edit them with the Develop or Map modules, which will be disabled. Lightroom mobile sync operations will also cease to work, but Adobe confirmed this limitation does not affect versions of Lightroom earlier than 5.5, which are considered to be "perpetual versions" and will continue to receive upgrades for the time being.
Hulu announced Saturday that Comedy Central's classic Emmy and Peabody Award-winning South Park has staked out a new ZIP code on the ad-supported online service, courtesy of a three-year exclusive deal. Hulu Plus subscribers will have complete access to the entire series, which will also be available to free Hulu.com viewers until the debut of Season 18 on September 24, at which point the website will offer "a revolving selection of free episodes available," along with next-day access to the newest season. Hulu will also power the South Park Digital Studios website during the term of the deal.
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(Image courtesy of Business Insider)