San Francisco District Attorney Impressed by iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature

After news that government officials would be testing the efficiency of iOS 7’s Activation Lock against thieves, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has come out in support of the feature, saying that “clear improvements” have been made to stop criminals, according to the San Francisco Examiner

Last week, Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought in security experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to test out Apple’s Activation Lock feature as well as Absolute Software’s Lojack service on the Samsung Galaxy S4 in order to determine how effective they are against thieves.

"I'm very optimistic that they came and were willing to share their technology with us," Gascón said in a statement, also noting that Microsoft and Google had not yet come forth with their plans to combat theft. Gascón did not detail how the specific features work, explaining that they were not yet finished.

Both attorneys called for the tests as a part of the Secure Our Smartphone (S.O.S) program that aims to stop the theft and black market resale of stolen mobile devices. While carriers have already established a database to track stolen phones, it has proven to be largely futile. Prior to these tests, Gascón and Schneiderman called for smartphones to have a kill switch that would disable them in the event of theft. 

Announced at WWDC, Activation Lock is set to be included in iOS 7, which is expected to be released to consumers this fall.

Source: Mac Rumours


San Francisco Officials Suggest Significant Changes Needed for Apple's New Flagship Store Proposal

Last month, Apple submitted plans to relocate its flagship San Francisco retail store three blocks north, putting the new store directly on Union Square, the heart of the city's high-end shopping district. 

Despite initial praise for the project from city officials, Apple's proposal rapidly drew criticism for a number of its features, including an 80-foot-long blank wall along Stockton Street and the apparent removal of a sculptural fountain currently located at the entrance stairway to a public plaza. 

The San Francisco Chronicle now reports that the city's Planning Department has issued its preliminary project assessment (PDF) on Apple's proposal, indicating that it would like to see a number of changes to the project.

 There's too much glass on Post Street and too much metal on Stockton. The plaza that would accompany it needs a friendlier entrance. Planners also want the project to include a circular bronze fountain by Ruth Asawa that is the centerpiece of the plaza now on the block. 

Despite all this, the city's top planner said Thursday that he sees no reason Apple can't build a modernistic metal-and-glass box within the historic setting of the Union Square retail district.

The city's planners object to the uniform wall of glass along the store's main frontage on Post Street, suggesting that Apple should do more to break up the wall by including colors or textures or vertical design elements. The planners also suggest possibilities for improving the blank Stockton Street frontage, including adding windows or pulling back the storefront to allow for landscaping and perhaps public seating areas...

Source: Mac Rumours



Apple to Relocate Flagship San Francisco Retail Store to Union Square

Apple's San Francisco flagship retail store has been a particularly high-profile location for the company since it opened nine years ago, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Apple has submitted plans to move the store to a new location three blocks away. The new location at Stockton and Post streets will be directly adjacent to Union Square, the focal point of San Francisco's high-end shopping district.

Apple says that the new location will increase its staff from the current 350 to 400 at the new location, but no timeline for construction and the move has been announced. 

The current flagship store at 1 Stockton Street is located directly adjacent to an entrance for a subway station serving both San Francisco's Muni Metro and the broader BART rail system. The new location is several blocks from the main Market Street transit corridor, but remains well served by transit and city officials hope that the new location will help draw more customers into the Union Square shopping district. San Francisco is also in the early stages of work on a new Central Subway line that will include a station directly at Union Square. 

Source: Mac Rumours