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Apple voices support for Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) bill

Apple Pride
Continuing its efforts in supporting various equal rights campaigns in recent years,  Apple has voiced its support for a new equal rights bill in Houston through a statement issued by the Human Rights Campaign organization. Business Houston Journal reports that the organization issued the statement below on Apple’s behalf in support of the bill known as Proposition 1, or Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), ahead of voting on the bill ending October 30.


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Find My Phone tracks stolen car with 5yo child inside it, allowing police to intercept

A stolen SUV with a five-year-old boy in it was successfully intercepted by police in northwest Houston last night after the child’s father used the Find My Phone feature on his iPad to track an iPhone in the car.

The father had left his son in the car while he ran into a store, when it was stolen.

“The father had an iPad that he’d taken in with him and he utilized that iPad with the iPhone that was in the car and was able to track it,” said Lt. Wayne Schultz with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. “And the information was provided from our deputies to our dispatch, that was able to be communicated through the Harris County Sheriff’s Office dispatch also and they were able to get information out to the troops in the field to where we could disseminate information in almost a real-time environment to put it out to guys who were looking for the vehicle with the child in it.”

Police stopped the SUV 15 minutes later and re-united the child, who was unharmed, with his father. The suspect was arrested.

While we might raise an eyebrow at leaving a  5yo child in a car on his own, credit has to be given for having the presence of mind in such circumstances to use Find My Phone in such stressful circumstances.

Apple’s next iPad will be available on March 16th, additional launch event planned


We’ve been told by an Apple Store source who has been reliable in the past that preparations are being made for a big Apple Store event which will culminate on Friday, March 16th.  Naturally, this points to an iPad 3 launch on the Friday just nine days after tomorrow’s announcement.  We’ve previously noted that an Apple Store in London at the world famous Harrod’s will open on that date as well as a new Store in Houston, Texas.

Speaking of Texas, Apple will NOT be putting up a temporary store at SXSW in Austin this year according to the The Austin American-Statesman.  Last year, Apple built a temporary Store at the event that coincided with the launch of the iPad 2.

Last year, Apple’s then-CEO, Steve Jobs, announced the release of the iPad 2 on March 2. The pop-up store opened at the start of the SXSW Interactive Festival on March 11, 2011. The store, at the Scarbroughs building on Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, sold the tablet, as well as accessories, during the festival.

The show runs from March 9-13 this year.

Yesterday, two simultaneous reports came out stating the name of Apple’s new product would be the ‘iPad HD’ and recently more and (iM)ore evidence points to an LTE version being announced. Today, Verizon began teasing a “Something is Coming” campaign.

Interestingly, we were told that there would be a subsequent launch event a week later but he had no further information on the the subject matter.  This could be a separate Apple product (AppleTV?) or perhaps additional International launches of the iPad.

We’ll have live coverage of tomorrow’s event as it unfolds.


New Apple Stores coming to London’s Harrod’s, Italy’s Turin, Sweden’s Stockholm, US’s Portland and Houston

Having successfully reset the center of Amsterdam with the beautiful Hirsch store—the company’s first in the Netherlands, while gearing to launch a landmark outlet in London’s world-famous Harrods department store by mid-March (quite possibly coinciding with iPad 3 availability), Apple is ready to open new retail outlets in the United States and overseas. Per the latest retail chatter, Apple now plans to build four new stores, including an outlet in Houston’s Highland Village Shopping center at Westheimer and Drexel, and a spectacular store at the old Saks space in downtown Portland, Ore.

A retail application from an unnamed company that Portland is reviewing describes a block-long glass storefront with a 10-foot deep plaza in front in Saks Fifth Avenue at the Pioneer Place shopping mall.

Likely replacing the existing Apple store building’s basement, reports the development plan calls for a “single story building and outdoor plaza area… fully glazed with clear glass.” The report also mentioned “bead blasted, matte finish stainless steel panels,” another tell-tale sign of an Apple store.

A Google Maps view on the right, courtesy of ifoAppleStore, outlines the proposed area for the store in yellow. Plaza steps are planned and the entire store is slated at 165 feet wide with 22 glass panels. Downloadable PDFs offer a glimpse into the project description and drawings and the ground-floor plan. The design review of the proposed store is due March 15 at 1:30 p.m.

More information on other upcoming outlets, including Italy’s “most important store,” are after the break.

Black curtains hiding the glass front of Apple’s upcoming store in Houston’s Highland Village Shopping center at Westheimer and Drexel. Image credit:


Sony Music jacks price of Whitney Houston music immediately following her death

Cover of "Ultimate Collection"

Cover of Ultimate Collection

The Guardian reported that Sony Music, upon hearing of the death of its recording artist Whitney Houston, lifted the price of her album to reap extra money.

The music giant is understood to have lifted the wholesale price of Houston’s greatest hits album, The Ultimate Collection, at about 4am California time on Sunday. This meant that the iTunes retail price of the album automatically increased from £4.99 to £7.99.

Houston’s The Ultimate Collection, originally released in 1997, was the second top-selling album on iTunes on Monday morning. Apple returned the album to its original price late on Sunday.

What can you say to that?