Apple kicks Google Maps off iPhone builds in Facebook functions

Apple kicks Google Maps off iPhone, builds in Facebook functions SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is kicking an important Google application off its iPhone and buddying up with Facebook rather than Google’s social network, as it distances itself from a bitter rival in the phone arena.Google’s Maps application has resided on the iPhone since Apple launched the very first version of the phone in 2007. It’s one of the core apps on the phone, and can’t be deleted by the user.But on Monday, Apple executives said Google Maps will be replaced by an Apple-developed app in iOS 6, the new operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. It’s set to be released late this year.Apple and Google are locked in a fight over the attention of hundreds of millions of phone users, and the advertising opportunities that come with owning a mapping application.Smartphones from companies like Samsung and Google’s own Motorola division are the chief alternatives to the iPhone, and Apple has been suing those manufacturers in court, accusing them of ripping off the iPhone’s ground-breaking features.Apple also said it’s building Facebook into iOS 6, snubbing the Google Plus social network. Users will be able to update their Facebook status by talking to their phones, and “like” movies and apps in Apple’s iTunes store, Apple executive Scott Forstall said.The announcements were part of the keynote presentation that kicked off Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.Apple presented new features in both phone and Mac software, plus updated laptops. But investors were mildly disappointed, as they expected more substantive news, like a hint of Apple’s ambition to get into making TVs. Analysts had speculated that Apple would at least update the software on the Apple TV, a small box that connects a TV set to iTunes for movie downloads, as a prelude to perhaps launching a fully integrated TV set.Apple shares closed down $9.15, or 1.6 per cent, at $571.17.Apple updates its iOS software every year, to coincide with the launch of a new iPhone.Among other updates in iOS 6, Apple’s voice-command application Siri will add a host of new languages, including Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese, Forstall said. “She” will also be able to launch applications and movies, and will run on iPads for the first time.Apple also said the new version of its Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, will go on sale next month for $20. The update brings features from Apple’s phone and tablet software, like the iMessage texting application, to the Mac.Microsoft Corp., Apple’s competitor when it comes to computer software, is also making Windows more like its phone software, with the release of Windows 8 later this year. A key difference is that Microsoft is betting that PCs will have touch screens, while Apple is betting they won’t.Mountain Lion will also bring dictation to Macs. Users will be able to input text by talking to the computer, in any program. This is already a feature of Microsoft Corp.’s competing Windows software.On the hardware side, Apple showed off a laptop with a super-high resolution “Retina” display, setting a new standard for screen sharpness.The new MacBook Pro will have a 15-inch screen and four times the resolution of previous models, Apple executive Phil Schiller said.Apple already uses “Retina” displays — with individual pixels too small to be distinguished by the naked eye — in its latest iPhones and iPads.On the phones and tablets, the Retina display is a standard feature. On the MacBook, it’s an expensive upgrade. The new MacBook will cost $2199 and up, $400 more than the non-Retina MacBook with the same-sized screen.The new MacBook borrows features from the ultra-slim MacBook Air. It’s only slightly thicker, and like the Air, lacks a DVD drive. Instead of a spinning hard drive, it uses flash memory for storage. In the most radical departure from the last decades of PC design, it lacks an Ethernet port. Those who don’t want to use Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet will have to buy an adapter that goes into the MacBook’s “Thunderbolt” port.Apple’s other MacBooks are being updated with the latest processors from Intel Corp. Apple will still sell a more traditional 15-inch MacBook Pro, with a standard display.___Peter Svensson contributed from New York. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 11, 2012 5:25 pm MDT read more

Feds pipe corrosion led to Santa Barbara coast oil spill

by Brian Melley, The Associated Press Posted Feb 17, 2016 5:52 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 18, 2016 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Feds: pipe corrosion led to Santa Barbara coast oil spill LOS ANGELES, Calif. – External corrosion on an oil pipeline was the root cause of a leak that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast in May, federal regulators reported Wednesday.The spill occurred after pumps on the Plains All American Pipeline were shut down and restarted, sending a larger volume of oil surging through the 2-foot-wide pipe at higher pressure, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said in preliminary findings. After the leak occurred, however, and plunging pressure in the pipeline triggered an alarm, it wasn’t shut down for more than 30 minutes.Plains wouldn’t comment on the report because of ongoing investigations of the spill, a spokeswoman said. Local, state and federal prosecutors are probing the spill and regulators could issue fines against the Texas-based company.Reports of corrosion of the underground pipe and pump problems were previously disclosed, but regulators hadn’t labeled corrosion as the root cause of the leak, pinpointed the precise moment the pipe failed or provided a timeline of how long it took to shut down the pipe.The spill two weeks before the popular Memorial Day weekend forced the state to close popular beaches as the oil fouled a pristine stretch of coastline and an oil sheen spread over miles of the Pacific Ocean. More than 300 dead animals, including pelicans and sea lions, were recovered after the spill that sent tar balls drifting more than 100 miles away to Los Angeles beaches.The report said the leak in Line 901 happened after a pump unintentionally shut down at the pumping station on nearby Line 903 while a technician was removing a non-working pump.Pressure increased in Line 901 and its pump was stopped remotely from the company’s control room in Midland, Texas.The leak happened just before 11 a.m., about two-to-three minutes after the pump was restarted. Pressure jumped to 721 pounds per square inch — from the 677 psi it had been operating at before the shutdown.About two minutes later, pressure dropped below 200 psi and a low-pressure alarm was triggered in the control room. An oil company that wanted to pump oil through the pipeline reported to the controller that there wasn’t enough pressure in pipeline to deliver its product.The pump on Line 903 exceeded a high temperature limit and then shutdown. The controller tried to restart it several times, but didn’t shut off the pump on Line 901 until about 11:30 a.m.A pipeline leak monitoring system had been turned off at the control centre, the report said, though it noted that was still under investigation.Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert, said there could be a good reason for it being off, but it’s potentially significant.“‘Turned off’ is the magic word,” Kuprewicz said. “Why this was turned off would be a valid question.”The agency said it would provide more details when it issues a final report this spring.Kuprewicz said it struck him that the pipe failed when it was only pumping at about 50 per cent of its maximum operating pressure. That indicated to him that there were problems on the pipeline.A chart in the report showed corrosion anomalies grew and intensified between surveys in 2007, 2012 and the last tests just weeks before the leak.Robert Bea, an engineering professor at University of California, Berkeley, questioned how Plains could operate in a sensitive environmental area — through scenic hills and near the beautiful coast — with “severely corroded” pipeline.“I think the answer to this question will show that the root causes of this accident are firmly rooted in organizational malfunctions that resulted in underestimates of the likelihoods and consequences of a breach in Line 901,” Bea wrote in an email.The report also noted that the spill, originally estimated at up to 100,000 gallons, had dumped 142,800 gallons. read more