Apple Confirms NFC Locked Down in iPhone 6

Tim CookIt was one of the big questions left unanswered by Apple’s keynote. Introducing an NFC payments option is fantastic, but will that NFC radio be available for other uses, like “tap & share” or “tap & pair”?

The answer it would seem is “no”, at least for now. Following launch, the NFC radio in the iPhone 6 will only be made available to Apple Pay. This also means that competing services like Google Wallet will likely be blocked, but it’s still unclear if recently re-branded Softcard (former ISIS Wallet) will be allowed on the iPhone. Softcard was introduced by the carriers, and there’s no doubt they’re looking to leverage their own payment system on what’s sure to be one of the most popular phones of the year.

NFC is a fantastically versatile little radio capable of a variety of functions. On Windows Phone and Android it can be used to initiate file sharing between devices, control settings on the phone (I use stickers to toggle things like WiFi and Drive Modes), and it can take the place of RFID enabled cards in some cities which use the technology for public transit.

As Apple is just entering the mobile payment market, it’s no surprise they’d want to restrict access to the radio used. Security will be key in encouraging customers to use and trust this new service. Still, hopefully we see a little more flexibility out of Apple’s conservative hardware policies, giving iPhone owners more access to all of the fantastic accessories and services which already utilize this hardware.

(Via Cult of Mac)

Local Motors Strati is the World’s First 3D Printed Car

local motors Strati 3d printed electric car frontYou wouldn’t download a car would you?

Well if you have an industrial grade 3D printer you might be able to someday download the chassis. Based out of Arizona, Local Motors is introducing the world to Strati, a car built out of a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic. Strati is a two seater electric coupe with a top speed of 40 mph and a range of around 120 miles.

local motors Strati 3d printed electric car rear

While the motor, wiring, and windscreens are all made using conventional means, the car is built out of a ridiculously small number of individual parts thanks to the printing process. Local Motors expects to sell Strati for $18,000 to $30,000 depending on additional features and accessories.

This could represent a manufacturing breakthrough. If Strati finds any small amount of success, 3D printing could drastically lower the bar for other manufacturers looking to produce commuter vehicles. You can find more info on Local Motors site, and you can see their Strati time-lapse teaser video below.

Tesla Wins in Massachusetts Supreme Court Direct Sales Lawsuit

model-s-blue-front2_960x640It’s been a long fight for Tesla in MA, but yesterday the state’s highest court thew out the lawsuit which would have blocked Tesla from selling electric vehicles directly to consumers.

The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association sued Tesla citing the state’s franchise law, but the court ruled that Tesla was not violating the spirit of that law. The franchise law was written to protect franchise owners from direct and unfair competition against a parent company, a relationship which does not exist for Tesla. Justice Margot Botsford wrote:

The law “was intended and understood only to prohibit manufacturer-owned dealerships when, unlike Tesla, the manufacturer already had an affiliated dealer or dealers in Massachusetts”.

“Contrary to the plaintiffs’ assertion,” she added, “the type of competitive injury they describe between unaffiliated entities is not within the statute’s area of concern.”

Tesla is current fighting similar statutes in several other states including Texas, Arizona, Maryland, and recently an ugly public fight in New Jersey. If the state laws there are similar to MA’s, then this case might set the stage for Tesla’s future legal strategy.

 

LTE Enabled NVIDIA Shield Tablet Available for Pre-Order at $399

NVIDIA SHIELD_Tablet_Cover_Front_Wide_Angle_LeftNVIDIA’s Shield is a handy little Nexus 7 competitor with solid gaming capabilities, and they’re now offering a 32GB version with LTE. Starting today, you can pre-order the Shield on AT&T for $399, and if you’re signing up a new two-year agreement, you will also receive a $100 credit towards the purchase.

It’s not a bad upgrade from the WiFi-only Shield as it doubles the on board storage and adds that LTE radio for only $100 more. For more info on Shield, or to commit your cash to receiving one when they ship, head on over to NVIDIA’s site. Pre-orders are expected to ship by the end of the month, and you can find more info on AT&T’s promotion from their press release.

ctia 2014 microsoft nokia lumia 1520 green 830 730 somegadgetguy

CTIA 2014 First Look – Nokia Lumia 830, Lumia 730, and Green Lumia 1520

After being announced at IFA, Nokia dropped a pair of new mid-ranger Windows Phones. Let’s take a quick look at the Lumia 730 and Lumia 830. Plus I finally got to see the Hulk green Lumia 1520 in the flesh!

Review: Nokia Lumia 635 – An incredible bang for buck!

ctia 2014 otterbox defender iphone 6 alpha glass privacy somegadgetguy

CTIA 2014 – OtterBox iPhone 6 Cases and Alpha Glass Privacy Shield

OtterBox was on the CTIA showing off their new cases due to arrive soon after the launch of the iPhone 6. The Defender is getting an even more durable hard shell in an overall slimmer form factor, and they’ll be releasing a new privacy filter Alpha Glass screen protector.

How the #%@& do you remove an OtterBox Defender Case?

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