February 5, 2015 Last Updated 1:37 pm

NYT updates iOS apps, adding iPhone 6 support to mobile app; Beats said to be added to iTunes

Major U.S. health insurance company, Anthem Inc., has experience a massive data breach – as many as 80 million customers may have had their medical information compromised

The pace of app updates due to iOS 8 has slowed considerably, a sign that while many developers struggled to work out bugs introduced with the new mobile operating system, the issues were not as severe as with the introduction of iOS 7. In fact, most recent media app updates have been released to comply with Apple’s 64-bit mandate.

NYT-iPhone-2-2015-updateThe New York Times updated both its iPhone and iPad apps yesterday. While NYTimes for iPad strictly for bug fixes, the paper’s iPhone app received an update that assists in video content discovery. The update also fixes a bug that was effecting iPhone 6 users.

Amazon, which has been going through its portfolio of apps and updating them to add 64-bit support, updated its Amazon Music app yesterday. A could of early reviews following the update suggest there may be crash issues with the update, however. (I did not find this to be the case, so it may be a corrupted download issue for these users, or they are on an older version of iOS.)

Speaking of music apps: rumors are swirling that Apple will be integrating the Beats Music streaming app into iTunes. This makes sense as the iTunes Radio feature is not proving very popular.

The problem is that Apple is simply not very good at discovery. In its quest to make things as simple for users as possible, it often simplifies things down to the point where the user is completely reliant on a perfect keyword search.

I’m a Beats subscriber, and while the system isn’t perfect, it is pretty close.

Where integrating Beats with iTunes will be great is in circumstances where the streaming part of the app does not offer content that the listener already owns, and has added into their iTunes app.

An example of this is when I added several out-of-print CDs (and a couple digitized LPs) into iTunes from a rather obscure Belgian band. Beats offers only one album, and other streaming services none at all. With Beats integrated into iTunes I could pull up all the band’s music with a couple of taps. (Don’t ask who the band is, you’ve never heard of them – unless you like bassoonists in your band.)

Fox News… honestly, that may all that need be said, simply Fox News.

The cable news channel could not resist, and posted the ISIS video of the burning of the Jordanian pilot. They made excuses – “We feel you need to see it,” they said – but it was typical tabloid journalism.

It may have been a despicable act, but few politicians, especially in the GOP, dare call out the network – after all, the Presidential election is already in full swing (a mere 21 months before the actual election). Murdoch has already influenced the election with his attacks on Mitt Romney, so few potential candidates dare call out the king maker.

The U.S. health insurance company, Anthem Inc., has reported a customer data breach. The cyber attack at the country’s second largest health insurer may effect up to 80 million patients.

“Safeguarding your personal, financial and medical information is one of our top priorities, and because of that, we have state-of-the-art information security systems to protect your data. However, despite our efforts, Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” Joseph R. Swedish
President and CEO Anthem, Inc. wrote in an online notice to customers.

“These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.”

While no credit card information was said to be compromised, the combination of information obtained could prove particularly useful to the hackers.

“Anthem will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed. We will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind. We have created a dedicated website – www.AnthemFacts.com – where members can access information such as frequent questions and answers,” Swedish said.

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