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April 2, 2013

Technology News Briefs — April 2, 2013

Apple CEO Apologizes to China

Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology to the company’s Chinese customers for its iPhone warranty and repair policies in that country.

The apology letter comes after the iPhone maker was repeatedly criticized in recent weeks by Chinese media outlets that are under the control of the government.

The letter, which was written in Chinese, indicated the company had “received a lot of feedback” in the past few weeks about its policies.

“Profound reflection” on that feedback caused Apple to make four changes to the company’s policies.

“We are aware that a lack of external communication in this process has lead to the speculation that Apple is arrogant, does not care or does not attach importance to consumer feedback,” reads an excerpt of the letter translated via Google Translate. “We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers.”

Apple’s repair policy for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets will now provide “concise and clear” language about the policy on its website, improve supervision and training of Apple authorized service providers and make it easier for customers to contact Apple with feedback.

Google Privacy Director Steps Down

Google privacy director for product and engineering Alma Whitten is reportedly retiring after a decade with the search engine giant, three of which were spent in her current role.

Whitten handled privacy for Google during the Street View scandal, which is costing the firm $7 million in fines.

Google infrastructure engineer Lawrence You, an eight-year veteran is to replace London-based Whitten. You, who works from Google’s Mountain View headquarters, will have the headache of dealing with Google Glass’ privacy issues.

In a statement, a Google spokesman said: “During her 10 years at Google, Alma has done so much to improve our products and protect our users. The privacy and security teams, and everyone else at Google, will continue this hard work to ensure that our users’ data is kept safe and secure.”

Smartphone On Way for Amazon?

Amazon has hired the former general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer platform in an apparent bid to launch own Smarphone.

Charlie Kindel has been hired by Amazon as the director of an undisclosed project, according to GeekWire.

“I’m building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon. I’m hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers,” Kindel wrote on his LinkedIn profile. The profile also indicates his new position has made him the director of “something secret.”

Kindel left Microsoft after 21 years to launch his own start-up, BizLogr, in 2011 with technical co-founder, Stefan Negritoiu. The company created a calendar app — MileLogr — that creates mileage logs.

Kindel has stepped down as BizLogr CEO, although he will remain an owner.

 

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