In pictures: 30 years of the Apple Mac

Apple's iconic Macintosh - or Mac - celebrates its 30th birthday today. The first ever Mac began a revolution in personal computing.

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Apple to refund US parents over 'pay to play' games

Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers whose children made in-app purchases without their consent, the US Federal Trade Commission announced.

Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will also be required to change its billing practices to make sure it has obtained "express, informed consent from consumers" before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.

The Apple logo on a store.
Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers following the complaint Credit: PA Wire

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the complaint alleges that Apple did not inform account holders that entering their password would open a 15-minute window during which unlimited charges could be made with no further action by the account holder.

In-app purchases also face criticism in the UK from consumers who say their children have run up huge bills without their knowledge.

Read our guide on how to turn off in-app purchases on your iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Android devices

Apple and Google remove plastic surgery games

Two plastic surgery games that were aimed at children and asked the user to make a character "slim and beautiful" have been removed by Apple and Google after outrage on Twitter.

The character that features in "Plastic Surgery for Barbie".

Read: Google Play plastic surgery app aimed at girls criticised

Google Play advertised a game called "Plastic Surgery" that asked users to "return cute Barbara's looks", while the app on iTunes featured a character who "had so much extra weight that no diet can help her."

The games were criticised by many tweeters, who said the apps were "gross", "disgusting" and a "disgrace."

"Plastic Surgery for Barbie", which was available to download on iTunes, was a free game that encouraged children aged nine or over to perform liposuction.

Read: Twitter outrage over plastic surgery iTunes app


Google Play plastic surgery app aimed at girls criticised

A Google Play plastic surgery game that asks users to help with an operation on a character to "return cute Barbara's looks" has been criticised online amid outrage over a similar app on iTunes.

The plastic surgery game is on Google Play. Credit: Google Play

The description of the game, which is aimed at those aged seven or over, says: "Barbara likes to eat a lot of burgers and chocolates and...she found out that she looks ugly."

"Today [the] plastic surgeon is going to make operation [sic] on her body and face in order to return cute Barbara's look. She is afraid of all of this, but I know you will check that everything is over normally," it adds.

One reviewer said the game was "horrible" and a "disgrace", while Alice Evans tweeted: "Friends of my daughters are already worrying about weight at 5. They don't need this."

A Google spokesperson said: "We don't comment on individual apps but we will remove those that breach our guidelines."

Apple strikes iPhone deal with China Mobile

Apple has labelled China as "an extremely important market".
Apple has labelled China as "an extremely important market". Credit: Matt Grayson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

US computer giant Apple claims it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier.

The deal could significantly boost sales of the iPhone in China.

Demand for iPhones, once hugely popular in China, have slumped in the country as lower-priced rival smartphones from Samsung and Chinese companies entered the market.

The iPhone 5s and 5c will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobil stores next month, and customers can register for phones starting on Christmas Day.

Financial details of the proposed agreement have yet to be removed.

Click here to read more Apple-related news.


Surprise Beyonce album is fastest ever seller on iTunes

Beyonce's latest album has become the fastest ever seller on iTunes with more than 800,000 downloads in its first three days, after its surprise release.

Read more: Beyonce releases surprise new album

Beyonce's new album has become the fastest ever seller on iTunes.
Beyonce's new album has become the fastest ever seller on iTunes. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The self-titled album, the US superstar's fifth, was released out of the blue on Friday and includes 14 songs, 17 videos, and collaborations with husband Jay Z, Drake and Frank Ocean.

An Apple spokeswoman said the iTunes Store sold 828,773 albums in three days.

Governments must 'restore trust in internet'

Western governments need to restore public trust in the internet following revelations of online surveillance made by former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden, according to Microsoft.

The technology company's vice president Brad Smith said:

We obviously all want to live in a secure world but we all want to live in a world as well where security is balanced with personal freedom and privacy.

We recognise that information technology is a powerful tool for individuals but people won't use technology they don't trust. In our view governments have put that trust at risk. Governments need to help restore it.

– Brad Smith

Google: Government snooping 'undermines' web safety

Google says that intelligence gathering techniques used by the US and other governments are putting web users' online security at risk.

Google is one of of eight companies who have written to the US about surveillance. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/

The online giant's senior vice president Ken Walker said: "We have invested so much in encryption and the fight for transparency around government requests for information.

"That's undermined when you have wholesale collection of data done in secret without independent oversight by many governments around the world," Walker told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

More: US tech giants 'call for regulation of online snooping'

US tech giants 'call for regulation of online snooping'

Eight of the world's largest technology firms are to publish an open letter to US President Barack Obama today calling for greater regulation of online data collection by intelligence agencies, the Guardian reports.

The US National Security Agency has been accused on mass indiscriminate data collection
The US National Security Agency has been accused on mass indiscriminate data collection

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL have all thrown their weight behind a package of reforms being debated in Congress.

They warn that the ongoing disclosures by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden risk undermining public "trust in the internet," the Guardian reports.

"The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual – rights that are enshrined in our constitution,” the letter reportedly says.

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