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Pop superstar Taylor Swift has officially signed a new record deal with Universal Music, which marks her first signing with a major label.

Before this, all of her music has been released on independent country label, Big Machine. She signed with the small recording company, which is an imprint of giant UMG, when she was only 14-years-old, and her deal has now expired.

At the age of 28, she will now release her music globally through Universal Music Group.

The news came after she uploaded a photo to Instagram of herself posing with Universal executives Lucian Grange and Monte Lipman.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My new home

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

One year one from the release of her triple-platinum album Reputation, Swift underwent talks with every major record group, and requested more financial and creative freedom from a potential new deal.

This is massive news for Taylor, as she will now own all of the music which she records, resulting in the singer earning more money through sales and album streams.

Universal have also agreed to repay their artists with any money made from Spotify streams.

This is not the first time Taylor has campaigned for streaming service rights for artists; in 2015 she played a large role in persuading Apple Music to change how they pay artists.

The singer wrote a now-iconic open letter to Apple requesting that artists, producers, and creatives are fairly paid for their work: 

"I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this."

Swift has now utterly changed the streaming game, with Universal now accepting her terms in the newly arranged deal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

"As part of my new contract with Universal Music Group, I asked that any sale of their Spotify shares result in a distribution of money to their artists," she wrote on Instagram.

"They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will be much better terms than paid out previously by other major labels."

"I see this as a sign that we are headed towards positive change for creators – a goal I'm never going to stop trying to help achieve."

"I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Scott Borchetta for believing in me as a 14-year-old and for guiding me through over a decade of work that I will always be so proud of."

"The best thing I've been lucky enough to receive is the dedication, trust and loyalty of the fans who have cared about the words and melodies I've written. My biggest goal moving forward is to make you proud."

Chairman and CEO of UMG Lucien Grainge spoke out to praise Swift for her work:

"Few artists in history approach Taylor Swift's combination of massive global hits and creative brilliance. She is so multi-talented, she can achieve anything. I have such enormous respect for Taylor, in particular for her use of her hard-earned influence to promote positive change.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

"Because of her commitment to her fellow artists, not only did she want to partner with a company that understood her creative vision and had the resources and expertise to execute globally on her behalf, she also sought a partner whose approach to artists was aligned with hers."

Lipman, founder and CEO of Republic Records, added: "Taylor has not only captured the imagination of an entire generation, but has also redefined the paradigm of the modern music industry."

Swift's latest album Reputation received unprecedented critical acclaim before becoming the biggest-selling album of 2017, selling around 1.3 MILLION albums in just one week.

Congrats Taylor, keep fighting for fair pay and artists' creative rights. You do you, queen.

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If you, like us, have taken multiple candid (or posed) shots of your cleavage when your bosom looked particularly glorious, you might want to perform a little search on your iPhone.

Why? Well, because they can all be found in an album you likely didn't know existed called 'brassiere'.

So, according to Techspot, the issue came to the fore yesterday when Twitter users began speculating over whether Apple purposely saves cleavage shots in a folder within the photograph function.

And before we all panic, Techspot are here to tell the public that that is not the case, but that Apple simply uses image recognition AI which allows the phone to identify certain images, not exclusively brassiere-related ones.

In fact, image recognition AI allows the phone to search and identify more than 4,000 keywords within the photo function, and the search only registers on the local device as opposed to across the Apple servers.

So, put simply, it's not as creepy as it first sounded, but it is worth noting that you cannot turn the image recognition feature off.

BRB, gotta check out our slicker snaps…

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Digital tech behemoth Apple made all of our Christmas wishlists a few hundred euro more expensive back in 2005 with the release of the iPod Nano. 

Eveyone in school was dying to get their hands on one and choosing the perfect colour was crucial. 

Then the iPod Shuffle made it's debut, and while the concept of never being able to choose a song still baffles us, we were besotted none the less. 

'Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,' an Apple spokesperson told The Verge

The news come after the 2014 discontinuation of the classic, original iPod. 

Our teenage, My Chemical Romance/Black Eyed Peas loving hearts bleed. 

Image result for ipod gif

More than 400 million iPods have been sold since 2001. 

There is a certain poignant nostaglgia attached to these devices, and we'll be getting ours out and listening to our cringey secondary school playlists on loop.  

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Gone are the days of having to press the '#' key to unlock your Nokia brick phone.

It seems like we're heading into the future faster than ever, as Apple is looking into facial recognition technology for security purposes.

So, instead of using a password or Touch ID fingerprint scanner, we'll soon be able to unlock our phones with our faces.

How high tech.

Image result for facial recognition

Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to improve its security systems, and it seems facial recognition is the way to go.

If it perfects the structure, the publication claims that you will then be able to log in and out of apps, as well as authenticate payments via a scan of your face.

It will be powered by a new 3D sensor, as well as eye scanning technology.

Image result for facial recognition technology apple

However, Bloomberg notes that it will not be like the Samsung eye scan which was able to be tricked with a photocopy of a person's eyes.

We're just wondering if the facial scan will still recognise us at 7am on a Sunday morning after a night on the town…

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iPhone users of Ireland are loving the new Irish accent option for Apple's Siri.

In order to change the accent, you must go to settings > Siri > language, and change to English (Ireland).

So, who is this lovely cailín?

Well, rumour has it the voice belongs to none other than Irish television and radio broadcaster, Eileen Dunne. 

Just to be sure, we thought we'd ask: 

Unfortunately, it looks likes this mystery woman isn't giving anything away, but she seems happy enough either way: 

You and us both.

We reckon Siri and the people of Ireland are going to get on just fine.

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Today, Apple released security updates for all its most popular devices, and it would be a pretty good idea to go update them ASAP.

While Apple releases updates to its operating systems with small fixes on the regular, the latest update might be a little more important.

Wired discovered that each operating system’s fixes in the latest update makes it harder for hackers to “execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges,” meaning that it will provide greater protection from hackers trying to take control of certain operating systems. 

“It can add files, delete files, or execute any actions,” JP Taggart, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes told Wired

“Want to record conversations and forward them to someone else? It can do that. Want to instal additional malicious software? It can do that."

"Want to uninstall programmes on the affected phone? It can do that. Want to hide these actions, programmes and files from the user? It can do that too.”

The operating updates are not exclusive to the iPhone, but also the iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Apple computers. 

The new update covers 13 security loopholes in the Apple software, including new protection to prevent malicious web pop-ups.

We're heading to general settings RIGHT NOW. 

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If there's one thing millennials really, really care about, it's – wait for it – emojis.

And while we all know no message is complete without one, we didn't realise the extent of our generation's passion for them until Apple had the audacity to remove the original peach emoji.

In a move which had everyone up in arms recently, the tech giant released a batch of redesigned emojis for its iOS 10.2 software and ultimately forced us to use a peach emoji which looked like a peach… and not a big, curvy bum.

Like, some people literally have no chill.

Taking to social media to demand the return of the original, members of the public paid tribute to the emoji which did much to strengthen our skills in the sexting department… and Apple actually listened!

The global corporation released a new beta version of iOS 10.2 to developers on Monday, and we can confirm that the peach emoji is officially back.

It's big, it's round and it looks like the bum we all know and love.

And all is right with the world.

 

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Ah… rich kids. There's nothing like them, huh?

From lavish holidays to customised cars that cost more than houses, you'd have to win the lotto to keep up with them.

But now, it looks like an app is giving them inspiration of how to be more flashy… and we just can't deal.

Aptly named Rich Kids, the €1012-a-month app is exclusively for teens and young adults who like to share their purchases and boast about it online.

The photo-sharing app is inspired by the Instagram account of the same name and helps its users "discover and be inspired by the real rich and famous."

VOM.

However, apparently Apple vommed as well because according to The Memo, they banned it for being "inapproprate."

The creators of Rich Kids released a statement saying they weren't breaking any of Apple's rules, but the tech company basically just wanted nothing to do with them.

Now, we all know that a little gloat on Instagram is common practice, but putting up a paywall? Nah, don't think so.

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As excitement builds for the release of Apple’s newest emojis, iPhone users everywhere have taken to Twitter to mourn the loss of one of the most misused symbols of our time.

While brunch lovers around the world celebrate the introduction of the bacon and avocado symbols, sexters have denounced alterations made to their beloved peach emoji.

Having long been the focus of not so subtle flirting, Apple’s highly anticipated upgrade will strip the peach emoji of its bum like exterior and swap it for an image which looks far more like the piece of fruit it is supposed to represent.

In defence of the current peach emoji, social media users are refusing to upgrade their phones, have launched a “SaveThePeachButt” tag and are even threating to sue the tech giant behind the move.  

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, the official launch date of iOS 10.2 has yet to be released, so those intent on sending peach butts to potential love interests still have time to do so.

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A 24,500 square metre data centre which will help run online services including the iTunes store, App store and Siri has been granted planning permission in Galway by An Bord Pleanála.

The establishment of the data centre, which is set to cost approximately €850 million, signals very welcome news for the Republic as it beat out 18 other countries also vying for the project.

Despite flooding fears, energy usage, environmental and climate change impact and wildlife issues being raised in objection, An Bord Pleanála this week ruled in favour of the project.

While acknowledging concerns, the board insisted that the centre's establishment would not infringe on the surrounding community.
 
"It is considered that the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would not have an unacceptable visual impact, would not exacerbate risk of flooding in the vicinity, would not result in a risk of pollution, would not be prejudicial to public health, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience, and would not have detrimental environmental impacts," they concluded.

The centre, which will be housed on a 197-hectare site near Athenry owned by State forestry company Coillte, will be comprised of large halls with an uninterrupted electricity supply which store data from smartphones, tablets and computers including images, video and documents.

Commenting on the landmark decision, local TD Ciaran Cannon suggested that Apple's decision to set up in Galway may act as a catalyst for other leading corporations.

"It is significant in terms of what it says to the world," he said.

"This is a development that needs high quality broadband, high quality power supply and this local economy has shown it can deliver." he added.

"It’s a very strong endorsement for the whole region and this is the beginning of what I hope will be a very significant ICT cluster."

According to the Irish Independent, 300 people are set to be employed during construction, while 150 will secure positions following the centre's establishment.

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Soon there will be no need for words at all as we’ll be able write in pure emoji.

Well, that’s how it seems anyway since 72 new emojis have been added to the emojipedia.

The flamingo dancers and the princess will finally have their happy endings with the new dancing man and prince additions.

You no longer have to be plain old sick as you can now choose a sneeze emoji or a green nauseated face.

You can subtly imply someone is telling porkies with a long-nosed Pinocchio or go all out with a full on facepalm.

And clearly taking note of the new universal love of brunch there’s pancakes, avocados, croissants and bacon.  Thank God for that!

According to the New York Times that's not all  Apple has planned for emoji lovers.

They have reported that the tech giant is adding a very special texting feature to their phones – an emoji button which will highlight all the “emojifiable” words in your messages and convert them to emoji for you.

So when you think a picture would do the job of a thousand words, your phone will find that picture for you.

Winning!

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We’d be the first to admit that we’d be lost without our phones, but between the scaldy battery life and the constant messages which insist we’re out of storage, that thing can REALLY get on our last nerve.

Thankfully, however, it looks like the good folk at Apple have finally wised-up and realised most of us would rather hang on to cherished snaps than scroll through the Stocks app. (Who'd have thought it?!)

Yep, those whizzkids over in the States are now allowing us to delete the default apps we never use!

But instead of taking credit for this welcome move at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference yesterday, the tech giant waited until savvy Apple-lovers noticed that the default apps could now be purchased on the App store.

That’s right, ladies, if you can purchase them on the App store that means you can delete them too!

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough good news, those tech superstars have also unveiled iOS10 which, among other things, offers users even more flexibility when it comes to its Messaging service.

From instantly replacing words with emojis to sending handwritten notes, this is the kind of tech wizardry we can definitely get on board with.

Check this out.

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