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News from around the community

Wednesday December 31

15:00
LifeBox for iPhone is strange and addictive

I'm not quite sure how to describe LifeBox (free until Mid-January). It's a bit like the infamous Pet Rock of years ago or the more recent Tamagotchi. It just sits there, but unlike the Pet Rock, little stories unfold over time in tiny animated boxes...

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14:00
Class action lawsuit filed against Apple over large...

Apple is facing a newly-filed class action lawsuit which alleges the company doesn't properly warn customers about the storage requirements of for iOS 8. The lawsuit -- filed by William Anderson of the Washington, D.C. based firm Cuneo, Gilbert, & La...

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13:07
New York City considering Apple Pay, Bitcoin as...


You might just be able to pay your parking tickets in New York City with Apple Pay in the new year.
In an effort to reboot an old and obtuse parking ticket payments system, the city of New York is investigating alternative forms of payment, including mobile transactions powered by services like Apple Pay and PayPal.
Per AppleInsider and MarketWatch, the city’s finance department is looking to upgrade its parking ticket platform, which currently handles some US$600 million annually from about 10 million issued tickets.

Potential replacements for the parking bureau’s current system include Apple Pay, PayPal and...

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13:00
Designer uses her nose and an Apple Trackpad to...

Designer Michelle Vandy had to get creative with her tools when she lost the use of her hands after developing a repetitive stress injury in her arms. In a profile by Core77, Vandy explains how she learned to draw and design using her nose and an App...

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11:40
Got a parking ticket in NYC? City looking at Apple...


New York City's Department of Finance recently submitted a Request for Information (RFI) (PDF) about “mobile solutions for payment” of parking tickets, listing Apple Pay, PayPal, and Bitcoin as potential options.
The city says it's only looking to find out more about what a mobile payment option might look like—its most recent document is not a request for proposals, so there's a possibility that transferring bitcoins into the NYC municipal coffers may never come to fruition. But if you've ever parked an inch too close to a broken-looking fire hydrant in that city, you may take delight in the idea of being able to pay the fine quickly from your phone. The city is also looking for a way to allow people to schedule parking ticket hearings via their phones.
Currently, parking violators can pay online, in person or by mail. MarketWatch, which first...

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11:24
Review: Skech’s Base and Skechbook join the early...


As 2014 comes to a close, there aren’t a lot of iPad Air 2-specific cases on the market, and some developers are already taking shortcuts — cutting extra holes in old iPad Air cases — just to get “iPad Air 1+2″ products out. So when new cases are supposedly tailored just for the iPad Air 2, I’m interested in seeing how well they actually fit and protect Apple’s latest tablet, even if their designs are otherwise highly familiar. That’s why Skech’s Base ($45) and Skechbook ($40) are here.
They’re both fabric folios with iPad Air 2-sized plastic hard shells inside. Offered in black, blue, or pink, Base has rounded corners and feels like waxed canvas, while the black-only Skechbook has boxy, hardcover book-like edges and is...

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10:52
What's Coming From Apple in 2015: Apple Watch,...

Thanks to the iPhone 6, the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite, and iOS 8, 2014 was a major year for Apple. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought new screen sizes and a radical redesign, while iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite introduced deep integration between Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems. The past year has seen an impressive display of innovation and new ideas, but upcoming product releases and rumors suggest that 2015 may be an even more monumental year for Apple. Along with the Apple Watch, which Apple has said will launch in early 2015, we will likely see major updates across the Mac lineup due to the availability of Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips. An Apple TV update has long been in the works and could see a 2015 debut, and as it has done every year, Apple will undoubtedly update its iPad and iPhone lineup, along with releasing new versions of iOS and OS X. As we...

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10:32
62% of US broadband households never back up their...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 62% of U.S. broadband households never back up their data to an online storage service, despite options available from companies such as Carbonite, Acronis, and Backblaze.
This finding reveals a huge addressable market for cloud-based storage in 2015, as consumer consumption of digital content is on the rise. Smartphone users in U.S. broadband households spend 18 minutes on average per session when using streaming music apps, which exceeds time spent on gaming, social media, or video apps.
read more

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10:32
62% of US broadband households never back up their...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 62% of U.S. broadband households never back up their data to an online storage service, despite options available from companies such as Carbonite, Acronis, and Backblaze.
This finding reveals a huge addressable market for cloud-based storage in 2015, as consumer consumption of digital content is on the rise. Smartphone users in U.S. broadband households spend 18 minutes on average per session when using streaming music apps, which exceeds time spent on gaming, social media, or video apps.
read more

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09:42
Apple hit with lawsuit over shrinking size of usable...

Just as one judge dismissed a class action case again Apple yesterday, today Siliconbeat reports that Apple will face a new class action case claiming iOS 8 takes up too much of the iPhone’s overall storage capacity. The case was filed in a Bay Area federal court this week and claims that iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of an iOS device’s storage depending on the model:
“We feel that there are a substantial number of Apple consumers that have been shortchanged, and we’ll be pursuing the claims vigorously,” said William Anderson, a lawyer at Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca, a Washington, D.C.-based law...

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09:42
Apple's 'Start Something New'...

Earlier this week, Apple debuted a new "Start Something New" campaign on its Japanese site, showcasing individuals using its latest products and creative apps to make art and capture photos. As of today, the company's new campaign has been expanded to several other countries, including the United States and many locations across Europe and Asia. The "Start Something New" micro site includes a gallery that features art made with Apple products like the iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iMac. A range of photography, painting, and sketching apps like Procreate, VSCO Cam, iDraw, ...

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09:36
Apple brings its “Start Something New.” page global...

Apple launched its Start Something New. campaign on its Japanese website 2 days ago and it looks to be propagating globally now in the run up to New Years Eve 2015. The page encourages Apple users to try out new products like Procreate, Brushes 3, Slow Shutter,  VSCOCam, Waterlogue and iDraw and highlights artists including Roz Hall, ...

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09:36
∞ Inside a Rolex Submariner

Few of us give a thought to the inside of a watch, whether you wear one or not. This video of the inner workings of a $10,000 Rolex Submariner shows how intricate and complicated the mechanisms are.

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09:18
9to5Toys Lunch Break: Belkin 30% off sitewide, ZAGG...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the brand new 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.
Today’s can’t miss deals:



...

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08:37
Despite declining sales, Samsung somehow beats Apple...

One of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s favorite terms to throw around during earnings calls and keynote presentations is “Customer Sat,” but the latest from the American Customer Satisfaction Index has Apple down compared to last year while Samsung continues to rise despite declining sales. 
Apple comes in on the index measuring Cellular Telephones at a score of 79, a -2.5% change from last year and just slightly above the average 78 score for all cell phones measured in the index.
While Samsung has been steadily reporting a drop in mobile profits as it restructures...

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08:32
Samsung edges out Apple in holiday customer...


Samsung just beat out Apple in terms of customer service this holiday season.
Per Engadget and Boy Genius Report, the latest stats from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which surveys 70,000 consumers every year, show Samsung slightly beating out Apple by two points with a satisfaction score of 81. Sure, it’s not a huge lead, but it’s a big jump for the company from last year’s score of 76. Apple, meanwhile, saw its score fall more than two points since last year. It’s always tough to read much into these numbers (was it the Galaxy S5 that helped, or just Android improvements?), but it’s still a decent win for Samsung. Don’t be surprised if Samsung ends up marketing the heck out of this...

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08:30
Daily Deals for December 31, 2014, Save Big With...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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08:16
Apple hit with class action suit over iOS 8 space...


If you were annoyed by how much space iOS 8 took up, you aren’t alone.
Per SiliconBeat, Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that it doesn’t inform users just how much storage its new operating system will eat up – and then prods them to buy more space through its iCloud service.
The case, filed in the Bay Area’s federal court on Tuesday, claims iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of the advertised storage capacity on Apple gadgets, but few users realize that when they make their purchases. Seeking damages and changes to Apple policies under California state law, plaintiffs hope to represent sweeping classes of users who bought Apple gadgets with iOS 8 already installed and users who upgraded to the latest version of the software.

“We feel...

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08:10
Rumor: Samsung fanless notebook hints at upcoming...


The 12-inch Retina Display MacBook Air may be fanless thanks to Samsung.
Per 9to5Mac and The Verge, Samsung has pre-announced the Ativ Book 9 ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show. Interestingly, this notebook features many of the technical specifications that have been rumored for the future 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. The announcement of the Ativ Book 9 validates that a fanless high-resolution ultrabook is indeed possible in the short term.
The Book 9 laptop features a 12.2 inch screen with a 2600×1600 resolution, implying a 250 PPI. At normal viewing distances, Apple could easily describe the display as ‘...

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07:56
Some iPhone 6 owners citing that cards can’t be...


This will need to get sorted out.
Especially if the only current resolution requires replacing the handset.
Per 9to5Mac, a bevy of users in the Apple Support Communities are reporting that they are unable to add cards back into Apple Pay after their phone has been restored – whether as a new phone or from a backup. According to reports there, Apple has been able to resolve the issue only by replacing the phone.

One user reported the following:
“I just left the Apple Store. They couldn’t diagnose the issue and we did a restore there in store and the problem persisted. The solution was to swap the hardware […]
I ended up going to the Apple Store and going to the genius bar. They proceeded to do all the thing I...

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07:46
Apple accounts for 51% of devices as Christmas gifts


These are the days of giving devices as gifts.
Specifically, Apple devices.
Per Flurry, 2014 turned into a banner year for Apple, its devices accounting for 51 percent of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their...

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07:45
Users Reporting with Apple Pay Problems After...

Several iPhone 6 owners on Apple support forums and in MacRumors forums are reporting an issue with Apple Pay after making changes to the their phones that automatically reset the Apple Pay service (via 9to5Mac). These activities include restoring a phone, logging out of iCloud and possibly removing a passcode from the device. Following such changes, Apple automatically removes the associated credit cards from Apple Pay as a security measure to protect a user's sensitive financial information in case of loss or theft of the phone. Users are then required to repeat the setup process and re-add their credit cards to the mobile payment service. It is during this restoration step, however,...

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07:44
The Big Apple may use Apple Pay for parking tickets

The city of New York’s finance department is looking into alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, PayPal and Bitcoin for the US$600 million in parking ticket revenue it collects annually by issuing up to 10 million tickets, reports "MarketWatch" (http://tinyurl.com/mvtlo34).
read more

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07:38
How to make an Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is my drink of choice. Happy New Year.∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:25
Apple Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Large iOS 8...

A new class action lawsuit was filed against Apple on Tuesday in a U.S. federal court, alleging the company's newest version of iOS doesn't properly inform its users just how much storage space it will occupy once downloaded. As reported by Siliconbeat, the lawsuit is claiming that iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of the overall storage capacity of an iOS device, but that fact isn't actively advertised when customers purchase a new Apple product, or go to download the new software update. The plaintiffs point to personal moments akin to sporting events or weddings where users are desperate for more storage as Apple preying on consumers for more profit. "Using these sharp business tactics, defendant gives less storage capacity than advertised, only to offer to sell that capacity in a desperate moment, e.g., when a consumer is trying to record or take...

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07:04
Bankrupt GT Advanced Tech wants to give key...

Former Apple supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, is asking a bankruptcy court for permission to give "executive bonuses" of up to $2 million to help motivate and retain "key" employees, according to AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com).
In October GT Advanced Tech, Apple’s partner in a sapphire production facility in Arizona, together with certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, GT), commenced voluntary cases under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire.
read more

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06:58
Judge dismisses proposed employee lawsuits against...

Citing a recent Supreme Court ruling, a federal court judge has dismissed a pair of proposed class action lawsuits against Apple by some retail employees, who argued the company's anti-theft policies incurred lost wages, reports AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com). Alsop's ruling hinges on a unanimous Supreme Court decision (PDF link) regarding a similar situation involving employee security checks and overtime pay.
read more

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06:56
Apple Faces New Class Action over False iDevice...

Floridians by the name of Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara have filed a class action against Apple for storage capacity misrepresentations and omissions relating to Apple's iOS 8. According to the filing, "iOS 8 uses an unexpectedly large percentage of the storage capacity on 8 GB and 16 GB iPhones, iPads and iPods." While this is an annoyance lawsuit, it's an industry practice that should end – and Apple should lead the way.

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06:30
iOS app developer gives parents the best Christmas...

iOS developer Joseph Riquelme gave his parents a folded note containing one of the best gifts ever -- their house. Riquelme shared a photo of the handwritten gift, which simply said "Your house is paid off. Merry Xmas."
In touching video posted to Yo...

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06:00
The Secret About Computers

I’ve written lot of articles about computers. But none mattered. You see, I could have summed it all up in one simple, easy to digest piece of information: There are little men and women running around inside your computer. They take bits of data, in Bushels of 8 bits (a byte) from one place to another, doing maths and even run inside network cables to bring information from their homeworld, tehGoogle. These little men fly through the air so fast to bring you wireless that you can’t even see them. They’re really nice and you forgot about them for Christmas. That’s ok, they’re so little, they ate a crumb of Santa’s cookies and were all sick for a day from the sugar. They thought you left it for them. Proof: this jigsaw puzzle hanging in my home office.

 
Happy New Year. Be safe. Be good. Put your Camera Roll on that breathalyzer app thing for the night so you don’t post...

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05:30
Tunity turns your iPhone into personal TV headphones

The Tunity app allows users to listen to muted TVs through their iPhones with or without headphones. Users will find a number of uses for the app but I can envision it working well when you are at a sports bar with a number of televisions tuned to a ...

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05:30
Tulnity turns your iPhone into personal TV headphones

The Tunity app allows users to listen to muted TVs through their iPhones with or without headphones. Users will find a number of uses for the app but I can envision it working well when you are at a sports bar with a number of televisions tuned to a ...

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05:23
iPhone 6 owners reporting that cards cannot be added...

Multiple iPhone 6 owners are reporting in an Apple Support Communities thread that they are unable to add cards back into Apple Pay after their phone has been restored – whether as a new phone or from a backup. According to reports there, Apple has been able to resolve the issue only by replacing the phone.

I just left the Apple Store. They couldn’t diagnose the issue and we did a restore there in store and the problem persisted. The solution was to swap the hardware […]
I ended up going to the Apple Store and going to the genius bar. They proceeded to do all the thing I already tried. After they did a restore and set up as a new phone and saw they it didn’t work they went in the back and brought out a new phone. I fired up the phone and went thru steps to add my cards to Apple pay and everything worked. So...

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05:00
New fanless 12-inch laptop from Samsung foreshadows...

 


Ahead of CES, Samsung has pre-announced the Ativ Book 9, via The Verge. Interestingly, this laptop features many of the technical specifications that have been rumored for the future 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. The announcement of the Ativ Book 9 validates that a fanless high-resolution ultrabook is indeed possible in the short term.
The Book 9 laptop features a 12.2 inch screen with a 2600×1600 resolution, implying a 250 PPI. At normal viewing distances, Apple could easily describe the display as ‘Retina’. For...

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04:57
Tablets, ultrabooks become more affordable in...

The average selling price (ASP) of ultrabooks and tablets declined by 7.8% in 2014, as the market matured and commoditized, allowing these devices to become more affordable in all markets.
According to market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the average weeks of household income needed to buy a tablet or ultrabook both declined by approximately 30% year-over-yea making these devices more affordable to a wider range of consumers.
read more

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04:57
Tablets, ultrabooks become more affordable in...

The average selling price (ASP) of ultrabooks and tablets declined by 7.8% in 2014, as the market matured and commoditized, allowing these devices to become more affordable in all markets.
According to market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the average weeks of household income needed to buy a tablet or ultrabook both declined by approximately 30% year-over-yea making these devices more affordable to a wider range of consumers.
read more

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04:21
PDF Reader 'GoodReader' Removes iCloud...

PDF reader app GoodReader has removed a number of operations related to iCloud Drive to comply with Apple's guidelines. Specifically, developer Good.iWare has disabled GoodReader's ability to create and delete new folders inside iCloud along with the ability to move iCloud files. The developer called the iCloud usage policy "mandatory" and also included VoiceOver compatibility along with a big fix for opening iCloud containers. Important iCloud functionality change: - to ensure the compliance to Apple's iCloud usage policy, the following operations have been disabled: creation of new folders inside iCloud, deletion of folders inside iCloud, moving of files and folders inside iCloud. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the iCloud usage policy is mandatory. The changes to GoodReader come a week after Panic's file management app Transmit was forced to...

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04:08
Recommended Reading: '10 Habits for Successful...

Quark Software's "10 Habits for Successful Digital Publishing" (http://www.appstudio.net/Resources/) is an ebook guide for corporate and journal publishers who are creating or rethinking their digital publishing strategies.
Written by experts in digital and mobile publishing, readers will get a better understanding of the technologies and best practices for reaching, engaging and understanding consumers of digital content. Topics covered in "10 Habits for Successful Digital Publishing" include:
° Trends in tablet publishing, such as device fragmentation;
read more

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03:32
New York City Considering Apple Pay for Future...

The city of New York is considering new measures (PDF) that would allow drivers to pay their parking tickets with alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, PayPal, and Bitcoin, reports MarketWatch. Currently, the city says it is collecting roughly $30 billion in parking ticket revenue each year, as the region's Department of Finance is looking for a "convenient way for motorists to expeditiously pay their parking tickets via a smartphone or mobile device." The primary objective of this RFI is to identify and assess mobile platforms that support the payment of parking tickets and learn about their current use and future viability. A secondary objective is to identify existing mobile platforms that support the request for a hearing of parking tickets and...

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02:03
GoodReader app forced to remove some iCloud Drive...


Continuing the string of controversy regarding App Store approval in recent weeks, an update pushed through by GoodReader ($4.99, iPhone and iPad) earlier today shows that the company has been forced to remove some significant iCloud Drive features, in order to comply with iCloud Drive usage guidelines and remain in the App Store.
Specifically, the GoodReader update removes the ability to add folders, remove folders or move files around the iCloud Drive storage location. The update notes reference a ‘usage policy’, although it is unclear what document the company is referring to.

Folder operations are included in the public iCloud Drive API’s, which makes the...

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Don’t Fear The Reaper, Even in iPad Form

A fun one to put up on the Apple TV during New Year's Eve festivities, here's YouTuber Samurai Guitarist using an iPad (he notes in the comments that it's borrowed) to cover Blue Oyster Cult's classic Don't Fear The Reaper. Sadly he doesn't mention the apps involved, because I'd love a good cowbell app. Anyway, aside from the digitized vocals and the lack of "needle to the record" noise, it sounds really close to the original. I love videos like this, partly because of the novelty of it, and partly because it might introduce this song to someone who hasn't heard it before. And let's be honest when it comes down to it, we all need a little more cowbell. Check out the full video below.

(via Melissa Davis)

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Kelly’s Top Mobile Accessory Picks for 2014

2014 was the year of mobile accessories for Kelly. Always on the lookout for bits and bobs that make mobility even easier, Kelly scored some goodies in 2014 she's happy to share with all of you.

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The August Smart Lock for Doors: Convenient and Cool

If you haven't heard of the August Smart Lock, here's the scoop-it's a Bluetooth device that unlocks your door when you approach with your iPhone and relocks it a set number of minutes after you come home. It also lets you issue temporary electronic keys, so you can allow the cleaning lady in for a couple of hours and receive a notification when she leaves. Come on in for the whole review of this spiffy little gadget!

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Briefly: Goodreader loses some iCloud functions,...

PDF reader app Goodreader has gotten rid of several functions related to iCloud Drive, in compliance with Apple's guidelines. Users can no longer create and delete new folders inside iCloud, or move iCloud files. Other changes made with the latest release include VoiceOver compatibility, and a fix for opening iCloud containers. Goodreader is priced at $5, and is available for iPhone and iPad....

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How to Visually Distinguish the 3 iPad mini Models

There are minor visual differences between the iPad mini, mini 2 and mini 3. If you don't want to fuss with looking up model numbers and serial numbers, there's an easy way to distinguish the three models just by visual inspection. John Martellaro shows how easy it is.

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Review: iRig Pads

When it comes to mobile music products, IK Multimedia has positioned itself as one of the top suppliers. Right from the early days of iOS, IK Multimedia has remained at the forefront of the iOS music creation market with products like the original iRig and iRig Mic. As iOS has developed and become more powerful, so has the line-up of iRig products - its latest introduction, iRig Pads, brings musicians a full-featured 16-pad MIDI groove controller. Is the iRig Pads worthy of the space in your bag for creating a mobile loop workstation? We put the hardware through its paces in our full review.......

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-31

Word on the Internet is that it's pretty easy to trick Touch ID and get into someone's iPhone. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet explain why hacking Touch ID isn't nearly as simple as the media would have you believe, plus they offer up some iPhone security tips, and take a look at the Apple employee pay class action lawsuit that was just dismissed.

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Apple Encourages People to ‘Start Something New’...

Apple has launched a new subsite called "Start Something New" encouraging people to do something creative with their Apple gear and third party software. The company highlights several artistic endeavors from photographers, artists, and filmmakers, including examples.

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Reviews: iRig Pads

When it comes to mobile music products, IK Multimedia has positioned itself as one of the top suppliers. Right from the early days of iOS, IK Multimedia has remained at the forefront of the iOS music creation market with products like the original iRig and iRig Mic. As iOS has developed and become more powerful, so has the line-up of iRig products - its latest introduction, iRig Pads, brings music ......

| Read more »
Lawsuit says Apple deceptive about space iOS 8...

A new lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California on Tuesday, accuses Apple of failing to inform people how much space iOS 8 will consume on a device, while simultaneously prompting them to buy online storage via iCloud. Specifically the suit claims that iOS 8 can occupy as much as 23.1 percent of device memory, but that not many people realize this when making a purchase. The plaintiffs are seeking damages, as well as changes by Apple to comply with state law. The case is being pursued as a class action....

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Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Judge to Dismiss Apple...

Apple employees hoping to get back pay for the time they spend undergoing bag checks with their work shifts are in for a disappointment. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsop dismissed employee lawsuits following a Supreme Court ruling in a similar case that says the security checks don't fall under paid time requirements.The Mac Observer Spin: Regardless of what Apple's employees think they're owed, it makes sense that Judge Alsop dismissed their case. The circumstances in the Supreme Court's ruling in the Amazon employee case are similar enough to apply here, too. Apple's employees will have to get pretty creative to convince Judge Alsop to change his mind.

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Some iPhone 6 owners unable to update Apple Pay...

A number of iPhone 6 owners are complaining that they have been unable to add their cards back to Apple Pay after restoring iOS. The problem -- described in Apple's support forums -- can manifest whether restoring from a backup or starting fresh, and so far the only solution involves getting a replacement phone from Apple. Genius Bar technicians appear to be offering replacements to most affected people, whether in the form of a refurbished or genuinely new device....

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GTAT Wants to Pay Executives $6M Bonuses Amid...

GT Advanced Technologies wants to pay out US$6 million dollars in bonuses to company executives, which likely won't sit well with creditors hoping to recoup their money. GTAT filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after its finances spun out of control from a failed deal to produce synthetic sapphire glass for Apple.The Mac Observer Spin: Paying out $6 million in bonuses to executives leading a sinking ship will be a hard sell. GTAT has plenty of creditors who want their money, and they won't take kindly to that going to the company's own executives instead.

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Uber suspends Uberpop service in Spain following...

Uber is closing its Uberpop ride-sharing service in Spain, following a court request. The service is temporarily suspended in the country, as Uber is planning to appeal a court ruling granting an injunction requested by the Association Madrileña Del Taxi, the taxi drivers association of Madrid, as well as working with politicians to make the service legal in the country....

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New York City mulls enabling Apple Pay for parking...

New York City is considering upgrading its options for paying parking tickets to include more modern platforms, such as Apple Pay, according to MarketWatch. The focal point would be a new mobile app allowing people to scan a ticket and then use Apple Pay, or other options such as PayPal or potentially Bitcoin. The same app would give drivers the choice to schedule a hearing instead....

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Apple Hit with Lawsuit over iOS 8 Storage Claims

Apple was slapped with a potential class action lawsuit this week alleging the company intentionally misled customers as to how much storage their iPhone has after installing iOS 8, and then tries to sell more through iCloud subscriptions. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in San Francisco by the law firm Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca.The Mac Observer Spin: Complaints about stated versus actual storage space aren't anything new. The twist in this case is that the plaintiffs are claiming Apple used that as a bait-and-switch tool to pressure customers into paying for iCloud subscriptions. Still, the case feels an awful lot like a money grab.

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Use Touch ID to Unlock Your Mac with MacID

Touch ID is wonderfully convenient for unlocking your iPhone, and thanks to MacID you'll be able to use your fingerprint to do the same on your Mac. The iPhone app uses Bluetooth LE to talk with your Mac and enter your lockscreen passcode with a touch. You'll need the companion app on your Mac, too, and your laptop, iMac or Mac Pro needs to be new enough to support Bluetooth LE. MacID is awaiting approval for release on the App Store and should be available soon.

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Hands On: Scribe cross-platform clipboard utility (...

Is it our typing speed, or just our attention span? Back in the olden days, we would copy out a telephone number, and type it into our cell phones. Mind you, back in the even more olden days, we would just remember the numbers and, let's be fair, that's completely unreasonable. Now that we all tend to have Macs and iPhones or iPads, we are forever going between the two -- and sometimes, that means the information we need is on the other one. Scribe is a clipboard utility for, well, copying anything from your Mac. If you can select it, you can copy it, and Scribe will send it on over to your iO......

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Hands On: Scanner 2 PDF (iOS)

As great as the cameras are on our iPhones, the only reason to use them as document scanners is when you have no other choice. There are just too many inherent problems -- from the difficulty of focusing evenly, to how hard it is to just line up the paper edges consistently. Then, of course, if you do get it perfectly straight and perfectly lit, the instant you tap the iPhone screen you introduce a judder. Scanner 2 PDF aims to be that best scanner, and specifically to do one particularly important job well, but if it's got the features then it falls down on the execution.......

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Ongoing investigations into Sony hack pointing to...

The saga of "who really stole all that data from Sony" continues, in spite of the FBI's adherence to its findings that North Korea alone was responsible. Independent investigations by security organizations have expanded the suspect list to include ex-employees, while net vandals Lizard Squad have, in their continuing quest for attention, claimed partial credit....

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Analyst: profits for Android hardware down 50...

In a blog post of all the notable developments in the mobile market for 2014, industry analyst Chetan Sharma includes a number of observations about Android hardware and its profit margins. The primary one is that the Android device manufacturer community suffered its "most significant ever" drop in profits during 2014, with earnings having dropped 50 percent from expected levels across 2014....

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GT Advanced seeking court approval for executive...

In a move sure to be opposed by the myriad companies it owes money to, former Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies is currently asking a bankruptcy court judge for permission to hand out over two million dollars in "executive bonuses" designed to help motivate and retain "key" employees -- largely the same group of senior executives who ran the company into the ground. In total, the company expects to apply for nearly $6 million in total bonuses and incentives to various levels of employees....

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Judge dismisses 'wage theft' suit against...

Apple has won in a pair of lawsuits lodged in the summer of 2013 by disgruntled employees that charged the company with a form of "wage theft" by not paying workers while they were being checked during mandatory security and loss-prevention screenings. Citing a Supreme Court decision in a similar case, Federal Court Judge William Alsop ruled that such screenings are not "integral and indispensable" parts of the retail workers' jobs, therefore the plaintiffs were not entitled to compensation for the time spent in such activities.......

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Hands On: WordTarget menubar word counter (OS X)

There's a famous Charlie Brown cartoon where he writes out the title "What I Did On My Summer Holiday" and then counts the words. Seven. He has to write some impossibly high number of words, something like a whole hundred, and it is going to be agony. With WordTarget by Kickcode, he wouldn't even have the hopeful delay while he counted: WordTarget displays the number of words constantly....

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The Extreme Micro Drone 2.0 with Aerial Camera for $...

Check out the Micro Drone 2.0, a tiny drone equipped with a camera that you can get for just $74.99 (it's usually $139.99). According to the manufacturer, you can throw it into the air like a frisbee, upside down, or any angle, and its self-righting algorithm and sensors will immediately stabilize it back to its horizontal flying position. Why would you do such a thing? Because you can. Duh. There's a video on the deal site. Check it out.

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The Missing Apple TV Ad: The Case for Apple Pay

So far, major banks have been running TV ads promoting Apple Pay, and that's great. But why is Apple being so shy about its own technology and not running its own ads? John Martellaro has wondered about that too.

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Touch ID Cracked, Requires Complex Steps and...

Common biometric methods for authenticating include facial recognition and fingerprint scanners, which aren't necessarily all that secure. Another authentication method shown to be crackable is Touch ID, and even then it's a pretty tall order.

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Jeff Gamet’s Top iPhone and iPad Apps for 2014

2014 was a good year for iPhone and iPad apps, and a few stood out as must-have choices for TMO's Jeff Gamet. Curious which apps earned a special place on his iPhone and iPad? Read on to see which apps he just can't live without.

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Twitter Goes Over to Dark Side, Decides Who You’ll...

Some Twitter users woke up this morning to find that they were unexpectedly following @MasterCard, perhaps an implied endorsement that was unwanted. William Shatner was the first to notice this, according to Marketing Land. This appears to be a troublesome effort by Twitter to monetize what has become, in essence, a public utility.

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Xiaomi, Apple, others cleared of violating Taiwanese...

Taiwan's National Communications Commission has issued a report clearing a variety of companies of breaking local data privacy laws, according to Reuters. The organization says that all 12 of the previously implicated cellphone brands -- including Apple, Huawei, Samsung, LG, Sony, ZTE, and Xiaomi -- are in the clear, despite Xiaomi being the impetus for the investigation. In August Xiaomi apologized and promised to make changes after a Finnish security firm discovered Xiaomi software was collecting address book data without permission.......

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-30

Turns out smart home devices can be part of our home entertainment systems, too. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at SyFy's plans to control Hue LED lights as part of the 12 Monkeys series, plus they dive into why it's time for Jeff to get on the Hue bandwagon, look at the popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over the holidays, and talk about the distrust in Apple Pay some people are showing.

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Apple deals: Refurbished MacBook Air as low as $769

This week, Apple's online store has a selection of refurbished MacBook Air models on sale for as low as $769. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel-Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of flash storage, and 720p FaceTime HD camera has been cut by $130, bringing the price down to $769. Priced at $869 is the refurbished 11.6-inch, 1.3GHz MacBook Air, featuring a larger 256GB flash drive, the same 4GB of RAM and dual-core Intel-Core i5 processor, as well as an LED-backlit widescreen display with 1366 x 768 maximum resolution.......

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Belkin Portable Tablet Stage is a Boon for iPad...

The Belkin Portable Tablet Stage is an ideal accessory for anyone who teaches or makes frequent presentations using their iPad. It folds flat for easy carry and has a nice little feature that lets you instantly include paper images during your presentation by using the iPad's camera.

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DealNN: Zoom video recorder, headphones, and more

Shop year-end deals at BHphotovideo.com this week, which features the Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder, complete with 1920 x 1080p maximum resolution, an integrated mid-side stereo microphone, support for both USB 2.0 and Mini HDMI outputs, as well as a variety of low-cut filters and light selection options. Priced at $79.99, customers now save $160 off its once $239.99 list price, and $15 if compared to the next best deal we have seen this model for. FREE shipping is also available, and sales tax applies for residents of New York.......

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Forums: battery swapping, problems with Notes and...

Today in the MacNN Forums Fresh-Faced Recruit "Ryan700" was asking if it was possible to move a battery from one 13-inch MBP to another 13-inch MBP after the battery in his wife's computer needed to be replaced. A frustrated "jeff k" has turned to the forums hoping someone will be able to help him figure out why it is that the Notes app on his new iPhone keeps deleting notes at the end of the day....

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VLC returning to iOS early next year, developer says

VLC -- a popular multi-platform video player -- should be returning to the App Store early next year, says the lead developer on the iOS project, Felix Paul Kuehne. The title disappeared from the App Store nearly four months ago, shortly after the release of iOS 8. At the time it was only said that the development team was "working with Apple on a solution" to bring the app back....

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Hands On: Ink Cards (iOS)

Taking a trip to the greeting card store can be pretty hit-or-miss, and home printing cards takes quite a bit of time and effort. What if there was an easier way to create customized cards without spending an arm and a leg, or hours of free time? That's where Ink Cards, by Sincerely Inc., comes to the rescue: simply open the app, select the desired template, upload a photo into it, and then order it....

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Macs vulnerable to firmware rewrites via Thunderbolt...

The firmware on some Macs can be rewritten via a Thunderbolt device loaded with a special option ROM, according to Trammel Hudson, a security researcher who spoke at the 31st convention of the Chaos Computer Club, held in Hamburg. The hack is dubbed "Thunderstrike," and reportedly can't be detected once it's installed. More importantly it can't be removed by reinstalling OS X or replacing a hard drive, since it impacts the boot ROM (which is independent) and replaces Apple's public RSA key, blocking future firmware updates unless the attacker's key is used. It can even copy itself to option RO......

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Stained Glass Logos: Taking Your High Tech Logo Old...

Photoshop and Illustrator may be the defacto standard for creating logos, but sometimes going hands on with real world materials can give our business identities a warmer and more personal feel-like the stained glass logo art Howard Perlman makes. Just give him your logo and he'll hand craft it into stained glass, ready to hang. Each piece is unique, and you can check out Howard's handiwork with the WordPress, Drupal, and Linux logos on his website.

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Xiaomi’s MacBook Air Lookalike Outdoes Samsung’s...

Xiaomi, like Samsung, has a reputation for copying the look of Apple products, and its first effort at making a laptop outdoes even Samsung's efforts. Aside from an orange logo, Xiaomi's laptop is a dead ringer for the MacBook Air.The Mac Observer Spin: Xiaomi is amazingly good at copying Apple designs, and their new laptop is no exception. Samsung could take notes from these guys.

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Hands On: DockPhone (OS X)

A stand-out, landmark, must-have feature of OS X Yosemite is how you can now make phone calls from your Mac. We knew it wouldn't be quite as easy as it sounds and we were fine with having to set it up, we were fine with having to have an iPhone for it to work. We've been less fine since, because it's proved too fiddly. DockPhone, an app that promises to simply the process somewhat, is not perfect either -- but it's so very good that it caused us to start using the feature more than we have since it launched....

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Briefly: Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack ships, Hue syncs...

The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot has gone on sale in the United States. The XLTE-ready device is able to provide connectivity to Verizon's 4G LTE network for up to eight devices over Wi-Fi, with the 2.9-ounce unit also sporting a 0.9-inch OLED display to show signal strength, data usage, and remaining battery life. The Ellipsis Jetpack is priced at $150, or $1 on a two-year contract, and can be added to an existing More Everything plan for $20 per month....

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Apple ends '12 Days of Christmas' iTunes...

As has become obvious, Apple has decided to end its six-year tradition of giving iTunes-based "gifts" to its customers as part of a "12 Days of Christmas" campaign that had been running since 2008 in Europe, the UK, Canada and -- finally, in 2013 -- the United States. No reason has been given for the ending of the promotion, which offered free apps, e-books, movies, music and other offerings starting on Boxing Day (December 26) and continuing until January 6, celebrated by Orthodox Christians as Jesus' birthday....

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Hands On: GraphicConverter 9 (OS X)

Perhaps you're used to getting a BMP image from a Windows user, and having to convert it to JPEG to make it usable online. If you do that a lot, you immediately see the benefit of software like GraphicConverter 9, which is best known for its conversion abilities – though you can also use Photoshop if you're the sort that does this for a living. Both can do myriad conversions, and you can set them up to run in batches: drag a folder full of images onto Photoshop, and it chugs through converting the lot for you. GraphicConverter does this too, but as part of a rather dizzying number of options......

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Xiaomi laptop that shamelessly clones MacBook Air...

If you've ever wondered why top-rated startup Xiaomi -- now valued at more than $45 billion thanks to its ability to attack Samsung successfully in the former's home market of China -- hasn't yet entered any major first-world markets like the US, the answer is because the company has a distinct tendency to model its mid-range offerings as direct copies of popular Apple products, to a level that puts even Samsung's "shameless" copying to shame. Xiaomi's latest notebook, recently leaked to GizmoChina, is a direct lookalike of Apple's MacBook Air.......

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Apple took lion's share of worldwide holiday...

Mobile analytics firm Flurry posted new data on the holiday buying season on Monday, and summarized its findings on global mobile devices purchases for Christmas in a single sentence: "It's clear that Santa is no longer into cookies -- he prefers Apples." On a worldwide scale, 51.3 percent of mobile activations between December 19 and Christmas Day were Apple devices, outstripping the combined might of all competitors and leaving each individual company -- even Samsung -- far behind....

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SyFy Expands Light Track Support to Philips Hue in...

SyFy has updated their Sync app to expand the feature that controls Philips Hue lighting and coordinates it with what's on TV, now including all episodes of a new series that starts airing in January.The Mac Observer Spin: This could be cool if it's subtle. However this is from the makers of Pirahnaconda so I'm reserving judgment until we actually get a good look at both the show and this effect.

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MGG 533: Schrödinger’s Boson

For this last show of the year Dave and John talk about Dave's iMac repair (it was the graphics card, but took a lot to get there, and Dave benefitted nicely!), then a tip for scanning WiFi networks on your standard (non-jailbroken) iPhone, how to create iTunes Extras, Aperture to Lightroom migration techniques and lots more. Download and enjoy today!

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Hands On: Quick Paint image creation (OS X)

It doesn't seem to matter just how many drawing apps come around -- because sometimes, you still just want to have a really basic one that looks familiar right away. What ends up being deemed "familiar" can take many forms, of course, but in this instance we refer to the glory days (okay, maybe that is a tad hyperbolic) of MS Paint, which first appeared in Windows 1.0 and remains something of a cult favorite for "pixel art" and basic usage. Today, we are taking a hands-on look at a contemporary OS X equivalent, available for $5 on the Mac App Store: Quick Paint....

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Apple reports progress in latest Environmental...

On Monday, Apple updated its previously-released 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report and its Environmental Initiatives website with new figures covering both fiscal 2013 and some revised figures from fiscal 2012. Due to a recalculation of energy use in 2012, the company now says it reduced carbon emissions for that year by three percent -- and that while energy use overall has increased 44 percent since fiscal 2011, the carbon footprint has been offset dramatically by the use of renewable resources....

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Apple's Campus 2 project to preserve historic...

Apple's upcoming Campus 2 complex will preserve a historic structure, the Glendenning Barn, says the San Jose Mercury News. The barn was built in 1916, and is one of the few remnants of Cupertino's past as an orchard. The News writes that while tearing down the abandoned HP campus previously on the site, Apple dismantled the barn and made detailed notes on its construction, promising to restore it elsewhere....

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The Next Generation Flying Car from Aeromobil

The future, in the 1950s, was supposed to be all about flying cars. But they didn't come to pass except for some rare, early prototypes. But thanks to Aeromobil's co-founder Åtefan Klein, advanced technology may yet bring the dream to fruition. According to the website, "Mr. Klein has devoted the last twenty years into making his dream come true. It is a dream that only few people believed in-a flying car. Currently he works on prototype of AeroMobil 3.0 after he successfully tested concepts and pre-prototype." Version 3.0, shown here with wings extended, seats two, has a top speed in the air of 124 mph (200 km/h), and has a range 435 miles (700 km). The car's (ground) specs are similar to that of a small, economy car. The site's photos are phenomenal, and the prototype is said to be close to commercial availability, subject to each country's certification....

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Chevron to roll out Apple Pay at gas pumps in early...

Chevron is planning to bring Apple Pay to its gas pumps starting early next year, according to Bloomberg. The company actually first laid out that goal when Apple Pay debuted on October 20th, but has stayed relatively quiet since. In the meantime the company has been deploying the technology elsewhere, such as in stores; some previously announced Apple Pay partners include Chevron's Texaco and Extra Mile brands....

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EU iTunes Stores, App Stores get 14-day Refund Policy

iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook Store customers in many EU countries can now request refunds for any reason up to 14 days after making a purchase. The change brings Apple into compliance with EU consumer rights regulations that allow for a 14 day right of cancellation or return.The Mac Observer Spin: Just because Apple is complying with the EU's 14-day refund policy doesn't mean there's a loophole that lets people buy apps, use them for two weeks, and get their money back. Sorry, cheapskates, Apple has your number.

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Hands On: Necklace of Skulls (iOS)

Gamebooks combine the enjoyment of reading a book with the interactivity of a text adventure. Similar to a choose-your-own adventure with quite a bit more control, gamebooks are becoming ever more popular. We checked out Necklace of Skulls, a Mayan action-adventure, by Cubus Games recently to see if it's earned it's place in the genre....

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Apple Device Activation at Christmas Crushes...

Flurry Analytics tracked device activations worldwide from December 19 to 25th and found that Apple accounted for over half. The runner-up was Samsung with 18 percent. In addition, Flurry also found that, at Christmas 2014, iPhone 6 Plus activations were cannibalizing iPads.

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Fingerprint security may be vulnerable to spoofs...

The European group that first demonstrated a hack of Apple's Touch ID using a fake fingerprint says it has discovered a way of recreating a fingerprint without a physical sample. The Chaos Computer Club's Jan Krissler, better known as Starbug, demonstrated the technique at the Club's recent 31st convention in Hamburg, using German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as an example. Through commercial software called VeriFinger, Krissler says he was able to piece together Von der Leyen's thumbprint based on publicly-available photos of her digits.......

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-29

There's a good chance someone in your life picked up a new computer over the holidays and they're going to turn to you for technical help. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin and join Jeff Gamet to talk about some great options for helping your friends and family remotely, and they take a look at the news that Jimmy Iovine is working on landing exclusive album deals for Apple's iTunes Store.

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Apple cements 14-day refund policy for European...

European shoppers now have a definite 14-day window in which to claim refunds for iTunes Store purchases, according to updated support documents (PDF). Customers can ask for a refund "without giving any reason," the documents say, and in most cases simply need to find the "Report a Problem" tool. In other instances -- namely those involving iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass, or unredeemed iTunes gifts -- a person has to contact iTunes Support. Refunds are unavailable to people who have redeemed an iTunes gift code. The company promises that approved refunds will be delivered no later than......

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Apps: NetShade, Totals, CloudPull

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Apple Puts Iovine to Work on Landing iTunes-...

Apple wants exclusive album releases from top artists for the iTunes Store, and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine is working at getting deals in place. Apple bought Beats Music in 2014 and Mr. Iovene has plenty of connections in the music industry, which makes him just the man to get those content deals in place.The Mac Observer Spin: I've felt that when Apple bought Beats they more or less got Jimmy Iovine with a streaming music service and headphone maker thrown in. Assuming he can swing plenty of exclusive album releases for the iTunes Store, that'll go a long way towards making Apple the fist company people think of when they want to get the latest music from their favorite artists and bands.

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Beats' Iovine negotiating for more Beats Music...

Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- whose company is now owned by Apple -- is in negotiations with a number of artists about securing more exclusives for Beats Music, sources claim. The idea is reportedly to copy the success Beyoncé and Apple had with an iTunes exclusive, Beyoncé by Beyoncé, in December 2013. Iovine is known for his connections in the music industry, which include acts like Will.i.am, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Gwen Stefani; Minaj sometimes advertises Beats products via placements in her videos. A potential obstacle, though, is opposition from record label......

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Infographic: Biggest Online Data Breaches, by the...

Who has the dubious distinction of the single biggest data breach? That would be Adobe, but AOL earns the honor for ongoing data breaches. In Adobe's case, that amounted to 152 million customer IDs stolen, but Ebay isn't that far behind with 145 million records stolen. How about Target at 70 million credit card number stolen? All these numbers-and more- are packed into a fantastic infographic from Information is Beautiful. It does a great job of putting the biggest data breaches back to 2004 into perspective, and it's a great reminder why it's important to use unique logins for all of your online services.

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Talks in progress to bring Apple Pay to UK

Apple is in negotiations with "Britain's top banks" in preparation for launching Apple Pay in the region, sources tell the Telegraph. The service is expected to arrive in the UK in the first half of 2015. At least one bank is said to be uncomfortable about the amount of personal and financial data Apple wants to collect from its customers, however, and some executives are said to be wary that both Apple Pay and the data the company wants could operate as a "beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry," as the Telegraph writes. It's nevertheless predicted that the banks will bend, as Appl......

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Apple Pay Data Collection a Big Concern for Some UK...

Apple is negotiating with UK banks to bring Apple Pay to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners in the country in the first half of 2015. At least one bank, however, is concerned about how much data Apple will collect and fears the company may be trying to take over the country's banking industry.The Mac Observer Spin: Personal privacy is a serious concern when our data is collected, especially when it's related to what we buy. But for the UK banks, it looks like this is more about fears over whether or not Apple will take the credit card market from them.

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Hands On: Ortelius map-making software (OS X)

Ortelius is map-making software designed to be used by anyone -- from the amateur wanting to show you where the fire exits are, to the cartographer making maps for tourists. If you're doing this for a living, or at high resolutions for print publishing, then there are Geographic Information System applications and there are even fractal coastline-generating apps. Ortelius, by Mapdiva, is more for the non-specialist -- and it's made by the same company that does the similar but more general illustration package Artboard....

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Tuesday December 30

23:42
NYC residents may eventually be able to pay parking...

The Big Apple is considering letting drivers pay for their parking tickets using their big Apple phones, MarketWatch reports. New York City is said to be looking to update its old system with something a little more user-friendly, and is currently considering several options, including Apple Pay.
The main idea for the new system is a mobile app that would allow users to scan in a parking ticket, either by barcode or some other means, then pay the fine instantly using Apple Pay or another payment system, such as PayPal, or possibly even Bitcoin.

Another goal for the app is the...

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21:00
Getting Help with App Reviews and Rejections

iTunes Connect is now available after the holiday shutdown. Please remember, if you need to appeal an app rejection or request that the review of your app be expedited, the fastest way to get help is to contact the App Review Team through the Contact Us form. To view app rejection details and ask for clarification, visit Resolution Center in iTunes Connect. We look forward to seeing the innovative new apps you'll create in 2015.

| Read more »
21:00
Getting Help with App Reviews and Rejections

iTunes Connect is now available after the holiday shutdown. Please remember, if you need to appeal an app rejection or request that the review of your app be expedited, the fastest way to get help is to contact the App Review Team through the Contact Us form. To view app rejection details and ask for clarification, visit Resolution Center in iTunes Connect. We look forward to seeing the innovative new apps you'll create in 2015.

| Read more »
17:02
T-Mobile CEO predicts Apple Watch will take...

In the months leading up to the launch of the Apple Watch next year, early opinions about the smartwatch have been quite mixed. While some believe that the Apple Watch will be as successful as iconic products released ahead of it, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac, others are more skeptical about how much of an impact the device will truly have.
While the wearables market is forecasted to become over a $5 billion industry by 2018, it hasn’t reached that point just yet. But T-Mobile CEO John Legere certainly thinks it will sooner than later, predicting that the Apple Watch launch in 2015 will be the turning point in which the wearables market goes from niche to mainstream.
“I love what Jawbone, Fitbit, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and...

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15:24
Apple employee lawsuit over time spent in security...

Apple employees who attempted to file a class action lawsuit against the company over wages they say they lost while standing in bag-check lines for 10 to 15 minutes before and after their shifts got some bad news from a judge today. Citing a similar case involving Amazon warehouse workers, a district judge dismissed the Apple suit.
In the Amazon case, the Supreme Court ruled that because Amazon warehouse workers were not employed for the purpose of going through security checks, it was not actually part of the job they were being paid to do....

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14:52
[Sponsor] BBEdit

BBEdit 11 from Bare Bones Software: The text editor for the Mac.

Try it now!

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13:51
The Halting Progress of Mind-Controlled Robot Tech


Jan Scheuermann, a quadriplegic, in 2012 was able to use her thoughts to flex the wrist of a new mind-controlled robotic arm in a project run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Earlier this year, she demonstrated using her thoughts to make four distinct movements: finger abduction, or spreading out the fingers; scoop, in which the last fingers curl in; thumb opposition, which consists of the thumb moving out from the palm; and pinching the thumb, index and middle fingers together.

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13:30
T-Mobile's CEO Continues his Un-Carrier War Cry...

T-Mobile's CEO John Legere didn't mince his words about the fabled Bendgate back in October. To him it was all a bunch of Horse sh*t, to mark his words. He's definitely outspoken and an in-your- face type of CEO. Today Legere is stepping up his war cry by calling 2015 as he sees it. He steps on his competitors while talking a little about Apple in between punches.

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13:00
SpotCam is a capable Wi-Fi camera for your home

SpotCam is a new entrant in the cloud-based home webcam parade. The U.S. $149.99 camera has easy setup and features like sound monitoring, plus the ability to speak to the camera remotely and have the camera speaker play it.

Specifications

Dimensio...

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12:00
A pair of putrid pink phone protectors

There are plenty of poorly conceived iPhone cases out there, but it's rare that you see a company really knock it out of the park with a bad design only to follow it up with an even worse one. Moschino, an Italian luxury firm that dreams up all manne...

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11:53
Putting a MacBook Pro In the Oven To Fix It

An anonymous reader writes: A post at iFixit explains how one user with a failing MacBook Pro fixed it by baking it in the oven. The device had overheating issues for months, reaching temperatures over 100 C. When it finally died, some research suggested the extreme heat caused the logic board to flex and break the solder connections. The solution was to simply reflow the solder, but that's hard to do with a MBP. "Instead, I cracked open the back of my laptop, disconnected all eleven connectors and three heat sinks from the logic board, and turned the oven up to 340 F. I put my $900 part on a cookie sheet and baked it for seven nerve-wracking minutes. After it cooled, I reapplied thermal paste, put it all back together, and cheered when it booted. It ran great for the next eight months." The laptop failed again, and another brief vacation into the oven got it running once more....

| Read more »
11:39
Duet 0.9.9 - Use your iPad as an external display. (...

Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable.Version 0.9.9:

  • Initial release
  • OS X 10.6 or later

Download Now

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11:23
15 amazing places you can tour virtually

Mental Floss:If you can’t check out these places in person, you can at least visit them virtually—no flights or long road trips required.Do not go to this site unless you’ve got an hour or more to kill. Spectacular imagery. I’ve been to eight of the fifteen but this is an entirely different perspective of the places.∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:06
Looking Back at Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's...

Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer officially retired earlier this year and so as the year closes out, I thought it would be fun to show you a video that I discovered earlier today on CNNMoney that had me laughing looking back at Ballmer the mad salesman. It shows us

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11:00
The Puzlook iPhone case combines a puzzle and...

Well here's something that's...unique. The Puzlook iPhone case contains five lenses to your iPhone to enhance your photography, including wide-angle, macro, telephoto, and fisheye lenses. There's also a tripod mount an integrated 8 GB USB memory stic...

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10:57
TSMC May Win Bulk of A9 Orders Due to Better...

News reports and rumors have gone back and forth multiple times over whether Samsung or the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will produce the A9 chips designed for use in next-generation iOS devices as the two companies compete for Apple's business. In December, a report suggested Samsung had already begun production on the A9 chips, but a new analyst prediction shared by the Taipei Times suggests that TSMC, not Samsung, may be Apple's main A9 chip supplier due to its more favorable production yield. "The two companies' technological capabilities are similar, so the key factor will be whose mass-production yield is better," MIC director Chris Hung (洪春暉) told reporters on the sidelines of the event. Hung...

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10:01
'Thunderstrike' hack can affect Mac...

A security researcher speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg demonstrated a hack that rewrites an Intel Mac's firmware using a Thunderbolt device with attack code in an option ROM, reports 9to5Mac (www.9to5Mac.com).
read more

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09:43
Samsung Preparing to Roll Out the World's First...

In a report covering Apple's Q4 (calendar Q3) financial conference we noted that Apple had added some color to their initial press release wherein Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated that for Macs, it was a "blowout" quarter and that "it doesn't get better than that" at 21% growth year over year. That news was like waiving bananas in front of a hungry monkey and just too hard for Samsung to resist chasing. Over the weekend, Samsung's executive core ...

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09:40
Review: G-Technology’s G-Drive USB is a pro-grade...



Professional video editors and filmmakers have raved about G-Technology’s hard drives for over a decade. These users — day-one adopters of Apple’s Mac Pro and MacBook Pro computers — need a lot of hard disk space, fast interfaces, and above all else, reliability. Losing part or all of a project can kill a movie, so nothing is left to chance on the storage side. I’m not a video professional, but as a father, my family photos and home videos are some of my most valuable possessions, and I don’t want to lose them to a hard drive failure. Numerous recommendations led me to Hitachi GST subsidiary G-Technology’s G-Drives years ago, and now there’s a new entry-level model that’s affordable enough for everyone:...

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09:30
VLC for iOS to return in 2015

Developer Felix Paul Kühne has confirmed that VLC for iOS will return in early 2015. You'll remember that it disappeared in January of 2014, and Kühne since promised that he has been "working with Apple" on a solution to get it back in the store. The...

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09:13
9to5Toys Last Call: SanDisk memory cards up to 70%...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the brand new 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.
Today’s can’t miss deals:
Amazon Gold Box – up to 70% off SanDisk memory cards: microSD 32GB $13, 64GB $25, $128GB $90, ...

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08:51
Chevron to integrate Apple Pay at the pump in 2015


Chevron will expand Apple Pay support from inside its convenience stores to the pump, allowing drivers to refill and pay with their iPhone or Apple Watch.
According to AppleInsider, Apple is working directly with Chevron, the gas company revealed via Twitter Monday afternoon, to bring Apple Pay support. The company hopes to have its systems in place for Apple Pay to be used at the pump by early 2015.

Chevron has been an early adopter of Apple Pay, and supported the tap-to-pay service at its stores and Texaco Extra Mile locations when it debuted in October. However, until now, Chevron customers have only been able to pay when they enter the convenience store, as support for...

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08:31
iFixit programmer drills 60 small holes in MacBook...


This is somewhat psychotic.
And it just might work.
Per 9to5Mac, a programmer over at iFixit was able to resolve an overheating problem with a MacBook Pro notebook by drilling a ring of holes under each of its fans.
With a 1/16” bit, the group drilled holes in the bottom case, under the fans (they figured out where the blades of the fan were exposed based on the dust pattern stuck to the inside of the bottom case). The speed holes worked: The boot chime rang. The screen glowed. The fans blew.

It’s too early to know if the fix will help long term, but initially the holes have decreased temperatures to an average in the 40s and 50s opposed to...

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08:30
iPhone 6 Plus spends Christmas in the snow and...

Living in an area where several feet of snow is a regular occurrence for several months every year means the constant fear of dropping your precious smartphone into a pile of the powdery white stuff. I remember waking up one morning to find that I ha...

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07:37
TSMC Likely to Retain the Bulk of Apple's Chip...

In November we posted a report titled "Did Apple Really Sign a Deal with Samsung for 80% of their 14nm Processors?" While everyone in the press was quick to claim that Samsung won back Apple's A9 business for 2015, we were skeptical of the story and now there's more data that has surfaced that just might throw cold water on...

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07:30
Daily Deals for December 30, 2014, Our Favorite...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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07:29
Apple's 'Communicating Stylus' for...

Apple today was awarded a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that concerns a new type of digital stylus that translates a user's handwritten note into a digital version when connected to a smartphone, tablet, or any "digital computing device" (via Apple Insider). The patent also details various exchangeable tips for the stylus, including actual ink, markers for a whiteboard, or a rubberized nub akin to most popular tablet styli. The stylus activates when various motion-sensing hardware, including accelerometers, detects when the pen is picked up out of...

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07:28
If you got a new smartphone for Christmas, it was...


Mobile analytics site Flurry has released a teaser for its annual year-end report, and things look pretty rosy for Apple: by Flurry’s estimate, 51 percent of the smartphones activated world-wide from between December 19 and December 25 were iPhones. Android collectively took second place, with Samsung grabbing the only other double-digit activation share at 18 percent.
"To put this in perspective," writes Flurry, "for every Samsung devices that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices. For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices."
Flurry elaborates that the category which grew the most this year is phablets, large smartphones that bridge the size gap between phone and tablet. The increase in that segment appears to have come at the expense of full-sized tablets, which shrunk from 17 percent of new device activations...

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06:06
Apple to save historic barn on 'spaceship...

Apple has set aside a place on its "spaceship" campus for the Glendenning Barn, named for a pioneer family whose land "became a magnet for tech companies after the blooms faded from their orchards," reports the Mercury News (mercurynews.com).
read more

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06:05
Security researcher rewrites Mac firmware over...

A security researcher speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg demonstrated a hack that rewrites an Intel Mac’s firmware using a Thunderbolt device with attack code in an option ROM. Known as Thunderstrike, the proof of concept presented by Trammel Hudson infects the Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) in a way he claims cannot be detected, nor removed by reinstalling OS X.

Since the boot ROM is independent of the operating system, reinstallation of OS X will not remove it. Nor does it depend on anything stored on the disk, so replacing the harddrive has no effect. A hardware in-system-programming device is the only way to restore the stock firmware.

...

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06:02
Chevron to roll out Apple Pay support next year

Chevron Oil has plans to expand its use of Apple Pay to gas pumps in the new year, according to a tweet the company sent out to a customer Monday — as noted by MacRumors (www.macrumors.com).
read more

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06:00
Five products from 2014 I can't live without:...

Of all of the staff at TUAW, I'm probably the guy who gets to take a look at more hardware and accessories than anyone else. Let's face it, being the hardware review editor has both its rewards -- getting to see a lot of amazing products -- and its d...

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05:08
Apple Granted 35 Patents Today Covering Magic...

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 35 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover three of Apple's granted patents. The first relates to input transitions that are used on Apple's Magic Trackpad. The second patent covers embedded force measurements for use on iDevice displays and the third patent relates to location tracking and recording on iDevices. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.

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05:00
krypted.com Turns 10 Today

Wow, seems like just yesterday I took down the old static page that was just a bunch of links I used to find stuff and went with a full-on WordPress site. Doesn’t seem like I’ve been writing that long. But when I look at the over 2,500 posts and the fact that I hit over 210,000 uniques last month, I guess it must be true. I’m so thankful that people want to read this stuff. And I’m really glad that I’ve been able to help a few people over the years. I hope the next 10 years are even better than the last 10! And thank you for coming back here and there, when you need to.
Happy New Year!

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05:00
Apple and UK banks reportedly in talks to bring...

The Telegraph reports that Apple has been talking with some of the UK's top banks in an effort to expand Apple Pay's international footprint.

Britain's top banks are in talks with Apple to introduce its iPhone "wave and pay" service, Apple Pay, to ...

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04:55
Desktop display market shows signs of life

Global desktop monitor sell-in revenue rose 7% in the third quarter of 2014, as average selling prices (ASPs) rose just over 10%. According to a new report from DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com), now part of IHS, worldwide desktop PC monitor shipments declined just over 3%, to reach 34 million units.
read more

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04:55
Desktop display market shows signs of life

Global desktop monitor sell-in revenue rose 7% in the third quarter of 2014, as average selling prices (ASPs) rose just over 10%. According to a new report from DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com), now part of IHS, worldwide desktop PC monitor shipments declined just over 3%, to reach 34 million units.
read more

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04:20
Kool Tools: Vuo 1.0 for media producers

Kosada's Vuo (http://vuo.org) is designed as an alternative to Apple's Quartz Composer. Aimed at media producers, VJs, interactive artists, and media-making non-programmers, it enables users to interactively create and mix audio, video, and 2D + 3D effects.
read more

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03:57
Apple dominates holiday giving, iPhones & iPads...

Data from Yahoo-owned analytics company Flurry shows that iPhones and iPads comprised more than half of all mobile device activations between 19th and 25th December, at 51.3% – almost three times as many as second-placed Samsung.

Apple accounted for 51% of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day.

The company notes that while Chinese companies Xiaomi,...

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02:44
Apple Granted a Patent for an iPen that also Works...

On the last patent day of 2014, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 35 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover one of Apple's unique digital pen inventions. This pen invention will allow a user to write on paper and have their notes simultaneously transfer to an iDevice like an iPhone or iPad. Apple's invention also ...

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Monday December 29

18:24
Cyberduck 4.6.1 - FTP and SFTP browser. (Free)

Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, Keychain, and AppleScript are built-in. Cyberduck is an Open Source product licensed under the GPL and free to use. Donations are welcome to help advance development in the future. Thanks to contributors, Cyberduck is available in English, Japanese, German, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, and Polish.Version 4.6.1:

  • [Bugfix] Uploads to buckets in eu-central-1 (S3)
  • [Bugfix] Supporting both Project ID and Project Number for login username (Google Storage)
  • [Bugfix] Failure to read attributes downloading bucket (S3)
  • [Bugfix] Wrong timestamp in temporary URL (...

| Read more »
18:00
Today in the App Store -- the best free apps, new...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Moment - Track how much...

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17:56
FOSS' Shining Moments of 2014


Well we're into the last few days of 2014 here in the Linux blogosphere, and fortunately the tequila supplies down at the Broken Windows Lounge continue to hold strong. The weather outside may be frightful, but the refreshments -- like the software -- remain nothing short of delightful. It didn't take long for bloggers to slip into a sentimental mood as they reminisced about the waning year. For blogger Robert Pogson, the highlight of 2014 came when his wife's PC died.

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17:30
Daily Deals for December 29, 2014, Featuring Our...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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16:18
Hackers Give Touch ID the Finger


Hacker Jan Krissler, aka "Starbug," this weekend told attendees at the 31st Chaos Computer Club convention in Hamburg, Germany, that he had replicated the fingerprints of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leven using a standard photo camera and commercially available software from VeriFinger. Krissler used a close-up of a photo of the minister's thumb and other pictures taken at different angles during a press event in October. "This is a result of the proliferation of high-resolution digital cameras," said tech analyst Rob Enderle.

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15:30
Apple Pay For the UK

An anonymous reader writes about when Apple Pay will be available in the UK. "A major UK bank's concern over data collected by Apple Pay is reportedly stalling negotiations to launch the mobile payments service in the country by 'the first half of 2015.' The Telegraph reports that 'at least one' of the UK's biggest banks is 'uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers.' Apple has been adamant about its approach to collecting users' data via Apple Pay. 'We are not in the business of collecting your data,' said Apple exec Eddy Cue when introducing the service in September. 'So when you go to a physical business and use Apple Pay, Apple doesn't know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it. The transaction is between you, the merchant, and your bank.'" ...

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15:25
A New Study Shows that Apple Gained 51% of New...

Over the weekend we posted a report titled "Samsung's iPhone 5 Clones failed to make a Dent against Apple." Their cloner attack on the iPhone 5 with their Galaxy Alpha line-up failed to steal iPhone users to their camp or even generate enthusiasm from their own Android camp. On top of that, the Korean Times reported earlier today that Samsung held a 13 hour marathon "crisis management" meeting today to find a way out of their negative profit nightmare. And if that wasn't enough, a new published study from Flurry delivers another punishing blow to Samsung that knocks them to the mat for a ten count for 2014.

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15:19
Apple to preserve historic Glendenning Barn on site...

Apple has always attempted to respect historic landmarks in planning its various real estate expansions, and as the San Jose Mercury News reported today, two buildings with a full century of history between them will coexist as the company continues its trend by preserving a 100-year-old barn to remain on the campus of its new headquarters.
The Glendenning Barn was built in...

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15:01
The latest iOS apps for Dec. 29

Here are some of the latest apps available at the Apple App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Bad Games has announced Selknam Defense. It's a free (though sponsored by ads) Tower Defense game variant.
MBG UG has released Mr. Noble. The app is designed to be the "digital Swiss Army knife" for iSO devices. Mr. Noble a a free download and offers full access to "Toolbox" and "Looks," as well as the chapters "Suits" and "Shirts." Additional content can be unlocked via in-app-purchases: US$0.99 for individual chapters or $4.99 for the entire suite of chapters.
read more

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15:00
Take an 18-minute look at how to fool Touch ID with...

It's possible to fool Touch ID but, as we've been saying since it came out, it isn't easy. The folks at Tested were curious about new methods of fooling the sensor and set out to find the perfect tool, a fake finger to trick them all. Their end resul...

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14:42
Johnson & Johnson’s “Donate a photo” app turns...

Johnson & Johnson:Donate a Photo, the free donation app from Johnson & Johnson takes your photos and turns them into a way to do good. For every photo you share through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to the charity of your choice. Your photos can do things like help a newborn breathe with Save the Children, get school supplies for a girl in Guatemala with Girl Up, or help a deployed service member call home with the USO.The web site says your photos won’t be used “to sell any products or for any other commercial purposes.” This looks like a great way to donate to some of the associated charities....

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14:35
External Link: Adam and Tonya Engst Discuss Tech...

On a recent MacVoices interview with Chuck Joiner, Adam and Tonya engaged in a far-ranging conversation about how tech journalism has changed over the last year, how Take Control Books is evolving, and why you won't always see the latest tech-scoop-of-the-day appearing on TidBITS (hint: we only want your eyeballs when there's something worthwhile for them to look at).  Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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14:25
External Link: A Sting for Open Wi-Fi Networks

If you feel a deep connection to the Elven smiths of lost Gondolin, or if you just want a magic glowing sword (and who doesn't), Spark IO has just the project for you: a sword that glows blue when it detects open Wi-Fi networks. The do-it-yourself project requires a plastic replica of Bilbo’s sword from "The Hobbit", an inexpensive Spark Core Wi-Fi development kit, and two AA batteries. When assembled, your Sting will detect nearby open Wi-Fi networks, glow blue, and publish a message on the network. Not guaranteed to kill Mirkwood spiders. Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts...

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14:19
What’s in Dom’s bag: CES 2015 Edition (Video)


It’s no surprise, the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 is right around the corner and we’ve been prepping our gear and getting ready to hit the show floor. The whole thing kicks off on Jan 5, 2015 and we’re excited to dive in and bring you coverage of the latest gadgets and accessories that 2015 has to offer.
That being said, it takes a bit of work to put together the content that you’ll see and a backpack full of gear. Most of us try to pack light, but there are very important things that are necessary to make sure the job gets done. Today, we’re taking a look at the gear I’m lugging around the show floor. I may not have everything I’m used to, but these essential tools help make the coverage a bit easier…

As you may expect, I’m mostly...

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14:17
9to5Toys Last Call: iOttie iPhone 6 car mount $14,...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the brand new 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.
Today’s can’t miss deals:

Amazon Gold Box – up to 50% off iPhone 6 cases/mounts, iPad accessories, Bluetooth speakers, more

  • iOttie Easy Flex 3 Car Mount...
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14:00
My favorites from 2014: Mel Martin

So many apps and gadgets - where to begin?

Well, let's start with some apps.

Topaz Impression for Mac

Expensive at U.S. $99.00, but this app beautifully transforms your images into what looks like fine art. The amount of control you have over your...

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13:50
Apple offers EU customers 14-day money-back returns...


Thanks to a European Union consumer rights directive now coming into effect, Apple customers in Europe now have the right of return—of digital merchandise, that is.  Apple’s new policy for purchases through its iTunes, iBooks, and App Store services gives EU customers 14 days after a purchase to change their minds, no questions asked, and receive a full refund.
The directive was originally passed in 2011 and was to be fully applied by EU member countries by June of 2014, though it is only a set of guidelines with no actual force of law behind it if not made part of the various EU members’ regulations. It states that all sales contracts should have a 14-day withdrawal period.
Apple recently added the 14-day return terms to its terms of service in EU nations served by its Luxembourg-based iTunes subsidiary and now includes a product return window in its account view for customers in those countries—either by sending a written statement ...

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13:43
Just like its phones, tablets and set top boxes,...

Xiaomi has definitely been growing fast in emerging markets, but until now the company has focused mostly on stealing as much of Samsung’s Chinese smartphone market share as it can. According to Gartner’s most recent numbers, the company rose in Q3 to take a spot in the world’s top 5 smartphone manufacturers. But the company has other products beyond just smartphones, and now it has apparently begun working on a new Mi-branded laptop—and, to no one’s surprise, it looks just like a MacBook Air.

As you can see in the image above, everything from the black chiclet keys to the wedge-shaped sides are eerily similar to Apple’s...

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13:37
5,200 days in space

The Atlantic:Mission Control in Houston literally never sleeps now, and in one corner of a huge video screen there, a counter ticks the days and hours the Space Station has been continuously staffed. The number is rounding past 5,200 days. It’s a little strange when you think about it: Just about every American ninth-grader has never lived a moment without astronauts soaring overhead, living in space. But chances are, most ninth-graders don’t know the name of a single active astronaut—many don’t even know that Americans are up there.A long but fascinating article about the ISS. It’s a shame it has become so “ordinary” that most of us never think of or hear about what is going on and why it is so important to mankind’s future.∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:35
UK banks wary of Apple Pay data collection, but...


Earlier this week, The Telegraph reported that several major British banks were in talks with Apple to launch Apple Pay in early 2015 in the United Kingdom. However, the paper also reported that at least one major bank was still negotiating with Apple over the terms of service, due to the bank's concern that too much financial information would be accessible to Apple.

“It is understood the bank is uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers,” The Telegraph writes. “Some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry.”
Ars contacted Apple about the matter and will update if we receive any response.
...

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13:00
iPhone takes on Android in a sci-fi battle to the...

The battle over whether iPhone or Android is better will never end, if only because Android users will never admit that they're absolutely wrong. Normally the conflict is merely verbal, but thanks to this entry from a video contest hosted by mobile g...

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12:56
Overheating MacBook fixed by drilling 60 holes in...

This is an interesting story from an iFixit programmer who attempted to fix his overheating MacBook Pro—an issue that many users have—by drilling a ring of holes in the MacBook’s body to increase airflow under its fans.
With a 1/16” bit, we drilled holes in the bottom case, under the fans (we figured out where the blades of the fan were exposed based on the dust pattern stuck to the inside of the bottom case). The speed holes worked: The boot chime rang. The screen glowed. The fans blew.
It’s too early to know if the fix will help long term, but initially the holes have decreased temperatures to an average in the 40s and 50s opposed to an average between 80º and 90º C and as high as 100º C before the modification.
The holes came only after trying a number of methods of fixing the dead MacBook, including baking the logic board in an oven, which...

| Read more »
12:25
Review: Belkin’s QODE Ultimate + Ultimate Pro...


The average iPad keyboard case sells for $100 or less, and there are now hundreds of options, mostly from companies based in China. But several developers have been selling deluxe iPad keyboard cases, using upscale metal housings and premium features to command $130-$180 asking prices. To that end, Belkin has debuted very early iPad Air 2 options called the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 ($130, available now) and QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 ($150, ...

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12:09
Misfortune Cookie Crumbles Millions of Security...


Check Point Software Technologies recently revealed a flaw in millions of routers that allows the devices to be controlled by hackers. The company detected 12 million Internet-connected devices that have the flaw. The vulnerability, which Check Point dubbed "Misfortune Cookie," can be found in the code of a commonly used embedded Web server, RomPager from AllegroSoft. A system attacker can exploit it to take control of a router and use it to steal data from both wired and wireless devices connected to a network.

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11:38
Samsung closes London store amid falling sales

What are Samsung Experience Stores? Why, they’re a dying species, if the latest development in Samsung’s efforts to establish its own retail empire are any indication. The flagship Samsung store in London, occupying a large and prominent spot at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center, has now been “permanently closed,” ostensibly in response to the company’s slumping smartphone sales.As much as Samsung tries to copy Apple, they prove time and again that they really don’t understand the market.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
11:33
Fugoo Bluetooth speaker differentiates with 40hr...

Note, I originally was going to review this in early 2015, but Amazon is having a pretty insane 1-day deal on it and I love it sooo…
Fugoo is the best Bluetooth speaker you’ve probably never heard of. I got mine after a few readers (and PR folk) rightfully noted its omission from our Best Bluetooth Speaker of 2014 list. I have been listening to it ever since and yep, it should be among the top and for $135, it is a no-brainer…...

| Read more »
11:30
Apple updates return policy in several EU countries

Apple has adjusted its return policy in several European countries, including the UK, Germany and France. The change lets customers essentially "return" digital purchases within fourteen days of purchase. Qualifying purchases include apps, music and ...

| Read more »
11:22
Chevron bringing Apple Pay to the gas pump in early...

Gas station chain Chevron is planning to integrate support for Apple Pay checkouts at its pumps starting early next year, according to Bloomberg. Chevron has already supported Apple Pay inside many of its stores since Apple’s iPhone-based mobile payment service launched earlier this year in late October.
Chevron previously discussed its plans to bring Apple Pay support to its stores...

| Read more »
11:22
Chevron to Integrate Apple Pay at Gasoline Pumps in...

Oil company Chevon has plans to expand its use of Apple Pay to gas pumps in the new year, according to a tweet the company sent out to a customer earlier today. In the message, Chevron says that it is working with Apple to bring Apple Pay payment solutions to pumps by early 2015.@SingAsana We are working alongside Apple to develop solutions to integrate with Apple Pay at the pump by early 2015.— Chevron (@Chevron) December 29, 2014 Chevron is an early Apple Pay partner, and was listed as one of Apple's supporters when the service first launched on October 20. Apple Pay is accepted at Chevron and Texaco gas stations at the current time, but it can only be used at the in-store cash register, which is considerably less convenient than a pump-side payment option...

| Read more »
11:18
Zamboni Desk Vacuum

Everyone needs a Zamboni!∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:11
Apple introduces 14 day iTunes refund policy in...

iMore:Apple has introduced a new cancellation feature for digital content in several European countries, including the UK, Germany, and France. The new policy allows customers in applicable countries to essentially “return” digital purchases from iTunes, including apps, music, and books, for a refund within 14 days of purchase.For those of you who want to ask, “When is this coming to the US/Canada?”, keep in mind this is mandated by Europe wide consumer protection policies and directives. It may never be available to those of us in the US and Canada.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
11:03
Pro Tools 11.3 adds OS X Yosemite compatibility

Great to see Avid add Yosemite support to the latest release.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
10:49
An Empathy Team at Facebook

To be clear, I don’t think that people who work for Facebook are evil. Instead they are part of a corporate machine whose job is to control all of our attention, for as long as possible. On the other hand, Facebook having empathy would mean a wholesale cultural graft towards a different way of thinking, developing and interacting with people.Great read here from Om Malik.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
10:34
Crappiest gadget ever

This is a funny story from Brad Reed at BGR. For what it’s worth, it does look like a crappy gadget.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
10:30
Disney CEO Bob Iger and Steve Jobs built a lasting...

Fortune today has a great look at Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, and the initiatives he's overseen at the Mouse since he rose to power after disastrous leadership by Michael Eisner. I was never a fan of Eisner myself, but I have loved the changes Iger has ...

| Read more »
10:29
Apple dominates new device activations for the...

It’s clear that Santa is no longer into cookies – he prefers Apples. It was a banner Christmas for the Apple, the company that started the mobile revolution with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. Seven years later, Apple accounted for 51% of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices.That’s a pretty substantial gap between first and second.∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
09:34
Disney CEO Bob Iger Discusses Working with Steve...

The cover of Fortune's January edition showcases an interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger and his "Empire of Tech," focusing on Disney's growing media empire with acquisitions of brands such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Marvel expanding the company's already considerable reach over the past few years. With Disney's and Iger's histories intersecting with those of Apple and Steve Jobs, Iger unsurprisingly takes a few moments to discuss topics such as his relationship with Jobs, his view on Apple and Disney's history, and Disney's attempt to stay relevant in a growing technological world. In one anecdote, Iger recalls the moment in 2005 when he was about to be named as the new CEO of Disney, calling Jobs ahead of time to let him know what was coming. Disney's own animation was seen as "lifeless" in the years before the company's 2006 acquisition of Pixar, and amid reports of "bad blood...

| Read more »
09:33
Apple expected to reverse iPad misfortunes in 2015

According to the latest forecasts from market intelligence firm, ABI Research, tablet growth is expected to resume and continue over the next five years with a forecast of nearly 290 million tablet shipments in 2019.
read more

| Read more »
09:30
A long ride on Apple's coattails scores Xiaomi...

There are plenty of tech companies out there that wish they were in Apple's position as one of the world's most valuable companies. Xiaomi -- the maker of the MiPad and MiPhone -- seems to have figured out how to quickly climb the value ladder, and i...

| Read more »
08:58
Rumor: Apple Pay to launch in UK in first half of...


Apple Pay may be coming to the old empire before too long.
Per 9to5Mac and the Telegraph, sources involved in talks taking place between Apple and “Britain’s top banks” have stated that the service is expected to launch in the UK in the first half of 2015.
A job listing revealed earlier in the month that Apple had a London-based team working on rolling out the service across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

The paper reports that while British banks have some qualms about supporting Apple in a possible “invasion of the banking industry,” they...

| Read more »
08:50
“The Interview” becomes available on the iTunes...


The Interview has finally come to iTunes.
Per Macworld, Sony has brought the comedy, which features Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists sent to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un to the iTunes Store. The movie can be rented for US$6 or bought for US$15 in HD or SD.

The Interview was supposed to launch in movie theaters on Christmas Day. But then Sony was hacked, and the alleged hackers threatened violence against movie theaters that would show it, so the movie theaters backed down, and then Sony said it wouldn’t even release the movie. In the end, Sony changed its mind and released the movie after all, to a few movie theaters as well as YouTube, Google Play, and Xbox Video.
It’s unknown as to why Apple didn’t immediately get on board...

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08:00
Apple introduces 14-day no questions asked refunds...

Apple has recently introduced a new 14-day no questions asked return policy for iTunes, App Store and iBooks purchases in Europe including the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and many other EU countries.
Apple’s terms and conditions for the stores previously stated users had the right to withdraw from a transaction “without charge and without giving any reason until delivery of the product has started.” That meant purchases were all but final apart from some exceptions handled by Apple support.
Now, Apple has...

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08:00
Five products from 2014 I can't live without:...

With 2015 right around the corner, the team at TUAW has been looking back at 2014 and reminiscing about their favorite apps and products of 2014. It's my turn to chime in, and I've decided to combine the best of both world's by including apps, Apple ...

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07:42
Apple Dominates Christmas Week With Over Half of New...

Mobile analytics firm Flurry today reports Apple accounted for just over half of new mobile device activations for the holiday season, with 51.3 percent of worldwide activations going to the Cupertino-based company. Using data from more than 600,000 tracked apps, Flurry focused on the week leading up to and including Christmas, from December 19-25. Trailing Apple in worldwide device activations was Samsung with nearly 18 percent and Nokia at almost 6 percent. Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent of device activations, which Flurry notes could be related to their popularity in Asian markets where the holiday season isn't the big gift-giving event it is in other parts of the world. To put this in perspective, for every Samsung devices that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices. For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices. While, the...

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07:26
The Big Tech Stories of 2015


Last week, we looked back at the largely untold, or under told, stories of 2014. This week, let's look ahead to some of the stories that are coming in 2015. We'll have robots, self-driving cars, armed autonomous drones, the professional proliferation of head mounted cameras, some scandals, and some interesting political implications. In 2015, we will begin to talk about the implementation of a number of technologies we saw previewed in 2014 and that will be introduced at CES next week.

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07:21
Disney CEO Bob Iger reflects on working with Steve...

A Fortune interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger, featured on the magazine’s cover (seen below) today, makes much of the importance of Iger’s relationship with Steve Jobs.
Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram writes: “If there is one particular relationship that has most shaped [Bob Iger’s] thinking, it’s the six-year friendship he had with another CEO: the late Steve Jobs […]
Ed Catumull, Disney’s animation president, says of the Iger/Jobs relationship: “Steve recognized that in Bob he actually had a partner. In the subsequent years they thought of each other as true partners. That’s what he wanted, and that’s not what he had previously.”
The mutual respect the pair felt for each other was reflected in the fact that Jobs, before his death, asked that Iger be invited to take his place on the Apple...

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07:00
Rumor Roundup: Send off 2014 with the worst of all...

Apple's Ultra-Slim 12-Inch MacBook Air Rumored to Enter Mass Production in Early 2015 (MacRumors)

Source: Digitimes

Chance it's true: 0.01 percent. Because Digitimes.

What better way to close out 2014 than with a rumor from the worst of all source...

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06:19
Amped Wireless unveils new Wi-Fi range extenders

Amped Wireless (www.ampedwireless.com) has launched two new range extenders that are reportedly the first to provide up to 12,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage and up to 1750Mbps of combined Wi-Fi speed.
read more

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06:05
Britain's Top Banks are Leerily Negotiating for...

The UK's Guardian is reporting that Britain's top banks are in talks with Apple to introduce its iPhone "wave and pay" service, Apple Pay, to Main Street in the first half of 2015. The interesting aspect of this story is that the banks are uncomfortable with Apple's quest for information on clients.

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06:00
Childproof Your Mac

When I put a computer in my daughters room, I soon realized I could no longer watch over her shoulder as she worked away at school games, Minecraft and of course Civilization (after all, that was my first game). So much as I wrote an article a long time ago about child-proofing an iPad, now I’m writing about child-proofing a Mac.
For me, I find that child-proofing is a bit like taking my kid to McDonald’s. I said never ever ever ever would I do this and then… Well, peer pressure, ya’ll… So if I have to do it, I figure someone else might. So here’s a quick and dirty guide to doing so. The gist of this guide is to continue using the same admin account that was created when you setup the computer initially. But to also create another account for the child, one that has some restrictions to keep them in a customized user experience. This might be to keep them out of things they try to do on purpose, keep them from accidentally finding some things they shouldn’t or maybe just to...

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05:48
Touch ID hackers attempt to take things to next...

The hacker who successfully used a fingerprint captured from an iPhone to fool Touch ID now believes it may be possible to perform the same hack without needing access to a physical fingerprint. Speaking at this year’s Chaos Computer Club convention, Jan Krissler – who uses the alias Starbug – demonstrated how a fingerprint can be generated from a series of ordinary photographs of someone’s finger … 
...

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05:36
Review: SwitchEasy’s Power Amp charges 4 iPhones or...


We take utter simplicity for granted when choosing wall chargers for Apple devices. Apple’s adapters each have one USB port and a relatively clear label identifying the device the port will charge. Most of RAVPower’s largest multi-port chargers are very clear about what their multiple ports can do: each port is either iPhone (1-Amp) or iPad (2.4-Amp) enabled, period. But SwitchEasy, an infrequent dabbler in electronic accessories, has overcomplicated its new four-port charger Power Amp ($50), sometimes styled PowerAmp. While it cosmetically looks almost as if it could be an...

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05:00
This Weekend in the App Store -- the best free apps...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Icebreaker: A Viking Vo...

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04:51
Kool Tools: Simon server monitoring tool

Dejal Systems' (http://www.dejal.com/simon/) has revved Simon, its server monitoring tool for Mac OS X, to version 4.0.
Simon checks web pages, FTP and DNS servers, local or remote ports or volumes, and many other kinds of services for changes or failures. Version 4.0 includes a new design, unifying all of the lists, logs and editors into a single window. It also introduces groups, unlimited tests. email services, a context filter, filter output in the preview, password protection and more.
read more

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