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News from around the community

Sony’s ‘The Interview’ (Finally) Available on iTunes

Apple added The Interview to iTunes on Sunday, three days after Google's YouTube and Google Play, as well as Microsoft's Xbox Video services launched the movie. The low-brow comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco had been pulled from distribution after the largest U.S. theater chains backed out of showing in the wake of terrorist attacks by a North Korean hacker group called Guardians of Peace (GOP).

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Weekly Game Replay: Nintendo patent disputes,...

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer up a single article with some of the significant happenings in the video game industry for the previous week. In this edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we take a look at Nintendo winning two patent disputes, the catch with free game offer for Assassin's Creed Unity issues, new details on Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Resident Evil HD cross-buy, and expansion of PlayStation Now to non-Sony devices....

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Hands On: Peggle Blast (iOS)

When PopCap Games released the casual-puzzle game Peggle for the PC in 2007, it was an instant hit. Somewhere between pachinko and bagatelle, the game has seen success across a number of games in the series and multiple platforms. Now Peggle Blast has made its way to iOS. How does Peggle Blast stand up against the classic version?...

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Aereo bankruptcy auction approved for week of...

Legally defunct over-the-air television streaming company Aereo has been given permission to sell its assets and technology in an auction. The Manhattan US Bankruptcy Court ruled this week that the sale would happen, under strict supervision by the broadcasting industry. The broadcasters will receive weekly updates on the process, and have the ability to block any sale that to participants they don't like for any reason shortly after the conclusion of the auction....

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Sony accused of pirating music for use in The...

Besides Sony Pictures' feature The Interview attracting the ire of both the North Korean government and hacker group "Guardians of Peace," it is also irritating a South Korean musician. Sony has used singer Natasha Shanta Reid's (also known as Yoon Mi Rae) "Pay Day" song in the movie without negotiating rights, or paying the artist in any way for its use. A lawsuit is pending....

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Hands On: Application Wizard 3.5 (OS X)

Hand on heart, we were not certain what the point of Application Wizard was when we got started. Ostensibly, the app is meant to make it quicker for you to open applications, which is fine except we have Apple's own Spotlight to do that. It's intended to make it very fast switching between apps but if you've not yet discovered what happens when you hold down the Apple key and press Tab, do that now and you'll never forget how useful it is. Application Wizard by developer Mabasoft, seems to duplicate many features we have on our Macs or in some of the most popular utilities. However, with use,......

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More iOS App deals for those last-minute gifts (...

Although we have mentioned some app bargains in our "beyond the last minute" gift guide this morning, the elves at MacNN and Electronista have been hunting up some additional discounts by shaking the App Store tree and seeing what falls out. We found a few more, so click through to save a bundle on some awesome app deals -- and don't forget to check back with us regularly for DealNN reports, Apple refurb store bargains, and our usual Friday Deals all year long!...

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Hands On: iStat Menus 5 (OS X)

This is a Mac troubleshooting app that once you've used it to track down one problem, you'll simply leave it running all the time. It gives you at-a-glance access to details about your Mac that vary from a little bit geeky to very geeky – but always useful. This is not something every user will need and it's not something that should come supplied on every Mac, but you'll wish it were. The latest iStat Menus is one utility that gives you immediate and constantly updated details of what your Mac is doing. It tells you how fast you're uploading to the internet and how much, it tells you how ve......

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Editorial: Seeing Sony's 'The Interview...

To much fanfare, and terrible reviews, Sony Pictures finally released The Interview -- a contentious, and some say trite, light comedy vehicle where a pair of bumbling reporters are recruited by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea. Conventional media, and governmental figures, have put this forth as a victory for the US' right to freedom of expression, and a defiant Sony agrees. However, viewing the picture isn't the act of defiance and patriotism that Sony wants you to think it is - in fact, viewers are now supporting a company that has called for censorship of journalists and US......

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Apple Japan to start 'Lucky Bag' promotion...

Apple Japan will begin its traditional promotion for Japanese retail buyers, known as Fukubukuro or "Lucky Bags," starting on January 2, the company has announced. The promotion involves customers buying one of several "grab bag" gift boxes for a set price -- last year it was about 36,000 yen, or roughly $300 in current US dollars -- that could contain very valuable gifts, and usually at least top the value of the list price. Some of the boxes contained iPads or MacBook Airs, for example....

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Logitech Harmony Universal Remote Finally Gets It...

For years Iâve been searching for the perfect universal remote control, one that was easy to set up and manage, able to control all aspects of all of my audio and video components, and reliable enough that I could throw the deviceâs original remote in a drawer and never miss it.

I finally found one -- and it's awesome -- but you'll have to read the column if you want to know more...

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Pre-Order Exclusive for Limited Edition Code Black...

Our friends at Stack Social got access to a limited number of pre-order units for the Code Black Drone + HD Camera. It ships in February, and this preorder lets you get it for $89-it will increase to $99 once it ships in volume. The Clode Black Drone is a very cool-and very small-quadcopter. This version also includes an HD camera on the nose. I've got one equipped with the SD camera, and it's a lot of fun. Check it out!

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Forums: 27-inch iMac problems and more

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Dedicated MacNNer started having problems booting their 27-inch iMac. After trying a variety of methods to get it to boot, they turned to the forums for some advice. On his quest to fix a problem with an unresponsive 13-inch MacBook Pro, "Thorzdad" asked fellow forum-goers for some advice....

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Apple deals: Save up to 22 percent on select iMacs...

Right now at Apple's online store, save up to 22 percent on select iMac and Macbook computers, including the refurbished 3.2GHz, 27-inch iMac that's dropped an impressive $450 in price, and is available for only $1,549. Features range from 8GB of RAM to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 675MX graphics card with 1GB of memory, and include a 1TB hard drive, as well as a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. Priced significantly lower, at only $1,199, is the refurbished 21.5-inch, 2.9GHz iMac, which offers savings of up to $300, and comes complete with the same 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and quad-core Intel C......

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Amazon lays claim to 10 million new Prime members...

In a release today, Amazon claims that the company's 20th holiday season has brought "record growth" to the Amazon Prime subscription service, despite a price hike to $100 per year earlier in 2014. Amazon reports that more than 10 million new members worldwide tried Prime for the first time, with nearly 60 percent of customers shopping on a mobile device....

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DealNN: HDTVs, wireless keyboards, and more

With the new year right around the corner it's time for Tigerdirect.com's End of the Year Clearance Event, featuring the Seiki 65-inch Class 2160p, Ultra LED HDTV. Currently priced at $999.99, this HDTV has dropped an impressive $2,500 off its once $3,499.99 list price, and includes a $100 mail-in-rebate that lowers the cost even more, down to $899.99. The Seiki HDTV comes with three HDMI ports, a 120Hz refresh rate, 4k signal compatibility, and a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160. Shipping rates start at only $30, and sales tax applies for residents of Florida, Illinois, Texas, and North Caro......

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Apps: Duplicate Annihilator, Airfoil, GarageSale

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Review: DoxieGo portable scanner (Windows, OS X)

Sometimes, people need to scan things, but having a computer at hand to do so isn't exactly feasible. Maybe it's the home of a relative that lives on the outskirts of civilization with no Internet, looking to organize family photos. Maybe it's an office filing room that's too small to set up shop. Maybe it's the cabin of an airplane and a traveler just wants to scan a page from Skymall. In this situation, the solution is generally to move items that need to be scanned to a location that has a scanner. With DoxieGo by Apparent, users don't have to worry about transportation; they can just throw......

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Reviews: DoxieGo Portable Scanner

Sometimes, people need to scan things, but having a computer at hand to do so isn't exactly feasible. Maybe it's the home of a relative that lives on the outskirts of civilization with no Internet, looking to organize family photos. Maybe it's an office filing room that's too small to set up shop. Maybe it's the cabin of an airplane and a traveler just wants to scan a page from Skymall. In th ......

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Apple offers Boxing Day iTunes sales for UK,...

As was the case last year, Canadians are once again getting a sale on selected albums in iTunes as part of a "Boxing Day" event, part of a traditional observance throughout Canada and a number of other Commonwealth countries. The UK iTunes Store is also having a sale on hit albums, but doesn't label the event as a "Boxing Day" sale. US users don't get a sale, but are instead enjoying special holiday channels on iTunes Radio, which remains unavailable in the UK and Canada....

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Mac...

Dave Hamilton, I, and the entire staff of The Mac Observer would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, or whatever winter solstice holiday you celebrate. We hope that you and your family have a great holiday weekend!

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More iOS App deals for those last-minute gifts

Although we have mentioned some app bargains in our "beyond the last minute" gift guide this morning, the elves at MacNN and Electronista have been hunting up some additional discounts by shaking the App Store tree and seeing what falls out. We found a few more, so click through to save a bundle on some awesome app deals -- and don't forget to check back with us regularly for DealNN reports, Apple refurb store bargains, and our usual Friday Deals all year long!...

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ACM 286: Apple and The Interview, Rockstar and the...

Jeff and Bryan want to know why Apple didn't jump on the opportunity to run The Interview, the Sony comedy about two Hollywood celebrities tapped by the CIA to assassinate the dictator of North Korea. They also explore the implications of the Apple and Microsoft-owned Rockstar Consortium, Inc. selling off all or most of its vast patent holdings. Is this the end of the mobile patent wars? It's a holiday episode that counts as short in their world.

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Dragon Dictate for Mac 4: $99.99

The commercials are annoying, but the product is great: Nuance's Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4. This voice recognition software allows you to transcribe, write, and edit on your Mac with your voice. You know it's good, because Apple licenses the underlying technology for Siri. It's regularly $199.99, but through our deal, you can get it for half that, $99.99.

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5 Great Tools for Supporting Your Family’s Computers...

If you're home for the holidays, there's a good chance you're doing some tech support. Kelly has five tools you can set up now to make remotely supporting your family even easier.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-24

Not only will "The Interview" be in theaters on Christmas Day, but it's available to watch online right now, unless you look at Apple's iTunes Store. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the deals Sony penned to get the movie North Korea wanted banned onto Google Play, YouTube Movies, and Xbox Video, and they talk about the obvious omission from Apple's iTunes Store.

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Merry Christmas from Electronista and MacNN!

Merry Christmas Eve, Electronista and MacNN readers! Large portions of the US and Canada are dealing with some pretty nasty travel weather, so if you're reading us from there, please be careful! Otherwise, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas....

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Apple Drops the Ball on Sony’s “The Interview” Deal

What do you do if North Korea strong arms you into pulling a movie from release? If you're Sony, you turn to the White House in hopes of convincing Apple to release it through the iTunes Store. And if you're Apple, you blow the chance for an exclusive deal so YouTube and Xbox Video can jump in instead.

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Hands On: Starlight: Find Stars and Constellations (...

There are billions and billions of stars in the night sky, and most of us can identify at least a few of them. However, it isn't always easy. Those among us who have never been good at finding anything other than the Big Dipper or the North Star shouldn't worry. Starlight: Find Stars and Constellations allows anyone to become an expert stargazer, picking out every constellation from Andromeda to Virgo in no time....

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‘The Interview’ Movie on YouTube for Rent, Google...

Google announced Wednesday that The Interview will be available to rent on YouTube starting at 1:00 PM EST. It will also be available for purchase through Google Play. In a blog post announcing the deal, Google even pointed out that it will be available to Xbox Video customers and at seetheinterview.com (that URL redirects to kernel.com as of this writing).

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Embattled Sony Pictures 'The Interview'...

Sony and others have unveiled a massive effort to make the Sony Pictures title The Interview available online. Google's YouTube Movies paid service paved the way with its announcement a bit earlier today, with Google Play, Xbox Videos, and a special Sony website all having declared that the movie would be available at 1PM Eastern Time. The picture will cost $6 to rent, and $15 to own in HD....

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4 Free Santa Trackers for the iPhone, iPad and Mac

Keeping track of Santa's location on Christmas Eve moved from blind trust in our parents and occasional evening news reports to our computers years ago, and now to our iPhones and iPads, too. What's the best way to follow along Kris Kringle's holiday route? We put together a list of our favorite apps and website so you can keep track of Father Christmas's travels at home or on the go.

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Hands On: Scrolls (OS X, Windows, Android)

Scrolls has finally been released to the adulation of gamers everywhere. The game was created by Mojang, the developers behind Minecraft, and written by Jerry Holkins, the writer of Penny Arcade. Scrolls feels similar to a traditional two-player board game like checkers or chess, as well as a player versus player card game, like Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone. We spent a bit of time with Scrolls to see how it stacks up against similar titles....

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OS X: Adding a Folder to the PDF Services Menu

Ever played around with PDF Services? Well, even if you have, you may not be aware that you can specify folders that appear in the menu. This'll let you save whatever you're looking at as a PDF right to a particular folder in just a couple of steps. We'll introduce PDF Services and teach you how to select which folders to save to, all in today's Quick Tip.

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Uber indicted in South Korea for breaking local...

South Korea has become the latest country to fight against the rise of ride-hailing service Uber, by indicting the local subsidiary and CEO Travis Kalanick shortly after launch. The company is said to be "violating a law prohibiting individuals or firms without appropriate licenses from providing or facilitating transport services," a legal challenge previously arising in a number of other markets around the world....

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The Beyond-Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

We're some 40 years overdue for flying cars, teleportation and printers that can output copies of our dreams, but there are a few methods by which the chronic procrastinators of this world can still swoop in with a last-minute gift for someone at Christmas they'll actually like. While Amazon has closed the doors to physical delivery of any products at this point -- even for Prime members - by the 25th, you still have perhaps a few hours left to send a Boxing Day present, or get in now to ensure a timely New Year's gift. Or you can read on for more suggestions.......

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PNAS study shows e-readers, tablets negatively...

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the United States of America has published a study entitled Evening use of light-emitting e-readers negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. The study compared e-readers with screens that project light, versus those that don't, as well as printed books read under reflected light....

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FCC petitioned by hotels to allow disrupting guest-...

The FCC has been petitioned by Marriott and an association of hotel owners to allow the jamming of Wi-Fi hotspots, usually set up by guests, on their premises for reasons of "managing Wi-Fi networks and security." The petition is possibly in response to when Marriott International and Marriott Hotel Services was fined $600,000 by the FCC for knocking guests off their own Wi-Fi networks (provided by hot spots and tethering to cell phones), forcing them to pay for the hotel's Wi-Fi access....

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Obama wants stronger cyber-security laws in 2015

Last Friday, at President Barak Obama's year-end press conference, Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico asked the first question. Her inquiry was whether Sony had done the right thing in canceling the release of the Seth Rogan comedy The Interview, and what a "proportional" US response to the North Korean-led cyber-attack on Sony would look like. While discussing the answers to those questions, President Obama called on Congress to help create stronger cyber-security laws....

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Hands On: Echoes communication app (OS X, iOS)

We've all had days in the office when there is great pressure and you can't afford time to leave your desk. Some of us have also had the rather less-satisfying situation where bosses frowned on you stopping to chat, and while those do tend to be the same sorts of bosses who won't let you install non-corporate-approved apps, if you can get it by them, Echoes (for Macs and iOS devices) is a way to bring a little humanity into your day. Possibly also a lot of irritation, as well -- but that'll depend on your colleagues, not on Echoes.......

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Kelly’s Alternate Holiday Tunes

Tired of the same old holiday songs? Kelly hooks you up with a few of her favorites. Keep in mind Kelly believes Die Hard is a holiday classic, so you may have guessed these are not the standards you're used to.

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Report: one neglected server caused JP Morgan Chase...

Back in July, five bank networks were hacked, the most notable of which was JP Morgan Chase, which resulted in more than 76 million households' information being leaked. At first, it was suspected that a "zero-day" exploit had been utilized to gain access, but an unidentified source has indicated the real story is somewhat more mundane....

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Rockstar Patent Sale Indicates Further De-escalation...

Rockstar Consortium, Inc. announced a major patent sale to licensing firm RPX on Tuesday. The company, which is co-owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, will part with more than 4,000 patents, the bulk of its remaining patent portfolio. The move signals a further de-escalation of the patent wars in the mobile space, because RPX will license the patents to some 30 different groups of companies across the industry.

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Apple’s Angela Ahrendts Posts Holiday Message...

Angela Ahrendts has posted her latest update to LinkedIn. She discusses a holiday song and the leadership message she wishes to convey this holiday season.

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Apple tops poll of Xmas gadget hopes for college...

A new survey of college students contains lots of good news for Apple, with the company clearly the most-desired brand for holiday gifts in all the categories Apple competes in. Cash and gift cards are still king, followed by clothing, but electronics was the third most-popular category of gift, reaching second most-popular among males. The overall second-place finish of clothing was due to a strong preference compared to electronics by women rather than men. Apple and its new Beats brand, however, did well with everyone.......

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Twelve South Offers Free Dual-Screen Mac Wallpapers

I've had a lot of very lovely Christmas/holiday greetings from some terrific Mac and iOS companies cross my desk this year, but Twelve South's stood out because the company is offering a free gift to everyone. Twelve South commissioned four sets of wallpapers from San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon designed for people with two displays. The one I included is called Nightscape, but there's also Fall in San Francisco, Cloudveil, and Soma. Each comes with a left image and a right image (though any one of them would be great for one-screen Mac setups, too), and they've been formatted specifically for seven different screen sizes, from an 11-inch MacBook Air to a 27-inch iMac/Thunderbolt Display.

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Dr. Mac’s Tips for Maximizing and Adding Storage on...

Many of Dr. Mac's readers and friends had problems updating to iOS 8 over WiFi, reporting that their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch complained that the update couldnât be installed because it requires at least 5.7GB of storage. If your iDevice only has 8 or 16GB of storage, chances are you saw a similar message. Here is Dr. Mac's advice to those whose iDevices are full or nearly full...

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Briefly: MegaSeg 5.9.4, LumenRT update

Fidelity Media has released a new update for its professional DJ and radio automation software, MegaSeg. MegaSeg is available in Pro and DJ editions, with MegaSeg DJ focusing on live mixing features and visual beat syncing with Magic Trackpads, and more, and the Pro version adding video playback with ambient visuals, sound effect hot keys, and other advanced features. Now featuring optimizations for OS X Yosemite, MegaSeg's new sound engine includes higher quality pitch-locking, looping and swappable output devices. Controller presets for Denon MC2000 and MC3000 devices are now available, and......

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PowerCube Outlet Expander - 4 Outlets and Dual-USB...

I have an extremely cool device for today's deal. It's called the PowerCube, a very clever way to maximize your power outlets. As the name suggests, it's a cube, which has six sides. One of those sides has a male plug for your wall. Four of the sides each have a female plugs, while the outside sixth face has two USB ports for dual charging. It's a very efficient way of turning one plug into four, with two USB ports to spare-all with a very small footprint. You can get the PowerCube for just $17.95 through our deal, so snap it up!

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FCC Moves Forward with Plan Reclassify Streaming...

The Federal Communication Commission is moving forward with its efforts to give Internet streaming services access to content, just like cable and satellite TV services. The change would prevent companies like Comcast and Time Warner from blocking streaming services from entering the market, and give potential cord cutters more options for watching the shows they want.The Mac Observer Spin: The FCC's proposed changes are a nice step in the right direction for protecting companies trying to move into the online TV content space. Excluding Netflix, Hulu, and other on demand content providers, however, doesn't do much to help preserve net neutrality.

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Several Apple Pay partners likely to miss 2014...

Several app and retail partners for Apple Pay will likely miss an initial 2014 deadline, a change on Apple's website suggests. The company has tweaked the headers for its lists of upcoming partners to read "Coming soon" instead of "Coming later this year." The retail businesses include ACME, Albertsons, Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Walt Disney World; the last is mentioned only because it's slated to launch support tomorrow....

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Forums: songs won't erase, trackpad troubles...

This week in the MacNN forums, members are plagued with songs that won't erase from their iPods, trackpad problems and more. "I can't erase songs from my iPod touch" says one frustrated Mac Elite, who is also baffled as to why there are random U2 songs on there that he never downloaded. After doing an update on an iPad 2, one Mac Enthusiast found that the unit is stuck on "searching" for cellular service....

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Hands On: Manual Photo Camera (iOS)

We often get a photo with sub-par quality when we use a cellphone or tablet as our go-to camera. One of the main reasons for this, of course, is because users have minimal control over individual camera functions like focus, white balance, and ISO sensitivity. The iPhone's camera is far more akin to a point-and-shoot than a professional model, and frequently the automatic settings can leave a picture feeling a bit lacking. But there's still hope -- something like Manual Photo Camera, by Rego Korosi, allows a person to take maximum control over shooting.......

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Hands On: System Monitor (iOS)

Anyone who has been caught without a charger, or with no storage space left to download pictures, music, or apps when away from their computer, is aware of how frustrating that situation can be. It's not always easy to tell how much RAM, free space, or talk time a user has left on their beloved iPhone or iPad. However, System Monitor by Tekton Technologies, is a very useful app that keys users in to the inner workings of their devices....

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-23

Procrastinators rejoice! Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to offer up some great last minute holiday gift giving suggestions that'll keep friends and family from knowing you waited until the last minute to get them something special. They also take a look at Tim Cook as CNN's CEO of the year, and the positive recognition Apple has been getting throughout 2014.

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CNN Money picks Apple's Tim Cook as CEO of the...

Apple's Tim Cook has been chosen as CNN Money's CEO of the Year for 2014. The site explains this is because "Apple is the apple of Wall Street's eye again;" the company's shares are noted to be up 40 percent this year, and close to an all-time peak. CNN in turn links that stock performance to the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and "excitement" about the Apple Watch, due to ship early next year....

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Hands On: RimWorld (OS X, Windows, Linux)

If a player finds themselves longing for a game that requires both long-term planning and quick thinking, simulation games are often the way to go. If a player is looking for an in-depth resource-management game, they should check out RimWorld by Ludeon Studios. One part The Sims and one part Minecraft, RimWorld requires players to not only colonize the alien land around them, but also manage the health and happiness of their colonists. The game plays very similarly to older SimCity-esque games, and largely boils down to properly allocating resources and disaster control.......

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RPX buys patent assets controlled by Apple-led...

A subsidiary of San Francisco-based RPX Corporation, RPX Clearinghouse, is buying patent assets held by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium, according to an announcement. Rockstar was formed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony in 2011 in order to buy some 6,000 patents in the wake of Nortel's bankruptcy. Although roughly 2,000 of the patents have already been separately distributed, RPX has entered into a deal in which it will receive license payments from a syndicate of over 30 companies, such as Cisco and Google. "The RPX Clearinghouse syndicate includes a broad range of softwa......

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CNN Names Apple’s Tim Cook CEO of the Year

CNN has announced their pick for CEO of the year for 2014, and it's no surprise they went for Tim Cook. CNN chose Mr. Cook because he guided the company into a sharp increase in stock value, plus he managed to show Apple can continue to innovate without Steve Jobs.The Mac Observer Spin: Considering Apple's leading position in the tech market and Tim Cook's strong leadership, it isn't any surprise CNN named him CEO of the year. It's also no surprise CNN called out Microsoft's Satya Nadella for his suggestion that women shouldn't push for better pay.

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LG teases new Music Flow networked speakers ahead of...

LG has revealed more details for new speakers joining its Music Flow networked speaker collection, competing against similar systems from Samsung and Sonos. Set to be shown off at CES, the new items consist of a portable speaker, two sound bars, and a streaming 3D Blu-ray player, all of which will be compatible with Android and iOS devices....

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Facebook debuts Stickered app for iPhone

Facebook has released Stickered for Messenger, an app that lets users add stickers to photos shot on an iPhone or iPod touch. The stickers can be added after or even before a photo is taken, as well as to pre-existing images in the Camera Roll. As necessary, stickers can be dragged, resized, and rotated....

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Apps: Posterino, MacPilot, Dupin

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Jeff Gamet Talks 2014’s Big Apple News on Mac OS Ken

Ken Ray invited The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet onto Mac OS Ken today to talk about this year's biggest, most important, and most overlooked Apple news for 2014. It was a big year for Apple, so there were plenty of stories to choose from and plenty for the two to discuss. Mac OS Ken is a free daily podcast at the Mac OS Ken website, through Libsyn, or at Apple's iTunes Store.

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OS X Yosemite: Changing Your Mac’s Ringtone

For today's Quick Tip, let's talk about how to change the default ringtone in Yosemite! We here at TMO really dig the idea of being able to answer calls on our computers, but we're not completely in love with the sound Apple picked as the default ringtone. So here's how you can switch it up if you want something different, too.

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Hands On: DevonThink (OS X)

This is going to be like reviewing a car by focusing on how great the radio is. DevonThink is a massive application that might as well aim to be your personal Wikipedia. Every thought you have, every note you make, everything you spot on the web, you can throw it all into your personal DevonThink database. So far that sounds very much like Evernote -- and it is indeed similar -- but DevonThink is equally focused on arranging and sorting that material....

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Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts offers holiday message on...

A new post from Apple Retail Senior Vice President (SVP) Dame Angela Ahrendts on her LinkedIn blog offers a simple holiday message and song with a theme of peace, saying her message for the season was simply "let peace begin with me." Ahrendts said she was inspired by a recent re-hearing of a song she used to play on piano, a rendition of "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by B.J. Thomas. The song, originally written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, offers an inspirational message of unity....

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Hands On: Writeroom (OS X)

Work-related writing beckons, and yet you can't help but drift over to check your email, fiddle with iTunes or meander to the black hole that is social media. Word processors are among the easiest working windows to stray from -- which is why Hog Bay Software developed Writeroom, a word processor that provides a full-screen, minimalist environment for a distraction-free process. Though Writeroom (priced at $10) last received an update back in 2012, it continues to be an enjoyable, useful tool in letting the words flow....

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Follow up: North Korean Internet back online

North Korea's connection to the rest of the Internet, which had been knocked offline this weekend, has been restored according to a new report. Over the weekend, Internet service in the country dwindled to nothing, after DDoS attacks against its Internet infrastructure increased....

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Developer sneaks NES/SNES emulator into iOS app

Once again, a rogue developer has attempted -- and succeeded, albeit temporarily -- in sneaking an app onto the iOS App Store that actually contains an emulator for a classic game system, forbidden under App Store rules. This time, it is...

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FCC hits pause again on clock for TWC-Comcast merger

In spite of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' assertions earlier this month that the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) is going along smoothly, the FCC has paused the informal 180-day clock on its investigation into the merger, due to a total of roughly 38,000 documents submitted by TWC beyond its deadline, and after the FCC had believed it was finished with that part of its investigation into the merger....

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North Korea refutes US hacking accusations, endures...

North Korea has declared it will strike against the United States, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the rogue state as the origin of the Sony Pictures hack. However, alongside the sabre-rattling statement provided by the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it calls itself) are reports that the country's Internet connection has itself been the target of an attack over the weekend, with North Korea effectively being knocked offline....

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Tor network servers experience outage after leaked...

Last Friday, the Tor Project blog posted about a possible threat that some of its servers would be seized in an attempt to incapacitate or hijack the Tor network. Over the weekend, a group of "exit node" servers in a Dutch datacenter went down, and then came back online. The service, a volunteer network of relays aiming to provide anonymity and security, says it was warned of suspicious activity that may have been instigated by law enforcement....

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VPN Unlimited Premium Plan: 3 Years Of Hacker...

Need access to otherwise restricted web content? Donât trust your WiFi connection? Need to ensure online security? You want to consider a virtual private network (VPN), and boom! We just happen to have a deal for three years of VPN Unlimited's Premium Plan for $19. With this package, your Internet data is encrypted between the VPN and you, greatly limiting your exposure to hackers, and for those who live in countries that block access, it can be the only way to get to some sites. There's a lot more information on our deal site.

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Apple issues NTP Security Update for several...

Apple has released what it calls a "critical" patch for OS X, dubbed the NTP Security Update. The code is currently being pushed to users via the Mac App Store, and solves vulnerabilities within the Network Time Protocol. The update is available for Mountain Lion (10.8.x), Mavericks (10.9), and Yosemite (10.10). While no known attack exploits the now-patched vulnerabilities, the discovery appears to be serious enough to merit immediate attention....

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Apple Releases ‘Critical’ OS X NTP Security Update...

Apple released security updates for OS X's NTP (network time protocol) service. The patch notes don't specify the changes, but do characterize the security flaw as "critical."

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Hands On: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy (OS X...

Let's start by getting one thing straight: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is not designed for the casual gamer. It is an extremely detailed affair, that has been designed to create a fairly accurate replication of war on the Normandy battlefield. Combat Mission is not a game of quick rushes and gathering resources, but instead requires players to thoughtfully plan out their military tactics one step at a time. It is a game of incredible detail, so if you are new to the game (as we were) be prepared to spend a couple hours just learning how to play, before you really get into your first fi......

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Apple supplier Pegatron promises to investigate...

Apple supplier Pegatron has issued a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, promising to investigate and fix labor abuses uncovered through a recently-aired BBC documentary. The company states that worker safety is its top priority, and that it runs strict training for both regular workers and management. It also notes the use of external inspectors in audits -- presumably referring to the teams used by Apple -- and says that it offers many ways for workers to submit feedback. During 2014, the company has allegedly resolved 94 percent of complaints within three days.......

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Dr. Mac’s Tried and True Apple Holiday Gift Guide...

Hereâs Dr. Mac's final batch of reasonably priced Apple related gadgets (and holders for Apple gadgets), all of which will be much appreciated by the geeks you love.

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Procrastinator’s Guide to Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Last minute shoppers unite in panic! In case you have missed all shipping deadlines for some reason, Kelly has some ideas that can help you whip up instant gifts.

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Monday Deals: Gigabit routers, Ultra HD television,...

Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us, and there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time.......

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Hands On: Calista (iOS)

Everyone's familiar with current trend in photos that keep popping up across the Internet. One part indie-rock and one part Photoshop, their soft colors and multiple filters have become the new cool thing. Originally these images took time, effort, and at least a basic understanding of Photoshop. But now something like Calista, by THINKSUIT, gives users the ability to make these straight from the comfort of a handheld device....

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-22

NPR's Serial podcast has become so big that Saturday Night Live recently made their own parody version. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the show and how podcasting has become a part of mainstream life.The also look at how Apple Watch has stolen the wearables market for the holiday buying season even though it won't hit store shelves for months.

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12-inch MacBook Air entering production early next...

Production of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air -- along with the Apple Watch -- should enter mass production in the first quarter of 2014, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. Suppliers are allegedly beginning to accelerate work on related components. The new Air is expected to have an Intel Broadwell processor, and an even thinner and lighter design....

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Freezing Rain Encases Slovenian Mountain in Ice [...

Marko KoroÅec is a weather chaser and photographer, and he grabbed some amazing photos in Slovenia after an freezing ice fog storm event. Dashburst has the photos laid out all nice and pretty, and they're stunning. Apparently Mr. KoroÅec climbed Mount Javornik and Mount Nanos after three days of freezing fog and rain-as one does-and captured nature at her most artistic. Check it out.

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Apple opens up official iTunes page on Tumblr

Apple has expanded its presence in social media with a new Tumblr blog dedicated to iTunes. At the moment the site focuses mainly on Apple's Best of 2014 content, in categories including movies, music, TV, and books. The company has had very little presence on Tumblr so far; it launched a page dedicated to the iPhone 5c in March, but has otherwise ignored the site....

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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for gamers

Gamers can be very selective in the types of things they want for the holidays, but Electronista and MacNN are offering some hints on gadgets that should appeal to any gamer on the shopping list. From smaller items that enhance play on consoles and computers to a tablet that allows gamers the ultimate on-the-go experience, out gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season....

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Apple Pay goes to Disney World for Christmas

Merry Christmas, Apple Pay, you're going to Disney World. The world-destination theme park plans to start accepting Apple's mobile payment platform on December 24, just in time for the holiday.The Mac Observer Spin: Disney promised to launch Apple Pay support before Christmas. Looks like they're keeping that promise even if it is within only a few hours of the holiday.

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Apple's Russian online store returns with major...

Apple's Russian online store is back online, following an almost week-long downtime. The store was taken down to review and change prices, and accordingly many products are now substantially more expensive. A 16GB iPhone 6 is 53,990 rubles, or about $988, far higher than the 34,990 rubles ($643) it sold for previously. A Retina iMac starts at 189,990 rubles, or $3,467. The same system is $2,499 in the US....

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SNL Takes on Serial with a Holiday Flair

Serial is the season's stand out podcast, which makes it a prime target for Saturday Night Live. The weekly sketch comedy show did Serial justice with a brilliant take that has Sarah Koenig investigating an elf named Chris who breaks into people's homes to leave presents for children. It's almost as if you're watching an actual episode of Serial. Pure holiday magic.

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Staples confirms attack on retail system, over 1M...

An intrusion into Staples' point-of-sales systems earlier this year put 1.16 million credit and debit cards at risk, the retailer admitted on Friday. Approximately 115 of the company's 1,400 retail stores across the United States were affected by malware on its systems, though the store apparently managed to eradicate the malware and improve system security in mid-September....

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Apple Rolls Out OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Public Beta

Mac owners who just can't wait to get their hands on the latest updates for Yosemite can try out OS X 10.10.2 public beta. The latest public beta release rolled out over the weekend and is available to anyone who signed up to get at the releases.The Mac Observer Spin: Public betas will give you an early look at what's coming next for OS X, but don't install the beta operating systems on mission critical Macs. There is a possibility you could lose data if something goes wrong.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Codename Morningstar iOS...

Earlier this month, we had talked about the falling out between Wizards of the Coast and Trapdoor Technologies over DungeonScape (or Codename: Morningstar, depending on the day), which was supposed to be the answer to every dungeon master's prayers. DungeonScape was gearing up to be an application, available for both tablets and computers, and its aim was to help eliminate the lengthy setup times and give users the ability to look up rules and equipment at a glance. Under a month after gaming company Wizards of the Coast killed the partnership, Trapdoor Technologies launched a Kickstarter in h......

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Rumor Claims 12-inch MacBook Air Production Coming...

The long-rumored 12-inch MacBook Air will finally start production in early 2015-or so claims the latest rumor. That news comes from Digitimes, which has a dubious record with its laptop predictions, but will no doubt have many hopeful shoppers holding their breath waiting for a summer launch.

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Public gets new beta of OS X 10.10.2

Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2. The code is identified as build 14C81h, and follows the third developer beta of the update, which was build 14C81f. For that Apple asked developers to concentrate testing on areas such as Mail, VoiceOver, and Wi-Fi connections....

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MGG 532: Blowin’ Up The Spammers!

Yep, another one of Dave's iMacs is having boot problems. It's mayhem! That's OK, he and John talk through possible resolution and also when not to assume you know the answer (hint: always!). Then it's on to maintaining your iTunes accounts, finding (and removing) any adware, and an unpublished solution to Yosemite's incrementing hostname issue. All this and more. Download today and enjoy!

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Get Free Bitcoins with 52 Website Faucets that...

I've gathered 52 different Bitcoin "faucets"-websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads-and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. I started off with eight sites, but this update bumps that list to 51 different Bitcoin faucets that really pay.

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Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred...

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN put together a one-stop article for some of the major news in the video game industry in the past week. In this week's edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we look at Valve's handling of Hatred on Steam Greenlight, Mojang and Telltale Games team up for a narrative-based Minecraft game, a judge gives the go-ahead on a Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft is exploring in-game purchasable game time tokens, and Majesco Entertainment's receiving an investor cash infusion....

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Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises...

In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in the event....

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Hands On: Lumy (iOS)

There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the "magic hour," or the "golden hour," but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really 60 minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint how much of that limited time you actually have be helpful?...

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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console...

[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, b......

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BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148...

Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay off given the improvement in the loss numbers, the company showed a 34 percent drop in revenue over the year-ago-quarter, suggesting that the road ahead for the company is still chal......

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Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app;...

Savage Interactive has released illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo". Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later....

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Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class...

A US district judge in San Francisco has outright rejected HP's settlement offer to settle the Autonomy acquisition class action suit in the US. Saying that "the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices" Judge Charles Breyer has kicked the settlement back to the plaintiffs without suggestions for recovery. The matter is now likely to head to trial sometime in the summer of 2015....

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Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls...

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine on the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to comply, for no real gain other than extra-judiciary punishment. Hood has responded, and is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail."......

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Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. But if we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out images and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application and a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant.......

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DPRK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony...

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling President Obama's words "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests, if the hack which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, continues to be blamed on the country.......

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Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

There's no shortage of word games on the app store, and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggles, and your Hangmen. But what about games that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created - to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre....

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Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all...

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced only last month -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's. Each of the three retailers grabbed double-digit shares of the Apple Pay pie....

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Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

Before we get into this, Video Converter Pro is currently free for a limited time, so go get it on the Mac App Store now. If you read this one minute too late and the price has gone back up, get it anyway because it is more than worth the usual asking price of $15. Or rather, it is if you need to convert videos, because that's what this just does, without fuss....

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Google, Samsung can’t Top Apple’s Unreleased Apple...

What's the most sought after wearable tech device? That would be the Apple Watch-a device that isn't even scheduled to ship until some time next spring. Apple's unavailable smartwatch beat out Google, Samsung, and Fitbit as the wearable device people most want to buy, according to a study by Ipsos MediaCT.The Mac Observer Spin: Polls like this are great news for Apple and horrible for their competitors because it shows consumers are more interested in buying a wearable device that has even shipped than products that are already on the market.

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Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

Staying on top of emails, especially when there are multiple accounts involved, is unpleasant. Of the many mail clients out there (such as Mail, included with OS X), each tries to offer users its own spin on staying ahead of the curve. Airmail 2.0, released earlier this year, provides a client designed for Yosemite, supporting iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP 3, and more. We got a hold of Airmail 2.0 (which we will simply refer to as "Airmail" going forward) to take a look for ourselves, and see if this email client stands out from the crowd.......

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Report: Apple Pay is Disrupting and Transforming...

"Apple Pay has the ability to significantly transform the mobile payment space." That's the conclusion of an ITG Investment Report published on December 19. A major finding is that Apple Pay has been responsible for one percent of all digital payment dollars. This is a "strong showing" given that Apple customers must have the latest iPhones and the limited list of merchants. John Martellaro summarizes the report.

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Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in...

Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are rumored to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head....

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Apple Raises Prices in Russian App Store Amidst...

Apple has raised the price of apps in the Russian App Store in the midst of a meltdown in the value of the Russian ruble. The move follows Apple's decision earlier in the week to stop selling iPhones in Russia because of the volatility.

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The Unexpected Ways Apple Watch Will Crush the...

Calling the Apple Watch just a cooler, better smartwatch isn't
the right way to look at this revolutionary device. Apple would hardly settle for that. Instead, the Apple Watch will so change people's lives that no other device on the wrist will do, and that will bring incredible success. John Martellaro makes his case.

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DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo...

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers....

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Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep" he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite....

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6-Ft MFi-Certified iOS Lightning and micro USB...

If you live in a multi-platform house, we have a deal for you on a 6-foot charging cable that's convertible between microUSB (for Android devices) and Lightning (for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch). Better yet, the converter is actually attached to the cable, eliminating the chance to lose it! That's clever, and I like clever. It retails for $40, but you can get it through our deal for $21.

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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit,...

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices....

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Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be 99 cents in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014....

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-19

The BBC says working conditions in factories making iPhones isn't all that great, and Apple says it's doing more than other companies to fix that. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about factory conditions, Apple's impact on workers in China, and the involvement of other companies in the efforts to address human rights.

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FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack...

[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie....

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Hands On: Zen Bound 2 (iOS)

Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard analog is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit....

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CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock....

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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, game console bundles...

There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this po......

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls BS on BBC iPhone Factory...

Following the airing of a BBC show depicting poor working conditions in the Pegatron factory making iPhones Apple CEO Tim Cook said the situation was misrepresented, and that he's "deeply offended." The report showed factory workers forced into extended shifts and ongoing safety issues.The Mac Observer Spin: It's a safe bet that Apple will have a new report out soon detailing its ongoing efforts to improve working conditions in China, and hopefully Panorama's "Broken Promises" special will help accelerate the process. It's important that Apple is called to task for poor factory conditions at its suppliers, but it's also important other companies using the same facilities get called out, too.

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Apps: Mellel, ScreenFlow, BBEdit

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Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended...

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's senior VP of Operations, Jeff Williams, claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically Williams are Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."......

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Watch ABC app for Apple TV gets full episodes for...

Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on the Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities....

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McDonald’s Supersizes Sales with Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Fast food giant McDonald's has been testing Apple's iBeacon technology in some of its Columbus, Ohio, locations and that's translating into bigger sales. The four-week program say 18,000 redemptions for products features through iBeacon notifications, and a notable increase in sales, too.The Mac Observer Spin: McDonald's is an excellent test platform for iBeacon because the company already has an efficient system for tracking sales, so any changes are easy to see. It's also a great example of how effective iBeacon can be for retailers and restaurants hoping to find new ways to boost sales and improve customer service.

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Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform...

Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else....

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Hands On: Photon Flash Player for iPad (iOS)

Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other......

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Uber agrees with Portland council to suspend service...

Uber is putting a stop to its app-based taxi service in Portland, just two weeks after it launched. The Wall Street Journal reports the company made an agreement with the city to put a hold on the service for a three-month period, while the two parties negotiate and create a regulatory framework that allows ridesharing services to coexist with existing cab companies and other transportation options....

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Google posts response to leaked Sony 'Project...

In the past weeks, quite a lot has been revealed about Sony's role in ongoing anti-piracy efforts due to the leak of emails as part of the fallout of the North Korean-based GOP attack on the studio. In a post on Thursday on the Google Public Policy Blog, Kent Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, outlined even more leaks that describe a combined and carefully planned effort by Sony and five other studios that began this year to provide funding and legal support for the MPAA's efforts to court State Attorney Generals and target Google directly.......

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Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final...

In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved....

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Misfortune Cookie exploit endangers 12 million...

Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies released information on Thursday about an exploit they are calling "Misfortune Cookie." This bug was introduced into "RomPager" software, which is commonly embedded into residential gateway devices such as routers, beginning in 2002. A conservatively-estimated 12 million un-patched devices, connected to the Internet in 189 countries, are at risk....

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Hands On: Snapselect photo management app (OS X)

Apple's professional photo manager, Aperture, had its advantages over its biggest rival, Adobe Lightroom -- and it is a shame the former been dropped (to be replaced with a new app, Photos for Mac, early next year). One thing Aperture was really good at was adding photos - so much so that we tended to do it over and over. Just not intentionally. One thing it was bad at, by contrast, was helping you find duplicates -- so a big photo library quickly became an unmanageably enormous one. Snapselect intends to fix this for users of Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto -- and anyone who has tried to handle p......

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Analysis: Title II regulation, with forbearance, the...

Since President Barack Obama voiced his support for reclassification of ISPs as utilities, there has been much debate back and forth, and back again on the topic of "Title II" regulation of carriers. Would it be the dystopian nightmare anti-government zealots and the carriers proclaim, or would it provide a golden utopia of progress for consumers and American businesses alike?...

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White House encourages US telecommunications to...

In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world....

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Hands On: Supreme Ruler (Steam for OS X, Windows)

War games may have originated from the need to boost military logistics and planning, but they have since become popular with civilian gamers. Risk and Chess are two popular war games most people are familiar with, as are Civilization and Hearts of Iron. How does newcomer Supreme Ruler Ultimate, by Battlegoat Studios, stack up to the classics?...

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BBC Films ‘Apple’s Broken Promises’ for Worker...

The BBC has published a video (below) showing what it describes as "Apple's broken promises" to improve and protect working conditions in its Chinese factories. The media organization sent undercover reporters in to work at a Pegatron factory making Apple iPhones, where they filmed company-orchestrated cheating on tests, hours that far exceed Apple's requirements, and intimidation tactics used to control workers.

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New USB thumb drive-sized device can take over...

A new USB microcontroller -- roughly the size of a small thumb drive -- has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept device that leverages a serious and unfixable vulnerability in USB easily take over and install malware on any unlocked computer. Though it requires physical access or tricking the user into inserting the controller into a USB port, the device has worrying implications for any computer left unattended for more than a minute -- the time it takes for the device to gain admin access, change network settings, install a backdoor and remove any obvious sign of intrusion.......

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Save 96% on The World’s Largest iOS 8 + Swift...

80 hours of video training and 24 in-depth courses. This is a massive bundle of iOS 8 developer training courses for Apple's new Swift language. Bought separately, the retail price is US$2,956, but through our deal you can get the whole shebang for $99. Boom! Over the course of the training, you'll build 70 different apps, watch more than 1,000 videos, learn how to upload to the App Store, and learn fundamentals on app design itself. This would make a great gift for someone in your life who wants to learn how to program, too.

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Apple Job Posting Suggests Worldwide Expansion of...

Apple Pay has been a huge success in the United States. The mobile payment purchase is supported by credit cards used for 90 percent of purchases. Now, thanks to a job posting that's been spotted, it seems Apple is ready to expand Apple Pay into Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.

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Cook makes 'generous' donation to LGBT...

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a "generous personal financial investment" in Project One America, an LGBT rights effort run by the Human Rights Campaign, according to an announcement. Project One is concentrated on securing marriage and nondiscrimination rights for LGBT people in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC says it's interested in "tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most." The organization also lauds Cook for being the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, calling it a "clear and powerful message" about it being acceptable to......

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Hands On: Habits Pro (iOS)

They say it takes 21 days to make a good habit or break a bad one, which seems simple enough. Logically, most people should be able to clear the three week hurdle with little effort. However, most of us can get a little absent-minded, especially when we get busy. That's why Habits Pro, by Track & Share Apps, exists -- to help people stay on task in their quest for self-improvement....

| Read more »
Apple rejects conclusions of BBC expose showing...

Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai....

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Third iOS 8.2 beta brings back blood glucose tracking

Apple has begun seeding a third beta of iOS 8.2 to developers. Significantly the code restores blood glucose tracking in the Health app, which was temporarily disabled earlier this year due to confusion caused by the app displaying data in mg/dL but accepting data from devices using mmol/L as well. In the new software, users can toggle between mg/dL or mmol/L....

| Read more »
The Story Behind Apple’s ‘The Song’ Commercial (...

I love Apple's new spot called "The Song." It was released on Sunday, and on Wednesday Apple published a behind-the-scenes video called "The Story Behind 'The Song.'" It explains the concept evident in the commercial-a young woman finds a a record of a love song her grandmother made for her grandfather. She then takes that recording, which was made in a Voice-O-Graph booth , and adds guitar and vocals to turn it into a duet. More interestingly, however, the video also shows how Apple worked with Third Man Records-the label owned by Jack White-to make the video. The actress who played the grandmother in the late 40s recorded the song used in the commercial on a 1947 Voice-O-Graph owned by Third Man Records. That same booth was filmed for the commercial, too. Check it out-it's very cool.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-18

You can't buy an iPhone in Russia today because Apple isn't cool with the wildly fluctuating ruble. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple's decision and what impact that has on the company and consumers, plus they take a detour into Sony's decision to not release "The Interview," and they touch on Netflix's decision to not offer movies for offline viewing.

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Jimmy Fallon gives out iPad Air 2 to Tonight Show...

On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give people 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499....

| Read more »
Jawbone delays shipping Up3 fitness tracker until...

Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues....

| Read more »
Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in...

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less....

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djay Pro for Mac brings four decks, Spotify, high-...

Algoriddim has launched djay Pro, a new Mac edition of its typically iOS-based DJ software. In its new incarnation the app supports up to four simultaneous decks, rather than two, and can draw music not just from a local iTunes library but from Spotify, thanks to a partnership with the streaming music service. It also exploits Retina displays and multi-core 64-bit processors; on a 12-core Mac Pro, the app can handle up to 24 processing threads at once for track analysis....

| Read more »
iPhone Apps: Drafts, Procreate, FX Photo Studio

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Job listing points to global Apple Pay growth,...

(Updated with Chinese job listing) A new job listing indicates that Apple is actively working on expanding Apple Pay worldwide, beginning with Europe. The company is seeking an Apple Pay intern who will work with a London-based team. The listing states that Apple Pay is "set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa," and that the London group will collaborate with "issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe."...

| Read more »
Hands On: Moxie 2 (iOS)

Word games have been around for a very long time. Most people grew up playing Scrabble or Boggle, and many have moved on to similar games like Words with Friends. The one thing most word games have in common is that they require, at minimum, two players. But now there's Moxie 2, by Blue Ox Technologies Ltd, a intuitive single-player word game....

| Read more »
Apple to charge VAT per-country at European App...

Apple has sent an email to iOS developers, notifying them of a change to the way it handles VAT (value-added taxes) at European App Stores. Currently the company charges a single VAT rate across the European Union; soon, though, it plans to charge on a per-country basis. The change is due to take effect on January 1st....

| Read more »
UK carriers agree to £5B investment to improve...

A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme....

| Read more »
Hands On: Mazec – Handwriting Input Method (iOS)

People must really dislike Apple's on-screen keyboard for iPhones and iPads, because the instant we could try alternatives, we got alternatives. Some seem different for the sake of being different. Some, like TextExpander's one, add useful new features -- yet take away some of the usability. But then you get the odd keyboard like Mazec, which tries to offer a true alternative. Rather than typing, you scribble with a stylus -- if you've got one, and haven't lost it -- or with your finger....

| Read more »
Review: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and compact, minimal design. But is the Dell AD211 a good buy for consumers looking to get the most out of their money, or does it fail to meet modest expectations? Find out in our review.......

| Read more »
Tim Cook: Apple World AIDS Day campaign raised $20...

In a memo to all employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the recent (Product) RED campaign, which ran through app upgrade purchases, in-store items and online accessories during the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 raised over $20 million, which will be seeded to the Global Fund. The group fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health threats largely in Africa and other impoverished areas. Cook said that the promotion has thus pushed Apple's total contribution to over $100 million since 2006....

| Read more »
Reviews: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and com ......

| Read more »
Hands On: Default Folder X (OS X)

If Apple has its way, then one day we will never save another document -- and we will never think about where it went. It will just be there when we want to open it again. That's nice. Until then, we open and save documents nearly as often as we check Facebook. Which makes it a shame that OS X rather fights us. You can open a document from this folder on that network drive and you can then save it on that folder on this USB stick, but it is a pain. Not much of a pain, let's not get carried away here, but try doing it twice and see how you feel. That's where Default Folder X comes in.......

| Read more »
Hands On: SuperSync (OS X, Windows)

Apple's iTunes media player has been around since 2001 -- meaning that for many users, it's likely that their library has traversed multiple system upgrades, duplicating and splintering across a variety of drives and mobile devices along the way. For this, there is SuperSync, an app designed to provide access to all your music in one location, allow libraries to be accessed via the Internet, and organize multiple music libraries as to stay organized. Aimed at DJs, avid music collectors, and anyone with multiple libraries, SuperSync aims to get all your tracks in a row. Pricing is organized by......

| Read more »
Uber announces 'greater investment' in...

In response to the concerns of customers, legal troubles and bans in multiple markets around the world, rideshare/taxi service Uber has begun a study into ways to better screen drivers and improve overall safety. Phillip Cardenas, Uber's head of global safety, outlined the company's plans in a recent blog post today. Cardenas comes from Airbnb where he spearheaded the creation of that company's safety program....

| Read more »
Breaking: US reverses, to say North Korea behind...

US government officials now believe North Korea is, in fact, behind the attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer system and subsequent data leaks, according to reports. The government is also said to be preparing to make an official statement about its findings, which may arrive as soon as tomorrow, though apparently there is still some internal debate as to what kind of response to make to the insular country. Previously, the FBI had said it had "no evidence" of a direct North Korean connection, though the country was suspected from the outset.......

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Jobs' deposition in Apple-Real trial to remain...

As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answering questions about the case. Yesterday, a jury exonerated the iPhone maker from charges it had conspired to lock out competitors.......

| Read more »
Apple Pay: a List of Brick-and-Mortar Stores That...

The number of brick-and-mortar stores that accept Apple pay is growing. Soon, we won't be able to keep track of them all: it'll be a widely accepted standard. But for now, going into the holidays, here's the latest list we have for the U.S.

| Read more »
Briefly: Fleksy Keyboard 5.0, Booqpad for iPad Air 2

Customizable iOS keyboard app Fleksy has received a major update introducing new themes and extensions, as well as improvements to existing features. Fleksy allows users to find and send GIFs, and provides autocorrect while typing, and intuitive gestures offer greater typing speed. Version 5.0 of Fleksy offers more themes to choose from, including branded ones. New keyboard extensions can be dragged and dropped as cards to add and remove features. Five extensions are available at the time of launching, including a GIF keyboard, Numbers Row, One-Handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. A......

| Read more »
Apple seeds Safari 8.0.3, 7.1.3, and 6.2.3 betas to...

Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items....

| Read more »
Apple notifies iOS devs about Feb., June deadlines...

Apple has issued a new notice to developers, reminding them of two important deadlines concerning 64-bit support in iOS apps. As was previously announced, those submitting new titles to the App Store must implement 64-bit support -- and use the iOS 8 SDK -- by February 1st. Additionally, the company now says that updates to existing titles must meet the same standards as of June 1st....

| Read more »
Briefly: Mujjo's gray wallet iPhone case,...

Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 - one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket - and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo.......

| Read more »
Apple Canada ordered to turn over documents in...

The Federal Court of Canada has agreed to order Apple's Canadian division to turn over documents to the Competition Bureau, Reuters reports. Apple has already handed over some requested documents, but may not be handing over as much as the Bureau wants or needs. The Chief Justice for the court, Paul Crampton, is due to sign the order later today....

| Read more »
Apps: Posterino, GraphicConverter, Typinator

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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for the Apple gadgeteer

It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact its so close, that any helping hand might be welcome for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life....

| Read more »
Hands On: Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves

It shouldn't be a secret that normal, cheap knit gloves actually don't contain enough fabric to prevent a persons finger from interacting with a capacitive screen. This means that, yes, normal knit gloves are technically touchscreen gloves but normal cheap knit gloves also don't contain enough fabric to keep a persons hands warm in most cold weather. That's where Refined Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo come in - promising to let us interact with all our touchscreen devices while keeping our hands toasty....

| Read more »
Pixelmator Mac, iPad apps get significant updates

Pixelmator Team has released updated Mac and iPad versions of its namesake image editor. The Mac update, v3.3.1, now supports pinch-to-zoom gestures on trackpads, fulfilling a popular demand. Resizing and scrolling options have been added to the Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes....

| Read more »
Pages: Adding and Formatting Links within Text

If you need to put a link to a webpage or an email address into a document in Pages, there's an easy way to format it so that it looks far more professional than it would if you just pasted the text in. For this Quick Tip, we're going to cover how to do that and also what effect that'll have on exporting the file to other formats.

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Briefly: Instagram filter collection grows, Pebble...

Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hide the rarely-used filters from view....

| Read more »
Hands On: Cinematica 2 (OS X)

We all have more videos than iTunes Store ones, we all have more videos than we can ever remember getting. They're from our digital cameras, they're from our iPhones, they're Vimeo files we wish we could remember how to download again. However we got them, we have them now, we can't find them very easily and they are all clogging up our hard drives. Plus, we have to to somehow remember that this movie will play in iTunes but that one needs the extra VLC video player. Cinematica 2 does a smart job of solving this by giving you one place to see everything it possibly can.......

| Read more »
Apple's iPhone gains share, will likely topple...

According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth....

| Read more »
Hands On: Movavi Video Editor (OS X, Windows)

Try as you might, you're not going to revolutionize how video is edited: whatever application you're using, the process has been roughly the same since we ditched celluloid and razor blades. Equally, you're not likely to easily replace Apple's iMovie for ease of use, nor Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X for high-end professionals. Movavi Video Editor, an editor for Windows that has just made the jump to OS X, definitely aims at being very simple to use -- but it's also intended for the ever-growing number of us who just want to quickly get video out to people.......

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Flaw in online boarding passes enable anyone to view...

Dani Grant, the founder of the security research group Hackers of NY, has reported a serious flaw in the way that Delta and potentially other airlines handle online boarding passes, often displayed on smartphone screens to gain entry to flights. Grand discovered that if she shared the URL to her Delta online boarding pass, anybody could download and potentially redeem it. Even more disturbingly, when she changed with the last digit of the seemingly random numbers in the URL, she could view someone else's online boarding pass, which might even be on an entirely different airline.......

| Read more »

Monday December 29

00:57
Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine Meeting with Musicians Over...

Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine has been meeting with a number of music artists over doing exclusive album releases similar to Beyoncé's incredibly successful iTunes album last year, reports the New York Post. Citing sources close to the matter, the paper notes that Iovine is using his close connections with popular musicians like Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, and Gwen Stefani to create new side deals that would bring exclusives, with Beats also said to be negotiating additional promotional deals after a successful campaign with AT&T earlier this year. It’s been almost a year since Beats Music launched with a brace of Super Bowl spots starring Ellen DeGeneres and a big promotional backing from AT&T. The promotional relationship ended a few months ago, and parties are discussing future deals. "They outperformed expectations in terms of the upsell," said one source of AT&T. In...

| Read more »
00:23
Apple in Talks with Major Banks to Launch Apple Pay...

Top banks across the UK are currently negotiating with Apple to launch Apple Pay in the country during the first half of 2015, reports The Telegraph. Sources close to the matter note that the major banks have cited privacy concerns over the personal and financial information of users, but admit that they are positive about the impact the service has had in the United States. It is understood the bank is uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers. Some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry. Sources accepted no major bank will want to miss out on Apple Pay, however, as early signs from the United States suggest it may be the service to finally convince consumers to...

| Read more »

Sunday December 28

14:08
Apple Makes 'The Interview' Available on...

Just a couple days after Sony Pictures made much-anticipated and controversial comedy The Interview available on Xbox Video, Google Play, YouTube and SeeTheInterview.com, Apple has made the film available on iTunes ($5.99 for rent, $14.99 for purchase), issuing a short statement to Re/code. We're pleased to offer "The Interview" for rental and purchase on the iTunes store.On Tuesday, it was reported that Apple had declined the offer from Sony Pictures to host The Interview on iTunes. There was no official answer on why Apple declined, although it was assumed the Cupertino company didn't want to move on Sony's quick timetable. One possibility is that the company did not want to disturb the iTunes Connect...

| Read more »
11:00
The Week in Review: news and features you don't...

Last week was a busy one with your favorite TUAW writers posting some excellent How-To guides, commentary and other informative news articles. Here's a quick roundup of our recent feature worthy posts you may have missed:

News

NTP bug fix was App...

| Read more »
10:17
Apple now streaming Sony’s ‘The Interview’ on iTunes


Apple, after reportedly being involved in early negotiations for the film, has put Sony’s “The Interview” up for streaming on iTunes. Apple is offering the film at the same price as Google, YouTube, and Xbox video – $6 to rent and $15 to own.

Sony announced last week, that due to a lack of support from theaters and threats made by cyber hackers, it would not be releasing “The Interview” in theaters or online. President Obama, however, voiced his opinions on the matter earlier in the week and said that Sony made a mistake by scrapping its plans to show the film because of the threat....

| Read more »
09:13
Sadly, Samsung is excited about Air Purifier Sales...

With Samsung's mobile sales depressed and mobile profits falling off a cliff, one of Samsung's only shining stars in 2014 was their air purifiers that experienced 300% growth. What happened to the mobile industry's "King of volume" smartphones? Now that 2015 is just around the corner, Samsung has now found a newly discovered vision about home automation and we're going to hear all about it at CES 2015.

| Read more »
09:00
Pocket Drive turns your iOS device into an external...

Pocket Drive (free with in-app purchases) is an easy to use app that lets your iOS device connect wirelessly to any computer on your network and move files, photos, music or videos between them. The app supports links to both Macs and PCs.

The app i...

| Read more »
07:00
All the best hardware and app reviews last week on...

With the holidays, last week was a slower one -- only a handful of new hardware and apps made their way into TUAW's virtual office. Here's a quick roundup of our recent reviews you may have missed over the holiday bread.

App Reviews

2 new weather...

| Read more »
05:00
Show Volumes On The OS X Desktop

I spent a lot of time on Windows a long time ago. And one of the things I got used to was having hard drives on the desktop. And I liked it. So when Apple took them off the desktop I started running these commands on new accounts only own systems. The other day when I gave them to someone, they said I should post them. So here goes…
To show removable media (cards, etc):
defaults write com.apple.finder ShowRemovableMediaOnDesktop -bool true
To show external hard drives (USB, Thunderbolt, firewire, etc):
defaults write com.apple.finder ShowExternalHardDrivesOnDesktop -bool true
To show mounted servers (AFP, SMB, NFS, etc):
defaults write com.apple.finder ShowMountedServersOnDesktop -bool true
To show internal hard drives:
defaults write com.apple.finder ShowHardDrivesOnDesktop -bool true

| Read more »

Tuesday December 23

07:35
If you can't send or receive messages on your...

You might see an exclamation mark next to a message you try to send, or you might not receive messages that someone sends to you. These steps can help. 

| Read more »

Monday December 22

12:48
About OS X NTP Security Update

This document describes the security content of OS X NTP Security Update.

| Read more »

Friday December 19

15:37
Apple Web Server notifications

This article provides credit to people who have reported potential security issues in Apple's web servers.

| Read more »

Thursday December 18

13:28
About the security content of Xcode 6.2 beta 3

This document describes the security content of Xcode 6.2 beta 3.

| Read more »

Thursday December 11

12:04
If you can't open iMovie, GarageBand, or iWork...

If you bought an iOS 8 device that's 32 GB or larger, it came with a new bundle of apps from Apple, including iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iTunes U. Find out what to do if you can't open these apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

| Read more »
10:10
About the security content of Safari 8.0.2, Safari 7...

This document describes the security content of Safari 8.0.2, Safari 7.1.2, and Safari 6.2.2.

| Read more »

Monday December 8

12:46
If you can't make or receive calls on your...

You might not be able to make or receive calls on your iPhone if you have certain settings turned on, if your software isn't up to date, or if there's a problem with your network. These steps can help.

| Read more »
 
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Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one app.   | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly what it’s all about. | Read more »
Fast Fishing Review
Fast Fishing Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVES UP TO ITS NAMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fishing is far from relaxing in Fast Fishing, but it is fun.   | Read more »
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available N...
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available Now for iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Satellina Review
Satellina Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: TWITCHY BUT TACTICALUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Satellina requires quick thinking and twitchy fingers, and it’s pretty fun.   | Read more »
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer,...
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer, Has Gone Free-to-Play in a New Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 22nd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
PureSkate 2 Review
PureSkate 2 Review By Tre Lawrence on January 22nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: ALMOST ALL AIRUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PureSkate 2 lets one’s fingers do the skateboarding.   | Read more »
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