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Wednesday July 30

14:37
Apple issues MacBook Air EFI firmware update for...

Apple released a new update for MacBook Air EFI firmware today, updating to version 2.9.1 for "Mid-2011" models of the notebook. The company states that the update fixes a few updates for owners facing problems with waking from sleep and fans running at full speed in a specific instance. The update replaces a previous version that caused a number of problems for owners....

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14:27
Apple posts new Macbook Air EFI update 2.9.1

As we reported last week, there were numerous problems with the Macbook Air firmware update released earlier in the week. Users reported symptoms as innocuous as the update simply not being applied, to preventing the laptop from rebooting. In most cases, performing multiple SMC resets on the computer fixed the booting problem, but the update was still not installed. A few users found that even though the System Information application reported that the firmware was not updated, afterwards their Macbook Airs began suffering some of the problems that the 2.9 update was supposed to fix. Some of the symptoms included trouble reconnecting to wifi networks, fans unnecessarily running at full speed, and issues with sleeping and...

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14:22
Amazon’s bullshit

Bryan Chaffin fills in the “gaps” that Amazon tends to leave out of its numbers.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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14:00
Precision Touch Dart Stylus: From Kickstarter to...

I love watching crowd-funded projects make it from concept to reality. Precision Touch just recently (July 19, 2014) reached the end of a funding campaign on Kickstarter for the Dart Stylus, now available for pre-order for US$59.95 (normal price...

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13:55
What Amazon Didn’t Say in Its Blog Post about...

Amazon has come forth and told unto us it is waging holy war against Hachette for lo! The children. For only lower book prices can save the children-and indeed publishers and authors, too-and those greedy publishers are too stupid to understand. Bryan Chaffin thinks there's more to the picture.

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13:53
Hackers Back to Their Old Tricks


Old tricks that have helped hackers penetrate computers for months or longer worked again last week at Goodwill and Stubhub. Taking a page from the gang that pillaged payment card and personal information from Target last year, hackers clipped payment card information from an undisclosed number of Goodwill Industries International customers. As they were in the Target attack, it's believed point-of-sale systems were compromised at Goodwill, which has 2,900 U.S. retail locations that collect and sell donated clothing and other goods.

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13:44
Apple seeds first betas of OS X 10.9.5, Safari 7.0.6...

Apple has started seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is listed as built 13F7, and available through the Developer Center. Users are asked to focus testing on just a handful of areas, including Safari, graphics, and USB, including smart cards....

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13:30
Marked 2: Previewer for Markdown files

Marked is a previewer for Markdown files. Use it with your favorite text editor and it updates every time you save. With robust features for previewing, reviewing and exporting beautiful documents, you can work in plain text while reveling in rich formatting.

Brett Terpstra did a nice job with this app.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:24
No redesigned Apple TV set-top until 2015, report...

Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service....

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13:22
FCC throttles Verizon Wireless over plans to...


Following the recent revelation that Verizon Wireless would begin throttling some 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to the carrier (full text below) expressing his disdain with the policy and question the necessity of throttling only customers on unlimited plans.
In the letter, Wheeler asks Verizon CEO Daniel Mead why exactly the company feels the need to only throttle customers on certain plans, rather than throttling based on the needs of the technology that powers the...

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13:22
The Nostalgia Machine

This is just great. Pick a year and see what songs were popular when you were growing up.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:19
Apple begins Beats employee integration

Apple executives have visited Beats’ Southern California headquarters this week and last week to offer groups of employees positions at Apple and to notify some members of the Beats staff that they will not be included in the transition.

This makes perfect sense. Redundant admin type positions are always going to be casualties in any acquisition.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:09
It’s never too late to build something great

Right now, today, in 2014 is the best time to start something on the internet. There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something.

I really enjoyed reading this article because I was around in 1985, where Kevin starts the article. There is always room for another great idea. Definitely worth a read.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:07
The “Tree of 40 Fruit” is exactly as awesome as it...

Epicurious:

Each tree begins as a slightly odd-looking specimen resembling some kind of science experiment, and for much of the year, looks like just any other tree. In spring, the trees bloom to reveal an incredibly striking and thought-provoking example of what can happen when nature inspires art. Then, over the course of several months, Van Aken’s trees produce an incredible harvest of plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and almonds, including many you’ve likely never seen before.

All on one tree. Spectacular looking.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:03
iStumbler

iStumbler is the leading wireless discovery tool for Mac OS X, providing plugins for finding AirPort networks, Bluetooth devices, Bonjour services and Location information with your Mac.

This is a great wireless utility that I’ve used for years. I met the developer, Alf Watt, shortly after I started using the software and he’s a terrific guy.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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13:01
Apple reissues MacBook Air EFI update after...

Apple on Wednesday rereleased a recent MacBook Air EFI update targeting sleep-from-wake problems after a flawed initial rollout caused some machines to crash unexpectedly.

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13:00
The Wednesday TUAW TV Live is on Thursday this week

Hey, TUAW TV Live fans! The last-ever TUAW TV Live has been moved to tomorrow -- July 31, 2014 -- since my wife "Bionic Barb" is having the second of two eye surgeries today.

Be sure to join us for the last time tomorrow afternoon at 5 PM ET. I'll...

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12:58
iOS 8 preview: AgileBits releases 1Password extension

Ah, Wednesday: Time for middle-of-the-week celebrations, new comics, and… iOS 8 extensions? Yes, indeed: AgileBits, the developers behind 1Password, have released a Github repository containing all the stuff that other app makers need to include a 1Password extension in their programs.
AgileBits has also released a video preview (embedded below) that shows just how easy that extension will make it to use logins you've saved in 1Password on iOS devices. (Spoiler alert: Thanks to iOS 8’s extensions program, it's going to be very easy indeed.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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12:47
Is the App Store Broken?

A recent post by Instapaper's Marco Arment suggests that design flaws in Apple's App Store are harming the app ecosystem, and users are suffering because of it. "The dominance and prominence of 'top lists' stratifies the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them." Arment notes that many good app developers are finding continued development to be unsustainable, while scammy apps are encouraged to flood the market. "As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces. Many will give up and leave for stable, better-paying jobs. (Many already have.)" Brent Simmons points out the indie developers have largely given up the...

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12:30
Major layoffs impacting Beats during Apple takeover...

Although the takeover has yet to be fully approved legally, some workers and technology resources are already being shifted from Beats to Apple, sources say. Apple executives have allegedly visited Beats' California headquarters this week and the last, offering some workers new positions at Apple while telling others that their jobs will be cut. Many Beats employees in creative or development roles are being offered work at Apple; many of these are allegedly headed to Apple's Cupertino's headquarters, but the company is keeping both the Santa Monica offices and some engineers associated with......

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12:23
Apple issues first OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks beta to...

Apple on Wednesday pushed out to developers the first beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks maintenance update alongside new builds of Safari 7.0.6 and 6.0.6.

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12:16
Apple Releases Fixed Version of MacBook Air EFI...

Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9.1 on Wednesday to replace the problem-ridden 2.9 version it rolled out, and then pulled, earlier in July. The update addresses an issue where the 2011 MacBook Air failed to properly wake from sleep.

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12:05
Apple seeds first beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.5...


Apple today provided a few new seeds to developers. First on the list is the first beta build of the upcoming OS X 10.9.5. The build is labeled as 13F7, and it will likely come as the final update to OS X Mavericks, which will be succeeded by OS X Yosemite in October. The update is available for Mavericks users signed up for pre-release updates in the Software Update section in the Mac App Store.

It also now available on the official Developer Center. Apple asks developers to focus on Safari, USB, USB Smart Cards, and Graphics for this update…
...

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12:02
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury claimed as 'fastest...

Peripheral producer Logitech has created what it claims is the world's fastest gaming mouse ever manufactured. The G402 Hyperion Fury uses Logitech's Fusion Engine system on a built-in 32-bit ARM processor for tracking, allowing it to keep up with tracking speeds faster than 500 inches per second, more than the preceding G502 Proteus Core's 300 inches per second tracking....

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12:00
FreedomPop offers free data and voice to iPad

If you own a cellular data-equipped iPad without a current contract, or you're looking to buy one but think the monthly cost is too high, FreedomPop has an offer you'll want to consider. The company is currently offering 500MB a month of free 4G LTE...

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11:56
Apple re-releases MacBook Air EFI 2.9 update after...


Earlier this month, Apple released a MacBook Air EFI update (version 2.9) with fixes for issues with the laptop waking from sleep. Approximately a week ago, the firmware update was removed by Apple because of bugs causing MacBook Airs to crash.

Today, Apple has re-released the update with fixes as version 2.9.1:
This update replaces EFI Firmware Update 2.9 and is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models.
The update can be found for mid-2011 MacBook Air owners in the Software Update section of the Mac App Store.
...

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11:47
QuarkXPress 10.2 adds rendering, notes features,...

Quark has released a v10.2 update for QuarkXPress, its flagship publishing software. The code makes significant feature additions, for instance letting people adjust rendering quality for different balances between performance and fidelity. Users can also add notes to projects that are separate from content and exportable as PDFs; redlines meanwhile show where changes have been made, and allow groups to approve or reject them....

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11:46
Best Buy CEO: Post-PC era ending, tablet sales...

In an interview, electronics retailer Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly believes that the day of the tablet may be over. Citing observations at his stores, the CEO claims that the company has "actually had a revival of the PC business at Best Buy" giving credit to Microsoft for discontinuation of Windows XP and Apple for continuing to innovate for consumers....

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11:45
OS X Yosemite: How to Turn Translucency Off or On

OS X Yosemite lets parts of windows take on the general color of the background behind it. It's a translucent effect because details cannot be readily made out. For those who don't like it, John Martellaro shows how to turn it off.

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11:34
Xiaomi's Redmi Note allegedly sending user data...

At least one device from upstart Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has been found to transmit user data -- including SMS messages and photos -- back to servers in mainland China without the user's permission, according to reports from Hong Kong.

| Read more »
11:27
1Password debuts extension for third party apps on...

The popular password and security management app 1Password has already previewed its iOS 8 extension and Touch ID support for unlocking and accessing its content outside of its iOS app, and today AgileBits has announced its 1Password app extension for third party apps as you can see in the video above.
The feature is a great example of new ways developers can allow users to access their tools from more corners than ever before with iOS 8, and in this case 1Password is utilizing new tools from iOS 8 to help other developers build new capabilities into their own apps.
AgileBits...

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11:26
Leahy Bill Aims to Rein In Government Snooping


Government snooping on Americans would be curtailed under a bill introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate. The measure, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., would ban bulk collection of domestic information, limit the scope of searches by government agencies, and add transparency and reporting requirements. Further, it would reform procedures of the FISA Court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States.

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11:00
Stephen Colbert reviews the Kim Kardashian app

Don't look now, but the "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" app has already generated tens of millions of dollars in pure profit and currently occupies the #5 spot on the App Store's list of Top Grossing apps.

There's no shortage of opportunities for jokes...

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10:59
Report: Apple TV relaunch not coming this year

Apple engineers working on the new version of Apple TV have been on timelines that assume a 2015 launch, The Information reports. Those engineers “have been told by their bosses not to expect a launch this year.” It’s been expected for some time that Apple would release a newer…

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10:59
New Apple TV 'stalls' because of cable...

Apple still has a major revamp of its set-top box in the works, but the next-generation Apple TV may not arrive until next year, thanks to cable companies that are "dragging their heels," according to a new report.

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10:49
Apple TV overhaul not expected to debut until 2015

 

A new report from The Information published today discussing the next generation of Apple TV says the new set-top box won’t be ready for prime time until at least 2015. This expectancy timeline aligns with previous 9to5Mac reporting on the Apple TV development progress.
According to the report, Apple employees managing the project have informed Apple TV engineers working on the next generation set-top box that it is currently not expected to reach completion in time to debut in 2014.
The new Apple TV product, which is said to tackle content access more...

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10:43
Report: Apple eliminating positions of some Beats...

Apple has started transitioning employees and technology from Beats, but not all Beats employees will be making the move, 9to5Mac reports. While many Beats employees in development and creative roles have been offered jobs at Apple, Beats’ support, finance, and HR departments “have already been largely dismantled,” according to…

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10:28
Heads rolling at Beats as Apple eliminating...


As Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music nears completion this financial quarter, the Cupertino and Santa Monica, California-based companies have begun work on transitioning select employees and technology resources from Beats to Apple, according to sources briefed on the transition. Apple executives have visited Beats’ Southern California headquarters this week and last week to offer groups of employees positions at Apple and to notify some members of the Beats staff that they will not be included in the transition.
Many Beats employees...

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10:26
The best cheap printer

The Wirecutter:

For students, small-office denizens, or anyone with modest printing needs, the Samsung Xpress M2835DW is the most efficient way to make hard copies of term papers, tax forms, or any other documents that look great in grayscale.

I haven’t needed to print this kind of stuff in years but this looks like a pretty good deal.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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10:07
Russia asks Apple, SAP to turn over source code as...

The Russian government has proposed that two Western companies, Apple and SAP, grant access to their source code so it can determine whether or not products are tools for spying on state organizations and/or the public, Reuters reports. Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, is said to have made the request when he met last week with Apple's local general manager, Peter Nielsen, and SAP's local managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. In an official Communications Ministry statement, Nikiforov comments that "Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services' publ......

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10:07
UBS praises Apple CEO Tim Cook for thinking '...

Investment firm UBS heaped praise upon Apple on Wednesday, advising Wall Street to buy in on the strength of Chief Executive Tim Cook and his strategy to push the iOS platform "everywhere."

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10:03
Crowdfunding Critic: Modbook Pro X

Last week, we launched the Crowdfunding Critic here on MacNN and Electronista, and promised that every Tuesday and Thursday we'd highlight a new campaign. While we were working on yesterday's selection, we got wind of this -- the Modbook Pro X, by Modbook, Inc., a modification of Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro into a massive pen-enabled tablet. Based on it, we decided to do our second article in the series a day late, but we think this one is worth the wait....

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10:00
TUAW Poll: Would you buy a Retina MacBook Air?

Apple still hasn't released a Retina display MacBook Air. Would you buy one?...

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09:56
Samsung Z Delay Prompts Tizzy Over Tizen


Samsung has delayed the launch of its Samsung Z smartphone running the Tizen OS, which was scheduled for Q3 release in Russia. The move, just short of two months after the Samsung Z's launch at the Tizen Developers Conference, sparked a death watch for the device. However, Samsung said it needed to further enhance the Tizen ecosystem. Samsung has had several setbacks with the Tizen smartphone. NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest carrier, and another key backer, French carrier Orange, canceled plans to carry a Tizen smartphone earlier this year.

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09:52
Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ (Apple KB)

Learn more about using USB 3 ports and devices on Mac computers.
Read more: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5172

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09:43
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-07-30

Apple keeps rolling out minor updates to its Mac product line, but hasn't had a major release announcement since last fall. John Martellaro and Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to look at the lack of big news from Apple, the incremental update cycle the company seems to be locked into right now, and how that could be impacting its image.

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09:30
Apple announces US sales tax holiday for select...

Several states in the U.S. offer sales tax holidays around the start of back-to-school season to help parents save money on required purchases. This Tuesday Apple announced that they would be honoring these sales tax holidays not only in the retail...

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09:00
Modbook’s next project is the convertible MacBook...

The Modbook Pro X would be an expensive entry in a crowded niche.

Modbook Inc.

Before the iPad, people who wanted an Apple tablet could buy something called the "Modbook" from a company named Axiotron. For $2,279, the company would take a regular white plastic MacBook, take it apart, and reassemble it inside a purpose-built tablet case with a Wacom digitizer and stylus installed. After some financial trouble and the launch of an actual Apple tablet, Axiotron became Modbook Inc., and the company launched the Modbook Pro, which did for the 13-inch MacBook Pro what the...

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09:00
Modbook announces $4k 15-inch pen-based OS X tablet...

Following up the last Modbook Pro tablet the company is currently selling made from a converted mid-2012 MacBook Pro, today Modbook is back with the announcement of a 15-inch ModBook tablet that uses the new Retina MacBooks Apple just refreshed this week as its guts. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, it first started making OS X based tablets by converting Apple laptops and adding pen input capabilities as far back as 2007. 
For the new model, Modbook is turning to Kickstarter to raise funds and take preorders with the base 2.2GHz model coming in at $4000. Apart...

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09:00
iKlip Stage for iPad debuts: Win an iKlip Xpand or...

Earlier this month TUAW published a review of the IK Multimedia iKlip Xpand, a wonderful accessory for musicians that makes it simple to mount an iPad onto a music or microphone stand. Today, IK Multimedia announced iKlip Stage for iPad (free with...

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08:42
Updated Apple page promotes taking advantage of US...

Apple has updated a promotional page to let shoppers know about tax holidays coming up in nine US states between August 1st and the 3rd. The states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During the holidays, Apple has said it will drop sales tax charges for qualifying purchases made online or at retail. Although taxes will still appear during online checkouts, proper totals should appear in email confirmations....

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08:37
Yahoo Finance updated with new design, pre- and...



Yahoo has released a new version of its Finance app for iPhone and iPad featuring the addition of a new tab bar for quicker navigation and other visual changes. The update still features the basement view on the left as well as the search view for adding stocks to your watch list on the right, but the overall app is organized much cleaner now.
The new tab bar consists of the primary Home view for information related to...

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08:26
[Sponsor] Drop

Drop is the iPad-connected kitchen scale that makes perfect baking easy with interactive recipes, smart substitutions, mobile alerts and more. Pre-order today for 20% off retail!

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08:00
9to5Toys Lunch Break: Design Mac bundle w/ Poser 10...

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.
Today’s can’t miss deals:

You get the following for $39.99 ($900+ value)
 

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08:00
Hypochondriacs rejoice! HealthTap Prime puts a...

Got a lot of cash and a funky looking rash? HealthTap wants to lighten your wallet and give you on-demand access to a doctor whenever you please, and it will do so straight from your iPad or iPhone. The company's HealthTap Prime service will put you...

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07:59
Facebook to remove messaging from iOS, Android apps...


You’re going to have to start using Facebook’s Messenger app.
Per TechCrunch, Facebook has announced that the service will stop allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps, and force all their users around the world to download its standalone Messenger app. Facebook first started requiring users in Europe to use Messenger back in April, but after seeing “positive results” in terms of engagement, has begun rolling out the plan to its entire user base. The company has stated that people on Messenger reply about 20% faster, and not supporting multiple version of mobile chat will help it make both its main apps and Messenger better.
Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can...

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07:48
FreedomPop brings free plans to iPad mini, Galaxy...

Free voice, texting, and data service provider FreedomPop is extending its plans to tablets, starting with the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, according to an announcement. In the case of Minis, subscribers will be given mic-equipped Apple headphones and a special app, allowing them to make calls through FreedomPop's VoIP platform. Each person will have a unique phone number, and associated features such as voicemail and the ability to port that number to a different device or carrier....

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07:45
Russia requests Apple provide access to source code

Reuters reports that Russia has asked Apple to provide the government with access to the company’s source code to make sure its iOS devices and Macs aren’t used for spying. The report claims the proposal came earlier this month when an Apple executive in Russia met with the country’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov and others:
The suggestion that two of the world’s flagship technology companies disclose some of their most sensitive business secrets comes as the United States and Europe debate their most severe sanctions yet against Russia for its role in Ukraine… The Russian proposal was voiced last week when Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov met Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen, and SAP’s...

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07:34
Rumor: Low production yields may rule out sapphire...


Apple might not be able to deliver the anticipated sapphire display covers for the iPhone 6.
Per market research firm TrendForce, the new feature seems unlikely thanks to poor yield rates for sapphire ingot and problems with the processing of the material, according to a new report, which suggests that Apple is unlikely to ship a sapphire-covered device in large quantities this year.
Downstream component makers would have had to begin shipping the sapphire display covers to Apple’s assembly partners in June to meet the company’s September deadline, according to the report, but those shipments have not yet appeared. This is likely to point to either a delayed or seriously constrained release for a sapphire-covered iPhone, the firm...

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07:26
Russian government seeks Apple source code

The Russian government is asking for access to Apple’s source code, in order to ensure the company’s products aren’t used for spying purposes, Reuters reports. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said in a statement, “Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 and U.S. intelligence services’ public statements about the strengthening of…

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07:26
Apple May Have Accidentally Leaked New 27-inch iMac

Apple first accidentally mentioned a new Mac mini model in its Boot Camp support documents, and may have leaked a 27-inch iMac refresh, too. A chart showing the current 27-inch iMac, along with a model tagged as "Mid 2014," looks like a hint that an update is coming soon.The Mac Observer Spin: Considering Apple listed two unreleased Mac models in its Boot Camp compatibility chart, either someone needs some remedial copy and paste training, or a reminder that unannounced products shouldn't appear in support documents.

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07:16
Russian government asks Apple to hand over source...

Russia's Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has suggested that Apple should open its source code for government inspection to ensure that the iPhone maker is not complicit in enabling U.S. intelligence services to spy on the world's largest country.

| Read more »
07:15
Flir One first look: Shooting thermal imaging...

Flir One

Some cool gear arrived at the office on Tuesday: new MacBook Pros and the new Flir One ($349) thermal imaging camera for the iPhone 5s. Macworld Lab set up the laptops for benchmark testing, so I took a few pictures of the new $2499 15-inch MacBook Pro as it churned through Speedmark 9.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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07:14
Apps: Freeway Pro, NetShade, Drive Genius
07:01
Square announces new EMV chip reader for more secure...

Today, Square announced a new version of its popular mobile payment system that will support EMV chipped credit cards. EMV is a joint effort from MasterCard and Visa to help improve security credit and debit card transactions and is set to become a standard in the US by October 2015. In addition to EMV-equipped credit cards, the new version of Square’s payment system will still feature support for legacy magnetic strips, so customers will still have the option to swipe and sign.

“There are more and more ways to pay, and with options like bitcoin and contactless, customers expect to pay however they want; cashiers should never have to say ‘We don’t accept that’,” said Square CEO Jack Dorsey in a press release. “Square started by empowering anybody to accept credit cards and enabling customers to pay with their name. Our EMV...

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07:00
This app will send your photos to 50 people you...

I couldn't be less interested in the phrase "photo messaging app." There are a million, and they all do pretty much the same thing -- snap a photo, send it to whoever you want, and maybe put a timer on it. But Fling has found a way to be unique by...

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06:35
Apple lets customers in nine states know how to buy...

Apple is emailing customers in nine states that offer sales tax holidays to let them know they have an upcoming opportunity to buy Macs and/or accessories tax-free.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee all offer dates on which you can buy at least some Apple gear free from sales tax.  The email provides a link to a webpage where you can click on your state to find out the dates, qualifying products and the maximum spend.
Missouri appears to offer the best deal, with a wide range of products qualifying and a maximum spend of $3500. Several states require a computer to be one of the items purchased.
If you’re not fortunate enough to live in one of the qualifying states, hit up 9to5mac.com/products to find the lowest...

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06:31
Apple Boot Camp page also points to 'mid 2014...

The same Apple support document that references a 2014 Mac mini also lists a "mid 2014" 27-inch iMac, checks show. It's mentioned alongside a 2014 21.5-inch iMac, but that presumably refers to the low-end model Apple introduced in June. To meet a mid-2014 launch date, Apple would have to ship an updated 27-inch system within the next month....

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06:10
Android's Fake ID Could Put Millions in Jeopardy


An Android vulnerability that exists in every version from v2.1 Eclair to v. 4.3 Jelly Bean could expose millions of users, Bluebox Security has warned. The flaw lets attackers fake the certificates of specially privileged parties, such as Adobe and Google Wallet, and serve them up with malware that bypasses detection by Android. Attackers then can take over every application running on an Android device. The flaw, which BlueBox calls -- what else? -- "Fake ID," also might impact Android forks, including Amazon's Fire OS.

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06:05
YouTube Find: The ridiculous lengths people will go...

Ever look at a 100-ton train and wonder what would happen if your iPhone happened to be on the rail when the locomotive was passing by? You don't have to consider that scenario any longer thanks to the folks from TechRax who placed an iPhone 5s on a...

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06:00
Apple Confirms Purchase of Swell Talk Radio App for...

Following reports that it was purchasing Swell, the iPhone app for building custom talk radio-like stations, Apple has confirmed it is the new owner of the app and its developer Concept.io.The Mac Observer Spin: Fist BookLight and now Swell. It looks like Apple is getting serious about improving content discovery through the iTunes Store.

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05:55
Ford replaces employee BlackBerrys with fleet of 9,...

Bloomberg:

The second largest U.S. automaker will replace BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s smartphones with iPhones for about 3,300 workers by the end of this year, Sara Tatchio, a Ford spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview. About 6,000 more employees will receive iPhones over the next two years, replacing flip phones, she said.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:53
Mellel 3.3.6

Adds support for Traditional Chinese DOS encoding and fixes the “mysterious” systemParStyle paragraph style bug. ($39 new, free update, 101 MB) Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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05:52
OmniFocus 2.0.2

Small maintenance release that squashes several bugs in the GTD-inspired task management utility. ($39.99 new, free update, 44.2 MB) Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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05:46
Apple promoting savings with back-to-school sales...

Apple on Tuesday launched an updated informational page, and corresponding email campaign, detailing how consumers in nine U.S. states can take advantage of back-to-school sales tax holidays for substantial savings on Macs and iOS devices next month.

| Read more »
05:27
Square announces new Reader for chip cards

Square has announced Square Reader for chip cards, a new credit card reader built to handle EMV chip cards—credit cards equipped with microchips, as already found in many countries around the world. The major U.S. credit card companies have planned to implement a fraud…

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05:16
Apple profiled for renewable energy in sapphire...

After showing more journalists around its solar-powered North Carolina data centre (where it is building a third solar farm), Apple says that its new focus for renewable energy is its supply chain. The Guardian reports that the sapphire factory in Arizona forms part of this initiative.

The company is also moving to install solar and geothermal power at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that has been manufacturing sapphire glass. Apple would not directly comment on the Arizona factory but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, has publicly praised the company’s decision to relocate there and to use solar and geothermal in...

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05:01
Geekbench 3 benchmark numbers for new retina MacBook...

If you’ve been waiting for a speed bump to buy a new MacBook Pro, these numbers show a nice little speed increase.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:00
The Week in iOS Accessories: Eight is enough?

Eight is enough?This week's roundup of new iOS accessories includes a device for quickly charging up to eight iOS devices, plus cables, Bluetooth speakers, and more.Bite My AppleThe $80 Skiva Octofire is billed as “the first ever USB charger that is equipped with 8 ports, to simultaneously charge eight devices at optimum speed.” It should be perfect for large households, or businesses with multiple mobile devices in need of charging.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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05:00
The plight of the Indie iOS developer: Is the App...

Instapaper and Overcast developer Marco Arment recently penned a blogpost arguing that Apple needs to do a whole lot more to direct users to higher quality apps. Under the current set up, Arment articulates that the "top lists" on the App Store tend...

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04:58
FreedomPop brings its free voice, text & data...

 


FreedomPop, the carrier offering free and cheap data plans on Sprint’s network, today announced that it’s bringing its free voice, data, and text plans to tablet users starting with the iPad mini and Samsung Tab 3. Since LTE iPads only support data over their cellular connection, the carrier provides iPad users with Apple headsets with mics for making calls and an app that routes calls/texts through its own VoIP platform.
While there are competitors like Skype that enable VoIP calling on iPads already, FreedomPop has a couple things going...

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04:56
Florida man allegedly conned Apple out of $309K

A man ran up a $7,753.22 bill at an Apple store.

When his debit card was declined, he pretended to call his bank. He gave the store clerk a fake authorization code to punch into the card reader.

And that’s how the man, 24-year-old Sharron Laverne Parrish Jr. of Tampa, scammed one of the biggest high-tech companies in the world — not once but 42 times — totaling $309,768, according to federal court records.

Some Apple Store employees have some explaining to do.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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04:45
iOS 7: Preventing Unauthorized Purchases

For today's tip, Melissa Holt's gonna go over a hidden setting that may let your kid purchase apps or media when he isn't supposed to. Turn this off, and you can rest assured that little Johnny won't be able to buy ten apps just because you allowed him to get one. Unless he knows your Apple ID password, that is, but you would never give him that, would you? Good.

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04:30
Another Apple page briefly mentioned mysterious...

Apple may have accidentally tipped its hand on two imminent hardware releases this week, with support pages from the company referencing both new Mac mini and 27-inch iMac models listed with a "mid-2014" launch.

| Read more »
04:15
AeroPress Timer app completely revamped to help you...

The freemium companion app to the amazing and popular $25 Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker has been completely redesigned, with new gesture-based navigation, brewing tips, a timer that tells you exactly when to add water, two-cup recipes and the ability to share recipes and photos on Twitter and Facebook.

AeroPress Timer is the perfect companion for the AeroPress. AeroPress Timer allows you to explore the versatility of the AeroPress with a catalog of carefully curated recipes.
[Version 2.0.1 introduces a] completely redesigned interface. We started from scratch with every screen and made AeroPress Timer more functional and beautiful.
...

| Read more »
04:03
External Link: How to Get Apple Products Tax Free

If you live in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, or Tennessee, you will soon have a limited opportunity to purchase certain Apple products without sales tax, thanks to sales tax holidays provided by those states. Apple has published a list of the states, their respective holidays, and where to find your nearest Apple store. The tax holidays will also apply to online purchases. Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

| Read more »
04:00
MacBook Pro Performance (July 2014)

On Tuesday Apple updated its MacBook Pro lineup. Geekbench 3 results for most of the new models have appeared in the Geekbench Browser which lets us see how performance has improved across the lineup.

For the 15-inch MacBook Pro, processor speeds were increased by 200 MHz, leading to a 6% to 9% increase in performance:

Processor20132014

GoodCore i7-4750HQ @ 2.0 GHzCore i7-4770HQ @ 2.2 GHz
BetterCore i7-4850HQ @ 2.3 GHzCore i7-4870HQ @ 2.5 GHz
BestCore i7-4960HQ @ 2.6 GHzCore i7-4980HQ @ 2.8 GHz

For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, processor speeds were also increased by 200 MHz, leading to a 7% to 8% increase in performance (note that we do not yet have results for the new high-end model):

...

| Read more »
03:12
Apple support page also listed as yet unseen ‘mid-...

The same Bootcamp support page that either reveals an upcoming Mac mini refresh or a misprint also listed an iMac 27-inch mid-2014′ model before the page was updated – spotted by French site Consomac.
The model was listed above the 21.5-inch mid-2014 iMac released last month. That model was a low-end one, with a 1.4GHz dual-core i5 processor and 500GB hard drive. That might suggest a new entry-level 27-inch iMac is on the way – though Apple doesn’t generally offer a low-...

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02:48
Opinion: iPad Air + Logitech Folio + Office for iPad...

The question of how much productivity you can get done on the Apple iPad is one that has persisted since its introduction. Even if the question is not an easy one to answer, it seems almost irrelevant to even ask when one looks at how massively successful the iPad has been since its introduction. The question also depends on what one defines as being 'productivity,' when it has been clear for some time that plenty of people can and do use iPads for getting work done, particularly in creative endeavors. The recently announced partnership between Apple and IBM in enterprise, coupled with the arr......

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Tuesday July 29

22:35
Microsoft updates OneNote for iOS and Mac with...

Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out a major update to its Apple-centric OneNote product line, adding new features like access to notes stored in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, inserting files and note reorganization and sharing.

| Read more »
21:40
Review: Adesso Xtream S3B Bluetooth speaker

Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, it doesn't mean that it's the right speaker for the job. When it comes to tablets, a speaker that can be kept to the side may not be the best purchase for something that's meant to be as portable as possible. So why not look for a device that can attach to an iPad or Android tablet, like the Adesso Xtream S3B speaker? Does the Adesso speaker provide enough of a boost to sound while retaining the original portability? Find out in our review.......

| Read more »
20:44
Microsoft rolls out major update of OneNote for iPad...

Microsoft on Tuesday issued a significant update of its free note-taking application, OneNote. The new version, 2.3, adds a number of user-requested features, including the ability to insert files into notes, add PDF printouts to any notebook page alongside a users' own notes, copy and paste formatted text and more -- as well as lock or unlock password-protected sections created in OneNote for Windows. The update affects all versions of the app, including iPhone, iPad and Mac....

| Read more »
20:00
Reviews: Adesso Xtream S3B Bluetooth speaker

Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, it doesn't mean that it's the right speaker for the job. When it comes to tablets, a speaker that can be kept to the side may not be the best purchase for something that's meant to be as portable as possible. So why not look for a device that can attach to an iPa ......

| Read more »
19:07
IDC: Chinese smartphone makers inching up in...

On the release of its first set of statistics following last month's report of a two percent drop in Mac sales (that turned out to be a 16 percent gain), IDC has made the term "shipments" more prominent in its latest report on smartphone share worldwide. Although its reports have always been based on shipment data rather than on sales to end-users, the company emphasized the term in its latest set of numbers, and noted that both Apple and Samsung lost share to smaller Chinese smartphone makers....

| Read more »
19:02
Apple Possibly Leaked New Mac mini Models

Apple updated a support article that refers to a Mid 2014 model Mac mini, which is the first mention of any sort of attention paid to the Mac mini, last updated in October 2012.The Mac Observer Spin: I'd like this to be true, but at this point odds are 50/50 that there is an actual new Mac mini, or that someone was pasting in updated Macs and got a little trigger happy with Cmd-V.

| Read more »
18:58
Twitter posts beats expected second quarter revenue...

Twitter released its quarterly results today, showing a strong surge in business during the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. The company posted revenues of $312 million, compared to only $139 million during the second quarter of 2013. The increase represents a 129-percent increase year-over-year. The social media company also saw an increase in users compared to the results from the previous year....

| Read more »
18:08
Review: Rapoo E6300 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

Rapoo's E6300 Bluetooth keyboard is billed as the perfect complement to Apple's iPad, with device-specific shortcuts, a slim profile and extended battery life, but the hardware falls far short of expectations.

| Read more »
17:34
Amazon reveals motives in Hatchette war: forcing...

Painting itself in an altruistic, pro-consumer light, Amazon in a post posing as an "update" on the Hatchette standoff -- that has prevented customers from buying print or e-book editions from the publisher because Amazon refuses to fill orders -- explains that it is putting pressure on Hatchette (and other publishers soon to follow) to lower the wholesale price of e-books to where Amazon can make a profit on them selling them at $10 or less. Amazon argues that e-books "must stay competitive" against all other forms of media.......

| Read more »
17:13
Netflix to give customers better speeds through AT...

In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast....

| Read more »
17:02
Apple Possibly Leaked New Mac mini Models

Apple updated a support article that refers to a Mid 2014 model Mac mini, which is the first mention of any sort of attention paid to the Mac mini, last updated in October 2012.The Mac Observer Spin: I'd like this to be true, but at this point odds are 50/50 that there is an actual new Mac mini, or that someone was pasting in updated Macs and got a little trigger happy with cmd-V.

| Read more »
 
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