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Monday October 27

08:20
Giveaway: Tomb Raider

Until Friday October 31, enter to win one of 5 copies of Tomb Raider for Mac or PC. Be sure to check out our full hands-on review for an in-depth look at what this game has to offer.

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08:16
Amplified: I Can Always Deny It Later

On this week’s Amplified, Jim and Shawn talk about the new iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 and does Apple offer too many iPads for sale?

Sponsored by lynda.com (Start learning something new by visiting lynda.com/thebeard and get a FREE 7-day trial where you can access all of their 2,400+ courses).
∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:09
Fitbit reveals Charge, Charge HR, Surge fitness...

Fitbit has revealed three new devices in its fitness tracker range, including one which did not leak prematurely. The Charge and Charge HR appear to be reworked versions of the Fitbit Force, while the Surge has a larger display and a built-in GPS, with the device set to provide more smartwatch-style functionality on top of its existing fitness-related data collection activities....

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08:00
Alpine announces 7-inch iLX-007 aftermarket receiver...

Alpine today announced its first aftermarket in-dash receiver with support for Apple’s CarPlay feature for iPhone users. The new Alpine iLX-007 will be the company’s first display to support CarPlay following Pioneer’s rollout of the feature to its latest NEX displays earlier this month. Alpine’s new in-dash receiver features a 7-inch capacitive touch screen comparable to Pioneer’s high end NEX8000 CarPlay compatible model ($1,400), but at a much lower price point of $800 as it lacks other hardware features.
Alpine’s CarPlay offering is still one of the first on the market yet and joins Pioneer in allowing drivers to have CarPlay without buying a new car. Several automakers have already announced CarPlay availability on certain models of new...

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08:00
Alpine launches $800 CarPlay-compatible iLX-007 in-...

Aftermarket options with support for Apple's CarPlay continue to expand, with Alpine launching a new $800 unit on Monday featuring a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen and support for Siri voice commands.

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08:00
Automatic targets teen drivers with License+ service

Every time I get into my car and take a drive, short or long, a small dongle plugged into its onboard diagnostic port sends data - including location - to an app on my iPhone. I get a score on how efficient my driving is, and it's also simple to...

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07:53
Apple Pay: The Mobile Payment Revolution

It's no secret that I was a little skeptical about how successful Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payment system for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, would be. After a single use at my local grocery store, however, I have no problem saying I was wrong. In fact, Apple made using your iPhone for credit card payments so easy I'm seeing a big problem for competitors hoping to get in on the mobile payment game, including Wal-Mart and its CurrentC system.

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07:41
Pixelmator for iPad [Sponsor]

Pixelmator for iPad is a powerful image editor that gives you everything you need to create, edit, and enhance your images. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iPad and even work effortlessly with Photoshop images. Packed with powerful creative tools and engineered to harness the full iOS and 64-bit architecture power, Pixelmator for iPad is a real image editor right at your fingertips.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:21
Leading NFC terminal maker Verifone encourages...


If you’ve ever made a contactless credit card payment in a retail store, you’ve likely run into a VeriFone NFC-terminal: recent estimates put it at approximately 60% global market share for EMV payment terminals, for example. Today, the company is launching a new campaign along with payment processing company Vantiv that encourages Verifone’s massive network of clients to upgrade their terminals and get ready for Apple Pay:...

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07:08
∞ On the brewing battle between Apple Pay and...

There’s a major battle brewing in the payments industry. On one side, Apple Pay sits on top of the existing credit card model, adding a layer of anonymizing security and ease of use.

On the other side is CurrentC, the brainchild of a consortium called the Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX. CurrentC seeks to eliminate the credit card companies, and their fees, from the system. CurrentC is an alternative to credit cards, not an add-on. Here are the big issues.

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07:00
The sad, frustrating story of crowdfunded products...

When it comes to crowdfunded projects, I have to admit that I'm very lucky. Every project that I've backed -- five in all -- has eventually shipped product. Although some of those products failed to meet my expectations from the Kickstarter or...

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06:59
Rumor: Apple in negotiations to use NFC technologies...

If NFC technology isn’t as widespread as it could be, Apple wants to increase its presence. According to 9to5Mac and The Information, Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.
Sources have stated that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.
...

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06:57
First Look: SwitchEasy AirMask for iPhone 6 Plus

Billed as "the world's first non-case protection solution for iPhone 6," SwitchEasy's new AirMask for iPhone 6 Plus ($30) is a set of two thin plastic stickers that attach to the front and back of the iPhone 6 Plus, providing 0.3mm-thick anti-scratch coverage without anti-drop protection at the same price as a regular case. The front piece has clear screen protection in the center of a faux metallic version of the iPhone's normally white or black…

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06:46
iPad Air 2 anti-reflective screen a ‘major...

Today DisplayMate Technologies published its usual detailed analysis of Apple’s latest product releases with an in-depth review of the display technology in the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 displays.
One of the more notable improvements in the new iPad Air 2 display is the anti-reflective coating that, according to DisplayMate, “reduces ambient light reflections by about 3:1 over most other Tablets and Smartphones (including the previous iPads), and about 2:1 over all of the very best competing Tablets and Smartphones (including the new iPhone 6).”
To visually compare the difference for yourself, hold two Tablets or Smartphones side-by-side and turn off the displays so you just see the reflections. The iPad Air 2 is dramatically darker than any other existing...

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06:45
Korean iPhone 6 and 6 Plus preorders top 100,000

South Korean preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have surpassed 100,000, and are vastly outpacing last month's preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, according to the Wall Street Journal. The country's three biggest carriers -- SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG UPlus -- opened up preorders last Friday. KT says it received 10,000 preorders within a minute, and 50,000 after 30 minutes. UPlus, a first-time iPhone carrier, received 20,000 orders in 20 minutes. SK Telecom isn't giving out hard numbers, but says that its first and second batches of preorders are already booked and that it's now starti......

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06:45
News: Apple looking to expand NFC use beyond Apple...

A new report from The Information (subscription required) notes that Apple is presently in talks regarding expanding NFC use in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to go beyond mobile payments. While the NFC chip in the new iPhone models is currently restricted to use by Apple Pay, this new report suggests that the company is seeking partnerships to implement the technology into areas such as building security and public transit, conceivably to let people…

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06:42
AT&T confirms Apple SIM card lock, says...


There may be increased competition and good deals to be had in the wireless markets, but the major carriers will still try to lock you in…
Per Re/code, wireless carrier AT&T has apparently taken advantage in the change to the SIM card found in the new iPad, which apparently allows customers to designate which wireless carrier they’d like to use it with, by essentially locking its customers in to the service, requiring the customer to purchase an entirely new SIM card to change their provider.
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel confirmed to Re/code that customers who use the Apple SIM on AT&T will need another SIM card to switch carriers, but stressed that the device itself remains unlocked.
“With us you can change carriers with...

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06:42
Apple seeks partners to enable NFC-based transit...

Though the near-field communications chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is currently exclusively for Apple Pay, the wireless functionality may be expanded to new uses such as replacing a public transit card or a secure building access keycard.

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06:39
∞ Broken wrist. Typing slowly. Feh.

I broke my wrist. Makes typing a bit of a challenge. Slow going for the next week or so. Just saying.

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06:34
Fitbit Goes after Fitness Smartwatches with Surge

Fitbit is stepping up its game and moving into the smartwatch market with its just announced Fitbit Surge. The watch, due to ship in early 2015, packs in the usual fitness tracking features along with a heart rate monitor, GPS, call and text notifications, and more into what Fitbit is calling a Fitness Super Watch.The Mac Observer Spin: Fitbit's Surge looks like a brilliant balance between fitness tracking and basic smartwatch features with a great battery life, too. Unless the company decides to start supporting Apple's HealthKit platform, however, it may be a hard sell to iPhone owners.

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06:22
Apple in talks to expand NFC in iPhone 6 beyond...


The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.
The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.
The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the...

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06:17
Detroit's Stupid Plan to Kill Tesla


In watching the illicit attempts of dealers and U.S. auto companies to try to kill Tesla, I have to think they are all wrongheaded. I don't drive a Tesla, but this kind of thing makes me really mad because it is so incredibly stupid. Tesla is as much an idea as it is a company -- and an idea that should be flowing through the car industry anyway, because the world is changing. The way we buy most things is changing, and firms that try to fight waves like this typically find themselves out of business.

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06:09
Amazon announces $39 Fire TV Stick to compete with...

Online retail behemoth Amazon on Monday unveiled the Fire TV Stick, a dongle variant of its Fire TV set-top box that eschews the separate hardware in favor of an all-in-one form factor that plugs into and is powered by a television's HDMI port.

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06:00
Rumor Roundup: Jump to conclusions [Updated]

It's autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the leaves are turning, pumpkin-spiced everything, Christmas music beginning promptly in mid-October, and the annual firehose of Apple rumors is streaming down to a tiny trickle.

The gigantic iPad...

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05:30
RiteAid and CVS disable Apple Pay in preparation for...

According to The New York Times, both Rite Aid and CVS have disabled Apple Pay payments as an available mobile payments options. Rite Aid confirmed the move, while CVS has not responded to inquiries about the change, which was allegedly instituted...

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05:30
Daily Deal: The Crystal Clear iPhone 6 Case Bundle...

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering The Crystal Clear iPhone 6 Case Bundle for only $9.99—75% off the regular price. Combining an ultra-slim, hard-shell crystal clear case with a front screen protector, this bundle covers up your iPhone 6 from front to back.

Get The Crystal Clear iPhone 6 Case Bundle now for only $9.99

...

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05:26
News: Some U.S. retailers disabling Apple Pay in...

At least two U.S. retailers have disabled Apple Pay in their stores, with analysts speculating that the move may be intended to promote a rival payment system, The New York Times reports. Both Rite Aid and CVS have disabled NFC payments in their stores, and although the move appears to specifically target Apple Pay, other contactless payment systems such as Google Wallet and even MasterCard PayPass and VISA payWave are also affected by the move. Rite…

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05:00
Magic Hour for iOS offers almost unlimited filters

Magic Hour (US$1.99) offers 38 preset filters with the ability to modify and save them, giving you an immense number of options when you are modifying your photos.

In addition, Magic Hour can let you take photos directly, with locks for focus and...

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04:56
Twitpic Gets a Reprieve, Gives Photo Archives to...

Twitpic's on again, off again life is still running headstrong into "off," but that isn't quite as ominous as it was thanks to a deal where Twitter will take over the photo sharing service's archives and name. The deal only keeps the photo archives and domain alive, and for now it looks like that's all it will do.The Mac Observer Spin: The collapse of Twitpic is unfortunate, and it's a pretty safe bet it won't be coming back in any form because Twitter offers its own photo uploading feature. The upside is that procrastinators can still export their Twitpic images since the site is staying online for now.

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04:54
CVS and Rite Aid Apple Pay blockade official as iOS...

The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.
Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment...

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04:49
Preorders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus top 100,000 in...


The WSJ is reporting that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on preorder in South Korea on Friday, following their official launch this Friday, October 31st, as part of the next wave of iPhone rollouts. Analyst estimates show that presales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus topped 100,000 units. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 recorded a third of that number (around 30,000) in preorders in a similar timeframe when it launched in September.

The iPhone appears to be off to a great start on Samsung’s home turf, mirroring its...

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04:36
In-depth review: Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad...

Apple's latest iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 incorporate Touch ID and support for Apple Pay within apps, with the same 10 hour battery life of previous models. The full size iPad Air 2 is also now 18 percent slimmer with an improved, antireflective display and gains a faster A8X chip, faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and LTE wireless, a barometer, and a significantly improved iSight camera.

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04:06
Reminder: Tim Cook and Greg Joswiak to appear at WSJ...

Apple CEO Tim Cook is being interviewed by WSJ Editor in Chief Gerard Baker at the WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, on the topic of ‘Apple’s next chapter.’ Cook’s slot is in the opening session on the evening of Monday 27th October … 
While Cook will be looking forward, a reminder that Apple VP Greg Joswiak will be appearing at Re/code‘s Code/Mobile conference on 27th or 28th October, looking back. He’ll be speaking about the company’s recent launches of the iPhone 6/Plus, iOS 8 and Apple Pay.
Cook is of course no stranger to the stage, but Joswiak – the VP in charge of product management and...

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03:58
Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband fitness tracker quietly...

Lenovo has quietly launched its first fitness tracker for iOS and Android devices, one which leaked earlier this month via an FCC filing. The SW-B100 Smartband is said on the Lenovo website to possess the usual traits of a fitness tracker, though it will also apparently allow the wearer to automatically unlock and log into a PC without needing to manually type in a password....

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Sunday October 26

17:00
Apple Pay goes offline at CVS, Rite Aid

Don't expect to use your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to pay for anything at CVS or Rite Aid in the near future.

Apple


Last week's rollout of iOS 8.1 on new iPhone models ushered in the long-awaited debut of Apple Pay. And for now, Apple is relying on major retailers—and their upgraded, compatible sales registers—to convince more people to pay the Apple way. However, in the days since Apple Pay's public debut, two major pharmacy chains have switched course and declared, "Apple Nay."
This week, Rite Aid began pulling Apple Pay support from NFC-compatible sales kiosks, and over the weekend, CVS followed suit. According to...

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15:29
Weekly Game Replay: Hearthstone on smartphones, EA...

Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN report on some of the important bits of news from the world of video games. In this week's edition we take a look at Blizzard bringing Hearthstone to smartphones, EA's Battlefield 4 lawsuit dismissal, Assassin's Creed: Unity system requirements, Carbine Studios layoffs, and more....

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13:00
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

CVS also disabling...

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12:50
T-Mobile CEO details carrier relationships with...

In light of the news that AT&T is locking down the Apple SIM card if used in its network, T-Mobile CEO...

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12:32
The Real Reason Some Merchants Are Blocking Apple...

Some retailers not only refuse to directly support Apple Pay, they deliberately block use even when their cash registers accidentally support it. It’s not a reaction to Apple, but a direct response to mistreatment by the credit card brands. 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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12:21
Extreme winds cause a waterfall in England to blow...

This is Colossal:

Hikers exploring England’s Derbyshire Peak District earlier this week stumbled onto a rare phenomenon caused by extreme winds.

Really wild looking video but, if it’s that windy, maybe you should be careful about walking on the slippery rocks.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:36
The ugly afterlife of crowdfunding projects that...

Ars Technica:

Sometimes the end of funding is the beginning of a slide into radio silence, which ultimately turns into few or no backer orders fulfilled, and no satisfactory explanation for why the project didn’t pan out according to the orderly delivery schedule the creators promised.

A project can go off the rails and fail even after its funding succeeds for a number of reasons. There can be unforeseen costs, or design problems, or a team member quits or fails to deliver their part of the project. Often, when a project skids to a halt, the final updates are obscured from the public and sent only to backers, which may be part of the reason failures are often not well-publicized. Occasionally, backers who receive them pass them on or post them publicly on forums, which is as good as it gets in terms of letting the outside world know a project did not ultimately pan out.

I’ve been burned by a few Kickstarter-type campaigns. Rule of thumb is to assume the money...

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11:21
Retailers to Apple Pay Customers: Shut Up and Keep...

Retailers are choosing to disable all NFC payments, including Google Wallet and others, rather than accidentally accept Apple Pay. This is happening because some merchants are choosing to use CurrentC instead, which forbids accepting Apple Pay.The Mac Observer Spin: This totally makes sense, because no retailer in the history of this universe or any other has ever accepted more than one form of payment.

Wait.

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11:00
Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use Instant...


Now that iOS 8.1 is out, with iOS 8.1 running on your iPhone, you can use your iPhone as a Instant Hotspot for your Mac (running Yosemite) and for your iPad or iPod Touch (also running iOS 8.1). This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices. Continuity also includes Handoff, iPhone Cellular Calls, SMS Relay, and AirDrop.
When you are in an area with your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch that does not have Wi-Fi, they can connect to your phone’s personal hotspot when your iPhone is nearby. Now you do not even have to set up a personal...

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11:00
All the best app reviews last week on TUAW

Last week was a busy one for apps in the iOS App Store, giving your favorite TUAW writers a chance to post some great reviews of the apps that grace their home screens. Here's a quick roundup of our recent reviews -- and a few app roundups -- you may...

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10:59
Nest acquires Revolv, immediately halts sales of...

Nest Labs is investing further into home automation market with an acquisition announced last week. Revolv, a company that makes a smart hub to tie together Internet of Things (IoT) devices, said that it was purchased by the Google-owned connected device company. As a result, the team is folded into Nest for future product development, and sales of the Revolv hub are ending....

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09:52
Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

An anonymous reader writes CVS and Rite Aid have reportedly shut off the NFC-based contactless payment option at point of sale terminals in thousands of stores. The move will make it impossible to pay for products using Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Rite Aid posted at their stores: "Please note that we do not accept Apple Pay at this time. However we are currently working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet that allows for mobile payments attached to credit cards and bank accounts directly from a smart phone. We expect to have this feature available in the first half of 2015." ...

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09:00
This Weekend in the App Store -- the best free apps...

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

Apps Now Free

Over There 2 [iPhone;...

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08:54
The man with the golden blood

Mosaic Science:

Meet the donors, patients, doctors and scientists involved in the complex global network of rare – and very rare – blood. In 50 years, researchers have turned up only 40 or so other people on the planet with the same precious, life-saving blood in their veins.

Fascinating story of how rare blood develops and the issues involved in having such an incredibly rare blood type.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:54
MGG 525: Wi-Fi Isn’t Always Friendly ... Or...

Yet another crazy week for Apple users. Apple Pay launched, iOS 8.1 was released, all kinds of new stuff came out. John and Dave talk through all of this as well as answering your questions about managing text, restoring documents to the FInder, seeing details about Time Machine and more. Download today and enjoy!

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08:00
iOS 8 How-to: Set up and customize third-party...


 
iOS 8 brings support for third party keyboards. This allows the user to further customize their device and they are no longer forced to use Apple’s keyboard. Now that we have been using them for a while, it would be nice to even further customize the order in which the keyboards appear. In this how to article, I will discuss how to choose the order in which the keyboards appear as well as how to disable Apple’s QuickType feature.
 In order to get a third party keyboard you do have to download them from the App Store. If you have not downloaded any keyboards yet, I recommend checking up our roundup of...

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05:43
BBEdit 11 Overhauls Features for Existing Customers

With a release focused on improving the foundations of the app while improving the productivity of existing customers, Bare Bones Software has unveiled BBEdit 11. Current users will be able to take advantage of improved features with little or no fuss. 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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05:29
Apple A8X IPad Air 2 Processor Packs Triple-Core CPU...

MojoKid writes When Apple debuted its A8 SoC, it proved to be a modest tweak of the original A7. Despite packing double the transistors and an improved GPU, the heart of the A8 SoC is the same dual-core Apple "Cyclone" processor tweaked to run at higher clock speeds and with stronger total GPU performance. Given this, many expected that the Apple A8X would be cut from similar cloth — a higher clock speed, perhaps, and a larger GPU, but not much more than that. It appears those projections were wrong. The Apple A8X chip is a triple-core variant of the A8, with a higher clock speed (1.5GHz vs. 1.4GHz), a larger L2 cache (2MB, up from 1MB) and 2GB of external DDR3. It also uses an internal metal heatspreader, which the Apple A8 eschews. All of this points to slightly higher power consumption for the core, but also to dramatically increased performance. The new A8X is a significant power house in multiple types of workloads; in fact, its the top-performing mobile device on Geekbench by...

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Saturday October 25

20:48
Fetch 5.7.4

A bug-squishing update for the venerable file transfer client. ($29 new, free update, 11.9 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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20:25
Sandvox 2.9.1

Maintenance release squashes a bug that produced infinite log-in failures when browsing folders on a server. ($79.99 new, free update, 42.1 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.

| Read more »
18:20
CVS begins disabling NFC terminals in stores to cut...


CVS Pharmacy has decided to disable all NFC terminals in all of its stores after it was discovered that Apple Pay would work with the hardware. CVS sent a memo to its stores, which was posted by SlashGear, saying that Apple Pay was not a supported payment type and that customers would have to choose some other payment method in order to check out.
The notice also explains the reason for the change: CVS is currently part of a consortium of retailers attempted to create an alternative mobile payment method called CurrentC. The new system isn’t based on NFC. It is, however, based on...

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17:30
CVS throws in with Rite Aid, blocks Apple Pay and...

CVS has ceased accepting Near-Field Communication (NFC) payments from Apple Pay and Google Wallet at its stores, US-wide. The pharmacy issued the instructions to stores earlier this week, with shutdowns continuing through the weekend. CVS has mirrored Rite Aid, which shut down its terminals earlier this week. Both CVS and Rite Aid are about to join the nascent and poorly-regarded MCX CurrentC NFC and barcode payment solution, and the move is widely seen as an effort to squeeze out both Google's and Apple's payment solutions.......

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17:16
CVS disables NFC terminals, stops accepting Apple...

On Saturday, CVS Pharmacy customers using Apple Pay reported that the retailer had joined Rite Aid in disabling its NFC credit terminals, according to MacRumors.CVS’s reasoning behind the end of NFC support is simple enough: Leaked internal documents published by SlashGear indicate that the company is “currently working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet” system that should be up and running the first half of next year. Presumably, this means that CVS, like Rite Aid, will take part in the Merchant Customer Exchange’s upcoming CurrentC mobile wallet system.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here...

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16:45
Twitpic archives acquired by Twitter, data saved...

With time ticking down before the permanent shutdown of Twitpic, the company has announced that it has agreed to an acquisition offer by Twitter itself. The arrangement keeps the domain and photo archive accumulated by the service intact, and this keeps "the photos and links alive for the time being" according to a blog post announcing the deal. The service is not completely rescued, however, as the service is still shutting down ultimately, and in "read-only mode" for now....

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16:11
Google CEO Larry Page hands over most Google...

Google CEO Larry Page sent a memo to Google staffers yesterday, reorganizing the upper echelons of management, and stepping back somewhat from his daily duties. In the memo, Page transfers a number of divisions that previously reported directly to him over to Android chief Sundar Pichai. Pichai is currently responsible for Android, Chrome, and Google Apps. Now under his purview are research, maps, Google+, search, ad products, and company infrastructure. Page will continue to run access, energy, Nest, Calico, Google X, legal, finance, and corporate development.......

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16:04
Hands On: Boom (OS X)

The speakers included with Mac laptop and desktop systems and portable devices typically suffice for basic audio needs. For more power behind your sound, Global Delight offers its audio app Boom, a volume-optimizer for OS X. Boom's central functionality is that it can create "boosted" media files and playlists, so that audio is easier to hear when listening on a device's speaker such as iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. On an OS X system, Boom optionally includes a volume booster and equalizer for additional sound control. Priced at $7, does Boom effectively achieve its aims?......

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14:00
Get Backup Pro is a solid backup utility for Macs

Yes, there is Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper!. All have their place and are terrific backup utilities, but it's also nice to see something new on the scene that adds a few tricks to your backup bag.

Get Backup, from Belight Software...

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13:38
CVS joins Rite Aid in blocking Apple Pay in "...

Two major U.S. drugstores have turned off their NFC payment terminals to stop Apple Pay transactions in an effort to make their own "CurrentC" app-based payment system--which is designed to collect and track information on their customers--the only option, even though it's not actually finished yet.

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13:38
T-Mobile CEO John Legere Tweetstorms some clarity...

Too much confusion out there around #iPadAir2 and #iPadmini3 w/ Apple SIM … here is the way it is… just the facts! Tweetstorm to follow...— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 25, 2014
There’s been some confusion about the new Apple SIM that is included in many of the new iPad Air 2 and Mini 3s. On Friday it was revealed that AT&T would lock the Apple SIM effectively making the Apple SIM an AT&T SIM and rendering the whole excercise pointless.  ...

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11:28
Retailers Are Disabling NFC to Block Apple Pay

Eric Slivka, reporting for MacRumors:

Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial
support for the Apple Pay and Google Wallet mobile payments
systems, resulting in an outcry from users who have been testing
out Apple’s new system since its launch on Monday. Rite Aid was
not an official Apple Pay partner, but the payments system
generally works with existing near field communications (NFC)
payment terminals anyway, and many users had had success using
Apple Pay at Rite Aid stores early in the week.

It now appears that fellow major pharmacy chain CVS is following
suit and as of today is shutting down the NFC functionality of its
payment terminals entirely, a move presumably intended to thwart
Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are obviously also being
affected by the move.

These retailers are part of...

| Read more »
10:44
Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out...

The Verge:

a significant number of merchants, including heavyweights like Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy, are in outright competition with Apple Pay. The retailers, through a joint venture formed in 2012, are building their own mobile payment app, called CurrentC. It’s expected to launch next year. In the meantime, these retailers have no intention to support Apple Pay.

There may be a lot of good reasons to not support Apple Pay and there may be good alternatives available now and in the future but CurrentC – which needs access to your checking account – and QR codes is not either of those things.
∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
10:38
Camera+ for iPhone is free through November 16th;...

PetaPixel:

Normally Camera+ would set you back $3 in the app store, but right now there’s a lesser-known promotional offering from Apple that lets you download a copy for free. You just need to know where to look.

While some of the folks behind the scenes at Camera+’s developer, TapTapTap, are unsavoury, the app itself is pretty cool and you can’t beat free. Well worth jumping through some hoops to get it.
∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
09:54
Apple SIM simplifies buying international data plans...


An internal Apple sales document clarifies the possible uses of the Apple SIM, which is included in cellular versions of the iPad mini 3 and Apple iPad Air 2. The Apple SIM launched with several supported carriers: T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint in the US and EE in the UK.
Given that EE is the only available carrier in the UK, the purpose of its existence in the region was unclear. However, this document confirms that customers travelling between the US and the UK can benefit from the deal.

If American customers have chosen T-Mobile or Sprint for their domestic coverage, when travelling to the UK they will be able to use Apple SIM to open an account with EE for data without messing about with changing SIM’s. This...

| Read more »
09:48
Rounding up the newest protective cases &...

Though Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 just launched this week and many protective cases have yet to hit the market, there are still a handful of early case options available for purchase in addition to Apple's. Here are some of the first options available to protect your brand new iPad.

| Read more »
08:30
CVS also disabling support for Apple Pay

Last night, I was with a friend at CVS who was trying to pay for some items with Apple Pay. Oddly, the transaction couldn't be processed. This struck us as strange because Twitter had been abuzz with Apple Pay users indicating that the service has...

| Read more »
08:00
Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use SMS Relay


Now that iOS 8.1 is out, with iOS 8.1 running on your iPhone, you can set up SMS Relay. This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices, running Yosemite and iOS 8.1. Continuity also includes Handoff, iPhone Cellular Calls, Instant Hotspot, and AirDrop.
With iMessage, when you are messaging people using Apple devices they appear in blue bubbles. Those messages sync onto all of your Apple devices so that way you can text someone from your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch. Previously, the people you texted in green bubbles were not using...

| Read more »
07:00
Caturday: KitKat on an Apple II

This is my kitten, KitKat, way back in July. She's sitting on top of my vintage Apple II, where she often waits for me to get home from trips. That's a first-generation iPad next to her, so she can keep up with all her friends online....

| Read more »
06:08
Gadget Ogling: Up In The Air, Big Reads and Ghastly...


This week in Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, a peek at newly announced gadgets that caught my eye, we're going back to the future. Yes, there's an actual hoverboard on the agenda, alongside a larger Nook tablet, a high-end Kindle, smart luggage, and the tipping point for wearable tech. As always, there are ratings for each item, which are based on how interested I am in using them -- they're not an indicator of each product's quality. For starters, someone finally has created a real-life, working hoverboard.

| Read more »
06:00
“Oprah” for indie bands: Apple once loved unknown...

Aurich Lawson


In April 2007, only diehard Broken Social Scene fans salivated when band member Leslie Feist released a solo album titled The Reminder. Sales were moderate for the first five months, reaching an average of 6,000 per week.
But that September, Apple released its most impactful ad since it unveiled the Macintosh. The ad had a simple concept: a pudgy iPod Nano laid flat against a white table, with a hand repeatedly removing it to reveal another Nano in another color. Each Nano showed the same music video—the song "1234" from Feist.

A little video for everyone. Within five weeks of the commercial’s launch, Feist’s total album sales reached nearly 300,000 units. Roughly 100,000 of those sales came after the ad campaign started, according to ...

| Read more »
05:30
Meet friends and make new ones with Fanatic

One of the great enjoyment of watching sporting events is to be able to share the moment with friends and other fans of your favorite teams. Now with Fanatic, a free universal app, you can do just that even more easily than before.

Fanatic is a...

| Read more »
04:30
ColorFit uses photographs to suggest colors

ColorFit is a simple app that does one thing: uses a photo you take to suggest color palettes. Using the photograph, ColorFit will suggest a set of colors ("Use this colors" [sic]) using a variety of different color schemes including triad,...

| Read more »
04:00
Physical Keyboards for the iPhone 6 Plus

The jumbo iPhone 6 Plus has potential as a mini-tablet for productivity, and it could replace the iPad for some users. Julio Ojeda-Zapata suggests mobile keyboards for iPhone 6 Plus productivity. 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 »
03:00
The Week in iPad Cases: Keyboards, exotic designs,...

Keyboards, exotic designs, and protection for every seasonThis week’s roundup of new iPad cases brings an array of options for your tablet, from multi-function wonders to simple yet efficient designs.AppleWith the launch of its latest round of tablets, Apple has tweaked the Smart Case (iPad Air 2; $79) to match.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

| Read more »

Friday October 24

18:45
Yosemite adoption outpacing last year's...

Users are getting used to the idea of upgrading to the latest OS X versions very quickly after release, a new study from ad agency and trend analyst Chitika shows. The latest major OS X upgrade, 10.10 Yosemite, has already achieved a 12.8 percent share of all Internet-connected Macs -- slightly ahead of where last year's release, Mavericks, was at the same point, six days after release. However, both Mavericks and Yosemite have enjoyed adoption rates more than twice as high as the last paid upgrade, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in 2012.......

| Read more »
16:44
New iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 incorporate NFC chip for...

Apple's newest iPads feature one of the same chips used by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to handle tap-to-pay NFC transactions, but the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 only support Apple Pay within apps, sparing users the embarrassment of carrying around a gigantic alternative to their credit card.

| Read more »
16:23
9to5Toys Last Call: 13-inch MacBook Air from $800 w...

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:
Apple 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB: $850 or $800 w/ .edu email (Reg. $999)

Camera+ for iOS now available for...

| Read more »
16:16
Memo shows Rite-Aid's disabling of Apple Pay,...

Following reader complaints of Rite-Aid stores no longer accepting Apple Pay or Google Wallet payments (following a brief period where both worked properly) and a "cone of silence" from PR representatives, leaked documents have revealed that the reversal by Rite-Aid on accepting NFC-based payments was deliberate, and that it may never accept Apple Pay, since it is planning to go with a rival mobile payments platform -- sometime next year....

| Read more »
16:12
Chitika: OS X Yosemite adoption rate slightly higher...


New numbers released by analytics firm Chitika have revealed that public adoption of OS X Yosemite has been very similar to that of its predecessor, Mavericks. According to the stats, Mavericks achieved an install base of 12.4% in North America in its first week. Yosemite is performing slightly better, coming in at 12.8% in the same period of time.
The last of the “big cat” releases, OS X Mountain Lion, was only at 5.6% during its first week in public release. That could be due to the fact that it was considered an incremental upgrade over Lion and cost $19.99, whereas the two newer versions (especially Yosemite) were much larger releases and were both available for free to all users.
...

| Read more »
15:30
Sling to the rescue in The Adventures of SlingCat

A mad pirate atop a terrifying vulture has swooped in to and steal a map in The Adventures of SlingCat. An adventurous, yet adorable, blue cat named SlingCat is on a mission to rescue his rambunctious sister and the other half of the aforementioned...

| Read more »
15:04
First-week OS X Yosemite adoption rate outpaces...

According to recently published statistics, Apple's latest OS X Yosemite release is seeing slightly better take up rates than last year's OS X Mavericks launch, with current North American distribution pegged at 12.8 percent as of Wednesday.

| Read more »
15:00
Slices of Apple episode 9: Quality is job one

Slices of Apple is a documentary series exploring the success of Apple as a company. It seeks to educate business leaders, entrepreneurs and laypeople about how Apple keeps delivering consistently great products.
In this episode of Slices of Apple,...

| Read more »
14:53
Android Wear Gets Its First Big Update


Google's Android Wear on Thursday got its first major update, bringing GPS support and offline music capabilities to the wearables platform. "Android Wear is great for tracking things like route, distance and speed," wrote Kenny Stoltz, Android Wear product manager. "Before today, you had to keep your phone close at hand. Starting today, Wear supports watches with GPS sensors, so you can enjoy these features regardless of where your phone's at." The platform's new offline music capabilities enable users to store music on their smartwatch too.

| Read more »
14:47
AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

As reported by MacRumors, the unlocked, carrier-switchable SIM cards built into the newest iPads aren't necessarily so -- at least if you buy them from an AT&T store. Though the card comes from Apple with the ability to support (and be switched among with software, if a change is necessary) all major carriers, "AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. ... AT&T appears to be the only participating carrier that is locking the Apple SIM to its network. T-Mobile's John Legere has indicated that T-Mobile's process does not lock a customer in to T-Mobile, which appears to be confirmed by Apple's support document, and Sprint's process also seems to leave the Apple SIM unlocked and able to be used with other carrier plans. Verizon, the fourth major carrier in the United States, did not opt to allow the Apple SIM to work with its network."...

| Read more »
14:28
Sprint expands 'iPhone for Life' plans...

Adding to its iPhone-specific incentives program, Sprint on Friday announced a new 12-month lease option for its "iPhone for Life" plan, which lets subscribers "rent" a new iPhone for a preset period instead of buying it.

| Read more »
14:26
DWISS introduces first Apple Watch accessories in...


We may not even have a solid release date for the Apple Watch yet, but that’s not stopping the designers at DWiSS from launching a crowdfunding campaign for a new line of wearable accessories. The line includes several colorful watch covers and bands that can be used to customize your device beyond Apple’s selection of bands and faces.
The covers will wrap around the watch itself, while the bands will fit into place just like any of Apple’s own bands. There will also be a lineup of custom software watch faces available.
The DWISS team is seeking $30,000 in funding by December 1st. All backers will get access to at least one of the five custom watch faces. For $19 you’ll get a cover in...

| Read more »
14:00
Apple and AT&T confirm: AT&T locks down...

One of the surprising new features Apple added to the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 is a pre-installed Apple SIM which allows users to conveniently switch over to different cell providers as they please.

On its website, Apple describes the benefits...

| Read more »
13:58
Sprint adds 12-month option to 'iPhone for Life...

Sprint is making changes to its iPhone for Life rental plan, just over a month after launch. The carrier is adjusting the plan to allow customers the ability to lease an iPhone and upgrade it after 12 months, though the existing 24-month period between upgrades will continue to be offered to users at a lower cost compared to the new plan option....

| Read more »
13:51
Apple submits revised plans for Phase 2 of new...

Apple has a submitted revised plans for the second phase of its Campus 2 project in Cupertino, California. Next to the main "spaceship" complex, the company is looking to build three research and development-related buildings on opposite sides of North Tantau Avenue. It already has approval for the construction, but the updated plans reveal specific details....

| Read more »
13:43
Multi-carrier Apple SIM 'dedicated' to AT...

It was discovered on Friday that AT&T is dedicating the new multi-carrier Apple SIM included with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 to its network, forcing buyers to obtain a new one when switching to another carrier, while Sprint Stores will not supply the card at all.

| Read more »
13:30
Get ready to hit the slopes with Ski & Snow...

Some of you are actually looking forward to the arrival of winter and all that snow. Those of you in this group are probably active winter sports enthusiasts. It won't be long now, in fact, at least one Colorado ski resort has already opened one lift...

| Read more »
13:25
Friday Deals: iOS Grand Theft Auto, 240GB SSD, 1TB...

Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!...

| Read more »
13:07
New Uses For Old Power Macs

Over at designboom we get a look at another use for the slightly-less-than-current hardware: Furniture! Klaus Geiger couldn't find it in his heart to forsake these aluminum beauties, and found a way to keep them around. After scooping out the insides (and in some cases creating drawers), he added some wood or some glass and ended up with some really nice looking pieces. I love the wood and metal combinations, and having one of the wheeled carts would be super useful at my house. It's also really nice to see the office furniture made of old towers. I have to give props to Klaus for finding another use for these machines, even though the insides are not so useful, the outsides are still very pretty.

| Read more »
13:02
Apple Pay is Soaring While Competitors Crash and Burn

Large companies have large ambitions. When powerful tech companies come crashing into people's lives with products that give them pause, they naturally turn to a safe oasis. It's that human element, an Apple strength, that makes the company's products alluring. This week, Microsoft and Amazon were reminded of that while they watched Apple Pay become a warmly embraced product.

| Read more »
13:00
iTunes sees 13% drop in music downloads

With free music more accessible than ever before, music downloads are on the decline. Specifically, The Wall Street Journal reports that music downloads on iTunes are down by 13-14% since the beginning of the year.

Digital music sales at Apple...

| Read more »
12:52
AT&T locking Apple SIMs in new iPad models,...

The new Apple SIM in the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 is being locked to AT&T if data subscribers choose that carrier, according to complaints. The problem is confirmed by a new Apple support document. "When you choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to their network only," the page reads....

| Read more »
12:46
Forums: Yosemite is a big win (or fail depending on...

With just a little over one week on the Mac App Store, OS X 10.10 Yosemite has been one of the hottest topics in the MacNN forums, with discussion topics ranging from unfixed bugs and battery life issues to beefs with Dark Mode and tips for those who are just upgrading for the first time. Today one Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help determining the cause of what appears to be USB power failure....

| Read more »
 
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