Electronista

Thursday, November 27

Obama signs E-Label Act, allows manufacturers to remove rear logos

The backs of smartphones will become slightly better looking, after a bill concerning the labeling of electronic devices has been signed into law by President Obama. The E-Label Act, created by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), will allow manufacturers to leave off a large amount of the logos and other regulatory iconography from the device itself. ...

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Giveaway: Win a Skrillex X UE Boom Bluetooth speaker!

This next prize we are sure anybody would be very thankful to receive. Last week Ultimate Ears released the latest addition to their lineup, the custom designed Skrillex Edition UE Boom. Ultimate Ears teamed up with Skrillex and asked him to create custom artwork for their award-winning Boom speaker. What they created is a speaker that combines high-end sound quality with a twist of rave-culture style. ...

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Pre-Black Friday: best SSDs at the lowest prices

This year for Black Friday there will surely be heaps of discounts on solid state storage devices, with many of those deals showing up online already. Right now Newegg has the Corsair 240GB Force LS Series internal solid state drive on sale for $115. That's already a discount of 50 percent off the list price and a $30 rebate card drops the price further to $85. Just that alone makes this the best price out there by n...

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Giveaway: win a ScreenGuardz HD Impact screen protector

Mmmm…mmmm. That turkey sure does smell good. You know what would go really good with that turkey? More prizes. Up next we have a BodyGuardz: ScreenGuardz HD Impact screen protector to give away to one lucky reader so you can guard your iPhone with the ultimate in device protection. ...

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Giveaway: StreamToMe for iOS

This Thanksgiving we want to fill your plate with lots of giveaway goodness, so we are going to be giving away a bunch more prizes today, so keep checking back often. Next up we have 10 redemption codes for StreamToMe to give away. ...

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Pre-Black Friday: Walmart deals on electronics available now

Black Friday sales have gone live at Walmart.com, however if you plan on getting a head start on the deals at your local store, keep in mind they will be opening their doors tonight at 6PM. They are offering 3 different door-buster events, which are outlined below. If you don't want to wait for the door-busters, or would just prefer to shop from the safety and comfort of your own home, we have highlighted a selecti...

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European Parliament confirms wish to break search away from Google

The European Parliament has voted in favor of making Google break apart its search business from the rest of the company. With 384 approving the motion to 174 against with 56 abstentions, the Parliament is indicating to member states and the European Commission it wants something done about Google's power in search, with a separation of search services being the preferred option. ...

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Current and Black Friday Deals: 5TB HDD, iPads, 4k2k display, more

While Turkey Day (for our US readers) is only now upon us, the sales period associated with the dreaded "Black Friday" has begun! We are listing various deals you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, can take advantage of now. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid or available at a later time, so check before purchasing. Also, check back on this post later today a...

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Pre-Black Friday: Amazon Kindle tablets and e-readers from $49

Black Friday deals are on now at Amazon. No need to wait outside in the cold, or battle the hoards of deal-hungry shoppers to get these great prices. To kick things off today they are offering discounts on their line of Kindle tablets and e-readers. The all-new Kindle with touch has been reduced by $30 and can be had for only $49 with special offers that display on the lock screen or $69 without the special offers. ...

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Giveaway: Civilization: Beyond Earth

As was mentioned yesterday Civilization: Beyond Earth was released for purchase and download on Steam, the Mac App store and on GameAgent. Also announced yesterday was that we will be running a giveaway. So, without further ado we are pleased to announce that we have obtained 4 redemption codes for this game to give away to our readers. ...

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Giveaway: Fantastical for Mac, iPhone and iPad + Holiday sale

FlexiBits wants your holidays to be Fantastical, so to help make that happen they have launched a huge sale slashing prices on all of their software titles with discounts of up to 65 percent off. That's not all though, MacNN has teamed up with FlexiBits to give away 3 software prize packs to our readers. Each pack will contain a redemption code for Fantastical for Mac, Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Fantastical 2 for i...

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Happy Thanksgiving from MacNN and Electronista

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our US readers from all of us here at MacNN and Electronista! Today and tomorrow are traditionally very slow news days, so there will be reduced coverage through the holiday (except for our Black Friday and other deal-related posts, along with a hearty serving of giveaway goodness, never fear!) so that we can spend time with our families. We want to take this opportunity to express our ap...

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Hands On: Sproggiwood (Windows, OS X, Linux via Steam)

Because of the accessibility of game design tools, independently-produced games are springing up on every platform. There's certainly no shortage of dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, or turn-based strategy games today. That doesn't mean, though, that Sproggiwood, by Freehold Games, should be overlooked. This turn-based roguelike has the player explore dungeons inspired by Finnish mythology, bringing peace to the land of ...

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Apple debuts additional iPhone 6 ad, highlights Voice Text

Following a pair of new ads that debuted on Tuesday, Apple has followed it up with an unusual single additional ad in the current campaign, which again features Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and entertainer Justin Timberlake. In the new TV spot, called "Voice Text," the pair demonstrate the WhatsApp-esque Voice Text feature in iOS 8, which allows for easy recording of voice which is then sent as an MMS message or iM...

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Wednesday, November 26

New Star Wars teaser to debut on iTunes Trailers on Friday

Apple has confirmed that the first official trailer for next year's new chapter in the saga, The Force Awakens, will debut online on Friday on iTunes. Disney, which now owns the rights to the franchise, had previously said that only 30 cinemas in the US would be screening the trailer on Friday, implying a wider release later. Rumors began shortly afterwards, however, that there would be an online debut as well....

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Government could turn to 225-year-old law to force user decryption

In the face of increasing security measures on consumer devices, the US Department of Justice appears to be returning to old school tactics to get at data in devices. A judge in New York ordered an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to provide technical assistance in unlocking a device, something prosecutors argued under the All Writs Act of 1789. While the All Writs Act has been used in the past in technological situat...

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Adoption of iOS 8 rises to 60 percent after pause

Apple's iOS 8 adoption rate has returned to normal levels following a brief stagnation in the wake of the botched 8.0.1 update that was only very briefly available but caused havoc for the thousands who downloaded it, and temporarily made users hesitant to upgrade. In an update on iOS 8 distribution posted to its developer website, Apple said 60 percent of users registered with the iOS App Store are now running some ...

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Home Depot faces 44 civil lawsuits from breach, spent $43M on fallout

Home improvement retailer Home Depot is still locked into a battle over the security breach it reported in September that put 56 million credit cards at risk. However, the fight is no longer against cyber criminals, but rather consumers affected by the breach and government agencies. To date, the retailer is involved in "at least 44 civil lawsuits" in the US and Canada....

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Skype 7.2 fixes bugs, improves chat readability

Microsoft has released a minor update to Skype for Mac, v7.2. The software mainly copes with several bugs, including crashes caused by changing a profile picture, playing the test sound in the Welcome tour, and/or launching Skype with Ecamm Call Recorder 2.5.11 installed. It also deals with Call and SMS buttons not working on a contact's profile page....

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StealthGenie spyware app creator pleads guilty, fined $500,000

A seller of mobile phone spyware has pleaded guilty to federal charges, the Department of Justice has revealed. Danish citizen Hammad Akbar has been fined $500,000 for the advertisement and sale of the StealthGenie app, which can be used to monitor the calls, texts, and other messaging systems with few in the way of signs to the target that they are being watched. ...

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Natalie Portman in talks to join Universal's Steve Jobs biopic

Actress Natalie Portman is in negotiations to join Universal's Steve Jobs biopic, according to Deadline. Who she might play is unmentioned, but the role is said to be a "major" one. Given Portman's age and the resemblance, that role is likely to be Lisa, Jobs' daughter. ...

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AT&T responds to FCC over 'frozen' fiber build, calls agency mistaken

Following the US Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) demand for more information about a "frozen" fiber buildout, AT&T has responded to the call late yesterday. The company claims that the announced expansion of the gigabit network is not actually frozen -- only new, unannounced expansions have been halted in the wake of the FCC's Net Neutrality and Title II regulation discussion....

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Apple may lean heavily on Samsung for iPhone 6, Apple Watch parts

Apple is turning to Samsung for more parts in future production runs of the iPhone 6, sources tell Business Korea. Beginning this week, new runs will reportedly use batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI. More significantly, though, Apple is said to be considering replacing Toshiba TLC NAND flash storage with a Samsung equivalent. Toshiba NAND is currently believed to be the only kind used in 128GB iPhones, and some r...

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Briefly: Civilization: Beyond Earth OS X ships, new Geometry Wars 3

Firaxis and Aspyr have announced that Civilization: Beyond Earth will be available later today for purchase and download on Steam, the Mac App store, and on GameAgent. The game requires OS X 10.9.5 or greater, an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 8GB of drive space, and at least the Intel HD 4000 with 256MB of VRAM. Civilization: Beyond Earth retails for $50. Look for a MacNN giveaway of the title soon....

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Holiday Gift Guide: Audio gear

Audio enthusiasts might be some of the easiest to select gifts for during the holidays, if for nothing else than the wealth of choices available. From Bluetooth speakers, headphones, audio amplifiers and radio options, it can be overwhelming to pick something. Here at Electronista and MacNN, we're attempting to give shoppers some directions for the music lovers in their lives, compiling some of the best audio gear fo...

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Union, Rev. Jackson push for better terms for Apple security guards

With the backing of activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, United Service Workers West is hoping to unionize the security guards working at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, and in the short term is urging the company to use a different security contractor, says the San Jose Mercury News. USWW is ultimately aiming to unionize guards across Silicon Valley, but beginning with Apple in the belief that it could set a standard for ot...

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iPhone 5c production to halt in mid-2015, report says

Two Apple suppliers, Foxconn and Wistron, will stop their production of the iPhone 5c by the middle of 2015, says Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times. The 5c was originally launched in 2013 alongside the iPhone 5s, and like its sibling, made available in several different models. It has since become the lowest-end iPhone however, and is currently relegated to an 8GB model free on contract, or $450 unlocked....

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Shareholder suit accuses GT Advanced of failing to disclose risks

A Louisiana lawfirm, Smith Segura & Raphael, has filed a class action lawsuit against GT Advanced on behalf of investors. The case alleges that GT "failed to disclose the significant risk" it would incur in its sapphire supply deal with Apple, which it announced on November 4th last year. Apple agreed to pay GT $578 million in four installments, with the expectation the latter would start paying it back in 2015. GT w...

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Judge grants Apple post-judgement royalties from second Samsung trial

Judge Lucy Koh, overseeing the myriad Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials has partially granted a motion by Apple, allowing the Cupertino manufacturer to collect post-judgement royalties on on-going sales of some Samsung devices -- but less than Apple wanted. The motion, filed for the second Apple versus Samsung trial, covers data detectors and "slide to unlock," and specifically covers 10 products and othe...

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Review: iDrive cloud backup and sync service

There are a lot of cloud services out there, and nearly all of them can be used for backing up key files and folders. A few dedicated services are focused on backing up nearly everything the user has, and thus offer large quantities of space needed for the task, but are expensive and slow. Others, like Dropbox, offer far less space but allow instant access to files across a range of devices. IDrive appears to have hi...

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Hands On: Snoopy's All Star Football (iOS)

Cupcake Digital is a well-known name in the ring of games for elementary-age children. To date, they've created games for children's entertainment titles such as Yo Gabba Gabba, Wow! Wow! Wubbsy, and Strawberry Shortcake. The company is now tackling two American classics, Peanuts and football, in Snoopy's All Star Football. Is the game worth handing to your little ones, or is it the digital equivalent of Lucy pulling...

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