Electronista

Friday, August 01

Beats, Apple post self-deprecating video celebrating union

A brief video has been posted by new Apple employee Dr. Dre on the Beats Twitter account that both celebrates and pokes fun at the union of the two companies. The video, which features animated versions of the Beats Pill speakers and the disembodied voice of Siri, will remind some of the "talking car" Chevron advertisements done by Aardman Animation, makers of Wallace & Gromit in its style of animation and light humo...

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Apple retail chief Ahrendts issues memo, visits Grand Central store

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts dropped by the Grand Central Station Apple Store this afternoon to talk with workers and learn more about the operation there. She is continuing a tour of flagship stores, having previously been seen at the grand opening of the Omotesando store in Japan and other locations. Ahrendts also released a memo with a Q&A section talking about her v...

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Judge offers preliminary approval of Apple, states e-book settlement

Having just raised doubts about the fairness of the proposed settlement between Apple and a coalition of states' attorneys general and consumer groups over the alleged e-book "price fixing" scandal, US District Judge Denise Cote has apparently reconsidered the deal and given a tentative okay to the settlement, which would see Apple pay $450 million to resolve the civil claims, with a catch: Apple would only pay a tot...

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Forums: iOS 8 questions and discussion

With the Beta release of Yosemite in the hands of a million Mac owners, and questions about that subsiding, the next big question in the MacNN forums is about the future of iOS 8. Forum-goers discuss the future of the Mac desktop in two different threads, one asking if a consumer Mac Pro might surface, and the other questioning the possibility of a Retina iMac. ...

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Apple deals: refurbished Macs from $719

This week at Apple's online store, save big on refurbished Mac models starting as low as $719. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been cut by $130 to $719. A $150 discount is offered on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. ...

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DealNN: MBPs, iMacs, cameras and more

Adorama.com currently has the previous generation Retina 13.3-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $2,250. That' s $150 less than their regular price of $2,400, and $250 off the MSRP of $2,500. This MacBook Pro features a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor. ...

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WSJ: Beats Music head Ian Rogers to take charge of iTunes Radio

Beats Music head Ian Rogers will also take charge of iTunes Radio as a part of Apple's acquisition of Beats, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The people add that having Rogers in charge of both units is intended to generate cohesion in Apple's streaming music options. How exactly that might manifest is unclear, but the Journal speculates that Apple may implement new subscription options....

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President signs DMCA exemption bill, cellphone unlocking legal again

President Barack Obama has signed the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," making cellphone unlocking by individuals or businesses legal again, at least temporarily. The bill reauthorizes an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allowed unlocking. The matter will come up for debate before the Library of Congress in 2015, so the bill signature today isn't a permanent fix....

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Aereo files for emergency aid, company is 'bleeding to death'

Aereo is "figuratively bleeding to death" according to a court filing made last night by the Supreme Court-impacted Internet video service. The filing cites "staggering costs" that it is still paying to stay alive as a business entity while the and US Copyright Office debate if it should be treated like a cable company, like the Supreme Court alluded in its ruling against Aereo....

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No layoffs at Beats yet, source claims

Although layoffs may be coming, no one at Beats has lost their job yet as a result of Apple's takeover, a source tells Billboard. "Every single person is going through Apple orientation, they're signing up for healthcare," the person comments, noting that everyone has been offered a full-time job at Apple, although as confirmed by the company some people are only being offered work for a limited time. Specifically,...

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Briefly: Delta Airlines' iOS in-flight entertainment, Chameleon 8.5

Delta Airlines today release an update for both of its Fly Delta iOS app, now allowing access to free in-flight entertainment content. Available through its new Delta Studio initiative, the service will be available on all domestic and two-cabin aircrafts, and feature a variety of TV shows and movies through the on-board Wi-Fi. The updated Fly Delta app also includes access to past and current issues of Delta's Sky M...

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Leak claims redesigned home buttons for 4.7-, 5.5-inch iPhones

Photos obtained by a French site show what are claimed to be home buttons and connected flex cables for Apple's 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones, sometimes dubbed the iPhone 6 and iPhone Air, respectively. Both differ not only from the iPhone 5s, but each other, with the 4.7-inch phone for instance having a straight cable, and the 5.5-inch device having a slightly bent one. The buttons themselves are also visibly differen...

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Friday Deals: iPad Air, Readdle apps, OWC Garage Sale, more

Once again, it's time for the MacNN and Electronista Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, our faithful readers. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy! We...

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Vivendi/UMG transfers Beats stake over to Apple in $404M deal [u]

(Updated with Apple welcoming page) Vivendi's Universal Music Group has completed a sale of its 13 percent stake in Beats to Apple, in a deal worth $404 million, according to an official statement. The company hasn't released any other details. In all, Apple is paying about $3 billion to acquire Beats. ...

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Casio G-Shock GBA-400 includes SoundHound-powered music recognition

Casio is adding another smartwatch to its wristwear range, this time adding a new item to the G-Shock collection. The G-Shock GBA-400 provides the option to control music on an iPhone or Android smartphone over Bluetooth, with the additional ability to pipe nearby music to the smartphone for recognition by SoundHound, displaying the track information on the watch's digital display. ...

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NetShade 6 adds KeyShade password manager, UI improvements

Rayner Software has released Netshade 6, an update of its proxy/VPN client for the Mac. The main addition is actually KeyShade, a tool for storing passwords, notes, and bank and credit card info. Data is encrypted using AES-256, and synced across devices. Rayner says that a standalone version of KeyShade will be "coming soon" to Mac and iOS, but that for now it's tied to NetShade....

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Briefly: Wunderlist, Indiegogo apps; Typo 2 keyboard in pre-order

To-do app Wunderlist has reached version 3.0, and is celebrating with fresh, iOS 7-inspired look, among other changes. The biggest changes users would immediately notice are the design, the real-time sync and a new option to make a list public. Users can also share lists with selected other Wunderlist users (such as family) across nearly any mobile or desktop platform, with instant updating....

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Briefly: Roam Mobility's new low rate plans, iKlip Stage app

Roam Mobility, a Canadian independent roaming SIM replacement provider, has announced its new unlimited roaming plans for travellers while in the US. Upon purchasing a one-time upgrade to the network ($2), users with one of the company's SIMs and an unlocked device can access Roam Mobility's new Text+Data plan ($2 per day) offering unlimited texting and 2G data; plans that include 4G LTE data, flex scheduling, a Sno...

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Review: SMS Audio Sync Sport on-ear wireless headphones

When hitting the gym or going out for a trail run, headphones can cause a number of problems. From the ear buds getting slimy with sweat or the ear cups not holding onto the user's head tightly enough, there are a bunch of inconveniences that occur. This isn't even considering the cords that can get in the way, resulting in headphones flying off someone's head or a plug being yanked from a device. Is there a set of h...

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Thursday, July 31

Apple updates Epson drivers, Yosemite Feedback Assistant

On Thursday, Apple updated its supported drivers for Epson printers and scanners for all OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9) users, and also added an update intended only for those testing the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta (either developers or members of the Beta Seed Program). The latter is just a small incremental update to the Feedback Assistant used to send App...

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Briefly: Wikipedia for iOS revamped, Ember screen recording launches

The official Wikipedia app for iOS has received a major update, including a complete native rewrite and new additions. The free encyclopedia contains more than 32 million article in 280 languages; the newest version now features localization and international support. Wikipedia Mobile v4.0 includes a table of contents sidebar, so that users can easily navigate articles. Editing is enabled, meaning that users can now ...

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Square announces expansion into EMV chip card readers for business

Square, a company that helped open mobile payments up to the masses, released news today that it would be expanding its device offerings with a reader for chip-based credit cards, now frequently used outside the US. While the company states that typical Europay, Master Card and Visa (EMV) solutions are costly, it will release an affordable model to enable sellers to accept the secure payments....

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Facebook updates photo app Slingshot, chat app Messenger for iOS

On Thursday, Facebook updated two of its applications for iOS users: the now-required Messenger chatting program, and its SnapChat-like photo-messaging app Slingshot. The latter's biggest change is the removal of what was previously a puzzling core requirement of the app -- users no longer have to "reply" with a message, photo or video before being allowed to see the message, photo or video sent to them. The now-mand...

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Briefly: Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 3, Blood Bowl on tablets

During last week's San Diego Comic Con, Telltale Games, the developer of narrative-based adventure games like The Wolf Among Us, announced that it would be producing a third season of its popular The Walking Dead game. Details on the next season of the title are scarce, as it was only mentioned during a panel for Skybound Entertainment, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman's imprint. The game likely won't be out a...

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Office for iPad gets PDF export, new fonts and Picture tools

Microsoft has updated its trio of Office apps for the iPad -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- adding a number of significant features. Perhaps the biggest addition is support for PDF export, but new third-party fonts have also been added, as have new Picture tools that let people crop an image or reset it to an unaltered state. Other changes are specific to Excel and PowerPoint....

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Apple CDN now live in US and Europe, analyst says

Apple's proprietary content delivery network is now operational in the US and Europe, says Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn. Its status was determined by conducting traceroutes for OS X downloads, which show that files are being shuttled directly from Apple to ISPs. The network is estimated to be capable of delivering multiple terabits per second. ...

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US, Canadian Apple Stores to start iPhone 5s screen replacements

US and Canadian Apple Stores will finally start conducting iPhone 5s screen replacements on or around August 4th, sources say. Some US stores have been piloting the service for the past several months, but now Apple Stores are reportedly receiving "large quantities" of replacement screens. iPhone 5c screen services began in January....

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Sky Mobile wireless service launches in US on Sprint frequencies

Sky Communications has launched a new wireless provider, Sky Mobile, across the US. The new carrier offers several options for mobile users, with basic users still being able to purchase flip phones, while smartphone users are able to choose from devices from Apple, LG, Samsung, and Kyocera....

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Apple confirms Beats layoffs; 200 people expected to lose jobs

Apple has confirmed reports of job losses at Beats as a part of its $3 billion acquisition. "We're excited to have the Beats team join Apple, and we have extended job offers to every Beats employee," says Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Because of some overlap in our operations, some offers are for a limited period and we'll work hard during this time to find as many of these Beats employees as we can another permane...

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Macphun brings Tonality to photo-editing lineup for B&W images

Photo software maker Macphun has unveiled a fourth tool in its suite of image-editing apps, this time creating one aimed at the art of black and white photography, whether the image was originally shot in color or not. Called Tonality, the program works with up to 16-bit RAW images or JPEG files and offers a range of tools that go far beyond simply removing color. In addition to serious tools like adaptive exposure, ...

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Researchers: USB firmware exploitable for computer malware install

A pair of researchers are going to discuss a giant security flaw that illustrates how the Universal Serial Bus (USB) firmware can be exploited. Security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have developed "BadUSB," a malware package resident in USB firmware that can be used as an attack vector to install any manner of software on a PC, with little or no warning to the user, and - as of now -- no effective way to s...

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Apple opens first 'open-air' temp shop in Switzerland's Glattzentrum

As anticipated, Apple has launched its first-ever "open-air" temporary store, located inside of the Glattzentrum mall in Wallisellen, Switzerland. The mall's primary Apple Store is undergoing an expansion. Workers won't say how long construction is expected to last, but the temporary shop has opened earlier than rumored, which could mean that the expansion will be ready in time for product launches expected in Sept...

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Shazam arrives for Mac with always-on detection

Music and TV recognition service Shazam has today launched its first-ever Mac app. While similar in design to the iOS client, the Mac app is able to listen constantly, generating an ongoing list of items it hears. Notifications give users the ability to jump quickly into pages for lyrics and/or buying the media in question. ...

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Apple environmental chief expanding green power efforts

In a new report for the UK newspaper The Guardian, Apple Senior VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson has acknowledged that the company needs to do more to facilitate more use of renewable energy by its suppliers and partners as well as itself. The iPhone maker has had tremendous success in converting its data centers to renewable energy, and has implemented similar measures in 120 of its stores. The next tar...

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