Electronista

Thursday, January 29

Apple Back to School promo goes live in Australia, New Zealand

Apple has launched the Australia and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. Qualifying university students, parents, and educational staff are being given gift cards matched to the device they buy; unlike last year, though, the cards are for the Apple Store, rather than for the Mac or iOS App Store. A similar change was made last year for the American Back to School promo....

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Microsoft OneDrive upgrades photo functions, offers Mac sync client

Microsoft has made some changes to OneDrive, with updates primarily concerning photography. Overall updates to image organization, searching, and sharing are accompanied by changes to the iOS app for work-related items, alterations which make it easier to access files stored on OneDrive for Business accounts without requiring a dedicated app, as well as a Mac client making file synchronization smoother. ...

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Hands On: Gravity Ghost (OS X, Windows)

Indie games have seen a lot of success in recent years, and with good reasons. Now that game design has become more accessible due to the wide availability of tools, and publishing has become easier due to things like Steam Greenlight, the gaming community is able to play an ever expanding catalog of strange and wonderful games. One such game is Gravity Ghost, a physics-centric puzzle game by Ivy Games....

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Apple, Samsung effectively tied for lead in global smartphone market

Apple's surge during the last quarter and Samsung's respective slump put the two corporations in a dead heat in terms of smartphone marketshare, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that the companies each shipped about 74.5 million smartphones worldwide; while only Apple has announced that figure specifically, Samsung says that of the 95 million phones it shipped in total, the number of high-...

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Pointers: 10 Fast Tips for Safari (OS X)

You hear more criticism of Safari than you do of any other browser on OS X -- but you would. It's the one that comes on your Mac and if nobody criticised it, you'd never think to try Chrome or Firefox's latest build that will likely be incremented before you finish this paragraph. There are things that rival browsers do better but by far the biggest difference between them all is your personal taste. So if you can't ...

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Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store. ...

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Hands On: Comic Zeal (iOS)

There are a lot of reasons to make the leap to digital formats when buying comics. For one, it's a lot easier to carry a digital collection of comics around, and for another, it's a lot harder to bend the pages of a digital comic book. Whatever your reasons are, Comic Zeal Comic Reader by Bitolithic Pty is a great digital comic book reader....

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Samsung fourth-quarter, fiscal year 2014 results shows drop in profits

Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago...

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R&D at Apple increases by 42 percent, hits $1.9B

Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significan...

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China to require backdoors, audits for foreign enterprise sales

At the end of last year, the Chinese government approved a 22-page set of regulations for the sale of computer equipment to Chinese banks, but that will ostensibly apply to all enterprise sales. The rules require foreign companies to turn over source code, submit to audits, and build "back doors" into hardware and software so that the government can monitor devices. The new rules are expected to be the first in a ser...

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Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector

Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large number of manufacturers. Name brand aside, trying to find the right options for the based on room size, necessary features and functions can still leave consumers scratching their heads. Epson is attempting to give buyers a one-shot option to build their home theaters around, with the Epson...

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Wednesday, January 28

Apple's Q1 certified as best quarter for any company ever

In addition to being the best quarter in the company's history, Apple's Q1 results also blew away quarterly revenue and profit figures for any company ever, according to credit rating analysts Standard & Poor's. Even more remarkably, CFO Luca Maestri noted repeatedly that fluctuations in major currencies (such as the Russian ruble and the unusually-strong US dollar) actually cost the company a potential five percent ...

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TracFone settles with FTC over 'unlimited' plan throttling complaints

A carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints it offered mobile phone contracts that claim to have "unlimited" data, but turn out do not. TracFone was accused by the FTC of capping and throttling customers on the "unlimited" plans, with the carrier agreeing to pay out $40 million in refunds to consumers as part of its settlement. ...

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Remote Desktop server v3.8 updated with Yosemite support, more

On Wednesday, Apple updated its Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) server/administrator software to version 3.8, the first major upgrade in well over a year. The new version primarily spruces up the app for OS X Yosemite compatibility, including an updated interface. The program was last upgraded in October of 2013, largely for the same reason, but for Mavericks (though two minor updates were issued later). In addition to an...

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Documents show Apple paid just A$80.3M in Australian taxes for 2014

Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 mi...

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Universal publishes full cast for upcoming Jobs biopic

Universal Studios has published the complete cast list for its upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, tentatively titled just Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender has been confirmed as Jobs, while Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak. Jeff Daniels will assume the role of former Apple CEO John Sculley; Kate Winslet will be former Mac marketing head Joanna Hoffman, while Katherine Waterston will play Jobs' one-time girlfriend Chrisann Br...

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TaiG jailbreak closed off in iOS 8.1.3 update

Yesterday's iOS 8.1.3 update sabotages the TaiG jailbreak tool, users say. The hack was functional through iOS 8.1.2, outdoing Pangu, which stopped working as of v8.1.1. Although the TaiG team itself hasn't confirmed the problem, Apple's notes for v8.1.3 actually credit the group with finding four security vulnerabilities....

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European iPod shuffle delays improve; 2012 Mac mini reappears

Apple's official online shipping times for the iPod shuffle have improved in the UK, France, Germany, and several other European countries, reports say. Earlier this month, shipping times deteriorated to between seven to 10 days worldwide, prompting fears that Apple might be discontinuing the product. Sources claimed that Apple was just going through component supplier changes, however, and this may be borne out by t...

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FCC nixes petition by hotels, disallows Wi-Fi hotspot blocking

A petition by Marriott, Hilton, and an association of hotel owners asking for permission to block guests from creating their own Wi-Fi hotspots has been resolved today in a public notice by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Specifically, the blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots is prohibited, and will be "aggressively" investigated and acted against, according to the agency. ...

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Cook proclaims 'Year of Apple Pay'; Apple cash stockpile now $178B

If you are making a contactless mobile payment in the US based on a Visa, MasterCard or American Express account, odds are that you're doing it from an iPhone 6 model. During the conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company's Apple Pay mobile payments system -- only in its fourth month -- now accounts for more than $2 of every $3 of money paid in that manner. In addition, CFO Luca Maest...

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Apple sees one billionth iOS device shipped, China sales explode

In the midst of so much good news that came out of Apple in its fiscal Q1 report today, a significant milestore was also noted: the company said it had sold its one billionth iOS device, which it will keep for historical purposes. The device was said to be a 64GB Space Grey iPhone 6 Plus, and was part of the extraordinary 74.6 million iPhone sold worldwide in the holiday quarter. China sales played a major role as we...

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