Electronista

Friday, August 22

Briefly: Otterbox's Alpha Glass protectors, Booq's Cobra Brief

Rugged accessories producer Otterbox has announced its introduction of a new screen protection product for iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Alpha Glass consists of fortified glass that features reactive touch and anti-shatter properties. Suitable for standalone use as a screen protector, Alpha Glass is installed by lightly coating the protector with its accompanied alcohol wipe, clean with the microfiber cloth a...

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Sprint takes a jab at carriers with $60 single-line unlimited plan

With the exit of Dan Hesse and the appointment of CEO Marcelo Claure earlier in the month, Sprint is kicking into a new gear with a bunch of new offerings. Following on a new family plan structure, including a $100 plan with up to 10 lines and 40 GB of date, Sprint announced a new single line plan that offers unlimited text, talk and data for only $60 per month. The new plan follows on previous reports that a similar...

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Thursday, August 21

Apple removes anonymous Secret app from Brazilian App Store

Following a ruling by a Brazilian judge that anonymous social apps such as Secret violate the Brazilian constitution, Apple has removed the program from the App Store in that country, citing that its own guidelines require that apps comply with local laws in the country they're sold in. In addition to Apple, the judge ordered Google and Microsoft to also remove the app or similar apps. There has not, however, been an...

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Apple CEO Cook visits iPad-using VA hospital in Palo Alto

One day after US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald called the Palo Alto Veterans Administration hospital one of the "crown jewels" of the VA healthcare system," the facility received a visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who tweeted that he was "honored" to meet doctors alongside California legislator Anna Eshoo, noting that the facility is "now using iPads to help treat vets and families." The message was acc...

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Briefly: Google Play Music iOS update, N3twork personal TV network

Google Play Music has updated its app for iOS devices, featuring improved library management and additional functionality. Google Play Music is a music streaming subscription service, featuring access to millions of songs and custom radio stations. The latest version (1.3.2.2559) allows users to remove content from their library. The "Thumbs Up" playlist can now be sorted in reverse chronological order, and overall l...

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Apple issues minor updates to OS X iMovie, iWork suite

On Thursday, Apple issued minor updates to its OS X versions of iMovie, Pages, Keynote and Numbers. The most significant of the updates appears to be for iMovie, updated to version 10.0.5 that offers iCloud compatibility improvements for iMovie Theater, though there is still no fix for the program under the Yosemite Public Beta. Also updated were Keynote (to v6.2.2), Pages (to 5.2.2), and Numbers (to version 3.2.2)....

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Twitter details how it fights off spam with BotMaker anti-spam tool

Twitter offered details on how it battles with spam on the service, showing off a specialized tool that the company made in the process. BotMaker was built by the team, which has so far been responsible for a reduction of 40-percent "in key spam metrics" since its launch. The company went into spill some of the specifics of its creation, something it needed to make since it offers real-time interactions and an expose...

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Apple in talks with insurance companies about HealthKit

Apple is talking with at least two insurance companies about its HealthKit platform in iOS 8, according to Bloomberg. These include Humana, and UnitedHealth, the US' biggest such firm. It's not clear, though, what the parties might have in mind....

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Numerous Apple online services hit with outages

Many Apple online services were caught in a severe outage on Thursday, according to the company's official system status page. This included every iCloud service, such as Photos, device backups, Keychain, Mail, Documents in the Cloud, and web apps. Also impacted were Back to My Mac, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, and iMovie Theater....

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UPS Stores hit by 'malware intrusion,' customer data possibly exposed

The UPS Store, Inc. reported that a number of its stores have been the target of a "broad-based malware intrusion," adding that customer data could have been accessed. The United Parcel Service (UPS) subsidiary became aware of the breach on July 31, the same day that the Department of Homeland Security sent out notices regarding a malware called "Backoff" according to the New York Times....

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Apple searches for engineers to work on VoLTE tech for iPhone

Apple has posted two job listings asking for people with experience in voice-over-LTE technology, better known as VoLTE. The first asks for a "cellular systems protocol engineer," while the second asks for a "wireless communication software engineer" familiar with "SIP, RTP, and VoIP related protocols." Although it's dependent on carrier support, VoLTE can allow for much better call quality than regular or even 3G ...

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Apple releases second public OS X Yosemite beta, new iTunes 12 test

Participants in the OS X Beta Program can now download a second public beta of OS X Yosemite via the Mac App Store. Changes are unlisted, but since it's following just a few days after the release of Developer Preview 6, it presumably incorporates that code's fixes and feature additions. Apple is believed to be building towards a final launch of Yosemite in October, which could mean one or two more public betas in ...

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Law firm mulls possible suit over problems with 2011 MacBook Pro

A DC-based legal firm, Whitfield Bryson & Mason, is considering a possible class-action lawsuit over graphics problems with the 2011 MacBook Pro. In a post to a Facebook group organized around the issue, the firm says it has "commenced an investigation leading us to your community." The firm adds that while other posts are providing information, it wants people to fill out a survey to "determine if any legal claims m...

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T-Mobile taunts Sprint, offers year of free LTE data to new customers

T-Mobile is ramping up its fight against Sprint, by attempting to coax subscribers to switch carrier. From August 29th, whenever a T-Mobile customer convinces another person to sign up to the carrier, both accounts will receive unlimited LTE data free for an entire year, or in the case of existing T-Mobile Simple Choice customers already having unlimited LTE, a $10 monthly credit for one year instead....

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Schematics suggest iPhone 6 may come in 16, 64, and 128GB models

Another new schematics leak from Chinese repair firm GeekBar suggests that the iPhone 6 may come in 16, 64, and 128GB capacities. Modules from suppliers Toshiba and Hynix are listed, notably excluding 32GB. If the schematics are indeed representative of planned iPhone models, it may hint that Apple is doing a significant shakeup of its usual 16/32/64GB tiers....

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Quicken 2015 for Mac brings new features, strips others

Intuit has officially released Quicken 2015 for Mac, a long-awaited update of its personal finance software. Some improvements include a new UI design, matched to OS X Yosemite, and support for syncing data with a companion iOS app, which can also be used to snap photos of receipts to record purchases. New investment tools update quotes continuously, and track factors like cost basis and capital gains....

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Apple TV 'unavailable for pickup' at many US Apple Stores

The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's planned coverage of iTunes Festival London. ...

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Briefly: Walmart iPhone sale, new Tesla car-starting app

Giant retailer Walmart has lowered the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5c to a mere 97 cents as part of what appears to be an early move to clear stock ahead of the arrival of the iPhone 6, or to bring in back-to-school shoppers. The chain has also lowered the price on the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, cut from $99 previously. Both offers require signing a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (T-Mobile is not i...

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Wednesday, August 20

Judge Koh blocks Apple attempt to recover attorney fees from Samsung

On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against...

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Alleged iPhone 5.5-inch chassis backplate leaked in photos

New photos allegedly from "deep within Apple's supply chain" have revealed what could be the backplate for the little-leaked 5.5-inch version of the "iPhone 6." The photos show the chassis of the larger "phablet" device next to the same part from the 4.7-inch version, suggesting that the models will be similar apart from sizing. It should be noted that these images could well be from Chinese knock-off devices based o...

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Apple updates Safari 7.1/6.2 beta, OS X Mavericks Server beta

On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. Th...

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Twitter makes random tweets, favorites on timelines official feature

Twitter users may have seen a number of items showing up in their feeds from users they don't follow for the last few weeks. In what was thought to be one of the company's experiments, tweets from users that aren't followed and random favorites from others were showing up in timelines. It appears that the feature is no longer in testing, as Twitter has added the new feature to its help page about timelines....

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Briefly: FEMA's Spanish-language app, PopChar X 6.6 supports Unicode

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched a free Spanish-language app that provides disaster-related information for families and communities. Key features of the app include preparation-related safety tips for events such as flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters, and an emergency meeting location tool that allows users to plan primary, secondary and out of state meeting locations. Users can ...

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Heartbleed suspected to be point of entry for CMS records breach

Security firm TrustedSec says that it learned how hackers were able to obtain records from Community Health Systems (CHS). According to a statement released by the firm yesterday, the initial attack occurred through an OpenSSL vulnerability. An anonymous source tied to the investigation told the company that Heartbleed, a vulnerability that has made headlines in recent history, is to blame for the breach....

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Latest OS X Yosemite beta enables screensharing via Messages

The sixth OS X Yosemite beta enables promised screensharing via Messages, a report notes. The feature requires simply that a person have an iMessage or Apple ID account. Some options include turning audio conversation on and off, pausing sharing, and blocking requests from a particular user....

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Symantec condenses security line-up into one suite, Norton Security

Symantec announced earlier this week that it would be issuing a sweeping change to its line of antivirus software to offer consumers a single solution. Starting September 23, the company will begin offering Norton Security for around $80 per year. The change effectively ends releases of Norton Antivirus, the company's main product line that has seen annual releases since the early 90s....

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Best Buy runs one-day $75 sale on all iPad Air models

Best Buy is conducting a one-day sale on all its iPad Air models, cutting their costs by $75 each. That makes a 16GB Wi-Fi Air $425, and a 16GB 4G Air $555. The most expensive iPads -- 128GB 4G models -- have been lowered to $855. A further $50 discount is available to educational buyers....

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Second-gen iPad Air could upgrade to 2GB of RAM

The second-generation iPad Air should switch from 1 to 2GB of RAM, according to a Taiwanese site, TechNews. The third-gen iPad mini, however, will allegedly retain 1GB. That would be a reversal of last year, when the Mini was made equivalent to full-sized iPads in everything but size....

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Apple TV gets delayed NFL Now app

Nearly two weeks after its announcement on August 7th, the NFL Now Apple TV app has finally gone live. Functionally the app is similar to its iOS counterpart, providing a certain amount of free content, while hiding other material -- such as game highlights and NFL Films specials -- behind a paywall. The NFL is promising to add 105 hours of original content per week....

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AT&T bringing gigabit Internet to Silicon Valley with Cupertino push

AT&T has become the first major telecommunications provider to declare it will offer a gigabit Internet service in Silicon Valley in the future. The high-speed service will roll out in Cupertino, Apple's base of operations, though the company has not yet revealed when it will roll out the network in the area, when it will be available to customers, nor how much it will ultimately cost. ...

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Cambridge Audio launches Go, Bluetone 100 Bluetooth streamers

Audio purveyor Cambridge Audio has revealed its new Bluetooth speaker line. Replacing the original Minx Go Bluetooth streamer, launched today are the Go and the Go Radio with similar stylings to the predecessor. Also released is the 100-watt Bluetone 100 streaming device....

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Apple's iMessage accounts for 30 percent of all mobile spam messages

Over 30 percent of all mobile spam messages are now being sent through Apple's iMessage system, claims Tom Landesman, a security researcher at Cloudmark. Many of the messages are pushing fake luxury products such as sunglasses and handbags. Landesman explains that spammers are - or were - taking advantage of several aspects of Apple's ecosystem. However, Apple has responded to the charge and said that some countermea...

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EPEAT tablet registry lists almost nothing but iPads

The Apple iPad is overwhelmingly dominant in a new EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) category covering tablets and slates. Out of 135 devices currently registered, 134 are simply different configurations of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad. The one non-Apple entry is the Dell Venue 11 Pro....

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Sandisk launches value-oriented Ultra II SSD with TLC media

Sandisk today announced the new SanDisk Ultra II SSD with enhanced SSD Dashboard. The new SATA-3 2.5-inch drive ships in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities, and is the first SSD outside of those manufactured by Samsung to use TLC flash media....

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Uber launches API enabling third-party app integration

Uber has released an anticipated API that will let third-party developers integrate its ridesharing services. The company says it is already working with 11 high-profile partners, including Starbucks, United, OpenTable, TimeOut, Tempo, Hinge, Tripadvisor, Tripcase, Hyatt, Mememo, and Expensify. Apps based on the API will be able to show available rides and/or price and time estimates, and make use of a person's tri...

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UAE Apple Store to be 'biggest in the world,' source claims

The upcoming UAE Apple Store will be the "biggest Apple has ever built," according to men's luxury magazine Edgar, citing an anonymous source. The person also says that Apple has picked Dubai's Mall of the Emirates as the site for the shop, and that it was originally planned to replace a current cinema complex. Based on the timing of Apple's job listings, it's thought that the store could open in the first quarter of...

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Netflix signs interconnectivity deal with Time Warner Cable

Netflix has signed a new peering deal, this time with Time Warner Cable. The deal now gives the video streamer interconnection deals with Internet service providers that cover about 68 percent of all the broadband customers in the US. Notably, the 32 percent it doesn't have deals with are smaller providers, have strong net neutrality views, and haven't been found to limit or slow down Netflix traffic for users....

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LG takes on Sonos with Music Flow wireless multi-room audio system

LG is attempting to take on Sonos in the networked speaker market, with the launch of a new range of speaker components. The LG Music Flow collection consists of three Music Flow Speakers, a Sound Bar, and a Network Bridge, with a central Music Flow Player app for Android and iOS able to control all of the devices and manage the user's music library. ...

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Final Cut updates to 10.1.3, gets matching Motion, Compressor patches

Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to...

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New malware stealing advertising revenue from jailbroken iOS devices

A new piece of malware started infecting jailbroken iOS devices earlier this year. The "AdThief" or "Spad" package hijacks advertising clicks and revenue, and redirects them to the author of the package, rather than the developer who inserted the advertising in the first place. The malware is simple and low profile -- it replaces the developer's ID with the attacker's ID....

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Brazilian judge orders deletion of Secret app from mobile devices

A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country....

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Review: Life n Soul 8 Driver Bluetooth headphones

When it comes to music on the go, consumers generally have some options to consider when looking for the best experience. While Bluetooth speakers are good in a large number of situations, in some place they just aren't practical. This leaves consumers to look away from speakers and toward their counterparts for sonic deliver, Bluetooth headphones. But not all headphones are created equal, especially when the boutiqu...

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