Electronista

Monday, April 20

Sony reveals four sound bars, two receivers shipping this summer

Sony has revealed a collection of four new sound bars and two A/V receivers to its home cinema audio range. The HT-ST9, HT-NT3, HT-CT780, and HT-CT380 sound bars and STR-DN860 and STR-DN1060 receivers will be going on sale in the United States starting in May, with all but the CT380 being HDCP 2.2 compliant, supporting playback of copyright-protected 4K content. ...

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Latest Apple environmental report out, shows larger carbon footprint

The 2015 edition of Apple's annual Environmental Responsibility Report covering calendar 2014 is out, and as usual highlights the company's efforts to reduce, reuse, or mitigate its use of rare materials and its carbon footprint. While it points out that all of the company's data centers are now powered by renewable energy resources and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions during product use by 61 percent over the pa...

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Apple now charging cards, preparing to ship first Apple Watch orders

Some of the estimated 2.3 million who were able to order an Apple Watch on the first day of availability before the global inventory sold out in mere hours may soon be getting their order. Reader reports of cards being charged and emails that report the Apple Watch order as "preparing for shipment" went out on Monday for some customers, while many who ordered just minutes into the process are still being told their o...

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Daily Deals: iPad Air 2 Retina, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge, Kindle Fire HD 7

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista trawl the Internet for discounts, offers, and sales on electronic goods for you, the discerning reader. Since it is the start of a new week, all old deals have been removed from the list ready for new items, including discounts on the Apple iPad Air 2 Retina, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge, and the Kindle Fire HD 7....

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Review: Neurio Intelligent Home Monitor

Neurio Home Intelligence is a piece of hardware that, when integrated into a home's breaker box, monitors electricity usage and allows the homeowner to see at a glance if they left the oven on, and what their electric bill might be. While the installation seems simple enough, we recommend having a qualified, professional electrician install it; using it after that is as easy as pie. While the performance of the Neuri...

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Micromat uses more sensors for Mac diagnostics in TechTool Pro 8

Micromat has launched the eighth version of its Mac troubleshooting utility, adding more functionality to the software. TechTool Pro 8 builds upon the previous version's ability to test core components of the Mac's motherboard, by increasing the array of testable components to include more than 100 electrical and temperature sensors on some Mac systems. ...

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Hands On: BusyContacts 1.0.2 (OS X)

BusyMac, the makers of BusyContacts, have been steadily adding to this address book app with the kind of attention you get when you've gone from a beta to a shipping product and now have customers all over the world stress-testing it every day. There have been many fixes to bugs we hadn't ever encountered ourselves and there have been improvements to features that we did spot and do like. However, regard this as less...

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New Apple Watch bands revealed by Ive, Newson at Milan showcase

As reported previously, a few Apple executives and designer were in Milan this weekend to show off the Apple Watch, including Sir Jonathan Ive and designer Marc Newson, as well as SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. Photos from the event, and a post from a friend of Ive's, confirm that a number of unannounced Sport Band colors were on display at the Salone del Mobile design event. A number of notable VIPs also ...

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Pointers: look it up in the Dictionary (OS X, iOS)

Some people collect dictionaries, some have never bought one in their lives -- but we all have them at our fingertips right now. If you have a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad, you've got a dictionary, and it is a good one. It's good enough to replace most concise dictionaries you can buy, and it's easier to look up than a book. We're not saying it's arduous looking things up a in book, but the fact that you have to turn aw...

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Hands On: Office Lens 1.01 (iOS, Android)

Didn't we just do this one? At first glance, if you compare the new Microsoft Office Lens to Evernote Scannable, you might conclude that one is red and one is a sort of cyan blue. Otherwise, they do the same job of scanning documents very quickly, they do the same job of processing them, and they do a very similar job of passing that data on to other applications. In the case of Office Lens, that is chiefly anything ...

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Sunday, April 19

Game Replay: Star Wars Battlefront, Steam security, World of Warcraft

The Game Replay is a twice-weekly look by MacNN and Electronista on the wider gaming landscape, highlighting some of the more notable stories from the last few days. Today's list includes improvements to security on Steam, "Timewalking" in World of Warcraft, and the small matter of a new Star Wars game. ...

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Briefly: Comcast 2 gigabit in California, Norway shutting down FM

Comcast will be bringing its 2 gigabit Internet service to California, following the "Gigabit Pro" initial announcement for the service in Atlanta. Part of a number of upgrades to service speed for customers in the area starting from May, including free speed increases and a new 250Mbps tier, Comcast will introduce its gigabit-level service to nearly three million homes in the state starting in June. Pricing for the ...

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Ex-Apple exec Forstall re-emerges as consultant, co-producer

Following more than a year of silence, former iOS software chief Scott Forstall has re-emerged into the public eye in one intentional way, and one unintentional way. Leaked emails from the Sony Pictures data breach note that Snapchat paid Forstall in stock for services as a "special company advisor," while Forstall himself debuted his Twitter account by announcing his role as a co-producer of an upcoming Broadway mus...

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Hands On: Flashlight 1.0 (OS X)

Those of us who have used Apple's built-in local search tool Spotlight through its early years to now often find they've outgrown it, and are now life-support-dependent upon Alfred 2. Yes, there was some notable improvement in Yosemite, but it was too little, too late. Now Flashlight could bring us back. It's a free application that extends Spotlight's searching facilities, and to give you quick access to different c...

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Wink Hub smart home devices suffer outage caused by software update

Owners of the Wink Hub smart home device have endured a major service outage yesterday, following a software update. The outage, which lasted from 12:40pm eastern until 11pm, prevented the hubs from being able to perform general smart home functions, and though many hubs were able to recover from the incident, a number are having to be returned to the manufacturer and replaced. ...

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Hands On: Pagico 6.8 (OS X, iOS, Windows)

When To Do apps just aren't powerful enough for you, when OmniPlan is too powerful and when Microsoft Project might be powerful enough but is only on Windows, there is Pagico. It is a mid-range project management app which means it doesn't have superpowers but it does have strength and it does have ease of use. ...

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Researcher: OS X 'Rootpipe' attack fix not reliable, attacks possible

Researchers from security firm Synack have determined that Apple's latest patch for the "Rootpipe" privilege escalation flaw remain mostly unfixed, even on OS X 10.10 "Yosemite." Ex-NSA staff member Patrick Wardle examined the new patch, and found a new path around Apple's security fix, leaving the computer unprotected from hostile users with physical access. In other developments, the malware is loose in the wild an...

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Hands On: Sorcery! 1.4.3 and Sorcery! 2 1.1.4 (iOS, Android)

The third installment of Steve Jackson's Sorcery will be out later this month, so we sat down with the first and second chapters in preparation. Sorcery and Sorcery 2 are, at their core, choose-your-own-adventure style experiences, but it all has a very vintage table-top RPG flair we really appreciate....

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WSJ: Apple aiming for Canadian Apple Pay launch in November

A new report suggests that Apple is currently in negotiations with Canada's six major banks to bring Apple Pay to the country as early as November. With UnionPay negotiations with China currently stalled, Canada could be one of the first countries outside the US to get Apple Pay. The six major banks -- BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, ScotiaBank, and TD Canada Trust -- account for 90 percent of retail bank ac...

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Friday, April 17

Apple now notifying winners of 2015 WWDC ticket lottery

On Friday, lucky recipients started receiving emails that they had been selected at random in a ticket lottery to register for the company's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, which will start on June 8. The ticket lottery was required due to the incredible growth of Apple's iOS and OS X developer programs, which have nearly-instantly sold out over the last few years, and the company's desire t...

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Report: Apple improves revenue for devs over Android in 2015

A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a se...

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Hands On: Sue Doku 2.0.0 (iOS)

Bad news for fellow addicts of the iPad game Sue Doku: it's been updated, and is now a universal app. You do hear that term a lot, and it often isn't explained, so let us clear that up now: a universal app means Sue Doku is now available on both your iPad and iPhone. Translation: distraction. It's just a sudoku app, we can stop playing any time, but it is a particularly well done one on the iPad, and enough so that w...

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Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 copies of DiRT 3 racing

Earlier this year Feral Interactive released their latest racing game, DiRT 3 for Mac. We got our hands on a copy for review a few weeks back and had some fun taking this off-road racing game through the wringer. The fun doesn't stop there though, we have 5 Steam redemption codes to share with 5 lucky winners. ...

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Apple Watch: Basics class, Schiller and Newson in Italy, sales poll

Although the unexpected sellout of the Apple Watch will put a crimp of unavailability in the works, Apple is going ahead with new "Apple Watch Basics" workshops at some of its retail stores beginning April 24. The lucky relative few who will receive their pre-orders on or near launch day, along with those who are still waiting, are likely to be the chief participants in the workshops, which will run through May 8 in ...

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Forums: OSX compatibility, iPhone screen replacements and more

This week in the MacNN Forums, Moderator "andi*pandi&" recently scored a white MacBook and discovered they are able to upgrade the OS for free, but wonders if 10.10 would "run like a dead horse" on that machine, or if it would be alright. Yesterday one Dedicated MacNNer announced the breaking of his wife's iPhone 4 screen, and has a few questions about buying a replacement. ...

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Apple deals: iPods, iPads and accessories

At Apple's online store right now, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods, iPads and Apple Accessories. The 5th generation refurbished 16GB iPod touch is now only $149 after a $30 price break, but for even more bang for your buck, get the 32GB 4th generation Touch for only $10 more, now $159. The 4th generation 64GB Touch is also a steal at $209 after a $120 discount. ...

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Briefly: Scribd audio book expansion, Cocktail upgrades to 8.3

Subscription reading service Scribd announced that it is expanding its audiobook offering to include more than 9,000 audiobooks from Penguin Random House Audio, increasing Scribd's audiobook selection to more than 45,000 titles. New titles include fiction and non-fiction by internationally renowned authors such as Alice Munro, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Anne Rice, Sue Grafton, Deepak Chopra, Danielle Steele and more. T...

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Daily Deals: waterproof cellphone bag, smart TV, velcro ties, more!

Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers to find discounts, offers, and sales for you, our discerning readers. A recap of still-active deals from the rest of the week follows the new deals batch, which includes an inexpensive hybrid hard drive/SSD for the desktop, a great deal on the 850 evo SSD, and a good price on a smart TV....

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Pointers: Getting Started with Spotify

There are other streaming music services and you can well argue that there are better ones, but Spotify is winning the war to become the Hoover, Biro and iPad of its class: the brand name that somehow becomes synonymous with the idea. At least, nobody tells you what their favourite iTunes Radio station is, no one in the world sends you links to Pandora and it's like few people have heard of Beats. Yet. However, Spoti...

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Apple Game Roundup: Age of Wonders III, Halo: Spartan Strike, more

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at Halo: Spartan Strike for iOS, Amplitude Studios' free weekend on Steam, WWE 2K for iOS, and the shipment of Age of Wonders III alongside its new expansion pack....

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Apple, SunPower team for pair of 20MW solar installations in China

SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40MW in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China. When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development, SunPower's project development joint venture, and Apple.  ...

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US SEC investigating LA bond sale around troublesome iPad deal

Adding a further level of complexity to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed iPad program, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an "informal inquiry" to investigate if the school complied with legal requirements for bond usage in the purchase. The agency is reportedly examining if the contract was properly disclosed to investors, and if sufficient documentation was provided to ...

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Briefly: Steve Dowling promotion, iOS 8.4 audiobooks change, CarPlay

Nearly a year after former Apple PR chief Katie Cotton retired from the post, Apple has finally named her successor: her lieutenant and interim chief, Steve Dowling. For the past 12 years, Dowling has been one of the lead spokespeople for the company, and was in charge of the iPhone maker's corporate PR team. Having filled in for Cotton since October, he will formally take the reins of the company's worldwide communi...

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