Electronista

Saturday, January 31

Whistle into phone, make a song with Casio's Chordana Composer for iOS

Casio Computer has announced the release of Chordana Composer, an iPhone app that automatically composes a musical piece based on a two-bar melody created by the user. The user records singing or whistling for two musical bars, and the app automatically composes an entire piece of music based on that melody....

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Hands On: Orderly (iOS)

With umpteen billion different To Do apps available, Orderly immediately scores by having a good name. True, to find it on the App Store you may have to use its fuller title: Orderly - Reminders, Tasks & To Do Lists. Yet the fact that the makers gave it a new, smart and memorable name that immediately tells you what it does isn't just clever. It's indicative of the care, thought, and we think talent that has gone in ...

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Cablevision sues Verizon, claims Wi-Fi ad boasts misleading consumers

Cablevision Systems Corporation has filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Eastern District of New York against Verizon Communications seeking an end to what it calls "its false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims about WiFi service" related to Verizon's new 802.11AC Wi-Fi router, which has yet to see wide rollout....

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Hands On: Samson Go Mic Direct

Laptop sound, especially on el cheapo computers, is generally terrible. Compounding this, the diminutive microphone installed is about the same quality. Fortunately, we all have USB, and Samson has introduced the Go Mic Direct to fill one of these ports. At two by two inches, with no boom, how does the compact package stack up, and is it a worthwhile addition to your go tech bag?...

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Acemile debuts wireless Bluetooth surround sound with Theatre Box

Consumer electronics manufacturer Acemile has introduced the Theatre Box, a portable wireless speaker that delivers a 360-degree surround sound audio experience to everyone in the room, no matter the orientation to the speaker. The company claims that the speaker fills a 2,000 square foot room, using four two-inch full range drivers and one three-inch active bass driver....

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Hands On: 1Password 5.2 (iOS)

Admit it: if you've already got 1Password, then you use it for creating superbly strong passwords for any site you use -- but the password you use to unlock the app itself is rubbish. That's partly because you've used this password since the dawn of time, and it's ingrained in you, but it's also because changing it across your Mac, iPhone and iPad is a pain. Not anymore. The new update is to the iOS version, but now...

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Friday, January 30

Apple to developers: Watch apps ready by mid-February

Recent reports have suggested that Apple is notifying its highest-profile developers who are known to be working on Apple Watch apps to be sure the programs are ready for launch by mid-February, about a month earlier than expected. Similarly, Apple is asking Apple Pay partners who will be creating iOS apps with Watch support to have them ready by specifically the 12th of February. Apple CEO Tim Cook has already annou...

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Hands On: iRemocon Smartphone-based home electronics controller

The iRemocon is an Internet-connected device, intended to allow the user to control multiple home electronics from an app on their smartphone. This is intended to simplify wireless control of one's "appliances" either at home or while out and about. Unfortunately, the device relies heavily on infrared signals, which offer some severe limitations regarding placement and reliability....

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Chongqing Apple Store revealed ahead of opening

Apple is opening its latest Chinese Apple Store -- this time a new, standalone store in Chongqing, the second Apple store for the city. Local media were allowed access to the interior as the previously-reported cityscape mural was removed to reveal an all-glass cylinder shape, similar to the store in Shanghai, with a glass staircase leading below ground to the actual store. This will be the third of five stores Apple...

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MacNN Forums: wireless docking is the future

This week, the MacNN forums have been abuzz with talk of everything from wireless docking to favorite apps. Yesterday, Moderator "P" shared an article about Broadwell vPro processors and wireless docking, then goes on to explain how he thinks Apple will use this technology. Yesterday, "jeff k" was trying to figure out a problem he was having with Sophos security software and Time Machine, so far a solution hasn't bee...

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Apple deals: expanded Mac Pro selection

Apple has added a boatload of refurbished current Mac Pro configurations to their lineup this week at Apple's online store. Starting at $2,549 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics. For $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCIe-based flash stor...

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DealNN: curved monitors, MacBook Airs and more

Right now at MacMall.com, take advantage of a $211 price cut on the Dell UltraSharp 34-inch WQHD curved LED monitor. It was $1,200, but has been discounted to $988. That discount makes this the best price we have seen by roughly $160. This monitor offers a resolution of 3440x1440, an aspect ratio of 21:9, an 8ms response time, and includes HDMI, MHL, Mini DisplayPort and DisplayPort connectivity options. It is backed...

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Twitter launches Vine Kids app for iPhone

Twitter has released a new iPhone app linked to its Vine video-sharing network, Vine Kids. The app offers a curated selection of videos "appropriate for a young audience," and further removes the core client's ability to record new material. Animated characters guide kids through clips....

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Amazon, Apple, Google reach deal with Italy on 'free-to-play' apps

Major app store operators Amazon, Apple, and Google -- as well as French publisher Gameloft -- have reached a deal with Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority that will let them avoid fines for misleading people about so-called "free-to-play" or "freemium" apps. The Wall Street Journal reports that the companies have agreed to remove the word "free" from apps that may require in-app payments to be useful. The pa...

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Friday Deals: 60-inch LG TV, Silicon Power SSDs, PlayStation TV

It's the end of the working week, and that means it is just two days until a major sporting event involving football. It's also the time we publish Friday Deals, the post where we collect together deals and offers from around the Internet for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Just as always, deals may change or end in the future, but are correct at the time of posting, so check beforehand, and come b...

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Hands On: Tengami (OS X, Windows)

When it comes to video games, the puzzle genre may very well be the most varied kind. There are the match-3s, the codebreakers, the word games, and the classic puzzle-adventure. Popularized by games like Myst and Monkey Island, the genre has been a long standing fixture of gaming. We took a look at newcomer Tengami, a point-and-click adventure game by developer Nyamyam....

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TUAW, Joystiq to close and fold into Engadget [u]

(Updated with UK rumors) Later today, AOL will announce the closure of two of its best-known websites, Joystiq and TUAW, reports say. Both publications are expected to be folded into Engadget. Another site, AOL Autos, is being merged into Autoblog. In the process AOL will allegedly fire some 150 people, most of them in sales....

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Jay Z looks to join streaming music industry by acquiring Aspiro

Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million). ...

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Briefly: RunKeeper adds Spotify, Nickelodeon streaming service inbound

RunKeeper has added Spotify integration to its iOS app. The fitness app will now offer access to Spotify playlists, created both by the user and by Spotify, and stream music while a workout is underway. Both Spotify and Runkeeper have to be installed on the same device with RunKeeper connected to the Spotify account in order to function, and though it is only on iOS for the moment, a similar update to the Android app...

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Hands On: Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 (OS X)

If you just send a lot of ordinary emails, you can skip this. If you're in a company that already has designers in-house crafting gorgeous and on-message email newsletter designs, you can skip this. If you're in the middle, though, such as a small company sending out newsletters or HTML updates to a few thousand people, or even just the newsletter editor for a club with a few dozen scattered members, Mail Designer 2 ...

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Repatriation bill offers tax break for US return of foreign profits

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California, Barbra Boxer, and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have jointly announced a proposed bi-partisan bill titled the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" in Washington today. The bill would provide funds for the US Highway Trust Fund by encouraging the "repatriation" of funds held by US businesses overseas....

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CIRP: majority of Android switchers are outside US

During its conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook noted that "the current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches," which he later clarified was how long the company has been measuring the metric rather than that switching rates were higher in 2011. Further analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that most of the switching is h...

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