Electronista

Saturday, April 19

Apple vs. Samsung, day eight: Pushing the judge's boundaries

The eighth full day of the Samsung-Apple patent trial went through another raft of witnesses as Samsung struggles to make its case inside its allotted limit of 25 hours -- a problem that hounded the company in the last trial as well. Lead attorney for Samsung John Quinn was forced to read transcripts of declarations to save time, hustle through witnesses and plead with Judge Lucy Koh for more time. An expert that the...

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Friday, April 18

Nike fires entire wearables division, cuts planned FuelBand revision

In an unexpected move, Nike has opted to fire as many as 70 members of its Digital Sport division who were focused on hardware development and will not release a now-cancelled new version of the FuelBand fitness tracker that was expected this fall. The company will continue to support the existing FuelBand SE, but is otherwise planning to exit the wearables market just as it is gaining mainstream traction. The compan...

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Apple now offering unclaimed WWDC tickets to developers

Following the lapse of the deadline for Worldwide Developers Conference ticket lottery winners to pay for their entry, Apple has begun emailing other developers with a chance to purchase unclaimed tickets. The emails are likely also determined by lottery, though the company hasn't said. Reserved slots from the original lottery were held until April 14 at 5pm Pacific time, and it is thought that most of the lottery wi...

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Apple adds 3D Flyovers of San Francisco East Bay, Berkeley to Maps app

Apple has again expanded its Maps program for both iOS and OS X by adding 3D "Flyover" support for the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the city of Berkeley and its University of California campus, which by happenstance is the birthplace of the original UNIX used as the foundation of both OS X and iOS. The 3d Flyover feature has generally been regarded as one of Maps' best features, alongside turn-b...

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Review: Booqpad for iPad Air

Before we get rolling, I'll confess: I've never understood the purpose of cases like the Booqpad. If you've got a tablet, surely part of the point is being able to ditch paper entirely. In practice of course, there are times when a pen and paper are handy -- but can that justify building an entire case around the concept? I suppose we'll have to put the Booqpad to the test....

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Briefly: VLC 2.3.0 for iOS, DevonTechnologies' updates

Free media player VLC has updated its iOS ported app today, offering various fixes and new features. Users can play most video file formats, and do so without the need for conversion. File synchronization with Dropbox, GDrive, iTunes, direct download and through an embedded web upload is also permitted by the app. ...

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Plaintiffs ask to use Steve Jobs evidence in anti-poaching lawsuit

Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice inves...

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Hands On: Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung has been standing atop the hill of Android phones for some time now with its Galaxy line. Other manufacturers like HTC and Motorola have briefly held the crown, but Samsung always seems to find a way to yank it back with new features, ease of use and simple design. The newest in the line, the Galaxy S5, looks to push Samsung towards the top of the pile again. But what kind of features can you look forward to ...

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Photos depict alleged front panel for second-generation iPad Air

Newly-leaked photos show a front panel claimed to be for the second-generation iPad Air. The photos were obtained by a Dutch website, One More Thing. While the panel is similar to its equivalent for the first-gen Air, it appears to have switched to an integrated display. That could allow a second-gen tablet to become even thinner, or maintain the same size and improve battery life....

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Analysts call for year-over-year decline in iPad sales

Almost half of a group of 34 analysts tracked by Fortune are expecting Apple to report a slight decline in iPad sales year-over-year during its Q2 2014 results, due to be announced April 23rd. The overall consensus currently sits at 19.3 million units, which would be a 0.7 percent dip. Polling among the professional analysts in the group is somewhat more positive, calling for a 19.4 million consensus versus the ama...

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Rockstar Consortium denied motion to transfer Google case to Texas

US District Court Judge Claudia Wilken has denied a motion by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium to transfer a patent invalidation countersuit by Google from California to the Eastern District of Texas, Reuters says. The Eastern District of Texas is infamous for leaning towards patent holders in its court rulings. Wilken ruled, however, that Google was able to provide enough evidence to keep the case in California....

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Briefly: Rogers 700MHz LTE rolls out, Toshiba UHS-II microSD cards

Rogers is expanding the available spectrum for its LTE service in Canada, by turning on its 700MHz network. Engadget reports that areas of Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver will see the benefits of 700MHz at first, with subscribers and AT&T customers roaming in the region able to see Rogers LTE in indoor areas where the signal was previously inaccessible. While it does not offer specific timing, Rogers plans to roll ou...

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Pandora hit by new copyright lawuits over songs from pre-1972

Following a similar lawsuits against Sirius XM radio, a group of record companies has filed suit in a New York court against Pandora, the top streaming subscription music service in the US. While songs made before February 15, 1972 are not subject to federal copyright protections, the labels argue that Pandora, like Sirius, should pay royalties to the tune of tens of millions of dollars because the songs are still pr...

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Thursday, April 17

Briefly: Facebook 9.0 for iOS, cross-platform Farmville 2

Version 9.0 has been released for Facebook's app for iOS, adding new features. Though a minor update, the biggest addition to the app is the ability for users to reply to comments on pages that have enabled it. Administrators can now review and review posts by group members, and all users will be able to view trending topic posts in the iPad's version of News Feed. Facebook's app for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded...

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Analysts: Low iPhone growth now, but good times ahead in 2014

Historically, investment and Wall Street analysts have had a poor track record predicting Apple's fortunes ahead of time. However, as Apple's guidance has gotten more accurate, and as supplier leaks and blatant manipulation of the market grow, predictions are getting more accurate. As it traditionally does, Fortune magazine has rounded up the predictions of various investment houses and independent analysts, which sh...

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Briefly: Flickr 3.0 for iOS, Photos+ gains Dropbox support

Yahoo has updated the iOS client app for its Flickr photo-sharing service, giving it a more iOS 7-compatible "flat" look and navigation system that offers a noticeably more "Instagram-like" experience, where moving through photos is more free-form. The update now allows users to post up to 30 seconds' worth of HD video to the service, with live filters and adjustment tools available for both video and photos. Version...

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Briefly: OWC updates Hard Drive DIY Kit, PDFpen Scan+ 1.3

Other World Computing today introduced its new DIY Kit for all 2011 iMac and 27-inch 2012 iMac models, enabling owners to replace the factory-installed internal hard drive with up to a 6TB hard drive for expanded storage and back-up capacity. The kits feature a custom power cable with an in-line digital thermal sensor, ensuring proper factory fan operation and full compliance with Apple diagnostic testing....

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Deals: RadioShack dropping price on iPhone 5s, Pixelmator price drop

Although there have been a number of good deals in recent months on both the iPhone 5c and 5s, a new deal kicking off tomorrow from RadioShack may be the one iPhone 4S holdouts have been waiting for. Starting April 18, new or upgrading customers using AT&T, Verizon or Sprint can buy the 16GB version of the iPhone 5s for $99, half of its usual $199 up-front cost. The deal, which is available both online and in stores,...

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Michael's craft store chain hit by massive, long-running data breach

Craft store chain Michael's Stores and affiliated Aaron Brothers has confirmed details of a massive security breach between May 8, 2013 and January 27 of this year. The analysis conducted by the company shows that approximately 2.6 million cards may have been impacted, which represents about seven percent of payment cards used at Michael's stores in the US during the time period....

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FCC limiting 2015 AT&T, Verizon bandwidth auction purchases

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed that he plans to limit how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon can buy in the 2015 auction of bandwidth reclaimed from TV broadcasters. The chairman spoke out a day after AT&T threatened to boycott the auction, possibly slashing the reimbursement that the government would get from the auction....

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Facebook to roll out Nearby Friends option for iOS, Android apps

Facebook has announced an upcoming feature for its iOS and Android apps, Nearby Friends. The function will notify users when friends are within a certain radius, giving a chance to meet up. For security purposes the feature will be off by default, only work if both parties have it enabled, and allow restricting notifications to specific groups -- close friends, for example, or a custom list....

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Google launching test of fiber Internet for business in Kansas City

Google is picking select Kansas City companies to test Google Fiber prototype offerings for business. The business rollout in Kansas City is the first of its kind for the Gigabit Internet service, with Google saying that it is "in the beginning of figuring out what that product could look like, and that's why we're launching this pilot." Small businesses in the area have been emailed to inquire if there was an intere...

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Dropbox buys out Loom photo service, Hackpad collaboration tool

Cloud storage service Dropbox has bought out Loom, a photo storage and organization service, according to a notice on the latter company's website. Additionally acquired by the file sharing locker is collaborative document service Hackpad which will continue to support its app, unlike Loom....

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Briefly: Chromecast gains MLB.TV broadcasts, live YouTube

The Google Chromecast is now supported by the MLB.com At Bat for iOS and Android. The update allows subscribers of MLB.TV's Premium Subscription to stream live, out-of-market games and on-demand events, with a choice of home or away broadcasts also available. The MLB.TV subscription is $25 per month or $130 for the entire year, with access to the MLB.com At Bat app's features included in the price. ...

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Briefly: RunKeeper's new Breeze app, Beamer 2.0

RunKeeper has launched a new, passive step tracking app today, entitled Breeze. By constantly tracking motion with the M7 chip found within the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers its users a personal coaching feature, in the form of push notifications and updates regarding one's activity levels. The following day, Breeze details a summary of the previous day's activities and stats. Users can share their completed goals, high a...

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Apple online store begins carrying refurbished Retina iPad minis

For the first time, Apple's online store has begun selling refurbished versions of the Retina iPad mini. The option drops the price of a 16GB Wi-Fi model to $339, $60 less than its usual cost. 32GB has been reduced $80 to $419, and 64GB models have been cut $90 to $509. Cellular-equipped Minis aren't yet available in refurb form....

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Sonos plans software update to make speaker system completely wireless

Sonos is testing a software update for its wireless speaker system that removes the need for a physical connection to the home network. The software would allow for the system's SonosNet network to operate with one of the speakers accessing the local Wi-Fi network, and avoiding wiring either a speaker or the Sonos Bridge wireless networking device to a router. ...

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New Apple retail chief Ahrendts may not join until June

Future Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts may actually remain the CEO of Burberry until June, says The Guardian. Although Ahrendts has finished a mandatory six-month wait and is technically free to switch this month, she has allegedly promised to stay with Burberry until at least June 6th to ease the transition to her replacement, chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. She also has a strong financial incentive, ...

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Apple to mark Earth Day 2014 at retail and on campus

On April 22nd, Apple will be holding its first real Earth Day commemorations since 2006, reports say. At retail, the company is expected to cover its logos in green, and give at least some stores special Earth Day t-shirts for workers. Back at Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, a "large-scale internal event" is due to happen on the afternoon of the 22nd, presumably with Earth Day as a focus....

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Apple readies iOS 7.1.1, accelerates iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 testing

Apple is preparing an immediate follow-up to iOS 7.1 in the form of v7.1.1, according to web traffic data from 9to5Mac. The site says that it has received "numerous" hits from v7.1.1 devices operating in areas around Apple's Cupertino campus. It's not clear when the update will go live, or what it will contain, but the version number suggests that it should arrive relatively soon and mostly contain bugfixes....

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BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Now TV iOS apps suddenly failing to stream video

Several UK-based iOS apps -- including BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Now TV -- have suddenly stopped streaming video, the BBC reports. The issue began last night, and is still ongoing; the source of the problem is so far unknown, as is whether other apps are also being affected. The director of Now TV, Gidon Katz, indicates that the issue can be temporarily fixed in Sky and Now by rewinding iOS' clock by a day, but that...

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Eyefi launches cloud storage service for Mobi Wi-Fi memory cards

Eyefi is expanding the usefulness of its Wi-Fi-equipped SD memory cards, by launching its own cloud storage service. The Mobi SD card, released last year, will now not only wirelessly transfer photographs taken by a digital camera to a mobile device, but it will also provide the option of automatically uploading it to the Eyefi Cloud. ...

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Macworld gems: The Roost MacBook stand, iMacompanion USB port

Continuing our look at some of the more interesting devices and services we ran across at Macworld in San Francisco last month, MacNN and Electronista staffers will periodically write about items and vendors that caught our eye at the show that we thought our readers would like to know about. Today's focus is on two successfully-funded Kickstarter campaigns: The Roost stand for notebooks, and the iMacompanion USB por...

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Briefly: Text expander Typinator 5.9, PDFpen 6.2 released

Productivity software developer Ergonis has announced the release of Typinator 5.9, a maintenance update for its text expander. Released prior to the launch of the next major version 6, Typinator v5.9 incorporates several minor bug fixes, and improves compatibility with third-party applications, such as Aperture, MacGiro, Mellel and more. Requiring OS X 10.5.8 or later, Typinator 5.9 is a free upgrade for anyone who ...

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