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Sunday December 21

19:41
Consumers take 'wait-and-see' approach to...

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by investment firm Piper Jaffray, potential Apple Watch buyers are in a holding pattern as they await more details from Apple regarding core use cases and a fully fleshed out list of features.

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18:00
The Week in Review: news and features you don't...

Last week was a busy one with your favorite TUAW writers posting some excellent How-To guides, commentary and other informative news articles. Here's a quick roundup of our recent feature worthy posts you may have missed:

News

Apple bought back $...

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17:56
What 800 nerds on a cruise ship taught me about life...

Wired:

Jonathan Coulton loves cruise ships. He loves the weird artificial mall running down the middle, and he loves staring off the back of the ship into infinity. That’s not to say that David Foster Wallace’s famously dark assessment of shipboard vacationing (“There is something about a mass-market Luxury Cruise that’s unbearably sad”) is unfamiliar. The lanyard that holds a laser-cut wooden JoCo Cruise name tag around my neck came printed with the phrase “A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again.” Inside jokes are the coin of the realm around here.

I’ve been on one cruise and, for various reasons, it was an awful experience.

...

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17:37
“Let Peace Begin With Me”

Angela Ahrendts:

I’ve always tried to focus my comments on simple leadership lessons I’ve learned that might somehow, somewhere, someday help others. I’ll admit, I’ve been struggling recently to find one that’s relevant around the holidays.

On Wednesday, I was listening to the radio on my drive home and I heard an old song that took me back to my childhood. I hadn’t heard it for a while, and wow — in that moment, it really moved me.

I know this is probably just fluff, but I’d love to see more of these kinds of posts from more of Apple’s leadership.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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16:50
Apple Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts pens holiday note...

Burberry CEO-turned-Apple Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts returned to posting on her LinkedIn blog after nearly five months over the weekend with a holiday message to her followers: “Let peace begin with me.”

In the blog post, Ahrendts wrote about her effort to share a leadership lesson relevant to the holidays, something which she admits she has struggled to do initially, but points to being inspired by B.J. Thomas’ recording of “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

Ahrendts shared that she performed the song on piano when she was younger but the lyrics especially hit home “amid all the turmoil in the world today.” Ahrendts then pointed to a set of lyrics from the song that especially resonated with her today...

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16:00
A roundup of recent hardware reviews on TUAW

Last week, we reviewed a variety of hardware and accessories that'll complement your favorite iOS or OS X devices. Here's a quick roundup of recent hardware reviews that you may have missed:

AudioFlood's waterproof iPod is a swimmer's music dream ...

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15:00
Today in the App Store -- the best free apps, new...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Swipe N Clean [iPhone; ...

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15:00
Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred...

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN put together a one-stop article for some of the major news in the video game industry in the past week. In this week's edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we look at Valve's handling of Hatred on Steam Greenlight, Mojang and Telltale Games team up for narrative-based Minecraft game, judge gives go ahead on Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft exploring in-game purchasable game time tokens, and Majesco Entertainment investor cash infusion....



...

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14:16
Introducing Doxie Go Wi-Fi, the smartest way to go...

MY thanks to Doxie for sponsoring The Loop’s RSS feed this week. Doxie Go Wi-Fi is the tiny, rechargeable document and receipt scanner that scans anywhere — no computer required — then syncs wirelessly to your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Doxie scans your paper: simply and automatically. Battery power, built-in Wi-Fi, and new SmartMemory let you scan anywhere, then tuck Doxie away when you’re not using it.

Doxie’s elegant Mac and iOS apps handle any workflow — save scans to your desktop, share with your favorite apps, or send to cloud services like Evernote and Dropbox. Doxie’s new open developer API lets you build Doxie support into your service, software, or personal paperless workflow.

The Loop readers get free U.S. shipping and Guaranteed Christmas Delivery for all orders placed through December 21st. Order your Doxie today and give the gift of paperless.

...

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14:00
All the best app reviews last week on TUAW

Last week was a busy one for apps in the iOS App Store, giving your favorite TUAW writers a chance to post some great reviews of the apps that grace their home screens. Here's a quick roundup of our recent reviews -- and a few app roundups -- you may...

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13:00
The state of smartphones in 2014: Ars Technica’s...


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We're always posting reviews that compare individual gadgets to other, similar gadgets, but sometimes it's nice to have something a little more comprehensive. For the last two years running, we've been rounding up all of the smartphones that are worth your time and weighing them against one another. With 2014 winding down, it's time to do it again.

In past years, we've run down a list of flagships and declared "winners" in several categories—we'll be taking a slightly different approach this time, since there are just so many phones to talk about and their specs are more homogenized than ever. So we'll run...

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12:51
Workflow Is the Next Step for iOS Automation

Workflow is a new iOS automation app that uses iOS 8’s Extensibility to bring Automator-like capabilities to your mobile devices.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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08:55
Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises...

In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, Tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in the event....



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06:53
Hall & Oates

Hall & Oates is one of those bands that are consistently underrated, even ridiculed. Jennifer Boeder makes her case for why Hall & Oates deserve their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and our respect.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:46
Hands On: Lumy (iOS)

There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the magic or the golden hour but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really sixty minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint on what limited time you actually have be helpful?...



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06:44
Ad campaign filmed entirely on the iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone 6 Plus slow motion feature was used to create the look for the ad campaign from luxury skincare brand Erno Laszlo.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:01
How hardware is emailed to space

Made In Space is a startup whose goal was to build the first 3D printer designed specifically for the rigors of space travel and for use in zero-G. They just emailed a wrench to the International Space Station.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Saturday December 20

18:15
Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console...

[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, b...



...

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13:26
Apple releases new public OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 beta...

Readers report Apple has started rolling out a new public beta release of its 10.10.2 OS X Yosemite beta (build 14C81h). Developers received the third build of 10.10.2 earlier this month (build 14C81f).

Today’s beta release follows beta 3, which was released earlier this month. Not much seems to have changed between the two builds, but Apple says users on the new 10.10.2 build for developers should focus on fixes for WiFi, mail, and VoiceOver, among other changes.

...

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12:24
Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” on iPads
12:20
BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148...

Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay off given the improvement in the loss numbers, the company showed a 34 percent drop in revenue over the year-ago-quarter, suggesting that the road ahead for the company is still chal...



...

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12:11
Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app;...

Savage Interactive has released illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo". Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later....



...

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12:00
Need to crop or add zoom to a video after the fact?...

Video Zoom (US$1.99) is a just released app that will let you take an existing video and crop it, or add a smooth zoom. The app also lets you record a new video from within the app.

Give the app access to your camera roll, and you will see thumbnail...

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11:45
Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class...

A US district judge in San Francisco has outright rejected HP's settlement offer to settle the Autonomy acquisition class action suit in the US. Saying that "the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices" Judge Charles Breyer has kicked the settlement back to the plaintiffs without suggestions for recovery. The matter is now likely to head to trial sometime in the summer of 2015....



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09:48
Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls...

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine on the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to comply, for no real gain other than extra-judiciary punishment. Hood has responded, and is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail."...



...

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08:24
Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. But if we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out images and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application and a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant....



...

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08:03
DPRK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony...

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling President Obama's words "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests, if the hack which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, continues to be blamed on the country....



...

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07:00
Review: iHome’s iBN10 sheds the dock and alarms for...

I’ve reviewed a lot of iHome clock radios over the past nine years. They weren’t all formulaic, but there was a very clear evolutionary line from the original 2005-vintage, iPod-only iH5 to the iPad-ready iDL95 released last year: take two speakers, stick a clock in the middle, center a dock on the top, then make the enclosure sort of flat but pleasantly curvy. iHome had a winning general concept and look, which it updated annually with small feature, color, and shape tweaks. But its new $120 model iBN10 breaks the mold in several ways.

The dock’s gone, the clock has been glammed up and shifted to the right, and there are four speakers inside, rather than the standard two. iBN10 is...

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07:00
Caturday: Steve's a classic!

Perhaps that headline should say, Steve is in front of a Mac Classic. He's a cute new kitten belonging to TUAW reader Adam Gray of Manchester, UK. Adam says:

Please find attached my submission for Caturday. Meet my new kitten, Steve who seems to be...

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06:26
Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

There's no shortage of word games on the app store, and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggles, and your Hangmen. But what about games that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created - to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre....



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06:13
Why your Mac’s firewall is off by default

The Mac firewall is designed to block incoming connections. This article digs into the process of working with a firewall and explains why the Mac firewall is not necessary for most users.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:58
ITG report finds strong Apple Pay momentum

Apple Pay momentum is growing, and is a real threat to PayPal.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:35
∞ FBI update on Sony investigation, and an offer to...

Links to the official FBI report on the Sony hacking, as well as an interesting offer to Sony from the hacker quarterly 2600.

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05:30
Quiptalk reveals what friends are saying before they...

Quiptalk is a social networking app for communicating with friends in topical chat rooms. Its spotlight feature is live typing which shows other users your message as you type it, eliminating the need to wait for someone to tap "Send" before you get ...

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Friday December 19

21:31
Review: Yuneec E-Go, an iPhone-connected electric...

The Yuneec E-Go electric skateboard certainly is not your typical Bluetooth smartphone accessory, but this highly mobile mode of transportation is the most fun we've ever had using our iPhone.

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19:45
Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all...

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced only last month -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's. Each of the three retailers grabbed double-digit shares of the Apple Pay pie....



...

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17:30
Which Stars Will Shine Brightest in Apple's...


The end of the year is a natural time to look back -- and then forward to the year to come. Apple started 2014 slowly but more than made up for it in the long haul, introducing the Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Mac OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, an iPad Air 2 with a super-fast processor, the massively selling iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and a luscious iMac with a 5K Retina screen, which, it turns out, is priced less than some 4K monitors. Gushing adjectives aside, what is truly interesting or groundbreaking? What is going to be meaningful in 2015 and beyond?

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17:00
Today in the App Store -- the best free apps, new...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Swipe N Clean [iPhone; ...

| Read more »
16:26
Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

Before we get into this, Video Converter Pro is currently free for a limited time, so go get it on the Mac App Store now. If you read this one minute too late and the price has gone back up, get it anyway because it is more than worth the usual asking price of $15. Or rather, it is if you need to convert videos, because that's what this just does, without fuss....



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16:00
Apple bought back $56 billion of its own stock in...

Apple is no stranger to stock buybacks so its no surprise that the trend continued in the 2014 fiscal year. And how much stock did Apple buy back this year? According to a new report for FactSet, Apple spent over $56 billion buying back stock this ye...

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15:49
Kate Winslet, others rumored to join cast of...

The cast of Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs film is apparently filling out, as the latest scuttlebutt has Kate Winslet in talks to costar and Boardwalk Empire actor Michael Stuhlbarg to take on a supporting role.

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15:45
9to5Toys Last Call: iPad Air 2 15% off, Samsung 40″...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the brand new 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Get 15% off iPad Air 2 at Target stores

Samsung 40-inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV:...

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15:27
Apple Pay claimed 1% of November’s digital payment...

A new report from ITG has revealed that Apple Pay was responsible for 1% of the total digital payment dollars spent in November. The study also found that 60% of new Apple Pay customers used the service multiple times throughout the month, while competing services like PayPal see only 20% of customers do the same.

Additionally, the research found that shoppers who took advantage of Apple Pay used the service for around 5.3% of their future credit card transactions, accounting for about 2.3% of the total dollars spent on their credit cards.

On average, Apple Pay users used the NFC-powered payment system 1.4 times each week. At businesses where they had previously used Apple Pay, 66% of...

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15:15
Daily Deals for December 19, 2014, featuring Dragon...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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15:03
Defending the Free Linux World


The Open Invention Network, or OIN, is waging a global campaign to keep Linux out of harm's way in patent litigation. Its efforts have resulted in more than 1,000 companies joining forces to become the largest defense patent management organization in history. The Open Invention Network was created in 2005 as a white hat organization to protect Linux from license assaults. It has considerable financial backing from original board members that include Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.

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14:39
Led by Whole Foods shoppers, Apple Pay accounted for...

According to a new report from research firm ITG, Apple Pay's first full month of service accounted for one percent of all digital payment dollars, an impressive statistic that suggests Apple's payments solution is being used by general consumers, not just early adopters.

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14:31
Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

Staying on top of emails, especially when there are multiple accounts involved, is unpleasant. Of the many mail clients out there (such as Mail, included with OS X), each tries to offer users its own spin on staying ahead of the curve. Airmail 2.0, released earlier this year, provides a client designed for Yosemite, supporting iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP 3, and more. We got a hold of Airmail 2.0 (which we will simply refer to as "Airmail" going forward) to take a look for ourselves, and see if this email client stands out from the crowd....



...

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14:31
Google, Samsung can’t Top Apple’s Unreleased Apple...

What's the most sought after wearable tech device? That would be the Apple Watch-a device that isn't even scheduled to ship until some time next spring. Apple's unavailable smartwatch beat out Google, Samsung, and Fitbit as the wearable device people most want to buy, according to a study by Ipsos MediaCT.

The Mac Observer Spin: Polls like this are great news for Apple and horrible for their competitors because it shows consumers are more interested in buying a wearable device that has even shipped than products that are already on the market.


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14:30
Get live updates with Ski Buddy and Ski Buddy Plus.

I have seen a number of apps for skiers and other downhill enthusiasts like mountain bikers and longboarders. These apps normally record your speed, the distance you travel, changes in elevation, and the time it takes you to complete your run. Ski Bu...

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14:10
Report: Apple Pay is Disrupting and Transforming...

"Apple Pay has the ability to significantly transform the mobile payment space." That's the conclusion of an ITG Investment Report published on December 19. A major finding is that Apple Pay has been responsible for one percent of all digital payment dollars. This is a "strong showing" given that Apple customers must have the latest iPhones and the limited list of merchants. John Martellaro summarizes the report.


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14:00
Minecraft is bringing Story Mode to iOS

Minecraft developer Mojang has announced they will be collaborating with Telltale Games to create a new story mode for the game. Mojang promises it will be a narrative-driven game about Minecraft, but didn't expand on what exactly that would look lik...

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13:22
Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in...

Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are rumored to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head....



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13:04
Apple Raises Prices in Russian App Store Amidst...

Apple has raised the price of apps in the Russian App Store in the midst of a meltdown in the value of the Russian ruble. The move follows Apple's decision earlier in the week to stop selling iPhones in Russia because of the volatility.


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13:02
First Look: Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case for...

Tylt's Energi Sliding Power Case ($100) is the first battery case we've seen for iPhone 6, though we have seen a previous version of Energi before, for iPhone 5. Energi comes with a simple standalone case, which can then be inserted in a larger 3200 mAh battery sleeve with a built-in Lightning connector for charging on the go — the two pieces work together as a bigger, thicker case. While the design here is similar to the previous Energi case, the battery now has a higher capacity, and the inner case offers more protection than before. The sleep/wake buttons and volume controls are now covered, as are the top and bottom of the phone. A micro-USB cable is included for charging the battery. We'll have a full review shortly.{/exp:char_limit}
...

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13:00
You can now watch the BBC's Panorama...

On December 18 the BBC's Panorama aired a documentary called "Apple's Broken Promises" which questions if Apple is doing enough to protect the people who make their products. The already controversial film utilizes undercover reporters and hidden cam...

| Read more »
12:55
The Unexpected Ways Apple Watch Will Crush the...

Calling the Apple Watch just a cooler, better smartwatch isn't
the right way to look at this revolutionary device. Apple would hardly settle for that. Instead, the Apple Watch will so change people's lives that no other device on the wrist will do, and that will bring incredible success. John Martellaro makes his case.


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12:39
DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo...

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers....



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12:37
Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep" he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite....



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12:30
News Cues is personalized news aggregator with...

News Cues is a news aggregator that brings national headlines at any given moment direct to the app in an easy-to-read format. In doing so, it also links to other sources reporting on the same news story so you get to see every angle plus choose your...

| Read more »
12:00
Over 45% of Americans have had their credit card...

A recent poll from the Wall Street Journal relays that 45% of Americans have received a notification that their credit card information was compromised as part of a data breach.

The poll also found that more Americans than ever think they have been...

| Read more »
11:43
2014 National Geographic photo contest winner

National Geographic:

More than 9,200 entries were submitted from over 150 countries, with professional photographers and amateur photo enthusiasts across the globe participating.The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2015.

Check out the winner and let us know what you think. It’s not the usual photo that comes to mind when you think of National Geographic.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:29
T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit,...

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices....



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11:29
6-Ft MFi-Certified iOS Lightning and micro USB...

If you live in a multi-platform house, we have a deal for you on a 6-foot charging cable that's convertible between microUSB (for Android devices) and Lightning (for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch). Better yet, the converter is actually attached to the cable, eliminating the chance to lose it! That's clever, and I like clever. It retails for $40, but you can get it through our deal for $21.


| Read more »
11:25
DirecTV subscribers now have access to Fox Now,...

DirecTV announced a partnership with Fox Networks today that will see its subscribers gain access to content in Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on both Apple TV and iOS in addition to other platforms.

Fox Now and FXNow both have iOS apps and Apple TV apps, while Nat Geo TV is available only on iPhone and iPad. Apple added Fox Now to the Apple TV during the summer, while FXNow became available on the platform in September for select cable subscribers. The apps...

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11:25
GIFT GUIDE 2014 – The TrackR bravo

Have you ever said “I wish there was a way to call my keys.” I used to say it all the time while scrambling through my couch cushions looking for my car keys (usually making me late to get somewhere.)

Enter the Bluetooth tracking tag. Introduced in 2009, these small Bluetooth ‘fobs’ can be attached to anything from keyrings, to bags, to kids. Once paired with your smartphone you can find them using the Bluetooth feature on your smartphone via an app. They’re undeniably handy.

My favorite tag – in an overcrowded market – is The TrackR bravo ($29, pre-order).

[I've been testing a pre-production of The TrackR Bravo design and it has the potential to be the best Bluetooth tracker on the market. If you can't wait until Bravo ships in January, keep on reading to find out about TrackR's...

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11:25
Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be 99 cents in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014....



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11:02
BrandPost: How to design an environmentally friendly...

Your website could be doing a lot more harm to the planet than you think. It might seem like a flash on a screen couldn’t cause much damage, but every small feature of your site has a discernible impact on the environment, with more complex features requiring greater resources to maintain. Over time and in great quantities, it adds up. Many factors - from the color palette you choose to where you host your site - can influence your site’s carbon footprint.

Designing more environmentally friendly site for your business lets your customers know you have an ethical stance that reaches beyond the balance sheet. Plus, going green can also make your website more efficient, allowing users to access your content more quickly. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

| Read more »
11:00
BBC alleges Apple failing to improve working...

Last night a BBC news program called Panorama aired hidden camera footage from inside one of Apple's supply chain factories in China that showed poor working conditions -- an issue that Apple has been dealing with accusations of for quite some time. ...

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10:41
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-19

The BBC says working conditions in factories making iPhones isn't all that great, and Apple says it's doing more than other companies to fix that. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about factory conditions, Apple's impact on workers in China, and the involvement of other companies in the efforts to address human rights.


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10:31
Apple bought back $56 billion worth of its own stock...

This year, Apple spent three times more investing in itself than the next closest company in the S&P 500, totaling $56 billion on stock buybacks in fiscal 2014.

| Read more »
10:21
FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack...

[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie....



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10:06
Hands On: Zen Bound 2 (iOS)

Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard analog is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit....



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10:00
Microsoft updates Bing iOS apps with fresh look and...

Microsoft continues its make nice to Apple with a solid update to the Bing Search app for iOS. There are separate versions for the iPad and iPhone. The GUI has been slightly reworked, and the biggest feature is a translation option for any content yo...

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09:50
Savage Interactive debuts Procreate Pocket, bringing...



Demonstrating the types of apps that will increasingly migrate from Apple’s tablets to its larger iPhone 6 models, Savage Interactive has released Procreate Pocket ($3), a shrunken-down version of its signature iPad app Procreate. Widely admired for its professional-grade drawing tools, Procreate previously enabled tablet users to compose multi-layer illustrations using numerous brushes and a mistake-friendly, multi-layer Undo tool....

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09:41
CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock....



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09:31
BBC documentary highlights conditions at a Chinese...

I’ve worked at a lot of different jobs in my life, but there are a few I’d never like to try: picking crops on a farm, working in a chicken processing plant, and working in any kind of factory. The relentless assembly lines and the noise of the machines would be hard to deal with. Even those factories without deafening machines still seem like harsh places to work, if only because of the cadence they impose on employees.

Whatever device you’re reading this article on was built in a factory, most likely in China. In this country, not known for its pleasant working conditions, all the major computer manufacturers have their devices built and assembled. Including Apple.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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09:30
Apple hikes app, device prices in Russia thanks to...

Russian shoppers hoping to score an iPhone or iPad before the biggest gift-giving day of the year will now find higher prices than ever thanks to the ruble's continued path downward. This news comes shortly after Apple decided to put a halt on online...

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09:19
External Link: Design Firm Ramotion Reimagines the...

Despite notable visual changes throughout the past few versions of OS X, the Get Info window hasn’t evolved significantly in years. Design firm Ramotion has mocked up an alternative approach for the Get Info window that emphasizes the information that the user probably wants to see. It’s both more attractive and more functional, and Apple would do well to take note. And as Khoi Vinh of Subtraction.com has noted, the Fonts and Colors palettes are even more in need of redesign.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related...

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09:15
Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, game console bundles...

There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this po...



...

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09:08
Review: Imation’s Link Power Drive adds 16/32/64GB...

There wasn’t really a market for hybrid batteries and external flash drives until this year, when Mophie’s Space Pack seemingly came out of nowhere, impressively nestling 16 or 32GB of additional flash storage inside a 1700mAh iPhone 5/5s battery case. But having demonstrated the value of combining these features together, Mophie’s $150 to $180 asking prices were high enough to keep some people away, and the requirement of an iPhone 5 or 5s was similarly somewhat limiting.

Imation is trying something different with its Link Power Drive, a small plastic box with a silver top and white base. There are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models...

| Read more »
08:42
Instagram's spam purge reveals high-profile...

Instagram made good on its promise to delete spam accounts that have plagued the service and other social networks like Twitter. Sounds like a positive move, right? Well, the sudden evaporation of millions of fake users is enraging Instagram fans who care about things like high follower counts.

Millions of accounts vanished in the Great InstaPurge of 2014, also dubbed the “Instagram Rapture,” and the Instagrammers whose follower counts declined the most were the ones with the highest number of followers. Celebs like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé saw millions of followers disappear on Thursday in the clean-up. In a funny twist, Instagram’s own account was hit the hardest,...

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08:06
Working prototype explores new Apple TV interface...

Product designer Radu Dutzan posted the video above showing off a working prototype that explores touchscreen style gestures via a conceptual remote for Apple TV alongside an updated interface.

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of trying to imitate clicks, Remote allowed you to scroll lists on the screen, directly responding to the position of your finger on the tracking surface? Wouldn’t selection in a complex button layout — such as the keyboard — be much more usable if you could make the cursor move in any direction instantly? Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Apple TV remote control was a smooth clickable trackpad, like the one on the MacBook, that allowed for these behaviors without having to look at a second screen?

The prototype utilizes an iPhone and AirPlay, and would essentially be a next-generation version...

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08:02
Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls BS on BBC iPhone Factory...

Following the airing of a BBC show depicting poor working conditions in the Pegatron factory making iPhones Apple CEO Tim Cook said the situation was misrepresented, and that he's "deeply offended." The report showed factory workers forced into extended shifts and ongoing safety issues.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's a safe bet that Apple will have a new report out soon detailing its ongoing efforts to improve working conditions in China, and hopefully Panorama's "Broken Promises" special will help accelerate the process. It's important that Apple is called to task for poor factory conditions at its suppliers, but it's also important other companies using the same facilities get called out, too.


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08:00
CalDigit announces Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit makes some amazingly fast disk drives and arrays, usually featuring fast Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 connections to speed your data back and forth. Today the company announced the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 2 (US$199.99, pre-order for $16...

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07:56
Apps: Mellel, ScreenFlow, BBEdit
07:48
Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended...

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's senior VP of Operations, Jeff Williams, claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically Williams are Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."...



...

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07:42
CalDigit’s Thunderbolt Station 2 starts price war on...

Looking to grab market share from rival makers of Mac Thunderbolt docks, CalDigit today announced Thunderbolt Station 2, an aggressively-priced Thunderbolt 2 docking hub that promises to surpass earlier Belkin and Elgato units in features and build quality. Redesigned from a prior model, Thunderbolt Station 2 includes the expected twin Thunderbolt 2 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI and analog audio in/out ports. What’s new are twin eSATA 6G ports and an enclosure that can be mounted vertically or horizontally, saving space on a desk.

With a regular price of $200, it’s already $30 cheaper than Elgato’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock and $100 under...

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07:29
First Look: Just Mobile TopGum

Just Mobile is billing its TopGum ($80) as "the sophisticated backup battery" for iOS devices. The sleek aluminum 6000 mAh battery features a built-in cable with a Lightning connector attached. TopGum offers dual output charging, as the Lightning cable can recharge devices at 2.4A, while a separate USB port provides 1A charging. The included micro-USB cable can be used to recharge the battery itself or, optionally, to charge devices from the battery. Also included is a small dock for charging the battery — the micro-USB connector can be plugged into the dock so the battery can charge upright while docking on three small pins. Just Mobile claims TopGum can fully charge an iPhone up to three times, and charge an iPad mini up to 75 percent. The battery comes in two colors — a silver and gold that match Apple's device colors. We'll have a full review soon.{/exp:char_limit}
...

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07:17
US Mulls Response to Sony Hack


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday said the United States "is actively considering a range of options" to take in response to the Sony hack. The hack is "very serious," Johnson said, though he refused to label it as a terrorist attack. Although there has been widespread suspicion that North Korea engineered the hack, Johnson said the U.S. is "at this point ... not prepared to officially say who we believe was behind this attack." The FBI is investigating.

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07:11
The value of Apple Pay in one stat: almost half of...

Apple Pay may be more convenient than carrying around a whole bunch of different cards, and contactless payment is certainly very quick and easy, but it’s the security which is arguably the greatest benefit. Your actual card details are never stored in your phone or on an Apple server, and only a one-time code is sent to the payment terminal. Retailers never see your card details.

Just how important is this? A WSJ/NBC News poll reveals that a full 45% of Americans have been told by a retailer, bank or card company that their card details have been stolen in a data breach.

In the past year alone, major breaches have been reported at Target, J.P. Morgan Chase, Home Depot, K-Mart, SuperValu and others […] 

Some 45% of Americans said they had received such a breach notification letter from a...

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07:00
Rumor Roundup: The awful iPhone 7 concepts have begun

Some Genius Bars are being repurposed for the holidays, but other changes loom (9to5 Mac)

Source: "People familiar with the matter"

Chance it's true: 100 percent

9to5 Mac hasn't had very many BREAKING EXCLUSIVES since Apple's product launches a co...

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06:41
Apple drops ship time for iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets...

Apple is catching up with demand and you might be able to snag an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Retina 5K iMac for Christmas.

Per AppleInsider, Apple appears to be catching up with demand for its latest devices as the Online Apple Store on Thursday shows one-day ship times for most iPhone 6 Plus storage configurations, 1 to 3 days for iPhone 6 and immediate availability for the Retina 5K iMac.

Apple’s online storefront has been updated to reflect iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates of one day for 16GB and 64GB models in all three colors and major U.S. wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Ship-by times for iPhone 6 models in the same capacities also dropped to 1 to 3 days.

Availability of higher capacity 128GB...

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06:38
Review: MOTA’s new Battery Case for iPhone 6 Plus...

I have to give MOTA a pat on the back for what it has achieved with the Battery Case for iPhone 6 Plus, the first such accessory we’ve tested for Apple’s largest iPhone. Despite its generic name, the Battery Case is handsome, well-built, and at $90, a steal relative to the lower-capacity $100 and up versions we’ve seen for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Critically, despite a 4000mAh rechargeable cell inside, it’s also surprisingly easy to hold and pocket, even though it adds thickness to the already-too-large iPhone 6 Plus.

But there are a couple of caveats, too. The case isn’t Apple-licensed, so there’s always the risk that it might have some...

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06:34
Daily Deal: 50% off Dragon Dictate for Mac 4

In today’s iLounge Deal you can pick up Dragon Dictate for Mac 4 for $99.99 – 50% off the normal price. Providing fast, accurate speech recognition and versatile transcription, Dragon Dictate for Mac lets you dictate and edit documents, send email, transcribe voice memos, and more using just your voice. You can also accurately transcribe an audio file of any single speaker’s voice from podcasts or pre-recorded audio files, compose and…

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06:33
Watch the full BBC documentary on iPhone factory...


A screengrab from the documentary showing workers sleeping on the production-line

The full BBC documentary on working conditions in iPhone factories has been unofficially uploaded to YouTube. It probably won’t be too long before it gets pulled, so if you want to see it, watch it while you can – we’ve embedded the full video below … 

The program alleged that Pegatron factories were breaking “standards on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers.” Workers are filmed sleeping at their workstations, with one worker claiming he hadn’t been allowed a day off in 18 days.

In a...

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06:32
Apple replies to changing prices in Russian...

When in doubt in a fluctuating market, it never hurts to shore up the prices.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple on Friday informed developers that it is has changed the pricing of apps and In-App Purchases in the Russian App Store, following changes to exchange rates. The recent ruble-dollar rates have fluctuated so wildly in recent weeks that Apple has been forced to take the Russian Apple Online Store down completely, as it reviews pricing for its products.

Obviously, it is easier to adjust prices in the App Store so a complete takedown was unnecessary. A 99 cent app now costs 62 Rubles. This means that apps have increased in price by nearly 100% this year in Russia, roughly in line with foreign exchange rate changes. As of right now, the Russian Apple...

| Read more »
06:31
News: Cook ‘deeply offended’ by BBC allegations

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is “deeply offended” by allegations in a new BBC documentary regarding Apple’s handling of workers at its Chinese suppliers, The Telegraph reports. In a BBC investigative report which aired last night, BBC’s Panorama revealed poor treatment of workers and a breach of working hour standards, after sending undercover reporters into factories run by Apple supplier Pegatron located on the outskirts of…

| Read more »
06:22
Design for People Kickstarter book campaign shows...

If you could kick in a few Kickstarter shekels, it could lead to a really interesting book.

We’ve just been informed that Mac user Scott Stowell is looking to complete a book about design and computers called “Design for People”, which discusses design from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

The Kickstarter video looks interesting and, at present, the campaign is less than US$6,000 away from meeting its US$50,000 goal.

Take a gander and if you want to check out the larger project, head over to designforpeople.com and see what you think.

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06:18
Watch ABC app for Apple TV gets full episodes for...

Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on the Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities....



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06:11
McDonald’s Supersizes Sales with Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Fast food giant McDonald's has been testing Apple's iBeacon technology in some of its Columbus, Ohio, locations and that's translating into bigger sales. The four-week program say 18,000 redemptions for products features through iBeacon notifications, and a notable increase in sales, too.

The Mac Observer Spin: McDonald's is an excellent test platform for iBeacon because the company already has an efficient system for tracking sales, so any changes are easy to see. It's also a great example of how effective iBeacon can be for retailers and restaurants hoping to find new ways to boost sales and improve customer service.


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Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoOffice 2014.6 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

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Galaxy Trucker Pocket 1.0.8 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.8 (iTunes) Description: Galaxy Truckers Wanted!================================================================= (5/5) "Galaxy Trucker isn’t... | Read more »
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
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BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
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Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Holiday sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
 Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Best Buy has lowered their price on the 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro to $1149.99 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $150 off MSRP and the lowest price available for this... Read more
Kodak Returns to CES With New Consumer Produ...
Former photography colossus Kodak is returning to CES for the first time in three years where the Kodak booth (#21818 South Hall 1) will showcase a wide range of innovative, imaging-related products... Read more
Invaluable Launches New Eponymously -Named A...
Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace, hhas announced the official launch of the Invaluable app for iPad, now available for download in the iTunes App Store. Invaluable... Read more
IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Appli...
International Data Corporation (IDC) last week hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions 2015 Predictions Web conference. The session provided organizations... Read more
Hello Vino Wine App Launches “Safe Ride Home”...
Hello Vino has announced addition of a new “Get a Safe Ride Home” feature in its Food & Drink app with a direct connection to Uber, the technology platform that connects users with rides. The... Read more
DEVON-technologies Releases DEVONthink To Go...
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based DEVON-technologies, LLC has updated DEVONthink To Go, its mobile companion to DEVONthink, to version 1.5. The update includes an iOS 8 extension, compatibility with the... Read more
The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
OtterBox Defender Series Case For iPad mini 3...
With their innovative Touch ID technology and ultrathin profile, the latest tranche of Apple iPads are more desirable than ever, and OtterBox has just announced the Defender Series custom-engineered... Read more

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*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
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