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Refurbished Retina MacBook Pros drop below $1,000 mark

17 minutes ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

In addition to launching new MacBook Pros, Apple has also updated prices for refurbished models. The cheapest Retina option is now a $999 October 2012 system, with a 13.3-inch screen and a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor. That signals the first time a refurbished Retina machine has been below $1,000.

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AppleCare+ plans for iPhone, iPad come to Mexico and Sweden

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

In keeping with expansion efforts made during the past year, Apple has brought its AppleCare+ plans for the iPhone and iPad to Mexico and Sweden. Mexican plans cost 1,599 pesos, or about $123. Swedish plans are 799 kronor, or $117. In the US AppleCare+ coverage is $99.

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Drobo Mini ships with included SSD storage for portable storage

1 hour ago | Posted in: upgrades/storage

Connected Data, creators of the Drobo range of storage appliances, has launched a version of its most portable device with built-in storage. The Drobo Mini, first revealed two years ago, will include four SSD drives pre-installed into its four 2.5-inch drive bays, giving users such as photographers and film makers a fast storage option without needing to buy drives separately.

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Apple updates MacBook pro line with faster processors, more RAM

2 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

As predicted, Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display product line. Both sizes of the model have an unchanged external design, but now boast faster processors, with some models seeing a doubling of RAM as standard. Surviving the upgrade is the 13-inch MacBook pro, which also remains unchanged save a price cut.

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Canon unveils PowerShot SX520 HS, SX400 IS bridge cameras

4 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Canon has increased its range of versatile PowerShot digital cameras with two new additions. The new PowerShot SX520 HS and the PowerShot SX400 IS are both bridge cameras with DSLR physical styling, with the two touting extended-range zoom lenses capable of providing wide focal ranges, and though they have similar image processors and sensors, they do offer different photographic experiences.

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Briefly: Yelp adds video, Facebook forces Messenger for iOS

8 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Branching out in its ability to offer reviews of local businesses, Yelp has now updated its iOS app to version 8.1, which gives users the option to create a shortly 3-12 second-long video message alongside or in place of written reviews, comments or images. The video option is the only significant new feature, alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks, and "lives" alongside the photo option -- which can now be toggled between photos and videos. Users can find existing video reviews alongside photos in both the app and on the company's website.

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Apple Stores gearing up to allow early-upgrade carrier program buying?

10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.

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Beats Music app updated, offers more user customization

11 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

As the process of Beats Music's acquisition by Apple continues, the iOS app for the subscription-based Beats Music service has received an update to both make playback better and more reliable as well as to improve the overall user experience. The new version 2.2.0 gives users the ability to customize the services's "Just For You" recommendations by changing artists and genres with a new feature called Tune Your Taste. In addition to some other changes, Beats reports that it has "fixed a ton of bugs."

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Apple drops cross-appeal against Samsung, gives up injunction

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.

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HBC department stores Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay to use iBeacons

16 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, iPhone apps, mobile phones, Apple, iPad apps

HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.

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Bitcoin app Blockchain allowed to return to App Store

17 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, industry, iPhone apps, iPad

A Bitcoin trading app, Blockchain, has been allowed to return to the iOS App Store, reports note. The title was one of several removed from the App Store early this year during an Apple crackdown. The company's policy is normally to prohibit apps allowing activities which may be illegal in some countries. Although Bitcoin has become increasingly accepted, it still sits in a legal limbo in many regions.

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Briefly: Hilton enables phone-based room keys, new NPR One app

19 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Hilton Worldwide has announced that its guests will now be able to use their iOS or Android device to control most elements of a guest's hotel stay. Due to roll out this summer, the upcoming Hilton app will soon allows users to choose a preferred room, make requests, and check in and out of the hotel through their smarphones. Room selection is anticipated to be available by the end of the year, and will include the DoubleTree and Embassy Suites chains. In 2015, guests' phones will also unlock their room. Most of these features focus on bypassing the physical hotel lobby. By the end of 2016, Hilton aims to integrate the majority of its rooms worldwide with these new app-based functionalities.

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Next-gen iPhones could have NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi

21 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone

A Chinese repair firm, GeekBar, claims to have obtained photos of the logic boards for Apple's upcoming 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones. The two are noticeably different from each other and the board for the iPhone 5s; significantly, the one for the 5.5-inch iPhone -- sometimes dubbed the "iPhone Air" -- isn't larger than the one for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but simply has a different layout. In both cases, chips and other installed components are missing.

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T-Mobile CEO launches $100 four-line promotion, attacks AT&T

22 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

T-Mobile has unveiled a new promotional price plan, one which is taking aim directly at AT&T. In remarks against AT&T's "Best-Ever Pricing for Families" marketing, T-Mobile CEO John Legere relayed details of a plan effectively providing four lines on the carrier's Simple Choice shared price plan, complete with 10GB of LTE service, for $100 per month.

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Apple 'close' to buying radio app Swell for $30M, sources say

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple is on the verge of buying out Swell, a radio and podcast streaming app for iOS, sources say. The deal is reportedly worth $30 million, and if completed should result in the shutdown of the app's services sometime this week. While Swell has a dedicated fanbase, it's also said to have had trouble finding users beyond that group. An Android app was in beta testing but never released.

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European Commission approves Apple acquisition of Beats

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

The European Commission has authorized Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, according to an official statement. The organization was tasked with scrutinizing any possible antitrust concerns in the deal. In its judgment, the Commission notes that while both Apple and Beats sell headphones in Europe, even their combined marketshare is low, and the companies aren't in close competition. Their headphones are said to "differ markedly in functionality and design."

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Previous News

Uber closes Javascript hack exposing driver review of passengers

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: security, iPhone apps

Cab-hailing service Uber has patched a hole which allowed passengers to find out their average score based on reviews from Uber drivers. A Javascript hack which surfaced over the weekend polled Uber servers for the passenger score, giving a response between 1.0 and 5.0, though Uber has been quick to close the loophole in order to protect its driver review system.

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New MacBook Pros could be released on Tuesday

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: computers

The MacBook Pro refreshes hinted at during the weekend may ship on Tuesday, according to a source for French site MacG. The updated 13-inch Pro is said to have a "J44a" model name, while its 15-inch counterpart is the "J45a." The source didn't have any specifications or prices to share.

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Sign in Chinese store may show next-gen Retina MacBook Pro specs

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage, Apple

A sign spotted by a Mac user at the new Paradise Walk Apple Store in Chongqing , China may have leaked the changes coming to the next lineup of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, with the most dramatic being the bump up to 16GB of RAM as standard on all models, even the low-end unit. Assuming the sign is correct, all three models of Retina MacBook Pro will bump around 200MHz in speed, with the line jumping to 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz, respectively. It is assumed that the RAM in the Retina models remains non-upgradeable.

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Review: JBL Synchros E40BT headphones

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: audio

For all the different configurations of headphones on the market, it's always a tough choice for buyers to get something that is just right. For consumers searching for a strong sound but who don't want to shell out a couple hundred dollars on over-the-ear headphones, on-ear is the next step down. But does that mean the sound quality is a step down as well? The JBL Synchros E40BT headphones aim to convince users otherwise, with their balanced approach to sound and mid-range price. Does that mean that the headphones are good, or something that consumers would be settling for? Find out in our review.

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Samsung patent application for tablet sleeve uses prior Apple art

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.

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The Pirate Bay debuts 'The Mobile Bay' website, talks new sites

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

The Pirate Bay, a website linked to illegal torrent downloads, launched a new version of the site last week that aims to make the experience of using the service easier for mobile users. The new website, aptly named The Mobile Bay, revamps the design of the current website to make it friendlier to touch devices and easier to filter content.

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Briefly: Ozone 2014 Personal Learning Edition, VocaLive 2

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

E-on Software has announced the release of its Ozone 2014 Personal Learning Edition, a sun and atmospheric lighting simulator. The software produces ultra-realistic environments with volumetric clouds, accurate light dispersion, and natural phenomena such as "Godrays." Users can create new atmospheres, and load any of the included presets and modify them.

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NCTA to FCC: Google, Facebook may charge ISPs for customer access

Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: networking

In a letter filed with the US Federal Communications Commission regarding the pending net neutrality proposal, pro-cable company advocacy group The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) believes that if the "fast lane" net neutrality proposal stands as is, then "hyper-giants" like Amazon, eBay, Netflix, Facebook, and Google could charge the cable companies to allow customers to access services, essentially holding Internet Service Providers hostage. The cable companies allege to have no defense against such tactics, and claim to lack a "practical ability" or the incentive to throttle said large Internet companies.

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Coalition of authors blames 'thuggish' Amazon for Hachette dispute

Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: industry

Some authors have begun to side with publisher Hachette in its struggle against Amazon. A letter, signed by almost 900 authors, is objecting to the way that Amazon is handling Hachette, saying that the fight is "harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." Amazon claims to be "looking out for the customer" in the dispute, and has already responded to the unpublished letter, calling the spearhead of the campaign "entitled" and an "opportunist."

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Briefly: Incase's Icon Sleeve, Chronos' Labelist 8

Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: software, accessories

Mac accessories producer Incase has announced the introduction of its newest sleeve case for MacBook Pro and iPad. The Icon Sleeve features a construction comparable to that of performance footwear, offering lightweight framing material that can absorb shock. The sleeve protects the device on its outer edge, making it less vulnerable to damage. Its sleeve panels are neoprene, featuring soft flexibility. Priced at $60, the Icon Sleeve is available online through Incase and at Apple store locations.

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