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Chrome 38 beta for Mac makes jump to 64-bit code

33 minutes ago | Posted in: software

For Mac users, the latest beta channel release of Chrome -- Chrome 38 -- makes the switch to a 64-bit codebase, Google has announced. The primary benefit is said to be speed, since it grants access to "a superior instruction set, more registers, and a more efficient function calling convention," according to Google. The company points out that in some cases Chrome can be the only 32-bit app that's running, forcing OS X to load 32-bit system libraries that consume extra memory and launch time.

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Photos show what may be near-complete rear shell for iPhone 6

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPhone

Photos obtained by French site Nowhereelse show what may be a finished rear shell for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Unlike ones in previous leaks, the new shell -- all silver -- appears to have had the bands between sections colored in to better match their surroundings. Similar touches could be applied to the gold and space gray versions of the phone.

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iPhone 6 NFC chips coming from Netherlands' NXP, report says

2 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone

Apple is indeed planning to incorporate NFC into the iPhone 6, using chips from a Dutch firm, NXP Semiconductor, say sources for the Financial Times. The technology is mainly expected to be used for mobile payments and ticketing, but might enable functions in an "Internet of things" (home automation) context. Both Apple and NXP have refused to comment on the matter.

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Apps: Capo, Cloud, WiFi Scanner

3 hours ago | Posted in apps

    7.9MB

    Capo 3.1.3 ($30)

    Capo is a tool for slowing down audio tracks, which can help musicians learn how to play difficult parts of songs. A built-in tab editor is featured, allowing users to place transcriptions right beside the spectrogram. A problem with count-ins done near the beginning of a song has been fixed in this release, and diminished major 7 chords have been added to the database. In addition, when opening a document the song will now automatically scroll to where the playhead is.

    9MB

    Cloud 3.0 (free)

    Cloud is a small tool that can help users share images, links, music, videos, and files across the internet. Any file can be uploaded to an account by dragging it to the software's menubar icon. Version 3.0 introduces a new audio and video player for all drops, improved end-to-end security, and numerous API performance improvements. In addition, Pro users also gain access to larger drop sizes, high bandwidth drop support, and a private branded drop landing page.

    4.1MB

    WiFi Scanner 2.5 ($4)

    WiFi Scanner allows users to scan for networks in their area and view a variety of information related to each. Along with the strength of the wireless signal, the app also provides users with the channel band, channel width, security mode, and max data rate. The v2.5 release includes a number of bug fixes as well as an updated OUI database.

    5MB

    Dropshare 3.4 ($5)

    Dropshare is a menu bar app that files can be dragged to for instant uploads to a personal server. The update adds support for multiple connections, giving users the ability to create different connections and switch between them with the preferences menu or keyboard shortcuts. Markdown files containing spaces (in the filename) or umlauts (in the content) will also now correctly convert to HTML.

    3.5MB

    Dupin 2.8 ($15)

    Dupin is a utility capable of finding a removing duplicate tracks in an iTunes library. When performing a search users can set up a number of filters that help the software determine which file among a group of duplicates will be kept. Version 2.8 offers improved memory management, as well as preliminary support for OS X Yosemite and iTunes 12. Meanwhile, support for OS X 1-.7 and earlier has been dropped.

 
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Briefly: Quora for iPad, OneDrive's new Photos view

10 hours ago | Posted in:

Quora query-based platform has released an update for its iOS app, now supporting use on iPad. Quora provides space for users to ask questions and receive great answers about anything. Experts on particular topics are accessible as they share their knowledge, including "insider" participants such as those who produce popular TV shows. In addition to adding support for iPad, Quora v4.0 features improved loading speeds. Its new visual design aims to offer a more immersive read, and the format for asking questions has been restructured as well. Quora's new rich-text editor includes more options for how one's text appears on the social platform. Free to download, Quora for iOS requires iOS 7.0 or later.

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Review: Life n Soul BM211 Bluetooth speaker

10 hours ago | Posted in: audio

Bluetooth speakers aren't only for listening to some music at the park or on a long bus ride, but can also be built with tablets in mind. While some manufacturers craft speakers with a shape that is specifically molded to hold a tablet and offer little use otherwise, others have caught on to a better design. Life n Soul attempted such a configuration with the BM211 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth speaker. Would the BM211 give consumers flexibility to have a speaker suited for tablets and every day use, or would they be left with another single use sound device? Find out in our review.

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Autodesk brings iOS photo editor Pixlr to Mac

12 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, Graphics/Web Design

After years of good reviews as a series of iOS apps, Autodesk has now brought its image-editing app Pixlr to the Mac. While it bears great resemblance to the myriad other filter-and-effect photo editors from the iOS world, the app does offer some features rarely seen in competitors, such as a "double exposure" collaging feature. As with the company's Sketchbook, Autodesk offers several "tiers" of use, the most "pro" level of which is available on an annual or monthly paid subscription.

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Security guards protest low wages, block Apple San Francisco store

14 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security, Apple

A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.

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Plantronics announces new Bluetooth headphones, BackBeat Pro

15 hours ago | Posted in: audio

Plantronics announced a new model of Bluetooth headphones this week with the BackBeat Pro. The over-the-ear headphones feature a long battery life, 40mm drivers, active noise-cancelling technology and "Plantronics signature audio performance and design." Not leaving noise cancelling as the only trick of the headphones, Plantronics also added a smart feature to help consumers pick up where they left off if the headphones are removed.

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Briefly: Original Bioshock for iOS, Notability app comes to Mac

17 hours ago | Posted in: education, gaming, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Notability, an iOS app well-regarded for its ability to handle multiple ways of taking notes -- audio recordings, handwriting, drag-and-drop and typing -- has arrived on the Mac. The OS X version ($10) matches the iPad and iPhone version feature-for-feature, but is optimized for the Mac environment. Users can drag in various file types to add to the note, scale and transform handwriting and sketches, and -- new to the program -- work with smart keyboard shortcuts. The iOS version is also available as a separate $3 purchase.

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HealthKit policies updated to block data use by advertisers, brokers

20 hours ago | Posted in: security, developer, Apple

Apple has updated the language in its privacy policy for HealthKit to prevent apps from selling data to "advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers," notes the Financial Times. HealthKit will allow iOS 8 apps to exchange health and fitness data tracked via various accessories, such as the iWatch. The iOS upgrade is rumored to launch next month alongside the iWatch and the iPhone 6.

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Uber prevails in German court, yet service called 'probably illegal'

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

The Hamburg, Germany court system has reauthorized Uber to operate, at least temporarily. Despite the resurrection, which was based on a technicality, the court did dictate that the service was "probably illegal" as drivers for the service lack a passenger transportation license, similar to the situation that Lyft faced in New York City.

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JPMorgan Chase systems infiltrated, banking data may have been stolen

21 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security

JP Morgan Chase & Co plus at least four other financial institutions have reportedly come under attack by hackers. According to a quartet of people familiar with the investigation, the possibility exists that gigabytes of customer data, including banking information, may have been stolen by the assailants with a "zero-day" attack, who may to be linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers.

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'Massive structure' in place at Flint Center ahead of Apple event

22 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

A "massive structure" is being constructed on the campus of the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the site of Apple's September 9 press event, witnesses say. The structure is encased in a white barricade, and appears to be about three stories tall. "Scads" of security staff are reportedly protecting it, and administrators will only say that they "are not at liberty to discuss that [structure] due to client wishes."

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Apple officially announces September 9th press event [u]

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

(Updated with Bloomberg claims of iWatch debut) As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9th press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern.

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iPhone 6 will include NFC-based payment tech, sources say

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone

The next-generation iPhone should include NFC-based mobile payment technology, sources tell Wired. The magazine doesn't go into specifics, except to claim that the mobile payment system will be "one of the hallmark features of the device when it's unveiled on September 9." A past report from The Information suggested that there might be a "secure element" in the new iPhone that would safeguard financial information, presumably a reference to allowing Touch ID to verify NFC purchases using the secure enclave.

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iOS apps: Retrica Pro, Pocket Casts, Diptic Video

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 37.3MB

    Retrica Pro 2.2 ($2)

    Retrica Pro features 24 vintage filters that can be viewed in real-time while capturing images. The software also includes a number of post-production tools, such as crop, blur, and border options, as well as support for sharing images directly to various social networks. In v2.2 users can now randomly select filters when editing photos from the system albums. Swiping with the in-app album is also now possible, and a FAQ section has been added to help answer some common questions.

  • 15MB

    Pocket Casts 4.6.3 ($4)

    Pocket Casts is a podcast manager that allows users to keep track of all their favorite podcasts. Version 4.6.3 fixes some issues that could prevent episodes and playlists from syncing, along with an issue that could cause the 'Play all from Here' long press on the podcast page not to work. Performance has also been improved and a new option for cleaning up duplicates has been added.

  • 1.5MB

    Diptic Video 1.1.1 ($2)

    Diptic Video can be used to make dynamic video collages. Users can select several video clips or still photos from their camera roll and integrate them into one of Diptic’s 35 layouts. Furthermore, four video playback modes are included to select from and each clip can be trimmed directly within the app. Panorama support has been improved with this release.

  • 56.7MB

    Wunderlist 3.0.2 (free)

    Wunderlist can help users jot down all of their iras and keep them in organized lists. The latest release adds the ability to move, complete and delete multiple items by tapping on the “Edit” button. Users can also now find an overview of starred todos by going to the Action Bar and sorting by priority. Other changes include fixes for a number of reported issues and better sorting for non-Latin-based languages.

  • 32.2MB

    LINE 4.5.1 (free)

    LINE is a mobile messaging client for iOS devices that allows users to send messages and make free voice calls to other users. Among several minor bug fixes, the v3.8.2 update also features a Russian localization. Several minor bugs have been resolved with this update.

 
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Photos indicate silver, gold, space gray colors for iPhone 6

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone

New photos from French site Nowhereelse indicate that the iPhone 6 will again come in silver, gold, and "space gray" tone. SIM trays and Touch ID sensors all show the same range of colors used for the iPhone 5s. The trays may also be somewhat curved, presumably to fit the rounded edges on the iPhone 6's chassis.

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Ricoh launches Pentax K-S1 20MP DSLR with LED indicators on grip

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: digital imaging

Ricoh's Pentax K-camera collection has been joined by a new mid-class camera. The Pentax K-S1 is a DSLR with a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor combined with the Prime MII imaging engine, giving it a maximum sensitivity of ISO 51,200, a top shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second, and a continuous shooting rate of up to 5.4 frames per second.

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Apple wins patent on Fifth Avenue store's redesigned glass cube

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.

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Olympus adds selfie-friendly display to Pen E-PL7 16MP camera

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: digital imaging

The latest in the Olympus Pen Micro Four Thirds camera line has been revealed as a shooter that caters itself to selfie photography. The PEN E-PL7 features a 3-inch 1.04 million-dot touch-enabled display on the back capable of flipping 180 degrees downwards, an action which triggers a "Selfie Mode" that optimizes settings for self portraits.

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Microsoft updates Office for Mac 2011 to version 14.4.4

Thu August 28, 2014 | Posted in: software

On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its standalone version of Office for Mac, Office 2011, to version 14.4.4. The update provides the latest fixes for Office, and includes general functionality improvements in Microsoft Word, particularly with keyboard language detection. For PowerPoint, it improves handling of certain complex objects, and in Outlook the update includes new descriptions for supported account types.

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Report: Eight high-profile sites hit by browser exploits last week

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: security

A "malvertising" campaign made the rounds last week hitting at least eight high-profile websites according to security firm Fox-IT. The firma noticed that the sites were redirecting their visits to other places, allowing it to discover that sites were using vulnerabilities in software like Java and Flash to inject malicious programs. The purpose of the "malvertising" was to infect machines with botnet malware involved in boosting advertisement clicks.

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Costco phone kiosks will begin selling AppleCare+ tomorrow?

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple, iPad

A leaked internal memo seems to reveal that Costco's in-store wireless kiosks may begin offering AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads beginning on Thursday, August 28. The offer applies only to devices activated at the kiosk rather than iPhones or iPads that may be offered on the main sales floor. Costco resumed selling iTunes gift cards after a nearly four-year dispute with Apple ended in early June; iPhone and iPad sales were resumed just before the end of that month.

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WSJ: Apple, Pearson to re-bid on LA school district tablet program

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: education, Apple, iPad

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that both Apple and educational curriculum and textbook publisher Pearson will re-bid on a new contract to supply the LA United School District (LAUSD) with computer and tablet options as part of a program that could eventually grow to $500 million. Both companies were the core of the previous contract that would have seen all students receiving iPads, but questions of cost overruns, problems and lack of transparency combined to force the district to cancel that arrangement.

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California court denies Apple injunction against Samsung products

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.

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Fifth OS X 10.9.5 beta goes out to developers

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple

A little over a week after the last one, Apple has issued a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is identified as build 13F24. Areas of testing focus remain unchanged, and include Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.

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T-Mobile adds six music streaming services to Music Freedom program

Wed August 27, 2014 | Posted in: audio

T-Mobile is expanding its Music Freedom program, almost doubling the number of music streaming services which can be used by subscribers without touching their LTE allowance. The seven existing music services, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, and Spotify, have been joined by another six, just two months after the carrier launched the initiative.

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