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Apple drops cross-appeal against Samsung, gives up injunction

1 hour 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

3 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

5 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 key, new NPR One app

7 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. Room selection is anticipated to be available by the end of the year, and will include DoubleTree and Embassy Suites. 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 world-wide with these new app-based functionalities.

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

9 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

10 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

10 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

12 hours ago | 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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iOS apps: Bartender, TotalFinder, VLC Media Player

12 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 5.2MB

    Bartender 1.2.20 ($15)

    Bartender allows users to clean up their menu bar by hiding, rearranging, or moving menubar items into the Bartender bar. The latest release includes support for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a number of fixes for issues specific to the latest Yosemite builds.

  • 7.8MB

    TotalFinder 1.6.2 ($18)

    TotalFinder is a tool that adds tabs, hot keys, and other various tweaks to the Mac OS X Finder. New to v1.6.2 is initial compatibility for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a TotalFinderDockIconIgnoresVisor tweak that has been requested by users. A scenario where the cut selection would stop updating itself has also been fixed and a number of general stability improvements have been made.

  • 33.5MB

    VLC Media Player 2.1.5 (free)

    VLC Media Player includes support for a wide range of audio and video file formats, including DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Version 2.1.5 includes a number of fixes and improvements, including a more stable QTSound capture module, correct video-on-top support, a larger audio output buffer size, and a fix for DxVA2 sample decoding.

  • 57.7MB

    Cyberduck 4.5.1 (free)

    CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. A connection failure that occurs when sandboxing denies access to ~/.ssh/known_hosts has been fixed with this update.

  • 11.2MB

    Default Folder X 4.6.8 ($35)

    Default Folder X provides users with quick access to folders and commands by attaching a toolbar to the right side of Open and Save dialogs in OS X. The v4.6.8 update fixes a code signing problem that prevented the previous release from enhancing some applications when running Yosemite.

 
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Uber closes Javascript hack exposing driver review of passengers

12 hours ago | 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

12 hours ago | 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

20 hours ago | 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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Previous News

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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Yosemite public beta launch doubles presence in web traffic

Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: software, developer, Apple

Though the increase is insignificant in the larger picture of overall global Mac web traffic, new numbers from GoSquared suggest that the release yesterday of the Yosemite (OS X 10.10) public beta, limited to a pool of one million Apple ID holders already running Mavericks, doubled the number of people using the forthcoming new update on the web literally overnight. According to GoSquared's live analytics page, use of Yosemite jumped from 0.26 percent on Thursday to 0.57 percent on Friday.

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Apple buys book analytics site BookLamp to aid iBookstore discovery

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

On Friday, Apple revealed that it had purchased book analytics and discovery company BookLamp for an undisclosed sum, though TechCrunch estimated the sale between $10-15 million. While it acknowledged the deal, the iPhone maker's only comment on the deal was its standard "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" line. The company is likely to use BookLamp technology in its iBookstore to help readers discover new content.

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SEC: Apple bought back another $5 billion in stock in June quarter

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Regulatory filings with the SEC have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.

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Cellphone unlocking bill without bulk unlock ban passed by House

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, security, mobile phones

In an unexpected move, and avoiding a potential fight, the House of Representatives has passed bill S517, aiming to make cellphone unlocking legal. The amended bill, passed by the Senate last week, was passed with no changes -- a controversial clause of the bill previously passed by the House, prohibiting bulk unlocking by companies, has been removed from the final passed version.

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Forums: Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple

This week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" asks "Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?", to which a variety of answers ranging from "I'm ecstatic" to "Yosemite is...eh" have been provided. Dedicated MacNNer "gregfripp" is trying to fix something in his dock, but is unable to do so, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Apple deals: budget priced Macs from $719

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

Today Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Mac models on sale, starting as low as $719. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $130 to $719. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives down to $849.

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Verizon to begin throttling some 'unlimited' LTE users

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, networking, mobile phones, iPad

Starting October 1, Verizon will begin throttling some of its "unlimited" LTE users, according to an official announcement. The carrier promises that only five percent of that group -- those using 4.7GB or more per month -- will be affected, and "only in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand." Unlimited 3G access has been throttled in a similar manner for some time.

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DealNN: $300 off 15.4-inch rMBP

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: computers, peripherals, Apple

This week at B&H.com, save $300 on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro which has been cut from $3,099 down to $2,799. That discount makes this nearly $160 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Included is a free copy of either Parallels Desktop 9 or LoJack. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell) processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.

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