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Latest News


Apple opens up official iTunes page on Tumblr

31 minutes ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple has expanded its presence in social media with a new Tumblr blog dedicated to iTunes. At the moment the site focuses mainly on Apple's Best of 2014 content, in categories including movies, music, TV, and books. The company has had very little presence on Tumblr so far; it launched a page dedicated to the iPhone 5c in March, but has otherwise ignored the site.



Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for gamers

1 hour ago | Posted in: gaming, peripherals, gadgets

Gamers can be very selective in the types of things they want for the holidays, but Electronista and MacNN are offering some hints on gadgets that should appeal to any gamer on the shopping list. From smaller items that enhance play on consoles and computers to a tablet that allows gamers the ultimate on-the-go experience, out gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season.



Apple's Russian online store returns with major price hikes

2 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple's Russian online store is back online, following an almost week-long downtime. The store was taken down to review and change prices, and accordingly many products are now substantially more expensive. A 16GB iPhone 6 is 53,990 rubles, or about $988, far higher than the 34,990 rubles ($643) it sold for previously. A Retina iMac starts at 189,990 rubles, or $3,467. The same system is $2,499 in the US.



Staples confirms attack on retail system, over 1M credit cards stolen

2 hours ago | Posted in: security

An intrusion into Staples' point-of-sales systems earlier this year put 1.16 million credit and debit cards at risk, the retailer admitted on Friday. Approximately 115 of the company's 1,400 retail stores across the United States were affected by malware on its systems, though the store apparently managed to eradicate the malware and improve system security in mid-September.


iOS apps: Air Display 2, Papers 3, Jelly

2 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 41MB

    Air Display 2 2.0.5 ($10)

    Air Display 2 can be used to turn an iOS device into a wireless display for any Mac or Windows computer. The app can be used to extend a computer desktop or to mirror the desktop on up to four iPads simultaneously. The latest update is strictly a maintenance release that resolves a stability issue.

  • 42.8MB

    Papers 3 3.2.5 ($8)

    Papers 3 can be used to find, read, organize, and sync research papers. Along with a hose of performance and stability improvements, the v3.2.5 update will also now run in native resolution on both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. A context-sensitive “import” feature also now appears in the web browser window depending on the type of webpage that is being viewed.

  • 9.5MB

    Jelly 1.4 (free)

    Jelly is a social network where users can ask questions, which can be accompanied by images, maps, and locations to add context. Version 1.4 resolves a crash that occurs when asking a new question.

  • 16.2MB

    Mint 3.8.1 (free)

    Mint is a finance management app that can help users keep track of spending across all of their accounts. A number of tools for creating and tracking a budget are also included in the app, along with support for syncing data across multiple devices. Improvements for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are featured in this update, as well as improved TouchID support, and a new look and feel.

  • 28.6MB

    Movies by Flixster 6.19 (free)

    Movies provides users with reviews, trailers, and showtimes for all of the movies currently in theaters. Users can also find information on upcoming movies and titles recently released on DVD. The v6.19 update offers bug fixes, improved stability, and better performance.


Disney World to begin accepting Apple Pay on Christmas Eve

2 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Walt Disney World in Florida will start accepting Apple Pay at bars, kiosks, stores, and other locations beginning on December 24th, Disney has announced. The move comes as a part of the company's MyMagic+ program, which is supporting more wireless payment options -- such as Google Wallet and special credit cards -- as NFC and RFID infrastructure expands. While wide variety of outlets will support Apple Pay, places that use portable payment terminals (such as table service restaurants) will have to wait.



Crowdfunding Critic: Codename Morningstar iOS roleplaying assistant

3 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Earlier this month, we had talked about the falling out between Wizards of the Coast and Trapdoor Technologies over DungeonScape (or Codename: Morningstar, depending on the day), which was supposed to be the answer to every dungeon master's prayers. DungeonScape was gearing up to be an application, available for both tablets and computers, and its aim was to help eliminate the lengthy setup times and give users the ability to look up rules and equipment at a glance. Under a month after gaming company Wizards of the Coast killed the partnership, Trapdoor Technologies launched a Kickstarter in hopes of funding the project for an April 2015 release. With less than two weeks before their Kickstarter ends, they're considerably far away from their $425,000 goal. Before we discuss the lofty goal, readers should be made aware of what the application is supposed to do.



Public gets new beta of OS X 10.10.2

4 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, Apple

Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2. The code is identified as build 14C81h, and follows the third developer beta of the update, which was build 14C81f. For that Apple asked developers to concentrate testing on areas such as Mail, VoiceOver, and Wi-Fi connections.



Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred, Telltale's Minecraft

19 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

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 a narrative-based Minecraft game, a judge gives the go-ahead on a Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft is exploring in-game purchasable game time tokens, and Majesco Entertainment's receiving an investor cash infusion.



Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises attacks on NK

Sun December 21, 2014 | Posted in: security, hacks

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.



Hands On: Lumy (iOS)

Sun December 21, 2014 | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad apps

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 hour," or the "golden hour," but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really 60 minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint how much of that limited time you actually have be helpful?



Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console bundles, more [U]

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, software, accessories

[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, be sure to return to this post over the weekend, as more deals will be added as time goes on.



BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148 million quarterly loss

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry, mobile phones

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 challenging.



Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app; Switcheasy's new releases

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, iPhone apps, iPad

Savage Interactive has released an iPhone version of its 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.



Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class action suit settlement

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: industry, networking

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.



Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls for 'time out'

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: industry

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 as the cause of 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."



Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design, Apple

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. While it's obvious we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out rough images -- and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application of sufficient calibre that 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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Previous News

NK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony pulls movie promos

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: industry, security

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling the recent FBI statement identifying the country as the culprit "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. The government of North Korea continues to deny that they hack, which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, can on the country.


Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

Sat December 20, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

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 Boggle, and your Hangmen - and variations on those themes. But what about apps 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.


Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all digital payments

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, security, Apple

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced in October -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments - for comparison purposes, the three-plus-year-old Google Wallet system holds about four percent of 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.


Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: software, Apple

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.


Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: software, Apple

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, POP3, 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.


Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in Jobs biopic

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

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 thought to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, Jobs' wife Laurene Powell Jobs, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head.


DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo app content

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, iPhone apps, mobile phones, iPad apps

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service 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 such as cable operators.


Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, upgrades/storage, Apple

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, a Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite.


Apple deals: refurbished Mac Pros starting at $2,549

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

This week, Apple's online store has a selection of refurbished MacBook Pro models on sale for as low as $2,549. The refurbished 2013 Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics has been cut by $450 to $2,549. Priced at $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz Intel six-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.


DealNN: Mac minis, SSDs and more

Fri December 19, 2014 | Posted in: computers, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, Apple

Right now at B&, snap up a great deal on a Mac mini, which has seen a $80 discount -- from $999 down to $919. That discount makes this the best price we have seen on this configuration by about $20. It features a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. It is backed by Apple's standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.


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