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Wink Hub smart home devices suffer outage caused by software update

2 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, software

Owners of the Wink Hub smart home device have endured a major service outage yesterday, following a software update. The outage, which lasted from 12:40pm eastern until 11pm, prevented the hubs from being able to perform general smart home functions, and though many hubs were able to recover from the incident, a number are having to be returned to the manufacturer and replaced.

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Hands On: Pagico 6.8 (OS X, iOS, Windows)

3 hours ago | Posted in:

When To Do apps just aren't powerful enough for you, when OmniPlan is too powerful and when Microsoft Project might be powerful enough but is only on Windows, there is Pagico. It is a mid-range project management app which means it doesn't have superpowers but it does have strength and it does have ease of use.

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Researcher: OS X 'Rootpipe' attack fix not reliable, attacks possible

3 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

Researchers from security firm Synack have determined that Apple's latest patch for the "Rootpipe" privilege escalation flaw remain mostly unfixed, even on OS X 10.10 "Yosemite." Ex-NSA staff member Patrick Wardle examined the new patch, and found a new path around Apple's security fix, leaving the computer unprotected from hostile users with physical access. In other developments, the malware is loose in the wild and has been for some time, but is a discrete app and still not a remote attack.

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Hands On: Sorcery! 1.4.3 and Sorcery! 2 1.1.4 (iOS, Android)

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

The third installment of Steve Jackson's Sorcery will be out later this month, so we sat down with the first and second chapters in preparation. Sorcery and Sorcery 2 are, at their core, choose-your-own-adventure style experiences, but it all has a very vintage table-top RPG flair we really appreciate.

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WSJ: Apple aiming for Canadian Apple Pay launch in November

7 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

A new report suggests that Apple is currently in negotiations with Canada's six major banks to bring Apple Pay to the country as early as November. With UnionPay negotiations with China currently stalled, Canada could be one of the first countries outside the US to get Apple Pay. The six major banks -- BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, ScotiaBank, and TD Canada Trust -- account for 90 percent of retail bank accounts, and are also the primary banks behind the country's Interac debit card system, and Interac Flash contactless payment system, which Apple Pay would have to support.

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Apple now notifying winners of 2015 WWDC ticket lottery

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: developer, Apple

On Friday, lucky recipients started receiving emails that they had been selected at random in a ticket lottery to register for the company's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, which will start on June 8. The ticket lottery was required due to the incredible growth of Apple's iOS and OS X developer programs, which have nearly-instantly sold out over the last few years, and the company's desire to continue the conference at Moscone West, which allows for a total of 5,350 attendees, not counting press or the 1,000 Apple engineers who will be on hand.

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Report: Apple improves revenue for devs over Android in 2015

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, developer, mobile phones, Apple

A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a set of charts from the analytics firm, Apple's revenue from app sales is about 70 percent higher than Google Play, while Google's downloads outpaced Apple's by 70 percent.

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Hands On: Sue Doku 2.0.0 (iOS)

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Bad news for fellow addicts of the iPad game Sue Doku: it's been updated, and is now a universal app. You do hear that term a lot, and it often isn't explained, so let us clear that up now: a universal app means Sue Doku is now available on both your iPad and iPhone. Translation: distraction. It's just a sudoku app, we can stop playing any time, but it is a particularly well done one on the iPad, and enough so that we sidled back to our desk to quietly pick up our phones and download it immediately.

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Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 copies of DiRT 3 racing

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: computers, Apple

Earlier this year Feral Interactive released their latest racing game, DiRT 3 for Mac. We got our hands on a copy for review a few weeks back and had some fun taking this off-road racing game through the wringer. The fun doesn't stop there though, we have 5 Steam redemption codes to share with 5 lucky winners.

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Apple Watch: Basics class, Schiller and Newson in Italy, sales poll

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: education, gadgets, Apple

Although the unexpected sellout of the Apple Watch will put a crimp of unavailability in the works, Apple is going ahead with new "Apple Watch Basics" workshops at some of its retail stores beginning April 24. The lucky relative few who will receive their pre-orders on or near launch day, along with those who are still waiting, are likely to be the chief participants in the workshops, which will run through May 8 in the US only. The classes will run approximately 60 minutes in order to cover all of the many key features of the new device.

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Forums: OSX compatibility, iPhone screen replacements and more

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: computers, peripherals, troubleshooting, software, Apple

This week in the MacNN Forums, Moderator "andi*pandi&" recently scored a white MacBook and discovered they are able to upgrade the OS for free, but wonders if 10.10 would "run like a dead horse" on that machine, or if it would be alright. Yesterday one Dedicated MacNNer announced the breaking of his wife's iPhone 4 screen, and has a few questions about buying a replacement.

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Apple deals: iPods, iPads and accessories

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, peripherals, accessories, Apple, iPad

At Apple's online store right now, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods, iPads and Apple Accessories. The 5th generation refurbished 16GB iPod touch is now only $149 after a $30 price break, but for even more bang for your buck, get the 32GB 4th generation Touch for only $10 more, now $159. The 4th generation 64GB Touch is also a steal at $209 after a $120 discount.

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Briefly: Scribd audio book expansion, Cocktail upgrades to 8.3

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: computers, software

Subscription reading service Scribd announced that it is expanding its audiobook offering to include more than 9,000 audiobooks from Penguin Random House Audio, increasing Scribd's audiobook selection to more than 45,000 titles. New titles include fiction and non-fiction by internationally renowned authors such as Alice Munro, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Anne Rice, Sue Grafton, Deepak Chopra, Danielle Steele and more. The monthly subscription fee remains at $9 per month, with a free one month trial available.

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Daily Deals: waterproof cellphone bag, smart TV, velcro ties, more!

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, audio

Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers to find discounts, offers, and sales for you, our discerning readers. A recap of still-active deals from the rest of the week follows the new deals batch, which includes an inexpensive hybrid hard drive/SSD for the desktop, a great deal on the 850 evo SSD, and a good price on a smart TV.

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Pointers: Getting Started with Spotify

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

There are other streaming music services and you can well argue that there are better ones, but Spotify is winning the war to become the Hoover, Biro and iPad of its class: the brand name that somehow becomes synonymous with the idea. At least, nobody tells you what their favourite iTunes Radio station is, no one in the world sends you links to Pandora and it's like few people have heard of Beats. Yet. However, Spotify is known even by normal people and it is a way in to streaming music.

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Apple Game Roundup: Age of Wonders III, Halo: Spartan Strike, more

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at Halo: Spartan Strike for iOS, Amplitude Studios' free weekend on Steam, WWE 2K for iOS, and the shipment of Age of Wonders III alongside its new expansion pack.

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Apple, SunPower team for pair of 20MW solar installations in China

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40MW in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China. When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development, SunPower's project development joint venture, and Apple.  

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US SEC investigating LA bond sale around troublesome iPad deal

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Adding a further level of complexity to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed iPad program, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an "informal inquiry" to investigate if the school complied with legal requirements for bond usage in the purchase. The agency is reportedly examining if the contract was properly disclosed to investors, and if sufficient documentation was provided to insure the bonds were used legally.

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Briefly: Steve Dowling promotion, iOS 8.4 audiobooks change, CarPlay

Fri April 17, 2015 | Posted in: software, Apple

Nearly a year after former Apple PR chief Katie Cotton retired from the post, Apple has finally named her successor: her lieutenant and interim chief, Steve Dowling. For the past 12 years, Dowling has been one of the lead spokespeople for the company, and was in charge of the iPhone maker's corporate PR team. Having filled in for Cotton since October, he will formally take the reins of the company's worldwide communications strategy. Prior to joining Apple, Dowling was a CNBC broadcaster covering tech news. The company also recently hired well-known MacWorld columnist Chris Breen for an unnamed promotional role.

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Jawbone launches Up2 fitness tracker, Up4 with payment facility

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Jawbone has launched two new fitness wearables, with one hinted at by a report yesterday. The Up2 is the successor to the Up24, taking the form of a more modest fitness tracker compared to the delayed Up3, while the Up4 is a more advanced device that will be able to make payments in retail stores via a partnership with American Express and an NFC chip.

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Apple offers first OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 beta, focuses on stability

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple

Just a week after the official release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 and days after the first beta of iOS 8.4, Apple has posted the first 10.10.4 beta for developers and testers, though it is has not been (and is not likely to be) made available to public beta testers until future builds are released. The sparse announcement of the new beta says only that the update focuses on "stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac," which suggests it will build on the improvements made in 10.10.3.

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Apple Watch: new videos, accessibility features, Lagerfeld gold band

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: education, gadgets, Apple

Yesterday, Apple posted four new videos to its site and YouTube channel showcasing additional tent-pole features of the Apple Watch, including handling phone calls, interacting with Siri, music playback, and Maps usage. Last week the company had posted a general overview tutorial video, along with shorter ones focusing on Digital Touch, messaging, and customizing the watch face. The videos reveal minor details of the various operations previously not publicized.

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Apple releases supplemental 10.10.3 update over video issues

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, developer, Apple

On Thursday, Apple released a rare supplemental update to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 that resolves a bug in a video driver that was causing some Mac owners to report startup issues or even full-blown kernel panics "when running certain apps that capture video," said the company. Users were reported longer-than-normal startup times or crashes. Not fixed by the new update are scattered reports of problems opening large JPEG files using Preview of QuickLook, but this is again not a universal issue.

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The Conservation Fund, Apple team up to buy 36,000 acres of woodland

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

Apple, in conjunction with The Conservation Fund, is planning on a 36,000 acre purchase of forest land. The forests will be harvested in an eco-friendly way to supply Apple, and other companies needing pulp for packaging, and will be managed with "an eye toward the long-term economic well-being of the forest," according to a joint press release.

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Daily Deals: Belkin WeMo, Dell laser printers, Garmin Vivofit

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we find great offers, discounts, sales, and deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of still-active deals from earlier this week comes alongside new items including the Belkin WeMo Wi-Fi enabled light switch, an all-in-one laser printer from Dell, and the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band.

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Hands On: TapSlide v1.0 (iOS)

Thu April 16, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Puzzle games are considered casual gaming, requiring little skill to solve the problems presented. However, every so often we come across a game that poses an actual challenge, a game that is mind-meltingly difficult, and that's what we've discovered today. We took a look at Tapslide, a game that will give even the most battle-hardened puzzle players a mental workout.

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