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Introducing two books from MacNN writers

20 minutes ago | Posted in: education, software

If you've been following our Wednesday Pointers column over the last nine weeks, you'll know that the column on that day was devoted to documenting the process of writing a book, and then turning that manuscript into a real, buyable, out-in-the-world e-book and paperback. That book, William Gallagher's The Blank Screen: Blogging, is now available -- and an e-book version of the columns has also been created.

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Apple pushes out beta 6 of OS X 10.11 El Capitan

2 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple

Exactly one week after the last developer beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple has issued another update to the forthcoming OS X upgrade, which is scheduled to appear this fall, and likely to debut some time in September. The previous beta, 15A235d, did not list any significant changes or fixes, but focused primarily on small UI tweaks and bug fixes. The new beta, build 15A244d, is likely to have followed the same path.

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Hands On: Griffin Helo TC Chopper

4 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, iPhone apps, iPad apps

One of the greatest things about smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled tablets is the sheer amount of crazy gadgets that go along with them. You can control lights, air conditioners, cameras and more, all from your iPhone or iPad -- but what about things that are designed for fun? What about Bluetooth-enabled toys? Today, we're here to tell you about one of the most fun gadgets we've had a chance to look at, Griffin's Helo TC Chopper.

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Hacking team creates Thunderstrike-based Mac firmware worm

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, troubleshooting, developer, Apple

A new exploit has been developed that could threaten Mac security by leveraging vulnerabilities in firmware rather than software, making the worm nearly impossible to remove. While sounding more ominous than any threat since the original firmware-based Thunderstrike (which was limited to a proof-of-concept with no reported attacks), leading security experts say this new threat is also very low-risk.

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Daily Deals: Fire TV Stick, 24-inch Dell monitor, Duracell batteries

5 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. The old deals from last week have been wiped from the list completely, with the new deals for this week including the Amazon Fire TV Stick for $25, a 24-inch Dell monitor for $185, and a massive selection of Duracell batteries from Woot.

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Dr. Dre to release new album as an Apple Music, iTunes exclusive

5 hours ago | Posted in: audio, Apple

Following a hiatus from his own music career since 1999's 2001, Apple music executive Andre Young -- better known to the world as rapper, producer, radio host and entrepreneur Dr. Dre -- will release his new album, Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, as an exclusive to be streamed on Apple Music, and sold digitally on iTunes. Dre has also exclusively allowed the streaming of his first solo album, 1992's The Chronic, on Apple Music.

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Apple reportedly working on voicemail transcription service

6 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, software, Apple

Siri may one day answer phone calls and transcribe voicemail messages for its users, a report claims, a feature that could end up being more important than the introduction of Visual Voicemail. Employees at Apple are allegedly testing a service which will listen to voicemail messages, transcribe them into text-based versions, and then have them delivered to the user's iPhone, allowing for the content of the message to be quickly understood by the user, without needing to listen to the voicemail at all.

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App Update: BookletCreator, Roccat Browser, Google Chrome, more

7 hours ago | Posted in: software

App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we look at revisions to BookletCreator, Roccat Browser, Google Chrome, Kodi, Vienna, and Nova Golf.

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Fujifilm releases infrared-capable X-T1 IR mirrorless camera

7 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Fujifilm has announced an update to its flagship mirrorless camera line. The new Fujifilm X-T1 IR is the company's first infrared X-Series mirrorless camera that delivers high performance in demanding fields for technical experts, law enforcement, medical research and scientific communities. Sharing nearly identical specifications as the original, the new model adds advanced infrared technology to see light from the ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared (IR) portions of the light spectrum with a range of approximately 380nm through 1,000nm.

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Briefly: Cook in Istanbul, IBM to order up to 200,000 MacBooks

7 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gadgets, enterprise, Apple

Over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a surprise visit to Turkey on Saturday to be present at the two Apple Stores in the country's largest city, Istanbul, to celebrate the arrival of the Apple Watch to the country. The Apple Watch Sport starts at 1,249 Turkish Lira (TRY), which translates to about $450 US at the current exchange rate. The company now has two stores in Istanbul, a flagship store at the Zorlu Center mall, and another at the Akasya Shopping Center.

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MacNN Deals: Improve your network, secure your online activities

8 hours ago | Posted in: software, networking

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals, we are highlighting some of the offers available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's trio of offers are ways to improve your wireless connectivity, from making sure your home or work network is operating optimally, to ways to keep yourself safe online with a choice of two VPN services.

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Hands On: Vox 2.5.1 (OS X, iOS)

9 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPad apps

This is the most beautiful, even mesmerising app and where you always want to shout loudly about great software, we wanted to stand on desks and bellow that Vox 2.5.1 is a gorgeous music player and service. Unfortunately, we more stood by desks arguing over it. It was 50/50 between one side of MacNN saying it is stunning with some problems and the other half saying those problems were just too much. Both sides are right: we long to recommend this to you but if we do, we have to prepare you for frustrations.

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Taking Apple Music for a drive: the non-techie point of view

9 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

We're a completely Mac and iOS household but it's my husband William who is the techie one. Look left a bit and there's me. Hello. I just want to use the stuff without understanding the innards. So MacNN asked me for a non-geek review of Apple Music.

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Analyst: iMac refresh due in third quarter with KSF-based screens

10 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple will be refreshing its iMac range with a selection of new processors and better displays sometime in the third quarter, among other predictions from an analyst at KGI Securities. Ming-Chi Kuo suggests the new panels will use an LED phosphor material called KSF, said to provide a significant boost to color saturation and picture quality of the display, though there appear to be some issues with some of what the analyst suggests.

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AT&T, DirecTV launch first combined wireless, television plans

10 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Following its very recent acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T has rolled out the first of its combined nationwide package of TV and wireless services from a single provider on one bill beginning August 10. The low-end offer includes HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines, and 10GB of shareable wireless data for $200 a month.

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Pointers: Fix Waiting Apps (iOS)

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

You may never have seen this, in which case you have a good day now. The rest of us have turned to our iPhones and found that an app we need urgently is greyed out for no clear reason. Or a whole folder is. Or the app does say Installing and you realise it must be an update as you installed this one months ago -- but then it keeps on saying Installing. Perhaps the very worst is when it just says Waiting. Surely, there can be no worse torture inflicted on a law-abiding iOS user than having an app say Waiting, in perpetuity.

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Previous News

Living With: Knomo Leather Case

11 hours ago | Posted in:

Seven years ago I spent a fortune on a fashion item without realising it. It was a Knomo leather case and I did not know that Knomo is a big name in fashion until my wife Angela told me so about twenty minutes ago. All I knew was that it cost £80 (about $125) and that I had bought it in a London Apple Store because I felt I had little choice. Flash forward seven years and I still have the bag but it's contents are completely different -- and now I'm getting men stopping me on the street to ask about it.

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Briefly: Nokia sells Here maps, Windows 10 high adoption rate

12 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, software

Nokia is selling its mapping business to a collection of German car manufacturers. The Here mapping arm is being picked up by Audi, BMW, and Daimler for €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion,) with the technology likely to be used in in-car navigation systems and to help self-driving research being performed by each of the manufacturers. Despite the sale, the Here team advises that the mobile app version will still be available, as it is likely to help car-based mapping systems and other markets.

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Game Replay: Super Smash Bros. on YouTube, Nvidia Shield Tablet recall

20 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Nintendo adds more costumes and YouTube uploads to Super Smash Bros., Nvidia recalls the Shield Tablet over safety concerns, Sony allows PlayStation Plus subscribers to vote on which free games they will get, and Worms 4 is heading to iOS.

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MacNN's Week That Was: July 26 through August 2, 2015

22 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software, digital imaging, Apple

Hopefully you have had an enjoyable weekend, and are starting to wind down in preparation for the start of the working week, so why not relive the bits you may have missed. In this weekly discussion, we look at the stories that entertained us, informed us, or just plain tickled us in the course of the week. Yes, this does include talk of Windows 10, because it's just too important an item not to talk about here. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game.

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Leaks of 'iPhone 6s' parts show few hardware changes

Sun August 2, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

As one might expect once the unit entered larger-scale production in anticipation of a September release, leaked images from factory workers in China of the next release of iPhones are increasing in frequency, and are increasingly likely to be legitimate. The images thus far have revealed little in the way of changes to the design or casing of the next iPhones, likely to be called the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus," despite rumors of significant new features.

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Opinion: The trouble with the Music app for iOS

Sun August 2, 2015 | Posted in: software, Apple

In response to Jim Dalrymple's troubles with Apple Music and its problematic integration with iTunes and iTunes Match, Marco Arment wrote a piece recently that provided a good explanation of why this seems to have reached a tipping point. While Arment highlighted a range of issues, one that he said he didn't want to get "started on" was the Music iOS app. In the absence of Arment's views, I have put forward what my issues with the Music app for iOS are here.

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Pointers: the iOS troubleshooting and device maintenance guide

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

Today's Pointers column was inspired by a real-life incident in which an acquaintance asked me for help in picking out a new iPad. Knowing that they had a fourth-generation iPad -- not far removed from the iPad Air 2 that I have -- I asked why. "Doesn't work anymore," they grumbled resentfully. "Lots of crashes, some apps don't even launch now." I asked if it had ever been turned off. "Every night," they said. I said, "no, not put to sleep -- turned off." "You can do that?!" they exclaimed.

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Daily Deals: Toshiba external drive, Onkyo headphones, Harry Potter

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Still-active deals from yesterday are accompanied by a new wave of offers, including Onkyo headphones for $60, an external Toshiba 1TB hard drive and Wi-Fi adapter for $65, and all of the Harry Potter movie franchise films in various formats.

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Strategy Analytics: Apple now second-biggest mobile phone maker

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, Apple

A new study by Strategy Analytics has confirmed Apple CEO Tim Cook's claim that iPhone sales were up a staggering 35 percent year-over-year, making Apple the smartphone maker with the second-highest mobile phone shipments overall, including "feature phones." The remaining-but-shrinking market for low-end smartphones and feature phones is what keeps Samsung in first, but Apple's marketshare rose to 10.9 percent share, compared to last year's 8.2 percent.

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Hands On: Bee 1.0 (iOS)

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

The world seems to hate email, but it isn't going anywhere -- and those of us who like it are bemused at attempts to replace it. Microsoft Send didn't strike a chord with us but actually, maybe Bee 1.0 does. It's definitely got a place in adding convenience and speed to emails, though probably not if you're a heavy user of Apple's Mail, and definitely not if you're wedded to Gmail or Outlook.

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