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Latest News


Tor network servers experience outage after leaked warnings

2 hours ago | Posted in: security, troubleshooting, hacks

Last Friday, the Tor Project blog posted about a possible threat that some of its servers would be seized in an attempt to incapacitate or hijack the Tor network. Over the weekend, a group of "exit node" servers in a Dutch datacenter went down, and then came back online. The service, a volunteer network of relays aiming to provide anonymity and security, says it was warned of suspicious activity that may have been instigated by law enforcement.



Apple issues NTP Security Update for several editions of OS X

5 hours ago | Posted in: security, software, networking, Apple

Apple has released what it calls a "critical" patch for OS X, dubbed the NTP Security Update. The code is currently being pushed to users via the Mac App Store, and solves vulnerabilities within the Network Time Protocol. The update is available for Mountain Lion (10.8.x), Mavericks (10.9), and Yosemite (10.10). While no known attack exploits the now-patched vulnerabilities, the discovery appears to be serious enough to merit immediate attention.



Hands On: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy (OS X, Windows)

6 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

Let's start by getting one thing straight: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is not designed for the casual gamer. It is an extremely detailed affair, that has been designed to create a fairly accurate replication of war on the Normandy battlefield. Combat Mission is not a game of quick rushes and gathering resources, but instead requires players to thoughtfully plan out their military tactics one step at a time. It is a game of incredible detail, so if you are new to the game (as we were) be prepared to spend a couple hours just learning how to play, before you really get into your first fight.



Apple supplier Pegatron promises to investigate labor abuses

6 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple supplier Pegatron has issued a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, promising to investigate and fix labor abuses uncovered through a recently-aired BBC documentary. The company states that worker safety is its top priority, and that it runs strict training for both regular workers and management. It also notes the use of external inspectors in audits -- presumably referring to the teams used by Apple -- and says that it offers many ways for workers to submit feedback. During 2014, the company has allegedly resolved 94 percent of complaints within three days.



Monday Deals: Gigabit routers, Ultra HD television, games, more

7 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage

Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us -- there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something, for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time.



Hands On: Calista (iOS)

7 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad, iPad apps

Everyone's familiar with current trends in photos that keep popping up across the Internet. One part indie-rock and one part Photoshop, their soft colors and multiple filters have become the new cool thing. Originally these images took time, effort, and at least a basic understanding of Photoshop. Now, however, something like Calista by ThinkSuit gives users the ability to make these straight from the comfort of a handheld device.



12-inch MacBook Air entering production early next year, report says

9 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gadgets

Production of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air -- along with the Apple Watch -- should enter mass production in the first quarter of 2014, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. Suppliers are allegedly beginning to accelerate work on related components. The new Air is expected to have an Intel Broadwell processor, and an even thinner and lighter design.



Apple opens up official iTunes page on Tumblr

10 hours 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

11 hours 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, our gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season.



Apple's Russian online store returns with major price hikes

11 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 now 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

12 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

12 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

12 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Walt Disney World in Florida will start accepting Apple Pay at bars, kiosks, stores, and other locations beginning on December 24, 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 a 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

13 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.



Public gets new beta of OS X 10.10.2

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

Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2 to pre-registered Yosemite testers. 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

Sun December 21, 2014 | 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.


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Previous News

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.


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.


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