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Hands On: Cato's Hike 1.3 (iOS)

2 minutes ago | Posted in: education, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Cato's Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey by Hesham Wahba is an iOS app for helping kids, and adults if they're so inclined, to learn about programming. The app utilizes an object-oriented language of "cards" and customizable maps to demonstrate the various principles. The app is very cute, and we liked the idea of the cards format for the programs. We think Cato's Hike is a good tool for a parent or teacher to guide a would-be programmer to a better understanding of how it's done.

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Apple's Cook addresses personal, tech privacy issues in speech

18 minutes ago | Posted in:

Even as the Republican-dominated US Senate passed a measure attempting to restore some -- but not all -- of the government's bulk data-collection powers (which expired on Monday), Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated his role as America's leading corporate pro-privacy advocate by speaking via teleconferencing at an event hosted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, where he was honored as one of America's "Champions of Freedom."

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MacNN Deals: Start up your startup with Swift courses, design bundles

1 hour ago | Posted in: software, developer, audio

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're looking at a collection of items that could help you start up your own startup, with training packages for designing business assets and creating software accompanied by an important tool for keeping concentration high: earphones.

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Citing slight risk of fire, Apple recalls Beats Pill XL speakers

2 hours ago | Posted in: audio, Apple

Apple today announced a voluntary recall of Beats Pill XL speakers, including a refund for customers. Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. The recall does not affect any other Beats or Apple products.

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Apple support document confirms Apple TV at core of HomeKit network

3 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Confirming speculation, Apple has posted a support document for HomeKit which spells out that a third generation Apple TV can be used as a hub for a system. With an Apple TV as a central point, users can control HomeKit devices while away from the home network with an iOS device.

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Pointers: Summer Project -- E-publishing, part two

4 hours ago | Posted in: education, software

Don't look at us like that. Planning is exciting -- or at least, it is essential. If you're a writer, then the thing you want to do is write; and if you're a publisher, then the thing you want is for that writer to have written, please, so that you can get on with your work. Our job in this Summer Project is to create a real book -- paperback and ebook -- and do so in front of you with only one massive cheat. As explained in last week's introduction, the cheat is that this isn't just playing around with the tools, and this book wasn't conjured up for the series.

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Hands On: Colour Madness 1.6 (iOS)

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

Reflex-driven games require a special sort of gamer. You have to like stress. Not just like it, but relish it. Hair-trigger reflexes and the ability to make a split-second decision are two important qualities to posses when playing these type of games. If that sounds like the type of gamer you are, then we'd suggest you check out Colour Madness.

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Living With: Apple Watch

5 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

As I write this, it is one month to the day since my Apple Watch arrived -- and I only know that because I looked it up. It simultaneously feels like I have always had one and that it is still a new toy. Those two things can't both be true, but they are and really it just means I am firmly in that time when I just don't appreciate that I'm actually a lucky git for having one.

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Game Center outage hits some users throughout Tuesday

10 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

Following a series of short but widespread iCloud and online storefront-related outages, Apple's Game Center has been down since early Tuesday afternoon (Pacific TIme), and as of late Tuesday has still not yet been resolved. According to the company's system status page, every area of Apple's online services saw some level of outage on Tuesday, with a morning disruption of Siri, Apple Pay, storefront, and iCloud services followed by a second disruption of the online stores in the early evening.

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Forums: Mavericks sharing preferences and more

19 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

Late last week in the MacNN forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "JB1000" had some questions about the sharing preferences in Mavericks, but has yet to find a solution. Today "andi*pandi" has been trying to figure out how to synch sms messages across iPhone and iPad, assuming that they would synch automatically after upgrading to 8.3.

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Apple deals: iPods, iPads and iMacs

19 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, computers, Apple, iPad

This week at Apple's online store, save on a selection of refurbished items from iPods to iMacs. A $30 price cut is offered on the refurbished 5th generation 16GB iPod touch, which has been reduced to $149 from $179. The 32GB 5th generation touch has been cut to $199, while the 64GB configuration has seen a $60 drop to $239.

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Apple Game Roundup: XCOM 2, App Store tweak, Heroes of the Storm [u]

21 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

[Update: Heroes of the Storm is out for OS X] On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the announcement of XCOM 2, a tweak to the way Apple displays content in the App Store, and the coming release of Raceline CC and Radical Rappelling.

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Apple updates Apple Events channel, adds NatGeo to Apple TV

21 hours ago | Posted in: developer, Apple

Apple on Tuesday re-activated its Apple Events channel for Apple TV owners ahead of the just-confirmed live stream of the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, scheduled for 10AM PT on Monday, June 8. In addition, the company added a new channels from National Geographic, combining content from both the NatGeo channel as well as the NatGeo Wild channel that includes full shows, documentaries, and more.

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Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card debuts, one controller per port

22 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage

Sonnet Technologies today announced the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe, a four-port, four-controller SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 adapter card with charging capabilities. The Allegro card provides users a simple way to add four USB 3.0 ports, each providing full 5Gbps bandwidth, to Mac Pro and Windows computers with PCIe slots, and to Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express card expansion chassis.

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Daily Deals: Lego Fusion, JBL speaker dock, Pioneer AV receiver

22 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, bundles, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Just a new collection of deals today, plus still active ones from yesterday, with the new additions including surprisingly cheap Lego playsets with additional app-related play, a Lightning-equipped speaker dock, and a 4K-ready AV receiver from Pioneer.

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Netflix denies third-party advertising coming to streaming service

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Netflix will not be bringing third-party advertising to its video-streaming service, the company has advised. Recent reports suggested that Netflix was testing putting in trailers for Netflix programming before and after shows being watched on the service, though the company has since spoken out denying it is considering bringing any revenue-generating advertising anytime soon, and it is just promoting its self-generated shows.

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Previous News

HomeKit-compatible smart products now hitting marketplace

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, accessories, networking, iPhone apps, Apple

First announced roughly a year ago, the first products taking advantage of Apple's HomeKit home-automation technology are, as expected, now hitting the market. Among the offerings soon to appear at retail are a "smartplug" electrical outlet adapter from iHome, air quality and energy-use sensors from Elgato, and a range of lighting kits to add HomeKit functionality from Lutron. Insteon, Ecobee, and General Electric have also made announcements.

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Briefly: iCloud issues, Apple Pay adds another 12 institutions [u]

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, developer, Apple

[Updated with new information] Although the system status page for Apple's services continues to report no issues, some users are experiencing issues with iCloud.com, the App Store and other aspects of the service. General syncing seems to be working, but developers are also reporting issues with CloudKit Dashboard. Some users, including MacNN staffers, have reported problems with app updates and iCloud mail accounts as well.

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SourceForge stops adding 'third-party offers' to software projects

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: software, developer

SourceForge is changing its practices regarding adding third-party offers to the installer of seemingly-unmaintained software projects, following complaints from users and recent reports. The company is no longer adding the extra offers, which includes antivirus software and back-up services which generate SourceForge revenue, and will instead only add the extra items to projects that have chosen to include them in the installer.

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Hands On: Merchants of Kaidan (OS X, Windows)

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software

Centuries ago, picking up a special trinket or a necessary item wasn't as simple as driving down to the local big box store. Villages and towns in the Middle Ages often went without specialty goods, often settling for what was available in the local area if other items weren't readily available. However, traveling merchants filled a vital role in delivering products from far and wide, from the everyday to the extraordinary. While many of these road-worthy individuals likely enjoyed their treks across the land, the appeal to a life of wheeling and dealing was in the money to be made. For those curious about what the life of a carriage-bound trader might have been like so long ago, Forever Entertainment SA's Merchants of Kaidan offers a taste without an exorbitant investment.

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MacNN Deals: Two app bundles for your Mac, a fitness tracker for you

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, software

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're featuring two software bundles for your Mac that can help you keep it running in top condition and to convert files to different formats, as well as a cut-price fitness tracker.

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Thunderbolt 3 brings 40Gb/s to USB-C physical connector

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: industry

As expected, the next generation of Thunderbolt has been announced. The new third iteration of the technology doubles the speed of the previous version to 40Gb/s. Interestingly, the protocol uses the same physical port as USB-C, and USB-C devices can be plugged directly into the same port with no adapters necessary.

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Computex: Intel outs ten Broadwell processors with Iris Pro graphics

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: computers

Intel has increased the range of its fifth-generation "Broadwell" family of processors, announcing a new set of ten processors at Computex, alongside new Xeon processors. The new chips are divided equally between desktop and mobile versions, with the processor producer incorporating Iris Pro graphics into its LGA desktop processors for the first time, giving a boost to systems that rely on integrated graphics instead of a separate graphics card.

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Hands On: Drawing with Carl 5.0 (iOS)

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: education, iPhone apps, iPad apps

We've been covering a fair amount of artist-centric apps lately, most of which are designed for professional artists, hobbyists, or at the very least, adults. We're about to change that, however, by showcasing an app that is designed for elementary-age artists everywhere, called Drawing with Carl.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 17: The Write Stuff

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: industry, digital imaging, developer, Graphics/Web Design, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

It's been a big week here at MacNN, covering all the announcements from Google's I/O conference. You might think this wouldn't have much of interest to Apple users, but luckily, episode 17 of the MacNN Podcast is here to sort it all out. Google brought many of its announcements to platforms other than its own, capped off with a new web- and iOS-based Photos program to rival the recently-released one for Mac and iOS from Apple itself, which we talk about and compare.

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Briefly: Google security and privacy tool, Facebook encrypts emails

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: security

Google is making it easier to manage the security and privacy of a user's account, by bringing everything within the same page. The new My Account site allows users to manage their Google account's privacy settings, device activity and notifications, and other settings that apply across all Google services. Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup tools also aim to simplify the process, taking users gradually through the account settings. A second site, privacy.google.com, has been created to explain what Google does with user data, how it is secured, and other similar queries.

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