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Revenues up more than $170 million compared to last year, posts $145 million loss
Twitter released its quarterly results today, showing a strong surge in business during the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. The company posted revenues of $312 million, compared to only $139 million during the second quarter of 2013. The increase represents a 129-percent increase year-over-year. The social media company also saw an increase in users compared to the results from the previous year.
Retailer holds e-book authors hostage in standoff for lower profits for publishers
Painting itself in an altruistic, pro-consumer light, Amazon in a post posing as an "update" on the Hatchette standoff -- that has prevented customers from buying print or e-book editions from the publisher because Amazon refuses to fill orders -- explains that it is putting pressure on Hatchette (and other publishers soon to follow) to lower the wholesale price of e-books to where Amazon can make a profit on them selling them at $10 or less. Amazon argues that e-books "must stay competitive" against all other forms of media.
Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public
In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.
Server allows Mac Pros to be installed horizontally in a rack with additional devices
Sonnet Technologies announced that its rackmount system for the newest version of the Mac Pro is available starting today. The xMac Pro Server, features a Thunderbolt 2-to-PCI Express expansion system housed inside a custom 4U enclosure. A mobile expansion unit has also created to allow additional options to be installed without taking up any more rack space.
Comments opened after organizations in Tennessee, North Carolina petitioned agency
After receiving petitions from the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the City of Wilson in North Carolina, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is opening comments on the subject of preempting state laws. Based on Chairman Tom Wheeler's previous comments on municipal broadband, the FCC would get involved in the battle if it meant better serving consumers.
'Global' switchover will cost nothing extra over normal replacement cycle
Automaker Ford has announced that it will transition at least 9,300 corporate employees from BlackBerry models and flip phones to iPhones over the next two years. The change, which will cost the company nothing above the normal cost of a replacement cycle, is a blow to BlackBerry, but the Canadian smartphone maker can take solace in the fact that Ford chose BlackBerry's QNX for its next-generation Sync infotainment system, replacing a previous Microsoft-based one.
Singapore, South America, New Zealand residents first users of Android app
Instagram has done a soft launch of its own ephemeral messaging service application Bolt. Download links for the Android-only app are active for users in Singapore, South America, and New Zealand for users to start using the app, designed to send one-to-one video and photos between users as temporarily as possible, given the nature of the Internet.
Value of deal kept secret
As rumored yesterday, Apple has indeed bought Swell, a spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi. The company has refused to provide any other information, issuing a standard statement that "we buy smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Monday's claims put the value of the takeover at $30 million.
Cascaded display research from Nvidia could lead to cheaper virtual reality displays
High-resolution, low-cost displays for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift could become a reality sooner than first thought, if recently-revealed research from Nvidia is adopted. Researchers working for the graphics chip producer realized that stacking two lower-resolution panels on top of each other could effectively provide a similar experience to the user as looking at a higher-quality display.
Replacement ads state that a site has been reported, branded with force logo
The City of London Police is taking a new approach when it comes to curbing piracy. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) recently started replacing advertising banners on websites involved with copyright infringement warning users that the site is known to authorities. The move is aimed at cutting off revenue streams sites promoting intellectual property (IP) theft, even when the ads are legitimate.
Overdue update may happen soon
A "mid 2014" Mac mini is now listed on an Apple support document for Boot Camp. The page makes no mention of other details about the computer, other than it only supporting 64-bit Windows 7 and 8 versions of the Boot Camp utility, which allows Macs to run Windows on a separate partition. The Mac mini has been one of Apple's most neglected products, having last been updated in late 2012. Even the Mac Pro was refreshed in December 2013.
Napster, unRadio help company grow, launching services in Europe and Latin America
Rhapsody International announced today that it hit a significant milestone for its business. The company announced that it reached two million subscribers for its premium services, including Rhapsody, Napster and the joint venture with T-Mobile called unRadio. On the success of unRadio, the company stated plans to extend the service to other parts of the world.
A smash-and-grab robbery took place at the Southpoint Apple Store in Durham, North Carolina on Monday night, a report notes. The thieves smashed their way in via one of the store's glass panels, then proceeded to take an unknown number of MacBooks on display. The outlet has been closed on Tuesday as a result.
Yosemite Beta pros and cons
This week in the MacNN forums members discuss the things they like and dislike about Yosemite now that the Beta version has been released to the public in a thread started last week by one Mac Elite who wondered why no one seemed excited about this update to the OS. "Does anyone know how much amperage the iPhone 6 will require?" asks one Fresh-Faced Recruit to the forums.
Up to $710 off refurbished rMBPs
Right now at Apple's online store, find new lower prices on refurbished Retina MacBook Air models. The refurbished 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has seen a whopping $640 discount to $1,059. A $500 discount drops the price on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $1,599.
Mac mini for $490
Currently BestBuy.com is offering a $110 discount on the Mac mini dropping the price from $600 down to $490. That discount makes this around $60 less than buying it anywhere else and it's nearly $10 less than what Apple charges for a refurbished model. They also have it in open box condition from $465. This Mac mini features a 2.5GHz Intel core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Included is a one year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Superman and Tesla Lumia smartphones said to have surfaced in internal Microsoft meeting
Two more smartphones may launch from Microsoft's phone division in the near future, according to a report. Two Windows Phone devices were allegedly revealed during an internal meeting chaired by Microsoft devices head Stephen Elop, with one smartphone described as a "selfie" device with a five-megapixel front-facing camera sensor above a 4.7-inch display.
Supply chain numbers may only support limited run of sapphire models
Supply chain orders so far don't support the idea of the iPhone 6 using sapphire for its display, except perhaps in limited numbers, according to analysts with Trendforce. "Analysis of the iPhone 6 supply chain indicates related component suppliers need to ship products to OEMs for assembly in June 2014 to meet the September launch date. Yet, the research institute did not discover demands for smartphone cover glass," the firm writes. "The sapphire glass version new iPhone will be issued in limited volumes this year, mostly because sapphire ingot manufacturers yield rates were lower than forecasts and [because of] issues involved in sapphire glass processing."
Four title available at program launch for free play of subscribers
Electronic Arts has rolled out a new subscription service for some of its games for Xbox One owners. For either a $5 monthly or $30 annual fee, gamers on Microsoft's new console will soon be able to sign up for EA Access, allowing them to play FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4, in addition to saving 10 percent on purchases of all EA digital content through the Xbox Games Store.
Company turnaround underway, says CEO in wake of deal
At its annual BlackBerry summit, the beleagured smartphone manufacturer has announced a deal that will see it acquire Germany's Secusmart to enhance its own security offerings. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said of the deal that it "creates that much more distance between me and competitors" in the battle for corporate and governmental business share.
Effect on launch schedules uncertain
Changes in profit forecasts at TPK may signal delays in iWatch production, reports suggest. Taiwanese publication UDN notes that TPK -- thought to be making touch modules for the iWatch -- has pushed back a predicted third-quarter profit surge into the next quarter. Since suppliers often experience such surges in association with Apple orders, it could mean that iWatch production has suffered setbacks. TPK also provides touch components for devices like the iPhone and iPad, however.
New devices can receive up to 128 channels of audio across Thunderbolt
Audio device manufacturer MOTU has announced three new Thunderbolt audio interfaces with 48-channel mixing, DSP effects and AVB Ethernet audio networking for system expansion. Based on a new, shared technology platform, the 1248, 8M and 16a use ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, and provide low analog latency, with round trip performance of only 32 samples (0.66 ms) at 48 kHz.
Large 105-inch LG television goes on sale one week after similar Samsung screen
LG has opened pre-orders for the 105-inch curved Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES, one week after Samsung did the same for its own large-screened television. The 105UC9 LG display has a relatively similar specifications list to the Samsung screen, with an almost identical price tag as well, though LG is opting to initially offer it just within South Korea, before attempting to put it on sale elsewhere.
Response to program positive, with some worry about overzealous enforcement
UK police have launched a new initiative, that will authorize police responding to a car accident to seize drivers' mobile phones even in the case of a minor incident. The program will help police assess if any of the individuals involved in the accident were texting or calling while driving, and if the activity resulted in the accident.
Bulk of content locked to cable subscriptions
Apple has added a pair of new app channels to the Apple TV, CNBC and Fox Now. The former is NBC's business network, while the latter offers access to shows like Glee, Family Guy, and The Following. In both cases, viewers must have a cable subscription to unlock the full range of content. Otherwise, people are limited to a much smaller selection of clips and episodes.
Sharks Cove takes after Raspberry Pi as SoC board with external connections
Microsoft has worked with Intel and CircuitCo to create a Windows development board in a similar vein to the Raspberry Pi. Available to pre-order, the Sharks Cove is a System-on-Chip "Windows compatible hardware development board" meant to help developers work on software and drivers for smartphones, tablets, and other devices with a similar architecture.
Feral Interactive to release Total War: Shogun 2 for Mac
Feral Interactive has announced that historical strategy game, Total War: Shogun 2 for Mac is due for release in the coming weeks. Total War: Shogun 2 features real-time battle tactics and turn-based political strategy, set in 16th century Japan. Players play as the leader of one of nine competing clans as to attempt to dominate Japan and become shogun.
2013 models start slightly higher at $1,019
In addition to launching new MacBook Pros, Apple has also updated prices for refurbished models. The cheapest Retina option is now a $999 October 2012 system, with a 13.3-inch screen and a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor. That signals the first time a refurbished Retina machine has been below $1,000.
Investigation centers on Windows operating system dominant position
Following yesterday's raid on Microsoft offices in China, China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) has officially launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the company's ubiquitous Windows operating system. SAIC claims to have data backing up its investigation from the raids, but says that it cannot complete the investigation until some Microsoft executives come to China.
Expansion campaign continues
In keeping with expansion efforts made during the past year, Apple has brought its AppleCare+ plans for the iPhone and iPad to Mexico and Sweden. Mexican plans cost 1,599 pesos, or about $123. Swedish plans are 799 kronor, or $117. In the US AppleCare+ coverage is $99.
App masquerading as Flash, others, can break Android sandboxing
Mobile device researchers Bluebox Security have discovered a serious flaw in Google's Android operating system, that dates back to version 2.1, and is still present, albeit weakened, in the new 5.0 preview. The "Fake ID" security flaw allows a fake app to include an invalid security certificate claiming that it is an app with sandbox-breaking privileges, in essence, giving the malicious app root access to the phone and all its contents.
Drobo Mini with SSD bundles include 1TB, 2TB, 4TB storage options
Connected Data, creators of the Drobo range of storage appliances, has launched a version of its most portable device with built-in storage. The Drobo Mini, first revealed two years ago, will include four SSD drives pre-installed into its four 2.5-inch drive bays, giving users such as photographers and film makers a fast storage option without needing to buy drives separately.
Apple's portable line external design unchanged, internals boosted
As predicted, Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display product line. Both sizes of the model have an unchanged external design, but now boast faster processors, with some models seeing a doubling of RAM as standard. Surviving the upgrade is the 13-inch MacBook pro, which also remains unchanged save a price cut.
South Korean release for combined Android notebook, tablet from LG
LG has revealed a version of its Tab Book, a combined tablet and notebook, running on Android instead of Windows 8.1. The new Tab Book 11TA740 uses an 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display which can slide up and uncover a physical keyboard, with the Android device weighing 1.05 kilos (2.3 pounds) and measuring just 16.7 millimeters (0.65) thick when used as a tablet.
New PowerShot digital bridge cameras include up to 42x optical zoom
Canon has increased its range of versatile PowerShot digital cameras with two new additions. The new PowerShot SX520 HS and the PowerShot SX400 IS are both bridge cameras with DSLR physical styling, with the two touting extended-range zoom lenses capable of providing wide focal ranges, and though they have similar image processors and sensors, they do offer different photographic experiences.
Yelp iOS app adds ability to create up to 12-second video clips
Branching out in its ability to offer reviews of local businesses, Yelp has now updated its iOS app to version 8.1, which gives users the option to create a shortly 3-12 second-long video message alongside or in place of written reviews, comments or images. The video option is the only significant new feature, alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks, and "lives" alongside the photo option -- which can now be toggled between photos and videos. Users can find existing video reviews alongside photos in both the app and on the company's website.
Program expected to be operational in time for next iPhone arrival
Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.
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