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When Sprint unveiled the Samsung UpStage this spring and lowered prices at its direct-download music store, both it and Samsung clearly hoped to take a bite out of the iPod, iTunes, and (unintentionally) the iPhone by dedicating a whole surface of the cellphone to media controls. Apple hasn't lost sleep, but it was clear that music was a much more serious concern for carriers besides AT&T. Now, the Canadian provider Telus has made its own attempt at replicating the buzz surrounding the UpStage with its own version, simply titled the m620. Does the combination of the dual-sided media controls with Telus' music subscriptions and XM radio stations help the device in the light of its main competition?
Enthusiasts have successfully streamlined the processes of both installing third-party programs to the iPhone and command-line access to its inner workings, according to updates from both developer communities. A new beta of the Installer.app utility is now said to completely automate the process of derestricting (or jailbreaking) the iPhone's file system and uploading a software package manager to the Apple device. Once installed, the Mac OS X app allows the iPhone to download and install Books or any of the other unofficial third-party programs already written for the device simply by using either local Wi-Fi or an EDGE connection.
After a few weeks of delays, Electronic Arts on Friday evening finally announced that some of its much-anticipated Mac OS X games will be available later this week, while others are expected to ship later this month. Since EA's public announcement at WWDC, the company was very coy about the delays. Four titles are available now for order: Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars (trailers of which are available on Apple's website) are the "first games ever" published by EA for Mac OS X, according to release. The games are now available for order via the Apple Store and at Apple's retail stores nationwide later this month: Need for Speed Carbon and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be available on Tuesday, August 21, and Battlefield 2142 and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars will be available on Tuesday, August 28.
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko