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News Archive for 13/12/13

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China Mobile store spotted displaying iPhone 5s, 5c

12/13, 10:52pm

Shenzhen store given over to iPhone banners, phones, accessories

While again not a confirmation of a formal agreement between China Mobile and Apple, one of the carrier's resellers or retail outlets is already aggressively promoting the forthcoming LTE network and pushing the latest iPhone models as being compatible with it. An American blogger in China going by the name "PRC and Me" spotted and photographed the store in Shenzhen's Futian district, featuring advertising material, accessories and on-display iPhones.

Briefly: Fadell denies Mac Pro buy, Apple tweaks App Store ranks

12/13, 10:00pm

Nest CEO denies being buyer of Product Red Mac Pro, gold EarPods

Former Apple executive, "father of the iPod" and Nest CEO Tony Fadell has denied being the buyer of two high-priced but one-off Apple items designed by Sir Jonathan Ive for a Global Fund charity auction. "To be clear, Im not the owner of either" the red new Mac Pro or the gold EarPods, Fadell tweeted, which together sold for over $1.4 million. Photographs of Fadell with the items taken by Kevin Abosch and posted on Twitter earlier this week suggest, however, that Fadell knows the winning bidder. "The real owner will reveal themselves if they so choose." Fadell's wording hints that both items do indeed belong to a single buyer.

Skype update brings picture-in-picture to Android tablets

12/13, 8:18pm

Update lets Skype users keep chatting in other apps

Skype has rolled out an update to its Android app that lets tablet users continue to video chat even when they have gone into other apps. The new picture-in-picture feature pops up a small Skype window that persists even as a user moves away from the main Skype app. The update also contains a number of other additions, as well as fixes to assorted compatibility issues.

Retina iPad mini supplies loosening, shipping drops to 1-3 days

12/13, 8:00pm

Second improvement in supply since mid-November debut

On the heels of significant improvements to Apple's iPhone 5s stock, the company has now listed its latest product, the Retina iPad mini, as shipping in 1-3 days in its North American and Asia Pacific stores. This is the second time Apple has been able to improve shipping delays; earlier this week saw the first improvement, from vague delays of 1-2 weeks to 3-5 days. The product was initially constrained due to issues with display yields, which were later resolved.

Verizon said close to closing Intel TV service buy

12/13, 6:12pm

Verizon may announce Intel TV buy next week

Verizon Communications could announce a deal to buy Intel's unreleased Internet television startup as early as next week. This according to Bloomberg, which cites sources close to negotiations between the two tech giants as saying that Verizon is quite close to closing a deal for Intel's OnCue service. The communications giant's thinking is that it has the clout to succeed where the chipmaker has so far failed.

Briefly: GameEvil's card battler Kaizin Rumble, Cover app in open beta

12/13, 5:33pm

GameEvil announces Kaizin Rumble app for iOS

Mobile game creator GameEvil has announced the release of its newest mobile title, Kaizin Rumble. A card battle game, Kaizin Rumble is an RPG that features a reactionary battle system. Players follow the game's storyline as the "evil" Kaizin race who aim to conquer the world. Players can collect over 750 cards, which offer in-game depth and content.

Apple pulls censorship-circumventing iOS app from Chinese App Store

12/13, 5:04pm

Company criticized for bowing to government pressure

Apple has reportedly pulled a censorship-circumventing app from the Chinese iOS App Store. The app, titled FreeWeibo and developed through collaboration with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, is said to have worked around the government's censorship filters for content posted on the Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo.

Sprint rumored to prep T-Mobile acquisition bid

12/13, 5:02pm

Number three carrier could gobble up number four

Sprint is working toward a bid to purchase T-Mobile, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. The United States' third-largest wireless carrier is reportedly considering offering more than $20 billion for T-Mobile, which sits in fourth place but has been reinvigorated by a number of disruptive "UNcarrier" offerings. Those offerings have given T-Mobile a boost even as Sprint appears to have languished, with drops in subscriber totals and abysmal customer satisfaction ratings.

Techtool Pro 7 adds RAM test, Mavericks compatibility

12/13, 4:33pm

Existing tests improved

Micromat has introduced an update to its OS X repair utility, Techtool Pro. Version 7 adds a new test for RAM, enabling memory modules to be analyzed for potential problems. Users can also view a serial presence detect (SPD) report with a deeper level of technical data related to system memory.

Review: iB75 iHome Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earphones

12/13, 4:14pm

Can the oversized earbuds intended for vigorous exercise take the reps?

Finding a good pair of headphones for a midnight jog is hard. An over-the-ear set is either flopping around on your head, falling off, or collecting pools of sweat. Earbuds pierce ear canals in order to assure a tight grip -- or the troublesome cord that gets caught in your arm or cuts off your windpipe as it has somehow wrapped itself around your neck after the earbuds have fallen out several times. Looking to get at least one piece of trouble out of the way, iHome has put out a new Bluetooth set of earbuds -- the iHome Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earphones. Will they be a necessarily piece of equipment for an athlete? Or are they destined to be left in the locker room to collect dust? Read our review and find out.

Forums: screen saver authentication in Mavericks and more

12/13, 3:21pm

screen saver authentication in Mavericks and more

It seems there must be more holiday shopping going on this week than chatting in the MacNN forums, because new discussion topics have been few and far between. "How do I modify 10.9 Mavericks Screen Saver authentication?" asks Mac Elite "Matt OS X" earlier this week, and a solution has yet to be found. Forum goers help one Forum Regular determine the best configuration for a new iMac.

Apple deals: Mac Pro from $3,239

12/13, 3:17pm

Mac Pro from $3,239

This week at Apple's online store, save on refurbished aluminum Mac Pro models and more. A $560 discount is offered on the refurbished Mac Pro with two 2.4GHz Intel 6-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $3,239. For $4,249 is the Mac Pro with dual 2.66GHz 6-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $4,249.

DealNN: Dell 24-inch widescreen LED monitor, SSDs and more

12/13, 3:15pm

Dell 24-inch widescreen LED monitor, SSDs and more

A 33 percent price cut is offered on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18MP digital SLR camera with 18-55mm and 55-250mm IS STM lenses bundle at BuyDig.com. Separately these items would cost $1,326.48, but the bundle price is $999, making this about $200 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This camera features 18MP resolution, a CMOS sensor, Canon EF lens mount, and 1080p video capture. A one-year limited warranty is included from Canon.

SlingPlayer app hits Windows Store with free trial

12/13, 2:41pm

Windows 8, RT users can take advantage of Slingbox

Slingbox announced in a post to its blog on Friday that its SlingPlayer app is now available for Windows 8.1 and RT devices. The new app pairs with a Slingbox in order to transmit video content from a user's home computer or other device directly to a user's mobile device. Users downloading the app will have access to a free test-drive period of 24 hours before it will require them to decide whether they wish to purchase it for $15.

Briefly: iSkin's new keyboard covers, Blocksworld's winter themepack

12/13, 2:20pm

iSkin's ProTouch keyboard protectors includes collection printed with commands, patterns, and langua

Technological accessories brand iSkin has announced its latest lineup of keyboard protectors for MacBook, MacBook Pro with Retina and the 13-inch MacBook Air models. The ProTouch protectors are designed to help protect against food spills, dust, dirt, hair, fur and other impurities. Its ultra-thin silicone is BPA-, phthalates- and lead-free.

Apple seeds second iOS 7.1 beta to developers [U]

12/13, 1:37pm

Public release expected soon

(Updated with additional details) Apple has seeded the second iOS 7.1 beta to developers, nearly a month after the first beta was released for testing. The company has yet to publicly detail any changes to the second release, which was spotted by 9To5Mac, though the first beta was primarily centered around bug fixes and performance enhancements.

Google, LG quietly modify Nexus 5 to fix button, speaker complaints

12/13, 1:10pm

Larger speaker holes, firmer buttons found in newer Nexus 5

The Google Nexus 5 smartphone has quietly received some slight changes to its construction, apparently in order to fix customer complaints. Changes relating to the way the buttons feel, speaker and microphone grills and the SIM tray have all appeared, all without comment from either Google itself or manufacturing partner LG.

YouTube opens live streaming for all verified accounts

12/13, 12:42pm

YouTube abandons 100 subscriber limit for live streaming

YouTube has abandoned the 100-subscriber minimum for access to live streaming for all users. The policy change, revealed on Thursday in a post to the YouTube Creators Blog, lets all verified YouTube accounts create and stream live events to watchers, no matter how popular they are. The policy update also adds the option to launch a Google+ Hangout On Air directly from within the YouTube Live events manager.

ARM acquires game lighting startup Geomerics

12/13, 12:09pm

Companies to focus on mobile development

Chip maker ARM has announced that it is set to acquire Geomerics, a startup that specializes in lighting effects for game developers. The companies are said to have been directly collaborating on projects for several years, however the buyout is promised to bring a tighter focus on improving the graphics capabilities of ARM's mobile processors.

BearExtender Turbo for Mac with 802.11ac connectivity ships today

12/13, 11:29am

Upgrade for older Macs touts 867Mbps maximum speed

BearExtender has extended its line of USB Wi-Fi devices by shipping an adapter that can add 802.11ac connectivity to older Mac desktops and notebooks with slower wireless network connections. Connecting over USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, the BearExtender Turbo is said to be able to offer up to three times the speed of internal 802.11n AirPort cards.

Samsung merges mobile, camera arms to help smartphone differentiation

12/13, 10:14am

Combining knowledge of imaging, mobile divisions could lead to better cameras on phones

Samsung has combined two of its businesses relating to smartphones and cameras into one larger business, according to a report. The company's Digital Imaging and Mobile Communications businesses are now apparently a single unit, one which could potentially lead to more impressive cameras on Samsung smartphones in the future.

Sony Xperia Z1 Mini passes through FCC, gains 'Amami' name

12/13, 7:58am

International version of Xperia Z1f to have Android 4.3 onboard

The rumored Sony Xperia Z1 Mini has reportedly reached the FCC for testing, as the company prepares it for launch in the US and Europe. The filing for the smaller version of the Xperia Z1, previously called the Xperia Z1S, offers little in the way of new information for the device, except that it has the model number D5503 and given the codename "Amami."

Amazon plans Pantry grocery service to take on Costco, claims report

12/13, 7:11am

Report claims Pantry launch in 2014 with 2,000-item inventory

Amazon could be going after customers that buy groceries from warehouse clubs and wholesale retailers, according to a report. The online retailer is apparently planning to launch Pantry, a service that will offer the same packaged grocery items typically found in Costco and Sam's Club, such as cleaning supplies and canned goods.

Oculus VR raises $75M funding to bring headset to consumers

12/13, 6:20am

Extra capital to finalize design, start production of Oculus Rift

Oculus VR has raised another $75 million in funding, in order to bring the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to consumers. The extra funding, following an earlier $16 million round in June and the original $2.4 million raised through its Kickstarter campaign, will be used to finalize the design of the consumer version, as well as to help it finally enter production.

Briefly: Pebble alarms update, Google offers tips for web services

12/13, 5:20am

Pebble updates software with alarm settings, notification controls

Pebble has updated the software for its smartwatch, adding a new "Do Not Disturb" setting. As well as allowing wearers to designate a period of time when notifications are not displayed, the update adds changes to the way it handles alarms, including adding multiple alarms, toggling them on and off, and a new "Snooze Alarm." Added controls for notifications, improved iOS performance, and a number of bug fixes are also included.

Steve Jobs legal document nets $40,000 at auction

12/13, 1:25am

Partnership agreement shines light on little-known chapter

A 1978 legal agreement between two college buddies -- Steve Jobs, who was already involved at the time with Apple Computer, and Robert Friedland, who went on to become a mining tycoon and billionaire -- setting up partnership for an investment business has fetched $40,000 at auction. The eight-page legal document, creating a "place of business" in McMinnville, Oregon for dealing with real estate investments, bears the signatures of both men.

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