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Briefly: Chlorine leak at NC data center, woman dumps rare Apple I

7 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple

While details are sparse, five people were injured in a chlorine leak that occurred at the Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina on Monday, according to local news reports. The leak was reported about 2:30PM ET, and may have been connected to a water purification system. The 183-acre facility, which Apple has run since 2010, is one of the largest data centers -- and renewable energy farms -- in the United States.

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Pre-2014 Macs vulnerable to potential firmware attack

9 hours ago | Posted in: security, troubleshooting, hacks, Apple

A new vulnerability -- albeit one that is extremely unlikely to happen "in the wild" -- has been discovered by security researcher Pedro Vilaca, where a flaw in pre-2014 Macs could conceivably allow an attacker access to a portion of OS X that has access to the Mac's Open Firmware and EFI (what PC users might call the BIOS of the machine) and possibly exploit other vulnerabilities to perhaps overwrite it with malicious firmware.

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Hands On: Ready Steady Play 2.0 (iOS)

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

One of our favorite things about gaming on iOS devices is the sheer amount of games that you can play. You like first-person shooters? There are a plethora of reflex-testing shooters for the iPad. Platformers? No sweat, there's some really great ones out there for your favorite iOS device. We especially appreciate it, however, when the games ourselves give us options -- which is why we checked out a multi-game title called Ready Steady Play.

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Daily Deals: iPad mini 2, 3D printer, $40 Beats earphones

10 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories, Apple, iPad

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, as the slate has been cleaned of last week's offers, with the new batch including Beats urBears earphones, an iPad mini 2, and a Cube 3D printer.

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Apple Watch: bands in stores, shipping time down, Watch to 512K Mac

11 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, accessories, hacks, networking, Apple

Though in-store sales of Apple Watch models are expected to begin soon, it is currently near-impossible to get one's hands on an Apple Watch without either ordering it online from Apple or visiting one of a handful of high-end fashion boutiques around Europe. Bands for the Watch, however, continue to become more available -- with a spot check of stores in the US showing that sport bands and Leather Loop models are now very widely available.

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Hands On: Numbees and the World of Math 1.0.3 (iOS)

12 hours ago | Posted in: education, gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Getting kids to practice math skills isn't always easy. Flash cards are boring, worksheets are torture, and forget about trying to get your average nine-year-old to a tutor without at least four temper tantrums and a significant amount of bribery. So how do you get your kids to brush up on their math skills? We suggest Numbees and the World of Math, a well-rounded, fun app for helping improve your child's math skills.

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Cook donates 50,000 AAPL shares to unnamed charity

13 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

A new SEC filing by Apple has revealed that CEO Tim Cook donated 50,000 shares of Apple stock to an unnamed organization, which if sold now would be worth more than $6.56 million. Cook donated the shares out of his personal holdings of AAPL, and was required to file an SEC Form 4 to disclose the transfer, but did not specify which charity has received the gift. Cook has tended to donate to social justice and LGBT organizations.

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Computex: GoPro builds action camera line, announces Hero+ LCD

14 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

GoPro has announced the launch of a new entry to its lineup of action cameras, the Hero+ LCD. An expansion to the existing entry Hero series, GoPro's new offering builds upon the original camera with the introduction of a built-in LCD display. The new display has been integrated directly into the water-proof housing -- which claims protection for up to 131 feet -- and unlike the Hero3+ Silver that came before, cannot be removed from this protective housing.

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Typo slain by BlackBerry; company may never sell smartphone keyboards

14 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPhone apps

BlackBerry announced today that it has settled the legal dispute with Ryan Seacrest's Typo Products, previously pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. As part of the settlement, Typo has agreed to permanently discontinue selling keyboards for smartphones and mobile devices with a screen size of less than 7.9 inches, leaving the company with no currently shipping products. Other terms of the settlement are confidential.

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MacNN Deals: The Summer Mac Essentials Bundle

14 hours ago | Posted in: software

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. For today's edition, we're looking at the Summer Mac Essentials Bundle, a collection of nine Mac apps that aims to improve your OS X experience and productivity, with the bundle priced at 90 percent below the standard cost of buying the apps individually.

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Computex: Asus demoes 4K 60Hz 32-inch ProArt PA329Q monitor

15 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

As part of a much larger array of reveals at the Taiwan Computex, Asus showed the ProArt PA329Q 4K monitor. The new Asus offering is a 32-inch 4K/UHD (ultra-high-definition) monitor with a wide variety of input options aimed at professionals that delivers a 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut.

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Mac Game Review: XCOM Enemy Unknown Complete

16 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

When I first started reading about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and saw it described as a turn-based tactical video game, I couldn't jibe that with the screenshots I looked at, which made it look like a first or third person shooter. I finally got a chance to spend some quality time with the game, and now I understand what it all means. The successor in name if not in developer to 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense, XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Elite Edition Complete version from Steam with all the downloadable content available to date, integrates cinematic shooter-style video elements with turn-based, squad level combat and then mixes in some real-time strategy-esque base-building to create an immersive experience with elements to please a variety of gamers.

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Hands On: TextExpander 5 (OS X)

16 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

You've read the headline, Hands On: TextExpander 5, and for many people that would be enough to send them straight off to buy it. Here's TextExpander 5 on its official site. Without exception, though, those keen people will all be ones who've already used TextExpander 4. If that's not you, if you've barely heard of this thing that speeds up your typing, then wait a moment, read on a bit, and only then go buy it.

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SanDisk shows pair of USB SSDs, one USB-C; refreshes flash drives

16 hours ago | Posted in: upgrades/storage

At this week's Computex in Taiwan, storage vendor Sandisk unveiled a two new products alongside a refresh of two others. The new drives are the USB-C SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD and the SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD. Bolstered today are the 128GB SanDisk Ultra Fit, and the 256GB SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive.

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Hands On: Arcane Castle 1.1.1 (iOS)

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

Our iPads have become our go-to device for gaming on the go, and it's filled with all sorts of games. We've got puzzlers, we've got action games, RPGs and more. The one genre we seem to be light on, however, is the humble side-scroller. Today, however, we add one more to our collection, with Arcane Castle, a wizard-themed action side-scroller.

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Pointers: Exchanging Glances (Apple Watch)

18 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, Apple

Glances are like the Notification Center of iPhones, except you actually remember to use them. When your watch face is on, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and you get extra information. Swipe left and right and get others, tap in the center, and you go off to the related Apple Watch app. Couldn't be simpler, and probably shouldn't be simpler, but there is a problem.

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Previous News

Microsoft releasing Windows 10 on July 29 for PCs, tablets

19 hours ago | Posted in: software

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 upgrade on July 29, the software giant has confirmed. It is also revealed that users of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will find they will have a slightly different process for the free upgrade this time around compared to the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, with Microsoft offering an upgrade prompt to "reserve" the upgrade download instead of forcing users to go through the Windows Store.

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Game Replay: Twitch bans AO games, WildStar turns free-to-play

Sun May 31, 2015 | Posted in: gaming

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, Twitch bans AO-rated titles from streaming, NCsoft is making MMO WildStar a free-to-play title, and leaks suggest Microsoft is adding a headphone jack to the Xbox One controller.

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Hands On: Upad 3 3.02 (iOS)

Sun May 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

There are tons of apps in the App Store for word processing, giving users the ability to turn their iPads into portable productivity powerhouses. These apps, however, tend to ignore one of the best features about the iPad -- the fact that it has a touch screen. We looked at Upad 3, a productivity app that is designed to work with your handwriting, rather than typing.

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Briefly: Amazon Echo Google Calendar link, Facebook supports GIFs

Sat May 30, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, Graphics/Web Design

Alexa, the virtual assistant that forms part of the Amazon Echo network-connected speaker, has been upgraded to allow it to read Google Calendar events. Android Central reports Alexa can now be linked to the user's Calendar and will respond to queries about it, such as "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" and "When is my next event?" So far, it appears Alexa can only read appointments, not add new items, but this could be included in a future update of the device.

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Hands On: Framed 1.0.0 (iOS)

Sat May 30, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Framed by Loveshack is a slick film noir-style story of an epic foot chase told in a graphic novel format. The only problem is that every page results in cops nabbing the person with an all-important briefcase, or that person falling to their death. The user's job is to move the frames on each page around so the chase can continue, this includes occasionally helping out what is arguably the story's bad guy, or as we like to call him "Mustachio McSneaky."

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Hands On: Friendly for Facebook + Messenger 5.2 (iOS)

Sat May 30, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

If you're like us, nothing frustrated you more about the more recent Facebook updates than when, for no discernible reason whatsoever, Facebook decided to split its messaging system into a separate app from everything else. Despite the outcry, Facebook hasn't decided to change it. Fortunately for us, there's a third-party Facebook app, named Friendly, that sets it right.

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Pointers: Yes, you can still burn a music CD in iTunes

Fri May 29, 2015 | Posted in: education, software, audio

Today's Pointers column is inspired by a lamentation from a veteran Mac user of our acquaintance who expressed some regret over the upgrade to iTunes 12 (he had jumped several versions in finally doing the upgrade). Among the other changes the recent version had introduced, he was convinced that Apple had removed the ability to burn music CDs, which he still found useful. In case others are laboring under this misconception, this column will show you that yes, CD music burning is still doable in iTunes 12.1 in 2015.

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Briefly: HomeKit gadgets to ship next week, new Manhattan Apple Store

Fri May 29, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, developer, accessories, Apple

Just ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off June 8, a number of manufacturers are set to announce the first HomeKit-compatible products arriving at retail, according to sources. The home-automation technology allows common household products such as lighting systems, environment systems, alarms, doors, and other items to be controlled through iOS app and Siri.

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Forums: MacBook Air strange issues and more

Fri May 29, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple

This week in the MacNN forums, members help each other troubleshoot MacBook Air problems, storage issues and more. Mac Elite "And.reg" is still trying to figure out what is going on with his MacBook Air after reporting strange issues months ago. Forum goers continue to assist Mac Elite "jeff k" with trying to figure out why his notebook is telling him he has no more room on his hard drive to update the OS.

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Apple deals: up to $600 off MacBook Pros

Fri May 29, 2015 | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store today, save up to $600 on refurbished MacBook Pro models. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive has seen a $270 price cut to $829. A $340 price cut drops the cost on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of flash storage down to $1,359.

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