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Grocery chain Meijer bucks CurrentC, accepts NFC mobile wallets [u]

1 hour ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

[Updated with MCX clarification] Rather than disable its NFC-compatible terminals and stop taking Apple Pay (or Google Wallet, or Softcard) mobile payments after a period of compatibility, grocery chain Meijer has said it has "no plans" to stop accepting NFC-compatible systems in its stores -- despite being a member of MCX's CurrentC program, which contractually bars competing systems. The CurrentC system, which does not formally begin until sometime next year, may try to impose fines as per its agreement with Meijers.

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MPAA, national theater association take a stand against wearables

2 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Wearing Google Glass in any movie theater in the United States could soon mean a visit from law enforcement thanks to the efforts of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and National Association of Theatre Owners. The organizations released a joint statement this week announcing that wearable devices are now added to official anti-piracy polices.

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Seth Rogen tapped to play Steve Wozniak in upcoming Jobs biopic

2 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Actor Seth Rogen has been cast to star as Steve Wozniak in Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell Variety. Rogen is best known for his comedy roles, starring in movies like Neighbors and This is the End, but he has also appeared in dramas such as 50/50. The sources add that Jessica Chastain is under consideration for the movie as well, but what role she might play is unknown.

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Briefly: Microsoft OneNote iOS update, Flipboard 3.0

2 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Microsoft has released updates for its OneNote client, available for both iPhone and iPad. Considered a "digital notebook", OneNote documents can be shared with others and across devices. Adding support for new iOS 8 features, users can now password-protect sections of documents directly from mobile devices. Touch ID unlocking is now enabled for owners of iPhone 5s or newer, and users can insert files from a preferred cloud storage service with its new iOS 8 document picker. Pages can be reordered and moved, including subpages. OneNote is free to download, with some features requiring an Office 365 subscription.

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Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak gets Cydia, will get English within 24 hours

3 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, hacks, iPad

The Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak tool is now being bundled with Cydia, and will get an English translation within 24 hours, its developers say. Cydia is commonly used to simplify jailbreaking, partly by offering an easy way to install unapproved apps. When the Pangu code was released earlier this month, it was only in Chinese and in a rudimentary form intended for developers.

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Epson to release V800, V850 Pro photo scanners in November

3 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Epson is gearing up to release two new professional level photo scanners in November with the Perfection V800 Photo and Perfection V850 Pro. The scanners offer a number of scanning options, allowing users to scan photos and negatives--including 35mm slides, medium format and film strips--with the help of height adjustable film holders.

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Judge orders GT Advanced bankruptcy document unsealed

3 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

The New Hampshire judge overseeing GT Advanced's bankruptcy, Henry Boroff, has ordered the unsealing of an affidavit explaining reasons for the sapphire supplier's Chapter 11 filing. Apple has fought to keep the document private, claiming it could harm not only its reputation but its relationship with other suppliers. Inside GT's COO -- Daniel Squiller -- chronicles attempts to meet Apple demand, claiming that the latter company made mistakes in setting up an Arizona production facility, submitting shifting product specifications, and refusing to negotiate.

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Microsoft Band officially launches, available to buy now for $200

3 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Microsoft has officially announced its fitness tracker, the day after images leaked via companion apps. The Microsoft Band is able to track the wearer's vital signs and physical activities, with some included sensors not typically included in such devices, with it also providing a number of smartwatch-style interactions using its customizable display.

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Hands On: Jagged Alliance -- Flashback (OS X, Windows)

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, software

Kickstarter has helped to revive many favorites of the past, including Reading Rainbow, Veronica Mars, and even the Jagged Alliance turn based strategy series. Jagged Alliance: Flashback was funded on Kickstarter by developers Full Control back in May of 2013, promising to create a tactical RPG that Jagged Alliance fans new and old would enjoy.

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Apple reverses course, decides to allow apps with calculator widgets

5 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, developer, Apple, iPad

In another sudden turnaround, Apple has reversed a decision to block apps with calculator widgets from the App Store. An Apple spokesperson says that PCalc and other similar apps will be permitted in the store without changes. It's suggested that the company simply hadn't anticipated the possibility of widgets serving as calculators, hence reviewers being confused as to whether they can give the greenlight.

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Best Buy to offer gift cards with iPad Air, MacBook Air on Nov. 8th

6 hours ago | Posted in: computers, iPad

As a part of November 8th promotional event, the US branch of Best Buy will be giving away gift cards with purchases of an iPad Air or MacBook Air. Buyers of a first- or second-generation iPad Air will get a $50 card; card value jumps to $100 when buying a MacBook. Shoppers must go to "select" retail outlets to qualify.

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Hands On: WaterField Outback Slip Case for iPad Air 2

7 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPad

iPad cases are built not only to suit a wide range of uses but a wide range of incomes, and both of those factors come into play with one of WaterField's first products for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, the Outback Slip Case. On a functional level it's relatively straightforward: it's a cushioned sleeve that you slide an iPad into. WaterField makes four variants, split between the Air and the Mini, and whether you want one sized to accommodate a Smart Cover as well. We tested the Air 2/Smart Cover edition.

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Apps: OmniOutliner, MacFamilyTree, Tower

8 hours ago | Posted in apps

    38.2MB

    OmniOutliner 4.1.4 ($50)

    OmniOutliner is a tool for collecting, creating, and organizing information. In v4.1.4 all supported font weights in each font family should be usable when running under OS X Yosemite. In addition, a few minor corrections have also been made to the apps help files.

    284.7MB

    MacFamilyTree 7.3.1 ($50)

    MacFamilyTree is a genealogy program that can help users discover and visualize their family history. The software also features a number of built in reports and charts, and allows users share genealogical data using the GEDCOM standard. The latest release corrects a graphical glitch with display charts, along with a number of localization issues. Support for adding M4A audio files to a database has also been added.

    31.2MB

    Tower 2.1 ($59)

    Tower is a Git client for Mac OS X that allows users to access Git features without needing to remember all of the frameworks commands and parameters. Version 2.1 features an updated design and icon for OS X Yosemite. A number of issues, including both display and scrolling problems in the commit changeset view, have also been fixed with the update.

    171.3MB

    RapidWeaver 6.0.1 ($90)

    RapidWeaver is a web design tool that allows users to create web pages with little to no coding knowledge. The software automatically fills in XHTML and CSS coding based on a user's design. The latest release brings back the ability to right-click a page and publish only that page. A problem where the Save dialogue would default to the App Support folder has also been resolved, along with an issue that resulted in a crash when selecting or deleting a project resource.

    20.5MB

    Arq 4.7 ($40)

    Arq is a backup utility that will make incremental backups to an online storage account. The software keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. Support for the new AWS Frankfurt region is featured in this release. A new button for deleting all Arq-created content from a Google Drive account has also been added.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in new essay

9 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay in a new essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek. Although the fact has been widely known for some time, Cook has never before stated it publicly. He says that he is "proud to be gay," but admits that it "wasn't an easy choice" to come out. "Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it," the essay reads later on. "I've made Apple my life's work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That's what our employees deserve - and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender. I'm an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I'm best suited for and the work that brings me joy."

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Hands On: Pandemic 2.5 (iOS)

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

How many games actually allow a player to play as something truly terrible? Sure, there are a lot of games that let players choose the "wrong" choice, but where are the games that let you wreak total havoc? Pandemic 2.5, the successor to the popular flash game Pandemic 2, will. This devious little gem allows players to create a custom disease from the ground up, which serves to help them eradicate the human race. The game manages to be part resource management, part chance, and part outwit-the-AI, and can be profoundly frustrating.

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Apple, Samsung still tops in smartphone market, but Xiaomi rising fast

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones.

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Microsoft Band fitness tracker leaks through companion apps

20 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Microsoft's rumored wearable device has appeared earlier than expected, leaked within a companion app on the Mac App Store. The Microsoft Band is, as rumored, a device with a thin display similar to the Samsung Gear Fit, with the accompanying app screenshots showing it will apparently be capable of a similar level of monitoring of the user's actions as other fitness trackers.

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Hands On: PicTrove 2 Pro (iOS)

21 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad apps

PicTrove 2 Pro is an app that has taken the time-intensive act of image-searching on the web and streamlined it. Users are able to search multiple websites, including Google, Bing, Flickr, Pinterest, and more all at once, and compare them side-by-side. Tapping and swiping through allows a user to browse images one at a time from a specific search site. There is also the ability to refine searches per site, allowing a user to specify whether they would like photographs or clipart, or decide on the size or quality of the image. Even animated GIFs are fully supported within PicTrove 2 Pro.

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GT Advanced CEO tells court Apple contracts were 'unsustainable'

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Daniel Squiller, the COO of GT Advanced Technologies who was among those slowly selling off his holdings in company over the course of 2014, has told the bankruptcy court that the company lost $461 million before it finally filed for bankruptcy, which he characterized as a last-resort measure to get out of "unsustainable" contracts with Apple. Squiller painted a picture that claimed that GT Advanced assumed all the risk in their joint venture, while Apple took none.

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CurrentC CEO, COO field questions about data breach, Apple Pay block

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: industry, security, iPhone apps, Apple

CurrentC governing company Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) held a conference call a bit earlier today. The company's lead executives took turns defending the company against some claims related to fines for merchants abandoning CurrentC, and also tried to explain away the email data breach it had suffered.

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Logitech debuts new Type+, Ultrathin, Keys-To-Go keyboards for iPads

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, accessories, iPad

Logitech has announced a trio of new iPad keyboard accessories, beginning with updates of its Type+ and Ultrathin cases for the iPad Air 2. The Type+ is a thin folio design, with features such as automatic wake/sleep magnets for both an iPad and the keyboard itself. It costs $100, and comes in black, blue, green, or purple, with extra "synthetic" versions of the first two colors.

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Calculator widgets for iOS 8 suddenly blocked from App Store

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, developer, iPhone apps, iPad, iPad apps

Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.

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Apple in talks to bring iPhone to Iran

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

Apple is talking to Iranian distributors about the possibility of selling the iPhone in the country, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Senior Apple executives have reportedly met with the distributors at the former party's London headquarters. If the iPhone does become available in Iran, it will be through premium resellers, rather than Apple itself, which has no direct footprint to speak of. "Over a dozen" Apple employees -- including technical and marketing staff -- have been involved in the recent efforts, the Journal adds.

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Hands On: PluralEyes 3.5 (OS X, Windows)

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: software, digital imaging, audio

DSLR shooters often have a troublesome workflow when trying to put together videos recorded with the dual-purpose cameras. While many consumers might look to a dedicated camcorder to produce a short film or conduct an interview, DSLR cameras provide the necessary technology needing only an external audio recorder to do the job. But how do users bring video and audio together? In the past, filmmakers entered into a time consuming process to match peaks in waveforms. However, that is no longer needed as Red Giant offers a supremely better solution with PluralEyes 3.5.

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T-Mobile opens up iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 orders

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPad

Following up on earlier promises, the US branch of T-Mobile has officially launched the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at its online and retail stores. People shopping online, at least, are being told that the 128GB Air 2 is currently unavailable, despite it being ready at Apple and other third-party vendors. Apple does typically produce fewer quantities of its highest-end models.

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CurrentC payment system customer emails stolen

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: security, iPhone apps, mobile phones

Contactless payment platform CurrentC has fallen victim to user information theft. Merchants Consumer Exchange (MCX), The company behind the mobile payment system is informing beta users of the service that "that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you." The company claims no other data has been stolen, but the theft calls into question the data security of the not fully operational payment system.

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Briefly: Xtreem's Atom RC Drone; new Cooler Master mouse, keyboard

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets

Xtreem, a range of remote controlled toys designed by Swann, has announced the release of its new Atom RC Mini Drone. Focused on precise maneuverability, the drone uses an infrared signal to communicate with its joystick remote control, which offers eight-way multi-dimensional movement, and heights of up to 100 feet in the air. The helicopter's Li-poly battery provides up to four minutes of continuous flight time, and can be recharged via its remote control or by plugging it into a USB port. Priced at $40, the Atom Mini RC Drone is available at Fry's.

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