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Briefly: Safari security update, lunch with Tim Cook raises $200K

3 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

On Wednesday, Apple updated its Safari browser for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), and 10.10 (Yosemite) to versions 6.2.6, 7.1.6, and 8.0.6, respectively. The updates applied patches to discovered security flaws in WebKit, the underlying engine of Safari, that could have been exploited if left unfixed. Potential problems that could have arisen from the flaws could have resulted in crashes, access to filesystem contents, or allowing a site to spoof a user interface. The updates as relevant will appear in the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.

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Game Replay: Star Wars in Disney Infinity, GoatZ, Snake returns

4 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

The Game Replay is a twice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming from the last few days. Today's edition includes the addition of Star Wars to Disney Infinity, the return of classic phone game Snake, and extra downloadable content for Goat Simulator that parodies zombie-survival games.

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Pointers: Creating a podcast, conclusion

7 hours ago | Posted in: audio

Over the last five weeks on the Wednesday Pointers column, we have gone through the steps involved in creating a podcast, from choosing a good mic (do not use your built-in mic or some cheapo piece of crap) to packaging and hosting the files iTunes needs to send potential listeners your way. So far, we've learned that podcasts are more than just capturing an entertaining conversation, or at least they should be, and that there's as much of a technical effort required as a creative one.

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Hands On: RSS Wear 1.0 (iOS, Watch)

7 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, developer, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Seriously, app developers are clearly trying to get us to read more on our Apple Watches and -- you know what? It will work. Not with Wear Reader, the app that shows you books one word at a time, and actually not with this news app RSS Wear 1.0, but something will get us. It might even be some future version of RSS Wear, possibly.

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Briefly: Pebble Time in mass production, Sharp produces Roku TVs

10 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

The Pebble Time has entered mass production, the company has announced. In an update on the recent Kickstarter page for the smartwatch, shipments of the devices are expected to start from mid-May. As for the functionality of the smartwatch when it arrives, Pebble advises the new timeline interface, expanded app storage, a new Sports app, and voice replies to Android notifications will be available from day one. Planned future software updates will introduce the option for voice responses to Gmail notifications in iOS, a voice notes and stocks app, an album art view for the Music app, and a weather watchface.

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Daily Deals: Acer Aspire Switch 10, Gear Pro, Planetary Annihilation

12 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the column which features a list of the best online discounts, sales, offers, and bundles for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of still-active deals from Monday and Tuesday are joined by a new wave of offers, including an Acer Windows tablet and keyboard dock for $200, cheap Gear Pro action cameras, and a "killer" games bundle that includes Planetary Annihilation

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Apple plans late June launch for revamped iTunes, despite obstacles

13 hours ago | Posted in: industry, audio, Apple

Speculation and unconfirmed reports have run rampant over Apple's progress in its effort to revamp its iTunes music services, with recent reports suggesting the company may have difficulty hitting its planned June target for formally introducing both a revised Music app for iOS in the forthcoming iOS 8.4, and a significantly revamped iTunes Radio and Beats Music streaming service designed to compete with Spotify. Various reports, however, claim obstacles -- ranging from music label reluctance to federal investigations.

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Feature: Apple's 'discoveryd' failure in Yosemite and iOS 8

15 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, networking, Apple

Through all of Apple's patches for OS X 10.10.3, and the accompanying iOS 8 versions, one core networking service remains problematic, it has been discovered. At the heart of Apple's networking is the "discoveryd" routine, introduced in the latest versions of the OS, which drives how OS X and iOS 8 locates and resolves network connections to other devices. However, the new iteration (replacing a much older service) is causing problems with Bonjour, fouling DNS resolution, and generating a host of other problems for many users, which can in some cases be exacerbated by the number of modern OS X and iOS devices on a network, making it a major problem for Apple faithful.

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Briefly: ResearchKit DNA apps, OpenTV sues over video patents

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

A leading research and academic technology review publication has revealed that Apple is working with researchers on building DNA-testing apps using ResearchKit, the company's API for medical research software. The apps would require volunteers to submit DNA samples, helping scientists at institutions such as UC San Francisco examine the causes of premature birth by studying genetic factors, while another study will look at disease-connected genes gathered through the study.

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T-Mobile attacks Verizon with 'Never Settle' 14-day service trial

17 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Following the success of the iPhone 5s Test Drive promotion from last year, T-Mobile will be offering something similar to potential customers currently subscribed to Verizon. The "Never Settle" campaign will provide Verizon customers the ability to try out the carrier's network and service, by borrowing a smartphone from T-Mobile for two weeks at no charge.

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Hands On: Wear Reader 1.1.0 (Apple Watch)

17 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, software

You're going to end up reading more on your Apple Watch than you imagine. Yes, you're just supposed to glance at it to see who's sent that new email but, come on: you'll scroll through reading it all. The screen is more than good enough that you can do this, and you simply will. What you may resist more is the notion of reading an entire book this way. That's what Wear Reader wants you to do: one quick word at a time.

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Cox launches Gigabit Internet service in Arizona, California, Nevada

18 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Cox Communications is catching up with rivals Google Fiber, Comcast, and AT&T in offering gigabit Internet to more of its residential customers. Initially announced a year ago, the company's "G1gablast" service has gone live in parts of Phoenix, AZ; Orange County, CA; and Omaha, Nebraska, and Las Vegas, NV, earlier than the initially anticipated launch by the end of next year.

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Opinion: Is Microsoft Continuum a game changer for Windows phones?

18 hours ago | Posted in: industry, software, developer

Although Microsoft is lagging as very distant third in the smartphone space, it has not yet given up on the hope that it can eventually gain some market traction. At its Build developers conference last week, the Redmond software giant revealed the shape of things to come from its smartphones in the near future. The most intriguing features demonstrated for Windows 10 on smartphones was Continuum, its new desktop mode for a smartphone connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Although it hasn't been revealed in its final form, Continuum promises to reconfigure a Windows 10 smartphone interface on-the-fly so that users can interact with its apps in a desktop environment much as they would do with a PC. Is it a game changer?

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Comcast spent $336M on failed Time Warner Cable acquisition

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Comcast's failed attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable cost the cable company a considerable amount of money, according to analysis of its earnings reports. While the transaction would have cost $45.2 billion if it did indeed go through, Comcast has apparently spent at least $336 million to get the purchase moving over the last five quarters, before it ended.

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Home Depot to support Apple Pay across entire 2,000-store chain

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Contrary to earlier media reports that suggested Home Depot would drop the mobile payments service, in fact the company has announced that it formally plans to support Apple Pay throughout its entire US operation, making it the largest retailer thus far to support Apple's mobile-payments platform. The announcement comes alongside, and will not replace, stores' acceptance of payment rival PayPal, and the chain says it may continue to add other payment forms.

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Apple TV gains new channels in US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, Apple

Apple has added a handful of new channels to Apple TV units in the US, Canada, the UK, French- and German-speaking regions in Europe, and Australia today. Starting immediately, US owners can now watch CBS Sports (which does not require a cable subscription login) or USA Now, which does require a login. In Canada, viewers will now see either CraveTV (if they are Bell subscribers) or Showmi (for Rogers or Shaw cable customers). Other countries have also received different new channels.

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Previous News

Apple Game Roundup: EVE Online charity effort, GOG Galaxy beta

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, computers, gaming

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at the GOG Galaxy front-end public beta, an EVE Online charity effort for Nepal, the top 10 strategy games according to Mac Gamer HQ, and a possible mod for Grand Theft Auto V to use an iPhone to control the in-game phone.

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Forums: Mac is slow, iTunes questions and more

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, upgrades/storage, Apple

Today in the MacNN forums, members attempt to assist Junior Member "donaldkepler" with trying to figure out why his Mac is slow. Games Meister "The Final Dakar" noticed that non-downloaded podcasts are marked as "played" in iTunes, and wonders "what's up with that?" but no one has responded.

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Apple deals: Mac minis and Mac Pros

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: computers, Apple

Right now at Apple's online store, save big on refurbished Mac minis and Mac Pros. The refurbished Mac mini with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $80 down to $419. For $2,549 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

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Daily Deals: Lenovo Windows tablet, Sony NEX, Bluetooth car stereo

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista trawl online retailers for offers, sales, discounts, and more for you, the discerning reader. A recap of still-active deals from yesterday follows after today's new batch, which includes a $100 Lenovo Windows tablet, a refurbished Sony NEX camera, and a Bluetooth car stereo receiver.

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Hands On: Gravilon (Windows, OS X)

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: gaming

We love platformers. What started out as a simple concept has now expanded, with thousands of titles for avid gamers to enjoy with something geared toward everyone. Because there are so many out there, traversing this diverse genre can be a little daunting. We're here to show you a neat title we recently checked out, called Gravilon, a platformer with an interesting twist.

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Apple Pay gains another 24 financial institutions as growth continues

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple has again updated its list of Apple Pay partners by adding another 24 credit unions and banks, with a strong emphasis on credit unions in the latest additions. Personal and branded cards from the financial institutions can be added to Apple Pay in most cases, though small-business and sub-branded speciality cards may not always be compatible. Since its launch last fall, Apple Pay has nearly instantly become the most popular of the various mobile-payment services, despite only being available on the iPhone 6 (and now, Apple Watch).

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Samsung reveals Pro Plus, Evo Plus SD card lines with faster speeds

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: upgrades/storage

Samsung today introduced its latest memory card lineups the Pro Plus and Evo Plus. The new Pro Plus is equipped to handle storing and transferring professional-grade photos and 4K UHD video. The Evo Plus is tailored towards content creation and storage demands of smartphone, tablet, compact camera and Full HD camcorder users.

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European Commission Apple, Amazon anti-trust ruling will miss deadline

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry, Apple

Europe's anti-trust agency, the European Commission (EC) will miss its own internal deadline for a ruling on the tax probe it has underway against Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon. Citing the need for justice and accuracy in its ruling, EC chief Margrethe Vestager said that "we will not sacrifice the rule of law or the quality of our work to speed up the process."

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Brother debuts pair of all-in-one inkjet printers, new high-volume ink

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging

Printer manufacturer Brother yesterday introduced an expansion to its Business Smart Series color inkjet all-in-ones that the company says will serve as the flagships to the Business Smart Plus and Business Smart Pro lineups. Using Brother's new INKvestment Super High Yield ink cartridges, the MFC-J5920DW Business Smart Plus and MFC-J6925DW Business Smart Pro provide less than $0.01 black cost per page and less than $0.05 color cost per page according to the company.

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Hands On: Bang, The Official Video Game 2.1.6 (iOS)

Tue May 5, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Hey now, steady down there, Slim. Got no beef with you today. Just moseyed on in to town to wait for the stagecoach that's a-bringin' me my Apple Watch. Think I might take a pew here and play myself some cards. Barkeep! Quit polishin' that glass and fill it with some firewater. I got me a copy of Bang, The Official Video Game version 2.1.6 and I mean to have me some fun.

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