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Technology in Recovery: Week one, simple (and giant) choices

4 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Therapy for a disabled person is a mixed bag. Sometimes the body cooperates, and sometimes the mind. Sometimes both, sometimes neither -- and neither is what we got this week. Regardless, the therapists soldiered on, with some pretty solid initial tech solutions for therapy and common recovery stumbling blocks.

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Freedom Deals: Celebrate US independence with hefty store discounts

5 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Freedom Deals, the one-off version of Daily Deals that we're using to highlight some of the online offers, discounts, bundles, and sales going on this weekend, in honor of the Fourth of July. Notable deals include the freedom-creating Broforce, a collection of large HDTVs, and a Wii U with Splatoon. Normal deals service will resume tomorrow.

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Hands On: The Nightjar 1.2.5 (iOS)

7 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

The Nightjar by developer Somethin' Else is a science fiction thriller in which the player has been abandoned alone on a spaceship which is about to self-destruct. All the lights have gone out, so there's a lot of bumping into walls and following sounds. Thankfully, Benedict Cumberbatch is talking to you through an ear piece and knows how to get you safely off the ship... probably.

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Save Your Bandwidth: the worst of the iOS and Mac App Stores

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

We've said this before about how we come up with the apps we review -- sometimes we're approached by the developers who request we take a look at their app, sometimes we go looking for apps we think the readers would be interested in, and sometimes readers alert us to the existence of an app we should write about through our tips email. Even when we don't like something, we try to be constructive in our criticisms. However, periodically we come across something that will spark in us either blinding rage or numbing apathy. Either way, we're just not sure we can squeeze a whole article out of it that isn't just the word "meh" over and over again, or simply a picture of Zoidberg yelling, "your app is bad, and you should feel bad!" Join us, for this first installment of a periodic column shaming the worst of the choices on the App Store that we randomly get corralled to examine.

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MacNN's Week that Was: June 29 through July 5

8 hours ago | Posted in: industry, software, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Happy post-Fourth of July! We hope you emerged from the holiday unburnt from the sun, the grill, or explosives! Today marks our second iteration of a new column about the stories that entertained us, informed us, or just plain tickled us in the course of the week. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game. Read on for thoughts on the events of the week in the tech world including a bevy of Apple Music stories, just as many OS X tales, and some goofy stories from around the web.

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Happy Fourth of July from MacNN and Electronista

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in:

Happy pre-Fourth of July! We here at Electronista and MacNN wish our readers a happy US Independence Day -- yes, even our readers from the UK, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. In all seriousness, we've still got great things planned for the weekend. We'll still bring you anything urgent that pops up, as well as the second part of our Technology in Recovery series, plus a recap of the big stories of the week on Sunday. Until we see you again, toss those burgers on the grill, and have a happy and safe July fourth holiday!

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Dr. Dre to debut hour-long radio show July 4 on Beats 1

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: audio, Apple

Following the decision to release his first album The Chronic as an Apple Music exclusive, untitled Apple executive Dr. Dre will debut a new bi-weekly radio show on Beats 1 on Saturday, July 4, entitled "The Pharmacy," focusing on West Coast urban music and other tracks of interest to Dre. The first episode will debut at 6PM ET, and joins a host of other shows hosted by prominent musicians.

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Pointers: play nearly any media file on your iOS device

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: software, hacks, networking, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Today's Pointers is going to be a bit short and sweet because, like everyone else in the US, we're itching to get out of the office and engage in dangerous, noisy, polluting activities of an excessive nature. So while you are waiting in the burn unit or drunk tank for either treatment or bail money, here's a great tip for making all that waiting time easier: a simple way to get your iOS devices to play any non-DRM'd audio, photo, or video file format without taking up any space. It's like iTunes Match, but for all kinds of media files.

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Reddit moderators set communities private to protest employee firing

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: Graphics/Web Design

The firing of an employee has caused community outrage over at Reddit today, prompting many parts of the site to be hidden from view by volunteer moderators. A number of the site's communities are setting their subreddits to private in protest of a decision by management to let go of Victoria Taylor, a staff member that managed the famous Ask Me Anything (AMA) section, with readers revolting over a lack of explanation for the site's actions.

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Hands On: Ball Alien 1.0 (iOS)

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

If we say platformer, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably a game like Super Mario Bros or Super Meat Boy, or maybe even the original Donkey Kong. Something classic and straightforward -- but the truth of the matter is that the platformer genre is almost as wild and varied as the puzzle genre. That's why we decided to tell you guys about Ball Alien, a quirky skill platformer that has you traversing platforms in space.

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Alleged 'iPhone 6s' logic board, case suggest only internal upgrades

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Possibly anticipating continued record sales, Apple has allegedly already begun preliminary production for this fall's anticipated iPhone 6 refresh, with the new models presumably called the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Images of a new alleged motherboard (likely to be legitimate in our view) and casing suggest that the external appearance compared to the current models will change little, and that the next upgrade will focus on internal and software improvements.

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Hands On: 2F1B 1.8 (iOS)

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Two Fingers, but only one brain (2 F 1 B) is a series of 20 mini-games that are mixed and matched to appear two at a time on the user's screen. At first, we weren't sure we were going to like that, but we were pleasantly surprised. Our first encounter with 2F1B was last year, and we were saddened by what we perceived as ads that really got in the way of gameplay. We were recently prompted to give the app another chance. Happily, whether by design or accident, the ad situation has improved dramatically.

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Apple gains share in US market, narrows gap with Android

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

Matching its performance in the previous quarter, Apple's iPhone again gained nearly two percent market share in the US in the last three months, according to ComScore, widening its lead as the dominant smartphone maker. While Android as a platform continued to hold the top platform position at 52.1 percent, it again suffered an overall decline of 0.7 percent, while iOS surged to 43.5, a 1.8 percent gain matched exactly by losses from Android, Microsoft, and BlackBerry.

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Daily Deals: Curved LG monitor, 960GB SSD, Roomba cleaner

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including a sub-$300 960GB SSD, a curved LG monitor, and a Roomba.

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Hands On: The Nightmare Cooperative 1.0 (Cross-Platform)

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Roguelikes can be an intimidating genre. They're generally known for complicated stat management systems, complex maps, and for being absolutely unforgiving to new players. If you're looking for a gentler roguelike to jump into, we'll show you the pros and cons of The Nightmare Cooperative, available on (Steam and the App Store).

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App Update: MacFamilyTree, Maya, Economacs, more

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: software

App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones here, in the relaunch of our App Update column. Today, we look at revisions to MacFamilyTree, Maya, Economacs, Blender, Cinema 4D, Batman Arkham Asylum, and Minco.

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Hands On: Learn Discovery 1.2.0 (iOS)

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: education, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Ah, Wikipedia, our torrid little knowledge love affair. Sure, it's not always the most accurate, but it's certainly the most convenient. We're not going to pretend like we're not the type to spend an evening hopping from article to article, reading as much as we can -- but what if there was an easier option, something that made sense of the complex information presented to you by Wikipedia? Now, there is, with Learn Discovery.

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MacNN Deals: Upgrade how you use the Apple Watch

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: accessories

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's collection revolves around the Apple Watch, including two stands to stylishly charge the smartwatch, as well as a way to improve the watch itself by replacing the band with a more colorful design.

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Plex forums breached, user data held to ransom by hacker

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: security

Plex is under threat from a hacker, attempting to blackmail the service by holding some of its customer data up for ransom. The streaming media software developer's forums have been breached, with the hacker demanding bitcoin from the company, otherwise the attacker will release all the acquired customer data, as well as other software and files picked up in the intrusion for all to see.

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Hands On: Scanner Pro 6 (iOS)

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps

There is no iPhone scanning app that will get you the same results you have from a desktop scanner like a Fujitsu ScanSnap or a portable document one like a Doxie. However, even portable ones need carrying around, and desktop ones need a desktop, whereas your iPhone is with you all the time and everywhere. What Scanner Pro 6 does is let you photograph a document, and calls that a scan. There are alternatives, and there have been five previous versions of this one, but developer Readdle adds improvements and one potentially brilliant new feature.

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Chicago extends existing laws to tax online services 9 percent

Fri July 3, 2015 | Posted in: industry

Users of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services in Chicago can expect to pay a higher subscription rate in the future, after the city changed laws. The "cloud tax" is effectively an extension of existing laws to add a nine-percent tax on streaming services and some other online platforms, which in at least one case will see the end price of services paid for by consumers in the city go up in order to compensate for the extra cost of business.

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Universal issues first full 'Steve Jobs' movie trailer

Thu July 2, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

Universal Studios has released a full-length, two-and-a-half-minute trailer for its upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, which is set to open on October 9 and features Michael Fassbender in the title role, along with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Kate Winslet as Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, and Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, the mother of Jobs' first child, Lisa.

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Hands On: GarageBand 10.1 (OS X)

Thu July 2, 2015 | Posted in: software, audio, Apple

Following the launch of Apple Music, Apple pushed out the latest version of GarageBand for both Mac and iOS. GarageBand, as you are likely aware, is Apple's entry-level music production software that ships free with all Macs. While the latest release doesn't do much to change the experience of using the software, it does introduce a range of additional content that can be used to create new music.

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Daily Deals: Bose Solo TV, MacBook Pro, Brother printer

Thu July 2, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including the Bose Solo TV Sound System, a refurbished MacBook Pro, and a Brother multifunction printer.

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Prince removes music catalog from majority of streaming services

Thu July 2, 2015 | Posted in: industry, audio

The battle for musicians to receive payment for their music from streaming services has resulted in an unusual move by one artist. Prince has started to request that all streaming services pulls his back catalog of tracks from their collections, with Spotify being one of the first to remove the singer's music, though according to a report, the struggling Tidal will apparently continue streaming Prince's songs to subscribers.

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Apple warns users on new Trim support in 10.10.4

Thu July 2, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, hacks, Apple

Although many are celebrating the long-awaited arrival of Trim support for third-party SSD storage that can be enabled by users, Apple's implementation of it should be considered preliminary, and comes with an unusual and strongly-worded warning that offers no support if the user should experience problems. In addition, some popular SSD models, notably Samsung's 840 and 850 lines, may be subject to a data-destroying bug if Trim is activated.

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