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Hands On: Learn Guitar (iOS)

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

Learning to play an instrument takes a lot of things. For instance, it takes a lot of practice, a lot of effort, and frequently it also takes a lot of money. Usually, it's the money that stops someone from picking up the hobby. But what if it was possible to learn to play guitar for just a couple of dollars? If you've been putting off learning to play guitar, now is the time to dust off that old six-string, or head over to the consignment shop, and start strumming with Learn Guitar by Insider.com.

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Apple gadgets, accessories dominate Time's top 10 for 2014

5 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, gadgets, accessories, Apple, iPad

Time magazine has picked out its top 10 Gadgets list (among other Top 10s such as Video Games and Toys) for holiday season shoppers, and unsurprisingly Apple devices or accessories dominate the selection, taking four out of the 10 slots -- the most of any single company. In a list that seems determined to rank some promising but nascent technology higher than one would expect, the rankings are puzzling for the surprising amount of "vaporware" on it -- including its top choice, the coming-next-year Apple Watch.

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Forums: MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air

9 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

Today in the MacNN forums, Dedicated MacNNer "ClaraT" reported that their six-year-old MacBook is starting to have intermittent graphics issues where her screen will go black, and is now contemplating getting a new system, but is looking for advice on what to buy; a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Yesterday, Senior User "mkerr64" was considering upgrading the graphics card in his Mac Pro, and is wondering if the PSU has will be powerful enough.

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Apple deals: Mac Pros and Accessories

9 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store right now, save on refurbished Mac Pro models and accessories. The refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has been reduced by $450 down to $2,549. Save $600 on the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz Intel six-core processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $3,399.

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DealNN: LG 34-inch monitor, storage and 3D printer

9 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals, upgrades/storage

Save $490 on the LG 34-inch UltraWide LED backlight LCD monitor right now at Newegg.com. It carries a retail price of $1,299, but has been slashed to $899. Use coupon code EMCWWHE25 to drop the price further to $809, making this the lowest price we have seen on this monitor by about $90. The LG UltraWide monitor features a resolution of 3440 x 1440, aspect ratio of 21:9, sRGB 99 percent color reproduction and is compatible with both Mac and PC.

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Yahoo, Microsoft vying to become default search option in Safari

10 hours ago | Posted in: industry, software, Apple

Yahoo and Microsoft are courting Apple in hopes of becoming the default search provider for the Safari web browser, a report says. Apple renewed a mapping and search partnership with Google in 2010, but that contract is set to expire next year, which could give other companies an entry point. Both Yahoo and Microsoft executives are said to have approached Eddy Cue -- Apple's senior VP for Internet Software and Services -- about a potential deal. So far though there's no sign that Apple has made a decision, and indeed it could choose to remain with Google.

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BlackBerry Trade Up program offers Passport buyers cash for iPhones

12 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, mobile phones

Beginning on December 1st, BlackBerry will be offering up to $550 for people willing to trade in an iPhone towards the purchase of a Passport. Shoppers will be able to trade anything from an iPhone 4S through to an iPhone 6, and receive a $150 "top-up" in addition to the phone's actual estimated value. Hitting the $550 mark requires a mint-condition iPhone 6 valued at $400.

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Hands On: Logitech Keys-To-Go

13 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPad

When looking for an external keyboard to use with something like the iPad, you are generally limited to two streams of products: Bluetooth keyboards designed for desktop use, and keyboard cases. While wireless desktop keyboards offer a superior typing experience when compared to keyboard cases, they suffer from a design not intended for extensive portability. Meanwhile, keyboard cases are easy to tout around, but force users to add bulk directly to their so-called "portable" device. Enter Logitech's Keys-To-Go, a small Bluetooth keyboard that offers no means of attaching itself to a mobile device, yet has been designed to throw in a bag and carry around.

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Apple market cap breaks through $700 billion mark

14 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Apple's market capitalization has surpassed $700 billion in early Tuesday stock trading, setting an all-time record for the company. The company's previous peak -- ignoring gains earlier this month -- was $658 billion, achieved in September 2012. Shortly after, Apple stock prices dropped substantially and took some time to recover.

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New iPhone 6 ads push gaming, Continuity features

15 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Apple has premiered a pair of new iPhone 6 ads (below), continuing a series starring the voices of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first, "Gamers," depicts the pair playing the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title Vainglory, used in some previous Apple marketing as well. The ad touts the speed of the A8 processor in the 6 and 6 Plus.

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Apps: PopChar X, Arq, Voila

15 hours ago | Posted in apps

    4MB

    PopChar X 7.0 ($38)

    PopChar X allows users to add special characters without the need to remember a keystroke combination. Version 7.0 introduces a new “Shape Finder” that performs a character search based on a shape that the user draws. This can also be used with the new “Find Similar Shape” context command, which allows a user to start with a character in the table, optionally add a few extra strokes, and quickly find characters that look similar.

    20.5MB

    Arq 4.7.4 ($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. In v4.7.4 the ISO 8601 date has been set using US locale in order to avoid the error “AWS authentication requires a valid Date or x-amz-date header". In addition, a memory leak that could occur when backing up to Google Drive has also been resolved.

    24.7MB

    Voila 3.8.1 ($30)

    Voila is a screen capture utility that includes more advanced options than offered by default in Mac OS X. With this utility users can designate the area they wish to capture using circular, polygon, or freehand tools. The latest release offers improved support for OS X Yosemite.

    13.1MB

    Clear 1.1.5 ($10)

    Clear is a simple organization app that can help users create and manage todo lists. iCloud sync is built right into the software so that lists are available on all connected devices, and reminders ensure users will not forget important tasks. The v1.1.5 update adds support for the new (RED) theme, however, the developers note that the theme must be purchased on an iOS device before it will become available within the app.

    3MB

    ForeverSave 2.1.3 ($20)

    Forever save automatically saves all documents a users is working on, while simultaneously creating backup versions in the background. Within the software users can set a custom time interval for backing up data, as well as choose which applications to backup. A bug where the menu bar icon would stay highlighted on OS X Yosemite has been fixed with this update.

 
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Briefly: Moleskine iPhone 6 case, Landscape 1.2

16 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, software, accessories

Moleskine has announced the release of an iPhone 6 case, featuring style attributes of its simple notebook. The black case features a book style cover, held closed by a Moleskine elastic band, and its inside front pocket can store an extra small Moleskine Volant journal, as well as business cards, credit cards and more. Its interior includes padded suede lining, and inner rubberized shell keeps the iPhone 6 protects while still allowing access to all ports, buttons, speakers and cameras. Priced at $37, the Moleskine iPhone case is available online.

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Hands On: Improvox (iOS)

18 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Until recently, the average person could not get their hands on pitch correction software. The software had a tendency to cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars and required an engineering degree to use. However, there has been a surge of software available to everyone in the last few years. Among these is ImproVox is available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch and ImproVox by developer MuseAmi, a clever app that puts a simple recording studio in your hands.

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Universal officially takes over Jobs biopic, Fassbender to star

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

As a follow-up to a story we reported on last week, Universal Studios has officially bought the rights to the Steve Jobs biopic already in pre-production from Sony, which had placed the project in "turnaround" on Thursday. Universal is said to have paid Sony $30 million to transfer the picture to the latter's control, retaining director Danny Boyle and reportedly confirming actor Michael Fassbender to play the lead role. There is still no firm announcement on when shooting will commence.

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Apple responds, points out flaws in AAA study of 'distracting' Siri

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

Apple has issued a statement criticizing a study conducted by the University of Utah for the American Automobile Association in October that rated Apple's Siri (and other naturalistic voice-command virtual assistants by proxy) as "the most" distracting in-car task compared to just driving, adjusting the car's radio or temperature, or using built-in car navigation or infotainment systems. In its response, Apple points out some serious flaws in the study, including the fact that it deliberately avoided using the driving-specific Siri Eyes Free or CarPlay options.

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City of Cupertino, Apple share new photo of Campus 2 progress

Tue November 25, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

A new photo of the construction site of Apple Campus 2 has been posted to the City of Cupertino's official website for the project. Multiple structures can now be seen taking shape -- mostly support buildings, while infrastructure and progress on the "moat"-like tunnel system around or under the main building continues. There has been no update to the overall schedule for the project of late, suggesting that things are moving along on the revised schedule that will see the main building ready for use sometime late in 2016.

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Hands On: Acky's Breakout Reloaded (Mac, iOS, Android)

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Vintage gamers and arcade cabinet enthusiasts are likely to remember Arkanoid, which was a riff on a game called Breakout. The aim of the game was to clear a board of all of its bricks by using a paddle to bounce a small ball against them. At first, the game primarily showed up on arcade cabinets. The various remakes have shown up for just about every platform since. One such game is Acky's Breakout Reloaded by Isotope 244.

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T-Mobile, FCC reach agreement to help inform data-throttled customers

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: mobile phones

US carrier T-Mobile and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced an agreement today that changes the way T-Mobile handles customers that go over their data caps in any given month. The FCC says T-Mobile will take steps to ensure customers are better informed about the reduced speeds, including providing accurate speed tests.

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Chase debuts new TV ad promoting Apple Pay partnership

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple, iPad

Megabank Chase has aired a new TV commercial featuring the band Bleachers using a Chase Freedom credit account to purchase a variety of items and services ahead of a rooftop gig in Los Angeles -- with the difference being that the band members used their iPhones and Apple Pay instead of their credit cards. A representative from Chase told AdAge that representatives from Apple were involved in the creation of the ad, but asked mainly that the Apple Pay be shown in realistic situations.

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New iCloud features being held back by 'deep organizational issues'

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: digital imaging, Apple

The introduction of new features in iCloud is being hampered by "deep organizational issues" at Apple, claims the sometimes-reliable The Information. The primary example is said to be iCloud Photo Library, which was announced in June and was initially expected to debut with iOS 8 in September. It missed that target, and even iOS 8.1 only ushered in beta support. It's also allegedly yet to be integrated with the upcoming Photos app for OS X Yosemite.

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HitFilm 3 Pro gets new interface design, 3D effects

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: software, digital imaging

FXHome has released Hitfilm 3 Pro, a new edition of its combination editing/effects suite for OS X and Windows. The software's interface has been redesigned, for example gaining a new editing timeline intended to keep every tool close by. It should be possible to rapidly switch between the editor and and several 3D compositing timelines. Users have access to 20 new effects, a 16-bit OpenEXR pipeline, and background proxying for more complex effects work.

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Older WordPress sites affected by critical cross-site scripting bug

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: security, software

Versions of WordPress from 3.0 up to 3.9.2 were discovered to contain a security vulnerability through the comment features on the site, making a large number of installs and servers vulnerable to attack. The bug was discovered by Jouko Pynnonen of the Finnish IT company Klikki Oy, indicating that the bug went unchecked for more than four years since it was introduced with version 3.0 in June 2010.

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Briefly: Call Recorder for FaceTime, Patriot upgrades LX Series

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, software

Ecamm has announced the release of its Call Recorder for FaceTime, available for download on the company's own site. Allowing users to record FaceTime audio and video calls directly to one's Mac, Call Recorder can record manually or automatically. Recordings of FaceTime chats, podcasts and interviews record footage side-by-side in HD resolution. Calls handed off from an iPhone can also be captured. Available as a seven day free trial, the full version of Call Recorder for FaceTime is priced at $30.

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Commerce Bank gains support for Apple Pay

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple, iPad

Another financial institution, Commerce Bank, has added support for Apple Pay mobile payments. The bank operates chiefly in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Colorado. It hasn't made an formal announcement, but is now listed in an official Apple Pay support document. Commerce customers who want to use Apple Pay are currently limited to personal MasterCards, even though the bank also offers Visa.

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T-Mobile expands Music Freedom roster to cover 14 more services

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: audio

T-Mobile has expanded the range of its Music Freedom scheme to include more streaming services. The program, which allows T-Mobile subscribers to listen to music from specific services without using up any of their mobile data allowance, now has an additional 14 services for customers to choose from, bringing the total for the entire collection to 27 services.

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Monday Deals: reconditioned 27-inch iMacs, Samsung HDTVs

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, gadgets, software, Apple

Welcome to the second installment of Monday Deals, which we will be running throughout the holiday shopping period. While it is just four more days until shoppers become uncivilized and argue over who gets to buy the last of a heavily-discounted product, we are listing various deals you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, can take advantage of now. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later reading, so check before purchasing. Also, check back on this post in the coming days, as more deals will be added as time goes on.

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App Store downloads surge in October off iPhone 6, 6 Plus sales

Mon November 24, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, developer

App Store downloads surged to a record 7.8 million per day average for the top 200 free iOS apps in October, says mobile marketing firm Fiksu. That represented a 42 percent increase from September, and a 39 percent jump year-over-year. The firm says it expects the trend to continue into the holiday season. It appears to have been kickstarted by sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which first launched on September 19, but which has been been gradually rolling out to more and more countries.

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