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Coalition of authors blames 'thuggish' Amazon for Hachette dispute

1 hour ago | Posted in: industry

Some authors have begun to side with publisher Hachette in its struggle against Amazon. A letter signed by almost 900 authors is objecting to the way that Amazon is handling Hachette, saying that the fight is "harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." Amazon claims to be looking out for the customer in the dispute, and has already responded to the unpublished letter, calling the spearhead of the campaign "entitled" and an "opportunist."

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Yosemite public beta launch doubles presence in web traffic

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, developer, Apple

Though the increase is insignificant in the larger picture of overall global Mac web traffic, new numbers from GoSquared suggest that the release yesterday of the Yosemite (OS X 10.10) public beta, limited to a pool of one million Apple ID holders already running Mavericks, doubled the number of people using the forthcoming new update on the web literally overnight. According to GoSquared's live analytics page, use of Yosemite jumped from 0.26 percent on Thursday to 0.57 percent on Friday.

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Apple buys book analytics site BookLamp to aid iBookstore discovery

13 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

On Friday, Apple revealed that it had purchased book analytics and discovery company BookLamp for an undisclosed sum, though TechCrunch estimated the sale between $10-15 million. While it acknowledged the deal, the iPhone maker's only comment on the deal was its standard "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" line. The company is likely to use BookLamp technology in its iBookstore to help readers discover new content.

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Report: Apple bought back another $5 billion in stock in June quarter

15 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Regulatory have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.

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Cellphone unlocking bill without bulk unlock ban passed by House

19 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, security, mobile phones

In an unexpected move, and avoiding a potential fight, the House of Representatives has passed bill S517, aiming to make cellphone unlocking legal. The amended bill, passed by the Senate last week, was passed with no changes -- a controversial clause of the bill previously passed by the House, prohibiting bulk unlocking by companies, has been removed from the final passed version.

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Forums: Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?

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

This week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" asks "Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?", to which a variety of answers ranging from "I'm ecstatic" to "Yosemite is...eh" have been provided. Dedicated MacNNer "gregfripp" is trying to fix something in his dock, but is unable to do so, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Apple deals: budget priced Macs from $719

19 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

Today Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Mac models on sale, starting as low as $719. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $130 to $719. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives down to $849.

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Verizon to begin throttling some 'unlimited' LTE users

19 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, networking, mobile phones, iPad

Starting October 1, Verizon will begin throttling some of its "unlimited" LTE users, according to an official announcement. The carrier promises that only five percent of that group -- those using 4.7GB or more per month -- will be affected, and "only in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand." Unlimited 3G access has been throttled in a similar manner for some time.

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DealNN: $300 off 15.4-inch rMBP

19 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals, Apple

This week at B&H.com, save $300 on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro which has been cut from $3,099 down to $2,799. That discount makes this nearly $160 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Included is a free copy of either Parallels Desktop 9 or LoJack. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell) processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.

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Bose suing Beats over infringement of active noise reduction patents

19 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, audio, Apple

In a court filing discovered today, Bose is suing Beats over noise cancellation headphone technology. Bose claims that Beats has knowingly infringed on 50 years of "signficant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design" on the technology, with the Beats lineup for sale now using "36 US patents and applications" that Bose now owns or has filed for.

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Users of iOS iPhoto may lose Journals, Books, Slideshows in iOS 8

20 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, digital imaging, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad, iPad apps

Beginning with iOS 8 beta 4, Apple is warning owners of iPhoto for iOS that some features may not make the transition to its replacement, at least at first. Much as with iPhoto on the Mac, users will eventually be migrated over to an all-new, native Photos app, a huge overhaul of the existing iOS Photos app. When trying to run iPhoto in the current beta of iOS 8, an error message now appears stating that iPhoto isn't supported; instead, people are offered the choice to migrate data to Photos, with the exception of "layouts and text added to Books, Journals and Slideshows."

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Lyft caves to NYC regulators, strict TLC-regulated licensure required

21 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, mobile phones

Lyft has conceded many of its talking points to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), but has forged an agreement to commence operation. Pickups will commence today at 7PM in all five boroughs, but all drivers need to be licensed by the TLC prior to accepting pickups. As part of the deal, Lyft will also need to shut down in Buffalo and Rochester to enhance insurance that it offers to riders and drivers.

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Apple manufacturing expenses surge to $15.4B in Q3

22 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Data from Apple's 10-Q filing with the SEC indicates that Apple spent $15.4 billion on manufacturing and components during the June quarter, a 22 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, notes Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Apple put another $5.6 billion towards other commitments including advertising, R&D, Internet/telecommunications, and product tooling/manufacturing equipment. Combined the company's commitments totaled $21 billion, a 36 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, and 46 percent year-over year. The former is said to be the highest sequential growth for any Apple Q3 since the build up to the iPhone's launch in the summer of 2007.

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Production of new iPads, 5.5-inch iPhone yet to begin, rumor claims

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, iPad

Although mass production of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is underway, other Apple products due this fall -- including new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini, and the 5.5-inch iPhone -- have yet to begin assembly, according to Chinese-language publication UDN. The new iPads are expected to enter production in September, but there is no reported timeframe for the 5.5-inch iPhone. UDN makes no mention of the iWatch, something generally anticipated in the fall.

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iOS apps: Tweetbot, Fantastical, Reeder

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 7.8MB

    Tweetbot 3.4.1 ($5)

    Tweetbot is a Twitter client that includes multiple timelines, smart gestures, and support for a number of other social services such as Instapaper and CloudApp. Timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters are also synced automatically between the iPhone and iPad via iCloud. A number of issues specific to the iOS 8 beta have been fixed in this update, along with problems with Flickr image previews.

  • 17.5MB

    Fantastical 2.1 ($5)

    Fantastical is a calendar utility that allows users to create events by explaining events in basic English. For example, a user can enter "Lunch with John at 123 Main Street on Tuesday," and the software will add all of the relevant information to a new event. In v2.1, events now include snooze options. Users can also now search and add locations or contacts’ addresses when creating new events, as well as use keyboard shortcuts when typing on an external keyboard.

  • 7.8MB

    Reeder 2.5 ($5)

    Reeder is an RSS reader that includes support for several RSS services, including Feedbin, Feedly, and Feed Wrangler. Support for a number of new sync services, including FeedHQ, Inoreader, NewsBlur, Minimal Reader, The Old Reader, and BazQux Reader, has been added in this update. in addition, improvements have also been made to both Feedbin and Feed Wrangler syncing.

  • 70.2MB

    Procreate 2.1 ($6)

    Procreate is an iPad painting app that features 48 different brushes to choose from. The software runs on the 64 bit Silica engine and includes support for canvas resolutions of up to 4096 x 4096 on the latest iPad models. Version 2.1 introduces a number of new features, such as ColorDrop which allows users to just drop a color where they want it to fill. Users can also now swipe any inking layer with two fingers to activate it as a reference. Any other layer can than be filled with ColorDrop based on the reference.

  • 5.3MB

    Castro 1.1.1 ($4)

    Castro is a mobile podcast client that can help users keep up to date on all the shows they follow. The v1.1.3 adds a Chinese (Traditional) localization and will no longer bother users with reminders when their mobile data is turned off. Additionally, a bug that could result in the play position being lost when headphones where unplugged during playback has been fixed.

 
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Friday Deals: 4TB Hard drive, Surface RT, OTA TV streamer, more!

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, upgrades/storage, audio

It's that time of the week again! Time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy! We have a tendency to add deals over the weekend as we find them, so check back often!

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Swiss Apple Store expansion may require first 'open-air' temp shop

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

Apple is building its first-ever "open-air" provisional store in Switzerland, a local report says. Macprime notes that as far back as March, it learned that the Glattzentrum Apple Store in Wallisellen, just outside of Zurich, is expanding into a neighboring space formerly occupied by Läderach. Within the past several days though, an area in front of the shop -- but separate -- has been surrounded with a black facade, and even a curtain so that people wandering Glattzentrum's upper floor can't see in.

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Previous News

ComiXology starts offering DRM-free backups of digital comics

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

ComiXology, the digital comic book retailer owned by Amazon, is now allowing users to make backups of some downloaded comics. For a number of publishers, the service will make PDF and CBZ versions of comic book purchases free of any digital rights management (DRM), effectively letting customers view the comics they own in other reader apps.

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OS X Yosemite public beta includes iTunes 12 beta access

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: software, Apple

Apple is pushing OS X Yosemite public beta users access to the new iTunes 12 beta. Developers were granted access to the iTunes 12 beta earlier in this week, and similarly OS X Yosemite public beta users will receive a notification via the Mac App Store software update function to install the optional update. iTunes 12 comes with a redesigned interface along with new features. Like the OS X Yosemite beta, the software is not finalized for release and may not alway work as expected, but gives Mac users an opportunity to provide Apple with feedback ahead of its official introduction.

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Briefly: Gmail for iOS update, EverWeb for Mac 1.5

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: hacks, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Google has updated its Gmail for iOS (free) to allow users to leverage the company's Google Drive in two new ways: users can now save attachments in emails directly to Google Drive, and users can now access Google Drive directly from within the Gmail app to add attachments to outgoing messages. The update to version 3.14159 (yes, pi) also gives users more options with account management, such as deciding which of their Gmail account is seen without removing other accounts, and changing the Gmail profile pic.

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Review: Razer Taipan mouse

Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, peripherals

The list of gaming devices is growing larger with each passing day. A large number of companies have entered the gaming input arena, already containing some well-known names in the industry. Many PC gamers know one such name, Razer, as the go-to company for mice and other controls. The Taipan is a mouse that Razer has offered since 2012, but gave it new flair with a white finish this May. Does the new finish give gamers a good reason to revisit the Taipan, or is it a dated approach to gaming? Find out in our review.

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Judge expresses concerns over Apple's e-book settlement deal

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

In an unsurprising move, US District Court Judge Denise Cote hinted that she may overrule a settlement worked out between Apple and the attorneys general of 33 states and territories along with consumer groups over e-book pricing, expressing "concern" that one of the terms of the deal allows Apple to pay little or nothing if they are ultimately found innocent on appeal. She also objected to another agreed-upon aspect that allowed Apple to pay no interest on the monetary damages while the appeal was in process.

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Potential 5.5-inch iPhone flex cables, SIM trays leak

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

A new set of pictures from a Taiwanese enthusiast site could provide the first evidence of the existence of a 5.5-inch iPhone if legitimate. The images, showing flex cables for the volume-mute button as well as the wake-sleep control, also include an unknown longer flex cable previously unseen in an iPhone model, as well as a set of micro-SIM trays. All are said to be for a 5.5-inch iPhone which has been long-rumored, but to date little credible evidence exists for its production.

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FCC gets a chance to flex muscle on municipal broadband issue

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: industry

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could soon have a chance to act on Chairman Tom Wheeler's promise to overturn state laws when it comes to municipal broadband networks. Today, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) filed a petition with the agency asking that they step over state law to allow them to expand access.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Pond wireless charging system

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, peripherals, mobile phones

Historically, MacNN and Electronista have covered few, if any, in-progress crowd-sourced projects unless there was something unusual about them, like making 100x their goal. Starting this week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing any projects, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a prospective project, we're just pointing out something we found that we like. Please do your research before investing! That all said, our inaugural crowd-sourced project this week comes to us from Kickstarter -- the Pond Wireless Charging device for iPhone 5/5s, Android and Windows.

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Network glitches hit iCloud Mail, iTunes, App Store services [u]

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

[Updated with spreading service issues] Apple online services have been affected by a pair of problems on Thursday, the company's system status page indicates. Still ongoing is a glitch with iCloud Mail, resulting in "slower than normal response" for some users. Trouble appears to have begun shortly after 2PM Eastern.

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SampleTank 3 gets new interface, built-in MIDI engine

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio

IK Multimedia has started shipping SampleTank 3, an upgraded version of its "groove workstation" for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is a redesigned interface, newly streamlined into three pages: Play, Mix, and Edit. The first allows for performance, layering, and adjustments, while Mix handles effects and processing. Edit enables more in-depth sound control, including access to 10 filters.

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