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Pointers: Yes, you can still burn a music CD in iTunes

8 hours ago | Posted in: education, software, audio

Today's Pointers column is inspired by a lamentation from a veteran Mac user of our acquaintance who expressed some regret over the upgrade to iTunes 12 (he had jumped several versions in finally doing the upgrade). Among the other changes the recent version had introduced, he was convinced that Apple had removed the ability to burn music CDs, which he still found useful. In case others are laboring under this misconception, this column will show you that yes, CD music burning is still doable in iTunes 12.1 in 2015.

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Briefly: HomeKit gadgets to ship next week, new Manhattan Apple Store

14 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, developer, accessories, Apple

Just ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off June 8, a number of manufacturers are set to announce the first HomeKit-compatible products arriving at retail, according to sources. The home-automation technology allows common household products such as lighting systems, environment systems, alarms, doors, and other items to be controlled through iOS app and Siri.

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Forums: MacBook Air strange issues and more

15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple

This week in the MacNN forums, members help each other troubleshoot MacBook Air problems, storage issues and more. Mac Elite "And.reg" is still trying to figure out what is going on with his MacBook Air after reporting strange issues months ago. Forum goers continue to assist Mac Elite "jeff k" with trying to figure out why his notebook is telling him he has no more room on his hard drive to update the OS.

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Apple deals: up to $600 off MacBook Pros

15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store today, save up to $600 on refurbished MacBook Pro models. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has seen a $270 price cut to $829. A $340 price cut drops the cost on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage down to $1,359.

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Hands On: Google Photos 1.0.0 (iOS)

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

It's not as if Apple owns the rights to the word "photos," but with the new Google Photos 1.0.0 for iOS launch, there are going to be some short but confusing conversations. Are you going to store your photos in Photos or in Photos? Look into Google's offering, and you will immediately decide to move to it -- but if you look even a tiny bit further, the decision is less clear. We think Google has big and compelling advantages, but Apple has some too -- and in the end, the best result may be that both companies force each other to get better.

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Apple Game Roundup: Subject 13 launch, Chivalry Community Fest, more

17 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, Apple

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the launch of Subject 13, increased legendary drop rates in Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel, the Chivalry: Medieval Community Fest, and a unique achievement in Invisible, Inc.

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Hands On Simple Machines 1.0.1 (iOS)

17 hours ago | Posted in: education, gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Simple Machines by Tinybop is less like a game, and more like a collection of scientific toys. The mechanical demonstrations are certainly like games, and some of them have goals the user can shoot for, certainly. There are no points, and very little in the way of "win" conditions, however. What Simple Machines does have is a lot of charm, whimsy, and science!

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Daily Deals: $800 MacBook Air, 5TB external storage, hard drive bundle

17 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet to find sales, discounts, bundles, and offers on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The usual recap of still-active deals comes after the new wave of deals, including a MacBook Air for $800, a bundle of three 4TB hard drives for a NAS, and a Samsung D3 Station 5TB USB 3.0 external drive for $120.

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Lyve Cam unveiled as 4K-shooting camera that uploads to cloud storage

18 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, digital imaging

A new camera intends to make it easier to take pictures at social gatherings, by automatically shooting high-resolution stills and video, and upload them to cloud servers shortly after they have been taken. The Lyve Cam from Lyve Minds is a cylindrical camera capable of 13-megapixel photographs and 4K-resolution video, that can be set to connect to a local Wi-Fi network and upload the content to Lyve's own cloud service, retrievable later via the company's mobile app.

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Briefly: Apple retakes top brand from Google, best service from CR

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

With a staggering "brand value" growth rate over the last decade of 1,446 percent, Apple was again awarded the "top global brand" for the fourth time in the last five years in the latest BrandZ brand value report by marketers Millward Brown. Google had captured the top spot away from Apple last year, but the iPhone maker's stellar sales performance over the past year saw its "brand value" rise 67 percent to $247 billion, compared to an overall brand value rise of 14 percent in 2015, and 126 percent over the last 10 years.

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Mac Game Review: Total War: Shogun 2 Collection

22 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Persevere and never fear. Excellent advice for those who choose to undertake the massive gaming experience that is Total War: Shogun 2 Collection, from Sega and Feral Interactive. For those who have never delved into the series, the Total War games are a series of war games that combine real-time tactics with turn-based strategy, to give an experience that is similar to Civilization, but with a much tighter focus on the battlefield. The entire series is very complex, both in strategy as well as in design. While the games have generally done a good job of introducing new players to the gameplay styles and mechanics, they can be quite daunting for those not accustomed to such a deeply involved experience, and Total War: Shogun 2 Collection is no exception to that.

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MacNN Deals: Protect yourself from losing your smartphone data

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, software, mobile phones

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing a few of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're looking into ways to protect your precious data stored on your smartphone, including backing up your data, recovering it if things get accidentally deleted, and minimizing physical damage to the iPhone while also providing more photography options for the camera.

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Hands On: HTML Studio 3.5 (iOS)

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

If you're a web designer, a big part of your job is being chained to your computer, typing away endless amounts of code. But what if you wanted the option to travel lighter? What if you didn't want to tote around a laptop or sit at home? That was the reasoning behind HTML Studio, an iOS-based HTML coding program.

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Jawbone sues Fitbit over claims it stole confidential information

Fri May 29, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Fitness tracker producer Jawbone has sued Fitbit for acquiring confidential documents, shortly before its competitor holds its initial public offering of stock. Filed in a California State Court on Wednesday, Jawbone accuses Fitbit of "systematically plundering" confidential commercial information from it by hiring Jawbone employees, some of which acquired the secret data before departing to the competition.

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Man fined $120 for using Apple Watch while driving

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: education, gadgets, Apple

A man in Quebec, Canada has been ticketed with a potential fine of $120 for using his Apple Watch to manually change songs remotely on his nearby iPhone, sparking a debate about whether the Watch can be as distracting as the smartphone it ostensibly replaces in such situations, and opening a discussion about the nature of "no handheld devices while driving" laws which are widespread throughout North America. Defendant Jeffrey Macesin, who admits the case will clarify the existing law, is contesting the citation.

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Google I/O: Google Cardboard upgraded, brought to iOS

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: software, developer

Google spent some time during its Google I/O keynote talking about its virtual reality efforts. Google Cardboard has received an update, with the budget VR headset now able to work with iOS devices, while its other video-related efforts involve a new design of camera system that has the support of camera producer GoPro, and the incoming addition of true stereoscopic VR video to YouTube.

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Appeals court slams Bromwich, but denies Apple request for replacement

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals handed Apple a minor defeat on Thursday in its fight to both get rid of the antitrust "watchdog" a biased lower court had appointed for it, as well as overturn the earlier court ruling entirely. In a decision on the fate of Michael Bromwich, a personal friend of the original trial judge Denise Cote who Apple has argued is not qualified in antitrust and who has attempted to conduct investigations outside his remit, the court decided that while there was evidence of abuse, Bromwich can stay in place until the court decides on Apple's overall appeal.

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Apple buys German augmented-reality firm Metaio

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: software, digital imaging, developer, Apple

Apple has bought out the assets and technology of Volkswagen-created augmented reality (AR) firm Metaio, which developed AR-enhanced business and product-oriented interactive software for websites and companies. The acquisition is not the first of Apple's buyouts of AR firms, which use live video from cameras and overlay graphics or information to supplement what can be seen -- from instantly translating a sign into one's native language to noting the business hours and ratings of a business.

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Hands On: Final Draft Writer 2.0 (iOS)

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Now that Final Draft has come to the iPhone –– in form of Final Draft Writer 2.0 –– you could in theory write the next Hollywood blockbuster on your phone. You won't. Nobody will. What you could well do is make changes and as any screenwriter would tell you, there are always changes to be made.

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Daily Deals: iPad Air 2, Xbox One Assassins Creed Bundle, Monitors

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet to find sales, discounts, bundles, and offers on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The usual recap of still-active deals comes after the new wave of deals, including savings on USB battery packs for smartphones and tablets, noise-cancelling Beats headphones, a travel router, savings on an iPad Air 2, and much more.

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Google I/O: Brillo, Weave revealed as Internet of Things projects

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: software, developer

Google has unveiled its attempt to help development of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, by launching Project Brillo. Based on core components of Android, the IoT operating system is designed to run on low-powered devices, and includes native support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and other Android functions in order to make communications between devices as simple as possible.

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Google I/O: Google Photos available now on Android, iOS [u]

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging

Updated with iOS version availability. At today's Google I/O keynote, the search giant unveiled Google Photos. The new service by the company allows Web-based users, as well as Android and iOS device owners a file repository and discovery utility for unlimited 16MP photos, and 1080p videos, for free. Included in the service is automatic video tagging, advanced search, privacy measures for shared pictures, and album creation.

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Hands On: Transcriptions 1.1 (OS X)

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in:

We start the day thankful. We're running this Summer Project about researching, writing and publishing books and in looking up a link for you in it, we found that one of our favorite software tools has been seriously updated. We've no clue how we missed it, but we have transcribed so many countless, countless interviews using Transcriptions 0.8.0.1 that we've worn it out. Now we've found Transcriptions 1.1. So thank you for that, and we'll keep a better eye out in future.

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Amazon same-day delivery adds free option for Amazon Prime members

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: industry

Amazon has modified its same-day delivery service, expanding the utility for Amazon Prime members. Starting today, Amazon Prime members in select areas will be able to order from a million-strong catalog, and receive free same-day delivery if the order exceeds $35. The previous $6 charge still applies to items not on the million-item list, or if the order falls beneath the $35 threshold.

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Apps: PopChar, iFFmpeg, Picasa

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in apps

    4.1MB

    PopChar 7.1 ($33)

    PopChar allows users to add special characters without the need to remember a keystroke combination. In v7.1, the Registration window now contains information regarding the issue date of the registered license key. The software will also now provide users with a notification whenever a new version is released. This will include information on all of the new features included, as well as whether the new version is free or paid. A range of bugs, including a FileMaker issue that prevented certain characters from being inserted, have also been resolved.

    13.2

    iFFmpeg 5.5.4 ($20)

    iFFmpeg is a graphical interface for the FFmpeg, a command line tool for converting between multimedia formats. Version 5.5.4 updates all of the ME compare functions, and resolves an issue that could occur after enabling “Always encode all available streams.” In addition, the latest release also improves encoding to WMV, offers better AVCHD support, and addresses some OS X 10.10.4 problems.

    48.5MB

    Picasa 3.9.139 (free)

    Picasa can be used to organized, edit, and upload photos to the Web. The latest release fixes several potential security flaws in handling of TIFF files. This has been done to avoid the possible exploitation should users obtain corrupt TIFF files from an online source and attempt to process them with either Picasa or Auto Backup.

    22.2MB

    Little Snitch 3.5.3 ($35)

    Little Snitch is an internet traffic monitoring and management utility. The software informs a user when a program attempts to establish an outgoing internet connection and provides options for allowing or denying the connection. Version 3.5.3 significantly reduces the CPU load of the menu bar item, and has also improved compatibility with OS X 10.10.4. Searching for denied connections in the Network Monitor has been improved, along with various other stability improvements and bug fixes.

    93.3MB

    CrossOver 14.1.3 ($40)

    CrossOver can be used to run many popular Windows programs on a Mac. Windows software can be installed using the CrossTie feature, and will then run without the need to open any additional virtual machine software. This minor release revolves a graphics issue with character models in the game Banished on certain Mac hardware.

 

Hands On: D3lta 2.0.1 (iOS)

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Geometric designs are "in" right now, and being popularized in clothing styles, jewelery, website designs, artwork, and more. Just about everything that can feature geometric designs can and will, and it's the benchmark of being on the forefront of trendy. We came across an app called D3lta which takes an unlikely candidate, photography, and juxtaposes it with the inherent "hipness" of geometric design.

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Avago buys chip supplier Broadcom in $37 billion deal

Thu May 28, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry, networking

Avago Technologies Limited and Broadcom Corporation today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Avago will acquire Broadcom in a cash and stock transaction that values the combined company at $77 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company is expecting to generate combined annual revenues of approximately $15 billion.

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