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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit, agrees to pay $90M

52 minutes ago | Posted in: mobile phones

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices.



Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

56 minutes ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, developer, Apple, iPad

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be 99 cents in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014.



FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack, leaks

2 hours ago | Posted in: security

North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie.



Hands On: Zen Bound 2 (iOS)

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

Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard analog is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit.



CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

2 hours ago | Posted in: computers, peripherals

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock.



Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, game console bundles, Steam Sale

3 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this post over the weekend, as more deals will be added as time goes on.


Apps: Mellel, ScreenFlow, BBEdit

4 hours ago | Posted in apps


    Mellel 3.3.7 ($39)

    Mellel is a word processor that offers tools for writing and organizing long documents. The v3.3.7 update fixes a few memory leaks, along with an issue where the app could crash when clicking on parts of the text after editing a cross reference. An issue that prevented Mellel from copying text when viewing a document in the “Versions” browser has also been addressed.


    ScreenFlow 5.0.1 ($99)

    ScreenFlow is a screen capture tool that is capable of recording the contents of an entire desktop at the same time as a stream from a video camera. An issue that prevented the software from opening when placed in a subfolder of /Applications hierarchy has been fixed in v5.0.1. Problems with frame rates, DV camera detection, and internal recording have also been fixed.


    BBEdit 11.0.2 ($50)

    BBEdit is a text-editing suite that places emphasis on coding through project support features and the recognition of common syntax structures. Version 11.0.2 offers fixes for a number of reported bugs and crashes. Changes have also been made to reduce the amount of transient memory needed for several operations.


    ExpanDrive 4.2.1 ($50)

    ExpanDrive builds cloud storage into any application by allowing the online storage account to act like a USB drive plugged into the Mac. Support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business/Office 365 is included in this update. Issues with losing licensing information, and failing S3 connections have also been resolved.


    Mailplane 3.3.4 ($25)

    Mailplane allows users to access their Gmail accounts from a desktop application. The software displays the same interface as the web version of Gmail, but adds extra functionality such as the ability to attach files through drag and drop. The v3.3.4 update now provides the same download functionality for embedded images as it does for normal attachments. Users will also no longer be prompted for a 2-step verification code if “Trust this computer” has been selected.


Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended' by BBC supply chain expose

4 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's senior VP of Operations, Jeff Williams, claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically Williams are Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."



Watch ABC app for Apple TV gets full episodes for non-subscribers

6 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals

Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on the Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities.



Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform messaging service in 2015

8 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else.



Hands On: Photon Flash Player for iPad (iOS)

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

Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other functionality is weaker.



Uber agrees with Portland council to suspend service for three months

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Uber is putting a stop to its app-based taxi service in Portland, just two weeks after it launched. The Wall Street Journal reports the company made an agreement with the city to put a hold on the service for a three-month period, while the two parties negotiate and create a regulatory framework that allows ridesharing services to coexist with existing cab companies and other transportation options.



Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final Xmas push

11 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, computers, Apple

In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved.



Misfortune Cookie exploit endangers 12 million routers

12 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, peripherals

Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies released information on Thursday about an exploit they are calling "Misfortune Cookie." This bug was introduced into "RomPager" software, which is commonly embedded into residential gateway devices such as routers, beginning in 2002. A conservatively-estimated 12 million un-patched devices, connected to the Internet in 189 countries, are at risk.



Hands On: Snapselect photo management app (OS X)

13 hours ago | Posted in: software, Apple

Apple's professional photo manager, Aperture, had its advantages over its biggest rival, Adobe Lightroom -- and it is a shame the former been dropped (to be replaced with a new app, Photos for Mac, early next year). One thing Aperture was really good at was adding photos - so much so that we tended to do it over and over. Just not intentionally. One thing it was bad at, by contrast, was helping you find duplicates -- so a big photo library quickly became an unmanageably enormous one. Snapselect intends to fix this for users of Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto -- and anyone who has tried to handle photos without using any of those programs.



Analysis: Title II regulation, with forbearance, the best path forward

15 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Since President Barack Obama voiced his support for reclassification of ISPs as utilities, there has been much debate back and forth, and back again on the topic of "Title II" regulation of carriers. Would it be the dystopian nightmare anti-government zealots and the carriers proclaim, or would it provide a golden utopia of progress for consumers and American businesses alike?



White House encourages US telecommunications to enter Cuban market

17 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world.


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Previous News

Hands On: Supreme Ruler (Steam for OS X, Windows)

19 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

War games may have originated from the need to boost military logistics and planning, but they have since become popular with civilian gamers. Risk and Chess are two popular war games most people are familiar with, as are Civilization and Hearts of Iron. How does newcomer Supreme Ruler Ultimate, by Battlegoat Studios, stack up to the classics?


New USB thumb drive-sized device can take over computers

20 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, software, hacks

A new USB microcontroller -- roughly the size of a small thumb drive -- has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept device that leverages a serious and unfixable vulnerability in USB easily take over and install malware on any unlocked computer. Though it requires physical access or tricking the user into inserting the controller into a USB port, the device has worrying implications for any computer left unattended for more than a minute -- the time it takes for the device to gain admin access, change network settings, install a backdoor and remove any obvious sign of intrusion.


Cook makes 'generous' donation to LGBT campaign Project One America

22 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a "generous personal financial investment" in Project One America, an LGBT rights effort run by the Human Rights Campaign, according to an announcement. Project One is concentrated on securing marriage and nondiscrimination rights for LGBT people in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC says it's interested in "tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most." The organization also lauds Cook for being the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, calling it a "clear and powerful message" about it being acceptable to be gay.


Hands On: Habits Pro (iOS)

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

They say it takes 21 days to make a good habit or break a bad one, which seems simple enough. Logically, most people should be able to clear the three week hurdle with little effort. However, most of us can get a little absent-minded, especially when we get busy. That's why Habits Pro, by Track & Share Apps, exists -- to help people stay on task in their quest for self-improvement.


Apple rejects conclusions of BBC expose showing supply chain abuses

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: computers, industry, Apple

Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai.


Third iOS 8.2 beta brings back blood glucose tracking

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, software, developer, Apple, iPad

Apple has begun seeding a third beta of iOS 8.2 to developers. Significantly the code restores blood glucose tracking in the Health app, which was temporarily disabled earlier this year due to confusion caused by the app displaying data in mg/dL but accepting data from devices using mmol/L as well. In the new software, users can toggle between mg/dL or mmol/L.


Jimmy Fallon gives out iPad Air 2 to Tonight Show studio audience

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: iPad

On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give people 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499.


Jawbone delays shipping Up3 fitness tracker until early 2015

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets

Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues.


Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in Manhattan

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: industry

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less.


djay Pro for Mac brings four decks, Spotify, high-level processing

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio

Algoriddim has launched djay Pro, a new Mac edition of its typically iOS-based DJ software. In its new incarnation the app supports up to four simultaneous decks, rather than two, and can draw music not just from a local iTunes library but from Spotify, thanks to a partnership with the streaming music service. It also exploits Retina displays and multi-core 64-bit processors; on a 12-core Mac Pro, the app can handle up to 24 processing threads at once for track analysis.


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