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Proposed Senate bill would remove regulatory stamps from hardware

2 hours ago | Posted in: industry

A new proposal introduced in the US Senate called the "E-Label Act" would allow electronics manufacturers the option of using "digital" stamps of regulatory approval on devices rather than the physical emblems now required to show that the device has passed required safety and federal inspections. The bill is a bipartisan effort, with a goal of lowering costs for manufacturers as well as allowing further design freedom. It would not remove all such markings, due to the international nature of some of them.

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Briefly: Photoshop Express, Google Maps for iOS both updated

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

Adobe has followed up on its recent spate of new iPad apps with an update to the older Photoshop Express, now at version 3.4. The new version offers four specific new features: two new tools, the ability to import photos in RAW format, and a new ability to increase or decrease filter strength as desired. The two new tools are a "defog" tool to remove haziness, and a "blemish removal" tool. Photoshop Express is available free from the App Store. The app is also compatible with the iPhone.

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Sharp offers Apple $293 million to claim equipment in Kameyama plant

8 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

Sharp is offering Apple 30 billion yen, or about $293 million, to buy the equipment in the former's Kameyama Plant No. 1, says Nikkei. In 2012, Apple contributed about half of the 100 billion yen ($986.7 million) that was necessary to switch the factory from producing TV panels to iPhone displays. As a part of the deal, Apple claimed ownership of the plant's hardware.

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Apple launches official Swift blog for developers

8 hours ago | Posted in: developer, Apple

Via its developer portal, Apple has launched an official blog for Swift, the programming language it unveiled at WWDC 2014. The blog promises a "behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it," and "the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer." The first post discusses several compatibility issues.

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Review: Samsung SmartCam HD Pro

9 hours ago | Posted in: security, digital imaging

Keeping an eye on the home while out and about these days is common practice. Internet cameras became popular in recent history due to the ease of scanning for intruders or checking on the welfare of a child. Selecting the right model can be challenging based on the number of cameras on the market. Brands like Dropcam and Foscam are generally trusted, but larger companies like Samsung offer alternative solutions. Attempting to bring a Dropcam competitor to consumers, Samsung released the SmartCam HD Pro. But does it offer the features a user needs without hiccups? Find out in our review.

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Beats files suit against Chinese counterfeiters with fake storefronts

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

Speaker and headphone maker Beats -- currently undergoing an acquisition by Apple -- has filed a lawsuit against a collection of Chinese counterfeiters, asking for billions of dollars in damages. "This action has been filed by Beats to combat online counterfeiters who trade upon Beats' reputation and goodwill by selling and/or offering for sale unlicensed and counterfeit products featuring Beats' trademarks," the complaint reads. "The Defendants create [fake Internet storefronts] by the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Beats products, while actually selling low-quality Counterfeit Beats Products to unknowing consumers."

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Friday Deals: PlayStation 4 bundle, mSATA SSD, iPad Mini Nuud

10 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, accessories, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Another week, another episode of "Friday Deals!" Every Friday, we're going to take a look at 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!

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Briefly: Bronson Watermarker PDF 2.0, CrossOver 13.2.0

10 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Bronson Watermarker PDF has received a complete revamp, featuring a new single-window interface and additional features to help keep documents in the right place. A Mac utility for creating watermarked PDFs, the app allows users to generate any number of personally watermarked documents. Five watermark styles are available to select from, and other layout attributes are also customizable.

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Google Maps iOS app gets on-map displays of search, Gmail content

11 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, iPhone apps, iPad, iPad apps

Google has released an update of its Google Maps client for iOS, adding several significant features. When searching for places, for instance, results will now appear directly on a map. Users can switch between this view and a more standard list.

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Apple A8 processor may surpass 2GHz but remain dual-core, report says

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, iPad

For its A8 processor, Apple is planning to boost clock speeds to 2GHz or higher, but stick to just two cores, says Chinese site cnBeta. The A7 used in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini is a dual-core 1.3GHz chip. On top of the speed boost, the A8 is expected to upgrade from 28nm manufacturing to 20nm.

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Forum Roundup: bugs Apple should fix for Yosemite

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple, iPad

This week has been rather quiet in the MacNN forums, however members continue to discuss and debate a wide range of topics. Earlier this week Mac Elite "And.reg" started a thread discussing bugs and weird issues that need to be fixed in Yosemite before it becomes a public release this fall. Yesterday "chasg" was trying to determine why their iMac wasn't booting from an external disk and turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Apple deals: Mac mini and iMac

13 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store today save on refurbished Mac mini and iMac models starting as low as $849. The refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives has been cut by $150 to $849. Priced at $1,059 is the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.6GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB Fusion Drive.

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Apple, IBM, others agree to join White House's 'SupplierPay' program

13 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

A variety of US businesses including Apple, IBM, and Coca-Cola have agreed to sign on to an Obama administration initiative dubbed SupplierPay. The program is a private-sector mirror of QuickPay, a federal effort to ensure that smaller contractors are paid within 15 days of issuing an invoice. Under SupplierPay, private firms are expected to pay smaller parts suppliers quickly.

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DealNN: printers, iMacs and storage

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

Right now at Dell.com get the Dell Multifunction Color Laser Printer on sale for the reduced price of $175. That's a 50 percent discount from the list price of $350, and the lowest price we have seen on this printer by about $85. This printer has built in scanning and copying functions as well as the ability to print directly from Android mobile devices or share the printer over a small network with built-in Ethernet. It is compatible with Windows and Mac and is backed by a one year limited hardware warranty and one year Advanced Exchange Service.

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iOS apps: Angry Birds Star Wars II, Minecraft Pocket Edition, Instacast 4

14 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 55.8MB

    Angry Birds Star Wars II 1.6 (free)

    Angry Birds Star Wars is a physics based puzzle game where players must help the Rebel Birds take down the evil Imperial Pigs. Version 1.6 introduces an all new chapter where players begin as a either a young Jedi or apprentice Sith. The chapter includes 30 new levels total, split evenly across Bird Side and Pork Side stories.

  • 9.1MB

    Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9 ($7)

    Minecraft Pocket Edition is a portable version of the popular survival game that gives players to create a range of tools and items with the proper materials. The v0.9 update brings over several features from the PC version, including infinite worlds, better caves, wolves, new blocks, and additional biome types. A new “interaction” button has also been added, and a number of bugs have been addressed.

  • 7.8MB

    Instacast 4 4.7 ($2)

    Instacast is a podcast management app that can be used to track, download, and listen to podcasts. Within the app users can find all of their podcast subscriptions and organize episodes into lists for sequential playback. The latest release adds a podcast info header to the subscription episode list, as well as the ability to automatically delete media files via Cloud Sync. Other changes include an improved sidebar layout, better support for the latest iOS versions, and a fix for a problem with partially loaded images.

  • 75.2MB

    Waze 3.8 (free)

    Waze is a community-based mapping and navigation app that can help users find the best route to their destination based on traffic data added by other users. Version 3.8 makes it easier to keep up with friends and family, by way of new options for finding friends and for sharing drives, making calls, and sending messages. Locations shared between friends are also now saved on a user’s profile for future navigation, and a redesigned ETA screen includes a friends display for quickly sharing a drive.

  • 14.9MB

    YouTube 2.7.1 (free)

    YouTube is the official iOS client for accessing Google’s video sharing website. Through the app users can search for videos, access their “watch later” list, and subscribe to all of their favorite channels. In v2.7.1 users can now upload videos to YouTube in one simple step.

 
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Chinese state TV calls iOS 7's Frequent Locations 'security concern'

14 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, security, iPad

State-run China Central Television has called iOS 7's Frequent Locations function a "national security concern" in a noon broadcast, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report quoted researchers as saying that people with access to the underlying data could get a glimpse of the broader Chinese situation, or "even state secrets." Electronic security has become a sensitive topic for the Chinese government in the wake of leaks from Edward Snowden, revealing that the NSA is spying on Chinese leaders, and that American businesses have willingly or unwillingly provided the NSA with access to demanded data.

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Verizon claims Netflix connections cause stream bottlenecks

19 hours ago | Posted in: industry

The battle between Verizon and Netflix over connectivity continues, with Verizon completely refusing to accept any of the blame for slow streams. The latest feud installment involves a Verizon blog post claiming its network operations team found no congestion on the Verizon network in a recent review, laying the blame squarely at Netflix's connection decisions instead of with itself.

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Hands-on: LG G Watch and Google Android Wear

19 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch. It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.

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Alleged photo of 4.7-inch iPhone LCD bracket appears

20 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Following a flurry of claims -- most of them from dubious Far East sources -- about enormous advance orders for the iPhone 6 or "localized haptic feedback" or robots building the iPhone and endless parts leaks (or could some of them be 3D printer fabrications?), a new photo has emerged purporting to show the LCD and home button bracket for the forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The photo comes from a Taiwanese enthusiast site.

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Safari betas updated for Mavericks, Mountain Lion OS X releases

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

Apple on Thursday seeded new betas of Safari for OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.x), number as versions 7.1 and 6.2 respectively, that feature a new build of WebKit with a number of improved and new features. The betas, once released to the public, will help bring the Safari used with those versions closer to the expected updated Safari that will ship with OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the fall. Among the improvements are Web-GL powered 3D rendering, support for IndexedDB for web applications and more.

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Apple now blocking older Flash Player plug-ins, citing security flaw

Fri July 11, 2014 | Posted in: security, software, Apple

Following an emergency patch issued by Adobe yesterday for a vulnerability in Flash Player and Adobe AIR that the company deemed "critical" for users to upgrade to, Apple is now blocking all un-upgraded versions of the plug-in in Safari, though the warning dialog will take users to the Flash Installer page where they can obtain the patched version. Users of OS X 10.6 and higher must be running version 14.0.0.145 in order for the Flash plug-in to work normally. Windows and Linux users are also affected by the flaw.

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Briefly: LinkedIn Connected, YouTube Creator Studio launched for iOS

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps

LinkedIn, the social platform for professional networking, has released a redesigned version of its LinkedIn Contacts app for iOS. LinkedIn Connected offers users relevant updates about people in their networks, and notifications about job changes, birthdays, and more. The revamp includes the same features as the previous release, with a focus on relationships. LinkedIn Connected is free to download.

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Report: CarPlay could be available in 24 million US cars by 2019

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: industry, accessories, iPhone apps, mobile phones, Apple

A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).

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Sonico releases Mac version of iTranslate, celebrates with sale

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: education, software, Apple

The popular translation app iTranslate, previously for iOS devices only, arrived on the Mac on Thursday with the release of iTranslate for the Mac on the Mac App Store. The program, which is accessed from the menubar when running, offers instant translation with support for over 80 languages. Users simply input or paste text and the program provides a translation into the desired language. It also feature voice output so that users can hear the correct pronunciation of a word or phrase.

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Briefly: IK Multimedia's iRig MIDI 2, Google AdWords Express for iOS

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, gadgets, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.

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IBM to invest $3 billion into research for new computer chips

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: computers, industry

IBM announced today that it is re-committing itself to the computer landscape, as the company intends to spend $3 billion on research into future chip technologies. Over the next five years, Big Blue will invest in two "broad research and early stage development programs" in search of an innovation in the field. The shift in strategy comes at a time when the company was rumored to be selling off its chip manufacturing business.

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Apple Volume Purchase Program coming to 16 more regions

Thu July 10, 2014 | Posted in: education, enterprise, Apple

Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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