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Weekly Game Replay: Double Fine layoffs, $10B Call of Duty franchise

1 hour ago | Posted in: gaming

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer up a one-stop article for some of the happenings in the video game industry over the past week. In this week's edition of Weekly Game Replay, we look at Double Fine layoffs, Call of Duty reaching $10 billion in sales for the franchise, World of Warcraft recapturing 10 million active subscriptions, Sweden considering a sexism label for video games, Activision settling its shareholder lawsuit, and more.

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Yahoo acquires photo-aggregation application developer Cooliris

4 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Another acquisition by Yahoo was announced late last week, building on a long string of pick-ups under the leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer. The newest company coming into the Yahoo fold is Cooliris, a developer known for its mobile photo-aggregator application Cooliris for Mobile and the recently launched BeamIt Messenger.

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Xiaomi looking to overtake Apple, Samsung in the next 10 years

6 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones, Apple

Last week, Xiaomi CEO Jun Lei said that he expects the smartphone manufacturer to take the number one sales spot in the next decade. Lei had a chance to emphasize his belief at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen China, taking to a panel to accentuate the company's growth in smart devices. To do so, the Chinese company will need to overtake the number one and two companies Samsung and Apple, something that Apple Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Bruce Sewell believes won't be so "easy."

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Target claims no responsibility for 'Black Friday' data theft in court

Sat November 22, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry, security

Five banks are suing retailer Target over the infamous "Black Friday" data breach in a federal lawsuit. In a hearing yesterday before US District Judge Paul Magnuson, Target claimed that the bank's losses weren't the retailer's fault, as it happened at the point of sale in many stores that it claims it was not responsible for, as opposed to a central failure in corporate data services, so the Minnesota and US Plastic Card Security Act provisions don't apply.

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FCC Chairman sees Net Neutrality lawsuits by 'big dog' ISPs coming

Sat November 22, 2014 | Posted in: industry, networking

US Federal Communications Commission head Tom Wheeler said that there is a specific reason why the regulatory group is taking its time with the net neutrality discussion. Speaking at a meeting on Friday, the chairman said that caution was prudent, and that the agency needs to "make sure that we understand what is going on here." Referring to Verizon, AT&T, and the other major Internet providers, he added that "the big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out."

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Hands On: Carrot Talking Task List (iOS)

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps

For those who would welcome robot overlords, Carrot, by Grailr, promises to keep you on task! We've all been there; those days when absolutely nothing seems to get done. But what if there was a to-do list that actually encouraged the act of doing things. Wouldn't that be helpful? After all, most to-do lists are little more than polite and easily forgotten suggestions of what should be done. Supposing, however, that there was an app that actually pushed people to get out there and do them? Well, as it turns out, there is.

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Square, Sephora, Tickets.com, Disney app add support for Apple Pay

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple, iPad

In addition to today's announcement by Square that it will bring support for Apple Pay to its app and systems early next year, a number of other merchants have also unveiled Apple Pay support or are planning to soon. Venues that utilize Tickets.com as their online ticket provider, for example, have now adopted support for Apple's iPhone 6-centric payment method, and some apps will soon be offering an Apple Pay option for online purchases.

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Briefly: Spotcam launches, Satechi's 10-port USB 3.0 hub

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: security, peripherals, Apple

Cloud-based video system Spotcam, has announced the debut of its home surveillance system with remote access. Featuring a Wi-Fi-enabled camera with two-way audio, users can view live or recorded footage of their home or office to ensure that all is secure while away. The Spotcam system is accompanied by a free 24-hour loop of stored footage, aiming to provide an affordable alternative to more elaborate security systems. Spotcam's camera features 720p resolution and a 110-degree wide angle lens, with proficiency in low-light conditions as well as night vision capacity. Spotcam can be set up on both Android and iOS devices, with purchase of the camera system priced at $150 through Amazon. For larger footage storage, pricing begins at $4 per month for access to a three-day duration.

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European parliament wants to break Google search from rest of company

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: Graphics/Web Design

The European Parliament is looking to break Google apart into multiple sections, according to a draft motion discovered by the Financial Times. The proposal seeks to separate Google's "search engines from other commercial services," in an attempt to curb the power gained from being the most dominant search engine on the continent.

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Judge approves $450M e-book settlement between Apple, states [u]

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

[Updated with additional background information, details on "escape clause"] Federal court Judge Denise Cote has approved Apple's $450 million e-book suit settlement offer with US states. The agreement, proposed in June, will settle allegations made in 33 states and territories, with $400 million potentially reaching customers affected by the "price fixing conspiracy." The agreements only settles the states' complaints, with the publishers' settlements remaining discrete. However, Apple may have an ace up its sleeve on the deal -- in the form of a "vindication" clause.

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Briefly: Evernote 6.0, Bushel device management system

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, security, software, enterprise, Apple, iPad

Evernote has released a major update for its OS X app, bringing support for Yosemite. Over-all performance speed has been improved, introducing a redesigned interface with a lighter color theme, and new icons. Users now have more control over tables they create, with new color and style customizations available. Notes can be searched for via OS X's Spotlight function, and sending notes to others can now be done while remaining in the app. Many bug fixes and crashing issues have also been resolved in the latest app iteration. Evernote is free to download, with premium subscriptions available.

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Some Safari users experiencing severe YouTube playback problems

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

Users are starting to chime in on Google and Apple's support forums about a sudden incompatibility with video hosting service YouTube. Some users of OS X 10.10.1 are complaining that YouTube videos with leading advertisements either fail to load, play a discordant sound with no video, or crash Safari itself. Firefox and Chrome are not affected by whatever is causing the problem.

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Forums: Siri fails and iOS 8.1.1 comments

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, computers, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

This week in the MacNN forums, members share amusing tales of times that Siri has failed them, providing examples of how Siri doesn't always understand what is really going on. Comments are piling up faster than the snow in Buffalo about the latest update to iOS 8, with some saying it made things better while others aren't so sure it has helped much at all.

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Apple deals: bargain priced Macs from $769

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store today, find low prices on a selection of refurbished Mac models. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of PCIe-based flash storage is now $769, after a $130 discount. Priced at $849, after a $150 discount, is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.

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DealNN: iPads, storage and more

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple, iPad

At BestBuy.com this week, find low prices on previous-generation iPad Air configurations. The iPad Air with Wi-Fi and 64GB of storage has seen an $85 price break, dropping the cost from an already-reduced $500 down to $415. That makes this around $85 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iPad features a 9.5-inch multi-touch display with a A7 processor, 1.2MP front-facing camera, 5.0MP rear-facing camera, built-in Wi-Fi, and 64GB of storage space. It is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.

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AirParrot 2 adds Chromecast mirroring, media server functions

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: software

Developer Squirrels has released AirParrot 2, a major upgrade to its AirPlay-based screen- and media-sharing software. The new version enables full-screen mirroring to Chromecasts, including audio. Full-screen mirroring was previously limited to a rough beta in Google's Cast plugin for Chrome.

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Hands On: Hungry Squid (iOS)

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

It's not unusual for everyone to be looking for the next popular iOS game. We've seen it with the many clones of Angry Birds, FlappyBird, and 2048. While no one will deny that these games are fun, sometimes a user might crave something with a little more thought and care behind the design. That's where Hungry Squid by Michal Malewicz comes in, promising to enchant those who play it.

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Apps: Evernote, Airmail, Firetask

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in apps

    64.8MB

    Evernote 6.0.1 (free)

    Evernote is a documentation tool that allows users to create notes that contain both audio and text. Web and application content can also be clipped directly into Evernote, and all notes are automatically synced across all of a user's devices. The update includes a new Work Chat feature that offers a new way to share and collaborate within Evernote. Users can share any of their notes or notebooks, as well as chat with individuals or groups they are working with.

    32.4MBB

    Airmail 2.0.1 ($10)

    Airmail is a mail client that has been designed to provide a simple experience to all users. With the app users can track multiple e-mail accounts, with support for all major e-mail services and the ability to quickly switch between accounts. Performance on OS X Yosemite has been improved with this release. Integration with Box has also been added, and numerous crashes and other small bugs have been fixed.

    6.6MB

    Firetask 3.7 ($40)

    Firetask helps users organize and prioritize all of their daily tasks. Version 3.7 has been optimized for OS X Yosemite and now features a more modern design for the toolbar. In addition, the new version allows users to unarchive completed and cancelled projects and improves searching by always issuing prefix-queries.

    57.3MB

    iSale 5.9.6 ($25)

    iSale is an online auction manager that can help a user track items on eBay. The software includes tools for finding items on eBay, as well as for creating personal auction pages. The latest release resolves an issue with loading eBay categories.

    58.6MB

    Cyberduck 4.6 (free)

    CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. The v4.6 update now supports PAC files for proxy configuration, and offers improved performance when downloading and mirroring files. The software will also now remember the last selected directory per bookmark in the upload and save panel.

 

(Black) Friday Deals: And so it begins!

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, computers, software, iPad

Black Friday is just one week away, and veteran shoppers are probably dreading the prospect of facing off against a deal-seeking mob shouting at each other over discounted electronics in the near future. Today's Friday Deals post, just as with previous Fridays and now every Monday until the end of the year, aims to provide you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, early deals from retailers from the comfort of your home, without going near the intimidating (and likely plague-ridden) mass of shoppers. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later time. We're going to update this post many, many times over the next three days. Check back often!

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Streaming TV service Aereo files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: industry

Aereo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, following the high-profile shutdown of the service via a ruling from a New York court. The cloud-based TV rebroadcasting and DVR service made the filing just under two weeks after it was forced to lay off a large number of employees at its Boston New York offices, with little chance of resurrection.

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Apple's iWork for iCloud gets new languages, minor feature additions

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

The iCloud edition of iWork has received a number of updates, primarily the addition of new languages. Pages is now usable in Arabic, Hebrew, French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese; Arabic and Hebrew are bidirectional. Keynote and Numbers, meanwhile, have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese.

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Hands On: Neato (iOS)

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

At this point, there's a good chance that most iPhone users are using their devices to quickly jot down notes and reminders on the fly. It's extremely convenient, especially since most people keep their phones on them nearly all the time. However, there are times when a user has so little time to take notes, that going through the process of unlocking their phone and digging for the app they need is simply too cumbersome. That's the exact problem that Neato, by Mohammad Khoman, is trying to remedy.

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Piper Jaffray, Morgan Stanley, others raise AAPL targets

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, Apple

Two leading investment and analysis firms have joined with others in raising AAPL target prices recently, in part because the stock has already outperformed most expectations on its most recent bull run. Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has raised his target from $120 to $135 on the strength of iPhone 6 demand, while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her view to $126 per share from the previous $115, which the stock has already surpassed. The two join a growing list of AAPL bulls.

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Hands On: Thesaurus Rex (iOS)

Fri November 21, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Are you a budding wordsmith? Then Thesaurus Rex is your new best friend! Thesauruses used to be big, clunky books, that were often found covered in dust at the back of any public or academic library reference section. But as more and more people write, these useful books have managed to find a way into the pockets of millions of people. One such entry is Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com, an app which promises to help users find the perfect word for any occasion.

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Apple pushes Adobe Flash update to users due to security flaws

Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: security, developer, Apple

Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.

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Ship times for iPhone 6 models now dropping in time for holidays

Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

The US online Apple Store has recently revised the wait time for an online-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, just in time for the holiday buying season. The units are still very constrained, but are slowly catching up with demand, based on changes to ship times on Apple's website. The two higher-end iPhone 6 models now have a US ship time of seven to 10 days, while the 16GB model now has a five-to-seven day wait time. The larger iPhone 6 Plus has dropped to a seven-to-10 day shipping window for the 16GB model, but still has longer times on larger-capacity units.

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Billboard, Nielsen tipped to track streaming music, video services

Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: audio

The way the popularity of content is measured may be seeing some changes in the coming weeks, both for audio and video. Billboard will start to include streaming and digital track sales as part of the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Nielsen is said to be preparing to track content watched through streaming services starting from next month.

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