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Rockstar patents could bring Apple nearly $400M profit

7 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

The Rockstar Consortium, a group comprised of Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, will see a windfall on its 2011 purchase of some 4,000 patents from Canadian tech giant Nortel, with Apple expected to gain at least $392 million from the holding, one analyst says. Wells Fargo's Maynard Um has used BlackBerry's reported gain of 17 percent of a base figure in predicting Apple's share of the profits.

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Hands On: PDFpen Scan+ 2.0 (iOS)

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

From the makers of PDFpen for Mac and iOS comes the newly-updated PDFpen Scan+ which is a way to quickly photograph documents and turn the text into something you can then copy out, email, or reuse anywhere else. The new version now automatically crops photographs, so you don't end up with hundreds of shots of the edge of your desk. It also increases the speed of scanning thanks to new automated features.

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Full review: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

8 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

Although the new darling of the Apple MacBook line up is the all-new MacBook, Apple has given its popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display a solid refresh. While the stunning new MacBook caters to a select audience of users who value portability above all else, the MacBook Pro is a much more well-rounded machine that is still portable, but offers much more power and flexibility. It also gains one of the marquee features of the new MacBook, the Force Touch trackpad, that ditches a mechanical clicking mechanism for one that has been completely re-engineered around haptic feedback. Read on in our full review to see how the new 13-inch MacBook Pro shapes up.

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Hands On: Overcast 1.1.4 (iOS)

9 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

When we did our Hands On for Downcast, a few readers responded with a suggestion to also take a look at Overcast. Overcast begins as a free app with more advanced features, which can be unlocked with an in-app purchase. This review is mostly about the free version of Overcast, and we'll briefly touch on what the premium features are.

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Report: Apple demanding studios provide streaming for TV service

10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple, iPad

As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.

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Pointers: voice recording on a Mac or iOS device

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Most Macs (with the exception of the Mac mini and the Mac Pro) -- and all iOS devices -- come with a built-in microphone that is above-average in quality for that sort of device. A typical user might employ it for all kinds of purposes beyond the normal phone calling: dictating emails, voice memos, FaceTime calls. There are times, however, where you need much higher quality, and this Pointers column will talk about some of those situations, and how to create recordings you can be proud of.

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Facebook Riff lets users create collaborative videos with friends

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Facebook has launched an app for collaborative video creation with friends on the social network. Riff, a new app from Facebook's Creative Labs and initially created as an employee side-project, lets users film a video on a topic of their choice, and then allows friends to add their own contribution, with the video extending with each new participant's video clip.

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Sonnet reveals Thunderbolt 2 to PCIe load balancing expansion chassis

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

Sonnet today announced the Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition, the latest addition to the the company's line of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion systems. The new chassis is an accessory for Sonnet's xMac Pro Server and Echo Express III-R rackmount expansion systems, and is a self-contained three-slot PCI Express (PCIe) expansion system that mounts inside the xMac Pro's or III-R's enclosure and can connect to two Thunderbolt 2 buses on a Mac Pro computer simultaneously.

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UK Diverted Profits Tax in effect today; $1B to flow into UK coffers

13 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

As previously reported, the Diverted Profits Tax, also known as the "Google Tax," has come into effect in the United Kingdom today with very few changes to the proposed law. The tax law requires companies to list revenue and profit from other countries, aiding officials to determine if profits are being transferred elsewhere against UK tax code and making them subject to the tax.

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Daily Deals: Pixelmator, 1080p Acer projector, 128GB PNY flash drive

15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, our usual look at the discounts and offers retailers hold in their online and offline stores, where we list the better deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista readers. As well as a recap of this week's still-active deals, the new list includes 50 percent off Pixelmator, a 128GB flash drive, and a 1080p Acer projector.

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AT&T bid to kill FTC lawsuit based on common carrier status denied

15 hours ago | Posted in:

Judge Edward Chen from the Northern California District Court has rejected AT&T's argument that its news status as a common carrier exempts itself from US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions, and shut the door for further interpretation. In the ruling, the Judge called out AT&T for both throttling as well as maintaining unlimited "grandfathered" plans for company benefit, as well as affirming that the new Title II oversight doesn't strip the FTC of any of its regulatory powers.

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Hands On: Todoist 10 (iOS)

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

If you're already a Todoist user online, on Mac, iPhone or iPad, then add this task right now: download the new Todoist 10 for iOS. If you're not using it, get it anyway to have a look, because this new version is a pleasure to use -- and even its free version is powerful enough to become your regular To Do app.

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Briefly: Google Maps Pac-Man, Facebook introduces Scrapbook tool

20 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

Continuing a long tradition of April Fools' Day treats, Google has turned Google Maps into a playable version of Pac-Man. On computers, selecting the Pac-Man view in the bottom left of the screen turns part of the currently-viewed map into the game board, while mobile users will have to navigate to specific locations and select the Pac-Man map pin before playing.

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Hands On: 1Password 5.3 (iOS)

20 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Oh, come on. We like 1Password, we like it a lot, but we reviewed version 5.2 in January -- there cannot seriously be a good reason to revisit for version 5.3. Except that there is: you can argue that the tiny point increase in the version number is fair, because this just builds on something we praised in 5.2, but this one change will make you use 1Password more. Version 5.2 added the ability to use 1Password from within other applications, and it did so by leveraging iOS 8's Sharing Extensions. Now it's back, with a bigger lever.

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Remaining RadioShack stores to receive Sprint co-branding treatment

20 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

A plan to co-brand the majority of remaining RadioShack stores with Sprint has been approved by a US bankruptcy court. The approval will give the carrier a large number of extra outlets, with its brand appearing on the signage of a number of the 1,740 remaining RadioShack locations, as part of a wider plan to try and keep the stores open and to safeguard approximately 7,500 jobs.

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Apple opens App Store to all developers for Apple Watch apps

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: developer, iPhone apps, Apple

With just over three weeks to go until the first wave of countries will begin selling the new Apple Watch (and less than two weeks until curious customers can try one on), Apple has sent out a reminder to developers that they can now submit apps based on WatchKit to the App Store in order to be ready for the public debut on April 24. The email to developers included a link to a submission tutorial.

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Previous News

Briefly: Apple Q2 report April 27, Maps Connect expands again

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry, Apple

Apple has announced that it will reveal the results of its fiscal second quarter of the year (which ends today) on Monday, April 27 at 2PM Pacific, or 5PM Eastern. The company generally offers a press release shortly after US markets close at 4PM Eastern. Analysts are expecting sales to be up from the year-ago quarter, but down around 25 percent from the holiday quarter.

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Review: Griffin Twenty

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: accessories, audio

A few years ago Griffin launched the original Twenty, a small digital amp that used an AirPort Express to turn any set of passive speakers into a wireless system for streaming music. Unfortunately for Griffin, shortly after the launch of the Twenty, Apple updated the design of the AirPort Express, which instantly antiquated the digital amp. Now, thanks to advancements in Bluetooth technology, Griffin no longer needs to lean on Apple's AirPlay technology for streaming, and is back with a new and improved version of the Twenty Digital Amp. We have spent some time with the updated digital amp -- see what we thought about it in our full review.

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New QuarkXPress 2015 shipping on April 28

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: software, digital imaging

Today Quark Software announced that QuarkXPress 2015, the next major version of Quark's design and layout tool for print and digital publishing, will be available on April 28. The company claims that QuarkXPress 2015 will deliver increased performance with a new 64-bit architecture, efficient print and digital production, and many of the most user-requested features. The new version of QuarkXPress will continue to be sold as a perpetual license.

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Daily Deals: 960GB SSD, MacBook Pro, Fujifilm camera bundle

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we scour the Internet for discounts, offers, and deals for our discerning MacNN and Electronista readers. Today, we recap the still-active deals from yesterday, and the new additions to the list this time includes a 960GB SSD for under $300, discounted Mac minis and MacBooks at Micro Center, and a Fujifilm FinePix bundle at Best Buy.

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Hands On: Pomodoro Time Pro 1.1 (iOS, OS X)

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Most of the time, the secret to getting things done is getting on with them, and doing things. The Pomodoro technique is a trick to get yourself going, and keep yourself going, which has been around since the 1980s and is perfect for being turned into an app. Consequently there are many such apps, but the newly-updated Pomodoro Time Pro is a solid, capable and versatile one.

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Mac Game Review: Out of the Park '16 16.2.9

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: gaming

Baseball. Even if you're not a fan if the game, you've heard of it. The greats of the game, such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Lou Gehrig, are some of the most revered professional athletes in the history of sports. Even though there are international baseball leagues today, the sport of baseball will always be inextricably linked with the US. Baseball is kind of a big thing. Out Of the Park 16, from Out of the Park Developments, is leading the stats-gamer's pack.

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Apple game roundup: RBI Baseball 15, Star Wars Rebels Pinball, more

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

On Tuesdays and Fridays MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking the upcoming release of a Star Wars: Rebels table for Zen Pinball 2, the arrival of a Final Fantasy MMORPG on OS X, and the release of RBI Baseball 15 on both of Cupertino's current operating systems.

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ITC to investigate Apple over Ericsson LTE patent claims

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previously-licensed LTE technology.

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WhatsApp brings voice calls to Android users now, iOS in coming weeks

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: software

WhatsApp is rolling out its voice calling function to all mobile users, starting with Android. Slowly introduced to users in early February, the latest update to WhatsApp in the Google Play app store is apparently enabled for the service, which lets users call other contacts instead of sending messages, though it appears users are still having to wait for their account to be enabled.

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Forums: strange Safari behavior, remote App woes and more

Tue March 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Moderator "Thorzdad" reported some strange behavior with the way that Safari was displaying webpages, noting that it doesn't look like pages are being saved in the cache properly. Late last week, forum-members tried to assist "The Final Dakar" with figuring out why his Remote app doesn't see his Apple TV.

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    Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

    Although the new darling of the Apple MacBook line up is the all-new MacBook, Apple has given its popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Ret ...

    Griffin Twenty

    A few years ago Griffin launched the original Twenty, a small digital amp that used an AirPort Express to turn any set of passive spea ...

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    It seems like no matter how much internal storage is included today's mobile devices, we, as users, will always find a way to fill th ...

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