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Hands On: Crazy Gears v1.0.1 (iOS)

33 minutes ago | Posted in: education, gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

It's in a child's nature to be interested about the world around them, and as parents and teachers, there's a certain obligation you have to encourage that. Starting from age two, kids just seem to become more and more inquisitive, and while the "why?" phase is never fun, watching a child develop a genuine interest in the way the world works is one of the best things a parent gets to witness. Finding games that can help foster those interests isn't always easy, but we think that Crazy Gears is a good place to start.

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Briefly: Jobs movie filming, Reno data center doubles

1 hour ago | Posted in: Apple

The Universal movie about Steve Jobs is continuing its principle photography, and over the weekend filmed scenes revolving around the May 6, 1998 original iMac unveiling. One of three key scenes in the film that cover product launches, the film used extras to show attendees of the keynote from 1998 holding signs and banners welcoming back Steve Jobs, and others to film interior scenes of the original presentation.

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Hands On: Toca Builders v1.0.3 (iOS)

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

We're quite familiar with Toca Boca apps over here, and we've loved every app we've gotten our hands on. Between the fantastic free-play atmosphere, the well designed graphics, and the fun game play mechanics, we've come to expect greatness from them. When we found out about Toca Builders, we knew we had to check it out immediately.

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Pointers: Better Links in Mail (OS X)

5 hours ago | Posted in: software

URLs are ugly – and they are also very daunting if you're new to the web. So long as they're up there in the browser and you just got to the site by clicking a heading in Google, nobody cares. Yet when you send them to someone, that's when you can put them off or you can make their life easier. It's also where you can demonstrate that you know your stuff. There is one important caveat to this but otherwise this Pointers will show you how to make emails with links that simply look better than sending someone a five-foot-long string of dots and slashes. The specific steps in this tutorial are all for Mail in OS X Yosemite.

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Sony launches Spotify-powered PlayStation Music in 41 countries

6 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, audio

The replacement for Sony Music Unlimited is going live on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 today, powered by Spotify. Launching in 41 countries, PlayStation Music provides gamers with access to streaming music, allowing users to play their choice of soundtrack as a background to whatever game they are playing on the Sony game consoles.

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Weekly Game Replay: Zelda delayed until 2016, Hearthstone, Half-Life 2

14 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista spend some time covering a few of the stories from the wide world of gaming that wasn't mentioned earlier this week. In today's Weekly Game Replay: the next Legend of Zelda has been delayed, a community patch for Half-Life 2 gives the game a visual overhaul, Blackrock Mountain heading to Hearthstone this week, and Microsoft is offering double the games to Xbox Live Gold members.

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Hands On: Clips 1.1.3 (iOS)

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

If you don't happen to know what a clipboard manager is, you need one. If you do and you've also tried out a couple, you know why you need it and you know just how hard it will be to make you give them up. Not to rub it in if you haven't tried one yet but they have been around for a very long time – or at least they have on Macs. With iPhone and iPads, it's really taken until iOS 8 for them to be possible. Clips is a free clipboard manager for iOS and it is just about as good as Apple allows it to be.

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Slack reveals intrusion, adds extra security options to accounts

20 hours ago | Posted in: security, software

Work-focused messaging service Slack has increased the security of its accounts, following an intrusion to company servers. The company admits on its blog that its servers were accessed by unauthorized users over a four day period in February, and though it only revealed the intrusion on Friday, it claims to have been working hard on improving the service's overall security.

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Hands On: Dragon Dictate 4.0.6 (OS X, Windows)

23 hours ago | Posted in: software

Do not ever give voice recognition software to a writer who's a keyboard junkie. Do not ever give Dragon Dictate to any one who saw how rubbish dictation software was in the 1980s, 1990s and probably 2000s but they didn't check. For a few minutes sitting in front of Dragon Dictate will destroy their worldview like a politician discovering that encryption makes monitoring computers hard. Dragon Dictate works and it works extremely, just extremely well. It also does more than dictation: this is powerful software for word processing by voice command.

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Pebble Time completes Kickstarter campaign with $20.3M in pledges

23 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Pebble has finished its second crowdfunding campaign for its second generation of smartwatch, with the Pebble Time bringing in more than $20.3 million in funding from over 78,000 backers on Kickstarter. The final total makes the Pebble Time the most-funded Kickstarter campaign ever, eclipsing the original device's $13.4 million haul from two years ago.

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Apple CEO asks Arkansas governor to veto 'right to discriminate' law

Sun March 29, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Amidst strong critical and economic reaction to an anti-LGBT law signed by Republican Governor Mike Pence in Indiana, Apple CEO Tim Cook -- recently named as the "World's Greatest [Business] Leader" by Fortune magazine -- has posted on Twitter expressing "deep" disappointment with the move and urging another Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, not to sign a similar measure.

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Hands On: Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 (OS X)

Sat March 28, 2015 | Posted in: software

The very name Nisus may bring you back to the 1990s and if it doesn't, then one look at the software possibly will. That's cruel: it is nothing less than fantastic that Nisus has survived where so many other word processors have died, crushed under the force of Microsoft Word. So this version, Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 should be celebrated. It's just that there is something a tiny bit old about how it looks and feels.

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Best Buy completes assimilation of Future Shop brand, 66 stores closed

Sat March 28, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Canadian technology retailer Future Shop has essentially been absorbed into parent company Best Buy overnight. While 66 locations were completely shut down overnight, 65 locations will be reborn as Best Buy stores on April 4. Reports scattered across Canada are seeing employees being notified of the closure and their future employment status as they arrive for a Saturday shift at the store.

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Hands On: Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.6 (OS X)

Sat March 28, 2015 | Posted in: peripherals, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage

Nothing digital really exists unless it exists twice. For all that we have these great interconnected cloud services, there is still a hard drive holding on to our data somewhere and all hard drives fail eventually. They're like politicians in that respect: they go on until they fail. Carbon Copy Cloner is a way to make failures annoying rather than fatal to your work. It backs up any or all of your files and it also optionally creates a separate and bootable hard drive.

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Hands On: Zoidtrip 1.3 (iOS, Android)

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Zoidtrip by Arthur Guibert is a game about a squid-like sentient kite ... or something. It's a simple arcade-style scrolling game of avoiding walls for as long as you possibly can. It's free-to-play with advertisements, though an in-app purchase unlocks all the possible Zoids and removes the ads. Long story short, we found it to be a cheerful time-waster with a boppy soundtrack, and we're really bad at it.

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NBC denies ever having television streaming discussions with Apple

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

Throwing some doubt on the veracity of earlier reports by the Wall Street Journal NBCUniversal has said in a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission that not only is it not keeping back content from any prospective Apple television network, it has not even been launched discussions with Apple in the first place. The revelation was made as part of an information request fulfilled by the programmer, answering questions about the prospective Time Warner Cable and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast's merger.

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Apple game roundup: Pillars of Eternity, Mr. Jump explodes, Broken Age

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software, Apple

We've had some emails about our Sunday game roundup -- it turns out that some of you want Apple-specific gaming news, as sources for that seem to be in short supply these days. Today launches the first installation of a twice-weekly column, published on MacNN on Tuesdays and Fridays rounding up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at an interview with the developers of This War of Mine, an iOS game boosted by Apple that we reviewed earlier in the week, and the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate released as the fruit of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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Hands On: Blink 1.0 (iOS)

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

There is an argument that Blink is a single-use app for a very specific and therefore limited market: it helps you quickly make App Store links with a code in to get you some money. If you don't happen to know how affiliate links work, you just sat up. If you do, you didn't. It is not a road to making a lot of money but when it's done in a way that benefits your website audience then then it is a good thing all round.

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Forums: how to erase and reinstall OS X and more

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple

One Forum Regular turned to the MacNN Forums this week looking for advice on how to erase and reinstall OS X, and found some useful information which might be helpful to anyone else who is trying to do this. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is looking for help trying to access data in an administrator account after their computer froze and was forced to shut down.

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Apple deals: up to 24 percent off 13-inch MacBook Pros

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: computers, Apple

This week at Apple's online store, chose from a wide selection of refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro models and save up to 24 percent off. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive is now available for $829 after a $270 discount. For $929, upgrade to a 13.3-inch MBP with Retina display, 2.4GHz intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.

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Windows 10 may not be free to new customers, virtualization users

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: computers, security, software

Microsoft has made a passing attempt to clarify some of its policy on free upgrades to Windows 10. In an interview, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft Aaron Woodman detailed what the company has decided about the offering -- and an alarming amount of decisions seem to have not been made yet about licensing the OS.

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Hands On: Trial of the Clone 1.3 (iOS, Android, Paper)

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Trial of the Clone by Tin Man Games is an iOS-based Gamebook adventure of the book by the same name by Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal fame. Much like the other Gamebook adventure we recently covered, Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be, the story is presented by the app in a choose-your-own-adventure like format. However Trial of the Clone makes better use of the Gamebook engine with inventory items, stats, and random number generators. On top of all that, it's read to you by Wil Wheaton, so if you don't like reading you're covered. Don't like Wil Wheaton? That's okay, you can turn him off in the settings. If you dislike both reading and Wil Wheaton at the same time, turn to page 7.

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Daily Deals: 3TB WD Red, Xbox One, Disney Infinity Toy Box

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Welcome to Daily Deals, our regular look at the discounts, offers, sales, and other money-saving items for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, we recap the still-active deals from over the last week, as well as introducing new items, including a cheap Disney Infinity entry point, a Microsoft Xbox One to play it on, and 3TB WD Red hard drives.

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Micron, Intel roll out new NAND tech allowing for future 10TB SSDs

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: industry, upgrades/storage

Micron Technology and Intel today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory. This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with extraordinary precision to create storage devices with what the company calls three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies, potentially leading to 3.5TB of storage in to a "gum stick-sized SSD."

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Google to face trial in UK over ignoring Safari cookie setting

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has dismissed an attempt by Google to prevent British computer users from being able to sue it in England. The landmark hearing followed an earlier defeat for Google in the English High Court in which it was unsuccessful in preventing three British computer users from having the right to sue it for breach of privacy, after the computer giant ignored users wishes not to have tracking cookies placed on their computers.

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Living with: Nine years of the Apple TV

Fri March 27, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

Once upon a time, there was a nascent technologist in the early part of the century. This writer was flummoxed by having to burn DVD for video playback for his occupation at the time, given the cost of the media. Then, a certain Cupertino fruit-branded computer company released the Mac mini's first iteration. Connected with a $20 video dongle, and an audio adapter, the (at the time) cutting-edge concept of a computer connected to a television solved many local problems. Apple, and this technologist, have both come a long way since then. The vast majority of the functionality of a Mac mini connected to a TV was replaced by the Apple TV shortly thereafter. The future is bright, but vague, for Apple's once-hobby. What's come before, and what's yet to come?

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