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Deezer acquires Stitcher, will keep iOS, Android apps alive

10/24, 1:42pm

Paris-based streaming music service Deezer has acquired Stitcher, the company has announced. The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, will allow Deezer to take control of the personalized Internet talk radio service, which currently provides access to eight out of the top ten US terrestrial radio programs to users, as well as a collection of around 35,000 radio programs and podcasts.

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Amazon Rewards Visa Card gets added to Apple Pay

10/24, 11:54am

The Amazon Rewards Visa Card has been added to Apple Pay, some owners have noticed. The card wasn't initially compatible with Apple Pay when the service was launched earlier this week. Support for the card is notable because of its popularity, owing to users getting 3 percent back on Amazon purchases, 2 percent at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1 percent on all other purchases.

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BBEdit 11 gets improvements to Clipping, syntax highlights, more

10/24, 10:51am

Bare Bones has upgraded its popular text and code editor, BBEdit, to version 11. The Mac software has a long list of new features, fixes, and minor improvements. Some changes include better syntax highlighting, a revised Find Differences interface, and a new text extraction function. The Clipping system, meanwhile, has been upgraded to support snippets that can be used in one or many languages.

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Bringing Apple Pay to China a high priority, says Cook

10/24, 10:06am

For Apple, getting Apple Pay working in China is a major priority, CEO Tim Cook tells China's state-run Xinhua news agency. "China is a really key market for us," he says. "Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list." He adds however that the company still has to learn the steps needed to bring Apple Pay to China, and has yet to meet with local banks, merchants, and carriers.

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Samsung Knox Android security suite under fire from new researcher

10/24, 8:59am

Reports have begun to circulate about a pervasive flaw in Samsung's Knox security software for Android phones. The technology, which is the foundation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's enhanced protections has come under fire by a lone, previously unknown researcher, previously unknown to the field, who calls the effort merely "security by obscurity."

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Review: Sound Blaster Roar Bluetooth speaker

10/24, 4:00am

There could very well be a new king of the hill for Bluetooth speakers, with Sound Blaster's recent entry into the marketplace. Bringing a heap of features for music enjoyment to a powerful speaker, the company introduced the Roar earlier this year. With the crowded market for Bluetooth speakers, is it possible that a company like Sound Blaster could release a device that topples some of the big names in audio? Find out in our review.

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Former Apple execs Johnson, McDougal form new retail startup, Enjoy

10/23, 10:51pm

Former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson, along with his former Apple colleague Jerry McDougal and former Apple creative director Tom Suiter have teamed up in a new retail-oriented startup endeavor called Enjoy, promising to help consumers spend more wisely instead of just aiming for the cheapest price. The company, which launches next year, will help consumers make smarter choices on buying, such as educating shoppers on the finer points of a camera to promote the best overall value.

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Briefly: Pocket Informant 4.5, Nike hints at future Apple projects

10/23, 10:35pm

Web Information Solutions has updated its iOS app Pocket Informant, a combined scheduling and task list manager compatible with built-in calendar data, Google, Toodledo, Evernote or Informant Sync. Free to download, by upgrading to its premium version ($15) users can sync with other calendars, utilize Rich Text Notes and Contact Management features, Task Smart Filters and more. Pocket Informant v4.5.1 integrates iOS 8 components like the Today Widget, TouchID Support, Alarm Actions, and the ability to create tasks and notes from Safari and the Notes app. Users can now log in to Google, Toodledo, or Informant Sync through the app using 1Password, and can now sync with Toodledo's latest API. Various fixes have been additionally included since the major update was launched. Pocket Informant requires iOS 7.1 or later.

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AAPL hits all-time high, may close week at record levels

10/23, 7:56pm

Apple's stock on Thursday hit a new all-time closing high, reaching $104.83 per share at the closing bell. While many are waiting to see if the company can close the week at that level or higher, others -- including activist investor Carl Icahn and CEO Tim Cook -- believe the stock remains undervalued. AAPL also set a new intra-day high of $105.05 during trading, and is up slightly from its close at this writing in after-hours trading. Stronger-than-expected iPhone numbers and the coming holiday season has helped fuel the rise.

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Facebook unleashes Rooms, brings communities back to chat rooms

10/23, 7:55pm

Facebook's Creative Labs team is bringing a new, yet old way to socialize over the Internet to users through its application Rooms. The free iOS app lets users create custom chat rooms on a topic, without requiring any special log in or connection to a Facebook account. Instead, users can select whatever user name they like and chat in virtual anonymity.

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Briefly: Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs, MagSafe 2 Snuglet

10/23, 5:18pm

Christian Bale is set to play the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the forthcoming biopic film written by Aaron Sorkin. Previously considered for Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Sorkin said in Bloomberg interview that there wasn't a need for Bale to audition for the role due to being a good fit. The latest screenplay is comprised of three thirty minute scenes of backstage goings on prior to three keynote presentations.

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Giveaway: win one of five copies of RapidWeaver 6!

10/23, 5:18pm

Earlier this week, we reported on a major update to Realmac's web publishing tool, RapidWeaver 6. It is now built exclusively for Mavericks and Yosemite, and has a dozen major new features. Immediately, our team was hard at work putting RapidWeaver 6 to the test, and yesterday our full hands-on review was published. We aren't quite done yet, though -- MacNN has five copies of this software to give away to our readers!

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Jury-rigged Continuity Activation Tool puts tech on older Macs

10/23, 4:50pm

A new user-created tool enables OS X Yosemite's Continuity function on Macs that are officially unsupported. Dubbed the Continuity Activation Tool, it checks for strict hardware compatibility -- namely the presence of Bluetooth 4.0 -- and disables an Apple blacklist that shuts off Continuity on some Mac models. It also whitelists Mac board-ids inside Yosemite's Wi-Fi code. Before making any changes, the tool creates system driver backups.

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Amazon posts massive quarterly loss, misses Wall Street predictions

10/23, 4:34pm

Amazon.com today announced financial results for its third quarter that ended on September 30. Net sales increased 20 percent to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, compared with $17.09 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Despite the increase, Amazon's net loss was $437 million in the third quarter, or $0.95 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $41 million, or $0.09 per diluted share in the same time period of of 2013.

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TestFlight beta-testing opens up to general community

10/23, 3:23pm

Following a soft rollout to internal testers a few weeks ago, Apple has fully opened its TestFlight beta-testing service. "You can now invite up to 1,000 testers to beta test your iOS apps by simply sending them an email invitation through iTunes Connect," the company says on its developer portal. "Once they accept your invitation, testers can install your beta app on their iOS devices, get updated builds, and provide feedback, all within the TestFlight app."

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