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Apple updates OS X server for Yosemite to 4.1.3

07/06, 7:45am

Hidden inside Apple's flood of releases last week, the Cupertino manufacturer released a point update to OS X Server for OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite. The server package that adds functionality to the base OS X "client" has been incremented to version 4.1.3, and brings security fixes, stability improvements, and importantly improved reliability of Time Machine backups and restores.

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Pointers: Listen to Apple Music offline on iOS

07/06, 7:25am

It is in all ways a great thing that Apple Music includes the ability for you to download music to listen to when you don't have an internet connection -- or you don't want to use the one you've got. If you're away from Wi-Fi and have a limit on how much data you can download without surcharges, Apple Music can eat through that like nobody's business. Plus whatever your plan, streaming much just kills your battery. So being able to have one big downloading session before you head out the door is brilliant. It's also ridiculously confusing.

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Comment: An independent artist's view on Apple Music

07/06, 6:42am

As a music fan, I'm delighted that Apple Music is finally here. The thought of being able to access most of Apple's iTunes catalog for a low monthly fee is a mouth-watering prospect. Before services like this were available, I would routinely spend two or three times as much every month on buying new music to feed my addiction. Therein lies the problem for independent artists, but also all artists at large, as streaming services move from being marginal, secondary sources of income to something increasingly material.

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MasterCard trials self portrait-based payment authentication

07/06, 6:13am

MasterCard is testing out an unusual method to verify the identity of a credit or debit card holder, by using photographs as an authentication method. The app is said to require the user to take a self portrait at the time of purchase in order to prove who they are, as MasterCard explores alternative ways for users to make mobile payments without having to provide a fingerprint or remember a PIN or password each time.

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Game Replay: Minecraft in Windows 10, Club Nintendo US ends

07/05, 10:49pm

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, Microsoft is bringing Minecraft to Windows 10, Club Nintendo ends in North America, Sales are halted and refunds offered for Final Fantasy XIV for Mac, and the revelation that Destiny could have been a funnier game.

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Technology in Recovery: Week one, simple (and giant) choices

07/05, 5:15pm

Therapy for a disabled person is a mixed bag. Sometimes the body cooperates, and sometimes the mind. Sometimes both, sometimes neither -- and neither is what we got this week. Regardless, the therapists soldiered on, with some pretty solid initial tech solutions for therapy and common recovery stumbling blocks.

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Freedom Deals: Celebrate US independence with hefty store discounts

07/05, 4:41pm

Welcome to Freedom Deals, the one-off version of Daily Deals that we're using to highlight some of the online offers, discounts, bundles, and sales going on this weekend, in honor of the Fourth of July. Notable deals include the freedom-creating Broforce, a collection of large HDTVs, and a Wii U with Splatoon. Normal deals service will resume tomorrow.

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Hands On: The Nightjar 1.2.5 (iOS)

07/05, 2:11pm

The Nightjar by developer Somethin' Else is a science fiction thriller in which the player has been abandoned alone on a spaceship which is about to self-destruct. All the lights have gone out, so there's a lot of bumping into walls and following sounds. Thankfully, Benedict Cumberbatch is talking to you through an ear piece and knows how to get you safely off the ship... probably.

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Save Your Bandwidth: the worst of the iOS and Mac App Stores

07/05, 1:01pm

We've said this before about how we come up with the apps we review -- sometimes we're approached by the developers who request we take a look at their app, sometimes we go looking for apps we think the readers would be interested in, and sometimes readers alert us to the existence of an app we should write about through our tips email. Even when we don't like something, we try to be constructive in our criticisms. However, periodically we come across something that will spark in us either blinding rage or numbing apathy. Either way, we're just not sure we can squeeze a whole article out of it that isn't just the word "meh" over and over again, or simply a picture of Zoidberg yelling, "your app is bad, and you should feel bad!" Join us, for this first installment of a periodic column shaming the worst of the choices on the App Store that we randomly get corralled to examine.

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MacNN's Week that Was: June 29 through July 5

07/05, 12:50pm

Happy post-Fourth of July! We hope you emerged from the holiday unburnt from the sun, the grill, or explosives! Today marks our second iteration of a new column about the stories that entertained us, informed us, or just plain tickled us in the course of the week. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game. Read on for thoughts on the events of the week in the tech world including a bevy of Apple Music stories, just as many OS X tales, and some goofy stories from around the web.

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Happy Fourth of July from MacNN and Electronista

07/03, 8:00pm

Happy pre-Fourth of July! We here at Electronista and MacNN wish our readers a happy US Independence Day -- yes, even our readers from the UK, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. In all seriousness, we've still got great things planned for the weekend. We'll still bring you anything urgent that pops up, as well as the second part of our Technology in Recovery series, plus a recap of the big stories of the week on Sunday. Until we see you again, toss those burgers on the grill, and have a happy and safe July fourth holiday!

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Dr. Dre to debut hour-long radio show July 4 on Beats 1

07/03, 7:15pm

Following the decision to release his first album The Chronic as an Apple Music exclusive, untitled Apple executive Dr. Dre will debut a new bi-weekly radio show on Beats 1 on Saturday, July 4, entitled "The Pharmacy," focusing on West Coast urban music and other tracks of interest to Dre. The first episode will debut at 6PM ET, and joins a host of other shows hosted by prominent musicians.

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Pointers: play nearly any media file on your iOS device

07/03, 6:10pm

Today's Pointers is going to be a bit short and sweet because, like everyone else in the US, we're itching to get out of the office and engage in dangerous, noisy, polluting activities of an excessive nature. So while you are waiting in the burn unit or drunk tank for either treatment or bail money, here's a great tip for making all that waiting time easier: a simple way to get your iOS devices to play any non-DRM'd audio, photo, or video file format without taking up any space. It's like iTunes Match, but for all kinds of media files.

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Reddit moderators set communities private to protest employee firing

07/03, 5:43pm

The firing of an employee has caused community outrage over at Reddit today, prompting many parts of the site to be hidden from view by volunteer moderators. A number of the site's communities are setting their subreddits to private in protest of a decision by management to let go of Victoria Taylor, a staff member that managed the famous Ask Me Anything (AMA) section, with readers revolting over a lack of explanation for the site's actions.

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Hands On: Ball Alien 1.0 (iOS)

07/03, 5:30pm

If we say platformer, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably a game like Super Mario Bros or Super Meat Boy, or maybe even the original Donkey Kong. Something classic and straightforward -- but the truth of the matter is that the platformer genre is almost as wild and varied as the puzzle genre. That's why we decided to tell you guys about Ball Alien, a quirky skill platformer that has you traversing platforms in space.

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