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Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls for 'time out'

12/20, 12:48pm

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine on the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to comply, for no real gain other than extra-judiciary punishment. Hood has responded, and is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail."

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Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

12/20, 11:24am

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. But if we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out images and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application and a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant.

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DPRK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony pulls movie promos

12/20, 11:03am

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling President Obama's words "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests, if the hack which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, continues to be blamed on the country.

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Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

12/20, 9:26am

There's no shortage of word games on the app store, and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggles, and your Hangmen. But what about games that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created - to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre.

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Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all digital payments

12/19, 10:45pm

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced only last month -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's. Each of the three retailers grabbed double-digit shares of the Apple Pay pie.

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Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

12/19, 7:26pm

Before we get into this, Video Converter Pro is currently free for a limited time, so go get it on the Mac App Store now. If you read this one minute too late and the price has gone back up, get it anyway because it is more than worth the usual asking price of $15. Or rather, it is if you need to convert videos, because that's what this just does, without fuss.

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Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

12/19, 5:31pm

Staying on top of emails, especially when there are multiple accounts involved, is unpleasant. Of the many mail clients out there (such as Mail, included with OS X), each tries to offer users its own spin on staying ahead of the curve. Airmail 2.0, released earlier this year, provides a client designed for Yosemite, supporting iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP 3, and more. We got a hold of Airmail 2.0 (which we will simply refer to as "Airmail" going forward) to take a look for ourselves, and see if this email client stands out from the crowd.

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Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in Jobs biopic

12/19, 4:22pm

Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are rumored to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head.

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DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo app content

12/19, 3:39pm

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers.

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Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

12/19, 3:37pm

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep," he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this, so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today, a Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite.

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Apple deals: refurbished Mac Pros starting at $2,549

12/19, 3:35pm

This week, Apple's online store has a selection of refurbished MacBook Pro models on sale for as low as $2,549. The refurbished 2013 Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics has been cut by $450 to $2,549. Priced at $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz Intel six-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

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DealNN: Mac minis, SSDs and more

12/19, 3:34pm

Right now at B&H.com, snap up a great deal on a Mac mini, which has seen a $80 discount -- from $999 down to $919. That discount makes this the best price we have seen on this configuration by about $20. It features a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. It is backed by Apple's standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.

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Briefly: Bing's app updates, Wozniak gets permanent Australian status

12/19, 2:49pm

Microsoft's Bing search engine has updated its iOS apps, Bing for iPad and Bing Search for both iPhone and iPad. Bing's apps include daily homepage images that can be downloaded, the ability to earn rewards for specific searches, syncing for bookmarks, and more. Bing for iPad v2.3 features a new Today View, translation browser exension, and bug fixes. Bing Search v5.3 offers a fully redesigned homescreen, quick access to trending stories, weather and other interested, and simplified movement between pages. Both apps, which are available on iTunes, are free to download.

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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit, agrees to pay $90M

12/19, 2:29pm

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices.

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Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

12/19, 2:25pm

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be $1 in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014, though the increase is largely due to recent currency pressures.

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