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Briefly: Safari security update, lunch with Tim Cook raises $200K

05/06, 10:21pm

On Wednesday, Apple updated its Safari browser for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), and 10.10 (Yosemite) to versions 6.2.6, 7.1.6, and 8.0.6, respectively. The updates applied patches to discovered security flaws in WebKit, the underlying engine of Safari, that could have been exploited if left unfixed. Potential problems that could have arisen from the flaws could have resulted in crashes, access to filesystem contents, or allowing a site to spoof a user interface. The updates as relevant will appear in the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.

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Game Replay: Star Wars in Disney Infinity, GoatZ, Snake returns

05/06, 9:20pm

The Game Replay is a twice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming from the last few days. Today's edition includes the addition of Star Wars to Disney Infinity, the return of classic phone game Snake, and extra downloadable content for Goat Simulator that parodies zombie-survival games.

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Pointers: Creating a podcast, conclusion

05/06, 6:19pm

Over the last five weeks on the Wednesday Pointers column, we have gone through the steps involved in creating a podcast, from choosing a good mic (do not use your built-in mic or some cheapo piece of crap) to packaging and hosting the files iTunes needs to send potential listeners your way. So far, we've learned that podcasts are more than just capturing an entertaining conversation, or at least they should be, and that there's as much of a technical effort required as a creative one.

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Hands On: RSS Wear 1.0 (iOS, Watch)

05/06, 6:08pm

Seriously, app developers are clearly trying to get us to read more on our Apple Watches and -- you know what? It will work. Not with Wear Reader, the app that shows you books one word at a time, and actually not with this news app RSS Wear 1.0, but something will get us. It might even be some future version of RSS Wear, possibly.

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Briefly: Pebble Time in mass production, Sharp produces Roku TVs

05/06, 3:18pm

The Pebble Time has entered mass production, the company has announced. In an update on the recent Kickstarter page for the smartwatch, shipments of the devices are expected to start from mid-May. As for the functionality of the smartwatch when it arrives, Pebble advises the new timeline interface, expanded app storage, a new Sports app, and voice replies to Android notifications will be available from day one. Planned future software updates will introduce the option for voice responses to Gmail notifications in iOS, a voice notes and stocks app, an album art view for the Music app, and a weather watchface.

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Daily Deals: Acer Aspire Switch 10, Gear Pro, Planetary Annihilation

05/06, 1:30pm

Welcome to Daily Deals, the column which features a list of the best online discounts, sales, offers, and bundles for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of still-active deals from Monday and Tuesday are joined by a new wave of offers, including an Acer Windows tablet and keyboard dock for $200, cheap Gear Pro action cameras, and a "killer" games bundle that includes Planetary Annihilation

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Apple plans late June launch for revamped iTunes, despite obstacles

05/06, 12:48pm

Speculation and unconfirmed reports have run rampant over Apple's progress in its effort to revamp its iTunes music services, with recent reports suggesting the company may have difficulty hitting its planned June target for formally introducing both a revised Music app for iOS in the forthcoming iOS 8.4, and a significantly revamped iTunes Radio and Beats Music streaming service designed to compete with Spotify. Various reports, however, claim obstacles -- ranging from music label reluctance to federal investigations.

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Feature: Apple's 'discoveryd' failure in Yosemite and iOS 8

05/06, 10:22am

Through all of Apple's patches for OS X 10.10.3, and the accompanying iOS 8 versions, one core networking service remains problematic, it has been discovered. At the heart of Apple's networking is the "discoveryd" routine, introduced in the latest versions of the OS, which drives how OS X and iOS 8 locates and resolves network connections to other devices. However, the new iteration (replacing a much older service) is causing problems with Bonjour, fouling DNS resolution, and generating a host of other problems for many users, which can in some cases be exacerbated by the number of modern OS X and iOS devices on a network, making it a major problem for Apple faithful.

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Briefly: ResearchKit DNA apps, OpenTV sues over video patents

05/06, 9:02am

A leading research and academic technology review publication has revealed that Apple is working with researchers on building DNA-testing apps using ResearchKit, the company's API for medical research software. The apps would require volunteers to submit DNA samples, helping scientists at institutions such as UC San Francisco examine the causes of premature birth by studying genetic factors, while another study will look at disease-connected genes gathered through the study.

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T-Mobile attacks Verizon with 'Never Settle' 14-day service trial

05/06, 8:25am

Following the success of the iPhone 5s Test Drive promotion from last year, T-Mobile will be offering something similar to potential customers currently subscribed to Verizon. The "Never Settle" campaign will provide Verizon customers the ability to try out the carrier's network and service, by borrowing a smartphone from T-Mobile for two weeks at no charge.

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Hands On: Wear Reader 1.1.0 (Apple Watch)

05/06, 8:06am

You're going to end up reading more on your Apple Watch than you imagine. Yes, you're just supposed to glance at it to see who's sent that new email but, come on: you'll scroll through reading it all. The screen is more than good enough that you can do this, and you simply will. What you may resist more is the notion of reading an entire book this way. That's what Wear Reader wants you to do: one quick word at a time.

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Cox launches Gigabit Internet service in Arizona, California, Nevada

05/06, 7:06am

Cox Communications is catching up with rivals Google Fiber, Comcast, and AT&T in offering gigabit Internet to more of its residential customers. Initially announced a year ago, the company's "G1gablast" service has gone live in parts of Phoenix, AZ; Orange County, CA; and Omaha, Nebraska, and Las Vegas, NV, earlier than the initially anticipated launch by the end of next year.

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Opinion: Is Microsoft Continuum a game changer for Windows phones?

05/06, 7:05am

Although Microsoft is lagging as very distant third in the smartphone space, it has not yet given up on the hope that it can eventually gain some market traction. At its Build developers conference last week, the Redmond software giant revealed the shape of things to come from its smartphones in the near future. The most intriguing features demonstrated for Windows 10 on smartphones was Continuum, its new desktop mode for a smartphone connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Although it hasn't been revealed in its final form, Continuum promises to reconfigure a Windows 10 smartphone interface on-the-fly so that users can interact with its apps in a desktop environment much as they would do with a PC. Is it a game changer?

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Comcast spent $336M on failed Time Warner Cable acquisition

05/05, 9:02pm

Comcast's failed attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable cost the cable company a considerable amount of money, according to analysis of its earnings reports. While the transaction would have cost $45.2 billion if it did indeed go through, Comcast has apparently spent at least $336 million to get the purchase moving over the last five quarters, before it ended.

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Home Depot to support Apple Pay across entire 2,000-store chain

05/05, 4:47pm

Contrary to earlier media reports that suggested Home Depot would drop the mobile payments service, in fact the company has announced that it formally plans to support Apple Pay throughout its entire US operation, making it the largest retailer thus far to support Apple's mobile-payments platform. The announcement comes alongside, and will not replace, stores' acceptance of payment rival PayPal, and the chain says it may continue to add other payment forms.

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