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Hands-on: LG G Watch and Google Android Wear

07/11, 4:53am

There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch. It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.

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Alleged photo of 4.7-inch iPhone LCD bracket appears

07/11, 3:49am

Following a flurry of claims -- most of them from dubious Far East sources -- about enormous advance orders for the iPhone 6 or "localized haptic feedback" or robots building the iPhone and endless parts leaks (or could some of them be 3D printer fabrications?), a new photo has emerged purporting to show the LCD and home button bracket for the forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The photo comes from a Taiwanese enthusiast site.

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Safari betas updated for Mavericks, Mountain Lion OS X releases

07/11, 2:00am

Apple on Thursday seeded new betas of Safari for OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.x), number as versions 7.1 and 6.2 respectively, that feature a new build of WebKit with a number of improved and new features. The betas, once released to the public, will help bring the Safari used with those versions closer to the expected updated Safari that will ship with OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the fall. Among the improvements are Web-GL powered 3D rendering, support for IndexedDB for web applications and more.

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Apple now blocking older Flash Player plug-ins, citing security flaw

07/11, 12:03am

Following an emergency patch issued by Adobe yesterday for a vulnerability in Flash Player and Adobe AIR that the company deemed "critical" for users to upgrade to, Apple is now blocking all un-upgraded versions of the plug-in in Safari, though the warning dialog will take users to the Flash Installer page where they can obtain the patched version. Users of OS X 10.6 and higher must be running version 14.0.0.145 in order for the Flash plug-in to work normally. Windows and Linux users are also affected by the flaw.

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Briefly: LinkedIn Connected, YouTube Creator Studio launched for iOS

07/10, 11:41pm

LinkedIn, the social platform for professional networking, has released a redesigned version of its LinkedIn Contacts app for iOS. LinkedIn Connected offers users relevant updates about people in their networks, and notifications about job changes, birthdays, and more. The revamp includes the same features as the previous release, with a focus on relationships. LinkedIn Connected is free to download.

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Report: CarPlay could be available in 24 million US cars by 2019

07/10, 7:30pm

A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).

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Sonico releases Mac version of iTranslate, celebrates with sale

07/10, 6:00pm

The popular translation app iTranslate, previously for iOS devices only, arrived on the Mac on Thursday with the release of iTranslate for the Mac on the Mac App Store. The program, which is accessed from the menubar when running, offers instant translation with support for over 80 languages. Users simply input or paste text and the program provides a translation into the desired language. It also feature voice output so that users can hear the correct pronunciation of a word or phrase.

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Briefly: IK Multimedia's iRig MIDI 2, Google AdWords Express for iOS

07/10, 5:39pm

IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets - IN, OUT and THRU - which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.

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IBM to invest $3 billion into research for new computer chips

07/10, 5:13pm

IBM announced today that it is re-committing itself to the computer landscape, as the company intends to spend $3 billion on research into future chip technologies. Over the next five years, IBM will invest in two "broad research and early stage development programs" in search of an innovation in the field. The shift in strategy comes at a time when the company was rumored to sell off its chip manufacturing business.

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Apple Volume Purchase Program coming to 16 more regions

07/10, 4:51pm

Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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MLB launches second iBeacon expansion, updates iOS apps

07/10, 4:16pm

Major League Baseball is entering into a second phase of iBeacon deployments at stadiums. Beginning this is project for the 2014 All-Star Game, which is being hosted at Target Field in Minneapolis. People with a supporting iPhone and the latest version of At the Ballpark will get extra content, including interactive material, when visiting nine different exhibits in the stadium. iBeacons are already in use at 28 other ballparks, but mostly for check-ins and discounts.

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MonkeyParking halts San Francisco parking auctions after city warning

07/10, 3:32pm

MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th.

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Misfit, Beddit collaborate on sleep-tracking tech

07/10, 2:41pm

Misfit, the creator of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has announced a partnership with Beddit enabling sleep tracking in the official Misfit apps for iOS and Android. Rather than relying on the Shine, there is now a Misfit/Beddit-branded sleep monitor. The device is placed on a mattress, and tracks breathing, heart rate, restlessness, snoring, and ambient sound. The apps analyze this data over a seven-day period, and can also use it to trigger an alarm during a light sleep phase, ensuring a more refreshed feeling.

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FTC files in-app purchase lawsuit against Amazon, seeks refunds

07/10, 1:37pm

According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without their consent.

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New iTunes 11.3 brings iTunes Extras for HD movies

07/10, 12:03pm

Apple has released iTunes 11.3 for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is support for iTunes Extras associated with HD movies, granting access to things like galleries, commentaries, behind-the-scenes clips, and short films. Not every movie has Extras, since these require special formatting on the part of content creators, but even previously-purchased titles can get Extras for free if they're added later.

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