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PNAS study shows e-readers, tablets negatively impacting sleep quality

12/24, 12:45am

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the United States of America has published a study entitled Evening use of light-emitting e-readers negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. The study compared e-readers with screens that project light, versus those that don't, as well as printed books read under reflected light.

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FCC petitioned by hotels to allow disrupting guest-created hotspots

12/23, 11:48pm

The FCC has been petitioned by Marriott and an association of hotel owners to allow the jamming of Wi-Fi hotspots, usually set up by guests, on their premises for reasons of "managing Wi-Fi networks and security." The petition is possibly in response to when Marriott International and Marriott Hotel Services was fined $600,000 by the FCC for knocking guests off their own Wi-Fi networks (provided by hot spots and tethering to cell phones), forcing them to pay for the hotel's Wi-Fi access.

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Obama wants stronger cyber-security laws in 2015

12/23, 10:08pm

Last Friday, at President Barak Obama's year-end press conference, Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico asked the first question. Her inquiry was whether Sony had done the right thing in canceling the release of the Seth Rogan comedy The Interview, and what a "proportional" US response to the North Korean-led cyber-attack on Sony would look like. While discussing the answers to those questions, President Obama called on Congress to help create stronger cyber-security laws.

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Hands On: Echoes communication app (OS X, iOS)

12/23, 9:17pm

We've all had days in the office when there is great pressure and you can't afford time to leave your desk. Some of us have also had the rather less-satisfying situation where bosses frowned on you stopping to chat, and while those do tend to be the same sorts of bosses who won't let you install non-corporate-approved apps, if you can get it by them, Echoes (for Macs and iOS devices) is a way to bring a little humanity into your day. Possibly also a lot of irritation, as well -- but that'll depend on your colleagues, not on Echoes.

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Report: one neglected server caused JP Morgan Chase data leak

12/23, 8:49pm

Back in July, five bank networks were hacked, the most notable of which was JP Morgan Chase, which resulted in more than 76 million households' information being leaked. At first, it was suspected that a "zero-day" exploit had been utilized to gain access, but an unidentified source has indicated the real story is somewhat more mundane.

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Apple tops poll of Xmas gadget hopes for college students

12/23, 7:18pm

A new survey of college students contains lots of good news for Apple, with the company clearly the most-desired brand for holiday gifts in all the categories Apple competes in. Cash and gift cards are still king, followed by clothing, but electronics was the third most-popular category of gift, reaching second most-popular among males. The overall second-place finish of clothing was due to a strong preference compared to electronics by women rather than men. Apple and its new Beats brand, however, did well with everyone.

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Briefly: MegaSeg 5.9.4, LumenRT update

12/23, 6:22pm

Fidelity Media has released a new update for its professional DJ and radio automation software, MegaSeg. MegaSeg is available in Pro and DJ editions, with MegaSeg DJ focusing on live mixing features and visual beat syncing with Magic Trackpads, and more, and the Pro version adding video playback with ambient visuals, sound effect hot keys, and other advanced features. Now featuring optimizations for OS X Yosemite, MegaSeg's new sound engine includes higher quality pitch-locking, looping and swappable output devices. Controller presets for Denon MC2000 and MC3000 devices are now available, and support for logging via TCP/IP and Telnet protocols has been added.

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Several Apple Pay partners likely to miss 2014 deadline

12/23, 4:29pm

Several app and retail partners for Apple Pay will likely miss an initial 2014 deadline, a change on Apple's website suggests. The company has tweaked the headers for its lists of upcoming partners to read "Coming soon" instead of "Coming later this year." The retail businesses include ACME, Albertsons, Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Walt Disney World; the last is mentioned only because it's slated to launch support tomorrow.

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Forums: songs won't erase, trackpad troubles and more

12/23, 2:49pm

This week in the MacNN forums, members are plagued with songs that won't erase from their iPods, trackpad problems and more. "I can't erase songs from my iPod touch" says one frustrated Mac Elite, who is also baffled as to why there are random U2 songs on there that he never downloaded. After doing an update on an iPad 2, one Mac Enthusiast found that the unit is stuck on "searching" for cellular service.

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Apple deals: Macs for $999 or less

12/23, 2:45pm

Currently at Apple's online store, find a variety of refurbished Mac models starting as low as $769. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of PCIe-flash based storage is on sale right now for $769, after a $130 discount. A $170 discount drops the cost on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive down to $929.

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DealNN: Canon Pixma printers, MacBook Pros and more

12/23, 2:43pm

At BuyDig.com this week, get a bundle from BuyDig.com that includes a Canon Pixma MG5620 wireless all-in-one printer and Adobe Lightroom on sale for $150. That's a savings of $80 off the list price of $230, and when coupon code EXCEL is used, it drops the final cost to $75. That's the lowest price we have seen on this combo by $115. This printer prints at 4800x1200 maximum color DPI resolution, scans at 1200x2400 resolution, features a 2.5-inch LCD, two-sided printing, Full HD movie prints, Google cloud printing, and more. This printer is backed by a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor from Canon.

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Hands On: Manual Photo Camera (iOS)

12/23, 2:09pm

We often get a photo with sub-par quality when we use a cellphone or tablet as our go-to camera. One of the main reasons for this, of course, is because users have minimal control over individual camera functions like focus, white balance, and ISO sensitivity. The iPhone's camera is far more akin to a point-and-shoot than a professional model, and frequently the automatic settings can leave a picture feeling a bit lacking. But there's still hope -- something like Manual Photo Camera, by Rego Korosi, allows a person to take maximum control over shooting.

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Hands On: System Monitor (iOS)

12/23, 2:03pm

Anyone who has been caught without a charger, or with no storage space left to download pictures, music, or apps when away from their computer, is aware of how frustrating that situation can be. It's not always easy to tell how much RAM, free space, or talk time a user has left on their beloved iPhone or iPad. However, System Monitor by Tekton Technologies, is a very useful app that keys users in to the inner workings of their devices.

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Sony Pictures threatens Twitter leaks, will release 'The Interview'

12/23, 1:53pm

Sony Pictures has threatened Twitter with a lawsuit, if it does not block accounts used to share leaks. At the same time, the movie studio has reportedly decided to go against an earlier decision it made over contentious film The Interview, and will be showing the movie at a number of cinema chains on December 25, the movie's original release date.

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CNN Money picks Apple's Tim Cook as CEO of the Year

12/23, 1:03pm

Apple's Tim Cook has been chosen as CNN Money's CEO of the Year for 2014. The site explains this is because "Apple is the apple of Wall Street's eye again;" the company's shares are noted to be up 40 percent this year, and close to an all-time peak. CNN in turn links that stock performance to the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and "excitement" about the Apple Watch, due to ship early next year.

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