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Mid-2011 MacBook Air EFI update causing crashes, other issues

07/23, 2:22am

A firmware update, issued on Monday for "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models running OS X 10.9.2 and later, apparently has a bug in either the code or the downloaded file, which is causing reports of system crashes and occasionally a failure to install properly, leaving MBA owners unable to boot the machine. The purpose of the firmware update was to correct two "wake from sleep" issues that affected only "mid-2011" MBAs running 10.9.2 or later. Some users have found that an SMC reset can restore the units to functional status.

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Hands-on: Power Support Air Jacket for iPhone 5s, iPad Air

07/23, 1:48am

Finding the right case to protect your gadgets can be an expensive hit-or-miss affair. With plastic smartphone cases typically priced at around $20-$30 and tablet cases typically priced at around $30-$40, it can be an expensive mistake if you end up with one that you aren't happy with. Power Support is a Japanese-based company that has been making Apple accessories for the past few years. In particular, they are known for developing relatively thin and light, translucent polycarbonate cases for Apple's iPhone and iPad range that are popular because they help to preserve the beautiful appearance Apple's products without covering them up completely. Are they worth a look?

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Review: D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

07/23, 1:00am

Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs and ramping up to larger machines like refrigerators and washing machines, the automation market appears to be growing every day. Smaller devices are still paving the way for consumers to jump into home automated products, giving companies like D-Link a chance to test the waters with new products. One such product, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) gives consumers a small taste of remote home control and monitoring. But is it the correct entry item for users to try? Find out in our review.

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Cook: iPhone 5c, not 5s, was fastest-growing phone in June quarter

07/23, 1:00am

One of the most surprising things analysts heard on Tuesday in Apple's quarterly earnings conference call that was low on surprises was that year-over-year growth of the iPhone 5c is strong -- so strong, in fact, that its share gain outpaced that of its previous-year rival in the mid-tier "slot" in Apple's lineup, the iPhone 4S, at the same point in the previous cycle. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts that it even outpaced the growth rate of the iPhone 5s vs the iPhone 5, and the 4S versus the iPhone 4, each in their respective tiers.

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Apple TV, Roku getting FXNow with Simpsons World in next 12 months

07/22, 10:40pm

According to new from television writer Jason Lynch, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices will gain the FXNow on-demand service within the next 12 months. The news emerged from today's Fox and the FX Network stop on the Television Critics Association Press Tour. With the new app comes Simpsons World, a new service that provides streaming to the 522 episodes of the animated television series.

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Apple hit with new employee lawsuit in California court

07/22, 9:39pm

While Apple wrestles with a lawsuit alleging an improper "gentleman's agreement" that prevented it and other tech firms from "poaching" their most valuable employees, the company has now been named in another legal action that concerns itself with labor violations for its retail and corporate operations workers. The new lawsuit, granted class certification on Monday, charges Apple with mismanaging and providing inadequate breaks and meal times, as well as being slow on issuing final paychecks.

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Cook blames second quarterly drop in iPads on anticipation

07/22, 7:39pm

For the second time in as many quarters, Tim Cook has had to explain away drops in iPad sales. Last quarter, the iPad saw a 16 percent drop from the year-ago quarter, but Cook detailed a credible explanation that channel inventory from the holiday season had overstuffed retailers and that the drop was actually only three percent because of that, which fell within normal ranges. This time, iPad sales were down about 9.2 percent, which Cook largely blamed on anticipation for the next iPad coming this fall.

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Apple Q3 breakdown shows biggest growth in China

07/22, 5:17pm

In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.

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Apple reaps $37.43 billion in third-quarter revenues

07/22, 4:43pm

Apple revenues rose 6 percent year-over-year to $37.43 billion in its third fiscal quarter, which ended in June, the company has announced. Profits were up 12.3 percent to $7.75 billion, while earnings per share climbed from $1.07 to $1.28 when adjusted for the recent 7-to-1 stock split. Gross margin increased from 36.9 percent to 39.4 percent.

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Goodwill investigating possible data breach, could date back to 2013

07/22, 4:18pm

Goodwill Industries International, the business entity behind the popular nonprofit second-hand stores, announced this week that it is investigating a potential data breach involving credit card data. The breach was said to occur in selected stores within the United States, but Goodwill has offered no information on which stores were affected.

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FLIR One thermal imaging iPhone case preorders commence July 23

07/22, 4:10pm

Thermal imaging company FLIR will launch pre-orders for its infrared camera-containing case on July 23 at AM. Once mounted, the case for the iPhone 5 and 5s displays a live thermal image of the world right on the phone's screen, giving users the ability to "see" in an array of conditions, including complete darkness.

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iPad, Kindle Fire make gains in North American web traffic

07/22, 2:40pm

Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- managed shares of just 2.1 and 1.4 percent.

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Advocates challenge Verizon's claims that 'fast lanes' help disabled

07/22, 1:48pm

Verizon's claims that the US Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules would hurt the disabled and blind have come under fire by those Verizon claims to be looking out for. In a filing with the FCC, several disability advocacy organizations clearly disagree that Verizon is looking out for the best interests of the disabled, and request that "In no case should accessibility considerations form a basis for permitting paid prioritization more broadly, and the Commission should reject any overture to the contrary."

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Forums: Mac Pro for consumers?

07/22, 1:28pm

Today in the MacNN forums Mac Elite PeterParker was asking fellow forum goers if they thought that Apple would ever create a Mac Pro in the sub 2k price range for people who aren't quite "pros" who want that style of desktop. Today Forum Regular "Nassifer" was trying to determine why their notebook was so slow after doing a complete restore to 10.9.4, and turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Apple deals: iMacs from $1,099

07/22, 1:27pm

Apple's online store this week has a variety of refurbished iMac models on sale starting as low as $1,099 for the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive. A $270 discount is offered on the 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,529.

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