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FCC 'deeply troubled' over Verizon's decision to slow down customers

07/30, 7:54pm

Last week one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.

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UBS again praises Cook, urges investors to 'buy in' to AAPL for fall

07/30, 7:00pm

Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."

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Apple issues MacBook Air EFI firmware update for unstable version

07/30, 5:37pm

Apple released a new update for MacBook Air EFI firmware today, updating to version 2.9.1 for "Mid-2011" models of the notebook. The company states that the update fixes a few updates for owners facing problems with waking from sleep and fans running at full speed in a specific instance. The update replaces a previous version that caused a number of problems for owners.

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Apple seeds first betas of OS X 10.9.5, Safari 7.0.6/6.1.6 to devs

07/30, 4:44pm

Apple has started seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is listed as built 13F7, and available through the Developer Center. Users are asked to focus testing on just a handful of areas, including Safari, graphics, and USB, including smart cards.

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No redesigned Apple TV set-top until 2015, report says

07/30, 4:24pm

Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.

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Major layoffs impacting Beats during Apple takeover, sources say

07/30, 3:30pm

Although the takeover has yet to be fully approved legally, some workers and technology resources are already being shifted from Beats to Apple, sources say. Apple executives have allegedly visited Beats' California headquarters this week and the last, offering some workers new positions at Apple while telling others that their jobs will be cut. Many Beats employees in creative or development roles are being offered work at Apple; many of these are allegedly headed to Apple's Cupertino's headquarters, but the company is keeping both the Santa Monica offices and some engineers associated with Beats Music.

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Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury claimed as 'fastest gaming mouse'

07/30, 3:02pm

Peripheral producer Logitech has created what it claims is the world's fastest gaming mouse ever manufactured. The G402 Hyperion Fury uses Logitech's Fusion Engine system on a built-in 32-bit ARM processor for tracking, allowing it to keep up with tracking speeds faster than 500 inches per second, more than the preceding G502 Proteus Core's 300 inches per second tracking.

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QuarkXPress 10.2 adds rendering, notes features,bugfixes

07/30, 2:47pm

Quark has released a v10.2 update for QuarkXPress, its flagship publishing software. The code makes significant feature additions, for instance letting people adjust rendering quality for different balances between performance and fidelity. Users can also add notes to projects that are separate from content and exportable as PDFs; redlines meanwhile show where changes have been made, and allow groups to approve or reject them.

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Best Buy CEO: Post-PC era ending, tablet sales 'crashing'

07/30, 2:46pm

In an interview, electronics retailer Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly believes that the day of the tablet may be over. Citing observations at his stores, the CEO claims that the company has "actually had a revival of the PC business at Best Buy" giving credit to Microsoft for discontinuation of Windows XP and Apple for continuing to innovate for consumers.

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Russia asks Apple, SAP to turn over source code as anti-spy measure

07/30, 1:07pm

The Russian government has proposed that two Western companies, Apple and SAP, grant access to their source code so it can determine whether or not products are tools for spying on state organizations and/or the public, Reuters reports. Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, is said to have made the request when he met last week with Apple's local general manager, Peter Nielsen, and SAP's local managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. In an official Communications Ministry statement, Nikiforov comments that "Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services' public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware."

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Crowdfunding Critic: Modbook Pro X

07/30, 1:03pm

Last week, we launched the Crowdfunding Critic here on MacNN and Electronista, and promised that every Tuesday and Thursday we'd highlight a new campaign. While we were working on yesterday's selection, we got wind of this -- the Modbook Pro X, by Modbook, Inc., a modification of Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro into a massive pen-enabled tablet. Based on it, we decided to do our second article in the series a day late, but we think this one is worth the wait.

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Updated Apple page promotes taking advantage of US tax holidays

07/30, 11:42am

Apple has updated a promotional page to let shoppers know about tax holidays coming up in nine US states between August 1st and the 3rd. The states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During the holidays, Apple has said it will drop sales tax charges for qualifying purchases made online or at retail. Although taxes will still appear during online checkouts, proper totals should appear in email confirmations.

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FreedomPop brings free plans to iPad mini, Galaxy Tab 3

07/30, 10:48am

Free voice, texting, and data service provider FreedomPop is extending its plans to tablets, starting with the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, according to an announcement. In the case of Minis, subscribers will be given mic-equipped Apple headphones and a special app, allowing them to make calls through FreedomPop's VoIP platform. Each person will have a unique phone number, and associated features such as voicemail and the ability to port that number to a different device or carrier.

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Apple Boot Camp page also points to 'mid 2014' 27-inch iMac

07/30, 9:31am

The same Apple support document that references a 2014 Mac mini also lists a "mid 2014" 27-inch iMac, checks show. It's mentioned alongside a 2014 21.5-inch iMac, but that presumably refers to the low-end model Apple introduced in June. To meet a mid-2014 launch date, Apple would have to ship an updated 27-inch system within the next month.

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Opinion: iPad Air + Logitech Folio + Office for iPad = Productivity?

07/30, 5:48am

The question of how much productivity you can get done on the Apple iPad is one that has persisted since its introduction. Even if the question is not an easy one to answer, it seems almost irrelevant to even ask when one looks at how massively successful the iPad has been since its introduction. The question also depends on what one defines as being 'productivity,' when it has been clear for some time that plenty of people can and do use iPads for getting work done, particularly in creative endeavors. The recently announced partnership between Apple and IBM in enterprise, coupled with the arrival of Microsoft Office for iPad suggests that the iPad's capability in the workplace will be properly tested given that IBM also becomes an official Apple reseller and will help to shift many more units into the workplace.

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