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Max & The Magic Marker Available For Mac

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Independent Danish game developer Press Play recently released Max & The Magic Marker for Mac and Windows. Described as a 2D puzzle platformer, the game puts players in the role of Max who must use his newly acquired Magic Marker to put a stop to the monster rampaging through his drawings.

The Game
Max & the Magic Marker is a physics based 2D puzzle platformer, in which the player controls the boy Max and his Magic Marker. While Max enables good old platforming fun, the marker provides the games signature feature: the ability for the player to draw directly inside the game world where everything drawn becomes physical objects. This feature is used to complete levels and overcome challenges but it also provides the player with a unique tool that in itself is fun to play around with.

The Story
Max is a young boy, and like most boys he loves to draw. One day he gets a mysterious marker in the mail. There is no...

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Diablo III Female Barbarian Unveiled

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment recently updated the official Diablo III website with new character information. The update offers new concept art and animation for the female barbarian class. Diablo III will return players to the action RPG franchise where they once again must choose a character and face off against the forces of darkness.

Though they were once misunderstood as simple, bloodthirsty invaders, the long and noble history of these proud people is now rightly acknowledged. And therein lies the greater tragedy here, for those of us familiar with the nobility of the barbarians remember too what they call their "vigil", the concept that lay at the very heart of their culture. The barbarians consider it their sworn duty to protect Mount Arreat and the mysterious object within. They believe that if they fail to uphold their duty to the great mount, or are not given a proper burial upon its slopes, they will be denied a true warrior's...

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StarCraft II Beta Test Forums Open

February 17, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has opened up a collection of new beta test forums for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The forums will allow beta testers to provide feedback as they assist Blizzard developers in fine tuning game balance and stability. Only beta testers can post, but the forums are open for anyone to read.

This forum is for discussion based around the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty public beta test. Only participants in the beta test can post here, but the forum can be viewed by everyone. The primary objectives of the public beta are to test the stability of our Battle.net service and to dial in the game balance prior to launch. As a beta participant, you play a big part in ensuring we meet these goals. Please provide your feedback on balance, Battle.net, or any other beta-related topics in our feedback forum.

If you find any bugs, please visit the bug report forum

For answers to some common questions, be...

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Din's Curse Preorders Selling Well, Beta Updated

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

A new blog post from Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler provides an update on the status of Din's Curse, the company's next action RPG. The post covers testing progress and preorder sales. A 4th patch was also recently released for beta testers.

Today, I released our 4th patch. In those four patches, I have made 309 changes. Well over half of those are changes directly from gamer feedback. There are still many changes coming that I haven't gotten to though. Right now my todo list has 241 items on it. One of these days I will get this back down to zero.

A quick sales note, so far this is our fastest selling game ever. I'm really hoping it stays this way. :) If it doesn't, I might start taking some contracting work, which would slow down Soldak development. :( The sales so far is actually interesting to me. On one hand we don't have a finished product, just a beta, and not even a demo yet. Yet the beta is selling quicker than...

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Apple Games Features Tales Of Monkey Island

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games has posted a new article, this one featuring Telltale Games' recently released Tales of Monkey Island. In the adventure game players must help Guybrush Threepwood as he confronts a variety of amusing puzzles in his quest to defeat his arch-nemesis LeChuck. Apple's article includes an overview of the game and a brief history of the Monkey Island series.

And thus begins Guybrushs latest misadventures. During the course of escaping from Flotsam Island, he learns that the only way to reverse the voodoo infestation is to find La Esponja Grande, a voodoo sea sponge that can soak up the pox. He also meets the Marquis de Singe, who believes Guybrushs infected hand is the key to eternal life; Guybrush would prefer to keep as many of his preferably pox-free appendages as possible, thank you very much.

Of course, sailing away from Flotsam Island is simply your first step into the never-before-seen Gulf of Melange, where more...

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PopCap Survey Studies Social Gamers

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

PopCap Games has released the results of a new survey of gamers who play games on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The survey of 5,000 respondents found that 24% regularly played social games, and that the average social gamer is a 43 year old woman.

From IndustryGamers:
The survey was conducted for both Americans and Brits; in the U.S., 55 percent of all social gamers are female and 45 percent are male, with the U.K. disparity growing to 58 percent to 42 percent. In age matters, social gamers in the U.S. are on average 48 years old compared to 38 for those based in the U.K. while 46 percent of American social gamers are 50 or older, contrasting to to just 23 percent in the U.K. Social gamers that are age 21 or younger only make up six percent of the total social gamer population.

From Gamasutra:
"While still in its infancy compared to the traditional video game industry, the social games sector...

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The Sims 3 High End Loft Stuff Reviewed

February 18, 2010 6:00 AM

IGN has published a new review of High End Loft Stuff, a new item pack for The Sims 3. The pack adds a variety of new items to the popular sim title including three items returning from the previous two Sims titles: the heart-shaped vibrating bed, the electric guitar, and the aquarium.

The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff is the first Stuff Pack for the newest sequel of the franchise, and it makes an impact as far as dcor and objects are concerned. There are a couple dozen new objects on the disc, which, if you bought them a la carte on the Sims Store, would run you a couple bucks EACH. In that, the Stuff Pack is a nice quantity discount at only $20 for the whole package.

As the title may tell you, all the new objects in the Stuff Pack are for the wealthier Sims of your neighborhood. (Nothing says "I'm rich" more than when you contemplate life on a $1200 Flushmaster Hi-Def!) Of course, the downside to this is that most of your...

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Multiwinia Updated

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

Ambrosia Software has updated its real-time online strategy war game Multiwinia to version 1.3.1. The update includes a variety of bug fixes and enhancements including adjustments to movement controls. Returning to the unique world of Darwinia, the game allows players to choose from six game modes on over 40 maps as they battle for stick figure supremacy.

Multiwinia 1.3.1 includes the following changes/improvements:

  • Movement controls shouldn't "get stuck" anymore
  • Smoother sound in main menu
  • Fixed a number of crashes
  • Fixed hang in main menu on certain machines
  • Minor gameplay and interface fixes
  • Numerous other bug fixes and enhancements

Multiwinia is a multi-player real time strategy war game unlike any other. A chaotic war is raging in a fantastic fractalized world populated by bloodthirsty little stick men with a mission: follow your orders to annihilate their...

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Eschalon Book II Trailer Coming Next Week

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

Basilisk Games has announced that it will release a trailer next week for Eschalon: Book II, the upcoming second title in its planned "old school" RPG trilogy. The game will include improvements like 1024X768 native resolution, re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

More about Eschalon Book II:

  • Eschalon: Book II is the sequel to 2007s award winning RPG Eschalon: Book I, although no previous experience is needed to play and enjoy Book II.
  • Book II will be available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary) and Linux-based computers.
  • Play as a male or female character.
  • 1024 x 768 native resolution.
  • Most tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution. Hundreds of new graphic elements, tiles, sound effects and music means Book II is not just a remix of the previous game.
  • New weather effects: snow, rain...

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Din's Curse Q&A

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

GamersInfo.net has published a new interview with Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler. The indie game developer discussed Din's Curse, the company's upcoming action RPG, as well as the difficulties faced by independent developers.

In Din's Curse players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

GamersInfo.net: The other feature of Dins Curse that I took note of was the dynamic world and quest system. How does that work, and how did it come about?
Steven Peeler: Instead of starting in the same world each time, in Dins Curse, you start in a new town that has different problems than any other town. It doesnt stop there, though; these quests arent static. If you dont do anything about them, they will cause other trouble. For example,...

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Civilization V Announced For PC

February 19, 2010 6:00 AM

2K Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, has announced that Sid Meiers Civilization V, the newest entry in the popular franchise, is currently in development at Firaxis Games for PC.

Civilization V will update the turn-based strategy franchise with a new engine built from the ground-up for Civilization. Players will be introduced to an entirely new combat system, deeper diplomatic interactions, and a variety of other expanded features.

Sid Meiers Civilization franchise has been recognized as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all time with millions of units sold worldwide, said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. Civilization V takes the franchise further by offering players a more immersive experience with deeper strategies; heightened tactical combat; vast, realistic landscapes to explore, battle over and claim as their own; and an in-game community hub where Civ fans can share content and...

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Amnesia: Teaser, Website, Pre-Order, Mac Status

February 19, 2010 12:07 PM

Frictional Games today announced a first look at in-game footage of the company's new horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, in the form of a teaser video. The game's website has been updated with general information about the game, screenshots, the new teaser video, and details about pre-ordering Amnesia.

A recent email from Frictional Games revealed that the Mac version of the game is already functional and at this stage of development runs on a PPC 1.4Ghz eMac with a 64MB Radeon 9600 card. System requirements have not been finalized yet.

"We recently finished a massive testing session of the game to much success. With that behind us we now know how Amnesia will play like and what it takes to finish it. This means we feel confident in moving forward and sharing more juicy details about the game. This includes crucial things such as availability, pricing and what the game is all about." - Thomas Grip, Co-founder.

Web...

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EVE Online: Tyrannis Announced, Will Include Planet...

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

CCP Games has announced work on Tyrannis, its next free expansion for the popular sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The expansion will feature the ability to harvest minerals from planets, updates to its EVE Gate (previously called COSMOS) social networking elements, and a variety of optimizations and improvements.

OMG did you say all of the planets!?
Thats right, you will finally be able to survey for juicy deposits of minerals and other goodies, build infrastructure to harvest them, store them, process them and launch them into space. Build complex networks of facilities and fine tune them for optimal production. All in a very massive single shard sandboxy way as only EVE can provide. And its not just the terran planets. Its ALL OF THEM. The gas giants, the lava planets, the ice worlds, the water worlds and even the elusive plasma planets. Each type with their unique properties. Maintaining facilities on gruesomely hostile planets will be...

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Eschalon Book II Trailer Unveiled

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

Basilisk Games has announced the release of a trailer for Eschalon: Book II, the upcoming second title in its planned "old school" RPG trilogy. The game will include improvements like re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

More about Eschalon Book II:

  • Eschalon: Book II is the sequel to 2007s award winning RPG Eschalon: Book I, although no previous experience is needed to play and enjoy Book II.
  • Book II will be available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary) and Linux-based computers.
  • Play as a male or female character.
  • 1024 x 768 native resolution.
  • Most tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution. Hundreds of new graphic elements, tiles, sound effects and music means Book II is not just a remix of the previous game.
  • New weather effects: snow, rain, and thunderstorms. Weather isnt just an...

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The Secrets Of Da Vinci Reviewed

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

Mac|Life has posted a new review of The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript. The adventure title challenges players to discover and delve inside the mysteries surrounding the hidden enigmas of the works of the great genius. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:
Our biggest problem was the camera, which is frustrating because the games 3D environments--a faithful re-creation of the Clos Luc, Leonardos final residence, as it looked in 1522--are so beautiful. Theyre full of rich color and detail, right down to Leonardos paintings and drawings hanging from the walls. And while the simple controls let you move the camera by moving the mouse, we found ourselves getting queasy after an hour or so of playtime on even the slowest setting.

If that doesnt make you flee, youll play as Valdo, searching Leonardos estate for a missing notebook on behalf of a mysterious patron. But your quest keeps you...

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Jeff Vogel Offers Advice On Starting An Indie Game...

February 22, 2010 6:00 AM

In a new post on his Bottom Feeder blog Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel recently offered a few tips to aspiring independent game developers. The veteran RPG developer discussed the importance of having a unique product, acquiring the best software necessary regardless of cost, and avoiding the dangers of working too hard.

1. You Need a Good Idea
This means (and yes, I know this seems obvious but it's amazing how often people forget it) that whatever you are selling has to be pretty darn special. It has to be a good idea, well executed, and not competing against a ton of free competitors. And let me tell you something. That's a hard thing to come up with these days.

2. Professional Work Requires Professional Tools
Another question I get asked from time to time is, "How can I find a free program to do [make art/write programs/whatever]." And my answer is always, "You DON'T!"

I know. You don't have much...

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Din's Curse Priest Class Revealed

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment, known for its Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld fantasy games, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update reveals the game's Priest class and its associated specialties: Paladin, Healer, and Shaman. This is the sixth and final revealed class of those available in the game.

Priest:
By the light of good, these holy warriors command more than strength and might, but also heal and bless themselves and others.

Specialties: Paladin, Healer, and Shaman.

Paladin:
This guardian totes heavy armor with ease while using the power of the gods to maim the unjust.

Bonuses: higher health per vitality, higher mana per spirit, higher damage per strength, and higher mana regen per spirit
Mana gen: Mana gain on blocks and parries
Armor: Cloth, Leather, and Shields
Weapons: Maces

  • Zeal - An attack with extra...

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iGame Radio Episode 92 Features The Movies Superstar...

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Episode 92 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio podcast is now available for listening. The podcast features a review of Feral Interactive's The Movies Superstar Edition for Mac as well as reviews of Thor and Phantom Mansion: The Orange Library for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Episode 91:

  • A review of The Movies Superstar Edition by Feral Interaction. This babys got everything for the budding movie mogul. Just hop in and express your creativity.
  • Plus, a review of Thor by Freeverse. This slide-scroll platform game pits a goofy god Thor against giants, the goddess Hel, even a serpent. And Thor just keeps running and running and running and
  • Finally, a review of the Phantom Mansion: The Orange Library, the second episode in the Phantom Mansion series. No, Hector is still stuck in the Mansion. And Omaha is still waiting for more difficult puzzles.

Show Notes:

  • A great conversation with Peter...

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New Subversion Screenshots And Game Details Unveiled

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Worthplaying has posted some new screenshots from Introversion Software's upcoming Subversion, as well as more information about the game. Subversion will offer players the chance to control a team of skilled operatives seeking to complete missions in hostile high security buildings. Previous information about the game centered around its procedurally generated cityscapes.

Subversion is going to be set in a modern High Tech environment, with you taking "mission control" over a team of skilled operatives in a hostile High Security building. You will be using Sabotage, Social Engineering and Grifting, custom Electrical and Mechanical devices, Distractions, Hacking, Stealth, Acrobatics, Precision demolitions, Trickery, whatever gets the job done. In the best case scenarios your enemies will never know you were even there. When things go wrong, a well prepared escape plan and well timed precision violence will get you out of a tight spot -...

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Amnesia: Dark Descent Trailer Examined

February 23, 2010 6:00 AM

Frictional Games recently published an in-depth look at the recently released teaser trailer for the company's upcoming horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The blog post covers the creation of the trailer and includes comments on key moments in the footage.

- 2:05
Notice how books just slightly slide along the shelf because of friction and so on. This is all due the nice simulations provided by Newton Game Dynamics. It was quite fun setting everything up on the table so that that some fell off while pushing it, giving the a feel of urgency when trying to barricade the door. The table was also harder to move due to the weight from all the stuff on it, so had to give it an extra push to get into place (using the "throw" button). One never knows what going to happen with physics...

- 2:26
It took a while to remember the best times to open the closer door, in order to get a nice effect. After 50 tries or so, I had...

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Star Wars The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition...

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Aspyr Media has announced the digital download release of Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for Intel Mac owners.

Developed and published in North America by Aspyr, the title combines the original Star Wars The Force Unleashed videogame with three new levels set in iconic Star Wars locales and a host of new costumes and character models. This special edition of the game will show players "the deepest, darkest side of the Force in a story that puts them on a collision course with Luke Skywalker himself."

Experience the Power of the Dark Side
The story and action of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed expands with the release of Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. A special new version of the game that shows players the deepest, darkest side of the Force in a story that puts them on a collision course with Luke Skywalker himself. The Ultimate Sith Edition includes all of the original...

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Jurassic Realm Released

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Independent game developer Enkord has announced the release of Jurassic Realm 1.9, a new action puzzle game for Mac OS X. In the game players uncover the secrets of the ancient Jurassic Realm by solving a variety of puzzles and discovering images of long-lost dinosaurs.

"We continue to bring our classic casual hits which hit top spots on casual portals to Mac platform" said Yaroslav Yanovsky, CEO and founder of Enkord, Ltd. "We feel the Macintosh is a wonderful platform and intend on porting more of our games."

Perfect for casual gamers and pros alike, Jurassic Realm features 2 game modes, includes over 150 striking levels with 19 ancient dinosaurs to uncover. Players become archeologists on a mission with a huge map at their disposal, with great number of roads and pathways to travel. Version 1.9 includes improved collapse, explosive power-ups and exciting brick-breaking.

Feature Highlights:

  • Over 150...

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Land Air Sea Warfare Comes To Macs

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Isotope 244 recently announced the release of Land Air Sea Warfare for Macs. The new game from the developers of Machines at War features 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six "gigantic mega units" for players to control.

I have been working non stop on the Mac version the last few weeks and it is done! I have also updated the games webpage with screenshots and the games help manual. After two years of development I have finally completed my next game! It builds on my previous real time strategy game Machines at War and takes it in a different direction. There are over 70 new types of units, new technologies, and six gigantic mega units which are awesome in battle! I will be working on the mobile versions next and am still developing the game every day, so if you have any suggestions for the game please let me know. - James Bryant

Command a force of thousands of units into strategic warfare in this new real time...

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Din's Curse Previewed

February 24, 2010 6:00 AM

Honest Gamers has published a new preview of Soldak Entertainment's Din's Curse, the company's upcoming action RPG. In Din's Curse players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

Keeping the multiplayer support introduced in Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse ditches the pre-generated characters of the previous title to introduce a new class system with over 140 possible combinations. Players can pick from classic templates such as Warrior or Priest, or they can combine two skill trees from any basic class to create a hybrid. Want to relive the glory days of Ultima Online with a platemail-wearing, polearm-wielding warrior-mage? How about rolling up a home-brewed necromantic archer? Din's Curse will let you do that.

The downside of the...

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id Software Celebrates One Year Of Quake Live

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

id Software has kicked off celebration of Quake Live's first year with a Year One Event continuing through March 9th. During the event players who participate in online matches will receive special Year One awards. id has also released a new level, Fallout Bunker, and plans to add both new maps and old favorites from the community.

One year ago today id Software launched browser-based (and totally free) version of Quake III Arena and since then players have spent over 8.9 million hours in over 60 million ranked matches, earning 8 million awards and 810 million frags.

To celebrate Quake Lives milestone, id Software has launched Quake Lives Year One Event. The event runs from today through March 9th. During that time, anyone that participates in an online match will receive a special Year One award.

To help get the year off to a good start, the team has also uploaded a new level, Fallout Bunker. As the team moves...

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Diablo II Patch 1.13b Enters Public Test Realms

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment recently revealed that the long delayed patch for Diablo II has once again entered beta testing on the public test realms. Version 1.13b will introduce a variety of bug fixes and updates as well as respecialization options, and a new mystery to be solved by players of Hell difficulty.

Major Bugs:

  • Fixed an item dupe bug.
  • Video improvements for Intel Mac machines with OS 10.5 or greater.
  • Fixed an issue where some players could kill other players while in town ("TPPK").
  • Fixed an issue where some players could disconnect other players when they had too many active states.
  • Fixed two issues where players could stack auras in an unintended way.

Specific changes/improvements:

  • Respecialization is now possible! Completing the 'Den of Evil' quest will now additionally reward 1 free respec which can be saved. Players who have already completed this...

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New Details Revealed About Spiderweb's Next RPG

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

The Gamer Studio has released a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel about the company's upcoming new RPG title. The as of yet unnamed game will kick off a new series and will mark a departure from Vogel's popular Avernum and Geneforge series. The new game will retain a turn-based, party focused, fantasy role playing format with an all new world and history to explore.

Could you give us a brief summary of the storyline?
The known world is divided into the Pact and the Farlands. The Pact is an alliance of five nations, who have banded together to keep the barbarians and monsters of the Farlands at bay. You are one of the elite warriors of the Pact, given almost limitless authority to hunt enemies inside and out. You get all the best weapons and powerful magic, all the cool toys, but the responsibility and danger are both considerable. And you have a very difficult boss to please. That's where we're at so far.
...

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City Of Heroes Issue 17 Overview Page Unveiled

February 25, 2010 6:00 AM

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have released a new overview page for the upcoming Issue 17: Dark Mirror update for the company's comic book hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The patch will include a new Ultra Mode featuring improved graphics for Paragon City and the Rogue Isles as well as a variety of other game content.

Features:

Ultra Mode
Ultra Mode includes a superior graphics rendering process for players who have higher-end graphic cards. Each feature can be enabled or disabled in the graphics menu options and will be scalable. Ultra Mode works on both Macs and PCs. In specific, it offers dynamic shadows, screen-space ambient occlusion, and dynamic environment reflections (including planar reflections and environment mapping of reflective surfaces).

Epic Archetypes Unlocked at Level 20
Previously, you had to have at least one character at level 50 to make an epic archetype character. No more! Now you...

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Apple Games Features WarBirds Dogfights

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Apple Games has posted a new feature article, this time taking to the dangerous skies of WarBirds Dogfights from iEntertainment Network. In the game players choose from a large variety of historically accurate aircraft and fly in the game's many missions or engage in combat against other players online. The article includes an overview of the game, comments from iEntertainment CEO Bill Stealey, and a short history of flight sims.

When you go online, Stealey explains, first we send you to the Special Training Arena, because we learned that new players get shot down very quickly in the regular arenas. He pauses while getting a bead on an enemy plane; he litters one wing with bullets and a teammate finishes the kill. In the Special Training Arena, all players are on the same side, he adds. His team also created CheckRide and CheckOut training options: the former is aimed at experienced flight simmers who want to work on advanced tactics,...

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More Din's Curse Creatures Unveiled

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Soldak Entertainment, developer of Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update features three new additions to the creature list with the unveiling of the Evil Leprechaun, the Scree, and the Plaguebringer.

Evil Leprechaun
A nether creature, this small fiend can smell coins of all kinds and will steal from anyone. When it runs away with new found wealth, it'll rely on other brutish allies to protect it from retribution.

Scree
Chaos rips through the core of the world, a deadly doorway to dimensions beyond. The Scree slipped through into the underworld, cowardly mini-demons ready to mob their enemies when the numbers were on their side.

Click over to the link below for more information.

Din's Curse Monsters
Soldak...

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id Developers Discuss Original Quake Public Beta...

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Bethesda Softworks has posted a new blog featuring comments from id Software's John Carmack, Tim Willits, and others about the release of the first public beta of the original Quake 14 years ago. The participants shared their memories of the release of the game and its then innovative features.

John Carmack, Co-founder and Technical Director, id Software:
We were watching a live online chat when the upload went live. When the first person got it, there was a great clamor for reports about what it looked like. Unfortunately, one of the first things reported was There is a turtle in the corner of the screen. I had a check in the code to draw that icon as a sign that you were running at 10 frames a second or less, so you should reduce quality settings to get a more playable experience. Quake was one of the first PC apps where floating point performance was a critical factor, which meant that Intels Pentium processor had a huge lead...

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World Of Warcraft Twitter Q&A Today

February 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has announced an upcoming Twitter chat for fans interested in talking with the World of Warcraft development team about recently released content for the game. The question and answer session will be focused on Icecrown Citadel and Fall of the Lich King and will be held on Blizzard's Twitter page February 26 at 5 PM PST.

We will be holding our next Developer Chat on Twitter on Friday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m. PST with World of Warcraft's lead content designer and lead systems designer. This chat session will focus on Icecrown Citadel and other Fall of the Lich King content.

Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!

To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #...

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HTC Incredible S Gets Pictured in the Wild
Flaw in online boarding passes enable anyone to view...

Dani Grant, the founder of the security research group Hackers of NY, has reported a serious flaw in the way that Delta and potentially other airlines handle online boarding passes, often displayed on smartphone screens to gain entry to flights. Grand discovered that if she shared the URL to her Delta online boarding pass, anybody could download and potentially redeem it. Even more disturbingly, when she changed with the last digit of the seemingly random numbers in the URL, she could view someone else's online boarding pass, which might even be on an entirely different airline....



...

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Hands On: Movavi Video Editor (OS X, Windows)

Try as you might, you're not going to revolutionize how video is edited: whatever application you're using, the process has been roughly the same since we ditched celluloid and razor blades. Equally, you're not likely to easily replace Apple's iMovie for ease of use, nor Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X for high-end professionals. Movavi Video Editor, an editor for Windows that has just made the jump to OS X, definitely aims at being very simple to use -- but it's also intended for the ever-growing number of us who just want to quickly get video out to people....



...

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Apple's iPhone gains share, will likely topple...

According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth....



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Briefly: Instagram filter collection grows, Pebble...

Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hide the rarely-used filters from view....



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Pixelmator Mac, iPad apps get significant updates

Pixelmator Team has released updated Mac and iPad versions of its namesake image editor. The Mac update, v3.3.1, now supports pinch-to-zoom gestures on trackpads, fulfilling a popular demand. Resizing and scrolling options have been added to the Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes....



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Hands On: Cinematica 2 (OS X)

We all have more videos than iTunes Store ones, we all have more videos than we can ever remember getting. They're from our digital cameras, they're from our iPhones, they're Vimeo files we wish we could remember how to download again. However we got them, we have them now, we can't find them very easily and they are all clogging up our hard drives. Plus, we have to to somehow remember that this movie will play in iTunes but that one needs the extra VLC video player. Cinematica 2 does a smart job of solving this by giving you one place to see everything it possibly can....



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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for the Apple gadgeteer

It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact its so close, that any helping hand might be welcome for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life....



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Hands On: Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves

It shouldn't be a secret that normal, cheap knit gloves actually don't contain enough fabric to prevent a persons finger from interacting with a capacitive screen. This means that, yes, normal knit gloves are technically touchscreen gloves but normal cheap knit gloves also don't contain enough fabric to keep a persons hands warm in most cold weather. That's where Refined Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo come in - promising to let us interact with all our touchscreen devices while keeping our hands toasty....



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Apple Canada ordered to turn over documents in...

The Federal Court of Canada has agreed to order Apple's Canadian division to turn over documents to the Competition Bureau, Reuters reports. Apple has already handed over some requested documents, but may not be handing over as much as the Bureau wants or needs. The Chief Justice for the court, Paul Crampton, is due to sign the order later today....



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Apps: Posterino, GraphicConverter, Typinator




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Briefly: Mujjo's gray wallet iPhone case,...

Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 - one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket - and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo....



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Apple notifies iOS devs about Feb., June deadlines...

Apple has issued a new notice to developers, reminding them of two important deadlines concerning 64-bit support in iOS apps. As was previously announced, those submitting new titles to the App Store must implement 64-bit support -- and use the iOS 8 SDK -- by February 1st. Additionally, the company now says that updates to existing titles must meet the same standards as of June 1st....



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Briefly: Fleksy Keyboard 5.0, Booqpad for iPad Air 2

Customizable iOS keyboard app Fleksy has received a major update introducing new themes and extensions, as well as improvements to existing features. Fleksy allows users to find and send GIFs, and provides autocorrect while typing, and intuitive gestures offer greater typing speed. Version 5.0 of Fleksy offers more themes to choose from, including branded ones. New keyboard extensions can be dragged and dropped as cards to add and remove features. Five extensions are available at the time of launching, including a GIF keyboard, Numbers Row, One-Handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. A...



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Apple seeds Safari 8.0.3, 7.1.3, and 6.2.3 betas to...

Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items....



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Jobs' deposition in Apple-Real trial to remain...

As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answering questions about the case. Yesterday, a jury exonerated the iPhone maker from charges it had conspired to lock out competitors....



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Breaking: US reverses, to say North Korea behind...

US government officials now believe North Korea is, in fact, behind the attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer system and subsequent data leaks, according to reports. The government is also said to be preparing to make an official statement about its findings, which may arrive as soon as tomorrow, though apparently there is still some internal debate as to what kind of response to make to the insular country. Previously, the FBI had said it had "no evidence" of a direct North Korean connection, though the country was suspected from the outset....



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Hands On: SuperSync (OS X, Windows)

Apple's iTunes media player has been around since 2001 -- meaning that for many users, it's likely that their library has traversed multiple system upgrades, duplicating and splintering across a variety of drives and mobile devices along the way. For this, there is SuperSync, an app designed to provide access to all your music in one location, allow libraries to be accessed via the Internet, and organize multiple music libraries as to stay organized. Aimed at DJs, avid music collectors, and anyone with multiple libraries, SuperSync aims to get all your tracks in a row. Pricing is organized by...



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Uber announces 'greater investment' in...

In response to the concerns of customers, legal troubles and bans in multiple markets around the world, rideshare/taxi service Uber has begun a study into ways to better screen drivers and improve overall safety. Phillip Cardenas, Uber's head of global safety, outlined the company's plans in a recent blog post today. Cardenas comes from Airbnb where he spearheaded the creation of that company's safety program....



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Hands On: Default Folder X (OS X)

If Apple has its way, then one day we will never save another document -- and we will never think about where it went. It will just be there when we want to open it again. That's nice. Until then, we open and save documents nearly as often as we check Facebook. Which makes it a shame that OS X rather fights us. You can open a document from this folder on that network drive and you can then save it on that folder on this USB stick, but it is a pain. Not much of a pain, let's not get carried away here, but try doing it twice and see how you feel. That's where Default Folder X comes in....



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Review: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and compact, minimal design. But is the Dell AD211 a good buy for consumers looking to get the most out of their money, or does it fail to meet modest expectations? Find out in our review....



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Tim Cook: Apple World AIDS Day campaign raised $20...

In a memo to all employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the recent (Product) RED campaign, which ran through app upgrade purchases, in-store items and online accessories during the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 raised over $20 million, which will be seeded to the Global Fund. The group fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health threats largely in Africa and other impoverished areas. Cook said that the promotion has thus pushed Apple's total contribution to over $100 million since 2006....



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Reviews: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and com ......

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Hands On: Mazec – Handwriting Input Method (iOS)

People must really dislike Apple's on-screen keyboard for iPhones and iPads, because the instant we could try alternatives, we got alternatives. Some seem different for the sake of being different. Some, like TextExpander's one, add useful new features -- yet take away some of the usability. But then you get the odd keyboard like Mazec, which tries to offer a true alternative. Rather than typing, you scribble with a stylus -- if you've got one, and haven't lost it -- or with your finger....



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Hands On: Moxie 2 (iOS)

Word games have been around for a very long time. Most people grew up playing Scrabble or Boggle, and many have moved on to similar games like Words with Friends. The one thing most word games have in common is that they require, at minimum, two players. But now there's Moxie 2, by Blue Ox Technologies Ltd, a intuitive single-player word game....



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Apple to charge VAT per-country at European App...

Apple has sent an email to iOS developers, notifying them of a change to the way it handles VAT (value-added taxes) at European App Stores. Currently the company charges a single VAT rate across the European Union; soon, though, it plans to charge on a per-country basis. The change is due to take effect on January 1st....



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UK carriers agree to £5B investment to improve...

A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme....



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Job listing points to global Apple Pay growth,...

(Updated with Chinese job listing) A new job listing indicates that Apple is actively working on expanding Apple Pay worldwide, beginning with Europe. The company is seeking an Apple Pay intern who will work with a London-based team. The listing states that Apple Pay is "set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa," and that the London group will collaborate with "issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe."...



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Apple Pay: a List of Brick-and-Mortar Stores That...

The number of brick-and-mortar stores that accept Apple pay is growing. Soon, we won't be able to keep track of them all: it'll be a widely accepted standard. But for now, going into the holidays, here's the latest list we have for the U.S.


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Pages: Adding and Formatting Links within Text

If you need to put a link to a webpage or an email address into a document in Pages, there's an easy way to format it so that it looks far more professional than it would if you just pasted the text in. For this Quick Tip, we're going to cover how to do that and also what effect that'll have on exporting the file to other formats.


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Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in...

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less....



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djay Pro for Mac brings four decks, Spotify, high-...

Algoriddim has launched djay Pro, a new Mac edition of its typically iOS-based DJ software. In its new incarnation the app supports up to four simultaneous decks, rather than two, and can draw music not just from a local iTunes library but from Spotify, thanks to a partnership with the streaming music service. It also exploits Retina displays and multi-core 64-bit processors; on a 12-core Mac Pro, the app can handle up to 24 processing threads at once for track analysis....



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iPhone Apps: Drafts, Procreate, FX Photo Studio




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Jimmy Fallon gives out iPad Air 2 to Tonight Show...

On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give people 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499....



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Jawbone delays shipping Up3 fitness tracker until...

Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues....



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Third iOS 8.2 beta brings back blood glucose tracking

Apple has begun seeding a third beta of iOS 8.2 to developers. Significantly the code restores blood glucose tracking in the Health app, which was temporarily disabled earlier this year due to confusion caused by the app displaying data in mg/dL but accepting data from devices using mmol/L as well. In the new software, users can toggle between mg/dL or mmol/L....



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Hands On: Habits Pro (iOS)

They say it takes 21 days to make a good habit or break a bad one, which seems simple enough. Logically, most people should be able to clear the three week hurdle with little effort. However, most of us can get a little absent-minded, especially when we get busy. That's why Habits Pro, by Track & Share Apps, exists -- to help people stay on task in their quest for self-improvement....



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Apple rejects conclusions of BBC expose showing...

Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai....



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Cook makes 'generous' donation to LGBT...

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a "generous personal financial investment" in Project One America, an LGBT rights effort run by the Human Rights Campaign, according to an announcement. Project One is concentrated on securing marriage and nondiscrimination rights for LGBT people in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC says it's interested in "tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most." The organization also lauds Cook for being the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, calling it a "clear and powerful message" about it being acceptable to...



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Apple Job Posting Suggests Worldwide Expansion of...

Apple Pay has been a huge success in the United States. The mobile payment purchase is supported by credit cards used for 90 percent of purchases. Now, thanks to a job posting that's been spotted, it seems Apple is ready to expand Apple Pay into Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.


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The Story Behind Apple’s ‘The Song’ Commercial (...

I love Apple's new spot called "The Song." It was released on Sunday, and on Wednesday Apple published a behind-the-scenes video called "The Story Behind 'The Song.'" It explains the concept evident in the commercial-a young woman finds a a record of a love song her grandmother made for her grandfather. She then takes that recording, which was made in a Voice-O-Graph booth , and adds guitar and vocals to turn it into a duet. More interestingly, however, the video also shows how Apple worked with Third Man Records-the label owned by Jack White-to make the video. The actress who played the grandmother in the late 40s recorded the song used in the commercial on a 1947 Voice-O-Graph owned by Third Man Records. That same booth was filmed for the commercial, too. Check it out-it's very cool.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-18

You can't buy an iPhone in Russia today because Apple isn't cool with the wildly fluctuating ruble. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple's decision and what impact that has on the company and consumers, plus they take a detour into Sony's decision to not release "The Interview," and they touch on Netflix's decision to not offer movies for offline viewing.


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New USB thumb drive-sized device can take over...

A new USB microcontroller -- roughly the size of a small thumb drive -- has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept device that leverages a serious and unfixable vulnerability in USB easily take over and install malware on any unlocked computer. Though it requires physical access or tricking the user into inserting the controller into a USB port, the device has worrying implications for any computer left unattended for more than a minute -- the time it takes for the device to gain admin access, change network settings, install a backdoor and remove any obvious sign of intrusion....



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Hands On: Supreme Ruler (Steam for OS X, Windows)

War games may have originated from the need to boost military logistics and planning, but they have since become popular with civilian gamers. Risk and Chess are two popular war games most people are familiar with, as are Civilization and Hearts of Iron. How does newcomer Supreme Ruler Ultimate, by Battlegoat Studios, stack up to the classics?...



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White House encourages US telecommunications to...

In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world....



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BBC Films ‘Apple’s Broken Promises’ for Worker...

The BBC has published a video (below) showing what it describes as "Apple's broken promises" to improve and protect working conditions in its Chinese factories. The media organization sent undercover reporters in to work at a Pegatron factory making Apple iPhones, where they filmed company-orchestrated cheating on tests, hours that far exceed Apple's requirements, and intimidation tactics used to control workers.


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Save 96% on The World’s Largest iOS 8 + Swift...

80 hours of video training and 24 in-depth courses. This is a massive bundle of iOS 8 developer training courses for Apple's new Swift language. Bought separately, the retail price is US$2,956, but through our deal you can get the whole shebang for $99. Boom! Over the course of the training, you'll build 70 different apps, watch more than 1,000 videos, learn how to upload to the App Store, and learn fundamentals on app design itself. This would make a great gift for someone in your life who wants to learn how to program, too.


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Analysis: Title II regulation, with forbearance, the...

Since President Barack Obama voiced his support for reclassification of ISPs as utilities, there has been much debate back and forth, and back again on the topic of "Title II" regulation of carriers. Would it be the dystopian nightmare anti-government zealots and the carriers proclaim, or would it provide a golden utopia of progress for consumers and American businesses alike?...



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Hands On: Snapselect photo management app (OS X)

Apple's professional photo manager, Aperture, had its advantages over its biggest rival, Adobe Lightroom -- and it is a shame the former been dropped (to be replaced with a new app, Photos for Mac, early next year). One thing Aperture was really good at was adding photos - so much so that we tended to do it over and over. Just not intentionally. One thing it was bad at, by contrast, was helping you find duplicates -- so a big photo library quickly became an unmanageably enormous one. Snapselect intends to fix this for users of Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto -- and anyone who has tried to handle p...



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Google posts response to leaked Sony 'Project...

In the past weeks, quite a lot has been revealed about Sony's role in ongoing anti-piracy efforts due to the leak of emails as part of the fallout of the North Korean-based GOP attack on the studio. In a post on Thursday on the Google Public Policy Blog, Kent Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, outlined even more leaks that describe a combined and carefully planned effort by Sony and five other studios that began this year to provide funding and legal support for the MPAA's efforts to court State Attorney Generals and target Google directly....



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Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final...

In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved....



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Misfortune Cookie exploit endangers 12 million...

Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies released information on Thursday about an exploit they are calling "Misfortune Cookie." This bug was introduced into "RomPager" software, which is commonly embedded into residential gateway devices such as routers, beginning in 2002. A conservatively-estimated 12 million un-patched devices, connected to the Internet in 189 countries, are at risk....



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Uber agrees with Portland council to suspend service...

Uber is putting a stop to its app-based taxi service in Portland, just two weeks after it launched. The Wall Street Journal reports the company made an agreement with the city to put a hold on the service for a three-month period, while the two parties negotiate and create a regulatory framework that allows ridesharing services to coexist with existing cab companies and other transportation options....



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Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform...

Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else....



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Hands On: Photon Flash Player for iPad (iOS)

Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other...



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Watch ABC app for Apple TV gets full episodes for...

Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on the Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities....



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McDonald’s Supersizes Sales with Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Fast food giant McDonald's has been testing Apple's iBeacon technology in some of its Columbus, Ohio, locations and that's translating into bigger sales. The four-week program say 18,000 redemptions for products features through iBeacon notifications, and a notable increase in sales, too.

The Mac Observer Spin: McDonald's is an excellent test platform for iBeacon because the company already has an efficient system for tracking sales, so any changes are easy to see. It's also a great example of how effective iBeacon can be for retailers and restaurants hoping to find new ways to boost sales and improve customer service.


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Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended...

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's senior VP of Operations, Jeff Williams, claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically Williams are Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."...



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Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls BS on BBC iPhone Factory...

Following the airing of a BBC show depicting poor working conditions in the Pegatron factory making iPhones Apple CEO Tim Cook said the situation was misrepresented, and that he's "deeply offended." The report showed factory workers forced into extended shifts and ongoing safety issues.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's a safe bet that Apple will have a new report out soon detailing its ongoing efforts to improve working conditions in China, and hopefully Panorama's "Broken Promises" special will help accelerate the process. It's important that Apple is called to task for poor factory conditions at its suppliers, but it's also important other companies using the same facilities get called out, too.


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CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock....



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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, game console bundles...

There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this po...



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Apps: Mellel, ScreenFlow, BBEdit




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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-19

The BBC says working conditions in factories making iPhones isn't all that great, and Apple says it's doing more than other companies to fix that. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about factory conditions, Apple's impact on workers in China, and the involvement of other companies in the efforts to address human rights.


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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit,...

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices....



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Apple hikes prices at Russian App Store

Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be 99 cents in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014....



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FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack...

[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie....



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Hands On: Zen Bound 2 (iOS)

Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard analog is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit....



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Kate Winslet could take 'lead' role in...

Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are rumored to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head....



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DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo...

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers....



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Forums: temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep" he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite....



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Report: Apple Pay is Disrupting and Transforming...

"Apple Pay has the ability to significantly transform the mobile payment space." That's the conclusion of an ITG Investment Report published on December 19. A major finding is that Apple Pay has been responsible for one percent of all digital payment dollars. This is a "strong showing" given that Apple customers must have the latest iPhones and the limited list of merchants. John Martellaro summarizes the report.


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Apple Raises Prices in Russian App Store Amidst...

Apple has raised the price of apps in the Russian App Store in the midst of a meltdown in the value of the Russian ruble. The move follows Apple's decision earlier in the week to stop selling iPhones in Russia because of the volatility.


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The Unexpected Ways Apple Watch Will Crush the...

Calling the Apple Watch just a cooler, better smartwatch isn't
the right way to look at this revolutionary device. Apple would hardly settle for that. Instead, the Apple Watch will so change people's lives that no other device on the wrist will do, and that will bring incredible success. John Martellaro makes his case.


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6-Ft MFi-Certified iOS Lightning and micro USB...

If you live in a multi-platform house, we have a deal for you on a 6-foot charging cable that's convertible between microUSB (for Android devices) and Lightning (for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch). Better yet, the converter is actually attached to the cable, eliminating the chance to lose it! That's clever, and I like clever. It retails for $40, but you can get it through our deal for $21.


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Hands On: Airmail 2 (OS X)

Staying on top of emails, especially when there are multiple accounts involved, is unpleasant. Of the many mail clients out there (such as Mail, included with OS X), each tries to offer users its own spin on staying ahead of the curve. Airmail 2.0, released earlier this year, provides a client designed for Yosemite, supporting iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP 3, and more. We got a hold of Airmail 2.0 (which we will simply refer to as "Airmail" going forward) to take a look for ourselves, and see if this email client stands out from the crowd....



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Google, Samsung can’t Top Apple’s Unreleased Apple...

What's the most sought after wearable tech device? That would be the Apple Watch-a device that isn't even scheduled to ship until some time next spring. Apple's unavailable smartwatch beat out Google, Samsung, and Fitbit as the wearable device people most want to buy, according to a study by Ipsos MediaCT.

The Mac Observer Spin: Polls like this are great news for Apple and horrible for their competitors because it shows consumers are more interested in buying a wearable device that has even shipped than products that are already on the market.


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Hands On: Video Converter Pro - All (OS X)

Before we get into this, Video Converter Pro is currently free for a limited time, so go get it on the Mac App Store now. If you read this one minute too late and the price has gone back up, get it anyway because it is more than worth the usual asking price of $15. Or rather, it is if you need to convert videos, because that's what this just does, without fuss....



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Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all...

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced only last month -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's. Each of the three retailers grabbed double-digit shares of the Apple Pay pie....



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Hands On: Letters and Dots (iOS)

There's no shortage of word games on the app store, and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggles, and your Hangmen. But what about games that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created - to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre....



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DPRK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony...

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling President Obama's words "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests, if the hack which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, continues to be blamed on the country....



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Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. But if we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out images and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application and a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant....



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Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls...

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine on the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to comply, for no real gain other than extra-judiciary punishment. Hood has responded, and is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail."...



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Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class...

A US district judge in San Francisco has outright rejected HP's settlement offer to settle the Autonomy acquisition class action suit in the US. Saying that "the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices" Judge Charles Breyer has kicked the settlement back to the plaintiffs without suggestions for recovery. The matter is now likely to head to trial sometime in the summer of 2015....



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BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148...

Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay off given the improvement in the loss numbers, the company showed a 34 percent drop in revenue over the year-ago-quarter, suggesting that the road ahead for the company is still chal...



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Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app;...

Savage Interactive has released illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo". Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later....



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Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console...

[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, b...



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Hands On: Lumy (iOS)

There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the "magic hour," or the "golden hour," but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really 60 minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint how much of that limited time you actually have be helpful?...



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Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises...

In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in the event....



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Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred...

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN put together a one-stop article for some of the major news in the video game industry in the past week. In this week's edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we look at Valve's handling of Hatred on Steam Greenlight, Mojang and Telltale Games team up for a narrative-based Minecraft game, a judge gives the go-ahead on a Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft is exploring in-game purchasable game time tokens, and Majesco Entertainment's receiving an investor cash infusion....



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MGG 532: Blowin’ Up The Spammers!

Yep, another one of Dave's iMacs is having boot problems. It's mayhem! That's OK, he and John talk through possible resolution and also when not to assume you know the answer (hint: always!). Then it's on to maintaining your iTunes accounts, finding (and removing) any adware, and an unpublished solution to Yosemite's incrementing hostname issue. All this and more. Download today and enjoy!


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Get Free Bitcoins with 52 Website Faucets that...

I've gathered 52 different Bitcoin "faucets"-websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads-and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. I started off with eight sites, but this update bumps that list to 51 different Bitcoin faucets that really pay.


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Crowdfunding Critic: Codename Morningstar iOS...

Earlier this month, we had talked about the falling out between Wizards of the Coast and Trapdoor Technologies over DungeonScape (or Codename: Morningstar, depending on the day), which was supposed to be the answer to every dungeon master's prayers. DungeonScape was gearing up to be an application, available for both tablets and computers, and its aim was to help eliminate the lengthy setup times and give users the ability to look up rules and equipment at a glance. Under a month after gaming company Wizards of the Coast killed the partnership, Trapdoor Technologies launched a Kickstarter in h...



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Public gets new beta of OS X 10.10.2

Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2. The code is identified as build 14C81h, and follows the third developer beta of the update, which was build 14C81f. For that Apple asked developers to concentrate testing on areas such as Mail, VoiceOver, and Wi-Fi connections....



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Staples confirms attack on retail system, over 1M...

An intrusion into Staples' point-of-sales systems earlier this year put 1.16 million credit and debit cards at risk, the retailer admitted on Friday. Approximately 115 of the company's 1,400 retail stores across the United States were affected by malware on its systems, though the store apparently managed to eradicate the malware and improve system security in mid-September....



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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for gamers

Gamers can be very selective in the types of things they want for the holidays, but Electronista and MacNN are offering some hints on gadgets that should appeal to any gamer on the shopping list. From smaller items that enhance play on consoles and computers to a tablet that allows gamers the ultimate on-the-go experience, out gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season....



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12-inch MacBook Air entering production early next...

Production of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air -- along with the Apple Watch -- should enter mass production in the first quarter of 2014, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. Suppliers are allegedly beginning to accelerate work on related components. The new Air is expected to have an Intel Broadwell processor, and an even thinner and lighter design....



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Apple opens up official iTunes page on Tumblr

Apple has expanded its presence in social media with a new Tumblr blog dedicated to iTunes. At the moment the site focuses mainly on Apple's Best of 2014 content, in categories including movies, music, TV, and books. The company has had very little presence on Tumblr so far; it launched a page dedicated to the iPhone 5c in March, but has otherwise ignored the site....



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Apple's Russian online store returns with major...

Apple's Russian online store is back online, following an almost week-long downtime. The store was taken down to review and change prices, and accordingly many products are now substantially more expensive. A 16GB iPhone 6 is 53,990 rubles, or about $988, far higher than the 34,990 rubles ($643) it sold for previously. A Retina iMac starts at 189,990 rubles, or $3,467. The same system is $2,499 in the US....



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Monday Deals: Gigabit routers, Ultra HD television,...

Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us, and there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time....



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Hands On: Calista (iOS)

Everyone's familiar with current trend in photos that keep popping up across the Internet. One part indie-rock and one part Photoshop, their soft colors and multiple filters have become the new cool thing. Originally these images took time, effort, and at least a basic understanding of Photoshop. But now something like Calista, by THINKSUIT, gives users the ability to make these straight from the comfort of a handheld device....



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Apple supplier Pegatron promises to investigate...

Apple supplier Pegatron has issued a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, promising to investigate and fix labor abuses uncovered through a recently-aired BBC documentary. The company states that worker safety is its top priority, and that it runs strict training for both regular workers and management. It also notes the use of external inspectors in audits -- presumably referring to the teams used by Apple -- and says that it offers many ways for workers to submit feedback. During 2014, the company has allegedly resolved 94 percent of complaints within three days....



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Apple issues NTP Security Update for several...

Apple has released what it calls a "critical" patch for OS X, dubbed the NTP Security Update. The code is currently being pushed to users via the Mac App Store, and solves vulnerabilities within the Network Time Protocol. The update is available for Mountain Lion (10.8.x), Mavericks (10.9), and Yosemite (10.10). While no known attack exploits the now-patched vulnerabilities, the discovery appears to be serious enough to merit immediate attention....



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Hands On: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy (OS X...

Let's start by getting one thing straight: Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is not designed for the casual gamer. It is an extremely detailed affair, that has been designed to create a fairly accurate replication of war on the Normandy battlefield. Combat Mission is not a game of quick rushes and gathering resources, but instead requires players to thoughtfully plan out their military tactics one step at a time. It is a game of incredible detail, so if you are new to the game (as we were) be prepared to spend a couple hours just learning how to play, before you really get into your first fi...



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VPN Unlimited Premium Plan: 3 Years Of Hacker...

Need access to otherwise restricted web content? Donât trust your WiFi connection? Need to ensure online security? You want to consider a virtual private network (VPN), and boom! We just happen to have a deal for three years of VPN Unlimited's Premium Plan for $19. With this package, your Internet data is encrypted between the VPN and you, greatly limiting your exposure to hackers, and for those who live in countries that block access, it can be the only way to get to some sites. There's a lot more information on our deal site.


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Apple Releases ‘Critical’ OS X NTP Security Update...

Apple released security updates for OS X's NTP (network time protocol) service. The patch notes don't specify the changes, but do characterize the security flaw as "critical."


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Dr. Mac’s Tried and True Apple Holiday Gift Guide...

Hereâs Dr. Mac's final batch of reasonably priced Apple related gadgets (and holders for Apple gadgets), all of which will be much appreciated by the geeks you love.


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Procrastinator’s Guide to Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Last minute shoppers unite in panic! In case you have missed all shipping deadlines for some reason, Kelly has some ideas that can help you whip up instant gifts.


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Tor network servers experience outage after leaked...

Last Friday, the Tor Project blog posted about a possible threat that some of its servers would be seized in an attempt to incapacitate or hijack the Tor network. Over the weekend, a group of "exit node" servers in a Dutch datacenter went down, and then came back online. The service, a volunteer network of relays aiming to provide anonymity and security, says it was warned of suspicious activity that may have been instigated by law enforcement....



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FCC hits pause again on clock for TWC-Comcast merger

In spite of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' assertions earlier this month that the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) is going along smoothly, the FCC has paused the informal 180-day clock on its investigation into the merger, due to a total of roughly 38,000 documents submitted by TWC beyond its deadline, and after the FCC had believed it was finished with that part of its investigation into the merger....



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North Korea refutes US hacking accusations, endures...

North Korea has declared it will strike against the United States, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the rogue state as the origin of the Sony Pictures hack. However, alongside the sabre-rattling statement provided by the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it calls itself) are reports that the country's Internet connection has itself been the target of an attack over the weekend, with North Korea effectively being knocked offline....

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Hands On: Writeroom (OS X)

Work-related writing beckons, and yet you can't help but drift over to check your email, fiddle with iTunes or meander to the black hole that is social media. Word processors are among the easiest working windows to stray from -- which is why Hog Bay Software developed Writeroom, a word processor that provides a full-screen, minimalist environment for a distraction-free process. Though Writeroom (priced at $10) last received an update back in 2012, it continues to be an enjoyable, useful tool in letting the words flow....



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Follow up: North Korean Internet back online

North Korea's connection to the rest of the Internet, which had been knocked offline this weekend, has been restored according to a new report. Over the weekend, Internet service in the country dwindled to nothing, after DDoS attacks against its Internet infrastructure increased....



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Developer sneaks NES/SNES emulator into iOS app

Once again, a rogue developer has attempted -- and succeeded, albeit temporarily -- in sneaking an app onto the iOS App Store that actually contains an emulator for a classic game system, forbidden under App Store rules. This time, it is...



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Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts offers holiday message on...

A new post from Apple Retail Senior Vice President (SVP) Dame Angela Ahrendts on her LinkedIn blog offers a simple holiday message and song with a theme of peace, saying her message for the season was simply "let peace begin with me." Ahrendts said she was inspired by a recent re-hearing of a song she used to play on piano, a rendition of "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by B.J. Thomas. The song, originally written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, offers an inspirational message of unity....



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Hands On: DevonThink (OS X)

This is going to be like reviewing a car by focusing on how great the radio is. DevonThink is a massive application that might as well aim to be your personal Wikipedia. Every thought you have, every note you make, everything you spot on the web, you can throw it all into your personal DevonThink database. So far that sounds very much like Evernote -- and it is indeed similar -- but DevonThink is equally focused on arranging and sorting that material....



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LG teases new Music Flow networked speakers ahead of...

LG has revealed more details for new speakers joining its Music Flow networked speaker collection, competing against similar systems from Samsung and Sonos. Set to be shown off at CES, the new items consist of a portable speaker, two sound bars, and a streaming 3D Blu-ray player, all of which will be compatible with Android and iOS devices....



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Facebook debuts Stickered app for iPhone

Facebook has released Stickered for Messenger, an app that lets users add stickers to photos shot on an iPhone or iPod touch. The stickers can be added after or even before a photo is taken, as well as to pre-existing images in the Camera Roll. As necessary, stickers can be dragged, resized, and rotated....



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Apps: Posterino, MacPilot, Dupin




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Jeff Gamet Talks 2014’s Big Apple News on Mac OS Ken

Ken Ray invited The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet onto Mac OS Ken today to talk about this year's biggest, most important, and most overlooked Apple news for 2014. It was a big year for Apple, so there were plenty of stories to choose from and plenty for the two to discuss. Mac OS Ken is a free daily podcast at the Mac OS Ken website, through Libsyn, or at Apple's iTunes Store.


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OS X Yosemite: Changing Your Mac’s Ringtone

For today's Quick Tip, let's talk about how to change the default ringtone in Yosemite! We here at TMO really dig the idea of being able to answer calls on our computers, but we're not completely in love with the sound Apple picked as the default ringtone. So here's how you can switch it up if you want something different, too.


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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-22

NPR's Serial podcast has become so big that Saturday Night Live recently made their own parody version. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the show and how podcasting has become a part of mainstream life.The also look at how Apple Watch has stolen the wearables market for the holiday buying season even though it won't hit store shelves for months.


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CNN Names Apple’s Tim Cook CEO of the Year

CNN has announced their pick for CEO of the year for 2014, and it's no surprise they went for Tim Cook. CNN chose Mr. Cook because he guided the company into a sharp increase in stock value, plus he managed to show Apple can continue to innovate without Steve Jobs.

The Mac Observer Spin: Considering Apple's leading position in the tech market and Tim Cook's strong leadership, it isn't any surprise CNN named him CEO of the year. It's also no surprise CNN called out Microsoft's Satya Nadella for his suggestion that women shouldn't push for better pay.


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Freezing Rain Encases Slovenian Mountain in Ice [...

Marko KoroÅec is a weather chaser and photographer, and he grabbed some amazing photos in Slovenia after an freezing ice fog storm event. Dashburst has the photos laid out all nice and pretty, and they're stunning. Apparently Mr. KoroÅec climbed Mount Javornik and Mount Nanos after three days of freezing fog and rain-as one does-and captured nature at her most artistic. Check it out.


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Apple Pay goes to Disney World for Christmas

Merry Christmas, Apple Pay, you're going to Disney World. The world-destination theme park plans to start accepting Apple's mobile payment platform on December 24, just in time for the holiday.

The Mac Observer Spin: Disney promised to launch Apple Pay support before Christmas. Looks like they're keeping that promise even if it is within only a few hours of the holiday.


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SNL Takes on Serial with a Holiday Flair

Serial is the season's stand out podcast, which makes it a prime target for Saturday Night Live. The weekly sketch comedy show did Serial justice with a brilliant take that has Sarah Koenig investigating an elf named Chris who breaks into people's homes to leave presents for children. It's almost as if you're watching an actual episode of Serial. Pure holiday magic.


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Hands On: RimWorld (OS X, Windows, Linux)

If a player finds themselves longing for a game that requires both long-term planning and quick thinking, simulation games are often the way to go. If a player is looking for an in-depth resource-management game, they should check out RimWorld by Ludeon Studios. One part The Sims and one part Minecraft, RimWorld requires players to not only colonize the alien land around them, but also manage the health and happiness of their colonists. The game plays very similarly to older SimCity-esque games, and largely boils down to properly allocating resources and disaster control....



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RPX buys patent assets controlled by Apple-led...

A subsidiary of San Francisco-based RPX Corporation, RPX Clearinghouse, is buying patent assets held by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium, according to an announcement. Rockstar was formed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony in 2011 in order to buy some 6,000 patents in the wake of Nortel's bankruptcy. Although roughly 2,000 of the patents have already been separately distributed, RPX has entered into a deal in which it will receive license payments from a syndicate of over 30 companies, such as Cisco and Google. "The RPX Clearinghouse syndicate includes a broad range of softwa...



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

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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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-23

Procrastinators rejoice! Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to offer up some great last minute holiday gift giving suggestions that'll keep friends and family from knowing you waited until the last minute to get them something special. They also take a look at Tim Cook as CNN's CEO of the year, and the positive recognition Apple has been getting throughout 2014.


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Apple Rolls Out OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Public Beta

Mac owners who just can't wait to get their hands on the latest updates for Yosemite can try out OS X 10.10.2 public beta. The latest public beta release rolled out over the weekend and is available to anyone who signed up to get at the releases.

The Mac Observer Spin: Public betas will give you an early look at what's coming next for OS X, but don't install the beta operating systems on mission critical Macs. There is a possibility you could lose data if something goes wrong.


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Rumor Claims 12-inch MacBook Air Production Coming...

The long-rumored 12-inch MacBook Air will finally start production in early 2015-or so claims the latest rumor. That news comes from Digitimes, which has a dubious record with its laptop predictions, but will no doubt have many hopeful shoppers holding their breath waiting for a summer launch.


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Hands On: Manual Photo Camera (iOS)

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)

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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Forums: songs won't erase, trackpad troubles...

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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Several Apple Pay partners likely to miss 2014...

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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Briefly: MegaSeg 5.9.4, LumenRT update

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...



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Apple tops poll of Xmas gadget hopes for college...

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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Report: one neglected server caused JP Morgan Chase...

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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Kelly’s Alternate Holiday Tunes

Tired of the same old holiday songs? Kelly hooks you up with a few of her favorites. Keep in mind Kelly believes Die Hard is a holiday classic, so you may have guessed these are not the standards you're used to.


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Rockstar Patent Sale Indicates Further De-escalation...

Rockstar Consortium, Inc. announced a major patent sale to licensing firm RPX on Tuesday. The company, which is co-owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, will part with more than 4,000 patents, the bulk of its remaining patent portfolio. The move signals a further de-escalation of the patent wars in the mobile space, because RPX will license the patents to some 30 different groups of companies across the industry.


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Apple’s Angela Ahrendts Posts Holiday Message...

Angela Ahrendts has posted her latest update to LinkedIn. She discusses a holiday song and the leadership message she wishes to convey this holiday season.


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Obama wants stronger cyber-security laws in 2015

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)

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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FCC petitioned by hotels to allow disrupting guest-...

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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PNAS study shows e-readers, tablets negatively...

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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The Beyond-Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

We're some 40 years overdue for flying cars, teleportation and printers that can output copies of our dreams, but there are a few methods by which the chronic procrastinators of this world can still swoop in with a last-minute gift for someone at Christmas they'll actually like. While Amazon has closed the doors to physical delivery of any products at this point -- even for Prime members - by the 25th, you still have perhaps a few hours left to send a Boxing Day present, or get in now to ensure a timely New Year's gift. Or you can read on for more suggestions....



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Uber indicted in South Korea for breaking local...

South Korea has become the latest country to fight against the rise of ride-hailing service Uber, by indicting the local subsidiary and CEO Travis Kalanick shortly after launch. The company is said to be "violating a law prohibiting individuals or firms without appropriate licenses from providing or facilitating transport services," a legal challenge previously arising in a number of other markets around the world....



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OS X: Adding a Folder to the PDF Services Menu

Ever played around with PDF Services? Well, even if you have, you may not be aware that you can specify folders that appear in the menu. This'll let you save whatever you're looking at as a PDF right to a particular folder in just a couple of steps. We'll introduce PDF Services and teach you how to select which folders to save to, all in today's Quick Tip.


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Twelve South Offers Free Dual-Screen Mac Wallpapers

I've had a lot of very lovely Christmas/holiday greetings from some terrific Mac and iOS companies cross my desk this year, but Twelve South's stood out because the company is offering a free gift to everyone. Twelve South commissioned four sets of wallpapers from San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon designed for people with two displays. The one I included is called Nightscape, but there's also Fall in San Francisco, Cloudveil, and Soma. Each comes with a left image and a right image (though any one of them would be great for one-screen Mac setups, too), and they've been formatted specifically for seven different screen sizes, from an 11-inch MacBook Air to a 27-inch iMac/Thunderbolt Display.


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Dr. Mac’s Tips for Maximizing and Adding Storage on...

Many of Dr. Mac's readers and friends had problems updating to iOS 8 over WiFi, reporting that their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch complained that the update couldnât be installed because it requires at least 5.7GB of storage. If your iDevice only has 8 or 16GB of storage, chances are you saw a similar message. Here is Dr. Mac's advice to those whose iDevices are full or nearly full...


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PowerCube Outlet Expander - 4 Outlets and Dual-USB...

I have an extremely cool device for today's deal. It's called the PowerCube, a very clever way to maximize your power outlets. As the name suggests, it's a cube, which has six sides. One of those sides has a male plug for your wall. Four of the sides each have a female plugs, while the outside sixth face has two USB ports for dual charging. It's a very efficient way of turning one plug into four, with two USB ports to spare-all with a very small footprint. You can get the PowerCube for just $17.95 through our deal, so snap it up!


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Hands On: Scrolls (OS X, Windows, Android)

Scrolls has finally been released to the adulation of gamers everywhere. The game was created by Mojang, the developers behind Minecraft, and written by Jerry Holkins, the writer of Penny Arcade. Scrolls feels similar to a traditional two-player board game like checkers or chess, as well as a player versus player card game, like Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone. We spent a bit of time with Scrolls to see how it stacks up against similar titles....



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4 Free Santa Trackers for the iPhone, iPad and Mac

Keeping track of Santa's location on Christmas Eve moved from blind trust in our parents and occasional evening news reports to our computers years ago, and now to our iPhones and iPads, too. What's the best way to follow along Kris Kringle's holiday route? We put together a list of our favorite apps and website so you can keep track of Father Christmas's travels at home or on the go.


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FCC Moves Forward with Plan Reclassify Streaming...

The Federal Communication Commission is moving forward with its efforts to give Internet streaming services access to content, just like cable and satellite TV services. The change would prevent companies like Comcast and Time Warner from blocking streaming services from entering the market, and give potential cord cutters more options for watching the shows they want.

The Mac Observer Spin: The FCC's proposed changes are a nice step in the right direction for protecting companies trying to move into the online TV content space. Excluding Netflix, Hulu, and other on demand content providers, however, doesn't do much to help preserve net neutrality.


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Apple Drops the Ball on Sony’s “The Interview” Deal

What do you do if North Korea strong arms you into pulling a movie from release? If you're Sony, you turn to the White House in hopes of convincing Apple to release it through the iTunes Store. And if you're Apple, you blow the chance for an exclusive deal so YouTube and Xbox Video can jump in instead.


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‘The Interview’ Movie on YouTube for Rent, Google...

Google announced Wednesday that The Interview will be available to rent on YouTube starting at 1:00 PM EST. It will also be available for purchase through Google Play. In a blog post announcing the deal, Google even pointed out that it will be available to Xbox Video customers and at seetheinterview.com (that URL redirects to kernel.com as of this writing).


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Merry Christmas from Electronista and MacNN!

Merry Christmas Eve, Electronista and MacNN readers! Large portions of the US and Canada are dealing with some pretty nasty travel weather, so if you're reading us from there, please be careful! Otherwise, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas....



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Hands On: Starlight: Find Stars and Constellations (...

There are billions and billions of stars in the night sky, and most of us can identify at least a few of them. However, it isn't always easy. Those among us who have never been good at finding anything other than the Big Dipper or the North Star shouldn't worry. Starlight: Find Stars and Constellations allows anyone to become an expert stargazer, picking out every constellation from Andromeda to Virgo in no time....



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Embattled Sony Pictures 'The Interview'...

Sony and others have unveiled a massive effort to make the Sony Pictures title The Interview available online. Google's YouTube Movies paid service paved the way with its announcement a bit earlier today, with Google Play, Xbox Videos, and a special Sony website all having declared that the movie would be available at 1PM Eastern Time. The picture will cost $6 to rent, and $15 to own in HD....



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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-24

Not only will "The Interview" be in theaters on Christmas Day, but it's available to watch online right now, unless you look at Apple's iTunes Store. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the deals Sony penned to get the movie North Korea wanted banned onto Google Play, YouTube Movies, and Xbox Video, and they talk about the obvious omission from Apple's iTunes Store.


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ACM 286: Apple and The Interview, Rockstar and the...

Jeff and Bryan want to know why Apple didn't jump on the opportunity to run The Interview, the Sony comedy about two Hollywood celebrities tapped by the CIA to assassinate the dictator of North Korea. They also explore the implications of the Apple and Microsoft-owned Rockstar Consortium, Inc. selling off all or most of its vast patent holdings. Is this the end of the mobile patent wars? It's a holiday episode that counts as short in their world.


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Dragon Dictate for Mac 4: $99.99

The commercials are annoying, but the product is great: Nuance's Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4. This voice recognition software allows you to transcribe, write, and edit on your Mac with your voice. You know it's good, because Apple licenses the underlying technology for Siri. It's regularly $199.99, but through our deal, you can get it for half that, $99.99.


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5 Great Tools for Supporting Your Family’s Computers...

If you're home for the holidays, there's a good chance you're doing some tech support. Kelly has five tools you can set up now to make remotely supporting your family even easier.


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More iOS App deals for those last-minute gifts

Although we have mentioned some app bargains in our "beyond the last minute" gift guide this morning, the elves at MacNN and Electronista have been hunting up some additional discounts by shaking the App Store tree and seeing what falls out. We found a few more, so click through to save a bundle on some awesome app deals -- and don't forget to check back with us regularly for DealNN reports, Apple refurb store bargains, and our usual Friday Deals all year long!...



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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Mac...

Dave Hamilton, I, and the entire staff of The Mac Observer would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, or whatever winter solstice holiday you celebrate. We hope that you and your family have a great holiday weekend!


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Apple offers Boxing Day iTunes sales for UK,...

As was the case last year, Canadians are once again getting a sale on selected albums in iTunes as part of a "Boxing Day" event, part of a traditional observance throughout Canada and a number of other Commonwealth countries. The UK iTunes Store is also having a sale on hit albums, but doesn't label the event as a "Boxing Day" sale. US users don't get a sale, but are instead enjoying special holiday channels on iTunes Radio, which remains unavailable in the UK and Canada....



...

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Reviews: DoxieGo Portable Scanner

Sometimes, people need to scan things, but having a computer at hand to do so isn't exactly feasible. Maybe it's the home of a relative that lives on the outskirts of civilization with no Internet, looking to organize family photos. Maybe it's an office filing room that's too small to set up shop. Maybe it's the cabin of an airplane and a traveler just wants to scan a page from Skymall. In th ......



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Review: DoxieGo portable scanner (Windows, OS X)

Sometimes, people need to scan things, but having a computer at hand to do so isn't exactly feasible. Maybe it's the home of a relative that lives on the outskirts of civilization with no Internet, looking to organize family photos. Maybe it's an office filing room that's too small to set up shop. Maybe it's the cabin of an airplane and a traveler just wants to scan a page from Skymall. In this situation, the solution is generally to move items that need to be scanned to a location that has a scanner. With DoxieGo by Apparent, users don't have to worry about transportation; they can just throw...



...

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Remotix 3.1.4 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more
DesktopLyrics 2.6.6 - Displays current i...
DesktopLyrics is an application that displays the lyrics of the song currently playing in "iTunes" right on your desktop. The lyrics for the song have to be set in iTunes; DesktopLyrics does nothing... Read more
VOX 2.5.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
NetNewsWire 4.0.0 - RSS and Atom news re...
NetNewsWire is the best way to keep up with the sites and authors you read most regularly. Let NetNewsWire pull down the latest articles, and read them in a distraction-free and Mac-like way. Native... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.6 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
ForkLift 2.6.5 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
Drive Genius 4.1.0 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius 4 gives you faster performance from your Mac while also protecting it. The award-winning and improved DrivePulse feature alerts you to hard drive issues before they become major problems... Read more
OnyX 2.9.7 - Maintenance and optimizatio...
OnyX is a multifunctional utility for OS X. It allows you to verify the startup disk and the structure of its System files, to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, to configure the hidden... Read more
DEVONthink Pro 2.8.5 - Knowledge base, i...
DEVONthink Pro is your essential assistant for today's world, where almost everything is digital. From shopping receipts to important research papers, your life often fills your hard drive in the... Read more
Backblaze 4.0.1.878 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac.With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more

Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age...
Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Apple Watch isn't Great as a Fi...
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Show the World What You See With Stre.am...
Live broadcasting is getting popular on mobile devices, which is why you can now get Stre.am, by Infinite Takes. [Read more] | Read more »
PhotoTime's 2.1 Update Adds Apple W...
The latest PhotoTime update is adding even more functionality to the handy photo organizing app. Yep, including Apple Watch support. [Read more] | Read more »
Oh My Glob! Adventure Time Puzzle Quest...
Finn and Jake are taking over D3 Go!'s popular puzzle game series in the upcoming Adventure Time Puzzle Quest. [Read more] | Read more »
Earthcore: Shattered Elements - Tips, Tr...
At first glance, Earthcore: Shattered Elements seems like a rather simple card-battling game. Once you’re introduced to skills that will change quite a bit. Even more so once you start to acquire hero cards. But it’s not so complicated that we... | Read more »
Dungeon999F (Games)
Dungeon999F 1.33 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.33 (iTunes) Description: "The game you must play at least once in your life!" "The game with potential of million downloads globally!" ...is what the... | Read more »
Mixels Rush - Use Mixes, Maxes and Murps...
Mixels Rush - Use Mixes, Maxes and Murps to Outrun the Nixels 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Use awesome new Mixels and make crazy combinations to beat the annoying... | Read more »
Battles of the Ancient World II (Games)
Battles of the Ancient World II 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Sword Of Xolan (Games)
Sword Of Xolan 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: Sword of Xolan is an action platformer game that includes the juice of pixel art style. Xolan is a young and brave man who... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 16GB iPad mini 3 for $349, save $50
B&H Photo has the 16GB iPad mini 3 WiFi on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Price drop on 2014 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $200. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 save $200 - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Will iOS 9 Finally Bring Productivity Friendl...
Ah, the irony. From its original announcement in 2010, Apple has doggedly insisted that the iPad remain “simple,” thus arbitrarily limiting its considerable potential as a content creation and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple drops price on refurbished 15-inch 2.2G...
The Apple Store has dropped their price on the Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro to $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Cover For iPhone Helps You Create Beautiful P...
Taking photos, editing and sharing them is one of the things most of people do on their iPhones for fun, especially if they’re users of social media. Unfortunately, many iOS photo-editing solutions... Read more
Password Keyboard 1.0 For iOS Handles Logins...
Pfaeffikon, Switzerland based Power APP has introduced Password Keyboard 1.0.0, their new password utility developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Password Keyboard is designed to simplify... Read more

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Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
Visual Merchandise Manager %u2013 Accessories...
…to be part of an incredible team. Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming reality very quickly. Our Accessories assortment makes Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store which delivers Read more
Technical Project Manager - *Apple* Pay - A...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is seeking an experienced technical PM…manage the rollout of features to merchants for the Apple Pay platform in the US Within this role Read more
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