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Friday December 26

Apple Japan announces annual 'Lucky Bag'...

Apple on Friday announced its "Lucky Bags" promotion for Japan, a New Year's retail tradition that consistently nets customers visiting brick-and-mortar Apple Stores hundreds of dollars' worth of savings.

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The Week in iOS Apps: Starter apps for your new iOS...

Starter apps for your new iOS device

Did you get a new iPhone or iPad for the holidays? Here are some of our favorite apps for getting started with your new device. Games, video, productivity, and reading: We've got it all.

Amazon Instant Video

You probably subscribe to Netflix already, but here’s why you want this app—and to pay the $99 yearly subscription fee for Amazon Prime. (That works out to $8.25 a month, comparable to other digital streaming services.)  First, you’ll get many of the same streaming movies and TV shows you do on Netflix. But you’ll also have the option of purchasing and renting newer movies and TV show episodes a la carte. Taking a plane trip? You can download the purchases for offline viewing, which is something Netflix doesn't offer. 


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My favorite apps of 2014: Victor Agreda

Drafts 4
Drafts has long been my text-based inbox of choice, and Drafts 4 takes everything about the original and makes it slicker and more wonderful. I can export to Byword, my Mac writing app of choice, or tweet, save to Evernote, Dropbox, etc. all...

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Forums: 27-inch iMac problems and more

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Dedicated MacNNer started having problems with booting their 27-inch iMac. After trying a variety of methods to get it to boot, they turned to the forums for some advice. On his quest to fix a problem with an unresponsive 13-inch MacBook Pro, "Thorzdad" asked fellow forum goers for some advice....

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Daily Deals for December 26, 2014 -- It's Back...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone... writes: Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms — with all the brown ones removed.


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The first 10 apps to install on your brand new Mac


I have 10 solid suggestions that will make your life better by shaving off the little irritations that remain in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and in Apple’s bundled software. A new Mac user will be happier than otherwise, and a veteran user looking to refresh a system will find the time and effort savings quite rewarding as well.

I use about half of these every single day. 1Password and TextExpander? I probably use once every few minutes.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple deals: Save up to 22% on select iMacs and...

Right now at Apple's online store save up to 22% on select iMac and Macbook computers, including the refurbished 3.2GHz, 27-inch iMac that's dropped an impressive $450 in price, and is available for only $1,549. Features range from 8GB of RAM to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX graphics card with 1GB of memory, and include a 1TB hard drive, as well as a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. Priced significantly lower at only $1,199 is the refurbished 21.5-inch, 2.9GHz iMac, which offers savings of up to $300 and comes complete with the same 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and quad-core Intel Core i5 proces...


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Snow drawings transform frozen lakes


Sonja Hinrichsen is an artist who welcomes working outdoors–her tools are not pencil and paper, instead, they are her own feet and a layer of fresh snow. Her collaborators are the sun, shadows, and teams of hardy volunteers in snowshoes.

Imagine the effort that goes into the planning and execution of such large scale art. Beautiful, ephemeral stuff.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Fill your new Kindle, iPad, or iPhone with free...

Open Culture:

Santa left a new Kindle, iPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we’ll do ours. We’ll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials on the good old fashioned computer.

I’ve used this site to grab a bunch of the classics of literature. I’ll get around to reading them eventually.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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The one feature Apple should seriously copy from...

Do you own a BlackBerry? Of course you don't. Nobody's owned a BlackBerry since 2009 or so, but despite that I decided to pick up the BlackBerry Classic to replace my HTC One M8 as my non-iOS phone and I actually don't hate it.

With its multitouch s...

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Amazon lays claim to 10 million new Prime members...

In a release today, Amazon claims that the company's 20th holiday season has brought "record growth" to the Amazon Prime subscription service, despite a price hike to $100 per year earlier in 2014. Amazon reports that more than 10 million new members worldwide tried Prime for the first time, with nearly 60 percent of customers shopping on a mobile device....

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DealNN: HDTVs, wireless keyboards, and more

With the new year right around the corner it's time for's End of the Year Clearance Event, featuring the Seiki 65-inch Class 2160p, Ultra LED HDTV. Currently priced at $999.99, this HDTV has dropped an impressive $2,500 off its once $3,499.99 list price, and includes a $100 mail-in-rebate that lowers the cost even more, down to $899.99. The Seiki HDTV comes with three HDMI ports, a 120Hz refresh rate, 4k signal compatibility, and a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160. Shipping rates start at only $30, and sales tax applies for residents of Florida, Illinois, Texas, and North Caro...


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Apps: Duplicate Annihilator, Airfoil, GarageSale
Adorable family convinces Grandma a chocolate phone...

Nothing says Christmas like pulling adorable pranks on your loved ones. One intrepid YouTube user took the holiday season as a chance to convince his grandmother than she'd just been given a brand new iPhone. There's just one catch; Grandma isn't int...

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Daily Deal: Afterburner iPhone 6 Battery Case, $40

In today’s iLounge Deal you can get the Afterburner iPhone 6 Battery Case for only $40 – 30% off the regular price. Allowing you to keep your phone juiced up on the go, the Afterburner provides 150% phone charge in your pocket in a slim and stylish design. Unlike many other cases, the Afterburner also sports a Lightning port for charging, so you can use the same cable you use to charge your iPhone 6, and a built-in kickstand allows you to…

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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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iCloud Photo Library, Photo Stream & how to make...

Taking the place of Photo Stream next year, Apple's iCloud Photo Library will consist of a brand new photo app for Mac and a new way to sync photos across all your devices.

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You Should Play: Crossy Road is basically endless...

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

It's only been out a few weeks, but I'm ready to put Crossy Road into my all-time pantheon of amazing, time-absorbing iOS games. That might seem premature, but my last few weeks of frantic lane-hopping and high score-chasing have generated the same kind of pocket-based obsession that lured me into games like Orbital, Super Crate Box, and Impossible Road in the past. 

To read this article in full or to leave...

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Fraud-Proofing Credit Cards Through Quantum Physics

Researchers at the University of Twente and the Eindhoven University of Technology have come up with what they claim is an unprecedentedly secure way to authenticate credit cards, IDs, biometrics, and parties involved in quantum cryptography. The method -- quantum-secure authentication of optical keys -- basically consists of sending a beam of light at cards treated with a special paint and using the reflection as the authentication mechanism. It employes coherent states of light with a low mean photon number.

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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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Rumor: Apple could return to smaller, 4-inch form...

If you’re a fan of the pre-iPhone 6 form factor, you might be in luck.

Per AppleInsider, analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company issued a note to investors this week claiming that Apple has been working on a new 4-inch iPhone model that could debut in 2015.

According to Arcuri, it’s “possible” that Apple could launch three new versions of the iPhone next year, with a so-called “iPhone 6s mini” at 4 inches joining the current-generation screen sizes.

The analyst said his sources suggest the specifications of the 4-inch model could be similar to last year’s iPhone 5s. But the device may feature a new design with curved screen edges, much like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Arcuri’s recent track record on Apple...

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Keep your kids entertained over the holiday break...

It's practically guaranteed to happen: Sometime during Winter Break or a drawn-out family holiday gathering, your kids are going to get bored and ask if they can play with your iPhone or iPad. But you don't want them to spend their alone-time with your precious device making pricey in-app purchases or "playing around" in your work email, and you probably also don't want them to spend six hours ignoring Grandma to play Candy Crush.

Luckily, not all kid-friendly apps and games are mind-numbing money-grabs. Here are five high-quality apps that will provide your kids with hours of entertainment and help foster learning and creativity.

Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet ($7) is cute, educational, and fun for everyone—even adults and kids who already know their ABC's. Endless Alphabet is a word app with more than 60 flashcards that kids can choose from to learn spellings and definitions....

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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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Thursday December 25

Merry Christmas from O’Grady’s PowerPage!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is getting up a little late in the day, but the staff of O’Grady’s PowerPage would like to wish you a merry Christmas, a terrific holiday season and a safe and happy new year. We’ll be back on Friday with additional Mac, iOS and mobile news, so hang tight, remember to pull yourselves away from your screens and be around friends, family and loved ones.

So, take care, enjoy giving and receiving your tech-based goodness and have a merry Christmas!!!

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It is true

Forums: Resharing

It's true when they say songwriting is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. In truth, what happens is... songs comes through you. - Paramount Song

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The key to songwriting

Forums: General FCS Discussion

The key to songwriting is just to be able to observe, and put yourself in situations to be around people, and let those ideas come to you. - Paramount Song

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If the iPhone 6 is too big for you, just wait: An...

The iPhone 6 is too big. I've heard that as much as I've heard praise for the new, larger iPhones, which have in any case outsold prior iPhones. But for those who miss the ease of slipping their smartphone into a pocket or using it one-handed, Apple could be planning an 'iPhone mini' for 2015—in other words, a return to the prior model's 4-inch display size.

The rumor comes through Timothy Arcuri, the Apple analyst for research firm Cowen & Company. Arcuri suggested that Apple could release an iPhone 6s next year, melding the iPhone 5s dimensions with the new generation's curved-edge design.


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Got an iPhone 6? Do these 10 things first

It’s here! Your iPhone is here! Woohoo! Thing Zero to do as you rip it out of the box is to not drop it, whatever you do. (Did you see that poor Australian kid? Ouch. Well, at least it didn’t shatter on him.)

We’ve got a fully comprehensive setup guide if you need step-by-step assistance—think of this as the Cliffs Notes version. These are the 10 things you should do first.

1. Back up your old phone

I forgot to do this first, so once I’d turned my new iPhone on and it asked if I wanted a new phone or a restored backup, I had to sadly put the phone down and pick up my suddenly small-and-sad-seeming iPhone 5c. iTunes is the fastest way to do a backup, so tether to your Mac with the appropriate USB cable (I know, like a caveman) and fire up iTunes. Select your iPhone, and under Backups, choose...

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The Monster PowerCard Turbo - Great for holiday...

With all the traveling many of us do over the holidays, we're often in search of power for our iDevices. Monster has come up with a really high quality external battery to keep your iPhone running when you are away from an AC outlet.

The PowerCard T...

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Happy Holidays from TUAW

You'll notice very few posts today as most of our staff are either traveling or enjoying the holiday off. We'll resume some normalcy tomorrow, including my favorite apps of 2014. Merry Christmas and a happy holiday to everyone!...

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Daily Deal: The Xbox One + Grand Theft Auto V...

Today in iLounge Deals it’s The Xbox One + Grand Theft Auto V Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a bundle that includes a free Xbox One and a copy of Grand Theft Auto V. To enter, simply submit your e-mail address on the giveaway page to sign up for our iLounge Deals, and you can even gain additional entries by sharing on Twitter and Facebook – the more your friends and followers enter, the more entries you receive. The winner will be…

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Mac Starter Pack: unleash your iTunes gift card and...

Let’s assume you unwrapped a brand new Mac this year (awesome!) or scored a ton of iTunes/iBooks/App Store credit (still awesome!) and you need ideas for awesome apps to buy and check out for your new MacBook or iMac. Tons of new apps have launched on the Mac this year and even more have added new features and remain essential. Below are some of my favorite Mac apps that I’ve used needed from time to time or even use daily and should give you a solid place to start whether your a brand new Mac user or Mac veteran looking to do more with your machine.

If you’re setting up a new Mac, you’ve got access to great Apple apps like Pages,...

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My favorite apps of 2014: Mike Wehner

I don't know about you, but 2014 sure sped by for me. It seems like just yesterday I was putting together my list of best apps of 2013, and here I am writing the next chapter now. But when I went back through my pages of iOS apps I realized that it's...

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9to5 Guide: Hello, new iPad owner! Here are the best...

It’s Christmas Day, and if you were especially nice this year, you may have just found a new iPad under your tree. Apple’s tablets are able to do incredible things right out of the box, but they’re also easily damaged, and there are accessories that really help to expand their capabilities. If you want to make sure your iPad performs at its full potential, it’s a good idea to protect it and accessorize right away.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help new iPad owners choose the best accessories across a variety of different categories. Our top picks range from stands and cases to speakers, keyboards, game controllers, and much more. We also explain what’s near-mandatory, what’s optional, and what you can safely skip. Read on!


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9to5 Guide: Hello, new iPhone / iPod owner! Here are...

There are few things better than finding a new iPhone or iPod under your tree on Christmas Day. If you received an iPod, you’ll find enough in Apple’s box to start enjoying music, videos, and/or apps right away. iPhone users get all of those great features plus cellular telephone and Internet access. But these devices suffer from the same weaknesses: they’re fragile — the reason roughly 80% of iPhone owners use cases — and they depend upon external accessories for quite a few things. If you want to make the most of your Apple device, you’ll want to accessorize (and app-cessorize) it right away.

Our best iPhone accessory recommendations are similar across all current models. But they vary considerably from small to medium to big iPods. Read on for all of our top picks!


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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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The first 10 apps to install on your brand-new Mac

It used to be all the rage to photograph in excruciating detail the “unboxing” of a new piece of gear, especially hardware that few people (or no one else) yet had. Unboxing was great, but it’s sort of like a wedding or a birth: The actual event is relatively brief, and the really important stuff comes afterwards, as you spend years together.

Likewise, unboxing a new Macintosh may be exciting, especially if it’s a surprise. But the important part comes next. While Apple includes quite a bit of software, and offers more for free download via the Mac App Store, what else should a new user or a fresh system get?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Our favorite free iOS games of 2014

Why pay to play?

We’ve all played plenty of bad free games—in many cases, games that seem really awesome, but have some insidious or poorly designed freemium model that ruins gameplay. Luckily, developers are learning from the mistakes of the past and coming up with free games that not only look great and play well, but don’t punish you by bothering you incessantly or blocking off content with lengthy, inane timers. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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How to listen to your favorite podcasts over the...

Holiday season is coming to a close and those days off will be a great time to catch up on your favorite podcasts. Here are some of the best podcast apps available for Apple's iOS.

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Wednesday December 24

Daily Deals for December 24, 2014, Get Amazing Apple...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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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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Here’s how to watch The Interview on your iPhone,...

After much controversy, Sony Pictures released the Seth Rogen comedy The Interview on Google Play and YouTube earlier today. If you’re looking to brave the wrath of North Korea and watch the movie for yourself, there are a number of ways you can do so on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Of course, you can also watch on your Mac by heading over to YouTube, Google Play, or Sony’s own dedicated site.

For an iOS device, you’ll want to take a look at the...

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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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How to watch The Interview on your iPhone or Apple TV

While Apple isn't distributing The Interview via iTunes, you can simply buy the movie on YouTube. If you've never purchased video through YouTube Movies you'll of course have to enter credit card info, but isn't that a small price to pay for being ab...

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Apple launches Boxing Day iTunes sale w/ deals on...

Apple is now offering its annual Boxing Day sale for Canadians with select discounts on albums and songs through the iTunes store.

The sale is accessible through the iTunes store on both iOS devices and on the desktop in Canada and will likely remain available through at least Dec. 26, the day officially recognized in Canada and elsewhere as Boxing Day. Retailers typically hold Black Friday-type event for Boxing Day with many sales lasting the week of Dec. 24 through Jan. 2.

Apple is offering a range of discounts on best-selling albums across various genres including new releases and older best sellers (as pictured above). The albums are listed in the following categories:...

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Review: Griffin’s Reveal, STM’s Dux, Verus’s Damda...

The first time I picked up Spigen’s overly-bulky Tough Armor case for the iPhone 6 Plus, I knew there was going to be a major new consideration when reviewing iPhone 6 Plus cases: the quantity and shape of case materials added to the already large device’s back and sides. Apple’s designers succeeded in crafting a really big iPhone that somehow still felt thin, smooth and comfortable enough in large hands — when bare — but Tough Armor’s hard edges and chunky frame made the 6 Plus feel awkward in even a large adult male’s hands and pockets.

Slimmer solutions were needed for the iPhone 6 Plus, and today, we’re looking at three of them: Griffin’s Reveal ($20,...

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Tracking Santa's journey on your favorite Apple...

Photo Credit: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

About now, the kids are probably bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the overnight visit by a bearded guy in a red suit -- AKA Santa Claus. Fortunately, there are a handful of free apps you can ins...

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Dear Apple, please bring the iPhone 4s into the...

There's something awful about being in love with an outdated piece of technology, but I will hold onto my iPhone 4s until the day it dies. You may find yourself asking why, but the answer is simple. The iPhone 4s is the best designed phone Apple has ...

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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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NYT reports that Apple declined Sony offer to host...

Photo Credit: Korean Central News Agency

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Sony Pictures comedy film "The Interview" would be released in a limited run at theaters throughout the country. Locked away in a single paragraph of a much-too-...

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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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Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple...

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports: "Sony Pictures is to distribute its film The Interview online, after a cyber-attack and a row over its release. The film will be offered on a dedicated website — — as well as via Google and Microsoft services." Notably absent among the services to provide The Interview is Apple. The New York Times reports: "According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment. "


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∞ Thank you

I wanted to take a minute to thank you, the readers for making 2014 another great year on The Loop.

The Loop is so much more than just a job or somewhere I make money, it’s a place where I get to interact with people from around the world and share my honest opinions on Apple and technology. The Loop is an important part of my life.

If you are a member of The Loop, paying $3 a month, I want to thank you a little more. It may seem like a trivial amount of money, but it helps keep the lights on and make this whole site possible.

Of course, a huge thanks to the sponsors of The Loop. Your continued support of the site is critical to what we do. Thank you!

Over the last year, The Loop has become bigger than just me. Dave Mark...

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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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NTP bug fix was Apple's first ever automated...

On Monday December 22, Apple released a new security update fixing security issues affecting NTP (network time protocol) in OS X. While updates are a common occurrence for any computer user, Monday's update was a first for Apple -- it was the first t...

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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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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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‘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 (that URL redirects to as of this writing).

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‘The Interview’ available online starting today


Starting Wednesday afternoon, you can watch the controversial Sony Pictures comedy “The Interview” via YouTube, Google Play, the Microsoft Xbox video game console and a special Web site.

The movie will cost $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy. Sony said in a statement that it will become available at around 1 p.m. ET on Christmas Eve.

For those of you who absolutely need to see it.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Pixelmator for Mac and iPad [Sponsor]

Pixelmator for Mac and Pixelmator for iPad. Two powerful image editing apps that give you everything you need to create, edit, and enhance images. You can work seamlessly between Mac and iPad and even work effortlessly with Photoshop images.

In addition, Pixelmator for iPad is the sole and extremely proud winner of the App of the Year award, as a part of Apple’s Best of App Store 2014 selection.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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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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Hands-on with Vesel’s Wood Series bumper for iPhone...

It might seem a bit crazy to pair fine wood with aluminum for an iPhone 6 accessory, but that’s definitely not true in this case. Vessel’s Wood Series for iPhone 6 is a very interesting approach to a bumper, or case if you’d like to call it that. I’m usually a case-less kind of guy, but there’s something about the Wood Series that seems to be a happy medium…

This little guy may not serve as the greatest protection against the world, but it keeps your iPhone partially covered and slim, while bringing some other elements to the table. The Wood Series combines a top and bottom bumper made from solid aluminum and sides crafted from oak or walnut that are finished in brushed oil. Sure, we’ve seen many “high-end” bumpers out there, but this one...

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Apple takes over HTC's home country, iPhone 6...

HTC's home country of Taiwan is now devoted to Apple, according to new sales data. The iPhone 6 has driven Apple's rise in the region, and of the top ten best selling smartphones in Taiwan last month, various models of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus stole a...

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Sony renting 'The Interview' for $6 on...

Though Sony apparently held talks with Apple about debuting the film "The Interview" on iTunes, the movie is instead now available for rent on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Live and Sony's own Crackle service for $5.99, while viewers can purchase the movie for $14.99.

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My favorite apps for 2014: Dave Caolo

Look at that, another 12 months are now behind us. We see a lot of apps here at TUAW, and I've narrowed things down to my favorites. Here are the apps I grew to love in 2014.

Todoist (Free with a pro option for $29/year). Earlier this year, Jordan C...

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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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Samsung shutters flagship retail 'Experience...

While Apple continues to expand its highly successful retail presence, Samsung's own retail experiment appears to be floundering, as the South Korean electronics maker has closed its flagship store in one of Europe's largest malls.

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Merry Christmas to our readers from The Unofficial...

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

It's hard to believe that yet another Christmas Eve is here. We send our most sincere wishes to all TUAW readers to enjoy this holiday season with family and friends. If your personal plans include travel, pl...

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Daily Deal: Get the Om/One Levitating Bluetooth...

In today’s next iLounge Deal, we’re offering the Om/One Levitating Bluetooth Speaker for only $179.99. The world’s first levitating Bluetooth speaker, the Om/One provides a full 105 decibels of crisp and clear sound output all while hovering in the air like a Star Wars-esque audio orb. The speaker is compatible with any device supporting Bluetooth 4.0, and also doubles as an awesome floating speakerphone. You can also pick 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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The best iOS app sales/freebies for the holidays:...


We have seen a massive selection of iOS apps and games go on sale over the past week or so. Now that Apple has locked price changes on the App Store until December 29th, we thought we would put together a master list of only the best apps on sale for the holidays.

You can grab iTunes gift cards for 15% off right now to get even deeper discounts on iOS apps, music and movies. Head below for the best iOS price drops of the season:


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Rumor: Sony attempted to place “The Interview” on...

Sony could have wanted to go the iTunes route for release of “The Interview”.

Per AppleInsider and the New York Times, in attempt to make its controversial film “The Interview” available to view on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures reportedly pursued a deal with Apple that was brokered by the White House itself, but the timetable to place it on iTunes was apparently too aggressive.

Sony’s behind-the-scenes efforts to put the motion picture before the eyes of the public on its originally intended release date were revealed in a New York Times article. Citing sources familiar with the...

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Quick change to Apple Pay site hints at retailers...

With literally a week left in 2014, a change to an Apple web page hinted at organizations that might not be able to incorporate Apple Pay within 2014.

Per MacRumors, Apple today slightly altered its micro site dedicated to Apple Pay to update the status of several of its partnerships. Retailers that teamed up with Apple and plan to implement Apple Pay support in retail stores and apps in the near future are now listed under sections labeled “Coming soon” instead of “Coming later this year.”

The minor change in language suggests that many of Apple’s Apple Pay partners will not be able to implement Apple Pay support in the last week of 2014, instead rolling out support in the first months of 2015. Many retailers that...

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2 new weather apps just in time for your holiday...

Apalon has released two weather apps that could make your holiday travel more predictable.

Weather Live (US$1.99) features animated, customizable backgrounds that look great and a widget for quick access to your most important weather info. You can ...

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News: Happy Holidays from iLounge!

On behalf of all of iLounge’s staff and volunteers we’d like to wish the happiest of holidays to you and yours. We will be on a limited publication schedule for the next few days as we celebrate with our families and friends, and we will return to our regular posting schedule on Monday, December 29th. Hopefully, you’ll find a new iPhone, iPad, iPod, accessory, or gift card wrapped in a shiny box over the next few days! Let us know…

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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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Sony wanted 'The Interview' on iTunes for...

In attempt to make its controversial film "The Interview" available to view on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures reportedly pursued a deal with Apple that was brokered by the White House itself, but the timetable to place it on iTunes was apparently too aggressive.

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The Week in iOS Accessories: Mood lighting, jump-...

Mood lighting, jump-measuring, and more

This week's roundup of accessories includes a new way to make sure you have the best mood lighting available—control it from your iPhone! Plus, cables, stands, and more.


The $40 EverDockGO is a recharging dock that fits perfectly into your car’s cupholder. The makers say: “The EverDock GO keeps your device safely available and within view, without dangerously blocking your vision the way a dashboard or windshield mounted dock does.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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10 apps for creating your own holiday traditions

Stop me if this sounds familiar: One of my family’s holiday traditions involves all of us sitting around the table fiddling with our phones, occasionally looking up to eat or drink, while my mother (futilely) attempts to get us to talk to each other. Er…yeah.

Holiday traditions are usually great for bringing families together—but not if those traditions include technology, according to my mother. But your iPhone can be used for good—if you know where to look. Here are ten apps that can actually enhance your family’s holiday traditions, whether those traditions involve opening Advent calendars, taking photos, reading stories, or playing games.

Open up a whole new Advent calendar

This Advent calendar dishes out holiday tunes instead of candy, with links to buy the complete album via iTunes.


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Volume start then stop.

Forums: Troubleshooting


My Xsan Volume start and stop immediately.

I try to run cvfsck but there are some error in process.

and i got these.

Created directory /tmp/cvfsck29584a for temporary files.

Attempting to acquire arbitration block... successful.

elapsed time: 4.35 seconds total (delta 4.30 seconds)
Creating MetadataAndJournal allocation check file.
Creating Video allocation check file.

Recovering Journal Log.

elapsed time: 7.34 seconds total (delta 2.99 seconds)
Beginning scan of HDNews file system

Super Block information.
FS Created On : Fri Oct 17 23:12:51 2014
Inode Version : '2.7' - 4.0 big inodes + NamedStreams (0x207)
File System Status : Clean
Allocated Inodes : 1526272
Free Inodes...

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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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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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Think Retro: How HyperCard inspired a generation of...

Almost by necessity, Apple grew out of the homebrew movement, in which enthusiasts swapped knowledge and parts for building computers, and were as much tinkerers and electrical engineers as they were users.

That attitude, though—that you could do anything you liked just so long as you learned a few basic rules and concepts—wasn’t just limited, in those early days, to the hardware. Apple started bundling a little app called HyperCard with the Macs it sold in 1987, and with HyperCard, if you could think of an app, you could build it.

It used a card-based metaphor, not unlike a presentation deck in Keynote, but vastly more powerful, since you could not just make buttons active to move from card to card, but also do rich, complex programming using some simple, English-like commands.

To read this article in full or to...

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Think Retro: Remembering HyperCard


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Great last-minute gifts you can send by email right...

It’s December 24. Do you know where all your holiday presents are? If you still haven’t crossed off everyone on your list—or maybe your list suddenly expanded because your nephew is bringing his new girlfriend to Christmas dinner, or a coworker surprised you with a thoughtful gift—there’s still time to get something for them. Gift cards let them pick something out for themselves, and yeah they’re kind of boring, but thankfully those aren’t even your only options at this extremely late date. Let the Queen of Procrastination (me) solve all of your problems right now—it’s a Festivus miracle.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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The 20 best iOS games of 2014

Best of the best

Each week, we serve up a recommendation of an iOS game we think is worth checking out—well, consider this the ultimate list of games You Should Play from 2014. We covered many of these great experiences over the course of the year, while others we enjoyed on our own time. Finally, we have a great opportunity to sing all their praises together at once. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Tuesday December 23

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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NYT: Apple declined offer from Sony Pictures to...

The New York Times reported earlier today that Sony Pictures had approached Apple about the possibility of streaming the upcoming film “The Interview,” which features actors James Franco and Seth Rogen (who will also appear in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic) as a US talk show host and producer tasked by the CIA with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

Earlier this month, hackers with ties to North Korea breached Sony’s system, stole terabytes of data, and threatened physical attacks against theaters that showed the movie. Most national theater chains backed out of the premiere and Sony decided...

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Review: Duet Display makes Apple's iPad even...

Mac users looking to add a little extra screen real estate without sacrificing portability or display quality can now do so with Duet Display, a new app from a group of former Apple engineers that turns an iPad or iPhone into an external monitor.

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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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De-escalating the Android Patent War

In 2011, a consortium formed from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and others spent $4.5 billion acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio, which contained a great deal of ammunition that could be used against Android. That threat has now been reduced. Today, 4,000 of the patents were purchased by a corporation called RPX, which has licensing agreements from Google, Cisco, and dozens more companies. [RPX is] a company that collects a bunch of patents with the goal of using those patents for member companies for defensive purposes. Even though RPX has generally been "good," the business model basically lives because of patent trolling. Its very existence is because of all the patent trolling and abuse out there. In this case, though, it's making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million. While that article points out that this is considerably less than the $4.5...

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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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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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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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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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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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Software Updates via MacUpdate

MegaSeg 5.9.4 - Professional MP3 DJ appl...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
Parallels Desktop 10.1.2 - Run Windows a...
Parallels Desktop is simply the world's bestselling, top-rated, and most trusted solution for running Windows applications on your Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both... Read more
GarageSale 6.9.1 - Create outstanding eB...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more
Quicksilver 1.2.2 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.1 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
ClamXav 2.7 - Free virus checker, based...
ClamXav is a free virus checker for OS X. It uses the tried, tested, and very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine as a back end. I hope you like and use ClamXav a lot and that it helps keep... Read more
FoldersSynchronizer 4.2 - Synchronize or...
FoldersSynchronizer is a popular and useful utility that synchronizes and backs-up files, folders, disks and boot disks. On each session you can apply special options like Timers, Multiple Folders,... Read more
Waltr 1.0.6 - Drag-and-drop any media fi...
WALTR is designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone format for native playback. It supports a huge variety of media file types, including MP3, MP4,... Read more
Tonality Pro 1.1.3 - Professional-grade...
Tonality Pro gives you the power to create stunning and dramatic black & white images. This is a complete monochrome image editor with more than 150 one-click style presets, totally unique... Read more
OS X NTP Security Update 1.0 - Addresses...
The OS X NTP Security Update addresses a critical security issue with the software that provides the Network Time Protocol service on OS X, and is recommended for all users. Version 1.0: Initial... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

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Forget the Gloves – It’s a Cage Match in...
Forget the Gloves – It’s a Cage Match in Real Boxing’s Underground Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Who Wore it Best? Best of 2014
It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for some arbitrary internet awards! In this wrap-up episode of Who Wore it Best? we present our winners for the best, worst, and flat-out weirdest cloned games that graced the App Store in 2014. [ Who... | Read more »
Now You Can Explore Mayan Temples in Ass...
Now You Can Explore Mayan Temples in Assassin’s Creed Pirates’ Newest Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Soft Design aims to do free-to-play righ...
They say a team is only as big as its fans and that’s also certainly the case with video games, judging from the sales certain AAA ‘heavyweights’ get year-after-year. Soft Design took that principle as a core design philosophy and worked closely... | Read more »
Bogga Christmas Tree
Bogga Christmas Tree By Amy Solomon on December 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bogga Christmas Tree allows young children to trim a tree, any time or place.   | Read more »
Opera Coast 4.0 Launches on iOS with 4 N...
Opera Coast 4.0 Launches on iOS with 4 New Features Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Cricket Kids: Christmas Presents
Cricket Kids: Christmas Presents By Amy Solomon on December 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cricket Kids: Christmas Presents allows children to play with digital toys opened for the Christmas... | Read more »
Lara Croft & Tomb Raider Mobile Bund...
Lara Croft & Tomb Raider Mobile Bundle – Only $4.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Lara Croft is coming to you in | Read more »
SimCity BuildIt Review
SimCity BuildIt Review By Nadia Oxford on December 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BUILDING AN OK TOMORROWUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad SimCity BuildIt is a competent city-building game, but its free-to-play trappings are... | Read more »
SimCity Buildit – Tips, Tricks, and Stra...
Hello, Budding Mayors Want to know what we made of all this upgrading and inevitable waiting? Check out our SimCity BuildIt review! SimCity BuildIt is a city-building game from EA. Your job as mayor is to build houses for people to live in, industry... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Sony Fixing To Launch Large-Screen Android Ta...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that Sony, which last February exited the laptop computer market with the sale of its VIAO PC-making unit to a group of JApanese investors, is now expected... Read more
After Christmas sale: 13-inch Retina MacBook...
B&H Photo has new 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro: $1043 save... Read more
After Christmas sale: 15-inch Retina MacBook...
Adorama has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1899 save $100 - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
After Christmas sale: MacBook Airs for up to...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished Mac...
The Apple Store is now offering 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.... Read more
Will Apple Build An A-series ARM Processor Po...
In computer terms, it’s been a very long time since the MacBook Air had a major redesign. More than four years have elapsed since Apple recast what had originally been more a pricy boutique device... Read more
iPhone 6s mini With Four-Inch Screen Rumored...
The Times of India’s Komal Mohan, citing a story in The Electronic Times of Taiwan, says that unnamed upstream supply chain sources report that Apple is gearing up to launch a new 4-inch screen... Read more
What’s The Current Value Of Your iOS Apps?
Basel, Switzerland based ConIT AG has announced AppZapp Notify and its free PC and Mac tool available for download. What is the present value of all my downloaded Apps? With AppZapp Notify, for the... Read more
PhatWare Releases WritePad Pro Advanced iOS W...
PhatWare Corporation has announced immediate availability of WritePad Pro 2.0, its advanced word processing, note-taking, and document management app which also takes full advantage of PhatWare’s... Read more
Last minute gift idea: Send an Apple Store Gi...
Send an Apple Store Gift Card by email this season, perhaps as a last minute Christmas gift. According to Apple, “Apple Store Gift Cards can be used to purchase Apple hardware and accessories at any... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
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