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Thursday August 18

11:23
Sprint's new Unlimited Freedom plan is...

Hot on the heels of T-Mobile's new unlimited data plan, Sprint is launching a new Unlimited Freedom plan for $100.

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11:04
Roadblocks for new Apple Watch

The source of the delay is that current cellular chips consume too much battery life, reducing the product’s effectiveness and limiting user appeal, according to three of the people. Apple has begun studying lower-power cellular data chips for future smartwatch generations.

This is an incredibly difficult problem, but anything that negatively affects battery life will be a non-starter for a lot of users. Most days, I have plenty of battery life remaining when I go to bed, but I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I was running out of power early in the day.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:02
Store no more: Apple retail stores drop the ‘Store’...

Apple is making a slight branding change to its retail business, dropping the "Store" when referring to its Apple Store locations, according to MacRumors. Apple has already made the change online, and all of its store pages now refer to stores by names like "Apple Union Square" or "Apple Green Hills.”

MacRumors says it’s a change that appears to have started rolling out with the launch of the newer Apple stores such as the Union Square location (pictured) in San Francisco. Apple has always referred to that store as just Apple Union Square, and over the course of the last few days, the company has updated all of its retail store webpages to remove the "Store" branding, the article adds.

Apple has 488 retail stores in 21 countries and an online store available in 39 countries.

...

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11:00
Watch Segway's personal robot in action

What if you could have a personal robot helper that transforms into a self-balancing scooter? That's the appeal of the Segway robot, an adorable device which first debuted during CES. We were able to take a close look at it this week during Intel's D...

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10:53
‘Bloomberg’: the Apple Watch 2 will feature GPS...

In July the Canalys research group forecast that 7.5 million smart watches with cellular connectivity — including a second generation Apple Watch — will ship in 2016, rising to 53.6 million in 2020. However, Apple “has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone,” reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple has almost certainly planned to add cellular capabilities to the next-generation watch so that it doesn't require an accompanying iPhone. A Wall Street Journal report noted that the company “is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people...

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10:49
AT&T Mobile Share Advantage mimics T-Mobile,...

With AT&T’s Mobile Share Advantage, the telecom giant follows a new trend: Customers who switch to this new shared mobile plan (available August 21) will be spared bandwidth overage fees. Instead, the firm said, after available bandwidth is used up, its Mobile Share Advantage customers will be throttled to 128Kbps for the rest of the current billing cycle.

The Mobile Share plans pool bandwith among devices that can include smartphones, feature phones, tablets, gaming devices, wearables, laptops, hotspots, and other hardware. A monthly charge per device is paired with a charge for a tier of bandwidth. 

Why this matters: AT&T joins T-Mobile and Sprint among the big four U.S. carriers in shifting to throttling instead of causing customers to rack up fees at $10 per gigabyte above plan totals. That’s good news for consumers, though it’ll be interesting to see whether they’ll tolerate throttling or break down and buy more bandwidth, sending more...

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10:47
Apple Watch with built-in cellular data unlikely to...

Though Apple apparently wants to place a cellular radio in a future Apple Watch model, technical limitations may prevent the capability from appearing in this year's expected update, a new report claims.

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10:45
The ‘Apple Store’ is now just ‘Apple,’ but you...

Been to your local Apple Store lately? You probably noticed that it’s much more than a place that sells stuff. There are Geniuses there to help you with your Mac problems, and in the bigger stores, there are training sessions and youth programs. Mostly, people never buy a thing and just hang out, using the iPads, Macs, and the free internet access. Some people stay there all day, and that’s fine with Apple, as long as you don’t stink up the joint.

The Apple Store is much more than a store, and that’s probably why Apple decided to drop the “Store” from the name, according to a report by MacRumors. Now it’s just “Apple,” plus the name of the location to differentiate each store. For example, in Orlando, Florida, the two Apple stores are known as...

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10:44
Twitter adds a quality filter setting

Last year we began testing a quality filter setting and we’re now rolling out a feature for everyone. When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings.

Twitter certainly has a lot of work to do, but anything that can help my feed is welcome.

...

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10:41
CNN's news drones officially launch with their...

We've known about CNN's drone aspirations for quite some time, but now the news network is officially launching its UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) program. The official title of the project is CNN AIR and just like CNN stands for Cable News Network, A...

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10:32
'Store' no more in rebranding of Apple...

Although the public might continue to use the old phrasing, officially Apple has dropped the term "Store" from its worldwide retail locations, visitors to the company's website have noticed.

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10:32
Twitter is letting all users filter out trolls from...

Twitter has been failing to deal with abuse on its platform for a good long time now, but it seems like the company might finally be taking some substantive action. Twitter just posted a blog detailing two new features as part of its notification set...

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10:31
News: Report: Next-gen Apple Watch will not support...

Apple has been struggling with attempts to incorporate cellular connectivity into the new Apple Watch, according to a new report from Bloomberg. In an attempt to make the new version of the Watch less dependent on the iPhone, the company has been trying to implement wireless cellular hardware, but has been unable to resolve the power consumption of current cellular chips, which would make the battery life on the new Watch unacceptable, according to…

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10:22
Report: Apple Watch 2 won’t include cellular,...

The Apple Watch 2 may not have a cellular option after all, according to a new Bloomberg report. Back in April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was considering the option for cellular connectivity in the next Apple Watch version — something that I wasn’t sure the watch needed yet — but today’s report says the company has “hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone.”

more…

Filed under: Apple...

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10:19
Gear: iWalk Scorpion 8000

Standalone batteries continue to improve, and iWalk’s upcoming

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10:17
Gawker.com will shut down as part of Univision buyout

Gawker Media's long, strange legal battle is done, and so is Gawker.com -- reporter JK Trotter just confirmed that the site is set to cease operations next week, after 14 years of snarking up every possible tree. The announcement comes on the heels o...

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10:00
'Rez Infinite' is getting a collector...

Much like the game itself, Rez Infinite is being released in a very unorthodox manner. For example, iam8bit is publishing the game as part of a special collection with a vinyl soundtrack, special T-shirts, and collectible pins.

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09:58
Gawker.com to end operations next week

After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week. The decision to close Gawker comes days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for Gawker Media’s six other websites, and four months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:38
Volvo, Uber partner to develop self-driving cars

The partnership will allow the Swedish-based carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, and ride-hailing service Uber to pool resources into initially developing the autonomous driving capabilities of its flagship XC90 SUV model. The investment will be shared roughly equally by the two companies.

I don’t think I’d ever want a fully autonomous car, but if we’re talking about driver-assisted technologies, I trust Volvo and Mercedes.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:36
Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac supports macOS Sierra...

As much as we don’t want to admit it, sometimes we need to use software that (gulp) isn’t available for the Mac. To keep you on the cutting edge of virtualization, Parallels on Thursday announced Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, with support for the forthcoming macOS Sierra.

Plus, the company’s brand-new Parallels Toolbox app is a set of 20-plus tools and utilities for performing tasks like password-protecting files, recording a screencast, and downloading online videos. These tools, which are easily accessed from the menu bar, are available in all editions of Parallels Desktop 12, but if you don’t need the virtualization, you can get Parallels Toolbox on its own for $10 per year, with a 14-day free trial available starting August 23. The company says that it plans to add more tools to the toolbox every few months.

...

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09:35
Apple removes the ‘Store’ from its retail branding...

Apple appears to be tweaking its branding for retail stores by removing the word ‘Store’, as spotted on the company’s website (via MacRumors). Apple has started transitioning its own listings for retail stores to remove the word “store,” and for new stores starting with the launch of its just opened San Francisco location that’s listed as “Apple Union Square”

The changes build upon community and volunteering efforts we detailed earleir this year that Apple is pushing throughout its retail system. 

more…...

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09:34
T-Mobile shifts to unlimited plans in the latest bid...

T-Mobile is hoping to make a another splash by ditching traditional smartphone plans in favor of one, unlimited offer.

Called T-Mobile One, the new plan charges $70 per month for the first line, $50 per month for a second, and then $20 for additional lines (stopping with eight). The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.

Of course, there are caveats buried in the fine print. T-Mobile says video playback is limited to 480p, the same speed as you’d get with Binge On. Tethering is capped at 2G speeds, which makes it essentially worthless for all but emergency connectivity. To get around the video limitation you’ll need to pay $25 per month extra per line. It’ll cost you $15 for any month in which you want to add on 5GB of tethering.

... | Read more »
09:32
9to5Toys Lunch Break: 13″ MacBook Air $800, 9.7″...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Save nearly $200 on Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air, ideal for students: $800 (Reg. $999...

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09:32
Microsoft now lets you import Evernote content into...

Earlier this summer Evernote limited the free tier of its note-taking service to use on just two devices while raising prices for its paid plans. While the move was clearly intended to make Evernote’s business more sustainable, reaction from a lot of vocal users was to switch from Evernote to OneNote or Apple Notes. Now Microsoft has responded with a new import tool that lets OneNote users pull in content from Evernote.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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09:30
The robots of war: AI and the future of combat

The 1983 film WarGames portrayed a young hacker tapping into NORAD's artificial-intelligence-driven nuclear weapons' system. When the hit movie was screened for President Reagan, it prompted the commander in chief to ask if it were possible for the c...

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09:18
Uber to begin real-world use of self-driving cars in...

Marking a small but significant step towards bringing self-driving technology to the public, Uber will later this month begin offering some Pittsburgh customers rides in specially-modified Volvo XC90s, a report revealed on Thursday.

| Read more »
09:00
Facebook is open-sourcing its AI bot-building...

Say hello to smarter artificial intelligence. Soon, anyway. Facebook is opening up the secret sauce that powers its bots so the public can employ and study it. This is part of the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) lab's mission to help researchers and engi...

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08:44
Iconic NY store's extensive Mac collection is...

Tekserve, a landmark New York City Apple dealer and repair center for 29 years, closed this week and is auctioning off its huge collection of computers and other tech. The centerpiece is a 35-piece (mostly) Macintosh collection from its Mac Museum, w...

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08:44
Microsoft PowerShell goes open source, lands on...

Sysadmins, rejoice: PowerShell is coming to Linux and Mac. Microsoft announced Thursday that its automation and scripting system is breaking out of the confines of Windows and going open source.

The company is also releasing alpha versions of PowerShell for Linux (specifically Ubuntu, Centos and Redhat) and Mac OS X. A new PowerShell GitHub page gives people the ability to download binaries of the software, as well as access to the app’s source code.   

PowerShell on Linux and Mac will let people who have already built proficiency with Microsoft’s scripting language take those skills and bring them to new platforms. Meanwhile, people who are used to working on those platforms will have access to a new and very powerful tool for getting work done. 

To...

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08:24
Deals: 13" MacBook Air (1.6GHz, 4GB, 256GB) for...

Shoppers this week can save $350 on a 2015 13" MacBook Air with 256GB of storage. Or pick up an Early 2014 27" iMac for $1,649.99 ($750 off). Smartphone users can also snap up a 128GB iPhone 6s Plus for $799.99 on eBay while supplies last.

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08:22
'Star Trek: Bridge Crew' hits VR headsets...

Ubisoft has dropped the dates for three of its incoming VR games, including Star Trek: Bridge Crew. That title, set in JJ Abrams Star Trek universe, is available for pre-order and arrives on all three major platforms, the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and So...

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08:09
Sprint joins chorus of carrier updates, reveals its...

On the heels of other carrier updates, Sprint has also revised its wireless plans, giving two phones unlimited data for $100 per month.

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08:07
Mac: Parallels Software Parallels Desktop 12

With macOS Sierra looming on the horizon — and already in public beta — its time for a new version of Parallels’ venerable Windows emulator for Macs. Optimized for macOS Sierra , Parallels Desktop 12 ($80) boosts performance for shared folders, and suspend, resume, and snapshot operations. Other new features include the ability to quickly capture Facebook or Vimeo videos, a distraction-free presentation mode both both Mac and Windows sessions, hiding desktop icons, and keeping the screen awake, and seamless Office 365 integration, Windows Server 2016 support, and more. Users also get 500GB of free online cloud backup storage from Acronis for one year.
...

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08:02
Nokia's VR camera gets a $15,000 discount

Nokia's trolley-dash approach to business means that it now makes health gadgets and professional-level VR cameras. The latter arm sells one product, a $60,000 VR camera called Ozo which is bought by studios like Disney and UEFA. In order to gee-up d...

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08:00
The Week in iPhone Cases: New colors for Speck'...

New iPhone cases of the week

Find the right case for your iPhone SE with this week’s roundup of new iPhone cases—including new themes for Speck’s CandyShell. Read on!

Ballistic

The Urbanite (iPhone SE; $35 MSRP, $26.95 on Amazon) offers impact protection without adding excess bulk to your iPhone. This sleek case features multiple layers of sturdy materials, raised edges to prevent scratches and dents to your screen, and reinforced corners for extra peace of mind. The Urbanite comes in green/black, gray/pink, or brown...

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07:45
Parallels Desktop 12 announced, will be released...

The perpetually useful Parallels Desktop has just hit version 12.

The new version arrives with support for macOS Sierra alongside a new standalone app called Parallels Toolbox, which allows users to perform some simple tasks that aren’t necessarily tied to virtualization.

New features include a Windows 10 “always on” function wherein Windows 10 continues to run in the background and apps can be instantly launched. the ability to schedule incremental backups and Windows updates, the ability to assign special behaviors to Windows apps, improved integration for Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Office 365, and Xbox app support. Additionally, Parallels has partnered with Blizzard to provide specific support for the hit game Overwatch.

Parallels Desktop 12 also includes 90...

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07:44
Alleged camera module for Apple's 'iPhone...

A new image published on Thursday shows what's said to be a redesigned rear camera module for the "iPhone 7," widely expected to ship in mid- to late September.

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07:40
Smart glasses make hands-free 'Pokémon Go...

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. It's not uncommon to see dozens of people walking around parks and city streets with their heads buried in their phones, trying to catch cute cartoon monsters. Unfortunately, doing so means you're not k...

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07:25
T-Mobile One is the carrier's new unlimited...

T-Mobile has offered an unlimited data option for a while now, using it as a big differentiator between it and AT&T and Verizon. But now, it sounds like the carrier is going to do away with data buckets entirely and offer one plan that includes u...

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07:14
All change with mobile plans: after AT&T...

Following the modest upgrades AT&T announced to its mobile plans yesterday, both T-Mobile and Sprint have hit back with new ‘unlimited’ plans.

T-Mobile has replaced all its plans with a single one called T-Mobile One.

It’s 100% unlimited and comes with unlimited talk and text and unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data – including unlimited standard definition video – all on America’s fastest 4G LTE network.  And, it’s available at a great price: just $40 per line for a family of four.

As with all carrier plans, there are some caveats in the small-print …

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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07:12
Tim Cook, in China, seeks to stem Apple’s losses

Wall Street Journal:

With Apple’s sales tumbling, the Chinese government’s support waning and a new iPhone coming out, Mr. Cook is on a goodwill mission: meeting with government officials, touring Chinese Apple stores and speaking with local residents. Mr. Cook pledged to increase investment in China in a meeting with Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing on Tuesday. He continued to the central Chinese city Chongqing on Wednesday, where he toured an Apple store with the mayor.

Side note: Chongqing is one of the five Chinese national central cities. An important place for Tim Cook to visit.

Top Chinese leaders have expressed concern over declining iPhone sales. At a meeting in May between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and technology executives in the southern Guizhou province, Mr. Li had only one question for Terry Gou, the chairman of...

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07:06
Uber's self-driving cars will start picking up...

Uber's rushing to replace its million-plus drivers with robots, and the company's early forays towards that effort start in Pennsylvania later in August. The ride-sharing service plans to roll out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh that will accept real world passengers right from the get-go, according to Bloomberg.

The cars, while fully autonomous, won’t be unleashed onto Pittsburgh streets without human supervision. The cars will have a specially-trained engineer ready to take the wheel should something go wrong. There will also be a co-pilot taking notes on how each ride goes.

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

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07:00
Why is the iPad Pro a ‘computer’? Because Apple’s...

Hayley Tsukayama, writing for the Washington Post:

There’s a good reason to sell the iPad Pro as a “computer” rather than a tablet. Tablet sales have been slowing. And while computers are also in a sales slump, there is growth in the “detachables” category — devices that blend the tablet and the traditional laptop and have, well, a detachable keyboard. Casting the iPad Pro this way is important to Apple to catch the eye of businesses and business people, who may want something light but still functional for work.

Balanced with this quote from Steve Jobs:

What I love about the consumer market, that I always hated about the enterprise market, is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves. They go ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and if enough of them say ‘yes,’ we get to come to work tomorrow. That’s how it works. It’s really simple. With the enterprise market, it’s not so simple. The people that use the products don’t...

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07:00
Edward Snowden Sheds Light on Shadow Brokers


NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden on Tuesday injected himself into an escalating cyberstruggle that could affect the U.S. presidential election. The reported hack of The Equation Group might have been a warning shot from Russia, Snowden claimed. The group, which is widely believed to be a front operation for the NSA, apparently was hacked over the weekend by a previously unknown outfit called the "Shadow Brokers," which then claimed to have valuable files in its possession that would be available to the highest bidder.

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07:00
Facebook is launching its own PC gaming platform

Facebook's gaming aspirations didn't stop with Farmville and its $2 billion Oculus VR acquisition. Nope, the social network is also launching a dedicated PC gaming platform today. Said platform will lean heavily on developers using the ubiquitous Uni...

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07:00
Spotify's first documentary recalls the early...

We first heard about Spotify's Landmark series back in May and today the first installment is debuting for Android and iOS users. Landmark -- Metallica: The Early Years is a documentary-style look at the iconic heavy metal band's origins and the move...

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06:55
NPR website to get rid of comments

NPR:

“We’ve reached the point where we’ve realized that there are other, better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around the issues we raise in our journalism,” he said, with money, and spending it efficiently, part of the issue. More than 5 million people each month engage with NPR on Twitter, compared to just a fraction of that number in the NPR.org comments. “In relative terms, as we set priorities, it becomes increasingly clear that the market has spoken. This is where people want to engage with us. So that’s what we’re going to emphasize,” he said.

Interesting. This is not about trolling and the high cost of moderation. Instead, it’s recognizing that engagement is moving to social media, like Twitter.

...

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06:52
Apple device sales at Target fall 20% amid global...

Bloomberg:

Apple Inc.’s sales of iPads, iPhones and other devices fell 20 percent at Target Corp. stores during the second quarter, confirming Apple’s struggles with a global slowdown in smartphone demand and waning interest in its out-of-date gadgets.

Hmmm. Out-of-date gadgets?

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the weakness in Apple’s sales at the retailer was “across the product suite,” and that the company is putting plans in place to better capitalize on the new devices when they hit the shelves.

“Our guests come to us looking for those products,” Cornell said on a conference call to discuss earnings. “They’re looking for the newness and the innovation. We’re putting together plans with Apple and our merchandising teams to make sure we’re ready to take advantage of that in the back half of the year.”

Hard to tell where this is Target shifting blame for poor sales and actual evidence of an Apple-specific slump. But the out-of-date gadgets stings,...

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06:50
T-Mobile One resurrects unlimited wireless data for...

T-Mobile has unveiled a new data plan called T-Mobile One, featuring no data caps, but subscribers will experience streaming video restricted to DVD-quality and 2G tethered data without additional fees.

| Read more »
06:42
AT&T eliminating data overage charges on some...

From the AT&T press release:

AT&T is continuing to simplify pricing with new plans that eliminate data overage charges for our wireless customers.

The new Mobile Share Advantage plans are available Aug. 21. Consumers and businesses alike can gain a wireless experience, without overage charges. Instead of overage charges, after customers use all of their high-speed data amounts, all data usage will be reduced to a maximum of 128 kbps for the rest of their bill cycle.

In effect, once you hit your data cap, your data speed will slow to a relative crawl.

From the fine print:

No charge for overage. After all your high-speed data allotments are used, all data usage is slowed to a max of 128 Kbps (2G speed) for the rest of the bill cycle. You will have basic data use for viewing a web page or checking email. Audio and video streaming, picture and video messaging, select apps and other services, as well as other usage, including sponsored data,...

| Read more »
06:33
Pocket Casts podcast player for iPhone now works...

A few weeks ago Shifty Jelly updated its Pocket Casts podcast player for iPhone to version 6.0 with a major overhaul including a new dark mode, playback features, and multitasking, and now Pocket Casts 6.1 is out with support for Apple’s CarPlay infotainment feature.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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06:30
ICYMI: Goat-inspired robot design and apple picking

Today on In Case You Missed It: A researcher at Carnegie Mellon created the GOAT leg for robots that moves much like a pogo-stick and posted a video of its tests to YouTube. Meanwhile a robot to harvest apples might still be in prototype, but it'...

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06:24
UK Apple Pay gains support for Clydesdale Bank...

Apple Pay users in the U.K. now have access to two more banks, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, as well as a service operated by the pair, simply known as "B."

| Read more »
06:06
NuDock Power Lamp Stand can charge an iPhone, Apple...

MiTagg has released the NuDock Power Lamp Stand (http://www.mitagg.com/products/nudock-power-station-lamp), a $299.99 iPhone and Apple Watch Power Dock with Smart LED Lamp — and an optional NuKi Portable Battery. 

It sports a solid “Aerospace Aluminum” construction with a polycarbonate base that’s coated in a soft-touch rubber finish. The NuDock has three USB charging ports.

| Read more »
06:05
Redbooth project management/collaboration platform...

Redbooth, an all-in-one project management and collaboration platform, has launched its new Apple TV app that’s designed to leverage the power of the platform to encourage group discussion, collaboration and planning around the screens in our offices and homes from lesson planning and backlog prioritization meetings to trip planning and a wedding countdown. 

The free app — available at the Apple TV app store — displays an optimized version of Redbooth. It’s a collaboration app designed specifically for the Apple TV, says Dan Schoenbaum, CEO for Redbooth. Combined with Redbooth’s apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, this affords maximum flexibility when editing tasks, adding comments and staying connected to your team’s work, he adds.

Schoenbaum says the initial version of Redbooth for the Apple TV includes some of the following capabilities:

Optimized for large screens: Rather than projecting the standard Redbooth...

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06:01
Apple Pay now supported by Clydesdale Bank and...

Apple Pay users in the U.K. now have access to two more banks, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank. You can a complete list of supporting financial institutions by clicking here.

The mobile payment system is now available in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, China, France, Singapore, and Switzerland. Apple has hinted that Spain is also in line to get Apple Pay at some point this year (Spain currently supports it for Amex only). CEO Tim Cook also recently spoke about plans to bring the mobile payment system to India, while France, Japan and Brazil are also expected to add Apple Pay support in the near future.

Also, at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple said it would be brining online payments to iOS 10 and macOS Sierra through a...

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06:00
Apple has three consecutive quarters of slowing...

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 4.3% increase over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. However, the second quarter was Apple’s third consecutive one of slowing iPhone demand. That should pick up with the introduction of the “iPhone 7,” according to the Sellers Research Firm (that’s me).

Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5% with only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers (Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment) and South Korea's Samsung. 

All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9%. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9%.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10% more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones...

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06:00
News: Daily Deal: Nifty MiniDrive Air

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get the Nifty MiniDrive Air for only $33.99 — that’s 15% off the regular price. Allowing you to add up to 200GB of storage to your MacBook without resorting to a bulky external hard drive, the Nifty MiniDrive is a microSD card adapter that seamlessly plugs into your MacBook, sitting flush with the side so you can leave it in all the time. Integration with Time Machine lets you automate backups, or you…

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06:00
AMD crashes Intel's party: Powerful Zen CPUs...

A block away from Intel's Developer Forum in San Francisco, AMD brought together a select group of media and analysts to make one thing clear: Its long-awaited Zen processor actually exists, and it's on track to ship early next year for desktops. Sur...

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06:00
Whyd is a colorful take on voice-controlled wireless...

Just two years ago, Whyd was trying to mix up the music streaming world, with a service that let you collect tracks from around the internet, and put them in one place. Today, it's moving into hardware with a multi-room wireless speaker. Don't worry,...

| Read more »
05:48
Early Macs, 'Think Different' posters...

After Monday's closure of the New York City Tekserve retail and service location, nearly the entire array of Apple collectibles accumulated over two decades by the company will be sold in a live auction, with online bidding underway.

| Read more »
05:34
Could Amazon or Alphabet beat AAPL to be the first...

Back in 2014, some of the biggest investors in the U.S. suggested that Apple could be the first company to achieve a trillion dollar valuation by market cap, having gotten two-thirds of the way there that year before later slipping. Investment site Motley Fool yesterday acknowledged that the company could indeed be just ‘one home-run product’ away from this, but made the seemingly-unlikely argument that Amazon may get there first …

more…

Filed under: Apple...

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05:20
Uber will offer free rides in its self-driving cars...

After months of testing, Uber's self-driving cars are ready to pick up their first passengers. Bloomberg reports that the ride-hailing company will allow customers in Pittsburgh to request one of its autonomous Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles via t...

| Read more »
05:15
AT&T introduces higher-end data plans, removes...

Just ahead of the next-gen iPhone release, AT&T on Wednesday announced new data plans that finally eliminate overage fees for heavy users.

The new plans, which go into effect this Sunday, retail for $30 per month for 1 gigabyte, $40 for 3 gigabytes, $60 for 6 gigabytes, $80 for 10 gigabytes, $90 for 16 gigabytes, $110 for 25 gigabytes, and $135 for 30 gigabytes. The 25- and 30-gigabyte plans are significantly cheaper than before, having previously hit $175 and $225, but the bottom tier now has half the data of its old equivalent, and others have been replaced or removed, such as the $20/300-megabyte and $50/5-gigabyte options.

The new plans will have users’ speeds throttled once they hit their data cap. With previous plans, the company was...

| Read more »
05:11
The creator of Google's self-driving car now...

Bloomberg has taken a look at Uber's future in the autonomous vehicle world and uncovered a small, but important detail. The website is reporting that Uber has purchased Otto, the driverless freight truck startup that was launched a few months back....

| Read more »
05:06
AT&T’s New Cell Plans Eliminate Data Overage Fees

AT&T has unveiled a new set of mobile plans that trade data overage fees for a speed cap.

 

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05:01
Deus Ex Go turns the stealthy shooter into a sharp...

The history of mobile gaming is littered with middling-to-awful attempts to turn beloved, big-budget console and PC game franchises into touchscreen experiences, but Hitman Go was the rare example to the contrary—and Lara Croft Go was even better. 

Both titles came out of Square Enix’s Montreal studio, and showed the mega-publisher learning to build new experiences that captured the essence of the original franchise in novel and compelling ways, rather than cram an existing experience onto phones and tablets. Hitman Go turned the methodical assassination simulator into turn-based puzzle affair with board game-like charm, while Lara Croft Go evolved the premise even further and gave us a brilliant...

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05:00
Chick-Fil-A announces full Apple Pay support, will...

You can now snag Chick-Fil-A with Apple Pay.

Apple Pay has expanded to all Chick-Fil-A locations. According to today’s tweet, however, Apple Pay will be accepted at all Chick-Fil-A locations as of this Friday, August 19th. The mobile payment platform will be supported in-store and in the drive thru.

Chick-Fil-A’s adoption of Apple Pay comes after the company has experimented with QR-based solutions in the past. Those solutions ultimately failed, according to employees, much like other QR-based offerings we’ve seen. Chick-Fil-A has, however, supported Apple Pay in its recently revamped app on iOS.

Apple still has Chick-Fil-A listed as “coming soon” on its Apple Pay web site. Other entities listed as coming soon including Forever 21, Johnny Rockets...

| Read more »
05:00
The Linux Foundation Gives PNDA a Home


The Linux Foundation on Tuesday added PNDA -- the Platform for Network Data Analytics -- to its project menagerie. PNDA provides an open source, scalable platform for next-generation network analytics. It integrates data from multiple sources on a network and works with Apache Spark to crunch the numbers in order to find useful patterns in the data more effectively. The project is now available in its initial platform release. Early PNDA supporters include Cisco, Deepfield, FRINX, Intersec, Moogsoft, NGENA, Ontology, OpenDataSoft and Tupl.

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05:00
The real reason Apple dumbed down the iPhone 7 camera

I agree 100% with Chris Smith’s post on BGR about how the iPhone 7 is about to become inferior to the larger iPhone 7 Plus in a very significant way.

I greatly prefer the 4.7-inch form factor iPhone and won’t buy the larger “Plus size” iPhone because it’s too bulky and it can’t be used with one hand. Plus, my iPad Pro and MacBook usually aren’t far away for when I need a larger screen.

In his article Smith lists some of the possible excuses Apple might trot out for omitting the dual-lens camera from the iPhone 7:

  • It’s too bulky

If Apple removes the...

| Read more »
04:50
Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank add Apple Pay...

The total number of UK banks and card companies supporting Apple Pay has reached 20, as Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank announced that they now support the mobile payment platform. Though originally separate, the two banks were merged in 2005, retaining separate branding but operating as a single legal entity, CYBG

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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04:30
The AirScale is a convenient combination of luggage...

It’s a scale. It’s a device charger. It’s both in one. “It” is the AirScale from Oasix, a combination luggage scale and USB power bank that will appeal to road warriors. It can weigh luggage up to 88 pounds and can re-charge an iPhone or iPad.

The $59 AirScale sports an easy-to-read digital display showing luggage weight (in your choice of metric or imperial units) and battery power on your mobile device. The goal is to help you keep track of your baggage’s weight and avoid overweight baggage fees, while never running out of juice for your iOS devices.

Thanks to its 6500mAh battery, it can handle 2.5 recharges for most smartphones. And that’s just what it did with my iPhone 6s Plus. It did a quick recharge, thought not quite the 2.4 x times faster speed that the folks at Oaxis tout.

The AirScale is easy to carry thanks to its detachable strap and ergonomic design. It only weights 0.34 pounds and measures...

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04:15
How to see everything you've ever watched on...

Streaming is a curious beast. One minute you'll be enjoying the 80s vibe of Stranger Things (go watch it if you haven't already) and the next you'll be struggling to pick something from that overwhelming catalog. Sometimes, though, you'll stumble on...

| Read more »
04:10
Future iPhones could feature Intel processors, say...

Analysts are suggesting that Apple might in future buy the A-series chips it uses in iPhones and iPads from Intel, following an interesting turnaround by the chipmaker this week, reports Fortune.

Intel has long offered foundry services in which they manufacture chips designed by customers, but that service has so far been limited to chips based on its own architecture. As of this week, however, the company has announced that it will also be able to produce ARM-based chips. This would allow Intel to compete with TSMC and Samsung for Apple’s iPhone and iPad chip business …

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
04:00
The USB-C Quick Charge Cable helps eliminate cable...

Ravpower’s USB-C Quick Charge Cable helps eliminate cable fray for 12-inch MacBook owners. And I suspect it will be handy for those who buy the next gen MacBook Pros that I expect to roll out no later than October. 

It’s a Lightning to USB cable made of thick, sturdy PVC; you’ll have to consciously try to tear or break it. The USB-C Quick Charge Cable packs an authorization chip issued by Apple to ensure compatibility with any Lightning enabled iPad or iPhone. I’ve found it to be totally reliable for charging or uploading/downloading files. 

The USB-C Quick Charge Cable is plenty long at 6.6 inches (two meters). Yet it’s small enough to fit most case outcuts — although it doesn’t work with the LifeProof case for the iPhone 6/6s.

I’ve tried lots of Lightning cables, and this is one of the best. You can grab a USB-C Quick Charge Cable...

| Read more »
03:37
NASA will answer your questions about its journey to...

NASA has a ton of Mars-related projects that it hopes would culminate in sending humans to the red planet within the next 25 years. There's the stationary InSight lander that it plans to launch in 2018 and the next-gen rover that will succeed Curiosi...

| Read more »
03:00
Netflix moved cord cutting forward; it's also...

Netflix's vast video library makes it easy to cut the cord, but you can't see what's available unless you use its native app.

| Read more »
02:44
Google Chrome tests out a more personal New Tab page

A recent change to the Chrome Dev build on Android could indicate a new feature coming to the browser soon. Android Police points out that users are seeing a Google Now-powered content list on their devices, and I was able to pull it up easily after...

| Read more »
01:20
Airbnb takes down its experimental Trips app for...

Airbnb has pulled down an unreleased app it was testing from Google Play shortly after people caught wind of its existence and what it can do. The experimental application represents the future of the company, you see, one that goes beyond vacation h...

| Read more »

Wednesday August 17

23:39
NASA's asteroid-bound spacecraft will blast off...

It's official: OSIRIS-Rex is blasting off to meet a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu on September 8th, NASA has confirmed at a press briefing. The spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral and travel for two years before it reaches its destination. O...

| Read more »
22:36
Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac released with macOS...

Virtualization software Parallels on Thursday issued its latest release, Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, with a host of new features including support for Apple's upcoming macOS Sierra, a standalone Toolbox app and performance improvements.

| Read more »
21:58
Wikiverse turns Wikipedia into a visual universe of...

I've spent (too) many lazy evenings hopping from one Wikipedia entry to the next, reading things that could be useful for trivia night. It's fun enough, but this website that visualizes Wiki as a universe could make the experience even better for a l...

| Read more »
21:01
Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac arrives w/ macOS Sierra...

Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular software that lets you easily run Windows and other Intel operating systems (including other images of macOS) as virtual machines on your Mac, is today releasing the latest upgrade to version 12.

On top of getting Parallels ready for the release of macOS Sierra, version 12 introduces a number of great new features and an over 25 percent performance improvement, according to the company.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
21:01
Parallels for Mac has a new version, but no huge...

Enlarge (credit: Parallels)

Like clockwork, Parallels releases a new version of its desktop virtualization software for Mac computers every year. They often coincide with major new versions of the Windows and Mac operating systems, requiring major software changes to bring new Windows features to Apple computers or to make sure everything keeps working properly.

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac is thus being announced today, but there isn't much to be excited about. While Parallels can run just about any operating system in a virtual machine, its primary purpose is letting Mac users run Windows applications. For that use case, last year's Parallels Desktop 11 release is still good enough.

There was an obvious reason to upgrade to Parallels 11 last...

| Read more »
21:01
Parallels Desktop 12 launches with macOS Sierra...

Every August, those of us in the tech blogging business await news from Parallels about the latest edition of the company's virtual machine application, Parallels Desktop. Today, Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac launched with a suite of new tools as well as with improved performance to make running guest operating systems from Windows 10 to Chrome OS on a Mac a breeze. 

Parallels Desktop 12 is already compatible with macOS Sierra as a host operating system, and Parallels has announced performance improvements of up to 25 percent in certain operations. The company realizes that a lot of users don't back up their virtual machines, so each Parallels Desktop 12 license now includes a one-year subscription to Acronis True Image to make incremental backups of those VMs an automatic process.

For the first time, users will be able to purchase and download Windows 10 directly from Parallels Desktop, making setup...

| Read more »
20:32
McDonald's pulls plug on Happy Meal activity...

McDonald's Happy Meals might be beloved for their included toys, but the food inside is just as unhealthy as most of the menu at the Golden Arches. As the Rio Olympics approached, the franchise hoped to reverse its kids combo's poor nutritional reput...

| Read more »
19:23
Gene editing helps spot evolutionary link between...

Gene editing technology isn't just useful for curing the world's ills, it seems. University of Chicago scientists have used the CRISPR technique to discover a key evolutionary connection between fins and hands. Researchers edited fin-related zebraf...

| Read more »
18:41
Washington, DC apartment building offers an '...

While developers in San Francisco are subsidizing Uber rides for residents, one forthcoming apartment building in Washington DC's Mount Pleasant neighborhood is offering to make the actual experience of waiting even more comfortable. As the Washingto...

| Read more »
18:05
AT&T debuts data plans without overages ahead of...

AT&T on Wednesday revealed new data plans skewed in favor of its higher-end tiers, though also finally eliminating overage fees for heavy users.

| Read more »
18:00
LG adds brighter, more portable projectors to...

For the very truly dedicated cord-cutters out there, LG has just announced two new portable, battery-powered projectors that can be set up blissfully free of any audio, video or power cables. The two models in LG's Minibeam lineup will debut next mon...

| Read more »
17:28
Astronomers witnessed a white dwarf going nova

When a star explodes, astronomers usually scramble to point their telescopes in its direction, hoping to catch a glimpse of the aftermath. While this is a fine way for learning about the results of a nova or supernova, much less is known about the ev...

| Read more »
16:44
French mayor bans 'Pokémon Go' in his town

In what is either great technological misunderstanding or extreme territorialism, mayor Fabrice Beauvois wants every digital pocket monster out of his village. He mailed a decree to Niantic, creators of the mobile game Pokémon Go, demanding th...

| Read more »
16:20
Companies Can't Legally Void the Warranty For...

Reader Jason Koebler writes: Manufacturers that threaten to void the warranties of consumers who jailbreak or root their phones are violating federal law.Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, manufacturers cannot legally void your hardware warranty simply because you altered the software of an electronic device. In order to void the warranty without violating federal law, the manufacturer must prove that the modifications you made directly led to a hardware malfunction."They have to show that the jailbreak caused the failure. If yes, they can void your claim (not your whole warranty—just the things which flowed from your mod)," Steve Lehto, a lemon law attorney in Michigan, wrote in an email. "If not, then they can't."


...

| Read more »
16:03
Driverless buses to hit Finnish city's streets

Finland has been testing autonomous EasyMile buses on public roads for a little while now, but away from the hustle and bustle of its big cities. Now the Scandinavian country is ready to try out the adorable, driverless people-movers on the mean stre...

| Read more »
16:00
Apple Pay at Chick-Fil-A

Starting this Friday, August 19, you'll be able to use Apple Pay on your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for food and beverages at your nearby Chick-Fil-A restaurant. The fast food chain has been on Apple's list of "coming soon" retailers for a while, but until now there's been no confirmation that it was actually going to happen.

Roger Fingas at AppleInsider sent a tweet to the chain's Twitter channel, and received the following response:

@loneswords Yes, as of August 19th, Apple Pay and Android Pay are available for payment both in-restaurant and in the Drive Thru.

— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) August 17, 2016

...

| Read more »
15:35
Live-action 'Pokemon' film snags '...

There's a live-action Pokemon film on the horizon, and Variety reports Legendary has two great writers in its sights to help pen the feature: Alex Hirsch of Gravity Falls fame and Nicole Perlman, who helped pen Guardians of the Galaxy.

| Read more »
15:22
Intel's Project Alloy Tosses Reality Into a...


Intel on Tuesday presented its virtual reality vision -- a vision that mixes virtual and real worlds into a kind of merged reality -- to developers attending a conference in San Francisco. Mixing reality and unreality sometimes can be a recipe for disaster, but Intel thinks it will be a formula for success. At the center of Intel's vision is its Project Alloy mobile headset and its cutting edge RealSense software. The Alloy head-mounted device departs from other VR devices in that the headset housese all sensors and computing power.

| Read more »
15:11
Apple Pay rolling out to all Chick-Fil-A locations...

As Apple Pay continues to expand to more banks in the United States and around the world, it’s slowly coming to more retail locations, as well. Next on the docket for Apple Pay support appears to be Chick-Fil-A, according to a tweet from the restaurant chain.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
15:05
Hulu cozies up to Marvel, starts working on a '...

Netflix has been milking its relationship with Marvel with great success, churning out critically acclaimed -- and badass -- series like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Now Hulu's getting in on the action, too. As first reported by Deadline, the streami...

| Read more »
15:00
AWT News Update: August 17, 2016

Lots of great Apple news and rumors today that we've already covered on the website, but we have a few other stories we thought you'd find fascinating:

  • Target blames Apple for a drop in store sales during the previous quarter
  • AT&T announces new Mobile Share Advantage plans with more more data for less money, but be sure to read between the lines
  • Intel wants device manufacturers to adopt USB-C as an audio output standard
  • Apple adds 37 new US banks and credit unions to Apple Pay
  • Automatic goes Pro, adding a free 3G connection to it for car data logging and location tracking (see image above)

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Subscribe to the Podcast

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