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Tuesday December 27

14:10
Iran bans 'Clash of Clans' for encouraging...

The Iranian government has been censoring internet for years to keep its citizens from exposing themselves to content it deems inappropriate or radical. Now the people have been saved from another toxic scourge: The mobile game Clash of Clans. The co...

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13:41
Long-lasting sound waves in glass could lead to...

Sound lasts for a long time when traveling through glass (just hit a wine glass with your cutlery if you need proof), but controlling the lifetime of that sound? Not so easy. Yale scientists, however, have discovered a way to extend the lifespan of s...

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13:37
New holiday report shows Apple leading phone...

In a new report released today by Flurry Analytics, Apple has again once topped the charts this holiday season. Using a mix of phone and app activations, Flurry discovered that Apple saw more than double the number of smartphone activations as Samsung, and a noticeable increase in phablet device activations.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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13:10
How 'Rogue One' used CG to complete its...

Spoilers ahead for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Two weeks ago, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuted, a side tale devoted to bridging the gap between the prequels and original trilogy. But it also spent time with numerous nods to the latter, includi...

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13:00
No AWT News Update today

There are slow news days and then there are NO news days. It's so incredibly slow out there right now in the world of Apple that we're going to forgo today's AWT News Update podcast. Whether or not there will be one tomorrow depends on the level of activity during this "shutdown week", but we'll let you know.

 

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12:39
'Frog Fractions 2' found buried inside a...

Frog Fractions 2 is out now, but be warned that it's not a typical game. This is largely because its predecessor, Frog Fractions, was not a typical game, and series creator Jim Crawford is not a typical developer.

When Frog Fractions came out in 201...

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12:26
Apple saw twice as many mobile device activations...




Apple's iPhone and iPad trounced the competition this holiday, giving the company a 44 percent share of all device activations --?more than twice that of rival Samsung, new research suggests.

| Read more »
12:08
Republicans propose banning livestreams on the House...

Remember when House Democrats staged a sit-in to insist on a vote for gun control legislation, and relied on livestreams and social networks to keep their message alive when TV cameras weren't running? Republicans weren't happy about that... and now,...

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12:06
NBC's cash-strapped 'Breaking News'...




NBC is pulling the plug on its Breaking News service that feeds the eponymous iOS app on Dec. 31, and is leaving 9.5 million followers on Twitter in the dark as well.

| Read more »
11:41
Apple removes bank transfer payments from online...

In a small change to their online checkout system, Apple has removed the support for bank transfer payments (also known as prepayment) from their online store in Germany. It’s unclear if any other countries are currently affected in the online store change but the change today leaves German buyers with the choice of using a credit card, PayPal, or financing as payment options.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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11:39
"Ring In The New Year" Apple Watch...

Want a way to get "rewarded" for working off those extra holiday pounds? Apple has a "Ring In The New Year" activity challenge that sounds fun and will be great motivation to get moving. The challenge takes some work to achieve and will last all month long in case you accidentally backslide...

The "Ring In The New Year" badge at right, stickers at left. Now get moving!

According to Apple, "Earn this special achievement when you close all three Activity rings each day for any full week, Monday to Sunday, in January. You'll also earn special stickers in the Messages app."

Wow, so you get stickers AND one of those cool achievement pins! What do you need to do to get all three rings in a day? Standing and moving around at least 1 minute of 12 different hours each day, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, and meeting your personal move goal for burning active calories. 

The alert for this challenge should appear after midnight local time on Wednesday,...

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11:37
Samsung's 2017 TVs will keep track of your...

CES is nothing if not a show about TVs -- every year, Samsung, Sony, LG and many more parade out incremental upgrades meant to get us to open our wallets and upgrade our screens. In advance of next week's show, Samsung is announcing a piece of its st...

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11:34
Carrie Fisher, gone

This is very difficult, a body blow. Of course I remember Princess Leia, but when I think of Carrie Fisher, I think of Wishful Drinking (book and HBO special) and her great arc on 30 Rock.

And then there’s this.

Damn.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:06
A South Korean robotics company just built a real...

We won't have to wait much longer for our Robotech future. South Korean robotics manufacturer Hankook Mirae Technology debuted its first prototype piloted mech over the weekend. Say hello to the Method-2.

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10:59
Absent an Apple Siri alternative, Alexa hardware...




Amazon has declared the holiday 2016 shopping season as "the best-ever season" for its voice-driven personal assistant Alexa, despite having problems keeping the sought-after devices in stock.

| Read more »
10:34
Samsung's Galaxy S8 reportedly uses AI across...

Samsung has been eager to drum up attention for the Galaxy S8's AI assistant, but just how is it going to work, exactly? We still don't have the clearest picture, but some details might be coming to light. A SamMobile source claims that the Viv-based...

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10:10
Hulu will add about 50 Disney movies this year

For a lot of cord-cutters, Hulu is one of the best ways to stay on top of new TV episodes from major networks right after they air. But the service also has a fair share of movies, and that side of the business will keep growing thanks to a just-anno...

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09:52
Facebook Safety Check erroneously says a bomb...

Facebook's Safety Check program incorrectly said there was an explosion in Bangkok, Thailand, The Independent reported. For an hour beginning at 9PM local time on December 27th, anyone in Thailand's capital city saw reports of an explosion and a prom...

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09:30
9to5Toys Lunch Break: Apple Leather/Silicone iPhone...

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:

Apple’s official Leather & Silicone iPhone 7/Plus Cases hit Amazon all-time lows starting from under $30 Prime shipped (Reg. up to $50)
Apple’s iPhone 7 Smart...

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09:30
13 years later, HandBrake leaves beta

Anyone who has been around the world of Apple for any amount of time is familiar with HandBrake. It's a free open source video transcoder, meaning that it's the app you want to use when you need to rip a DVD into a format viewable on your Mac, iPhone or iPad. Sure, there are other commercially available packages, but HandBrake doesn't cost a dime and has a vibrant support community. After "just" 13 years of being in beta, HandBrake 1.0 was released on Christmas Eve.

What does version 1.0 bring to the table? Better performance on Skylake-based Macs, new MKV and JSON presets, new device presets, and improved audio/video syncing for "difficult sources". 

If you would love to grab all of those old DVDs and convert them to a digital format, there's no better app available for the task than HandBrake....

| Read more »
09:00
Samsung's 2016 went up in smoke

Samsung's year started well, all things considered. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were bona fide hits. The company's financials looked great. Its position as the global leader in the smartphone market was assured. And then the Galaxy Note 7 happened. Aft...

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08:29
Handbrake's video conversion app update was 13...

In the fast-moving world of modern app development, users can often wait days or a small number of weeks for an update. However, if you're the team behind Handbrake -- one of the world's most popular video conversion apps -- years can pass before you...

| Read more »
08:17
Sylvania announces Bluetooth-connected Apple HomeKit...




Early next year, Sylvania will release a new multicolor HomeKit-enabled Bluetooth lightbulb, allowing users to control the lights in their home without the need for a separate hub.

| Read more »
07:58
Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case (updated)

Amazon's Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something that can help with a murder case. According to The...

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07:51
Opinion: My end-of-year report card for Apple’s 2016...

Apple had rather a controversial year in terms of product launches. Its two new flagship products – the iPhone 7 and the new MacBook Pro – got most attention not for what they included, but rather what they left out.

Most of the press coverage of the iPhone 7 focused on the company’s decision to omit the 3.5mm headphone socket. This was despite the fact that the move had been so long rumored that I suspect Apple deliberately leaked its plans in order to give everyone time to get used to the idea.

With the year’s MacBook Pro, the headline new feature of the Touch Bar was largely over-shadowed by the company’s decision to go all-in on the relatively new USB-C standard, omitting all other ports bar (ironically) the headphone socket …

...

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07:49
Upcoming Sylvania Bluetooth Multicolor bulb will...

The new Sylvania Smart Multicolor A19 bulb announced today will be one of the first Bluetooth light bulb products we’ve seen that will communicate with Apple’s HomeKit platform without the need for a separate Wi-Fi hub product. That means you’ll simply screw in the lightbulb and connect it via Bluetooth to enable control using Apple’s Home app and Siri voice commands.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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07:35
Apple promoting fitness in January with month-long ‘...

Last month Apple introduced the first Activity Challenge for Apple Watch users on Thanksgiving Day, and now it appears a ‘Ring In the New Year’ challenge will be the next Activity Challenge. The next Apple Watch Activity Challenge has slightly different rules than the first…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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07:34
The LG Levitating Portable Speaker plans to go...

This is so CES. The Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas, is ground zero for absurd, oftentimes pointless technologica, and today LG proved that it can get weird with the best of them. Meet the LG Levitating Portable Speaker, a 360-degree omnidirectional speaker that can hover over its “Levitation Station” for 10 hours before descending for a recharge.

Otherwise known as Model PJ9 (did we miss PJ8?), the Levitating Portable Speaker features dual passive radiator technology for mid-range and high tones, and there’s a subwoofer embedded in the base station. LG describes the sound as “deep,” “flush” and “crisp,” because we’re talking about a speaker here, and no other adjectives will do.

...

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07:33
Cuba opens its first computer factory

Cuba is slowly opening up to technology, but it hasn't actually been making technology. Its exports are dominated by natural products like nickel, sugar and tobacco. The nation is about to diversify, however: it just inaugurated its first computer fa...

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07:09
Sell your old device to BuyBackWorld and lock in a $...




Looking to put a little cash back into your wallet? If you received a new device for the holidays or simply have an old iPhone, iPad or MacBook that's collecting dust, now is the time to lock in a price with a $20 cash bonus at BuyBackWorld. All devices with a trade-in value of $200 or more qualify for the bonus with promo code -- and you have 30 days in which to mail your trade.

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07:02
'Dark Souls' publisher bets on AI for...

Bandai Namco, the games company behind Tekken, Dark Souls and a whole bunch of Dragonball games, has invested in an artificial intelligence startup. The team at Heroz have an algorithm for shogi (Japanese chess) that's bested several professional hum...

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07:00
Accessible Apple: The 12 Requests of Christmas - Day...

A Perkins Brailler

This is the second post in our annual 12 part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year.

This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.

For the second request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

2. 6-Key Braille Input for macOS

On iOS, there has long been a feature that allows users who are familiar with Braille (the reading and writing code used by many blind and partially sighted people around the world) to type by tapping out sequences of Braille dots on-screen instead of using iOS's on-screen keyboard. The experience is similar to that of playing an on-screen piano.

In Braille, there are symbols that represent the letters of the alphabet, punctuation and other special indicators. There are also symbols called contractions, where either a single symbol or sequence...

| Read more »
06:45
SYLVANIA Smart Home introduces HomeKit-enabled Hub...

LEDVANCE has announced the HomeKit-enabled SYLVANIA Smart Multicolor A19 bulb, which can be easily controlled via Siri and Apple’s Home app without a separate hub. The Home app allows users to control all HomeKit accessories in one place, including lights, temperature, locks, garage doors, scenes and more.

For those times when you are away from home, Apple has also made it possible to control HomeKit-enabled products like the SYLVANIA Smart Multicolor A19 bulb using an Apple TV or iPad running iOS 10 as a home hub. You can also set lighting scenes and combine activities with other HomeKit-enabled devices to create custom experiences through the Home app. For example, turning on the lights, unlocking the front door and turning on the heat can be accomplished simply by speaking voice commands to Siri such as, “I’m on my way home.”

The HomeKit-enabled SYLVANIA Smart Multicolor A19 bulb will be available on...

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06:30
Pros and cons: Our quick verdict on the LeEco Le Pro3

The Le Pro3 is the first phone available in the US from LeEco -- a company already well-known in its native China for its mobile devices and TVs (among many other things). Similar to Motorola and OnePlus, LeEco is competing on price, with the Le Pro3...

| Read more »
06:28
Patent report: stain proof Smart Keyboard,...

The Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro is already pretty durable, but Apple wants to make it even more appealing. The company has been granted a patent (number 9,527,263) for a “stain proof textured fabric.” 

The stain resistant layer can be formed from a non-conventional anti-stain resistant resin that can conform to varying texturing geometries. In one embodiment, the stain resistant layer can be formed against a sheet of release paper having a texturing surface configured to form a textured surface on the stain resistant layer. Apple’s goal is to “add a stain proof resin layer to a plastic cosmetic surface without adversely affecting a cosmetic look and feel of the surface.”

Apple has also been granted a patent (number 9,529,391) for “button retention, assembly, and water sealing,” which indicates it’s looking toward waterproof, as opposed to water resistant, iPhones. 

According to the patent, a sealed physical button for use...

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06:07
Rumor: Apple to introduce 5-inch ‘iPhone 7s’

The Japanese site, Mac Otakara, (as noted by AppleInsider) says Apple will add a third form factor to its iPhone lineup in 2017, specifically a mid-sized 5-inch handset said to share internal components next year's 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch "s" cycle offerings. 

The supposed 5-inch iteration is also rumored to feature a dual-lens camera array with iSight modules arranged vertically rather than the horizontal configuration introduced with iPhone 6s Plus. Whether the design change extends to the "iPhone 7s Plus" —and potentially "iPhone 7s" —is unclear, notes AppleInsider.

Chances the rumor is true (IMHO): 90%. This makes sense; an “iPhone 7s” could be the successor to the iPhone SE.

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05:30
Turkey says it's investigating 10,000 social...

Turkey has been cracking down on internet activity at a frenetic pace ever since an attempted military coup in the summer, and it's now clear that there are a lot of people caught in the dragnet. The country's interior ministry has revealed that off...

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05:16
Apple engineer briefly discusses early iPhone work,...




Ex-Apple engineer Terry Lambert responsible for a large portion of the OS X kernel took to Quora to answer a question about the genesis of the iPhone, and surrounding secrecy.

| Read more »
05:15
Two additional Campus 2 aerial construction videos...

Apple’s Campus 2 project continues and a pair of killer new 4K drone videos show that the project itself is coming close to completion.

The videos, both shot on Christmas Day, show an empty work site for the holiday, but offer spiffy new clues such as the majority of solar installation complete and a lot of work continuing at the auditorium where future Apple events will be held while the second video takes us on a Christmas morning tour around Apple Campus 2 as it exists today.

The Campus 2 project should be wrapped up this time next year, with Apple looking to wrap up construction in the first quarter and landscaping scheduled to be completed over the summer.

Come this time next year, Apple should be moved in to the new headquarters with construction set to wrap up in the first quarter of next year and landscaping scheduled to be completed over the summer.

Via...

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05:00
Apple says it will work with Consumer Reports to...

Following up on Consumer Reports refusal for the first time to recommend the 2016 MacBook Pro due to inconsistent battery life, it looks like Apple will be working with the publication to try to sort out potential issues with the battery.

“Working with [Consumer Reports] to understand their battery tests,” Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marking Phil Schiller tweeted. “Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data.” Apple claims its internal testing has seen the new MacBook Pro providing up to 10 hours of battery life when watching iTunes movies or browsing the web.

Consumer Reports’ test has come under scrutiny since publication of the non-recommendation. The tests were conducted by opening a series of 10 web pages sequentially on Safari. This tests’ inconsistency had the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar registering 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours of battery life. A 15-inch MacBook Pro ranged from 18.5 hours to 8 hours of battery life.

... | Read more »
04:45
New version of CarbonCopyCloner fully Sierra...




The new version of long and storied app CarbonCopyCloner adds full macOS Sierra support, plus implements features aimed to make using it easier and faster for everybody to use -- AppleInsider delves into the latest version.

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04:34
Samsung's 'creative' CES ideas:...

Last year, Samsung brought a boatload of projects from its Creative Lab to CES. C-Lab projects it considered for business opportunities included a motion controller, a smart belt and a smart band for watches. The WELT fitness tracking belt eventually...

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04:31
Engineer who wrote 6% of OS X kernel shares a few...

Terry Lambert, a former senior software engineer who claims he wrote about 6% of the OS X kernel, has shared a few snippets about the secrecy surrounding the original iPhone project, codenamed Project Purple. Writing in a Quora post last month, Lambert says he was brought into the project to help debug the kernel.

more…

Filed under: Apple...

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04:30
Some features that would make Siri a better digital...

There's an app for the Android platform — called, appropriately Android: Cal, that has a "Headsup" that I'd love to see implemented in iOS and macOS.

Before, during, and after your meeting, Android: Cal prompts you with tools and shortcuts to help you prepare, get there, take notes or video, and wrap up when it's done. As noted by lifehacker, before your meeting, Headsup will prompt you with a reminder in enough time to get there on time, shortcuts to get directions or find a cab or car, a button to review the meeting attendees, and quick buttons to help you notify the organizer that you'll be late if you're running behind. 

During the meeting, Headsup displays buttons to shoot video or record audio of what's going on, take a photo (so you can snap pictures of a whiteboard or presentation), a shortcut to mute your phone, a shortcut to add any to-dos to your list, and a button to send a summary email of what...

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04:04
HandBrake, the ultimate video format converter,...

It’s common practice for apps to launch first in beta-test format for a few weeks or months, to allow early users to provide feedback before the official release. Video conversion utility HandBrake must, though, have set a new record: after 13 years in beta, the app has finally officially launched as version 1.0.0…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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04:00
Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear is an excellent, flexible...

Libratone's first on-ear wireless headphones, the Q Adapt On-Ear, is one of the best audio products I’ve used. It’s flexible, comfortable and has fantastic sound quality. Whether you’re listening to music or watching movies on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone at home, in the office, or on-the-go, this is a fine device.

The headphones have four built-in microphones and full phone connectivity capabilities. Tapping the touch (yep, touch) interface with two or more fingers answers or ends a call. (I found that light taps work better than “hard” ones.)

The Q Adapt connects to the iPhone 7/7 Plus via a Lightning connector, which alleviates the problem (if it is a problem for you) of the lack of a headphone jack on the latest smartphones. The headphones features Libratone’s signature (and cool) Hush function, which silences audio with a wave of the hand over the ear cups, which means there’s no need to take them off to hear...

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Monday December 26

22:58
Trent Reznor talks about the iPod, vinyl records,...

Reznor fascinates me and I’ve always enjoyed his thoughts on just about any subject.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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22:42
HandBrake 1.0.0 Released

Back in the day, Handbrake was an indispensable tool for ripping CDs. Now, I use it regularly to re-encode videos for the Apple TV.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
21:41
Report: Apple planning new 5-inch iPhone model with...

2017 is expected to be a big year for the iPhone and a new report from Japanese outlet Macotakara this evening claims that Apple is planning the addition of yet another iPhone model. According to the report, Apple plans to introduce a 5-inch iPhone with the refresh next fall…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
21:18
Apple rumored to introduce 5" 'iPhone 7s...




A rumor out of East Asia on Tuesday claims Apple will add a third form factor to its iPhone lineup in 2017, specifically a mid-sized 5-inch handset said to share internal components next year's 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch "s" cycle offerings.

| Read more »
19:38
Tesla's next-generation Superchargers should be...

Tesla's Superchargers are certainly faster than most public EV stations, but they're still far slower than you might hope for. When it can take about 40 minutes to get an 80 percent charge, you can't exactly grab and go like you would at a gas pump....

| Read more »
18:20
Dark matter scientist Vera Rubin dies at 88

It's a sad time for the astrophysics world. Vera Rubin, who was instrumental to confirming the existence of dark matter, has died of dementia at the age of 88. While the concept of dark matter had been proposed by Fritz Zwicky back in 1933, it was Ru...

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18:00
Apple Publishes Its First AI Research Paper

When Apple said it would publish its artificial intelligence research, it raised at least a couple of big questions. When would we see the first paper? And would the public data be important, or would the company keep potential trade secrets close to the vest? At last, we have answers. Apple researchers have published their first AI paper, and the findings could clearly be useful for computer vision technology. From a report on Engadget: The paper tackles the problem of teaching AI to recognize objects using simulated images, which are easier to use than photos (since you don't need a human to tag items) but poor for adapting to real-world situations. The trick, Apple says, is to use the increasingly popular technique of pitting neural networks against each other: one network trains itself to improve the realism of simulated images (in this case, using photo examples) until they're good enough to fool a rival "discriminator" network. Ideally, this pre-training would save massive...

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17:46
LG teases new Bluetooth speaker with ‘levitating’...

CES 2017 officially kicks off next week, but like a lot of manufacturers, LG is trying to get a head start by teasing some of the new products it has planned. In a press release this evening, LG announced a new Bluetooth speaker that “hovers in midair,” according to the company…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
16:59
Fake news starts an Israel-Pakistan Twitter dispute

There's no question that fake online news can have dire consequences, but it's now clear that this is true even on an international scale. After a false story claimed that Israel was threatening to nuke Pakistan if it sent troops into Syria, Pakistan...

| Read more »
15:25
Samsung's Gear VR browser gets improved WebVR...

One of the best reasons to (still) consider a Galaxy S7 smartphone is the Gear VR headset support, and with Google's Daydream a looming rival, Samsung wants to keep things that way. As such, Samsung recently updated its Internet for Gear VR browser u...

| Read more »
14:51
Apple strengthening its relationship with Foxconn as...

According to a new report from Chinese news outlet the Economic Daily News, Apple is “aggressively” working to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. The company has been working with Foxconn on the efforts, the report explains, further strengthening the partnership between the two parties.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
14:44
AWT News Update: December 26, 2016

Apple is on a break this week, so it's like to be a very slow week for news. We'll have plenty of reviews and feature articles for you, though, and of course we'll scour what little news does appear in order to bring you the News Update:

  • Apple's AI team publishes its first public paper regarding the subject of Generative Adversarial Networks to improve synthetic training images
  • Apple may not have "lucky bags" at Japanese Apple Stores this year, but they will have sales of some sort on January 2nd, 2017
  • The Nokia vs. Apple war escalates, with connected-self manufacturer Withings becoming an unwilling casualty

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

Text Version

Hi,...

| Read more »
14:39
Apple's first AI research paper focuses on...




Apple last week published its first scholarly research paper, an article covering methods of improving recognition in computer vision systems, marking a new direction for the traditionally secretive company.

| Read more »
14:32
Deals: 2016 15" MacBook Pro for $2,199; iPad...




As we head into the New Year, Apple authorized reseller B&H is slashing prices on MacBooks and iPads by up to $250. Save $200 on the base 2016 15" MacBook Pro or take $250 off the high-end model with 512GB of storage and Radeon 455 graphics. Apple's 32GB iPad Air 2 (Wi-Fi Only) is also $40 off, while shoppers can save $200 on a 2015 13" MacBook Pro with no tax outside NY.

| Read more »
14:00
Review: Inateck WP2001 Wireless Presenter

Ending the year on a bad note - the Inateck WP2001. Photo ©2016, Steven Sande

Anyone who gives presentations in either Keynote or PowerPoint knows just how useful a wireless presenter — a Bluetooth tool used to change slides and move through bullets in a presentation — can be. Today we’re looking at the Inateck Wireless Presenter WP2001 (US$14.95), a device that is sadly both outdated in function and design, but has a low price tag as its only saving grace.

Design

I do a lot of presentations and classes, so I’ve tried a lot of wireless presenters. The WP2001 is made of black plastic and features the standard forward/back/laser buttons on top. The buttons are made of a soft silicone material and feel good, and the device itself is large enough to not be easily lost but small enough to fit comfortably in the hand.

On the bottom is a door for a single AAA battery....

| Read more »
14:00
Microsoft Could Be First Tech Company To Reach...

Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn could help the Redmond company become the first technology giant to reach a market value of $1 trillion, or so thinks a notable analyst. Analyst Michael Markowski believes that Microsoft will be able to leverage LinkedIn to become a leader in social media space and the emerging crowdfunding platform. So much so that it will beat Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in becoming the first company to hit $1 trillion market value. From a report on GeekWire: Here are the market caps of these big tech companies as of Monday morning: Apple: $622.6B, Alphabet: $549.7B, Microsoft: $489.3B, Amazon: $358.7B, and Facebook: $337.6B. "The public has an insatiable appetite for making small bets and purchasing lottery tickets, etc., that provide the chance to make a big profit," Markowski wrote. "The millennials will be a good example. Many will want to routinely invest $100 or even less into high-risk ventures that could produce returns of 10X to...

| Read more »
14:00
The best thermometer for kids and adults

By Caroline Weinberg

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its wor...

| Read more »
13:00
Accessible Apple: The 12 Requests of Christmas - Day...

Apple's Accessibility Icon

It's that time of year again - another year over and a new one just around the corner! Christmas and several Apple keynotes have all come and gone, and we are now into the 12 Days of Christmas.

This is the first post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year. To read last year's requests, just click or tap this link.

This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.

For the first request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

System Preferences > Accessibility > Speech. Screenshot from macOS 10.12.2

1. A New Speech Manager for macOS

To anyone who has used VoiceOver on macOS for any length of time, the...

| Read more »
13:00
Apple Working With Consumer Reports on MacBook Pro...

Last week, Consumer Reports concluded that it won't be recommending Apple's new MacBook Pro models. The American magazine published since 1936 by Consumers Union, a nonprofit organization, cited inconsistent battery issues for not recommending the MacBook Pro for the first time in its history. Apple's VP of Marketing has since addressed the report, saying they are working with the magazine to understand the results. From a report: Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller followed up with a tweet late Friday saying Apple is "working with CR to understand their battery tests. Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data." Consumer Reports' review says that in-house testing revealed wild fluctuations in battery life for unplugged MacBook Pro computers. In the case of the 13-inch model without a Touch Bar, for example, battery life ranged from 19.5 hours to just 4.5 hours. Apple says the devices should operate for up to 10 hours between charges.

...

| Read more »
12:28
Apple publishes its first AI research paper

When Apple said it would publish its artificial intelligence research, it raised at least a couple of big questions. When would we see the first paper? And would the public data be important, or would the company keep potential trade secrets close...

| Read more »
11:03
9to5Toys Lunch Break: Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery...

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:

Apple’s iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case drops to its Amazon all-time low: $85 shipped (Reg. $99)

Check out these APC Power products in...

| Read more »
11:00
2016: The Year That Was


2016 really was a year like no other. We had yet another election defined by the misuse of analytics -- and folks seem to be getting worse rather than better at this. We had a rush to robotics, particularly self-driving cars, and some firms even leaped ahead to self-flying, people-delivering drones -- which we called "flying cars" just a few years back. We had a wave of fake news, mostly paid for by Google, because that company, as always, has no compass. It appears to be shaming nations into regulating it, suggesting it has no sense, either.

| Read more »
11:00
Apple's Beef With Nokia Gets Intense, All...

In less than a week after Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement in courts around the world, saying that Apple has refused to license its patents, Apple has pulled all Withings products from its stores. Earlier this year, Nokia bought Withings, which makes Wi-Fi scales and other digital health and fitness gear.


...

| Read more »
10:54
How to screen share with iOS and macOS to help...

Over that last month your friends and family have probably purchased or been gifted a range of new devices, and odds may be good that you’re the go-to for tech support. Sometimes it works to problem solve by voice or text message when you aren’t with the user in need, but it’s often better to see what they’re seeing and also have some remote control access. Keep reading after the break for three ways to remotely help others more efficiently.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
10:30
Pros and cons: Our quick verdict on the Oculus Touch

The Oculus Rift VR headset went on sale back in March, but it was only this month that the optional motion controllers arrived. Better late than never, though. In fact, if you already own the Rift, you're going to want to spend an extra $199 on the O...

| Read more »
10:28
Apple announces annual Japanese New Year online and...

Following in the tradition of previous years, Apple is preparing customers for it’s annual sale in Japan starting January 2.  In the past Apple used to hand out ‘lucky bags‘ to customers containing a multitude of different products, though that promotion appears to have ended back in 2015. This year’s sale isn’t quite clear as to what it entails.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
10:22
Best photography apps for your new iPhone 7 and 7...

Christmas has come and gone, but for many the holiday celebrations will continue onwards for the next week. Apple’s latest flagship iPhone may just be sitting wrapped and tucked away for many of you, and we decided it was a great time to introduce some enhanced photography apps.

Here are some of the best photography apps in the iOS App Store that can help you take advantage of the best that your new iPhone 7 can offer…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
10:08
Daily Deal! The Movavi Multimedia Editing Bundle for...

Christmas is just past, and we hope that you get plenty of video of friends and family because if you did, we have just the bundle for you to turn those clips into a lasting memory. The Movavi Multimedia Editing Bundle for Mac is on sale for the next 5 days for just $43.95, regularly selling for $109.89. 

This bundle consists of three powerful components, each of which can be useful on its own but shines when put together with the other two apps. The apps are:

Movavi Video Editor for Mac (usually $39.95)

  • Import videos, photos, or folders & choose the right aspect ratio for your projects
  • Trim & crop fragments, cut footage into parts, rotate frames...
| Read more »
10:07
Apple publishes its first AI research paper online...

The usually secretive Apple recently signaled that it would begin publishing artificial intelligence research, and now it appears that the first example of this has appeared online.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
09:53
For fact-checking website Snopes, a bigger role...

Snopes is my go to site for debunking general fake news.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
09:42
Apple to hold New Year’s Sale in Japan starting...

What a great way to spend your Christmas money.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
09:13
Apple allegedly deepening partnership with Foxconn...




Apple is turning to manufacturing partner Foxconn to facilitate efforts to expand both research centers and business further into Southeast Asia, and open up facilities in China and Indonesia, according to recent reports.

| Read more »
08:46
Boxing Day, explained

For my family, Christmas Day was always for relatives’ visits. Boxing Day was the day you went to visit friends.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
08:39
Apple has pulled all of Nokia’s Withings products...

Not surprising, given the court proceedings going on between the two companies.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
08:37
Depth Effects for your iPhone camera [Sponsor]

Now everyone can get beautiful Portrait Mode photos with their iPhone. Depth Effects gives you the power to apply a striking depth of field to any photo. Get DLSR-quality focus and bokeh with simple controls. Also, Depth Effects is the best app for anamorphic depth of field and cinematic bokeh.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
08:36
17 incredibly useful Google products and services...

We often rightfully complain about Google but it does provide a lot of interesting data driven information.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
07:54
App Store trends suggest top Christmas gifts: VR,...




Apps for iPhone-connected accessories are among the most popular downloads and search terms following Christmas, offering some insight into the types of toys that proved to be popular gifts this holiday.

| Read more »
07:40
Apple Campus 2 4K drone footage captures auditorium...

 

Apple’s massive Campus 2 project has been years in the making and construction is on track to finally wrap up over the next few weeks. And thanks to the magic of drone technology and a few generous pilots, we’ve had a birds-eye view of the major progress on site this year. Now two new 4K drone videos offer a beautiful holiday snapshot at just how far along the progress has come…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
07:00
Review: The AirPods are fine wireless headphones for...

Andrew Cunningham

When we reviewed the iPhone 7 in September, we also got to spend some time with a pair of the fancy new wireless AirPods. At the time, the “final” versions were slated to ship in just a few weeks, but the planned late October release was delayed with no reason or time estimate given. AirPods didn’t actually start shipping until earlier this month, and quantities were limited enough that shipping times quickly slipped to January and February.

Apple doesn’t usually like to announce things early, and...

| Read more »
06:47
Five of the best board game conversions for your new...




A niche category of the expanding game market on iOS are board game translations. AppleInsider goes beyond Monopoly and Scrabble and looks into five of the best more advanced board games that benefit from an iOS implementation.

| Read more »
06:10
Best and worst fitness wearables of 2016: The year...

(credit: Valentina Palladino)

2016 was a year of looking inward for most companies making wearables. Big names like Fitbit and Garmin released a handful of totally new products, but most companies focused on making improvements to their existing products. While refinements are not as exciting as brand-new product debuts can be, they show us the direction in which fitness trackers are moving.

This time last year, the open question was if smartwatches and all-purpose devices like the Apple Watch would kill fitness-only devices like those made by Fitbit. Thanks to developments made this year, we can say that both categories will likely survive—mostly because the consumer wearable landscape has expanded to encompass a few distinct categories: the "move more" devices, the serious training devices, and the all-purpose smartwatches. Most of the second- and even third-generation products that came out this year fit into these...

| Read more »
06:07
Latest 4K drone footage of Apple's '...




The latest drone footage of Apple's new headquarters under construction taken on Christmas day shows much of the heavy equipment gone, with the entire site's landscaping being developed on a larger scale than previously seen.

| Read more »
05:15
Nintendo looks to release 2-3 titles per year on...

In just under two weeks, Super Mario Run has rocketed to the top of Apple’s App Store charts and has surpassed 50 million downloads.

That being said, and because Nintendo likes money and fiscal solvency, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that Super Mario Run is just the start of a new strategy for mobile gaming. The company plans to release two or three new games next year, and continue that pattern beyond 2017, he said. Previously it was reported that popular titles Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing were on tap for a mobile release.

Kimishima offered no details as to whether future Nintendo mobile titles would be released in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, but said it is working on bringing Super...

| Read more »
05:00
djay Pro receives Apple Design Award

The Apple Design Awards have just been announced and djay Pro by algoriddim GmbH.

The app, which retails for $9.99 on the App Store, features just about every innovation and feature under the sun for both aspiring and experienced users looking to make music, including the following:

Powerful DJ Interface:
• Jog Wheels
• Waveforms
• Four Decks
• Sampler
• Video
• Landscape & Portrait Modes

Spotify Integration:
• Instant access to over 20 million songs
• Playlists, Songs, Charts, Browse
• Match: cloud-based song recommendations powered by The Echo Nest
• Instant access to BPM and Key information through the cloud
• On-the-fly playlist editing and song saving
• Drag & Drop from Spotify app
• Powerful audio...

| Read more »
04:23
ChronoSync 4.7.1 adds cloud services and smart...




New features make stand-alone backup app ChronoSync easier and quicker to use -- AppleInsider sees if it can add to, or replace, Apple's Time Machine.

| Read more »

Sunday December 25

18:25
NASA uses space laser to study polar ocean plants

Usually when you think NASA you conjure up images of Mars and space stations. But the agency also conducts important climate research. One of those projects is the Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) aboard the Cloud-Aerosol Lid...

| Read more »
16:30
Ben Heck's sound-switching headphones

You might not have wondered what Felix was like as a baby, but you're about to find out. Ben hacks apart a VTech baby monitor so that it's possible to listen to your favorite music with headphones, with interruptions when your little one need...

| Read more »
14:30
AI was everywhere in 2016

At the Four Seasons hotel in South Korea, AlphaGO stunned grandmaster Lee Sodol at the complex and highly intuitive game of Go. Google's artificially intelligent system defeated the 18-time world champion in a string of games earlier this year. Backe...

| Read more »
12:30
Report: Snap Inc. spent millions to get better at...

The creators of Snapchat are running toward an IPO at full speed, but it seems to have nabbed itself a neat holiday gift along the way. According to a report from The Calcalist (as interpreted by The Times of Israel), Snap Inc. recently acquired an I...

| Read more »
12:26
Binge on video, read until your heart's content...




Not only can you work with it, but that new iPad of yours is going to be how you relax and how you stay informed -- AppleInsider picks the apps that should've come in the box.

| Read more »
11:20
Hands-on with Akitio’s new Thunderbolt 3 storage...

I’ve been testing two new Thunderbolt 3-enabled storage enclosures from the fine folks at Akitio. The Thunder3 Duo Pro is a hardware RAID-enabled enclosure that can accommodate two 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives. The Thunder3 Quad is an enclosure that supports up to four 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives. The Quad lacks a hardware RAID controller, but you can use utilize software RAID at the OS level.

Both enclosures feature dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, which allow the devices to be daisy-chained, and both feature DisplayPort connectivity for supporting external 4K displays at 60Hz without needlessly occupying the adjacent Thunderbolt 3 port.

In this hands-on video, we unbox both enclosures, and mate them with 550MB/s SATA-III solid state drives. What we found was impressive speed when paired with the latest MacBook Pro....

| Read more »
11:00
'Hidden Figures' is the uplifting NASA...

Tales of the space race between the US and Russia inevitably focus on the white male scientists and astronauts who seemingly did the impossible. But it's important to remember that those folks had plenty of support from people of all backgrounds. Hid...

| Read more »
10:00
How Rebecca Minkoff uses tech to make her fashion...

Nike and Adidas aren't the only lifestyle brands designing their retail spaces with technology in mind. Others such as Rebecca Minkoff, a fashion label based out of New York City, are taking similar steps by implementing things like smart mirrors and...

| Read more »
09:59
Buyer’s Guide: 10 apps to buy with that iTunes gift...

One of most common holiday gifts every year is an iTunes gift card. It seems that when people don’t know what to buy for a tech enthusiastic or a teenager, the go-to fallback is an iTunes gift card.

If you’re one of those people who received an iTunes gift card (or more than one) this holiday season, read on as I break down some of my favorite iOS apps to spend that budget on. If apps aren’t your thing, check out Apple’s “Best of” lists for some of the top music, movies, and tv…

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
 

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Software Updates via MacUpdate

Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 21.0.2 - Profe...
Illustrator CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Illustrator customer). Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 is the industry... Read more
Paparazzi! 1.0b2 - Make user-defined siz...
Paparazzi! is a small utility for OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. This very simple tool takes screenshots of websites which do not fit on one screen. You specify the desired width, minimal... Read more
Monodraw 1.2.1 - Powerful ASCII art edit...
Monodraw allows you to easily create text-based art (like diagrams, layouts, flow charts) and visually represent algorithms, data structures, binary formats and more. Because it's all just text, it... Read more
Monodraw 1.2.1 - Powerful ASCII art edit...
Monodraw allows you to easily create text-based art (like diagrams, layouts, flow charts) and visually represent algorithms, data structures, binary formats and more. Because it's all just text, it... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.1.3 - Powerful imag...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.11 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music Library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Typinator 7.1 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
Geekbench 4.0.4 - Measure processor and...
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand,... Read more
Skype 7.44.0.364 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Skype 7.44.0.364 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more

ROME: Total War - Barbarian Invasion set...
To the delight of mobile strategy fans, Feral Interactive released ROME: Total War just a few months ago. Now the game's expansion, Barbarian Invasion is marching onto iPads as a standalone release. [Read more] | Read more »
Yuri (Games)
Yuri 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's night. Yuri opens his eyes. He wakes up in a strange forest.The small, courageous explorer rides on his bed on casters in this... | Read more »
Space schmup Xenoraid launches on the Ap...
10Tons Xenoraid is out today on the App Store, bringing some high-speed space action to your mobile gadgets just in time for the weekend. The company's last premium title, another sci-fi game titled Neon Chrome, did quite well for itself, so... | Read more »
Star Wars: Force Arena Beginner's G...
Star Wars: Force Arena joined the populous ranks of Star Wars games on mobile today. It's a two-lane MOBA starring many familiar faces from George Lucas's famed sci-fi franchise. As with most games of this nature, Force Arena can be a little obtuse... | Read more »
Mysterium: The Board Game (Games)
Mysterium: The Board Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The official adaptation of the famous board game Mysterium! | Read more »
Sonny (Games)
Sonny 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: Reimagined for iOS, cult-hit RPG Sonny brings challenging turn-based combat that requires strategy and mastery of each new skill to... | Read more »
Towaga (Games)
Towaga 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "It has been foretold that a masked being would stand atop the legendary Towaga Temple, dwelling among shadows to fulfil The Black Moon... | Read more »
Bubble Witch 3 Saga Guide: How to get th...
King's bringing its fairytale bubble-popping puzzler back for its 3rd outing in Bubble Witch 3 Saga. If you're familiar with the series, not much has changed here on the surface level, though you'll likely be pleased with the improvements. If you'... | Read more »
Sunless Sea sails onto iPad this spring
Failbetter Games, the folks who brought you Fallen London, are celebrating their 7th birthday today. To commemorate the event, the team revealed that Sunless Sea is coming to iPad this spring. | Read more »
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Games)
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $14.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Gameplay | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save with Apple refurbished iPad Pros, models...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Amazon drops 12-inch Retina MacBook prices to...
Amazon has 2016 12″ Apple Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free. The following configurations are available: - 12″ 1.1GHz Silver Retina MacBook: $999.99 $300... Read more
Cartella Slim Cases Put The ‘Book’ Back Into...
Minneapolis based Pad and Quill has just released the Cartella Slim Case for the 2016 Macbook Pro that puts the ‘book’ back into Macbooks! When you hold it, it looks & feels like an actual book…... Read more
iOS Reference App Terminology Goes Free with...
Texas based Agile Tortoise has announced Terminology 4.0.1, an updated version of its iPhone and iPad reference app. Since it hit the App Store in July 2010, Terminology has been one of the most... Read more
Sale! New 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros for $12...
Amazon has the new 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for a limited time for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro, Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1299.99 $200 off... Read more
Back in stock: 2015 12-inch Retina MacBooks,...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for up to $410 off original MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook,... Read more
Major PC Vendors, Apple, Grow Despite Fifth C...
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. For the year... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale f...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 13″ Touch Bar Apple MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch... Read more
Week’s Best Deals: 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more

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*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Premier Retailer - PT Service Specia...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
*Apple* Premier Retailer - Service Manager -...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 54267729 Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States Posted: Jan. 6, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Read more
Senior Workstation Administrator - *Apple*...
…you'll realize yours, too. QualificationsJOB SUMMARY/OVERVIEWThe Senior Workstation Administrator - Apple supports the mission of TriNet by providing advanced level Read more
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