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Tuesday February 7

The core design principles of Apple’s spaceship...


But what was most striking to those who worked on the project was Apple managers’ insistence on treating the construction of the vast complex the same way they approach the design of pocket-sized electronics.

Apple’s in-house construction team enforced many rules: No vents or pipes could be reflected in the glass. Guidelines for the special wood used frequently throughout the building ran to some 30 pages.

Tolerances, the distance materials may deviate from desired measurements, were a particular focus. On many projects, the standard is 1/8 of an inch at best; Apple often demanded far less, even for hidden surfaces.


Apple’s novel approach to the building took many forms. Architect German de la Torre, who worked on the project, found many of the proportions – such as the curve of a rounded corner – came from Apple’s products. The elevator buttons struck some workers as resembling the iPhone’s home button; one former manager even...

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∞ New Apple ad: 16 photographers, 15 cities, 6...

[VIDEO] Great ad. Great music. Watch the video and read more in the main Loop post.

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Facebook says it can't police all posts for...

Facebook has a lot of control over what you see in your social feed, but it can't control everything... at least, according to its lawyer. While defending against a German lawsuit over misuse of photos in fake news, the company's attorney said it wa...

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TLS vulnerability in popular iOS apps allows user...

A number of popular apps are vulnerable to a 'man-in-the-middle'attack due to poorly implemented TLS protection, an examination of apps in the iOS App Store has revealed, with a security researcher claiming it is possible to read data sent back to the app developer's servers for 76 apps.

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I wish Apple loved books

Daniel Steinberg:

I was an early embracer and adopter of iBooks Author. I could produce beautiful books. The software was initially frustrating but they improved it in significant ways early.

Then they stopped.


iBooks Author could have been a trojan horse into the personal publishing business. It would have been classic Apple. Instead of small authors going to Amazon’s platform, they would have started with iBooks Author. Apple should have made it easy for them to push to Amazon as well. Why? Because these people wanted to publish on Amazon but they weren’t considering publishing with Apple. Thousands of authors would have come to Apple to create content and stayed with Apple after publishing content there.

Daniel Steinberg knows of which he speaks. He’s an excellent writer, and dedicates himself to teaching others. If you get the chance to hear one of his talks, do so. More to the point, he’s no curmudgeon.

A post worth reading,...

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BeatsX earphones go on sale February 10 at US Apple...

The delayed BeatsX earphones will be available to buy from this Friday, February 10, in the US at and Apple retail stores. The BeatsX are a new neckband design from the company and the last set of wireless headphones with W1 chip to be released, following the launch of the Powerbeats 3, Solo3 headphones and the Apple AirPods.

Beats have also unveiled two new colors, grey and blue, in addition to the white and black finishes (via CNET). Only the white and black BeatsX will be available this week, the other colors will come later.


Filed under:...

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Apple plans new smaller Ultra Accessory Connector (...

Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac:

Apple is planning to adopt a new connector type for accessories for iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices through its official Made-for-iPhone (MFi) licensing program. Dubbed the “Ultra Accessory Connector” (UAC), Apple has recently launched a developer preview of the new connector type to prepare manufacturing partners for the component that in some cases will replace the use of Lightning and USB connectors, according to sources familiar with the program.

I can see the benefit of a smaller footprint for tiny devices. Question is, will this be a new standard for all devices or purely for the smallest? And will there be an easy adapter that you can pop onto the end of a Lightning connector, or will this require an all new set of cables?


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How to customize the MacBook Pro Touch Bar, add...

The 2016 MacBook Pro adds a new way of using macOS with the addition of the Touch Bar, featuring dynamic touch controls, sliders and buttons, close to your fingers next to the row of static keys. Depending on the app, the Touch Bar changes context and shows relevant buttons for what you are doing.

You can also take this one step further and change what the Touch Bar offers yourself: Apple has made it pretty customizable. You can add new buttons for a particular app, take others away, as well as adjust the persistent Control Strip items on the right side of the Touch Bar. Here’s how …


Filed under: Apple ...

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Google AMP and the original URL

Google Developers Blog:

Today, we’re adding a feature to the AMP integration in Google Search that allows users to access, copy, and share the canonical URL of an AMP document.

My biggest issue with AMP is the difficulty in turning a Google-AMP formed URL back into a non-AMP URL I can share. For example, here’s an AMP formed URL from the Google News page:

As you can plainly see, the original...

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Tim Cook visits Apple supplier Dula in Germany as...

Tim Cook is continuing his trip around Europe, this morning tweeting that he today visited the Dula assembly buildings in Vreden, Germany. Dula is an Apple supplier partner which Apple uses to make and assemble furniture and fittings for its Apple retail stores.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple's Campus 2 repeatedly delayed by emphasis...

A Tuesday profile of Apple's upcoming Campus 2 headquarters -- said to be lining up for a spring opening -- suggests that much of the reason for the project's delay was Apple managers' insistence on refining small, normally inconsequential details.

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Apple’s ‘spaceship campus’ has ‘astonishing...

Apple’s “spaceship campus” is a “futuristic campus built with astonishing attention to detail,” according to Reuters. The price tag for the project is estimated at $5 billion with more than $1 billion allocated for the interior of the building alone (though Apple hasn’t confirmed these figures).

The Apple Campus 2 is seen under construction in Cupertino, California in this aerial photo taken January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger

What’s so astonishing about the project. Here are some tidbits, according to Reuters:

  • When completed, the campus will house up to 14,200 employees.
  • The main building boasts the world's largest piece of curved glass and will be surrounded by a lush canopy of thousands of trees. No vents are...
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Your Vizio TV is secretly tracking you

The Federal Trade Commission:

Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.


On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

And, worst of all:

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary...

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Pokémon Duel is somewhat clever, but also frequently...

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Pokémon Go might have seemed like a fad, but even though it’s no longer the widespread craze it was last summer, the game recently passed an estimated $1 billion in revenue—faster than any other mobile game to date. We’ve highlighted some ways in which the game has...

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Truphone offers data plans for Apple SIM-equipped...

Truphone customers in Spain now have the option to sign up for a roaming data plan in 40 countries, including the U.S, Australia, France, Germany, and the U.K. - with the ability for customers in other countries to sign on coming soon.

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Future Apple headphones may double as speakers

A future Apple headphone may double as a portable speaker, hints a new patent. That would be something from the Beats line, not a future AirPod (though, admittedly, that would be impressive).

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,565,490) for “dual mode headphones and methods for constructing the same.” This would alleviate the necessity of carrying both headphones and an external speaker, the company says.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the patent: “Dual mode headphones, and methods for constructing the same are provided. Headphones can be connected to an electronic device to provide an audio output. The headphones can include a transducer or other component for providing sound waves at appropriate levels near a user's ear. To provide audio as a speaker, however, circuitry in the headphones can include a powered amplifier that may be selectively used. 

“The headphones can be moved between a first, in-ear position and a second, speaker position. A sensor in the...

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Rumor: Apple could start production of iPhone 8...

Apple could start production of its next-gen iPhone earlier than expected.

Per BlueFin Research Partners, there’s “some indication” from the supply chain that Apple will ramp up production of the iPhone 8 starting in June, but that doesn’t necessarily point towards an earlier non-September release date.

The report offers the following quote:

The most intriguing data points that we have uncovered suggests that AAPL is ramping the next generation iPhones earlier than historical norms, although we have no indication that there has been any change in release plans for the iPhone 8/X.[…]

Interestingly, our present reads suggest a 300% increase in iPhone 8/X builds in the June quarter, now sitting at 9M. As a result, overall June quarter builds have increased from 45M to 48M, with the sharp increase in iPhone 8 offset somewhat by modest declines in legacy models.
Given the radical design changes expected in the iPhone 8, it is unsurprising that the...

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Apple joins coalition of 97 companies filing amicus...

When 97 companies come pounding on your door, it may be time to listen.

Apple, along with 96 other companies, including Silicon Valley powerhouses such as Google and Facebook, filed an amicus brief late on Sunday to oppose the immigration order introduced by US President Donald Trump. An amicus brief is a legal filing that allows parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to offer their opinions to the court.

The brief says an open-ended ban does not aid America’s national security and instead undermines its interests. It notes that 200 of the companies in the Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.

Other backers include Alphabet (via Google), Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Uber. Amazon is not listed but this is because Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, is already backing the original lawsuit. The amicus brief legally supports the cases filed in Washington and Minnesota.

The brief, which focuses on the immigration, ban from Iran, Iraq,...

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Dozens of popular iOS apps leave user data...

Dozens of iOS apps that are supposed to be encrypting their users’ data don’t do it properly, according to a security researcher.

Will Strafach, CEO of Sudo Security Group, said he found 76 iOS apps that are vulnerable to an attack that can intercept protected data.

The developers of the apps have accidentally misconfigured the networking-related code so it will accept an invalid Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate, Strafach claimed in a Monday blog post.   

TLS is used to secure an app’s communication over an internet connection. Without it, a hacker can essentially eavesdrop over a network to spy on whatever data the app sends, such as login information.  


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Apple spaceship campus interior details: polished...

We have been watching the exterior of the Apple spaceship campus develop over the last few years via drone videos but details about the interior design are much more scarce. In a lengthy article, Reuters reports that Apple Campus 2 is almost finished with a move-in date set for the spring.

The article gives some new insight into the meticulous design of the building, such as Apple’s insistence that no vents or pipes can be reflected in the glass. It also sounds like much of the fixtures and fittings mirror iPhone hardware design: “one former manager even likened the toilet’s sleek design to the device” …


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Apple granted patent for 'dual mode'...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent covering a next-generation headphone design that automatically transforms into a stereo loudspeaker on the fly, potentially laying down a blueprint for future EarPods, AirPods or Beats models.

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Monday February 6

Killer Deal: Apple's Late 2016 13-inch MacBook...

While supplies last, AppleInsider readers can save $200 on Apple's latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with instant and coupon savings, plus free expedited shipping and no sales tax outside NY and NJ. This deal matches the lowest price we've ever seen for this brand-new MacBook Pro.

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Dozens of Popular iOS Apps Vulnerable To Intercept...

Researchers at Sudo Security Group Inc. discovered seventy-six popular applications in Apple's iOS App Store that had implemented encrypted communications with their back-end services in such a way that user information could be intercepted by a man-in-the-middle attack. According to Ars Technica, the applications could be fooled by a forged certificate sent back by a proxy, allowing their Transport Layer Security to be unencrypted and examined as it is passed over the internet. From their report: The discovery was initially the result of bulk analysis done by Sudo's, a service that performs bulk static analysis of application binaries from Apple's App Store. Will Strafach, president of Sudo, verified the applications discovered by the system were vulnerable in the lab, using a network proxy configured with its own Secure Socket Layer certificate. In the post about his findings being published today, Strafach wrote: "During the testing process, I was able to confirm 76...

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How to view AirPods hardware details, check and...

Last week, Apple silently updated its completely wireless AirPods earbuds to version 3.5.1. The move came as a surprise to many as Apple hadn’t made it explicitly clear that the AirPods were capable of receiving firmware updates.

Nevertheless, read on for how to check the firmware of your AirPods and update it…


Filed under: Apple ...

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Is the current dongle-centric Apple product lineup...

Earlier today, we reported on a new connector type Apple is working on through its Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Called the Ultra Accessory Connector, or UAC, it’s a smaller connector type that could (though likely won’t) come to products and/or accessories down the line.

Even if it doesn’t are you satisfied with Apple’s current “transition” environment with dongle add-ons everywhere?

Take Our Poll
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Apple shares new 'One Night' ad as part of...

Apple on Monday aired the latest of its iPhone 7 commercials, once again putting the handset's imaging capabilities front and center with a collection of videos and photos from around the world, all captured on a single night.

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Apple shares simplistic Shot on iPhone 7 ad called ‘...

Apple this evening has shared a new Shot on iPhone 7 ad that highlights images taken by photographers around the world. The ad is entitled “One Night” and set to a jazzy piano track, coming in at 1 minute in length.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses rumored Paris retail...

As part of his tour through France, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday sat down to discuss a few hot topics including the company's EU tax bill, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and a Parisian retail store rumored to take root along the storied Avenue des Champs-?lys?es.

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“West Wing” oral history

I think this show is in the top five of all time best. I still watch it in its entirety every few years. It tailed off in the last few seasons but it was always watchable.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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[Sponsor] Jamf Now

For many people, IT is a task and not a career. Now you can support your users without help from IT.

Jamf Now is a simple, cloud-based solution designed to help anyone set up, manage, and protect Apple devices at work. Easily configure company email and Wi-Fi networks, distribute apps to your team, and protect sensitive data without locking down devices.

[Daring Fireball readers can create an account and manage three devices for free].1 Forever. Each additional device is just $2 per month. Sign up today.

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SalentOS Switchers Will Have No Regrets

SalentOS is a Linux distro that easily can put a smile on your face. It is a flexible and accommodating desktop platform that balances demands on system resources with efficient performance. SalentOS is not well known, but it has much to offer. This distro makes it easy to leave behind whatever other computing choice you currently use. Salent has been around for the last few years on the Ubuntu base. Its latest release shifts its foundation with an approach that includes elements of GNOME and XFCE desktops. However, it uses neither.

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As he continues France trip, Tim Cook talks AI/AR,...

While making the rounds in France this past weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an interview to French newspaper Figaro. In the interview, Cook discussed a wide-range of topics, including Apple’s interest in building on Champs-Elysees, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and taxes.


Filed under: Apple ...

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IDC: Apple sees first year-over-year decline in...

According to the latest IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from the IDC research group, the smartphone market in China saw 19% year-over-year (YoY) growth and 17% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ)_ growth in the fourth quarter of 2016. It was the first time that Apple has seen a YoY decline in the People’s Republic of China market.

For the full year of 2016, the market grew by 9% with top Chinese smartphone vendors taking up a larger share of the market, according to IDC. The four Chinese vendors in the top five were the same in 2015, and their share grew from 46% in 2015 to 57% in 2016, according to the research group.

Even though the new black colored iPhones caught the attention of consumers, overall, the new launches did not create as much of a frenzy compared to the past for Apple, says Tay X iaohan, senior market analyst with IDC Asia/Pacific's Client Devices team. Despite the decline, IDC doesn’t...

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AWT News Update: February 6, 2017

No, not THAT kind of jawbone. Image via

Happy Monday! We're back for another week of podcast fun with three stories:

  • Accessory manufacturer Jawbone is quitting the activity tracker biz and trying to reinvent itself for the fourth time
  • One research firm thinks Apple could start building the 2017 iPhones as early as June to get a head start on inventory and issue resolution
  • Apple has told accessory manufacturers about a new Ultra Accessory Connector it would like to see on headphones and headsets

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.


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Apple is developing a new connector for Lightning...

Longtime users invested in Apple’s products have accepted (often begrudgingly) that the company attitude towards connectivity is that it will use the technology—sometimes proprietary—that puts its products in the best light instead of what’s most convenient for the user. So you end up with an iPhone without a headphone jack and invest in Lightning headphones that work well and sound great, but due to firmware limitations on the headphones, you can’t use them with the USB-C port on your new 12-inch MacBook.

According to a report by 9to5Mac, there’s a new connector type on the way. 9to5Mac says that Apple is working on what is being called the Ultra Accessory Connector (UAC), which is to be used with iPhone and iPad accessories.


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Hands on first impressions with HP’s ENVY 27, an...

If you’ve decided to pass on LG’s UltraFine Display there are only a few other options when it comes to 4K USB-C displays. Jordan covered the best choices back in November and now all of these displays are available (with varying degrees of stock).

There are a few compromises that come along with the $500 ENVY 4K display compared with options like Lenovo’s ThinkVision X1 or LG’s 27UD88-W, but I decided to try HP’s ENVY 27 with price, design, and specs hitting a good portion of my wish list. Keep reading after the break to hear about my first week with this new display.


Filed under...

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Watch all the 2017 Super Bowl commercials

Unless you are one of those fans who watched the six plus hours of pre-show, you might not have seen all the commercials and their associated pre-game teasers.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Popular apps with 18,000,000 combined downloads in...

After scanning through the binary codes of applications in the iOS App Store, Will Strafach’s service has detected that 76 popular apps in the store are currently vulnerable to data interception. The interception is possible regardless if App Store developers are using App Transport Security or not. A few months ago, similar vulnerabilities were discovered with Experian and myFICO Mobile’s iOS apps.


Filed under: Apple...

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Meet Spotty: a free upcoming app that brings Spotify...

If you’re a Spotify Premium user with an Apple Watch, you’re well aware of a big glaring omission as far as watchOS apps are concerned. Indeed, we’re approaching two years since the Apple Watch arrived in stores, and there’s still no official Spotify app for watchOS.

Developer and second year undergrad CS student, Andrew Chang, is aiming to lessen the void when he releases Spotty — a currently-in-beta, free third-party app that will allow Spotify Premium users to sync playlists and albums for offline playback.

That’s right; the app’s offline mode lends users the option of leaving their iPhones at home or in the car while engaged in Spotify-powered music workouts.

Spotty is a super-impressive app that works with all models of Apple Watch. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as I take the app for a test drive. more…


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Apple formalizes 8-pin 'Ultra Accessory...

Apple has issued a developer preview on a connector, now dubbed the Ultra Accessory Connector, intended to ease connectivity and adapter problems associated with "Made for i"-certified headphones.

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Apple’s “new” UAC port wasn’t made by Apple and it...

Enlarge / This connector, sometimes called an "Ultra Mini Connector" or "UC-E6," isn't new and it's not an Apple creation. (credit: Mitsumi)

A 9to5Mac report making the rounds today claims that Apple would be adding support for a new connector to its "Made For iPhone" accessory licensing program. Dubbed the "Ultra Accessory Connector" or "UAC" in Apple's documentation, the report claims this is a new port, smaller than Lightning or USB-C, that could be used to charge devices or transfer data.

In reality, the UAC is just Apple's name for a port that is already used in some digital cameras and other accessories—Apple has just given it a new moniker...

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UK's BT publicly supports Google, fears Apple...

Google has received some support in's ongoing Android antitrust case with the European Commission from British Telecom, with the U.K. communications giant allegedly getting involved to help prevent Apple from becoming too dominant in the smartphone market.

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The Travel Series: Packing your tech

I love to travel and when I do, I take along my tech gear. In this first of a series I’ll be writing over the next few weeks, I’ll describe how I pack my gear for a long trip and what’s important to take with you while traveling.

The Computer Bag or Backpack

It’s a really good idea to have just one bag or backpack for all of your gear, as it makes it simple to find everything quickly without having to search through multiple bags. For years, I’ve used a backpack as my tech travel bag as it gives me a hands-free option for carrying my stuff. It’s useful for those times when I might have a lot of other luggage to wrangle.  I’ve used something similar to the SwissGear Skyscraper backpack seen at right for years. It has a separate padded area for a laptop (or at this time, a couple of iPads and DSLRs plus extra lenses), a second compartment for cables, power adapters and so on, and then a...

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Lady Gaga’s halftime show drones have a bright future

I’d heard rumors of this and was interested to see how they would pull it off. Looks like it went really well.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Japan's space junk collection experiment ends...

Well that's disappointing. On January 27th, Japan's space agency (JAXA) successfully launched the Kounotori 6 spacecraft to the ISS. It was supposed to test a novel method of dragging space debris out of orbit however a technical issue prevented the...

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Google may lean on a partner to sell Android apps in...

Google's presence in China is limited, to put it mildly, but it might have found a way to get its foot in the door. The Information sources claim that Chinese internet veteran NetEase is talking to Google about launching the Play Store in China. Ther...

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Moto Z hackathons create more interesting Mods than...

The modular Moto Z was the tool of choice at the latest Motorola hackathon in San Francisco this past weekend. Developers and entrepreneurs took on the task of hacking the mobile phone with a variety of other hardware to come up with innovative add-o...

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Vizio tracked and sold your TV viewing habits...

A settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General will cost Vizio $2.2 million. That sum will settle the charges with both the state and federal agencies after a complaint that Vizio installed software on 11 million s...

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LG UltraFine 5K displays with extra shielding coming...

Although not every LG UltraFine 5K display has exhibited the problem, some of the ultra-high-resolution displays have experienced issues when placed near Wi-Fi routers. AppleInsider is reporting that the monitors have been given additional shielding in newer builds, and that the shielded monitors should be at Apple retailers soon.

The website noted that LG is claiming that the displays with enhanced shielding "will be in the market 'after February 2017'", although some stores have already received the new units. The issue that forced the design change occurs with some monitors when they're placed near a Wi-Fi router. Apple World Today editor Dennis Sellers reported that he has not...

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Apple may open second Dubai store in March, shutters...

Apple's second outlet in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai could open in March, a report claimed on Monday. Meanwhile, the company's Danbury Fair Mall outlet in Connecticut has temporarily shut down, presumably to grow into an adjoining space.

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Lenovo's new pro laptops include one built for...

Lenovo knows that it's not enough to build laptops that support virtual reality -- you need laptops that can create virtual reality, too. To that end, it's releasing a trio of pro workstations headlined by one that's primed for VR production. The 17-...

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Apple plans new smaller Ultra Accessory Connector (...

Apple is planning to adopt a new connector type for accessories for iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices through its official Made-for-iPhone (MFi) licensing program. Dubbed the “Ultra Accessory Connector” (UAC), Apple has recently launched a developer preview of the new connector type to prepare manufacturing partners for the component that in some cases will replace the use of Lightning and USB connectors, according to sources familiar with the program.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Deals: Free Kensington USB-C Dock ($200 value) with...

Kicking off the week, B&H Photo is throwing in a free Kensington SD4600P USB-C Docking Station with Power with the purchase of any Late 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro (on top of instant savings and no tax outside NY and NJ). Apple's 128GB iPad Air 2 is also $40 off, while 13-inch MacBook Pros are $1,399 ($100 off).

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AR/VR evangelist predicts a ‘smart glasses’...

AR/VR evangelist Robert Scoble has tweaked his predictions about an Apple partnership with Carl Zeiss on a pair of smart glasses, and is predicting an announcement of the technology possibly as early as the middle of 2017, reports AppleInsider.

He thinks that such an announcement could be in conjunction with an Apple headquarters announcement, or possibly the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Scoble expects a very lightweight pair of glasses, with the electronics on other places on your body, such as in an iPhone or other wearable.

Zeiss currently markets the VR One Plus, a headset with special optics that turns almost any smartphone into a virtual or augmented reality system. Similar products, commonly called viewers, are available from Samsung and Google. 

There’s evidence that Apple is conducting AR/...

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'Rock Band VR' is coming to the Oculus...

You won't have to wait much longer to play Rock Band VR. Developer Harmonix has announced that its virtual reality title is launching for the Oculus Rift on March 23rd, with pre-orders available now through Amazon. You should keep in mind that the bu...

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Back to School promotions on Mac, iPad Pro start in...

Apple has launched a series of Back to School promotions in Australia and New Zealand, with purchasers of new equipment online or at Apple Retail getting gift cards for a future purchase at the Apple Store.

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 6...

Notable software releases this week include Airfoil 5.5.2 and CleanMyMac 3.7.2.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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ExtraBITS for 6 February 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, LG admits to interference problems with its UltraFine 5K Display, and Apple is reportedly adding more ARM-based chips to the Mac.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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PiQ puts AI to work in the 'world's first...

Baseball bats and tennis rackets aren't the only pieces of sports equipment that are getting smarter these days. Ski maker Rossignol and consumer electronics company PIQ announced on Monday that they have created the world's first "connected" ski. Be...

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Apple launches its Back to School promos for New...

Apple is launching its annual Back to School promotion on Macs and iPads this week in New Zealand and Australia. The “Back to Uni” promotion runs throughMarch 16.

In New Zealand, a qualified Mac purchase includes a NZ$105 Apple Store Gift Card and a qualified iPad purchase includes a NZ$75 Apple Store Gift Card. In Australia, Mac purchases include a A$100 Apple Store Gift Card and iPad purchases come with a A$70 Apple Store Gift Card.

Apple also introduced a similar promotion in Japan, offering students an ¥8,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a new Mac and ¥5,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of any new iPad Pro.

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Second developer betas of iOS 10.3, tvOS 10.2, Xcode...

Apple today made the second betas of iOS 10.3, tvOS 10.2, Xcode 8.3 and watchOS 3.2 available to developers. 

Several bugs in iOS 10.3 beta 1 were fixed. Users were being routed to an "iCloud Analytics" page if they hadn't signed in yet during setup, and iCloud nightly backups were sometimes failing with a "Some files were unavailable during the backup" error. These problems should be resolved, along with some issues with managed and shared devices and Xcode Simulator. 

Issues still exist with the new SiriKit car commands, Lightning video adapters, and the Location and Play Sound for AirPods feature.

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Was Apple's Outstanding Q1 a Fluke?

Apple had a good quarter, but if you look under the numbers there is a ton of trouble. It just dropped behind Google in brand value, and some analysts have predicted valuation will crater in a few months. The iPhone 7 did well, but that shouldn't be a surprise, given that its biggest competitor, Samsung, saw its phone literally go up in flames last quarter. The Galaxy 8 is coming, though, and it looks really impressive. This suggests Apple's one-up quarter is not repeatable, unless Samsung decides burning phones is a feature.

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Uber hires a NASA guru to help it understand flying...

Uber is eager for the day when you can take a flying car across town, and it just landed a key hire that could help make this a reality. The company has recruited Mark Moore, NASA's technology lead for on-demand mobility, as its director of engineeri...

| Read more »
Apple issues second betas of iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2,...

Apple on Monday supplied registered developers with the second pre-release beta builds of forthcoming updates to three of its four major software platforms: iOS, watchOS and tvOS.

| Read more »
Three prepares for spectrum race with UK Broadband...

Three announced today that it has agreed to buy UK Broadband Limited for £250 million, making Ofcom's impending spectrum auction altogether more interesting -- as interesting as spectrum auctions can be, anyway. UK Broadband isn't a household n...

| Read more »
Apple rolls out Maps transit directions in New...

Apple has once again expanded the availability ot public transit directions in its Maps apps for iOS and macOS, this time brining them to New Orleans a few weeks ahead the city's annual Mardi Gras festival.

| Read more »
Apple kicks off Back to School 2017 promotion on...

Apple is launching its annual Back to School promotion on Macs and iPads this week in New Zealand and Australia. Localized as ‘Back to Uni’, this year’s promotion runs from February 7 to March 16 and includes Apple Store credit for qualified purchases. Apple’s Back to School promo is also live in Japan.


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
Apple rolling out iOS 10.3 beta 2 for iPhone and iPad

Apple is rolling out the second iOS 10.3 beta for developer testing on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The upcoming software update includes Find My AirPods support, CarPlay improvements, Apple’s new filesystem, and more. We’ll update and highlight any changes discovered below.


Filed under: Apple ...

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tvOS 10.2 beta 2 rolling out for Apple TV

Apple is rolling out the second tvOS 10.2 beta for developer testing on Apple TV. tvOS 10.2 focuses on “new features, bug fixes, and improvements in the OS and SDK” according to developer release notes.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple releases watchOS 3.2 beta 2 for Apple Watch

Apple is rolling out the second watchOS 3.2 beta for developer testing on Apple Watch. watchOS 3.2 beta includes Theater Mode which disables raise-to-wake and mutes alerts.


Filed under: Apple ...

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What Snap's IPO tells us about Spectacles...

When Snap Inc officially filed its IPO last week, we finally got our clearest look yet at its operations. In addition to learning that its co-founders will be donating up to 13,000,000 shares of their stock to a philanthropic organization the company...

| Read more »
9to5Toys Lunch Break: 9.7-inch iPad Pro $450, Apple...

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.


Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro is discounted by...

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Apple cedes ground in growing Chinese smartphone...

The iPhone is being overtaken in China by a raft of new locally-produced smartphone rivals, according to a new report, which shows Apple's market share dropping despite greatly increased smartphone shipments in the region.

| Read more »
Scientists map every atom inside a nanoparticle

Even the smallest defects can create serious problems. It's a good thing, then, that researchers have found a way to map nanoparticles at an "unprecedented" level of detail -- they've located the 3D positions of all 23,000 atoms in an iron-platinum...

| Read more »
Daylite: Business Productivity App for Mac & iOS...

If you’re struggling to juggle business coming in while managing current projects, then Daylite is a tool you definitely want to check out.

If you need to be able to share client and project information, delegate tasks, share calendars and emails, and track projects – Daylite can help you do this all in one app.

Daylite is used by lawyers, consultants, real estate agents, photographers, designers, and other small businesses all over the world. It helps you organize and share information so you save time and get more done.

The best part about Daylite is it’s not a web app, so you can keep working even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Try Daylite free for 30 days!


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Intel brought 300 drones to the Super Bowl

It wasn’t live, but Intel’s 300 drones in the sky behind Lady Gaga at the start of the Super Bowl Halftime Show were impressive nonetheless. What started out as a sea of floating lights came together by the end of the bit to form an American flag. It was impressive, cool, and it was all thanks to the ever-growing interest in drones.

The Super Bowl was the third public outing in the U.S. for Intel’s Shooting Star quadcopter drones following several weeks of aerial shows at Disney World in Florida. It was also a record-breaking moment for Intel’s drones, which were allowed to fly up to 700 feet for the first time after receiving special permission from the Federal Aviation Authority.

To read this article in full or to...

| Read more »
UK MPs propose heavy fines for social networks that...

Although the government is looking to curb the rise of social media abuse by introducing tougher penalties for online trolls, companies like Facebook and Twitter currently don't face much pressure over the policing of their platforms. That could soon...

| Read more »
Korean watchdog backs Samsung's findings on...

Although Samsung has already revealed what caused its Note 7 smartphones to catch fire, an independent government firm is now confirming the tech giant's findings. The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, which analyzes and enforces product sa...

| Read more »
Shielded LG UltraFine 5K displays headed to Apple...

Thunderbolt 3 LG UltraFine 5K displays boasting enhanced shielding to prevent radio frequency interference disconnects and crashing are working their way to retailers now, and problematic units in the field will be assessed for service and shielding addition on a case by case basis, AppleInsider has learned.

| Read more »
Google Maps now offers easy access to important info

Google Maps' Marcus Lowe has announced a tweak to the service that makes it significantly more useful for Android users. Nestled at the bottom of the home screen will be a new section containing real-time information for busy travelers. Simply swipe...

| Read more »
Google project turns your daily routine into custom...

Most fashion isn't truly personal unless you design it yourself, and most people aren't about to fire up a sewing machine to make that happen. However, you might only need your phone to get a custom look in the future. Google and H&M's Ivyrevel...

| Read more »
The race underground

Fascinating documentary on PBS about the race to build the first subway. Turns out the Great Blizzard of 1888 was the trigger, crippling the entire northeast of the United States, heaping up to 40 feet of snow in places, shutting down all transportation.

Well worth watching.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with fashion designer...

Following his visits to two French Apple stores over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday met with several local business owners, including fashion designer Julien Fourni?.

| Read more »
∞ The weird, yet interesting, Super Bowl ad with...

[VIDEO] There were lots of fine Super Bowl ads yesterday, but none struck me as weird and interesting as the Snickers spot with Star Wars’ Adam Driver.

The ad is embedded in the main Loop post. Take a watch through it, then read on.

The ad is just weird, right? What makes it interesting to me is the fact that it was shot “live”, or at least gave that impression. After all, Adam Driver (Jeremiah in the ad) mentions that it is the third quarter, and even points out the current score. And then proceeds to “ruin” the commercial by missing his lines and causing the set to self destruct.

As to the live part, I suspect the spot was all filmed in advance, planned for the third quarter. As to the correct score, I suspect that was a live voiceover drop-in. You can’t really see him say the score. Driver doesn’t emerge from the shadows until he announces that it is the 3rd quarter.

But I did find the spot fascinating, its live drop-in setting the stage for future...

| Read more »
Apple objects to 'free ride' requests by...

Apple has complained to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission over the resistance of major banks in the country using Apple Pay, with a recent filing claiming a request to open up access to the iPhone's NFC controller would effectively allow banks to avoid using Apple Pay entirely.

| Read more »
The Apple Watch “wow” moment

Rene Ritchie:

When iPhone first came out, it was cool but it wasn’t some abstract coolness that made people’s eyes light up. It was the specific coolness of pinch-to-zoom in Photos or Maps, or Cover Flow in iPod. Those were immediately, undeniably cool.

When Apple Watch first came out, I had trouble finding a similar demo. It didn’t help that Watch wasn’t a minimally delightful product in the same way as iPhone. Apple introduced it with a bevy of features which made isolating one as the go-to demo harder: Mickey may have made people smile but it didn’t make them want to immediately rush out and buy.


But Apple Pay and Wallet? That’s the “Wow!” moment. That’s the demo I’d been looking for and the one that’s been right in front of me this whole time. It’s what my friends, who recently go Apple Watch, are messaging me all excited about. It’s what the guy at the coffee shop counter loved when I stepped up, tapped, paid, and was on my way while the person...

| Read more »
BT defends Google and Android in EU antitrust case

Google has found an unlikely ally in one of its many battles with the European Commission. As the Telegraph reports, UK telecoms provider BT has sent a letter defending Google's ownership of Android and the promotion of its own apps and services. Whi...

| Read more »
Apple and the long game

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note:

Apple’s unexpectedly strong numbers caused Wall Street’s doomsaying visionary sheep to suddenly tell rosier AAPL share price tales.


Apple plays the Long Game and seems to play it well.


A reliable measure of Apple’s ambitious expectations is its R&D expense: It keeps climbing, 19% higher than last year. Another sign can be found in the Off-Balance Sheet section of the 10-Q. This year, Apple has committed $24B in manufacturing purchase obligations — money promised to suppliers. That’s a 16% increase over last year’s $20.7B. This doesn’t mean that the company’s output will increase by a similar amount, but it’s always a reliable trend indicator. For example, we saw the same number go down from $21.6B in December 2014, to $20.7B in 2015, a timeframe in which Apple revenue also declined.

This is but a small slice of Jean-Louis’ look at Apple’s long game. His Monday Note is always a great read.

... | Read more »
External Link: LG Raises Shields on UltraFine 5K...

LG has confirmed to TechCrunch that its UltraFine 5K Display can suffer interference when placed near a Wi-Fi router. The company recommends keeping the screen at least two feet away from routers. If that isn’t possible for you, or if that doesn’t solve the interference problems, LG advises you to contact your nearest LG customer center. LG told TechCrunch that monitors made after this month would include better shielding. If all else fails, you could try wrapping the back of the display in aluminum foil — just make sure not to cover any cooling vents!


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with...

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The Leap Week: Did Apple Really Have a Record...

An anonymous reader shares a blog post: Apple stated that Q1 FY2017 was an all-time record for quarterly revenue. The media dutifully and mostly uncritically spread this "great" news for Apple. Technically the claim is true, the revenue was an all-time record. True but misleading. Although Apple didn't lie as such, you might say there was a sin of omission, and a definite spin of the facts. Most Apple fiscal quarters are 13 weeks long. Once in a while, however, they need a 14 week quarter. You might call it a "leap quarter". There was a good explanation of this financial practice a few years ago in Slate. Apple's Q1 2017 was a 14 week quarter, for the first time since Q1 2013. John Gruber writes at DaringFireball, "Adjusted for the extra week, Apple actually had another down quarter."


| Read more »
BeatsX earphones sporadically appearing in stock for...

The BeatsX earphones have been showing up briefly in stock for in-store pickup today at various stores across the United States on Apple’s Online Store tracker. However, the availability quickly turns back to currently unavailable and the ‘Add To Bag’ button for purchase remains grayed out.

The Best Buy website has also changed to an option to ‘check stores’, rather than an out of stock notice. Whilst the stock weirdness may suggest that a launch is imminent, perhaps later this week, it does not seem like they will be launching today.


Filed under: Apple...

| Read more »
Airbnb wants to house 100,000 displaced people in...

Airbnb was one of several tech companies to take a firm stance against Trump's immigration ban last weekend, but the company has since expanded its assistance beyond just those affected at American borders. In a blog post titled #weaccept, Airbnb's f...

| Read more »
Apple joins tech company coalition to oppose Trump...

Google, Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple and Twitter are among a large group of companies that have filed a brief in opposition to an immigration order by U.S. President Donald Trump, citing the benefits to industry from liberal immigration rules and the disruption to business as a result of the regulation.

A total of 97 companies from the technology and other sectors asked permission late Sunday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to file an amici curiae, also known as a friends-of-the-court brief, in favor of maintaining a restraining order from a lower court on Trump’s decision that restricts the entry of certain classes of visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.

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

| Read more »
Apple floats idea of refurb iPhone sales as...

Apple is looking to revive the idea of importing and selling refurbished iPhones in India as a possible condition of it starting local manufacturing in the country, a report said on Monday.

| Read more »
An entire 'Pokemon' game is playable...

When you think of Minecraft add-ons, you probably think of mini games or the occasional clever machine -- fun, but you'll likely be back to the main game before long. Well, you might want to clear your schedule with this one. Phoenix SC has release...

| Read more »
W1-equipped BeatsX headphones begin arriving in NYC...

After months of delays, Apple's new BeatsX headphones are now available in limited quantities, showing as "in stock" at just a few of the company's retail stores in Manhattan.

| Read more »
Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, 93 others file...

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post:

On Sunday night, technology giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Uber and many others filed a legal brief opposing the administration’s contentious entry ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The move represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry — 97 companies in total— and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban.

The amicus brief was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is expected to rule within a few days on an appeal by the administration after a federal judge in Seattle issued late Friday a temporary restraining order putting the entry ban on hold. The brief comes at the end of a week of nationwide protests against the plan — as well as a flurry of activity in Silicon Valley, a region that sees immigration as central to its identity as an innovation hub.

From the brief:

Immigrants make many of the Nation’s...

| Read more »
Uber's latest option is a personal chauffeur

If you're traveling, or flitting about from one business meeting to another, it can be annoying to arrange a ride for very stop on the journey. Uber is looking to remedy the issue by launching UberHire, a service that lets you rent a car (and driver)...

| Read more »
Apple blasts Australian banks (again) for Apple Pay...

Apple continues to blast Australian banks for attempting to stop or delay the roll-out of Apple Pay in the country. In its latest submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, the Cupertino, California-based comapnysaid it was concerned banks are seeking to “delay the expansion of Apple Pay,” hurting both consumers and smaller card issuers who could use the technology “as a means of securing a digital presence in competition with the big banks.”

The country’s three biggest banks — including the top lender, National Australia Bank — want approval to collectively negotiate with Apple to install their own electronic payments applications on iPhones. The banks are seeking to be able to negotiate jointly for access to Apple's phones without themselves being accused of violating anti-competition law.


| Read more »
Annual Apple iPhone sales fall for the first time in...

Apple’s iPhone sales fell for the first time in China on an annual basis. 2016 sales for Apple totalled 44.9 million units with under 10% marketshare, representing a 23% drop in shipments compared to 2015. This decline highlights how China continues to be dominated by local brand smartphone manufacturers like Oppo, Huawei and Vivo.

These companies (many of which are unknown internationally) represent half of smartphone sales in China with Oppo shipments growing more than 100% in the last year. This is according to numbers by IDC, via Bloomberg.


| Read more »

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1Password 6.6.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
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Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9 - Client...
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Sparkle 2.1.1 - $79.99
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Tavern Guardians (Games)
Tavern Guardians 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tavern Guardians is a Hack-and-Slash action game played in the style of a match-three. You can experience high pace action... | Read more »
Slay your way to glory in idle RPG Endle...
It’s a golden age for idle games on the mobile market, and those addictive little clickers have a new best friend. South Korean developer Ekkorr released Endless Frontier last year, and players have been idling away the hours in the company of its... | Read more »
Tiny Striker: World Football Guide - How...
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Good news everyone! Futurama: Worlds of...
Futurama is finding a new home on mobile in TinyCo and Fox Interactive's new game, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. They're really doing it up, bringing on board Futurama creator Matt Groening along with the original cast and writers. TinyCo wants... | Read more »
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »
Blasty Bubs is a colorful Pinball and Br...
QuickByte Games has another arcade treat in the works -- this time it's a mishmash of brick breaking and Pinball mechanics. It's called Blasty Bubs, and it's a top down brickbreaker that has you slinging balls around a board. [Read more] | Read more »
Corsola and Heracross are the new region...
Generation 2 finally launched in Pokémon GO, unleashing a brand new batch of Pokémon into the wild. Even before the update went live people were speculating on how to catch elusive Pokémon like the legendary "dogs", Unknown, and whether or not... | Read more »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Games)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic adventure through a mysterious mountain filled with monsters, magic and mayhem! “ looks downright... | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin’s receives a hu...
Developer Webzen are looking to take their highly popular fantasy battler MU Origin to the next level this month, with its most ambitious overhaul yet. The latest update introduces the long sought after Server Arena, new treasure dungeons, and much... | Read more »

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Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
Apple Park Opens to Employees in April With T...
Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six... Read more
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13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has restocked the 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A) for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099 $200 off MSRP This model tends to... Read more
Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more
27-inch Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 of...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1849.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $150 savings. Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 WiFis available for starting at $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $319 $60 off original... Read more

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Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
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