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Monday April 4

Tech Firms Have An Obsession With 'Female...

An anonymous reader writes: Alexa, Tay, Siri, Cortana, Xiaoice, and Google Now. These technologies all have one thing in common -- they are digital servants aimed at a mass-market audience that feature a "female" voice or persona. And it's not just the voice or persona of the digital persona we interact with that is biased. The results of those interactions also demonstrate male favoritism. It took Apple more than four years to fix Siri's responses to questions about abortion services, and yet the company didn't seem to have any problem programming Siri to search for prostitutes and Viagra. Here's the gender breakdown for the tech workforce of each company: Microsoft: 83.0% male, 16.9% female Google: 82.0% male, 18.0% female Apple: 79.0% male, 22.0% female Amazon: 61.0% male, 39.0% female


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New iPhone 6s passcode bypass lets handlers access...

A new iPhone 6s/6s Plus passcode bypass flaw is making its rounds on the internet today, and it’s similar to flaws we’ve seen in the past on iOS. Don’t be overly alarmed, though, as the odds of this happening to you are slim. Besides, if you are concerned, there are some bonafide ways to go about protecting yourself. more…

Filed under: iOS, Tips and Tricks Tagged: bug, contacts, how to, iPhone 6s, iphone 6s plus, lock screen,...

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Iowa's only Apple Store to get massive $3M...

Apple's lone retail outlet in Iowa, which has served Apple faithful for the past 12 years, is about to get a long-awaited makeover that promises to nearly triple floor space, and could introduce the "next-generation" Apple Store design language currently rolling out at international flagship locations.

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Apple Stores to use paper, not plastic, bags in...

Like many retailers looking to go green, Apple reportedly plans to phase out its familiar plastic shopping bags in mid-April, with the drawstring design to be replaced by environmentally friendly paper bags made out of recycled materials.

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Apple retail stores moving away from plastic bags to...

In a note sent to retail employees and obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple has announced that it will be moving away from the iconic plastic drawstring Apple Store bags in favor of new paper bags made out of 80% recycled materials.

In the note, Apple says that the change will occur on April 15, but adds that if stores still have plastic bags in stock, they should use those first before switching exclusively to the new paper bags. According to AppleInsider, Apple also tells employees to first ask if the customer would like a bag before giving them one, again looking to limit the number bags that it uses to begin with. The new bags are said to come in medium and large sizes.

Shop The Defender Series For The Most Robust Layered Phone Protection at

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Professional Logo Creation Kit Bundle with 500+...

Whether your own website needs a new logo or your clients are screaming for one, this Mighty Deal from Zeppelin Graphics is the perfect solution. This fantabulous mega bundle is really 3 Logo Creation Kits in 1! In total, you’ll get yourself more than 500 professional design elements to create your new logo. Each element is fully customizable thanks to the original PSD, AI and EPS files that let you change up the color, shape, size and more.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Siri security flaw grants access to Contacts and...

A newly discovered Siri search handling bug allows nefarious users to bypass passcode protected lock screens on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets, granting easy access to Contacts and Photos data. The vulnerability is likely applicable only to a subset of devices, however.

That’s not good.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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“Alien Day” is April 26th, 2016

If you are lucky enough to live in a city with an Alamo Drafthouse, you owe it to yourself to see one of the greatest horror sci-fi movies of all time. I never had the opportunity to see either movie in a theater and am jealous of those folks who will get the chance on April 26th.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Siri security flaw on iPhone 6s & 6s Plus grants...

A newly discovered Siri search handling bug allows nefarious users to bypass passcode protected lock screens on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets, granting easy access to Contacts and Photos data. The vulnerability is likely applicable only to a subset of devices, however.

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TSA Paid $1.4 Million For Randomizer App That...

An anonymous reader writes: For those of you who have traveled through U.S. airports in recent years, you may have noticed the Transport Security Administration (TSA) use a Randomizer app to randomly search travelers in the Pre-Check lane. The app randomly chooses whether travelers go left or right in the Pre-Check lane so they can't predict which lane each person is assigned to and can't figure out how to avoid the random checks. Developer Kevin Burke submitted a Freedom of Information Act request asking for details about the app. The documents he received reveals the TSA purchased the Randomizer iPad app for $336,413.59. That's $336,413.59 for an app, which is incredibly simple to make as most programming languages of choice have a randomizing function available to use. What may be even more intriguing is that the contract for the TSA Randomizer app was won by IBM. The total amount paid for the project is actually $1.4 million, but the cost is not broken down in Burke's documents...

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Oculus' Controversial ToS a Stark Reminder of...

Oculus last week updated its terms of service to accompany the release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, raising privacy and content ownership concerns. Software will be installed to monitor how the device is used, and the usage data will be sent back to Oculus and its parent company, Facebook, according to the terms of service. Collected data could be shared with third parties, including service providers and researchers. The terms of service also limit the ability to claim ownership of content created for the VR system.

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AWT News Update: April 4, 2016

The Nest Revolv hub, which will soon be a $300 (and not very attractive) brick

Thank you, listeners, for a record month! Please tell your friends about the AWT News Update and keep our numbers growing. Today we bring you news from all around the world of Apple:

  • If you own a Nest Revolv home automation hub (seen above), you're not going to be a happy camper when you hear that they're totally shutting down your $300 device
  • Have you spit into the bottle for 23andMe to get genetic information? If so, you'll be able to anonymously link your genetic info to ResearchKit medical studies in the near future
  • Apple's plans to sell low-cost refurbished iPhones in India are being undermined by a lobbying group backed by local firms and Samsung

The text version of the podcast can be found below.


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Universal Audio: Tones and techniques with the...

I have this plug-in from Universal Audio and love it. What this company does to allow people to make music is outstanding. Watch the video.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Notable apps and app updates for April 4, 2016

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks.

Mac OS X Apps/Updates

DEVONtechnologies has updated all editions of its intelligent information and document manager DEVONthink as well as the smart notebook DEVONnote. DEVONthink help its users classify and organize documents effortlessly with unique artificial intelligence. 

Version 2.8.10 adds contextual menu options to HTML 5 videos, supports Airmail 2, and accepts videos sent via the sharing extension. All editions fix minor bugs and glitches too. The updates are free and recommended for all users.

All editions of DEVONthink as well as DEVONnote require an Intel-based Mac and OS X 10.8.5 or later (the Mac App Store versions require OS X 10.9 or later). They can be downloaded from...

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Setting up Apple Classroom

Fraser Speirs, who has written extensively about iPads in classrooms, takes us through setting up the new Apple Classroom.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple's ResearchKit incorporates more genetics...

Private genetics firm 23andMe has released a new software module, allowing its genetics results to be incorporated into ResearchKit apps, Apple announced on Monday.

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Satechi’s Aluminum Mobile Dock and Watch Stand:...

Satechi keeps rolling out new models in its Metallic Series, all featuring solid aluminum construction that compliments the design of Apple products. Today we’re looking at the two newest members of the aluminum family, the Aluminum Mobile Dock for iPhone and iPad mini (US$24.99) and the Aluminum Watch Stand (US$19.99).

Aluminum Watch Stand

The Aluminum Watch Stand is a nice-looking piece of hardware, made from a solid chunk of aluminum complete with an iPhone-like shiny chamfer on the edge of the rectangular base. As you’d expect, you supply your own Watch Charging Cable, which winds down through a channel in the back and bottom of the stand.

On the bottom of the stand is a silicone base that keeps it from sliding, a feature that cat lovers will...

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Aretha Franklin – Soul Survivor

There is no one on the planet who sang like Aretha did in her prime. My mom was a huge fan (sadly, mom would ruin a lot of my listening by singly along, badly) and we listened to everything she recorded when I was a kid. Even now, at the age of 74, she is a better singer than 99.99% of people on tour today and can still occasionally reach the vocal power of her 70′s fame.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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A journey through the most disgusting baseball...

Some of the food pictured is truly disgusting. I’m not sure what started this gatronomic arms race but there’s no need for it. It’s a baseball game. The only food you need is a hot dog or a hamburger and a beer.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Pebble brings iOS text replies to Verizon, adds...

Pebble on Monday announced a series of service and software updates for its multi-platform smartwatches, most notably enabling the iOS text reply feature for Verizon iPhones.

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Apple and VR

Michael Gartenberg:

VR has been part of that club for the last thirty years. When, and if Apple does bring a VR product to market it will look very different from anything we’ve seen before or see today. That kind of leap is what Apple looks for prior to making things that are virtual into reality.

Apple does not follow trends unless there is a way they can innovate and bring it to the masses. Don’t expect anything from them until they can do that.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 4...

Notable software releases this week include Banktivity 5.6.7, Parallels Desktop 11.1.3, Fantastical 2.2, Evernote 6.6, OmniFocus 2.5, OmniOutliner 4.5.1, MoneyWell 2.3.10, iBooks Author 2.4.1, KeyCue 8.0, Default Folder X 5.0.3, and DEVONthink/DEVONnote 2.8.10.


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 4 April 2016

In ExtraBITS this week, the FBI has agreed to unlock an iPhone related to an Arkansas homicide, Verizon is adding a $20 fee to phone upgrades, and Amazon is trying to banish non-compliant USB-C cables from its store.


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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Brean Capital believes iPhone sales will fall to...

Though the firm remains bullish on Apple, Brean Capital believes Apple will see total iPhone sales for 2016 drop by 16 million units, amidst a slowing smartphone market.

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Localytics: iPhone SE is off to a sluggish start,...

Both the iPhone SE and the 9.7 inch iPad Pro have received positive industry reviews, but, after their first full weekend on sale, the the iPhone SE managed to grab only 0.1% of the iPhone market, as measured by Localytics’ device adoption.

The new phone was unable to take away the iPhone 5’s share, the model it most closely resembled, suggesting that small-screen lovers haven’t yet been convinced to upgrade from their 5 models to the new iPhone SE, notes the mobile engagement platform. While the 5S, 5 and 5C all lost market share compared to two weeks ago (by 1 percentage point each), the...

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FBI method for hacking iPhone likely to leak

But even if the government walks away from that battle, the growing number of state and local authorities seeking the FBI’s help with locked phones in criminal probes increases the likelihood that the FBI will have to provide it. When that happens, defense attorneys will cross-examine the experts involved.

Although each lawyer would mainly be interested in whether evidence-tampering may have occurred, the process would likely reveal enough about the method for Apple to block it in future versions of its phones, an Apple employee said.

You know that Apple engineers have been all over this since the FBI first announced they found a way into the phone. If they haven’t already found the weakness, they will as soon as these cases go to court.


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Tesla Model 3 orders top $10 billion in first 36...

Tesla Motors Inc said orders for its new Model 3 electric sedan topped 253,000 in the first 36 hours — a fast start for the company’s first mass-market vehicle, which may not begin to reach customers for another 18 months or more.

That’s impressive.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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1Password 6.2 for Mac adds automatic login naming +...

Juggling passwords for all the digital services we manage these days is no easy task with varying rules and expiring credentials all the time, but 1Password makes the process both more secure and way more convenient. Rather than using a version of a few passwords that you can actually remember, 1Password easily lets you generate strong, randomized passwords for each service that you protect behind a single secure password, then browser extensions and action extensions on OS X and iOS make password entry super simple.

The latest update to 1Password for Mac, version 6.2, adds a couple of minor but useful enhancements to the desktop experience. First, intelligence behind the automatic login and password filler is smarter in the new version, which means using the keyboard shortcut or browser extension to fill in your info will fail fewer times....

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The Hololens Academy: How I Became a Novice Wizard

At last week's Microsoft Build conference, I attended the Hololens Academy -- a whirlwind effort to turn me into a master programmer able to create things out of thin air. It failed. Apparently it takes longer than an hour to teach someone who hasn't coded in decades to be a master programmer -- go figure. However, by the end of the class I was gleefully throwing fireballs at the heads of my co-wizards and their digital familiars. That took me down a Hogwarts-like path to the idea that doing things like Harry Potter did won't be that difficult.

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Sheer amount of data involved delaying EU ruling on...

There's no way of telling when the European Commission will conclude its investigation into Apple's Irish tax deals, simply because the huge amount of data involved, the Commission's competition head said on Monday.

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A letter to Apple: you’ve given my brother life

What a great story, not from the point of view of Apple but from this young man who could have easily given up, bemoaning his lot in life but instead, pushes through his physical impairments to be the best person he can be.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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9.7-inch iPad Pro teardown reveals iPhone 6s Plus...

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro isn’t simply a scaled down version of its larger predecessor, according to a closer inspection of the tablet’s internals from the folks at iFixit.

First thing’s first: Like all iOS devices, the smaller iPad Pro isn’t easy to repair, so if you’re a DIY-er, this tablet isn’t the one you’re looking for.

There are a few big differences between the large and small Pros. The 12.9-inch model scored a little higher on iFixit’s repairability scale because its larger battery has pull tabs for easier removal, which the smaller Pro’s does not.


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9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPad Pro Smart Keyboard $143,...

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.


AT&T buy 3 accessories, save 20%: iPad Pro Smart Keyboard...

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Apple's new iPhone SE lags siblings in sales as...

The newest, littlest iPhone hasn't captured the imagination of smartphone buyers just yet, new launch data indicates, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has seen steady adoption following last week's debut.

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SquareTrade completes iPhone SE durability tests,...

How durable is your new iPhone SE?

The best answer might be “fair to middling”.

Recently, extended warranty provider SquareTrade subjected the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus to a series of excessive bend, drop, tumble, and water tests, and the results show that its compact design does not necessarily make it more durable than the slimmer 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones.

The company noted that the iPhone SE bent at 160 pounds of pressure as opposed to the 170 pounds that the iPhone 6s began to bend at. Moreover, at 178 pounds, the iPhone SE reached “catastrophic failure,” whereas the iPhone 6s Plus was only beginning to bend under the pressure.

The iPhone SE permanently shut off after less than one minute when...

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Siri might just be a SABR member with its new...

For many years, my wife and I have been members of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research. The group is full of what we fondly call "baseball nerds," those people who can rattle off stats for teams or players, or who have a deep interest in the history of the game. Well, Siri has received an update for the start of the 2016 baseball season and it now has a very impressive grounding in baseball stats for the past and present.

Since Siri's inception, it has usually returned requests for stats with the "here's what I found on the web" push to a bunch of website results. Now the statistics show up as native results. Asking Siri questions like "How many home runs did Mark McGwire's hit in his career?" or "What was Ted Williams lifetime batting average?" now gives you fast and accurate answers.

Siri also now provides league-level answers for 29 different baseball leagues, not just Major League Baseball. Once the...

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The Week in iOS Apps: Play ball!

A home run!

This week’s roundup includes two apps that help you live the thrill of baseball season. Read on!


Trying to figure out which streaming service has that old James Bond movie you wanted to watch? AlertFilm lets you create a watchlist, then notifies you when your desired flick becomes available on several streaming services—paid and subscription—as well as when it hits theaters. (One service that’s missing: Amazon. But developers promise that will change soon.)

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

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9.7" iPad Pro teardown finds 12.9" model...

In order to compress technology from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro into a 9.7-inch form factor, Apple had to make some significant internal design changes, a teardown of Apple's new flagship tablet reveals.

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iFixit posts 9.7-inch iPad Pro teardown

The cool cats at iFixit have just torn down the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and found the typical mix of components from Samsung, Bosch Sensortec, NXP Semiconductors, and others, plus a whole lot of battery. Cutting to the chase, iFixit rates the smaller iPad Pro’s repairability at a low 2 out of 10, which is the same as the iPad Air 2 it replaces but one point below what it rated the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last year.

Comparing the two, iFixit gave the 12.9-inch iPad Proa slightly higher repairability score because its battery features pull tabs which help when removing and replacing it; the smaller iPad Pro’s battery lacks these pull tabs and can’t be easily removed due to a ton of adhesive that keeps it in place almost like soldering.

The 9.7-inch iPadPro’s battery is slightly smaller than the iPad Air 2...

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Like Bo, now Apple's Siri knows baseball

Apple's new tie-up with Major League Baseball seems to have brought more than dugout cred for the iPad -- the company's virtual assistant, Siri, now has access to a trove of modern-day and historic baseball statistics.

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9to5Mac readers warming to the iPhone SE – purchase...

The first time we ran a poll on the iPhone SE, just after launch, some 26% of you were planning to buy it. Now it’s on sale, and we’ve run a number of hands-on pieces with the more pocketable phone, and that number has grown dramatically, to 48%.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged:...

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9.7-inch iPad Pro teardown finds Samsung RAM,...

It’s been a year and a half since iFixit tore into the flagship 9.7-inch tablet from Apple, and now it’s finally time to look inside the smaller iPad Pro and see what it’s really made of. What you’ll find is your typical mix of components from Samsung, Bosch Sensortec, NXP Semiconductors, and others, plus a whole lot of battery. Cutting to the chase, iFixit rates the smaller iPad Pro’s repairability at a low 2 out of 10, which is the same as the iPad Air 2 it replaces but one point below what it rated the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last year. Here’s what’s inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and why iFixit says it’s not so repairable…


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∞ David Gilmour on Jimmy Kimmel performing Wish You...

[VIDEO] Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here stands as one of my all time favorite albums, and David Gilmour one of my favorite guitarists. This performance of the album’s title track, his first on live TV in ten years, does not disappoint.

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Planning an Apple product purchase? Check a buyer’s...

In the market for a new retina MacBook Pro? An iPad mini? An iPod Touch? You might consider checking out a buyer’s guide before you buy, to get a sense of where your particular product is in its release cycle.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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iFixIt: the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s innards are ‘kind of...

The gang at iFixIt, which tears down new products so you don’t have to, says Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad Pro “may take after the Air 2’s looks and Pro’s specs, but it ended up with the ugly genes of the family.”

With so much tech to cram into a thinner case, the iFixIt folks weren’t surprised to see the infamous camera bump make its iPad debut. But when they found out they forgot the battery strips we'd seen in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 12.9, they “were crushed.”

“Add to that some weird cabling choices, copious adhesive, and four speakers, and this iPad is kind of a mess—no offense,” says iFixIt. “Will the Pro line stand the test of time, superseding the original iPad, iPad Air, and maybe even Mini? Time will tell, but we’re hoping future devices will be bump-free and adhesive tab-equipped.

The iPad Pro 9.7" teardown highlights include:

  • The battery weighs in at 27.91 Whr—essentially the...
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Indian smartphone sellers fear iPhone 'snob...

Apple's application to sell used iPhones in India is reportedly being fought by executives with leading vendors and manufacturers, who are worried that it could jeopardize local industry by opening the door to used imports as a whole.

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Siri can now answer more of your baseball questions

Baseball season is now officially here, and Siri can now answer more of your baseball related questions.

Try this one to get you started:

How many career home runs does Bryce Harper have?

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Banktivity 5.6.7

Resolves a number of bugs in the popular financial app. ($59.99 new, free update, 39.3 MB)


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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Apple is added to the U.S. Focus list at Credit...

Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha has raised his price target on outperform-rated Apple from $140 to $150 and the stock has been added to the firm's U.S Focus List.

He says the market under appreciates the growth potential and annuity -type business Apple gets from Services (Internet services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing, etc.) Garcha estimates gross profit from Services has grown from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $14.5 billion (or 15% of total) today. The analyst thinks that, by 2020, it could grow to $33.7 billion — or 29% of total, driven by three factors:

Garcha notes that the installed base of more than 1 billion active devices and nearly 600 million unique users are highly affluent and like to transact (spending 7x more than Android users). As Apple Pay, Apple Music, and iCloud take hold,...

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The evolution of tech, always seen as a toy. Until...

Terrific post by Steven Sinofsky, showing a sequence of images of evolutionary steps in technology over the years, each one seen as a techie toy when it first emerged.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Amazon is first, Apple third, in the 2016 RESCUECOM...

The latest 2016 RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report — based on 60,000 service call requests into the computer repair and tech support company’s 1-800-RESCUE-PC hot line annually — rates the Kindle as the most trouble-free device.

However, the always-high-ranking Apple hasn’t dropped dramatically in reliability and only slightly in its rank, taking third this year. Its devices account for fewer tech support calls than most and steadily attract consumers, the Mac and MacBook Pro remaining popular alternatives to PCs.

Amazon has taken over as the most reliable brand because RESCUECOM's Computer Reliability Report now includes tablets and personal...

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Apple’s push to bring used iPhones to India ignites...

Interesting piece from Bloomberg. In a nutshell, Apple is finding that the price of a new iPhone is too high for the Indian economy, so they are seeking permission to sell used iPhones. Apple’s Indian competitors are doing everything they can to derail that prospect.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Analyst says iPhone sales could fall below 200...

In a note to clients — as reported by AppleInsider — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 6s, a soft iPhone SE launch, and dual-camera designs from competitors expected to beat the “iPhone 7” to market means Apple smartphone shipments could fall below 200 million units this year. (Let the “Apple is doomed rumors” begin!)

He predicts shipments of between 85 million and 95 million iPhone units in the first half of 2016, followed by 105 million to 115 million in the back half of the year. Kuo thinks iPhone units will fall between 190 million and 210 million for the full year, and he believes Apple is "likely" to see sales fall on the short end of that prediction, dipping under 200 million.

Apple shipped 232 million iPhones in 2015. Most Wall Street “experts” expect Apple to ship...

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Bay area software developer selling massive vintage...

If you’re a vintage Apple hardware fan, you’re going to like this.

Bay area software developer, in an effort to clear out some space in his apartment, has just placed a massive amount of his Apple hardware collection on Craigslist with most of the items at rock bottom prices as well as assorted free items in the mix.

Kaisershot, who has been collecting and enjoying Mac stuff for decades, has conceded the need to clear up some room in his apartment as well as the desire to raise money to upgrade his graphics card as well.

So, without further ado, here is the massive list of the items Keith has for sale:

1 $5 Altec Lansing external USB sound card.

1 $50 Apple Adjustable Keyboard ADB with numeric keypad. Surface cleaned and disinfected by me.

... | Read more »
Apple's iPhone shipments 'likely' to...

With lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 6s, a soft iPhone SE launch, and dual-camera designs from competitors expected to beat the 'iPhone 7 Plus' to market, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes iPhone shipments could fall below 200 million units this year.

| Read more »
Parallels Desktop 11.1.3

Resolves a number of bugs and crashes for the popular virtualization software. ($79.99 new for standard edition, $99.99 annual subscription for Pro/Business Edition, free update for version 11 licenses, 293 MB)


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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How to switch apps on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus...

I usually switch apps using the "double-tap the home button to access the app switcher" on my iPhone shortcut, but recently learned that there's an easier way. 

Excuse me if you already know this one, but it was new to me (a few months ago) and most of the people I've shown it to have been surprised. Press and swipe from the left edge of the screen to switch to the next app.

This nugget of info is from my “Working Smarter for Mac Users” newsletter.  You can sign up for free and get free timesaving tips, and more, every week.

Encrypt the files you send with MacPaw's Encrypto



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This is Laugh at Work Week, so celebrate accordingly

April 1-7 is Laugh at Work Week. Steve and I always have fun here at Apple World Today, but wanted to suggest some apps to help you liven up your workplace.

This is a week dedicated to building more fun into our workplaces. Work should always have an element of fun. Here are some apps that may bring a smile to your face and the faces of your co-workers.

Funny Reader is a $0.99 app for Mac OS X. Available at at the Mac App Store, it’s a simple speech synthesizer. Type in any text you want, and Funny Reader will read it for you in some, uh, weird voices, including Bells, Boing, Bubbles, Deranged, Pipe Organ, Princess, and more.

Funny-Quotes, which you nab at the Mac App Store for $1.99, is filled with funny quotes to keep you entertained. Quotes change periodically.

If you prefer some fun on your iOS device, there’s the $0.99 Energy Charger-Artwork Jokes series. It has, as the name implies, a series of jokes on various topics. Or there’s the Funny...

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Jean-Louis Gassée: Apple’s first victory over Big...

Jean-Louis Gassée, writing for Monday Note, talks about the road to success for Apple’s biggest (back in the early days) business outside the US, Apple France.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple’s plans to boost iPhone uptake in India thru...

Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones in India to bring new customers into the Apple ecosystem has met with strong opposition, reports Bloomberg. A newly-formed lobbying group has sent a letter to the government asking it to deny Apple the official approval it would need to begin the sales – and one of the companies behind the group is Samsung.

“Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?” asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the newly formed Mobile and Communications Council, which issued the letter. The group’s members include the largest Indian phone brands: Micromax, Intex and Samsung … 


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After cracking Apple's iPhone, FBI will help US...

The FBI has promised to help local law enforcement authorities crack encrypted devices, in a letter that refers to the federal agency’s success in accessing the data on an iPhone 5c running iOS 9 that was used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

The agency did not, however, explicitly promise investigators that it would deploy the same tool, said to have been developed by an outside organization, on other iPhones.

The FBI had earlier demanded in court that Apple should assist it in its attempts to crack by brute force the passcode of the iPhone used by the terrorist, without triggering an auto-erase feature that could be activated after 10 unsuccessful tries.

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Fantastical 2.2

Adds native Exchange support and enables you to print calendars and reminder lists in a variety of different views. ($49.99 new, free update, 13.2 MB)


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Business spotlight: Chronos, making OS X and iOS...

Apple World Today runs an occasional series (as whenever Steve and I have time) that will spotlight a company that offers cool products and/or services for Apple users. This week we’re featuring Chronos.

“The name Chronos comes from the Greek word ‘khronos,” which means time, says Jerry Halls, vice president of sales. “The information flow and demands of the twenty-first century require that we find more efficient ways to utilize time, our most precious resource. Einstein suggested that Time Dilation (which happens when objects approach the speed of light) is the only way to slow down time. Since this is not feasible, Chronos aims to give people back more seconds, minutes and hours in their day by providing effective time and contact management solutions.”

Chronos makes consumer and small business software for OS X and iOS. Based in Heber City, Utah, the company has been making award-winning Mac software...

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You'll want to be in the GRID driver's...

Thanks to Feral Interactive, the BAFTA award-winning racing game GRID roared onto the Mac some time ago. Developed and published by Codemasters for PC and consoles, it's part of the acclaimed TOCA Touring Car series. And if you like racing games, you'll want to be behind the wheel in GRID.

The graphics in the $24.99 game are vibrant and gorgeous. I wouldn't describe them as realistic, but "ultra-realistic" with the vibrant colors. 

GRID also has several neat options. You’re in charge of your own racing team. This means you can choose sponsors, buy and sell cars, hire and fire teammates. If you cash strapped, you can even race for other teams to earn some moolah.

GRID is easy to learn, but achieving spectacular racing results isn't so easy. When you start the game, you're diving a Dodge Viper on a street circuit. This helps you learn the rules of the game.

I found driving...

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President Obama still not allowed to use an iPhone,...

President Barack Obama has said in the past that he’s not allowed to use an iPhone for security reasons (though he does use a WiFi-only iPad) – but the NY Times reports that senior White House aides finally can. The change of policy comes as part of a major update to elderly White House technology.


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Evernote 6.6

Brings a new navigation scheme for switching between notes and notebooks. (Free, 52.7 MB)


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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Promise Vtrak e610f to Xserve 1,1 with LSI

Forums: Hardware

I have recently acquired a 2006 Xserve 1,1 and a Promise Vtrak e610f from different sources. The Vtrak appears to be functional, all light green. Currently, I cannot connect via IP (not sure what the IP is) and don't have a serial cable (on back order).

The Xserve is running 10.6.8 and has an LSI Fibre Channel HBA. I've connected the Promise to this HBA directly using the Apple 4bg SFP copper cable. The link shows as active in System Preferences 'Fibre Channel'.

System Profiler sees the HBA. No LUNS are showing in System Profiler or in Disk Utility.

What do I need to get this working? I am guessing that logging into the Promise would be very useful, but is it necessary? Is there software that needs installing on a base/clean 10.6.8 server install?

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OmniFocus 2.5

Adds a new Style Preference Pane for creating styles from built-in font and color collections for from your own imported styles. ($39.99 new, free update, 27.6 MB)


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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Apple upgrades Siri to be smarter about baseball,...

Apple doesn’t normally improve the capabilities of Siri outside of a major operating system update, but it has made an exception this time around for baseball. Apple has dramatically improved the knowledge base Siri can draw from for Siri, allowing the voice-activated personal assistant to answer a wider range of questions about the sport. Via The Verge, Siri now covers 28 leagues, not just Major League Baseball, too.

Siri first started answering sports questions with iOS 6. Apple says that the upgrade to baseball, timed alongside the new MLB season, allows users to ask more detailed questions about career statistics and baseball history.


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OmniOutliner 4.5.1

Fixes a number bugs related to printing. ($49.99 new, free update, 24.1 MB)


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Sunday April 3

6 gadgets that provide fresh water to those who need...

By Cat DiStasio

There are 1.2 billion people around the world do not have reliable access to fresh, potable water. That's why advancements in water purification technology are so important. Fortunately, there are a lot of innovative folks working on...

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The After Math: This is a joke, right?

April Fools Day was Friday, capping off a week of news that seemed too good to be true -- or, at least too ridiculous to be taken seriously. From drink-delivering drone caddies and off-road rollerblades to movie theater gimmicks and hilariously overp...

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Tuesday January 13

Android 5.0 Lollipop still hard to find, full of...

Google's Android team has advised outside security researchers that it will no longer fix security bugs found in Jelly Bean or earlier releases, despite the fact that "pre-KitKat 4.4" software powers the majority of active users' devices currently accessing Google Play. Meanwhile, less than 0.1 percent of Android users have received Android 5.0, and those who have report an "unfinished/unpolished" experience.

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Hands On: Chrome Remote Desktop (OS X, iOS)

Imagine squeezing your retina iMac screen down onto an iPhone 5. You can do it. It might look a bit silly and initially you might wonder why you'd bother, but it has long been possible to see and remotely control your Macs and PCs on even your iPhone. Now Google has released Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS and you can do it for free. You'll do it, too: try this once and you will forever keep finding other reasons why it's incredibly useful. It's fantastic when you forget a file, for instance, and can now just find and email it to yourself from afar. And it will save your soul, your sanity and yo...


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InvenSense hit with lawsuit over concessions in...

A new lawsuit filed against gyroscope and accelerometer supplier for Apple, InvenSense, accuses the company of failing to tell investors about the concessions it made to secure a recent deal. InvenSense parts are used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus; executives should have warned investors, the suit alleges, that Apple was given a "sweetheart deal" that would hurt profits. "Instead of revealing the true condition of the company and its prospects, defendants hid those facts from investors and chose to issue strong guidance and paint a picture of a bright future with a new mega-customer," the complai...


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Rumor: Apple's 'iPhone 6s' could ship...

With over half a year remaining before Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone, a fresh rumor out of Taiwan suggests that the company may be considering a new dual-lens camera system and the addition of "Force Touch," the pressure-sensitive touch technology set to be introduced in the Apple Watch.

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AllCast media streamer makes leap to iOS

A new port of AllCast, a popular Android app, has just been released for iOS. The title lets users stream personal photo, video, and music libraries to a variety of platforms, not just the Apple TV, the only format natively supported by Apple. Some compatible targets include Chrome, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, WDTV, Xbox One/Xbox 360, and various platforms compatible with DLNA....

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Apple axes long-running 'Single of the Week...

Ten years after giving away its first song, Apple has reportedly wound down the "Single of the Week" program that offered iTunes users a chance to download a free track from up-and-coming artists.

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Quanta ramping up production of 12-inch MacBook Air...

Taiwan-based supplier Quanta Computer has entered into "volume" production of Apple's upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air, according to supply chain sources. The laptop is reportedly on track to ship in the first quarter of the year, despite other rumors pointing to the second quarter. The new sources say that Quanta has escalated recruitment efforts in order to speed up production....

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Hands On: Toca Hair Salon 2 (iOS)

Makeover apps tend to be somewhat serious, and are generally geared toward adults. Instead of being a fun game, they tend to be more akin to photo-editing software, which is generally pretty complex and low on the amusement scale. Toca Boca, however, has stepped forth with Toca Hair Salon 2, a makeover game that offers a lot to younger gamers or future beauticians....

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Facebook will display Amber Alerts in News Feeds

Facebook will start to post into its users News Feed alerts about missing children in the future, in an effort to locate them. A partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will involve the social network showing Amber Alerts to Facebook users located in specific search areas, both on mobile devices and desktops....

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Briefly: Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS, CBS News iOS...

Google has expanded its Chrome Remote Desktop app to include iOS compatibility. Now available for download on iTunes, iOS users can now orchestrate accessing their desktop computer for free by downloading the accompanying Chrome browser app. Chrome Remote Access has been available for Android users since last year....

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Apple quietly ends Single of the Week promo on iTunes

Apple appears to have ended its Single of the Week promotion on iTunes, visitors note. No tracks have been offered in the first two weeks of 2015, and a person on Apple's support forums claims to have been told by iTunes Support that the company has officially dropped the initiative. It's missing from iTunes Stores across the globe....

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Samsung takes on Apple's iPhone 6 Plus with all...

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy A7, the latest entry in the company's premium all-metal Galaxy A series that brings a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, 2 gigabytes of RAM and an 8-core application processor.

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iPhone Apps: IMDb, New Words With Friends, Duolingo
LA schools' iPad program flawed from beginning...

The Los Angeles Unified School District's failed iPad deployment was botched early on, according to a review by the US Education Department. The federal agency says that it first of all put too hard an emphasis on using Apple hardware and software, ignoring cheaper options that could have saved money for the District and taxpayers. In July the USD said it was shifting to a strategy involving Chromebooks and Windows devices, such as the Microsoft Surface....

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Hands On: Learn Spanish - Brainscape (iOS)

It's a fact that Spanish is the world's fourth most spoken language, with over 350 million native speakers across 21 countries. It's also a fact that people who are bilingual tend to do better in both academic pursuits as well as their career. If you've ever been curious about learning another language, Learn Spanish by Brainscape offers a solution for those who are trying to learn Spanish on the go....

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Hands On: PhotoWatermark (OS X)

It's a different world. You might be the sort who would never take photo from a website and use it in your own book, but today if an image is online, it's as if the world sees it as fair game. Maybe that's a peek into our base immorality and the ultimate cataclysmic self-destruction of humanity, or maybe it's just that cut and paste is easy. Whatever it is, though, it's happening and you cannot stop it – not even with an application like this: but if PhotoWatermark can't prevent the copying of images, it can help photographers and artists considerably by adding identifying text to your image...


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Flickr: iPhones surpass Nikon, claim second most-...

Flickr has updated statistics for 2014 in its "Most Popular Camera" and "Most Popular Mobile Camera" categories, with the combined models of iPhone taking second place in the general "camera" category -- beating out DSLR maker Nikon and popular point-and-shoot maker Sony for second place. While Canon remains the most popular overall camera, the built-in cameras on smartphones from Apple and Samsung have -- despite inherent limitations -- steadily risen in popularity....

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Viawear announces Tyia 'smart bracelet'...

This week, Viawear has launched pre-orders for a gold or rhodium-plated edition of the new Tyia "smart bracelet." The bracelet serves as a fitness tracker, with an RGB LED notification light embedded behind quartz and mother-of-pearl accent. As with fitness bands, the Tyia is marketing as letting users put away smartphones without missing an important call, text, or social-media notification -- and offers some basic fitness tracking compatible with Apple's HealthKit....

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Monday January 12

Multiple reports point to record-breaking Apple...

While the idea that Apple probably had another record-breaking holiday quarter (what the company calls fiscal 2015 Q1) is unsurprising to all but selected pundits, a spate of reports released on Monday may be painting a general portrait of not just significant improvement, but more importantly growth in key areas of importance both to investors and analysis as well as to the health of the company. Sales of Macs look to be way up, iOS devices are selling much better in a key foreign market, and Apple's suppliers are flourishing -- all signs that point to better-than-expected quarter....


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Apple Stores debut self-demoing Smart Cover window...

A good magic trick, even in the 21st century, will still get people to stop and watch and try to figure out how it is done. Over the weekend, Apple retail stores around the US debuted a new window display showcasing the company's iPad line and Smart Cover accessory on a thin tabletop that features a line of the products, with the Smart Cover opening and closing itself to demonstrate the magnetic latch feature that wakes or sleeps the machine automatically....

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Details emerge on specs for third-party Lightning...

New information has been revealed on the specifications Apple has in mind for its planned licensing of the female Lightning port for third-party accessories. Manufacturers have reportedly been briefed on details and objectives, which include spreading Lightning to as many different accessories as possible in place of micro-USB. Possibilities include not just things like docks and headphones, but battery cases, gamepads, and Bluetooth speakers....

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Fourth iOS 8.2 beta seeds to developers

Apple is now seeding a fourth beta of iOS 8.2 via the company's developer portal, and as an over-the-air update for existing beta users. The build is listed as 12D5461b, and follows a little less than a month after beta 3, which was issued December 18. That build was 12D5452a. Accompanying the beta is a new version of WatchKit, the SDK and framework needed to build Apple Watch support into iOS apps....

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Hands On: Word of the Rings (iOS)

Word games are fairly numerous at this point. You've got your Boggle-style games, your Scrabble-style games, your crosswords and word searches. There are a lot of duplicates out there -- so when we find a fresh, new game, we tend to get pretty excited. One such app is Word of the Rings, by James Porter, a game that quite literally puts an interesting twist on the genre....

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Spotify hits 15M subscribers, majority of streams on...

Spotify is continuing to enjoy rising user numbers, with the popular music streaming service announcing it has reached a total of 15 million subscribers. At the same time, reports claim that the majority of Spotify streams stem from mobile listeners, with 52 percent of listening taking place on smartphones and tablets rather than desktops....

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Marsh, inMarket partner on first Apple Watch-...

Marsh Supermarkets and inMarket have announced a new iBeacon platform, the first to emphasize the Apple Watch. The plan is to use iBeacons at Marsh's 75 locations to push ads, shopping lists, and other content to both Watches and iPhones. Initially, the platform will support the official Marsh app and inMarket's List Ease, but other apps should follow as long as they support inMarket's Proximity SDK. All apps will have to update with Watch support, but the platform itself is Watch-ready....


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Chevy Volt will support CarPlay, 2016 demo model...

The 2016 model of the Chevy Volt will support Apple's CarPlay, at least if an early demonstration version is accurate. The car is on display at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and its dash system shows options for both CarPlay and MirrorLink connections. Google's Android Auto is notably absent, but since the 2016 Volt isn't due to go on sale until mid-2015, there may be time to implement it....

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HomeKit requires Apple TV hub for remote Siri...

People wanting to control HomeKit-enabled devices remotely through Apple's Siri must have an Apple TV at home to serve as a hub, according to Verge sources, including two launch partners and a person said to be "close to HomeKit's development." Siri controls will always work while an iPhone or iPad is on the same network as a HomeKit device, but until now it wasn't fully clear how remote operation might work. The Apple TV must also be a third-generation model running at least v7.0 firmware or newer. Notably, remote operation without Siri -- using the vendor app for a HomeKit product directly -...


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Software Updates via MacUpdate

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more
Churchill Downs Racetrack Selects VenueNext t...
Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced an agreement with VenueNext to implement its technology platform for the start of Churchill Downs 2016 Spring Meet, which includes the 142nd running of the... Read more
Record 700 Million Pounds of CE Recycled in 2...
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reports that a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to... Read more
Price drops on clearance 12-inch Retina MacBo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more

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Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
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