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Thursday July 7

05:17
Pokémon GO tops the app charts as Australian police...

Well, that escalated quickly. Just a day after Pokémon GO launched on iOS, it is already topping the free app charts. It is currently available only in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, though it is expected to hit the UK soon.

The augmented reality game works by encouraging players to go looking for things in the real world, which is not without its hazards. Australian police have to warn players not to get too carried away while trying to catch a Sandshrew …

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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05:11
iOS app plus e-ink display lets you skip the baggage...

Online check-in is great when travelling hand-baggage only, but doesn’t save much time when you have hold baggage. The waiting in line you used to have to do at check-in you now do at the baggage-drop instead.

But luggage-maker Rimowa has a solution. Its latest luggage range has a built-in e-ink display the exact dimensions of an airline baggage-tag, and your airline app can transmit the correct details to the bag via Bluetooth. A dedicated drop area then lets you skip the queues …

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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05:04
See the things you’ve searched for, visited, and...

This link will take you to a page that shows you the Google services that are tracking you, along with a history for each of those services.

It would be interesting to see a list of all the data Google has harvested from me. I’d also like to see the same thing from Facebook and Apple.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:00
Patent report: iCloud collaboration, user...

Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product, so here are today’s patent highlights:

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20160196247) that shows the company is considering ways to make collaborating on iCloud documents easier. The patent is dubbed, appropriately, “collaborative document editing.”

Once you’ve saved a document on iCloud Drive, you can now share it with a friend or colleague. In Pages, Numbers, or Keynote, choose Share > Share Link via iCloud, or click the Share button in the toolbar. You can choose to allow the person you share the document with to edit the document. If you only want them to see the document and not make changes, choose Read Only from the Permissions menu. You can protect the document by clicking Add Password and...

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05:00
Sidewalk Labs: Taking It to the Streets in Columbus


Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, a sister company of Google, recently began negotiating a plan to help restructure the public transportation system in Columbus, Ohio, after the city won the Obama administration's national competition to ease traffic gridlock issues. Sidewalk Labs will leverage its cloud-based transportation data to help Columbus implement a public bus and parking system that will help ease traffic congestion and provide greater access for low-income communities.

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05:00
Your heirs may not get your digital goodies when you...

You may not know it but when you "buy" digital content such as books, music and movies from Apple and Amazon, you're not actually buying them but renting them. As more people realize this, it's unlikely they'll reconsider making physical purchases instead of digital ones. But this needs to change. 

Apple and Amazon grant “nontransferable” rights to use content. In other words, when you buy digital content, you own a license to use the digital files, but you don't truly own them. I've bought lots of music and movies on iTunes. However, unless the law changes I can't give bequeath them to my kids.

That stinks.

As noted in a 2012 Wall Street Journal someone who owns 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could leave them to descendants. However, legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.

"I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10...

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04:31
Server Ranger is a new website and server monitoring...

LibertyApp has introduced Server Ranger 1.0, a website and server monitoring solution for OS X. It scales to monitor the performance and uptime of any number of servers, as well as any type of server, including web, mail, file, routers and more. 

Server Ranger can send multiple alerts when a server's latency is unacceptable or if the server has gone offline. The app includes an Overview window, a Log window with timestamps and export capability, a detailed view and more.

Server Ranger also includes an Overview window (which can be displayed on a separate screen or “AirPlayed” to an Apple TV), a Single Server mode, a log window with timestamps and export capability and a detailed view, which uses charts to display the server's recent performance at a glance.

The utility requires OS X Yosemite or El Capitan. It’s available for $29.99 at the Mac App Store. Server Ranger has no in...

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04:30
UFC 200 will be on DirecTV and streaming to Sony TVs...

Need a reason to get excited about UFC 200 this weekend even though the headlining match has been called off? You should know that it will be available in 4K, through a couple of outlets. DirecTV is delivering the match in 4K on channel 106, while ow...

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04:30
You may think you don’t need a product like MacScan...

I’ve never had any problems with malware, adware, ransomeware or any sort of nasty-ware on any of the many Macs I’ve owned. However, a study by the Bit9 + Carbon Black Threat Research Team says that five times more OS X malware appeared in 2015 than in the previous five years combined, so I guess precautions are needed.

 

SecureMac’s MacScan is one well-regarded solution. The latest version is 3, which continues to provide the functionality from earlier versions of MacScan, while addressing the need to protect against a new generation of malware.

MacScan 3 has been completely re-architected and rewritten, designed specifically for OS X 10.8 and higher, including OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).  The scan engine is faster, and you have more complete scheduling control over scans...

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04:24
Apple Pay comes to Switzerland

Apple has announced that Apple Pay, is mobile payment system to customers in Switzerland, offering initial support for both Visa and Mastercard credit cards, as well as Bonus Card, Cornercard or Swiss Bankers credit and prepaid cards.

However, as noted by AppleInsider, wners might not be able to actually use the service anytime soon, however, as only eight major chains are listed as participating retailers, not including Apple's own Apple Store. Aldi, Avec, C&A, k kiosk, Mobile Zone, P&B, Spar, and TopCC are accepting Apple Pay transactions at launch, while Lidl plans to integrate the payments solution in the near future. 

Apple Pay is now available in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, China, and Singapore. Apple has hinted that...

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04:04
Barclays hopes that ‘poor man’s Apple Watch’ might...

When Apple Pay officially went live in the UK almost a year ago, it was supported by every major bank except Barclays, which waited a further nine months before joining in. The reason was because Barclays was trying to push its own mobile payment service, bPay – which is actually just a contactless card chip embedded into a variety of physical objects.

more…

Filed under:...

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04:00
Rimowa's electronic luggage tag is the future...

Nowadays if you're flying with carry-on luggage, you can easily skip the check-in lines by doing it all online ahead of time. Sadly, it requires a few more steps if you have to check your luggage -- you still need to go print out your tag at the airp...

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04:00
The Hot Cookie USB coffee warmer is not so hot

I like my coffee hot. Really hot. Since I sip on a cup of java for a long period of time, I thought the cool-looking Hot Cookie could replace the Thermos mug I keep on my desk. Unfortunately, it can't.

The yummy-looking Hot Cookie is a coffee/tea warmer that's powered by a USB port on a Mac or PC. The idea is a great one. Plug in the Hot Cookie, sit your mug atop it, and it will keep your coffee or tea nice and warm.

In reality, however, it only keeps them Lukewarm (at best), even though it's supposed to keep your drinks at 50 degrees C for up to 30 minutes. No go. My drinks cooled down only slightly slower than if they weren't sitting on the USB cup warmer at all.

I really wanted to like the Hot Cookie. It's big enough (8.5 x 1 x 5 inches) to handle bigger mugs, and, as I said, it's one good-looking gadget. However, as a drink warmer, it's one cuppa disappointment.

The Hot Cookie is available at Amazon...

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03:08
Apple Pay launches in Switzerland with MasterCard...

Apple is continuing its expansion of its NFC mobile payments service, Apple Pay, today. This time around, Apple Pay has made its way to Switzerland, the second European launch after the United Kingdom. iPhone users in Switzerland can now setup their Visa and MasterCard bank cards in Apple Wallet and start using contactless payments at merchants from today. Apple Pay requires an iPhone with integrated NFC chip: iPhone 6, iPhone 6s or iPhone SE.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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02:42
Hitomi observed the Perseus galaxy cluster before it...

Japan's most powerful x-ray satellite Hitomi got lost in space shortly after it launched, but it managed to beam back data that can help us better understand galaxy clusters. The space telescope got a chance to peer into a cluster of galaxies and its...

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01:45
Barclays' bPay Loop turns regular watches into...

At this point, Barclays now plays nice with Apple Pay and last month, formally shunned Android Pay in favour of its own app for the platform. In addition, the bank has a range of devices that put contactless payments on your wrist, keychain and anyth...

| Read more »
01:35
NASA's Curiosity rover took a 'safe mode...

On July 2nd, humanity's rugged little Mars explorer, Curiosity, automatically shut itself down and restricted most of its functions over the holiday weekend. Fortunately, scientists successfully secured communications with the rover, so all is not lo...

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00:42
Facebook will start testing offline videos in India

In an attempt to avoid the dreaded buffering symbol in regions where mobile internet access is spotty or prohibitively expensive, Facebook is about to start testing a new video download feature for a group of users in India. As TechCrunch reports tod...

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Wednesday July 6

23:51
No one wants to test self-driving cars in Ontario,...

Governments may be racing to approve self-driving car tests on their roads, but that doesn't mean that companies will always line up. Case in point: Ontario. The Canadian province greenlit autonomous vehicle testing on its public roads as of Januar...

| Read more »
22:56
Samsung's highest profit in two years comes...

Samsung just had a great quarter, and it's all because people are snapping up Galaxy S7s. The Korean chaebol has revealed that it's expecting its second quarter operating profit to reach 8.1 trillion won ($7 billion), thanks to its smartphone busines...

| Read more »
22:42
Apple Pay launches in Switzerland with Visa and...

As promised in June, Apple on Thursday introduced its in-house payments solution Apple Pay to customers in Switzerland, offering initial support for both Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

| Read more »
22:00
Fujifilm's X-T2 camera pairs a familiar design...

Based on recent conversations with Fujifilm camera users, I know many of them couldn't wait for the X-T1 successor to be announced. And well, that day is finally here. Today, Fujifilm introduced its new X-T2 mirrorless shooter, a major upgrade over t...

| Read more »
20:28
Samsung's world-first UFS memory cards are...

We've heard arguments for and against removable storage on smartphones, but we can all agree on the fact that the more the merrier. And we're not just talking about memory space here, as the speed becomes more crucial when it comes to capturing highe...

| Read more »
20:03
Spector captures printed fonts and sends the details...

When a designer sees typography they like or a color that might be useful for a project, the first move is usually to snap a picture with their phone. I can say that because I'm a designer myself, frequently capturing textures, hues and letterforms f...

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18:58
Longbow Research inaugurates Apple stock coverage...

Investment firm Longbow Research initiated Apple stock coverage this week, assigning a 12-month target price of $125 and forecasting a rosy outlook for the Cupertino tech giant on expected strong iPhone user growth.

| Read more »
18:51
Clearing 'Trials of the Blood Dragon' demo...

Game demos typically are little more than a bullet point in a publisher's marketing plan designed to give folks an early taste of what a game might end up being while simultaneously driving pre-order numbers northward. But for Trials of the Blood Dra...

| Read more »
17:54
NASA's Kate Rubins is set to sequence DNA...

The three newest ISS crew members are blasting off to space in a Soyuz from Kazakhstan tonight. Russia's space agency is sending out Anatoly Ivanishin, Japan's representative is Takuya Onishi, while NASA's is biologist-slash-astronaut Kate Rubins, wh...

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17:44
Google could be working on two new Android Wear...

Sources close to Android Police claim Google is hard at work right now on two Android Wear devices of its own. According to the report, the watches are fundamentally different from one another, with one acting as a larger and sportier option and the...

| Read more »
17:38
Man potentially facing charges for using gun-shaped...

Last year, police departments started speaking out against a wave of gun-shaped iPhone cases that were gaining popularity. If common sense wasn’t enough, police departments warned that using such cases was a “terrible idea” and puts people in danger. Nevertheless, a London man could be facing charges for  having a gun-shaped iPhone cased while at London Stansted Airport this week.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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17:20
Summer camp for billionaires

There are some heavy hitters attending this event every year.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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16:56
Apple's second iOS 10 beta includes unencrypted...

Apple turned heads in June when it released a preview version of iOS 10 containing an unencrypted kernel cache, a significant shift in software security policy meant to streamline system performance, and analysis shows the company is building on those efforts with the second beta release.

| Read more »
16:27
American Airlines to test automatic security...

It's bad enough that US airports engage in security theater that seldom makes you safer. However, it's made that much worse by the delays -- having to wait for agents to X-ray your bags is frustrating when you're desperate to get to your gate. Americ...

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16:26
Pinterest’s shot at camera search

Taking advantage of the rise in mobile photography, Pinterest says its image-discovery app in coming months will let users point their smartphone cameras at something, and the app instantly will search within its vast online showroom of 75 billion images for a visually similar match of the items in the photo.

This idea has been around for a long time, but the technology has never really been there to allow it to succeed. Honestly, I’m still not sure it’s there, completely. It’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest tackles all of the little problems involved in making this work.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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16:20
Microsoft Targets The iMac With New All-In-One...

New submitter Miche67 writes: Two reports say Microsoft is working on an all-in-one (AIO) PC under the Surface brand. If that's true, it would put it in competition with HP and Dell, which have their own AIO lines, as well as put it in competition with Apple's iMac. Network World reports: "Both DigiTimes and Windows Central picked up on the story, each citing their own sources. DigiTimes, a Taiwan-based publication with connections to the PC industry over there (but also a very mixed record of accuracy) said the new devices would come in the third quarter of this year. Windows Central, which is a little better when it comes to rumors, said it did not have a solid release date." Business Insider was able to find a patent filing by Microsoft for a desktop PC that supports the rumored AIO design. "The device is evidently targeting a 'modern and elegant' design and is meant to be something akin to a premium appliance or furniture," Windows Central wrote. Intel's release date of the new...

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15:44
US Attorney General will not bring charges in...

There has been a lot of indications that the investigation surrounding US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers during her time as Secretary of State is wrapping up. Now, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has released...

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15:19
Walmart Pay now available at all Walmart locations...

Walmart on Wednesday announced it recently completed the nationwide rollout of in-house mobile payments service Walmart Pay, a system promised to one day support third-party digital wallets like Apple Pay.

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15:15
AWT News Update: July 6, 2016

Neither rain, nor floods, nor lightning, nor balky cloud storage partners at Libsyn can keep this podcaster from making his appointed rounds. Today we have a nice little 4-minute blast of Apple and industry news for you:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook joins other corporate elites at the Sun Valley retreat
  • Safari Technology Preview 8 adds internal code to support Apple Pay for Websites
  • Verizon raises rates, adds some features

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

Subscribe to the Podcast

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 6, 2016.

When we go to conferences, they’re usually fun little affairs like MacTech Pro or 360|iDev, where anybody...

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15:00
Nintendo looks into making VR safe for kids

Nintendo's shareholder meeting didn't just hint at possible smartphone controllers. Company veteran Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that Nintendo's tentative research into virtual reality has included investigations into making VR kid-friendly. As he...

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14:56
Apple’s Tim Cook & Eddy Cue attend Sun Valley...

Yet again, Apple CEO Tim Cook is in attendance at the Sun Valley media conference in Idaho this year. Cook has attended the event over the past few years, last year keeping close with fellow tech executives including Bill Gates, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, and Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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14:40
US rowers will get antimicrobial outfits to survive...

The Rio Olympic and Paralympic games sound like more of a nightmare every day. After the National Institute of Health announced that they will study American athletes for probable Zika infection, textile engineers at Philadelphia University have made...

| Read more »
14:39
Apple Pay holdout Walmart launches own ‘Walmart Pay...

As one of the major Apple Pay holdouts among retailers, Walmart today officially launched its own digital payment solution called Walmart Pay nationwide.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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14:27
After hiatus, in-the-wild Mac backdoors are suddenly...

After a taking hiatus, Mac malware is suddenly back, with three newly discovered strains that have access to Web cameras, password keychains, and pretty much every other resource on an infected machine.

The first one, dubbed Eleanor by researchers at antivirus provider Bitdefender, is hidden inside EasyDoc Converter, a malicious app that is, or at least was, available on a software download site called MacUpdate. When double clicked, EasyDoc silently installs a backdoor that provides remote access to a Mac's file system and webcam, making it possible for attackers to download files, install new apps, and watch users who are in front of an infected machine. Eleanor communicates with control servers over the Tor anonymity service to prevent them from being taken down or being used to identify the attackers.

"This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it's hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system,"...

| Read more »
14:20
Amazon may open its first East Coast bookstore in NYC

Given how Amazon has done its best to put the brick-and-mortar bookstore out of business, it's still odd to see the company building retail locations of its own. But CEO Jeff Bezos said the company would keep doing it after opening a store in Seattle...

| Read more »
14:12
I now pronounce you man and MacBook; this guy wants...

I "love" my Apple products, but this is taking things a little too far: attorney Mark "Chris" Servier is attempting to take Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis to court for denying him the right to marry his MacBook.

He’s the same guy who once tried to sue Apple because the online pornography he (accidentally) discovered on his Mac destroyed his marriage. This time around Servier claims that he wants to prove that marriage between same-sex couples stand on the same footing as a human marrying an inanimate object (like his MacBook.)

An iPad without a Brydge Keyboard is like a car without wheels...

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14:01
Apple is top dog when it comes to enterprise mobile...

Apple is king of the hill when it comes to enterprise mobile security; however, Samsung is catching up through the strength of its KNOX platform among others, according to a new research report released by Tech Pro Research – a joint venture between TechRepublic and ZDNet.

The report found 84% of respondents saw Apple smartphone security as at least “good” with 37% opting for “very good” and 14% “excellent,” For tablets, the scores were similar; 82% of the more than 250 respondents opted for at least “good,” with 33% and 13% for “very good” and “excellent.”

Samsung ranked second in terms of smartphones, with BlackBerry, Microsoft and Google completing the two five. For tablets Microsoft took second place, ahead of Samsung, Google, and Dell. The survey also found that 61% of respondents view mobile devices as less secure...

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14:00
Your smartwatch is also recording your PIN

With all the personal data it collects, your wrist-mounted wearable computer is almost definitely going to betray you at some point, whether that's a reminder to get up and do another 5,000 steps this afternoon or accidentally giving away your ATM PI...

| Read more »
13:59
Apple's Tim Cook & Eddy Cue return to...

For the fifth time in a row, Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly attending the annual Sun Valley retreat in Idaho, which plays host to rich elites from the corporate and political worlds.

| Read more »
13:50
Apple tops the PwC Global Top 100 list for the fifth...

Apple retains pole position for the 5th year in a row in PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking; however, a $121 billion (17%) decrease in market cap sees the gap with second ranked Alphabet narrow from $350 billion last year to just $86 billion Alphabet, a subsidiary of Google, briefly dethroned Apple in February 2016.

PwC notes that Apple is also returning cash to shareholders with another $42 billion handed back to investors in dividends and share repurchases in calendar year 2015 ($56 billion was distributed in 2014). Google doesn’t pay dividends or undertake share buybacks.

Technology has overtaken the financial sector this year, underlining the resilience and innovative features of tech companies. The global top three are now technology companies: Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, closely followed by Facebook in sixth position.

The...

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13:40
Walmart Now Lets You Pay With Phone At All 4,600 US...

An anonymous reader writes: Walmart will now let customers make purchases with their phone at all 4,600 of its stores in the U.S. The feature is called Walmart Pay and it works by letting the cashier scan a QR code on a customer's phone screen to complete their payment. The technology is different than Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay, which involves tapping your phone next to a payment terminal with NFC. The company wants to make shopping easier and faster, and with its own payment app, Walmart can get insights into consumer behavior, though it says it won't use the data without a shopper's permission. Walmart says no payment information is stored on users' phones or at registers -- card information is stored on Walmart servers. Note: Samsung Pay also uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) to make purchases. When a smartphone with Samsung Pay is held against a register with a magnetic stripe terminal, the phone emits a magnetic signal that simulates the magnetic strip found on the...

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13:38
Notable apps and app updates for July 6, 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.

iOS Apps/Updates

Playground Health has released Playground, which is designed to leverage the iPhone and Apple Watch in conjunction with your existing Facebook friends to create fun and social games between friends and family. In addition to competitive and cooperative challenges, the app allows users to join over 50,000 communities, including cities around the world and universities in the United States.

 

Citing general, growing concerns about privacy protection and personal data security, Kisapp has launched Smart Ephemeral, which enables the general public to send highly-encrypted messages that vanish in seconds. And unlike most free messaging services available...

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13:37
iOS users spend lots more money on apps than Android...

iPhones and iPad users spend lots more money on apps than Android users and the gap is widening, according to new research from Citigroup Global Markets analysts Mark May and Jim Suva — as noted by Business Insider.

In 2015, they estimate that the average iOS device generated $52 in Apple App Store "bookings," or sales. The average Android phone only generated $5.70 for the Google Play store. 

That means the average Apple device spent 9.1 times more on App Store apps and in-app purchases than the average Android user spent on the Google Play app store. That ratio is up from 2014, when the average Apple device spent 7.7 times more than Android devices on apps from the main app stores. 

Encrypto - keeping your files from prying eyes

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13:31
Apple’s LZFSE compression algorithm goes open source

Apple has open-sourced its lossless compression algorithm, LZFSE, which was introduced along with iOS 9 and OS X 10.10. What is LZFSE?

It’s a proprietary compression algorithm that, according to Apple (and this explanation is heavy with tech-speak), “matches the compression ratio of ZLIB level 5, but with much higher energy efficiency and speed (between 2x and 3x) for both encode and decode operations.” ZLIB’s compression level is designed to provide a good balance between compression speed and compression ratio. 

LZFSE is only present in iOS and OS X, so it can’t be used when the compressed payload has to be shared to other platforms (Linux, Windows). In all other cases, Apple recommends LZFSE as a replacement for ZLIB.

Hide those files and folders you don't want others to see: Get Hider2 now!

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13:31
Facebook reveals open-source wireless platform,...

OpenCellular is Facebook's open-source wireless access platform designed to provide internet to remote areas around the world. OpenCellular is roughly the size of a shoe box and it can support up to 1,500 people as far as 10 kilometers away with a ra...

| Read more »
13:20
VW's E-Golf is an undercover electric car

Some people find a certain satisfaction in proclaiming to the world that they drive a hybrid or pure electric car. Thanks to the Prius line, Chevy Volt and Tesla, it's easy to stick out among the hoards of other vehicles on the road. They are badges...

| Read more »
13:19
Apple among tech companies fighting the European...

Apple is among several tech companies are fighting the European Union's so-called "Cookie Law," lobbying the organization for more refined laws that aim to strike a balance between user privacy and data collected by providers, according to AppleInsider.

The companies’ filing states that a similar law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), should be the framework for "a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection" for citizens of the EU. The tech companies prefer the GDPR over expansion of the ePrivacy Directive.

"We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent, and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data," the industry group said in its statement. "At the same time, it will...

| Read more »
13:14
∞ Iceland welcomes home Euro 2016 team with Viking...

What a great story for Iceland.

| Read more »
13:00
Tesla's Autopilot blamed for a Model X crash

Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode is coming under fire for the second time in as many weeks. Art dealer Albert Scaglione claims that the feature was responsible for a crash that rolled his Model X on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on July 1st. Accord...

| Read more »
12:48
Scientists teach robots how to hunt

There is nothing that can wrong with this.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:44
Man who attacked Google buildings said the company...

Diaz said his motivation for attacking Google was that the company was watching him, according to an affidavit filed in a U.S. District Court. He told police he kept journals detailing the times he thought the company was watching him, the affidavit said. He also mentioned Facebook and Google CEO Larry Page during the interview.

Somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about your typical privacy complaint here.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:42
Verizon confirms plans including price hikes, more...

Verizon on Wednesday officially announced its rumored new cellphone plans, launching July 7, which are costlier but in some cases include perks previously found only at other carriers, like rollover data.

| Read more »
12:40
Become a Starfleet cadet at the Intrepid's new...

Star Trek turns 50 this September, and while fans will have to wait until next year for a taste of the new TV show, they can still have their own immersive Trek experience this summer at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. If you've...

| Read more »
12:39
Car thieves go high tech

The discovery follows a recent incident in Houston in which a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a laptop to start a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it from the owner’s driveway. Police say the same method may have been used in the theft of four other late-model Wranglers and Cherokees in the city. None of the vehicles has been recovered.

This problem is only going to get worse from here.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:33
Verizon raises rates, but offers more data

Verizon is hiking rates and increasing data across all its plans. For instance, the basic “S” plan will cost $35, a $5 rise, and offer double the data at 2 gigabytes and the high-end “XXL” plan will cost $10 more at $110 and offer 24 gigabytes as opposed to the previous 16 gigabyte limit.

I’ll be honest, that sounds reasonable to me.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:20
Australian police urge 'Pokémon Go'...

Zealous new Pokémon Go trainers around the world are out catching 'em all, but a police station in Australia is warning against actually walking into the station just to nab the items that could be lurking there.

| Read more »
12:11
Sling TV, a Cord Cutter’s Delight, Arrives on Apple...

The Sling TV service offers cable-style programming over the Internet at a lower cost, but a lack of Apple TV compatibility has kept many users away. Sling TV has now released an Apple TV app with a revamped interface. Julio Ojeda-Zapata reviews the app.

 

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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12:08
HummingBad Mucks Up Android's Works


More than 85 million Android devices worldwide have been taken over by the Yingmob, a group of China-based cybercriminals who created the HummingBad malware, according to a Check Point report released last week. HummingBad establishes a persistent rootkit on Android devices, generates fraudulent ad revenue, and installs additional fraudulent apps. If it fails to establish a rootkit, it effectively carpet bombs the target devices with poisoned apps. HummingBad has been generating revenue of $300,000 a month, according to Check Point.

| Read more »
12:01
Podcast 515: Facebook cuts Paper, its only good app

For the middle of summer, so much is going on! Glenn and Susie (just back from vacation) are joined by staff writer Caitlin McGarry to discuss the death of our favorite Facebook app ever, Facebook Paper. And then while we're at it, we chat about what Spotify's problem is and why Apple absolutely should buy Tidal.

In security news, the iCloud hacker plead guilty, making us wonder about the proper penalties for phishing. Apple's Gatekeeper is causing headaches again. And Glenn explains why just putting tape over your MacBook's microphone isn't going to do anything.

Show notes

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11:22
Microsoft’s new app can bring your toy car...

One of the tough things about having an awesome collection of physical objects is that it can be difficult to share them with people far away. After all, what good is having a collection of dolls action figures taking over your house if you can’t foist them on someone halfway across the globe?

That’s a problem that Microsoft Research Cambridge is trying to solve with the private beta of a new iOS app called Thinga.Me. It’s an app that lets users clip objects out of digital photos and then arrange them on virtual shelves for easy sharing online. 

The company has a few examples of how it works already, showing off different collections of figurines, family photos, bottles of beers and pottery on the Thinga.Me website. It’s all powered by computer vision technology that Microsoft Research has built to separate individual objects from the background of photos...

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11:00
iOS 10 beta 2 heads out the door, walkthrough video...

iOS 10 beta 2 is out the door and being tested throughout the developer community.

And, in addition to an assortment of bug fixes, the cool cats at MacRumors have thrown together a quick walkthrough that looks at the new changes, including sticker packs from Apple, changes to the Control Center 3D Touch actions, Apple’s new organ donor signup, and more.

Take a gander and see what you think:

Via MacRumors

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10:58
Snapchat launches Memories so you can save and...

That embarrassing Snapchat video is coming back to haunt you.

On Wednesday, Snapchat started rolling out Memories, a new in-app camera roll for saving and searching your photos and videos. Integrating a permanent, searchable media archive is a big, bold step for Snapchat, which has over 100 million daily users sharing photos and videos (as Snaps and Stories) that vanish after 24 hours. Snapchat’s “big change” will be rolling out slowly over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. 

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

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10:20
EasyDoc Malware Adds Tor Backdoor To Macs For Botnet...

An anonymous reader writes: Security firm Bitdefender has issued an alert about a malicious app that hands over control of Macs to criminals via Tor. The software, called EasyDoc Converter.app, is supposed to be a file converter but doesn't do its advertised functions. Instead it drops complex malware onto the system that subverts the security of the system, allowing it to be used as part of a botnet or to spy on the owner. "This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it's hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system," said Tiberius Axinte, Technical Leader, Bitdefender Antimalware Lab. "For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your private files or transform your laptop into a botnet to attack other devices. The possibilities are endless." The malware, dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor, sets up a hidden Tor service and PHP-capable web server on the infected computer, generating a .onion domain that...

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10:10
Blogosphere Chews on Android Nougat


Google last week revealed the official name of its next mobile operating system: "Android Nougat." The OS previously went only by "Android N," and Google invited the blogosphere to fill in the blanks. The choice sparked some derision, particularly among those who had preferred "Nutella." "What is nougat anyway?" asked John Jackson, a research VP at IDC. "It's like the 'nog' in eggnog; it doesn't exactly stand alone." That said, Nougat is consistent with Google's pattern of choosing generic sweets rather than branded product names.

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10:03
Hands-on with Voicemail Transcription in iOS 10 beta...

Apple appears to be slowly rolling out its new voicemail transcription feature to iOS 10 beta users, as the feature just appeared on my iPhone 6s in the last few minutes.

Voicemail transcription is exactly like it sounds: it processes audio from voicemails and displays the message in text form right from within the voicemail interface inside the built-in Phone app.  more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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10:00
Carbon Copy Cloner 4: A close look at a popular Mac...

Most Mac users are happy to use the Time Machine backup utility built into OS X, but that utility has a shortcoming -- it doesn't create a bootable copy on the backup drive. That's why third-party utilities such as Bombich Software's Carbon Copy Cloner 4 (US$39.99) have remained so popular.

I recently decided to switch back to a third-party utility rather than Time Machine, since my main goal if my primary internal iMac drive goes bad is to get back to work as quickly as possible. I had used SuperDuper! for quite a few years, but the app (and the company website) just doesn't seem to have changed over the years. Carbon Copy Cloner has been around since 2002, and although Carbon Copy Cloner 4 was first introduced about 21 months ago, it's been in continuous development with constant updates.

Carbon Copy Cloner (AKA CCC) has a 30-day free trial available for download, so if you haven'...

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09:56
Apple issues fifth betas of iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6...

Just a week after the fourth betas arrived, Apple has provided both developers and public testers with fifth pre-release betas of iOS 9.3.3 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.6, forthcoming maintenance and security updates.

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09:49
Apple releases fifth iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6, and...

Apple has issued a fifth developer and public beta release of iOS 9.3.3 ahead of its general release. iOS 9.3.3 beta 5 follows the last build issued a week ago which suggests a general release will soon follow. Apple is likely testing iOS 9.3.3 heavily as it could be the last version of iOS 9 before iOS 10 is released later this fall.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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09:45
Apple joins wide array of tech companies in fight to...

Apple and a cadre of other tech companies are fighting the European Union's so-called "Cookie Law," lobbying the organization for more refined laws that aim to strike a balance between user privacy and data collected by providers.

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09:30
9to5Toys Lunch Break: 13-inch MacBook Air from $750...

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

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air is on sale for as little as...

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09:28
Snapchat update introduces Memories feature for...

Snapchat’s latest update introduces a brand new feature called Memories which lets you save Snaps and Stories in your own personal collection. Memories lets you capture and save pictures and videos in Snapchat instead of the Camera Roll in Apple’s Photos app by default.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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09:26
Metrics vs. experience

Julie Zhuo, Product design VP at Facebook:

Being able to measure stuff gives you insight into what people are doing within your product. Unless you like living under a rock, having more information is a good thing. Sure, you need to be able to sort through what information is important and what isn’t, but arguing that the whole concept of having more information is bad is not really a defensible position. Metrics is not the villain.

Information is good, it’s what you do with it.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:15
External Link: Beware the EasyDoc Mac Malware

Bitdefender Labs has issued a warning about the EasyDoc Converter app, saying that it’s dangerous malware that could give an attacker complete control of your Mac. EasyDoc Converter was available at the reputable MacUpdate Web site, and testers at Tom’s Guide were able to install it despite Gatekeeper being set to allow apps only from the “Mac App Store and identified developers.” Interestingly, the malware will not install if you have Objective Development Software’s Little Snitch network-monitoring utility installed. Read this as yet another reminder to be extra careful about what you install on your Mac — stick to software from reputable developers.

 

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...

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09:15
Companies intentionally slow down load times

So companies introduce what Kowitz calls an “artificial waiting” pattern into their interfaces. These are status bars, maybe a few update messages, to construct a facade of slow, hard, thoughtful work, even though the computer is done calculating your query.

It is absolutely fascinating how the mind works and how designers have to slow things down in order for us to believe them.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:10
Snapchat memories

Memories is a new way to save Snaps and Stories on Snapchat. It’s a personal collection of your favorite moments that lives below the Camera screen. Just swipe up from the Camera to open Memories!

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:48
Pokémon Go is rolling out now for iOS and Android

The augmented reality, location-based game Pokémon Go is now on the way to Android and iOS.

The availability comes via a slow, global rollout that’s starting first in New Zealand. So if you’re not able to download the game yet, you may need to give it some time.

In our hands on with Pokémon Go, we found it to be a fun, digital geocaching exercise with the zany and popular characters from Nintendo. While the game is free, it’s packed in with microtransactions ranging from $1 to $100. 

To enhance the experience, there’s also a $35 Pokémon Go Plus wearable, which allows you to catch Pokémon and collect items even when the app is closed or your phone is locked. 

To read this...

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08:25
BBEdit 11.6

One of my favorite apps of all time.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:25
iPhone 7 To Start at 32GB Storage, Says WSJ

An anonymous reader writes: It appears Apple has finally decided to do something about the not-so-enough 16GB storage on its base iPhone model. According to a report on WSJ, the Cupertino-based company's next smartphone -- expected to be named iPhone 7 will have 32GB internal storage on the base model.For years, Apple has offered a 16GB iPhone version for those who were on a budget or just didn't necessarily need too much storage. But as we moved forward -- the iPhone got better cameras and improved video recording capability and apps became more sophisticated and ate more storage -- we really reached a point where 16GB wasn't enough for most people. In many cases, people were unable to update their iPhone to the latest version of iOS because there wasn't enough storage left on the device. It's a welcome move, and something millions of people will appreciate.

...

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08:17
Report: Apple now fifth behind local brands in China...

Apple lost share of the Chinese smartphone market with a decline in iPhone sales during May, pushing it to fifth place behind local brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi. The data comes from Counterpoint Research and was published today by Bloomberg.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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08:15
Summer sponsorships available on The Loop

We have some sponsorship weeks available in July and August on The Loop. If you want to get your product or service in front of The Loop readers, this is the only way to do it. Sponsors are exclusive for the week, so it will just be you, me, and the great people who read this site.

If you’re interested, get in touch and let’s hammer something out.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:07
Apple's iPhone dips to fifth place in Chinese...

Apple continued losing ground in the Chinese smartphone market in May, seeing its share drop to fifth place amid tough local competition, according to research data published on Wednesday.

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08:02
Pokémon Go is now rolling out for iOS and Android

Looks like the game is currently available in New Zealand and Australia, not yet rolled out in Japan and the US. Sounds like it’s just a matter of hours or days, though.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:00
Daily Deal: Exo Mount Touch Air Vent Car Mount

Man, there is NOTHING worse than putting your iPhone onto the console of your car and then finding that it has decided to hide itself under a seat while you are driving. Keep that iPhone within reach, cool, and safe from flopping around with the Exo Mount Touch Air Vent Car Mount, on sale for only $16.99 through the Apple World Today Deals Shop.

The mount clips into any available air vent on your dash board and holds your iPhone in place. Other features:

  • Mount your phone to your air vent w/ just 1 touch...
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07:57
The universe is spooky

I’m a math geek, so this might be more up my alley than most. A cool tweet showing how to use the Fibonacci sequence to convert miles to kilometers and back. Spooky!

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:44
The best Mac games of 2016 (so far)

Into Mac games? Enjoy the list, bookmark the site.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:40
Artificial intelligence, Apple, and Google

This post by Benedict Evans first digs into the idea of artificial intelligence, then looks at the efforts by Apple and Google to get a sense of who is doing what.

If you have even the slightest interest in artificial intelligence, neural nets, speech recognition, etc., this is worth the read.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:32
Happy Hour Podcast 074 | Spotify vs Apple, iOS 10...

This week Benjamin and Zac break down Spotify’s Apple Music complaint, Apple potentially buying Tidal, the latest changes in iOS 10 beta 2, and much more. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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07:23
New Tor-powered backdoor malware targets Macs

Security researchers have found a new backdoor program that allows attackers to hijack Mac systems and control them over the Tor network.

The new malware has been dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor by researchers from antivirus vendor Bitdefender and is distributed as a file converter application through reputable websites that offer Mac software.

The rogue application is called EasyDoc Converter. Once installed it displays a fake interface where users can supposedly drag and drop files for conversion, but which in reality doesn’t do anything.

In the background, the application executes a shell script that installs multiple malicious components in a folder called “/Users/$USER/Library/.dropbox.” The Dropbox name is used to make the malware harder to spot and has nothing to do with the legitimate Dropbox file synchronization software.

...

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07:20
Apple’s Blockbuster July sale: New $4.99 HD movie...

How to get to the sale movies on the Mac or on your iOS device.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:16
iPhone drops to fifth place among Chinese smartphone...

The iPhone dropped to fifth place in Chinese smartphone shipments. The Apple smartphone made up 10.8% of devices sold in May, down from 12% a year earlier, according to Counterpoint— as noted by Bloomberg.

Chinese brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi are now the top four smartphone makers in China with a combined market share of 53%, according to Counterpoint research director Neil Shah. Huawei Technologies Co. increased its lead with 17.3%, and Oppo almost doubled its market share to 11%.

FX Photo Studio CK adds stunning effects to your photography

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07:13
50 new iOS 10 beta 2 features [Video]

iOS 10 beta 2 was released earlier today, and it comes with a plethora of new, often subtle, tweaks and changes. We already told you about many of the updates found in this latest iOS 10 beta, but now allow us to show you even more of the changes and tweaks via our hands-on video walkthrough. more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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07:07
Everything new in iOS beta 2

Not to be confused with yesterday’s MacRumors-linking post, this is a more extensive walk through the iOS 10 beta 2 change-log. Lots of detail.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple TVs on sale for $20-$40 off MSRP
Best Buy has 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs on sale for $20-$40 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store... Read more
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Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
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