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Tuesday June 17

06:44
FiftyThree’s Pencil Stylus Draws Up Surface Pressure...

FiftyThree, the makers of the popular iPad drawing app Paper, are planning on adding a new angle to their Pencil stylus this fall when Apple launches iOS 8. The stylus will gain Surface Pressure control which lets users control the width and darkness of lines based on the tip's angle.


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06:31
Apple settles with states, consumers for e-book...

Apple has settled with states and consumers seeking damages from the company’s role in fixing e-book prices, Bloomberg reports. The company avoids a trial set for next month in which the company faced up to $840 million in damage claims; terms of the settlement were not disclosed. A judge…

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05:40
Apple Reaches Settlement with States in Ebook Price...

The lawsuit from several U.S. states against Apple over ebook price fixing allegations is coming to an end through a settlement outside of the court room. The states were seeking upwards of US$800 million after Federal Judge Denise Cote ruled that the iPhone and iPad maker had been the ring leader in a conspiracy with publishers to artificially raise the price of books.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple still says the ebook price fixing conspiracy didn't happen and that it was negotiating ebook deals independently with each of the big publishers. Settling with the states was most likely a tactic to avoid yet another trial and cut off the possibility of the states scoring a huge cash win. It also frees up Apple's legal resources to focus on overturning Judge Cote's ruling.

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Monday June 16

18:40
Skybox Could Allow Google to Predict iPhone Launch...

When Google purchased Skybox Imaging earlier in June, it was seen as a play on satellite imaging related to maps. That's not the business Skybox claims it is in, however; the company sees itself as an information company, and it could help Google do things like predict when Apple will launch new iPhones.


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16:43
Samsung Discusses Buying Nuance, Maker of Siri’s...

Nuance Communications, the maker of Dragon speech recognition software and the provider of Siri's speech recognition engine, is thinking about selling itself. Among its suitors is Samsung, and The Wall Street Journal reported the two companies have held talks.


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15:01
Techtool Pro 7 and Checkmate Bundled for $49.99.

We have a deal for you today on Techtool Pro and Checkmate, two powerful diagnostic and monitoring programs for your Mac. Techtool Pro is a troubleshooting and repair utility for your hard drive. The software has been around for 25 years, and it can do one-click testing of your CPU, memory, and hard drive. If your hard drive has a problem, it can do data recovery, rebuild your volume, and more. Checkmate is software that sits in the background looking for problems. Micromat designed it so that it only operates when your Mac is idle, too, so it won't get in your way. Together these two apps cost $125, but through our friends at Stack Social we have it for $49.99.


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14:23
MGG 506: Nine Years, Two Geeks and Hundreds Of...

This past Friday marks 9 years of Mac Geek Gab, and your two favorite geeks are at it and stronger than ever. Download and/or press "Play" on today's show to hear some great listener-submitted tips about managing Finder settings, installing Yosemite beta, podcast management and more. Then your geeks answer listener questions, including a great segment on managing disk space, both inside iTunes and beyond. Also the great question is answered, "What are the true benefits of private cloud?" Don't miss it!


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14:02
Ive promises new device materials in NYT interview

The New York Times has released an edited transcript of an interview with Apple design chief Jony Ive, who was interviewed for the paper’s recent profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook. In the interview, Ive said, “I would love to talk about future stuff – they’re materials we…

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12:34
Apple Allows First Bitcoin Wallet Back to the App...

Apple has allowed the first Bitcoin wallet app back onto the App Store after publicly changing its policy on such apps earlier in June. A free app called Coin Pocket was released on Friday, and it allows users to both send and receive Bitcoins directly in the app.


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12:05
How to Check Your Actual Netflix Streaming Speed

Typical speed tests on a Mac or iOS device calculate a point to point speed from a distant server. The resulting number in Mbps, while useful for analysis of overall service, doesn't reflect what you'll actually get from Netflix. John Martellaro shows you how to see your actual Netflix delivery data rate.


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11:59
FCC Investigating Netflix, ISP Streaming Deals

The content streaming deals Netflix struck with Comcast and Verizon has finally caught the eye of the Federal Communication Commission. Chairman Tom Wheeler said the Commission will be looking into the peering deals after receiving complaints about their repercussions from Netflix and consumers.

The Mac Observer Spin: Since FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is ready to look into the peering agreements ISPs are forcing onto content providers we can only assume he's been having trouble streaming movies from Netflix.


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11:47
WSJ: Samsung possible suitor for Siri tech developer...

Nuance Communications — the company behind the speech-recognition technology used in Apple’s Siri — has held buy-out discussions with Samsung, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s reported that Nuance has discussed a sale with both Samsung and private-equity firms, but it’s unclear how close the company is to…

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11:07
Transportation Department looking to regulate...

A proposed transportation bill from the Obama administration would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration authority to regulate navigation aids in cars, including smartphone apps, reports The New York Times. The bill, known as the Grow America Act, contains a measure that would give the NHTSA the…

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10:12
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-16

Amazon may have a million songs on its new Prime Music service, but none of those are from Universal Music. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about why the company that represents the likes of The Who, Lady Gaga, Queen and U2 isn't buying into Amazon's music game. They also take a look at the familiar Command key that's on our Mac keyboards and the history that brought it to our finger tips.


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08:20
Apple Producing Enough Sapphire for iWatch, Two...

Apple's sapphire glass production has ramped up to the point where it is manufacturing enough to make surfaces for the rumored iWatch as well as two different sizes of iPhone. All of that sapphire glass is coming from GT Advanced Technologies, and the company is still installing more furnaces to meet Apple's needs.

The Mac Observer Spin: Assuming GTAT can produce enough synthetic sapphire glass for Apple, we could be seeing super-hard and more durable surfaces on iPhones and the rumored iWatch this fall. That also means Corning won't be selling nearly as much Gorilla Glass to Apple as it has been.


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07:52
NYT profile praises Cook’s humanity, questions...

Tim Cook is the subject of a New York Times profile that attempts to explain how the Apple CEO is reshaping the company in his own ways. While his predecessor Steve Jobs was known for being “maniacal about design,” Cook takes a less hands-on approach, with more decisions delegated…

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07:22
Company Accesses AT&T Customer Social Security...

Social Security numbers and call records for many AT&T Mobility subscribers have been accessed without authorization by a third-party service provider. The data was taken by employees at the service provider between April 9 and April 21, and AT&T isn't saying just how many of its customers were affected.

The Mac Observer Spin: This was a case where people that had access to personal information abused their position and not hackers using software vulnerabilities to break into company servers. It's a reminder that there are plenty of ways for people to access our personal information that go beyond computer security breaches.


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06:29
Apple apparently allowing Bitcoin wallet apps again

iOS Bitcoin wallet app Coin Pocket has recently been published in the App Store, as it appears Apple is again allowing such apps in its ecosystem. A recent report noted that Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines to allow for certain virtual currency apps. Coin Pocket is…

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06:04
Apple and Samsung End ITC Injunction Fight, Patent...

Apple and Samsung both dropped their appeals in the ITC investigation where several older model Samsung smartphones were banned from import into the United States. The ban will stay in place, and the two companies will continue to fight it out in court over their ongoing patent infringement accusations.

The Mac Observer Spin: With both Apple and Samsung agreeing to drop their injunction appeals in the ITC injunction we may be seeing an indication that the two companies are able to successfully complete negotiations, even if it is only on a small level. Don't expect to see their other patent infringement cases dropped any time soon, but this could be a spark of hope that they can come back to the table and resolve their infringement claims outside of the court room -- just don't hold your breath expecting that to happen any time soon.

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Saturday June 14

07:30
How to Work With Location Services in iOS 7

One of the biggest advantages to toting around an iOS device is the utility and pleasure derived from using location-aware apps and functionality. Sandro Cuccia shows you how you can mitigate any privacy concerns by applying fine controls to how Location Services are used on your device.


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Friday June 13

17:35
Free Red Cross Apps For Emergencies Near You

Vern Seward points out some stellar apps from Red Cross, including Red Cross Earthquake app, Flood, Hurricane, Wildfire, and Tornado apps. These you MUST have. They're free, and they might be just what you need if you find yourself in an emergency situation.


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17:16
Amazon Launched Prime Music Without Universal Music...

Amazon launched Prime Music, its entry into the burgeoning streaming music market, this week, but the company did so without the biggest catalog of music on the planet, Universal Music Group. That means artists like Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, The Who, Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, and...wait for it...Dr. Dre.


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15:04
Get a $15 Bonus Credit at SellYourMac.com

Have you heard of SellYourMac.com? It's like Gazelle, but for Macs. I would have mentioned as a Cool Stuff Found article, but instead I get to offer it to you as a deal through our friends at Stack Social. In any event, if you're looking for a hassle-free way to sell an old Mac, you can go to SellYourMac.com, enter the specifics of your Mac and get a quote. If you like the price, proceed. If not, don't. It's pretty simple. Just like with all of the sell-your-device services, including Gazelle, Apple, and Amazon, you'll get a better price if you sell it directly to someone else, but a lot of don't have the time or energy for dealing with that process. Our deal works like this: click through to the deal listing and follow the prompts. You'll get an instant digital coupon you can apply after you get your quote for a $15 bonus credit, and it's free. Cool, eh?

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13:40
The Unexpected Way Apple’s Growth is Exploited by...

When a company grows too large too fast, there's a temptation to do too much. On the other hand, simplifying for customers opens windows of opportunity for competitors. At WWDC 2014, we saw a glimpse of how Apple tries to strike a balance. Sometimes, the company wins dramatically and sometimes it falls short.


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12:34
Apple’s Command Key Origin Story

Via Reddit, we have a link to a brief history of that key next to the spacebar on Apple keyboards. It's unofficially called the Apple key, splat, the pretzel key, or the propeller, but the official name for it is the Command key. On the Apple II keyboard, the keys on either side of the spacebar were different; one was the "open Apple" and one was the "closed Apple." For some reason the open Apple key was the one that did more things, so to this day I still forget there's another key over there on the right. In fact, I called it the open Apple key for many years, and finally broke the habit about the time the Apple logo disappeared off that key entirely. Check out the story of how it came to be, and if you haven't heard it before, it's an interesting Steve Jobs tale.


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12:24
Apple Cracks Down On Faux Five Star Reviews in App...

Apple has increased scrutiny on suspicious App Store reviews, and in some cases has already started removing them, according to a report from TechCrunch.

The Mac Observer Spin: Good! Discovery still isn't the greatest, but I'm glad those who game the system aren't going to be rewarded for it.


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12:23
Report: Apple cracking down on fake app ratings

Apple has reportedly been removing fake App Store reviews that have improved the chart ranking of certain apps, according to TechCrunch. These rating removals have been going on for an indeterminate amount of time. A recent tweet noted one app saw 20,000 ratings removed “overnight,” and the report claims…

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12:20
iLounge Weekly coming Monday, giveaway update

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers…

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10:55
iLounge Game Spotlight: Lex

Lex ($1) is a new word game from Simple Machine. Players are tasked with building words as fast as they can. Though there’s no board, the game should feel familiar to Scrabble players. Players in Lex make words from a “rack” of nine letters.…

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10:31
Angela Ahrendts Visits Tokyo Retail Store Grand...

Apple's new Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts, attended the opening of the latest Apple retail location in Tokyo, the third store in the city.

The Mac Observer Spin: If this is how Tim Cook corrects mistakes, by all means continue fixing them in this fashion. Angela Ahrendts is shaping up to be an excellent choice to lead retail.


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10:19
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-13

Apple improved App Store discovery with a new category browsing feature, but the company isn't going far enough to help iPhone owners find new apps. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explain why and talk about why Apple wouldn't have bought Tony Fadell's Nest thermostat company.


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08:05
Analysts Push their AAPL Target Above $100

Analysts from RBC, Deutsche Bank, and Monness Crespi & Hardt raised their target prices for Apple's stock this week to US$100 or higher. The changes follow Apple's 7-to-1 stock split on Monday and show analysts are positive overall about the company's growth potential.

The Mac Observer Spin: The 7-to-1 stock split along with the prospect of the iPhone 6 coming this fall and the rumored iWatch has investors and analysts optimistic about Apple's prospects.


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06:39
European iPhone Charger Adapters Overheating, Apple...

Apple launched a European iPhone charger adapter replacement program on Friday after finding that the device could dangerously overheat. The company isn't saying the charger adapters pose a fire threat, but did say it is a "safety risk."

The Mac Observer Spin: Safety issues are a big deal, so it's good to see Apple proactively addressing the problem even though there aren't any reports of related fires or injuries.


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05:50
iOS 7: The “Summarize Photos” Feature

The Years, Collections, and Moments views in iOS 7âs Photos app can be a bit overwhelming to scroll through. Luckily, thereâs a âSummarize Photosâ setting you can use to cut down on the number of images youâll see within Years and Collections, so you can more quickly find exactly the time period you want. In this article, weâll figure out how to use it (and how to turn it off if you donât like it)!


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05:29
Apple announces exchange program for some European...

Apple has announced an exchange program for its 5W European USB power adapters that “may overheat and pose a safety risk.” The affected adapters came with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S models shipped from October 2009 to September 2012 in a number of European countries —…

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Thursday June 12

20:19
Aerial Photos Show Progress on Apple’s Spaceship HQ

Aerial photos taken by Bay Area reporter Ron Cervi show the progress being made on the construction site of Apple Campus 2. Being built in Cupertino, the so-called Spaceship HQ is starting to take physical shape, with an outside wall bringing physical reality to the circular design of the building.


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17:55
Tony Fadell: I Would Have Loved to Show Steve Jobs...

Tony Fadell sold his company-Nest Inc.-to Google for US$3.2 billion, but in an in-depth profile in Fortune magazine, the father of the iPod revealed that he wished he could have shown the Nest Thermostat to his former boss, Steve Jobs. "I would have loved to have been able to show it to him, but the timing didnât work," he told the magazine. Mr. Fadell, shown in the image, said that Steve Jobs kept in touch with him when Nest was still in stealth mode, but by the time he was ready to show the device, Mr. Jobs had grown to ill. The piece offers an excellent look at Mr. Fadell, his career, how Nest was founded, his combative tenure at Apple, and why Google bought the firm. Fortune also reminded us that Mr. Fadell is one of the few Apple executives to see success after they left Apple.

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17:04
Apple Launches ‘Browse by Category’ in App Store for...

Apple launched a new "Browse by Category" feature for the App Store on Thursday. The feature allows users a fast visual way to narrow down their app search for improved discovery.


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15:20
Monstrous Posters by Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak's birthday would have celebrated his 86th birthday this week. Sadly, he rumpused his last in 2012, and therefore won't come across this tribute to him on his birthday. Via Brain Pickings we discover the wondrous book Posters by Maurice Sendak, a large format/coffeetable book ofâwell, of his posters. Some of them are the "yay reading!" type found in libraries and classrooms, which are the ones I remember most vividly, as they hung in the libraries and classrooms where I spent lots of time as a kid. In fact I convinced my mom to hang one in her classroom for me because I loved it so much. Head over to Brain Pickings and check out some images from this book. And if you're inspired to start a wild rumpus, well, that's on you.


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14:02
CrazyTalk Animator 2 for Mac Plus Training Videos...

We have a deal today on animation tool called CrazyTalk Animator 2 Standard for Mac. This is an animation product designed, in part, for people who aren't artists. It comes with a wide array of stock characters that can then be customized in any number of ways. It also has the ability to turn 2D photos into talking characters. One of the things I like about this deal is that it also includes six hours of training videos to help you learn how to use the software. You get the software plus the training videos for $49, but the sale ends in six days.


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13:35
How to Log in From a Mac to Linux in Parallels...

The default installation of, for example, a Linux Virtual Machine in Parallels on, say, a Mac uses a shared network mode that prevents incoming log in attempts (ssh). John Martellaro briefly describes how to fix that.


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13:23
Beats To Pay Out Equity Deal To LeBron James

Barketball star LeBron James is set to receive an equity payout as part of the Beats sale to Apple. Reports said that Mr. James will receive more than US$30 million in cash and stock as a result of a 2008 deal that gave him a stake in the company.


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12:39
Apps: Broken Age, (R)evolve, Skype 5.0 + VVVVVV

Broken Age ($10) from Double Fine Productions is the first graphic adventure game in 16 years from developer Tim Schafer. Famously funded through Kickstarter, Broken Age is an iPad-only game which was first released on other platforms in January. Players control two teenagers who find themselves in similar situations,…

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11:22
Nest’s Fadell talks about relationship with Steve...

Nest founder and “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell is featured in a new Fortune profile that devotes plenty of time to his relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Fadell regrets that he never got to show Nest to Jobs. “I would have loved to have been able to…

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10:39
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-12

Amazon joined the streaming music market on Thursday with Prime Music, so Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro joined Jeff Gamet to talk about what that means for consumers, Spotify, Apple and Beats. They also offered up their take on yesterday's anti-Uber protest from London's taxi drivers.


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09:44
Starbucks Announces Wireless Charging On Tables

Starbucks announced Thursday that wireless charging is being rolled out nationwide. In a partnership with Duracell, the company said it was installing Powermat charging spots at all locations, starting in San Francisco.

The Mac Observer Spin: Cool! I don't usually need to charge my phone at Starbucks, but all those dangling chargers at the Starbucks next to Moscone center show it's pretty common to need a boost during the day.


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09:38
MacTech Conference Discounts Good Through Sunday...

MacTech Conference has quickly become one of my favorite new conferences. It's small, you can really get to know everyone, you eat most/all meals together, and it really is all about community and learning simultaneously. Now in its 5th year, MacTech Conference has built up a bit of a name, not only for the aforementioned aspects (especially the learning), but also for its evening activities. While MacTech isn't quite ready to tell us exactly what this year's special event is, this picture they sent along today might give us some idea, especially when couched amongst the conference's history.


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08:45
Starbucks, Duracell announce wireless Powermat in-...

Starbucks has announced it will roll out wireless charging in its stores by use of Duracell’s Powermat charging system. The rollout will begin in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston before expanding nationally into other Starbucks stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars. Locations can be

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08:27
Amazon Launches Streaming Music Service with Over 1M...

Amazon threw its hat into the streaming music game on Thursday with the launch of its Prime Music service. Prime Music is free for Amazon Prime subscribers, includes over 1 million songs, and several hundred curated playlists.

The Mac Observer Spin: Amazon doesn't have a Spotify or iTunes Radio killer on its hands. Instead, it has yet another feature that makes its $99 a year Amazon Prime service more tantalizing.


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08:22
Dev posts video of iOS 8 side-by-side apps

Developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who noted days ago that iOS 8 contained code for two apps to run side-by-side, has posted a YouTube video of the feature in action. Apparently manipulated using a two-finger gesture, an app is resized to create room for another app on the right side of…

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06:47
Amazon intros streaming Prime Music with iOS app

Amazon has introduced Prime Music, a new unlimited, ad-free streaming music service featuring more than a million songs and “hundreds of playlists.” It comes free with an Amazon Prime subscription ($99), but is otherwise inaccessible. Users can download songs and playlists for offline playback, as well. Amazon’s Cloud Player…

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06:47
Dropbox gets into Chat with Droptalk Purchase

Online storage company Dropbox has purchased the messaging service Droptalk -- a company you likely didn't even know existed. Droptalk's Web-based messaging service was still in beta and available only as a Google Chrome add-on, but it does give Dropbox a presence in the chat market along with the company's coders.

The Mac Observer Spin: Dropbox clearly wants to be the go-to service for online storage and file syncing, and buying Droptalk could make the company a strong player in document collaboration, too.


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05:45
Automator: Pulling Out Text from PDFs

One of the nifty things you can do with Automator is create small applications to handle all sorts of tasks. For todayâs Quick Tip, weâre gonna learn how to make one thatâll extract the text from PDFs for us, no copying or pasting required. Come on in and find out how!


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Wednesday June 11

19:25
ACM 258: Google in Orbit, EU Tax Headaches, and...

Google is taking to the skies, or more accurately, to orbit with its own satellite imaging company, the European Union isn't happy with Ireland's corporate tax laws, and Apple wants us to exploit our personal fitness data, not other companies. Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin talk about what all of that means for Apple, plus they have a little Bel-Air easter egg for you.


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18:10
EU Officially Launches Probe Into Irish Tax Dealings...

The European Union's (EU) European Commission (EC) officially launched a probe into tax dealings member countries Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have with multinational corporations like Apple Inc., Starbucks Corporation, and Fiat Finance & Trade SA. According to Bloomberg, the EC is investigating whether or not tax breaks offered to corporate subsidiaries in these countries constitute illegal state aid.


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17:28
U.S. Highway Shortfall Pushing Senate Towards Tax...

The needs of the U.S. Highway Trust Fund are pushing the U.S. Senate towards the idea of a tax holiday for U.S. companies that would allow them to repatriate offshore money into the U.S. The Highway Trust fund is projected to run out of money in August, while there are hundreds of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure repairs that need to be made on the system.


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16:58
Stuffit Deluxe for Mac for $9.99 Ends Soon

I have a killer deal for anyone who needs to send or receive large files on the Internet: Stuffit Deluxe for just $9.99, that's 80 percent off the regular price of $49.99. Today's Stuffit Deluxe comes with StuffIt Archive Manager, Stuffit Scheduler, and Stuffit Expander, and it's aimed at those who want to transmit files across the Internet as swiftly as possible. It also allows users to examine the contents of StuffIt X, Zip, Tar, and RARarchives, including encoded archives and compressed Tar archives (tarballs), without having to expand them. If you're interested in this deal, jump on it because it ends in just four days.


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16:35
Expedia Tosses Hat Into Bitcoin Ring

Expedia announced on Wednesday that it will accept Bitcoins for hotel reservations starting immediately. The company joins other large companies such as Overstock.com and Dish Networks in accepting the currency, propelling the cryptocurrency further into the mainstream.


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12:58
Amazon Puts Customers in the Middle of Warner...

Amazon is involved in another supplier dispute, this one with Warner Brothers, which means DVDs like The Lego Movie and 300: Rise Of An Empire are unavailable from the online retailer.

The Mac Observer Spin: How is it to Amazon's advantage to push customers away?


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12:43
Apple responds to EU tax investigation

As expected, the European Commission today officially announced an investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland. The EU is checking whether the deal, along with separate deals made by Starbucks and Fiat, qualifies as illegal state aid, Bloomberg reports.  “Apple pays every euro of every tax that we…

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12:39
Parrot announces MiniDrone release dates, pricing

Parrot has announced availability and pricing for its two new MiniDrone products that originally debuted at CES 2014. Rolling Spider ($100) is an ultra-compact flying drone that can be used indoors or outside. It includes removable wheels that allow it to roll from floor to ceiling.

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12:19
Sir Mix-A-Lot With the Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony has a series called Sonic Evolutions, where they perform music from and inspired by local artists, so it was only a question of time before Sir Mix-A-Lot made it on the list. As a native of the Pacific Northwest, I was a Sir Mix-A-Lot fan way before Baby Got Back, because he was a "local" rapper, and let's be honest, before Macklemore, he was the only one. So without further adieu, I will link you to the video for Baby Got Back which is making the rounds, but below is the video of the other song he performed, Posse On Broadway, one of my favorites from Sir Mix-A-Lot (it's in regular rotation on my iPhone). Definitely check out both videos, they're fun to watch.


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11:35
Anti-Uber Protest Brings Central London to a...

A protest against Uber brought parts of central London to a standstill on Wednesday with taxi drivers picketing to pressure the UK government to enact regulations controlling the alternative taxi service.

The Mac Observer Spin: Uber has a way of disrupting traditional taxi services, so it isn't any surprise that London's taxi drivers aren't happy with company's expansion. It's no surprise they're pushing for regulations that help them better compete with Uber.


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10:44
Report: iPad Air 2 starts production this month with...

Apple will begin producing displays for the new iPad Air this month, and other components for the device next month, Korean site ET News reports. The new device will reportedly feature an 8MP rear camera — a bump up from the current 5MP camera — and an improved processor,…

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09:59
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-11

A report claims it's possible for the NSA to eavesdrop on your conversations through your iPhone even if it's turned off. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about the implications of widespread government surveillance and the technical aspects of using our iPhones as remote spy devices. They also take a look at Dr. Bott's bankruptcy filing and explain why that isn't necessarily a bad thing.


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08:16
Faster iMacs Reportedly Coming Next Week

Apple will be releasing new iMac models next week, according to insider sources. Instead of fancy new Retina Displays, however, the upgrade is expected to include little more than minor processor speed bumps.

The Mac Observer Spin: Slightly faster iMacs with a small price drop sounds nice, but would be a lot cooler if it included the updated Haswell processors from Intel which are due later this month.


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07:24
NSA Eavesdropping: Your iPhone isn’t Safe Even when...

The NSA has a reputation for spying on whoever they please and mass data collection from people who aren't suspects in crimes, and the agency can listen in on your conversations through your iPhone's built-in microphone even if the device is turned off. That trick can't, however, happen unless the NSA has gained physical access to your iPhone and installed either a hardware or software implant designed to make it appear your smartphone is off even though it isn't.

The Mac Observer Spin: It says a lot about the level of trust people have in the U.S. government when the discussion turns to ways to prevent the NSA from eavesdropping on our personal conversations.


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06:54
New iPhone 6 4.7” leaks surface

Another set of photos of Apple’s alleged 4.7” iPhone 6 have surfaced, this time on the Weibo account of dreamerjimmy. Photos of both the front and back of the device are seen, shot next to an iPhone 5s for comparison. The back of the…

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05:53
Apple Video Highlight’s OS X Yosemite’s New Look

Apple gave us a taste of what's to come when OS X Yosemite ships this fall during the keynote presentation that kicked off this year's Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month, and now you can get a closer look at some of the new interface elements in a short video, too. The video highlights Finder windows, Messages, Calendar, redesigned app icons, and more.


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Tuesday June 10

16:10
EU Set to Probe Ireland’s Tax Arrangements with Apple

The European Union's (EU) European Commission is set to launch a probe into Ireland's tax arrangements with large multinationals such as Apple. Reuters reported the news, but buried near the end of the story is that the Commission's focus is likely to be the tax regime that allows Apple and others to protect overseas revenues from local taxation, rather than Apple itself.


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15:02
Apple Releases MacBook Air Firmware Update for Sleep...

Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for mid-2013 and 2014 models Tuesday. The update addresses sleep and memory issues.


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14:46
Apple-Focused Distributor Dr. Bott Declares...

Dr. Bott, a long-time Apple-focused distributor of devices, cases, accessories, and other gear, recently declared bankruptcy. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection, and it's unclear if it intends to use that process to continue operations.


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14:05
Google Steps Closer to Robot Overlord Status with...

Internet search giant Google took another step closer to becoming our robot overlord on Tuesday with the US$500 million purchase of Skybox Imaging. Google plans to use Skybox's satellite network to improve its own Google Maps service.

The Mac Observer Spin: Google tracks us through our Web searches, browsing, and email, plus it has Google Glass to see what we see, and is building its own self driving cars. Next stop: robot overlords.


| Read more »
13:10
Smile Launches ‘Get A Little, Give A Lot Promotion’...

Smile has launched the "Get a little, give a lot" promotion with a 20 percent off sale on PDFpen and PDFpenPro, and everyone who buys it can donate a free copy to a nonprofit of their choosing.

The Mac Observer Spin: Kelly pink puffy hearts Smile for about a squillion reasons, this is just the latest of them.


| Read more »
12:53
Apple Products Slated To Return To Costco Warehouses

Four years ago, Apple's iPods and gift cards slowly disappeared from Costco, but are going to make a comeback. An internal company memo said that iPhones and iPads are returning to the warehouse chain, while separate sources said that gift cards are already reappearing.

The Mac Observer Spin: This generally means a permanent deal on gift cards, which is awesome for anyone. Not to mention getting a crack at being one of the devices at those displays in Costco, which is one of the few places left that doesn't seem to sell anything from Cupertino.


| Read more »
12:23
Kloqe Aluminum Case for iPhone 5/5s is Sturdy,...

The Kloqe aluminum case for iPhone 5/5s is made of aluminum and is sleek, minimalist, and beautiful. Well designed plastic caps on each end allow the radios to work effectively. It is the most beautiful iPhone case John Martellaro has ever seen, but it does have one small flaw. John sizes up this amazing but possibly flawed case.


| Read more »
12:20
Doxie One Portable, Battery-Powered Scanner - Just $...

For just a few more days you can save $50 and get the Doxie One portable scanner for just $99. You don't even have to have your computer with you to scan with this thing. Scans are stored on an included 2GB SD Card, and then you can sync that to your Mac when you're ready (the scanner has a USB port in case your computer can't directly read SD cards - they thought of it all!). Full 300dpi sheets will scan in just eight seconds, and the Doxie app includes OCR and the ability to create searchable PDFs (among other formats). Upload directly to Evernote or Dropbox if that's your fancy. If you haven't gone paperless yet, this is your chance!


| Read more »
11:51
EU to investigate Apple’s Irish tax practices

The European Commission will launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland, RTE reports. It’s expected that the commission will officially announce the investigation tomorrow. Apple CEO Tim Cook testified on Apple’s tax policies to a U.S. Senate subcommittee last year. Recently, a March report

| Read more »
11:25
iTunes Radio adds ESPN Radio, local NPR stations

ESPN Radio and a number of local NPR stations are now available on iTunes Radio. The stations are notably live streaming stations, rather than customizable iTunes Radio stations. NPR launched its first iTunes Radio station, NPR News and Culture, in March. A search for…

| Read more »
10:16
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-10

Apple has a different take on just how the information our personal tracking devices should be used, and that bit of information came out in a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about just how differently Apple sees our personal information, and to share their hopes for a better future for Skype.


| Read more »
08:49
Apple plans 1,000 in-house ad/marketing employees,...

Ad Age has a new comprehensive report on Apple’s shifting strategies in advertising and marketing, claiming the company is “madly building an internal agency that it’s telling recruits will eventually number 1,000.” The article starts with an anecdote about a pitch from Apple’s longtime ad agency partner TBWA/Media Arts…

| Read more »
08:08
Apps: FIFA 2.0, Kindle 4.3, Sky Force 2014 + Sleep...

FIFA has updated its free FIFA Official App before the start of the World Cup this week. As one might expect, the updated app has more information about the World Cup, including the latest news, rosters, schedule, and information on the Brazilian stadiums and cities hosting the tournament. Another…

| Read more »
07:20
Apparent Oleg Pliss iPhone Hackers Arrested

Two Russian men apparently linked to the iPhone lockout scam that hit Australia in May have been arrested. The two have been accused of remotely locking victim's iPhones and then demanding a ransom, and while authorities stopped short of saying they were involved on the Oleg Pliss attacks, their actions sound exactly the same.

The Mac Observer Spin: Regardless of whether or not the real Oleg Pliss attackers are in custody, this is a great reminder to avoid offers that are too good to be true, and to stay away from websites that you think aren't trustworthy.


| Read more »
06:04
Netflix Backs Down from ISP Speed Shaming

Netflix has backed down from its Internet bandwidth shaming campaign against Verizon, bringing an end to what the video streaming company called a trial run to let customers know why the movies they want to watch download slowly. After the warnings gained media attention, Verizon threatened legal action if Netflix didn't stop.

The Mac Observer Spin: Netflix backed down, which means either Verizon won this round or Netflix played a gamble to force the ISP into more talks about bandwidth availability. Either way, it's pretty clear Verizon isn't interested in a Net Neutrality that's equally open for all data.


| Read more »

Monday June 9

17:10
Apple Launches ‘Soccer Fever’ iTunes Collection of...

Apple launched a collection of apps and games in the App Store called "Soccer Fever." The move is timed for World Cup 2014, which begins this month in Brazil.


| Read more »
16:46
Apple Sees Mobile Tech As Opportunity for Users to...

Apple sees mobile technology platforms, "as an opportunity for people to learn more about themselves," according to discussions held with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials. Highlights from the meeting show that Apple used the meeting to talk about medtech sensors, including a glucometer, regulations for such sensors, and the FDA's stance on apps dedicated to medical monitoring.


| Read more »
14:55
Get Scrivener, a Great Writing Tool, for Just $20

I have a great deal for you on Scrivener, a product I personally endorse in the strongest terms. Scrivener is a writing tool aimed at novelists, screenwriters, short story writers, and any other writers out there. I've been using it for almost three years to work on two novels, and I can't imagine using anything else. In addition to being wonderful for organizing your work into scenes and chapters, research documents, and more, it also has incredible output tools that can turn your manuscript into a Word doc for submission to the industry, an Epub file for iBooks, a Kindle file, a PDF, and many, many other formats. With our deal, you can get it for $20, less than half the retail price of $45, but you only have five more days to get it at that price. If you want more info on Scrivener, check out John Martellaro's review.

...

| Read more »
14:15
MGG 505: WWDC Dissected - What it Means For Users

You've heard about the WWDC keynote, but you haven't heard a deep dive from the sessions yet. This year Apple loosened up the NDA such that attendees to the sessions can talk a little bit more detail than they could in the past. Dave was at most of those sessions, and he and John will deep dive into a few topics from there and, more importantly, how you, as a user, will be impacted by the changes now afforded to developers. After that, of course, it's time to answer your questions, and they piled up quite high over the past week. Lots to cover, and your geeks get to it all. Download today and enjoy!


| Read more »
13:13
Dev: iOS 8 includes code for side-by-side apps

iOS 8’s SpringBoard includes code to run two apps side-by-side, according to a tweet from developer Steven Troughton-Smith. He notes that the code anticipates that side-by-side apps will be run at 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 size. While a previous report noted that Apple would add split-screen multitasking to iOS…

| Read more »
12:48
FOIA request reveals Apple, FDA medical sensor...

Apple and the FDA discussed Apple’s interest in including medical sensors in mobile devices, according to a report from Apple Toolbox, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request to gain insight into Apple’s December meeting with the FDA. The response notes that “[w]ith the potential for more sensors…

| Read more »
12:46
Apple Addresses MacBook Air Battery Issue with...

Apple released MacBook Air SMC Update 2.0 on Monday to address a battery drain issue affecting the mid 2013 MacBook Air model. The problem occurs when the laptop lid is closed and the computer should otherwise be in a low power use mode.


| Read more »
12:25
Report: Apple rejects apps rewarding video ads,...

Apple is now cracking down on apps that reward users for watching videos or sharing socially, according to TechCrunch. App developers are now reportedly receiving rejection notices as Apple cites sections 2.25 and 3.10 in its App Store Review Guidelines. Section 2.25 reads: “Apps that display Apps other…

| Read more »
12:15
How Apple’s WWDC Keynote Blew Away All the Editorial...

There is nothing like a WWDC Keynote, a two hour glimpse into the psyche of Apple, to provide a solid picture of what the company is up to. Observers may or may not like the personality of Tim Cook or the current product line, but last week's keynote illustrates how the efforts of thousands of Apple engineers have come to fruition. It obliterated the Apple hysteria.


| Read more »
12:07
Skype Announces Big Changes in Upcoming iPhone...

Microsoft has announced a redesign of Skype for iPhone on the Skype blog. This update is a big one, and includes not only some design changes but some speed updates as well.


| Read more »
11:49
Apple’s iOS 8 Protects Mobile Privacy from Wi-Fi...

One of the improved privacy features of iOS 8 could also foil marketers tracking smartphone data. A Swiss scientist has revealed that MAC address tracking-a common method marketers (and also malware) can use to monitor mobile phones (and therefore customers) as they move through a store-is foiled by Apple's latest iOS 8 beta releases.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's nice to see this baked into iOS, rather than it being a separate utility. It would be nice if this became the norm.


| Read more »
11:06
Apple looking for ‘high-profile’ corporate...

Apple is hoping to find some “high-profile external candidates” in its search for a new VP of worldwide corporate communications, Re/Code reports. The company is looking to fill the position vacated by longtime PR chief Katie Cotton, whose retirement was announced last month. CEO Tim Cook is reportedly…

| Read more »
10:43
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-09

Apple bought the location discovery app company Spotsetter, but not to get into the social networking business. Bryan Chaffin and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about what's really behind the purchase, and to explain what today's 7-to-1 stock split means for Apple investors.


| Read more »
09:45
Apple Doesn’t Need to Be First to Home Automation;...

Last week at WWDC Apple quickly announced HomeKit, the company's home automation framework for developers. Many folks have been asking if Apple is too late with this; if the market is already saturated such that there's no room for Apple (or any other new "platform"). It's possible that Apple is late to the party, but I will offer this: Apple is rarely first at anything, but Apple is often the best.


| Read more »
08:52
Wells Fargo Analyst Adjusts AAPL Target Following...

Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um has lowered his target price range for Apple's stock to reflect its value following Monday morning's 7-to-1 stock split. His new 12 month target price range is between US$86 and $93, and was between $388 and $645 last week before the stock split.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple's stock is already trading above Mr. Um's target range. That doesn't, however, mean he's underestimating how it will perform over the next 12 months.


| Read more »
08:39
iOS 8 randomizes MAC addresses when searching for Wi...

As tweeted by Swiss programmer Frederic Jacobs on Sunday, iOS 8 will randomize a device’s MAC address while scanning for available Wi-Fi networks. Companies are currently able to use device-specific MAC addresses to track the location of devices — for instance, MAC addresses allow retailers to recognize if…

| Read more »
 
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Airmail 1.4 - Powerful, minimal email cl...
Airmail is a powerful, minimal mail client.It was designed to retain the same experience with a single or multiple accounts and provide a quick, modern and easy-to-use user experience. Airmail... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.1.12 - Monitor and co...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.37 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9 - Fo...
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. This update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected and fixes a rare issue... Read more
FileZilla 3.9.0.1 - Fast and reliable FT...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.Version 3.9.0.1: MSW: Fix installation issue with locked DLLs... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more

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Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat L...
Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat Learning Library Sale Posted by Ellis Spice on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MyTaskList Review
MyTaskList Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EFFECTIVE IF PLAINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s not the most stylish of task management apps, but MyTaskList has all the features you could... | Read more »
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRICKY FLYINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A tough game of careful thrusting and navigation, FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines... | Read more »
MTN Review
MTN Review By Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADORABLE, SERENE, AND AMUSINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad MTN is an adorable, talking pet mountain that is less game and more zen garden.   | Read more »
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available o...
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Bio Inc. Review
Bio Inc. Review By Nadia Oxford on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SICKENING - IN A COMPELLING WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bio Inc is about orchestrating the medical destruction of a single person. If that doesn’... | Read more »
HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
Sr *Apple* Engineer - IT - Requisition #: -...
For more information about TIAA-CREF, visit our website . The Apple Engineer will provide engineering and third-level incident support for 300- 500 MacOS desktop/laptop Read more
*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
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