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Thursday June 12

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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

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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…

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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.


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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…

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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…

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.

...

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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!


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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…

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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…

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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.


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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…

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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…

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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…

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08:06
New photos of alleged iPhone 6 rear shell surface

New photos of the alleged 4.7” iPhone 6 rear shell have surfaced on Xiaolongchakan.com. The new photos match another photo of the alleged shell in late May, albeit without a sticker on the shell. It now appears as if the majority of the…

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07:24
Researchers Find Yet Another Major OPenSSL Security...

As if Heartbleed wasn't enough of a headache for OpenSSL, security researchers have found another major flaw that lets attackers bypass the protocol's encryption without being detected. The flaw exploits the OpenSSL handshake to force sending and receiving computers to use weak passwords attackers can decrypt through man in the middle attacks.

The Mac Observer Spin: OpenSSL is a powerful tool for encrypting information passing between your computer and Web servers, but this threat and Heartbleed show it isn't necessarily as safe as previously thought. The OpenSSL team is stretched thin, so there just isn't enough manpower to stay on top of every security issue. Translation: Don't blindly assume the information passing between your computer and Internet servers is always encrypted.

...

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05:54
AAPL 7-to-1 Stock Split Trading Starts Today, Over $...

After closing on Friday at US$645.57, Apple's stock is trading in the pre-market Monday morning around $92. That drop doesn't, however, indicate a decrease in Apple's stock value but instead comes from the promised 7-to-1 stock split scheduled to take effect today.


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05:46
Dr. Dre profile highlights perfectionism, mysterious...

A Wall Street Journal profile of Beats Electronics co-founder and new Apple executive Dr. Dre says that the vaunted producer and rapper is a perfectionist, and “serves as Beats’ ‘cultural barometer’ of what is cool,” but uses a “mysterious process” and is “rarely seen at Beats headquarters.” In detailing…

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05:11
Report: Apple Maps improvements derailed by internal...

A new report from TechCrunch purports to explain the absence of major improvements this year to Maps, Apple’s iOS and OS X competitor to Google Maps, blaming bad “planning, project management, and internal politics” for delays of features that were expected to debut at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC)…

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Saturday June 7

07:30
How to Run iPhone Apps on iPad (and Why You’d Want...

Most apps for iPhone and iPod touch can be used with iPad, but they might not take advantage of the larger screen. Sandro Cuccia shows you how to find and use apps specific to the small-screen devices, and why you might want to.


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Friday June 6

14:15
3 Free iOS Games for Sodoku, Word Jumble, and...

Flabby brains equal more senior moments. Vern Seward offers a cure in this week's Free on iTunes with 3 puzzlers for iOS. Sudoku:), Word Search, and Crossword Jewels.


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14:04
Apple Stores to Offer Pre-Paid and Month-to-Month...

Apple stores will soon be able to connect a newly purchased (full price) iPhone to a pre-paid or month-to-month plan right in the store. Right now a full-price phone can only be connected in a carrier store or to a separately purchased pre-paid SIM card.


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13:51
Last Chance to Get Borderlands 2 for Mac for $9.99

We have a deal for Mac gamers today: you can get Borderlands 2 for Mac for US$9.99, which is half off the retail price. It's a great deal, but it expires in one day. That means if you want it, you should hop on it, and pronto. There's a trailer for the game on the deal listing, and it's been described as, "pure, unadulterated, shoot-em-up fun thatâs wrapped in an absurd, colorful, and interactive package," though it may not be for the squeamish. Have fun!


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13:47
iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, giveaway reminder

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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13:29
Lego + Sugru = Organized Keys and Cables

If you aren't familiar with Sugru, it is a miracle substance that starts sort of rubbery and after it cures it becomes silicone. It's one of the common fixes for frayed cables, so common that Sugru now comes in white for those wanting a less obvious repair for their Apple cables. Sugru highlights some of the neater hacks on its site, and the latest one making the rounds at TMO Towers is a Lego hack. Here's the scoop: Take some Sugru and attach a flat plate to the desired surface, attach a Lego minifig, and let the little Lego guy hold your Lightning cable. You can also attach a Lego brick to your keys, and attach your keys to the same plate. Lego/Sugru hacks are relatively common, check out the site for a bit of inspiration.


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13:16
Apple Buys Spotsetter, a Social Discovery Engine for...

Apple has bought Spotsetter, a company that provides a socially-sourced discovery engine for locations. Without naming sources, TechCrunch reported that Apple bought the company in order to acquire both the technology and the company's founders.


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12:38
iLounge Game Spotlight: Final Kick, Penalty Cup...

This week, we’ll be taking a look at three recent soccer games that have hit the App Store in time for the World Cup, which starts next week. First up are Final Kick (free) and the laboriously titled Penalty Cup Soccer 2014 — World Edition: Football Champion of…

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12:33
Netflix, Verizon, and Net Neutrality: the Ongoing...

Netflix and Verizon are fighting over Verizon's right to throttle traffic, Netflix's right to have its data delivered to customers, and customers' rights to get the data they're paying for. Netflix recently began telling customers that Netflix was reponsible for any streaming issues, and on Thursday, Verizon fired off a cease and desist letter demanding that Netflix stop.


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12:29
Report: Apple acquires social search engine...

Apple has acquired Spotsetter, a social search engine, TechCrunch reports. According to Spotsetter’s website, the search engine “provides personalized recommendations for places to go.” The deal was reportedly made to acquire Spotsetter’s technology and its two founders, Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee, with some of the Spotsetter team…

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11:51
Apple Reportedly Planning Wearable Media Event for...

Apple is planning to unveil its highly-anticipated and much rumored foray into wearable computing-a.k.a. the iWatch-in October, according to online reports. Citing unnamed sources, Re/code's John Paczkowski said that Apple "hopes to schedule a special event [in October] to show off the device."


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11:21
Apple to intro in-store prepaid and month-to-month...

Apple is readying prepaid and month-to-month plans for iPhones in its retail stores, 9to5Mac reports. A source claims the move is being made to boost iPhone sales. Customers will soon be able to purchase a full-price iPhone, and then connect it to prepaid or month-to-month calling and data plans…

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11:06
The CIA Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny Its First Tweet

There is so much to say about the CIA's new Twitter account, starting with the fact that the CIA has a new Twitter account. Twitter says that it's verified, too. It's the spy agency's first tweet, however, that has gone almost instantaneously viral. "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet." That's brilliant, and it's hilarious to see that someone at the CIA has a sense of humor, even if there is little that is funny about what it does. The tweet is 20 minutes old as of this writing, and in that time, it has been retweeted 17,000 times and the agency itself has gained 20,000 followers.

We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
- CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014


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10:29
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-06

Verizon and Netflix are fighting over Net Neutrality and claims that they're both throttling streaming video. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to sort through what's happening and why it matters consumers, plus they take a look at Apple's decision to use the HealthKit name even though there's already another company using it and offering similar services.


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07:19
PayPal looking to integrate Touch ID into mobile...

PayPal is “moving quickly” to integrate the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID into its mobile payment apps, Business Insider reports. PayPal developers recently attended a session on Touch ID at WWDC. “It seems to be a fairly easy API to use, but we’re still kicking the tires,” a source from…

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07:16
Poll: What new feature are you most looking forward...

With Apple having taken the wraps off iOS 8 at this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, we’re curious to know what you, our readers, think is the single most significant feature that was announced this week. Does the idea of seamlessly integrating your Mac, iPhone, and iPad experience with Apple’s new…

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06:55
Report: Apple employees reveal issues with iTunes...

The development of Apple’s iTunes Radio and Ping suffered from shortsighted management, and Apple engineers often preferred to use Spotify and Pandora, according to a new report from Buzzfeed, which interviewed both former and current Apple employees. “Pandora is an awesome radio that blows iTunes Radio out of the…

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06:28
Apple Chips in $2M to Help Offset Tax Payer Super...

Apple, Google, and several other tech companies have chipped in US$2 million each to help defer taxpayer costs for Super Bowl 50, which will be hosted in San Jose. The contributions are part of a $40 million fund started by the Super Bowl Host Committee.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's nice to see big companies doing something to help keep down the bill tax payers will get stuck with because the Super Bowl is coming to town. Even better would be to find a way to fund the event so tax payers don't have to pick up any of the tab.


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06:22
Report: iWatch to have October launch, curved OLED...

Apple’s rumored iWatch will launch in October with a curved OLED touchscreen, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The report, which only refers to the device as “a wearable health-monitoring device” and “watch-like wearable gear,” claims iWatch will run on iOS 8 and use biometric sensors to collect health data. Apple…

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05:25
OS X: Archiving Messages from Apple Mail

If youâre the kind of person whoâs got 47,000 messages in his inbox, then you might also be the kind of person whoâd like to learn how to archive some of those emails out of the Mail program. This simple process can clean up your inbox and any other mailboxes you have while still letting you access your old messages if you need to in the future. Come on in to find out how!


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Thursday June 5

15:22
Apple, Google, and Facebook CEOS Sign Open Letter...

The CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook (among others) added their names to an open letter to the US Senate as part of the Reset The Net campaign. The letter urges better protections for U.S. consumers than those provided under the House version of the USA Freedom Act.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple and Microsoft and Facebook and Google agree this is a bad scene. What more do you need to know?


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15:10
OS X Yosemite: System Requirements and Resources

If you're planning to try the public Beta of OS X Yosemite, you'll want to refer to the Macintosh System requirements.
Plus, we've included some helpful Yosemite links, all in one place.


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14:58
Sprint Reportedly Near to a Deal to Buyout T-Mobile

Sprint and T-Mobile are "zeroing in" on terms of a deal that would have Sprint-the 3rd largest wireless carrier in the U.S.-buy T-Mobile-the 4th largest carrier-for US$32 billion. According to The New York Times's DealBook column, the price has been more or less agreed to, but other aspects of the deal still have to be worked out, and it could be some time before it is announced.


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14:08
Apple Gets a Cameo in New Beats By Dre Video

A new video from Beats by Dre, titled "The Game Before The Game," features Apple in a couple of notable cameos among other celebrity appearances.


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13:42
Philips reveals iOS 8 Hue widget concept

Philips, maker of the Hue smart bulb, has tweeted a concept prototype showing Hue being used within an iOS 8 widget. The concept shows the widget within Notification Center — a user could simply swipe down to change the lighting in a room set up with Hue bulbs.

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13:40
OS X Yosemite Features Explained and Ranked

As with all OS X releases, Apple has added plenty of new features to Yosemite. How do these features rank in terms of usefulness and likely wide adoption? Which ones will become signature features? John Martellaro sizes them up.


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12:32
Apps: Angry Birds Space 2.0, Catan 4.0.5, Disney...

Rovio is claiming its newest update for Angry Birds Space ($1) is its biggest update ever, and has given it a fitting name: Beak Impact. The new episode in version 2.0.0 introduces 40 new levels, in addition to 10 bonus levels. Players can unlock bonus levels by, strangely enough,…

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11:44
Apple’s Jony Ive and Bono Will Talk About (RED) at...

Apple's designer-in-chief, Sir Jony Ive, will join U2 frontman Bono at the Cannes film Festival to talk about (RED), the AIDS charity cofounded by Bono. The two will be talking about (RED)' success in working with corporate partners like Apple, the charity's single biggest contributor.


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11:23
Griffin Wired Keyboard for iOS Devices Eliminates...

The Griffin wired keyboard for iOS devices is designed for those who, well, donât like Bluetooth or work in environments where Bluetooth isn't practical or allowed when needed. For example, classrooms, government offices and commercial flights. This full-size keyboard solves that problem. Plus it doesn't need batteries.


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11:01
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-05

Netflix subscribers won't need to install Microsoft's Silverlight on their Macs once OS X Yosemite ships, so Jeff Gamet invited Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro back to share their take on why that's a big deal. They also have plenty to say about the convergence of OS X and iOS, and why that may not mean exactly what you think.


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08:15
AAPL Stock Split: What You Need to Know

Apple's 7-to-1 stock split is only a couple days away, and the company said that the change applies to share holders on record as of June 2. With one date behind us now, and the other fast approaching, what does that mean for your Apple stock, especially since it's still trading? Read on to find out.


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07:16
Apple reveals more Family Sharing details

Apple has set up a FAQ within iTunes Connect for Family Sharing in iOS 8, and it reveals more details about the upcoming feature. The feature lets up to six family members share iTunes, Books, and App Store content through the credit card of one adult with an Apple ID,…

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07:03
Australian Company Claims Apple Stole HealthKit Name

Apple's HealthKit fitness tracking platform for iOS 8 has plenty of people excited, but it has Alison Hardacre angry and disappointed. That's because Ms. Hardacre is the co-founder of HealthKit, an Australia-based company that lets users track their health and fitness online, and then share that information with their doctors.

The Mac Observer Spin: This isn't the first time Apple has jumped on a name that's already taken. Typically, Apple follows up with negotiations and strikes a deal. It'll be a pain for the Australian HealthKit, but it's business as usual for Apple.


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06:28
Apple producing more ads in-house

Apple is now producing more of its own television advertisements, Reuters reports. The company is decreasing its reliance on longtime ad agency partner TBWA\Chiat\Day, as Apple is “seeking a fresh approach to regain advertising as one of its key competitive advantages.” Recent iPad ads, including the iPad Air “Pencil”…

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05:39
Apple Pushes Health and Fitness in New iPhone 5S Ad

Apple is serious about the move into health and fitness tracking, and its latest iPhone 5S commercial makes that very clear. The ad, called "Strength," showcases the iPhone 5S as an important part of user's fitness routines along with third party devices like step trackers and smart scales.

The Mac Observer Spin: Health and fitness is clearly far more than an afterthought for Apple. Get ready for more apps, devices, and of course ads.


| Read more »
05:00
One Year of Unlimited BackBlaze Backup: $24.99 (ends...

Our deal partners at StackSocial and friends at BackBlaze have teamed up to offer this killer deal. $25 for a full year of unlimited online backup is pretty darned hard to beat (tomorrow this deal expires and that price doubles back up to $50). I've used BackBlaze over the years and they truly are a Mac-first type of shop. Their Mac interface is a first-class, native Mac application and it works every time. Configuration is as easy or complex as you want it to be, and you'll be backing online up in no time. All of this, of course, is seated on top of BackBlaze's own, secure data center, and your data is encrypted in transit, too. If you don't already have BackBlaze, go grab this deal. $25 for one year isn't a price you'll get tomorrow for anything this good.


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Wednesday June 4

14:29
ACM 257: WWDC 2014 Roundup

Apple hosted its annual keynote presentation at Worldwide Developer Conference this week, so Jeff and Bryan have plenty to talk about. They took a look at what they like from iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, how Apple is marginalizing Google branding in searches, the move towards smart home control, health and fitness tracking, and more.


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13:05
How to Interpret What You Saw in the WWDC Keynote

In the past, the WWDC keynote was not available for public viewing, so if you watched it, you may have been a bit confused about some things that were said and done. John Martellaro explains.


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11:06
China Media Wants Apple, Others Punished for Being...

China state media outlet, China Daily, is demanding the government dole out sever punishment to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other big tech companies for acting as pawns of the U.S. government to steal secret information. The news outlet alleges the companies it is targeting worked as U.S. government agents to monitor Internet activity in China, although it isn't saying what type of data was stolen.

The Mac Observer Spin: This smells of political posturing and has the potential to be a big headache for tech companies regardless of how complicit they may or may not have been with the NSA.


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Software Updates via MacUpdate

Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.15 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0 - The ultimate media...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more
Acorn 4.4 - Bitmap image editor. (Demo)
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
Vienna 3.0.0 RC 2 :be5265e: - RSS and At...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.1.5 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

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Note Review
Note Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TOO SIMPLEiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Note is a note taking app that’s a little too short on features to be worth its asking price... | Read more »
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & Ther...
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & There’s a Chance to Win a Copy of the Original Board Game Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Tiny Tower Vegas
If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower... | Read more »
Z Hunter Review
Z Hunter Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RIGHT ON TARGETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad While it might not necessarily break new ground, Z Hunter has enough tricks up its sleeve to ensure that... | Read more »
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New...
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New Stages Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now....
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now. Seriously. Posted by Rob Rich on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Frog Orbs 2 Review
Frog Orbs 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THIS MAGIC IS A TAD MONOTONOUS Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Frog Orbs 2 is repetitive, but younger players should enjoy it nonetheless.   | Read more »
Puzzix Review
Puzzix Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NICE IDEAUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A little like Tetris, Puzzix is all about piecing together blocks and watching them vanish. It could do with... | Read more »
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works Wit...
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works With Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, and AOL Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
To The End Review
To The End Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A VICIOUS CYCLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad To The End will test players’ patience, timing, and dedication as they try to navigate all 13 levels in... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

WaterField Unveils 15″ Outback Solo & 13″...
Hard on the heels of Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops announcement, WaterField Designs has unveiled a 15-inch version of the waxed-canvas and leather Outback Solo and a 13-inch version of... Read more
New Roxio Toast 12 Delivers Digital Media Pow...
Roxio Toast 12 is a hub for sharing digital media to virtually any platform or device. has introduced two new additions to its Roxio Toast product family – Roxio Toast 12 Titanium and Roxio Toast 12... Read more
The lowest prices on leftover Retina MacBook...
Best Buy has dropped prices on leftover 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by up to $300 off original MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free local store pickup (if available) or free... Read more
Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display...
Apple today updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors and double the amount of memory in both entry-level configurations. MacBook Pro with Retina display features a Retina... Read more
Up to $250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Mac...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by as much as $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2349... Read more
Updated MacBook Pro Price Trackers
We’ve updated our MacBook Pro Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on the new 2014 models from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers as well as... Read more
Apple updates MacBook Pros with slightly fast...
Apple updated 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros today with slightly faster Haswell processors. 13″ models now ship with 8GB of RAM standard, while 15″ MacBook Pros ship with 16GB across the board. Most... Read more
Apple drops price on 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro b...
The Apple Store has dropped their price for the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro by $100 to $1099 including free shipping. Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 MacBoo...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2013 MacBook Pros, with model now available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 To Support DuckDuckGo As...
Writing for Quartz, Dan Frommer reports that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 operating systems version updates will allow users to select DuckDuckGo as their default search engine. He notes... 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* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
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