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Saturday May 16

20:07
NASA competition pays you to design a 3D-printed...

If NASA is going to put humans on Mars and other distant worlds, it's going to need a place for explorers to stay -- and it wants your help building those extraterrestrial homes. The agency has launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, a competition...

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18:00
Luxury brands sue Chinese online shopping giant for...

It's no secret that luxury designers see Chinese online stores as a haven for fake goods, but they're now taking concerted action to shut down these less-than-official outlets. Kering, the parent company behind brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Lauren...

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12:01
Browse your recent Google Play tunes on your Android...

Google Play Music just got a lot more convenient... if you're using a cutting-edge Android wearable, that is. Smartwatches running the new Android Wear 5.1.1 update (such as the LG Watch Urbane) now let you browse your recent Play Music items. If you...

| Read more »
10:00
What we’d like to see in iOS 9 at WWDC next month

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is a little less than a month away, which means in just a few weeks we’ll see what Apple has planned for the next versions of iOS and OS X.

iOS has had a busy couple of years—it got a comprehensive visual overhaul in iOS 7, and a nearly as comprehensive under-the-hood overhaul in iOS 8. The only thing we think we know about iOS 9 at this point is that it will focus on stability and performance. It’s not going to be a “no new features” Snow Leopard-style release, but for the first time since 2012 or so the focus is going to be on spit-and-polish...

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09:58
WSJ: Google will add buy buttons to search results...

Google's getting ready to face Amazon and eBay, according to The Wall Street Journal, and will be adding buy buttons directly to its search results. You'll see those buttons accompanying sponsored results under a "Shop on Google" heading -- they won'...

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08:00
A few headaches and a lot of sweat: Training with...

Last weekend, I ran a 5K in about a half hour. After four months of training, I'll be the first to admit that's decidedly average.

There's a catch of course. This run followed 18+ miles of cycling and a half-mile open water swim at the 2015 Louisiana Triathlon. It's not an every-finisher-gets-a-medal race, but the pint glass pictured felt like prize and proof enough. Yet if you ask the fitness tracker I used during and leading up to the event—the Microsoft Band—I simply went on a really, really long bike ride, one that never ended because some racer's sweaty fingers couldn't properly interact with a small touch interface.

In an instant, this describes the shortcomings of the Microsoft Band. It can help a beginner (or someone close to it) improve their fitness to competitive levels, but it can't take a competitor (even a low-level one) to new heights. And that...

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08:00
No car, no problem: 17 of the slickest electric rides

All kinds of personal-sized, eco-minded rides have been popping up on the market ready to propel us through the streets. Whether it's for a quick commute or a casual cruise, these electric rideables help save time and fossil fuels. Not only do they g...

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07:32
Getting from failure plus failure plus failure to...

Interesting piece from Guy English on getting from a series of failures to crushing success. The missing ingredient? Time.

An entertaining read, but also a thoughtful lesson in product evolution.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:40
∞ On Apple Watch as an invitation to thieves

There’s been a wave of sentiment over the past few days about the Apple Watch as an invitation to thieves. Many people share John Gruber’s take:

I really don’t get the hysteria over this as an invitation to thieves. This is no less secure than every single other wristwatch ever made.

This isn’t about the value of a single watch. It’s about a combination of large enough market size, high desirability, and relative rarity. Read on for details.

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06:30
Recommended Reading: The making of a self-driving...

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

How Daimler Built the Wor...

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06:27
Apple CEO Tim Cook shares photos from recent trip to...

Tim Cook has shared photos from his recent trip to China where the Apple CEO spoke to media about upcoming initiatives in the country and visited new Apple retail stores opened in the region. The photos (above and below) were posted to Cook’s new Weibo account. The head Apple exec started posting to the Chinese microblogging site, much like he does on Twitter, earlier this month.

Cook spent much of his trip discussing new environmental initiatives announced by the company...

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06:15
Google's Driverless Cars to Leave the Nest


Google on Friday announced it will begin testing prototypes of its fully autonomous self-driving cars on public roads. The vehicles won't roam too far from their Mountain View, California, home -- but this latest phase of testing could be critical both for cultivating positive consumer perceptions, and influencing future legislation affecting the nascent sector. Google has "a few" driverless car prototypes that will be testing this summer, said Chris Urmson, director of the Google Self-Driving Car Project.

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06:00
Review: Macphun’s Noiseless is the affordable photo...

As a serious photographer, I do as much as I can to make my daily shots excellent, using cameras with low-noise sensors and fast lenses — then trying to keep them as steady as possible in low light. But even the latest and best cameras can’t snap perfectly clean images in dark surroundings. Grainy noise is basically inevitable in darkness, and the more basic the camera you’re using, the more likely it is to appear in a wider variety of pictures. To reduce noise, you can either shell out thousands of dollars for new camera gear, or try to fix your noisy photos with software.

Having spent years trying to fix noisy photos with software, including the noise reduction filters included with fully-featured photo editing applications such as Adobe’s Photoshop, I can tell you that the results typically aren’t great....

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06:00
The Week in iPad Cases: Portenzo's Journal...

Check out this week's lineup

This week’s roundup of new iPad cases includes artistic designs from Pad & Quill and keyboard alternatives from M-Edge and Sunrise Hitek. And if you prefer simple styles, we’ve got some good-looking alternatives from Incipio and Belkin.

Belkin

The FormFit Coverlet (all iPad mini models; $40) features a stylish yet minimalistic design, with a form fitting frame and a front cover to help prevent damage to your screen.

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

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05:14
SpaceX's Mars travel posters make us want to...

SpaceX has released a few Mars travel posters in the same vein as NASA's vintage exoplanet ones, and they're making us sad we were born too early for space exploration. Valles Marineris the "land of Martian chasms and craters," as the poster says, is...

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05:05
Gadget Ogling: A Tracking Camera Drone, a Rockin...


Camera drones certainly are growing in popularity -- or further polluting the sky, depending on your perspective. A new model plans to follow your every move, thanks to a tracker on your wrist. After you throw Lily, it will fly up to 50 feet in the air and 100 feet away from you, knowing where you are and keeping its lens focused on whatever you're doing. A smartphone app helps you adjust the camera angle, and has two cameras to boost the number of possible angles.

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03:01
This week on AppleInsider: 'iPhone 6s'...

A relatively quiet week nevertheless witnessed some of the first detailed specs for the next-generation iPhone, as well as more news on Apple's plans for the Beats Music relaunch, and the first generation of HomeKit devices.

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00:21
Two Asian bank websites held ransom for bitcoin

One of the problems with virtual currency is that when it's robbed from a bank, it's going to take an awful lot of work to make it look exciting in a movie. So I feel for future filmmakers who have to dramatize something like the recent Chinese cyber...

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Friday May 15

22:55
Apple CEO Tim Cook chronicles recent China trip on...

Apple CEO Tim Cook chronicled a recent four-day trip to China on microblogging website Weibo, posting pictures and brief messages regarding Apple Store meet-ups, school visits and general goings on while in the country.

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20:45
FBI: Security researcher claimed to hack, control...

Remember the security researcher who was pulled from a United flight and had his equipment taken (before its frequent flier miles-paying bug hunt) for tweeting about hacking into the plane via its entertainment system? In an application for a search ...

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20:15
This app reminds you to drunkenly buy stuff at 2 am

The best kind of Amazon deliveries are often the ones you were too drunk to remember ordering. And with the help of the Drunk Shopping app, you'll never miss another opportunity to do so...just as long as that opportunity occurs at 2am on a Saturday ...

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20:01
Apple rumored to have engaged troubled payments...

A report claims seven employees at much maligned payments startup Clinkle quit on Friday citing in part CEO Lucas Duplan's withholding of information about supposed acquisition talks with Apple.

| Read more »
19:59
Apple Watch makes its music video debut thanks to...

The Apple Watch has already been seen on a variety of celebrity wrists, including Pharrell, Kanye West, Beyonce, and Katy Perry....

| Read more »
18:50
Report claims Apple (oddly) showed interest in...

A report from TechCrunch claims that Apple has expressed interest in acquiring the payment rewards startup Clinkle. Clinkle, which has been mocked and ridiculed often since its beginning, reportedly saw a mass exodus of employees today that stemmed from frustration with its CEO Lucas Duplan. One of the deciding factors surrounding the mass exodus was allegedly Duplan’s lack of communication with employees regarding a potential sale to Apple.

The report claims that on February 27th, Apple brought a team of a dozen to Clinkle’s office to observe the quality of its team and technology. Apple’s team reportedly sat down with Clinkle engineers and discussed its technology, back-end implementation, and interface design. Clinkle is also said to have talked with Google about...

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18:36
Judge rules Pandora has to increase royalty payouts...

Pandora's propensity for litigation is pretty storied by this point, but it seems like the internet-radio outfit's luck has run out. A New York judge has ruled that Pandora must raise its payout rates to Taylor Swift's music publishing house BMI, fro...

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17:19
How to Use Apple’s Return Policy to Steal Money…and...

Apple has a very generous return and repair policy on its devices. It turns out it's so generous it doesn't take a genius to figure out how to exploit it to make some illicit profit. Take the story of one Edward Hornsey, an enterprising young man of 24 years. He figured out how to make more than US$42,000, but he didn't figure out how to do it without getting caught.


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17:08
Trader Joe’s begins accepting Apple Pay at select...

Last month, Apple added 10 new retailers to its Apple Pay website, which brought the total to 68 merchants and more than 700,000 payment terminals. Now, it appears that popular grocery chain Trader Joe’s is preparing to accept Apple Pay in its more than 400 retail locations.

The popular grocery chain has started outfitting its checkout lanes with new VeriFone touchscreen machines over the recent months and with those new machines comes support for wireless payments with Apple Pay. While Trader Joe’s is not yet listed on Apple’s website, several users have reported success in paying with Apple’s payment service.

Availability of Apple Pay support in Trader Joe’s appears to vary by specific location, with some stores already supporting the technology...

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17:03
Today in the App Store — MacID for iOS, Fearless...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. Today’s notable apps include a discount on MacID for iOS; the new Fearless Fantasy game; and a significant update to Flowvella for OS X. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

iOS Apps Now Free

Black Rainbow HD (Full) [Now free, down from $6.99] Will you survive the impossible!? For adventurer Helen Stone, the biggest adventure is yet to follow!

Combo Crew [Now free, down from $1.99] In a world where a fist to the face is a perfectly viable solution, Mr. Boss has it all.

Fit Simply - Pedometer to...

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16:35
Joe Kissell’s Reflections on His First 50 Take...

Joe Kissell has written 50 Take Control titles since 2003, and he’s learned a thing or two from the experience. He shares some reflections on the past, present, and future of Take Control — and invites you to a party to celebrate Book #50!

 

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

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16:31
Apple Watch Enters Presidential Politics

Apple Watch is only a few weeks old, but it has already entered the world of presidential politics in the U.S. It's yet another sign of just how important Apple is becoming...to everyone.


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16:27
California man sues Uber claiming it stole ride-...

According to the complaint, he registered the Celluride website in 2003 and developed a mobile phone prototype in 2006. It was then, the complaint said, that he encountered Kalanick at an office Kalanick was renting from his friend in San Francisco.

Halpern said in the complaint that with Kalanick’s promises to keep the information confidential, he shared his concept, designs and prototype.

I’m not sure of the legal issues here, but if Halpern’s company was public at the time, didn’t Kalanick just launch a competing service, Uber, and win?

∞ Read this on The Loop

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16:21
Learn what to do if Apple Watch displays a red “!”...

I haven’t had this happen, and I hope you haven’t either, but if you do Apple has some advice for you.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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16:06
Apple discontinues 15" MacBook Pro BTO models...

Apple on Friday began discontinuing many models of its professional 15-inch notebook ahead the company's annual developers conference, which is widely expected to give way to updated models with Force Touch trackpads and Intel's latest mobile processors.

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16:00
AWT News Update: May 15, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's Apple news runs the gamut (or should we say "Gamet"?) from grocery stores to vintage products, and everywhere in between:

  • Trader Joe's is adding Apple Pay support soon
  • Sprint adds another seven countries to its free data roaming plan, bringing the total to 22
  • Apple is set to make a bunch of old product obsolete on June 9
  • Oculus says they're putting development of the Mac and Linux versions of the Rift Virtual Reality Headset on hold for a while

The full podcast script is available below for your reading pleasure.

subscribe to the podcast
Text Version

Happy Friday, everybody. Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 15, 2015.

Another US grocery chain is adding Apple Pay...

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15:43
Many Apple Watch shipping times improve slightly...

Apple has slightly improved shipping times for some Apple Watch models with almost all 42mm versions of its mid-range stainless steel Apple Watch now shipping as early as June, up from a previous shipping estimate of July.

That means customers ordering today could get their Apple Watch a couple weeks sooner if they ship on the earlier end of the new “5-7 week” shipping estimate. Those that already ordered their device are also starting to see shipping estimates for their order change from July to a new date in the 5-7 week timeframe.

Almost...

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15:29
Oh Samsung

Can you imagine the backlash and media uproar we would see if Apple ever sold an accessory that ruined iPhone displays? “Casegate” would be sung far and wide, and even your local news anchor would demand on air that Apple take action. Well, you won’t see quite that amount of attention in this case, but it look like Samsung is selling shoddy protective cases that leave customers with badly damaged smartphones.

Zach is right, the uproar would be amazing if this was Apple.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
15:15
Reddit Flaps Gums at Harassers


Reddit on Thursday announced a new policy prohibiting personal attacks on its site. "We are updating how we apply existing policies to address new types of harassment on Reddit," said company spokesperson Heather Wilson. However, Reddit did not indicate what action it would take against harassers. Instead, it promised a thorough investigation by the company and a response based on the nature of the harassment. There is an indication that harassers might be banned, but there would be nothing to stop them from creating a new account.

| Read more »
15:00
Anova Culinary Precision Cooker: App-controlled sous...

Anova culinary precision cooker. photo ©2015, steven sande. all rights reserved

I’ll admit it right now; I’m a fan of kitchen-oriented gadgets. I have several app-controlled meat thermometers, I love my WeMo-enabled Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker and Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Coffeemaker, and I have turned an old iPad into my kitchen companion. The latest gizmo is the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker ($179), an app-controlled sous vide immersion circulator that can revolutionize the way you cook.

First, a bit about sous vide cooking. The phrase “sous vide” is French for “under vacuum,” which describes part of the cooking process. Basically, you take food, place it into a plastic bag (often with seasonings), take the air...

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14:20
iTunes Needs To Break Up… With Itself

With each evolution of Apple, it seems a new section gets bolted on to iTunes, making it even more complex and complicated. This seems out of character for a company that built a reputation on clean straightforward design. Kelly proposes shelving the current version of iTunes, the Weasley's House of Apple software.


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13:41
Sprint expands free international data roaming to...

Sprint today announced that it’s expanding its free data roaming offer to a number of new countries, bringing its new total up to 22 locations around the globe.

New countries added today include: Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay and Sweden.

Those add to the full list of 22 supported countries where Sprint customers can take advantage of the International Value Roaming feature, which allows customers to use data for free when traveling to supported countries abroad.

The full list includes: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay,...

| Read more »
13:39
News: iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, sign up now

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 from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form…

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13:38
Exercising with the Apple Watch: The Hardware

The Apple Watch is going up against a wide variety of fitness trackers and sport watches. TidBITS publisher and competitive runner Adam Engst looks at how the Apple Watch’s hardware meets the needs of those who want to work out.

 

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

| Read more »
13:37
Trader Joe's grocery chain preparing to accept...

Popular U.S. grocery chain Trader Joe's is gearing up to begin accepting contactless payments via Apple Pay at check-out, AppleInsider has learned.

| Read more »
13:15
“Take Control of Security for Mac Users” Ready for...

We’re pleased to make the official release of Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” available to people who aren’t in the TidBITS membership program. It’s an essential read for those concerned about protecting the data on their Macs from illicit access.

 

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

| Read more »
13:08
Tip of the Day: Resetting your Home Screen Layout

If you keep a lot of apps on your iPhone and are always moving icons around, you may sometimes find that you’ve hit a point where things are just too overwhelming and you can’t really find anything anymore. Sometimes it’s nice just to start with a clean layout. The good news is that iOS makes this pretty easy, with a one-tap setting that lets you easily reset your home screen icon layout back to its factory defaults – without affecting…

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12:45
The Week in iOS Apps: Streamline and Sunrise offer...

New calendar options

This week’s roundup of apps includes one new calendar offering, Streamline, and one older one with a new twist, Sunrise. Plus, new and updated games, news, and productivity apps.

BitTorrent Bleep

BitTorrent Bleep lets you chat via text, voice, or “whisper.” What’s that? “Sending a whisper to a friend means your messages disappear after they are read. Whisper it, read it, and move on.” Also intriguing: No account is needed to use the Bleep app; you can sign up with an email address or mobile number—or just go “incognito.”

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

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12:37
News: Apple to drop iPhone 3G, 3GS support as of...

Apple will be discontinuing support for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS effective June 9, 9to5Mac reports. Citing Apple internal documents, the report notes that the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G (China), iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3GS (China) will be designated as “Obsolete” in Asia-Pacific/Canada/EU/Japan/Latin America and all Apple Retail Stores, while these models will be designated as “Vintage” in the U.S., where Apple is still required…

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12:28
Reducing latency in MainStage 3

Audio latency is the phenomenon of sound reaching the ear at some point after it was created. In the natural world, latency is caused by physical distance from the sound source. The further away the sound source, the more latency. With digital audio there is also latency, and in this case it’s caused by buffering. MainStage (or any other audio software) needs some time to process audio data before it can be passed on to the Core Audio driver.

Some helpful information from Apple.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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12:24
Apps: Knights of Pen & Paper 2, Mortadella...

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 ($5) — Retro style games are becoming popular items on iOS devices, hearkening back to an era when 16-bit graphics were the norm, and games had to rely merely on sophisticated gameplay. In this particular case, a classic RPG genre is melded with pixel-art in a turn-based meta-game that emulates old-school tabletop RPG play on your iOS device, where players get to portray both the party and the game master. You get to…

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12:23
Apple quietly doubles total iCloud contact card limit

In a recent change to its iCloud syncing service, Apple has raised the total number of contacts it will store and sync across your devices before hitting the maximum allowed. Previously iCloud enforced a hard limit of syncing 25,000 contacts, but an updated support document (via iFun.de) highlights that limit doubling now to a total of 50,000 contacts…
Apple states that exceeding the limit may cause iCloud to experience “issues keeping changes up to date across your devices,” advising that users stay within the doubled contacts limit as well as other limits for calendars, reminders, and Safari bookmarks.

The syncing limits for...

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12:09
‘Train Simple’ Adobe Photoshop Bundle: $55

We have a bundle of training courses for you today that focuses entirely on Photoshop. Selections, Camera RAW, PSD to HTML, Color Management, Portrait Retouching, Working with Type, and using Photoshop for the Web. It's a $702 value, but through our deal you can get it for just $55. Check out the deal page for more information.


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12:08
HomeKit products to begin shipping next month

“HomeKit has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in a statement.

This is great news!

∞ Read this on The Loop

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12:05
Apple Watch Security Bug Overblown

The Internet lit up on Thursday with reports of the horrible security bug in Apple Watch that makes it an easy target for criminals. The real problem isn't that Apple Watch has a big security bug-it doesn't-it's that an intended feature of the watch is being presented as if it's a bug. The reality is that Apple Watch isn't more prone to theft than any other quality watch, although Apple could take steps to make it less desirable to steal.


| Read more »
12:04
Amplified: I Was Told There’d Be No Math

Jim and Dan talk about Pixelmator for iPhone, Scott Forstall is producing a Broadway musical, Apple Pay is creaming Walmart in the mobile payment war, how to back up your Apple Watch, Facebook begins testing instant articles from news publishers, the American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker, and more.

Sponsored by Squarespace (Use the code GUITARS for a free trial and 10% off).

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:03
Oculus Rift VR headset puts Mac development on hold...

In a blog post published to the company’s website today, creators of the Oculus Rift VR headset said it is putting development of the platform for Mac OS X on hold in order to focus on Windows:

Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows.

The company also announced spec requirements for the device ahead of an official public release. The recommended specs, for Windows devices at least, include NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater,...

| Read more »
11:55
No Oculus Rift for the Mac, but your Mac couldn’t...

We were so looking forward to the thrilling and nauseating experience that comes from the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. But alas, the company today announced the recommended specs for Rift, and Oculus’ Atman Binstock wrote that, “development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows.”

Bummer. But hey, Macs are so great, they can even run Windows. You can just use Boot Camp, launch Windows, and you’re all set to run the Oculus VR. Right?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment,...

| Read more »
11:45
Self-driving Cars Will Need a New Breed of Software

We've heard rumors that Apple is working on its own car. It's likely to be a standard electric car with, we think, a phenomenal battery. However, down the road, our attention will turn to self-driving cars, and one question to ask about autonomous cars is whether making them work very safely can be done to the satisfaction of the consumers. Can Apple take that leap as well?


| Read more »
11:42
A bunch of iPhones and Macs are about to become ‘...

Apple is about to sunset support for a number of iPhones, Macs, and other products as it plans to switch several models to “Obsolete” or “Vintage” status in June, according to internal documents.

When a device receives Obsolete status from Apple — Vintage status only applies to California and Turkey, where the company is required to continue offering support — it no longer offers service or repair support through its own Apple retail stores or authorized service providers. It typically begins the process for models 5-7 years after manufacturing has been discontinued and maintains a list ...

| Read more »
11:32
Mac development for Oculus Rift VR headset '...

Although Oculus VR is going ahead with a Windows launch of its Rift headset in the first quarter of 2016, work on OS X and Linux support has been "paused," according to the company's chief architect and technical director on the project.

| Read more »
10:56
FireEye, Microsoft Outsmart Clever Chinese Malware


FireEye and Microsoft have scotched a scheme by a group of cybercriminals based in China to use an IT pro forum to hide malicious activity, according to a report released Thursday. The Chinese gang known as "APT17" devised the scheme, which uses forum pages and profiles on Microsoft's TechNet, to cover traffic from machines infected with the group's Black Coffee malware, FireEye explained in the report, titled "Hiding in Plain Sight: FireEye Exposes Chinese APT Obfuscation Tactic."

| Read more »
10:23
TMO Daily Observations 2015-05-15: Apple Watch...

After explaining to us yesterday how iTunes 12 is like the Weasley's house, Kelly has some ideas on how to fix that problem. Kelly, along with John Martellaro, join Jeff Gamet to sort out how to make iTunes better, plus they look at reports of a major security flaw in Apple Watch and explain how those are wrong.


| Read more »
10:00
Review: Spigen Apple Watch Stand is a minimalistic...

Apple Watch charging stands are sure to be a popular item as the device needs charging nightly. Not everyone, however, needs a dock that costs more than the charging cable that’s sold separately, and accessory maker Spigen has an affordable alternative for them.

The $24.99 Spigen Apple Watch Stand S330 combines attractive aluminum and rubberized TPU to produce a minimal Apple Watch charging stand. It resembles the base of an iMac with a smaller footprint than other options and a price that won’t break the bank. Read on for my first impressions and hands-on photos with the Spigen Apple Watch Stand below.

...

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09:49
Feedly debuts Apple Watch app for wrangling all your...

After Google Reader died, Feedly became the go-to RSS reader for following all of your favorite websites. Now you can access your news feed on your wrist with Feedly for Apple Watch.

The Feedly team waited to roll out their watch app until after the device shipped to get a better idea of what the watch was really good for, and how Feedly would translate to a screen on your wrist. As you’d expect, the watch app lets you swipe through the eight best stories and Force Touch to save to read later, mark as read to avoid seeing them in your feed again, or tag them with descriptions for easy searching. Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the first lines of the story.

...

| Read more »
09:48
External Link: Taking OS X to Eleven

Over at Macworld, Jason Snell proposes dropping the “X” from OS X, and rebranding the Mac operating system as Mac OS. Snell argues that unless Apple plans to run OS X on non-Mac devices, there’s no reason to not have “Mac” in the name. And dropping the “X” would give Mac OS the opportunity to push past the 10 version number before iOS 10 arrives.

 

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

| Read more »
09:48
Foxconn posts record first-quarter profits on strong...

Asian manufacturer Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- on Friday reported its highest first-quarter profit growth in a decade with a 56 percent jump year-over-year, driven at least in part by strong sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

| Read more »
09:33
FileMaker Pro/FileMaker Pro Advanced 14

The venerable Apple-owned database software brings a number of improvements to the user interface and mobile publishing. ($329/$549 new, paid upgrade, 420 MB)

 

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09:19
9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPad mini 2 128GB w/ LTE $370...

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

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Apple iPad Air 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular in Silver: $499 shipped (Orig. $929)

Apple iPad mini 2 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $370 shipped (Orig. $829)...

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08:52
Review: Wren V5US Speaker

We could say Wren's V5US ($500) speaker looked familiar to us when it arrived, but that would probably be understating the matter. Wren's newest speaker has the same shape and design as the previous two Wren speakers we've reviewed — the Bluetooth Wren V5BT, and the previous AirPlay-only V5AP. Sometime after that, Wren also released the V5PF — instead of AirPlay or Bluetooth, that edition of the speaker used DTS Play-Fi, a newer lossless format targeted more toward Android users and not natively supported by Apple devices (DTS can be accessed in iOS through a Play-Fi app). And now, the inevitable: V5US does it all — AirPlay, aptX Bluetooth, and DTS Play-Fi, which lets users link multiple speakers to seamlessly play music in different rooms. There's also an aux-in jack to connect devices that way. So V5US is versatile, but it's also launching at $100 more than the original price of the V5AP and V5BT.{/exp:char_limit}
...

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08:37
Quanta vice chairman addresses Apple Watch rumors,...

This is where things get snippy.

Although never mentioning the Apple Watch by name, Quanta vice chairman CC Leung said that the lack of a sufficient work force has caused delays in Apple Watch production. Due to labor shortages during the Lunar New Year holidays, Quanta was forced to borrow manpower from other manufacturers and was only able to deliver limited shipments in the first quarter. However, Quanta already has sufficient capacity to manufacture all the orders and should see a giant contribution from its wearable device business in the second quarter.

Leung noted that the wearable device is unlike the smartwatches it...

| Read more »
08:30
He made Tom Cruise 'forget the mouse.' Now...

In a way, John Underkoffler's like Hollywood's own Wizard of Oz. He's the man behind the curtain responsible for infusing blockbuster fantasy with real-world tech. He created the futuristic UI in Minority Report, worked on the timeline for Hulk's tra...

| Read more »
08:30
What to play this weekend: Does Not Commute

"Dentist Charles Schneider skipped lunch and went to the library instead. He's heading back to his clinic with the books 'Temporal Paradoxes' and 'Retrocausaility in Practice.'"

There's an undercurrent of weirdness in Does Not Commute (universal, free with in-app purchase) that Fox Mulder would love. The beautiful and challenging strategy game from Mediocre Games has you driving various vehicles -- from sedans to speed boats to ice cream trucks -- through several neighborhoods, being careful to beat the clock and avoid the other drivers. It's challenging, thematic and a lot of fun. Here's my look at Does Not Commute.

Looks

Boy, this is a good-looking game. Does Not Commute's splash screen shows the dashboard of a big old 1970's American sedan, with no airbags, no Bluetooth stereo, no digital...

| Read more »
08:19
Apple states HomeKit-based devices to surface in...

The HomeKit stuff will begin arriving in June according to Apple.

Refuting a recent report claiming delays with the home automation software platform would push back the launch until August or September, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller went on record as saying that “HomeKit [hardware certification] has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”

The statement comes on the heels of an article in Fortune stating the the software platform that HomeKit is built upon was experiencing problems and...

| Read more »
08:19
For sale: An amazing assortment of Mac memorabilia

MACazine covers from Blair Saldanah collection

No, it's not my "Museum of Ancient Technology". Instead, Blair Saldanah is putting a bunch of Mac goodies up for sale that any collector would love to have.

First off, Saldanah has a huge collection of Mac-related magazines for sale for "best offer over $8,000". This collection includes not only a ton of Macworld magazines (including the last issue from November, 2014), but such rarities nowadays as A+ Magazine, MacWeek, St. Mac, the Macintosh Buyer's Guide and the Macazine. That collection also includes a floppy disk from a company called Pixar containing part a 3D type rendering application called Typestry. As Saldanah notes, "Gee, I wonder what ever happened to Pixar, if they ever accomplished anything of note. ;-)"

Apple Starting Line catalog, from Blair Saldanah collection...

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08:16
Netflix in talks to offer its streaming library in...

President Underwood is already popular in China, but it looks like Netflix is prepping to offer more of its streaming library in that locale. The Wall Street Journal reports that Reed Hastings & Co. are in talks with online broadcasters BesTV and Was...

| Read more »
08:11
Xiaomi starts small with a UK online accessory store

Xiaomi is about to enter the UK market, but it won't be selling the Android phones and tablets it's best known for. Mimicking its plans for the US, the company is starting with an online accessory store for its Mi-branded headphones, battery packs an...

| Read more »
08:07
Quanta blames limited Apple Watch production on...

Without mentioning the Apple Watch by name, the vice chairman of manufacturer Quanta Computer said on Friday that initial production of a client's wearable was limited because of workforce shortages, although his company has since caught up.

| Read more »
08:01
∞ Adam Sandler’s sweet goodbye song for David...

Adam Sandler really cares about David Letterman, wrote this song as a tribute and a way to say goodbye. Just great.

| Read more »
08:00
LG Watch Urbane review: a premium watch that falls...

There are only a few companies out there with as much experience making Android Wear watches as LG. After all, the platform's only been part of the public consciousness for a year and yet this Korean giant has already made three of them. Its first se...

| Read more »
07:58
Starbucks app compromised, hackers using auto-reload...

If you’re going to use the Starbucks mobile app, have a strong password behind it.

This seems to be what’s necessary as thieves have begun accessing users’ Starbucks mobile apps and siphoning money from their credit cards, bank and PayPal accounts. The Starbucks app, which ties into a rewards account, also lets you reload the account by automatically drawing off your bank account, credit card or PayPal account. Once a Starbucks account has been accessed, hackers can add a new gift card, transfer funds over and repeat the process every time the original card reloads.

In the case of Jean Obando, Obando had stopped by a Starbucks in Sugar...

| Read more »
07:57
Regarding Apple Watch and Activation Lock

Not sure if and when Find My Apple Watch and Activation Lock are coming, but certainly an interesting discussion.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
07:27
Shutting down piracy sites is like playing Whac-A-...

The European Commission (EC) has finally confirmed what we've all known for years: if you shut down one online piracy site, another will simply take its place. A report published by the EC's Joint Research Center found that the closure of Kino.to, a ...

| Read more »
07:19
Hullo — Your favorite pillow. Guaranteed.

My thanks to Hullo for sponsoring The Loop this week. Have you ever slept on a buckwheat pillow? It’s kind of like a beanbag for your head. Hullo includes…

  • Quality construction & materials.
  • Cool, comfortable support.
  • American-made craftsmanship.
  • Free shipping.
  • 60-Night money-back guarantee.

Drop what you’re doing—go and check out Hullo. Try it for 60 nights. If it’s not your favorite pillow, return it for a refund. No-brainer!

∞...

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07:04
Spotify facing pressure from Sony, Universal to drop...

Major record labels Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment are both reportedly proposing that Spotify end its free, ad-supported on-demand music in a bid to push people into paid subscriptions.

| Read more »
07:02
Etsy's counterfeit problem is getting worse

News of Etsy's battle against sellers pedaling knockoff goods on its site isn't a recent revelation, but an analyst report this week details the extent of the problem. Investment firm Wedbush says that up to 2 million items listed on the marketplace ...

| Read more »
07:02
News: Report: Spotify to discontinue free streaming...

Spotify may be planning to effectively eliminate its free, ad-supported streaming option, according to a new report by Digital Music News. The change would see the popular streaming music service limit free ad-supported access to a three month “trial” period, rather than the current open-ended and unlimited plan that many users currently enjoy. Spotify is said to be resisting this change, and has been trying to make the case that its “freemium-to-premium”…

| Read more »
06:56
Strong iPhone 6 demand helps Foxconn achieve 56%...

Record iPhone sales helped Apple’s lead manufacturer Foxconn to achieve 56% growth in year-on-year earnings, Apple representing almost half the company’s turnover. Foxconn achieved its highest first quarter profit growth in a decade, reports the WSJ.

The company also more than doubled its 2014 dividend from NT$1.80 per share to NT$3.80 (US$0.06 to 0.12).

Apple announced last month that it sold 61.1M iPhones in its fiscal Q2, demand for its larger-screened phones remaining extremely strong after the initial record start. Two analysts with strong track-...

| Read more »
06:41
Rumor: 12MP camera in Apple's 'iPhone 6s...

With numerous reports reaffirming that Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature a higher-quality 12-megapixel camera, one analyst has chimed to claim that the company will achieve this through smaller pixels in the images it captures.

| Read more »
06:38
Belgium tells Facebook to reign in user tracking

Belgium's Privacy Commission thinks that "Facebook tramples on European and Belgian privacy laws," and said it would take legal action if its latest recommendations aren't obeyed. A new report follows previous accusations from the nation that Faceboo...

| Read more »
06:22
Early look at Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook...

One of the first people to try Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook says that it actually runs more smoothly than OS X. The comment was made by Computer Science major Alex King, who tried upgrading his Boot Camp installation of Windows 8.1 to the preview of Windows 10.

Here’s the real kicker: it’s fast. It’s smooth. It renders at 60FPS unless you have a lot going on. It’s unequivocally better than performance on OS X, further leading me to believe that Apple really needs to overhaul how animations are done. Even when I turn Transparency off in OS X, Mission Control isn’t completely smooth. Here, even after some Aero Glass transparency has been added in, everything is smooth. It’s remarkable, and it makes me believe in the 12-inch MacBook more than ever before.

If you’re fortunate enough to have...

| Read more »
06:14
Apple Watch Production Bottleneck Ends, Quanta Now...

Apple Watch should be easier to get now that Quanta, the company building Apple's smartwatch, has ramped up production. Company vice chairman CC Leung said there weren't enough workers available during the Lunar New Year holidays, but that's no longer an issue.

The Mac Observer Spin: Assuming Quanta really has been able to ramp up production to the levels Apple needs, Apple Watch deliveries should start coming in larger numbers. We may finally get to see in-store sales soon, too.


| Read more »
06:08
News: Daily Deal: FLOTE Orbit Universal Tablet Stand

In today’s iLounge Deal we’re offering up the FLOTE Orbit Universal Tablet Stand for $119.99 – 14% off the regular price. Designed to hold your iPad just where you want it, the Orbit Flote can be a great way to keep a recipe handy in the kitchen, use around the house for streaming videos, or sharing presentations in the office. Flote orients your iPad in virtually any position freely and easily with a magnetic ball joint, and includes…

| Read more »
06:04
12-inch MacBook month review: A great new Mac if you...

For the last month, I’ve been using Apple’s new 12-inch Retina MacBook almost exclusively. There’s no denying that’s it’s underpowered when compared to other models on the market, but is its portability worth the performance sacrifice? Can you really get anything done with a relatively small display, an Intel Core M processor, and more importantly, zero traditional USB ports?

This won’t be an in-depth review of features and performance (check out Zac’s take on the MacBook for an in-depth look), but instead, I’ve mainly focused on my personal experiences over the month I’...

| Read more »
06:00
You Should Play: Implosion's hack-n-slash...

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

I know, I know—Rayark’s Implosion – Never Lose Hope is pretty pricey for a mobile game. But it’s time to break open your piggy bank, because this game is easily worth twice that. I might be biased, of course, since it hits all of my favorite play points—it’s a top-down hack-n-slash customizable build game in which you fight mutant aliens (basically, my dream come true in a game). But even if you’re not into slicing up mutants, Implosion is still worth a look for its super pretty graphics and unparalleled gameplay mechanics.

...

| Read more »
05:52
Quanta vice-chairman reportedly acknowledges “...

If you’ve been waiting impatiently for your Apple Watch to arrive, there may be some good news today. Quanta vice chairman CC Leung reportedly said that while the company had struggled to meet orders to date, the company’s capacity problems have been solved and production is now fully up to speed.

Because of labor shortages during the Lunar New Year holidays, Quanta was forced to borrow manpower from other manufacturers and was only able to deliver limited shipments in the first quarter. However, Quanta already has sufficient capacity to manufacture all the orders and should see a giant contribution from its wearable device business in the second quarter.

While not identifying the Apple Watch by name, there seems little doubt that this is the ‘wearable’ in question … ...

| Read more »
05:35
Google’s self driving cars will hit public roads...

A big step for self driving cars. Google self-driving cars hit the roads. This is us, standing at a big precipice of change.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
05:26
AppleInsider podcast tackles the latest 'iPhone...

This week's all-new AppleInsider podcast is now available with detailed analysis of this week's news, including the latest round of "iPhone 6s" and "iPad Pro" rumors, a discussion of Apple's automotive ambitions, Tim Cook's trip to China, and more.

| Read more »
05:15
Spotify is not ending its free service (Updated)

Update: We’ve gotten word from a Spotify spokesperson that the Free model isn’t going anywhere. Director of Communications at Spotify Graham James told me “This is totally false.  Our model is working.” 

Digital Music News is claiming that Spotify is coming under pressure from music labels to end its free, ad-supported service, limiting users to a three-month free trial.

The three-month ‘proposal,’ advanced most principally by major labels Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, would allow current, free-access, ad-supported (or ‘freemium’) subscribers to continue their plans for 6 months, while...

| Read more »
04:48
∞ B. B. King, defining bluesman for generations,...

The thrill is gone.

| Read more »
04:00
Bentley again uses iPhones to shoot latest ad, this...

Luxury car-maker Bentley last year shot an ad for the Mulsanne (a mere $298,000 to you, Sir) on the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, and has this year upgraded to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Its new ad is for a driving jacket rather than a car, and it has again produced a behind-the-scenes video (below) showing the kit and software used … 

The latest video features four Saville Row tailors, each of which has created a bespoke jacket commissioned by Bentley...

| Read more »
03:45
The final frontier: How Apple TV could connect all...

Ever since Steve Jobs gave us a sneak peak at Apple’s internal iTV project at 2006’s “Showtime” event, we’ve been waiting for Apple’s pioneering set-top box to mature. Officially released just moments before the iPhone, Apple TV was designed to be the magical gadget that bridged the gap between the small screens on our mobile devices and the giant ones in our living rooms, wirelessly delivering our music, movies and photos to a place where they could look and sound their best.

At the time, Jobs triumphantly declared that the square box “completes the story” that started with the iPod. But we know now the story didn’t end there: With the dawn of the iPhone, iPad and now Apple Watch, our digital lives have become far greater than the things that entertain us. But the box that sits under our TVs hasn’t really evolved with it. 

To read...

| Read more »
 

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Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age...
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Dungeon999F (Games)
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Mixels Rush - Use Mixes, Maxes and Murps...
Mixels Rush - Use Mixes, Maxes and Murps to Outrun the Nixels 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Use awesome new Mixels and make crazy combinations to beat the annoying... | Read more »
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Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 16GB iPad mini 3 for $349, save $50
B&H Photo has the 16GB iPad mini 3 WiFi on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Price drop on 2014 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $200. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 save $200 - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Will iOS 9 Finally Bring Productivity Friendl...
Ah, the irony. From its original announcement in 2010, Apple has doggedly insisted that the iPad remain “simple,” thus arbitrarily limiting its considerable potential as a content creation and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple drops price on refurbished 15-inch 2.2G...
The Apple Store has dropped their price on the Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro to $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Cover For iPhone Helps You Create Beautiful P...
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