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Friday March 16

'Battlefront II' will finally make in-game...

Electronic Arts' long, awkward nightmare over Star Wars Battlefront II's multiplayer progression might finally be over. With next week's patch, dubbed the "Progression" update, EA promises that Star Cards (power-ups) or any other item that impact gam...

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Apple is holding an education event on March 27 in...

Apple just sent out invitations to an event on March 27, to be held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago.

The invitation says very little, in typical Apple fashion, but the image that accompanies it (above) says, “Let’s take a field trip.” In the text of the invitation itself, Apple says, “Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students.”

Clearly, this event is going to focus on Apple products aimed at education. What could those be?

A cheaper 9.7-inch iPad: Rumors of a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad have been circulating for a few months, and a couple new iPad models were approved by the EEC in February.

To read this article in full, please click here

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Apple Releases iOS 11.3 Developer Beta 6 for iPhone...

The release notes for developer beta 6 are the same as earlier developer betas as Apple continues hammering out bugs. The release notes for developer beta 6 are the same as earlier developer betas as Apple continues hammering out bugs.

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Second iOS 11.3 beta for developers arrives in less...

Four days after the last update, Apple has made available the sixth beta for iOS 11.3 for developer testing.

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Students and teachers are the focus of Apple’s...

Enlarge / The 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

On the heels of opening up registration for its annual WWDC event, Apple will hold an education-focused event on March 27 that will highlight "creative new ideas for teachers and students," multiple reports indicate.

Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago will host the event at 10am CDT on March 27. Apple's last education event took place all the way back in 2012 in New York City. In typical Apple fashion, the event's invitation doesn't offer any details about the impending announcements.

Apple has hosted...

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The Puffco Peak vaporizer is a quick hit of...

Hell hath no fury like a stoner who has just had to dig his last nugget of honeycomb wax out of the carpet because the wad of sticky concentrate managed to fall off its dabbing tool. I mean, do you still fire it up -- carpet fuzz, cat hair and al...

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Apple releases iOS 11.3 beta 6 for iPhone and iPad

That new iOS 11.3 beta from Monday. It’s already out of date. In a special Friday release, Apple has seeded iOS 11.3 beta 6 to registered developers to test on iPhone and iPad. We’ll dig in to the new version and detail any changes below.


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Amazon Alexa gains ‘Brief Mode’ with less verbose...

Recently, Amazon added a ‘Follow-Up Mode’ to its Echo line of devices, which allows users to repeatedly say commands to the assistant without saying “Alexa” again. The company even added a ‘feature’ where the Echo would laugh at you sporadically. Today, the tech-giant is adding a ‘Brief Mode’ which disables the chatter aspect of the Echo, and replaces it with a simple chime once a task is completed.


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How to type accented letters in macOS three...

When writing about people, places, or other things that use accents and other special symbols outside the 26 letters of the standard English alphabet, there are ways to add them to a document without simply using the accentless version of the letter. This AppleInsider guide offers a variety of ways to use the right accent when writing in macOS.

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An Apple R&D bonanza

“Something wicked this way comes…”

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Lisa Brennan-Jobs to publish coming-of-age memoir...

Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is working on a coming-of-age memoir called "Small Fry" due for release in September, one that will tell the story of her childhood while living with the forward-thinking and complex company founder.

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Save $500 on this collection of 10 top Mac apps for...

Thanks to StackSocial for sponsoring The Loop this week. StackSocial has curated a collection of ten top apps to help you get the most out of your Mac in 2018. Highlighted by BusyCal 3, HoudahSpot 4, and the toolbar app used at Google and Facebook, uBar 4, The 2018 Mac Essentials Bundle will give your Mac (and you) a productivity overhaul. Get it now for less than $2/app — it’s just $19.99 (Orig. $525). The 2018 Mac Essentials Bundle includes the following:

  1. BusyCal 3 ($49.99 Value) – Customize calendar views to meet your needs
  2. Cargo VPN ($79.99 Value) – Protect your Mac while surfing public WiFi, bypass geo-restricted content, and more
  3. HoudahSpot 4 ($29.00 Value) – Find just about any file (documents,...
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Steve Jobs’ daughter is working on a memoir

Grove Press has announced that Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of the late Steve Jobs, is working on a coming-of-age memoir, “Small Fry.” The book is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs and Steve Jobs, 1989, photo courtesy of Business Insider

Jobs was estranged from her mother, Chrisann Brennan, and initially denied that Lisa was his daughter. Brennan-Jobs was written about in Walter Isaacson’s best-selling Steve Jobs biography and has been depicted in films such as “Steve Jobs,” written by Aaron Sorkin. Jobs and his daughter eventually reconciled. Brennan-Jobs later worked as a journalist and magazine writer. She has written for “The Southwest Review,” "The Massachusetts Review,” “The Harvard Advocate,” “Spiked,” “Vogue,” and “O, The Oprah Magazine.”

Grove Press is calling book a “poignant” story of growing up in...

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∞ Apple announces education event in Chicago

Apple on Friday sent invitations to press outlets for a special event to be held in Chicago on March 27 at 10:00 am. […]

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Kode with Klossy coding program launching this...

Kode with Klossy is a coding program the encourages girls to learn code and become leaders in tech. The program originally launched in 2015, but today it is announcing that the program will continue this summer.

Kode with Klossy is completely free, and is available for girls ages 13-18, with a limited 1,000 slots available. The program will be expanding to 15 camps in 12 cities in 2017 to 50 camps in 25 cities across the United States.


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Inside Google’s plan to build a smart neighborhood...

On the Sidewalk Labs website is a 200-page document explaining its vision for a smart neighborhood in Toronto. It's packed with illustrations that show a warm, idyllic community full of grassy parks, modular buildings and underground tunnels with del...

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9to5Toys Last Call: Apple Watch Nylon Band $10,...

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. more…

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With Twitter for Mac dead, here are the best Twitter...

Last month, Twitter announced that it was ending support for its desktop Mac Twitter client today. The app had been abandoned for months (years?) before that, so it wasn’t exactly a huge loss, but it meant that I needed to migrate to a new app.

Believe it or not, I’ve used Twitter for Mac until the very end. Below is my roundup of the best Twitter client apps for Mac currently available: Tweetbot, Twitterrific and TweetDeck. Personal preference is a big factor here, so I separated out some individual impressions too …


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Alexa's 'Brief Mode' makes the...

Not too long ago, people got creeped out by Amazon's Alexa devices randomly laughing at them. Now Jeff Bezos' digital assistant is offering folks the chance to put a sock in its mouth. Err, speaker. Reddit users first noticed that when asked to turn...

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Story of Scott Kelly’s genes changing in space is...

I’m happy to post the correction today.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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The best gaming mouse

By Thorin Klosowski

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After research...

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Here’s How to Disable Face ID for Specific Apps

Face ID is handy for authenticating in apps as well as unlocking your iPhone X. If you don’t want to use Face ID to unlock an app, however, you can selectively turn the feature off. Here’s how.

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News: Google Maps adds wheelchair-accessible transit...

Google has added support for finding “wheelchair accessible” transit routes to its Google Maps iOS app in order to make getting around easier for users with mobility needs. Users can filter transit directions to only include wheelchair-accessible routes by going into the “Options” section where a new “Wheelchair Accessible” route type will appear alongside the options for best route, fewest transfers, and least…

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Food app Ritual is sharing users' precise...

Ritual is a "social ordering" app that allows users to place an order for a meal and have it ready for pickup at a local restaurant. That's not new, but what Ritual allows is for other users to add their own food orders, or "piggyback", onto the orde...

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Shuttering Toys 'R' Us stores in United...

The closure of all Toys 'R' Us stores in the United States could be beneficial for people looking to save money on Apple merchandise, as some of the chain's shuttering retail outlets are discounting the Apple TV, iPod touch, iPads, and other items in the clearance sale.

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New Yorker applied machine learning to blocked bike...

Alex Bell likes to bike around New York City, but he got fed up with how often bike lanes were blocked by delivery trucks and idling cars. So he decided to do something about it, the New York Times reports. Bell is a computer scientist and he develop...

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Welcome to the center of the universe

I love these stories of scientists quietly working behind the scenes to provide us with information like this.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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News: Apple announces education-focused event for...

Apple has announced that it will be holding an education-related event at a Chicago high school on March 27, Bloomberg reports. While specific details are vague, the choice to hold this event away from the usual vicinity of its Cupertino campus makes it a particularly unusual one. The invitation for the March 27 event simply notes that Apple will share “creative new ideas for teachers and students” and lists the location as Lane Tech College…

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One year later, Bixby is still half-baked

Oh, Bixby. What am I going to do with you? It's been a year since the virtual assistant "launched" on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, and since then we've seen relatively little in terms of substantive improvements. It certainly doesn't help that Injong R...

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Apple's MacBook sales growth may outpace both...

Apple may be looking at a huge year for MacBooks, with growth having a chance to exceed that of every other Apple product line, including the iPhone and iPad.

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Apple Hosting ‘Let’s take a field trip’ Media Event...

Apple just started sending out invitations for a media event on March 27th called “Let’s take a field trip” at the Lane Tech College Prep high school in Chicago.

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Ubisoft reboots 'Might & Magic' on...

Two more games heading to iPhone and iPad have opened up for registrations before they launch, with Ubisoft's 'Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians' reviving the RPG franchise in May, while the developers of 'Ark: Survival Evolved' are accepting sign-ups for iOS beta testing.

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A New York town just placed a moratorium on crypto...

As cryptocurrency becomes a more important force in the world market, more companies are cropping up to mine it. And that, in turn, is becoming a problem for places where these miners are setting up. The town of Plattsburgh, New York, has become the...

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Lyft officially begins testing monthly ridesharing...

Lyft has reportedly begun testing "All-Access Plans," letting select people receive a certain number of rides for "free" each month with a regular fee.

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Marvel Gives Us Another Avengers: Infinity War...

Avengers: Infinity War is coming a week early on April 27th and Marvel is ramping up the hype with another trailer. This time we get to see more of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther’s Wakanda working together to stop Thanos from getting all of the Infinity Stones and taking over the universe. If the movie holds up to the trailer, the ten-year build up to this point will have been worth the wait.

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Google claims Android is "as safe as the...

Google's head of Android security David Kleidermacher claimed in an interview that "Android is now as safe as the competition" on the release of the company's 2017 Android Security report, which seeks to reassure users that it is doing everything it can to protect them from malware and exploits. The problem is that Google can't secure the 2 billion Androids it claims as its platform.

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Apple plans education event in Chicago on March 27

AppleInsider reports that it and other news outlets have received an email from Apple inviting them to an educational event in Chicago scheduled for 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, March 27.

The email reads: “"Let's take a field trip. Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students." The event will happen at the Lane Tech College Prep High School.”

In December, Apple announced that it’s working with the city of Chicago to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s nearly 500,000 students through a citywide expansion of Apple’s Everyone Can Code program. The initiative in Chicago was designed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools,...

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ThinkPad X1 Yoga review (2018): Flexibility comes at...

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the ideal business laptop. But it's also strictly a traditional notebook. If you're looking for something a bit more flexible, the X1 Yoga might be a better option. Just like Lenovo's other Yoga machines, it has a hinge...

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Apple to host educational event in Chicago on March...

Apple on Friday sent an email to AppleInsider and other press outlets, inviting them to an educational event in Chicago scheduled for 10 a.m. local time on March 27.

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Apple is holding an education-focused event on March...

Well, can't say we saw this one coming. We were expecting Apple to take some time this month to talk about a sequel to its popular, low-cost iPad, and maybe even share some more information about its long-awaited wireless charging mat. Instead, Apple...

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Apple announces creative education event on March 27

Apple is sending out invitations to an education event on March 27. Using the tagline ‘Let’s take a field trip,’ Apple says that the event will focus on ‘creative new ideas for teachers and students’ …


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Smarten up your dumb devices with this $20, two-for-...

Listen up Echo fans! Today’s a good day to smarten up your outlets at a steal of a price. B&H Photo and Video is offering a two-pack of the Keewifi kisslink Wi-Fi smart plug mini for $20. This plug usually sells for $20 each.

Simply insert these plugs into your existing outlet and follow the set-up instructions on your smartphone using Tuya’s Smart apps for Android and iOS. These plugs don’t require a hub, which makes it easy to set them up without added cost. At the moment, however, the Kisslink plug is only compatible with Alexa...

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A 'Narcos' video game is on the way for PC...

A video game version of Pablo Escobar could grace your monitors, asking a poor guy whether he prefers "plata o plomo" (silver or lead), as soon as next year. Narcos producer Gaumont has forged a deal with British game publisher Curve Digital to devel...

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“A frank, smart and captivating memoir by the...

Lisa Brennan-Jobs has written a memoir, called Small Fry, due out in September, available for pre-order now.

From the Small Fry book page on Amazon:

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be.

Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s poignant story of a childhood spent...

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Inside the booming black market for Spotify playlists

Austin Powell, Daily Dot:

Tommie King could be the next rapper to breakout from Atlanta. He’s well-connected, has obvious swagger, and he’s been quietly building a successful collection of singles on Spotify. His latest, “Eastside (feat. Cyhi the Prynce),” has already clocked more than 110,000 streams, driven largely by its placement on 14 independent playlists.


In the modern music economy, in which streaming services account for nearly two-thirds of the total revenue generated by recorded music, emerging artists are increasingly being tracked via big data. Spotify streams, YouTube views, Twitter interactions, and even Wikipedia searches are all being used to discover the proverbial next big thing. That’s why King’s manager has worked to land his music on a staggering 594 Spotify playlists to date.


There’s just one catch: King essentially paid to be added to those Spotify playlists. He’s one of countless artists who have compensated...

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Fitbit CFO: “I have yet to meet anyone who owns an...

Brett Arends, Barrons:

“I have yet to meet anyone who owns an Apple Watch who’s passionate about the product,” he told investors at the Roth Investment Conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., adding that sales of the Apple Watch have mainly just piggybacked off sales of iPhones.

“If you don’t have an Apple phone, you’re not buying an Apple Watch… [and] 80% of the world is Android, not Apple,” he said.

Someone nudge John Gruber. A good candidate for the claim chowder vault of honor.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Analyst: Mac laptops will see 13%-16% year-over-year...

In a note to clients — as noted by StreetInsider — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he’s positive on the outlook for Mac laptop shipments. In fact, he says they should see the best year-over-year growth (13%-16%) among Apple’s main product lines in 2018. 

Chi expects iPhone shipments to grow just 4-6% and iPad shipments 7-10%. What’s more, the analyst thinks shipments of Mac laptops that sport a Touch Bar will be up “significantly.”

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Got VPN? Browse securely for a lifetime with Avira...

Do you have a VPN yet? Virtual Private Networks are an important way to keep your web presence secure by creating a secure and anonymous "tunnel" through which your traffic is routed. We have one of the best VPNs around -- Avira Phantom VPN -- available for a limited time with a lifetime subscription for just $39.99.

If you'd rather just give Avira Phantom VPN a try for a shorter timeframe, other plans are available on sale this week as well: a one-year subscription is just $19.99, while a three-year package is $29.99.

Avira Phantom VPN has been given high ratings by VPN sites, including a 4 star rating by VPN Mentor and a 9.5 out of 10 by The VPN Lab. What do...

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News: Daily Deal: Atech Micro Bluetooth Receiver

In our iLounge Deal for today, we’re offering the Atech Micro Bluetooth Receiver for only $19.99 — that’s 60% off the regular price. This tiny Bluetooth receiver will let you make any pair of headphones wireless. If you’re been looking to gain the benefits of wireless playback but don’t want to ditch your favorite wireless earbuds or cans, then this device is for you. Minimalist and feather-light, you simply pair it with…

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Building real-world games with Google Maps

[VIDEO] Google Maps blog:

We’ve brought the richness of Google Maps to the Unity game engine. We turn buildings, roads, and parks into GameObjects in Unity, where developers can then add texture, style, and customization to match the look and feel of your game. This means that they can focus on building rich, immersive gameplay without the overhead of scaffolding a global-scale game world.

This is fascinating. Google has taken their real world maps data and offered it up to game developers. No need to invent a world for your game, just use the real one.

To truly get this, watch the video embedded in the main Loop post. Is this a potential path for Apple and Augmented Reality?

∞ Read this on The Loop

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KGI: Apple laptop sales to grow ~15% in 2018,...

Apple’s line of MacBook laptops is likely to show better year-over-year growth in unit sales than both the iPad and the iPhone, according to a new report from KGI. The analyst predicts Mac laptop unit shipments will rise between 13-16% in 2018, compared to about 7-10% for iPad and a maximum of 6% for iPhone.

Obviously, in absolute unit sales iPhone dwarfs everything else, but it is no longer the growth powerhouse. Wearables have been Apple’s best growth area in recent quarters, and KGI estimates that Mac sales will rise steadily this year compared to 2017.


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Apple Bans Iran from the App Store

Catalin Cimpanu, Bleeping Computer:

Iranian users have not been able to access Apple’s App Store all day today, in what appears to be a ban put in place by the US company.


Users were not able to connect to the Apple App Store to install or update applications. When visiting the App Store, they were instead greeted with the message “The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in”.

This ban appears to be IP-based. Meysam Firouzi —an Iranian security researcher— told Bleeping Computer that he successfully connected to the App Store while using a VPN, despite having Iran-related details set on his account.


In August 2017, Apple removed all apps created by Iranian developers from the App Store, attributing the move to US-imposed economic sanctions.

Interesting. Wondering if we’ll ever know the behind-the-scenes on this.

UPDATE from Bleeping Computer:

As of around 1 AM EST, Bleeping...

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AppleInsider Podcast discusses Siri's rocky...

This week on the AppleInsider podcast, Victor talks about Siri, the spat between people responsible for it, Google Assistant on the iPad, and the problems around a Fitbit for kids.

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Apple invention would involve opening a Mac laptop...

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180074545) for a “capacitive touch opening display for an electronic device.” If it ever reaches fruition, it would involve a Mac laptop that opens by tapping a small touch sensor atop the screen rather than pressing a physical button.

Why? Apple says that with the latter, a user still may feel as if some amount of prying or inconvenience is required to open a laptop. This may particularly be true where a given device has a clutch assembly in the hinge that is relatively stiff or resistant. While current hinged component designs for electronic devices have worked well in the past, Apple says there’s s a need for improved designs in electronic devices having hinged components that provide a better user experience when opening or closing the electronic device. 

It also opens up the possibility of added security. For example, if the touch sensor incorporated Touch ID, it would refer an approved fingerprint for the Mac laptop to...

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Apple patent describes three ways to make a screen-...

When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007, he made much of the fact that other smartphones of the time had physical keyboards. That was, he said, an inflexible approach when you didn’t need a keyboard all the time, and where the optimal keyboard layout may depend on which app you’re using.

The same argument could be made for a laptop, but while an on-screen keyboard is fine for small amounts of typing, it can never replace a physical laptop keyboard – unless it could act and feel like a real one. And that’s what Apple tackles in a new patent application …


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BookArc stand gets even classier with a wood focused...

Twelve South has updated its BookArc mod MacBook stand — which works with most Mac laptops, including the MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 —with a wood focused design inspired by mid-century modern furniture design and sporting a birch finish. The upgrade makes a classy product even classier.

The stand holds your MacBook vertically, minimizing desk clutter. The BookArc möd comes with soft, interchangeable silicone inserts to fit current MacBooks (Thunderbolt 3/USB-C), MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro Retina models.

To use the stand, you slide your laptop into the silicone slot, connect it to an external display, add a full-size keyboard and mouse to create a de facto desktop setup. Unplug the Mac laptop, and BookArc’s newly designed cable-catch feature keeps your cables from falling to the floor. 

The BookArc möd allows you to run your computer setup from the power of your Mac...

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Garmin Forerunner 645 Music review: The high price...

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Music, not activity, highlighted the debut of Garmin's Forerunner 645 Music at CES year. The $449 fitness watch is the first Garmin wearable to have onboard music storage, a feature slowly becoming standard on smartwatches of all kinds.

Since the Forerunner family appeals to serious runners, onboard storage for music is a logical feature to include. But since the Forerunner family is quite niche, some potential users might have overlooked it. With the inclusion of onboard storage, it sits closer to competing with all-purpose smartwatches than ever before—those who have considered the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Ionic, and similar...

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Teach Siri to pronounce any name properly

It always irks me when Siri mispronounces a proper name. And it irks me even more when Siri mispronounces my surname. 

"Calling Lisa Luveeetus"  

"Calling Allison LeeVeeTes"

"Calling Jodie Levitt-Us"

(If you're curious, it's pronounced, "love-I-tis.")

Anyway, I took it upon myself to figure out a way to teach Siri to say LeVitus properly. It was most definitely a rabbit hole, but, in the end, it was worth it. 

My solution was to edit my contact record on my iPhone, scrolling to the bottom of the record, and clicking "Add Field." 

I added a new filed called “Pronunciation Last Name” and typed “love-i-tis.”

It worked pretty well after trying a few different pseudo-phonetic spellings, but last week I read an article at by Lory Gill, which described a much faster and easier way to get...

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Niantic now lets you login to Pokémon GO with your...

Niantic is keen to ensure you never get locked out of your Pokémon GO account, now giving you the option to login using Facebook or Google as well as your Pokémon Trainer Club account …


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Notable apps and app updates for March 16, 2018

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

iOS Apps/Updates

704Games has rolled out NASCAR Rush, an endless racer mobile game featuring licensed NASCAR drivers and tracks from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Players can swipe on smart phones and tablets to pass, draft, pit, and avoid wrecks. NASCAR Rush features three different gameplay modes and collectible virtual cards. 

Wahed, a “digital halal-focused ethical investing platform  enabling people to invest ethically wherever they are located,” has launched a free app. With it, individuals can get an optimized and...

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Apple’s Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi hint at...

Following a late 2017 interview with BuzzFeed, Apple’s Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi stated that a new Mac Pro is en route, but that it wouldn’t be released until 2018. The duo also stated that a new display is coming, with teams working hard on a new kind of modular Mac Pro.

Per Phil Schiller:

“We are completely rethinking the Mac Pro. Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now…[but] you won’t see any of these products this year.”

The current Mac Pro design, albeit speedy, has been referred to as a “trash can” and has been thought to have sacrificed the Mac Pro’s famed modular nature with its design.

Phil Schiller offered the following apology to customers: “The current Mac Pro … was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it. And for that, we’re sorry to disappoint customers.”

As of 2017, Apple offered a brief refresh for the Mac Pro. Mac...

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“GrayKey” iPhone unlocking device revealed, could...

The GrayKey forensic tool has surfaced, albeit it could present privacy and security concerns if obtained and misused by criminals and thieves.

GrayKey offers a way for government agencies and members of law enforcement to gain access to an iPhone without sending it off for analysis by security analysts. The tool is marketed as being able to extract the full filesystem from an iPhone, and is able to perform brute-force passcode attacks against the device in a short period of time.

An anonymous source within MalwareBytes Labs released a picture of the device, which measures four inches square by two inches deep, with two Lightning cables on the front of the device allowing two iPhones to be connected at the same time.

The iPhones can be disconnected from the unit after about two minutes, but after disconnection, software will continue running on the iPhones to crack the security, later showing the passcode and other details on the iPhone’s screen. The source...

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Thursday March 15

SwiftKey updated with new 'Toolbar' for...

Microsoft on Thursday released an update to its SwiftKey predictive keyboard app for iOS and Android, adding a number of enhancements including the Toolbar, an expandable menu that sits atop the keyboard for easy access to frequently used features.

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Facebook's Express WiFi program now has an app...

Facebook has quietly launched its Express WiFi app on Google Play, and it's now available for download in Indonesia and Kenya. The application gives users a way to purchase internet connection from participating businesses instead of paying for a mor...

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CNN is bringing its VR news app to the Oculus Rift

Today, CNN partnered with interactive entertainment company Magnopus, the company behind the Coco VR experience, to launch a VR app for its virtual reality news stories on the Oculus Rift. It was previously available on iOS and Android to use with Go...

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GrayKey iPhone unlocker poses serious security...

This is not a “the sky is falling!” situation but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. I’m sure Apple is.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Connected health accessory maker iHealthLabs suffers...

Health accessory maker iHealthLabs has suffered from a data breach, CEO Yi Liu said in an email to customers this evening. In the email, Liu explains that a security researcher was able to decrypt encrypted email addresses of users, but that iHealthLabs was able to correct the software error within 24 hours of confirmation…


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Google's AI-powered Google Lens rolls out on iOS

Google in a tweet on Thursday said its Google Lens visual search feature will roll out to iOS devices over the coming week as part of update to the company's Google Photos app.

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VR escort film pulled from SXSW amid allegations of...

Two days ago, director Michael Jacobs described his first VR short, GFE (an acronym of "girlfriend experience"), to me on camera. The film is a "documentary fantasy," Jacobs said, with a focus on "demystifying escort work and bringing a sense of empo...

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Safari targeted in two more exploits at the Pwn2Own...

As the annual Pwn2Own conference continues today, Safari remains a common target among security researchers. Following the exploits we reported on earlier today, day two of the conference brought more news for Apple…


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Google Lens visual search rolls out on iOS

After making a slow march across Android devices, Google's AI-powered visual search is coming to iOS. Apple device owners should see a preview of Google Lens pop up in the latest version of their Google Photos app over the next week. In case you've f...

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More Safari exploits demonstrated at Pwn2Own 2018

The second day of Pwn2Own 2018 saw Apple's Safari exploited twice, with one team completing its attempt within the competition's 30-minute, three-try guidelines, while another group demonstrated a bug in four attempts.

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Art and tech studio Eyebeam opens calls for one-year...

The NYC-based nonprofit tech and art center Eyebeam has opened a call for residencies. If you're a budding artist or technologist who wants to create works like the anonymous thumbdrives that cropped up around the city almost a decade ago, you can ap...

| Read more »
Here Are Apple’s Best Recent Product Releases

What are the best devices released by Apple in the past few years? That’s a pretty subjective list, so I asked the TMO staff what they thought, and the answers were pretty interesting.

| Read more »
How to snag an invitation to play Fortnite on iOS...

Epic Games on Thursday began the process of sending out a first wave of invitations to play the iOS port of its popular game Fortnite, which the company claims will deliver a "full battle royale experience" on mobile. Here's how to sign up.

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DHS and FBI warn Russia is behind cyberattacks on US...

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI released a report today detailing Russian efforts to hack into US government entities and infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sector...

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Apple App Store no longer available in Iran

The Apple App Store is no longer available in Iran, according to Bleeping Computer. The block appears to be IP-based.

Users weren't able to connect to the Apple App Store to install or update applications. When visiting the App Store, they saw this message: ”The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in".

Meysam Firouzi, an Iranian security researcher, told Bleeping Computer that he successfully connected to the App Store while using a VPN, despite having Iran-related details set on his account. Apple hasn’t formally announced any such action and hasn’t responded to requests for a comment.

Last August Apple has removed several Iranian apps from international Apple App Stores, saying the move is in line with U.S. sanctions against the country. The tech giant has no official presence in the country and there’s no...

| Read more »
Lowest Prices of the Year: 15" MacBook Pros as...

Take advantage of the lowest prices of the year on Apple's latest Macs at Adorama with discounts of up to $300 off. Pick up a 15" MacBook Pro for just $2,149 or a 13" Touch Bar for $1,649. Premium 27" iMac 5Ks with Radeon 580 graphics start at just $2,299 ($150 to $200 off) -- all with no tax outside NY and NJ.

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Russian Photographer Dmitry Markov Uses iPhone to...

You can follow Dmitry on Instagram where he has over 200,000 followers.

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Apple World Today News Update: March 15, 2018

Steve's finally back from his Spring Training trip, and has several timely news items for today's podcast:

  • Are you a Team AWT member? Keep an eye on your email inbox for something new...
  • Apple's App Store has been blocked in Iran today, although nobody is owning up to who's doing the blocking
  • Media giant iHeartMedia has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, struggling with streaming competitors like Apple and Spotify, ad revenues flowing to Facebook and Google, and a lack of radio listeners
  • Google's changing its wearables brand from Android Wear to Wear OS in hopes of being more competitive with the Apple Watch line

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.


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Astronaut Twin Study Finds Space Travel Can Alter DNA

A new study based on astronauts Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly—identical twins—found that space travel can alter DNA, at least the way we’re doing space travel now. The study found that 7% of Scott Kelly’s DNA did not return to normal after a one-year mission in space. Gizmodo noted that the change is epigenetic in nature, rather than simply genetic. It’s the way Mr. Kelly’s genes are expressed, not the genes themselves, otherwise he would now be a new species. Important semantics aside, the changes were thought to be caused by “oxygen-deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression,” according to CNN. It’s important to both understand and solve these kinds of issues when it comes to prolonged...

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Two major eSports players associations are in the...

There are two players associations being put together for professional competitors who play Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Sports Business Journal reports. The latter will include players in the ESL Pro League and the FACEIT ECS leag...

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Apple Bans Iran from the App Store

Iranian users have not been able to access Apple's App Store all day today, in what appears to be a ban put in place by the US company. From a report: According to reports and sources who spoke with Bleeping Computer, the ban appears to have been put in place earlier today, around noon, GMT. Users were not able to connect to the Apple App Store to install or update applications. When visiting the App Store, they were instead greeted with the message "The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you're in." This ban appears to be IP-based. Meysam Firouzi -- an Iranian security researcher -- told Bleeping Computer that he successfully connected to the App Store while using a VPN, despite having Iran-related details set on his account.


| Read more »
Google Lens w/ visual search and assistance now...

Last month, Google announced that Lens — its set of visual search and analysis tools — is coming to iOS. First introduced at last year’s Google I/O developer conference, it will be rolling out over the coming weeks to all users using Google Photos.


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Wave on Indiegogo, a Wearable MIDI Controller

Check out Wave, a device I think has a real future. It’s a wearable MIDI controller in the form of a ring. If you watch the video, you’ll see that it can act almost like a Theramin, by turning motion into data. It also has buttons you can tap with your thumb, and you can trigger samples by tapping on a surface. Wave is currently a little big, but I can easily see this kind of technology bringing marked innovation to live performances and leading to all kinds of unforeseen ways to make, shape, and effect music. This company said Wave has been in development for three years, has been tested by hundreds of musicians, and has been used live on stage. The Indiegogo campaign is for taking Wave to manufacturing. They’ve already surpassed their $30,000 goal, having raised more than $46,000 with 21 days to go.

| Read more »
This is the ‘GrayKey’ box used by law enforcement to...

It’s been a few years since the San Bernardino debacle between law enforcement and Apple over the company refusing to create a back door to unlock an iPhone. After going back and forth on the case, the FBI eventually dropped the case entirely after it found a third-party company able to gain access to the device.

However, in 2017, a company by the name of ‘Grayshift’ created a device called ‘GrayKey’ that successfully unlocked iPhones without knowing the passcode.


| Read more »
Airbnb makes it easier to find accessible rentals

Airbnb is making quick use of the travel accessibility startup it bought a few months ago. The rental service has introduced 21 filters that help you find disability-friendly listings that meet your exact needs. You can look for ramps, wide hallway...

| Read more »
Wirecutter's best deals: Save over $200 on a 13...

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

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Fortnite for iOS is now live in the App Store, here’...

As originally teased last week, Fortnite Battle Royale is now available for iOS. While the app is live in the App Store, you’ll need an invite from a friend or Epic Games to gain access…


| Read more »
The App Store has reportedly been blocked in Iran

Users in Iran can no longer connect to, download apps from or browse Apple's App Store, as an apparent ban put in place on Thursday is blocking attempts to access the digital storefront.

| Read more »
Casio revives its musical, game-playing calculator...

Back in 1980, Casio released a musical, game-playing calculator cleverly named the MG-880. Apparently, kids went wild for the thing, playing a mini Space Invaders-inspired game with just numbers on the LCD screen. Now, Casio is releasing a revival of...

| Read more »
Users in Iran are no longer able to access the App...

According to Bleeping Computer, the App Store is no longer available in Iran. The ban took place sometime around noon GMT today.


| Read more »
How to share one iCloud Storage plan with your whole...

Apple’s Family Sharing iCloud feature was introduced back in 2o14 with iOS 8, but for several years many users requested a way to share one iCloud storage plan with multiple accounts. Apple brought this option to users with iOS 11, but for many it’s not turned on by default. Follow along for how to share one iCloud Storage plan with your whole family.


| Read more »
Think tank's new task force will forecast AI...

Alexa's creepy laugh will probably be the least of our artificial intelligence worries. To properly understand the challenges that AI will bring, defense and foreign policy think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has established a task f...

| Read more »
Here’s How to Make Amazon Alexa Less Chatty with...

If Amazon’s Alexa feels a little too chatty for you, there’s a fix for that. It’s called Brief Mode, and it’s easy to enable.

| Read more »
This Wearable Helicopter Would Help You Jump

Check out Lunavity, a sort of wearable helicopter that’s supposed to help you jump. Right off the bat, I don’t believe in this product—it’s never, ever going to be a thing. But it’s cool. More importantly, it’s the kind of absurd product idea whose research could eventually lead to unimagined products and ideas sometime in the future. It’s also an innovative approach to tackling both mobility challenges and enhanced mobility, even if no one is going to wear one of these things around. Ever. In a million years. But check it out anyway!

| Read more »
Highly questionable video claims to show '...

A dubious video has started to circulate on Weibo that claims to show the upcoming 'iPhone SE 2' using the same design language as the iPhone X, but the smartphone appearing in the brief clip is probably not the follow-up to the iPhone SE, for a number of reasons.

| Read more »
Video: Anker's new PowerWave Wireless Chargers...

The new PowerWave 7.5 Charging Pad and Charging Stand are the first from Anker to support 7.5W, allowing for quicker charge times that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are capable of now.

| Read more »
Bali plans to shut down mobile internet for its New...

You might turn off your home internet or cell network on occasion to disconnect and have some down time, but it's likely that your country isn't doing it for you. According to The Guardian and the BBC, Bali is shutting off the net country wide for 24...

| Read more »
Apple touts developer success in response to...

It was reported yesterday that the French government is taking both Apple and Google to court over alleged “abusive trade practices.” Specifically, the government claims that neither Apple nor Google treat their developers fairly, citing factors such as non-negotiable commissions and contract terms.

Today, both Google and Apple have commented on the accusations made by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire…


| Read more »

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Civilization VI 1.1.0 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
Network Radar 2.3.3 - $17.99
Network Radar is an advanced network scanning and managing tool. Featuring an easy-to-use and streamlined design, the all-new Network Radar 2 has been engineered from the ground up as a modern Mac... Read more
Printopia 3.0.8 - Share Mac printers wit...
Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to any capable iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Printopia will also add virtual printers, allowing you to save print-outs to your Mac and send to apps.... Read more
ForkLift 3.2.1 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.417 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Little Snitch 4.0.6 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Google Chrome 65.0.3325.181 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
TeamViewer 13.1.2991 - Establish remote...
TeamViewer gives you remote control of any computer or Mac over the Internet within seconds or can be used for online meetings. Find out why more than 200 million users trust TeamViewer! Free for non... Read more
Printopia 3.0.8 - Share Mac printers wit...
Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to any capable iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Printopia will also add virtual printers, allowing you to save print-outs to your Mac and send to apps.... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.417 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

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The best games that came out for iPhone...
It's not a huge surprise that there's not a massive influx of new, must-buy games on the App Store this week. After all, GDC is happening, so everyone's busy at parties and networking and dying from a sinister form of jetlag. That said, there are... | Read more »
Destiny meets its mobile match - Everyth...
Shadowgun Legends is the latest game in the Shadowgun series, and it's taking the franchise in some interesting new directions. Which is good news. The even better news is that it's coming out tomorrow, so if you didn't make it into the beta you... | Read more »
How PUBG, Fortnite, and the battle royal...
The history of the battle royale genre isn't a long one. While the nascent parts of the experience have existed ever since players first started killing one another online, it's really only in the past six years that the genre has coalesced into... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Oh hi nice reader, and thanks for popping in to check out our weekly round-up of all the stuff that you might have missed across the Steel Media network. Yeah, that's right, it's a big ol' network. Obviously 148Apps is the best, but there are some... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
It might not have been the greatest week for new releases on the App Store, but don't let that get you down, because there are some truly incredible games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now. Seriously, you could buy anything on this list and I... | Read more »
Everything You Need to Know About The Fo...
In just over a week, Epic Games has made a flurry of announcements. First, they revealed that Fortnite—their ultra-popular PUBG competitor—is coming to mobile. This was followed by brief sign-up period for interested beta testers before sending out... | Read more »
The best games that came out for iPhone...
It's not been the best week for games on the App Store. There are a few decent ones here and there, but nothing that's really going to make you throw down what you're doing and run to the nearest WiFi hotspot in order to download it. That's not to... | Read more »
Death Coming (Games)
Death Coming Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: (iTunes) Description: --- Background Story ---You Died. Pure and simple, but death was not the end. You have become an agent of Death: a... | Read more »
Hints, tips, and tricks for Empires and...
Empires and Puzzles is a slick match-stuff RPG that mixes in a bunch of city-building aspects to keep things fresh. And it's currently the Game of the Day over on the App Store. So, if you're picking it up for the first time today, we thought it'd... | Read more »
What You Need to Know About Sam Barlow’s...
Sam Barlow’s follow up to Her Story is #WarGames, an interactive video series that reimagines the 1983 film WarGames in a more present day context. It’s not exactly a game, but it’s definitely still interesting. Here are the top things you should... | Read more »

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Thursday roundup of the best 13″ MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has new 2017 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their prices are the lowest available for... Read more
Sale: 9.7-inch 2017 WiFi iPads starting at $2...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 2017 WiFi Apple iPads on sale for $40 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and pay sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 32GB iPad WiFi: $289, $40 off – 128GB iPad WiFi: $... Read more
Roundup of Certified Refurbished iPads, iPad...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9.7″ WiFi iPads available for $50-$80 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad, and shipping is free: – 9″ 32GB WiFi iPad: $... Read more
Back in stock! Apple’s full line of Certified...
Save $300-$300 on the purchase of a 2017 13″ MacBook Pro today with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any reseller. A... Read more
Wednesday deals: Huge sale on Apple 15″ MacBo...
Adorama has new 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $250-$300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished Series 3 A...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Series 3 Apple Watch GPS models available for $50, or 13%, off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard 1-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Numerous... Read more
12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook on sale for $11...
B&H Photo has the Space Gray 12″ 1.2GHz MacBook on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook: $1199 $... Read more
Mac minis available for up to $150 off MSRP w...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Back in stock: 13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Ce...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (MD101LL/A) available for $829, or $270 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: – 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 2017 13″...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air (... Read more

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*Apple* Genius - Technical Customer Service...
Job Description:Job SummaryAs a Genius at the Apple Store, you maintain customers' trust in Apple as the skilled technical customer service expert, Read more
Metadata Operations Specialist, *Apple* Med...
# Metadata Operations Specialist, Apple Media Products Job Number: 113387726 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 08-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Data Scientist, *Apple* Ecosystem (AMP Anal...
# Data Scientist, Apple Ecosystem (AMP Analytics) Job Number: 113428728 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 24-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
# Apple Professional Learning Specialist Job Number: 113456892 Englewood, NJ, New Jersey, United States Posted: 02-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
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