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Monday October 17

Porn sites blocked California users today to protest...

Several porn websites have a new tactic to alert their electorate living in California: Blocking them. On the ballot next month is proposition 60, which would require adult performers to use condoms for all videos made in the state. If they don't, th...

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Tim Cook's Japan visit could result in superior...

Apple is looking to Japan to help improve Siri.

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Japan could play a vital role in his company’s artificial intelligence initiatives. Cook is in the country on a work trip, as Apple prepares to open up a R&D center this December in Yokohama, near Tokyo. According to Cook, the new R&D center will focus on AI and “deep engineering,” but did not divulge more details.

“AI is horizontal in nature, running across all products, and is used in ways that most people don’t even think about,” Cook told Nikkei Asian Review. “We want the AI to increase your battery life, to recommend music to Apple Music subscribers... [to] help you remember where you parked your car.”


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AT&T adds iPhone screen repair service for...

AT&T's Mobile Insurance plans are expanding, with a cracked screen repair service being added to the program for recent iPhones and three Android models -- but at additional cost.

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Watch Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts...

Apple’s SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts will be interviewed tonight at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA and the event will be live streamed for all to watch through Fortune’s website.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Trump may be building his own online video service

As Donald Trump's presidential campaign appears to be circling the drain with 23 days to go, the Republican nominee must be thinking about what comes next. According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump might be retreating to the relatively safe confine...

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The Apple and Intel Affair. An Excedrin Headache

History will probably record that the delay in Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro/Air involved the development of some new Apple technologies getting out of sync with Intel’s CPU/GPU roadmap. First, we know that Apple elected to skip a CPU generation, waiing for Skylake with Thunderbolt 3 support. Recently, a leaked Intel roadmap and some analysis of the integrated GPU cycle explains why Apple may have to wait again until 2018 for it’s next major refresh. Particle Debris page 2 explores Apple’s Intel headache.

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Netflix's price hike didn't hurt...

Netflix's delayed-price-hike strategy has apparently paid off, as its earnings report for the third quarter (PDF) showed it added more customers than expected. By the end of the quarter, Netflix says about 75 percent of its older customers have been...

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Apple issues fourth public & developer betas of...

Apple on Monday seeded a fourth iOS 10.1 beta to registered developers, as well as the general public -- potentially the final beta before the update is officially released.

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Russia hopes to block cruise missile attacks with...

While the United States may have put its blimp-based missile defense system on hold, Russia is taking a more civilian approach to jamming cruise missiles. As Motherboard reports today, the Russian military is planning to mount anti-missile jamming de...

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TMO Background Mode: Interview with Developer...

Chuq Von Rospach worked for Apple for nearly 20 years, starting in 1989. In the mid-1980s, he landed first at Sun Microsystems and worked on the launch of early Sun workstations. Thanks to that work, and his boss going over to Apple, Chuq followed. At Apple, they developed Apple’s first paid technical support organization for Apple’s A/UX (Unix) system for the Motorola 68K Macs. Chuq has great stories to tell about Apple’s ill-fated but legendary Network Server, Mac executive Jean-Louis Gassée, the disastrous Apple CEO Michael Spindler, the failed attempt to sell Apple to Sun in 1996, the acquisition of NeXT and return of Steve Jobs. You want Apple stories? Chuq has ’em!


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ecobee3 lite Cuts Smart Thermostat Price, Keeps...

ecobee introduced the ecobee3 lite smart thermostat HomeKit support and a lower price tag than the standard ecobee3 on Monday. The lower cost model offers most of the features as its not-so-lite brother such as remote access and IFTTT support, alerts, scheduling, and comfort settings. It doesn’t, however, support room activity sensors. The ecobee3 lite is priced at US$169. You can pre-order today and it’ll be available on October 31st.

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News: Apple releases fourth beta of iOS 10.1 to...

Apple has released the fourth beta of iOS 10.1 to registered developers today, hours after releasing the iOS 10.0.3 update to iPhone 7/7 Plus users. We anticipate that the official public release of iOS 10.1 — which contains the much-ballyhooed Portrait camera mode for iPhone 7 Plus users — is not far off....

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Apple releases iOS 10.1 beta 4 with Portrait camera...

Apple has released the fourth iOS 10.1 beta which includes the Portrait camera for iPhone 7 Plus that applies a DSLR-like blur effect over photos using the dual lens system. iOS 10.1 beta 4 is available to registered developers. The fourth beta is also available to public beta testers on iOS 10.1 today.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple sets iPhone 7 launch dates for Egypt, Colombia...

Apple on Monday updated a collection of its international websites with more iPhone 7 launch dates, filling in gaps across multiple continents.

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ZTE's Axon 7 Mini smartphone is yours for $300

As promised, ZTE is launching the Axon 7 Mini in the US... and it might just hit the sweet spot if you're more interested in price than raw performance. The 5.2-inch Android phone ("mini" is clearly a relative term) is now available for pre-order at...

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Apple and Other Tech Companies Have Registered Their...

Apple's product launches are notoriously secretive, but the Cupertino, California tech giant is sure to do one thing ahead of a big reveal: file trademark paperwork in Jamaica. From a Quartz report: It did this for Siri, the Apple Watch, macOS, and dozens of its major products months before the equivalent paperwork was lodged in the United States. Likewise, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft routinely file trademarks for their most important products in locales far flung from Silicon Valley and Seattle. These include Jamaica, Tonga, Iceland, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago -- places where trademark authorities don't maintain easily searchable databases. The tech giants are exploiting a US trademark-law provision that lets them effectively claim a trademark in secret. Under this provision, once a mark is lodged with an intellectual property office outside the US, the firm has six months to file it with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When the firm does file in the US,...

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 17...

Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office 2016 15.27 and Office 2011 14.6.9, OmniFocus 2.7.2, Typinator 6.11, and TextExpander 6.1.


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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Apple hires Carnegie Mellon AI researcher to work on...

A well-known AI researcher, Russ Salakhutdinov of Carnegie Melon University, is joining Apple to direct some of the company's own efforts in the field.

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Review: Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones

It’s easy to be cynical about the Bowers & Wilkins P9. It costs $900, far more than many great-sounding headphones we’ve heard in the past. Where most of its competitors have utilitarian, futuristic design, the P9 looks unserious and reminiscent of the past. Instead of a minimalist, performance-driven chassis, the P9 has leather in places that don’t touch the head for what B&W describes as “luxurious” experience. It’s easy to assume that the P9 is just another “lifestyle” product aimed at people with money to burn, where sound was an afterthought. After some time with the P9, we found that it’s also easy to be wrong. The P9 is a fully developed over-ear headphone that earns its price tag with exquisite build quality and great sound.{/exp:char_limit}

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NASA unveils a new testbed for electric aircraft

In order to hit its ambitious goal of transitioning aircraft to electric propulsion in the next ten years, NASA has announced a new research wing at the NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Ohio. Meet NASA's Electric Aircraft Testbed --...

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Apple employee labor law violation class action suit...

A class action suit filed by current and former Apple employees over nine years -- numbering over 20,000 class members -- starts on Tuesday.

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ExtraBITS for 17 October 2016

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple’s automotive plans hit bumps in the road, the iPhone 7 offers a backup Home button, Tim Cook praises augmented reality, and Amazon gives free Kindle books to Amazon Prime members.


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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External Link: Behind Apple’s Scaled-back Car Plans

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb at Bloomberg Technology report on how Apple has scaled back its automotive ambitions from becoming an outright competitor to Tesla Motors to developing an underlying self-driving car platform for now. The Project Titan team has suffered from hundreds of layoffs, reassignments, and engineers leaving on their own, and the refocused team reportedly has a year to determine the feasibility of the platform and decide on whether to design its own vehicle or partner with existing carmakers. It’s possible that Apple waded into the murky automotive waters with an overinflated view of its ability to reinvent a complex and entrenched industry, but we can hope that Apple’s continued presence will at least spur carmakers to improve the software aspects of their automobiles.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed...

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iPhone 7 update fixes your Verizon connection...

If you recently snagged an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus and depend on Verizon for service, you'll want to check for a software update. Apple has released an iOS 10.0.3 upgrade that that fixes a weeks-long problem where some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users (particula...

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How to make a nasty cold suck less

I’m just getting over a cold that had me laid out on my couch for a week, sniffling and whining like the giant baby I am.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple Reportedly Scales Back ‘Titan’ Car Project For...

Apple Car has been Bob Mansfielded, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Apple has reassigned employees and is focusing solely on developing an autonomous software system. Furthermore, the company’s executive team has imposed a deadline of the end of 2017 to determine the viability of that system. But, Apple Car isn’t necessarily dead, and Bryan Chaffin explains why.

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Apple Reportedly Scales Back ‘Titan’ Apple Car...

Apple Car has been Bob Mansfielded, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Apple has reassigned employees and is focusing solely on developing an autonomous software system. Furthermore, the company’s executive team has imposed a deadline of the end of 2017 to determine the viability of that system. But, Apple Car isn’t necessarily dead, and Bryan Chaffin explains why.

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Acer's new Chromebook 15 is cheap but...

Chromebooks have long had a reputation for being cheap, compromised machines, but things have changed in the last few years. You can now spend hundreds of dollars to get a Chromebook with better design and specs, but there are still plenty of bargain...

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New Pixar Short ‘Borrowed Time’ Is Not For Kids

Pixar has a new short called Borrowed Time. Right up front, this 6 minute film is not for kids. It’s intense, emotional, sad, and—as SFist called it—lovely. Two of Pixar’s animators spent five years making it in their spare time, and according to a behind-the-scenes film, they made it specifically to dispel the idea that animation is strictly for kids. I’d love to know what you think about it.

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Update time! iOS 10.0.3 now available

iOS 10.0.3 has been released today for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Some users had been experiencing a loss of cellular connectivity on the two newest iPhones, and this update includes a bug fix for that issue. 

The majority of issues appeared to happen with Verizon's network, with users complaining of incoming calls with weak audio. T-Mobile customers also had issues with cell network connectivity at the launch of iOS 10, with the carrier even recommending to customers that they wait to upgrade.

We expect iOS 10.1 to ship soon; it's currently in beta testing and adds Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus owners, changes to Messages, and other improvements to built-in apps. 

Apple also sent out an update today to users of the Classroom app, fixing an issue that prevented Classroom from discovering nearby student devices. 

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Apple bolstering Siri intelligence by hiring expert...

One of the areas where Apple has seemingly fallen behind its competition — or, more likely, not yet ready to disclose its technology’s full potential — is artificial intelligence. However, there’s no denying that the company is pushing hard towards bettering its existing products (like Siri) behind closed doors, and the latest AI hire is but another proof of such commitment…


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple hires a Carnegie Mellon professor to improve...

Apple isn't letting Samsung's acquisition of Viv go unanswered. The Cupertino crew has hired Russ Salakhutdinov, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, as a director of artificial intelligence research. Interestingly, he isn't gi...

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Beats video ad features Pinocchio and other...

Apple's Beats brand is getting close to shipping its entire new wireless headphone line, and a fun new ad jam-packed with celebrities wants to make sure that you're aware of the "no strings attached" design of the new sound gear.

The three new products include the BeatsX, Solo3 Wireless and Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones, of which only the Solo3 Wireless is currently shipping. The other two headphones are likely to ship prior to the start of the holiday shopping season in order to jump-start sales. Each of the new products has the Apple W1 chip inside, which makes pairing as simple as making a single tap on a device and boasts increased wireless range.

How many stars do you recognize in the ad? DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, and Pharrell Williams make up part of the musical contingent, while actors Rebel Wilson and Steve Buscemi are featured dancing along to Pinocchio's singing.


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Steve Jobs at the D: All Things Digital Conference

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher loved having Jobs at their conference. Not only did it goose attendance but Jobs was always a good, challenging interview for them. Great to see these interviews now available more widely.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple Fixes Cellular Connectivity Problem with iOS...

Apple released iOS 10.0.3 Monday. The company’s patch notes specify that it addresses “an issue where some users could temporarily lose cellular connectivity.”

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YouTube's future pay-only shows include one...

YouTube is more determined than ever to line up major original shows for its Red subscription service. The video giant has scored deals for three new exclusives from names you will definitely recognize. The highlight might just be Dwayne "The Rock" J...

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-17: Apple Car gets a...

Apple’s car projects looks like it’s heading down a different path. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at how Bob Mansfield is refocusing the company’s car project and discussing what they expect will happen next. They also offer up their thoughts on Tim Cook’s plans to bring us into a cashless society.

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iOS 10.0.3 now update available for iPhone 7

Apple on Monday released iOS 10.0.3, an update for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. To install the update, open the Settings app and tap General > Software Update. The update can also be installed by connecting your iPhone 7 to your Mac and using the iTunes app.

iOS 10.0.3 addresses an issue that could cause the iPhone 7 to “temporarily lose cellular connectivity.” The workaround to the issue before the update was to turn off Voice over LTE.

Since the 10.0.3 update addresses an issue specifically for the iPhone 7, the update is not seen by other iPhone models. For now, the iPhones in Apple’s current lineup are on different iOS versions. When Apple releases the iOS 10.1 update, which includes the Portrait mode camera feature, the iPhones...

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This Election May Be Scarier Than You Think

Not that it isn't scary enough -- but if you look at both candidates, who have had their images destroyed largely by technology, i.e., tapes and emails -- there is a huge warning inherent in the process. Email really wasn't a big thing until the late 1990s and even having your own email server wouldn't have been likely before 2005, let alone thinking through the security aspects. The Trump tape, which wasn't indexed based on the off-air segment, would have been nearly impossible to find before it was digitized and indexed.

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Apple working to fix call-directory extensions in...

Apple is experiencing problems with call-directory extensions that make use of CallKit, and is expecting to solve them with the release of iOS 10.1, a developer said on Monday.

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iOS 10.0.3 fixes iPhone 7 cellular connectivity...

Enlarge / The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Apple has just released iOS 10.0.3, a minor update to iOS 10 intended to fix cellular connectivity problems with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Unlike most iOS updates, this one is available exclusively for the newest iPhones, since older iPhones and iPads running iOS 10.0.2 don't seem to be affected.

The problem seems to affect US users on Verizon the most consistently, and most users'...

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Kello trains your sleeping habits without using...

While there are already a handful of devices that claim to improve our sleep quality, one little startup from Hong Kong's Brinc IoT accelerator thinks that it can do a better job. Kello is a sleep trainer that comes in the form of an internet radio a...

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News: Apple releases iOS 10.0.3 to fix cellular...

Apple has released iOS 10.0.3 for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The update for the new iPhones fixes a bug which could cause a temporary loss of cellular connectivity. The update is currently available as an over-the-air download. It shouldn’t be much longer until Apple releases a bigger update with iOS 10.1 — last week, the company released its third beta for that upcoming update....

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Apple releases iOS 10.0.3, fixing Verizon LTE issues...

Owners of Apple's latest and greatest iPhone received a software update on Monday, with version 10.0.3 exclusive to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, addressing cellular connectivity problems specific to those models.

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News: Apple moving $9 billion in assets to Ireland

Despite a bitter legal fight over its tax agreements, Apple is moving even more assets to Ireland, The Business Post reports. The company has relocated its international iTunes business to a data center in Hollyhill, Ireland from its current location in Luxembourg. The Hollyhill facility will now manage “iTunes business and content stores for more than 100 countries,” amounting to an estimated $9 billion in assets. Apple has been clear…

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Apple releases iOS 10.0.3 for iPhone 7 & 7 Plus...

Apple has released iOS 10.0.3 for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The update includes a bug fix for users who were temporarily experiencing loss of cellular connectivity on new iPhone models. Apple also pushed out an update to its Classroom app that should fix issues with the education app not being able to find other student devices.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple released a new iOS OTA Firmware

Apple just released OTA iOS 10.0.3 (Build 14A551) for:

  • iPhone 7 (iPhone9,1)
  • iPhone 7 Plus (iPhone9,2)
  • iPhone 7 (iPhone9,3)
  • iPhone 7 Plus (iPhone9,4)

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The 'Beyond Burger' probably won't...

Meat alternatives are becoming a holy grail for food producers -- not just to tap the growing vegetarian and vegan market, but also because animal farming is resource intensive. Even so, people who would prefer something that hews close to the taste,...

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Apple hires Carnegie Mellon University professor as...

Apple has hired a Carnegie Mellon University professor to head up a team working on artificial intelligence as tech giants increasingly place big bets on machine learning as a key part of their future.

Apple seems to be all-in with AI, which is a good sign for the future.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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BFD: Metallica’s Black Album Drums

BFD Black Album Drums is an expansion pack for BFD3 inspired by the drum sound featured on the 1991 “Black Album” by Metallica. Produced and recorded by Chocolate Audio (the team behind Imperial and Modern Retro) and featuring the exact same 1980 Gretsch kit that was played on the album along with Zildjian cymbals, a Tama Bell Brass snare and a Ludwig snare.

I love these types of expansion kits. You can get the perfect drum sound that you’re looking for without much hassle.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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PBS made a tablet just for kids

You buy a kid-proof tablet to give young ones a safe environment to play their favorite games and videos, so wouldn't it make sense to buy a tablet from an outfit making all that content? PBS thinks so: it's introducing the Playtime Pad, a self-bran...

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Apple moves $9B worth of iTunes intellectual...

Apple continues to expand its operations in Ireland, despite ongoing criticism of its presence there for tax purposes, with the company's international iTunes business now setting up shop in the town of Holyhill.

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iOS 10.0.3 Fixes Cellular Connectivity Issues

iOS 10.0.3 addresses some unspecified cellular connectivity issues for iPhone 7 users, especially those on Verizon Wireless.


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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News: Apple Watch 2, iPhone 7 to launch in more...

Through its regional websites, Apple announced it is expanding the rollout of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2, bringing its devices to several new countries this month. Israel and Egypt will get the iPhone 7 on Oct. 20, and the company will make the phone available in Korea, Columbia, Thailand, Madagascar, Morocco, Uganda and Maurice the following day. Korea and Columbia will also be getting the Apple Watch 2 on Oct. 21. Cameroon, Botswana, Kenya and…

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iPhone 7 Plus weekend camera action: Portrait mode...

I traveled to Alabama over the weekend to attend my younger sister’s wedding and visit family which gave me a great opportunity to put some of the iPhone 7 Plus camera features to good use. I usually bring my three year old Nikon 1 J1 along during occasions like these for optical zoom, but the auto-focus and video quality just doesn’t compare to the iPhone these days.

The new Portrait mode was very impressive in outdoor lighting and 2x optical zoom was fun to try. We also took a walk through a bamboo park where I tried underwater video capture for the first time. Check out some of the shots and video below:


Filed under: Apple ...

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: SanDisk Storage up to 40% off...

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.


Gold Box – Monster SanDisk storage sale: 200GB MicroSD...

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The best gear for small apartments

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.
Small homes are fragile ecosystems. Throw in some clutter, and a small space becomes chaotic, cramped, and generally u...

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Apple's Beats debuts celebrity-laden ad...

Apple-owned Beats on Monday premiered a new video ad on Twitter, promoting the brand's latest wireless headphones: the BeatsX, Solo3 Wireless, and Powerbeats3 Wireless.

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Pepe the Frog's creator is using positive memes...

What do you do when your most well-known creation gets transformed into a hate symbol through bigoted memes? For Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, you fight back with memes of your own. Furie announced last week that he's teaming up with the...

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Giveaway: Enter to win an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus case...

Casetify is partnering with AppleInsider this week to give readers the chance to win an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus case in the design of their choosing. Fourteen winners will be announced on Oct. 25.

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External Link: iPhone 7 Offers a Virtual Home Button...

Ever wondered what happens if the solid-state Home button on the iPhone 7 fails? 9to5Mac reports that iOS 10 puts a virtual Home button on the screen so you can keep using your iPhone (presumably in conjunction with your passcode, if the Home button’s Touch ID sensor is also broken). This virtual Home button is similar to the on-screen Home button provided by Assistive Touch (in Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch), except it’s affixed to the bottom-center of the screen. With rumors swirling that Apple may be planning to ditch the physical Home button entirely, this could be a first glimpse at the future of the iPhone.


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...

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Google Flights adds price-tracking notifications

Booking the cheapest flight can be daunting. Should you book from an airline's site or go with something like Expedia? Plus, there's the trick of using Chrome in Incognito Mode can usually save you a few bucks. Of course none of those tell you when i...

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Why Apple removed security tethers from demo...

Apple Park Meadows, Photo ©2016, Steven Sande

Apple's retail group is smart, and it knows that the best way to get someone to buy a product is to give them unfettered access to a device. Up until recently, that really wasn't possible as each and every device was tethered to a table with a security cable. If you wanted to try picking up an iPhone 7 Plus to see what it really felt like in your hand or pocket, you couldn't do it without that cable dangling from the back. Apple has removed those tethers now and replaced them with other security measure to insure that devices won't be walking out the doors of the stores.

Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac found out what Apple is using as a "virtual tether," and the solution is special operating system images for the demo devices. This is something that has been on iOS devices for quite some time; customers can't set...

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Apple confirms iPhone 7 launching in 7 more...

Apple has confirmed iPhone 7 launch dates for more countries today on its website including Egypt on October 20, Korea and Colombia on October 21, and a handful more planned for a week later on October 28.

Korea and Colombia will also get access to the new Apple Watch Series 2 on the 21st.


Filed under: Apple ...

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LG's new flagship V20 will retail for $769

We got our hands on LG's Android Nougat-equipped V20 last month and found a solidly built (if somewhat conservative) new flagship device. Now that the V20 is getting ready for its public debut on October 28th, we can finally nail down how much this t...

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Apple Has Plans for Better AI, Cashless Society

Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to weave artificial intelligence deeply into our lives, and he’s ready for a cashless society. The iPhone and Mac maker’s planned research center in Japan will play a role in those plans, and the country could be at the forefront of plans to push Apple Pay as the standard for a no-cash world.

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External Link: Tim Cook Bullish on Augmented Reality

Two of the hottest technologies at the moment are virtual reality (VR), which isolates users in an entirely virtual world, and augmented reality (AR), which overlays virtual elements on top of the real world. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed a clear preference for AR, saying, “VR has some interesting applications, but I don’t think it’s a broad-based technology like AR. Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound.” Why? Cook said, “There’s no substitute for human contact, and so you want the technology to encourage that.”


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...

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Video game voice actors will strike on October 21st

The Screen Actor's Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has announced that it will advise its members appearing in video games to take industrial action on Friday, October 21st. It's the culmination of a pitched battle between...

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Ecobee3 Lite: All the HomeKit compatibility at a...

For those interested in home automation, the Ecobee3 has been an attractive HomeKit-compatible smart thermostat alternative to the non-compatible Nest Thermostat. But there's been one barrier to entry -- the price. Today, Ecobee launched the Ecobee3 Lite for just $169, an $80 cut on the price of the "full-fledged" model.

So what can't the Ecobee3 Lite do that its more expensive sibling can do? Ecobee pulled out room sensors, so the new device can't detect whether a room is occupied or not. It's also lacking the accessory compatibility of the Ecobee3, which means that connecting humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators is out of the question. 

Other than that, though, the unit is pretty much the same -- it comes with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen and is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Wink, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. There are also apps for iOS, Apple Watch, and Android for...

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WikiLeaks claims a 'state party' cut...

If you believe WikiLeaks, someone is trying to silence founder Julian Assange. The truth-through-disclosure group is claiming that a "state party" has cut Assange's internet access at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It isn't naming the culprit at t...

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News: Sony set to launch mobile games on iOS

Following Nintendo’s lead, Sony is planning to launch more than five mobile games for iOS by March 2018, CNBC reports. As previously reported, the games will be produced by Sony’s ForwardWorks subsidiary and released first in Japan and other Asian markets where the company has seen lagging console sales. Sony hasn’t elaborated on which games will be coming first, but Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group…

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Ecobee3 Lite cuts smart thermostat's price...

Ecobee on Monday launched the Ecobee3 Lite, a new version of its flagship thermostat that's cheaper than the original while retaining most of its core features.

| Read more »
Daily Deal: VPNSecure Lifetime Subscription For Just...

Seasoned world travelers know that although it's great to keep friends and relatives up to date on what you're doing by sending emails and using social networks, unsecured networks can put personal information at risk. Any time you use an unsecured Wi-Fi network at a hotel, coffee shop, or internet cafe anywhere in the world, you're opening yourself to having your personal data or identity stolen. That's why you should seriously consider using a VPN (virtual private network) whenever you're on an open network and take advantage of our limited-time offer for a $39 lifetime subscription to VPNSecure.

While we won't get into the details of how a VPN works, its most powerful feature is the ability to create a secure encrypted "tunnel" for your data from your computer to remote servers that can't...

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News: Cook shares vision for AI ‘running across all...

In his first trip to Japan as Apple CEO, Tim Cook painted a grand future for the artificial intelligence that will soon be developed in the company’s Yokohama facility, telling Nikkei it will be “horizontal in nature, running across all products.” Cook said new AI developments will transform the way people use their phones “in ways that most people don’t even think about,” helping with everything from increasing…

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Deals: $490 off 15" MacBook Pro; 20% off 13...

Deals on MacBook Pros are trending this Monday morning with a 15" MacBook Pro (2.5GHz, 16GB, 512GB) marked down to $2,009.99. Or snap up a 13" MacBook Pro for $1,029.99. Apple's 9.7" iPad Pros are also up to $110 off, while the iOS 10 & Swift 3 Starter Bundle is now $45 (93% off).

| Read more »
Why Apple is able to remove security tethers from...

Earlier this morning, I posted about Apple removing security tethers from devices in the Apple Stores.

One question I had was how this would impact shoplifting, how Apple was able to keep an eye on things.

From this 9to5mac post by Ben Lovejoy:

A source tells us that the current special OS images on demo devices include a software ‘kill switch’ which disables them when they go out of range of the store Wi-Fi. This means that Apple no longer has to use Find My iPhone to disable them manually.

Read the rest. Pretty...

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The obscure legal mechanism Apple uses to keep its...

If you want to know what products a company like Apple plans to launch, trademark filings can be a good way to find out because anyone can search them. Apple’s registration of the trademark ‘Apple Watch’ was a bit of a giveaway, for example.

But there is one way tech companies can keep them secret for the first six months, and it’s a method Apple has used no fewer than 343 times: taking advantage of section 44(d) of the US Trademark Act …


Filed under: Apple ...

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Report: Apple slams the brakes on electric Apple Car...

Apple’s oft-rumored (but never confirmed) car project is reportedly being scaled back. The effort, codenamed Project Titan, will now focus on creating an autonomous driving software platform as opposed to a full-blown car, according to Bloomberg.

The latest report from Bloomberg basically confirms the news organization’s own suspicions back in July. At that time, Apple hired Dan Dodge, creator of BlackBerry-owned QNX automotive software platform, which...

| Read more »
Animation Throwdown fuses Family Guy, Futurama, and...

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money). 

Many of the best-known collectible card games, from Magic: The Gathering to Blizzard’s wildly popular Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, rely on fantasy themes to pack their decks and build their worlds. Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards, on the other hand, uses some truly surprising source material: the...

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The special features that enable Apple to remove...

I suggested last week that Apple’s apparent move to remove security tethers from demo devices in its retail stores likely wasn’t too risky thanks to a range of hidden security measures, and we’ve been hearing a little detail on how some of these work.

Apple has long had special OS images for demo devices. You can’t, for example, set a passcode on a iOS device and then lock it, and Macs revert to their original state after a reboot.

Apple regularly tweaks these images. For example, at one time you could go into Safari and change the homepage to any site you liked; there’s now a lock-out to prevent this.

One security feature on the current display models of both iOS devices and Macs is designed to instantly render them useless if someone removes them from the store …


| Read more »
News: Apple halts electric car plans, shifts toward...

Apple has shifted its automotive ambitions away from building its own electric car in favor of developing an autonomous driving system, Bloomberg reports. People familiar with the project said hundreds of employees from Project Titan have been been “reassigned, let go, or left of their own volition” in the past few months. Apple executives are displeased with the lack of progress and want the car team to prove the feasibility of the self-driving…

| Read more »
One of the best HomeKit thermostats gets more...

If you want to control your thermostat with Siri or Apple’s new Home app, the ecobee3 smart home thermostat is one of the best HomeKit models on the market. Today the smart thermostat maker is announcing a more affordable version of their HomeKit-enabled thermostat with the new ecobee3 lite version.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Rumor: Apple may team with an existing carmaker...

Apple has “drastically scaled” back its automotive project — dubbed “Project Titan” — “leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car,” reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the project.”

Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the article adds. However, Apple has reportedly kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus.

What’s more, according to Bloomberg, new leadership of the initiative has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple...

| Read more »
∞ The original iPod

[VIDEO]: Stephen Hackett, of 512 Pixels, spends some quality time with the device that started Apple’s big comeback, the original iPod.

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Apple scaling back its titanic plan to take on...

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, writing for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project.

Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public.

New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said. Apple has kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus, according to another person.

The article is a fascinating behind-the-scenes on how this project...

| Read more »
Apple going “places nobody thought were possible”

The Economist, on Apple opening an App Academy in a tough, but emerging, Naples neighborhood:

“We go to places nobody thought were possible”, explained Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, at the inaugural event. Naples lags far behind northern Italy for transport and digital infrastructure, and criminality is rife. The Camorra, a mafia gang, runs one of the biggest drug-trafficking enterprises in the world from the city. The neighbourhood in which Apple has opened the academy (it is located inside a new campus of Federico II University) used to be more dangerous. “We used to see our friends die on the ground,” recalls Davide Varlese, a cousin of Mr Ciarravolo. But things have improved over the past decade as authorities have clamped down. At least the Camorra doesn’t come asking for money in bars any more, locals say.

The draw for Apple is the engineering program at the university.


| Read more »
Apple Stores removing security tethers from iPhone...

I noticed this on my last Apple Store visit. It was nice to be able to pick up an iPhone and walk around with it, even stick it in my pocket to get a sense of the size difference between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

I never felt watched, never got a sense of extra security around the iPhone table, though I can’t imagine there’s not some security measures in place to prevent wholesale shoplifting.

No matter, this was definitely an improved customer experience.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
Tim Cook says iPhone’s future is in AI

Nikkei Asian Review:

Cook, who was visiting Japan for the first time as CEO, said Apple will open a research and development base in Yokohama, near Tokyo, later this year. The facility — the first of its kind outside the U.S. — will develop AI and other technologies. Cook described it as a center for “deep engineering” and said it will be “very different” from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China.


Some analysts say a sales slowdown in China has prompted Apple to shift back toward Japan, where the iPhone commands a large market share. Cook said Apple sees “kindred spirits” in Japan, since it has “a lot of partners, supplier partners, and the developer community here is so vibrant.”

Not particularly revealing, but interesting. One quote towards the end struck me:

On filling Jobs’ role, Cook said, “I never tried to replace him. I’ve just tried to be myself and do the best thing that I can do. … I think if he were here, I would have...

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'Apple Car' project to choose new...

Apple's "Project Titan" has indeed scaled back to focus on self-driving technology -- specifically giving it the opportunity to either partner with existing automaker or return to developing its own car later on, a report said on Monday.

| Read more »
Analyst: 5-7 million Samsung smartphone users will...

In a note to clients — as noted by 9to5Mac — KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that 5-7 million Samsung smartphone users will switch to the iPhone 7 in lieu of the company’s debacle with the Galaxy Note 7. 

He feels the iPhone 7 Plus will be the greatest beneficiary thanks to its dual camera. Kuo says Note 7 users will have lost faith in the Samsung brand and have a tendency to like iOS and camera features, making the new iPhone an attractive sale.

| Read more »
News: Daily Deal: SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo...

In our iLounge Deal for today, we’re offering the SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo Earphones for only $15.99 — that’s 38% off the regular price. These handy, wireless earphones are equipped with advanced Bluetooth 4.1 technology so you can stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device at the office, during a workout, or just when getting around town. The built-in rechargeable battery provides 6 hours of talk and play time between charges,…

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Apple’s upcoming Japan R&D center will work on...

Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company's upcoming research and development base in Yokohama, Japan will develop artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. Cook described it as a center for "deep engineering." He said it will be "very different" from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China.

"I cannot tell you the specifics," he told the Nikkei Asian Review. "The specific work is very different." 

Cook saidApple intends to capitalize on AI in various ways, in cooperation with Japanese companies. AI is "horizontal in nature, running across all products" and is used "in ways that most people don't even think about.”

"We want the AI to increase your battery life" and recommend music to Apple Music subscribers, he continued. As another example, he said AI could "help you remember where you parked your car...

| Read more »
Why your next iPhone won’t be ceramic

Before you read on, take a quick look at this Quora post, answering the question What will the iPhone 8 be made of?

That post sells the idea that the iPhone 8 will be made primarily from ZrO2 – Zirconian Ceramics, made famous by the Space Shuttle as a thermal barrier and an option on the newest Apple Watch.

The linked post, from Atomic Delights, is a strong rebuttal to that Quora post and a bit of a love letter to aluminum.

Beautifully written, a terrific read.


| Read more »
Apple's new Japan R&D center to build...

Apple's investments in Siri and artificial intelligence will grow in the coming months, Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed in a new interview, disclosing that his company's Yokohama, Japan, facility will boast "deep engineering" for machine learning.

| Read more »
KGI: Apple to benefit from Samsung Note 7 recall/...

Apple appears to the be the primary beneficiary of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall blunders, with replacement devices also prone to catching fire which eventually resulted in the company cancelling production of the Note 7 entirely. This means Note 7 customers have no choice but to choose another type of phone. Obviously, Samsung hopes customers will flock to one of its other phones (like the Galaxy S7) but a report from KGI believes that Apple and Android manufacturer Huawei will be the biggest benefactors.

Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that 5-7 million ex-Note 7 orders will convert into iPhone 7 sales, predominantly iPhone 7 Plus thanks to the dual camera. KGI says Note 7 users will have lost faith in the Samsung brand and have a tendency to like iOS and camera features, making the new iPhone an attractive sale.


| Read more »
Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2 to launch on October 28th

The Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch Series 2 is now set to go on sale come October 28th.

When Apple debuted the new Apple Watch units, it teased the Nike+ edition, then mentioned that the standard version would retail for $369.

As of now, French web site WatchGeneration noticed that Apple updated its own web site to reveal the October 28th launch date.

The Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch Series 2 will offer the following three distinctions:

Visually, the Nike+ edition offers four combinations of case color and band, including a striking Space Gray case with black/volt (neon yellow) band.

The fluoroelastomer band itself also stands out from the standard sport band thanks to perforations which Apple says are there to reduce weight and improve ventilation....

| Read more »
FAA bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handsets on U.S....

Ok, if you bring a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handset onto a plane, this may be a viable reason as to why the burly security types are tackling you.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently banned the Galaxy Note 7 from being brought onto airplanes. Under a new Emergency Restriction / Prohibition Order, it’s now a federal crime to fly with the device.

The FAA issued Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order No. FAA-2016- 9288 on Friday, which states that as of noon on October 15, fliers are prohibited from bringing the device onto an aircraft. The order restricts passengers from carrying the phone “on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo,” and says that anyone who inadvertently brings one on a plane must power it down immediately. Carriers are also...

| Read more »
Interview: Tim Cook says Apple’s aim is a cashless...

Tim Cook has told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company hopes that Apple Pay will help to bring about a cashless society. The statement was made a month before the iPhone 7 becomes the first iPhone to support FeliCa, the contactless payment standard used in Japan.

We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system. We don’t think the consumer particularly likes cash.

Cook also spoke rather mysteriously about the work that will be performed by the R&D center the company is building in Yokohama, expected to ...

| Read more »
The Sport Wallet v6 and MagMount is an attractive (...

First of all, let me admit that I don't know if magnetic based accessories can harm an iPhone or iPad (though I kinda doubt they do). Since today’s review covers two such products you can read the pros and cons here and here. Go ahead and read; I’ll wait.



Back? Good. We’ll continue. Assuming that you aren’t afraid of magnet-based peripherals for an iPhone, Doc Artisan makes two worth your consideration: the Sport Wallet v6 and MagMount

The Sport Wallet v6 is a stylish eather wallet case that provides a Universal Card slot with space for ID, credit cards...

| Read more »
Apple reportedly halts development of electric car,...

Apple has reportedly changed its near-term plans for the Project Titan electric car project, moving away from the development of a vehicle for the time being. After Bob Mansfield took the helm in July, Apple changed its outlook for the team according to Bloomberg.

Hundreds of employees have been let go or re-assigned with the remaining members focusing on development of a self-driving autonomous car platform. In the future, Apple may return to developing its own vehicle or could partner with an existing car manufacturer. Apparently, executives have set a late 2017 deadline for the team to “prove the feasibility” of the autonomous driving system. Reports...

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Yep 3.8.0 - $23.99
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Apple’s Thursday “Hello Again” Event A Largel...
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B&H has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off... Read more
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Adorama has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1379.99. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. To purchase an iMac at this price, you must first... Read more
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