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Wednesday July 6

Apple Pay holdout Walmart launches own ‘Walmart Pay...

As one of the major Apple Pay holdouts among retailers, Walmart today officially launched its own digital payment solution called Walmart Pay nationwide.


Filed under: Apple ...

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After hiatus, in-the-wild Mac backdoors are suddenly...

After a taking hiatus, Mac malware is suddenly back, with three newly discovered strains that have access to Web cameras, password keychains, and pretty much every other resource on an infected machine.

The first one, dubbed Eleanor by researchers at antivirus provider Bitdefender, is hidden inside EasyDoc Converter, a malicious app that is, or at least was, available on a software download site called MacUpdate. When double clicked, EasyDoc silently installs a backdoor that provides remote access to a Mac's file system and webcam, making it possible for attackers to download files, install new apps, and watch users who are in front of an infected machine. Eleanor communicates with control servers over the Tor anonymity service to prevent them from being taken down or being used to identify the attackers.

"This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it's hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system,"...

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Amazon may open its first East Coast bookstore in NYC

Given how Amazon has done its best to put the brick-and-mortar bookstore out of business, it's still odd to see the company building retail locations of its own. But CEO Jeff Bezos said the company would keep doing it after opening a store in Seattle...

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I now pronounce you man and MacBook; this guy wants...

I "love" my Apple products, but this is taking things a little too far: attorney Mark "Chris" Servier is attempting to take Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis to court for denying him the right to marry his MacBook.

He’s the same guy who once tried to sue Apple because the online pornography he (accidentally) discovered on his Mac destroyed his marriage. This time around Servier claims that he wants to prove that marriage between same-sex couples stand on the same footing as a human marrying an inanimate object (like his MacBook.)

An iPad without a Brydge Keyboard is like a car without wheels...

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Apple is top dog when it comes to enterprise mobile...

Apple is king of the hill when it comes to enterprise mobile security; however, Samsung is catching up through the strength of its KNOX platform among others, according to a new research report released by Tech Pro Research – a joint venture between TechRepublic and ZDNet.

The report found 84% of respondents saw Apple smartphone security as at least “good” with 37% opting for “very good” and 14% “excellent,” For tablets, the scores were similar; 82% of the more than 250 respondents opted for at least “good,” with 33% and 13% for “very good” and “excellent.”

Samsung ranked second in terms of smartphones, with BlackBerry, Microsoft and Google completing the two five. For tablets Microsoft took second place, ahead of Samsung, Google, and Dell. The survey also found that 61% of respondents view mobile devices as less secure...

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Your smartwatch is also recording your PIN

With all the personal data it collects, your wrist-mounted wearable computer is almost definitely going to betray you at some point, whether that's a reminder to get up and do another 5,000 steps this afternoon or accidentally giving away your ATM PI...

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Apple's Tim Cook & Eddy Cue return to...

For the fifth time in a row, Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly attending the annual Sun Valley retreat in Idaho, which plays host to rich elites from the corporate and political worlds.

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Apple tops the PwC Global Top 100 list for the fifth...

Apple retains pole position for the 5th year in a row in PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking; however, a $121 billion (17%) decrease in market cap sees the gap with second ranked Alphabet narrow from $350 billion last year to just $86 billion Alphabet, a subsidiary of Google, briefly dethroned Apple in February 2016.

PwC notes that Apple is also returning cash to shareholders with another $42 billion handed back to investors in dividends and share repurchases in calendar year 2015 ($56 billion was distributed in 2014). Google doesn’t pay dividends or undertake share buybacks.

Technology has overtaken the financial sector this year, underlining the resilience and innovative features of tech companies. The global top three are now technology companies: Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, closely followed by Facebook in sixth position.


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Walmart Now Lets You Pay With Phone At All 4,600 US...

An anonymous reader writes: Walmart will now let customers make purchases with their phone at all 4,600 of its stores in the U.S. The feature is called Walmart Pay and it works by letting the cashier scan a QR code on a customer's phone screen to complete their payment. The technology is different than Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay, which involves tapping your phone next to a payment terminal with NFC. The company wants to make shopping easier and faster, and with its own payment app, Walmart can get insights into consumer behavior, though it says it won't use the data without a shopper's permission. Walmart says no payment information is stored on users' phones or at registers -- card information is stored on Walmart servers. Note: Samsung Pay also uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) to make purchases. When a smartphone with Samsung Pay is held against a register with a magnetic stripe terminal, the phone emits a magnetic signal that simulates the magnetic strip found on the...

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Notable apps and app updates for July 6, 2016

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

Playground Health has released Playground, which is designed to leverage the iPhone and Apple Watch in conjunction with your existing Facebook friends to create fun and social games between friends and family. In addition to competitive and cooperative challenges, the app allows users to join over 50,000 communities, including cities around the world and universities in the United States.


Citing general, growing concerns about privacy protection and personal data security, Kisapp has launched Smart Ephemeral, which enables the general public to send highly-encrypted messages that vanish in seconds. And unlike most free messaging services available...

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iOS users spend lots more money on apps than Android...

iPhones and iPad users spend lots more money on apps than Android users and the gap is widening, according to new research from Citigroup Global Markets analysts Mark May and Jim Suva — as noted by Business Insider.

In 2015, they estimate that the average iOS device generated $52 in Apple App Store "bookings," or sales. The average Android phone only generated $5.70 for the Google Play store. 

That means the average Apple device spent 9.1 times more on App Store apps and in-app purchases than the average Android user spent on the Google Play app store. That ratio is up from 2014, when the average Apple device spent 7.7 times more than Android devices on apps from the main app stores. 

Encrypto - keeping your files from prying eyes

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Apple’s LZFSE compression algorithm goes open source

Apple has open-sourced its lossless compression algorithm, LZFSE, which was introduced along with iOS 9 and OS X 10.10. What is LZFSE?

It’s a proprietary compression algorithm that, according to Apple (and this explanation is heavy with tech-speak), “matches the compression ratio of ZLIB level 5, but with much higher energy efficiency and speed (between 2x and 3x) for both encode and decode operations.” ZLIB’s compression level is designed to provide a good balance between compression speed and compression ratio. 

LZFSE is only present in iOS and OS X, so it can’t be used when the compressed payload has to be shared to other platforms (Linux, Windows). In all other cases, Apple recommends LZFSE as a replacement for ZLIB.

Hide those files and folders you don't want others to see: Get Hider2 now!

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Facebook reveals open-source wireless platform,...

OpenCellular is Facebook's open-source wireless access platform designed to provide internet to remote areas around the world. OpenCellular is roughly the size of a shoe box and it can support up to 1,500 people as far as 10 kilometers away with a ra...

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VW's E-Golf is an undercover electric car

Some people find a certain satisfaction in proclaiming to the world that they drive a hybrid or pure electric car. Thanks to the Prius line, Chevy Volt and Tesla, it's easy to stick out among the hoards of other vehicles on the road. They are badges...

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Apple among tech companies fighting the European...

Apple is among several tech companies are fighting the European Union's so-called "Cookie Law," lobbying the organization for more refined laws that aim to strike a balance between user privacy and data collected by providers, according to AppleInsider.

The companies’ filing states that a similar law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), should be the framework for "a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection" for citizens of the EU. The tech companies prefer the GDPR over expansion of the ePrivacy Directive.

"We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent, and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data," the industry group said in its statement. "At the same time, it will...

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∞ Iceland welcomes home Euro 2016 team with Viking...

What a great story for Iceland.

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Tesla's Autopilot blamed for a Model X crash

Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode is coming under fire for the second time in as many weeks. Art dealer Albert Scaglione claims that the feature was responsible for a crash that rolled his Model X on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on July 1st. Accord...

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Scientists teach robots how to hunt

There is nothing that can wrong with this.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Man who attacked Google buildings said the company...

Diaz said his motivation for attacking Google was that the company was watching him, according to an affidavit filed in a U.S. District Court. He told police he kept journals detailing the times he thought the company was watching him, the affidavit said. He also mentioned Facebook and Google CEO Larry Page during the interview.

Somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about your typical privacy complaint here.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Verizon confirms plans including price hikes, more...

Verizon on Wednesday officially announced its rumored new cellphone plans, launching July 7, which are costlier but in some cases include perks previously found only at other carriers, like rollover data.

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Become a Starfleet cadet at the Intrepid's new...

Star Trek turns 50 this September, and while fans will have to wait until next year for a taste of the new TV show, they can still have their own immersive Trek experience this summer at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. If you've...

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Car thieves go high tech

The discovery follows a recent incident in Houston in which a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a laptop to start a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it from the owner’s driveway. Police say the same method may have been used in the theft of four other late-model Wranglers and Cherokees in the city. None of the vehicles has been recovered.

This problem is only going to get worse from here.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Verizon raises rates, but offers more data

Verizon is hiking rates and increasing data across all its plans. For instance, the basic “S” plan will cost $35, a $5 rise, and offer double the data at 2 gigabytes and the high-end “XXL” plan will cost $10 more at $110 and offer 24 gigabytes as opposed to the previous 16 gigabyte limit.

I’ll be honest, that sounds reasonable to me.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Australian police urge 'Pokémon Go'...

Zealous new Pokémon Go trainers around the world are out catching 'em all, but a police station in Australia is warning against actually walking into the station just to nab the items that could be lurking there.

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Sling TV, a Cord Cutter’s Delight, Arrives on Apple...

The Sling TV service offers cable-style programming over the Internet at a lower cost, but a lack of Apple TV compatibility has kept many users away. Sling TV has now released an Apple TV app with a revamped interface. Julio Ojeda-Zapata reviews the app.


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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HummingBad Mucks Up Android's Works

More than 85 million Android devices worldwide have been taken over by the Yingmob, a group of China-based cybercriminals who created the HummingBad malware, according to a Check Point report released last week. HummingBad establishes a persistent rootkit on Android devices, generates fraudulent ad revenue, and installs additional fraudulent apps. If it fails to establish a rootkit, it effectively carpet bombs the target devices with poisoned apps. HummingBad has been generating revenue of $300,000 a month, according to Check Point.

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Podcast 515: Facebook cuts Paper, its only good app

For the middle of summer, so much is going on! Glenn and Susie (just back from vacation) are joined by staff writer Caitlin McGarry to discuss the death of our favorite Facebook app ever, Facebook Paper. And then while we're at it, we chat about what Spotify's problem is and why Apple absolutely should buy Tidal.

In security news, the iCloud hacker plead guilty, making us wonder about the proper penalties for phishing. Apple's Gatekeeper is causing headaches again. And Glenn explains why just putting tape over your MacBook's microphone isn't going to do anything.

Show notes

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Microsoft’s new app can bring your toy car...

One of the tough things about having an awesome collection of physical objects is that it can be difficult to share them with people far away. After all, what good is having a collection of dolls action figures taking over your house if you can’t foist them on someone halfway across the globe?

That’s a problem that Microsoft Research Cambridge is trying to solve with the private beta of a new iOS app called Thinga.Me. It’s an app that lets users clip objects out of digital photos and then arrange them on virtual shelves for easy sharing online. 

The company has a few examples of how it works already, showing off different collections of figurines, family photos, bottles of beers and pottery on the Thinga.Me website. It’s all powered by computer vision technology that Microsoft Research has built to separate individual objects from the background of photos...

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iOS 10 beta 2 heads out the door, walkthrough video...

iOS 10 beta 2 is out the door and being tested throughout the developer community.

And, in addition to an assortment of bug fixes, the cool cats at MacRumors have thrown together a quick walkthrough that looks at the new changes, including sticker packs from Apple, changes to the Control Center 3D Touch actions, Apple’s new organ donor signup, and more.

Take a gander and see what you think:

Via MacRumors

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Snapchat launches Memories so you can save and...

That embarrassing Snapchat video is coming back to haunt you.

On Wednesday, Snapchat started rolling out Memories, a new in-app camera roll for saving and searching your photos and videos. Integrating a permanent, searchable media archive is a big, bold step for Snapchat, which has over 100 million daily users sharing photos and videos (as Snaps and Stories) that vanish after 24 hours. Snapchat’s “big change” will be rolling out slowly over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. 

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

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EasyDoc Malware Adds Tor Backdoor To Macs For Botnet...

An anonymous reader writes: Security firm Bitdefender has issued an alert about a malicious app that hands over control of Macs to criminals via Tor. The software, called EasyDoc, is supposed to be a file converter but doesn't do its advertised functions. Instead it drops complex malware onto the system that subverts the security of the system, allowing it to be used as part of a botnet or to spy on the owner. "This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it's hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system," said Tiberius Axinte, Technical Leader, Bitdefender Antimalware Lab. "For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your private files or transform your laptop into a botnet to attack other devices. The possibilities are endless." The malware, dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor, sets up a hidden Tor service and PHP-capable web server on the infected computer, generating a .onion domain that...

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Blogosphere Chews on Android Nougat

Google last week revealed the official name of its next mobile operating system: "Android Nougat." The OS previously went only by "Android N," and Google invited the blogosphere to fill in the blanks. The choice sparked some derision, particularly among those who had preferred "Nutella." "What is nougat anyway?" asked John Jackson, a research VP at IDC. "It's like the 'nog' in eggnog; it doesn't exactly stand alone." That said, Nougat is consistent with Google's pattern of choosing generic sweets rather than branded product names.

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Hands-on with Voicemail Transcription in iOS 10 beta...

Apple appears to be slowly rolling out its new voicemail transcription feature to iOS 10 beta users, as the feature just appeared on my iPhone 6s in the last few minutes.

Voicemail transcription is exactly like it sounds: it processes audio from voicemails and displays the message in text form right from within the voicemail interface inside the built-in Phone app.  more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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Carbon Copy Cloner 4: A close look at a popular Mac...

Most Mac users are happy to use the Time Machine backup utility built into OS X, but that utility has a shortcoming -- it doesn't create a bootable copy on the backup drive. That's why third-party utilities such as Bombich Software's Carbon Copy Cloner 4 (US$39.99) have remained so popular.

I recently decided to switch back to a third-party utility rather than Time Machine, since my main goal if my primary internal iMac drive goes bad is to get back to work as quickly as possible. I had used SuperDuper! for quite a few years, but the app (and the company website) just doesn't seem to have changed over the years. Carbon Copy Cloner has been around since 2002, and although Carbon Copy Cloner 4 was first introduced about 21 months ago, it's been in continuous development with constant updates.

Carbon Copy Cloner (AKA CCC) has a 30-day free trial available for download, so if you haven'...

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Apple issues fifth betas of iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6...

Just a week after the fourth betas arrived, Apple has provided both developers and public testers with fifth pre-release betas of iOS 9.3.3 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.6, forthcoming maintenance and security updates.

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Apple releases fifth iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6, and...

Apple has issued a fifth developer and public beta release of iOS 9.3.3 ahead of its general release. iOS 9.3.3 beta 5 follows the last build issued a week ago which suggests a general release will soon follow. Apple is likely testing iOS 9.3.3 heavily as it could be the last version of iOS 9 before iOS 10 is released later this fall.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Apple joins wide array of tech companies in fight to...

Apple and a cadre of other tech companies are fighting the European Union's so-called "Cookie Law," lobbying the organization for more refined laws that aim to strike a balance between user privacy and data collected by providers.

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: 13-inch MacBook Air from $750...

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.


Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air is on sale for as little as...

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Snapchat update introduces Memories feature for...

Snapchat’s latest update introduces a brand new feature called Memories which lets you save Snaps and Stories in your own personal collection. Memories lets you capture and save pictures and videos in Snapchat instead of the Camera Roll in Apple’s Photos app by default.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Metrics vs. experience

Julie Zhuo, Product design VP at Facebook:

Being able to measure stuff gives you insight into what people are doing within your product. Unless you like living under a rock, having more information is a good thing. Sure, you need to be able to sort through what information is important and what isn’t, but arguing that the whole concept of having more information is bad is not really a defensible position. Metrics is not the villain.

Information is good, it’s what you do with it.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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External Link: Beware the EasyDoc Mac Malware

Bitdefender Labs has issued a warning about the EasyDoc Converter app, saying that it’s dangerous malware that could give an attacker complete control of your Mac. EasyDoc Converter was available at the reputable MacUpdate Web site, and testers at Tom’s Guide were able to install it despite Gatekeeper being set to allow apps only from the “Mac App Store and identified developers.” Interestingly, the malware will not install if you have Objective Development Software’s Little Snitch network-monitoring utility installed. Read this as yet another reminder to be extra careful about what you install on your Mac — stick to software from reputable developers.


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...

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Companies intentionally slow down load times

So companies introduce what Kowitz calls an “artificial waiting” pattern into their interfaces. These are status bars, maybe a few update messages, to construct a facade of slow, hard, thoughtful work, even though the computer is done calculating your query.

It is absolutely fascinating how the mind works and how designers have to slow things down in order for us to believe them.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Snapchat memories

Memories is a new way to save Snaps and Stories on Snapchat. It’s a personal collection of your favorite moments that lives below the Camera screen. Just swipe up from the Camera to open Memories!

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Pokémon Go is rolling out now for iOS and Android

The augmented reality, location-based game Pokémon Go is now on the way to Android and iOS.

The availability comes via a slow, global rollout that’s starting first in New Zealand. So if you’re not able to download the game yet, you may need to give it some time.

In our hands on with Pokémon Go, we found it to be a fun, digital geocaching exercise with the zany and popular characters from Nintendo. While the game is free, it’s packed in with microtransactions ranging from $1 to $100. 

To enhance the experience, there’s also a $35 Pokémon Go Plus wearable, which allows you to catch Pokémon and collect items even when the app is closed or your phone is locked. 

To read this...

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BBEdit 11.6

One of my favorite apps of all time.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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iPhone 7 To Start at 32GB Storage, Says WSJ

An anonymous reader writes: It appears Apple has finally decided to do something about the not-so-enough 16GB storage on its base iPhone model. According to a report on WSJ, the Cupertino-based company's next smartphone -- expected to be named iPhone 7 will have 32GB internal storage on the base model.For years, Apple has offered a 16GB iPhone version for those who were on a budget or just didn't necessarily need too much storage. But as we moved forward -- the iPhone got better cameras and improved video recording capability and apps became more sophisticated and ate more storage -- we really reached a point where 16GB wasn't enough for most people. In many cases, people were unable to update their iPhone to the latest version of iOS because there wasn't enough storage left on the device. It's a welcome move, and something millions of people will appreciate.


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Report: Apple now fifth behind local brands in China...

Apple lost share of the Chinese smartphone market with a decline in iPhone sales during May, pushing it to fifth place behind local brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi. The data comes from Counterpoint Research and was published today by Bloomberg.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Summer sponsorships available on The Loop

We have some sponsorship weeks available in July and August on The Loop. If you want to get your product or service in front of The Loop readers, this is the only way to do it. Sponsors are exclusive for the week, so it will just be you, me, and the great people who read this site.

If you’re interested, get in touch and let’s hammer something out.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple's iPhone dips to fifth place in Chinese...

Apple continued losing ground in the Chinese smartphone market in May, seeing its share drop to fifth place amid tough local competition, according to research data published on Wednesday.

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Pokémon Go is now rolling out for iOS and Android

Looks like the game is currently available in New Zealand and Australia, not yet rolled out in Japan and the US. Sounds like it’s just a matter of hours or days, though.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Daily Deal: Exo Mount Touch Air Vent Car Mount

Man, there is NOTHING worse than putting your iPhone onto the console of your car and then finding that it has decided to hide itself under a seat while you are driving. Keep that iPhone within reach, cool, and safe from flopping around with the Exo Mount Touch Air Vent Car Mount, on sale for only $16.99 through the Apple World Today Deals Shop.

The mount clips into any available air vent on your dash board and holds your iPhone in place. Other features:

  • Mount your phone to your air vent w/ just 1 touch...
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The universe is spooky

I’m a math geek, so this might be more up my alley than most. A cool tweet showing how to use the Fibonacci sequence to convert miles to kilometers and back. Spooky!

∞ Read this on The Loop

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The best Mac games of 2016 (so far)

Into Mac games? Enjoy the list, bookmark the site.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Artificial intelligence, Apple, and Google

This post by Benedict Evans first digs into the idea of artificial intelligence, then looks at the efforts by Apple and Google to get a sense of who is doing what.

If you have even the slightest interest in artificial intelligence, neural nets, speech recognition, etc., this is worth the read.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Happy Hour Podcast 074 | Spotify vs Apple, iOS 10...

This week Benjamin and Zac break down Spotify’s Apple Music complaint, Apple potentially buying Tidal, the latest changes in iOS 10 beta 2, and much more. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.


Filed under: Apple ...

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New Tor-powered backdoor malware targets Macs

Security researchers have found a new backdoor program that allows attackers to hijack Mac systems and control them over the Tor network.

The new malware has been dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor by researchers from antivirus vendor Bitdefender and is distributed as a file converter application through reputable websites that offer Mac software.

The rogue application is called EasyDoc Converter. Once installed it displays a fake interface where users can supposedly drag and drop files for conversion, but which in reality doesn’t do anything.

In the background, the application executes a shell script that installs multiple malicious components in a folder called “/Users/$USER/Library/.dropbox.” The Dropbox name is used to make the malware harder to spot and has nothing to do with the legitimate Dropbox file synchronization software.


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Apple’s Blockbuster July sale: New $4.99 HD movie...

How to get to the sale movies on the Mac or on your iOS device.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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iPhone drops to fifth place among Chinese smartphone...

The iPhone dropped to fifth place in Chinese smartphone shipments. The Apple smartphone made up 10.8% of devices sold in May, down from 12% a year earlier, according to Counterpoint— as noted by Bloomberg.

Chinese brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi are now the top four smartphone makers in China with a combined market share of 53%, according to Counterpoint research director Neil Shah. Huawei Technologies Co. increased its lead with 17.3%, and Oppo almost doubled its market share to 11%.

FX Photo Studio CK adds stunning effects to your photography

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50 new iOS 10 beta 2 features [Video]

iOS 10 beta 2 was released earlier today, and it comes with a plethora of new, often subtle, tweaks and changes. We already told you about many of the updates found in this latest iOS 10 beta, but now allow us to show you even more of the changes and tweaks via our hands-on video walkthrough. more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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Everything new in iOS beta 2

Not to be confused with yesterday’s MacRumors-linking post, this is a more extensive walk through the iOS 10 beta 2 change-log. Lots of detail.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Microsoft launching Thinga.Me iPhone app for...

A new project called Thinga.Me from Microsoft’s experimental Garage team aims to offer users a way of organizing and sharing real-world objects through a new iPhone app.


Filed under: Apple ...

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New Mac malware dubbed ‘Backdoor.MAC.Elanor’ has...

Bitdefender has posted a blog about a new piece of Mac malware they are calling “Backdoor.MAC.Elanor.” This is only the only the second piece of true Mac malware spotted so far in 2016, the first being the KeRanger ransomware. 

Notably, the malware is currently still available on MacUpdate in the form of a free app called EasyDoc Converter. It poses as a drag-and-drop file converter, but has no real functionality – it simply downloads a malicious script. Bitdefender says this is a nasty backdoor that can steal data, execute remote code and access the webcam, among other things. 

This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it’s hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system,” says Tiberius Axinte, Technical Leader, Bitdefender Antimalware Lab. “For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your...

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Backdoor.MAC.Elanor malware for Mac enters the wild...

Well, this’ll keep Apple’s security team busy for a while.

Recently, Bitdefender Labs found what might be the second example of true Mac malware to enter the wild. The application, dubbed “Backdoor.MAC.Elanor”, is available on a number of reputable download sites such as MacUpdate.

The backdoor is embedded into a fake file converter application that is accessible online on reputable sites offering Mac applications and software. The EasyDoc poses as a drag-and-drop file converter, but has no real functionality – it simply downloads a malicious script.

Once installed, Backdoor.MAC.Elanor can perform functions such as stealing your data, controlling your webcam and executing remote code.


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New Mac malware can remotely access FaceTime camera...

A new pice of Mac-targeting malware is in the wild, potentially allowing hackers to remotely execute code and even control the FaceTime camera on a user's computer, but Apple's own Gatekeeper security prevents the unsigned app from being installed.

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New Mac malware in the wild

In a nutshell, the malicious code is embedded in a Mac utility called EasyDoc Given that the app itself does not do what it says it will do (convert files from one format to another), this was a pretty obvious find.

But think of this example as a proof of concept. This malware could just as easily be embedded in a useful tool. If you are going to go outside the Mac App Store, be sure you are downloading a known, vetted product from a known, vetted source.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Awesome Chinese video shows ‘Magsafe’ Lightning...

While Apple may now be abandoning the much-loved MagSafe connection in favor of USB on MacBooks, that hasn’t stopped people wanting to bring the same convenience to both 12-inch MacBooks and iPhones. We saw a Kickstarter campaign two years ago (long delayed but apparently now shipping), there are others...

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New CAD renderings support rumored features of Apple...

If authentic, leaked CAD renderings of Apple's "iPhone 7" and "7 Plus" appear to support claims that the device will ditch the headphone jack, sport tweaked antenna designs, and feature a dual-camera system for the larger 5.5-inch model.

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Brexit impact will hurt Apple sales, predicts...

Citigroup Global Markets analyst Jim Suva has predicted that economic uncertainty in the UK following the referendum decision to leave the EU will hurt Apple sales. Business Insider reports that Citigroup has lowered its estimates for iPhone sales across two quarters.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Piper Jaffray: iPhone 6s resale value remains strong

In a note to clients — as reported by AppleInsider — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says an analysis of the secondary iPhone 6s market has found that the flagship handset sells used for 78% of its new price, outperforming the iPhone 6 at the same period.

The research group has been tracking the resale values of Apple's handsets on eBay for years. At 288 days since launch, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus retain 78% of their retail pricing, compared to 73% for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at the same period in their product cycle.

Considering that the iPhone 6s resale market is relatively stable, Munster said that's a good sign that the iPhone business remains healthy despite what some pundits are saying. The analyst things market expectations for the "iPhone 7" are low heading into an anticipated September launch, potentially...

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Nintendo may make iOS game controllers

Nintendo has “major plans” to focus on smart device development, including possibly designing its own controller for mobile gaming on, among other things, iOS devices, Shinya Takahashi, general manager of entertainment planning and development, told Polygon.

"Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves," Takahashi said. "I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game.”

The company previously announced that it was working on five mobile titles to be released by March, the same month its ...

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'New Way of Stealing Cars': Hacking Them...

retroworks writes: The Wall Street Journal (Warning: source may be paywalled), CBS and Marketwatch all lead the morning with stories about the newest method of stealing (late model) cars. No need for hacking off the ignition switch and touching the wires to create a spark (controversial during broadcasts in 1970s television crime criticized for "teaching people to steal cars"). Thieves now use the laptop to access the automobile's computer system, and voila. "Police and car insurers say thieves are using laptop computers to hack into late-model cars' electronic ignitions to steal the vehicles, raising alarms about the auto industry's greater use of computer controls. The discovery follows a recent incident in Houston in which a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a laptop to start a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it from the owner's driveway. Police say the same method may have been used in the theft of four other late-model Wranglers and Cherokees in the city. None of...

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RAVPower Ace Series 22000mAh Battery Pack and Unity...

Here at Apple World Today we review a lot of external battery packs and even more Lightning cables. Some are good, some not so good. There's one company that has continually made charging products that are noticeably better than the rest, and that's RAVPower. Today we're looking at two new products that are definitely best in class: the RAVPower Ace Series 22000mAh External Battery Pack ($39.99) and the Unity L Lightning Cable 2-Pack ($16.99).

Unity L Lightning Cable 2-Pack

Let's start off with a look at the RAVPower Unity L Lightning Cable 2-pack. This contains two Lightning cables -- one 3 feet long and the other 6 feet long. Of course, each cable has a USB connector on one end and a Lightning connector on the other end -- all Lightning...

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iPhone 6s resale values remain strong ahead of Apple...

With Apple expected to launch its next-generation iPhone in just a matter of months, a new analysis of the secondary iPhone 6s market has found that the flagship handset sells used for 78 percent of its new price, outperforming the iPhone 6 at the same period.

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Report: The next iPhone may finally ditch the 16GB...

Enlarge / The 16GB iPhone could be on its way out. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Speculation about the headphone jack has dominated most of the conversation about the next iPhone, but here's a rumor that should make everyone happy: citing "a person familiar with Apple's plans," The Wall Street Journal reports that the next iPhone will get rid of the 16GB storage option. The base model would reportedly jump up to 32GB—a more reasonable minimum for casual iPhone users who still want to store plenty of photos and apps (and install updates without running into storage problems).

Apple has made several changes to iOS in the last year or two to make 16GB (and, horror of horrors, 8GB) iPhones and...

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Latest claimed CAD renders may provide a more...

Last night, a set of claimed CAD renders of the iPhone 7, consistent with earlier reports began circulating around the Web. They show the same less obtrusive antenna lines, missing headphone jack, enlarged camera hole on the smaller model and dual-camera housing for the larger one.

They don’t reveal anything we haven’t already heard, but – if genuine – do provide a more detailed look than earlier images


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How to set up relationships using Siri on your iOS...

You can use Siri, Apple’s “personal digital assistant,” to establish relationships using your iPhone or iPad. It’s easy. Here’s how:

First, make sure that you have the contact listed in your Contacts app. For example, I want to make sure my iOS devices know that Laura Sellers is my wife. Her name, address, and phone number are listed in Contacts.

I launch Siri and say, “Laura Sellers is my wife.” Siri will then ask me to confirm this by choosing “yes” or “no.” 

Now I can use Siri to “Tell my wife I’ll be there in an hour,” “our dinner reservation is at 7 pm at Chef’s Market,” etc. Siri understands a plethora of relationships such as wife mom, dad, in-laws, boss, auto mechanic, etc.

If one of your contacts has a name that’s tricky (for Siri, anyway) to pronounce, in the Contacts app choose the name and tap edit. Scroll down and choose “Add field,” then choose the name you want to spell phonetically. Enter the phonetic spelling. Voila! You’re good to go....

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External Link: Organ Donation Registration Baked...

Apple has announced that it is teaming up with Donate Life America to offer organ donor registrations from within iOS 10’s Health app. Users will be able to use Health to sign up for the National Donate Life Registry as organ, eye, and tissue donors. Organ donation is an important issue for Apple, since its founder, Steve Jobs, received a liver transplant in 2009 that extended his life by a few years.


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New Mac malware in the wild, Backdoor.MAC.Elanor –...

After the first ever example of Mac ransomware was found in the wild earlier this year, Bitdefender Labs has found what it tells us is only the second example of true Mac malware to enter circulation this year, which it has dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Elanor. The app is available on a number of reputable download sites such as MacUpdate.

The backdoor is embedded into a fake file converter application that is accessible online on reputable sites offering Mac applications and software. The EasyDoc poses as a drag-and-drop file converter, but has no real functionality – it simply downloads a malicious script.

This is a nasty backdoor that can steal data, execute remote code and access the webcam, among other things …


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a-JAYS Four boasts solid sound -- and tangle...

My biggest problem with the $69.99 a-JAYS Four by JAYS of Sweden was getting them out of their hard plastic case. That little sticker that says to remove it so you can press the tab beneath? Well, do as instructed, and you'll save some time. 


Once you've got 'em out of their more-than-sturdy case, you'll have some sleek in-ear earphones with tangle-resistant, flat cables and a one-button remote. It took a while to get used to the cables -- they're flat but bulkier than you might expect -- but they do indeed resist tangling. You can tangle them intentionally, and they'll straighten themselves out. For this, I can live with a bit of extra bulk.

The embedded three-button remote on the a-JAYS four with SMART-feel, soft touch buttons provides full feature control on your mobile device including: play, pause and skip for music and videos; answer and hang up for calls; and volume and voice control. I've used the a-...

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Google buys startup that helps your phone identify...

Google has purchased Moodstocks, a French startup that specializes in speedy object recognition from a smartphone, showing (again) the search giant's intense interest in AI. Unlike other products (including Google's own Goggles object recognition app...

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NASA's 'power' glove will help...

The same remote manipulation controller that allows NASA scientists to remotely control Robonaut 2 aboard the International Space Station is coming back to Earth thanks to a recent agreement between General Motors (who helped NASA develop the glove)...

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Starship's self-driving robots to deliver Just...

In the coming weeks, six-wheeled robots developed by Starship Technologies will hit the streets of London to help deliver meals ordered from two of the UK's biggest food delivery startups. The company, created by two of the founders of Skype, announc...

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Change the romantic pairings in Cassius' latest...

The French musical duo Cassius has released a new music video that, for the first time, lets you change actors in the middle of a scene. Created for the group's single "The Missing" from the upcoming album Ibifornia, it features an interactive video...

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Tuesday July 5

NASA's scientific balloon test flight sets...

NASA's humongous scientific balloon didn't quite hit the agency's ultimate goal, but it still set a flight duration record after flying for 46 days, 20 hours and 19 minutes. The agency launched the 18.8-million-cubic-foot super pressure balloon (SPB)...

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CloudPlayer now lets you take your playlists...

Ever wanted to take your favorite playlists with you on the go but didn't want to go to the trouble of creating them across multiple services? Now you can with doubleTwist's CloudPlayer, which is now introducing special cloud playlists.

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Pokemon Go rolls out to iOS App Store, available in...

Nintendo and Niantic Labs on Tuesday surprised with a limited rollout of anticipated augmented reality game Pok?mon Go, making the title available for download in Australia, New Zealand and certain U.S. markets.

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'Pokémon Go' rolls out on Android and iOS

With all the news surrounding Pokémon Go's beta test and wearable, you'd be forgiven for thinking the full game was already out. Until recently, it wasn't, but that's changing if you live in the United States and have an Android device, as spo...

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Winners of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller...

AppleInsider would like to congratulate the winners of last week's giveaway, Scott C. and Nathan H., both of whom will receive a 16-zone Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller valued at $249.

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Coin-sized device could lead to personalized cancer...

A form of cancer therapy that uses electric fields to stop malignant cells from spreading remains controversial, because it's unclear how effective and safe it truly is. This coin-sized device developed by MIT's research center in Singapore, however,...

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Pokémon GO now available on iOS in the US, select...

Update: While the game is not yet available in the US App Store, those in Australia can download the app here. In a statement, the Pokémon Company tells US and Japanese customers to “please wait for a while” for the formal launch.

After a brief field test in May, Pokémon GO is now available on iOS. The game, which was produced in partnership with Ingress-makers Niantic Labs allows users to collect, train, and battle Pokémon characters in an augmented reality world. Initially, the game appears to be limited to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s also now available on ...

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Nintendo betting big on mobile, potentially building...

Nintendo, which only just recently released its first game for iOS, is looking to continue its efforts on the platform. Speaking at the company’s annual general shareholder meeting, Nintendo’s general manager of entertainment planning and development, Shinya Takahashi, explained that the company is looking to dedicate a large portion of its resources to smartphones and tablets (via Polygon).


Filed under: Apple ...

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Nintendo might build hardware controllers for iPhone...

After launching its first iOS app, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo is looking to further diversify beyond consoles and first-party handhelds with a potential move into mobile hardware, specifically a controller add-on for smartphones and tablets.

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Researchers create a microscopic game of 'Pac-...

Researchers with the Institute of Micro and Nano Systems Technology in Norway have built a one-millimeter wide recreation of the original Pac-Man maze, all for the lo-fi enjoyment of some microscopic organisms. Rather than 8-bit graphics and pixelate...

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NIH funds Zika study on US team during Rio Olympics

There's a lot of excitement building for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but also mounting anxiety around the prevalence of Zika in the South American country. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has funded a...

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Hands-on: Kanto’s YU5 powered bookshelf speakers...

Back in May I published a post highlighting my voiceover and podcasting setup. In that post, I noted that I had recently switched from the KEF Egg Wireless Digital Music System to the Kanto YU5. While that may seem like an odd choice given how ridiculously good KEF’s drivers sound, I noted that the added flexibility made possible by the YU5’s connectivity options is what convinced me to make the switch.

The Kanto YU5 offers Bluetooth connectivity along with auxiliary input and stereo RCA inputs. The speakers also offer dual optical inputs, a subwoofer output, and traditional non-proprietary speaker connections. There’s even a USB-port to be found on the back of the cabinet, although it’s used for charging only.

Needless to say, the amount...

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Google's self-driving cars can read cyclists...

Google is working to expand the capabilities of its self-driving vehicle fleet, and according to its latest progress report (PDF), it's making strides in sharing the road with cyclists. One of the ways the folks in Mountain View are doing that is by...

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New Apple Health App to Serve as Organ Donation...

Apple and Donate Life America have partnered to offer an organ donation app with the next iOS 10 update. iPhone users will be able to register for the program with a couple taps of a button. They'll be able to sign up to make organ, eye or tissue donations, automatically entering their information in the National Donate Life Registry, which is managed by Donate Life America. The program can help speed organ donations to about 120,000 people currently waiting for some form of organ or tissue transplant, according to the companies.

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Twitch introduces a PlayStation Vita app

Twitch has released streaming video apps for just about every modern game system under the Sun, but the PlayStation Vita has remained the odd one out... until today. The livestream provider has rolled out a Vita app that, much like the PS3 version,...

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Scientists are teaching robots how to hunt down prey

Intelligent robots are all well and good until they start learning how to hunt prey. That's exactly what a team of scientists at the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland did. They taught a robot to behave like a pr...

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AWT News Update: July 5, 2016

e're back from a short vacation, and hope that many of our listeners had a pleasant and fun extended weekend. There's not too much news today, so this is a shorter than usual AWT News Update:

  • The second round of betas for iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3 were sent out to developers today
  • Microsoft's Skype service added a new file-sharing feature today
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the next-generation iPhone 7 will ship this fall with a minimum 32GB of storage

The text version of the recorded podcast can be found below. To play the podcast on this website or in Apple News, just click the play button.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 5, 2016. We hope you all had a great...

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How to get started with Prisma
If there's one thing people like to do more than taking pictures with their smartphones, it's tinkering with those photos in some way. Numerous apps have sprung up over the last several years that allow you to use filters and special effects to... | Read more »
6 Pokemon GO updates you can expect, acc...
Pokemon GO had a scheduled appearance at this year's San Diego Comic-Con for a while, but it was only relatively close to the show that it was upgraded to a spot in Hall H. That's the biggest venue at SDCC, one usually reserved for the largest... | Read more »
How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

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13-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $200 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $799.99 $200 off MSRP Their price is the... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for $200 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku MMGG2LL/A): $999.99 $200 off MSRP Their price is the... Read more
Free iOS Business App notably* Helps Service...
PayStudio Inc. has introduced their new business app notably* 1.0, developed for iPhone and iPod touch. notably* was specifically developed to help service and trade professionals go digital and... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP
Amazon has 27″ iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD iMac 5K... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3799, $200... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more

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