MacNN

Wednesday, October 22

Japanese man arrested for 3D printing guns gets two years in prison

In what could be the first conviction for making a firearm with a desktop 3D printer, a former Japanese college employee was sentenced to almost two years in jail earlier this week after being arrested earlier this year. The 28-year-old man was convicted for printing at least two functional and lethal firearms, capable of firing bullets -- in violation of Japan's strict gun laws. ...

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Twitter introduces Digits, a new way to log into applications

Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities inst...

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Apple found not guilty of infringing on expired GPNE patents

Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" fr...

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AT&T reveals third quarter earnings, falls short of estimates

AT&T's quarterly results fell short of industry projections when the company announced $32.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2014. The resulting earnings per share (EPS) was $0.63, missing the projected $0.64 EPS on $33.25 billion in revenue. While the company may have missed projections, it announced that it picked up more than two million mobile and broadband customers....

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Teardown of iPad Air 2 by iFixit confirms 2GB RAM, smaller battery

A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The t...

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Google debuts Inbox as tool for managing email with automated bundling

Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages. ...

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Rare Apple I computer sold at auction for $905,000

On the same day that Apple's stock closed at the second-highest price it has achieved in 2014, a new record-high price for its first computer -- the original Apple I -- has also been set, by a considerable margin. While an incredibly rare still-functional Apple I model (thought to be one of just six in such pristine condition) along with a letter from Steve Jobs was sold in May 2013 for $671,400, the latest auction i...

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FCC freezes clock on merger reviews of Comcast/TWC, AT&T/DirecTV

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agre...

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Giveaway: Rapoo 3920P wireless laser mouse

What is Rapoo? Rapoo makes peripherals for computers, gaming and mobile phones as well as smart home devices. Why does that matter? Because Electronista has one Rapoo wireless laser mouse to give away to our readers. This mouse retails for $40 and we think one of our readers should own one, so we are giving it away. ...

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Barnes & Noble unveils Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1

Samsung is continuing to produce devices under its Nook agreement with Barnes & Noble, by launching its second co-branded tablet in time for the holidays. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 follows the same pattern as laid out by the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, in using effectively the same hardware as the standard Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, but combined with Nook software. ...

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FBI director asks Congress to update law to circumvent encryption

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey isn't giving up his crusade to persuade the government and businesses that law enforcement should have access to encrypted phone data. Comey took his fight to Congress recently, asking that it update the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to cover newer technologies....

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Apple Pay bugs cause problems with card images, overcharging

Although the service appears to be working in general, some banks supporting Apple Pay are encountering some early technical problems. One issue is that in some cases, the correct card designs aren't being displayed in Passbook. Affected cards will show generic logos for their associated institutions, and possibly lack descriptions as well, which can make numbers the only way to distinguish between them when a person...

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Unity Technologies names ex-EA exec John Riccitiello as CEO

Cross-platform game development engine designers Unity Technologies has named a new chief executive. John Riccitiello, the prior chief of EA, is the new head of the company, with David Helgason stepping down. Helgason will continue with the company, and is planning on focusing on improving relationships with developers as well as "working with some insanely talented people here at Unity."...

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Ricoh unveils three laser printers with 23 page-per-minute output

Ricoh has launched a set of three monochrome laser printers in the United States. The SP 213SNw and SP 213SFNw multifunction printers and the SP 213Nw printer all offer print speeds of up to 23 pages per minute, a low 10-second wait for the first print, minimal warm-up times, and a number of different connectivity and networking options. ...

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Briefly: Sky+ mobile app update, UberXL launches in United Kingdom

British broadcaster Sky has updated its iOS and Android Sky+ apps to allow users to display their photographs from their mobile devices on the television through the Sky+ HD set-top box. The app also includes a new updated homepage, complete with a dedicated Sports section, and a Smart Series Link option that lets the Sky+ box record all current and future seasons of selected programs. ...

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Apple CEO meets with Chinese official to discuss iCloud hijacks

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China's Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss man-in-the-middle attacks against iCloud users, according to Reuters and China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Reuters notes that the Chinese government has so far denied allegations of involvement, which in particular tied the attacks to the state firewall used to censor Internet access in the country. As for the meeting, Xinh...

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Moto 360 software update ships, wireless charging dock on Google Play

Owners of the Moto 360 smartwatch have received two bits of good news this week. The latest Android Wear update for the Motorola smartwatch introduces more battery-related improvements, along with other software tweaks, while Google Play has started to include the Moto 360 Wireless Charging Dock among its hardware listings. ...

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AR start-up Magic Leap secures $542M investment from Google, others

A start-up working on augmented reality technology has managed to secure $542 million in its latest round of funding, with the collection of investors led by Google. Magic Leap, which is apparently creating its own augmented reality glasses, will also receive extra guidance from the search company, with Android and Chrome lead Sundar Pichai joining the company's board, with head of corporate development Don Harrison ...

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Google Play Music updates Listen Now page, adds Songza playlists

Google Play Music has been updated for both Android and iOS, with a new look and extra features. While it has received a Material Design-influenced makeover, similar to the leaked Gmail update, the main change users will notice is the inclusion of activity and time-related playlists, something Google has introduced courtesy of its acquisition of Songza in July. ...

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Tuesday, October 21

Early benchmarks show Retina iMac processor's power against Mac Pros

Early benchmarks of the new iMacs show the Retina 5K iMac as having high enough performance to beat the 2013 Mac Pro in some tasks, suggesting that in some cases it may be better to buy the new high-end iMac than a base-level Mac Pro. Results for the range, appearing on the 64-bit Geekbench 3 benchmark, has the high-resolution 5K iMac's 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor option dominating the board for single a...

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Yahoo beats projections, previous year with $1.15B in revenue

Yahoo released its third quarter financial results for 2014, stating that it pulled in approximately $1.15 billion in revenue to beat estimates. Analysts estimated that Yahoo would produce $1.04 billion in revenue, with an earnings per share of $0.30. While the revenue is good news for the company, it's due in large part to the $6.3 billion net of tax the company generated from the sale of shares of the Alibaba Group...

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GT Advanced, Apple strike deal to 'amicably' part ways

After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal inste...

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Court orders disclosure of Kim Dotcom's wealth to Hollywood studios

In the legal battle between file-sharing entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and Hollywood movie studios, a judge has dismissed an appeal that could have saved the Megaupload founder from detailing his current financial assets. The dismissal upholds a July decision, forcing Dotcom to turn over an affidavit for his worldwide assets to the Hollywood studios suing him for copyright infringement in a civil suit....

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IC12 launches portable LED Light Cube light source

Originally funded through an IndieGoGo campaign, the Australia-based IC12 has now debuted its 5,000-lumen high-speed portable flash and video light, the LED Light Cube. Built with an interlocking design that allows units to be used in combination, the light offers no recycle time between flashes, and gives photographers a way of shooting with a continuous high-speed flash of up to 1/8000th of a second. The unit is co...

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Briefly: Alpine headphones, iDevices' iShower2

A new set of consumer headphones was released by Alpine Electronics that sets out to bring the concert experience to users in order to "feel their music." The patented TKR3 full-frequency immersion technology attempts to recreate the sensation of a live show with a "unique sound field expansion." The Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers, programmable audio processing, powered digital amplifiers, and a lithium ba...

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Apple says it's aware of Chinese iCloud hijacks, servers not affected

Apple is aware of "intermittent organized network attacks" against people trying to sign into iCloud.com, says Dow Jones. It insists, however, that iCloud servers haven't been breached, and that people using iOS or the latest version of OS X -- Yosemite -- should be unaffected. The company doesn't specifically mention China, which is where the browser hijacks are taking place....

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Microsoft confirms shift away from Nokia, new brand debuts in France

Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name, along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices....

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Apple Pay loyalty program may be coming in time for holidays

A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however....

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Windows 10 Preview updated, gives options for patch frequency

Microsoft is deploying the first update to the Windows 10 preview under the Windows Insider program. Build number 9860 is headed to users overnight through Windows Update, or users can opt to immediately install it. The update weighs in at between 2GB and 2.74GB, depending on architecture, and contains some improvements and bug fixes to the pre-release operating system....

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Producer, co-creator of Assassin's Creed leaves Ubisoft Toronto

Fans of the Assassin's Creed series of games are losing a significant contributor to the franchise this week, as Jade Raymond has decided to part ways with Ubisoft. Raymond is credited as being one of the co-creators of the Assassin's Creed series, as well as working on a number of other titles under the Toronto and Montreal divisions of Ubisoft....

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Review: Kenu Airframe Plus

Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger six-inch phones. In our review, we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the "plus" in this portable car mount. ...

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Apple begins shipping early preorders for iPad Air 2, Mini 3

Apple is beginning to ship the earliest preorders of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 bought at its online store, accounts say. Notifications are being sent out today. Some orders are scheduled to ship on October 23 specifically, while other people have been given a broader 23rd-27th timeframe. ...

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Extensis releases Suitcase Fusion 6, with Yosemite compatibility

Extensis today released a major update to its Suitcase Fusion 6 font manager. The new version brings full OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 integration, font library synchronization with Dropbox or Google Drive accounts, as well as continuing bug fixes and speed enhancements....

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Google adds physical security to accounts with USB-based Security Key

Google is giving users of its services an extra security option, on top of its existing procedures and protocols, with a physical token. The search company's "Security Key" is allowing for users to nominate a USB drive to allow access to the Google account when it is plugged into a computer's USB port, as an alternative to the two-step verification process. ...

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Razer Nabu fitness tracker passes through FCC, could launch soon

Razer's Nabu connected wristband is getting closer to launch, after finally receiving approval from the FCC. The wearable, which first surfaced at the start of the year before undergoing public beta testing and being subject to delays over hypoallergenic testing, is tantalizingly close to meeting a supposed October launch time, which could allow Razer to capitalize on holiday sales in an increasingly congested market...

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T-Mobile to start preorders for iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 tomorrow

T-Mobile's US branch has announced that it will start offering preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on Wednesday. While the hardware available to preorder since last Friday already supports T-Mobile, ordering directly from the carrier opens up financing options. The 16GB LTE models can be had for no down payment on a two-year contract, with monthly fees being approximately $26 for the Air 2 and $22 for the Mi...

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Apple Pay functions internationally with US-based cards, users say

Even though Apple Pay -- launched yesterday with iOS 8.1 -- is nominally supposed to be US-only at the moment, it's already working overseas, anecdotes indicate. In particular, the service is functional in Australia, as long as a person is using both US credit cards and region settings on their iPhone. The region toggle is needed to make Apple Pay show as an option....

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Valve pulls game from Steam over Gabe Newell Twitter death threat [u]

[Update: Mike Maulbeck is stepping down from the company] A game has been pulled from the Steam store, after the developer threatened to kill Valve Software's co-founder, Gabe Newell. Mike Maulbeck, the creator of Paranautical Activity, was frustrated at how his creation was incorrectly labeled in the Steam store as an Early Access game, and during a tirade against Valve and Steam on Twitter, wrote "I am going to kil...

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Staples likely latest company suffering customer payment info breach

Office supply store Staples appears to be the latest victim of a breach of customer payment information. The company issued a brief statement saying that they were looking into the matter, after several banks reported fraudulent activity with a pattern pointing to the source being Staples stores in the northeastern US. ...

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Hands On: Steam Marines (OS X, Windows)

Following a year of development in Steam's Early Access program, Steam Marines finally made its way to the general public a few weeks ago. Similar in style to games like Space Hulk and XCOM, Steam Marines is a top-down strategy shooter that requires players to carefully plan out each turn. Available for $15 through Steam, Desura, and the Humble Store, is this 2D retro-styled game worth your time and the unavoidable s...

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LG reportedly preparing launch of first smartphone with Odin processor

LG may be getting close to launching its first smartphone using its own application processor, a rumor claims. The device, allegedly being prepared for its unveiling as early as this week, will apparently use the "Odin" System-on-Chip, a move which could bring LG in line with long-time competitor Samsung in developing and using its own processors on devices. ...

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Verizon continues double-digit profit growth, posts $21.8B revenue

Cellular carrier Verizon today reported double-digit, year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up seven percent year over year....

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HTC Desire 820 mini goes on sale in China with 5-inch 720p display

A smaller version of the HTC Desire 820, launched at IFA last month, has gone on sale in China. The Desire 820 mini switches out the 5.5-inch 720p display of the original device for a slightly smaller five-inch version, though it keeps the same resolution, and in a similar manner to other "mini" versions of existing smartphones, this version also has marginally downgraded internal components within its two-tone plast...

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Briefly: Xbox One TV tuner in Europe, Doctor Who programming game

A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings. ...

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