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Friday, October 31

HP, Michael Bastian unveil MB Chronowing designer smartwatch

HP has revealed its attempt to take on the smartphone market, with a device it collaborated on with designer Michael Bastian. The MB Chronowing attempts to bridge the style of luxury watches with the basic functionality of a smartwatch, with the main monochrome display split into a small round clock face area with digital hands, while the rest is used to provide extra information. ...

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Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win a set of A-Audio: Elite HD Earphones

Ah, is that? Yes, yes, we think it is! The sweet sound of success, the sweet sound of freedom and victory over evil. The end of this journey has come. The Trick or Treat giveaway is over, but first we have one last treat to hand out. We have a set of A-Audio: Elite HD earphones to give to one lucky reader. We bet that sounds pretty sweet too. ...

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Samsung seeking to break patent deal with Microsoft over Nokia buy

Samsung is petitioning the court to allow it to invalidate its contract with Microsoft, a contract that it has only belatedly paid patent license fees on for the last year. A late Thursday court filing declares that once Microsoft acquired Nokia, it became a significant competitor with Samsung. The Korean manufacturer claims that the buy puts the two companies on equal footing in the smartphone market, and continuing...

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FCC head considering 'hybrid' partial Title II oversight of ISPs

Reports are circulating that US Federal Communications Commission chief Tom Wheeler is evaluating a hybrid approach to Internet regulation and net neutrality proposals. One of the four proposals not only would apply Title II regulation to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but also allow them to sell "fast lane" access, breaking up applicable fees and regulations into wholesale and retail transactions....

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Virginia judge rules police can unlock smartphones with fingerprints

A defendant can be compelled to unlock their smartphone for the police using fingerprints, a Virginia Circuit Court judge has ruled. Judge Steven C. Frucci declared that while a passcode for a smartphone cannot be demanded from a defendant, they can be forced to unlock the device using its built-in fingerprint reader instead, with the ruling calling into question the fingerprint security systems that are becoming mor...

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Friday Deals: 65-inch LG 4K TV, Steam Halloween sale, more

It is time for the last Friday Deals of October! Every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As today is Halloween, don't be too surprised to see sales and deals with a spooky theme. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later d...

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Giveaway: come trick or treating with MacNN and Electronista all day!

Now that Halloween is in full swing (presumably swinging from a noose), it's time for all the little ghosts, goblins, ware-wolves and witches to come out of hiding. It's time for tricks, and it's time for treats, but most of all it's time for a little fun. So this year, come trick or treat with MacNN and Electronista, because we have a big bag full of Halloween treats (and some tricks) to give to our readers. Check b...

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Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win 1 of 2 Marshall cell phone cases!

What's Halloween without a little rockin' music? It's not really Halloween at all! I mean, think of all the great rock bands who have based their whole acts around having Halloween all year round. "Black Sabbath" along with "Alice cooper," "Marilyn Manson", "Slipknot", "Slayer", "Gwar" and of course we can't forget "Kiss" all bask in the glory of the eternal darkness that this day represents. Guaranteed at some point...

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Trent Reznor 'fully in it' on unannounced Apple/Beats project

Trent Reznor -- the Nine Inch Nails frontman and one-time chief creative officer at Beats -- says he is "fully in it right now" on an unannounced music project for Apple and Beats. While he is unwilling to go into much detail, in a new interview, he says his work is "related" to his role with Beats Music. "Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them," the musi...

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Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win 1 of 13 codes for A Haunted Halloween!

This is Halloween, everybody scream! Time to get a little spooky with our next treat. We have just received a message on our crystal ball with 13 redemption codes for Shifting Blue's app titled "A Haunted Halloween" and since it is in fact Halloween we aren't going to waste any more time getting these codes out to you. So what we are going to do is give these codes to the first 13 people that enter the giveaway. Time...

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Amazon executive blames bad pricing for lacking Fire Phone sales

Amazon made a mistake with the launch of the Fire Phone, an executive has admitted. Pricing of the device is claimed to be a major factor in its relative failure to gain traction in the smartphone market, one which led to the retailer's Chief Technical Officer Tom Szkutak to note as part of the retailer's quarterly results that most of a $170 million charge was due to the device, with a surplus of devices worth aroun...

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Spanish government orders Google to pay publishers for news story use

Google is being compelled to pay news publishers in Spain for showing their stories on Google News, after the Spanish government changed intellectual property laws in the country. Starting from January 1st of next year, Google and other companies can be charged by news organizations for aggregating news stories, and for showing news stories in search results. ...

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Briefly: Razer Naga Epic Chroma, UK gains 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots

Razer has made an update to its Naga gaming mouse, by giving it the Chroma lighting system the company introduced in August. The Naga Epic Chroma, fitted with an 8,200 DPI 4G laser sensor with wired and wireless modes, a grid of 12 customizable buttons on the thumb grip, and a total of 19 buttons overall, can change its lighting scheme to any of 16.8 million color options, or alternately let it cycle through most of ...

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Hungarian prime minister backs down from Internet tax proposals

A proposed tax on Internet data transfers in Hungary has been quashed, following a vast amount of criticism and protests in the country. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has backed down from the plans, which would require companies to pay 150 forints ($0.60) per gigabyte of Internet traffic, in order to help close the national budget deficit. ...

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Samsung Galaxy A5, A3 introduced with metal unibody design

Samsung has unveiled two smartphones with metal unibody construction, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy Alpha. The Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 are mid-range offerings, with the A5 packing a 720p 5-inch Super AMOLED display into a case measuring 6.7mm thick, while the A3 opts for a 4.5-inch qHD screen in a 6.9mm-thick body. ...

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Apple adds 15-inch 2014 Retina MacBook Pros to refurb store

Apple stocked its refurb store with 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on Thursday, offering discounts on the brand-new models just three months (to the day) after their debut of up to $570 off the current retail price. A wide range of configurations is available at this writing, ranging from a 2.2GHz Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage selling for $1,700 (15 percent off) up to a quad-core i7 model at 2.8GHz...

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Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win a box full of new Mac Pro computers!

Last night as we were leaving work, we stumbled upon a great big box of brand new custom Mac Pro computers just sitting by the dumpster behind MacNN headquarters. We know it doesn't sound possible -- quite unbelievable really -- as a matter of fact, we hardly believe it ourselves. Since none of us need a new Mac Pro, we couldn't think of anything better to do than to give them away to our loyal readers. Instead of wa...

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Review: Tablo DVR

With over-the-top content options growing past Hulu and Netflix, consumers may be finding it harder to justify paying a monthly fee for cable. An unfortunate casualty of severing these ties is the loss of convenient technology and local channels, keeping some television viewers from making the final leap. Thankfully, new options have hit the market for those that have access to an antenna and a USB storage device. Th...

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Hands On: Organ Trail Director's Cut (iOS and Android)

Organ Trail: Director's Cut is a nostalgic game that promises to entertain both those who loved the original classic Oregon Trail as well as players who are simply looking for a surprisingly in-depth iOS game. Don't think that this game is simply riding the coattails of retro-gaming's popularity right now -- Organ Trail is an interesting game, even without the allure of the chiptune music and cutting-edge graphics ci...

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Thursday, October 30

Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win 1 of 3 Wicked Audio Deuce earbuds!

With the witching hour upon us, we have a most wicked prize up for grabs: the Wicked Audio Deuce earbuds. Gather around while we tell the spooky tale of three wicked little sets of earbuds that lost their way, and ended up being captured by MacNN staff to send off to live with strangers. Pretty scary stuff for those earbuds, but it's another treat for our readers. ...

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Android co-founder Rubin leaves Google to found hardware incubator

The co-founder of Google's Android, Andy Rubin, is leaving Google after more than nine years the company. Rubin was brought aboard in 2005 when the search giant acquired the company that is now responsible for the most widely-used mobile operating system in the world. The move comes after Rubin stepped down from the Android group in 2013, to lead the company's robotics division under Google X....

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Kodak PixPro SP360 action cam records 360-degree video

Kodak has introduced an action camera that can take 360-degree photographs and video. The PixPro SP360 has a domed lens located on the top, allowing its imaging sensor to take pictures or capture video from all angles surrounding the camera, allowing for 1080p video to be recorded showing the front, rear, and side views from wherever it is mounted. ...

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Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg found guilty of hacking

In what is said to be the "largest hacking case to date" in Denmark, The Court of Frederiksberg found Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and a 21-year-old co-defendant guilty of hacking in a case that focused on illegal server access dating back to February 2012. Warg waited two years for the trial to take place after being arrested in Cambodia in August 2012....

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Zuckerberg: Oculus needs to sell 100 million units to be 'meaningful'

During the earnings call for third quarter financial results, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave further information on the expectations of the Oculus Rift, including the path he sees Oculus traveling in the future. While no exact information was stated about a consumer release, Zuckerberg said it could take years for the technology to be "meaningful."...

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Giveaway: Trick or Treat! Win a Kaebo Lightning to USB cable!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and as such MacNN and ...

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Samsung Gear S heading to major US carriers from November 7

Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices. ...

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MPAA, national theater association take stand against wearables

Wearing Google Glass in any movie theater in the United States could soon mean a visit from law enforcement, thanks to the efforts of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and National Association of Theatre Owners. The organizations released a joint statement this week, announcing that wearable devices are now added to official anti-piracy polices....

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Epson to release V800, V850 Pro photo scanners in November

Epson is gearing up to release two new professional-level photo scanners in November, with the Perfection V800 Photo and Perfection V850 Pro. The scanners offer a number of scanning options, allowing users to scan photos and negatives -- including 35mm slides, medium format and film strips -- with the help of height adjustable film holders....

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Judge orders GT Advanced bankruptcy document unsealed

The New Hampshire judge overseeing GT Advanced's bankruptcy, Henry Boroff, has ordered the unsealing of an affidavit explaining reasons for the sapphire supplier's Chapter 11 filing. Apple has fought to keep the document private, claiming it could harm not only its reputation but its relationship with other suppliers. GT's COO, Daniel Squiller, is said to chronicle attempts to meet Apple demand, claiming that the lat...

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Microsoft Band officially launches, available to buy now for $200

Microsoft has officially announced its fitness tracker, the day after images leaked via companion apps. The Microsoft Band is able to track the wearer's vital signs and physical activities, with some included sensors not typically included in such devices, with it also providing a number of smartwatch-style interactions using its customizable display. ...

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Hands On: Jagged Alliance -- Flashback (OS X, Windows)

Kickstarter has helped to revive many favorites of the past, including Reading Rainbow, Veronica Mars, and even the Jagged Alliance turn-based strategy series. Jagged Alliance: Flashback was funded on Kickstarter by developers Full Control back in May of 2013, promising to create a tactical RPG that Jagged Alliance fans new and old would enjoy....

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Samsung stumbles in third quarter with reduced revenue, profit

Samsung has recorded an operating profit of 4.06 trillion won ($3.84 billion) in its latest quarterly financial results. Just as the manufacturer warned at the start of this month, the operating profit represents a decrease of 3.13 trillion won ($2.96 billion) from the previous quarter, with other parts of the financial report offering similar dismal and disappointing figures. ...

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Hands On: WaterField Outback Slip Case for iPad Air 2

Modern iPad cases are built not only to suit a wide range of uses, but a wide range of incomes, and both of those factors come into play with one of WaterField's first products for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, the Outback Slip Case. On a functional level, it's relatively straightforward: it's a cushioned sleeve that you slide an iPad into. WaterField makes four variants, split between the Air and the Mini, and...

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Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in new essay

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay in a new essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek. Although the fact has been widely known for some time, Cook has never before stated it publicly. He says that he is "proud to be gay," but admits that it "wasn't an easy choice" to come out. "Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it," the essay reads later on. "I've made Apple my life's wo...

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LG Display develops screen for smartphones with 0.7mm bezel

LG Display has developed a new display for smartphones, one which has an extremely thin bezel. The 5.3-inch Full HD-resolution display has a thin 0.7mm bezel on the left and right-hand sides, allowing for smartphones using the display to have a narrower gap between the edges of the screen and the outer edges of the mobile device, similar to the Sharp Aquos Crystal. ...

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Motorola buyout deal closed, mobile device maker now Lenovo subsidiary

Lenovo has completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobile from Google. The deal, according to Lenovo, makes the combined company the "world's third-largest maker of smartphones." Motorola is a now wholly-owned subsidiary of Lenovo, but will remain headquartered in Chicago. Lenovo is expecting profitability to return between four and six quarters from now....

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Briefly: Gold Moto 360 spotted, YouTube enables 60fps video playback

New color options of the Moto 360 are on the way, according to a leak on Amazon. The now-removed listings spotted by Android Police showed a champagne gold Moto 360, combined with matching 18mm and 23mm metal bands, with the existing black and brushed steel versions also shown by the online retailer as being sold with their respective-colored metal straps. ...

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Nintendo working with ResMed on non-contact sleep tracking device

Nintendo is jumping on the fitness-related device bandwagon, with the creation of a sleep tracker. The game console producer is working with ResMed, a company which already produces products for the treatment of sleep disorders, to create a device to remotely monitor the user while they sleep, rather than a wearable device. ...

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Apple, Samsung still tops in smartphone market, but Xiaomi rising fast

A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipp...

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