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Wednesday, August 27

Minnesota set to deploy 40,000 iPads to students

Even as questions arise about the LA Unified School District's handling of its botched and now-abandoned iPad program, Apple continues to win school districts over to the tablet. The St. Paul School District in Minnesota is launching a program that will offer tens of thousands of iPads to students in a total of 61 schools over time, with an initial rollout to 37 schools in the city. The district is leasing the equipm...

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Tuesday, August 26

Briefly: T-Mobile iPhone sale, Otterbox exploring buyout

Starting on Wednesday, T-Mobile will offer a discount of up to $50 off the full price of all iPhones, according to a leaked internal memo. The offer will not affect subsidized iPhones, but applies to "device only" (no contract) sales. The discount will vary depending on the model and capacity, notes TmoNews, and is likely a reaction to recent price-cutting of contract phones by retailers like Walmart, which has dropp...

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Report estimates Amazon has sold fewer than 35,000 Fire Phones

Amazon may not have made as much of an impact with its first smartphone than initially thought, according to a report. Using data from Chitika's advertising network and ComScore figures, it is suggested that the online retailer may have sold fewer than 35,000 units of the Fire Phone, an underwhelming figure when compared to the hype. ...

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Automattic strengthens WordPress with BruteProtect acquisition

Automattic, the company responsible for the WordPress blog platform, announced today that it acquired BruteProtect. The pick up will allow the company to strengthen security of the WordPress platform through its Jetpack service, without additional cost to users. BruteProtect started its life as a plug-in for the popular blogging software, only to expand into other areas of security, server management and premium serv...

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Google acquires visual effects cloud rendering company Zync Render

Google's cloud offerings are growing to include services aimed at the movie industry today, thanks to the addition of a rendering technology that utilizes the elasticity of cloud computing. The search giant posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog announcing that it acquired Zync Render, a company that specializes in flexible tools that use the cloud to store and render visual effects for films. ...

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Uber testing 10-minute food delivery service UberFresh in California

Ride share service Uber is apparently looking to expand into some other functions, as the company is testing a service dubbed UberFresh starting today. The program is attempting to deliver lunch to people in a short time frame, utilizing a menu specific to the area being tested. The service is only being offered for a limited time, but a successful test could mean the program would be expanded further....

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Seagate reveals first 8TB hard drive for enterprise

Storage solutions provider Seagate today announced it is shipping the world's first 8TB hard disk drive. The five-platter enterprise-oriented drive is in limited availability right now to "select customers," with wide scale availability next quarter, and a retail release shortly thereafter....

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HP announces four new e-All-in-One printers for business, home use

Four new e-All-in-One printers were announced by HP today, adding a few new options for consumers and businesses looking to add a printer that can be used with a number of devices. HP has said that it is adding three low-cost options to the Envy line for in-home use, and an Officejet model for home offices to suit different customer needs. Desktop and mobile devices, including iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows 8, and t...

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Giant 12.9-inch iPad going into production by Q1 2015, sources say

Apple suppliers are preparing to build a long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, with production scheduled to start by the first quarter of 2015, sources tell Bloomberg. The unnamed sources don't have any further details on the tablet, except that Apple has been working with suppliers for a year or more to develop larger touchscreen devices. As for the iPad Air and iPad mini, a new Air is said to be in production now, while a n...

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 could use Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 could use the same fingerprint sensor as the flagship Galaxy S5, according to rumors. Details of the alleged additional feature to the smartphone line surfaces at the same time as Samsung tries to hype up its Unpacked event for IFA on September 3, by showing off the device's S Pen stylus in a teaser video. ...

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Spotify extends free music streaming option to Windows Phones

Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-...

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Quick Start guide may show design, announcement date for iPhone 6

French site Nowhereelse has published a photo of what it claims is the Quick Start guide for the iPhone 6. If authentic, the guide shows the layout of the device, including a sleep/wake button relocated from the top to the side, presumably because of the phone's larger size. The date on the phone is also set to "Tuesday, September 9," when Apple is generally expected to announce new iPhones. Past Quick Start guides h...

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Rogers, Shaw plan November launch for Shomi streaming service

Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition. ...

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Verizon draining remaining 32GB iPhone 5c stocks, source says

Verizon is deliberately letting its remaining 32GB iPhone 5c inventory run dry, a source tells AppleInsider. The carrier has allegedly "retired" the model, as it prepares for Apple to launch new iPhones next month. The Verizon online store is in fact already out of the 32GB 5c in all colors except for blue. Every 16GB model is still in stock, as are all editions of the iPhone 5s....

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Google releases Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, Linux

Google has released Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest change affects only Windows users, in the form of DirectWrite support for better font rendering. Previously, Chrome for Windows depended on the Graphics Device Interface, and Google explains that the change "required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine." ...

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T-Mobile expands Simple Choice to ten lines, adds tablet data offer

T-Mobile has announced its second set of price plan changes in as many days. The carrier is extending the line capacity of its Simple Choice plans from five lines to a maximum of ten per account, while a new scheme will provide tablets added to a Simple Choice plan the same amount of LTE data as allocated to smartphones on the same account. ...

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Netflix formally objects to Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

Video streamer Netflix has formally objected to the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, with a complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week. The streamer believes that the merger hampers consumer access to data, and "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we have to date taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be abl...

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LA Unified School District halts further use of iPads

The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time ...

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China antitrust investigation focused on Internet Explorer, Windows

Mirroring similar complaints in the EU and United States from a decade ago, the current antitrust investigation in China has been confirmed to be over the bundling of Internet Explorer and Microsoft's Windows operating system. The investigation, and target of China's antitrust State Administration for Industry and Commerce, was confirmed at a press briefing by the head of the agency Zhang Mao earlier today....

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Verizon rolling out VoLTE service nationally in coming weeks

Verizon Wireless is gearing up to roll out its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service over its cellular network. Its planned service will be going live over the next few weeks, with the higher-quality HD Voice calling accompanied by a simplified video calling service built directly into the phone dialer, allowing users to seamlessly switch between voice-only and video calls. ...

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HP and Autonomy settlement torpedoed by judge, further hearings set

US District Judge Charles Breyer has rejected the proposed HP deal to end shareholder litigation against it, at least in part. In yesterday's hearing to move the settlement forward, the judge did concede that "something went terribly wrong" with the HP and Autonomy deal from 2011 and subsequent $8.8 billion write-down of the firm in 2012, but rejected millions of dollars in attorney fees to be paid by HP, by saying "...

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Blue Microphones unveils Mo-Fi headphone line

Blue Microphones, a digital audio brand best known for its USB audio mics popular with both podcasters and musicians, has expanded into headphones with the release of its first Mo-Fi headphone set. As recently noted by one of our reviewers, most headphones sound much better when paired with a combination DAC and amplifier like the Sony's PHA-2 portable headphone amps -- but Blue has taken it a step further by buildin...

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Microsoft reduces price of Surface 2 Windows RT tablet range by $100

Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface 2 Windows RT tablets by $100. The drop in price across the entire range, putting the 32GB, 64GB, and 64GB LTE versions at $349, $449, and $579 respectively, could be a sign that Microsoft is preparing to launch an updated version of the tablet to go alongside its already-released Surface Pro 3....

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Samsung rumored to add round-faced smartwatch to Gear range

Samsung may be preparing to join the ranks of LG and Motorola, by developing a round-faced smartwatch. A report claims the company is working on the device, though despite the expected appearance of the Moto 360 and a new round LG G Watch at IFA, it is unclear when or even if Samsung will be bringing the device to market. ...

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LG targets Samsung's Note line with pre-IFA G3 Stylus launch

LG is going after Samsung's Galaxy Note line, by launching a stylus-equipped smartphone modeled on the LG G3. Revealed before IFA, the LG G3 Stylus takes after the G3 Beat by offering a large 960x540 5.5-inch display, a similar design, and lower specifications compared to the flagship device, though this time LG adds its Rubberidium stylus to the smartphone....

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Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 projector

With high-definition televisions now the standard, 4K televisions becoming the next big thing, and plasma TVs going the way of the dinosaurs, in-home entertainment is an interesting beast these days. There are an overwhelming number of choices. Projectors could be a money-saving option, but they still suffer from overwhelming model choices, from business-oriented units to full-blown home theater experiences. Epson, h...

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