MacNN

Wednesday, July 23

LG demonstrates SDK for G3 QuickCircle case with game release

LG has made its case for the G3 smartphone arguably more useful, by releasing the first game designed specifically to use it. Puppy Pop, a "match-three" game involving dogs, is being made available for free through Google Play later today, and is notably the first and only to use the round window on the front of the company's QuickCircle protective case....

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Microsoft reveals Nokia Lumia 530 as its first Lumia release

Microsoft has unveiled its first Lumia smartphone since it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division. Still labeled under the Nokia branding, the Lumia 530 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with a four-inch, 854x480-resolution display and a low price point to help it compete against other competing low-specification devices running on Android. ...

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Briefly: Google Play Store upgrade, Cortana prepares for China launch

Google has started to roll out its rumored changes to the Play Store, in an update to the Android app. Version 4.9.13 brings a number of smaller tweaks, reports Android Police, along with refreshed app and content pages which uses Google's Material Design rules, including an increased use of images and iconography. A future update is expected to roll out Material Design to other aspects of the store. ...

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Mid-2011 MacBook Air EFI update causing crashes, other issues

A firmware update, issued on Monday for "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models running OS X 10.9.2 and later, apparently has a bug in either the code or the downloaded file, which is causing reports of system crashes and occasionally a failure to install properly, leaving MBA owners unable to boot the machine. The purpose of the firmware update was to correct two "wake from sleep" issues that affected only "mid-2011" MBAs run...

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Hands-on: Power Support Air Jacket for iPhone 5s, iPad Air

Finding the right case to protect your gadgets can be an expensive hit-or-miss affair. With plastic smartphone cases typically priced at around $20-$30 and tablet cases typically priced at around $30-$40, it can be an expensive mistake if you end up with one that you aren't happy with. Power Support is a Japanese-based company that has been making Apple accessories for the past few years. In particular, they are kno...

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Cook: iPhone 5c, not 5s, was fastest-growing phone in June quarter

One of the most surprising things analysts heard on Tuesday in Apple's quarterly earnings conference call that was low on surprises was that year-over-year growth of the iPhone 5c is strong -- so strong, in fact, that its share gain outpaced that of its previous-year rival in the mid-tier "slot" in Apple's lineup, the iPhone 4S, at the same point in the previous cycle. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts that i...

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Review: D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, and ramping up to larger machines like refrigerators and washing machines, the home automation market appears to be growing every day. Smaller devices are still paving the way for consumers to jump into "smart home" products, giving companies like D-Link a chance to test the waters with...

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Tuesday, July 22

Apple TV, Roku getting FXNow with Simpsons World in next 12 months

According to new from television writer Jason Lynch, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices will gain the FXNow on-demand service within the next 12 months. The news emerged from today's Fox and the FX Network stop on the Television Critics Association Press Tour. With the new app comes Simpsons World, a new service that provides streaming to the 522 episodes of the animated television series....

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California judge rules Google must confront commingled data lawsuit

Google's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that dates back to 2012 failed today after a California district judge ruled that the search company will have to fight the breach of contract and fraud claims. The first lawsuit was dismissed last December, with the stipulation that any further pursuit would require an amended complaint. The new complaint could have been dismissed "with prejudice" after two previous complaints w...

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Former Bungie composer settles suit with studio president for $95,000

Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy which Ryan denied....

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Microsoft hits $23.4 billion revenue in Q4, earnings share decreasing

Microsoft released its quarterly revenue figures for the end of the 2014 fiscal year, revealing that the company pulled in $23.38 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter. While the revenue numbers beat the expectations of $23 billion, earnings per share (EPS) missed the mark at $0.55 per share. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the software company to hit $0.60 EPS based on the $23 billion in revenues....

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Apple reaps $37.43 billion in third-quarter revenues

Apple revenues rose 6 percent year-over-year to $37.43 billion in its third fiscal quarter, which ended in June, the company has announced. Profits were up 12.3 percent to $7.75 billion, while earnings per share climbed from $1.07 to $1.28 when adjusted for the recent 7-to-1 stock split. Gross margin increased from 36.9 percent to 39.4 percent....

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Samsung opens pre-orders for $120,000 105-inch curved 4K television

Samsung has put the 105-inch Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES this year up for pre-order in the United States. The UN105S9, a super-sized curved television capable of displaying a 4K-resolution image, is being priced by the electronics giant at $120,000, far higher than any other television in the company's entire S9 television range, including last year's $40,000 set. ...

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Goodwill investigating possible data breach, could date back to 2013

Goodwill Industries International, the business entity behind the popular nonprofit second-hand stores, announced this week that it is investigating a potential data breach involving credit card data. The breach was said to occur in selected stores within the United States, but Goodwill has offered no information on which stores were affected....

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FLIR One thermal imaging iPhone case preorders commence July 23

Thermal imaging company FLIR will launch pre-orders for its infrared camera-containing case on July 23 at AM. Once mounted, the case for the iPhone 5 and 5s displays a live thermal image of the world right on the phone's screen, giving users the ability to "see" in an array of conditions, including complete darkness....

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Wacom's Bamboo Paper app now available for Android, Windows 8

Those looking for a note taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August....

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Intel launches SSD Pro 2500 series enterprise-class SSD line

Intel Corporation today announced an addition to the Intel Solid-State Drive (SSD) Professional Family: the Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series. This new business-class SSD for secure enterprise use has been designed to deliver users enhanced security and manageability features over its predecessors....

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iPad, Kindle Fire make gains in North American web traffic

Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- m...

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Amazon Wallet app for storing gift cards, store cards surfaces

Amazon has quietly launched an app to help people manage gift cards and loyalty cards with stores. The Amazon Wallet app for Android and the Fire Phone is able to store membership cards for retailers on the smartphone, allowing shoppers to digitally carry all of their store cards and gift cards without having to also bring along the physical versions. ...

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Advocates challenge Verizon's claims that 'fast lanes' help disabled

Verizon's claims that the US Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules would hurt the disabled and blind have come under fire by those Verizon claims to be looking out for. In a filing with the FCC, several disability advocacy organizations clearly disagree that Verizon is looking out for the best interests of the disabled, and request that "In no case should accessibility considerations form a bas...

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PQI ships iOS-device expanding iStick with USB, Lightning connectors

Accessory manufacturer PQI is now shipping the Gmobi iStick, an Apple "MFi" USB flash drive. The device, with a Lightning and conventional USB head is designed for Apple's entire series of iOS devices with a Lightning port, and is available in capacities from 8GB to 64GB....

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Kobe Bryant confirms meeting with Apple designer Jonathan Ive

In a new TV interview, LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant confirms that he did recently meet with Apple design head Jonathan Ive. Talking with Bloomberg, though, Bryant makes no mention of the iWatch or other future Apple products. Instead he says that he has been talking to leaders across industries to learn more about the product creation process, since he is moving into business as he comes to the end of his basketbal...

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Panasonic semi-rugged Toughbook 53 revealed with stylus, touchscreen

Panasonic has unveiled another semi-rugged notebook in its Toughbook computer range. The Toughbook 53 is a hard-wearing notebook capable of surviving a three-foot drop and survive in challenging environments, while still offering a 14-inch 720p touchscreen and stylus-enabled display and a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3GHz. ...

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Comcast earnings, revenue up; subscriber losses slowing

Joining the chorus of quarterly earnings reports, Comcast has released its own figures. The company is reporting consolidated revenue for the second quarter increasing 3.5 percent to $16.8 billion, with earnings per share at $0.76, a a 16.9 percent increase from the $0.65 reported in the second quarter of 2013....

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Nvidia launches Shield Tablet with 8-inch display, separate controller

Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks. The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7, the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console. ...

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Apple patents smartwatch concept with gesture, proximity features

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that i...

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Netflix passes 50 million subscribers in US, posts $212 million profit

Netflix is the latest company to release its quarterly financial results. Touting expansion to 50 million subscribers in the US, the company reports $1.15 billion in revenue from streaming, adding 1.7 million subscribers in a quarter. Profit came in at $212 million, nearly triple that of the second quarter of 2013....

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UE Boom adds model with skate artist Don Pendleton graphics

Logitech's boutique audio line Ultimate Ears is expanding its limited-edition lineup of UE Boom with the announcement of its collaboration with artist Don Pendleton on UE Boom -- Jettison Edition. This limited-edition run of UE Boom is designed with Pendleton's distinct organic cubist graphic style and is the latest in a series of one-of-a-kind acoustic skins for UE Boom....

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Verizon posts $7.7 billion income, first wired profit in seven years

Verizon Communications has released its second quarter 2014 financial results. The company reports its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage growth in operating income and earnings per share, with $31.5 billion in revenue, a 5.7 percent increase from a year ago, with income of $7.7 billion, a 17.2 percent increase from the year-ago quarter....

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Aereo subscriber rates horrible, less than 100,000 total subscribers

Nascent television streamer Aereo appears to be in rough shape, above and beyond just the Supreme Court ruling, and US Copyright Office declarations. The company's subscriber numbers are dismal, with a total of 77,596 subscribers at the end of 2013, making it unclear what traction the service may have if it continues operation, or has to raise its rates in the wake of defeats it has been dealt recently....

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Briefly: Twitch for Android update, Comments added to Photo Spheres

Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and user...

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Seoul seeks ban of Uber, develops own taxi-booking mobile app

South Korean capital Seoul could potentially ban Uber in the city, in favor of its own still-in-development app. The city government advised that it would try to ban the car-hailing app, as current South Korean law makes it illegal to provide any sort of fee-based transportation service via privately-owned vehicles not registered to do so with local authorities. ...

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Xiaomi launches Mi 4 smartphone, low-cost Mi Band fitness tracker

Chinese mobile device manufacturer Xiaomi has unveiled two new items for the Chinese market. The Xizomi Mi 4 continues the Mi device line with a 5-inch display and a hint of iPhone styling, while the Mi Band is a low-cost fitness band which can be used as a proximity security system for the smartphone, allowing the Mi 4 to automatically unlock when it is held in the same hand that is also wearing the band. ...

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Several backdoors included on every iOS device, researcher says [U]

[Updated with rebuttal from Apple] Apple's iOS platform contains several backdoors that may allow for Apple and/or governments to collect private data, according to a forensic scientist, Jonathan Zdziarski. Presenting at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference, Zdziarski said that that there are several conspicuous design gaps -- and some deliberately-included forensic services -- that make it possible...

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