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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Oct 24 2014 1:33PM EST | Source: Geek.com
Google Inbox
Inbox is also not a complete thought yet, but it's clear Google has some great ideas for email.

Oct 24 2014 12:21PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Rite Aid on strike

Apple Pay has only been available to the public since Monday, and already one retailer has decided to wall off their NFC payment terminals from iPhone 6 users. Our Friday Morning Report has the details, along with Bitcasa's decision to strong-arm unlimited storage customers into more expensive plans, and a glimmer of hope for older Mac owners to get Handoff working. Let's close out the work week with some news!

Rite Aid Intentionally Blocks Apple Pay Users

Although Rite Aid isn't on Apple's official list of retailers supporting Apple Pay, the drugstore chain uses point-of-sale hardware fully compatible with NFC-equipped smartphones. According to MacRumors, customers with iPhone 6 models were able to make contactless purchases at Rite Aid starting with the arrival of iOS 8.1 on Monday, but the retailer quickly closed the door on such purchases by Wednesday.

As noted by user Josh Hudnall and confirmed by MacLife.com with mid-week purchases at two different Rite Aid stores, Apple Pay transactions appear to go through normally, but the last transaction details show a blank amount. More troubling, the screen on the POS terminal specifically notes "Apple Pay is not supported," despite having successfully worked earlier in the week.

According to Hudnall, Rite Aid corporate recently sent stores an email explaining that Apple Pay will not be accepted by the chain, presumably because the retailer supports the competing (and as-yet unreleased) CurrectC system. Coincidentally, whatever Rite Aid did appears to also be affecting Google Wallet users, who are also now blocked from making NFC payments at the register.

Bitcasa Forces Infinite Subscribers to Expensive Capped Plans

Cloud storage underdog Bitcasa is up to its old tricks again: Only 11 months after switching to tiered pricing and raising the cost of its unlimited "Infinite Drive" storage from $99 to $999 per year, the service this week announced that grandfathered users who have continued to pay the lower amount are being kneecapped completely.

Bitcasa says the change is being made because the company has spent the last year working on "a new and greatly improved backend storage system, which will make uploading, downloading, and loading your files faster!" As a result, users will have to install new desktop and mobile software that supports the updated system, but which is incompatible with the old one. (Also worth noting: Bitcasa has pulled the trigger on this change without having a new iOS app ready, which they claim is being held up by App Store approval.)

Existing grandfathered users are being given until November 15 to upgrade their accounts to one of two plans: 1TB for the same $99 per year, or 10TB for $999 per year (or $99 per month), which effectively replaces the previous unlimited plan. Bitcasa users have lashed out on social networks and the company's support forums, noting that the short cutoff date doesn't allow them time to download terabytes of content, which will be purged should they fail to upgrade to the new plans.

Github Tool Said to Enable Handoff on Unsupported Macs

The new Continuity features introduced with OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are pretty fantastic, unless you have a Mac model released earlier than 2012. MacRumors reported Thursday there may be hope for such models, thanks to a new Github project called Continuity Activation Tool. Created by Dokterdok, the tool performs a compatibility check prior to creating backups of the original system drivers, and then disabling Bluetooth code that effectively blacklists unsupported models.

Continuity Activation Tool reportedly works straight away with MacBook Air and Mac mini models from mid-2011 without additional hardware, but older Macs without the necessary Bluetooth 4.0 hardware require installation of new wireless cards, which may scare off average users from attempting such a modification. Full details are available from the Github portal.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The Chronicle-Telegram)


Oct 24 2014 11:10AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - America Movil is not talking to anybody at this stage about a possible purchase of T-Mobile US, Chief Executive Daniel Hajj told a conference call on Friday.

Oct 24 2014 7:28AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Friday a slowdown in North America created uncertainty over fourth quarter sales as operators cut spending after big investments in high-speed networks.

Oct 24 2014 5:43AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook was quoted on Friday as saying he had "very open" talks on privacy and security with a senior Chinese official, days after a web monitoring group linked the government to a hack into Apple's iCloud service in China.

Oct 24 2014 1:23AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - China Telecom Corp Ltd and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd could soon jointly invest in a new content delivery network (CDN) company that would speed up Chinese users' Internet access, a Chinese paper reported on Friday.

Oct 24 2014 12:31AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

The Apple Power Mac G5 was a head-turner when it first appeared back in 2003. Slick, crafted from sturdy aluminum, and tough, it seemed to embody the term "industrial design." Macs have changed a lot since then, but German designer Klaus Geiger (via MacRumors) sees no reason why such an iconic design should fade away or be confined to specialty collections. As such, he's "upcycled" several old units for a project and transformed them into contemporary furniture.

One of his most memorable designs is a bench playfully called "Benchmarc," in which two gutted Power Mac G5s support a handsome block of wood that matched the curves on the handles for the G5 chassis on each end. It looks like it'd be right at home in the waiting room of a Mac app developer's offices.

Geiger showcases several more designs on his site, such as a set of drawers constructed from two G5 frames turned on their sides. As with all of Geiger's designs, the insides have been pulled out, in this case allowing users to pull back the front of the units to reveal storage space inside. If you need to move it, wheels on the bottom allow you to roll it around.

Additional photos show an entire office suite designed around the old units, including everything from conference tables to bookcases. In lesser hands, even with the undeniable beauty of the G5, such a project might still have ended up looking like some outdated junk stashed in a corner. In Geiger's hands, it looks like the kind of thing any admirer of contemporary furniture would enjoy having in their home or office.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Oct 23 2014 11:24PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

An iOS public beta may still be the stuff of legend, but Apple today ensured that developers could get easy widespread feedback for their prerelease iOS apps by extending the amount of people who can test them through TestFlight. Initially showcased at WWDC back in June, TestFlight now allows third-party developers to invite up to 1,000 members of the public to best test their apps ahead of launch.

That's a big step up from Apple's original description of the service, which limited developers to 100 beta invitations. Indeed, TestFlight is now all about inclusiveness. At the very least, it removes the barrier of required technical expertise from the process and ensures that a wider pool of beta testers have a chance to identify bugs and related problems.

Even the process of gaining access to beta tests is easier. Obtaining a TestFlight invitation from a developer simply directs users to the official app through iTunes Connect, where they then download and run TestFlight without having to worry about finding their device's UDID or installing provisioning files. They're not even required to check their e-mail for news about recent builds, as notifications in iOS 8 inform them when new builds are ready.

Those updates may not go out as frequently as some developers wish. One big catch associated with TestFlight is that apps must pass a Beta App Review from Apple, much like the reviews apps must already pass before they're allowed to appear on iTunes. That puts the service at a disadvantage compared to existing testing platforms like Hockey, which suffer from no such setbacks.

But for developers, it's likely worth the wait. If you're interested, head over to the special page Apple's made regarding getting started with the service.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Oct 23 2014 11:08PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
​Google just released a new way to keep your email organized so you can spend more time being productive. Read on to learn how to use all the new features of Inbox by Gmail.






Oct 23 2014 9:29PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - E-commerce services provider Digital River Inc said on Thursday it entered into an agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Siris Capital Group LLC for about $840 million.

Oct 23 2014 9:28PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Pandora Media Inc, operator of the leading Internet radio service, reported a lower-than-expected increase in listeners in the third quarter, sending the company's shares down 8 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

Oct 23 2014 9:23PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc valuation is set to be valued at $13 billion, up from its $10 billion valuation in March this year, as it discusses an employee stock sale, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Oct 23 2014 8:16PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's America Movil said on Thursday its third-quarter net profit fell 38 percent compared with a year earlier, missing expectations as taxes and exchange rate losses rose.

Oct 23 2014 7:44PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc said it is committed to spending $1 billion to lease office buildings over the next 13 to 14 years.

Oct 23 2014 7:31PM EST | Source: Geek.com
flyer
People are trying to figure out ways to use drones for everything from delivering beer to collecting whale mucus. No matter the application, power and size are a concern. If you want a […]

Oct 23 2014 7:17PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue, helped by stronger sales of its phones, Surface tablets and cloud-computing products for companies, while keeping its profit margins largely intact.

Oct 23 2014 7:09PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

The LEGO games continue to actually deliver entertainment over disappointment. As a result, other heavyweight property licenses are gatecrashing the block party, eager to piggyback on the success. This time it’s the turn of Marvel and an incredible cast of iconic superheroes, 150 in fact, to assemble inside a world full of typical TT Games humor. 

Doctor Doom leads a band of comic-book villains on the quest for “Cosmic Bricks” – the powerful remnants of the Silver Surfer’s shattered board. Thwarting his plans rests on guiding Iron Man, Wolverine, Thor and friends through armies of foes, bashing and crashing through detailed environments. 

Chaotic and cartoonish the action may be, but the real joy and reward comes from using each character’s unique skills to progress. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is nothing if not an imaginative puzzler, colorful enough for young fans while still challenging veteran players. It’s not without scope either, somewhat surprisingly shifting from linear levels to an open-world mode to great effect. 

Choose a hero from the growing roster unlocked along the way and explore a sprawling LEGO Manhattan, uncovering secrets and playing mini-games. It’s here the genuine replay value lies and that nagging need to collect absolutely everything kicks in. On a technical level, too, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes excels on Mac, despite minor control and camera issues that occasionally frustrate. 

Well-scripted cutscenes, plus charming voice acting and sounds, ensure you won’t stay annoyed for long. Graphically this is a feast for all ages, with animation slick enough to keep the pace frenetically fun.

The bottom line. Cute characterization, wit, and multiple gameplay styles bring new life to Marvel’s universe in a tongue-in-cheek caper fans will adore.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Company: 

Feral Interactive

Price: 

$29.99

Requirements: 

OS X 10.8.5, 1.8GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 512MB VRAM, 7.0GB hard drive space

Positives: 

Fun-filled gameplay, not without challenge. Loving treatment of Marvel’s most popular heroes. Open-world mode extends substantial campaign.

Negatives: 

Camera and controls not always 100 percent reliable. Very young players may struggle with puzzles.

Oct 23 2014 6:55PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's America Movil on Thursday said its third-quarter net profit fell 38 percent compared to a year earlier as taxes rose and the cost of sales jumped.

Oct 23 2014 6:44PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's sales projections for the crucial holiday quarter disappointed Wall Street and third-quarter results missed forecasts, sending the online retailer's shares 9 percent lower on Thursday.

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