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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Apr 18 2014 5:32AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms.

Apr 18 2014 1:39AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms.

Apr 17 2014 11:34PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Taking a cue from social networking services like Foursquare and Apple's own Find My Friends, Facebook has started releasing a new service for its iOS app that will announce when your friends are in the general area. It's called Nearby Friends, it's optional, and it's meant to facilitate impromptu group activities and social events.

In Facebook's words, "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up. For example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward."

Facebook gets a lot of attention for its privacy policies, and so it's perhaps not surprising that the announcement takes special care to emphasize that Nearby Friends is entirely an opt-in feature. In other words, you'll need to turn the feature on for it to work, so you won't need to worry about it pinging your location to members of your friends list unless you want it to.

As a bonus, you can apparently choose which friends will receive the notifications, which comes in handy if there's only one or two people who are welcome to look you up at any time. The feature will slowly be extended to users of both the iOS and Android apps in the US "over the coming weeks." There's currently no indication as to when or if international users will have access to the feature.

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

Apr 17 2014 11:26PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

It's all but a given now that the next iPhone will come in two larger screen sizes, but that extra real estate raises the important question of how Apple plans to handle the resolution. As a user named "Pi is exactly 3" on The Verge's Apple forums notes (via Cult of Mac), it'll likely remain the same if past history proves anything.

Pi's reasoning seems sound. During the similar jump in screen size from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5, for example, Apple maintained the existing resolution of 326 pixels per inch in an effort to avoid the pixel fragmentation seen in Android-compatible smartphones as new screen boast even higher resolutions. To accommodate the shift, Apple simply maintained the dimensions of the former apps for developers on the new iPhone 5 until they updated them, but surrounded them with black pixels.

There's a strong chance that Apple will do the same for the "iPhone 6." The Verge reader quoted a recent report from famed analyst Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities, Inc. (via MacRumors), which stated that the new 4.7-inch screen would boast a 1334x750 Retina display with a the same pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. In addition, Pi created mockups (above and below) to demonstrate how this would work in practice.

The main challenge with such an approach is that it means Apple will retain the same Retina resolution it's used for years while competing smartphones continue to push their resolutions to ever more impressive limits. Of course, the bigger question is whether all those extra pixels actually matter as they're near impossible to see with the naked eye with the current resolution. Sticking with the current resolution, on the other hand, would allow Apple to maintain visual uniformity for its apps across several years' worth of iPhone models regardless of the age of the apps themselves.

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

Apr 17 2014 11:15PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Each week brings a barrage of new games for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but it can be difficult to pick out of the cream of the crop by looking at a mass of icons and titles. Luckily, we're tuned in to the most notable releases, and we'll be presenting a small stack of them with this column. Every single week, you'll find a diverse array of free and paid games across a variety of genres, and we'll highlight the unique aspects of each, as well as anything that seems like it might be a barrier to enjoyment.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the biggest release this week, following its Mac version by just a few weeks, though Hitman Go, Unpossible, and Yomi are also standout options, along with a handful of potential others we’ve highlighted. And Gameloft’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game is still supposed to launch anytime now, but it’s not yet on the App Store as of this writing—so maybe it’ll pop up later on. Be sure to keep an eye out for full reviews of some of these titles in the coming days, and then check back next Thursday for an all-new list of notable games to consider.

Apr 17 2014 10:03PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
This desktop staple has long been available for iPad, but now iPhone users can turn clips into polished movies with ease.






Apr 17 2014 8:23PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - A group of investors seeking to buy Mt. Gox has launched a website to garner support from creditors of the bankrupt bitcoin exchange to prevent a liquidation of its assets.

Apr 17 2014 8:19PM EST | Source: Geek.com
galaxy_S5_frontbackside
Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 is an impressive Android phone that packs in a ton of features. And, unlike so much of what Samsung crammed into the Galaxy S4, the GS5 has a lot […]

Apr 17 2014 8:00PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling.

Apr 17 2014 7:57PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Weibo Corp executives on Thursday toasted the Chinese social media firm's debut at Nasdaq's New York headquarters. Hours earlier in Beijing, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American venture capitalist and prominent Weibo user, celebrated a different kind of coming-out: his release after eight months in jail.

Apr 17 2014 7:40PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp has sold over 5 million Xbox One video game consoles to retailers since its launch in November, the company said on Thursday.

Apr 17 2014 7:29PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Weibo Corp executives on Thursday toasted the Chinese social media firm's debut at Nasdaq's New York headquarters. Hours earlier in Beijing, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American venture capitalist and prominent Weibo user, celebrated a different kind of coming-out: his release after eight months in jail.

Apr 17 2014 7:14PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling.

Apr 17 2014 6:44PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - A group of investors, which is seeking to buy Mt. Gox, has launched a website to garner support from creditors of the bankrupt bitcoin exchange to prevent a liquidation of its assets.

Apr 17 2014 6:44PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Today we focus on the little guys. The smaller end of the market of Apple products. The entry level. If you've been trying to convince a friend or relative to make the switch, these lower priced options might just be the ticket to helping convince them what you've known all along.

Apr 17 2014 6:33PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A federal judge in California on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation against Google Inc to Texas, according to a court ruling.

Apr 17 2014 6:20PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers.

Apr 17 2014 6:19PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Family Guy made its name on TV by being simultaneously derivative and edgy; it riffed on The Simpsons’ formula of an animated nuclear family with a drunken, lovingly-dumb father, but its gags went further or weirder. And it did it well. So you might have reason for thinking that Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff—which takes its cues from The Simpsons: Tapped Out—might also push boundaries and poke fun at conventions. You’d be sadly mistaken. The Quest for Stuff is a shallow, money-grubbing, cynical, and downright boring freemium city builder with few redeeming qualities.

On the positive side, great care has clearly gone into the graphics, with all the little visual details replicated on even minor characters and buildings. It’s chock full of the same sharp dialog you know and love (or hate) from the show—albeit mostly without voice acting. Many jokes are recycled from the series, but there are plenty of original (and funny) ones that self-consciously reference the senselessness of your experience and the minutiae of previous episodes. The game hits its high point before you even start playing, though, delivering a delightful animated opening in which Family Guy gets canceled again and Peter fights the Giant Chicken (revealed to be the president of Fox) in a battle that destroys the entire town.

Your job is to rebuild Quahog, a feat made challenging not through difficulty but rather suffocating timers that drag progress to a standstill. You don’t play The Quest for Stuff so much as periodically jump in and tap stuff for 30 seconds to bank money and experience, and put Peter’s friends and family to work on new quests/activities. That's all done so that you may eventually rebuild a new section of the town or unlock new characters, costumes, and quests—ready to repeat ad infinitum.

What’s worse are the minuscule amounts of money and experience most buildings produce on a rolling basis—some as often as every minute, others over a few hours. These resources halt production entirely until you tap to reset them. It’s a slog to get anywhere without splashing the cash, whether you’ve played for five minutes or several hours, and it’s simply not worth the trouble to wade through the crap for well-written speech bubbles and quest descriptions.

The bottom line. No amount of fan service or witty writing can save Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff from mediocrity born of leaden pacing and shameless freemium money-grubbing.

Review Synopsis

Company: 

TinyCo, Inc

Contact: 

Price: 

Free

Requirements: 

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later

Positives: 

Great introductory cutscene. Witty, humorous writing. Graphics capture the finer details of Quahog.

Negatives: 

Takes an eternity to rebuild the town. Not much to do. Limited voice work. Designed and balanced to suck money out of you. As with the show, some dialogue oversteps the mark between edgy and offensive.

Score: 
1.5 Lame

Apr 17 2014 5:59PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

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For designers working with businesses, a whole new set of skills have to be put to use. It's not just about creativity, it's about delivering a message and making a sale. The B2B Designer Bundle has the tools that designers need for business related creations. You'll find templates for everything from sales flyers to business cards, unique logo designs that can be modified to match the style you want, tons of Photoshop layer styles, user interface elements, web buttons and banners, and more in this bundle.

The assets of the Name Your Own Price B2B Designer bundle usually retail for $995. Head to our Deals tab and you can name the price you pay. You set the price and no matter what you pick, 10% off what you pay will go to a charity of your choice. It's a great offer, with the price you want, so grab this offer while you can!

Apr 17 2014 5:38PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

No matter how many different scanners we've tested over the years, we've still yet to find a truly elegant solution. Whether we're making digital reproductions with our all-in-one desktop printers or copying paper with the massive units in our offices, we're constantly stymied by jams, blurry images, and slow, clunky interfaces. Even the simple, camera-based apps on our iPhones have their shortcomings, and we often find ourselves retaking and cropping images until we get them right.

With a gorgeous interface and a good developer pedigree, we had high hopes for Scanbot. There's a clean, simple aesthetic that runs through every screen, helping you capture and organize your documents with ease. The priority here is speed, as Scanbot's foolproof interface can attest to, but it doesn't come at the expense of professional features, including high-resolution output, a low-light indicator, and automatic edge detection. Our final products weren't always perfect, but the powerful cropping tool and one-touch enhancer fine-tuned things nicely.

Scanbot is the first app from the creators of the now-defunct doo storage service, so we were hardly surprised to see a tight integration with the cloud—but we weren't expecting such comprehensive synergy. Nearly every major service is represented, and you can set your image to automatically upload to your favorite. It’s a much better method than the standard save-and-email strategy most of the other scanner apps use, though you can still clutter up your Camera Roll if you so desire.

The app’s interface does a nice job of prompting you with tips on how to take better scans, but we would have liked a little more control over our documents, most notably a perspective or skew tool to straighten crooked scans and flatten folds. Also, we wish we were able to organize our scan into folders instead of rushing off to the cloud every time, and we had some issues with moving and resizing the digital signature.

The bottom line. Scanbot certainly isn't the first scanning app for the iPhone, but it might be the first one we actually use regularly.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Company: 

doo GmbH

Contact: 

Price: 

$0.99

Requirements: 

iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later

Positives: 

Clean interface that makes scanning a breeze. Excellent integration with cloud services. Powerful automation tools and editing features.

Negatives: 

No in-app organization. Missing pro tools to straighten scans. Digital signature buggy and confusing to work with.

Score: 
4 Great

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