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Apr 21 2014 12:51PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Square Wallet

Mobile payments startup Square has many cheerleaders (including us), but that loyalty may not be enough to stop the bleeding, which appears to have piled up to nearly $100 million dollars last year.

The Wall Street Journal today reported that mobile payment kingpin Square Inc. is apparently looking toward the exit door with a rumored sale to one of "several deeper-pocketed rivals," according to insider sources.

Among them is Google, who was said to have discussed a potential acquisition earlier this year, while the report claims Apple, eBay and PayPal have also held less formal discussions with Square in the past.

Just how bad is it? Two sources claim Square apparently shelled out "roughly $110 million more in cash last year than it took in," which shouldn't come entirely as a surprise considering one of its products, Square Cash, allows debit card users to send money to each other without paying a single penny in fees.

The five-year-old company has reportedly burned through half of the $340 million in equity financing raised since launch over the last three years alone — but that appears to be business as usual.

"We are not, nor have we ever been in acquisition talks with Google," a Square spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. "While we appreciate that Square may be an attractive target for some companies, we have never seriously considered selling to anyone or been in any talks to do so."

PayPal also denied any potential acquisition talks, suggesting that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey may be planning to go it alone in what he previously referred to as "a commerce company" rather than "a payments company."

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


Apr 21 2014 12:35PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

First-generation Apple TV

Apple will announce fiscal second quarter earnings this Wednesday, with analysts and investors again expecting big things from Cupertino for the post-holiday period. While the iPhone is expected to inch slightly higher, pundits expect the iPad to actually decline just a bit — the company's rumored iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display refresh later this year is said to get things back on track, whether they're actually needed or not. Without further ado, let's dive into the rest of the weekend recap...

iTunes Store Vanishes from First-Gen Apple TV Units

MacRumors reported Sunday that owners of the classic first-generation Apple TV received a nasty surprise over the last few days. According to a "lengthy" post on Apple's support forums, iTunes Store access has vanished from the company's first effort at cracking the living room, which made its debut in January, 2007. The usual diagnostics tricks and even a complete restore failed to resurrect the feature, which appears to be a back-end issue at Apple's end that coincidentally corresponds to an extended FaceTime outage for iOS 6 users — though there's no confirmation on what the connection might be.

Unread 1.2 for iPhone Now Available, Adds Native Image Viewer

Developer Jared Sinclair released version 1.2 of his RSS reader Unread in the wee hours of Monday morning, and while there's still no native iPad support, the app appears to be doubling down on the features. The latest version adds support for NewsBlur and Fever as RSS sources and introduces a native image viewer, which works in both article view as well as the built-in web browser. The long list of new features and bug fixes also includes an Options menu for images, optional badge count for current unread count, landscape support for the built-in web browser, new Glass and Campfire themes unlocked for all users and improved Facebook sharing. Unread 1.2 for iPhone is now available from the App Store.

Beats Music Adds In-App Subscriptions, iPad App Incoming

As noted Friday by Re/code, Beats Music released a new version of its iOS app ahead of the weekend that finally delivered a big feature requested by users: The ability to purchase an in-app subscription. Yes, that means the upstart music streaming service is handing roughly $3 per month over to Apple, but the company claims more than half of its users are on iPhone, and getting them to subscribe has been a challenge without the in-app option. CEO Ian Rogers also teased that a native iPad app will be "available soon," which should help Beats Music round out an otherwise solid lineup of features.

AT&T Adds More Data to Prepaid GoPhone Plans at Same Cost

AT&T announced Friday that GoPhone customers have a little more to celebrate this month than just having no annual contract. Beginning April 25, smartphone users on the basic $40 per month plan will get a data bump from 250MB to 500MB, while the more expensive 60 per month plan jumps from 2GB to 2.5GB and adds unlimited talk and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The carrier is also teaming with Walmart for a $45 per month plan with 1GB of data and unlimited talk, and all of the plans feature unlimited texting that extends to Mexico, Canada and more than 100 other countries. All of the prepaid plans take advantage of AT&T's 4G LTE network.

Facebook Paper 1.1 Adds Birthdays, Photo Comments

Facebook announced Friday that its free Paper app is inching toward being a little more useful with the addition of birthdays and events, photo comments, group updates, nine new article covers and more. Paper 1.1 also adds basic accessibility support with an arrow indicator that tells the users when new stories are available in other sections. Facebook claims Paper users "explore an average of 80 stories each day" across as many as six sections, with the social network itself being the most popular destination followed by Headlines, Tech, Ideas, LOL and Pop Life.

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


Apr 21 2014 6:58AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - China's online game developer Perfect World Co Ltd said it joined the consortium offering to buy rival Shanda Games Ltd.

Apr 21 2014 6:04AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Tired of the same restaurants and clubs? Not sure if friends would want to venture to a new cafe or bar? New apps show where people want to go, rather than where they have been.

Apr 21 2014 5:13AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Apple Inc and Google Inc are wooing game developers to ensure that top game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating system, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apr 21 2014 5:05AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - In June 2011, when customers of now-bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox agitated for proof that the Tokyo-based firm was still solvent after a hacking attack, CEO Mark Karpeles turned to the comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

Apr 21 2014 2:39AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Square Inc has been in talks with several rivals for a possible sale as the mobile payments startup looks to stem widening losses and dwindling cash, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apr 21 2014 12:03AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Apple Inc and Google Inc are wooing game developers to ensure that top game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating system, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apr 20 2014 9:55PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

The web has evolved a lot over the past few years. Now it's not just for hosting websites--it's able to host applications that can be interacted with and process tons of information. If you want to learn how to build web apps and make them run efficiently, you'll love this cloud computing and web hosting video course. It's on sale in our Deals tab.

With over five hours of content, this video course will teach you everything you need to know about building applications on the web and how to host them. It deals specifically with Amazon's Web Services, one of the best and most utilized cloud computing solutions around. Learn how to take advantage of Amazon's Web Services to host your creations and pick up the skills you need to build and tweak your applications with this course.

This cloud computing and web hosting video course usually retails for $49. Head to our Deals tab and you can save 61% off the retail price. That makes your total just $19. That's a price you can't beat for such a great resource, so grab this offer today!

Apr 20 2014 9:44PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

There's nothing more infuriating as a spotty WiFi connection--especially in your own home. You pay good money for your internet and it doesn't seem like it's asking too much to have a consistent connection. Now you can make sure your WiFi is always functioning at its peak with NetSpot Pro. It's on sale in our Deals tab.

Imagine if you culd visualize the flow of your internet connection. You could easily see where it's failing and figure out how to optimize it. That's exactly what NetSpot Pro allows you to do. The tool is built to troubleshoot dead zones and areas where connections too often get dropped. Scan your current upload and download speeds, monitor all of the current connections on your network, and make sure you're always getting the speed you pay for.

NetSpot Pro usually retails for $149. Head to our Deals tab and you can save 80% off the retail price. That makes your total just $29. It's a great price for such a powerful tool for home and office networks, so grab this offer today!

Apr 20 2014 2:02PM 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 19 2014 11:57PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans with accounts on President Barack Obama's health insurance enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, were advised that their passwords had been reset to guard against the "Heartbleed" bug, in a message posted on the site on Saturday.

Apr 19 2014 9:17PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

You have a variety of audio needs. When you're at the gym or sitting at your desk, you'll want a nice set of headphones. When out and about, you want to kick out the jams with a speaker. And when you get an important call in the car, you want to go hands free with a speakerphone. You can get all of that out of the Monocle. It's on sale now in our Deals tab.

The Monocle provides top not audio quality with the flexibility that your life requires. Built with a 40mm high quality audio driver, you know you'll be taking a fine sound system with you where ever you go. With a duplex-enabled microphone, you'll get crystal clear calls. Plug in the Monocle into any 3.5mm audio jack and enjoy its awesome audio experience. It's made to travel with you or hang out in any situation where you want to pump some music.

The Monocle usually retails for $50. Head to our Deals tab and you can get it on sale for 30% off the retail price. That makes your total just $34.99. It's a great price for an awesome and versatile audio accessory, so grab this offer today!

Apr 19 2014 3:11PM EST | Source: Geek.com
Google included the pattern unlock option for Android phones way back in the initial public release circa 2008. It’s one of the few security features that have persevered all this time, and Apple […]

Apr 19 2014 12:37AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

There's never a convenient time to run out of batter. You always want a fully charged device, but with the amount we ask our portable tech to do for is, it's unrealistic to expect them to last as long as we'd like. But you can give them a quick recharge with the equally portable Bookmark backup battery. It's on sale in our latest Deal.

If you're on the go all day then you need your backup battery to be just as mobile as your smartphone or tablet. The Bookmark backup battery can come with you anywhere. It's the world's thinnest backup battery, measuring just 4.7mm thin. Despite its slim style, it packs plenty of punch, providing 2,500mAh capacity--good for over 12.5 hours of video playback. It's flame resistant, protected against short circuiting, and built with shockproof casing so it can take a beating and keep on charging.

The Bookmark backup battery usually retails for $60. Head to our Deals tab and you can take 35% off that price. that means you'll pay just $38.99. It's a great price for an amazing convenience to have with you, so grab this deal today!

Apr 19 2014 12:30AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

If this week was notable for anything, it was a plethora of iPhone 6 rumors, leaks, potential leaks, and concepts. To think, last week we were all talking about the iWatch. Looks like the Apple rumor mill operating system isn't in any need of an update.

Apr 18 2014 11:49PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

The last few days have given us plenty of rumors concerning what the next iPhone may look like; now it's the iPad's turn. While the leaks for the iPhone all point to a larger screen, One More Thing notes (via Cult of Mac) that the latest supposed iPad leak from a source in China points to a thinner device than ever as Apple seems to be using integrated displays for the first time.

By contrast, Apple currently uses separate components for the LCD screen and surrounding panel for the iPad and the iPad mini. If the photos are accurate, Apple could start integrating them both into one a single glass sheet.

At first glance, it looks as though Apple's trying to make the device even thinner than it already is. The present iPad Air's front panel setup already measures just 1.55mm, and the extra space gained from combining the two components could result in an even lighter unit.

But it's also possible there's a more practical reasoning for the integrated display. The thinner panel could allow Apple to maintain the same thickness of the original iPad Air while improving it to support a stronger battery or more memory, which would alleviate some concerns about frequent app crashes with the current model.

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

Apr 18 2014 11:42PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Through what appears to be a stroke of (dubious) luck, Apple Maps has proven more useful than Google Maps in the long search for Scotland's fabled Loch Ness monster. As reported by Britain's Daily Mail, amateur monster hunters Andy Dixon and Peter Thain uncovered what looks like an underwater outline of the beast while scanning the lake with satellite photos from Apple's navigational service.

"It was purely by accident that I came across the image," Dixon told the Mail. "I was trawling through satellite transmissions of different parts of the country and I thought I would try Loch Ness."

It's tempting to debunk the image. Even though it looks like a gigantic catfish-like creature from the air (as opposed to "Nessie's" traditional "plesiosaur" shape), it could just as easily be the wake of a passing ship. (And indeed, that's what some skeptics are saying, such as Southern Fried Science.) The problem, as so-called, unnamed "experts" point out, is that there's no visual trace of any ship. Other boats are visible in the area in the photo below, which means it's also difficult to dismiss it as an imaging error.

"Whatever it is, it's just below the surface and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie," said Gary Campbell of the Official Loch Ness Monster Club.

It could all be hogwash, of course, but it makes for a bit of Friday fun. Apple receives its aerial imagery from satellite company DigitalGlobe, but it's unlikely that anything besides luck contributed to the sight of the object on the Cupertino's company's mapping service over that of rival Google.

Interested in seeing for yourself? It's on the north end of the lake, just northwest of the village of Dores. You can access the satellite imagery on your iOS device or Mac running OS X Mavericks by clicking here.

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

Apr 18 2014 8:30PM EST | Source: Geek.com
Google glass
We’ve all been hearing about Google’s wearable computing experiment, Glass, long enough at this point. It’s not vaporware — it exists and you’ve probably seen people wearing them around — but it inhabits […]

Apr 18 2014 8:19PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is dominating the box office rankings, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is due out in a couple weeks, and X-Men: Days of Future Past is just around the corner. Big superhero movies often also mean big superhero games, and the genre’s improved significantly since the last time we took a look in early 2012—many of the games listed then were barely decent. Some stinkers have still come in the last couple of years, but mostly we’ve seen an array of solid-or-better games based on comic heroes. Here’s a selection of eight enjoyable iOS games where you can battle crime and wield some powered-up muscle.

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