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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Oct 30 2014 11:36PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

As we mentioned this morning, Apple attracted some unwanted attention yesterday when it informed James Thompson, the developer behind calculator PCalc, that he'd have to remove the app's iOS 8 widget if he expected the popular app to remain on the app store. Supporters of the app rallied in favor of Thompson not long after, and in the face of such an overwhelming response, the Cupertino company called Thompson personally to announce that it had reversed its decision.

A report from TechCrunch claims that Apple hadn't anticipated that the Notification Center widgets could be used in the way Thompson was using them. The initial notice apparently claimed that calculations could be entered into the widget but the widget couldn't perform the calculations itself, which essentially nulls the point of a widget for an app like PCalc.

Originally, Thompson was given two to three weeks to redesign the $9.99 app before Apple pulled it. The notice was particularly disheartening since Thompson noted that PCalc was featured at the time in the App Store's "Great Apps for iOS 8" section, where it was singled out for being a great "Notification Center Widget."

But Thompson immediately reported the "extremely disappointing news" to his followers on Twitter, who expressed their support in droves and no doubt directed a few choice words at Apple itself. And so Thompson's app is back just a day later, and most importantly, it sets a precedent that paves the way for more calculator Notification Center widgets to come.

Will such an approach always work for developers trying to get their other widgets approved? Likely not. But it at least shows that Apple is prepared to quickly reverse its stance about key aspects of its operating systems under the right conditions.

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

Oct 30 2014 11:16PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled two new mid-tier handsets with a premium design as it prepared to deliver a riposte to its low-priced Chinese rivals and reclaim its title as the top brand in the world's biggest smartphone market.

Oct 30 2014 10:14PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

According to a report by Variety, actor Seth Rogen will likely be playing Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Christian Bale. There's a touch of iffiness about the claim as TheWrap notes that Rogen doesn't have a deal in place, but most sources agree that Rogen is at least in talks for the role.

Rogen will reportedly get to work with Woz himself for advice on the role, which is based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography of Jobs. The screenplay itself, written by Aaron Sorkin of The Social Network fame, consists of three lengthy scenes corresponding to three major product launches from Jobs' life. Danny Boyle, best known for films like Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later, will direct the film.

Source: IndieWire

Rogen himself is usually best known for his comedic work in films like Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but lately he's tackled more serious work in films like Take This Waltz to much acclaim. Sorkin's script might allow for both ends of his range. As for Woz, he left Apple way back in 1987, but media outlets still often seek his opinion on the latest developments from the Cupertino company he founded.

The followup report from TheWrap also claims that Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty fame is also in talks for the film, although the role in consideration currently isn't known. Production will reportedly begin sometime next spring.

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

Oct 30 2014 10:08PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Could it be Apple's refresh of the Mac mini that has these beloved little boxes back in refurb-land, ready for you to snatch up at deal prices? Hmm, could be. All we know for sure is that we're not complaining and you shouldn't either, just hop on board these awesome deals.

Oct 30 2014 9:37PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
The Force is strong with this tower-defense game, but you'll want to play it on a big screen.






Oct 30 2014 9:02PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Google Inc said on Thursday that Andy Rubin, co-founder of its Android mobile business and head of its nascent robotics effort is leaving the company.

Oct 30 2014 9:01PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out as gay, saying he was trading his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move civil rights forward.

Oct 30 2014 7:14PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc has sidelined the product chief it recently poached from rival Google Inc, in the latest executive reshuffle at the online messaging service, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Oct 30 2014 7:10PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Corporate networking site LinkedIn Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as more businesses used its services to hire staff.

Oct 30 2014 6:57PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - GoPro Inc forecast better-than-expected holiday quarter sales, underscoring the increasing popularity of its wearable cameras among surfers, skydivers and other action junkies.

Oct 30 2014 6:23PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out as gay, saying he was trading his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move civil rights forward.

Oct 30 2014 6:08PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Comcast Corp and AT&T Inc have no plans to create Internet "fast lanes" that may hurt consumers' freedom to roam the Web, the leading U.S. broadband providers told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in recent letters.

Oct 30 2014 6:01PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Sparkle calls itself a “vector drawing tool, uniquely tailored” for creating websites. In use, we found it most reminiscent of Pages, with a workflow based around drag-and-drop and free layout. 

Web pages are constructed from containers — standard boxes, “wide boxes” that span the entire screen width, and text blocks — as well as embedded elements such as images, videos and components from third-party websites, where you copy and paste code into a Sparkle sheet. There are no themes to give you a head start, but Sparkle provides useful page templates to work with — or you can start from scratch with a blank page.

Given that mobile accounts for plenty of online traffic, it’s good to see Sparkle tackle responsive design. At each of five viewport sizes, you can adjust your site, resizing and moving components (but you can’t delete them from here).

From a technical perspective, Sparkle fares less well. Code output is — as with similar apps — bloated and not that semantic. This isn’t a tool for pros. 

In some ways, it’s also quite raw — it’s easy to delete a page from the sidebar, and exporting is basic — only to a Finder folder. But if you’re still mourning the loss of iWeb, Sparkle will likely prove a wise investment. It already matches or betters its contemporaries in the consumer space, offers potential, and the app is in active development.

The bottom line. Feels slightly unfinished, but offers usable consumer-oriented website creation for a good price.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Sparkle

Company: 

River SRL

Contact: 

Price: 

$79.99

Requirements: 

OS X 10.9 or later

Positives: 

Enables free layout. Can output responsive designs.

Negatives: 

Currently produces quite raw source code. No built-in FTP upload or sync.

Oct 30 2014 5:36PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange suffered a network hardware failure that interrupted the flow of stock prices and quotes from its exchanges for nearly half an hour on Thursday, the latest problem to hit data processors key to trading.

Oct 30 2014 5:32PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Corporate networking site LinkedIn Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as more businesses used its services to hire staff.

Oct 30 2014 5:27PM EST | Source: Geek.com
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If you had your sights set on a streaming stick that relies on open hardware and software, or if you just like trying new things, the folks at Mozilla have an interesting proposition […]

Oct 30 2014 5:19PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China must move ahead with a global deal to eliminate duties on billions of dollars of technology products or risk upsetting other trade talks, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Thursday.

Oct 30 2014 5:11PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEOUL (Reuters) - The world's biggest TV makers, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc, are turning to quantum dot technology for their next-generation TVs as it could still be years before OLED is affordable for the mass market.

Oct 30 2014 5:00PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

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