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Aug 21 2014 3:02PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

One of the primary objections to refurbs is the age of the hardware, but this week's MacBook Airs are the freshest we've seen in some time. We're talking three models from April of this year, which is about as new as you can get. In honor that youthfulness, all the other models on offer this week are no older than October of last year, under one year old, still babies. That means great savings for you and you still get that new Mac smell.

Aug 21 2014 12:21PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

iMessage spam

Thursday's edition of the Morning Report takes a look at Apple's growing iMessage spam nuisance and also questions why the Apple TV can no longer be purchased online for in-store pickup, with a great deal for iPhone 5c buyers tossed into the mix for good measure. Read on for the details!

iMessage Rapidly Becoming "A Spammer's Dream"

Are you the victim of iMessage spam? According to a Wired report published this week, more than 30 percent of all mobile spam messages are now coming from Apple's own system, and security firm Cloudmark claims more is coming — and that it's not even particularly hard to do.

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” explained Cloudmark's Tom Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want. In 10 minutes, if you have a whole bunch of accounts, you’d be able to send a huge volume of messages.”

The dilemma apparently stems from the way Apple attaches email addresses to iMessage accounts. User convenience features such as the way iMessage indicates whether or not a recipient is registered with the service and a read receipt option only wind up making life easier for spammers, who can sign up for iMessage using nothing but an email address.

Apple has yet to comment on the growing nuisance, and the only remedy currently available to beleaguered iMessage users requires emailing Cupertino a screenshot of the alleged spam along with the spammer's phone number, email address, and date and time when the message was sent.

Walmart's Having a 97-Cent Fire Sale on iPhone 5c

Had your eye on an iPhone 5c and are decidedly indifferent to whatever new smartphone model(s) Apple may or may not announce next month? Engadget today reported that retail behemoth Walmart is apparently looking to move as many iPhone 5c units as possible over the next 90 days by discounting the price to a mere $0.97.

Of course, the bad news is you'll still need to sign a two-year agreement with AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, or Verizon Wireless. Walmart has also dropped the price of an entry-level iPhone 5s to $79, a $20 discount... but we're guessing the allure of buying a current generation smartphone for under a buck will be too much temptation for many folks.

Apple TV Mysteriously Unavailable for In-Store Pickup

Don't panic, but if you have your heart set on ordering an Apple TV from the company's website using the in-store Personal Pickup option, you may find that choice unavailable to you for the moment. According to MacRumors, Apple TV can still be purchased from the Apple Online Store for shipment to your home within 24 hours, but it appears Cupertino has suspended in-store pickup for reasons as yet unknown.

The report is quick to note the lack of Apple TV Personal Pickup could simply be a glitch on the company's website, although if that's the case, it doesn't seem to be affecting other products at this writing. The natural assumption would be Apple may be planning to soon replace or refresh the little black media box, although there's none of the usual evidence to support that theory, such as dwindling inventory at retailers like Amazon or Best Buy. Any readers happened to have picked up an Apple TV via in-store pickup lately? Chime in on the comments if so...

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

(Image courtesy of Wired)

Aug 21 2014 11:41AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - EBay Inc is considering spinning out its fast-growing payments unit PayPal as soon as next year, news website The Information reported, citing sources.

Aug 21 2014 10:53AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian law student said his class action challenging Facebook for alleged privacy violations had gathered support from 60,000 users and passed its first legal review.

Aug 21 2014 10:23AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is ramping up its first major push to promote the "Star Wars" franchise it purchased from George Lucas in 2012, blitzing consumers this year with a mobile game, animated TV show and an expanded line of toys and clothes.

Aug 21 2014 9:10AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is ramping up its first major push to promote the "Star Wars" franchise it purchased from George Lucas in 2012, blitzing consumers this year with a mobile game, animated TV show and an expanded line of toys and clothes.

Aug 21 2014 7:03AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Infineon brushed off concern that it was spending too much to buy U.S.-based International Rectifier, saying the deal promised a wealth of benefits for the German chipmaker.

Aug 21 2014 6:40AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Merger-shy German chipmaker Infineon has agreed to buy California-based International Rectifier for about $3 billion in cash, Infineon said on Wednesday, in its biggest-ever acquisition.

Aug 21 2014 6:18AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Quindell Plc, a British IT outsourcing and consultancy company whose stock has been hammered following allegations by a short-seller, said it is exploring a U.S. stock listing and will not immediately re-apply for a premium listing in London.

Aug 21 2014 5:10AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - Chinese antitrust officials have met with their South Korean counterparts to discuss violations by U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc , sources said, as Beijing reaches out to regulators overseas to complete a case that could result in record fines at home.

Aug 21 2014 3:07AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian software maker Opera signed a deal to take over the browser building unit of Microsoft's Nokia mobile phone unit and reported second-quarter earnings above expectations on Thursday, sending it shares sharply higher.

Aug 21 2014 2:49AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian software maker Opera has signed a deal to take over the browser building unit of Microsoft's Nokia mobile phone unit, Opera said on Thursday.

Aug 21 2014 12:08AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Rumors about the iPhone 6 have flowed like water over the last couple of weeks, but we've heard comparatively little about the so-called "iPad Air 2." That changed today with a report from Taiwan's TechNews.tw (via iPhoneInCanada), which states that the upcoming tablet will get a memory boost to 2GB, up from the current 1GB.

Expecting the same kind of boost for the iPad mini with Retina display? It's not happening. According to the report, the next iteration of the diminutive unit will still only support 1GB of RAM. Cult of Mac suggests that the memory boost for the iPad Air 2 might allow for a rumored split-screen multitasking feature in iOS 8.

The news marks a welcome addition to the comparatively small list of credible rumors associated with the upcoming tablet. So far, it's generally thought that the tablet's next generation will sport a home button that supports Touch ID along with a faster A8 processor.

It's likely that we won't hear an official announcement concerning the device during the rumored media event on September 9, as Apple has lately started holding off iPad announcements for a followup event in October.

For now, if you want to get your hands on a current iPad Air, you'd do well to take advantage of Best Buy's one-day sale for the device, which knocks $75 off of the thin tablet. Act now, though. The sale only lasts through today.

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

Aug 21 2014 12:03AM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
This calisthenics-based fitness app uses motion tracking to turn you into a supersoldier saving the world. In your head, anyway.

Aug 20 2014 11:26PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Football season just got a lot more interesting for Apple TV owners. Today the Cupertino company added NFL Now to the device's ever-expanding lineup of channels, which means that fans of American football now have access to a gold mine of on-demand video content associated with the popular sport.

And just in time, too. Football season starts on September 4, and the new channel should allow easy access to game highlights, press conferences, and over 400 hours of footage from classic games. The channel also streams episodes from popular NFL series such as "Hard Knocks and "A Football Life."

Source: MacRumors

The Apple TV launch follows on the heels of the channel's appearance on iOS earlier in the month. It's an intensely personalized experience, according to the NFL, which claims that settings such as the viewer's favorite teams, players, and fantasy lineup will allow the channel to reach a "point where no two registered fans will have the same experience."

Yes, there is an associated fee of $1.99 per month for NFL Now Plus if you want to enjoy most of the content, and you can buy it right from your Apple TV. If you're an international viewer, you'll have to pay $4.99. (But then, you're probably not all that interested in American football anyway, are you?) Even if you don't choose to pay, you'll still have access to free content in the form of a live stream from the NFL Network and access to the NFL Red Zone every Sunday.

If you don't have an Apple TV, you can still pick up the iOS version of NFL Now any time you want.

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

Aug 20 2014 11:15PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Aug 20 2014 9:00PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

As we approach the launch of iOS 8, it's time to think about all the exciting apps that are going to come out. Specifically, it's time to think about all the exciting apps that you can make. Get in on the ground floor of the latest iOS update and learn how to make apps with the Mammoth Xcode and Swfit Developer Bundle. It's on sale in our latest Deal.

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The courses in the Mammoth Xcode and Swift Developer Bundle normally cost $499. We've scraped every dollar off that price that we could, dropping it down to 82% off. That means you'll pay just $89 for a never-ending education on Xcode and Swfit. It's a must for every would be app developer, so grab it while you can!

Aug 20 2014 7:24PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - What do Dropbox, Stripe, Airbnb and Reddit have in common? These technology firms all received mentorship and money from Silicon Valley's so-called startup machine, Y Combinator.

Aug 20 2014 6:45PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co posted a surprise increase in quarterly revenue after sales from its personal computer division climbed 12 percent, but a flat to declining performance from its other units underscored the company's uphill battle to revive growth.

Aug 20 2014 5:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
The ability to spec your Kart however you want in Mario Kart 8 is a lot of fun, but Nintendo doesn’t provide you with all of the stats you need to really appreciate […]

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