Thursday, 30 April 2015

We Only Just Cracked a 33-Year Old ZX Spectrum Challenge

When the ZX Spectrum was released in 1982, a problem was posed in chapter 19 of the computer’s manual. Now, 33 years later, that problem has finally been solved by a team at Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science.

Penguins use poo to melt snow

Call it landscaping the penguin way: time-lapse footage from a colony of Antarctic Gentoo penguins appears to show the birds using their feces to melt snow in their breeding grounds. The images — captured by the University of Oxford's Penguin Watch initiative — show the snow piling up before the penguins arriveready to breedThey quickly blanket the area with what lookslike mud (here's a clue: it's not mud) and lo, the snow begins to melt.
whatever's going on, the penguins aren't doing it on purpose
Scientists studying the footage say it's possible that the darker color of the poo is helping to melt the snow by absorbing extra heat — a process known as the albedo effect. "This is something we're testing at the moment," says Dr Tom...
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IBM Just Cracked One of the Biggest Problems Facing Quantum Computing

Quantum computing could make complex calculations trivial—but it’s currently fraught with problems . Now, though, IBM has solved one of the biggest, allowing it to detect the internal errors that could otherwise render quantum calculation useless.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Google Launches Password Alert Chrome Extension To Keep You From Reusing Your Passwords


Google is launching a new Chrome extension today designed to prevent you from recycling your Google password on other sites. Password Alert, which is now available in the Chrome Web Store, will warn you whenever you are about to reuse your Google password on a site that isn’t a Google sign-in page. Google’s Director of Security for Google Apps for Work Eran Feigenbaum told me… Read More

Facebook Says There Are Now 40M Active Small Business Pages


Facebook is announcing some new programs today for small businesses, particularly the ones that advertise. At the same time, the company’s also arguing that plenty of businesses find out value on the social network without buying ads. Specifically, Facebook says the number of active small business Pages keeps growing — it’s up to 40 million, compared to 30 million last June.… Read More

Google fights phishing with a new Chrome extension

No matter how sophisticated your security is, the biggest risk is always the same: users clicking the wrong links and submitting their passwords to the wrong websites. It's a tricky problem to solve, but Google has a new idea about how to fight it. Today, the company is unveiling a new Chrome extension called Password Alert, designed to serve as an early warning system against phishing attacks. "Phishing should be a real concern for everyone — journalists, activists, companies, or individuals," says Justin Kosslyn, a product manager at Google Ideas. "This is a useful and quiet line of defense against a real challenge."
The extension works by comparing a hashed version of your password to any string of characters you input to the...
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The Nexpaq modular smartphone case will let you add lasers to your mobile

The concept of a modular smartphone that lets you quickly swap in components like a bigger battery or better camera has been around for a few years now, but the best-known example — Google's Project Ara — is still firmly in the prototype stage. Now, however, a new Kickstarter campaign is offering consumers a modular smartphone product they can actually buy and (hopefully) start using in a few months. This isn't a modular smartphone, however, but a modular smartphone case. Meet the Nexpaq.
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Valve removes Steam's new paid mods in the face of criticism

A few days after it introduced a new system in which Steam users could pay for game mods, video game developer and publisher Valve is removing the feature, in the face of widespread criticism from angry players. In a post on Steam's Workshop, Valve's Alden Kroll said the team at Valve "didn't understand exactly what we were doing" by introducing an option for mod-makers to charge for their creations, and that the company "missed the mark pretty badly."
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When Gas Erupts Out of the Sun, It's Like a Mountain Range Made of Fire

This picture shows a massive solar filament that’s made of burning gas. Astrophotographer Göran Strand took this yesterday with his solar telescope, and added in the scale of the distance between Earth and the Moon to give you an idea of how goddamn enormous this thing was.

LG's posh Watch Urbane arrives at Google's store for $349

You no longer have to wait for AT&T (or go through an importer) to buy LG's ritzy-looking Watch Urbane in the US -- it's available to order today. Google is now carrying the upscale Android Wear timepiece in its store with a $349 price tag, which is ... read more

Saturday, 25 April 2015

From garage to campus: a look at the digs of tech's Big Five

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have ... read more

Google's Nexus 7 tablet has been discontinued

It was only a matter of time, but now it's official: the Nexus 7 has left us for greener pastures. Google's affordable and functional 7-inch tablet has disappeared from the Google Store, where a note in red type simply states that the device is "no longer available for purchase."
The Asus-made tablet was certainly long in the tooth — it first launched in July 2013 — but it remained attractive because Google has consistently kept it up-to-date with the latest versions of Android. Nevertheless, its time has come and gone, and the tablet has been officially replaced by the newer Nexus 9. If you're still looking for a Nexus 7, though, you should be able to grab one from third-parties like Amazon until supplies dry up.
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The Apple Watch Can Be A Sixth Sense


The world around us is screaming with signals our original five senses don’t detect. Unlike some snakes, we can’t sense infrared with our naked eyes and unlike ducks and geese, we don’t have a native intuition for magnetic fields. But we’ve got pretty incredible brains, which we’ve used to craft ways to augment our five basic senses for a very long time. Read More

The Life of an Ex-Hacker Who Is Now Banned from Using the Internet

When programmer Higinio Ochoa wants to share some a batch of new code with his boss, he has to mail it in on paper. Why the roundabout process? Ochoa is a convicted hacker, and his punishment is that he is not allowed to use the internet.

Sorry Trekkies, Tau Ceti Probably Doesn't Harbor Alien Life

The number of exoplanets that might harbor alien life grows every year. But now, astronomers now think we can check one of science fiction’s most beloved staples off the list: Tau Ceti.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Garmin's New All-In-One Dashcam-Navigator Helps You Stay On The Road

The days of standalone car GPS units have been numbered ever since Google Maps started turn-by-turn directions, but Garmin is still keeping them relevant by packing in smarts. The latest nuviCam LMTHD not only features a dashcam, but it can use that same lens to prevent you from crashing.

Adding Christopher Walken to an Apple Watch ad is both funny and poignant

Christopher Walken. That voice.
Apple. That Watch.
YouTube. Someone named BeefJurgy.
Pulp Fiction. A watch. An ass. No, two asses. Seven years that watch didn't see sunshine. Poor watch.
These things have come together to form a commercial. Not official. A parody if you will. But nonetheless a work of art.
Would you do that for an Apple Watch? Would you hide that Apple Watch? That's the real question. That's the question we all need to answer.
Is it a coincidence this video went up on 4/20? Probably not.
The Watch is coming. Don't die of dysentery.
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Steam Workshop lets game modders sell their work, starting with Skyrim

Valve is taking another step in turning its Steam Workshop into a full-fledged marketplace for people who make mods, maps, or in-game items. Today, it expanded the ways that creators can directly sell their work — and it's starting with one of the gaming world's most vibrant modding communities, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Valve and Skyrim developers Bethesda Game Studios first added support for Steam Workshop in 2012, but at that time, they could only be offered for free. Now, modders can set their own price when they upload an item.
Relatively few have taken advantage of this so far. Of over 25,000 mods, 19 are being sold for between $0.49 and $5.99. They include things like in-game weapons and spells, new locations, and a...
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Comcast reportedly abandons acquisition of Time Warner Cable

Comcast is calling off its $45 billion dollar attempt to buy fellow cable provider Time Warner Cable, according to Bloomberg. The decision comes after recent reports that both the US Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission were preparing to turn against the deal after months spent looking into what it would mean for competition in the cable industry. Apparently Comcast saw the writing on the wall with the increased scrutiny from regulators and has walked away from a merger that would have combined the top two cable operators in the United States. An official announcement that the deal is canceled could come as early as tomorrow, per Bloomberg's sources.
Both companies formally revealed their plans to merge last...
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Microsoft offers schools a discount on Surface 3 and a cheaper model

Microsoft is sweetening the pot for schools looking to adopt its new hybrid tablet by giving them a 10 percent discount on the Surface 3, Type Cover and stylus. Normally, they cost $500, $130 and $50, respectively. On top of that, it's also offering ... read more

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

1500 iOS Apps Affected by Security Flaws and Apple's OS X 10.10.3 'Rootpipe' is Still Around


Over the past few days a handful of reports have been accumulating in regards to two security flaws, one affecting roughly 1500 iOS apps and a second affecting OS X users despite Apple having tried to patch the vulnerability on OS X 10.10.3.

The first security flaw is making about 1500 iPhone and iPad apps vulnerable to hackers who could leverage the vulnerability to steal passwords, bank account information, and a handful of other sensitive information, according to Ars Technica. Discovered by security analytics firm SourceDNA last month, the "man-in-the-middle" attack was fixed in a 2.5.2 update to AFNetworking, the open-source code which housed the vulnerability.

Unfortunately, some developers have yet to update to the newest version of the code, leaving those 1500 apps open and vulnerable to the attack, which "can decrypt HTTPS-encrypted data" and essentially allows anyone generating a fake Wi-Fi hotspot access to a user's data on that same Wi-Fi connection. As a result, SourceDNA scanned and analyzed most apps on the App Store for the security flaw, and even created a search tool to discover if a particular app is under risk.The day the flaw was announced & patched, a quick search in SourceDNA showed about 20,000 iOS apps (out of the 100k apps that use AFNetworking) both contained the AFNetworking library and were updated or released on the App Store after the flawed code was committed. Our system then scanned those apps with the differential signatures to see which ones actually had the vulnerable code. 

The results? 55% had the older but safe 2.5.0 code, 40% were not using the portion of the library that provides the SSL API, and 5% or about 1,000 apps had the flaw. Are these apps important? We compared them against our rank data and found some big players: Yahoo!, Microsoft, Uber, Citrix, etc. It amazes us that an open-source library that introduced a security flaw for only 6 weeks exposed millions of users to attack.
Some of the known apps currently vulnerable to the man-in-the-middle attack includes Citrix OpenVoice Audio Conferencing [Direct Link], Alibaba's mobile app [Direct Link], and even Movies by Flixster with Rotten Tomatoes [Direct Link]. SourceDNA urges users to check their most used apps in its search tool for the security flaw, and promises to remove apps that have been fixed and add ones discovered to be vulnerable as time goes on.

The other flaw, called "Rootpipe", dates back to 2011 and has been known for some time. Apple intended to patch the Rootpipe vulnerability in OS X 10.10.3 earlier this month, although older versions of OS X were left vulnerable. But as reported by Forbes, former NSA agent Patrick Wardle has discovered the flaw to still be present on Macs running OS X 10.10.3, as well as older versions.
Apple put additional access controls to stop attacks, but Wardle’s code was still able to connect to the vulnerable service and start overwriting files on his Mac. “I was tempted to walk into the Apple store this [afternoon] and try it on the display models – but I stuck to testing it on my personal laptop (fully updated/patched) as well as my OS X 10.10.3 [virtual machine]. Both worked like a charm,” Wardle told FORBES over email. In a blog post, he’d said his exploit was “a novel, yet trivial way for any local user to re-abuse Rootpipe”.
Discovered last October, the Rootpipe flaw essentially allows a hidden backdoor to be created on a particular system, opening up root access of a computer to a hacker after they obtain local privileges on the device. Physical access or previously granted remote access to the target machine is required in order for the vulnerability to be exploited.

Most recently, Apple faced the "FREAK" security flaw in its systems, making everything from an Apple TV to an iPod touch vulnerable to stolen sensitive information. The company issued a few security updates on all platforms in the weeks following the discovery of the security flaw, beefing up security and working to assuage public concerns. In regards to the man-in-the-middle iOS and re-emerging Rootpipe flaws, the company has yet to comment.

Placing The Sony Xperia Z4 next to the Z3 - Spot The differences?

See the Sony Xperia Z4 next to the Z3 - can you tell the difference?

Sony has just taken the wraps off the Xperia Z4, but it was a relatively small announcement with, for now, a Japan-only launch.
It's no wonder, really. The specs remarkably similar to the Sony Xperia Z3, with a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, a 20.7MP camera, an IP68 certified dust and water resistant body, a Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM.
There are a few differences, as it has a faster processor and a higher megapixel count on the front-facing camera for example, but they're minor and the design of the phone is almost identical to that of the Z3 too.

Seeing double

Don't believe us? Take a look at these new pictures which have handily been shared by and include comparison shots with the Xperia Z3.


Like the Xperia Z3 the Sony Xperia Z4 has a metal frame and glass back, the design and position of the camera is much the same and so too is the power button and many of the ports, though the microSD card slot has swapped sides.

Xperia Z4 and Z3

Even the dimensions are almost identical, with both phones coming in at 146 x 72mm, though the Xperia Z4 is marginally slimmer and lighter at 6.9mm and 144g to the Xperia Z3's 7.3mm and 152g.

Xperia Z4

But really there is seemingly almost nothing to choose between these two phones, almost making the HTC One M9's incremental improvements seem revolutionary in comparison.

Xperia Z4

So it's no wonder Sony didn't make a big deal about it, and if it doesn't come to the UK we probably won't be too upset. After all the Xperia Z3 is barely six months old and it's almost the same phone. We just hope the Sony Xperia Z5 will be something truly special.

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015

    Huawei P8 is a flagship that's actually worth checking out

    Huawei P8 is a flagship that's actually worth checking out

    The Huawei P8 has launched at a glitzy event in London, signalling the arrival of the Chinese firm's latest flagship smartphone - and early impressions are mostly positive.
    Its predecessors - the Ascend P6 and Ascend P7 - failed to match up to the flagship competition from the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC, but this time around it's stepped up its game.
    The 5.2-inch display has a full HD resolution, so it's not quite as sharp as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or LG G3, but it matches up to the Sony Xperia Z3 and HTC One M9 meaning Android 5.0should look nice.
    In terms of design the full metal unibody of the P8 is smart and premium, and while Huawei claims it's instantly recognisable in its own right, it's hard not to draw comparisons with the iPhone 6.
    There's a punchy octa-core Kirin 930 processor housed inside the exceedingly svelte 6.4mm metal uni-body - which means the P8 has plenty of power while being thinner than the iPhone 6.

    New camera modes

    A 13MP camera resides on the rear of the P8, and boasts optical image stablisation (OIS), low light shooting abilities, dual-colour temperature LED flash and Director Mode.
    Huawei claims the latter will allow you to capture scenes with multiple cameras. Lights, camera, action!
    We're still waiting on the Huawei P8 release date and price, but we should know more about these soon.

    Apple considered messenger-like status options for phone calls

    A great thing about messenger apps is letting people know when you're away (even if you're not). Convenient, no? An Apple patent spotted by AppleInsider describes a feature that would let you do the same for voice calls, too. Since it's just a patent... read more

    Huawei's flagship P8 smartphone is all about the camera

    Huawei's come a long way since it shook its ODM label and started making devices for consumers, too. It's now the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and in the past year, we've seen the company launch new phones big and small, as we... read more

    Alcatel OneTouch Watch review: No beginner's luck here

    The Alcatel OneTouch name doesn't exactly conjure up images of premium, fashion-forward devices, but that hasn't stopped the company from dreaming big with its first smartwatch. To add steam to the Alcatel OneTouch Watch hype train, the company's des... read more

    Netflix creating 4K successor to Planet Earth

    In a move that's sure to convince people to buy 4K TVs, Variety reports that Netflix is now collaborating with the creators of the popular Planet Earth documentaries to release a massive nature series in 2019. Titled Our Planet, the eight-episode series will explore the natural world, making it the streaming giant's most ambitious documentary project to date.
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    How Susan Miller conquered online astrology

    It’s a little after midday on a recent Saturday in Los Angeles, and I’m escorting the reigning queen of astrology past a veritable throng of adoring subjects. She’s just finished a 90-minute lecture (or perhaps more accurately, a motivational speech) at the Conscious Life Expo, a three-day jamboree of workshops and lectures whose guests run the gamut from sound healers to ancient alien experts.
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    Tinder now lets you swipe through Instagram photos of potential matches

    With an update rolling out today, Tinder will now let you swipe through recent Instagram photos belonging to your prospective matches. Up to 34 photos (and videos) are visible, and Tinder's users will be able to tap on those Instagram shots to see your full profile — assuming it's public. If not, The Next Web reports that you'll be able to give Tinder full access to your Instagram profile while keeping other apps and users out. That creates a weird mishmash of privacy settings, but at least the option's there if you want it.
    Tinder also says it's expanded the feature that displays Facebook friends you share in common with a potential match; the app now shows "an extra degree of connectivity" that should offer a better idea of just how...
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    Tuesday, 14 April 2015

    Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference starts June 8th

    Apple's big developer conference will begin on June 8th this year, when it'll likely show the next versions of iOS, OS X, and perhaps new hardware as well. The tagline for this year's Worldwide Developers Conference is "the epicenter of change," and that's a good explanation for why this event is so popular. Like last year, Apple has actually switched over to a lottery process for selling tickets — rather than offering them first come, first serve — because their demand is so high. The event will once again be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Developer events will run through June 12th, and this time around, they'll actually stream live to those offsite.

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    Play 'Minecraft' wherever you go with this kid-friendly wearable

    If you're the type to recreate Westeros in Minecraft, the blocky construction game that's practically ubiquitous, keeping it on you at all times might be pretty attractive. The Gameband + Minecraft gives gives you the chance to do just that. The firs... read more

    Warm up those vocal cords - Android voice unlock is rolling out

    Warm up those vocal cords - Android voice unlock is rolling out

    After months of teasing, Android users have finally begun receiving the update bringing the Trusted Voice unlock to your smartphone.
    A number of users are reporting that the update, which lets you unlock your phone by saying "OK Google", has appeared on their phone.
    If you've got the update already you'll find it under the Smart Lock settings menu but it's only rolling out to certain handsets, so it may be a bit of a wait for some.

    La la la, la la la

    There is also a warning to remind you it's less secure than using a fingerprint scanner, traditional PIN or swipe pattern, much like it is when using Trusted Face.
    We can't wait to play around with the new feature and we've been feverishly trying to update our Motorola devices in hope of the new update.
    It's unlikely to work well in loud situations and it'd be interesting to try to use it on noisy trains, in loud shopping centers or even in a pub atmosphere to really put it through its paces.

    The Galaxy A8 will be Samsung's thinnest ever smartphone – but there's a catch

    The Galaxy A8 will be Samsung's thinnest ever smartphone – but there's a catch

    In early March Samsung registered the Galaxy A6, Galaxy A8, and Galaxy A9 trademarks, and a new leak claims to show us what we can expect from at least one of them, the Galaxy A8.
    According to the leak, which apparently comes from insider sources quoted by SamMobile, the all-metal Galaxy A8 will be the thinnest smartphone Samsung has ever created with a thickness of just 5.9mm – a fair bit thinner than the current holder of that title, the Galaxy A7, which has a thickness of 6.3mm.
    The Galaxy A8 will feature a 5.7-inch full HD display, a Qualcomm 615 chip which includes four ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four additional ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.0GHz, as well as 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage space and a 3050mAh battery.

    Happy snaps

    According to the leak the cameras will feature a 16MP sensor in the main camera, with a 5MP front camera.
    The Galaxy A8 is also said to run Android 5.0.1 Lollipop out of the box with Samsung's TouchWiz skin installed.
    All of this points at a very capable mid-range smartphone, but there is a catch; according to SamMobile's sources the Galaxy A8 will only be available in China for the time being. Let's hope it will get a wider release in the future.

    Pocket introduces a new responsive web design and raises another $7 million

    Save-for-later service Pocket introduced a redesign of its web client today, making the site responsive for the first time and allowing it to scale more easily from smartphone screens to desktop monitors. The web version now includes a persistent sidebar offering one-tap access to your saved articles, videos, and images, as well as your favorites, archived saves, and anything you've tagged.
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    Duo Security Raises $30 Million To Protect Enterprises Against Data Breaches


    Duo Security, the two-factor authentication startup backed by Benchmark and Google Ventures, wants to do more to help protect companies from hackers trying to gain access to their networks. With that goal in mind, it’s launching a new product to secure their networks and announcing $30 million in new funding led by Redpoint Ventures. Read More

    Cyanogen 12 Lollipop is the most customisable OS yet

    Cyanogen 12 Lollipop is the most customisable OS yet

    Owners of the OnePlus One rejoice - the Lollipop tinged Cyanogen OS 12 update has begun rolling out today bringing with it a brand new look.
    Android Lollipop's material design language has been ported over to the platform,making it what Cyanogen believe to be the best looking version of the OS yet.
    The new App Themer feature is bundled in here to allow customisation of each app with both free and paid for designs already available inside the app.

    Lollipop, Lollipop

    There is also a new email client called Boxer, including new features like Exchange support, multiple account integration and quick replies as well as a bunch of customisation tools to make it look like your own.
    OnePlus One owners can receive the update from today whilst those on the YU Yureka device will have a little while longer to wait.

      Friday, 10 April 2015

      Meet The Most Popular Gaming Mouse of 2015: Logitech G502 and Razer DeathAdder

      This vote had no black and white winner, and rather than making the judgment call ourselves, we're going to tell it like it is.

      Apple in Talks With Florence and the Machine, Taylor Swift About Exclusive Beats Content

      Apple couldn't establish lower pricing for its upcoming music service to distinguish it from competing services, so the company is hoping to draw in subscribers by offering exclusive content. Apple has asked Florence and the Machine and a dozen other artists for exclusive deals to promote the upcoming music service, reports Bloomberg.

      Apple is said to be in talks with Florence in the Machine about limited streaming rights to a track for the band's upcoming album in June, and Apple execs have also approached Taylor Swift and others in the hopes of establishing a deal. An exclusive deal with Taylor Swift could be a big win for Apple as she's opted to pull her music from some streaming services like Spotify. Such exclusives could bring in music-loving subscribers that might otherwise not pay for a music subscription.


      The strategy is similar to a tactic employed by Jay-Z's recently relaunched music service Tidal, which also hopes to attract subscribers through content that can't be obtained elsewhere. At launch, Tidal released a new song from Beyonce, following it up with an exclusive song from Rihanna.

      Exclusives could work to help Apple garner subscribers, but the company's most promising tool for gaining subscribers is its huge existing customer base. Millions of people own iPhones and iPads, and Apple can create a streaming music app that's heavily integrated within iTunes and installed on Apple devices automatically.

      As we've heard in previous rumors, Apple is working to completely revamp Beats Music to turn it into an all new subscription music service. It may gain a new name, says Bloomberg, and it will cost $9.99 per month for individuals, with a family plan available for $14.99.

      Apple may be planning to unveil its new streaming music service at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

      Tim Cook Visits Palo Alto Apple Store, Says Apple Watch Orders Have Been 'Great'

      Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the Palo Alto Apple Store in Palo Alto, California this morning as it opened its doors to let customers get their first look at the new Apple Watch. Cook was spotted chatting with potential customers and having a conversation with The Loop's Jim Dalrymple and iMore's Rene Ritchie.

      Image courtesy of CNET's Shara Tibken

      Several members of the media were on hand at the Palo Alto Store opening, as it's one of the flagship Bay Area stores that often sees visits from Apple executives. Tim Cook spoke to CNBC, telling the news site that pre-orders for the Apple Watch have been "great."

      The Apple Watch became available for pre-order at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time earlier today, and initial pre-orders sold out very quickly. In less than an hour, shipping estimates for many Apple Watch models had slipped to 4 to 6 weeks or beyond, and within six hours, there were no longer any models available for an estimated delivery date of April 24 to May 8, the shipping estimate the earliest orderers received. Many customers who order today and beyond won't be able to obtain devices until May or June, and later in some cases.

      As of today, Apple Stores around the world are allowing customers to try on the Apple Watch to get a feel for the device ahead of its official launch.

      Apple Watch Band Swapping Sites Aren’t Going To Work


      Sorry to disappoint you, recent Apple Watch buyers, but you’re not going to be able to use one of those brand new Apple Watch strap trading sites to get a whole new, extra watchband when your Apple Watch arrives. In case you missed it, a couple of Apple Watch band trading sites recently popped up, reportedly offering owners the ability to swap out the included extra watchband with… Read More

      Aperture and iPhoto Removed From Mac App Store Following Photos for OS X Launch

      Following Wednesday's release of OS X 10.10.3 and the new Photos for OS X app, Apple has, as promised, removed Aperture and iPhoto from the Mac App Store. Apple warned that development would stop on the two photo editing apps in the middle of last year, and put notices in the Mac App Store a couple months ago to let users know the apps would be pulled from sale following the launch of Photos.

      The two apps remained available for download from the Mac App Store for approximately a day after Photos for OS X was released, but attempting to access them via search now gives no results and clicking through from an external Mac App Store link gives an "Item Not Available" message.


      Apple has ceased development on Aperture and iPhoto to concentrate its resources on Photos for OS X, its new photo editing software that integrates with the Photos for iOS app and iCloud Photo Library to let users access their complete set of photos on any device.

      Photos for OS X has been described by many as an excellent replacement for iPhoto, as it includes more advanced tools and it runs much faster. Aperture users may find Photos for OS X lacking, however, as it does not have advanced tools like a loupe or brushable adjustments. It also does not support plugins.

      With only one major photo editing app to focus on, it's likely that Apple will make improvements to Photos for OS X that could bring its feature set more in line with Aperture in the future, making both casual users and professional photographers happy.

      Photos for OS X is available through the OS X 10.10.3 update, and when opened for the first time, it will prompt you to migrate your existing Aperture and iPhoto libraries. Though they won't receive updates beyond compatibility fixes, Aperture and iPhoto can continue to be used for editing purposes, both alone and in conjunction with the new Photos app.

      Windows 10 for phones preview now includes new apps and Project Spartan

      It has been almost two months since Microsoft released its first preview of Windows 10 for phones, and the software maker is ready to distribute an update today with some new features. While the initial preview was limited to mainly low-end devices, today's preview will support a lot more phones. The full list includes devices like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 920, and Lumia 1520, but Microsoft isn't yet ready to support the Lumia Icon or Lumia 930 just yet.
      New Mail and Calendar apps to test
      Microsoft is introducing new apps with this preview, including updated, mail, calendar, phone, messaging, people, and maps applications. The mail and calendar apps are the same universal ones that Microsoft is testing on the desktop side of Windows 10...
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