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Friday Deals: iOS Grand Theft Auto, 240GB SSD, 1TB external, more

10/24, 4:25pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for October 24, 2014

Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!

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Giveaway: Tomb Raider

10/24, 2:10pm

Win one of five copies of Tomb Raider!

For nearly two decades the Tomb Raider franchise has been keeping adventure seekers entertained for countless hours all around the world. Since the release of the first game in 1996, there have been sequels to the game, a series of box office hit motion pictures novels and even theme park rides. The most recent chapter in the Lara Croft saga was released last year, and recently the staff here at Electronista got a chance to dig in to the action to see if it lives up to our expectations. We also secured five redemption codes to give away to our readers.

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BBEdit 11 gets improvements to Clipping, syntax highlights, more

10/24, 10:51am

Software no longer on Mac App Store

Bare Bones has upgraded its popular text and code editor, BBEdit, to version 11. The Mac software has a long list of new features, fixes, and minor improvements. Some changes include better syntax highlighting, a revised Find Differences interface, and a new text extraction function. The Clipping system, meanwhile, has been upgraded to support snippets that can be used in one or many languages.

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Briefly: More Inbox invitations sent, LG G Watch R rollout details

10/24, 7:04am

Google sends second batch of invitations for Inbox

Google has started to send out more invitations to its recently-announced Inbox email app. The search company has advised on Twitter that the second round of invitations has been dispatched to some of the Gmail users who have requested access by sending an email to Google's dedicated Inbox invitation address. Though the number of invitations sent is unknown, Google does say that more are "on the way".

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Giveaway: win one of five copies of RapidWeaver 6!

10/23, 5:18pm

Win one of 5 copies of RapidWeaver 6!

Earlier this week, we reported on a major update to Realmac's web publishing tool, RapidWeaver 6. It is now built exclusively for Mavericks and Yosemite, and has a dozen major new features. Immediately, our team was hard at work putting RapidWeaver 6 to the test, and yesterday our full hands-on review was published. We aren't quite done yet, though -- MacNN has five copies of this software to give away to our readers!

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Jury-rigged Continuity Activation Tool puts tech on older Macs

10/23, 4:50pm

Supports Macs going back to 2008

A new user-created tool enables OS X Yosemite's Continuity function on Macs that are officially unsupported. Dubbed the Continuity Activation Tool, it checks for strict hardware compatibility -- namely the presence of Bluetooth 4.0 -- and disables an Apple blacklist that shuts off Continuity on some Mac models. It also whitelists Mac board-ids inside Yosemite's Wi-Fi code. Before making any changes, the tool creates system driver backups.

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Microsoft releases three apps for Android, Android Wear on Google Play

10/23, 8:47am

Next Lock Screen, Journeys and Notes, Torque released from Microsoft Garage

Microsoft is taking the unusual step of trying to court Android users, by releasing three new apps for the platform. The first from Microsoft Garage is the self-explanatory "Next Lock Screen," which provides a handy notifications and app launching interface, the second lets travelers pass notes to others following the same route, while a third allows Android Wear users to search Bing directly from their wrist.

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Twitter introduces Digits, a new way to log into applications

10/22, 9:32pm

Digits offered in Twitter's Fabric development kit, uses only a phone number

Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities instead.

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Google debuts Inbox as tool for managing email with automated bundling

10/22, 7:35pm

Inbox created by same team behind Gmail, invitation-only at first

Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.

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OS X Yosemite nudges Chrome, Firefox users into trying Safari

10/22, 5:08pm

Marketing built into new OS

People using Chrome or Firefox within OS X Yosemite are seeing push notifications asking them to try Safari, accounts say. The messages tout Safari as "fast, energy efficient, and with a beautiful new design," and even include "Later" and "Try Now" buttons. They appear to be triggered by launching Chrome or Firefox for the first time after the Yosemite upgrade.

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Avast 2015 adds Home Network Security, SecureDNS

10/22, 3:20pm

Mac will have to wait for key features

Avast Software has launched Avast 2015, an update of its multi-platform security suite. The main addition this year is a tool called Home Network Security, which scans a local network for potential vulnerabilities. These may include things like weak or default router passwords, unprotected IPv6 use, and already-compromised Internet connections. A related new feature is called SecureDNS, which offers encrypted traffic between a computer and an Avast-operated DNS server, reducing the chance of DNS hijacking.

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Hands On: RapidWeaver 6 (OS X)

10/22, 2:18pm

Improved graphic-focused website creator now more powerful

Just because you need a website, doesn't mean that the best option is to hire someone to create one out of whole cloth. The alternative is either learning HTML, CSS, and a host of other acronymic technologies, or seeking out all-in-one website design software that allows users to publish a website without requiring coding knowledge or a ton of design expertise. Realmac Software has announced the release of RapidWeaver 6, an upgrade to its longstanding website creation app, and we've had a chance to put it through its paces.

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Briefly: Sky+ mobile app update, UberXL launches in United Kingdom

10/22, 10:55am

Sky updates mobile app with refreshed home screen, Smart Series Link

British broadcaster Sky has updated its iOS and Android Sky+ apps to allow users to display their photographs from their mobile devices on the television through the Sky+ HD set-top box. The app also includes a new updated homepage, complete with a dedicated Sports section, and a Smart Series Link option that lets the Sky+ box record all current and future seasons of selected programs.

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Moto 360 software update ships, wireless charging dock on Google Play

10/22, 8:33am

Latest Moto 360 update adds battery saving option, mood lighting

Owners of the Moto 360 smartwatch have received two bits of good news this week. The latest Android Wear update for the Motorola smartwatch introduces more battery-related improvements, along with other software tweaks, while Google Play has started to include the Moto 360 Wireless Charging Dock among its hardware listings.

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Google Play Music updates Listen Now page, adds Songza playlists

10/22, 6:49am

Human-curated playlists available on Google Play Music All Access in US, Canada

Google Play Music has been updated for both Android and iOS, with a new look and extra features. While it has received a Material Design-influenced makeover, similar to the leaked Gmail update, the main change users will notice is the inclusion of activity and time-related playlists, something Google has introduced courtesy of its acquisition of Songza in July.

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Extensis releases Suitcase Fusion 6, with Yosemite compatibility

10/21, 2:32pm

New version of font management package adds Dropbox, Google Drive sync

Extensis today released a major update to its Suitcase Fusion 6 font manager. The new version brings full OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 integration, font library synchronization with Dropbox or Google Drive accounts, as well as continuing bug fixes and speed enhancements.

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Forums: All iOS apps must support 64-bit code??

10/21, 12:24pm

All iOS apps must support 64-bit code??

One headline on MacNN this week has caused a bit of a stir in the forums, when Mac Elite "WizOSX" pointed out that Apple has announced that all iOS apps must support 64-bit code by February. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having trouble playing video with their Windows notebook computer, and is wondering if the MacBook Air would be able to handle it better.

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Hands On: Steam Marines (OS X, Windows)

10/21, 10:37am

Rogue-like strategy not made for the faint of heart

Following a year of development in Steam's Early Access program, Steam Marines finally made its way to the general public a few weeks ago. Similar in style to games like Space Hulk and XCOM, Steam Marines is a top-down strategy shooter that requires players to carefully plan out each turn. Available for $15 through Steam, Desura, and the Humble Store, is this 2D retro-styled game worth your time and the unavoidable stress it is bound to cause?

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Realmac updates RapidWeaver 6 web publishing tool, now 64-bit

10/21, 9:59am

Major update to RapidWeaver requires Mavericks, Yosemite

Realmac Software today announced the immediate availability of RapidWeaver 6, a major new upgrade to the company's long-running website creation app. RapidWeaver 6 has over a dozen major new features, hundreds of enhancements and refinements, and is now built exclusively for OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite.

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Follow-up: Apple clarifies use of data in Spotlight searches

10/21, 1:21am

Emphasizes user privacy through short-lived session IDs

While it may sound like a report from the Department of the Obvious, the new version of Spotlight included in Yosemite includes searching beyond the local drive, and consequently gathers and sends to Apple some information on what users are searching for, their (city-level) location -- if Location Services is turned on -- and what Spotlight Suggestion was selected. That one needs to get certain data to perform a web search has apparently come as a surprise to some, and thus Apple has released a statement clarifying exactly what data is gathered, how it is used, and reminding users of how to turn it off if desired.

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Giveaway: win one of five copies of Printworks

10/20, 7:34pm

win one of five copies of Printworks

MacNN just finished its hands-on review of Belight Software's latest update to their page layout and design software title, Printworks. This software can be used for everything from creating business cards and calendars, to CD labels, postcards and more, and for a limited time it's priced at only $30 (normally $50). We have five copies to give away to our readers.

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Hands On: Printworks (OS X)

10/20, 7:33pm

Desktop publisher offers tools suitable for beginner and experienced users

Standalone desktop publishing software fills a need for those who want to create a variety of printed projects, particularly if seeking a structured, template format. Launched earlier this year, Printworks for OS X is an all-purpose page-layout and desktop publishing app that offers templates for a wide variety of documents, as well as the option to design a document from scratch. A comprehensive app currently available for $30 (regularly priced at $50), Printworks' attention to detail throughout the creation process of a document is suitable for personal use or for small businesses who are seeking software specifically for this purpose. Is it worth the pricetag?

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Microsoft updates Skype for Windows Phone, adds drawing tool

10/20, 2:49pm

Doodles can be added to photos and shared with friends, sign in improvements

Microsoft announced the new 2.24 update for Skype for Windows Phone today, bringing some small improvements to the application. In addition to the improvements, Skype had a large feature appended to it. Users now have the ability to create drawings or doodle on pictures to share with friends and family members.

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Gmail for Android leak shows updated interface, third-party support

10/20, 11:51am

Updated Gmail app could support mail accounts from Yahoo, Outlook

Google will allegedly include support for some alternative email services in its refreshed Gmail app for the next version of Android. Aside from a visual upgrade, Gmail 5.0 will apparently be able to handle email from other mainstream providers, including Yahoo and Outlook, with the user able to quickly switch between the different accounts with a swipe of the screen or by selecting the relevant account from a dropdown box.

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Briefly: Tumblr's native OS X app, Griffin launches new iPad cases

10/19, 5:33pm

Tumblr releases OS X app, features full screen viewing, easy posting

Blogging social platform Tumblr has released a native OS X app. A microblogging service, Tumblr lets users share media ranging from text, photos, music, links, video and more. Tumbler's app for OS X features a full-screen viewing option, and additionally allows posting to Tumblr from anywhere on one's Mac that has a Share button in its window. Free to download, the new Tumblr app requires OS X 10.10.

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Halloween Giveaway: Free Collage Maker software for all!

10/17, 7:19pm

FREE Collage Maker software for all!

With Halloween fast approaching, there will undoubtedly be countless new memories being captured of all the scary costumes, silly face paint, jack-o-lanterns and good times filling up the storage space of millions of Americans and Canadians. MacNN and Electronista want you to have some fun with those memories, so we have teamed up with PearlMountain software to give away free copies of Picture Collage Maker Pro and Picture Collage Maker for Mac to all of our readers.

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Mac version of 1Password 5 gets Yosemite makeover, sync upgrades

10/17, 2:45pm

Wi-Fi sync starts automatically once iOS devices are in range

AgileBits has released v5.0 of its password and credit card manager for the Mac, 1Password. The software has been redesigned to match the look of OS X Yosemite, including support for the OS' new dark mode. AgileBits is also exploiting changes to iCloud for "faster and more robust syncing;" the company warns, though, that iCloud sync now requires v5.0 on both iOS and OS X.

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Friday Deals: Filemaker Pro BOGO, 2K up to 85 percent off, more!

10/17, 2:25pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for October 17, 2014

Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!

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Updated iTunes 12 goes live for Windows users

10/17, 12:58pm

Software already bundled into OS X Yosemite

Following its debut for the Mac alongside OS X Yosemite, Apple has released the Windows version of iTunes 12. The software brings with it a radically different look, borrowing design cues from Yosemite. One of the major interface changes is the relocation of categories like Music, Apps, Podcasts, and Movies to buttons in a new menu bar, where a second set of fluctuating options makes it easier to jump to associated items like playlists, app updates, a specific section of the iTunes Store, or iTunes Radio.

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Yosemite SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot functions waiting for iOS 8.1

10/17, 11:06am

Features also available to iPad, iPod owners

Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.

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Nvidia, Sony, HTC detail devices set to receive Android Lollipop

10/17, 5:59am

Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed

More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.

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Adobe releases Lightroom plug-in to import Aperture libraries

10/17, 1:21am

Company taking advantage of Photos late debut to win converts

Following Apple's decision to cease development on its own pro photo organizer and editor Aperture in favor of a forthcoming hybrid photo manager aimed at consumers and pro-sumers called Photos (which will also -- eventually -- replace iPhoto), Adobe has seized on the opportunity to try and lure Aperture and iPhoto users to its own more advanced photo organizer, editor and manager known as Lightroom 5. After publishing a written guide to the process of converting Aperture libraries to Lightroom in August, the company has now codified the procedure in a new free plug-in.

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Apple updates iLife apps, iBooks Author, Aperture for OS X Yosemite

10/16, 11:05pm

Programs gain new look, tap into Yosemite features such as iCloud Drive, Mail Drop

In addition to updating its iWork apps for OS X to better support the formal release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite (and give the programs the signature design language of the new OS update), Apple has also updated iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand with similar changes in the user interface and back-end improvements to take advantage of Yosemite features such as Mail Drop and iCloud Drive storage. In addition, the company issued what is likely to be the last update to Aperture, making it Yosemite-compatible, and also updated iBooks Author to version 2.2.

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Briefly: Office 2011 Mac security patch, DevonTechnologies updates

10/16, 4:13pm

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 receives security update

Microsoft released a security update for its Office for Mac 2011 software the latest release being v14.4.5. Resolving vulnerabilities, the update prevents the possibility of remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened in an affected version. Attackers could gain the same user rights as the current user if successful, and subsequently install programs, view, change or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Full details can be found in Mircosoft's latest security bulletin on the matter.

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Apple updates iWork for OS X with features like Handoff, iCloud Drive

10/16, 3:59pm

Support for Microsoft Office another focus

As promised, Apple has revealed its updates to the OS X iWork suite. The apps have been redesigned for OS X Yosemite, and now support related features such as iCloud Drive, and Handoff to iPads and iPhones. Pages has gained a variety of specific features, such as a sidebar for comments and changes, the ability to insert images in tables, headers, and footers, and better compatibility with Word documents, including password-protected .docx export.

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Apple unveils new Retina iMac, featuring 5K display

10/16, 2:23pm

Four times more pixels than previous model, all-new display technology

At its iPad event, Apple also unveiled a new 27-inch Retina 5K iMac, featuring an all-new display that offers 5K (5120x2880) resolution, 67 percent more pixels than found in a new 4K HDTV. Although previously rumored, the new iMac still managed to surprise with a lower-than-expected price tag starting at $2,499, considerably less than the cost of a typical high-end 4K HDTV. The new model, which will be sold in addition to the existing iMac models, also offers processing power up to a 4.0GHz Core i7.

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OS X 10.10 Yosemite formally released

10/16, 1:39pm

Lengthy public beta test may help reduce teething issues in new update

On Thursday, Apple followed expectations and took the wraps off the public release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, its latest update to the Mac operating system. Released in conjunction with iOS 8.1, features such as Continuity and Handoff will allow further integration of the two complementary operating systems, with recent-vintage Mac users able to make and receive phone calls and SMS text messages, or be automatically prompted to pick up the last-used app on the other platform right where they left off.

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Facebook creates Safety Check notification tool for natural disasters

10/16, 7:08am

Safety Check lets users tell family, friends they are OK via Facebook notification

Facebook has turned its attention to helping its users during times of crisis or a major disaster, by creating a new tool. Safety Check aims to provide a way for people in locations affected by a natural disaster to let their friends and family know they are OK, as well as allowing them to check on friends who may also be affected by the disaster.

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Pre-event roundup: what to expect at today's Apple unveiling

10/16, 2:37am

New iPads for sure, but invitation may hints at a surprise or two

Many sites, pundits and people think they have a sure grip on what's going to be announced later today at Apple's press event, which begins at 10AM Pacific time (1PM Eastern time) and is being held in Apple's own community town hall theatre at the company's headquarters. This generally means a smaller affair and a strictly press-only audience, and on tap for the event is the expected announcement of new iPad models. But what else is likely to happen? We weigh up the rumors and make a few wild guesses.

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Briefly: Akvis' Charcoal app, Lego Movie Videogame launches tomorrow

10/15, 4:57pm

Akvis announces Charcoal image editing program, available as standalone and as plugin for OS X

Akvis has announced the release of its new image editing program Charcoal, allowing users to create charcoal, chalk and sanguine drawings from photo images. Photos can be converted into a rendition of a hand-drawn art piece with its variety of photo effects, including a selection of canvas textures to apply. Thirty-four preset options are available, with the ability to create one's own presets also featured. Available as a 10-day trial, a home license for Akvis Charcoal is priced at $50.

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Giveaway: win a copy of BetterSnapTool (closed)

10/15, 12:22pm

win a copy of BetterSnapTool

Since the introduction of Windows 7 Aero Snap feature, there have been many Mac users who have secretly longed for the ability to have this kind of control over their desktop environment. Now for only $2, there is an app for that. It's called BetterSnapTool, and we have just finished a full hands-on review. Now that we have completed that, we have four codes to give away to our readers.

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Hands On: BetterSnapTool (OS X)

10/15, 1:00am

Window organizing app 'snaps' your workspace into shape

Users of Windows and OS X environments generally subscribe to being on divisive teams, but if you catch people on their own terms in a quiet, safe place, you may very well hear their want of a feature or two from the "other side". BetterSnapTool offers OS X users a desktop function akin to Window 7's Aero Snap feature: one can manage their window positions and sizes with mouse gestures, "snapping" them into preset segments. One glance at the comment section for this app on the App Store shows that some Mac users had been salivating for this ability, and for $2, they now rejoice in having it.

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Microsoft introduces Skype Qik video messenger with 42-second limit

10/14, 3:58pm

Video messages sent on Skype Qik self-destruct after two weeks

Microsoft is adding another messaging service to its roster, this time using video clips. Skype Qik, reusing the brand of a service Skype acquired in 2011 before Microsoft purchased Skype, is a lightweight app that allows users to record video messages up to 42 seconds in length, which can then be sent to a friend or a group for viewing.

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Hands On: AudioNote (OS X)

10/14, 11:04am

Note-taking app synchronizes audio recording with manual notes

It's pretty safe to say that most people feel like they could improve their note-taking, whether for classes or work purposes. Among the various apps available for improving notational efficiency is Luminant Software's AudioNote, which combines notepad functionality with voice recording. Focused on synchronizing notes and audio, AudioNote aims to assists users in documenting all the information they need, with review of notes supplemented by the audio, and vice-versa. Does it simplify note-taking, or complicate it?

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Autodesk releases AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT for Mac 2015

10/14, 10:06am

Suites gain Dynamic Blocks, previously Windows-only features

Autodesk is now shipping the 2015 Mac editions of its flagship design products, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. There are several major additions this year, including Dynamic Blocks, which can be used repeatedly in other design elements and simply tweaked in size and shape as needed. Improving parity with Windows, AutoCAD for Mac now also supports layer states, including data such as color and linetype.

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Third-party developer admits role in leaked Snapchat photo database

10/13, 4:25pm

Misconfiguration of Apache server to blame, Snapsaved says only 500MB of images taken

After news broke last week that thousands of photos from Snapchat leaked after a third-party service was hacked, a company stepped forward up to take the blame. The developers behindSnapsaved, an app developed to save photos from Snapchat, said that its servers were hacked as a result of a misconfigured Apache server. The company also refused the claims made in the "snappening" document that says an administrator provided the directory and content of the site.

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Apple seeds sixth public beta of OS X Yosemite

10/13, 2:44pm

Likely last before Yosemite goes gold

Apple is now seeding a sixth public beta of OS X Yosemite to people participating in its AppleSeed program. The build is identified as 14A388b, the same as the third GM candidate for developers, which was released last week. Given that, no new features or bugfixes are present.

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Netflix comes to Ubuntu via Chrome, 4K video subscription cost hike

10/12, 3:18pm

Support comes from Chrome 37, $12 a month plan required for new 4K video subscribers

Linux users of the Ubuntu variety can now watch Netflix without hacks or workarounds. The ability to stream Netflix comes with the latest build of the Chrome browser for the operating system, for up-to-date Ubuntu users. Netflix also confirmed that subscription fees for users wanting to stream 4K Ultra HD video are increasing.

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Briefly: Glassboard shutdown, Guardian Maximus with 12TB

10/11, 12:42pm

Glassboard closing November 1, all users boosted to premium for archiving

Business-oriented discussion service Glassboard is closing down, with the resultant loss of data, on November 1. Starting next week, the company will be converting all user accounts to premium accounts for the remaining few weeks, so that discussions can be exported. New user signups have been disabled, and the apps have been removed from both the Android and iOS App Store.

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Hands On: Denied (OS X)

10/11, 10:10am

Denied for Mac offers rule creation option for avoiding the music you hate

Since it's now commonplace to regularly listen to randomly generated or pre-curated music playlists, there will inevitably be songs you're not a fan of thrown into those mixes. Denied for Mac does one thing, and does it really well - it spares you from songs you don't care to hear, while streaming content from subscription-based platforms or iTunes. Though a convenient addition to an average listening experience, is it worth paying for?

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