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Hands On: Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.6 (OS X)

03/28, 9:10am

Solid, well-made app backs up and copies your hard drives

Nothing digital really exists unless it exists twice. For all that we have these great interconnected cloud services, there is still a hard drive holding on to our data somewhere and all hard drives fail eventually. They're like politicians in that respect: they go on until they fail. Carbon Copy Cloner is a way to make failures annoying rather than fatal to your work. It backs up any or all of your files and it also optionally creates a separate and bootable hard drive.

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Forums: how to erase and reinstall OS X and more

03/27, 2:27pm

how to erase and reinstall OS X and more

One Forum Regular turned to the MacNN Forums this week looking for advice on how to erase and reinstall OS X, and found some useful information which might be helpful to anyone else who is trying to do this. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is looking for help trying to access data in an administrator account after their computer froze and was forced to shut down.

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Apple media storefronts see widespread but brief outage

03/25, 2:54pm

Connectivity down globally, but issue resolved by 11:30AM ET

A widespread but apparently brief outage was reported to have affected Apples online digital storefronts this morning, such as the App Store, iTunes Store and Mac App Store. The problem appeared to occur worldwide, but Apple's System Status Page did not acknowledge the issue until hours after it was resolved, which occurred at approximately 8:30AM Pacific. The company suffered a much longer and more severe outage just two weeks ago.

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Forums: Safari 'virus' panic turns out to be simple adware

03/24, 6:06pm

Safari virus??

This week in the MacNN forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Pootie Tang" raised a red flag over an incident they had with Safari that they believe to be caused by a virus, thought they quickly discovered it was just easily-removable adware. Mac Elite "And.reg" has been having bizarre issues with trying to get iCloud keychain working, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Apple issue fifth OS X 10.10.3 beta, updates Photos, recovery tools

03/23, 5:05pm

Version is identical to new update for Appleseed testers

On Monday, Apple issued the fifth beta version of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite to developers. The latest version, which comes on the heels of the previous fourth release that was aimed solely at new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro users, is also being released to registered public beta users as the second such version. The forthcoming Photos app has been updated (though it still has some known issues), as well as Yosemite's recovery tools.

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Forums: iCloud keychain issues, Office 2016 for Mac and more

03/20, 1:36pm

iCloud keychain issues, Office 2016 for Mac and more

Yesterday in the MacNN Forums, members discussed bizarre issues with trying to get iCloud keychain working in a thread started by Mac Elite "And.reg," who was baffled about "what the heck is going on." "What do you think of Office 2016 for Mac?" asks Mac Elite "schalliol," who is looking for opinions about Office, and not looking for alternatives.

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Briefly: Fantastical Mac 2 coming, iRig 2 shipping, Pebble iOS update

03/19, 1:06pm

Fantastical 2 for Mac arriving March 25, only hint is revised Yosemite look

The well-regarded calendaring program, Fantastical for Mac, is about to receive a major upgrade. Version 2.0 will be launched on March 25, and will feature a revised look more in line with the Yosemite aesthetic. The company isn't saying anything about what, if any, new features the update will include, but has indicated that while there will be no upgrade pricing for existing users, a limited-time launch sale price will act to fill that role.

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Apple's Tim Cook interviewed: talks products, collaboration, Jobs

03/18, 2:39pm

CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better

Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.

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Briefly: iCloud issues with Gmail, OS X Safari bug fix update

03/17, 6:04pm

Email not always working between GMail, iCloud accounts

Some users are having issues with iCloud-based accounts, such as those ending with @me.com or @icloud.com not receiving messages from GMail, an issue that Apple is aware of and is working to fix. The problem is inconsistent in nature, but most often marked by a timeout message from Apple's servers that blames "too many rejections" and encourages users to try again later.

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Forums: anti-reflective coating wear and more

03/17, 1:27pm

anti-reflective coating wear and more

Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "And.reg" started a thread discussing the anti-reflective coating on MacBook Pro models, stating that he is considering getting a 2015 model, but is concerned the coating will wear off. Senior User "RobOnTheCape" is looking for a way to use Photos to reduced the size of a batch of images.

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Forums: the MacBook returns, home network bugs and more

03/13, 5:41am

MacBook Returns, home network bugs and more

This week in the MacNN forums, members discussed the new MacBook, home networking and more. One of this week's most popular topics was the news that Apple will be bringing back the "MacBook" name for their next notebook computer. Yesterday, Mac Elite "Helmling" was trying to figure out what was going on with his home network, as computers appear to be replicating in the Network settings.

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Pointers: Helping the needy with screen sharing or recording

03/11, 11:56pm

Save your friends and family from confusion, even long-distance

Today's Pointers column is aimed squarely that the guy or girl who is pretty good -- or at least vaguely fluent -- with Macs, and has thus suddenly been branded a tech "guru" by their Apple-illiterate or tech-unfriendly family, friends, long-lost relatives, or strangers in the street. You want to help, but they don't live with you, or perhaps a continent away. Nevertheless, you can be their knight in silicon armor. Read on to find out how.

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Apple app, media stores return, internal DNS issue rectified

03/11, 5:13pm

Outage may have cost apple up to $8 million in lost media sales

After nearly a 12-hour downtime, Apple's Internet-facing services such as the iTunes Music Store, iOS App Store, iBookstore and Mac App Store have returned. Apple calls the issue related to an "internal DNS" problem, and with estimates of hourly revenue at about $1 million an hour, this may be the most costly Internet service outage ever.

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Apple Watch: 8GB storage with caveats, battery options, Sculley's view

03/10, 5:30pm

Storage on Watch limited to 2GB for music, 75MB for photos

Some further details on Apple's new Watch device have come out that were not mentioned during the public presentation on Monday, one of which is a detail that further points out how unlike most technology devices the Apple Watch really is: the device actually has very little room for standalone storage. As we reported prior to the event, the Apple Watch (all versions) has just 8GB of independent storage, with only 2GB available for music and just 75MB allocated for photos. The rest, presumably, is for the operating system and apps.

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Forums: MacBook Returns, Force Touch, Apple Watch

03/10, 12:41pm

MacBook Returns, Force Touch, Apple Watch

Yesterday, Apple made announcements ranging from CarPlay to the return of the MacBook, and readers can discuss what the future of Apple holds this week in the MacNN Forums. Junior Member "Kensington" started a thread titled MacBook Returns, stating that he is "stoked" about it, and wants to get it in gold to match his grille. Forum-goers discuss the latest update to the trackpad, called "Force Touch" in the thread by the same name.

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Briefly: Product placement, iPad EDU changes, 'Serena' on iTunes, more

03/06, 6:47pm

AppleCare now handling support for Beats Music, Apple Pay for Business

Apple will now handle support for Beats Music customers, along with businesses offering Apple Pay, through its AppleCare division, according to reports. Previously, Beats Music support was handled by an outsourced firm, but has now been moved in-house after the company was acquired by Apple last year. The move to offer support to businesses implementing Apple Pay will encourage more companies to do so. There is also a specific Merchants support hotline for Apple Pay for those already using the system.

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Forums: importing address book from Outlook to iCloud

03/06, 1:39pm

importing address book from Outlook to iCloud

This week in the MacNN forums, Senior User "Chinasaur" was asking fellow forum-goers how they would go about importing a .csv file from Outlook.com to iCloud as they have accidentally erased their contacts and this is the only backup they have. So far a solution has yet to be found. Members continue to discuss reasons why someones Mac might have hard system crashes.

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Battery replacement program for iPhone 5 extended until 2016

03/06, 8:27am

Small batch of iPhones may have short-lived battery

A battery exchange program for some iPhone 5 users has been extended into from this year into 2016. Initially limited to "two years after the first retail sale or until March 1, 2015, whichever gives longer coverage" the language on Apple's website for the program was quietly changed to run through January 2016.

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Strong security of Apple Pay exposes weakness in banking system

03/04, 1:28am

Institutions having to redouble efforts to guard against traditional fraud, identity theft

The security built into Apple Pay is so resistant to tampering, reports the UK newpaper The Guardian, that criminals are focusing more than ever on traditional bank weaknesses surrounding common fraud and identity theft techniques, exploiting the lax identity requirements some banks employ for users who are adding credit cards to Passbook, which stores the data so that Apple Pay can later utilize it. So far, the fraud has racked up millions of dollars from stolen credit cards added to Apple Pay.

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Briefly: Coriolis iDefrag 5, TLA Systems PCalc 4.2

03/03, 3:30pm

Coriolis debuts Yosemite-specific iDefrag 5

Coriolis Systems has unveiled its latest version of utility tool iDefrag. Now on version 5, the new software has a revamped user interface to accommodate Yosemite, boasts easier-to-understand statistics about fragmented drives, better handling of bad drive blocks, new documentation, and enhanced support for Retina displays. The new version is priced at $40, with an upgrade from previous versions available for $20 through the company's web store.

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Forums: clean installs, contact access and more

03/03, 1:28pm

clean installs, contact access and more

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was asking other members how they might go about doing a clean install of the OS on a 2010 MacBook Pro that they don't have a system install disc for. A discussion about giving Apps access to contacts was started by Mac Elite "jeff k" earlier this week, after he asked about a specific app that was requesting such access.

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Forums: trouble pasting text into mail, cleaning App cookies and more

02/27, 2:58pm

trouble pasting text into mail, cleaning App cookies and more

Recently one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the MacNN forums looking for help figuring out why they were having trouble pasting text into Mail. A solution has yet to be found. A discussion about how to clear out cookies that are generated by iPhone Apps is under way in the thread titled "cleaning iPhone App cookies" that was started last week.

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Hands On: CoconutBattery 3.2 (OS X, iOS)

02/26, 8:24pm

Excellent free app psychoanalyzes your batteries

The curiously-named CoconutBattery 3.2 is a free app that examines the batteries in your MacBooks and your iOS devices. One click and you know everything: it gives you the skinny on every possible scintilla of information about the state your battery is in.

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Democratic FCC commissioner requests last-minute Title II changes

02/24, 5:59pm

New proposals may weaken 'paid prioritization' ban, throttling restrictions

One of the three Federal Communications Commission board members previously expected to vote in favor of Chair Tom Wheeler's Title II net neutrality proposal has thrown a spanner in the works by suggesting some changes that could possibly dilute the effectiveness of the proposal. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has asked Wheeler for some changes that wouldn't challenge the overall concept of the proposal, but could weaken FCC enforcement of some key aspects.

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Forums: large data transfer, Bootcamp trouble and more

02/24, 2:25pm

large data transfer, Bootcamp trouble and more

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, "the_badger" was looking for a way to copy 6TB of data, and is wondering if there is some kind of app or script that will not stop on filename errors, and will provide a list of items that were not copied. Junior Member "phkc070408" is wondering if there is a good way of deleting the cookies and cache from apps on his iPhone.

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Forums: false accusations, trash warnings and more

02/20, 11:34am

false accusations, trash warnings and more

This week in the MacNN Forums, members have been giving useful advice and helping others solve a variety of problems. Yesterday one angry Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums to seek an explanation for a situation where the Apple store has allegedly falsely accused them of tampering with their iPhone, and refuses to fix it under warranty.

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Apple launches video repair program for 2011-2013 MacBook Pros

02/19, 8:52pm

Company will compensate owners who have already paid to repair issues

While many sufferers would call the move years overdue, Apple has now officially launched a repair program to fix MacBook Pro models sold between February 2011 and February 2013 that exhibited issues with distorted video, loss of video, or unexpected restarts. The program will start tomorrow, February 20 in the US and Canada, and on February 27 in other countries, and will repair the machines at no charge. Additionally, owners who have already paid for repairs may be eligible for compensation.

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Pointers: Keeping your Mac running smoothly

02/18, 11:48pm

Simple, easy tips to keep your Mac humming along for years on end

This week's Pointers column concerns itself with a question we get asked a lot: "I've invested a lot into my Mac, how can I get the most out of it?" There are a lot of answers to this depending on what one means by "the most out if it," but apart from taking advantages of the many great programs and services Apple includes in every Mac, most people want to make their purchase last for as long as feasible. Here's a few tips on how to do that.

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Some Apple TVs spamming DHCP requests, potentially slowing LAN

02/18, 11:45am

Problem limited to third generation models, software reinstall doesn't help

A support thread opened on the Apple Community Support forum notes that an Apple TV third-generation model will repeatedly hit a wired network with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) network IP address request broadcasts, seeking an IP address, regardless if it has one or not. MacNN has witnessed this behavior with several Apple TV version 3 units (but not all that we tested), and also confirmed a pair of workarounds for the situation.

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Forums: where to buy aluminum Mac Pro and more

02/17, 2:06pm

where to buy aluminum Mac Pro and more

Earlier this week in the MacNN forums, one Mac Elite took to the forums looking for suggestions on where they might be able to find a previous-generation Mac Pro apart from eBay. Mac Elite "FireWire" is trying to figure out a way to batch rename files with Automator in the order that they are displayed.

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Some Apple Thunderbolt displays launching DDoS on wired LAN users

02/13, 8:51am

Malware not suspected, flaw in driver or buffer likely the culprit

Some Apple Thunderbolt displays either in line with a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter or connected through the wired Ethernet port on the display seem to be flooding networks periodically with junk packets. A series of user submitted threads on the Apple customer self-support forums are demonstrating that periodically, a Thunderbolt display manifesting the issue is broadcasting 800mbit/s of data to every port in the local area network, effectively knocking fast Ethernet (100mbit/s) users off the network in an inadvertent denial of service attack launched by the display.

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Forums: troubleshooting, backups and more

02/10, 2:02pm

troubleshooting, backups and more

Today in the MacNN forums, members continue to assist "l008com" with getting to the root cause of a problem with his Mac mini that is making it crash and freeze. In a thread started by "Waragainstsleep," forum-goers discuss services such as Backblaze and Carbonite for backing up file servers.

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DexCom developing Apple Watch app for monitoring glucose

02/09, 6:52pm

FDA reassesses regulations, apps, Class III medical devices

According to a 2014 study by the Center for Disease Control, 29.1 million Americans -- 9.3 percent of the national population -- have diabetes. Particularly for those with Type 1 diabetes, keeping a close eye on blood glucose levels is key for avoiding life-threatening highs and lows. DexCom, makers of blood glucose monitors that take a reading every five minutes, is said to be developing a new Apple Watch app to interface with its monitors, expected to be ready when it becomes available in April.

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Hands On: Tidy Up 4 (OS X)

02/08, 10:33pm

Find and remove duplicate images, files and folders on your Mac

It's a conspiracy of hard disk manufacturers, that's what it is. We start off with these 3TB drives in our iMacs, and the next thing you know we're eyeing up external RAID drives. We're also finding that our Macs are so full that they are running visibly slower, infuriatingly slower than we bought them. Until we unmask the cunning storage manufacturers who make us create so many files, we can use Tidy Up 4 to at least get back some of the space.

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Forums: problems with landscape mode, RAM hog Chrome

02/06, 11:31am

problems with Landscape and big fat Chrome

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss a wide range of topics from problems with landscape mode, and how to deal with an out-of-control Chrome browser. Moderator "ibook_steve" is having trouble with landscape mode on his iPhone 5s, and has turned to the forums asking for advice. "RobOnTheCape" has noticed that Chrome has reached 1GB on his system, and wonders if there is any way of slimming it down.

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Forums: large emails, Macs freezing and more

02/03, 2:08pm

large e-mails, Macs freezing and more

Today in the MacNN forums, one confused Forum Regular was trying to figure out why they were unable to send large emails, stating that they thought the latest OS "did away with e-mail size restrictions." Yesterday, one long-time member of the forums had their 2012 Mac mini completely freeze twice, and is hoping fellow forum-goers will have some advice on figuring out why.

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NewerTech ships more batteries for older unibody MacBooks

02/02, 3:58pm

Replacements last longer than original hardware

Add-on outfit NewerTech has added some additional NuPower batteries for some of Apple's older unibody MacBook models. These include 13-inch basic MacBooks from 2009 and 2010, and the 2011 edition of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. NuPower batteries are claimed to last up to 50 percent longer than Apple's pre-installed hardware.

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MacNN Forums: wireless docking is the future

01/30, 2:59pm

wireless docking is the future

This week, the MacNN forums have been abuzz with talk of everything from wireless docking to favorite apps. Yesterday, Moderator "P" shared an article about Broadwell vPro processors and wireless docking, then goes on to explain how he thinks Apple will use this technology. Yesterday, "jeff k" was trying to figure out a problem he was having with Sophos security software and Time Machine, so far a solution hasn't been found.

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Elgato issues recall for faulty Smart Power battery packs

01/29, 4:34pm

Some 6,000mAh models could dangerously overheat

Elgato has alerted customers to a recall of some of its Smart Power 6000mAh battery packs. The warning is being issued through a variety of means, including a notice for people updating the packs' associated iOS app. Affected units could potentially overheat while recharging. The company notes that the faulty products were sold between September and January, and fall within a specific serial number range.

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Users of iTunes Connect report being logged into wrong accounts [u]

01/29, 12:28pm

Service now temporarily down

[Updated with possibly-related Testflight issues] A variety of developers have reported being logged into the wrong account after signing into iTunes Connect. Earlier today, signing into the service would display apps belonging to different developers; one person, for example, says they encountered an account belonging to someone at BlackBerry, showing apps such as BBM and BES12 Client. Anyone engaging in further actions would trigger an "unable to process request" message, and a redirect to the right account. In some instances, people had trouble logging in at all.

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Pointers: 10 Fast Tips for Safari (OS X)

01/29, 9:06am

Speed up how you use Safari on your Mac

You hear more criticism of Safari than you do of any other browser on OS X -- but then, of course you would. It's the one that comes on your Mac, and if nobody ever criticized it, you'd never think to try Chrome or Firefox's latest build (that will likely be incremented before you finish this paragraph), or any of the other options. There are things that rival browsers do better, but by far the biggest difference between them all is your personal taste - but bailing on Safari means you're missing out on excellent features, and most especially so in the very latest release. Here are ten fast and short pointers for getting more out of Safari on your Mac.

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FCC nixes petition by hotels, disallows Wi-Fi hotspot blocking

01/28, 7:45am

Preceding RM-11737 resolved with public notice against blocking

A petition by Marriott, Hilton, and an association of hotel owners asking for permission to block guests from creating their own Wi-Fi hotspots has been resolved today in a public notice by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Specifically, the blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots is prohibited, and will be "aggressively" investigated and acted against, according to the agency.

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Forums: what's wrong with my MBP?

01/27, 2:42pm

what's wrong with my MBP?

Yesterday, one Dedicated MacNNer turned to the MacNN forums, looking for help figuring out some graphical problems with their 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2011. Also yesterday, Mac Elite "jeff k" was asking fellow forum-members how to get images off of an iPhone after having some trouble transferring photos.

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OS X 10.10.2 leaves beta, brings predicted changes

01/27, 1:56pm

Upgrades Time Machine with iCloud Drive browsing

Simultaneous with the launch of iOS 8.1.3, Apple has also released the finished version of OS X 10.10.2. As anticipated, the one feature addition is the ability to browse iCloud Drive items from within Time Machine. Elsewhere, the update is dedicated solely to squashing bugs, such as Wi-Fi disconnects, webpages loading too slowly, and various security and stability problems in Safari.

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Apple's iOS 8.1.3 goes live, reduces space needed for OTA updates

01/27, 1:27pm

Generally directed at bugfixes

Apple has released iOS 8.1.3 via iTunes and as an over-the-air download. Though primarily a maintenance update, it does make one important change: reducing the amount of storage that will be needed for future over-the-air upgrades. The amount of space iOS 8 required for an OTA update was a common complaint by users; on 16GB iPhones and iPads, there is frequently too little room left, forcing people to use iTunes instead. Apple hasn't said how much storage will be needed in the future.

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OS X 10.10.2 will integrate iCloud Drive content into Time Machine

01/26, 11:38am

Update should also fix Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mail security problems

[Updated with claims about Thunderstrike fix] Apple has seeded a new beta of OS X 10.10.2 to its workers -- build 14C109 -- that includes release notes explaining the update's major changes. The most significant may be the addition of iCloud Drive browsing within Time Machine, which should let people track related changes and find items that were previously stored in the cloud. Apple has also made a number of fixes though, most notably solving a Spotlight vulnerability that automatically loaded remote content in Mail messages.

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Forums: Mac Pro update in 2015, iPad tips and more

01/23, 3:30pm

Mac Pro update in 2015, iPad tips and more

The updated Mac Pro has now been available for purchase for a little over a year, and one Fresh-Faced Recruit started a discussion this week in the MacNN forums, asking when we might expect an update, as he is considering buying one. Today, the conversation continues in the thread titled "signs your iMac is on its last legs".

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OS X 10.10.2 to fix two vulnerabilities uncovered by Google

01/23, 3:03pm

Third exploit may have already been patched

OS X 10.10.2, still in beta, fixes a pair of zero-day exploits uncovered by Google's Project Zero, reports say. The Project Zero team has newly-published data relating to three OS X vulnerabilities, in accordance with a 90-day disclosure policy; Apple was informed of them in October. One is believed to have already been fixed in OS X Yosemite as of January 8, but in theory the remaining two could be used to attack v10.10.1 users.

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Sixth OS X 10.10.2 build comes to developers

01/21, 1:57pm

Bluetooth drops from testing focus

Apple is now seeding a sixth beta of OS X 10.10.2,, listed as build 14C106a. It follows just less than a week after the fifth release, 14C99d. As before, testing efforts are being directed toward Wi-Fi, Mail, and VoiceOver, though Bluetooth has apparently been dropped from the list. A version of the latest beta has also been made available to public testers who previously signed up for the Yosemite beta.

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Forums: iPhoto still slow on 27-inch 5K iMac

01/20, 3:16pm

iPhoto still slow on 27-inch 5K iMac

Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Professional Poster was wondering why iPhoto is still running slow even after they upgraded their computer to a new Retina iMac -- so far there has been no input from fellow members. Forum-goers assist "Thorzdad" in troubleshooting an unresponsive 13-inch MBP, so far a solution has yet to be found.

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