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Briefly: Alpine Headphones, iDevices iShower2

18 minutes ago | Posted in: gadgets, audio

A new set of consumer headphones was released by Alpine Electronics that sets out to bring the concert experience to users in order to "feel their music." The patented TKR3 full frequency immersion technology attempts to recreate the sensation of a live show with a "unique sound field expansion." The Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers, programmable audio processing, powered digital amplifiers, and a lithium battery for up to 10 hours of play. The Alpine Headphones can be used with the Alpine Level Play app for iOS, which creates playlists based on the "energy level" of the songs on the device. The Alpine Headphones are available at Alpine's website or Apple Stores for $300.

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Apple says it's aware of Chinese iCloud hijacks, servers not affected

1 hour ago | Posted in: security, Apple

Apple is aware of "intermittent organized network attacks" against people trying to sign into iCloud.com, says Dow Jones. It insists however that iCloud servers haven't been breached, and that people using iOS or the latest version of OS X -- Yosemite -- should be unaffected. The company doesn't specifically mention China, which is where the browser hijacks are taking place.

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Microsoft confirms shift away from Nokia, new brand debuts in France

1 hour ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.

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Apple Pay loyalty program may be coming in time for holidays

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry

A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.

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Windows 10 Preview updated, gives options for patch frequency

1 hour ago | Posted in: computers, developer

Microsoft is deploying the first update to the Windows 10 preview under the Windows Insider program. Build number 9860 is headed to users overnight through Windows Update, or users can opt to immediately install it. The update weighs in at between 2GB and 2.74GB, depending on architecture, and contains some improvements and bug fixes to the pre-release operating system.

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Producer, co-creator of Assassin's Creed leaves Ubisoft Toronto

2 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Fans of the Assassin's Creed series of games are losing a large contributor to the franchise this week, as Jade Raymond decided to part ways with Ubisoft. Raymond is credited as being one of the co-creators of the Assassin's Creed series, as well as working on a number of other titles under the Toronto and Montreal divisions of Ubisoft.

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Review: Kenu Airframe Plus

2 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, mobile phones

Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger 6-inch phones. In our review we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the "plus" in this portable car mount.

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Apple begins shipping early preorders for iPad Air 2, Mini 3

2 hours ago | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Apple is beginning to ship the earliest preorders of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 bought at its online store, accounts say. Notifications are being sent out today. Some orders are scheduled to ship on October 23rd specifically, while other people have been given a broader 23rd-27th timeframe.

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Extensis releases Suitcase Fusion 6, with Yosemite compatibility

3 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design

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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Google adds physical security to accounts with USB-based Security Key

3 hours ago | Posted in: security

Google is giving users of its services an extra security option, on top of its existing procedures and protocols, with a physical token. The search company's "Security Key" is allowing for users to nominate a USB drive to allow access to the Google account when it is plugged into a computer's USB port, as an alternative to the two-step verification process.

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Razer Nabu fitness tracker passes through FCC, could launch soon

4 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Razer's Nabu connected wristband is getting closer to launch, after finally receiving approval from the FCC. The wearable, which first surfaced at the start of the year before undergoing public beta testing and being subject to delays over hypoallergenic testing, is tantalizingly close to meeting a supposed October launch time, which could allow Razer to capitalize on holiday sales in an increasingly congested market.

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T-Mobile to start preorders for iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 tomorrow

4 hours ago | Posted in: iPad

T-Mobile's US branch has announced that it will start offering preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on Wednesday. While the hardware available to preorder since last Friday already supports T-Mobile, ordering directly from the carrier opens up financing options. 16GB LTE models can be had for no down payment on a two-year contract, monthly fees being approximately $26 for the Air 2 and $22 for the Mini 3. That's on top of a mandatory Simple Choice data plan.

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Apple Pay functions internationally with US-based cards, users say

6 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone

Even though Apple Pay -- launched yesterday with iOS 8.1 -- is nominally supposed to be US-only at the moment, it's already working overseas, anecdotes indicate. In particular the service is functional in Australia, as long as a person is using both US credit cards and region settings on their iPhone. The region toggle is needed to make Apple Pay show as an option.

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Valve pulls game from Steam over Gabe Newell Twitter death threat [u]

6 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

[Update: Mike Maulbeck is stepping down from the company] A game has been pulled from the Steam store, after the developer threatened to kill Valve Software's co-founder, Gabe Newell. Mike Maulbeck, the creator of Paranautical Activity, was frustrated at how his creation was incorrectly labeled in the Steam store as an Early Access game, and during a tirade against Valve and Steam on Twitter, wrote "I am going to kill Gabe Newell. He is going to die."

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Staples likely latest company suffering customer payment info breach

6 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, security

Office supply store Staples appears to be the latest victim of a breach of customer payment information. The company issued a brief statement saying that they were looking into the matter, after several banks reported fraudulent activity with a pattern pointing to the source being Staples stores in the US northeast.

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Hands On: Steam Marines (OS X, Windows)

7 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, software

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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LG reportedly preparing launch of first smartphone with Odin processor

8 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

LG may be getting close to launching its first smartphone using its own application processor, a rumor claims. The device, allegedly being prepared for its unveiling as early as this week, will apparently use the "Odin" System-on-Chip, a move which could bring LG in line with long-time competitor Samsung in developing and using its own processors on devices.

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Verizon continues double-digit profit growth, posts $21.8B revenue

9 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

Verizon today reported double-digit year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up 7 percent year over year.

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HTC Desire 820 mini goes on sale in China with 5-inch 720p display

10 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

A smaller version of the HTC Desire 820, launched at IFA last month, has gone on sale in China. The Desire 820 mini switches out the 5.5-inch 720p display of the original device for a slightly smaller five-inch version, though it keeps the same resolution, and in a similar manner to other "mini" versions of existing smartphones, this version also has marginally downgraded internal components within its two-tone plastic frame.

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Briefly: Xbox One TV tuner in Europe, Doctor Who programming game

10 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, developer

A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings.

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Apple Pay to be used at both 2014 World Series stadiums

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, developer, iPhone apps, Apple

Major League Baseball, which has taken the role of unabashed cheerleader for several of Apple's financial and retail technology initiatives including Passbook and iBeacons, has announced another embrace -- this time, Apple Pay. Both of the two MLB stadiums involved in this year's World Series will be accepting Apple Pay for concessions starting with the event, which begins on Tuesday. San Francisco's AT&T Park and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium will both have the hardware on hand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.

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Review: Plantronics Rig Surround 7.1 headset

18 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, audio

Trying to capture the true soundscape of video games can be a daunting task. Looking to surround-sound home theater options, users have to balance the price of speakers and a receiver with the space demands a setup would require. Due to this, gamers often turn to headphones to get the job done. Plantronics has released the Rig Surround headset as a way to fill the need for 7.1 surround sound experience without an expensive price tag or room full of speakers. But is the Rig headset something that consumers should look to, or would they be better off making room for the speakers? Find out in our review.

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IBM pays GlobalFoundries $1.5B to take chip business off its hands

22 hours ago | Posted in: industry

IBM is getting out of the chip manufacturing, with the company transferring the bulk of its semiconductor business to GlobalFoundries. However, rather than IBM getting a large cash influx from selling the chip division, the company is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years in cash and capital to take the commercial semiconductor business.

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Apple breaks all-time Mac sales record over summer

23 hours ago | Posted in: computers, industry, Apple

In what CEO Tim Cook called the "best ever" quarter for the Mac, Apple's Mac lineup overall jumped a remarkable 25 percent in a single quarter to 5.52 million units. Making the event more noteworthy is the fact that the growth was achieved prior to any notable refreshes. Instead, what appears to be driving the increase in Mac sales is volume in emerging markets, such as China - where Macs were up 54 percent year-over-year. Price cuts and great back-to-school sales also contributed to the jump.

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Fitbit shares findings on allergic reaction to Force, adding warning

Mon October 20, 2014 | Posted in: industry, gadgets

Fitbit offered a statement last week on the findings of an investigation into the Force fitness wristband. The company decided to voluntarily pull the device from store shelves in February 2014, as it was thought to be causing rashes on the wrists of users. CEO James Park took to the company's webpage to give an update on the independent testing and other findings from medical experts, confirming what was believed in the preliminary tests in February.

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Apple pulls in $42.12 billion in Q4 revenues, driven by iPhone 6

Mon October 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, Apple, iPad

Apple pulled in $42.12 billion in revenues during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended in September, according to an announcement. That figure surpasses the $37.47 billion the company posted in Q4 2013, as well as consensus expectations of $40 billion, and Apple's own guidance in the last quarter. Net profits rose year-over-year from $7.5 billion -- or $1.18 per diluted share -- to $8.5 billion and $1.42 per share. Gross margins increased from 37 to 38 percent.

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