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Friday Deals: 60-inch LG TV, Silicon Power SSDs, PlayStation TV [u]

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, software, upgrades/storage, networking, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

[Updated with more deals on Saturday] It's the end of the working week, and that means it is just two days until a major sporting event involving football. It's also the time we publish Friday Deals, the post where we collect together deals and offers from around the Internet for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Just as always, deals may change or end in the future, but are correct at the time of posting, so check beforehand, and come back over the weekend as more deals will be posted later.

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Cablevision sues Verizon, claims Wi-Fi ad boasts misleading consumers

13 hours ago | Posted in: security, networking

Cablevision Systems Corporation has filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Eastern District of New York against Verizon Communications seeking an end to what it calls "its false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims about WiFi service" related to Verizon's new 802.11AC Wi-Fi router, which has yet to see wide rollout.

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Hands On: Samson Go Mic Direct

13 hours ago | Posted in: computers, audio

Laptop sound, especially on el cheapo computers, is generally terrible. Compounding this, the diminutive microphone installed is about the same quality. Fortunately, we all have USB, and Samson has introduced the Go Mic Direct to fill one of these ports. At two by two inches, with no boom, how does the compact package stack up, and is it a worthwhile addition to your go tech bag?

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Acemile debuts wireless Bluetooth surround sound with Theatre Box

14 hours ago | Posted in: audio

Consumer electronics manufacturer Acemile has introduced the Theatre Box, a portable wireless speaker that delivers a 360-degree surround sound audio experience to everyone in the room, no matter the orientation to the speaker. The company claims that the speaker fills a 2,000 square foot room, using four two-inch full range drivers and one three-inch active bass driver.

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Nest loses CEO and VP of technology as part of organizational shuffle

23 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets

Dropcam CEO Greg Duffy and Nest's VP of Technology Yoky Matsuoka have both left the Google-owned Nest, Electronista has learned. Duffy, who sold his email software company Xobni to Yahoo in 2013, co-founded Dropcam, which was acquired by Nest. Matsuoka was an aspiring tennis star with a love of robotics, who became a founding member of Google X, and eventually headed up Nest's technology team.

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Google unveils Now integration with 40 third-party apps

Sat January 31, 2015 | Posted in: mobile phones

In a post on Friday in the Google Inside Search blog, Director of Product Management Apama Chennapragada announced the company's predictive-search app, Google Now, would be rolling out integration with third party apps to help users keep abreast of important information on their devices.

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Apple to developers: Watch apps ready by mid-February

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, developer, Apple

Recent reports have suggested that Apple is notifying its highest-profile developers who are known to be working on Apple Watch apps to be sure the programs are ready for launch by mid-February, about a month earlier than expected. Similarly, Apple is asking Apple Pay partners who will be creating iOS apps with Watch support to have them ready by specifically the 12th of February. Apple CEO Tim Cook has already announced that the Apple Watch will ship in April.

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Project Tango 3D-sensing tablet graduates from Google ATAP

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, developer

Google Glass is not the only hardware "graduating" from the company's experimental teams, with Project Tango also receiving similar treatment. The 3D-tracking tablet has exited the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division and will take is place as a product within the main company itself, though its future prospects remain unknown

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Hands On: iRemocon Smartphone-based home electronics controller

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, networking

The iRemocon is an Internet-connected device, intended to allow the user to control multiple home electronics from an app on their smartphone. This is intended to simplify wireless control of one's "appliances" either at home or while out and about. Unfortunately, the device relies heavily on infrared signals, which offer some severe limitations regarding placement and reliability.

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FCC raises $44.9B in AWS-3 auction, including $18.2B from AT&T bids

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

The latest spectrum auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised $44.9 billion. Of the bidders looking to acquire what has been termed AWS-3 spectrum, the FCC revealed AT&T spent more than any other carrier or organization, using $18.2 billion to acquire almost half the total number of licenses up for grabs in the auction.

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Twitter launches Vine Kids app for iPhone

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, iPhone apps

Twitter has released a new iPhone app linked to its Vine video-sharing network, Vine Kids. The app offers a curated selection of videos "appropriate for a young audience," and further removes the core client's ability to record new material. Animated characters guide kids through clips.

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Google changing unified privacy policy to appease UK data regulator

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry

Google will be making some changes to its unified privacy policy in the United Kingdom, after settling a complaint from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The search company has signed a formal undertaking that it will make its unified privacy policy clearer for users to understand, as well as bringing it in line with UK data laws.

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Amazon, Apple, Google reach deal with Italy on 'free-to-play' apps

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry, gaming, developer, Apple

Major app store operators Amazon, Apple, and Google -- as well as French publisher Gameloft -- have reached a deal with Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority that will let them avoid fines for misleading people about so-called "free-to-play" or "freemium" apps. The Wall Street Journal reports that the companies have agreed to remove the word "free" from apps that may require in-app payments to be useful. The parties have also committed to making it clearer when a person is about to make an in-app purchase. All of the changes will be applied across the European Union.

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Hands On: Tengami (OS X, Windows)

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming

When it comes to video games, the puzzle genre may very well be the most varied kind. There are the match-3s, the codebreakers, the word games, and the classic puzzle-adventure. Popularized by games like Myst and Monkey Island, the genre has been a long standing fixture of gaming. We took a look at newcomer Tengami, a point-and-click adventure game by developer Nyamyam.

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TUAW, Joystiq to close and fold into Engadget [u]

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry

(Updated with UK rumors) Later today, AOL will announce the closure of two of its best-known websites, Joystiq and TUAW, reports say. Both publications are expected to be folded into Engadget. Another site, AOL Autos, is being merged into Autoblog. In the process AOL will allegedly fire some 150 people, most of them in sales.

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Jay Z looks to join streaming music industry by acquiring Aspiro

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, audio

Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million).

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Previous News

Briefly: RunKeeper adds Spotify, Nickelodeon streaming service inbound

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry, software, iPhone apps

RunKeeper has added Spotify integration to its iOS app. The fitness app will now offer access to Spotify playlists, created both by the user and by Spotify, and stream music while a workout is underway. Both Spotify and Runkeeper have to be installed on the same device with RunKeeper connected to the Spotify account in order to function, and though it is only on iOS for the moment, a similar update to the Android app may also happen in the future.

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Jolla Tablet returns to crowdfunding with 64GB storage capacity

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Jolla has returned to crowdfunding for its tablet, offering an extra option to backers. The second appearance on IndieGoGo for the Jolla Tablet lists a new higher-capacity device with 64GB of storage, double the original's 32GB capacity, and while new backers can buy the larger-capacity tablet for $249, existing backers can pay $25 to upgrade their 32GB model to the new version.

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Data caps and preferred traffic get shot down in Canadian ruling

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a decision on Thursday, acting on a complaint regarding data caps and preferred traffic. Wireless carriers Bell Mobility and Videotron both have their own subscription mobile television services, neither of which count towards the data caps written into subscribers' contracts, while competitor's services -- such as Netflix -- do, providing the carriers with incentive to sell larger data plans or favor their own offerings. With today's ruling, that practice must end.

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Repatriation bill offers tax break for US return of foreign profits

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: industry, enterprise, Apple

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California, Barbra Boxer, and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have jointly announced a proposed bi-partisan bill titled the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" in Washington today. The bill would provide funds for the US Highway Trust Fund by encouraging the "repatriation" of funds held by US businesses overseas.

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CIRP: majority of Android switchers are outside US

Fri January 30, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

During its conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook noted that "the current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches," which he later clarified was how long the company has been measuring the metric rather than that switching rates were higher in 2011. Further analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that most of the switching is happening overseas rather in the US.

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WSJ: Microsoft may make investment in Android ROM producer Cyanogen

Thu January 29, 2015 | Posted in: software, mobile phones

Microsoft may be planning to make an investment in an Android-related startup, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will allegedly take part in a funding round as a "minority investor" of Cyanogen, creators of the CyanogenMod Android ROM, with rumors that the round will bring in a total of $70 million to the ROM maker.

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Google posts increased earnings in quarterly report, misses estimates

Thu January 29, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Google managed to bring in gross consolidated revenues of $18.1 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent and up from the previous quarter's $16.52 billion, according to its latest financial results. Increased traffic acquisition costs (TAC) of $3.62 billion bringing the ex-TAC revenues down to $14 billion. Net income also increased to $4.76 billion from $3.38 billion the same period last year, but the search company failed to meet analyst expectations.

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Prime membership rescues Amazon from loss, $241 million profit posted

Thu January 29, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.

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Sky confirms future launch of own carrier on O2's mobile network

Thu January 29, 2015 | Posted in: mobile phones

British pay-TV provider Sky will be moving into the mobile phone business, it has announced. The satellite broadcaster confirmed earlier reports that it would be working with the Telefonica-owned carrier O2 to have wholesale access to its 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile phone network and provide carrier functions to its subscribers, as part of a multi-year deal.

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Facebook introduces Foursquare-style Place Tips

Thu January 29, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, iPhone apps

Facebook has introduced a new feature to its iPhone app, called Place Tips. These appear at the top of a News Feed while on the go; tapping on an entry expands it, and shows not just related posts and images from friends, but popular menu items and any upcoming events. Tips are triggered based on location tracking, and Facebook is currently testing them only in New York City areas, including Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport.

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