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The MacNN Podcast, episode 21: Writing your app in (Taylor) Swift

8 hours ago | Posted in: education, computers, industry, gadgets, troubleshooting, developer, accessories, audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Episode 21 of The MacNN Podcast is now available! Join us for a very speedy hour as we talk about a great new contest where you can win a 5K Retina 27-inch iMac, the licensing kerfuffle with Apple Music that features a happy ending, more troubles for MacKeeper, the plaudits and perils of e-publishing, the trauma of having to send in a Mac for repair, and our picks for App(s) of the Week! Show notes after the jump.

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Uber executives detained in France following French taxi strike

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry, iPhone apps

Two executives of Uber have been taken into police custody in France, days after the country-wide strikes held by traditional taxi service operators upset over Uber's continued operations in the region. The detained company management is being questioned by the authorities over the legality of the service, specifically concerning the taxes and social charges Uber allegedly avoids dealing with, due to the nature of how it operates.

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One Musical Group crowd funding MFi Smart Piano, Light Keyboard

11 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Purveyor of musical instrument learning technology One Musical Group announces today the North American launch of its piano product line: The One Light keyboard and The One Smart Piano which the company claims is the worlds first MFi-certified upright piano. Both devices are already in production and with a US launch bering funded on Indiegogo.

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Frigidaire launches Wi-Fi-enabled window Cool Connect Air Conditioner

13 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Home appliance manufacturer Frigidaire has released the first iOS and Android app controlled window air conditioner. The Cool Connect Air Conditioner connects with the Frigidaire Smart Appliance app across the Internet and through a local area Wi-Fi network, which lets consumers control the unit from their smart device, including generating a schedule for operation, receiving maintenance alerts, and remote unit status monitoring.

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Daily Deals: 1TB SSD, $300 50-inch HDTV, IP surveillance camera

13 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we've wiped the slate clean of older deals, with the new collection including a $300 50-inch HDTV, a 1TB SSD for under $400, and a 720p IP surveillance camera for $60.

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Railroad crossing locations to be highlighted in Google Maps

15 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Drivers using Google Maps for navigation will soon find they will receive more notifications regarding rail crossings. The Federal Railroad Administration is said to be working with Google to add the locations of all grade crossings in the United States to the navigation app, with the turn-by-turn instructions also set to receive extra audio and visual alerts when nearing crossings, in a bid to lower the number of accidents at crossings.

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Barclaycard expands NFC payments in UK with bPay devices

18 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Barclaycard is expanding the number of ways people in the United Kingdom can make contactless payments, by offering more NFC-equipped items. A bPay sticker, along with a key fob and a wristband, will be going on sale in the country soon, allowing customers to make the contactless payments quickly without having to carry an NFC-equipped smartphone or go through prompts in an accompanying smartphone app.

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MacNN Deals: Keep healthy and shop smarter with iOS gadgets

19 hours ago | Posted in:

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals. Today's trio of deals revolve around iOS and mobile devices, including a smart weighing scale, a way to keep track of your grocery shopping, and a pay-what-you-want bundle that could help you develop your own iOS apps.

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Hands On: Cogmind (PC)

21 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

We've covered a couple of roguelikes here before, so we're getting pretty good at sorting out what elements make up a worthwhile roguelike, and what ones can sink an otherwise good game. Today we bring you a more traditional roguelike, with tons of retro flavor and a somewhat rare sci-fi setting. We're offering up Cogmind, a choose-your-own-adventure sort of roguelike that offers up lots of challenge.

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Briefly: BBM update includes $1 private chats, Malwarebytes amnesty

21 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

The latest update to BlackBerry Messenger for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 devices adds more paid-for security functions to the service. The current timed and retracted messages options have been rolled into a similarly-priced $1-per-month Privacy and Control subscription, with the new Private Chat function able to strip out names and profile pictures after a short period of time, minimizing the usefulness of taking a screenshot of a conversation. The Android version of the app has also received a Material Design overhaul, while iOS users will now find their in-app font sizes will be based on the size selected in system settings.

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Hands On: iOS 9 Preview for iPad Air 2

21 hours ago | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Although there have been some clues that Apple has been planning to introduce split-screen multitasking on the iPad, it was still something of a surprise to see the feature finally debut at WWDC. The feature will make its debut in iOS 9, which is due to officially land sometime in the fall, likely around the time we see the next generation of iPhones and iPads. Similar functionality can be found in Windows tablets and some Android tablets, so what is it like on the iPad Air 2?

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Game Replay: Star Wars alpha, bug bounties, Fallout 4 bottle caps

22 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, EA gets a closed alpha of Star Wars: Battlefront ready, an early access game on Steam pays a bug bounty, Nintendo offers more Amiibo models in the UK, and someone preorders Fallout 4 in bottle caps.

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Hands On: Her Story (OS X, iOS, Windows)

Sun June 28, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

What comes to mind when we say "game?" Chances are, you've got fond memories of the first video game you played. Maybe it was Mario or maybe it was some sort of card game or arcade title. Maybe you think about current games like Halo or Call of Duty. If this sounds like what you think of when it comes to gaming, Sam Barlow, creator of Silent Hills: Shattered Memories is here to turn that idea around with Her Story (Steam | App Store), a murder-mystery with an unusual play style.

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MacNN's Week That Was: June 21 through June 28

Sun June 28, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

We hope your Sunday is going well so far. Today launches our new column about the stories that entertained us, informed us, or just plain tickled us. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game. Read on for thoughts on the events of the week in the tech world including more bad news for MacKeeper, a shotgun assault on a drone, and a major upgrade to a 2009 Mac Pro.

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Sirius XM settles majority of pre-'72 music catalog royalty suits

Sat June 27, 2015 | Posted in: audio

Sirius XM Holdings has agreed to a legal settlement with independent and major record companies for its use of recordings created before 1972. The satellite radio broadcaster will pay $210 million to plaintiffs ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, and Warner Music Group.

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Google's Sidewalk Labs launches big city free Wi-Fi program in NYC

Sat June 27, 2015 | Posted in: networking

Google's Sidewalk Labs, the search engine giant's first project to modernize the urban landscape has launched an effort in New York City for wide, free broadband. The company announced yesterday that it has partnered with several companies and investors to implement the LinkNYC network through a combined effort called Intersection.

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Viral Beats Solo 2 headphone teardown likely not of genuine product

Sat June 27, 2015 | Posted in: audio, Apple

A recent critical teardown of Beats headphones claimed to shed some light on the "generic" nature of Beats headphones, including extra metal being inserted into the set to give the appearance of more quality than actually exists. However, a recent post mortem of the teardown sheds some doubt on the source of the original headphones, claiming that the set that was actually torn down was a Chinese knockoff of the popular audio brand.

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Paypal, eBay split approved by board of directors, awaits regulators

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Online auction giant eBay today announced that its board of directors has approved the completion of the previously announced separation of eBay and PayPal into independent publicly traded companies. The separation will occur through a pro rata distribution of all of the stock of eBay's subsidiary PayPal Holdings to eBay stockholders. The stock distribution still awaits necessary regulatory approvals, both in the US and overseas.

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Meyer Optik resurrecting Trioplan f2.8/100 bokeh lens on Kickstarter

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging

Lens Manufacturer Meyer Optik USA has launched a Kickstarter campaign to remanufacture the Trioplan f2.8/100 lens, known for its 'soap bubble' bokeh and sharp focus. The new lens preserves the character of the original including the conservation of the Trioplan's sharpness and its circular "soap bubble" bokeh.

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Technology in Recovery: Out of the ER, into the fire

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: iPad, iPad apps

My name is Mike. As I've previously discussed, I'm the Managing Editor here at MacNN and Electronista. On Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on how you look at it, my 44-year-old wife suffered a stroke. After a few days in a mainline hospital, we were moved to a rehab hospital yesterday. Today has been a whirlwind of doctors, therapists, nurses, and more testing, but universally, what just about everybody is asking is... do you have an iPad? Why are they asking this? Well, let's discuss it, and launch a new column while we're at it.

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Daily Deals: Canon multifunction printer, Monoprice camera, Apple TV

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. In the post are all the still active deals from earlier this week, with new sales featuring a ridiculously cheap multifunction laser printer, an action camera for $60, and a $55 Apple TV deal.

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Lenovo design vice president proposes retro ThinkPad creation

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: computers

Lenovo is considering a retro revival of the ThinkPad, with a notebook using a similar design to the original ThinkPads created by Richard Sapper for IBM. Design vice president David Hull has proposed on the Lenovo blog the creation of a "very unique ThinkPad model" that takes its design cues from a notebook created in 1992, but bringing it up to date with modern internal components and slight tweaks to the external design to accommodate today's customers.

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Apple Watch to expand to three new countries July 17

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: industry, gadgets, Apple

Even as stock of the Apple Watch in first-wave countries like the US remains relatively constrained, Apple continued its expansion of the product by opening online ordering for the Apple Watch in nine new countries today, and announcing a further three would be able to begin selling the Watch on July 17. In addition to new ordering pages went live for Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan, Apple said that the next round of debuts would start in mid-July with The Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand.

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MacNN Deals: A trio of offers for the Apple Watch

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're showing off three deals relating to the Apple Watch, with two options for charging the wearable device, and one to create apps for, and possibly profit from, the Apple-produced smartwatch.

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Update: Clue 1.9.1 and P Tracker 9.3.3 (iOS, Android)

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Last month, we compared two apps for tracking female reproductive cycels; back then Apple Health didn't track reproductive health, and we weren't sure when it would -- if ever. Thankfully, earlier this month at WWDC, it was announced that the built-in Health app will get reproductive health tracking in iOS 9. We still don't know what that will look like, unfortunately. Will the myriad of period tracker apps become obsolete? Maybe not ... Well, probably not. The announcement prompted us to take a look at the two trackers we tried previously, to see what's been going on with them.

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Archos PC Stick offers Windows 10 PC in an HDMI dongle

Fri June 26, 2015 | Posted in:

Archos is joining the ranks of Dell, Intel, Lenovo, and other manufacturers in offering a complete computer inside a compact HDMI dongle. The Archos PC Stick is an extremely small and pocketable device measuring 4.45 inches long, 0.55 inches thick, and weighing 2.12 ounces, which can be used to quickly and easily turn any HDMI-equipped television or monitor into a fully-functional Windows-based PC.

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