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Briefly: Alpine Headphones, iDevices iShower2

10/21, 5:22pm

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

10/21, 4:20pm

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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Apple Pay loyalty program may be coming in time for holidays

10/21, 3:49pm

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

10/21, 2:44pm

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

10/21, 2:32pm

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

10/21, 1:58pm

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

10/21, 1:19pm

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

10/21, 1:06pm

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

10/21, 11:39am

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]

10/21, 11:27am

[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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LG reportedly preparing launch of first smartphone with Odin processor

10/21, 9:09am

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

10/21, 7:27am

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

10/21, 6:44am

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

10/20, 4:53pm

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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OnePlus One pre-orders open for one-hour window on October 27

10/20, 3:52pm

OnePlus is allowing potential users to bypass its invitation-based system for its smartphone, by opening itself up for pre-orders for a brief period of time. On October 27th, people can place orders for the OnePlus One directly from the manufacturer, though the window of opportunity will last for only one hour, starting from 3pm GMT (11am EST).

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