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Apple confirms buyout of radio/podcast app Swell

07/29, 4:57pm

As rumored yesterday, Apple has indeed bought Swell, a spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi. The company has refused to provide any other information, issuing a standard statement that "we buy smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Monday's claims put the value of the takeover at $30 million.

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Nvidia creates high-resolution screen using two low-resolution panels

07/29, 4:36pm

High-resolution, low-cost displays for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift could become a reality sooner than first thought, if recently-revealed research from Nvidia is adopted. Researchers working for the graphics chip producer realized that stacking two lower-resolution panels on top of each other could effectively provide a similar experience to the user as looking at a higher-quality display.

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2014 Mac mini appears on Apple support page

07/29, 4:11pm

A "mid 2014" Mac mini is now listed on an Apple support document for Boot Camp. The page makes no mention of other details about the computer, other than it only supporting 64-bit Windows 7 and 8 versions of the Boot Camp utility, which allows Macs to run Windows on a separate partition. The Mac mini has been one of Apple's most neglected products, having last been updated in late 2012. Even the Mac Pro was refreshed in December 2013.

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Microsoft reportedly plans two more imminent Lumia launches

07/29, 2:18pm

Two more smartphones may launch from Microsoft's phone division in the near future, according to a report. Two Windows Phone devices were allegedly revealed during an internal meeting chaired by Microsoft devices head Stephen Elop, with one smartphone described as a "selfie" device with a five-megapixel front-facing camera sensor above a 4.7-inch display.

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Electronic Arts deploying EA Access Xbox One game subscription program

07/29, 1:21pm

Electronic Arts has rolled out a new subscription service for some of its games for Xbox One owners. For either a $5 monthly or $30 annual fee, gamers on Microsoft's new console will soon be able to sign up for EA Access, allowing them to play FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4, in addition to saving 10 percent on purchases of all EA digital content through the Xbox Games Store.

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Chen's BlackBerry acquires German security firm Secusmart

07/29, 12:48pm

At its annual BlackBerry summit, the beleagured smartphone manufacturer has announced a deal that will see it acquire Germany's Secusmart to enhance its own security offerings. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said of the deal that it "creates that much more distance between me and competitors" in the battle for corporate and governmental business share.

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LG commences pre-orders for 105-inch curved Ultra HD television

07/29, 12:02pm

LG has opened pre-orders for the 105-inch curved Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES, one week after Samsung did the same for its own large-screened television. The 105UC9 LG display has a relatively similar specifications list to the Samsung screen, with an almost identical price tag as well, though LG is opting to initially offer it just within South Korea, before attempting to put it on sale elsewhere.

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UK police at all traffic accidents seizing cellphones, seeking fault

07/29, 11:59am

UK police have launched a new initiative, that will authorize police responding to a car accident to seize drivers' mobile phones even in the case of a minor incident. The program will help police assess if any of the individuals involved in the accident were texting or calling while driving, and if the activity resulted in the accident.

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Microsoft opens pre-orders for Sharks Cove Windows development board

07/29, 10:49am

Microsoft has worked with Intel and CircuitCo to create a Windows development board in a similar vein to the Raspberry Pi. Available to pre-order, the Sharks Cove is a System-on-Chip "Windows compatible hardware development board" meant to help developers work on software and drivers for smartphones, tablets, and other devices with a similar architecture.

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Long-standing Android 'Fake ID' bug gives malware root access

07/29, 9:10am

Mobile device researchers Bluebox Security have discovered a serious flaw in Google's Android operating system, that dates back to version 2.1, and is still present, albeit weakened, in the new 5.0 preview. The "Fake ID" security flaw allows a fake app to include an invalid security certificate claiming that it is an app with sandbox-breaking privileges, in essence, giving the malicious app root access to the phone and all its contents.

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Drobo Mini ships with included SSD storage for portable storage

07/29, 9:01am

Connected Data, creators of the Drobo range of storage appliances, has launched a version of its most portable device with built-in storage. The Drobo Mini, first revealed two years ago, will include four SSD drives pre-installed into its four 2.5-inch drive bays, giving users such as photographers and film makers a fast storage option without needing to buy drives separately.

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Apple updates MacBook pro line with faster processors, more RAM

07/29, 8:30am

As predicted, Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display product line. Both sizes of the model have an unchanged external design, but now boast faster processors, with some models seeing a doubling of RAM as standard. Surviving the upgrade is the 13-inch MacBook pro, which also remains unchanged save a price cut.

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LG shows Tab Book hybrid notebook running Android instead of Windows

07/29, 7:09am

LG has revealed a version of its Tab Book, a combined tablet and notebook, running on Android instead of Windows 8.1. The new Tab Book 11TA740 uses an 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display which can slide up and uncover a physical keyboard, with the Android device weighing 1.05 kilos (2.3 pounds) and measuring just 16.7 millimeters (0.65) thick when used as a tablet.

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Canon unveils PowerShot SX520 HS, SX400 IS bridge cameras

07/29, 5:57am

Canon has increased its range of versatile PowerShot digital cameras with two new additions. The new PowerShot SX520 HS and the PowerShot SX400 IS are both bridge cameras with DSLR physical styling, with the two touting extended-range zoom lenses capable of providing wide focal ranges, and though they have similar image processors and sensors, they do offer different photographic experiences.

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HTC rumored to prepare Windows Phone version of One M8 for release

07/28, 7:48pm

HTC may be preparing to release a version of the One M8 smartphone running Windows Phone instead of Android, according to rumors. Report sources claim the smartphone producer will be returning to Windows Phone again, effectively re-purposing the One M8's hardware and accessories, with the device apparently said to be given the name HTC One W8.

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