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Top Stories  |   (Jul 23, 2014)

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Microsoft reveals Nokia Lumia 530 as its first Lumia release

Nokia Lumia 530 has four-inch display, $115 price tag

Microsoft has unveiled its first Lumia smartphone since it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division. Still labeled under the Nokia branding, the Lumia 530 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with a four-inch, 854x480-resolution display and a low price point to help it compete against other competing low-specification devices running on Android.

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Microsoft hits $23.4 billion revenue in Q4, earnings share decreasing

Expected profits fall shy of expectations, Nokia deal responsible for $0.08 EPS hit

Microsoft released its quarterly revenue figures for the end of the 2014 fiscal year, revealing that the company pulled in $23.38 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter. While the revenue numbers beat the expectations of $23 billion, earnings per share (EPS) missed the mark at $0.55 per share. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the software company to hit $0.60 EPS based on the $23 billion in revenues.

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Nvidia launches Shield Tablet with 8-inch display, separate controller

Nvidia Shield Tablet retains game-streaming functionality of original device

Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks . The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7 , the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console.

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Microsoft confirms layoffs; 18,000 to lose jobs, majority from Nokia

Most of the Microsoft layoffs to come from Nokia devices and services

Microsoft has made official previous rumors of massive job cuts. The company is planning on cutting 18,000 jobs in the next year, with the largest cuts coming from the Nokia devices and services division. Microsoft claims that the first 13,000 of the laid-off employees will be notified in the next six months.

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Closer look: iOS 8 preview

Apple iOS 8 sets up iPhone and iPad for the future

Last year Apple delivered iOS 7, which was a massive upgrade . Not only did it bring an all-new look as well as add several new dimensions to the user interface, it also brought full compatibility with Apple's industry-leading 64-bit chip technology. This year, Apple used its WWDC 2014 to unveil iOS 8, its next-gen mobile OS. A lot of foundational work was laid in iOS 7 and iOS 8 looks to build on this adding several new and powerful features to the front end and back end. Apple is calling iOS 8 its biggest release to date, which is some statement when set against the backdrop of what it achieved with iOS 7. But when you factor in over 4,000 additional APIs and an all-new in-house developed programming language in Swift, plus some potentially revolutionary new frameworks in HealthKit and HomeKit, iOS 8 could well be the most significant iteration of iOS yet.

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Report: iPhone 5s single best-selling smartphone worldwide

Samsung takes second, third and fourth place, while iPhone 5c and 4S round out top six

Though it will not come as surprising news to industry watchers, a new report compiling sales channel data from 35 countries puts Apple, Samsung and China-based Xiaomi as the only three companies really selling smartphones. What may be surprising to some, however, is just how well the iPhone line is doing overall; in addition to the iPhone 5s being the clear winner as the top-selling model, the much-maligned iPhone 5c took fifth place, followed by the two-and-a-half-year-old iPhone 4S in sixth place.

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Apple, IBM announce collaboration on big data, analytics apps [U]

New AppleCare tailored for enterprise, IBM to sell iOS devices with custom apps

[Updated with text from Tim Cook's memo to employees] In a surprise move, Apple and IBM have announced a new partnership that will see the enterprise giant working with the iPhone maker to bring more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions to the iOS platform as native apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as see IBM selling and leasing iOS devices pre-loaded with industry-specific solutions to its business clients. The exclusive deal also includes new AppleCare service and support plans tailored for enterprise, and IBM enterprise cloud services optimized for iOS.

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Eyes-on: Google Cardboard virtual reality experience

Google Cardboard offers an incredibly good VR experience

One of the highlights of the Google I/O developer event for 2014 was the debut of the experimental Google Cardboard project. With the dawn of mass market virtual reality finally upon us thanks to the arrival of the Oculus Rift (at least in early beta hardware form), Google Cardboard seems decidedly low-tech by comparison. Seemingly a little odd at first, the Cardboard premise is a simple one: bring a virtual reality experience to an even wide audience, on the cheap, to anyone who owns a relatively recent Android smartphone. Made from its namesake cardboard, could it possibly be any good?

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Hands-on: LG G Watch and Google Android Wear

LG G Watch and Android Wear don't deliver a revolutionary wearable experience

There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch . It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.

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FTC files in-app purchase lawsuit against Amazon, seeks refunds

Suit files complaints about wanton, and unauthorized, in-app purchases

According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges, and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without their consent.

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Adobe issues 'critical' patch for Flash for AIR, OS X, Windows, Linux

Flaw allows attackers to steal authenticating cookies, hasn't been seen in wild yet

Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 14.0.0.145 , is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their browser, they may still need to update if they are using any products that require Adobe AIR.

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Dell, Samsung-backed 'Internet of Things' standards group emerges

Open Interconnect Consortium fourth major IoT protocol to pop up

Possibly complicating the nascent "Internet of Things" market, chipmakers Intel, Broadcom, and Atmel along with Samsung and Dell have partnered on the Open Interconnect Consortium -- an organization intended to generate yet another standard for home automation gadgetry. The initiative joins efforts from Apple , Google and Qualcomm to try and consolidate the market under one banner.

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Opinion: What went wrong with the Motorola Moto X?

Despite boasting several innovative features the Moto X missed its mark

The Moto X was supposed to be the smartphone that turned around the fortunes of the loss-making (then Google-owned ) Motorola. It was once hyped as the mysterious 'X Phone,' and was even touted as a 'game changer.' Yet, instead it soon saw steep discounts to clear inventory. Then, just eight months after its release, Motorola's announced that it will shutter its ambitious Fort Worth-based Moto Maker customization factory originally staffed by 2,000 employees. At its peak, the plant produced 100,000 devices per week; so what went wrong?

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Friday Deals: Fourth of July specials, Disney app sale, Xbox One, more

Electronista and MacNN staff's deal picks for July 4, 2014

Welcome to this week's installment of Friday Deals -- oh, and also America's birthday! Every Friday we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!

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Hands on: New entry-level 21.5-inch Apple iMac

New 21.5-inch Apple iMac makes for a great entry into the Mac world

New hardware from Apple is always greeted with interest, and Apple's new entry-level iMac is no exception. Previously, all of Apple's iMac range were powered by quad-core processors, but the new entry-level iMac is powered by a dual-core processor. But is not the type of dual-core processor that you might expect; it is in fact the same low voltage dual-core Intel Core i5 processor found in Apple's current MacBook Air range. In the MacBook Air the Intel chip delivers solid performance in its class; but how does it perform in an iMac?

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Samsung warns investors that Q2 'doesn't look too good'

Analysts fear a drop in profit of up to 16 percent year-over-year

On top of an early warning in April that profits would be down from the year-ago quarter in fiscal Q2, a rare public statement from Samsung's CFO has sent the Galaxy maker's stock tumbling on a warning that the balance sheet "doesn't look too good." The statement was later confirmed by Samsung, amounting to a full-throated warning on earnings that sent the company's stock tumbling nearly two percent, on top of a month-long 8.5 percent decline. Initial blame for the disappointment is centering on sales of the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone.

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Supreme Court rules warrants required for cell phone searches

Physical aspects can be examined, but 'data on the phone can endanger no one'

In a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) this morning, judges declared unanimously that warrants are necessary to search cell phones. Previously when police arrested individuals, officers were allowed to seize items on the person or nearby as evidence. With the ruling, law enforcement can inspect the phone's exterior, but none of the information within it without obtaining a warrant.

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Google details Android L design changes, new software features

Material Design aesthetic used in next iteration of Android

Google has previewed the upcoming major update to the Android mobile operating system, Android L, at Google I/O . The latest iteration is said to be built for multiple types of displays and devices, from smartphones and tablets to large-screened televisions. New design elements were tackled, including an overhaul in how the user interface operates, a new flatter appearance and other new additions.

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Aereo faces shutdown after Supreme Court ruling favors broadcasters

Cloud-based DVR service should pay licenses to broadcasters, rules Supreme Court

Aereo has lost its battle against broadcasters, after the US Supreme Court ruled against the start-up. In a 6-3 ruling, the court states the company violates copyright law by streaming recordings of TV shows to its subscribers, classifying the streams as "public performances" and so requires that Aereo pay content licenses to broadcasters for their programming.

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Survey: 35 percent of Android users might switch to larger iPhone

Investment bank study shows strong interest, even if bigger screen costs extra

A new survey of future smartphone buyers by RBC Capital Markets suggests that a new iPhone with a larger display could help Apple chip away at some of Samsung and other rivals' sales of Android-based big-screen smartphones and "phablets." Analyst Amit Daryanani, who recently raised his 12-month target price for AAPL stock to $100, told investors that the study showed that screen size was a significant factor in consumer resistance to buying an iPhone.

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Nokia X2 launches with updated software, improved rear camera

Entry-level Nokia X2 first Android smartphone launched under Microsoft ownership

Nokia's Devices and Services business has launched its second generation of Android smartphone, its first Android launch under the ownership of Microsoft . The Nokia X2 takes after the Nokia X launched in February, using a heavily customized Android implementation and a physical design reminiscent of the Lumia range, and though it is still a low-priced entry-level smartphone, it still offers a few improvements on the original.

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Samsung, attorneys to pay Apple, Nokia $2M for leaking private data

Lawyers for Samsung ordered to pay all legal costs spent investigating malfeasance

Apple has won another legal victory over its rival Samsung, this time against both the Galaxy phone maker and its legal team, Quinn Emanuel, led by John Quinn. A $2 million penalty has been levied against both QE and Samsung, related to the former's mishandling and leaking of confidential patent-licensing data between Apple and Nokia. Samsung executives later abused the leak to leverage knowledge of the Apple-Nokia licensing terms to strongarm Nokia in similar negotiations.

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Google's Nest to acquire Dropcam in $555M all-cash deal

Nest co-founder says it is about products 'that keep us connected to our homes'

Nest, now owned by Google , has revealed that it is buying Dropcam , a smart home-monitoring camera. The deal for the company cost Nest $555 million in cash, and will see the Dropcam team moving to Nest's Palo Alto headquarters. Despite the fact that it is now owned by Google, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers says that the team behind Dropcam will be "indoctrinated" to Nest privacy policies, which -- currently -- are far more strict than those of Google. Critics, however, are skeptical.

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Friday Deals: Samsung SSDs, free Halfbrick games, $1K 4K TV, more

Deal roundup: cheap apps, inexpensive hardware for June 20, 2014

With the arrival of summer comes the pitter-patter of little (or big!) feet returning from school for the summer. Roadtrips demand new apps, and sometimes, new hardware. Every Friday afternoon, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, and any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!

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Hands-on: Sony RX100 Mk III

Sony RX 100 Mk III improvements make the best compact camera even better

Electronista has had the opportunity to go hands-on with the third incarnation of Sony superb RX100 compact point-and-shoot camera. The hotly anticipated RX100 Mk III model has added some additional refinements to Sony's already-winning formula, including a new Zeiss lens and a built-in TruView OLED viewfinder. Sony continues to sell the original RX100, and its improved sequel, the RX 100 Mk II. The RX100 Mk III now sits atop the range, and while slightly more expensive, offers new features normally found on A-Mount or E-Mount cameras at a very reasonable price point for what you're getting. Most importantly, it produces very high quality photos with a special emphasis on low-light performance.

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Amazon reveals Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective, Firefly

Amazon Fire Phone has 4.7-inch display, unlimited photo storage

Amazon's long-rumored smartphone has been unveiled at the retail giant's launch event , and it is called the Fire Phone . The first smartphone from Amazon, the Fire Phone joins the growing stable of hardware including the Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HDX, with the mobile device offering a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with 590 nits of brightness, dynamic image contrast, and a circular polarizer.

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Apple unveils new lower-cost 21.5-inch iMac

Design cues remain the same, unit uses Intel's new i5-4260U processor

As previously rumored , Apple has updated its iMac line with a new, lower-cost model . The new 21.5-inch unit uses Intel's i5-4260U processor running at 1.4Ghz with a "turbo" speed of 2.7GHz, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, 8GB of RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Hands-on: Destiny First Look Alpha

Bungie looks set to deliver another winner with Destiny

Electronista has had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Destiny First Look Alpha, from Halo creators Bungie. It is not often that we take a closer look at video games on the site, however Destiny is easily one of the most anticipated games of the next-generation game consoles. For people who pre-order the game, a Destiny Beta will arrive on July 17, ahead of the September launch. However, post-E3, Bungie has opened up a limited Alpha testing period that started on June 12 exclusively on the Sony PS4 as it works to refine the finished product.

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AT&T reports security breach through smartphone unlocking service

Names, call records, Social Security numbers may have been copied in April

In a filing with California regulators this week, AT&T has revealed that it suffered a security breach in mid-April of this year that allowed employees of a smartphone unlocking service to access personal customer records. The carrier has sent out letters to affected customers. The letter says AT&T believes its service provider copied customer records "as part of an effort to request codes from AT&T than are used to unlock AT&T mobile phones in the secondary mobile phone market."

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Samsung launches Galaxy Tab S range with Super AMOLED displays

Samsung Galaxy Tab S displays cover 90 percent of Adobe RGB color range

Just as rumored last month, Samsung has launched its first tablets using Super AMOLED displays - screens the manufacturer typically reserves for its smartphones. The Galaxy Tab S range, initially consisting of models with 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch displays, lights its pixels differently to how the LED versions work, allowing the screens to display 90 percent of the Adobe RGB range rather than 70 percent, as well as turning off pixels for darker black shades. In addition, the Super AMOLED screens are 40 percent less reflective, making them more useful for outdoor use.

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