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Updated: 3 min 24 sec ago

CVS disables NFC terminals, stops accepting Apple Pay, Google Wallet

3 hours 4 min ago

On Saturday, CVS Pharmacy customers using Apple Pay reported that the retailer had joined Rite Aid in disabling its NFC credit terminals, according to MacRumors.

CVS’s reasoning behind the end of NFC support is simple enough: Leaked internal documents published by SlashGear indicate that the company is “currently working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet” system that should be up and running the first half of next year. Presumably, this means that CVS, like Rite Aid, will take part in the Merchant Customer Exchange’s upcoming CurrentC mobile wallet system.

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The Week in iPad Cases: Keyboards, exotic designs, and protection for every season

17 hours 20 min ago
Keyboards, exotic designs, and protection for every season

This week’s roundup of new iPad cases brings an array of options for your tablet, from multi-function wonders to simple yet efficient designs.

Apple

With the launch of its latest round of tablets, Apple has tweaked the Smart Case (iPad Air 2; $79) to match.

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Spot the hubris: A case of the pundit pot calling the Apple kettle black

17 hours 20 min ago

You know how terrible it is when kittens turn into cats, right? Everyone was all “Awww, kitten!” and now they’re like “Big deal, it’s a cat.” That’s the point we’ve reached with tablets.

“Apple Is Confusing Tablet Leadership With Awesomeness" (indirect link and a tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King)

Writing for TechNewsWorld, Chris Maxcer is confusing market maturation with failure.

The new super thin iPad Air 2 is starting to get tepid reviews, most of which begrudgingly call it the “best tablet” in the market, while admitting it’s boring.

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Apple mum as Mac owners tussle with Yosemite over Wi-Fi problems

Fri, 2014-10-24 14:54

The cries for help from frazzled Mac owners whose Wi-Fi connections went haywire after upgrading to OS X Yosemite are being met by Apple with stone-faced silence.

Affected users have been filing a steady stream of complaints about the problem in discussion forums, blogs, and social media sites since Apple released the latest version of the operating system a week ago.

Attempts by users to isolate the cause of the issue have been fruitless so far. The problem affects a variety of Macs with dissimilar configurations and linked to many different routers. What’s clear is that the problem hit these users after installing Yosemite. In most cases, Wi-Fi becomes unstable, with connections dropping every few minutes, irritatingly slow or simply unusable.

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Apple Pay tops Tim Cook's to-do list in China

Fri, 2014-10-24 14:53

Apple CEO Tim Cook says bringing the recently launched Apple Pay system to China is his top priority for doing business the country.

Apple Pay launched on Monday in the U.S. and allows iPhone 6 users to make “tap-and-go” payments at compatible terminals in retailers. It hasn’t expanded outside the U.S. yet, but international expansion is on the cards. The NFC (near-field communication) technology it uses is already standard in some countries.

Cook made his remarks about China in an interview with the country’s Xinhua News Agency on Friday at the conclusion of a four-day trip to the country. During his visit, he met business partners, toured a Foxconn factory that makes Apple products, and met with a government official regarding “strengthening” cooperation in the telecommunication sector.

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Apple’s slipping iTunes sales prove streaming is the future

Fri, 2014-10-24 12:53

iTunes numbers looked solid, if not outright impressive, when Apple reported fourth-quarter earnings this week. Sales were up from $4.3 billion to $4.6 billion year-over-year. But Apple doesn’t break out music purchases from those numbers, so it’s difficult to tell what accounts for all that money. But now we know: It’s not music.

Apple might have the answer to its iTunes music problem: Beats.

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Rite Aid stores block Apple Pay, Google Wallet payments

Fri, 2014-10-24 09:36

Days after the launch of Apple Pay, Rite Aid has stopped accepting the payment system at 4,600 stores across the United States.

The company, which is one of the biggest drug store chains in the country, said it is currently not accepting Apple Pay or the competing Google Wallet.

Posts from customers on Twitter indicated that Apple Pay worked successfully when the system launched on Monday, but it was subsequently disabled by the retailer later in the week.

The reason for the decision isn’t clear.

Two company spokespeople failed to return numerous calls made on Thursday and Friday, although the company’s customer service department confirmed the ‘tap-and-go’ payment systems were not currently welcome.

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iFixit teardown of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 reveals mystery NFC chip

Fri, 2014-10-24 09:27

A teardown of Apple's iPad Air 2 turned up a surprise: an NFC module.

According to iFixit, the NXP 65V10 NFC Controller is the same one that Apple uses for Apple Pay in its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The same chip also appears inside Apple's iPad mini 3, iFixit found in its teardown of the smaller tablet.

Apple Pay lets users check out at retail stores by tapping their phones against a payment terminal, but that feature isn't currently available to iPad users. While some reviews speculated that the new iPads simply lacked the necessary NFC chip, iFixit's teardown proves otherwise.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Special iTunes 12 edition

Fri, 2014-10-24 08:00

When Apple released OS X Yosemite, they also gave us iTunes 12. Lots of things have changed in this new version, and I’ve been getting email from readers about many of the new features. In this week’s column, I’ll tell you how to bring back the sidebar, show you how to locate your music videos, discuss the new Info window, and issue hints for working with the new Wish List layout.

Where’d the sidebar go?

Q: I installed iTunes 12 and the sidebar is gone. I really liked it as it let me easily see all the stuff in my iTunes library. Is there any way I can get it back?

This has been the most popular iTunes question this week. The sidebar we knew and loved is indeed gone. Instead of accessing a sidebar from the View menu as before, you can display a different sidebar that shows playlists when viewing any of your media libraries. To produce it, select a media kind (Music, Movie, or TV Show, for example), and click the Playlists button in the navigation bar at the top of the window. This reveals the sidebar, which lists the selected media library at the top, and all its associated playlists below.

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Bugs & Fixes: Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster

Fri, 2014-10-24 07:00

Updating to a major new version of OS X can seem akin to walking through a mine field, albeit one with relatively few mines. In most instances, you’ll be fine. But you never know when disaster may strike.

In my case, the OS X Yosemite upgrade went as smooth as silk for my 2012 MacBook Pro. I’ve been happily running it via beta versions for months. I waited until the release version of Yosemite before upgrading my 2009 Mac Pro. I expected things to go just as smoothly. Instead, I hit a mine.

The installation itself was a success. However, as soon as I attempted to use the Mac, all hell broke loose. The most serious symptom was that almost every action now proceeded at a snail’s pace. Several apps—notably Safari, Tweetbot, Outlook, and even the Finder—often became entirely unresponsive. I had to repeatedly Force Quit these apps just to maintain a minimum level of response.

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The Week in iPhone Cases: Belt, pouch, or bumper?

Fri, 2014-10-24 05:00
Belt, pouch, or bumper?

This week’s roundup of new iPhone cases has something for every occasion, whether you need a holster to use while working out, want a wallet case for buying a quick snack at the nearest convenience store (that doesn't accept Apple Pay), or are in the market for a general-use case to use while relaxing at home.

The Buddy Pouch

The Buddy Pouch (iPhone 6 Plus; $26) is a lightweight, belt-free pouch specifically designed for runners.

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5 ways Facebook’s Rooms stands apart from the anonymous app pack

Fri, 2014-10-24 04:53

Facebook’s long-rumored anonymous app is here, shattering common beliefs about what Facebook and anonymous apps are like. Rooms for iOS is a throwback to the Internet communities of old, when people used pseudonyms to comment but were as well-known as pub regulars.

Rooms is clearly different from apps like Secret, Whisper, and Yik Yak. It’s more community-oriented than the current crop of anonymous apps, which are centered on the self: This is what I think. This is what I desire. Those missives aren’t conversation-starters, though comments are allowed. They’re one-way streets.

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iTunes 12 introduces new look, less intuitive interface

Fri, 2014-10-24 04:49

It’s been two years since the last major update to iTunes, with changes I called “the most radical alterations to the program’s interface since its inception.” I could use those same words to describe iTunes 12, which features yet another interface overhaul.

But the other shock is that iTunes 12 is light on new features, just a Recently Added section in some views, and a new Get Info window, along with some minor changes to device syncing. It almost begs the question: Without new features, is it really necessary to alter the look and navigation of iTunes every couple of years? iTunes 12 feels like essentially the same app as iTunes 11, only less intuitive.

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You Should Play: Crush enemies in the mysterious endless-action game Helix

Fri, 2014-10-24 04:00

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Endless action games are such a perfect fit for mobile devices, as they typically offer short sessions and a strong urge to keep playing until you dominate your friends on the leaderboards. There's no shortage of such offerings on the App Store, and in my view, the more peculiar or abstractly these games are presented, the better—like Super Hexagon or Impossible Road, which are both starkly designed and immensely enjoyable experiences.

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The Week in iOS Apps: Fun and games

Thu, 2014-10-23 13:45
Fun and games

This week's roundup features games for jocks, games for fantasy fans, and apps for dancing, getting in shape, and storing your favorite photos.

NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15 costs $8, but it’s one game that does everything it can to be worth your time and money. The look and feel of this game stayed pretty much the same for several years, but the newest version boasts overhauled graphics and animation to make it look and feel like you’re really on the court with the NBA’s best players. A warning: Only the most recent-generation iOS devices are built to handle this game.

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Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs because the Steve Jobs bio-pics must never end

Thu, 2014-10-23 13:19

It’s confirmed: Christian Bale, who transformed into a remarkably entertaining comb-over enthusiast in American Hustle, will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming bio-pic based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography, aptly titled Steve Jobs. The news comes directly from Aaron Sorkin, who’s writing the screenplay for the new movie.

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin told Bloomberg Television. “He didn’t have to audition.”

And thus another Steve Jobs movie has a leading man. Noah Wyle did a fine job with Jobs in Pirates of Silicon Valley in 1999. Then Ashton Kutcher kutchered up Jobs in last year’s Jobs. Bale will begin shooting his role in the next couple of months, and the smart money says this new take on Jobs will actually be worth watching. Bale is a riveting actor, and Sorkin is a wonderful screenwriter who’s already elevated the mythos of Silicon Valley into something quite palatable via The Social Network.

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Continuity and Spotlight highlight the need to closely examine where our data goes

Thu, 2014-10-23 13:09

On Monday, I dutifully installed iOS 8.1 to enable Apple Pay on my iPhone 6, intending to test it out later in the day. (Spoiler: I did not.) This also let me turn on Continuity, the suite of seamless connection features between iOS and Mac OS X devices signed into the same iCloud account. My mid–2011 MacBook isn’t capable of Handoff and Instant Hotspot, but it can manage SMS forwarding and phone calls.

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Ello makes its ad-free promise a legal one, too

Thu, 2014-10-23 11:55

It’s one thing to say your social network will never be like Facebook, it’s another to enshrine that promise in legal documents. Ello, a social site whose claim to fame is an anti-ad manifesto, is doing just that by filing to become a public benefit corporation.

A benefit corporation is a company that chooses to be socially conscious of how its decisions affect not just shareholders or investors, but also its customers, employees, and the environment. Ello won’t get any tax benefits for being a do-good social network, but the charter the company filed prevents current and future investors and owners from ever profiting from ads or user data.

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Vintage Apple-1 computer sells for a record $905,000

Thu, 2014-10-23 09:33

This article originally appeared on Computerworld.com.

A 38-year-old working Apple-1 personal computer sold Wednesday at auction for a record $905,000, almost double the auctioneer’s high-end estimate.

The aged Apple-1—the first pre-assembled personal computer, although it lacked such amenities as power supply, keyboard or display—was sold by auction house Bonhams in New York to The Ford Foundation, which will put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

The final gavel price was $750,000, but including Bonhams’ commission of $175,000 and taxes, the total was $905,000. That easily beat the record of $671,000 for another working Apple-1, set in May 2013.

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Social media scheduler Buffer goes big with iOS 8 update optimized for iPads

Thu, 2014-10-23 08:00

Social media addicts, self-promoters, and small businesses know the pain of managing various social networking accounts. There are various solutions for helping you schedule and stay on top of posting to your slew of accounts at perfect times throughout the day, but one reliable go-to for iOS users is Buffer. The service just got a big upgrade for iOS 8 that is finally (finally!) optimized for the iPad.

Buffer's iOS 8 update takes advantage of Apple's new share extensions.

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