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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

54% off Toshiba Canvio Connect II 1TB Portable Hard Drive - Deal Alert

8 hours 12 min ago

Toshiba's Canvio Connect II is an all-in-one portable storage solution, able to back up files and folders, or an entire system. This model stores 1TB of data, with an additional 10GB of cloud storage included for free. When connected to your computer, files can be accessed remotely from any of your other devices. The unit is equipped with backup and recovery software. Password protection can be enabled as well for added peace of mind. The ultra portable and super fast Canvio Connect II averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 1,400 customers (read reviews). It has a regular list price of $120, but with the current 54% off deal you can buy it now for just $55.

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20% off Nest Learning Thermostat Through July 4 - Deal Alert

15 hours 31 min ago

The Nest learning thermostat learns from you and programs itself, so it is cooling and heating more efficiently and saving you money. Plus, it can be controlled from anywhere on earth through your mobile device. So coming home from vacation no longer means coming back to a blisteringly hot house. Nest claims that on average people save 10% to 15% on heating and cooling bills, so this is one of those products that aims to pay for itself. Nest also works with "Alexa". It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 4,600 people (84% rate it 5 stars -- read reviews). It typically lists for $249, but through July 4th it's being discounted 20%, down to $199. Learn more or purchase the discounted Nest (3rd generation - current model) at Amazon.

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Sky Force Reloaded scores a hit with its freebie blasting

16 hours 28 min ago

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun-ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money). 

Many free-to-play games are laid-back, casual affairs meant to fill small moments during your days—including recent Freemium Field Test picks like Uncharted: Fortune Hunter and Bejeweled Stars. But occasionally, you’ll find something a bit livelier and action-packed; the kind of game that pulls more inspiration from classic console and arcade games than the App Store.

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How to convert between music files formats in iTunes

17 hours 28 min ago

Larry Dixon wants to convert MP3 to AAC in iTunes, like he used to. But in the latest version, he can’t figure out the process. I admit, it’s a little wonky, and I had to read up and test the process, because elements of it date way, way back in iTunes and show their age.

You can select any media file or files in iTunes that’s not DRM protected, and then choose File > Convert > Create [Format] Version. That creates a copy of the file or files in iTunes in what format appears. You can also hold down the Option key and the menu item changes to Convert to [Format], and lets you save the selected items in any location you want.

For me, “format” says MP3. But that can be changed:

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How to use Tabs in macOS Sierra

18 hours 28 min ago

When you use a web browser, you probably have multiple websites open at one time. All those open browser windows are a pain to track, but using tabs helps organize those windows. Instead of multiple windows open and scattered around on your screen, you have one window open, and tabs across the top that you can click to get to the window you need.

Safari isn’t the only app where you would have multiple windows open, but those other apps don’t usually offer tabs. However, macOS Sierra will bring tabs to apps that allow for multiple windows. Tabs will be in Apple apps built into Sierra, such as Mail, Maps, and TextEdit. It will be available in Apple’s iWork apps (Keynote, Numbers, and Pages). And it will work with third-party document-based apps.

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5 apps to help you digitally organize business cards

18 hours 58 min ago

We live in a practically paperless, digital age, but there’s one paper product that just won’t die: The business card. Business cards are pretty much a necessity for networking, but what do you do with 800 business cards when you get home from a tradeshow?

Let me guess—leave them in your bag and forget about them until the next tradeshow rolls around. Not such an effective networking tool after all.

Good news: There are plenty of apps that will help you stay on top of your business card stash by (quickly) digitizing them and adding the relevant information to your virtual rolodex (your Contacts list). We tried out five to find out which one makes the best business card butler.

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How to set up a new Mac securely and update an older one

19 hours 28 min ago

When you get a new Mac, how can you make sure you’ve set it up to be as secure as possible? If you walk through a completely fresh installation process, Apple tries to guide you into making the most-secure choices among alternatives, but it’s probably the worst time to try to sort out the options available and make those decisions.

A reader asked for advice for the next time they start from scratch, and I can offer that in this column. However, all of my suggestion can work just as well as later additions, whether you’re reinstalling OS X, installing and then migrating from a different Mac, or just continuing to use an existing installation. It’s better to set this up first, but it’s never to late to add layers.

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Crashlands brings humor to an otherwise bleak survivalist game

Sat, 2016-06-25 08:00

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.

Think of the movie Castaway... but your sidekick is with a robot instead of a volleyball named Wilson... and you’re in space and not alone. That’s Crashlands—maybe not so much like Castaway, but it’s a humorous action-adventure role-playing game with a survivalist focus. Developed by Butterscotch Shenanigans, a team who finds themselves exceptionally funny (and are, for the most part), Crashlands tasks the player with surviving on an alien planet after your ship crashes. Your play a space delivery person, Flux, who has only her wits and her robotic companion (named Juicebox) to help her in a quest for survival.

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The Week in iPad Cases: Never leave your Apple Pencil behind with STM's latest case for the iPad Pro

Sat, 2016-06-25 06:00
New iPad cases of the week

This week’s roundup of new iPad cases features the STM Dux, a see-through case with a dedicated slot for your Apple Pencil. Plus, plenty of new keyboard cases for all iPad models. Read on!

Booq

The Saddle Pro (all iPad models; $295 MSRP) is a briefcase-style bag with plenty of room for your MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and accessories.

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Troll machine: All bad advice, all the time

Sat, 2016-06-25 05:00

John Dvorak is a perpetual troll machine that defies the laws of thermodynamics. Science is at a loss to explain it. Also, science asked how we got their number and could we please stop calling because they’re working on actual science and don’t have time to be props in the Macalope’s little jokes.

Which are different than Dvorak’s jokes.

“Apple Should Spin Off the Macintosh.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

A dumb idea whose time has come. Won’t you please give dumb a chance? This year when you vote, please vote dumb.

(That’s a joke. Please do not vote dumb.)

I get suspicious over seemingly minor little changes.

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The week in Apple news: Discontinued Thunderbolt Display and non-Retina MacBook Pro, unencrypted iOS 10, and more

Sat, 2016-06-25 04:00
Apple headlines for the week ending June 24, 2016

The biggest news story of the week was Brexit, and yes, there’s an Apple angle here, mostly related to Apple’s stock, which, like many other companies, was down after the Brexit vote. We’ll see how Brexit affects Apple and tech in the long term. In the meantime, you can see this week’s top Apple-related headlines in this slideshow. Click on the link for more information.

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The Week in iOS Apps: Revolution!

Fri, 2016-06-24 16:05
New iOS apps of the week

This week’s roundup of apps includes a game that lets you re-enact a critical moment in recent world history. Read on!

Exify

Exify ($2, iPhone and iPad) is the latest photo-editing app. It gives you quick access to exposure and lens information, image size and color space, and a magnifier for pixel-level details, among other details and features. Add a watermark, set a copyright, and more to make each image distinctly your own.

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Uber will guarantee fares upfront, but surge prices are here to stay

Fri, 2016-06-24 12:25

Everyone hates Uber’s surge-pricing, except for Uber of course. Now the crazy-making lightning bolt that indicates you’re about to spend a fortune to get home is going away, replaced by a fare guarantee that tells you exactly what you’re going to pay for the ride. But that doesn’t mean the surge is gone.

Uber’s new up-front fare feature, which is slowly rolling out for UberX rides in some U.S. cities and in India, is exactly like the pricing you already see for UberPool rides. Just put make sure your pickup location is accurate, then enter your destination and Uber will calculate your exact fare.

Uber

How it works, according to Uber: “Upfront fares are calculated using the expected time and distance of the trip and local traffic, as well as how many riders and nearby drivers are using Uber at that moment. And when fares go up due to increased demand, instead of surge lightning bolts and pop-up screens, riders are given the actual fare before they request their ride. There’s no complicated math and no surprises: passengers can just sit back and enjoy the ride.”

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iPhone 7 rumors: Goodbye 16GB, hello 256GB and 'Pro' line

Fri, 2016-06-24 12:18

Now that WWDC is over, the iPhone 7 rumors are getting even louder, since its expected unveiling in September is probably the next time we’ll see Tim Cook on stage. Yes, that’s still a good while from now. To help keep track of all the scuttlebutt, we’re collecting every rumor we’ve heard so far—and every new one that crops up between now and the day Tim pulls the new iPhone out of his pocket. Then we’ll assess whether each rumor seems legit or absurd, and we’d love to hear your thoughts too. Sound off in the comments.

What's the latest?

The rumor: Pricing specs for the upcoming iPhone 7 have allegedly leaked on Weibo, according to 9to5Mac. If believed, the specs show that Apple is looking to release a 256GB model of the iPhone 7 that will be the same price as the 128GB model of the current generation iPhone 6s. Furthermore, Apple would drop the meager 16GB models, offering instead 32GB, 64GB, and 256GB for the iPhone 7 and 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB for iPhone 7 Plus. And that's not all, the rumor on Weibo has it that Apple is gearing up an iPhone 7 Pro line. This Pro model would be the only one to offer the dual-camera system that's been rumored before, and a Smart Connector for accessories similar to the iPad Pro.

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YouTube is bringing live broadcasting for all to its mobile apps

Fri, 2016-06-24 12:17

YouTube will soon throw open the gates to live broadcasting inside its mobile apps. The mobile live streaming feature will be baked into the iPhone and Android apps, putting it in direct competition with Twitter-owned Periscope and Facebook Live.

The announcement on the YouTube Creator Blog didn't mention a specific launch date. However, the details show a service that is similar to other live platforms, with the ability to allow live chat, make the stream public, and notify subscribers.

YouTube Creator Blog

Just like other live-streaming platforms, YouTube will offer live commentary and the ability to ping your subscribers.

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54% off Vansky Bias Lighting for HDTV USB LED Multi Color Strip Accent Lighting - Deal Alert

Fri, 2016-06-24 08:13

This bias lighting strip, currently discounted by 54% on Amazon from $49.99 down to just $22.99, reduces eye-strain caused by differences in picture brightness from scene to scene in movies, shows and games, by adding a subtle backlight to your monitor or TV.  The LED lights can be changed with up to 20 color selections customizing and setting the mood of your workspace. The strip is easy to install and can be cut to size and plugs directly in the USB port of the TV or monitor.  Just Plug-and-play!

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Apple retires its Thunderbolt Display without warning or a successor

Fri, 2016-06-24 07:03

Apple is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display, the high-resolution external display that users of the MacBook and other Macs could use to get a better picture and work with more apps.

The company said Thursday that the 27-inch widescreen display with LED backlight technology will be available on Apple’s online store, Apple retail stores and authorized resellers while supplies last. A successor wasn't announced.

The Thunderbolt Display currently retails on the Apple online store at $999. It has a 2560 by 1440 pixels resolution.

It isn’t clear whether Apple plans to follow with newer versions that use 5K resolution displays at 5120 by 2880 pixels, which is the display technology Apple uses on its high-end iMac. There was speculation earlier that a new version would be announced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference this month.

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Koji Go review: Professional film color in a very basic iPhone app

Fri, 2016-06-24 07:00

Koji Go offers a straightforward, no-frills user interface for applying professional 35mm film looks to videos and photos.

Instagram may have popularized the “faux film” look on mobile, but Hollywood has to create it the hard way. As any filmmaker will tell you, the talents of a good color timer are crucial to creating the right atmosphere or mood for a feature film, and the process is far more involved than choosing the right preset.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Changes in iTunes 12.4

Fri, 2016-06-24 06:00

“iTunes keeps changing things...” I hear this a lot from readers who write in with questions about why a specific feature is missing, or why suddenly much of their iTunes library looks different. I discuss three such questions in this week’s column. One about finding the iTunes Store Wish List in iTunes 12.4, another about a change in the way you rate albums, and the third about the way playlists display. I also suggest a way to shuffle music on iOS by artist or genre.

Make a wish

Q: With iTunes making changes in how things are viewed, is there a faster way to view my Wish List, or is going to the iTunes Store front page the only way to do it now?

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How to use Picture in Picture in macOS Sierra

Fri, 2016-06-24 05:00

Picture in Picture (PiP) is one of the features I’m looking forward to the most in the new version of the Mac operating system, macOS Sierra. PiP displays a small video widow that stays on top of the screen and is open at all times. If you switch apps, the video window doesn’t get buried under everything else on your screen.

If you are like me and you like to watch sports events in other parts of the world, PiP is a great way to watch a game while working. Or maybe you want to watch more productive programming, like a Ted Talk or a training video, while you’re getting stuff done.

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