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Google reportedly gearing up to produce own smartphone this year

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 7:50pm
Google is allegedly working on producing a new smartphone it will produce itself, according to a report, with the first release potentially arriving at the end of this year. Rather than relying on a third-party manufacturer to actually produce the devices, a report claims Google is intending to go into hardware production itself, giving it increased control over the overall experience consumers will get to have with the mobile device, instead of just the software that the existing Nexus device range uses....
Categories: iPod News

Straight Path Group joins assault on FaceTime technology

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 7:23pm
A fourth lawsuit against Apple over alleged infringement of patents used by FaceTime has been filed, this time by Straight Path Group. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern California District Court, claims that FaceTime infringes on five patents previously owned by NetSpeak, which made the popular VOIP application WebPhone in the mid-1990s. As with previous suits underway by patent trolls VirnetX, VOIP-Pal, and Uniloc, the suit covers older and more general audio-video patents allegedly used by Apple in its FaceTime and Messages technologies....
Categories: iPod News

Best of MacNN: MacBundler, BundleCult reportedly not paying developers

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 5:48pm
Editor's Note: as MacNN closes at the end of this month, we're showcasing some of our favorite pieces from its recent history. I'm Malcolm Owen, and I helped out on a series of reports concerning a collection of "bundle" sites that sold licenses for a number of apps, but failed to pay the developers behind those apps. The first report appeared in November, with an updated reminder of what was going on published in April this year, the content of which is repeated below....
Categories: iPod News

Hands On: Kitsound Stadium 120

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 3:33pm
It's billed as being for making sport and movies sound great, but I can tell you now that it didn't help make the UK European Union referendum sound any better at all. You can't expect miracles, though, and the Kitsound Stadium 120 is far from the top end of TV soundbars that you can buy. Yet it did transform my television, and it did make it very hard to go back to watching anything without it....
Categories: iPod News

Best of MacNN: the 2014 -- and last -- Macworld/iWorld Expo

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 3:05pm
Editor's note: we're winding down the site with some of our special stories and moments across the last few years. As a long-time staffer, the heyday of the Macworld Expos were a very special time for all of us working at MacNN: it was a rare chance for us all to get together in person, report on the latest and greatest in an intense blitz of publicity, and stay in swanky New York City or San Francisco hotels. Editor Charles Martin attended the final Macworld/iWorld Expo in March of 2014, and filed this report....
Categories: iPod News

Apple offers rainbow Watch bands for SF Pride participants

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 2:46pm
Over the weekend, Apple employees once again participated in the Bay Area Pride Festival, including CEO Tim Cook, as they have as an official participant since 2014. Employees received special rainbow-colored Apple Watch bands this year, accompanied by a special playlist of related iTunes content. The event, which continues to focus on the LGTBQ community but has expanded to be a more general celebration of freedom from oppression or discrimination. This is the third year that Apple has officially participated, though employees have marched in the parade for many years prior to the official in...
Categories: iPod News

MacNN Deals: Fly through the air with these four discounted drones

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 2:04pm
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all flying machines you may know as quadcopters or drones, including the smallest the MacNN Deals store has to offer, a pretty well protected model, one with an onboard camera that can follow you, and a drone declared to be the best in the store's history....
Categories: iPod News

The MacNN Podcast, episode 68: Side effects may include death

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:28pm
By sheer coincidence, our final episode of The MacNN Podcast comes just before a scheduled break for the Canada Day/Fourth of July holiday. Yes, it is sort of true -- because the site will be shutting down (more on that in a bit, but you can read about it here), this will be the last episode under the MacNN banner. However, because Mike and Charles and others are still having too much fun with this, we'll pick up again on the week of July 11 with a new creation, Cranky Old Guys Generally Disapproving of New Things, or Project Keep Us Off the Streets, or whatever we're going to call it....
Categories: iPod News

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MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:06pm
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Categories: iPod News

This Week in Apple History: June 25 through July 1

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 9:15am
We're halfway through our year-long history celebrating Apple's 40th anniversary, and we've reached a milestone for the entire computer industry. These days, that really means a milestone for the world -- and yet, it's one that is barely remembered, hardly celebrated, and when you know what it is, our perspective from all these years later actually makes it hard to really comprehend how monumental it is....
Categories: iPod News

The Big Deal: Get over $3,000 of photography resources for $99

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 8:23am
For quite a while now, MacNN sometimes finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our other deal lists, and is deserving enough to be highlighted inside its own Big Deals post. Even though this writing team hasn't got much time left, we're still going to point out the deals we think you will enjoy like we always have. Like last summer, we've found one of the largest photography bundles deals available, with the aptly named The Big Deal 2016 from Foto Promos....
Categories: iPod News

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 prints smartphone photographs in seconds

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 8:16am
Fujifilm has released a new portable printer that is claimed to provide users with credit card-sized photographic prints within ten seconds, faster than its predecessor. As the name suggests, the Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2 is meant to receive a photograph from a smartphone or tablet and turn it into a compact printed image that users can keep, giving users an alternative way to create a copy of their favorite photos alongside the usual sharing of images with friends over social networks....
Categories: iPod News

Saying Farewell: writer William Gallagher

MacNN Podcasts - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 7:37am
I'm not even supposed to be here. While, strictly speaking, I started my career in BBC local radio, I soon moved into computer magazines -- and then I left, from boredom. I'm only telling you this because it's you. Also because they were PC computer magazines: I struggled to get excited when this month's grey box was one percent faster or perhaps 10 percent greyer than the last. Yet by sheer number of hours alone, I think I've written more computer journalism on MacNN in the last 19 months than I have anything else....
Categories: iPod News

Logging, Retooled

The Daily WTF - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 5:30am

In every company, there is a tendency to value code that was invented in-house over code that was, to put it bluntly, Not Invented Here. There is an eternal struggle to find balance between the convenience of pre-packaged code that is not fully vetted and the trustworthiness of code they themselves have written. As is typical in these tales, Jon's company got it wrong.

When Jon was asked what logging solution he was planning to implement in his company's .NET-based application, he gave the right answer: log4net.

No sooner had he spoken, however, than the room grew quiet. The locusts could be heard clearly from outside the window, screaming their disgust at the idea. Not-here! Not-here! Not-here!

"Or ... maybe I could throw something together?" he suggested timidly.

"Splendid!" replied Jon's boss, Ned, heartily. "You can use my logger as a head start. Rolled it by hand back in my university days. It's much better than that log4net crap. Did you realize that piece of dung uses reflection? Reflection! Something as simple as a logger doesn't need anything as expensive as that."

And Ned was right, in a way. His logger didn't use reflection; it hardcoded the method name into each log call made. But that's not all. In a bid to save on "expensive" new features Ned barely understood, the logger was held to a strict 2.0 code level, despite the project using the 4.5 framework. And in a flash of coursework-inspired brillance, he had implemented his own custom stack to store incoming logs—a move that entirely undid any cost savings achieved by avoiding reflection three times over.

But Jon tried. He rewrote the stack structure, desperate to reclaim some of the cycles. He documented methods that confused him, hoping to leave the codebase better than he found it. And he tried and tried to make it work consistently.

The days turned into weeks, and the project deadlines began to slip. Ned grew sterner and sterner with every depressing status meeting. "That logger can't possibly be responsible for all this! It was fine when I wrote it!"

"But sir, if we just pull it and use Log4Net—" Jon began.

"I don't want to hear another word about Log4net! Just get the project done!"

And so it was done—weeks behind schedule, and with a tendency to drop log files in the event of a crash, just when you'd want them the most. Jon privately swore he'd never touch the logger again; come hell or high water, he'd use log4net next time and be done with it.

It was three months later before he had another chance. Another desktop app needed to be built where logs would be mission-critical in the event of a disaster.

"Sir, about the logging—" Jon piped up.

"I know what you're going to say, and I won't hear of it," Ned cut him off.

"But sir, if you'll just listen a moment—"

"I said no and that's final: there's no way you'll be using that POS logger you put into production last time! No, you're going to have to write something custom from scratch, no getting around it!"

Jon put in his custom, from scratch, two weeks' notice that very day.

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Categories: Comic Relief

Freebie Friday: Take better photographs, learn the basics of coding

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 9:41pm
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff that you can get, and possibly make use of this weekend, without spending a single cent. For the last time before the site closes, the freebies on offer today include coding courses, tuition to make your photographs better, and our usual collection of free iOS apps....
Categories: iPod News

Apple online stores appear to be down [U]

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 6:24pm
[Update: outage resolved] Since at least 2:17 PM Pacific Time today, the iTunes and App Stores appear to be dysfunctional for at least some users. The problem appears to be most severe in the northeastern US and in England, but there are scattered reports from a number of other countries, though not all users are affected. For those that are, however, upgrades and purchases are not able to go through. This also is having an impact on Apple's streaming services and the ability of users to log into their iTunes accounts....
Categories: iPod News

Best of MacNN: OmniPlan hands-on (OS X, iOS)

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 6:00pm
Editor's Note: as MacNN closes at the end of this month, we're showcasing our favorite pieces from its recent history. I'm William Gallagher, and I wrote this one about OmniPlan back in early 2015, so I should say first that the software detailed in it has been updated many, many times since then. I did like the software when I first reviewed it, and I like it even more now -- but the reason I picked this is that it was a deceptively hard piece to write....
Categories: iPod News

Hands On: Mac Backup Guru 6.0 (OS X)

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 5:32pm
This isn't going to sound like a compliment, but it is: we've practically nothing to say about this backup app. That would be because it does the job, though, and that not only can we quickly start using it, but we can quickly forget about it, too. Mac Backup Guru 6.0 is a way to make a complete copy ("clone") of your whole hard disk, a backup of important documents, and a regular copy of either. It does what it says it will, and where it's noteworthy is in how easily it does all this....
Categories: iPod News

YouTube adds Periscope-style live video streaming to mobile apps

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 4:11pm
YouTube is stepping up its efforts to allow users to stream live over its service, with an upcoming update to its mobile app. Putting itself in direct competition with Facebook's own live-streaming service and the Twitter-owned Periscope, the Alphabet video site is slowly rolling out a change to its iOS app that will allow a small selection of users to broadcast video live to their subscribers, directly from their smartphone or tablet....
Categories: iPod News

Best of MacNN: Back to the Mac: a fresh start after a long time apart

MacNN Podcasts - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:50pm
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. I'm MacNN writer William Gallagher, and I've chosen my colleague and pal Malcolm Owen's series about being a Windows user returning to the Mac. It's a fresh perspective on what, to me, is the very familiar Apple environment....
Categories: iPod News
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