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Mac: LG 31MU97-B 31” Digital 4K IPS LED Monitor

Ultra-high resolution 4K displays are becoming the norm now, with Apple’s new iMac pushing the envelope even further. If you’re looking for something bigger than Apple’s Thunderbolt Display, LG has you covered with its new 31” Digital Cinema 4K IPS LED Monitor ($1400). With a 17:9 aspect ratio, this display boasts a resolution of 4096 x 2160, a 1M:1 contrast ratio, and 10-bit color depth. It also features a 178/178 viewing angle and advanced anti-glare coating, making it suitable for use in a wide variety of professional and studio environments.

Review: Rokform Crystal v3 for iPhone 6

Rokform's Crystal v3 ($39) case for iPhone 6 is very similar to its Sport v3 case. Both cases feature similar solid builds with the same claimed 6' drop protection, and both include a magnet and mount. An included hole in Crystal v3 also allows the cases to attach to Rokform's own integrated mounting system. Crystal v3 only comes in two colors, however — clear and a translucent orange. And while Sport v3 features two large replaceable back panels — one with the hole for the mount system and one with a built-in magnet and no hole — Crystal v3 keeps the mounting hole intact and uses two much smaller panels which offer the same magnetic mount functionality.

Apple reverses course on iOS calculator widgets

Following Wednesday reports that Apple would be removing apps from the App Store that make improper use of the new iOS 8 Today screen extensions, TechCrunch reports that the company appears to have softened the policy somewhat, at least concerning calculator widgets. James Thomson, developer of the popular iOS calculator app PCalc, had been one of the first to add new extension features when iOS 8 was released. However, despite his app being approved in time for the initial iOS 8 launch — and featured as an Editors Choice in the App Store — Thomson was advised by Apple earlier this week that PCalc would be pulled from the App Store as “widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations.”

Now, however, an Apple spokesperson has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is reversing course, allowing the PCalc app to remain in the App Store, with the widget intact, and permitting calculator-type widgets in other apps in the future. The calculator use case was supposedly not one that Apple had anticipated—despite including its own calculator widget in the OS X Yosemite Today screen—and the restriction was originally intended to prohibit developers from creating more complex widgets with functionality that should be placed in a standalone app. Apple’s developer documentation specifically notes that Today widgets are designed to “give users quick updates or enable very simple tasks.”

Thomson tweeted that the policy reversal actually came as a surprise to him, and that he is now trying to get confirmation from Apple that this is indeed the case. But it appears that PCalc will remain in the App Store in its current form, allowing iOS 8 users to continue to take advantage of the handy calculator widget that it provides. While calculator widgets have now received a green light, it remains unclear what this means for other apps making more advanced use of Today widgets; it seems that with any major new iOS 8 feature, Apple still has to sort out a few blurred lines within its App Store Review Guidelines.

 

Review: Uniq Bodycon, LifePro, and Helio for iPhone 6 + Bodycon for iPhone 6 Plus

Four new cases from Uniq — three for iPhone 6 and one for iPhone 6 Plus — are less expensive than many Uniq cases we've seen in the past. Bodycon for iPhone 6 ($15) and iPhone 6 Plus ($18) is an extremely thin case that comes in a number of colors, some translucent. Helio ($15) is an artificial leather case with basic button coverage. LifePro ($13) is the cheapest option here, and the TPU case with a raised bumper looks to provide the best protection of the bunch.

Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an essay on equality in Bloomberg Businessweek, in which he publicly acknowledges that he is gay in an effort to help others who may be struggling with issues of inequality or coming to terms with their own sexual orientation. Cook notes that while he has been open about his sexuality to many of his colleagues, and has never denied his sexuality, he has yet to acknowledge it publicly until now. Cook states outright, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” While Cook describes himself in the essay as a private person, he notes that he has come to the realization that what he can do to help others is more important than his own desire for privacy:

“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

Cook goes on to emphasize that Apple has been a long advocate of human rights and equality, and has taken stands in support of workplace equality, marriage equality, and against gender discrimination. He writes that Apple will continue to fight for these values, and that he himself will “personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.”

Daily Deal: Slickwraps For iPhone 6, $13.99

Today in iLounge Deals you can pick your own customized Slickwrap for your iPhone 6 for only $13.99—almost 40% off the regular price. With a choice of over 35 different colour and texture options from solid colours to wood grain and more, Slickwraps lets you customize the look of your iPhone to fit your own personal style. Made from ultra-thin, commercial grade vinyl, Slickwraps are tough enough to protect your iPhone from minor scratches and small drops, and the package comes with an added screen protector to protect the front of your iPhone as well.

Get your custom Slickwrap for your iPhone 6 now for only $13.99

AT&T and Verizon tracking customer web activity

New reports reveal that both AT&T and Verizon have been using unique identifying information to track web activity for their respective mobile customers. According to Wired, Verizon has been “subtly altering” web traffic from its wireless customers for the past two years in order to insert a unique identifier header, or UIDH, that allows the company to identify users on the web and target its Internet advertising. This “perma-cookie” — as termed by Jacob Hoffman-Andrews of the Electronic Frontier Foundation — allows any web server to build a profile of a user’s Internet habits. Since Verizon is able to take advantage of its unique position as the Internet Service Provider to actually modify traffic midstream, this method also has the potential to circumvent existing privacy tools such as private browsing sessions and “do not track” restrictions. At this time, there is no way to turn off this UIDH feature, according to a Verizon spokesperson. The company notes that it does not use the feature to create customer profiles, but only targeted ads for those users who have not opted out of the company’s Relevant Mobile Advertising program. Verizon customers can choose to opt out by visiting https://www.vzw.com/myprivacy, however Hoffman-Andrews points out that because the UIDH is broadcast to every web site that a Verizon user visits, other ad networks could begin leveraging the identifier themselves to profile Verizon users’ web activity even without the company’s involvement.

AT&T also appears to have begun testing its own unique mobile tracking solution, according to another report from Forbes. While AT&T claims to only be “testing” the system for now, the company claims to be building in its own privacy measures by rotating the unique identifier every 24 hours. However, the security researcher who discovered the tracking, Kenneth White, states that this is “categorically untrue,” noting that he has found three identifying codes sent by AT&T that were persistent. An AT&T spokesperson declined to reveal how long the test had been running, saying only that it has been a “little while” and claims that customers will be able to opt out of any future AT&T programs that might use this code, noting that unlike Verizon, AT&T will not include the code at all for customers who have chosen to opt out. Users can see if they’re affected by visiting http://205.234.28.93/mobileoptout/ using a cellular data connection from their AT&T mobile device. 

In either case, users can check to see if their devices are broadcasting a mobile identifier by visiting http://lessonslearned.org/sniff, a site setup by Kenneth White, the security researcher who discovered the tracking. [via MacRumors]

Review: Trident Case Aegis, Cyclops, Kraken A.M.S. + Perseus for iPhone 6

Trident Case has released a variety of cases for iPhone 6, including Aegis ($35), Cyclops ($40), Kraken A.M.S. ($50), and Perseus ($20). The differences in pricing reflect a range of sophistication: Perseus is a simple one-piece gel case, while Aegis is a dual-layer rubber and plastic case. Continuing on, Cyclops adds a front layer of protection, while Kraken A.M.S is the company's heavy-duty case; it includes a built-in kickstand and comes with a belt clip holster, as well.

Mac: Twelve South BookArc for Mac Pro

A BookArc for the Mac Pro ($60)? Why not? Twelve South certainly seems to have thought so, adapting its elegantly simple MacBook stand for Apple’s most powerhouse desktop Mac, providing not only a way to hold your Mac Pro, but a way to make it shine like the high-tech work of art that it is. Made from an interior of solid steel with polished chrome on the outside and soft silicone padding on the inset, this new BookArc holds your Mac Pro on its side – a perfectly acceptable position as far as Apple is concerned – where it can operate horizontally, reducing the Mac Pro’s profile and giving you more flexibility to place it where you want, with a resulting look that ends up reminiscent of a futuristic jet engine.

iOS updates causing Mophie Juice Pack Air compatibility problems?

 

A number of users of the Mophie Juice Pack Air have reported problems with the battery case not being recognized or properly charging iPhone 5 devices following iOS updates. While the specific reasons are unclear, there have been reports since iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.1 of iPhones suddenly showing a message that the accessory may not be supported, usually following an iOS update; similar issues have been reported following the recent release of iOS 8.1. Some users have reported temporary success with workarounds such as using an iPad 10W power adapter or charging the iPhone and battery case separately a few times. Notably, Mophie has recommended the latter procedure when users have reported compatibility errors, although not all users have had success with that particular method, even when using Mophie-supplied cables and recommended power adapters. Mophie’s cases are notably carried in Apple Stores, and were amongst the very first to receive Apple’s Made For iPhone Lightning certification after the iPhone 5 was released.

The Mophie Juice Pack Air charges the iPhone and the battery case in sequence, and accessory-related error messages occasionally appear when the accessory transitions between charging the iPhone and charging its own battery, suggesting that there may be a handshaking issue with Apple’s authentication chips. However, it appears that authentication chip-related components in the case may be failing entirely over a longer time period, ultimately resulting in the case not being recognized by iOS, and the connected iPhone refusing to accept a charge. Reports have varied regarding problems with pass-through charging and charging directly from the case’s battery, but there appears to be a correlation between new iOS version updates and problems with the Mophie cases. It’s possible that changes to Lightning authentication in later iOS versions may be affecting compatibility with previously certified “Made For iPhone” accessories, an issue that would be Apple’s responsibility to resolve.






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