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Macworld’s April Digital Edition: The State of HomeKit

2 hours 40 min ago

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld Digital Edition.

In the April issue

We look at the state of the Apple HomeKit market and imagine future iOS devices. Plus, read about our favorite gear and apps for travel photography.

Also in this month’s issue:

Mac User: Apple’s new HQ, Apple Park, will open in April

iOS Central: 5 things the iPad Pro needs instead of skinnier bezels

• Working Mac: Connecting an Apple LED Cinema Display to a USB-C MacBook or MacBook Pro?

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The Week in iOS Apps: Learn to play a musical instrument with Chordana Play

4 hours 47 min ago
Name that tune!

Image by Rob Schultz/Macworld

This week’s roundup includes two apps that help you learn to play keyboard and guitar. Got a song in your heart? Read on!

Chordana Play

Image by Chordana

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Apple: Macs and iPhones are safe from newly revealed CIA exploits

6 hours 54 min ago

The Mac and iPhone exploits described in new documents attributed to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency were patched years ago, according to Apple.

WikiLeaks released a new set of files Thursday that supposedly came from the CIA. They contain details about the agency’s alleged malware and attack capabilities against iPhones and Mac computers.

The documents, dated 2012 and earlier, describe several “implants” that the CIA can install in the low-level extensible firmware interface (EFI) of Mac laptop and desktop computers. These EFI rootkits allow the agency's macOS spying malware to persist even after the OS is reinstalled.

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To punish Symantec, Google may distrust a third of the web's SSL certificates

7 hours 29 min ago

Google is considering a harsh punishment for repeated incidents in which Symantec or its certificate resellers improperly issued SSL certificates. A proposed plan is to force the company to replace all of its customers’ certificates and to stop recognizing the extended validation (EV) status of those that have it.

According to a Netcraft survey from 2015, Symantec is responsible for about one in every three SSL certificates used on the web, making it the largest commercial certificate issuer in the world. As a result of acquisitions over the years the company now controls the root certificates of several formerly standalone certificate authorities including VeriSign, GeoTrust, Thawte and RapidSSL.

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How to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and iCloud account

9 hours 12 min ago

If you aren’t using two-factor authentication to protect your Apple ID and iCloud account, you really should do it today. Hackers who claim to have millions of stolen iCloud credentials are demanding Apple pay a ransom or they’ll release them—and ZDNet obtained a sample set of credentials and determined they’re real.

But guess what? Using two-factor authentication should protect you completely. It’s easy to set up, so take a minute and do it now.

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Apple’s Product(RED) iPhone and new 9.7-inch iPad now available for purchase

10 hours 6 min ago

If Apple’s shiny new red iPhone 7 caught your eye on Tuesday when it was first announced, grab your wallet—it’s now officially on sale, as of 8:01 a.m. Pacific/11:01 a.m Eastern on Friday. Also available now is the new 9.7-inch iPad, which replaces the iPad Air 2. 

The Product(RED) iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are exactly like the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, just in a new color—an aluminum red backing with a white front bezel—and Apple donates a portion of each Product(RED) device sale to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Pick between the 128GB iPhone 7 model for $749 and the 256GB model for $849; the iPhone 7 Plus will set you back $869 or $969, respectively. If you’re enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program, the cost of an unlocked red iPhone with AppleCare+ starts at $37 per month. It’s available in Apple stores now, and you can reserve one online for in-store pickup for peace of mind. 

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62% off Anker PowerLine+ Micro USB 6ft Premium Cable - Deal Alert

10 hours 23 min ago

With this cable, Anker boasts reinforced stress points with a 10000+ bend lifespan, double-braided nylon exterior and toughened aramid fiber core, laser-welded connectors and a worry-free 18-month warranty. The micro-USB cord is a generous 6 feet in length. Its list price on Amazon is currently discounted to just $10.99. See this deal now on Amazon.

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MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL turns Pong into a marvelous, mystical battler

10 hours 52 min ago

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.

Yes, MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL is the real name of an iOS game, and it’s a title that seems sure to either pique your curiosity or leave you confused and scratching your head. Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume it’s the former. What does the name mean? Well, it’s apparently Sumerian for Gemini, the twin stars of the zodiac, which correspond with the two paddles you control in the game.

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Apple's acquisition of Workflow could bring automation to iOS

13 hours 33 min ago

After this week’s news that Apple had acquired iOS power user app Workflow, you’d be excused for being a bit confused about the future of automation on Apple’s platform. After all, it was just last November that Sal Soghoian, Apple’s product manager of automation technologies, left the company when his position was eliminated.

And yet, Apple snapped up Workflow, an app that many had compared to Apple’s own Automator, which was introduced way back in 2005’s Mac OS X Tiger. So what gives? Is there still some life in automation and scripting features on Apple’s platforms, or is this merely a case of Apple acquiring useful talent?

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Leaked iCloud credentials obtained from third parties, Apple says

14 hours 13 min ago

A group of hackers threatening to wipe data from Apple devices attached to millions of iCloud accounts didn’t obtain whatever log-in credentials they have through a breach of the company’s services, Apple said.

“There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID,” an Apple representative said in an emailed statement. “The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

A group calling itself the Turkish Crime Family claims to have login credentials for more than 750 million, and email addresses, and the group says more than 250 million of those credentials provide access to iCloud accounts that don’t have two-factor authentication turned on.

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Twitter mulls an enhanced TweetDeck for power users as subscription rumors swirl

14 hours 14 min ago

Twitter has started surveying users to check their interest in a new enhanced version of its TweetDeck product, raising the possibility that the company is considering a paid version of its service.

The move by Twitter comes in the wake of its almost flat revenue growth and a lackluster increase in the number of its users in the fourth quarter in comparison to the company’s social networking peers like Facebook.

A subscription-based version of its service would be in line with the strategies of some other Internet services like Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, which offer additional features to paid users.

Twitter said in an emailed statement that it is conducting a survey “to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version” of TweetDeck, the application for power users of Twitter that lets people monitor multiple timelines in one interface, manage multiple accounts and schedule tweets for posting later.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: A look at new features in iTunes 12.6

14 hours 52 min ago

Apple recently released iTunes 12.6, and it addresses some issues that readers have been writing me about for some time. In this week’s column, I answer a couple of those questions and explain some of the changes in iTunes 12.6. Apple has—finally—brought back the ability to open playlists in their own windows. And the MiniPlayer, that small floating window that lets you control iTunes, has been updated. Read on to find out what’s new in iTunes 12.6.

Playlist windows

Q: I remember that, some time ago, I could open playlists in iTunes in their own windows. Will Apple ever bring that feature back?

I get this question often, and just this week, when Apple updated iTunes to version 12.6, I was surprised to discover that this ability had been restored. Back in 2015, on my website, I wrote a series of articles about how I would fix iTunes, and part 3 was about multiple windows. I asked for both playlist windows and for the ability—long available in iTunes—to open the iTunes Store in its own window.

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32% off Nintendo Wii Remote Plus, Toad - Deal Alert

Thu, 2017-03-23 18:00

Simple, intuitive and easy to use. The Wii Remote Plus is a unique controller for the Wii and Wii U video game systems, now with the increased sensitivity of Wii MotionPlus built-in. The button presses of typical controllers are replaced by the natural, fluid motion of your hand. The Wii Remote Plus senses your every action and makes you feel less like a player and more like you're part of the game. This Wii remote is highly rated, and currently discounted 32% on Amazon to just $27.15, saving you almost $13. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Instagram adds two-factor authentication, censors photos that are deemed offensive or disturbing

Thu, 2017-03-23 17:10

When in doubt, blur it out. That’s how Instagram is handling any controversial photos that surface on its platform.

On Thursday, Instagram announced a new policy to blur out “sensitive” content that users have flagged as either offensive or disturbing. The blurred photos and videos do not explicitly violate Instagram’s content guidelines, so they don’t warrant a removal by Instagram standards. However, some users may still find them too sensitive to view. 

“While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive,” the Instagram team wrote in a blog post announcing the policy. “This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app.”

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Facebook makes Messenger more like iMessage with emoji reactions

Thu, 2017-03-23 15:10

Facebook has incorporated new features into its Messenger app, and they may seem familiar to iMessage users.

Facebook Messenger now lets users add emoji reactions to individual messages, just how Facebook users can “react” to posts in their News Feeds. Facebook is also giving users the ability to include @mentions in their messages. Both of these new features will begin rolling out on Thursday and will be available globally in the coming days, according to Facebook.

You can add an emoji reaction to any message, whether it’s a text comment, a photo, or GIF. These emoji reactions include five different emotions—from love to wow to angry—as depicted by smiley faces, plus Facebook’s signature thumbs up to signify a “Like.” For the first time, Facebook is also giving users the option to “dislike” something with a thumbs down emoji. 

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Senate votes to kill FCC's broadband privacy rules

Thu, 2017-03-23 14:44

The U.S. Senate has voted to kill broadband provider privacy regulations prohibiting them from selling customers' web-browsing histories and other data without their permission.

The Senate's 50-48 vote Thursday on a resolution of disapproval would roll back Federal Communications Commission rules requiring broadband providers to receive opt-in customer permission to share sensitive personal information, including web-browsing history, geolocation, and financial details with third parties. The FCC approved the regulations just five months ago.

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Save $1,100 on the HP LaserJet Enterprise M506dh Printer By Using This Code - Deal Alert

Thu, 2017-03-23 14:44

HP is having a spring sale, and they've discounted the LaserJet Enterprise M506dh Printer by a whopping $1,100 if you use the special coupon code BMA165655 between now and 3/31. This HP Laser Monochrome Printer has a steadfast printing speed of up to 45 ppm -- perfect when you have a progressive printing system in mind. Its 1200x1200 dpi copy ensures sheer, precise copies in result. It’s an f2a71a#201 Automatic duplex printer that can absorb up to 250 sheets on its output bin, and does a 100-sheet on its multipurpose tray 1, while it can work suitably with 550-sheet on its 2 and 3 input trays. It can perform with 650 sheets on a standard paper input, and 250 standard paper output sheets. It can print out 150,000 pages on a monthly duty cycle. Use the coupon code BMA165655 to save big money for a limited time.

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Updates to Google's Duo, Allo, and Photos apps bring small but important features

Thu, 2017-03-23 14:27

Google came packed with a bunch of announcements at its Google for Brazil event, but you don’t need to live in Rio de Janeiro to benefit from them. In addition to the new location sharing in Maps, Google is also rolling out updates to its Duo, Allo, and Photos apps, bringing some long-awaited features.

First up is Duo. While the focus of the app had been on video chatting, Google will now let you make audio calls too. According to Google, “Duo audio calls work well on all connection speeds and won’t eat up your data.”

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Newly leaked documents show low-level CIA Mac and iPhone hacks

Thu, 2017-03-23 14:24

The CIA has had tools to infect Macs by connecting malicious Thunderbolt ethernet adapters to them since 2012, according to new documents purported to be from the agency and published by WikiLeaks.

One of the documents, dated Nov. 29, 2012, is a manual from the CIA’s Information Operations Center on the use of a technology codenamed Sonic Screwdriver. It is described as “a mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting.”

Sonic Screwdriver allows the CIA to modify the firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-ethernet adapter so that it forces a MacBook to boot from an USB stick or DVD disc even when its boot options are password protected.

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Newegg's dropped $20 off the third-generation Nest thermostat

Thu, 2017-03-23 14:19

Newegg has a deal that offers a smarter way to turn down the heat as we move from winter to spring. The online retailer is selling the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat for $230. That’s $20 off the typical price you’ll find elsewhere, and though it’s not a huge price cut, we haven’t seen the Nest Thermostat on sale since Target’s 15 percent off coupon deal from last month and the holiday season prices before that.

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