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Apple lifts Nasdaq; Ukraine drags on broader market

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose modestly in choppy trade on Thursday as Apple's shares rallied a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held back the broader market. Caterpillar Inc shares jumped nearly 2 percent and helped limit the Dow's loss after the world's largest maker of earth-moving machinery reported earnings that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading. Wall Street bounced off session lows with gains again concentrated in the Nasdaq, but stocks remained well off earlier highs.



iOS 7.1.1 brings huge battery life improvements for iPhone users

iOS 7.1.1 brings huge battery life improvements for iPhone usersGood news, Apple fans! It looks like Apple’s recent iOS 7.1.1 update has plenty more to offer than just a few bug fixes and Touch ID accuracy improvements. According to some reports, Apple’s latest mobile software update also has a huge positive impact on iPhone battery life. Apple released iOS 7.1.1 for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models this past Tuesday, and the change log was pretty lackluster: - Further improvements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition - Fixes a bug that could impact keyboard responsiveness - Fixes an issue when using Bluetooth keyboards with VoiceOver enabled As it turns out, however Apple may have also snuck in some sizable software optimizations, because ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says that the update has had



Samsung lures developers to smartwatches with $1.25 million in cash

Samsung lures developers to smartwatches with $1.25 million in cashBy all accounts, consumer responses to smartwatches have not exactly been enthusiastic so far. Big gadget makers will continue to push smartwatches and other wearables as growth in the smartphone market continues to slow, but without compelling functionality and solid ecosystems, those efforts will be exceedingly difficult. To address the latter point, Samsung has decided to dangle a pretty massive carrot it hopes developers will chase. As noted by SamMobile on Wednesday, Samsung is now trying to lure developers by offering $1.25 million in prize money as part of a big app contest. Complete details are not yet available, but the contest will aim to encourage developers to make apps for Samsung’s Gear smartwatches. For those interested in the challenge, it looks



Have we already reached peak iPad?

Have we already reached peak iPad?Apple’s latest earnings report was mostly good news for the company, but there was one potentially dark cloud: iPad sales. On the quarter, Apple sold 16.35 million iPads, which was below the consensus estimate of 19.7 million units sold. Analyst Benedict Evans has put together a chart for trailing twelve months unit sales for both the iPhone and the iPad and has found that the iPad’s growth has been stopped dead in its tracks. Evans says that this raises “a very obvious growth question” for the iPad, which has seen its growth stall despite having a much steeper long-term drop in its average selling price (ASP) than the iPhone.   If there’s any good news for the iPad in this, it’s that



Apple posts Q2 results: Profit crushes estimates, revenue climbs despite lack of new launches

Apple posts Q2 results: Profit crushes estimates, revenue climbs despite lack of new launchesEarnings season is now in full swing and as always, Apple’s are the most hotly anticipated results in the technology sector. This time around, however, it’s not because industry watchers want to see how impressive the company’s most recent quarter was, but because the world wants to see how Apple is doing after not having released a notable new product since this past November. Last year, CEO Tim Cook promised new launches in “exciting new product categories” across 2014, and he will undoubtedly promise exciting new products again on Wednesday’s earnings call. But so far, we’ve seen exactly nothing new or exciting from Apple in 2014. Were last year’s iPhone 5s, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini launches enough to carry Apple in the March



iPhone users can now get 100GB of cloud storage for $1 per year

iPhone users can now get 100GB of cloud storage for $1 per yearAfter offering Android users 100GB of combined backup and sync cloud storage for just $0.99 per year, iDrive on Wednesday announced that it’s bringing the same offer to iOS device users. The company will offer iPhone and iPad users 50GB of cloud for data backup purposes and 50GB for syncing, thus matching its offer for Android devices. With iDrive, users will be able to back up their mobile data including contacts, calendar, photos, videos and other files, and sync files across all their devices. The app also lets users access files from other devices on their iPhone or iPad once they’re synced. Finally, the app will let users share files and folders with anyone else. The iOS iDrive app also packs a



New data suggests Galaxy S5 stole a surprising amount of business away from Apple

New data suggests Galaxy S5 stole a surprising amount of business away from AppleEarlier this week, we shared data from used gadget trade-in site Gazelle that showed iPhone users, for the most part, appeared to be largely uninterested in switching to Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. But as it turns out, a similar and perhaps more comprehensive study from a different trade-in service paints a very different picture. UK-based gadget trade-in comparison website CompareMyMobile says it surveyed everyone who used its portal to trade in smartphones between February 24th when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5, and April 11th when the new handset launched. “A new feature we’ve applied to the site now tracks what devices consumers have upgraded to,” CompareMyMobile co-founder Ashley Turner said. “Through this we can get a fantastic insight into the



Why the iWatch could be the final nail in the iPod’s coffin

Why the iWatch could be the final nail in the iPod’s coffiniPod sales have been on the decline for a while now and Apple’s long-rumored iWatch might be the gadget that finally kills it. MacRumors directs our attention to a new research note written by Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Caso, who thinks that Apple is angling to have the iWatch eventually be a complete replacement for the iPod as the go-to gadget for music fans. “We, however, aren’t assuming a material impact to earnings from iWatch, since the iWatch would essentially replace the iPod in the consumer portion of Apple’s product lineup,” Caso writes. “While we don’t expect Apple to discontinue iPod for some time, we also don’t expect an iPod refresh this year, and believe iPod could post year-over-year unit declines as a



Samsung patent reveals a wild new smartphone design

Samsung patent reveals a wild new smartphone designSamsung loves to experiment with different types of designs for its gadgets and a new patent flagged by Galaxy Club shows that the company has come up with some truly wild smartphone designs that go well beyond anything it has released so far. The new smartphone design patented by Samsung reveals a device with an oval-shaped frame and a wraparound display that puts key function buttons on the back of the device. The patent is only for a design concept, so it’s going to be a long time (and maybe forever) before we see anything like it hit the market. The design shown in the patent is actually similar to a design patent that Apple won earlier this year for an



Hard-Working Alleged Drug Dealer Sold Heroin From Her ICU Bed

Hard-Working Alleged Drug Dealer Sold Heroin From Her ICU BedMost of us would probably take a few days off from work if we were in a hospital's intensive care unit, but not Lori Sullenberger! The 38-year-old workaholic was charged today with possessing and intending to sell heroin from her hospital bed. The reason why Sullenberger was in Pennsylvania hospital's ICU has not been disclosed, but according to a hospital spokesperson, staff noticed "an exorbitant amount of foot traffic happening to a patient's room" and that visitors (who often didn't even know Sullenberger's last name) only stayed for a few minutes, rather than the longer stays you might expect from friends and family. Also, as WTAE pointed out, Sullenberg had several cell phones and they rang all the time.



Yes, it looks like the Apple smartwatch will be called the ‘iWatch’

Yes, it looks like the Apple smartwatch will be called the ‘iWatch’Now that Apple has been seen further extending its company trademark to cover Class 14 devices including watches, a new piece of evidence seems to indicate that there’s apparently little doubt as to what Apple’s smartwatch will be called. French publication Consomac has discovered that Apple has quietly applied for “iWatch” trademarks in many markets around the world, including the U.S., by using a discrete dummy company called Brightflash. Registered in Delaware, Brightflash USA LLC has filed for iWatch trademark registrations in the U.S., European Union, U.K., China, Australia and many other countries. Apparently Brightflash has the same address Apple is suspected to have used in the past for a similar company to covertly register potential iPad name iSlate. Similarly, a “Carplay



New Apple recycling program will pay you for your old gadgets

New Apple recycling program will pay you for your old gadgetsApple cares about the environment and it really, really wants the world to know it. The company is making its renewed efforts to be more environmentally conscious known and in the process, Apple launched a new website and a used gadget recycling program. “We want to leave the world better than we found it,” Apple stated at the top of its new site. As part of that effort, the company will immediately begin accepting any and all old Apple devices at its retail stores to be recycled. The company also said that if the devices being traded in appears to be resaleable, Apple will give customers a store credit in exchange for the gadget. No details were provided as far as



Lytro unveils a more sophisticated 'light-field' camera
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In 2011, Lytro Inc dazzled the consumer gadget world when it introduced a pocket flashlight-sized gizmo that could take "living" pictures - images that could be refocused after the shutter clicked. The Lytro Illum, priced at $1,599, is marketed as a legitimate tool for commercial photographers and advanced amateurs who want to differentiate their work in an age of Instagram and "commodotized imaging," Lytro founder Ren Ng said. The original camera, which was priced at $399, was mostly a niche product that sought to prove the viability of light-field photography. Unlike the original Lytro camera, however, the Illum resembles a traditional DSLR, featuring a 30- to 250-mm equivalent F/2 lens, a 1-inch sensor and a sleek black body with a shutter button, SD memory cards and a 4-inch touchscreen display.
T-Mobile trolls BlackBerry again, offers BlackBerry users a sweet deal on Samsung phones

T-Mobile trolls BlackBerry again, offers BlackBerry users a sweet deal on Samsung phonesT-Mobile under CEO John Legere never, ever stops trolling. Now that BlackBerry has decided to completely cut the “Uncarrier” off from selling its devices, 9to5Google points out that T-Mobile has decided to hit back by giving yet another special offer to BlackBerry fans by offering them gift cards of up to $200 if they switch to a new Samsung smartphone such as the Galaxy S5 or the Galaxy Note 3. This isn’t a short-term offer, either: Any T-Mobile customers who bought a BlackBerry at any time up until April 3rd this year can take advantage of this deal from now until the end of the year. This direct targeting of BlackBerry customers with offers for rival phones was what got T-Mobile



Apple releases iOS 7.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Apple slammed for buggy iOS 7.1 release that left users vulnerable to major hacks for weeksApple on Tuesday issued a new update for its wildly popular mobile operating system. iOS 7.1.1, which is available immediately over the air (OTA) and should show up soon as a download through iTunes, is a minor update with bug fixes that follows Apple’s last major release, iOS 7.1. The update is compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPhone 4, as well as recent iPad and iPod touch models. Apple’s brief change log for the iOS 7.1.1 update follows below. - Further improvements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition - Fixes a bug that could impact keyboard responsiveness - Fixes an issue when using Bluetooth keyboards with VoiceOver enabled



LG G3 mini appears in leaked documents with 720p display, 8-megapixel camera

LG G3 mini appears in leaked documents with 720p display, 8-megapixel cameraLG’s bite-sized G2 mini was finally unveiled at MWC 2014 in February, six months after the launch of the flagship G2, but it looks like the next mini hero phone is already in the works. My LG Cell Phones has obtained leaked documents which show a device listed with the name “B2MINI” and model number LG-D725. The next four rows retain the B2 name, listing an unannounced device for each of the four major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. These are likely codenames for the LG G3 and its G3 mini counterpart, although it’s worth noting that the G3 mini is only listed for AT&T. The leak also contains some of the smaller phone’s specs. According to the documents, the LG



Galaxy S5 draws rush of trade-ins from Samsung phone owners; iPhone users uninterested

Galaxy S5 draws rush of trade-ins from Samsung phone owners; iPhone users uninterestedNew flagship smartphone launches are often accompanied by a rush of users trading in older phone models as they upgrade, and data surrounding which models saw increased trade-in volumes can give us a good idea of where business is coming from as people purchase new phones. If data provided to BGR by Gazelle is any indication, early Galaxy S5 buyers were already Samsung device owners in large part, with a comparably small amount of new business coming over from the iPhone. According to data from leading gadget trade-in service Gazelle, the volume of used Samsung phones being sold using the company’s site exploded on April 11th, the day Samsung’s Galaxy S5 went on sale at all four nationwide U.S. wireless carriers. The firm’s data shows that Samsung



Fall of an icon: Nokia’s device division to be officially acquired by Microsoft on Friday

Fall of an icon: Nokia’s device division to be officially acquired by Microsoft on FridayThe end of an era is fast approaching. Microsoft announced on Monday that it will finalize its acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division on Friday, April 25th, thus marking the end of the line for Nokia smartphones. Nokia, an iconic Finnish company that was instrumental in making mobile phones a staple gadget throughout the world, will now focus primarily on making telecom equipment while Microsoft will use Nokia’s engineering talent to make its own smartphones and tablets. Microsoft will not retain the Nokia branding for its mobile devices and will instead rename the division “Microsoft Mobile.” Microsoft also says that “this acquisition will help… accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones” all while “introducing the next billion customers to



Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tabletsOld-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,



Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPad

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPadBlizzard’s new Warcraft-inspired card game soft-launched on iPad in early April, and was released worldwide earlier this week as a free download. However, in less than a day the game took the App Store by storm, quickly becoming the top application in the Top Free Apps charts in many markets. According to data provided by App Annie, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now the No. 1 free app in 38 markets where the App Store is available to customers, including the U.S. When looking at iPad games only, the app is No. 1 in 40 countries. Hearthstone quickly dethroned previous title holders, including Microsoft’s recently launched Office for iPad suite of productivity apps, but also many other free-to-play games. Hearthstone



Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screen

Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screenTactus Technology is a startup that has developed an accessory that can create transparent keyboard buttons on top of a touchscreen display. The company is working with Taiwan-based Wistron, Business Insider reports, to manufacture such a keyboard case accessory for the iPad, which should start shipping later this year. The cases, which will cost between $80 and $100, will work with help of a liquid that forms the physical buttons when such a feature is needed. The cases have two components, including a thin display layer that looks like a screen protector, but allows fluid to pass through it, and a hard-shell backing which will supposedly store the liquid in addition to protecting the device. With a push of a button,



Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad Air

Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad AirThe flood gates have apparently opened in April as Apple device leaks have begun to hit the Internet at an alarming pace. From blueprints to cases to components, we’ve seen enough purported information about the iPhone 6 to build our own, but other than an analyst report on the next iPad’s release date, Apple’s next tablet has remained relatively well hidden. OneMoreThing.nl looks to fix that with the most promising next-gen iPad leaks yet — two photos showing off what might be the front of the iPad Air 2, complete with an integrated display. The current iPad architecture separates the display and the panel, but with an integrated display, the next iPad Air could be even thinner than its predecessor. With



Fourth U.S. Navy official charged in bribery investigation
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The fourth U.S. Navy official charged in the widening corruption investigation of a Singapore-based defense contractor made his first court appearance on Thursday, accused of accepting gifts of cash, electronics and luxury hotel stays. Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug, 27, is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, according to a complaint unsealed on Thursday. He is accused of accepting payments of $1,000 a month, plus expensive electronic gadgets and luxury hotel stays, in exchange for information he provided on Navy ships' schedules to Glenn Defense Marine Asia, the company at the center of the scandal. The company's CEO, native Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, is charged with plying Navy officials with cash, concert tickets, prostitutes and other gifts to win business.
Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind read

Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind readFingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could help visually impaired people read printed text in books and even on electronic devices, thus opening up additional possibilities to them. Developed by MIT researchers, FingerReader wants to help the blind access more resources than what’s already available in braille format. TechCrunch reports that, according to a recent study from the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain cited by one of the researchers, in 2011 only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille. Currently in prototype phase, the FingerReader is essentially a ring that you can use to follow a line of text in a book or on a screen. Thanks to the built-in



You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339

You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339If you’ve been holding out for a discount on the latest line of iPads, you’re in luck. 9to5Mac noticed on Thursday that refurbished Retina iPad minis are now available on Apple’s website, starting at $339 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model in silver and space gray. 32GB Wi-Fi models are listed at $419 and 64GB models will run you $509. Each of these prices represents between a 15-16% discount off of the standard price for a new device. Last year’s Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution display, 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, 10 hour battery life, 5-megapixel camera and weighs just 0.73 pounds. As with other refurbished products sold by Apple, the refurbished iPad mini



Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s cameraiPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light



iOS 8’s Siri will help you identify any song you hear

iOS 8’s Siri will help you identify any song you hearApple will integrate Shazam song discovery features in its upcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system, Bloomberg reports, in an attempt to further increase iTunes music sales. Shazam integration will be built within iOS 8 in a similar manner to Twitter integration, the publication says, which means iPhone and iPad owners won’t have to download a separate app to enable it. Shazam, a very popular online service which currently has more than 90 million monthly users, can capture sound from a phone’s microphone and compare it to a song to identify the song. Apple reportedly plans to give its voice-based assistant Shazam powers as well, and users will be able to simply ask Siri what song is playing. Bloomberg has also



Apple is getting ready to release iOS 7.1.1 to fix multiple bugs

Apple slammed for buggy iOS 7.1 release that left users vulnerable to major hacks for weeksHave you noticed some annoying bugs that cropped up after you installed iOS 7.1 onto your smartphone or tablet? Don’t worry, because apparently Apple has as well. 9to5Mac notices that several visits to its website from around Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. have come from devices running on iOS 7.1.1, which 9to5Mac says is a new update to iOS 7.1 that Apple is testing out to address multiple bugs in iOS 7.1. 9to5Mac also says that there has been a noticeable uptick in iOS 7.1.1 visits in recent days, which likely means “the bug fix update will come over-the-air to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches in the near future.”



Blizzard’s free World of Warcraft card game Hearthstone is now available worldwide on iPad

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPadBlizzard announced on Wednesday that its free-to-play collectible card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is finally rolling out worldwide for the iPad. Hearthstone has been available on the iPad in select regions for a few weeks, but April 16th represents the app’s official international launch. The app supports the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads as well as the iPad mini, Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. If you’ve somehow missed out on the explosive popularity of Blizzard’s latest title, Hearthstone is a collectible card game that offers some of the most impressive visuals and easy-to-learn gameplay in the genre. A series of tutorial battles will walk you through the nine available classes, each of which has class specific cards and a



Does BlackBerry finally know what it’s doing again?

Does BlackBerry finally know what it’s doing again?It’s way too early to declare BlackBerry on the comeback trail, but Wired nonetheless finds a lot to like in the company’s recent investment in health tech startup NantHealth, a move that the publication calls BlackBerry’s “first good idea in years.” Why is this particular investment such a good idea? As Wired explains, it’s a sign that BlackBerry has really and truly thrown in the towel trying to compete with Apple and Google and is instead focussing on niche markets where its core strengths are actually valued. “After years of lousy calls and stubborn attempts to stay relevant with consumers, the NantHealth investment is a promising sign that BlackBerry is doubling down on niche markets — the one place where



BlackBerry's meltdown sparks start-up boom in Canada's Silicon Valley

The Aeryon Scout, a small drone developed by start-up Aeryon Labs is pictured in WaterlooBy Sayantani Ghosh, Ashutosh Pandey and Euan Rocha (Reuters) - The troubles at BlackBerry Ltd, which fired more than half its staff and lost more than 90 percent of its market value as consumers shunned its smart phones, might have spelled disaster for the company's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. More than 450 start-ups opened for business in the twin cities of Waterloo and Kitchener last year, more than four times the number begun in 2009, according to Communitech, a local company that advises them. Often, the new companies are being founded by former BlackBerry employees chasing their entrepreneurial ambitions in a community that's Canada's answer to technology hubs in California and elsewhere. "For those who are trying to get a new tech business off the ground, get it funded, and not get lost in the shadow of Silicon Valley, Waterloo can be the best place to get your company on the map," said Sean McCabe, vice-president of engineering at drone manufacturer Aeryon Labs Inc in Waterloo.



Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.