Get 72% off NordVPN Virtual Private Network Service For a Limited Time - Deal Alert

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NordVPN gives you a private and fast path through the public Internet. All of your data is protected every step of the way using revolutionary 2048-bit SSL encryption even a supercomputer can’t crack. Access Hulu, Netflix, BBC, ITV, Sky, RaiTV and much more from anywhere in the world. Unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices. You're sure to find dozens of good uses for a VPN. Take advantage of the current 72% off deal that makes all of this available to you for just $3.29/month (access deal here). This is a special deal available for a limited time.

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40% off TurboTax Deluxe 2016 Tax Software Federal & State - Deal Alert

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It’s all over: Talking big about Alexa

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It is now time for another episode of Farewell To Competition, in which a product is imagined to have won a battle that will actually be ongoing for years to come.

Writing for The Motley Fool, Danny Vena says “Amazon Is About to End the Competition's Only Advantage Over Alexa.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher.)

E-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. has a hit on its hands with its artificial intelligence-based Alexa virtual assistant and the products powered by the digital darling.

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The Week in Apple News and Rumors: New iPad, Red iPhone 7, new Apple Watch bands, and more

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Apple headlines for the week ending Mar. 24, 2017
Apple headlines for the week ending March 24, 2017

Image by Apple

Apple released a new iPad, a new red iPhone and new Apple Watch bands. But there’s plenty more news about the Cupertino-based company. Check out the Apple-related headlines in this week’s roundup. Just click on the link to get more information.

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43% off Caller-ID Call Blocker For Robo-calls, Telemarketers and Other Nuisances - Deal Alert

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Just hit the big red "block now" button and say goodbye to robocalls, telemarketer calls, solicitor calls, elections calls, junk faxes or anyone else you'd prefer not to hear from. This small and discreet gadget can also block international and private numbers, as well as full area codes. It has a 1,000 number/area code memory with 200 numbers pre-programmed. The popular gadget averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 3,450 people on Amazon (73% rate 5 stars -- read recent reviews here), where its original list price is reduced 43% to $79.99. See the discounted 1,200 number call-blocker on Amazon.

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Macworld’s April Digital Edition: The State of HomeKit

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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

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

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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

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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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iTunes 12.6 update will let you watch your iTunes movie rentals across your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

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A mysterious "Show on Profile Page" toggle appeared in the initial iTunes 12.6 update. Apple has released a revision that removes this toggle.

Update: Apple has re-released the iTunes 12.6 update. If you installed the previous version, you’ll find the new iTunes 12.6 update in the App Store; if you haven't updated to iTunes 12.6 yet, you may see two iTunes 12.6 updates in the App Store. The newest version number is 12.6.100.

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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 icloud.com, me.com and mac.com 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

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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

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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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26% off Nintendo Wii Remote Plus, Toad - Deal Alert

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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 26% on Amazon to just $29.49.See this deal now on Amazon.

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

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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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35% off Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard Self-Balancing Smart Scooter - Deal Alert

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Step on the deck and go with Razor Hovertrax 2.0, the world’s smartest self-balancing electric scooter. Intelligently-engineered with EverBalance technology, Hovertrax 2.0 is the only board that auto-levels for a safer, easier mount and a smoother ride. Whether you’re coasting, racing, or commuting, Hovertrax 2.0 is always in balance. Indoors or out, Hovertrax 2.0 does the work so you can enjoy the journey. Hovertrax 2.0: technology so advanced, it’s simple. Once you learn how to ride, it becomes second nature.  Razor was also the first U.S. brand to receive the UL 2272 listing for safety, ensuring that the Hovertrax 2.0 meets or exceeds the highest fire and electrical safety standards. The HoverTrax 2.0 has a list price of $459.99 has been reduced 35% to just 298.00. See this deal on Amazon.

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Facebook makes Messenger more like iMessage with emoji reactions

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

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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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Senate votes to kill FCC's broadband privacy rules

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

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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

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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

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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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The Week in iOS Cases and Accessories: These stabilizers produce better videos

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Facebook starts warning U.S. users when they're sharing fake news

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In a few months, you may no longer have to write “FAKE” below your friends’ Facebook posts. Fake news warning alerts appear to be rolling out to Facebook users in the United States after first appearing in Germany in January.

The new alerts, flagged with help from independent fact-checkers, are designed to prevent users from sharing fake news stories unwittingly, but they will not prevent people from sharing the story if they still choose.

When you try to share a story that has been flagged as phony, Facebook will insert an alert at the bottom of the post creation window (pictured at top). The alert will include a red triangle with an exclamation point, and a message such as “Disputed by Snopes.com and Associated Press.”

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53% off Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Deal Alert

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With a regular list price of $149.99, the current discount makes the Jaybird X2 Sport is now available with a 53% discount for this deal. Features include:

  • Premium Bluetooth Audio For Skip-Free Music Outdoors
  • 8 Hours of Music + Calls With Complete Remote Controls
  • Secure Over/Under-Ear Fit Options
  • Lifetime Sweat proof Warranty
  • Includes Comply Premium Sport Memory Foam Ear Tips, Patented Secure-Fit Ear Fins, Friction-Fit Silicone Sport Carrying Case, Silicone Ear Tips, Charging Cable & Cord Management Clips.

Jump to Amazon now for additional details, and to explore buying options.

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