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Apple updates MacBook Pro laptops, cuts price of older model

The Apple logo is pictured on the front of a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco(Reuters) - Apple Inc said it updated its MacBook Pro line of laptops with a high-resolution Retina display, faster processors and higher memory for a starting price of $1,299. The world's largest technology company also lowered the price of its older 13-inch MacBook Pro by $100 to $1,099. Apple shares were up marginally in premarket trading on Tuesday, after closing at $99.02 on Monday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in TaipeiBy Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp over its Windows operating system, in the latest in a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) was also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and had made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the agency said on its website. It said Microsoft, which has struggled to make inroads in China due to rampant piracy, had not fully disclosed information about Windows and its Office software suite. Microsoft is one of the biggest U.S. companies to fall under the eye of Chinese regulators as they ramp up their oversight in an apparent attempt to protect local companies and customers.

Huawei says ships 34 million smartphones in H1 globally, up 62 percent year-on-year

Journalists attend the presentation of the Huawei's new smartphone, the Ascend P7, launched by China's Huawei Technologies in ParisBy Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said smartphone shipments in the first half rose 62 percent year-on-year, as it targets the more expensive smartphone sector dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Shenzhen-based Huawei has shipped 34.27 million smartphones globally in the first six months ending June 30 - about 43 percent of its annual shipment target of 80 million, according to Reuters' calculations based on figures provided by Huawei. "We recorded faster growth in areas such as Middle East and Africa and Latin America, with 275 percent and 550 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter, respectively," Shao Yang, vice president of marketing in the consumer business group, told Reuters in a written statement. "Based on the growth momentum at the moment, we are firmly moving toward our full-year target," Shao said, adding that smartphones are now accounting for 97 percent of Huawei's global phone shipments.

Orange's network investments help ward off low-cost rivals in France

The logo of French telecom operator Orange is seen during the company's 2013 annual results presentation in ParisBy Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic PARIS (Reuters) - Telecoms operator Orange's investment in faster fiber and mobile broadband networks in its French home market has started to pay off, as its high-end focus insulates it from cut- price fixed plans offered by rival Bouygues. As France's largest carrier reported second-quarter results in line with forecasts on Tuesday, it said that some 60 percent of new mobile customers were signing up for high-end plans that include 4G and that 50,000 new customers had signed up to its fiber broadband offers, taking the total to 415,000. Orange shares are up about 30 percent so far this year, the biggest gainers among Europe's large-cap telecom firms, as investors bet on its recovery from a French price war touched off by low-cost player Iliad's entry to the mobile market in 2012 as well as possible consolidation. Bouygues took the price battle to the fixed broadband market this March with a TV, Internet and fixed-line phone bundle at 19.99 euros ($26.9) a month, a move that analysts said risked hurting Orange since it has the largest fixed client base.

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

Secusmart managing director Quelle displays an encrypted smart phone with the new application "Secure Call" in HanoverBy Euan Rocha NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is buying a privately held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption, it said on Tuesday, in a bid to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government ?agencies. The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to Apple's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy devices. Chen wants to remain a competitor in the smartphone segment, but is focused on building on BlackBerry's strong mobile device management abilities by beefing up its security and corporate app offerings. Secusmart's technology is currently being used to protect the devices of government officials in both Canada and Germany, including the BlackBerry device used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the wake of the U.S. spying scandal last year.

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival

A white Sony Playstation 4 is on display at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, in Los AngelesBy Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp is hammering out plans to rise from the ashes of nearly $10 billion lost in six years by building a future around its last consumer electronics blockbuster - the PlayStation. Sony plans to reposition the video console warhorse as a hub for a network of streamed services, according to three senior officials, offering social media, movies and music as well as games. The plans to coax more revenue from the PlayStation's network of users are being developed by a new breed of managers brought in by Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai. Analysts say if Sony gets it right, the game and network business could earn about $1 billion in the fiscal year from April 2016 - making it the most profitable part of the company bar a financial services unit.

5 gorgeous iPhone apps you need to check out right now (July 2014)

5 gorgeous iPhone apps you need to check out right now (July 2014)Welcome to the latest edition of our series on gorgeous iPhone apps. We talk about apps a great deal here on BGR and the reason is fairly obvious: apps make the phone. Thanks to the advent of on-device application stores, smartphones now ship as blank canvases, waiting for users to fill them with third-party software that extends their functionality in any number of directions. In this series, we try to bring you the cream of the crop — apps that are beautifully designed as well as useful — to help fill your canvas. Want to check out some more gorgeous iPhone apps? Be sure to read our earlier posts in this series. Sunrise Calendar Since the calendar app is one of the

#AOLBUILD Meets Alexa Von Tobel, Founder and CEO of
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China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case
BEIJING (AP) — China's anti-monopoly agency announced an investigation Tuesday of Microsoft Corp., stepping up regulatory pressure on foreign technology companies.

Enter the sharknado: a final day at Comic-Con 2014

Enter the sharknado: a final day at Comic-Con 2014You can't get into Hall H every day. For the final installment of our animated series, I set off for Comic-Con's biggest venue in search of new adventures. But the line for the day's biggest and best panels was more than a mile long, and I abandoned all hope early on. Fortunately Thunder Levin, the screenwriter of Sharknado and this week's Sharknado 2, was around to talk to me about upping the ante, crazy filming conditions, and what happened when he introduced himself to Richard Dreyfuss.

When the writer of 'Sharknado' met 'Jaws' star Richard Dreyfuss

Enter the sharknado: a final day at Comic-Con 2014The last of our animated Comic-Con diaries looks at our last big day in San Diego, where we abandon the line for Hall H to have a conversation with 'Sharknado' screenwriter Thunder Levin.

New iPhone 6 leak gives us a great look at the device’s major redesign

New iPhone 6 leak gives us a great look at the device’s major redesignThe rear iPhone 6 shell which has appeared in various reports so far has leaked yet again, as YouTube channel iCrackUriDevice has apparently scored a copy of the component directly from a manufacturer. In a short video, iCrackUriDevice goes over all the design changes expected for the iPhone 6, including the phone’s thin profile, relocated power button, iPod touch-like volume rockers, round corners, redesigned antennas on the back, and increased size of the device, while comparing it to last year’s flagship iPhone model, the iPhone 5s. FROM EARLIER: Foxconn pulls out the big guns to ensure iPhone 6 production goes perfectly The component is similar to other iPhone 6 rear shell leaks, and is consistent with what the many iPhone 6 dummy

I went to Comic-Con and all I got was this lousy sense of ennui and a sneak preview of 'Penguins of Madagascar'

I went to Comic-Con and all I got was this lousy sense of ennui and a sneak preview of 'Penguins of Madagascar'San Diego Comic-Con is an impossible place, because everything that’s terrible about it is basically mitigated by everything wonderful about it. For my first Comic-Con, I decide to jump in with both feet. At 3:30AM on Thursday morning, I wake up and get in line for Comic-Con’s biggest venue, Hall H. The lineup for the day is a mix of things that no one could possibly care about (clips from Penguins of Madagascar) and things that will probably be cool (a mystery presentation by Paramount Pictures).

Touchpico Turns Any Surface into a Touch Screen

Touchpico Turns Any Surface into a Touch ScreenIt almost sounds like a late-night infomercial: It's an Android PC and a portable projector. The projector will be able to run any Google App, and can stream activity from your phone, PC or Mac. MORE: The Best Android Wear Smartwatch Apps So Far

Uber for Business launches to let companies pay for employee travel

Uber for Business launches to let companies pay for employee travelUber wants to help you get around while you're at work, and it's launching a new business service today to let workers do that on their company's dime. Uber for Business allows companies to grant their employees the option of billing travel receipts directly to a company card, rather than having to pay for the travel on their own and then expense it. For workers whose company supports it, they'll start to see a second payment option in Uber, allowing them to switch back and forth between personal and business payments. Uber will also integrate with the expensing service Concur to automatically file receipts for those who use it.

You'll Unlock Hotel Rooms with Your Phone by 2016

You'll Unlock Hotel Rooms with Your Phone by 2016Someday, if Hilton Hotels and Resorts has its way, you'll never need anything but your smartphone to get in. According to The Wall Street Journal, Hilton is investing $550 million in new tech that will allow its clients to book rooms, view their location before visiting and even open their doors right from their mobile device. Aimed at younger travelers, the company's smartphone-based entry system will start trickling out in select locations next year, and will be available at most Hilton hotels by the end of 2016.

Endure and survive: how Naughty Dog brought ‘The Last of Us’ to the PS4

Endure and survive: how Naughty Dog brought ‘The Last of Us’ to the PS4Playing though Naughty Dog’s post-pandemic survival adventure The Last of Us is an intense, grueling, and highly rewarding experience — one that’s only heightened by the just-released remaster for the PlayStation 4. The Last of Us Remastered checks all the boxes you’d expect it to. Despite the fact that the game, according to lead developer Christian Gyrling, “looked broken up until a week before shipping,” The Last of Us Remastered really does make for a markedly better experience.

UK copyright police hit piracy sites where it hurts: their wallets

UK copyright police hit piracy sites where it hurts: their wallets

Windows Phone fans finally have something to be excited for this year

Windows Phone fans finally have something to be excited for this yearThis hasn’t been the most exciting year for Windows Phone hardware, most likely because Microsoft has been devoting a lot of energy to finalizing its plans for what to do with the recently acquired Nokia handset division. However, things may be about to change because new reports suggest that we’re going to see some brand-new Windows Phone devices hit the market very soon. The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that Microsoft is planning to release two new Windows Phone devices this fall — a low-end device that will be primarily marketed as a “selfie” phone that features a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a more high-end model that will feature a PureView camera and will be a replacement for the Lumia 720.

Two Americans in West Africa have ebola. Why aren't they coming home?

Two Americans in West Africa have ebola. Why aren't they coming home?The current ebola outbreak is the largest in history, with 672 dead in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. At least two Americans have now been infected with the disease: Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas and Nancy Writebol of North Carolina, who both worked in an ebola clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been active in the ebola crisis, says there is no established protocol for evacuating American aid workers. "Whether an American citizen would be transported to another country would be determined on a case by case basis, and it’s something we’re working now on figuring out now," spokesperson Kristen Nordlund tells The Verge.

Autism Parents Build Virtual Birdhouse for Others

Autism Parents Build Virtual Birdhouse for OthersDani Gillman was a single mom in Metro Detroit with an autistic daughter, Brodie, who ran a popular blog detailing her daughter's challenges and successes as a way to help other parents of autistic children. Using a pencil and paper, she vigilantly kept track of her daughter's daily regimen, including diet, medications and vitamins, sleeping...

Apple unveils updated MacBook Pro notebooks

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina displayAll 13- or 15-inch notebooks also get upgraded to the latest iteration of Intel's Haswell processor, so performance and battery life will also get an upward push. With the smaller Retina display notebooks that means dual-core Intel Core i5 processors that offer up to 2.8GHz with additional Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.3HGz while the bigger notebooks get quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz. For an extra $700 or €700, consumers will be able to snap up a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display boasting a 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, 16GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics.

Russia Regains Control of Its Space Sex Geckos

Russia Regains Control of Its Space Sex GeckosLast week, Russia's space agency lost contact with their satellite of geckos. The Foton-M4 satellite was launched July 19th, and stopped responding last Wednesday after Russia attempted to send it into higher orbit. Four female and one male gecko were aboard in order to study the effect weightlessness had on their sex life.

Here’s the iPhone 6 you don’t want to preorder

Here’s the iPhone 6 you don’t want to preorderThe iPhone 6 isn’t even officially out yet, and more than 30 sellers are already ready to offer preorders for the handset before it’s officially announced by Apple. Luxury retailer Brikk has decided to throw its hat into the iPhone 6 preorder ring as well, and allow potential buyers to request their custom, and extremely expensive, 24-karat gold iPhone 6, CNET reports. FROM EARLIER: Apple wants to make it even easier for you to buy an iPhone 6 in its retail stores The device will come either in black or white and will be finished in either 24-karat yellow or pink gold, or in pure platinum. Furthermore, the Apple logo on the back can be adorned with 1.08 carats worth of

Watch 'The Last of Us' as a live-action stage show

Watch 'The Last of Us' as a live-action stage showAppropriately called "The Last of Us: One Night Live," the performance featured live reads of some of the game's more important scenes, a few terrific musical performances, along with thoughts from director and writer Neil Druckmann. "It's really weird to put video games up on a stage," said Druckmann.

Bike of the future removes the need to shift gears, pedal up hills or pack a lock

Bike of the future removes the need to shift gears, pedal up hills or pack a lock

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever received

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever receivedWe’ve seen a lot of different ideas for how BlackBerry can turn itself around over the years but none of them has ever struck us as flat-out crazy… until now. IntoMobile’s Dusan Belic says that BlackBerry needs to make a big move to counter Apple’s huge deal with IBM and that the best way to do this would be by partnering with HP. Yes, that HP. Essentially, Belic thinks that BlackBerry needs to have a company with HP’s ties to the enterprise hawking its smartphones despite the fact that BlackBerry itself already has plenty of experience selling its smartphones to business customers. He also thinks that BlackBerry and HP could team up to create joint smartphone-laptop hybrid products along the

Co-op's trolley-mounted tablets want answers

Co-op's trolley-mounted tablets want answers

Microsoft is about to launch a selfie phone and a new 'high-end' Windows Phone

Microsoft is about to launch a selfie phone and a new 'high-end' Windows PhoneMicrosoft is planning to launch two new Windows Phone 8.1 devices shortly. Sources familiar with the company’s plans tell The Verge that Microsoft devices chief Stephen Elop revealed both handsets during an internal company meeting this week. Microsoft’s selfie phone was previously revealed as codename Superman, a handset with a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera and 4.7-inch display. Tesla will likely debut as a Lumia 720 replacement, and it mark a new effort by Microsoft to push PureView down to even lower price points. The handset looks similar to the squared Lumia 930, but we understand it will be thinner and less bulky.

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoyingFacebook may want to look up the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” TechCrunch reports that Facebook plans to take away the messaging feature from its core app and force users to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to chat with their friends. Facebook has apparently been testing out using Messenger as its sole messaging app in Europe and has been encouraged by the results so far, TechCrunch says. TechCrunch says that the good news is that “mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites” for the time being and won’t be forced to use a separate app. WhatsApp users should also be happy with the

Viddy is an adorable pinhole camera made of reclaimed parts and cardboard

Viddy is an adorable pinhole camera made of reclaimed parts and cardboard

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' poster puts exploding building above Sept. 11 release date

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' poster puts exploding building above Sept. 11 release dateThe upcoming Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to open on September 11th in Australia, which was today highlighted by a new promotional poster published to Paramount's Twitter and Facebook streams. The image was quickly retracted, however, after users reacted angrily to the combination of its release date and the artwork above it, depicting the four turtles jumping out of an exploding skyscraper. Evoking the tragic events of the World Trade Center attacks in New York 13 years ago was certainly not Paramount's intention, as evidenced by the fact that this particular poster had already been used a week earlier, albeit without the offending opening date.

Apple Gives MacBook Pros Speed Boost, More RAM

Apple Gives MacBook Pros Speed Boost, More RAMPutting more pro in the MacBook Pro, Apple has upgraded its 13- and 15-inch Retina display laptops, offering faster Intel Haswell processors along with more RAM standard. But how much more notebook do you get for your money?

Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly really coming, as Android Silver might be delayed

Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly really coming, as Android Silver might be delayedGoogle and Motorola are apparently indeed working together on a Nexus 6 smartphone, a phablet of gigantic proportions unlike anything Motorola has done while under Google. Following a recent report from Android Police, which has obtained details about the Motorola “Shamu” Nexus 6, The Information said that it has been able to independently verify the device, adding that Google’s rumored Android Silver line of premium devices may be delayed. “Motorola is also getting a boost from working on an undisclosed phone-tablet project with Google—the type of initiative which, ironically, it could not pursue as a Google subsidiary due to concerns about favoring the house-owned Android vendor over others,” the publication wrote. “After Lenovo agreed to buy Motorola, Google’s Android unit

Coub is Russia's answer to the GIF, and it's coming to America

Coub is Russia's answer to the GIF, and it's coming to AmericaCoub says it has reached fairly massive scale, with more than 50 million unique visitors to its website each month, up from 8 million this time last year. It is on iOS and has an Android app in the works, but most of its usage still comes from the desktop, because Coub's best use case is not really creating new videos on the go, but making it easy to remix existing content. "Coub looks like a GIF, but it's better than GIF, because Coubs have sound," said Anton Gladkoborodov, the startup's co-founder and CEO. "It's very easy to find video and trim it, simpler than making a Tweet." Coub's website is minimal, with a button for creating new Coubs and a feed displaying recent additions.

Microsoft offices in China raided over monopoly allegations

Microsoft offices in China raided over monopoly allegationsFour of Microsoft’s offices in China were raided yesterday as part of an anti-monopoly investigation. China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has revealed that around 100 officials made unannounced visits to Microsoft’s offices in China, seeking information on Microsoft’s security features and the way it bundles software. Microsoft was quick to issue a statement yesterday when news of the raids broke, noting that the software maker would "actively cooperate" with the government. China’s investigation appears to have been prompted by complaints from rival companies over the past year about compatibility issues with some of Microsoft’s Windows and Office software.

Microsoft and Intel's latest development board will cost you $300

Microsoft and Intel's latest development board will cost you $300

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