All Articles by Derek Kessler

This is what Michael Fassbender looks like as Steve Jobs

Production is under way on the Aaron Sorkin-penned Universal-produced Steve Jobs biopic, and thanks to the high-powered zoom lenses of the entertainment press we have a glimpse of the main characters in costume. So now we now know what Michael Fassbender looks like when dressed up as Steve Jobs complete with the long locks and bowtie, as well as Seth Rogen with extra-messy hair and Steve Wozniak's glasses.

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With $179 billion in the bank, Apple wants to borrow $5 billion for stock repurchases and dividends

Thanks to the ever-complicated nature of the US tax code, Apple — the most profitable company in history this past quarter — is planning to issue $5 billion in bonds to pay for their ongoing stock repurchasing program and dividends. Yes, Apple, the company that made an eye-watering $18.04 billion in profit last quarter, is looking to borrow money.

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T-Mobile's other Super Bowl commercial is all about celebrity one-upmanship (and Wi-Fi calling)

This is T-Mobile's other commercial for Super Bowl XLIX. The other features noted famous person Kim Kardashian, and there's also an online-only ad with a vulture. Needless to say, T-Mobile's going for the Curly Howard Trophy for this year's Super Bowl commercials. And I don't know about you, but I get terrible Wi-Fi reception in my subterranean butcher shop.

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Cricket bumps $40 base plan from 1GB of data to 2.5GB

AT&T's prepaid carrier Cricket is increasing the data allotment for all of their plans without making any changes to the pricing. It's a bit of a shake-up, offering one of the best data packages among prepaid carriers.

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FTC rules that throttled unlimited data doesn't qualify as 'unlimited'

In a ruling that's resulted in a $40 million fine, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's smacking down TracFone's speed throttling of customers that were paying for unlimited data service. The case in question only applies to TracFone, but it helps to reinforce a precedent that could apply to even the larger carriers in the United States.

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Slack acquisition will see video chat and screen sharing integration

Slack, the current darling of organizations in need of a flexible individual-and-group messaging service, has bought a small video conferencing company named Screenhero. The acquisition will lead to an eventual integration of Screenhero's voice and video conferencing features and screensharing support to Slack's 365,000-and-growing daily users.

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There are now even vending machines that accept Apple Pay

Apple Pay support is expanding yet again, this time to nearly 200,000 self-service machines (i.e. vending machines) across the United States. The machines, run by USA Technologies, have all been remotely updated to support the contactless payment system Apple introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Snapchat Discover is like Snapchat Stories, but for publications

Snapchat is launching a new Discover feature that is, in essence, Snapchat Stories but for online video and photo publications. Snapchat Discover brings together photos and videos from a variety of external sources, as well as Snapchat's own internal content.

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Pandora Radio redesign is crisp, clean, and flat

Nothing's thoroughly changed about the Pandora service, but the app itself has had a thorough revamp. Now sporting a stark white/gray/blue color scheme that's much more in line with the new interface style introduced with iOS 7, Pandora Radio 5.7 also sports a few new features that make things a bit easier when it comes to building your own streaming radio station.

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Sprint's guaranteeing a $200 minimum smartphone trade-in credit for T-Mobile switchers

Sprint's taking the fight straight to T-Mobile and is offering customers of the Un-carrier a guaranteed minimum trade-in credit of $200 for their current working T-Mobile smartphone. That's in addition to the current contract buy-out offer (though T-Mobile ditched traditional contracts nearly two years ago) or up to $350 in credit to pay for their new Sprint phone.

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For $5-a-month, AT&T subscribers can now place unlimited calls to Mexico

AT&T has revamped their AT&T World Connect $5 monthly international calling package to offer unlimited calls to Mexico. The news comes just days after AT&T got approval from the Mexican government for a $2.5 billion acquisition of Iusacell, Mexico's third-largest cellular carrier.

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The new Typo 2 for iPhone's not that great, but their iPad keyboard's kinda neat

Typo made a splash at CES 2014 with the BlackBerry-aping Typo keyboard for iPhone, and they were at CES 2015 to show off their new not-patent-infringing Typo 2 keyboard. But really, the more interesting news out of Typo was their new iPad keyboard, it doesn't try to copy Apple. If anything, it feels more like a copy of the Microsoft Surface Type Cover, but with some slick software.

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Apple sued for false advertising by plaintiffs that don't understand iPhone digital storage

A pair of iPhone owners from Miami are suing Apple and seeking class action status in doing so, alleging that Apple has falsely advertised how much storage is actually available on the phone. They're not alleging that the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus actually have less physical storage than Apple claims, no, they're perturbed to the point of legal action that when Apple advertises a 16GB iPhone it only comes with around 13GB of free space out of the box because that pesky iOS 8 needs to take up space.

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You can now easily adapt any new post-2012 iMac for VESA mounting

NewerTech now has a new adapter that makes it much easier — nay, possible — to mount any 2012-or-newer iMac, even the new Retina 5K iMac with the universal VESA system. The NuMount VESA is a machined aluminum bracket that clamps through the power-cable passthrough in the iMac's stand, adding both a quartet of screw holes for a 100mm x 100mm VESA mount and a shelf above that for storing items you want nearby but neither want to see or need to reach (say, an external hard drive for backups).

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Twitter has a new advertising channel: your following list

No matter your school of thought on how you use Twitter, the list of people you follow now includes advertising. The first customer: MasterCard. On the web, and in the official Twitter apps for iPhone and Android, you'll find that you, and everybody else, have MasterCard as a promoted entry in your Following list.

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China blocks access to Gmail through apps

Access to the Gmail website has been blocked for some time in China, but now the Chinese government is also blocking access to Gmail through apps. The block affects not just the official Gmail apps, but also accessing Gmail through third-party apps.

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'Lucky Bag' sale hitting Japanese Apple Stores on January 2nd

The annual "Luck Bag" sale is returning again to Japanese brick-and-mortar Apple retail stores on January 2nd to celebrate the new year. The sale, which sees customers forking over a specified chunk of cash in exchange for, well, a bag. In that bag they'd find a mystery assortment of accessories and devices, occasionally worth far more than the buyer had paid — hence the "lucky" part.

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Facebook's new Stickered for Messenger will let you slap stickers onto any photo

If you've not had enough of stickers inside Facebook Messenger, get ready for stickers on your photos. Facebook's Stickered for Messenger does just that — it lets you place stickers on photos and send them via Messenger. Not only can you slap on whatever sticker you like, you also will get to use your fingers to relocate, reorient, and resize the stickers as you see fit.

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T-Mobile will pay $90 million to settle "cramming" charges

U.S. carrier T-Mobile has settled charges levied by the FTC and FCC that they charged customers for unwanted services, a settlement that comes to the tune of at least $90 million. The practice, known as "cramming", stemmed from third-party services from "premium SMS" providers for wallpapers, ringtones, horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and more.

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On December 24th and 25th, Yo will Ho Ho Ho

If you happen to be using Yo for some insane reason, we've just been informed that you won't be getting any "Yos" on December 24th or 25th. Nope, instead, to celebrate the Christmas holiday, you'll get similarly-vague "Ho Ho Ho" alerts instead. At press time we were unable to clarify if Santa Claus himself will be leaving monosyllabic push notifications under the tree this year.

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