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Tim Cook expresses sympathy for earthquake victims in Yunnan, China

Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his sympathies with the people of Yunnan, China, after a major earthquake hit the region last week. Almost 600 people have died as a result of the quake so far, and, with 230,000 people having been evacuated. Cook sent an email to Apple employees that expressed support for the victims, as well as announcing that Apple would be making donations to relief groups, according to 9to5Mac:

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Chinese officials deny banning Apple products for government procurement

Earlier this week, a Bloomberg report claimed that the Chinese government excluded a number of Apple products, including the iPad, the iPad mini and a number of MacBooks from a government procurement list due to security concerns. Today, however, a new report out of Reuters, citing China's Central Government Procurement Centre as well as the finance ministry, revealed that the company never applied to be on that particular procurement list, which pertained to energy-saving products.

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Skype no longer supporting Macs running OS X 10.5.8 or earlier

Following roughly a week of user reports on the Skype support forums, Microsoft has confirmed (in an awkward way) that Skype will no longer support users running OS X version 10.5.8 or older. Skype's official response to user complains explained that Skype still works on OS X 10.6 and higher, and encouraged all of its users to stay up-to-date with the latest version of OS X and Skype.

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iTunes 11.3.1 brings fixes for podcast bugs, update now!

While iTunes 11.3 brought iTunes Extras in HD to the Mac, it was also introduced some rather weird bugs when users attempted to listen to podcasts. In some cases, subscribed podcasts would stop updating with new episodes and iTunes would become unresponsive while browsing through episodes in a list.

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Apple reportedly adds Catherine Monier, former Yves Saint Laurent EU president, to special projects team

Apple has reportedly hired Catherine Monier, formerly president of Yves Saint Laurent Europe, to work in special projects with former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, already at Apple, who apparently coordinated the hire. For those keeping track at home, that's even more fashion and retail firepower for Apple, leading up to a rumored iWatch launch this fall.

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Facebook acquires PrivateCore, aims to better secure your data on its servers

Facebook, the world's biggest social network, is buying online security company PrivateCore for an undisclosed amount of money. It's almost certainly not Instagram or Oculus levels of cash, never mind the tens of billions thrown at Whatsapp, but it will, apparently, help Facebook secure all of the data — the personal, private social data that all of us who use Facebook choose to share with them — on its servers.

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WWDC 2015 speculated to kick off June 8, 2015

Apple doesn't pre-announced their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), but they do have to schedule the traditional Moscone West venue and any and all other logistics involved in hosting 6000 of its closest developer and designer friends. That leaves a week-long gap in Moscone's schedule, and that leads to people speculating any such gap in June might be for WWDC. Such is the case for the week of June 8, 2015.

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iPhone 6 rumored to have 802.11ac, NFC, 2GHz A8 chipset, and more!

With the iPhone 6 event expected for September 9, rumors are going to give us a whole new definition of crazy. We're not talking an espresso machine in the Lightning port here, but we are talking a harder — though not sapphire hard — screen, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, near-field communications (NFC), a 2 GHz Apple A8 system-on-a-chip (SoC), and perhaps even a special way to pair with Beats headphones.

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Sam Sung, former Apple specialist, auctions off his last business card for Children's Wish Foundation

Sam Sung was a specialist at the Apple Store at Pacific Center in Vancouver, British Columbia. Given his name, which mirrors that of the massive Korean conglomerate, strained partner, and billion-dollar ad-spending competitor, Samsung, he's gotten some media attention in the past. Now, however, Sam Sung has moved on to Holloway Schultz, a recruiting firm, but has decided to do something extra special with his last remaining Apple business card — auction them off with all proceeds going to the Children's Wish Foundation.

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T-Mobile is now the largest provider of prepaid phone service in the U.S.

T-Mobile has announced today that it has overtaken Sprint to be the largest prepaid service provider in the U.S., with a total of 15.64 million prepaid subscribers on the network. That's dramatically past the other big rivals AT&T and Verizon also, who have 11.34 and 6.04 million prepaid customers, respectively — and T-Mobile shows no signs of slowing down.

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