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Apple's (Product) RED contributions for the AIDS fight top $70 million

Apple has raised over $70 million this year for (RED), a project to help fight AIDS in Africa. A portion of select Apple products was donated to the fund, this year's total beating out the $65 million from 2013. Donations were made from (PRODUCT)RED merchandise including the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPhone 4s bumper and various iPad smart covers and cases (all in brilliant red of course).

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Apple snaps up speech recognition company Novauris, team now working on Siri

Siri is potentially going to get a lot stronger, as Apple has quietly acquired yet another speech recognition company — this time a well-known firm called Novauris. Founded in 2002 and spun out of the better-known Dragon Systems, Novauris is one of the early pioneers of modern voice recognition. Although Apple has made no official announcement of the purchase, TechCrunch has confirmed that the deal is done and was actually completed in 2013.

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Sprint will pay rivals' termination fees when you sign up for a Framily plan

Sprint is getting a little “uncarrier” themselves with a new promotion that offers to pay your early termination fees if you’re willing to switch to them. You can get up to $350 for every line terminated when making the switch; just snap a picture of your last bill, send it to Sprint, and they’ll send you a Visa card with the cash on it. There are a few terms and conditions here and there, but you can read all of that at Sprint’s site starting tomorrow. The promotion will run from April 4 until May 8.

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Apple and Microsoft team up to slow patent reform

Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have pushed for reform of the US patent system after being involved in a multitude of legal actions over patents, but now they're pushing to slow reform. Apple and Microsoft are teaming up with Ford Motor Company, DuPont, General Electric, Pfizer, and IBM for the Partnership for american Innovation, which aims to convince members of the United States Congress to dial back some of their proposals on patent reform in order to protect their own patents.

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European Union vote clears the way to end roaming charges, enforce net neutrality

Free roaming within the European Union is a step closer today, after the European parliament voted in favor of laws that would abolish roaming fees between EU member states, as part of a package of telecom reforms. The package, originally proposed by EU lawmaker Neelie Kroes, moves Europe closer to a single market for mobile communication, especially with the recent arrival of 4G LTE roaming agreements between European carriers.

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Penultimate updated with improved pens, page-turning and Jot Script support

A new version of Penultimate, the Evernote-owned real-life notebook app for iPad, is rolling out now through the App Store. Penultimate version 5.2 introduces a redesigned pen selection menu, allowing you to choose the width of your pen, and easier swapping without having to reselect your color.

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Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff headed to iOS on April 10

FOX and TinyCo has announced that their new Family Guy mobile game will be headed to the App Store from April 10. MacRumors reports that the official name and release date of the title were unveiled at a launch event in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

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Apple scores 100% clean energy score in Greenpeace cloud report

Greenpeace has published a report on the renewable energy used by major internet companies, including those active in the mobile space. Topping the list is Apple, which apparently runs iCloud and iTunes on 100% green electricity. It’s got a massive solar farm powering its North Carolina data center, and plans for geothermal and solar power for its upcoming Nevada data center. Oregon and California data centers are already being powered through wind energy partners.

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First renders of the reversible USB 3.1 cable released

We’ve become accustomed to knowing one end of a USB cable has to go into a computer or charger, and the other end goes into your phone, but there is a future where you can use either end in either thingie, and this is what that utopian paradise looks like. The USB Implementers Forum is showing off two USB 3.1 connector standards today.

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UK opening up payments via mobile numbers this month

The Payments Council, which supervises banking transactions within the UK, has today announced ‘Paym’. This new service will enable account-holders to pay friends, family or other parties without having to abstract bank details and other personal information. Simply using a mobile number, UK consumers can wire funds in no time at all. Think of it as a unique account number all your contacts already have noted.

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