News

INTERNET

Skype group chat hits Word and PowerPoint Online apps

Microsoft has finally made it easier to chat with others working on the same document inside Office Online.

GAMES

Samsung smart TVs will soon be able to play PlayStation games without a PlayStation

Sony is partnering with Samsung to bring its PlayStation Now game streaming service to select Samsung Smart TVs in 2015.

SOFTWARE

10 apps for creating your own holiday traditions

Stop me if this sounds familiar: One of my family's holiday traditions involves all of us sitting around the table fiddling with our phones, occasionally looking up to eat or drink, while my mother (futilely) attempts to get us to talk to each other. Er...yeah.

SOFTWARE

Think Retro: How HyperCard inspired a generation of future developers

Almost by necessity, Apple grew out of the homebrew movement, in which enthusiasts swapped knowledge and parts for building computers, and were as much tinkerers and electrical engineers as they were users.

INTERNET

Great last-minute gifts you can send by email right now

It's December 24. Do you know where all your holiday presents are? If you still haven't crossed off everyone on your list--or maybe your list suddenly expanded because your nephew is bringing his new girlfriend to Christmas dinner, or a coworker surprised you with a thoughtful gift--there's still time to get something for them. Gift cards let them pick something out for themselves, and yeah they're kind of boring, but thankfully those aren't even your only options at this extremely late date. Let the Queen of Procrastination (me) solve all of your problems right now--it's a Festivus miracle.

INTERNET

How to track Santa's Christmas Eve journey from any device

Keep tabs on Santa's Christmas Eve trek around the globe with these websites, apps, and more.

INDUSTRY VERTICALS

Barclaycard trials contactless payment gloves during Christmas shopping rush

The woollen gloves, which are also touchscreen-enabled, act like a credit or debit card

GOVERNMENT | SECURITY

North Korea, Iran, Syria -- asymmetric cyberwar is here to stay

Small nations have been attacking the US for years. Why has nobody noticed until now?

GAMES

Mini Pieces: Grand Theft Auto V goes to a galaxy far away and other gaming news

In a special miniature edition of Missing Pieces we wrap up the week's last-minute, please-go-away gaming news.

MOBILE

Lyft rides Uber's coattails with fare-splitting feature

No more paying back later or picking up the next one: Users can now choose up to five contacts to divvy up the cost of a ride.

Expert Opinion

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Don't worry, be snappy: Stop complaining about your digital camera

When one has done something long enough (and, for the sake of this particular argument, let's say living can be reasonably counted among them) there's a tendency to take the long view--we have some notion of where we've been as well as how things are now. Recent complaints about the state of Apple and photography have compelled me to take a journey down the historical highway in the hope of gaining some perspective on just where we stand in regard to taking and making images with our cameras.

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Why you should care about CloudKit

If you've lived through the last couple iterations of OS X and iOS, you've probably had the opportunity to develop a special love/hate relationship with iCloud. Apple's cloud service suite is made up of many different parts and systems, and while it's great when it works, it also has a history of being prone to hard-to-diagnose outages and, for developers, obscure error messages.

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With Yosemite public beta, Apple's more open than ever

Just a few years after a big leadership transition, Apple announced not only a brand new operating system but said they would be offering a public beta to interested customers. Sound familiar? The year was 2000 and the OS in question was the very first version of OS X. Now, 14 years later, Apple's once again inviting users to come and check out the Mac's latest and greatest operating system before its impending release.

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Apple's HomeKit hub may already be in your house

At Apple's recent Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced--among a great many other things--HomeKit, a suite of tools for controlling such devices in your home as thermostats, furnaces and air conditioners, smart appliances, lights, cameras, garage-door openers, and security systems. Apple will provide a platform that these devices will be asked to conform to. Do so, and you can control them all from your iOS device.

Editors Pick

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Justin.tv goes off the air

With all signs pointing to a Google purchase of Twitch, the company behind Justin.tv has shut down the live video service.

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Verizon fires back at FCC over data throttling

The FCC called out Verizon for its plans to throttle customers with unlimited data plans who use the most data, so the carrier responded.

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Wasteland 2 preview: When deeply branching gameplay meets pistol-packing post-apocalyptic priests

After a successful Kickstarter run, Wasteland 2 is almost ready for release

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Business faces backlash after threatening $500 fines for negative Yelp reviews

Businesses who don't know how to manage their social media presence should remember that the Internet can be vicious.

Latest Product Reviews

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Network Radar: Mac app checks your network health

Apple's own Network Utility is pretty handy for basic network troubleshooting, but if you need to go above and beyond what it offers, Daniel Diener's $20 Network Radar (Mac App Store link) is a powerful step up.

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Asana: a full-featured task manager for iOS devices

The new mobile app for Asana's popular task management service lets iPhone and iPad users run their collaborative undertakings on the go.

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MacBook Pro (Mid 2014): Minor update offers slightly better CPU performance

Last week, Apple updated its Retina MacBook Pro line, and while the new models are identical on the outside to their 13- and 15-inch predecessors, released late last year, the "Mid 2014" models feature processors that are just a little bit faster. As modest as these internal improvements are, they do provide more performance bang for the buck.

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Contexts: Make your OS X windows more manageable

Contexts 1.4 supplements--and can even replace--OS X's window management tools, and it does so in a way that is legitimately useful, especially if you rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Mac.

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Keep it Reel: Record, mix, and release a professional recording on your iPad

The iPad has become an incredible tool for musicians who wish to quickly and confidently record and produce live music on their tablet. Recently, I had the opportunity to produce and record a session for Ella Joy Meir, using just my iPad, software, and recording accessories. Last week, I covered when you might want to use an iPad and what you need to get started; now, let's talk about the actual recording and post-production process.