How to buy a refurbished iMac Pro, MacBook, Mac, iPhone, or iPad from Apple

Updated 05/24/18 to reflect the inventory change in the store, including stock of the iMac Pro.

Looking for a way to save some money on the latest Apple products? Consider a refurbished MacBook, refurbished iPhone, or refurbished iPad from the Apple Certified Refurbished store. A refurbished product is just like a new, but at a lower price.

Here’s a quick guide with links to the best deals you can find on the refurb store, along with a FAQ guide if you want to know more about the ins and outs of the Apple Certified Refurbished store and buying a refurbished MacBook, desktop Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

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Amazon confirms that Echo device secretly shared user’s private audio

Enlarge (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Amazon confirmed an Echo owner’s privacy-sensitive allegation on Thursday, after Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO-7 reported that an Echo device in Oregon sent private audio to someone on a user’s contact list without permission.

“Unplug your Alexa devices right now,” the user, Danielle (no last name given), was told by her husband’s colleague in Seattle after he received full audio recordings between her and her husband, according to the KIRO-7 report. The disturbed owner, who is shown in the report juggling four unplugged Echo Dot devices, said that the colleague then sent the offending audio to Danielle and her husband to confirm the paranoid-sounding allegation. (Before sending the audio, the colleague confirmed that the couple had been talking about hardwood floors.)

After calling Amazon customer service, Danielle said she received the following explanation and response: “‘Our engineers went through all of your logs. They saw exactly what

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Best Buy has great deals on multiple Apple products for Memorial Day

Best Buy is having a big sale for Memorial Day, and we’re happy to see that some of its best deals focus on Apple products. Not only are there great deals on MacBook Pros (which, honestly, we’ve kind of come to expect from Best Buy sales at this point), but you’ll even find nice discounts on the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the HomePod. 

A few of these deals have been active for a couple of days now, but it’s nice to see them lumped together. You can get the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar (Core i7) for just $1,149.99 (down from $1,299.00), for example, and you can lop off an additional $50 if you qualify for student pricing. For that matter, you can save $200 on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which brings the price down from $1,499.99 to $1,299.99.

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White House policy seeks fewer lawyers, more engineers at space companies

Enlarge / United Launch Alliance president and CEO Tory Bruno leads a tour in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for Vice President Mike Pence, his wife, Karen Pence, and then-NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot on Feb. 20, 2018. (credit: NASA)

As the White House seeks to smooth the way for commercial spaceflight, President Trump will sign a new space policy directive on Thursday afternoon. The new policy directs US departments and agencies to implement several reforms to ease the regulatory system for launch licensing, remote sensing, and more.

“This builds on Space Policy Directive 1, to reorient the human spaceflight program back toward the Moon using commercial partners,” Scott Pace said Thursday.

The new directive formalizes recommendations made in February at the second meeting of the National Space Council to reform the regulatory environment. In short, the White House wants to cut paperwork for commercial companies launching rockets and flying

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America, your offshore wind is coming: 1.2GW in contracts awarded

European offshore wind farms have made big US projects possible.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island both awarded major offshore wind contracts on Wednesday, underscoring the increasing economic viability of a kind of renewable energy that has been long considered too expensive.

The Massachusetts installation will have a capacity of 800MW. Situated 14 miles off Martha’s Vineyard, the wind farm will be called “Vineyard Wind,” and it has an accelerated timetable: it’s due to start sending electricity back to the grid as soon as 2021. According to Greentech Media, the contract was won by Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, both companies with headquarters in Europe. The two share 50/50 ownership of the project and beat Deepwater Wind and Bay State Wind in the bidding.

Massachusetts recently approved an ambitious goal to build 1.6GW of wind energy capacity off its coast by 2027. This new contract gets the state half

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Protein that chikungunya virus uses to get into cells is identified

Enlarge / An electron micrograph of multiple copies of the chikungunya virus. (credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith)

The word “chikungunya” (chik-en-gun-ye) comes from Kimakonde, the language spoken by the Makonde people in southeast Tanzania and northern Mozambique. It means “to become contorted,” because that’s what happens to people who get infected. The contortion is a result of severe and debilitating joint pain. Chikungunya was first identified in Tanzania in 1952, but by now cases have been reported around the globe. There is no cure; the CDC recommends that “travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.”

Chikungunya is only one of a family of viruses transmitted through mosquitoes for which we have no targeted treatment. This may partially be due to the fact that we didn’t know how they get into our cells. But for chikungunya, we’ve just found one of the proteins responsible.

Identification via deletion

Researchers used the

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Apple Knew About Bendgate and Touch Disease iPhone 6 Issues Months in Advance of Repair Programs

As part of an ongoing lawsuit over the “Touch Disease” manufacturing issue affecting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices, Apple was required to provide the court with internal testing documents that suggest the company knew about iPhone 6 and 6 Plus design problems before the two devices launched.

The full scope of the internal documents remain under seal, but the judge providing over the case, Lucy Koh, made some of the information public when she published an opinion on the case earlier this month, and Motherboard shared the details she offered up about the case.



Apple knew that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend ahead of the release of the two devices. Publicly, though, Apple said that the two devices had been “thoroughly tested” and evaluated for “strength

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Video: What to expect at WWDC 2018

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WWDC 2018 is just around the corner, and we’re extremely excited to see what Apple’s got up its sleeve. The annual conference is focused on software technologies, but sometimes Apple sneaks in a few hardware releases and announcements.

Nintendo starts selling cheaper, dock-free Switch, but only in Japan

Enlarge / The 2nd Switch comes with everything you see here! Your parents help set it up! Batteries included, from NINTENDO! (credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo fans in Japan now have the option of buying a cheaper Switch package that doesn’t include the accessories needed to connect the system to a TV. Marketed as a “2nd unit” Switch in a Google translated announcement, the new Switch package costs ¥24,980 (about $229), down from the ¥29,980 ($275) for the standard package.

For that lower price, Japanese consumers will miss out on the Switch dock, HDMI cable, and wall-outlet charger that come bundled in the standard package. The system itself can be charged by any number of standard USB-C accessories, though users may have to be careful of USB standards. If “Second Switch” buyers want to hook the Switch to a TV later on, they can use the same dock that came

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Edge is still the most efficient Windows browser, but Chrome is getting close

Microsoft’s battery life comparison video.

One of the big advantages that Microsoft has been promoting for its Edge browser is that it’s more battery efficient than both Chrome and Firefox. My own anecdotal experience bears this out; although I use Chrome for most browsing, I’ve found it burns battery faster than Edge under similar workloads. Whenever I’m mobile, I switch to Microsoft’s browser over Google’s.

Microsoft’s own figures use a video-playback benchmark, and the company has duly released a new comparison for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803. Edge still comes out ahead—it lasts 98 percent longer than Mozilla Firefox, and 14 percent longer than Google Chrome—but it’s striking that the gap with Chrome has narrowed.

In January, using Windows 10 version 1709, Microsoft’s browser resulted in the battery lasting 19 percent longer than Google’s. In April last year, using Windows 10 version 1703, the Microsoft advantage was

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