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First Third-Party SSD With Native OS X TRIM Support Launched by Angelbird

angelbird_ssd_trimWith the growing popularity and declining cost of solid-state drives (SSDs) for Macs and other personal computers, users have becoming increasingly interested in putting third-party SSDs into their machines. But one issue Mac users have been running into involves support for TRIM, a system-level command that allows the operating system and the drive to communicate about which areas of the drive are considered unused and thus ready to be erased and rewritten to.

Without TRIM, writes to the drive can see significant slowdowns as the system must read and erase each block on the fly before writing new data. But unfortunately for users looking to install third-party SSDs into their machines, Apple only officially supports TRIM on Apple-branded SSDs. Workarounds such as Trim Enabler have naturally been developed to enable TRIM on non-Apple SSDs, but a new lineup of SSDs released earlier this month by Austrian firm Angelbird claims to be the first third-party SSD to support SSD right out of the box with no need for additional software tweaking.

Exactly how Angelbird has achieved native TRIM support on Mac is unclear, as the company has not responded to requests for comment. French site MacBidouille reports [Google Translate], however, that Angelbird’s SSDs appear to simply be masquerading as genuine Apple SSDs, thereby qualifying for native TRIM support. While the method appears rather questionable and likely to draw Apple’s attention, the drive could still be an appealing option for users looking for the easiest possible solution for upgrading to an SSD

OS X Yosemite has added yet another wrinkle for third-party SSD users, as the new kext signing security measure included in the new operating system means that Yosemite systems will refuse to load modified drivers such as those used by TRIM-enabling software. Cindori, the company behind Trim Enabler, is for now recommending that users interested in enabling TRIM on third-party SSDs with Yosemite disable the kext-signing check entirely. The company acknowledges that turning off this global setting is far from ideal and “for most users it will not be worth it”, but for now it is the only solution.

Angelbird has not specified whether its SSDs bypass the Yosemite TRIM issues, but if the drives do indeed simply qualify as Apple SSDs due to the way the model number is presented, it is possible that native TRIM support may still function under Yosemite. Angelbird’s SSD wrk lineup is available in three capacities: 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB starting at an MSRP of $99.99.

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Halloween Deals: Discounts on Scary Movies, Apps, Apple Accessories, and More

In celebration of the Halloween holiday, Apple, app developers, and retailers are all offering significant discounts on a range of movies, apps, and Apple accessories. We’ve rounded up some of the best of the holiday deals, which can be found below.

Movies

Apple has discounted a slew of scary movies to celebrate Halloween, offering both horror titles and more family-oriented Halloween-themed films at low prices. The complete Saw collection composed of seven movies is available for just $29.99, for example. [Direct Link]

itunesscarymovies
A Horror Movies section [Direct Link] in the iTunes Store has more than 30 different HD films that are priced at $9.99 for a limited time. Some of the more popular movies available:

I Am Legend [Direct Link]

The Shining [Direct Link]

The Exorcist [Direct Link]

The Ring [Direct Link]

Zombieland [Direct Link]

Cabin in the Woods [Direct Link]

Poltergeist [Direct Link]

A selection of less scary movies, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Ghostbusters, and more, is located in a Family-Friendly Frights section in the iTunes store. All of these HD titles are also priced at $9.99. [Direct Link]

Apps

Quite a few games and apps have been discounted for Halloween, and a master list of price drops can be found over at our sister site AppShopper by searching for the most recent price cuts.

Super Glyph Quest – $0.99 (down from $2.99) [Direct Link]

Minuum keyboard – $0.99 (down from $3.99) [Direct Link]

Zoombies – Free (down from $0.99) [Direct Link]

Slender Man Origins [Direct Link]

Slender Man Origins 2 – Free (down from $2.99) [Direct Link]

Organ Trail – $0.99 (down from $2.99) [Direct Link]

Home, A Unique Horror Adventure – $0.99 (down from $2.99) [Direct Link]

LIMBO – $1.99 (down from $4.99) [Direct Link]

Dark Meadow – $0.99 (down from $5.99) [Direct Link]

The Room Two – $0.99 (down from $2.99) [Direct Link]

Apple Accessories

Several retailers are offering some great deals on their products in celebration of Halloween. Mophie, for example, is offering 20 percent off all of its products with the promo code LIVINGDEAD, with the discount valid until 11/2.

mophiediscount
Speck is offering a similar deal, providing customers with 20 percent off all products aside from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases with the promo code TRICKORTREAT. Speck’s deal will last until 10/31.

Griffin is offering 20 percent off all products sidewide using the promo code SPOOKY20. The sale will last through the end of the week.

Twelve South is giving all of its customers $5 coupon that can be applied to any product at checkout using the promo code TRICK4TWEET.

Thinkgeek is offering 20 percent off all products sitewide with the promo code SUGARSKULL, with the sale lasting through the weekend.

Court Rules Police Can Force Users to Unlock iPhones With Fingerprints, But Not Passcodes

iphone_5s_touch_idA Circuit Court judge in Virginia has ruled that fingerprints are not protected by the Fifth Amendment, a decision that has clear privacy implications for fingerprint-protected devices like newer iPhones and iPads.

According to Judge Steven C. Fucci, while a criminal defendant can’t be compelled to hand over a passcode to police officers for the purpose of unlocking a cellular device, law enforcement officials can compel a defendant to give up a fingerprint.

The Fifth Amendment states that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which protects memorized information like passwords and passcodes, but it does not extend to fingerprints in the eyes of the law, as speculated by Wired last year.

Judge Steven C. Frucci ruled this week that giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key, which the law permits. A pass code, though, requires the defendant to divulge knowledge, which the law protects against, according to Frucci’s written opinion.

The ruling stemmed from a case involving David Baust, who was accused of strangling his girlfriend. Prosecutors believed Baust may have stored video of the attack on his phone, and requested that the judge force him to unlock it. If protected by a passcode, Baust will not be required to unlock his phone under the Fifth Amendment, but if protected with a fingerprint, he could potentially be forced to unlock the device.

If Baust’s phone is an iPhone that’s equipped with Touch ID, it’s very likely that it will be passcode locked at this point and thus protected by law. Touch ID requires a passcode after 48 hours of disuse, a restart, or three failed fingerprint entry attempts, and the device has probably been in police custody for quite some time. It is unclear if the judge’s ruling will have an impact on future cases involving cellular devices protected with fingerprint sensors, as it could be overturned by an appeal or a higher court.

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Mac Mini 2014: Which Model to Buy

Whenever Apple talks about the Mac mini—like at the October event in Cupertino—the company always mentions how the Mac mini is a favorite with first-time Mac users. While that may be true, the Mac mini isn’t just a computer for newbies. Its combination of affordability, compactness, and performance makes the Mac mini an ideal computer for new and experienced users alike.

mac_mini_display
Apple offers three models of the Mac mini. When shopping the Apple Store, it helps to understand the differences of all three models in the Mac mini line and how they compare to Apple’s other Mac offerings, and to know what you’re getting for your money. In this guide, we’ll go over the key decisions you’ll need to make when shopping for a Mac mini.

Why a Mac mini?

macmini1The main reason why you would consider a Mac mini is its price. The most affordable Mac mini is $499, and there are two other models, priced at $699 and $999. By comparison, Apple’s lowest-priced iMac is $1099, the lowest-priced MacBook Air is $899, and the lowest-priced MacBook Pro (non-Retina) is $1099.

Another reason to consider about the Mac mini is its size. Measuring 7.7 by 7.7 by 1.4 inches, the Mac mini’s small size allows it to fit in almost anywhere, which can lead to some unique uses besides desktop computing, such as a server or home entertainment component.

However, the small size and the low prices come with compromises in performance and your ability to upgrade the computer in a couple of years.


Performance

The $499 Mac mini has a 1.4GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The $699 Mac mini has a 2.6GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. The $999 Mac mini has a 2.8GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. All the 2014 Mac mini models have dual-core processors.

The Mac mini isn’t among the fastest Macs Apple offers, but it has enough power for people who use consumer-level software everyday. For web access, email, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, and most apps you use, the Mac mini works well.

A deeper look at performance using the GeekBench benchmark tool shows that in single-core performance—most consumer apps are single-core apps, meaning they use one processing core on a computer’s CPU—the new $999 2.8GHz Core i5 Mac mini performs slightly better than the previous 2012 high-end 2.6GHz Core i7 Mac mini.

single-core-mac-mini
However, if you’re using high-end professional-level software that uses more than one processing core, the new Mac mini takes a big performance hit. The reason why is simple: It doesn’t have as many processing cores as before. If you work in professional-grade apps that can take advantage of multiple processing cores—video editors, audio editors, 3D animation, Mathematica, for example—skip the Mac mini and get a quad-core iMac or make the investment into a Mac Pro.

2014 Mac mini single-core performance

The two 2012 Mac mini standard configurations also had a dual-core processor in the low-end models, but a quad-core processor in the high end 2012 Core i7 model. With the new 2014 Mac mini, Apple decided to use dual-core processors in all three models.

If you like to play games, you’ll find better video performance from the Intel Iris Graphics used in the $699 and $999 Mac minis. The $499 Mac mini uses the Intel HD Graphics 5000 integrated graphics processor, which is slightly better than the Intel HD Graphics 4000 found in the previous Mac mini, but it’s not as good as Iris Graphics.

The $499 Mac mini actually has the same processor, RAM setup, and graphics subsystem as the MacBook Air, so you might expect the $499 Mac mini and the MacBook Air to perform similarly. The Mac mini, however, uses a standard hard drive, while the MacBook Air has speedy flash memory. This could help the MacBook Air outperform the Mac mini.

Upgrades

c6PxygNBHC6I1Kgv.largeWith the new Mac mini, Apple continues the trend of limiting the user’s ability to perform do-it-yourself upgrades. When iFixIt did a teardown of the new Mac mini, the site found that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, preventing the user from adding more. You could potentially upgrade the hard drive with a new 2.5-inch, 7-mm storage device, but Apple also made the Mac mini more difficult to open, and you have to remove several components from the case before you can get to the Mac mini’s hard drive tray.

Most Mac mini users, however, aren’t interested in upgrading the computer as it gets older. It’s quite possible that the standard configurations offer the performance you need three or four years later—and by then, you can simply buy a new Mac mini when you need more speed. So the ability to do your own upgrades isn’t an issue for you.

But it’s worth considering the options Apple has available when you buy a Mac mini. Look at Apple’s Mac mini specifications, and you’ll notice that the processor, storage, and RAM say that they are “Configurable” to a higher specification than the standard for each price point. The future is now—if you think you’ll want to upgrade a component in a year or two, consider buying that upgrade now by customizing your order. The upgrades will increase the price of your order, but you save yourself some hassle down the road.

Xdi1YLbX3ugbjrMD.largeFor the 1.4GHz Mac mini, consider configuring the RAM from the standard 4GB to 8GB. That pushes the price up from $499 to $599, but the additional RAM will help performance.

If you want the faster Fusion Drive, Apple offers it as a $250 Fusion Drive upgrade for this machine, but that makes the price of the entry-level Mac mini $749 with 4GB of RAM. You’re better off paying a little more money for a Mac mini with both a Fusion Drive and a faster processor. You’ll pay $899 for a 2.6GHz Mac mini configured with a 1TB Fusion Drive, or $999 for a 2.8GHz Mac mini that comes standard with Fusion Drive.

Other cost considerations

The Mac mini doesn’t come with a display. If you already have one, or if you decide to buy a non-Apple display, you’ll connect it to one of the Mac mini’s Thunderbolt 2 ports, which can accept mini DisplayPort video connectors. Chances are, you’ll need an adapter, such as a Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, both of which Apple sells for $29. If the display you want to use has HDMI, and you connect using the Mac mini’s HDMI port.

Mac mini ports
The Mac mini also doesn’t include a keyboard or an input device such as a mouse or trackpad. Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, and Wirelesss Keyboard are $69 each, but you can use just about any USB or wireless keyboard and mouse.

Which Mac mini?

The $499 Mac mini is attractively priced, and it’s a good everyday computer with enough power for email, web, iWork and iLife apps, and iTunes. It’s also good for students who need an affordable desktop computer. Consider spending the extra $100 for 8GB of RAM—$599 is still a good deal for a Mac.

The $699 Mac mini offers a nice boost in performance from the entry-level model, so consider it if you are a little more demanding of your computer—you work a lot in iPhoto, iMovie, or similar apps. Games will benefit from the Iris Graphics in the $699 and $999 models.

If you’re a professional who makes things or does deep research on a Mac, the $999 Mac mini can serve as a cheap workstation for professionals who are budget-minded and use apps like Final Cut, Logic, Photoshop, Mathematica, or FileMaker. But you’ll be better served by spending a few more dollars on a $1299 21.5-inch iMac with a quad-core 2.7GHz Core i5 processor.

As for owners of the older Mac mini that was released in October 2012, the only reasons for you to upgrade to the new Mac mini are the two Thunderbolt 2 ports and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The new Mac mini doesn’t offer a boost in the apps that you use everyday, and you’ll actually see a performance slowdown with high-end software. To get more speed out of your Late 2012 Mac mini, consider upgrading the hard drive to a SSD or adding more RAM. Owners of the Mac mini released before 2012 will benefit from a new Mac mini, which offers a good speed boost. However, Thunderbolt replaces FireWire, so you may need a FireWire adapter or connect by USB, instead.

Trent Reznor Working on ‘Challenging’ Music Delivery Project at Apple

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who serves as Chief Creative Officer of Beats Music, became an Apple employee alongside Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre when Apple acquired Beats back in May.

In a new interview with Billboard, Reznor revealed that he joined the company because Apple was “interested in tapping his creative energy” and that he’s currently working on designing a product related to music delivery for Apple. According to Reznor, no one has hit “the right formula” when it comes to streaming music.

trentreznorjimmyiovineBeats Music co-founder Jimmy Iovine with Trent Reznor, image courtesy of USA Today

“I am on the side of streaming music, and I think the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems,” says Reznor, who along with Ross will participate in a keynote Q&A at the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference being held at Universal City’s Globe Theater on Nov. 5. “Ownership is waning. Everybody is comfortable with the cloud — your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them. That idea that I’ve got my records on the shelf doesn’t feel as important even to me as it used to. I just think we haven’t quite hit the right formula yet.”

Reznor says his role at Apple is an evolution of his Beats role and that Apple has him designing products for the company. While he declined to go into detail, he did say that he’s doing “very creative work that’s not directly making music,” but is instead related to music delivery. His work, he says, is “challenging” and “could have a big enough impact that it’s worth the effort.”

Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them. I can’t go into details, but I feel like I’m in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. That does mean some compromises in terms of how much brain power goes toward music and creating. This is very creative work that’s not directly making music, but it’s around music.

Rumors have suggested that Apple plans to completely revamp Beats Music, possibly rolling it into iTunes. A rebranding is planned, and new features and a lower price could be part of the Beats Music redesign. It’s possible that Reznor, who says he’s working on the streaming music side of things, is helping decide on the direction Apple’s streaming music service will take. Apple may be planning to unveil its revamped music subscription service and new branding as early as February, ahead of the 2015 Grammy Awards.

Reznor’s full interview, which also includes tidbits on his early life, his interest in movies, his work on Gone Girl, comments on U2’s “Songs of Innocence” iTunes release, and more, can be read at Billboard.

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Microsoft Launches New Outlook for Mac, Next Office for Mac Suite Coming in Second Half of 2015

Microsoft today announced the immediate launch of a new Outlook for Mac for Office 365 users, bringing a new look and a number of improvements as leaked earlier this week.

The new Outlook for Mac includes:

– Better performance and reliability as a result of a new threading model and database improvements.
– A new modern user interface with improved scrolling and agility when switching between Ribbon tabs.
– Online archive support for searching Exchange (online or on-premises) archived mail.
– Master Category List support and enhancements delivering access to category lists (name and color) and sync between Mac, Windows and OWA clients.
– Office 365 push email support for real-time email delivery.
– Faster first-run and email download experience with improved Exchange Web Services syncing.

outlook_mac_2014New Outlook for Mac
Office 365 subscribers can access the new Outlook for Mac through their account pages, while subscribers who already have Outlook for Mac 2011 suite installed on their machines should follow these instructions for moving to the new Outlook for Mac.

Microsoft also provided an update on the next full version of Office for Mac, noting that development on the suite had been pushed back from its usual schedule due to Microsoft’s work on prioritizing mobile and cloud development. The latest roadmap for Office for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote includes a public beta launching in the first half of 2015 and a final release coming in the second half of the year. Both Office 365 and perpetual license versions will launch in the same timeframe. Some details on the next Office for Mac were also leaked earlier this week.

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Apple’s Jony Ive Talks Apple Watch at SFMOMA Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony

Apple design chief Jony Ive on Thursday was honored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in an event that celebrated Ive’s 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award. The award, bestowed by the Modern Art Council (MAC), recognizes creative individuals who have influenced visual culture.

ive_moma_award

“Ive is our generation’s most innovative and influential figure in the field of industrial design—no other design mind has done more to transform the way we visualize and share information,” said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast to establish a department of architecture and design, and we’re thrilled to celebrate Ive’s revolutionary achievements.”

Speaking during the award ceremony, Ive commented on the Apple Watch and the challenge of designing Apple’s first smartwatch product in a series of comments reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“Even though Apple Watch does so many things, there are cultural, historical implications and expectations,” Ive said. “That’s why it’s been such a difficult and humbling program.”

Ive also emphasized the dilemma of developing a product that would mean different things to different people. Adding to the complexity of the design is the device itself, which is used only casually by its owners.

“As soon as something is worn, we have expectations of choice,” said Ive. Only “in prison,” he joked, do people all wear the same thing.”

Ive’s strict focus on his design work was also revealed in the interview when he admitted he didn’t know the details of Apple’s most recent financial results.

“I honestly don’t know the numbers,” said Ive. “But I know they are high.”

The Bay Area Treasure Award is one of several awards given to Ive in recent years. The Apple designer was the recipient of a National Design Award for the iPhone in 2007 and a team-issued 2012 Design and Art Direction award. He also was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in a ceremony held in 2012.

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Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Soon

Apple today unveiled its traditional black barriers around its forthcoming store in Lille, France, indicating that is construction is winding down as a grand opening is imminent, reports MacGeneration (Google Translate).

applestoreblacklille
The store will contain two levels and span 1400 square meters (roughly 15000 square feet). MacGeneration notes that the store will likely be opened by the end of November, which would mark Apple’s eighteenth store in France following the iconic Apple Store Opéra and other locations in cities like Lyon.

Apple noted in its earnings conference call last week that it expects to open 25 new stores in fiscal 2015 with most of those stores planning to be located outside of the United States. One of those stores is expected be located in the United Arab Emirates, which is rumored to be Apple’s biggest retail store to date.

Refurbished 2014 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Now Available in Apple’s Online Store

Apple today added several new models of the current 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro to its online store for refurbished products, marking their first availability at a lower cost since their July 2014 launch date.

There are six different models available, which are currently mistakenly listed under the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro section, an error that should be corrected soon. While one machine displays a shipping estimate of 24 hours, the rest offer shipping estimates of three to five days.

refurbished2014retinamacbooks
Discounts of more than $400 are available on some models, with prices that are approximately 15 percent off the standard pricing on brand new machines. Available models are as follows:

2.2GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 256GB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics: $1,699 ($300 savings)

2.2GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 512GB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics: $1,949 ($350 savings)

2.5GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 512GB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics/NVIDIA GeFore GT 750M: $2,099 ($400 savings)

2.8GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 512GB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics/NVIDIA GeFore GT 750M: $2,289 ($410 savings)

2.5GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 1TB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics/NVIDIA GeFore GT 750M: $2,549 ($450 savings)

2.8GHz quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB RAM, 1TBGB flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics/NVIDIA GeFore GT 750M: $2,719 ($480 savings)

Models of the latest 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros have not yet shown up in Apple’s refurbished store.

(Thanks, Steve!)

Seth Rogen to Star as Steve Wozniak in Sony’s Steve Jobs Biopic

Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak alongside Christian Bale, who has been cast in the role of Steve Jobs in Sony’s upcoming Jobs biopic, reports Variety. Rogen will have the opportunity to get advice directly from Wozniak, who is working as a consultant on the film.

Rogen is a popular actor who has starred in movies like Neighbors, 22 Jump Street, and This Is the End. While Rogen often stars in comedic films, he has demonstrated his ability to do more serious work in movies like Take This Waltz and 50/50.

seth-rogen-ben-schwartzImage courtesy of Variety
After several months of limbo after writer Aaron Sorkin finished the screenplay, production on Sony’s Steve Jobs movie is picking up. Danny Boyle, who directed Slumdog Millionaire has been announced as the director of the film, and just last week, Sony signed on Christian Bale to play Jobs.

While the previous JOBS movie with Ashton Kutcher focused on Jobs’ early life, Sony’s film will use material from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography and will focus on three 30-minute scenes showing three of Apple’s product launches.

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Some OS X Yosemite Users Plagued With Wi-Fi Connection Issues

os_x_yosemite_round_iconSince OS X Yosemite’s October 16 launch, MacRumors has been receiving a number of complaints from users who have been experiencing Wi-Fi issues. Extensive threads about Wi-Fi problems have surfaced on both the MacRumors forums and on Apple’s own Support Communities as well, suggesting there are quite a few users who are seeing Wi-Fi connection issues after installing Yosemite.

According to the complaints, Wi-Fi connections are sometimes extremely slow, resulting in long loading times, and in some cases, users are seeing their Wi-Fi connections disconnect continually after just a few minutes of being connected.

Since upgrading to Yosemite, my previously-stable (with Mavericks) wifi connection keeps dropping. I have to click the wifi icon and re-select my network every minute or two. I have turned off bluetooth and uninstalled/reinstalled wifi and my networks. I have rebooted multiple times. No luck so far. It appears that others are having similar problems.

The problems appear to be affecting a wide range of different MacBooks, different routers, and users in different locations. A number of different fixes have been suggested on various forums, but it does not appear that any one solution works for everyone, suggesting there may be an issue with Yosemite that needs to be addressed in a future update.

Some users have had luck disabling Bluetooth, turning off Handoff, creating new Network Locations, doing a clean Yosemite install, setting a router to “G-mode only,” turning off Dropbox syncing, disabling WPA router encryption, or turning off all proxies in Network preferences, but other users have not been able to solve their Wi-Fi problems at all even attempting all of the above listed solutions. Swapping to a 2.4GHz band has, however, worked for a large number of users.

Apple support representatives have supplied users with different solutions that have included removing excess preferred networks in the Network section of System Preferences and resetting the System Management Controller.

OS X Daily has written an in-depth tutorial on how to fix the Wi-Fi problems in OS X Yosemite, which involves several steps like deleting preference files, creating custom DNS settings, and refreshing the discoveryd service, but for users who can’t find a fix, the site recommends downgrading to OS X Mavericks until Yosemite is updated.

Users attempting any of the highly technical fixes above should make a Time Machine backup ahead of time and use caution when deleting any system files. Thus far, there is no word on when a Yosemite update might come as Apple has not yet released any betas to developers.

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Apple Reverses Course on iOS 8 Notification Center Calculators

pcalcYesterday, Apple told PCalc developer James Thomson that the Notification Center widget portion of his popular calculator app PCalc would need to be removed, as Notification Center widgets “cannot perform any calculations.”

Following significant media coverage of the issue, Apple has now reversed course on the decision and according to an Apple spokesperson that spoke to TechCrunch, both PCalc and its Notification Center widget will be allowed to remain in the App Store, along with all other apps that contain calculator widgets.

The initial decision to remove Pcalc‘s widget was reportedly the result of a use case that Apple had not anticipated. Because it was not within the guidelines, an App Store reviewer told Thomson the functionality would need to be changed or it would be pulled from the App Store. It’s likely the attention the removal received sparked a deeper review of the app, leading to the policy change.

Thomson’s PCalc app was one of the first apps to be updated for iOS 8 and following its release, it was lauded for its convenient and unique use of the Notification Center in App Store reviews and in iOS 8 coverage from a variety of sites.

Apple itself features PCalc‘s Notification Center widget in multiple places in the App Store, including a section called “Extend Your Apps” featuring apps with unique widgets, and a “Great Apps and Games for iOS 8″ section, which also features a selection of interesting Notification Center widgets.

PCalc can be downloaded from the App Store for $9.99. [Direct Link]

PCalc Lite, a free version of the PCalc app, also includes the Notification Center widget. [Direct Link]

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