We’ve partnered with GameAgent this week to offer MacRumors readers a great deal on one of the best Mac games around — Civilization V. From now until Sunday, readers can get Sid Meier’s Civilization V: The Complete Edition for just $12.50, which is 75% off the standard price of $49.99.
The Civilization V Complete Edition includes the original game plus two expansion packs: Gods & Kings and Brave New World, along with the released add-on content.
As for Macs, there are a few limited deals this week, including a low price on the newest low-cost 21.5-inch iMac and some ongoing deals for the 2013 Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. There are also some discounts on select models of the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini from Best Buy, and finally, we have an array of iPhone 6 cases that can be purchased at low prices, along with a few other iPhone accessories.
The 1.4GHz/8GB/500GB iMac, which is Apple’s newest iMac, is available from Best Buy for $979.99, down from the original price of $1,099. Best Buy has some modest discounts on other iMacs, including the 21.5-inch 2.7Ghz/8GB/1TB model, which is priced at $1,179.99, and the 21.5-inch 2.9Ghz/8GB/1TB model, priced at $1,379.99.
iPad Air and Retina iPad mini
Best Buy is currently offering $100 off all of its Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air models (with a new two-year contract), and $50 off all of some of its higher-capacity Wi-Fi only iPad Air models. the 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air is available for $549.99, while the 64GB Wi-Fi only model is available for $649.99.
Similar to the iPad Air, Best Buy is also offering $50 off of its higher capacity Wi-Fi only Retina iPad mini models, and $100 off all cellular models with a two-year contract. The 32GB Wi-Fi only Retina iPad mini can be purchased for $449.99, and the 64GB version is available for $549.99.
The entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular Retina iPad mini is available for $429.99 with Best Buy’s $100 discount, and higher capacity versions are priced at $529.99, $629.99, and $729.99 with the discount.
Best Buy is also currently running a promotion that lets customers trade in older iPads (except for the first-generation model) for a $150 gift card.
B&H Photo is continuing to offer rock bottom prices on remaining inventory of the 2013 MacBook Air. The 1.3Ghz/4GB/128GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $819, while the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $889 and the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 13-inch MacBook Air is available for $999.
Retina MacBook Pro
There are some deals on remaining 2013 Retina MacBook Pros. The 2.4Ghz/4GB/128GB 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is available for $1,099 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The 2.6Ghz/8GB/512GB 13-inch model is available for $1,549 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/8GB/256GB 15-inch model is available for $1,599 Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/16GB/512GB 15-inch model is available for $2,199 from Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.
Stock configurations of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop computer are available at slightly discounted prices from several retailers this week. The 6-core 3.5Ghz/16GB/256GB machine can be purchased for $3,739.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the 4-core 3.7Ghz/12GB/256GB machine for $2,839.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo.
B&H and Adorama, as always, are a good choice for buyers who live outside of New York and New Jersey, as the sites only charge sales tax in those states.
Groupon has pre-orders available for a range of different iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases at very low prices. The MogoLife Protective case for iPhone 6 or 6 Plus can be purchased for $9.99 or $11.99, down from $29.95. The Abyss Tough Armor Rugged Case for the iPhone 6 can be purchased for $11.99, down from $29.99. The Prolix Slim Armor Protective Case for the iPhone 6 is also available for $11.99, down from its normal price of $29.99.
The Urge Basics Dual-Layer Protection Cobra Case for iPhone 6 is available for $9.99, regularly $29.99. The iHome Reflex Case for iPhone 6 is available for $12.99, a discount of $7, and the Xentris Soft-Shell Case for iPhone 6 is available for $9.99, a discount of $10.
The Incase Hammered Hardshell Case for the 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $12.99 from Groupon, down from $59.95. Groupon is also offering the Jawbone Jambox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for $89.99, down from $150. The LifeProof frē Case for the iPad mini is available for $32.99, down from $99.
MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.
As of today, Apple has stopped signing the iOS 7.1.2 firmware, which will prevent users from downgrading from iOS 8 back to iOS 7 (via iClarified). This means that users who are unhappy with the changes that iOS 8 have brought or unsatisfied with bugs introduced with the update will be unable to downgrade back to iOS 7.1.2.
Apple’s decision to stop signing iOS 7.1.2 is not unusual, as the company often stops signing prior versions of iOS shortly after the release of a new version of iOS. iOS 8, the latest Apple mobile operating system, was released to the public on September 17.
iOS 7.1.2 does, however, remain available for iPhone 4 users, as the iOS 8 operating system can only be installed on the iPhone 4s and later.
Released on June 30, iOS 7.1.2 is the latest version of iOS 7, which included minor bug fixes, security improvements, and a fix for an email attachment encryption issue.
According to a report by The Information, you may be seeing a few more Google apps preloaded on future Android devices. Confidential paperwork on new contract requirements details raising the amount of pre-installed software. Under the new guidelines, the number is set to total up to 20 apps– more than doubling the current set of 9. What’s more, Google’s wares will also have to be displayed in strategic locations on home screens and in “prominent” folders. This means that Android device makers like Samsung, HTC and others would need to retool where the requisite apps are positioned and factor in the increased volume. As you may recall, Google aims to reign in customization of its software too, and ZTE has already opted for the Google Now launcher by default on its upcoming devices.
Source: The Information
Thom Yorke has a history of going against the grain with his online music sales. His band Radiohead first released In Rainbows as a pay-what-you-want download, and he pulled his solo tunes from Spotify to make a stand on royalty rates. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that he’s once again bucking trends by launching his latest album (Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes) as the first ever pay-gated BitTorrent Bundle. You can listen to its first song, “A Brain in A Bottle,” for free; forking over $6 will unlock the remaining seven tracks. And for now, it’s only available online through BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer technology. You can buy vinyl if you’d like a hard copy, but you won’t find it on regular download or streaming services.
Yorke and his long-time collaborator Nigel Godrich explain the move as an “experiment” in helping artists get around the music industry’s “self elected gate-keepers.” Going with BitTorrent not only avoids existing stores, but also the usual costs of do-it-yourself publishing — since buyers are sharing the tracks with each other, Yorke doesn’t have to pay for hosting or deal with cloud-based “malarkey.” It’s tough to know if this gamble will pay off, but it at least proves that you don’t need labels or a lot of bandwidth to get an album off the ground.
[Image credit: Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP]
Filed under: Internet
Just when you thought Uber’s legal battle in Germany was settled once and for all, Bloomberg is now writing about the company having to deal with new challenges in that country. According to the report, Uber has been ordered to bring its UberPop and UberBlack services to a halt, yet again, in two of Germany’s biggest cities, Berlin and Hamburg. Local authorities there argued that Uber clearly violates German laws, claiming the ridesharing firm doesn’t have the appropriate license to operate legally, which was enough for courts in those cities to rule in favor of a ban. “The services violate multiple rules for transporting people that serve to protect customers,” a spokesperson for the Berlin court told Bloomberg. “The ban serves to protect the viability and functioning of the taxi services, in which the public has an important interest.”
The court’s representative went on to say that the ban was “necessary to protect customers from dangers to life and limb, because their security doesn’t seem to be guaranteed under the business model.” In contrast, Uber drivers haven’t had the easiest of times across Europe, having suffered attacks previously in places like France and Spain, where members of different taxi commissions haven’t been very receptive of its offerings.
We reached out to Uber and will be updating this story as soon as we hear back.
Filed under: Transportation
Google already makes it very simple for you to pull your data from some of its many services, via the Takeout transfer tool on the web. Up until today, however, Google Takeout wasn’t necessarily pleasing to the eye, despite being extremely useful at letting users extract their archives. As a way to alleviate that, the search giant has quietly given Takeout a design makeover, bringing the user interface more in line with its other products, like Gmail and Google Drive. Still, it’s not all about the visuals here — Google Takeout is now also more thorough, allowing you to pull specific data from each service. For example, with Google Play Books, you can choose to include select files, rather than only having the option to download all at once. Just don’t go too crazy creating archives, since they do take up space from your Drive’s free storage allotment.
Back in June Rovio let it be known that yet another big movie named title would get the Angry Birds treatment. This time around it would be Angry Birds Transformers. I had fully expected Rovio to do a similar take as they did with the Star Wars themed variants. That is certainly not the case though. A game play trailer has recently been released which shows us a small look at what to expect, and it certainly doesn’t carry a sling shot with it.
See what I mean. Not your typical Angry Birds style game. Instead you run along in almost a 2D platform runner style game taking out pigs in the distance with your various weapons. You also notice a little transforming going on to move along faster to avoid falling objects. Taking a quick look back at the original landing page that was set up months ago we see a fun old school VHS style video that was released back in August and little blurbs about HASBRO Angry Birds Transformer Telepods and the ability to utilize your friends robots to complete missions. Why do I have a feeling there will be a whole Angry Birds Transformers line of plush toys and animated shorts coming too.
Rovio seems to have the new title available in New Zealand and Finland right now for a soft launch on iOS devices with a full blown iOS launch slated for October 15th. Us Android users will need to wait for the Play Store rollout which is set set for October 30th. Lets hope Rovio managed to fine tune the game play and IAP options by then to make it worth the download.
The post Angry Birds Transformers soft launches in NZ and FI; There is more than meets the eye with one appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
After running a successful initial round of crowdfunding, The Oatmeal is now looking to put the finishing touches on its plans to build a Nikola Tesla Museum. To do so, it needs a bit more help from kind souls on the internet. Despite hitting the goal amount on Indiegogo a couple of years ago, and having since received an unexpected, hefty donation from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, additional money is needed to start the actual building process on the property, one that was bought with the $1.37 million originally raised. In an effort to make things interesting, this new campaign offers to give contributors engraved bricks in exchange for their hard-earned cash — the more you donate, the bigger brick you’re going to have at the museum. But hurry because, as The Oatmeal points out, the sooner you back the project, the better location your brick will get. Eventually, the idea is to build the Nikola Tesla Museum on the land where his final lab was located, in Shoreham, New York.
This past Saturday, I found myself in the front row of what felt like an old-time revival, only instead of religious zealots, I was surrounded by roughly 800 disciples of virtual reality. Onstage at the inaugural Oculus Connect VR developer conference, the high priests of the medium, Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Abrash and John Carmack preached the gospel of presence — the Holy Grail of virtual reality. Presence is a simple concept to grok once you’ve experienced it, though describing the feeling can be difficult. Essentially, presence is shorthand for what results when you fool the human brain into perceiving a virtual world as it does the real one.
Oculus is closer than ever to delivering that experience with its latest prototype headset, code-named Crescent Bay, but a consumer version is still a ways off. According to Oculus founder Luckey, “All the tech needed to build the headset we want exists, but not all of it is in such a form that you can buy it in mass quantities.” So, while the world waits for manufacturing to enable a final consumer product, Connect attendees got a taste of what that commercially viable headset will deliver — thanks to handcrafted prototypes built with rare engineering-sample components.
And what an experience it is. Crescent Bay is the best VR headset I’ve worn, full stop. You can read all about it here, but regardless of its current, fixable flaws, the demo with that prototype has me believing in the power of presence. And I suppose that’s at least part of the reason why Oculus waited to hold its initial developer conference until now. VR’s time draws near.
“Imagine you had a pair of magical goggles that would take you anywhere, instantly.”
“We might as well be brains in glass jars with wires coming out of them.” I’m back in the front row at Connect, listening to Abrash, Oculus’ chief scientist, talk about direct brain stimulation and explain how humans perceive reality. He’s been thinking about creating virtual worlds since the early ’90s, and is a VR evangelist of the highest order. I mean that as a compliment. Abrash, while clearly awed and inspired by the technology’s potential, possesses a pragmatic attitude about the current challenges facing both Oculus and VR in general. His day job is running Oculus’ R&D operation, learning to understand human cognition and solving the most difficult problems facing VR. But what a salesman. He closes with: “Imagine you had a pair of magical goggles that would take you anywhere, instantly. Where would you go? … What would you do? … That’s a powerful thought, and that’s what VR can do.”
I’m sold and, at this point, I haven’t even strapped on that Crescent Bay headset yet. “This is what it looks like when opportunity knocks,” Abrash says. Everyone in the audience is ready to answer.
Oculus has long vowed not to release a consumer headset until that hardware is comfortable, affordable and can deliver on the promise of presence. Luckey wants as many people as possible to reap the benefits of VR, and for that to happen it’s got to be a pleasant, desirable experience. Hardware’s only half the solution, however, and that’s where the developers come in. And by developers, Oculus means anyone making VR content. By and large, that’s game devs, but there are cinematographers and other film industry converts in the audience. It makes sense that Connect is taking place in Hollywood.
Now I’m listening to Carmack, Oculus CTO, explain how he built his working relationship with Samsung and the myriad technical challenges he grappled with when building Gear VR. I wonder how many other non-technical attendees there are, and if they’re having better luck keeping up with what he’s saying. Carmack, I imagine, is as persuasive and pragmatic as Abrash, were I able to fully comprehend his words. He’s speaking the language of coders and engineers at a pace that’s difficult for me to parse. He talks for over an hour and a half without pause. I am humbled by his intellect. He opens with: “I don’t actually have a presentation, but I can stand up here and talk about interesting things until they run me off the stage.” So it goes… I think?
Oculus wants as many people as possible to reap the benefits of VR, and for that to happen it’s got to be a pleasant, desirable experience.
The fact is, virtual reality is interesting, and has been for a long time. It’s been a part of the cultural zeitgeist since The Lawnmower Man introduced VR to millions of moviegoers in 1992. Many have tried, and failed, to take the technology mainstream. We’ve been here before, over 20 years ago. Seemingly on the cusp of revolution, many heralded the dawn of the VR age. It was a false prophecy, doomed to remain unfulfilled thanks to hardware that couldn’t deliver a truly immersive VR experience.
Abrash, Carmack and Luckey all believe that the work they’re doing is hugely important and will change the world. It remains to be seen if VR will do so, but if it does, you can bet that Oculus will play a big part in the transformation.
On my flight home, it feels like Connect is the catalyst to make it happen.
And so the battle for smart thermostat supremacy wages on. No sooner have we welcomed another warrior to the battlefield than energy provider npower’s decided to start giving Nest thermostats away for free. As you may remember, Nest struck up a partnership with npower earlier this year, getting a direct line to the latter’s customer base in much the same way British Gas and Scottish Power are leveraging their own. Now, to get a Nest installed for free, you need to be an npower customer (duh). Not just any old customer, though, but one signed up to the new “Intelligent Control – October 2016″ gas and electricity tariff. Basically, it’s a “dual-fuel” plan that promises a fixed price until — you guessed it — October 2016. Deciding whether the tariff is right for you should obviously be your primary concern, but know there’s a Nest thrown in to sweeten the deal. npower wasn’t exactly ripping customers off with its previous offer of a Nest plus installation for £99 (on a different tariff), but hey, free’s free.
Filed under: Household