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Nomad Review: The Pod is an Apple Watch Stand Made for Off-the-Grid Travel With its Built-In Battery

The Nomad Pod, with its built-in battery, is one of a small selection of Apple Watch stands able to offer functionality beyond simply holding the Apple Watch charger in a more accessible position. Priced at $60, the Pod is a compact, modern-looking Apple Watch stand that’s small enough to fit in a backpack or bag and able to keep the Apple Watch’s battery full when traveling away from the grid for a few days.

I’ve been testing the Pod for several weeks now to see how it stacks up against other Apple Watch docking options on the market, both as a travel companion and as a stand at home on my desk.

Setup and Design

The circular Pod is made up of two pieces: a plastic and aluminum base that holds the Apple Watch charger and cord in place, and an aluminum faceplate that snaps on over the base to hide the cord from view. The Pod is made from brushed aluminum in Silver or Space Gray that matches Apple’s MacBook, iPhone, and iPad lineups, and its minimal design will let it fit into almost any decor.

Size wise, the Pod fits into the palm of a hand and is quite similar to a hockey puck both in diameter and thickness. It can potentially fit in a generously sized pants pocket or a jacket pocket, but its thickness and round shape makes that less than comfortable. At one side, there’s a micro-USB port to charge the Pod itself, a button that activates the Pod’s charging function, and a 4-LED indicator for displaying battery life. It also ships with a Nomad-branded micro-USB cable.
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AT&T sues former employees over phone unlocking hack scheme

Inside An AT&T Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures

AT&T has brought a lawsuit against three of its former employees and an Anaheim-based IT company, alleging that the group conspired to install malware on company computers that would illicitly generate unlock codes for customer phones. According to the suit, Anaheim’s Swift Locks company worked with customer service reps in AT&T’s Bothell, Washington center to nab unlock codes for phones that were still under contract (and therefore not eligible to be moved to another carrier’s network) and then sell them for a profit.

Reportedly, the customer service reps installed malware on their company computers which gave Prashan Vira, who runs Swift Unlocks, and 50 other SU employees/unnamed co-defendants access to their machines. The Swift Unlocks team then apparently ran a program that generated the unlock codes using the service reps’ credentials. According the the lawsuit, the reps were paid $2000 every two weeks for their cooperation (netting between $10,500 and $20,000 before the scam was discovered) and Swift Unlocks gained access to “hundreds of thousands” of unlock codes.

“Locking” phones into a single carrier allows service providers like Verizon, AT&T or Sprint to guarantee that their customers will stay for the duration of their contract (or at least force them to pay off the cost of the phone if they should break said contract). The act of unlocking a phone removes that block and enables the phone to work on other networks. Legally, only the carrier is allowed to unlock a phone using its network, however a number of grey-area sites like Swift Unlocks do offer discounted workarounds.

[Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Via: GeekWire

Source: Seattle US District Court


‘Dragon Quest Builders’ is a shallower, more polished ‘Minecraft’

It’s like a very, very well done mod. In Dragon Quest Builders, Square Enix has taken the thrill and almost tangible joy of building your own world, and coated it in a deep, glossy layer of Dragon Quest paint. If you don’t know Dragon Quest, it was the sworn rival of Final Fantasy in the Japanese RPG golden age. Then Squaresoft (FF) and Enix (DQ) became the same company. Oh, and if you don’t know Minecraft, where have you been, you monster?

It just looks so good. In comparison to Minecraft‘s chunky (and iconic styling), to see such a similar game with so much big-game-studio lipstick makes it feel like a very different game. If you’ve played a Dragon Quest game before, you’ll see familiar enemies and tropes. There are plenty of slimes to batter with a choice of weapons, and all the items carry the same names as in the iconic RPG series.

And that’s great. What’s not so great is how shallow it feels. There’s no first-person mode to admire creations (although the PS4 is at least capable of sharing creations easily enough), and while Minecraft typically felt limitless, in DQ:B, you can only dig down four layers before that typical videogame barrier of invisibility stops your pickaxe. That said, maybe you want more direction in a Minecraft-style game. If so, then DQ:B could be a fit. In the trailer, you can see what looks like an appropriate protagonist, an aim (shady kingdom on the horizon) and a whole to explore — if only just past the surface.

Dragon Quest Builders launches on PS4, PS3 and Vita in January 2015, but only in Japan. Square Enix hasn’t yet announced any plans for a wider release.


Most US rail operators won’t meet deadline for train safety controls

Secretary Of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Highlights Rail Security At Union Station

According to a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, as many as 70 percent of rail operators won’t meet the end of the year deadline for safety controls. Operators are legally required to install positive train control (PTC) systems that slow trains traveling too fast (based on location) by the end of the year. The GAO says that only five rail companies will meet the December 31st deadline to have the safety tech in place. An automatic train control (ATC) system was only installed in one direction on the section of track where an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia earlier this year. As you might expect, the safety feature may have prevented that accident entirely by automatically adjusting the train’s speed for that portion of the route.

[Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Via: Washington Post

Source: US GAO


Android Pay reaches Google Play, ready for all in the US


Sure, Android Pay started its slow rollout last week, but with Google’s staged distribution you probably didn’t have it yet. Now, the Android team has announced it’s officially available on Google Play, so if you live in the US, you should have it on your NFC-equipped phone with Android 4.4 or higher, replacing the old Google Wallet app. Just add a card and you’ll be ready to tap-to-pay (even if you were already set up with Wallet). Of course, even with the slow rollout, some people have had issues with compatibility, using the app on rooted phones or receiving errant messages about unsupported cards. Some of those may be fixed if you have the latest version of Google Play Services, so check that first, while others like fingerprint verification need Android Marshmallow.

Source: Android Pay (Google Play)


BlackBerry Venice Slider shown off in new hands-on video


We have for weeks now been seen leak after leak regarding the new BlackBerry Venice Slider, which will be the company’s first Android-based smartphone. Baka Mobile, a Bell authorized dealer in Toronto, got their hands on the device and today released a video demoing the unit.

The device Baka Mobile is showing off is indeed an evaluation unit, so things are most certainly subject to change before the Venice hits the market. Check out the hands-on video below!

Click here to view the embedded video.

The video shows off what seems to be your average Android device–power button, volume rocker, micro-USB port on the bottom, microSD, SIM card tray, and so on. However, what makes the Venice unique is that when you slide the screen upwards, you reveal a physical keyboard.

One thing’s for sure, we’re getting closer and closer to the BlackBerry Venice release in November, and we’re bound to see more juicy details as we near launch day. Anyone excited?

via: BlackBerryOS

Come comment on this article: BlackBerry Venice Slider shown off in new hands-on video


Apple Outlines Fix for Unresponsive ‘Slide to Upgrade’ Screen on iOS 9

iphone6-ios-setup-helloApple has published a new support document on its website that outlines a fix for users experiencing an unresponsive “Slide to Upgrade” screen after updating to iOS 9 (via iPhoneHacks).

The issue has affected a growing number of users on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forum and social media.

Apple recommends restoring your device from an iTunes backup to resolve the problem.

1. Connect your iOS device to your computer and open iTunes.
2. Select your device. If you don’t see it listed, force restart your device by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home button for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.
3. If you made an iTunes backup of your device before updating to iOS 9, restore your device from that backup. If not, you need to make a backup of your device in iTunes, then restore from that backup.

Apple released iOS 9 on Wednesday for iPhone 4s or later, iPad 2 or later and the fifth-generation iPod touch or later.


MacRumors Giveaway: Win OWC’s Envoy Pro Mini 120GB SSD

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with OWC to give away the Envoy Pro mini, a desktop class solid state drive that fits into a keychain-sized enclosure. The Envoy Pro mini measures in at 3.7 inches by 0.94 inches by 0.44 inches, but houses a 120GB or 240GB SSD.

Despite being able to fit comfortably in a pocket, the Envoy Pro mini is nearly twice as fast as the average thumb drive, reaching sustained speeds up to 427MB/s, so it’s excellent for tasks regular thumb drives can’t achieve, like quickly transferring large files.

The Envoy Pro mini, which is available directly from OWC, is priced at $117.99 for the 120GB version or $184.99 for the 240GB version, but one MacRumors reader will have a chance to get the 120GB version for free.

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

The contest will run from today (September 18) at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time on September 25. The winner will be chosen randomly on September 25 and will be contacted by email. The winner have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prizes will be shipped to the winner for free.


Buyer’s Guide: Discounts on iPad Mini 3, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories and More

Now that the iPad mini 4 is out, the iPad mini 3, which is basically an iPad mini 2 with Touch ID, has been discontinued by Apple. That means retailers have begun dropping prices on iPad mini 3 models that remain in stock, so it may be possible to get a good deal on an iPad mini 3 if you need to save a few bucks.

Prices are finally dropping on the Retina MacBook, five months after it first launched. Discounts are up to $150, so it’s a good time to pick up one of Apple’s ultra slim notebooks.

As always, we’ve also hunted down some great accessory deals and outlined a list of apps and games that are currently on sale.

iPad Air 2

There are some iPad Air 2 models available for discounted prices from Amazon, but none are at the lowest prices we’ve seen, so it might be best to wait for a better deal because iPad Air 2 discounts pop up pretty often.

The 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 in gold is available for $425, while the 64GB version is available for $533. The 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 in silver is available for $432.99, while the 64GB version is available for $537.98. The 128GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 in Space Gray is available for $627.83.

The 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in Gold is available for $544, and the 64GB Cellular version in Space Gray is available for $668.89.
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Google’s next phones will reportedly be the Nexus 5X and 6P

We’ve seen a few snapshots of the upcoming Nexus phones and now we may have an idea what they’ll be called. Droid Life reports that the pair of Google phones, one made by LG and the other by Huawei, will carry the labels of Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P (yes, six pee), respectively. The LG device is said to house a 5.2-inch display while the Huawei handset is rumored to carry a 5.7-inch inch screen, hence the 5 and 6 designations. We won’t have to wait too long to find out, though, as reports indicate that Google is hosting event on September 29th where the duo is expected to be revealed alongside a new Chromecast. And, of course, a look at the latest version of Android Marshmallow. Hopefully we’ll also find out what Huawei has tucked under that camera hump, too.

Via: The Verge

Source: Droid Life

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