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Oh, Microsoft… you're back at it again with a new generation of Surface tablets, but we can only imagine that buyers will forget all about them when Apple unveils its next iPad, presumably at a media event next month. But kudos to the Windows maker for adopting the old saying "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again…"
MacRumors reported Monday that Apple has emailed customers who purchased a Season Pass for the fifth season of the wildly popular TV series Breaking Bad, which network AMC had chosen to split into two halves nearly a year apart from each other. As a result, the iTunes Season Pass included only eight of the 16 episodes, with the remainder sold as "The Final Season." "While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we'd like to offer you 'The Final Season' on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99," the Apple email reads. "This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase."
Microsoft announced the next generation of its Windows 8-powered tablets on Monday, which are now known simply as the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. On the outside, very little has changed, although the company boasts that the tablets are now lighter and thinner, while featuring even longer battery life than the original models. Unfortunately, the Surface 2 is still powered by the handicapped Windows RT, but at least Microsoft is giving buyers free Skype calls and Wi-Fi access as well as 200GB of SkyDrive cloud storage for two years as part of the deal. The company also debuted updated Type and Touch Covers as well as a Docking Station for Surface Pro 2 that allows users to convert the tablet into a full workstation with additional ports. But will it be enough to get customers to buy this time around?
MacRumors reported Monday that Algoriddim has updated its latest djay 2 and vjay apps for iPhone with 64-bit support to take full advantage of the iPhone 5s and its A7 processor. The realtime audio and video mixer apps are capable of decoding twice as fast as before, with the speed gains most apparent with vjay, which can now handle "two full 720p HD video streams" and even stream via AirPlay with zero latency. The developer credits Apple's "excellent developer tools" for being able to knock out the updates only three days after the iPhone 5s actually went on sale, and also praises Xcode's shared code base, which makes it easier to port the titles from iOS to Mac.
If you think it's unnecessary to turn off your gadgets while taking off or landing, the Federal Aviation Administration may finally agree with you. The New York Times is reporting that an FAA advisory panel is meeting this week to finalize its recommendations on how to relax most of the restrictions currently in place, which are expected to "allow reading e-books or other publications, listening to podcasts, and watching videos," according to unnamed members of the panel. Gadget and laptop users still won't be able to send or receive email or text messages nor use Wi-Fi during takeoff or landing, but most everything else could soon be fair game.
If you need to work in real-time with others, Box has now gone from a cloud storage provider to a full-on document editor thanks to its new Box Notes. While not yet as powerful as Microsoft Office or Google Docs, Box Notes allows users to capture their ideas quickly and have others join in remotely, with "note head" avatars displaying profile pictures so users always know who they're working on a given document with. The cloud-based service is now in private beta, but interested users are encouraged to sign up now to gain access before Box Notes opens to the public in the near future.
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