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07.05.16 | 7:21 am

Apple will allow iOS 10 users to register for organ donation

There will be a new button in iOS 10's Health app that will allow users to quickly sign up to become an organ donor, reports the Guardian. The new button will be accessible to all iOS 10 users in the U.S. and follows initiatives by the U.S. government to improve all aspects of organ donation, from registration to transportation. The Guardian says Tim Cook stated the organ donation registration feature was the result of the problems with organ donations hitting home when Steve Jobs was subjected to an "excruciating" wait for a liver transplant in 2009.

[Image: Apple]

10.27.16 | 3 hours ago

Evening intel: Mac attack, GE’s big bet, hacker gets jail time for nude photo heist

• A day after Microsoft set the world ablaze with its much-hyped Surface product launch, Apple (remember them?) struck back by unveiling some shiny new MacBooks Pros.

• A hacker who stole nude photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, and Kate Upton is getting 18 months in prison because justice. H/T Variety.

General Electric is in talks to buy the industrial-services company Baker Hughes Inc., according to those chatty "people familiar with the matter" who always seem to talk to the Wall Street Journal. The deal would be GE's biggest ever, WSJ reports.

• Alphabet investors are a little concerned about what Google's business model will look like—or sound like, rather—as the company shifts to voice-based services.

• And finally, what do fossilized dinosaur brains actually look like? See for yourself.

10.27.16 | 6:32 pm

Alphabet investors are worried about voice search push and talent retention 

On its third-quarter earnings call, multiple Alphabet investors asked how Google will continue to capitalize on search ads as it moves toward voice search through Google Home and Google Assistant products. If consumers are asking a screen-less device to look something up, there's no ad for them to see. What will voice ads sound like? Will they draw the same kind of money that display and video ads do? Google CEO Sundar Pichai says only that his team will be thoughtful about it. 

Another question that popped up: Is the Alphabet structure good for retaining top talent? Alphabet changed its stock-based compensation this year, so that it could rise or dip based on the division's performance. Employees in some of Alphabet's more daring endeavors might not be keen to take on that risk. Questioning Alphabet's ability to retain key talent isn't off base. This year, Otto, a self-driving truck startup composed of 15 former Google Maps and autonomous vehicle project employees, was acquired by Uber for $680 million. On the call, Pichai said he's comfortable with how the company approaches creating a culture of innovation.

10.27.16 | 6:17 pm

Microsoft’s great week just got even better with LinkedIn’s 3Q earnings

Amid all the talk this week about Microsoft's sexy resurgence, the software giant just got more good news. LinkedIn's third-quarter earnings report—perhaps its last before Microsoft completes its $26 billion acquisition of the company later this year—show all the arrows pointing in the right direction. More users. More revenue. What more could Redmond ask for? Below are some of the key highlights. 

10.27.16 | 4:17 pm

Amazon shares tumble as Q3 earnings miss expectations

Amazon's Q3 earnings results just went live, and the picture is not as rosy as analysts had expected. While quarterly revenue hit $32.71 billion, which beat expectations, the company missed on earnings per share. EPS was $0.52 compared to estimates of $0.78. Amazon shares are dropping in after-hours trading. 

Here's a rundown of the key numbers:

10.27.16 | 4:17 pm

Alphabet shares soar on better-than-expected earnings as mobile video strategy pays off

Much to the delight of investors, Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., reported earnings of $9.06 per share on revenue of $22.45 billion. Analysts were expecting EPS of $8.64 on revenue of $22.05 billion. 

"Mobile search and video are powering our core advertising business and we're excited about the progress of newer businesses in Google and Other Bets," writes CFO Ruth Porat in the third-quarter earnings statement.  

Operating expenses as a percentage of revenue were down 1% compared with Q3 2015. The company also appears to be mitigating expenses within its experimental catchall segment, succinctly titled "other bets." Revenue for its "other" category was up 39% year-over-year. Meanwhile, losses shrunk from $980 million in Q3 of last year to $865 million for Q3 2016. Alphabet's stock shot up 2% in after-hours trading before coming back down to this afternoon's closing price.  

10.27.16 | 3:28 pm

Today we got the touch-screen Mac that Apple wants to build

How long have people been wondering if Apple would ever build a Mac with a touch screen? Well, the question has been on some folks' minds for at least eight years. (I know because that's when Steve Jobs told me that adding touch to Macs didn't make sense.) And it currently provides fodder for Microsoft's Surface Book ads.

But the best way to think about Apple's new 13" and 15" MacBook Pro models, which dump function keys in favor of the Touch Bar, is that they're the company's first touch-screen Macs. It's just that the touch screen in question is supplementary to the main display and positioned where your fingers already spend most of their time.

In 2010, Jobs said that conventional touch screens are "ergonomically terrible" and that "your arm wants to fall off" after extended use of one. The Touch Bar integrates touch input into Macs without requiring Apple to backtrack on that stance. Which means it's classic Apple—a new feature that's both unique and a response to an industry trend. 

10.27.16 | 2:39 pm

Check out Apple’s sizzle videos for the new MacBook Pros

And here featuring the soothing tones of Sir Jony Ive:

10.27.16 | 2:38 pm

This is what fossilized dinosaur brains look like

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have identified what they say is the first known example of fossilized brain tissue in a dinosaur. And it turns out, the tissue is a lot like those found in modern-day birds and crocodiles. 

The specimen comes from a fossil discovered a decade ago in Sussex, in Southeast England, and likely belonged to a dinosaur species related to the Iguanodon. 

It's a good day for dino-nerds. And zombies, for that matter. The video below has all the details. Or read more about the research here

10.27.16 | 2:26 pm

Three new MacBook Pros: Here’s how much they cost

13" without Touch Bar — $1499

13" with Touch Bar/Touch ID —$1799

15" with Touch Bar/Touch ID—$2399

10.27.16 | 2:10 pm

Apple teases new LG 5K display that connects to MacBook Pro with single power/data cable

Apple discontinued its own Thunderbolt Display earlier this year, and has been rumored to be working on a new display with LG. We didn't expect a launch of the new display today, but Apple teased the device at its press event in Cupertino. 

The new display is called the LG Ultra 5K display. It appeared to be around 27 inches, like the old Apple display. It has microphones, at least one camera, speakers. It features three USB-C Thunderbolt ports. And a single USB-C cable to the new MacBook Pro provides both data and power. 

We'll have more on this once we get more spec, pricing, and availability information on the new displays.

10.27.16 | 2:04 pm

Here are all the specs for the new MacBook Pros

Apple on Thursday announced its revamped MacBook Pro computers, and they have some pretty cool features—including a new Touch Bar and fatter trackpad. Here's a breakdown of both the 13" and 15" computers. 

Colors: Silver and Space Gray

13" MacBook Pro dimensions + weight: 14.9mm, 3 lbs

15" MacBook Pro dimensions + weight: 15.5mm, 4lbs

Processor: Core i5, Core i7

Display: Retina

Touch Bar: customizable mini screen with Touch ID

Trackpad: Force Touch; 2x larger than previous generation

Keyboard: features a 2nd gen. butterfly mechanism

Ports: (4) Thunderbolt

Battery life: 10 hours

Memory: 8GB, 16GB

OS: Sierra


$1,499 MacBook Pro 13" (no Touch Bar)

$1,799 MacBook Pro 13" 

$ 2,399 MacBook Pro 15"

*Apple is taking orders today. Computers with Touch Bar start shipping in 2-3 weeks. MacBook without Touch Bar ships today.

10.27.16 | 2:02 pm

The new MacBook Pro quadruples down on USB-C

Last year's new 12-inch MacBook was Apple's first computer with the reversible, versatile USB-C port—but it only had one of 'em, which meant you couldn't even connect a smartphone or camera while your Mac was plugged into power.

With the new MacBook Pros, Apple is including four USB-C ports—and it's ditching the old USB ports and Thunderbolt ones. Depending on what you want to do, you may need a sack full of dongles. But you'll be able to power your Mac, plug into one or more displays, and perform other feats without fear of running out of ports.