NPR added to iTunes Radio as the first news streaming service

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Now this is interesting (if you like talk radio): Recode is reporting that iTunes Radio is slated to pick up streaming news today through a partnership with NPR.

NPR’s channel, which should be live today, will offer a free stream, 24 hours a day, which mixes live news with segments from pre-recorded shows like “All Things Considered” and “The Diane Rehm Show.” NPR officials say that within weeks, some of the broadcaster’s local stations should begin offering their own channels, with a similar mix of live and taped news.

You can add the new station to your iTunes Radio lineup below:

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Rumor: 12-inch Retina MacBook/Air updates coming soon without fan or mechanical trackpad button

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A forum poster with a reputable history on WeiPhone.com [Google translate] (via MacRumors) claims to have information about an upcoming MacBook/Air refresh. According to this source, the new model will sport a 12-inch design close to the current 11.6-inch model, but will feature significant internal differences.

The updated MacBook will reportedly not have a fan, will feature a Retina display, and redesigned trackpad. This new trackpad will ditch the mechanical button that has been in the multi-touch trackpads since they first debuted. Instead, the new Air will use only tap gestures for clicking but may feature some tactile feedback to simulate a click.

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Opinion: Why the upgrade cycle means the ‘Apple tax’ is lower than it seems

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

I’m sure most of us have at some point had Windows- and Android-using friends ask us why we pay the ‘Apple tax’ – the price difference between an Apple product and what they perceive to be an equivalent competitor product.

A large part of the answer, of course, is that the competitor product isn’t equivalent at all. You can’t compare a MacBook with its premium materials, build-quality, high-spec components, screen quality and aesthetics with a low-end Windows laptop with plastic casing, low-spec innards and cheap and cheerful display. No more than you can compare an iPhone with a budget ‘droid. When you do genuine like-for-like comparisons with truly equivalent products, the Apple premium shrinks considerably.

But to get an accurate idea of the effective purchase cost, you also need to take into account both the replacement cycle and resale value …  Read more

Study examines replacement and upgrade cycles of Apple products, iPads treated more like Macs than iPhones

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A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, via Fortune, sheds some light on customer behaviour of how quickly people get their iPad, iPhone or Macs upgraded or replaced. For instance, iPhones have approximate lifespans of two years, tied closely to when people’s contracts end. If the phone is in good condition, rather unsurprisingly, most people replace their phones alongside their new contract. Macs stay around for up to four years before being swapped out for newer equipment. The report argues that iPad life cycles more closely resemble Macs than iPhones.

However, in the case of loss or damage, people are much more compelled to replace their iPhones than Macs or iPads. Eighty percent of people replace iPhones within just two days. For Macs and iPads, this stretches out a week or even more. Over a quarter of buyers surveyed said they would replace an iPad immediately compared to approximately 37% for iPhones.

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Contestants at Pwn2Own take down Safari, but said OS X security is better than other systems

As usual, the annual Pwn2Own contest featured many hackers targeting the latest operating systems and browsers from the major vendors, including Apple. Threatpost reports that the “Keen Team” focused Safari on Thursday and exploited it with relative ease.

The team took home a $40,000 bounty for their efforts on Safari, as well as a share in a $75,000 prize for co-engineering a zero-day Flash exploit. They say they will donate some of their winnings towards charities representing missing Malaysian Airplane passengers.

The group say that for Safari, they used two different exploit vectors. One vulnerability was a heap overflow in WebKit that enabled arbitrary code execution. The team then used this opening to use another exploit to bypass the application sandbox and run code as if it was user privileged.

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