Disney announces Disney Infinity 2.0 mobile built w/ Metal, new ESPN app, and more during today’s special event

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Today’s Disney Mobile Product Showcase kicked off with Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, sharing a Steve Jobs anecdote. No matter the time or place it’s always incredibly interesting to hear personal stories of Apple’s late leader.

Iger recalled the time when he contacted his buddy Jobs with what he thought was a novel idea: to unleash movies/TV shows like iTunes did for music. Of course, being the visionary he was, Jobs had already thought of this and even brought an early version of the iPod with video to the meeting. And of course, being the businessman he was, Jobs then asked Iger if he would commit Disney content to the project.

Iger used this story as a jump off for a two hour presentation in which other Disney, ESPN, and ABC executives would showcase a smattering of new mobile apps, games, and products…

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Apple, Google, Facebook, other tech companies lobbying to stop NSA spying before new congress takes over in January

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Bloomberg reports that groups representing Apple, Google, Facebook and other high profile tech companies are lobbying to pass a new bill that attempts to limit NSA spying of email and communications of their users. The report says the groups are “pushing the Senate to pass legislation limiting National Security Agency spying before the Republican majority takes control of the chamber.” The news comes ahead of the Senate vote on the new bill scheduled for Nov. 18 and an upcoming Republican controlled Congress taking over in January: Read more

You can now use Apple Pay for parking, rent & at more retailers

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Apple Pay launched in the United States last month with support at over 220,000 stores operated by participating merchants, including Apple Stores, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Bloomingdale’s, Champs Sports, Chevron, McDonald’s, Nike, Office Depot, Radio Shack and Walgreens. Additional retailers and apps have since added Apple Pay support including Staples, and now the mobile payments service can be used for parking, rent and at even more retailers as of this month…

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Microsoft begins inviting users to Skype for Web beta

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We told you Microsoft released a redesigned version of Skype for the Mac earlier last month, and today Microsoft says the communication software is starting to roll out as a service on the Web. Skype for Web will allow users to chat, video call, and manage contacts from a web browser without having to download the Skype app. Microsoft is currently offering Skype for Web as a beta to select users. Read more

Bluetooth-connected kitchen scale and iPad app aim to make baking foolproof (Video)

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If you enjoy baking but need close supervision from a grown-up, Drop’s Connected Scale and accompanying recipe app for the iPad may be just the thing. A clever combination of interactive recipes and automatic weighing means that the iPad effectively supervises you as you work.

You can use the Connected Scale on its own, displaying the weight of ingredients on your iPad screen, but it’s when you use it with the free recipe app that it comes into its own …  Read more

Review: Scosche BoomBottle weatherproof Bluetooth speaker for cyclists

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You can scarcely turn around these days without bumping into a new Bluetooth speaker. We’ve reviewed many of them.

The Scosche BoomBottle manages to set itself apart from the crowd, however, by targeting one specific market: cyclists. The speaker is the same size and shape as a large drinks bottle, so it fits into a standard bicycle bottle cage – and it’s weatherproofed, to survive the elements. I took it for a spin …  Read more

WSJ: Department of Justice uses fake cell towers on airplanes to capture data from mobile phones

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The Wall Street Journal reported today that the United States Department of Justice has been using planes equipped with devices that pose as cellular towers (called “dirtboxes”) to collect data from suspected criminals’ cell phones—and capturing data from innocent bystanders in the process.

The devices are capable of capturing data from “tens of thousands” of phones over the course of a single flight. Because most cell phones are designed to automatically connect to the tower with the strongest signal, these dirtboxes can easily fool phones into latching onto its signal.

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Sprint announces ‘iPad for Life’ 24-month lease for iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3

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Sprint today announced it’s now offering an ‘iPad for Life Plan’, much like its similar offering for the iPhone, that allows customers to get an iPad for $0 down and monthly payments over the course of a 24 month lease. The deal is available for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with monthly payments varying depending on the storage capacity. Read more

Apple’s highest-ever market cap is now 2/3rds of the way to $1 trillion

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As we reported last month, Apple’s stock price has continued to climb repeatedly reaching all-time highs since its 7-1 stock split earlier this year. The company’s stock has been on the rise today as well putting Apple’s market capitalization on track to close at its highest point ever. Previously, Apple’s highest market cap at close was $658.15 billion at the end of September 19th, 2012, and today Apple’s market cap has climbed to nearly two-thirds of a trillion dollars at $663.20 billion during trading. Read more

Last chance to get a Retina iMac for the holiday nears as ship times hit 2-3 weeks

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When Apple announced the first 27-inch Retina 5K iMac at its special event last month, its new super high resolution desktop computer became available for purchase online that same day. Ship times for the Retina 5K iMac have since steadily slipped from 3-5 days to 7-10 days. With Black Friday and the holidays quickly approaching, though, the shipment promise for the Retina 4K iMac has stretched out to 2-3 weeks when ordering directly from Apple… Read more