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Today in Tech News Digest, the Mac Pro 2013 is here, Target becomes a target, Yahoo brings tabs back, Google launches a tips service, porn filters in the U.K. are shown to not work, and Microsoft sets off on a search for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. No, really.

Mac Pro 2013 Now On Sale

Apple has started selling the new Mac Pro 2013, but people who want one will need serious amounts of both cash and patience. The Mac Pro is now available to order, with Apple keeping its promise of the product launching in December. But this is no iPhone, iPad, or iPod, instead it’s a seriously powerful piece of kit aimed over the heads of your average consumer.

The Mac Pro is a workstation with a base model boasting a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor, 12GB of DRAM, and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics chips. Those people who need (at least) that amount of raw computing power are being asked to stump up $2,999. Though, as CNET points out, the costs of owning a Mac Pro can quickly mount up, possibly to as much as $9,600.

This high price point doesn’t seem to have put off buyers, with reports already suggesting wait times of up to three months. This could partly be down to a small production run designed to boost interest, but it could also be down to demand outstripping supply. Already.

Apple has sent out review units of the Mac Pro, but it’ll take a while for the websites lucky enough to have been branded as important enough to receive one to actually test the hardware. In the meantime we just have The Verge offering an early hands-on. If you want a sneak preview of how the Mac Pro looks just head to your kitchen and stare at the bin for a while.

Target Was Hacked

American retailer Target was the target of a hack Target Confirms Up To 40 Million US Customers Credit Cards Potentially Hacked Target Confirms Up To 40 Million US Customers Credit Cards Potentially Hacked Target has just confirmed that a hack could have compromised the credit card information for up to 40 million customers that have shopped in its US stores between November 27th and December 15th of 2013. Read More that could have exposed the credit card information of up to 40 million customers. People who shopped at U.S. Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 are potentially affected, with everything but the cards themselves having been stolen.

The security hole responsible for the hack has already been fixed but, unfortunately for Target and its customers, the timing of the hack covered the busiest shopping period of the holiday season. People who think they may be affected by this hack are being advised to monitor their account activity for signs of foul play.

Yahoo Backtracks On Tabs

Yahoo has backtracked on one aspect of its Mail overhaul Yahoo Redesigns Mail For Web, Mobile And Windows, Offers 1TB Storage & Conversations View Yahoo Redesigns Mail For Web, Mobile And Windows, Offers 1TB Storage & Conversations View Yahoo is setting its eyes on the prize: email. For its 16th birthday, Yahoo Mail got a whole new look across platforms, and a few new features too. Read More that angered a great many users. Yahoo upset a lot of people when it revamped Yahoo Mail, leading to petitions and scathing posts on forums and social media sites. Especially missed was the ‘Tabs’ feature that allowed users to multitask while writing email.

Now, as announced in a conciliatory blog post, Yahoo has brought ‘Tabs’ back, with users able to enable the feature if they want to do so. Yahoo even included a short how-to in the post, which is the least they can do given the strength of the feelings against this change.

Porn Filters Block Sex Ed Sites

The porn filters British ISPs are foisting on their customers are blocking legitimate sex education and sexual health websites. They’re also letting through a small percentage of actual pornographic websites, suggesting the whole exercise is absolutely pointless and destined to fail Internet Censorship In The UK - Why It Won't Work Internet Censorship In The UK - Why It Won't Work David Cameron's Internet filtering plans have started a stir. The contours of his plans are still not clear, but opinions are being formed as the debate rages across the U.K. and the world. I'm completely... Read More .

The effort to force adults to opt in to looking at porn (and opt out of filtering) was pushed through by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Unfortunately for him, the system is failing to do what it was designed for, as discovered during an investigation by BBC Newsnight. Anyone would think this whole exercise was nothing more than an attempt to gain a few votes. But politicians are better than that, aren’t they? Aren’t they?!

Google Launches Tips Service

Google has launched a new tips service Google Launches Surprisingly Useful "Tips" Service Google Launches Surprisingly Useful "Tips" Service Google has started a service called "Google Tips" which goes through various Google services, suggesting things you can do and how you can do them. It is actually surprisingly good. Read More designed to educate users on certain aspects of Google’s services. You sign in using your Google account, and are then shown various tips based on which Google services you use. Each interactive index card suggests an activity you can do, and then explains how to achieve it. The card explaining how to “Comment on YouTube without using Google+” seems to be missing, however.

Microsoft Searches For E.T.

And finally, Microsoft is heading out on a search for E.T the Extra-Terrestrial. No, not aliens from another planet that crash-landed in New Mexico in 1947, rather a cartridge often cited as being the worst video game of all time buried in New Mexico in 1982.

Microsoft has acquired the rights to a documentary series exploring the digital revolution. The first episode, due to begin production in January 2014, will focus on an effort to find the millions of copies of the E.T. game Atari buried in New Mexico 30 years ago. Because that’s a totally justifiable use of time and money.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks

  1. Tom W
    December 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Interestingly, it seems that the Macbook Pro isn't that much more expensive than you could build a similar system. Does it say what the hard drive will be?

    'The card explaining how to “Comment on YouTube without using Google+” seems to be missing, however.' I think you'll find that it'll stay missing. I'm beginning to wonder how long it will be before Facebook is removed from the Youtube share icons...

    • Dave P
      December 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Between 256GB and 1TB of flash storage. You don't think the Mac Pro is insanely expensive then?

      It will definitely stay missing!

    • Tom W
      December 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      @Dave P It is expensive, but usually a Mac system is 2x - 10x what you could pay for a similarly powered pre-built Windows machine. This time, it isn't that much more than you could build one yourself, from what I can tell about the graphics cards etc.. Even that price difference can be explained by looking at the difference in pre-built and self-built machines. However, by the time it is released to consumers, the price difference may increase because component prices get reduced, and the Mac price will likely stay the same.

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