Apple Updates iPad & iMac, Anonabox Faces Backlash, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Twitpic fails, PS4 & Xbox One updates, free Steam weekend, retro Casio watches, and the Netflix musical.
Apple Unveils New iPads, New iMac
Apple has unveiled new iPads and a new iMac at a press event in Cupertino, California. These aren’t totally new devices, but just updates on existing product lines. Which means the endless press coverage and consumer excitement seen after the September keynote — when the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch were all announced — is much more subdued this time around.
The iPad Air 2 is a super-thin (6.1 mm) iPad with a better screen, a faster processor, and slightly improved cameras front and rear over its predecessor. Preorders begin today (Oct. 17) with prices starting at $499. The iPad mini 3 is very much the same as its predecessor, just with Touch ID and a gold color option added. Prices start at $399, which makes the iPad mini 2 at $299 a veritable bargain.
The new iMac with Retina is a beast of an all-in-one computer, with a 27-inch ultra high definition display, a 3.5Ghz processor, and 1 terabyte of storage. It doesn’t come cheap though, with prices starting at $2,499. The Mac Mini has also been updated, and had its price cut to $499. These all feature OS X Yosemite, which is now available as a free download on all Macs which fulfill the minimum spec requirements.
The Anonabox Raises Money & Ire
The Anonabox Kickstarter campaign has managed to raise over $500,000 so far, but there are serious allegations of fraud and misrepresentation being leveled at August Germar, the man behind the project.
Anonabox is a networking device which runs all your Internet traffic through Tor , providing anonymity, hence the name. Unfortunately, some of Germar’s claims about Anonabox, specifically that this is custom hardware that has taken four years to develop, appear to be false. Critics claim the Anonabox hardware is actually an off-the-shelf Chinese router.
There are other issues too, not least of which are claims that Anonabox isn’t all that secure after all. This has led some backers to cancel their pledges, and some are calling for Kickstarter to cancel the project in its entirety. The full story can be seen on this Anonabox Reddit thread.
Twitpic Is Shutting Down After All
It’s with a heavy heart that we re-announce that Twitpic will be shutting down again. More details on our blog http://t.co/LCH7ZTQJHe
— TwitPic (@TwitPic) October 16, 2014
Twitpic is shutting down after all, with the service going offline on Oct. 25. This brings to an end a “will they, won’t they?” saga which saw Twitpic announce its closure , then change its mind as a buyer had been found , before now finally calling it quits for good.
The company claims it “worked through a handful of potential acquirers and exhausted all potential options” before making the final decision to close its doors. The blame is being aimed directly at Twitter, which previously demanded Twitpic abandon its trademark application. Because bullies.
PS4 & Xbox One Getting Updates
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 16, 2014
The PS4’s 2.0 update introduces themes, a USB music player, new voice commands, and a better way of organizing content. No release date has yet been announced. The Xbox One is getting a less monumental update, but it will add two-factor authentication, an improved media player, and the ability to hide any games cluttering up your system. This update should be available to all Xbox One owners right now.
Free Steam Weekend Happening Now
Steam is currently holding The Free Weekend Weekend, with 10 PC games available to play for no money whatsoever. The Free Weekend Weekend runs until Sunday (Oct. 19) and we have detailed the 10 games available to play so that you can better determine which ones to spend your time playing.
Casio Caters To Hipsters
Casio has reintroduced some vintage wristwatches to its classic lineup that should be perfect for hipsters who value retro chic above actual aesthetics. These are the garish gold and silver designs which men with mustaches wore in the 1980s. So these could be perfect for anyone harboring a secret desire to be Magnum, P.I.
The Netflix Musical
And finally, the millions of people who currently subscribe to Netflix should be able to identify with the Netflix Musical by George Shaw. It’s a parody of Frozen, just with Netflix as its subject matter. And it’s fantastically realized. And with that I must depart to watch some more Netflix .
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you excited about the new devices Apple has unveiled? Is the controversy surrounding Anonabox justified? Are you sad to see Twitpic shutting down?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Veronica Belmont via Flickr