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Apple's Yosemite OS shares Spotlight search terms by default

Apple is being called out for how it shares desktop and Web searches in its latest desktop operating system, Yosemite.

Spotlight, which underwent a rework for Yosemite, indexes desktop files and makes them searchable via keywords. By default, the latest iteration of Spotlight sends those search terms to Apple, in conjunction with Microsoft?s Bing search engine, which Apple says is used to improve Spotlight?s accuracy.

If ?Location Services? are turned on in Yosemite, a computer?s approximate location is also sent to Apple whenever Spotlight is used. Apple advises users of the data it is collecting and says that the sharing can be disabled by turning off ?Spotlight Suggestions.?

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First products from Apple-IBM deal to come next month

The first products from Apple?s mobile enterprise partnership with IBM will roll out next month, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said the partnership ?could change the way people work.?

In July, Apple announced an ?exclusive? deal with IBM in which iPhones and iPads would be sold to enterprises backed by IBM?s cloud and analytics services. The first products will be for the banking, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications and travel and transport sectors, Cook said on a Monday earnings call.

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Smartsheet, the project management tool cloaked as a spreadseet, adds visuali...

Smartsheet, whose namesake online project management app uses a spreadsheet interface, has developed a visualization tool to let its customers graph and map workgroups in their organizations for better planning and supervision.

The new Account Map tool does an enterprise-wide analysis of data collected in a company?s Smartsheet domain and generates a visual representation of the people working on the different projects, including employees, partners, contractors, vendors and customers.

?It gives you a quick, visual way of seeing the landscape of who is doing what across the enterprise,? said Brent Frei [cq], chairman and co-founder of Smartsheet.

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Why Apple Pay could even be a big deal for Android users

The launch of Apple Pay on Monday has brought considerable publicity to a technology that?s already embedded in millions of Android smartphones yet has so far failed to take off.

Clunky implementations, lack of widespread acceptance and poor user knowledge have hampered NFC technology, but some in the payments industry are hoping Apple Pay has an impact far beyond iPhone 6 users.

?I think without a doubt, Apple has a unique place in the mobile ecosystem, with hardware, software and services,? said James Anderson, senior vice president of emerging payments at MasterCard. He said Apple?s adoption is an endorsement of NFC and gives consumers the feeling that the technology is safe and ready to be used.

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Microsoft (hearts) Linux, for Azure's sake

Microsoft now loves Linux.

This was the message from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, standing in front of an image that read ?Microsoft [heart symbol] Linux,? during a Monday webcast to announce a number of services it had added to its Azure cloud, including the Cloudera Hadoop package and the CoreOS Linux distribution.

In addition, the company launched a marketplace portal, now in preview mode, designed to make it easier for customers to procure and manage their cloud operations.

Microsoft is also planning to release an Azure appliance, in conjunction with Dell, that will allow organizations to run hybrid clouds where they can easily move operations between Microsoft?s Azure cloud and their own in-house version.

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IPhones dial in larger Apple profit in fourth quarter

Apple?s iPad shipments declined, but strong iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales buoyed the company?s profit in its fourth quarter for fiscal 2014.

Apple?s net profit was US$8.5 billion during the quarter, up from $7.5 billion in the same quarter one year ago, the company said on Monday.

Revenue was $42.1 billion for the quarter ending on Sept. 27, growing from $37.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $39.88 billion for the quarter.

IPhone shipments were 39.27 million units in the fourth quarter, increasing from 33.8 million units in same quarter last year. IPad shipments were 12.3 million, falling from 14.08 million units a year ago. Mac shipments totaled 5.5 million units, compared to 4.58 million units during the year-ago quarter.

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Telephony vendor Mitel goes public with $540M bid for ShoreTel

Canadian business communications vendor Mitel is offering US$540 million for ShoreTel, a U.S.-based competitor, going public with the bid after saying it was snubbed earlier this month.

Mitel and ShoreTel sell enterprise phone systems and unified communications software and services. Mitel says the industry is consolidating and it wants to be a consolidator. In January, Mitel completed its acquisition of Aastra, another Canadian communications company.

Mitel is offering US$8.10 per share in cash for ShorTel, which it says is a premium of 24 percent over Friday?s ShoreTel share price. In a letter sent Monday to ShoreTel?s board of directors, the company said it had proposed a buyout to the board on Oct. 2 that was rejected. Its current offer is open until Nov. 20, Mitel said.

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Liquid Telecom expands in East, Central Africa

Pan-African wholesale carrier Liquid Telecom?s expansion of its operations in Rwanda will allow more businesses and homes to access high-speed broadband services throughout East and Central Africa.

The company said the expansion of its operations in Rwanda recognizes the country?s regional role as an Internet services hub. Over the next two years, the company said Liquid Telecom Rwanda will invest $34 million toward laying thousands of kilometers of new optic fibre cable across the country up to the borders of Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The new fibre is expected to enable more businesses and homes to access Liquid Telecom?s broadband services.

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Office Mix now lets PowerPoint users create on the fly

Microsoft wants to deliver a new wave of apps that are intuitive, intelligent, and mobile- and cloud-friendly?and its latest move is with Office Mix, a PowerPoint add-on aimed at teachers, for recording presentations and making them more interactive.

Office Mix, launched in May, now lets presenters create ?mixes? while they are giving their presentations live, by adding a new control panel that contains only the most essential features for building ?mixes? without sacrificing the screen real estate for the slides the audience is seeing.

?We?ve also made it easier to switch the camera on and off, select ink and move through your slides and animations,? reads a Microsoft blog post.

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At $179, E FUN's Nextbook 10-inch Windows tablet sounds like a steal

Hardware makers are delivering on Intel?s promise of cheap, Intel-powered Windows tablets, with E FUN next in line to deliver a sub-$200 slate.

The E FUN Nextbook tablet should ship Oct. 23 to Walmart stores, the company said Monday, for the low, low price of $179. That?s clearly low enough to make Windows tablets as affordable for shoppers as Android competitors.

And really, what the tablet offers isn?t bad. The Nextbook tablet, a Windows 8.1 machine, includes a 1,280x800-pixel IPS display that measures 10.1 inches. Inside there?s 32GB of storage, plus a microSD slot that can extend that to an additional 64GB with external storage. The tablet also has 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB, and mini HDMI. The cameras are bare-bones: A 0.3MP (you read that right: 300 thousand pixels) front-facing camera and a 2MP rear-facing camera.

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With chip fabs gone, IBM's hardware future will be in high-end design

IBM may have sold off its chip manufacturing business, but don?t count it out as a hardware force to be reckoned with. It still plans to fight on, developing faster computers and cognitive computing systems like Watson.

IBM will pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to take over its chip-making factories, but will continue to design high-end chips and sell servers and supercomputers. Its hardware future now rests on the Power processor architecture, which over the years has been used by Apple in some Macs, Sony?s PlayStation 3 and IBM mainframes. The Power processor will continue to appear in supercomputers, though GlobalFoundries will make the actual chips.

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Are higher frequencies mobile's next frontier? The FCC wants to know

Some mobile researchers think future networks will reach into higher frequencies to keep up with traffic, and the FCC now wants to know how it might help to make that possible.

Most of the world?s cellular networks send calls and data traffic over frequencies below 6GHz. Growing demand is expected to put the squeeze on those spectrum bands in a few years, and one way out may be to start using largely untapped frequencies in so-called millimeter-wave bands. Though experts say most of those bands are still lightly used, unleashing smartphones and other mobile devices on them would require some regulatory changes.

To get ahead of that game, on Oct. 17 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced a Notice of Inquiry to ask what new high-frequency mobile technology might achieve and which bands might be best to use. New advances could make millimeter-wave radios part of 5G, the next generation of mobile communications, the FCC said in a news release. That generation is expected to reach the real world around 2020.

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OnePlus unveils preorder method for its hard-to-get phone

Leave it to OnePlus to create a preordering system that doesn?t guarantee you?ll get the phone right away.

OnePlus announced on its blog Monday you?ll be able to pre-order the OnePlus One beginning Oct. 27 at 11 AM EST. But if you really want the phone you should take advantage of OnePlus?s offer toset up your order in advance, as in typical OnePlus fashion there is no guarantee you?ll actually get the device.

The preorders will be a first-come, first-served selloff of existing inventory. So the early birds will probably get one, but others may have to wait their turn. OnePlus did not specify what models are available or how long the wait could be. You can drop out of the pre-order queue if you happen to score an invite.

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BrandPost: Six factors for finding a new web hosting provider

Small business owners are often completely in the dark when it comes to choosing a hosting provider. This is a major decision for your business, so make sure to consider every option before making the call. Start by taking a hard look at these six key areas:

Support

Small business customers who are just starting out often have questions about how to access their site, how to use the host?s management tools, and other questions about the way their website is supposed to work. This is completely natural, but if your web host is difficult to get ahold of, it can make for frustrating hours or days as you try to get simple questions answered and basic startup issues resolved. A great web host support plan should make it easy to get help when you need it, offering a professional response within an hour of your inquiry ? no matter when you try to contact the support staff.

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Report: Sprint to charge $10 per month for Samsung Gear S data plan

Samsung's Gear S smartwatch is unique for its ability to make calls and get online without pairing to a nearby phone, but that luxury may not come cheap.

According to a leaked Sprint memo published by Phandroid, the carrier intends to charge $10 per month for Gear S service. Subscribers can either tap into their existing Family Share plans, which include unlimited talk and text, or buy a standalone plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 messages and 100MB of data. Either way, the monthly cost is the same.

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