Mihaita Bamburic

Who would pay more than $60,000 for an iPhone 6 prototype?

iPhone 6 prototype 2

People do crazy things to get their hands on a new iPhone. They queue for days in a row, travel to another country or pay absurd amounts on black market imports. Still, none of those things is as expensive as the iPhone 6 prototype that is listed on eBay, for which some folks will go as far as paying over $60,000. That's just crazy.

At the time of writing this article, the latest bid for the iPhone 6 prototype -- a 64 GB model -- is $61,100. For the money, you get a hugely overpriced smartphone which may not even be legit. Normally, you would pay $750, off-contract, for a 64 GB iPhone 6, in Silver -- the same color as the prototype -- that is. But, wait, there is more.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview for ARM tablets, smartphones will only come next year

Untwist your panties -- Windows 10's 'keylogger' is nothing to worry about

When Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 10, the software giant informed us that its latest operating system, which officially launches next year, will run on all sorts of devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, and feature a unified app store. Both are firsts, as, so far, there was a Windows to suit everything: one for ARM tablets, one for PCs, one for embedded devices, one for smartphones and so on. Of course, the Server editions will not go away, but that's to be expected.

As a Windows Phone user and watcher, I am particularly interested in seeing Windows 10 in action on smartphones. Microsoft has talked quite a lot about what the new operating system brings on PCs and tablets -- it even released a Technical Preview build for x86 devices -- but kept quiet about its plans for smartphones. Well, that has changed, thanks to Joe Belfiore, the software giant's Operating Systems Group corporate vice president (better known as the head of Windows Phone).

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Microsoft's new Portable Power external charger packs 6,000 mAh battery

DC-21-Lumia-930

While traveling, my smartphone's always running out of juice sooner than it normally does. This leads to some frustrating moments, like being unable to make calls, open a map or send texts, not to mention having to watch the percentage indicator. Not knowing where someone is, for instance, is never great news in such situations. I know I could use an external battery charger, but I tend to avoid them, and for good reasons.

They generally tend to be bulky, ugly, and almost fragile. Getting the impression that what can only be regarded as a tool is flimsy is not confidence-inspiring -- if it breaks, it's going to be a problem. Microsoft's new Portable Power appears to be different, however. And why wouldn't it be, when it has some Nokia DNA in it?

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How to create a bootable Windows 10 Technical Preview USB drive

man hand usb flash laptop drive business suit

Microsoft has released Windows 10 Technical Preview, giving early adopters like you and me the opportunity to experience some of the lovely new features that the operating system will bring to the table when it officially launches next year. The highlight is, of course, the new Start menu, but the other changes add up to give us what could very well be the sleek and modern Windows we have all been waiting for: touch-friendly, yet still great with a keyboard and mouse.

This all sounds very intriguing indeed, especially if you have been holding off on upgrades so far. If you want to take the plunge and test Windows 10 Technical Preview directly on your PC, without taking the virtualization route, then you already know that your best install option is a bootable USB drive. Luckily, you came to the right place -- here is everything you need to do.

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Nokia Lumia 830 now available

Lumia-830-charging-wirelessly

Nokia Lumia 830 is meant to act as a gap-filler in Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 line, slotting in-between the Lumia 930 flagship and the Lumia 735 budget-friendly offering. It's a mid-ranger, in both hardware features and price. It is also the successor to the two year-old Lumia 820, as its name implies.

Microsoft has high hopes for Lumia 830, calling it "the first affordable flagship" and marketing it as cheaper alternative to the likes of Apple iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5. It's a strategy which could pay off in emerging markets, where consumers want premium devices but cannot afford the cost premiums. We will have to see how the market reacts to Lumia 830, which goes on sale starting this week.

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OnePlus will launch One successor around mid-2015, ponders smaller devices

OnePlus One

By now I am sure that everyone with an interest in smartphones has heard about One Plus and its One phablet. It is undoubtedly among the most interesting Android devices launched this year, and one of the most hyped also. How did OnePlus, basically a new player in the mobile space, achieve that? Well, One managed to make a splash in no small part thanks to its $299 entry-level price, which allows it to undercut virtually every known rival, paired with some of the best and most powerful hardware around. That's a recipe for success in the Android realm, and OnePlus knows it all too well.

But, what tops its lovely hardware and the low asking price is that One has never actually been available to the general public, per se. Sure, people have been able to buy One, but they have been able to do so only through invites. As a way to sell smartphones -- commodities, really -- that is crazy. But, what is even crazier is that, even as One is still not generally available, OnePlus reveals a launch date for its successor.

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Microsoft rolls out the new MSN, rebrands Bing apps for Windows, Windows Phone

New MSN

Microsoft did something rather unexpected earlier this month. The software giant unveiled a revamped MSN, saving the online portal from oblivion -- its biggest merit lately is being the default website for Internet Explorer. The new MSN looks great, connects users to Microsoft's consumer-facing cloud services, and can be tailored to suit their preference. It also makes it easy to trigger a search across the InterWebs. Heck, I have even said it might work as the Bing landing page.

Fast forward to today and Microsoft announces that more than 10 million users have tested the new MSN, with more than 80,000 of them also submitting feedback. Those numbers look really good. And they should, considering the online portal's Microsoft-focused audience. The feedback it has received must have been good also, as Microsoft announces it is rolling out the new MSN in the next three days.

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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus available in China next month

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

In case you did not know, China is the largest smartphone market worldwide, bigger even than the good old US of A. For the major players in the mobile industry, it is hugely important to be leading there, as being successful in China leads to a healthy market share growth overall, but, more importantly, a healthy increase in the bottom line also.

You can imagine then just how important it is for Apple to have its new iPhones on sale in China as soon as possible. Due to regulatory approvals, it has not happened yet, but luckily for the company, that will soon change.

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The Fappening part 3: Hundreds of nude celebrity photos leak once again

secrets shock surprise man woman

For an increasing number of celebrities who have seen their nude photos being leaked online, The Fappening will always be a never-ending nightmare, which will come back to haunt them for a long time to come. Once it's online, it stays there, ready for the world to see. Meanwhile, for others it will serve as a source of frequent enjoyment, in no small part thanks to Apple. Its iCloud service appears to be the source of the leaks for most files, and this includes the latest batch, called The Fappening part 3, which just surfaced.

Reddit and 4chan have served as the gateways to the new leaked photos, with download links showing up this past weekend. It's a recurring theme, as the two community forums have been involved in propagating hundreds of such images since The Fappening hit in early-September. Threads on the topic have been banned and new policies have been implemented, but, despite these efforts, it is all for naught apparently.

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What a shocker! FBI head complains about Apple and Google's encryption practices

cry baby

Apple and Google do not want the US Government to be able to access your private data, even when search warrants are involved. It's a bold stand they're taking, which has been applauded by privacy advocates and, quite probably, criminals as well. But, guess what? That does not sit well with the authorities. FBI Director James Comey is troubled by the idea that the all-mighty agency that he runs can be stopped dead in its tracks when trying to see your intimate photos, videos and whatnot. Imagine that.

Here's what the fuss is all about. If encryption is turned on, the encryption key, that is needed in order to access the data that is stored on an Android or iOS 8 device, is in the user's control, instead of Google's or Apple's. As such, this allows the companies to be unable to comply with search warrants. It's clever: you can't give what you don't have.

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Apple to iPhone 6 users: Downgrade from iOS 8.0.1 because of nasty bugs

angry-cellphone-user

Apple is now advising its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus-toting customers to downgrade from iOS 8.0.1, which was only introduced yesterday, because the latest version of its mobile operating system contains some pretty nasty bugs that ruin the user experience.

Apple publicly admits that installing iOS 8.0.1 on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus may lead to a loss of cellular service and the inability to make use of Touch ID, neither of which plagues iOS 8. The older iteration, which was rolled out on September 17, is not without bugs, however Apple would rather you run into them again over not being able to make calls and use the fingerprint scanner.

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If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it's Apple's fault

iPhone 6 BendGate BentGate Flex

Apple could have a huge problem on its hands if iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are susceptible to bending. According to some early adopters, the new iPhones can show visible signs of damage after only a few days of normal use.

That's because the build quality does not appear to stand up to the challenges posed by pants' front pockets, which are causing the metal shells to bend near the cutouts for the physical side buttons. Light metal shell, meet thin profile.

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Phablet fans, get ready -- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 goes on sale this week

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is among the most important new mobile devices to go on sale in the second half of 2014, alongside Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (which launched last week); the latter is a direct competitor. The Android phablet was slated to go on sale next month, but, in no small part thanks to the strong sales performance of the new iPhones, Samsung wants to get it in consumers' hands much sooner.

Samsung has announced that Galaxy Note 4 officially goes on sale this Friday, September 2014, in its home country of South Korea. There pre-orders started earlier this month, with consumers reportedly showing a strong interest in the device. But what if you live outside of South Korea?

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus has the best smartphone LCD display, but Samsung Galaxy Note 4 still reigns supreme

winner victory

The good news keeps on coming for Apple. After it announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales exceeded the 10 million units mark, therefore breaking the previous record established last year, DisplayMate, a company dedicated to testing the quality of displays, has proclaimed iPhone 6 Plus as having the best LCD screen that has ever crossed its labs.

Apple's other new flagship, the smaller iPhone 6, has also registered impressive results, but its 4.7-inch panel is let down by the low resolution of just 750 by 1,334, which is inferior to that of its bigger brother -- which boasts a 1,080 by 1,920 resolution with its 5.5-inch panel -- as well as competing flagships from other manufacturers.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 rolls out for Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now rolling out for Nokia Lumia 930, just shy of two months after it introduced the latest version of the tiled operating system. The flagship is the first Nokia-branded handset to be officially updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and among the few that officially run this installment.

Even though, on Nokia's support forums, the software update is described as being "minor", it actually offers quite a few notable improvements over the previous firmware release. Contrary to expectations, it does not bring the Lumia Denim enhancements along with it.

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