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Crave Ep. 151: Neil Young's Pono dreams soon to come true

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Neil Young's PonoMusic service blew past its Kickstarter fundraising goal in one day. Are FLAC files the next wave in music? We also hear some jams from a cyborg drummer on Earth, and wake up to the sweet smells and sounds of the Bacon Alarm. Read more

Star Apps: Mobb Deep

Mobb Deep is one of the most successful rap acts, with millions of records sold, including tracks like "Survival of the Fittest,'" "Shook Ones Part II," and "Quiet Storm RMX." But the duo's unity has been tested numerous times, including a feud that spilled over onto Twitter and caused a brief split back in 2012. Prodigy and Havoc have patched things up and reunited for the 20th anniversary of breakout album "Juvenile Hell" (1993) and the upcoming release of their first studio album in eight years, "The Infamous Mobb Deep,&… Read more

Is this Amazon's game controller for a TV box?

CNET Update goes whale watching:

In this episode of Update:

- Check out the latest clue in the Amazon media box mystery: photos of a Bluetooth video game controller, posted by Zatznotfunny.com. All signs point to Amazon releasing a streaming-media box in March or April.

- Catch selfie mania with Apple's new Selfie Section in the iTunes App Store. This must be great news for Manhattan, Miami and Makati City -- the top places for selfies according to Time.

- Go whale watching on Vine, now that #Whaling is trending.

- Expect to see video ads play in your Facebook News Feed. … Read more

Activist group to debut barcode-scanning boycott Israel app

The group that went after actress Scarlett Johansson for being a spokesperson for the Israeli company SodaStream is now setting its heights even higher.

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is about to come out with a smartphone app that will help people carry out boycotts against Israel, according to the International Business Times. The beta version of this app is slated to be ready in the near future.

The app will come with a barcode scanner, allowing users to scan products with their smartphones to see if the manufacturer has ties to Israel. The idea is to give … Read more

Apple adds selfie section to iTunes App Store

The selfie phenomenon appears to have won a certain measure of legitimacy from Apple.

Apparently geared toward expediting the satisfaction felt by many people when they take photos of themselves and share them with others, the company on Thursday added a special section to its iTunes App store devoted to apps that cater to the need to selfie. Mixed in with popular selfie apps such as Snapchat and Justin Bieber's Shots, the "Sharing Selfies" section also includes selfie diary app Picr and selfie portrait-editing app Facetune.

The section's selection is available on both the mobile and … Read more

Retro-style games are modern classics

After reviewing Devious Dungeon, it occurred to me that the classic platformer game genre is far from dead. Even though the graphics for smartphone games have reached amazing heights with games like Real Racing 3, the Modern Combat franchise, and countless other top-tier titles, what's interesting to me is that games that look like they could be played on a '90s-era gaming console continue to be popular with today's gamers.

A steady stream of retro-looking platformer titles have had great success and continue to fly up the App Store's most-popular lists, relying more on tried-and-true gameplay than … Read more

Star Apps: David J

If you want to hear David J's new album, "An Eclipse of Ships," but can't make it to Austin for his three SXSW shows (March 12-16), you'll have to wait till spring. The acoustic album features musicians on violin, acoustic piano, Rhodes, stand-up bass, mandolin, oboe, percussion, and a bevy of acoustic guitars. It's a celebration of women -- some known to the artist and some conjured up in fantasies.

David J's time as founding member of death rock band Bauhaus ("Bela Lugosi's Dead," "Dark Entries," "Kick … Read more

Be your own light show in app-controlled CuteCircuit clubwear

London-based designers Ryan Genz and Francesca Rosella create clothes worthy of sci-fi fashionistas. Their latest CuteCircuit collection, which debuted at this year's New York Fashion Week, features miniskirts, jackets, dresses, and accessories with LED-lit designs controlled by an iPhone app.

"We're trying to bring a new dimension, to have everything be controlled by iPhone or a smartphone of some kind, so there's some way users wearing interactive garments have really cool ways to control what they're wearing," Genz explained behind the scenes of CuteCircuit's fashion show. … Read more

Star Apps: Dirty Vegas

Leading up to Dirty Vegas's SXSW appearances, vocalist Steve Smith talks about new video "Let the Night," the story behind "Days Go By," favorite software for DJing and production, and his top five apps.

British EDM duo Dirty Vegas first found fame when its debut single "Days Go By" reached the top of the 2002 club charts, won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, and appeared in a Mitsubishi Eclipse car commercial. Three top 20 albums and five top 40 club hits later, Dirty Vegas vocalist Steve Smith chatted with me about new … Read more

WhatsApp pooh-poohs report of security flaw

The people behind WhatsApp are rebutting a report contending that the app is vulnerable because your chats can be stored on an Android phone's SD card.

Earlier this week, DoubleThink chief technology officer Bas Bosschert posted a blog alleging that hackers could use a malicious app to tap into your WhatsApp conversations by uploading the database from the SD card to a Web site. To prove his point, Bosschert said he created an app that was able to snag and read the database files.

In response, a spokesperson for WhatsApp called the report "overstated" and issued the … Read more