An Apple reseller in Moscow

Remember how Russia's sudden currency devaluation led Apple to shut down its online store in the country, leaving locals without access to one of the biggest internet shops around? Well, Apple is back -- and unfortunately, the prices reflect Russia's new economic reality. If you want a 16GB iPhone 6, for example, you'll have to shell out 35 percent more than you did before, at 53,990 rubles off-contract. That's equivalent to $980, or enough to make that US-bought iPhone 6 Plus (which tops out at $949) seem like a bargain.

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Our world isn't quite ready for internet TV providers that compete with traditional cable and satellite packages, but what about markets that aren't as well served? DirecTV is diving right into internet TV, beating Dish Network and Sony's PlayStation Vue to the punch with its new Yaveo streaming service that exclusively features Spanish-language programming for customers in the US. Currently it's available on PCs, Macs and Android, with clients for iOS, xbox 360 and other platforms soon. So what can you watch? It sources content from beIN sports, MTV and its Spanish-language network Tr3s, Univision and several others, all for $7.99 per month. There's even live TV feeds from beIN Sports en Español, Cine Sony Television and ¡Hola! TV. The only thing stopping us from breaking out Rosetta Stone and opening an account is it current lack of the Breaking Bad remake Metástasis. But if you do speak the language, then the future of TV is here, and there's evne a free trial month to start.

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Disney Fastpass

Making a trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays? You might not avoid the long queues or endless parking lots, but you won't always have to pull out your wallet. As promised back in September, the Orlando area theme park will start accepting mobile payments on December 24th. The launch will let you use Apple Pay, Google Wallet and tap-to-pay credit cards to buy tickets, shop at stores and order from both bars and fast service restaurants. There are a few gaps. The system doesn't yet work at places that need a portable payment terminal, so you'll still have to break out the cash or plastic at a table service restaurant. You'll also have to wait until 2015 to get similar treatment at Disneyland in California. But hey, it's a start -- and it may save you a few headaches the next time you're jonesing to take a ride at Space Mountain.

[Image credit: Kent Philips]

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On top of laser weapons, passenger jets and space stuff Boeing is also, weirdly, building an ultra-secure Android smartphone called "Black" (not to be confused with the Blackphone). According to the Telegraph, it's now enlisted BlackBerry's help to make it even more secure, though it's not clear how, exactly. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said "we're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform" and quickly added, "that, by the way, is all they allow me to say." The Boeing Black smartphone recently cleared the FAA FCC and comes with all the stuff a spook or G-man could want.

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Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

Snapchat warned that it was clamping down on third-party apps to prevent sketchier examples from compromising your security, and it appears to be making good on its word -- much to the chagrin of Windows Phone users, who haven't had an official Snapchat option so far. Windows Central notes that 6snap and other titles that replicated the disappearing message service have abruptly vanished from the Windows Phone Store. Moreover, some users say that Snapchat is following through on warnings that it would permanently lock the accounts of those who kept using unofficial software. If you're in that boat, you now have to start fresh if you want to chat with friends.

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Instagram on Android

Many would argue that cops cross the line when they impersonate people on social networks to catch suspects, but that doesn't mean that fake accounts are always off the table. In a recent opinion, New Jersey district judge William Martini contends that police don't need search warrants to create bogus Instagram accounts for the sake of seeing a suspect's photos. As Martini explains, it's "consensual sharing" -- the perpetrator is both making these pictures public and willingly providing access to others. That's bad news for Daniel Gatson, an alleged burglar who insisted that law enforcement needed probable cause (that is, reasonable belief that there's evidence of a crime) to peek at an Instagram feed laden with shots of cash and jewelery.

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Google's no stranger to tweaking your photos automagically, and now it's extending that expertise to video. By using Google+ and its auto-backup system for your media, Mountain View says it can adjust the lighting, color, stability and, soon enough, speech in any video you shoot. Just be sure to have Auto Enhance activated on your device and, well, that's the only thing you have to worry about actually. It's a bit different than what the search giant did with Auto Awesome videos, actually, and if you want to see an admittedly low quality sample, pop beyond the break.

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Evernote's bringing Context, one of its more interesting announcements during its fourth conference in October, to Android and Windows. This feature, which was first made available to iOS and Mac users in November, pulls content (based on what you're typing, hence its name) from various sources and displays them on screen. By "various sources," we mean your old notes, your co-workers' notes and a handful of websites, which includes The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and TechCrunch -- just click on an entry inside the Context panel to read it.

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You know what will go perfectly with those futuristic rocket-powered, heartrate-monitoring bikes? This smart helmet that Volvo wants to create. It's a two-way system that works by uploading both cyclists' and drivers' locations to Volvo's cloud. While a connected car's in-dash system makes that possible, the helmet needs to be linked to a bike app like Strava to do so. Bicyclists can then be warned that there's a car coming their way or crossing their path by warning lights built into the helmet.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere

T-Mobile protested its innocence after the Federal Trade Commission accused it of letting text message-based scams run amok in the name of profit, but it's not going to fight that complaint to the bitter end. The UnCarrier has agreed to a settlement that will have it paying "at least" $90 million in fines to the FCC and all 50 states. Moreover, it'll have to both offer full refunds to victims and require explicit permission for third-party charges. In the future, that sketchy celebrity gossip service can't take your cash unless you offer consent. T-Mobile's decision to cry "uncle" isn't surprising given that AT&T already settled with the FTC over similar unauthorized billing. However, it suggests that Sprint faces an uphill battle in its own texting dispute -- history definitely isn't on the company's side.

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US-IT-COMPUTER-CES

Long before Transformers director Michael Bay choked onstage at Samsung's lavish CES 2014 press conference, the Korean company was just another electronics outfit begging for attention. But after decades at CES, Samsung is now the undisputed king of the show. Its blowout media events are the largest and most difficult to get into. Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon is kicking off the show next month by hosting the prestigious opening keynote. And it's one of the few tech giants left standing at CES, as Microsoft and others abandon it. Samsung's glorious rise mirrors its ascent in the mobile industry, and it's also yet another example of the company's oft-repeated formula for success: Time, money and perseverance lead to victory.

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Amazon SVP of Devices David Limp promised back in October that the company will continue releasing updates for the Fire phone despite its rather poor performance -- like this big software upgrade, for instance. The latest version of Fire phone's OS comes with a long list of new features, including the ability to translate text and identify artwork (well, anything included in its 2,000-piece catalog, anyway) in photos using Firefly. Plus, there's a new camera mode called Best Shot that saves three versions of each captured photo, so you can choose the best one.

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iPad Air 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he's "deeply offended" by fresh allegations of poor working conditions in its suppliers' Chinese factories. Contractors hired by Apple to assemble its latest products have been exposed before, and while the firm has tried to be more proactive in recent years, a new BBC investigation suggests the same problems still persist. Undercover reporters hired at Pegatron factories discovered an exhausted workforce regularly falling asleep at the production line. Twelve hour shifts are common, which means employees often clock over 60 hours on the factory floor each week -- well above China's 44-hour limit, but still possibly legal given the country permits 36 hours of overtime each month.

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Some Lumia owners will be able to take photos more quickly these holidays -- and they might be better, too -- now that Microsoft has begun rolling out its latest software update called Denim. We say "some," because only Lumia 830, Lumia 930, Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520 owners will be able to enjoy the new features for now, and only if they live in one of the select countries getting the update. Denim, which was announced back in September, speeds up the Lumia camera app and brings image quality-boosting features with it. The new Rich Capture mode, for instance, automatically uses HDR, Dynamic Flash and Dynamic Exposure to take pictures, while a new imaging algorithm allows it to snap crisper daylight and lowlight images.

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What was that? You wanted to get some recipes going for news-content automation in addition to push notifications to grab an umbrella for tomorrow? Well, lucky you because Time Inc. announced it's adding IFTTT (If This Then That) support for five of its publications: Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, People, Sports Illustrated, and of course Time. The outfit says it's using in-house tech to make it easier to automate stuff like sending all NFL articles to Pocket so you can read 'em on the subway, for example. Another is getting a weekly movie summary sent straight to your email from Entertainment Weekly. This update benefits both Android and iOS users alike and it's available right this minute. Now its just up to you to see if too many cooks can spoil these recipes.

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