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Beats Music trails Pandora and Spotify in revenue and downloads

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Photo: Beats Music

Beats Music may have Apple’s support behind it, but it’s still got a long way to go before it tops the crowded online marketplace.

According to new figures from app analytics firm App Annie, Beats is currently trailing industry leaders Pandora and Spotify. In September, both of those services racked up more downloads and earned more revenue than Beats, across both the App Store and Google Play.

Beats was the ninth most downloaded music app in September, with once again Pandora and Spotify taking the lead — but also the likes of Shazam, SoundCloud and even Apple’s own GarageBand receiving more downloads.

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MLB stadiums become first sports venues to accept Apple Pay

Photo: Flickr

Baseball fans will be able to buy peanuts, Cracker Jack and garlic fries with Apple Pay. Photo: Andrei Niemimäki/Flickr CC

iPhone 6 owners who happen to also be fans of Major League Baseball have a treat on their hands, courtesy of a new deal that will see Apple Pay added at several stadiums in time for the 2014 World Series.

San Francisco’s AT&T Park and Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium support the contactless NFC payment system, which will allow World Series ticket holders to pay for food and beverages using their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices.

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10 key takeaways from Apple’s expectation-crushing earnings call

Photo: Apple

Record iPhone sales keep Apple’s money machine humming. Photo: Apple

Apple surpassed analysts’ expectations with $42.1 billion in revenue in the back-to-school season, buoyed by unprecedented iPhone sales and surprisingly strong demand for Macs.

While breaking down the Q4 2014 numbers during today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri offered insights into the company’s Q4 performance in China, the struggling iPad and hints of new product categories coming down the pipeline.

Here are the biggest takeaways.

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Top Apple execs sell $143 million worth of stock

Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and others sold Apple stock at a time when it was hitting record highs.

Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and others sold Apple stock at a time when it was hitting record highs.

Five top Apple execs — including Tim Cook and Phil Schiller — unloaded $143 million AAPL shares as part of a 10b5-1 planned sale, according to a new report from Barron’s.

Cook sold 348,425 Apple shares for $35,250,297, while Schiller dropped 348,846 shares for $35,256,000.

Other Apple higher-ups who did the same include CFO Luca Maestri, who sold his entire direct holdings for $1,631,286; Jeffrey E. Williams, senior vice president of operations, who raked in $35,233,446; and Bruce D. Sewell, general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs, who made $35,393,915 on the deal.

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Watch Apple’s massive cash hoard pile up in real time

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Apple’s massive pile of cash is about to get even bigger this weekend as the the iPhone 6 triggers an avalanche of new upgrades after shattering Apple’s record for pre-orders in a 24 hour period.

Now you can watch Apple’s wealth grow dollar by dollar in real-time, thanks to U.K.-based payments company WorlPayZinc, which built an interactive graph to show how much money the world’s top tech companies are making in real-time. Apple is by far the most profitable company, as it rakes in nearly $51,000 every 8 seconds.

Check out the interactive graph below:

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7 tips for making your live demo not suck

Myles Weissleder Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Myles Weissleder of SF New Tech. Portrait: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos.

The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s run for more than eight years. Over 750 companies including SkyBox, Twilio, Prezi, Flipboard and Twitter have come to his networking mixer to demo before a live audience in a trendy SOMA club.

In San Francisco’s competitive startup environment, you can demo your game-changing idea (or Pet Rock app) every night of the week, but SF New Tech is one of the longest-running and largest showcases. Wannapreneurs face a few hundred audience members — many of them from influential companies like Apple or venture capital firms like CMEA capital — where the mingling is fueled by drinks and tacos.

During a recent demo night, Cult of Mac sat down with the indefatigable Weissleder, who is as at home on the stage with a mic as he is hobnobbing at the bar, to get his top tips on how not to bomb when you take the stage with your great idea, hoping to find cash and connect with influencers.

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Killer instincts hide behind Apple’s friendly new face

Time Cook onstage at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple seems friendlier these days. But at what cost? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple sure is looking friendlier these days.

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was geekier, more welcoming and less locked-down than any in recent history. Apple also bid farewell to Katie Cotton — the much-feared queen of PR, whose frosty relations with journalists made her only slightly less terrifying than an angry Steve Jobs — with a call for a “friendlier, more approachable” public relations face to warm up the company’s relationship with the press.

“For the past few years it’s felt like Apple’s only goal was to put us in our place,” Panic’s Cabel Sasser recently tweeted. “Now it feels like they might want to be friends.”

These recent moves represent a major change in the way Apple does business, even as the company sits atop a $150 billion war chest amassed thanks to innovative products, ruthless leadership and heavy-handed policies that fostered a culture of secrecy and utter domination. But in a world where it’s drummed into our heads that nice guys finish last, does Apple’s approach risk killing the company with kindness?

CEO Tim Cook certainly doesn’t seem to think so.

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iPad Menus Keep It Green At Gordon Ramsay’s Steak In Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — The wine list at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak restaurant changes so frequently, the servers need iPads to keep up.

The wait staff at the Englishman’s massively popular restaurant are armed with 20 iPads to take wine orders.

Not only does it save paper, it’s the only way to make sure the ever-changing wine list is accurate.

Not only do the sommeliers love it, the customers do too.

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How One Vegas Casino Uses iPads To Loosen Up Gamblers

Spense is an iPad-toting "Beverage Ambassador" at the Rio casino.

Spense is an iPad-toting “Beverage Ambassador” at the Rio casino.

LAS VEGAS — The Rio casino is using iPads to do what casinos do: get visitors drunk and lose money gambling.

Located just off the bustling Vegas strip, the Rio casino has a team of “Beverage Ambassadors,” who wander the casino floor with iPads taking drink orders.

The system has been in place a year now, and it’s so successful, the casino is wondering why the other Vegas gaming joints haven’t copied it.

Here’s how it works:

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Is Your iPhone 4 Warranty About To Expire? Here Are The Defects To Look Out For

Is Your iPhone 4 Warranty About To Expire? Here Are The Defects To Look Out For

While many of us already have our eyes set on the new iPhone, which Apple will likely release this fall, there are still millions of people using the iPhone 4.

Released on June 24, 2010, the first round of iPhone 4’s are about to hit their two-year anniversary. This means that those who purchased an iPhone 4 along with the AppleCare protection plan, which effectively extends warranty protection to two years, are about to lose coverage.

If you bought an iPhone 4 in the summer of 2010 you should take some time to examine it in order to ensure that no part of it is showing signs of defect. Here’s what you need to know.

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