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ExtraBITS for 19 October 2015

In this jam-packed edition of ExtraBITS, Apple at last addresses “Staingate,” Adam Engst discusses Apple Music on The Committed podcast, Apple takes a nostalgic look at the first iMac, Discover tempts Apple Pay users with hefty bonuses, Apple’s ebook price-fixing imbroglio draws to a close, Apple is offering prorated AppleCare refunds, we learn that Steve Jobs tried to bring Woz back to Apple, and you can find out how to make your iOS device’s screen extra dim.

Apple Reportedly Addressing “Staingate” -- Although it hasn’t announced this publicly, MacRumors is saying that Apple has issued an internal notice about MacBook and MacBook Pro display issues that have been colloquially named “Staingate.” If the anti-glare coating on your Apple laptop’s screen is peeling away, Apple will reportedly repair it for free if it happened within 3 years of purchase, or 1 year after 16 October 2015, whichever is longer. If you’ve already paid Apple for such repairs, you may be eligible for a refund from AppleCare support. (For our original coverage of “Staingate,” see “Inconsistent Support Bedevils MacBook Pros Suffering from “Staingate”,” 28 March 2015)

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Adam Guests on The Committed Podcast to Talk about Apple Music and the State of the Apple Ecosystem -- In his first guest spot on The Committed podcast, Adam Engst joined Ian Schray, Rob Griffiths, and Kirk McElhearn to chat about how Apple Music is hampered by the iTunes interface, Apple’s new Magic input devices, and the overall state of the Apple ecosystem. It’s an amiable and far-ranging conversation, and well worth listening to.

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The iMac: Then and Now -- To commemorate the new line of iMacs, Apple has posted a comparison of the latest iMac with 5K Retina display to the original 1998 model. Apple says that the new iMac has 14 million more pixels, 62,000 times faster graphics, 1,000 times more RAM, 750 times more storage, and 366 times the processing power of the original. But you can’t get the new iMac in Bondi blue.

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Get 10% Cashback Bonus with Discover in Apple Pay -- Since the release of iOS 9, Discover credit cards can be added to Apple Pay. To entice Discover cardmembers to do so, the company is offering a 10 percent Cashback Bonus for up to $10,000 worth of purchases made with a Discover card through Apple Pay. Seems like a no-brainer, if you have a Discover card and an Apple Pay-compatible iPhone.

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Apple’s Ebook Price Fixing Drama Draws to a Close -- Over two years after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple conspired with publishers to raise the price of ebooks, the U.S. Justice Department has said that it’s satisfied with Apple’s efforts to comply with antitrust laws and recommended that Apple’s monitoring not be extended. Apple has had a contentious relationship with its court-appointed monitor, Michael Bromwich, who claimed that Apple failed to cooperate, while Apple maintained that Bromwich abused his authority. Although the Justice Department said that Apple “never embraced a cooperative working relationship with the monitor,” it acknowledged that Apple has “now implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs.”

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Apple Offers Prorated AppleCare Refunds -- Over at Macworld, Glenn Fleishman reveals that Apple offers prorated refunds for AppleCare. In the United States, the formula for how much money you’ll get back is: “Original cost pro-rated for time remaining less the value of any service used and less a cancellation fee of either $25 or 10 percent of the pro-rated remaining value, whichever is lower.” Glenn says he wouldn’t recommend a refund for most people, but it’s useful for people who are trading their phones in to a carrier or for anyone who loses a Mac due to theft or damage.

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Steve Jobs Tried to Woo Woz Back to Apple -- In an interview about the new Steve Jobs movie, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak revealed an interesting tidbit: before Jobs died, he asked if Wozniak wanted to return to Apple. Wozniak turned him down, but it’s interesting to ponder what he might have done at the company, or if he would still have had a place there. As for the movie, on which he was a consultant, Wozniak gave it his seal of approval despite its many fictitious details. “The movie is not about reality. It’s about personalities,” Wozniak said.

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How to Further Dim Your iPhone or iPad’s Screen -- For many of us, the dimmest brightness setting on the iPhone and iPad is still too bright, especially in dark rooms. Fortunately, Justin Searls has a tip on how to use the Zoom accessibility setting to lower the brightness below the lowest setting. After setting it up, you can dim the screen with a triple-press of the Home button.

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