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The Switchboard: Angela Merkel reportedly ‘livid’ over alleged NSA surveillance

President Obama meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, Nov. 3, 2009. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Angela Merkel's call to Obama: are you bugging my mobile phone? The German chancellor is reportedly furious with the Obama administration after reports surfaced yesterday that the NSA may have been tapping into her cell phone. The Guardian reports that while the White House denied any current snooping and vowed not to spy on Merkel's phone in the future, it refused to say whether it had done so in the past. "On social media, a number of Germans mocked Merkel's change of tone over the NSA affair, given her previous reluctance to talk about the controversy."

The Mac App Store is upgrading illegal and trial software for free. Due to a bug in the App Store, trial editions of certain titles for Mac OS X are being upgraded to the full retail version at no charge, the Verge reports. Affected products include iLife, iWork, Garageband and others. "Apple has removed the trial versions of the affected software from its site, suggesting it's aware of the issue and will either fix the bug or attempt to contain its effects."

Contractors point fingers over health-law Web site. Four contractors will face the House Energy and Commerce Committee today to answer for the technical flaws in, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to prepared testimony, the contractor CGI is expected to say that its part of the program was reviewed eight times — and that other contractors should shoulder most of the blame. "At least two more congressional hearings are scheduled next week, including a panel which is expected to grill Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius."

How Apple makes the Mac Pro. Greg Koenig, a designer, explains in detail what the company's introductory video for the Mac Pro merely describes visually. Koenig walks through the manufacturing process shot by shot on his blog, Atomic Delights. "What makes Apple unique is that they perform their manufacturing with remarkable precision and on a scale that is simply astonishing, using techniques typically reserved for the aerospace or medical device industries."

Ex-Apple CEO Sculley mulling BlackBerry bid: report John Sculley is reportedly considering swooping in to save BlackBerry, according to unnamed sources cited by the Globe and Mail. "The only thing I would say is, I think there's a lot of future value in Blackberry," Sculley told the newspaper. "But without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging."