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Win a New iPad from Mac|Life!

Now that you’ve had time to take in the news of Apple’s new iPad, you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth waiting in line for it come March 16. Well, why bother doing that when we can give you one? That’s right: we’d like to offer you a chance to win your own iPad 3, without having to wait in line on day one to receive yours.

To win the iPad 3, all you have to do is:

– Go to our Facebook page and “Like” us

– Go to our official Twitter page and copy the About part underneath the MacLife name

– Come back here and paste that paragraph as a comment. Your username on the site will enter you in a drawing to win one of four (4!!!) iPad 3s.

That’s it! All you have to do are these three simple things. You have until the end of this month to enter the contest, and we’ll keep reminding you about it as often as we can. Read the fine print below for more details. Good luck and happy posting!

ETA: As an aside, entering multiple times doesn’t increase your chances of winning.

The fine print:
Mac|Life “Win an iPad 3!” Contest rules: The winner will be chosen at random from qualified entries. All entries must be received no later than March 31, 2012. By entering this contest, you agree that Future US, Inc. may use your name, likeness, and website for promotional purposes without further payment. Employees of Sponsor, its respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, and agents, and foregoing employees¹ household or immediate family members (defined as parent, spouse, child, sibling, or grandparent) are NOT eligible to enter Contest. All prizes will be awarded, and no minimum number of entries is required. If two or more people enter identical designs and that entry is selected as the winner, the entry received first will be awarded the contest prize. Prizes won by minors will be awarded to their parents or legal guardians. Future US, Inc. is not responsible for damages or expenses the winners might incur as a result of this contest or the receipt of a prize, and winners are responsible for income taxes based on the value of the prize received. A list of winners may also be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Future US, Inc. c/o Mac|Life Contest, 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080. This contest is limited to residents of the United States. No purchase necessary; void in Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law.

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What to Expect from the iPad 3 Event

The new iPad will be unleashed upon the public tomorrow! We hope, anyway. As we wait in the bleachers with anticipation for tomorrow morning’s event, we’re recapping the last bit of rumors to make our own score of what might be in store at Apple’s iPad 3 event.

Here’s a recap of what we think we know. After all, nothing you hear counts until it’s confirmed during a keynote.

– Apple is said to have been testing two different chipsets that could find their way into the iPad 3: a dual-core A5 and a quad-core A6. Should this information prove correct, it could mean one of two things: Apple will soon be providing consumers with the option of not only choosing how much memory they’d like their iPad to come equipped with, but also the tier of processing power it has allotted to it.

The second, and more likely scenario here is that Apple has simply been testing two new chip architectures at the same time in order to figure out which chip will best compliment the rest of the iPad 3′s guts. The Verge reports that the A6 chipset is being held back for use in iPhone 5. We’ll find out what’s what tomorrow.

– The Verge is also reporting that iPad 3 — or iPad HD, depending on who you ask — will also boast the ability to display 1080p video as well as the capacity to share that HD video with other equipped to handily share with.

– The folks at MacRumors claim that they’ve gotten their hands on a bona fide iPad 3 display. If what they have is the real McCoy, then consumers can expect the next edition of the tablet to melt their faces with a 9.7 inch display boasting a 2048×1536 resolution. 

– According to a number of outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Boy Genius Report, “individuals familiar with the matter” are claiming that iPad 3 will have LTE communication capabilities baked right into it. In areas where no LTE connectivity is available, the iPad will automatically switch over to older network communication standards like 3G in order to stay in touch with the outside world. 

– Given the number of HD cameras cropping up in other smartphones and tablets, there’s a very good chance that Apple may see fit to finally do something about the iPad’s dismal front and rear facing cameras. HD FaceTime chat on the iPad? Where do we sign up? 

– That new chip, beefier display, upgraded cameras and robust communications hardware have to fit somewhere, right? Expect to see a slightly thicker case. After all, thinner doesn’t always mean better.

 

Be sure to join us tomorrow morning for up to the minute coverage of everything Apple unveils!

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Apple Yanks Push Email from iCloud in Germany Over Motorola Dispute

Push email, contacts and calendarThere are so many patent disputes flying around in the tech world, it’s often hard to keep track of them all — that is, until they start affecting end users, which is exactly what’s happening in Germany right now. Apple has suspended push email for both iCloud and MobileMe in that country over a patent battle with Motorola.

Engadget is reporting that iCloud and MobileMe users will be unable to have their email pushed to their devices in Germany, at least for a while. Apple has suspended the push email service in that country over “recent patent litigation by Motorola Mobility,” which the report claims is likely tied to “a recent injunction Motorola won against iCloud.”

While push email is one of the start features of both iCloud and MobileMe, Apple seems to be taking a cavalier attitude about the suspension, which doesn’t affect a user’s ability to actually receive email — they can still check it manually.

“This ruling only impacts customers in Germany who use a Push setting to get their MobileMe and iCloud email,” Apple said in a statement to Engadget. “These customers will still receive email to their devices. Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.”

Push will continue to work for Contacts and Calendars, but a new page on Apple’s support site in Germany recommends that users use the Fetch settings to receive email, which of course also applies for those of us here in America who are planning travel to Germany soon. Mac OS X is also immune from the suspension.

We don’t know about you, but push email is a gem — could you live without it for a while? (No need to respond if you’re reading this from Germany, of course… you’re already feeling that pain…)

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Foxconn Factoids from ABC News’ Nightline Special Report (with Full Video!)

Foxconn packing iPhoneAs we reported on Monday, ABC News’ Nightline aired a 30-minute special report Tuesday night that put the spotlight on factory conditions at Foxconn, where many of Apple’s products are manufactured. Missed it? Read on for the highlights.

The Verge has assembled a list of key points from Tuesday night’s Nightline special report on Foxconn. ABC News anchor Bill Weir is the first journalist to be granted access to the factories where Apple’s popular devices are manufactured and assembled, which comes at a time when the spotlight is already shining on these Chinese facilities rather intently.

As it turns out, the report didn’t reveal anything truly shocking — or as The Verge editor Joshua Topolsky puts its, “there wasn’t much meat on the bones of the 30-minute report.” But that doesn’t mean the Nightline broadcast didn’t glean a few factoids about Foxconn and Apple’s relationship with the company.

For example, there are 141 different steps involved in making an iPhone, almost all of which is done by hand. Meanwhile, it takes five days and 325 hands to produce a single iPad, even though Foxconn manages to produce 300,000 iPad camera modules each day.

On the subject of the Foxconn workers, they receive .78 per hour for their work and sleep six to eight in a Foxconn-provided dorm room, which costs each worker .50 per month (yes, paid out of their salary). Foxconn workers also pay for their own food (70 cents per meal) and work in 12-hour shifts. Ready to sign up? New hires must survive three days of training and “team building exercises” first.

Last but not least, Apple’s voluntary inspections by the Fair Labor Association are costing the iPhone maker 0,000. And did you know that Foxconn executive Louis Woo would actually prefer it if Apple forced the manufacturer to pay its workers double the pay? Sounds like somebody’s making too much bank.

ABC News has posted the entire Nightline special report, which is available in all its Adobe Flash-plagued glory embedded below as well as through the ABC News app.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The Verge; video courtesy ABC News)

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More Trouble in China: Court Rules in Favor of iPads Being Pulled from Shelves

iPad seizure in ChinaAs if Apple doesn’t have enough trouble in China with the spotlight being thrown on Foxconn and other manufacturers, a lower Chinese court has now ruled that the company’s iPad should be pulled from shelves over an ongoing trademark dispute with a display company there.

Time Techland is reporting that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, China “has ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads” in the country, according to Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen-based Proview Technology, who claims to hold the trademark on the tablet’s name in mainland China.

Apple claims the trademark case is still pending in mainland China, having appealed to the High Court in Guangdong, the southern province where the lower court ruling was made. For their part, Proview is not backing down, “requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales,” which could have a severe impact on Apple’s ambitious plans in the country.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago,” explains Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu. “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.”

In a letter to Proview chairman Rowell Yang from Apple’s Beijing-based attorneys King & Wood, the company accuses Proview of breaching “principles of good faith and fair dealing” as well as making “false and misleading” statements.

Proview International Holdings first registered the iPad trademark in China way back in 2001, where it was “used for a computer described as an ‘Internet Personal Access Device’ that employed touch panel technology.” Apple purchased the iPad name from a Proview affiliate in Taiwan back in 2009 for a mere ,000, but a ruling from a mainland China court back in December claims Proview “is not bound by that sale.”

One thing’s for certain: The iPad trademark dispute in China is likely to get uglier before it gets better, with Proview no doubt feeling foolish for selling the iPad name trademark for so cheap before they knew what it would be used for. A court document from a ruling in Hong Kong shows that the company “demanded million for the iPad name in China” after the dispute flared up, so it may take a big payment to make this headache go away.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Law & Apple: Apple Gets a Swat from Italy, While Germany Looks at Another Win

Law & Apple

Europe is the focus of the past week’s legal events for Apple, with a swift slap on the wrist from Italy and another small but significant victory in Germany looming on the horizon. As the courtroom rulings begin to line up in Apple’s favor, are we beginning to see the formation of a larger legal strategy for Cupertino?

Cue up the “dun dun” and read on for this week’s Law and Apple, European Style!

Italy vs. Apple

Yesterday, Italy’s antitrust body fined Apple .2 million (900,000 euros) for encouraging customers to buy AppleCare Protection Plan extended warranties without fully explaining that, under Italian law, the products already come with an extended two-year warranty.

The ruling states that three divisions of Apple — Apple Italia, Apple Sales International, and Apple Retail Italia — will be fined 400,000 euros for failing to inform customers of their right to two-years of free support, and fined 500,000 euros for selling the AppleCare service to those customers.

AppleCare

Great coverage. Even greater when it’s free.

Apple famously offers customers a full one-year (90-days telephone support and 1-year limited warranty) of support in the U.S., and the AppleCare Protection Plan extends that umbrella for an additional year. Apple is traditionally very generous with product support for customers under warranty, so the extended plans are very popular. However, as Italy mandates a minimum two-years of full coverage, selling AppleCare extended warranties that overlapped what was required by law was not viewed kindly by the court. Apple continues to be very active in the European courtroom, including ongoing legal battles against rivals like Samsung and Motorola, as well as scrutiny from the courts themselves with regard to alleged price-fixing with ebook publishers.

Apple vs. Motorola

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that a Munich court is likely rule in favor of Apple next February on lawsuits brought by Cupertino against Motorola in Germany. The ruling may lead to an injunction against Motorola products that use a specific method for flipping pages within a gallery of photos.

According to Mueller, the German court does not doubt the validity of the European patent (EP2059868), and is even more convinced at the conclusion of two preliminary hearings last week that the Android photo gallery is violating that patent.

Android Photo Gallery

Android will likely have to modify the way it flips photos.

Motorola appears positioned to modify its devices if an injunction is awarded to Apple, much the same way Samsung did in October. Apple seems to be accepting these forced modifications as minor, yet important, victories within a long-term legal strategy. While these rulings are not the “knock-out blows” that many have been waiting for, it appears Cupertino is happy to have Android devices forced to cease infringing on Apple innovations and remain available to customers in a modified format, rather than have the devices removed from the marketplace altogether. It is an expensive strategy, one that continues to chip away at Apple’s massive cash reserve, and perhaps that is part of the long-term strategy for Apple’s competition.

 

Adrian writes the weekly Law & Apple column for MacLife.com. You can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to him on Facebook, if you want to.

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Law & Apple: ITC Delays, Setback in the Outback, and Bad News from Bavaria

Law & Apple

After delay and drama, we awaited the first major ruling in Apple’s web of global litigation today, but all we got was another delay. Meanwhile, earlier in the week, despite vigorous appeals from Apple, Samsung got the green-light to sell in Australia, and Motorola might have gained the upper hand in Europe.

So what’s going on with the ITC ruling, and what is going on around the world? Cue the “dun dun” and read on!

Apple vs. HTC

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to HTC, the U.S. International Trade Commission has again delayed the major ruling on Apple’s patent infringement complaint against the rival handset maker. The ruling, now expected to be announced on Monday, December 19, is a landmark decision that could not only set the bar for the dozens of other infringement cases Apple is involved in, but could also ban HTC products from store shelves in the United States.

Earlier this year, an ITC administrative judge found HTC infringed on two Apple patents, and turfed the final decision to the ITC’s six member panel. The panel was originally slated to announce their decision on December 6, that ruling was postponed to today, and now we wait a few more days. The initial ruling by the administrative judge is significant, and many expect the final ruling to fall Cupertino’s way.

HTC Quietly Hoping

Meh. At this point, what’s a few more days…

If Monday’s ruling does go against HTC, barring any last-minute settlement the company will face a ban on importing its products into the United States. There would be a sixty day presidential review period, and HTC is likely to appeal to suspend the ban during the appeals process. Regardless of appeal, a ruling against HTC would give Apple strong ammunition against other Android device manufacturers. 

Apple vs. Samsung

Apple’s request to keep the ban against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in place in Australia was denied last week, and the product is expected to reach store shelves Down Under sometime this week.  Samsung was desperate the get the device in Australian stores before Christmas, as missing the holiday shopping season would have probably killed the Galaxy 10.1 completely.

Apple received from an Australian lower court an injunction against Samsung’s device in July. The injunction successfully blocked the Galaxy 10.1 from launching until late November when an Australian Federal Court unanimously decided to lift the ban. Apple immediately filed appeals, keen to keep the injunction in place through the holiday, but last Friday the Australian High Court denied the appeals and lifted the ban.

Samsung Galaxy 10.1

Good on ya, mate. 

The ruling is a win for Samsung, in as much as the beleaguered Galaxy 10.1 can finally launch, and may even have benefitted from all the media exposure surrounding this case. It is important to note, however, this ruling only pertained to the preliminary ban on the Galaxy 10.1 put in place before the final case was decided. The actual infringement case, which will determine the long term fate of Apple and Samsung in Australia, is scheduled for March of 2012.

Motorola vs. Apple

Florence Mueller of FOSS Patents details how Motorola Mobility defeated Apple in a German patent dispute, and, pending appeals, could block the sale of all iPhone and 3G iPad models in Germany. The ruling, handed down from the Mannheim Regional Court, states that Apple could modify its products by removing the patented feature to avoid further infringement. 

The patent at the core of this dispute involves a “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system,” a element that is considered essential to the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) standard, and is most likely critical for wireless data transfers. In addition to the injunction, the ruling also stated that Apple owes damages to Motorola based on past sales of infringing products in Germany.

Apple Store in Germany

Hey Germany, get your 3G iOS devices while you can! Hurry!

This ruling is a major win for Motorola. Apple will appeal the ruling to the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court, and request the injunction be lifted for the rest of the proceedings. If the injunction is not lifted, Motorola will have to decide whether to risk enforcing a ruling that might be overturned later, a risk that involves laying down a cool 4 million bond. Either way, in Germany at least, Motorola is on the offensive and Apple is the one waiting and hoping.

 

Adrian writes the weekly Law & Apple column for MacLife.com. You can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to him on Facebook, if you want to.

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Learn All About Mobile Device Management from MacTech!

Not sure how to utilize all the latest innovations in mobile device management? With Apple finally releasing updates to iOS over-the-air, now’s the time to really sink your teeth into this new technology. MacTech is offering a free primer all about it, now available

The free primer covers topics ranging from a complete overview of mobile device management, followed by how to implement it into your daily computing life, how to configure your favorite devices and more! The primer is written by Senior System Engineer and Apple Certified Trainer Russell Poucher of Creative Resources Technology Group and edited by MacTech’s staff. 

And if you’re aching for more on Mobile Device Management, join MacTech’s InDepth conference in San Francisco on December 7. Mac|Life readers can get early bird pricing at just 5–0 off the regular price. Register here! 

 

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iPod Click Wheel Games Go Missing From iTunes — RIP iPod classic?

iPod click wheelLovers of the classic iPod click wheel, that disturbance in the Force you just felt was Apple stealthily removing compatible games from the iTunes Store — a move that only adds fuel to the burning rumors that the iPod classic may meet its 10th anniversary by being tossed into the grave.

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple has quietly removed iPod click wheel games from the iTunes Store. If you recall, the classic iPod models with a click wheel have had their own small-screen games available since 2006 — foreshadowing what would come only two years later with the iOS App Store.

Following the debut of the App Store, Apple clumsily tossed the click wheel games onto the bottom of the heap, most recently as the absolute last entry on a pulldown menu for the App Store in iTunes. While it’s not entirely surprising that the category has vanished — after all, there were only around 50 titles available and most of them were overpriced at .49 compared to comparable titles for iOS — the news comes on the heels of rumors that the iPod classic may meet its end this year, despite former CEO Steve Jobs’ insistence otherwise.

Of course, some optimists might see the glass as half full — perhaps Apple plans to inject some new life into the iPod classic by adding iOS, a touchscreen and the ability to tap into the App Store ecosystem, bringing the media player in line with the iPod touch but keeping the higher capacity storage of a hard disk (currently 160GB, which is nearly 100GB more than the biggest iPod touch model).

iPod click wheel games were released by Apple and other major publishers such as Electronic Arts, Square Enix and Disney, despite a publicly available software development kit being available. The classic game “Brick” — originally invented by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — was included as a hidden Easter egg right from the very first iPod, and more games followed after the media player gained a color display.

The classic click wheel iPod celebrates its 10th anniversary in October, with most rumors pointing to few changes to the more widely used iPod touch. Apple will host a media event on Tuesday, October 4 at 10am PST in Cupertino which takes the place of the company’s traditional September iPod event.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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