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Monday Recap: Celebration of Steve, Developer ID, WP Politics, iPad 2 Discount

Apple Developer IDNormally, we’d be celebrating the next to the last day of February about this time, but 2012 is one of those pesky leap years, which means you’ll have a full 24 hours more of this month than normal. That could be a good or a bad thing depending on how the rest of the month has gone for you, but in this case it’s just an extra day on the calendar keeping us from a new iPad. And with that, let’s take a look at what’s making news for this Monday, February 27, 2012.

International Exhibition Project “Celebration of Steve” Launches

Ever wondered what life was like through the eyes of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs? Thanks to a new project called “Celebration of Steve,” now you can get some idea. Spearheaded by Mehmet Gozetlik, the online international exhibition project launched last Friday, February 24, in celebration of what would have been Jobs’ 57th birthday. The website is only one part of the bigger project, with plans to include an online exhibition, a book and even an iPad app. The project uses Jotun black and white high-gloss paints to imagine 100 everyday products seen through the eyes of Steve Jobs. While the project has a handful of members including photographer Emre Basak and web programmer Kadir Yardımcı, the group is actively seeking “both a curator with a thorough knowledge of design exhibition and a sponsor for the remainder of the project.” If you’re interested in the not-for-profit “Celebration of Steve” project, head to the website for more information.

Report: Best Buy iPad 2 Discount Foreshadows New Model?

MacRumors is reporting that Best Buy is now offering discounts on the entire iPad 2 lineup, making the base model 16GB Wi-Fi only model a mere 9.99 (plus applicable sales tax). With rumors that an Apple event is coming next Wednesday, March 7, the move appears to be aimed at unloading existing inventory for a new model. And it may not just be a fire sale: Engadget is reporting that Best Buy’s internal inventory system now shows a “deleted” status for the iPad 2. If that doesn’t instill some confidence that a new model is on the way, we don’t know what does.

Washington Post Releases WP Politics App for iPad

The Washington Post today announced a new iPad-only app called WP Politics, perfectly timed for the 2012 Presidential elections. “Ideal for both the general voter and the political junkie, the WP Politics App delivers an engaging news experience that showcases The Post’s definitive, award-winning political coverage in a rich iPad experience offering photos, graphics, animation and video,” the press release notes. While the 20.4MB app is free, premium content will be charged as a .99 per month in-app fee for those who choose to subscribe. “With our new iPad application, we’re bringing our expertise, depth, analysis and original reporting to a platform that will enable us to engage our readers in whole new dimensions,” explains Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor, The Washington Post. “With extraordinary new tools and features built around data, some of it going back two centuries, users of the WP Politics App can stay informed on the issues, candidates and dynamics of the 2012 election in an entirely new way and get beyond rhetoric and beyond spin.” WP Politics is now available for download from the App Store, compatible with all iPads running iOS 4.3 or later.

AT&T May Soon Allow Developers to Pay for Data Usage

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that AT&T’s wireless division is working on a service “that would let content providers and developers of mobile applications pay the wireless carrier for the mobile data its customers use.” The new plan, mentioned briefly today during an interview with network and technology boss John Donovan at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is being compared to how toll-free calling works. “A feature that we’re hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage,” Donovan explained. The idea is to create new revenue streams for the carrier, while offloading some of the customer expenses for data-hungry apps — though developers will surely want further details before being on the hook for all those downloads.

Apple’s Developer ID Program Announced

If you’re an Apple Mac developer, check your inbox! According to 9to5Mac, Cupertino has started notifying app creators about Developer ID, the new program designed to sign non-Mac App Store applications using the Gatekeeper feature in OS X Mountain Lion. “The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they download applications from other places,” the email explains. “Developer ID is a new way to help prevent users from installing malware on their Mac. Along with Gatekeeper, a new feature in Mountain Lion, signing applications with your Developer ID certificate provides users with the confidence that your application is not known malware and has not been tampered with.” While OS X Mountain Lion won’t be ready to roar until later this sunny summer, Apple is encouraging developers to grab their Developer ID today using Xcode 4.3 or the Developer Certificate Utility.

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

(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)


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Friday Recap: Dock Connector RIP?, Readability March 1, Steve Jobs Birthday

Apple dock connectorFebruary is winding to a rapid close, which means we should hear something about that rumored iPad 3 event next week — likely in the form of an invite for the media to attend. After all, the powers that be in Cupertino aren’t going to take this new U.S. Proview lawsuit over the iPad name trademark too seriously, especially when they have a fancy new tablet being queued up, probably as we write this. In the meantime, let’s all head into the weekend by catching up on the rest of the day’s news for this fine Friday, February 24, 2012.

About Those “Apple Ditching the Dock Connector” Rumors…

It’s not hard to find rumors spread far and wide about almost every part of an iOS device, from the software to the hardware inside. But Google for something about the dock connector and you might be surprised how little might be found — that is, until this week. iMore is reporting that Apple may be preparing to ditch the traditional iPod dock connector first introduced in April, 2003 with the third generation iPod in favor of a smaller “micro dock.” Why tamper with something that works and risk the ire of accessory makers everywhere? The report theorizes that Apple could make the switch in an effort to free up space inside the iPhone for other fun stuff like LTE radios. For our money, we buy the first half of the rumor — the 30-pin dock connector is past its prime. But instead of a “micro dock,” we like Daring Fireball scribe John Gruber’s idea of wireless charging, which would cut the cord entirely and bring AirPlay everywhere.

Video: Finally! Readability Announces March 1 Debut of iOS App

If you’re a fan of “read later” apps like Instapaper or Read It Later, you’re probably familiar with Readability. While support for the service has been turning up all over third-party iOS apps, the company’s own native solution has been conspicuously absent from the App Store, months after its submission. Today, the company has announced that the wait will soon be over: The official Readability app for iOS will debut next Thursday, March 1 as a free, universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. We’ve certainly been waiting for the blessed event here at MacLife.com, and to tide you over for the next few days, Readability has posted a minute-long video to demonstrate the new app, which we’ve embedded here for your viewing pleasure. Now if only we could find those keys to our time machine so we could jump ahead a few days…

 

Netflix Snubs BlackBerry (and PlayBook), For Now

It ain’t easy being Research in Motion these days. Reuters is reporting that the latest “agony of defeat” moment for the BlackBerry maker arrived today, with word that Netflix has no current plans to support the flailing platform in either smartphone or tablet form. The word came down via Twitter in response to a customer’s inquiry, which means some percentage of the company’s 24 million U.S. subscribers will have to find something better to do with their time now. Of course, the PlayBook 2.0 update released on Tuesday makes it possible for Netflix to simply port their existing Android app to the BlackBerry PlayBook, but the company’s tweet would seem to rule out even that less-desirable option. Don’t worry, guys… once those BlackBerry 10 devices start rolling out later this year, things will start turning around for you… won’t they?

Happy Birthday, Steve!

If the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs were still alive, he would have been 57 years old today, a fact that appears to be trending on Twitter. According to MacRumors, at least two Jobs fans are celebrating the day outside Apple’s flagship retail Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, planning a party in the man’s honor. “To fete what would have been Jobs’ 57th birthday, dancers will gyrate to Bob Dylan songs while vegetarian birthday cake is served and black turtlenecks are handed out to hundreds of Apple fans,” explained event organizers Brendan McElroy and Seth Rogers. “If you want to respect his memory, the best way of doing it is focusing on a lot of the positive memories we have of him.” MacRumors also noted that the day marks the 12th anniversary of the popular Apple-centric website, so here’s a tip of the hat to both Steve Jobs and MacRumors!

Apple Patents Reveal Concept for Even Thinner Keyboards

AppleInsider is reporting that the folks in Cupertino have been working diligently to make keyboards “even thinner and lighter with a brand new take on the classic input method.” The discovery comes by way of a new patent application entitled “Single Support Lever Keyboard Mechanism,” which describes “a handful of ways that a keyboard could be shrunk in size without affecting its performance.” Call us crazy, but we kind of think that Apple’s external keyboards are already too thin (we never quite got used to those mushy keys!) — the company has a mixed track record with keyboards and mice when they’re not part of a notebook computer, in our humble opinion. “Apple’s solution is a single support lever keyboard mechanism, which the proposed invention says would allow the keyboard cap to be formed of almost any material, but would also provide stability to each key,” the report explains. The word “rigid” is used quite a few times in describing the new patent, so we like the sound of it. Does this mean we’ll never see that rumored touchscreen Mac, though…?

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

 

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Steve Jobs Receives Special Grammy, Accepted by iTunes Boss Eddy Cue

Eddy Cue accepts Special Merit GrammyFew would argue that Apple has made a significant impact on the music industry in recent years, and over the weekend the company’s late CEO was honored with a posthumous Special Merit Grammy Award recognizing those accomplishments.

MacRumors is reporting that The Recording Academy has presented the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs with a Special Merit Grammy Award “in recognition of his contributions to the field of music with the iPod and iTunes Music Store. First announced in December, the Trustees Award was accepted by senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, at a ceremony for the Special Merit Awards on Saturday.

“On behalf of Steve’s wife, Laurene, his children, and everyone at Apple, I’d like to thank you for honoring Steve with the Trustees Grammy Award,” Cue said. “Steve was a visionary, a mentor, and a very close friend. I had the incredible honor of working with him for the last fifteen years.

“Accepting this award means so much to me because music meant so much to him,” Cue continued. “He told us that music shaped his life…it made him who he was. Everyone that knows Steve knows the profound impact that artists like Bob Dylan and The Beatles had on him.”

Finally, Cue reminded the audience how this love of music flowed into the products Jobs helped create at Apple: “Steve was focused on bringing music to everyone in innovative ways,” Cue explains. “We talked about it every single day. When he introduced the iPod in 2001, people asked ‘Why is Apple making a music player?’ His answer was simple: ‘We love music, and it’s always good to do something you love.’

“His family and I know that this Grammy would have been very special to him, so I thank you for honoring him today,” Cue said in conclusion.

The Recording Academy also posted a tribute to Steve Jobs written by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a personal friend of Jobs who has racked up an amazing 16 Grammy awards over his own career.

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

(Image courtesy of MacRumors)

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Thursday Recap: Apple Labor Protests, FBI File on Steve Jobs, Kindle Jabs iPad

Apple Store San Francisco protestDoes the FBI have a file on all of us? Some conspiracy theorists believe so, but it should probably come as no surprise to discover that the Feds definitely had one on the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, dating back to 1991. Curious to read what it says? Thankfully, the 191-page document is now available for all to read, complete with redacted segments. But that’s just the icing on the cake for what’s been happening since this morning — here’s a look at what else is making news for Thursday, February 9, 2012.

San Francisco Protest Over Chinese Labor Includes Apple Store Employee

Cult of Mac is reporting on the protests today at six Apple Stores around the world, which collectively delivered 245,000 signatures to brick-and-mortar locations in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, London, Sydney and Bangalore. The protests come courtesy of Change.org and SumOfUs, who are attempting to draw attention to Apple labor policies in China. Ironically, the San Francisco protest — small though it would up being — included one of Apple’s own, in the form of Cory Moll, a full-time employee at the company’s downtown location since 2007. Moll isn’t just seeking better conditions for Apple workers in China, he also happens to head up the Apple Retail Workers Union, which aims to improve working conditions at the company’s retail stores as well. The short-lived protests today didn’t draw much attention outside of the blogosphere, but Moll made an appearance “to show solidarity” and “take full advantage of the rights and liberties we enjoy in this country to be able to do that.”

NYT Claims iPad 3 Will Have “Truly Amazing” Screen

Hey, did you hear? There’s a new iPad coming. When can you buy it? Well, this morning we reported that AllThingsD has pegged the first week in March for the announcement, and now The New York Times is chiming in with a few more details. According to an Apple employee who has apparently touched the actual device, the new iPad is “essentially the same size and shape as the iPad 2” but includes what the source claims is a “truly amazing” screen — which certainly sounds like the much-ballyhooed Retina Display that effectively doubles the resolution of the current model. The report notes that the end product may or may not actually be called the iPad 3, reminding us of the “rampant speculation” last fall with the iPhone 5, which actually wound up being an iPhone 4S instead. iPad 2S, anyone?

FBI Releases File on Steve Jobs, Reveals Possible White House Position

There has been plenty written about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs since his untimely passing last October, but one of the more interesting things about him has just surfaced in an FBI file dating back to 1991. According to AppleInsider, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as released a 191 page file on the late Jobs, where it was revealed the Apple co-founder “was considered for appointment to the President’s Export Council by the George H.W. Bush administration in 1991.” As part of that consideration, the FBI conducted a background investigation on Jobs, which includes “an uncharacteristically high number of derogatory comments for an FBI investigation.” While the names of the individuals who made comments such as “deceptive” and having “questionable moral character” are redacted, the document also reveals a bomb threat made against Jobs at Apple’s headquarters on February 7, 1985. The case was closed by August of that year, with no suspect and no bombs ever discovered.

Video: Amazon Latest to Take a (Commercial) Swipe at the iPad

Move over, Samsung: Amazon is ready to get in a few well-placed jabs at Apple on its own. The e-tailer has just introduced a new 30-second television commercial featuring an iPad owner making goo-goo eyes at one of the new Kindles in an effort to initiate conversation with a bikini-clad brunette. The poor sap can’t read on his iPad 2 out in the direct sunlight, so the brunette talks it up as the “best way to read, even in the sunlight.” When the iPad owner brings up watching movies or surfing the web, the brunette points to her kids, both of whom are happily tapping away on their Kindle Fires. “Three Kindles? That’s gotta be expensive,” the poor slob moans. “Not really,” the smiling brunette replies. “Together, they’re still less than that,” indicating the man’s iPad 2. Oh, and the kicker? The brunette is married, so the iPad owner’s advances are completely for naught. (Insert sad trombones here.) Good one, Amazon…

 

BlackBerry Gets Kicked in the Fruit by NOAA, Too

Another day, another organization abandoning Research in Motion’s BlackBerry in favor of Apple’s iOS platform. The latest comes courtesy of The Loop, who reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “is dumping RIM’s BlackBerry from its list of officially supported mobile devices,” according to a memo dated February 3, 2012. BlackBerry will continue to be supported until May 12, at which time workers will be issued new iPhones and iPads — devices running iOS 5 or above will be supported, including the iPhone 4. At this point, RIM is either going to be the comeback story of all time (unlikely, since that honor should probably go to Apple itself at this point) or continue its downward spiral, seemingly without end.

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

(Image courtesy of Cult of Mac and Cory Moll)

 

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Tuesday Recap: Verizon Quarterly Loss, Steve Jobs Plane, Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day

Virgin America Steve Jobs planeSo yeah, Apple still has the moxie to rake in the big bucks, as you’ve no doubt heard from Cupertino’s fiscal first quarter results earlier today. We can’t help but think that this bubble has to burst eventually, but hey, it’s a wild ride while it lasts, right? Unfortunately for U.S. carrier partner Verizon Wireless, the quarterly financials weren’t quite as rosy. Ready to find out more? Then read on and discover all the news that’s fit to print for this Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

Verizon Blames Quarterly Loss on Pensions, Subsidy Costs

We all know that Apple just clocked in another record quarter with 37.04 million iPhones sold — and according to Bloomberg, 4.3 million of those were activated last quarter on Verizon Wireless. Unfortunately, the Big Red carrier’s news wasn’t all rosy, with total smartphone sales of 7.7 million — about 1.5 million shy of analyst projections. Despite total sales of .4 billion (a 7.7 percent increase over last year), Verizon as a whole lost .02 billion last quarter compared to its .64 billion profit a year ago, which the company blamed on handset subsidies paid out to wireless customers.

Inside Apple: The Secret Packaging Room

Fortune writer Adam Lashinsky’s book Inside Apple hits stores tomorrow, and much like Walter Isaacson’s official bio on Steve Jobs, nuggets of information have been leaking out in the last week or so in advance of the release. According to NetworkWorld, one such detail outlined in the book examines a room in Apple’s headquarters dedicated to product packaging — a secret area “only accessible to a select few with the requisite security badges” for the purpose of testing boxes. “To fully grasp how seriously Apple executives sweat the small stuff, consider this: For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks — opening boxes,” Lashinsky reveals. The attention to detail even extends to the unboxing experience as well. “One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box,” Lashinsky writes. “Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession. What’s more, it wasn’t just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.” Shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s owned an Apple product…

Readdle Serves Up PDF Expert 3.2 for iPad with Full Text Search

It’s no secret that the iPad makes a great vehicle for reading and even editing PDF files, which is why developer Readdle continues to innovate with their PDF Expert for iPad. The company just pushed out a new version 3.2 update, adding full text search across your entire PDF library — no more simply searching by file name, the complete text of every PDF document inside the app is available to you. PDF Expert 3.2 also adds a new sorting panel for reordering files based on Name, Date or Modified Date, along with support for the Tab and Arrow keys on Bluetooth keyboards while filling out PDF forms for lightning-quick text entry. Last but not least, the update introduces a new Eraser tool for your handwriting, located in the Pens toolbar. PDF Expert 3.2 is available now from the App Store for only .99, and is a free update for previous owners.

Virgin America Christens Plane with Famous Steve Jobs Quote

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs left us with many memorable quotes, but somewhere near the top of that list resides “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” According to Cnet, the expression now has a new lease on life, with the words emblazoned on the side of a new Airbus A320 aircraft as part of the Virgin America fleet (photo above, if you don’t mind squinting).“”The ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ aircraft name was actually submitted as a tribute to Mr. Jobs by one of our employees in an internal plane naming competition,” Virgin America spokesperson Abby Lunardini explained to CNET on Monday.“”The idea behind Virgin America was to reinvent the travel experience by thinking differently about design and service–we are known for the tech-forward amenities we offer onboard.” Considering Virgin’s presence in Silicon Valley and the company’s “fleet-wide Wi-Fi with touchscreen entertainment and power outlets at every seat,” we think Jobs would approve.

iStoryTime Hearts “Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day”

Ready to introduce your child to the forthcoming Valentine’s Day in a special way? zuuka’s iStoryTime line has just published a new title together with HarperCollins Children’s Books entitled Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day. Available as a .99 universal app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, the title is also making its debut on the Amazon Appstore for the Kindle Fire as well as Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and Nook Tablet devices. The story follows that loveable puppy Biscuit as he delivers “sweet puppy love” to his special friends, including Daisy, Puddles, Grandma and Grandpa. “Biscuit has been a family classic for almost two decades and for good reason as the lovable yellow puppy teaches children life lessons such as how important it is to give rather than receive,” said Woody Sears, founder of zuuka. “We’re very excited to add another Biscuit book to the iStoryTime library and look forward to many more.” The app includes fully animated Read to Me and Read to Myself modes, memory and puzzle games as well as a sticker and coloring book, all wrapped up neatly in a 110MB app that’s available for download from the App Store today.

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

(Image co
urtesy of Cnet)


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Law & Apple: Kodak Sues and the Steve Jobs Action Figure Lives

Law & Apple

In this latest edition of Law & Apple, we learn that sometimes a lawsuit is really just a fancy marketing promotion. Also, the age-old question of “After I die, what happens to my likeness?” is threatened, bluffed, and, depending on where you live, clearly unanswered.

Want the latest on Apple’s legal adventures? Cue the “dun dun” and let’s go!

Kodak vs. Apple

Last week we found out that Kodak was headed toward bankruptcy unless they found some miracle solution to reverse their fortunes. While we were all a little saddened by the news, few of us expected that Kodak’s next move would be to sue Apple and HTC for patent infringement. Apparently unable to surprise the world with new innovations, Kodak went the route of the surprise lawsuit.

Eastman Kodak brought the new lawsuits Tuesday in the Western District of New York, claiming that both Apple and HTC violated up to five different Kodak patents regarding digital imaging.

Is Kodak Just Trying To Sell Patents?

Now with Apple-Busting Power!

While this lawsuit will most likely result in Apple and HTC working together (what?) to fend off Kodak, the bigger picture of what this lawsuit is about shouldn’t be missed. As FOSS Patents points out, Kodak has been trying to sell off it’s patent portfolio for a while now, and this lawsuit is likely nothing more than an attempt to show the value of those patents to a potential buyer. When Nortel sold off their patent portfolio at a bankruptcy auction the bidding was fierce, and the final price tag was .5 billion. If Kodak can demonstrate that its portfolio is strong enough to sting Apple, and that portfolio goes up for auction, we can only wonder how high the bidding will go.

Apple vs. In Icons

If you had your hopes up to snag one of the super-realistic, super-creepy, Steve Jobs action figures the web was all a flush with last week, well, get your credit card ready. For better or worse, it appears the doll will be on sale in just a few weeks.

Once the plans for the doll were released by the Chinese manufacture In Icons, Cupertino sent a cease-and-desist order claiming that “any toy that resembles the technology company’s logo, person’s name, appearance or likeness of its products is a criminal offense.” Apple lawyers cited California Civil Code Section 3344 which address the use of a person’s name, likeness, voice, or signature without their prior consent. The protection lasts through the entirety of a person’s life and for 70 years after their death.

Steve Jobs Doll

You can’t stop me, Apple. You can only hope to contain me.

However, it appears that Apple’s lawyers were bluffing, and In Icons is not biting. There is no federal law regarding the use of a celebrity likeness after death. At the state level, California is one of only a few states that protect “personality rights” after death; the others are Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, California, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, New Jersey, Nevada, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. 

All thirty-eight other states have no such protections, and the cool-but-creepy Steve Jobs doll will be available there in February. Will you get one? If you do, take a picture of it with your Kodak and send it to us.

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.

News

Thursday Recap: Google Tablet, Steve Jobs Action Figure, RIM Licensing?

Steve Jobs action figureIf you’ve already seen photos of the super-realistic 12-inch Steve Jobs action figure online, you may have already placed bets with your friends as to when Apple would come calling to squash it. If you guessed today, we have a winner! Cupertino is claiming ownership of the late co-founder’s likeness, but the defiant Chinese manufacturer plans to proceed anyway. Get out the popcorn, this one should be interesting! Meanwhile, here’s the rest of what’s making news for this Thursday, January 5, 2012.

Report: Google May Go Head-to-Head with Kindle Fire

Google’s Eric Schmidt recently sounded the alarms for companies making Android tablets, revealing that the search giant themselves are planning to launch their own branded tablet within the next six months — presumably some sort of “Nexus” branded hardware in the tradition of their annual smartphones. While many rightfully assumed that the company had Apple’s iPad in their sights, a new report from DigiTimes is claiming that Amazon’s 9 Kindle Fire is what Google may actually be taking aim at. The idea is to introduce a seven-inch tablet priced at 9 (or less) to take advantage of their new Android 4.0, “confectionally” known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Of course, in less than six months they’ll have a new iPad to contend with as well, so… good luck, Mountain View.

Apple Clamps Down on Steve Jobs Action Figure Maker

If you’ve been waiting anxiously to pit your Steve Jobs action figure against the forces of evil (do they make action figures of Google CEOs?), you may want to grab one on eBay while you can. According to The Telegraph, a 12-inch action figure of the iconic Apple co-founder is set for release next month by Chinese manufacturer In Icons, but Cupertino will have none of it, claiming they own the likeness of Steve Jobs and they’ll sue if the company moves forward. The report claims “any toy that resembles the technology company’s logo, person’s name, appearance or likeness of its products is a criminal offence.” In Icons remains defiant and plans to proceed with selling the figure next month for , although units have already shown up on eBay for 5 each. The eerily realistic figure “comes with a pair of black socks, some glasses, a leather belt, two apples (one with a bite taken out of it), a bar stool and a ‘One More Thing’ backdrop.”

Google Translate App Goes Universal

Count us among those who frequently criticize Google for their often weak iOS apps, with bonus points taken away for how few of them include a universal build for native iPad support. If you frequently turn to the Google Translate app on your iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll be happy to know that the search giant pushed out a new version 1.3.0 update on Wednesday night which finally adds support for the iPad with a universal build. There’s nothing too fancy in the iPad edition, but at least now when we want to hear what some of our babbling nonsense sounds like in Mandarin, we won’t have to dig into our pocket to grab the iPhone anymore. (Yes, we’re that lazy…)

RIM May License BlackBerry OS to Samsung, HTC

It’s too bad there’s no technological equivalent of the Lifetime network, because we’re dying to see what kind of soapy TV movie they’d make about Research In Motion. According to BGR, the news keeps getting more interesting out of Waterloo, with Jeffries & Company analyst Peter Misek claiming that RIM may soon license their once-mighty BlackBerry software to other hardware makers — specifically HTC and Samsung, who have been known to dabble in Android and Windows Phone of late. “We think some of this has already been started with RIM likely agreeing to license Blackberry 10 to Samsung, HTC, and possibly others,” the analyst writes. “This would help create a critical mass for the ecosystem and maintain RIM’s monthly service revenue.” Misek believes such a move would help get “people hooked on the RIM ecosystem,” something that could ultimately move more BlackBerry 10 handsets — assuming they can ever release one.

Infinity Blade Racks Up Million for Developer

“Epic” is definitely the word we’d use to describe a new report from Joystiq touting over million in revenue for developer Epic Games from the Infinity Blade franchise. That includes the original launched in December, 2010 as well as last month’s Infinity Blade 2, which is some pretty good scratch for a mobile device game. “We have so much more in store for players, and will continue to make great content for Apple’s evolving platforms,” explained Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps. No word on expanding the company’s horizons to competing platforms such as Android, however.

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

(Image courtesy of The Telegraph)

 

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Wednesday Recap: Amazon Santa, Path 2.0, Spotify Apps, Steve Jobs T-Shirt

Steve Jobs GeeksRiot.com T-shirtHoly moley, can November really be over already? Tomorrow, December will be upon us and the deafening rumble of Santa’s sleigh won’t be far behind. Most of us are already getting in the holiday spirit, which gives us little time to catch up on what’s happening in the tech world. So without further ado, here’s a taste of what’s new for this Wednesday, November 30, 2011.

Path 2 Introduces Smart Journal

Instagram may get all the hype, but Path has been quietly making inroads over the last year as well. The company today introduced version 2.0 of the Path app for both iOS and Android, featuring a new, cleaner design, the ability to decorate your Path with wallpaper-like photos and a new “Smart Journal” mode that recognizes when you spend time in a new place, recording it for you automatically. The free app also offers more ways to share (via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare), including check-in and music as well as improved push notifications.

Rumor: Apple Killed 64-Bit Final Cut Pro 8 Dead

Still fuming over Apple’s decision to abandon Final Cut Pro 7 in favor of Final Cut Pro X? Your mood isn’t likely to improve when you read this: According to 9to5Mac, not only was there a 64-bit version of Final Cut Pro 8 which retained the same user interface professionals know and love, but Apple supposedly killed it in favor of the more forward-thinking FCPX. This rumor comes courtesy of RHED Pixel founder Richard Harrington, who recently discussed the decision during a talk at American University’s Filmmaker in Residence program. “[Apple] looked at it and said, ‘This is not what we want to do… this is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and they killed it,” Harrington explained. That news is likely to stir up the hornet’s nest all over again, but at least FCPX is improving with each new update in the meantime…

GeeksRiot Offers Steve Jobs T-Shirt

Another day, another Steve Jobs tribute. This time it’s in the form of a new T-shirt available exclusively from GeeksRiot.com, with all proceeds benefitting Movember. “This is our tribute to a man who changed the world,” the geeks explain on their website. “We were deeply moved by the passing of Steve Jobs, and wanted to create a piece of art in his memory. A piece that would strike someone in the same way that he always struck us: bold, uncompromising, and true to the heart. This is our tribute to a true visionary. Please help us build a future where no man is taken before his time by cancer.” The slick-looking T-shirt (shown above) is available in small, medium, large and XL for only .99 from the group’s website, and be sure to Like their Facebook page as well while you’re at it.

Spotify Introduces Apps (Now Where’s the iPad App?)

Remember that Spotify announcement we told you about last week? Turns out it wasn’t as exciting as the company’s invite might have let on. The streaming music company’s “brave new world” is Spotify Apps, billed as “a bunch of cool, exciting and integrated apps inside Spotify, created by some of the best and brightest in the world.” That includes Last.fm, TuneWiki, Rolling Stone and others, who are bringing HTML5-based apps to the Spotify application, which can now be downloaded in a preview version. Gee, we would have been much happy to have a native iPad app or even an entirely browser-based client like some of the rumors were speculating… but we still love you anyway, guys.

Amazon Wants to Play Santa For Your Kids with New App

Already receive way too many packages from Amazon each week? Prepare to receive even more for the next few weeks, as the e-tailer has rolled out a new iPad-only app entitled Amazon Santa. As you can imagine, the free app encourages the little ones to seek out and wish list all the stuff they want from Santa Claus this year, making it way too easy for parents to buy it all. “Get more smiles and shouts of joy this Christmas when you use the free Amazon Santa App — a fun and easy way for kids and parents to create personalized, holiday Wish Lists to share with Santa, friends and family,” the app description reads. The 13.4MB download is available now and requires iOS 4.2 or later.

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“1111 Notes for Steve” Collects Palo Alto Sticky Note Tributes to Jobs

iiii n 4S bookSteve Jobs may be gone, but he lives on in the hearts and minds of Apple fans everywhere. Nowhere was that more obvious than at the Apple retail store in the co-founder’s hometown of Palo Alto, where thousands of sticky note tributes were posted by passers-by — and now we can all own some of those memories in a new non-profit book called iiii n4S.

While many of us were moved by the death of Steve Jobs, one man decided to do something with that emotion and the result is now available as a new book entitled iiii n 4S (1111 Notes for Steve). Author Philipp Stauffer was so moved by all of the sticky note tributes posted outside the Apple retail store in Palto Alto, California that he decided to collect some of them for posterity.

“As the number of notes grew, I became increasingly aware of the powerful messages that they held,” Stauffer explains. “The overall message in all this is profound, and sets a high benchmark for entrepreneurs, designers, CEOs and any other individuals who aspire to change the world. I wanted to make sure that at least a fraction of all these notes was captured and made available to everybody who did not have the chance to witness it personally. I randomly picked 1,111 notes to show, as well as a few overview shots, that hopefully do justice to this touching happening.”

The resulting 158-page book is being made available as an “early bird edition” on Blurb.com, an on-demand printing service which offers an iBooks-compatible electronic edition for .99, a softcover version for .44 and two different hardcover editions (.66 for dust jacket or .77 for ImageWrap). All profits from the book will go to College Track, the non-profit co-founded by Job’s wife, Laurene Powell, as well as to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

For more information or to purchase a copy of iiii n 4S, head to the Blurb.com website; the current “early bird edition” will contain more content than the eventual final release, which the author hopes can “sell more books than Walter Isaacson and do good at the same time.” The author has also established a Facebook page for the project as well.

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Official Steve Jobs Biography Now In Stores

Steve Jobs 1955-2011Originally scheduled for release in early 2012 and first bumped up to November, former Time magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs is now in stores — and if you happened to preorder it as a Kindle title via Amazon, you might have gotten it a little early, too.

October 24 marks the release of the first official biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which simply carries his namesake in the title. The 656 page book published by Simon & Schuster is the culmination of more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues.

“At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination,” the book description reads. “He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.”

The author, Walter Isaacson, first met Steve Jobs as the managing editor of Time magazine back in 1984 when the Macintosh was about to be unveiled. Isaacson’s career continued as the chairman of CNN and most recently CEO of The Aspen Institute, along the way writing celebrated biographies such as Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Steve Jobs marks Isaacson’s latest work and certainly one that many MacLife.com readers are sure to own. After initially being announced for early 2012, then pushed to November and finally October 24, the title started pushing out to early Amazon Kindle preorder buyers around 10pm EST on Sunday, followed by early iBookstore purchasers an hour or so later. The hardback version is also available in stores everywhere on Monday.

“Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published,” the book description continues. “He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.”

We’re already well into our copy of this highly anticipated tome… how about you?

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