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Apple Adds “Great Apps for the New iPad” Section to App Store

Great apps for the new iPadWhile a number of apps have been updated this week to take advantage of the new iPad’s Retina Display, more are still pouring into the App Store even as the tablet finally lands in customers’ hands. To help find them, Apple has added a new section to the App Store, highlighting many of them.

MacRumors is reporting that Apple has added a new section to iTunes and the App Store called “Great Apps for the New iPad.” The section currently highlights 27 apps which have received an update in the last few days to take advantage of the higher resolution display of the new iPad.

While we’ve already reported on some of the apps that got an early jump on an upgrade such as Tweetbot for iPad, Evernote and iStopMotion for iPad, other favorites include popular games such as Real Racing 2 HD (which seems to get a substantial upgrade with every new iOS hardware revision) and Infinity Blade II, RSS reader Reeder for iPad, Readability and even the ABC Player app, which also just became universal to add iPhone and iPod touch support.

There are also plenty of apps getting updated which aren’t being featured by Apple, including Cupertino’s best pal Vimeo and Evernote’s own Skitch for iPad. TechCrunch is also reporting that a number of others are expected to be approved by Apple soon, including Facebook, Flipboard and Wired — so keep refreshing that iTunes Store link to see what’s new!

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Camera+ 3.0 Opens Its Shutter and Develops in the App Store

Camera+ new iconIf you’re an iPhone shutterbug, you’ve probably discovered Camera+, one of the more compelling third-party camera apps on the App Store. The popular app just got a bump to version 3.0, improving upon image sharing, photo library import and just about everything else.

tap tap tap has announced the availability of Camera+ 3.0, the latest edition of the company’s third-party camera app which hit the App Store today. So what’s changed? Almost everything, beginning with a “shiny, new icon” that will be the first thing you see prior to opening the app.

Camera+ 3.0 now allows users to share to multiple services at once, or “even multiple accounts on the same service, all at the same time.” The app now does this faster than ever, promising improved performance across other parts of the app as well. Users can also import multiple photos from a photo library all at once, with “several fine touches to the import panel,” including large thumbnails, zooming and photo info.

Workflows are also new to 3.0, allowing users to snap a bunch of pics and then worry about editing and/or sharing them, or vice versa. Focus and exposure can now be locked independently of one another for maximum creativity, and the improved Lightbox user interface promises to make it even more usable.

APIs are also on deck, allowing developers of other apps to tap into Camera+ 3.0. WordPress, Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Foodspotting and Twitterlator Neue have already integrated into Camera+ 3.0, and app developers can visit the tap tap tap website to find out how to integrate their own.

There are plenty of other minor improvements to Camera+ 3.0, including the ability to create a web link, Clarity received a tune-up, the status bar now appears in Lightbox and last but not least, users can opt-in to updates, news and contents via push notifications, right from inside the app.

The 20.8MB Camera+ 3.0 is now available from the App Store and it’s on sale for a mere 99 cents at this writing — as always, upgrades for existing users are free and the app is compatible with all devices running iOS 4.0 or later (but sadly, is not universal yet, which would have been nice for that Retina Display iPad coming on Friday!).

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Tether Returns to iPhone, Circumvents App Store with HTML5 App

Tether serviceTethering has had something of a checkered history on the iPhone, having been unofficially available in more than one Trojan horse that’s slipped past the App Store gates as well as via jailbreak apps. Now the folks at Tether have figured out a way to circumvent the App Store entirely with a new HTML5-based app.

Tether announced on Friday the company’s relaunch of their iPhone app, but don’t go looking for it on the App Store. The new version is completely HTML5-based, requiring an annual subscription to create an AdHoc wireless connection for any iPhone or iPad with a data connection.

“It was clear from our initial application iTether, there was enormous demand within the iPhone ecosystem,” explains Tim Burke, CEO of Tether. “It was unfortunate that Apple decided to remove our application, only 20 hours after we launched. However, this caused us to innovate. Our underlying patent-pending technology behind Tether for iPhone is unlike anything on the market.”

Perfect for frequent travelers since it works worldwide without having to fiddle with network or carrier settings, users simply sign up, pay a per year subscription fee, download a Mac or PC client and browse to the Tether website on their mobile device to tether to an AdHoc network.

For a limited time, the Tether subscription service is only for the first year ( per year thereafter), but keep in mind that carriers frown on such unsanctioned workarounds and you’ll likely get the stink eye from them if you use too much data this way.

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Apple Hits 25 Billion App Store Downloads

A billion thanks. 25 times over.In case you didn’t hear, Apple finally hit 25 billion App Store downloads on Friday night while most of us were sleeping, which nets some lucky winner a ,000 iTunes Gift Card. That person has now been named, and ironically the 25th billion app was a freebie.

Apple Inc. announced that it had reached the 25 billionth download on the App Store late Friday night, an event ironically marked by a freebie title — in this case, Where’s My Water Free, which turns out to be the luckiest download of one user’s life.

“We’d like to thank our customers and developers for helping us achieve this historic milestone of 25 billion apps downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “When we launched the App Store less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile apps would become the phenomenon they have, or that developers would create such an incredible selection of apps for iOS users.”

The lucky winner of a ,000 iTunes Gift Card is Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China, who downloaded the aforementioned Where’s My Water Free app to claim the big prize. And hey, it’s the perfect kind of prize to win: Since it’s tied to Chunli’s iTunes account, he couldn’t share some of the wealth if he wanted to.

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Wednesday Recap: Amsterdam Store, Beatles Ringtones, Open Letter for Reform

The Beatles ringtonesWho’s feeling the hump day blues? Sure, the weekend is just two full work days away and some of us might have even had a day off on Monday for President’s Day (not us!), but this last full week of February sure feels like it’s taking its sweet ol’ time. Why not perk up the day with some Beatles ringtones, which are now available from iTunes? Or if you happen to live in Amsterdam, it might be time to start lining up at Apple’s new retail store there. For everyone else, here’s the rest of the tech news for this sleepy Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

Amsterdam Becomes First Dutch Apple Store on March 3

Amazing how rumors sometimes quickly become reality, even within the same week! MacRumors is reporting that Apple will be opening its first Dutch retail store in Amsterdam on Saturday, March 3. The 10am grand opening has been confirmed both on Apple’s website as well as emails to local customers. To celebrate the unveiling, press will get an advance look at the new digs with a preview event two days earlier. The Amsterdam location marks 12 countries worldwide that have at least one Apple Store.

Seas0nPass Uses Apple TV Signatures for Restoring Older Firmware

FireCore, LLC has announced Seas0nPass 0.8.2, a new version of the jailbreaking tool for the second-generation black Apple TV. Since there’s no newer firmware than 4.4.4, the update introduces a new feature called “stitching” which “allows Seas0nPass to utilize previously saved firmware signatures to jailbreak and restore an Apple TV version that Apple may no longer be signing.” As you may recall from iOS jailbreaking on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Apple typically only allows users to restore from the most current firmware, which means tinkerers have no way to go backwards. The free TinyUmbrella software can be used to save these SHSH signatures from any iOS device (including the black Apple TV), which can then be used by Seas0nPass 0.8.2 or higher to restore an older firmware. As always, the Seas0nPass software can be downloaded free of charge from FireCore’s website.

Money Can’t Buy You Love, But It Can Buy Beatles Ringtones

It may have taken forever and a few days for The Beatles to land in digital format on iTunes, but it isn’t taking quite as long for The Fab Four to accessorize your iPhone with ringtones. The Beatles’ official website broke the news today about an exclusive deal with the iTunes Store to offer The Beatle’s 27 U.K. and U.S. number one hits for just .29 each. “Beginning today, fans around the world can, for the first time, purchase ringtones for the Beatles’ 27 UK and US #1 hits, exclusively on iTunes,” the website announced. “You can even assign your favourite tracks to your favourite people. The ringtones can be downloaded for iPhone, iPad and iTouch.” Of course, you could save yourself the .83 and just use GarageBand to make them yourself from the DRM-free iTunes tracks… but where’s the fun in that?

Poisoned Factory Workers Issue Open Letter for Reform

Apple just can’t seem to catch a break in China lately, with investigations of its partner factories and a trademark battle over the iPad name. Now, BGR is reporting that two workers claiming to have been poised by toxins “while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone” in a Suzhou, China factory have written an open letter aimed at those who are buying these products and asking them to push Cupertino for reforms. The letter was issued to the media on Wednesday afternoon from SumOfUs, an organization pushing an initiative known as the Ethical iPhone Campaign, which was penned by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, the two former factory workers in question. “In early 2010, it was independently confirmed that 137 workers, including us, were poisoned by a chemical called n-hexane which was used to clean iPhone screens,” the letter reads. “N-hexane is known to cause eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation, and leads to persistent nerve damage. Apple admitted to gross labour rights violations more than a year later.” The timing of the letter is also no coincidence: It comes a day before Apple’s annual shareholder meeting, and SumOfUs aims to get 100,000 signatures on their petition in an effort so they can deliver it to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday. If you’d like to make your voice heard on the subject, head to the online petition and get signing.

Apple Opens “Mastered for iTunes” Section with Universal Albums

Beatles ringtones aren’t the only iTunes news for this fine hump day — 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has introduced a new section of the iTunes Store called “Mastered for iTunes,” which promises users they can “experience music as the artist and sound engineer intended.” Universal Music Group has released a number of offerings for the high-fidelity section including Madonna’s MDNA, U2’s Achtung Baby and hey, there’s the cute Beatle himself, Paul McCartney, with his latest effort, Kisses from the Bottom. The “Mastered for iTunes” section also comes with a new white paper PDF from Apple which details the company’s audio mastering tools, outlining the “best practices for mastering and preparing music for distribution on iTunes.” A “Mastered for iTunes droplet” automates the task of creating iTunes Plus format masters from WAV and AIFF files, so indie musicians don’t have to over-think the process.

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Friday Recap: iPad 3 Display Confirmed?, Foxconn Updates, App Store 25 Billion

Apple App Store 25 Billion contestAnother long week in the tech world finally comes to a  close, but not before yet another tech blog gets its hands on a secretive Apple component ahead of the actual product introduction. We’ve also got a couple of updates on the Foxconn story to share with you, and plenty more on deck for this Friday, February 17, 2012.

MacRumors Nabs iPad 3 Display, Everybody Run for Cover

It’s been nearly two years since Gizmodo got their mitts on a real-life iPhone 4 and documented it for all to see, during which time Apple has been able to keep a tight lid on most of its other products leaking into the wild. Apparently, that winning streak ends today, with MacRumors reporting they’ve got their hands on a bonafide iPad 3 display part, which they’ve examined “under a microscope in an effort to determine whether it is indeed an ultra-high resolution Retina display” — the kind that’s been widely rumored for some months. Cut to the chase: The rumors appear to be true, with the leaked display part packing four times the number of pixels in the same 9.7-inch space, which equates to double the resolution — 2048×1536, to be exact, which is double that of the current iPad and iPad 2. Godspeed, MacRumors, may the wrath of Tim Cook fall upon the shoulders of another…

Final Draft Reader Arrives for iPad

It’s not quite the convenience of being able to actually write a screenplay on the iPad, but the creators of the number one selling scriptwriting software in the world have finally dipped their big toes into the tablet pool. Final Draft, Inc. has announced the availability of their Final Draft Reader app this week, a .99 iPad-only solution for reading Final Draft 8 FDX files on Apple’s tablet, exactly the same way they appear on the Mac and Windows versions. You’ll get ScriptNotes for easily adding, editing and categorizing notes right on the iPad, and any edits or additions will be maintained when the script is brought back to the desktop. FDX script files can be imported via iTunes File Sharing, Dropbox or email, and screenplays can be shared with others easily via email as well. 14 different languages are supported, so scripts written in other countries are also compatible. Best of all, Final Draft is promising that Reader is only “the first in a series of mobile apps for scriptwriters and filmmakers,” suggesting that the best is yet to come. Final Draft Reader 1.0 is now available from the App Store; the 8.6MB download is compatible with all iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.

Foxconn Ponies Up More Dough to Employees After Change.org Campaign

Change.org gave themselves a big high-five today with the announcement that Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, “will be raising workers wages by 16 to 25 percent” on the heels of increased criticism over working conditions there. Members of Change.org delivered more than 250,000 signed petitions to Apple stores around the world, which appear to have done more than simply raise publicity for the organization. “Apple and its suppliers have both taken action this week in response to their consumers concern about the treatment of the Chinese factory workers,” said petition creator Mark Shields, a self-professed Apple “super-user.” “These quick responses are great steps in the right direction, and I hope the early signs of a genuine commitment by Apple to make sure that their products are made without abusing workers.  It would still be great to see Apple use some of its hallmark creativity to issue a worker protection plan so that the injuries and suicides that have marked new product launches to date, quickly become a thing of the past.” The full petition remains for all to see on Change.org’s website.

App Store Nearing 25 Billion Downloads, Apple is Celebrating

Interested in winning a ,000 App Store Gift Card? Apple’s website now features a counter that’s rapidly spinning toward 25 billion — the amount of apps downloaded from the App Store, which could happen in the very near future. “As of today, nearly 25 billion apps have been downloaded worldwide,” Apple announced on its website. “Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 25 billionth app, and you could win a US,000 App Store Gift Card.* Just visit the App Store and download your best app yet.” Needless to say, the odds of downloading the winning app at just the right moment are probably slim at best, but hey — somebody’s gotta win, so why not you?

Never Mind: “Tons of Issues” Cited During FLA Foxconn Audits

Announced on Monday, Apple invited the Fair Labor Association to begin inspections of the company’s Foxconn plants in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. Almost just as quickly, Reuters reported that the FLA found the plants in first class condition — but it turns out such comments may have been premature. FLA CEO Auret van Heerden told Bloomberg today they were “finding tons of issues” while en route to a meeting where preliminary findings will be presented to Foxconn management. “I believe we’re going to see some very significant announcements in the near future,” van Heerden said. For now, that’s all the FLA is going to say, and neither Foxconn nor Apple have anything further to add as a 30-person FLA inspection team continues to interview 35,000 Foxconn employees.

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Intuit Wades Further Into Mac App Store with Quicken Essentials

Quicken Essentials logoIt may not be a slick new version or even the promised OS X Lion-friendly update to Quicken, but publisher Intuit is staking out its place on the Mac App Store by bringing the current version 1.7 of Quicken Essentials to Apple’s favorite marketplace.

Intuit, Inc. released Quicken Essentials 1.7 to the Mac App Store late last week, making it the latest familiar software publisher to give Cupertino’s virtual store a bear hug. The company is quick to point out that existing users shouldn’t rush to drop their .99, however, noting this “is not a new release of Quicken Essentials for Mac.”

“Quicken Essentials for Mac, a basic starter edition, helps you manage all of your personal finance in one place, so you can see where you’re spending and where you can save,” the product description explains. “Quicken automatically categorizes your financial transactions, stay on top of bills and helps you set goals so you can save more.”

The release isn’t the first time Intuit has offered software on the Mac App Store. Last year, the company served up a free TurboTax Refund Calculator prior to tax time to help get a rough estimate of users’ potential refunds.

Quicken Essentials for Mac 1.7 is a 20.2MB download compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, and its presence on the Mac App Store is a good indication the company will not only make good on their promise to soon introduce an Intel-native version of the full Quicken for OS X Lion users, but also continue to serve up future versions of Quicken Essentials via the Mac App Store.

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Tuesday Recap: Lightroom 4 Beta, iLounge on iPad 3, iPad Kindle Store, Mac Snapseed

Kindle Store for iPadLadies and gentlemen, we have liftoff! The International Consumer Electronics Show is officially in full gear for 2012 in Las Vegas, with new product announcements coming fast and furious. If you’ve had enough CES news for opening day already, keep reading — we’ve got a handful of other tech news that you might enjoy on this fine Tuesday, January 10, 2012.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 4 Beta, Announces Carousel Rebranding

Not all new products are coming out of the Las Vegas desert this week. Case in point: Today Adobe Labs released a public beta for Lightroom 4, a major new update for both Mac and Windows. “I kept hearing from customers that they love Lightroom but needed to leave the Lightroom to complete X, Y or Z,” the release notes explain. “Lightroom 4 tackles those issues with improvements to image organization, adjustment tools and comprehensive publishing options.” The beta is open to one and all and does not require a serial number or previous version to install. Also tucked away inside the release notes is word that the company plans to rebrand its Adobe Carousel product as Adobe Revel in the near future. Senior Product Marketing Manager Chris Quek explains, “We now plan to offer additional photography solutions on this platform, including but not limited to the ‘carousel’ feature. Our rapidly expanding charter for this new platform requires a name that is less narrowly descriptive of the current product features.” No word on when that change might take effect, but the Lightroom 4 beta includes support for an “Adobe Revel export workflow,” so we’re guessing it might be sooner than later.

CES 2012: iLounge Dishes on Purported Next-Gen iPad

We’re going to take this with a grain of salt for now, but iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz filed a report this morning claiming that he saw “what’s supposedly the next-generation iPad.” The good news for iPad 2 owners is that the next iPad will presumably be a modest upgrade that’s primarily internal — Horwitz describes it as more akin to the leap from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S, with “a roughly 1mm increase” in size that’s almost imperceptible unless you’re looking for it. The rear camera hole is now bigger with a silver ring around it, which lines up with recent rumors of better cameras in the next model. Instead of screaming “I touched the iPad 3!,” Horwitz wisely tempers his report by predicting that Apple will call the next device something like “iPad 2S” or “iPad 2 HD” — after all, there aren’t many radical changes that Apple could make and why fix something that’s not really broken?

Amazon Launches Web-Based Kindle Store for iPad

One of the unfortunate parts of Apple’s clamp on in-app purchases with the App Store is the inconvenience of leaving an app like Amazon Kindle when you’re ready to make a new ebook purchase. While the e-tailer hasn’t found a way around that quite yet, they are making it just a little bit easier today by rolling out what Macworld is calling a “new, touch-friendly, web-based Kindle Store.” The iPad-friendly market “offers a large, horizontally scrolling list of ebooks recommended for you, quick links to sections like New York Times Bestsellers and Newsstand, and the top 100 paid and free Kindle books in the store.” The company’s web-based Kindle Cloud Reader is also more iPad friendly, should you prefer buying an ebook and reading it straight away without leaving Mobile Safari.

Apple Posts 2012 Proxy Statement

MacRumors is reporting that Apple posted its 2012 Proxy Statement on its investor relations page Monday afternoon. The PDF document is traditionally posted prior to the company’s annual stockholders meeting and “details voting procedures, background and compensation information on the company’s directors, and information about executive perks and compensation, among other items.” The actual shareholders meeting will take place on Thursday, January 23 at 10am PST in Building 4 of Apple’s Cupertino campus. Among the tidbits disclosed in the Proxy Statement: Current CEO Tim Cook “owns a total of 13,754 shares of Apple plus 1,362,500 RSU’s which will vest into shares if [he] stays with the company for the foreseeable future, worth 0.5 million at current prices.” It’s good to be the king…

CES 2012: Snapseed Photo Editor Making Leap to Mac

How does a developer follow up a successful iOS app? According to Cult of Mac, by going back to the Mac. Nik Software, the developers of the popular Snapseed photo editor, have announced at CES 2012 that they’re poised to introduce a .99 Mac App Store version, currently in Apple’s hands awaiting approval. Fans of the iOS app will be stoked to learn that Snapseed’s user interface is “almost identical” to the mobile version while retaining its simplicity and ease of use. When can you buy it? Only Apple knows for sure, but keep an eye on the Mac App Store for its arrival.

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(Image courtesy of Macworld)

 

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Tuesday Recap: ITC Ban on HTC, iPod nano Replacements, iOS 3.1.3 App Store Issues

HTC quietly brilliantStill in a mad scramble to finish your holiday gift buying? The clock is ticking if you want to buy online, but many retailers such as Apple are offering free next-day shipping relief for the procrastinators among us. So just take a deep breath, count to 10 and then hit the ground running — but not before you’ve had a chance to catch up on all the news for Tuesday, December 20, 2011.

ITC Grants Apple Ban on HTC Android Devices

The verdict actually came in on Monday night, with the United States International Trade Commission ruling in Apple’s favor in its case against HTC. According to The Verge, the ITC has “banned the importation and sale of HTC Android devices including the Sprint Evo 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, AT&T Aria and T-Mobile G2.” The victory is a bit of a shallow one, however, with the ITC ruling that HTC infringed on only one patent issued in 1999 which “covers a device that scans computer text for data, like a phone number, and turns that number into a link that the user can then select to perform an act, like calling the number.” Patent #5,946,647 may ultimately affect other Android devices as well, although HTC issued a statement that somehow twists the whole thing into victory, claiming that “the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”

iTunes TV Shows Now Eligible for “Complete My Season Pass”

Apple has long allowed iTunes users to buy a song or two from their favorite album and then go back and buy the rest at a discounted price thanks to the “Complete My Album” feature. According to MacRumors, the company may be expanding the service to television shows with a new feature that’s popped up this week called “Complete My Season Pass.” If you have TV shows where you’ve purchased select episodes, you’ll now have the option to buy the rest of the season without having to purchase those episodes again. There doesn’t seem to be a deal here like the one offered by Complete My Album, but it’s still a nice addition for those who missed an episode or two during the season and then decide to go back and buy the rest to get ready for next year’s season.

Report: iOS 3.1.3 Devices Unable to Download New Apps?

Engadget is reporting that iPhone and iPod touch users still stuck on iOS 3.1.3 have been unable to download new apps directly from the App Store since an update around December 16. According to reports on Apple’s support boards, these old-school users can still sync apps via iTunes just fine — “they just can’t buy or install new ones directly from the device.” More of an inconvenience than the end of the world, but it’s a bummer for those still rocking an original iPhone, for example. It smells like a glitch on Apple’s end, but we’re all waiting to hear the word direct from Cupertino before ringing the chimes of doom.

Apple Replacing First-Gen iPod nanos with New Models?

MacRumors is reporting that first-generation iPod nano owners who took Apple up on last month’s replacement program may be getting a special treat in the form of a current sixth-generation iPod nano instead. As you may recall, Apple announced the worldwide replacement program “due to continuing issues with overheating related to defective batteries from one of Apple’s suppliers,” with those signing up early receiving “like-new refurbished first-generation units, almost immediately.” Apparently, Apple has blown through any remaining stock on those units and are now using current iPod nano models as replacements instead, which we’re sure few would complain about. The website is quick to note, however, that affected users haven’t confirmed receipt of such new iPod nanos as yet — but checking the shipped unit against Apple’s support site pegs them as sixth-generation models, which is probably all the confirmation one might need.

Apple, Other Retailers Cater to Last-Minute Online Shoppers

It may only be Tuesday, but it’s down to the wire when it comes to ordering online and receiving your package in time for this weekend’s gift giving. Thankfully, a number of retailers are now offering free next-day shipping for last-minute shoppers, and Apple is among them. According to 9to5Mac, Cupertino is now offering free next-day shipping for non-engraved iPads, iPods and iPhones as well as standard configuration Macs. Other Apple products may or may not apply; Apple recommends checking your cart for expected delivery dates when ordering. Of course, many retailers are also offering online ordering with free in-store pickup, which includes Best Buy and Walmart. The point being, if you haven’t finished yet, time to get a move on, folks…

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