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FlipShare Rides Off Into Sunset, Hands Video Sharing Keys to Givit

Welcome FlipShare usersRemember Flip, the diminutive digital camcorder whose short life was snuffed out by a combination of mismanagement and the advent of smartphones that could record higher-quality HD video? The cameras are still six feet under, and as of this week, so is the companion FlipShare service.

Flip Video master Cisco Systems has sent an email to users of FlipShare announcing that the sun is finally setting on the video sharing service, which was a companion to the hardware itself and allowed users to share their videos with loved ones as sort of a more private kind of YouTube. It’s a bit of a sad ending to cap off the once-mighty Flip camcorder that just a short time ago revolutionized on-the-go video recording.

“Thank you for your loyalty and support of Flip Video,” the email begins. “Starting March 15, 2012, videos shared through email or FlipShare groups will only be available online for viewing and downloading for 30 days after being sent. At the same time, older videos that you might have shared more than 30 days in the past will also expire.

“Remember, the original videos that you have stored on your computer are not affected and you can use FlipShare to re-share these videos, as well as allowing your friends and family to download these videos for permanent storage at any point in that 30 days,” the notice continues.

While FlipShare may be going away, they’re handing the keys to their castle over to Givit, a mobile video sharing service currently offering an iOS app as part of their business model.

“We know that many of you are looking for a way to store your videos online for a longer period of time,” Cisco explains. “Today we are happy to announce a new offering called Givit, an alternative service to FlipShare, through which you can share and store videos online for more than 30 days. You can also import your previously shared FlipShare videos to Givit to keep them online for your friends and family to view. Givit is a long-standing technology partner of Cisco, but Givit is not part of Cisco.”

More information on the FlipShare to Givit transition can be found on the Givit website, including full details on migrating videos to their service, which comes with 2GB of free cloud storage. Additional premium packages are also available ranging from 10GB (.99 per year) to 50GB (.99 per year), and FlipShare users will get double the storage space with any paid upgrade.

Meanwhile, Cisco will continue to provide technical support for Flip cameras as well as the FlipShare service until December 31, 2013; a FAQ page documenting the changes is available on the Flip support website.

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



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Apple Posts Official Video from Today's iPad Event

The official video from today’s iPad event is now up. It includes all the announcements about the iPad and the Apple TV, as well as the demos of the new iPad’s gaming hardware and iLife suite. Ch-ch-ch-check it out!


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Video: Square Introduces iPad Cash Register App

Square RegisterSquare is on a roll with its iOS-based payment system, but much like Apple itself, the company isn’t content to rest on its previous success. Instead, they’ve introduced a new free app called Square Register with the intention of converting an iPad into a full-fledged point of sale cash register.

TechCrunch is reporting that Square has introduced a new iPad app called Square Register, billed as “everything you need to start, run and grow your business all in one free iPad app.” The product is squarely (get it?) aimed at merchants, with a redesigned user interface intended for brick and mortar retailers of all shapes and sizes.

“You’re open for business,” the Square Register website reads. “Square Register is the simplest way to accept credit card payments, and has all the features you need to create an elegant experience at your counter.”

Included with the signup is a free Square Card Reader which plugs into the iPad; the free Square Register app is now available from the App Store. The service includes the ability to customize your inventory, organizing items by name, photo or price, with Favorites for speeding up the checkout process. Best of all, Square Register includes one simple merchant rate of 2.75 percent for Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Of course, the iPad alone can’t handle cash transactions, but Square offers full instructions for setting up a wireless receipt printer as well as a cash drawer, making Square Register a complete system. Check out the video demo below and head to the App Store to download the free 10.3MB app — but you’ll need to sign up in order to use it, of course.

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Square Register from Square on Vimeo.


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Video: Engadget Fondles iPad 3 Prototype, Few Surprises Found

iPad 2 stacked with iPad 3 prototypeIt’s getting increasingly hard for Apple to surprise us in the years following the original iPhone in 2007 (OS X Mountain Lion was one notable recent exception.) Case in point: Engadget just got touchy-feely with an iPad 3 prototype and spoiled all the non-fun for the rest of us come Wednesday.

Engadget has teamed up
with the cats over at M.I.C. Gadget to go hands-on with a supposed iPad 3 prototype — or rather, parts of it, since the real deal won’t be unveiled until this Wednesday in San Francisco.

“What we have here is allegedly the external essentials of the ‘iPad 3,’ which include a white glass cover (sans frame) with a home button already installed, along with a 3G-ready aluminum body plus cables for the dock connector and the volume rocker,” the report reveals. “With a quick glance you may easily mistake this as just the iPad 2, but look close enough and you’ll spot the larger lens on the prototype, which may suggest that Apple’s finally giving its tablet a more capable back camera.

“There’s also a more subtle difference between the two bodies,” the report continues. “Not only is this ‘iPad 3’ marginally thicker, but the curvature from the flat bottom to the sides is ever so slightly more emphasized, thus providing a tad more internal space for the components — most likely the battery for the sake of feeding the rumored LTE radio.”

Yeah, okay, not much to see there, but what were you expecting, really? There’s only so much Apple can do with the iPad form factor to begin with, which is why Android-based tablet makers seem to have so much trouble mimicking the device in the first place. Stay tuned for the rest of the details on Wednesday, March 7 at 10am PST when we hear it from Apple first-hand.

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

(Image and video courtesy of Engadget and M.I.C. Gadget)


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Snagit 2.0 Adds Video Capture, Enhanced Image Editing

Snagit 2.0 video captureWe don’t know many tech journalists and developers who could survive without their favorite screen capture and annotation apps. But regular folks can get excited about the new Snagit 2.0 update released on Tuesday, which arrives with even more powerful image editing features than before.

TechSmith has announced the availability of Snagit 2.0 for Mac and Windows, the latest version of the company’s “ultimate screen capture tool.” The update brings new video capture functionality to Snagit as well as image enhancements, new effects and sharing to even more destinations.

The big news with Snagit 2.0 is the addition of video capture — both for recording your screen using MPEG-4 as well as the new webcam image capture feature. Developers commonly use features like this for recording how-to videos, but video capture can have endless possibilities for creative users.

Image enhancements are also a big part of Snagit 2.0. New stamps will add flair to your screen captures, while color filters can change the look and feel of your images with grayscale, sepia or color invert. Want to make the canvas match an existing color scheme? The new Snagit is happy to oblige, allowing you to change the canvas color to anything you can imagine.

Screen captures can now be rotated to add some interesting perspective, and the Cutout tool allows users to hide sensitive information, turn one capture into two or create an entirely new image altogether. The new Paste from Clipboard feature complements Snagit 2.0’s intuitive new canvas so you’ll always get the right size for every capture.

Last but not least, Snagit 2.0 allows for quick sharing of video captures to multiple destinations, ranging from TechSmith’s Camtasia for Mac (where videos can be further edited) to, YouTube, FTP, Facebook or Twitter. Still images can also be sent to more destinations including Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, FTP sites, the clipboard, email and more.

Snagit 2.0 is now available from the TechSmith website for .95, which nets you both the Mac and Windows versions for one price; a free 30-day trial download and upgrade pricing is also available.

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Video: Apple Touts iCloud in New Commercial — Without Saying a Word

Watch the new iCloud TV adApple takes a break from the voiceovers traditionally used in their television commercials with the new “iCloud Harmony” spot, which offers a quick glimpse into how the free service can enhance the lives of iOS device users. Spending big money to advertise a free product? Priceless.

Apple has posted a new television commercial for the iPhone 4S, but this time the company is taking a different slant with its focus on iCloud. Whether traditional voiceover artist Peter Coyote was unavailable or the spot simply worked better without it, the “iCloud Harmony” quickly demonstrates how the cloud can make your life better.

The spot opens with a user deciding to use iCloud, downloading an app from the iPhone 4S (which then automatically appears on their iPad and MacBook Air as well), snapping a picture and having it automatically sync back to the Mac and iPad with Photo Stream, making changes in the Calendar, installing Flipboard, adding a new contact, syncing iBooks and finally taking more pictures.

Last but not least, the spot displays “Automatic. Everywhere. iCloud.” — never once mentioning the fact that it’s included free with every iOS device. That, too, is priceless…

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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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Video: Nightline Nabs Exclusive Access to Apple’s Foxconn Factories

Nightline at FoxconnAs the controversy at Apple’s Chinese factories continues to heat up, the company’s independent audits are being followed up with the popular ABC News program Nightline gaining exclusive access to see what life is like there first-hand.

ABC News is reporting that its popular nighttime news show Nightline has gained exclusive access into Apple’s Foxconn factories, where anchor Bill Weir became “the first journalist [to] go inside the factories to see these life-changing gadgets get made.”

“For years, Apple and Foxconn have been synonymous with monster profits and total secrecy so it was fascinating to wander the iPhone and iPod production lines, meet the people who build them and see how they live,” Weir reports in a preview posted to the ABC News Nightline website. “Our cameras were rolling when thousands of hopeful applicants rushed the Foxconn gates and I spoke with dozens of line workers and a top executive about everything from hours and pay to the controversies over suicides at the plant and the infamous ‘jumper nets’ that line the factories in Shenzhen. After this trip, I’ll never see an Apple product the same way again.”

Not surprisingly considering the high profile nature of the story, ABC News will be including excerpts across many of its news programs this week, including Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, ABC News Radio and ABC Newsone. is already painting the story in a questionable light by pointing out a “possible conflict of interest” with the exclusive access being given to Disney-owned ABC, whose CEO Bob Iger sits on Apple’s board and where “the late Steve Jobs (and now his family) are the biggest individual shareholders of Disney.”

Nightline’s story on Apple will air on a special edition of the news program on Tuesday, February 21 at 11:35pm EST on the ABC television network, with a preview of the story already making the rounds of the company’s website (and embedded below for your viewing pleasue).

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Video: Photoshop CS6 Content-Aware Move, Extend Makes Us Drool

Photoshop CS6 content-aware moveIn case you weren’t aware, Adobe is readying the next version of its Creative Suite (along with a new Creative Cloud offering) and as always, that will include a swanky new version of Photoshop. The product managers at Adobe have been previewing new features on YouTube, and another one just hit the web: Content-aware move and extend.

Adobe has posted a fourth sneak peek at the upcoming Photoshop CS6, which will be available both as part of the company’s Creative Suite 6 package as well as Creative Cloud, a monthly subscription service that will include all of the CS6 applications as well as a wide range of cloud-based services.

In the latest preview, Adobe senior product manager for Photoshop, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, demonstrates some new content-aware features that make short work of once complicated tasks. First up is a major improvement to the Patch tool, which allows users to select another area of an image to use for content-aware fill, perfect for areas which are too tight for the fill alone to work.

Next, Hughes demonstrates content-aware move, making a loose selection on a large object that he intends to shift over to the center of frame. Despite the fact that there isn’t a lot of excess space around the image, content-aware move handles the job like a champ in what can only be described as black magic. (Or maybe white magic, since it’s not really evil…)

Finally, content-aware tools are used to easily move a subject from one part of the frame to another and also to select part of the roof of a house and extend it with absolute ease.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 now features a new darker user interface, in keeping with Premiere Pro, After Effects and other members of the Creative Suite package. Adobe isn’t saying exactly when CS6 will arrive to rock our world, but the package is expected to land in the first half of this year.

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Thursday Recap: Nokia Down, AT&T Up, AJA Ships Pro Video Thunderbolt Interface

AJA Io XT with ThunderboltYou’ve almost gotta feel bad for the tech companies who have to announce quarterly financial results in the wake of Apple’s gangbuster .33 billion fiscal first quarter. Case in point: Nokia, the onetime giant of the cell phone business, whose fortunes have gone the other way in the last quarter, with a .3 billion loss. Hang in there, Nokia… it’s almost Friday, and the weekend is sure to be kinder on you than the last three months. Meanwhile, let’s have a peek at what else is making news on this Thursday, January 26, 2012.

Nokia Q4 2011: Profits Down, More Than a Million Lumia Handsets

Just a couple of years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that cell phone giant Nokia would be playing the role of underdog. Flash forward to today, and the company is draining profit like a sieve and doesn’t have much to show for its new Windows Phone-packing Lumia line thus far. According to Engadget, Nokia racked up a mere .1 billion in net sales for last quarter, which is an improvement from the third quarter, but down 21 percent from the same period in 2010. All in all, the Finnish company had an operating loss of .3 billion for the fourth quarter — very unfortunate, considering Apple’s gangbuster revenue announced this week. On a better news front, Nokia has now sold “well over” a million Lumia devices, those being the budget-conscious Lumia 710 and its more attractive big sister the Lumia 800, which are the first fruits of Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft to produce Windows Phone devices. Nokia also plans to break even in the first quarter of this year, which has been rumored to see the launch of its new Lumia 900 here in the U.S.

Rumor: Apple Employees To Enjoy Steep Discounts on Products

Apple CEO Tim Cook held an “all hands on deck” Town Hall meeting for employees on the company’s Cupertino campus Wednesday, a day after reporting their biggest quarter ever. While no one knows for sure what was discussed there, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple employees may soon benefit from the company’s mountain of wealth, thanks to some new corporate discounts that will kick in this June. According to an unnamed source, Apple employees “will soon be given 0 discounts on purchases of new Macs and 0 discounts on purchases of a new iPad.” The generous discount comes with a few caveats, of course: Employees have to work for Apple for at least 90 days, and the low-priced Mac mini is excluded from the deal. Hey, you can’t expect them to just give that stuff away, can you…?

AT&T Q4: 7.6 Million iPhones Activated, Best Smartphone Quarter Ever

Apple isn’t the only company enjoying record income during the last three months of last year. According to AT&T, the telco wrapped up 2011 with their best quarter ever for mobile broadband sales, with 9.4 million smartphones sold — and as you can imagine, most of them were iPhones. The carrier confirmed in a press release that it activated 7.6 million iPhones last quarter, a number that absolutely smokes the 4.3 million activated by competitor Verizon Wireless for the same period. AT&T also isn’t afraid to boast that it bested Verizon in iPhone activations for the entire year, with 17.5 million compared to Big Red’s mere 10.8 million. Remember all the pundits who predicted gloom and doom for Ma Bell when they finally lost iPhone exclusivity? Yeah, those were good times…

PSA: .99 Cydia Battery Fix for iOS 5 Does Nothing

Still having battery drain issues with your iPhone 4S or other iOS 5 device? Apple’s iOS 5.0.1 update fixed the problem for some users, and hopefully the forthcoming iOS 5.1 will take care of the rest. In the meantime, a new jailbreak-only tweak in Cydia called iOS 5 Battery Fix promises to squash the problem for good — except it doesn’t actually do anything. According to Cult of Mac, the .99 app is “just a complete scam to steal your cash,” as iOS hackers Dustin Howett and Sam Binger discovered after examining the app’s code. “DHowett found that all it does is replace /System/Library/CoreServes/powerd.bundle/,” Binger writes. “I looked for any possible impact of this. While this sounds good… we’re changing the power settings right? The reality is that it does absolutely nothing.” The report notes that the tweak isn’t malicious — unless you consider being duped out of a bill for absolutely nothing malicious, that is.

AJA’s Io XT with Thunderbolt Now Available

It’s been nearly a year since Apple introduced Thunderbolt I/O ports to the Mac, and the promised flood of new peripherals to attach to them has been slow to arrive on the market. This week, AJA has announced the availability of one such product, the company’s new Io XT. This 95 pro video box hooks into a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac and allows complete video/audio capture and playback, supporting all of the latest codecs including Apple’s ProRes, CineForm, DVCProHD, Avid DNxHD and more. The peripheral is noteworthy as the first such solution to include dual Thunderbolt ports, which allows one for connection to the computer while the second can be used to daisy chain additional devices, including high-speed storage or even another display. AJA Io XT is now available from the company’s global network of resellers.

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