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Video: SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad Gets Teased

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad
(Image & video courtesy of Engadget)

It’s hard not to love Slingbox, the home theatre hardware capable of throwing any video plugged into it to whatever compatible device you might have. The iPhone has had SlingPlayer Mobile for some time now, but what’s been missing has been a version optimized for the iPad — which is finally coming soon.

Engadget is reporting that an iPad version of SlingPlayer Mobile is on the way, and you can get a preview look at how it works with the embedded video below. Sling is on a roll lately, having just launched on the new Windows Phone 7 platform, and promises the iPad version will be “better than any mobile app we’ve ever done.”

In particular, the video streaming quality gets a boost on the iPad thanks to Apple’s own H.264 Live Streaming. “The UI looks nicely responsive and unobtrusive, and the video does indeed look pretty great in the middle of a 360p YouTube video,” according to Engadget.

Apparently, SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad is done and ready to go, but the company is waiting for Apple to release iOS 4.2 before they make it available to all. (Speaking of which, where is that iOS 4.2…?)

Given that the iPad already has Netflix, Hulu Plus, ABC and any number of other ways to consume content, it will be interesting to see how SlingPlayer Mobile stacks up against the onslaught of competition — particularly with so many people cutting the cords on their cable and satellite television these days.

To be notified when SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad is available, head to the Sling website and drop them your e-mail address.

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


Ping Gets Smaller URLS for Twitter Integration

Ping gets URL shortener for Twitter. Perfect for when you buy Pearl Jam’s Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town.

One of the problems with Ping’s Twitter integration was it’s incredibly long URLS. Now when you’re buying all your Beatles songs, you can share that information with a smaller url via Twitter.

Follow this article’s author, Roberto Baldwin, on Twitter.



Godzilla is Coming! Japan Gets Apple TV and iTunes Movies

Apple’s introduction of the Apple TV and iTunes movie rentals continues its global invasion, this time landing in the Land of the Rising Sun. The only question now is, will it be big in Japan?

MacRumors is reporting that the Apple TV and iTunes movie rentals (and sales) have invaded Japan at last, according to an announcement on Wednesday by Apple. The iTunes Store features more than 1,000 movies at launch, both from American studios as well as “top Japanese studios.”

“Apple today announced that movies are now available on the iTunes Store in Japan giving customers an incredible way to enjoy movies on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or with the new Apple TV on their HD TV,” Cupertino’s press release stated. “Starting today, there are over 1,000 movies to rent or buy in high definition and standard definition from major international film studios including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures and top Japanese studios including Asmik Ace Entertainment Inc., Fuji TV, Kadakowa Pictures, Nikkatsu, Shochiku Company Limited and Toei Company Limited.”

As usual, iTunes Store renters have 30 days to start watching their content, and once it’s started, they’ll have 48 hours to complete it before Apple makes it go bye-bye like those cardboard cities in the old Godzilla movies.

Of course, with movie rentals and purchases in Japan comes the second-generation Apple TV, which also began shipping in the country this week. Japanese Apple fans will finally have a way to get that iTunes content onto their big screens — sans Netflix, since the streaming service is sadly not available anywhere but the U.S. and Canada for now.

Apple’s Policy on LCD Screen Dead Pixels Gets Outed

Apple dead pixel policy
(Image courtesy of BGR)

If you have any Apple device with a screen, you’ve probably feared what might happen should the unit develop a dead pixel or three. As it turns out, Cupertino has a policy in place which has just been made public, used to decide if the unit should be repaired or replaced,

BGR got their hands on “Apple’s internal policy on acceptable numbers of pixel anomalies,” which was recently updated according to one of their sources. The screenshot above is used as a guideline by Apple Store Geniues in order to address repair issues involving a display.

“It essentially allows them to quickly and easily determine whether or not to repair or replace products with display defects,” the BGR report explains. “Apple provides its employees with a table showing the acceptable number of pixel anomalies for each product range.”

It would appear that the smaller the display, the more Apple is willing to address the problem. BGR uses the example of the iPhone and iPod, for which one single pixel anomaly is enough to get the unit repaired or even replaced, while the MacBook Air can have up to three light pixels, five dark pixels or a total of seven combined anomalies before they’re eligible for service.

However, even if the number of pixel anomalies are within the acceptable range, an Apple Genius has the option to exchange your afflicted product for another — but the bad news is, if the exchange unit also has anomalies within their acceptable range, you’re basically stuck with it. Good to know!

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

News Gets Huge Upgrade

If you’re like us, you make pretty good use of your Dropbox account and try to entice friends and acquaintances to sign up on your referral. Each referral tacks 250MB more on to your 2GB free account. Well, just made all of those schemes and plans irrelevant.

It’s an epic box-related throwdown as the rival cloud storage services aim to snag your business. While both offer a free cloud-based place to store your stuff, has lagged behind Dropbox in some ways. Most notably was its size.’s free 1GB of storage was decent but could quickly fill up and any growth you had to pay for. Dropbox gave you double that amount and let you expand for free.

box crushes


Well is no longer in the sizable shadow of Dropbox. Announced yesterday on their blog, has boosted all of its offerings. Free personal storage jumped a huge 4GB from its initial offering to give users a full 5GB of online server space. For free. For doing nothing but signing up or having an already existing account. While Dropbox tops out their free accounts at 8GB, you have to work to get there, signing up at least 24 friends and acquaintances on your say so.

Business too has seen a jump as their accounts were upgraded from picking up 15GB per paying user to getting 500 gigs right out of the gate for a three person account. While Dropbox gives everyone the ease of a drag and drop sync folder, has left that for business accounts only, and to be honest it’s not that important a feature.

Now if can only expand its range of integration into apps and other software, this fight could get a lot more interesting.


Finally: NY Times Gets Full iPad App

NYTimes for iPad

Even if you’re only a casual reader of The New York Times, most everyone agreed that the newspaper’s limited Editor’s Choice iPad app left a lot to be desired when compared to other offerings. Today, the newspaper updated the app to version 2.0, now simply known as NYTimes for iPad.

The New York Times has updated their limited Editor’s Choice iPad app and rechristened it NYTimes for iPad with version 2.0. The refreshed app now gives users access to all sections of the newspaper as well as a selection of blogs, photo slideshows accessible within articles (as well as in their own section), breaking news alerts and improved design and navigation.

“Introducing the enhanced New York Times app for the iPad,” the app description reads. “Now with all of the sections, articles, videos and photos you expect from The Times.”

Of course, all of that goodness comes at a price — or rather, it will come “early 2011,” when the news giant will likely start charging for at least some of the iPad content. In the meantime, you’ll only have free access to four sections of the iPad app — Top News, Most E-Mailed, Business Day and Video. To get unlimited access, you’ll have to log in with an existing account or register for a new one (it’s free) from inside the app.

“The NYTimes iPad app now includes over 25 Times sections, including Arts, Technology, Politics, Science, Style and more,” the app description touts. “Experience breathtaking new sections for Photos and Videos. Read a selection of the latest Times blogs. Share articles, photos and video through Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.”

It’s good to see that The Times has realized the shortcomings of its iPad offering, and it appears to now have feature parity with the iPhone/iPod touch version at long last. There’s no word on if and when the small-screen version will also be switching to a pay model next year, but we’d say this is a good indication that the free ride may soon be over for news apps.

NYTimes for iPad version 2.0 is a 2.2MB download compatible with the iPad only and requires iOS 3.2 or later.

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


Yerba Buena Center Gets Prepped for Wednesday Apple Event

Yerba Buena prep for Sept. 1, 2010
(Image courtesy of MacRumors and Wired)

Can you feel the excitement in the air? Apple has a media event coming on Wednesday, September 1 and if you happen to live anywhere near the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco where it’s all going down, you might have seen a preview of what’s to come.

MacRumors is reporting that prep work for the September 1 event has already begun at the Yerba Buena Center, as seen in the photo above from Wired. In keeping with Apple tradition, the side of the building has been decorated with an enormous banner showing the same guitar-themed artwork featured on the company’s media invitation sent out earlier in the week.

No one knows for sure what Apple will introduced next Wednesday when the event kicks off at 10:00AM PDT, but new iPods and a new version of iTunes are the most likely candidate. Also churning in the rumor mill is a new Apple TV device, cheaper TV show rentals, a new version of iLife and even more.

If you simply can’t wait for next Wednesday, have a look at our own theories on what Apple will be introducing, then feel free to come back here and propose your own in the comments.

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


iWork '09 Gets Update and ePub File Export

Today, Apple updated its iWork ’09 suite of apps to address various bugs in Pages, Keynote and Numbers. They also added the ability to export to ePub format from Pages. These ePub files can then be synced to an iPhone or iPad for use with iBooks.

Below is the update log for Keynote 5.0.4, Pages 4.0.4, and Numbers 2.0.2:

Keynote 5.0.4

– Addresses an issue when printing handouts with rule lines.

– Fixes an issue with the slide switcher.

– Resolves an issue when automatically resizing some images while changing slide size.

– Fixes an issue with tables.

Pages 4.0.4

– Fixes an issue with tables.

– Includes compatibility with the standard ePub file format (for use with iBooks) when exporting.

Numbers 2.0.4

– Fixes an issue with tables.

You can download this update by opening Software Update (Apple Menu > Software Update), or by downloading the installer manually from the Apple Support Download Website.

Exporting from Pages to ePub format couldn’t be easier. After you have this update installed and go to Share > Export in Pages, you’ll get a new “ePub” option and will allow you to fill in the Title, Author, and Genre. You can then add your ePub file to iTunes and sync over the file to iBooks on your iOS device.

For more information on sharing your documents as ePub files, visit Apple’s how-to article on Creating ePub files with Pages.

Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.