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DonorsChoose 2010: Week 4. Win a fabulous on-the-go prize pack!

You guys are amazing! We have raised ,633 through right now. That’s 1,753 students affected in all those classrooms. And I’m just blown away by your generosity and general awesomeness.

But you know who else is blown away, or about to be? All of us, by those PC-using weirdos over at MaximumPC. Yep, they’re still ahead of us on the leaderboard, by just under 0, with ,724 as of right now.

This is the final week of our 2010 DonorsChoose Challenge, so let’s step it up and outgive Maximum PC’s readers, OK? Mac! Life! Mac! Life! Mac! Life! (Sorry, I’ve always been a sucker for a really good chant.)

To sweeten the pot I’ve got a really great prize pack to give away. But before we talk about what’s in it for you, how about hearing from the teachers whose projects we’ve been busily funding all month long. Our Giving Page currently has 33 completed projects that we and other donors knocked out of the park, and some of the thank-you notes from the teachers are beyond touching.

Ms. B, who teaches at an elementary school in North Carolina that’s getting new LEGOs, writes, “Our students have so much potential that needs to be tapped. Your donation to these children will give them the tools to practice expressing their own creative spirits in a safe and cooperative environment.” And they’ll have fun doing it, too!

Ms. L, from an elementary school in Upper Michigan, got a new Mac mini for her classroom, with lots of help from us. She writes, “Many of my students are looking for new connection with reading. Being able to listen to themselves and their classmates read, to edit and produce book commercials, and to take pride in their literacy is going to change their lives.”

See, you guys are changing lives!!!

So how about a little more? Give to a project on our Giving Page this week, and forward me your email receipt to susie at by Saturday October 30 at 11:59pm Pacific, and I’ll enter you in this week’s drawing. The prize pack is huge and awesome, like the kind and generous hearts of our donors.

>> Scosche IDR655m earphones with tapLINE II controller (for controlling your iPhone, iPod touch, and the other iPods). I’m reviewing these now and (spoiler alert) I love them. You get a brand-new pair, though. Because sharing earbuds is gross. .99 retail value.
>> iDapt i4 Universal charger, which can keep your phone, iPod, camera, and other gadgets charged, up to four at a time. This iDapt is pink, too. Fabulous! .99 retail value.
>> iMainGo 2, a speaker-equipped carrying case for your iPod, iPhone, or other MP3 player. (The box says Zune, but we’re not familiar with that term.) .95 value.
>> AViiQ portable laptop stand. This is the world’s thinnest laptop stand, folding down to an astonishing 1/4 inch thick for easy portability. Improves your ergonomics and it’s good looking too. .95 retail value.
>> The Ballistic HC case for iPhone 4. This thing is hardcore, total protection, keeping your iPhone safe from almost everything except flamethrowers and X-Men. .99 retail value.

One person will get alllll this. And it could be you if you donate and enter.

All in all that’s a prize bonanza worth 9.87. We’d like to thank our friends at Scosche, Ballistic, iDapt, iMainGo, and AViiQ for donating the prizes. Enter today! Official rules in the FAQ, and feel free to email me if you have questions.

Oh yes, and big congratulations to last week’s winners! We’re sending game packs from Aspyr to Rachel F., Stephen D., and Patrick N., plus bonus prizes to a whole bunch of other nice people. Watch your mailboxes for gratitude and free stuff!

It’s the last week of October. We’ve got more kids to help. Let’s do this.


Adobe Releases HTML5 Pack for Illustrator CS5

A scant few days after announcing that Adobe was back in the Flash-to-iPhone compiler business, the company let loose word that they’ll also be offering up the ability for web designers to create HTML5-based widgets and whatnot in Illustrator CS5, thanks to a new service pack now available for download. The ability to output HTML 5 content from Illustrator CS5 dovetails nicely with the same ability already enjoyed by Dreamweaver CS5 users. What does it all mean? Given the raging popularity of Adobe’s Creative Suite applications, we can all expect to enjoy the same content-rich online experience no matter which device we choose to prowl the interwebz with.

So is Adobe hedging their bets? We believe that the answer was yes. In the time between when Apple disallowed the use of third-party development software and when it became a viable option again last week, iOS developers illustrated that business as usual could be conducted without the need for Flash. With one of their flagship products shown to be redundant in the face of an emerging standard, its simply smart business on Adobe’s part to offer other options to their product’s users. In the end, putting multiple options in the hands of developers is a win for consumers too, as the quality of the software made available will increase as a result.

Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.


GTA Pack Coming To The Mac


(Image courtesy of

You gotta love gaming news for the Mac.  There’s no doubting the popularity of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Series.  Well apparently the company is planning to expand their hit series to the Mac according to their Facebook page.

The company had responded to a query on their page about Mac support for Grand Theft Auto and had this to say:

“Look for the long-awaited released of the classic Grand Theft Auto Trilogy (Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) for Mac — most likely later this year,” Rockstar had been able to confirm.

The query also made the promise that a more formal announcement would be happening soon.  Stay tuned!

via Joystiq

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



iLife ’11 Family Pack Shows Up on

iLife '11 Family Pack on Amazon
(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)

We really expected a refreshed version of iLife to show up at last Wednesday’s media event, even though announcements were flying fast and furious as it was. If a new product listing on is to be believed, maybe we won’t have to wait much longer.

9to5Mac is reporting that has a new product listing for “iLife ’11 Family Pack,” currently listed at .00 with a ship time of two to four weeks. The fact that a new version of iLife is coming isn’t particularly newsworthy by itself, but does Amazon know something that we don’t?

It’s a given at this point that iLife ’09 will likely be followed by iLife ’11 since it’s too late in the 2010 calendar year for “iLife ’10” to make sense as a name, but given that Apple has not uttered a word about a new version makes the product listing sort of head-scratching.

Back in July, Amazon France listed both iLife ’10 for Dummies and iWork ’10 for Dummies on their website briefly, with availability in September and October, respectively — although in this case, the Amazon listing for the iLife ’11 product appears on the main U.S. site.

There has been plenty of speculation about what a new version of iLife might bring, including iTunes LP and iTunes Extras creation abilities added to iDVD, which circled the rumor mill in December of last year.

The strangest part about the iLife ’11 Family Pack on Amazon is that it’s apparently been listed since July 27 (according to the Product Details on the site) and we’re only discovering it now…

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