Wednesday 29 February 2012

Software Patents-Ferguson

'Everything is a Remix' examines software patents

In case you haven't seen it yet, the fourth episode of Kirby Ferguson's "Everything is a Remix" series went live in mid-February on Ferguson's site. As in the previous three episodes in the series, Ferguson examines modern attitudes toward "intellectual property" and how these attitudes rather counterintuitively stifle creativity rather than fostering it. Part 4 of "Everything is a Remix" deals largely with the contentious subject of software patents, a subject we've covered many times here at TUAW. According to Ferguson, 62 percent of all patent lawsuits are now over software patents, and he estimates the total wealth "lost" (read: siphoned off from "infringing" companies and individuals towards patent holders and their lawyers) at half a trillion dollars. Apple has found itself on both sides of the software patent trench warfare, as both target and aggressor. Ferguson makes it pretty obvious that Apple is just as guilty of hypocrisy as everyone else when it comes to software patents; he points out that Steve Jobs from 1996 proudly stated "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," while Steve Jobs from 2010 said he was going to "destroy Android, because it's a stolen product" and was "willing to go thermonuclear war" on Google and its allegedly copycat product. As Ferguson points out, "When we copy, we justify it. When others copy, we vilify it. Most of us have no problem with copying as long as we're the ones doing it." The question remains, however, where to draw the line between copying as a necessary portion of innovation and copying as an admission of a failure to innovate. Some might say all Samsung has done with its many riffs on Apple's products is "remix" the iPad and iPhone, but even after viewing Ferguson's series I'm not wholly convinced of that. On the other hand, Apple itself has long been accused of "copying" innovations at Xerox PARC for the first Mac OS -- something Ferguson himself addressed in an earlier episode of his series -- so the demarcation between "remix" and "shameless knockoff" isn't always easy to find. Ferguson's entire series is very well put together, and is itself only possible because of the very "remixing" he discusses. If you haven't caught the earlier episodes, I'd highly recommend setting aside an hour to watch all four parts back-to-back.'Everything is a Remix' examines software patents originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..

American Horror Story-Audio Quality-Apple Store

Remains of the Day: American horror story

Look out: That app accessing your photos is coming from inside your pants. Elsewhere, there's conflicting stories on audio quality in iTunes, a new Italian Apple Store shrouded in secrecy, and spine-tingling Apple event rumors. read more..

The Wall Street Journal-Virtual Ghost Town-Facebook-Google

Google+ 'ghost town' next to Facebook: report

Google+ is a "virtual ghost town compared with" Facebook, says the Wall Street Journal, citing new data from comScore that finds visitors on Google+ spent an average of 3 minutes a month on the site between September and January, compared to 6 to 7 hours on month on Facebook during the same period. read more..

Republican Candidate-President Obama-Social Media-Facebook

Primary Night in Michigan and Arizona: A Social Media Snapshot

It's primary day in America, folks: citizens in Michigan and Arizona are headed to the polls Tuesday to vote for their preferred Republican candidate to go up against President Obama in November. As we've seen in the past, the social web is aflame with posts, tweets and videos from the political battlegrounds. read more..

Yahoo threatening Facebook with first-ever lawsuit over social media patents

We have sat through talk after talk about Yahoo’s potential sale to this company or that company, but in its bid to stay relevant among its competitors, has Yahoo gone too far? According to The New York Times, Yahoo may be seeking legal action against Facebook in what may play out as the first-ever battle over social media patents. read more..

Ios Photo And Video Privacy Issues-Location Information-Private Information-Address Books

iOS Photo and Video Privacy Issues Highlighted with New Test Application

Earlier this month, privacy issues related to the uploading of users' address books to developers' servers were cast into the limelight as Congress requested details from Apple on how private information is handled and protected. While Apple quickly responded to note that it would be addressing the issue by requiring explicit permission to be granted by users for apps to access their address book data, it has been a relatively open secret for some time that developers can gain access to a broad array of what might be considered private information, including photos, calendars, and other content.The New York Times today is taking a closer look at the topic of photos and videos, noting how easy it is for developers to quietly gain access to such content when given permission to collect location information.After a user allows an application on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to have access to location information, the app can copy the user’s entire photo library, without any further notification or warning, according to app developers.It is unclear whether any apps in Apple’s App Store are actually doing this. Apple says it screens all apps submitted to the store, and presumably it would not authorize an app that clearly copied a person’s photos without good reason. But copying address book data was also against Apple’s rules, and the company let through a number of popular apps that did so.The New York Times tested this behavior by commissioning an iOS developer to write a simple test application dubbed "PhotoSpy" that demonstrates how a simple pop-up requesting permission to access location information can actually lead to broad access to all photos and videos in a user's photo library on the device.When the “PhotoSpy” app was started up, it asked for access to location data. Once this was granted, it began siphoning photos and their location data to a remote server. (The app was not submitted to the App Store.)Apple and other mobile app distributors recently signed on to a new agreement with the California Attorney General's office that will see the companies making it easier for users to examine privacy policies associated with apps before they download them. And with pressure mounting on Apple to take further steps to ensure that apps can access only information explicitly permitted by users, many are undoubtedly hoping that more changes are coming in the relatively near future.Update: The Verge reports that "sources familiar with the situation" have indicated the photo and video access is a bug and that a fix is in the works.We spoke to sources familiar with the situation, and were informed that a fix is most likely coming for the loophole. According to the people we talked to, Apple has been made aware of the issue and is likely planning a fix with an upcoming release of iOS. Those sources also confirmed that the ability to send your photos and videos to a third-party is an error, not an intended feature. If we had to guess, the fix will likely come alongside a patch for Apple's other recent security issue — the ability for apps to upload your address book information without warning. read more..

Samsung Galaxy Tab-Gadgets

Daily Crunch: Cheap 3D

Here are some recent Gadgets posts: Is The $300 3D Printer Finally Here? Makible Thinks So TC@MWC: The Huawei Ascend D Quad Is One Of The Nicest Phones You’ll Never Buy LTE-Packing Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Hits VZW Shelves On March 1 HBO GO Finally Lands On Xbox 360 On April 1 (And No, It’s Not A Joke) iPad 3 Rumor Roundup read more..

Instant Gratification-Text Message-Millennials-Quick Fixes-Generation

Millennials benefit, suffer from always-on lives

Millennials — the always-connected generation, those born between 1981 and 2000 — have such a "thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes" that they're at risk of making poor life decisions based on findings from a fast Google search or a text message response from a friend, says a new report. read more..

Character Limit-Facebook

Meet the Winner of Mashable's Facebook Short Story Contest

What would you write on Facebook if you had endless space for creativity? Well, not endless, but it seems pretty close. Facebook greatly increased its character limit to 63,206, which is the equivalent of roughly 451 and a half tweets. The increase means you could do more than just blog there -- you can write chapters of your upcoming novel. read more..

Sun Microsystems-Series B Funding-Scott Mcnealy-Social Media-Wayin

Ex-Sun CEO McNealy Dives into Social Media with Old Friends

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Wayin, the new social media venture backed by Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy, announced it has raised $14 million in Series B funding from U.S. Venture Partners. If there's an element of déjà vu to the news, it's because the funding round closed almost 30 years to the day after McNealy founded Sun, in 1982, with U.S.V.P. as its first major investor. A nostalgic McNealy, who serves as chairman of Wayin's board, told a gathering of investors celebrating the news at his Portola Valley, Calif. home last week that the U.S.V.P. ... read more..

Dinner Guests-Reed Krakoff

Designers in the Hot Seat

The invite said "One Chair," but there were 99 on the walls and 60 more for dinner guests at a party celebrating Reed Krakoff's new furniture-cum-art project at Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn's Salon 94 last night. As graphic and geometrically precise as his ready-to-wear, the felt-covered straight-back chairs had many admirers in a room that included Yvonne Force Villareal, Hope Atherton, Cecilia Dean, and Virginie Mouzat. "They do wonders for your posture," someone said. But Reed had some competition on the design front. His wife Delphine's madeleines were going fast when the party started winding down around midnight. More than 100 blocks downtown at Joseph Altuzarra's Red Egg after-party, the DJ was playing a string of Whitney Houston's hits. "Look at everyone go on the dance floor," Julie Gilhart said. "It's kind of nuts but I love it." Another guest still had his mind on the designer's collection. "This was my first fashion show, ever. I had no idea Joseph was such a big deal, but he's like a big deal." He asked, "Do women really wear clothes like that?" Oh, yes. Meanwhile, Candice Swanepoel, Brad Goreski, and other friends of Prabal Gurung gathered in the tented-over terrace of the Presidential Suite at the Dream Downtown for a dinner in the designer's honor. The space featured a long table set for 30 and a spacious hot tub. For the moment it remained covered, but maybe not for long. Joked Gurung, "The after-after-party can be here."—Nicole Phelps, Kristin Studeman, and Bee-Shyuan Chang read more..

Touchscreen Keyboards-Mechanical Keyboard-Pressure Switch-Keyboard Design-Apple Patents

Apple patents design for ultra-thin keyboard

The touchscreen keyboards on Apple's iOS devices are great space savers, as they're never around when you don't need them. For all the great leaps forward Apple has made with Multi-Touch technology over the past five years in both its iOS devices and Mac touchpads, its physical keyboards still use some well-established and comparatively old technology. Apple has apparently turned its eye on the traditional mechanical keyboard and tried to figure out ways to shrink that down, too. AppleInsider discovered a patent filed in August of 2010 that shows Apple is brewing up ideas to shrink its physical keyboards even farther than it has already. Current keyboards rely on a somewhat elaborate system consisting of a "scissor" mechanism that keeps keys suspended over a rubber dome switch, which when pressed, completes a path on the underlying keyboard circuitry, sending that key's signal to the computer's logic board. Apple has been thinking of ways to improve that system. All keyboard design is fundamentally about a spring-loaded pressure switch completing an electrical circuit. When pressure is applied -- usually via an intentional keypress, sometimes by a wandering cat -- the switch completes a circuit and sends an input signal. When pressure lets off, the circuit breaks. Older keyboards relied on actual spring mechanisms, which is why those older keyboards were quite large, heavy, and loud (clackety clackety CLACK). Some companies briefly experimented with membrane-style keyboards, but in a way those are almost worse than touchscreen keyboards; they have the same suboptimal level of tactile feedback to the user, but they also generally require more pressure to operate than a capacitive touch-style keyboard. Apple's proposed new keyboard design replaces the currently prevalent "scissor" style mechanical lever with a setup that reminds me of a device that pre-dates even the original typewriter: a telegraph machine. Like one of the old-style telegraph generators, the assembly consists of a key at the end of a long lever which, when pressed, completes a circuit and sends a signal. The support lever in Apple's proposed design would be made of a flexible material with good tensile feedback to the user. Design for an electric Morse key, patented in 1837 The upshot of this design? Traditional spring-loaded keyboards required a key travel of between 4 and 5 millimeters, with the "scissor" style setup in current notebook and portable keyboards requiring a smaller travel length of 1.5 to 2 millimeters. Apple's patent allows for a keyboard that needs only 0.2 millimeters of key travel. This obviously has implications for the design of Apple's notebooks. So far the keyboard itself hasn't been an especially important constraint on the overall thickness of Apple's notebooks -- battery design and the need to keep motherboards from spontaneously combusting has been more of a factor -- but it's not hard to envision a point where that 1.3 to 1.8 millimeters of potential space savings does indeed come in handy for an even thinner version of the MacBook Air.Apple patents design for ultra-thin keyboard originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Diminutive Jot-Steel Cutter-Jot Stylus

Review: Adonit Jot Mini stylus looks good, but fails to impress

Adonit has taken a shrink ray and a steel cutter to its popular Jot stylus to produce the more diminutive Jot Mini, the company's newest offering. But though the Jot Mini is a beautifully constructed offering from Adonit, it left me wanting more in the useability department. read more..

Goodbye Erick, Hello Eric

Goodbye Erick, Hello Eric

TechCrunch has been through a lot lately, and we need to focus on what truly matters: covering startups and innovation. So, this post is going to be short.But here is what’s going on: Erick Schonfeld is leaving and Eric Eldon is replacing him as editor.What can you expect from TechCrunch now? read more..

Electronic Payments-Image Editing-Photoshop-Paypal-Ipad

PayPal censors e-book publishers

PayPal is known for handling electronic payments for merchandise, not for censoring content. But in recent weeks, the company has been letting e-book publishers know that PayPal will no longer handle transactions for e-books its considers to be obscene. read more..

Photoshop Touch app comes to iPad 2

Photoshop Express has been available as an iPad app for quite some time, but — despite being quite powerful and feature-filled — it hasn't exactly satisfied fans of Adobe's popular image editing suite. Thankfully a "real" Photoshop app is available for the iPad now: Photoshop Touch. read more..

Mobile World Congress Texas Instruments-Partnerships-Techcrunch-Htc

Daily Crunch: Mobile World

Here are some recent posts from TechCrunch Gadgets: TechCrunch at Mobile World Congress Texas Instruments Announces New Partnerships For OMAP 5, But Wait…There’s More Quietly Brilliant, But HTC Sure Made Some Noise At MWC Hands-On With The HTC One V: This Little Guy Feels Great Asus Officially Unveils The Accessory-Laden Padfone read more..

Gwyneth Paltrow-Angelina Jolie-Celebtv

CelebTV ( thinks Angelina stole the show at The Oscars last...

CelebTV ( thinks Angelina stole the show at The Oscars last night. Which star topped your list?Oscars 2012 Red Carpet: Best Dressed! Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Williams and more of the best dressed stars on the red carpet at the 84th annual Academy Awards. read more..

Government Proposals-Internet Act-Free Speech-Fia

Reddit drafts Internet anti-piracy bill; good luck with that

The social sharing site, which played a major role in helping to defeat SOPA last month, proposes its own the Free Internet Act (FIA), a crowdsourced alternative to government proposals many found restrictive to both creativity and free speech. read more..

Mobile World Congress-Social Network-App Store-Facebook

Facebook wants to turn the Open Graph into a mobile app store

You might not think Facebook would be making waves at Mobile World Congress, but you’d be wrong. Today the social network announced its new mobile billing service – signaling it very much intends to compete with mobile app stores, namely iOS and Android marketplaces. read more..

Social Networking Sites-Television Coverage-Social Media-Facebook-Nascar

Facebook Unfriending and Reputation Woes on the Rise [VIDEO]

Facebook users have to work harder to keep their friend count up these days. A majority of adults on social networking sites have no bouts with deleting former "friends." read more..

Can Social Media Turbocharge NASCAR on TV?

When most people think of tech-savvy social media users, they probably don't picture fans of NASCAR. At this weekend's Daytona 500, though, social media will play a central role in television coverage of the event. read more..

Robert Mills-Red Lobster-Free Food-Facebook

Internet users campaigned to get man free Red Lobster meal

On Tuesday afternoon, a post appeared on the Facebook page belonging to Red Lobster. It was written by 56-year-old Robert Mills and it explained how frustrated he is that the restaurant chain does not offer any free food items to customers who are celebrating their birthdays, as he was on that day. "Guess I'm just a nobody on my birthday," he wrote. read more..

Monday 27 February 2012

South African Officials-American Express-Health Scares-Social Media

5 Clever Social Media Campaigns To Learn From

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. read more..

S. African officials use Twitter for Mandela news

Nelson Mandela's health scares send Twitter into overdrive, but South African officials made savvier use of social media to keep the world informed on the global icon's latest medical woe. read more..

Appliance Market-Iphone

Remains of the Day: Mr. iPhone goes to Washington

The iPhone is on the rise in the nation's capital, while its dock-connector port may be on the way out. And is Apple stealthily entering the appliance market? read more..

Freedom Of Speech-Mark Byron-Facebook

Ohio man given choice of Facebook apology or jail

A man who was threatened with jail time for posting comments about his estranged wife on his personal Facebook page unless he posted daily apologies for a month says the court ruling violates his freedom of speech. read more..

Vulnerabilities-Installation-Trojan Horse-Flashback-Malware

Flashback Trojan Returns With a Multi-Pronged Infection Strategy

Last year, we profiled a Mac trojan horse known as "Flashback" that was masquerading as a Flash Player installer. While Apple has taken steps to protect users from the threat using its File Quarantine system under which users' computers initiate daily checks for updated malware definitions, the malware's authors have continued to tweak the trojan to improve its ability to both infect systems and evade detection.Security firm Intego has issued a report on a new variant of the trojan, known as Flashback.G, which adopts a multi-pronged strategy in attacking users' systems. The first two methods rely on vulnerabilities in Java, and while the vulnerabilities are patched in systems running up-to-date versions of Java, outdated systems can be silently infected through these security holes.Flashback.G's self-signed certificate seeking to trick users into allowing installationOn up-to-date systems lacking the Java vulnerabilities, Flashback.G presents a self-signed certificate claiming to be from Apple in an attempt to fool users into allowing the trojan to be installed on their systems. Once installed, the trojan begins searching for user names and passwords it can relay to the malware's authors.This malware patches web browsers and network applications essentially to search for user names and passwords. It looks for a number of domains – websites such as Google, Yahoo!, CNN; bank websites; PayPal; and many others. Presumably, the people behind this malware are looking for both user names and passwords that they can immediately exploit – such as for a bank website – as well as others that may be reused on different sites.Notably, Intego reports that the trojan aborts its own installation if it detects the presence of any of several antivirus applications on a user's Mac, presumably seeking to remain below the radar while focusing on vulnerable systems.Intego recommends that users on Mac OS X Snow Leopard make sure that Java is fully up-to-date by running a check through Software Update, and for all users to be aware of the social engineering trick the trojan uses in attempting to gain permission for installation. The company of course also recommends that users equip their systems with antivirus software.While malware has not been a tremendous threat to Mac users so far, its presence has been growing. Apple has stepped up its efforts to combat malware by enhancing its File Quarantine system to provide for the daily definition checks. OS X Mountain Lion will see another significant step with the introduction of Gatekeeper, a system by which users can limit installation of apps to sources such as the Mac App Store and developers who have registered with Apple as "identified developers".Apple's Developer-ID program will utilize digital signatures on applications to link applications with a specific developer. If the developer is later discovered to be distributing malware or otherwise behaving improperly, installations of its existing apps can be deactivated by Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper does have its limitations, however, as it only scans applications downloaded through a handful of mechanisms such as browsers and can not detect applications that are modified by malware after their initial launch. read more..

Executive Vice President-Mobile Devices-Windows Phone-Nokia

Nokia Unveils Their Newest Windows Phone: The Budget-Conscious Lumia 610

And there we have it! Nokia's Executive Vice President of Mobile Devices has just taken the stage again here at Nokia's MWC press conference to officially unveil their new entry-level Lumia 610 smartphone. read more..

Actress Meryl Streep-Official Site

'The Artist' tops post-Oscars Twitter buzz

The silent film The Artist by director Michel Hazanavicius generated the most Oscar-related buzz on Twitter, according to the official site for this year's awards. read more..

Twitter index: 'The Artist' and Meryl Streep celebrate Oscar success

On February 27 Twitter users around the world are celebrating the success of silent French film The Artist and actress Meryl Streep at this year's Oscars. read more..

Electric Razor-Mountain Lion-Apple

The Macalope Weekly: Occam's electric razor

Mountain Lion spells trouble for Apple, naturally, while one silly pundit thinks an Apple boycott is in order. Then silly pundits clash, forcing the Macalope to agree with one of them. Oh, the near-humanity! read more..

Revenue Growth-Apple

To Beat the Law of Large Numbers, Apple Must Expand Its Product Line

The New York Times today addressed Apple's record growth in both revenue and stock price in the context of the "law of large numbers".Apple is so big, it’s running up against the law of large numbers.Also known as the golden theorem, with a proof attributed to the 17th-century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli, the law states that a variable will revert to a mean over a large sample of results. In the case of the largest companies, it suggests that high earnings growth and a rapid rise in share price will slow as those companies grow ever larger.If Apple’s share price grew even 20 percent a year for the next decade, which is far below its current blistering pace, its $500 billion market capitalization would be more than $3 trillion by 2022. That is bigger than the 2011 gross domestic product of France or Brazil.Put another way, to increase its revenue by 20 percent, Apple has to generate additional sales of more than $9 billion in its next fourth quarter. A company with only $1 billion in sales has to come up with just another $200 million.Apple has posted annual revenue growth of 16%, 56%, and 69% over the past three years respectively, with sales rising from $39 to $61 to $103 billion. Staggering growth for a company this large, but Apple seems to be continuing the trend for fiscal 2012. Apple reported more than $46 billion in revenue for the first quarter, and provided guidance of $32.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter.This $78 billion in revenue for the first half of fiscal 2012 (which will likely be higher, as Apple traditionally underestimates on guidance) represents yet another massive increase in revenue from the year-previous quarters. The Q1 2012 number is a rise of more than 73% over the prior year, and the Q2 guidance would represent a 32% increase growth.The enormous growth Apple has shown in recent years is largely on the backs of two products: the iPhone and the iPad.The iPhone, as a product category, has grown from a mere $630 million in sales in 2007, to more than $47 billion in fiscal 2011. The iPad, for its part, tallied more than $20 billion of Apple's revenue last year. Between the two of them, Apple's main iOS devices account for more than 65% of Apple's total sales. Remove those two and Apple is a much different company.It's all a bit of a theoretical exercise, of course. The iPhone and iPad halo effects are real, and have had a beneficial impact on other parts of Apple's businesses -- but the point remains: Apple's astounding growth is the direct result of the company's move into new product categories.As the above chart shows, Apple's overall year-over-year revenue growth is impressive, but if the iPhone or iPad is backed out, the revenue growth is much less awe-inspiring. Without the iOS devices, Apple only showed 12% and 8% revenue, versus 56% and 69% otherwise.To continue doubling its total revenue every two years, there are two main possibilities:Apple would need to show extraordinary -- perhaps impossible -- growth in its iPad and iPhone divisions. Massive sales growth from the iPhone (which has grown more than 90% each of the past three years) and iPad can drive Apple's revenue growth for quite a while, but not forever.If the iPhone were to continue its 90% annual growth for two more years (which would count 5 consecutive years of near 90% annual sales increases), in 2013 Apple would have nearly $170 billion in revenue coming just from the iPhone. The iPad, which grew an astounding 330% from 2010 to 2011, would report $78 billion in sales that same year -- $248 billion between the two.Impressive (hypothetical) growth, and given Apple's astounding first quarter numbers, perhaps doable. But follow those numbers out to 2015 and the numbers begin to grow to improbable sizes.The more likely prospect is for Apple to launch into yet another product category, in addition to the g read more..

Mobile World Congress-Htc

John Wang, HTC: ‘We Have Not Given Up On Windows Phones’

In Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, Taiwanese handset maker HTC yesterday gave us a glimpse of its new, lean-and-mean smartphone strategy, HTC One -- a unified set of Android devices complete with features and services that it hopes will help bring it back into the thick of things.One thing that was very absent, though, was the M word. read more..

Android Smartphones-Htc

It’s Official: HTC Unites New Android Smartphones Under “One” Brand

The rumor mill has been hard at work these past few months circulating information about HTC's latest line of smartphones, but now HTC CEO Peter Chou has announced that the company's new line of smartphones will indeed sport the "One" brandChou hasn't yet jumped into details about specific phones yet, but expect that to come shortly. read more..

Oscar Predictions-Online Community-Meryl Streep-Social Media-Oscar Winner

Oscars 2012: Who Will Win? Oscar Predictions According to Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do you need some last minute help with your Oscar pool?  The 84th Academy Awards won't start announcing the winners of its major awards until tonight -- however, Webtrends Design Lab analyzed 476,000 tweets to gather detailed Oscar winner predications. read more..

Oscars and Meryl Streep set social media abuzz

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Oscars gave the online community a lot to talk about on Sunday, as the number of social media comments about Hollywood's biggest night more than tripled from last year in a sign that viewers connected with the show. This year's Academy Awards had the Web buzzing about Meryl Streep's first Oscar victory since 1983, the dangerously cut neckline of singer-actress Jennifer Lopez's dress and the striking resemblance that French producer Thomas Langmann was said to bear to the late actor Peter Lorre. The Internet-tracking firm Bluefin Labs counted 3. ... read more..

Stefano Tonchi-Cavernous Room

Appearances Count

"You cannot express beauty in one image anymore," W editor Stefano Tonchi declared last night at the Park Avenue Armory. Inside the cavernous room, he had two of the biggest screens you've ever seen to back him up. On them played a sumptuous film loop of Lara Stone, her body a spliced-up vessel containing changing elements—her head becoming a bird's, her midsection a flower, nothing staying what it was for long. Created by Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø and creative consultant Jerry Stafford, the video work was inspired by the form of Surrealist art experiment known as "exquisite corpse." It recalled the Surrealist strain of the Marc Jacobs show from the night before and magnified what you might call the flow of today's beauty business. "It's not [just] west to east," as Tonchi pointed out. "It's east to west, too." W's partner on the project was P&G Prestige, which had done a different sort of transcontinental operating to ensure the opening was a blockbuster, flying SK-II global ambassador Cate Blanchett over from Australia. Felicity Jones, the face of Dolce & Gabbana's makeup, was also in the house. The up-and-coming actress told that she's prepping to play Charles Dickens' mistress in a film co-starring Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas. (She's also planning to hit today's Proenza Schouler show.) Glancing up at the colossal images, it occurred to her that playing on a huge screen adds a few extra inches to the legs—"always a good thing," she said.—Darrell Hartman read more..

Multiplayer Game-Photos Of Nature-Photo Cards-Instamatch

Instamatch turns Instagram into an engaging iOS game

Are you a fan of Instagram? I often find myself taking snaps with the app, adding some special effects, and then posting them for close friends and complete strangers to enjoy. Now the folks at Tiny Hearts, the developers of the fun Pocket Zoo app I reviewed last year, have come up with Instamatch -- a US$1.99 universal iOS app (on sale for $0.99 for a limited time) released today that turns those awesome Instagram photos into a fun and challenging matching game. Instamatch is a variation on the old "Concentration" matching game that has contestants matching similar Instagram photos. There are several ways to play -- you can either select photos from your own Instagram account, in which case you match two identical copies of photos until all photos are matched, or from a selection of photos of Nature, Food, Animals, Cities, or World Wonders. With the latter, you match similar photos of the same subject, like two different photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. There's also a search mode, so you can find and match photos of just about any subject under the sun. Gallery: Instamatch To get a high score, you need to match all of the photo pairs as quickly as possible. It's also helpful to be lucky enough to match two photos without looking at them first -- the combos give you extra points that really add up. On the iPhone, the game can be played with one or two players, and there are three levels of difficulty -- Easy, with 12 photo cards; Normal, with 20 cards; and Hard, with 20 moving cards. For the iPad, up to four players can vie for the high score, and the Normal and Hard difficulty levels jump up to 30 cards. In multiplayer game play, the players take turns in succession so that a sharp-eyed player can watch for clues and then rack up extra points. There's Game Center support built into the app for shouting out your bragging rights for high Instamatch scores. I find Instamatch to be a fun time-killer. Individual games don't take that long, so it's the perfect game to play while you're waiting in a line and need to waste some time. An internet connection is required in order to grab the Instagram photos, so this isn't a game that you'd be able to play on an airplane unless it's equipped with Wi-Fi. The multiplayer game, especially on the iPad with 30 cards, throws a bit of strategy into play. The user interface is easy to understand and is beautifully designed, both of which add value to Instamatch. Especially at the 99¢ introductory price, Instamatch is a gotta-buy app for game lovers of any age.Instamatch turns Instagram into an engaging iOS game originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..

Sunday 26 February 2012

Internet Advertisers-Google

What you need to know about Do Not Track

Google decided on Thursday to get behind Do Not Track, technology that lets users opt out of online tracking done by websites and Internet advertisers. So where does Do Not Track stand now? We've put together some answers for you. read more..

Pew Internet And American Life Project-Record Rate

Friends deleted at record rate: Pew

Facebook is apparently getting a lot more unfriendly. Users are getting a lot more selective, deleting comments, photo tags, and even friends at a record rate, according to a new study released Friday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. read more..

The Vice President Of Business Development-Professional Community-Social Networking

Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make on Facebook Timeline

Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. Find him on Talent Connection and connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter. read more..

Initial Public Offering-Wealth Managers-Social Network-Facebook

Analysis: A sobering look at Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - It's the year's hottest initial public offering, but some wealth managers find themselves having a hard time recommending Facebook to their clients. The world's biggest social network is expected to seek a $75 billion to $100 billion valuation in its IPO, the most anticipated stock offering from Silicon Valley since Google Inc went public in 2004. At Granite Investment Advisors in New Hampshire, Chief Investment Officer Scott Schermerhorn has already been fielding queries from clients eager to get in on the action. ... read more..

Terry Richardson-Solo Exhibition-Chateau Marmont

Company Town

Ever the showman, Terry Richardson chose Oscar weekend to debut his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Hollywood, meet Terrywood. The exhibition of 25 photographs at L.A.'s OHWOW Gallery captures some of the city's most celebrated sights, landscapes, and still-lifes—just about everything, in other words, except his snapshot-influenced portraits. Not that the celeb-heavy throng that came to celebrate the show and party afterwards at the Chateau Marmont seemed to mind—most had already been snapped by the lensman, anyway. Tom Ford, James Franco, Tyler the Creator, and Richardson partner-in-crime Jared Leto all came for a look. After reconnecting with Rachel Zoe and MOCA's Jeffrey Deitch, China Chow singled out her favorite work on display. "I really like the paparazzi shot with the flashing bulbs because it's so unexpected," she said. Maybe less unexpected than apropos on this particular weekend. As the gallery cleared out, guests and sometime subjects including Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan filed into Bungalow 1 at the Chateau. Life imitated art as guests were greeted with In-N-Out burgers, the subject of one of the photos in the show. Among fellow models May Andersen and Erin Wasson, Frankie Rayder admired the man of the hour for his uncanny ability to get his subjects to let their hair (and frequently, everything else) down. "It's just Terry," Rayder said. "People trust him and he's just really comfortable to be around. It doesn't matter who you are, he makes you feel special in that moment."—Alexis Brunswick read more..

Video Poker-Bet

Daily iPad App: Pokertini brings freemium video poker to iOS

I saw Smappsoft's Pokertini in development at Macworld | iWorld, and now it's out and available in the App Store. It's a freemium take on video poker, so your feelings on this game will probably revolve around that one. Those who enjoy playing video poker (where you get five cards, and get to hold or pass on them for one more draw, trying to make the best hand you can) will enjoy Pokertini. Smappsoft has put a few twists on the game as well, but unfortunately none of them are all that strong. The biggest difference between this game and Vegas is that you have a shared bet across three different hands, and before the second draw, you can move your bet around between the three. That means that you can pile up on hands that look like they might turn out well, which is a good idea in theory. In practice, however (and maybe I'm just unlucky), I tend to bet on hands that promise big but don't deliver, meaning I lose my money anyway. Placing the bets just right can help, but it's still a gamble most of the time. There are also "twists" that you can buy with coins that will do things like block certain cards from showing up or shake up the hands you're playing. That seems like a good idea, but is less intriguing then you'd think. The coins come from your total, and they only add more randomness to the proceedings. If they were more powerful (like buying you an ace or guaranteeing a card you want), they might be more interesting, but then of course they'd always make you money, giving you no reason to buy coins from the in-app purchases. The app also has ads sitting right on top of the main gameplay space, which is a little much, given that those in-app purchases are on offer as well. Smappsoft obviously has to make money, but the ads make the whole experience a little too garish (so much so that they've been cut out of the screenshots in the App Store). The whole idea of tying fake coins to real money feels a little strange in general. Maybe if they'd left the gameplay alone, and had in-app purchases for less gameplay-specific items like themes or card art, the whole thing would sit better. Given those issues, I do like a good game of video poker, and Pokertini definitely has that at its core. If you're also a video poker fan, the game is definitely worth a download, and you get 1000 coins for free to gamble away. It's a shame that the game is more focused on monetization and less on fun. Yes, every developer wants to make money, but the best freemium titles on the App Store have shown that if you provide fun first and then hook up in-app purchases, there's plenty of money to be had.Daily iPad App: Pokertini brings freemium video poker to iOS originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..

Mountain Lion-Company-Apple

Weekly Wrap: Apple's busy week, Mountain Lion wishes, and more

This was a significant week for Apple: It settled lawsuits, met with shareholders, and bought a company. Oh, and let's not forget it's only been a week since the company unveiled Mountain Lion to the masses, and we've spent much of that time pondering the forthcoming OS update. read more..

Mac App Store-Civilization-Aspyr

Aspyr works to fix Civilization V upgrade issue

Users trying to download an update to the turn-based strategy game from the Mac App Store are unable to do so if they’re running Mac OS X Lion. Why Aspyr works with Apple to fix the issue, it's offering discounts on earlier versions of Civilization and promising to provide a free scenario pack to current and future Civilization V users. read more..

Internet Innovation-Adult Industry-Porn Industry-Case In Point-Kickstarter

So this exists: Kickstarter for porn

Once the key driver of Internet innovation, the porn industry now finds itself cutting-and-pasting on the backs of others. Case in point, Offbeatr, "the first crowdfunding resource specifically designed for the adult industry" aka Kickstarter for porn. read more..

The world’s rockinest violin dancer, Lindsey Stirling, has t...

The world’s rockinest violin dancer, Lindsey Stirling, has taken on everything from “Party Rock” to video game soundtracks and now Dubstep. What should she tackle next?Dubstep Violin- Lindsey Stirling- CrystallizeSource: read more..

Fusion Systems-Macbook Air-Amd

Apple Seriously Considered Switching to AMD in 2011 MacBook Air

In an upcoming profile of AMD, Forbes reports that the company's Llano family of Fusion combination CPU-GPU systems was under consideration by Apple to be used as the brains behind the MacBook Air for its 2011 revision. AMD lost out to Intel, however, as the necessary parts were late in being delivered to Apple and had unacceptably high failure rates.AMD struggled with its new fabless model while trying to crank out “fusion” processors that combined a CPU and a GPU in a single part. On paper the idea was promising. A notebook processor dubbed “Llano” got a close look from Apple for an update to the ultralight MacBook Air, scheduled for launch in mid-2011.But AMD couldn’t get early working samples of Llano to Apple on time, one former employee says. Several former AMD employees disagree on just how close AMD came. “We had it,” one says. But too many of the Llano parts were faulty. AMD lost the deal.The company reportedly also pitched Apple on using its Brazos family of Fusion systems in the Apple TV, but Apple proved to be uninterested in the proposal.Forbes' Brian Caulfield has more on AMD's efforts to lure Apple in a separate article in which he talks further about yield issues on the Fusion chips planned for the MacBook Air.The claim echoes a November report from SemiAccurate alleging that AMD's Fusion platform was Apple's "Plan A" for the 2011 MacBook Air and that such machines were "on the verge of production" before Apple ultimately decided to stick with Intel. Apple had been struggling with chip options in its small portables for several years as licensing issues prevented graphics companies such as NVIDIA from developing integrated graphics solutions for Intel's latest processors. With Apple being forced to choose between slower Core 2 Duo processors paired with fast NVIDIA graphics and faster Intel Core i-series processors hampered by slow integrated graphics from Intel, Apple opted to continue using the aging Core 2 Duo processors for much longer than it would have otherwise liked.Improvements in Intel's integrated graphics did allow Apple to transition to significantly improved Core i5 and i7 processor in the current generation of MacBook Air models, but it seems that Apple was also weighing AMD's offerings as it sought to work its way out of the constraints of Intel's graphics issues. read more..

Consumer Privacy On The Internet-Google-Apple

We’ll Handle Google And Apple, Mr. President; You Worry About SOPA, PCFIPA, ACTA, And Big Media

Mr. President, I'm glad your administration has taken the time to craft what looks like a fairly forward-thinking and potentially globally influential policy towards consumer privacy on the internet. No doubt it will have to be snipped here and built up there and the fast pace of the technology world may make some of its provisions quaint after a few years, but overall it seems strong, and fair to both companies and their consumers.But if you'll forgive me for saying so, Mr. President, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Google, Apple, Comcast, tracking cookies, deep packet inspection — this is something we can handle with minimal assistance. Tech is a young, fast-moving field, and tends to regulate itself, perhaps because the Internet is the collective medium of billions, and tyrants don't live long here. And to be honest, laws passed by the U.S. are considered more rough guidelines, to be transgressed at will by individuals or multinationals.Where we do need your help, sir, is where we, the young, free Internet, have little presence and receive no consideration. The threat of bills like SOPA, PIPA, PCFIPA, and their equivalents elsewhere is real, but they are conceived and considered in that sea of ignorance and corruption that is, I am sorry to say, your current place of residence. We need your help in Washington. read more..

Saturday 25 February 2012

Republican Presidential Polls-Gop Candidate-Quebec City

Which GOP candidate boasts most online buzz?

Rick Santorum is coming under much closer — and skeptical — scrutiny since he jumped to the top of Republican presidential polls this month, according to a computer-assisted analysis of social media data. read more..

No lift pass? No problem! [Network A] is on the scene as pro boarders transform...

No lift pass? No problem! [Network A] is on the scene as pro boarders transform Quebec City into an urban terrain park.Snowboarders Take Over Quebec CitySource: pub.vitrue.comStay tuned to the channel: read more..


Judge gives Ohio man a choice: Jail or Facebook apology

An Ohio man who went on Facebook to post an angry message about his soon-to-be ex-wife was deemed to have broken a court order and as a result was recently hauled before a Cincinnati judge. read more..

Corporate Income Tax-Initial Public Stock-Social Network-Tax Rate-Facebook

Facebook's high tax rate likely to drop

(Reuters) - Facebook, the social network giant on the verge of a huge initial public stock offering, pays an unusually high tax rate, but that is likely to change soon, analysts said. At 41 percent on an effective basis, Facebook's tax rate is well above rates paid by larger, more mature high-tech groups, and above the top U.S. corporate income tax rate of 35 percent. But the exercise by investors of millions of stock options after the IPO, along with the opportunity for Facebook to shift more earnings overseas like other tech firms, will pull down its tax rate almost immediately, experts ... read more..

Prep School Uniform-Plaid Skirts

You Gotta Have Faith

"We wore these green plaid skirts and we would have to get down on our knees so they could check the lengths in school—no joke," Annabelle Dexter-Jones said last night of her prep school uniform. She didn't like those skirts at the time—"I was always the one trying to change the uniform in some way. I always got in trouble for it, too," she went on. But after going through old family albums recently, she found inspiration in them for her new capsule collection for French brand Faith Connexion. To celebrate her debut design efforts with the label, Annabelle's friends and family gathered for dinner at Le Baron. "I actually have only been here twice because I've been so busy with this line, and André has an art show he's about to open so he's been focused on that," she admitted, referring to her beau André Saraiva, who busied himself making sure everything was running smoothly at his newly opened club. Meanwhile, mom Ann Dexter-Jones was showing off her own jewelry designs. As one guest gawked at the weight of her chain-link pieces, she responded, "After one vodka drink, I don't even notice them." During dinner, conversation quickly turned French. "Have you seen the Emmanuelle Alt video?" asked one male guest in his native tongue. He was referring to the clip in which the Paris Vogue editor sings Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." Although Olivier Zahm, who was sitting nearby, remained focused on his BlackBerry, the rest of the table was amused. "I called Carine Roitfeld the second I saw it to see what she thought about it," the guest continued. "She watched it on her iPhone immediately."—Kristin Studeman read more..

Text Messages-Phone Calls-Facetime-Iphone

Buzz Contacts for iPhone offers fast access to contacts

Buzz Contacts from Savvy Apps (US$0.99) is a fast way to reach contacts from your iPhone. Organize them into groups for one-tap access to phone calls, text messages, email or FaceTime sessions. The UI is about as clean and tidy as one can get and conveniences like pre-written text messages are quite helpful. Here's my look at Buzz Contacts for iPhone. UI The no-frills, utilitarian look of Buzz Contacts is appropriate for a handy utility. Once you've set up some groups (more on that later), they're laid out on a 4 x 4 grid. Each contact is listed by name and an icon depicts the action associated with each button (phone, text, email or FaceTime). If a group contains more than four members, a swipe to the right reveals the next grid of four while a swipe to the left produces a list view. A toolbar pops up from the bottom of the screen allowing for group actions, so you can send an email or a text, for example, to everyone at once. The large buttons are hard to miss, so the risk of unintended taps is nominal. Use It's easy to create a group. I made one called "Family" which includes my wife, mother, father and two sisters. To begin, swipe to the right and tap "New Group." Next, tap the title to customize it and then tap the icon in the upper right. A list of your contacts appears. Tap the one you'd like to add and chose the method of contact. Keep adding contacts in this fashion until "Page One" is filled, meaning you've added four contacts. You can re-arrage the order in this screen as well. Make as many groups as you like, swiping to the right to toggle between groups. From there, you simply launch the app and tap the appropriate block to initiate just the type of communication you want: FaceTime with your sister, iPhone call to your co-worker, text message to your son or daughter. It's speedy and a time-saver. Buzz Contacts also lets you call those not in a group from the dialer. To use the dialer, swipe to the right again and tap Dialer. A keypad appears. Start tapping a number and Buzz guesses which one you're after. Give it a tap and you're off. There are a few thoughtful niceties in the app. Tapping a contact set up as an email or FaceTime session asks you to confirm your intention before placing the call, so you won't place accidental phone calls. Also, there's a list of pre-written text messages to choose from, like "Running Late. See you soon." and "On my way." Combine that with a group text message to send a lengthy message to the whole gang with little effort. I love useful utilities and Buzz Contacts is one. Since I pretty much only call the people in my family group, I've replaced the phone app in my iPhone's Dock with Buzz Contacts. It's definitely worth a try at $0.99.Buzz Contacts for iPhone offers fast access to contacts originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..

Potential Victims-Windows Pcs-Gatekeeper-Apple

With Gatekeeper, Apple promotes safe computing

The argument's long been that Macs are safer than Windows PCs because malfeasants choose to target the larger pool of potential victims. But that doesn't explain why iOS is safer than Android. Apple's continued focus on security does. read more..

Noteworthy Features-Mountain Lion-Mail

Mountain Lion: Hands on with Mail

When Apple released Lion (OS X 10.7), Mail received its biggest overhaul ever, gaining many new and noteworthy features. The changes to Mail in Mountain Lion are more subtle, though there are some nice improvements, along with one significant omission. read more..

Weekly Wrap: Mountain Lion, Mountain Lion, other stuff, and Mountain Lion

If you missed the big news this week, boy are you in for some exciting reading: Apple announced a new release of OS X. But while that announcement and its aftershocks dominated the week's news, we wrote about a few other things as well. read more..

Initial Public Offering-Wealth Managers-Social Network-Facebook

A sobering look at Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - It's the year's hottest initial public offering, but some wealth managers find themselves having a hard time recommending Facebook to their clients. The world's biggest social network is expected to seek a $75 billion to $100 billion valuation in its IPO, the most anticipated stock offering from Silicon Valley since Google Inc went public in 2004. At Granite Investment Advisors in New Hampshire, Chief Investment Officer Scott Schermerhorn has already been fielding queries from clients eager to get in on the action. ... read more..

Fully Booked

Fully Booked

We counted 29 shows and presentations on the schedule yesterday. There weren't quite as many after-parties, but it almost felt like it, racing from one to another last night. At the Double Seven, Jason Wu was all smiles as he welcomed congratulations from the likes of Joan Smalls, Coco Rocha, and Shala Monroque. "I'm feeling so relieved. Tomorrow I'm going to sleep all day and hang out with my parents," he told "And then I'm going to Sant Ambroeus to have a big bowl of the risotto Milanese—that's what I really want." Around the corner at Bunker, where Rag & Bone was hosting its shindig, we spotted Lindsey Wixson and her rumored-to-be new boyfriend, Nathan James, as well as designer David Neville, but not his partner Marcus Wainwright. But he had a good excuse. Earlier in the day, his wife had just had baby number three. Over at the Standard Hotel, the mob scene downstairs was for Waris Ahluwalia, who was upstairs at the Boom Boom Room celebrating his Boo by House of Waris capsule jewelry line. "They aren't all for me, let's be real," he said, referring to the crowd. "They're here for Solange Knowles, Spank Rock, and Dev's performances, too." Across town at the Gramercy Park Hotel Terrace, ladies who love Yigal Azrouël recapped their favorite looks from his show. "I want the black lacy dress at the end," Lisa Marie Fernandez said. The designer himself was just happy it's all over. "There's so much buildup leading to the show that it's tough to keep everything straight," he said. "Now, the collection is just out there."—Kristin Studeman and Bee-Shyuan Chang read more..

Friday 24 February 2012

Apple Products-Abc Nightline-Foxconn

ABC's iFactory report shows life at Foxconn

Update: You can now watch this full episode on (US only, of course) I just finished watching the ABC Nightline report cleverly named iFactory: Inside Apple. ABC's Bill Weir was given unprecedented access to Foxconn, where iPhones, iPads and Macs are assembled. If you've been following this saga for a while, there wasn't that much new here. It was good to see ABC provide some context as to why people go to work at Foxconn, and the report provided some background on working conditions at the plant. Weir starts off touching upon the Apple mythos, then goes straight into how our iDevices are made. For example, it takes 141 steps to make an iPhone. Something that surprised him: Apple products are largely made by hand. Weir points to a tiny iPad camera module, noting that with two 12-hour shifts each day Foxconn can crank out 300,000 of those in a day. According to ABC it takes 5 days and over 300 hands to assemble an iPad, but they aren't made by robots, they are made by people. Mostly young people. "No one looked over 30," observed Weir. In fact, Weir was there on a day when thousands of young people lined up to apply for work at Foxconn. What was remarkable was that the only requirement seemed to be a valid national ID card. But, as Weir points out again and again, the demand for Apple products is so high that Foxconn can't keep up. They hire en masse and train people for days before putting them to work. Workers at Foxconn tend to be quite young, around 18, and they will often come from impoverished rural areas for the work. This actually has a positive benefit to the people left behind in the villages who told ABC that they felt life was better without the young people around. "More of everything," noted one villager. I have to imagine the generation gap was at play here somewhat, as family ties would still find some people missing their grandkids. But the opportunity at Foxconn is what causes workers to flock to the factories. As for working conditions, I saw very little that was shocking. The only exception was the nets, placed around dorms and other buildings with high floors, which are designed to make potential suicide victims think twice before jumping. Those you don't see many places. Of course, the suicides at Foxconn are partly what drew so much attention to the factory. Louis Woo, a Foxconn executive, explained how Tim Cook flew to China to help organize counseling for people to prevent further suicides. Otherwise, the Foxconn areas shown in the report looked far nicer than any American factory I've been in (and I've been in a few). People complained about a lot of the same stuff you find anywhere -- pay, food, hours. But then, workers do work a 12 hour shift. And they stay in dorms with seven other people in a room that makes my college dorm look grandiose by comparison. Still, this isn't unusual in a country with the single largest population on the planet by far. Weir did show footage of workers napping at their stations, saying that if one ate their meal fast enough, they could catch a quick nap. Foxconn workers have two one-hour breaks to eat, but the executive who led Weir around the factory explained the naps after meals are, in fact, a Chinese tradition. Foxconn offers workers what looked like a very pleasant Internet cafe, recreational facilities (a soccer field was shown) and some education, like English classes. ABC gave no percentages on how many workers use these amenities, but it was pointed out that most people are there to simply work. Then there were the inspections by the Fair Labor Association. The head of that organization explained that he expected Foxconn to put on a show, but that they will conduct "bottom up" interviews to ensure working conditions are decent. I won't spoil the rest, but ABC fairly points out that several other companies contract Foxconn, and Apple takes heat because they are so visible. While the report didn't have any huge revelations (they were denied an interview read more..

Senior Associate-Summer Release-Mountain Lion-Chinese Court-Apple Stores

Chinese court rejects injunction to stop iPad sales at Apple stores

A request for a legal injunction that would have forced Apple to halt iPad sales in its Shanghai stores has been rejected, giving the U.S. tech giant a small victory in its ongoing trademark dispute in China over the iPad name. read more..

Pondering Mountain Lion

Macworld staff writer Lex Friedman, staff editor Serenity Caldwell, and senior associate editor Dan Moren speak about their hopes, dreams, and wishes for features that could still make it into Mountain Lion before its summer release. read more..

Mac Developers-Sandboxing-Apple

Sandbox deadline delayed yet again to June 1

Apple told Mac developers Tuesday that it would be extending the sandboxing deadline for all App Store apps yet again, this time to June 1. Additionally, Apple has confirmed that apps may remain on the App Store without sandboxing after this deadline, but developers may only submit bug fix updates for them. Macworld spoke with several app developers about their thoughts on the extension. read more..

The General Elections-Friendraising-Social Media-Custom Apps-Sean Parker

Votizen Raises $750k From Sean Parker, Others, To Turn Elections From Fundraising To ‘Friendraising’

Just in time for the general elections coming up later this year, Votizen, the social media site that helps like-minded voters get together and influence how those elections go, has raised $750,000. And while that may sound like a modest number -- in true voter influencer fashion -- it's the backers that are going to count here. read more..

The BYOD struggle: From writing custom apps to defining security

Companies are grappling with the question of whether and how to let employees use their own smartphones and tablets at work even as a huge push is being made to set up internal "app stores" of approved and custom-built corporate mobile apps. read more..

Prison Sentence-Facebook

Facebook Murder-For-Hire Plot Lands Two People in Prison

A murder-for-hire plot that started with a Facebook message resulted in a prison sentence for Ohio residents Christine Metter and her 77-year-old father. Metter stared at the courtroom floor on Thursday when a judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison for attempting to hire a man on Facebook to kill her ex-husband. read more..

Planned Parenthood-Social Networking-Ellen Degeneres-Social Protest-Social Media

Social media at forefront of social protest

LOS ANGELES, Feb 3 ( - From SOPA to Ellen DeGeneres, protesting keeps getting more social. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, digital agitation has entered the mainstream allowing people to affect change at a dizzying speed. Going viral is no longer reserved for cute puppy videos. Social networking has moved into new areas of social protest, Tim Stevens, editor-in-chief of the technology blog Engadget, said Friday, shortly after Susan G. Komen Foundation reversed course on pulling Planned Parenthood funding in wake of a fierce social media protest. ... read more..

Earl Of Mornington-Private Club-Belstaff

Fast Company

Belstaff has undergone a reorientation of sorts since changing hands in June, and the motorsports-inflected heritage brand shifted into high gear last night with a spirited party at Mark's Club, the late, legendary London restaurateur Mark Birley's private club just off Berkeley Square. Inside the Mayfair town house, guests sipped Champagne surrounded by portraits of dogs and horses, tuxedoed waiters shuttled shepherd's pie and bacon sandwiches up to the likes of Poppy Delevingne and Tallulah Harlech, and most everyone in the place tried to get a word in with co-hosts the Earl of March and the Earl of Mornington. (The latter happens to be next in line to be the Duke of Wellington.) In the words of Belstaff's new CEO, Harry Slatkin, "I guess this officially makes us British." "Again," he might have added. Since acquiring Belstaff from the Malenotti family, Labelux has been steering the 1924 brand back to its roots. That's meant many trips to the archives for creative director Martin Cooper, who said he's been studying the original performance fabrics and steeping himself in a time when "you had English aristocrats buying motorbikes and open-cockpit airplanes as toys." Cooper is also working on a lower-priced capsule collection with the Earl of March, whose country estate, Goodwood, is the site of one of the country's major classic-car races. If the size of the crowd was any measure, it's a revamp everyone wants to be a part of. Squeezing into the second-floor parlor, Eddie Spencer-Churchill couldn't resist teasing Lord Mornington's wife, Jemma Kidd, for inviting him to a standing-up dinner party with "a thousand of her closest friends." The Countess shooed him off, as if to say: different occasion, different speed.—Darrell Hartman read more..


Seven tips to help you avoid counterfeit apps in the App Store

There are several recent examples of unsavory titles slipping through the cracks of Apple's approval process. Apps like counterfeit Pokemon apps and a cloned beer timer app have made it into the walled garden of the iOS App Store. Instead of relying on Apple to be a safety gate, iOS owners need to be more vigilant when purchasing apps. Before you hit that "Buy App" button, you should follow these handy tips to help you steer clear of counterfeit and knockoff apps. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments. Read the description The quality of the description is one sign that an iOS app is counterfeit. If the description reads like it's written by a six-year-old, then you should probably walk away from the app. Either the developer doesn't care enough to write a decent description or the description is a mass-produced, poorly-translated piece of prose from an overseas scam factory. Look at the comments on an app Customers who buy an app and then discover it's a scam are vocal. They will leave scathing comments that make it clear the app is a fraud. This will work to your benefit as you can learn a lot about the developer and the app from even as little as five to ten comments. If there are no comments, then you'll need to use some of our other tips to dig a little deeper into the developer's history and the reputation of the app. Scan the App Store Be sure to search the App Store before you buy an app to make sure it is the correct one. As we pointed out last week, some copycat apps are so brazen they will steal the underlying code, the name and the icon of the original app with minimal changes. Misspellings of popular titles or closely worded app titles like "Angry Birdy" are also red flags. Spend a few minutes comparing the app icons, looking at the product images, and carefully reading the description. If you're not sure which version is the right one, then you'll have to do some detective work to identify the legitimate developer. Does the developer have a history? If you find an app you want to buy, then look at the developer's history to make sure he or she is legitimate. Experienced developers will have multiple apps in the app store and each will have comments. You can see a list of the developer's apps on the left hand side of the iTunes window underneath the app requirements. Some scammers will release one app they hope will fly under Apple's radar and grab a thousand downloads before it disappears. At 99 cents a pop, all it takes is a couple hundred downloads for the developer to make his or her money back on the developer's fee. If someone can easily recoup the developer's fee, there's not much stopping them from signing up for another account and doing it all again when their app gets the boot. Another warning sign is a developer who has dozens and dozens of apps. Quality apps take a long time to write, and an indie developer with many apps could be a scam factory producing garbage or counterfeit apps. This isn't a hard and fast rule as some apps, like wallpaper collections or simple games, lend itself to multiple versions. Likewise, there are new developers who only have one app. Because this tip may penalize reputable developers, you should use it along with the other tips. If the developer has a poorly written description, a title whose name is a misspelling of a popular title and 175 published apps, then you may want to think twice about your purchase. When was the app updated? Once an app is approved, most scammers won't take the time to update a title. They are in the App Store only to make money and aren't interested in the process of developing and improving their title. You can find the date of the last update and the app version number underneath the "Buy App" button. You can also search a site like App Shopper which will list all the version and price changes made to the app. Is there a face behind the name? If a developer has a support link in iTunes, then click on it and see i read more..

Thursday 23 February 2012

Interesting Changes-Flashy Features-System Changes-Mountain Lion-Minor Changes

Ten exciting system changes in Mountain Lion

There are a bunch of interesting changes to look forward to when Mountain Lion roars onto the scene this summer. But for those uninterested in flashy features, there are plenty of minor changes, as well. Here's a quick look at ten that caught my eye. read more..

Assembly Line Workers-Foxconn Technology-Public Scrutiny-Tech Companies

Foxconn to increase workers' wages in China

Foxconn Technology, a supplier for Apple among other tech companies, said on Saturday it had raised wages for its assembly line workers in China by 16 to 25 percent. The move came amid increased public scrutiny over working conditions at its factories. read more..

Excellent Tools-Tax Software-Tax Prep

Review: H&R Block's At Home tax software offers excellent tools

H&R Block at Home is an easy to use application that makes tax prep simple, offers tools to help you avoid audit-inducing mistakes, and if necessary, keeps a professional close at hand if you’re not sure how to handle a specific situation. read more..

Two And A Half Men-Ashton Kutcher-Charlie Sheen-Olive Branch

Charlie Sheen apologizes to Ashton Kutcher via Twitter

LOS ANGELES, Feb 21 ( - Charlie Sheen has extended an olive branch to his "Two and a Half Men" replacement Ashton Kutcher via the magic of Twitter. Days after trashing Kutcher and the direction that "Two and a Half Men" has taken with him, Sheen posted a tweet Tuesday morning apologizing for the whole outburst. "Dear Ashton- My bad," the mea culpa reads. "I was disrespectful to a man doing his best. I got excited and threw you into a crossfire. The rest of my statement I stand behind. You, however, deserve better. Safety in your travels good sir. ... read more..

Stage Dressings-Party Planning-Mulberry

Where the Wild Things Are

There were beauties and beasts at Mulberry yesterday, not to mention some very clever party planning. Having organized their post-show soirée at the Savile Club just a few doors down from Claridge's, site of the label's runway show, creative director Emma Hill and co. cannily repurposed the morning's stage dressings, placing bunches of padlock-shaped gold balloons in various nooks and throwing hairy goatskins (a nod to the Fall collection's Where the Wild Things Are vibe) over leather couches. Mulberry's takeover gave the likes of Michelle Williams and Elizabeth Olsen a reason to party at a place where the fairer sex is only allowed in after six. During her team's initial walk-through, Hill recalled, "we were probably the youngest people by about 40 years." (One member interpreted Hill's workaday outfit of tights and denim to mean she was a gymnast.) Then again, this is the first time the brand has put its show on the official London fashion week calendar—maybe, in a way, Mulberry is ready to join the establishment. Alexa Chung lingered at the raw bar downstairs as guests were summoned up to dinner, declaring the oyster shucker's chain-mail glove "a good look." Michelle Dockery, somehow looking even more luminous than she does on DowntonAbbey, stumbled on the grand staircase as a photographer's flash went off. "Delete that," she half-joked. Happily, Lana Del Rey made no missteps during her after-dinner concert. Hill, recalling the time the trending songstress (and namesake of Mulberry's latest bag) performed for the brand in Los Angeles, enumerated what might be Del Rey's most impressive trait:"the ability to silence 40 editors." This time, too, you could have heard a pin drop the moment she took the stage. The opposite was the case over at Vivienne Westwood's after-party at The Box, where you couldn't make out anything Damien Hirst was saying to his host, Francesca Hammerstein, even if the two of them were sitting right next to you. Florence Welch cheered exuberantly for the club's hopped-up burlesque—a slightly more conservative version, it should be noted, than inNew York—from her table near the stage. In the back, meanwhile, Westwood shook her head in disbelief as two young gentlemen performed extraordinary feats of strength and balance in their underwear. Wild things, indeed.—Darrell Hartman read more..

Mac Development-Mac App Store-Gatekeeper-Apps

App-ocalypse soon: Apple extends sandboxing deadlines, but restrictions loom

Apple issued a three month extension on application sandboxing today, giving devs a little more breathing room before new rules take over. June 1 2012 is now the enforcement date. We've been having many discussions about Mac development in the TUAW backchannel over the last week. The introduction of GateKeeper and the notion of signed apps, sandboxing, and developer IDs have us talking about where Apple is taking the Mac, and will be moving Mac development in general. Overall, we think things are moving towards a win for consumers and better opportunities for devs. Read on to learn more about these technologies, and how they affect developers and App Store. GateKeeper is Apple's new approach to making your Mac safer by giving you control over which applications may download and run on your computer. With GateKeeper, developers sign apps to authenticate them with the OS -- both apps that you purchase from the Mac App Store and, at the developer's option, also apps you purchase elsewhere. With Mountain Lion, you choose which apps are allowed to run. You'll be able to disable GateKeeper and run apps from anywhere if you like, although this is not the default setting. The thing is this: Apple continues moving towards a more controlled, less open, more appliance-like concept of what a Mac means. That redefinition is causing ripples, affecting app development more and more. Applications can do fewer things, access fewer system resources, and control other apps less than they did in the past. Developers who choose to enroll in the Mac development program pay a $99/year fee just as those who enroll in the iOS development program do. Once enrolled, they can sign their apps as identified developers -- as well as gain access to early beta versions of unreleased operating systems. When the iPhone SDK first debuted, many people including yours truly complained about what couldn't be done with the APIs: what files could be accessed, what routines could be called, and so forth. Coming from a general computing background, one learns to expect to build whatever one can imagine. If the building blocks are there, then why not build whatever tools you need? That all ties into a background of fully open computing. Apple's policy split the dev community into the jailbreak world and the App Store world, with many people crossing over depending on what they were building. Under jailbreak, developers gain full access to the entire iOS file system and run apps in a fully privileged mode. This gives devs a much broader development vocabulary to work with. The jailbreak world became known for its innovation, with Apple mining those forward-looking ideas and free R&D and bringing them into successive iterations of their operating system. At the same time, developers had to change. If they wanted to market through App Store, they had to relinquish product ideas that wouldn't work within the more closed-off system that App Store submission required and look instead for opportunities of development that were allowed. No one can look at App Store today, with its countless apps, and say that Apple denied developers opportunity. It's just a somewhat different opportunity than many developers expected. It's an opportunity that restricted certain kinds of applications, most typically OS enhancements and utilities (which have flourished on other mobile platforms with less oversight of developer access). Overall, Apple has provided better tools, better marketing, and better sales avenues than had existed before. The end result has been apps that are significantly better than previous generations. And now, Apple is doing the same thing for the Mac. This is emotionally hard for some long-term devs like me. We want Linux-y freedom for whatever we want to build and distribute. Now, with sandboxing (a technique that restricts application access to full system files; all apps that are not sandboxed will be removed from the Mac App Store starting June 1st [Update: Older read more..