As announced last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook will headline this year's D10 Conference hosted by AllThingsD, sitting down for an opening session interview tomorrow, Tuesday, May 29, at 6:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern. MacRumors will be on hand to provide live coverage of the session.
Cook is not expected to make any product announcements, but the session should offer some interesting insight into Cook and Apple. Tomorrow's on-stage appearance by Cook will be his first at the annual D Conference, but Steve Jobs made a number of notable appearances there over the years including a joint interview with Bill Gates back in 2007.
In fact, as AllThingsD noted when it announced Cook's participation, it will be his first on-stage appearance as CEO at any event not run by Apple or targeted at investors. Cook, who previously served several stints handling Apple's day-to-day operations during Steve Jobs' medical leaves of absence, was officially named CEO last August.
The schedule for D10 also includes screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who will be handling the screen adaptation of Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Other headlining names include Pixar and Walt Disney Animation president Ed Catmull, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. read more..
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
As announced last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook will headline this year's D10 Conference hosted by AllThingsD, sitting down for an opening session interview tomorrow, Tuesday, May 29, at 6:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern. MacRumors will be on hand to provide live coverage of the session.
Monday, 28 May 2012
There have been persistent rumors that Facebook may be trying to enter the mobile phone market with its own device.
The NYTimes revives these rumors this weekend with a report claiming that Facebook is planning to release its own smartphone by next year. Amongst other talent, Facebook has already recruited a number of former Apple iPhone/iPad engineers for the project:The company has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, the employees and those briefed on the plans said.This is reportedly the 3rd attempt by Facebook to build a smartphone. Previous plans had reportedly "crumbled" after running into technical difficulties. Facebook is now trying to recruit engineers with previous mobile phone experience to streamline the process.
Facebook has a natural interest in selling smartphones. The company already has incredibly popular mobile apps for iOS and Android, but lacks much control on those platforms. “Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” a Facebook employee said read more..
It's not a given that a leader in search can successfully pivot into other areas like social media -- just ask Google -- but a new service launching in Russia today, from that country's search leader Yandex, shows one route a company with a lot of smarts can take to make sure they remain a central player in the social game. Today sees the launch of SocialMart, a social shopping startup financed by Yandex (through its seed-funding program Yandex.Factory), and powered by Yandex (via Yandex.Market), but is not Yandex itself.Both Yandex and SocialMart are banking on the fact that the rising popularity of ecommerce in Russia is inevitably going to cross over with the equally popular trend of social networking: up to now, those twains have not met, unlike in other markets, where services like Mertado (now part of Groupon), Sneakpeeq, and Fab have been running away with the "social shopping" banner, picking up users and funding in the process. read more..
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc's bungled initial public offering has gone from one of the most highly anticipated stock offerings to a hot legal opportunity for lawyers on both sides of shareholder litigation. Court battles over the fizzled IPO could run for years, as the social networking company, the banks that took it public and the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc face claims that they short-changed investors. Besides fighting off claims by Facebook shareholders, the defendants will also need lawyers to respond to inquiries from government investigators looking into how the IPO was handled. ... read more..
Belly, the Chicago-based loyalty platform which just closed its $10 million Series B from Andreessen Horowitz earlier this month, is today announcing a pretty significant milestone: its 1 millionth check-in. The startup allows customers to check-in to a location using a physical loyalty card or mobile app which they scan via a consumer-facing iPad installed at point-of-sale. By doing so, customers collect points that can later be redeemed for unique rewards tailored specifically for the business in question.The company has been growing fast, and CEO Logan LaHive tells us that in some of Belly's locations, there have been more Belly check-ins within its first month of being up-and-running, than the total number of Foursquare check-ins the business has seen to date. read more..
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Now that Facebook's a big nasty corporation, it's not only attracted a lot of bad press, it's inspired more direct action. In the run-up to the IPO and its messy aftermath we've read a few declarations of expatriatism, including one today from The New Yorker's Steve Coll. In no way does this indicate a coming mass exodus. These people aren't starting movements, rallying the people of the Internet like Quit Facebook Day tried (and failed) to do back in 2010. ... read more..
Saturday, 26 May 2012
Chronic Dev Team today announced the release of Absinthe 2.0, which offers users the ability to jailbreak numerous iOS devices running iOS 5.1.1, including the third-generation iPad, without having to tether the device to a computer for booting. The jailbreaking process allows users to load third-party software and hacks not authorized by Apple onto their devices.
Absinthe 2.0 works only on iOS 5.1.1, and enables jailbreaking of all iPad models with the exception of the revised 16 GB iPad 2, although compatibility with that device is scheduled to be added in the future. On the iPhone side, Absinthe 2.0 can jailbreak all devices from the iPhone 3GS onward, while the software is also compatible with the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch models.
Absinthe 2.0 is available for OS X (Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion), Windows (XP, Vista, and 7), and Linux. Users who have already jailbroken their iOS 5.1.1 devices using tethered options available prior to today can untether their devices using the Rocky Racoon 5.1.1 Untether package available through Cydia.
The release comes from the same partnership of Chronic Dev Team and iPhone Dev Team that released Absinthe A5 earlier this year to offer the first untethered jailbreak of iOS devices based on Apple's A5 system-on-a-chip, which included the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
Update: The Dev Teams have already pushed out version 2.0.1 to address an issue with hanging. New direct download links include:
- OS X (Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion)
- Windows (XP, Vista, and 7) read more..
Exec, a mobile app that instantly gets people to do your errands, has raised $3.3 million, according to an SEC filing. The company's co-founder Justin Kan, who is also behind Justin.tv, Twitch.tv and SocialCam, says he's not ready to disclose investors yet, except to say that there are around 25 different individuals in the round. The filing only shows Exec's team on it, so it's hard to tell who the firms or angels in the round are. What's Exec? It's kind of comparable to TaskRabbit, because you can call on people to run your errands from an app. But Exec doesn't require a bidding process and it calls up 'Execs,' or people to do your tasks, instantaneously. It also has a flat rate of $25 an hour. Exec covers all sorts of errands -- deliveries, chores, cleaning, even art. One 'Exec,' who cleaned my house once, has also coached YC founders on their pitches for Demo Day. Seriously."This money is for building out the San Francisco Bay Area market," Kan said. read more..
Friday, 25 May 2012
Dear Aunt TUAW, I read Uncle Steve's write-up about posting an iWeb site to a Dropbox folder. It's a great blog post and neat trick! But it's using the Public folder... Is there a way to use a non-public folder to do the same? Your loving nephew, Seb Dear Seb, Auntie is fond of Kissr.co, not just because of its name, of course, but because it makes setting up a website on Dropbox super easy. Just register for a name, and use Uncle Steve's save-from-iWeb secret techniques, and boom, you'll have a full website running from your Dropbox in no-time. If you want a custom domain, Kissr offers those for a small charge. If you're more interested in wikis than blogs, take a look at WikiPack. It's a markdown-powered Wiki service that also serves from Dropbox. (And Uncle Brett consulted on the project!) Auntie has tried both services (albeit, just poking around, no serious testing) and both seem to offer practical, portable, usable solutions. Hugs, Auntie T.Dear Aunt TUAW: How do I post a website on Dropbox? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
"This is Nelson," says iPhone owner Katy McCaffrey of the picture above, posted on her Facebook. "Nelson has my stolen iPhone." McCaffrey took her iPhone on a Disney Cruise back in April, where the phone was either misplaced or stolen. But it's been found, now. Photo Stream was still running, and pictures from the iPhone have started appearing on it of Nelson and his friends and coworkers on the boat. Disney has investigated the situation and says the phone has been recovered and will be returned to its owner when the boat that it's on is back in port. The employee in question is on "administrative leave," and his fate will presumably be determined when the current cruise is finished. Disney is doing its best to make things right, but yeah, shame on Nelson for not making sure the phone (which you have to imagine had McCaffrey's info on it, right?) was returned to its owner right away. [Via NPR]Stolen iPhone photos unwittingly posted by Disney cruise ship employee originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Thursday, 24 May 2012
BGR reports that Microsoft is planning to launch Office for iOS in November this year, with the source claiming first-hand knowledge of the software running on an iPad. With the app's splash screen referring to it as "Office for iOS", the source also speculates that the app may also be coming to the smaller screens of the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition to its iOS effort, Microsoft is also said to be bringing Office to Android-based tablets in the same timeframe.
Microsoft had indicated soon after the launch of the original iPad that it was investigating the possibility of bringing Office to the platform, but ultimately stated that it had no plans for such an effort. The Daily has since claimed several times that Office for iPad is in fact in the works, reporting in February that it had even had hands-on time with a prototype of the app.
Photo of claimed Office prototype app running on an iPad (Source: The Daily)
Microsoft denied the claim, but The Daily continues to stand by its report. Suggesting that there may have been a misunderstanding somewhere, Microsoft stated that the situation would become "clear in the coming weeks". No such clarification has yet surfaced, however. read more..
Just over a week ago, the jury began deliberations on the ongoing patent infringement case between Google and Oracle. After waiting in the wings, with bated breath, the verdict is finally in, as Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the jury this afternoon after a unanimous decision that ruled in favor of Google's mobile OS -- declaring that Android did not in fact infringe on the Oracle patents in question. The decision follows an opposing verdict earlier this month, in which the jury in the long-running infringement case found that certain components of Android APIs had too close of a resemblance to code used in Oracle's Java programming tools. However, the jury ended up splitting on the notion of whether or not Google could in fact claim fair use in its defense (which could have then led to a mistrial.) read more..
A weather forecast promising rain doesn't bode well for a garden party, but that didn't stop a slew of boldfacers from making their way to MoMA's annual fête in the Abby Aldrich Sculpture Garden last night. For some, it was the sentimental value attached to the iconic museum that drew them out. "This was the first museum that I had membership to in 1970… [cough cough]," said Kim Cattrall.
For the artists, it was a reunion of sorts. "I like to see the sculptures outdoors amongst the green, but you can see those all the time," Georgo Condo told Style.com as he arrived. "What I really like is running into people I haven't seen in a while, all the artists—I just saw Richard Serra, I know Ellsworth Kelly is here. You don't get to see them that often because we're all hiding in our studios."
Chuck Close was also in residence, chatting nearby with Cindy Sherman and MoMA's Klaus Biesenbach. "I was in Europe last year during this time, so I can't wait to get to the dance floor tonight," he said. "I go up on my flat wheels and dance in my wheelchair. I have no idea who is performing, but whoever it is, I will boogie to it."
The evening's big act, Santigold, arrived just before dinner started. "Nervous?" someone asked. "No, never," she said. "Well, actually, once I did a private concert and they invited Pharrell and Andy Samberg on the stage and it made me so nervous because there are a lot of wild cards there. But in general, we have a good rhythm going up there."
—Kristin Studeman read more..
The big question with Sonic games is always if it's as good as the old titles on the Sega Genesis and the Dreamcast, and as usual, the answer here with Sonic 4 Episode 2 (yes, that's how they're releasing these) is unfortunately no. But that's not really a bad thing -- this is pretty good 2D Sonic, put together with quality graphics and plenty of content to play through. It won't compare to the old titles (because what does, really?), but if you're just looking for Sonic and Tails to run around in a colorful world, you'll get it here. Yes, Tails is back in this one, and he and Sonic team up to run, do a little flying, and race through lots and lots of levels together. You can even hook up with two players over Bluetooth, one on Sonic and the other on Tails. Just like the last Sonic on iOS, the proceedings are plenty colorful, varied from stage to stage, and while the controls are only virtual (actually, iCade compatibility would be a nice bonus here), they work about as well as virtual controls can. Sonic 4 Episode 2 isn't a bad game at all, though like all of the other Sonic titles out there, it probably won't live up to your memories of what the series once was. If you want old school Sonic action, and wouldn't mind seeing Tails in 2D after quite a while away, the game's available for $6.99 in a universal version right now.Daily iPhone App: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 brings Sonic back again originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 21 May 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
We spend more and more time on social networks, but sometimes it can feel like work. I mean, scrolling through your news feed isn't work work, but it's not quite as easy as vegging out on your couch and watching TV.That's where a new startup called Stevie comes in, with a website launching today at Disrupt, along with mobile apps that function as remote controls. Stevie looks at content shared in your social network feeds and elsewhere on the Web, and it assembles that content into TV shows that you can watch, shows with names like The Comedy Strip, Music Non-Stop, and Celeb TV. Naturally, the shows incorporate video content that your friends have shared, but they also include things like Facebook status updates, tweets, shared headlines, and birthdays, running mostly as tickers under the video. Essentially, it's a way to watch Facebook and Twitter on your TV. read more..
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Apple is adding a second Apple store in Hong Kong and retailers are vacating their spaces to make room for the Cupertino company. According to an ifoAppleStore report, three retailers, HSBC, Agnes B. and Izzue, are leaving their spaces in the Festival Walk shopping center to make room for a large Apple Store. The new store will be across the bay from the current IFC Mall store and located on an island that ifoAppleStore describes as being "office-oriented." It will be in a high-traffic area near the Kowloon Tong subway station and the City University of Hong Kong. The store may open sometime in 2013.Retailers relocate to accomodate Apple Store in Hong Kong originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 21 May 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
MapMyFitness is a veteran of the online health and fitness space, with the first iteration of its website appearing back in the summer of 2005. Since then, the startup has developed a suite of fitness-oriented websites (like MapMyRUN.com, MapMyRIDE.com, MapMyWALK.com, et al) to let users track and store their running, cycling, walking and hiking endeavors, along with accessing a database of international routes, fitness calculators, events listings and more. MapMyFitness has long had a solid community of committed users, but it's seen a significant bump in adoption of late, this week passing 9 million registered users.Building on this uptick in adoption, MapMyFitness is today launching one of the most significant updates to its platform since its rebranding back in 2007. The startup has completely rebuilt its portfolio of websites, adding a number of new features, with the main attraction being a new service called "Courses," which includes "one of the most advanced integrations of Google Maps’ API to date," says CEO Richard Jalichandra. read more..
Disrupt NYC day two has just wrapped up. During the conference today, Michael Arrington demanded to know from Ron Conway when he was going to run for Mayor of San Francisco (he kept saying he would "never"), our very own Josh Constine grilled Tim Armstrong with questions about AOL, layoffs, which publication he likes more: Huffington Post or TechCrunch (he said "both"), and we watched 15 more amazing startups battle it out for the ultimate Disrupt prize -- the Disrupt Cup and $50,000.Starting tomorrow at 3:30pm ET we will have our Startup Battlefield Disrupt finals. Yesterday, we wrote detailed articles with pictures and pitches from all of the startups who presented. Below are the ones who were featured today. Out of these 30 companies, both from yesterday and today, five will be chosen to fight it out for the ultimate prize. We will have an all-star panel of judges tomorrow for the finals and things will probably get intense; people always get a little crazy at the finals, but as you can imagine, it's a blast to watch. So, take your time in reviewing all of the stellar startups below. Compared to the brilliant ones yesterday, which startup do you think will make it to the finals? Going further, any guesses on who you think will win it all? read more..
(Reuters) - In the run-up to Facebook's $16 billion IPO, Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on the deal, unexpectedly delivered some negative news to major clients: The bank's consumer Internet analyst, Scott Devitt, was reducing his revenue forecasts for the company. The sudden caution very close to the huge initial public offering, and while an investor roadshow was underway, was a big shock to some, said two investors who were advised of the revised forecast. ... read more..
Hackers gained access to US Justice Department website
One or more unauthorized users gained access to the inner workings of a website run by the U.S. Justice Department, a department spokeswoman said on Monday after the hacker group Anonymous said they were behind the incident. read more..
Apple has announced some details on the 2012 iTunes Festival in London. This 30-day music event will take place at The Roundhouse and feature free performances by Usher, Emeli Sandé, Jack White, Norah Jones and One Direction among others. Tickets will be distributed via lottery, and fans in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands can vie for a seat. Apple will stream performances to computers running iTunes and iPhones, iPod touches and iPads with the iTunes Festival app installed. The fun starts on September 1 and runs for the whole month.Apple's iTunes Festival scheduled for September originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 18 May 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
WellRed Apps launched its DropKey file encryption app for Mac last month, but realized that there's one issue with gaining widespread acceptance -- it takes two to tango, and it takes two copies of DropKey (one each for sender and recipient) to send files securely. The company had been giving away one free license with each purchase of DropKey, but is going all-out through Sunday by making the app completely free. DropKey pairs 2048-bit keys with 256-bit encryption for incredible security. The app, which requires a Mac running OS X 10.7 or later, is integrated with Address Book and makes encryption drop-dead simple. When you launch DropKey for the first time, it generates your public and private encryption keys. You can email your public key to a trusted recipient from the app, which adds the key information to your address book card on the recipient's Mac. Prior to that time, a shared password is required; after the keys have been shared, you no longer need the password. DropKey is a useful app if you need to send encrypted information to co-workers on a regular basis, and there's no better time than now to download a copy for free from the Mac App Store.DropKey app encrypts Mac files, free through Sunday originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 18 May 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
It's been almost four years since Apple debuted its App Store platform for iOS (and then the Mac), and MacStories has an in-depth look back at that time. In just four short years, Apple has gone from saying that all we'd need on iOS are web apps, to a millions of dollars a year industry that supports almost half a million jobs. Needless to say, that's phenomenal growth. But what's most interesting about the growth of the App Store is how the apps themselves have changed. MacStories writes about that initial push -- in those early days, the quality of the software was very low, and there were a lot of "speculators," for lack of a better term: Developers who just released quick and dirty apps (honestly, fart apps is what most of them were) to try and make a little bit of money. App branding, too, has come a long way. In the early days it was all about search and gaming the system, and these days, there are more ways to find good apps than ever. At the same time, it's also harder for developers to make their mark in an increasingly crowded market. Apple's own success may be its biggest problem. The App Store has grown in a huge way over the past four years, and that may make it harder for both developers and Apple to figure out how to best run it going forward.MacStories looks at four years of the App Store originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 18 May 2012 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
The march of technology amazes me. Yeah, I'm an old guy, but it still surprises me when I realize that the amount of storage that used to fill a data center can now fit in my pocket. G-Technology's G-Drive mobile (made by Hitachi, US$199.99 MSRP for 1 TB) is the perfect example of mass storage in a small, silent box. Read on for a review of this mobile companion and a chance to win one!
DesignThere's not much too say in terms of the design of the G-Drive mobile -- it's a slim metallic box 5 inches long, a little over 3 inches wide, and about 3/4 of an inch high. There's no power port; the G-Drive is bus-powered by either FireWire (400/800) or USB 2.0. The device comes with cables for each connection. A single white LED on the front of the drive indicates when it is powered up and in use. On the inside, there's a 5400 RPM 1 TB drive with an 8 MB cache. For speed, I'd much rather see a 7200 RPM drive, but that would most likely drive up both the cost and power requirements of the drive. However, as you'll see with the benchmarks, this is still a pretty fast drive despite the slower rotation speed of the disk. The G-Drive mobile also comes in 500 MB ($149.99 MSRP) and 750 MB ($159.99) versions, although I'm at a loss why someone wouldn't want to double their capacity for just fifty bucks more. I found the drive to run a bit hot -- I had placed my iPhone on top of the drive at one point, and when I answered a call I wondered why the phone was so hot... As with other drives of this ilk, the G-Drive mobile is almost completely silent.
BenchmarksTUAW uses a standard industry benchmark to compare the I/O capabilities of disks and arrays. The benchmark uses the AJA System Test, which simulates reading and writing video. The specific test I used was the Disk Read/Write test, also known as the DiskWhackTest, set at a video frame size of 720 x 486 8-bit and a file size of 128 MB. The drive read speeds were surprisingly fast in our benchmarks, matching almost every FireWire drive that we've tested (only one is shown below for space considerations). When it came to USB 2.0 read speeds, the G-Drive mobile was slightly faster than the competition across the board. Write speeds were slower for the G-Drive when connected via FireWire 800, while almost identical to other drives with a USB 2.0 connection.
Conclusion and GiveawayIf you're the owner of a MacBook Pro and have an available FireWire 800 port, or have a FireWire-equipped desktop Mac you'd like to back up while keeping a lot of available desk space, then the G-Drive mobile will fill your requirements. Those who only have USB 2.0 ports on their Macs should spend their money on less expensive USB-only drives that offer read/write speeds in the same range as the G-Drive mobile. Thanks to G-Technology and TUAW, you now have a chance to win one of these sweet little drives. Just fill out the entry form below (only one entry per person, please) and we'll pick a random winner next week. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
- To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
- The entry must be made before May 20, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected and will receive a G-Technology G-Drive mobile valued at $199.99.
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Stanford has been a hotbed of startup activity for decades, and it's not just the engineering department. It's student-run organizations like the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) program. And the group, which has been instrumental in promoting startup activity at the university for the last 15 years, will be awarding $150,000 in prizes to participants from four different funding competitions this Tuesday.It will put on the BASES Finale, which brings together four different funding competitions for one full-day event. From 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the Arrillaga Alumni Center, groups will present as part of the E-Challenge, Social E-Challenge, Product Showcase, and Forge program. read more..
Disrupt NYC 2012 begins in approximately 12 hours (tickets here). But it's been two years since Soluto, the software that will make your computer simply run better, took home the Disrupt Cup at the TC Disrupt NYC Battlefield in 2010. The company entered the competition with a total of $7.8 million, and after walking away with the $50,000 round, secured another $10.2 million in Series B from Index Ventures for a total of $18 million in funding under their belts. It's been a wild ride, starting with about 400 users as the then-stealth company stepped on stage, and only a few days later they were dealing with hundreds of thousands of users. In fact, CEO and co-founder Tomer Dvir said that the platform almost had trouble dealing with all the data being sent back by the flood of new users. But, in his own words, "Disrupt is one of the best ways to release." Here's the interview I had with Mr. Dvir in its entirety: read more..
Sunday, 20 May 2012
Republique is an upcoming iOS title that's made a lot of noise by getting funded on Kickstarter recently, to the tune of half a million dollars, but I've had one nagging question about it: How exactly are they going to distribute the app to all of their backers? The most obvious solution would be to put a password gate inside of an app, but Apple doesn't allow that. If you have to lock content in your app, then you're clearly selling it outside of the App Store, which means you're dodging Apple's 30% cut. So what's their plan? Republique hasn't yet said, only that it's still being decided. Fortunately, however, here's the answer. The folks behind Zombies, Run! say that all they had to do to distribute an app for Kickstarter backers was ... ask. Apple agreed to let them have two versions of the app on the store -- one just for sale, and another that was free with a password gate in it. There were two limits, however: There had to be at least some content in the password-closed app, so people who just randomly came across it weren't confused. And Apple made the app developers take down any preorders once the app went live, so that Apple didn't lose any sales of its own. Good to hear that distribution this way is possible -- there are a few other Kickstarter projects that will need to make use of a plan like this when they are released. The key, according to Six to Start, is to get in touch with Apple early, and keep that communication flowing.How to distribute Kickstarter apps: Ask Apple originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 16 May 2012 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Saturday, 19 May 2012
GameStop is hurting. Same store sales fell 5%-11% and revenue was down 17% to $2 billion. Profit fell to $72.5 million. Arguably, those are still huge numbers and presumably a new console refresh should push the company out of the doldrums. But what the company has just launched - a new MVNO called GameStop Mobile - is almost inexplicable.GameStop Mobile is, in short, an unlimited data and voice offering for $55 a month (down to $20 a month for pay-as-you-go plans.) Gamestop is just selling SIM cards and service and is running on AT&T's network with some notable dead spots. read more..
Angel investor and all-around web magnate Chris Sacca wrote a quick tweet early yesterday about how it'd be cool if there was a website where people could predict where Facebook's stock will end up at the end of its first day as a publicly traded company. Well, ask and ye shall receive.A programmer named James Proud answered the call, hacking together FacebookIPODayClosingPrice.com, a fun little website that keeps a running tally of people's bets on where Facebook's stock will close on IPO day. read more..
Set parental controls on your Mac
In this week's Macworld Video, we'll walk you through setting up an account with parental controls, and just what controls are available to you. read more..
Apple lets crowd-funded developers sidestep App Store policies
Developers of the Zombies, Run! game for iPhone say they were able to distribute 3000 copies of the app to backers who had paid for its development through the Kickstarter "crowd funding" site, despite Apple's rules limiting developers to 50 promo codes for a single iOS app. read more..
Friday, 18 May 2012
Bloomberg reports that Apple is preparing laptop upgrades with models that are thinner than the existing Pro units; the new machines are expected to run on Intel's Ivy Bridge processors. This follows on rumors from earlier today that a new MacBook Pro and iMac appeared on the Geekbench benchmarking tool. The machines, which Bloomberg says are to be announced during WWDC, are also expected to sport Retina or HiDPI displays and a flash memory subsystem to speed up boot times. All those details are in line with a post from 9to5 Mac earlier today. Bloomberg also says that Apple might announce Mountain Lion's release date during WWDC as well.Bloomberg: Apple will debut new laptop lineup at WWDC originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 14 May 2012 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Inkling is an e-book publishing platform that's currently running an app on the App Store, and while Apple has been making an official push for more textbooks in iBooks, Inkling is strengthening its own holdings. The company has made a deal with Follett to bring hundreds of Inkling titles into college bookstores, where students can buy the ebook content right there in person. The company is selling whole textbooks, or it's also offering a program called "Pick 3," which allows students to grab three chapters of a book at a time, keeping costs down if teachers or students don't need the whole book. Overall, this may not be cheaper, however -- don't forget that students who buy real books can often have a chance to resell them, or can buy them used, and with ebooks, there's obviously no resale value. The Follett deal should be ready by the time students head back to school in the fall.Inkling to sell iPad textbooks in over 900 college bookstores originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 15 May 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Dear Aunt TUAW, Ah, the problems of modern romance. Since I broke up with "her" (and yes, I know you were saying she wasn't right for me) getting rid of all the remants of the relationship has not been easy, especially "her" digital footprint. She loved her music. So she would bring her iPod to my house and sync it leaving a whole bunch of songs I'll NEVER play again that were purchased under her Apple ID. How can I find them, delete them and finally be ready to move on with my life?
Your favorite but knucklehead nephew, Mark Dear Mark, When in doubt, there's usually an AppleScript solution to everything. Doug's Scripts offers one called "track down purchases" that scans your library, looks at the file for each song, and retrieves the apID purchase account for the track. It then builds individual playlists that sorts the songs by account. Be aware that you may encounter snags for homebrew recordings such as those from GarageBand, because the script expects to encounter standard iTunes tracks. If so, you may want to temporarily remove those while running the AppleScript. Let Auntie know if that does the job for you. Hugs, Auntie T.Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me sort iTunes Music by Apple ID originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 16 May 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Digitimes' poor track record has been thrust into the spotlight in recent days, but that hasn't stopped one of the Taiwanese news site's reports from having a major effect on stock prices for Samsung and Hynix. The report from earlier this week claims that Apple has placed "huge" orders for DRAM chips with Elpida, soaking up half of the capacity at the firm's main plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
1 GB of Elpida DRAM in third-generation iPad (Source: iFixit)
As noted by Reuters, the rumor has had a significant effect on fellow DRAM manufacturers Samsung and Hynix, with Samsung losing $10 billion in market value today in a 6% stock decline. The smaller Hynix was down nearly 9%"It looks like Apple doesn't want to see Samsung and hynix dominate the chip market. Apple wants to maintain its bargaining power by keeping Elpida running," said Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities.Elpida filed for bankruptcy in late February, and Micron has emerged as a likely acquirer for the company. The combined Micron-Elpida would be a strong competitor in the DRAM market, sparking concerns for others in the competitive industry.
DRAM, the volatile memory used to hold active applications and other data for use while a device is in operation, is a commodity in the consumer electronics market, with Apple routinely sourcing from multiple suppliers and shifting orders to achieve the best pricing. read more..
Heroku was a hit with Ruby developers because it was an easy-to-use development platform. Others have tried to do the same with other languages such as PHP Fog, dotCloud. Then last year AppHarbor, a 'Heroku for .NET' out of Y Combinator launched.And today AppHarbor has extended its service to European developers. EU applications will still run on Amazon's infrastructure, but they'll be running out of the EU-West region (Dublin) instead of US-East, where all current applications are located. read more..
Remains of the Day: Walk the walk, talk the talk
Environmental activists want Apple to clean up its cloud act, Cupertino wants to silence Siri complainers, and a noted screenwriter gets ready to put words in Steve Jobs's mouth. read more..
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Sony Pictures today announced that Aaron Sorkin will indeed serve as the screenwriter for the studio's upcoming film adaptation of Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Sorkin, who is famous for his work on The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball, and A Few Good Men, noted late last year that he was "strongly considering" taking on the project.Commenting on the announcement, [Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy] Pascal said, “Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time. There is no writer working in Hollywood today who is more capable of capturing such an extraordinary life for the screen than Aaron Sorkin; in his hands, we’re confident that the film will be everything that Jobs himself was: captivating, entertaining, and polarizing.”Casting for the film has yet to be determined, but rumors have suggested that George Clooney and Noah Wyle may be in the running for the role of Jobs. Wyle portrayed Jobs in the 1999 made-for-TV film The Pirates of Silicon Valley, which focused on the early days of Jobs and Bill Gates.
The project is a completely separate effort from an independent film about Jobs that has Ashton Kutcher starring in the lead role. Just last week, Kutcher was spotted wearing Jobs' trademark wardrobe en route to the film's set, where filming is currently underway while Kutcher is on a break from his television show Two and a Half Men. read more..
With long-running rumors of ultra high-resolution "Retina" displays for Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro receiving a significant boost with reports from several sources surfacing yesterday and similar upgrades now being rumored for the iMac, fans of the MacBook Air have been awaiting word on when they might expect Apple's smallest Mac notebooks to gain the feature.
9to5Mac now reports that Apple is indeed unsurprisingly planning to bring Retina displays to the MacBook Air, with that upgrade being the most significant change for the next-generation line.Apple’s new MacBook Air will not see major changes across the entire computer like the next-generation MacBook Pro, but this update will truly be all about the Retina Display. [...]
Apple is preparing both new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models. These new Airs lack notable design changes, but feature fast and power-efficient Ivy Bridge processors and improved graphics engines to support the Retina Display, according to supply chain sources. The new Airs will also use improved Apple internal battery technology in order to support the battery life required by high-pixel-density screens such as the Retina Display, according to sources familiar with prototype versions of the super-thin notebook’s internal components.The report's source suggests that the updated MacBook Air is unlikely to appear at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference, with Apple still working to meet the Retina display's power requirements within the MacBook Air's thin form factor.
Apple is also reportedly undecided on whether it will include USB 3.0 in the next-generation MacBook Air. The USB 3.0 standard, offering higher data transfer speeds, is reportedly being included on the revamped MacBook Pro, but the company is still weighing whether it wants to bring the standard to its lower-priced MacBook Air line. read more..
With Square yet to reveal when or where it might offer its mobile payment service in Europe, and PayPal apparently still only talking with would-be partners, the door is wide open for more local players to jump in and pick up some market share. Sweden's iZettle, which often gets compared to Square, is now doing just that: today it is launching its iOS, dongle-based mobile payment service to the UK, four months after its pan-nordic live launch, and as it is preparing to launch an Android version of its product later this year.iZettle kicking off its service by giving away 3,000 card readers to small businesses and sole traders in the country as part of its invitation-only beta, which it is running in cooperation with MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. In its still brief life, it has seen some decent traction in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, where it now has 50,000 active merchants on its network. read more..
EyeTrackShop, a startup that develops eye-tracking technology for measuring ad effectiveness, has raised $3 million from Northzone.The company says its technology works through a regular webcam, allowing market researchers to gather data quickly and affordably. You can run the test before you spend money on a campaign, or test how well the advertising works once it's live, and how it performed in different formats and sites. Customers include big tech companies such as Google, AOL, and Microsoft, as well as P&G and JCDecaux. read more..
Apple releases security update, Flashback removal tool for Leopard
Apple on Monday released a pair of security updates aimed to help folks who are still running Mac OS X 10.5.8. read more..
Bloomberg confirms a report from earlier today that Apple is preparing to release thinner MacBook Pro models with Retina displays.
The models are to be released at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11 and will also include flash memory to "cut startup times and extend battery life". The report is likely a "controlled leak", something that Apple PR has been known to do in the past to share product details.
Mockup of thinner 15-inch MacBook Pro design (left) compared to current design (right)
Apple Inc. is preparing a new lineup of thinner MacBook laptops running on more powerful chips made by Intel Corp., people with knowledge of the plans said.
The MacBook Pro machines, to be unveiled at Apple’s annual developers conference starting June 11, also will feature high- definition screens like those on the iPhone and iPad, as well as flash memory to cut startup times and extend battery life, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public.The MacBook Pro lineup was last updated in October of 2011, though it hasn't had a substantial redesign since 2008.
Bloomberg also suggested that Apple will announce the launch date of the OS X Mountain Lion release that Apple previewed earlier this year. read more..
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
AirPlay is a technology that seamlessly moves audio and video from device to device in the Apple ecosystem. It's built into the iPhone, iPad, and -- most importantly -- the Apple TV set-top box. Among other things, AirPlay can be used to send video from iPhone apps like YouTube, MLB.tv, or WatchESPN to the AppleTV.
Apple hasn't advertised AirPlay as strongly as some other features, like the iPhone 4S's Siri, though it did run a television ad after the iPhone 4 was introduced in 2011. That said, it's surprising that Glenn A. Britt, the chief executive of Time Warner Cable said he hadn't heard of the service, according to the New York Times.
"I’m not sure I know what AirPlay is," he said, though he noted that he was an enthusiastic Apple customer. "Today we want to be on every screen. Today it’s a little bit clunky to get programming from the Internet onto the TV — not so hard to get it on your iPad. What’s hard is the plumbing, what wires do you connect, what device do you use. So the current Apple TV, the little thing, the hockey puck, really doesn’t do anything to help enable you to get Internet material on your TV."
Ironically, Apple has solved Britt's problem -- though he wasn't aware of it -- but the company is not pushing AirPlay too strongly upon its users, nor the media companies. The Apple TV natively supports only a handful of third party services like streaming MLB, NHL, and NBA games, as well as Netflix.
However, AirPlay support has allowed many apps to send "programming from the Internet onto the TV", just as Britt wants, and could foreshadow the market segment a rumored Apple television set would fill. read more..
Everyone wants a piece of Facebook, so the company's underwriters will likely exercise their option sell a "greenshoe" of up to 50.6 million additional shares, and Facebook will definitely increase its IPO share price range from between $28 and $35 to $34 and $38, I've confirmed with sources very close to the IPO. This means Facebook could sell up to 388 million shares to raise between $13.1 billion and $14.7 billion at a CNBC-reported valuation between $92B and $103B.A greenshoe is an SEC-permitted over-allotment option that can stabilize a stock's price by allowing underwriters to sell up to 15% more stock than the company originally planned to sell, but with the option to buy back the stock at the offering price if the actual price drops below this. By exercising the greenshoe, underwriters including Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs could help Facebook raise up to an additional $1.72 billion to $1.92 billion by selling up to 50.6 million shares, which could prevent high demand and limited supply from causing the share price to skyrocket and making the stock seem volatile."Quite likable indeed, har har" laughs some monocle-wearing banker on Wall Street." read more..
Monday, 14 May 2012
Siri isn't just a personal assistant who can read your messages or check your calendar. The voice assistant may also play a role in finding a cure for cancer. A team of researchers from BioTeam, Accelrys and British Telecom worked together to plug Siri into scientific data analysis software that's accessible via the cloud. In a proof-of-concept video, the team shows Siri interacting with analysis software Accelrys Pipeline Pilot to crunch numbers from an experiment. Siri can launch the analysis and retrieve results using only a person's voice. The link between Siri and the Pipeline Pilot software is the BT Compute cloud platform from British Telecom. You can check out the demo in the video below and read more about the technology on the BioTeam's website. [Via Gizmodo] Siri shown to launch, run mock experiment by British Telecom originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 10 May 2012 09:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Off the Leash is a game that arrived a little while ago on the iPhone, but it's gotten a few updates since I first played it, and it just so happens to be free on May 10. It's an endless runner, but instead of a side-scroller, it runs from the top down, and it's got a few new elements to this genre. First, it's time-based, so not only do you need to run for as far as possible, but your goal is to hit the next checkpoint within a certain time limit. Second, as your little dog runs along, you can "recruit" other dogs to run with you, which up your speed but also make it harder to maneuver around. Eventually, you hit a boundary (the cops catch your little dog that's been running amuck), and then you start over again from the beginning. Off the Leash is great fun. The graphics are colorful and funny, the game's tilt-to-steer challenge is tough but not overwhelming at all, and especially at the low price, it's a great game to have on your iPhone. Definitely give it a download.Daily iPhone App: Off the Leash provides chaotic canine fun originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 10 May 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
As noted in our forums, two new benchmark results appearing in Geekbench's database within the past few days are sparking discussion about imminent upgrades to Apple's MacBook Pro and iMac lines.
The first item of interest is a MacBookPro9,1 entry, which would correspond to an unreleased MacBook Pro model of unknown size coming as a successor to the current MacBookPro8,x line. While such results can be faked, the result in question is consistent with what is known or assumed about the forthcoming models.
This new MacBook Pro is listed as carrying an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3820QM quad-core processor running at 2.7 GHz. That processor has long been viewed as the natural successor to Apple's current offerings in high-end 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models. With the i7-3820QM being a 45-watt chip, it is extremely unlikely that Apple would be using it in a new 13-inch MacBook Pro model.
The unreleased system carries a benchmark of 12,262, compared to scores in the range of 10,500 for the corresponding current MacBook Pro processor, the Core i7-2860QM.
The motherboard identifier included with the new entry corresponds to one of several unreleased Mac configurations identified in the first OS X Mountain Lion developer preview back in February. In addition, the Geekbench result lists the test machine as running OS X Mountain Lion build 10A211, which would be newer than the 12A193i build seeded to developers on May 2.
On the iMac side is a new iMac13,2 entry, which would appear to correspond to a new 27-inch iMac model. The machine is listed as running an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 quad-core processor running at 3.4 GHz, which would correspond to a relatively high-end option in a new model. The system carries a benchmark of 12,183, only slightly higher than typical scores in the range of 11,500 for current iMac models using the top-of-the-line Core i7-2600 processor.
Like the MacBookPro9,1, this iMac13,1 carries a motherboard identifier first seen in the initial OS X Mountain Lion developer preview back in February. The machine used for benchmarking is listed as running build 10A2040 of OS X Mountain Lion, and while a four-digit suffix on the build number is somewhat unusual for OS X, such patterns have been observed in special builds in the past.
Such pre-mature benchmarks have shown up in Geekbench's database prior to new hardware launches from Apple in the past. Consequently, it is feasible that these results do represent genuine machines due for launch in the near future. read more..
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Are you one of the many devs who miss Xcode's "Fix and Continue" feature? Apple removed "Fix and Continue" in Xcode 4. This option allowed you to patch your binary with updated code, as you ran and debugged it. Well, there's good news. Developer John Holdsworth has released Injection for Xcode. It's an OS X application that lets you inject those same code changes into running applications for development and debugging. It works with both OS X and iOS apps, including those running on devices. It works by allowing your classes to be recompiled selectively as class categories. These are loaded at run time via bundles, and override your originally compiled code. So you can modify, enhance, and adapt your code during run time and tweak elements on the go. Holdsworth has been working with this feature for quite a long time. He writes: In London there were two banks which embraced NeXT for developing front office trading systems in an age before even windows 3.1. The hardware was only just up to it however and build times where at three quarters of an hour so we started using this means of patching the app using bundles rather having to relink the whole thing. I asked him to fill in some of his background about working with Apple and NeXT technology. He responded: I first encountered NeXT in 1989 at IRCAM the computer/music research institute in Paris where I fell in love with Objective-C. It's great to see things coming full circle with all this memory managed stuff, and C++, such a half baked language falling away. How ironic that it should be a mobile device which paved the way. If you ask me the closest we've been to Object-Oriented Nirvana is Smalltalk, and Objective-C is pretty close to that. Steve visited one day spinning the reality distortion field about the new "autorelease" mechanism. Quite the mystic. My only other claim to fame was when the Apple purchase of NeXT came through I sent him an email enthusing greatly and got a reply saying "Thanks John, a Merry Christmas to you and your family."
Been a disciple ever since. Shame I didn't buy the stock. Unfortunately, Apple has been a bit squirrelly about letting Injection into the OS. Holdsworth first hoped to start selling Injection on the Mac App Store back in February. Apple has been sitting on the app for months, failing to give it a thumbs up or down. Do you want to help out? Drop Apple a note at email@example.com and ask them to expedite approval on Injection for Xcode (App number #id498448895). Until then, Injection for Xcode is available on Holdsworth's personal site. It offers a two-week trial period and costs US$9.99 (individual license) or $25.00 (corporate) after that. Licenses are issued per-machine. To purchase, the app guides you through PayPal (via a web view) after the trial period.DevJuice: Injection for Xcode originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 10 May 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
If your response to virtual infrastructure installations is a derisive "Boring, Sidney, booring" then maybe AngelPad startup ElasticBox isn't for you. However, if you love cloud computing like Nancy loved heroin, I think you may be in luck.ElasticBox, founded by former Microsofies Ravi Srivatsav, Alberto Arias Maestro, and Amadeo Casas Cuadrado, is a service that makes setting up and running a cloud-based service quick and easy. With the service you don't have to set up the environment in order to run an app. Instead, you can focus on the actual functionality and far less on server maintenance. read more..
The latest version of the acclaimed text editor BBEdit is out and available now, and as you can see on the official site, it features a whole host of fixes and updates to existing features. A number of crashing and bug problems have been solved, so the whole app should run smoother than ever before. BBEdit is a terrific editor whether you're putting together HTML and CSS, code in various languages, or just typing up to-do lists and quick blog posts. It's available in an individual license for $49.99, or you can get it in the Mac App Store for the same price.BBEdit 10.1.2 now available originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 10 May 2012 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..
Saturday, 12 May 2012
The people behind college flirting network Likealittle have launched a new app in the App Store, Circle, an app that attempts to be more granular and thoughtful about the burgeoning ambient location space, which includes startups like Highlight, Banjo, Meetup and recent Facebook acquisition Glancee. While Likealittle will continue to run its course, the company will be shifting most of its focus to Circle.Before Highlight launched at SXSW, I wrote that it needed to allow you to drill down into who could see you on the app, who could message you, and who you could see -- Because some people were cool with people being alerted to their whereabouts, but wanted control levels, like being able to limit the functionality to only their friends. While Highlight has yet to add these granular settings,Circle operates exactly on this premise, allowing you to see the people around you if you and they are part of limited shared networks. read more..
Last week, we noted that several iOS developers were seeing their apps being rejected from the App Store for their inclusion of Dropbox integration that could allow users to sign up for Dropbox accounts and purchase extra Dropbox space. Dropbox moved quickly in attempting to roll out a new SDK to avoid the issue and noted that it was "working with Apple" on a solution, but developers continued to experience problems with their apps being rejected.
Dropbox has continued to tweak its SDK in order to fully comply with Apple's requirements, and while Apple has not officially given the latest SDK its blessing, it appears to be satisfying App Store reviewers.So we didn't get an official verdict (imagine the worst game of telephone you've ever played), but we do have reason to believe that this build is more likely to get approved than the previous build I posted earlier. [...]
What has changed is if the Dropbox app is not installed, it opens a login view directly in your app rather than going to Safari, and there is no option to create an account.Filip Radelic, the developer behind Cambox, quickly incorporated the new SDK into his app and submitted it to Apple yesterday. The app was quickly approved by Apple's reviewers and it is now available in the App Store.
Cambox's settings page with Dropbox options and login webview
Dropbox notes that the new SDK does not allow for account creation through the login webview if the Dropbox app is not installed on the user's device, but the company is hopeful that it will be able to add that feature as it continues to work with Apple to ensure the SDK's compliance. read more..
When you run some of the biggest and best presses in town, it's hard to imagine them ever going silent. Brian Kibby of McGraw-Hill, well known textbook publisher, would be happy to shut them down tomorrow if the need arose. He doesn't want to pay the costs of printing, paper, and distribution. He just wants to push the ebook industry into the future. read more..
Friday, 11 May 2012
For just about a week now, GE and product development network Quirky have been running an interesting contest -- they've challenged people to come up with ways to improve everyday objects by making them "smarter with software". Unlike the traditional Quirky production and development process though, the winning concept will be fashioned into an actual working device by the end of the month.The problem with so many thoughtful, potentially useful entries is that only one of them will actually make the transition from pitch to product. Now with the selection process closed, TechCrunch has learned that Quirky's design and engineering team will be developing a smarter... milk jug? read more..
A lot of people in Silicon Valley are pretty obsessed with organic this and that. One or two startups have looked at the whole connecting-fams-with-consumers-directly model, even. So it's odd that it's taken a startup from little old Croatia to realise that it's the farmers themselves that could use a little help. And let's not be parochial about this. Farming is big business. The 'market' of medium and corporate-size farms around the world is worth a juicy $12 billion - but as of today it's often run on outmoded systems. Thus, Farmeron.com, a startup billing itself as one of the world’s first agricultural SaaS companies, plans to change all that. It's closed a $1.4 million seed (one time this word is highly appropriate) round co-led by Lee Hower of NextView Ventures and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC. Other prominent angels - Evan Nisselson of LDV Capital, Niko Hrdy, Taavet Hinrikus - also participated.The funds will be used to hire key management team members and to staff sales and support teams both in US and Europe. read more..
Only 12% of your friends see your average status update, but Facebook is testing an option called "Highlight" that lets you pay a few dollars to have one of your posts appear to more friends. Highlight lets users, not Pages or businesses, select an "important post" and "make sure friends see this", but not color it yellow as Stuff wrote when it first spotted the feature. A tiny percentage of the user base is now seeing tests of a paid version of Highlight, but there's also a free one designed to check if users are at all interested in the option.Highlight could show Facebook's willingness to try more aggressive ways of making money, which should delight potential investors. But Facebook is playing with fire here. The service has always been free for users, and a pay-for-popularity feature could be a huge turn off, especially to its younger and less financially equipped users who couldn't afford such narcissism. read more..
Thursday, 10 May 2012
StumbleUpon co-founder Garrett Camp just announced that he's stepping down as CEO and becoming chairman of the company's board.The change is effective immediately, Camp says. He'll be leading a search for the company's new CEO, someone who has more experience with international growth and running a large organization, while the current executive team handles day-to-day operations. read more..
Apple today released OS X 10.7.4, the fourth maintenance update to OS X Lion. The update is currently available via Software Update and should appear on Apple's download pages soon.The 10.7.4 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac including fixes that:
- Resolve an issue where the “Reopen windows when logging back in” setting is always enabled
- Improve compatibility with certain British third-party USB keyboards
- Address an issue that may prevent files from being saved to a server
- Improve the reliability of copying files to an SMB serverDetailed information is available in the full release notes. Notably, the update also includes a fix for the password security hole detailed earlier this week.An issue existed in the handling of network account logins. The login process recorded sensitive information in the system log, where other users of the system could read it. The sensitive information may persist in saved logs after installation of this update. See http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4272 for more information about how to securely remove any remaining records. This issue only affects systems running OS X Lion v10.7.3 with users of Legacy File Vault and/or networked home directories.Available versions include:
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Client) (692.68 MB)
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Client Combo) (1.4 GB)
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Server) Client (738.71 MB)
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Server) Combo (1.49 GB)
- Server Admin Tools 10.7.4 (212.4 MB)
Apple has also released Security Update 2012-002 to bring security fixes to users running systems with Mac OS X Snow Leopard:
- Security Update 2012-002 (Snow Leopard) (238.73 MB)
- Security Update 2012-001 Server (Snow Leopard) (258.11 MB)
Apple has separately pushed out a Safari 5.1.7 update containing several improvements including disabling out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player for security reasons.Out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player do not include the latest security updates and will be disabled to help keep your Mac secure. If Safari 5.1.7 detects an out-of-date version of Flash Player on your system, you will see a dialog informing you that Flash Player has been disabled. The dialog provides the option to go directly to Adobe's website, where you can download and install an updated version of Flash Player.Finally, Apple has also released Apple Remote Desktop 3.5.3 Client (3.80 MB) to address general compatibility issues. read more..
Facebook has just filed a sixth amendment to its S-1 filing to IPO in order to provide more transparency about how the shift of its user base from the web to mobile is causing it to show fewer ads per user, which could hurt revenue in the long term. Facebook also granted about $796 million in restricted stock units to employees less than a week ago. I've excerpted the significant changes and embedded the whole S-1 below. Specifically, Facebook is warning investors that daily active user count is rising faster than the number of ads the site is showing, which it predicts will lead to a lower average revenue per user.As we noted when Facebook originally filed, it hasn't proven its ability to monetize mobile yet. It now has Sponsored Stories ads running in the mobile news feed, but it can't show nearly as many ads in this format as it does on the web, where it often shows four to seven ads per page, though less prominently in the sidebar. read more..
Here's a heart-warming tale of why you can't second-guess yourself. Robert Cezar Matei had the chance to work for Instagram long-before it was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, but followed his passion for knowledge and became the growth hacker for question & answer site Quora instead.This is his answer on Quora (fittingly) for why he declined Instagram, and why he's still smiling. "You make a gut call, then you walk into the future with serenity."Question - Did anyone decline an offer to work at Instagram?Answer - Robert Cezar Matei: "Yeah, I had an offer to be the second engineering hire.Kevin and Mike had grown the team really slowly for their entire history: they'd hired only one engineer, Shayne, until just a few months prior to the acquisition, and they'd only made one other offer before me. Some people didn't take them seriously as a business - it was "just an app", and apps are made by hobbyists. read more..
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Facebook has a plan to squeeze more ad dollars out of ecommerce sites and anyone else selling products on the web. It's quietly testing a new version of its Offers coupons that can be redeemed at online stores, not just at physical shops. Sources clued us in and Facebook has now confirmed with me that users will see Offers in the news feed, ads, and Sponsored Stories that feature a promo code or special link to click through for a discount on off-site purchases.Similar to how the existing version of Offers lead to foot traffic and revenue for brick-and-mortar stores, big brands with web stores, ecommerce hubs, and celebrities with merch to sell could soon use Offers to drive sales. Coupons like "Take $5 Off A Purchase Of $50 Or More" can produce real return on investment. So while they're free to run, businesses will pay Facebook to show their Offers to more people. read more..
Last night's Costume Institute Gala offered plenty to marvel at, but it wasn't the red-carpet fashion or the Schiaparelli and Prada dresses encased in glass that had Karolina Kurkova buzzing at the Crown after-party: "I loved the cookies!" the model told Style.com as she made her entrance with Rachel Zoe. "There were a lot of amazing things—Bruno Mars!—but those cookies were really good."
The crooner's performance back at the Met's Temple of Dendur had everyone on their feet. "People were grooving out pretty hard," said Jonathan Tisch, who added that his personal highlight was "saying hi to Tom Brady, and that's a lot coming from me." (Tisch, for the fashion types reading this, is a co-owner of the New York Giants.) There was no sign of Brady at Crown, but there were other sports stars in the mix, including Alex Rodriguez and basketball player Tyson Chandler—both of whom gave the model set a run for its money in the height department. "Wow, I bet she could make a few slam dunks," said a cocktail waiter when Chanel Iman strolled in.
By 1 a.m., the party was winding down, with some in the crowd moving on to the Prada-sponsored bashes at the Fletcher-Sinclair mansion and at the Top of the Standard. "I am going to the Prada after-party at Boom Boom after I change," said Kurkova, whose sparkling Rachel Zoe column gown and matching headpiece was one of the more opulent looks of the night. "I'm wearing all black. The turban is coming off, hair is coming down, everything is coming off."
—Kristin Studeman read more..
T-Mobile USA yesterday announced its plans to begin work with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to roll out LTE service in 2013, taking advantage of spectrum it obtained from AT&T last week following the failed merger of the two carriers. But perhaps more importantly for iPhone users, T-Mobile's network improvements will allow it to offer HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band compatible with current iPhone hardware "by the end of the year".As part of the company’s network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile’s 4G network.T-Mobile already has over one million iPhone customers on its network and has been beefing up support for those customers even though they are currently limited to T-Mobile's much slower EDGE data network.
T-Mobile USA began refarming its spectrum late last year, allowing a small number of users to access 3G speeds on the 1900 MHz band compatible with the iPhone. With yesterday's announcement, that refarming will spread nationwide and make it possible for the carrier to fully support the iPhone without Apple being required to build hardware specific to T-Mobile and a handful of other carriers using the 1700/2100 MHz AWS bands for their 3G/4G service.
AllThingsD notes that T-Mobile USA Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray acknowledged that the spectrum refarming will allow the carrier to aggressively target current AT&T customers whose contracts have lapsed by the end of the year.Ray declined to comment on whether the company would directly target iPhone users in a big marketing push planned for later this year.
“It would make sense,” Ray agreed, but added, “We’re not there yet.”Apple is widely expected to include LTE support in the next-generation iPhone, and a September-October release in line with rumors would still leave T-Mobile behind the curve with its LTE network not rolling out until 2013. But the carrier would certainly be in a much more competitive position simply by offering a fast HSPA+ network supporting the iPhone. read more..