Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flickr App Adds Support for Multitasking, HD Uploads

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Flickr has updated their iPhone app with support for multitasking and HD video uploads

Share your photos. Watch the world. Flickr for the iPhone enables photo-sharing on the go - from your phone, to the world.

Shoot, upload and share photos & videos: Geo-tag your photos or add them to a set. View your photos by set and tag.

Stay up to date: See recent photo activities from your friends and family. Search and view photos by contact. Make comments or mark them as favorites.

Explore the world: Search photos & videos from the Flickr community all over the world - by subject, people, or places.

What's New In This Version:
- Multitasking support: Photo upload continues in the background
- Twitter support: Post photos simultaneously to Twitter with a flic.kr short URL directly from the app
- Support for HD video uploads
- Support for fast app switching: Come back to the app where you left it
- Enhanced full-screen browsing behavior
- Clear recent searches

You can download Flickr from the App Store for free.














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RIM's Angered Response to Apple

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RIM has responded to Apple's "misleading comments" by Steve Jobs at the iPhone 4 press event, claiming that they had "avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4."

Apple's attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple's claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM's customers don't need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.

- Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie


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Angry Birds Gets Updated With a New World

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Angry Birds, currently the #1 paid iPhone app, has been updated with a new world, reconstructed levels, a new bird, and more.

The survival of the Angry Birds is at stake. Dish out revenge on the green pigs who stole the Birds’ eggs. Use the unique destructive powers of the Angry Birds to lay waste to the pigs’ fortified castles. Angry Birds features hours of gameplay, challenging physics-based castle demolition, and lots of replay value. Each of the 165 levels requires logic, skill, and brute force to crush the enemy.

What's New In This Version:
● A NEW WORLD!
● 15 RECONSTRUCTED LEVELS!
● A NEW BIRD!
● NEW ACHIEVEMENTS!
● A NEW STORY!
● FACEBOOK & TWITTER COMMUNITY BUTTONS
● And we might just have snuck another golden egg, with yet more bonus content?

You can purchase Angry Birds from the App Store for $0.99.











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Consumer Reports Still Won't Recommend the iPhone 4

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Despite Apple's press conference and lengthy Q&A session over the iPhone 4 reception issues, Consumer Reports still will not recommend the device.

Consumer Reports believes Apple's offer of free cases is a good first step. However, Apple has indicated that this is not a long-term solution, it has guaranteed the offer only through September 30th, and has not extended it unequivocally to customers who bought cases from third-party vendors. We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models.



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Nokia Releases Statement About Antenna Design

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Nokia has just released a statement about their antenna design and their engineering philosophy in response to Apple's Press Event held earlier today. They also stress that they will always prioritize antenna performance over physical design.

As we’ve all seen, Apple had mentioned Nokia in their press conference today regarding the iPhone4. I wanted to take a moment and send you a statement regarding Nokia’s own antenna design and function.
Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature.

Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.


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Apple to Actually Fix the iPhone 4 by October?

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Apple is only giving away free cases for the iPhone 4 until September 30th leading some to speculate that the company plans a more permanent attenuation fix by then.

When asked about this date by Bloomberg, Steve Jobs said its so we can reevaluate this in September, I have no idea what solutions may come up.

Given how simple the fix the seems to be (ie duct tape, nail polish, awrapforthat) we don't understand why Apple doesn't simply apply an electrically insulating organic hydrophobic layer atop the antenna.

Unfortunately, even with all the technically savvy reporters present, this question wasn't asked during the Q&A. There have been several online reports from users who believe their replacement iPhone already has this coating; however, the authenticity of these reports has yet to be verified.

Perhaps Apple prefers an internal fix than an external one that could wear off. For now all you can do is wait in line for your free bumper.


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Gameloft Releases Zombie Infection HD for iPad

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Gameloft has released Zombie Infection HD, a non-stop survival shooter game for the iPad

The infection is spreading and fear is everywhere in this non-stop survival shooter.
Head to South America as a soldier and reporter try to uncover the origin of another zombie outbreak.

12 LEVELS OF FEAR
Survive 12 levels in Campaign mode as you fight your way through favelas, mines, a zoo, docks, a boat and secret lab.

KILL ‘EM WITH STYLE
You can finish off weakened zombies with brutal and amazing fatalities by touching the action icon at just the right time.

WATCH YOUR BACK
Switch between 2 characters, ex-soldier Damien Sharpe and reporter Alex Rayne, as they fight together to survive and uncover an evil plot.

MANY FORMS OF EVIL
Fight countless enemies of all shapes and sizes, including mutants & infected animals, each with unique abilities

UNCOVER THE STORY
Discover the full depth of the intrigue as you discover the source of the infection and the plans of the ones who created it.

IMMERSIVE VISUALS
Every environment and character is meticulously rendered in full in 3D so you can feel as close to the action as possible without starting your own zombie outbreak.

You can purchase Zombie Infection HD from the App Store for $6.99.
















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iPhone 4 Allows for Baseband Downgrade

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The iPhone 4 allows for the downgrading of your baseband during firmware downgrade but unfortunately the baseband is signed even stricter than SHSH blobs.

According to MuscleNerd you can't use TinyUmbrella-like backup of signed BB blobs because they're unique *per restore* (!!)

the blobs are only good until the next time the baseband reboots. Then the nonce changes and blobs worthless :(

MuscleNerd hopes that there's a flaw somewhere in the iPhone4 at+xnonce stuff which will allow the Dev-Team to circumvent Apple's security measures.

Also the iPhone 4 Bootloader and Bootrom has yet to be explored for exploits that might allow baseband downgrades.

Currently this feature is still a welcomed one for developers who were previously forced into a baseband upgrade when testing out beta firmware. Now they can restore back down and get back to the older baseband.



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iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor Issues to be Fixed in Next Update

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The issues with the iPhone 4 proximity sensor will likely be fixed in the next software update, according to Steve Jobs.

During the iPhone 4 press conference earlier today, Jobs indicated that the company was tracking some problems with the sensor and will hopefully address them in the next update.

In our own experience the proximity sensor seems to activate the screen during a call despite it being switched off when initially placed to your ear. This can cause you to accidentally press the mute button, end call button, or any other button that is currently displayed.




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Apple to Release the iPhone 4 in 17 Countries on July 30th

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The iPhone 4 will be available in 17 more countries on July 30th. Apple announced the release date at its press conference this morning.

The countries that will be getting the iPhone at the end of the month are:
● Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

There was no indication of when you'll be available to pre-order the device.


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MobileMe Calendar Beta Now Works with Microsoft Outlook

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MobileMe members using the new Calendar beta can now view and edit their MobileMe calendars in Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010 using MobileMe Control Panel v1.6.1. The functionality is available even if you're connected to a Microsoft Exchange server (Exchange calendar data is kept separate from MobileMe and can be viewed side-by-side on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC).

To use Microsoft Outlook with the beta, follow these instructions.

Also note that when using Outlook with the beta, support is not currently available for push calendar updates or for accessing your calendar via a proxy server (ask your organization's IT administrator if you're not sure about this).


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Foxconn Denies Receiving Labor Subsidies from Apple

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An executive from Foxconn has denied a recent rumor that Apple is paying Foxconn a 2% subsidy on its labor costs, according to DigiTimes.

The subsidy was supposedly paid by Apple as compensation for the company's recent wage increases.

According to a Chinese-language National Business Daily the executive said the rumor is purely speculation and Foxconn has never received any subsidies from Apple.




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Next Mac Pro and iMac Will Get USB 3.0 and Faster Firewire?

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The next Mac Pro and iMac will reportedly feature USB 3.0 and a faster Firewire interface (1600 or 3200), according to HardMac.

One of our better sources have indicated that the renewal of the much awaited Mac Pro range is planned for the end of the summer, thus for the 'back-to-school' period. For the iMacs they will be a few weeks or a month later at the beginning of autumn.

The site notes that Apple is also interested in LightPeak technology but won't have it ready until next year.


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VLC Remote 5.0 Released

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VLC is a fabulous, free media player that can handle almost any file format effortlessly and VLC remote gives it the remote control it deserves. VLC remote allows users to browse their full media collection on their computer or network drives and to select, and play movies, shows or music with VLC without leaving the comfort of the sofa, bed or beanbag.

No more getting up to reach for the mouse. VLC remote allows users to pause, skip tracks, pick a new file or use the multitouch sliders to control their position in a movie. Advanced controls even allow the user to select aspect ratio, audio tracks, subtitles or to control DVDs. Powerful and easy to use, VLC remote 5.0 has multitasking support for iOS4 which allows users to switch between VLC Remote and other applications seamlessly. VLC Remote 5.0 has beautifully updated graphics and icon which show the Retina display at its best.

VLC Remote's empowering Features include:
* Easily control VLC from your sofa!
* Full browsing control on your computer (select any file on your computer to play)
* Stop, Play and Pause
* Full DVD controls
* Control volume, position, next track and previous track
* Turn fullscreen on and off
* Control subtitles, aspect ratio, audio track and delays
* Use the picker control for fine control of volume and position
* View the playlist and play files from it
* Easily access external drives
* Use landscape mode for more control and customise with skins
* Automatically looks for VLC players in your local network
* Beautiful look for the new Retina display
* Switch seamlessly between VLC and other applications on iOS4

VLC Remote gives users complete control over their VLC Media Player. Learn more about this VLC Remote by visiting Hobbyist Software online.

Supported Languages:
* US English, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish

Pricing and Availability:
VLC Remote 5.0 is $2.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.


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Computer Admin Pro 5.0 Released

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Pennsylvania-based CG Software has announced the release of Computer Admin Pro 5.0, their best-selling, integrated asset management and help desk tracking software for Mac OS X or Windows. Based on the latest version (11) of the FileMaker Pro database engine, the application offers a complete solution to storing and searching any data relating to computer hardware, software, maintenance, and repairs. Technicians can use a web browser to easily manage the ticket process, including creating, editing, and closing.

Ideal for computer consultants, IT managers, system administrators, help desk system managers, or anyone who needs to record and organize computer related information, the app is full-featured, yet easy to learn and use. Its asset manager feature lets the user consolidate their computer hardware and software information: computer name, location, OS, peripherals, serial and asset ID numbers. All data is fully searchable using a wide variety of criteria, and the software will automatically generate seven different status reports, each a compilation of information regarding one system area.

Feature Highlights:
* Total solution for computer asset management and help desk operation
* Allows storage and search of all essential hardware and software tracking data
* FileMaker Pro engine-based, permits full searching by many different criteria
* Technicians can log in through any web browser to modify or create a repair ticket
* Supports import and export of all commonly used file formats
* Completely re-designed GUI makes learning and operating simpler than ever

The trouble call feature of the app can aid in organizing any help desk system by tracking computers out for repairs, technicians assigned to calls, length of time calls remain open, and more. By logging a history of problems and resolutions within the help desk system, users can also build their own reference library for future troubleshooting. And owners of FileMaker Pro can use Computer Admin Pro as a fully compatible template for their own customizable help desk system (requires site license). It supports import and export from/to any tab- or comma-delimited file, as well as SYLK, DIF, and WKS spreadsheets, and FileMaker Pro databases.

"As Computer Admin Pro has evolved it has become both simpler to use and more powerful," stated company owner Thomas Mokwa. "It is a complete solution in a box."

Pricing and Availability:
Computer Admin Pro 5.0 is available for either Mac OS or Windows OS at $149 (USD) for a single user license. Multi-user licenses are $99 per user. Site licenses are available for $1,999. Review copies available on request.


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iPhone 4 Reception Can Be Fixed By Software Update?

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The New York Times is reporting that the iPhone 4 signal issues could actually be fixed by a software update after all.

One person with direct knowledge of the phone’s design said Thursday that the iPhone 4 exposed a longstanding weakness in the basic communications software inside Apple’s phones and that the reception problems were not caused by an isolated hardware flaw.

Instead, the problems emerged in the complex interaction between specialized communications software and the antenna, said the person, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Their source said the problems were longstanding but had been revealed by the new design of the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs apparently did not learn about the software problem until after the phone shipped last month.

Presumably the problem can be fixed with a software update unrelated to the one that addresses the incorrect signal bars.



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Apple to Offer Free 'Brute Force' Internal iPhone 4 Fix?

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A new report suggests that Apple may offer a "brute force" internal hardware fix to address iPhone 4 reception issues.

Analyst Ashok Kumar with Rodman & Renshaw spoke with AppleInsider on Thursday and revealed that overseas suppliers have indicated to him that Apple has decided on a hardware fix for the iPhone 4. He said sources have told him that the "mechanical fix" is the equivalent of placing a rubber stopgap on the inside of the phone, leaving the outside of the device untouched.

"From a cosmetic purpose, it's going to be completely transparent," Kumar said. "But from an engineering perspective, it's going to be more of a brute force than an elegant addition."

Kumar thinks the goal is a quick fix to immediately address customer concerns rather then a full recall to rebuild them from scratch with a "clean slate" design.




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A Detailed Analysis of Apple's New Signal Bars

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Apple has updated the iPhone with new signal bars that provide a more accurate representation of signal strength.

AnandTech has posted a detailed look at these new bars and how they differ from the old ones.

Apple has dramatically changed the signal strength to signal bar mapping in iOS 4.0.1 and the iOS 4.1 beta, making the dynamic range not only much broader, but the range values for each bar much wider. The range of signals that correspond to bars three and four are the same width, and bar two is only slightly less. The cutoff value for two bars to one bar remains the same, but every other value has increased. The result is that the worst case drop of 24 dBm no longer makes all the signal bars disappear, but rather two.

Taking a look at the charts below you will see that previously the absolute lowest value any iPhone would report was -113 dBm. With iOS 4.0.1/4.1, the value is now a shockingly low -121 dBm.











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