Wednesday, March 23, 2011

US senators: We want apps that game DUI checkpoints taken down

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Image credit: Pennsylvania DUI blog

If you resort to software to figure out those speed traps, know that your senator is possibly lobbying to ban such programs from mobile bazaars forever. A group of senators took a tough stance on the matter, reports ABC News. The senators call such specialized apps “nothing but a public safety hazard”.

Deciding enough is enough, senators Harry Reid, Charles E. Schumer, Frank R. Lautenberg and Tom Udall – all Democrats – in a knee jerk reaction sat down and wrote a letter to Apple, Google and Research In Motion.

They want those checkpoint-dodging programs taken down from Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Market and RIM’s App World. A mind-boggling excerpt from their letter reads:


We know that your companies share our desire to end the scourge of drunk driving and we therefore would ask you to remove these applications from your store unless they are altered to remove the DUI/DWI checkpoint functionality.
Senator Schumer’s office even bothered issuing a press release specifically mentioning Trapster and PhantomALERT, iPhone apps that provide users with real-time location information on DUI checkpoints. CNN observes that RIM has apparently complied and yanked Trapster from the BlackBerry App World.

It makes sense – to some extent – that responsible drivers would steer away from gaming the system. If you use smartphone apps to dodge speed traps, this initiative concerns you directly. You know who you’re gonna call to complain? That’s right, your state’s senator!


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Free articles for loyal NYT readers as WSJ mulls $2 single-issue downloads

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The New York Times has a carrot for loyal subscribers: A free one-year subscription for online articles accessed on the web and via iPhone and iPad apps, reports The Loop. The deal excludes the e-reader editions, Premium Crosswords and The New York Times Crosswords apps. The paper is reportedly pitching its long time users with the following line:

As a frequent reader of NYTimes.com, you’ve demonstrated an uncommon interest in a wide variety of today’s most important topics.
This comes as a pay wall is scheduled to go live next Monday. As we reported, the Times will charge for online articles and limit free access to twenty articles a month. A three-tier plan will provide unlimited access to online articles via the web and through smartphone apps for $15 every four weeks. Web plus tablet access will cost $25, or $35 for an all-access plan.

At the same time, Rupert Murdoch-owned The Wall Street Journal is toying with selling individual digital editions of The Wall Street Journal. These offers come at a time when most people don’t expect to pay for online content. Will that change?


Only time will tell. In the Journal’s case, each digital edition will be priced at two bucks, claims PaidContent. You’ll be able to purchase those in their iPad app. The ability to back up purchased items to a computer and restore single-issue downloads to your iPad is in the works as well. Each digital edition will reflect the contents of that day’s print edition.

For readers yearning for up-to-date news, the Journal will be offering the full “Now Edition” for $18 a month. The new plans come on top of the Journal’s existing $4 a week plan for full access to online articles via WSJ.com plus smartphone and tablet apps.




*thanks 9to5Mac*

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iPhone 5 rumors round up, infographic

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Written by Ghazy (A New member to the Limerain team)

A french site called nowhereelse have published a very well built infographic, in which they introduced every single possible rumor and it's possibility to happen. Better camera, no home button, bigger screen, better resolution, new design- This infographic lists them all, and more. A big thanks to the NowhereElse team for putting together such a comprehensive list.







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FaceTime camera freezing on some iPads

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According to several threads on the Apple Discussions forum (here, here and here), the iPad’s front camera locks up in the FaceTime app when attempting to establish a video call. It’s unknown how widespread the issue is, but it seems to be stemming from a software bug likely to be addressed with the next iOS release. According to users posting on the forum, the problem won’t go away until device is restarted.

Other hiccups are also being reported. One poster details the issue:

Facetime was frozen on iPad 2. It had the last video capture as the main screen of Facetime. Could not see receiving video. Resolution: Reset to factoring settings. Apple – possible app glitch.
Another user is having troubles with the back camera, too:


I had this problem on my iPad 2 as well. I restored the iPad and it was fixed, but during a FaceTime call I switched to the back camera and it froze the video on both ends of the call (but NOT the local video / video of me on my end and video of them on their end).
Apple yesterday updated the $0.99 FaceTime for Mac app with improved performance when FaceTime is taken full screen.




*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Breakthrough solar panel demoed that could let future iPhones soak up rays

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Above image: A third-party solar case for the iPhone

French company Wypsis is drumming up a superthin solar panel layer (less than 100 microns) that could juice a phone from outdoor light. A deal with Corning, the producer of Gorilla Glass, is also possible, paving the way to solar-powered iPhones. Apple’s patent entitled “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly” from last year, originally filed in Q3 2008, did predicate solar-powered portable devices such as iPhones and iPods.

Described as a breakthrough by Laptop Magazine, this technology “layers a thin, transparent photovoltaic film on top of a phone’s display”. The film converts energy from the sun or a nearby light source into electricity that powers your device throughout the day. Longer battery life and less frequent charging cycles are to be expected as a result, as explained in the clip embedded below.

This is always a good thing with any mobile device, especially high-end smartphones with big displays and beefy chips. According to the publication which spoke to Wysips’ president Ludovic Deblois:


The technology will fully charge a typical cell phone battery in 6 hours of outdoor light, but it would take longer indoors to fully juice a handset. With the second-generation technology that will arrive next year, you’ll have enough juice for 30 minutes of talk after just an hour of charging. While those times seem long in comparison to typical AC or USB charging, this is all done with light and occurs seamlessly while you use the phone. Plus, the phone is always sipping energy–unless it’s in a pocket or purse.
A flatter battery design leading to a thinner device is another possible benefit. Wypsis plan on rolling out a second-generation of this tech to handset makers, carriers and mobile display companies next year. That said, a solar panel iPhone 6 is definitely a possibility.


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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