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Daily Archives: 22/02/2013

Google Introduces the Chromebook Pixel to Compete With the MacBook Air

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Google today announced the Chromebook Pixel, a new Chrome OS-based notebook that Google is aiming directly at Apple’s MacBook Air.
On the hardware front, Google has built in a high-resolution touchscreen display, as well as 32 or 64GB SSD storage, a backlit keyboard, and a dual core 1.8GHz Intel i5 processor. The unit includes a 12.85″ screen with a 2560 x 1700, 239 ppi display — the same range as Apple’s 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina, which has a 227 ppi screen — as well as two USB 2.0 ports, a Mini Display Port connector, and a SD-card reader.

The machine runs Google’s Chrome OS, the web-only operating system that the company introduced almost two years ago. As added perks, the Pixel comes with 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for three years, and 12 free sessions of GoGo inflight Wi-Fi.

    So what’s next? Today we’re excited to announce our newest laptop—the Chromebook Pixel—which brings together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks. With the Pixel, we set out to rethink all elements of a computer in order to design the best laptop possible, especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud. The philosophy of Chrome has always been to minimize the “chrome” of the browser. In much the same way, the goal of the Pixel is to make the pixels disappear, giving people the best web experience.

The Pixel comes in two flavors, a $1,300 model that includes 32GB of SSD storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, while the $1,450 option adds built-in LTE and a 64GB SSD. The Wi-Fi only model ships today while the LTE model is expected in 6-7 weeks.

While the Pixel’s hardware is appealing, because it runs the Chrome OS there are not nearly as many apps available for it as comparable Windows or OS X machines. Gadget recommendation site The Wirecutter had this to say:

    Maybe someday Chrome OS will really be enough of an operating system to replace Mac OS X or Windows on a productivity machine. But at $1,300, the Chromebook Pixel is just too much machine for the software. If you have the money to spend on the Pixel and you need the kind of hardware it’s packing, you have so many other better options. by macrumors

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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

MLB At Bat Updated for the 2013 Season, Local Game Video Still Blacked Out

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Major League Baseball has updated its MLB At Bat app for the 2013 baseball season, refining the app in several areas and adding multi-platform access for subscriptions purchased through the MLB At Bat’s In-App Purchase mechanism. The app provides baseball fans with access to subscription-based live game radio and television broadcasts, MLB GameDay play-by-play service, and more.

There are several subscription levels depending on whether the user wants streaming television broadcasts, or just the radio broadcasts. The app itself, a universal app designed for both the iPhone and iPad, is a free download and offers free league-wide scoreboards and limited access to news and non-live video content from Major League Baseball.
There are two main subscription packages. The high-end $130/season MLB.tv Premium offers everything: live home-and-away television broadcasts for “out-of-market” games (that is, users can’t watch their local team’s television coverage) as well as live game home-and-away radio broadcasts, and the ability to watch on mobile devices, PC’s, the Apple TV, and consoles. Users can also watch a growing number of archived classic games. MLB.tv Premium can be purchased through the MLB website or via in-app subscription for $25/month.

The cheaper At Bat 2013 product, which is available as an in-app purchase for $20/season or $3/month, offers both home-and-away radio broadcasts with no blackout restrictions.

New for this year, subscribers who purchase MLB.tv Premium or At Bat 2013 through IAP will get to access in-game audio or TV broadcasts not only on the iPhone and iPad, but on Android devices, as well as Macs and PCs and consoles (as applicable).

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MLB Advanced Media has promised more upgrades to the app before opening day at the beginning of April, and told MacRumors that the company is aware that customers would very much like to stream local games without blackout restrictions, but that the content deals to allow that are extremely complex and difficult to negotiate.

MLB At Bat is a free universal download from the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link] by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

Apple Hit with ‘Planned Obsolescence’ Lawsuit in Brazil over Fourth-Generation iPad

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Brazilian newspaper Jornal do Comércio reports [Google translation, via MacMagazine.com.br] that Apple has been hit with a class action lawsuit over its introduction of the fourth-generation iPad in the country. The lawsuit, led by the Institute of Politics and Law Software (IBDI), reportedly alleges that Apple’s deviation from its usual yearly product update cycle amounts to “planned obsolescence” that harms customers who bought the previous generation of the device.

    The institute claims that the iPad 4 is not [an] effective technological evolution [compared to] the iPad 3 or ‘New iPad’, characterizing [a] sort of “planned obsolescence”. In practice, the accusation is that the Apple iPad 3 could have reached the shelves with the characteristics presented in the fourth generation – a processor, a connector and a camera a bit more advanced.

The lawsuit also alleges that Apple did not adequately communicate the discontinuation of the third-generation iPad in favor of the new fourth-generation models in the country, with consumers unknowingly buying the “obsolete” third-generation models.
An expanded article [Google translation] from O Hoje says that the suit is seeking free replacements for customers who purchased the third-generation iPad, as well as reimbursement of 50% of the purchase price. Finally, IBDI suggests that Apple be subjected to a fine equal to 30% of the value of each third-generation iPad sold in the country to address improper commercial practices and misleading advertising.

Apple said that it was unaware of the lawsuit, which was filed in federal civil court on February 6.

The new lawsuit is not the only difficulty Apple is experiencing in Brazil, as just last week the company officially lost a trademark dispute over the “iPhone” name. The owner of that trademark just barely slipped in under the deadline to make use of the mark by launching a line of Android phones back in December. That company, Gradiente, had applied for the trademark in 2000 and was granted the rights to it 2008. It has indicated that it is open to selling the mark to Apple, although is able to continue selling the iPhone under its current name while additional appeals and negotiations play out.

Update 9:15 AM: TechLinhas reports that it has contacted IBDI about the matter, with the organization claiming that it is unaware of any such action in Brazil. The site is following up further with IBDI and the lawyer quoted in the news stories.

Update 1:29 PM: TechLinhas has now confirmed with the lawyer quoted in the original report that the story is indeed true. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

New Apple ‘iWatch’ Patent Application Reveals Slap Bracelet with Wraparound Touch-Sensitive Display

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A newly-published patent application from Apple discovered by AppleInsider discloses a new “bracelet” accessory with a wraparound design where the screen would cover the entire outer surface. While the word “watch” is not used anywhere in the patent application, which was filed in August 2011, the “wearable video device” described in the document could clearly serve as an advanced wristwatch.
The patent application describes a “bi-stable spring” design, where the watch strap would automatically curve snugly around any sized wrist, the two ends overlapping as required. The display itself would be flexible, and the patent describes a method by which any portion of the display covered by the overlap could be automatically switched off.

The device’s screen is described as having a “touch-sensitive user interface” overlaid on the flexible display, in contrast to the physical buttons used on existing smart watches like Pebble.

The design comprises a thin flexible steel band within a fabric wrap, with the screen glued to the outer surface and the electronics and battery glued to the inner surface, though it also refers to the possibility of a more robust design with a fabric frame surrounding the display.

The display appears to be made up of a series of flexible segments which would be flat when the watch is placed on a desk but which curve as much as needed to fit the wrist when the watch is worn.

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The patent application also gives clues as to the possible size of the watch, suggesting a width of one inch. though it should be noted that this refers only to the ‘typical’ width of such bracelets rather than any specific plan by Apple:

    The most recent widespread use of such a device was the slap bracelet, also called the slap wrap. The slap bracelet consists of layered flexible steel bands sealed within a fabric cover. Typical slap bracelets are roughly one inch in width by nine inches in length. In a first equilibrium position they can be flat. The second equilibrium is typically reached by slapping the flat embodiment across the wrist, at which point the bracelet curls around the wrist and stays relatively secure in a roughly circular position.

The patent suggests that gyroscopes and accelerometers would be used to allow the watch to determine the orientation of the display, depending, for example, on whether it was worn on left or right wrist.

The patent application also lends weight to speculation that the watch would be a partner device to an iPhone rather than a standalone product, as it refers to “a method for passing information between an accessory device disposed on one surface of a bi-stable spring substrate and a portable electronic device.” The watch would act as an input device as well as a display, with reference to a virtual keyboard.

While plugging in the watch to a power source appears to be the primary means of charging the battery, the patent also discusses options for solar power and kinetic charging of the battery, two technologies Apple has addressed in previous patent applications.

Many of Apple’s patent applications of course never come to fruition in the form of released products, with Apple instead seeking to control certain technologies or aspects of devices that may appear in completely different forms. As a result, it is unlikely that Apple has plans to launch such a slap bracelet watch accessory, but the patent application does give some insight into what Apple has been considering as it has worked on the project.  by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

WordPress App is Updated With Better Previews and Autosaving

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The WordPress app for iOS has been updated with better previews and autosaving.
It’s easy to manage your WordPress blog or site from your iOS device. With WordPress for iOS, you can moderate comments, create or edit posts and pages, view stats, and add images or videos with ease. All you need is a WordPress.com blog or a self-hosted WordPress.org site running 3.1 or higher.
What’s New In This Version:
Better previews and autosaving.
★ You can now see real previews of your drafts.
★ Your posts are more secure than ever. All your edits are now saved often on your device, and uploaded to your WordPress site frequently.
• Multiple crashes and bugs fixed, including the crash on launch that some of you were seeing.
You can download WordPress from the App Store for free.

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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

Consumers Now Spend More on iOS and Android Games Than Dedicated Handheld Games

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The App Annie & IDC Portable Gaming Report, a quarterly report that charts mobile application downloads and consumer spend alongside worldwide dedicated handheld gaming packaged software shipments, reveals that combined consumer spending on iOS App Store and Google Play games eclipsed that of dedicated handheld games in Q4.

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Dedicated handheld gaming showed particular seasonality; close to 60 percent of Q4 consumer spending on Nintendo and Sony handheld gaming software occurred in December, a significantly higher share than was the case for December iOS App Store or Google Play game spending.

“While the most popular games and their business models are quite distinct, Nintendo and Apple were surprisingly close in terms of aggregate consumer spend on game software in the fourth quarter of 2012,” said Lewis Ward, IDC’s gaming research manager. “Seasonality is more pronounced in the dedicated handheld space and we hope this report series will help clarify the evolution of portable gaming dynamics in 2013 and beyond.” by iclarified

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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 

Native Instruments Releases Traktor DJ for iPad

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Native Instruments has released a new Traktor DJ app for the iPad.
TOUCH THE GROOVE. The world’s #1 pro DJ software now brings high-impact DJing to iPad. Touch your tracks, loop, scratch, and create stunning mixes in seconds.

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Features:
– Revolutionary DJ app by Native Instruments – makers of the leading pro DJ software
– Touch the groove using familiar iPad gestures like swiping and pinching
– Direct access to your iTunes music library from TRAKTOR DJ
– Stylish waveform display allows for simple looping and ultra-tight scratching
– Intelligent browser recommends songs based on compatible tempo and key
– Automatic tempo and key detection plus BPM sync for super-smooth mixing
– Innovative Notification Center gives you in-app access to essential tips and undiscovered techniques
– 8 built-in pro DJ effects, including Reverb, Delay and dramatic glitch effects like BeatMasher
– Familiar DJ mixer layout with crossfader plus line faders, 3-band EQ and filter on each channel
– Prepare tracks on the road – all meta data (tempo, beatgrids, cue points etc.) in TRAKTOR DJ syncs with

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TRAKTOR PRO DJ software*
– Record your mixes live in high-quality on the iPad and share with your friends
You can purchase Traktor DJ from the App Store for $19.99.

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in IT

 
 
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