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21Dec/11Off

This is Just… Wrong

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I know, I know, but still. Can’t help but laugh. [Thanks Josh!]


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21Dec/11Off

Verizon Raising Anti-Trust Eyebrows as Investigation Over Spectrum Purchases Reportedly Underway

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According to Bloomberg, a rep of the Justice Department’s shared that they have launched an investigation into Verizon’s recent purchasing of spectrum, namely the $3.6 billion deal struck up between them and the coalition of Bright House, Time Warner and Comcast.

That alongside another deal with Cox Communications has them worried that Verizon may soon have too much control over the airwaves. Verizon says they have no received word that an investigation is being launched but we wouldn’t be surprised if Bloomberg’s story holds substance. Ruling the air the way they want may not come so easy.


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21Dec/11Off

Sony Ericsson Gives Timeline for ICS Updates, Rollouts Start Late March 2012

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Sony Ericsson earlier committed to bringing the Android 4.0 upgrade to all of their 2011 handsets and now they’re detailing which phones are getting it when. Rollouts start in late March or early April 2012 for the Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V and Xperia™ ray.

Shortly after, from late March or early April 2012 the Xperia™ arc, Xperia™ PLAY, Xperia™ neo, Xperia™ mini and mini pro, Xperia™ pro, Xperia™ active as well as Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman™ will all get the update.

Of course, Sony Ericsson warns that not all kits of any of these phones (meaning carrier versions) may not get the upgrade within this timeframe, if at all. That’s nothing new to note but there’s your disclaimer either way. Head on to Sony Ericsson’s site for more details. [Sony Ericsson Blog]


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21Dec/11Off

MultiPonk for Android Provides 3D Pong on a Table Like You’ve Never Seen It [Video]

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The folks at Fingerlab have just announced that their game, MultiPonk, is now available for Android. MultiPonk is a play on the word multi-pong and that’s exactly what this game is – a game of multi-pong. Up to four people can play MultiPonk on devices from smartphones to tablets.

Seven game modes, eleven bonuses and five ball sizes create crazy experiences. Imagine many dozens of marbles being whipped back and forth across the table.

It really is an interesting game and one you should strongly consider downloading for $1. That’s the introductory price and it will go up to $5 after some time so you’ll want to grab it sooner rather than later if the video above interests you. Find it in the market here.


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21Dec/11Off

Kindle for iOS updated gives iPad users access to Kindle Fire’s magazine collection

The Kindle app for iPhone and iPad (free, universal) has been updated to version 2.9, giving iPad users access to the Kindle Fire's collection of more than 400 magazines and newspapers. You can buy individual issues or subscriptions, which will be delivered to the device when available. Note that the magazines and newspapers are limited to the iPad.

That doesn't mean there's nothing new for iPhone and iPod touch owners. You folks will be able to email documents to the app via a special email address and open PDFs from Mail or Safari.

The free update is available now. Have at it!

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogKindle for iOS updated gives iPad users access to Kindle Fire's magazine collection originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21Dec/11Off

Daily iPhone App: Postcard on the Run

I've traveled to over 30 countries since 2009, and today I wish I had brought Postcard on the Run with me. I've been using the app for the last few weeks and have become infinitely fond of it. Postcard on the Run lets you take a picture on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and turn it into a postcard that can be instantly snail-mailed to anyone in the world. I know, I know; that sounds suspiciously like an app by a certain company in Cupertino. But Postcard on the Run succeeds where Apple's Cards app consistently falls short. It's fun, it's uncomplicated, and it's even kinda kooky.

When you launch the app, you're asked to select a photo to use as your postcard image. You can choose to either take a new photo, use an existing photo from your camera roll, or choose any photo you've posted to Facebook. That Facebook integration alone makes the app more useful than its closest competitor. Once you've chosen a photograph, you can zoom in or out of it and position it as you please.

From there, write a short message of up to 200 characters, and choose your font and color. The next screen is particularly cool, as it lets you sign your name with your finger (or even draw little doodles on the card itself), which adds a level of personalization that you don't find in other apps.

What's really nice about the app is it offers you some unique tools and lets you apply some unique features to your postcards to make them more memorable. The most handy tool is called "Postal Gopher." If you choose a recipient from your address book whose address you don't have, the Postal Gopher feature will send a text or email to that individual requesting their address. When they reply, their address will instantly be added to your saved postcard order, which will then be automatically processed and sent.

Another nice feature is the ability to add a GPS photo map right onto the back of the postcard, particularly handy if you take pictures of lots of things you see when out and about. For instance, I can snap a picture of a cool, old bookstore in Germany to use as the postcard and the recipient can see right where I took the photo.

But perhaps the most fun element is the ability to add smells to your postcard. Using the appropriately-named "Smell Mail" feature, users can choose to add one of eleven scratch and sniff scents to their postcards. It's an old throwback to the time when scratch and sniff was "high-tech." But that's really the point of Postcard on the Run: With the digital world moving so fast, receiving another quickly written email isn't that meaningful anymore. If you don't agree, just ask your mother (or mine). She'd much rather get a letter or postcard from me while I'm on my travels than an email. And even in this instant-everything, living-behind-a-touchscreen world, it's still really nice to have a physical memory that you can thumbtack onto your wall or hang on your 'fridge.

The quality of the postcards is also top notch, with the same glossy goodness that you'd expect from any you'd find in a souvenir shop. I've already sent several holiday greetings to friends around the country using them. Each postcard costs between US$0.99 and $1.69, including postage. It's only another 50 cents if you add a Smell Mail scent to it as well. Check out the gallery below, where you'll find more samples of the postcards plus also screenshots of the app.

Finally, those of you with keen eyes might notice that some of the postcards in the gallery are addressed to singer and actress Selena Gomez. That's because she's involved with the creative direction of the app, and those are some duplicates of postcards she liked that were sent to her from fans, which she was kind enough to share with me. If you're among the millions of her fans be sure to check back tomorrow for my exclusive interview with Selena about her involvement with the app, and keep an eye out for a sweet promotion and giveaway from Selena, Postcard on the Run, and TUAW in the very near future.

Postcard on the Run is a free download and the perfect app for sending a little holiday love.

Gallery: Postcard on the Run

Glossy!Postcard on the Run postcards!Back of postcard.Intro screen

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogDaily iPhone App: Postcard on the Run originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21Dec/11Off

Got a question? Try the Onion Magic Answer Ball

Are you the kind of person who is constantly asking for advice? Do you need a little reinforcement before that big decision? The wonderful satirists at The Onion have just the app for you. It's called the Magic Answer Ball. I'd call it a parody of the old round balls you'd find at the gag store that you shake and an answer to your question pops up floating in the liquid goo that is inside.

This US$0.99 app dispenses with the gooey liquid and uses your iPhone instead. Ask your question (no voice recognition here), shake your iPhone and a highly irrelevant answer will come up.

Just like Siri. Sometimes.

You can share it all on Facebook. If you're so indecisive that you can't think of a question, the app generates some new ones every day, like "Should I buy a riverboat?" and "Do my victims ever think about me?"

The app is fun, and might be good to break out at a company holiday party when things are going slow, as is often the case at those things.

I did ask the app if I should spend money on it. The answer: "Not if we have anything to say about it." So there you are.

Gallery: The Onion Magic Answer Ball

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogGot a question? Try the Onion Magic Answer Ball originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21Dec/11Off

Acer 15-inch Ultrabook in the works

If you like the thin ultrabooks that are starting to hit the market in greater numbers, but want a larger screen keep an eye on Acer. Acer is reportedly set to launch a new ultrabook that packs a 15-inch screen. At the start, Acer was only offering ultrabooks with smaller 11-inch or 13-inch screens. The sales have apparently been good enough that the company is now ready to step into the larger screen market.

The ultrabook with the 15-inch screen is being produced by Pegatron according to a DigiTimes source in the supply chain. Perhaps the best news about the 15-inch ultrabook is that the machine is said to be coming to market for $699 making it a cheaper ultrabook. Many of the ultrabooks so far have been closer to $1,000 or more.

Acer ultrabooks are made by ODM supplier Wistron. By the end of the year, the sales of the existing models are expected to be around 250,000 to 300,000 units. A larger screen ultrabook will help lure those that want portability with more screen space. Perhaps the machine will break cover at CES in January.

[via DigiTimes]


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Acer 15-inch Ultrabook in the works is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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21Dec/11Off

Music video site Vevo wants to be like MTV

If you watch music videos on YouTube odds are many of them you have seen are actually vids from Vevo. Vevo is a music video streaming site that owes the bulk of its traffic to YouTube. The downside of that arrangement is that Vevo doesn’t make as much off advertising when its videos are watched via YouTube.

Naturally, the music video streaming site is looking for ways to get people to view videos on its own site. One way that the company is looking to expand its direct viewership is by turning itself into a TV station like MTV was back in the day. Sources are claiming that the talks are in the early stage and Vevo could set itself up as a cable channel.

It may also collaborate with existing content providers. The idea is that the TV channel Vevo launches would show music videos and other pop-culture entertainment. In October, Vevo reportedly had 57 million US users and streamed 827 million videos a month. Vevo is owned by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Abu Dhabi Media Company.

[via NYT]


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Music video site Vevo wants to be like MTV is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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21Dec/11Off

Honda says 40% North American production increase report is false

The automotive industry is doing very well again after a rough year or so with the economy tanking and consumers flocking to used cars rather than new. With the economy picking up the sales of new cars are starting to go back up. A report from the Wall Street Journal today claimed that Honda would be increasing the manufacturing capacity in North America.

The WSJ report claimed that Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura noted Honda was going to shift some of its manufacturing capacity back to North America over the next two years. According to the WSJ, the Honda CEO had stated that it was getting to be too expensive to import cars to North America so it would build more of the cars inside North America.

Bloomberg is now reporting that Honda is denying that 40% figure. A Honda spokeswoman has stated that Iwamura “didn’t say 40% at all.” That seems to be a carefully worded way of noting that the production increase may not be 40%, not a denial that it will increase North American production. Honda has announced recently that it will be redesigning its popular Civic soon.

[via Bloomberg]


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Honda says 40% North American production increase report is false is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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