Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Mac's Rants and Raves: Special Report: Living with iPhone 3GS (AKA Episode #88)

I began my iPhone 3GS review in the Houston Chronicle by saying, "I won’t keep you in suspense... it’s easily the best iPhone yet." The only thing I'd add is that after almost three weeks of using the iPhone 3GS daily is that I like it even better now than when I wrote those words.

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Report: Power Mac G5

lemon replaced finally

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Report: iPhone/Touch Platform

Spotlight phone lookups, OS 3 issues, geotagging, Alpine BT-400 Bluetooth module

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Handset makers, including Apple, back micro-USB standard phone charger in Europe

Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers...

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Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro tops Amazon’s list of bestselling computers

Netbooks have started to fall out favor recently â€" as witnessed by reports of return rates as high as 30%...

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Report: Sony Builds PSP Phone Team



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From iPhone pitches to VC prospects

Off to a new gig as a venture capitalist, Bob Borchers reflects on his time as Apple's head of iPhone marketing and on the state of the mobile phone biz.

Read the full story here, from CNET News.com

What iPhone hardware feature or accessory do you want most?

We're surveying our followers on Twitter about their iPhone use. Today's installment covers the hardware features and accessories people would most like to see.



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Apple's Steve Jobs back at work

The company's chief executive has officially returned from a six-month medical leave of absence.

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Texting Drivers Have Slower Reaction Times than Drunk Drivers

Friends dont let friends drive and text thats the message from a Car and Driver test that, on a closed course, included an iPhone, a fifth of Smirnoff and a Honda Pilot. At 35 and 70 mph, the reaction times of the drivers while texting were far worse than those, sans devices, after a few rounds of cocktails.
- Drinking and driving is illegal, not to mention morally reprehensible and in no way advocated. Driving and texting, however, while still legal in some states, and performed by many otherwise rational people, may be even more dangerous, a test by Car and Driver reveals. The magazine rented out a...

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Steve Jobs returns to work at Apple

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs returned to work this week following a six-month medical leave, the company said Monday.

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Hack enables MMS on original 2G iPhones

Owners of the original 2G iPhone should be able to enable MMS messaging, ignoring carrier support, hackers say. While a phone must first have jailbroken iPhone 3.0 firmware, the remaining process is described as relatively simple, requiring only the Cydia framework and the ActivateMMS2G distribution. Alternately, the manual process involves unpacking a file called mms2g.deb on an iPhone, then ap...



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Apple spokesman: ‘Apple CEO Steve Jobs is back on the job’

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is back on the job after a six-month medical leave...

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Mac News Briefs: Mimio Studio 6 now available to Mac users

Mimio Studio 6, now available on the Mac, adds multimedia support and makes additional improvements. Other programs updated Monday include Today and Letter Opener.



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Stalking Steve

Apple chief returns to the company he co-founded.

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Review: President for iPhone

Part who's-who, part search tool, part news app, President gives activists, journalists and interested citizens a one-stop shop of vital data on the current presidential administration.



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Apple sees brief iPhone 3GS shortages; NVIDIA intros CS4 plugins

Apple nearly saw a repeat of last year's sellouts on the weekend with widespread, but brief, iPhone 3GS shortages at many of its US retail stores. Also, NVIDIA has launched plugins that let Macs with newer video cards dramatically speed up tasks in Adobe's Creative Suite 4.

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Apple employees observe Jobs 'looking good'

Apple employees have allegedly observed that Steve Jobs is 'looking good' on his first official day back at the company headquarters, according to The Loop. The CEO still appeared thin following a liver transplant procedure, although he is said to have shown "more color in his face and looked happy."...



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Home and dry

If you're too hot to move, you could just try one of these perfect thirst-quenchers

Citron presse

Citron presse is proof that ritual vastly increases the amount of pleasure a drink gives. It is sharp and reviving, and the business of putting it together makes it feel almost like drinking a cocktail. There are three ingredients here and, if the fun is not to be spoiled, they must all be served separately. First, the juice of one lemon (two if they aren't very juicy) must arrive at the table in a tall glass. Second, there must be a jug of cold water so the lemon can be diluted to the required strength. Thirdly, there must be a bowl of sugar and a long metal spoon, or a carafe of home-made sugar syrup (mix equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves) for sweetening. For some reason the separate arrival of these things, and the mixing and jangling as everyone measures out their drinks, makes it taste so much better than if the same thing had been done in the kitchen.

Vodka-free Moscow mule

This drink is usually made with ginger beer and lime cordial, but I've replaced those with sparkling mineral water, ginger cordial and fresh lime juice for a sharper, more modern taste. I have quite a dry palate and like the burn of Thorncroft's pink ginger cordial best. If you use another brand, say Bottlegreen ginger and lemongrass, which is juicier, sweeter and more rounded, you may need to adjust the amounts slightly - even half a teaspoonful can make a major difference. The trick is not to let the fierceness of the ginger, which varies tremendously in strength from one cordial to another, overpower the lime.

30ml fresh lime juice

2tsp Thorncroft's pink ginger cordial

Sparkling water to fill

Mix the first three ingredients in a tall, thin tumbler. Add 4 ice cubes.

Top with sparkling water, stir, add a slice of fresh lime and serve.

Strawberry grog

Fresh strawberry puree, ginger beer and lemonade: lots of flavour and a bit of fiery bite. It's important to use the old-style Jamaican ginger beer that tastes of spicy gingerbread, which you find in cans at the newsagent, rather than one of the neo-old-fashioned (and more expensive) brands from British cordial producers, which tend to be too fiery for this, and lack the growl that grounds it so nicely. The result is more moreish than I can say.

Strawberry puree freezes well, so you can make a batch when there is a glut and defrost it as you need it. This recipe makes enough for about five glassfuls. Oh, and one last thing, the name. Grog to sailors is rum, but to Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons it's ginger beer; and the idea of messing about on a lake in a boat seemed to fit in with the uplifting taste of this drink.

400g punnet of strawberries

150ml ginger beer, chilled

450ml old-fashioned, cloudy lemonade, chilled

Puree the fruit with a hand blender. It should make about 350ml of puree. Mix three parts of lemonade to one part of ginger beer, then add the strawberry mixture. Combine all the ingredients in a jug, then pour into glasses over ice.

Lime soda, the Indian way

Along with the smell of wood smoke, sandalwood and spices, the taste of a fresh lime soda provides an instant mental wormhole back to India. There you are offered it more times a day than you can count, and when you accept, there is always a follow-up question: salt or sweet? Thus in the dusty heat, lime soda becomes almost medicinal, replacing salt and sugars as well as liquid.

I like it with salt, which, because it reduces your perception of acidity, takes some of the sting out of the lime without sweetening it; some prefer both salt and sugar. The drink barely needs a recipe: simply squeeze the juice of half to one lime into a glass, top with still or sparkling water, and salt or sweeten to taste.

Virgin pina colada

Having spent a long, sticky time in the kitchen hacking at pineapples, I have concluded it's not essential to use fresh fruit to make a decent pina colada, though it certainly adds to the drama if you do. The more crucial detail is that the drink is thick. The best way of achieving the right consistency is to use crushed ice, which makes it so gloopy you can practically spoon it into your mouth with a couple of straws.

3 slices fresh pineapple or tinned pineapple rings

4tbsp coconut milk

Whizz the pineapple in a blender so it goes pulpy but don't overdo it - try to retain some texture without any lumps. Give the tin of coconut milk a good stir to mix the watery liquid with the solids before measuring out four tablespoons. Stir the coconut milk into the pineapple puree and pour into an ice-packed glass.

Pineapple and lime

This isn't a recipe so much as a suggestion, but when you're bored of cordials and water, fill a glass with ice, pour pineapple juice in and then add the juice of half to one freshly squeezed lime. The jolt of the lime works beautifully with the yellow pineapple.

Elderflower and tonic

The astringency and wildness make this more of a sipper than a glugger - a fine early evening aperitif. Use more cordial than you would if diluting with water, and serve over plenty of ice with a slice of lemon and sprig of borage from the garden.

Virgin Cuba libre

Coke, rum and freshly squeezed lime is glorious. But minus the rum, it still works and is a perfect sundowner for hot, sticky days. Coca-Cola (full sugar, always full sugar) with a thick slice of lemon and a couple of jangly ice cubes is almost more enjoyable than alcohol in hot weather.

Juice of one freshly squeezed lime

Full sugar Coca-Cola to the top of a tall glass



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Best of FingerGaming: From Mass Effect Galaxy to Annie's Wild Shot



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Apple releases MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2

Apple released MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2 which adds compatibility...

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What are the top 20 iPhone travel apps?

Ever forget your hotel room number? Then Steve Casimiro (adventure.nationalgeographic.com) wants to tell you about Room. It’s one of the iPhone travel apps Casimiro has come to rely on as he roams the world for National Geographic Adventure magazine. He’s also found apps that help him pack a better suitcase, phone home for less, find Wi-Fi hot spots, and lots more. Is your favorite travel app among his picks?

Read the full story here, from Apple Hot News

Apple's Steve Jobs returns to work

AppleThe company's chief executive has officially returned from a six-month medical leave of absence



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Mac Geek Gab Podcast: MGG 209: The Long and Short of Mac Questions & RunCore SSD

Dave and John answer reader questions about b/g clients degrading 802.11n networks, hard drive troubleshooting, ExpressCard slot uses, stalling downloads, virtual memory on the iPhone, and Dave talks about his experience using a RunCore SSD drive on his MacBook Pro. Subscribe today for free and enjoy!

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New Yorker iPhone site

The New Yorker has an iPhone-specific site up. (thx, @level39)

Tags: iPhone   The New Yorker

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Phonemakers agree universal charger

Move follows request from European commission to harmonise chargers in a bid to reduce waste

The days of drawers full of chargers for mobile phones you no longer use could soon be over after manufacturers agreed to use a universal model.

Ten companies including Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have signed up to offer the charger, which will be based on a Micro-USB connector. Currently, when consumers buy a mobile phone they are provided with a new charger even if the old one still works.

The European commission had asked companies to work on harmonising chargers in the EU in a bid to cut down on waste. It said unused chargers amounted to thousands of tonnes of electronic waste a year and was threatening legislation unless a voluntary deal was reached.

The EU industry commissioner, Günter Verheugen, said he was pleased with the agreement, which would make life much simpler for consumers.

"They will be able to charge mobile phones anywhere from the new common charger. This also means considerably less electronic waste because people will no longer have to throw away chargers when buying new phones," he said.

Talks between the phone firms and commission officials produced a "Memorandum of Understanding" indicating that the first generation of "inter-chargeable" mobile phones will reach the EU market from 2010.

The agreement says that in future harmonised chargers will improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. They should also give mobile users an "easier life", cutting costs by removing the likelihood of needing a new charger to go with a new mobile phone, and by foregoing the need to hunt all over the house for the correct charger.

Audrey Gallacher, customer relations expert for the UK consumer watchdog Consumer Focus, welcomed the move. "Industry has chosen to do the right thing for their customers by introducing a common phone charger," she said.

"This is a sensible solution to an everyday gripe for mobile phone users, which will reduce frustration and confusion for consumers as well as cutting down on waste products."

Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour said common sense had prevailed. "This agreement will also encourage more chargers to be recycled, preventing electronic waste. Mobile phone companies should consider whether a new charger is now needed with every handset if there is a possibility that an old one can be recycled.

"It is particularly welcome that the commission was able to reach agreement with the industry without introducing new regulation."



Read the full story here, from Guardian Unlimited

MacBook Air SMC firmware update adds battery support

Apple on Friday released a System Management Controller (SMC) firmware update for its MacBook Air devices. The latest version expands compatibility for newer service-replacement batteries. Users can download the updater, close any open applications and follow the installation steps before restarting the machine....



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Briefly: iPhone art challenge, postcards by iPhone

In brief: Tenonedesign.com has announced its $500 art challenge for all Pogo Stylus users who draw, sketch and doodle with its touch-screen tool. AmazingMail.com has introduced its latest web-to-print service for the iPhone that allows developers to integrate on-demand printing capabilities, enabling users to send personalized mail directly from the iPhone. Rexi Media has launched a new applicatio...



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Report: Bell and Telus to get Apple’s iPhone in Canada as early as this fall

Wireless subscribers at Bell Canada Inc. and Telus Corp. who have been yearning for an iPhone...

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Review: PicCard for iPhone

The overall look and feel of PicCard could use a little fine tuning, and the PayPal integration is a bit clunky. But the concept behind this app -- take pictures from your iPhone and turn them into postcards you can mail -- is a solid one.



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Apple tops hardware sites in May traffic

New iPhone buzz helps Apple's Web site draw more visitors in May than that of any other computer hardware manufacturer, with 55.7 million unique viewers, according to Nielsen.

Read the full story here, from CNET News.com

Apple’s Jobs returns; Analyst wants ‘clarity’ on whether he’ll be there for the next several years

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is back at work following a near 6-month medical leave...

Read the full story here, from MacDailyNews

Apple draws high buzz before, after iPhone 3G S

Apple gained an extraordinary amount of online attention both before and after the announcement of the iPhone 3G S, says Nielsen Online. The tracking organization notes that Apple's website drew in 55.7 million unique visitors in May, despite the absence of a major new product. The figure was more than two and a half times the number of visitors attracted to the next biggest tech manufacturer we...



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id Software to bring three Quakes to iPhone

id Software co-founder John Carmack has announced that the company will be bringing three Quake titles to the iPhone. Carmack adds that he may not be heavily involved in the projects, which should be mostly handled by other developers. In addition to the Quake offerings, id is also said to be contemplating an iPhone version of its next PC game, Rage. Wolfenstein RPG, Doom 2 RPG and Doom Classic a...



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MacBook Air firmware updated to support replacement batteries

Apple this past weekend released a firmware update for its MacBook Air line of ultra-thin notebooks that bundles support for a new series of replacement batteries.

Read the full story here, from AppleInsider

Remember the Milk Adds iPhone Push Notifications

Remember the Milk, a to do list and task management application, is adding iPhone Push Notifications.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Apple Says Steve Jobs is Back at Work

Apple has told news agencies that Steve Jobs is now back at work.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Review: Emergency Radio for iPhone

By delivering hundreds of live streaming police, fire, and EMS radio channels to your mobile device, Emergency Radio essentially allows you to carry a police scanner with you at all times.

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Read the full story here, from iPhone Central

Flight Control for iPhone Goes Multiplayer

Flight Control has been updated to version 1.3 for the iPhone 3.0 firmware and now features multiplayer mode.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Review: Brushes for iPhone

You'll be impressed with what you can do with Brushes, a $5 mobile studio in your pocket that lets you sketch or paint anywhere, anytime. The app sports a number of impressive features wrapped up in a really simple and efficient interface.

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Five things missing from the iPhone 3GS

Apple's latest iPhone may be getting rave reviews. But PC World's Melissa J. Perenson sees a few things that should be added to future versions of Apple's smartphone.

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Crazy Penguin Catapult 2, Prey Invasion games offered for iPhone

Crazy Penguin 2, Prey Invasion, WaterWays and other cool games populate our latest iPhone game roundup.

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What's in your iPhone's Dock?

We're surveying our followers on Twitter about their iPhone use. Today's installment covers their responses about the iPhone's Dock.

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Windows Mobile doesn’t want your silly apps

FROM GADGETELL - We at Gadgetell talk a lot about third party applications for mobile phone operating systems and how they might make or break a platform.  The news comes today that Microsoft Product Manager for France let slip that Windows Mobile Marketplace will launch with 600 applications.  Microsoft is expected to launch… MORE »

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Popular technology industry news for the week of 6-21-2009



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Who’s on Crack in Tech: 06.26.09

FROM GADGETELL - Welcome to this week’s Who’s on Crack.  This week we look at some of the stuff they tried to pull over our eyes yet again and who is headed for a month program “upstate.”  Here we go: Nokia to buy Palm? One analyst thinks so.  I think Nokia is doing… MORE »

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Casual Friday: Update for June 20-26, 2009

FROM GAMERTELL - The Casual Friday casual game update for June 20-26, 2009 includes Avalon (PC), Rangy Lil’s Wild West Adventure (PC, Mac), Create a Mall (PC) and Family Mystery - The Story of Amy (PC).
MORE »

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Gamertell Review: Science Girls for PC, Mac and Linux

FROM GAMERTELL - Science Girls! is an adorable and lighthearted adventure that casual and advanced gamers can equally enjoy. It has adorable character art, multiple difficult levels and customizable characters.
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Find My iPhone in action



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Appletell reviews SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone

Section: iPod iTunes, Apple TV, iPod touch, iPhone, Carriers, iPhone, iPhone SDK & Apps, Reviews

SlingPlayer MobileProvides: TV over Wifi
Developer: Sling Media
Minimum System Requirements: A Slingbox, WiFi connection, iPhone OS 2.2.1
Price: $29.99
Availability: Now
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Nothing quite compares to a big screen TV and some great content to watch on it. But then again, even the most picky amongst us may lower their standards when boredom sets in. The SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone is an app that takes your existing SlingBox content and makes it available to your iPhone, provided you are connected to the Internet via WiFi.

But then again, it only works over Wifi. Guess what else only works over WiFi? The desktop app. The free desktop app. It’s a little hard to justify spending almost $30 on an app that works on a smaller screen with likely worse speakers. If this worked over 3G (like every other mobile version of SlingPlayer ie SlingPlayer for Windows Mobile), then it would be an obvious buy. But it doesn’t. Therefore, you need to figure out just how much time you spend attached to WiFi, without a laptop, in need of television. If you have a SlingBox, this might be quite often.  But still, if you’re limited to just WiFi with no 3G option, then perhaps the app should be priced lower to something more like $10 or $15 until, if ever, the app is enabled by the big, bad AT&T to work over 3G.  Of course, if you don’t have a Slingbox, then why did you read this far?



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