Friday, October 30, 2009

Apple Denies Palm Pre iTunes Sync, Yet Again

Apple's iTunes 9.0.2 update, pushed into the wild on Oct. 29, prevents Palm Pre users from syncing their smartphones with iTunes. Despite Apples repeated attempts to stop Palm from syncing its flagship device to Apples music platform, Palms engineers keep designing workarounds to keep iTunes running on the Pre. Sales of the Pre have been healthy, but the smartphone has not proved to be the iPhone killer that some predicted.
- Palm Pre users found their ability to sync with iTunes denied yet again on Oct. 29, thanks to Apple's iTunes 9.0.2 update. While that update was otherwise fairly routine offering a handful of other features, including support for Apple TV 3.0 the denial-of-sync represents the latest twist in the...

Read the full story here, from eWEEK Technology News

Mac mini (Late 2009) benchmarks

Macworld Lab has the Mac minis, and we put them through our benchmark tests. Our result show that the new Mac minis are impressively faster than the models they replace.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Review: CBS Sports: College for iPhone

With scores and stats for teams ranked in the Top 25, this app offers some value for college football fans (as well as college hoops fans once that season starts). Throw in exclusive CBS video content -- including a live stream of the SEC game of the week -- and you've got a must-have app for fans of college sports.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Verizon Media Manager streams photos, music to your FiOS DVR

Verizon has released a Mac version of its Media Manager software, allowing FiOS TV customers to stream music and photos to their DVR set-top boxes.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

iTunes 9.0.2 update blocks Palm Pre syncing, again

In a startling case of déjà vu, Apple's recent iTunes 9.0.2 update once again blocks the Palm Pre from syncing with the software. Then again, maybe it's not very startling at all.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Apple's iPhone hits China with high price, without Wi-Fi

The iPhone saw its formal debut in China Friday on carrier China Unicom, with the Wi-Fi-less hardware sold via 2,000 stores at a starting price of 4,999 yuan, or $730.

Read the full story here, from AppleInsider

Maximize the Lifespan of ThinkPads, Macs, iPhones, BlackBerrys and More

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- offers expert advice and money saving solutions to prolong the lifespan of electronic gadgets and optimize battery performance. With over 11 million replacement parts in its catalog, provides chargers, adaptors, and batteries for all of today's most popular consumer electronics, laptops, and

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Will Droid gain iPhone's tech 'lust' factor?

iPhone faithful unlikely to stray for the Motorola Droid, says analyst

Read the full story here, from IT World Canada: Daily IT NewsWire

iPhone Social Game Network Aurora Feint Gets Major Japanese Investment

Read the full story here, from Gamasutra News

iPhone Makes Users Want Smarter Smartphones, Says Report

Smartphone prices are falling as their shipment numbers increase, says a new report from ABI Research, which points to the iPhone as contributing to consumers increased interest in operating systems and software.
- Apples iPhone, and its introduction of the ability to customize a smartphone with downloadable applications, is part of the reason why smartphone retail prices are falling as shipment volumes are on the rise, states an Oct. 29 report from ABI Research. While in 2007, 18 percent of smartphon...

Read the full story here, from eWEEK Wireless

First Look Review: Apple's wireless, multitouch Magic Mouse

Apple has broken its decade-long chain of terrible mouse designs with the new multitouch, wireless Magic Mouse, although its multitouch features are somewhat limited in functionality.

Read the full story here, from AppleInsider

Noise Buster 7.0 adds Snow Leopard support, enhancements

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />AKVIS has announced a new version of its photo enhancement tool, Noise Buster 7.0. The application is designed to remove noise in the color and luminance layers of images, both separately and together. The upgrade delivers a series of new features including support for Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, 64-bit Adobe Photoshop CS4, and Snow Leopard, as well as improvements to both the noise reduction algorithm and interface. Bug fixes have also been added for both the Mac and Windows versions....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

Second Microsoft store draws 1,000-person lineup

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Microsoft's second-ever official retail store opened to lines resembling those of Apple's, an early estimate says. More than 1,000 are believed by the OC Register to have queued up for the Mission Viejo, California opening, some of whom had entered the line as early as the previous afternoon. It's not known how long lines remained in front of the store or how floor traffic has proceeded since the debut at 10AM local time....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

Briefly: MainStage 2 tutorial videos, PlayHaven for devs

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />In Brief: has released a new tutorial video that provides lessons for working with Apple's MainStage 2 software. PlayHaven has announced a new platform that allows iPhone developers to create community sites for their games. Meanwhile, Infinity Data Systems has extended free phone support to customers using MailForge....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

Plantronics outs Voyager Pro UC targets computers

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Plantronics today launched a rare Bluetooth headset aimed primarily at the desktop. The Voyager Pro UC bundles a USB Bluetooth adapter with the familiar Voyager Pro and lets any Mac or Windows PC handle calls over the wireless earpiece if they don't already have built-in Bluetooth. Its functions can work natively with many VoIP apps, including Skype and business-class apps from Cisco....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

Apple's New 27-Inch iMacs Experiencing Performance Issues?

Engadget reports that Apple's discussion forums are starting to see reports of poor performance on the company's new 27-inch iMacs introduced last week. While users have reported several issues, including inappropriate spinning down of the hard driv...

Read the full story here, from MacRumors : Mac News and Rumors

First Camino 2 release candidate goes online

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Mozilla has posted a first release candidate for Camino 2.0, the next major edition of the company's Mac-focused web browser. RC1 makes relatively few changes compared to previous betas, but it does enable new AppleScript abilities, improved Full Keyboard Access support and per-site whitelisting or blacklisting of Flash. More significant may be an upgrade to the Gecko 1.9.0 engine, which includes bugfixes, better treatment of plug-ins and greater standards support, for instance through the use of JavaScript 1.8....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

iPhone climbs to 2.5% world market share

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Apple in two years has pushed the iPhone up to 2.5 percent of the entire cellphone market, Strategy Analytics estimates. The company has roughly doubled its share from a year ago and now has half the share of established firms Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which have remained flat at five percent. Some of the gain is likely to have come at Nokia's expense, as it shrank to 37 percent share, its lowest since the start of 2007....

Read the full story here, from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network

The stepmothers' survival guide

A reluctant stepdaughter herself, Cristina Odone was determined not to force a good relationship with her stepsons. But what was the alternative in a modern-day fractured family?

'You're not my mum!" I wanted to scream whenever my stepmother told me off for showering late at night, talking too long on the phone, or coming back late from a party. I, a stroppy teenager, sometimes spent the weekends at my dad's â€" my brother and I lived with Mum â€" and inevitably Michaela would criticise something I did, triggering long sulks, if not outright rows. I saw myself cast as Cinderella; just as when we'd been younger, my brother and I had identified with Hansel and Gretel. We were lost in a scary wood, where grown-ups grew distant, our home changed irrevocably, and an unfamiliar figure lurked.

Stepmothers are the stuff of fairy tales and, increasingly, of contemporary life: one in three of us is involved in a step-family situation.

It can make for tricky terrain. Flesh and blood ties may not temper outbursts, or soften criticism â€" but introduce a "step" into the equation and the result can be explosive. A "blended" family of his children, your children, maybe even an ex hovering in the periphery, requires a delicate balancing act of love and authority, reassurance and restraint. The investment is so huge, for many it proves a step too far â€" or, as one beleaguered stepmother put it, "isn't this what boarding schools are for?"

For me, it has proved immensely rewarding. I'd left marriage so late that, at 42, I never dared hope I'd be able to have a child, let alone three â€" two ready-made, providing me with an instant family. For the past six years, our blended ménage has consisted of Johnny (16) and Hugo (14) â€" my husband Edward's sons with his first wife Claudia â€" and Isabella (six), my daughter with Edward. Edward and I are constants in this family group, but Claudia, who lives in Germany, is also a presence â€" via telephone (with me) and internet (with the boys).

In retrospect, I should have been anxious and maybe a little wary at the prospect of turning my self-indulgent single life upside down to make room for a divorced man I barely knew and two boys I hadn't met. Since my own experience as the child of a "broken home", countless studies had shown the children of divorce were more likely to binge, have sex, drop out of school and get in trouble with the law. Divorce, the stats were clear, set off an avalanche of horrors; it traumatised lives, and left children and grown-ups desperate and dysfunctional in its wake. Would anything â€" love, discipline, sense of humour â€" survive such emotional upheaval?

But I was pregnant, and floating in a placid daze. Like a hormonal Pollyanna I could see only the best in every situation. A divorce was not a dead end, but a great challenge. Being a stepmother was not the dread repetition of a troubled period in my life, but a wonderful opportunity to right some wrongs. Having us live in a small rented flat was not a test of our budding, blended relationship, but a chance to develop a "one for all, all for one" mentality.

From the outset, I knew which elements of my own experience as a stepdaughter I wanted to repeat â€" and which I didn't. My stepmother's generosity and interest in my life had been a welcome extra in my youth; but I had also resented the automatic love, acceptance and intimacy expected of me. It had been a question of too much, too soon, with no one taking into account the conflicted loyalties that all children of divorce feel towards the new face on the scene.

By my 20s, moreover, my allegiance to this blended family was desperately needed. Lorenzo, our half-brother and Michaela's only child, was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare genetic disorder which soon robbed him of speech, sight, hearing and movement. Lorenzo was kept at home where Michaela nursed him 24/7 while she helped my father research the little-known disease that had struck down their son. The result of their study, Lorenzo's Oil, became a therapy used widely by boys afflicted with ALD â€" and the subject of a Hollywood film starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte. I still remember watching the film, and for the first time seeing Michaela not as my stepmother, or as my father's second wife, but as a fierce and indefatigable mother.

I instinctively felt that I should let my stepsons come to me, rather than bombard them with attention and affection. We could take as long as we needed to get to know each other â€" this was a lifelong relationship, not a head rush. They approached me differently from the very first day I met them at my in-laws' in Somerset. Johnny, then 10, slipped his hand in mine and led me to see Dennis the donkey in the nearby field. Hugo, eight at the time, clung to his father and stole furtive glances from under his long lashes. About a year later, when I was cooking on my own, Hugo stole up behind me and suddenly whacked my bottom hard. He didn't say anything by way of an explanation â€" and I didn't ask for any. I felt I understood his little boy's frustration, mixed with longing and confusion and sadness, at having to deal every day with this woman who was not his mum but was doing mummy-like things with him.

If the past sets the tone, the ex, too, is key in any blended family. He or she can decide to turn the children against the "intruder" (or intruders, when there are step-siblings to cope with); or can opt for constant interference, monitoring daily the children's meals, homework habits, dental hygiene. You, the new spouse and parental figure, can only stand by as the "real" mum or dad play havoc with your carefully laid plans for Christmas at your parents'; or your schedule for after-school activities.

Luckily, Claudia, Edward's ex-wife, ignored such tactics. When Edward told her that he and I were in love, she invited me for a tête-à-tête. I still remember the mixture of curiosity and fear I felt as I made my way to the shabby hotel in Victoria: what if she hated me, thought me an unsuitable influence on her sons, or felt compelled to explain what had gone wrong between her and Edward? In the event, we drank a great deal of whiskey, and discussed the future, rather than the past. We agreed that the children came first, and that communication between the grown-ups must be clear and frequent. Because there was no history between us, there is no animosity: indeed, we sometimes find it easier for me and Claudia to work out the boys' flights, holidays and visits. Between exes, even a weekend at the grandparents' can be emotionally loaded.

When Isabella was born, I was secretly relieved that she was a girl. A baby brother might have triggered jealousy and rivalry; a baby sister was an utterly non-threatening addition to our household. Claudia brought back the boys from their holiday to see the newborn, and it was clear she had presented the arrival as a welcome event rather than a worrying development. While Claudia and I cooed over the crib, Edward instructed the boys on the basics of brotherhood: they were to tease her mercilessly so she'd never become precious, and, later on, protect her from unsuitable men. For weeks thereafter, Johnny walked around muttering, in practice for meetings with putative future boyfriends: "I have a gun and a shovel, and no one's going to miss you."

With Izzy's birth, my Italian mamma side came out. I was a full-blown and irrepressible stereotype, and although I didn't wear black, with an apron and six chins, I did cook army-sized portions of spaghetti, and cross myself every time one of the children sneezed. The boys poked fun as the maternal overspill swamped them: no, they did not want a second helping; no, I should not polish their trainers; no, they would not catch pneumonia if they went to sleep with their hair wet.

Their presence, I am convinced, explains why Isabella is vaguely normal: without them, my fussing and worrying would have had only one object; instead, it has been divided by three. But if I spend a great deal of time cosseting them, I harbour no desire to replace their mother. On a Primark shopping trip recently, an unusually solicitous salesman helped Johnny and me locate a pair of the right (ie frayed and faded) jeans. When the salesman referred to me as "mum", I winced, remembering how much I had hated anyone mistaking me for Michaela's daughter. Johnny, instead, was very relaxed, pointing out that it was Hugo, dark and more swarthy, whom everyone usually thought was my son.

If I knew from the outset that I didn't want to replicate some aspects of my childhood, Edward knew from the very beginning that he wanted to safeguard the very close relationship he had with his sons. We decided that he should spend one day a weekend on his own with the boys, while Isabella and I would visit my mum. Close-knit families have a repository of memories, running gags, small rituals and sometimes even their own language which they cherish, but which exclude everyone else. I was respectful of this â€" while looking forward to the time when Isabella and I would be able to share insider jokes about the rich branch of the family, the thrill of blowing up old laptops, and three-hour sessions watching DVDs with titles like "Hatchet Massacre 3" and "Invasion of the Paranormal Spooks".

What I consider our perfect blend puzzles some acquaintances. "You can't enjoy having two teenagers who are not your own flesh and blood around?", I often hear. But I do: I enjoy the way they tease me about Izzy. Sometimes the boys themselves want to test their new nest. Last summer, as we sunbathed on the beach, Johnny and Hugo presented me with a moral dilemma they had devised. Our home was on fire, and hanging from one window was Isabella, while hanging from another were Johnny and Hugo. I could only save one lot â€" which would I choose? The question took my breath away, not because it was so brutal, but because similar dilemmas had kept me awake at night when I was growing up, a child of divorce.

I didn't answer the boys. But I know that some months ago, as I crossed the street, I turned to see whether the children were following me. To my horror, they were â€" and a white van was hurtling at top speed towards them. I saw them, holding hands and smiling unawares, and I screamed. The van braked with a screech. The children ran to safety. As I rushed to them, I realised that I had not thought about "my daughter" but about "the children".

Divorce has spawned a lucrative industry of lawyers, counsellors and estate agents â€" not to mention internet dating and Botox specialists, and personal trainers, who all capitalise on the ever-increasing number of divorcees in need of a new partner, and a makeover to snag him. But while the headlines are about the spectacular rows Jordan and Peter Andre went in for, and the pay offs that John Cleese gave his ex, many couples are quietly engaged in keeping their divorce friendly. Like Claudia and Edward, they believe that a "good divorce" is not one in which you fleece the ex for all she's worth, or secure for yourself the house, the seaside cottage and both kids. These couples have understood that divorce does not mean you shut the door and throw away the key. It is, especially when children are involved, an on-going relationship â€" like marriage, parenthood, or friendship.

When my parents orchestrated their civilised split, I remember we had a couple of Christmases when we invited my father. My brother and I basked in the seasonal atmosphere, and took delight in the friendly exchanges between my parents. More than 30 years later, I sat down to a Christmas lunch with Edward, my dad, his girlfriend (Michaela passed away in 2000), my mum, the children, my sister-in-law and her partner. I looked down the table at those familiar faces and decided nothing could be nicer than sitting with a large, slightly dysfunctional, rather eccentric clan, watching your mum pulling Christmas crackers with her ex, and your stepsons spoon-feeding your daughter bread sauce.

Read the full story here, from Guardian Unlimited

Hot Forum Topic: Reader Reactions: China iPhone Sales

The iPhone finally went on sale in China, but the lines weren't as long as they typically are in the U.S. Today TMO readers are talking about the impact China's iPhone sales will have on the smartphone market.

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Read the full story here, from The Mac Observer

Apple iPhone grabbed record 2.5% share of global handset market in third quarter 2009

The global handset market should return to growth in the fourth quarter after several quarters...

Read the full story here, from MacDailyNews

Apple again kicks Palm Pre moocher off iTunes

Apple offered up iTunes 9.0.2 yesterday. The main reason for the update...

Read the full story here, from MacDailyNews

Nokia Confirms N-Gage Phasing Out In 2010

Read the full story here, from Gamasutra News

Iwata interested in Kindle-like service as a business model, believes full digital download acceptance is a ways off

Satoru Iwata recently stated that he’s interested in the Kindle business model/service as one option for Nintendo’s future. “I’m interested (in the Kindle) because it’s a new business model in which the user doesn’t bear the communications cost. Only people who can pay thousands of yen a month [in mobile phone subscriptions] can be iPhone [...]

Sponsored Topics: Nintendo - Satoru Iwata - IPhone - Mobile phone -

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Japanese girls continue their adventures in Nanashi no Game

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Sponsored Topics: Web Design and Development - Promotion - Link Popularity - Reciprocal Links -

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An Interview with a Video Game Vampire: Gamertell sits down with Count Dracula

FROM GAMERTELL - Gamertell’s Brian Allen had a cautious sitdown with the man, myth and legend that is Count Dracula…

Full Story » | Written by NEWS for Appletell. | Comment on this Article »

Read the full story here, from Appletell

New iPhone App Targets Stock Traders

Portfolio takes the clutter and complexity out of stock tracking, and focuses on the information you really need - the total and change in your portfolio's value.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Benchmarks for the New MacBook, iMac, and Mac Mini

Primate Labs has published benchmark information for the new MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

BlackSn0w Unlock for iPhone Is Coming Soon [Update]

Geohot has announced that an unlock dubbed BlackSn0w for the iPhone 05.11.07 baseband is coming soon.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

iPhone Comes to China Without Wi-Fi

The iPhone arrives in China today amid speculation that a missing feature could seriously hamper sales.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Clarus 1.5 and Clarus for iPhone Released

Clarus manages medication dose due dates, visits to the vet, birthdays and insurance policy renewal dates and much more of your pet.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Free app roundup for October 30th, 2009

Section: iPod iTunes, iPod touch, iPhone, iPhone, iPhone SDK & Apps, Originals

Halloween might be upon you, but you’re grown up now. So instead of getting the candy, you’ll be giving it out with a big smile on your face, right? Yeah, probably not. Those darn kids just want candy. They don’t give a crap about you, and they certainly don’t care how much you spent on candy, or how much (little) effort you put into spooking up your place. So, just for you, I’ve rounded up a few free apps to help put a smile on that face.

  • NASA app for iPhone - The “first-ever NASA application for the iPhone.” With it you can get updates on all the NASA missions. It has those great space images that we all love so much, and some videos too. Free for all, though free-er for those who don’t pay US taxes.
  • WordPress 2 - At least 1 better than WordPress, the original app for iPhone, maybe even 2. The interface is said to be more efficient, and there are a ton of other improvements. If you have a WordPress blog, this is pretty much a no brainer must download app.
  • Eric Snider’s Solitaire: Klondike LITE - 3 deal Klondike solitaire is without a doubt the only reason Windows XP is the OS of choice in the business world, so why not help rid yourself of the last possible reason to keep Windows around by downloading a free solitaire app? The graphics are nice, and it’s free. Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee solitaire.
  • Walgreens - That’s right, as if there wasn’t already a Walgreens within a mile of where you currently are, it’s coming to your iPhone too. You can order your prescription refills and your photo prints, upload images, browse products, and even locate that Walgreens a couple of blocks down the road.
  • Wings Free: Flight Simulator - Timed demos are lame, but Wings is one of my favorite leisurely flight simulators. It has one level that allows you to fly like you’re in a dream over a landscape. It uses the accellerometers on the iPhone to control your flight, and there’s really no skill needed. It is free, but it’s timed, so after a short while you’ll have to tell this flight simulator to flight see-u-lator.
  • TomTom car kit tool - You probably don’t have a TomTom car kit yet, but perhaps soon.  And if you do plan on investing in one, this app will allow you to disable the pop-up message it causes on your iPhone. It will also display the GPS signal strength, software version of the cradle, hardware version and serial number.
  • Heavy Crossbow - I’m not sure how long this one is going to last, so grab it while it’s free. I love the premise. “The helicopter crashed in the jungle, you were the only survivor.”  So naturally, you have to kill any and everything that moves, with a crossbow. Now give me a Wookie rwaaaaAaAaAaaAwrrRrr!

Full Story » | Written by Jake Gaecke for Appletell. | Comment on this Article »

Read the full story here, from Appletell

Casual Friday: Update for October 24 - 30, 2009

FROM GAMERTELL - Gamertell’s casual game update for October 24-30, 2009 includes Trapped: The Abduction (PC, Mac), The Tudors (PC), Fort Zombie (PC), Sters (PC) and quite a few other interesting games…

Full Story » | Written by NEWS for Appletell. | Comment on this Article »

Read the full story here, from Appletell

Marvel Comics come to iPhone

Several Marvel Comics are now for sale on the iPhone via the free Comics app.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Update: Infovox iVox 2.0

The voice enhancement software for Speech Manager-compliant application adds Snow Leopard support, significantly improved performance and responsiveness, and new voices for Arabic, French, German, Flemish, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Turkish.

Read the full story here, from MacInTouch

Review: Toy Bot games for iPhone

The Toy Bot Diaries series improves sequel-by-sequel, but Iugo Mobile Entertainment really gets the gameplay right with Spy Bot Chronicles, a spinoff from the physics-based platform game.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Give ‘Em Hell…in High Heels with Garters & Ghouls for iPhone/iPod touch

Get ready to command the not-too-dead Marie Dupois in the haunting new franchise, Garters & Ghouls, now available on Apple’s App Store. Namco Networks, a leading publisher and

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Review: Apple's redesigned, late 2009 13-inch MacBook

Apple's new 13" MacBook delivers a lower cost option to the company's MacBook Pro line of aluminum notebooks, while providing a similar unibody construction, much improved display, glass trackpad, and environmentally friendly design.

Read the full story here, from AppleInsider

First Look: Apple's wireless, multitouch Magic Mouse

Apple has broken its decade-long chain of terrible mouse designs with the new multitouch, wireless Magic Mouse, although its multitouch features are somewhat limited in functionality.

Read the full story here, from AppleInsider

Straw cancels plan to cut election night costs

Justice secretary acts after leaked working paper reveals proposals to cut number of polling stations and voting hours

Jack Straw today ordered officials to abandon "simply unacceptable" cost-cutting measures that would have reduced the number of polling stations and cut voting hours in elections.

A leaked working paper submitted by the Ministry of Justice to the Treasury showed that the government was planning to save £65m through such measures.

But Straw said he had not been aware of the proposals, included in a working paper sent to the Treasury, which infuriated democracy campaigners when they were revealed last night.

"Officials need the space to examine all possibilities before they put proposals to ministers," the justice secretary said. "This examination of the costs of elections comes within that category. I and other ministers had absolutely no knowledge about this exercise.

"I make no complaint about that but now that it has gone public I make clear what I would have told officials privately: that these proposals are simply unacceptable.

"The exercise has therefore ended. Democracy has to be paid for."

The Local Government Chronicle revealed yesterday that it had seen documents showing that thousands of "temporary" polling stations would be closed, and voting hours cut back to save money.

Staff would also have been reduced and traditional polling cards abandoned in favour of electronic reminders and security relaxed at election night counts.

The proposals may add to the reluctance of local authorities to count votes overnight, which has seen campaigns such as Save the General Election Night develop.

Ken Ritchie, of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "Jack Straw's decision gives some reassurance that the government is not intent on taking risks with our democracy.

"In recent months faith in politics has taken a few hard knocks. We now need to do all we reasonably can to get our democracy on its feet again. It's not a time for service trimming that could undermine the legitimacy of our elections.

"The government of course must seek value for money, but sometimes investment is needed to produce the dividends we need."

An MoJ spokeswoman last night said the plans came from "a working paper collating ideas for further consideration and [were] part of an ongoing dialogue about election costs".

Straw added: "At any time officials will quite properly be giving consideration to measures which can deliver a given value of service at low cost.

Read the full story here, from Guardian Unlimited

First France Store Grand Opening Is Scheduled

Apple has formally announced the grand opening of its first retail store in France, located inside the underground Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall adjacent to the famous Louvre museum. According to photos posted by MacGeneration Web site, the store occupies a strangely-configured space, and includes tall stainless steel walls and a spiral glass staircase leading [...]

Read the full story here, from ifoapplestore

Apple: iTunes 9.0.2

The iTunes update adds a dark background for Grid View, improves support for accessibility, and defeats synchronization by the Palm Pre once again.

Read the full story here, from MacInTouch

Update: Adobe Services Update 1.0.2

This update fixes a bug in the CS4 services infrastructure running in the Snow Leopard (MAC OSX 10.6) operating system.

Read the full story here, from MacInTouch

BlackSn0w Unlock for iPhone Is Coming Soon

Geohot has announced that an unlock dubbed BlackSn0w for the iPhone 05.11.07 baseband is coming soon.

Read the full story here, from iClarified - Apple News

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review: Motorola Droid smartphone

The Droid certainly lives up to its promises and does a lot of things the iPhone doesn’t. The iPhone will probably keep its smartphone throne for now, but it will have to deal with a powerful new competitor.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

New iPhone app translates English into Spanish as you speak

A new iPhone app translates English speech into Spanish, or vice-versa, without ever needing to go online.

Read the full story here, from Macworld

Meet the Motorola Droid, Verizon's First Google Android Smartphone

The Motorola Droid, an iPhone-challenging smartphone running Google's Android operating system, will arrive on the Verizon Wireless network on Nov. 6 for $199 after a rebate and with a two-year contract. Verizon has been hyping the Droid with a television ad that highlights everything the iPhone lacks but the Droid possesses. These include a keyboard, interchangeable batteries, the ability to run simultaneous applications and the option to customize the device with widgets. Analysts are saying the Droid may be the first smartphone to hold its own against the iPhone. Palm had such hopes for the Pre, but was partly undone by its meager application offerings, as apps have become as important a part of a mobile device's appeal as its hardware or operating system. Google, meanwhile, has been industriously expanding its Android Market store, which now sells over 12,000 applications.
- ...

Read the full story here, from eWEEK Technology News

News: Google Posts Video Demo of Mobile Google Maps Navigation (for Android)

Google has posted a video (below) demonstrating Google Maps Navigation for Android GPS-enabled phones -- notice the lack of "iPhone" in that clause. With this feature, users can use their Android phone for turn-by-turn GPS navigation, including voice-based requests and the ability to receive voice directions.

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Read the full story here, from The Mac Observer

Best Buy Offers Instant $100 Rebate for Verizon-Motorola Droid

Best Buy's mobile specialty retail unit said it will begin pre-selling the Droid with an automatic, $100 rebate. Like Verizon, Best Buy Mobile will sell the device for $199 with a two-year contract. However, Verizon stores will charge customers $299 upfront, with a $100 rebate offering that must be mailed in. These can take awhile to process and several weeks typically pass before users receive their rebate check. Meanwhile, sfter a lot of hype leading up to the announcement, many reviewers are saying the Droid is not the iPhone slayer it was purported to be.
- Verizon Wireless' Motorola Droid, the smartphone based on Google's Android operating system that some experts said could slow Apple's rising iPhone star, is coming to Best Buy with an instant $100 rebate. Best Buy's mobile specialty retail unit said it will begin pre-selling the Dr...

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How Jive Social Business Suite 4.0 Looks in Microsoft Office, on iPhone

Jive Software Oct. 28 unveiled Jive Social Business Suite 4.0 with a number of features, including integration with Microsoft Office, and a version tailored for Apple's iPhone. Jive also fortified its Jive Bridging module. Marketing and sales teams can now go out to public Jive communities and pull conversations about customer issues or channel partner needs back into their private Jive communities for internal discussion behind the firewall. They can then push their organized responses back out to the Web. Here are the key new features of Jive SBS 4.0, in pictures.
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Hot Forum Topic: The Mobile Market Fight: Apple, Google and Microsoft

Apple, Google and Microsoft all have products in the mobile market. Today TMO readers are talking about how the three-way battle might play out.

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Apple investigates media playing headset, shoe wear-out sensor

A string of new patent applications have revealed potentially unique products from Apple, including a MP3 playing headset and a sensor that would detect when a shoe needs to be replaced.

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Easypano's Panorama2Flash arrives for Mac

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Easypano says it has launched a Mac version of Panorama2Flash. The software batch-publishes images as Flash panoramas, viewable in a fullscreen mode. Easypano claims one-click publishing, and the ability to add top and bottom images. Users can also customize pan, tilt and FOV values for Flash output, along with rotation speed and scene quality....

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Canada sets aside its boreal forest

By banning logging, mining and oil drilling in an area twice the size of California, Canada is ensuring its boreal forests continue to soak up carbon

In the far north latitudes, buried within a seemingly endless expanse of evergreen forests, the authorities in Canada are building up one of the world's best natural defences against global warming.

In a series of initiatives, Canadian provincial governments and aboriginal leaders have set aside vast tracts of coniferous woods, wetlands, and peat. The conservation drive bans logging, mining, and oil drilling on some 250m acres â€" an area more than twice the size of California.

The sheer scale of the forest conservation drive is somewhat of an anomaly for Canada, whose government has been accused of sabotaging the global climate change talks by its development of the Alberta tar sands and its refusal to make deep cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, a former adviser to Barack Obama urged Canada to do more to keep up with America's moves towards a cleaner energy economy.

In the latest addition to the carbon storehouse, the provincial premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, this month announced a $10m (£5.6m) Canadian fund to protect a 10.8m acre expanse of boreal or evergreen forest. It was one of Doer's last acts as premier; he took over as Canada's ambassador to Washington this month.

The $10m will go towards efforts by indigenous leaders to designate boreal forest lands in eastern Manitoba as a Unesco world heritage site. The Pimachiowin Aki world heritage project, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario border, extends efforts by Canadian provincial leaders to protect the wide swaths of pristine forests in the north. It also ensures the survival of one of the best natural defences against global warming after the world's oceans, environmentalists say.

A report by the International Boreal Conservation Campaign said the forests, with their rich mix of trees, wetlands, peat and tundra, were a far bigger carbon store than scientists had realised, soaking up 22% of the total carbon stored on the earth's land surface.

"If you look across Canada one of [the boreal forest's] great values to us globally is its carbon storage value," said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign. "There is so much carbon sequestered in it already that if it escaped it would pose a whole new, very grave threat."

Canada's cold temperatures slow decomposition, allowing the build-up of organic soil and peat. The forest floors beneath its evergreens hold twice as much carbon per acre as tropical forests, such as the Amazon.

It is unclear how long Canada's forests can continue to serve as carbon vaults. "As the climate warms, the place is going to dry up. There will be a problem with insect infestation. There is going to be increased natural carbon release due to fire or wetlands drying up," said Sue Libenson, a spokeswoman for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

But she added: "The general premise is that there is still a hell of a lot of carbon in there." Its release would be a climate catastrophe.

Canada's 1.3bn acres of boreal forest store the equivalent of 27 years' worth of current global greenhouse gas emissions, a Greenpeace study found. The destruction of those forests, scientists warn, would be like setting off a massive "carbon bomb" because of the sudden release of emissions.

That threat appears to have concentrated the official mindset in Canada, which otherwise has a poor record on action on climate change. On a per capita basis, the country is one of the worst polluters on the planet, producing about 2% of the world's emissions even though it has just 33m people. It holds one of the worst track records among industrialised states for living up to its commitment under the Kyoto accords. By 2007, greenhouse gas emissions were 34% above the target Canada agreed at Kyoto.

Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, is resisting doing much more, committing to just a 6% cut over 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. "I see Harper's policy as a continuation of the Bush agenda," said David Martin, climate director for Greenpeace Canada.

A key advisor to Obama made a similar point last week, comparing Canada's current climate change policy to the inaction in America under George Bush. "The Canadians would be well served by keeping up with what's going on in the United States with respect to this push towards clean technology," John Podesta, who oversaw Obama's transition team, told a conference in Ottawa.

Environmentalists also fear that Harper intends to exclude the Alberta tar sands â€" the heavy crude deposits that have fuelled the rise in emissions â€" from any future greenhouse gas emissions regime.

But the Harper government did relent on forest protection, working with the Sahtu and Deh Cho First Nations to set aside 40m acres in the Northwest Territories.

Read the full story here, from Guardian Unlimited

Keynote Objects FX 4.0 adds 50 new 3D images

<img align='left' src='' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Jumsoft has announced Keynote Objects FX 4.0, an update to its 3D image collection for Appleís iWork suite. The upgrade brings the total number of objects up to 150, covering items ranging from classic furniture to gift boxes. The 50 new ones are geared towards sports and leisure. Each image is optimized for Keynote presentation use, at a resolution of 1024x768....

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Games: GameSalad Now Offers iPhone Game Publishing

Gendai Games on Thursday announced that its GameSalad, its iPhone game development software, now offers the ability to publish titles on the App Store under two levels of membership: the casual-oriented Express, for US$99 a year, and Pro, for $1,999 annually

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Product News: MacUpdate Rolls Out Redesigned MacUpdate Desktop 5

MacUpdate announced the immediate availability of MacUpdate 5.0 on Thursday. The new version of the application update tracker is completely rewritten and offers beefed up Leopard and Snow Leopard support.

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