Steve Jobs Nearly Knighted in 2009

According to The Telegraph, Steve Jobs was almost given an honorary knighthood by the (now former) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. But, Jobs declined an invitation to speak at a Labour Party conference, which royally offended Brown, who then rejected the proposed knighthood.

“Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.”  - Labour MP

Honorary knighthoods aren’t uncommon (Bill Gates has even been knighted) but it is still a tremendous honor.

[The Telegraph]

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Apple Launching a Social App Tomorrow, Naming it ‘MediaStream?’

Throw the normal amounts of salt on this one, but Silicon Alley Insider is stating that Apple will be unveiling a first party social app tomorrow, and that it will be called MediaStream. The service has been shown off in builds of iOS 4.3 (a version of iOS still in testing; it may be released tomorrow as well). The app is supposedly a ‘friend finder,’ and would locate other iDevices in your area. Silicon Alley Insider stresses that this is not confirmed, and that they are currently only hearing it from one person in the industry. The source also has no solid idea of how it would fit into Apple’s current strategy:

It could be part of Ping, it could replace Ping, it could be part of MobileMe (which may go free), or it could be separate — our source isn’t sure. But this person says that if there is a surprise at the event, this could be it. (Or, who knows, maybe it won’t be announced until WWDC, or never.)

It’s definitely still just a rumor, but it would make sense: Apple has already tried getting into the social space with Ping which, let’s be honest, has failed in its current incarnation. Using their large install base of iOS devices as a way to strike at Facebook and Twitter would be a clever move. On the gaming side, Apple has GameCenter. The app hasn’t been a total failure, but hasn’t gained mass adoption quite yet. Previous rumors stated that Apple would provide a ‘Facebook’ killer, which allowed you to share videos, status updates, and your location — a mash-up of Youtube, Ustream, Facebook, and Foursquare.

tl;dr: Apple seems poised to get into the social space, and developer builds of iOS currently contain hints about a social app that could be unveiled tomorrow. Or, you know, maybe not.

[Image via 9to5mac, Silicon Alley Insider]

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Reminder: Apple Holding iPad 2 Event Tomorrow, Tune in for Full Coverage!

Apple’s holding an iPad 2 event tomorrow (that’s Wednesday, March 2), and guess what! We’ll have all of the latest coverage right here! What will we see? Guesses range from the obvious (iPad 2), to the slightly more obscure (iOS 5), to the outright insane (white iPhone 4). In other words, it should be an interesting day! The fun should kick off at 10 a.m. PST.

Here’s a larger list of times:

08:00AM – Hawaii

10:00AM – Pacific

11:00AM – Mountain

12:00PM – Central

01:00PM – Eastern

06:00PM – London

07:00PM – Paris

09:00PM – Moscow

11:30PM – Mumbai

03:00AM – Tokyo (March 3rd)

05:00AM – Sydney (March 3rd)

We’ll be pumping out news, so following our Twitter account, or adding our RSS feed in your favorite news reader might be the best way to keep track of everything. We will not be doing a liveblog, and will instead be focusing on providing the news as it breaks, but in addition to original content to provide insight on tomorrow’s announcements.

One last thing: our official iPad 2 discussion thread is up and running, and just waiting for you to geek out in!


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Tim Cook: Apple Products Not “Just for the Rich”

Tim Cook, Apple COO, revealed to an analyst that Cupertino’s finest are working on a cheaper iPhone that could be used with pre-paid plans. No details were given, but it’s likely that Apple is developing a nerfed iPhone with low-power guts. The New York Times confirms that Apple is not working on a physically smaller “iPhone Nano”, but rather “changing internal components of the device to bring costs down“.

Cook also mentioned that carrier expansion is a priority, and while there are hundreds of non-American providers still waiting for the iPhone, this could be good news for Sprint and T-Mobile.

The analyst says Cook “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the market for the iPhone. Cook said the company is planning “clever things” to address the prepaid market, and that Apple did not want its products to be “just for the rich,” and that the company is “not ceding any market”.


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Gameloft Getting Unreal

Gameloft, creator of some of the highest profile iOS games, is adopting the Unreal Engine 3, which will usher in vastly improved graphics, better lighting, and much more detailed textures for all of their games that use it.

Unreal Development KitGameloft will start this process by releasing four Unreal Engine 3-based games in the next two years. Unreal Engine 3 is the technology that powers games such as Infinity Blade. The deal isn’t iOS exclusive, and includes other platforms such as Android and PlayStation Network.

Here’s the official announcement:

Gameloft is very pleased to partner with Epic, especially with their ability to stay ahead of the curve and continually place the best game engine technology in developers’ hands at any given point in time,” said Julien Fournials, vice president of production, Gameloft. “Using Unreal Engine 3 allows us to push game visuals with remarkable lighting and high-fidelity environments. We are confident that players will enjoy the games powered by Unreal Engine 3.”

“There is no doubt that the four games running on Unreal Engine 3 will be visually stunning and take advantage of the powerful mobile gaming devices,” said Mark Rein, vice president, Epic Games. “We are thrilled to provide our technology to Gameloft and look forward to a lasting collaboration.


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iPad Rumors: First Generation Supply Drying Up, Second Generation Coming in White?

Here’s to new rumors, fresh out of the mill: apparently, iPad 1 supplies are drying up, and 9to5mac and iFixYourI are showing what appears to be the front for a white iPad.

Reports that Apple’s supply chain for the current generation iPad has been shrinking, causing shortages for many retailers. All models appear to be affected, and there is no ETA for a new delivery. Such a supply constraint could be considered a sure sign that a new iPad model will be announced, and released, soon.

MB292LL/A – iPad 16GB WiFi – Constrained – No ETA

MB293LL/A – iPad 32GB WiFi – Constrained – No ETA

MB294LL/A – iPad 64GB WiFi – Constrained – No ETA

MC349LL/A – iPad 16GB 3G – Constrained – No ETA

MC496LL/A – iPad 32GB 3G – Constrained – No ETA

MC497LL/A – iPad 64GB 3G – Constrained – No ETA

The next rumor shows some ‘photo evidence’ of a white iPad 2. Considering the trouble Apple has had getting a white version of the iPhone 4 to market, it’s interesting that a white version of the iPad will be out. Overall, the part is nearly identical to that of the current iPad, save for the camera hole and the color.

[9to5mac 1, 2]

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This entry was posted in News. Originally submitted by Jacob. 22 comments

App Review: Push Panic

Push Panic is a fast-paced, exciting puzzle game developed by Appular. Neither the game nor the developer is well known in the App Store world.

At first glance, Push Panic looks like a simple game that is well polished with clean graphics. When just browsing the screenshots it’s difficult to figure out what the game is all about, or how it is even played for that matter. Push Panic is a well-built game due to its fast-paced gameplay, clean graphics, decent audio, excellent replay value, and its great bang for your buck.


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iLuv Gives a Sneak Peak at iPad 2 Cases

The iPad 2 is expected to be announced on March 2nd and ship sometime in April, but the large number of rumors swirling around suggest that it may actually be released sooner than expected. Many vendors start producing cases long before they know the exact specs of a device (to have a head-start on the competition), but iLuv seems awfully sure of themselves.

Their site has been updated with an entire page dedicated to upcoming cases for the iPad 2, including a revealing Flex-Gel case that shows the rumored wide-range speaker and thinner casing. We’ll know for sure what’s under the hood of the next-gen tablet in a few days.

[iLuv] Thanks dlstc!

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Apple Internally Testing Lockscreen Dots

Apple has added an Android-like lockscreen feature to the employee-only Apple Connect application. Instead of entering a 4-digit code, users connect the dots to create an (arguably) more secure gesture-based passcode. It’s unknown if Apple will bring the new lockscreen to the public, since it’s very much in Google’s territory.

Apple’s implementation seems to be slightly different than Google’s: instead of just recording one string of up to 9 dots, users can record multiple strokes, increasing the security considerably; it would be much more difficult for a shady passerby to memorize a complicated chain of dots than a short 4-digit code.

The dot lockscreen is a defining feature of Android, so including it in iOS it would be blatant copying, but nevertheless, the added security would be welcome.

[9 to 5 Mac]

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Review & Giveaway: STM Bags Jacket for iPad

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment (reply) on this review!
You don’t need to own an iPad.

STM Bags is a company based out of Australia, with offices in nearly ever corner of the world, that is based on protecting your digital cargo. Founded in 1998 just outside of Sydney, Australia in the famous Bondi Beach suburb, their mission remains to come up with a more comfortable, secure and stylish means of transporting your portable electronics. They offer a lineup of various iPad Bags and other accessories, such as the Jacket for iPad.

In a previous review, we gave STM Bags’ Org Board a fairly unfavorable critique. The Jacket for iPad, on the other hand, is a tremendously better designed product that far outdoes the quality of the Org Board. The Jacket for iPad is minimally packaged with recyclable materials as part of STM Bags’ commitment to minimizing their impact on the environment. Read on to find out just how much better the Jacket for iPad is in our in-depth review. Plus, leave a comment (continental US residents only), and you’re entered into a giveaway to win your very own Jacket for iPad!


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