AT&T Giving Away Candy to Lure Back Customers

If you’re one of the lucky (?) users who happens to be in the “top 7.5 percent of 3G wireless customers identified as likely to experience poor in-building coverage at home or in small offices“, you are eligible to receive a free signal boosting MicroCell from AT&T.

As one would imagine, there are strings attached: customers must agree to continue using AT&T wireless service for 12 months, or be charged $199 for the device (a price which is reduced by $16.67 every month). If you are planning on sticking with AT&T despite their lousy service in your area, there’s no reason not to take advantage of this offer. The MicroCell links to your existing broadband connection to create a 3G “hotspot”, which can be used with up to 4 simultaneous devices.

Eligible customers will receive a mailer on the 23rd with instructions on acquiring their unit.

[Engadget]

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Apple’s Bumper Case for Verizon iPhone 4 Now Available

TUAW, thanks to a tip from a reader, is reporting that the official Apple bumper case has been redesigned and is being sold in Apple Stores.  The redesigned silicon wrap is now universal for either the AT&T or Verizon iPhone.  The modificaion involved enlarging the opening for the mute switch. 

Since Apple has resolutely defied critics’ opinions that the iPhone 4 itself should be modified to fix the problem, it’s not surprising that Apple continues to rely on the bumper case to “solve” the antennae issues that have sullied the iPhone’s reputation.

[TUAW]

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Untethered 4.2.1 Jailbreak by Chronic Dev Team

The Chronic Dev Team (@0naj, p0sixninja, and pod2g) have created an untethered iOS 4.2.1 jailbreak that does not require 4.2b3 SHSH blobs. At the moment, there is a small bug that causes the WiFi icon to disappear, but we expect this to be fixed before a public release. Check back here or on the Greenpois0n homepage for updates.


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Giveaway: iStyleOriginals.com T-Shirt

The fine folks over at iStyleOriginals.com have provided one of their products for a giveaway. It is an adult large black t-shirt with “iGame” on the front (see picture at right).

iStyleOriginals have a sense of humor, as you can see from their system requirements, or their tech support page.

If you want to participate in the giveaway, leave a comment below. One entry per person.  Multiple entries will result in disqualification. A winner will be chosen at random and notified via private message.  Contest ends 11:59 PST on Sunday, January 23, 2011.

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Accessory Review: Innovelis BudFits

Music lovers spend countless hours and dollars to replace the stock Apple earbuds that came with their devices.  Some replace the buds because they prefer more bass, better noise isolation or a better fit for which an in-ear style may be better suited.  For most, they do provide decent sound quality.  Personally, I currently have four pairs of $30 Apple earbuds sitting in a  drawer going unused. The reason? They just don’t stay in my ears. They barely hang on the edge of my ear canal and fall out repeatedly. I have tried a few products to solve the problem, such as Yurbuds and Acoustibuds, with less than successful results.  In the interest of not letting such an expensive and fairly competent accessory left unutilized, I once again have tried another solution, the Innovelis BudFits.

Read on for my review.

(more…)

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Install XBMC on the Apple TV 2, iPhone, and iPad

The XBMC team has successfully ported their (frankly amazing) media center to the Apple TV 2. Update: other iOS devices are also supported. Everything works as-expected, including the TV show and movie scraper, as well as the newly integrated add-on system that allows users to easily install and launch supporting applications from within the XBMC interface. Media in nearly every file format can be streamed in glorious 1080p over a variety of networking protocols, including UPnP, Samba, and more. XBMC really unleashes the full potential of the little black box — especially for users with oodles of local content.

Seriously, if you have an Apple TV 2 and haven’t bothered to jailbreak it yet, do it. Now.

Installation on the Apple TV only requires a few quick commands over SSH:

$ ssh root@

root@’s password: ”enter your password here, it should be “alpine” if you havent changed it”

$ echo “deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/atv2 ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list

$ apt-get update

$ apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv

iPhone, iPod, and iPad users can find XBMC in Cydia under the “http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/ios/” repo.

[XBMC via Engadget]

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Screwgate: The Saga Continues

In attempt to further bolt down their devices, Apple has begun to replace the standard Phillips head screws with unique “Pentalobular screws” that only Apple can remove. It sounds a bit nuts, but iFixit has created a video detailing the riveting situation. Apparently, if you bring your iPhone into the Apple Store to be repaired, the techs will swap out the Phillips screws for their own, tamper proof ones.

Generally, there aren’t many reasons to dismantle your device, but if the warranty has been void, replacing parts yourself is a much cheaper option than having it done professionally. To remedy the situation, iFixit has created a $9.95 “iPhone 4 Liberation Kit“, which contains a Pentalobular driver to remove the errant screws, #00 Phillips screws to replace them with, as well as a corresponding Philips drive.

Which devices are affected?

Now that we’ve got the background out of the way, what’s Apple doing with these new fasteners?

  • This screw head first appeared in the mid-2009 MacBook Pro as a fastener for the battery.
  • The 2010 MacBook Air uses this screw on the lower case to prevent any access to the internals.
  • Many non-US iPhone 4 units have had smaller versions of these evil screws all along.
  • Apple has switched production, and new U.S. units are shipping with the evil screws.
  • If you take your phone into Apple for any kind of service, they will sabotage it by replacing your screws with the new tamper-resistant screws.

[iFixit]

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Use Your Existing Number With Google Voice

It’s been a long time coming, but Google has finally enabled number porting so users can “unlock” their existing phone number for use with Google Voice. The porting costs $20, but allows users to keep their existing number for the foreseeable future, regardless of carrier or phone.

In order to make the switch, you’ll have to cancel your current cell plan to free up your “old” number (and attempt to talk your way out of the dreaded early termination fees), then crawl back to your carrier and activate a new plan to receive brand-new digits for your cellular device, which you will then add as a “forwarding phone” on Google Voice.

When all is said and done, incoming calls to your old number will ring your new number through Google Voice, and outgoing calls will use your new number to make the call, but will be masked by Google Voice. Your new number will remain invisible to all parties involved since it is simply being “piggy backed” by Google Voice.

Update: Google has announced that the feature is in a limited testing phase.

“We’re continually testing new features to enhance the user experience. For a limited amount of time, we’re making the Google Voice number porting process available to users. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future.”

[Engadget]

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Cydia Update Adds “Manage Account” Option

Saurik is in the process of moving Cydia to a new database, which will lead to an excellent set of new features. First up is a “Manage Account” option that allows users to keep a history of installed packages and applications, which are linked to your Facebook or Google account. If you upgrade firmware or have to restore and re-jailbreak your device, Cydia can now easily restore your previously installed items.

via @Saurik

Okay! Moved most of Cydia’s site to the new database/index, and the first new feature using it is online: a “what do I already own” list. ;P

Additional new features should be rolling out soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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