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News

Das Blau announces Slipper Case for iPhone, iPod touch

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Das Blau has introduced its new Slipper Case for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Slipper is a slim, sleeve-style case made from a combination of lambskin and fabric and featuring suede lining, a front pocket for holding cards, cash, or earphones, a ratcheting belt clip, and shock-absorbent padding. The Das Blau Slipper Case is available now for pre-order in red lambskin with a gray checkered fabric, or in brown lambskin with an olive-dark blue striped fabric, will begin shipping in January, and sells for $35.

Tunewear ships Prie Ambassador for iPhone

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Tunewear has announced the immediate availability of its Prie Ambassador leather case for the iPhone. The Ambassador is made from black nappa leather, and features white contrast stitching, a magnetic side latch, a slim card holder, and an integrated Tunewear removable metal hook. It also offers full access to all ports and controls, and comes with a Tunefilm clear screen protector. The Tunewear Prie Ambassador for iPhone is available now and sells for $60.

DLO unveils Action Jacket for iPhone

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DLO has introduced its Action Jacket for iPhone, a sport-ready neoprene case. The Action Jacket for iPhone offers an integrated belt clip and removable, adjustable armband, and a clear window that offers protection for the iPhone’s screen while preserving full usability. “The DLO Action Jacket is the all-in-one solution for protecting your iPhone,” said Andrew Green, DLO’s vice president of marketing. “With its padded neoprene, protective window, rotating belt clip and adjustable armband, the Action Jacket provides the utmost in versatility and flexibility that iPhone users need to go from work to the gym in style.” The DLO Action Jacket for iPhone is available now and sells for $30.

Unlocked iPhones sold by Orange not ‘country locked’

Contrary to a claim published today, iLounge has confirmed with Orange that unlocked iPhones sold by the company are not limited to French-only SIM cards. A story claimed that unlocked iPhones sold by Orange were somehow “country locked,” and unable to work with SIM cards other than those from other French carriers. “Once legally (through Orange Customer Service) unlocked, the iPhone will operate with any SIM card, including foreign ones. But some applications like ‘Visual Voice Mail’ may not work abroad,” Orange’s Louis-Michel Aymard told iLounge in an email. In addition to offering clarification to the unlocking issue, Aymard also told iLounge that the percentage of unlocked iPhones sold by Orange was “a lot smaller than 20%.”

iFrogz rolls out Car and Wall iPod chargers

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iFrogz has introduced new car and wall chargers for Dock Connecting iPods. The 12V USB Car Charger plugs into any standard car outlet, and connects to the iPod via a USB-to-Dock Connector cable. The 110V USB Wall Charger features a standard two ply plug and also connects to the iPod via a USB to Dock Connector cable. Both the iFrogz Car Charger and iFrogz Wall Charger are available now in white, blue, pink, green, or black, and sell for $13 and $15, respectively.

Apple TV named in ‘Worst Gadgets of 2007’ list

Popular Mechanics has released its “Top 10 Worst Gadgets of 2007” list, with the Apple TV placing second. “There is nothing wrong with Apple TV. Unfortunately, there’s nothing overwhelmingly right about it, either,” says the article. “The problem with Apple TV isn’t the interface or the hardware, which are up to Apple’s current high standards. The issue is competition. DVRs and Video On Demand have fought their way into American living rooms. The only way Apple could have trumped them was to offer a huge selection of movies and monthly, all-you-can-eat plans. They did neither, becoming an online version of your nearest FYE, with decent (but not surprising) prices, and a spotty selection of new releases and mysterious B movies.” Other notable releases making the list were the Microsoft Zune, Palm’s unreleased Folio, and the much-hyped Ugobe Pleo.

Apple posts iPhone custom ringtone how-to

Apple has posted a new support document, “How to create custom ringtones in GarageBand 4.1.1,” that describes how to make iPhone-compatible ringtones using the audio editing program. The document states “With GarageBand 4.1.1 you can export your original song, your original audio recordings, or use Apple Loops and iLife jingles to create a custom ringtone for your iPhone.” The process involves loading the song into GarageBand, setting up a “cycle region” of 40 seconds or less in length, and choosing the “Share > Send Ringtone to iTunes” menu option. GarageBand 4.1.1 is available as part of Apple’s iLife ‘08 software suite.

You can also read iLounge’s 10 step guide to Creating Ringtones with GarageBand ‘08.

iPhone app confirms video recording capability

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A new third-party iPhone application from Monster and Friends can record video up to 45 frames per second via the iPhone’s built-in camera. The developers are still working on a final version, but have released a limited beta which records a five second video and immediately plays it back. The final version will be able to record unlimited-sized clips (until the available storage runs out) up to 30 fps and will include an interface to save your videos. While impressive, this release is most noteworthy as a confirmation of video recording on the iPhone, a feature that is likely to be implemented either by Apple or through a third-party solution once the developer kit is released in February. [via Gizmodo; Thanks, Max]

Tunewear intros Prie Ambassador for iPod touch

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Tunewear has introduced its Prie Ambassador case for iPod touch. The Ambassador is made from genuine nappa leather and features white contrast stitching, a removable hook, and a slim card holder on the back of the case, allows access to all ports and controls, and includes Tunefilm protective clear film for both the display and shiny rear casing of the iPod touch. The Tunewear Prie Ambassador for iPod touch is available now and sells for $46.

Google exec: iPod to hold all world’s content by 2020

  • December 13, 2007
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Speaking at the 2007 Captains of Industry Conference in Singapore, a Google executive speculated that at current rates of storage growth, an iPod capable of holding all the world’s content could be a reality as soon as 2020. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, vice president of Google’s Asia Pacific and Latin America Operations, said that since 1982, the price of data storage has fallen by a factor of 3.6 million. “To put that in context for you, if gas prices fell by the same amount, today a gallon of gas would take you around the earth 2,200 times,” she said. “More importantly, if this trend continues, and the cost of storage continues to decrease, we estimate that somewhere around 2020, all the world’s content will fit inside an iPod, and all the world’s music would sit in your palm as early as 2015, rendering the CD format unnecessary.” Put in perspective, the original iPod debuted in 2001 with 5GB of storage and a price of $400. Currently, Apple’s highest-capacity iPod, the 160GB iPod classic, sells for $350 — 32 times the storage, for $50 less than the original.

Apple job posting points to iPhone Exchange support

A new Apple job posting for an “iPhone Windows Outlook/Exchange QA Engineer” points to possible future support for the Microsoft email protocol on the handset. Many users have pointed to the iPhone’s lack of Outlook/Exchange support as a roadblock to wide-spread corporate adoption of the device. The job description says “The iPhone Quality team is looking for a motivated, highly-technical Exchange test/sync engineer with excellent problem solving and communication skills. You will join a dynamic team responsible for qualifying the latest iPhone products. Your focus will be testing Exchange and Outlook functionality with Apple’s innovative new phone. The successful candidate will complete both documented and adhoc testing to ensure high quality releases.”

Fox debuts Fox News for iPhone

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Fox News has launched its Fox News for iPhone website. Designed for the iPhone and iPod touch’s interface, the site allows users to read headlines, search the Fox News archive, and watch every video available on Foxnews.com. The videos will automatically stream in the correct size for the user’s current connection, whether it be EDGE or Wi-Fi. In addition, users can also share stories, and get quick links to Fox News podcasts on the iTunes Store. Fox News for iPhone can be accessed by visiting iphone.foxnews.com from an iPhone or iPod touch. [via MDN]

Brazilian company hides iPod shuffles in popsicles

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Brazilian ice cream company Kibon has announced a promotion in which it will give away 10,000 iPod shuffles, hidden away inside “propsicles.” “It works like this: the consumer buys an Fruttare popsicle which comes in 10 different fruit flavors,” Mentor Muniz Neto, creative director for Bullet Brazil, said, “and may find an iPod Shuffle inside the package.” When faced with the challenge of hiding the prizes, the company worked with Apple to design a fake popsicle that looks like the real thing, but safely holds the shuffle inside, even in freezing temperatures. “We developed a special prototype that emulates the real ice cream;” Neto says, “it protects the iPod from humidity, and it feels like the real ice cream. It is virtually impossible to fell the difference without opening the package.” In addition to the shuffle, winning packages also include an 800 number and a code, which can be used to obtain the shuffle’s Dock and manual. Kibon’s “iPod no palito” promotion will start on December 18.

iPhone named ‘Most Memorable’ product launch of ‘07

  • December 12, 2007

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Schneider Associates, in partnership with comScore, have released a list of the most memorable new product launches of 2007 and the latest trends in consumer behavior. The iPhone was named both “Most Memorable New Product Launch of the year” and had the highest public awareness of any new product from 2007. From a survey of more than 1,000 consumers, the iPhone received the highest percentage of votes, with 37% of respondents listing it in the top 3 products they most remembered. Windows Vista placed second in the survey, with 26%. Interestingly, the new iPod nano (with video) also made the list, placing 11th.

Google launches iPhone interface for Picasa

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Google has launched a new interface for its Picasa photo sharing service, optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. The interface lets users “quickly see all your albums that you’ve uploaded to Picasa Web. If you click on any of the albums, you can get a full view of your picture with comments from your friends.” Other features include a Slideshow view, a search mode that lets users search for photos in their albums or through community photos, and the ability to view your friends’ albums through favorites. To try out the new interface, visit picasaweb.google.com from an iPhone or iPod touch.

Mix: Time, Radiohead, NBC, HMV

  • December 12, 2007

Time Magazine has named the iPhone the top gadget of the year in its list of Top 10 Gadgets. Time says the handset “changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform.” It describes the design as “exceptional,” while praising the device’s touch screen and myriad of features.

According to a Billboard.biz report, British group Radiohead is in talks with Apple over the release of its latest album, “In Rainbows,” on the iTunes Store. Radiohead’s EMI back catalog remains a glaring omission from the Store, with the group insisting that its albums be sold in their entirety. Previously, Radiohead, no longer under contract with any label, released “In Rainbows” independently through its own website, on a “pay what you like” basis.

Following the removal of its TV programming from the iTunes Store, NBC has announced a partnership with SanDisk to offer NBC television shows on Fanfare, a web-based service that enables users to download TV shows and other video content for playback on the company’s Sansa TakeTV video player.

HMV, a leading music and entertainment retailer in Canada, has begun selling iPods and related accessories at many of their HMV Canada locations. “While the majority of purchased music continues to be in physical form, it’s clear the listening experience of many Canadians is evolving to also include portable music and for the majority of those consumers the digital player of choice is the iPod,” said HMV Canada President Humphrey Kadaner. “As the country’s leading music retailer, it only makes sense that we provide a full music experience for our customers by selling Canada’s leading digital music player.” In addition to the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch lines, a “wide range” of iPod accessories are now available in more than half of all HMV stores, with plans to expand availability to more stores in 2008.

Apple adds TV shows to iTunes Store in Canada

As expected, Apple tody announced the addition of television programming to the iTunes Store in Canada. The rumored CTV and CBC content will be joined by a handful of Comedy Central and MTV Networks shows, including the Emmy Award-winning “South Park,” and the NHL Games of the Year. “We’re thrilled to bring television programming to the iTunes Store in Canada in time for the holiday season,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’re off to a great start with hit shows from CBC, CTV, Comedy Central and MTV Networks, along with the best of classic and current NHL action.” The complete linup includes the CBC’s “Little Mosque on the Prairie,” “The Rick Mercer Report,” “No Opportunity Wasted,” and “Dragon’s Den.” From CTV comes “Corner Gas,” “Instant Star,” “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and “Robson Arms;” Comedy Central’s offerings include “Drawn Together,” “The Sarah Silverman Program,” and “South Park,” while MTV Networks brings “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and “The Hills” to the store. Finally, NHL Games of the Year will include top NHL games in their entirety for the 2007-2008 season, as well as Stanley Cup Classics, a five-game bundle of great Stanley Cup Final games. All TV Shows on the iTunes Store in Canada will be priced at CAN$1.99 per episode.

Report claims iPhone will be ‘primary target’ for hackers in ‘08

A security forecast released by Arbor Networks suggests that the iPhone will be a major target for hackers in 2008. Arbor’s Security and Engineering Response Team, who put together the forecasts, believe that the iPhone will be the victim of a “serious attack” next year. These attacks are “likely to be in the form of drive by attacks - malware embedded into seemingly harmless information, images or other media that actually perform dangerous actions when rendered on the iPhone’s Web browser.”  In addition, the team suggests that “hackers will be enticed by the possibility of attacking Apple users and the opportunity to ‘be the first’ to hack a new platform.”

RIAA argues against legality of ripped MP3s

In a supplemental brief filed in the case of Atlantic vs. Howell, in which the defendants are being sued for sharing music over KaZaA, attorneys representing the RIAA have argued that music files ripped to computers for personal use, particularly in the MP3 format, are “unauthorized copies.” The brief states: “It is undisputed that Defendant possessed unauthorized copies of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings on his computer.  Exhibit B to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a series of screen shots showing the sound recording and other files found in the KaZaA shared folder on Defendant’s computer on January 30, 2006. Virtually all of the sound recordings on Exhibit B are in the ‘.mp3’ format. Defendant admitted that he converted these sound recordings from their original format to the .mp3 format for his and his wife’s use. The .mp3 format is a ‘compressed format [that] allows for rapid transmission of digital audio files from one computer to another by electronic mail or any other file transfer protocol.’” Previously, in the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys representing the record companies stated that “it’s perfectly lawful to take a CD that you’ve purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.” [via Gizmodo]

iTunes releases ‘Best of 2007’ lists

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The iTunes Store has posted a number of new “Best of 2007” lists, showcasing top selling items and editor’s picks in music and TV shows. Among the lists are iTunes’ top selling albums and songs of 2007. Topping the album list is Maroon 5’s sophomore album, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” followed by Kanye West’s “Graduation” and Amy Winehouse’s sophomore effort “Back to Black.” Both Winehouse and West were recently nominated for multiple Grammy awards for their work. “Daughtry,” the self-titled debut from “American Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry, and “Coco” by newcomer Colbie Caillat came in as the fourth and fifth best selling albums, respectively. In single sales, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas’ “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was the top-selling single of 2007 on iTunes, with Kanye West’s “Stronger” coming in second. “Crank That” by Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em was the third best selling single of the year, followed by the Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” in fourth, and Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape” rounding out the top five.

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