AT&T has extended to online customers a special $249 price for refurbished 8GB iPhones, previously available only in certain regional bricks-and-mortar stores. The used iPhones sell for a $150 discount relative to new ones, and still require activation of a 2-year contract with the company.

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Salon publishes an essay from columnist Farhad Manjoo suggesting that “Apple fans hate tech reporters,” using experiences from himself, Walt Mossberg, and David Pogue as examples of how readers have found—unjustifiably, in his view—positive or negative bias in coverage of Apple’s products. Manjoo draws parallels between Apple fanaticism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, suggesting that people believe their own perspectives to be reasonable, and attack those covering events neutrally when any opinion contrary to their views is presented. [via Macdailynews]

An Apple-filed patent from last year was published this week, suggesting that the company has explored the possibility of developing a flip-style iPhone with a screen on the top half and a fold-out, touch-sensitive surface on the bottom. The bottom surface is proposed to be either a clear panel with the ability to be overlaid on top of the screen, providing the equivalent of the current iPhone’s multi-touch surface when combined, and a scrollable cursor-based surface when separated, or a full touch-sensitive display on the bottom. While the patent has already led to speculation that Apple will use the technology in an “iPhone nano,” past Apple patent filings have only occasionally revealed actual products in advance. [via Unwiredview.com]

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